Monthly Archives: April 2013

Fernandina – Charleston – by Jodi

April 17th Wednesday
down town
Day 2 in Fernandina Beach.  Gary dropped me off in town/marina so I could get groceries.  Walked 2 miles to Winn Dixie.  After buying the items I needed and a few others, I realized I had a lot to carry.  Asked the checkout clerk if there was a short cut to the beach by the cement plant (we were anchored if front of this), answer “NO”. Brittany said she was getting off and offered to drive me back to the marina.  She does not “live on the Island” so she was headed my way to get home.  It was very nice of her.  Gary greeted me at the dock to load up the dinghy and head back to the boat.  Once on the boat, stowed the supplies and started sewing a few items we needed.  Made a cover for the dish rack so when we are in a rough seaway the dishes won’t come tumbling down.

April 18th

Pulled anchor 7:30 a.m. stopped at the marina for fuel and water.  By 8:10 we are on our way out the channel and on to Savannah.  Part way out Sailing Vessel Windward hailed us on the VHF asking our destination, “Savannah” we say and they are headed to Charleston, SC along with 3 other boats.  Gary and I discussed changing coarse and decided to join this little convoy.  We eventually found out the names of the other vessel, Mambo, Gemini & Patty D.  We were able to chat with everyone via the single side band radio.  Windward hailed us to turn on SSB 4030Mhz at noon.  This became a part of the routine for the next 24 hours to chat/check in every 4 to 6 hours.  It was nice to know someone else was out there and could chat if falling a sleep on the watch.

We arrive 9:00 a.m. Friday, ahead of everyone, we were able to sail most of the way, the other boats had to motor sail and we made the best time.  (The new sail is paying for it’s self)  As we entered the ft sumterCharleston channel and round the 2nd marker, we see 50 plus sailboats heading right at us.  Its race weekend and we are right in the middle of the starting line.  Man-o-man, dodging boats left and right.  As we continue down the channel we come upon the little fleet of sailing vessels with their spinnakers flying with all kinds of color with even more boats down the way.  There must have been a 150 boats in all. What a great way to enter into a new port.

Found a nice little anchorage by 11:15.  We tried to go into town, but the bay was very choppy and I got soaked halfway to the marine.  We turned around and I cleaned up the boat instead.  Winds start to howl later in the day, gusts up to 25 knots, with a storm watch till 10 p.m.  So much for trying to get into town this day.

Saturday April 20
pot heater
Gary and I hit the hay last night by 8 and slept long and hard. The overnights take there toll on us, so when we can sleep in we do with gusto. We awoke the next morning to a chilly cabin, about 58 degrees, so we used our terracotta pot to heat the salon.

walkingWe headed into town again, this time we wore our foul weather gear to avoid getting wet.  We stopped at the gas station for direction and they had a pet mooring post for Rio, this is the first pet mooringtime we have visited Charleston and it is full of history.  Named after Charles ll of England “Charles Town” and renamed in 1783 to Charleston.  1861 secession from the Union – 1865 Sherman march through town & made it impossible to defend.  Movie “Gone With The Wind” the plantation was modeled after Boone Hall Plantation.  Fort Sumtner, Historic downtown with its different boroughs and the beautiful old homes.  Gary and I walked for 3 hours and enjoyed the sights.  We wanted to see the old French Quarters and their open air market, later we walked to the famers market where I picked up fresh vegitables.  Back to the boat to soak our sore feet and clean the veggies for freezing.

