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Adventure

"Adventure" N62-22 - David and Karen Crannell



May 27, 2006

We made it to Bermuda on time and without any mechanical issues.
We had a good final evening ride to Bermuda. The seas were good
and weather nice. We spotted the Bermuda light house about 30 miles
out. We set the maneuvering watch early due to the many reefs around
Bermuda. Had no problem finding our way into St Georges Harbor. We
contacted Bermuda Radio about 20 miles out. They asked many questions
and said we would be cleared to enter the channel when we arrived. We
timed our arrival so as to be at the customs dock before their 8 AM opening.
There is a dock for arriving vessels which is very convenient. We thought the
customs officer would come to the boat but we were to go to them. This meant
that another later arriving boat got in front of us and we had to wait for them to
clear before we could clear in.

The agent was very friendly, helpful and pleasant. We had to pay a $15 per
person arrival fee and fill out some forms and then we were cleared in.
Since we had done everything properly we had no problem in getting the
cats into Bermuda. There was a trash receptacle nearby which was helpful
as we always have lots of trash after a passage. We have a trash compactor
which helps with the volume but we still have lots. I changed the oil in
the main engine while we were waiting for customs to open. The oil was due
for a change and needed oil added after the passage, so rather than waste
oil by adding then changing I just changed it while we waited. So we were
able to dispose of the old oil filter at the same time. The crew went
through a good bit of beer on the passage. We have to put Brody and
Princess in the cabin so they do not jump on the dock and run away. Brody
suddenly appeared again as if he were Houdini. Turns out he jumped up and
climbed out an open hatch. We put him back in the cabin and closed the
hatches and he was not happy making lots of cat noises.

Mary Grilliot joined us aboard Adventure for the ride to Hamilton Harbor.
Mary had arrived Friday as we were originally to arrive Friday before we
broke the stabilizer. She enjoyed her two hour ride into the harbor.

We departed St Georges harbor for Hamilton and had a nice 2-hr ride to the
main harbor in Bermuda. The island is surrounded by reefs and getting
through the reef with a big boat can only be done in two places, so the
inter island navigation is interesting but not bad. The hazards are well
marked as are the channels, etc. They use the US marking system with a
little international thrown in.

Jim Fuller and Milt Baker aboard Nordhavn 43, Summer Skis and Nordhavn 47,
Bluewater, had been contacted by Jenny of Nordhavn and told we were
coming. Milt and his wife Judy were some of the organizers of the Nordhavn
Atlantic Rally and are good friends with the commodore of the Royal
Bermuda Yacht Club. Milt was able to get Adventure into the Yacht Club, we
really appreciate his and Jenny's help as the yacht club is a great place
to stay in Bermuda. Milt and his wife Judy are the founders of BlueWater
Books and Charts in Ft Lauderdale. They sold the business in 2000 and are
now cruising their Bluewater, a 2005 N47. They plan to cruise to the
Mediterranean next year. We have enjoyed getting to know them and Jim and
Margie. We'll see Milt and Judy this summer in Maine.

We are moored on the outside east wall of the yacht club, where the 19
boats were on the rally. Gets a little rocky sometimes from boat wakes in
the harbor but is a great spot, right in the middle of all action.

We have been busy since arriving. Our crew moved off to hotels except Bob
and Scott. Karen, Chole, Wendi, Holli, Taylor all arrived along with
Gary's family all on the same flight Saturday afternoon. We were at the
airport to meet them. So we had lots of activity upon arrival. We have
been to dinner each night and had too many drinks and too much food. The
Grilliot's have been very generous while we are here and we appreciate
their hosting some of the dinners. We have been having evening cocktails
aboard before dinner each night. The kids have been doing the bar scene
each night after dinner while the older folks collapse. We rented scooters
and toured the island Sunday and went for a 6 hr ride in the dingy
yesterday touring the Southern and Eastern end of the island. The island
is beautiful - maybe the cleanest place I have ever been. The houses are
well painted either light blue, yellow, green or pink all have white
concrete roofs for collecting rain water in cisterns. Things are very
expensive here. Only 273 homes can be owned by non Bermuda citizens. Those
homes are very fancy and expensive. A fair amount of building is going on
and several cruise ships arrive during the weekdays from Fla or New York.
The roads are very narrow and lots of traffic. Each household can only
have one car and as many scooters as they want. Gas is $6.80 per gallon,
taxis are expensive. There are no rental cars on the island so you either
rent a scooter, use the great bus or ferry system or take a cab.

