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Carlita's new adventure

155 posts in this topic

Even though I have had the good fortune to have built more boats than I deserve, like most builders I dream of all kinds of cruises and adventures that I would like to achieve while I am building. One of mine during the build was to sail to and from the Everglades Challenge rather than go through the mad dash down I 95. I just retired from 31 years teaching evening boat building classes at Pamlico Community College and Alan has very capably taken over the running of B&B Yacht Designs, so what is to stop me?

 

It is a cruise of about 1000 miles to get from here to the starting line at Mullet Key in the mouth of Tampa Bay. It is not that difficult except that I have about 30 days to get there which means that I have to average 33 miles a day. That is a fairly easy task until you realize that it will be in the dead of winter. We typically get bad weather every week which will add to the challenge. The good news is that the further south I get the less severe the winter storms will be. The warmer weather is usually brought about by fresh south westerly winds and the course will be SW until I get to Georgia.

 

I plan to cross the Okeechobee canal. The Suzuki will get a workout as the canal is 154 miles long and has five locks to raise you from sea level up to the lake level (currently at about 14 feet) and back down to sea level. Of the 25 bridges crossing the waterway only 8 of them are below my mast height.

 

The last leg northward from Fort Myers to Mullet Key will be generally upwind.

 

What are my chances of making it on time? I will give myself 50/50.

 

My backup plan if I get to the Okeechobee turn off too late to make it in time is to just keep on going south to Key Largo to the EC finish for the party.

 

You all can follow my progress, if it interests you, from my Spot track at http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0eHa05kYuBYnYvSIGGCbp4PpdXZchEvKn . It shows my track and speed. When I stop for the night or to get supplies or do maintenance or am weather bound, I will send an okay message on the Spot and turn it off until I move again so that everyone can see that there are no problems.

 

I plan to leave at about the end of this month. The actual departure time depends on how long it takes me to work through my long list and a reasonable weather window.

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The longest trip I made with my Belhaven I ever got to do was 275 miles. I loved every minute of it! I know you will love it. Take a lot of pictures and keep a log, it would make a great story for Small Craft Advisor mag.

 

Scott 

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Wow! Sounds like tons-of-fun. What a challenge! I hope you'll do a little series of stories in the Boating and cruising section of this forum. It's kinda lonely down there.

 

i know that B&B and your class are in good hands with the Young Master, Alan. We'll all try to keep him under control.

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Fantastic. Keep us posted and take lots of pictures. It is my dream to do a trip like that. Got to finish "UnNamed" first!

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So how many boats will compete in the EC after a voyage like this on her own bottom! How cool is that!!

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What a great dream to have - a real challenge! Mine is to take a CS 20 up the East Coast of Australia. Maybe one day in the right weather.

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Man.

I like the way your mind works, Graham.

I wish you all the joy you can wring from such a trip.

Peace,

Robert

P.S. Yes, I really am going to get going on #55 this spring. I really would like to drag her out there and sail around with you.

That's my CoreSound dream...

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Way to go, Graham.  When I built SUSAN G. my plan was to do roughly the same trip and wind up in the Ten Thousand Islands area.  Unfortunately, my P-22 was much more boat than I ever became a sailor and the opposition from the home front grew to the point the dream became an impossibility.  I will follow your every step, with much envy, all the way and hope your journey is safe and enjoyable.  If course, you could sail a partially submerged log there and back, but CARLITA should make this a fun trip.

 

Tony Day

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Roam,

 

The link is in the first post at the beginning of this topic.

 

I just put the Spot transmitter outside and sent an OK signal and sure enough it is at the link, so everything is up and running.

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I just set the Spot to track and you should be able to see the Lat and Long every 10 minutes. You should also be able to see the position on a map. The check mark is the OK signal and the boot is the track. 

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Carlita’s navigation system consisted of a Garmin 640 chart plotter that runs off of the house battery, charged by a solar panel and a Samsung Galaxy 5 cell phone for communicating, weather maps and finding the nearest supermarket within bicycle distance etc.. I was concerned that if either failed I would be screwed and my trip might be compromised.

 

Alan and I have been following the Android development and felt that the newer models were more of a sideways step rather than real advancement and have stuck with the Galaxy 5. It can be opened up and the battery can be changed and the SD card be replaced or increased in size for more memory. The good news is that now that they are a couple of generations old they can be had cheap.

 

I just got a refurbished unit which looks and feels brand new for $162 delivered. I went to Walmart and got a big SD card and a waterproof case. Downloaded the Navionics app for $10 and all of the US charts for $15. The chart quality is excellent. It even has our dock charted. I walked down the center of our 5’ wide dock at 2.3 knots and the course projection was down the middle of the dock. The speed and scrolling is superior to the Garmin. I will not be using it as a phone but just as a computer and navigator.

 

With my phone also loaded with the app it gives me three GPS units and I think that I will not bother with paper charts. I have the set for the EC which I will carry. If the phone quits I can swap the SIM card and call Verizon and I am back in business.

 

This a far cry from my first ocean crossing. There were no electronics not even a VHF, it would have been useless as there would not have been anyone within range. just a sextant a two dollar alarm clock and a cheap short wave receiver for time signals.

 

For weather, if you have not downloaded the https://www.windytv.com/?35.143,-77.163,5 app, you should. 

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Thanks, I clicked on the link before getting to the end of your post and didn't realizedyou hadn't left yet. I'm looking forward to following your progress.

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Smooth sailing Graham.  I'll be in FL month of Feb around Titusville, but free to go anywhere down there if you need any help.  252-945-4472.  Mick n RickZ

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