CHARDONNAY @ Sea

22 May 2013 | Off Savannah, GA in the Gulf Stream
22 April 2013 | Fort Lauderdale
22 April 2013 | Key West to Ft. Miami
18 April 2013
11 April 2013 | Key West, FL
09 April 2013 | Marco Island, FL
05 April 2013 | Naples, FL
30 March 2013 | Naples, FL
26 March 2013 | Key West
25 March 2013 | Florida Keys
25 March 2013 | Florida Keys
25 March 2013 | Lauderdale to Miami
12 March 2013 | For Lauderdale
01 March 2013 | Lake Sylvia, FL
28 February 2013 | St. Lucie, FL
27 February 2013 | New River
11 February 2013
07 January 2013 | Washington DC

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07 April 2015
Scott Berg
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Fish On!

22 May 2013 | Off Savannah, GA in the Gulf Stream
Scott
We left Fort Lauderdale with a crew of 5 including Candy on ENDEAVOR, Chris on SEA GYPSY and Bryon on BLIND FAITH. We averaged 250 miles a day before pulling into Southport, NC for some repairs and crew rest. We decided to make the run up the ditch (Atlantic Inter-coastal Waterway) to Norfolk and enjoy the sights of coastal Carolina and visit a couple of towns we like. Highlight so far was Candy's Mahi Mahi that weighed in as just over 30 pounds and provided several meals with yet more filets in the freezer! We'll post more soon, hope to be in Washington DC by the end of the month or there abouts...

Lake Sylvia (Again!)

22 April 2013 | Fort Lauderdale
Scott
Morning brought sunshine and promises of rain. We left via Government Cut following a container ship out to the sea buoy and turned north to Ft Lauderdale. This was to be a motor-sailing day with main only, tightly sheeted, as the winds were light and from the south. As we looked north there was a gray curtain that we soon discovered was dense rain. We looked at the radar to see wide bands of thunderstorms crossing our path limiting visibility to a few hundred feet. It looked like the storm would accompany us all the way to Ft. Lauderdale. Freddi maintained a radar watch with Scott at the helm. Identified targets were few (mostly small fishing boats) no doubt much more uncomfortable that we were aboard our 45-ton pilothouse ketch. Rather than chase the storm all the way north we decided to slow down and let the storm get ahead of us. Then, with the aid of the gulfstream we maintained an easy 8 kts as we steamed at low rpms for Port Everglades.

We cleared the 17th Street Causeway Bridge at 1430 on April 15 and were soon well anchored in a crowded but by now familiar Lake Sylvia in 11’ of water near the 15th St Bridge headed to our favorite dingy dock and raw bar. We’ve been in Lake Sylvia for a week, trying to limit trips to the raw bar, watching daily thunderstorms and fending off other boats that have not taken into account the varying forces of nature when they anchor.

Living and Dining on the Starboard Tack

22 April 2013 | Key West to Ft. Miami
Scott
When the winds eased and clocked to the south (as predicted), we continued our trip--we never START on a Friday--east about the Keys via the Hawk Channel. Falling off the wind after motoring into the wind out to the channel, we set the Genoa, Main and Mizzen on a broad starboard reach and were off to the races. The wind, forecast to be 10-15 was closer to 15-20 and we raced along at 7-8+kts. We started the engine as the winds fell off in the afternoon sun and motor-sailed into Marathon a full two hours ahead of some of the boats that had left Key West with us. We again anchored outside the main channel to Boot Key Harbor, but this time the seas were flat and we spent one quiet evening before leaving at 0900 for Rodriquez Key. Most of the boats in the Key West parade would leave at first light, but one by one our waterline proved her mettle and we overtook all but one and were the second boat with anchor down in the crystal waters off Key Largo. I went for a swim to check the anchor (set) and the prop (no wrapped line!) We enjoyed a quiet evening at anchor and left at first light for the long sail to Miami.

The winds were again out of the southeast and we were once again under full sail on the starboard tack (just as we had been all the way from Little Shark Inlet some 150 miles before). I should note that I have tacked more in one race than we have in almost 2000 miles. The winds, when we’ve had them, have been steady and consistent, a great blessing to short-handed sailors. This day was a long one, between 60 and 70 nautical miles (for the “landlubbers” reading this a nautical mile is one minute of latitude, about 1.2 “statute” miles, 1.582kilometers, or 6076 feet). We needed to complete the trip in daylight to make a safe approach into Biscayne Inlet. We considered motoring up to the larger channel at Government Cut, but I felt confident in my bearings and entered the Biscayne Inlet at just past high tide and saw no less then 11’ of water all the way. After running the inlet without incident, we enjoyed the sights of a full-blown “Stiltsville” party before running up Biscayne Bay, under the Powell Bridge, past Rickenbacker Marina and safely at anchor once again in the Marine Stadium in 8’ of clear water. We watched the lights of Miami from the cockpit and settled in for a good night’s rest after a fairly rough 67 nm.

