Sailing Around The World

Archive for November, 2012

Grocery Shopping by Barbara

Hello All:  Barbara here.  It is good to be back on Dragonsbane.  The 70 – 80 degree weather is easy to get used to!   The boat is getting low on provisions, and shopping has been a two day process.  That is, getting groceries.  The local people of Nassau are very helpful.  We found a store well stocked, however Dale and I had to be selective as to what we bought, since we had to carry everything back to the boat via, foot, bus and dinghy. Our first trip to the store was unsuccessful, as the dial-up credit card service was out and we did not have correct Bahamian cash to pay for out purchases.  We went back today, via a lengthy, back roads bus trip.  The bus driver dropped us off right at the door.  Hard to say what and when the bus routes are, as we haven’t found any.  You just tell them where you want to go, and you wind up there eventually.    

Downtown Nassau is gearing up for Christmas, as they are having the tree lighting ceremony tonight.  I’m not sure how that will go as the wind is quite gusty and blowing in over the Atlantic with thunderstorms predicted.   Santa will not let us down, he will be here to collect Christmas lists from all the good girls and boys. 

Unfortunately, Jacques has been under the weather, but is beginning to bounce back.   With high winds and thunderstorms approaching, he will be on anchor watch most of the night. 

A Bahamian Goooodnight,


Life is Complicated but Sailboats are More Complicated

I have read many books on cruising and what makes life fun well doing it. Funny thing is that they fail to mention that keeping your sailboat working well takes hours of work each day. I traded in riding a desk and collecting a pay check which was hard earned to over seeing the systems and health of a 43 foot sailboat for no money,  just experiences as payment. Well I think I should have asked for more money! I wake each morning thinking of ways this or that doesn’t work and then start read manuals, asking questions to the pros who now seem to be just as lost as I am.

 My conclusion is that MacGyver is full of shit and you need more then a Swiss Army Knife and duck tape to fix these issues all though I have used both so far.  I have also realized that when one solution doesn’t solve the problem or the next, or the next, and so on the stress builds and can cause you to drink more RUM. I get the whole drink like a sailor now. Its not that they are alcoholics they just need something to make the day of futile problem solving worth it. I tell myself everyday that well at lest I get one rum and coke with a cigar rotated in every couple days 

That said cheers and goodnight,


Srubbing Dragonsbane Bottom!

Nothing to exciting to tell about today’s adventure. I spent the first 3 hours of the morning in a mask and fins armed with a scrub brush and a scraper. I dived and swam for along time making sure that the bottom of Dragonsbane was clean and bright like her top side deck. Wow that sounds naughty! After a good hard swim and feeling the effects of holding my breath 200 times we pulled the anchor and set sail back to NassauHarbor. My mom will be rejoining the team tomorrow and will get to enjoy the frustrations of Nicole pilot and hopefully see some of the few sites at Nassau. Looking forward to her arrival.

Thanks for checking out the blog,


The Creepy Thing Under My Bed

`Tonight we are anchored in a small bay west of Nassau Harbor and in 8 feet of water. As the sun tucked below the horizon and the moon rose up to meet the stars above the man in the moon is smiling very bright tonight. As I was relaxing in the cockpit looking at the shoreline I noticed the moon reflecting the white sand bottom as if it was glow like a bright LED light beneath the water. As I looked a small school of bait fish or silver minnows swam by my boat. They reflected the moon and danced by Dragonsbane. The sound in the air was of still not moving and a perfect calm water surface that would be disturbed by one little stone dropped into it making a ripple if it could reach my location.
So I thought when I was a kid I was afraid of the creepy things under my bed and how if my leg or arm feel from the bed to the floor I would be snatched up. Well tonight I am thinking of all the little creepy thing swimming under Dragonsbane and the big black shadows that follow them in the moonlight. Well I will not be swimming tonight or dropping an arm below the waterline as I am afraid of the creepy things below.
Sleep tight Love you all,


I Named My Autopilot “Nicole Pilot”

Well I missed you guys yesterday posting but I have a good reason. For the last two days and tonight I and my dad have been working on the autopilot. For those who don’t know what I am talking about it’s the computer/hydraulic motor the steers the boat when I am busy doing other things like trimming sails or making food. Anyway I call it “Nicole Pilot” or Nicole for short because it was a girl that I dated in college and loved her very much but it didn’t work out and broke up with her. I wanted her back a few months later but it was not in the cards of life.

