Sep 19, 2009

Sailing Books - A ciriculum to sail away

I’ve learned a ton from reading books about sailing. Here are a few of my favorites.

Confessions of a Long Distance Sailor by Paul Lotus
Probably the first book I read about sailing, because it was available free as an e-book. The book is still available for free online, but it is also available in paper back format HERE.

This book was the best find ever. I was completely enchanted, and couldn’t stop reading it from the moment I started. My mom was concerned about the amount of time I was spending sitting in front of a computer while I read it.

One thing I’ve always remembered from the book was the author’s description of his life philosophy: “Do something different. Look at what everyone else is doing, and do something different.”

This is excellent for those looking to learn because it covers the authors journey from having no sailing experience at all, right up to completing his circumnavigation. It provides a very realistic insight into the day to day life of long distance sailing.

Sailing aside, the author is a pretty cool guys. He designed spacecraft components for the NASA Space Shuttle, and created a mathematical model of the solar system used during the Viking Mars lander program. His best-known program is "Apple Writer" the first word processor for personal computers.

Flirting With Mermaids by John Kretschmer
The nine page introduction alone is worth the cost of this book. Perhaps best said in the words of the author: “It is a book about living a passionate, adventure-filled life on your own terms.”

It is packed full of wisdom and inspiration for anyone who has felt like they just don’t fit right.

“My freedom is the ability to shake off the grip of society’s expectations.”

“Life is something to be devoured because at any moment it might be snatched away… you have to seize life by the throat… pursue your dreams relentlessly, recklessly. It is too much of a gamble to waste time.”

"If there is any advice, any lurking pearl of wisdom hidden in this book, it's something as simple as how to go sailing at all costs while steering clear of the stealthy nine-to-five routine that slyly steals the only thing you own in life: your time.”

"Dreams are private and fragile creations, we make them, live them, or ignore them. Dreams are, as much apart of sailboats as teak planks and sistered oak frames, rusty steel plates and the toxic chemicals that make up a fiberglass hull."

“I have always insisted on steering my own course, a wayward course that invariably runs counter to conventional wisdom.”

Maiden Voyage By Tania Aebi
I really didn't like this book, but it’s pretty inspirational. The author left New York City knowing hardly anything about how to sail the boat. For example, she had to call her dad on her first night out to learn how to anchor. She even learns to navigate while on the trip.

So I thought: “If this girl can sail around the world, I can at least make it down the East Coast!”

Sailing Books on Audible

The Boy Behind The Gate
I felt like I was chancing an audible credit on this one, but I ended up really enjoying this audiobook. After I finished it I couldn't help but look up the author to see what he is up to now. It's narrated by the author and he does a really great job telling the story.

It pains me to recommend this audio book, but it's one of the few books, audio or otherwise, that I've come across about circumnavigating on a catamaran. Also, it's difficult to like a book that basically mocks and ridicules me as a cruising sailor. The target audience for this book is apparently people who hate sailing and sailors.

So why even recommend it? Because despite it's flaws, it's really an enjoyable, well written story.

Sailing, Yachts and Yarns
This book is a collection of op-ed sailing articles all by the same author. They were published in a UK magazine, and as an American it was interesting to get a UK perspective on sailing. These short stories pack a punch. They grab your attention and are quick paced.

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage 
I'm really not into survival stories. I got this book for Christmas and I was totally blown away. There is so much more to the story than I ever imagined. If you have never read this, I highly highly recommend it.

Child Of the Sea
This book it noteworthy for being told from the perspective of a child. My four year old son loves this book, but I think a large portion of his interest comes from hearing children's voices in the story. As a story, it's okay.

Fatal Forecast
This is the book behind the year 2000 movie "The Perfect Storm". The movie ends with the main character ending up in a life raft. The book primarily focuses on the time spent IN the life raft. If you have a life raft aboard your boat, this book provides a good idea of what it's actually like to be stranded in one. I didn't think of a wool sweater as survival gear until I read this book!

