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¥ € $ , ¥ € $, ¥ € $ - Florida

It is nearly 6 months since my last update with many miles under Kokachin's wake.

Our 3 months sejour in Florida could not have been more different from Newfoundland wilderness, a kingdom of nature, where isolation and peace reigned.

The only spot to anchor in Stuart was under the private jets flight path where a stream of planes flew over our heads ceaselessly (every 3 minutes at times!), while power boats with multiple mighty gas guzzling engines sped by frequently, their big wash rocking and rolling us without warning.  The only way to the food shops was along the US1 highway where frighteningly huge cars  rushed in all directions, spewing fumes.  The drivers' pent up frustrations were palpable at multi-lane traffic lights, as they waited for their turn to speed away.​  We were witnessing humanity in pursuit of something unfathomable, feeling total outsiders and misfits: slowly travelling with the wind, rowing our dinghy, walking to the shops, carrying everything on our backs, having plenty of time.... 

Except for a mile long boardwalk along the mangroves and a few residential streets, there was nowhere to stretch our legs and to escape from motorised mayhem.​  I remembered, a  while back, throwing out numerous damp Florida charts that Pete acquired with his previous boat. I demonstratively exclaimed then: “I never want to go to Florida, sure we would never go there.” The Stuart experience was probably a fitting punishment for me. Serves me right.

With permanent unseasonal strong winds we could not do much work on deck. Because there was virtually no public transport (except to a shopping mall) and with nowhere to go, we bolted ourselves inside the boat and rested for weeks on end, enjoying it immensely. It was just what we needed after months of continuously being on the go.

West Palm Beach brought a refreshing change as there were various things to see and do, plus we enjoyed spending time with a number of  friends who visited us. Some travelling from afar and some we have not seen for many years.

Despite its opulence Palm Beach was charming.  We liked its old alleyways, with interesting art galleries and exclusive boutiques. In our best outfits (for once!) we tried to look smart while mixing with the rich, who were stylishly stepping out of their Rolls Royces and Bentleys. There was no doubt Worth Av and PB were the land of the super rich. One large super yacht’s name summed it up well​ - ¥ € $.

How we ended up being invited by our new friends to spend time with them in their most enchanting ocean front villa in Palm Beach,  dined with them in a magical  garden, the candlelight reflecting in the pool, cicadas singing to celebrate Pete's birthday (cake and Veuve Clicquot included) cannot be explained here​. Their hard earned wealth seemed nothing compared to the goodness of their heart and their warm friendship.  

With our 6 months USA visa nearing its end Neptune, Kokachin and I parted company! I flew back to London then to Croatia while Neptune, with a friend, sailed across the Atlantic to the UK, with a stop over in Bermuda.  I enormously enjoyed my galavanting for about 2 months, catching up with everyone in person.  I stopped by and stayed for a night or two with different friends, also meeting many of you individually either for a drink, walk, meal, or visit. Total of 156 - I could not believe it! I hope that it won't be too long before I meet you again.

Meanwhile Neptune and Simon on Kokachin ploughed the Ocean. They took 40 days  to sail  4600 NM. Simon's tracking device enabled me to check on their progress. I got alarmed, having seen them nearing Bermuda, with very bad weather approaching. To stop me worrying from there on it was best to not know where they were and what the weather might be like. A big surprise came when I learn​t, from Simon's wife, that they were off Biscay. They made it back to the UK before I returned from Croatia! When Neptune called saying they had a fast but eventful passage, I knew I made the right choice​: having much fun on land!

We are now reunited on Kokachin, our separation being only a temporary one. Hope I succeeded in teasing you a bit.  You thought that might be our big news. That one is still coming!

It was wonderful to hear about your lives. Please stay in touch. I cannot often take  2 months off from cruising life​.

Until our next instalment.

Cheers, Happy Sailing – Fair winds and smooth seas

Linda & Neptune on Kokachin - now  in Scotland

PS: See a separate post for Neptune's Atlantic crossing

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