Lee Stocking Island, Exuma, Bahama

It’s Time for some awesome adventures!

Wow.. I am so excited; we decided to do more exploring. We came into Square Rock Cut off the Atlantic from George Town.  After crossing the Andros, and seeing how the actual depth is different from charted depth, we decided to cruise the inside route of the Exuma’s.  Now remember we draft 5’9” feet; so with that said, if you draft 5’9” feet you should be able to do the same route.  I have been wanting to do this. I am so happy.

After we came into Square Rock Cut, we had to go between these two points to get to the anchorage. It was like threading a needle. There are shallows which we have to keep an eye out for.  But look other sailboats are anchored there too; so no problem right?  We anchored the night behind Rat Cay.  This was a narrow anchorage with shallow water behind us.  Not the best anchorage.

IMGP1467

After we anchored for the night, we decided to pull up anchor and head towards Lee Stocking Island.  We took the inside route from Rat Cay to Lee Stocking Island.  Charted depth on this route is about 5 feet.  The lowest depth we saw at high tide was 10 feet.

IMGP1472

What an adventure, here at Lee Stocking Island in the Exuma’s we snorkeled and investigated an awesome research Center. We drove our dinghy over to a beach area near the facility and walked up to the Ghost town of the Marine Research Center. You are asked apparently by the ground keeper to not tie your dinghy’s up to the dilapidated docks that have been beaten up by nature and is unsafe to walk on.  

IMGP1598

Just off the path from the beach to the street we found this old… Well not sure what it was. I started laughing and called it an outhouse until I noticed this ladder on the back side.

IMGP1599

We reached the road.  This was first view of the area. It is not a long walk

IMGP1601

The First building was full of lonely old aquariums that held fish and crustaceans. I can just imagine all of the great research that was done here.

  LeestockingAquriums

There was a huge salt water pond and a number of large reservoirs for the research center.  We had seen the same types of huge water tanks that held fish at the Put-In-Bay Research facility in Ohio.

IMGP1609

This is a cute little bridge that connects the research center to the housing and other work areas.  This bridge covers a small inlet of pipes that connected the pond to the ocean.

IMGP1610

What an interesting place. Although it would be nice to have a tour guide or pamphlet to use for a guide.  Numerous deserted homes dotted the area.  We did not go into them.

IMGP1621

We believe this is the pantry. The silver box is a huge refrigerator box. And the shelving seems like a place to store food.   

IMGP1622

Sheila noticed this flower brush. She said it’s called a  Bougainvillea. It has a soft sweet smell.  

IMGP1626

At first we thought this was a grave yard; however, after looking at it, it appears to be a foundation for a building.

IMGP1631

The area was full of what looked like really nice homes and storage buildings.

IMGP1634

Bryce found the generator building that once created electricity for the facility.  It was a large Volvo engine.  It appeared to be still usable.  We is in heaven with all that stuff.

IMGP1641

Power house once held electrical panels that apparently had been scavenged.

IMGP1643

Sheila touched the white sandstone; some of it crumbled to soft sand.  

IMGP1644

We wanted to explore more so we took a walk. Wow.. This must have been quite beautiful in its heyday.

IMGP1646

Sheila found this cute little shell..

IMGP1649

Look what we found: an airport.  If you land here, you may have to dodge a few trees as you land.

IMGP1652

We headed back and on our way back I took this photo of the water side view of the research Center.  The whole town was surrounded by beautiful palm trees.

IMGP1659

The day was still early so we took our stuff to the beach and enjoyed a few hours of playing.  Our anchorage was one of the best we have had in the Bahamas.  We were protected on three sides in a bay that had a charted depth of 3 feet.  Actual depth was 8 feet at low tide and 10.5 at high tide.

IMGP1663

Sheila and Bryce were keeping an eye on me so I didn’t float away.

IMGP1666

I enjoyed my floating chair very much. We went snorkeling and the fish were so beautiful.  It was like snorkeling in a salt water aquarium.

IMGP1668

Sheila did not want to snorkel so she investigated the beach area. 

IMGP1672

This is Joe, Bob, Tim and De. They are renting a Catamaran out of George Town and are three brothers 

IMGP1677

Okay enough playing time to head back to Beauty and relax before dinner.

IMGP1682

I did a tiny bit of research on the research Center here at Lee Stocking Island. During 1984 to 2012 the island was the host to NOAA marine research center for Stormatolites that are found off shore of the island. I spoke with a local guide who told me a hurricane came though and destroyed the research center. The Island was rented to the Americans or owned and they didn’t want to rebuild the center. How sad is that.

You can always see where we are at at https://trackmytour.com/2p4qC

image

Thanks for following us!Red rose

George Town-Stocking Island Bahamas

A week in George Town

Well, we have left George Town. But while we were in George Town we picked up a hitchhiker all the ways from Michigan. Her name is Sheila she is Bryce’s sister. It is really nice to enjoy her company. While in George Town we took a exploration hike along the Atlantic side of Stocking Island. It was so beautiful.

This is Sheila and Bryce such a great sibling love…. 

IMGP1337

We followed a well marked path to the East side of Stocking Island.  The trail markers were a variety of things hung from trees and poles like this.

