Thursday, September 22, 2016

Moving on...

Leaving this blog up, but not posting in it anymore.  I'll always remember and love the times I had here with the boats, people, and the dog in particular.  New boat, new blog can be found over at
Going to the Bahamas in mid-November for several months.  Tired of going to the Abacos, so going back to the Exumas this time via Miami and Nassau.  Should be fun.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Pluff Mud Sailing" is operational!

I've actually been doing charters on Pluff Mud since this past October.  I've had several charters, and have had very positive feedback from my guests.  The boat is in great shape, and I'm looking forward to being very busy this Spring and Summer.  If you find yourself in Charleston and feel like sailing, give me a call!

Delivery of IP31 "Zen Zone"

Sometimes I'm in the right place at the right time.  I got a call from the Maritime Center about delivering a boat from Charleston to St. Augustine.  The owner and I came to a deal, and I took the job.  My good buddy Joe agreed to come along and keep me company (not sure he knew what he was getting into!!).  With the exception of being fogged in at Beaufort for two days, the trip was quick and uneventful.  We had a great time!  We had good fun when we were anchored out, and we were able to get out and go to bars while docked in Beaufort, Jekyll Island, Fernandina and St. Augustine.  We even behaved ourselves (for the most part).  Big thanks to Vince for the job, and to Joe for the help.


On a side note, look at who I ran into as we pulled into St. Augustine.  Yep, that's "Best of Times."  For some reason, I have run into him the past four times I've moved boats down the waterway.  The first time was in January 2013 during my delivery of "Osprey."  I linked up with "Best of Times" just south of Myrtle Beach SC.  Next time was in the Abacos in April of 2013 when I was cruising with Gabrielle and the boys.  On the way home from that trip, I ran into him again at Causton Bluff Bridge, outside of Savannah.  Then as we were preparing to go through the Bridge of Lions at St. Augustine, there he was again!  Quite a coincidence!


A very sad farewell

I should have made this post last June, but every time I thought of doing it I was overcome with emotion.  On June 13th of last year, four days after his 16th birthday, my best friend Chili passed away.  It all happened very suddenly, which I guess I should be thankful for.  He did not linger and suffer.  His little body was just worn out, and he couldn't stay any longer.  It was (and still is) very sad for me.  He was the truest friend I have ever had, and I miss him every day.  As a sailing dog, his experience was extensive.  He sailed with me from the northern Chesapeake to the lower Exumas and all places in between, covering most places more than once.  He had thousands and thousands of miles under his keel, and was always happy to be on the boat with me.  Cruising will not be the same without him.  Thank you and God bless you, Chili.  I look forward to being reunited with you on the other side.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Back to the Bahamas!

Tranquility got rebuilt from the deck up.  New chainplates, mast, boom, sails, running rigging, everything.  Brand spanking new.  Being that I plan on selling her this year, I had to do the right thing and shake her down.  You know, make sure everything worked like it was supposed to...
Long story short, we went back to the Bahamas!  We had a blast!  Oh, and everything did work like it was supposed to.

Tranquility shakes out her new staysail for the first time.  Yup, that works!

This was the sunset the second night out.  Chili and I made it all the way down below Isle of Hope, GA, which was a long haul.

Apparently, no trip to the Bahamas for me is complete without me running aground at least once in the ICW.  This time it was back behind Cumberland Island, and yes, I had to call Towboat US.  Four hours later, I was getting towed for free at 8 knots in the dark to Fernandina Beach.  Win!

Also apparently it must be freezing cold every time I go down to the Bahamas, too.  This trip started off by seeing me in the same pair of long johns 24 hours a day for the first five days or so.  Not fun.

By the time I got down to Titusville, FL, I was starting to feel a little more tropical.

Aaaaand... manatees.  I had seen maybe four manatees in my whole life.  I'm 29 years old and I'd seen four total in my life!  Well, my math is clearly bad but that's beside the point.  When chili and I docked for the night in Jensen Beach, there were 11 manatees right there in the basin.  I was told that there was a fresh water spring that bubbled up into the center of the marina, and that this was old hat for them.

It took me nine days to get down to Lake Worth.  Once I was there, Gabrielle and the boys drove down in a rental and moved on board Tranquility.  We had to wait a day or two for weather, but once we got a reasonable window we went straight across to West End, Grand Bahama.  This crossing was lumpy, but tolerable for everyone.  Well, everyone except my autopilot motor, which died about 30 miles out of West End.  I would have to hand steer until I could get a replacement shipped in at Marsh Harbour.

