Chain Plates

Well I was all set to leave about a week ago when I pulled up alongside and noticed some cracks on the chain plates that support the mast. On further inspection I found cracks or crazing on both of the aft chain plates and also on the forward stbd plate. There was no way I would be able to sail and be comfortable with those so I had no choice but to change them out.

 

This was a pretty major job and took a lot of time and energy to get it done. There were certainly times when i thought I'd never get there. Had to do a bit of cutting away at the paneling to get access to the bolts and even then I was working in spots that I could barely get my hands into. The season down here has definitely changed as well, its hot, humid and not the most comfortable weather to be trying to wedge yourself into the back of small places. One of the idea i had was to use the old plates as backing plates for the new ones and when i took them to get cut two of the actually cracked, so it was definitely a good idea to change them out. They had thirty years of good service and more than a few miles, so can't complain too much.

 

Was pretty lucky though as I got a huge amount of help from some of the crew in the marina and also from Katy, who’s joined me for the sail south, with polishing and installing the plates. That job would have taken months without them. Well that's another major thing taken care of and hopefully wont have to worry about them for the next thirty years. Part of what i wanted from this trip was the chance to learn and work things through, certainly got that, Would be nice to have some sailing and travel in there to though. Soon enough.

 

This trip has been a huge learning curve so far and sometimes when you find things like this it can really knock you. It sometimes feels like I've been working flat out for the last three months, I guess that's because i have, but sometimes I feel like i need to shout to myself to enjoy the trip, enjoy what is happening right now, even if it means more work. This is all part of the trip, all part of learning and growing and adventure. I am now readying myself for the next phase and the next place.

 

Here are a few pics of the old plates and the new ones installed. I’m now back on weather watch to head off to Cuba. Looks like it could possibly be Sunday night to get into Cuba Tuesday morning. Looks like its going to be a pretty windy trip across and we will see how we go with the gulf stream as with NE winds predicted it will be blowing directly against it which stands the waves up quite a bit.  Still thinking this over but doesn't look like conditions will improve anytime in the next week or so.

 

 

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The First Leg

Finally, after six weeks of preparation it was time for the first leg of the journey. I don’t know if you are ever fully ready, there are still jobs on the list, things I would like to have done, things to figure out, nerves to calm, but at some point you have to just make the decision to go. After checking the weather forecast and monitoring it over the course of the week I figured I had a window to make the passage down after the passing of one cold front, and before the arrival of another. I nearly got it right.  

Unfortunately Phil and Mary would not be there to throw off my lines as planned as they had to go to Virginia to have a look at another boat up there they were considering buying. On the day itself we had a few people from the marina come to see us off, we had also been hosted to dinner a few nights before, and everyone come round to wish me a good trip, the community at Passadena marina was really something great. We started engines and cast off lines at 1300 on the 16th of April and headed out to the Gulf of Mexico.

 

There wasn’t much wind during the first course of the afternoon but it soon filled in and we put the sails up and cut the engine. The feeling of Kuhela as she headed forth with nothing more than the sound of water flowing past her hull is something I'd been dreaming and longing for. It felt as though I had just exhaled for the first time in six weeks, the mixture of joy, nerves, contentment and anticipation was something amazing. I made it this far; I had taken another step in my journey.

 

The wind filled in more and more as the night went on and after having dinner of an amazing stew, provided by Gordon and Lori (friends from the marina) we settled into the two-hour watch routine. We were closed hauled on the wind and making good speed south, sailing roughly ten nautical miles off the coast, trying to stay out of the mine fields of crab pots that litter the coast the entire way south. All went well and we managed to get some rest on our off watch while we got used to the feel of Kuhela and found our sea legs. Then, at the standard time of three in the morning, the gremlins came out to play and the autopilot decided it had had enough and was quitting. So we spent the next few hours trying to deal with that. We had two different spares on board, thanks to Phil, but for all my trying I couldn’t get them to work, so we hand steered till the sun came up. With the new day and a second look I realized that a pretty big part of electrical things working is to turn the switch on at the main panel. Wounded pride, but at least the problem was solved.  We also took the opportunity to play with the monitor wind vane, a tireless worker who lives on the stern and uses no power, makes no noise and will steer across oceans. Kuhela was alive, the wind was up, and we were sailing.

