11.11.2012

Salty State Of Mind

 

Salty State Of Mind

Walking down the beach with sand between my toes
Watching the sailboat mast as she comes and goes
My mind is on thinking of you

Becoming one like the sea and the morning dew
Salt in the air and wind in my hair
I'm living in a salty state of mind

Boats in the harbor, anchors holding fast
This time I think the feeling is going to last
Here is where I wanna be for all time
Living in a salty state of mind.........

by
Captain Montgomery




orig draft 1/2007
 

7.26.2012

Food| Music | Friends |Fun | Tampa Bay Sailing | St Petersburg, FL



Food| Music | Friends |Fun | Tampa Bay Sailing | St Petersburg, FL

If you happen to be cruising through the Tampa Bay area then you must visit THE BAYBORO CAFÉ!
Cruising sailors are always on the hunt for that special laid back “hot spot” that offers camaraderie, EATertainment and a safe environment.   You don’t have to look  very far if you are on the west shore of Tampa Bay and near St Petersburg.    This is the place “Where the belly rules the mind.”

Your hosts will be April and Jeremy along with several others on a varied schedule.  I personally watched Jeremy build the interior of this café over a period of just a few months.  Jeremy will always welcome you with a smile and serve up a healthy dose of local knowledge as he prepares your order.  April is warm and inviting and very genuine giving you a real “hometown” warm experience.  Jeremy and April have expanded their menu offering simple casual to some rather creative daily specials.  Jeremy and April met in 7th grade at Wyndham Junior High in their homeroom class. According to April she liked him from afar, being that the two were in very different social circles. In 2009, they reconnected through Facebook. April invited Jeremy, who was living in St. Pete at the time, to visit her and her family in St. Augustine. Jeremy took the trip north where the two went to a Depeche Mode concert. Almost three years later, they are living happily in St. Pete, complimenting each other’s strengths to create a successful business.

The ideas for this business came when April, Jeremy and their dear friend Billy Moore were brainstorming at their home. Although Billy is not a partner in the project, he was the catalyst for this amazing café. Billy Moore was a resident at the Harborage Marina and is described as a great friend and handy man, from cleaning, cooking and plumbing, Billy could do it all. As April describes, all three could cook and work in great syncopation, which gave them the confidence to take on the huge endeavor of building a successful business. Sadly Billy Moore passed on April 16, 2011. Billy’s memory lives on with Jeremy, April, and Bayboro Café and Catering where every individual is welcomed into a caring, tightly-knit community.
 The Bayboro Café has a “GREEN” philosophy and uses local vendors whenever there is an option.  On occasion you will be treated to the culinary talents of guest chefs.  The menu is moderately priced and is a great value for freshly prepared great food.  Katie Toth recently commented, " I eat here so much they are going to name a sandwich after me. April and Jeremy are awesome and everyone should come support them."

The Bayboro Café offers live music on Wednesday, open mic on Thursday, and local musicians Friday and Saturday from 7to10pm. Bring your favorite instrument and join in the fun.  Tuesday morning you can get your Yogo on at the Bayboro Café.  Every Tuesday morning come and take part in Yoga between 7:30- and 8:45am. Using the Akhanda Style Hatha Yoga With KT there to help you through the class and make sure you walk away from the class in a better place than you began it. Suitable for beginners and all levels are welcome. Last check this class was merely $5.
You can check out the Bayboro’s web site for more detailed information. http://bayborocafe.com/about  

Contact information is:
1110 3rd Street South
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 727-388-5881


The Bayboro Café is located just outside the security gate of the Harborage Marina in St Petersburg.  The Harborage marina offers transient slips if you are planning a short visit.  If you find yourself on the hook or at one of the other Marinas then you will find the Bayboro Café south of downtown St. Petersburg, FL at 1110 3rd street south in front of the Harborage Marina 
Now you can NEVER complain that there are no cruiser friendly fun spots in St Petersburg, FL.

Be sure to tell Jeremy and April you saw this on Salty State of Mind and tell them Captain Montgomery and Admiral Nelson said hello!

