"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 latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.
November 26, 2014
Position: 24 57.92N 80 34.14W Slip L46, Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina, Islamorada, Florida Keys
Hello mis amigos, I was thinking the other day about a storm on this year’s trip from Iceland to Greenland. The storm was totally un-forecast without the slightest hint of weather on that day or days after. However it was very real. What triggered me to write something about this was a conversation we had last night at dinner with a nice boater couple weekending on their large sportfish.
In the VofE posting from that date we didn’t make much of the weather because we don’t and we take times like this in stride. It wasn’t fun but its part of the deal if you play in high latitudes. High latitudes isn’t reality TV but we’ve said that before.
The couple are nearing re-retirement and looking for a bit of adventure which is right up our, and hopefully your alley. He said they would like to follow Egret’s route to Iceland then to the Faeroes (Islands) and on to Scotland. However they are somewhat miss-guided in what they believe the capabilities of their boat actually are. A sportfish is built to catch fish, run quickly to the fishing area to troll and return to a dock. A typical sportfish as is this one has a deep forefoot and is flat aft. This allows the captain to easily spin the boat on its forefoot and keep the transom square to the fish during the battle. A sportfish is much better for sport fishing than Egret or any full displacement boat. Full displacement boats are designed to do something very different which is cover great distances comfortably and efficiently.
On occasion you may see sportfish on anchor but basically it’s a rare event because most don’t have a dedicated battery bank and must rely on the generator from the time they leave the dock to the next dock. Incidentally, sport fishing is great fun and we used to own a small sportfish so we’re not sportfish bashing by any means.
Back to the weather off the East Greenland coast. Before we begin, I’ll explain the reason I’m writing about this particular event. The first was, last night we explained to the couple if they got caught in a storm like this in their SF, it would be BAD. Their single option would be to round up and present the bow to the waves and if the storm lasted 1 day or a week they need to have the patience, crew knowledge and fuel to ride it out. A semi-displacement, flat transom, flat bottom aft with relatively small, high speed rudders CAN NOT present the transom to the seas like these. They would most likely broach on the FIRST WAVE and that would be BAD. However, I don’t believe any of you would attempt a high latitude trip like this in a sportfish or a similar bottom trawler so this lesson is really for them.
The second lesson is what we did about it ourselves.
I suppose I should explain the seas. They were very large, and more important – very powerful coming from the stbd stern quarter driven by a ton of wind. Not only were they large, each wave set was in 3’s, then a minute or so of relative calm then 3 more. This lasted for a very long day. Twice early on before making running changes I nearly ran out of nerve and rounded up into the waves. Here’s what we did and it will help you when it’s Your Time if you are in a situation like this.
First of all there is a reason we didn’t change course and keep the seas directly on the stern. They were so powerful it wouldn’t make much difference. The slightest off-center would send a full displacement boat on the same type of ride we experienced. At least our ride was predictable. Second, once we reached the turn-in into Prince Christian Sound at the SE tip of Greenland, we would be beam to the seas and they were simply too big and powerful. Beam-to could be BAD.
Describing the wave sets, the first wave would lift the stern high and we would surf relatively straight down the wave, however she would turn slightly near the bottom. The second wave would spin the stern into a near broach on the lower portion of the wave and we would slide down the wave somewhat sideways as it rose, then the rudder would begin to recover and straighten the boat somewhat before the crest. The third wave was a mixed result but basically the third wave wasn’t quite as powerful and by the time it passed under, we were relatively straight. Then came a few more minor waves and the next threesome would repeat themselves.
At the time she was averaging in the mid to high 9 knot range which is well beyond full displacement speeds with her waterline length.
