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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dancing with Debbie

Tropical Storm Warning for Coastal Gulf, FL

"Debby forced the suspension of 8 percent of the region's oil and gas production." TWC Wow there goes another reason to artificially raise the price of fuel! The big oil companies found out we will pay post Katrina.

If you take the forecast path for Debbie and the Panhandle of Florida, then compare that to windfinder you have an issue.   We are expecting 50+ according to the Weather Channel for Thursday.  According to Windfinder.com we are expecting as little as 2 kts in the mid afternoon Thursday.

So the Fisher King has stood on the bow saying over and over "I'm going to huff and I'm going to puff until I blow you away!  Then he mumbles some incoherent phrases followed by a dance.  Must have worked because Debbie track looks like a tug of war toward the panhandle.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Passing Of A Long Time Friend

The Fisher King had met his best friend around a year and a half ago.  The two of them were inseparable.  Spending hours upon countless hours together fishing, dancing and playing the air guitar.  They had a special bond unlike anything else he had ever experienced.   Then late one afternoon tragedy struck.  I could tell something was amiss as he rowed the dinghy back to the boat.  His face was long and his eyes sad.  I asked if he was okay but he didn't respond.  Then as I became more worried about the change in his normal character I began to be more forceful with the question.  "What's wrong?  Are you okay?"

At this point he slowly reached down and pulled up his fishing rod.  With a sad, sad tone in his voice he said "It broke!"  "I was casting and it hooked the dinghy, and as I cast it just broke."  "I didn't mean to." "Can we fix it?"  "I'll get the tape."  He continued on with the problem solving trying to make it all better. Trying to explain that it just wouldn't work that way I decided to go to the stern and get one of my rods for him. As I detached the reel and began to attach his he still morned.  He wanted a rod just like the one that broke.  Mine wouldn't do.  So now we will set aside a couple of the proceeds from his conch shells to buy him a new rod.  After all you can't be the Fisher King without catching fish with your own special rod.   

 Sad, Sad Little Fisher King

 Bye, Bye old friend

The damage is done

If anyone out there has enjoyed his adventure please email us about buying a conch shell to replace his rod.  It is now number one on the list!

Entrepreneurial Adventures of the Fisher King

Entrepreneurial Adventures Of The Fisher King

The Fisher King with the medium and large conch shells

The Fisher King needed a project for Boat School so he has decided to offer a piece of the dream to those that follow our blog.  He has an abundance of Helmet Conch Shells each now for sale.  Each one collected in the Bahamas on our cruise.  These are just in time for Christmas!  They make great gifts for family and friends.  He has a few items on his wish list and the proceeds will go to make his cruising more enjoyable.  He found Helmet Conch for sale in Staniel and Highborne Cays.  Bahamas prices are $12 to $50 dollars each.  The $12 price is for the tiniest of the Helmet Conchs found in Highborne.  I don't think we have found any that tiny!  The  one he found for $50 was at Staniel Cay in the Purple Restaurant, it was the size of the one we call small.  We never found any for sale that were larger.  

He has classified them as small, medium and large.  The small being great for dreaming in the office cubical.  The medium for that place you can see when you are disagreeing with the significant other and need to escape.   The large can be the center piece and make a statement that “One Day!”  You can see photos below of the sizes compared to the tiny one from Highborne Cay.  His pricing is $20 for the small, $30 for the medium and $40 for the large. They will be cleaned, bleached and dried.   THIS ALSO INCLUDES SHIPPING!  He will even gift wrap it for $10 extra and send it box inside box.

Payment can be handled by Paypal.  Just send an email with the size requested and we can send an invoice back our next internet connection.  Or send it straight to Paypal using account hartgeh23 (at) msn.com  Shipment will commence once he is again in the US.

Tiny shell in Highborne Cay

Small conchs at $20.00 shipped 

 Medium conchs at $30.00 shipped

 Large conchs at $40 shipped

Think of it like being hit up to buy magazines, flowers or chocolate from the local school.  IF you have been entertained by his fishing stories and pictures it now a good time to pay him back.  Proceeds go to fulfill his wish list for the next cruise and next years school books, oh and of course a little ice cream.


We managed to find some more with prices and one large one with a price after starting this project.
Yes that says $80.00 in Bimini
 This smaller one in the corner was $50.00

 In Key West a small one was $26.99

This is a repost now that he is in a spot where he can reasonably make shipping and handling a reality.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Bang Your Head, It's only the attitude that's in your Head

Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!  Well I'm...

Some times you just have to have the right tune in your head to turn a miserable time into an awesome adventure.

Bang your head
Wake the dead
We're all metal mad
It's all you have
So bang your head
And raise the dead
Oh yeah!
Metal Health
It's not too bad
Bad Bad
Quiet Riot

She Squeezed So Hard!

