February 1 - 14, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 Feb 1 - In our previous log, you saw the Captain's meeting for the Wreckers Race that occurred at Schooner Wharf which I participated in. I'm sure you are very interested in how everything turned out. I'm going to start with the race and then go back and pick up on the tour we took of the Coast Guard base later this afternoon and post again.

I mentioned the rules in our previous post so keep in mind there are no protests and no rules except you aren't supposed to hit anyone and you have to cross the start line after the race officially starts. Because of the size, the schooners started at 1 p.m. and then the rest of the fleet. Just so you know, there were 43 entries and I think 5 were schooners. Also, you have to remember that Deb and I have never entered a race. We were hoping with the other people on board, we would figure something out that might work. As it turns out, only John showed up and he was one of the people that hadn't sailed before. However, he did know the terminology so that was a great boost. I had Deb on the helm at the start and the start was a zoo. I told here to turn back towards the start line and she shook her head no. I motioned again, and again, she shook her head no. You see, there were boats everywhere and we were going the wrong way!!! Well, you have to laugh. I was up front ready to launch our spinnaker but you can't launch it into the wind, you have to turn back out of the wind and it is a great idea to be heading towards the starting line too.


Ultimately we heard one minute to race start and that is when Deb felt like we had enough room to turn towards the start line. It made sense because there weren't any other boats around us. Once heading down wind, the spinnaker came out and we had given the rest of the fleet an appropriate head start. In the picture to the left you can see that they were ahead of us because we started in dead last. But it wouldn't stay that way! Our lack of experience would tell us not to take the course many were taking and instead take our own course which in the end paid off.

The picture to the lower left is from the video replay that occurred last night at the Schooner Wharf bar and grill. At this point, I was at the helm and I was trying to explain how to trim the sails for the best speed to John who you might remember has never sailed. With this approach, we were coming up on the fleet. You might want to look at some of the sails in the pictures to the left and below because in the pictures that follow, many of them will be behind us.

Of course, some of the other boats had their issues too as you can see in the lower pictures.

Once we worked our way up into the fleet, I started working through them and using my vast (none) racing experience, I would try to overtake them on the starboard side (right) so I could steal their wind. It worked on a couple of boats and on others we were just faster. The winds were light and we only had 7-9 knots apparent but were making from 4.8 to 5.25 knots. I kept thinking that we might be doing better. By this point, I was getting more and more comfortable with John and I asked if he could take over the helm steering the boat.

This proved to be a good move because I was able to change the sail adjustments and we picked up another .25 to .5 knots over our previous speeds.

Another picture of Freedom under sail while overtaking the fleet on the video camera. And yes, the date on their camera was wrong.

About this point and time, we had a 45 foot multihull in our sights and were working at overtaking them. I guess I should digress and tell you that there are divisions in the fleet and we were in the multihull division. We were racing the entire fleet for the bragging rights of being at the reef first but more importantly to us, we were racing our division and had no expectation although hope we might get into some kind of place for the awards. Afterall, with all of our experience and race prowess it would have to be hope.

We did overtake more than half of the fleet along with one of the schooners who remember started 5 minutes before us. In the picture below you can see two of the schooners heading for the finish line at Sand Key and in the picture to the right you can see some of the boats that we have passed. You might remember a couple of the sails from the pictures above especially the black spinnaker.

The picture to the right shows Deb back at the helm and I'm playing with sail trim while John was up taking some pictures. Pictures are always a big priority because even though we aren't racers, we are website people and YOU want to see the pictures, right! The other thing this picture shows is us passing another boat that used to be in front of us.

Below you can see two pictures of us approaching the finish line. At this point, the wind was shifting around and we started to loose the spinnaker set. I had to pull in the mainsail to keep the wind in the spinnaker and also told John to head right at the committee boats stern (rear end.) I said if you have to, just miss it but don't hit it. That gave us about 10 degrees more of favorable wind and the spinnaker filled back in just as they were taking video of our boat again. (Doesn't it look great.)

The picture to the right is us as we pass the front of the committee boat.

