We took two weeks to winterize the boat then we took a flight to Iowa where we started up Wade’s truck to drive to visit Sara’s family in Arkansas and Wade’s family in Florida. As the cold spell swept across the United States we continued to drive south and found deer!
Winterizing the boat turned into a much bigger chore than anticipated. Kodiak St. Paul Harbor turns off the dock water to prevent freezing pipes. Two days before we were expected to fly out we ran out of water and thanks to Cy and LA we had jerry jugs to carry water back to the boat.
The day we left Kodiak was absolutely crazy. The rain was so heavy no one thought we would actually leave. Our friends Alisa and Mike, who are watching the boat while we’re gone, offered to give us a ride to the airport before their son got out of school, but we were running so far behind we had to take a taxi and rush to the airport. If the airplane from Anchorage was not late landing by a half hour we would have never caught our flight. Thanks to the amazing pilots of Alaska Airlines we make it to Anchorage safely for our red-eye to Iowa.
Wade’s Dad and step-Mom picked us up from the airport. They helped us deal with the police when the security alarm went off at Wade’s farm and get Wade’s Ford 350 running. The poor batteries didn’t survive the two years sitting in the garage while we were sailing and when Wade was working on the batteries the starter broke, so his uncle came to the rescue and carted us around town to get the replacement parts.
The truck was ready to go and we headed south 12 hours to Sara’s family Christmas’s in Arkansas. We brought canned octopus from Sand Point Alaska that we trapped, goat from the Marquesas, Yellow-fin and Albacore tuna fish, mango, blueberry, and salmon berry jam. So far Sara’s family has only braved the octopus pasta.
We drove another 14 hours south to visit Wade’s brother and wife. We had a blast ringing in the New Year on Little Gasparilla Island near Port Charlotte, Florida. We got to partake in a scavenger hunt, golf cart parade and on New Years Eve they had a band with a ball of Christmas lights that dropped to start the New Year. The beach is a beachcombers paradise with lots of cool shells and tons of shark teeth.
After New Years we headed even further south to visit Wade’s mom and along the way we saw our friend Mark in Naples. Sometimes the world is so small because he was Sara’s boat neighbor when we lived in Hawaii. Key West has been a hoot. They have done an amazing amount of clean up after Hurricane Irma but there is still plenty of debris. As we were finding the No-Name restaurant in Big Pine Key we came across some friendly deer. As much as we were hunting for deer in Alaska we only had to travel to the southern most part of the Continental USA to find deer, haha.
Wade and Sara