Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Goodbye Jacksonville!

June 24, 2017
Day 1 - Ortega Landing Marina to Trout River anchorage
approximately 12 miles
15:00 - 17:42

Goodbye Ortega Landing, our home for the past three years.

Freja watches as Ortega River Bridge and our marina fade into the background.

After three weeks of organizing, list-writing, packing, and cleaning for me, and work at the hospital for Hans, we parked the van, handed in our marina keys, and untied the dock lines. We were off! Bahamas bound! 
We’d been full-time residents of Ortega Landing Marina for almost three years. The feeling of untying the dock lines and leaving, like a snail with our home on our backs, never gets old. It is exhilirating. Scary, exciting, happy. So many unanswered questions and what ifs. And so many possibilities. 

Off we go! Hans was exhausted. He worked an overnight, came home at lunchtime and we started running through our last checklist. One final run to the grocery store, a final run to West Marine, check the dock box one last time to make sure it’s empty, unplug the electrical lines and we were off!

Boating with older kids is night and day compared to our last trip in 2014 when the girls were only 1 and 3. Back then, one adult was on kid detail and the other one was the captain. Guess which job was the most popular. Within the first twenty minutes of leaving Ortega, the differences were apparent. Matilda was happy down below by herself (not sure what she was doing), and Freja was asking us questions about safety. What if a big wave hits the boat? What if there is lightning? What will the waves be like on the ocean? What if there is a storm at sea? What if the engine breaks down? What if both engines break down? Freja asks the questions, but then needs to take the information we give her and processes it in a way that makes her comfortable. So we’d give her the answer and she would re-work that answer in her own words.

And then…boating. Our one good working engine suddenly started overheating. Instead of yelling out a stream of expletives per usual, we took deep breaths and had a methodical conversation about what we needed to do. Because…”overheating?! Why is the engine too hot?  Are we going to sink?” 

We found a convenient place to anchor (on the Trout River, just north of Jacksonville next to the zoo) and we settled in for the night. Too late to tackle the problem, we popped open the bottle of champagne (because: residency complete!) and relaxed for the evening.

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