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

Monday, January 27, 2014


All that you touch 
All that you see 
All that you taste 
All you feel. 
All that you love 
All that you hate 
All you distrust 
All you save. 
All that you give 
All that you deal 
All that you buy, 
beg, borrow or steal. 
All you create 
All you destroy 
All that you do 
All that you say. 
All that you eat 
And everyone you meet 
All that you slight 
And everyone you fight. 
All that is now 
All that is gone 
All that's to come 
and everything under the sun is in tune 
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon. 
"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."

All that you ever are comes from her

Good bye Mom, may your next journey be full of wonderment!
Ruby Lee Cairnes Wines, 01-03-1946 / 01-26-2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Video Delay

On the last day before we made it to the Marathon we took a small video off to starboard.  It was made with the GoPro and has not been edited so things were much closer than they appear.  Duration - 1:40


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Madcap Sunsets

"Trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro'
you have no word
trip, trip to a dream dragon
hide your wings in a ghost tower
sails cackling at every plate we break..."

We have been collecting sunsets and laughs.  Madcap Laughs that is as we watch certain anchors drop into the water here in Boot Key Harbor.  See there seems to be more than one type of anchor control.  You know that "person" who is in charge of getting a big metal hook to dig into the earth floor under a body of water.  Seems the most entertaining often come at sunset.

A few days ago a 45 +- foot trawler type came into the anchorage and tried to anchor (CQR) in the big open spot near us.  There was a poor young lad on the deck and some older chap at the helm.  You could imagine the two cans and string between them as the young lad watched the anchor run off the windlass to the bottom.  Immediately the captain, the older chap, would start reversing and try to get the anchor to dig into the bottom.  continually dragging it west over and over again.  As the wide open area quickly became multiple boats they threaded their way through a couple and took the process to the other side of the channel.  As they continued the previous process the sunset was dwindling and we retired below.  Sometime during the night they found the bottom and were still in the harbor the next morning.

Then a couple nights ago a big catamaran decided to anchor (delta) in the big open spot near us.  One, two, three attempts and they were soon passing us by.  On past the next boat and then down through the anchorage toward the SW.  Hmmm,  too far past their comfort zone maybe as they pulled up the anchor and motored toward "the bridge to no-where".  Instead of passing through the tried to anchor on the north side of the channel just east of the bridge.  All the way up to where they must be on the bottom.  Then back.  Then up.  Finally giving up on the little hole they tried the SE side of the bridge.  Are they done? No!  After several minutes we could see the mast slowly heading toward us weaving through the tight anchorage with a 20 foot beam.  After they passed us again they slowed at the big open spot as to start all over.  For some reason they chose not to anchor in the most obvious spot in the anchorage.  They continued to slow go all the way down to marker 18.  (Just a note:  The collection of local boats on 2 or 3 anchors that gather at 18 kept us from squeezing in).  Looks like they are hooked up for the night.  On one of the random checks you do just because when you are anchored anywhere we found the cat across the channel from us directly in front of one of the channels, not far from the trawler previously mentioned.

On the way back to the boat just before sunset yesterday we found two new arrivals nestled into the big open spot with room for another.  Both were 30 something foot sailboats.  We also noticed the big cat was not happy and had moved (just to the east of the channel they were blocking) to even a more precarious spot between a large sailboat on a personal mooring and someones seawall praying for a SW or NNE wind not to blow.

So until sunset and the next adventure, enjoy life, don't stress on the little things and remember you can't hook the earth with a 2:1 scope.


ps Yes we drag, you drag, everyone drags.

"The madcap laughed at the man on the border
hey ho, huff the Talbot
the winds they blew and the leaves did wag
they'll never put me in their bag
the seas will reach and always seep
so high you go, so low you creep
the wind it blows in tropical heat
the drones they throng on mossy seats
the squeaking door will always squeak
two up, two down we'll never meet
so merrily trip forgo my side
Please leave us here
close our eyes to the octopus ride!"

A return to Floyd and Pop Culture references was inevitable.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Damn cold wind!

Happy Birthday Ayrton!  The crew is now a teenager!