with groceriesSunday I ventured out to take the bus to Wal-mart to pick up a few items, i.e. dog food, fishing lures and tennis shoes for both of us.  I missed the first bus and had to wait an hour and a half for the next one.  After shopping I packed up the items into the 3 backpacks I brought with for transporting.  Walked across the street to catch the next bus, got there early this time and Guess what – same bus driver.dink home 6 hours later, Gary picked me up at the Holiday Inn which was closer to the boat and a lot less walking for me with 3 backpacks full and 16 lbs of dog food in my arms. So by now you are thinking we are crazy, no just very adventuresome and having a blast doing it.
baking
Monday is baking day, split pea soup was on the agenda first, had for lunch and the rest was frozen for the crossing, then zucchini, cranberry & nut bread.  These too were frozen for later consumption.  Gary did get to taste each one. After cleaning up and Gary’s nap we went back to town to use the library’s WIFI to download 2 video’s Gary made.  Rio was not welcome in the library so he and I sat outside and watched all the college students go by, several girls asked to pet the cute puppy, Rio knows how to charm the girls :-)  Video’s uploaded and back to the boat for a steak dinner and corn on the cob.  Over dinner we came to the conclusion, we will stay here for a week and provision up for the crossing.  We did some checking on stores where we are heading and this is the best place to get food with reasonable transportation “the bus”.town map

The Journey Continues -April 17, 2013

jax sunriseApril 9th we turned towards Jacksonville @ 10:30 a.m., just left the gulf stream, sails are wing and wing with 5.5 knots of wind and calmer sears.  Dolphins dancing on our bow, 10 in the pod – they stayed with us for 1/2 an hour.  I never get tired of watching these mammals.

Gary and I worked on our to do list for when we anchor in Jacksonville.  Though Gary is “retired” he still works 20 hours a week to help fund the adventure…Today was his first day and having a little trouble getting into it.

After our high winds of the past 5 days, we had no wind this afternoon sailing towards Jax.  After flailing @ 1.2 to 2.1 knots we bit the bullet and started the engine – ETA of arrival 10:30 p.m.

It amazes me how the water color changes from coast to coast.  We started with greenish water in Madeira Beach, about Sarasota/Ft. Myers aqua seas.  The Keys were Azure.  Going up the east coast in the Atlantic navy blue.  We are now back to aqua.

With 5 hours to go to anchor I was cleaning up after Rio when 2 dolphins popped up and scared me to death, they watched me scoop water out of the ocean with my metal bucket on a rope, I think they were laughing at me. bucket dutyA little while later a chick-a-dee joined our crew, came in to the cockpit, looked around and decided to stayed a while.  As we approach the ICW channel to enter Jax we were looking for a white and red channel marker which we spotted, aimed at the mark and sailed forward.  As we neared we started hearing a whoosh, whoosh, whoosh noise, all of a sudden we realized it was a helicopter not a marker.  Swerved to avoid getting too close and flipped on the VHS and found out there was a right whale out there.  Man was that scary.  Navigated the channel to Sister Creak for the night.  Anchor down 11:00 p.m.

April 10 Thursday

Gary slept in the cockpit last night to make sure we didn’t drag the anchor. The current in the channel/St John’s River is very fast and strong, all was well.  We moved further into Jax to a free dockage for our stay.

April 15th Monday

7:20 a.m. We spent 4 days in Jax, there was a boat show going on, so we wandered thought to see what they had.  Jenna and the family came to visit Saturday. Had a wonderful time.  The grandkids love hanging out on the boat.   We met another couple at the dock from S Africa.  They have been sailing the Atlantic for many years. Ken and Deanne are in their late 70’s and her mom is sailing with them also, she is 98.  Gary picked Ken’s brain for as much info as possible, as I did Deanna.  They are sailing a 60′ custom aluminum boat, “Silver Lynx”.  Other than that Jacksonville was boring – we could not dinghy to anything or ride our bikes – downtown is a long ways from shopping.
welcomePelicans
We are off again – next stop port Fernadina, which is part of Amelia Island. Very uneventful trip to this port – light winds with slow rolling waves.  As we approach the channel we had a welcoming committee, pelicans flying in to land on the green marker.

