The Journey – 2007 Log (2006 entries follow.....)
Brunswick, GA, March 8, 2007, Thursday - Well, the work that was to take just a month was finally finished at St. Augustine Marine. There always seems to be a hold up, waiting for the smallest of parts. Good people there though and a travel lift that can accomodate our beam (width). MTB is now outfitted with new solar panels (NICE), has two working engines and a new SSB radio that will allow us to communciate via email while in remote locations. Various other things were completed as well...servicing the life raft (yep, important to Cindy the "risk manager" aboard). Ken and Cindy, Dempsey and Mac made another safe 24/7 trip back to our hailing port, Brunswick Landing Marina. Nothing out of the ordinary on this trip other than one "moon rising" that was incredible. Then, a beautiful stern in docking by Captain Ken onto dock 14, where we will stay until a short jaunt down the coast and hopefully over to the Bahamas. Again, always so nice to get back to Brunswick, & have those wonderful folks at Brunswick Landing Marina greet us so warmly.
Saturday, April 21, 2007 departed Brunswick Landing Marina, under Sydney Lanier bridge at noon. All animals finally aboard…2 cats, 2 dogs. We waved at some of Ken’s family.. Gayle, Tim, Pop, BB on the St. Simons pier. Went by at least 20 fishing boats in front of Jekyll and North Cumberland Island…with nets out which is always intimidating for Cindy. We had big seas, wind 10-15 with 25 mph gusts but it got better as we turned South. Even the pups settled idown then. Soon, we saw a pod of dolphins. we arrived at the Cumberland anchorage approx 5:30 p.m. with about 15 other boats here. We were last to arrive this day. We achored successfully after some concern about the amount of other boats, let dogs outside, cooked lasagna dinner and salad pops (frozen lettuce…working on refrig regulator!). It was a wonderful and the night sky was gorgeous. Cindy had to go outside, to the bow about 1:30 a.m. after whining puppies indicated they needed to go out. Cindy/dogs were rewarded by a visit by dolphins.
Sunday, April 22, 2007 Cumberland Island GA, at anchor approx 75 degrees, windy, beautiful skies. We attempted to figure out how to get Tobie (the dinghy) down…we worked at it for several hours. Finally, success…we figured out that the brackets pivot. About 3ish, Rum Tum Tiger with friends from Brunswick: Craig, Mary, Winnie pulled in. We tendered over for drinks around 6ish after reading the Yamaha owner’s manual a few times. Back home around 7:30 p.m. to find that our sweet pups behaved. Mac didn’t beat up Dempsey for our first time leaving them aboard, alone. They were totally relaxed. Yea! Dinner was Chili and rice, in the microwave. Puppies woke us around 3:00 a.m. Took them out…Mac did is pp, Dempsey nothing.Manatees visited while on the bow waiting for dogs to do their business.Still no poops!
Monday April 23, 2007 Cumberland Island Georgia, at anchor- 9:30 a.m. Craig, Mary and Winnie came by.They were headed for shore.Told them we’d meet them there within half hour. Had our cereal. Got to Island around 10, paid our park fee (an some extra)…walked the beach, picked up a beautiful purple starfish for Audrey (granddaughter) saw ruins, wild horses, wild armadillo, tourists, manatees, & a nuclear sub coming into St. Marys with big time escort and coast guard overhead.Back to MTB about 2:30 with pups so content they were sound asleep when we arrived…no fights, YEA!All going well with 4 animals aboard, so far. And, when let out, one pup did a POOP.So, now we are waiting for one more successful onboard poop, then we will allow them to go to shore.We also need to get them used to being aboard Tobie.The trails on Cumberland are truly beautiful and the beach will allow animals as long as they are on a leash. So, hopefully by Tuesday, we and the dogs can go to land. Craig and Mary are coming for happy hour. They invited us to dinner tomorrow night.We both will probably pull out on Wednesday, a.m.They will go back to BLM and us off South.If winds/seas allow, us to the Bahamas, if not, to Key West.
Tuesday April 24,2007 Cumberland Island, Georgia at anchor. All (including puppies) went ashore today….walked the beach North and then back to Seacamp. What a beautiful idyllic place. Had lunch and then went to work on our dinghy that was “coughing” on the way back to MTB.Craig and Ken found dirty gas and cleaned the can out, using paper towels as a filter.We took the dinghy to Rum Tum Tyger for dinner and the cruise over and cruise back proved that the dinghy was ok. Made homemade fudge for the day’s squash.The dinner with Craig and Mary and their puppy Winnie was wonderful…pork loin roast, roasted sweet and white potatoes, yellow squash and baked tomatoes with cheese.Yummy yummy yummy! Thanks so much guys.And, the best surprise was Champagne to toast to good sailing on our first outing. How thoughtful.
Wednesday April 25, 2007 Cumberland Island, Georgia at anchor. Rum Tum Tyger pulled out today to go back to Brunswick .Miss you guys. We just bummed around doing boat projects and raised the dingy back on board. Salami, pepperoni sandwiches, Pringles and apples for lunch. Saurkraut casserole and hot dogs for dinner.Not much excitement.
Thursday April 26/27, 2007 (Yipppee our house sold Thursday!) Cumberland, Ga to St. Augustine, FL – 10 knot South winds, gusts to 18. Temp 75, clear skies. Cleaned the generator filter and checked various electronics and equipment, and pre-made some sandwiches in preparation for leaving Cumberland (whah…). Pulled out of the anchorage around 10:30 a.m. and headed through the St. Mary’s Georgia Inlet to the Atlantic, south ho!We were heading south into south winds which wasn’t too much fun due to the crashing waves. Probably dumb time to leave but we were ready to cruise on. We had to motor most of the way.Had salami/cheese roll ups, Pringles, yogurt and apples for dinner as wanted to keep it easy….no cooking in chop (new policy of the kitchen)!Arrived at the St. Augustine inlet about 2:00 a.m.Decided not to attempt entering the inlet at night.We just drifted N/NW until daylight and then came into the waterfront of St. Augustine.Anchored around 10:30 a.m. in front of the old fort with a beautiful view of old towne.What a gorgeous anchorage, though a little crowded.After the crashing ride here, we all (2 leggeds and 4 leggeds) relished the calm and quiet…at least until 10:45 a.m. when a cannon went off at the fort!!! Luckily they only shoot them off 3-4 times a day.The church bells are a much nicer sound!Through the day, we just chilled out. Ken worked on the Direct TV system and was able to identify a bad cable.So, we watched tv a little while and then did some reading through the evening.Cindy picked up and cleaned some. Dinner was barbeque (Castleberry canned pork is tasty when hungry and tired) cooked on the kitchen gas stove, rice and oranges.