Sunset in Boot Key Harbor

Here we are in Paradise USA East and the temps are in the 50's!  The forecast has us no higher than 73 for the next 10 days or more!  What is more grim is the wind forecast making the Bahamas undiscerning for the next two weeks.  Over 10 days of the "N" word in the wind forecast!

Looks like we may take another day trip to Key West!

Making lemonade from lemons in paradise,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Post Apocalyptic McNuggets

We as a lot of other cruisers often spend time at the local McD's.  Too much time probably, but they get us to buy their processed pasteurized dehydrated frozen post apocalyptic survival food.  Today in line was pretty much like every other day in line.  You know, one of the top things public school is designed to teach us, WAIT!  I was in minute number 8 since completing my order about minute number 14 of the process.  I had made it down to the NEXT position. When you could almost here the needle lifted of the record player.

Someone in the "order here" line had a coupon.  The person behind the register stared at it blankly for about 45 seconds then called the almost manager that was to try up my "next" food to come and stare at the coupon.  There they were staring back and forth at the coupon, then the register then each other in an endless loop.  After about 2 minutes with shrugs of shoulders the original person behind the register now stood motionless staring at the customer.  The almost manager took the coupon over to the more manager than her that had been bagging for drive through.  Now he stood there starring in unison with the almost manager at the coupon holding a  half filled frozen drink.  This was almost another 2 minutes with "We don't have that." "We don't do that"  I don't know how to do that" and various other comments non related to customer service and satisfaction.  Mean while the whole front counter was at a stand still as even the drive through was backed up to where a new order could not be taken.  At this time another somewhat manager tapped the almost manager on the shoulder and pointed at our tray.  The almost manager nodded but returned to the more manager and continued to conspire.  Once again the somewhat manager returned from the back line and tapped the almost manager on the shoulder and pointed at our tray.  The almost manager nodded and asked the more manager "why is everyone always on me?"  "Because you're as slow as molasses!" (trying not to use the F word)  I couldn't help it as my thought slipped out and a couple of other people waiting behind me laughed. Finally they had a consensus and with a couple words to the waiting customer they settled on winging the coupon and moving on with the day.

So for 5 minutes at 11:45 am the record stopped playing at McD's in Marathon due to a coupon.  They decided that instead of training their register person to handle a little situation on her own they must have complete control within the managerial community.  They failed to train their managers to make an instant decision.  Of course it ticked me off.  But it also did the 7 people behind me that had already ordered.  The person they treated as trying to pass of a counterfeit coupon.  Damn coupon fraud!  "That Big Mac will break us!" they could hear from the condescending real managers.  Then there were the people in line for Thursday lunch that had not even ordered yet.  The length of that line was approaching the door.  With the final decision made it only took 5-6 seconds for the almost manager to talk to the customer and push a button.

Now with a crackle pop scratch all was in motion at 33rpm again as this McD's doesn't have a 45 or 78 setting.  We finally had our chicken sands and fries in front of us.  Now we only had our soda before our fries get cold.

Are there really no independent thinkers anymore?  Can no one make a decision anymore?  Restaurants are too worried about their percentages of the little money they make instead of the lot of money they could make by delivering what is expected.  Or even more by going above and beyond.  Oh the things we do for free WIFI!

The Kraken and Florida Bay, 1/9/14 - 1/11/14

After Raymarine failed to warrant the tiller pilot and we hated the replacement we are always in the cockpit.  This makes crossing from the bridge to the keys a little longer than we would like but we heave-to at night and let the wind slowly take us south.  Or at least we hope this is what happens.  Still keeping watch but trying to get some sleep also.  A shift in the wind of course sends us off on a tangent which almost always says we should go to Key West instead of Marathon.  So we battle slightly upwind to save the 50 miles back from Key West to Marathon.  

Sunset day one

This pelican played leap frog for almost an hour before we became boring to him

Falling back a hundred feet to only arrive again and again.

