Would ya look at the size of that Weiner!

The Admiral was quite enthusiastic over the Weinermobile. It made the day! The Galley Chef(Admiral Nelson) is sauteing fresh Florida shrimp for dinner the cabin smells great! She will be the primary navigator and we will be reviewing charts and cruising guide tonight after dinner. Did I mention that dinner smells great? The Admiral can really whip up some fantastic meals in the small galley aboard Mary Rose.

Ohhhhh I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner.........

Yes it is true......................the Weinermobile came to see us off! We leave Fernandina Beach, FL at first light tomorrow morning 12/1. we will be headed south to Pine Island, just north of St Augustine. We met a couple today that is on the same schedule in a Westsail 32 from Maine. We will travel together and assist one another. Mary Rose is ready to cast off. The new dinghy is on a tow line and holding good air. We are sooooooooooooooo ready to cast off and be on the open water even if it is the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) We expect to make about 50 miles tomorrow. We will update as we are able.


Making Ready For A Long Voyage

This update is a bit over due. Lots has happened since the last post. The Thanksgiving Holiday took some time out of our hectic schedule for preparation and planning of our log upcoming voyage. Thank you Shannon for being such a great hostess! However it was a welcomed interruption and we enjoyed the rest and relaxation. Sooooo.....yes we slacked for a few days but we are hard at work now and things are very much on schedule. We purchased a new 6 ft dinghy and a new Mercury 4 stroke 5 hp engine for it so we can get to shore when we anchor or are on a mooring. We have the motor and it is already secure to the new red oak mounting board that has been u bolted to the stern pulpit. The dinghy was to be delivered today but FedEx went to the wrong address. Today was a great day. We rolled out early and went to Jacksonville to pick up our Honda gas powered generator so we will have axillary power when we are off shore or at anchor. After we returned from JAX we turned Mary Rose around and placed her in the slip with the bow facing seaward so we could work on the wind vane from the finger pier. We then proceeded with mounting the Aries wind vane so we can self steer the boat with wind power and this gives us an additional option for auto pilot that will work in the event that we lose all power. We also met with Captain Larry Sherwood (former owner) and tuned the rig and went over some rig gear that we were not familiar with. We had a couple of beers and watched the sun set before we went below for dinner. We had a very nice light dinner of Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese with Basil, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. We are now studying charts and navigation for the Inter coastal Waterway (ICW) so we can be well prepared for our departure on 01DEC2007 from Fernandina Beach, Fl to begin our 800+ mile voyage to Saint Petersburg, FL. We estimate this voyage to take 12 - 14 days if we sail only during daylight hours. Of course we will stay in safe harbor if the weather dictates. We have set limits for sailing off shore of seas of 6-9 feet with a long frequency and winds below 20 knots. If the conditions exceed these limits then we will stay on the ICW and motor sail 50 - 60 nautical miles each day. Future posts will be dependant on ability to connect to the net and our energy level. Shane Montgomery will be our daily contact and will be keenly aware of each days travel plans. He will alert the coast guard if we do not contact him and we will take the status of an overdue vessel. We have a a good safety net in place for this adventure. All is well and the list of critical items to complete is getting very short. STAY TUNED FOR MORE UPDATES AS WE ARE ABLE!


Interesting Day!

Today started off with a rather sever injury to the Admiral. Lana got a severe boat bite first thing this morning from the companionway hatch. She caught both thumbs in a pinch point and was in a lot of pain. The captain administered first aid and she is much better this evening. In spite of her severe injury she insisted on preparing a fabulous breakfast for the captain. We had scrambled eggs made with fresh cheddar cheese and onions, fried potatoes and sausage patties with coffee and juice. What a trouper!

I spent the day making sure the Admiral was comfortable and on the way to healing and taking care of priority maintenance issues that need to be completed before we set sail for St Petersburg, FL. I put new stainless safety wires on the caps for the chain pipes to prevent loss in heavy weather. I then washed down the topsides to rid Mary Rose of dirt and dust that has settled on her over the past several days. I glued two pieces of red oak together last night to prepare them for construction of a mount to place the dinghy motor on the stern pulpit while we are sailing. It came out as planned and will mount it over the weekend.

