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S/Y Sanctuary (41' Soverel Cutter)
Join us (vicariously) as we fulfill our dream of cruising.
Have you Farkled Today?
02/08/2008, Vero Beach, Florida

We talked about the great relationships you gain along the way while experiencing this cruising life, but sometimes there are meetings that are worth going into in more detail.

Yesterday, a couple came by and introduced themselves and after a few minutes of chatting, they asked us if we had ever Farkled. Carl and I looked at each other tentatively having no idea what they were talking about. We answered "no." So they invited us over for sundowners along with another couple at 5:00 that evening to play. Not sure of what kind of interpersonal game we could be getting ourselves into... we hesitated but trusted that it would be innocent enough.

Turns out it's a dice game and we hooted and howled for a couple of hours before coming back to the boat to fall into bed. A great time was had by all.

Velcro Beach
02/05/2008, Vero Beach Florida

Ok, let's talk about the Bahamas...First we're going, then we're not, then we're going, then we're not. You've heard it said that it's a women's perogative to change her mind...Well in this case, I didn't change my mind but circumstances did.

The final decision has been made about making the crossing to the Bahamas. Not this year. Ok, now that that's out in the open...onto more pleasant things.

We are on a mooring ball in Vero Beach slowly making our way back to Baltimore to replenish the cruising kitty. They call it Velcro Beach because it's so hard to leave. We came through about two months ago on our way to Miami and there are cruisers still here that we met two months ago. Their excuse...It's beautiful here, the buses are free and the moorings are cheap!

My Lazy Crew!
02/04/2008, Atlantic Ocean

We finally left Miami on February 3rd and headed outside for the twenty four hour run up to Vero Beach Florida where we plan to start replenishing the cruising kitty. It was one of the greatest sails we've had so far. We made the gulf stream in very light winds of 8 to 10 kts doing only 2.5 kts over water but the GPS read 7 to 8 knots over land. The gulf stream added quite a kick to our speed.

As you can see from the picture, my crew couldn't quite pull themselves away long enough to do any work so I had the priveledge of staying at the helm for a good amount of time (I'm not complaining.)

Now we've seen it all!
Carrie & Carl
01/28/2008, South Beach Miami

You've probably heard that advertising is using anything available to reach their audiance including trucks driving down the road to projecting on a distant planet sometime in the future. Well, yesterday we saw "the Sign Boat" in South Beach Miami next to the Venitian Causeway.

Marketing is everything!

Cruiser Pot-Lucks
01/27/2008, Miami, FL

One of the many aspects of the cruising lifestyle that we thoroughly enjoy is getting together with other cruisers, both power and sail types. Word goes out of a "Sundowner" or "Pot Luck" by whatever means available (i.e. the Coconut Telegraph) with a time and place. Everyone brings their drinks and some food to share and the party begins!

We get to meet new folks and hook up with others we've met before and hear the latest stories of how they got to the place we're at. Trading boat cards is always a fun activity, and our collection grows every day.

One of the fringe benefits is the networking opportunity for things that don't work aboard. This afternoon we're visiting "The Suzanne", a trawler couple whose Wi-Fi antenna won't work. When they mentioned the brand name that matched ours I offered to take a look at it and see if I could help them figure it out. Wish us luck!

Single Sideband Radio
01/26/2008, Southern Florida

The ongoing issues with our Single Sideband (SSB) radio onboard may have come to a conclusion with the discovery of a true (?) expert in the Ft. Lauderdale area who came aboard with an impressive background in RF and Maritime Engineering and good recommendations from some fellow boaters.

After months of numerous questions to other boaters about why our unit can be heard hundreds of miles away by others but we are unable to hear units outside of our immediate vicinity (with units right next to us able to receive those units), we now appear to have a fully capable unit that allows us to interact with units at great distances to gain, among other things, weather and emergency information. This is a tool that we consider important to cruising safely and effectively, but came at a hefty price given the consulting time, materials and repair costs involved.

Cruising 101
01/25/2008, Hurricane Harbor, Biscayne Bay

Cruising 101

If you are going to buy a boat and take off into the wild blue'd better know how to fix everything on your boat or, have very deep pockets.

When Carl and I started this adventure we were in hopes that not too many things would go wrong. We also hoped that of the things that would go wrong, that they would be simple enough to fix on our own. Ok, many things broke, some of which we could do without and some that we could not.

For instance in the picture above, you see Carl with our 8 horse power Mercury engine in the cockpit. Now this being our only transportation to and from shore, it had to be fixed otherwise we would be swimming for groceries.

We have never attempted anything this complicated before. We opened the repair manual about a month ago, decided the problem was the carburetor and ordered a repair kit. Once we received the kit, it was thrown on the nav table where it was ignored for several weeks.

The engine at this point is running very poorly. It's time to tackle the repair and put aside all our discomfort about not knowing what we are doing.

After looking at the exploded view of the carburator, I stated that there were far too many parts and that if he wanted to give it a try, he could be my guest. Well, four hours later Carl was putting the newly re-built carburetor back into the engine and taking it for a run in the little cove where we are anchored. It ran like a new engine. I was very impressed! I have knighted Carl as full cruiser and apparently I have a ways to go before aquiring that bestowed honor.

Repair Projects Onboard
01/24/2008, Hurricane Harbor, Key Biscayne, FL

After the morning fog burned off we had a sparkling sunny day at anchor and, with very little wind, decided to dry out the sails and make some repairs.

Carrie is running the sewing machine with the help of the portable generator to make some needed stitching repairs on the Headsail. I raised the Main and dried things out while adjusting some lines to help us reef the sail in high winds more quickly in the future.

Ahead of a Storm
01/23/2008, Biscayne Bay, FL

We transited back down to Miami area today. It was sunny most of the day but as we entered into Miami Harbor the clouds started to roll in and some pretty scary rain clouds began marching across the bay towards us. We "hurried" (at all of 5 knots) towards our little anchorage trying to get the hook set before getting hammered by the rain. We did make it in time and got a nice fresh water washdown as well as adding a little rain water to our water supply.

What you can't see very well in the background is the Coconut Grove skyline because of the rain rolling across it towards us.

Waiting Weather
01/20/2008, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Our second day on a mooring ball in Ft. Lauderdale, and so far our stay has not been very friendly. The police here are vigorously enforcing a 24-hour anchoring ordinance although it conflicts with a state ruling (currently under appeal) that does not allow municipalities to regulate anchoring for "full time cruisers".

As such we've taken one of the few mooring balls in the city and enjoying the amenities of the marina and the company of other boaters hiding out from the weather.

The picture shows how close to the seawall our mooring is, and it's also next to a draw bridge, making it not the most peaceful or scenic spot we've found.

We hope to head back to Miami in a couple of days when the winds and seas lie down some, then cross to the Bahamas by the end of the month with our friends on Just Imagine... (Cheryl and Robin).

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Cast Off the Lines
Who: Carl and Carrie Butler
Port: Fort Myers Beach, Florida
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