There are many restaurants here and lots of variety, but expensive.

The water is 74 degrees which is cool to us. It was 81 in Caymans. Bob,
Big Bird and the Grilliots dove on two wrecks Monday and said it was good
diving but not like the Caymans. Hopefully the Admiral and I will get in a
couple of dives while here. We are going horseback riding this afternoon.
We're still waiting for Wendi and Chole to get up after a long night of
partying. Holli and Taylor are off exploring on their scooter today.

May 26, 2006

All is well aboard Adventure at noon May 26. We are 130 miles
from Bermuda on schedule to make the Customs dock at St Georges
harbor at 730AM Saturday morning. The weather is fantastic as it has
been all trip. We turned off the air conditioning and generator
yesterday and did fine in the cooler weather last night.

Had excitement this morning at 9AM as Scott hooked a 125-lb. Blue Marlin on
one of the 50T Penn International reels. We had a good fight having to
tighten up the drag so as to not have all the line pulled off the reel. The
fight lasted about 15 minutes. Scott was tired at the end. Bill had watched
Scott struggle getting the first marlin off a few days ago and offered to do
the job this time. He found out the difficulty of getting the marlin off the
hook and not getting yourself poked in the eye or do too much harm to the
fish - definitely a two-handed job and usually two folks. It all ended well
and the fish swam off unhurt.

We are having field day for you navy types, that is the clean up time. Got
to get things ship shape for the arrival aboard of the Admiral and her gang
tomorrow afternoon. Most of the crew is planning to go diving tomorrow. We
used the Sat phone to contact a Bermuda dive shop. We'll recontact them this
afternoon to hopefully finalize plans.

Weather has been great the whole trip, amazingly so, absolutely calm most of
the time and only 10 to 15 kts winds for one day.

Had the remainder of the Mahi we caught last night in a concoction Scott
dreamed up. It was very good. He called it Mexican Mahi.

Nice sunny day today, sunbather Bob is out sunning himself getting his tan
in shape.


May 25, 2006

All is well aboard Adventure. The seas have calmed down. We
have less than 10 kts of wind and 3 to 5 ft seas without white caps.
Our 2PM EDT position is 30 34.767 N 070 29.733 W, we are 330 miles
SW of Bermuda scheduled to arrive Saturday morning in St. Georges
harbor for customs check in by 8 AM assuming we have no weather
or mechanical issues to slow us down.

No fish today so far. We have been catching fish in the afternoon so
hopefully we'll get some soon.

We have been watching Band of Brothers and watched Proof of Life last night.
Having Mahi Mahi tonight. Scott is a good cook, has not been performing any
chaplain duties so far.

Gary slept 10 straight hours from one watch to another. He says he seldom
does that. Everyone has gotten rest. The boat motion is not bad right now,
was a little much - but not bad yesterday this time.

The new cockpit chairs we bought have opened up another area for folks to
relax/ It's been nice in the cockpit watching the fishing rods.

We turned off the air conditioning and generator at noon as the outside temp
is only 76. It's very pleasant and sunny.

There's lots of loud music and TV being played. Would not be this way if the
Admiral were aboard. Not too much liquor has been drunk...just a little. We
lost the Sat TV so we are all DVD.

May 24, 2006

We had three fish on today, two mahi mahi, one we landed had
worms and an unknown type. We are not sure if it is OK to eat
cooked fish with worms in their intestines even though you cut out
the intestines,so we are throwing the wormy ones away.

We are on schedule for a Saturday morning arrival in Bermuda.

All systems are working well aboard Adventure. The seas have picked up
today after being flat calm until about noon today. We currently have 10
kts of wind from the NW and 3 to 5 ft seas from the NW. Not bad conditions
aboard Adventure but not as smooth as it has been.

Crew is watching lots of movies and series. Most of us had seen Band of
Brothers but we are watching it again and enjoying it almost as much as
the first time. Watched Munich last night and the end of the Miami vs
Detroit BB game. I am a big Heat fan so I was happy with the outcome. I
think we have about lost the Sat TV, so probably no more BB watching. I
have been trying to find a crew to watch Broke Back Mountain... this crew
says they do not want to be part of an all male crew hundreds of miles
offshore watching that movie. I think it may be because they might like it
too much! Guess I'll watch it by myself. The Admiral does not want to
watch it either.

