1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: February 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Biscayne Bay - turquoise waters at last...

Enough of the f-u insanity of Miami Beach - you walk the streets and no one - I mean no one - nods and says hello back to you unless they're a tourist. What's wrong with these folk? They live in a beautiful city, so much wealth, and beautiful weather, and 90% of them walk around with an unhappy look on their faces. Even in the neighbourhood near where I had the boat parked it was the same.
The only straight guys seem to be tourists, and all the local women have silicone jobs. That might be ok for some, but you know, 'perky' doesn't look good on a seventy year old woman, it just looks weird. There's something to be said for aging naturally.
So here I am now, in Hurricane Harbour, at the end of Key Biscayne, in Billy Baggs State Park. It's not even ten miles out of Miami Beach, but with beautiful turquoise water, lots of fellow boaters around, sunny and warm. When I got here yesterday, a local yacht club had a big tent up, a jazz band playing and lots of good times. This is much more like it!
And the really good news is, there are about a half dozen Canadian boats here - I just may find someone with some Tim Horton's coffee.
46 miles to paradise's front door.....Bimini, the Bahamas
Many of the people here are either just leaving for or just returning from the Bahamas - this is a good spot to stop and wait for good weather, or to take a break. Tonight and tomorrow's weather will be fabulous for the trip - winds 10 - 15 out of the south, which means a great ride across the Gulf Stream to Bimini, about 46 miles away.
Route leaving Hurricane Harbour for the Bahamas

A little bit of the Bahamas...

Hopefully, the above chartlets give everybody an idea of where I'm at, and where I'll be shortly...
I'll also soon be putting new batteries in the boat, the current ones (yea, I know, bad pun) aren't holding a charge very well. There goes a fast $400 or so. I'm just waiting on some advice on the right batteries to buy (hint hint to one of my readers, lol)...
Tomorrow, I'll walk about a half mile or so to the shops for groceries...and wine. Ran out of wine. Damn! How could I have let that happen?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Miami Boat Show...

The magazine Latitudes and Attitudes puts on a FREE (free is good®) beer and pizza party every year at this show. It's quite the event - several hundred ravenous, apparently not been fed in a week, sailors rushing (I'm not kidding here) the pizza tables. It would be funny if it wasn't so juvenile. 
I was in the lineup along with Aduana, not realizing what was going to happen and was afraid she would get stepped on when the crush started. Not Aduana - we were close enough to the front, she ducked under the table where she was safe from any errant boat shoes and their owners.
Interestingly enough, the beer lineups were much more civil - go figure. The show purchased a couple of extra kegs for the party this year, so we got to listen to Eric Stone's music for longer than usual. 
Made some great new friends, ran into some people I'd met at the Durban, South Africa boat show three years ago (Knysna Yachts), and was served the LAST beer from the last keg, to cheers from the hard pressed staff who only wanted to go home after a very long day....here's the photo, taken by Captain Happy , one of the show managers, on his phone.
Are we having fun or what?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Miami meandering...

Wasn’t paying attention day before yesterday, and I actually got sunburned, not that anyone back up north wants to hear that. The warm weather has come in with a vengeance, it was 80.
It’s not perfect though. Along with the warmth comes wind out of the south - and that‘s the direction I’m going, so I have to use the motor to get anywhere. Yes, I could go out on the Atlantic and tack tack tack to get here, but that would easily double my day’s mileage and mean coming back inside quite late at night since the inlets are a fair distance apart. Not my idea of fun to be honest.
I’ll be in Miami Beach sometime later Thursday - it’s Thursday am as I write this, but it won’t be posted until I get a wifi connection and there’s not one open nearby.
Friday I’ll be off to the boat show to see what’s going on there, Saturday I’ll be hooking up with Al and Joyce from Melbourne, who hosted me on their dock last week, Sunday - who knows?
The plan was to head for the Bahamas after the boat show - and of course, the winds are forecast to turn to the north on Sunday. For the non sailors here (are there any?), that means no crossing the Gulf Stream, which can get nasty in any sort of north wind.
So I’ll probably hang out in Biscayne Bay, sail to Boca Chita and Elliot Keys, do some writing and some beachcombing and wait for the winds to change.
Life can be so challenging at times, don’t you think?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trivia and more...