We all gathered at Schooner Wharf for the video replay along with the awards ceremony. Part of our entry fee included 4 tickets for dinner which was really good. Watching the video, our table of 3 would cheer everytime our boat came up, not so unlike the rest of the crews in the room. I even talked to some people we passed and a schooner who was using us as a gauge of their progress since we overtook them.

Following dinner, several plays of the video and some good conversation, we ultimately headed outside to the main stage where the awards were presented. Our award was already in place. We started dead last and passed about 25 of the other boats in the race. Pretty good.

The owners of Schooner Wharf presented the awards as you can see below left. When they announced the awards, we found out we won 3rd place in the multihull division and with that came a gift certificate for Schooner Wharf, a gift certificate for a Wreckers T-shirt, and of course the great mug you see below. High fives all around.

We had fun and would do it again if we were staying that long but we are off moving again late February. Another thing I learned is that if you really want to get in a race, you might want to practice a bit with the "crew" you are taking. I have heard it said that practice is over-rated but I think they may be wrong. Perhaps it might not be a bad thing to take people out on the boat and make sure they know what they are supposed to do. I'll bet the guys at Key West Race Week practiced a time or two before they came down. Then again, what fun would that be? Maybe we will just enter and find a crew a couple of nights before again in two years when we get back this way.

Feb 1 (2nd Edition) - We took a tour of the Coast Guard base on Saturday afternoon. David gave us the royal treatment and picked us up outside of the Raw Bar in the parking lot then drove us over and through the base. To the right you can see the headquarters of the Coast Guard Key West Sector. They are the main headquarters to stop the drug smuggling and illegal immigrants that are trying to cross the gulf stream into Florida. On top of that, they have as their original mission to serve as rescue services for mariners at sea that declare a Mayday or to receive and then rectify reports of off position navigation aids along with other items. Of course since 9-11 they also have an expanded mission to help stop the possibility of terrorism occurring from the sea. It makes me wonder if their budget expanded appropriately to accommodate the expanded mission but I can't get that out of David who is a dedicated "Coastie." However, my thoughts really are that this is one of the areas that should not only be maintained in the next budget but should be expanded if we are truly serious about our security at sea.

Below you can see a picture of the "target boat" they pull so the guys can practice shooting the targets. They use a hard rubber bullet instead of actual rounds. Afterall, actual rounds will ricochet off the water and who knows where they will go.

Of course we just had to get the picture of us standing before one of the ships that we helped fund back when we were working and probably pay for a gallon of gas a year in even today.

You might remember this picture from back in early January. What you haven't seen, nor I, is this boat in the water - until now.

Below you can see two picture of the boat, which was worked on to make it more seaworthy, in the water at the Coast Guard docks.

What I learned was that the Coast Guard seized this boat carrying 6 tons of cocaine while it was trying to get to the U.S. Go Coast Guard!

I also learned that they are working on new radar signatures so they can better detect these boats when they are coming across the ocean. I can't help imagine that when loaded down with 12,000 pounds that the white part of the boat will be much closer to the waterline and it is amazing that you can detect these anywhere.

Of course just like in WWII when the aircraft fighters would paste their kills on the side of the airplanes, the Coast Guard has stickers for their boats designating their seizing of marijuana and cocaine. You can see two of the larger ships stickers to the right and lower left. On top of that, you can see in the lower right picture one of the reasons they stop. Big Guns.

As we were aboard the Sawfish, I was able to take this picture from the forward window. The boat looks like a dinghy or a fishing boat. As I understood it, the Coast Guard stopped and seized this boat as it was crossing the Gulf Stream with 12 or more Cuban's aboard trying to get to Florida. As a side note, I could imagine crossing in good weather with 2 but 12???? Talk about an unseaworthy move!

We took a good look at the Sawfish and it is a newer ship constructed in 2002. It is cool for many reasons but below right you can see where they keep their inflatable. It has a door in the back which lowers and they can launch the inflatable. On top of the fact that this reduces the manpower necessary to launch the vessel, it also means they can launch quicker and potentially without the vessel they are investigating knowing they have launched.

