The year of 2016 was a tough one with high highs and low lows. We started it cruising in the Bahamas. Then in March, Darrell's mom had a stroke. We agreed when we moved away to Florida that when the time came, we would go back to take care of our families. So we did.
We became Ellouine's therapy brigade. Helping with physical therapy and post stroke rehabilitation. We were there in her home providing care and support 24/7 from April until November/December. She's not back 100% to her previous self but she's really close. And so it was time to escape the approaching cold weather and get back to life on a boat. We are SOOOO proud of the progress she made!!
One of the nice things about the year was all the quality time we were able to spend with family and friends in Texas. We were able to attend 2016's birthday party for both of our grandchildren. Linley turned one and Lyric turned five! And we had a great Stadler Family reunion in May. Many memories to treasure!!
In order to return to Texas, we had to do something with the boat. We still were in the process of trying to get quotes for the damages done to her when we got the news of Mom's stroke. We finally decided to store her in Indiantown Marina (central Florida). We THOUGHT that was a good, safe place away from the threat of hurricanes. WELL, Matthew showed us a different scenario! However, all the boats at that marina fared well. When we went to Dallas for the family reunion, we flew to Ft. Lauderdale and made a mad dash to Key Largo and took the next 30 hours to get her up the coast and into a river and canal to the marina. We spent a day or so getting her prepped for storage and then we took off back to Key Largo in a rental car to get our pick-up. We drove the old clunker to Amarillo, skirting springtime storms much of the way. Made it back by the Saturday before Memorial Day to get the dog out of the doggie spa.
In October and November, the weather in Amarillo began to deteriorate to temperatures that our bodies were ill prepared to deal with. Roxy began putting on a winter coat - I refused to buy a lot of cold weather clothing that I wouldn't need when I came back to FL and the boat. I whined a lot about the weather. Finally, we decided someone needed to come check on the boat and re-pickle the water maker since it had been six months since it was done. Ann was elected (YAY!!). So Roxy and Ann loaded the pick-up with most of our stuff and began a 2000 mile cross country trek back to FL. Two stops to visit with very dear friends and several days later, we were in Indiantown. The boat was in pretty sad shape with over six months of grime on the exterior, some water inside that I never did figure out how it got there, the hull damage to the bow from being hit in the Bahamas still there and everything stored inside!
After a few days of nearly constant communication with Darrell, he decided I needed help getting the boat back into shape for the water. He set up some support systems for his mom and began making plans to come to FL. By early Dec., he flew home too. The work on Alibi began in earnest then. We worked 10-12 hour days to get her back into shape. After having Dave (Top Coaters, LLC) repair the hull, we had to polish the rest of the hull to match. That was a real JOB!! We painted the boot stripe and the decorative top stripe, three coats of bottom paint, replaced the stove, put on a new anchor (the old one had rusted to half it's rated weight), and got her ready to float again.
January 10, we splashed her again and had a few mechanical issues to deal with before we could leave the dock. With the help of our friends (Karl and Bri) from Key Largo, the pick-up was driven south and we headed east for the coast. We are currently in Stuart hoping to get some quotes for a new Autopilot and possibly some other electronics work. Right now, the plan is to leave in a week or two to be back in Key Largo by February 1 for Darrell to return as captain at Pennekamp Park.