2007 Captain's Log 2007

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Marathon Theater Page

Date Log Entry
12/31/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2580 for the month. Cheri got a 6 month Health Club membership for Christmas. Got a portable DVD player. Final 2007 Year-End Totals: Total Budget: $34,694.40; Total Expenses: $26,514.21. Break down is as follows:
    Communications $576.57
    Fuel $799.48
    Gifts Given $57.45
    Insurance $4,789.90
    Living $3,294.87
    Maintenance $291.47
    Membership $28.00
    Marina/Dockage $3,281.66
    Provisions $7,345.13
    Repairs $4,338.17
    Tax $1,600.00
    Miscellaneous $111.51
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/19 days), generator (1 gallon/30 days), dinghy (2 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/9 days).
  • Projects: Received and installed the battery regulator to control the spike caused by the wind generator. Installed a Xantrex C-60 controller. I set the Maximum at 14.2 so anything over that will go into my hot water tank. I set the Bulk flow to .70 and the Float Flow for 1.20. Have been very pleased with the performance. For mental comfort, Mike installed a second stern strut on the wind generator pole.
  • Events: Went with Tom/Jackie to the Tennessee Williams Theater to see The Nutcracker. Finished the play California Suite. Mike is working on the music and Cheri is working on the dance for Me and My Girl. Cheri did her first tap dance performance for the MCT Annual Christmas Show. Went to the Marathon Yacht Club for a farewell party for Jeff and Laura Hutt. Mike attended the Boot Key Harbor Sailing Club Christmas Party. Saw The Golden Compass, National Treasure II and Juno at the movie theaters. Went to the Red Barn Theater in Key West and saw Bark. Watched Scrooged for Christmas and The Holiday for New Years.
  • Weather - Watched Tropical Storm Olga as it moved to the south of us mid-December until it broke up 12/14
11/30/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1687 for the month. Food, meals out were higher ($695). Higher dinghy gas costs.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (ZERO gallons/30 days), dinghy (4 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/9 days).
  • Projects: Received the Xantrex Regulator to handle the overcharge spikes from the wind generator and installed it, but they sent me a broken unit. So I'm waiting for a replacement.
  • Events: Celebrated Michael's birthday (10/30) and our 1 year anniversary cruising (11/1) with a wonderful salmon dinner. Completed 8 of 12 performances for the play, California Suite. Michael plays Mort in Scene 4 from Chicago while Cheri works on stage and backstage as the prop manager. We went to the Arts Theater in Key West with Tom and Jackie and saw Darjeeling Limited and Michael Clayton. Michael has completed Phase 2 (of 7) of the 17 songs for the musical Me and My Girl. The President of the theater is a member of the Marathon Yacht Club and requested that we assist with the annual theme show (Moments on Broadway). Michael accompanied 7 singers on 14 songs and Cheri sang 3 songs. We went to an Actor's Workshop at the theater. For Thanksgiving we joined 75 other cruisers at the City Marina at the event sponsored by the Boot Key Harbor Sailing Association. New boats are arriving every day - we look forward to the winter boater's activities.
  • Weather - Unless Mother Nature pulls a fake out - we've gotten through the 2007 hurricane season! The evening temperatures have dropped to 65 and Cheri is wearing long underwear.
10/31/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2,026 for the month. Food, meals out were MUCH higher ($700). Higher dinghy gas costs. Bought A Xantrex regulator and diversion load for the Wind Generator.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (ZERO gallons/30 days), dinghy (3 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/9 days).
  • Projects: When the wind gusts, the Link Battery Monitor shuts down if the battery voltage moves above 15.5. So I ordered and have started the installation of a Regulator for the Wind Generator. With this regulator, when the voltage goes above X volts (to be determined) the excess power will go into our water heater. I started the wiring and replaced the water heater element with the new one and will finish in November.
