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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tripping on the road to Thanksgiving.

 We just took a major road trip to restock and regear for the season.  Tin played tag with his mother and myself ridding in different cars and staying in different places over the holidays so that I could get things done and he could see his family in Clearwater.  One the first day out I went by Sailor's Exchange in St Augustine.  Since I knew my traveling companions from s/v Wee Happy were hanging out in St Augustine on board their new acquisition s/v Way Happy I dropped them an email and a call.  They didn't get this until about 2 hours after I headed out of St Augustine.  Funny thing they were on the road ahead of me by an hour going to basically the same place in St Petersburg.  Funny how life cross paths over and over.  We made contact and took time out on Thanksgiving day to meet up...

 Thanksgiving day at Fort Desoto and where we found Capt K and Lita

The Crew of s/v Gemini Dreams and s/v Way Happy
St Augustine?   St Petersburg?  Marathon? Bahamas? Destination unknown!

After Fort Desoto we went to spend Thanksgiving afternoon with their mom's family.  Oh how poor my Spanish is!  See our host only speaks Spanish and has a world of culture.  Time there was too short.  After eating I headed out to south Florida for a couple items.  I decided to do some black Friday shopping instead of spending the night in a motel.  What a group of morons.  I did black Friday 4 years ago for a TV and some other items it was organized and went rather well.  This year it was just plain stupid and unorganized everywhere.  I guess in an effort to keep you in the store longer "to buy more stuff" they make you go down individual lines to get the golden goblet, then another line for the golden fork.  What moronic was of time.  But I didn't spend money on a motel room and it was only around 40 hours.  Practice for overnighters!

I managed to get a few new toys to play with while we are on our journey.  One of our new toys makes one of our recent toys 3d. We will soon be able to post up some 3d photos and videos.  I also finally paid off the Halloween for Tin,  He wanted to skip Halloween and get five bags of candy, so he now has the last two.

We also have added 3 more pole spears to out fishing arsenal!  Tin earned one for doing all his math in boat school.  I replaced one of the three piece that I wore out then destroyed buy spearing the dock about 4-5 feet under water.  I also have a new Manny Puig 8.5'.  This wasn't really in the budget but I had wanted a good spear since before moving onto the boat.  So I now have one...

Look out Bahamas here we come!  It may look simple like this but in person it is like an AK-47!

The wonder of foil wrappers,  Back up just in case the "Fisher King" has a bad day

Over the next few days we have engine maintenance and storing all the supplies then it is off we go!

PS   over 2200 miles on the rental car this week with only two nights in a motel!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hurricane Force winds and Smile your on Candid Camera.

Well as we sit here hunkered down a braving out the North Wind I just saw that Alaska has hurricane force winds!  Worst storm in 40 years!  Hope you are all okay Tom!  See you at Bahia Honda in a few months.  Maybe Linda wont kick us out at sunset! lol

Ok back to getting ready.  I have a new toy!  I just sold the camera that has brought you so many good photos of last seasons trip.  There will be some times when I wish I still had it (low light and long distance) but I was always stressful having it around the water.  S/v Wee Happy (now Way Happy) has lost two since I met them last year and their new on is acting up even before it gets to the keys!  So they are shopping for their 4th camera?  I also keep telling Tin "no" when he asks to use the camera for fear of water.  I have made the decision and got a GOPRO Hero2 Hd.  Long name for such a small camera.
I hope it is as good as the hype!

Of course there are massive amounts of accessories.  If you have massive computing power for editing video  there is even a 3D housing to hold two cameras and give 3D. So as not to sound like a commercial you can go to GoPro.com and see for yourself.

We hope to have awesome pictures and videos of our adventure.

Getting ready part 4,278.3 or at least it feels that way

Sitting here today waiting out the latest North Blow (20knts and cold!) I took time to install the latest upgrade.  I upgraded to Fugawi Marine ENC 4.5  complete with Navionics chart reader.

Navionics platinum 3D!
It includes support for Google Earth.  
And GRIB file support!

I know I could get all this from Lowrance or Garmin or even some other guys but this comes in at 2K less.  I put this on both the main boat computer and the new Panasonic Toughbook 

(Do not buy Asus netbooks!  They are energy efficient but have a serious issue with the chargers, charger connection and living in the "Live aboard world"  Buy a used Toughbook for $100-$500)

With this upgrade from Fugawi 3.0 it puts us with two computers running Fugawi Marine ENC 4.5, Lowrance 38c, a whole collection of paper charts, more cruising guides and Active Captain we are covered for the season.  I hope!  Well Santa could bring a Navionics 906P+ for Christmas.  


A long, long time ago in a far away place...

Last year was the culmination of  thirty years of lost and postponed dreams.

About 3 years ago on a random road trip escaping a severe case of cabin fever it slammed me pretty hard.  The call of the ocean that is.  I don't know why I have always been drawn to the ocean.  Maybe it was my parents being Florida when I was conceived.  Maybe it was being born a restless Gemini.  What ever the reason, I set into motion a plan to escape from the daily grind and sail into the sunset.

I started looking for a boat, not just any boat but a Hans Christian...
...See way back in the mid 80's a girlfriend and I were going to go to Key West and run dive charters off a Hans.  Things come and things go, the next one was afraid of water.  That drastically altered the events from that point on.  Then there was the racing phase, sports cars and F1.  Then somewhere down the line I met my best friend and had a couple of children. Even named my son after a Formula one driver.  Over a long quiet time I began to find myself and my dreams again.

Well a Hans Christian was currently cost prohibitive and I went on to the next option.  Morgans at 41' then 35 footers...  The rest of the world got bigger and my world got smaller.  I got more practical and started shopping smaller.  "Go small, go now!" began to really hit home.  I purchased "Twenty Small Boats to Take You Anywhere".  I began to check out the boats listed in the book.  Trips to Annapolis, Norfolk and the Keys to look and check out some of the options.  Albergs, Pearsons and Dorys Oh My.  Then I found s/v Whisper on a blog and the decision was made for an Albin Vega.  Back to Norfolk to look at a Vega.  It was a cold Noreaster that day, the Vega was in poor shape and the broker was a dick, so no deal.  Now to find a good one.

After months of watching eBay, Craigs and all the trader sites I saw Vegas come and go.  All the good deals in California and all the high prices on the east coast.  Then a boat popped up on eBay and I hoped to snipe it for a good deal.  Then it disappeared before the end of the auction.  Turned out in my favor as it was pulled for lack of interest and a fear of going to cheap.  I ended up making an acceptable offer and the rest is history.

Almost two years of planning, searching and organizing came to a close last Thanksgiving.  I had a boat, quit my job and headed out on the seas.

This year my son goes with me...