IMGP1338

It was such a nice area the path looked so tropical.  Small palm trees and bushes lined the well worn path.

IMGP1345

Sheila & Jane went off to explore the shore.  The winds on the Atlantic side stirred up the waves.

IMGP1357

Small fish swam in all the little tide pools. We saw little plants growing in them along with other sea creatures.

IMGP1368

Bryce found this cute shell in one of the tide pools.

IMGP1370

I found a bench Smile and relaxed for a spell.

IMGP1379

What am I? I move along the ocean on the hard rocky coral.

IMGP1382

It imbeds itself into this dry area of the coral. You can see the white that surrounds it after it dies.  It does its job of building the reefs.

IMGP1385

Bryce found a part of a keel of a boat. Its where the prop shaft goes though the hull.  The boat did not last long after loosing this!

IMGP1392

I love this picture he is so focused on something..

IMGP1396

Shelia is finding treasures.

IMGP1407

Look at that wave… It’s going to break along the rocky reef barrier.

IMGP1411

We need surf boards or body boards. How much fun that would be.  These off shore swells often originate 1000 miles away.

IMGP1413

This is such a cute Stone Crab. We found this little guy on our way back to the path.  Just kind of strolling the beach.

IMGP1417

After we arrived back to the boat, Bryce thought we were leaving right a away and didn’t tie the dingy very well.  And it floated away. Thanks goodness we had the jet-ski.

IMGP1425

A while later we took Sheila up to show her Chat-Chill.  This is a small tiki-hut bar and grill.

IMGP1456

The Bar at Chat & Chill collect t-shirts from all over the world.

IMGP1435

George watch out; dad is petting another cat.  There were three of these kitties roaming the beach.

IMGP1438

My BFF.. she is okay standing in the water as long as the stingrays are not around. 

IMGP1444

Two water taxis came in to carry people back to George Town.  These are tourists from George Town that are out exploring.

IMGP1450

Sunset came and we packed our stuff up and headed back to beauty. What a great day.

IMGP1429

Thanks for following our blog!Red rose

Marathon Florida, Down the west side of Andros to George Town

We have had numerous requests for the conditions of our sail and our specific route from Marathon Florida to George Town.  On the charts, it appears to be a bit shallow.  However, we found quite the opposite.  The water was quite deep and only became shallow near shores.  In general, the water goes from deep to shallow quite slowly on the Banks

Our crossing of the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas Bank is shown below.  We sailed a comfortable crossing under a first reef.  The actual crossing to the edge of the banks was about 130 miles and it took about 15 hours.  It was all beam winds (and beam waves & swells) at about 15 knots.  We took a small jog around an 8.2 foot shallow, but in hindsight, this was probably not necessary. 

The chart showed 18 feet as we crossed into the banks, but we noticed the actual depths remained over 100 feet in this region and the depths shallowed slowly.  Going across the banks, the depths were much deeper than charted.  We finally decided, the charted depths must indicate the shallowest areas, but the average depth is not actually apparent.  Near shore, the depths were closer, but still about 2 feet higher than charted even considering tide.

0_IMGP1331

On the wind prediction below, I have drawn our route in red.  It predicts 15 knot winds for noon on Thursday the day we left.  This chart shows ideal wind conditions for a crossing of the Gulf Stream.  AS shown, we prefer south winds to blow in direction of the Gulf Stream current.  The Gulf Stream often flows over 2 mph along the Florida coast.  If the winds are the opposite direction (from the north), waves become uncomfortable because the winds oppose the current. 

Wave predictions were 3-6 feet and that’s what we saw when we left.  These waves settled down over the next 15 hours of our crossing to the banks.  However, the waves were beam to and the winds were beam to.  This wind and wave direction makes the crossing very fast and very comfortable.  Our boat prefers beam seas and beam waves.  Our speeds varied from about 8 to 10.5 mph under a first reef.

On the flip side, we would never take a power boat across in these conditions.  Beam to waves on a bridge boat are extremely uncomfortable.  So power boaters require different crossing criteria than sail boaters.  For those that are unaware, in addition to about 30,000 miles on our sailboat, we have that many miles on our power boat.

009

The wave predictions below show the waves are expected to be 1-2 meters on our route at noon the day we left.  We actually left our mooring ball just before noon.  These are the wave heights we saw when we left, but these waves settled quickly to probably 1-3 feet with maximum 6 foot swells.   The swells are not predicted on the wave charts.

015

The next day (Friday), after crossing the Gulf Stream, the winds switched direction 180 degrees and turned Northerly.  This wind switch was a key point in our decision process to sail the western shore of Andros.  These Northers over the next few days would propel us down the western shore of Andros.  And the island of Andros would shield us from the winds and waves while we were anchored.  So in spite of what people thought of our course, this was a well orchestrated cruise.

033

In addition to local wind and wave conditions, we look at the predictions for waves and winds on the wide Atlantic so we can get an idea of the swells that may be coming from 1000 miles away.  These swells are rarely indicated on the wave charts, so a vigilant sailor always looks at wave and wind conditions thousands of miles away.  This is particularly critical for power boaters, who often find the wave heights are higher than predicted and a different direction due to swells from 1000 miles away.