Had Mahi Mahi last night, was very good. Scott is the cook and doing a
good job. Having hamburgers tonight that were scheduled for last night
until we caught the mahi.

Gary is working to update our DVD and VHS listing of films and series
aboard. He thought he was done and then I told him two other places we had
movies stored...he took it well...

The kitties are doing well enjoying the attention from a crew of 7. We
think Brody might be getting sea sick.

Weather is cooling off. I think a weak cold front has passed over us. Bill
wants a beautiful sunrise or sunset but all have been obscured by clouds
so far.


May 23, 2006

We departed Ft. Lauderdale about 10 hrs late Monday afternoon.
We had everything going well Sunday and were ready to go when
I decided to do one more maintenance project which was to check
that the stabilizers were tight. When we took the top off the stabilizer
we broke a part that gives the fin position to the stabilizer electronic
brain. I knew we could get a part flown in Tuesday from the factory
in Calif but we were able to find a service tech in Ft. Lauderdale Monday
morning who had the part we needed. We had things fixed by 2PM then
went to the store for food, drug supplies and liquor. So we are all stocked
up and left at 4:30 PM yesterday. (The original plan was to leave at 6AM.)

The stop in Ft Lauderdale was very very expensive but we were able to fix
all the major issues and most of the minor ones aboard Adventure. The two
water makers were fixed by factory techs, the diesel engines by a factory
authorized and recommended service center. The inverter was fixed by a very
good service center in Tampa. Bob and I had a wonderful time getting the 120
lb. inverter reinstalled aboard Adventure, but we did it and it worked! The
Trace Inverter service center had a refurbished unit in stock that we bought
so we now have a spare aboard. The diesel tech was from Bulgaria, having
been in the USA for 6 years and already has gotten his US citizenship. His
name was drawn in a lottery allowing his whole family to immigrate from
Bulgaria to the USA. He is a very good experienced diesel mechanic with
pretty good English. In Bulgaria he worked on large diesel engines aboard
large ships. It was amazing the work he could do by himself. He was a real
pro knowing exactly how to approach each project. We took on 1932 gallons of
diesel. The last time we fueled was in Panama. We burned about 1500 gallons
driving Adventure and about 400 in the generator which ran virtually the
whole time since we left Panama until Key West. We visited a canvas shop to
fix cushions and canvas, West Marine to buy lots of stuff, Advance Auto to
dump waste oil and Publix for food. We had a rental car which helped a lot.

Karen and I drove home to Tampa Tuesday and did a few home improvement
projects, saw the dentist, dermatologist, barber, and had my parents visit
for two days in their RV. I then drove back Thursday to Adventure.

The weather forecast for our trip to Bermuda went from pretty good to so-so
back to pretty good. So far it has been perfectly flat, no wind no waves.
Lets hope the forecast is correct and this keeps up.

Our first Mate Bob had a great visit to Ft Lauderdale visiting friends and
family.

The new crew is eager to catch some fish and we have this afternoon. We have
had one barracuda caught by the Birdman and a Blue Marlin caught by Gary and
5 nice mahi mahi by everyone in a mahi mahi frenzy. Gary released the marlin
at 2:45 PM and we caught the 5 mahi at 4PM, the fishing is hot out here this
afternoon. We need some tuna now and a wahoo to make the catches perfect.
We'll have mahi mahi for dinner.

It is overcast but not raining. Had a nice moon last night that was mostly
obscured by clouds. Had lots of ship traffic last night between the Bahamas
and Florida. Have just had one small oil tanker pass us today on the way for
Bermuda. Good night for breaking in the new crew. We have 7 of us aboard,
Bill and Willie Grilliot from Dayton, Ohio. Bill's company Total Fire was my
company's biggest supplier when we owned SEC. They make and sell all sorts
of items firemen wear and use. Bob Wynn is here from Las Vegas. Bob's
nickname is Big Bird since he is a tall big man having to be careful not to
knock himself out on our low ceilings. He was a customer of GFSI. My son
Scott is aboard. Scott was last aboard with his sister in Alaska. Scott is
between his second year of seminary in Princeton, NJ and starting his CPE
being a Chaplin at Grady Hospital in Atlanta for this summer. Gary Hess is
aboard. Gary was the President of GFSI , Safety Equipment Company's division
that sold fire fighting products to the military market. Gary lives in
Atlanta. Bob Williams remains aboard as first mate. Bob is from South Bend,
Indiana and once tutored Mike Alstot of the Tampa Bay Bucs at Purdue
University in Indiana. Our crew is truly from all over the USA.