  • Events: We went to the Arts theater in Key West with Tom and Jackie and saw Eastern Promises. Finished the theater's fundraiser One Weekend Only - USO show. Michael started practices for California Suite which opens 11/15/07. Cheri has a walk on part and will help with the stage and effects. Cheri is also practicing 3 nights a week as Dance Captain and Feature Dancer as Michael is working on the music for the March 2008 musical Me and My Girl. Cheri and 3 other women took 2nd place in the Boot Key Harbor sailing regatta on 27' Screaming Sirens. They could easily have won the small boats division, but elected to have a challened and entered the 30' and above racing division. After One Weekend Only, the President of the theater asked Michael and Cheri to perform in the 11/10 Marathon Yacht Club musical. Michael and Cheri volunteered and helped at the 1st Annual Boot Key Bivouac - a tribute and thank you to veterans and servicemen - past and present. Michael and Cheri participated with friends Tom and Jackie in their skit for the Pet Performance at Key West's Fantasy Fest and their Bearded Dragon took 2nd place. On 10/23, Michael and Cheri went with friends Katherine and John (also from the theater) went to the local's parade of Fantasy Fest.
  • Weather: Have been watching tropical depression Noel since 10/24 and as of 11/1 - it's below Key Largo and still moving lowly (6 knots) north. They forecast that Noel will turn to the northeast, but we're watching and ready.
9/30/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $4,218 for the month. Food, meals out were higher. Higher dinghy gas costs. Paid annual boat insurance of $1839. Bought a audio filter to use between keyboard and computer. Bought extra hardware for WindGen. Paid quarterly Fed and State taxes. Cheri spent $250 on quick dry clothes.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (5 gallons/30 days), dinghy (3 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/9 days).
  • Projects: Got the extra hardware for vibration resistance for the Wind Generator and finished the installation. We don't expect much wind action during the summer, but Fall and Winter should see winds over 10 knots and we’ll see how the solar and wind meet our energy needs. Did have a problem where the stern supporting strut came off the pole. Fortunately was right there when it happened and was able to hold the pole during the 30 knot short (thankfully) gust. Re-secured the strut and tied on some lines for extra security. Will work out a second supporting stern strut for better sleeping. Had originally tied the output of the wind generator to the Solar Panel battery wire but during high winds the 10 amp fuse would burn out, so changed the wiring to the engine alternator battery wire. Sunday 9/30 had 15-20 knot winds and was able to run the refrigerator off the wind generator power.
  • Events: Went to the local theater auditions 8/15 - 8/16. Michael got the part of Mort in California Suite and Harvey in Cactus Flower. Cheri is a lead dancer in the musical Me and My Gal. We went to the Arts theater in Key West with Tom and Jackie and saw Death at a Funeral and Talk to Me. Later, Cheri went with Tom and Jackie and saw the Manhattan Short Film Festival. We house sat for some friends (Dave and Diane) for a week and picked them up in Miami. Had practices 4 nights a week for the October One Weekend Only fundraising event at the Marathon Theater. Cheri is in 2 skits and one singing number and Michael is in one skit and is accompanying 15 singers. Michael helped Captain Jim of Spook IV with his port propeller shaft. Cheri practiced with Sandy on s/v Quest for a October sailing regatta.
  • Weather: Watched Hurricane Felix to the south of us (and Jamaica) as it moved west to Central America 9/1-9/6. Have had several Tropical Waves and Tropical Depressions building and moving north and south of us - but no major impact yet. Definitely a difference in the evening temperatures - much more comfortable. As of 9/29 watching Tropical Depression Karen.
8/31/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $3676 for the month. Food and meals out were higher. Higher generator fuel costs due to high computer, keyboard and TV usage. Higher dinghy gas costs. Wind Generator and equipment was $1913. Bought a USB Floppy disk drive to exchange files between computer and piano keyboard.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/16 days), generator (7 gallons/30 days), dinghy (3 gallons/30 days - bought 2 gallons 8/1) and water (1 tank/9 days).
  • Projects: On 8/19, the dinghy wouldn't start, so I rowed us back to Believe. The next morning I asked the morning Cruiser's Net about repairs. Joe on Calcutta offered me his spare 2.5 horse Tohotzu outboard until my engine was fixed. Smorgasboat, picked up the engine and empty 5 gallon can, delivered it to Inflatable Boats (repair shop) filled my gas can, went back and picked up the engine and returned it to me SAME day. All for $10 - absolutely amazing. Those who wonder why we're still here - right there is the answer.

    Wind Generator: Ordered a KISS Wind Generator, Pole and Hardware Kit and Vibration Isolator from Hotwire in Tarpon Springs, Florida. John has two types of vibration isolators, one is anodized aluminum and the other is painted, I ordered the anodized and have to wait 2 weeks for him to get another batch ready. I was unsuccessful in finding a local source for the poles and struts, so ordered them also from Hotwire. Received the order on 8/30. When I ordered the Hardware Kit, I asked if it included rubber vibration reducers and was told yes. It turns out the Kit is just the metal pieces to connect the pole to the deck and the supporting struts to the pole and deck. So I ordered some rubber reducers online and have to wait for them before I can start the installation.
