Tuesday, July 22, 2014

High and Dry

Shaken not stirred. 
This is the third haul out in 8 months. Remember the Seven P's.? Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance? Apparently something I didn't learn too well. 
Actually this haul out was planned as part of our continuing refit. As an added benefit we are relatively immune to these:
Not to mention we get to safely leave the boat and travel to the great north where our tribe is from. 
Inside of a locked canal we don't have to fret storm surges or freak tsunamis from collapsing island calderas. 
Boat is much more roomy minus the salon table. 
Crazy man disassembling our mast 50 feet aloft. I watched as he harnessed up the bosun chair with what looked like yarn. No thanks. It was para cord but still. 
When we get our mast back in two months it'll be brandy new. 
Got a new dinghy!  It's a 13 foot Caribe with a 20 Honda 4-stroke. We will promptly sell the Honda. 

Look closely and you can see a Florida gator. Not exactly threatening but fun to see. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back in Familiar Waters

We made it to Stuart.   This stretch has been quite the adventure.  Between storms beating down on us, a grounding experience complete with a rapid water reduction, and something deciding to temporarily hitch a ride on our rudder, this past week has been one full of memories.  

Much time to ponder when you cross three states at top speeds of ten miles an hour.   

Dance party anyone?  

Playing with the photo option in between my navigational duties.  

Saw some cool sights from over one hundred dolphins to a handful of manatees, a few sharks, and even a stingray jumping out of the water.   

Yippee... Another storm in persuit.  

Kai aka the ultimate fly slayer did wonders for our bug control.  

Pretty cool when a chihuahua wants in on a self shot.  

Tomorrow we demast to get the rig all purdy.  Game on.  

Flow Rida

We are a half a day's run from our destination. Currently we are anchored off the ICW in Melbourne. Thus far the ICW has been a pretty cool adventure. Next time I'd much rather go offshore though. 

This old, rusted out tug made a nice home for a family. 
Saw some aliens. But they were mowing a lawn. 
Didn't expect to be in sweatshirts during this part of the trip but the rain has been relentless, cooling things down. On Friday we have a crane truck hired to pull our mast. From there we will proceed to the next boat yard for haul out. This portion of the refit is anticipated to be two months. One company will update the rigging while the boatyard will work on other things. Meanwhile we will road trip up north to see Grandma and visit back home. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Into The Heart of Darkness

Pictures rarely do a storm justice but this one had over 7000 lightning strikes in one hour. Not kosher for a sailboat. Our previous boat was hit in the Gulf Stream and we we lucky not sustain any damage. 

We're still at a marina right now determining if we should stay put for the day or drive on. Similar storms are forecasted for today as well. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014


We are still trudging through the Georgia swamps. One thing I can say about this section of the East Coast is it is brimming with life. The water is a living soup of everything from dolphins to bait fish. We saw manatees, birds of prey carrying snakes (an omen to attack), pink Sand Pipers that looked like baby flamingos, and lots of different bugs. With the huge tidal flow and ripping current the watershed flooded and stripped regularly and is rich in nutrients. At least thats what I suspect. It could be toxic sewer for all I really know. 
We arrived our anchorage just in time for the black sky of

We didn't make it nearly as far as I had hoped today. The ICW in Georgia is a maze of loops and double-backs. To make 40 miles as the crow flies you must meander your way through 70 miles of actual river. But that's part of the fun and we are in no hurry. Once we all wake up I start the routine of engine checks while jenny throws on some breakfast and the Kurig machine. It makes coffee. Since our windlass is questionable I haul the anchor by hand. Let me tell you what a female dog of a job that is. Especially when we're in deeper water. 200 plus feet of 3/8 chain and an 80 pound hook. Jenny drives and holds the boat into the tidal current. 
Tomorrow night we will stop at a marina. It gives us a chance to do a thorough cleaning, pump the shiitake tank, swim in a pool, wash clothes, eat in a restaurant, and run the AC. Also I can use dock power to top off the battery bank. We have a fancy alternator and regulator but it's just not the same as cooking the led plates with a solid 50 Amps of 120v power.
 I like shrimp boats almost as much as I like tugs. Nothing takes more abuse than these types of ships and they continue on, year after year, earning their keep. Somebody should do a 6 month time lapse video of a real work boat. People would be amazed. 
The bat loves to wear its PFD just like the kids. I'm not sure it would do her any good though. With the confined waters and ripping currents there's not much I could do to get her if she went over. I'm more concerned about her taking a ride with an Osprey. 
And congrats to Team Hennesey & Pennzoil for engineering the fastest (American) car in the world, the Venom GT. Top speed 270.49 MPH. Tested at the Kenndy Space Station in Cape Canaveral it accomplished this amazing feat from a standstill and did it in under 3 miles unlike the Bugatti which needed an 8 mile oval lap and a running start. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hilton Head

