Welcome to Waves of Grace!

We have moved from Eagle's Wings to Waves of Grace, a Catalina 42 which will extend our winter ocean cruising grounds to the southern Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Please join us on our adventures! We would love to hear from you via cell phone or e-mail and when you get a minute come on down and visit!

Catalina Swap

Catalina Swap
The two gals share a dock at Navy Point. Leaving Eagle's Wings was bittersweet, but new adventures await us on Waves of Grace.

Tax Office Visit 12/27/2013

I visited the tax office here in Marathon today to ask some pertinent questions about Florida taxes for cruising boats......The tax office is not far from the City Marina and since we just had a meeting in Boot Key with the FWC I just wanted to get my facts straight.
     1.  A boat that is stored on the "hard" in Florida does not have to register.
     2.  A sailboat that is in Florida for more than 90 consecutive days must register and title in Florida
     3.  When we return to New York in 6  months then we have to re-register and title in New York
     4.  If we decide to stop in another state and stay for several months then we have to register there too
     5.  If we leave Florida after 90 days and come back then our 90 days starts over....
     6.  We could just forget the rules and sail to the Bahamas where we'll encounter other rules and regs.....

Key West 12/18/2013

Everyone visiting the Keys wants to visit Key West so the four of us set out to explore the southernmost tip of Florida today.  I took a few photos that represent the lifestyle down here....relaxed!  There were plenty of Tarpon swimming under the pelicans in the old harbor.  Walt and I took the afternoon bus back to Marathon to attend the three hour meeting with the Florida Wildlife Commission.  Boot Key Harbor sailors have been harassed by the younger members of this group.....dinghies checked for lights, fire extinguishers, mildew-free life jackets, whistles, and original registrations.  The meeting went well and hopefully the harbor will again become hassle-free!  There is always a fine line between safety and government meddling.

Cousins visit this week! 12/16/2013

Danny and his daughter Ali arrived yesterday to spend the week with us here in Boot Key.  We played tennis, biked to the beach and visited the 7 Mile Bridge today. They are impressed with our warm weather and sunny skies.

The Beach 12/14/2013

Sombrero Beach is one of the highlights here in Marathon. It is at the junction of Hawk Channel, oceanside, and Sister's Creek which flows into Boot Key Harbor where we are in the mooring field. The beach is beautiful and is a great place to kayak to from our boat or to pedal to on our boat bikes. It also has beach volleyball, playground, picnic pavilions and bath houses. What a treasure! In addition we saw a huge manatee (is there any other size) at the dinghy dock. She had the fresh water hose in her front fins and was trying to bite the hose to get a taste.....We are all prohibited from petting manatees or giving them fresh water which they love.....It was a great to see one so close.

Key Biscayne to Marathon 12/12/2013

We had an exhilarating 96 mile motor-sail in Hawk Channel today for 12 hours. We normally stop near Key Largo and anchor at Rodriguez Key but very strong winds from the NE were predicted for tonight so we decided to do the trip in just one day. We anchored just as it was getting dark opposite 7 Mile Bridge right outside of Boot Key Harbor. The water was turquoise-blue today, with partly sunny skies and warm breezes....this is why we come here! We started the day with this beautiful sunrise south of Miami and saw this sunset as we spotted the 7 Mile Bridge.

Vero Beach to Lake Worth 12/10/2013

Winds from the south again so there was no advantage to ocean sailing today......8 bridges to Lake Worth but we made great time and anchored at 4:45. The ICW really is pretty here.....We did hit some skinny water near St. Lucie's Inlet. Jupiter Lighthouse is still quite a sight as you make the turn before the Jupiter Federal Bridge.

New Smyrna Beach Boat Parade 12/7/2013

Today we traveled 64 miles south on the ICW, past Ponce de Leon Inlet to the anchorage in New Smyrna Beach. We just made the last opening of the George Musson Bridge at 4:00 as it was closing for 2 hours from 4-6 for the boat parade. We anchored and put up our Christmas lights....at 6:00 a boat parade went right past the anchorage! It was a nice ending to a day that started with me running the boat aground about 2 minutes out of last night's anchorage....how humiliating! But I backed off and all was well...the charts are not up-to-date. One minute I was in 12 feet and the next minute I was in mud. But mud is SOFT so Waves of Grace lives to sail another day....

Leaving snowy New York for Florida! 2013

We enjoyed one of the snowiest Thanksgivings ever with our family this year in New York. Of coarse, this was a VERY late Thanksgiving! We took Anna and Ryan sledding and everyone enjoyed taking the Bad Boy out for a spin on our trails. The aggressive tires made going through the snow no problem at all. Steve and Juliann stopped by on their way home to Texas from a Taylors' Maine Thanksgiving. Stacey, the Jensens' and Walt and I all departed on Sunday, Dec 1st. We drove all night to Green Cove Springs, FL where our boat was waiting for us in the work yard. We had a major mold and mildew problem which we spent hours, days cleaning up.....A mechanic pulled our cutlass bearing on Tuesday and replaced it. Our shaft is misaligned and Walt is still trying to fix it. Sailing is WORK!
We went in the water on Wed, Dec. 4th and today we did the 21 miles to JAX Landing. The railroad bridge here is broken and it only opens four times a day so we had to be here at 2:00. We went through the bridge with 6 other boats and pulled into JAX Landing for the night. Tomorrow the bridge closes for a week and we would have been stuck in the St. John's River.......if we had not been here today.

