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Showing posts from December, 2013

New Year

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I've never gotten much into New Years as a celebratory event. Solstices, equinoxes full moons and the like seem more worthy of celebration. At any rate 'Happy New Year' seems in order.... May you live long and prosper.

So it's New Years on the boat .. We got back to the boat about noon as the marina charging and WiFi area was closing early so the staff, I suppose could party down and celebrate the annual event. I'm in the V berth and after getting this ready to post tomorrow I'll watch a movie on my iPad and go to sleep.

The wind really started howling about 2:30 pm and it rained a bit.. Still it's maybe just under 70 degrees. Sounds like some real cold temps coming to northern Minnesota. It's odd how the various folks down here who used to live further north react to the cold forecast up north. Like referring to those still living up there as 'suckers'??

Word is the next weather window is January 5th.. I'll have been here a full mo…

Out and back

Ok, today we finally set out. After showers and a final weather check the captain announced we were heading back to get the boat ready to set out. The big chore was getting the outboard off the dingy and the dingy up on the bow deck. We used a spare halyard but it was still pretty heavy. Then we went through the check list and set loose from the mooring. Forecast called for 10 knot south winds and seas 1 to 3 feet. We tried putting out the headsail but our heading was straight into the wind so we rolled it in and motored. The waves were a bit bigger than 3' and our progress was about 2 knots. The captain decided after going out maybe 2 miles that we needed to head back.. I'm not sure conditions haven't improved since we were out there but no matter.. We gat the same mooring and took the dingy off the bow and put the outboard back on and went back to the marina. It's very calm now and likely the seas have laid down as well.. Wind was to switch SW during the nig…

Destination unknown?

Well yesterday was interesting as the captain had heard of the situation in Mexico.  From my research it seems more about the various official agency's in Mexico finally tightening the enforcement of rules.  It first happened with cars owned by various foreign residents who enjoyed the lax enforcement and were not bothering to get the proper import paperwork.. Vehicles were confiscated etc.. Now the same rules are suddenly being enforced on foreign boats visiting Mexico.  Mexico has it set up were you can pay online for your individual tourist visa and just show the paid receipt to receive when you check-in to the country.  You can also get the TIP Temporary Import Permit which costs $50.  You also need to have the boats registration papers etc.. It appears you best stay with your boat until the AGACE, a sub agency of Hacienda..which appears to be like the IRS makes their visit to the marina you are at.. I say this as some boats, even with all the proper paperwork check-in as far…

Christmas Dinner

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Believe it or not we are still in Marathon, Florida waiting and waiting for a weather window to head south. As it was Christmas we decided to check out a Christmas pot luck an area restaurant/bar 'Dockside' was hosting.. They were to provide turkey, ham and potatoes and guests were to bring something to share. It was advertised via posters and word of mouth that the pot luck would begin at 3 pm but the bar would open at noon. In addition to what food you would bring, a $5 donation was requested. We chose to arrive at 2:45 only to discover the hordes who had arrived for the bar time attacked the food as soon as anything was set on the table. We found that the turkey was gone and so were the potatoes, though I did manage the final spoonful of them. There were several nice salads and plentiful pies and cookies which seemed to increase as others arriving even later than us added their items. I sought coffee to go with my plate of pie and cookies but no such luck.
We brough…

Cleaning the dingy bottom

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Yesterday morning we took the dingy over to a channel through the mangroves that leads to the ocean. Later the usual WiFi, charging devices and showers...plus another lunch at the hospital cafeteria.

The latest in a weather window appears to be mid day Friday. I sure hope this one holds by the time Friday comes. Some new scenery will be nice!


Another mooring field sunset

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It's yet another evening on the boat. Often someone or 2 blows a conch shell at sunset. Last night, the night of winter solstice the conch shell blowing carried on a bit longer. Tonight was brief.

