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"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders

Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret,arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret do cuments the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them intouch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning areover…fornow.“Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began withthe Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat,sometimes not.Here, the latestupdate from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.


April 3, 2015

Position: Canyonlands Campground, Slip 78, Moab, Utah

Hello mis amigos, lets begin with a flashback from the past. We received this e-mail from the Timster the day we fired the last VofE into space. Tim has been a VofE reader from very early on and he’s still reading this drivel. Amazing!

What you don’t know is Tim worked hard to get the Egret crew into the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town, South Africa, when she was turned down by the office staff. In the end all the slips were taken by members and the %$#@^& ARC sailboats who reserved well ahead and there was no room in the inn. We never forgot his effort.

The e-mail is self explanatory and there is nothing we can add. It was a welcome blast from the past.

Hi Scott, Mary

Just sat here being wishful, and reading through old VofE's. How time flies. I feel guilty, 'cos I know you will have been wondering "whatever happened to the Timster"!!!

This was an excerpt from May 11th 2011 when you were in Mallorca.

Of course we have to do this every day, right Tim*?

*Long suffering Tim has been a loyal VofE reader for years. The Timster used to whine in his Forum questions but these days he has gotten better and is just wishful. We really do wish The Timster the best of luck but we all know you make your own luck. The Timster knows this well and is struggling. We'll still be here for the Timsters of the world until they quit swimming against the tide, do the deal and end the pain.
This Post followed your post on 5th May, my birthday. Reckon you were really rubbing it in. :-). We spent 7 years back and fore to Mallorca where we had a 'girl' boat, but left there a couple years before you arrived. Couple years ago, I put in my best bid on a CE N55 in Spain but got pipped at the post.
Last year, I sold my little IP24, and bought an imitation Nordhavn. (Well, nothing like actually), it suits us well for the time being, as an ideal little coastal and cross channel hopper. It's a 32' Corvette from 2005, semi-displacement. Originally built in Norfolk in the UK but in recent years transferred to the factory of the Fleming line. Not one has been built since they moved. Mine was called Horizon, so after a few weeks, I lost a 'h' and a 'n' and went for 'orizo'. I was never happy with that name, so I've now lost the the 'o' from each end and called her 'riz'. Little things please little minds....

So, I missed you in Mallorca, missed you in Northern Europe, and again missed you in Florida this winter. We were in Sarasota for a while.

However, I'm still hoping we'll meet up one day, and I'll get in a bit of whining and wishfulling, just to further cement your knowledge that you're doing the right thing. And of course, to take up that Dinner invitation!

Every time I read through historical V of E's I see something that I missed before. It's a true jewel of a read, and I look forward to the book. I know it will come one day. If you ever get the time!

So, my best wishes to you both, and I know you will be having a hoot whether on the water or on the land.

Good luck, (though as we all know.......)

and best wishes

Tim & Elaine


The past days have been driving different off-road trails. We finally did a challenging trail the other day. It began simply enough then things changed. There were 3 parts. The first was to a lookout called Eye of the Whale. The small parking lot was packed so we didn’t stop, plus we didn’t want to eat their dust if they left before we returned to Gracie. It turns out very few go beyond the lookout. The trail changes dramatically from easy to heavy sand and off-camber heavy sand turns in narrow areas. Then came a few rock obstacles. If we had seen the first obstacle a couple years ago we would have turned around. Now its no biggie. Mary walked up first to see what was over the top. The obstacle was a steep slickrock rise about 10’ high out of the sand wash. Slickrock has more traction than a city street. It’s like sandpaper. So we put Gracie in 1st gear, 4wd low and up she went. At the top we went a bit, turned around and went back down and then back up the hardest way, this time in second. No problem. Then it was Mary’s turn. Of course she did it perfect both ways. There were a few more bumps along the way then we came to Tower Arch.