We radioed the dock master to find out about anchorage as there were mooring balls in the bay, he stated all balls were taken and to anchor anywhere but the mooring field.  We set the anchor by the last marker in the bay.  We watch to make sure we would not be to close to the other 3 boats in our area.  We didn’t feel comfortable with our location so we pulled anchor and moved a little further towards the marker.  Did this once more before we were happy with our spot. live-a-board One of the neighboring boats is a “live-aboard” – notice the plywood sides & 2 dinghies.

Tuesday 4/16 up at 6:30, cleaned the boat and went to town.  Quaint old town.  Lots of tourist shops.  We were able to find a “Big Lot” type store to get a few items.

 

Back to the boat. DCIM100GOPRO Gary worked and I did laundry, which is a 5 gallon bucket and a plunger – 40 minutes later laundry on the line.

Our Journey – by Jodi

Our Journey!
The Boat:
470 Catalina 2000.

The Crew:
Captain – Gary BrattonDCIM100GOPRO
Semi-Retired computer programer and jack of all trades.

First Mate/Admiral/Executive Officer – Jodi Bratton
Retired Sr. Project Manager and jack of all trades.DCIM100GOPRO

Deckpaw – Rio
Active – alarm dog, watch dog and night watch companion. Rescued from the pound.DCIM100GOPRO

Gary and I met 10 years ago and married 7 1/2 years. I was a competitive Country Dancer when we met.  I retired 2 years later and Gary had a dream of sailing around the world.  We bought my first sailboat, Gary’s 6th in Galveston Texas, a little 33′ Newport.  We sailed her home through the ICW.
During our trip I said, ” you are either going to marry me or divorce me when this trip is over”.  It took 11 days and lots of motoring and long days of sailing. We met many interesting people and every tug boat on the ICW knew we were out there somewhere.  Not another pleasure boat in the channel in that cold month of March.  We had 5 wonderful years on her.  The grand kids, Jaggar and Jacob enjoy being on her and sailing, they spent many of night at our boat and the marina.

Gary and I moved to Seminole Florida from Tallahassee in August of 2005 right after we got married.

We sold “Little” Dancer and went on the hunt for “Big” Dancer.

Found her in Mobile Alabama.  We brought her home in 3 days, this would be the first of our long distance, overnight sailing trips.

The Journey began when Gary said in December 2012, “we are leaving on March 22, 2013,” his 62 birthday.  He told his boss and I turned in my notice for retirement on February 28, 2013.  We rented the house and we had to be out by March 10.  So my mom, Gary and I had several garage sales and packed what we thought we would need on the boat. So on Friday March 8th we moved on to our 47′ Catalina sailboat which we bought 3 1/2 years ago.  We made several improvements to her, new sail, solar cells, dingy davits, shelves and turned the aft shower into a pantry.  We stayed on the marina for 3 weeks packing and stowing all the provision for the trip.  Mom stayed with us and help put things away.  Our new cockpit enclosure was completed on April 2nd and we tossed our lines on April 5th, 2013.

Day 1 of our around the world cruise, April 4th 2013.
casting off
Our day began @ 5 A.M. or so it was to, hit the snooze button and up at 6. Our goal was to be out of port by 8:00.  Took our last long hot shower, then finished stowing the last minute items, bikes, propane cans, Jerry cans, etc…Quick trip to the store for a bag of ice for the cooler in the cockpit, we are ready to toss our lines, we are no longer land lovers! We are now Cruisers!

Gary and I pull our dock lines at 9:30 A.M. and cast off for the last time in Madeira Beach Florida.  We radioed the bridge for the next opening.  The bridge tender said he would get the bridge right up.  The tenders know Dancer well as we brought Christmas baskets to them for several years as a thank you.  Under the 1st bridge and on to Johns Pass which will be our last Florida bridge to go under.

Weather was to be 20 knots of wind coming from the north, the weather man was right with 3 to 5′ seas.  We set our jib sail at the last marker and headed south for Key West. This will be the first leg of our trip, 207 nautical mile.