We plan to go to Shannon's early in the AM for Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday. We will return on Friday PM or early Saturday AM and begin a hectic schedule to prepare ourselves and Mary Rose for a 800 mile voyage to St Petersburg.



After a long wrestling match with the anchor rode and dinghy, we decided to relax and see if we could catch some fresh fish. Sure enough the first fish caught by the dinghy admiral (Lana) was a Whiting and then a huge sheepshead. This will be enough fish for at least two meals. I could not believe the size of the sheepshead that Lana pulled in. It was a great end to a long hard day. Oh yeah, remember the chili last night? Well it was chili dogs today........yummmmmmmmmmm!

Dinghy Admiral

Today was a day with a small list of chores.

1. Inflate the dinghy.

2. Go to West Marine and use our 20% discount coupon to get things needed to shove off for our sail around the horn of Florida.

3. Pull the anchor rode from both anchor lockers (all 250 feet) and inspect it and make sure that it is in good condition and attached to the Sampson post.

Well the dinghy is old technology and it really was a challenge. We will sell it and buy a new one before we set sail. Please note the photo of the Dinghy Admiral with the foot pump.

We bought tethers, a hand held VHF radio and a few other required items for our longggggggg sail around Florida to St Petersburg.

We pulled the anchor rode from both lockers and sure enough one of the rodes was not attached to the Sampson post.

More to come!


Amelia Island, FL

We returned from Ft Lauderdale today. Ft Lauderdale was a bust for us. The area is very unfriendly to long term transient sailors (read liv-a-board). The traffic was terrible and the people seemed to be generally rude. Way too much hustle and bustle for the lifestyle we are currently enjoying on Amelia Island. One positive is that the average winter temps are much warmer than Northern FL. We drove back to Vero Beach last night and used program points for a free night with a huge breakfast this morning. Free is always good! On the way back to Amelia Island we stopped in Daytona and paid a visit to a local marina. We really liked the area and the marinas but there are over 400 people on the waiting lists...........so that put the damper on the idea of moving to the Daytona area. We had our first real home cooked meal aboard this evening. Yes, we have been having cereal breakfast and cold sandwiches but tonight was a COOKED meal. Lana gathered the fix'ns from the Food Lion and made some great chili! MMMMMMMMMM Yummy! It really hit the spot since it has been a bit cool here in the evenings. We are looking very hard at St Petersburg for our next location. There is availability at the marina and the area is a bit laid back with warmer average winter temps than NE Florida. We looked at crossing the state through the Okeechobee waterway to shave off hundreds of miles and several days off of sailing all the way around the tip of Florida. Well the preliminary news is not good. The depth of the waterway is too shallow for our sailboat due to lack of rain in the region. Please pray for rain for the next two weeks in central and southern Florida. Either way it looks like we will be leaving Amelia Island by December 1, and we will keep you all updated as plans progress.


Ft Lauderdale

We are in Ft Lauderdale tonight. We drove and left Mary Rose secure at the dock in North East Florida. It was blowing about 30 knots and the temps were going to drop to the low 40's. It will be much warmer here in Ft Lauderdale tonight and we will enjoy the big comfy room at the hotel. We are here looking at Marinas for our next move South. We will keep you posted on our location and status.


Up to date!