Educational Sailing Books

Sailing: The Basics: The Book That Has Launched Thousands by Dave Franzel

The title is pretty self explanatory. This book provides a very good balance between telling you what you need to know, without boring you with minor details that really don't matter. If you don't know anything about sailing, this is a great place to start.

Storm Tactics Handbook: Modern Methods of Heaving-to for Survival in Extreme Conditions, by Lin and Larry Pardey

There are many many books on survival at sea. This is the only one I have read so I don’t have any comparison. However, the Pardeys are accomplished, respected sailors, AND they write well. In many other cases it seems you only get one or the other. Their book Cruising in Seraffyn is also pretty good, but I found it hard to relate to. They are rather "old fashioned" and set in their ways. But it's still a good book.

Awesome Travel and Adventure Books:

The Beach by Alex Garland
You might be familiar with the terrible movie version of this book that stared Leonardo DeCapprio. The book is FAR better. It's one of my favorite books. It doesn't include anything about sailing, But it has a lot about traveling and adventure.

Jul 2, 2009

Why we stopped cruising.

I hate to write this. I don’t want to admit that it’s really over! But we have received a surprising number of emails asking us why we haven’t posted. Thank you, to everyone who emailed. We never knew so many people were following along. Finding out makes it all the harder to stop!

Reason #1. Money.
We were making money while we were cruising, and still able to save a little each year, but we weren't able to put enough away for retirement. LeeAnn and I were worried that if we kept on cruising we would wake up 60 years old with little money and less teeth. So the plan is to go home and get “grown up” jobs. We’ve survived on about $25,000 a year (combined income). So we figure if we get make $50,000 a year, we can save half. In 10 years we should have a lot saved up.

Reason #2. Boat.
We had a great boat - we loved it, fixed it up, and sailed it thousands of miles. There were times I was scared for my life, but it kept us safe and never let us down once. It was our home. However, for long term sailing, we need a boat that can hold more people.... like... uhhh, kids... :)

Reason #3. Babies
We’re comfortable taking on the ocean alone, but when it comes to having babies, we want our parents nearby.

So! Our plan is to spend a few years at home.... like 10. Save up a little money for the future, buy a new boat, have some babies.

Jun 21, 2009

7 FAQs about Living On A Sailboat

1. How much would you have saved if you used solar panels instead of running a generator every day?

Our boat did not come with a propane stove. Buying a propane stove and everything that it would take to install one (special locker, special hoses, solenoid,) is at least $1,000. Then installing solar would cost at least $1,000. And if we were going to depend completely on solar, we would need a larger battery bank, maybe $200. So a total of $2,200 and that’s a super conservative estimate.

Our generator on the other hand cost $800, and our toaster oven about $80, for a total of $880. To this day, we have not spent $1,000 dollars on gas for the generator. It can run for 8 hours on a single gallon of gas and we use it 2-3 hours a day.

Total cost for solar: $2,200
Total Cost for Generator: $1,880

In the long run, solar and propane really are cheaper. But we low budget, short-term cruisers. Most of our actual cruising is only a few months at a time. The rest of our time is spent at a dock working and saving money. While we are at the dock we just plug the boat in to shore power.

If we were going to go cruising non-stop for 5 years straight, It would make sense to install propane and solar. On my next boat I hope to use that setup.

Using a generator works really well for us. It’s really quiet. At night we turn it on to cook dinner, then leave it on if we decide to watch a movie.

I can’t recommend the Honda EU 2000i highly enough. We’ve had ours since 2005. It’s spent most of it’s life outside. We’ve used it A LOT and I am pretty bad at routine maintenance. It starts up every time, almost always on the first pull. I would buy one again without hesitation. It is definitely worth the price.

*Update Summer 2016:

11 years old and the generator still works GREAT. We spent a month sailing and depended on the generator a lot.

It still runs great, and cosmetically has held up really well. There are some grooves in the plastic around the pull start rope. But really those are my fault for not starting it from the proper angle.

