4 Jan 2017-In Port Aransas, TEXAS, my hailing port. Couldn't get in to Island Moorings, no slip for me. Will be here til the end of Jan and then possibly sail to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. OR, may fly to Australia to join a friend and his crew on his 62 Nordhaven and cross the Pacific to Alaska. Waiting to know for sure by mid Jan. It is quite a ship and would be a great adventure.
The sail, no, the motor to Port A from Kemah was not fun. Forecast called for the fog to burn off by 0900 and it did not. It was a total "white out" the whole way. @ times, seldom, we could see the bowsprit. Had some really good crew though and made it safely. Not something I want to experience again.
19 Jan 2017-Tomorrow is Inauguration Day for our 45th President. Hope all goes well and no one is injured. Hope it marks the beginning of an administration that will "Make America Great Again". Hope our new President manages to bring the cost of Bud Light, ice cream and Oreo cookies down some. Full of hope America is.
Appears I won't be making the Pacific crossing from Australia to Alaska, the boat has a full crew. SO,, back to plan "B". Will rent a car tomorrow and drive to Corpus to secure a visa for Isla Mujeres, Mexico, my # 2 favorite destination. Moorea French Polynesia being # 1.
The boat is ready to go, just waiting on the best window to head south in. Going from here to Isla you have to saddle up to a norther right after it blows through and hope to ride it all the way before the winds clock back around from the Southeast because you are heading Southeast from TEXAS. Easy peasy. Right now, looking like leaving Thursday, 26 Jan may be best time to go. Need @ least five days of north winds to have a smooth ride.
It has been great to be home with my Family and friends. Mother Ocean calls...
25 Jan 2017-www.windyty weather site I use says stay in safe harbor. Have been monitoring it twice a day and nothing good is coming up for me to make Isla "comfortably". People ask which is the worst body of water you have experienced...Except for the last 24 hours in the Indian trying to make Richard's Bay South Africa I have to say the Gulf of Mexico can be the most uncomfortable for most of the time. Seems it is either like trying to sail in a washing machine or dead calm. Both conditions - not good. Seldom can you cross it without getting beat up for a day or two along the way.
May wind up just signing on for another month @ the marina here in Port A, conditions start to get a little better 1st of March. Some years though the winds start blowing up from the SE and just get set firmly in that pattern for the whole month. It is alright, Port A is a fun spot to be stuck in.
Too much trouble to go to Conroe and get the Harley, then have to take it back when a decent window presents itself. Everything in Port A is within walking distance though so "no worries Mate", walking is good for us anyways.
4 Feb 2017-Well heck, still in Port Aransas waiting on weather. Have watched every film the marina lounge has and today I intend to tell the manager @ the Stripes store to swap the Red Box out for a new one as I have watched all those films. Do have several books I suppose I could read. Then, there is always the "list" to work on.....
Got a letter from friends in Isla Mujeres this morning and they claim there is absolutely no danger in sailing in to Isla. Visited the State Department's site and Isla is not under a "travel advisory". With all the harsh, inappropriate tweets and the wall there has been an increase in violent crime against Americans in some places in Mexico. Not in Isla yet. What a shame it would be if it escalated to a point where we couldn't visit our friends there. Have always been treated real well there. Looking forward to the day that our borders are secure and we become great neighbors again. Friends.
Been great to get to see my friends and Family here in Port Aransas. This town is growing very fast. Sad there is absolutely no anchorages around that can accommodate a deep draft boat. The TEXAS coast is not good for a cruising sailboat because of that one fact. If it were I would be happy just cruising here in the Great State of TEXAS.
Will be pleased when President Trump has his cabinet posts filled and can get started eliminating the "divide" obama has caused between Black Americans, Hispanic Americans and White Americans. It is going to take some doing, obama's main focus for the last 8 years was to create this great division in order to destroy our Country. I truly believe that. We want a Country where Everyone gets the same shot @ the "American Dream". Everyone.
And No One is above the law! Not even the darn clintons.
12 Feb 2017-Goot Noose! (German for "good news"), Mentioned a couple months ago that I may be going to Australia to go aboard a good friend's 62 Nordhaven Motor Yacht, more like a ship than a yacht, and make a run across the Pacific to Alaska. Well, one of the crew had to back out for some reason and that left a spot for me. Not so happy about the initial crew member having to pass on the adventure but very pleased that I will get to do it. Have tickets and malaria pills in hand and will leave Houston for Australia on the 19th. We will spend a week or so provisioning and in general dealing with any last minute issues on the boat prior to sailing away. "Estimated" sail away date 1 March, weather/seas permitting.
Doing an initial analysis of the boat's structure in trying to decide where we should install the mast. @ first glance it appears we could make a "cutter/ketch" rig out of her fairly easily. Of course my Aussie friend may just choose to leave her as is. He was a full blown sailor like me for years before going over to the "dark side" so he just may consider my design change.