The picture to the right is the helm station on the Sawfish. They have just received a new thermal imaging unit to use in their search and rescue work as well.

The pictures below are of another helm station on another albeit older vessel.

Then the pictures below those are of the surge levels of the hurricanes that have hit Key West. When you think about a surge of 26 feet coming onto Key West, you have to think destruction.

The pictures below are just for the boating junkies. The picture to the left is of the anchor shackle and swivel that attaches to the anchor chain. I was actually surprised they have a swivel because those are usually the weak link. What didn't surprise me was that they use Fortress anchors which are one of the best anchors, in one direction, that you can use. I did like that they did not attach the swivel directly to the anchor because there is undue stress on the swivel. they way they have it would produce the least amount of side stress and allow it to swivel.

The second picture is of the life raft release. That round thing in the middle left is the device that if the boat gets to 12 feet underwater then the life raft will release on it's own.

We had a great time looking at everything on the boats but also we drove by the facility at the end of Fleming Key. I had always thought it was a base for Navy Seals but found out that it wasn't. The seals do train in Key West but not out of this facility. Instead, the facility at the end of Fleming Key is for the Army Special Forces unit. Of course we couldn't go in but I also learned that the tall square building is actually a dive chamber and they can dive as deep as 50 feet in the building.

It has rained most of the day today and Deb and I have enjoyed just hanging out on the boat. Not only have I had the website updates to accomplish, Deb was also a bit sick. She's getting better with the rest and I've been working on the website. We heard from Frank and Cindy up in Ft. Myers and they appear to be heading our way Wednesday. I guess we have some routine stuff to do tomorrow so we can be prepared to have a good time over the next week. Wait a minute, we always have a good time!

  Feb 5 - Back at the St Petersburg Boat Show we saw the Peak a Booo shutters. Deb and I really liked them and in late December we made a template for the two windows that are in our forward stateroom. As you can see, the picture I took is with the sun shining in the window and it is bright. Especially if the boat is pointed towards the east in the morning and it simply wakes me up. In the pictures that follow, you can see the shutters installed but open and then the lower picture shows them closed.

These are unique because they block 50 percent of the light all the time. After having them up for a week, we have really come to like them as much as we had hoped we would. Previously, we had a cover on the front window and unless you went forward and removed it each day, you couldn't see out at all. This way, you have a much better option. Plus, the screws for the snaps aren't the same size as the screws that hold the windows in place so that means there was always a potential leak problem too. This way, the forward window is sealed in place wonderfully and there can't be issues.


 Do you remember Frank and Cindy on Peacekeeper? They made a run down from Sanibel Island on Wednesday. Their boat is a 44 foot long 19 foot wide Endeavor power cat. An island if I do say so myself. They made a 140 mile run in about 8 hours and that would have taken us about 26.

They are on their way to the Bahamas and went out of the way to stop by and say Hi to us. I went to the store and picked up a bunch of good food such as shrimp and a few other items so they wouldn't have to do anything when they arrived.

We had a great evening looking out the back of their boat at Key West and sunset then got out of their hair early so they could get some rest after the crossing. Yesterday, we showed them around Key West and they were also able to get their laundry done before leaving for the islands. Ahh the joys of cruising in paradise.

We were also happy to see another friend arrive yesterday evening. You will remember Fred from last winters log entries. I'll have more about him when we see him today.

  One last thing, the results have been posted and we are officially in the race books for the first Wreckers Race of the decade. You can see the results at http://www.schoonerwharf.com/10wreckersrace_results.htm and you will actually notice that we did have more than 3 boats in the multihull division. Yes, I did get emails asking me how we could place third when only two multihulls were in the race or another asking if there were only 3 boats in the race. Don't you just love our fans out there? Our Gemini 105 did just fine starting dead last.

