Tuesday, June 30, 2009

62' in the air

Amazing jungle back drop

The wind speed sensor needed to be fiddled with so I made two trips to the top of the mast. This used to be a big chore for Kathy as she'd have to manually winch me up which is very exerting. Now we have a powerful electric winch so two trips to the top of the mast is just fun and games.

Maiden Voyage of LightSpeed

We finally got out for a sail on LightSpeed. We had the good fortune of taking some new friends along Jack, Nichole and Sam of s/v Kitty Hawk and Guillermo Anderson... Honduras’s best-known World Music Artist.

Sailing conditions were light at best, but it was a beautiful day to get to know the boat. We also had the chance to run the water maker and put a few gallons in the tank. It's a Spectra Catalina 300 and it puts out about 12 gallons an hour which is a luxurious addition to our lifestyle.

Guillermo on lookout as we head out of the congested inner harbor near La Ceiba Shipyard, Honduras.

Sam s/v Kitty Hawk
Nichole and Jack of s/v Kitty Hawk

Monday, June 29, 2009

What we like about our new boat.

Bridge deck clearance. This is the vertical distance measured from the water to the underside of the boats bridge deck. It is also referred to as under wing clearance. At maximum design load we should have 28.5" of clearance and as you can see from the picture this is a clear span with no protuberances. This translates into a capable, fast, quiet and comfortable boat.

The forward cockpit design has all sail handling controls within easy reach and offers unparalleled safety as the cockpit is waist deep and one is about eight from the edge of the boat.

Up swept bows slice through waves.
At over twenty two feet wide this boat has a huge amount of initial stability.

Launching LightSpeed

LightSpeed in the slings of the travel lift and ready to "Splash".

Kathy very excited to be getting out of the boat yard. Me too!

After a grueling week of living aboard in the boatyard we finally reached the finish line and splashed the boat! A major milestone as "LightSpeed" is now floating and ready to take us on some major adventures.

Boatyard life is tough.

First off the boat yard is dirty. That would be air, water, soil and worst of all the bathrooms. All this dirtiness translates into a dirty boat. Dirt and boats just don't mix. Grinding grime into the decks and finely finished varnished floors is NOT ok. Imagine for a moment a carcinogenic cocktail of biocide bottom paint, fiberglass, rust, oil and heavy metals mixed with tropical downpours that you get to wade through after you just took a shower.

Second it is HOT here. Think of Robin Williams in "Good morning Vietnam" as paraphrased here:

"The weather out there today is hot and shitty with continued hot and shitty in the afternoon. Tomorrow a chance of continued crappy with a pissy weather front coming down from the north. Basically, it's hotter than a snake's ass in a wagon rut."

Yes, we are glad to be out of the boat yard.

Monday, June 22, 2009

On the new boat in Honduras

We arrived safely and are getting settled on the new boat s/v LightSpeed located in La Cieba, Honduras. Lots cleaning, organizing and list making going on.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Flying to Honduras today

Today we are flying to Honduras! Our new to us boat awaits in La Ceiba, but since our flight is late we'll only make it to San Pedro Sula today. The city of San Pedro Sula is one of the big ones in Honduras and so we'll do a little shopping tomorrow before heading to La Cieba. Flights are pretty cheap on so we may make a few trips back to the USA to pick up parts and pieces to get our new boat set up how we like it. Off line for a few days and the USA phone 954-305-2703 will be useless in Honduras, but we may get a local number and if so we'll post it here on the blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our last day on s/v Pacifica

This shot was taken by our friends Yves and Marta aboard s/v Breakaway as we sailed Pacifica for the last time. We took her to a be hauled out for storage where she will remain until sold.
Pacfica on her way to haul out at American Custom Yachts Yard one of the few yards in the area with a big enough travel lift to accommodate out 18'-3" beam. The new boat is almost 23' wide which will make finding yards capable of hauling her out VERY difficult.

s/v Breakaway trying on a new suit of sails. If I recall correctly these folks have been out sailing since 1983 and have owned this boat since new in 1977. Wow!

