Saying goodbye to Mi Cielito was depressing. I won't lie. Luckily, everything fell into place to make the transition as short and painless as possible. We tied up to Las Olas Marina in Ft. Lauderdale at 4:30AM on Monday morning, just in time to stay dry from the rain. We'd spent the previous day making each moment count on North Bimini. Pearl and I took our last snorkel with several stingrays and a fast traveling tulip snail around a mangrove island hosting several roosting birds. Joey and Juniper made their last visit to the talking parrot at the local marine store. We all enjoyed our last family swim in the Bahamas before eating dinner and pulling up the anchor to head across the Gulf Stream.
With the girls tucked in to sleep, Joey and I drank the last of our Kaliks and reminisced. A rainbow graced the eastern skyline as the sun set in the west. Rainbows are promises and we took this one as a guarantee that our family will return to this place, this lifestyle, or hopefully, both.
Our first day stateside was spent in a bit of a daze. We treated ourselves to the cornucopia of American food and spent the afternoon on the beach, trying to deny that our little cruising adventure was coming to an abrupt end. On Tuesday, Joey drove to Charleston, and back to Ft. Lauderdale, to pick up our van. Our journey from Charleston to Ft. Lauderdale down the ICW lasted a month. He made the round trip journey by car in twenty hours. In his absence, the girls and I caught up on boat laundry, painted, and made another pilgrimage to the beach.
When Joey returned, he found half of the boat dismantled in moving preparations. Progress was underway.
In Wednesday morning's drizzle, Joey and his ever faithful first mate, Pearl, delivered Mi Cielito to her new dock.
Our friend, Brooks, hooked us up with a sweet deal and even found us a broker. While Joey and Pearl maneuvered the bridge openings and canals that grace Ft. Lauderdale, Juniper and I set up our comfy accommodations at Jan's house.
Jan is an avid gardener, so we felt right at home eating her homegrown pineapples and mangoes amidst her yard of orchids, caterpillars, and butterflies.
We were feeling pretty darn lucky at this point, even with the mountain of work before us.
By Friday afternoon, we had transferred some of the boat's finery and all of her junk to our van,
scrubbed her down top to bottom,
and made all the proper arrangements for her to rest until she is sold. We spent our last moments writing down our personal reflections about the journey and recalling our most fond memories.
We held back our tears as best as possible, knowing that the road ahead is still paved with gold.