New Years Eve Eve Joyriding!

With the Gilligan’s Island theme song ringing in our heads, we finally took Optimystique out this morning for a 3 hour joyride … accompanied by multiple dolphins … and several other boats traversing the ICW heading who knows where for their New Years celebrations.  Luckily for us, this was no 3 hour tour ending on a deserted island! (altho’ come to think of it, it might not have been a bad way to spend a New Years….. 🙂

Goodbye Marina! See you later … we hope!

Slightly terrifying …. well, maybe a bit more than slightly … but adrenaline was running high, seas and winds were flat and current was slack.  What more can we ask for?  Plus it was close to warm … or at least tolerable…  Wednesday is forecast to be snow flurries as far south as Tampa, so we wanted to get away from the dock before we’re snowed in.  The good news is, the reverse cycle heat worked as the early morning temp was 49.

Why terrifying, you ask?  After all with our 15,000 miles cruising experience from Annapolis to Cartagena, Colombia & back, shouldn’t we be “ole pros”? Well, one of us maybe, but …

David, my Captain and hero, getting the feel of the new trawler.

Everyone told us driving a trawler takes some getting used to after a sailboat. “Everyone” was definitely right. But after spending a couple hours backing up, spinning 360 circles, pretending to back into imaginary marinas, we were ready to head back to our marina and see what happened.

Ah yes, finally driving OUR boat again!

Practice doesn’t make perfect yet, but we have a good start … and a bunch of questions! Best of all, we started building the confidence we’ll need to take on The Great Loop with its 245 plus locks, bridges, and countless adventures!  But first, back to the boat… gotta answer all our questions and figure more stuff out…  🙂

HOW FAST? 8.2 ??? Almost twice as fast as s/v Winterlude! Light speed!

Today was a HUGE step for us.  And we’re ready for the New Year!  Bring 2018 on!

Heading down the Manatee River

Happy New Year to all!  Be sure to take steps (even baby-steps) to make your dreams come true!  Cheers!  Jan & David

Welcome Home! Back safely in our slip. Learning lesson #1 complete!


  1. Hope the learning curve isn’t too steep.

    Really looking forward to following you on the Great Loop. We’re looking to do it in our sailboat so I hope you’ll remember to share insights helpful to sailors along the way.

    Happy 2018!

  2. Thank you for writing of your Great Loop experience, much appreciated!

  3. Patty and David says:

    Hi, Jan and Dave. Welcome back to FL boating! John and Marilyn reported meeting you—good news. C’mon down to Burnt Store!

    • Hi Patty & David! I couldn’t believe yesterday when Marilyn (or was it John?) said “Do you know …. ” Most times when we hear “do you know”, the answer is usually no. But this time was a complete surprise! Burnt Store is one of our stops when we get underway … should be within a couple of weeks! Looking forward to seeing you both again! Cheers! J&D

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