s/v Charabia

22 November 2017 | Anchored off Ft Jefferson, Dry Tortugas
22 November 2017 | Anchored off Ft Jefferson, Dry Tortugas
21 November 2017 | Anchored off Mooney Harbor Key
20 November 2017 | Key West
19 November 2017 | Off Boca Chica Key
18 November 2017 | Off Munson Island
17 November 2017 | Marathon Marina
16 November 2017 | Marathon Marina
15 November 2017 | Long Key
14 November 2017 | Rodriguez Key
14 November 2017 | Rodriguez Key
13 November 2017 | Biscayne Bay
12 November 2017 | Biscayne Bay again
11 November 2017 | Biscayne Bay
10 November 2017 | Hollywood Beach North Anchorage again
09 November 2017 | Hollywood Beach North Anchorage
08 November 2017 | Lake Worth
07 November 2017 | Mariner Cay Marina
06 November 2017 | Ft Pierce
05 November 2017 | Melbourne

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

22 November 2017 | Anchored off Ft Jefferson, Dry Tortugas
Helen
A terrific lightning show with a thunderstorm passing thru at 3 a.m.. Slept in today. The tour boat and two or three sea planes of tourists arrived early. We motored our dinghy over to the three remaining boats in this anchorage, to see if they would like to meet for Happy Hour. Two of the sailboats planned to leave before sunset, but the third was interested. Then motored to Bush Key to tour Ft. Jefferson Fort. We were able to secure a seat to listen to the tour guide's speech about the history of the Dry Tortugas. Then we boarded the Ferry Boat for lunch. They offered ham, turkey and tuna fish sandwiches, as well as a variety of sliced breads, potato salad, lettuce, tomato and a combination of water melon and strawberries, with chocolate chip cookies and Lays potato chips and beverages. Apparently, the lunch is free for Ferry passengers, of which we told them we were not. It was supposed to cost $7 for lunch, which was a great deal but they told us we didn't have to pay today. How nice was that? They had showers available but we didn't snorkel until later in the day. We came back from our walking tour and had some down time for a change. Then headed back to snorkel. We selected the north side of Bush Key to snorkel based on the winds today. The winds are blowing from the west at 10-15 knots so we are more protected in this anchorage. The visibility was not great and at first we saw only a few fish, but then we headed out of the moat wall and saw lots more coral and a lot of fish too. There were the silver with yellow stripes, some Sargent Majors as well as many tiny fish, swimming in schools. Mark said he saw a fish that had to be 4 feet. I did not see anything like that. We also saw a couple of the purple circular jelly fish that were around a foot in diameter. I had to take a short break as it is raining all of a sudden. Mark ran for the towels. It did not last long. When we got back to Charabia, we took showers off the back steps, with a mammoth grouper in the water. This fish has to be 5 feet long. It actually looked like the size and shape of a dolphin. Mark is doing some research on the radio and water maker instructions.

Hot Motoring

22 November 2017 | Anchored off Ft Jefferson, Dry Tortugas
Helen
Decided to leave our beautiful anchorage due to the weather prediction for tomorrow. The other catamaran, Orion, left at the same time. We motored out on our rum line and set the jib. However, there was no wind at times and wind of only 2-4 knots for the entire day. So, we kept the engines going the whole trip. It was a very hot day as the winds were behind us. At one point we took turns putting our feet in the water down the back stairs. The water was cold enough to cool us. I did some laundry and the sun took care of drying them. There are many boats in the anchorage behind the fort, four other sailboats but there is still plenty of room. We have a breeze that will shift directions by tomorrow. We are planning to spend a number of days here. Mark will commission the water maker. Then we will head west around Cuba to Grand Cayman. We arrived around 4:30 and launched the dinghy. We checked in at the main dock and payed a fee for the week. There are a few other islands here to explore, maybe even do some snorkeling.

No Wind Flat Motor

21 November 2017 | Anchored off Mooney Harbor Key
Helen
Hauled anchor around 8 and headed out the channel. Carnival Dream and another smaller cruise ship were already at dock in Key West. No wind to fill our sails today, until we almost reached Mooney Harbor Key. We saw lots of flying fish, some dolphins and many big birds along the way. Mark replaced the control module for the holding tank display. We also snorkeled but there was limited visibility and a strong current. We are too far for cell coverage so no pictures of that beautiful azure colored water. Thanks to everyone who sent us sat messages.