As the winds continue to blow the waves continue to grow throughout the day. Gary and I started to feel like a message in a bottle bouncing around the sea. following seas It was nice that almost everything that was stowed stayed in its place, except the aft head (bathroom) cabinet.  It popped open on one of our rolls and everything went cur-plop to the floor. One white basket later it was all restored, only this time on the floor. Need to fix that!

With only the jib up we traveled at 6.5 knots at noon.  Gary rigged the Jack-lines on both sides of the deck for us to tether on to.  Our new PFD’s have build in harness’s that makes going forward so much safer.  Even Rio has a harness and tether to keep him from going overboard or forward with out adult supervision :-) Very proud of Gary, he wore his life jacket and tether every time he went forward to the bow.

1st dolphin sighting at 1:00, they didn’t stay long.  By 2:00 the seas grew to 4 to 6′ and Gary gave up on trying to nap.  After 5 hours of sailing the wind switched and we pulled the jib and started the motor.  One hour later we decided to take the whisker pole down and try the jib again.  BINGO we are under sail again.  dolphins

It was a long night of rolling seas, pitch black skies and a little sleep, Rio would curl up with who ever was on watch and sleep between our legs, he too did not like the rock and rolling seas.  We work on 2 hour watches, Gary will sleep, then me.

Day 2, Saturday 4/5/13

We arrived in Key West at 5;30 P.M., anchor down, boy was Rio happy, he could go on deck and take care of business, 24 hours of holding it.  We went about putting the boat back in order from the 32 hours of sailing through rough seas.  Dinner was Chicken on the grill and boiled potatoes. Lights out by 9.

Spent 2 nights in Key West.  Sunday morning went into town to get a few items we needed to repair the mast.  We went from in-mast furling to a full batten main so the furling was clanging in the mast.   Gary had thought he had this fix before we left.  We dinghed to Home Depot for 2 cans of foam spray to fill plastic baggies to stop the clanging.  up mastThen back to the boat and up the 65′ mast Gary goes armed with his tool to fix the bang, 45 minutes later all done and no clanging.  Went to town and walked around for a few hours on Sunday then hung out on the boat getting ready to sail again in the morning.

We left Key West Monday morning at 7:30 towards Marathon, wind right on our noise at 18 knots.  Will have to motor for quite awhile. Nothing exciting happen on this leg of the journey.

Tuesday April 8, 2013

With the sea a little calmer Rio venture out to the “poop” deck this morning with adult in tow.  We told him to poop & pee and treats to follow.  This became the routine for him. napping

We tacked through the night to round Key Largo and were able to put the sails up and shut the engine off.  How quite!! This was around 9:30 A.M. Small rainstorm went thought at 11.  We sailed with full main and 1/2 the jib out for the rest of the day and night.  We we able to get into the Gulf Stream with add speed to our sailing time.  We got 4 extra knots with this and 229 mile in the day.  WOW! Thank you Gulf Stream!!

Charelston, SC

Absolutely the fastest day ever!

The fastest day ever

So, how fast is fast anyway?  Obviously for sailors, fast is somewhat relative. Relative to other sailing vessels and other sailors, not to Suzuki Hyabusa’s or F-18 Hornet jet fighters.  For Dancer, we usually figure on making about 5kts during a passage. That’s about the same as a good brisk walk, but string 24hr of those together and you have moved 120 nautical miles through time and space.
When we spend any time traveling at above 6 kts, it was”a good sail”. Above 7.5 and we were “hooked up” and  “in the groove.”
Since Dancer has a hull speed of 8.5 kts, that is as fast as she is ever supposed to able to go, so when we see 8.4 or above on the knot meter….  well we go home and write about it in our Blog!