The eco-throttle is also broken. Considering this generator has spent so much of it’s life getting wet, and being in the generally humid boating environment, I forgive the switch for failing. Fortunately the switch died with the eco-throttle “on” so the generator runs on it’s lowest setting power.

The only problem with this is that when you go to use something the draws a lot of power, the generator goes from 0 to 60 and will stall if it hasn’t had enough time to warm up. When this happened in the past I just turned off the eco-throttle so the generator would rev up. Now that the switch it broken, I have to turn on something that will rev up the generator slightly, then turn on whatever is drawing high power. And immediately turn off whatever else I had on to rev the generator up, otherwise it will flip the generators circuit breaker. This is rarely a problem.

2. How did you learn to sail?

I purchased a book from Barnes & Noble that explained the basics. It was actually called “Sailing: The Basics.”

Then I got a small sailboat from my uncle, went down to the lake, and figured it out by trial and error. A month later I bought a 31 foot sailboat and (with some help) sailed it home, 200 miles, from Northern Lake Michigan. I was 19.

Many sailors will try to make you believe that sailing and cruising is harder than it really is. Do not let them scare you. Sailing is easy. Just use your head. Always make sure you have enough room to float, and check the weather before leaving port.

3. Was it difficult finding jobs while cruising?

When we needed to work, we would stop and get normal jobs. This was part of the adventure. When we are cruising we pass through a lot of places very quickly. Very often all we see is the grocery store and laundromat. Honestly the traveling part of cruising kinda sucks.

When you stop to get a job, you make friends you would have otherwise never met. You see parts of the city, and get to enjoy things other cruisers don't. I loved living and working in Charleston. I didn't want to leave.

When cruising we have cleaned boat bottoms for extra cash. I've also done boat deliveries. It’s not steady income.
4. Are there costs involved with going through the locks?

Yes. Most locks charge a fee. The Panama Canal has a fee. The Erie Canal normally has a fee, but for a few years (including when we went though) it was free.
5. What type of paperwork is required to go cruising?

You need a passport. The boat doesn’t technically need anything. Normally boats are registered to the state, but if you are traveling, which state would you register to? You can document the boat federally with the coast guard, but there is no requirement to do so.
6. Were you able to keep frozen meats?

Every boat has a different refrigeration situation. Theoretically, we could freeze meat by turning our entire fridge into a freezer. That means frozen vegetables, frozen deli meat, frozen cheese, etc. So for the most part we only had fresh meat.

We would like to have a freezer for our next boat, but keep in mind, having a freezer means higher demand for electricity. That means a larger battery bank and running the generator longer to charge it. Or if we have solar panels we might have to add an extra  panel, just to account for the freezer. Well worth it if we have the budget.
7. How can you afford to go sailing at such a young age?

Starting really young gave us a major advantage. We both still lived with our parents, so we could save most of our income. Neither of us had any debt.

Once we moved onto the boat, we didn’t have the typical land-based expenses. No cable, wifi, gas, or electric bill. We've always got jobs near the marinas where we lived and we road bikes to get to them, so that means we have no car payments, fuel, maintenance, or insurance to worry about.

Riding your bike to work is a great way to get exercise, and to de-stress from a hard day at work. Riding your bike in the rain is a great way to get in touch with your inner child! No adult in their right mind would go riding in the rain, or splash through puddles, but I’ve had a good excuse and a blast doing it. If you ever want to have some fun, ride your bike in the rain.

A lot of people told us, “Go Now” So we went. We didn’t worry about having the best boat, or the newest gadget. We figured out what we needed to get to the boat South. Then we looked at what we needed to get to the Bahamas. I thought about what sailors needed to go sailing 50 or 60 years ago. Figure out the bare minimums you need to go sailing now... and then go. It's that simple.

Jun 10, 2009

The Reality of Sailing

Some people say to us “when you are going to coming back to reality?” My cruising friend, Gary, sent me the following passage in response to the question:

Those who see sailing as an escape from reality have got their
understanding of both sailing and reality completely backwards.