Hi all - I'm in Stuart, anchored out....and drinking wine under the moonlit sky, pondering the world. If I come up with any answers, I'll post them tomorrow! Hopefully, you'll wake up to a fabulous day and a better world tomorrow as a result of all this thinking on my part. If not, at least you know I tried.
A few days ago I posted a story about a 1919 Trumpy, a classic motor yacht going for FREE! (free is good®).
A reader by the name of Randy has contacted me about getting hold of this boat to fix her up. I just got off the phone with him and sent him the owner's contact info. I'll let everyone know how it works out, let's hope that Randy can take this old gal and give her another shot at youth!
Had a fabulous sail out of Melbourne, with 20 knot winds from behind pushing Gypsy Wind on at 6 knots. No fossil fuel was used yesterday, wooo hoo! Today was a different story, with the winds both lighter and from ahead of the beam. I motorsailed most of the day and made good time, but nothing like yesterday, sigh...
Was going to head out on the Atlantic and miss the congestion and bridges ahead of me tomorrow and the next day, but the winds have shifted to the south. So while the temperature is going back into the high 70s, the winds will be from the wrong direction for sailing.
And a happy Valentine's Day...
Next post, Miami and the boat show in a couple of days...

Friday, February 10, 2012

It was a very happy birthday....

Most of you know today was my birthday - just not which one and I ain't telling! Suffice it to say that one ex girlfriend (from 38 years ago! omg!) made a remark on Facebook that revealed that she lied to me about her age back when I was - (whoops, almost gave it away, didn't I?). Anyway, she told me then she was 16...turns out she wasn't.
Went out for dinner at Squidlips here in Melbourne. Yea, a weird name, but a great seafood lasagna and super margaritas, then a few drinks on the deck overlooking the water. Great evening, wish you were ALL here!
Tomorrow I'll be taking down the sails to clean them, finish a few other last minute jobs, then off again heading south in a great looking boat! Not to Cuba tho (I wish!) but to Fort Pierce, and a few days later, Miami and then to the Bahamas.
Aduana has been loving the land time, playing in the yard, chasing lizards in the garden and barking like mad at the pelicans when they land beside the boat. I'll hate leaving here, but it's time to move on...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Melbourne meditating....

Ok, so I've been feeling alliterative lately, sue me! I'm now in Melbourne FL, tied dockside at a friend's place here in not quite enough water. Al, who barbecues a great filet, and Joyce, who mixes a mean martini (according to rumour, I don't do martinis, long story for another time!), have a lovely home on a canal here and invited me to drop by.
Tonight, I joined them at a meeting of the East Coast Sailing Association, met some interesting folks. One of them, a woman, is looking for crew to sail this spring from here to New York, then New York to Bermuda, then Bermuda back to Florida - or any part thereof - in a 35 foot trimaran. Sounds like an interesting trip, if you're interested, let me know and I'll pass on her email address.
With power washer in hand....
Spent the afternoon with a pressure washer, cleaning up the deck...boat looks much nicer now. Cleaned the bimini and dodger also...then we retired to have a beer!

Here's a shot of Al and I at his dock...he's got a lovely Island Packet 31, great boat, you can just see the genoa to the left.  

From here, it'll be on to Fort Pierce, then probably offshore to Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and then Miami - all nice offshore runs and the wind promises to be out of the north for the next few days, making these great sailing. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Daytona driftin....

Aduana and I are hanging out for a couple of days here in Daytona Beach - weather is lovely, and I've got two friends (and their pup, a friend for Aduana) who live in Ocala, about an hour away, rafted up to Gypsy Wind at the moment. Nancy is recuperating from an overdose of the demon rum last night - her hubby Jim is moving a bit slowly. For some reason, I have an immunity (or maybe just got a free pass!) and am not feeling the way I should after an afternoon and evening drinking rum. This is not a good thing, it'll make me an expensive drunk!
From here, it's south again, goal is Eau Gallie, at Melbourne. I've a good friend who lives there, an Irishman by the name of Finnbar - and come to think of it, having an immunity to hard liquor when hanging out with Finn may NOT be a bad thing at all! I'll also be visiting with a new friend there from an internet sailing group who has invited me to hang out on his dock for a couple of days - ought to be interesting.
I've decided to take in the Miami Boat Show - a few people there I should meet who are in this business. And there's a perfect anchorage only five minutes from the show - Sunset Lake. Those of you who follow cruising know that this is a problem area for anchoring - there's a guy there who plays loud rap music and shines spotlights at night at people anchored near his home. All illegal on his part, but he's living in a $10 million home, so what does he care about the rights of others.
I promise I'll wave to him from all of you...
Ok, time to head out and enjoy this sunshine.....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Missing Link....

