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From Land to Sea

Happy Wife/First Time out! Leaving the shores on our 53 ft Hatteras MY for your first trip out was nothing short of a fun, frantic, crazy, exciting and explosive moment. We had been preparing ourselves for this for a long time now, 8 months in fact. When we first bought our beautiful Happy Wife (Not love at first sight I might add) we knew we had our work cut out for ourselves. Our path together as a couple had changed dramatically and we were about to embark on our adventure of a lifetime. Both being in the real estate remodeling business, we know how to look beyond the superficial and see the bigger picture. This boat had great bones and after much searching, with visits to another country, crazed road trips and a crapload of UGLY boats - we sensed that this lady would become ours and now the time had come… We left the dock nervous and excited at the same time. Our first night out would be at Bird Island just about an hour and a half from our dock. We settled in to a protected cove and anchored for the day and that night. We had a lovely light salad lunch with fresh peaches and champagne. It felt wonderful to be out without being hooked up to electricity and water and be self sustaining. No TV, no noise, just us. After lunch we took our paddle boards out and toured the Island which is a sanctuary. There are pink spoonbills that occupy the Island as well as so many other species. It was great to see. That night, we watched the sunset, had a cheese and wine with a special bottle we had saved from Montepulciano on a previous trip to Italy. We fell asleep exhilarated and slept so peacefully in this quiet moonlit spot. The next day we woke early and paddle boarded again after breakfast. Mid-morning, we dressed in our Hawaiian party gear to film our own little naming ceremony all by ourselves. Shaun wore a floral shirt, cuban hat an lei and I wore a hula skirt with coconut shells and a floral headband for it. We looked like to two crazy old fools out there, but we wanted to make it fun and special for ourselves. We put on music and opened a bottle of Moet Chandon, which our dear friend from Germany, Olli had given us on his last visit. Shaun performed the ceremony and I poured the champagne over the bow after he threw away the old key. We kissed and I had to shed a slight tear for how far we had come on our little journey. After lunch we moved to Fantasy Island about 20 minutes away from Bird Island. What a cute and peaceful spot which we had all to ourselves again for the day and night. You can walk around this little Island which has a boardwalk on it but you will most certainly be carried off by mosquitos anywhere near the bushes! We paddle boarded the short distance to get to It from where we were anchored. and did a quick tour around it. Later that evening, mojito in hand, we filled my bath on the helm and I bathed with the sunset. I can't explain how wonderful this treat was for me. One of the criteria for me living aboard a boat, was that I have a bath on board. And Shaun, being the amazing husband that he is obliged, even though my idea was so crazy! I’m sure this is the true reason our boat was named Happy Wife :-) We had dinner on board and I think we were asleep before 9.30. We were exhausted and thoroughly happy. The next day we saw that the weather would not be perfect to go back to our dock. Two days of bad weather was coming. We made the decision to travel the short distance to the Convention Center, downtown Tampa and stay there where it would be sheltered. After breakfast, we paddled back to the Island to do some yoga on the beach with our boat in the background, pelicans on one side and dolphins on the other. It was magical to say the least! We anchored safely after calling ahead and Justine and Jax came to visit us. It is of course very Urban, and lovely, but definitely would not be a place for us to stay for long. Justine brought Mr Petes to us for the remainder of the trip. That night we walked over to Jacksons for dinner and wine. Its such a great location but we always find that the food is a bit old fashioned and not the best. The next day I went for a short run right off the boat. Later we walked about 30 mins on the Riverwalk to Ulele for lunch with Mr Petes. We had cocktails and snacks at the convention center bar. Early the next morning, Jax and Justine came on board and we went back spend the night at Fantasy Island. It was such fun with our lil guy with us and of course he had a quick bath in Meeme’s tub because it was quite cold for him. We travelled back fairly early in the morning to our dock at Westshore arriving at around lunchtime. Our first time out was a great success! We were officially hooked!

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