Archive for: ‘February 2015’

Ft. Lauderdale

February 24, 2015 Posted by Deb

A special place for us and we’re still trying to figure out whether “special” means/meant good or bad.  We outfitted and provisioned here in the s…hole of the world, River Bend Marina about 22 years ago, and it hasn’t changed a bit.

Riverbend Where Sanity Was Outfitted

Riverbend Where Sanity Was Outfitted

This time we are in the only marina that had an opening and could handle our size from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale; the expensive Lauderdale Marine Center where all the big boys go. We’re on Dock C where there are a few cruising sailors so we are with instant friends.  Like our old friend Fred said, we specialize in “short term, meaningless relationships.”  That is fun to say but not always true because many of these folks we will run into again, possibly multiple times.

Ft. Lauderdale has a background noise. It is easy to say it is I-95 which is very near. I think it is the giant sucking sound as thousands of marine based companies descend on the boats that get ensnared here. “Marine” means “charge a bunch more.” We came for new standing rigging and to show the boat to potential buyers during the great Miami boat show. As it turns out, the vendors are all pre-occupied with their boat show booths or working on emergency boat show projects and it is a very bad time of year to try and get their attention.

Riggers and the Hatch Guy

Riggers and the Hatch Guy

One good things is friends and family have been able to find us here in Florida. We had stop-by visits from Mark, Deb’s rowing buddy and Bryan and Julie, some favorite cousins.

Old Rowing Buddy

Old Rowing Buddy

Taken on Bryan and Julie's Visit

Taken on Bryan and Julie’s Visit

The Miami Boat Show

Rather than rent a car at around $100 per day (up from mid-20’s prior to the show) and then deal with the parking nightmare in Miami, Deb researched a “planes, trains, and automobiles” route that featured two hikes, a bus, the Florida Tri-Rail, and the Miami Metro Rail. That worked but it was over 2 hours each way. It was an interesting show and we saw three of the five folks we had hoped to run into.

Because we hiked from the Metro and weren’t in a car, no one asked us to pay and we spent the whole day w/o a wrist band. We kind of hid our wrists when we went in and out.

Miami Boat Show

Miami Boat Show


Saturday Bahama Planning Sessions

We don’t need much of an excuse to pot luck and we have been getting together with Darrel and Julie from Acapella (20 years ago) and new friends Bryan and Sharon to talk about the Thorny Path (the islands from Florida to St. Martin which are into the wind and current). We talked sailing strategy all of 15 minutes in the last three sessions. That’s about right.


Twenty-Two Years

February 15, 2015 Posted by Deb

We have our little fold up bikes and have been biking the same suburban side roads we used 22 years ago to outfit Sanity. West Marine has moved but the Marina Mile is largely as we remembered.  Those that have done time here will remember McDonalds Hardware. We asked how long the current staff had been working at McDonalds and they trotted out a guy who had been there for 16 years. So … there wasn’t a single person in the building who pre-dated us. Gives you kind of a dinosaur feeling. Our friend and crew member on Sanity (Tony Noel) will remember this place.


So … What are We Doing

February 12, 2015 Posted by Deb

The project list is over two pages but what we are hiring out is the standing rig to Nance and Underwood, the new counter tops and sinks to Interior Design, the rudder shimmy and hatch leaks to Just Catamarans, and the detailing for potential buyers to Warren from South Africa. There is a constant march of contractors on the boat and the decks are turning black.

The work we are not hiring out is impressive probably only to us but the highlights are floor refurbishing, electrical wire clean-up and labeling, refrigerator door remounting, hatch rebedding, head repair (again), varnish, fuel top off, bilge pump repair, engine room vent replacement, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.

Chuck's Ergonomic Office

Chuck’s Ergonomic Office

Amthony, the Surfer Dude, Installing New Countertops

Anthony, the Surfer Dude, Installing New Countertops

Our Home

February 7, 2015 Posted by Deb

Our legal residence is a 12”x6” by a couple feet cardboard box three levels of cardboard up from the floor in Green Cove Springs, FL. We vote, have drivers licenses, and pay taxes (none for FL) based on that cardboard box. Homeland Security doesn’t like this but they are banging into a bunch of other laws that basically say you cannot deny people voting, etc. because they do not have a physical residence. Try filling out some government online forms that ask “Do you live at this address?” If you say “No,” you are asked where you live and you’re are still stuck.

BrendansIsleOur home and all our neighbors on cruising boats.


No More Broken Stuff

February 1, 2015 Posted by Deb

We will be showing the boat now through the boat show with our friend Alexis at Multihull. That means we will go through the blog and clean out all the stories about broken boat bits. We may clean out some of the downer stories as well. But there is still time for one or two more so here goes.

We’ve had only two good days in 2015 and it is the end of January already. One was today in Ft. Lauderdale.


Of course, before we got here, being on the hard and living in a motel with the forever flu was part of the large “bad day” count. But today was warm and we biked to the Pirate Republic for an expensive lunch. Our last lunch in Jacksonville was $6 and today was over $40, but it was a good day. Having that trip from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale behind us was part of the good feeling as well. We had a generally good trip, leaving Jacksonville just after a huge cold front blew through and hoisting our main in 30 kts of wind and bone chilling temps.

SunsetOffshoreJAX FoulWeatherGear_Chuck

We planned for six to seven knots and we started out in the nine and ten knot range with a double reef and one third headsail. The wind was off land so it was fairly smooth. Unfortunately, the wind went to zero to two knots after one day and we looked at another 130 miles of motoring. Not part of the plan. We invested a bunch in engines and props up in Jacksonville so off we went in flat calm.


The word from our weather guru was that a 35 gusting 40 blow would hit us on the second night. Deb found no mention on the internet of any wind until late Monday morning and it turned out that the freebie web sites were right on and our guy was wrong.  We were scheduled to get in at around 7:00 a.m. on Monday so that big blow would do us no good. One of our newly refitted engines overheated during the last night, the wind kicked up slightly but it was on the nose, and we motored on one engine through morning. About 25 miles out, the big wind hit and, of course, it was on the nose instead of coming off land. We finished up at 9:30 a.m. with one engine, no sails, 30 knots of wind on the nose, and rapidly building seas. Oops. Of course, we then had to figure out how to get up the winding, high traffic New River with five bridges and a nasty current. Oh, and did we mention that the wind was howling. We decided that rather than call a tow service and wait for slack tide we would throw some antifreeze in the overheated engine and only use it when we needed to do some fancy maneuvering. That worked and we had a great trip up the New River, our home for over three months with our first boat twenty- two years ago. We were welcomed into Lauderdale Marine Center by friendly line handlers and a large black squall that got everyone soaked to the bone. Oh … and the squall forecast was zero percent from our guru.