Here is what we did and what you need to know. First of all we’ll explain the Naiad Multi Sea II controls. In normal situations with seas on or forward of the beam, we keep the two electronic dials at the same number, lower or higher depending on the seas. We always run the lowest amount of gain for the most efficiency. In seas aft of the beam we add 1 number higher to the roll angle knob – right knob – roll rate and the more dramatic knob is the left knob. This works to a point until the seas get really large then it pays to dial back both knobs. This may seem counter intuitive but what happens is eventually the fins begin steering the boat and things deteriorate quickly. In this case we did two things that were important: we dialed back the fins so they were nearly centered acting basically like bilge keels and greatly increased rpm to give maximum water flow over the keel, fins and rudder surface*. It still wasn’t pretty but she managed just fine and toward the entrance to PCS we were able to fall off a little as the seas began to be less steep and powerful.
*Its sorta like riding a bicycle in soft sand. If you pedal slowly you get the wibble-wobbles and eventually down you go. If you pedal quickly, you be laughin’.
The Florida Keys have gotten cold. Yup, we had to wear jeans, long sleeve shirts and even… even….gasp!….shoes the other day. And it’s been windy. Even in the wind we couldn’t stand it and had to fire up our buddy’s flats skiff and take a nostalgia trip to our old neighborhood and see if there were any critters we could photograph. We took the precaution to wrap the cameras carefully below the main seat hatch and it’s a good thing because we got soaked on the ride there and back.
Our old homestead isn’t nearly as well landscaped as during our years but it’s still pretty nice. So we idled to the end of the canal and Mary spotted a manatee enjoying the warm water. Mary is a manatee whisper so she coaxed it close to the drifting skiff to take this shot. It was a struggle but we managed to get a rope around it’s tail and we towed it back to the marina and popped it on the barbie for a marina pot-luck dinner. Tasted like chicken.
In between, MS snapped a few birds hanging out in the neighborhood. This small white heron flew out of the mangroves. Next up was a pair of brown pelicans getting under way.
Its nice to see pelicans again diving on baitfish on the bay side and ocean side flats. Often they work in teams of 2 or 3. The pelicans circle until they spot small baitfish called pilchards in white spots of slightly deeper water scattered among the grass flats. The first pelican hits one side of the baitfish school sending the bait to the other side of the pool and a split second later the second and sometimes a third pelican hit the corralled bait. Pretty cool. When we are live bait fishing we watch pelicans diving soon after daybreak, then pole* the skiff close to the white spot and drop a 10’ net on their little silver heads. Sometimes a single throw can gather enough bait for the day.
A well designed flats skiff floats shallow and it easily polled by a person on ‘the stick’ – a 21’ carbon fiber push pole – standing on a raised platform – poling platform – over the engine. The angler stands on the raised foredeck. The engine is trimmed out of the water and you pole along quietly sight fishing in as little as 6” of water depending on the size and design of the skiff. So you actually see the fish you are trying to catch. We have caught tarpon over 100lbs in less than 2’ of water. Florida Bay and the Oceanside flats are a pretty amazing place.
This flats skiff* is the World’s Best all-around shallow water and near-shore skiff. Hummm, why does this logo look familiar?
*Do you want to hear a way cool story? This skiff is the second identical skiff for the owner. The first was about 3 months older. The owner is a friend who ordered his skiff around 1998, just guessing. He and a buddy, another identical skiff with his son and my fishing partner and I decided it would be a good idea to run the skiffs from Key West to the Dry Tortugas, islands 75nm west of Key West. The skiffs had 54 gallon tanks with 175hp outboards, but as a precaution we refueled from jerry jugs and stashed extra fuel on the Marquesas Islands, 25nm west of Key West before the open water stretch to the Tortugas.
The only problem was the weekend we were going to make the run the wind was puffing pretty good. In fact, way good. So we decided to run to the Marquesas ‘just to see’ – you know how that goes. So we did. The run was in protected shallow water except a 6nm channel nearing the Marquesas and it wasn’t that bad.
