Stuart FL Yacht Brokers

Please follow and like us:

We sailed back from the Bahamas on April 28, 2018, and returned to this dream marina and wonderful town of Stuart, Florida in Martin County. This place more than any other place we have traveled has our attention. We even rank this location above Annapolis Maryland and you all know how much Radeen and I like Annapolis. Why do we like Stuart, Florida? First, Sunset Bay Marina and the way it is managed. The staff focuses 100% on customer service and take great pride in the facilities, from the coffee bar, wine bar, varnished teak furniture, gas grills, patio furniture, captains’ lounge with sofas and TV, air-conditioned laundry and bathhouse and the many special events they plan. Add to this a boardwalk around the water’s edge to the old town of Stuart and we have a dream boating location. Mooring balls are $175/week or $400/month. Where can you live for $400/month and have all this? Sunset Bay is our #1 USA marina location.

Hayden and Radeen at Sunset Bay Marina

What are we Doing?

The other question we are hearing is, “What are we doing” waiting in Stuart? Everyone thought we were sailing home. We usually do sail north the first week of May. One year, we waited until June to sail north and that put us in crazy thunderstorms and severe weather and we said never again. This year, we came back to Stuart because while we were in the Berrys we were working on yacht sales. We had three active deals we were working on. So, we came back, rented a Chevy Impala and drove north to Brunswick, GA for a survey on one boat, then back to Stuart. Then we turned around and drove to Palmetto Florida, on the west coast to show our listing there. Next we drove back to Florida East coast. In all, we drove 1,150 miles in 6 days! During this same time, we were working a yacht closing in Nanny Cay, the British Virgin Islands. These deals were difficult to secure from the remote Berrys and we knew they would be impossible to continue to service. So, we sailed back to Stuart for our yacht broker work. We work as “buyer’s brokers” and only focus on Island Packet Yachts. We fit best with anyone looking to buy an Island Packet Yacht. We will help buyers decide on a model that best meets their cruising goals and then we will shop and evaluate the market helping to find the best yacht. We will write offers and counter-offers, attend sea trial and survey, and we will help our customers buy their dream Island Packet. This is why we are back in Stuart and this is what we have been working on for the past 3 weeks.

Our Hertz fun ride, Chevy Impala, yacht broker car
Hayden and Radeen, yacht broker team at survey for our customer
We work with Ed and Debbie Whiteaker our of their office in Palmetto, Fl www.WhiteakerYachtSales.com

Having some Fun

While working on these three yacht broker deals, we also have been working with Mack Sails on our new Code Zero sail. This new sail was fitted last week and we have sailed it in the creek here around Stuart. Last Saturday, Colin Mack and his photo and video man, Ed of Starboard Films wanted to get photos and video of our boat at sea with the new code zero flying. Out to sea we went. The winds were 12-15 knots true and Colin and Ed came out on their chase boat with cameras and a drone. As we sailed, they shot photos and video. Ed will be using this for marketing of the Mack Sails company. How exciting, Team Island Spirit is a new advertising yacht. This will be great when the post-production work is all finished. Here are some photos of the sail.

Dolphins arrive every time we hoist this sail, they love it
Sailing the code zero in 12 knots on the beam doing 6.5 knots
We are told this will be our most used sail

Crazy Weather in Florida

While we have been sailing the new code zero and working on these yacht sales, emailing and supporting our buyers, we have been dealing with crazy weather. There is a low pressure developing in the Gulf of Mexico off Tampa area. This low has been spinning counterclockwise, as lows do in the northern hemisphere, and with that spin, it has been pulling in tons of moisture from the south and driving it to north. We actually thought about sailing north on this great SE 20-knot wind, but the unstable weather brings with it thunderstorms, waterspouts and high winds nearly every day. Small craft advisories offshore are calling for seas 6-9 feet and 5-6 seconds! If you know the ocean, that is ugly boating. So, we are simply waiting here til we rent a car and drive back up to Brunswick GA, 5 hours to survey a boat with our buyer. We thought we could sail there, but with this crazy weather, no way, we will drive I-95. Look at these WX photos.

Waiting out weather in Stuart, FL
Trying to sail to Brunswick for survey and sea trial

Sun Halo over Island Spirit

If there is a good sign, this has to be one of them. While out daysailing with new Island Packet buyers on board and sharing the cruising life with them, this sun halo appeared over our yacht while under sail. How cool is that? This happens when ice crystals form in the atmosphere and the sun refracts thru the ice. Very interesting image.

Sun Halo over Island Spirit

Our Plans to Sail Home

We are still planning on sailing back to the Chesapeake Bay so we can enjoy our boat this summer and sail friends aboard. We hope to make the run as direct as we can, departing this area Mon, Tue or Wed and sailing for Cape Lookout, NC, nonstop if possible. Then if weather allows, we will sail around Cape Hatteras and up into the Chesapeake Bay. One option sail would be to divert offshore to Cape May NJ to see friends there, and to go fishing, but, first, we need to start heading north. For now, we are enjoying helping others with finding their dream yachts and taking in the sunsets here at Sunset Bay. Look at these two photos…..:-)

Island Spirit in calm waters with the sun setting behind us
Hayden and Radeen strike a pose at sunset, too cool!

Remember, LIVE tracking when yacht moves

https://share.garmin.com/IslandSpirit

Thank you for sailing along…..

Please follow and like us:

Code Zero sail added

Please follow and like us:

We added a new sail to our rig, a CODE ZERO. After repairing and rebuilding our new mast and rigging, we finally got the boat back to where it was when we stored her in Puerto Rico. Then Hurricane Maria damaged us and we came back to Stuart Florida for repairs by Mack Sails. Once finished we really had nothing to show for all this work and money, so, we bought Island Spirit a cool new CODE ZERO furling spinnaker. These sails are good with a wind angle of 40 degrees down to 140 degrees but the best angle is 50 to 110 and apparent winds up to 20 knots.  The true beauty is that the sail simply unfurls and out it comes. Then when you are finished with it, you simply furl it up and it stays in place forward of the jib. To accomplish this we added a masthead crane extension and a new halyard. We welded a new attachment point between the anchor rollers and we added a new self-tailing winch to the mast. Here is a photo of the first day we hoisted the sail:

Sailing 2 knots in 4 knots of wind, Code ZERO only!

Welding the Bow

We needed to add an attachment point on the bow, so we hired the best welder in Stuart, Florida, Mike Davis of Native Welding. We moved the boat to the docks and placed the bow over the dock and Mike was able to modify our bow rollers and we added a new arch welded between the two rollers. This places the Code Zero attachment point dead center and well forward of the forestay. On the newer IPs, with the larger bow rollers, they can simply shackle to the existing roller structure. This mod, we are now pulling up on both anchor rollers which are thru bolted with larger bolts than our forestay uses, so we have no worries about strength here. Take a look at the welding process photos. Very nice work.

We docked and then lowered the anchors, then moved the bow over the dock
Mike Davis is an artist and a talented welder. We added a new arch between the rollers
This is stainless steel welding which needs argon gas and 100 amps of power
Mike’s helmet is a digital welders helmet with fans, exhaust and it records the hours welding
Mike Davis welding stainless steel on Island Spirit
The added bow between the rollers
The two outer bows are simply bolted on, we wanted something stronger so we welded the center bow.