  • Events: Hung out with 3 manatees by the West Marine dinghy dock for awhile. The play Vanities with Cheri playing Joanne and me playing a waiter and doing the props was the first two weekends of August. Cheri did great and received lots of compliments. Several directors for upcoming plays were scouting her out and encouraging her to audition for their plays. The theater does a "One Weekend Only" Fundraiser In October and had auditions 8/18-8/19. They're looking for singers, dancers and skits. We created a original skit about George Gershwin and a Muse and auditioned it. The director loved the skit and made it the opening skit. I was asked by the director of the big musical "Me and My Girl" to help with the orchestration for the music. The theater does not have a live orchestra, rather uses CD (think theater karaoke). So I dusted off my Korg keyboard and am working on one song to see if the sound quality will do. My keyboard creates MIDI files which I can adjust on my computer therefore I needed a 3.5" floppy drive to get files from the keyboard. If the test does work, I'll also need to get a device to take the actual sound file from my keyboard to the computer. If I plug it in directly, the impedance from the keyboard causes a buzz in the lower quality headphone jack of the PC sound card. Went to the local theater and saw Bourne Supremacy.
    Went to Miami with with Tom and Jackie (from the Marathon Theater) and to the Key West Arts Theater and saw Ten Canoes and Becoming Jane (Austin).
    Michael finished his 4th Believe animation.
  • Weather: Watched Hurricane Dean as it moved west across Barbados and south of Cuba 8/16 - 8/21. Nights have been a little cooler and has been a bit more breezy than July.
  • Planning: No special plans besides doing some day trips. We are planning on staying in Marathon through the season (Mayish 2008).
7/31/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1580 for the month. Food, meals out were higher. Higher generator fuel costs due to high computer and TV usage. Higher Living Expenses because Cheri got a new hobby - beading (sigh). Higher dinghy gas costs due to our expanding shore social schedule.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/16 days), generator (10 gallons/30 days), dinghy (4 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/9 days).
  • Projects: Did some clean up of the boat. In the past, for better air circulation, we removed the doors on several lockers and stored them. We decided to throw them away since they're easy to replace later. Got rid of the computer printer, we rarely used it and can print at a library or internet café. Cheri cleaned out some clothes. Cheri has taken up a new hobby, beading (she is now part of the "Bead Babes" club at church).
  • Events: Went out on Captain Jim's boat, Spook IV for July 4th. We watched the movie "Independence Day" to celebrate as well. Cheri had practices several times each week for her play (Vanities) which will be showing August 3, 4 and August 10, 11. Somehow, Michael got roped into helping with props and being a waiter in the play. During the month we saw "Live Free or Die Hard", "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and "Transformers" at the local movie theater. We will be skipping the upcoming musical remake of Shampoo in August even though there's air conditioning. Michael made the 3rd animated short story about Believe (ergo high computer usage). Michael was asked to help with the sound system at the church and to mass produce newly created music CDs. Michael also created a animated short advertisement to promote the CDs (a practical side to his hobby - yea!). Cheri went on a road trip with the Bead Babes to Miami to shop.
  • Weather: It's been hot with at least a light breeze almost every day. The days without wind are the worst of course. Big difference (positive) being out on the water versus at a dock or in town.
  • Planning: Continuing narrowing down on the wind generator. Tried to work with a local source, S.A.L.T. but they were incompetent. So I'll probably have the KISS dealer in Tarpon Springs ship me the unit and install myself. But I want to find a local source for the pipe and struts.
6/30/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: we spent $1841. Food, meals out were higher. Higher generator fuel costs due to high computer and TV usage. Bought a Cigarette Lighter adapter for Mike's computer. Research indicates that we could save an amp or two per hour by going direct to DC rather than through the inverter with it's associated power loss. If I run the laptop for 8 hours, at 1 amp/hour - that's over 2 hours solar input time saved.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/17 days), generator (14 gallons/30 days), dinghy (3 gallons/45 days) and water (1 tank/9 days).
  • Projects: Made sun shade cover using garden shade material from Home Depot. Makes a 10+ degree difference.
