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Anthem Adrift
Here We Are, So There It Is
03/03/2013, West End, Grand Bahama

Monday 11 February 2013

Previous entry was a slight exaggeration as we had, at that time, only agreed on price. No survey on "Shazza" had been accomplished. As inspection showed no imminent danger of sinking, closing is Wednesday (lucky 13th) and the new name will be "Anthem", not "II" or "Jr." or "Son of", just a reprise of the one on the Cabo Rico which is now called "Venture". Too many things (email address, etc.) incorporate the name and anyway it means something.

So here we are, driving north to Valdosta, Georgia for the purpose of notarizing a signature on boat loan papers. Are there no notaries in Florida you query? Well yes, actually, there are, but they charge $700. OK, they don't, but the state of Florida in its infinite (money grubbing, leech-like) wisdom, for the pleasure and privilege of consummating the transaction under its auspices, does, so we earn $100 an hour while frittering away a day. Strangely enough, because we promise to decamp and never, never, ever, ever, ever return, the state treasury exempts us from sales tax.

Thursday 14 February

Frittered away Tuesday with the dentist, the dermatologist and getting a hair cut and two of our legs waxed. I preferred to remained fuzzy and normally don't get the full bikini treatment anyway. Also spent the afternoon attempting to miniaturize a boat unit worth of stuff from Costco by de-packaging.

As yesterday was closing day we drove back across the state to discover that Wells Fargo wanted to make a couple extra bucks on float so didn't acknowledge receipt of wired money until past bank hours. Because Tiger was in town for the Hunter Classic golf tourney we had to rummage a bit to find the one available overnight accommodation not rented by the hour. Getting sorted the next day involved the last of a bazzilion (very high number) signatures, unloading our grossly over-stuffed crap-box of a Kia Rio into the newly christened "Anthem" and storing/securing it all in preparation for departure to Miami next morning.

Wednesday 20 February

Following eventual discovery that pressing glow plug button while cranking the engine as was done on previous boat didn't have the same felicitous outcome (the word "stop" is nearly worn off the "glow plug" button...) we had an uneventful trip motor-sailing then motoring the 62 NM to Crandon Marina in light to non- existent wind. This allowed full use of previously, optimistically purchased Miami Boat Show tickets Saturday through Monday where unconscionable quantities of USDs were expended buying boat stuff.

Sunday 3 March

There was one more trip back west to get last of purchases and revisit dentist and skin guy for additional torture then back again to boat. Sail (motor) up to Ft. Lauderdale to await weather and shorten distance to West End resulted (after our first night on new Rocna anchor - let's see, this would be last Friday) in running aground, jamming the inmast furler, but finally enjoying a grand sail across the the Gulf Stream to Old Bahama Bay Marina where we will reside until, probably, Tuesday. Confused? Get in line? er, queue.

Future plans? Finish the gin & tonic currently in hand, then, umm...? OK, here's the grand strategy such as is currently formulated. After returning to Miami will leave the boat several weeks for a trip to Singapore getting Jan a new knee. Her with a busted fetlock and unable to race anymore this was a better alternative than putting her down. After returning to Cuba West and taking possession of additional online purchases will beat feet through the Eastern Caribbean before hurricanes season starts, work our way over the summer across Venezuela, the ABCs and Columbia to Panama, go through the Canal and up to Mexico after hurricane season ends (November) and spend awhile there before moving back south for the crossing into the South Pacific in 2014. Or something entirely different. I'm personally expecting that second thing because there's just not enough time to see much along the way. We will return to SoPac eventually.

No need to thank me for not following through on warning at end of previous blog. Regular abuse will eventually ensue.

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

Jack

Shazzam!
01/31/2013, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Hylas Saloon

Thursday 31 January 2013

Where in the world is Carmen? San Diego? Yes, but not for long.

It was necessary to fight off buyers for the Cabo Rico. Had them lined up to pay more, indicating a seriously low ask. No matter, she is shortly en route to Adelaide beginning a new life as we similarly embark.

