Sailing vessel Dances With Dragons' Ship's Log

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2016 finds Dances With Dragons in South Africa

TODAY, 15 JAN 2016, MARKS TWO YEARS SINCE LEAVING GALVESTON BAY, TEXAS. 

It has been a great adventure, seen a lot of Mother Ocean, marveled @ many of her thousands of different faces, a few were very ugly, most have been very beautiful, seen many of the creatures that call her home, met a lot of new friends along the way, WORKT ON THIS STUPID BOAT WAAAAY TOO MUCH!!!, been tossed about violently in some mean seas, been badly mal nourished and sleep deprived after long passages, endured bouts of loneliness missing my Family, was attacked by pirates. Would not however, think of going aft to 15 January 2014 and NOT go.   It has truly been worth all the, lets say,"struggles" and leave it @ that. 

Hey, and I still have a lot more to experience on the way home to TEXAS!! 

 

15 Jan 2016- Made it to Cape Town. Parked the boat in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Marina. Very nice place nestled in the Quay Four District. The old Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has been transformed in to quite a touristy upper end area.  Dances with Dragons is sitting right in the middle of it.

Wanting to get hauled out here in Capetown to get the eyebrows glassed in frwd of the bow thruster tunnel to channel the water away from the tunnel.  I figure I will pick up about a kt of speed. 

Haven't weighed myself since I was in Home in November but I must be getting back up to fightin weight. Pelvis bones aren't sticking out anymore and you can't count my ribs.   Ha!  I AIN'T SCARED OF NO STINKIN SPIDERS!!!  Takes more than two spider bites to do me in!!  Last time I looked like that was when amoebic dysentery almost killed me in Viet nam in 70. Ha! I AIN'T SCARED OF NO STINKIN AMOEBAS EITHER!!! Takes more than a few amoebas to do me in!! (Did you know it was amoebic dysentery that got Sir Frances Drake? ) Yeah, they named a wee small island after him just off from Portobello, Panama'. It was Colombia in those days, He raided Portobello a couple times and relieved them of their gold. They put him  over the boards just off the island they named after him in a lead coffin.  Sailed right over him maybe as I rounded his island bound for Portobello. (I can't make this stuff up. Really.)

 25 Jan 2016- Well heck, Had some really good crew lined up but she has had a change of plans, it happens. Regret that but I may have two crew members coming aboard soon for the run to St. Helena then on to Grenada. They both say they can cook and stand a competent watch.  Two very good qualities for crew to have.  Both seem like good people as well. The young Lady, Wilme', is 21 and is taking courses to get the credentials necessary to work on mega yachts and will gain a lot of sea time on Dances With Dragons.  The young man, Wesley, is 22 and has done a few offshore races and some boat deliveries so he has some good offshore experience and can stand  watch. 

Sailing north 55 miles Friday,  29 Jan, to get hauled out for the glass work up frwd and one coat of anti fouling paint.  Waiting in Cape Town for the engine driven bilge pump to come back from the shop. Maybe tomorrow.

31 Jan 2016-  I should have learned by now not to post what I "think" is happening in the future, only things that have actually come to pass,  or would you say "past". Never mind, you get it.

Miss Wilme' can't come with me. Visa problems. South African passports have a hard time with visas being approved for some reason.  I don't get it. Disappointed she can't go. Very nice young Lady she is. NEW POLICY--From now on, Just before I unhitch from the dock to sail away I will enter a bit in this log listing who the crew is and where I am bound for. Howz that? 

Hope to get the engine driven emergency pump back Monday or Tuesday and the spinnaker back by Wed.  Got the deck lights working on the lower spreaders on the main mast AND the steaming light. those lites have not worked since I have had the boat.  Sonny and Al and I gave it a look when I first got the boat but had too many other issues more important to deal with and never got around to fixing them. Have slowly fixed a lot of things on the boat since then.. the horn works now thanks to Captain Paul. SSB works, just need someone aboard that knows how to use it.  I struggle with it. Would be good to have that know how in the case of an emergency I suppose.

Did not sail to Saldanha Bay to be hauled out. Unfortunately the yard master up there had to inform me he couldn't haul me out til "some time" in March. Doesn't work for me.  Have sailed over halfway round the Planet with it like this and I suppose I can get on to the Caribbean with it before i have the work done. Was just keen on putting the eyebrows frwd of the bow thruster tunnel to see how much speed I would gain. I figure about a knot more, which over a 6,800 mile passage would amount to a lot of days off the passage. 

4 Feb 2016-Leaving Cape Town later this morning for St. Helena. 1,687 miles. Pump is back onboard and working well. Got the spinnaker back yesterday. Glad I went ahead and turned it in to be repaired by the professionals. My sail making skills aren't quite there yet. Can do a Country Boy patch to get me on down the road but it may not give the lift it should.

I think maybe I am becoming a better man in my old age.  If the encounter I had yesterday with the Cape Royal Yacht Club manager had occurred maybe 15 years ago I would not be leaving Cape Town this morning. Well, maybe 10 years ago.  This guy clearly never got his butt tore up by his Mommie and Daddy growin up and apparently none of my South African friends ever chose to plumb him up. Never in my Life has a man needed and deserved a severe TEXAS spanking as much as this boy did yesterday.  Managed to keep Rhodney, my twisted little Brother, chained up some kinda way.  So, I am all better now. I get to go sailing!!!  Judges will tell you, "YOU are not the one that administers Justice to these people, that is MY job!!!"   (or so I have heard.)...

That event will enter my wake as I sail to St. Helena and be long gone in about 500 miles and this knot in my stumich will be gone. THEN I will be all better. 

21 Mar 2016-Arrived in Prickly Bay, Grenada on the 16th. 39 days, 5,433 miles. Was a good run, not a lot of things broke. Wesley Bowers proved to be great crew. He stood competent watches, was good company and a great cook. Seems to Love the wild open ocean as much as I do. He caught some fish along the way so we got to eat some fresh fish.

Ran out of a few things but managed to arrive with some oreos and beer, the most important things.

Experienced a little rain and medium to large seas from time to time but nothing we couldn't deal with.

Spinnaker pole on the strbd side needs some work and the hydraulic unit for the genoa furler is leaking fluid on the deck but other than that she held together well.

Going today to see about hauling out to get the eyebrows put on frwd of the bow thruster tunnel and too while I am out will get another coat of antifouling paint put on.

Prickly Bay is a great place to be anchored.  Very beautiful, stores are close by, Grenadians are very friendly people, crime rate is very low.  Only 80 miles away is Trinidad and sadly, the crime rate is horrible and skyrocketing. Another sailboat came up missing just two weeks ago and was found last week drifting over in Venezuelan waters with no one aboard.  Foul play is suspected. On Trinidad proper there is a lot of violent crime waged against cruisers in town, in the maxi taxis and in the anchorages.  It is sad that the small percentage of Trinidadians that are committing these crimes are giving that Island such bad press. It is making cruisers by pass Trinidad entirely.  Lots of good folks there and lots to do and see.  Just too bad.

Got my taxes filed yesterday. What a struggle that is for me.  So now my Gov can take my little bit and send it off to some stupid cause or hand it to some darn zombie that refuses to get up off the porch and go to work!!   OK, OK, take it easy,,,,just had to fire off one little wee small shot @ my stupid Gov.  God Bless America. Whats left of her.......

11 Apr 2016- I need to get in the habit of adding to this site more often.  A lot has happened since I was last on. Set sails for Isla Mujeres, Mexico from Grenada on or around the 27th of Mar.  It is a 1,543 mile run.   About 500 miles from Jamaica I lost steering and before I could get the sails rolled up the mule sail and the genoa had shredded. The mizzen got some tears in it but I managed to get some use out of it. The rudder was hitting the stops so hard as the boat was rolling in the waves that it burnt up a relay switch for the electric pump on the hydraulic motor.

This all happened @ around sundown and by midnite I had been able to find where the steering failed. Put an obama fix on it and was able to hand steer.  Hand steered with the staysail poled out and the mizzen sail hard over for 12 hours a day til I got to Jamaica. Pulled in to Port Antonio, Jamaica and have been working on the boat since. Got the torn up mule sail down, fixed the steering properly and found two more connections that were about to fail in the process. Fixed the auto helm,,,the biggest issue of all I feel like, and replaced the antennae for the big house radio.

www.windyty, best choice I have learned for weather forecasting for offshore sailing, tells me there will be no wind for a couple weeks to speak of to get me to Isla Mujeres.  That is where the knot can be tied ending the circumnavigation. My wakes will cross there. 620 more miles and it is done. Feeling kinda strange about that I am. Is it a Ray Wiley Hubbard song that goes, "THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER AND THE PARTY NEVER ENDS".? ??    Well heck, almost out of road and so the party will end?? 

The picture shows what is left of the mule sail. Ugly huh??

Port Antonio is a nice little spot to be stranded in.  The Jamaican people have been good to be around. Have gotten some work done here.   Getting anxious to get back out on Mother Ocean.  WITH AUTO HELM!! 

26 Apr 2016-To catch up, Left Port Antonio bound for Isla Mujeres, Mexico with just the stay sail poled out and the damaged mizzen sail laid all the way over to port. Winds were big and had a good following sea so made good time getting here.

Turned the jib and the mizzen in to be repaired and should have them back in a couple weeks. Been doing some varnishing. Mainly repairing the mess the people in Port Antonio made.  Sorry, I have to give them some bad press over it, paid way too much in the first place and then for it to turn out so bad that I had to sand it all away and re do it compels me to expose them.  Be careful getting bright work done in Port Antonio! I am no expert in that area but I think an expert might look @ it this morning and say,,,"nay too bad".

 Will probably sail to Port Aransas, TEXAS, that is home, on 18 May weather and seas permitting. The trades will have kicked in by then and it should be a good ride home.

Isla Mujeres is a fun little town. Lots of good places to eat, nice sandy beaches, everyone is "tranquilo". Most of them are tourists here on vacation so that just naturally makes them happy. I like sailing in to here.  Will definitely come back here from time to time. It is only about 680 miles from Port Aransas.  Mas o menos.

Have had the pleasure of seeing some cruising friends since I have been here.  Chuck N Deb on Neytiri who I met in Bocas Del Toro Panama' a few years back and an Aussie couple, John N Sue who I met @ Shelter Bay, Panama' years ago.  Great reunion.  And have met some other nice folks here as well.

 19 May 2016-Been working waay too much and have not had time to add to this blog.  Got the main and the mizzen sails back and waiting on the genoa to come back from Cancun. Re strung the davit winches with a stronger stainless steel wire and two parted the side that I always put the engine and fuel tank on. Made it much easier to hoist up.

Got to see Tim and finally meet Reba on Tropical fun and have met several other cruisers.  Getting to enjoy Isla some but mostly working on the boat.

Nancy is getting out of school on the 3rd of June and will arrive on the 6th.  Linsey will arrive from Colombia on the 3rd.  After about a week of doing the tourist deal on Isla we will, seas and weather permitting, sail to Cayo Largo, Cuba, then after doing some little day sails from anchorage to anchorage to snorkle, swim, explore the beaches etc we will pull in to Cien Fuegos.  Have spoken with other sailors and they have done this adventure and are going back regularly.  Looking forward to being pampered by two wonderful Girls. They are both great cooks and a lot of fun to sail with. Nancy and I have put a lot of nautical miles behind us and it was all good.  Linsey made the maiden voyage with me on this new boat from Cartagena to Bocas Del Toro 4 years ago and it was quite the adventure as many systems weren't working.  We still managed to laugh throughout the whole thing.

Just working on the boat and slowly provisioning for the run to Cuba and waiting on my Girls. 

9 June 2016-My Girls are on board finally!  Linsey got here on the 4rth and Nancy arrived on the 6th.  I am in Heaven, eating like a King. They are both great cooks. It was so good to see them.  We are having fun on this wonderful island. Isla Mujeres has been my favorite destination. Well, I really liked Moorea, French Polynesia as well.  Two totally different cultures and landscapes and both are great places to visit.

Our friends Dan N Susan will be here on the 13th so we are waiting for them before we sail over to Cuba. After a couple weeks in Cuba we will sail on to Port Aransas, TEXAS which is my hailing port.  My Children and Grandkids are in TEXAS and that makes it home.  

Doing little projects on the boat, nothing major. Mostly enjoying the island like most sailors do. (If you have read much of this banter you will know I normally spend all my time @ a destination working on the boat!! )

21 July 2016-Been so busy I haven't even thought about entering anything in to this site.  We sailed over to Cien Fuegos, Cuba and were there for 8 days. Enjoyed our visit and will return to Cuba in the near future.  Hopefully it will be where we can hit an ATM machine for more funny money next time. We would have stayed longer but just ran out of cash. Well, and there was the hurricane season that encouraged us to get back on the road to TEXAS.  Sailed back to Isla Mujeres as it was sort of on the way and visited friends before clearing out and sailing to Kemah, TEXAS on Galveston Bay.  It has been great getting to see my Children Jeremy an Beth and their spouses and all seven Grand kids.  

My Grandson Levi, Jeremy and Rachel's Son, is quite the football player and it will be an exciting fall watching him play middle linebacker for St. Pius High X in Houston. I really enjoyed watching my Son and Daughter play all the sports in school. Now I get to watch all the Grand kids play.  And they play all the sports like Jeremy and Beth did so I will be busy.  Nancy's two Grand Daughters, Hailey and Julia are playing sports as well so I will get to catch some of their games too. 

Harvest Moon Regatta may not be in my future this year as I need to get the hydraulic motor for the genoa overhauled.  Leaking hydraulic fluid, leaking seal I suspect.

Got the Harley inspected, two new tires put on and insured.  Like pulling wisdom teeth it was.  But @ least I have transportation now. Won't buy a car, don't want to get plugged back in to society.  Never know when Mother Ocean might call me up for another great adventure........ 

30 Aug [email protected] the HSH brokerage dock @ Waterford Marina in Kemah, TEXAS. Don't really want to sell the boat.  Have mixed emotions, heart is split on the issue. I want to be close to my Children and Grandchildren and I want to be out on Mother Ocean.  Can't do both.  Sorting it out.

Have gotten the boat showable. Fixt the hydraulic leak, turned out to be very minor, took me all of an hour to resolve.  Was not a seal. Down below has never looked this good and have scrubbed the dirt out of the teak deck as well.  Times being what they are it will be hard to find a buyer as I am sure most everyone is worried about this election. Most important, most critical election for our Country in the history of the Country it is. We can not let clinton back in our White House. If elected she will put obama on the Supreme Court bench and THAT would be the end of our Country.

Went to the Trump rally in Austin on the 23rd.  He doesn't stink nearly as bad when seeing and listening to him in person.  He had some good speakers there and he himself made a good speech.  Hot ride over there on the Harley but it was cool riding back to Kemah when it let out @ 2300 hrs.  Even with all the uncouth remarks he has made on tweeter and in interviews he is a better shot for us than the clintons. Even Vladimir Putin or Reverend Jeremiah, "God Damn America" Wright would serve us better. Word. 

28 Sep 2016-Have had the boat on the brokerage dock for a couple months now and have had only two people aboard to look her over. Have received the new genoa and have it in place. The new mule sail will be ready in about a week. Anxious to get out on the bay and show off with her.  Starting to cool off now and getting to be a great time of year for sailing around Galveston Bay.

Have been researching the idea of buying and acre or two near Houston and building a house so I can become a "proper" Grandfather. Have days when I feel like plugging back in to society and being just that and other days I spend looking out to sea....  Don't do a circumnavigation of Planet Earth, it can put you in a state where you only dream of continuing the adventure.

Maybe someone will come along and buy my ship thereby ending, possibly, my tormented state. Could I tolerate a clinton Presidency destroying my Country better @ sea than I could here in TEXAS plugged back in to society having to witness it on a daily basis? Trump didn't help his cause in that debate. Too many people like me who had decided to vote for him with the idea he stinks but doesn't stink as bad as clinton are now, after the debate, going to just stay home on election day. A "no vote" is a clinton vote way I see it.........(If you are offended with any of this political banter stop reading this blog, I enter my true thoughts in this thing to refer to when I am 90 or 100, not for anyone else.)

30 Oct 2016-0130, couldn't sleep. Too much on my mind I suppose. That huge dinner I had @ 1900 and then that big bowl of Blue Bell Pecan Pralines n Cream @ 2000 hrs may be one reason I woke up @ 0100 hrs. Made coffee and checked Fox News to see if hillery is in prison yet.  Nope, still out and about free and happy as a rat in a dumpster in the alley behind Taco Bell.  No Justice. obama and lynch have destroyed the FBI's credibility and have shown us that yes, the clintons are above the law. Soros should be proud and reward them handsomely.

Nine more days til Election Day. New clinton scandals daily and nothing seems to stick to them. They are truly above the law.

That traitor/coward fbi director comey listed all the treasonous charges his group found they could indict clinton on and @ the end of that spill says, "the fbi will not ask lynch to indict her".   Only in America.

We so desperately need someone to "Make America Great Again". "Make the FBI Respectable Again" .   Merciful Heavens.

