Wednesday, May 9, 2012

stateside :)

Hello from the US! We made landfall in Port Canaveral, right in the shadow of Kennedy Space Center, where the shuttles have been launched from.

Entering the "ICW"
First thing we had to do was to check in with Customs and Immigration. As boaters entering in our own vessel, we are required to call in when we arrive, and visit the office within24 hours. We had heard it can sometimes be a hassle, but for us it was super simple. We went into the office, down the street from where our boat was tied up, and it took a whole 6 minutes to check us in. We'd kinda hoped for some fanfare entrance, and a big welcome back to the US, but he just glanced over the passports (even the expired ones! :) and sent us on our way.

Addie Anna
So, the next day, we went up into the Intra-coastal Waterway (a canal system that runs almost the entire East coast of the US, and usually really calm) and made our way up to a marina in a little town called Titusville. It is a city-run marina and was a great place to leave the boat while we visited with family who were staying near Orlando. Erik's brother's in-laws Russ and Susan, put us all up in their huge camper on their farm and we had a great time hanging out with the crowd of family that was continually passing through their house. It was our first visit with them and all of us we were instantly accepted as's that for southern hospitality?! We also got to meet our new niece/cousin Addie and absolutely fell in love with her!

Maggie with a baby Croc!
We packed in a lot of fun in one week, playing games, visiting and catching up, and of course, plenty of eating! We had a several BBQ's, and took a big group of family out for a day sail up the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) one afternoon. We skipped the whole craziness of Disney and Universal Studios (just spending a few hours one evening walking down "City Walk", a chaotic shopping and restaurant compound)
We also visited a local winery for a blues and wine festival, got to take an air-boat ride in the swamp where we got to see alligators.........SUPER COOL!, and even fit in a quick trip across the state to visit friends we'd met in Costa Rica. Whew! It was a busy week, but we all had a great time, and of course, there were a few tears when we had to say good-bye again and make our way up to North Carolina.

It was four day sail up to Cape Hatteras area and it was much faster to "go outside" (of the ICW) and try and ride the Gulf Stream north, even though it is much rougher out on the open sea than the calmness of the ICW. Plus, it was the last open sailing for all of us on Mehari for a while, so we wanted to cherish the peace of the open sea!

See you in NC!
Hanging out with Grammy and Gramps!

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