Is it just me, or is there a trend here?

We spent a couple of days at Old Bahama Bay and then sailed for the Abacos.

Sunset at Great Sale Cay.

I took this picture on the Atlantic beach of Alans-Pensacola Cay, and I just love it.

Actually, Gabrielle took it and would probably try to cut me if I take credit for it.

This little guy Liam here, well, he had his mind made up before we even left the States that he was going to have a coconut in the Bahamas.  We heard about it every day.  Repeatedly.  It started to drive us... well...
nuts.  This one here was old and inedible, so we heard some more about coconuts for several more days.

Hey Malo, why so blue??

Snorkeling at Manjack Cay

Chili asleep at the wheel.
Beautiful, smart, AND a great cook!  She is probably fussing at me here for taking her picture.

This picture cracks me up.  It looks like Malo's head is also getting cracked up, but I never saw any brains falling out or anything, so I guess he made out ok.

Chili ran around on the beaches like he was half his age again.  He would pull and pull on his leash, and if you stopped, he would walk circles around you and tangle you up with the leash until you would let him go.  The picture kind of indicates the opposite, but seriously.  True story.

Yeah!  Liam finally got his coconut.  Must not have been anything special, because we didn't hear about coconuts anymore after that.

Chili can still swim.  Well, he is getting fat, so pretty sure he would just float anyway.

This was up on the northern beach at Manjack, Sea of Abaco side.  I had never been up there before, but since we had the 9' RIB this time and a nice new Yamaha 6hp outboard, we were easily able to dinghy the mile or so over there.

I got rained on more in four weeks in the Bahamas on this trip than I did in four months on the cruise here in 2009.

We got through the Whale Cay cut and Chili made another (several) trips to Nipper's.

We finally made it over to Marsh Harbour where time ran out for Gabrielle and the boys, who had to fly back to Charleston for work and school.    We had a great two weeks cruising the Bahamas, and I was homesick when they left.

 I had run into this guy several times in the past.  He had been to the Maritime Center on several occasions, and I had also run into him on my delivery of IP31 Osprey.  I would run into him again at the Savannah River in Georgia on the way home.

I spent a ton of money in Snappa's.  Again.  I should be getting Christmas cards from them for at least the next three years or so.

And look what the cat dragged in!  Yup, that's Cait's brother Hunter, who flew in to sail for a week.  We hadn't hung out in ages, and it was great to get together and get after whatever the Bahamas had to offer.

Hunter started catching and shooting fish immediately.  We ate this snapper over the next two days and it was awesome.

I just realized that Chili is asleep in a lot of these pictures, so here he is awake.

This picture and the next one happened about ten seconds apart.  See if you can guess what happened.

If you guessed "Hunter was kissing Chili and then Chili suddenly tried to kill Hunter by eating his face and then Chili got ejected from the cabin and into the cockpit," then you win!  I don't know why, but Chili gets grumpy some times in his old age (16) and bites.  Usually I'm the victim, but this time he got Hunter.  Sorry, Hunter.  PS.  They made up.

Hunter's week came and went and Chili and I got down to the business of sailing Tranquility back home.  Well, one of us did, anyway.

Went through the Whale Cay cut one last time.

One more sunset while anchored at Manjack Cay.  A nice dinner, couple of beers and a good night's sleep and then we were off for Great Sale.

Got into some weather over at Great Sale and had to hunker down for a couple of days.  One night I was on the outside on the Northwestern side with great holding.  Next day the wind shifted NW and this storm rolled in, so we shifted over a couple of miles and went way up into the bight.  Slept like 16 year old Jack Russells.  Well, some of us did.

We made it back to Old Bahama Bay, which was more empty than I had ever seen it.  It was a little sad, knowing that this would be my last time there on Tranquility, and Chili's last time in the Bahamas.  We made the most of it, as you can clearly see from the picture below.

Finally made it back to the States safe and sound.

Chili and I spent our last night on Tranquility docked at the Downtown Beaufort Marina.  It was sad, but we medicated with nachos and beers at Luther's.

This is my last picture from this cruise, and it is the last sunrise that Chili and I will see aboard Tranquility.  We were out for 57 days on this trip, and sailed 1,480 nautical miles  Through 4.5 years of ownership, three years living on board full-time, and 5,500+ nm sailed, Chili and I have had a blast.  Thank you, Tranquility.  May you sail many more happy miles with your new owners.