Monday, December 22, 2014

Interlude for Chain Plates and Stanchions

After putting my Westsail 32, Onapua on the hard in the Green Cove springs Marina long term storage, I drove out to California and spent some glorious weeks with my new grandson. I am now on my way up to Canada, for a family reunion at my Aunt and Uncle's place but on the way I stopped in to see my old crew, John in Deale, MD to see how progress was being made on his Westsail 32.

He is rebuilding his boat from scratch and doing a mighty fine job of it. He installed a new Beta Marine engine, repainted the hull, ordered new sails from Kern and rigging from Bud Taplan. He has replaced his caprail, redone his hatches and is basically building up the boat so that it is new again.
I helped him install new chain plates on the boat which  now I see how relatively easy and inexpensive it is, I plan on doing on my boat.
We used a jigsaw and chisels to cut out part of the caprail.
BTW John has told me that his new year's resolution is to give up the dreaded habit and start exercising.
The key to successfully installing the chain plates is with this extended 9/16th self ratcheting tool to reach up into difficult places on the inside.
We also installed his new stanchions on the outside bulwark.
We had to cut part of the caprail with a hole saw to install them.
All in all, I would say that the worst part of the whole job was the cold weather.
You  CAN work outside on your boat in the cold wintertime, but you really have to be motivated, and if at all possible, it is better to have your boat in a place like Florida where the weather is not an issue.

I hope to have my boat out of storage next month and after a mini refit, go cruising down the East coast of Florida and then who knows where?

Hope you have a wonderful Holiday and an inspired New Year!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friday Video

Covers the sail up from Cape Canaveral to Jacksonville, Florida in our Westsail 32

Bye for Now - Family Calls

I am putting Onapua up on the hard here at Green Cove Springs. I pulled all the sails off and wrapped her up with shade cloth so hopefully she will be well protected while I am gone.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cape Canaveral to Green Cove Springs

Take three people and confine them to 150 square feet, for 3 days, 24 hours a day, without showers or hot water and throw in no contact with the outside world, no air conditioning, out of sight of land, shake their world constantly and most people would go barmy. Who in their right mind would consider this a once in a lifetime experience and come away not only best of mates, but life long friends? Let me introduce you to Mike and Brian and I found out that not only could I safely trust my life with them, but they were the truest of friends  that anyone could possibly have.

As for the journey, it turned out, we had very little wind the entire way.
So we ended up fishing a lot and caught 3 fish.
We ate the 2 tuna as soon as we caught them.
But we  released the sailfish back to the sea.
It was so calm, we even managed a garbanzo avocado salad.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Eat your heart out

I am sitting here in sunny Florida having the time of my life. We just had a Westsail Rendezvous this weekend where 30 of us westsailors got together and I did a youtube video for you to get a idea of what we did.
Tomorrow morning we head out offshore to Jacksonville. I say we because a couple of Westsailors have volunteered to come crew with me. Meet Brian and Mike.....
Here are my ingredients for today's meal....
And here is the result

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Video Friday

This week's video covers my trip down from Savannah to Cape Canaveral. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Typical Day for a Liveaboard cruiser

I wanted to describe my day to you just so that you could see that there is no such thing as a typical day for a livaboard cruiser. I never know what to expect after I wake up. After 40 odd years of predictable suburban life, it takes some getting used to. So I emerge out of my companionway this morning with my cup of Joe and a list of boat chores and get introduced to this noisy Walkera QR X350 GPS Quadcopter.
Very, VERY cool! My neighbor, Dirk has been flying it all around the boat, taking pictures with it.  There is a video that shows on the handset. I want one! Next I go and visit my other neighbor, Jim who sings me a song on his guitar.
 He and his wife Carolyn, own an Easterly 30 and are saving up to go to the Bahamas. He suggests we go to the beach, so I consult my very busy schedule, and say why not?
What are all these people doing here on a Monday? Don't they know that there is work to do?
We grab a bite to eat at a local Mexican restaurant and the burrito is yummy!
Next we visit the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral.
The view is fantastic and chances are that if you ever go on a Caribbean Cruise, you will start off from here.
The boat is  calling my name so on the way back, we stop off at West Marine and pick up a new battery cable to replace my one on the house bank that has a short in it somewhere.
There is always something to do on a Boat. Next i cut a carpet square to fit under the dinette table.
Then Captain Dennis Reason stopped by another Westsail here on my dock to do some rigging and i asked him to give me a quote on new lifelines.
A day that was totally unpredictable and full of surprises.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Savannah to Cape Canaveral

