Thursday, December 25, 2008

Crossing the Gulfstream

An absolute glorious start to the crossing started at 4am 21/12/08 (Jacob's birthday)from Key Biscayne.The crossing to take approximately 10 hrs,and it did ,until the final approach to North Bimini when we dropped the cloth and started the engine to an awful din coming from below.The engine was stopped and the saloon decks lifted to inspect the cause of the thump thump thump!A few expletives later and the problem was found to be the prop shaft slapping the bilge ,as the universal joint bolts had come loose.A few more expletives directed at the "mechanic" in Ft Lauderdale who re installed the motor,who apparently hasn't heard of Loctite,made me feel much better.A quick call on channel 16 saw our sailing buddies aboard "Simpatico" take us in tow to the anchorage in North Bimini.Two days of scrounging around the harbour and our own stores aboard found some new hi tensile bolts and loctite and we are ready to go when the winds clock to the South in a couple of days and head over towards Nassau about a 20 hr sail.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Florida Keys

Hi Everyone .......from all aboard the "BAY"
We are currently enjoying some time around the Key Biscayne area ,No Name Harbour has been our home on and off over the past couple of weeks as we have sailed around the Biscayne Bay area.We have met some lovely cruising families ,so Jake and Anastasia have had some company too at long last!
The days rip past us ,from listening to weather reports and looking for weather "windows" to hop across the Gulfstream,to filling our water tanks or gen set routines to keep it all alive,home schooling the kids ,then watching the sun go down with some fellow cruisers ........enhanced with a couple of drinks of course!!Copped a bit of a flogging today crossing the bay ,we had too much sail up and .....cut a long story short ....I stuffed up ,and we lost our steaming light to the briny.Nothing $50 and a climb up the mast won't fix.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Key Biscayne,Florida


A view across the bay to Key Biscayne
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Killer whale at Miami Seaquarium

Jake and Anastasia enjoyed a day at the Seaquarium located on Virginia Key where the TV series "Flipper" was filmed.
Sea lions,dolphins and all things marine all very cool.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Biscayne Bay ,Dania Florida

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Caribbean cruising ready or not !!

G'day from the "BAY" ......well we have spent some serious money and a lot of time and effort from all of us to get this far, however I am pleased to report that our beloved "Biscayne Bay" seems to have accepted us .By that I mean that my fix lists are at a steady level of "need to's" ,and I do not wake up with two more jobs to do than when I went to sleep.Lisa and I are itching to cast of the lines and do what we came here for,Jake and Anastasia would be happy to stay here where the good restaurants are, and the cool cars and limos that cruise the boulevards!Having said that both the kids are going great guns at their education and learning so many facets of life that I know they would not get at home, a spot of fishing to a little water conservation all seems to add to their daily lessons,Lisa is doing an amazing job of teacher/mum/first officer and of course my lovely wife.
We will clear US customs in the morning,then sail to "No name harbour" on the SE side of Key Biscayne on Saturday,then spend three days or so waiting for the winds to clock around from anywhere in the South to enable a comfortable crossing of the Gulfstream.I want to ease my family and crew into the better side of family cruising,also "Peaches" the hamster does not have her sea legs yet!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Peaches the hamster/decky

"Peaches" a cute little teddy bear Hamster is the new addition to our crew here on the "Bay".
we think she may suit the engineering dept of the boat and generate some electicity in that wheel she loves so much!!
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

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Anastasia & Jacob

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Garry's Nav station and Lisa's laundry

After three days of cleaning and rewiring radios the navigation station is ready. We are about to move aboard! Garry thinks everyone will have Nav station envy and with three HF radios,three VHF's and two UHF's radios ,Navtex,Weatherfax,Loran,and Radar he has some right to think so. He worked very hard in some cramped conditions to complete their installations and replace an extensive amount of he keeps telling me.."red to red ,black to black,chop out the green!!" its all easy.As our boat owning friends know too well,the fix list never gets to zero!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Disney world and NASA

Picasa Web Albums - Garry
Here are our first set of photos, being very touristy visiting some very commercial tourist attractions, but it had to be done. The kids loved it, but we were exhausted after the four days in the area. We will glad to be on the boat sailing as soon as we can!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We are still waiting!!!!

We visited the land of Mickey Mouse and cringed as we watched a month's cruising budget disintegrate in one week. Very expensive, but it has to be done I am afraid. The kids loved it, but both Garry and I are wishing for the cruising life. Garry is getting very frustrated as we try and get the repairs done so we can move the boat to a live-aboard dock. This is not a cheap option, but certainly cheaper than a hotel!!! We are both very keen to start cleaning and stocking her ready for the cruise south. We both feel a little like we do not belong anywhere and want our new home, "the Bay" to be ready for her new occupants. We look at her longingly and lament her sorry state. It appears as though her intestines or internal working has undergone major surgery. She is a mess, with her engine partially pulled out and her mizzen mast hacked at. The radar cables have been severed as well, much to Garry's horror. Not a pretty sight! Unfortunately the workers appear to operate on Floridian time and there is always the promise that it will be ready tomorrow. Garry is about to "spit it" at the repairers and I am afraid I will be needed to go in and mop up the damage. He is about to sack them all and finish the repairs himself. If the engine was complete we could move her at least. We visited the dock where we may set up home for a while. Very trendy! Amazing position, in the middle of town with a "pub" at our doorstep, nightclubs, beautiful river walks etc. The nearest equivalent I can think of is like East Perth, but with more history. It could be very comfortable for a while. We then plan to hang off the anchor near Miami, lots of nice harbours and bays like Biscayne Bay, of course. We have visited lots of marine stores and have found the cost of things very reasonable. I cannot wait to unpack the suitcases and get the kids started on a routine. I have been pushing them to journal and got them into some puzzles and word games, but we will pick up their distance education books this week and get them started on their schooling. They are going to learn French and have made contact with their French teacher today. I have made a start on my text book as my publisher is breathing down my neck and as soon as it is done I can get paid!!!! We will look back in a few months and think of the funny side of things and wonder how we could have thought it all so difficult. We are getting closer to our original plan every day and for now we must play the waiting game!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lisa and the kids first look at our new home!!!!!

Its 11th of September 2008 and Lisa,Anastasia and Jacob got to see our new boat "Biscayne Bay" for the first time.Our thoughts are as follows:
Lisa....ever diplomatic said she thought it was fantastic,as she peered around the engine hoist still erected in the saloon.She is really positive and that is what I needed to hear at that moment,I knew the work I had organised prior to arrival would not be complete,thanks to the multitude of Tropical storms ,the latest being Hurricane "IKE",currently en route for Texas.
Anastasia.....hhhmmm which cabin do I want?And "Its OK!".......
Jacob......his standard "I dunno", said to me it was an OK thing and Anastasia will get her way!
Garry....It was my second time aboard phsyically and my 1108 time mentally, now I'm thinking ...."Wow"(censored for public viewing purposes) what the heck are we doing?
I wish some of my mates and family could be here to slap me on the back and say "MMMMMMAAAAATTEE" nice boat,and share an ale or two as we fix the ever increasing list of repairs, inevitable on a boat of this age and marginal neglect,as the last owners live in Puerto Rico and obviously lost interest a while ago.
Anyway a quick mental regroup assisted with a couple of Heinekens and I am back on track and back making repairs in my head at least.
Got to get alongside a marina.
Got to get the kids to Disney Land................
Best get another beer!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Two weeks to go tonight and suddenly the realisation of how much that has to be done before we leave is setting in!!! We are both trying to stop work but it keeps, on coming, we both cannot say no and we both realise there will be no wages after this week so we hang on!

Friday, August 15, 2008

We've got the "BAY" covered

At last someone has spoken my language,insurance is in place, as a boat dealer I have found it very hard to set insurance on our "home'.Enough said,all good and we are on our way soon..........roll on September 9 I say...........

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Need to get going soon.......

It is getting very frustrating sitting around waiting for the day we get on the plane and head for Fort Lauderdale where the "BAY" is at her dock.The wait is one thing but the organisation that is happening in the background is enormous ,from foreign currency rates to organising Visas and provisioning for the many animals we are leaving behind for mum and dad to look after,it is keeping both Lisa and I busy.The insurance for the vessel is starting to annoy me,the US do things very different in this area and we don t realise how relaxed we are here in OZ in these matters.As a boat dealer I can click my fingers and she would be covered here in Perth, in sunny Miami everything noted by the surveyor that isn't 110% has to be fixed before a cover note can be issued........and of course we don't have a "zip" code so nothing works!!!!! I will get her covered somehow............I'll let you know how I go. Roll on 9th September I say!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The journey begins

Today we made the big committment to purchase the boat that is going to be our home for our big adventure! We paid the deposit and bought the plane ticket and Garry is heading off to Marathon Key to survey and inspect her. However, she turned out to be a dud! Panic set in and Garry spent the next 4 days travelling 1200 miles across the Floridian countryside to peruse three other boats we had on our shortlist! We did not want to face the prospect of a wasted trip let alone the wasted expense to cover the entire exercise. In the end he fell for a 52" Irwin Ketch! He has a soft spot for these large, broad yet, graceful looking vessels and it has always been his dream to own one. It did not take much to convince Lisa that this was the best vessel to be our family home. She has three good size cabins for the family and a great galley. We have lots of plans for baking bread and cakes, but if Lisa cooks it, it will probably be charcoal! Hopefully Jacob and Anastasia will come to the rescue or perhaps Capt. Bligh (oops Garry) may smell the burning embers from below.

Anyway we take possession in the next few weeks and then she will have some repairs done before we arrive. We hope this will be in early September. We plan a renaming ceremony as soon as possible, as all our vessels will affectionately been known as "The Bay". This one will be called "Biscayne Bay" (a reflection of her Flordian origin).Hopefully, some photos will soon be posted of her and her new family!