13 December 2015 | Simpson Bay Marina
02 February 2013
09 October 2012 | Annapolis, Maryland
04 December 2011 | Indianapolis, Indiana
22 November 2010 | Indianapolis, Indiana
16 May 2010 | Lockwood Boat Works, South Amboy, NJ
08 May 2010 | Hamilton, Bermuda
11 April 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten
04 April 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten
03 April 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten
31 March 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten
05 March 2010 | Les Saintes, South of Guadeloupe
05 February 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina, St. Maarten
31 January 2010 | Grand Case, St. Maarten
24 January 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten
17 January 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten
11 January 2010 | Phillipsburg & Simpson Bay Lagoon
07 January 2010 | Simpson Bay Marina
03 January 2010 | Gustavia, St. Barths
29 December 2009 | St. Martin, Simpson Bay Lagoon

Catching Up In St. Maarten

13 December 2015 | Simpson Bay Marina
Kurt Flock / Sunny Skies & Fair Winds
For some odd reason, I stopped blogging. Perhaps too busy. Perhaps too distracted. I don't know. But Myananda has long since left South Amboy, New Jersey. Many, many miles have passed under her hull since then. I'll do some catch up and back filling as time permits, but for now, I want simply to re-establish this log, so at present, I'm aboard with Kate and Sophie, and we are in slip C-16 at the Simpson Bay Marina in Simpson Bay Lagoon on St. Maarten. Kate's been here a week now. I've been here three. I flew down in advance to splash Myananda after she spent this past hurricane season on the hard in Jolly Harbour, Antigua. Myananda is in great shape. We replaced all of the standing rigging earlier this year at FKG in Simpson Bay. That was many, many boat units, and we may have done so a bit early, but we had an issue with the center vertical plate on the bow furling/anchor assembly separating at the main weld joint, so we had no choice but to bite the bullet and dismantle the rigging to fix that. We opted to go ahead and replace the rigging which we just had inspected, and which was in good to serviceable condition. At any rate, here we are now, in good sailing shape, and with this test post, I will begin our blog anew!

South With The Salty Dawgs

02 February 2013
Kurt Flock
I should be keel hauled for sailing Myananda 2,000 miles or so from South Amboy, New Jersey to the British Virgin Islands and then on to St. Barth and St. Martin without adding a single post to this blog. I don't have much of an excuse except to say I was a bit busy and preoccupied with the logistics of getting her back to the Caribbean. Last July or so, it was becoming apparent she would spend a third winter in New Jersey if I didn't get her in the water and head south. It was a good decision to splash, because Hurricane Sandy ripped through New York and New Jersey just three weeks or so after I got the hell out of there. Lockwood Boat Works, the yard where I left Myananda, was hit hard by Sandy. I learned that water was up to the second floor in their welding shop and that boats in low lying areas sustained heavy damage. Luckily, I road Sandy out on the boat moored on a dock along Back Creek at Bert Jabins Yacht Yard in Annapolis.

Red Fehrle, Sue Humphrey, and Dennis Ryerson helped me move Myananda from South Amboy to Annapolis. We left Raritan Bay south of New York and sailed south along the New Jersey coast to Delaware Bay. We opted to sail up the bay on a favorable tide and take the Delaware-Chesapeake Canal to the upper Chesapeake Bay. The trip took us roughly two days, and we had a blast. We transited the canal at night, which was an amazing experience. I think we motored under three or four bridges, each of which appeared to be too low for us to get under, but we made it. The optics of that, especially at night, are just crazy.

We arrived in Annapolis in time for the 2012 Sailboat Show. I had arranged a slip for the month of October at Jabin's, and that's where we kept Myanada during the sailboat show. (more to come)