There are lots of arches in Arches National Park (we had entered the park boundaries along the way) but to me the best are the ones are like Tower Arch that aren’t over run by visitors with normal, practical cars because its easy and there are big parking lots, not a deep sand turnaround. Its sorta like anchorages, the ones you had to work for are the ones you most remember.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>We walked the trail to the arch with the chairs and the lunch cooler. The first go was a hoot. There were footprints in the sand going everywhere. We could see the arch from the parking area but there were a number of slickrock ‘fins’ to hike around. In the end we made it after a few dead leads and set up chairs in the shade of the arch. If you look carefully, to the left and above where Mary is sitting are a couple white streaks. These are guano streaks from a small rock cave at the top of the arch. There is also guano outside the cave so if I had to guess it is an owl’s nest.

Back to the car and off on a 1.8 mile road that connects to a 7 mile dusty dirt road to the park road. Except this 1.8 mile road is way bad. The highlight of obstacles was a serious rock shelf road to the top of a hill. It was one big deal after another. However, a body in motion tends to stay in motion so we put it in 4wd low 2d and lettereat. Up she went and never missed a beat. It was great fun. A few more bumps on the way down then it was a dusty ride back to the park. After re-airing the tires it <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>was off to the car wash. However, it wasn’t quite that way. Driving thru Arches National Park in the late afternoon sun is a treat. We stopped a number of times and snapped away. Usually we shoot wide angle for most of the landscape shots we post. Our most used landscape lens is a Nikon 24-70mm f2.8. However, leaving the park Mary did best with her telephoto lens, a 70-200 f4 plus a 1.4 teleconverter. With this reach she isolated these pinnacles far in the distance.

After describing some photo details in the last VofE posting, we received a few e-mail comments from photoheads saying how they enjoyed the information. We’ll begin including a few more details in this post and coming posts so what we do isn’t a mystery.

A popular item in photo site essays is a ‘what’s in the (camera) bag’ piece. We’ll do that now. Both Mary and I have duplicate equipment right down to filters and camera bags. The only differences are tripods and we have a big 200-400mm f4 lens with a Nikon D610 24mp full frame camera to share. Usually I use the long lens because it weighs 7½ lbs and it’s a chore to hand hold.

Nikon D750 24mp full frame cameras.

Lenses:

16-35mm f4 super wide-angle lens.
24-70mm f2.8 wide-angle lens.
70-200mm f4 telephoto lens.
1.4 TCIII Teleconverter. We may use a teleconverter on either the 70-200 or 200-400 for up to 40% more reach. For example, a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter changes to 84mm - 280mm and the 200-400 becomes 280mm - 560mm.

Tripods. Really Right Stuff TVC 24 with BH55 ball head. (Mary)
Really Right Stuff TVC 33 with BH55 ball head. (Scott)

Camera Bag. Lowepro Flipside 300. The Flipside bag holds a camera, 3 lenses plus a teleconverter. There is separate storage for spare batteries, filters, cable shutter release, etc. and a tripod pocket.

For the long lens we use a Tamrac 5793 bag that holds the lens with the lens hood in place and a camera attached.

All the lenses have a high quality B&W UV filter to protect the lens.
We have B&W circular polarizing filters for all the lenses except for the 200-400.
There are also a few specialty filters that darken the exposure. These are used in daylight to slow down the shutter speed for waterfalls, etc.

For post processing we use Adobe Lightroom 5.7. We do not have nor know how to use Photoshop.

Our equipment comes almost exclusively from B&H Photo Video or Adorama, both located in NYC. Amazon is also a contender but we still use the pair because of the service and return policy. At either of these two stores you can still talk to people and they know the business. If you walk into either store you will bleed. If you walk into B&H the bleeding isn’t a drip, its arterial. You’ll see why if you ever go.

Incidentally, Port Washington at the south end of Long Island Sound, NY, (30 free moorings, great anchorage and 2 marinas) is the last stop for the train to NYC. The PW train terminates at Grand Central Station in downtown Manhattan. B&H is two blocks away. Oh my.