Sailing is not an escape, but a return to and a confrontation of a reality
from which modern civilization is itself an escape.

For centuries, humans suffered from the reality of an earth that was too dark or too hot or too cold for his comfort, and to escape this we invented complex systems of lighting, heating and air conditioning. Sailing returns us to the realities of dark and heat and cold.

Modern civilization has found radio, TV, movies, nightclubs and a huge variety of mechanized entertainment to titillate our senses and help us escape from the apparent boredom of the earth and the sun and wind and stars.

Sailing returns to these ancient realities.

-Robert Prisig

May 7, 2009

Manatees in St. Augustine, Florida

We were working on the boat today and it was incredibly hot. I turned on the hose to get my hair wet, and suddenly a huge mass surfaced out of the water. I started yelling to LeeAnn "Come out! Come out there are manatees!!”
It turns out manatees really really like freshwater. Apparently it’s a mystery why manatees like freshwater so much. But they swim up freshwater rivers, and hang out around fresh underwater springs.

They would suck the hose into their mouths and drink off it like a bottle.
There were 5 total, including one baby.
The manatees stuck around for over an hour while we fed them water. Then we stopped giving them water and they still wouldn't leave!

May 5, 2009

A Cat On A Sailboat

This is Sushi.
Sushi is a cool cat.

Sushi was born in New York State, but has traveled to three countries and eight different states.


Sushi has sailed about fifteen hundred miles.

She would get seasick when she was a kitten, but seems to have grown out of it these days.

The boat is a big playground. She has ventured onto the dock a few times, but for the most part stays on the boat like a good cat.

Sushi likes dinghy rides.

Sushi is very interested in the water, she loves to watch it and paw at it, but like the stereotypical cat, she hates to be submerged in it! She doesn't like seafood, but dolphins are an endeless fascination to her.

Mostly she is just a lazy cat.

As far as dealing with the boat and the water, we got her when she was only a few months old... so she really doesn't know anything different. She is curious about the water She likes to go out in the rain. She likes to sit our on deck.

Apr 29, 2009

Fire in the boat!!

We’re on our way out of the Bahamas. We can count our time left in days. Very few days. I’ve been almost numb to it. Maybe sleep walking would be an appropriate description. I suppose it is one of those things you would rather just not think about.

Apr 28, 2009

Sailing to Hope Town and Guana Cay

The lighthouse at Hope Town.
We only stayed a day or two in Hope Town. Just long enough to climb to the top of the light house. While in Hope Town we met a cool girl named Ashley. She is a little quirky, but very genuine and nice. If you’ve ever read Harry Potter you can imagine Ashley as Luna Lovegood. I mean that as a compliment. Luna is awesome, and so is Ashley.

We struck up a friendship right away. She is one of the very few people we have met who in the Bahamas who is even remotely close to our own age. We made plans for all of us to sail to Guana Cay for the pig roast at a bar called “Nippers”.

Nippers is everything you would expect from a cliché 80’s movie with a setting in the Caribbean. A big outside deck bar with about 3 different levels. The tallest level being a big gazebo where the really sleazy guys can go to get a look down the shirts of the girls walking below.

Everything is painted pastel colors. There are two pools on different levels that are connected by a flight waterfall stairs. There are brightly colored umbrellas everywhere that were made out of the same plastic material used to make pom poms for high school cheerleaders. Women walk around in high hipped neon bikinis, again straight out of the 80’s. All the men are shirtless, as well as brainless, but they have big muscles so that must count for something.
Men out numbered women by 10 to 1... I must admit I felt like a rock star walking in with two women! I was behind the girls as we came up the boardwalk and I watched all the heads turn. The guys don’t even try to hide it, and I even hear one them yell to a friend and point!

We dance, and have a good time. Then left for another bar where the party quickly died and everyone left. I felt lucky to have made it through the night with out getting attacked by a drunken buffoon on a testosterone high.

The sun went down incredibly fast, and before I knew it the sky was black. We went back to Lee or Ashley’s boat and played guitars and sang songs until late in the night.



