Sunday, November 24, 2013

A DRAMATIC SUNSET OVER THE FLORIDA BAY

I captured this video last night from my little dock on the Bay.
Enjoy one minute of this dramatic sunset.


Sunset On The Bay

A masterpiece is being painted today
Down by the seashore,
down by the bay.
The colors are radiant, as I watch
Standing where
The Master is painting
The sunset out there.

The sky, once so blue,
Is aglow in my sight.
His painting is crimson,
with gold tinted light.
The sea caught the reflection
And doubled the shine.
How I wish I could make
This painting all mine.

The colors are perfect
As they blend one by one,
His waters ... the paints,
His paintbrush ... the sun.
And my thoughts are prayerful
As homeward I plod.
The canvas ... the sky,
And the Artist ... is God.




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Evening Sail

Being chased by a Squall
 
 
Last evening Roland and I set sail about 3:30 for an evening sail out to one of the Keys (Park Key), it was a great sail out with a steady breeze from the West, about 6-8Kts. As we arrived at our destination the sun was just setting and it would not be until sometime later that we would arrive back at our respective docks. As we came about we could see storm clouds brewing in the North, it was an angry looking affair that was making some fast tracks in our direction. We could see lightning in the distance and hear thunder following the strikes. There was not much we could do at this point except make the best of our little Catboat rigs to speed us home in time , before wind, rain and lightning closed in on us. As we approached our harbor the wind, as so often happens before the arrival of a squall, died leaving us just a little apprehensive. "Hey Roland, time for the iron wind". As quickly as I got those words out of my mouth, our little 2.3 HP Honda's were purring and propelling us to our home bases.
 
Update, the storm, no small affair, passed us to the East and missed us entirely. Would we have missed this sail and the opportunity to enjoy the Florida Bay in the evening, no chance. Keep a weather eye and you will almost always be safe in this region.
 
 
Here are a few pictures of our evening sail.
 
 
Meeting up with Roland aboard IBIS for an evening sail.

PUFFIN, heading out to Park Key, in the Florida Everglades.

Park Key in the distance.

Clouds gathering in the North

PUFFIN under a shroud of clouds.
Heading back, following Ibis and her stern light.

This beautiful backdrop turns very angry in just a few minutes.


 

Sunset over Bottle Key
 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gale Warning for the Keys

WHEW



 
 
GMZ031-140930-
FLORIDA BAY INCLUDING BARNES SOUND, BLACKWATER SOUND, AND
BUTTONWOOD SOUND-
846 PM EST WED NOV 13 2013
...GALE WARNING IN EFFECT...
.OVERNIGHT...NORTHEAST WINDS AROUND 30 KNOTS WITH FREQUENT GUSTS OF
35 TO 40 KNOTS. BAY WATERS EXTREMELY ROUGH. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
.THURSDAY...NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS 25 TO 30 KNOTS AND GUSTY...
DECREASING TO NEAR 25 KNOTS AND GUSTY IN THE AFTERNOON. BAY WATERS
EXTREMELY ROUGH. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
.THURSDAY NIGHT...NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS 20 TO 25 KNOTS AND GUSTY.
BAY WATERS VERY ROUGH. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
.FRIDAY...EAST WINDS NEAR 20 KNOTS. BAY WATERS ROUGH. SCATTERED
SHOWERS.
.FRIDAY NIGHT...EAST WINDS NEAR 20 KNOTS...BECOMING EAST TO
SOUTHEAST AND DECREASING TO 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
.SATURDAY...EAST TO SOUTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. BAY WATERS
CHOPPY. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
.SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT...EAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS.
BAY WATERS CHOPPY. ISOLATED SHOWERS.
.MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT...EAST TO SOUTHEAST WINDS NEAR 15 KNOTS.
BAY WATERS A MODERATE CHOP. ISOLATED SHOWERS.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MOTH sailing coming to the UPPER KEYS SAILING CLUB

MOTH SAILING
 
The Upper Keys Sailing Club will be hosting the Moth Class Winter Series this year.
 
 
Here are the weekends that we are hosting the regattas:

Jan 3 - 5 (Moth Winter Series #1, expecting 18 boats, probably 25-30 people )
Jan 30 - Feb 2 (Moth Winter Series #2, expecting 20 boats, 30 people)


March 21 - 23 (Moth Winter Series #4, expecting 26 boats, 30-50 people)


 
 
 
 
 
 
This is the same club that hosts the "Southern Most" Catboat Regatta annually, in February. Looking forward to watching these High Tech, little craft skip along the water.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Key West Bound

About three times a winter a group of Go Fast boat owners head from Miami to the Keys.
 
 
You know when they are heading South because the roar that emanates from these boats can be  heard for miles away. It is not unusual for as many as 40 to 70 of the speed boats to blow by on the ICW, in flights of ten to twenty at a time. Thankfully, these craft are pretty much limited to the narrow path of the ICW and that they go so fast they are gone in a flash. Truthfully, it is an amazing sight to behold, what with the roar of the high powered engines, the long rooster tails spraying out in their wakes and the utter immensity of some of these very expensive water borne rockets.
 
Silence is broken

video
 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

PUFFIN IS LAUNCHED

My Marshall Sanderling PUFFIN was launched last Thursday and has already logged some miles on the Florida Bay. This week, however, the wind has arrived full force and has caused all nautical activities to cease.


A case in point.
 
 
 
Down here in the Keys,  unless you are in a rather large marina, they launch most boats with a huge Fork Lift. In the case of our little Marshalls, they employ a set of sling straps to lift the boats off their trailers. This system is very effective and takes no time to get the boats overboard and the mast raised; it isn't like you have one device to launch then another device to lift the mast, the Fork Lift does it all and in a minimum of time.
 
 
 

PUFFIN all set to be launched

The Fork lift moves into position to lift the boat off the trailer.
In the background you can see the racks where boats are dry stored, the Fork Lift is used mainly to access those craft, at the owners request.

Straps are in place

Carefully, the boat is lifted off the trailer and moved to the pit for launching. They use the same lift to install the mast.
 
 
Although the wind has been blowing out of the North at about 25-30 Kts for the last few days, the temperatures are still in the mid eighties, making for some very pleasant conditions to work on the boats, bringing them up to snuff as it were. On the Marshall, a new 2.3 Honda was installed and the interior was detailed to get rid of dirt and dust that accumulated over the summer while in storage. The Flats Boat needed a new bilge pump and some wiring upgrades, in addition a new stern light was installed to replace the defective old one.
 


New Honda 2.3 four stroke for the Marshall

PUFFIN at her dock, a well protected canal safe from all directions of wind.

New Mark Beaton sail has been bent on and she just awaits her skipper for a sail.

Here in the Keys where boats are  used many more months out of the year, compared to up North, gear has to be change out more frequently. In this case it was the bilge pump that just wore out, it was in the boat since 2002.

The same can be said for the stern light, things just wear out over time.