The equipment evolution has been a costly process. I can’t recommend duplicating our equipment to begin. However if you are well down this path and it’s your passion, this is what works for us. If you have Canon equipment, they have duplicate everything and it’s comparable. In our case, it is one of those ‘if we knew then what we know now syndromes’. We have bought and sold and lost tons over the years because we didn’t know. I imagine you have figured us out if you have followed VofE for any time. We have a few special interests and they get our attention and our pesos. We don’t have a lot of superfluous stuff, first of all because we don’t want it and secondly, no place to store it. What we do have is the best for what we do and what we want; Egret, camera equipment and Gracie.

Lets talk about boats for just a minute. We have written a number of times, if you buy a boat for the skills and probable destinations you are comfortable with today, and trade next year when you know more, and again the year after, you will soon go broke and will tire of it all. It pays to buy beyond your skills and grow to it rather than weed and feed like we did with camera gear over the years. Fortunately we didn’t make the same mistake with boats.

The Jeep gang had Easter brunch at the Red Cliff’s Lodge. It is a working ranch and hotel with cabins a 15-minute drive east of town. Downstairs is a multi room museum with movie memorabilia from the movie industries’ treks to Moab over the years. Along with the memorabilia is a narrated short film from local industry pioneers. The first movie, Stagecoach, was a John Ford production made in 1939. From 1949 on a movie was made in Moab nearly every year. The last was Transformers: Age of Extinction made in 2014. Memorable movies were: Wagon Master with John Wayne in 1949, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1988, Thelma and Louise in 1990 (we had lunch one day on the trail at Thelma and Louise Point where they drove a Thunderbird off the cliff overlooking the Colorado), Mission Impossible II in 1999, Star Trek in 2008 and The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp in 2013. In all there were 52 movies made in the Moab area. The best quote from the short film was: the movie industry takes only pictures and leaves only money.

Today was the first trail day with the Jeep Gang. We started easy, well, sorta easy on a run called Fins n’ Things. Both Mary and I ran Fins last year and it is much changed. Obstacles have become <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>more difficult from folks’ tires digging out the sand below the obstacles. There was one ledge only 2 in our group of 5 made it up. We didn’t. Mary got a few killer shots but they weren’t of Gracie. She shot these thru the windshield. This one is my favorite. The yellow Jeep are folks from Georgia who were in front of us all day. This shot was taken after the Fins trail on a fin* called Little Lion’s Back. There are a couple serious up n’ downs on the backside.

*What’s called a fin here is a relatively narrow, sorta rectangular slick rock with ramps on both ends. In some places like Arches National Park, fins are lined up next to each other like a loaf of bread with spaces in between slices.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>The second trail with the gang was a little more challenging. It was a combination of 3 trails culminating in Wipe Out Hill. WOH is a serious downhill with two steps and the return is up a series of bumps and a ledge at the top. We went downhill without any issues but on the way back up we got stuck. After 3 tries a friend spotted us and told us to steer to ‘driver’/left and up we went. I was mad at myself for not seeing the line. Anyhow, we’re learning.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Lunch was at a flat spot near Terminator Towers. There was a half moon over the towers so we had to shoot that.

So it was another day driving on sandy trails, a few bumps, lunch and a chat, then finish. Of course at 1600 to 1700 it is cocktail hour at a revolving venue between motorhomes. We even hosted one at Bubba. We put out the awning and attached a sun shade to that.

