Yup, Captain Al is back on the bridge with the helm under his control!! We are both so happy to be back on the boat and moving south! We managed to march through too many medical appointments and too much cleaning of the "dirt house" in Hendersonville. We enjoyed seeing friends and enjoyed our lake view. We also had a great week with Erik and a peaceful Thanksgiving. Then it was time for Al to fly from Nashville to Miami for his preop check up for the surgery to remove the oil bubble in his eye. He "passed go" and surgery was set for December 6th. I flew to Jacksonville on Friday December 2 so we met up once again on the boat that Friday. Much to our chagrin, the work scheduled on transome teak wood at Lambs Yacht Center never got done but the marina helped us with a rebate on part of the cost of our slip there and then today, surprised us with really nice jackets for colder weather with their logo, (some of the wearables that they sell in their marine store). So we left feeling much less upset with their lack of service.
But the best part of the story is more Looper Magic. Al has very little vision in his left eye, so we planned to leave and do short days of travel with the first mate at the helm more often to give the captain time to rest and heal. Then yesterday we got a call from old friends on Short Vacation who had some engine problems and came up to Jacksonville for professional help. The magic happened when they called to see if we were still in Jacksonville and ready to leave. Yes to both questions and today we had a very easy day of "follow the leader" with Short Vacation being the lead boat. We moved about 50 miles, 25 on the St. John's River and 25 going south on the ICW, with very little effort or stress and are happily on anchor next to Pine Island. Tomorrow we will have a fun Christmas experience in St. Augustine with lights, a boat parade and a beautiful city to explore with friends. This is a great start to moving south despite Al having limited vision in his left eye. But as a follow up to his surgery, his surgeon was very happy with the outcome of removing the oil bubble and some scar tissue and putting in a naturally dissipating gas bubble. All is well so far and Al is on the last lap of the retina detachment surgery. Now on to heading to a warmer environment, an eye recheck on 12/16 and then meeting up with Erik in the Bahamas for Christmas!