This harbor is full of  cruise ships and they are HUGE!!!! Luckily, none of them were out and about when I came in from the outside because I was so tired, I wouldn't have cared if they had got in my way. It took me just over 2 days to make the journey down and it was a fantastic sail initially however the wind died down last night and I had to motor the last 20 hours. I did try a spot of fishing again.
This time i tried a teaser, cedar plug and main squid lure all at once and i managed to land a shark. Notice the foul hook.
Even though it would  of made a yummy breakfast I decided to release him and let him rejoin several of his mates who were circling the boat. The dolphins were also out in force again yesterday, charging ahead of the boat.
Birds too just love to keep me company and eat moths while hitching a ride.
This one is sleeping and has tucked his head under his wing.
I did have a breakage occur my first day with the genoa track breaking in two pieces.
Winds were out of the west which meant I had to point into the wind, whereas yesterday's northwest wind gave me a pleasant downhill run.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fiday Video

Covers my trip this week from Wrightsville Beach, Dockside Marina down through Southport and then onto Savannah, Georgia at the Hinckley Marina. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Southport to Savannah

I had to come back! When I passed through on my way north, I wanted to visit this famous cemetery, but didn't get a chance. This time, I had no excuse not to visit because I am staying alongside it at the Hinckley Yacht Marina.
The flora here is totally different from Wilmington, and the entire area is weird and spooky with Grandad's Beard growing on anything that doesn't move.
The cemetery is surprisingly peaceful and quiet with  lots of birds singing, but I can't vouch for it's nighttime reputation.
I came in early this morning at 2 am after 42 hours at sea seeking refuge from the headwinds and thunderstorms that are now hitting this area. I sailed all day Sunday but the winds died early Monday morning and I had to motor the rest of the way. Even though I had been cat napping and didn't feel too bad, I was hallucinating a fair bit. Along the way I decided to try a spot of fishing because of all the fish boils that I was passing. I tried a classic cedar plug for a couple of hours and all I caught was part of the Sargasso Sea.
So I switched to a high tech squid lure but after 3 more hours decided that I needed to do some more research.
I suspect that 5 knots is too fast for fish to catch the bait. On the other hand, dolphins had no problem prancing off my bow and were with me all day long, within arms reach.
I will hunker down here until these storms pass and then catch a favorable wind to take me further south.
It is finally cool enough that I can start using my stove!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Sleepy little town with not much going on and surprisingly quiet considering it is a Saturday night. Lots of people out walking and taking advantage of one last summer spurt while patronizing a slew of seafood restaurants that line the main street.
Even the Walmart felt like a local 7 Eleven store and it was as empty as I have ever seen one. Pumpkins are starting to pop up on people's front door steps reminding me that Halloween is just around the corner. Time marches on and with Halloween comes autumn's leaves, and thoughts of thanksgiving and Christmas.  It's too bad that I will be gone in the morning and will not be able to dig deeper to find the many treasures that typically lie buried in charming little towns like these. It gives me a great excuse to come back!
Tomorrow the wind is favorable for a couple of days before it clocks around to the south again so I plan to take advantage of the northerly wind while I can. Tropical storm Fay near Bermuda is giving me winds that my westsail boat loves to sail in but whether or not I can live with them is another matter.