The 49nm run to the Tortugas was Not Protected. We got killed. However we made it and no one in the anchorage could believe these three skiffs with 6 whackos made the run across. So two boats set up for dinner and my buddy and I left and returned less than an hour later with more than enough grouper and snapper for dinner. So we fine dined and drank rum and cheap but good enough wine and toasted life and anything else we could think of. That night we slept in the boats on inflatable mattresses anchored in 2’ of water to escape the bugs. Then came Sunday morning. And we had to return. Except all these guys decided it was better to leave the skiffs and fly back to Key West on a float plane to ensure their survival. There was no way I was going to leave my precious for a week and hope everything was OK when we returned. Particularly not with all the degenerate commercial fishing boats in the harbor to escape the weather.
Anyhow, off we three went back. It was crazy wild. Giant waves. Lotsa spray and heavy water. The coolest weather story was when we approached Rebecca Shoals before the Marquesas. Here the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean trade spit over a shallow rise. The waves are tall, near vertical and VERY close together. We had to cross the shallows. My buddy sitting next to me shouted, “hey man, we have to slow down”! I shouted back, “we can’t”! So we argued back and forth but in the end I slowed to make him happy. We pierced the first wave which shot green water about 4’ over the deck. I ducked behind the small console windscreen and he got a full frontal of solid water. It was way cool. The cooler lid got ripped off, hit the console then hit him on the way overboard. He sat there sorta dazed with his sunglasses all wiggly. He didn’t move. Didn’t even turn to look for the hat that exploded off his head. The cockpit was full to the gunwales with water. So we drove thru the maelstrom, the self-bailing cockpit cleared and I decided to go back thru and retrieve the cooler lid. So we talked about that for a bit and in the end we picked up the lid and made it back to the Marquesas.
Now it gets interesting.
Back at the Marquesas the boat with his son peeled off to retrieve the jerry jugs. It was so windy the other boat and I shut down to hear each other’s shouts. His new OMC (Johnson) engine* wouldn’t restart so we took it in tow. Nearing the far side of Boca Grand Channel, the 6nm stretch, his buddy got the engine sorta running on a few cylinders but at wide open throttle turning about 2500 rpm. We told him to keep it running and when we got in the lee of Boca Grand Key we would untie them and they could try and make it on their own. Once in the lee, the boat owner was laying on the foredeck untying the line and my buddy was untying our end. Then it happened. There was a muffled boom and their engine exploded in a ball of orange fire. The engine cowl blew off and pressurized fuel was igniting into a blowtorch-like flame behind the engine. The guy at the helm split big time in a perfect dive and swam toward our boat. The owner jumped to his feet looking around and didn’t know what to do next. In the meantime, I was on the foredeck with a fire extinguisher and my buddy put our boat in gear and prop-wrapped the tow rope (not his fault – stuff happens very quickly in times like this). We were drifting. When our engine stalled the owner dove toward our boat and we got them both aboard. By now his boat was burning rapidly with lotsa black smoke; first the aluminum poling platform leg melted on one side and drooped, then the fire spread quickly down the stbd side after the primer bulb and fuel filter melted heating things up a bit. The engine was down and because it was so windy, the boat pointed downwind and drifted toward (uninhabited) Boca Grand Key eventually grounding in shallow water. I snapped a few pics with a small camera we kept aboard for fishing shots. When the fire reached the waterline we left the boat to burn and headed back.
So the owner lost his new precious, his fly rods, spinning gear, tackle, shoes, shirt, car keys, phone, wallet, basically everything but the shorts he was wearing. His buddy was dressed and saved his wallet and car keys but lost everything else.
So we took Rich and Allan back to the marina. While a locksmith was coming from Key West to make a new car key we bought Rich a tee shirt and went to dinner. He even got served barefoot because it was the laid back Keys. Or perhaps we 6 soggy dudes looked like we shouldn’t be fooled with. Then we started on Rich. In the end it was friendly humor that brought him out of his blue funk and we had a great time on his nickel asking if his favorite song was Light My Fire, food was Baked Alaska, etc. You get the picture.
Early the next week we had tee shirts made with Rich’s boat burning on the front and above that wrote; “Richard Fireball K….. “. Across the back we wrote “Tough Love” and below that a list of favorite foods, songs, etc. For Allan we did the same except across the front was printed “Allan Swan Dive R…..” The group met a later for a commemorative dinner and re-lived the entire episode presenting Rich and Allan with their shirts. Rich’s framed tee shirt hangs in his office to this day.