5.31.2012

Tropical Storm Beryl | Brunswick, GA | Morningstar Marinas at Golden Isles



Tropical Storm Beryl paid a visit to the Golden Isles this past weekend.  There were concerns at the local marinas as the storm approached with forecast winds that were expected to be over 55 mph. 

We paid a visit to Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles to see how the boats were holding up as the winds began to build out of the North East as the storm approached landfall near Jacksonville, FL.

We were pleasantly surprised to see the Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles was well protected from the North Easterly winds that were blowing about 24 sustained with gusts of over 30. 

The vessels were all securely tied in their slips with lines and most of them had double lines added as insurance against the stronger pressure from the winds that were yet to come. 

While we were walking the docks we noticed several individuals busy at work going down the dock inspecting each vessel and making dock line adjustments as needed.  These dock hands included
Dock Masters Chick Candler and Buck Vickery along with Operations Manger Alfred Battey.  Right along side of these individuals decked out in full heavy weather gear was Chris Ferguson, General Manager.  We were impressed to see these individuals working hard on behalf of the vessel owners to protect their property. 

I dare not count the times I have seen the management staff at other marinas in the office delegating rather than being a part of the solution.  We salute the entire staff of  Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles for a job well done to prepare for Tropical Storm Beryl. 

We checked back with the management and there were no major problems at this marina for the duration of this storm. 


We have no problems giving this marina a high recommendation should you find yourself in need of a slip while you are in the area or looking for a place to call home. 

Moringstar Marina at Golden Isles is easy to find and located just off of the ICW at mile marker 675.

Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles Web Site
Contact information:

Chris Ferguson
General Manager
Morningstar Marinas at Golden Isles
206 Marina Drive
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
(p) 912-634-1128
(f) 912-634-1786
 at

5.15.2012

Platimo Contest 101 Compass Review - Poor Lighting for Night Vision


Our old Constellation compass was impressive but it was a bit of a tripping hazard!


We installed a Plastimo Contest 101 in the bulkhead of our Westsail 32 before our last voyage off shore.  We were very happy with the design and compact nature of the compass and it served us very well...................that is............ until we needed illumination to read the card.

It is fine if you are directly in front of the compass and close to it but the light is way to dim to view the compass card from the normal steering position and clearly a problem when you are on the opposite side of the cockpit.  Forget you have a compass if you have marginal weather conditions. 

I called Plastimo and they agreed to sell me another bulb to install in the compass so that there would be more light.  I had no problem with that and agreed to pay $8.63 for a $2 bulb to fix a design problem with their compass.  The real shock came when the invoice arrived separate from the package and listed the shipping cost as $13.59 for an item that weighs .2 of an ounce.  This item could have easily gone in a padded envelope for a couple of dollars.  So we spent about 20% of the price of the compass to install an additional bulb to correct a design flaw in the compass.   This is an obvious design flaw that could be easily corrected by the manufacturer.  I am sure that the lighting installed in this compass is adequate if you shut the lights off in the lab and look at it on a shelf.  However, when put to the test of actual sailing conditions the illumination features of this compass fail the test.

We still like the compass and hope that this additional light fixes the problem.  We are writing this product review to inform the sailing public of  a problem so they can adapt before finding themselves left in the dark and not being able to view the navigational compass at night. 

We feel that Plastimo should sea trial this compass at night in marginal conditions and then provide adequate lighting.  We also feel that the correction for this problem should have been provided at no charge and that the shipping charges should have been in the $2 range if any at all.  Plastimo did refund half of the shipping charges but made no other adjustments.

This item is on our recommended list as long as you correct the illumination issue.
Captain Don Montgomery

5.13.2012

Westsail 32 - Keel & Rudder Crab Pot Line Preventer


The keel shoe/preventer that extends over the gap between the keel and the hull on a Westsail 32 has proved worth the time and effort to build and maintain it.  It gives us Peace of Mind when sailing through waters that are loaded with crab pots and when tidal currents case you to drift backwards over your anchor line.