We have 6 watch standers and the olde Capn is not standing watch. He is
doing fix-it projects, training and cleaning. Everyone stands the same
two-hour watch period early morning and evening. We stand watches 24-7. We
will arrive in Bermuda Saturday morning. Bill's wife Mary, the Admiral, our
three daughters, Gary's wife and 3 kids all arrive Saturday about 2 PM into
Bermuda. We are looking forward to having a great time in Bermuda. The
pleasant sea conditions are making the trip really special, so far
absolutely smooth.

We enjoyed Ft Lauderdale. The Bahia Mar marina is very nice, just expensive.
You can buy any possible boating item in Ft. Lauderdale so we really worked
our to-do list down a lot. Adventure is in her best shape in the last couple
of years. We stopped at Bluewater Books and Charts and bought lots of
cruising books for this summer in New England.

May 12, 2006

We had a nice trip up from Key West. We did three more
dives, one at Molasses Reef, the next the Benwood wreck
and the last Key Largo Dry Rocks the site of the 9 ft tall statue
of Jesus. Karen did the Benwood wreck with Scuba and was
doing well until a 10 ft long Moray Eel came out. Then a big
barracuda and that was that. The Benwood wreck is totally different
than it was for many years as it was majorly moved by a hurricane. Nell
has been trying to snorkel the Christ Statue for a long time and today she
accomplished that goal. The weather has stayed nice although the wind
picked up a little the last few days.

We arrived in Miami Saturday and stayed at Miami Beach Marina right near
South Beach. We had a fun time getting docked as the marina put us in a
slip that was too narrow and there was a current running through the
marina. The crew was not ready to tie up to a marina without floating
docks so we had quite a time but did not break anything. Not breaking
anything while arriving at the intended destination is the ultimate judge
of boating success. The marina was difficult to communicate with. However
it was a great place to stay although very expensive at $240 per night!

We had a great time walking South Beach's Ocean Avenue. Lots of
restaurants right across the street from the beach. Lots of great people
watching. We had a 1/2 price dinner, 1/2 price on food or drinks but not
both. Place was crowded and fun. Lots of condo construction on the beach
and here in Ft Lauderdale, Florida is booming. South Beach has really
improved and is very nice.

We cruised to Ft Lauderdale yesterday and had a nice cruise. The water was
so clear off Miami Beach and the wind so light that we could see fish
swimming in the water as we cruised by in 30 ft of water. The Bahia Mar
marina in Ft Lauderdale where we are staying is really something, but
expensive also. We have a nice slip within 1/4 mile of the Atlantic Ocean.
We can walk to many shops and restaurants which we did last night. Rained
today, one of the few times we have been in rain since leaving Ensenada.

Had workmen from Village Marine and a Lugger dealer aboard today. Going to
be an expensive visit. The oil leaks we had are going to cost around
$4,000 to fix. Fixing the most expensive leak will also accomplish a
preventative maintenance item we needed anyway so over half the money
needed to be spent will be so as a regular maintenance item. The water
makers will also be very expensive and I am not real confident that they
will work well even after spending lots of money for overhauls...but we
are doing what is recommended by Village Marine. The water makers are
needed when you are isolated and not visiting marinas with good clean
water, so fixing them is the price you pay for cruising those areas. If I
was doing this boat again I would get simpler water makers. Our's are
feature rich but too prone to breakage.

Karen and Nell's day involed runnning some errands, getting poor service
from a jerk at West Marine, going to the pool, getting rained on and
helping with more of the boat projects.

Bob brought his delightful grandmother to see the boat. She is a wonderful
lady with a great grandson. Bob is enjoying seeing some of his family and
college friends in this area.