  • Events: Cheri went to a theater audition for a "reading" of the Broadway show, Vanities - AND GOT THE PART OF JOANNE (played Off Broadway by Kathy Bates). To celebrate, we watched "Waiting for Guffman". Cheri created a new (delicious) recipe for chili and entered it in the local Cruiser's Net Chili Cook-off. Michael made Part II of his animated story about Believe (ergo high computer usage). Researched different wind generators - KISS, Rutland, Four Winds. Attended a Alternative Energy Seminar at West Marine. Although technically not required for Believe (less than 40'), we documented a Trash and Head plan and added it to our ship's papers. We watched "Must Love Dogs" for Father's Day.
  • Weather: We're entering the thunderstorm season, so some rainy partial days - but many more still days. We saw two waterspouts form over the harbor.
  • Planning: After Cheri's play finishes in August, we're thinking about heading up to see a KISS (wind generator) Dealer in Tarpon Springs to get a wind generator installed
5/31/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1,304. Food, meals out were higher. Higher fuel costs (diesel, generator fuel).
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/16 days), generator (4 gallons/2 weeks) and water (1 tank/7 days). Higher generator due to high computer usage.
  • Projects: Cheri designed and made a bag for the dinghy so we don't have to load and unload life jackets and other items.
  • Events: Cinco De Mayo's movie was "Three Amigos". Wingin' It spent a few days in Marathon on their way from Key West to Mrytle Beach, SC. Found a great Thai place in town. We considered crewing with Angel's Wings on a trip to Belize - but decided against it due to the boat's lack of ability to get weather underway. Michael made a animated story about Believe (ergo high computer usage).
  • Weather: Had 3 weeks of 20+ NE/East winds plus Tropical Storm Barry at the end. Unlike Key West, wind waves did not pound the bridge deck - so no big deal. Was still a wet ride to the dock - but much better.
  • Planning: Captain Marti on The Other Woman will have a hurricane seminar on 6/16. West Marine will have a alternate power seminar on 6/13 - we're considering a wind generator.
5/7/2007 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbor Mooring Ball
After a couple of days here in Marathon, we decided to stay through the summer hurricane season. Marathon has all the services we need plus a great marina, protected mooring and established cruiser community.
We'll see how the heat and winds are. Hot weather without winds might be a issue. Obviously hurricane's are a concern but historically the middle and lower keys have gotten off lucky for many years. One of the cruisers is a weather freak and will be giving a hurricane preparedness seminar in June and will talk through the boaters telegraph and what to expect and how to prepare.
Although Marathon doesn't have the 50 touristy bars and restaurants Key West has, like everything in boating that's balanced by some places you can dinghy to - beaches, restaurants and West Marine. Because of the protected anchorage, we expect to have many more shore days.
We're going to try and do better and take Believe out for day sails every other week at least to fish.
5/5/2007 Left Key West, Fl at 7:15:00 AM Arrived Marathon, FL at 4:15:00 PM 54.47 Miles
The forecast is for east winds today and Sunday, but then a high pressure area will move through Florida Monday and Tuesday along with 20+ knot winds and gusts. Rather than wait for the perfect weather window, we decided to take a little bite out of our journey, so despite the east winds we decided to leave Key West. We checked the depths of Lake Okeechobee and found that the low depth is 3.5 feet. Based on our experience coming down, there were many shallow spots on both the east and west side of the lake and although we could pull up our rudders and keep the drive leg loose, it just isn't worth the risk. So we decided to return via Florida's east coast.
The previous day we prepared Believe, stored our dinghy and redid our mooring lines so we could release from the deck. We got up at dawn, released from the mooring buoy and departed. On the way out of Key West we filled up on fuel and water at the Couch Harbor Station in Key West Bight. First time docking in 4 months and it went perfect - we got back into the traveling groove very quickly. The waves were 1'-2' and the wind was between 10 and 15 knots and was on our nose the whole way. We brought out the jib a couple times when we had some angle but it back winded, so we motored the whole way. We averaged 6.0 knots but our speed varied between 5.1 and 6.2.
On the way we fished and caught a 4' tarpon on a blue squid lure. Took about 20 minutes to bring in then we let it go.
Arrived at Boot Key Harbor in Marathon (ICW mile 1195), went through the bridge, called the City Marina Office and got mooring ball O4. We're planning on staying in Marathon through the high winds and then continuing on to No Name Harbor near Miami.
Today is Cinco De Mayo - so dinner is taco salad and the movie is "Three Amigos".