OK, now the blog is sort of up to date. My son Shane was very helpful in getting me to start this blog and now I wish we had started earlier. Now that it is somewhat up to date we will make regular entries that are more timely. Lana tells me she will post in the future and it will be in pink font so you will know it is her. I can assure you that she has a completely different perspective on this adventure than I. Even though our goals are aligned it is still different. While all is well and we are living aboard there is still much to do. The previous owner is a great guy (Captain Larry Sherwood, USMC, retired) and he has been a great deal of help. He has a boat load of extra parts and gear for Mary Rose. No pun intended. Most of the extra stuff is still in his yard and in his garden storage shed. We moved some of the stuff yesterday but there is much more. The most challenging to date was about 300 pounds of 3/8 galvanized anchor chain. Phewwwwww that was heavy. There is a long list hanging in the galley of work that needs to be done. None of it is critical to safety or sea worthiness. It is really different when your boat is also your home. If any of you would like to learn more about the Westsail 32 you may go to www.westsail.org. The Westsail 32 has a great history and is an interesting boat. We miss our families and friends and hope some of you will come to visit as we venture on our journey. Our current location will likely change within a few weeks. Lana is a dialysis nurse and will be accepting a travel nurse position here in Florida shortly. There is no rush as we would like to get some additional experience before we set off for long distance cruising aboard Mary Rose. We hope you enjoy the blog and hope to hear from you all. The biggest disappointment to date is that due to distance of the local ABC TV station and the lack of cable............WE MISSED DESPERATE HOUSE WIFEWIVES THIS PAST SUNDAY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date night!

We decided to take a night off and go out for Sushi! Thank you Lana for the nice treat! Yummmmm!

Finally a day away from the dock and sailing the old girl!

13 November 2007

Today was the first day that we took time to actually sail Mary Rose. Yesterday we stayed at the dock and the winds were perfect for raising the main sail while tied to the dock. This gave us an opportunity to get familiar with the jiffy reefing system and not be distracted by other things like really big boats, waves and hard stuff at the edges of the water. So today we motored out to the channel and sailed several miles with main and jib. We had a bit of a situation leaving the dock for the first time as the flawless captain of this ship and attentive crew failed to untie one of the dock lines. This boat has a huge prop walk to port and it was exaggerated by the bitter end of the secure dock line. Needless to say we became quite intimate with the boat to our port side. No damage except to the captains ego due to the audience that became attracted to our predicament. The flawless captain almost lost his crew after returning to dock as she slipped on the bow sprit and fell through the hole in it where the anchor chain goes. No serious damage other than minor bruises and the bashing of the captain's ego. All in all it was a great day and we had some serious fun.

Lana Finds a Pirate for Herself!

Not to be outdone by the captain, Lana finds herself a strapping swashbuckler pirate.

Honor to all Veterans!

Saturday we went to the local Veterans Day Parade and paid all due respect to our Veterans! We had a wonderful pancake breakfast at the Methodist church and then watched the parade. It was mostly a day of respect and peaceful relaxation. Well almost anyway........the pirates showed up to unveil the refurbished statue of Peg Leg Pete with a host of sassy Wenches and they kidnapped me! Please do not pay the ransom!!!!!!!!!! I am a Wench Magnet!

All Clean!

The fruits of our labor! Yes flat screen TV and all! Time to enjoy a nice glass of wine!

Out of order, but this is the splash!

01 November 2007

Clean and stow the gear!

Day 2 through 8................. Lots of cleaning! We cleaned her from stem to stern. We had lots of personal gear to move aboard. Clothes, galley ware, food, tools, books, spare parts and more of too much STUFF! She was ready to move aboard on 09 November 2007. It was a great falling asleep in her v-berth and feel the gentle motion of the tidel ebb and flo.

A bit of bottom work!

01 November 2007

Mary Rose was to be lifted from her cradle and placed back into the water!

She had been in a cradle since purchase in July 07. We had to attend to a bit of bottom work before she was placed back in the water. Capt. Don went dumpster diving (PADI Certified Diver) at the carpet store to get some 16X16 pads of perfectly good carpet to burnish the bottom paint and bring it back to life.

Welcome Aboard!

This is the beginning of what we hope to be a very long and enjoyable journey. We hope this blog keeps friends and family up to date and helps them enjoy the journey along with us. The Captain is Don Montgomery and the crew is First Mate Lana Nelson. For some of you this will be your introduction to one or both of us. I am sure you will get to know us both a whole lot better as the journey progresses. So let's get started on the journey.

Welcome aboard!