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

Previous Log - The most recent past log

All Logs - This takes you to the list of all of our logs

 May 5 - We have to go back to when we hadn't posted in the Abaco's to catch you up. We headed out of Marsh Harbour and up to Green Turtle Cay, which you see to the right for the next front and to await the right weather window for the crossing back to the US of A. I called the Bluff House to see if they still had their special going and the answer was "yes." What was the special? If you stayed at their dock, whatever you spent at their restaurant could be taken off your dockage. Well, what a way to end our "vacation" in the Abaco's. Plus we knew the holding wasn't too good and why not just have way too much fun. We ended up staying too long but did have a great time.

We tied up to the dock and looked out at the anchorage at the people that ultimately would drag that next morning just before daylight. Many of them came in and took advantage of the docking for dollars program too.

I want you to meet Dave who BUILT this wonderful schooner, Windfield Lash. Everyone knows my friend Paul who built his own boat but this is a boat of a different scope and timeline. How about 18 years from the time the hull was delivered to his back yard. Now that is commitment! You can also see from the pictures, he had special blocks built to match the traditional manner in which schooners were constructed.


Dave is now cruising with Marge and they are a wonderful set of people. We had a great tour and what ended up being a start of a good friendship.

One of Dave's T-shirts say's, "Have you hugged your Binnacle today?" Why, well you can see below that Dave decided to become an artist and created a mold to form a most unique binnacle which of course holds his compass and inside his fuel filter. This was then cast from bronze and is his centerpiece on the boat. Note, I didn't say centerfold because I try to have a G rated site but with this it is hard to keep up that rating. Well, it is art and that is different - right?

To get the appropriate wood's, Dave salvaged a wooden ship and picked up quite a bit of wood that was a hundred years old. The table, which is folded up against the bulkhead similar to an Island Packet or Lippincott, looks like it has a picture on it. This is actually a hand painted picture a friend did for him which is protected when the table is folded in the down position.

You will also see some wood carvings on his boat which were picked up in an antique store and were accomplished in the 1800's. Dave's attention to detail is very good and it is clear that he just didn't procrastinate during the 18 years he was finishing his boat.

The arches you see below right are laminated pieces which he made on a form just to ensure everything was just so. Speaking of making items, he also made the masts first in a box so the center is hollow and then applying wood all around in different widths and thickness so that he could create his own sander and sand the masts circular. Of course he also had to make his own boom and other wooden pieces on the boat.

Once he found the appropriate brass fittings for the boat then he made molds and had more copies poured in brass so they would be "authentic." This level of detail is everywhere. I was truly thrilled to not only meet him, take the tour, and subsequently sail with him for another week.

The moon was full and we had a wonderful evening before we started out the next day on another adventure. The golf cart tour over to New Plymouth and of course a few of the beaches. The main adventure was the road and it wasn't really what you and I might call a road.

Let's just say it wasn't totally unimproved and it was a bit rough. Below you can see where they had to cut through this rock we are staying on to create the "road."

Deb and I happened to draw back seats on the two golf carts and she was bouncing around so much that we couldn't stop laughing on the trailing cart. We kept thinking she was going to bounce off.

When we finally made it to New Plymouth, we headed for a lunch and had a great time. Below you can see Deb, Marge, Mo, George, Dave and of course me.

After lunch we walked the town and then started back. We just had to stop by the town dump because Dave knew where a Papua tree was and we all ended up with Papua's.

Having a bit of an electrical background I just had to get a picture of the way the wiring is run on the island. It started out in PVC pipes but at driveways it seems people don't spend any time trying to bury the PVC and they just drive over it with their carts/cars and guess what happens - it breaks. I just wonder what is going to happen when the insulation gets worn off, don't you?

We continued down the road's to more beaches and shell hunting. Can you imagine what would happen if the roads were like this in the states?

We ended up at the Green Turtle Club to pick up gas for the carts and I saw these flowers outside their shopping location where the ladies had descended. Me, I decided it was time to try the macro setting on the camera. Pretty cool.

Before we left, I asked if they would like for me to play at the Bluff House for a happy hour. As it turned out they were more worried about if I expected to be paid because you can't get money for services in the Bahamas unless you are a Bahamian. I could care less so they said sure. We had a happy hour with music and we had a great time. People came from all. the boats and some dinghy ed in when the music started. I played for 2 hours straight and had a great time. What I was really pleased with was they asked me the next day if I wanted to play again. We were on the golf cart trip and my voice isn't in shape so I had to decline. Regardless, it was pretty cool since I hadn't played and sang but 4 times for just a short time since I hurt my left thumb back in November. All is good in the music field again and I won't be getting rid of the guitar and amp from the boat.

We ultimately found a weather window and we motor sailed on the first of 3 days. On this day we were heading to Fox Town and it was mostly north then west. We decided to have everyone over for happy hour on our boat for the evening and they arrived bearing happy hour drinks and food. Too much fun!

What a beautiful sunset. Don't you like the cloud formations?
And even more with a different exposure.

Mo, Deb, and Marge are now "buds." Plans were made for me to make pizza the next night when we arrive at Great Sale.

Speaking of Great Sale, we had a GREAT SAIL over to Great Sale. We saw all the way up to 7.5 knots on as little as 11 knots of wind. I kept playing with the tension of the luff of the sail to give it more belly and it was "all good."

We motored a total of point 6 hours warming up the engine, getting up the anchor, setting the anchor and overall we sailed wing-on-wing about eight and a half hours making about 48 miles. Life is good today!

But wait. The next day would turn out to be great too. Deb and I were heading to West End because we had to go back over to West Palm to check in and then on to Stuart to pick up Jimmy Buffett. Deb helped me pull the anchor and I took off motor sailing while she went back to bed. After an hour the winds were up to 8 knots apparent so I went forward to rig the spinnaker and then I cut the engine, set the spinnaker, and was off making 5.5 to 6.5 knots all single handing while she was enjoying a wonderful sleep-in on the Bahamas banks. Can you tell we are both happy?

I just love that sail and I still think it is pretty good looking. Just remember, sometimes a spinnaker is just a spinnaker if you are thinking about the colors.

The winds shifted more southerly and we were on a 60-70 degree sail but still the spinnaker was working perfectly. We sailed all the way over to the turn where we had to head south and into West End.

Unfortunately, we couldn't get a good anchor set in the bay at West End because there just wasn't any sand. We ended up going in and taking a WAY too expensive slip for the night. NEVER AGAIN!

The next day we were off at 5 am for the states. Winds were to be 10-15 knots and seas 2-3 feet. Winds were actually 20 knots gusting higher and seas were confused and growing past 4 feet. It felt like we were on one of those carnival rides that would spin you around with lots of G forces mounted on top a a tilt-a-whirl while going through a mine field. And we did this for 10 hours. Now for the good news - I didn't get sick!!!! I took a Sturgeron 15. I only took one even though they say take two. I just didn't know what effect it would have. These aren't available in the states but for me they actually work and I can't tell you how much more fun cruising is when you aren't feeding the fish over the sides while you are responsible for you home.

We arrived at West Palm and anchored just south of the entrance where we could see the shipping traffic entering and leaving the pass. The next morning we went to a marina and paid 10 bucks to tie up our dinghy for and hour to go to customs. Welcome to the USA and back to money going out.

Then we made a couple of calls and found out that Garry and Shirlene were buying a house over at Ft. Myers which is the foreclosure capital of the world. We decided we just had to go look. Yesterday we rented a car, went and looked at a number of homes ON THE WATER and actually made an offer.

One of you called the owners of this house and said, "Whatever you do, don't take their offer. We want them to keep cruising!" I know it was one of you out there and you really should fess up.

This was a very simple house but it was on the water and truthfully, when you live on a boat for 4 years any size house seems pretty good. Problem for us was that they really liked their house and they weren't motivated to sell. Perhaps it is the best for us but this was probably the only chance we will have to be on the water. We were off by about 25 thousand bucks and just between you and me, that was a deal breaker because I would have had to replace that 25 thousand by working and down here that is a problem. So, we had a great visit and we are now ready to leave at about 8:30 am in the morning as soon as I get the rental car returned. We did use the car today to pick up Jimmy Buffett, get propane, and of course get provisioning. Wow are things much easier doing those things in a car verses a bike.

I'm sure the person who called the owners is now feeling really bad and wants to send us that 25K check so just email me and I'll give you our address. Until then, we will continue north and I'm still trying to figure out if this isn't the best thing that has happened. We will see you in our pictures and ramblings. Don't you love that seawall? By the way, it looks much better on the inside than the outside.


 May 8 - Thursday morning I was waiting with the rental car at Enterprise when they opened. Once they checked out the car they gave me a ride back to the marina where I paid my bill for the mooring and the fuel and dinghyed back to the boat to remove the dinghy engine then stow it. I dropped the lines and we were underway at 8 a.m. heading for the ocean. We lucked out and the tide was with us for the 7 1/2 miles from Stuart back east to the waterway and then the ocean. We had to motor because there was no wind. I elected to go out the Lucy inlet and get back into the ocean for a 20 mile trip up to Ft. Pierce Inlet. Time to enjoy the water again and get our minds back to cruising.

You can probably figure out that I got into the spirit of things very quickly. Since you are supposed to keep a watch, Deb helped me figure out a better system with the mirror. Afterall, we are getting right back into cruising!

There weren't any boats out for some reason so there wasn't much to look out for. This sure beats the waterway! Unfortunately, we would have to go back in to the intercoastal regardless.


 This is the inlet for Ft. Pierce and it is a very good inlet. We caught a bonita while out in the ocean but nothing we wanted to keep. Regardless, it was fun.

We anchored in a small spot above Vero Beach and planned on an early start Friday morning.

We ended up motoring for 60 miles on Friday and anchored just below the bridge at Addison Point. They were restricted and couldn't open for another hour so we just called it a day and stopped here. We will move in the morning about a mile and then I'm heading in to the Space exhibit.

We can't move until after 9 so Deb gets to sleep in.

 Now some more fun. Before we left West End in the Bahamas, I found some local fishermen and was able to buy 24 cleaned conch for a very good low price. We froze them in packages of 4 and Saturday night was the time to make up conch fritters. I modified the Bahamian recipe slightly and we loved them. This time it isn't a teaser and I wrote the recipe up this morning (Saturday.) Just click on Conch Fritters and it will take you to the page.

After I row ashore to the causeway and make my way up to the visitors center I'll get a bunch of pictures and take some of the tour. I've been out to the launch pads before so I won't do the bus trip this time. We should be in Daytona Beach tomorrow, Monday. I have some stuff to pick up at West Marine and it is time to get off the boat for a bit.

The next stop will then be St. Augustine and that is a town we love so we will be there several days.

We will keep you up-to-date.



 May 9 - Yesterday we pulled anchor and motored a whopping mile before setting anchor again. I thought I would row in but there were two problems. First, we were pretty far out and the wind was blowing so in one direction it would have been a challenge. The second problem was the oar locks were rusted up and then because of rust, one of the oars broke so I guess I need a couple of new oars and oar locks. Darn. On goes the engine and a good dinghy ride.

I then walked up to the Space Museum and wondered as people were passing me in the cars heading out for the launch pad if one of them happened to be the next guy or lady with the right stuff. It was possible so just let me imagine.

In I walked back into to the museum and past the mockup of the space shuttle. The landing gear was a bit stupid looking but I think the tires were real. This is actually a mockup using plywood but the tile paintings were pretty good.

The movie's sound was broken so the first thing I actually saw was the Mercury Space Capsule. I've seen this in D.C. before but still it is pretty darn cool to be standing next to history and that history is from my hometown of St. Louis.


 Yes, McDonnell Douglas designed and built this space capsule and it performed flawlessly.

As I walked through the museum, being an airplane builder and test pilot, I thought - Would I have been selected to go the first time? The answer, although tough for me to admit, would have been no. I get seasick and I have no control of that so I wouldn't have been able to go. Today, who knows or perhaps I should say back when I was younger would I have qualified for something like this. Being a McGiver kind of guy I would think the answer is maybe but then again truth probably comes to play and the answer would be no. Darn again.

You have to admit that the people who put their lives at risk and also lost their lives are amazing people who should be remembered forever. Hopefully we will.


 Would you get in this capsule and go into space? Perhaps that is the question for the ages but you already know I would have done it in a second. These guys really did have allot of the "right stuff" and trusted the engineers to get it right. In the Mercury program they did get it right.

However, as we already know in later programs they didn't always get it right and sometimes I wonder if we are learning the same lessons over and over again. I can only point to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico along with shortcuts in businesses to indicate that sometimes the "bottom line" is not the actual bottom line. Sometimes the bottom line is doing the right thing the right way.


 You want to read this quote and then read it again.

Do you remember where you were when Gus died in the accident? I still have a newspaper from this accident along with the first moon landing. (Ok, I was a paperboy making 5 bucks a month delivering papers and the extra ones I could keep after I cut the date and first page heading off.)

Our nation recovered and NASA did great for quite awhile although I would argue the space shuttle disaster was again the same problem since they knew the seals were being eaten away from previous flights. Sometimes you have to do the right thing.


 Less serious.

I previously gave a talk about the Past, Present, and Future of Technology. It was fun because I could talk about the "computers" that were used on the Apollo along with the ones used on the Space Shuttle and tell people, who were shocked, that they had and have less capability that your typical car today. Then we got to dream together about the future of robotic surgery and beyond. I love 3D and the what the future will bring when this can really be used in many technologies. However, I'm getting off subject. Below is the "fourth crew member" on the Apollo. A laptop could do the work of this machine and sleep for 99.9 percent of the time before going to a blue screen. (just a joke for the microsoft people)

Then the really cool thing is the Coke dispenser you see to the lower right.


 As I walked back to the boat it was just cool to see Freedom in the foreground and the NASA building in the background. I just wish it would have been a clear day but there are miles to be made heading north and moving begins with a simple dinghy ride back to the boat.

North of Titusville is the Haulover Canal. It is a really cool canal because the pine trees come to the waterline and it is really beautiful. It is simply too short of a canal. The bridge opened and we were soon heading north again.

We went about 15 miles and were welcomed by dolphins. It reminds me of the Hootie and the Blowfish song when he sang "and the dolphins make me cry." Yes, they do.

There is nothing like dolphins.

Today, Sunday, we stopped in Daytona Beach and picked up my new anchor chain along with a few other items from West Marine. Then we went to lunch and walked a bit before leaving the courtesy dock and heading out to the anchorage in the no-wake zone. We will leave tomorrow (Monday) morning and get through the bridges before their restricted opening times occur. We should be in St. Augustine by tomorrow evening. You will enjoy the pictures about St. Augustine again!


 May 13 - We've been in St. Augustine for several days now and even had a road trip. I've taken bunches of pictures of St. Augustine in the past and you've seen them before so I didn't take too many of them this time. Deb has a place where she loves to buy her backpacks because they look good and are pretty inexpensive. So we've done some shopping and also been to a couple of happy hours.

Before I get to our road trip, I'll tell you another house story. We've decided that we are really interested in the Ft. Myers area and it tops all the other places we've looked at so far. So, after our road trip, we decided that we would give the realtor a call and tell her that we were really interested in one of the houses off the water. She jumped through a bunch of hoops for us and found that house was no-longer on the market because the night before someone else signed a contract on that house and it was accepted. She then looked at some more for us and after looking at the houses, we made plans to drive 5 hours to check them out. Then we decided that no, we would just turn the boat around and go 7 days to stick it out until we found what we were looking for. One of the nagging concerns was that if we didn't find something in 3 weeks that we really liked then we would have to turn around and head this direction again to get above Savannah before July 1 and be out of our hurricane box.


 I talked to some people who have boats and was both encouraged to buy a house and also told that I really was making a mistake by not being on the water. One person went so far to say that if we got a house off the water this would probably be the end of our cruising. I awoke at 3:30 this morning not able to sleep and thought this over many times weighing the pluses and minuses. At about 6:30 Deb got up and we talked awhile and decided to just head on north. Bottom line is I just can't see myself in a house with a view of someone else's backyard which could be a disaster. We will plan on going to Ft. Myers in the fall when we won't be under hurricane pressure with no real place to keep our boat and live at the same time. Plus, we won't have our boat in the hurricane box when we wouldn't be covered by insurance in case a hurricane did strike. With all the things going on in my head Deb agreed that now just wasn't the time. She went back to bed and we didn't start the motor this morning to head back south.

We will keep looking and get a better pulse on the market and then we will either head that way or not this fall.

Now back to the fun part of our lives and the "road trip."

 We found out at the KR Gathering last fall that two KR friends actually live in Green Cove Springs and they are only 25 min or so from St. Augustine. They came over on Tuesday morning and picked us up and then took us over to our "home town" which we have never been to and to see their airplanes. Mark, to the right actually has 2 KR's under construction and the one he's pictured with will probably be flying before this years KR Gathering. Mark is an ATP, flight instructor, plus a bunch of other things which is pretty darn impressive not to mention the fact he is a good pilot and has plenty of stories. We stopped by his hanger to check out his plane first.

Next we went over to Jerry's hanger and his plane is ready for paint on the wings and will probably be in the air in the next month. Jerry and I met at a KR Gathering and he then flew commercially up to St. Louis to get some stick time in my airplane before he flew his plane the first time. He's rebuilt the plane and it looks great. Jerry also has a bunch of stories and we all had a great time all day talking KR's and catching up. Deb got left out at times but she stuck in with us.

I can't thank them enough for taking a day out and showing us their planes and for the wonderful conversation.


They also took us by St. Brendan's Isle which is our mail service. They have over 8000 boxes right now and still growing. They've expanded once moving to this location and are in the process of expanding again. You can meet Scott to the left and he is one of the owners of the place.

I can't say enough positive things about the mail service they provide.

Below left, you can almost see our "home." It's one of the blue boxes. The ladies got a kick out of saying hi when we told them about our bird. It's all good at St. Brendan's Isle.

Then the picture below is of the refurbished Bridge of Lions. It is a historic structure so they've been working on it for the last 5 years. Right now they are tearing out the concrete pilings that were part of the temporary, yes temporary bridge which took the traffic while this bridge was being completed.

This morning I changed outdrive oil and will be heading for some groceries later this morning. Deb and I will fill up with fuel tomorrow morning at 6 and will make the 6:30 opening heading for sea. We will go outside up to St Mary's entrance, then outside on Saturday to the St. Catherine's entrance, and I think outside the next day to the Tybee Roads/Savannah entrance. Weather looks good for these passages and I'm looking forward to not being in the ditch of the intercoastal waterway. We will keep you posted.

 Previous Log - The most recent past log
 All Logs - This takes you to the list of all of our logs

Web Page by Jim Faughn

Jim and Deb's Adventures