4/30/2007 Still In Key West - Garrison Bight Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: we spent $1903. Food and meals out were higher due to provisioning for the upcoming trip north. Paid Cheri health insurance, Fed taxes, Mailbox and Forwqrding.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/17 days), generator (4 gallons/4 weeks) and water (1 tank/7 days) usage normal.
  • Projects: Completed several maintenance items and projects to prepare for our trip north.
  • Events: Easter Movie was "The Passion". Other events, our 1 year retirement anniversary (movie: Captain Ron), Library book sale. Went snorkeling and fishing off of Sand Key Light with Dennis from Naught-Gal.
  • Weather: had a couple big squalls come through the Keys - one 45 knot storm hit at 2:30 am and spun the boat 180 degree in a matter of minutes. Otherwise has averaged 15 knots from all directions.
  • Planning: We plan to be ready to leave 5/1/07 and will depart when we get the weather window we want. The current and forecast wind direction will determine if we do the Florida West Coast (Gulf of Mexico) or Florida East Coast (Atlantic). If the winds are from the S, SE or SW, we'll cross the Gulf of Mexico to Fort Meyers, then we’ll take the Okeechobee Water Way (Florida is in a drought so it may be closed due to shallow water) east across Florida and wait in Stuart or Vero Beach, FL for a Atlantic weather window to continue north. If a weather window doesn't develop, we'll take the Intercoastal Waterway until it clears. If the winds are from the north or west, we'll proceed south of Key west and then east below the point of Florida to No Name Harbor (close to Miami) and wait for a weather window (winds from the south) to head north..If a weather window doesn't develop, we'll take the Intercoastal Waterway until it clears.
3/31/2007 Still In Key West - Garrison Bight Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: we spent $1592, Food, meals out were higher. Paid Mike health Insurance and State Taxes.,
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/3 weeks), generator (2 gallons/2 weeks) and water (1 tank 7 days) usage same.
  • Projects: None
  • Events: St. Patrick's Day movie was with The Duke, "The Quiet Man". Other events, Library book sale, Cheri learned to play backgammon.
  • Weather events - we had 17 straight days of 15-20 knot winds due to a high pressure ridge over the SE United States. Mike traveled to Annapolis for some project work and Cheri prepared and succeeded in being completely self-sufficient.
  • Planning: We started planning for our return trip up North. We want to check out Marathon so we'll spend a couple of days there. Then depending on the wind and sea conditions, we'll either do 30-40 mile hops on the inside, or we'll go outside (grab the Gulf Stream) all the way to No Name harbor, south of Miami. From there we'll wait for a weather window (South, SW, SE winds) and then head north. Strategy wise, if the outside conditions are nice, we'll go outside until conditions get bad so we'll have bail out inlets planned. If the outside conditions are a problem, we'll move north via the ICW. We do want to bypass GA again, so we'll wait for a good weather window and go outside from northern Florida to southern South Carolina, probably Jacksonville to Hilton Head. If conditions permit, we do want to make stops in Vero Beach, FL, Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. We'll be looking for a place to stay during the summer. If we don't find anything, we'll end up in the Chesapeake Bay until September and head south again.
2/28/2007 Still In Key West - Garrison Bight Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: we spent $2294, 3/4 of our budget. Food, meals out were higher, we also paid quarterly health plan payments and paid for the generator (totally worth it)
  • Usage Data: Propane (3 weeks) and water (1 tank 7 days) usage same. Got 3 gallons of gas for the generator 2/11/07 which lasted for 16 days..
  • Projects: We bought a generator from Wingin' It and it works great. Gives us an energy dependence and the ability to power up our batteries and run TV, laptops and whatever tools and appliances we want. We tracked our first usage of the generator and found we got 10 hours per gallon. We placed the BBQ on the bar going across the rear of the cockpit and placed a through-hull on top of the seat back into the cockpit locker so we can do the BBQ without having to leave the cockpit locker open. Instead of using bottles, I run a line direct to my boat propane tanks. We've had terrible luck with our inflatable mattress. So bought a different brand from Kmart with insurance - hopefully it will last.
  • Events: February is the month of Cheri, it's Valentine's Day, our Anniversary and her birthday all rolled into one glorious month. Movies for Cheri's month we watch "Sports Nite", Valentine's Day is "Sleepless in Seattle", her Birthday is "Failure to Launch", Groundhog's Day is of course "Groundhog's Day" with Bill Murray. Special meal traditions are: Valentine's Day - heart shaped meatloaf, Cheri's Birthday - Saltimbocca and special chocolate pie.
