Hello and Happy New year to our many friends!

We have just spent more than two weeks in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where we shared the holidays with old friends, and spent endless hours on a long list of boat repairs and maintenance. Over Thanksgiving, Holly's hard drive crashed, so we have also been dealing with the repair and reinstalling of programs for that computer. Luckily we have a friend in New Mexico who volunteered to help us out. Many thanks, Ted!!!! In short, it was a very busy time, and we are glad to be "back on the water".

One of George's projects was the installation of a single side band radio. Now he is like a little kid with a new christmas toy, checking out all the nets. For those of you that don't know much about radios, this radio requires an amateur radio operators license (which George has). It picks up signals throughout the world, allowing free communication. Nets are groups of people that meet on the radio to exchange messages. If you are a ham operator, you will find George on the Maritime Net frequency 14,313. Presently we are anchored off Elliott Key. We have spent two days here. Yesterday we explored the sandy beach and snorkeled. We invested in wet suits so we could spend more time in the water which is cold even when the sun is warm. It was exciting for us to check out the bottom of the boat. At night we hear krill (some sort of little critters) eating on the hull. They sound like paper crunching in a very high pitch. We expected to find quite a lot of growth, but found only a thin layer of scum which we easily brushed off. Apparently the aluminum hull really amplifies sound. Today we were headed to historic Indian Key, once a thriving village for the wrecking trade, now tagged as "an archeological curiosity" and a state park, but there is a storm brewing, so we decided to stay put. We have spent the day reading, writing, thinking of friends, and feeling grateful.

Again, Happy New Year, from your sailing pals on the Hannah Brown,

Holly & George

Last Updated: 1-18-98
By: Ted Handel

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