I figured I'd follow up on Kai's opinion of HH and pretty much express the same. It certainly is not the vacation land I remember from the 90's. 

Although it's a beautiful area, most of the island is closed off. Major sections are quarantined into these socialist-like sectors. If I lived there it would drive me nuts. And in my mind if I am vacationing somewhere, it's because I might want to move there, not just visit. Not HH. Gridlock is common. License plates from all 48 so nobody knows what is going on. Confusing and dangerous street layouts. If you want to see a different part of the island you have to go through a checkpoint, talk to a guard, and pay a fee to enter. While that may be fine for the average dude who gets two weeks a year, it's not cool with me. I expect full range freedom in any territory I roam. 
But we did have fun. Didn't do much beach time since a local said they were having shark problems. That can only mean one thing. So..on to the boat projects. Here is Jenny diligently revamping the interior. 
We played mini golf. 
As you can see my game is pretty tight toward the end. Kids beat me by like 200%. 
The kids are obsessive readers. It will be interesting when they switch to non-fiction. 
We aren't close hauled in this pic we are aground, compliments of the State of Georgia's lack of attention to ICW maintenance. Steaming along in mid channel we fetched up hard on a falling tide and were stranded for 4 hours. As the 9 foot tide dropped the boat leaned over 35 degrees. 
Everything fell to the floor. 
In this shot Kayden is actually standing up straight. 
Tide came up,Tow Boat yanked us off, and along we went. We should make Florida tomorrow and then SoFlo two days later. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hilton Head Fun by Kai

I really like the waterslide at Disney.   It is black then it goes light and you get pushed out in the water.  

I lost two teeth.   It was my first time.  I had blood.  

I see dolphins.   I look at them and try to talk to them by blowing my whistle.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lesson in Helping

Yesterday we were walking from our spot on the Disney side of the marina towards the pavilion to take in the Shannon Tanner concert when we passed by a group gathered along the railing staring eight feet down at a floating flip flop.   I was not paying attention, but Kayden stopped me and asked if he could go get our pole to fetch the shoe.  He ran at top speed back over a quarter mile to our boat almost tripping along the way and bumped the pole on his head as he pulled it off from it's resting place.  His motive was to help and there was nothing that was gonna stop him.  Sure enough, as he was coming back, someone closer to the elusive shoe retrieved her pole and saved the day.  She overheard that Kayden was seeking our pole and realized she could do the same.  

I caught Kayden trucking back to the shoe with pole in mid trip.  He was devestated to learn the shoe was rescued by someone else after enduring so much to try to help.   However, had he not taken the initiative to try to make a difference, the other boaters wouldn't have joined in the effort and the shoe might still be floating.  Even if we do not see something through entirely and someone else intervenes, it is important to realize that we still were a part of the process to make a difference.  Even the idea to help causes beautiful reverberations.  

The important thing to realize when trying to help is that it's not always gonna work out but that's OKAY.  G is always helping others to navigate the maritime job circuit.  Maritime jobs pay well and basically anyone can get one if they are willing to take the steps to make it happen.  Over the years he has helped many, but he has learned some lessons in doing so.  If one truly seeks help, he must be willing to take the steps to make it happen; help requires work and one can not expect others to do it all for him.   Also, one must be sure that he really wants the help if he asks for it...  Do not waste another's time and efforts if one is not ready to commit.  

Help when it is RIGHT to do so (vs enabling) but let go of the outcomes... what will be will be, but caring enough to  help is what matters and will have positive effects for all involved.