Sunset day 2 with a light breeze

We were escorted by several pods of dolphins once we could see the keys

Several of these pods had young ones with them

This went on for almost 10 miles as we made up the "Easting" we had lost over the last two days

Under the bow

finally a breeze that of course was from the SE

Sunset day three across East Bahia Honda Key

As we approached the 7 mile bridge we thought about anchoring not far from where the sunset photo was taken for about 3 hours.  The light wind finally died and the current was going to change in a couple hours to our favor so we continued on.  We were expecting to have a little help with the current as we approached the cut in the old 7 mile bridge but we kept getting slower.  A checked to see if we were dragging a crab pot but did not see one.  I even pulled up the dinghy to make sure it wasn't dragging one either.  We just kept getting slower.  It was not dark also.

As the opening in the bridge came near we were practically crawling through compared to what we expected.  Other than our speed all was correct.  As we cleared the old bridge and started to go under the new bridge we were swept sideways.  For what ever reason we were being slowed down now we were in the cross current but at full speed sideways.  We were not able to correct with the tiller!  Ayrton jumped to the call and handled the light and the tiller.  I manned the outboard and turned it as far as I could to fight the sideways drift.  With both of us working together we managed to not only avoid going west between the bridges but stayed off the fender as well.  Once we were within the fenders of the bridge the side current was broken and we proceeded south.  Rather quickly.  Actually the fastest we had been all afternoon.  It blew us out almost to marker R4, our turn to the east.  When we turned to the east it felt once again like we were sitting still in the water.  The iPad said we were doing 1.9 knts and lighting up a couple of crab pots agreed.  The motor wash on the other hand was like we were tied to the dock.  (Bridge issue 3)

It was also at the turn to the east that we realized we were in the oncoming wind and waves vs the outgoing tide.  With the steep waves full abeam. Rock, Rock, Rock, Putt, Putt, Putt, Vroom was the pattern.  About 3/4 mile east of the turn a final Rock, Rock, Rock and then Wheeeeee!  The Kraken lost it's grip and we were free.  Freedom was great now we were fast enough to ride the instead of rocking.  Also with the increased speed we were out of the opposing forces sooner.  We dropped hook outside Boot Key Harbor with two other sailboats and a sport fisher.

Surprisingly the SW wind wasn't as rocky as I expected during the night.  Or perhaps I was just more tired than I thought.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Taxi Rides.

After the fiont passed and stated to wind down t under 20 knts we pulled the anchor and headed for the last few miles of the ICW.  All the Miserableness of if, the Miserable Mile.

mm 1 complete with 15 knt cross wind and rain.

As we approached the bridge in San Carlos Bay I asked the crew if they wanted to go to the keys or Publix. "Publix!" was the answer and our day was cut short at four miles.  Well 13 didn't seem to care.  We anchored on the south east side of the bridge just as the rain subsided.

Our next issue was to cross the large shallow bank between us and the shore.  It was near low tide and the exposed bar took us about half a mile before we could cross.   The wind was rolling over to the east more and pushing us in the correct direction.  Perhaps too much in that direction as we found a small cut and tried to cross.  The port oar caught on something in the sand and the wind pushed us on top of it breaking the blade on the oar.  Good think we still had a spare blade.

Once on shore and in the grove we tied the dinghy to the roots and started to walk the mile and a half to publix

The great taxi cab rip off.  We decided to take a cab ride back from Publix instead of packing the load the whole way back..  The ride from Publix in Marathon to the Marina is 4-5 bucks depending on the cab company so we withdrew $12.  More than enough to go less than 2 miles, or so we thought.

When the cab finally arrived after about 40 minutes we were glad to set off.  It was at the first red light that I realized things were amiss.  The cab driver had taken us for a grand tour of the parking lot, the full loop around.  Then he took us out the wrong (illogical) exit.  This put us stopped at a long light ringing up quarters on the meter.  That is where he told us that the address we gave him was wrong and that was not the road's name.  I just told him to turn left at the light and pull over to the left just past the two buildings on the left.  We passed the road sign reaffirming our address.  Then gave him a "heads up" before the left turn.  He refused to turn!  He then merged into the right lane and we asked to be let out "Here!".  He refused.  Farther up the road he pulled into the last place to turn around before the toll bridge.  We demanded he let us out here before he sat through another long light.  He finally did and we ended up walking about a half mile back to the dinghy.  By now he ran us up to $12 for a $7 cab ride and was trying to get us to $14 or more.