Easy and simple, this seems the way our life is sorting out.And, as of 3:00 p.m. today, our home, The Pink House in Greenville, S.C. officially became an asset on someone else’s financial statement. So, now we are down to one house, a boat and too many toyz! Many thanks to Art Howson, our atty for closing it with our Power of Atty, to Sharon Wilson/Shauna Havird at Coldwell Banker Caine and to Lil Glenn for bringing us a buyer we know is going to treat our old place well and honor her history. We are very appreciative to everyone for their part in helping us realize this dream. We truly do feel that things worked out so well with the buyer & the timing, that again…this adventure is truly MEANT TO BE.The eagle has landed. Mac was a good boy…first “poop” on board…all by himself, just trotted out to the bow and did his duty….what a boat dog.
Friday April 28, 2007
St. Augustine, Florida – calm anchorage, winds 5 knots, clear skies and 80 degrees. We lowered the dinghy in the morning and Ken went to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina to dump our first bag of garbage, dump the bad can of dinghy gas, and buy more clean gas.The dinghy did great to the marina and back to MTB.Ken wentthis trip without the other 2 legged and 4 leggeds, just in case it wasn’t running well.But, Tobie (name of our dinghy…Meant TO-BIE, get it???) did great. Ken cooked cheese burgers for lunch on MTB’s outdoor gas grill on heated English muffins, Pringles, yummy.Just laid around all afternoon reading. All aboard doing great. Baked a pizza for dinner and set off a very very loud and scary smoke detector which kept yelling at Cindy in a very proper voice "FIRE FIRE FIRE...". Not a fun experience. But, Cindy hit the solenoid switch killing the gas flow on the oven, opened the doors wide and all was well. Good lesson to know we have a very sensitive and very loud detector.
Saturday April 29, 2007
St. Augustine Florida - calm at anchor, winds N/NW 10 knots, clear skies, 80ish. Lazy a.m. and then tendered into old town. Had lunch at a local micro brewery (drank water). Cindy had pasta primavera and Ken had Jerk spiced talapia. Lots of fresh vegetables, hit the spot. We also used their wifi to update this site. Back to the boat to decide whether to pull out in the a.m.
Monday April 30, 2007
St Augustine, Fl to Ponce Inlet, Fl – winds from the SE, 5 knots, seas flat on departure, clear skies (except for haze of smoke from Waycross, GA fires) and temp around 80.Anchor up at 8:00 a.m. and outside the St. Augustine channel by 8:30 a.m.Put up sails and headed South. Seas and winds were so calm we had to motor sail all day.After lunch (pizza, sauerkraut casserole leftovers) winds and seas picked up a little so our SOG (speed over ground) increased to 6-7 knots. We had pre-made sandwiches (before departing St. Augustine) for a snack around 3:30 p.m. Pets all calm and well. The pups lay down in the cockpit with us as we sail with their float coats on and leashes tied to a rope tied to the helm.We both read a great deal this day due to the calm ride and lack of traffic around us all day.At two times, little birds joined us for a ride on MTB.We were about 5 miles offshore and they made u-turns to come and join us. Its really a funny sight to see little birds aboard. One jumped down into the dinghy (Tobie) and drank some fresh water that had accumulated near the plug. Amazing.When about ½ mile off Daytona shore, a wind surfer joined us, truly amazing athleticism. We got to the Ponce Inlet (south of Daytona) around 5:30 p.m. and cautiously entered the channel. We read that this is one squirrely channel with a great deal of shoaling that changes daily.A big powerboat went around us near the end of the channel that entered the river. Shortly, we heard the local marina call them to tell them they were heading for a sandbar and about to go aground.Ah, this got our attention. Our depth finder went as low as 2.5 feet (scary) as we entered the river and headed south to pick up the Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW). Once we were headed north on the ICW, we found the anchorage we were looking for, Rockhouse Creek. There were two large powerboats there but still room for us.We entered very carefully as we were uncertain of the depth and luckily we set the anchor on first attempt.A long day, so it was time to make a few phone calls and have a glass of red wine. We had a bunch dolphins visit here. A few jumpers put on quite a show. There was a full moon casting a gorgeous light on the anchorage. Amazing evening. And, dinner was wonderfully prepared, fritos and salsa/ranch dip.Very well balanced meal…carbs, dairy and veggies???? Yeah, right. All aboard slept like babies on calm, smooth water. Annie (calico kitty) came out on deck, exploring. Since it was calm, we let her go.She checked out MTB really well before falling asleep with Dempsey on his bed.Too cute.
Tuesday May 1, 2007 May Day
Ponce Inlet, Daytona, FL area – Rockhouse Creek – skies clear, winds calm, anchorage smooth and empty, temp. climbing to high 80s.All our neighbors departed this a.m. leaving us alone in our beautiful spot.A jet ski came through after breakfast this a.m.as did a ski boat whose Captain complimented us on our “beautiful boat”. We had our breakfast (English muffins and coffe), played with the puppies, drank coffee while watching the Today show.Had to find out where in the world was Matt Lauer! (Ireland). We just had a lazy day doing some reading.Dogs are doing better and better in the “potty” department. We now say let’s go out and they head for the trampolines on the bow. We have a wash down system there, so works out great. And, having litter boxes aboard has not proved to be too much of an issue, either.Annie is the “explorer kitty” onboard.She loves to wonder out on the decks while we are in anchorages just to look around. Ken had chicken Ramen noodles for dinner and Cindy some leftovers.A little homemade fudge for dessert topped off the day.Both finished books today and started new ones.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Ponce Inlet, Daytona, FL area – Rockhouse Creek – skies clear, no winds, anchorage smooth with one sailboat (monohull) neighbor. Temp in high 80s. Dolphins all around us.
Today we had a couple boat projects to do:
-checked out a small tear on edge material of our jib sail and decided it was a reinforcement piece that could wait for repair until we have and additional person onboard as backup the Ken holding Cindy up in the bosun’s chair. Cindy didn’t like the idea that if Ken became ill or something else happened, she would be left 50 feet up, swinging alone!
