Showing posts from 2017

Christmas Eve at the DTW Terminal

I certainly would have preferred to be sailing now... perhaps nearing the Rio Dulce or passing through Belize?  I booked my flight to Thailand looking only at the price and one fare, from an airport along the route my friends would be driving to visit mom stood out at $200 less.  I finally took the time to look closer at the itinerary on the drive north.  After a short flight from Saginaw, Michigan to Detroit Airport I had a 22 hour layover.   I did manage to get some sleep.  Just as I was getting kind of cold having decided to pack my jacket in my checked airport employee was handing out Delta blankets to the dozen or so terminal over nighters I noticed around the terminal end I’d chose.  I had found couch type seating in an open air restaurant seating area.  The wait is nearly over.  We should start boarding in a little over one hour.  

Old news... I almost bought a sailboat

It’s been a few days now since I looked at a 1978 Tayana 37 in Kemah, Texas.  The Tayana 37 is on my ‘boats of interest’ list.  I’d been doing searches on various boats for sale including Tayana’s going back a couple months.  While at my friend’s Arlo and Jan’s, I decided to do another search for Tayanas and was surprised to find 3 or 4 I’d not seen before.  One was a real stand out especially considering it’s asking price.  It was in amazing shape and had obviously been well maintained considering it was nearly 40 years old.  There was also another Islander Freeport 36 also in east Texas, with a lower asking price than the nice one in Pensacola.  With 2 boats to look at I rented a car and drove to east Texas.  I first went to see the IF 36 near Dallas, which was on a reservoir.  The owner was living aboard and the boat smelled of tobacco.  It was not nearly as nice as the higher priced one in Pensacola.  It did have a very new engine with only 218 hours but it needed all new sails an…

Corbin 39 . Center Cockpit . Cutter Ketch rig

After the Chaos at the Atlanta Greyhound Station, I was in somewhat of a zombie state when picked up by my old high school friend Arlo. That was on the morning of the 10th and my last real sleep was at the hotel the night of December 7.  Anyway, I caught up on sleep that next night...beginning at 2:45 pm haha.  After a relaxing next day and a lot of talking about sailboats, I mentioned a Corbin 39 CC I’d been looking at online that was located on an inland lake about a 2 hour drive away.  Today we decided to drive down to meet the broker and see the boat on Lake Lanier.  We could not figure out why the owner would have moved this true bluewater sailboat up to this inland lake?  It had previously been down in Stewart, Florida.  Lake Lanier is well away from the coast northeast of Atlanta.  One of the first things the broker talked about was the cost of moving the boat to the coast.  It’s estimated that cost would be $10,000 to $11,000.  It’s clear why the boat remains unsold.  Also the…

Chaos at Greyhound 

After arriving late to the Atlanta Greyhound I found the terminal packed with stranded passengers due to the winter storm.  It was insane.  They were announcing delays pretty much every single route.. as the hours passed a few busses announced loading..generally those heading south.  After another couple hours a list of cancelations we’re giving and people were told to come get re-ticketed.  We were told our bus was still delayed and we waited and waited.. total confusion as some holding the ticket I had were told to move to different line for boarding.. I was told to continue waiting with about a dozen others.  2 hours later we were told to go get re-ticketed as the bus was cancelled.  Our group was invited into a back desk for re-ticketing as the line was so long.  When I was just a couple people back from the counter someone... I think this one obnoxious woman giving everybody a hard time did it... Hard to say but a large fire extinguisher was knocked to the floor and fully discha…

North we go? Into some snow

It’s hard not to think about the contrast of my current travels compared to where I’d be now if there hadn’t been the engine troubles and I was still sailing.  Actually this was to be the estimated final day of motoring down the ICW and we would be likely heading out into the Atlantic to sail.  It’s 72 right now in Fort Lauderdale at 4:00 am December 9th.  I’m on a Greyhound bus yet again this time bound for Asheville, North Carolina.  Next stop Atlanta, Georgia and it’s 32 degrees as we passed Montgomery, Alabama.  The bus driver just told us there’s 3 to 4 inches of snow in Atlanta but he’d do his best to get there on time.  We were late leaving Mobile and Montgomery... I will switch buses 2 more times, once in Atlanta and again in Greenville, finally arriving in Asheville at 3:45 pm.  Hopefully the sun will be out and melt the snow so Arlo can come pick me up.  I’m sure there’s more snow up in the mountains near Bryson City where Arlo and Jan live.  It will be fun to spend some tim…

Sailboat shopping...

