Spring Safari

18 July 2010 | Newport, RI!!!
30 June 2010
29 June 2010
28 June 2010
27 June 2010 | Cape Hatteras
26 June 2010 | Passing Charleston, SC
25 June 2010 | Even with Jacksonville, FL (90 miles out)
24 June 2010 | On course toward St. Augustine and gulf stream
23 June 2010 | Matt Lowe's Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
02 June 2010 | Staniel Cay, Bahamas
16 May 2010 | Currently in St. Thomas, USVI
01 May 2010 | Fajardo, Puerto Rico
17 April 2010 | Caneel Bay, St. John
09 April 2010 | Portsmouth, Dominica
01 April 2010 | Still in Bequia
28 February 2010 | Bequia
13 February 2010 | Le Marin, Martinique
13 February 2010 | En route
02 February 2010 | Portsmouth, Dominica

Guest blog - it's never too late!

01 May 2010 | Fajardo, Puerto Rico
A Fish Tail seen through the monacle of Col. Klink
By, Matt Maples - crew from Bermuda to St. John at the end of November, 2009

There are some who believe that with night, comes silence. To them, I charge that they are not listening.

Sitting on the deck of 44' Safari Tu, I hear anything but silence this night. Waves break upon rocks, their rhythmic roar marking the heartbeat of the world, followed with water's retreat; the exhalation. Tropical insects chirp static, a cacophonic chorus only broken by the calls of startled birds.

I am reminded of what a native to this island, St. John, USVI, told us an afternoon prior at his ice cream stand: "God, he give you two ears, and one mouth", "you must listen."

Sage advice, no doubt.

One day earlier marked being at sea for a week; and our greatest reward for our voyage; the clear, blue, 86 degree-warm temperature of the water of Hawksnest Bay, St. John. Running in white sand under palms and diving into perfect water, the buoyancy of a huge coconut becoming an underwater chair - a perfect reward. Worth the seasickness and custom's forms.

Now don't get me wrong, the sea voyage wasn't bad. But I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been seasick for more than half of it. Which is crazy! Me? Seasick? After working on tall ships for over two years I thought I was over that. Apparently not! Ugh!

All in all, it was a relatively quiet voyage - minus the engine. No dolphins or whales; which was a great surprise to me. The great expanse of wet desert, that is the ocean, was broken by intermittent stormy weather, which we always seemed to dodge, always lashing at our ankles. Kind of exciting when you feel like you are really getting away with something.

Of great excitement however, was the young Matthew Spring's timely fish catches. The greatest among them a Mahi Mahi caught on Thanksgiving afternoon - mere hours after I told Matthew that he must catch a Mahi Mahi, because I wanted chicken for Thanksgiving. Marinated in teriyaki, the Mahi Mahi made for a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving meal, enjoyed under a setting sun, with the company of our crew of six and the passing of a racing sailing boat - the first and last one we would see on the open ocean. We also caught a Wahoo. Unfortunately though, it escaped due to our ignorance - we identified it instead as a Barracuda, and thus threw away a perfectly good meal...

It is good that Matthew caught those fish, he puts far more effort into fishing then anything else. He says that one day he will have a catamaran big and fast enough to make catching tuna a breeze. I believe him.

My time with the Springs' and our friend Roth was memorable, especially my nonsense arguments with Matthew about everything and nothing. I remember the irony of being on watch, the entire ocean in view, and hearing the theme song to Hogan's Heroes playing in the cabin - funny how much the kids love the show. I remember watching when I was about Anna Spring's age (13) and laughing at Col. Klink, (the most lovable villain ever!) who was always sporting his monacle and bald head!

It took us longer to leave Bermuda then expected. I however, did not mind the delay. St. George's was a beautiful town, and it gave me time to visit Bermudan friends who had sailed with me on the Europa last summer. We got some good repairs in, including an angry afternoon beating out the screws for two seized blocks, and a heavy-duty cleaning of the bilge pump! Our friend Rick tried to leave one day, but going head into wind into a small channel, found that his engine could not defeat the forces arrayed against him. He left, with no fanfare the next day, early. We thought we would see him on the ocean, but it didn't happen.

Our ocean voyage, minus the seasickness for me and Roth, was pretty relaxing. With four of us to man the helm and watch, there was plenty of time for sleeping, reading, tanning and munching on the large amount of nibble-food. In little over a week we made about 900 miles, though unfortunately most of that time we had to run the motor for lack of wind. I trust that the Springs' upcoming voyages will have more wind for their sails, as everyone agreed that the silence of the engine is one of its best qualities.

The greatest thing about sailing, I think, is that it is a voyage to get somewhere. When you get in a plane and land somewhere in a handful of hours, you skip the best part of the trip; the voyage. The hours looking at the trackless expanse, day after day, and the anticipation of your destination makes you hunger to drop anchor. But when you do, and after your stomach is full from a feast and there is still white sand stuck between your toes, when you are laying idly in safety, you then think about the miles you covered to get there and the trials that happened and the silly games that were invented to stave off boredom. Then you realize that was the best part. Anyone can eat a lot and go to the beach, but who gets to pass the time fishing for a meal, enjoying the outdoors, dodging storms and imitating Col. Klink while hanging dead fish tails from the bow? Now those are the tales that get told!

The kids may complain sometimes, but you know they are going to look back on these adventures as one of the coolest things they ever did with their family. I remember doing a lot of camping at their age with my parents and the little adventures and mishaps that happen.

I wonder now how many fish tails the young master Spring puts on the bow of Safari Tu. His future catamaran, no doubt, will be bedecked with them.

I hope to sail again with the Springs' and Roth for they were among the kindest hosts I have ever encountered. I just insist that on another occasion they get me to right after I have been on a ship for some months, so that I will be invulnerable to seasickness!

Best wishes to the sailors on board Safari Tu. Matthew Spring, when I see you again I am going to ask you how to tie your round turn and two half hitch knot - Do not disappoint!

Fair Winds - Matt

From Jen: A huge thanks to Matt for taking the time to write about his adventure with us, and for taking to time away from his family over Thanksgiving to do that major crossing with us!! We loved having him aboard, and the kids still ask after him all the time. We are grateful!
Vessel Name: Safari Tu
Vessel Make/Model: 44' Gulfstar 1980
Hailing Port: Newport, RI
Crew: Scott, Jen, Anna, Matthew
About: We are a family of four looking to take some time out of our hectic life to enjoy each other while exploring the east coast and Caribbean on our sailboat. Let the adventure begin!
Extra: Scott and Jen already took a year and a half off before kids to backpack around the world. Anna and Matthew have spent half of their lives living in Europe.
Safari Tu's Photos - Main
49 Photos
Created 7 July 2010
39 Photos
Created 2 June 2010
53 Photos
Created 16 May 2010
59 Photos
Created 16 April 2010
56 Photos
Created 23 March 2010
32 Photos
Created 8 March 2010
19 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 14 February 2010
22 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 13 February 2010
92 Photos
Created 31 January 2010
53 Photos
Created 18 January 2010
66 Photos
Created 2 January 2010
13 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
73 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
41 Photos
Created 9 November 2009
10 Photos
Created 27 October 2009
11 Photos
Created 12 October 2009
16 Photos
Created 4 October 2009
A sampling of where we've been
10 Photos
Created 24 September 2009
22 Photos
Created 20 September 2009
5 Photos
Created 15 September 2009
17 Photos
Created 8 September 2009
Our trip from the viewpoint of a small dog.
13 Photos
Created 8 September 2009
6 Photos
Created 28 August 2009
20 Photos
Created 10 August 2009
12 Photos
Created 27 July 2009
3 Photos
Created 9 July 2009

Who: Scott, Jen, Anna, Matthew
Port: Newport, RI