Another Sunday

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I think this is the 3rd Sunday I've been here since arriving December 4th. I've refrained from joining the football watching group and have just wasted away the afternoon online.

We had or second breakfast at the nearby American Legion Post which serves a $7 breakfast that's quite a value. It's funny but I guess in Florida you can smoke in bars in fact I've seen it at restaurants too. A few I assume regulars to the legion are there at the bar smoking and drinking Bloody Mary's and the like.. Last time someone even got a pitcher of beer.. This at 8:00 am Sunday. Anyway the breakfast is good.

Another value place to eat out has been the cafeteria at the nearby Fishermen's Hospital. Interesting name for a hospital. $5 for a pretty decent lunch that would be more like $10 at least in a restaurant. We only eat lunch out as we are in doing WiFi, showers, etc.. Generally we head back to the boat about 3 or 4 pm.

Also, I finally figured out how to download…

What would you call this Rig?

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One of the sailboats docked right at the marina complex is an interesting rig. I know a boat with the mast way up at the bow is a cat rig...not to be confused with a catamaran sailboat. But this boat has a main mast and missen mast (if that's how you spell it?). I asked my captain if that boat was a cat rig but he said no it's a schooner as the main mast is aft of the missen mast.  I knew that concerning the masts but that doesn't take into consideration the way forward placement of the smaller forward mast....missen. Note also these are mast with no stays or shrouds.  First time I've seen a sailboat with the carbon fiber free standing masts.  Does any body know just what sort of rig this boat would be considered?

FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. It's been interesting to hear the discussions of many of the live aboard people here. One issue is boats with the federal coastguard registry from out of state don't feel they need to have an additional Florida registration for their boats? The issue that seems to be the hotter topic is whether or not dingys should be required to have navigational lights.. It seems back in Grand Marais if the dingy has an outboard it should have the stern white light and green and red bow lights.. Down here the live aboards seem to imply the FWC is just making up the rules as they go? It's been said the sheriffs department used to oversee such things but handed it off to the FWC ? FWC would be like Minnesota's DNR which it seems to me oversees both boat registration and navigation lights though the later is also enforced by the coast guard and sheriffs water patrol if there is one? It's a big issue and they're having a special mee…

Consuming the Caribbean

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It looks like we'll be here at the Marathon City Marina until at least next Sunday. Another week in paradise. At least it's considered paradise by vacationers who come to southern Florida as there destination or stay the entire winter as a retired snowbird as they say. We are anxious to head south but the captain wants a window of calmer conditions to cross the Gulfstream. Apparently these months December and January are the times with the most and frequent 'northers'. It's also the beginning of the cruising season for the Caribbean so most boats heading south from Florida are going now. We're not the only boat waiting for calmer conditions to cross and I'm sure some have gone excepting the rougher crossing. As we sit on our mooring this Monday morning the wind is howling and the sky's look likely to rain. I had to wear the windbreaker on the dingy ride this morning.

Anyway about the Post Title 'Consuming the Caribbean'. It's a book …

Heading south tomorrow 12/14??

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We had originally planned a Wednesday evening departure but due to a change in the wind forecast we now plan to set out tomorrow, Saturday, December 14. That is of course unless the wind forecast changes yet again. Since Wednesday we've had quit a bit of rain mostly yesterday and last night. Today was nice but it's raining again now..6:30 pm Friday. I would assume we've gotten several inches of rain.

We want fairly light winds when we cross the Gulf-stream the flows west to east an average 3.5 knots. Winds against a current create much rougher, steeper seas. It's going to take us a while to get to Mexico and we wanted a window of lighter winds. That seems hard to come by this time of year. It might be quite a few days until we have Internet again. I'll be posting this tomorrow morning. The daily showers and Internet have been nice but I'm anxious to see what's next.

