Moving on to Central America

Hello to all,

Many of you know that we are still in Key West, having stayed much longer than we had anticipated. This location has been an interesting one and actually a lot of fun.

We have especially enjoyed being near our friends, the Krienens, who live in Cudjoe Key which is about 30 miles north of here. They have been super wonderful to us the whole visit; carting us around in their car and acting as a post office box for the many shipments we have needed during our stay. Not only have we been invited to share their home and meals with them, but they have also driven the 120 miles round-trip to see that we had transportation to Cudjoe Key. We will miss them a great deal when it comes time to go and hope (as we do with all of you!) that they will decide to visit us somewhere in the world during our travels.

One the things that kept us here was the age and problems of our Micron computer. We have a new one now and feel comfortable that we will be able to stay in touch as we go.

The second time-grabber was the galley project that Sander undertook to complete. We have new lids on our fridge and freezer with proper insulation over the whole countertop now. It was not easy for Sander to complete this project on a boat that was constantly moving and lacking the proper tools which would have made it a lot easier. It looks just super now with brand new formica and lids that properly close and seal.

One of the exciting parts about being anchored off Key West has been watching the boats around us dragging their anchors. It's not too scary if someone is on board the dragging boat when the dragging happens. We have marveled at the folks who come into the anchorage, drop the anchor and jump right into their dinghies to go to town. Sander has actually saved four boats during dragging. While Jane was in IL a boat wrapped its anchor rode (that's a rope hitched to a short length of chain) around the bottom of the boat and the rode snapped. Now that's not just an anchor dragging, but that's a boat that is not attached to any anchor. This boat owned only the one anchor that was lost at the bottom. The one guy that was left aboard was able to get the engine started but had no experience in steering the boat. Sander talked the guy through the situation and together they managed to get the wayward boat side by side with Satori and secured for the night.

The next situation happened on Christmas Eve Day. That whole weekend brought a norther and heavy winds to the area. A 40' boat came close to running into Satori and then changed directions. She was really traveling. We were able to use our dinghy and haul her into some clear water for a while before she started roaming again. The second time she actually ran into a smaller boat and was doing damage. Sander and another boater were able to get her tied onto the smaller boat til their owners returned. Some damage but both boats were saved some real serious problems.

The last experience happened after dark just after Christmas. Sander called me up to the cockpit to see a very small boat trotting across our transom (the back end). It was quite erie...nobody aboard and no anchor light lit - just a ghostly appearance sliding across the water. She was really moving and right out to sea. We watched for another 45 minutes hoping that the owners would come back. Then we jumped into our dinghy to try one more rescue. This time we were not as lucky. The boat was in very poor cleats on deck, an engine that would not start. We could not fight the currents and finally had to give up and go back to Satori. We still stayed on deck watching for some poor owners to come roaming around looking for their boat. Luckily, it did not take long. We called out to a couple who were rowing from one boat to another. Sander pulled them with our dinghy out to their boat and they were very relieved to find it. It is the only home that they have as with most of us.

We have been pleased to be given the chance to help other boaters during our stay. It has given us a chance to repay the many kindnesses that we have experienced from others in the boating world.

We are planning to leave on Saturday morning and hope to spend a few days at the Dry Tortugas on the way to Belize.

We will write again soon. Please let us hear from you. We check our email messages at least twice a day and it does mean a lot to us to get mail.

TTFN (TaTa for now)

Jane & Sander