Lee teaching LeeAnn how to preform reconstructive surgery on our main sail.

Apr 18, 2009

Sailing to Eleuthera, Alice Town, Hatchet Bay Caves

We left the Exumas and sailed to Rock Sound in Eleuthera. Stayed one night and then left for Alice Town to catch up with Lee.

The sail to Alice Town was really rough. Very large, very steep waves. Too big for the autopilot so I steered by hand the whole way. I was really impressed with how we handled the conditions. Being in waves this large in 2007 would have terrified us. We’ve come a long way.

We entrance to Alice Town/Hatchet Bay is really narrow, and very tall. As we approached the waypoint for the entrance, I couldn’t see any gap in the rock cliff. We had strong winds and large following seas, and I started to get really nervous. Closer and closer, but no gap.

I started thinking about back up plans. Where else we could go. Then finally I saw a gap. The waves rocked us far over from side to side. We felt nervous that the mast was going to hit the rock cliff. But really it wasn’t as close as it looked.

Once through the cut, the weather was completely different. We were protected from both the wind and the waves behind the high rock cliff. It was a beautiful day.

We rafted up to Lee, met his friend/crew who had flown in to help sail his boat. Then we set about cleaning up our boat. A lot of things had fallen during out bumpy ride from Rock Sound. We told Lee and Trey how rough it was outside. They found it hard to believe. It was so calm in the anchorage.

Lee told us about some caves he wanted to visit. Sounded cool. We didn’t really know where they were. Eleuthera is really narrow, so we really only had to options when in comes to directions to travel in.

We walked and walked, and then came to this two track with a broken down sign. We walked down the two track and then found a hole in the ground, with some steps carved out of the rock. There was nothing really official about it.

These caves were totally awesome. Like nothing we’d ever seen before. The caves have at least two exits with over a mile of twisting passages that span at least three levels. The lowest level is full of water, deep mud, pits, fragile formations, and low passages which barely clear the surface of the water which rises and falls with the tides.

There is no way I would get in that water. Who know what kind of creepy sea monster is lurking down there. In fact, the water is home to several tiny sea creatures which are found nowhere else on earth. Including the ostracods Danielopolina bahamensis and Deeveya jillae, the copepods Speleoithona eleutherensis, and Troglocyclops janstocki. There were also hundreds of bats.

We took our time walking through the cave. Taking pictures. Carefully exploring little offshoots. And then we came to the other entrance where we climbed out and walked back home. 


Apr 6, 2009

Sailing to the Jumentos

The Jumentos - Almost completely uninhabited, there is only one little settlement which is located less than 100 miles from Cuba. These islands are considered remote even by Bahamian standards and few cruisers visit the Jumentos chain. The spear fishing and lobstering are pretty amazing, the primary drawback is that the Jumentos are shark breeding grounds. 

Beach fire with our buddies from Miakoda and Side by Side

Trigger fish for dinner!!

White cliffs on Water Cay:
My monster Nassau Grouper:
To get to the Jumentos, we first had to make it through Hog Cay Cut. The tricky part about that is the cut only carries 0.9 meters (a bit less than 3 feet) at low tide. Our boat needs a little over 5 feet to float. The tides here usually fluctuate about 2.5 feet. So we had ½ a foot of wiggle room, assuming we didn’t find any rocks or mounds of sand that measured over .5 feet.

We arrived at the cut about 20 minutes before high tide. The weather was perfect. Sunny, and hardly any wind. There were hundreds of coral fans and fish in the cut. We also saw a school of about 6 stingrays. I watched the numbers on the depth sounder drop and drop and drop until they finally bottomed out at 5.4 feet. That was as low as it got, and we made it through with no issues.

From Hog Cay we had a great sail down to Water Cay. Mental rolling waves, just the right amount of wind, warm sun, one of those days that most people would generally consider “perfect.”