A Day in Key West

20 November 2017 | Key West
Awoke in a very nice flat anchorage. As we were having breakfast the wind picked up. We hauled anchor around 8 and sailed with full jib, to the main channel in Key West. We noticed a Carnival ship behind us heading there too. The weather was wonderful, sunny and hot with winds around 15 knots. Motored thru the downtown harbor and past the empty cruise ship docks, and headed to the anchorage. There were many noticeable boats wrecks, washed ashore or sunk. Several masts were sticking up out of the water and the shorelines were littered with broken boats. How sad. All were from Irma's destructive forces. Launched the dinghy and motor and headed to a close by marina who offered dinghy dockage for the day. We walked to the post office where Mark picked up two packages. We stopped at a local grocery store but didn't buy much. Then we walked back to the West Marine where Mark picked up a couple of things. We had lunch at Turtle Kraals which overlooked the dinghy dock and marina where the picture above was taken. As we dinghied back to Charabia, there was a Coast Guard patrol boat with lights flashing and siren blaring, preventing us from going down the channel to the Fleming bridge. We told them we were just going to our sail boat, and they were okay with that. We also toured some of the anchorage to see the wrecks up close. Then back to Charabia to hoist the dinghy and motor out of the water and back on the davits. The winds were much higher here but we are protected by the land close by. As sunset approached, I took a picture and noticed the lack of color in the sky. That was due to a huge dark rain cloud. We saw many sunset boats full of passengers and they all got wet with a huge downpour. The two cruise ships are at dock until 7 and 7:30 tonight, so they will depart shortly. We will depart in the morning, heading towards the Dry Tortugas or in that general direction. They are 60 miles or so away and we plan to anchor along the way.

No Wind Today!

19 November 2017 | Off Boca Chica Key
Helen/Mark
Slept in until 8 today as we listened to Stanford's winning football game and didn't get to bed until midnight. We had a problem with many tiny black flies that decided to join us. Mark set the spinnaker as we were expecting 10 knots of wind, but when it was set and flying there was only 2-4 knots of wind and we were sailing at 1-2 knots. Mark took the spinnaker down and we motored. We selected an anchoring spot just off the Key West Naval Air Station on Boca Chica Key as there was good water depth and we didn't know the situation in Key West harbor. The channel can only be entered with permission from the Coast Guard. The water was flat so it was easier to spot all the crab pots. After anchoring we put on our snorkel gear and cleaned the hulls and got the barnacles off the keels. Also found that the depth sounder transducer had been covered with masking tape and painted over with anti-fouling paint. That explained the poor performance of the depth sounder in shallow waters and should not be an issue going forward. The water was cold getting in and the visibility was fair. We could see some rocks and coral but didn't see any fish. We even had time for an afternoon rest. Did the research on accessing post office and dinghy docks. We will anchor out and put the dinghy water so we can get to shore. We have this anchorage to ourselves. It's flat water with a few wake waves. We did see several sailboats today, more than we have seen on our travels thus far. Popcorn is on the menu for evening snacks while watching 24.

Snorkey Day!

18 November 2017 | Off Munson Island
Helen
We woke up early and had showers. Then decided to walk over to West Marine for a few things on Mark's list. We passed by many houses that were totaled by Irma, as well as stacks of debris along US1. The sailboat and power boat that joined us on the gas dock, left before us. We passed a damaged boat being towed into the marina for repairs, in the channel as we departed the Marathon Marina. It was a five mile sail to Sombrero Reef. The winds were light and the seas were pretty calm, until we got close to the reef. We successful picked up a mooring ball. Mark thought it was too rough. Thankfully, we decided to get into the water. It was a crystal clear view of many types of fish and coral. There were several round, foot sized jelly fish that came towards us. We were able to stay clear of them. We dropped the mooring and sailed with the spinnaker. The winds were around 10 knots, but decreased as the day progressed. We were sailing around 5 knots and it was a pleasant day on the water. The only down side was the many fish pots that we had to stay clear of, and always right on our route. We picked up a mooring ball at Munson Island reef. We snorkeled again but the water was not clear, despite the lack of wind. We planned to stay overnight there but the shallow coral was too close to the mooring ball and if we swung when the winds shifted to north, we would come close to going aground. So, we attempted to anchor off the reef, but the anchor wouldn't hold. Third location was the charm. It's pretty flat waters but many small flying bugs landed on our boat. The good thing is that they stayed on the outside. We are all closed up inside and ready for some 24 and tonight's Stanford football game. Go Stanford! We will sail to Key West tomorrow but plan to anchor off. They are salvaging damaged boats in the harbor and we require permission to get in...so far no one has answered our email request.
Vessel Name: Charabia
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine Pajot / Athena
Hailing Port: Jacksonville, FL
Crew: Mark &Helen
About:
We are both computer folks that were live aboard cruisers back in the 90s. We settled in Jacksonville Florida after escaping the great white north and cruising the Bahamas, T&C, DR and points south down to Trinidad. [...]
Extra: Charabia is a French slang word for nonsense or gibberish. It derives from Arabic "sharab" which means alcohol.When you drink (too much) alcohol, you start talking Charabia. The original owners named her and Mark liked the name so it stuck.
Charabia's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 20 of 20
1
 
1
Upgrades and maintenance to Charabia
79 Photos
Created 27 June 2017
72 Photos
Created 16 May 2015
46 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
72 Photos
Created 7 April 2015
95 Photos
Created 4 April 2015
106 Photos
Created 31 March 2015
Get the boat ready to cruise.
10 Photos
Created 14 March 2015