Stuck in Key West

18 April 2013
Scott
With Jimmy Buffett on the stereo Freddi and I hung out in Key West waiting for 20+kt easterlies to ease and clock south. We enjoyed Key West, did some fishing (I caught a baby Hammerhead Shark—tossed him back and reminded him to remember the courtesy if we met again when he was bigger!), worked on the boat (new screens in the isinglass), read a lot, and waited -- a lot. We finished a few nagging projects and updated our project list of long term maintenance for the boat… it never ends but we “kinda” like it that way….

We want to give a big “shout out” to the SSCA Key West Cruising Station Evan Kolb who provided local knowledge, transportation, and company.

Until now we’ve tried to avoid the “travel guide” feel but Key West is an exception. If you’re sailing in our wake a few hints…

--The dingy dock http://www.keywestcity.com/department/index.php?fDD=39-0 at “The Bight” is inexpensive, close in, and crowded (but always room for “one more”). We anchored on the west side of Fleming Key in about 22’ and had a 10-min ride in. You can use the same dock even if you pick up a mooring ball in the Garrison field but we prefer our own ground tackle regardless.
--Fausto’s Food Palace http://www.faustos.com is wonderful… great butcher, local seafood, fresh produce, great wine selection, more. Not cheap but it’s in Key West, walkable and we love it. (And they DELIVER right to the dock if you’re stocking up with more than you can carry on a walk). Very Highly Recommended.
--The Half Shell Raw Bar AKA Eat it Raw http://www.halfshellrawbar.com is NOT TO BE MISSED. Happy Hour Oysters at $6/dozen for starters and drinks at $2.75 each. Check out the license plates at the bar to see where CHRDNAY (VA) has been! (Hint: it’s next to CABERNE.) They also have a seafood market across the street with local catch daily. We need more places like this.
--West Marine is just up from the anchorage and they’re building a bigger store; ask for Larry… he was great--even sold us some watermaker filters from his own stock when the store was out-- and he lives in the anchorage.
--Don’t miss the “Hogfish Bar & Grill” on Stock Island http://www.hogfishbar.com for local food (very good if calorie-laden) and “ambiance.”
--And, lastly, don’t miss the Cuban Coffee Queen. http://www.cubancoffeequeen.com just trust them and order the Cuban, even if you usually drink your coffee black; this is the real stuff and you don’t need to pay South Beach prices!

Crossing the Gulf.... Again

11 April 2013 | Key West, FL
Freddi
RAZZMATAZZ, FREE AGAIN, SEA ROVER and CHARDONNAY departed Marco the next morning, all of us headed for Little Shark Inlet. There is nothing but mangroves, and we arrived early evening so no one dropped their dinghies on this trip. Although all of us were headed to Key West, only CHARDONNAY made it in Sunday night. We thought we would have good winds, but they were not strong enough to sail sans engine so we motor-sailed the entire way. Even though Sir Robin had the helm, we had to keep a sharp lookout for crab pots, which were everywhere. We had heard that the fishermen were supposed to bring in the pots on April 1, but from what we saw that was an April Fools joke. More likely, they were required not to bait the traps, but they still stored the pots in the water. The pots were difficult to pick out of the waves as they bob and weave under the water and you don’t see them until you are on top of them. It’s a matter of luck more than keen eyesight if you miss them. Of course, there’s good luck and bad luck, and it was our time for bad luck. About 10 nautical miles from our entrance to the Northwest Channel at Key West, Scott noticed that we were towing a crab pot-- it was never getting any closer to the boat so the prop was not winding it in--but we had lost two knots of speed. We wanted to cut it away but we knew that if we slowed down the line would slack and wrap in the prop. Between the two of us, we figured out that by using a grappling hook we could pull the pot in close enough to the boat to cut the line close to the boat to limit any wrapping.. We were most pleased with our ingenuity. We did not see any line after the cut, the engine picked up speed, and we were able to anchor using forward and reverse.

We have been in Key West anchored in Man o’ War Harbor since Sunday night and we just sit here and listen to the winds howling, 15-25 kts, gusting to at least 30 kts. The problem is the prevailing winds have been from the east, and we want to go east for a few days. Knowing it will not be a comfortable trip into 20kt winds, we are waiting for a change in the prevailing winds (prevailing seems to mean they never change!). However, we are near the wonderful Half Shell Raw Bar, an easy walk (after a dinghy ride in) to a great local coffee shop, grocery stores, a bike shop (new chain for the Brompton), and a seafood market. So here we sit at anchor enjoying Key West sunsets. Cheers to all… we have to sit and watch another sunset...
Vessel Name: CHARDONNAY
Vessel Make/Model: Seaton Ketch
Hailing Port: Washington, DC
Crew: Scott & Freddi
Extra: Listen for us on the Ham nets; we check in daily to the Waterway Radio Cruising Club (WRCC 7.268 LSB) at 0815 and the Maritime Mobile Service Network (MMSN 14.300 USB)
CHARDONNAY's Photos - Main
Selected Pix of our trip from Washington DC to Florida (via the Bay, IAWW, and Atlantic Ocean
No Photos
Created 26 November 2012
A wide collection of images from and by the CHARDONNAY gang
15 Photos
Created 26 November 2012

SV CHARDONNAY

Who: Scott & Freddi
Port: Washington, DC