The other day we drove to Salt Lake City and picked up our youngest son and his family (the Movie Star and the ex-LRP – Little Rice Picker – now 9 and he isn’t a LRP any more). We rented a camper to tow behind Bubba for their stay so that picked up we returned to Moab. We took them on their first off-road trip. It began easy, then a few bumps and ended at Wipe Out Hill we described earlier. They did fine and seem up for more.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>One thing we take for granted is the scenery here in red rock country. It is spectacular. Here’s a snap of MS and Kenny on a trail called 7 Mile Rim. Check out the giant hoodoo in front. Crazies actually jump from the ledge to the cap on top. Jumping down isn’t that difficult but jumping up on the return is a bit shaky. One misstep and you have a while to contemplate splat city to think how stupeed it was to attempt the jump in the first part, and then missing. Darwin wasn’t wrong.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Leaving the giant hoodoo, the group took a trail called Long Canyon out of the interior. There were a lot of switchbacks and downhill but no obstacles. A giant rock fallen over the trail near the bottom is pretty cool. I don’t think a single car can pass <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>underneath without thinking – I wonder what would happen if it slipped.

And then it snowed. Can you believe snow in mid April? In Moab? Well, actually we were driving on a simple trail 35 miles north of Moab and it was a little higher elevation. We have been there before and we wanted to show the family the Indian pictographs and petroglyphs from 3 different eras. Coming <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>from Bangkok* it was a bit different walking in a light snowfall. They wuz freezing! Then it was off to Sego, an abandoned mining town a few miles up a dirt road. The elevation was a <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>little higher yet and the snow became heavier. This was the first time our daughter in law, Siriwan, had seen a snowfall along with young Kenny. Kenny was running around making snowballs. We had a great time. Our son is a car aficionado and he found an old abandoned car full of bullet holes.

*Bangkok has two seasons; way hot and even hotter.

So anyhow, we’ve been playing every day doing something. It has been raining last night thru today. It’s a good soaking rain. In this part of the world the runoff is on its way to Lake Powell and ultimately, California. Poor California has been drier than dust so the water is a big deal. We gotta keep the almonds coming you know.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>We’ll leave you with a couple shots. We have been remiss with flower shots so here’s one beauty lit with the last of the afternoon sun. The last shot is one from a week ago when we were with friends. We used the big lens to reach out because we couldn't get any closer. We were driving on a canyon trail just before dark. The last bit of sun was filtering thru a small opening in the red rocks. What made this shot special is a few Jeeps drove thru while we were parked kicking up dust. The Jeep's dust is what illuminated the background and turned the shot from good to very good.

Ciao.

Egret is listed for sale on the PAE website. Her details are shown along with photos and the price. Take a look if you are interested in a VERY GOOD sea boat at a great price. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAR5wK-sWRs&feature=youtu.be

 

April 3, 2015
Position: Canyonlands RV Park, Slip 78, Moab, Utah

Hello mis amigos, the Egret crew is high and very dry here in the high desert. This is very different than boating but again it isn’t. Boating is a new adventure every day unless of course you are a dock weenie. Even a DW is better than living on dirt. Mary and I have been taking daily Jeep rides on different off-road trails, which is sorta like dinghy exploring in a place we have never been.

I’ll try to describe trails in very lay terms. The easy trails are just that. A simply modified Jeep like Gracie is like an ocean capable boat in the Intracoastal. You don’t need an ocean capable boat in the Intracoastal but its still kinda nice. All we do is drop the tire pressure to 15lbs and she will go thru anything. The easy trails don’t have difficult obstacles, just soft sand and a few shallow water crossings on some trails. Easy trails could be done in a suv 4wd or common all wheel drive. The lesser cars would only need a drop in tire pressure and it wouldn’t be a problem. Easy trails are fun and most of them near Moab are beautiful beyond beautiful. The best part is the trails are deserted for the most part, just like every cruiser’s dream is a deserted anchorage to enjoy the sights by yourselves.

The more difficult trails are just that. Now you move into Jeep only territory (if you are practical – you can put wings on a pig but you can’t make it fly). Difficult in this area are ledges to climb or steep downhills to stay on the trail. The most difficult obstacles require an experienced spotter to guide you up or down the ledge or drop. We are not experienced. We are beginners, coastal cruisers, but we are learning. Some day we will be spotting for others but that will come down the road. In time we will give taller ledges a go once we feel we have the skills, like moving offshore for distances that early on seemed ‘not for us’. It’s important to not give up improving your skills and compromise. Compromise leads to more compromise and that in turn leads in routine, which in the big picture is as I wrote recently quoting another long distance cruiser, “a jail for dreams”.

