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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 in touch 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 are over…for now.“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 with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.

 

November 19, 2013
Position: Heading for California

<em>Egret</em><em>Egret</em>Hello mis amigos, the Egret crew is on the road. Our first stop was visiting Mary’s brother and wife in central Florida. We did a tourist deal and visited a local spring with man-eating manatees. At first they seemed like normal folks with mamma nuzzling papa. Then we saw the real deal when seconds after this photo was snapped the vicious manatee chowed big time on the poor diver. Was that cool or what?

<em>Egret</em>Currently we’re at Scott Jr’s in Tallahassee, Florida with Jr, lovely Rachel and the Grand Kid, Asher. Of course we have to show a picture of the grandson. So anyhow, the wild man is taking a nap so I joined him then couldn’t quit thinking about boats so let’s talk about something we’ve never mentioned.

So let’s go back a few days when we were staying with K&A&E, (E is a Boat Kid – 3 1/2). K&A&E spent an unprecedented 5 months last summer on N46 Anita Cay getting as far north as Maine from Ft Lauderdale. It was the first time that K ever took time like this but in the end all it cost them was money. What they gained as a family and individually was priceless. In any case they ran out of time and their precious is stuck in the Chesapeake and they want it home. K has never been as busy as he is now. E is back in school. What’s next?

There is a way. Mutual friends, Milt & Judy – N47 Bluewater – have good friends that have been delivery captains since boats had engines. They have more miles than any 2 N Owners combined* and many of those miles have been up and down the east coast of the U.S. This time of year Jerry and Wendy Taylor are available so today they flew to the Chesapeake with K to look over A/C, learn her idiosyncrasies and will deliver her to Ft Lauderdale. So now K can keep working and not miss a beat and their precious will be back in FLL where they can prep her for Bahamas fishing in a few months. So that’s pretty cool.

*Looking up their site www.tayloryachtdelivery.com we see they have over 200,000 miles in 30 years with no accidents, injuries or insurance claims. That says it all. I doubt there are few businesses of any kind in the U.S. that can say the same.

<em>Egret</em>While we were visiting with T&E on the left coast of Florida a week ago, we spotted our next boat. Of course ours may have solar panels, extra gas cans and extensive spares but it is the essence of the next boat. We’ll name it Attack At Dawn or perhaps Egret Marauder or something like that. So what do you think, eh?

Speaking of Tut and Eddie, remember when we mentioned the Yahoo Groups; Cruisers Network Online last posting?

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Cruisers_Network_Online/

15 VofE’rs signed up. So they are the smart ones. How about you? It’s free and you’ll learn and make new friends with shared interests, etc.

OK, so as the Egret crew enters the boating doldrums except for flashbacks for a while, there is a great blog from folks who Did The Deal and are Doing The Deal, big time. So after an extensive Alaska cruise James and Jennifer came down the Pacific coast and turned right. Currently they are in Whangarei, New Zealand. James and Jennifer are cruising in a somewhat different way; sorta like a work – release program. James works intense, many hour weeks at a stretch where they have quality internet service and then take off for a bit to relax and cruise. So anyhow check it out, it’s worth your while.

http://mvdirona.com/maps/n2kscripts/production/subscribe.html

<em>Egret</em><em>Egret</em>OK, so I’ve been lazy and not written anything for a while. However, a lot has happened. We left Scott Jr’s for the hop over to New Orleans to visit NAR* alumnus, Bill and Ellen from N46 Satchmo. Where else would you find Mardi Gras beads on the pillows? I We visited last year on the way west as well and this time it was just as much fun. Bill is a budding photographic gearphile and we enjoyed talking about that. B&E even took us to a sculpture park and we snapped a few there. Check out the photographer. She’s great. So we just shot the breeze and enjoyed their company.

While at the Ft Lauderdale* boat show we met a couple who have a boat on order that had never heard of the NAR – Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. Next year will be the 10-year anniversary so it’s understandable. For those of you who haven’t heard of the NAR; in mid May 2004, 18 boats left for Gibraltar via Bermuda and the Azores sponsored by PAE. Bruce Kessler made a video of the rally from tapes supplied by the different boats. Bruce said that even “Stephen Spielberg couldn’t make a movie from this”. However, Bruce did and it is a lot of fun. Free copies are available by e-mailing amy@nordhavn.com.

<em>Egret</em><em>Egret</em>*While at the boat show we snapped a few pictures from the water. The first is our old house where a new megarocketboat is docked where Egret used to be. The sunset shot was our view. See what we gave up to go cruising???? It is worth every minute. Well, OK, it wasn’t our house but we were just 11 miles away.

So after leaving Bill and Ellen we spent 3 long days heading west on Interstate 10, probably the most boring interstate in the world. However, when the giant cactus with arms began appearing the trip was winding down and becoming more interesting than miles of nothing then miles of chrome and glass traffic delay then more nothing. We arrived at Bubba’s home for the past months before noon, then we checked in with the folks and went over to see how Bubba fared. Geesh, was Bubba and the camper covered with dirt or what? Of course I left the roof vent cracked for ventilation and the interior was full of dust as well. The good news was, I popped the hood, reattached the battery cables, turned the key to check the voltmeter, plenty of volts and hit the key. The engine started in a nano second as if we had left it an hour before. So that was good. What wasn’t usual was the thumping from the tires for the first 5 miles or so but in the end it rode just like before.