If we could actually hold 8 kts for a full 24 hr period, we would travel 192 nautical miles. There are boats that can do this, but they are not 47feet long and carrying the crews entire life along with them. This is beyond any but specialty built race boats and crews.
fastest
So what do you say when your third day at sea turns up to be a 229 nautical miles “Boomer?”  That my friends is an average of 9.54 kts every single hour for 24hrs. That is an average that is 13% faster than the boats supposed top speed.  And yet that is EXACTLY what S/V Country Dancer did on April 6, 2013.  From Miami to St. Augustine. 229 nautical miles in 24 hrs.

Absolutely the fastest day ever!    Watch the HD Video

Did I hear someone say “wait a second?”  Yes, yes, you in the back there. What about the Gulf Stream?  Well, yes it does run from Miami to St Augustine.  Well yes It does sometimes move at 4kts.  Well yes, I suppose it does mean we were actually sailing at just over 5 1/2.  Please sit down sir. A record is a record after all. Any other questions?

Please tell us how you like the videos.  The crew is beginning to rebel at my constant ideas for a  “cool” shot.

P.S. After blasting up the coast, the wind died completely some 70 miles from Jacksonville, and we had to humbly motor our “super boat” into the anchorage.  Dooh.

Sitting in the cockpit

Sitting in the cockpit, I grab the three quarter inch Dacron Genoa sheet to keep from rolling off the seat.  When a puff hits, the force is so great  I can literally feel the huge line stretch and thin in the palm of my hand.rough seas

We are twenty miles off Fort Meyers beach on the first day of Country Dancers trip around the world.  And what a first day it has been!  As I write this, it is midnight and dark as sin,  no moon and the only horizon is the faint glow from Ft Meyers. Before dark, we could see the huge waves that were sliding up from behind us and rolling us from ear to ear,  but now they simply strike, and we hold on.  Jodi is trying to get some sleep on the other seat in the cockpit,and Rio is cuddled in my lap. He doesnt like rolling around either.

This weather was supposed to let up some by now, but I have seen our speed hit 9.6kts and then a minute or two later, 9.7.  For a boat that needs all of her 75 turbocharged diesel horsepower to reach 8.5kts, just think how much force is being generated by those sails, and transferred by a braided piece of dacron line.  And this is with two reefs in the main and only enough jib out to keep us from broaching in the rollers.   Even so, we are booming through the pitch black night like a freight train with no brakes.

Did I mention the waves….
As we rattle around the cockpit, my head is about 8 feet above the ocean.  Many of the waves hitting us block out the horizon as they pass, meaning they are more than 8ft high. Nasty, steep waves.  The kind that roll under you swinging the bow to the left and then pitching it back to the right just in time for the next nasty to grab you and start the sickening wallow again.

We are about five degrees off course, but I will correct for this at daybreak when I can at least see the sails.

Well we needed a shake down befor crossing the Atlantic.  If Dancer can hold together for tonight, she might just be ready for the crossing.

Warp Factor nine Mr. Solo!

Summary:  Slip 37, ABC marina, Maderia Beach to anchor drop in Key West
203 miles and 32hours. Leg one complete. The video does not do this one justice.

Snot Bombs

Snot bombs!snot bombs

Don’t gross out yet, it’s not what you think.

When we decided to buy a new mainsail, the first decision was whether to replace the existing in-mast furling main or go to another system.
The in-mast system was very popular ten years ago when Country Dancer was built.  It is reasonably priced when ordered on a new boat, and furls the sail on a vertical aluminum extrusion very much like the tried and proven head sail furling systems.  This allows for ultimate flexibility in furling or reefing the sail to any size needed, and since all the lines are lead to the cockpit, you don’t need to go on deck to deploy, reef, or stow the main.  The sail cover is a simple canvas wrap that encloses the sail in the bottom of the mast.  A nice, simple and effective sail handling system.

