Damn Wind!

Well if it’s not blowing from the wrong direction our wind generator isn’t working. I took it in again to SALT and now they’re telling me the bearings are out and it’s not worth spending anymore on it. Winter in the Bahamas is windy and we really want to be able to use it to create electricity since we’re a little heavy w/ out needs. Not like land based but on a boat w/ refrigeration; freezer, computer and High Frequency radio we’ll be up the. So for now, we’ll stay put till we get it working. Much easier getting stuff done here as opposed to in the Bahamas.

Oh; and BTW, I’m almost all better, W’s making me dry dishes again!

Fair Winds

I’m feeling Miserable!

Somehow, I don’t fully understand it; I, Dave am sick. My head feels like it’s blowing up. Last night I even tried to get ahead of it w/ my saline mist through all the nasal passages. No good. Little sleep. Then this a.m. we went looking for the OTC stuff on board that we always have and nada’. Bummer. So I rowed the dinghy ashore; walked about 3 miles (roundtrip) to the nearest Publix and bought my usual stuff. Now I”m full of drugs and hopefully tomorrow I’ll start feeling better. Not much fun being sick on a boat. But hey! It’s not much fun being sick anywhere; right?

Fair Winds

Trip Summary

Day 1: Sailed to Clearwater, Genoa only. We were going to anchor at Anclote Key but w/ the NE breeze we decided to go down to CLW and anchor off Sand Key. Lovely Sail down, steered the whole way as we were just to lazy to set up the Sailmat self steering vane.

Day 2 Clearwater to St. Pete. Stoped at some friends just inside Johns pass. Again just the Genoa and hand steered. Easy three hour trip w/ NE – E Winds.

Day 3 St. Pete to Venice, Fl. Actually set up the boat for all the sails. Had the Mainsail up and the Genoa and setup the windvane. The windvane steered 90% of the way and we used the Mainsail for about 1/2 way. Winds NE-E. Fast trip we’re getting an idea on how big the Genoa is on this boat. Furling it is work and W/ can’t do furl it without using a winch. Stayed a Crows Nest Marina (CNM) and pickup up 10 gallons of fuel. Don’t recommend Crows Nest but if one needs a place then they’re just about it. Higle park around the corner is free but we didn’t know about the teen hang out there as last time we were there they were evident and we didn’t want to be bothered. We love sleep! The food at CNM wasn’t what were were use to either. The showers were clean and new laundry machines but their “Cruisers Lounge” was quite a stretch.

Day 4 Venice to Ft. Meyers Beach. Sailed mostly under Genoa till the Winds died. Used the windvane most of the way till we fired up the Iron Genoa (engine). Then had a filter plug and needed to bleed the engine. See earlier post. Got in to the beach and stayed in mooring field for about 5 days. Nice showers, laundry and dinghy landing.

Day 9 Ft. Meyers Beach to Marathon. Used only the Genoa in mostly N winds switching to SE when we could have used the N winds still. Used the windvane most of the way. Lumpy trip. See earlier post.

Estimate we used the windvane 80% of the trip. We’re believing the Genoa is simply to big for us and the boat w/ the winds this time of year. We’ll switch it out later on. Don’t know if we’ll keep it.

Marathon, Florida

We keep going from Paradise to Paradise!

Had a lumpy ride from Ft Meyers Beach to here. I described it as sailing across a sack of potatoes. We had checked the GRIB files before we left and the winds were to be nice; the were to begin E and turn to the NE and freshen to 10 -15 kts. Great for sailing on the beam or off wind. Unfortunately the predictions were wrong. The wind was initially light from the N then strengthening from the N. Nice for going S and we started out w/ a nice sail. The entire sail we had only our big Genoa out. But as night fall came we could see the squal lines coming out of Florida bay. For the first of several we just rolled up the Genoa and powered for about an hour where we wanted to go. BTW, now we were turing E of S and guess where the wx was moving in from.

Yep, the W was now blowing from the SE. So we sailed on G (Genoa only) S and keep looking for the wind to do what was predicted. NOPE! Eventually the wind turned enough E that we could head 160-170 degrees magnetic but that still wasn’t good enough. All the while the kept freshening. 🙁

Finally we actually turned the Iron Genny on (the engine) and powered for about 2 hours to make the easting we could. I had tried tacking the distance and in two hours of tacking we made about 3 miles to the good. Both W and I didn’t want to be in the bay any longer then necessary so we again started the Iron Genny and powered for 2 more hours to the E and then we could sail most of the rest of the way to the Moser pass. Two hours later we powered under the bridge and entually arrived at Boot Key Harbor to pick up a mooring. Finally rest.