We also look at the pressure charts to see where the low pressure areas are and where they are going.  These are all factors we consider when making a crossing or any time we jump out into the ocean.  Its not that we can’t handle heavy seas, but we prefer to be comfortable.  We are always looking a week to 10 days in advance before any movement of the boat.

As an example, the wind chart below shows the winds on the day of our crossing and it shows the strong southerly winds in the North Atlantic.  These winds were also southerly and easterly on the day before.  We are most concerned about wide area winds and waves on the days leading up to our crossing because those conditions often determine the wave swell height and direction we will see from far away.

We rarely go out when the day before had very high winds and waves in a wide area that are directed to our intended route.  On Wednesday before we left, the waves were 6-12 feet.  However, these swells coming from the Atlantic would be tempered by the Bahama Banks because they were coming from the south east.  In the North Atlantic, the 35 knot winds are blowing from the south, so North Atlantic swells will not bother us.  Now if the winds had been northers in the North Atlantic, particularly in the days leading up to our crossing, it could cause uncomfortable swells on a crossing to Bimini.

012

On the second night, we anchored at waypoint location 1460:  N 24 20.696’ W 78 12.821’  water depth was 8.6’ at low tide; charted depth was 5.9’.  Low tide was about 0.2 feet below zero.  We were shocked to see anchored closer to shore was the 150 foot boat Flamingo Explorer (10 foot draft).  The winds were North at about 15 knots, but we were protected from most waves by Andros and the shallow water.  This is one of the coolest things about the Bahama Banks.  Even in high winds, the waves can’t get very high because of the shallow water.  And the huge Atlantic swells only make it a short distance onto the banks.  So sailing the Bahama Banks are like sailing a gigantic shallow lake.

3_IMGP1326

The Northers continued into Saturday where we anchored at waypoint 1465: N 23 54.300’ W 77 53.458.  Again, we anchored at a charted depth of 5.9’ which was actually 8’ at low tide (0.2 feet below zero).  High tide depth was a bit over 10 feet.  North winds were about 15-20 knots most of the night.  Waves were a comfortable due to shallow water.

4_IMGP1325

Looking at an overall map of our Andros route, After getting to the banks, we made our way down the western Shore of Andros.  The winds were north at 15-20 knots, out of the port quarter.  So the sailing was fabulous in the shallow waters of about 20 feet.  Charted depth was 8-11 feet.  So water depth was much deeper than the charts indicated.

After leaving our anchorage at 1465 on Sunday morning, the winds turned south, so we tacked to waypoint 1467 shown on the chart below. Again, the winds were about 15 knots, so another great sail.  This small jog due to winds on our nose lead us around some shallows at the bottom of Andros.  Although in better winds, this tack would not have been so far out.  Waypoint 1467 is: N 23 32.679’ W 78 07.650’

1_IMGP1291

These Southerly winds lasted for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  The winds allowed us to sail all the way across the bottom of Andros below the Tongue of the Ocean all the way through Comers Channel as the wind chart shows below and the GPS map shows above.  Again, this was part of our carefully choreographed route that we had been planning prior to our leaving Marathon Florida.

096

After tacking at waypoint 1467, we headed toward 1472 through the reef area shown below.  Again, this depth is deeper than show on the charts.    We anchored Sunday night at 1472; depth was 11.3’ at low tide (-0.2 feet).  This anchorage was a bit rough due to winds that were peaking at 26 knots.

 

At waypoint 1474 we had a soft grounding on what we think was a wreak.  It was too close to the shipping lane coming out of the Tongue of the Ocean to be a shallow.  However, heavy rain prevented us from seeing the bottom.  We were cruising under only headsail and motor through the reef for safety in case we ran into shallow water.  In 18 feet of water, the front depth gauge suddenly changed to 7.7 feet.  We released the Gen sheet and backed away and went a hundred yards north around it toward 1473.  After this, the rest of the trip was uneventful.  At waypoint 1479 the way-pointed depth is 17.7 feet.

1472 N 23 25.127’ W 77 43.079 Anchorage.  A bit rough, south winds peaked at 26 knots during the night.

1474 N 23 22.315 W 77 36.649  Shipwreck near the shipping lane.  Stay away.

1473 N 23 19.867 W 77 31.119

1475 N 23 16.539 W 77 27.563

1479 N 23 12.384 W 77 17.751

1482 N 23 09.711 W 77 02.508

5_IMGP1324

We continued on out of the reef through the deeper waters below the Tongue of the Ocean.  The typical water depth was 26 feet between waypoint 1482 and 1483.  The south winds allowed us to sail till about 9 pm where we anchored Monday night near waypoint 1489.  We decided not to go on through the night into the shallows beyond 1489 as we did not know what to expect.   Particularly since we had no moon and we were not on a sailing line.  It was a very pleasant anchorage with barely any waves in 24 feet of water.   Winds were light, below 10 knots.

Since this area near 1489 seemed so shallow, we place the GPS waypoint 1489 near the charted depth 8.2 feet.  This was deeper than the 6.6 foot areas around it.  We were surprised to see that this whole area was no less than 25 feet deep!!  We are not sure what is going on with charted depth here, because in the daytime, we were unable to see any shallows visually.

