If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Berserk: Nordvestpassasjen i Antarktis

Those of you reading my site because of the Albin Vega may also be familiar with Berserk.  Berserk was sailed by the "Vikings" to Antarctica.

"The final shot was a very sad one indeed, Berserk slowly sinking below the cold waves whilst the crew looked on from the rescue boat. A very sad end to a very plucky yacht......"VAGB

The book is available here:  Berserk: My Voyage to the Antarctic in a Twenty-Seven-Foot Sailboat
This is the story about the lone sailor who took onboard two strangers at the worlds end, and sailed through one of the world's most dangerous waters to Antarctica, in a 27 foot sailboat. The book tells the story of three men on a unpredictable journey, including mutiny at high sea, capsizing in stormy waters and the ship’s watery fate in Moby Dicks kingdom. The DVD includes TV2's documentary "Berserk in Antarctica".

And here: Berserk in the Antarctic: Sailing to the World's Most Untameable Continent: Sailing to the World's Most Uninhabitable Continent

After the sinking of Berserk they decided to upgrade and double the length of their boat.  They no longer sailed an Albin Vega.  They attacked the Northwest Passage and then back to Antarctica.

I just received this information: http://explorersweb.com/oceans/news.php?id=19973

Other articles:

Some good news: 
The yacht Berserk is still missing, but the captain and one of the crew is reported alive and well.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First Dinner On Board With guests...

The crew from s/v Wee Happy, Capt. K and Lala, came to dinner on Gemini Dreams last night.  But right before they arrived I had earlier guests swim by.  there were two separate pods of 3 about 75 yards between the two groups.  They swam into Boot Key anchorage and about 30 minutes later swam out the same path.
Back to dinner with s/v Wee Happy...  Everything was great with new friends and conversation, comparing boats, and discussing future sailing plans.  We only had on small issue in that I have no clue where my wine key is!  But Margaritas and Cervesas handled that department.  Dinner started off with fresh melon and grapes. Followed with pita bread and herbs.  Finally the main course came, one of my newer dishes...

Camarón con queso feta y el limón

  • One pound penne pasta
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVO)
  • 1.5 pounds 21-25 shrimp
  • Olive oil
  • 8 oz feta cheese
  • One small can sliced olives
  • One medium can artichoke hearts
  • One half pint of grape tomatoes
  • One tsp of Italian seasoning
  • One tsp of basil
  • Two tbsp of minced garlic
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper and salt
  • Zest from two large lemons (be sure to save 3-4 slices for garnish or have a 3rd lemon)
  • Juice from above lemons 
Cook pasta as desired and coat lightly in olive.  Marinate shrimp in 1/2 of lemon juice for 30 minutes.  In large saute' pan add 4tbsp of EVO and bring to temp.  Add peeled and deveined shrimp along with garlic, lemon zest and spices.  When shrimp are almost done add the remaining ingredients (I'm sure you prepped these ahead of time and had them ready).  Only heat the remaining ingredients to serving temperature to save the consistency and crispness of tomatoes (the feta should only just start to melt).  Add all the ingredients together with the pasta and mix over heat.  Serve with bread and herbs.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Out with the old in with the New!

The old running rigging
As with any sailboat that is more than 5 years old, it comes a time to replace all the running rigging.  After weeks of checking various Vega photos, layouts, and websites, I made the decision to go with most of the lines ran to the cockpit.  Even with most of the hardware on board (Lines, clutches, winches, organizers, etc) fitting such a massive project while cruising is just....TOO MUCH WORK!  For the time being the halyards are going to be a little too long so that when I get to the new layout everything is good.  I chose Endura Braid from New England Ropes for most of the lines and halyards.  You can get it for $2.68 a foot for 10mm and if you buy a spool you get a 20% discount.  I chose black for as much UV protection as I could and to make the navy canvas stand out more.  I did have a couple of Sta-Set X Plus halyards already made before I went with Endura Braid.  This will be good for any crew as their appearance can be distinguished at a critical time.
The new running rigging
Sta-Set X Plus

Endura Braid
...Specially engineered 12 Strand Dyneema SK 75 core with Marine-Tech coating and the sports best 24 carrier braided polyester cover.  

www.Mauripro.com currently has colored Endura Braid for only $2.68 in 3/8 10mm size.  If you order a full roll of 600 feet from your Chandlery this usually gets you another 10-20% savings.  I will fill in the blanks below as I get the lines terminated and installed.