The Furling Rig

Code Zero sails use a continuous line furling rig. This rig is the Profurl NEX 2.5 which has a working load of 2.5 tons, or 5,000 lbs. The idea is that these sails can be rolled out and deployed easily and they can be furled back up just like a jib. The furling line is continuous and comes off the drum back to the cockpit where it returns to the drum via a ratchet block. This helps with furling by allowing the sail to roll out easily.  To see, watch this YouTube Video here by Profurl: https://youtu.be/rcgc5CnJbl4 

 

The Profurl NEX 2.5 Flying Sail Furler

The Code Zero forward of the Jib

The Code Zero stays furled up and forward of the jib. This becomes one of the most used sails on the boat because it has such a wide range of uses. Unlike a spinnaker, which you have to get out, hoist with the sock on it, rig up the tack to the bow, set up the sheets and pull up the halyard. Then set up the boat on the course, pull up the sock and then set the sail. With this, you get on course, roll out the Code Zero and sail. When finished, roll it back up and leave it right there. For the spinnaker, you go up on deck as the wind builds (oh great) then pull down the sock, now this big tube of sail is hanging there, now lower it to deck or down a hatch and good luck finding a place to store it. Code Zero, furl it, forget it. DONE.

Here is the Code Zero in its place, ready to go. ready to sail

Sailing Photos, Fun Fun Fun

Our second day we sailed 3 times up and down the river and sailed from 40 degrees down to 140 degrees. This sail loves 50-110 degrees. We have a whisker pole and a topping lift so we can rig this for dead downwind as well. Enjoy these sailing photos.

Reaching
Close reaching
no main sail, just the code zero
Our sailmaker is www.MackSails.com We really like this family run USA Stuart Florida company
so much fun
Looking aft, this is about a 165% 170%
Fun Fun Fun

Captain Photo Required

Hayden with his new code zero, way more to follow, just wait til we get to sea with this sail

Hayden with our new Code Zero Sail

Tomorrow we hit the OCEAN

.Tomorrow we will take Island Spirit out to the ocean and test this sail out in 10-15 knots with the full mainsail up. This will be very exciting. We will have a drone flying and our friend Ed taking video from a chase boat. We are working with Mack Sails on a video, this should really be fun.

We really like Mack Sails Company. Thank you, Colin and Travis www.MackSails.com
Please follow and like us:

Lucaya to Lake Worth Inlet

Please follow and like us:

This sailing motoring passage of 79 nm from Grand Bahama to Florida gave us everything from flat calm seas, to beam reach sailing to marine warnings over the VHF to thunderstorms, lightning, rain and reduced visibility. Overall, with 8 crossings of the Gulf Stream, this one was by far one of the calmest and smoothest sea states we have seen.

First, we exited Port Lucaya on Grand Bahamas where we ran out a very narrow rock-lined channel. There is zero chance to turn around and no opportunity to pass another yacht in this channel. Any SOUTH winds blowing into this narrow channel would create a serious problem.  We departed at 7 am with the 10 knots of crosswinds. It looked like this.

Departing Ocean Reef Yacht Club, the narrow channel
The rocks are half a boat length off your beam!
If a sea is running into this or across this channel, it could be a no go!

Here we go

Radeen and I keep out boat moving at full speed whenever we are on a passage. We are not out here for a day sail. We want to make the passage as short as we can make it, so we do whatever it takes to keep the boat moving at or near hull speed which is 7.2 knots. With the motor in flat calm water, we can motor about 6.2 knots, add some sail and we can motor sail at 6.5 knots. Give us 10 knots of breeze and we can motor sail at 7 knots. That is what we do. We find that in the ocean, Island Packet Yachts need 15 knots to push the sea state due to their beam and weight. If the winds are 15-20 knots then these boats sail at hull speed. We can always sail faster than we can motor, but we need 15-20 knots of wind in the ocean. Here we are with a reefed main and a staysail because the winds were only 5-8 knots that morning, so all we wanted to do was stabilize the boat in the seaway.

Motor sailing with reefed main and staysail doing 6.5 knots

Then the Winds Die

AS forecasted, the winds died. This weather situation is what is called “diurnal” which means that the winds are based on the thermals off the land. So, while we were near Freeport Bahamas, we had the land pulling in the wind from the sea. Then once we got out to sea, no more thermals, so no winds. Flat calm sea. This was the situation until we reached the south winds blowing along the Florida coast. Look at the ocean, this is amazing, it is never this calm!

Gulf Stream Crossing dream, calm calm calm

Gulf Stream 3 knots

When crossing the stream, we need to plan for the 3 knot current that is flowing north. With a 36 mile wide stream and our boat speed at 6 knots and a 3 knot flow northward, that means we would be in the stream for 6 hours (36/6) Six hours drifitng 3 knots northward will move your boat 18 nm northward. So, that means when you come out of the stream you will be 18 to 20 miles north of where you were heading, Planning for this common set and drift navigation challenge, you need to point your boat 15-20 degrees south of your actual rum line.  In this example, we were pointed 270 but we were going course over ground of 300. This ran us right to our destination. In the next photo you can see the effects of the Gulf Stream flowing northward at 3 knots. Look at the compass and then look for COG on the B&G screen.

Heading 270, COG 303, speed 7.4, Gulf Stream crossing to Florida
We were under full sail with motor doing 7 knots, beam winds at 8-10
Blue Blue Blue ocean, but the fish beat us today, zero

OH NO, Thunderstorm ahead

As forecasted, the late afternoon thunderstorms would develop over South Florida, and sure enough, there they were. The VHF radio was going off with NOAA weather alerts and severe weather warnings. We were 20 miles offshore when they said…”BOATERS SHOULD SEEK SAFE HARBOR”….great, we are 3-4 hours out at sea and there is no safe harbor. The next thing you know, the temperature dropped rapidly and the winds shifted. We moved into a full out Chinese fire drill, reefing the jib and dropping the full mainsail. The winds picked up rapidly to 25 knots. They were forecast to be 40-60 knots with hail. The most we had was 27 knots, thank goodness.

Trying to make time, we have full sails up while watching the front approach
Radar shows the front and the rain, we knew this was coming
Winds were on the beam, we could have easily sailed this, but we dropped sails expecting 40-60 knots
Hooked on, no one is going overboard
Happy Radeen, the rain and storm have passed
With constant storm warnings on the VHF, with lightning all around, we powered on with no sails

LAKE WORTH INLET, a CLASS A….ahhhhh

We really like CLASS A inlets, they are deep, they are wide and they are straight in and easier than non-class A inlets. In this area we have Lake Worth and Fort Pierce as class A inlets with St. Lucie in between. We chose to come into Lake Worth in case we could not make it in daylight, then we knew we could enter this inlet at dark and via radar. Lucky for us, we arrived at 7 pm and sunset was at 7:50 pm so we had daylight to enter. Just inside the inlet and to the south we dropped anchor and enjoyed watching this old cruise ship heading out. It was nice we did not meet it in the inlet. Welcome HOME, we are back in the USA.

A cruise ship heading out the Lake Worth inlet as seen from our anchor

Welcome to West Palm Beach, Check in with CBP

Since 2011, we have been checking back into the USA from the Bahamas using the LBO, Local Boater Option. We also use the SVRS, Small Vessel Reporting System. Both of these systems have all our biometrics, passports, photos and all info about our vessel. While in the Bahamas, we filed and processed an SVRS/LBO float plan and activated this plan when we’re ready to depart which then gives us a Float Plan number. This float plan number is all that Customs and Border Patrol needs. When you call, they enter your float plan number and you are checked back into the USA.