At last report Jan & I were homeless and depending on the kindness of strangers, friends and relatives, looking for a grocery cart or possibly a new home. Fortunately she is really cute and brings out the paternal/maternal/chivalrous/lustful instinct in people with spare accommodation. Thought it was a joke about wanting a bigger boat, didn't you? Anyway, here's a summary of the last five weeks.

After vacating Anthem, spent a week on "Freezing Rain" sorting 500 kilo of household goods bound for Miami, best guess for where all this crap should go. Because of transit time, needed to make a decision which would have sucked had we bought a boat on Left Coast where we stopped for two days to look at Kelly Peterson 46s and Tayana 48s. Fell in love with a Tayana 52 on Harbor Island. Pretty boat. The love didn't extend to its teak decks.

Mooched off a friend in St. Petersburg (the warm one) for a few days before trekking from tippy-top of Florida East Coast down to Ft. Lauderdale looking at anything likely from 45 to 55 feet. Definite ideas on requirements began eroding as nothing grabbed us by the short and curlies. Last minute, reluctant detour to see an in-mast roller furled sloop we therefore definitely didn't want resulted in its purchase. Life throws you curve balls. People buy crap that has one bit they fall in love with and ignore the nearly perfect that has one bit they dislike.

The Hylas 46 "Shazza" (which is Australian slang for trailer trash and a term to warn others of trashy women in the vicinity) is fitted out very well for our requirements. Needs a few bits like dinghy davits, wind generator, isolation transformer (so we don't smoke the boat when connecting to 240 volt shore power), a few other bits and pieces and possibly a dinghy that isn't held together with duct tape, but is, despite all that, ready to go off shore. If time allows, expect to despoil Bahamas for a few weeks before our shipment arrives into Miami from Oz then beat feet to Antigua for mid-April Regatta Race Week.

Survey is this Monday so, if all copacetic, should shortly have new hole in the water to consume money. Even with energetic schedule over next few weeks and always attendant sloth (second favorite deadly sin), expect a more regular abuse of the blogosphere. You have been warned.

Jack

PS We are currently visiting Jan's sister in Canada. This is an extremely foolish thing to do in January.

Not the End
12/22/2012, Manly Harbour

Goodbye CR38

Saturday 22 December 2012

We're talking what, five weeks since the last bundle of joy from this silly blog. Can't possibly write about everything that's happened so will merely hit the high spots and ignore the details.

Had a great though short time in Mooloolaba before heading for Moreton Bay 18 November. Didn't have a slip as MBTBC was closed and it would, in any case, be dark upon arrival so anchored behind St. Helena island about 4 NM away. After the thunder storms ended about 1900 we had a beautiful night and sailed into MBTBC Marina about 9 Monday.

Then we sold the boat.

Jack

Foggy Focus
11/15/2012, En Route to Mooloolaba

Friday 16 November 2012

Signed paperwork to peddle Anthem for a pittance. Well, not quite, but that's what may be left after rapacious Australian government leaches siphon off whatever they can, not that I begrudge them their filthy lucre... at all... really. Search for suitable (i.e. bigger) replacement is ongoing. Sadly, for some undoubtedly perverse reason, owners want more money for bigger, newer boats. Looking in Malta, Palau and, God forbid, US west coast and, of course, Fort Lauderdale. German friends here in Oz are selling a Hylas 46, one of favored boats, but will probably want too much.

Trouble with selling Anthem is that she has to look pristine to get best offer. After 4 years of hard cruising this will take a bit of dusting and cleaning and, because we're living on her, we'll have to mend our ways and be neat. This appears to require some level of focus and responsibility. Yikes! At least all the working bits are, you know, working.

After revegging (not a real word) at fresh market Sunday, buying, installing, removing and returning defective replacement DC ammeter (old one still works, but is a bit wrinkly after getting toasted from a loose connection) and beginning cleanup of gelcoat Monday, we staged out near Burnett Heads and did some catchup with several friends who also came across the Pacific in 2010 Tuesday for departure next morning. (That really should have been three sentences)

Now beating feet to Mooloolaba (didn't make it up, moo LOO le bah) for a day or so before last leg (of 4) into Brisbane area. Will be docking at the Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club in Manly. Doesn't seem right does it? More friends, more catchup, possibly the odd gin & tonic. Goodbye focus and responsibility.

