Monday, February 24, 2014

Trip to the islands

We had an awsome sailing day to start our trip to the Bahamas. We were running at 7.5 kts down hawk’s channel when we caught a crab trap! It slowed up down to 5 kts. You can just see the “beast” being towed behind us. I cut the trap loose but still had the rope trailing under the boat. So, hours later, I had to go in and cut it loose from the prop. As it turned out, the rope had worked loose and I went swimming for nothing. We anchored in Angle fish creek to a great sunset… a real good start to our crossing.

Diving to cut loose the rope.

We crossed with two other boats and had a great crossing, The wind was a bit light but it was at a good angle for motor sailing. And we crossed the stream at record time and speed.

Waves of grace and Our desire crossing with us to the Bahamas
I’d forgot just how clear the water is in the Bahamas. We could be in 20 feet of water and clearly see the bottom. The water is a startling shade of light, clear blue with dark patches here and there that are the sea grass beds on the bottom. It’s delicious! Stay tuned for more!

It's 25 feet deep right here!... What a day!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Deck 2

OK, now that all of the wood repairs on the deck are done it’s time to replace all of the rubber between the deck boards. This job was last done about 10 years ago at my house when I did the rebuild on the goose. Now, I’m having the rubber seams are starting to pull away from the teak boards and letting in little leaks here and there. The only real fix is to replace all of the seams with new rubber.  It’s a long and involved process that starts with defining the area and cutting out the old rubber.
Then it’s time to clean up the seams with a home made “hook” knife made from an old file. This is a tedious and demanding job that has to get all of the old rubber out but not the wood that it is stuck to.
Cutting out the majority or the rubber

now, take your home make hook knife and clean up the edges of the boards

Then you go back and pound in all of the cotton (that is at the bottom of the gap between each board).

final product, ready to tape

Finally, you take a roll of blue tape and tape off each seam side in preparation for putting in the new rubber.

Now, you can get out your tubes of rubber calk and calk away! After a few seams are full you have to go back and “squish” the rubber down into the seam and smooth it off.

When your done, you have about 5 minutes to peal up all of the blue tape (before the rubber sets) and then clean up. After 4 hours of hard work, you have another 2 x 2 foot area
done.... and it looks just like it did before you started. Only 14 more times to go and it's done!


Thursday, February 20, 2014


Marathon is an island about ½ way between the mainland of Fl and Key West. It has a great harbor that until a few years ago was like the “wild west”. There were no rules and people anchored everywhere, dumped their holding tanks and abandoned their boats when they sunk. In resent years, the city took control of the harbor and removed most of the derelict and sunk boats and installed a large mooring field with a small anchorage by it. There’s now about 250 hurricane proof mooring and a much cleaner harbor due to two active pump out boats that come around every week,,,wether you need it or not.
view from the top of our mast

The shore facilities also include a large multipurpose building for gatherings, equipment repairs and every cruisers need: WI-FI. There is also a large bathroom/shower and laundry facility. They have room for hundreds of bicycles and a large car parking area. During the winter the harbor is full but there is a core group of cruisers that have made Marathon their home and live on the “hook” (mooring) year round in the harbor.
Hundreds of bikes
Main building with workshop area and large multi-use room

One of the locals catching some sun
There’s only one main street thru town and it’s HW1 which runs from southern Miami to Key West. The strip is filled with everything that you might need from boat repairs and part places to grocery stores and tourist traps! They even have a hospital for people and one for turtles! Marathon has many meal deals at several of the local restaurants which draw the frugal boaters like roaches to a cluttered kitchen.
Morning walk
All in all, it makes for a good stop to restock or repair and to find good friends from last year or to make new ones. We plan to stay here until mid February and then head to the Bahamas.

Great sunset

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Just so you (up there in the frozen north) don’t think that it’s all work down here we went sailing on a friends catamaran the other day. We sailed out to the Gulf Stream and found this 2 masted top sail schooner slowly moving along. We sailed a circle around it before heading back into the harbor. On the way in a 2 foot iguana swam past our boat! It looked just like a snake going thru the water.

Oh, and since it’s getting a bit warm down here I decided that the beard was too hot and got rid of some of it.
What do you think about the "new" look?... ARGGGGGG!!!!