Now I'm sure you are wondering about these late posts. I went in today and got my mail at about 3:30 and when I got back to the boat I saw the March issue of Latitudes and Attitudes. Guess who is in the 2nd row? ME Of course I do have to point out that my friend Shirlene is in the first row. You can see the entire picture to the lower left and the blow-up I did to the lower right just so you can see my ugly mug.

Shirlene is the second one on the first row to the left and I'm the guy in the brown hat with the blue Green Turtle Bay shirt on and black jacket just in case you forgot what I looked like. We did have a wonderful time in St. Petersburg. In case you just don't believe this, go pick up the March issue and turn to page 130.

By the way, we just got through going through a front and it was blowing 32 knots as recorded on my Raymarine wind instrument. And for my non-sailing friends, that means we need to multiply 32 X 1.15 to get miles per hour. So, use 32 + 3.2 + 1.6 and you end up with 36.8 mph winds. Don't you wish we were out here with us?

More importantly, we were hosting a happy hour on the boat when I told Frank, Cindy, and Fred that they had about 20-30 min and they needed to go back on their boat. They were giving me a bit of $#%@^& and telling me that I was kicking them off our boat. Then the front really started coming in. They were back on their boats when the front hit and we had all the wind and rain. At 7:25 the wind has dropped way back down to 13 knots so things are back to normal. After a few phone calls, everyone is fine and all anchors have held just fine. Isn't life grand.


 Feb 7 - We took off yesterday morning with Fred in tow to go to garage sales. Neither Deb nor I actually found something to purchase so that means we don't have anything we have to throw away! Fred did find some videos so that means he will have to think through his policy.

We did see this cool dolphin that at one time was an exhibit out at the Key West Airport. I wanted to document this because I can see something like this in my future when I get back to flying again.

By the way, we saw a really neat house too but I forgot to take a picture. Darn.


We came back by the sandbox and there was a guy who obviously is an artist making a really cool sculpture. Just think, all this work and next time it rains it will be gone.

We sat out the rest of the day on our boat and Frank's boat because the wind came up pretty high and we were on anchor watch. It was fun because we all got to talk about anchoring techniques and also review some approaches that work and ones that don't.

We ended the day with a happy hour over at Franks boat since Frank and Cindy have a floating island. This morning Frank and Cindy took off towards Miami and should be there in two days then they will be waiting to cross to the Bahamas.

The pull cord on our Honda Generator all but broke this morning. There was only a tiny bit of the cord holding it all together which you can see in the picture to the right. All truth told, our generator has done and amazing job. So this project is all about replacing the starter cord on the Honda 2000i Generator.

First you have to remove the screws on the side of the cover on the end where you plug the 110 into the generator. There are two screws on the side high up. Then remove the two screws on then end at the bottom. If you are like me and actually use it all the time, the screws may be rusty. I used a good screwdriver and placed it on the head of the screw aligning it carefully then hit it several times with a hammer before trying to unscrew the screws. This did two things. First it cleaned up the points of the screw and second, it broke the rust up a bit on the threads. After these four screws are out, unscrew the two screws in the handle. Then remove the side cover where you change the oil.

Now you should be able to reach in and remove the three electrical connectors you see to the right. The two on the top are locked in place with a piece on the top of the connector. Pull up the black rubber and you can see that lock. Press down on it and slide the connectors out. The next cord is the one below that covered with a cover. You have to pull the cover back and the locking unit is on the side. You may struggle with this but using a big screwdriver and perseverance, you will get it off. Now you can pull the end cover with the inverter off the end of the generator giving you access to the fuel tank.

By pulling on the steel frame members you can separate the side from the two tabs, near the bottom, of the gas tank which holds the gas tank up. You must pull that gas tank out and support it to get access to the pull start assembly you see to the left. There are 3 bolts holding it in place. Two you can see and the other one is on top under the cover. This last one is hidden by the gas tank until you pull it out.

You can also see the three plugs you removed in this picture.

Everything is tight but it is obviously well engineered and would be easier if you don't have rusted bolts. But then if you don't have rusted bolts you probably haven't been using the generator and won't break the pull cord.