Karen, myself and Nell will drive home tomorrow. Karen will be staying
home for 10 days then flying to Bermuda and I will return to Adventure
Thursday to continue the maintenance projects and get Adventure loaded to
head off to Bermuda. We should be able to get the maintenance projects
finished Friday, get fueled, buy food and be ready to depart Monday. The
trip to Bermuda will take 4 days. We have a crew of 8 including myself. We
have two father-son teams and lots of folks from the Safety and
Firefighting industry. Will be a fun trip. We may have to slightly relax
the drinking policy to a beer a day per person. Karen and our 3 girls and
Taylor Holli's husband will be flying to Bermuda Saturday to meet us. My
son Scott will be a part of the crew from Lauderdale to Bermuda. Karen and
I will be in Bermuda 3 1/2 weeks which will be nice. We hope to catch some
fish on the trip and do some diving, book reading and lots of relaxing
when we arrive in Bermuda.

May 11, 2006

We are at Marathon in the Fla Keys. We cruised about 40 miles
here fromKey West yesterday. We did two dives. One was a deep
dive that Bob and I did, went to 102 ft diving the August Busch, a
wreck financed by the Budweiser family in honor of August Busch
Sr. The ship was a coastal freighter that readied for a dive then sunk
in 1998 as a diving and fishing reef near Looe Key. We saw several
Goliath Groupers and 4 very big snook plus many other fish. No spear
fishing so we just looked. They do allow hook and line fishing. Had 4
mooring bouys two for fishing and two for diving.

Adventure is doing well. I spent two full days fixing stuff in Key West so
we now have two working water makers and a gen set that has all its
preventative maintenance items up to date. I got my West Marine fix, not
having been to a West Marine for three months. I had to go twice to load
up. Have the parts to fix several things aboard and have fixed two so far.
Happened to get the manager at the store yesterday morning to help me - he
took back several items as defective, saving me $100. We replaced our
lounge chairs which we have had for 4 years and were in bad shape. They
are nice in the cockpit but always in the way. That is the thing on
boats... the more stuff you have, the more things are in the way. My parts
stock pile came through enabling me to fix the 800 GPD water maker because
I had the right small plastic part. This was due to a previous failure of
a similar part, so I had bought 4 extra. That is how it goes. The same
things tend to break due to bad designs. Blame it all on the engineers.

Have started having trouble with my mouse on the PC. Talked to Nobeltec
and they tell me the problem is due to a conflict in windows between the
mouse and and the GPS on the PC. Nobeltec gave me a way to work around the
issue. It is strange since I have not been having the problem then all of
a sudden it started. Nothing more frustrating than a conflicted mouse!
Things are so much easier here in the USA where you just use the cell
phone to solve problems. Out of the USA simple things are hassles.

We enjoyed seeing our next door neighbor Judy Johnson in Key West. She is
there aboard her yacht Getaway also from Riverview Florida! She is the
nicest person and loves boating. She is an artist and enjoys the artzy Key
West culture.

Bob our bachelor 1st mate fell in love numerous times in Key West. He had
never been to Key West and can not wait to return. He was out each night
till 3 AM but was ready to go in the morning, recharging himself up with
naps. Bob and I have done 21 scuba dives, pretty good. Had a Divers Direct
store in Key West where we were able to buy some spares and new dive
stuff. Very nice store, good prices and selection. One of the clerks looks
just like Jessica Simpson (except not sooo much), said she is told that
all the time.

Weather has been perfect, was totally flat calm yesterday which was nice
for both dives. The second dive was at Looe Key which is a National
Preserve. Karen and Nell snorkeled, had a great time until they saw a 4 ft
nurse shark and that was the end of it for them. They were still in a
tizzy when Bob and I got aboard. So they only snorkeled 15 minutes vs an
hour.

Nell is having a blast, she loves the dolphins that come around the boat
and seeing the fish snorkeling. Last night when we anchored a pod of 4
dolphins swam up and Nell spent 20 minutes trying to hand feed them,
slapping the boat to get their attention. We tried to feed them some
ballyhoo but no luck.

Today we are going to visit Parmerlee Island near Islamorada owned by the
owners of one of our SEC safety suppliers, Allan and Suzzie Sankpill. We
were lucky and able to use there place for many years while we owned SEC.
Many fond memories of that place. We often went there to hunt for lobsters
at the start of lobster season the end of July each year.
Well it is time to get going.

