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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Birds, Manatees and generosity
Bill, 42 and clear
01/05/2012, Fort Pierce, FL

We stopped at a marina to have some showers and run to the store. What we found were birds, manatees and generosity.

First, the birds: This is quite the spot: Ospreys hung out in the rigging of boats, and at dusk flocks of birds started flying past the boat: White Ibis, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Cattle Egrets... we walked down the dock to see where they were going and found a tiny island covered with birds... hundreds of birds. The Pelicans were hanging out with the Herons while the White Ibis seemed prone to squabble with each other, pecking and pushing and flying about... A couple Belted Kingfishers grabbed a few last fish as the sky darkened. I hoped to catch some great photos early this morning, but I was too late. All the birds were gone except for the lazy Pelican who were still preening and stretching. The cattle egrets were all congregating on surrounding boats and flying off to the west in flocks.

Then we saw the Manatees, which we had never seen before. 1000 to 1200 pounds, they are impressive and beautiful. right beside the boat!

And finally, generosity: Eariler in the afternoon, we were headed to the store, which was 4 or 5 blocks away... we stopped to ask a woman, Chris, which way to the store. She looked at us, with Isobel on her Skuut and said, "You don't want to walk there, Route 1 is too busy, take my truck, it is set up with car seats..." Wow, she wasn't a cruiser or a marina owner... she was the local AFLAC representative. Hope for this world comes from the wonderful people that it is filled with. Thanks Chris.

27 28.016'n 080 19.628'w

The sailing aesthetic
42, with 20 knots of wind
01/03/2012, Wabaso, FL

Lara at the wheel with several pairs of pants, many shirts, two hats, two scarfs and foulies...

It was a cold day in Florida but that is not what I want to write about...

I realize that sailing is really an aesthetic thing for me. It goes beyond shipshape... which would mean coiled lines. When on shore or on a bridge, I believe a boat sailing adds to the beauty of the landscape or sea scape around it. Lara thinks I am being vain when we pass a wharf or boat full of sightseers, and I say, "smile, they are taking our picture." It is not vanity, it is that people want a sailboat in their photo, not our sailboat necessarily, they want a pretty one.

So I say, let ours be a perfect addition to their photo. So, today was a beautiful day with 25 to 30 knots out of the north. White caps covered the water and we were the only sailboat out there using the wonderful flat water of the Intra Coastal Waterway to our advantage. We passed under many bridges and saw faces peering out of car windows watching our bow throw up endless foam as our poled out jib and prevented main pulled us south at hull speed, what is called "wing and wing". We joined the flights of Great Egrets as another addition to a spectacular view from the homes along Florida's Indian River.

By the time we had reached the Wabasso bridge, where we planned to anchor, I had roller-furled the jib and stowed the whisker pole... and centered the main. As Lara payed out the right amount of anchor rode and snubbed the chain with line, I let the main drop, thinking how an onlooker might be enjoying the show as the setting sun cast us in a golden glow...

That is where it all fell apart...

I had been told by our sailmaker, Carol Hasse at Port Townsend Sails that I should furl my sail rather than flake it... "like they furl the tops sails on a Clipper-ship." Well, I tried to picture myself 100 feet in the air with Irving Johnson coaching me as I tried to "just roll it up"... then tie it with sail ties. Carol had commented that it might "feel like aircraft aluminum"... well she was right, it does. So, the aesthetic was lost as I cursed like I was standing on ice-coated foot ropes, 100' off the deck of The Peking rounding Cape Horn wrestling the sail into a bulging mess of fabric and lashing it into an unsightly mess on the boom...

Being cold and being dark... I retreated to the warm cabin in hopes that no one would see the sail before I covered it with the sail cover... in the morning... ah-well...

01/03/2012 | Mick
Just to make you feel better - it's currently 20F inside our shelter and rapidly approaching - too much F outside in the windchill - looks like you're heading the right way!
01/03/2012 | Uncle Readie
These days the camera is always on you, one way or another. Good thing you're all so photogenic. :)
01/04/2012 | Randy
I totally get what you are saying - about making someone's day as they see a sailboat, making their picture perfect. And on that note, the picture or Lara all bundled up says a LOT! I am hoping for warmer weather than that when I return to Kristinly in 5 weeks.
01/04/2012 | tortugan joe
Hey gang,
Of course sailors and their boats are prettier than the rest of this, and belong in every coastal shot taken.
Let's see.
Main tight, up into the wind, good spot, drop the hook, keep her straight enough to not sail off.....
anchor's setting, yeah, then drop it.
Our Dutchman does OK guiding her down, ALWAYS need re-flaking, occasionally done.
But, do I get that you guys have a boom-furler here? Is that the idea? Guess I didn't know.
Any more info?
I love sailing foibles that end well with abundant embarrassment.

