Thursday, January 31, 2013

Siting on the Hook

I am sitting on the hook (mooring or anchor) waiting for Joy to return fro the shore. The generator is running full blast as the biggest problem we have with being on an anchor/mooring ball is the use of electricity which is greater than our solar panel can replace it. So the batteries slowly get lower and lower. One solution is to run the engine, that really puts a big charge back, except running a diesel in a no load situation is not good for the engine.  I ran it for an hour today. So we run the little Honda 2000 but that only puts out about 10 amps.  One idea is to go for a ride on Sunday for a couple of  hours, that should give us a good charge.

Jean and Dell arrive on Monday afternoon for a four night stay on High Spirits. Hope they know what they are getting themselves into.  Should be great fun.

Last night was the meet and greet. In the afternoon we played dominoes. Here are a couple of pictures.

Don, Joe, Judy, Joey and Pat
the other table, do know that is Barb on the end in the purple shirt.  Not sure about anybody else.
Been on the phone today talking to the Customs/Border people about the Local Boater Option program. We have cards from two years ago, it helps you check back in faster when you return from the Bahamas or any other country by boat. 
Having lunch with Osprey, Tammy and Jerrell, from our trip to the Bahamas two years ago.  They just arrived and looking to go to the Bahamas but perhaps some other parts that we are probably not going to.  All depends on the weather and getting to Marsh Harbor/Hopetown for Jen and family, March 31


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mexican Train

Yesterday was a great day in Marathon. The sun was out, people were doing stuff and I had a nice long walk to the post office.

Joy went to yoga class at 10 am. Yoga is three times a week, Mon, Wed and Friday.

In the late afternoon we walked over to Banana Bay to visit Steve and Linda. Had a refreshing dip in the pool at Banana Bay and met Danny, who works at Home Depot and a younger couple from Minnesota who were very glad they have escaped the minus 20 degree weather back home.

Steve prepared an excellent dinner of Portobello mushroom burgers, potatoes, and squash.  In his next life he could be a chef at a restaurant

Then on to the big event of the day, Mexican train dominoes.  I had to spend some time on a PBE directors meeting on the phone where we approved the $6.5 million loan to renovate 400 Memorial Drive.

After the call we proceeded and for the first 90 minutes the scores were extremely close for this game, less than a 20 point separation between first and fourth places.  Then Linda caught fire and blew everybody out of the game with two quick lay downs. The rest of us were caught with big point totals and the game was over. We stopped at 10:30 and walked back to the marina. On board by 11:15 pm.

The weather is supposed to get a little less windy and less waves. Thinking of going out Wed afternoon and night and anchoring on the Gulf side of Marathon with the Frankos.  Would be good for High Spirits as we could put some charge into our batteries by motoring an hour or so.  Or sailing.

Today is more walking to West Marina, a seminar on navigation computer programs at 1 pm and an Abacos talk at 4Pm. Then Butch and Debbie are coming for dinner.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Line Splicing

Today is Monday, Jan 28 and Duane is here to splice a new roller furling reefing line. The other splice had a problem in it and it would not go through the line guides.  So Duane suggested a new line and is here to splice it. Our reefing line is a continuous loop, pull on one side it pulls out the sail, pull In the other direction, it rolls the sail up.

Cost of this project should be around $40.  The new line cost $115.

So we have been busy getting to Marathon and spending some time with Linda and Steve Franko across  US 1 in Banana Bay Marina.  Had some packages sent to them before we arrived and some more should come this week. They are here for 3 months.

This was taken before Joy cooked us a great dinner with mushroom, broccoli and spaghetti.
  2. The guys were victorious at Euchre again, coming back from a 9 to 5 deficit, then it was 9 to 6 and then Joe did a loaner for 4 points to claim the victory.  The Ladies are requesting a different game on Monday night, so we are switching to dominoes. Banana Bay has a pool so we are going over there about 4 pm after getting some more boat chores accomplished.
Disregard the numbers.

The winds are strong here this winter, it would be great if we had a wind generator but we do not.

going to run a test on my cpap machine to see if I can run it without the water heater system.

