Foggy Mountain

05 September 2012 | North Palm Beach, FL
12 June 2012 | North Palm Beach Marine
18 May 2012 | Exiting NW Providence Channel
17 May 2012 | NE Providence Channel
16 May 2012 | 88 Miles East of NE Providence Channel
15 May 2012 | 210 Miles East of NE Providence Channel
14 May 2012 | 170 Miles NE of Mayaguana Island
13 May 2012 | 180 Miles NE of Turks and Caicos
12 May 2012 | Still North of Puerto Rico
11 May 2012 | 170 Miles North of Puerto Rico
10 May 2012 | 50 Miles NE of the BVIs
09 May 2012 | 25 Miles West of Barbuda
08 May 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
07 May 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
05 May 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
05 May 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
11 April 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
09 April 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
08 April 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
07 April 2012 | Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

Final Numbers & Re-acclimation

05 September 2012 | North Palm Beach, FL
We finally topped off the fuel tanks after our 2 day 15 hour and 36 minute powering stint to end our passage from Antigua. Our total fillup was 57.5 gallons so for the passage that works out to a .71 gallons per hour usage. Our average speed for the 1282 nautical mile passage was 5.45 knots. This slow speed is largely due to the light winds and our having to power for almost three days of the 9 day 18 hour 46 minute passage from Antigua to North Palm Beach, FL.

So, what have we been doing since arriving here??? Generally we have been catching up with friends, working on the boat and getting re-acclimated to the live aboard lifestyle. We have gone out sailing something that we didn't do last summer in Grenada. We have enjoyed cable TV and date nights going out for dinner and a movie. The plan for now is to establish a base line for our cost of living here in the marina. As of right now our monthly costs are up about $300 over what we were spending in the Caribbean. Before we went to the Caribbean we thought thought living on the hook there would be less expensive that living in our marina in Florida. As it turned out our costs were higher than we expected and we weren't enjoying life there as much as we have enjoyed life since thus far after returning to the States. Later on this year we hope to do a little land traveling to visit friends, that is if the budget continues to look promising. All in all we think that we made the right decision, but who knows what the future will bring.

One thing that hasn't changed from cruising is our watching the tropics for those spinning storms in the summer. Thus far we have had only one close call from tropical storm Isaac which passed well to the west of us. Our hearts go out to those on the Gulf coast that endured Isaac's wrath.

Wrapping up another issue, we replaced our windlass motor back in July. After the charge for the motor and getting it shipped here we are very happy that we didn't have it shipped to Antigua. We estimate that is would have cost us almost double. After taking three days to remove the motor, with air conditioning inside the boat, I was also thankful that I didn't have to do it in the heat and humidity of the Caribbean.

Right now I plan to continue updating this blog as we continue our retirement adventures by land and by sea. Stay tuned if you are interested.

We Made It & Getting Re-acclimated

12 June 2012 | North Palm Beach Marine
Sorry about the long time between updates, more about what we have been doing after a passage recap. We made it into our old slip here at North Palm Beach Marina on 5/19/12 at 0330 (read 3:30 am) after powering the last 63.7 hours (2 days 15 hours & 36 min.). Thanks to our venerable nearly thirty year old Perkins diesel we made it only bumping once when I steered us on the wrong side of an ICW daymarker that I didn't see. I'll blame fatigue for it as I had had scarcely three hours sleep in the last 24 hours. Irregardless we made it to the marina where we were greeted by fellow live aboards Ron and Barbara who caught our dock lines as we pulled into the slip. Pam had called Barbara via our satphone earlier in the day to get a weather report so we could be prepared for what we might face. At that time it we knew that we were going to arrive after midnight. Even knowing that Barbara told Pam to call her no matter what time we got in and she would be out there to help us tie up the boat. Pam called Barbara as we approached the marina entrance and it was like coming home to see her and Ron standing on our dock as we approached it. Pam and I were both pretty tired as we had pushed ourselves mentally during the passage to keep going even though the cold/flu that we had was hurting us physically. It was truely a relief to pull into that slip after a thankfully uneventful Gulf Stream crossing as the wind hadn't been above six knots all day so the Stream was like glass. However, during the crossing I was entertained all night by a lightning show first over Grand Bahama Island and then north of us over the Gulf Stream. At times the clouds were lit up as if it were daytime by the once again silent cloud to cloud lightning. On the one hand it was a truely awesome to watch but at the same time I was thankful that we were not further north. As on the preious night we had a lot of shipping traffic which kept us busy watching the AIS on the laptop. This passage was 1232 nautical miles which we covered in 9 days 18 hours and 46 minutes at an average speed of 5.45 knots. I attribute this lackluster performance primarily to the light winds and the need to motor so much. We haven't re-fueled yet so I don't know how much diesel fuel we used but I am estimating it is around 57 of of our 76 gallon capacity. One thing I can say for sure is that it would have been a better memory if we had felt better physically.