 

The next day passed quickly and with a steady breeze we covered good ground, averaging around 6 knots. During the day we took turns snoozing and catching up on missed sleep from the previous night, marking our position off on the chart as we headed south and enjoying the feeling of being out on the water. When the wind dropped off again in the afternoon we couldn’t pass up the chance to pull up and go for a swim. What an awesome feeling, floating in the ocean, looking up at this beautiful yacht that I am sailing and feeling cleansed and refreshed by Mother Ocean. I am very blessed at the moment and grateful for it.  We got back on board and soon realized we had been boarded, a little yellow finch had decided to come along on the trip south and hopped around on deck inspecting her new ride and after finding everything to her liking continued exploring down below in the cabin. John and I were obviously not much more than oddities to her as she hopped around and explored, even using my head and johns arm as a perch before settling on a spot just above the chart table as being the best place for a snooze. I took it as a good sign. Though I didn’t see her leave I hope she had a safe flight to wherever she was off to. She’s welcome on board anytime.

 

It was during the afternoon on one of my engine room checks when I noticed that there was no water dripping from the stuffing box (the stuffing box is where the prop shaft exits the vessel and normally has a slow drip of water indicating that the shaft is being cooled and lubricated) so I decided to adjust it a bit. Looking back this was not exactly the most brilliant idea I have ever had. I adjusted it all right, and the shaft was certainly cool and more saturated than lubricated when I next checked a few minutes later.  As a result of adjusting it, the backing nut had worked its way loose and the main nut had spun most of the way off and there was now water literally gushing into the boat. I popped my head up and told john that we had an issue, as there was no sense in me freaking out alone, and dived back into working on the engine.  I managed to get the nut back on and tighten up and headed off the get a clean pair of shorts.

 

The pattern of wind for the trip was pretty much either no wind, mostly during the afternoon and then twenty knots and even a few gusts up around the thirty mark at night and into the next morning. It would start off south and work its way around to the east, making it very hard for us to make our way south east towards marathon. We did what we could and would just have to deal with that when the time came. It was then around the usual time that things went a bit pear shaped. We were monitoring another yacht approaching us and watching to see what his plans were, if we had both adjusted course a bit we would have had no problems but he held his ground causing us to tack to get out of the way. Not a problem in itself, but I forgot that we had the preventer on (the preventer is a rope attached to the boom to stop it swinging across the deck should we accidentally turn) this meant that the sail back winded and I would have to turn the engine on to bring us back around into the wind. Thankfully John spotted that one of the sheets (ropes) from the sail was trailing in the water and warned me so I didn’t start the engine, possibly getting it wrapped around the prop. This left the lines flogging and flapping across the deck and I had to go forward to get it to pull it out of the water. With the wind blowing pretty hard the line was something like a rather pissed off snake and repeatedly hit me in my head and back while I tried to control it and just as I thought I had it, it swung around and hit me directly in the right eye and laid me out on deck. It was a pretty bad scene, my first thought was that I had just lost my eye, I couldn’t see, it felt out of shape and I just lay there for what felt like a few minutes holding my face. Once the initial shock passed, we got things under control, started the engine and got us back on the right side to the wind, after which I went below to inspect the damage. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The eye was still there, red and swollen but I could now see a bit and lay down for a bit to rest it. It is ok now and surprisingly not swollen or that red. Not something that id like to experience again.

 

The night wasn’t finished for us yet though as we realized a bit later that with the rope flogging as it had been, it had come out of its guide and wrapped itself around the sail itself, this meant we couldn’t let the sail out or bring it in, not good. We sat and discussed our options and decided that we should wait till sunrise after which we would turn down wind and use the main to shade the Yankee (forward sail) and I would go forward to manually turn the roller furler to put the sail away. It was a tricky move, but we had run though the plan of action and knew what we had to do and thankfully plan A worked perfectly and we got things squared away pretty quickly. Another thing worked through and back under way.