Water cay is very long and narrow. Most of the island is made up of shear white cliffs. All very beautiful. We had a few sharks (the Jumentos are also know for the large number of sharks that come to breed in the shallow water) and barracudas swimming around the boats waiting for us to throw in some food.

The next morning we got up early to get the best of the last day of lobster season. We got skunked, only found 1! We settled for fresh fish and one lobster tail that day. As luck would have it, we later found all sorts of monster lobsters at the Cays further south that we traveled to… but it didn’t bother us too much that we couldn’t spear them. Our friends from Side by Side had been in the Jumentos for a while and had gathered up enough lobsters to share.

In general, the Jumentos were amazing. Beautiful untouched reefs, secluded beaches (wink wink), unbelievably clear water, tons of fish to be had for dinner…. I could go on and on. Despite all of this, we found it very hard to get comfortable.

Things were perfect. Too perfect. It was like that book “The Beach” (later made into a bad movie, read the book) where the island starts out as a paradise and ends up as a nightmare. LeeAnn and I both felt this way, but we told ourselves: “that’s childish and silly, let’s just relax, what could go wrong?”

We spent the next few days traveling south, and enjoying ourselves. We settled into a nice little routine. I would get up in the morning around 8:30 and read for a while. Around 11:00 AM we would go diving for dinner. Come back around 4:00 and clean our catch. Dinner around was 5:00 or 6:00. Everyone would eat together. And that’s how it was pretty much everyday. The girls had their own routine. Swimming an exploring the islands. Combing the beach for shells. That kind of stuff.

One of the things we disliked about the Jumentos was the lack of protected anchorages. There just aren’t any. Fortunately the weather patterns in the Bahamas are fairly predictable and we knew the wind would continue coming out of the East until a cold front passed though. Cold fronts bring several days of strong winds from the north. We definitely didn’t want to get caught in the Jumentos during a cold front.

Ocean swells constantly rolled through. Typically hitting us broadside making the boat extremely rocky and uncomfortable at anchor.

Then there was the lack of fresh water. Both of the catamarans we were traveling with had water makers and said they would give us water to drink, but it just didn’t feel good being dependent on someone like that.

I also had a slight concern about the potential danger of being in such a remote area. We were in “yachts” and we would be extremely easy targets. We saw some local conch fishermen once, and we would sometimes see high speed boats during the day. It was clear they weren’t cruisers. It was not clear if these boats were from Duncan Town, a very small settlement at the very end of the Jumentos Chain, or if they were boats coming from the next island to the south: Cuba.

We probably had nothing to worry about. But I still thought twice about turning on our anchor light at night.

One night I had a vivid nightmare about a freak storm coming out of no where and washing our boat up on the rocks. I normally don’t have dreams. I certainly don’t believe they foretell the future or anything, but the next morning LeeAnn and I decided to head north.

We got a lazy start and only made it about 20 miles up the Jumentos chain before we stopped for the night. There was hardly any wind, and I was really excited for a good nights rest. I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
We got up early the next day and made it to Hog Cay Cut. It was a very good feeling when we made it through the cut. I felt like a kid who had just gotten away with something. I breathed a sigh of relief.

An island to ourselves:

Mar 23, 2009

Living on a boat in Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

It was a bit of a shock when we first arrived in Georgetown. So much of our time in the Bahamas has been in very secluded places where a “really crowded” anchorage might have 10 boats in it, and the crowd at the bar might reach 15 or 20 during on a busy night.

In Georgetown there are easily over 350 boats, and a huge crowd of cruisers to go with them. Most of them are retirement age, but there are also a good number of cruising families. At night a galaxy of anchor lights dot the sky following the shoreline as far as we can see in either direction.

Dinghies and sailboats as far as you can see:

There is a small grocery store in town that has a pretty steady supply of fresh meat, veggies, and even mozzarella cheese! Don’t buy the cheese in the bags though, it’s moldy, buy the blocks. Water is free, which is another great advantage. Internet is available from St. Francis.

