Archive for December, 2008

Chewed Up and Spit Out

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Look, I’m getting some flack from our armchair sailors and Sunday morning quarterbacks. More pics and more posts. Ok; but just so ya’s know; if it’s nice out we’re going sailing, diving, walking, hitting the tennis ball, or just plain hanging out w/ new friends. I’m NOT going to be working on the computer and editing pics or whatever whenever I can do what I’ve always wanted to. Just so’s ya know.

But since today is kind of “crappy” and the winds are up and it is expected to blow like stink for a day or two, I figure I’ll get make time to write some dribble and post some pics. So… here is the first set from Boot Key Harbor in Marathon. It’s pictures of our stay there (minus the people which I’ll work on next) and some of the interesting boats we saw. By no means is this all the interesting boats, some we just never were lucid enough to take some snaps of and some we just weren’t bold enough to ask.


We’ve Moved!

Monday, December 8th, 2008

There was a slight wx window so we moved S. It’s warmer here…. and if you believe that I’ve some land to sell ya in Florida, or as my brother in-law likes to say Floridah! We motored (not motor sailed) about 30 miles S to Marsh Harbor, Abaco. It is the seat of Government for the Abaco’s and we’re amazed at how much it has changed in the last 20 years. They still have only one intersection with a light but there is now a light on every pole in the intersection and cars everywhere, and noise, and ….well; it’s easier to describe it this way; it is much like Marathon Florida. One road running down the center and everything on that road.

My project here is to get connected to the Ham Radio so we can send and receive email via the Ham Bands. Also little projects creep up; just like this am our generator seemed rather thin on cooling water and so I’ll need to take a look at that. Aint it fun.

We haven’t really been diving yet; just too cold, but exploring and renewing some friendships and establishing new ones is the main past time.

I’ve been chided for not posting enough pics and I’m going to work on getting more up. We’ve now a good constant Wi-Fi connection in the harbor and expect to be here though the end of the month. Most of the holiday activities center on here. Then we’ll restock and head up island (out of internet connections) and hang out in the wilds of Abaco for a month or so. We plan on doing that, out island, big city, out island; till our time is up and we be needing to move on to Annapolis in the spring.

Fronts still seem to be moving through about 2 per week, sometimes three; so were rather content to be haning out in Paradise, on the hook, living from Sun up to Sun down. KISS !


I’m so Smart….. I’m Dumb!

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Yesterday we moved out to anchor from a 3 day hiatus at the dock and Thanksgiving at the BluffHouse Restaurant. We played some tennis met some new boaters and enjoyed the shore side showers.

Well; yesterday it blew like stink. A gale was forecast and that’s pretty much right on target. We dropped two anchors; the newer XYZ as our primary and the CQR as a secondary and placed them about 180 degrees apart. After the major part of the gale blew through I / we noticed that we had moved about 100 feet back and our anchors were now about 20 degrees apart. So… OK we went to reset them. It will be easy; it’s daylight.

We picked up one anchor but I was leaving the CQR where she laid. To do so I needed to let out more chain on the CQR. I figured instead of untying the rolling hitch from the chain on the CQR (The rolling hitch was attaching the 1/2″ 3 strand nylon snubber) I’d just let the line go and when I picked it up again I would just need to recleat the snubber. So far so good. I reset the XYZ and fell back and went to pull in the chain on the XYZ.

Now the stupid part shows up. As we’re pulling in the chain on the aft (CQR) anchor I asked W to put the boat in gear and motor some to give me slack to pull up the excess chain easier. First time OK. Second time we hear chain being pulled across the hull of the boat and then the engine stalls out as W/ moves to shut down the engine.

Good News is that one anchor is down and secure; bad news is, I need to see what’s happening down below. It’s howling out and with the wind chill quite cool and the water is cool. For you Yankees; it’s not cool but tepid. For me, my blood is thin and often has a layer of alcohol for antifreeze (although not today). So first I climb down to the dinghy wondering what we could have picked up or if it was even something from outside the boat. I get the look bucket out and see a wad of line wrapped around the prop connected to some chain. DAMN! Just to put it nicely. Now I know I HAVE TO GO IN THE WATER!

In the water I go. I unwind the line -and that is fortunate because often you need to cut it off and I could unwind this with me breathing with the snorkel at the surface reaching down to the prop. Sometimes I needed to dive the foot down to pull on the line.

After getting the chain and line unwound I looked everything over and the shaft, zincs, and prop appeared ok. W/ started the engine and she runs it in Forward and Reverse. Everything is again looking good here!

I snorkel out to look at the XYZ and make sure I didn’t dropped it in a grassy spot. I find the anchor and dive down the 10′ to it and she’s dug in and I can’t even budge part of her.

So back up on the boat I go, swimsuit, T-shirt and 30 kts of wind. We pull up the rest of the CQR chain and find that the chain is still wrapped up in the snubber. Spend 5 minutes sorting that out and unweaving the snubber from the chain, then let out about 50 feet off the XYZ, and motor over to where we want to drop the CQR. Drop the CQR; pull in the excess rode off the XYZ and let out chain on the CQR to set us where we want to be.

All set; I take a rather cool – NOT TEPID- shower of fresh water, dry off, climb into some warm clothes, and bury myself under a blanket to keep my core warm.

W/ still has energy so she makes a great meal of Goulash. Clean up and hit the sack.

I sleep like a baby for most of the night, once checking our GPS to see if we’ve moved and W/s up every 30 minutes looking around. Nothing I can do or say will help there.

Next am we’re were we’re suppose to be and W/s back in the aft cabin getting some needed shut eye.

Fair Winds