- checked out the diesel fuel tanks to see why one gauge did not appear to be working or if fuel was not moving between tanks properly,
-troubleshot the chart plotter to find out why we had more detail at the navigation station than at the helm (more detail the better when driving this floating house!) and corrected the issue,
- put back a decorative stainless steel strip that surrounds the cockpit door,
-washed down the decks and,
-adjusted our salon table… took out supports to lower it down and make it more comfortable for both of us to sit on the sofa. Now we can put a pillow on the table and use it as a foot rest….lazy lazy.
In the a.m., Ken cooked bacon and eggs as we watched Matt Lauer from Bhotan (a beautiful place) and drank our coffee. Then, the afternoon got interesting. Two sailboats arrived. Lily Pad, with Corstiaan de Waard aboard, had obvious trouble with his main sail.We then realized this was the boat we had heard on the radio the day before in distress and could see way in the distance across from our anchorage.He had spent a day and a half there trying to get help to fix his problem.A nice couple from Daytona (Tim and Ann Rochford aboard their monohull, Wildcat) contacted Lily Pad/Corstiaan and guided him to our smooth inlet.They came over on their dinghy and asked Ken if he would mind helping work on Lily Pad. Cindy stayed aboard with the dogs and watched the activities.Tim and Ken hoisted Corstiaan up in a boson’s chair and helped for an hour and half as the rigging was corrected.The work was a success and Corstiaan was very gracious and appreciative, offering to buy breakfast, whatever. Ken just told him to “pay if forward”…help the next person that he sees needing help.Lunch was our standard sandwiches.Corstiaan, Tim and Ann all came by early in the evening….with Ken, Cindy and Corstiaan sharing a couple glasses of red wine. We found that he is from British Columbia and solo on his way to the Bahamas.His wife was meeting him in Nassau on June 1, for a month’s vacation together.His folks are from Holland. Tim shared an interesting book with Ken on how to get carbs/diabetes in check, which was appreciated as well. We enjoyed such nice folks to share a beautiful night with together.Our later dinner was a peppered beef tenderloin and roasted potatoes on the grill…aw, this “roughing it” is great!We told Corstiaan our intended next anchorage was Ft. Pierce inlet…he said he may see us there on Monday, May 7, 2007. We’ll be looking for him.
Thursday May 03, 2007
Set sail for Ft. Pierce Inlet, FL – anchor up at 8:00 am with our new friends still sleeping on their boats nearby. Winds 4.1 knots. We slowly made our way out the inlet (shallow in many places) and finally hit the Atlantic once again.We saw a sea turtle first thing. Ourtheory is that the local Chambers in these nice places send dolphins, manatees or turtles to see you in and out, to wish you good seas and safe journeys. As we anticipated, the seas were FLAT. We had our sails up around 10:00 a.m. hoping to pick up some winds.We were able to sail for a while but motor sailed and motored as well.We had PB&Js, yogurt and chips for lunch. We decided if we were going to make it into Ft. Pierce inlet early the next afternoon, we had to motor sail or motor the rest of the way. So, we took the pups out front to have their opportunity for potty time and started up the motors. This is not our favorite thing to do as it uses up our diesel fuel, is noisy and you can smell the diesel as you are running along. Ken made dinner of heated up canned Chicken and dumplings, spiced up to perfection. This was actually very tasty. It was even better when he did the dishes.We have so many amenities aboard….but not a dishwasher!Anyway, the highlight of the evening was a light show provided by our government. Since we were only a few miles offshore when we passed Canaveral this night, the lights were amazing. All the huge buildings positioned along the water are completely lighted and spot lighted. This causes a spectacular sight we supposed few have been lucky enough to see from our vantage point.We continued our trip through the night to assure we arrived early afternoon on Friday. The nighttime was uneventful with only one cruise ship and one container ship that came into view (their lights that is…). Although, the full moon was appreciated for its beauty and the glistening it caused on the water. We did two hour on and two hour off watches and when not on watch, we slept outside in the cockpit near the helm and each other. The dogs sleep outside with us as well, in their float coats with leashes tied to a rope that is tied to the helm seat. This works great as the dogs can move in and out of the salon cabin or stay outside with us. Their choice is to be out with us!
Friday May 04, 2007
Ft. Pierce Inlet, FL – Breakfast of shredded wheat and coffee. Our lunch was salami, pepperoni, sliced cheese sandwiches & yogurt while still in the Atlantic, just before pulling into the inlet.Daughter Jess called at lunch to tell us that granddaughter Audrey has a lump on her thyroid and has to see a specialist. Though concerning, we are confident all will be fine for these sweet two.The specialist visit is scheduled for later this month.About 1:00 p.m., after slowly picking our way through a very very crowded inlet, we found our way to our desired anchorage. We read books and charts and talk to others who have traveled to our destinations to get a tentative idea where we want to be. So far, ours have all been good choices and worked out great. We sure don’t want to put a whammy on us but we are four for four so far. We positioned MTB on the west side of the ICW, just south of the inlet’s northern most drawbridge.This placed us just outside the Harbortowne Marina at the, ICW buoy R184.Though shallow, we found a good spot next to another Catamaran. Once we were comfortable we would hold in this anchorage, we got a glass of red wine and toasted another successful leg of this amazing journey. Ah, then we had another glass of red wine and…..well anyway, you get the picture. It is such a relief each time we make another successful leg.We always are very tired from traveling when we run through the night.So, once we anchor, the afternoons seem to just be reading and napping.Dinner was leftover beef tenderloin and potatoes. Right at sundown, we sat out in the cockpit and watched a thunderstorm with lightening approaching our spot.It blew around us, after giving us a very nice visual show. The threat of storms had been 20-30% for this day, so another reason we wanted to be safely anchored by this afternoon. Annie, the calico kitty, came outside to join us and continue exploring her moving house.She is too light and little to be allowed outside while we are traveling, so she enjoys these anchored times. She spends the day with Bailey the tortoise shell kitty in “their” room and spends her evenings with her people, wherever they are. We were pretty pooped so, lights out at around 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Ft. Pierce Inlet, FL – Light winds, high to be 89, clear skies though threat of storms is 20-30% again today.We were up around 7ish to find that one of the dog type four legged crewmembers aboard had been bad. One of the ”boyz” did a “pp” in the salon.We realized that we both slept so soundly that the poor pooch probably cried as usual and we just didn’t wake up to let him out. So, this mistake was probably as much our “bad” as his. We still are trying to get on schedule for these “duties” but the overnight traveling seems to “un-regulate” the whole process. Shredded wheat and coffee were once again our breakfast of choice. The anchorage here is very crowded and a lot of traffic on the ICW requires the drawbridge to go up/down a lot.We find the bells and whistles of the bridge actually rather enjoyable…..new sounds to experience. This a.m., we put the dinghy down and went exploring, leaving the puppies to sleep aboard.We went to the Ft. Pierce city front, the Harbortowne Marina restaurant for lunch and then walked to a Publix and West Marine on A1A for a few supplies. It’s a weekend day, so everyone was on the water today…crazy place. We were back aboard MTB around 3:30 p.m. Pups did well while we were ashore.Ken worked on the on working reading light over our bed. The anchorage began filling up with more boats, mostly monohull sailboats. This is always a little worrisome if anyone’s boat breaks loose. The afternoon was spent reading, updating journals and pure laziness.We’re getting good at that part.Hard to believe it was two weeks ago today that we pulled into Cumberland Island, GA our first anchorage. Dinner tonight =macaroni and cheese and tuna. Yummy. We actually are trying to make sure we eat well onboard, getting enough fruit/veggies….(no Ken, red wine is not fruit).Lily Pad / Corstiaan arrived in Ft. Pierce today.It was pretty nice to look over the anchorage and see our new friend. He came by in the evening with a bottle of Merlot that we all enjoyed.
