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  #11  
Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Hmmm...

> Conditions were too unsafe to take down the main

> Hallucinating and on the verge of hypothermia

> After having two previous anchor lines snap, we decided to double up, so the anchor now had two lines attached to it.

I hope you guys are sort of learning lessons along the way and making some changes. Setup the boat so you can manage the sails safely in bad conditions(harnesses + jacklines), wear proper weather gear(shorts and a sweater don't cut it), maybe use chain on the anchor and/or thicker lines?

These shorter trips are great in that they really teach you areas you need to shore up your gear and skillset. That storm and your Hunter were trying to teach you a bunch of valuable lessons before you guys end up in more remote areas.
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  #12  
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Heh... We may have been on the verge of hypothermia... It was freezing! Foul weather gear is something we should probably get.

We had chain on the first anchor, but our anchor line snapped because of friction at the bow (not sure of the term for the part of the boat where the anchor line hangs off of, but it is a metal piece. That metal piece was cutting at the line as the boat swung with the waves at anchorage) . So we lost our chain. Our backup anchor line also snapped when it wrapped around the keel and we attempted to pull it loose. Two lines on the anchor was a temporary fix until we were able to get a proper setup. We now have chain and line, and we've covered the metal piece with carpet to reduce chaffing. We still haven't figured out why the boat is turning in a way that snares the line on our winged keel when at anchorage...

We are still learning the ropes out here, for sure. No question about it. We definitely learned a lot during that storm.

So far, still floatin'!

Thanks for the tips!
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  #13  
Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Are you guys divers? If so then google some good dive locations and consider visiting them. If not(is so disregard the following)... How the hell did you buy a boat and go to the Caribbean and NOT learn how to dive!?!?

In the Bahama's, personally, I like the less populated islands much better than the touristy areas. Less to do, though, if night life is your thing. If you're OK with something more laid back(less touristy) try the Abacos. They are East of Grand Bahama and pretty nice. Marsh Harbor is the main town if memory serves, it should be big enough to have any supplies you need and near enough to some remote areas to make easy hops from there. Just a thought, enjoy your trip.

Brad

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Originally Posted by Miss Informed View Post
ftldiver! We are definitely checking out Active Captain. A great resource for boaters. haha... yeah... we do need recommendations on anchorages... anything to keep us from losing another one...

Kivalo - We don't have any set plans for the bahamas. I think the Dry Tortugas sound great. So that is on the list.

any recommendations?

Cheers y'all

Bri
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  #14  
Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Thanks Brad!

Yeah, we just went through the certification course. We will do our certification dives once we reach the Keys, or maybe in the Bahamas.

We have heard a lot of good things about the Abacos also! Sounds like a good stop!

Cheers,

Bri
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  #15  
Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Ahoy misinformed, I've been following your journey since you left Texas. I must say very entertaining and I've enjoyed it very much. I'm from Panama City but happen to be in Fort Myers right now. We are on drydock completing a new engine installation with a new shaft and propeller. If there is any local information that you need on your journey feel free to let me know. I am a delivery Capt. with 38 years under my belt. Good luck and keep the shiny side up.......CaptG
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Hey Captain Garty!

Thanks for the support! Glad you're enjoying following us. We're trying to keep it entertaining. I suspect it's most entertaining when bad things are happening to us... Which kinda happens a lot...

Any preferred marinas in Panama City? With any luck, that will be our next stop!

Cheers,

Bri
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Brian,
Really like your blog and envy the future adventures you guys will have. Just one note of caution (didn't want to post comment on blog where your mom might see it) - in the photo of BJ on the mast in bosun's chair, I noticed the chair was attached to the main halyard only with the shackle (and shackle had easy to release pin) and didn't see any safety line. Not a good practice to trust your life to a shackle - use a bowline knot through the bosun chair D-rings and use the spinnaker halyard (I know it's currently in use as jib halyard) as a safety line. Fifty-five foot fall could leave a mark or two......
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Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Typing from iphone so forgive typos.

Jump to pensacola first. There are a lot of marinas and i cannot remember which ine we chose from. If things are going awesome, bypass pensacola for panama city. It is an easy in/out even in bad weather. We stayed in the city marina on the north side. Descent marina and nice people. Nice little shops around it. There is a grocery store out to the main street and right several blocks. Only go during the day. It is in bad part of town. From there, assuming you bypass appalachicola (which i did due to draft), hop to tampa. The entrance is straight forward. Two ways in around egmont - north and south. The northern route is the closest and easiest but that is the main ship chamnel. The southern route is further but no ship traffic in general. From there you can stay at the municipal marina in st pete or the harborage. Harborage is nicer but cost more. Good people there though. Was hard for us to leave. Everything is walkable there including a publix grocery store. Too much to see there to tupe withy thumbs, but it is a young, vibrant city you two would love and may find hard to leave. From there you can sail to emerson point to get ready to head south. It is on tbe manatee river and a great anchorage. From there, you can take the ditch to longboat key. Take a wide turn around jew fiah key to get in. From there, you can jump down to charlotte harbor. You can either anchor off of useppa (cabbage key) or tuck into pelican bay off of cayo costa. From there you can jump down to fort myers beach. It has a mooring field, everything but west marine is walkable or can take tram. Both a phblix and older grocery store and liquor store on island. The strip has lits of shops and places to eat and hang out. From there, i would jump straight to marathon or the tortugas. I have done both. With your experience, i would pass the tortugas and go to marathon first. Both are an overnighter but tortugas can be serious buisiness from fmb and deadly if you screw up (no vhf and no help is close). From marathon you can either head to key west or east to the bahamas. There is a lot to see in marathon and good snorkeling and diving around. Boot key mooring field is reasonable, the marinas are not. But they are a lot cheaper than key west. From there you can take the channel up to rodriguez key and tuck in the north side of it. From there you wait for the right weather window to go to bimini for check in.

So there is your highly abridged travel guide. I have experience in all of those places... Including tortugas. I can help with detailed info on any of it. However, as many have noticed, i am gone from here often as we are also fulltime cruising. I type this off of York Island, waiting for weather then head to fmb for a week. I plan to be in marathon the next weekend. See you there.

Brian

Ps. I am not your dad, but i have a strong suggestion. Take the time to learn what you are doing from books at the very least. Chapmans, annapolis book of seamanship, and calders guide to systems even sits on my boat. It should be your bible. The jumps across from panama city and to the tortugas can be serious buisness and you will be beyond help or vhf. Know your boat and what you are doing or you are not cruising, you are just getting lucky. Luck runs out in the worst places.
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  #19  
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

away again, left Fort Myers at about six o'clock. check Highway 319 bridge height as I don't know what your clearance is. You might decide to leave Pensacola and follow the coast to Panama City. As Brian says the city marina is a good bet and right next door is Messalina bayou which is a opening bridge there are Moorings behind. That whole area has been cleaned up lately so there's no need to worry about unsightly characters lol there is also a place called Panama Marine that has all kinds of marine hardware, etc. at a reasonable price. Let me know when you get to Panama if the timing works out right I'm going to rent a car and drive home to take care of some business. ps don't forget to eat at Joe's......... later CaptG
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Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Heading to the Keys!

Hey again!

Thanks for all the advice! So much useful advice and information!

Cruisingdad, aside from multiple overnighters and great distance from shore, is there anything specific to look out for between Panama City and Tampa/St Pete? That is the jump we are planning on doing once we get to Panama City... I guess we should know what we're getting into.

Cheers,

Bri
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