Wanted to share some photos and a short video from some adventures the last few weeks:
Sailed from Key largo up to Fort Lauderdale the weekend of the 11th....left early Friday morning and sailed all the way to Fort Lauderdale. This turned out to be an 80-mile broad reach with ESE winds in the 15-20 knot range most of the way, and one of the most enjoyable sails I've ever experienced.
Sailing on Moon 2 from Andrew Allen on Vimeo.
(The video might take a while to load, so be patient. I'm also learning about shooting and editing video, so the overall quality isn't that great......hopefully it will convey some of the feeling of being on the boat, though.)
There was one "oh shit!" moment when I went below and heard the bilge pump running about an hour into the trip. I had hit bottom on the rock at the end of the channel a few weeks ago, and although the gel coat at the front of the keel got cracked I didn't see any signs of water coming in after the incident - until I was about 10 miles offshore on the way to Fort Lauderdale. After opening all of the floor hatches and looking to see where the water was coming from, and tasting the water in the bilge to see if it was salty, I realized that it had to be coming from the fresh water tank overflow, and not through the hull. I had filled the tank for the trip and with the way the boat had been heeling about 10 gallons had run out through the vent and into the bilge. It was quite a relief to know I wasn't sinking!
I had taken the sails down while checking the leak, and since the wind had piped up a bit I left the main down and just rolled out the jib. Managed to average almost 6 knots over the whole 80 miles. Got into Port Everglades as the ....spent the night at anchor in the ICW a few miles south of Port Everglades, then spent all day Saturday and most of Sunday hanging out on the boat with some friends, mostly anchored out in Lake Sylvia. Had another WTF moment in the afternoon when the engine refused to start - no response at all when I tried the start button. After checking the batteries, the switches, and all of the connections, I discovered that I had pinched the wire that leads from the starter to the ignition switch in the air cleaner cover at some point, and it had finally chafed through and shorted itself out. The fix was pretty easy, but it involved removing the start battery, starter, alternator, and breather in order to get to the damaged wire and splice in a repair. The whole incident took about an hour or so start to finish.
Leaving Sunday afternoon the wind was still coming from the SE, so instead of slogging into the wind on the outside I elected to motor down the ICW, and got into the anchorage on the west side of Biscayne Bay about an hour after sunset.
Monday morning the winds were still right on the nose, so I motored down Biscayne Bay and went out at Angelfish Creek. By that time the wind had moved around to the east, so I was able to enjoy about 20 miles of broad reach under the jib alone back to Key Largo. A lovely trip all in all.
I also had a nice trip out to Arizona with some good friends the past week......here are a few pictures and a link to more on flickr:
We mostly car camped along the way, and enjoyed some day hikes in the Superstitions and in the Coconino National Forest, visited Winslow, Flagstaff and Sedona, and even saw a movie - the Water Diviner - along the way.
There are a few more pictures here: Arizona trip photos
Gotta scoot now to start getting ready for work tomorrow. Will try to post more pics and stories later this week.