From more difficult trails the next step is extreme and we’re not interested. We never felt we did anything even close to extreme in Egret’s boating to date and I will say we will not do anything extreme in Jeeping. The risks verses the rewards aren’t worth it. We do what makes us happy, not what other’s think. This is a big lesson to learn when it comes to boating or Jeeping. Do what you will to make yourselves happy, not to please or impress others.

Tomorrow is going to be a Very Good Day. Why you say? Hummmm? Last year we met a group of retirees who took us under their wing and included us in their group and showed us the ropes. Of course they showed, actually we did it on our own, how to mush our first Jeep. We had such a good time, not the mushing, that we can’t wait for them to return in a little over a week from now.

To share that enthusiasm we have been trying to recruit a group of long distance cruisers to join us in our off at-sea play. Long distance cruisers don’t necessarily have to talk about boats while they are together. It is the closeness we feel without a word spoken and a respect we have for each other that is difficult to describe so we won’t. The first to buy in are a well-known long distance couple. We’ll call them S&L. S&L arrived in Moab today. Tomorrow we’ll do our first trail. It is an easy trail that is paved at first, then we leave the road for a gravel, deep sand road that begins high in the mountains with snow patches and winds down into a valley with multiple stream crossings for a total distance of about 60 miles. The scenery is spectacular.

We first met S&L thru photography, not boating even though we knew of each other. Because of the credibility we mentioned before it clicked. S is much more skilled in photography than Mary or I but it doesn’t matter. Neither photography, nor long distance boating is a competition. We do either to make ourselves happy. We look to S as a photography mentor and they look to Mary and I as a 4wd mentor. I can’t explain how happy it makes us to help S&L find their way in another venue for freedom and adventure. And the best part is we can do it together.

There is another thing about long distance boaters you probably don’t know. It isn’t always easy. We meet in far flung places for a few days, a few weeks or if it is a winter port, over the winter. We make quick friendships because it is necessary. It won’t be long before we go our different ways so we make the most of every day, week, etc. Here’s what you don’t know unless you have done it. Remember the unspoken respect? We could meet a year, 2 years or 5 years later and we take up where we left off and we’re happy to see each other.

So what we’re saying is; we will Jeep and photograph together now and again and when that’s done we will go our own ways boating or whatever venue we choose. When its time to Jeep together, its like meeting a boat you met before in a way far away anchorage somewhere once again. How cool is that? It’s all about endless way cool mis amigos. It sure beats jail.

Moab is a town of 5000 hardy folks who live here year around. During the season the town swells to 20,000 or more. Moab is all about adventure. The different adventure groups include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking on the slick rock trails, dirt bike riding on the trails, ATV’s and Jeep types.

Today I had breakfast at Moab Diner, the world’s best diner while Gracie’s rock sliders* were being installed. When I arrived, 5 modified Land Rovers were leaving for the trails. Imagine 5 Land Rovers running at the same time, in the same spot? Amazing!

Of course the Land Rover cheap shot was for our Kiwi buddy, Dickiedoo who loves Land Rovers.

*Rock sliders are steel pipes that begin behind the front fender and continue to in front of the rear fender below the doors. Sliders keep naughty rocks out of the shiny sheet metal when you are all tilty an to use the slider as an apex to rotate around tight rocks, sorta like a mid-ship spring line warping off a dock.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>The tables at Moab Diner are covered with Jeep paraphernalia. This is our favorite table. Moab Diner is the favorite of the locals and people in the know. All along Main Street are different restaurants but The Diner gets all our business. Today I had a Lion Back breakfast of eggs, ham, hash browns and an English muffin. Lion Back was a very famous obstacle. It is a Very High slickrock hump that is crazy scary. A couple years ago some kids in a Suburban gave it a go and drove off the edge. It didn’t go particularly well for them and Lion Back was closed. I’m very happy for the closure that means I will never have to try because I don’t do well with heights. If you want to know the meaning of fear, goggle Lion Back Moab u tube video or something like that and you’ll see.