Jack

Party Birds, Potty Birds
11/09/2012, En Route to Bundaberg

Noddy at Lady Musgrave

Saturday 10 November 2012

Beginning to get too far behind on these things and, given the memory of a 3-year-old, can't remember that far back so will now perform one of those summary deals.

Sailed around the Whitsundays for several days snorkeling, diving and otherwise having great fun and screwing off (redundant?) then met Freezing Rains at Thomas Island, halfway to Mackay, both of us taking advantage of an east to northeast wind window (prevailing is southeast making it difficult to work down the coast).

Spent a few days in Mackay provisioning and buying the odd bit we couldn't possibly live without before making like horse manure and hitting the road as another weather window made the 280 NM beat to Bundaberg more comfortable. Stopped early yesterday at Lady Musgrave Island about 50NM north of Bundaberg after two overnights. Place is a rookery for wedge-tailed shearwaters and black noddies. Shearwaters burrow in the ground and noddies nest in 'pisonia' (I wouldn't lie to you about this) trees. It's lousy with them. Place smells like a toilet. Shoes and wide-brimmed hats were successfully utilized.

Freezing Rain were unable to leave due yet another maintenance 'issue' so will have it tough making Brisbane in time where other mates now live and have invited numerous of us for a big Thanksgiving dinner on the 24th (T-day is actually Thursday the 22nd). Aussies don't know from Thanksgiving, but Canadians do. Theirs however is in October because by November all the turkeys have frozen to death and all Canadians are in Florida or Arizona.

Now en route to Bundy where we meet up with good buddies (Canadian, so I'll be surrounded and outnumbered, not sure how long I can count on that 'Canadian nice' thing) before continuing on to Brisbane area. Could take awhile before next good southward opportunity so plan heading to an anchorage adjacent to town about 2 hours up Burnett River. Hope we haven't lost our paddle (perhaps one only has to worry about creeks in this regard, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared).

Jack

Early From Airlie
10/29/2012, Long Island, Whitsundays

View From Whitsunday Peak

Monday 29 October 2012

After refueling at nearby Abel Point Marina and anchoring just off the Sailing Club near mates Pacific Eagle (Peagle), joined them at Airlie Thai along Shute Harbour Rd. for really excellent salt & pepper calamari and Massaman lamb. Despite previously stated expectation there was almost no depravity. Not, at least, personally or where we could see, but music wafted out to the anchorage until 0300 so suspicions run high. The place is lousy with post-juvenile delinquents or as some refer to them 'young people'.

Next day and a half were squandered in shopping for food and a G3 dongle antenna (not to be had) before baling out to Sawmill Bay on Whitsunday Island where we met a Dutch racing bud of Jan's up from Brisbane. On Sunday he and I injudiciously engaged in a steep 4.8 kilometer hike to the top of Whitsunday Mountain, highest point in the area, for spectacular views of the islands and Australian coast from Bowen to Mackay (Muh ky - long 'I'). Someone remind me not to do that again.

Freezing Rain, who were sailing up from Mackay to Airlie Beach on a seemingly never-ending quest for maintenance parts and repairs on their 2002 Halberg-Rassey then met us (or we them.. whatever) at Long Island Resort in Happy Bay just north of Humpy Point (did not make that up). We anchored to avoid the conveniently placed $55 per night moorings which would have allowed us to purchase buffet dinner for $76. Needing to arrive into Airlie early Tuesday to meet a tardy tradie who was to repair their generator FR left and we went to the beachside bar to enjoy a burger, fish and chips, wine and a very good singer for slightly less.

Actual news item: "Viagra Aids Jet Lag". Right!