Boat Care 3/18/2013

I am always amazed by comments from non-boaters who think that the boating life is a vacation.....well it can be.....but most often it's a lot of work! We are finishing up LOTS of work here at the boat yard. Walt looks like an alien as he has been grinding and sanding the hull. Today we finished two applications of CSC bottom paint and we have started to wash and wax the boat. It seems much larger on land when the whole entire boat needs a wax job! We are both tired but at 7:30 we turned around and saw this sunset-WOW!

Green Cove Springs Marina 3/15/2013

We have arrived at Green Cove Springs Marina which is really not a marina at all but rather a boatyard where you can complete your own projects on your own boat-something rare here in Florida because of all the EPA regulations. There are huge piers where large ships used to put in and there is a work yard and a storage yard for both boats and cars. The office is small and so is the bathroom but people come here to work on their boats, not necessarily spend the winter. We were promptly hauled out, scraped (the hull was not too bad) and power washed. Then we were moved to the work area with tarps, water, and electric included. Everything here is a la carte so you just pay for what you use, nothing else. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. The office will order anything you need at their cost plus a small processing fee. We do need a new cutlass bearing, but hey, we have tons of miles on this boat so we'll have the yard pull the shaft and put on a new bearing, they've already ordered it. Walt is pretty grimy grinding and sanding the hull, even with the respirator and a full painter's suit. The cruising life is certainly not a vacation, just an simpler, alternative lifestyle for the adventurous and the handy man/woman!

Jacksonville Landing 3/13/2013

We sailed up the St. John's River today with the tide so we were doing close to 8 knots! We are docked just in front of Jacksonville Landing which is west of the Main Street Lift Bridge in Jacksonville. There is complimentary 72 hour docking here with room for about 50 boats with a warning sign to be prepared to raft up to 5 boats deep....must be super busy in the summer! There are parks, restaurants, a biking path and lots to explore at the waterfront. What a fantastic stop! Tomorrow will be our last day cruising this year as we pull into Green Cove Springs Marina to have the boat pulled on Friday. What a great cruising season this has been!

Melbourne-Ebmeyer Visit 2/10/2013

We had a delightful time hosting Jim and Joyce from Katlynn Marine, our home port, today on Waves of Grace while anchored off-shore of Squid Lips in Melbourne, Florida. They have been babysitting their two grand children for the last two weeks. The Ebmeyers own a Catalina 40 which they keep in Sodus Bay during the summer months but they have also sailed their boat to Florida along with Bob and Brenda, also docked at Katlynn Marine, on their own boat. We shared sailing stories over wine and gin and tonics-a perfect Sunday afternoon!

Stuart, FL 3/8/2013

We took a side trip today and went from Lake Worth to Sunset Bay Marina in the St Lucie River. We were so surprised at the upscale marina, beautiful boaters' lounge, nice laundry facilities ($1.50 per wash and dry) and great mooring field. The amenities here are awesome! There is a scenic river walk to downtown Stuart which is filled with upscale shops and restaurants. We had fish and chips at Duffy's and it was warm enough to sit outside. Stuart offers free shuttle service to anywhere in the city and they will pick you up at the marina if you call them. This morning we walked to Publix which is only 8-10 minutes from the dinghy dock. We'll certainly plan to stay here next fall for several days when we head south again.

Indian Key, Marathon, Key Largo, Miami 3/3-3/6/2013

We are on the move and going fast......We sailed from Cape Coral to the mouth of Everglades City at Indian Key on Sunday and put down the anchor in a small protected cove west of the channel. The wind was gusting to 23 knots in the bay but all was quiet in the anchorage. On Monday we set sail at 6:30 and headed across Florida Bay to anchor at 7:10 just outside of Boot Key Harbor which was full to the brim with moored and anchored boats. It was a calm night and we could see the 7-Mile Bridge as well as a beautiful sunset. On Tuesday we took our new dinghy into Marathon, did some shopping and said good-bye to our friends, pulled anchor and headed to Key Largo where we anchored in the dark at 7:20 at Rodriguez Key, an anchorage we know well. This is the sunrise this morning as we head north to Miami. We had a great sail up Hawk Channel today as the winds grew to 26 knots as we entered Biscayne Bay. We are anchored in No Name with a dozen other sailboats. Ranger was pretty excited to go for a walk to the Biscayne lighthouse this afternoon....he's been there before! Winds just won't settle down...supposed to blow 18-20 knots all week....

