Sailing with Nine of Cups

Vessel Name: Nine of Cups
Vessel Make/Model: Liberty 458
Hailing Port: Denver, Colorado, USA
Crew: Marcie & David
About: We've lived aboard Nine of Cups since 2000 and have managed to accumulate 86,000+ nm under the keel since that time. We completed a circumnavigation in April 2015 and managed to sail around the five great southern capes. Come along with us for the ride!
Extra:
Visit our website at www.nineofcups.com for more photos and info about Nine of Cups and her crew. We also have a more extensive blogsite at www.justalittlefurther.com. Are some of our links broken? Links break from time to time. Please let us know which ones are broken and we'll fix them. You [...]
24 May 2015 | Cape Town, South Africa
23 May 2015 | Cape Town, South Africa
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20 May 2015 | Cape Town, South Africa
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06 May 2015 | Cape Town, South Africa
05 May 2015 | Cape Town, South Africa
Recent Blog Posts
24 May 2016 | En route Culebra, PR - St. Augustine-FL

Culebra to St Augustine - Days 1 -3

Once again, it was a flurry of activity as we prepared to up-anchor and head out from Culebra to St Augustine. We woke with the dawn, checked the weather again, and after a cuppa and a few more checks, we were off across Ensenada Honda on an overcast morning and heading back into the Caribbean Sea. We’d [...]

23 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico

Heading to St. Augustine

I know, I know … we were supposed to head over to San Juan for a few days and hang out, but surprise! We’ve changed our minds. We’re looking at the calendar, feeling pressed to be moving north more quickly than we’d prefer, but hurricane season is soon upon us and the further north we are, the [...]

22 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico

Tarpons, Seagulls and Cold Beer

Despite all the very appealing local restaurants we’ve seen, we really haven’t eaten out at all since we arrived in Culebra. Each morning we agree “Let’s have dinner out tonight” and every evening, it’s “Feel like going in to shore for dinner or shall we just make something aboard and watch [...]

21 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico

Blue View - Patching the Dinghy

Our venerable dinghy is well into her ninth year aboard Nine of Cups. She's seen a lot of nice soft sand beaches, but she's also seen her share of barnacle encrusted, concrete jetties, rocky shores and coral reefs. On several occasions, she's gotten roughed up by an amorous fisherman's panga as well. [...]

20 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico

Culebra Signs and Street Art

Though our stay in Culebra has been short, we've managed to walk around a bit and gather a few signs and street art pix for our ever-growing collection. Thought you'd enjoy seeing a few that we thought were especially interesting. Unfortunately, I'm not able to post pix or links on SailBlogs at the moment. You'll have to head on over to JustALittleFurther.com to view the sign/street collection.

19 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico

Rotten eggs and other boat smells

One of the things about boats is they smell. Sometimes it's the garlic and onion you're sauteing, but more likely it's something else or a combination of "something elses". My sister, Lin, always hugs me rather tenuously when we first arrive home after a long stay on the boat and wrinkles [...]

Culebra to St Augustine - Days 1 -3

24 May 2016 | En route Culebra, PR - St. Augustine-FL
Marcie
Once again, it was a flurry of activity as we prepared to up-anchor and head out from Culebra to St Augustine. We woke with the dawn, checked the weather again, and after a cuppa and a few more checks, we were off across Ensenada Honda on an overcast morning and heading back into the Caribbean Sea. We’d rigged the pole and removed the sail cover last night to save ourselves from too much morning activity. 1130 nm to go … the first day out, it always seems that the distance is so long, but experience tells us, it goes by quickly. The days at sea seem to blend as we adjust to the passage and before you know it, we’ll be sailing into the St. Augustine Inlet and under the Bridge of Lions. In the meantime …

Read on JustALittleFurther.com

Heading to St. Augustine

23 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico
Marcie
I know, I know … we were supposed to head over to San Juan for a few days and hang out, but surprise! We’ve changed our minds. We’re looking at the calendar, feeling pressed to be moving north more quickly than we’d prefer, but hurricane season is soon upon us and the further north we are, the more relaxed we’ll feel. So … instead of a leisurely island hop north, we’re heading to Florida all in one passage, then head north to the Chesapeake from there. This passage looks to be 1100+ nm. The GRIBS show good winds and, of course, we’ll have the favorable Gulf Stream to help us on our way once we make the Florida coast.

Get ready for a passage to St. Augustine ... JustALittleFurther.com

Tarpons, Seagulls and Cold Beer

22 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico
Marcie
Despite all the very appealing local restaurants we’ve seen, we really haven’t eaten out at all since we arrived in Culebra. Each morning we agree “Let’s have dinner out tonight” and every evening, it’s “Feel like going in to shore for dinner or shall we just make something aboard and watch a movie?” It’s not the budget so much as “what can we get at a restaurant that we feel like eating that I can’t make on board?” Reliable internet and cold beer was the answer this evening and we headed in to the Dinghy Dock Restaurant.

