Madcap Sailing

24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
22 May 2017 | Whittaker Creek, Oriental, NC
15 May 2017 | Boat in Oriental, crew in New Orleans and Nova Scotia
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
20 April 2017 | Ocean Isle Marina, Ocean Beach, NC at Mile 335.6
17 April 2017 | Dewees Creek, near Charleston, NC
14 April 2017 | St Simons Island
12 April 2017 | Fernandina Beach, FL
11 April 2017 | St Augustine, FL
07 April 2017 | Vero Beach, Florida
03 April 2017 | Ft Pierce, FL
30 March 2017 | Ft Pierce, Florida
28 October 2016 | Madcap in Ft Pierce, Florida and crew in Halifax, Nova Scotia
06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida

Lousy to Great

09 May 2008 | Allans Pensacola
From now on YOU steer us in!
I'm not coming back here without Electronic Explorer Charts!
I'm never doing this job again!

These and many others were the statements coming out of my mouth after I steered us aground AGAIN! I've always been able to "swear like a sailor" on occasion, but I have to say that being responsible for mistakes helps me to stretch and expand my vocabulary.

Because Jim handles the anchor, I am usually the one steering us into an anchorage. I like being on the helm, and in tight places I like the feeling of being at one with the boat and guiding it through. We discuss the approach; Jim stands on watch from the side decks or the bow and away we go. Our system usually works. When it doesn't - when I put us aground (worst case) or anchor in a poor place and we have to do it again (not so bad but still irritating) it feels just horrible and I get mad at myself and all I want to do is crawl away in a little misery hole.

We were coming in on a rising tide. Because I had gone too far straight in from the waypoint before turning to starboard, we encountered a shoal, and when I got onto it I didn't know which way to turn for deeper water. I thought the water looked deeper to port so I ploughed through that way but it was just a little trough and we were onto the sand again - this time definitely stuck.

We put out the yankee sail but it didn't tip us enough. Next the main went up and we twisted and moved a bit but not enough. Mike (Sapphire) and Jim (Solitaire) came along, and Bob (Toucan Dream) arrived in his large and powerful dinghy. Madcap Jim took over the helm, Bob pushed our bow in the right direction, Mike climbed onboard to help me winch sails in and out, and Solitaire Jim called out depths from his handheld depth sounder. With help from them all, and with wind in the sails, we finally got off the bar and anchored.

After the dust settled we went over to Sapphire to listen in on their strategy session as they planned their departure from the Bahamas. Because they were headed for Fort Pierce, they required a much shorter weather window than we did so we weren't really considering going with them. Also, we would have hated to leave on this note - we have had such a wonderful time in the Bahamas it would have been a shame to have this memory as our last one.

Nancy - ever thoughtful and creative - presented Madcap and Sapphire crews with bottles of champagne to drink upon landfall stateside and CD's with pictures of our shared adventures. They had discovered the "Signing Trees" on the ocean beach and Mike produced a buoy for us all to sign and instructions for us to hang it the next day.

On Thursday morning, we dinghied over to say a last good bye to our friends, and after waving them out of sight, we headed ashore to hang the autographed buoy from a tree. While we felt a little melancholy at first, we still felt we had made the right decision for ourselves, and we went about enjoying the rest of our stay.

We swam in the warm ocean water and we snoozed and picnicked on the beach. We discovered upturned plastic barrels and sticks with a hand painted sign, "I don't want to work; I just wann bang on de drums all day!!" and we banged! Once back on Madcap, our adventures continued.

A big powerboat pulled away, leaving its large dinghy behind. Jim headed off in our small dinghy to retrieve it and deliver it to the powerboat. That was funny to watch because the "towboat" with its 5hp motor was much smaller than the "towee" and Jim kept going in circles till he got some momentum built up.

Bob stopped by to offer us a good-sized hog snapper that we gratefully accepted. We worked on our filleting skills on the foredeck and ended up with two large - if a little raggedy - fillets. (Note: bring a really good filleting knife.)

After enjoying one of them for dinner, we set off for an evening dinghy ride. The boat we had been watching coming toward us seemed to slow and then stop. As we watched a man get out of it and walk through the water holding an anchor, we realized he was on an even more shallow part of that darned shoal. We headed in that direction offering to do what we could to help. Bob came to the rescue once again and towed the boat right off the shoal while we picked up the wading captain and delivered him to his boat and crew.

After all this adventure, we slept well and then departed northward on Friday morning.
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
19 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
20 Photos
Created 20 April 2017
62 Photos
Created 30 March 2017
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
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Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
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Created 20 February 2016
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Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2016
51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011