Speaking of goggle, if you have any interest in rocking off-road in this part of the world, goggle www.wayalife.com, U Tube Videos. Scroll down to the 2011, 6 part series about Moab. Series 2 thru 6 are the most interesting. Some of the trails are more extreme than others. We did about half last year. It’s a guy thing. When you boys are alone check it out and crank up the volume. It’s way cool and it is no different than boating. Begin with baby steps and take if from there. Mary and I both began driving to get from A to B. Same as you. The first 20 minutes of Egret ownership we didn’t know for sure how to get off the dock because the tide had swung. You will probably be more fortunate because the likelihood of that much tide is rare. Where you go next is up to you. Just like us, just like you.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>OK, so we spent a few days with S&L. We did the trail we mentioned the first day. In the end it took all day until well after dark because the scenery was spectacular and then came a fiery sunset.When you have two cars with photographers the going is pretty slow. Of course we stopped now and again to play. The girls looked like sisters hanging out <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>on this bad rock overlooking a canyon valley. As the sun set it was hard to leave the last canyon. Mary’s snap is of Alfred Hitchcock’s rock in moonlight with the last of the light illuminating a second face on top. (Of course we gave the canyon wall outline its name.)

The next couple days we did more trails. The scenery was diverse but the heavy red dust was omnipresent. It was BAD. One day S&L led most of the time so they could see instead of driving thru dust fog. We followed well behind in Gracie with the air on recirc. One highlight was a short training secession in a canyon wash complete with multi-level rocks. The first thing we tried with S&L’s coastal cruiser Toyota was a wheel lift to <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>demonstratehow to purposely lift a tire over rocks to clear the running gear. The technique works like magic and it allows skilled drivers to negotiate rocky areas that seem impossible. Next was a high wheel lift to see if the undercarriage would clear when the front tire left the rock and returned to the wash.
Getting hung up is called high centered when both wheels have no traction. Its Really Bad when all 4 wheels have no traction. (Before S&L arrived they replaced the original factory mall mom girl tires with heavy-duty taller tires).

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>So when S did the high wheel lift and drive over with zero issues it was time for Devil’s Crack. It is typical of wide cracks to ride the tire sidewalls along the edges with a spotter keeping you in line. Devil’s Crack wasn’t extreme and only one spot required a sidewall run. He took it easy while I was spotting and he never missed a beat. It was way cool. Sorta like your first big waves. After the fact it is kinda fun.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>So after a long day on a dusty trail, what was next? Night photography of course. Night photography is new to me but I’ve read enough to give it a go. There are a few tricks and once you learn those it is really fun. We would shoot and shoot then move to another spot. We were on a road paralleling the Colorado River. The moon was bright so most of the stars were hidden but it still was fun and something new to learn. This shot was my favorite. It was a 20 second exposure with moonlight illuminating the foreground.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>So after the trails in Moab we headed to Monument Valley farther south in Utah for another go at sunset photography and night photography. <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Mary captured this beautiful Monument Valley light at sunset with a long telephoto shot compressing the distant buttes. He and I went out for night photography later in the evening. Here again we had a lot of moonlight hiding the stars but it was fun and another learning experience. This is my favorite shot from the night session. It was another wide angle shot. Because of so much light the exposure was only 5 seconds. The clouds masked most of the stars; however, can you pick out the constellation?

For your photo-heads, here’s the night deal technique as I barely know it. Focus the lens manually by focusing at infinity on something like a bright light, the moon or even a star if your lens has a fast f stop. For the last photo, I used a powerful flashlight to illuminate the rocks and focused on those in the live view mode, then turned off the flashlight and took the shot. Even with different framing the focus doesn’t have to be changed once it is set.