This is the third and we hope the final time that we will have attached a crab pot line preventer shoe to the keel of our Westsail 32.  There was one on the boat when we purchased it but it was lag bolted into the bottom of the keel and it became loose.  On one of our routine haul outs we glassed over it hoping that this would keep it snug and secure.  It lasted two years and then on our last trip to the Bahamas we lost it.  We were anchored in the Ragged Islands just North of Duncan Town and the winds shifted in the night and the anchor became dislodged.  Before it could get another bite we went aground on a hard rock shelf in a falling tide.  With the help of a fellow sailor we were able to dinghy the anchor to a deeper sandy spot and kedge Mary Rose to safety.  During the process we later realized that the freshly glassed preventer was ground off the bottom of the keel.

During our most recent haul out we had a new preventer fabricated that fit the aft end of the keel like a shoe and the tail extended past the rudder then bent up at a 45 degree angle and stopped short of hitting the rudder.


The shoe was fabricated out of 1/4 inch 308 stainless steel and I had the welder attach two short lengths of pipe to one side before drilling the attachment hole so we could use them to make sure our holes lined up when we drilled through the keel to attach it to Mary Rose.  It was a Rifle Barrel concept and it worked perfectly.  We then cut the tack weld that were hold the aiming pipes.



After a couple of test fits and minor adjustments we were ready to drill the holes through the keel and attach the foot. 



After the foot was securely attached the excess length of the 1/4 inch bolts were cut off.   We used 3M 5200 to protect from water penetration into the holes by filling all the voids and around the holes we drilled.  The next step was to mix up some epoxy and fair the edges smooth so it became a integral part of the keel.  After the fairing was complete we gave it several barrier coats to seal it all up before applying the bottom paint.  We hope that this one will stand up to the abuse that it takes when in marginal anchoring conditions.  We will let you know.

Captain Don Montgomery

5.11.2012

North Florida and South Georgia Boat Yard and Haul Out Facility


North Florida and South Georgia Boat Yard and Haul Out Facility
We had our Westsail 32 hauled out for routine bottom maintenance this year at Tiger Point Marina, Fernandina Beach, FL.  Tiger point Marina is a Full Service Boat Yard with a 35 Ton Lift.  There have been many upgrades to this facility since I was here several years ago.  There is a large inventory of new Secure Steel Hurricane Cradles.  You can see them on their web site.  http://www.tigerpointmarina.com/boat-storage/
Tiger Point Marina also offers a Do It Yourself “DIY” option for those of you that are interested.  We had to have some hull repair completed as two thru hull sea cocks were removed.  The workmanship was high quality and the labor rates were competitive.  If you need parts and supplies, Jackie can have them for you the next day.  She is very knowledgeable and extremely helpful.

Tiger Point Marina is located at Buoy marker number 6 on the ICW. The entrance to Egans Creek is a narrow channel. Use the center of the creek as a range guide. Our floating docks are parallel to Egans Creek and docking starboard or port side is determined by the wind and tide.

After using Tiger Point Marina several times over the past years we are delighted to report that they have been added to our recommended supplier list. We do not give this distinction out very often and items must be tested and proved before they make our list. We have no problem telling you to invest in Tiger Point Marina when you need Boat Yard Services.
Contact information for Tiger creek is:
Tiger Point Marina
997 Egans Creek Lane
Fernandina Beach, FL 
904-277-2720

Be sure to tell them that Mary Rose V sent you.

Fair Winds,
Captain Don Montgomery and Admiral Lana Nelson

4.17.2012

12 VDC Interior Lighting for Sailboats

12 VDC Interior Lighting for Sailboats

One of the major projects to complete before off shore
cruising in our Westsail 32 was to re-wire the entire boat. We decided to replace every single wire, not just some of the wires. This was a large project and meant a new breaker panel, new alternator, new regulator, new monitoring system, new engine related wiring and more. We managed to do all of this and still lived on-board at the marina in St Petersburg, FL. If you have any experience at all working on a boat you also know that there is never and I mean NEVER a project that does not involve a bit more than what you intended. Systems are so integrated that repair of replacement of one item leads to consideration of one or more other items.


This was clearly the case with the re-wire project and our interior lights that were installed on the boat when we purchased her. One end of the lighting wire was attached to light fixtures. The old lights were fluorescent and of the type you would find in early model recreational
vehicles. The old lights functioned and worked OK but the way that you made them red lights for night was a bit cumbersome. It required you to remove the light tube and slide a red plastic cover on the bulb and replace it. Obviously we did not do that and just used the white lights at night at the detriment of our night vision.