Surprise! NOT anymore.

You are supposed to use the CBP ROAM app on your smartphone. When you go to download and to use this app, it tells you straight up that it is in BETA form and is experimental to use. I downloaded it but was unable to log-in. So, I called in with my float plan number and the officer refused to take it, he said I must use ROAM. I called back in 3 more times getting a different CBP officer each time. I explained my problem and kept trying to use my float plan number. Finally, on the 4th call, the officer believed my difficulties and asked me for all my data, never using my float plan number. He then cleared us in.

CONCLUSION: You need to use CBP ROAM app, enter all your personal data, your yacht data, your passport, home address, LBO numbers, etc, then you can check in via your cell phone on a conference call with the CBP officer. Other friends have used it successfully. I just wish our government would perfect the APP and get it out of BETA because I never use beta software. I do not trust it at this point in time. The float plan filing website should be discontinued since the Float Plan numbers are no longer used. Filling it out was a waste of time.

Sunset as I call and deal with CBP and LBO and ROAM

That is a WRAP

Year # 7 to the Bahamas is now a wrap. Yes, we were supposed to be in the Caribbean, but the Bahamas are a dream as well. So, it was down with the flag, and store it till next year, when we will once again be on our way to the Caribbean Sea!

Radeen drops our well worn Bahamas Flag

PS: We crossed Island Spirit’s Shipping Track

If you look at this live tracking map, you will see that on this trip, Florida to Abaco to Berrys to Lucaya to Florida, we crossed the shipping track that Island Spirit traveled inboard from St. Thomas in January. How interesting to study that. We really enjoy using this Inreach device by Garmin.
https://share.garmin.com/IslandSpirit

Please follow and like us:

Sailing Stirrup to Lucaya

Please follow and like us:

Our 75 nm run from Great Stirrup Cay in the Berrys to Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island was a mix of sailing and motor sailing and then sailing again.  We had planned to depart Stirrup Cay at sunset, which we did, and we planned to sail all night.  One last look at radar showed storms coming. So, we smartly turned around and returned to safe anchorage and waited for them to pass. At 10:30. we were ready to sail again.  but Radeen was looking at the Weather Bug radar app and it showed severe storms and thunderstorms tracking directly across our projected path, just beyond our 36 mile radar. Well, these storms came all night long just inches north of us right up until the last storm passed us at 7:30 am. Needless to say, we did not get much sleep that night! So, as the last storm was passing, we hoised a reefed main sail and sailed out behind the storm with the lightning just past us to the east. Here is a map of our passage.

Scones Required

What would a sail be without scones? So, I baked 16 scones and gave 4 away and packed up the rest for the next few days of sailing and travel. These are very easy to make from scratch, we simply use the basic recipe from King Arthur Flour. It is fun to bake on the boat.

Cruise Ships Lease these Islands

Royal Caribbean leases Little Stirrup Cay (aka Coco Cay) and Norwegian Cruise line leases Great Stirrup Cay. The ships anchor off their private islands and then ferry passengers, 5,000 of them, back and forth. WOW, it is crazy how packed the islands are. We sailed past these ships the day before as we moved into Great Stirrup Cay to stage up for the sailing northwest. A cruise is a great option for being here because you really need to get to the Bahamas to see the beautiful blue, blue ocean waters and the powder sand beaches.

Sailing past Anthem of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean Ship
Anthem of the Seas, the hull is light blue and beautiful

Harness on and Hook in, it is off to sea

Radeen and I like to take these selfies as we head out to sea, it is something we do and cherish as we look back and remember the sailing trips we have taken. We wear harnesses and tethers which we hook onto the boat. The idea is to make sure no one falls off the boat, and if you do fall off, then you will not be lost. We have these on at sea all the time. Happy selfie as we head out after a sleepless stormy night on anchor.

 

Hayden and Radeen

Set Sails and Sail

After the storms passed, we had a perfect beam reaching wind for about 4 hours. We started with a reefed mainsail and then shook out the reef to a full main and even added the little staysail. Now under full sail, we were making 6 to 6.5 knots directly towards our destination. PERFECT. Here are some sailing shots.

Reefed main and full 110% jib
Beautiful beam reaching, perfect
Our B&G screen showing the SOG as 6.8. We had a port beam current

SHAKE out THAT Reef

With our new mast and our new “Strong Track” and with my new simple single line reefing system (I removed the boom shuttle cars), our mainsail is really easy to reef and also easy to shake out the reef. Here I am after a simple shake out and under full sail with the staysail out as well. This is one happy bluewater sailing captain.

Happy Hayden sailing under full sail…a selfie….Radeen is off watch sleeping

ERRRR, the Winds move FORWARD

WHY, WHY, WHY does the wind change direction? WHY? Especially when we are all set up, we have been sailing along for about 4 hours, all is perfect. We have a long way to go, and then, POOF, the wind moves from 180 degrees to 280-300 degrees and our course is 315. So, furl in the big jib, sheet in the staysail, lower the main back down to a reef and fire up the motor. We now set up for motor sailing with the wind 20-30 degrees off our port bow. We could sail this wind, we just would not get to our destination. When we are on passage, we keep the boat moving and we make sure it is moving towards our destination. Sailing is great, but we are not going to sail in the wrong direction just to sail. So, we motor sailed and hoped the wind would move back towards the south. Now it is waves and salt spray all over the deck and the windshield. One salty boat in a matter of minutes!

This is 6.5 knots, look at the water
These waves are relatively calm, 2 foot with no whitecaps, but still, we were bashing into them

Look out, SHIP! Radar has it

While on passage, we set up our digital radar to have a Guard Zone set to 2-3 miles ahead of us, 1 mile wide and arching about 140 degrees. If anything solid enters this zone, an alarm starts to beep and alerts us to the position. The radar will cast a line in the direction of the target and we begin our visual search for the target. At 2 miles out, that is 20 minutes away, and 10 minutes if it is coming at you the same speed, so we like to find the targets quickly. Here is what our radar guard zone looks like. Also see the pointer named ALLEGRO, that is a ship sending out its AIS info.

B&G Radar Guard Zone and a ship 6 nm away

Can you see the ship? Here is the view from the helm looking towards that ship. Do you see it?

Can you see the ship ALLEGRO?

Here, let me zoom in and NOW, you can see the ship. This is a calm day, and a ship is easy to spot, BUT, radar is still #1. it is your eyes at sea. We like AIS, but it is not #1 because many ships turn them off and some do not have AIS. So, radar is it. It is the only thing we count on to identify solid objects that we could hit and that could sink our boat. Look what radar found long before I saw it. Now that I know it is out there, 6 miles, I can watch it. Also, with AIS, I will be warned if there is any danger of a collision.

There it is on the horizon, the ship ALLEGRO, 6 miles away

At night, this ship would be lit and we would have seen it much more readily. We also would think it is much closer at night, because the sea is so dark and a light, any light, will seem like it is running you down. With radar and AIS these situations are far easier. We really like our B&G Zeus3 and our B&G 4G radar.

Powering on, we enjoy the BLUE WATER

AS we powered onward, (yes, fishing, but catching ZIP) we took in the beauty of the blue water all around us. It is amazing how the sea color changes with the sky color and clouds and sun angle. These photos are around 1400 hours and the sun was bright. Look how blue the ocean really is….

