Sunday, November 27, 2011

Almost in...remembering Shell Creek adventure.

Chart view of our trek through Shell Creek and other bodies of water.
Click on chart for a close up view of our route.
Legend, Black, first day, orange  second day of sailing. Incidentally, 20 Kts. of wind on the second day, a two reefer!
Almost in by Sandscraper
Almost in, a photo by Sandscraper on Flickr.
The entrance to Shell Creek, whose idea was this anyway? We just wanted to explore another body of water on the other end of this creek. No, we did not  have to come back the same way, we entered Long Sound, sailed into Little Blackwater Sound from there, into Blackwater Sound, through another cut on the Intracoastal, into Tarpon Basin, Buttonwood Sound and finally back into Fl. Bay to our home port.

Shell Creek exit, thank God!

We actually had to hack our way into this small creek that joins two bodies of water, we left Fl. Bay and entered Long Sound. Notice the Mangrove debris on the deck that is from the mast hitting the trees as we went through the creek.

I made the segments short so there was not so much video of just water.

Dolphins everywhere

Dolphins everywhere a video by Sandscraper on Flickr.

Dolphins to the left of me, Dolphins to the right of me, but I stood my ground.

Holy crap Batman! a video by Sandscraper on Flickr.

Playing in the bow wave, most times, however, they came up abeam to get a good look at me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

To all that view this Blog, Happy Thanksgiving! I know that I have a great deal to be thankful for, I'll bet that if each one of you give the slightest thought about your family, friends and your life you will have no problem coming to the same conclusion as me.




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fun in the Back Country

My friend David and I went into the Back Country yesterday for a little fishing , we caught a variety of fish, including Jack Crevalles, Spotted Sea Trout, Lady Fish and a couple of Sharks. Because the season for Trout is closed until January we did not bring home dinner. The Jack's and the other fish gave us fun sport and all were released unharmed.

Picture below is David with a 2 1/2 Lb Jack. No David is not Hamas, the face cloth is made from special cloth to protect you against the sun's rays.

David with Jack Crevalle, they get much larger in the Keys but no matter what the size they are fun to catch.
This is my other boat, a Mako 17 Flats Boat

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Outward Bound encounters

As explained in the next post, I take every opportunity that I am afforded, to encounter these small Outward Bound craft and their sailors. Typical groups that one might expect to encounter are disabled veterans, cancer survivors, troubled youth and on and on. They all come out here for one reason, to look inside their souls and sort things out, the experience with others that are in  "the same boat" coupled with the beauty of the Fl. bay is a powerful force.

Group sailing on the newer version of an Outward  Bound Boat

In for the night off Bottle Key, sleeping on the boat this night

Old School, full crew for this trip

New style boat with Roland aboard Ibis acting as their wing man

Ibis Leading the way
Roland was /is on the Board of Outward Bound

Outward Bound...A look back through todays sailors.

Back in the late sixties, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in an Outward Bound program. The course was a sailing course that took place on Blue hill Bay and surrounding areas of Maine waters. The vessels were 30' double ended pulling boats, with a co-ed crew of twelve people, powered by either wind or rowing. These stout little vessels had no head, no cleaning facilities or bunks on which a person might catch a good nights sleep. The course lasted thirty days, no base camp, just small islands which became our homes for the night.

I learned a great deal about working with others, team work, group dynamics, and yes, when to keep my mouth shut. It is because of the lasting impact that this course had on me and my teaching, every chance I get to talk with other students, especially during their course, I jump at the opportunity. There is an Outward Bound school here in the Keys, they go out in similar craft as I did and in a new and improved version. Every time I see them out on the Bay I either sail or motor out to greet them, take their pictures and post them on my Flickr site so their families can share a little of what it was like.
Here are a few pictures and videos of some of those encounters. The first two videos are of the Old School vessels and the third is the modern day version, even has a head.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nest Key Revisited...First This Season

North Nest Key is one of two keys located in the Florida Bay, about seven miles North of where I live in the Keys. It is in the heart of the Florida Everglades National Park and one of only a few Keys that you can actually land on. You can camp there but you must have a permit and as on all the Keys in the Everglades, you cannot have pets on land. Nest key is a favorite stop for avid Kayaker's as the trip out and back is moderately challenging, especially if the wid kicks up.

Yesterday, after communicating with two other Catboat owners, we all agreed to meet at Nest Key for lunch. I was the first to arrive, as I left early, then came Roland on Ibis, after a short time JC and Rose on Green Eyes arrived. It was a great sail out and back. The wind was perfect, 10 - 15 ESE, so one long tack out and two tacks back.

I am posting 4 pictures taken from my cellphone, the reason being that my regular camera battery was dead. I will post other pictures as they arrive.

LEE MARIE sitting quietly off Nest Key!

Nest Key shoreline

One of several Star Fish I saw yesterday
The Star Fish is under a foot of water here
Roland and IBIS, foreground
CB and LEE MARIE middle ground
Green Eyes and owners JC and Rose background

Trying out a new motor here, donated by a friend
2.5 HP Evinrude

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sewer Update...All Done

I just finished several hours cleaning up after the workers left, grading the yard, raking the coral and wetting down the ground so that the dirt that was mixed with the coral is now under the pea rock. It does not look too bad but I think that a few yards of new coral pea rock is called for.

Jeff (?), you will be happy to know that I did not have to wait until next year after all.


A few days ago there was nothing but trenches here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ibis Getting All Chocked UP

Roland putting the final touch to stepping his mast. Now to put on the boom, gaff and bend on the sail.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cleaning up the Keys...the price that one must pay

In an attempt to clean up, preserve and improve the water quality of the Keys, a sewer project that extends from Key Largo to Key West was started last year. While I had to deal with our streets torn up, for three months, this year we have to deal with the hassle of sewer connections from the house to the street.

Now, when it comes to maintaining my property, I am a bit of a fanatic. Each day I rake the coral as if I were maintaining a Zen Garden, you can only imagine how stressed I am watching the process of connecting the sewers unfold.

Here are some pictures of a once nicely manicured coral yard. The workers say that it will be put back to it's original condition, we'll see about that. More photos to follow, after the job  is finished.

Living on a bombing range

The new connection at the house end

Street hookup


I hope that this Coconut Palm survives

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sunrise In NJ 11/4/2012

My Niece Cory sent this picture this morning, she was on her way to work when she captured this shot. Nice picture Cor.

Sunrise over Ocean City, NJ

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Great Night InThe Keys

The Sky is clear
The Stars are shimmering
What more could you ask