When we started the planning process we looked at our lighting options. It was critical to
make these choices before we began the project so we would have complete data in our energy audit to build and size the system to accommodate our decisions and prevent post project changes. The energy audit meant making a COMPLETE list of every single item that would draw current and an accurate estimate of the amount of energy consumed when operating as well as an estimate of the amount of time it would be operating.


There were several choices when it came to interior lighting for our boat and each one had some benefits and limitations. We made a list of features that were important to us and highlighted the “must have” features. We applied our criteria to the options available and there was one
manufacturer that soared above all others. It had all of our “must have” features and offered some options that were very beneficial that we had not considered.


The brand we felt the strongest about was ALPENGLOW LIGHTS from Eureka, Montana. What could a company from Montana know about marine lighting? As it turns out, this company has been serving the marine industry for over 20 years. We were able to see live examples of their product that had been installed on several boats in our home marina. A trusted, independent local marine supply and repair service gave Alpenglow Lights very high recommendations and assured us we would not be disappointed with their product and service.


We made our decision to replace all of our interior lights with Alpenglow Lights. Every area of our interior is lit with Alpenglow. We also added one Splash-Proof Dual Power combination red and white light fixture with to the cockpit area which turned out to be an extremely valuable decision. The lights we installed throughout our boat are the 9 watt Dual Power with LED NIGHT VISION. There is virtually nothing you cannot do at night in our boat that you can’t do during the day. The lighting is fabulous and the service is outstanding.


As we all know that the marine environment is hard on electronics and modern lighting is also susceptible to these threats. We experienced a problem with one of the dual power switches on our exterior cockpit light after about 4 -5 years of use. I contacted Alpenglow and the problem was immediately resolved at very low cost.


The features we love about these lights are:
- Low current draw – energy efficient
- High and low dual power option
- Pleasant warm light similar to standard bulbs
- Constant light output over a wide voltage range
- Splash- Proof option for cockpit and shower locations
- White and Red night vision all in one fixture
- Beautiful wood trim with many type and color options
- Low cost replacement bulbs
- Friendly customer service
- Iron Clad Product Guarantee


After using Alpenglow Lights for several years we are delighted to report that they are on the top of our recommended supplier list. We do not give this distinction out very often and items must be tested and proved before they make our list. We have no problem telling you to invest in
Alpenglow Lights when you need to make a cabin or cockpit lighting choice for your boat. The need for availability of superior lighting is always met with Alpenglow Lights and they are highly
reliable for off shore adventures. You can check them out at http://www.alpenglowlights.com/


You are welcome to submit your comments to this post below. We will reply if you leave your
contact information.