1/31/2007 Still In Key West - Garrison Bight Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: we spent $1460, 50% of our budget. Food, meals out and propane were a bit more, but fuel and marinas were under.
  • Usage Data: Between cooking (stove/BBQ) and refer, our propane lasts 3 weeks. Each water tank (we have 2) lasts 7 days, but doesn't include solar showers which we fill directly from the portable 5 and 7 gallon containers from shore.
  • Projects: Just general maintenance.
  • Events: Met our celebrity friend Gary Jobson at Race Week. An individual boat tends to be known for several things, some of which are food and drinks. Cheri is known for her cookies/sweets as well as a killer artichoke dip presented in abalone shells. We also invented our own boat drink, we call it Red Sky. It starts from a Sangria base with a peach flavor. Not only does it taste great, it uses our red wine stores (not a great fan of red wine) and our Soda Club machine. Our annual New Years Day movie was "When Harry Met Sally".
1/20/2007 Still In Key West - Garrison Bight Mooring Ball
Have set up the folding bikes and they work great. It's about 10 minutes to go left (east) to food shopping, Kmart, Boater’s World and other stores and 10 minutes to go right (west) to the Post Office, library, historical docks and downtown.
Power consumption is fine unless we use laptops or TV or laptops - then we drop to 25% usage which is not a problem, I just don't like the power swing and it takes 2 days to get back up. So we've decided to get a generator and after researching have decided on a Honda Inverter/Generator 2000I - small, runs 4 hours at full draw and is small enough to fit in a cockpit locker. Tried purchasing one on Ebay twice. One they wouldn't ship to a unconfirmed address - so I'd have to pay for shipping to Annapolis and then again to Key West. Another I was outbid but then the winner had problems so I got a second chance offer - but they wanted me to pay via Western Union instead of Paypal so I walked away. It turned out that Ted/Rhonda on Wingin' It have a second one that they'll bring down 2/1 when they go home the month.
Every time we go to shore we take the portable 5 and 7 gallon water container and fill it up and use it to fill water tanks, showers, etc so we're water rich.
Because we're no longer running the engine, we run the refer on propane and put a new tank (our last filled one) on 1/11/07. We've located a gas station close by that has propane so I'll fill both tanks and have them ready. The general expectation is that a full propane tank will run the refer and stove for about 3 weeks..
Our days are spent going to shore, relaxing, swimming, boat projects, siteseeing and relaxing (yes it's twice because we do that a lot).
1/6/2007 Left Bahia Honda Key, FL at 7:03:00 AM Arrived Key West, FL at 1:00:00 PM 283 Miles
We got up at 6:30 am, got ready, listened to the forecast, warmed up the engine and left before sunrise. Forecast called for winds from the south (again) and seas 1-2 feet. We figured if it was too rough out there, we'd go 11 miles to Newfound Harbor and then proceed the next day. After we got out there and headed west, seas were 2-3 feet and winds were 10 knots off our beam. At Newfound harbor we decided the conditions were great so we continued west to Key West (ICW mile 1243) with sails up and made great time.
Arrived at Key West and got a mooring ball. Got the dinghy ready and motored into the marina office - about 15 minutes. The guy was nice but not very helpful. Paid for a month, had lunch and a shower and returned to the boat.
We've decided to NOT do the Bahamas this year, just explore the Keys and Everglades. Not sure what we'll do come the April/May hurricane season.
1/5/2007 Left Little Shark River, FL at 7:30:00 AM Arrived Bahia Honda Key, FL at 4:30:00 PM 54.9 Miles
Got up and checked engine oil levels and got eaten alive by gnats - called NoSeeEms by sailors. As soon as possible we got ready to leave, undid Wingin' It, lifted the anchor and set under way. We headed south with the 18 knot wind on our nose towards west of Marathon and a bridge we could cross under. Once through the bridge we were back in the Atlantic Ocean and heading west to Bahia Honda Key (ICW mile1204.9). Seas were rough, 4-5 foot, but winds were from the south - so we had a beam reach as we motor sailed.