Within an hour after arriving at the campground, Bubba shined like new and Mary had the interior back up to speed. Bubba is now ticketyboo and back to usual with plenty of fresh food, a bit of cheap but good enough wine in the cupboard as well as a few bottles of suds in the fridge.

<em>Egret</em><em>Egret</em>The campground is in the Sedona, red rock area. Here’s a couple snaps taken from the car today.

So anyhow, we’re entering the Bubba exploring mode but water isn’t far from our minds. In fact, later this week we’ll be at a secret rendezvous to go over a few things you may be interested in. However, you’ll have to wait.

We have something new. Former collogue and long time friend, Andy Jones made this U Tube link from photographs of Egret set to music. Check it out just for fun.

Ciao.

Egret is for sale. http://youtu.be/AAR5wK-sWRs

 

November 4, 2013
Position: Heading west in Rubi.

Hello mis amigos, OK so where did the Egret crew go after visiting life long friends for a few days? To visit cruisers, of course. We met T&E in Georgetown , Bahamas our first winter aboard Egret. They have a super clean semi displacement powerboat they took as far south as Venezuela
<em>Egret</em>during their wanderings. More recently T&E spent 3 years moving between Cartagena (Columbia) and Panama via the Sanlu Blas Islands and prior to that they spent three years mainly between a marina base in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela (when Americans were welcome) and the ABC’s (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao). So anyhow, they are well traveled and now moderate a cruisers net from their boat or from their new to them dirt dwelling on the west coast of Florida . Of course their boat is in the back yard so it’s not so bad.

So here’s the deal on the net. If you currently have a boat, or will, and want to learn what the Smart Folks who have Done The Deal and are living The Life, you may join this group of over 1,200 cruisers at no cost and learn what you will.
Cruisers Network Online

Originating in 2006 and called the "Venezuelan Cruisers Group", it started as a means for cruisers in and around Venezuelato stay in touch and share information. During the past years as many cruisers headed to distant ports, it has expanded to include cruisers throughout the entire SW Caribbean, Pacific from Ecuador to Alaska, the ABCs, Colombia, Panama, the Med, Africa, and South Pacific. There are now over 1260 members, including circumnavigators, who regularly exchange information regarding their cruising experiences, immigration matters, safety and security issues, fuel prices, and other matters of mutual interest. Also of interest in the "Files" section are many Cruiser written Information Guides to various South and Central American countries and European waters.

To join the Cruisers Network Online go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Cruisers_Network_Online/

The past week we have been visiting friends and buying a few goodies for Egret. Our Iridium phone battery was down to 20% so we bought a new, larger capacity battery as a replacement. Also, we ordered the Lugger harmonic balancer/dampener for the front of the Happy Little Lugger as preventative maintenance. It’s going to be a real pain to get back to Icelandin the luggage but it is what it is and we’ll make it happen.

We got an e-mail from Maik who is watching the little lady and all is well. There has been some light snow in Isafjordur and a bit of wind but its no big deal. Leaving the boat is new for us and it’s a good feeling knowing it is being looked after as if we were there.

Last week we received a batch of e-mails from folks thanking us for the years of VofE and how they hope too, or are not able to, follow in Egret’s figurative wake but nevertheless it was nice to hear from folks who appreciate the effort. However, we should mention one thing that is important to us. We have no intention of buying a dirt dwelling after the sale of Egret and living a usual boring retiree life. VofE will continue until the sale and another version of VofE will continue including our coming boating plans in a much smaller boat as well as mixing it up with the Bubba Truck. Of course all of this is premature but don’t think the adventure will end, because it won’t.

<em>Egret</em>We had to watch TV for a bit and these critters in a barrel remind me of the talking heads doing their best to worry us into watching more with their doomsday approach to manfactured news.

OK, so while visiting cruising friends on the left coast of Floridawhat do you think we did? Well, we talked boats of course. And we watched about a jillion of their travel pictures. Unless you spend real time in places like T&E, you really don’t get more than a sniff of what the deal is really all about. We never get tired of seeing stuff like this because you can feel their enthusiasm for their wanderings and looking at them you can see they are right back there. For example, did you know there is an ancient German enclave buried in Venezuelathat didn’t even have a road until the 60’s? It is a complete German village in South America. Was that cool or what?

<em>Egret</em>Know what else was cool? T&E spent months anchored in a remote Venezuelan <em>Egret</em>archipelago of low islands living off the sea. The local navy folks didn’t have a boat. Their water came from cruisers like T&E. So the navy furnished lobsters for water. The pot luck beach parties were endless. Was that cool or what?Could you do that? Would you like to try? Other than talking boats and stuff we also went on a boat ride. Imagine that? T&E took Mary and I by dinghy from their home on the coast to a funky bar <em>Egret</em>up the Peace River. The Peace Riveris a throwback to Old Florida. There are few homes and river banks that haven’t <em>Egret</em>changed in a hundred years. Of course some things never change like this cormorant. Along the way there were dolphins, egret’s of every size, great blue herons, an indignent ospreyand even a half dozen roseate spoonbills feeding in the shallows.