Next it is straight forward. Use pull the pull start assembly out the end and pull the cord all the way out if it hasn't completely broken. This presets the spring coil and you can use a small screwdriver through the slots to hold the spring in place until you run your new cord. If it did break, you will simply have to tighten up the spring and then put in the screwdriver.

Next, pull out the old cord and cut your new one to the length of the old one plus a couple of inches to allow for the knots on the end. At this point, you must remember to run the cord through the side of the generator in the appropriate hole before tying an end to the pull handle and the other end inside the assembly. Finally, put everything back together and you are set.

Pretty easy really but I was not able to find this procedure anywhere on the internet before I started. It may be out there but I couldn't find it. So this write-up will also go in my projects page just so it is there now and I don't forget what I did next time we need to do this again. By the way, while you are inside, you can clean it up a bit and lubricate all the nut plates you can access so it will perhaps be easier next time.

This afternoon, we will probably head in to watch the pre-game activities for the Super Bowl. I just found out who is playing and we don't have a team we are pulling for since we don't watch football. We will probably watch a quarter and most importantly the commercials just for the heck of it before heading back for the evening. It is going to be cold this evening - 61 degrees - so we have to get back early....

 Feb 9 - I posted a potential discussion on the Gemini List Serve about sail trim. Afterall, everyone is trying to be more "green" and why not learn more about sailing so you can sail more and motor less. With that said there are a bunch of differences between cruising and weekend sailing. Two I want to point out is that weekend sailing usually means you can go anywhere you want so unless you are "racing" being able to point isn't as much of an issue. The second is that cruising, we can wait another day to leave but the bottom line is we typically have a place to go and we travel in that direction all day. So, more efficient sail trim is good and may actually allow us to sail more. I was a bit disappointed in the quantity of responses on the list serve which either means that others want to learn too or it means that everyone else knows all of this and I'm the guy they are laughing at. Regardless, I went sailing yesterday with the entire purpose of playing with sail trim and I didn't have to helm. Instead, I took Fred along (lower left) who is here on his Nordic Tug and he was in charge of the helm. Fred learned fast and was able to hold a good course at the wind angle I asked. by the way, all of the speeds and degrees I talk about will be for apparent wind verses true wind.

We were out in the Key West channel having fun along with the schooner you see bottom left. That is the Adriandac and it is a wonderful sailing schooner. You may remember it was the first schooner to finish the Wreckers Race. At one point we were only 30 yards off of it's stern and I called over saying I didn't have a cannon so they were safe today from my stern shot.

As we were sailing up the channel, we stared on a beam reach which for us was 90 degrees and we were in 8 knots of wind. The boat was able to make 4.4 knots which is a bit above my typical average of half of wind speed. The reason for the difference is that I set up my snatch block off of the third stanchion and rerouted the jib sheet through that block. I have found that the track for the genoa is too far in to allow you to properly trim the head of the genoa when at 90 or more degrees off the wind. So, if you are in 15 knots or less apparent wind, you can use a snatch block off the stanchion. By the way, I got the 15 knots or less from Performance Cruising.

Then we went to another point of sail which was 180 degrees and wing on wing. I have found that in the light winds, such as today, the best thing to do is to bring the genoa sheet outside the lifelines, run it around the aft cleat and then bring it back to the winch. This allows the genoa to fly further out. There are two more tricks I use in light winds. I may go forward and untie the unused sheet just so the weight of it does not cause the genoa to collapse. Today, that would have been nice but I didn't do it. Then if we are in even lighter winds, I take off both of the sheets and replace them with one 1/4" sheet which is very light and the sail will fly just fine. With all of that said, now that I have the asymmetrical spinnaker then when I get into light air I just rig it and launch the spinnaker instead of playing with the heavy genoa.

Now on to something I wasn't too good at. Pointing. Previously, I was only able to point about 50 degrees before the speed started falling off too rapidly for me. Today, I was able to reduce that to about 42-45 degrees by a two techniques. First, the one I knew, I moved the car for the genoa to almost the front of the track just so I could get the head of the sail trimmed. It is easy to get the foot of the sail trimmed when the car is aft but the problem is the head is luffing and you are loosing potential energy.

The other technique was to move the traveler almost all the way to the opposite side of the sail. This allowed me to trim the sail towards the center of the boat without flattening the sail too much taking out the aerodynamic quality of the sail. (Thank you Mark for the tip.) That was one of the really good suggestions that was posted on the list serve. I was able to sail down to 40 degrees and I think if I would have rolled in some of the headsail, I could have done a bit better looking at the picture to the right. The problem at 35-40 degrees was that in 10.4 knots apparent wind, I was only able to get to 3.4-3.5 knots of boat speed which is better than before my "lesson." I also want to note that on my generation of Gemini's I have the wooden centerboard. The new generations have a fiberglass board with an airfoil molded into them. This new board helps with lift. Anytime we are at 60 degrees or less and pointing the leeward board goes down.

I also used the traveler technique halfway between the center and opposite extreme and found that boat speeds at 50 and 60 degrees were improved as well. So, the bottom line was that in the 2 1/2 hour sail I learned much more about the use of the traveler and it was because of the suggestion on the list serve. I also found it was invaluable to have someone on board that could hold a great course while I experimented.

I have place all of this here to share what I've learned, or thought I learned, and ask for more critique and suggestions. I'll keep experimenting.

For all my non-sailing readers - back to the other stuff.

I just had to take this picture while we are out. I saw this guy cut this hole in the transom of his sailboat and mount the electric motor on the back. I was just blown away by what I thought was the lack of intelligence here. He must never go sailing because in a following sea he is going to SINK. On top of that, he must not have enough batteries based on this tow.

Another set of pictures I took was of the Legacy. You might remember the story from our previous logs but the bottom line is they appear to be in a dispute with their insurance company. What a sad story for what at one time was the largest sloop rigged sailboat afloat.

Fred and I decided to head in to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. Deb wanted to hangout on the boat so we took off at about 5 p.m. so we could see some of the acts.

To the right, you can see that Fred was recruited to assist by manning the fire extinguisher. I guess the city has declared that all of the fire acts have fire extinguishers nearby. The reason Fred was involved is one of their tricks of involvement so you tip more in the end. With that said, this was going to be one cool act. How did I know? Because Saturday when we were going to garage sale's we actually met this performer. He was the person with the dolphin statue I liked so much. He performs in circuses all over the country and when he is back home he performs down at Mallory Square. His wife is a contortionist but she wasn't performing tonight.

He is a fire eater. Don't try this at home!

I think you will enjoy the pictures below.

He was very good and has been doing this act for 20 years or so all over the country. I know I wasn't going to try it at home.

Then we headed down to the cat guy for part of his act, saw sunset, and then off for a couple of more acts. Overall we had fun and started back to the dinghy's after dark

As we were walking up to Schooner Wharf, I heard a very pure guitarist playing and knew I recognized his style. It ended up he was the guy that plays blues at Dante's on Saturday afternoon but tonight he was playing his acoustic along with two other guys and he was amazing. We just had to head in for a set before going back to the boats. Overall a great evening and we may just go back in tonight too.

 Feb 12 - Just a quick update to let you know all is good with Freedom. We had a Gale Warning for this evening and it was impressive! I'll update tomorrow but we've already seen 45.3 knots for about 5 min with 30-35 sustained for about a half hour. Now they have fallen down to 20-25 knots about an hour into the event. All is good here and we held just fine. More details later but the main event should be over by 8 pm by my estimate and we should clock on to the Northwest and the waves should drop for comfortable sleeping by midnight. All I can say is I remember an email I got 2 years ago from a person who said I was a bit over the top with my anchors and I would never see more than 25 knots. I can tell you that if you stay out cruising, you will see these kind of winds - many times. Again, more tomorrow.

 Feb 13 - Good thing the 13th wasn't yesterday or our results may have changed for those who believe in that sort of thing. Again, I get ahead of myself.

We had a wonderful day on Wednesday heading into town where Deb had organized a tour of the graveyard picking out the tombstones she wanted to see and peoples graves we should stop by. I took my camera and took about a hundred pictures. When we got back, they were all toast and I thought the camera had bitten the dust. Fortunately, not so. As it ended up, the problem was the old fashioned memory card which was actually a miniature hard drive. I picked up a new memory card that is solid state and it works wonderfully. So camera fixed as you can see in the picture to the right which was taken on Thursday night.

However, we began hearing the reports and seeing them graphically on my GRIB files that I download for the wind forecast. They were going to be big and big for me means 35 knots or greater.


The forecasts all agreed that this would be a front moving through that should blow at 30-35 knots and gusts up to 40 knots. The winds were supposed to be out of the west, which for us is the worst position because we are open to the west. So it was time for a bit more preparation. First, I tied down the head sail and the mainsail just so that would not be a worry for us. The second thing I did was to take my last anchor out and place it directly to the west so it would be our insurance policy in this front.

You might remember I have three anchors out right now. A danforth directly south, my Rocna to the northwest, and our fortress to the north east. All are set essentially 120 degrees apart. You might also remember that I have a high deductible insurance policy so putting another anchor out to take the brunt of the storm was simply a hedge, to use an investment term, against me having to pay that $5,000 deductible. Once I set that anchor, I then dropped the outdrive and we were ready for the adventure. I always think of the saying "Attitude - The difference between an ordeal and an adventure."

Let the adventure begin.

Let's just say it began with the dinner boat to the left dragging about 150 yards before they got the anchor up and re-anchored only to drag again and finally call it a night and go back to the dock.

Three days ago, we had a boat drag into the shore and it is still there. A sailboat drug until the keel stopped it in shallow water and the next day got off with a person pulling their halyard with a larger boat tipping the rail into the water and he then could motor off. It took longer than the description because they had to do it over and over until they got him in deeper water. So, we take these seriously. As a matter of fact, two locals who live on their boats went to a marina and a number of other people who were anchored left for the mooring balls. My issue is that I hear that people are not holding on the mooring balls and the moorings break. I trust our setup more than I do the city's in this case.

To the right you can see us pointing south southwest and the wind has picked up to about 18 knots.

At about 5:45 I told Deb, "Here it comes." She turned around and saw what you are seeing in the picture to the left. Deb is a real trooper and she wasn't worried at all about us dragging. First, we've already been through 30 knot winds and second she, probably undeservedly, trusts me.

The front edge was really cool and typical of a big front. The low clouds were dropping down and trying to touch our mast, the cool air starts coming in, then the wind picks up to the mid twenties, the rain starts, then the rain gets heavier, and of course the wind blows everything sideways and now we are talking adventure.

This was an impressive front. I watched the wind indicator stuck between 43 and 45 knots for about 5 minutes. I guess that means the forecast was wrong and we weren't going to have gusts to 40 we were instead in a full gale. Fortunately, the biggest stuff only lasted a short while and the winds dropped back down to 30-35 knots for the next 30 minutes. After about an hour we were back in the low 20's and life was good again. Of course later in the evening they built back up to 30-35 but then we were facing to the northwest and we were protected by the mangroves in front of us.

This was an impressive front. I watched the wind indicator stuck between 43 and 45 knots for about 5 minutes. I guess that means the forecast was wrong and we weren't going to have gusts to 40 we were instead in a full gale. Fortunately, the biggest stuff only lasted a short while and the winds dropped back down to 30-35 knots for the next 30 minutes. After about an hour we were back in the low 20's and life was good again. Of course later in the evening they built back up to 30-35 but then we were facing to the northwest and we were protected by the mangroves in front of us.

I got up early this morning and pulled out the extra anchor and everything is back to normal with the wind blowing around 20 knots right now. They say we are going to have strong winds all day today and the temperature will be dropping for a couple of days. However, the wind will be down to 10 or so knots tomorrow.

I think we are going to simply have a nice boat day today, finish my taxes, and make some more plans to head over to the islands. Now all we need is a weather opening later this week so se can start up the Keys.

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