No, this is not a tale about anthropology - it's about the link that went missing yesterday about the Trumpy - the link is Grand Lady. Hopefully, that will post properly this time.
So what can I tell you today? It's sunny, warm, a lovely breeze - what would you expect this time of year in Florida? This is the reason I come south, to be warm and to sail. 
Sure, I could try my hand at iceboating - see the Iceboating organization for details, but that involves being cold. Mind you, the sport sounds like a riot, and the speeds are just amazing.
On the other hand, he says, as he looks out at the beach and palm trees.....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Anyone want a FREE boat?

I just received an email from a woman today who is trying to deal with a part of her father's legacy, a 1919 Trumpy yacht. There were 450 Trumpys built in the United States, and even today, those remaining on the water attract admiring looks, oohs and ahhhs. They are truly one of the most beautiful and classic yacht in existence. 
One of these, the Grand Lady, is in danger of being lost and needs a home, someone willing to restore her to her former glory.
You can help to preserve one of these beauties that has been looking for a home by spreading the word about the need to protect her. Part of the story is below, taken from Boneyard Boats - 


Bone Yard Boats received an impassioned plea to help save GRAND LADY, an historically significant 1919 Mathis-Trumpy 52' (#102).

Katrina's email: "I am asking that anyone who reads this help me.  I am searching for a good home for a Historic 1919 Mathis-Trumpy, The Grand Lady (originally Riette II -- hull#102). As you may know she is one of the oldest Trumpy yachts in existence. She is in critical need of restoration/reconstruction. She currently floats in Satsuma, FL with the aid of a plastic bladder. 

"The Grand Lady was originally 52 feet, but in the 1950's she was cut back to around 47 feet due to boats over 50' being seized in the US (I don't know anything about this -- I bet you do). As far as I know, the rest of her layout has not been changed. She has been sitting in a boathouse in Satsuma, FL for the past few years but was recently moved to a nearby location. She has survived two hurricanes that sank her about four years ago and, I believe, her old Graymarine 6-71 still runs. A lot of the furnishings and small hardware are missing but most of the large hardware is present including the davits, searchlight, deck hardware, helm, compass and the pilot house bits and pieces.

"The owner of the Grand Lady just passed away last summer.  I have a very limited amount of time to find this boat a home before she too slips away.  I am asking you for help because I have limited contacts and knowledge of boats. This historic Trumpy needs the support of the maritime community NOW.

"This historic Trumpy is FREE to a good home -- but she must be restored / rebuilt."

Katrina further explains, "The gentleman who owned this old boat was (Herman) Albert Schulteis. He was my father. All of his children live in Pennsylvania, but he lived in FL with the boat during the cold PA winters. He passed away in July. My father did have her for 26 years. I should be able to trace those years (more accurately than I am about to describe). This is what I know now: He bought her at a city of Baltimore, MD auction in 1981. He moved her to Cambridge, MD and kept her there for a few years. Then, in the mid 80's [she] was kept at Fairfield Harbor in New Bern, NC. She was probably there for ten years or so. Following that, maybe a little more than ten years ago, he moved her to Satsuma, FL. About four years ago she was submerged and resurrected twice from encounters with hurricanes. She has been kept in the water in a boat house for the past few years and the plastic bladder was added last summer."

GRAND LADY (originally RIETTE II) is one of just three 52-footers built by Mathis Yacht Building in 1919 in Camden, NJ. The other two were #100 BILMA II and #101 LOAF ALONG.

Katrina explained that GRAND LADY is in the care of a local gentleman in Florida, who "has been very helpful in showing people the boat and is proud to have such a noble vessel under his care." However, "...he does not have the means to care for her." Katrina has been granted 3 months to find someone who will take on the restoration of GRAND LADY. That clock started ticking in January.

If you have the desire, knowledge, and resources to save the 1919 Trumpy GRAND LADY, please see below for contact info.  GRAND LADY is in Satsuma, FL.

Now it's up to you folks - spread the word, let other boaters know, the Grand Lady needs their help.
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