After my planned volunteer crewing from Jacksonville, Florida to Rio Dulce, Guatemala was canceled due to engine issues it was easy to decide to take Greyhound over to Pensacola to have a look at a Islander Freeport 36 I had been looking at online. I contacted the broker and he was nice enough to drive 21 miles to the Greyhound station and pick me up.. It had been a more grueling travel day than the trip down with waiting at bus stations and long bus rides. He met me at a McDonalds next to the bus station where I’d hung out over 4 hours. We had a good look at the boat and he answered a lot of questions and showed me more details not in the online listing. It’s certainly possible I could end up making an offer on this boat but not until I’ve looked at quite a few other boats. After looking at the boat he dropped me at a hotel fairly close to the marina I had reserved a room.. I was very tired and slept 14 hours. Here’s a few photos of the boat.

That was the plan...... anyway?

After a travel day that began getting up at 3:30 am, so I could eat, shower and drain my plumbing to prepare for winterizing my attic dwelling.  I first took the 3 plus hour Skyline Shuttle from Duluth to the Minneapolis Airport, then a 2 hour wait and the 3 hour flight to Orlando, then an Uber ride to the Greyhound Station, the 3 hour bus ride to Jacksonville and another Uber ride to where the boat was.. I finally met the boat about 10:15 pm.  I slept very good obviously and didn’t wake until we were already underway... motoring down the St John’s River to the ICW.  The plan was based on the forecast to stay on the ICW motoring by day and anchoring each night.  This would be for about 5 days, then we would head out into the Atlantic and sail on down to Key West.  From there we would head for Mexico and on to the Rio Dulce with the first good weather window.  That was the plan.   Then several hours down river the engine substantially increased RPMs then surged a bit and eventually sto…

Missing winter again...

I remember the second time I crewed on a sailboat for the coldest of winter.  We hung out waiting longer than necessary in Boot Key Harbor waiting for a window to cross the Gulf Stream.  Hanging out with the multitudes of sailing winter haters... I was out of place.  
I miss winter .. the early winter ice skating on frozen lakes,  the excitement of each storm and cross-country skiing through the winter woods.. river skiing...snowshoeing.. shoveling...all of it.  Pleasant memories.  I still have my skis, ice skates and skate blades...snowshoes. One day perhaps I’ll stay a winter.. but not in my current living situation.  I live in my attic renting out the main level for income.. with an uninsulated roof it works best to drain my plumbing and turn off the heat.  
It’s 4:15 am and I’m about to take one last shower and drain the plumbing.  I have to catch the Skyline Shuttle to the Minneapolis Airport at 6:30 am... then fly to Florida.

Ecos now waits in Jacksonville 

Michael moved his sailboat Ecos from Green Cove Springs earlier today.  She now sits at a dock next to the Jacksonville Jaguars football stadium.  I won’t be getting to the boat until very late Monday night, likely after 10 pm.....

She floats and the engine runs 

I’ve received an email that Ecos has been launched and she floats and the engine runs.  Well we will have the length of Florida to deal with any issues with the boat before setting out for Mexico...Including plenty of motoring on the ICW. 

This could be the last time....?

Early on December 4th, I’m flying down to Florida for my 5th time volunteering to crew on another persons’s sailboat.  I will meet the boat and owner/captain Michael in Jacksonville at the docks by the Jaguar’s football stadium.  The plan is to set out the next day.  Our destination is Rio Dulce, Guatemala.  This will be my second time sailing to Rio Dulce.  I will even stop and say hi to Walter on Asperida, the sailboat I crewed on back in 2014-2015.  He goes down there for the winter.  I’m looking at at least one sailboat for sale in Rio Dulce.  I’m sure there are more boats for sale, but perhaps not listed?

Upon my dear old mother’s death back in March, 9 days after her 96th birthday, I’m now able to search for and buy my own used, live-aboard, cruising sailboat.  I no longer have to wait until selling my house to buy a boat...which is good because renting out part of it is the money I live on.

I’m hoping to keep my future sailboat here in Duluth for a couple years until I do se…