Looking into the sun, one color of blue
Looking down sun, aft, another shade of blue
Looking over the side, down into the ocean, bright blue
Looking at the contrast of the white spray and the blue water
This is mesmerizing and so beautiful

SALT SPRAY EVERYWHERE

On a trip like this, the salt spray is over the bimini roof. Everything is covered in saltwater. The decks are soaked, the lifelines, the bow pulpit, the mast and boom and the windshield, all covered in salt spray. Then it dries and it leaves behind all the salt crystals. When you get into port or when you drop anchor, your entire boat is covered in dried salt. If you don’t wash it off, it gets in your shoes, you track it below decks, you sit in it and your clothing becomes salty and damp. Your hands and feet get salty. It is a pet peeve of ours, so we wash it all off after every sail. It takes about 5-7 gallons of water and about an hour for both of to hand wash all the salt off the boat. The ocean seems 10 times saltier than the bays and rivers and creeks. So she was one salty boat today.

Looking thru the salt crusted windshield

BUT THEN THE WIND SHIFTS SOUTH

Near the end of this trip, the winds returned to the south and we were able to turn the motor off and set full sails once again. This was late in the day and the sun presented these great angles thru the rig as we sailed on.

Full sails once again with the sun getting low
Sun peaking thru the rig, full sails and a great end of the trip.

We arrived OCEAN REEF YACHT CLUB

At 1900, about 30 minutes before sunset, we arrived at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club and docked for the night. Job #1, hook up a hose and wash off this SALT.

Island Spirit docked and all washed off….a great 75 nm day

Thank you for sailing along

We will depart Ocean Reef Yacht Club in the morning for a direct run across the Gulfstream to the Lake Worth Inlet. Our next blog will share the beautiful yacht club here in Lucaya, Grand Bahama…

Please follow and like us:

The Berrys Blue Blue Water

Please follow and like us:

We have passed the Berry Islands 6 years now and this year we said we had to go and take a tour around the Berrys. WOW, this water is crystal clear and the beaches are empty and white powdery sand. We had our own beach for a day with our boat anchored off the shallows. Did I say shallows? YES, it is very shallow in every cut you enter and then you can’t go too far into the cuts because there will be a massive sand bore or sand flat fanning out from the ocean cut. So, you go in and find an anchorage right around the entrance and drop the hook. All are not like this, but the ones we were in were. We were in Alders, Bonds, Cabbage, Lizard, Hoffmans and Great Harbour Cay. We started at the south and work our way north around the top and then to the west side where we docked at Great Harbour Cay Marina. While there, we were invited to a lobster dinner at a friends house. Boat buddies of boat buddies are buddies of ours was our saying. Thanks to Bill and Trish who connected us with Mark and Jan who brought us to Kurt and Sharon’s home. What a fun fun night and a delicious meal. Our first lobsters of this year. Thank you so much, Sharon and Kurt and Marc and Jan. Check out these great pics…

A great time at Kurt and Sharon’s with Mark and Jan in Great Harbour on the beach!
Six beautiful lobster tails for the grill. Great job Mark!

We departed Hope Town under full Sail

Sailing south off Hope Town

First let me back up to Hope Town, where we spent a week with buddies and really enjoyed our time there. We set full sail out of Hope Town and sailed all the way to our anchorage off Linyard Cay. There we stagged up for the 12 hour motor sail out Little Harbor Cut and onward to the Berrys. We decided since it was so calm to just make a direct run and get into ALders Cay by dark and drop the hook. Then in the AM, look at the water we saw…

Our view out the porthole. WOW, look at that!
Standing on deck in the AM light our shadow on the sand in 7 foot deep water
You keep looking at the water and you can not believe this

We Move Around the Corner

The next day, after sleeping in, we picked up anchor and moved about 2 miles around the sandbar to Lizard Island off Cabbage Cay. Here we found even more beautiful blue water and white sand beaches and we made it a day of swimming and beach time. Simply setting up an umbrella on a remote white sand beach with no one else around is a very special experience.  Lizard Cay could be one of our all-time favorite spots we have anchored off of to date, but it is difficult to select, so we will make it a top 10 spot for now.

Our view from our umbrella
Umbrella cam
Our spot on the beach with another boat that just sailed in

Now for the BLUEST water ever

The next day we decided to head north and to motor into and out of each cut to see the areas and the other beaches. When we reached the northeast side of the Berrys off Hoffman’s Cay we set sails and sailed right into the BLUEST water we both have ever seen. Of course it was noon and the sun was bright and the sky blue and the water was 30 feet deep with a sandy bottom making it all perfect for reflections. But even so, this will remain the brightest blue water we have ever sailed into, and we both were overwhelmed by it all. All my photos are simple cell phone photos from my Samsung S7, I do very little to the photos other than resize them and add our name to the bottom right. Take a look at these photos and we are sure you too will agree, this could be the bluest water ever.

Sailing at noon around Little Stirrup Cay
Sailing at noon around Little Stirrup Cay
Sailing at noon around Little Stirrup Cay
The bluest water ever

Bullocks Harbor and Great Harbour Cay Marina

From the top of Little Stirrup Cay, we rounded the NE side of the Berrys and then sailed down the West side to drop the hook off Bullocks Harbor. We were concerned about the building East winds and we did not want to get stuck behind any east-facing cut with little protection. So, we booked a dock for 2 days and treated ourselves to our first dock since Jan 20th!

Entering the rock-cut channel
Docked and washing off the salt with the sunshade up
A local manatee swam by and I waved

So Much to See, so Little Time

Hayden and Radeen

We only had a week here and we only saw a few spots. There are so many places to discover and to explore here in the Berrys, that we can see ourselves stopping back when we pass by again next year en route to the Caribbean. We still need to decide if the Berrys are as special and as beautiful as The Bahamas National Trust islands of Warderick Wells and Cambridge and Shroud Cay, but we will leave that up to you all to decide. You simply have to make plans to sail into here and to explore the Berrys and the Exumas and then you can decide for yourself. What a joy it is cruising and discovering new areas as well as returning to favorites we have learned. Grateful we are.

Cheers

LIVE TRACKING MAP

https://share.garmin.com/IslandSpirit

Please follow and like us:

Hope Town Photo Essay 2018

Please follow and like us:

The best way to share the peace and beauty of Hope Town is with this photo essay. Radeen and I along with many others, really love Hope Town on Elbow Cay in Abaco, Bahamas. Settled by Loyalists after the Revolution, it has retained a unique character and charm. For example, the Elbow Cay Lighthouse is still lit by hand each night using a kerosene lamp and the rotating mechanism is still wound every two hours throughout the night, as it has been since 1864.

During the week, we really enjoyed spending time with Island Packet Owners IP440 VIVO, IP38 Thursday’s Child (formerly Purpose from Rock Hall), IP38 Cat Tails, IP445 No Walhalla, , IP485 Sanctuary, IP35 Serenade (formerly Fiesta from Santa Fe), IP380 Cool Change and former owners of IP380 Packer Inn. No photos to prove it, but we also enjoyed seeing dear friends Ed and Sue of Angel Louise, with their fellow trans-Atlantic passagemaking guests, Dick and Moira. Lunch at Cracker P’s was so much fun.

We had not intended to stay here an entire week, but two strong cold fronts gave us the excuse to do just that. Please enjoy our photos.

 

We hope you see the beauty and the fun of spending a week in Hope Town with boating buddies while living on our boat on a mooring ball in the harbor. This cruising life is a dream, and we appreciate it more and more every day. Thank you for sailing along.