Splash & Dash

09 October 2012 | Annapolis, Maryland
Kurt Flock / Fine
After sitting two long years on the hard, I suspect Myananda felt forgotten and neglected. No longer! We launched her at Lockwood Boat Works in South Amboy, New Jersey the last week of September in preparation for her return voyage to the Caribbean this winter. After dealing with some typical too-long-out-of-water stuff, Myananda cleared two draw bridges to enter Raritan Bay 17 miles south of Brooklyn, NY. She showed some reluctance by resisting our efforts to deploy the in-mast furling, but after a trip up the mast in a boson's chair to sort that out, she relented, and away we went departing for Annapolis finally at around 10:00 a.m. Dennis Ryerson, Red Fehrle, and Suzan Humphrey accompanied me on the two day voyage. We took a route up Delaware Bay and through the Delaware Chesapeake Canal that was terrific and interesting. We transited the canal at night ghosting under bridges that seemed in the darkness too low to get beneath, but all went well. We dropped anchor in the upper Chesapeake to catch some rest before proceeding to Jabin's Marina in Annapolis. It was a great trip with a great crew. I returned to Indianapolis after spending several days at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and working on boat projects during our spare time. In just three short weeks, Kate and I will return to Myananda to pre her for sailing in this year's Caribbean 1500. Crew and preparations are coming together nicely. Here's one photo I took from the bow of Myanada showing a misting morning breaking on the upper Chesapeake. Moments like this are why we sail!


04 December 2011 | Indianapolis, Indiana
Kurt Flock, Dreary Winter Weather
No sailor should have to go this long between outings. I never expected when I put Myananda on the hard in June 2010 at Lockwood Boat Works in South Amboy, New Jersey that she would still be resting in jack stands November 2011. Despite the lousy economy and depressed real estate market, our business conspired to keep us too busy to splash Myananda. There's few things worse on a boat than lack of use, so I headed to South Amboy in October to check on her and tend to a few things to keep her happier through another forlorn winter aground.

I was fortunate to have a good helper along, Aaron Williams, who spent his week long break from law school helping prep Myananda for better times. We quickly fell into the typical boat maintenance rhythm, putting grinders, sanders, and polishing equipment and supplies to use. Our main focus was removing months of bird crap from the topsides and prepping the bottom for a fresh coat of anti-fouling paint. Even though the boat was covered with a winter canvas, birds found openings and left quite a mess to clean up. It took literally days for us to get the bottom in proper shape for new paint. I decided to remove all the barnacle build-up so I could and polish the brass fittings for a fresh coat of primer and paint.

And then there was the electrical system. The batteries were pretty much shot, so we took things apart in preparation for installing a new set of Gel Cells before we set sail again. All in all, the boat was in surprisingly good shape for having been left high and dry for so long. We got a good coat of Micron paint on the bottom, and left her clean and buttoned up well for the winter.

I watched with dismay as the Caribbean 1500 left Virginia this Fall without me, but I took solace in knowing we'll splash the boat for sure next Spring and explore the northeast coast before taking her south again next year.

Wasting Away In Indy Land

22 November 2010 | Indianapolis, Indiana
Kurt Flock, cloudy, dreary, fall
[Photo above was taken in August when I traveled to Ontario with three friends (including Tom Spencer who starred with a broken rib in one of our 2009 Caribbean 1500 posts! The fishing was awesome!)

Well, I'd much prefer to be writing this from the hammock slung between Myananda's forestay and mast, but alas, I'm no where near that configuration. Instead, I'm at my desk, in my office in Indianapolis dreading the list of things I need to get done today. No, I won't be installing a new impeller or re-bedding my chain plates. I'll be calling clients for price reductions and talking with them about why their home hasn't sold yet.

Last year about this time, we were bobbing happily in an idyllic cove somewhere in the BVI's having just arrived with the Caribbean 1500. This year, we had to participate vicariously by watching our friends boat icons progress toward the islands on some Google Earth rendition of a sea map. Oh well.

Myananda is presently winterized and on the hard in New Jersey. Kate and I spent three solid days removing our kit from the boat, cleaning heads, disconnecting and blowing out pumps, and pumping 25 gallons of the pink stuff through all of our water lines. It was a huge project, and one that I would not have gotten finished without some able assistance from a very capable Lockwood Boat Yard worker.

So no sailing entries from this author for a few months. Plan is to splash Myananda next April or May and do some sailing in the Newport, RI and Maine areas, perhaps pushing our way up Long Island Sound. In the meantime, we wish everyone the best for a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

Myananda's In New Jersey!

16 May 2010 | Lockwood Boat Works, South Amboy, NJ
kurt flock / warm, breezy, hazy
[The above photo shows Myananda stuck in the mud of Cheesequake Creek near Lockwood Boat Works 17 nautical miles south of Brooklyn.]

[New Gallery Post - Myananda's In New Jersey! - 5/16/10)

It's 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning, and I just finished coffee and breakfast aboard Myananda. I am alone on the boat, and all is quiet. Myananda and I are moored safely at the Lockwood Boat Works marina just up Cheesequake Creek off Raritan Bay 17 nautical miles from Brooklyn, NY. This is NOT where I planned to be, but this is where winds and circumstances lead me (more about that later). The folks here are friendly, and this will be Myanada's new home for the next month or two.