Sunday May 6, 2007 Ft Pierce Inlet, FL –
In the a.m. Ken borrowed a soldering gun from Corstiaan to fix a reading light on Cindy’s side of the bed.We took the pups to shore in the afternoon and laughed a lot.Because the dogs have adapted to the boat (sea legs) when they tried to lift their legs on trees….they were wobbling.Gave us a look like, what’s up??? Funny. Winds started building during the day and surf was whipping up the anchorage.Corstiaan visited mid day and he taught us about using our GPS to plot our “breadcrumbs” on the screen.This allows us to see that we are just moving around our anchor as we should vs. dragging through the anchorage.It gives a nice picture and the extra assurance that the anchor is holding. This was a good lesson and timely as the anchorage was wild this night.A storm flew through and winds gusted all night up to 30 knots. We were rocking!We slept in the salon vs. our cabin to be close to the instruments and quicker to react if any issue.We made it through the evening just fine. Corstiaan came in his dinghy and we had our morning coffee while talking a lot.We have learned new stuff from each other that is great for us beginner cruisers. It was fun and he left around noon.For the rest of the day all we did was read since the winds were so bad.We were ready for some calm!
Monday May 7, 2007 – Ft. Pierce Inlet, FL
Well, what a night we had.About 1:30 a.m. this morning we woke to the sound of a halyard beating against a mast.An empty sailboat near us since our arrival moved on their anchor rope, coming closer to MTB.But, we checked it out and did not think they were moving, just the change in the wind direction had moved us both closer together.We did look at the other Catamaran that had been next to us since our arrival and thought he may be closer, but again, just dismissed it as the swing due to wind.We crawled back into our bed and at 2:00 p.m. we felt an awful “BOOM”…. Ken got up and out first only to find the neighbor Cat sitting parallel on our port side.Well, now isn’t that exciting?Luckily, he hit us side to side and there was no evidence of damage.We were able to get fenders (that we smartly brought out and placed on deck when the high winds started….in case WE dragged…) in between our two vessels.Cindy yelled “HELLO ABOARD!!!”and we heard a voice say “ah, yea, just a minute”.Once clothed, the vessel’s captain came on deck.His quote was a classic and subsequently (not then!) has become quiet funny.The master of understatement the Captain said “Oh, that’s not good”.We were confident it was his boat that had drug in the night…thanks to our GPS and “bread crumbs”.First he commented “wow, that sailboat next to you is closer than its been” Well yeah, he was a whole lot closer to us than he ever had been so I guess it’s a change in perspective, you think? He said “Well, I am not sure what we should do, I have troubles with both my engines”. Ken told him to at least go up front and pull in some anchor chain/rope to at least see if he could pull himself off of us.He did this and it worked.Then he worked toward getting an engine started to pull off and re-anchor.Well, then he started a fire aboard his boat that had to be dealt with first.Poor guy.Luckily the other engine started and he successfully pulled away from us and re-anchored.About 8:00 a.m. he came over to apologize, introduce himself and double check that we didn’t have any damage. He was a really a nice guy, Bob.All was fine. Cindy did have a pretty high stress level this day.So, not much happened except reading and some serious "down time". We did have one treat – The “NINA” of Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria fame, sailed by the anchorage during the day.We guessed it probably wasn’t the real NINA (ya think?).But, it was cool to see this replica and we heard on the radio that they were on the news. We threw burgers on the grill and called Corstiaan on the radio to see if he wanted a burger. He joined us for dinner and we were in bed by 9:00 p.m.What a wonderful, calm night….and we had the best sleep possible. All was good except for the darn “love bugs” – what a mess they are on a boat.
Wednesday May 9, 2007 –Ft. Pierce Inlet, FL
Wonderful to wake up this a.m. after such a good night’s sleep.We took our dinghy over to Lily Pad and Corstiaan brought us back to MTB. (...so we didn’t have to go the effort of pulling the dinghy out of the water and securing Tobie back on MTB).We pulled up anchor and went to the marine to top off our diesel and water tanks, dump our garbage. The Harbortowne Marina has a great gas dock and really nice folks to help.We pulled out and went back to our anchorage,Corstiaan brought back Tobie (our dinghy) and we returned him to Lily Pad.Around 1:00 we picked up Corstiaan and all went to lunch, his treat (great!).While “doing lunch” we all did our laundry, a very productive afternoon. We were all back to our boats by 4:00 p.m. and said our farewells.We were in bed again by 9:00 p.m. since we are such party animals!
Thursday May 10, 2007 – leaving Ft. Pierce Inlet, FL – underway
Lily Pad/Corstiaan left this a.m. waving and yelled for us to hug the puppies good bye. His plan was to head directly to the Bahamas.We pulled anchor at 9:15 a.m. with a plan to head for the Lake Worth Inlet.Once out a few miles, we found that winds were pushing us southeast on nice, rolling seas.The weather was great and it is always wonderful when we don’t have to have our motors running. So, we had a great sail in the a.m.At one point, we found that we were about 20 miles from Lake Worth and only 50ish miles from West End, Grand Bahama Island.The seas and wind were so great, we made a decision to head east and see what the gulf stream and waters were doing.Sub-tropical storm Andrea was not supposed to impact us (per the a.m. weather reports) so off we go, headed for the Bahamas, vs. Ft. Worth.All was going great until sundown and the winds started going in opposite directions and were changing in speed. We still felt comfortable and MTB was handling perfectly and we sailed through the night.
