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C'est la Vie
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Exploring Dismal KeyJeff
Saturday December 16th 2006, Ten Thousand Islands
After a night on the hook at Panther, we dropped origami (the dinghy) in the water and tooled around some of the creeks around Dismal Key.
Friday December 15th 2006, Everglades City, FL
Lindsay made the long drive down from WNC to visit us in the Everglades. We found the time get out for an overnight on C'est la Vie. We sailed out to the west side of Panther Key and dropped the hook for the night. Attached is a picture of Lindsay @ the helm.
Home Sweet HomeJeff
Saturday October 7th 2006, Sunset Island, Everglades City, FL
We arrived at Sunset Island on Saturday morning. Our "day sail", 65NM from Marathon across FL Bay and up to the northern end of Everglades National Park, offered excitement and a few hours of light air sailing. We departed Boot Harbor with the first hint of sunshine challenging the cloudy morning. By the time we cleared seven mile bridge we were facing a fresh breeze of 15+ knots on our bow. After a trip defined by broad reaching and down wind runs, the sailed close hauled under a single reef in the main and the 110 jib. C'est la Vie and her crew enjoyed the excitement of 6.5kts with water lapping the toe rail. Clearing all the shallow coral banks extending off the keys into FL Bay required a few tacks, careful navigation, and a keen watch.
Long Key to MarathonJeff
Thursday October 5th 2006, Hawks Channel. FL Keys
Maybe this is why NOAA issed that small craft advisory. Our passage from Long Key to Boot Key Harbor (Marathon) was much more eventful that the previous days sail. Today we have weathered numberous squall lines... none too severe but the weather and potential for squalls has kept us on our toes. Again the sailing is on a broad reach under the 110, and again our average speed is around 6knots. We arrived in Boot Key Harbor mid afternoon with enought time to assemble the dinghy and go ashore.
Stuck in Key LargoJeff
Tuesday October 3rd 2006, Del Mar Marina, Key Largo
We departed Ft. Pierce mid morning with excellent winds off our port stern. The northeast winds pushing exactly were we wanted to go, but then we found the Gulf Stream just a bit south of Stuart, FL. Despite the fair winds and 34 horsepower (our speed through the water was over 7 knots) the best we could do against the Gulf Stream was 2.5 to 3 knots. If I ever come this way again the travel south from Stuart to Miami will be made in the ICW. Live and learn... The Gulf Stream current began to ease near Ft. Lauderdale/ Port Everglades, but the storms began to build. At the end of my night watch, midnight to 04:00, we encountered our first strong squall. With just enough warning to switch out the genny for a storm jib and pull 2 reefs in the main the squall slapped into us from the east. Sailing close to the wind with minimal canvas, toe rail in the water, and hull speed of 7.5 knots; we quickly lost searoom off the shore to our west. We entered the squall 2 miles offshore and finally were able to gain ground to the east after slipping w/in one mile of shore. C'est la Vie handled the approx 40 knots winds and near zero visibility better than her nervous crew. After the initial wall of wind, the rain and lightening stuck around for another few hours. By day break we were passing Port Everglades and after some debate decided to push on to the Keys via the outside. The image included is of a stormy Miami Beach. The sailing remained pleasant through my day watch, but around 16:00 we found ourselves surrounded by squalls. Unwilling to risk being pushed around among the reefs and shallows of the Keys, we holed up on the NE side of Elliot Key. On the cusp of another squall the anchor dropped. Just after diving on the anchor to ensure she found good holding the storms abated without us receiving a raindrop. Welcome to the keys…
Back in FL!Jeff
Thursday September 28th 2006, Ft. Pierce, FL
Before resuming our travels south we switched out some crew Trish Haitz took Bud's place on the boat. With Helene's passing,the forecast for resuming our offshore passage looked promising so we steered south out of Port Royal Sound, SC our goal was Ft. Pierce, FL. With thunderstorms dancing around the Sound, we motor sailed to the outer buoy. Upon reaching the outer buoy a 20NM trek, be killed the motor and quickly found ourselves becalmed. This passage was certainly different than our last. Confident that we did not have fuel for the entire 300NM passage and counting on winds in our future, we steamed through the night. Each time a whisper of breeze found us we hoisted the sails, killed the diesel, and found ourselves becalmed within two hours. We did reach the Gulf Stream off Cape Canaveral and we joined by playful dolphins and pilot whales for long stretches of time. (see image and note the crystal blue water!)