Indiantown Friends

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

LightSpeed pics

Sistership at anchor with sun shade up

Sistership Navigation station and cockpit helm


1998 Cruising World Multihull of the year award.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dream boat becomes reality

By a stroke of luck our dream boat becomes reality! LightSpeed is an Atlantic 42 designed by Chris White and built by Lombardi Yachts. She represents a dream come true. Here are a few introductory pictures.
The name suggests the potential for performance.

Kathy take a moment to pose for a picture during our afternoon long inspection of the boat. The boat is located in Honduras.
Looking forward on the Port side.
Cockpit is just aft of the mast and offers perfect visibility forward and a safe and secure position far from the edges of the boat.

Inside helm is offers 360 visibility and protection from the elements. Dual diesel heaters will keep the chill of when we venture off the beaten path to the higher latitudes.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Docked in Indiantown Marina, FL

Docked in Indiantown Marina, FL for the night. Met the live aboards from the marina and boat yard and went for a late night waterways cruise on a ex-shrimp boat about 60' long. Quite the adventure with lots of diverse folks aboard that made for interesting conversations.

Okeechobee waterway Storm

Waters of the Okeechobee. Don't you love to say Okeechobee?
Waterspout approaches Pacifica on Okeechobee. We crossed paths with a huge thunderstorm about six miles from the edge of the lake. We'd been watching it coming and were tracking it on the radar. The tracking was a little futile as the storm took up half of the screen on 24nm range. .. there was no avoiding this thing! As it approached we spotted a water spout and immediately dropped the anchor in about 10' of water. Kathy was on the foredeck attaching the snubbed as the spout approached as I tired to hold the bow into the wind and screamed at her to forget the snubber and get inside NOW! Winds quickly passed gale speed spindrift and foaming water was blown in heavy streaks and stining rain and hail made visablity maybe 50'. Then the wind picked up even more and approached storm force of 48 knots. I saw a sustained 47 knots before I decided there was no benefit to staying on deck and ducked inside. Lightning was crashing down and visibility nil and I was glad we had six miles of sea room before we'd end up on a beach. There was no way to fight this wind which may have peaked near 60 knots. It was by far the most scary thirty minutes I've spent on a boat as I was positive we'd be hit by lightning and maybe even be blown over! It's pretty ironic that after all our ocean passages I found myself most frightened on Lake Okeechobee!
Dark wall of clouds approaches.
Gator. One of hundreds we saw on the passage

Scenery changes as we approach the lake Okeechobee

Okeechobee waterway

More locks on the Okeechobee
Spill waters flow between the gates
Kathy manages the lines on our way up
Entering another lock
Old fashion swing bridge.

Okeechobee Waterway

Opening lots of bridges

Locks ohh locks

Kathy handles the bow line

Down pour

Fort Myers Beach sunset. Nice to be in USA!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Fly Fish incident

I'm not sure what the odds are on getting hit by a flying fish, but I reckon they are pretty slim.

So, I'm on a night watch as we are sailing the 800 odd nautical miles from Guatemala to Florida last week. I was being pretty lazy on my watch and only really looking around every 5 minutes or so... it was the middle of the night and there was nothing to see. The radar confirmed this with a blank screen showing 24 nautical miles of empty ocean in all four directions. Still, it's our procedure to keep an active look out for lights. Keeping with procedure I step outside for a futile look in to the deep darkness of a moonless night, then WHAM a flying fish SMACKS me in the chest. Somehow Mr. Fish made his statistically unlikely way through the small window flap in front of the steering wheel and smacks me at the particular moment I happen to be standing there. Whoa! And I utter a major "What the heck was that"? or at least something similar... use your imagination. It's pitch dark at the moment, I reactivity grab at my chest like a gun shot victim, having no idea what just happened. I touch slime and my imagination runs wild for a few seconds. Is this a nightmare, I'm try to think rationally, but the situation scream wildly with sleep depraved manic thoughts of alien attacks or giant squid. With a substantial amount of adrenaline coursing through my veins, I turn on my head lamp to the relief of JUST a flying fish flopping on the deck. Whew, it's all good . Just a wet slimy fish spot including more than a few scales on my shirt. Darn if I didn't just laugh out loud for thinking I'd just been attacked by some sea monster or aliens.