*At the time, OMC was in the process of going out of business. OMC bet the farm on Ficht Fuel Injection technology that was a big looser. It took forever to get a new engine from OMC and the claim paid. However it is nice to see that even after all these years, Rich still has the replacement skiff behind his Keys house.
That’s one of my favorite Keys stories. There are a few more but you’ll have to wait.
OK, we’ve been playing the past days so we need to wrap up this posting and fire it into space. We have another postings worth of stories and pohtographs in the wings. However, we’ll leave you with this way cool story. A couple days ago, Mary and I ran a flats skiff over to Flamingo, the area in Florida Bay south of the Florida mainland to snap a few shots of wading birds and ospreys. The first part of the trip ended in shooting small birds like these terns sitting on a channel marker. Markers like this line the shallow water channels thru the flats. Some channels are less than 2’ deep at low tide and the flats are exposed or nearly exposed. It is a paradise for fishing birds and wading birds like this great egret lifting off. I Later we polled around a corner and Mary shot these cormorants taking flight.
It is a long run to Flamingo so we headed for the park headquarters for lunch and to take a break. On the return the sun had fallen to the west and it was a perfect tide for ospreys to fish, we had the sun at our back and the breeze on the bow. It was perfect.
We began the day with the monster lens on a tripod with a gimbal head, a real la di da affair. However, we tried our best but it doesn’t work in a small boat that is moving. In the end, I hand held all 8 pounds of lens and camera and fired away. We managed to get my favorite all time osprey shots ever. One thing that made it so special is I grew up with these birds so to capture what we see, or think we see in an image was super special.
There are so many small fish in the surrounding flats that catching fish is a very quick affair for even fledgling ospreys. The ospreys don’t even bother to circle high and dive, they simply fly a few feet over the water, snatch a fish and return to a channel marker to dine. The two most common fish we see them eating are jack crevelle with a yellow tail and fins and common mullet.
We’ll show just 3 shots with different fish and situations. The first is an osprey with a large mullet flying to the next marker. When it lifted off a marker as we passed, it nearly hit the water until it could get going becauseof the weight of the fish. The next photograph is an osprey just lifting off a marker with it’s afternoon snack. The last is my favorite, a near impossible shot of an osprey flying into the wind carrying its fresh caught jack crevelle. The photograph is full frame which means the bird filled the entire frame and isn’t cropped like most bird photographs. If you’ve noticed, ospreys always eat the head first, perhaps to get at the blood rich gill area first.
So we’ll leave you with this parting shot as we exit Tin Can Channel. Can you see the last osprey of the day on a channel marker in the distance? The next posting will have more Florida Keys tales of critters and surrounds.
So that was one day of endless way cool, our new life goal. It’s a pretty good life. Have you given any thought to doing this yourself? It isn’t bad.
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.
November 14, 2014
Position: 24 57.92N 80 34.14W Slip L46, Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina, Islamorada, Florida Keys
Hello mis amigos, long time – no write. Mary and I have been super busy with emptying Egret of ‘stuff’ we collected the past years along with extra clothes, etc. That and a few items a friend was storing are now in air conditioned storage. Then came the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The Boat Show deserves more than we are going to give it. I don’t believe we have missed more than a couple FLL Shows since I got involved in the boat business a few years back when we were first married until now. Even after we retired we always timed our visit to Ft Lauderdale during boat show time. The FLL show is the best show anywhere. The whose-who of marine vendors are represented, not just with salesmen but also the engineers and in many cases, the principals. This year was the biggest show yet and you could feel the energy. The feedback after the show was nothing but super positive. Boats are Selling. Its time. The market’s good and the clock is ticking for the Boomers. Tick, tick.