I arrived here Friday around 1:30 p.m. after dropping Norm off at the Mansion Marina in Great Kills Bay. Norm's mother developed a life threatening blood clot, and we diverted to New York from our planned Newport, Rhode Island destination so he could disembark and get to the hospital soon as possible. This diversion to NY likely would have been made regardless, because our sail to Newport had been made very difficult by uncooperative winds.

Lockwood Boatworks has been in operation for over 75 years. It's a family run business with over 12 brothers and sister running the place. It's built up a creek on land that was previously a swamp. They have to dredge the channel to maintain access to the marina, and you have to go under two drawbridges (one highway, and one railroad) to get to the place. And if you draw six feet like we do, you need to do this during high tide.

Well we missed the 11:00 a.m. draw bridge opening, so we had to hang out in Raritan Bay until the noon opening and make a run for it up the creek. I didn't think we were going to make it to even the first draw bridge,as I watched the depth meter drop to 5.9'. I know I plowed a furrow across the muddy creek bottom getting up to the bridge, but at least the channel depth climbed back up to 12' or so. After scooting under the highway draw bridge, we had to radio in a request for the railroad to open it's drawbridge, which looked like a relic of 18th Century engineering. The distance between the highway bridge and the railroad bridge is only a couple hundred yards, and the railroad guys were taking their sweet time about opening the bridge for me, so I found myself playing an interesting game of trying to hold Myananda in place against the creek waters running an outbound tide and headwinds wanting Myananda to turn around and head back to Raritan Bay. This went on for a half hour until the railroad guys finally raised the damned bridge, and I scooted on up the creek.

Mary Ann at Lockwood emailed me instructions for getting to their marina, and I had one hand on Myananda's helm and the other on my trusty iPhone, which had the emailed instructions on display. Mary Ann warned me that I might make it to their facility if I hit the bridge openings during mid tide, but my luck was about to run out. As I made the last turn off Cheesequake Creek toward the Lockwood Yard, my depth meter dropped to 6.0', then 5.9', then 5.6', and with what seemed like a sigh of relief, Myananda came gently to a stop with her keel buried in the soft New Jersey mud. What an ignominious ending to two long weeks of open ocean sailing. I'd run aground!

So there I sat with Red and Suzan, staring at a finger dock about eight feet off our starboard rail. Red and Suzan had volunteered to hang with me after Norm left to help me get Myananda to Lockwood. Now they were tantalizingly close to a dock that would lead them to a cab and then an airport and then to home. So we tossed over a dock line over a dock cleat and horsed Myananda close enough for Red to jump off and secure a couple mooring lines. There were mostly for appearance, because we were as stuck in the mud as a hair in a biscuit. At least we were on terra firma again.

After helping me secure Myananda to the finger docks and tidy things up around the boat, Red and Suzan disembarked with their gear and headed home. These guys were were absolutely delightful company during our voyage, and I already miss their company. This was their second time sailing aboard Myananda. They helped me deliver Myananda from Annapolis to Hampton, Virginia last fall as we prepared to depart with the Caribbean 1500 fleet. That was a short overnight sail, but I sensed then they would make excellent sailing companions, so I invited them to fly to St. Maarten and sail Myanada back with me to the states.

We'd departed St. Maarten Saturday, May 1st at approximately 10:30 a.m. We arrived in New Jersey exactly two weeks later following the traditional and popular 65th longitude north to Bermuda. That portion of the sail was largely uneventful. We had wonderfully easterlies for much of the time; however they died out half way to Bermuda, and we found ourselves motoring for three days through a classic Bermuda high that would have becalmed us save our iron jenny.

The sail from Bermuda to Newport was another matter altogether, but I'll save a full description for another time, as I've too much to do today to write much longer. So for the moment, let's leave it that the winds and weather were very, very uncooperative, seemingly always on our nose and shifting back and forth from NW to NE as the lows and highs crossed over the north Atlantic. We zig zagged our way on what looked like a drunken sailor's course from Bermuda toward New England. For a while we decided to head for the Blue Water Yachting Center at Hampton, Virginia near the mouth of the Chesapeake. As that became untenable, we considered Delaware Bay, further up the coast, but there's really not much there, so we pointed toward Newport. At one point we were dodging squalls and found ourselves surfing quartering seas running 10' to 15' with winds gusting up to 50 knots. We sailed with a double reef in our Yankee. That was it. At least this was during daylight. At times our SOG (speed over ground) hit close to 10 knots! Talk about frisky sailing!