The malaria pills are for the Solomons. The officials there require a month's worth of the pills, even if you only intend to pull up to the fuel dock, fuel up and sail away. I won't even take the pills, three weeks in Viet Nam in 1970 I said, "my stomach gets upset every time I choke one of these malaria pills down my neck"! One of my buddies that had been in country for 6 or 8 months said, "You mean you are still taking them?, heck, WHY?, you are going to die of lead poisoning waay before you will die of malaria"! Made sense to me so I buried them in the mud and never took another one. It was said back then that they only gave you a 50% chance of being effective anyway.
Will have about a month in Hawaii.
Depart 1 March from Bundaberg for Solomons, Tuvalu, Christmas Is, Hawaii, Sitka, Alaska. Arrive mid June.
Dances With Dragons is on a brokerage dock and if she sells I will fly home when arriving in Hawaii, do the deal then fly back to Hawaii to join the boat for the last leg of the adventure.
27 Feb 2017-In Bundaberg, Australia getting the boat ready for the passage across the Pacific to Sitka, Alaska. Like Bundaberg real well, was here for a month or two whilst doing the circumnavigation. Friendly people the Aussies are, much like TEXANS.
Weather/seas are looking favorable for a departure Friday, 3 Feb. Looking forward to seeing how this fantastic vessel rides out on the wild open ocean. She weighs 66 metric tons so that one stat makes her very stable I would think.
Lost a good friend in early Jan and didn't learn about it til yesterday. Got to know him and his Wife in Panama' a few years ago and stayed in touch thru emails since. Sad, he was my age and in good health when I met them. Tells us we need to squeeze all the "happy" out of this Life, just have this one shot @ it........sail on!
12 Apr 2017-Back home in TEXAS. Arrived this morning. It was an experience going to sea on such a fine vessel as the 62 Nordhavn motor yacht from Bundaberg, Australia to Guadalcanal, then to Tuvalu, then on to Christmas Island.
Christmas Island was a fun place to be stuck for a week. Met an Aussie that was working on the fresh water system for the Island and on day two offered me the use of his Kawasaki Road/off road motorcycle. I had myself a blast exploring the island on that bike. The Island is huge, much bigger than it appears to be on the chart. Met several fly fishermen that were staying @ the same hotel and it was fun to listen to the fishing stories @ the end of each day. Amazing how a 10 pound fish can turn in to a 25 pound fish after 4 Heinekens. It was good to get to know them. They are as passionate about fly fishing as I am about sailing.
Will enjoy hunting Easter eggs with the Grandkids Sunday.
Will go down to the boat Monday. Sail plan?? Working on it.
22 May 2017-Have been working on small issues on the boat, been out to Red Fish Island and spent the night a couple of times. Spent two nites just offshore from Noah's Ark last week.
Have decided to sit tight here @ Waterford on Clear Lake for hurricane season. Probably do the Harvest Moon Regatta in October, then take off again. Never know about me. Sail plan seems to change often on account of one thing or another.
President Trump gave a great speech in Saudi Arabia yesterday in front of a lot of leaders from the Muslim world. Would be cool to get them all on board to help fight the radical Islamic terrorists around the world. We need to win that fight soon....
28 Sep 2017-Sailed down to Bocas Del Toro, Panama' first part of June. Have enjoyed getting to see some old friends, meet some new ones, enjoy Red Frog Beach on Bastiementos Island but my "happy feet" are twitching violently and it is time to sail away. Met a very nice young couple, Justin and Dale. They are from Edmonton, Canada and are crewing on other people's boats for now to gain experience and will buy a boat soon. Taking them to Cartagena to have a look @ my Friend Capt Hank's boat SV Cinabar. Great boat and I am afraid they will buy it and I will be solo again. Seriously though it would be a great boat for them. Wish I had it, my boat is just too big for one person to manage. Lots of systems to maintain.
Looking to leave Bocas on the 5th of Oct bound for Porto Bello. Will pick up Dale N Justin there, take them to see the old Fort, the Church of the Black Christ and the museum then sail to Linto'n Bay. Then to the Guna Yala Islands then to Cartagena. Been to all those places but it has been a while and looking forward to seeing it all again with my new friends. Oh, did I mention Miss Dale can cook???
In a slip currently @ Red Frog marina on account of the starter motor on the genset krapt out. Need the genset to charge the refrigeration, charge the battery bank, make water. (The beer HAS to be cold and the ice cream HAS to be frozen!) Never mind, waiting on the starter motor to get back from the shop.
My kids and Grandkids never even lost power or wifi during Hurricane Harvey. No damage to them or their homes. So sorry for the tens of thousands that are without homes in TEXAS, Florida, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean Islands. Terrible catastrophe. I think about em everyday.