This puppy wasn’t our particular cup of tea but with 1750 outboard horsepower it should move along reasonably well. Hummmm, let’s see. An outboard burns roughly 10 gallons per hour per 100 horsepower at wide open throttle. So I suppose this rocket burns 175 gallons per hour if they were in a hurry. Of course that’s old news in the sport fish business with the larger sport fish but for an outboard boat to compete for the friends of OPEC award, well, that’s something. Speaking of sport fish; a sixtyish foot sport fish with big engines burns around 250 gallons an hour when they are in a hurry. A much larger Nordhavn 75 burns 12gph at 12 knots including generator burn. So if running out to fish in a hurry isn’t that important, or wanting to do more than day-fish and go somewhere, I suppose the N75 is a pretty good deal.
The PAE area was the largest yet with a super tricked out 60 (Blossom – not for sale), a 68, 76 and an 86. The 76 and 86’s were for sale. Why? They have new 96’s on order. Wow! I heard quite a few of the mega-yachts sold as well. We enjoyed the show so much we went 3 days.
Now let’s talk about Dick, aka Dickiedoo – D Doo. Dick is on his way back to New Zealand so we can talk about him. Beginning his U.S. highlights in Maine, down to Boston, Newport, Trawlerfest in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Annapolis, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and offshore to Florida was quite an eye opener for someone that came from a 20 home, 1 schoolteacher, 9 student village on the west coast of South Island. A few impressions that he kept talking about were how friendly everyone was and how clean and organized everything was. When we got to Ft Lauderdale we took a couple dinghy rides and also went to dinner at a waterfront restaurant in a friend’s boat the night before he left. Ft Lauderdale’s waterways just blew him away. There isn’t anything like it anywhere. Egret was rafted next to the last N46 built. So the two best of the best were side by side. This shot of my buddy’s canal was from Egret’s cockpit.
Of course because he was trapped aboard with no where to go but overboard, we encouraged, well OK, ragged on him to come to the U.S. 6 months a year and travel by boat 3-4 months and the rest by motorhome. Actually it makes sense. There is so much to see and do. Anyhow, it was our pleasure to show Dick a small part of our country. Dick responded by sending an e-mail to two different folks back home to sell his big home so he can downsize and change his life.
We’ve mentioned it a number of times, the U.S. East Coast, north to Nova Scotia and south to the Bahamas are some of the best cruising anywhere worldwide. It makes sense to me no matter where you are from to purchase your precious on the East Coast, do your baby steps in the time you have (of course full time would be the best) then venture out knowing what to do when.
Looking at our future lifestyle moving between different venues during the best parts of the year for each, we’ll talk strictly about boats for a minute. First of all, unless you have lived like we have these past years and seen what you wanted to see, long distance cruising is the most rewarding thing you can do in my opinion. Our new life wouldn’t be for you until you have lived your dreams afloat. However, for the fortunate of you that have the horsepower, there is a parallel way to live the best of the best boating life possible. Here’s how.
Some years back while wintering in Turkey a gentleman approached us asking for advice. He was trying to decide between two large boats (considerably over 100’). We know he loves two particular areas in the world and countered by saying he should order two identical N76’s (the largest at the time) and keep one moving with he and his sweetie aboard and send the other where ever. The maintenance and purchase costs would be considerably less than buying either of the larger boats he was considering. In the end he bought one of the larger boats. Fast forward to two years ago we met again and he asked the same question. I repeated what I said the first time and again gave him the reasons why. If we meet again and he asks the same question, he’ll get the same answer because it makes sense.
So the bottom line is, if you have the ability wouldn’t it be great to keep a boat in the Med and the Pacific North West or in New Zealand or Australia to cruise the South Pacific island chains and the second anywhere you wish? It’s a fantasy life but Mary and I plan to do just this on a MUCH simpler scale, sorta like endless way cool.
