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FALLING APART May 16, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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No not me…, well maybe me to. No, it is the boat. Do not know if I mentioned, we developed a leak in the water maker’s Clark Pump. I believe it is an “o” ring that blew. The Clark Pump is the high pressure pump that forces the water through a membrane that cleans the water. The pump develops over 1000 PSI. The pump is to put out about 8 gallons an hour under perfect conditions. That is in a laboratory. In reality on a great day it may do 7. 6+ is more the norm. It is now doing about 3+ with the rest going into the bilge. That is expensive bilge water. That is making us conserve water. Something we have not been known for. We do not even know how to conserve. We here what some of our friends do and we just can’t imagine. Needless to say, this is a critical problem. Buying anything in the Bahamas is ridiculously expensive. Labor is also very expensive. An “O” ring I probably have. It is the 2 special tools that I need to get to the “O” ring. Now is there a company that handles this type water maker, do they have the parts, do they have the tools or the expertise. It is suppose to have a lifetime warrantee. Sure would not want to jeopardies that deal.

Therefore with the other little pump problems, we are headed home. I am not happy at all, but the mate is well past ready. I to am ready. There are lots of projects that have to be done and the mate says she would be ready to go back to the Bahamas after Christmas. Hope so.

We are now in West Bay in New Providence, staged for the trip to Florida. As usual we are waiting a weather window. We would like to do it non-stop. That would take 3 perfect days. I am ready. Right know we seem to have a group of lows coming off of Cape Hatters that is enhancing the trade winds. It looks like this could last at least a week. That is a bit long, but I can work on the project list.

Tomorrow I need to work on one of my electrical gremlins. I hope it is a grounding problem on the main engine. If so that will be easy, just one of those boat problems you can not get to from here. That’s normal.

When we get to Florida, I want to slow down and see some of S Florida. The mate, not so much. She wants to see us tied up and plugged into the Air Conditioning. She has plans to visit her sisters and the grandkid. That sounds good. I have lots to do on the boat to get her ready to sail again. So we both have plans. It will be good to see the relatives again. After getting the boat mostly back together I must complete the loop and sail to Pensacola. I would like to do that as soon as possible.

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PLANNING AND CRUISING…,OXIEMORON December 15, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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We ended up in town again getting supplies and whiling away the day. Thursday we moved to St Pierre, Martinque. It is a small town on the northwest end of the island. It is best known for being blown away by Mt Pelee in May of 1902. All but 2 people died out of about 28,000. The rest died from the hot gas and volcano bombs that fell on the town. Volcano bombs are large semi-hard rocks of molten lava that get blown out of the volcano and fall on you. Some are the size of buildings. Those destroyed almost all of the buildings in town. Most of the buildings were built of rock and got knocked down. We spent Friday driving around the area and almost down to Fort de France to go to the botanical garden we were going to see. It was very nice and included a series of swinging bridges that covered about ¼ the garden. Some great mountain driving. A good day.

Sunday we moved on to Roseau, Dominica. Got here Sunday late afternoon. Got a boatboy to rent one of his moorings. Been 6 months since we got a mooring and we were a little rusty getting the line on and all that stuff. That is where the boatboy helps and earns his money. Today we did a tour of 3 waterfalls including the one in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest or what ever it was. The Pool where the mermaid was is the pool at the bottom of the fall. You have to swim to it and we felt the water was a bit cold. So we hided up over the top and took some pics. Tomorrow we leave for Les Des Saints, Guadeloupe.

Make sure you are checking our Facebook page for all the latest pics.

DA BOAT FROM OUT NEWLY CLAMED BEACH February 9, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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WOH, WHAT A WEEK February 9, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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We made Highborne Cay. Need fuel but the fuel tanker was not to arrive till late PM. It did and we got fuel the next after noon. The water is the clearest yet. The trip was slow because of 3 foot seas on the nose. We stayed 2 days because of the fuel situation, and then moved to Norman Cay.

The water was not as clear. Probably because of the partly cloudy sky. Mary gives no quarter. We did nothing off the boat (another private island) and got ready to leave in the AM.

Went to Norman Cay. Went snorkeling. First time she has been really snorkeling in 10 years. We did it in 4 foot of water by a cliff. Saw many yellow and blue grunts. All about 5 inches long. Water is amazingly clear. You can see 20-30 feet like looking across the room. We had the beach to ourselves.

Went bck to the boat for dinner of steaks. Best day yet.

Moved on to Big Major Spot. Amazing. The clearest water yet. I kid you not, it gets better all the time. As we finished anchoring, there was about a 4 foot nurse shark that wandered under the boat. Did not get the camera out fast enough to get a picture. We anchored there to visit StanielCay.

On the way I hooked either a Wahoo of a Barracuda about 200 yards behind the boat Set the hook, he jumped once, and was gone. Hook and all. He either bit the knot or broke it on heavy leader and went on his merry way. That was my last big hook.

OK, this is the clearest yet, no joke. We dinghy over to Staniel Cay about 1.25 mile away. Getting used to these long dingy rides. Went into the dingy beach for the Staniel Cay yacht club. A bar by any other name is a bar. Great hamburger fir $12 and Mary had a Mia-Mia sandwich for $14. I also had my first Klick been. The beer of the Bahamas. All was good. We rented a golf Cart for an hour and went to the general stores and bought some carrots from Canada. I have not idea what they cost.

Today we moved on to Black Point, another 10 miles SE. We went ashore and bought fresh baked bread from Lorraine’s Café. It was Sunday and she was just getting home from church. We had to go to here house and get the bread hot out of the oven. Oh, poor us. We got 2 loafs, one cinnamon/rasin and the other coconut. Oh what can I say. This is not helping my big gut. We also have WIFI once in a while. They turn it off at the cafes because the electricity cost a lot.

We are leaving for Little Farmers Cay in the morning and then on to Georgetown.

TIME FOR ANOTHER BIG STEP January 25, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, South Florida.
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Tomorrow we start off on another page of our adventure. We leave the trailer park.., ah, Marathon. It has been an experience. One expects to get a mooring ball after a while. They have over 200. The problem is that they only have 16 for boats over 45 feet long. Those are occupied by snowbirds who bring there boats down or have them brought down and get a ball early in the season and then have a winter home for $400 per month. Not a bad deal. Take your boat and run down to Key West for a weekend or South Beach, or just sit on your boat and observe the goings on.

We have planned our trip to Bimini in the Bahamas with 2 other boats that will be traveling with us. One of the couples has been to the Bahamas on there boat but left from Miami and did not go to Bimini. They are our experienced boat. We and the other boat are newbies. Don’t know where we are going, how to get there, or what to do when we get there.

You listen to the weather experts, other want-to-be experts and end up making your own plan. And pray. Tomorrow is a 16-20 hour right of passage for us. There is to be little of no wind and pretty calm seas. There may be enough wind to sail, which would be a treat. We must get to Bimini, check in with customs and immigration and get a couple hours sleep and leave to go across the Great Bahama Bank to Nassau. The rush is to beat the next cold front to Nassau. Another 20 hours. One can get stuck in Bimini, which gets expensive because you have to stay at a Marina. Transient rates are very expensive. There is no place to anchor that gives you protection from a front, so you pay or leave. Nassau has some good anchorages, plus the front is to be dying out by the time it gets there.

We are shutting down our phone service tomorrow. In the areas we are spending some time we have “open” phones which we will get a card for while we are in those countries. Otherwise we will have to wait to find a hot spot. And to think 10 years ago you would do this and maybe call and check on the kids every month or so. Now we have to find an anchorage with good wifi reception so we can facetime.

So, until the next hot spot.

MOVING AGAIN January 20, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, Repairs, Sailing, South Florida.
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This was finally a good week after spending a week in Marco Island. That was a nice place to be stuck. There was a Winn Dixie we could tie the dinghy at for shopping. Also a Publix close by and the laundry mate. We left the 17 and went to Little Shark River. That is in the lower Everglades. And that is all that is there. We motor sailed through 2-3 foot lumpy seas and very little wind. It took a long rolly 8 hours.

The next day we sailed to Marathon in the Keys. We are at anchor in Boot Key Harbor waiting for either a mooring bouy or a weather window to move up the Keys to Key Largo to jump off to the Bahamas. Long range forecast says maybe Thursday through Monday. Lets hope so. I am over eager to get there.

This is an interesting place. There are very nice yachts to boats that have so much growth on there bottoms that they should be stuck to the bottom. Kind of like a floating trailer park. No offence but everyone has just enough room for the boats to swing without hitting each other.

It always interest me to get to this part of the state. The niceness of the people in the panhandle goes away with the passage south. Not all, but many. It may be because it has been so cold here. Yesterday was colder here then in Pensacola.

The people who are traveling with us were from Erie Pa. They have lived in Florida about a year, and you can tell because the mate and I have on our winter finery on while they are in tee shirts and shorts. Fun people. They will be going to the Bahamas with us, then as we move south they will move to the to the northern Bahamas for their 3 month vacation.

Hopefully if all goes to plan, this may be the last blog till we get to a hotspot in the Bahamas. I hope.
We are working off our phone hot spots since I can not wick up any wifi at this end of the harbor.

January 12, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Clearwater, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Punta Gordo, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, Sarasota, South Florida.
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THAT WAS A DRILL, WE ARE STILL HERE

Yep. Got up early, ate cereal while looking up all my weather apps. I am over loaded with info most of the time. Today I could not get Chris Parker the weather guy on SSB. A front went through at about 1 AM and the atmospheric conditions were bad and could not hear anything. So I chicken out and stayed. That was good.

We are traveling with this couple going to the Bahamas and they are following along. We decided to go to West Marine to get a few things and we rented bikes to do some touring on the way. Got our stuff, ate some lunch and rode around. Rodger, you would have been proud. Land cruiser type bikes. That was good, because I can not remember the last time I rode a bike.

It was a beautiful day, and we will stay at least a couple more days because the weather is iffy and we could be stuck in Little Shark River or Marathon. Little Shark River is in the mangroves of the everglades with nothing but bugs, Marathon is nice but expensive. We need a weather window big enough to move to Marathon and then up to Key Largo to stage for the trip across with out doing a 24 stint. The Mate does not want to do that if possible. I am if full agreement.

On our Facebook page the mate is writing a daily what’s happening with lots of pictures. May be of interest. Our Facebook is: http://www.facebook/ralphknoerr.

MOVING SOUTH January 11, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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We went to Moss Marina at Ft Myers Beach because it was to shallow because the wind blew the water out of the bay at the marina at Sanibel Is. Ft Myers beach is across the pass. We got what we needed. Water, laundry. Went on to Marco Island and anchored in Johnson Anchorage. Middle of small Mangrove islands. Beautiful till dusk, almost got sucked dry putting the dingy up. Ext day moved to Factory Bay, more civilized, no bugs.

Tomorrow, Sunday we will move to Little Shark River. Not only no internet, but no phone. Everglades ladies. No nothing. That is why I do this on Saturday. We will be in the Keys next time you here. Pleasant dreams.

WE HAVE WIFI January 5, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Clearwater, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Punta Gordo, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, Sarasota, South Florida.
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It is Sunday night and we have WIFI. That is good. We spent 3 days at Cape Haze and no WIFI or TV. Not good. We were there to avoid bad weather. Friday we got winds during the night in the 30’s. We were in this great hurricane hole that had a bottom of mud. Friday about noon we were dragging and the weather was not that bad. Put out about twice the anchor line and we held through the night with mid 30 winds.

We left this morning for Cabbage Key and a hamburger in Paradise. Did that and walked around the island. A very enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

Tomorrow morning we leave early for York Island. It will give us protection from the next cold front coming our way. It seems to be diminishing in severity. The temps are only going to be in the low 40’s. They were taking mid 30’s a couple days ago. Come on, I am in south Florida, not Pensacola. We will see. After this anchorage, we are going into a marina to do laundry, fuel up and top off the water. Then we will wait for a weather window to head to Marathon in the Keys. We will wait for a window there and head up to Key Biscayne and maybe pick up my son to go across with us. He wants to fish the Gulf Stream.

This past week has been chilly and overcast. Oh and no wind when we were moving. We have sailed maybe 4 hours the whole trip and then only an hour with out the motor running. This to will pass. I think the didoes on the alternator got fried. The alternator is not putting out any power to the batteries. Really not good. I have a spare alternator that I will put on while we wait out the bad weather. Maybe get it fixed at the marina we are going to . Or we will wait till Marathon.

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN March 15, 2010

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Clearwater, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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It looks like maybe, just maybe winter is loosing its grip on us. This is only because the average temp is getting so hi that even though we are still running day time highs 10 degrees below average, it is getting warmer. Knowing that annual average temps only very by a small amount, we are going to have one hell of a hot summer. I digress.

Yesterday I went around with my roll of tape marking all the places that need touching up with varnish before I put on the annual coat of Bristol. As soon as I finish this I will go up and start sanding those spots and get the first coat of varnish put on. It may look beautiful when done, but I must admit I do look at the plastic bottle boats and envy their lack of need for heave bright work work.

It is nice when the power boater come roaring up with cameras at the read. I tell the mate to put on her best smile, its show time. Well I better get at it.