 

At this point we knew we were pretty far west and would not be able to make it upwind to Marathon with the wind we had and had to make a decision, either we put the sails away and motor to marathon or we turn and head to key west and wait till the weather changed and we could make our way back up. I decided that even though it would be a long hard slog upwind to marathon, looking at the forecast for the next few days, going to key west would only be delaying the inevitable and so we dropped the sail and headed south till we got into the lee of the key and were shield from the swell and made our course for marathon.  It took ten hours of steaming straight into the wind but we made pretty good time and found ourselves at the entrance to the channel with just enough light to make it down the channel and to a protected spot we could anchor for the night. We were blessed with the most amazing sunset welcoming us in and added the sense of satisfaction I felt that we had done it. The first leg of the journey was complete. We had a few things to work out but the boat and crew were in one piece and I had learned a lot, and felt a bit better about the trip, about Kuhela and about myself.

 

We spent the night at anchor and both crashed out pretty hard soon after dinner. We awoke to a beautiful day and had breakfast and slowly got sorted to move over into the marina. Pulled anchor at around ten and made our way around to pass under the seven mile bridge. Even though you know there is enough room under the bridge, the angle of looking up leaves you holding your breath and praying you don’t hit it, its something that always makes me just slightly nervous. Soon enough we were through and heading up the channel into the marina and into the next stop on my journey. We had done it, Kuhela, John, myself (and even the little finch).

 

I learned a lot on the trip here.  I am getting to know Kuhela better, to know how she feels, how she works best, her likes, dislikes and oddities and I can honestly say that I am enjoying every moment of it. I continue to learn about myself as well, there are so many lessons that are being taught and things that I am realizing along the way. I enjoyed having John along for the ride a lot. For quite a while I thought that maybe I wanted to do this alone, that what I wanted in life was to be the lone traveller, making his way around the globe not really belonging to any place or any one. I don’t know if I feel that way now though, I am realizing that we are never really alone; our stories are interconnected in so many ways with so many along the way, people we meet, share time with, that come and go, family, friends, strangers. They all are part of our journey, part of ourselves and our story, to deny this or not be grateful for it can only lead to feeling lost and imagining ourselves to be isolated. I will continue to travel, to enjoy the time I spend alone, to explore, but I am not alone.

 

I think I am going to find someone to crew for the Cuba trip and on to Mexico, any takers?....

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Water Tank Install

Well the biggest job of the project is now complete. Was a pretty big undertaking and took a bit to get done, but did go very well. I have heard horror stories of other vessels having to pretty much tear the boat apart to get the water tanks out and of then having them built and then not fitting correctly, leading to more work, time and money.

 

We pulled the tanks out about three weeks ago and took a full days work to get them both out. What we had to do was to pull up the teak and holly flooring to get to the furniture mold below and then we cut an access hole big enough to get both tanks out of. We were able to pull the bigger aft tank out first and then slide the forward tank back and bring it up and out of the same hole. The biggest problem we encountered is that that larger tank did not fit through the hatch to get it out of the boat, so we decided to cut the tank in two and have two tanks made instead joining them up once installed.

 

I got Phil and Unique welding, here in St. Pete Florida to do the tanks for me and have been really happy with the work he has done. He’s actually working on about another three projects for me at the moment as well. I decided, after talking to a few people, to make that new tanks out of 12 gauge stainless steel, and to use flair fit fittings for the hook up and plumbing, these are a compression type fitting and from all reports work really well. The fact that we had to cut the large tank in half turned out to be a good thing as I didn’t realize how much extra weight the 12guage stainless would be. If we had to try and maneuver the large tank it would have been an absolute mission.

 

Phil brought the tanks down to the boat before putting the lids on for a trial fitting and we discovered that the sheet metal guy, who had bent the steel for him was short and inch and a half, we had a chat and Phil was quite happy to make it right by welding a box section on top, but I decided against it as it was a lot of work and should not lose that much volume off the tanks. Also it gave a bit of room for error and ensured that the tanks would fit. Once the tops were on I headed up to Phil’s shop to witness the pressure test, pressing each tank to 3PSI, to check for leaks and have a final look over before the install. I ended up having to wait for a few days as the flair fit fitting were on back order and wanted to have everything good to go to knock off the install in one big day.

