West Palm Beach Aground then onto Miami

We made ourselves leave Stuart, Florida, and that is a very difficult task to do! Down the ICW we went for two days to West Palm Beach, Florida. The ICW is a real dream as it is calm, easy, and very safe. Our first night we dropped the anchor where we usually do, at the south end of Hobe Sound right off Tiger Woods’ home. No call from Tiger, so we did not stop in. We simply enjoyed our first night on anchor since Nov 15th and it was now Jan 10th! Our boat was running great, which is always a concern after a yacht sits because the best thing for any boat is to keep it moving and to push it hard.  Island Spirit was back in action with all systems running well.

Hobe Sound, near Jupiter, Florida is a dream location

Arriving West Palm Beach, the 1%er area

We are always amazed at the enormous wealth of so many people as we arrive in the West Palm Beach area. Massive waterfront homes have even larger yachts that block the view from the house. These houses are probably second or third homes. The owners might only be here a few weeks a year. The rest of the time, the landscapers and property manager all take care of the estate.

Aviva – Yacht Length: 98 (323 ft) – Guests: 16 in 8 cabins (est) – Crew: 25 in 11 cabins (est) – Yacht Value: US$ 150 million: Joe Lewis a UK Billionaire with 200 companies!
Typical winter home with a little fishing boat.
Steve Wynn’s Yacht Name: Aquarius – Yacht Length: 92 m (302 ft) – Guests: 14 in 7 cabins (est.) – Crew: 30 in 15 cabins (est.) – Feadship – 2016 – Yacht Value: US$ 215 million

Yup, that is how the Billionaires roll with mega yachts, massive homes, tax write-offs, and wealth that they can’t even begin to spend.  Steve Wynn is worth 3 billion dollars and his yacht only cost him 215 million dollars. So let’s move some decimals around. $3,000,000,000 vs $215,000,000, what is that like to a normal person? Take off 5 zeros and you have $30,000 vs $2,150. So a person worth $30K buys a used car for $2K.  Or a person worth $300K buys a $21K car. NOT a big deal, right? It is all numbers. The super-rich should have much bigger toys, don’t you think?

Anchored in West Palm Beach, FL

We stopped in West Palm to hire a diver who would clean our prop and bottom before sailing off to Miami and then to the Bahamas. We had been sitting in Stuart for 2 months, so we expected the bottom to be dirty. The public dock at WPB is perfect for this. The diver walked down the dock, jumped in and an hour later he was finished. We left the dock to anchor out. What a great public day dock this is.

Waiting on the WPB dock for the diver, what a great town!

Martha and Robert connect

Boat Buddies from Massachusetts spend the winter in WPB and they drove over to the harbor to visit with us for the evening. Martha and Robert sail Island Packet 420 ENTROPY. Professor Rose is a Materials and Engineering Science expert at MIT. What an interesting couple and what lively conversations we always have, whenever and wherever we connect.

Martha and Robert Rose. Emeritus Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

OH NO, We Found the OYSTER BAY

We were anchored a few days in West Palm with the winds blowing from the east the entire time. Of course, we were waiting for the front to arrive so we could sail south on the new wind from the Northwest. Well, that wind shift combined perfectly with the morning tidal change and poor Island Spirit spun 180 degrees around on her anchor and was pushed aground onto the well known OYSTER BAR. This shallow area is right off the Henry Flagler Museum home that we toured the day before and now we were nearly inside the building. This was the oddest experience as it was 0600 with the engine running, ready to pull up anchor and head out. Depth was showing 7 feet. Then all of a sudden, the new winds arrived and we swung 180 degrees on our anchor and onto this bar. When 20,000 lbs are moving sideways and slide onto a ledge that is sloped perfectly to let the boat lay over, it all happens very quickly. I nearly fell off as I was standing on the deck, wiping down the windshield and next we were leaning over 45 degrees. The side deck was nearly in the water. Here are a few photos.

On the WPB Oyster Bar in front of the Flagler Home
There was no way we were getting off of this until the tide came back up
Radeen on the side watching the tow boat

TowBoatUS to the rescue

We have paid for unlimited towing with TowBoat US for 18 years. This is the second time we have called for a tow. They knew the spot well, they told us to wait for the tide, but they would come out and see what they could do. With 600 hp they tried to budge us, but we would not move. Good thing as we were on hard surfaces. So they hooked up to our bow and they ran the engines “dredging” us out as the prop wash pushed material away from our bow. With my 55 lb Rocna and our strong Lofrans windlass, we tried to kedge and be pulled free. Not working. So, we agreed to simply wait. Deep water was 15 feet in front of us, 1/2 a boat length, but 20,000 lbs was aground. So we waited.