We cruised through the next area below and noticed water depth was quite deep.  We dodged any charted shallow areas and I think minimum depth we saw was about 16 feet through the area shown in the chart below to 1494 at the entrance to Comer Channel.

 

1483 N 23 12.067’ W 76 33.831’  Actual depth is 25.4 feet

1485 N 23 12.871’ W 76 22.200’  Actual depth 26 feet

1489 N 23 15.227’ W 76 18.766’ Actual depth 26.0 feet

1491 N 23 16.731’ W 76 10.468’ Actual depth 25.3 feet 

1492 N 23 17.800’ W 76 01.979’ Actual depth 21.6 feet

1493 N 23 20.135’ W 75 43.755’ Actual depth 21.9 feet

1494 N 23 20.328’ W 75 32.592’

6_IMGP1328

The final path through Comer Channel all the way to George Town is shown below.  We came through Comer Channel around White Cay point at high tide.  The minimum depth we saw was about 9  feet.  We followed the sailing line.  It could be the depth may be deeper off the sailing line.  An east-south-east wind blew us through this area all the way to 1497.  At which point the winds turned north-east, we dropped sails and ploughed through the waves on our nose.  We dropped anchor at 11 pm in the protection of the harbor.

1495 N 23 19.514’ W 75 24.151’

1496 N 23 20.765’ W 75 19.980’

1497 N 23 24.416’ W 75 19.443’

7_IMGP1329

We Said Our Good Byes to Marathon FL and Hello to Andros Bahamas

So much as happened

Where Do I began? My mind is racing, so I will back up to the 22nd of January. Hey… We received George’s paperwork. Come on you must know how excited we are.. Can you picture me dancing? LOL Bryce has been Looking at the weather windows. I’ve been listing to the chatter. Nobody is leaving but us.  Bryce found us a window for our crossing.  It was a perfect 15 mph south wind to get us to the Bahamas Bank.

Crossing to Bimini was not good because of the expected heavy winds in northern Bahamas.  In the southern Bahamas, a 5 day crossing to George Town provided weather window that was about as good as it was ever going to get.  The southern route was also appealing because it always keep us in shallow water.  For years, we wanted to explore the western side of Andros.  We have already gone the northern route through Bimini, so we wanted to do something different.  Our actual way-pointed route is shown below.  The long jut from southern Andros comes from a tack due to winds on our nose and the shoaling near the southern tip.  We actually sailed through the reefs at the bottom of Andros, below the tongue of the ocean, as there is a nice channel through.

AndrosRoute

We are tied to a mooring ball in Boot Key harbor Marathon.  We have a lot to get done. Bryce filled up all the tanks, you know water, diesel, gas.  We have had strong winds gusting so bad that on Wednesday night around midnight we flew out of bed.  Something bad happened, we could hear it hit the jet ski as she fell from the sky and sank in the dark waters; to be forever gone.

Tears ran down my cheeks as I looked over at Bryce shaking his head.. “ I knew this was going to happen.. Why didn’t I use a stronger pipe?” he mumbled. I replied Crap happens!! It was a cheap wind turbine that Bryce wanted to test.  We can order a new one, I guess you might be wondering what I am babbling about? We said goodbye to our new wind generator Her name would have been Milly  for windmill.. LOL You all know how I like giving thing names.  As we pictured her sinking to the bottom of Boot Key Harbor. We tried to get a few more hours of sleep but come on you know when something like this happens neither one of us slept well.

RIP Milly…. Sunrise came about 6:30 a.m. We did call OCD to see if they would come dive for it but the water was to stirred up with all the strong winds They wouldn’t chance it.

IMGP1190

Okay, now life goes on right? Thursday still looks like the perfect window for us. However we would not be able to go to Bimini due to the weather in northern Bahamas. We have decided to sail the South side of Andros Bahamas. But in the mean time, we still had to get groceries and laundry done. Let me not forget George has to go to the vet too. All of this has to get done.

So we said our goodbyes to Marathon till next time

leaving bootkey

One of the first things I noticed floating on the ocean were Man-of-war’s.  Always see a lot of these guys new Marathon.

 IMGP1244

George is fully recuperated from his visit to the vet.

IMGP1246


Night 1: As dusk approaches, we continued our crossing to the Bahamas. It was a very good crossing for the most part.  We had 15 knot southerly beam winds that zipped us through the 24 hour crossing.  We averaged about 8 mph and Beauty peaked at 10.5 mph as she flew across the Gulf Stream.  Nearing 3 a.m. we started seeing lightning thinking it was probably heat lighting. We didn’t think much of it. About an hour later the heat lighting turned into multiple thunder storms.  It rained, but not too long.  After about 130 miles, we were in the calm shallows of the Bahama Banks.

Just after we got to the Bahama Banks, the winds shifted 180 degrees to a northerly beam wind.  This was the reason we felt a Bimini run would not be good.  However, these moderate northers over the next few days would propel us down the western shore of Andros.  Northern Bahamas was seeing much higher Northers.

IMGP1254

The second day was sunny and warm as we scooted across the banks to our first anchorage.

