Aside from one rather unfortunate dinghy-sailing adventure as a teenager, I have managed to steer clear of smaller boats for most of my life. This was a conscious decision; I didn’t defect from power to sail till my late 20s, and since I learned on a J/24 and not a dinghy, I quickly became accustomed—not to say addicted— to the feeling of security engendered by a large lump of lead counteracting the forces of wind and waves. The boats were sporty enough to be exciting, especially in a big breeze, and there seemed little chance of going for an involuntary ... Read More
I guess it was bound to happen. Put two millennials on a sailboat with 270 amp hours of battery and you’re going to have a problem. I was seduced slowly – everyone knows running the engine to charge the batteries is terrible for the engine and an extremely expensive way to make power. I find we have to charge the boat every other day, even when we have good sunlight for the 480 watts of solar. Our fridge and freezer are are giant and terribly insulated.
But its beyond that, running the engine while on anchor just plain sucks. Even ... Read More
It’s hot out here! Imagine that – Florida in the summer!
We spent almost a week anchored north of the Las Olas Bridge in Fort Lauderdale. Rachel’s Aunt took delivery of our sailrite binimi kit and brought it with her when she came over one night for dinner (thanks Stacie)! We spent the next 3 days building the frame, patterning the binimi, and sewing the thing up. It turned out fantastic and now we have a refuge from the unrelenting sun during the day.
We got in contact with Pam Wall during our stay in Fort Lauderdale and ended up ... Read More
Here’s part 1 of the watermaker install for those of you who missed it.
The install resumed on the hook in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas. I had plenty of time to work on it after we arrived thanks to 30kt winds for over a week. The pump was installed on the mount and then bolted to the engine rails inline with the power takeoff pulley. After three trips to the store I finally got the correct sized belt. Ideally I would have liked to attach the mount directly to the engine. With my setup you have to be careful not to ... Read More
We left Providencia, Columbia, which is located off the Nicaraguan coast on July 2nd. We hoped to arrive in Key West, Florida on July 8th. The window planning is tricky with this passage, trying to time a decent window to get across the most vigorous of the trade winds that set up north of Providencia while avoiding undue amounts of tropical moisture and also transiting while no tropical development is expected is no small order. For this entire trip north we’ve been consulting with WRI (Weather Routing Incorporated). The stakes are too high to misread internet weather information and put ... Read More
At this point we’re getting a decent idea of what it costs to cruise. We’re also realizing jumping right into in it has its downsides. The boat is 95% perfect. Which is kinda amazing considering we’ve never cruised before. Ideally we could have used the boat for a season and then taken care of the changes that have crept up. The issue is, I can think of numerous people I’ve met while refitting that are constantly tweaking the boat to be just right, yet never set off anywhere. I did not want to turn into one of these people. At ... Read More
We hoist the dingy onto the deck and separate the two halves, nest them together and lash it amidships. Each of us knows the procedure by heart at this point – there’s no point in talking. Our thoughts lay to the north and in the future. The routine of departure settles upon the boat as the sun sets in the west. Always a contemplative time – the night before setting out on a voyage on the open ocean. No matter how well you hedge against the unknown, the sea is an expanse of wilderness that can never quite ... Read More
Every boat and crew has different thresholds for what they are willing to put up with. In my limited experience using GRIB files to plan voyages, I hope for the predicted winds and hedge against higher than predicted winds and seas. Even though I’m positive our boat can take just about anything, we voyage for the enjoyment of sailing. We don’t have to be anywhere at anytime. Its just not as fun to deal with 30kts and a large sea, we’ve done it – but I’d rather sit in port and drink cheap Panamanian beer. It’s important that I keep ... Read More
Above all else, Panama has redefined the word “hot” for both Rachel and I. I’m not totally sure why I’m surprised though – it is Central America, its supposed to be sauna like! After a pretty decent flight (free booze on the plane), we touched down and caught a taxi to a hotel in downtown Panama City. The next morning we met our driver for the day outside the hotel. Rogelio worked for the Panama Canal Yacht Club for 20 some odd years before its sudden closure at the hands of the Port Authority. He now provides taxi and local ... Read More
As far as I’m concerned, June is the best month of the season—with the usual caveats, familiar to all who sail in the Northeast. First, the boat must have been launched on time, which presupposes a mild winter; all it takes is the usual January/February freeze followed by a couple of late snowstorms to throw everything into disarray. Watching your launch date come and go when there is still a couple of feet of snow in the boatyard is a mortifying, but sadly not uncommon, scenario. Worse still is the knowledge that you’ve not even had a chance to paint ... Read More