The waterfront bar had a struggling garage band givingit a go but the atmosphere was fun among the tee shirts and shorts local crowd.There <em>Egret</em>were twotables of bikers, probably doctors and laywers. T&E brought Coco Bear (CCB), king of the docks along and he had fun checking out the local canines. So the five of us had a great time.

So what does all of this mean to you? Here’s the deal. T&E had vocations as different as they can be from Mary and I. Same with B&T we stayed with when we arrived back in Floridaand K&A we are staying with now. However, we all have a common bond and we don’t want anything from each other but their friendship and company. There is no hidden agenda on any sides. Boating gives you the privilege to meet folks from all walks of life as equals. That’s the point and why we feel so comfortable among this crowd.

Tomorrow is Boat Show Day. I’m sure there will be a few stories there.

The boat show is history. It was predictable, not that was a bad thing. It’s why we go. We met old friends, met some new folks and had a good time. Its one of the first times we didn’t buy Anything new. Imagine that? However we were looking at things for down the road and I’m sure we will spend plenty just as you have or will. The highlight of the show was meeting folks at the N. Owners party who either had Done The Deal and taken delivery, or Did The Deal and were waiting, and others who are trying to digest it all to make an informed decision. We never get tired of hearing folk’s adventures and plans to cruise here and there. One lady said she wants to circumnavigate (their boat is on order) and what makes me think there is a very good chance of this happening down the road is they plan to spend at least two years taking baby steps on the U.S. East Coast, then expanding to Bahamas cruising then off to the Caribbean. This makes sense because if you take off with grand plans without early experience, it can end up being an ordeal and not pleasure.

The usual suspects were there as well. Milt and Judy from N47 Bluewater, who took BW to Newfoundland and back to Florida this year, Mike from N50 Liberty Call who was a big help during the 2004 NAR, high mileage Don and Sharry from Starr, Kal, Anita and 4 year old boat kid Eileen from N46 Anita Cay who took their first long trip this summer from Florida to Maine, and even OMNI Bob from Ocean Marine Navigation who has been withEgret for years dispensing weather forecasting on the long hauls.

“The day before my 16th birthday, I was scrounging for eggs. It was another beautiful Bahamian day in the ExumaCaysLandand SeaPark, but I’d just made the alarming discovery that I didn’t have the ingredients necessary to make a birthday cake. We were a full day’s sail away from Staniel Cay, where I could buy eggs at the small store. Obviously, not having a cake would be catastrophic, so I decided to make a call on the VHF.

“Hello, my name is XX and I’m on sailing vessel XX in Warderick Wells*. Tomorrow I’m turning 16, but I don’t have any eggs to bake a cake. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to donate two eggs for the worthy cause, over. I could see my father cringing as I transmitted this message. I ended up receiving 95 eggs. Ninety of them came in powdered from in a huge can. The yellowish substance fascinated my father, who spent the rest of our journey incorporating it into every dish possible. Three came from a Dutch family, who wrapped them in foil and left them in the cockpit while we were out.

Suddenly drowning in eggs and enthusiasm, I had to turn down egg offers from cruisers for the rest of the day. I made another announcement on the VHF inviting all boats in the anchorage to my sweet 16 party, which was in a cabana on the white sandy beach the following day. For a spontaneous party on a deserted island, it drew a crowd. I introduced myself to the party goers as I handed out slices of chocolate cake. I received a big stack of cards (boat cards) from strangers as well as several trinkets and treasures that my guests had dug up for the occasion.

It’s the whimsical, unpredictable experiences like this that make cruising beautiful. The camaraderie and spirit of the boating community are what make a permanently salt-encrusted wardrobe and a coffin-size bunk worth it. If someone had told me before we set out aboard XX that 95 eggs would be the most heartwarming gift I could receive, I would never have believed it. But I would’ve been wrong.”

OK, I can’t stand it. The lesson is; isn’t Cruising Great?

*Warderick Wells and the Norman’s Cay area in the Exuma Island Chain are Mary’s and my favorite places in the Bahamas. They are the prettiest part of the chain. You can spend weeks dinghy exploring and hanging out on the white sand beaches in both spots, unless of course you have a silly schedule. Egret spent her first two winters in the Bahamasand we returned two years ago revisiting Normans Cay and Warderick Wells. Prior to Egret, we first discovered Normans and WW in Proud <em>Egret</em>Mary, our 32 Grand Banks.

Mary and I head west this week in Rubi with stops at her brothers, Scott Jr’s, boating friends in New Orleansand will then beat feet to Arizonaand pick up the Bubba Truck and get the camper re-commissioned. After that? Whatever we want.



Ciao.


 
Egret is for sale. scottflndrs@yahoo.com for details.

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

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