Keep heading.
Love to all.
01/05/2012 | Bill and Lara Calfee
Tortugan Joe, No boom furler. We do have Lazy Jacks which have worked well in the past. Carol says that Flaking the sail creates undue wear at the creases... and that "furling" avoids those repeated creasing. She suggests letting all the sail flop on one side of the boom, then "rolling it up like they do on the Square riggers..." I guess I need to spend some time in the rigging of a square-rigger...
01/06/2012 | gil
Ya' know, we can make you a larger sail cover to get that mess into !
Fog to sunset
01/01/2012, Daytona Beach, FL

We left this morning in the pea soup fog motoring slowly with radar and a bow watch... thinking the fog would burn off quickly.... this is Florida right, not Maine....

We after a tortuous mile on the water we dropped the hook and waited until 10 am for the visibility to improve... then we were off on a bee line south. Lots of birds: Storks, Egrets, gulls, herons...

Isobel slept a bunch and Lara and I alternated steering and sitting on the bow with the warm sun, the birds and the water flowing by...

Tried an anchorage near a park... not a good vibe and too shallow... so we went back to a place we had been before... and watched the sun set ...

29 12.595'n 081 00.497'w

01/02/2012 | Uncle Readie
So nice of the sky to color coordinate with the little girl. :)
01/03/2012 | ellen
Happy New Year to all! Once again I must thank you for being so diligent on the blogging. It is wonderful for us landlubbers, really keeps the dream alive. It was great to see you when you came through. Have a happy and healthy 2012. Peace.
New Years Eve
12/31/2011, Saint Augustine, FL

We were all set to go out to dinner for New Years Eve, and after a nice shower at the Marina, we realized the best view in town was from the bow of our own boat... so Isobel drove us back out where we celebrated with music and fine dining...

Isobel serves up drinks
12/31/2011, Saint Augustine, FL

Isobel uses her new companionway table to mix up drinks...

01/04/2012 | Joyce Pully
I'm glad you showed me her table before you left. She is so the bartender, in her leopard print! Happy New Year to you all!
Our e-meil at work is still messed up. Did you get your line from Selden?
The girls have a get together
12/27/2011, Near Orlando, FL

Once we had recovered from or Christmas festivities, we prepared to get underway... and I called my friend Jimmy of Starbound... He said, "I'll pick you up in a couple hours..." So off we went to spend a couple days at their house. For not being a boat, it is a pretty cool spot on a freshwater lake. He has approached it with a captain's eye, adding LED lighting and Solar panels. An edible yard will follow the growing towers that are bulging with lettuce...

And the girls played together from early until late until they had to be separated so they could all get some sleep! It was a great visit and we miss them out on the water... This is a photo of them in Elethera in April 2010:

the girls before
12/27/2011, Eleuthera April 2010

We all had a wonderful time running around at low tide... and many other memories...

Egrets on the dock
12/26/2011, Saint Augustine, FL

One of the fun things about being on the dock in St Augustine, other than than allowing the family to step aboard, was the bird show.

There was something about the current and the dock that gave the Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets a wonderful fishing opportunity. They would stand on the edge of the dock on the upstream side and jump off and nab a fish out of the water in flight without touching the water with anything other than the tip of its bill. Of course both Lara and I shot a hundred images trying to catch them in flight...

12/25/2011, St Augustine, FL

Initially the Scuut allowed us to walk around and not carry her... now we have to run to keep up!

12/28/2011 | Mary Ellen
Merry Christmas- forgot to call you guys
WAs nice to be home--no snow YET???--
Looking forward to a very nice 2012.-I think MOM is still working on Passport.??
slowly----maybe 1/12/2012- it will happen
All the best -- enjoy the heat -
love and hugs
12/28/2011 | gil
you call that running ?
12/28/2011 | Uncle Readie
Well, he probably had to run to get in front to take that picture. :)
12/31/2011 | tortugan joe
Happy New Year to Bill, Lara, isobel and EVERYONE following along on this trek.
May 2012 provide many happy memories to y'all.
Meeting with Family
12/24/2011, St Augustine, FL

We awoke early on Christmas Eve to travel the 30 miles south to St Augustine... where Helme, Mettie and Lily had set up camp the day before in the Casa Monica Hotel. We took a slip so we could have easy and quick access ashore. The festivities started immediately!

Of course, it is warm and we walked around town a lot. The town was decorated for Christmas....

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