Except….  To make the in-mast main work, it has to be made of somewhat lighter cloth or it will not fit through the slot in the back of the mast.  This lighter cloth is more susceptible to stretch, and ages poorly.  The sail is also cut  with “hollow” down the leach, or aft side. Cutting it this way puts more tension on the back edge to help hold it out against the wind.  Alas, this reduces the area of the sail by about 10% and most of that is at the top where the size is most needed.  Conventional sails use battens, fiberglass slats or rods sewn in pockets, to help hold the leach out, but since these cant be rolled into the mast, the aft edge of this sail is completely unsupported.
Well it is a great system and if you don’t mind replacing your main every few years it workers pretty well, but the racer in me just had never been happy with the lousy shape that our sail gave.  We heeled way to much, and went way to slow.

Then one day Jodi went to Catalina to see some of their surplus stuff, and Ken mentioned that they had 2 full batten mains for a good price.   Salvation was in sight. I could get a “real” sail on the cheap.  It turned out that cheap was only about $400 less than a custom main from Mack sails, but the ball was rolling.  A few weeks later I ordered a full batten main, lazy jacks and ” Mack Pack” cover from Mack Sails in Stuart.sails

I am going to leave out the part about having to re-cut the sail to fit over our Bimini and solar cells and just say….what a GREAT sail.  I feel like I am home again. We point, that is sail very close to the eye of the wind, and reach, going with the wind to our side, like a real sailboat.  I lead the two reefing lines back to the cockpit, so shortening sail in a blow is not that big of a deal.

We really hadn’t sailed the new sail much before leaving on leg one of our trip, so getting to key west held a few new experience for us.  But man did we go FAST.  We saw over 9kts on a few occasions and went from the dock in Madeira to “anchor down” at Key West in 32hr.  A new record for us.

During the upgrade I had decided to leave the in-mast furling system completely in place, so we could still use it if needed – or desired.  That meant that the extrusion running up inside the mast had to stay in place.  What I didn’t realize was that it was completely unsupported in there and would just rattle around.  The result is the most horrific banging and clanging as every wave pitches the long clanger back and forth in our 65ft tall aluminum bell.  Something had to be done.

In Key West, I decided to go “up the stick” and figure out how to support that darn thing before all the other boats in the anchorage came and kicked us out.  What I decided to do was take a couple of can of spray foam up the mast and squirt it into baggies on both sides of the extrusion inside the mast.  An hour latter these new “snot bombs” were all in place and silence returned to the harbor.  I did have that crap everywhere though.  Imagine if you will, 65 feet in the air, swinging in a bosuns chair, with your fingers manipulating a Baggie through a 1/2 inch slot in the mast when some hot rod fisherman comes by at 25 kts and rolls us a 3ft wake.   It’s  Capt Gary all @@@holes and elbows trying to keep from being launched into Miami with yellow spray snot shooting out and over everything.  “Look out below, snot bombs away.”  But it worked.

We had our first really quiet night since getting the new sail, and silently slipped our lines and left KW the next morning.

Jodi, what was that sound?  It sounded like part of that mast clang again.  Nah…..Yeah.  The snot bombs had worked well at anchor, but it turns out that foam will not cure and get hard in a plastic Baggie.  With every wave more of the spray snot worked its way out of the mast and the gentle tink, tink again became a clang, clang as the mushy Snot Bombs exploded and fell to the bottom of the mast.  By the time we were 5 miles back up the Hawks Channel, I am sure that people on the beach were wondering what was falling apart on that boat “out there.”

So now we are 70 miles away from Jacksonville, and will make our anchorage by about 10:00 PM.  If we don’t get arrested for breaking some noise ordinance tonight, I will be climbing the mast in the morning to replace all of my snot bombs with my next Really Great Idea.  Stay tuned.

To Boldly go….

enterprise

To Boldly Go…

To boldly go…

Back in the 70’s Gene Roddenberry wrote a TV script about a group of space explorers that became known as “Star Trek.” The theme of that story was “To Boldly go where no man had gone before.”