Mary and I gave a slideshow talk today (Whales and Ice) to a cruising club. Most of these folks are accomplished cruisers that include more than a few circumnavigators. With a peer group like this we can talk differently. A newbie group wants to know about the nuts and bolts, weather and seas, and they aren’t as interested in the destination. This group doesn’t ask questions like that because they have all done it somewhere and it’s a given. They will ask about fog and air temperature but not about waves. It was fun because they appreciated hearing about Labrador, Greenland and Iceland. The year before one of the members and his wife gave a talk about Scandinavia. The group learned from this. We all share and it’s the common bond that keeps a diverse group like this together.
For getting started there is a group you may join as an associate even without a boat. Seven Seas Cruising Association has over 10,000 members worldwide. By joining you will receive the Commodore’s Bulletin, a monthly publication of short articles written by cruisers like you are or will be. The articles literally cover the world. Also, once you are a member you can purchase CD’s of a 5 year accumulation of articles that are searchable geographically. This is a great resource and membership for $51 U.S.P. per year.
One of the folks at the luncheon where Mary and I spoke today is a Port Captain for OCC – Ocean Cruising Club. We’ve talked about OCC before a few times so we won’t repeat it here. However, SSCA has Port Captains worldwide as well. The OCC PC said they have a slip behind their home in the Florida Keys for members to stop by for a few days and get whatever help they need. There is a lot of help available and information we didn’t have when we began. So anyhow, you know the deal. Sooner is better than later, more time Out is better than less, bigger isn’t better.
So we leave in the morning for Plantation Yacht Harbor on Plantation Key, the Village of Islamorada. The tide will be high enough by 0900 to exit the canal. How far will we get tomorrow? It doesn’t matter does it? We’ll go until we feel like stopping they we’ll fire TK down for the night. All I have to remember to do is take down the new exhaust elbow hanging in the cockpit for the wing we painted yesterday afternoon and a second coat again today. More to follow.
OK, so we left at 0845 and the little lady has been under way most of the day. Its near beer-thirty so within a couple hours Mary will fire TK down to the bottom and we’ll be set for the night. Do you have any idea how nice it will be to be on anchor again with nothing within sight but a low line of Keys to the west? Oh yea, suds in the flybridge as the sun splits. It isn’t bad.
We trolled all day but no luck……..so far. Mary spent a couple hours playing with 4 large dolphins. They would rise and she would slap the side of the bulwarks. They would roll on their sides and look at her as she would raise her arm to encourage them to jump. They didn’t jump but what the big male did a half dozen times was deliberately slap its tail a couple times in a row. So that was cool.
However, when dolphin are around there are NO FISH. None. They followed Egret from half way to Miami (20nm) to well into the beginning of the Keys, about 3 hours.
Today is about as perfect day offshore as you can get. We have about 12 knots from the NW, so its following seas of about 1 ½’. The air temp is 78-80 and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Early on she was averaging 7.2 knots at 1500 rpm. Now since we wandered farther offshore and are approaching a hump in the reef that sends the current bulging offshore, she has slowed to 5.4 knots. The average for the day is now 6.2 knots. Before long we’ll tuck back inside the current (Gulf Stream) and she’ll rocket to the anchorage.
While we’re talking about speed, this year’s trip from Iceland to Ft Lauderdale was 4063nm with an average speed of 6.7 knots. The speed includes everything including anchoring and waiting on bridges. (For two bridges we shut down and turned off the GPS for 50 minutes so it isn’t exactly true). So that’s pretty good. Last year the mileage to Iceland was a little over 4,500 nm and the average was 6.5 knots.
Egret’s main now has 13,517.2 hours as of this minute. If you multiply those hours times 6.0 knots it comes to 81,103.2nm. So I suppose Egret now has surpassed the 80k mark comfortably with an average speed of 6 knots. Egret with Mary and I aboard will never come close to the miles of N46 Kanaloa and their 3 circumnavigations. They are and most likely will always be the N long distance folks and I’m sure it doesn’t matter to them. They put in the miles because the miles make them happier than anything else they can do. We know a few folks thru a series of boats that have tremendous mileage (a friend has over 250k nm’s) but it’s the single boat mileage that matters in this case. In the big picture, none of this matters. All that matters is that you have fun and the Happy Meter is bouncing off 10. That’s what it’s all about, the rest is just numbers and no one cares.