IMGP1250

Night 2 after crossing the Atlantic Ocean. We anchored in South Andros just North of Goose River in the Bahamas. We had 8 feet at low tide of water. Charted depth is 6 feet. Water temp is 75 degrees.  We were shocked to see we were not alone!  We anchored near this vessel named: Flamingo Explorer. She is a 150 ft long and drafts 10 feet.  She was anchored closer to shore than us! They reached out to us and invited us over for coffee in the morning, but we slept in.  We thought perhaps we might reach the BTC cell towers on the east side of Andros, but no go.

IMGP1255

Night 3 Well another great day to sail with 20 knot winds. Today we sailed around 38 miles; beam wind, 1st reef. We are anchored near Muddy Point. The water depth is 10 feet at high tide and water temperature is 76 degrees. Our anchor is fully set into sand. It was a bit rolly because we are about 5 miles off shore.  And winds are 20 knots but with Shallow water, waves are only a few feet max.

IMG_2021

Night 4 We anchored south of the Southern tip of Andros in the reef area.  No BTC towers within 100 miles. The sky’s look like they will start crying soon. Sure hope it doesn’t get to rough in the rainstorm. Because we are anchored without much protection, but the winds are expected to be light tonight. Okay, with all that said. It was an uneasy night.  We rocked and rolled all night. nearing 6 a.m. we heard a loud bang. Bryce and I ran to the cockpit and checked the Anchor alarm and interments. The Anchor alarm  went off. Bryce ran out to the anchor. It was thundering and lighting  Holly crap… That is putting it mildly. His face said it all. I cannot believe it… The anchor-line  broke off.  The bow roller stopped turning and the line wore it down to the bolt.  It then frayed and broke.  We lost about 60 feet of chain and of course we said good buy to Dan Senior. The weather didn’t permit us to go diving for it. 

IMG_2027

Night 5. Still no internet.  You are not going to believe this.. We sailed until around 9:00 p.m. Waves became small; less than one foot because the winds laid down to around 9 mph. Water Temp 78; water depth 26 feet. It was overcast most of the day. Okay, get this.. this morning after leaving our anchorage in the reef, we Bumped into something..  we thought maybe a shipwreck because it was almost on the shipping lane through the reef. Light grounding no issue.  Later that day Bryce took Dan Junior up and hooked him up. We also still have Delta as our back-up/sea-weed anchor. 

IMG_2028

On day 5, as we headed to Comers Channel (near George Town), we tagged BTC a cell tower and learned of a miscommunication concerning our where-abouts.  Thanks to Glenn Tuttle in Boot Key harbor for reposting the chart that we posted on Facebook and text messages showing our intended 400 mile route and the number of days we expected to take.   As a side note, we have two PLBs that are registered with the Coast Guard for emergency.

Night 6 we drop anchor in George Town at 11 pm.  It was a very dark night,  no moon, so we came in under instruments.  Good to be back in the protection of land again.

Remember trackmytours is wear I blog all our anchorages. https://trackmytour.com/2p4qC  

IMG_2029

Thanks for following usRed rose

USB Ports and Wind Generator: Marathon, FL

Work..Work..and workI don't know smile

Well, it’s another day here in Marathon. Last Summer on our powerboat we installed USB ports. They are awesome! This allows me to charge my phone and run my fan at night without running a generator or inverter. I ordered four more for the sailboat. It’s the little thing in life. This is one of our USB fans. I ordered them from amazon. They are amazing, I think they run better the a 120v fan.  And they draw considerably less power.

usb


Okay to help increase the power in the sailboat we are installing a wind generator. Believe me it’s not getting installed without a few unrepeatable words. My poor ears. LOL  I think I should learn how to drive that darn dinghy so I can escape at times like this. Rolling on the floor laughing Bryce has tried several times to teach me how to drive the dingy.  I just can’t control the darn thing using a stick for a steering wheel. 

Okay, back to the new Wind generator. We are at the local Home Depot. We need a pole to mount the Wind generator on.  Of course, it’s like playing with an Erector set as a kid.  Or I think of it like a puzzle. Piece by piece Eye rolling smile You must have the right pieces for things to fit together.

IMG_2546

The putting together of the Wind generator. It Works!!!

puzzle

We took a night off and went back to Overseas pub. I think it has become one of our favorite stops.  This old sub is next to it. I can’t even imagine someone fitting into this tiny thing.

IMG_2550

We were Celebrating the finishing of the painting on Beauty. 

IMG_2553

I call this the three amigos (three sailboats), It starts with SoLuna, then Beauty and then Three Penny Opera. As we dingy back in the dark, we look for these three mast head lights.  They are quite distinctive.  They are our guiding lights at night.

IMG_2564

Update on Georges Paperwork.

I’ve been dealing with the department of Ministry of Agriculture in the Bahamas.  A permit is required for any pets going into the Bahamas. However it seems as if they never get my paperwork along with the money order no matter how many times one follows the instructions.  Now they say they have no post office and I should resend everything without the p.o. box.

Okay enough is enough. I have never had such an issues in the past. We were at a happy hour up at the “Teaky” hut. Someone told us to go through Wellington.  He is a guy in the Bahamas that you email your pet paper work to.  Everything goes through the internet; no more of this crap of dealing with Faxes or expensive Mailing fees.  You send everything to him supposedly you get back everything in the email and sooner.  