Anyway, I think everyone was ready to pack it in when we finally reached New York. It would have taken probably another half day to get to Newport, so all in all, everyone was happy to make landfall at Great Kills Harbor near NYC.

I have a thousand things to do to prepare Myanada for her haul out tomorrow. She's in desperate need of bottom job. I don't know exactly when her bottom was painted last, but we had it cleaned several times down island, and the old paint has lost it's ability to prevent the growth of barnacles and that nasty, furry stuff that looks like a slimy green fur coat. She'll be happy to be out of the water getting spiffed and prepped for her next adventure. There are several maintenance and repair items that need attention, so I'm focusing on getting her cleaned up and dried out before I head back to Indy to my wife, my dog, and my (gulp?) business.

I'll find time to upload more photos as well as descriptions of some of the more exciting and interesting moments of our voyage. I did manage to shoot some video as we sailed through that 50 knot squall and its high seas, so stay tuned!
Vessel Name: Myananda
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 456 Center Cockpit
Hailing Port: Indianapolis, IN
Crew: Kurt, Kate & Sophie Flock
Kurt & Kate Flock live in Indianapolis, IN where they've owned & operated a small real estate company for nearly 25 years - Flock Real Estate Group. [...]
Kurt & Kate kept an Island Packet 38 in the Caribbean for 8 years during which time they sailed extensively thru the island chains as far south as Trinidad with their two 4-legged kids, Isah & Sophie. Sophie will join them in their new adventures aboard Myananda & Isah will be with them forever in [...]
Myananda's Photos - Main
Recently I visited Myanada in New Jersey and apologized for leaving her there for so long. She wants to be back in the Caribbean this winter, but this was not to be. Instead, I spent a week recently taking care of her as best I could in hopes that she won't be too distressed while waiting for better times afloat.
14 Photos
Created 4 December 2011
Two weeks after leaving St. Maarten with my deliver crew of Norm Harlow, Red Fehrle, and Suzan Huphrey, Myananda arrive in Great Kills Harbor near Brooklyn, NY. We'd diverted to NYC from our planned Newport, RI destination, so we could get Norm off the boat as quickly as possible so he could attend to a family medical emergency. After clearing customs by phone, we left Norm at Mansion Marina to catch a cab to the Newark airport. Red and Suzan stayed aboard to help me deliver the boat to the Lockwood Boat Yard in South Amboy, New Jersey. This facility was recommended by Peter Hoffman, a customer service rep at Stanten Island Yacht Sales. I found Peter as I wandered among the various marinas at Great Kills Harbor looking for a suitable place to either haul or moor Myananda for a month or two. The trip across Raritan Bay and up the Cheesequake Creek to the Lockwood facility was interesting as it had me motoring under two drawbridges before getting stuck in the mud during low tide!
14 Photos
Created 16 May 2010
I'm uploading these photos while I'm sitting on the balcony at the St. George's Yacht Club on Bermuda. It's been a crazy month, but I'm headed back to the states aboard Myanada. We're heading out this evening for Newport, Rhode Island. I'm sailing with Norm Harlow, Red Fehrle, and Suzan Humphrey as crew. Before this trip, I helped Norm sail his Valiant 42 back to New York City. What a turnaround! I should be back in the U.S. in 4-5 days. Perhaps then I can get caught up and fill in some of the gaps in this crazy blog!
14 Photos
Created 8 May 2010
We got up at 6:00 a.m. last Friday, April 9th, to could get in one more outing on St. Barth, before heading back to St. Maarten. There's a trail leading to a very remote section of rocky beach west of Grand Fond on the south side of St. Barth. It's one of the most beautiful, wind swept, stretches of jagged mountain terrain and rugged beach that we've seen in all the Caribbean. It's where we released my father's ashes this past March, and the ashes of our beloved bichon, Isah, during a visit November of 2008. This is a very special place to both of us, and we were delighted to share it with our friends Meg Greenhouse and Eric Willinghan. Rather than annotate these photos, we'll let their beauty speak for themselves.
28 Photos
Created 11 April 2010
While in Deshaies, our rag tag group of cruising buddies decided to venture into the jungle in search of the mythical falls at the headwaters of the Deshaies River. Here's a few photos I took along the way.
23 Photos
Created 4 April 2010
During our two week sail from St. Maarten to Dominica and back, we visited the Deshaies on the northwestern tip of Guadeloupe. Deshaies is an absolutely delightful harbor and town that provided us with some of of the most interesting sightseeing we've experienced. They have a wonderful botanical gardens there that showcases a wide array of flora indigenous to the islands.
34 Photos
Created 3 April 2010
During our sail from St. Maarten to Antigua, we were treated to a rare site - a blue whale launching straight up and out of the water in pursuit of dinner. I quickly grabbed my camera, but I was unable to capture the whale performing the same trick twice. I did however get a shot of a tremendous splash and a couple shots of the whale breaching. Later, following our arrival to Antigua, Kate, Norm, Michaela, and I rented a car and toured the island. Our drive took us south to English Harbor, where we explored the fort and maritime complex built by the British in the early heydays of their rich sailing history and global expansion. The sprawling Nelson Dockyard is an historic site well worth the visit and includes a museum, remnants of an old sail loft and slipway for repairing boats, and various other interesting historic structures.
18 Photos
Created 3 April 2010
I took these photos before returning to Indiana to assist with my father's passing and funeral, and it's taken me a while to find the time and emotional energy to resume postings to our blog, but I'm back at it and will be catching us up in the days ahead. A lot's happened since Kate and I returned to St. Maarten, and I have 400+ photos to go through that showcase our sailing adventures since then. So enjoy!
8 Photos
Created 27 March 2010
Here are a few photos taken mostly during our trip to Grand Case on the French side of St. Maarten. Kate's done far more exploring of the island than I since I've not insisted that she be present as Norm and I grinded through some pretty heavy boat home improvement projects aboard Myananda. So we took a day trip via bus to Grand Case.
24 Photos
Created 31 January 2010
We cover a lot of ground, er water, in this album update, so enjoy. We're still in St. Maarten, but we are making great progress in turning Myananda into a true cruising boat. These photos tell the story of our most recent projects – adding solar and wind generating capacity to the boat. We could not have gotten this job done without the erstwhile help of one of our new cruising buddies, Norm Harlow. We also owe a big thanks especially to the good folks at Island Water World, FKG Rigging, Electek, and Maintec, four great service providers in Simpson Bay. It's widely known that St. Maarten is a fantastic place to get work done on your boat. Everything is readily available, and if some part is not on the shelf, it can usually be obtained in a few days. We still have a long list of projects to complete on the boat, but they (hopefully) pale in comparison to the strides we made this past week with the enhancements we made to Myananda. Me thinks she's a happier boat now!
62 Photos
Created 24 January 2010
We woke up Sunday, January 10th with not much planned. It turns out we had one of the most interesting and fun days we've had in a while. Maybe it was because I didn't pick up a wrench or volt meter, but I think it had more to do with just letting the universe unfold and taking things as they came. Photos in this album show Kate getting her hair "braided" in Phillipsburg. We wind up later watching the yachts parade through the bridge channel at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club while drinking fifty cent beer with some of our cruising buddies. Dinner aboard Bojangles later was a pleasant surprise, as was meeting some interesting new friends from South Africa who are just a few days into their planned cruise around the world.
31 Photos
Created 11 January 2010
We left St. Maarten on December 30th and headed to St. Barth for New Year's. Several of our C1500 cruising buddies did the same, including Paul Hopkins of Nepenthe, Steve and Kim of North Star, an d Jim and Heather of Ceol Mor. We all hooked up for drinks one evening on North Star, and Kate and I rented a car and toured some of our favorite places on the island with Steve and Kim. Their kids kept busy ogling the topless girls sunning themselves on Shell Beach just over the hill from the main harbor at Gustavia. We missed seeing all the beautiful people that are normally on St. Barth's for New Year's Eve because the harbor master ordered the mega yachts off the docks because north sells made mooring there treacherous. These photos show a little of this and that from our visit to St. Barths.
21 Photos
Created 9 January 2010
You could definitely go broke hanging out at the patisseries on St. Martin, but we know of at least one place on St. Barths that puts even these delights to shame. Can't wait to get there. Tomorrow!
5 Photos
Created 29 December 2009
Ten days or so in Red Hook was enough, so we left St. Thomas Dec. 22nd and headed back to the BVI's. We opted to drop the hook one more evening in Francis Bay off St. John and enjoyed another spectacular sunset there. Kate wanted to do a yoga class Dec. 23rd on Tortolla, so we got up early and cleared in at Soper's Hole. We moved on to Nanny Cay to check on the screens being made for Myananda by Quantum Sails. We then moved on to Road Town to pick up mail and wound up at the Bitter End resort on Virgin Gorda for Christmas Eve. Very nice. As is turned out, we hooked up with friends on three other boats there, Ceol Mor, North Star, and Chaucer. After checking the weather, three of us opted to head on to St. Martin. We left around 4:45 p.m. Christmas day and had a great crossing. We cleared customs on the Dutch side of St. Martin and entered the Simpson Bay Lagoon which is home to mega yachts of every order. We'll be hanging out here for a few days before heading to St. Barths for New Year's Eve. We expect to hook up there with six or seven Caribbean 1500 boats for a great party.
35 Photos
Created 27 December 2009
Since our generator was down, our outboard in the shop, and I'm still waiting for various parts, I started to scrape the bottom of my "to do" list. I figured this would be a great time to drag my dive tank out of the lazarette and haul it to the dive shop to get it hydro tested. If you don't have a regular hydro test and visual inspection, most (reputable) dive shops won't fill your tank, period. I also thought I'd get our dive regulators checked out since we haven't used them for a while. The way things have been going, I shouldn't have been surprised when Russell at the dive shop said, "Oh, that's a "WCJ" tank (or something like that), and we can't fill those. The alloy is bad, and they blow up. When they blow up, they fragment, so we just won't fill 'em. Well, I bought the tank in 1979, and I've dived with it many times. I never knew I was wearing an IED (improvised explosive dive tank). Anyway, so I could get the hydro test done, but then I can't get my full tank re-filled. And they didn't have any new smaller tanks to sell me. And so it goes. I guess I'll have to wait until I get to St. Martin to deal with the tank issue. Meanwhile, I want to Home Depot and bought a 50' rubber compressor hose and some fittings so I can leave my tank on deck while I dive with a regulator on a long hose to clean the boat bottom. Gotta improvise again.
9 Photos
Created 19 December 2009
After leaving the British Virgin Islands, most folks check in to the U.S. Virgin Islands at Cruz Bay on St. John. It's just a short two hour hop or so from Soper's Hole on Tortolla. This we did on December 5th. We then turned right around and headed back toward Tortolla stopping at Francis Bay on the north shore of St. John. This is one of our favorite anchorages. It's large, nicely sheltered, and a good breeze whips over the low lying hill at the west end of the bay. The setting is ... well ... picturesque. So here are a few of shots I took during our stay at Francis Bay.
13 Photos
Created 11 December 2009
It was sometime after midnight, perhaps 1:00 a.m., that I turned the helm over to Kate and went below to sleep. A massive lightning storm was lighting up the sky in the distance, but I assured Kate that it was too far off to worry about and that no matter how hard she tried, it would be impossible to run us aground given our position. I'm not sure she bought either story completely, but she sucked it up and stood her watch. What a gal! I wanted to be fresh when we made landfall early Wednesday morning. In fact, we slowed the boat down a bit so we wouldn't arrive at Tortolla too soon – before dawn. I was familiar with the passage and the islands, but why risk anything at this point. Besides, we had all but locked up a last place finish in our division. It's not like we were racing to a photo finish. We were motoring sailing. The main was out a bit to add stability. It felt like we were limping to the finish. I kept thinking we may have finished a day sooner if we had been able to sail more aggressively. But given Tom's broken rib and a relatively inexperienced crew, at least we were safe – and just minutes away from clearing customs and pounding down a world famous Pain Killer at Pusser's in Soper's Hole.
22 Photos
Created 9 December 2009
Ordinarily I might welcome a lull in the winds on a trip like this, but not 125 miles from the finish. Day 7 was a blur. Otto Helm became downright finicky. Whether he was just plain wore out or was feeling over-powered, he just up and quit – intermittently. It was nerve racking, because bad things happen (like jibing) if you're not paying attention when Otto goes on strike. It kept flashing us two messages: "DRIVESTP" and "CALLDEAL". Call Dealer? Was it serious? The helm became squeaky, so we greased it up. A loose stuffing box flooded the bilge about the same time the depth alarm went off saying we were in only 13 feet of water. That was impossible, but still stood the hair up on the back of my neck. A big fish perhaps. Also, the bilge pump switch was inadvertently left on manual, so we nearly flooded the engine compartment. I discovered this during a routine check of the engine. Anyway, day seven and eight seemed to blend together in a blur of excitement and minor boat issues. Still, we found time to haul up the sock and fly the gennaker. This was something I had not tried yet, but somehow, we managed to get it rigged 95% correct. It was exciting to see the colorful sail billowing out before the boat and to feel the strength of its pull as it filled with what breeze we had. Onward. Only one more night sail to go!
19 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 9 December 2009
It's day six, and we've covered over half the distance to the BVI's. It's warmer, much warmer now. I'm p'od my expensive Henri Lloyd foulies didn't get a real work out. Perhaps some high latitude sailing later to properly break them in. We're in hyper water conservation mode so we don't have to fire up the water maker, a still unfamiliar system that lurks under the forward berth. No one's had a shower since Hampton, which isn't so bad because every one's in the same boat so to speak. It's a ripe and salty group crewing along today. It just doesn't get any better than this. Some of us will undoubtedly set some new personal hygiene records on this trip.
24 Photos
Created 9 December 2009
I suppose you could say by this point, we settled into something of a routine, but nothing about this sail seemed routine. Our improvised watch schedule was working reasonably well. The sailing was fresh and frisky. The wind, waves, and weather presented us with constantly changing panoramas. Emotions varied with the conditions. I think we each hoped for a clear, starry, moonlit night of sailing as much as we yearned for clear and sunny skies of a following dawn. We took what we got, always in awe of the raw beauty nature cast our way.
22 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
By Thursday and Friday, we settled into some sort of manageable routine. All systems were operating normally, and Tom was feeling a bit better. Everyone was up during the day, though Tom would usually sleep in until late morning or early afternoon, because he was helping cover the night watch. We abandoned a typical watch schedule and ran the entire trip on what I'd call an "improvised watch" routine. Basically, we'd all try to get some sleep whenever we could. I banked zzzz's late afternoons in preparation for handling what I thought might be the most difficult part of the night watch. The auto pilot was a great help, but I was reluctant to trust it completely when we were running on a broad reach with higher seas. I put out two Bahamian fishing rigs, and sure enough, we were rewarded with our first catch - a 30" Mahi Mahi that we turned into an awesome dinner. There was enough to add into scrambled eggs the next morning too! Things were looking up!
12 Photos
Created 4 December 2009
Less than 12 hours after leaving Hampton, we had our first major challenge. Tom flew out of his berth in the main salon (yeah, no lee cloth, ugh!) and cracked or broke a rib on the hand crank used to raise and lower the salon table. Not good. We discussed turning back, but we stabilized the injury with an improvised body wrap, and with some serious pain medication Tom seemed well enough (barely) to continue. With northerly winds blowing consistently and relatively high seas, there was no way to keep boat movement at a minimum, so Tom caught as much rest as possible, and we hoped for improvement each day. We didn't take many photos as we adjusted to our conditions and felt our way into sailing Myananda through the blustery offshore conditions.
26 Photos
Created 4 December 2009
Caribbean 1500 participants gathered on Prickly Pear Island in North Sound of Virgin Gorda for an amazing pitch-in Thanksgiving dinner. I bet there were probably 14 boats represented. The food was absolutely amazing. It's clear that many of these cruisers have mastered the art of cooking in their propane galley stoves. There were several turkeys, dressing, mashed potatos, peas, pies, yams, and all sorts of baked stuff. It was awesome!
42 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
So many boats, so many stories, so many new friends. This was our first Caribbean 1500. It will not be our last. We opted to sail south with the 1500 because we knew there was a wealth of wisdom and experience in this group of cruising veterans. We expected to soak up information like a sponge and to make new friends in the process, friends we'd be able hook up with while gunk holing around the Caribbean. Most boats made the journey to the BVI's from Hampton in 8-10 days. This was fast as 1500's go. The winds were strong most of the way, and no one burned through the extra fuel they carried. The organizers put on a heck of a rally, and there were dinners, parties, and awards celebrations to cap off the event.
71 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
There's all sorts superstition associated with renaming a boat. It's generally thought of as a bad idea, something that will turn the wrath of Poseidon against you. He basically gets pissed off when he can't find one of his children on the sea, but there are prescribed rituals which, if followed, will allay his upset. Since it was too cold to properly affix Myananda's fancy, new lettering in Hampton, we carefully improvised a name for the trip out of Gorilla Tape. We promised Poseidon his child would receive a proper naming once we arrived safely in the British Virgin Islands. Tricky stuff, this sort of bargaining.
