Tortuga's Back to Key West and Points North

3-1-18This morning at 6:45 Karen motored out of the south anchorage of Fort Jefferson while I was on deck securing the anchor to Mango’s bow. We chose this morning to leave because all of the wind forecasts we could obtain from fellow cruisers with SSB radios and sat phones stated “leave today or wait several days to a week”. Morning winds were easterly at 15 to 17 with the promise of veering to ESE and then south until they die out late in the day. Mango chose to use a north route to Key West verses the south route that two other cruisers chose. We chose the north route acknowledging that Mango can’t point as close to the winds as the 2 other boats.
After a charting and navigating snafu by yours truly we had the sails set beating into 3 foot seas speeding along at 5.5 to 7 knots, the sail trim has never been set so perfect as today. We knew we needed at least 70 miles to make it to Key West and had chosen Boca Grande as a stop off point for the night. Mango continued to speed along pa…

Marooned in Marathon

2-20-18January 9 Karen and I arrived here in Marathon aboard Mango chomping at the bit wanting to sail to the Bahamas. Our normal traveling partners aboard S/V Fracas left for the Bahamas before Karen and I were ready. There was a somewhat short weather window and Fracas has the good fortune of being able to move through the water much faster than Mango. Greg and ML have since reported that the crossing was the best they’ve ever had. Oh Well, we can always hope that we get blessed with great weather also.
Mango’s still located at mooring ball S7 and since then we have witnessed many sunrises over Mango’s bow and many sunsets over her stern. I reference the bow and stern because the wind direction and speed has been relentless. Each morning when we wake Mango is pointing east into the wind with almost the same compass heading as the day before. The wind has been great for producing power this year since the addition of the Marine Kinetix wind generator. We’ve been told that Mango resemb…

Seed Sprouts Fowl Days After

2-1-18It has taken me 3 days to muster the strength to type again after we hosted a little get-together with the crews of S/V English Martha and S/V Christinaki. When I think about what happened and who to blame (Current American Condition) other than myself I can only think of Greg, the captain of S/V Fracas. Even though Fracas had left Florida water last week and sprinted across the gulf stream to the Bahamas he left behind the seed that zapped my strength for days and made my hands shake while waking up Tuesday morning. You see last year I was without a ball cap and Greg happily (I noticed a slight grin on his face) gave me one of his to use. I had not noticed the seed planted inside the cap until late last week. While wearing the cap I noted the seeds printed inside the cap and they started to sprout in the liquor section of the local Publix grocery store. This is where I procured the fertilizer to made the seeds grow fast and strong.
The fertilizer consisted of the following:
2 bot…

Florida Gets Cold

1-3-18     I’m not sure if any of you noticed but it’s flipping cold outside. I know that I have very little right to bitch and complain too much since what I’m complaining about is Florida cold and not true northern cold. The problems with our Florida cold is that Mango is absent a true heating source resulting in overnight temperatures reaching the 30’s. Not having a heating source Karen and I are learning several things during this last cold snap.

Cell phones and computers don’t appear to like prolonged temperatures below 40.It makes sense to go to bed fully clothed and peel off layers of clothes after the bed linens have warmed a tad.Our brass lantern when lit not only looks great but also doubles as a great hand warmer.Laying clothes out in the morning sun for a while gives us the feeling as they just came out of the clothes drier when getting dressed.Staying in bed longer in the morning makes more sense than ever.Turtles, Manatees, crabs and iguanas can get confused in the cold w…

Staying longer than we thought at the Beach

12-29-17     Many people state that they like to be alone and that’s all well and good. I can say that Karen and I agree on the fact that we like to be around people. I do like a little “Me Time” every once in a while but for the most part I’m a people person. Many people also say that they like to live life impulsively. I can say that is not Karen but it does describe me. Does this mean that Karen and I argue about this often?Sometimes but not usually, I just let her plan our itinerary when she can and I’m fine with that. I would be the type of person to fly off somewhere and look for the hotel once I arrive. Karen on the other hand needs to know where her head is going to lay at night.

We arrived in Fort Myers Beach on the 19th and after an overnight night planned to sail straight to Key West to have a surprise visit with Maury and Sandy from S/V Senior Moment. Weather did not cooperate so we stayed waiting for the perfect sailing window which never occurred and here we are on Decemb…

Leaving the Glades Boatyard

12-12-17     Yesterday was a challenge for me since the part that would allow Mango to be splashed hadn’t arrived. The part “Split Shaft Flange” which should’ve been delivered Friday per UPS 3 Day Priority arrived shortly after 8:30 PM. I was very happy to see Mr. UPS especially knowing that shipping was free since they missed their imposed 3 day delivery window. Boatyard local’s lectured me on the virtue of patience as I paced the quarter mile working yard in circles hoping that Mr. UPS would arrive early so I could install the part during the night and be splashed first thing in the morning. No luck with that but Karen and I started first thing in the morning with the help of two fellow boatyard members.

I checked the part and verified it the proper size and all machined holes lined up properly. I coerced the British guy to assist me by tapping the prop shaft while I lined things up in the bilge, Karen sat in the cockpit relaying information on when to tap and when to stop. Things we…