We’ve enjoyed two months out and about aboard Leap of Faith, but now we get down to business. We’ve returned to Punta Gorda. The initial reason was to renew our dinghy registration. Today is my birthday, and that’s when registrations expire in Florida. Easy enough to remember. We never have registered our trawler in Florida. Technically we’ve been illegal all this time. We are US Coast Guard documented. I decided to get legal and register the big boat too.
I took the dinghy in early this morning while Kim was still asleep. Dinghy reg was a snap, no problems with the renewal. Big boat was a different story. Kim had to be with me as she is co-owner. Bummer. Go back to boat and pick her up. Walk back up town to the Tax Collectors Office. Wait half an hour in line. Get to counter and computers go down. Another bummer. Wait another half hour. Computers come back up but there’s a snag. The hull number was not accepted by their system. The boat has NEVER been registered in the United States. It’s 34 years old. The previous owners were Canadian. Long phone calls followed. They switched me to another operator. More phone calls. Finally a resolution was found and we got our sticker, good for two years. We registered as an antique, and the fee was a whopping $8.50. Wahoooo!!! Now we’re good to go for two full years on both boats.
That will free us up to travel wherever we wish. Which will begin soon, but first we have to haul out for a bottom job. Ugh. We are going to tackle this ourselves in order to save money. We’ll be “on the hard” for a week or so, sanding and painting in the Florida heat. Hope to begin work on Friday at Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage. http://www.charlotteharborboatstorage.com/
Once we get a shiny new anti-foulant coated bottom, we set off for parts unknown. First we hope to visit Long Boat Key for a week or two. Next we want to see the Dry Tortugas. After that we’ll chug slowly up the Keys and maybe even cross to the Bahamas. Whatever we decide on any particular day is our plan.
See ya on the water!
Ed and Kim