Wednesday, May 26, 2010


One of the hardest things to get is a good picture of your own boat under sail. I know that I have shown a picture of Snow Goose already under sail but here is one that I’ve wished I could take for many years. We were sailing up from Fl to SC when a sail boat appeared on the horizon and (as happens) even with the entire ocean around us and being 25 miles from shore we came within a few hundred yards of each other. Anyway, they took these shots of our boat and emailed them to us. I have to say that under 4 sails she looks pretty good.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I thought I had endured about the worst that fly season can throw at a sailor; when we sailed back on the Great lakes when fly season arrives, the big lakes come alive with the hungry critters. They can literally drive you crazy as they attempt to get a chunk of your hide, but they are only the size of regular house flies. Here in South Carolina, they have horse flies that come out during the heat of the day and swarm your boat as you motor along at 5 kts. They are the size of honey bees and sound about the same. All day long, I drove the boat through the "low country" and at one point almost drove us into a mud bank on the side of the channel in my frenzy to kill them. By the end of the day, our cockpit was littered with their bodies and my wrist was sore from swatting them. I even broke my favorite fly swatter we had nicknamed “death”! A friend suggested we should sew up screens for the cockpit before we left Florida and now I wish I had taken her advice.

Friday, May 14, 2010


One would think that the main problem of having a steel boat in salt water would be that the boat rusts but in actuality it’s the stainless steel that does all of the rusting! About once a month we have to take 2 to 3 hours and apply acid to the “stainless” to get rid of the rust. I keep a pair of heavy black rubber gloves for this job. We use “on/off” (a concentrated acid product) that we bought at West Marine and buckets and buckets of fresh water. I do the acid work and Anna does the rinse. Buy the time that we are ½ way through the project, my cloth has been eaten up by the acid and I have to get a new one. In some places I have to use a “green pad” to help me scrub the rust off. Because the days are now into the upper 80’s these types of projects get started right after breakfast while it’s still relatively cool. It’s hard work but the Goose sure looks good afterwards.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


One of the ubiquitous things that you run into down here (or in reality try not to run into) is the crab pot traps. The water surface is littered with the small foam buoys that the fishermen use to mark their traps. The buoys aren’t that bad it’s the rope that snakes down to the trap on the bottom that lurks there, trying to snag every unsuspecting propeller that goes by. When under sail (because of our keel shape) they harmlessly slide by but if you’re under power, a constant sharp lookout must be kept or you will soon be diving under your boat to untangle your prop. Today a crabber came by to pull his traps and I got a few pictured of him, hope that you like them. First you have to pull the trap in.
Next, get it on board to find that there’s very few crabs and so,
re-bait it and toss it back in again. Over and over again. Kind of like working an assembly line.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Self sufficiency

Snow Goose is really a mini city in respect to utilities. You must generate your own electricity (both 12volt and 120 volt) and have the distribution network for it. We also must provide a safe supply of drinking water and the pumps to move it around, and of course, you’re also your own sewer system. A boat though, has two sewer systems (gray and black water) that are handled separately. On Snow Goose, the solar panels supply our energy needs, and with the addition of a 3rd water tank we now have enough water to supply us for 30 days. The gray water (sink/shower water) goes overboard. It’s the black water that’s the choke point. Snow Goose is equipped with a 40 Gal tank for black water. Under normal usage this fills in about 10 days to 2 weeks. So every other week it becomes necessary to find a marina for a “pump out” or go offshore at least 3 miles to empty the tank. Right now, we are down to about 3 days of capacity left so today, it’s off to the city marina in Titusville for a pump out. I keep track of the fluid levels in 5 different tanks (2 fuel, 2 water, 1 black water) with one, an air pressure driven fluid level test gauge. You press the button of the tank that you want to test and pump a little bit of air through a tube into the tank. The resulting feedback pressure corresponds to the level of fluid in the tank. One gauge, 5 different readings, no electricity!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Life on hold

We are on hold for this week while we wait for the space shuttle to blast off on Friday. It’s a shame too for the weather has been cooperative for heading north and I find myself just wanting to forget about the launch and go! Since there are only 3 more launches to go before the program will be closed down it makes more sense to wait, wait and wait. To pass the time, we watch the boats that go by and do shore side exploring. Here are a few of the boats that have passed us by while we ride at anchor in Cocoa City, Fl.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hardware store

We were in hardware heaven today. In the town of Cocoa Fl. there is a hardware store to beat all other hardware store that you have ever seen. It makes the “big box” stores like Home Dept look small (as far as hardware goes). This place is right out of the 1930’s and has taken over the neighboring buildings and even expanded into the back yard too. They had more stuff than you could shake a stick at. I felt like I was in a toy store for guys, needless to say after about 10 minutes of wandering about Anna went across the street to the antique store. If you went through enough aisles and found your way to the back of the “second” store you’d find the stairway to the second floor. Once up the stairs you’re into the over filled 2nd floor. There, if you look for it you’d find the open air “cat walk” to the next building where I found over 30 feet of one aisle dedicated to nothing but canning and in another aisle WWII items! It was a journey, 80 years back in time. The staff was very helpful and the prices were very competitive. In was a rare find in such a tourist spot as Cocoa City Fl.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sail repairs

Sometime, I am going to learn the wisdom of the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine”. Several days ago when we were sailing up the coast, I went to pull up the main sail and it stuck. I had forgotten to untie one of the sail ties. In the process of yanking harder to get the sail up I broke one of the plastic sail slides that hold the foot of the sail in place. Well, the next day when I should have repaired it I didn’t and after the next sail (in high winds) we had 2 of slides broken. Again I should have repaired them but I didn’t. After two more sails 7 out of the 12 had snapped apart. So today, I had to re-sew on 7 sail slides instead of one because of my laziness. In my case a stitch in time might have saved seven.

The first picture shows the removal of the old slide.

The next shows a broken one next to a new one and the last is how I sew them on.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Snow Goose Picture

This picture is a hard one to get. You have to have someone else take it and the wind, weather and sun need to be just right to get a good shot. We talked to Gail and Larry on “Tropical Gale Winds” and they agreed to take pictures of us under sail if we would do the same. Here’s the result! Hope that you like it.

PS Click on picture for large view.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

sunken boats

Since we have started to sail back north we have started to see sunken boats again. Just before the bridge to the mainland from the Keys, I noticed a post sticking out of the water. As we got closer it turned out to be the mast of a sailboat that was sitting on the bottom of the bay. I’m guessing that someone was having a bad day! Again, just today, in a very upscale part of West Palm Beach we came across a power boat that was in the process of being raised off from the bottom by a couple of divers.