Friday, April 30, 2010

Change of Plan

The weather has decided not to cooperate.  Planned departure mid next week.

Float Plan

Float Plan:
Departing May 1 Key West to Galveston TX aboard Kipeki (Hull Marked Gypsy)
Expected Transit 6-10 days.
Return Key West via auto - stops at Pensacola and Ft Rutgers FL.
Roger (wilco, over and out!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Do not name your sailboat Reboot

If I could be paid my standard consulting rates for all the computers I have fixed since leaving Milwaukee I could retire.

I forgot, I am all ready retired!  Never mind.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Buzz Cut

After 10 months without a haircut I finally went the other way. Enjoy the picture of me as the long haired bearded sailing guy, it will not last long.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Key West destination Galveston aboard Kipeki

I was invited by Nick to help him move his Swan 46 from Key West to Galveston TX a distance across the Gulf of Mexico of about 7500 nautical miles.  
The chronicle:

Day 1:
We bought fuel and departed Key West channel under overcast skies and 5 to 10 knot winds.  After several hours we discovered that the bilge pump was on but not running.  Nick and I cleaned the filters, gave the pump a sharp rap and it was all good.  We also tightened the cutlass bearing to slow the drip.

Day 2:
After motoring most of the night in very light winds we arrived at the dock at Ft Jefferson Park in the Dry Tortugas and tied up.  We took a quick tour of the fort.  Nate and Mike went to the gift shop and fell in love with the young lady clerk.  She apparently lives on the key for about 22 days at a time and was quite lonely.  However, duty called and we departed the Dry Tortugas for Galveston before she got off work for the day.  About 5 miles out a water hose let loose so we had another fire drill until we found the leak and repaired it.  By this time the wind had completely died.  Nate and Mike jumped overboard and cleaned the bottom.  Then we motor sailed into the sunset.

Days 3 – 5
They start to blur.  Somewhere along the next day we started the engine to charge the batteries and found that we were not getting any water out of the wet exhaust.  After a bit of research we decided that the external sea water pump was failing.  Since the approach to Galveston requires navigating a 30ish mile long safety fairway through the oil wells we decided that the prudent thing to do was to turn around even though we had made about 300 miles toward our destination.  Of course at this point the wind once again refused to cooperate blowing directly at us from Key West.  In addition we were feeling the effects of the Yucatan Current which was setting us strongly to the south east given that our boat speed was only 1 to 2 knots.  We considered our options:  continue to Galveston; go with the flow to Mexico, or take a long tack to Cuba, pick up the Gulf Stream, and tack back to Key West.  We decided that option three was the most prudent and off we went.  Each tack was about 24 hours.  We got about 20 miles from Havana, close enough to see the glow of the workers paradise from the shore, and then tacked back to Key West.  Since the wind was from the East and the Gulf Stream from the West the wave action really picked up, as did the wind.  Before we knew it we were close hauled into 25 knots relative with short period 5 – 7 foot waves.  What a beautiful sailboat is the Swan.  It shrugged it all off, cut through the waves like they were not there, and gave us a beautiful sailing experience.  Of course 4 miles from Key West we took one wave that was about 2 feet above the deck – it drenched us all.  But the day was sunny and warm and we were almost home after 5 days at sea.
In the meantime Nate had jury rigged an old bilge pump to replace the salt water pump and we came up the Boca Chica channel with good water coming out of the exhaust.  It was a really cool solution – pictures attached.
We tied up at the service dock and adjourned to the bar.  I lasted about 2 pitchers and one hour before crashing for a 10 hour nap.
Day 6
We moved Kipeki from the service dock to a slip so that we could start on repairs.  About half way across the marina the exhaust water stopped flowing again even though the bilge pump was pumping away.  But we got her put away safely and will start the debugging process tomorrow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Departing for Galveston, TX

I will be helping my friend Nick bring his Swan 46 Kipeki from NAS Key West to Galveston, TX over the next week or so.  I will then drive back to Key West via the NAS Pensacola so I can visit the Naval Aviation Museum.  Once I get back it will be off to Norfolk, then in October (after hurricane season) down to Mexico.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Southernmost Airshow

We had a weekend of the Blue Angels.  Awesome!

Crazy Night

We have a new boat in the marina, a beautiful Swan 46.  Nick and his two nephews are transiting their newly acquired Gypsy from North Carolina to Honolulu.  Mike and Nate, the two nephews, are about the same age as my sons Trevor and Spencer.  They are really nice guys.

Unfortunately Gypsy is having the dinghy engine problems just like I did.  So I have been giving back by ferrying them to and from shore as so many other cruisers did for me while I was waiting for engine repairs.  (Did I mention that my engine died again – it needed a new spark control box – another $600 fix?)  So we have been trading favors.   Mike and Nate cleaned Reboot’s hull prior to my insurance survey.  As a thank you I took them on the Duval Crawl.

We got down town in time to enjoy some dollar beers and then met a gal who lived in Key West.  She suggested to the guys that we all go to Cowboy Bills.  Off we went.  (Do you know any young guys who will not follow the suggestions of a pretty girl?)  Of course I had forgotten that it was “sexy bull riding night.”  The next thing I know it is midnight, I have already had too many beers, and the action is only starting up.  With the crowd incentivizing the bull riders (sexy is a Key West euphuism for topless) and a large number of contestants I was sure it would take a while.  It did.  I arrived home at about 3 AM only to remember that the surveyor was coming at 10 AM.

I don’t bounce back quite as quickly as I have in the past.  On the other hand Nick told me that the guys woke up, drank water, said “Roger is the bomb” and went back to sleep until 2 PM.

Prior to “sexy bull riding” one can ride the bull for a $5 charge.  Mike wanted to ride so I said sure I will front the money.  (The guys are, like all guys their age, broke!)  Just before he gets on the bull he turns to me and says “I will bet you the bar bill that I can stay on for 10 seconds.  I look at the operator, he looks at me, I slip him a “gratituity.”  As he is talking Mike out to get on the bull he reaches down and adjusts some controls.  Mike gets on and does really well for 9 ½ seconds.  At that point the bull bucks and spins about 5 times harder and faster than it did for anyone else and Mike goes flying off.  Age and treachery will best youth and enthusiasm every time!

Primordial screem

After two very expensive repairs to my dinghy motor tonight just took the cake.  I spent a few hours playing euchre with some friends and having a couple of beers.  Then I jumped down into my dinghy, pulled the cord to start the engine and the cord broke and came out in my hand.  I rowed back to the boat.



Friday, April 2, 2010

Desert Storm

I am currently at a Navy marina.  I always find it interesting when I learn something about one of my fellow sailors.  I share my recent discovery of a poet among my brothers:


Desert Storm


Without the wind beneath my wings,

I often think of home.

Like pages in a summer breeze,

They leave me all alone.

When I’m not building bunkers,

Counting camels, or swatting flies,

I listen to Bagdad’s “Voice of Peace,”

And all it’s deadly lies.

I don’t know what to really think,

It’s hard to play the part.

For deep inside I feel some pain,

Beneath my trembling heart.

Last week there was some talk,

And now we’re here to stay.

If only we could figure out,

Our Allies, for the day.

It’s hard to be a soldier,

In this, foreign, desert land,

Where economics, more than life,

They count as something grand.

Some think that war is glorious,

Magnificent and bold.

In truth it takes our young men,

And makes them very old.

But if you say that we must fight,

Then, here, we’ll make our stand.

Just do not cry –

When our blood runs dry,

On this dirty desert land.


Ken Scillieri

March 1991


Copywrite Ken Scillieri1991 all rights reserved