 

While the tanks were out I installed a flange of 1-inch aluminum to the existing flooring and drilled and tapped it to secure the cut out section too, and ground out the old fiberglass taping the held the old tanks in place, laying in the bilge grinding on fiberglass is not a job I particularly enjoy, was quite happy to finish that day. On a side note, if your covered in fiberglass, tired and hungry and you have a shower up at the shower block and forget to bring your towel, it takes about 12-15 paper hand towels to dry yourself off.

 

On the day of the install I got up early and had everything prepped for when Kev, who gave me a hand pulling out the tanks as well, arrived. We got stuck into it and had the first tank in pretty quickly, and the second not long after that. The third however, took some working. The floor below was not quite level and with the increased space of having the two tanks instead of one we had to do a bit of modification to sure up the tank and get it all secure. To join the two tanks we had a one-inch hose joining them and that way they would equalize through and essentially work as one. It was another long day and was around eight by the time we finished up and took me another couple of hours to get Kuhela back to normal. Still had a bit of work to do the following day, filling the tanks, checking for leaks and putting the teak and holly flooring back in, but this I could do on my own. I’ll tell you what though, I was sore after the install, wasn’t moving with the greatest of speed.

 

I filled the tanks and got a rough measurement of about seventy five gallons, a bit less than I would have liked, don’t think that the original tanks were the one hundred gallons listed on the brochure though, I seriously doubt I lost twenty five gallons with the tanks being and inch and a half shorter. Oh well I was happy, tanks fit, there were no leaks, and I had running water again. No more having to tote water to the boat. Ill put captions on the photos to show the sequence of events and give an idea of how we pulled it all off. With this job done, I shouldn’t have to worry about the water tanks for the next 30 years. Funnily enough, when we cut the old tank open, we found the inside to be in pretty good shape, but no way to know without opening it up.

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Power From Brother Sun, Toys For Mother Ocean

  Well life has been pretty busy here aboard Kuhela, been trying to get all the big jobs on the list crossed off, while the days just seem to fall off the calendar with my expected departure date one page closer every time I look up.  Got a few presents today for myself and for Kuhela. Today was a big expense day, good fun, till you do the accounts.

 

Got my solar panels mounted and in place, took a bit of back and forth to get all the parts I need for mounting and hooking them up and I am still waiting on parts so I can hook them up to the batteries as I need bigger penetrators to get the fittings through the deck and to the controller. Found these fitting made by NOAA and the guy I bought my panels off of happened to be the distributor as well, so that was handy. The Way there set up is that they hinged off the rail and supported by adjustable legs. This give me that advantage of being able to pivot the panels to get the best angle to the sun, and hence the most energy. I was amazed at how much effect even slight shadowing of the panel could have on output; you really need to have a clear access to the sun to get the most out of your panels. These also have the advantage that when I fold them down I can slide them up as well, giving me access to my cleats and tie off point on my railing and getting them up and out of the way. The panels are rated at 90 W each and although I don’t think they will run everything I've got on board, they will definitely help consolidate my power.

 

I have also been thinking of what the best tender, for what I want to do and for the space I have, would be. Everything on here is a compromise, how, big, how much weight, where to store the outboard, you win in one area and loose in another. I decided on the new AB, 9Ft inflatable RIB that has a aluminum bottom and weighs in at just 75 Lb., 34KG, as this would mean I could get it up on deck by myself relatively easily and is big enough to take out and go diving or surfing. I will have to modify the existing chocks on deck to fit but got her on board this afternoon and she looks good. Had the insanely stupid though on the way home today that this was my last big expense, ha-ha yeah right. Still have to get an outboard, and then everything else I haven’t even begun to think about yet. Y advice to anyone looking to buy a boat is to never even consider going close to your budget on the purchase price, money sails out of my wallet much faster than Kuhela and I can sail on water.

 

Well wouldn’t really be fair to get a new tender to go surfing without a new board to go with it, now would it. Stopped in at sun coast surf shop to catch up with, Prescott, a mate that works there, and got myself something I've been wanting for a while. Can’t wait to get this new board in the water. If I was hanging for a surf before, now practically foaming at the mouth.

