Dejarlo is Back in the Water!

September 23, 2019

She’s been out of the water for 328 days. She’s just completed a four-month refit, polishing and painting her bottom, updating and adding to her electronics, and just generally brightening her already happy smile. We’ve added all new electronics, including radar, an AIS transponder and forward scanning sonar. As our good friend Jim D. puts it, “Dejarlo is all tricked out!”.

We’re putting the final touches on the refit and preparing to depart the Chesapeake Bay and head for southern destinations, including the Bahamas.

So, what’s been going on with John and Jane since our return to Maryland following our 7,500-mile RV tour of the southwest U.S. this past winter?

Most of our time has been spent working on Dejarlo in the hot boatyard – scraping, sanding, polishing and worrying over all the new things happening to her. Although we intended for only a six-week refit, the project took on a life of its own and the “little” refit turned into a “big” refit. New batteries, new solar panels, new motor mounts, new cutlass bearing, new radar, new instrumentation, new forward scanning sonar, new cushions, new bottom paint, new AIS transponder, new autopilot, … and on, and on and on.

It’s been a long, hot and dirty process. But she’s back in the water and looking spiffy.

Jane celebrates after discovering no mold following Dejarlo’s eight-month storage.
A day in the life of repairing, sanding, cleaning and treating nearly eighty feet of teak toe rail.
Installation of the new radar dome.
John heads up the mast to repair the steaming and deck lights.

But we haven’t totally been working!

We took a little over a week off from boat work to join our friends Mike and Sue McCoy for a wonderful eight-day cruise of the northern Chesapeake Bay aboard PanaSea, a 43 foot trawler. What a wonderful experience. We did our best to explore as much of the Chesapeake’s eastern shore from St. Michaels to its northern tip. Of course, that’s pretty much impossible for such a large body of water, but we tried. Thanks Mike and Sue for inviting us along. It was truly an experience we’ll never forget.

Captains Sue and Mike McCoy.
Jane on the bow of PanaSea … on the phone, as usual.
The good ship PanaSea.
John and Mike enjoying a “cold one” after anchoring for the night in one of the numerous coves we discovered off the Chesapeake Bay.

We also took some time off to celebrate Jane’s birthday and drive three hours to pay a visit to one of Jane’s favorite destinations – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. It’s not our first time to Monticello, nor our last. There have been some major renovations to the property since our last visit, including a new welcome center/museum and the opening of the upper floors of the home – a real treat!

Jane is greeted by Thomas Jefferson at his home at Monticello.

We’re currently preparing Dejarlo and ourselves to head south for Florida from Solomons, Maryland, sometime in late October or early November. For all practical purposes, hurricane season ends at about that time. We’ll keep a close watch on weather patterns in the Atlantic as we slowly make our way out of the Chesapeake Bay and down the coast.

Last year our travels UP the east coast from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay were exclusively on the ICW, the protected “inside” passage extending 1,153 miles from Norfolk, Virginia to the Florida Keys. It’s a beautiful passage, but prone to uncharted shallow water and numerous bridges requiring an opening for our fifty-five foot mast.

This year, heading DOWN to Florida, we’ll go offshore as much as possible once south of Beaufort, North Carolina. Our offshore hops will involve a distance of between seventy and a hundred miles while we stay about three to five miles offshore. Most of the hops will involve an overnight sail. Our longest transit will take us from St. Augustine, Florida to Port Canaveral, a distance of 133 miles requiring almost twenty-four hours. We’re really excited to take this next step in our cruising adventure, and we’re looking forward to documenting the experience on our blog and YouTube channel.

It’ll take us about thirty to forty days to reach Fort Pierce, Florida, where we’ll spend a few weeks visiting with friends. We’ll then head down to a point just south of Miami (No Name Harbor) and wait for a good weather window for our twelve-hour trip over to Bimini in the Bahamas.

We were originally planning to cross over from the Lake Worth Inlet heading to West End on Grand Bahama. We’d been looking forward to spending a couple of months exploring the beautiful Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas. However, Hurricane Dorian ended that plan.

After checking into the Bahamas at Bimini, we’ll begin our exploration of the mid and southern-Bahamas, including the Berry Islands and Eleuthera. We’ll then head over to the northern tip of the Exumas, following that 365-island chain down to George Town. After that, we’re not sure. Maybe a trip over to the western shore of Long Island, Bahamas. We’ll see.

One more thing … we had a very pleasant visit recently from Jane’s son and my stepson, Ryan. It turns out that we don’t need a truck or RV anymore! We’re now full time liveaboards on a sailboat! Anything that won’t fit on Dejarlo gets either stored or sold. Ryan bought the truck! He flew in a few days ago, and after a short visit, drove the truck back to his home in St. Charles, Missouri. Thanks for the wonderful visit, Ryan.

Ryan and John enjoying the Tiki Bar at Solomons, Maryland.
We say goodbye to our beloved truck that has carried us thousands of miles as we’ve explored this wonderful country. We’re thrilled she’s now in the care of Ryan, Julie, Nick and Jake.

On October 1st, the RV is being delivered to and sold by a dealership up in Delaware.

After that, we’re full time on Dejarlo.

Holy sh!%, we’re swimming in the deep end of the pool now!

Now that we’re almost complete with the business of Dejarlo’s refit, we’ll have more time to write blog posts and produce videos.

Thanks for your interest. Stay tuned!

  1. Reply

    Steve Moeller

    October 9, 2019

    Honey crop was good in spite of some weather extremes, so I’ll take it.

  2. Reply

    Romo Albrecht

    October 1, 2019

    What a great adventure you two are having. My daughter has off shored sailed/raced for years and loves it. Living with the wind and water can be a wonderful experience. Be careful!
    Your next adventure might include Europe, Greece is a favorite of hers.

  3. Reply

    Debi Hunter Erbes

    September 30, 2019

    Wow! Good for you! I cannot imagine. We are on the Gulf side of FL…if you are ever in one place long enough, give us a shout out. Would love to see you…after 50++++ years. Bravo!

  4. Reply

    Yvonne VonDerAhe

    September 30, 2019

    Hi, so good to hear about all your travels. Take care and sail away into the sunset!

  5. Reply

    Steve Moeller

    September 26, 2019

    I always enjoy receiving these updates from one of my favorite couples. May the wind continue to fill your sails!

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      September 26, 2019

      Hey, Steve! How was your honey crop this year?

  6. Reply

    Bill Balfanz

    September 23, 2019

    Love hearing you are full time cruisers now. Joni and I are still about 18 months behind you, but we were fortunate to be able to spend 3-4 days a week this summer sailing the western shore of Lake Michigan. We can’t wait to follow in your footsteps!

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      September 23, 2019

      Great news, Bill! Eighteen months will fly by fast. I can report that it’s well worth the work to make the move. Although there are some ups and downs, we thoroughly enjoy the lifestyle. See you out here!

  7. Reply

    Louise Beasley

    September 23, 2019

    Glad that you are back in the water again. Let us know when you are visiting Beaufort, NC. We will come and toast to your new refit and new adventures.
    Wayne & Louise
    Wezzie B

  8. Reply

    Ken Gano

    September 23, 2019

    It’s called Shipwrights Disease for a reason 😀

  9. Reply

    Judy and Jerry Stejskal

    September 23, 2019

    Hi Jane and John, Loved reading your update. Dejarlo looks beautiful! We’ll be looking for your new blogs as you sail away! All’s well here. We are still planning on Port A this Nov in the RV. Let me know how I can send pics to you. Do I use your email? Safe travels!