Have the mule sail in place. The new 135% genoa is made, have sailed around Galveston Bay with it and it is perfect. A couple of weeks ago I went out to Red Fish Island and anchored off for the night. Can't do any of that now as the hydrofurl motor is in the shop to have an inner seal replaced. (A lot to it, pretty technical stuff and thought it best to get the Pros to deal with it.) The 1 X 19 9/16" dia fore stay arrived and got it ready to install when the hyd motor gets back. The roller furling for the in mast mizzen sail will be back from the shop next week, same time the new mizzen sail is ready. ...Things are coming together.  May sail down to my hailing port and favorite TEXAS coast town Port Aransas. Kemah is the best place in the world to sell a boat and or get things done on the boat. All the boat stores are close by, Kemah Hardware, Home Depot, Hooters, etc

Lot of huge changes are coming about for me.  Worst one ever could be clinton getting back in our White House and of course that means  nasty bill will be polluting it along with her.  Too many Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country to keep her free and safe. Hard to witness all that is happening to our home.

Wish I could make all our Black American friends and Hispanics and all minority groups in our Country believe what I do about Trump.  He comes off like a drunk iron worker @ a toppin out party a lot, too much, but I truly believe he will improve the standard of Living for all Americans, get them to work, off welfare, give them dignity and eliminate the great divide obama has purposely created. I really believe we are better off with Trump.  

Two candidates to choose from: An idiot that Loves our Country  and an idiot that is a criminal and is just as anti American as Reverend "God Damn Ameica" Wright, b hussein obama, michelle obama,  eric holder, al sharpton and many more in obama's administration.

Can you sense I am a tad worried about what is happening in our gov?

Will have this fantastic boat all ready to go soon, if she doesn't sell by first week of Jan the show will begin. Again.  My friend Paul the boat broker can sell her as I go from port to port.  They all have wifi and that is all that is needed.

An antique car show was going on up @ Target/Home Depot parking lot last evening and I saw a like new 1969 Plymouth Road Runner.....Beep Beep. Brought back some wonderful memories it did... 

Thinking about signing back up with www.findacrew.com

4 Dec 2016-Have neglected this sail blog for two reasons,,haven't been sailing and have been celebrating since 8 November when hiliarius LOST the Presidential election. Hard to concentrate @ the computer when laughing hysterically.  

Am a little upset with Trump for, on day 7 after he won the election, saying, "Not going to have the clintons prosecuted".  WOW, that was the one campaign promise that put him over the top and got him elected!  Remember "Lock her up, Lock her up, Lock her up"!!  His supporters were screaming that @ all his rallies. And he backed off.  Typical lying politician.  

He does seem to be putting a good team together. Before I defect to Lower Slobovia or some place I am going to give him a chance to come through on some of the other promises.  Have the hydraulic leak on the hyd furler for the genoa fixt, three new sails so my escape vehicle is jerking on the dock lines like she wants to go Now.

First good weather window I will be sailing to Port Aransas, TEXAS. That is my official hailing port. Kemah is a good place to outfit a sailboat for a round the world adventure but I like Port A better.  Some people have shown some interest in buying the boat lately but not strong enough to keep me here.  If they are interested enough they will drive to Port A and buy her.  Either way is fine. My broker says she is way under priced and he is right. Won't come down any, price is set firm.

Made some good friends here in the marina that have just bought a 53' ketch and are outfitting it to take off on an open ended cruising adventure. The boat has a lot of issues and they are conquering them @ a good pace, should be ready to go in  a couple of months. It is a great boat. Very fast. 

11 Dec 2016-Up in Conroe @ Martha's for "early Christmas". Rachel, Jeremy's Wife, grew up in Tennessee and has Family there so every other year they drive over there for Christmas Day. We always have Christmas early here in those years. So we get to have Christmas Day twice every other year. Cool.

Always fun watching all these "little people" opening their Christmas gifts. All of ours, two kids and seven Grandkids are all healthy and doing well.  I suppose my Christmas wish would have to be that I wish every American could say they and their Family is healthy and doing well.  Even better would be that everyone in the world could say it. Lets pray that Trump doesn't stop with just "Make America Great Again" and goes on to "Make All Of Planet Earth Great Again".   How about that? Imagine, no one on the Planet goes to sleep @ nite hungry....sad, crying, 

Have seen some interest shown in buying the boat. Not serious enough it doesn't appear to keep me in Kemah.  If I wind up going around again the boat can still be for sale, a buyer would just have to travel to wherever she is to take possession.