Since arriving back in Florida, despite not feeling well, we have been re-connecting our ties to land. One of our highest priorities was to get an air conditioner so that we could put a stop to the mold that had accumulated on all interior surfaces of our closed up boat during the passage. Additionally, AC is necessary at this time of year in Florida. While living aboard here in Florida for ten years we had had good luck with a Cruise 'n Carry air conditioner which sets in an open hatch. We install it in the centrally located galley hatch. After getting the part number from the West Marine website I called the local store where we found that they had one in stock. Ron gave me a ride to the store to pick up the unit on the afternoon of Saturday May 19th. The next thing on our list was to get wheels. I did some researched the local Honda dealers for vehicle availability. Our plan was to rent a car on Monday so that we could run around to the three local Honda dealers. When Pam talked to Barbara the subject of our renting a car came up and Barbara said, "save your money I'll take you to as many dealers as necessary and I'll bring a book and wait for you." Barbara is a truely a giving person and a great friend, thank you so much. Anyway, on Monday we only had to go to one dealer to get a decent deal and now we have wheels. Still recovering from the passage and illness we have been doing other things as our energy permits so progress has been slow. Now a little over three weeks later we have re-connected with friends and made progress on our "to do list". We the most important thing is that, right now, we feel as though we have made the right decision to return to our live aboard life here in Florida. Will we be able to sail more than we did in the Caribbean??? Time will tell.

Heavy Traffic Night and Getting Close

18 May 2012 | Exiting NW Providence Channel
Yesterday's 24 hour run was 113 nautical miles. We were powering and occasionally motor sailing when the wind came up enough. When there was wind it never got above eight knots from a southerly direction. When we got a breeze we could move along at five to six knots but our average was a little under five. As we expected we had heavy shipping traffic in NW Providence Channel last night. We passed several cruise ships and numerous cargo vessels. Fortunately we were powering so we had our laptop up all night to keep track of all of the AIS shipping traffic. We also had one small squall pass near us, we were able to see it coming using the radar and were able to avoid a direct hit from it. We got a little bit of rain and no increase in wind. Currently we are exiting Northwest Providence Channel heading at 300 degrees for a waypoint south of Lake Worth Inlet. We are steering south of the inlet knowing the the northward flowing current of the Gulf Stream will push us north. If all goes well and we can maintain our current five knot average speed we hope to arrive at the inlet around 0300 hours. From there we will head up the ICW to North Palm Beach Marina. Wish us luck and no problems for what should be our final night at sea and Pam's and my final offshore passage.

No Wind

17 May 2012 | NE Providence Channel
Despite the lack of wind we managed to power 124 nautical miles in the last 24 hours. At times our speed over the bottom has been under four knots. So to say the going has been slow is an understatement. We are pressing on westward as we think that we have enough fuel to power the remaining distance. At least the calculations are saying so but whether we are correct or not will determine our fate. If we are lucky we might get some wind from the NE tomorrow afternoon. For now we press on with the threat of squalls over night. Here's to hoping and praying for some wind.

Slow Night and Dying Wind

16 May 2012 | 88 Miles East of NE Providence Channel
Our 24 hour run yesterday was 126 nautical miles. This is all due to the wind dropping off over the last day or so. We wanted to have the wind last at least thru the night so that we didn't have to start powering at night. Securing the sails at night isn't something that we like to do. Fortunately the wind hung in until this afternoon around 1300 when we decided to start powering to make progress. We hope to be at "The Hole in the Wall" which is the nickname for NE Providence Channel by tomorrow morning. Providence Channel is a passage thru the northern Bahamas we enter at NE Providence Channel and exit in NW Providence Channel. Right now timing will be everything as there are areas of squall activity predicted to pass thru that area over the next day or so. The forecast is so iffy that right now they don't know how much or how strong the squalls will be. So we will keep our eyes pealed and hope for the best. If things get too bad we will have to pull into somewhere in the Bahamas. Wish us luck tonight and tomorrow with the squall activity.

Making Slow Progress

15 May 2012 | 210 Miles East of NE Providence Channel
Our 24 hour run for yesterday was 137 nautical miles. Our progress is slow and conditions are rolly as our heading is almost dead down wind. So it is quite uncomfortable and makes moving around the boat difficult. The weather forecasters still disagree for tomorrow and Thursday. Chris has conditions light and variable and Herb has ESE winds continuing tomorrow and light southerly wind on Thursday. Both of them say that there is a chance of squalls on both days which are ahead of a front coming from Florida. We are obviously not looking forward to more squalls and pray that there won't be too many of them. Anyway, we have little choice but to press on.
Vessel Name: Foggy Mountain
Vessel Make/Model: Valiant 40, Hull# 255
Hailing Port: Boston, Ma
Crew: Jeff & Pam Nelson
We grew up in Jamestown, NY and met during our high school years. After Jeff returned from naval service, during the Vietnam era, we got married in 1974. As best friends we have always gravitated towards activities that we could do together. [...]
We are self-taught sailors taking our first sail aboard a Sunfish on a lake in Maine. We bought our first boat in 1975 and since then have owned seven boats culminating with our current vessel "Foggy Mountain". Each vessel was larger enabling us to expand our horizons. We learned how to cruise [...]
Foggy Mountain's Photos - Refit
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Pictured here is the 1980s version four burner Force 10 Range.  Also, at the sink you can see the old Grohe faucet.
Pictured here is the 1980s version four burner Force 10 Range. Also, at the sink you can see the old Grohe faucet.
Added 1 June 2009

Our Background

Who: Jeff & Pam Nelson
Port: Boston, Ma