Several Days Update

So sorry to have not posted for several days but there have been many reasons and more excuses as to why there has not been a post of late. There have been times that we have not had power nor net connection and a couple of times when we were just too pooped to do it. We have made several long voyages in the past several days. For those that enjoy the technicalities of this journey I will post some hard facts to this update for the days that have been missing.

December 4th

New Smyrna Beach, FL to anchorage on the ICW between Cocoa and Palm Coast, FL, Total distance 51 NM Max speed 7 kts, 10 hrs and 21 min travel time avg speed 4.9 kts. We had a great anchorage with good holding just east of green marker number 89. Lots of crab pots but a good holding ground.

December 5th

Palm Coast to Ft Pierce, FL. We docked at a marina so I could attend to a faulty regulator. Made a long hike to West Marine but they did not have the parts so I went next door to Publix and got some food and beer. I went back to the boat and tore apart the regulator to find that it was solid state. Started tracing wires and found a loose ground wire. Many thanks to my brother Ed for being my mechanical consultant during this voyage.

54.1 NM, Max speed 7.1 kts, moving time 11:36 hrs, moving avg 4.7 kts. We had a wide channel and sailed the head sail most of the way with low RPM engine.

December 6th

We punched out of the Ft Pierce inlet into the Atlantic with east winds of about 15 kts and calm seas. The auto pilot did most of the work and we only had to dodge a few fishing boats. Much more relaxing than the ICW. We were happy to be out of the "ditch" and on the high seas. We entered Lake Worth inlet and had a fabulous anchorage.

December 7th

Lake Worth inlet to Port Everglades. Port Everglades is a good inlet but it brings you right into the heart of Ft Lauderdale. Lots of traffic, noise and too much city for us after being in the ICW boonies for a week. The anchoring restrictions are severe and we were lucky to find a small hole to park Mary Rose for the night. The holding was horrible and we had two bow anchors out and one stern anchor. The wind was trying to move us in one direction and the strong tidal current was pushing the keel in another direction. It was quite an experience and we stayed up all nite doing an anchor watch and made it out at first light the next day.

52.67 NM, Max Speed 7.5 kts, avg 4.8 kts, moving time 10:57 hrs We were in the Atlantic all day and fully canvassed. Main sail, super yankee for a head sail and also the staysail which gave us an extra .5 to .75 kts.

December 8th

Port Everglades to Ceasar Creek south of Key Biscayne near Christmas Point. This trip was planned to bypass Miami and all of the restrictions and homeland security issues. It was a fun ride, fully canvassed and 2 - 4 ft seas. This is where we picked up the Hawk Channel which give some protection inside the reef that rings the Florida Keys. The anchorage was great. We used a Bahamian Moor to prevent swing and drag issues due to the strong tidal current. It was good holding ground and good water depth. We were the only sailboat in sight all night.

46.2 NM

Max Speed 8.2....yes it was a screaming reach sleigh ride

Moving avg 5 kts

Moving time 9:15 hrs

December 9

Our original plans were for Ceasar Creek to Rock Harbor. However the winds and waves really started to increase and Rock Harbor offered little if any protection from the East winds and waves. We hailed another sailboat that was headed west and asked for there final destination and discussed conditions. They indicated that they were going to Boot Key and it would be a night time landfall but the anchorage just outside the harbor offered great protection from the strong easterly conditions. Captain discussed the options with the Admiral and we decided to make headway to Boot Key. The Admiral took control of steering Mary Rose while the Captain reworked the navigation plans and waypoints for the GPS. The Admiral entered the information into both GPS systems and then tracked our progress. She has really performed the navigation duties well and is trusted and highly skilled navigator. Having a high degree of confidense in her skills takes a ton of pressure off of the Captain. We struggled for a time with a strong following sea off the port quarter. We reefed the main and head sail and the staysail was full until dark. As it grew late we dropped the main and staysail and motor sailed with the headsail reefed. It was a very long 12 hours at the tiller. We made a perfect nite landfall and anchored in the lee of boot key and then went to harbor the next morning.

7.8 NM, 8.8 kts top speed, 5.0 moving average, 12:30 hrs

December 10th and 11th

At dock in Boot Key, Marathon Marina

Great dinner, good music, clean boat, clean laundry, clean Captain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow we push off for a 24 hour run to San Carlos Bay/ Sanibel Island through the Gulf of Mexico. It will be a couple of days before you hear from us again.

The long awaited posting

Hi to all!!

Sorry about the lack of updates to the blog we have been anchored out.. which in layman's terms would mean .. we have been camping out.. but instead of a tent on land we on the other hand are on a boat in the water. It's a bit rough but it is also wonderful. We spent one nite playing cards by lantern... which may I say I was whooping Capt Don by a score of 435 to 185 and then I let my guard down for one hand and he played a slick move and won the game... GOOD MOVE Capt!! We had been traveling by the ICW (intercoastal waterway)..At Fort Pierce we finally punched out into the Atlantic ocean for the first time.. I must admit I was a bit nervous but all went well. Our last day out we sailed for 12 hours straight with 15-20 knot winds.. we kept our speed up to 6-7 knots... it was great until nite came and we had a few 5 foot waves smack us around! I never realized how beautiful it is to be out on the ocean at nite.. the only light was from the moon... it's amazing how many stars we miss out on seeing living in the city! Mary Rose is a good strong boat and she loves being out on the ocean. I sat on the bow sprit one day and watched her cutting through the waves and it was like watching a puppy playing in the rain. One nite we came back in to the ICW to anchor and Mary Rose decided she wasn't finished playing in the ocean and she kept pulling her anchors up.. at one point we had 3 anchors out but she was determined to break free and sail which resulted in us staying up all nite doing anchor watch... that makes for a long nite esp since we had a $2,500,000 yacht that was for sale parked by us... We spend our quiet days taking turns sailing Mary Rose and fishing... so far other than the fish I caught at the dock... the only other fish we have caught was a 3 foot Mackerel that broke my line and escaped... since then we have upgraded our line to a stronger line.... we will allow no further escapees!! Right now we are at Boot Key which is located in the lower Keys... we stayed here for 2 days after not touching land.. nor showering for 3 days.. YUGH!! I have definitely learned to appreciate the little things in life... We are pulling out tomorrow heading for the Gulf our next stop will be San Carlos Bay we will sail for 24 hours straight and then hang out there for a couple of days before we reach our final destination of St Pete.. Don's son is updated daily of our location and will notify the Coast Guard if he can't reach us... Thanks Shane!! We are definitely on a learning curve.. and we have learned so many lessons.. esp keep your fingers out of the way of anything that moves... for those wondering.. the thumb is healing well .. fingernail will probably be off in the next few days... as to date.. not further injuries!! WOOHOOOOO! Admiral Nelson signing off and wishing each and everyone of you only the best and to remind you to follow your heart and your dreams!! I will leave you with a quote from Richard Bode...

For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.