May 6, 2006

We made it to Key West and got checked into the USA with no
problem. We are in a nice expensive Marina named the Galleon
right near all the action. Had 2 dozen oysters last night and shared
1 lb of boiled shrimp plus two Pina Coladas. The South Beach diet
has been put on the shelf and my waist line is showing it.

Key West has changed exactly like Grand Cayman, a housing boom and cruise
ship boom. Both places are better but more crowded and busy.

Karen has been liking diving so we visited the dive shop and updated her
gear. She will look very spiffy next dive! We are getting ready for more
dives in the Keys next week and then in Bermuda. Not sure if we'll dive any
in New England.

Worked on Adventure after checking in with customs today. We were able to
get the inverter removed and still have the electrical system working. The
work took 3 hrs and then trying to get it to work right for 4 hrs. I am
learning a lot more than I wanted to about all things related to this
vessel. Unfortunately I still have lots to learn the hard and painful way.

Weather down here has been great. Sunny days with highs in mid 80's and
cooler nights, little wind.

Karen and I had a nice dinner tonight after the first 4 hrs of the job and
before the last 3 hrs. Got lots of help from the crew. Dan and Matt leave
tomorrow to return to Tampa/Brandon. We have enjoyed having them aboard.

Karen enjoyed the Kentucky Derby today. I missed it, spending the afternoon
with the inverter. Tomorrow lots of maintenance, oil changes, zinc changes
and an attempt to repair one or both watermakers, plus a few other projects.
Then we'll have some fun Monday and Tuesday before leaving Wednesday for Ft
Lauderdale.

May 5, 2006

Happy Cinco De Mayo! We plan to celebrate on Duval Street and Mallory Square
tonight.

We had a terrific visit to the Dry Tortugas. We did three dives yesterday:
Texas Reef, Pulaski Shoal and Windjammer wreck. They were all very good. Saw
Goliath Grouper, biggest lobster ever seen by myself and others, two nurse
sharks, beautiful coral, lots of fish, old ship wreck and many big grouper.
Diving here is not as great as in the Caymans but it was real good. The
weather has been perfect - a little wind, not too hot and very sunny. Water
was about 75, which is 6 degrees less than the Caymans.The Admiral dove the
Windjammer wreck and enjoyed it. We found a boat hook someone had just lost,
saw lots of fish and the wreck which is 70 years old and all broken up.

We are taking the longer route to Key West going offshore a little to troll
on the way back, a total of 74 miles. We are about offshore now at 1130 and
will start trolling soon. We have gone 30 miles with 45 to go. It's another
beautiful day today. Tomorrow we'll clean Adventure, shop, and the old
mechanic will work on the good old water makers and other work list
projects. Planning a big time on Duval street tonight with those frozen
drinks they sell along the street. Had a bet about who would buy the first
round of drinks...not sure if we decided we had a winner. The contest was
finding a wreck at the Pulaski Shoal, but we're not sure anyone found it.

Bob enjoyed seeing his first sharks and a Goliath Grouper which was 5 ft
long. The crew has been having a great time. Bob and Matt stayed up till
1:30 and then we got up at 5:45 this morning. I finally told them the power
was going off at 1:15 last night and gave them a final curtain call.

The Admiral is really happy, as she is returning to civilization and her
cell phone will be working this afternoon. She has become more comfortable
diving and may want to do more. May have to buy her new gear that fits
better.

Happy Cinco de Mayo. and Viva la USA!

May 3, 2006 - Part II

We anchored at Ft. Jefferson at 430 PM today. Had no problems
on the bumpy ride from Cayman Brac to here. Plan to visit the Fort
and do some diving. We'll be here for a day or two then on to Key
West. No one got sea sick on this leg and nothing got broken. We
found the problem with the #2 radar and it is fixed so things are
looking up. One water maker is working so we have done wash and
taken showers. It's 80 degrees and beautiful here.

May 3, 2006

We are 60 miles from the Dry Tortugas at Lat 23 50 N Long 083 38 W.
We hope to arrive at Ft. Jefferson anchorage in day light but we may
not. We have entered the Gulf Stream and are doing 7.8 kts even
though we had slowed down to make the ride more comfortable.
Nothing new has broken and we are making water. We'll celebrate
arrival with a few beers and wine for the Admiral and look forward
to a motionless night's sleep and touring the fort and diving
tomorrow.