We left Marathon rather quickly compared to the time we would have liked to have stayed.  We had family to meet way up the coast.  We passed on the continuing adventures in the keys for some home sick remedies.  Time for the Fisher King to see his mom.   We missed returning to Bahia Honda, making it out to the Marquesas, and the long haul out to the Tortugas.  As nice as it is out there, with no spearfishing and no fishing farther than one mile from the fort it was a quick decision for the Fisher King.  

The Fisher King's Eyes Popped Out!

I will spare you the boring details of how the wind and the forecast rarely agreed and how it always seemed to be against us.  How sailing up the coast became motor sailing up the intercoastal.  How two days across the gulf became three.  How Apalachicola became east end of Dog Island. Instead I'll just post a few pictures and captions.  On the bright side we paused in St Pete long enough for him to see his aunt and grandmother.

 One last day trip to Key West.  What is he looking at?

Was that his chicken fingers walking around dinning room at The Conch Republic Seafood Company?

s/v Sjöjungfru "Mermaid" was found in St Pete, actually he found us.

 The captain called himself Brer Rabbit

We caught a half dozen Bonita outside of Johns Pass

The last sunset.

Cruising through channels gets to be boring, even a pelican covered marker feels interesting.

Boy did it rain while we were in Apalachicola!

Making the best out of a break in the rain.

Okay, I hate Lake Wimco! Seriously! it is two feet deep 15 square miles or so and the channel is LESS than 100 feet wide.  The markers are almost a mile apart!  It is a bump on the shallow side waiting to happen!  Which, while replacing the lure on a rod we lightly did!  Never slowed down just a touch and go.  I hate crossing this lake!  If it is 20 plus knots you better have extra eyes!  To top it all off some one planted a palm tree right in the middle of the channel making it less than 40 feet on either side!  

Dinner at Hunt's Oyster Bar,  "Mom will you stop!  Dad takes my picture all the time."

In our next post we will fill you in on a terrible tragedy we have had recently.  But for now let's end the cruise with a big KISS!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

White Out

The skies are charcoal grey, it's a dreary down town day...  Heading for Hawks channel and off to the keys!

It's a dreary downtown day...I mean look it's Biscayne light!

Facing the facts that the weather was all rain today we headed out anyway with hopes to make it to Rodriguez Key.  All went well on another dreary day. 

The next morning when I awoke it was dead calm with no wind and being low on fuel I went back to bead and waited until the next awakening.  Being another 10 hours from marathon we decided to go and get some fuel from the nearby gas station (5 blocks and 2 containers).   Once we made it back to the dinghy we decided to have lunch at the Mandalay.  If you are in Rock Harbor it is the yellow canopy.  Burgers are only $7.95 compared to the $18.00 in the Exumas.  The fries are way better and they actually have Hienz mustard, a requirement for a great burger. 

Once back to the boat we headed out toward Hawk Chanel.  Just as we were about to round the last pylon of Rodriguez Key and head west we heard the Advisory on ch 16.  But it was so broken up that we couldn't get the whole message,  We tried Wx but they kept on going on and on about storms in southern Florida.  We needed the Hawk Channel alert we just heard 20% of.  Finally we got the whole report and "Full About 180".  We barely made it back to the anchorage before the drops were falling.  Having carried 10 gallons for 5 blocks and then rowing against the wind to the boat I was feeling a little sticky.  I took a moment to lather up and use the rain as a shower.  LOL  It wasn't long until we were hit with a "white out".  Rain on bare skin kind of stings at 50 knots!  The Fisher King just kept laughing at me for even trying to rinse off.  Things just didn't feel right and as the rail was almost in the water.  We should be staying bow too with the anchor set.  We must be dragging.  I had the Fisher King check the anchor alarm (it was off to save power) it was easy to watch us drag slowly across the anchorage.  Our visual reference was no longer any good as the island was out of vision, the marker to Pennekamp was out of vision and the sailboat next to us was dragging also.  We needed to re-hook so I went up front and took the easy way out.  We had the secondary anchor stowed in case we had to anchor quickly while the dinghy was on the bow.  I just slipped it over and held on to the rode until it hooked up.  It was already cleated off at the right distance and when it became tight we stayed hooked through out the blow.  Being so wet I ended up staying in the cockpit the whole time watching just in case we dragged once again.  Once the blast was over we checked things out and gave the Okay sign to the neighboring boat.  We did notice the 60 footer had serious issues during the blow and ended up riding it out by motor as they could not get hooked up anywhere.  They settled in way out from their original spot and spent the night.

Last time s/v Gemini Dreams had 50 knots in the Keys I was on the dock and she rode them out all alone!

The next morning the wind was dead on the nose and we gave up at Tavenier Key and waited for the next morning.  


The Fisher King Wins Lotto!

He has no time for fishing at the moment as he has to decide on a car and a new boat.  

