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Last update July 11 2014
It's early June, due circumstances we will fly to the Netherlands much sooner than expected, around June 21, and we plan to leave JoHo on the hardstanding in Green Cove Springs.
For how long we do not know yet.
Green Cove Springs is a town further inland on the St John's river near Jacksonville in Florida. Many boats are left behind for hurricane season over there and JoHo is going to be one more.
But we are still in Jacksonville on a free dock as I write this. Next to us is Hooters.
At this moment our JoHo and three other boats are at the municipal dock. Usually it's very busy with boats over here, but now it is nice and quiet because of Hurricane season.
Richard and Kricket from (former) sailing yacht Crazy Kricket live in this neighbourhood. So we make an appointment with them. They pick us up from the dock and we go to their favorite restaurant, 'The Wine Cellar'. The food is so good and the wine even more, we enjoy it to the fullest. We love their company and have lots to talk about, so after dinner we take a nightcap on JoHo till late in the night...
After two days at the dock we leave Jacksonville behind and sail on the St John's river up (or rather, down) to Green Cove Springs.
In the meantime, we arrange the tickets back to the Netherlands, the car rental and a hotel in Orlando, have some business too, thanks to the 4G LTE of T-Mobile we're back into civilisation in no-time! Later that evening we arrive in Green Cove Springs, now we have to find an anchor spot somewhere out of the current, near the dock as tTomorrow we go to take a look at the boatyard and confirm our appointment.
Early the next morning when we wake up we see that everything is black-ish outside. Mosquitoes everywhere; on the netting, at the sides, in the cockpit, on the screens. Billions and Billions of the little creatures litterally paint the boat black. I decide to stay inside, John runs to your dinghy, wildly waving his arms to get the mozzies out of his way.
That day we try to get rid of the mosquitoes, which is not easy at all, they seem to like JoHo...
The days that follow we make the boat ready for hurricane season and our departure. JoHo looks naked without sails and all the other stuff we had outside.
June 11th is the big day, today JoHo will be put up on the land. We are up early, do the last little things. Then the wait, we are the second boat on the list for that day. But around nine o'clock there is still no movement. The yard apparently has problems with the travel lift and will try to fix it that day. Unfortunately, the repair does not have the desired outcome. We decide to drive to Orlando and come back later that week for JoHo...
Eventually we stayed until our departure on June 21st in the Orlando-Jacksonville area. We drove back twice to JoHo, which is a 2.5 hours drive one way.
We also did a day of Disney Orlando, this time the Magic Kingdom. Around nine o'clock we go into the park, at one the next morming we stumble out again. It was a long, tiring but beautiful day with long waiting lines, stunning light shows, fireworks and parades.
Two days before departure we went to Jim and Tammy of SY Sweet Chariot. In the afternoon they get other unexpected friends to visit, we have a lot of fun with the six of us, in fact that much fun that we had to stayed on their boat for the night. The next morning we had breakfast with six, and we had to say goodbye to everyone and drove back to Orlando.
June 21st, around three in the afternoon we had to bring back our rental car at the airport in Orlando. As tonight at 22:05 we leave with Norwegian Airways to Oslo we are a bit early, but well, the car had to be back so nothing to do about that. We could check in at 17:30, and got to the gate immediately. Around 20:30 we see the pilot come and at 21:00 we see him leave again.... hummm .... that's not really a good sign. An hour later Norwegian Airways informed us that the Dreamliner could not fly due to technical problems, that we had to stay the night on the airport because the expected time to fly would be around 03:00.
At 05:00 suddenly, there was police everywhere, Norwegian apparently was afraid of an escalation (and rightfully so, for not informing the passengers, letting them sleep on the chairs and generally treating them like dirt). But nothing happend at all. Next thing that happened though that morning was that we were brought to a hotel.... A hotel which is situated in the middle of a very bad neighborhood of Orlando. A hotel that was dirty and where cockroaches where marching in colonny through the room. Dirty sheets, a shower head that watered everything in the bathroom except your body...
Then we received a message that the aircraft had to wait for parts from England, we would stay in the hotel that night as well.
Immediately we left the hotel by taxi and found a nice hotel near the airport for just a bit more money. What a relief, the Marriott hotel was clean and fresh, in one word, amazing comfort compaired to the other one. Through the internet, we followed the progress, as this was the only way to stay informed.
After a good nights' rest we packed our bags and checked in again. At two in the afternoon, two days later, the plane would leave for Oslo. Meanwhile we waited and waited and waited at Orlando airport, the flight was delayed five times before we finally boarded the plane at 19:00. Our delay was 46 hours, only good for the Guinness Book of Record.
The actual flight with the new Dreamliner was pretty good. BUT, upon arriving in Oslo there is no one to be found from Norwegian Airways to catch the people and guide them to their next flight. Our luggage was gone, in short we were not happy at all after all that happend. Without any help whatsoever we had to find the desk of Norwegian to see how to get to Amsterdam. We lost our connections after all.
After asking around, we finally the desk, they managed to find our luggage and then it went fast as in 1.5 hours we flew with KLM to Amsterdam. In time, assisted by knowledgeable people, a relief. We were so happy when we landed in Amsterdam. It was too long a journey.
In the Netherlands mum and dad Hoedemakers were there to pick us up again, it was so good to see them at Schiphol.
We stayed in our friends' house to take care of a pretty little cat for the first week of July. And when Rene and Stacy of SY Pipe muh Bligh, along with Rene's mom Tiny came to visit us, they came to this place. As usual when we see Rene and Stacy there's eating involved. We had little raw hering snacks and a shoarma dinner planned in the evening. We made plans to see each next year, but we will miss them the mean time.
Our plans are not clear at present. When we'll go back to JoHo, we don't know. In the meantime we are going to maintain and redecorate our house, see lots of old friends and family and might even consider staying here much longer, all depending of what future has in store for us.
We will continue to keep you informed of our plans and what happens in our lives, probably not monthly as usual though. So keep an eye on our website, on our Facebook or Twitter.
I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10 years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And if you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES, BONAIRE or SURINAME have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.
JoHo is on the hardstanding in Green Cove Springs, USA at 29°59,1' N - 81°38,5 W.
Our floating home and office is always ready for us to work for ourselves as writers and editors compiling cruising guides on our way. But we look forward being in the Netherlands for a while.
We'll see how things will run, life's too complicated to plan anyways. Remember, live life to the max, it can be over before you know it, that's our slogan.
John and Jolanda