Captain Don Montgomery and Admiral Lana Nelson

Mary Rose V

2.04.2012

Night Sailing - Fantasy

Space Pilot

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to pilot a spaceship through the universe? Most likely you have had some sort of thoughts or fantasy about this subject due to the popularity
of the NASA space program, Star Wars and other Hollywood hits. I have been thinking of writing on this subject for some time but have always pushed it aside for later. Well, later is here and I hope you enjoy my experience of being the pilot of my own craft hurtling through space.
It begins on a clear moonless night in the Caribbean Sea, far from land, with stars filling the sky to the point of overflowing. One has to ask, “Where did all these stars come from?” We have all
seen the night sky full of stars but never this many stars. The Southern Cross is just off the bow and the Milky Way looks like spilled cream across the sky above the deep undulating sea. I have never seen the Milky Way so clearly from a place where light pollution does not exist. In fact, there is not one artificial light or evidence of artificial light in sight, except the tiny navigation lights on my own ship. No, there are no bright hues in the sky from highly populated oversized cities and no sky scrapers or headlight beams or anything else that gives you any indication that there is human life on this planet, other than you. It is a vastness that helps you realize just how small your footprint is on the galactic expanse. The night breeze is refreshing but not too cool and it has the strength to power your ship across the fluid rolling surface of this magnificent planet you call home. The set of the current gives you a small bit of a boost on your plotted course and the waves are just large enough to give you an enjoyable motion as you ponder what lies before you. The sea is alive with bioluminescent creatures that create a light show in your bow wave, your slip stream and any other place where the water is disturbed by your track through the salty water that occasionally kisses your lips or stings your eyes. Your sails are full and balanced so that there is little to be done but be watchful and let the autopilot do its
job. It is one of those occasions that remind you of why you love what you are doing.
Your mind is busy monitoring the systems of your ship through valuable inputs from a wide array of onboard computers, navigation equipment and the simple, reliable, trusted, ageless magnetic compass. Sometimes the simple gauges are all you need and can be the most reliable. OK, all systems are go, auto pilot working well, nothing in the way to impede your progress. You slow down your thought process and let your mind work in different way. You begin to wonder why and start asking yourself silent questions about a lot of different things and you begin to
enjoy the majestic beauty of all that is around you. It is now that I am struck with the thought
that this is no ordinary ship, no not at all ordinary in any way shape or form. The truth of the matter is, I am on a space ship. Yes, I know it looks like a sailing ship but hang on for a bit longer and I hope you will see. Well yes I am on a sailing ship, vessel, yacht, whatever term you choose. But for the first time I have the true and real experience of flying through space on my own ship here and now. My ship just happens to be attached to the sea on the planet earth and earth is carrying me through space, around the sun at over 66,000 mile per hour. Yes I know we all know this and it is elementary relativity and not too difficult to understand. But how often are we in a position that gives us this picture and an opportunity to contemplate such grandness. When
we are home in our cars or over our homes in airplanes or anyplace else where the horizon does not seem to continue on and on through the stars, you are hardly able to grasp the concept in such a vivid manner. Here at this moment is looks as though I am on course to penetrate the Southern Cross on my journey. Why not? It is straight ahead and my nose is pointed right at the center of the cross and I am traveling over 66,000 mph? Well we all know that answer but the feelings are quite different if you let yourself be a bit childlike again and forget all that stuff about being earth bound. Let your mind wonder for a bit and imagine just how small you really are relative to all you see at this time. The next time that you think you are really something, big fish, hot stuff, high and mighty……..whatever it is that describes what you think when you feel on top or large and in charge……… consider the vastness of the reality that allows you to exist. Perhaps this lesson would allow more of us to be a bit more compassionate, helpful, and understanding. I often forget to exhibit those qualities and it is then that I need to return to my ship and consider my priorities and wonder why. It is then that I realize that I am the most fortunate of all to be in the presence of and connected to a universe that consistently gifts me with grace and wonder, a universe that thrives on creation.
Then I remember the conversation that the great sailor Henry Morgan had as a young boy with old Merlin in John Steinbeck’s novel, Cup of Gold. “Merlin searched the boy’s face closely. ‘I think I understand,’ he said softly. ‘You are a little boy. You want to drink the moon from as a golden cup; and so, it is very likely that you will become a great man----if only you remain a little child. All the world’s great have been little boys who wanted the moon; running and climbing, they sometimes caught a firefly. But if one grow to have a man’s mind, that mind must see that it cannot have the moon and would not want it if it could----and so, it catches no fireflies. ’ ”
Be creative, keep a child’s mind and enjoy this portion of your journey!
Captain Montgomery

8.05.2011

I love my money fund manager

I talked to my financial advisor today and told him I was calling to say goodbye before I fell on my sword due to the recent drop in the stock market. He said wait I have good news for you. He went to cash with a good percentage and also invested in a hedge fund two days before the drop. We are actually up and put the sword away. Looks like we may be sailing again before we know it. Thank you Brad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6.27.2011

Bimini | Bahamas | Ashley Saunders | Dolphin House | Resort

Our last day in the Bahamas turned out to be a quite amazing experience. It was one of those moments that you can’t explain why it happened but it was one of those moments that you wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on.

The Captain and I strolled around Bimini to prepare our legs for the upcoming 3 day sail through the Gulf Stream. During our casual stroll we arrived at a narrow road that lead up a slight incline. There was nothing extraordinary about this road but we felt motivated to turn and hike up it.
When we reached the top of the hill we noted a strange sight to our left, it was a building that was designed and built using a distinctive technique.
As we admired the masterpiece we noticed a man with a huge smile spread across his face

walking towards us pushing a bicycle. “Would you like to see inside?” he asked? “Of course!” was our response. He introduced himself as Ashley B. Saunders and the creator of this work of genius. He invited us inside and began to give us a guided tour and with each room we became more enthralled with this man’s imagination and creativeness. Ashley began building his dream in 1993 and named his building; “The Dolphin House”.