Okay it's a Ferrari but it's not me!  I want a Lamborghini!

Lamborghini Gallardo matches his favorite shirt

He wants a Heesen every since he saw "Totally Nuts" in Staniel Cay

Impressive interiors 

Shhhh don't wake him he is having a good dream.


Gulf Stream Two Step

Crossing the Stream today was uneventful except for having to hand steer the whole way.  I sure miss the autopilot! We will have to get that fixed or replaced before anymore long sails.

We had tons of advice on where to check in when we arrived back in the USA.  First was DO NOT GO TO LAUDERDALE!  Then the consensus was Lake Worth is easy, "Just play dumb when you get there".  But Lake worth is around 70 miles north of Miami!  After that was Jacksonville, which is WAY too far north for someone going to the keys.   The other option is to make it all the way to Key West and check in at the airport, which we actually entertained for a while.  We would sail to Marathon and bus it to Key West and take the day for exploring more of the island.

So with Key West on the table we took off from Bimini with 255 on the compass and hoped for the best.  This allowed us to keep as far south as we could and not waste too much effort against the Gulf Stream.  But as we side stepped the stream the GPS kept us posted on our progress north.  It is amazing how many hours you can see the Miami-Lauderdale towers before you are close enough to find an anchorage.  We had hoped to "land" near Miami and proceed to Rodriguez Key by late evening.  But the best laid plans are spoiled by weather and destiny.  It would seem that our uneventful crossing was just about to change.

During the calm and boring hand on the tiller crossing it game plenty of time to reflect on our journey.  So what did we do?  You could sum it all up as we sailed to Thunderball Groto and had a great time while watching the 007 movie of the same name.  But it was really more than that.  We rode out minor storms, we sailed, we motor sailed, we motored, we have anchored in the best spots, we have anchored in the worst spots, we have caught lobster, conch and groupers, we have caught sharks and lion fish, we have eaten well and often wished for more in the cupboard, we have had equipment failures, oh the poor dinghy, we have watched Star Trek, Highlander, Dr Who, and way too many movies on those gray days, those gray rainy days that were way too common, we have had cuts, scrapes, bruises and infections, we have chased dragons and go to the land on never touch, we fed flocks of killer insects from our own flesh, we have watched the stars, planets and the moon,  we have not stayed long enough, we have not learned enough, we have made new friends and missed those we already knew, we have spent more than we wanted but no where as much as we could have, we have enjoyed through pain and misery that which puts life into perspective, there is no better life than to travel and explore new places.

So what did it cost us to spend 3 months in the Bahamas?  Cash out of pocket during the trip?  $1,008.00

  • Entry Fee $150
  • Dockage $150
  • Fuel  $200
  • Groceries $150
  • Medical $90
  • Eating Out $250
  • Water  $18
This is with a FULL stores list at the begging of which some are still aboard!  We expected to buy produce, water and fuel.  We expected to actually catch more fish too!

About two hours off the coast, half way between Miami and Lauderdale, we were greeted by dark skies and warnings on the radio.  "Small craft should..." started the warning followed by "life jackets" and other key words in the message.  So we reef the main and furled the genoa in most of the way as we turned almost into the wind to head south.  For the next three or more hours we beat into the wind, light rain and dark clouds.  Then the forecast caught us to us.  The clouds were darker, the rain was harder and now the wind was blowing hard.  But the blunt of the front never passed.  It must have dropped most of its fury into Biscayne Bay.  Beaten for hours and making slow progress we decided to go with plan "k" or what ever variable we were up to in this crossing plan.  We also chose to call AT&T and reconnect the phone.

We chose to head in at Miami, Government Cut.  I punched up Active Captain and looked for the most convenient place to anchor and get some "home" cooking.  You know Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonalds and all the other stuff you grew up with.  The most convenient spot was "8th street anchorage".  This is just inside the cut past the marina.  How great is that?  We there is one object in the way... a non opening bridge span.  At 35 feet and an hour after high tide we hoped for the best!  As we approached the bridge I watched anxiously for the water height sign, recalculated the mast height, Thought about the expensive LED mast light, how fast we could stop and multitudes of other relevant facts OVER AND OVER AND OVER!  As we slowly went under the bridge every muscle in my body tensed as the Fisher Kings eyes got wider and wider.  I had to force my eyes to stay open as I didn't want any optical illusions to distract me from the dangers over head.  Well at 36 feet our VHF antennae touches!  The anchorage isn't all that but it is simple.  If you are willing to tie up to the bridge you are one
to four blocks from Burger King, Pizza, Bagels, 7-11, Subway, Best Buy, and of course Publix.

CBP on Dodge Island

We decided to catch the bus from Miami Beach to Dodge island and check in here in Miami.  Just for information the bus across the bridge at Dodge Island only runs at rush hour!  We just walked across.