This is George enjoying my new USB port and fan.

IMG_2577

This was taken last night as we finished up with the Wind Generator

IMG_2574 

Thanks for following our blog!Red rose

Updated Make–Over On Beauty: Marathon, FL

It’s just Magical

Wow…I am so thrilled at the results of her make over. She has dimension now; much more detail on her. I just don’t understand how she had three colors on her non-skid. In the last blog I told you that she had peach/tan and white and gray. The faded gray looked the best to me, so I wanted the non-skid to be gray. I sure hope that this is a good product. I guess time will tell how Interlux-Deck non-skid paint will work.  She feels like a new boat.

LOL.. Last year a new Little Red engine, this year paint the non-skid and next year new interior cusions.  We have a few more projects underway before we untie from Q3 mooring ball and set sail.  I just can’t wait…..Smile  There was so much going on this past weekend but we missed it all. We knew we had to finish painting. There will be time to play again.

This was Saturday:  Bryce painted the side decks. Poor guy painted all day and ended at dusk.

IMGP1096

Both port and starboard side is done… Look the top deck is dried!! I put a towel under the chairs just to make sure the paint is fully dry I didn’t want any scratches. 

IMGP1100

(Sunday)Bryce started with the Starboard side cockpit so we could get in and out of the boat. It looks so much nicer when the tape is removed. This shot is from the starboard wheel side.

IMGP1115

(Sunday)Look at the before shot. She looks so colorless.

IMGP1090

Sunday evening we went out to eat. Before we walked to the local Public grocery store, we stopped at Overseas again. Bryce is having the octopus serve him a beer. It is a well deserved beer after all his hard work today.

IMG_2538  

(Monday) Can you tell the difference? This shot is from the companionway. Bryce just removed the tape.  Bryce is painting the last half tonight as we go in for the night. So tomorrow we will be able to walk on the Starboard side. It takes two days to be completely dried to walk on.  Some call this the cockpit; I call it  “Jane’s patio”. Smile 

IMGP1117

This is the sugar scoop; even it has non-skid. I call it a boat painting because there was so much non-skid. This is where we get on and off the boat.

IMGP1108

Well today is Tuesday. Bryce finished up the painting last night. Now it will take a few days to dry. With the wind and low temps it’s taking a while to dry. My table top in my patio. I am madly in love with this make over. 

IMGP1132

Now lets hope this paint holds up! No shoes on board for a while. She really needs time to dry (cure). As I said further up, the winds and chilly air along with the condensation she is taking longer to dry. 

IMGP1131

Even the sugar scoop is done. 

IMGP1142

She is dry to touch but I found out she is not ready for lawn chairs yet.  Tonight we go out to celebrate Bryce’s hard work and Beauty’s new look. Martini glass 

IMGP1136

This lazy cat. I told George I was giving him away. No more waiting on him to leave! LOL.. I think Bryce would miss him, so I better keep the spoiled cat.

IMGP1141

Thanks for following our blog!Red rose

Plenty of Chores To Do: Marathon, FL

Ants-in-pants

Hello; hope life is going well for you all. I am getting restless, so hopefully we leave soon. But in the meantime Bryce is getting things done on the boat. We bought paint to repaint the skid area on the boat a few years ago. However it seems like the boat is under a nasty tree dropping stuff all over the boat or it’s in a boat yard with other boaters sanding boats next to us; so the painting never got done.  So the time is now. We been asked what type of paint Bryce using. It’s Interlux- Deck paint with non-skid finish.  She is starting to look like a new boat to me.  We are not done; but I will leave the final pics for our the next get together. She has had three different colors that we can tell: white, peach, and gray. The gray seems to be the original color. I am loving the new face-lift of Beauty.

This photo is Bryce doing the initial cleaning.

IMGP1031

The taping takes such a long time. He started with the anchor hatch. We had heard that the paint would be runny; but it was a bit thick.

IMGP1038

The anchor hatch is done.. I think she looks amazing; fabulous job sweetie..

IMGP1067

Now to the top deck. We are doing it in sections.

IMGP1062

The top deck is painted… There is still so much to be done. Where Bryce is standing is the side deck. We will start them today (Saturday)

IMGP1073

Okay, after seeing people standing up in their dinghy.  I tried to get use to it; I just can’t. LOL I keep hearing a voice in my head Jane sit down before you fall out. That is what my parents would say as my brother would row me in our little row boat.  It seems one of the boaters fell off his dingy and the prop cut him up good.  Needed something like 30 stitches.

standingupboat

The fun never ends here in Marathon. We met Jon & Diane on the Erie Canal 2 years ago. We followed each other on FB. When Diane heard we were going to be here, she contacted me and said they would be here on the first. We finally met up at the Sunset grill and had a great dinner and a Tsunami.  Its a drink made for two.  I am surprised I was able to walk back to our dinghy after they dropped us off at the marina. LOL

sunsetgrilljondiane2019

This is Trampus. That is his Cat in the background.  They were having dinner with his parents at the Sunset grill when we were there and he introduced us to them.  What great people. Anyways his parents were headed home the following day and he delivered two bottles of wine to me that were from his parents. Oh my aching head..LOL Thank you so much all of you for such a lovey gift and a wonder time.

IMGP1029

That evening we were invite over to join Rachel, Trampus and their two lovely sons Tripp and Carrick.  We had our first Vegan meal and it was pretty delicious. Hamburgers made of sweet potatoes and oatmeal. What a great family enjoy your adventures on your beautiful Catamaran SoLuna.    Our Prayers go out to Trampus and his family they will be flying home soon for he lost his grandma.

Soluna

The following evening we joined up with Jim and Shirley from Perfect Love for dinner and drinks. Although, I must say I wasn’t up to drinking. LOL Our prayers go out to Jim & Shirley. Jim lost his father and flew home. 

JimShirley2019

One more night of fun. We went over to a couple’s boat Steve & Zoila. Their boat name is Miss Rita. It was a great night.

IMG_2531

She officered us lots of appetizers… Yummy night.. Thanks for your wonderful hospitality 

IMG_2527

Thanks to all of you for following our blog!Red rose

Lending A Helping Hand in Marathon, FL & Road Trip

It seems like it has been awhile since we have last spoken; so I figured I would update our status. FYI, we are still in Marathon waiting for paperwork for George. A little bit has happened that I will share with you. I hosted my first appetizer and cocktail party on Beauty. It was awesome but I forgot how to use a camera that night. Thanks to Rachel and Trampus and their two sons along with Jim and Christy for joying us. We also met up with Shirley and Jim from Perfect Love. Awesome time!

The funniest things can happen when you least expect it.  On New Years Day we were sipping our morning coffee on the deck listening to the cruiser net when a call from another boater came across during “Question, comments, people needing help”.  A boat named  “Scalywag” was asking if he could get about 10 guys to help move a mast from one marina (Marathon marina) to City Marina.  Anyways I asked Bryce if he wanted to help out. He already had the microphone in hand volunteering.


A few hours passed.  While I was doing some cleaning I faintly heard “Jane” As I ran up the companionway I heard “Grab the camera.” I hesitated; thinking by the time I ran across the salon, it would be too late. I was right but it’s awesome to have a zoom lens.

IMGP0959

They had laid the 54 foot mast lengthwise on a 17 foot boat to move it across the harbor.

IMGP0963

Bryce was on the bow as the helmsman navigated through the mooring field.  One of the other guys dragged our dingy to the City Marina area.

IMGP0969

Here is the mast after they had placed it on the boat.  This shows 9 people, Bryce was the tenth.

IMG_2790

The time has finally arrived; It was time to rent a car. We went into Naples for a hair appointment and up to St. Petersburg to see some friends: Mike & Miranda.  These two sailed with us from Key West to Marathon this past March..

IMGP0976 

Mike and Miranda from S/V Sea Turtle. We met them in Mobile Alabama over a year ago.

IMGP0978

What a cool Christmas bulb.  It was so good to see both of them again.

IMGP0987

These are concrete dividers you see sometimes during construction or along the highway. Anyway they are apparently used in St. Petersburg during a street closure that go on in town.  Pretty cool place.

AWALKINSTPETERSBURG

It was totally fun; but we only went in for a few hours.  On the way back to our boat, we ended up pulling off the road and sleeping at a truck stop for a few hours.

The following morning we needed to start stacking up on a few things before we take the car back on Monday. Bryce dropped me off at the laundromat while he went into Public’s grocery’s store. When he came back, he said I picked up 10 cases of beer for our trip. I think he is nuts but we will see. He said we took 18 cases the first time.

On Sunday, we took our final trip with the car to  Key West. It’s always pretty to walk the board walk.

IMGP8641

All ways a ship photo.  This looks like a big buoy tender.  But not sure as it appears to be military rather than Coast Guard.

IMGP1021

Bryce noticed this huge Catamaran carrying a full boat of site seers’ out.

IMGP1017

As we walked along the boardwalk we noticed these Pelicans and fish swimming all together.  When we looked up, we read the sign.  It said feeding time 4:00 p.m.  Must be pretty smart animals.   The fish are apparently large Tarpons.

pelicanskeywest

Key West has some of the prettiest roosters. So my question of the day is: If you order Chicken wings in Key West, where do they come from? LOL

IMGP8660

As we walked back to the car we noticed these people painting a mural.  I said jokingly how far to you travel to paint murals?  He started laughing “Anywhere a plain ticket can take us?”. LOL 

IMGP1022

Well it is always our pleasure to share our journey with you. Thanks for reading our blog!Red rose

Search and Rescue for a lost treasure in Marathon, FL

Happy New Year to you all!

It has been one crazy week since we have last spoken. We were very unsettled about taking a mooring ball . I didn’t want to leave Sisters Creek but when winds settled down came the attack of the (No-see-ums). Saturday morning we woke up thinking we would spend the day at the beach but we needed to go to Home Depot for a few things.

As we wandered the store, the phone rang. It was City Marina saying there was a mooring ball available for us: Q3.  Without a doubt, we took the ball and said good by to my paradise. We moved the boat and connected to the mooring ball without any issues.

IMGP0924

While we were in Home depot we picked up a sheet of PVC to use as a cover for sink, stove and trash bin.  This added considerably more countertop space. Bryce is sanding the corners.

IMGP0892

I think they are amazing…  Really adds the countertop space.

IMGP0894

It is very warm here so we decided to remove the plastic enclosure and put the screens on. Bryce wanted to rinse the salt off the plastic before putting them away.  As he hung the portside piece over the boom; our neighbors Threepenny Opera, came by for a chat. They are really nice people.

About 45 minutes later, we turned around to get back to work when we noticed something was missing. Our portside enclosure has slid off and sank into the brink. Crap…

That was one huge piece of enclosure. With that gone most of the portside will be exposed to the rain, wind. Worst of all, it will be cold sailing at night. Sunday came; Bryce wanted to try and dive to look for our missing buddy.  But he knew he wouldn’t be able to see through the muck to the bottom. So off to the beach we go. What a great day.

George found a new place to sit.

IMGP0900

The wind ended up blowing out umbrella away but we saved her.

IMGP0902

Love watching the boats; just thinking that was us about a week ago.

IMGP0905

we are enjoying our day at Sombrero Beach.

IMGP0907

We sailed passed this island as we approached Marathon from Hawk Channel. While sitting on the beach I zoomed in on it. So pretty…

IMGP0910

A guy was fishing off the beach.  Look he caught a fish.  I cannot tell what it is LOL

IMGP0916

Look at the people on Sombrero Beach.. It is a bit windy but very warm.  First day at the beach in a long time.

IMGP0917

Monday morning as we sipped our morning coffee on the bow and listened to the morning cruiser net, we decided to call OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Divers) to see if maybe they would dive for our missing buddy.  It has already been three days but it was a heavy piece of plastic. Bryce said it would have gone straight to the bottom.  We have done this before…

Now the boat swings all over the place on the mooring ball. When I spoke with the gentleman on the phone, he asked all kinds of questions  I asked him if it was a lost cause. He didn’t think so. He said they like searching for lost treasures.  Within a few hours a dinghy motored up to us.  It was two divers Chris and Jessica from OCD.

I heard Bryce say “hello Jess;  I knew you worked for OCD; but I didn’t expect to see you. What a great surprise.” Chris & Jess are very nice people.   After we talked their ears off, Chris got ready to dive.

IMGP0927

He is putting on his mask. I am holding my breath hoping Chris will find it..

IMGP0929

There goes Chris I highly doubt he will find it it has been 3 days.  But Chris was quite confident..

IMGP0933

OM!! Look!!!I cannot believe my eyes.. He found it. I don’t know if it was even 10 minutes. Amazing!!!!! Just amazing..  This is why Bryce and I decided to call OCD.  We figured they understand how to find such lost things.

IMGP0936

What a guy!!!

IMGP0937

Chris swam over and handed me the enclosure section.

IMGP0939

We are still smiling just cannot believe Chris found it. Thank you both so much…

IMGP0941

Later that night we went up to the Tiki hut and had cocktails with a few other sailors. Happy New Year!!!!

New years eve 2018

Thank you all for reading our blog!Red rose

Howling of The Winds in Marathon, FL

It is nearly 12:30 a.m. the winds are howling once again. The sounds of the winds screaming thought-out the rigging is keeping me awake. Beauty is heeling to her portside at anchor. We headed up to check on the wind speed it was only 30 knots; but she is howling from the ENE.

We also had to check on the dingy. She is safe and sound and still connected to the boat. Our fear is she might of escaped into the mangroves behind us. I am wondering if these winds will ever settled down. I also often wonder why does the unknown always appear during darkness. When you can’t see anything around you.

This was our out look on Thursday 1 a.m. at 2 a.m we were in the deep purple.

IMG_1996

My paradise in Sister Creek is a wind tunnel right now. It’s supposed to be this way throughout today. The good news is the winds are supposed to diminish within the next few days. Well, daylight finally appeared.

We have to walk to West Marine I need to pick up TP and Bryce needs to get a few things.   Well one of these days I would like to rent a car and travel to Naples to get my hair done for the season. That’s always an adventure. Well it’s going on 4:00 a.m. Today is now Thursday. I think I better try and close my eyes for a little bit. I will talk to you again soon. Goodnight or is it good morning? LOL

Good morning today is Friday. Well, today we will walk to Home Depot. I am looking for something to put over my stovetop when not in use so I can us it as a countertop.

These girls were trying to paddle in the wind. They actually did a very good job.

IMGP0874

These could be the parents following them. It looks inviting. We left our kayaks home this year.

IMGP0876

I had to jump up. This little boat is towing the bigger boat and I thought they were going to hit us. LOL But the young man had it under control.

IMGP0880

Bryce was out moving our stern anchor from the port to starboard side.  We have two bow anchors, a stern anchor and two lines tied to the mangroves.  These lines keep us steady in the 30+ knot winds.

IMGP0881

We had a sun shower, so we came into the cockpit. I will call it my enclosed patio. Cockpit sounds like a place to fight, so I will refer as to it as my patio. Smile  Anyways look at this Blue Herring.  She was screaming at us for taking her spot.

IMGP0886

Thank you for follow our blog!Red rose