When we went to our first gathering we felt awkward and uncomfortable. There were so many people and they all seemed to know each other. If there was a corner I would have stood quietly in it. But we were on a thin peninsula so no matter where we went we stood out awkwardly like the new kids at school. Fortunately, we soon made a lot of really great friends.

It’s very easy to knock this place. A lot of the younger cruisers (ourselves included) make fun of it for being “Winter Camp For Gram And Gramp. But the truth is that after you get used to it, it’s pretty fun!

We’ve meet some really great people, and had some very fun times. We’ve had campfires, guitars sing-alongs, smores, and hotdogs. We went to a dance, competed in a coconut harvest contest, sand sculpting contest, talent show, sailing regatta, and a baking competition.

Some of the things we knew were going on but didn’t participate in include: Volleyball, Softball, Tennis, Beach Golf, Poker, Trivia and Bachi Ball.

All of the Georgetown Regatta events are EXTREMELY organized. Each events is coordinated by an “event chairmen” and presided over by what I call the “camp counselors” who come complete with clipboards and megaphones. Hundreds if not thousands of flags are given out, each printed with a logo and year.

The amount of planning that goes into this is really pretty amazing. It’s also amazing to think of so many foreigners congregating on what is almost an uninhabited island every winter. There are no police. The unofficial camp counselors definitely have an air of authority, but as far I we saw, everyone just seems to get a long.

Some cruising kids playing on a tree swing. LeeAnn is also up in the tree:
One game we saw required all the women to stand on one side of a volleyball court with a plunger between their legs. The men stood on the other side of the court with a roll of toilet paper in between their legs. Then the ladies raced (waddled) across the court and stuck the plunger into the hole of the toilet paper.

Another game was called “coconut harvest”. LeeAnn and I participated in this one. You get together a team of four, each person gets one flipper, and then you get into a dinghy. The goal is to collect as many coconuts in your dinghy as possible. 700 coconuts were released into a small bay. A lot of the younger crowd participated in this event… and they were vicious. Life jackets were required.

LeeAnn almost had her flipper stolen by another lady (who we later became really good friends with) but LeeAn fought back hard. When the other person couldn’t get LeeAnn’s flipper she tried to steal the coconuts right out of our dinghy!

Another team tried to sink our dinghy by pushing the bow under the water, so LeeAnn stole their chicken and jester hats.

After the harvest we performed various relay races such as squeezing a coconut in between two stomachs and rushing to be the first across the volleyball court.

Our Coconut harvest team:
Chad, LeeAnn, Jay, and JainieLeeAnn and I also participated in a sand sculpting competition. My team got second place in the adult division. LeeAnn’s team got first place in the family division. Seriously, there are divisions, that’s how organized this is! Oh there was also a overarching theme to all the events, “Red Hot Nights” which is why our sand sculpture is a “Red Hot Knight”.

My team’s sculpture:

LeeAnn's Team:

All the events are coordinated by an “event chairmen” and presided over by what I call the “camp counselors” who come complete with clipboards and megaphones.

It’s very easy to knock this place, but the truth is that after you get used to it, it’s pretty fun. We’ve meet some really great people, and had some very fun times. We’ve had campfires with guitars sing-alongs, smores, and hotdogs. There is a small grocery store in town that has a pretty steady supply of fresh meat, veggies, and even mozzarella cheese! Don’t buy the cheese in the bags though, it’s moldy, buy the blocks. Water is free, which is another great advantage.

Internet isn’t as easy to come by, which is why I haven’t posted in so long.

LeeAnn petting a stingray

Getting my haircut on the beach:

Rockin the guitar with Jay:

LeeAnn aboard "Pheonix" an Ocean Cat 49 - We were in the Georgetown regatta, but we didn't win:
Myself aboard Pheonix:
Hanging out with the gang from Miakoda:
Fresh speared lobster!

LeeAnn pointing at the Muskegon sign:

We couldn't believe that of all the places a sign in Georgetown could point to... one would point to our home town 1,485 nautical miles away!

LeeAnn signing our boat name on the Cruising board

Underfull sail: