February, 2017

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Sunday February 26. Do`nt worry be happy……

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

https://dsaj.org/buyingmg/cordarone-e-viagra/200/ https://thembl.org/masters/download-essay-on-republic-day/60/ edward abbey essays why are you going to college essay https://psijax.edu/medicine/buy-cialis-once-day/50/ follow go source site tadacip uses old sats papers ks2 english sublingually viagra research article analysis paper follow site go to link essay written by helen keller viagra india safe commande viagra rapide pizza delivery driver resume samples cialis orders enter site evaluating a thesis http://belltower.mtaloy.edu/studies/help-me-write-top-reflective-essay-on-lincoln/20/ http://bookclubofwashington.org/books/can-you-help-me-do-my-homework/14/ https://www.aestheticscienceinstitute.edu/medical/buy-cipla-products/100/ top admission essay writing for hire usa cialis necessita di ricetta an essay about my friend introduction of a essay go to site cialis makes https://cwstat.org/termpaper/essay-on-education-via-internet/50/ levitra and viagra taken together This is how the pastor Msgr. Eromodo Muaves, in the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral sang the first part of his sermon just like the late Bob Marley Montego Bay`s favorite son. And that is today`s gospel message: Matthew 6: 24-34. Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

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It  was the first English mass I attended since departing from San Diego November 1st. Lots of  singing, some of my favorite. Here I am not the one eye in the land of the blind, but I managed to get  some compliments nevertheless in the high notes of “And I will raise you up in the last days”, which I  hope I`ll be able to maintain for a few more years. I used to worry a lot in my former working life: “Did  I answer the customer`s inquiry, have I paid this supplier, etc”. People, ask me what I am going to do  when I get too old to sail. That is way too far away for me. Tomorrow will bring its own challenges and  blessings. The announcer asked at the end of the mass for first tome visitors to stand. One parishioner celebrates her 95th birthday this week. We all sang her happy birthday, then anyone celebrating a birthday in the upcoming week was asked to stand up. The man right behind me was born on February 29 1940, just like Arthur Wijnans my continuous friend since 1972. He will need to wait until 2020 to birthday.   Yesterday evening I met Stephen Riviere, the oldest son of my longest continuous friendship with Norm Riviere. Norm arrived in Brussels in 1967 with his family. We were colleagues, working in the European sales office of the Weyerhauser Company. His only daughter, Jessica, is the same age as our Lisa. Stephen was born in 1959. I met two of his three sons in Wilmington, N.C. where Norm and his wife Betsy live for the last 25 years. Stephen lives in Jamaica for over 35 years. He has a tourist guide business an.d specializes to guide groups of German, French and Spanish speaking tourist, since he speaks these languages fluently. I enjoyed my visit with him very much. He is married to his (second) Jamaican wife and is totally assimilated in the island culture and particular dialect.

I am leaving on Monday morning for Grand Brac in the Cayman Islands with the two German boats here. This afternoon Birgit came to bring me a birthday cake. She was not certain that I would be with them on Tuesday, I think we will. But what a sweetheart….

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Friday, February 24 Montego Bay, Jamaica

Friday, February 24th, 2017

This was one of the longest overnight sails since I left the North West, six “lonely nights”, roughly 600 nautical miles, as the crow flies. When I left from the Shelter Bay Marina on Tuesday the 14th the seas were still very rough from the unusual strong trade winds of the previous two weeks. I attempted to get as much easting as possible but could not sail close enough to the wind because in order to climb over the steep swells and waves I needed to have the sails a little fuller to keep some power to not be knocked to a near stop every time the boat slammed into the next crest. I was hoping to make it to Kingston on the East end of Jamaica in order to try and make it through Windward Passage, the channel between Cuba and Haiti, and from there work westward in the Eastern trade wind. But the best heading was straight north heading for the Yucatan Channel. My compass showed a twenty degree higher heading than my GPS showed over the bottom. Apparently due to a westward set caused by the strong trade winds. But then on Saturday I got a nice lift of about thirty degrees towards the east, towards Kingston. At midnight the wind strengthened and I had to wrestle the dacron genoa down to set the storm jib, it also became the end of that nice lift and now I was left with the only option to sail to Montego Bay. In the morning the wind had dropped to nearly nothing. When I turned the engine on there was a clanking metal sound. I feared for the worst. It turned out that the bolt that secures the flywheel that drives the alternator was sheared off. Fortunately there was enough wind left to keep the boat going and reasonably calm seas to replace the bolt. At the same time, with the steering on auto pilot, I could replace one of the two control lines to the wind vane. It had badly chafed but in the strong winds I could not dare to attempt the replacement. Both repairs are recorded on video for this part of the voyage.
I arrived at 9 pm Monday the 20th at the Montego Bay YC. Most of the moorage is on buoys in front of the very nice clubhouse and facilities. I am currently med moored to the dock to get water, fuel and fold the four sails I used on this trip. The goal to get as close to Cuba as possible and still be able to fly to the West Coast to celebrate my 80th birthday went haywire. Misinterpretations, miscommunications between me and my five children.
I expect to have my US Coast Guard clearance next week to spend 12 days in Cuban waters from March 15.
A NEW PLAN: Instead of heading to Cartagena from Cuba I plan sail to Ft. Lauderdale and then head again for Green Cove Springs near Jacksonville to my third haul out there and then sail north to do one of the two “Loops” to the Great Lakes and dn the Mississippi through the Hudson or St. Lawrence. And then sail from New Orleans to Cartagena in October November.

THE SHELTER BAY MARINA AT CRISTOBAL: This was one of the stops I regretted to leave. The isolated location, far from town, lent to the social interaction. There was only one (good) restaurant and bar. In comparison to another favorite marina, the La Cruz marina on Banderas Bay, where there were two restaurant/bars in the marina and many eateries within walking distance in La Cruz. So, you only interacted with your dock neighbors, at best. There ws a bbQ area, swimming pool, the daily shopping trips on the marina bus to Colon. Yoga, Open Mike on Saturday, etc. Here at the SB congregate the cruisers going north and south through the Canal and it is a favorite stop for those who visit the western Caribbean, close to the San Blas islands, Boca del Toro archipelago, etc. I made many new friends and hopped back and forth between the four languages I speak. The experience of the two Sunday morning devotionals we held in the day room, were a blessing to interact, sing with Christian cruisers.

CRUISING BRATS: One thing I wished I could have managed is to make a video letting these children tell you what I observed. There was one South African family with four girls, ranging from Marieken 16/18?, Fransje, ?, Sophia 10?
The Friday before I left a Norwegian catamaran tied up across from me. Within minutes three deck rats, with their father, were polishing the salt stains off the stainless steel. Susanna 12, Frederick 10 and Erling 6. The Dalen family. www.Langtur.yourhda.com where they write: (for my Norsk snakker Viking friends)
Naboen vår tvers over var Jack, som opprinnelig kommer fra Nederland men nå er amerikaner og seiler jorden rundt alene. Han skulle hjem på ferie et par uker etter for å feire 80-årsdagen før han skulle seile videre. You need a password to their site.

This picture taken from the Dalen blog

Erling playing with the neighbor dog, In background "Fleetwood"

Erling playing with the neighbor dog, In background “Fleetwood”

What makes these boat (b)rats so different is that they can have an adult conversation with any one. As an example, Frederick asked me what I had done for a living before I started this cruise. The last Sunday at the fellowship meeting, Marieken gave a very impressive and original account to the congregation of her faith. These kids look you straight n the eye. But I believe that it has little to do with the cruising life. If parents would communicate more and give their children more participation/responsibility in the day to day routines, they`d accomplish the same. The two young grand nephews I have in Haarlem, can talk to me almost as well as these cruising brats.

NEW PLANS: I am expecting the US Coast Guard approval next week to spend 12 days in Cuban Waters as of March 15. Good friends are here who I met in Greece the last week of October 2011 on Chios, Berndt and Birgit Ferrara, from Berlin. See this blog under October/November 2011. I plan to sail with them to the Grand Caymans on Monday then to Cienfuegos Cuba and from there to Florida. I like to do my early spring maintenance for the third time in Green Cove Springs, near Jacksonville, Fl. then go North to spend some time in the Portsmouth, Va./Norfolk area with my youngest daughter family and then attempt the Loop through either the Hudson or the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes, descend the Mississippi and head for Cartagena from New Orleans in November.

 

 

Sunday February 12. “Ya”, circumnavigating without a drop of fuel.

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

On my arrival here, when I walked down the dock to check in with the marina office , I noticed an unusual looking sailboat. The Dutch ketch rigged “Ya”.

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http://duurzaamjacht.nl/english/

You will find all the particulars on the above web site. This is definitely the Pria of the Hybrid powered sailboats. However, Hybrid is the wrong classification since “Ya” does not use any fossil fuel whatsoever. Just solar, wind, and propeller generation. But “Ya” has the luxury classification in common with a Pria. Pressurized hot and cold water, micro-wave and induction oven, etc. The roomy and bright interior compares to some of the finest luxury sailing yachts. A lot of thought went into the construction methods and into, for example, the collection and conservation of fresh water, without mechanical water makers.

Peter Hoefnagels, the owner and skipper in the galley

Peter Hoefnagels, the owner and skipper in the galley

the electric motors

the electric motors

part of the solar panels

part of the solar panels

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can follow the circumnavigation of “Ya” at the above URL.

 

Saturday, Feb 11. Around the World at 80 years.

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

 

Yesterday was exactly 12 years ago that I pulled “Fleetwood” out of Gig Harbor on the trailer to Alameda, California. It was the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. Little did I know what lay ahead. It started one of the very best periods in my entire life. I was 68 and it was more a joke when I added: “Around the World before 80 Years” to my e-mail letterhead. I have just changed it to: “Around the World before at 80 Years”.

I may not get away from here until Wednesday, when the wind and sea conditions are to return to normal after two weeks of very strong easterlies. I am still hoping to make a stop in Boca del Toro, about a hundred miles up the Panamanian coast. But then probably make a straight shot to Cancun and fly out to San Diego by the 26th to celebrate my 80th birthday on the 28th (Mardi Gras) at my oldest son’s home, with the rest of my 5 children and their partners. I am expecting approval by the US coast guard for a 12 day visit in Cuba starting on the 15th of March. That’s all the time I am allowed under the current regulations. Then I plan to head south to Jamaica, Antilles and Cartagena, Colombia. Park the boat there and hop on the bus to Tierra del Fuego, making frequent stops along the way. Then work my way north and east again in the Caribbean from November. I’d like to go up the gulf stream to New York next year summer and make the “Great Loop” into the Saint Lawrence and back down the Mississippi.

I have uploaded another YouTube video of my second bus trip from Puenta del Sol into Chinandega, Nicaragua on  January 10. It has some interesting market scenes and a bull chase by a local Vaquero.

Yesterday I rode my shiny folding bike into the nearby jungle reservation and the ruins of the 16th century Fort San Lorenzo on the Chagres River. I had hoped to show some Toucan and Parrot pictures but I was too late in the day for that.

Shelter Bay Marina, Cristobal, Panama

Shelter Bay Marina, Cristobal, Panama

Yellow crowned night heron

Yellow crowned night heron

Ft. San Lorezo and Chagres River

Ft. San Lorezo and Chagres River

Howler monkey

Howler monkey

Coati

Coati

Red Tailed Squirel

Red Tailed Squirel

Moonset Feb 11

Moonset Feb 11

 

 

Tuesday, February 7. Back on the Atlantic side.

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

The boat was measured on Monday the 30th of January at anchor near the entrance to the canal. That same day I learned that I would transit on February 3rd and the 4th. The agent, Erick, had the 8 large fenders and four extra long mooring lines delivered on Thursday afternoon. I had to shop for the food and drinks for the four line handlers and the pilot. A taxi driver charged me $60 for bringing me to a supermarket and to the farmers market for the produce. I finally received my debit card replacement in Balboa on Wednesday evening. My credit card had been sent to the Shelter Bay Marina in Cristobal/Colon where I arrived Saturday late afternoon. But it had been bouncing back and forth between here and Balboa through in-attention/misunderstandings. The line handlers were young Panamanian men provided by the agent. For most of the time I felt like a kinder garden teacher. Nice kids but they left their trash all over the boat, empty plastic drink bottles, etc. And on a small boat the four of them talked/argued so loud that it drove me nuts, mostly about their soccer heroes. And I’ll be telling the agent to teach them a few basic rope knots. I have only three berths available. Friday night we were anchored near the last locks and two had to sleep on the floor or in the cockpit. A couple good tropical showers came through and then the outside sleepers climbed down in the cabin.  The mooring lines were too thick for my cleats. The agent, Larry, managed to get us alongside a canal tour boat in the first lock. Mostly American tourists. I managed to sell two SoloMan books to them while we went up in the lock. In the next lock we went in side tied to the “Junipero” a power boat from San Diego on their way to Florida. We picked up the straw hat of Pete from Wisconsin, one of my “SoloMan” customers. Because we were not going to be able to get close to the tour boat and the lock wall, we tied the hat to the messenger lines that were let down to “Junipero” to bring the heavy mooring lines to the lock wall. The intercom on the tour boat announced our rescue of Pete’s hat and Pete stood there on the aft deck smiling. His bald head will be properly protected while he gets into “SoloMan”. Be sure to watch this recorded in detail on you tube video.

Pete's sombrero

Pete’s sombrero

I also posted a video of my VHF radio conversation with Thomas Puchner on the Austrian Schooner rigged 52 foot Wharram catamaran “Pakia Tea”. I saw the huge sails from a distance and then saw the details on my AIS screen. This took place on Tuesday evening the day after I left Gulfito, Costa Rica, in Panamanian waters. The conversation is in German. You need to check out the web site of the Pakia Tea: www.Planet-Ocean.org they are on a very interesting voyage, beautiful marine and underwater photography.Pakia Tea

Saturday evening I was having a beer with the “Junipero” crew in the Shelter Bay Marina bar when I felt ladies hands clasped from behind around my face: “Guess who, Jack?!” Turned out to be a lady I traveled with many years ago. We split up because it was like two captains on one ship. Then a week later she came up from behind in the same way, out of nowhere. Another one for my next book: “Small world encounters”. There is a lot more social interaction with the boat crews than in Balboa. Here we are moored in regular dock boxes instead of out on mooring buoys, so you can walk from boat to boat. Most of the boats here are going west and waiting their turn. Last week a large fleet of the ARC rally came west into Balboa. I have met several Dutch, French and Scandinavian crews. There is a very good restaurant, bar and a day room, a barbecue area, swimming pool and exercise room. It is far from town but the marina provides a bus in to Colon. This morning I went on this bus to try and find a few boat items and grocery shop. On Sunday there was no bus into Colon and I joined a worship service in the day room. A good crowd, I guess around 30. It was led by two couples who have been here some time. We had Baptists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, etc. I enjoyed it and was definitely inspired. We sang a few common hymns. I spoke about the May 4th 2016 concert in Amsterdam, where the chapter was recited out of my book “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” about the hymn “Abide with me”. One of the ladies had the text and we sang three verses together: “Did you hear us, mom?”

I just sent in my application to enter Cuban waters, to the US Coast Guard. This might take as much as three weeks to be approved. I should have researched the requirements earlier. It is fairly obvious that I need change my “around the world before 80 years” into “at 80 years”. But that suits me just fine. There still are very strong NE winds here. But after I get some of my maintenance looked after, I plan leave here in the next days and enter into the Chagres River which waters feed the Panama Canal. It is supposed to be a sight to see, for Toucans, Howler Monkeys, etc. , next the Boca del Toro archipelago, then a straight shot to the Yucatan Peninsula and from there to Cuba. I am still somewhat handicapped without a decent rowing dinghy. The cheapest I could find here was a 9 foot Caribe for $3,500 which is half of what I paid for this boat. I just read on Richard Spindler’s FB page that Costco sells an inexpensive dinghy and there is a Costco in Cancun, where I plan stop.

Guayacan related to Lignum Vitae and Ipe on Gatun Lake shore.

Guayacan related to Lignum Vitae and Ipe