No fishing due to the 4 to 6 ft waves on our starboard beam (coming from our
right side). Would be too rough to stop and pull in the fish and to clean.
We have seen a fair number of ships going between Cuba and Fla. None have
been a problem. Have not encountered any boat people or the Cuban or US
Navy. Looking forward to finishing this leg of our trip and returning
Adventure to the US East Coast.

Been watching some movies and Six Feet Under (Admiral will not watch it any
more, I must finish the 5th and last season just to finish it).

All crew are in very good spirits and a compatible group. All 4 of us, minus
the Admiral, are standing watches now so that makes things easier for Bob
and I. Brodie and Princess are doing fine but will also be glad to arrive in
calmer waters.

May 2, 2006

We have had an exciting few days. Our diving and time in Grand
Cayman was really good. Great diving and easy place to
anchor/moor, nice and calm at night. We spent two nights anchored
off the north and east side and dove some places that are harder to
get to.

Our overnight trip from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac was really rough and
miserable. Worse was that once we got to Cayman Brac it was too rough to
anchor comfortably. We finally identified a double pin mooring to tie up to
but after doing so, Adventure was heaving to and fro and rolling 5 ft each
way side to side. After a frenzied attempt to go ashore in the dingy that
ended with an abort during the launching, we decided to leave Cayman Brac
and head to Dry Tortugas in Florida Keys - a 520 mile run. Unfortunately
Brac Customs still made us come ashore to check out of the Caymans and pay
$70 for overtime and get the boat sprayed for mosquitos and pay another $50
for overtime to do the spray "service" due to it being Sunday.

So we had less than 12 hrs in Cayman Brac and two miserable days at sea. We
can see why there are few cruisers in this area, very rough conditions, no
fun. Constant 15 to 20 kts of wind from the East or NE.

The Brac was a typical laid back island. I went ashore in a kayak as we
could safely launch and retrieve a kayak. Stayed to wait for customs at Reef
Dive shop, which has a really nice set up for diving the area. Their dive
boats come right to their own piers. You just load your gear, the crews load
the tanks and off you go. Unfortunately they went into the same seas we were
in but their boats rode well and the rides were short. You got into the
water to dive, got out and headed back so you had little time to bob and
weave around on the boat.

We left Cayman Brac Sunday afternoon late. It is now Tuesday afternoon and
we are off the Western tip of Cuba at Lat 22 20.194 N Long 085 02.718 W at
1500 Hrs (3PM) Cayman time. We'll be at Ft. Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas
tomorrow mid-day. We plan to dive and sightsee some prior to heading for Key
West this weekend.

Our mechanical issues continue...we have gotten one watermaker working
although it has a leak that we are containing. We found a leak through a
courtsey light that we had tried to repair and we did not reseal it in
silicone when we reinstalled it, and it let water leak into the hallway and
mess up the teak flooring a little, but we fixed that this morning. We had a
lot of dirt particles in our fuel after we emptied the port fuel tank, we
changed filters and cleaned up the filter housings, filtered the fuel in the
day tank and seem to be OK. Never had to stop an engine. The number 2 radar
is not turning and is therefore not working. Hopefully this is a simple
problem to fix like a loose connection or corroded connection. We'll check
it out in the Dry Tortugas. So our repair list is growing as usual. We have
lined up mechanics to meet us in Ft. Lauderdale Monday May 15th so we can be
ready to leave for Bermuda May 22. It shouldn't be a problem if nothing else
breaks.

Have selected some dive sites in the Tortugas to dive assuming the weather
is OK. The forecast looks good so far.

Three of us including the Capn got sea sick on the ride from Grand Cayman to
Cayman Brac. Only my 4th time since the starting cruising 4 years ago - not
too bad considering. The Admiral has never been sea sick but she takes a lot
of care not to get sick. Dan and Matt have learned to stand watches and are
doing so. We have seen lots of big ships heading around the western end of
Cuba headed for the Caribbean. We have been careful to stay 15 or more miles
off the coast of Cuba. We would love to visit Cuba but the American rules do
not allow stopping there without some possibilities of problems in
reentering the USA. We have enough problems without creating any ourselves.

Late this afternoon the wind calmed somewhat and things are more pleasant at
the moment. It's supposed to stay this way until Dry Tortugas.






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