13 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
We were informed Monday morning at an 8:00 a.m. briefing that the start would be a go! The updated weather and gulf stream forecasts showed a window that was marginal, but probably the best it would be for at least another week. So the organizers gave the start a green light. We could have used probably one more day to properly complete our preparations, but it was one more day we would not have. Instead, we'd have to tweak the boat while underway. So we shoved off the Blue Water docks around 11:00 a.m. and headed out into a cold, drizzly morning on the Chesapeake for the beginning of our great adventure!
17 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
Kurt sailed Myananda overnight from Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard in Annapolis to the Blue Water Yachting Center in Hampton, VA, a trip of just over 100 miles. Kurt was assisted by Red and Suzan, two volunteers hoping to find a crew spot with one of the rally boats in Hampton. Kurt met Kate, Sophie, Tom Spencer, and Dennis Ryerson Friday morning, Oct. 30th, in Hampton. Not a minute was lost. Everyone jumped right in and began to feverishly hack away at the still long "to do" list of boat preparation projects. There were also several Caribbean 1500 seminars, briefings, and social events to attend. And we still had to complete the safety inspections! It was exhausting, but the excite on the docks was palpable as there were over 200 people doing pretty much the same thing.
36 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
It takes more than eight weeks to get to know a new boat intimately, but we gave it our best. Before leaving Annapolis we managed to have the salon and forward berth cushions re-upholstered, the fuel tanks cleaned, new isenglass installed in the dodger, the bimini and dodger cleaned, new covers made for all hatches, winches, and toe rails, a new SSB installed, the boat hauled and the prop re-pitched and new zincs installed, a new trysail and yankee made by Quantum Sails, a new barbecue grill and propane system installed, a new 73# Rocna anchor and 300' of chain installed to replace o ur 45# CQR with 200' of chain (which we kept as a secondary anchor), a new emergency halyard system procured, new stuffing in the stuffing box, the engine got a valve job by Bayshore Marine, and various and sundry other upgrades. It makes my head spin when I think of how much we actually did get done before moving the boat to Hampton, Virginia! It helped considerably that we were in Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard in Annapolis so close to all sorts of marine vendors and supply houses, especially West Marine, where we dropped many, many boat units!
22 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
When a couple decides they're going to spend serious time away from home on a 46' sailboat, the great debate begins. Just how much stuff from home do two people & a dog really need to get by comfortably. This argument has many angles. Whose "space account" is the coffee maker charged against? Well, that one's not so tough; we both drink coffee. It's "group stuff", but what happens when the wife wants to bring an odd shaped colander that won't nest & takes up too much space & only performs one function? And why did I find a woman's sun dress in "my" hanging locker? And why does she get four shelves for folding clothes & me only one? She implies it has something to do with all of my tools, but aren't tools "group stuff"? These photos show only the first half pick-up truck load of stuff that found its way aboard Myananda during our first stab at moving aboard.
19 Photos
Created 17 October 2009
Kurt flew to Trinidad in Nov. 2001 & prepared their Island Packet 38, ISAH II, for Kate's arrival with Isah & Sophie. Kate's brother from Seattle, Scott Davis, joined the crew for a two week sail up the Windward Islands. Departure from Trinidad was delayed as Kurt had the Yanmar pulled for some unexpected repairs, but once underway, the trip was awesome! When Scott left, other friends joined Kurt and Kate, and the sail continued until they reached St. Martin. These photos document some of the great sunsets, views & moments of the trip.
32 Photos
Created 17 October 2009
After a year long search for the right boat, Kurt and Kate found "Utopia", a 2003 Passport 456 center cockpit docked at Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard in Annapolis, MD. After a rapid and exhausting round of negotiations, inspections, sea trials, visits to Annapolis, and repairs, the Flocks closed on Utopia Sept. 4th. They decided to rename the boat "Myananda" which is a combination of "my" and "ananda" which is Sanskrit for bliss. Thence began the flow of boat units to a host of chandleries & yacht service providers! Here are some photos of Utopia taken by Kurt before closing.
16 Photos
Created 16 October 2009