We paid for a month here until Feb 24.  There is so much to do here, some people never go farther south.  Our Bahama plans will all be dependent on the weather. Just need to get to Marsh Harbor in March for Jen and family's arrival on March 31.


ps  picture of Joy having a great time when we sailed down to Marathon

Friday, January 25, 2013


WE almost to Marathon, be there tomorrow afternoon. Left Dinner Key this morning at 7:30 am, motored/sailed until 5:45 pm, a 10 hour day.  Found a mooring ball just off Indian Key. It has a little history.

Is a small island that had 20 some people living on it in 1840.  They were wreckers, ie they salvaged stuff off ships that got wrecked on the reefs. At the end of the 1840s the Seminole Indians attacked the island and killed 16 people on it. Since then it is deserted and now is a state park.  You can go to a talk on Friday, Sat and Sunday.  Park rangers give tours.  Think we will skip it this time so we can get down to Marathon before it gets too late in the afternoon.

Now it is Friday morning and we are on our way to Marathon under sail power only.  Only the main sail and the jib re furling line as a spot where the splice is that prevents it from going through one of the guides.  Have to get the line spliced again  Also have to get the back head water leaked fixed.

Here are some pictures.

Joy got her hair cut short for the Bahamas and enjoyed a cup of Cuban coffee at the same time.

I am enjoying a downloaded book from the Cuyahoga County Library system.  We do a lot of reading and playing gin rummy at night.  No TV and we are using up our Web bandwidth too fast this month.

Sunset at Indian Key last night.

On to Marathon for repairs and spending time with friends


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coconut Grove

Arrived in Coconut Grove on Sunday afternoon and spent yesterday just walking around one of the cooler areas of Miami.  Coconut Grove is fun of funky restaurants, shops, movie theaters, etc.

Got several interesting pictures on our way down past Miami Beach and past the Miami docks.

The one above is Sara on the phone.

Joy, Phil, Sara and I went to see Silver Linings Playbook, very interesting movie about a guy trying to overcome his bipolar mental situation.  Was nominated for 8 Academy awards.  Definitely worth seeing.

Today is chores day including washing clothes, Joy getting a haircut, Joe going to the Planetarium in the afternoon and probably having another nice dinner at one of the trendy restaurants on Grand Avenue.

Here are some photos of the last day or so.

This is a picture of one of the container unloaders working on the Miami docks

One of the loaders working at the container docks

Lots of power boats in Miami, this one is about 65 feet long.

The plan is to head south to Marathon starting tomorrow, will take two days to get there.

All depends on the weather.  Might be raining on Sat so we want to be there by Friday evening.
May stay tomorrow in Coconut Grove one more day.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fy. Lauderdale

Making progress down the ICW.  Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale home of the big and I mean big boats. One marina bills itself as the mega yacht marina and your boat has to be 200 feet in length to get in. They only have 22 slips and no prices on their website.
Their style:  If you have to ask, you can't afford it.  Needless to say we are not at the  mega yacht place but anchored in Middle River off the ICW and staying for free.

So we took a couple of pictures today to show people what life in Florida is all about.

This boat is sitting in a dry dock, above the water surface.  The whole machine goes up and down to pull the boat out of the water so they can work on the bottom. Then it goes back down so the boat can float off.

typical Florida canal house, not too big, not too small
Today we went through 15 bridges. Some of the bridges are on a timed schedule, like every 30 minutes on the house and half hour and other bridges are on demand. You just come up and request an opening. These are much better than the scheduled bridges. Today we missed a scheduled bridge by r 2 minutes, and had to wait 30 until the next opening.  Only two more bridges to go tomorrow as we have to go out around Miami and that is tomorrow's activity.

This guy has his boat onto of his dock lift.  The back end of the boat is pushing the boat and lift through the water.  Interesting way to move the lift from one place to another.

Another Florida canal home, looks like a Venetian Italy mansion.  Wonder where people get the money to build and buy these houses.


Friday, January 18, 2013


Yesterday we travelled with Phil and Sara Sayre to Lake Worth, Fl.  We had to go through 7 bridges to get there from Peck Lake

The bridges of southern Florida are the biggest pain in travelling to the Bahamas. Today we have to do at least 5 bridges and possibly 11 tomorrow.  Some are on request, and some on a time sequence.
Usually the bridge operator for the request bridges likes to bunch boats up together so that four to six boats go through at the same time.  No problems so far, it just makes the travel time a lot longer to cover the same distance compared to a no bridge day.