Walt's new boat car 3/1/2013

There was no sleep for the weary on Friday when we set the anchor in Cape Coral. We had a message that our new Mercury dingy, purchased at the Miami boat show, was being delivered to Larry and Kitty's home. So we jumped in our old dink are arrived at their house just 15 minutes before the delivery truck pulled up. It arrived in a huge crate and three hours later it was in the water....old dinghy folded up, and crate torn apart. Back to Waves of Grace for some serious sleep!


We pulled an all-night sail from Madeira Beach to Cape Coral today and we are still catching up on lost sleep. We left Chuck and Terri around 11:00 A.M., went through the Welch Causeway Bridge and stopped to fill up with diesel for $4.35/gallon and no tax! Then we went through the John's Pass lift bridge with the intention of going into Sarasota at New Pass but when we turned to go in I saw only breakers straight across the channel. I called Tow Boat US and they said NOT to take our boat through there, too shallow as it has shoaled in. They recommended Venice but it was dark by the time we arrived so we turned off the engine and sailed the Gulf of Mexico all night arriving at our anchorage in Cape Coral around 11:00 on Friday-a 24 hour sail!

Aunt Marie's visit 2/28/2013

Bob Washer's sister, Walt's Aunt Marie and her son, Jimmy, came to Chuck and Teresa's condo to visit with us this morning. It was so nice to spend time with relatives that live so far from us. It probably would have been easier to make the trip in the car, but heck...anybody can do that! We came down from New York in our sailboat! It's been a new experience sailing the west coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Praise God for his continual guidance and protection.

Madeira Beach, Fl 2/27/2013

We are visiting Chuck and Terry, friends from Katlynn Marine on Sodus Bay, our home port up north in New York. We tried to exit Tampa Bay via Egmont Channel this morning around 10:30 but the breakers were way too large and the seas were confused so we turned back and did the ICW and the 5 bridges to Madeira Beach. Chuck and Terry met us at the Welch Causeway Bridge on their motor boat and led us to their condo and a nice quiet dock right out front. They treated us to a great dinner and then dancing at the Elk Club that they belong to here at the beach. What wonderful friends from C-D Dock at Sodus! Thanks so much!

Regatta Point, Palmetto, FL 2/25-26/2013

Today we pulled anchor at 6:30 and headed out of Charlotte Bay through the Boca Grande Pass and into the Gulf of Mexico. We were hoping to outrun the bad weather coming from the northwest.....We had 68 miles to cover before pulling into Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto. We motor-sailed most of the way and to save time we headed into Longboat Pass which was very narrow and shallow. Immediately we had to go through the Longboat bridge, turn north and go through the Cortez and Anna Maria Bridges which then put us into Tampa Bay. Now the winds were blowing 20 knots so we called ahead for help docking the boat. Five men were waiting for us at our slip which was good because the dock was only 15' long and our 42' sailboat had a hard time tying off her lines! Poor Ranger has to be carried off the boat because the dock is so short...but the marina is lovely and the washers and dryers are close. There is a pool, hot tub, two restaurants, a work out room and boaters' lounge. Nice!

A dog's-eye view of the Cape Coral Canals

Ranger went into Cape Coral today via dinghy and he really seemed to enjoy the 30 minute ride to Larry and Kitty's. The canals resemble streets with the corresponding signs for each waterway so you don't get lost. This very low bridge on the canal system limits the size of your boat on the other side but before the bridge we saw enormous cruisers of every description.

Cape Coral 2/21/2013

We arrived in Cape Coral today around 3:00 and as we pulled into the Okeechobee River Larry and Kitty Stange met us in a power boat to lead us into the anchorage. We met Larry and Kitty in Marathon several years ago when they were living on their 36' Catalina, Saildreamer. There was lots of boat traffic but plenty of room to anchor in the basin across from the Westin Hotel. Larry took us and Bonnie and Sid to his beautiful new home on one of the near-bye canals where we shared stories and pizzas. On the way back to our boats I spotted a motor boat with my name on it----that must be my Florida house that my boat is docked in front of!!!!!

Marco Island 2/20/2013

We had an early 7:00 start today to motor-sail the 60 miles from Little Shark River to Marco Island on the Gulf of Mexico. The water here is the same green color that we find near Miami, we have lost the turquoise-blue of the Florida Keys. We pulled into the tricky entrance of Marco Island with very shallow water in the middle and a hurricane-destroyed island to starboard. We followed the markers and came into a beautiful channel surrounded by high end condos, townhouses and marinas. There were 4 of us sailboats anchored in a line and a trawler out in front. It was another peaceful night, but tonight the condo lights twinkled around us!

Little Shark River, Everglades 2/19/2013

We left Boot Key Harbor with FIU this morning and headed to Florida Bay under the Seven-Mile Bridge. It was a calm semi-cloudy day so we motor-sailed for the 7 hours it took us to arrive in the Little Shark anchorage which we shared with 3 trawlers and 3 other sailboats. It was so nice to be tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Marathon and to relax in the quiet of the backwater. Dolphins arrived to greet us as we were having our strawberry shortcake in the cockpit.