Fair Winds

Paradise ?

If cruising is working on your boat in Paradise then Ft Meyers Beach must be one of those places. We had to document the fuel supply runs, we had to replace an impellor in the generator (seems I have a problem with the Sea Chest (one thru hull feeds 4 salt water outlets). and then we had some fuel problems and needed to replace some filters. We found all the supplies there – I was so lucky I wanted to buy a Lottery ticket but ran out of time. West Marine pulled through on the impeller and we found a local generator shop that had the filters for the Racor.

Aside from working on the boat we did walk part of the island, rode the trolley and ate a some of the resturants. The Yucatan by the base for the bridge was reasonable and the people were friendly. Would recommend eating there anytime. I’ve actually decided to post a page on the resturants we eat at so in the next year or so it might be there.

Fair Winds

Mostly if you arrive with no damage and no harm it was a good trip….

Mostly that’s true. Today we sailed from Charlotte Harbor to Ft Meyeres Beach. We’re currently in a mooring field. And I know I’ve said I’ll post the Lat / Long ( I will but not right now), I’m trying to get this off before we CRASH!

We’re tired. We awoke and left by about 7 am hoping the winds would be NE and not near as strong as yesterday. We were half right. We turned on the outer makers and headed S with a nice breeze and our Genoa (a huge headsail) and we too put up the mainsail. About 1/2 way the wind died and thus we had to use the Iron Genney (the engine). So we began a somewhat noisy and calm motor towards Ft. Meyers Beach. Things went well for about 3 hours then we heard something funny with the engine. We slowed downt he speed and she died. Damn! What now. Fortunately the seas were all of about 6″ so we just floated while W/ and I went to work.

I checked the bowl on the stbd fuel filter and it looked awful. Bad news but we have two more tanks. Problem was it looked so bad I thought somehow the bad fuel made it through to the engine. I should have just switched tanks. I switched off the bad tank and then turned on the good tank and started to bleed the system. First I used a vacuum pump to pull any – what I thought was bad fuel out of the line to the lift pump. Then I bleed the line at the primary pump and then at two of the injectors. Finally she fired up and away we went. Not however w/ out some concern. I check how much fuel was in my wing tanks and they looked ……..low. So enroute I switched over to our center tank which I know had fuel (we just put in 12 gallons yesterday) and we eneded up making it in with out any further fuel problems.

We’ve Left!

Yep, we finally left the dock……almost impossible to describe the feelings. I call them the E.F.F.E.C.T. !
Excitement – we’ve been working for 6 years and 11 months on the project. Fear – will we still like it? Fear – See Fear # one. Excitment – the whole world is out there for new discoveries; new at least to us, Concern- will everything work right, and Transitioning – what a change, selling most everything and moving onto a boat.

I know pics are few and I’ve got them; but taking the time to get them loaded is not for the moment. All from my last day of work I have. I know some want to see my naked……. face. Since work moved into the past we’ve worked much harder getting the boat packed and preparing to leave. We’ve only taken basically one day off (it was accidental). So we’re tired and ready to go. But; they will get there…..eventually.

Fair Winds

Faith

We’ve left. It’s been 25 years since we were cruising. I’m not sure I ever believed it would really happen. I mean; yes, we worked toward this end for the last 10 years but really….when we bought the boat most likely 100% of the people we knew thought it would be completed…ever… and the same 100% thought it was crazy what we were attempting to do. Sue (on Infini) said we gutted the boat. I chuckled thinking no, we’re refurbishing it. But she was mostly right and I mostly wrong.

Yet W and I knew that if we kept pluggin away, eventually the day would arrive when we could sail to a larger variety of experiences than we could sustain here. We knew that taking small steps – baby steps- consistenetaly in the same direction we would eventually arrive. I guess that is faith. An although I don’t really have faith in some supreme being I do have faith in W and faith in myself. That’s the faith we need to sail this venture. And so we leave, we sail, slowly but in the direction of other shores, other poeple, other cultures, and testing ourselves and testing our faith.