When we were newbies, engine hours were a big deal. We didn’t know the real difference between recreational diesels and commercial diesels. For example, it’s a big deal if a car has 200k miles. Trucks commonly have over 1m miles with no rebuild. There is a big difference. Egret’s Happy Little Lugger is a 40k engine in commercial service. In recreational service, who knows how many hours she will go? Besides, in 25 years when she needs an engine rebuild it costs 10k and it can be done in the boat. So hours don’t mean much.
During this watch, I put in some recent photographs. Most of those came from the boat show and around Ft Lauderdale. We’ll share a few with you and I’ll go back to my early years in FLL. Iguanas like this one you had to buy back then. Today they line the seawalls in downtown Ft Lauderdale and most of the canals. We don’t have a photograph, but today the east part of FLL has giant flocks of screeching parrots. Herons and Egrets are spotted along the canals as well. The smaller Egrets feed on crabs and minnows. The larger Egrets and herons feed mainly on fish. This particular heron (yellow legs – Egrets have black legs) was feeding on fiddler crabs hiding in the rocks lining the seawall. Each time Egret passes under the 17th Street Causeway bridge, we wonder if it will be our last. We felt the same way when we left on the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. This mega-yacht is named Cake Walk. In another life my boat building partner (after I retired) plugged the 29 Egret mold and made a 27’ hull and a custom deck and console. It was finished by other friends and it became the main tender to the Cake Walk of the time, a mere 205’. Of course this version is bigger and better. (The little rat boat behind Cake Walk's transom is probably 140'). Berthed alongside Cake Walk is a Shadow Boat that follows the mothership. When you are a Really Big Dog (RBD) and like your privacy and toys, you gotta have a shadow boat. A shadow boat has all the toys (helicopters, personal 4 – 10 man subs and a fleet of tenders and water toys) in a hanger on the main deck as well as crew quarters so only asmall night crew is aboard the mother ship. This way the mothership can have even larger suites for the owners and their guests and don’t have to lose space to silly crew quarters. This particular shadow boat has a large pool on the top deck for the crew. A few years back when bicycles were my only transportation, my buddy and I used to ride around5 miles to the woods that existed before the Points of America condos to the right – north – of Port EvergladesInlet to Ft Lauderdale. We carried a truck tire tube and we would swim the channel from the beach by the north jetties to the south jetty and spearfish all day. No food and no water. In the late afternoon we would swim back and pedal home. Could you imagine doing that today?
The little lady had a little motion last night on anchor. There was a nice cool breeze and it was about perfect. We did what we said earlier. Nearing dark we ducked inside the barrier reefs that line the drop-off into Hawk Channel, the shallow waterway inside the nearshore and offshore reefs. We pulled way out of the channel markers and Mary fired down TK. When TK came up this morning he was wearing a nice glob of pure white sand, an anchor’s best friend. We approached the head pin at Snake Creek, the channel with an opening bridge into Florida Bay, west of the chain of islands that make up the Florida Keys. The head pin has always been a problem with shoaling and I got caught trying to eyeball our way in. Yup, aground big time. Soooooo into R she went and in time the big 4 blade dug a channel under the keel and off we went. The tide was still rising and it was near high so for sure we can’t leave the marina unless it is high incoming. High falling and you get stuck, its BAD. Like stuck city for the fall and no floatee until high tide many hours later.
So Egret is a Marina Queen living on the BFYC – big fat yellow cord. Egret’s dock is near the entrance so the water is clear. Before long we’ll use the hooka rig and check the zincs and wipe the bottom with a towel to get it perfect once again. Tomorrow we have a rental car and will drive to FLL to retrieve Gracie (the Jeep) and bring back a loaner flats skiff for a little fishing.
So that’s it. We’ll fire this posting into space before the weekend.
Egret is now listed for sale on the PAE website. Her details are shown along with photos and the price. Take a look if you are interested.
Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.