Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

My first Christmas guest, Manny the Manatee (Trichechus Manatus)

Manny,  paying me a visit Christmas morning


AAHHHH!

I'm outa here, see you Wed,  after the cold front leaves
Manny, as I call him or perhaps her, is a regular visitor to my dock. While washing down the boat,  Manny dropped by for a quick drink before the next cold front moves in tomorrow. Manatee's graze only on water plants; eat 60-100 Lbs, a day. Because they are so slow and docile they are prone to injuries from motorboat propellers. Manatee waters are strictly controlled by Rangers who enforce speed limits.
At one time, when the Keys were first being developed, they were hunted for food. This period was before roads existed, only the railroad was being built by Flagler's men.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

LEE MARIE DANCES ALONG and a meeting with a telephoto lens.

Skoal, it's 5:00

Ahoy, do you have any Grey Poupon?

I never tire of this blue water


  It is not often that you can enjoy your own boat from another view point, these photos were taken by Martha Kirkland aboard Ibis. Martha said that although they were enjoying being aboard Ibis, it was nice to see a similar boat sailing next to them.

More from the SPIRIT OF BERMUDA


"Gar like"
Photo courtesy of Malcolm Kirkland
 Here is an excellent picture that captures the SPIRIT OF BERMUDA racing along. "West Indians used to call these schooners Ballyhoo or 'Mujan (Bermudans) where naming was a metaphor for that type of Gar."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"SPIRIT OF BERMUDA"

Malcolm and wife Martha
I met an interesting couple a few days ago, Malcolm and Martha Kirkland from Bermuda. Malcolm is the former founding Executive Director of the Bermuda SLOOP Foundation. Being guests of Roland Barth, they were the very fortunate recipients of a sail aboard IBIS, I was sailing in my own cat boat, LEE MARIE. Malcolm and his wife were looking to find a small, shallow draft sailing vessel for the waters around Bermuda. Not surprisingly, the Sanderling and it's handling characteristics impressed the Kirkland's very much. Don't be surprised, on your next visit to Bermuda, you see a Sanderling sailing around Hamilton Bay.

The SPIRIT OF BERMUDA is the very core of the Bermuda SLOOP Foundation, serving an important role in the lives of all Bermuda school children. SPIRIT, serves as a School Ship and is the culminating experience, of a series of opportunities, afforded to the children of Bermuda. I have provided a link to the Bermuda SLOOP Foundation so you can see the good work that is being performed by this organization. http://www.bermudasloop.org/index.aspx

My sailing partner Roland Barth has served on the Board of this foundation,  a very worthwhile project of which the people of Bermuda are very Proud.

Spirit Of Bermuda

Reaching
For more information about this award winning School Ship that, was built in Rockport Maine, go to this website: http://www.bermudasloop.org/The%20Ship/index.html

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Phone magic

Yesterday's sail
The sail actually started on the water, not on the Overseas Hwy. This was Roland's course, I went the opposite way.

Today is a different animal! A couple of reefs perhaps!

Westerly

Batten down for a few hours
Today is an off day for sailing, a cold front is heading our way for a couple days. Our Easterlies will now shift to SW, then West, quickly to the NW then North. Temps will dip down into the low to mid seventies, brrrrrrrr!

Florida Bay ,Blackwater Sound, Tarpon Basin, Buttonwood Bay and home!,

My route in white
The end of the day, as usual, the wind lays down
Record of our days sail
It was a great day for sailing so it was suggested that we should do an "around the block" that included all the little sounds, basins and bays surrounding us. We left Hammer Point around 11:00 AM and proceeded to sail some 24 or 25 NM today. I have included my route on the chart provided, Roland, on the other chose a alternate route , with the same result. A steady East wind provided the power for our little craft and remained favorable to the end. You can see by the GPS that our average speed was around 4.3 Kts, that includes some very slow passages through several long cuts that connect the various bays and basins. 7.2 Kts was while on a beam reach between Butternut Key and Whaleback Key. Exciting stuff!

25 degrees of Latitude, Southern most Catboats that we know of!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Planned on going sailing before the feast but the wind gods have not given us favorable conditions. Tomorrow looks better, that will have to suffice. Enjoy your families on this day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kindred Spirits

Returning sailors

Passing my dock

Home is just around the corner
Roland Barth and his wife Barbara returning from a three day cruise. Check out the water color! Photos were taken from my dock. Yes, those are toilet seats that mark the channel, go figure.

Once in a Blue Moon!

Finally, after several years of waiting, I have the perfect conditions for sailing all night. My plan was to leave port at sunset and then navigate my way around the l. Bay, with all it's small keys and mangrove islands, all night long. Well, the Blue Moon and an East wind about eight Kts. made all of this possible last night.

video
video
I left the dock just as the sun was setting and sailed very late into the night, when the moon finally made it's appearance, it was like sailing under the lights. It was an awesome experience, well worth the wait. There were no close calls just pure enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment. Here are a couple short videos to give you just a little a little flavor of the sail. sorry that my camera did not pick up any of the keys I passed, especially Porjoe Key.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Perspective...Today's sail!

LEE MARIE

LEE MARIE and new bow sprit

IBIS

IBIS and LEE MARIE
These photos are from Rose and JC aboard GREEN EYES.

Then There Were Three... Cats!

IBIS to Port

GREEN EYES

Getting closer

GREEN EYES passing to Port




Three Cats

Sailing among Mangroves

Mangroves

Chair Cut

Roand running downwind

Sun is near setting
Had a great sail today, Roland aboard IBIS, me on LEE MARIE, then we met up with GREEN EYES later in the afternoon. Wind was NE about 10 Kts. and the bay was just a light chop. Here are a few pictures of the three Cats. Sailing among the various Keys and the Mangroves, Keys to be, is exciting, challenging and very interesting. We name our own shortcuts, Chair Cut is but one of them. These cuts are usually very narrow and skinny, just right for our Sanderlings. Note: As you can see by the pictures, we did not see another boat all day! NICE!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

After three days of blustery conditions, three nice days of sailing and a sunset to boot.

Great sunset to end the day!
Roland heading home
Back to port
Roland and I just completing a nice sail today and we were blessed with a great Keys sunset.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Out For An "Around The Block" Day Sail

As usual sailing in close formation

IBIS skimming along


Roland aboard his Sanderling IBIS, a Bay Head emigrant
 That's what we call a sail that circumnavigates an area of Florida Bay. They can vary in distance, time and usually depend on the weather conditions. This one was from four O'clock to six thirty. Why so late you ask, because with the temperatures hitting the upper eighties, Roland and  decided to go out a little later in the day. We started out with full sail then put in one reef halfway through the journey.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Flats boat YELLOWTAIL on her Davits and ready to go


Yellowtail

On her davits
My flats boat used for exploring the Back Country in the Fl Everglades Nat'l Park. LEE MARIE is safely docked at a friends house just a block away.

Settled in, boats in the water and active


View to the West
 
View to the South


Porch with views of great sunsets every night


Dock, looking NW


Great little courtyard

g

Looking South


Arrived on the seventeenth of Oct, commissioned both boats, and got settled in Camelot. Sailed a few times, pictures coming and went fishing several times, with good results. This is my home for the next six months, awesome sunsets every night and fresh breezes that help to enjoy cocktail hour. The above pictures show my home.