 

I have also done up a little video tour on board to give everyone a better idea of what she’s like, I’ll post it on the Facebook page, so have a look when you get a chance.

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Cold Water and Warm Hospitality

Made the trip up to New Jersey to meet up with my uncle, whom I haven’t seen in something like twenty plus years. Was good to get some time off the boat as well, to step back from the constant lists and things to do. The day before I left was a full on day of prep work for the putting the water tanks back in and getting the deck all set up to repaint the non skid. This I was having done while I was away and Phil was overseeing the painting job for me. Started work at around six that morning and didn’t finish up and begin to pack my bags for the trip till nearly ten that night. There seems to be a very disproportional amount of work to sailing at the moment.  

Meeting uncle Gerry was like catching up with an old friend, got along from the get go. Was pretty stoked as I got the chance to meet his young fella, Riley, as well. Another member of the family I hadn’t met previously, all the new family has definitely been one of the cool things about this trip so far. Spent the day hanging out and checking out the area and even went for a look at the local surf, looked fun, but cold. Later we went for a look at where uncle Gerry used to live before Sandy came through. It was unreal to see the damage that was done and was still blatantly evident after all these months. Seeing whole houses, or sometimes just pieces of them, moved off their foundations and with wall and entire rooms missing really gave an insight into the power of the ocean and that storm. Be lying if I said it didn’t make me, and Kuhela, feel pretty small.  His apartment had water damage to chest height and he lost pretty much everything in the storm. But in some ways gained a lot too by the different perspective it offered him. Was really good talking to him about things like that.

 

Later that night we ran into the next-door neighbor, who had been out surfing that day and was sitting around a fire in the back yard. Great to sit down and have a chat with a couple crew from the area and before you know it he had lent me wetsuit, hood, booties, gloves and a board and we made plans to go for a paddle in the morning. Stoked.  Of course the following morning the temperature had dropped and the swell died a bit, and even with the light snow flurries drifting through the air I couldn’t wait to get down to the beach. Air temp .5 degrees, water 3 degrees. It was small but clean and I was amped to get in the water. Lasted for a bit longer in the water than I though I would and got a few couple fun little lefts that put a smile on my face that even the slap of the freezing water couldn’t wipe off. Came out after about an hour and ran to the car, teeth chattering and hands on fire, laughing all the way. The laughter dies away a bit though as the feeling came back to my hands. DAMN that hurt. Those boys that surf in water like that are tough, good on em. It really struck me that I grew up watching films of guys traveling the globe surfing and the great people they meet along the way, and the way the boys up there lent me all the gear and looked after me really made me feel like I was in one of those movies. For me its all about the people I meet along the way (and the waves, and water, and scenery, and…)

 

Was able to sit and chat a lot with uncle Gerry, which I think was pretty good for both of us. I learned a lot and put some things into perspective for myself.  Kinda hard sometimes when your working on a project like this alone, it’s a really good thing to talk and share with people you connect with on a certain level and its something I've missed a lot since leaving home this trip.

 

Unfortunately there was some more family I didn’t get that chance to meet up with, but will hopefully get to meet them one day. Flew back down to Florida and was greeted by Kuela, with her freshly painted decks, and looking awesome. Really felt like home when I got back. Felt good to be back on board and listen to the sounds I am becoming so familiar with, ropes as they creak or the lantern as it swing back and forth. It was an awesome trip on so many levels, but now, back to work.

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All we gotta do is...

Well the plan was to pull the boat out of the water, paint the hull and do some other minor work and then I could move aboard. Now I'm not sure why exactly we thought that this would be any different to any other time where you start to do something on a boat and it goes from all we got to do is… to damn, looks like were going to have to… Throw into the mix a boat yard that has the speed and efficiency of six Trinidadian government workers on a public holiday and watch the work list get ticked off at about the same speed as an Amish drag race.  

So with this in mind, here is the latest update. The boat is still out of the water and while it was there I decided to change out the cutlass bearing (this is the round tube that the prop shaft goes through as it comes out of the hull). To do this you normally get a pipe wrench and screw out the old one and tap in a new one, easy. Unless you can’t get the old one out, then you get to pull the whole engine out of the boat so you can pull the prop shaft forward so you can cut and remove the old bearing. So we have puled the engine out and set it down in the galley while we get that done. It wasn’t as bad as it looks, came out pretty easy and was good experience anyways and also enabled me to do a few things on the engine while I had this great access to it. Bit of a tighter squeeze when it’s in place.