  1. Main.- Sta-Set X Plus Halyard 3/8" 10mm with Headboard shackle (Endura Braid spare on board)
  2. Main - Endura Braid Sheet 3/8" 10mm
  3. Main - Endura Braid Control line port 3/8" 10mm
  4. Main - Endura Braid Control line starboard 3/8" 10mm
  5. Genoa - Sta-Set X Plus Halyard 3/8" 9mm with snap shackle (Endura Braid spare on board)
  6. Genoa - Endura Braid Furling Lead line 5/16" 7mm with Harken lead blocks
  7. Genoa - Endura Braid Sheet port 3/8" 9mm 
  8. Genoa - Endura Braid Sheet starboard 3/8" 9mm
  9. Spinnaker - Endura Braid Halyard 5/16" 7mm with snap shackle
  10. Spinnaker - Endura Braid Sock up-haul/down-haul 5/16" 7mm with deck fitting
  11. Spinnaker - Endura Braid Sheet port 5/16" 7mm  with Ronstan  snatchblock
  12. Spinnaker - Endura Braid Sheet port 5/16" 7mm  with Ronstan  snatchblock
  13. Topping Lift - Endura Braid Halyard 5/16" 7mm with snap shackle
  14. Spare Halyard - Endura Braid 3/8'' 10mm
  15. Boom Vang - Endura Braid 3/8" 10mm
  16. Reef #1 - ?
  17. Reef #2 - ?
  18. Flag Halyard port - Performance Braid 2,8 red
  19. Flag Halyard starboard - Performance Braid 2,8 red
  20. Lazy Jacks - ?
Below will be the list of new running rigging hardware.

  1. Harken 57mm 
  2. Harken 75mm
  3. Harken
FROM THIS POINT ON THE RUNNING RIGGING CHANGES WILL HAVE ITS OWN PAGE. That page will be located here.  Any future major additions or changes to the running rigging will only get a note to check the page within the blog.  Running rigging

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keys fisheries and dried fruits...

The Keys Fisheries on Marathon gets the praise for $1.25 Stone Crab Claws, everyday in season. They do a little pink grapefruit cocktail for sunset too.  They are located directly across the island from Boot Key Harbor and City Marina.

I also got time to load a pic of  "BOO BOO TIN TIN" today

Also I would like to put a couple of items on the must have list.
Both of these items originate in the Philippines and are miles above any of the sugar coated dried out items you find normally.  Look for them by name, great boat food.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spanish for cruisers..

I found something interesting to do this week.  Kathy Parsons is in Boot Key Harbor and doing her free for cruisers Spanish lessons.  I stumbled upon the class under the palapa this morning.  She will be giving 3 more classes over the next week, until she departs for other waters.

Someone please go buy the book (I do have a copy) so these classes remain free.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegas in WINDY Boot Key Harbor

I got word from Wee Happy yesterday that they are in Boot Key also!  Such a small world but a big harbor,  maybe we can get together in the next few days.  s/v Wee Happy

Any other Vegas in the area want to drop in over the next week?  We can call it the Boot Key Vega Rendezvous or something.

Over the last two days we have seen some high winds from the N-NW.  Just in my little corner of the harbor, a 50'cabin cruiser drug anchor Friday night, an Island Packet drug anchor yesterday and small cabin cruiser next to me went to Davy Jones Locker in the midst of the night.  It looked like the boat from Jaws, complete with a hole in the side, just waiting to sink and a head pop out. Don't know about the head!  But anything that would float on that boat is in the mangroves.
I didn't ever get the name of this boat,  should be called "Too Close for Comfort" seems that everyday it was closer to me.
I do know it has a hole in the side.  I wonder if it looks like this picture from "Jaws" now.
The Full Circle belongs to Bill from Mobile AL,  this is not the boat that went down!  Good luck on your trip "up" the east side.  Maybe we'll meet again when you come back out the Okeechobee Canal.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Marathon - Boot Key Harbor ... 2/6/11 until...

For the record, Boot Key Harbor bridge is no longer there.A dead road without a draw bridge.  Seems it failed to pass the inspection and was marked unsafe two years ago.  If wasn't until this past October that the draw was removed.  

Anchorage is free in Boot Key Harbor but you have to pay for dinghy docks at  $45 a week.  It is almost $14 a day, which is what I first paid for.  Once I realized how close everything was I upgraded to a week. You can get the more expensive moorings but they are just that more expensive.  I didn't buy an anchor 2 sizes too big to worry about mooring balls.  Things are good here.  Almost everything is withing one mile of the harbor.  Hell-mart doesn't come into the keys but there is still K-mart, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Drug stores, and the regular small shops around.  West Marine is even only a half mile from the marina.  With new tires and tubes on "DJ" the bike (yes I have started to name everything) getting around is easy.  No I don't have a Wilson yet!

Besides Today is Super Bowl Sunday, about the only time I watch pro football and commercials!

This will give me a few days to get some projects done!

BKH Project one: WIFI : I purchased a Bad Boy Xtreme (they named, it not me) before I left for the boat and have been trying to get it installed and working since.  Never any time.  Finally got everything installed and working on the laptop with XP but I am still having W7 issues on the main computer.  After initial installation I went from 4 hot spots to 45 hot spots.  Most are keyed but I was able to check my email at the far end of Boot Key Harbor.  If I move my anchor to the east end of the anchorage I may have more chances and should be able to connect directly to the Marina.  I can see it with the BBX but it is still too weak.  This is with the antenna in the cabin. Today, 2-10, the antenna is at the top of the mast (after 6 trips up and down doing this and the mast light).  
***update: this is being updated from on board by BBX , life is good ***

BKH Project two: Orca TRI- light 

Marathon Outside ... 2/5/11

Leaving Rock Harbor at high tide and heading to Marathon.  This is 50 miles by car and maybe a couple more by boat.  At around 2pm I lost all momentum.  The tides through one of the channels and a wind change put me down to a crawl. Time to let Mercury and his winged feet help out.
40 footer going north
The sun passing Mercury
I do believe Mercury has lost with 5 more miles to Marathon.
Marathon, Boot Key Harbor outside anchorage, I was hopping Pappy was a little more for my liking on this anchorage.  I was arriving after dark and only a "Gotta do it" attitude made things work.  The markers for the channel face 90 degrees to my entry so instead of nice green or red reflections I had a darker shadow from the shore and a light shadow from the water.  I proceeded until I felt it was the best place I could pick at this time.  Boot key harbor is crowded on the best day and I didn't want to enter without prior knowledge of the channel and anchorage.  I left the depth alarm on just in case I drifted and would have some chance not to go a ground.  This was a restless night as the tides pulled the boat north and south and the winds blew it like a rocking chair from the west.  When I awoke for sure I was only a hundred yards away from the channel and 75 yards away from a sailboat that didn't keep off the shore some time ago.  

Rock Harbor ... 2/3-2/4/11

I had been craving a Cheeseburger all day (day 6 on the boat).  By anchoring in Rock Harbor I cut the dinghy row from almost a mile down to a quarter of a mile.  Hanging out with the locals for sure!  There were boats here that couldn't move on their own much less when did they move last.  Anchored at dark and yelled over to the nearest guy (on the top of his mast) for burger directions.  He sent me to the local "dive" after laughing because I wanted a burger.   Ballyhoo's was actually the name and turns out to be one of those historic type places.  At $18.00 out the door for a burger and tea you would expect better. I was complaining to the bartender about no margaritas (beer wine only) and didn't think about it until he said "You've been on the boat for a week and all you want is a margarita and cheeseburger in paradise"

I stayed two nights here. Not because the lack of margaritas but since I needed a few supplies. To stay in a place one day turns out to be "arrival day, night, day at location, night, departure day" otherwise making the next anchorage is iffy. Work out day row 1/4 mile, walk 13 miles, row 1/4 mile.  Sure did think about the "all you can eat" stone crabs as I passed Ballyhoo's.  Next morning was high tide and out of rock harbor,  Uneventful considering I was occasionally touching bottom at low tide.

these awesome jelly fish are everywhere

Pumpkin Key ... 2/2/11

Pumpkin Key is a small little inhabited island in Card Sound.  Just south and finally out of Biscayne Bay.  I had this as a back up anchorage to Long Arseniscker but as I approached the single sailboat already residing there seemed more inviting.  Giving the early boat a wide birth I anchored for the night and even found some slow wifi.  The world was very peaceful and quite here, depth was good and holding was good.  I awoke to one of those foggy on the surface mornings that all the movies have, even better than in Hobe Sound.  

This was the turning point, actually one of several, but the last one I had scheduled for the great question.  Bahamas or not?  I chose to remain in the keys and work my way toward the Dry Tortugas.  
Leaving Pumpkin Key
This was also one of the last passages to the "outside" and Hawks Channel.  The passage through Angelfish creek started out intimidating since the depth sounder was constantly hitting 4.5'.  Once inside the channel the depth stabilized at around 7-8' and only thing to worry about then was the ripping current.
Once on the outer markers I passed an 80' foot trawler trying to make the creek.  I warned the captain about the north half of the Card Sound entrance being only about 4.5' as we passed.

The Atlantic finally!  Hoist the sails. Today was great all the way until it was time call it a day in Key Largo.  Key Largo is built up around the great diving and that brings all the commerce to the north end of the island.  According to Pappy you can anchor outside Largo Channel.  I found nothing but 3' and rocks.  Thought I would try inside Largo Sound since that is 5-6'.  Found more shallow water and a very long channel and extremely narrow entrance that you have to share with commercial traffic. Once out of the "Hell Zone"  I aimed for Rodriguez Key.  On the way to Rodriguez I made the decision to anchor out at Rock Harbor.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Camino Real, For real? More Bridges? 2/1/11

Well the next day was more bridges!

