Blue Heron

Vessel Name: Blue Heron
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 43
Hailing Port: Delaware City, DE
Crew: Bob & Eric Frantz
About: Bob retired in January, 2011 from a career as an environmental attorney and manager, and Eric earned his Bachelor's Degree from The George Washington University in Washington, DC in December, 2010. They began their circumnavigation February 6, 2011.
Extra: In the words of that great American author, Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
19 June 2012
13 June 2012 | Fishing Bay Harbor Marina, Deltaville, VA
12 June 2012
09 June 2012
05 June 2012 | Cannonsport Marina, Palm Beach Shores, Florida
01 June 2012 | in passage to Bahamas
25 May 2012 | Sapodilla Bay
21 May 2012 | Jost van Dyke
18 May 2012
17 May 2012 | BVI
14 May 2012
07 May 2012 | Simpson Bay
03 May 2012 | Charlestown Harbour
01 May 2012
15 April 2012 | St. Lucia
13 April 2012
11 April 2012
06 April 2012
Recent Blog Posts
19 June 2012

The Blue Heron did it!

Today is the 500th day since we began our adventure around the world. We did it! We've completed our circumnavigation! We have not only crossed our wake but have passed the point from which we originally set sail on February 6, 2011. All that remains is to get us and the Blue Heron home. She has [...]

13 June 2012 | Fishing Bay Harbor Marina, Deltaville, VA

Waiting to get back on our way

We passed Little Creek Marina in Norfolk, VA during the middle of the night last night -- that's where our dream voyage began 16 months ago. We then made our way to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay where we were greeted with a howling hello in the form of 30+ knot winds on the nose. Making any headway was almost impossible so, we have diverted for safe harbor once more to wait for this weather system to pass. If anything, the North Atlantic lives up to it's reputation as being predictably unpredictable. Now, we wait (impatiently) for another weather window so that we can make our way home.

12 June 2012

Big Fish - take a look

Our steady progress and, generally, uneventful passage thusfar was punctuated with excitement yesterday afternoon when Eric called out, "I've got one!" He caught a White Marlin in the late afternoon. The fish fought hard and we had quite a time getting the fish on board. The fish measured 6'4" and [...]

09 June 2012

on our way north

This morning we left West Palm Beach at 8:15AM and are making our way north. We're hopeful that weather will be in our favor the entire final passage home -- we'll see. We've started with the benefit of both the gulf stream and favorable winds and are moving along at about 9 knots.

05 June 2012 | Cannonsport Marina, Palm Beach Shores, Florida

weather detour

We're stopping in Palm Beach for a day or so to wait out some weather due to come offshore from the Carolinas. Then we'll continue our northbound journey for home.


12 March 2012
We arrived in Fortaleza on Friday evening (3/9) and departed Thursday morning (3/15). We docked at Marina Park Hotel, which is the only marina in town. Although there are a couple of anchorages, they are not recommended as they aren't safe. One Swiss couple that came in after us anchored for one or two nights before coming to the marina and were boarded and robbed at knifepoint. The Marina, however, has armed security guards and is safe. It's not in the greatest condition, and the mooring arrangement (Stern to the dock with anchor out forward, or Med-moor) doesn't work particularly well here. The dock consists of floating steel boxes, with no bumpers. Worse yet, the steel boxes are affixed to pilings with steel rings, with bolts sticking out of them around their circumference. The steel rings are on the side where you tie up, about every 20 feet. So, you have to make sure the boat doesn't come back and run into the dock or the steel rings around the pilings, all the while with 8 feet of tidal change and a swell from the sea. Not a fun way to moor. The two boats on each side of us sustained damage when they struck the dock or the steel rings. The hotel had a great pool, though, which we enjoyed every day.
Fortaleza is big (2+ million people), bustling and very interesting. Like Cabedelo, the people of Fortaleza are very friendly and try to be helpful, even though this is stymied somewhat by our lack of Portuguese and the Fortalezan's lack of English. Fortaleza is defined to a great extent by its beaches. It has beaches, which face directly into the SE trades, and some that face NE and are behind a spit of land, providing some protection.
Much of the nightlife--restaurants, clubs, bars--are built around the beaches. One night we drove through the Iracema beach area. It was amazing how alive the area was. There were people jogging, biking, skateboarding (I didn't see rollerblades) and just strolling. The main drag is lined with bars and restaurants, all open to the warm, tropical air. Everyone was having fun.
One of our first trips was to Mercado Central, or Central Market. This is a huge, multi-story building that has been set up with small stalls where merchants display their goods. It is very much like a mall in the developed world, except that the merchants and goods have a much more developing world feel. We really enjoyed our time there, and purchased some Cachaca (Brazilian liquor) and cashews. It seemed like every other store sold cashews, and the vendors would eagerly display different types and allow you to taste them. We also had lunch at a café there--it was a buffet where they weighed your plate after you filled it - delicious.
The city itself is very busy, with lots of people on the streets and lots of shops. We walked around sightseeing one day, and were amazed by all that's offered and all that's going on. And, while it's not a beautiful and clean city, you can see that people are beginning to have pride and it's on the way up.
The highlight and lowlight of our trip was dinner on Tuesday evening. We decided we would go out to a "nice" restaurant given that we planned to leave on Thursday. We got two recommendations from the hotel front desk. They called our first choice and, in broken English, told us the number had "changed", so he couldn't make a reservation for us. No problem, we'll show up and see if they have an available table. We got a taxi and were off. Along the route we went under an overpass that was in the area of some favelas. Bang!! Someone dropped a large coconut from the overpass that struck the bottom of the windshield of the taxi, shattering it. Luckily it didn't break through. We were all shocked, and the taxi driver was cursing the people in the favelas in Portuguese, saying it would cost him 100 Real to fix it. Despite this setback, we continued to the restaurant, winding our way along the busy Iracema beach for ½ hour. When we got there, the restaurant was closed -- apparently not in operation anymore. Good thing the hotel gave us TWO restaurant recommendations. On to restaurant number two, a few kilometers away. After a bit of trouble navigating one-way streets, we finally arrived--with a cab fare of 35 Real (about $18), not too bad given how long we were driving around. The dinner was well worth the effort and the service superb. Both of us had fish, and our meals were delicious. The wine was excellent. So, what started as a questionable evening, turned out great. And, it was only a short cab ride back to the hotel.
Now we're off to the Caribbean for the next two months.
Stay tuned for more installments of our blog.
Blue Heron's Photos - Main
COP17, TOPtoTOP, and Essenwood Market
9 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 7 June 2011

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