First leg of the return to FLJeff
Monday September 25th 2006, Beaufort, SC
C?? est la Vie left her summer home of Beaufort, NC early in the morning of Wednesday, Sept 21. Anne and Carlie are currently pursuing other adventures so I recruited John Grey and Bud Lovett as crew. With a forecast of fair weather and moderate swell from a distant Hurricane Helene we planned to sail offshore and attempt to come in somewhere around Jacksonville, FL. The seas from Helene haunted our passage and made sleeping and meals difficult. We rounded Cape Fear around 04:00 on Sept 22. We found ourselves in a small craft advisory with 20kt winds and 8+ foot seas off of Charleston, SC around midnight on the 23rd. The winds slowing veering onto our bow, we were finally forced to tack back NE off the outer buoy at Charleston, this placed us running close hauled directly into the 8+ foot seas, while C?? est la Vie performed admirably, the crew was not eager to hold the NW tack for long. The forecast called for more of the same so we bailed out and joined the ICW via the North Edisto River. Anchoring in the South Edisto River on Saturday, the 23rd, provided our first full nights sleep since leaving Beaufort. We took the ICW south to Beaufort, SC and tied up at Lady?? s Island Marina. The attached image is John & Bud motoring along the ICW.
Still working towards the launch date.Jeff
Thursday September 7th 2006, Bock Marine, Beaufort, NC
That's right the ides of September are creeping up and we are still on the hard at Bock Marine. Between work and wet weather we've struggled to get the boot stripe and hull painted. Weather permitting… we hope Florence follows her forecasted route and stays out to sea, we should be ready to launch on Monday, September 11th. We've run the motor, started up the fridge, and even managed to get one coat of paint on the boot stripe. The hull is sanded and just waiting for the right day to apply paint. I promised an image of our new bow sprit chain plate (I guess that's what you would call this piece). The older design only had four 5/16” screws w/ fender washers on the inside. This system was failing… holes elongating and bolts bending. The newer design uses seven 3/8” bolts with backing plates and a "T” shaped plate on the exterior of the hull. We feel much more confident about this system and the extra time and $$ spent to make this repair offer us a much greater piece of mind. See image included…
Bye, bye ErnestoJeff
Saturday September 2nd 2006, Bock Marine, Beaufort, NC
We weathered Ernesto well here in Beaufort, NC. The storm came through on Friday, Sept. 1, our proposed launch date. Even w/out the storm we would not have been ready to launch. We reinforced the bowsprit were it attaches to the bow near the waterline. Attempting to replace the impeller, I sheared off a screw for the cover and was forced to remove the waterpump to extract the screw and retap the holes. Thanks to Bud for his assistance on this job. We still have to paint the hull below the waterline. Weather permitting we will shoot for launching late next week.
Countdown to launching...Jeff
Wednesday August 23rd 2006, Bock Marine, Beaufort, NC
The countdown is on. Planning to launch C'est la Vie by Sept. 1, we pulled the cover off her on August 14 and the project list sprouted... repairing the dripless shaft seal, repainting from toe rail to cove strip on starboard side, rebuilding/strengthen the bow pulpit, service the engine, replace the gudgeon bushing, 2 fresh coats of bottom paint, etc., etc. etc. Things are moving along nicely and save for a sheared off screw in the impeller housing and a $125 price tag for a new gudgeon bushing surprises have been few.
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