Warm welcome

Floating on a mooring in Stuart Florida it is hard to believe that it was just 7 weeks ago that we were in Peru.  Despite being in the same time zone we’ve certainly seen a change in latitude from 15 degrees South to 27 degrees North…  Most of those miles were made passage-making from Panama to Florida with a pitstop in Jamaica.

We were only back in Panama for two weeks before a weather window presented itself and we had to make a hasty goodbye to friends.  Keith & Jaime were working hard on Kookaburra for some fiberglass TLC and a bottom job with copper coat.  We already miss their smiling faces at breakfast, lunch and dinner each day… especially cocktail hour.  

We also said farewell to Nick & José (Jedi) after spending some fun days with them back in the Panama jungle with our cameras!  This critter fix will have to last for a while...

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Arriving in the States was an over-stimulous after quiet sailing days watching the horizon.  Not only was the VHF radio broadcasting non-stop (most often with the US Coast Guard pan-pans & boater radio checks), but the small boat traffic increased noticeably since we hadn’t seen a another sailboat throughout the entire passage. 

Anchoring in Fort Pierce, we had a VERY warm welcome from friends Scott & Tina (Sangaris) and Steve & Connie (Better Days). 

Both have residences in the area, so Scott and Tina helped us with transportation to clear-in and with lots of marine-related details for our upcoming re-rigging project.  

This included a trip to Marina Connection Liquidators where Mark primed our credit card for US retail status!


Steve & Connie picked us up the next day for a much needed batch of salty laundry and a delicious home-made dinner.  

They also just arrived back from Panama, but by air instead of boat.  

Connie & I managed to meet for a ladies’ lunch and shopping and we might have to invite the guys next time.

Reach had some bad luck once again after we sailed her hard for those passage days. 

The port exhaust elbow weld started leaking right at the end of the trip and required a new weld, easy to do at Riverside Marine.  

Upon raising anchor we soon discovered that it was fouled on a huge piece of old bridge debris on the bottom of the Fort Pierce anchorage.  

Large steel girders wrapped with fishing nets, wood chunks and now our chain were wrapped like pretzels.  

It took a lot of effort and a 20 minute dive for Mark to free us - ugh, not the kind of water time we want!


Settling into a mooring at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart again thanks to help from Scott & Tina, we met up with two other Mantas.  We’d met Mike & Cheryl (Happy Times) in the San Blas previously and were introduced to Clark & Michelle (Double Wide).

Clark & Michelle were only in town for about a week before heading back to Texas for the summer.  They got one last sail in and invited us mast-less sailors out for the day on Double Wide.  

The real captains of the boat, Tugboat & Sailor, were in action at the helm.

We had too much fun with them in too little time (or was it too much rum?!) and hope we catch up with them next season… perhaps somewhere in the Bahamas!!

© M&M 2019