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

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Little Time On The Dark Side Of The Moon

We spent a little time being civilized yesterday.  Doing things we would have done in years past.  First we ate breakfast.  I have never been a big fan of breakfast and when the Fisher King wants breakfast it is not pancakes, eggs or anything else typical.  Today we walked down to the VFW shelled out the $7 and $8 for our plate.  They do Sunday breakfast here in Marathon and if you are still hungry you must not have eaten it all!  We watched some of the Daytona 24 race there at the VFW bar.

After a few errands we needed to complete to hopefully get out of "Boot Key Harbor".   We returned up to the marina to watch the final hour of the Rolex 24.

  Chip Ganassi Racing claimed a fifth victory in its 10 years of competing at the Daytona 24 Hours after Juan Pablo Montoya came through to seal the honours in a thrilling final hour.
Ganassi's winning Riley-BMW MkXXVI, which Montoya shared with Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Charlie Kimball, briefly dropped to fourth position after the final restart with less than an hour to go.  
continued here

Oh well back to sailing and island hopping.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photo Update 1-20-13

Music class, Boat School.  Laid Back Marina

The Fisher King took his camera out for a stroll.

Banana Spider, looks very similar to a garden spider from NC

 Peeking around the corner

 Company during "Ice Cream Time"

Red Wing Black Bird

 Bahia Honda Fun Facts

 Hawks Channel viewed from the old bridge trail

No it is not a Monarch

 Striped Whiptail

 What am I?

 Slack tide parallel and bridges with an easterly breeze

Diamondback Anole,  could you imagine a 6 foot rattler with legs?

 Guessed yet?

 Gulf Fritillary

 I really thing the Fisher King was Godzilla in an earlier life.

 All the way up here and no lizards.

White Crane at Bahia Honda


Friday, January 18, 2013

Hi, We found a couple of errors on the paperwork

We found a couple errors on the paperwork but have fixed them and just need you to re authorize the payment.  The first payment has been refunded.  No money left on the MC until it is returned and they don't take VISA!  Good news is they charged me for an 18 foot boat and the correction will save me some money in a couple days.  But how to complete the transaction of a Friday afternoon with only 10 minutes left and we are sitting at anchor.

This obviously became another day problem so she voided her corrections to wait for the upcoming week.  Monday is so far away we take off for Bahia Honda the next day before the last of the 20 knot wind is gone.  With some big chop, really big chop, coming from mostly east, or south east, but bouncing off the shores and getting stirred buy the reef we sailed toward Bahia Honda.  We make it from Burdine's at 11:27 to fully anchored, set up, downloading some TV and ready to go ashore before 1:30!  I think that is my quickest time for that leg of the trip.

We banged around using the motor on the dinghy until Tuesday (The Fisher King's favorite day) not Monday.  Keeping the registration and numbers in a zip lock baggy just in case we were stopped and questioned.  The closest we came was when I forgot the cash on the boat and I made a quick trip from the basin to the boat and back.  I arrived right between two Florida fish and game officers standing outside their trucks.  I tied the dinghy up, nodded and off I went.  (Stay tuned for the Bahia Honda Page later)  The plan was I got a call and didn't put them on but we tried  or  I need to alcohol it down first and we will get to it today.

Tuesday we row in at Bahia Honda and take the bus to Marathon and the Tax Office.  Neither of the previous employees that help us are there.  So up to the "next"call we went.  "Hi, I got a call Friday that there was an issue with out paperwork."  "What kind of issue?"  "It was listed as 18 feet instead of 8 feet..."  This is where she goes "Okay, I know all about that."  Over the next 10 minutes she typed and asked and typed and handed.  I signed a couple of lines and shelled out some cash then with a smile she said thanks.  "All good?  No problems?" I asked as I clicked on the bus schedule to see if we could catch this run back to Bahia Honda.  The next question was are the numbers the same?  "Should be" she responded.  Woo Hoo!  Paper work in hand and 4 minutes until the bus arrives.  I rush The Fisher King out trying to get to the bus stop in time.

Bus comes and off we go back to the park  No calls yet!


Vrooom Vrooom,

MickyD's and the resort internet are being very slow to upload so we will post some picks once the speed improves. Reminds me of the Straw Market in Bimini.  The Fisher King has been taking a few pics at Bahia Honda

A Sailboat Is Not A Sailboat Without A Sail.

On that list of things to do in Marathon like spend money was some sail work.  We have had an almost new Hood Genoa on board for over a year.  It's only problem was it was too long for our fore stay.  It also needed to be converted from hanks to our #5 tape size.

We had lost two sails in our adventure last year. The first was the Genny that came with s/v Gemini Dreams.  I repaired a really big rip in it on the first season.  Last year as we rounded North Rock above Bimini we had a moment of sheets in the wind.  As I tried to do something... Hmmm I don't even remember what.  Probably motor or GPS related.  This was just enough for the old tired sail to gain a couple of new rips.  Down she came and up went the spare.  The spare was an old racing sail, a laminate.  Through out the Bahamas she shed her skin daily.  leaving only strands of open weave in large spaces by the time we arrived in PC.

We made it from PC to Marathon with an "I don't even know why this crappy sail is on board" sail.  Too small and running it free flying.  (we had hoped to sew the Hood in White City)  We had purchased a Zigzag sewing machine to do this with.  Turns out the old metal framed heavy duty machine would not sew the Hood sail fabric.   At least not 7 layers of it.  We chose to press on instead of returning to PC or buying another sail and having it delivered to Apalachicola.

What did it cost to have our oversize Hood sewn to fit and our #5 tape replaced?  Keys Sail Repair did it for... Ca-ching $322.00 out of the cruising budget.  We have $522 total in an almost new Hood cloth fore sail now.  With estimates for fore sails $1200-$2700 we are okay with this but it was still a financial hit.   John lives aboard in Boot Key and has been cruising quite a bit on his boat.  If you need something done to your canvas or sails take off your shoes and give him a chance.


2244 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL 33050
(774) 563-9535

Maybe it was the recut on this sail that got us to Bahia Honda in record time?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


One of the issues of Boatschool is you always wonder if you are doing enough. Even though you have realized most of a day at public school is just shipping, feeding and controlling the inmates, you still wonder if just a couple hours or so a day is really enough.  You are great full when you encounter another Boatschool parent that will share, especially if they are running a similar school to yours.  You often find the curriculum dependent (not a negative thing necessarily except for the expenses), virtual school junkies (still public but without the other inmates),  the Unschoolers but not many like us.  Trying to pick and choose from the vast assortment of information, styles and curriculums is often overwhelming.

Trying to find social groups is often the worst.  There are multiple groups on line but when you talk to a couple of the parents or just watch as the messages unfold you often have a Waco feel.  If you are not going to horde up in a little armory in a little town it often results in the groups in the "un-armory" in all the towns.  You know the lot, they are such critics of everyone else and even among themselves.  They will gladly take in all the "Father Rapers" as projects at a price of 10%.  Then after just a couple months of thought adjustments  and recycled clothes they send them forth into the flock with blessings to play with their children.  Then finally if you are lucky you will cross others with you thoughts or as I like to think "Just Being Human"

Just last week in the TV bay at Marathon there was (on Fox News no less) an article about how children today are entering the work force with not ethics, with an entitlement expectation and "their" needs requirements.   They went on about how the generation that was currently in charge and so unhappy with this situation was actually the parental generation for those entering the work force.  They taught their children to expect the hand out (oh now I know why it was on Fox).  They instructed their children to stay in school longer (longest average time ever), enter the work force later, accept responsibility at a later age.  Now they were unhappy that what they were expected to do at 18 most college grads couldn't do at 23.  Our children are becoming bored and complaisant.  Their dreams and energy are being so drawn out into the future that they give into the machine of modern government.

While on one of the few secular (the world is not going to end in 2012, the dead are not walking except on AMC) homeschool websites.  While looking at archaeological courses.  I dug up this.

Kind of like Alan Parsons, Shadowfax, Motor Head  Rumplemintz and Jagermeister in a blender.

Have a good day

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Great Fishing (license) Story

The Fisher King slept as I rowed off toward the ATM. I wanted to have cash for the boat and all the little things.  Next was a fishing license.  We K-Mart is just across the street from the bank so that was an obvious place.  I took my voter registration and my receipt from the marina in PC hoping to get the $17 license instead of the $48 I have to pay for out of state.  Florida changed their ID laws 3-4 years ago and it is quite difficult to get a drivers license compared to previous years.  Used to be anyone with a post office box could get a Florida license.  The cashier at K-Mart said I should try the tax office they might give me a resident license but he couldn't without a Florida Drivers License.

So I rowed the dinghy almost a mile, walked a mile and now I am walking another mile and a half to the tax office.

With the documents in hand and the fingers crossed I hoped for the best.  Sorry!  but you can take those to the Drivers License Office up the road and get your license and then we can give you a resident fishing license.  "What is the cost of a Florida Drivers license?"  About $54.  She did some quick calculations on her calculator and said getting the DL first would save me $25 vs. getting it latter.  After a couple minutes I decided I hadn't needed a Florida Drivers License for two years now and my NC one was still good so I shelled out the $55.50 for the fishing license and crawfish stamp.

While all that was printing I asked a question that has been asked multiple times before both in person and on the phone.  "I have an Alabama dinghy with a bill of sale only, can I get it titled in FL?"   Expecting the previous laughs and giggles, shaking head and big NO's as before I was surprised when she asked for a minute to check on something.  After talking to a couple of people, calling Alabama and printing a page from the internet she said SURE!.  But the title must state it was without a motor.  WOW!  Oh the paper work is in Gemini Dreams!  another 1/2 mile walk and mile row.

I folded my new fishing license and slipped it into my wallet.  After rowing back to the boat I had to tell the Fisher King that we were staying another day!  Unhappy little man.

The next morning as he woke up I already had the little motor off Gemini Dreams and on the dinghy.  His eyes lit up like Christmas morning.  All kinds of questions came but I only gave the answer we are trying.  So off we motored.  INSTEAD OF ROWING!

We walked into the tax office with the documents and the printed page from the day before.  Of course the person we talked to was already at lunch but the next person was cordial and processed our paperwork.  All said and done and we shelled out $135 to make it happen.  Sign here, sign there put your phone number here in case we need to contact you.  

We have owned the dinghy for three years and finally have a Florida Title and can make longer journeys from the main boat!  We ran off to West Marine to get the required numbers and we would have the option to motor our dinghy as we see the need.  Our next adventure was to motor all the way around Boot Key Harbor as it has been too far to row.  We could now use the other dinghy dock since it is so far away.  We also took a trip out Sister's Creek just because we never have.  We could now join the fun at Gilligan's Island on Saturdays.  We could go... and go...

Ring Ring  Mr. Wines this is... from the Title Office.  We have a problem with your title.


Oh, There Is The Wind!

All the wind we wanted for the crossing from Sanibel to the Keys arrived once we were anchored here in Marathon.   Book Key Harbor to be exact.  Twenty to 25 knots to be precise

With all the confusion over the anchoring issues here in Boot Key several of the local live aboards have migrated to different spots in the Harbor.  From this end to that end and back.  The whole east end of the "Bridge" anchorage is now a spiderweb of locals just far enough apart that you can anchor between them but you may need more than one anchor.

Seeing all the boats on the east end  we snugged up as close as we could without camping out right in the middle of the madness.  See,  the problem is that we get free internet at the east end of the anchorage and so wanted to catch up on things.  To expand on the spiderweb of locals were three homemade moorings that we decided to squeeze between.  Making almost half the anchorage occupied by locals.  The previous two years this anchorage of course had its share but there were more openings and half the locals used single hooks.  So here we sit just west of a large orange ball with SE winds and getting internet.

Good morning E wind!  My you are strong.  Goodbye internet, it seems we are 20 feet too far west now.  To make the best of things we head off to McD's for some processed food and a connection to post the previous couple entries.   After this we spent a couple days getting some land time, groceries and more fast food.  Then we decided to pull up the anchor and move!

Move twenty feet that is.  With a forecast for another 4-5 days of 20 plus winds our next destination Bahia Honda would not be as much fun.  Rowing in and out in 20+ knots trying to fish on the bridges with the strong current, etc all was more than I wanted at the moment.  So with the anchor dangling from the roller we slowly motored through the maze of triple anchored boats tying to find a comfortable spot.   We tried hooking up on the most eastern spot we could.  Basically with the anchor in the channel.  But before we could make it happen here came boats through.  Up came the anchor and we wove our way through once again.  Meeting a couple of the residents.  We finally decided to try it just east of the Orange ball.   As we settled in Chris from the boat beside us gave us his pointers and more "local" information.  Local information like that is Zack's ball, Chris's boat doesn't move so when the south wind blows...,  and so on.

So there we were, after all that effort about 40 feet from our original anchored spot.  But we had internet.

What to do?  Spend too much money of course!  Part of our land time from above was a day trip to Key West.  To get some lunch, walk around and return the Tiller pilot we were unhappy with.  We were spending too much on fast food and groceries.  The boat is stocked with goods to lost for months in the Bahamas but fresh produce and the Fisher King begging for Sushi makes a quick dent in the budget.

After almost a week here in the harbor I was ready to move on.  So that meant another trip to Publix or Win-Dixie for things we thought we needed.   This is when we met Zack.  He introduced himself and asked how long we were staying etc.  And was very polite and diplimatic that he was wanting to be back on his orange ball.  We told him that we were planning on leaving the next morning etc.  After making the grocery run got back to the boat I had an "Oh $3i#" moment.  I needed to renew my fishing license.  I didn't want to be in Bahia Honda and not be able to fish (there is an onsite base for Florida fish and game).  Row back today or tomorrow?  Tomorrow!  Another day here.


Monday, January 7, 2013

New Years Day 2013

Well it's 2013

Before sunrise I was pulling the anchor on New Years Day!  2013!  Does this mean the world didn't end as we know it?  Or are we heading north and the Earth has tilted on it's axis?  Well either way there was no tsunami to let us know.  Hmmm what other doom and gloom projection of future world annihilation am I going to make fun of now.  Only time will tell.

Today was day two otf the beat to windward. Yesterday was simple as most of the day was sailing with the wind or motoring with the rest of the yahoos.  Today on the other hand was the beginning of a slow journey to Marathon.  For a while I thought about going to the Tortugas and making the trip more comfortable.  But there were a couple of issues most notably my fishing license ran expired a couple days ago.  So we continued on our 150 degree course we had be on most of the time since Clearwater.

We had a forecast of 4 days of east wind from 10-15 knots.  Problem was when it arrived it was from the southeast at 5 knots!  Our only real excitement was catching a crab pot and the Gulf being so calm we turned around and retrieved the new lure.  They also had 4 stone crab in the pot that we left.

Sunset day two 1-1-13 the Gulf of Mexico flattening

Sunrise day three

Sunset day three  1-2-13

Twilight day three, welcome to Lake Gulf of Mexico

Sunrise day four, we had wind for two hours

the Pearly Gates,  We have now made it to the Keys

 Sunset Boot Key Harbor 1-3-13

 Sunset Boot Key Harbor 1-4-13

 Here come the Vikings!

 The Keys are so full of Character

It was a long hard road from Cayo Casa but we made it.


New Years Eve

 The depth alarm keep beeping showing as little as 0.7 feet under the keel..  After motoring dead into the wind and incoming current to leave Cayo Costa at daybreak we raised the sails as the other boats still sat at anchor.  In the channel leaving marker 74 behind us we glided past Cabbage Key and Usteppa Island.  It was a great little sail until we had to round the corner at Sanibel Island.  This was the time when our little motor was once again called into action as we needed to turn into the now NE wind.

As we approached the Terrible Mile the dolphins from last year played the way.  Unlike the areas around Sarasotta with all the now wake zones controlling the weekend boaters.  The section from marker MM2 to MM0 has all the no wake zones outside the channel.  Or at least they must be.  We will never transit this section on a holiday weekend again.  WE WILL GO ON THE OUTSIDE!

We would like to thank the 50 foot sport fisher that made almost no wake as we passed it just inside MM1.  But the following 25 foot cuddy cabin made a wake big enough to make up for it.  If anyone knows who owns m/v Wine Cellar please...  Well never mind lets just say we wouldn't pull them from a sinking ship at the moment.  From here it continued to be a rocky wake board trip all the way to the bridge.

We were looking at possibly anchoring at Estero for the evening but soon decided to proceed on our way to the Keys.  As we continued across the bay it became evident we were not stopping for the night at Estero.  As we continued down the coast random fireworks were seen from the Estero and southward areas.

Fiddling with the tiller pilot trying to get it to steer a course once again proved futile.  We tried to use the Easting wind to heave to and make way to the south or south east but to no avail.  We could continue to hand steer and keep an acceptable course but I was getting tired and after the boat traffic back by MM0  my patience was way too thin.

What we decided to do was just to anchor here 5 miles offshore   Well after the Bahamas it seemed so logical.  Lessening winds and a milder forecast for the evening .  So over board the Fortress went into 30 feet of water. Hooked up the wind continued to clock around and settled to the SE at less than 10 knts.

On our first check we saw more fireworks toward Estero.  On our third check we found the fireworks for Naples underway.  I stood there in the companionway watching the show the Fisher King would check and return below every couple minutes.   I was more interested in the show than he was.

2013 here we come. (borrowed a pic)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bay of the Dead

With the overnight rain and me getting up early to leave the Fisher King didn't make the morning fishing on the dock.  He was kind of upset when he finally rolled out of bed a couple miles down the intercoastal.  We stopped at MarineMax of Venice to fuel up.  Notice they do not open until 8:30!  We were lucky they opened a little early for us and we went on toward Cayo Costa.

As we crossed Lemon Bay it became apparent that it was not a good location for mullet.  There must have been 10,000 dead mullet floating around the bay.  Anyone know why?

We were content to motor all the way until after the zig zag at Gasparilla Sound.  Once in Gasparilla we sailed to Cayo Costa.  The water seems to get skinnier here every trip.

We actually explored the island a little more than just the ice cream at the ranger's station.  We took the trolly ride to the other side and were highly disappointed.  The beach was barren sand with little to no shells.  The sand was covered in a black coating making it just unpleasant to look at.  The Fisher King had chosen not to bring the camera so we have no photos of the day out.


The White Pelican

As we left the Long Beach anchorage, hugging the coast of Jewfish Key,  we turned to go south through the very narrow pass between the R38A and G39 cans.  This area must be a constant wash as the cans are much closer together than anywhere in the area.  As we slowly went through the gap our depth sounder alarmed.  We only had 1.3 feet under the keel!  (We found the newly installed sounder had came unplugged crossing Tampa Bay)  We were within a couple feet from dead center of the cans! Those with 6 foot or more need to be very careful here and go at high tide. 

After this section of waterway was behind us we found ourselves back in Sarasota Bay.  This is where we first noticed the White Pelicans.  How is it that the four previous passes in this area never brought the White Pelicans to our attention?   With a little research we found that the White Pelican only winters in Florida and moves to the central US for the summer and breeding months.  

The White Pelican has a wind span of up to 11.8 feet!*

The sections of Sarasotta Bay on the ICW are packed with rental boats and weekend boaters.  This is easily one of the most active sections of the ICW on the West Coast of Florida.  The no wake zones help keep things in check.

 We did take a little time to troll a line 
Catching two blue fish and a too small Crevalle.

The Fisher King jumping to the Fish On Drill

The balance of the trip to Venice was a balance of boredom in the long bays filled with rain and White pelican sightings.  Oh we did have the 10 idiots on the jet skies keeping up the jet ski reputations.  As we made it to Venice the Fisher King was disappointed as he was hoping to fish the floating dock.  The rain became more intense and kept us on the boat for the night.