Night photos are taken with the lenses f stop at the widest it will go; ie, f1.4, f2.8, f3.5, f4 etc. to let in the most light. ISO is also set manually. Most of these shots were ISO 1250. If it were darker the ISO would have to be bumped higher or the shutter speed longer. For my skills, I must experiment with shutter speed. If a snap is too bright, reduce the speed, or the opposite. The key is not to have such a long exposure the stars become oblong. Bright and sharp is the key. The camera must be on a tripod. It is best to shoot in mirror up mode with a remote shutter trigger for minimal camera shake. Also, any image stabilization must be turned off.

So now back in Moab. The Gang has shown up earlier than I expected. We haven’t done any trails yet but we are already in last year’s routine of snacks and a splash of spirits at 1600 to 1700.

This week thru the weekend is the Jeep Easter Safari. It’s a happening. Typically they have 500-600<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Jeeps registered in the Safari with that many again between trail leaders and their helpers plus folks like ourselves waiting to get the trails back. There are well over 1,000 Jeeps in a very small geographic area and its wonderful. The far majority of those are modified from mild to wild. Here is one that is a bit on the wild side. One thing we did last year was put Ruby (RIP) on an articulation machine. What this does is lift opposite ends of the Jeep until the two tires on the ground begin to lift off.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Why this is important in the rocks is to keep the hood level as possible and the suspension takes up the slack climbing over rocks, logs, whatever. The more articulation the better. Last year Rubi scored a 560. This year Gracie scored a 760 with a better lift kit. However, there was a little left on the table because the lift was adjusted to keep the tires from hitting the underside of the front fenders. Here’s a money shot of Gracie with both front wheels planted and the LR lifted into full articulation. Below the driver’s front and rear doors are the rock sliders we mentioned before.

A “little left on the table” has a cure. There are 2 bottom stops to keep the tire from running into the fender. If you replace the factory fenders with way bad aluminum fenders and remove a bottom stop there is even MORE articulation. So today and tomorrow is the equivalent of the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show of Jeeping right here in Moab. There are three acres of Jeep stuff including 4 manufactures of aluminum fenders. So we ordered the best in my opinion, and they should arrive early next week. Oh happy daze! So the fenders and a few more goodies from the show and to arrive in the next couple weeks and Gracie’s transformation will be complete. She will be high latitude equivalent.

There is a parallel between Jeeping and Egret’s transformation. Egret got the best of everything she needed. We could have added many thousands more but she didn’t need it. Quite a few of the Jeeps in town are loaded with so much junk its amazing. It makes the owners happy so that’s ok. However, for real Jeeping or real boating, superfluous stuff is just that. Simple is better. Less to break.

Less to break was a subject last night at the 1600 gathering while we were solving the problems of the world. Actually its our world, we leave politics and depressing news out of it. There were 6 couples. Five of them have large motorhomes and we have Bubba. You should have heard them whining about stuff breaking on their land yachts. After a bit of listening to that whinefest, I told them their tears were rotting my hiking boots. That got a laugh and ended the conversation. So that was good.

One last thought and we’ll fire this posting into space. When we first met the group it was like old home week. A couple of them asked about our summer. We told them we flew back to Egret and returned to Florida. It was interesting that not a single person wanted to know more than that. End of story. So when it’s your time, you will soon learn the people who are interested in your latest travels <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>are not your former friends and associates. It will be other boaters. And you get closer to that group by the day, month and year. Other folks have other interests.

We’ll leave you with this great shot from MS. We believe it looks best as a black and white. The photo was taken after sunset in Onion Creek Canyon outside Moab.

Ciao.

Egret is listed for sale on the PAE website. Her details are shown along with photos and the price. Take a look if you are interested in a VERY GOOD boat at a great price.
N46 Egret video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAR5wK-sWRs&feature=youtu.be

Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.

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