The weather has turned cold, and the wind is out of the north, We had thought about going out but not today. We will have to go out eventually from Ft. Lauderdale ( Port Everglades inlet) around Miami because of the one fixed bridge that is less than 65 feet on the ICW.  It is only 55 feet high and so most boats over 35 feet have to go out for 25 mile around Miami Beach.

Phil and Sayre introduced to a card game that they call Australian Rummy. We have played it before under another name. Two decks of cards, deal 3 cards at first, 3's are wild.  Have to have a set. Then deal four cards, 4's are wide, have to have a run.  If anyone reads this blog and remembers playing this game with us in the last couple of months, refresh our aging memories.

Got the dinghy engine up and time for breakfast. Leaving at 8:30 am.  Temperature is 57 degrees but supposed to warm up to mid 70s.


PS  pictures on next posting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


We stayed another day at Peck Lake just south of Stuart.  Spent the morning working on the boat.

Joy worked on crating some new screens to keep out the no see ums. I worked on some fraternity business and read my book.  Such a tough life for me.

After lunch we took the dinghy over to the beach along with Phil and Sara Sayre. We are travelling with them for a couple of more days until we get to Miami. They are stopping there to jump over to the Bahamas directly while we are continuing south to visit the Butchers and the Frankos.

Here is a picture of Joy, Phil, Sara, Jane and Russell.  Jane and Russell are from Tallahassee and just came to Peck Lake to wait for the arrival of another boater.  Jane and Russell know Dave and Pattie from Oregon. Both have 42 foot Whitby ketches.


in order, Joy Russell, Jane, Sara and Phil- on the ocean at Peck Lake

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ready to go Sailing

Today is Monday, Jan 14, 2013 and we are in Ft. Pierce at Harbortown Marina.
All the repairs are finished and we are leaving tomorrow morning after getting diesel and a pump out.

The VHF/AIS radio was installed during  Christmas vacation, and we had a snort lesson on its features and how it worked this morning. Plus fixed a couple of wires that had been loosened during the radio installation.

Fuel filters were changed, and the engine is running smoothly.  We hope to leave about 9 am and head down to Peck :Lake, south of Stuart, Fl for an anchoring overnight on the beaches of the state park that is there at Peck Lake.

A lot has happened during the past 3-4 weeks that we have been visiting family and friends so I will not go into details. Just including 3 pictures of us and our two grandchildren, Erin, age 6, and Adam, age 2.75. 

The big news is that Jill and Matt are expecting their first child in May 2013. We are very excited and happy for them. We will be back from the Bahamas in time.


ps  this is the first time using the new computer, an HP pavilion g6, so the pictures are a little out of place. Will get the hang of it for next posting.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Erin is 6 tomorrow

Tomorrow, Jan 8, i8s Erin's s 6th Birthday, and a week after that is when we bought
Highj Spirits out of a boat yard in Stevensville, MD, on the east side of the Chesapeake Bridge.

More when we get back to Florida and on the boat.  Need my picture loader device


Saturday, January 5, 2013


time for a short post on the blog.  Tuesday is Erin's 6th birthday but her party is tomorrow, Sunday, Jan 6.  We are in Hyattsville until Wed am. 

We have been on vacation from High Spirits for almost three weeks, and I do not have
any ability to post pictures until we get back to her. I left the device I need on her by

All in all it has been a great vacation,  Saw  our family  before, during and after Christmas at various sites around the country including Florida, Baltimore, Hyattsville, Cleveland and Columbus.

Saw four movies. Les Miz will blow you away.  It is extremely emotional.  Hugh Jackman and Ann Hathaway are spot on.

I kind of miss High Spirits and Joy and I know that we will be back on the water by next weekend or just afterwards.

My other big news, turning 65 this month and going on Medicare and off the super expensive
Cleveland Clinic retiree health insurance plan.

So bye for now, will have pictures when we get back on the boat.


PS  Hope you got our Christmas letter,.  If not, drop me a line and I will send it to you.  We are going to try and consolidate our multiple Christmas mailing lists.