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FAT AND BROKE January 27, 2015

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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I love that island, St. Bart’s. After a week we are satiated with pastries. We also ate twice at our favorite restaurant, found another at the ”beach”, found another beach that is 100 percent seashells. We also shopped and walked from one end of Gustavia to the other.

About the “beach”. It starts at a cliff, goes about ½ miles runs into another cliff with a resort perched on it, follow by another short stretch of beach. It ranges from about 20 feet wide to maybe 80 feet. The sand is tan and nice and soft. Not much beach. The water is crystal clear. The land side is either resorts, restaurants or shops of various kinds. It is a bust if you are used to the beaches at Pensacola Beach.

There are a couple of unique features of the beach. One is cultural the other is the island airport. The runway ends about 10 feet above and 200 feet from the waters edge. You can land both ways, from the water side, up hill or from the hill side, down hill. You can only take off down hill. The aircraft are mostly airlines of the one and two engine variety. The type you would expect to see in Alaska flown by bush pilots. You can also see the small jets of the rich and famous. When taking off, you get to your roll up point pull up hard and turn left , hard. That helps you miss the hill on the other side of the beach. Remember cliff, This one has another resort on it with the rooms facing the runway.

Landing has its own little excitements. Less then a mile from the end of the runway you pass over the saddle of this hill at 1-200 feet, dip down, pull up hard, touchdown and slam on the brakes. One of our boat buddies said it is an memorable experience.

The cultural feature, French women occasionally go topless on the beach. Perfectly acceptable. Some are young and attractive and some are my age and not so much. It is a rare occurrence, but we are batting 100%.

Along the beach and a block inland you can find all kinds of interesting shops from typical beach shops, art studios to very expensive boutiques. I am not a shopper, but it makes it fun and interesting.

We left St. Bart’s and went to the Ile Fourchue. It is a very rugged private island that no one lives on. You can go ashore and hike. Hiking is of the up and down variety. There are about a dozen boats on mooring balls and that is it. It is a sanctuary for everything. And the night is the best. It is dark. I mean really dark, like a cave. But there are billions and billions of stars. So many you can not find the stars of the night that you are used to. It is an amazing, beautiful experience.

The next day we sailed to Simpson Bay St. Maarten. We will be here through most of February. We are here for repairs and additions. Minor repairs and a big addition for me.

Simpson Bay is one of the most rollie anchorages we go into. It is close to the shops we need and that is good. We do have WiFi. Ohh soo sslloooow. Lets see if it will work.

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ANOTHER SURPRISE March 17, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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As we got ready to leave, over an hour late waiting for the Navy to give us our dispatch papers and collect there $20, we found that our buddy boats decided they had seen enough and were going to Samana with us. Because of check out, we got rather stretched out during the day and night but still got to the marina about the same time. What a pleasant surprise this place was. It is a 5 star resort and cheaper then Ocean World Marina. It is really beautiful. It has 3 restaurants, 2 infinity pools and another pool. The marina is much smaller, but very nice. There is a hotel, condos and individual homes in the development. It is struggling to make a go of it.

The next surprise was that they were having a regatta Saturday and Sunday and if we participated we got 4 days free docking, a cocktail party Friday night, Another one Saturday night with a band and dancing. An awards dinner after Sunday’s race. The Saturdays race was cancelled because of no wind. The Sunday race was held, but a large yacht came in and it blocks my way out of my slip. I had to sit up at the pool and watch the race. There is another race this coming weekend with the same deal. We are currently stuck here because of weather. We may have to do this again. There may be a window Sunday where we could move 85 miles down the coast and stage for our trip to Porto Rico. So we will see. In the meantime we are enjoying the resort.

We went into the town of Samana today. It is a fairly small city and very poor. We spent about 2 hours there and decided we had seen all we wanted to. We rode back in a motorized rickshaw. That was an exciding ride. There are no centerlines on the streets, so it is guts to drive. Over 50% of the vehicles are motor scooters. You can have 2,3,4 or more lanes of traffic at a time. The biggest vehicle rules. That does not mean people do not try to pass when there is no room, they do. And they will play chicken with you. As I said this is a guts game. Everyone has a cell phone, but nobody talks and drives. You have to be 100% engaged in driving or you will not live long. Plus the roads are narrow and have deep 1 foot wide ditches at the edge of the pavement. That is for the open sews.

Tomorrow is work on the boat day and some pool time. Got to enjoy this while we can. It will be back to anchoring in a little over a week. I do not think I would like to anchor in this country. It is nice having a lot of security people around.

AND SOME OF IT GETS DONE September 28, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Friday it rained and the hull did not get painted. Nothing else happened either. When the weather is bad, they will not let you on the boats for fear of lightning strikes. It has happened. In fact they had one boat catch fire from a strike.

Monday was a still threatening, but some work was done. We did some more work on the mast that are improvements. Overall not a lot was done. I did get the wind generator bracket installed and the new antenna coax pulled. The mechanic worked on freeing up a bracket on the mast.

Tuesday was no improvement weather wise. Still no engine work. I do not know what will get me first, a heart attack or a stroke. Frustration. Then the flood hit.

Wednesday. Weather looks good. I Installed the generator and then tried to install the flat 10-3 power cable the bring home the power. That took an hour and again some good ideas from the mechanic. Still no engine work. Friday launch looks grim.

We got the mast steeped. It was up by 3 P.M. and my main contractor left to go watch the America’s Cup. A worthy reason. I spent the rest of the day tightening turn buckles and putting in cotter keys.

Thursday was good for me. I got both the coax and line from the wind generator pulled and connected. The new antenna is very quiet. I cleaned all the connections on the old higher antenna, but still get static.

The shaft is leaving Miami today, they say. We are going to get splashed either Tuesday of Wednesday. Had to begg for the house for 5 more days. Very gracious friends. The mechanic say he will work on the engine this weekend. He is known for working weekends. Get lots done without interruptions. I hope so, I pray so. Ya got to have faith, lots and lots of faith. I will not go to the boat and leave him alone.

Eric, my main man has about ½ a days work to finish. The hole is patched, we decided to change from a straight to a 90 degree fitting coming off the Brine discharge through hull. Then screws in the mast step and he is done. I want to use him to secure me when I go up the mast to attach the propeller to the wind generator. Then we will close the circuit breaker through the switch and be thankful when another plan come together, or wonder what kinds of electronics I fried. This could be the beginning of a good weekend or you could watch a grown man cry.

For those of you wondering about my racing hobby. My son is trying to sell his entire racing set up. This is Porsche Boxer S with a 3.6 911 engine in it. Full race car. Not streetable. Includes 45+/_ foot 5th wheel trailer, many spares and specialty tools, a pit vehicle, all for about $70k. All is negotiable. There is a Chevy diesel duelly. pull vehicle that also could be had. This is a winning club racer. Yea, I will and do miss it. But we are leaving for an extended cruise in 2 months.

I will post this when I get to a hot spot. See, I am beginning to break you in for when we go cruising and are out of touch.

MOVING TOWARDS CRUISING February 25, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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No life raft yet. Got one notice saying it was going to be shipped a week ago Friday. But, the manufacturer says to wait 3-4 weeks for delivery. They say they blow it up test for leaks and pack new stuff for the survival kit and then pack it and put it in its canister and ship. Sounds good to me. That is why you order early.

Bought the switch and box for the fuel pumps. Have not had a chance to install it yet. Where it fits is neat, but pulling the wires and hooking them up will be a pain in the back. May start on it one of these nights.

I put together a notebook of all the immigration and custom procedures for all the islands we may visit. It also gives health advisory for various type bugs and a poisonous tree. That was a new one to me. It can’t even drip rain on you. It is like getting stung by a scorpion. The mate read that and we almost had a mutinee right then and there. The info also give a standard suggestion on safety. Part of it is giving you a web sight with daily info on robberies, muggings and piracy. Now that did not help at all. Need to show her the local sheriffs page listing all the arrests each day. She will want to move to a mountain top in Montana fully armed.

The big thing this week, after 14 years, we got rid of our storage space. Mary has been working on it for a month. My daughter has a storage space here left from when they were in the Near East. They are having it shipped to Colorado this summer. In there I am storing a small pile of tools for my son. Still have to do some organizing on the boat. I have a small pile of hand tools that have to come on board.

Got to go sailing one of these days. It rained since Friday and continues on into this week. And, it has really rained.

Did squeeze in some watching of Speed Week at Daytona. That included the big wreck Saturday afternoon. It all happened so fast, including the drivers getting out of their cars that I was just dumbfounded. Someone dies when your car is cut in half. I figured his legs were gone at least and he was bleeding out. But thank God he jumped out and was walking around. That was also before I saw the engine laying inside the fence and the wheel assembly in row 20. Then there is the shrapnel. Amazing more were not hurt more seriously. NASCAR has done some amazing job in the last 20 years for safety. Each incident helps to make things even safer. Nobody climbs into a race car anymore without a Hans Device.

FULL MOON, NO WATER January 28, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Well we were not on the bottom, but if the boat shifted, it stirred up the bottom. That means I can not get out of the canal. That was OK. Saturday I had a hair cut appointment, followed by the scheduling meeting for the year at the yacht club. Then I had DVRed the women’s final at the Australian Open. Plus there was the Daytona 24 race. They must have carried at least 14 hours on TV plus it was streamed on the computer which I kind of watched until the early morning when I woke up on the settee.

Sunday had the end of the race and the men’s final in Australia. This is better then Superbowl weekend. All that is needed is the good adds of the Superbowl. The marketing people could test there adds for a whole lot less money and get feedback from the racing and tennis community before paying the big bucks on the Superbowl.

And with all this going on, the Mate went to Colorado to see the Granddaughter. In the middle of winter. And the Mate doesn’t even ski. Brrrrrrr. I will wait till May. Grandkids b’day. Only moderately cold then.

NOW IS THAT A GOOD LOOKING CREW CHIEF January 14, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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2013-01-11 14.20.00

READY FOR PIT STOP January 14, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Blogroll, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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2013-01-11 14.22.28

YOU SURE IT IS DOWN THERE January 14, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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2013-01-12 10.59.24

January 14, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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2013-01-11 14.06.56

CREWS SET UP IN PITS January 14, 2013

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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