Friday May 11, 2007 – underway, arrival Bahamas
Through the whole trip we were only a few miles from Lily Pad so we did hourly radio calls to check on each other. Since Corstiaan is single handing his boat, so we (unnecessarily of course) were concerned about him.The plan was to pull into West End, Grand Bahama once getting to the Bahamas.But, nope…we were moving so fast we blew by there about 4:00 a.m. It is not advised to enter these places at night, so we just kept going south. The pups were getting stressed, as they hadn’t done their business for the whole day.At sun up, Ken carefully took them out to the front trampolines and they were much better after that. This was the worst time they have had aboard but they still were great and seem genuinely happy just to be with their people. About 6:300 a.m. we spoke to Lily Pad and all decided to enter for customs clearing in Bell Channel, Port Lucaya.Cindy had previously read about a marina there that a person in Brunswick had recommended.We radioed ahead and found the marina (Grand Bahama Yacht Club) had space for both our boats. Cindy had a fright when she started trying to get appropriate paperwork together, she couldn’t find the passports.But, once located, all was better. Ken did a great job bringing MTB through the channel and into our slip.So, by 10:00 a.m. we were docked in a beautiful place and happy to have had such a good crossing and successful $trip.We put up our first quarantine, yellow flag.And Ken went ashore (crew must all stay aboard!) and handled the paperwork.Once clearing customs, we proudly put up the required Bahamian flag.How fun.We took the water taxi to the market at the rowdy Port Lucaya shopping/eating areas and had ice cream cones – YUM! ….and each a rum drink, too.Corstiaan, Ken and Cindy toasted our journey with a nice bottle of champagne so graciously brought to us by the nice Captain of Lily Pad.We watched TV (a treat) to catch up on the news.Lights out at 9:00 p.m.
Saturday May 12, 2007 – Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas – Grand Bahama Yacht Club – SMOKEY (Ga, Fla fires) – pleasant breezes, 70’s calm.
What a great night of hard sleep we both had with no worries about anchors dragging or boats crashing into us. We got up and cooked bacon and eggs, English muffins.Since we have wifi, we were able to read all our emails and do posting updates.Lily Pad pulled out today and is headed to the Berry Islands. We also plan to head that direction and if Corstiaan doesn’t get too far ahead of us, we may cross paths yet again.If not, we are sure we will stay in touch with him as we have totally enjoyed getting to know him.Just hope to meet Wanda, his wife sometime.Ken got out early and scrubbed all our decks, no more love bugs, etc.Spent the afternoon at the marina pool and little café.We had a good swim and lunch.We met River and Diesel – two black Shar Pei dogs.They live aboard the motor vessel Stevie’s Wonder.Their parents said they got them both in Cincinnati.They were bred to be miniatures and Diesel is a perfect “mini Mac”…their faces are twins. Diesel is a 6 year male and River, a 1 year old female.Who would ever have thought we would find other boaters with Shar Peis aboard?
Pretty neat.We took their photos today.Yep, we all agreed the breed adapts very well to being boat dogs.Amazing.Today the discussion at the pool was the winds, and how all the weather reports we pour over just aren’t very accurate.5:30 p.m. we got on the VHF and tried to radioed Lily Pad.He heard us and we switched to two other “chatter” channels.But, we couldn’t pick him up. Finally, he gave us a fast message on the working channel, VHF 16 (not supposed to use for chatting). He said “seas smooth, on schedule”.So, that was good news.We hope to hear from him in the a.m. tomorrow as that was his planned arrival at the northern point of the Berry Islands.Ken went to the marina today to try to get some emails drafted today to go through to various friends.We were so happy to have such a strong wifi signal today.But, we couldn’t get emails out.So, will try to at least try to upload website updates.
Sunday thru Friday May 13-18, 2007 – Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas – Grand Bahama Yacht Club – We were hunkered down during these days due to Chris Parker’s and other weather forecasts. These have showed the area having “miserable” seas/winds. Chris Parker actually suggested everyone in this area of the Bahamas should stay put due to squalls and a low coming from Cuba.So, we spent these days just being totally lazy, reading eating and enjoying the pool and area.Having WIFI has been great to get back in touch with friends/family and be able to keep our website up to date. On Sunday, the 13th, Mother’s Day, marina personnel brought Cindy a beautiful, long stem red rose.How nice was that? They do number of nice things here. Each morning we get a copy of an abbreviated NY Times (with the crossword puzzle) and a weather map. Ken invented a new drink during our “down” time here. Each day, we like to make a pitcher of “Arnold LPalmer” - the combination of one lemonade and one tea flavored Crystal Lite drink mix. Ken added Rum to his glass of Arnold Palmer for a “kick”, liking the result. The rum kicks up the taste of the Arnold Palmer. Since Jack Nicklaus used to kick Arnold’s butt in golf, Ken named his new drink “Jack Nicklaus”.The animals all continue to do great.Annie, our little calico kitty, has taken to slipping through an open salon hatch and hanging out during the night on deck.She is too funny, loves being outside. When we are sailing, will have to make sure we close those hatches! Tuesday night, we had white caps in the marina area with high winds, rain, squalls. Tuesday, Ken did a very appreciated boat job that has had a wonderful result. He installed a part kit (joker valve) in the Jabsco toilet in our head. We had icky stuff flowing back into the bowl.With this correction – we now have a beautiful, clean and non-yucky toilet bowl.It’s the little things.On Thursday, we had one last lunch in Lucaya, a great Greek restaurant….wonderful pastichio and the biggest baklava we have ever seen.Thursday afternoon we spent cleaning the cockpit, securing things aboard, paying our bill, taking the dogs ashore one last time. This is all in anticipation of leaving Friday a.m. with the intention of going to the Berry Islands.
