Monday, January 19, 2009

Annie Hill

I just discovered that Annie Hill has a blog!
Annie Hill's book "Voyaging on a Small Income" was my inspiration for building the boat and "living the dream."
It's nice to find out what she's been up to. She's still out there, somewhere around Tasmania, still sailing the world.
I've posted a link to her blog on the "Links List" on the left side of the main page of my blog and I've included it here:

Annie's Blog

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lobster, the moon and Chinese sails...

The other day, while Bev and I were trying out our 2 seater kayak (purchased used and cheap from another boater) we were waved over by our friend Mike on "Sailing Grace." He had been lobster hunting and offered us one of his day's catch. We said "sure!"
We took the lobster back to the boat and boiled it up. It happened that we were having Sande and Donnie from "Gypsy Cat" over for dinner that night and the lobster made a great appetizer!
That evening we were treated to a great moonrise. We tried to get some pictures, but it's hard to get the boat to hold still..
I've included a shot of Morgan sharing Bev's breakfast. He likes to pick the green peppers out of her eggs.
Also, I've been toying with the idea of changing the rig on the mainsail to a modified "Chinese" or "junk" rig. I've done a lot of research on it and I think I might be able to make it work. It would be far easier to use than the gaff and give better downwind performance. A junk sail is much easier to reef and unreef. It can be done from the cockpit without going onto the foredeck, so it will be safer.
I made a model of the proposed sail. Here's a picture. The model is to scale and includes all the control lines, so it actually functions. If anyone out there has any experience with the junk rig, I'd like to hear from you.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The New Year, The Wazoo Cup and global...cooling?

Yeah, cooling. We woke up this morning to a temperature of 45 degrees, a near record low for the Florida Keys. Not just a record for the day, a record cold for any time. The last time it was this cold here was 1892! It seems we're in a weak sunspot cycle so, as predicted, the earth is actually getting cooler. Ice age, here we come.
Thankfully it is supposed to get back up into the 70s by this afternoon.
New Years Eve we were invited to spend the evening on "Inspiration," a Catalina 36 owned by Billy and Bette. They had several other couples over and a splendid time was had by all.
Last weekend the coveted "Wazoo Cup" was awarded to the winner of the Wazoo Cup race. The Wazoo Cup Race is a really strange dinghy race in which the boats race around a set course, not to see who has the fastest time, but to see who comes closest to an unknown "mystery" time. Bev and I entered and had a lot of fun, but we didn't win. The crew of "Cloudwalker" won the race. It was all for charity.
I finally got around to building a bracket to store the dinghy engine on board Walkure. That way we can take the engine off the dink and set up the sailing rig. It will also make towing the dink easier.
Here are a few pictures of the race, the dinghy sailing and Morgan sharing Bev's coffee! I've also included a new picture of Pete, the macaw who lives on "Gypsy Cat."
If you are reading this post from the Yahoo mailing list, make sure you log into the main blog site to see a new feature I've put up. On the left side there is now a gadget that lets you see the weather here in Marathon, or wherever we happen to be.