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Kristinly
38' Island Packet cutter rigged sailboat - sailed 20,000 nautical miles from New England to the Bahamas. Now with new owners Tim & Susan Tiefenbach
A day of bridges
Randy - Hi of 86, winds S 10-20
02/24/2012, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Today's picture: I talk a lot about the affluence in this neck of the woods, and this illustrates my point. Million dollar homes with multi-million dollar yachts parked out the back door. Sort of reminds me of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin lake camps with 16' aluminum fishing boats at the dock, only on a different scale.

There are 20 draw bridges between Ft. Lauderdale and Lake Worth and it is impossible to always hit the opening times in stride. If you are two minutes late, you wait for the next opening, which is usually 30 minutes. That happened some, but for the most part, timing worked out alright. As it was, it took 8 hours to travel the 40 nm distance. There is a 25 mile stretch referred to as "The Canyon", aptly named because it is very developed, narrow with concrete wals on both sides, and boat wakes reverberate back and forth off the walls. Every once in a while a large sport fish boat would come along and not slow down and leave a 4' wake that would cause boats to rock back and forth a good 30 - 40 degrees. When that happens, the radio lights up with people openly cussing the bastards. I don't think they care and they never respond, nor do they change their ways. I am pretty sure they are trying to meet schedules as charter boats and they just scream on by.

Another small world story: My long time friend Clark Hurrel, a fellow Yanktonite from SD, is in Ft. Lauderdale on business. We arranged to get together last night for dinner. His colleague Dan (forgot his last name) was there as well and we had a great time eating outdoors next to the ocean. They bought me dinner, and I appreciated that very much. Clark and I had fun catching up on everything from careers to family, and reminisced about some very funny old times. There is one particular story I love to tell about Clark falling IN to the boat when we were going fishing on the Missouri River one cold icy morning. It makes me laugh hysterically every time I tell it, and I did again last night. Clark always sits mildly amused and allows me my fun. Dan probably thinks I'm a nut. I really enjoyed reconnecting with old Clark. I do miss that.

Nikki flies in tonight! WOOHOO!! She lands at 2100 so it will be late when we get her on the boat. I am bringing the boat to the Las Olas Marina which will make the late night arrival easier and also facilitate some reprovisioning tomorrow. My idea of food supplies and Nikki's are somewhat different. Let's just say I can live on peanuts and Nikki is a gourmet cook. Enough said ...

The weather gods have not cooperated so it looks like we will not be crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. Instead, we plan to sail to the Keys, possibly as far as the Dry Tortugas, which is 60 nm west of Key West. All of this is weather dependent and we'll see how it goes.

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02/24/2012 | Jenni
It's so cool you got to catch up with Clark:) I'm sure you had a blast, I can see you laughing right now, did you get the giggles? haha!
Old and new friends
Randy - low 80's, SSW winds 10-20
02/22/2012, Lake Worth - near West Palm Beach, FL

Steve and Michelle Papile, cruising friends we met in the Bahamas in 2009 were in the area and got in touch with me. Steve had sailed his boat John Ray, an IP38 sister ship to Kristinly, down this way from New England and was in Titusville. Michelle had flown in on vacation. After numerous calls, we were able to meet up in Lake Worth on a boat named Tanquility, owned by Cameron and Leighia Murray. New Zealanders, they are long time cruisers and are raising two kids on the boat, about the ages of 6 and 8. I forget the kids names, but all very nice. The boat is in the 60' range with 16' beam, steel hull, and they work from the boat, providing renewable energy services to boaters, among other things. Cameron has a shop complete with lathe and welder. He's no joke! They also started a foundation called Sailors Without Borders, and have dedicated themselves to bringing everything from computers, books, shoes, etc. to Haiti for the last five years or so. They do this on their boat! To hear him describe it, there is barely room to walk sideways when the boat is loaded, and it sits lower in the water by about 8". They are on their way back to New Zealand via Haiti with another load for the Haitians and I wish them fair winds. So there you have it: reuniting with old friends and making new. In many ways, that is a lot of what cruising is all about.

It was a brief visit though as I did not even get to the anchorage until sunset at 1815 and after a long day of BRIDGES (AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!), I was spent and also had things to get done for the next day. The really good news is the water temperature is getting close to the mid-70's!

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02/25/2012 | Nicki Pendergast
The cruiser's world really is a small one. I too met Leigha from Tranquility in Marathon a year ago.
"Velcro" Beach
Randy - low 80's, S winds 10-20
02/20/2012, Vero Beach, FL

The cruisers call this place "Velcro" Beach as it is very cruiser friendly and you can get stuck here and never leave. The picture is of the mooring field as seen from the bridge next to it.

In the "it's a small world" category, I met a couple from Burlington, VT. I believe their names were Ken and Lynn, but not at all sure now so probably shouldn't even mention it. They are on a Sabre 365 named Antares. Perhaps some of you folks from the Burlington area would recognize the boat. Very nice folks but didn't seem too interested in "communing" so we went our separate ways.

I did go for a bike ride and it felt good to get off the boat and stretch the legs. It is also abundantly clear that my sorry arse is really out of shape. I need to get back to the gym when I return to VT.

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Cold front moving through
Randy - winds SSW 20-30kts, gusting to 50
02/19/2012, Titusville, FL

Today was one of those days when the weather forecast was right on the money. Attached is a picture of a graphical snapshot of wind speed and what a 10 minute period was like. There are a few other shots in the photo gallery. I don't think I've ever experienced an entire day go on like this, with continuous wild fluctuations in wind speed all day long. It got worse after this picture with gusts between 40 - 50.

I came across a guy west of the crossover canal east of Titusville who was going in circles, off and on. He was motoring in a decrepit 30' sailboat boat that had no business being out there. He was under powered and every time a 40 kt gust hit he would lose control going side wise in the wave. His main halyard was flying loose in the wind, his hull was covered with barnacles, he had no radio, no phone, no life jacket, and he was clueless. I stayed with him for about two hours, called the coast guard, and left him in their hands. Seaworthy boats were struggling in this crap today.

Anyway, I am hoping to head outside at Cape Canaveral tomorrow but it is not looking good.

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02/20/2012 | janejenken
Sorry to bother you but we are desperate to find Lois and Howard Vokey. They are sailing to cuba..l There is a family emergency. Lois's mother is on her deathbed and we need to reach them so they can say their good-gyes. If you know of anyway to reach them we would appreciate it thanks jane
Day of the dolphins
Randy - low 70's, SSW light winds
02/18/2012, Daytona, FL

Not much to say about the day other than msny dolphins kept me company. I would not do this anchorage again for two reasons: 1.) Caribbean Jack's, a shore side restaurant and bar has loud music into the wee hours, and 2.) The NASCAR Bud Shootout was last night and as far away as the the race track is, it was still loud!

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Auto-helm bites
Randy - fog and rain as forecasted
02/17/2012, 10 nm N of St. Augustine, FL

3 hours into a 9 hour cruise down the ditch and the auto helm shit the bed. Not wanting to stop and figure it out since I had a favorable tide, I chose to trudge on. Following that, after 6 hours (uninterrupted) at the wheel, I gave up and dropped the hook here. Of course, after I drug out all the necessary tools to trouble shoot the problem, it magically worked like nothing is wrong and I can't recreate the problem. Life on a boat ...

My arse is sore ... ;-o


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02/17/2012 | Richard
Did it just stop working? Or did it steer irradically? Once we had a clock radio shift position, too close to the fluxgate compass, and the boat steered. Then we rocked the other way and it went back to normal... then we rocked again... and you know...
02/18/2012 | Jenni
At least it's warm and you are headed south! Marcus says he misses his Grandpa! :)
02/18/2012 | Joe and Deb
They always pick the most inconvenient time to take a break lol We are still having problems with ours on occasion. The key pad. I have to take it apart and redo the keys with a metalized solution. We refuse to pay the 700 they want for a new one. Fair winds. We have decided to visit Spanish Wells on Eluthra on our way to the Abacos
02/19/2012 | Randy Kruml
Richard - it lost all power. I am going to have to chase down all the connections and clean them up. Hope that does it ... Also, I am alone, so there is no ricking going one. ;-)

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