Friday May 18th, 2007 – in route to the Berry Islands - Anchor up about 7:15 a.m. and headed out of the Lucaya inlet cut, south towards the Berry Island chain.The weather beautiful, but little wind, and what there is, is all on our nose.So, we motor sailed all day which is noisier, and not our first choice.Although, we wanted to make sure we did the approximately 60 mile trip quickly to assure an afternoon arrival.Our equivalent speed was about 6 knots over land which assured that we would get to the Berry’s before dark.Shortly after we got underway, Ken put out a trolling line with a really ugly shocking pink lure.Nothing was happening with the line, but it was fun to know something COULD.Ken was reading a fishing book that said we should have about 165 feet of line out, which he knew we didn’t.So, out more line goes, of course.Minutes after Ken let out the line….WHAM…we had a hit.What a hit.Cindy was sure Ken was going to be pulled right off the back of the boat steps (the sugar scoop as called on a Catamaran).So, she made him put on a tether and get behind the steel cable that crosses the entrance to the cockpit.Pull, reel, pull, reel….Cindy slowed Meant To Be down to about 3 knots.Wear the fish out…wear the fish out. Nope, it was winning….wearing Ken out.Then, it leapt out of the water, a gorgeous Dolphin fish about 2-3 feet long (really, no kidding).It was a sight to see every time it flew out of the water.Cindy put the dogs inside (they didn’t understand why) and grabbed the digital camera but was so excited, failed to get a good photo.Pull, reel, pull, reel.Yes, the fish was still winning.But, it was coming closer to the dinghy on the back of the boat.Oh my gosh…so now what do we do?Oh yeah, get out the gaff hook.But, the boat was still underway with a full sail out, Cindy didn’t have a tether so how in the world were we going to land this big ole fish?Then it happened – WANG….the line broke and off went our fish.Probably a lucky thing, as we were totally unprepared relative to landing the guy.What a thrill for Ken.The rest of the trip was totally uneventful. On our arrival in the selected anchorage (Panton Cove) on Great Stirrup Cay, we were delighted to be the only boat there. The sky was clear, making it easiest to read the water and find the proper aqua spot with a sandy bottom.This is supposed to give better assurance that it will be a good hold for the anchor.Later in the evening, another boat called us on the VHS radio and was needing a local marina.We gave Accolade information on a marina nearby we knew he could use to clear customs (his immediate need).Later we heard him being directed into the marina by a local boat with Captain Steve who sounded very nice. Two sailboats anchored in our vicinity, but not close to us.We settled in and enjoyed happy hour with a couple glasses of red wine.Tried to hail Lily Pad, but no luck tonight.
Saturday May 19, 2007 (Happy Birthday Judy) – Panton Cove, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas – WINDY! The weather is getting more unsettled and squally.Winds and seas are picking up but the anchorage seems to be just fine.We heard from Corstiaan on Lily Pad today, and he is anchored at Devil’s Cay.We toldl him we will try to join him there on Sunday.Man, did we have alazy day.Wedid go ashore with the puppies.A cruise ship is on the other side of the island (private beach) where they unload all their passengers just for a day visit.We have been buzzed by probably 20 different groups of jets skiers today…but it is really ok as they have the new, not so noisy machines.And, one of Norweigan Cruise Line’s people lead each group, seeming to make a point not to come too close to us.Its kind of fun to watch the “water gnats”.
Sunday- Thursday May 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 2007 – Panton Cove, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas – winds 10-20 knots, seas confused and high (not in cove) on the Atlantic side through the entire week. We still are hunkered down in this idyllic place and, of course, it is absolutely not a problem. Although, we regret not being able to catch up to Lily Pad/Corstiaan.He felt it was also best that we stay here due to the reports he had heard as well. We are reading a bunch, doing a few boat jobs, enjoying boat cooking (and eating), happy hours, sunsets and playing with all the animals.We go ashore each day to give the pups exercise.They are getting very good at doing their “business” on Meant To Be’s front trampolines so we just trot out and rinse them off whenever we need to. So,sometimes when we go ashore, they don’t even need to do anything. If they do, we have our little bag retrieval system that fastens to Dempsey’s leash on his float coat. We just pull out a little bag, stick our hand in it like a glove, pick up the offensive stuff …pulling the bag up around the hand, while pulling our hand out.Works pretty darn good.Dempsey actually tried to swim some at the beach on Tuesday.Mac has accepted the boat as “home” as he now brings us a bear each time we arrive back from shore on the dinghy (if they didn’t go with us).At home, he has always brought us bears when we come back to the house. Guess that is truly his acceptance of this floating home.Sunday the 20thit rained so much, Ken had to get out during the squall to pump out the dinghy.It was getting so deep, we were afraid the gas container was going to get water in it.Also on Sunday, Cindy had a scare.A drop of anti itch product (liquid, ammonia based) got into her left eye. Luckily Ken reacted immediately by saying “water flush” and Cindy got to the head and drowned her eye for about 20 minutes. It really burned but, with some eye drops onboard, seemed to get better.It wept for several days, but by Wednesday, everything was almost back to normal.During this period of days, we have eaten very well.Spaghetti one night, grilled steaks, homemade chocolate chip cookies, homemade garlic/cheese biscuits, pork roast, macaroni/cheese and brauts, etc.Everything tastes good out here…kinda like camping!Night winds and squalls have been making so much noise, we’ve been sleeping in the salon vs. our cabin. This is fine and the dogs and Annie seem to enjoy us being closer to them through these nights.We have been setting the anchor alarm each night.Tuesday we heard another boat calling Lily Pad. We couldn’t hear Corstiaan, but gathered that he left in the a.m. headed for Nassau.The one side of conversation we could hear led us to believe conditions were not ideal. The hailing boat wished him their best.We hope we don’t lose track of Corstiaan and hope to hear from him once we are back home.Wednesday a.m.’s weather report indicated that we should think of heading toward home starting next Sunday/Monday/Tuesday timeframe.Again, we are on island time staying here until then, in the peaceful tranquility will be fine. Our only travel requirements are safety and comfort.It is hard on the dogs when to boat slams into waves vs. riding on top of them.So, we try to stay put until we can make crossings that minimize their stress when seas are more rolling, less confused.Spoiled mutts.Daughter Jess called Tuesday and the specialist saw granddaughter, Audrey in the afternoon.The Dr. wants to remove the bump on Audrey’s thyroid on May 31st.They will biopsy it at that time. We expect a good result as Jess did a great job spotting the bump early and getting it looked at quickly.Go girl, proud of you.Thursday was haircut day…Ken did a great job on trimming up Cindy’s “doo”. Still no other boats … seas still very angry off shore
Friday-Saturday – May 25, 26, 2007 – Wind and rain – gusts to 25 knots. Dempsey woke us up at 4:00 a.m. (geez), wanting to go out to the tramps. But, we can sleep whenever we want when we are at anchor, so not a problem. We girlled yummy buffalo chicken tenders for dinner on Friday night. Saturday a cruise ship arrived on the other side of the island.It was a beautiful day.We made a sign and took it to shore to post with all the other homemade boat name signs…of course, ours was the best….even painted yellow.Once a sign snob, always a sign snob. Cindy made ahead meals to eat while underway to the US - Italian sausage, marinara, spinach tortellini casserole and a tuna casserole.The dogs got to go to shore and have a long walk in anticipation of departure a on Sunday.We put up the tender and prepared the boat for a rough sail as seas will be high.We heard other cruisers at other Bahama islands talking on the radio about being out of both food, drinks, supplies due to the length of time there had been unseasonal weather/winds. Some sounded very concerned.