TowBoat US arrives on the scene, he knows this spot well
He hooked us and tried to budge us, but decided his best bet was to dredge and blow material away. They came back in 2 hrs and then pulled us off. Great job!

How did this happen?

We had East winds for days and all was fine, with the boat west of her anchor. That morning, new NW winds came in so the boat swung to the EAST and laid right up onto the bar. Now I see and it all makes sense to me.  Mitzi and Alane of the IP38 formerly named Holiday met us on the dock and warned us about that area, but we thought we were fine. The frustrating aspect is a local boat knew this would happen and said nothing UNTIL we were on the bar, THEN they dinghied over and said, “we wanted to warn you…but….” Oh well!

This is how wind and current swung us onto the bar

Free at Last, Off to Miami

Once we were pulled off the bar around noon, we moved down to the Lake Worth Inlet and decided that it was too late to set sail. So we dropped the anchor at the inlet and relaxed. We needed to start up the watermaker and this was a great place to do that. The next day we set sail for sea and made it to Miami and south to Biscayne Bay for sunset. Of course, we entered Government Cut at 1700 right when the cruise ships were coming out, how exciting. Then we passed a container ship and went into the ICW. After turning south passing Brickell Point, then motoring under the Rickenbacker Bridge , it was WELCOME to Biscayne Bay!  Anchor down, we watched the city lights come on and popped the bubbly. This is one of our happy places!.

A fun leg south using the Code Zero, sailing with Larry & Hera of IP32 THE DOVE
We entered Government Cut with several cruise ships going out
We also shared the channel with container ships, always so colorful
Welcome to Miami and Biscayne Bay, our happy place
Watching the city lights come on from anchor off Virginia Key
We popped some bubbly to celebrate -we love it here in Biscayne Bay!


Stuart Fl Christmas Time

After Thanksgiving, our time in Stuart now extended into Dec and thru New Years as we help new Island Packet Buyers evaluate the IP 350 to IP 38 market. Radeen and I are always very excited to be representing new clients as their “buyer’s broker” and we love introducing them to the product and to our wonderful Island Packet community. Welcome to the “family” to Dave  and Dianne. We are so happy to help you find and buy your dream Island Packet 350!

Welcome to Dianne and Dave, new members of the IP Family.

We Evaluate the Market

Dave and Dianne decided to retire and start their cruising dreams right away. They focused on an Island Packet 38 and actually had a contract on one when we all realized that the 38 was too big for what they were planning to do. So, we returned to the market to evaluate 350, 35 and 37 MLS listings. With their stated goals, they decided the Island Packet 350 would be perfect. We shopped the 350 markets east and west in Florida and settled on the best one, MATIMA.  With a successful sea trial and survey, Dave and Dianne made the big step and bought their dream cruising yacht. We are so happy for them and are enjoying guiding them forward, as we do with all our clients.  Congratulations, you have a beautiful yacht! Insider tip: Look for all four of us in an upcoming edition of Cruising World magazine.

Dave and Dianne’s new Island Packet 350

Chrismas Party With Mack Yacht Services

Our dear friend Colin Mack has spun off a new company, expanding  Mack Sails. The new spin-off is  Mack Yacht Services, Inc. and adds full yacht commissioning and yacht refit services going beyond sails and rigging. Mack Sails and Rigging, headed by Travis and Mr. Mack, will continue focusing on sails and rigging with their skilled team. Colin and his amazing team are rapidly building a full yacht refit company. They are well known in the Island Packet Yacht fleet as the “Go to Team” for chainplate replacements, a well-documented issue with older IPs. Mack Yacht Services, MYS, bought a waterfront yacht yard with space for 8 yachts on the bulkheads and with plenty of room to build service buildings and even put in a travel lift. This is a big draw for us in Stuart, being involved with Colin and Travis. We really admire these guys and their family.

How exciting to meet Mr. and Mrs. Mack, who created Mack Sails!
My dear friend Colin Mack of Mack Yacht Services, Inc.
Colin with his team, building Mack Yacht Services, Inc.