 

There have been a few issues down at the yard with their idea of work quality and mine. One of the things they did was somehow get it in their head that there were set screws holding the old bearing in place and decided to drill for them, I came down to the boat to find two ¾ inch holes drilled into the hull and patched up in a way that a two year old would stick play doe up his nose, messy and not looking too good. Starting to get the impression there not too happy to see me when I get down there but I can assure you no body wants to get her back in the water more than me. I've been trying to play the game as they still have the upper hand with the boat in the yard, but not letting them get away with taking the piss too much.

 

All the paperwork has now been signed and the money has been transferred. I should get the closing documents by Monday and hopefully be moving on board then. I have found a really nice marina down the road a bit from where I've been staying and have the berth reserved and paid for, just got to get the boat there.

 

This will be the last post until I move aboard (hopefully) I've got most of my stuff on there now, not that there was much of that, but the next big thing for me will be the first night I spend on board. That is something I am very much looking forward to.

 

Other than these small dramas though life is good. I am sure its not the last time things will take longer than planned. I'm learning lots and continuing working on that patience thing.

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The Family Tree

A big part of this trip for me is the people i will meet along the way, and so it was pretty cool when i got to meet some new people that were also family.  I went to visit my Dad's cousin in Orlando as I was in the area and they have been following my blog and contacted me through there. When i first pulled up outside their house i wasn't sure it was the right place, but as soon as she opened the door I knew it was, seeing your family resemblance in someone you've never met is pretty cool. I was treated to an awesome dinner of roti, and even sorrel, and after we ate, got a chance to sit down to chat and to get shown a whole side of the family I have never met. It is truly amazing when you think of all the stories that bring us to where we are today, and how over the years families have spread out over the world. These many different stories that branch off and run parallel to yours, the twists and turns as these branches make their way through time and the times when we are  lucky enough for our branches to cross paths and have that connection. Was great to get a chance to meet up with Dianne and Anthony and will hopefully catch up with them again before i go.

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The Process so far

Well things continue to move along, sometimes not at the speed that i would like but things are happening. I am learning a lot about patience, about enjoying the process and about myself. I am pretty content with my decision and do believe i have found the right yacht for me. We are still waiting for the survey, as the close of the deal is conditional on this, i have met with the owner and the broker to decide who will be doing what and have agreed on a price that everyone is happy with. Its pretty important to me that Phil, the owner, is happy with this sale. He has sailed this yacht for twenty five years and has invested a lot of himself in her, It is important that he is happy and will give the rest of Kuhela's travels his blessing.

The hold up with the survey is that the bow thruster had some troubles and has had to be sent off to get serviced. Where the boat is at the moment we need the bow thruster to maneuver out of the pen. The bow thruster is a small propeller in the bow that helps push the bow around. Yachts with a full keel, such as Kuhela, are not very maneuverable in reverse and this helps a lot. This means that we wont be able to get the survey done till I get back from the Bahamas on the 9th of Feb, A bit later than i would have liked to get this done. It is what it is though.

Phil has stated that  he will work with me to get me set up and hopefully we will be able to use the time before i leave to get the decks prepped for painting (which i am doing as part of the deal) and to start going through all the systems on board to get me up to speed. With being able to work and spend time with Phil on board it will be a huge advantage to learning about the many different systems on board and building up my confidence.

So as it stands I should have the deal closed by the middle of February and hopefully be living on board soon after. I am currently in Orlando and  will be heading back to St.Pete tomorrow to start catching up with Phil and learning about my new yacht, and home, Kuhela.

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And then there were two

Got the bus up from Marathon up to Miami and rented a car and headed up the west coast of Florida to have a look at what’s on offer over here.  Got up to St. Petersberg and spent a couple days checking out different yachts for sale up here. Saw some good ones and some ones that definitely didn’t fit the bill. Looked at about eight different boats and knew I had to do some serious thinking, and that was before I got to the last one.