For years I turned cardboard boxes into “landers” and soap containers into “phasers.” But Gene’s stories did more than excite fantasies and create toys . In some of us it awakened a section of our ancient brain stem that said “just GO”. Gene added the boldly, and a generation like me said we wanted to do just that.

Sadly, space costs a trillion times what I could ever afford, but as a young man I found that a motorcycle could do a pretty good job in a pinch. I traveled all of the Pacific Northwest, and then turned on my “Boldly”, and struck out to cross the US on a motorcycle.

That story still lives in a journal now tucked safely away in one of Country Dancers closets. But it didn’t end the little boys desire to explore. I kept stretching my experiences, learning to fly, traveling cross country several more time, skiing, diving and learning to sail from a few pretty good race boat captains. The dream of “boldly going” was still burning in my guts, but it would take a few more years, and a couple of kids before it would surface again.

Michael was 7 when his mother left us. For a few years, he and I worked on “bold” but it didn’t seem to take. He is a great kid, but what Gene sparked in me just didn’t find the same kindling in my son.

Then my brother introduced me to Jodi. Turns out she was pretty bold too. As a young mother she had lived in a cabin in Minnesota with no running water. Later she got heavily into rodeo, running the cans as a barrel racer, and with her then husband , became instrumental in starting both The Great Northern Rodeo, and the Bear Grease Dog Sled race. But her bold had also gone into a simmer stage until she had recently started dancing competitively. With a good partner, this lead to her winning 3 Worlds Country Dance Championships.

Jodi decided she had danced her turn and knowing I talked a lot about sailing, suggested she would like to retire from dancing and try doing “That”. Suddenly, the deeply buried BOLD came bounding to the front or our lives, and we soon had a 33 foot “pocket cruiser” sailboat. It only seemed right that we named her “Country Dancer.”

Little Dancer, as we refer to her now, was a great little boat, and we sailed her a lot, and everywhere. BOLD was no longer a memory, it had again become a weekly episode for us again as we explored the waters around Florida’s west coast.

If BOLD is really in your guts, you can’t sail very much without wanting to always go further, always go longer, always explore deeper, and the new Jodi & Gary were in full BOLD mode. The decision was made to get a boat big enough, fast enough, and comfortable enough that we could REALLY “go where no….” , well at least where WE had never gone before.

We bought a fairly new and nicely equipped Catalina 470 in 2010. Again there was no question of the name, and “S/V Country Dancer” was properly christened by us and the grand babies. She was destined to take her owners smiling, and spinning around the world to the beat of both Country music and the Caribbean music of Jimmy Buffet. Dancer she would be, and country….how many can we see?

Today is April 2013. BOLDLY is no longer a dream. We have reordered our lives and work so there is no longer a home other than Dancer, and we are sailing up the US east coast as leg one of our journey to Ireland. About June 1 we will enter the Atlantic and follow the Gulf Stream across to the Emerald Isle. From there the plan is the Med, then back to the Caribbean and across to the South Pacific. So long as not too many Klingon’s appear on our scopes, we, like the crew of the Enterprise, will continue our personal human adventure to where ever the wind and the stars can take us.

Dream big, and Go Boldly

The crew of S/V Country Dancer

The New Bimini/ Dodger

new threads for Country Dancer

new threads for Country Dancer

Country Dancer was getting a little “thread bare” and we contracted with Kim @ Kim’s Canvas in St. Petersburg to build us a new Dodger and Bimini. As these things are completely custom, each piece is fitted before the next is patterned and built. It took hours and hours and I just don’t know how many hours for Kim to pattern, cut, sew, fit, modify and refit the 15 major pieces for her new enclosure.
But what a great difference! We can see out again, and the new enclosure is attached to the toe rail leaving enough room to actually turn the primary winches. With the “Front Doors” open, the sides act like scoops, dragging fresh cool air in and through the cockpit. Today rained and rained with but only a drop or two inside the enclosure. What a wonderful deal

Watch the video if you want to see what all of this means. And thank you Kim
Country Dancers new threads