We are heading back to West Palm Beach.

After three days in the exact same marina yard where Shelly and I built our first boat Naiad in1989-90, we left just after lunchtime to come back down the New River which runs through downtown Ft Lauderdale and feeds back into the intercostal waterway – our road North to pick up Ian tomorrow night late for Christmas.

Let's back up and get caught up…

Monday we were up early and enjoyed a beautiful morning motor into and through Ft Lauderdale and right on up the New River.

When we were here in the 90's these were considered mega yachts. Now they are everywhere.

There was lots to see going up through town and Goose got all excited every time we got close to someone's yard…

There are four opening bridges, lots of boat traffic, and a railroad bridge so the capt had to be on the radio most of the time praying the engine was not going to quit.

The main reason to come here was to get as close to the generator repair place, and the marina mile where there are tons of businesses to supply the needs of the “yachting capital of the world”.

We were looking for solar panels, parts to fix the engine issues, and drop off the generator.

Calling around we found that Riverbend Marina was the cheaper place to dock (at $68 a night) so we headed that way, racking our brains to remember anyone from long ago that might still be around.

One of the couples we remembered were Vern and Yolanda who had lived a couple of boats down in Riverbend but a google search brought no results.

Pulling in to the very tight spaced boatyard, we were absolutely amazed to find the guy taking our lines was Vern from 24 years ago! He proved to be a godsend, lending a vehicle and his knowledge to help us immensely .

Vern lives in this old sailboat they put us next to while he is working (he commutes to his home in la Paz Mexico!) and he has a black cat that fascinated Goose.

As usual when we dock it's off to the races to get stuff done.

With money pouring down the drain for parts and supplies, we bought a 235 watt solar panel and all the material to mount it, engine parts, and more. (Like $115 for a laser temperature gun to be able to tell exactly what the engine temps are!) The solar panel and mounting will end up at around $750 but the headaches mounting and installing are worth four times that. It is still not finished.

I worked on it all afternoon and into the night to realize I had made some dumb calculation mistake and had to rethink it this morning – and go for more parts on the bicycle. Sometime I get in such a hurry to get done it does me no good at all!

This is me grinding the ss tubes after dark!

We finished up enough by noon to wash down the boat and get off the dock before getting charged for another day.

Time to get back to WPB and be ready for Ian who is flying in at 1045 pm Friday for his first Air Force leave. He will spend Christmas on the boat with us. We will probably go back to ft Lauderdale and look for somewhere to leave the boat while we rent a car and drive to North Carolina for Memorial services for Shelly's Dad who passed on to a better life earlier this week.

That gets us up to date… At anchor just off the intercoastal waterway, with an engine with good alarms, temp gauges that work, and a solar panel mounting but not yet hooked up. And a nice cool 68 degrees with a east breeze off the ocean blowing in the hatch over the bed!

We wish the most happy of holidays to all!