 

Gary, the broker, warned me that the owner was on board and was in the middle of doing some work so she wasn’t in the best show room condition, but he assured me that if you look past that she was well worth a look. Wasn’t too sure what to think when we got there but when we came around the corner and I could see her peeking out from behind the boat next door I knew she was something.

 

Her name is a Kuhela, which means to rise up and move forward like the swells of the ocean, or to be one with the ocean. She’s a Downeaster 38 and although a bit older her owner has taken amazing care of her. He has sailed he for the last twenty-five years, to everywhere from the Mediterranean through to Russia and a few spots in between. It was great getting a chance to meet him and from looking at the quality of the work he’s doing, and has done, he keeps her in amazing shape.  She’s a solid cruising boat and is set up to head offshore.

Was great to have a chance to sit down with Phil, the owner, to have a chat and have him run me through the different systems on board. He is willing to go through the boat with me to hand everything over to bring me up to speed if I decide to go ahead.

 

So the decision is now down to two, the Cabo Rico or the Downeaster. I have organized to have a second look at both of them as they both deserve it. I am currently in Orlando catching up with my cousins here and will make the drive down to Ft.Lauderdale on Saturday to check out the Cabo Rico, before heading back up to St. Petersberg for another look at Kuhela.

 

So that means there will pretty much be decision by next week sometime.

Stay tuned.

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The search so far

Well the Cabo Rico is still on the top of the list so far. I am now up on the west coats of Florida having a look at a few different designs in the next few days. I have to say though, the Cabo Rico is still my pick and if i dont see anything to make me think different I will put an offer in on it by the end of the week. Exciting times. I just hope the owner comes to the party with the price. He is someone that i would like to buy a boat off of and hopefully we can come to an agreement that will suit both of us. Here some more pictures of her.[gallery link="file" ids="566,567,568,569,570,571,572,573,574"]

Sailed and Sandaled

What an awesome weekend. Couldn’t have wished for any better way to be sent off for this trip. Catching up with friends and family, sharing laughs, good vibes, good food, and topping it all off with a surf.  What more could you want.  

I am so grateful for dad and mom for doing this for me; they went all out and make it such a memorable day. To have the family around and supporting me and sharing time together is the greatest feeling. They are the core of this whole endeavor. It means the

world to me.

 

The gifts, words and well wishes I received were amazing.  To hear how this trip was in some small way inspiring the people around me was truly humbling. This whole thing, who I am, what I want to achieve in life is a culmination of all those around me, those who have inspired, supported, shared a laugh or helped me along the way, sometimes in ways you may not have even realized.  To share this and have a chat to very special people in my life, in person and on the phone, was awesome. I wish everyone the best in their journeys though this life. We get one time around. Dream big, live life and enjoy

this moment right here and right now.

 

Thanks so much to everyone for coming along and for the messages from those that couldn’t make it. Was an awesome day and the best way I could think of to start my trip.

 

My thoughts and prayers go out to dad and the family as well, Life is short and who knows what will happen. Uncle Keith you will be missed. Thank you for all the love and support you showed me over the years.

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An Invitation

This is a continuation of a journey that started many years ago. I have had this dream for as long as i can remember. The dream to travel by sea, to make my way from shore to shore, to spend time on the ocean learning of things that can only be fully understood through time in salt air and water. This burning desire was first sparked by hearing stories from my grandmother of past relatives that went to sea, it was fanned and fed by the stories of Hemingway, Louis L'amour, Kipling and countless others. They have all tossed their kindling and added their fuel. It's about facing my many fears, following that dream that I wont let go, even though I must admit that its been considered. Each man has his path to walk, some I will walk, some I will sail . This is a journey not just about me though. This is about the people I will meet, the stories I will hear and  the pictures I will take. These things are just as much part of my story as I am. We are all actors in someone else's play and stars in our own.  I hope to be able to inspire others out there to follow that dream they have, to not let that small flame of adventure still smouldering inside be extinguished or suffocated by fear.

Through this blog I hope to be able to share some of my photos, stories and experiences with you and invite you to join me as I make my way by sail or sandals.

Cheers, Josh