So I am sure you’re wondering why I named the autopilot Nicole. Well I have been trying to get the thing working and have drained all the hydraulic fluid twice and bleed the air out of it many times. I have taken the solenoid apart and put it back together. Still it doesn’t work and now I hate this F-ing thing with all my heart! If it would not take 6 hour to take out of the boat I would kick it into the ocean well giving it the bird but man!! I REALLY love that thing when it works! So back to the drawing board I guess.
A few good things I have learned, one it doesn’t work! Second I have drunk enough hydraulic fluid to say with full confidence I have take a few shots of hydraulic fluid. Third unlike hair gel hydraulic fluid stays in your hair and it repels salt water well and when combed it looks real good! Fourth no matter how hard you work on things sometimes they just don’t work at all. Yes Nicole, we will battle on Monday after I talk with some pros and find your sweet spot. For now I drink Jameson, which makes the hydraulic fluid go down smooth and pain feel good!

Goodnight and Good Luck,


Cursing Served Best with a Cocktail in Your Living Room

Picture a beautiful sunset 200 nautical miles out at sea and a nice 15 knot breeze blowing you along with the sound of haul cutting through the sea like knife. The boat is moving swiftly and is in complete control of every turn of helm you give her. Yes this is the life so perfect and wonderful, only a rum and coke would put the cherry on top of that Sunday.

BAA LAAA Reality check!!!!! The sun goes down and great sunset gave you a great look at the deep dark clouds descending upon your bearing and the sea begins to have swells an average 10 to 15 feet. That cloud that looked like a picture from a post card is about to drop the hammer on you like god himself decided to say hi and then smiled. The sails become stiff and the helm that could be control with your fingertips is now being controlled with a white knuckle grip and your heart is racing. Green water is now washing over the deck and you are struggling hard to grind in you r sails and balance the power of the wind and the motion of the sea as the boat heaves 15 to 20 feet in any direction but where you want. Your body and feet play a game of hop scotch as you crawl to the forward deck to clear the head sails in anticipation of the 40 knot wind you are about to have. Then youre hit with a massive 16 foot wave sending salt water at you making your clothing wet and fills your mouth with salt water. Then just as youre about to kiss your butt good bye the sea throttles back and becomes calm.

A hour later the sea is so calm its like sailing across a sheet of glass and at night the stars dancing across it which makes it hard to tell which is heaven or earth. But then you realize that with no wind and your current motor purring along at 2500 rpm it is consuming about a gallon of diesel and you have a striking distance of 600 nautical miles but your objective is 700 nautical miles. Now its time to worry again.

Know at this point youre ready to throw in the towel because multiple systems are broken and you just want to check out. Guess what man? When offshore sailing there is no pause or a time to just check out! Your living life on a razor and DRAGONBANE is your armor to Cruise through it. Life as a cruiser is tough but man, it has great highs and the greatest lows, just like the sea. The best is when you make it to the harbor and you dont hit the multiple reefs between the outside ocean and the inside harbor and finally have that living room cocktail!


Morning Swim/Setting the Anchor

How A Real Man Sets A Anchor


Our Sailing Instructor Paul Exner


Looking back at Dragonsbane at anchor

The Damage done to the paint on our keel from grounding back in Beafort

Dragonsbane Prop

So we went for a swim this morning and all I could think about was shark week! They said the morning is the worst time to going swimming next to reefs etc. Well I figured I had a 50/50 chance because my dad is much slower, lol. Also I prayed to god and he said I am safe but you guys are screwed! At least thats what I told my dad. Location 25deg 5.24min North, 77deg 24.46min West.