Next Stop: THE BERRYS or BUST

Live tracking here:

https://share.garmin.com/IslandSpirit

Please follow and like us:

Great Sale to Green Turtle to Marsh Harbor

Please follow and like us:

What a sail it has been! After leaving Lake Worth Inlet, FL, at 0700, we anchored off Great Sale Cay at 2330 and the next day we were underway by 0700. The forecasted approaching front was right on schedule and we could see it as we motored north to round the island. The front looked a lot worse than it really was. It was forecasted to be only 10-15 knots from the NW, so a nice easy front. Well, it was PERFECT as our course was East and, with the NW wind, we rolled out the sails. Check out these great sailing photos of the front. WARNING: This blog post has some really cool sailing photos. I hope you all enjoy these.

Motoring north to get around Great Sale Cay as the front is arriving.
PERFECT sailing conditions, NW 15. Shut down the engine and let’s sail
It looks really serious, but the morning light and the frontal clouds were beautiful. Plus it brought the NW 10-15 winds exactly as forecasted.
We started with a full mainsail but ended up putting in a reef as we were overpowered
We sailed all the way from Great Sale to Crab Cay until the wind died out

The Wind died out, the front has passed

You have to LOVE springtime sailing when the cold fronts are not as strong and the NW winds are not 25-30 knots. Then, when the front passes, the air behind the front is cool and the sea is calm. Look at the Abacos as we powered around Crab Cay to Green Turtle Cay where we needed to check into the country.

Customs and Immigrations, welcome to the Bahamas

We docked at Leeward Yacht Club at 5 p.m. We cleaned off the salt and spent the night. We did not go anywhere as we could not check in until the AM. So we relaxed and had a Mahi Mahi fish dinner onboard, of course, some wine and called it a night. This was one of our best runs to the Bahamas. Sadly, we are missing our buddy boat 380 SHAWNEE. After weeks of preparation, Drew and Deb had a fuel problem and then a broken motor mount. Darn, we were so looking forward to sharing this run together 🙁

We arrived Green Turtle and docked at Leeward Yacht Club, what a great property

The next day, we checked into the country with Customs and Immigrations. We arrived at the office at 1100 hours and they had a sign on the door that they would return at 1235. No problem, MON, we will come back, it is Island Time. At 1400 hours, the customs officer finally arrived and we were able to process our paperwork and pay our $300 for a cruising permit. The fee is based on boat length. As it states on the government website, the fee is $150 for 35-feet and under boats and it is $300 for a 35-feet and over boats. We are a 35 foot boat. Do you see a problem here? Well, we have learned that it is at the sole discretion of the office to choose a price for 35 footers! Five times we have paid $150, this time and one other time, we paid $300. Welcome to Da Bahamas, Mon.

At 1100 we arrived and this was the sign. At 1400, the sign came down.
It was a beautiful day to check in
Back to the boat at 1600. Down with the Q flag and up with the Bahamas Flag

Let’s Go Thru the WHALE

When heading south from Green Turtle Cay you have to go out over a reef to sea, run in front of Whale Cay, then cut back into the Sea of Abaco over another reef. This “Whale Cay Passage” can be very serious. It can also hold you up on either side of the passage for weeks if the swell is breaking over these two cuts. This day, the winds were SW 15-18 and that makes for a dream run as you can sail out to sea. beam reaching, and then close reach back into the Sea of Abaco.  Perfection! This day will go down as one of the best sailing days in many, many years. We had about an hour of engine time, to leave the harbor, set sails and then to motor into the next harbor, drop sails and anchor. The water color changed several times on this leg.  First, there is the Bahamas Banks at Green Turtle, then the indigo blue of the deep ocean outside Whale Cay and finally the Teal Blue Green of the Sea of Abaco. Navigating around here is easy, the waters are protected and we simply love sailing in the Bahamas. I hope you enjoy these photos. Some of the best.

Beam reaching for the Whale Cay Cut from Green Turtle Cay
There it is, WHALE CAY, as we head for the Atlantic
We both wear harnesses so we are safely tethered to the boat
This is WHALE CAY. On previous passages, we have seen ocean swells crashing up and over this cay. It is serious when the swell is running. This day was very calm.
We sailed out, and now we can sail back in, what a great passage!
Welcome to the Sea of Abaco and the Teal Green Blue water 7 to 10 feet deep
A most beautiful day to be sailing the Sea of Abaco
Reefed mainsail and a full 110% jib
We do rarely hand steer. Our B&G Autopilot steers according to the masthead wind sensor. It even learns to anticipate the action of waves and steer a straighter course. Amazing!
One more photo because it is just so beautiful

Arriving at MARSH HARBOR for the JIB ROOM

It is Saturday night and, if you are in the Abacos, then you know it is STEAK NIGHT at the Jib Room / Marsh Harbor Marina. We LOVE to treat ourselves to this great meal, wonderful bar, fun limbo show and, best of all, fun with sailing buddies. Our boat buddies on IP 485 SANCTUARY, Sheryl, Michael, and Andrew arrived from Naples FL via Key West to here. We also connected with Caliber 40 HIGH ZZZs, Sheppard and Deb.  We bumped into IP 445 GRATITUDE, Mike and Lizzie, new owners out of Rock Hall, MD who joined us as well. Our World Sailing, Ocean Crossing Buddies on Catalac Catamaran 44 ANGEL LOUISE, Ed and Sue, came over from Hope Town.  We all had a great time gathering at the happy hour, drinking BILGE BURNERS and enjoying a wonderful steak dinner at THE JIB. This is like coming home for us. We count this as one of our “happy places.” We do miss the previous owners, Tom and Linda!

IP 485 Sanctuary arrives Marsh Harbor
We hoisted the IP flag for Michael and Sheryl
Catalac 44 Catamaran Angel Louise. Ed and Sue, have circumnavigated all of Europe via the rivers and canals. Now they just finished the American Great Loop. They call themselves “Chicken Sailors” but they really GO PLACES!
The Jib Room, always a great program with delicious food
Desmond, the #1 Limbo man in the Islands, entertains the crowd. No one can go as low.

WE ARE HERE and We are Happy….

We are so happy to be out cruising again with our boat repaired. Now we can keep going and set sail for the Exumas and the Berrys. First, a full review tour of the Abacos.

Hayden and Radeen, two lucky and happy cruisers. Here we are enjoying breakfast at the Green Turtle Club, one of our Favs.

Live Tracking Here

https://share.garmin.com/IslandSpirit

Please follow and like us:

Mahi Mahi Florida to Great Sale Cay

Please follow and like us:
Dear friends, Jane and Gilbert, IP420 Tumbleweed, sent us off from Lake Worth. Fun Fun Fun. Thank you!

Wednesday, we departed Lake Worth Inlet at 0700, en route to Memory Rock (50nm) where we would enter the Little Bahamas Bank and turn east for Great Sale Cay (45nm). Arriving at midnight, we dropped anchor and slept. Next day, onward to Green Turtle. We had the “Mother of all WX Windows” as perfectly predicted for a week by www.PredictWind.com. This service is so exact that it has become our primary service, in addition to Chris Parker. Last year, when we ran the Thorny Path, (Bahamas to US Virgin Islands) it was dead on for many passages. (Thank you, Don Roy of buddy boat FEZYWIG, who turned us onto Predict Wind while in the Turks.) This time, Predict Wind had a great WX window identified for a week in advance so we targeted Wednesday am to take the calm south winds across the Gulf Stream. Here is a picture of the entire route we ran.

2018 Route Florida to Green Turtle Cay

Mahi Mahi FISH ON

This was our 12th Gulf Stream crossing and many times we have trailed fishing lines behind the boat times. We have never caught a fish. Everyone jokes that Island Spirit can’t catch fish. Well, to change that, last year, I started using my old cedar plugs and we started catching fish. Last year, we caught two nice sized tunas and this year, 2-3 hours out of Lake Worth inlet, we landed a 40″ Mahi Mahi. THE SPELL IS BROKEN! Team Island Spirit CAN catch FISH! DONE. It was so exciting and also very exhausting as I fought the fish to the boat. In fact, it was a full hour Chinese Fire Drill. The fish ran out a bit of our 60 lb line until I could increase the drag to stop it. Radeen, at the helm, slowed the boat down. Then the fish pulled a smart move and dove under the stern and wrapped the line around the dinghy davits. I was on port with the fish now off to my starboard stern. Now, it was getting serious. “RADEEN, turn the boat to port, circle left!”  “WAIT, the MAINSAIL is still up!”  “So what? There is only 5-10 knots of wind.” I fought the fish with the rod aft and over the davits and managed to get the line free. Now the fish took a run to our starboard side and went for full air,  leaping totally out of the water trying to shake this single hook. I kept full tension on the line and brought the fish to the side of the boat. WOW, what a beauty!

Rookie mistake not having gloves on, I barehanded the 60 lb test line and secured the fish to the side of the hull next to the cockpit. With the gaff in my left hand and the line in my right, I missed try #1. OH BOY, the fish went nuts and the line around my hand started to dig into my fingers. Try #2 I gaffed the back 1/3 of the fish, right where I wanted to, and pulled him up tail first. Now with the fish on the gaff, I could lasso the tail with a preset line. NOW I GOT HIM. I could hold the fish with the rope AND the gaff and cut the gills over the side. This allows the blood to drip into the water and NOT all over the boat. After 4 cuts with the filet knife and one whack to the head with a winch handle, I had the fish killed. We now tied the fish to the top lifeline and hung it there to bleed out. OH MY GOSH! That was CRAZY. We snapped some great photos and then proceeded to filet the fish and bag the meat for the frig. That night on the Bahama Banks, we had Mahi Mahi fish tacos, yum yum. Here are the best photos. ENJOY….

Fisherman Radeen drove the boat
“TUNA HUNTER” Hayden deployed his favorite cedar plug. Blue and yellow with an eye and sparkles and a single hook.
Within 10 minutes, the line was running out off our Little Penn Senator
Hanging by the gaff and with a tail rope, I bled out the fish over the side FIRST, before landing on deck.
Hang em and bleed out. This is a 40″ Mahi Mahi hanging on our lifeline
What a beautiful dorsal fin
Mahi are so colorful
LANDED, there it is with the tail rope still tied to the lifeline
Our biggest fish to date, 40″ Mahi Mahi
I am a rookie, but I try to not waste meat, this is my filet work
The filet was cut into thick pieces and placed into ziplock bags for the frig.

ONE HAPPY FISHERMAN, Hayden

Here is my favorite photo. Radeen did a great job getting the photos. WOW, that was a big fish to land on a sailboat. My comment is…. imagine landing this fish in your living room, then sitting on the sofa and cutting filets off on your living room floor. YUP….fishing on a cruising sailboat. Imagine the clean up!

Hayden with his first Mahi Mahi.

Motor Sailing the Stream up onto the Bahama Banks

Middle of the Gulf Stream, 2000 feet deep, in a calm south wind

With this “mother of all weather windows,” we continued to motor sail toward Memory Rock, but we discovered that if we headed more northerly to the next waypoint, Little Bahama Bank, we would pick up 1 knot of speed. So we kept going northeast with the boat pointed on about 110-120 degrees but making 70-80 degrees over the bottom, doing 7.2 knots. We liked it and it put us onto the banks by 1600. One of the beautiful situations of this leg is that the Gulf Stream is so blue, dark indigo blue. Then, going from 2000 foot deep water up and over the shelf onto the Bahama Banks, the water colors change to a spectacular teal blue (Kathy Heck, IP380 Tianui)  and all the shades in between. This color change happens during about a half of a mile and it is breathtaking. We tried to photograph the various colors and here are a few water color photos…..

Blue water, gulf stream water, cell phone photo
Typical ocean blue water
The watercolor is changing as we motor onto the banks
THERE IT IS, the lighter blue TEAL water of the Bahama Banks
Welcome to the Bahama Banks, it is a LAKE during our great weather window

FOOD: How do you eat while underway

Radeen is a great cook onboard and at home. She plans and makes wonderful meals at sea and when we are on anchor. For example, here was our dinner created at 1830 while underway on the Little Bahama Banks:

Fresh Kale salad with , cranberries, toasted almonds, parmesan cheese and a homemade dressing of honey, oil, vinegar and mustard

 

Pan seared Mahi Mahi, coleslaw and a tortilla for fish tacos, plus chilled asparagus for dinner

Traveling at NIGHT! How do you see?

One of the hard parts about making long boating trips is that you have to travel in the dark. We have learned to use radar as our number one tool. It is the only thing that will tell you that there is nothing solid in front of you. Remember, we do not slow down, we are on passage and we want to get there, so it is full steam ahead in the black of night. Radar is #1. As the sun goes down, we prepare the boat and ourselves for nighttime. Red LED lights, red LED headlights, instruments set to nighttime mode, the enclosure down because it will be cold, and then we keep simply going. I am really proud of Radeen because how she knows how to run all our gear and the boat. She is not afraid to stand watch at night offshore.

Sunset on the banks as we power east
A beautiful night on the banks as we push east
4G B&G Radar with a guard zone set to alert us if something enters that watch zone. It is adjustable; this one is 2 miles out and 1/2 mile wide.
The final view of the horizon as nightfall comes. Once dark, all you can see are your instruments

Finally, we reach Great Sale Cay, 2330 hours

Here is the review, the map, of our route. We have made this eastward Bahama runs seven times now, and we really enjoy the trip, especially when you can wait for the best weather window and go with a south wind. Thank you all for sailing along with us, it is great to share the adventures….

 

Please follow and like us:

Stuart FL to West Palm Beach FL

Please follow and like us:

Stuart Florida, Sunset Bay and Marina, is rated by many boaters are one of the greatest marinas on the USA East Coast, and we must agree. We have spent exactly two months here, working with Mack Sails and repairing our boat after Hurricane Marina damages in Puerto Rico. Now, with one last beautiful sunset and several gatherings with great friends, we actually departed. Hard to do, but we did it. Take a look at our final sunset….

Our last night at Sunset Bay Marina, beautiful scene.

Friends Friends Friends

Did I say, friends? Yes, we really enjoyed our many friends and shared meals together! Every night at sunset people gather on the porch or around the firepit and share a snack or a bottle of wine and visit. It really is an amazing place to live on a boat. Many people simply make this their winter destination, then in the spring they all depart and head north. Some live here full time, and we can see why. This is THE BEST place to live on a boat, hands down. We could easily live here if we were not cruising. Check out these great friends we shared our time with….

One reason we are here: Terri, IP 38 SAILBATICAL. She is so kind and so helpful to everyone…she is the Ambassador for Sunset Bay. Terri is also one exceptional Public School Teacher and was recently recognized by the state of FL for her outstanding work.
Tommy, IP40 SAILIN SHOES, hosted us for a great meal farewell aboard his boat. What a great night with Tommy, and his spring break visitors, Tracey and Dana.
Hayden with Dana and Tracey, watching the sunset
Craig and Liana flew the airplane over to visit and  Jim and Vanessa , IP 420 WINDRUNNER, drove up. We all had a wonderful time catching up.
Outdoorsman Gary the bow hunter and traveling quilter Karen met us for lunch and we really enjoyed their visit.
Longtime friends Jim and Laurie on a mooring ball next to us. We shared two weeks together and really enjoyed it. FUN FUN FUN
Hayden, Deborah, IP 380 SHAWNEE, Vanessa, Radeen & Jim, IP 420 WINDRUNNER at an IP Mini-vous

Fun Fun Fun times with so many buddies gathering in Stuart and passing thru. One more reason this is a hard place to sail out of, but we did, once all our work was finished.

NEW PLACE TO DISCOVER

With the winds EAST and the Bahamas due EAST, we have had to wait for a south wind or a cold front to head out. Well, with EAST winds, we can sail SOUTH so that is what we did. We powered out thru the St. Lucie Inlet to sea under full sails and turned south. But with only 6 to 8 knots and a 2-3 foot quartering sea, we added the motor to push through the chop. Still, we were in the Atlantic and heading to a new destination. That was West Palm Beach, FL. We have passed this 6+ times and never stopped. Others have told us how great it is. So, we headed to drop anchor off the town of the rich and famous.  West Palm Beach was created and built by Henry Flagler to be a winter resort for the wealthy who would ride his train south and stay in his luxury hotels. They found it to be a perfect place to winter over. His idea, started when he was 65, worked and now, the town is better than ever and people still love it here. Mr. Trump has his Mar a Lago resort just down the waterway south of here. Lucky for the waterway at West Palm, when he is in town, it does not affect this area. Here we are, anchored off West Palm Beach….

Island Spirit anchored in Lake Worth, right off West Palm Beach
The view off the stern is so interesting
We love cities at night when anchored off. The lights make beautiful reflections.
On anchor, at night off West Palm Beach, FL

We Found a DIVER

For two weeks, we tried to get a diver at Stuart, but it just never worked out. They are so busy and we were out in the mooring field, so we left with a dirty bottom and dirty prop. This slows down the boat, so we really wanted a diver to clean the bottom. A phone call to BoatUS and they referred me to SCUBA SCRUBBERS. We intended to leave a message, but the owner answered the phone on Easter! She said she would call me Monday to see if she could schedule a diver. She did, and by 12:30, she had a diver at our boat. WOW WOW WOW, now that is GREAT SERVICE. One hour of work and the boat bottom was cleaned of all barnacles and the prop was spotless, too. Each thru hull was cleaned and now we are ready to go. Outstanding company and outstanding service. I am really impressed with how they helped us out. http://ScubaScrubbers.com

Outstanding services by www.ScubaScrubbers.com Thank you!

Did I say we hoisted full sails on our way to WPB?

Thank you Colin and Travis of www.MackSails.com
THIS is why we head to the ocean, BLUE WATER.
Here we are only 2 miles offshore and the water is blue. Wait until we cross the Gulfstream!

Passing MEGA YACHTS in West Palm

Yes, the 1% people of the world use the Lake Worth Inlet and the West Palm Beach area to have their yachts serviced. Here is motor vessel AQUARIUS; she is 301 feet long, 5 stories tall, she takes 16 guests in 8 staterooms and she carries 31 crew members to cater to the guests and to manage the yacht. It is PRIVATE. Can you say KA-CHING$$$$? Imagine paying 31 people’s salaries just to manage your private yacht! I guess the owner is not a public school teacher 🙂

301 feet long, 5 stories high, 16 guest, 31 crew. mv/AQUARIUS
The opening on the side aft is a gym all the way thru the yacht with enormous glass doors!

HAPPY to be on Island Spirit

We are content and happy to be on Island Spirit and to be cruising to wherever we want to go! This little boat will take us anywhere. Lucky us! We are thankful and we appreciate this every day.

Hayden and Radeen, a happy selfie in the middle of season #7 as we depart Stuart, FL
Radeen, ready to discover a new place, she LOVES to do this…
Selfie king Hayden doing my best 🙂
My favorite photo subject, Radeen

CALM South WInd = Easy Gulf Stream Crossing

We waited out the East winds, now a mild front is coming which will pull the Tradewinds south and that is when we go, Wednesday at daybreak. Yes, we prefer to sail, but any time you can cross the Gulf Stream in a south calm wind, YOU CROSS. Otherwise, it is 4-6 foot seas and you take a beating for 8+ hours. We do not mind a motor run. We will skip West End because the front is slow moving, so we can run all night on the Banks. We will pull up to Great Sale Cay around midnight, drop an anchor and sleep. Wed night into Thur, it will be NW and N winds but only 10-15 knots. So this will be a nice sail as we push on to Green Turtle Cay. See you Thursday!

www.PredictWind.com says Wed it goes SOUTH

Our LIVE TRACKING MAP is HERE

Thank you for sailing along! We enjoy the Bahamas and the cruising life and we love sharing it all with you. Please leave us a comment; we receive them in our email.

http://share.garmin.com/islandspirit

 

Please follow and like us:

Island Spirit Mack Sails Complete

Please follow and like us:

We have spent 18 days since our last post wrapping up hurricane repairs on Island Spirit. NOW, she is better than ever. We are very thankful we shipped back from St. Thomas to Stuart, Florida, to work with Mack Sails.  Overall, we are very happy with the work accomplished and working with their team of 31 employees! Living aboard in Stuart at Sunset Bay Marina was an extra bonus! If you are looking to repair or refit your Island Packet Yacht, or any other yacht, then I highly recommend working with Mack Sails. You can read about their work and you can request a quote here: http://www.MackSails.com

Radeen on the bow of the newly waxed Island Spirit

A quick overview of work finished: We wrapped up the mast deck collar and caulking/sealing the joint, finished mast base wiring, connected VHF & TV to the new LMR400 wires, added a code zero masthead crane extension, added a halyard and mast winch for the code zero, re-commissioned the autopilot and compass, had the boat compounded and waxed to a level never seen before, installed mainsail reef lines, added code zero sheet blocks, made dyneema loops for shackles, worked on yamaha 15,  test sailed a third time, provisioned, helped buddy boats, attended the Island Packet Factory Rendezvous, and worked with multiple Island Packet Yacht buyers, showing boats and working on offers.

Now, we are on the LAUNCH PAD. The weather window is opening and it is moving and changing, but it looks like this Sun, Mon, Tue or Wed there is a window for motoring over to the Bahamas. We plan to take it if we can. We have worked all of February and now all of March and we are READY to go sailing.

Here is a photo story since our last post…

We love MIAMI BEACH, so it was off to another Wallcast. this one was all Baroque music, which was performed in Bach’s coffee house in the 1730’s.  If you like high-quality outdoor concerts, (FREE) then google this up and attend one of these. This was our 11th Wallcast!

The large HD projector warming up for the New World Symphony outdoor concert

New Cockpit Table

We bought a NEW Teak table and hired a professional varnisher to apply a finish. LOOK at the shine! WOW, this is the most beautiful piece of wood on the boat. We can’t wait to have a fine dinner on this lovely table.

Solid teak table with varnish for meals in the cockpit

Sealing the Mast Deck Joint

We always seal up our mast with simple BOAT LIFE CAULK and then we use 4″ mast boot tape. Here are some photos of how we finished off the mast collar and sealed it so rain and sea spray will not leak and drip into the cabin below.

First, we add boat life caulk around the joint at the mast.
Then we wrap 4″ mast boot tape around the joint and continue to add caulk where needed, based on the shape of the mast.
To finish it off, we wrap our Sunbrella custom cover around the mast base. It needs to be modified because the new mast is a different size.
Due to the tight fit around the custom mast deck collar, we were not able to add the common rubber wedge topside, so I added some of it below deck. I need to work on this to make it a bit nicer.

Mast Wiring Continues…

The continuing saga of the LMR400 wires seemed to never end. Here we ended up running LMR400 from the mast base to the nav desk to maintain the low loss cable 100% of the way from the VHF to the masthead antenna. Our VHF was always good, but now we are hearing Vero Beach from Stuart! WOW. LMR 400 wire is THE BEST.

The endless job of wiring the base of the mast

Rig Tuning with a PT-3

Tuning the standing rigging was another job.  I always use a LOOS GAUGE    PT-3 tool to read the tension on each wire. The Island Packet Yacht Factory publishes the rigging tensions for every yacht. We have a copy onboard and there is one at http://www.IPYOA.com/docs. Every year, before sailing out to sea, we tune (tension) the rigging wire to factory specs.

Hayden with a PT-3 rig tuning gauge

Commissioning the new Zeus3 and Pilot and Compass

Out into the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, we did a few circles to recommission the B&G autopilot. We replaced our chartplotter (Zeus2) with a Zeus3 and the software needed to be commissioned. This requires a few circles. Here is our track as we tuned in the pilot and digital compass.

Commissioning the autopilot

OFF TO THE ISLAND PACKET YACHT FACTORY RENDEZVOUS

Since we were still here in Florida working on the boat, we decided to attend the first ever IPY Factory Rendezvous. Leslie and Darrell, along with the entire factory team, hosted a great weekend of events. The best part of any RDV is the reconnecting with good friends and IP owners. Here are some photos of this great time….

Our friends Tom and Leesa, IP 35 Panacea, with Hayden and Radeen at the factory
Touring the IPY factory with Darrell giving the building process overview
Longtime friends, IP 40 Dreamcatcher owners, Sharon and Greg, with Hayden and Radeen
Crazy New England sailing buddies we always enjoy Kevin and Annie, IP 370 Tiller the Hun
LOOK, my long lost brother, Kevin. Everyone thought we were related..

Doc. Jr. and Doc. Ette….

While over in Tampa, we decided to drive north and visit our friends’ son at Starbucks. Nicholas and Bethany are wonderful young people who are both a joy to visit. We nicknamed them Doc. Jr. and Doc. Ette. (PhDs are brilliant!) Thanks for taking time away from your academics to share a coffee.

Hayden, Radeen, Nicholas and Bethany

Back to work on the boat

After a fun weekend at the IPY Rendezvous in Tampa it was back to Stuart and continuing to work on the boat. We decided to buy something FUN after all this work and expense. So, we bought a Mack Sails CODE ZERO, a top-down furling spinnaker.  This sail is a large jib, about a 175%, and it is good in winds up to 20 knots apparent. They are mainly used for light air so this will be fun to sail north up the coast in May. To add this new sail, we needed a masthead extension, a new halyard and a mast winch. Now, we are just waiting for the sail to be built. Then the FUN can really begin.

We pulled into the Apex Marine service dock, rafted up and Richard went to work
New masthead crane extension to push the halyard forward of the jib
Richard, Mack Sails best rigger, drilling and mounting the new crane extension.
This man is AMAZING, he is the best rigging person I have ever worked with in 25 years. Thank you, Richard!

Cut and Finish the floor around the mast

I grabbed a jigsaw, made a template and cut the wood pieces that fill in around the mast. This finally finishes off the entire job and we can now focus on other tasks like preparing to sail and returning to cruising.

Our old mast was wider but this mast was longer front to back. That is why there is a gap on the side.

TIME FOR A DETAILING JOB

With all the work finally completed, (March 22, 2018) we hired PASQUALE DETAILING to compound and wax our hull. WOW, what a job that was. Our boat has never ever looked like this in 17 years. He worked off a floating platform, in the water and used a massive buffer. With 800-1000 grit compound, he ground the oxidation off the hull, taking it back to better than factory new. Then he waxed, and when he was finished, the hull now has the best shine it has ever had. (Pasquale usually is repelling off 100-150 foot yachts buffing them, so this little 35 footer was easy for him.) Great job!

The WAX MASTER, Pasquale Detailing of Stuart, Florida
Look at the water reflecting off the bow. This is a 1994 yacht!
See the water and the sunset reflecting off the hull.

Yacht Brokers for Whiteaker Yacht Sales

There is nothing we like more than showing others the quality of an Island Packet Yacht. Lucky for us, we get to share our passion together with others as we have the honor and privilege to show yachts for the Whiteaker Yachts Sales team.  Here we are taking a break from our repair work for a yacht showing. We really enjoy this activity. We like to help others….

Hayden and Radeen, yacht brokers with Whiteaker Yacht Sales. Island Packet focused.

One more SHAKE DOWN SAIL

We headed back out into the creek for one more shake down sail. Island Spirit is ready to head EAST to the Bahamas.  Let’s get back to our program of cruising and sailing and exploring.

Hayden’s happy place
Radeen LOVES this boat and she knows how to run it

Time to PROVISION

Here we go. We know this process. Go to every store and buy up all you think you need, then stow it onboard. This is run #1 of 3 or 4 runs….

The provisioning begins

Let’s Gather the IP owners…

One more IPY gathering of owners at Sunset Bay turned out to be yet another great time to visit with the 22 people who attended.

Hayden, Deborah, Vanessa, Radeen and Jim

VIDEO recoding on ISLAND SPIRIT

Ed of Starboard Films wanted to interview us about our hurricane challenges and our decision to ship the boat back to Florida. So, up with the lights, camera and ACTION as Radeen and I shared our story. How fun, thank you, Ed!

Ed filming onboard Island Spirit
Hot lights and all, very coolio, very fun. Thank you, Ed.

AND NOW IT IS TIME TO FLY…

It has been a long process. November assess damages in Puerto Rico. December return to Puerto Rico and launch the boat. January ship back to Florida. February pull mast, March finish repairs. April WE SET SAIL….where to????? First, we will sail to the Bahamas where we can set long legs and sail for many hours. From there, we will sail back to Florida, pick up our Code Zero sail, and then set sail NORTH. We will sail back to the Chesapeake Bay where we can enjoy the boat for a summer and fall. Then in the November, we will sail south and back to the Caribbean Sea. We see no reason to sail back there now, only to store the boat June 1 for hurricane season.

We want to sail and we want to use our boat after all this effort and expense. Thanks to the team at Mack Sails, we can now do exactly that!

This Cormorant says it all…..WE ARE READY to take off….

LIVE TRACKING IS ALWAYS HERE:

http://share.garmin.com/islandspirit

 

We fully Recommend MACK SAILS, STUART, FLORIDA, USA

http://www.MACKSAILS.com

Please follow and like us: