Returning to West Palm after Dorian

September 6, 2019

I believe in God, and life, liberty and the the pursuit of happiness, comfort and joy.

Comfort and joy are notions that I have found most people only think about at Christmas time, but for me, they take up quite a bit of consideration every day.

When I speak of comfort for myself, I define it as the absence of physical and emotional pain.

Joy is what I feel knowing I am loved by God, no matter what.

Sailing can be uncomfortable, but today was just the opposite.  We motor-sailed at an average of over 8 knots (fast for a sailboat) for 68 nm from 7a to 330p and the breezes were just enough to remove the pain of the humidity and heat.

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Flip installed a beach towel for me so that I would be totally out of the sun, which I can barely tolerate.  For eight and one half hours, I was more than comfortable just ‘being’.  Thank you, Flip. And God

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I was so comfortable at one point during the sail, I ventured forward – to the bow – laid down on my back, with my camera around my neck and looked up to the sky and pushed the button:

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With my iphone, I tried to take a panoramic photo of Miami as we were comfortably sailing past.  Other that it looking like what the ocean would look like in 20′ waves, I think it turned out pretty good:

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LOL.

 

 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

7am in Marathon arrived just in time for me.  Restlessness prevented the peace I thought I deserved.  Yet, the day was still too new for any bitterness or regret.

We intended to have a beautiful day of sailing to our anchorage in Biscayne Bay.  I charted our course of approximately 88 nautical miles and with an expected wind coming from WSW of 12 – 15 knots, I calculated we could make the trip in about 10 hours.

According to NOAA:

  1.  A nautical mile measures distance.
    It is slightly more than a statute (land measured) mile (1 nautical mile = 1.1508 statute miles ). Nautical miles are used for charting and navigating.
  2. A knot measures speed and is one nautical mile per hour (1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour ).

When people say they are sailing or cruising, there is a lot of room for speculation of just exactly what they are intending to do.

And just because they intend on doing what they think they are going to do, doesn’t mean they will.

It may be wrong for me to assume that other sailors and cruisers are like us, though.

Sailboats have one motor and it is not very big.  Our 48’ 36,000 lb vessel has a 88 hp Yanmar diesel. These are the motors that average-sized farm tractors use. A mid-size pleasure power boat of about 34’ would most likely have at least 3 motors, with a combined hp of up to 750 hp and a top speed of 65-70 mph.

Our top speed using only our motor is maybe 7.5 knots. But there is not a lot of difference in speed versus using sail power. It’s just quieter and more pleasant.

With a decent wind coming from the right direction, we have gotten up to over 10 knots using only the sails.

Many of our friends and family think we sail or go sailing. We were looking forward to a beautiful day of sailing, cool breezes, blue-green waters and calm serenity, something like a dream-like state, which is the definition of the word Reverie. The name of our boat.

Today, for twelve hours straight, because the wind was non-existent, we motored. For twelve hours straight.

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The windless conditions made our course hot, boring and not at all what we intended.  Sometimes, we will hoist the sails to see if will benefit our speed. And to make our boat look prettier.

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This sort of occurrence comes to us as no surprise. This is the nature of sailing.

We arrived at our destination 3 hours past our expectations. The anchorage, however, exceeded our expectations.

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September 4, 2019

Time sure flies.  It has been 4 nights since my last post.  What have we done with our appointed time?

Today, and yesterday, as well  – I worked (remotely for my job at the software company) from 730a – 430p, in our air conditioned salon, while Flip repaired a leak on the boat determined to be from the hardware that helps hold down our mast. Apparently, one or two of the screws were leaking water into my dry beach towel cabinet, so Flip caulked it to death with something he calls 4100.  Trimming the excess caulk will fall onto my plate once I have time. It is our habit for me to take on tasks that I am capable and let Flip handle everything else, especially those that I just don’t want to do.

Karen working RemoteShrowd Base plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food preparation falls on Flip, as well, when I am working.  Truth be told, he does most of that anyway.  He prepared our breakfast, snack, lunch, happy hour, and dinner.  We rarely go out to eat because we enjoy Flip’s cooking so much. This photo shows how delicious our dinner was. I never used to clean my plate. Plates courtesy of my mother, Frances Granback.

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And in between food and drink, Flip made ready for our exit from paradise:

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Marathon, like most small towns, changes very little over time, and especially since we left 13 months ago, but I tried to capture a few images for old time’s sake:

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We have planned to leave Marathon Marina in the morning before 7a to head back to Riviera Beach City Marina.

Stay tuned for more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just in Case

Sunday, September 1, 2019

I know that we have a lot of explaining to do.

After Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017, I lost all desire to write and photograph.  The aftermath of that storm for Marathon, while it did not have any adverse effect on our personal material possessions, affected me in such a way that I would have never imagined.  Even now, whenever I talk about the experience, I become emotional.  I can’t fathom what happens to people who live through trauma from war or other physical experiences.

When the bridges and roads were cleared and declared safe after Irma, we traveled back to Marathon and our boat, continued on with our life and jobs and wondered what would be next for us.

Fast forward a few months, and you will find Flip and me sailing our new 48′ 1995 Tayana sloop from Coconut Grove, Florida to Marathon, where we still had our beloved Beneteau for sale in Marathon Marina.  Tayana boats, made in Taiwan, are what the industry considers ‘blue-water’, worthy of the seas and oceans of the world.  This is why Flip wanted it.  One of his many aspirations in this short life here on earth is not to necessarily sail around the world, but sail about the world.  This sailboat, in fact, was damaged in Irma and, by insurance estimates, required $80k worth of repairs.  Before the hurricane, it was listed for sale and Flip had already had his eye on it.  But the asking price was $244k.  Way out of our price range.

A long story shortened so as not to bore our interested reader, we bought the Tayana, named Tonica.  While working our real jobs full-time, we repaired Tonica over the course of 3 months.  Some of the work required professionals, and we performed the rest.

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We decided the appellation Tonica meant nothing to us and felt no emotion toward the name, so we christened her Reverie.  For a short period of time, Flip and I had two sailboats, each named Reverie, moored side-by-side at Marathon Marina.  Reverie Beneteau was eventually signed over to a nice young engineer from the Boston area, who in fact, planned on sailing around the world in ‘our’ boat for which he had just given us a fair price.

Fit and finish work continued on our new Reverie and we were elated with our purchase. We felt fortunate to have acquired such a nice, expensive vessel for much less than the asking price.

In July, 2018, the boatyard where I worked was sold.  I was approached by the software company that developed the back-office accounting system that we had used to run the boatyard with a proposal of employment.  Since I have been self-employed most of my married life, the idea that someone would come to me seeking my skills was very beneficial to my ego and wallet.  This was a software company with 500 customers utilizing almost 5000 licenses who use the product to run their marinas, boat dealerships and boatyards.  I traveled to West Palm Beach to the company, named DockMaster and accepted a position called Product Owner.  (more on that later)

Flip quit his superintendant position in Marathon and we set sail for West Palm Beach in August, 2018.  He obtained another construction position with Black Fin Homes, also out of WPB.  We decided to live at Riviera Beach City Marina on our, now not so new to us, Tayana, which still is not fully restored.  It is there that another full year of our mid-life passed with full-time work and not much play, with no serious weather concerns until last week.

We left West Palm Beach, which Riviera Beach Marina is not technically in, but sounds more impressive if you look at the demography, on Friday, August 30 around 5pm to sail towards Marathon in order to escape what could be a devastating storm to where we currently reside.

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Motor-sailing thru the moonless night, we hugged the coastline just off about 3 – 4 miles.  The electric light from the populous cities along the west coast illuminated far enough into the water to create a magical aura for us. I felt safe in our ‘blue-water’ boat and wasn’t scared once. A few fast-moving storms, free of lightening, pelleted our faces and soaked us to the bone.  The journey was so fulfilling that I didn’t sleep and the 24 hours it took to get to Marathon Marina at 5p Saturday, August 31 sped by like it was only 4 or 5.

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We will continue watching the storm while enjoying time back in Marathon.