This just in!! Ha.. After checking the latest weather we won't be departing to…

Rainy day

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Today was the day we were to leave on, although at sundown. Our departure is now looking like mid day this Saturday. I had a nice morning reading as Larry made 2 trips to buy gasoline. His boat has a gas Atomic 4. We topped up the tank and have the 3 five Fallon jugs full. That's 40 gallons total. As I stayed back on the boat I made coffee for the first time and only the second time since leaving Minnesota. Who says coffee..caffeine is addictive? I guess it's because lately I only have one mug each morning unlike the past. I enjoy the taste and like it but here I am using generic instant on an every now and then basis. It was threatening rain all morning but held off. Larry made one more dingy run to bring his boat neighbor Al to the marina to catch a bus. The dingy is a 2 person ride. Once we were both on our way to the marina it began to drizzle and after showers when on the Internet we had heavy rain for quite a while. It provided a longer than usual online se…

Marathon Boatyard

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Before I arrived to Florida, a couple of Canadian Brothers had set out for Rio Dulce, Guatemala.  They had planed to cross to Cuba and work along to the west end and then cross to the Yucatan Channel.  We recently found out they only made it out 30 miles and their drive shaft broke. Apparently it had been broken once before and repaired. They had hit some crab pots and had cut the rope loose that had wrapped around the shaft but the mechanic didn't seem to think that caused the break. They sailed back and eventually were towed to the Marathon Boatyard. We dingied over and chatted with them the day they were to have the boat taken out. One brother was helping the other sail down there. He plans to live down there. It sounded like it would all end up costing about $5,000. He still hopes to get down to Guatemala in time for his brother to fly home for Christmas.

I hope our boat don't have any similar problems. A change in the wind forecast has us leaving mid day this S…

Marathon Live-Aboard Community

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I've already briefly posted about the Marathon City Marina where the boat is moored. It's really a large number of boats moored here like 280 when full and another maybe 100 anchored. They are all live-aboards according to Larry.

I decided to walk around today and take a few photos of the marina. I guess renting a mooring is $330 a month and you get a lot for that. It's not all retired people in fact not even mostly. There are a lot of couples and families and pets. Everybody is friendly.

There are 2 dingy dock areas, an outer one and an inner one. We've been using the inner one. There is a nice thatched roof palapa and office building with a large area with tables, outlets and WiFi. Also, there are 2 areas for TV watching with theater seats. A group was very into watching the football games especially the 2 in the snow storms in Pennsylvania. Next comes a large repair and maintenance area with various tools, work stations and storage lockers. In the few d…

Marathon City Marina

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I've had 3 restful nights aboard my host's sailboat and one time out sailing and a few visits to the marina facilities. There are nice showers and laundry of course and a big group area with WiFi and a couple TV viewing rooms and huge library. I'm learning I'll have minimal Internet time as we are going here and there.? Planning to head out for Mexico next Wednesday weather permitting.
There are like 280 mooring balls and it cost about $330 a month which seems pretty good.. Includes the facilities and one holding tank pump out per week.
We've been doing little projects but basically the boat is in great shape.
This manatee comes regularly to the fresh water hose for filling water jugs in your dingy hoping it was not tightly closed.. I saw one guy and later some kids giving it water and he seemed very happy for that. I guess it's technically against the law?

On the Boat

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Other than my pickup shuttle being late and the landing in Charlotte being aborted seconds before touchdown, the flight to Miami was uneventful. I finally arrived to the Marathon City Marina by Greyhound about 9 pm.
Larry and I met in the darkness and took the dingy out to the boat. We were up until 1:30 am chatting and I slept quite deeply having been up since 4:00 am. I wasn't expecting the V Berth!
The boat is quite nicely organized and equipped. Sounds like we will hang around here a week doing some day sailing and final prep. Then head to the Yucatan, Mexico by way of the Dry Tortugas. My V Berth is not so well organized : )

The Day After Tomorrow

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Not the silly movie but my departure for the Caribbean via Florida. It's snowing this evening at my mom's apartment in Minnetonka.

Future My Love