Weather has been a determining factor for us over the past 8 months, unlike any other time in our lives. We have learned a great deal about the weather (and about ourselves) as we have dealt with the power of it from the perspective of life on a relatively small vessel. We knew that some tough weather days were approaching as we continued east along the Florida panhandle, so we decided to take a short diversion to a small town called Port St. Joe. We decided that this would be a good location to sit for a while as we waited for conditions to improve for making the open water jumps across the Gulf to Florida’s west coast. We had gotten used to getting up early and moving the boat forward on our journey just about every day, but Port St. Joe was a great place to get another lesson in the virtue of patience as we waited for the cold rainy weather to pass.

During our week in Port St. Joe Marina, Stel and I read some devotional material on “gratitude”, appropriate for Thanksgiving. A quote by theologian Charles Edward Jefferson… “Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies”. He encouraged us to remember God’s past mercies, write them down and then read over these things often. When you let your mind be saturated with the goodness of God, you’ll be amazed at how the goodness of God becomes real! During the week, we took some long walks in the rain and spent many hours sheltered from the “Florida” cold, wind and lightning aboard Estrellita as she was tied to the dock. We had an opportunity to spend time remembering and listing some of the many things we had to be thankful for during our 37 years of marriage as well as the past 8 months on this special journey. It has made quite an impact on our level of faith, gratitude and joy!!

Although most of the week was rainy, windy and cold, we had one beautiful day when we took the boat from the Port St. Joe Marina to nearby Eagle Cove and anchored for the evening. We got to take a walk on a deserted sugar white beach, did some surf fishing, and then witnessed one of the most awesome sunsets that we had ever seen. After a few more rainy days back at the marina, the conditions finally improved on Thanksgiving Day and we cast off our lines while eating a turkey sandwich and a pumpkin pie that the dock master had given us on the way out. After a long day of cruising, we dropped the anchor in a quiet spot, anxious to make some holiday calls to our family and friends…..and then discovered that we were too remote to get a cell phone signal. We apologize to the family for our lack of holiday communication! Happy Thanksgiving.

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done”  –Psalm 105:1