Once at Bahia Honda, Wingin' It tried anchoring and pulled up when they tried to set - so they pulled into a marina. We started to enter the narrow, shallow channel and got hit with a 20 knot gust pushing us into the port bank - at the same time I tried to reverse and a rude powerboat came right behind and blocked me (instead of waiting) - so we backed up and left the channel and set the hook in 10' of water in the small bay - no problem (and saved $70). Winds were strong overnight at 20 knots but lessoned to 10 knots. We’re still getting rid of NoSeeEms from this morning both inside and outside.
For dinner Cheri made pasta and Lemon Beef in the pressure cooker. We talked to Wingin' It and said we were leaving at first light and going for Key West - they talked about stopping in Newfound Harbor - we agreed to talk in the morning.
1/4/2007 Left New Turkey Key, FL at 8:15:00 AM Arrived Little Shark River, FL at 12:30:00 PM 28.73 Miles
We had planned to leave at 8:30 am, but when we got up we noticed the tide rapidly falling so we got ready and took off a bit earlier. We had come into the cove with 5' under our keel and left with 2.2' under - going 3 miles from the entrance. Wingin' It had hooked a tree trunk with their anchor so were a bit delayed getting out but still beat the tide. We noticed many tree trunks sticking up and will make a note to Skipper Bob to update his navigation book.
During the trip we had 3-4 waves and 23 knots on our nose. We did put a little jib out when the wind was at 20 degrees for a little help and brought it back in when it narrowed even more. We anchored in Little Shark River (GIWW 100) in 11 feet with a 5 foot tide expected and current, Wingin It rafted to us. Winds overnight are expected to be 10-15 from the east-southeast so this will be another Fort Matanzas situation with strong current fighting strong winds and the anchor rode going every which way. For cocktail hour we had Pao de Quiejo and Mohammid Alis (3 will knock you out) and for dinner we finally finished the beans and rice and had a lemon pie dessert that Rhonda made.
1/3/2007 Left Marco Island, FL at 9:30:00 AM Arrived New Turkey Key, FL at 4:30:00 PM 45.41 Miles
Left Marco island and even though I went quite a ways east of Cape Ramos, still ran into some shallow water - no problem, just had to proceed slowly. There is a know gap between raster charts in a chart plotter and reality - so not a surprise. During the trip Believe had her first dolphins on the bow - was incredible. I had a fishing pole out and got a hit, but the 30-year old lure broke - which was fine because we needed to get our routine figured out (slow boat down, set the hook, play the fish and bring it in). We motored with the wind on our nose and calm seas on the outside (non protected ICW) and came into New Turkey Key (GIWW 75) and rafted with Wingin' It. It was a beautiful setting with camp islands all around.
For cocktail hour we made Fuzzy Navels and for dinner we had rice and beans and cookies.
During the night a strange noise like a frog had us and Ted/Rhonda/Wingin’ It looking around trying to figure it out to no avail.
1/2/2007 Left Fort St. Myers Beach, FL at 8:20:00 AM Arrived Marco Island, FL at 3:45:00 AM 41.38 Miles
In the morning we listened to weather, let go the mooring ball and started out trip. We had a choice of heading south through a narrow channel or heading back North till we could clear and go outside. We headed south and ran into some very, very shallow water (1.9 below our keel) but no problems. So in hindsight - head north. The time and miles we would have wasted would have been made up by the slow speeds we had to go due to the shallow waters. We went through Big Carlos Pass to the outside and made speed to our destination. Had winds off our port side for a broad reach. Went into the inlet for Marco Island (GIWW 43) and got fuel/water and rafted with Wingin' It. Had some strange current and wind combinations that cause some strange orientation to the anchor rode.
1/1/2007 Left Boca Grande, FL at 8:30:00 AM Arrived Fort St. Myers Beach, FL at 3:00:00 PM 41.81 Miles
In the morning, again used the kayak to untie both boats, raised the anchor and headed out and south. Instead of taking the protected waters as we did when we came north, we went outside into the Gulf of Mexico. Waves were 1-2 foot and winds were 15 knots on our nose. We had planned on anchoring in Port Ybel, but after traveling several miles to get past the shallows before turning back North, we decided to proceed south to the mooring balls at Fort St. Myers Beach (GIWW 5.0). The balls were supposed to have a tether, but we had to pick-up and drop 3 before we found one with anything to hook onto - not very well maintained. We checked in at the Motel Office (caretakers of the mooring field) and toured the town. For dinner we had leftover steak mixed with rice and peas in pods.
2006 Year 2005 through year 2006 Log

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