Come on ... join or for dinner ... or not
JustALittleFurther.com

Blue View - Patching the Dinghy

21 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico
David
Our venerable dinghy is well into her ninth year aboard Nine of Cups. She's seen a lot of nice soft sand beaches, but she's also seen her share of barnacle encrusted, concrete jetties, rocky shores and coral reefs. On several occasions, she's gotten roughed up by an amorous fisherman's panga as well. Maybe it's her full-bodied figure or her soft sides that attract these rough characters, or maybe she just likes 'bad boys', but they always seem drawn to her and vice versa. Nine years of the sun's UV rays have also taken their toll. She's made of hypalon material, which is more resistant to UV damage than PVC, but not impervious to the sun's effects.

Nine years of living aboard Cups probably makes her about 80 years old in dinghy years. With a little luck, she has a few more years left in her, but no one is going to mistake her for a young, perky gal. Her color is faded, she's had some transom gel coat repairs and her bottom has been repaired and repainted a few times. She also has a dozen or so patches now – some to keep the air in the pontoons and some to keep the water outside the dinghy.

She's developed a leak and needs a patch. Read more about patching the dink at JustALittleFurther.com

Culebra Signs and Street Art

20 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico
Marcie
Though our stay in Culebra has been short, we've managed to walk around a bit and gather a few signs and street art pix for our ever-growing collection. Thought you'd enjoy seeing a few that we thought were especially interesting. Unfortunately, I'm not able to post pix or links on SailBlogs at the moment. You'll have to head on over to JustALittleFurther.com to view the sign/street collection.

Rotten eggs and other boat smells

19 May 2016 | Culebra, Puerto Rico
Marcie
One of the things about boats is they smell. Sometimes it's the garlic and onion you're sauteing, but more likely it's something else or a combination of "something elses". My sister, Lin, always hugs me rather tenuously when we first arrive home after a long stay on the boat and wrinkles her nose. "Boat smell", she pronounces. We don't smell it until we've been away from the boat for a few days and then it's very evident. It's a mix of diesel and mildew, the last meal you cooked, head (toilet) smells and the bilge among other things. It's certainly not Chanel #5.

Yesterday, there was a strong smell on the boat, emanating from the galley, not the head. We've been taking dips and rinsing off daily, so it wasn't us. Except when it rains, we've had all the hatches and ports wide open, airing Cups out. I finally tracked it down. Two adjoining eggs in our stash had hairline cracks on their bottoms (maybe one cracked the other...misery loves company?) and when I lifted them out of the carton, they exploded most dramatically and aromatically in the sink. Whew! Rotten eggs! It took awhile for that sulfur smell to dissipate, believe me!

Rotten eggs are pretty infrequent unless an unnoticed crack sneaks by as it did recently. Other smells on the boat, however, can be a challenge. The head can definitely be a culprit. It gets cleaned frequently and I use one of those stick-on, gel-type deodorizers in the bowl, but it's just not enough. Every month or so, we pump a bucket of bleach water through the system and let it set for awhile and then pump it out. After awhile, even bleach water isn't enough. Calcification builds up in the hoses and that becomes a whole other issue to be taken care of. Once a year, David pumps a hydrochloric acid/water solution through the system which dissolves the lime and, in combination with our other maintenance, it seems to keep head odors at bay.

The bilge collects everything that finds its way to the bottom of the boat. The smells contain fermenting salt water, mold, mildew, diesel ... a lovely bouquet that assaults your senses especially when the boat's been closed up for awhile. We usually dump a bucketful of soapy water down there and let it slosh around for awhile before turning on the bilge pump once we're a ways out to sea.

Diesel smells were strong during our recent passage from Trini to Culebra. With particularly rolly seas, David discovered that the starboard fuel tank was leaking around the inspection plate gasket. Not much diesel escaped, but what did was quite pungent. Typically, boats smell of diesel in the same way cars sometime smell of gasoline and certainly your garage smells of auto fuel. The problem is, you don't usually park your car engine in the middle of your kitchen or living room, so it's not a problem. Our engine is smack dab in the middle of the boat ... next to the galley and salon. Stopping the leak was a #1 on the fix list and adequate ventilation is taking care of the rest of the problem.

Mold and mildew can be kept to a minimum, but if you're in the tropics, it's hard to remove them entirely. We have such a mix of clothing for the different climates we encounter, some clothes are always stowed away in lockers. When we haul them out, they smell like "boat", mostly due to mold and mildew. We try to hang them out on sunny days with a light breeze and wash down the lockers with vinegar and water while the clothes are airing. We left a dehumidifier on 24x7 when we left Cups alone in Trinidad and it was well worth the expense. Thankfully, there was no noticeable mildew or mold when we returned. The closed up boat, however, still smelled rather unpleasant until we opened all the ports and hatches and got some air circulating.

Here's where I'm really sorry there are no sensory "smell chips" so that I can share the delightful smells that can emanate from a boat with you. Believe me, it's something you're probably glad to have missed.
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