Hillsborogh Blvd Bridge
NE 14th Street Bridge
Atlantic Blvd Bridge
Commercial Blvd Bridge
Oakland Park Blvd Bridge
Sunrise Blvd Bridge
Las Olas Blvd Bridge
17th Street Bridge
Dania Beach Blvd Bridge

....decided to start trolling for fish here.   Using my Penn 750 with Shimano Jigging rod and braided line.  For a lure I put on a Yo-zuri minnow Gold and Black.  I hooked up a Jack Crevel before the next bridge and missed the damn opening during the fight.
Sheridan Street Bridge

I tossed the lure back out as soon as I passed through the bridge at Sheridan.  I first thought I was hung on some cable or something because within seconds of closing the bail the drag started to scream.  As I slowed the boat the drag slowed.  Ok, I am hung up and good thing I have 20 pound leader as the main line is 80 pound braid.  I get ready to break it off and then all hell breaks loose.  Within 20 seconds of closing the bail I had hooked another Jack Crevel that just wanted to stay where he was.  After the guys fishing on the bank saw the jack they a little envious but offered the thumbs up.
I anchored for a short lunch in North Lake (Hollywood key hole north).  After pulling anchor and starting on my way, I hooked the 3rd Jack Crevel between North Lake and South Lake (Hollywood key hole south).  Just as I crossed under Hollywood Blvd Bridge
Hollywood Blvd Bridge

I continued to troll the Yo-zuri but all that remained in Miami was damn lizard fish.  They are kind of like the Gremlins of the fish world.  If animal from Sesame Street had fins!  I put the rod away after catching 6 or 7 and getting into the sea weed a few times.

Hallandale Beach Bridge
Sunny Isles Bridge
Broad Causeway Bridge

leaving Miami
leaving Miami, 18 Miles later!
Anchored for the night off the east shore of Biscayne Bay at Indian Creek Country Club.  The local water patrol stayed in my general area for a couple of hours.  Maybe the first time someone anchored there?  lol   I could get just enough wifi to check part of my emails.

Bridges, bridges, bridges everywhere...1/31/11

Ok, this is the point where waiting on bridges to open gets annoying.  Getting to more of the "on the hour or the half" or the "15 or 45'.  If you can't make it by the time you end up spending 25 minutes waiting on the next scheduled opening.  Still beats working.
707 Bridge
Jupiter Federal Bridge
Indiantown Road Bridge
Donald Ross Bridge
PGA Blvd Bridge
Parker Bridge
Jack Nicklaus Bridge
Flagler Memorial Bridge
Royal Park Bridge
Southern Blvd Bridge
Lake Worth Bridge
Lantana Ave Bridge
Boynton Beach Bridge
15th St Bridge
George Bush Blvd Bridge
Atlantic Ave Bridge
Linton Blvd Bridge
Spanish River Bridge
Palmetto Park Bridge
Camino Real Bridge
Wooooow! forget Camino, I am anchoring in Lake Boca Raton. Too many damn bridges today!

Stay on the north shore or the South shore because the center is shallow.  Left the depth sounder alarm set at 4' all night just in case.

Hobe sound. 1/29-1/30/11

Hobe sound was the typical backwoods mangrove creek adventure.
Jupiter Island Police are well represented as well as Florida Wildlife.  There is an anchorage about 2/3 the way down the sound with nothing but wild life on the west bank and population on the east.
picture of neighboring sailboat
The fist morning turned out to be so calm I decided this was the place to install electricity!  I have been storing two 135 watt solar panels on board until I found a good place to put them on the bimini.  I didn't want to spend any more time in Indiantown to get the job done.
135 watts
270 watts for the pair
The balance of the energy generation will come from an Air-Breeze wind generator.
As they say "One thing leads to another", here is what the original butchered wiring looks like.  Notice the black wire coming from the positive side of the battery selector and then through a fuse to a red wire!

This turns out to be the hang out for some of the locals power boats on Sundays.

Leaving Indiantown. 1/28/11

The local watch dog came out to visit on my last night in Indiantown.
"pic of alligator"
Indian town to the inter-coastal water way is about 28 miles on the Okeechobee Waterway with a lock located at marker 15.  All the posted data about the lock says on demand.  Don't let that fool you the lock master is ready willing and able if your demand fits his every two hour pattern.  So if you are east bound and arrive at 1:05pm be prepared to wait until 3pm to start the cycle and about 30 minutes to complete it depending on other traffic.  I was in the box with a 125'er.  I was unable to make Manatee Pocket, the desired anchorage for the night due to the actual "every two hour" pattern.  Of course this was motor all the way.  Boo Boo Tin Tin following the whole way.

First night anchorage was at Pendarvis Cove, Stuart, FL