He embarked on this project by hauling tons of sand up the steep hill from the beach with help of family and friends utilizing a wheelbarrow. Next, he allowed the sand to sit for months so it would be washed by rain water to clean the debris and salt from it. After the sand was rinsed enough he used it to mix with the other ingredients to make the concrete for his foundation. After the foundation was cured he built the exterior walls utilizing cinder blocks with double layered steel rods coated with anti rust to decrease corrosion.

Ashley’s philosophy was explained to me as follows; “you should build like it is meant to last forever”; he also described the relationship between steel and concrete like a husband and wife, a relationship that provides support and strength to each other. I would bet that this building could definitely withstand a hurricane!

The interior is made up of building materials that consist of left over scraps from other projects on the island, scraps from buildings that were destroyed , scraps of whole and broken tile, bottles, marbles and all types of various items that he found washed up on the beaches over 10 years.



He utilized natural resources such as rocks, various shells including heaps of conch shells which some he ground down and made paste to coat the walls. He also receives items by mail from individuals who have visited him.

They send him items to use such as broken vases, souvenirs that they no longer want, coins from all over the world and even stain glass from old church windows.

The front lower level of the Dolphin House
consists of a museum that displays

several old items such as a pirate’s cannon,

a dress that belonged to his grandmother

and even 2 drivers’ licenses from Shawnee, Kansas.

Next door you will find a gift shop named, “The Shabby Boutique” which sells various items such as shells and jewelry that is made from items found on the beach such as sea glass, shark teeth and shells.

Ashley’s living quarters can be found on the lower level in back of the house. The apartment is modestly charming and is decorated with various objects that he has collected over his years living on the island.

Next you walk up the stairs that are located on the
side of the building where you will find 2 rooms that Ashley rents, each room includes a kitchen, living area, bathroom

and 2 bedrooms and are 32 steps from the beach.

The rooms rent for $50/per person/per night.

In the living area you will find a

Caribbean fireplace,

a library with a supply of Earnest Hemingway books

and a TV.


There are all sorts of items embedded

in the walls to make art and décor including an old anchor chain that

Ashley built into a pillar with parts exposed.

It is difficult to witness all the unique forms of art,

I would lay a wager that you could spend days in this room and still notice something new such as a size five woman’s sandal that he found on the beach embedded in the corner of the living area.

The bedrooms each have a theme, one of the rooms is called the mermaid room due to the 5 mermaids in various areas of the room.
The other bedroom has a fish theme which includes a broken mirror that Ashley

fashionably disguised with coins that he formed into palm trees.

The roof is open for sun bathing or relaxing to enjoy a sunset cocktail. The roof overlooks the Atlantic Ocean to the west
and to the east the Caribbean Sea.


There is also a fruit garden behind the house where you can find bananas, mangos and, papayas.
Ashley believes in utilizing resources that are natural or that most people consider trash as to save our environment from further clutter which is slowly destroying our planet.

Ashley also believes if you want to do it right, do it yourself which he practiced in building this magnificent building.

Ashley is a magnificent man that was born and raised on Bimini. He attended the University of Wisconsin where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Next he did his post graduate work at Harvard. His aspiration is keep the history of Bimini from being eternally lost therefore he is the President of the Bimini Historical Society. Ashley was the 2000 winner of the prestigious Cacique Award,


a distinguished poet

and the author of many books including 2 volumes of books named,

History of Bimini. His lists of accomplishments are astounding!




Ashley comes from a generational family of craftsman, they build wooden bone fishing boats, crafted display boats out of seashells,
there are musicians in the family, Earnest Hemingway was a big part of their lives and his banjo playing uncle,

Nathan Saunders, is mentioned in Hemingway’s book titled, Island In the Stream. Uncle Nathan also wrote a song about Hemingway called, The Big Fat Slob.



Ashley and his family are definitely well diverse and very interesting to spend time with.