While Driving Across Florida, We visited Friends

December found us driving across Florida about 8 times. Some trips were to look at yachts at Whiteaker Yacht Sales and in Ft. Myers, one trip was to the IP Factory, one trip to the pick up new sofa cushions and one was for an IP Mini-vous. Lucky for us, we rented a great car and hit the road, with fun friends to see along the way. It is about a 2.5-hour drive from coast to coast in Florida. Here are some of our great buddies…

Dear Boat Buddies, Julie and Rev Dixie, formerly IP32 MORNING GRACE, connected with us to send us off with a beautiful gift and a blessing. Thank you so much!
Our gift is a beautiful wine cork of  ISLAND SPIRIT with our Code Zero flying. This treasure was made by Julie’s cousins who are traditional scrimshaw craftsmen. So special!
Our other home away from home with Craig and Liana, always fun times.
John and Nancy IP420 ADVENTURESS  invited us for a few great days at their new home. What a festive time!
More Bahamas Boat Buddies Kathy and Alan (with their IP420 FLATLANDER) gave us a tour around Burnt Store Marina. Always a fun visit!
With Dr. J. B. Smith, on a swing thru Epcot. Thank you to Mary Fran and JB’s daughter, Shannon! The Festival of Lights was very special!
Radeen’s fun college friend, Annie, shared her beautiful timeshare with us! Thank you!

Merry Christmas to Radeen, new sofa cushions

On one of our trips across Flordia, we met with Peggy St. Cyr, who taught the factory how to make cushions. She has made custom sheets and beautiful pillows for us, too. We hired Peggy to make new sofa cushions for Island Spirit. Ours were getting flat, so we ordered only the bottoms. Peggy did a fantastic job. Here is happy Radeen unwrapping them as we made it back to the boat very late on this trip.

Radeen unwraps the new sofa seats
Perfect fit, great job Peggy
We love our laptop desk and our 32″ Samsung smart TV works great.
Radeen’s new Gooseneck Pin for Christmas 2018! Merry Christmas 🙂

Back at “Home” Sunset Bay…

With time in Stuart quickly wrapping up, we prepared Island Spirit and provisioned up. It is difficult for us to sail away from the safe harbor where we have great friends and where we feel so involved and where we are helping others. It is really hard to say goodbye and to make ourselves sail on. Before we did, we were lucky enough to visit a few more buddies….

Boat Buddies Linda and Mahlon IP35 JUST DUCKY and us enjoying TooJay’s!
Good times out with Tommy/Tracy IP40 SAILIN SHOES and Greg/Sharon IP40 DREAMCATCHER at Sailor’s Return.
Molli and Reuben, dear friends and parents of some of the smartest children on the planet, came to visit looking for a possible winter home for IP380 PRIORITY.
Boat Buddies Jim and Loretta formerly IP380 PLAN SEA met us at Jim and Vanessa’s home for some great food and flying stories. They are making plans to sail New England again together this summer aboard IP420 WINDRUNNER.

The Little Island Packet Mini-vous
(5 of us became 27 sailors?!? YIKES!)

While driving back and forth across to SW Florida, the idea came to us… let’s have a little IP Mini-vous and get maybe 5 of us together for pizza. Great idea! Next thing you know, we posted a Facebook announcement one week in advance and the party took off. We had 10 people, then 15, HELP! Then 20, OH NO! Then 25, and we stopped counting at 27. Sally and Conrad formerly IP38  IT’S ABOUT TIME had offered to host this event when it was at 5-10 people, but then things went out of control. Sally and Conrad did an amazing job under pressure and the food was outstanding!  Friendships are so wonderful within the Island Packet Fleet and everyone had a wonderful time. YOUTUBE superstar, Tinsley IP27 SALTY ABANDON joined the party. She produced a video interview of the owners and their stories. Thank you, Tinsley!  Her video is embedded below. Thank you, again, Sally and Conrad, hosts of the year!!!!

Sally and Conrad hosted a “little” Island Packet MiniVous (27 people!)

Island Packet Mini-vous Video by Tinsely

Happy New Year 2019

With the rollover of the New Year, we were invited to enjoy a wonderful meal and a really good time aboard the mothership, IP45 NORTH STAR owned by Sharon and John. Sid of IP40 QUEST joined us for the fun as well, while Kate made a quick trip home. We all had a memorable evening. Sharon made a traditional Southern New Year’s Day “good luck” meal, including pork, black-eyed peas and homemade cornbread. We brought wine, bubbly, chocolates and homemade brownies. Here are two fun photos of that happy night:

Happy New Year 2019
Sid and John raise a toast to a Happy New Year 2019. Notice our new Swarovski crystal champagne glasses. (Oh, the joys of the free pile at Sunset Bay!)

Time to sail on and head to Miami

With all these great times and wonderful friends in Florida and the Stuart area, it was time for us to push on south or we may never get back to the Caribbean Sea. We had thought we would leave soon after Thanksgiving, but as you can see, we got involved and really enjoyed ourselves.  Stuart feels like HOME…

Onward we go….Miami here we are, with an interesting adventure in West Palm!