Sunday, Monday May 27, 28 2007 – We had hoped to up anchor early around 7:00 a.m. on Sunday.But, the rains and wind did not cooperate.We did finally get her pulled her up around 9:30 a.m. We carefully headedfor the inlet between two islands, out toward the Atlantic.The waves in the “cut” were huge, angry and crashing.This ride was very uncomfortable for all on board. Although.... ole Meant To Be did great, cresting atop each onslaught.We decided to persevere to see how the seas would be out further.Conditions improved slightly so we decided it was a go to proceed toward West End, Grand Bahama. We were doing well, and sailed through all day Sunday, Sunday night, Monday and Monday night. We had thought about stopping at West End, Grand Bahama Island…but were there about 8ish on Sunday evening so just felt lit would be best for us to keep going.This was one of our better decisions. Monday early evening, we passed Ft Pierce, Fl inlet. Once again we decided to keep going as we heard the weather in south Florida was starting to get worse.We saw a beautiful rainbow on shore near Ft. Pierce. We were getting a great “push” from the current in the Gulfstream and decided it was best to take advantage of it.By Monday night we were all very weary from dealing with the large and crashing waves.
Tuesday May 29, 2007 – arrival St. Augustine, Florida.We anchored off the old fort and were settled in and anchored securely finally around 12:30 p.m.It was so good to have the peace of this calm inlet.We spent all day on the boat, except to go in to clear Customs/Immigration with Officer Eric Garcia. He works in Jacksonville, lives in St. Augustine.So, he was able to clear us in person.This was great and he was very helpful. His help was especially appreciated as we were both pretty pooped!
Wednesday May 30, 2007 – St. Augustine - recoup and recovery day. We went to shore on Tobie (nickname for our dinghy) and had an early bird special Lobster dinner at Harry’s.Man do they know how to make Key Lime pie….WONDERFUL.We got back to MTB and put up the dinghy in anticipation of early a.m. departure for Cumberland Island, Ga.
Thursday May 31, 2007 – St. Augustine/enroute – Got up bright and early ready to leave. Cindy went out to pull up anchor.Ken started (AH...not) the engines and only the port engine fired.Starboard engine was dead dead dead.Now, how can that be when we came in on that engine with no trouble, and just had sat at anchor for two days???Ken started his amazing mental process of elimination, checking things he thought could be the problem. Well, he found that the bilge pump was not working so the engine compartment was full of water. And, its starter relay on that side had a busted connector we didn't know about. So, the extra bilge water caused what was left holding the connector together to rust away and finaly break the connection. We called St. Augustine Marine who had done our work in January.Nope, they didn’t have the part but could get it Friday.We called the municipal marina and asked who carried Yanmar parts and they recommended an affiliated marina, Comanche Cove.Ken called, they had the part in stock and even agreed to drive it to the municipal marina near where we were anchored.These people were great.So, down went Tobie into the water again.Ken takes off and on the way, Tobie died.Oh man …Ken is getting out the paddles.But, he checked a few things, figured out the issue and took off again.The nice lady from Comanche Cove was there and took care of the transaction…the exact match to the part we needed, YEAH. A $68 fix which was all right by us.Ken got back in Tobie and the Yamaha motor would not start.He called Cindy and the reaction was – “Man, what next?”.But, Ken figured out the issue (human error….different directions for a hot start and motor hadn’t cooled down), radio’d Cindy and was soon back to MTB.He put on the part, Cindy fired up the engine….YEAH. Now, what to do as it is nearly noon. Not enough time to make Cumberland Island and anchor during daylight hours.We listened to the weather and it sounded that things were going to worsen by Saturday. So, we decided to leave, sail overnight and go straight to Brunswick.Anchors up 12:00 pm.
Friday June 1, 2007 – enroute / arrival Brunswick, Ga – we approached the sea buoy at the Brunswick Channel in the dark, around 4:30 a.m.So, we did a circle, and when light enough we took down the main sail.We called the marina (Brunswick Landing Marina) on the cell phone around 8:00 a.m. and got our slip assignment.About 9:00 a.m., Sherry’s nice voice came over on the radio – she had us in sight and would be waiting for us with Cindy on dock 8, slip A.Ken did a masterful stern in approach, Cindy threw the lines to Sherry/Cindy and we were home.Just at the time we were getting off the boat, a car horn alerted us that Craig and Mary Farnsworth (new marina buddies with a Leopard as well) came by.They were so kind to take Ken to our house to pick up a car so we could take all the animals home.
Saturday Junes 2, 2007 – Brunswick Georgia – Tropical depression “BARRY” hit Brunswick with 35-40 knot winds. Man, talk about good timing and all the right decisions.Our getting home on Friday worked out so well….we know our arrival home one day ahead of Barry, was truly “Meant To Be”.
This will be our last entry until our next departure….approximately November 1, 2007!! We will be hunkered down for hurricane season, enjoying our new town/home.
St. Augustine, FL, December 14th, 2006 - MTB needed some upfits, so Ken, Cindy and Dempsey/Mac (four leggeds) sailed her down to St. Augustine Marine, arriving today. It was a 24 hour trip on the outside, with just one operable engine. But, the sailing was great. MTB navigated through her first draw bridge (Bridge of Lions) with her new Captain. Cindy was sure MTB was going to hit as the bridge was the type with a center span that moves straight upwards. But, she made here thorugh and, a decent docking was made with the absence of one engine. We know now that missing one engine does greatly impact the maneuveribiliy of our Cat. Dempsey and Mac did great on their first official sailing excursion, true sailors they were. Had a "dog overboard" incident with Mac at the dock.....but he had on his Ruff Wear float coat and we just hauled the wet, excited boy back into the starboard sugar scoop (steps on back of a catamaran).
Brunswick, Georgia, June 24th, 2006 - Saturday - After sailing 24/7 with no stops on the "outside" (meaning solely in the Atlantic vs. the Intercoastal Waterway) MTB made a very happy docking at Brunswick Landing Marina, Ga. Memories of Ken Sr. joining us onboard, flying fish, beautiful sunsets and huge container ships will stay with us forever. The arrival "home" was wonderful after passing the beautiful lighthouse at St. Simons Island. The crew was very happy to have made a safe and memorable trip. And, the folks at the Marina (thank you Sherry) were wonderful , helping make MTB's first official docking a good (well....almost) one.
Key West (Stock Island) June 20th, 2006 – Tuesday - We were all up early this morning as we were very excited about our departure. Ken got went out early to West Marine to buy a fishing pole he wanted, to drop the garbage at the dumpster and return our rental car. He was brought back to Meant To Be by around 9:00 a.m. by the nice Enterprise Rental car person. After checking a few things and making sure all was a "go", we cast off for our first adventure on our newly acquired catamaran. By 10:30 a.m. we were in the channel heading out from Stock Island to the Atlantic in search of the Gulf Stream. The first thing we found was an enourmous container ship that Cindy was sure was going to run right over our little 42' vessel. Finally, Ken Sr. radio'd the container ship captain who very gratiously informed us to hold our course and he would pass our starboard side.....yep, by about 6 miles. Oh well...distances look different on the water.
Key West (Stock Island) June 16, 17, 18, 19. 2006 – Friday to Monday. After two years of attending boat shows, doing research and dreaming, on Friday, 06-16-06, we closed the deal to buy Mahi Mahi, our 42’ Robertson & Caine, owner’s version 2004 Leopard Sailing Catamaran. We arrived on the 15th in Brunswick, Georgia after driving from our home in Greenville, S.C. We spent the night Thursday in Brunswick. Very early Friday, Ken’s step mom Becky and our friend Diane drove us (Cindy, Ken & Ken, Sr.) to the Jacksonville airport. We grabbed a one way flight to Key West, arriving just before lunch. We rented our car and headed to the boat dock. We happily boarded our newly acquired catamaran, Mahi Mahi and set about chosing rooms, unpacking, and getting settled in. We had a lot of fun exploring, getting more acquainted with our boat. We needed lunch and training. So we set out, intent on finding a Captain to give us some instruction specifically related to our Catamaran. Luckily several very “happy” (a/k/a drunk...it was Friday afternoon afterall) fellows at the end of our dock recommended "Captain Dennis" owner of Sailshare. Everyone said he was the best sailer on the dock, anywhere around. Cindy had actually corrresponded with him previousl to leaving Greenville, but our dates didn't work with his schedule. We hadn’t gotten back to him when our purchase/closing was delayed. We called him that afternoon, left a message. Luckily for us, he called back shortly and we arranged to have a lesson beginning at 8:00 a.m the next day. Captain Dennis was wonderful. He showed us so much about our new vessel. He highlighted things like which filters need frequent cleaning; how the water maker worked; etc. Captain Dennis owns several catamarans himself, so he was a wealth of knowledge. He provided so much useful information about the equipment unique to our catamaran. His teaching style was appreciated by all of us. He explained the WHY of everything that we were doing vs. telling us what to do. We worked with our specific chart plotter, the radar, dropped anchors, reefed sails…etc., etc. He noticed our main sail halyard had worn spots (the survey mentioned this as well) and recommended it be replaced before we left Key West. So, off to West Marine we went for a bosun’s chair and new halyard. The next day, Sunday/FATHER’S DAY – Captain Dennis surveyed his available crew (Cindy, Ken, Dad) and decided he would go up the mast, as he had the best knowledge of the rigging. Up we hoisted him...he even asked to take our camera up for photos. Captain D was wonderful to us and we greatly appreciate his knowledge/assistance. Again on Monday, he came and covered all that we could. We went sailing and over to the marina to fill up the multiple diesel tanks (165 gallons total - ouch!). All went well as on the two prior days. But, on our return to dock....a near disaster. We caught an underwater dock line anchored out, but secured to our neighbor’s boat. Captain Dennis tried to help Ken maneauver out of the situation, but the current & winds were not cooperating. Captain Dennis decided it would be best to jump in, go down under and see if he could get Mahi Mahi free. He was calm and patient, instructing each crew member what to do. He carefully got us free by moving the lines by hand along the underside of the boat. He suffered some scratches to his person, but no harm came to either boat, the dock, nor any lines. This although, did make a lasting impression with Cindy and caused a great deal of fear and trepidation relative to thoughts of future docking endeavors. Although, the way our Key West slip was situated at the dock and how the neighbor’s boat was secured were not ideal, nor typical. The final approach and docking went smoothly. We determined Tuesday June 20th would be a good departure day as the weather would be good, the leaking toilet had been replaced, we had a new halyard and Captain Dennis felt we knew our boat well. So, Cindy went off to Albertson’s Monday night for provisions. When she got back, Mahi Mahi had disappeared....and “MEANT TO BE” was in her place....her name had been changed while gone.....nice owning a sign company and knowing how to do vinyl graphics! Groceries were unloaded and stowed. Time to TRY to sleep…were we excited?????
May 27, 2006 – Memorial Day Weekend. We flew from Greenville, S.C. to Key West for the day. We went to sea trial a boat we had only seen in pictures on the internet and in emails. Bob Ross at the Moorings arranged for us to see the boat. Mike from the Moorings and a friend of his met us to take "Mahi Mahi" out for her test sail.The boat’s owner, Captain Joe Glenn was in Europe. As soon as we stepped into the cockpit, we felt we were home. This was a very nice, like new catamaran, complete with all the equipment we had put on our very long list of "wants"! As soon as we motored out of the channel….along came a pod of Dolphins. We commented that the Key West Chamber of Commerce must have sent them. Not much wind on this day, but Mahi Mahi sailed fine, and we were happy. It was hard to go back to the dock, get off and go home! Thanks Mike. Now, let the negotiations, surveys, etc. begin.