Jack

Coasting and Ghosting
10/24/2012, Nara Inlet, Hook Island, Whitsundays

The Skull Cave

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Sail from Bowen to Stonehaven on Hook Island involved actual sailing including past Hayman Island Resort where one may boat into the marina, but must buy accommodation on land as well. We found a free park mooring and relaxed for the night. This was not to last as there was forecast a heavy southeast blow for the following two days so we drove around the corner to Nara Inlet to hide out and enjoy company of friends for the duration. Upon arrival and invited to Rotomanu we proceeded over just past noon for coffee and got back to Anthem around 1730 after sundowners. Not sure when the transition occurred, but this activity had a serious damping effect on planned boat projects.

Next day was a similar productivity black hole although in dinking around we did find Phantom's Skull Cave in Refuge Bay off the main inlet. The Ghost Who Walks was either hiding or off somewhere doing good deeds. Dissipation again reigned as we retired to Rotomanu with Loafers and Windflowers at 1700 for drinks, snacks and general good humour.

Tomorrow as we arrive in Airlie Beach (gateway to the Whitsundays and popular young people's hangout) idleness will end and the delights of civilization will again reacquaint themselves to our depraved souls.

Jack

Slothlessness
10/21/2012, Bowen, Queensland

Hayman Island

Sunday 21 October 2012

Expectations for an energetic sail to Cape Upstart were unfortunately realized. Upon arrival we were knackered and, unenthused about same for slog to Bowen next day, stayed second night. Although just barely inside the Cape, anchorage was smooth like a babies keister (this is second hand knowledge as I generally avoid close proximity to the stinky, noisy... I mean cute little buggers).

Lay day was productive as for some unknown reason dynamism infused our souls. Defective washdown switch was replaced as was shower sump drain hose (Oh sure sounds easy and would have been if a midget had been handy for the inaccessible bits). Shower sump was cleaned, squeaky port primary winch was serviced and social acceptability was jeopardized by mutual partner inflicted haircuts. Man, even the thought of that much enterprise and effort induces queasiness.

Anyway delay was effective as Bowen was reached with minimum fuss and early enough to trek into town for today's lamb roast special at The Grand View Hotel. Jan, unappreciative of the exquisite melding of these succulent flavors, gave me all her mint jelly.

Tomorrow, the much acclaimed Whitsundays.

Jack

Brown is the Color of My True Love's Skivvies
10/18/2012, Cape Bowling Green, Queensland

Friday 19 October 2012

On-the-wind motor-sail to Cape Bowling Green in light wind and moderate sea (until the more rambunctious last hour) was pleasant enough given irksome rumbling underfoot. As the Cape is a narrow 8 mile spit of sand poking right into the Coral Sea, waves generated by the southeast trades are mostly blocked, but not wind. Blew a hooley all night keeping us well ventilataed and batteries full. Don't really understand why people want protection from a breeze less than 20 knots or so, but then some of us are sufficiently deaf to be oblivious to the noise.

This has been a rest stop before what promises to be a much more obstreperous ride today. The continuing adventures of Adam Troy and schooner Tiki last night on the massive, 19 inch, wide-screen, LED TV during and after a splendid meal of marinated lamb, sweet potato, salad and red wine graced our early evening before an unconscionably early wakeup designed to limit exposure to adverse wind forecast for increase late morning. This planned course of action was based on an assumption of accurate weather forecasting which on its face is foolish, but what's a mother to do? Poor decisions based on faulty information is our customary way of life and add interest and charm to otherwise boring and tedious near-death experiences.

Crayola added the color 'beaver' to its crayons in 1998. Don't spread it around... in a manner of speaking.

Jack

Retreat!
10/17/2012, Magnetic Island, Queensland

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Although Townsville is not the zenith of civilization in the southern hemisphere... or Australia... or Queensland and hey, that's saying something, after five months in the islands it seemed so. Restaurants, bars and places where one may purchase boat parts, groceries (yoghurt, mushrooms, Tim Tams (you know, the essentials)), a watch, a massage, a leg wax, a mask and snorkel to replace disintegrating ones and coffee beans litter the countryside requiring only enormous amounts of money to exploit.

It's that enormous amounts of money thing along with a need to begin the journey south that finally wrenched us from this cesspool of decadence to spend a night on the hook behind Magnetic Island (no compass complications were noted) awaiting calmer winds for a run down to the shelter of Cape Bowling Green.

Jack

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