Then next day we headed off toward the keys with less wind.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hamsters on a Wheel, 12/28/13 - 1/7/14

12/28:  We left Mad Beach expecting not to get far because the wind was against us and the tide was rolling in also.  We did expect to get farther than just under the bridge though.  Just as we cleared the bridge with the tide and wind pushing us back under we had motor failure.  After all the stress of using the dinghy to pull us away from danger and a few breaths of air we tried again.  With the same results.  We could spend anther night in Mad Beach or we could head south using the small motor.  Off with the new and on with the dinghy motor.  Just down the way we stopped for the night at Boca Ciega Isle.  

12/29:  The next day we putted down the ICW toward the Sunshine Skyway  Parkway. As we passed Structure E bridge we had our second encounter with a bridge.  The calm mild wind on the north side was all simple but the south side was a stiff 20 knts, big waves and the current put us int a very slow advancement.  about 600 yards past the bridge we anchored for a couple of hours to wait for the wind to shift.  The wind clocked around as predicted and we made it to the north east side of the Sunshine Skyway Parkway.

Dolphins of Anna Maria Sound

I keep hearing the first mate, "their just dolphins" as I snap photos
seems someone is used to seeing them every day.

Ayrton loves his bids.  He doesn't get tied of them every day.

12/30:  We anchored at Longboat Key for the night watching the dolphins as they chased the mullet around our keel.

What do you get when your boat is a big bait bucket?

Fins to the left and fins to the right!

5 or 6 dolphins continued to circle the boat snatching mullet for over  one half hour.

and me bids,

12/31: Today was a quick tip down to Black Burn Bay just above Venice.  Other than finally getting to actually sail across Sarasota Bay it was an uneventful trip after we passed the chicane at Longboat Key.

and bids

1/1 - 1/3:  From Blackburn we zig-zagged through Venice and the ditch taking us down to Englewood Beach.  There is a McDonald's here if you need an Internet fix.  You can also fuel up on the north east end of the bridge at the Bait shop.  We waited out a strong cold front here for three days with temps dropping in the 40's.

We were greeted by this curious Manatee as we anchored in Englewood.

He hung out for about 5 minutes and then decided our anchor chain was just not as interesting as he originally thought.

The most we have seen of the sun in days, power is getting low.

1/4:  Day eight took us to Cayo Costa,  more precisely Ustepa Island as we chose not to enter Pelican bay for just a stop and go.  The approaching front was not due until the following night.  

Sunrise as we leave Ustepa Island

and more bids

1/5 - 1/7:  After Cayo Costa the wide open Pine Island Sound begins the most abundant dolphin population on the west coast of Florida in our opinion.  It also is the beginning of the most intensely traveled, non idle speed zone we pass every year.  The option of transitioning on the outside is becoming more enticing.

"Ayrton give me your camera!"  "They are just dolphins!"

Fins everywhere!

20 miles of big power boat wakes, oh and dolphins.

and fast boats

 and birds

Sunset at the south tip of Pine Island
The clouds finally broke at 4:30 pm on day 11.

We sat at Pine Island for thee nights,  A front was coming on day two and we liked it better here than the next anchorage.  We had burgers at The Waterfront Restaurant on the fist two days and just sat out the wind and cold on day three. (Best kids burger I have ever seen for 5 bucks.)  Day three brought the winter to us.  I have already seen comments n the net about "I survived Florida winter, 2014".  It sure felt cold but nothing like the northern states received.  The low forty's seems cold in Florida.  Farther north, we had friends with frozen pipes in Asheville and all the way down to Panama City.

At fist you casually try to take a photo from behind the glasses

 Then you play the "But it is for your mom" card

 In the end it is FINE go ahead and hurry up!

Wow that was a hard trip due to weather.

You guys told me there would be fish on this trip!

ps  I nw pnuce my lap tp dead n aival.  A eplacement will have t wait until we call cuising seasn dne.
ps  I now pronounce my lap top dead on arrival.  A replacement will have to wait until we call cruising season done.  The key board now has several keys not working and editing this post was a Bitch!