Blog Archives

Yachting Capital of the World, Fort Lauderdale, USA

Fort Lauderdale is known as the Yachting Capital of the World. The whole city is boat oriented: boat brokers, boat related retailers, boat insurance, jobs, services, and etc… You name it. It is here.

Being a resident of Fort Lauderdale, entering the Port Everglades, is like coming back to my sweet home. I remember the sea breeze on the beach and I know lots of restaurants, bars, and stores to go. There are dear friends and neighbors, I want to meet. The only problem is that there is not enough place to anchor the boat. This means staying in a marina which is expensive.

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Pictures of Key Biscayne, Miami, Florida, USA

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Welcome back to America! Key West, Florida, USA

Things are big in the USA. Entering the channel, we were so amazed how big the channel markers are and the satellite radar is. The anchorage in Key West is wider than anywhere in the Caribbean. All of these conveniences cost nothing to us. It didn’t even cost anything to clear the customs. (***Note this is not completely true as John had to buy a customs clearing number-$40, a documentation license-$20, and do an interview with a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official for a ‘Local Boater Option’. The customs number and documentation have to be renewed every year, but the ‘Local Boater Option’ is good for the life of the passport.) Being a member of the ‘Local Boater Option’,

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Sailing from Rio Dulce River in Guatemala to Key West, Florida, USA

An adrenaline pumping sailing trip!

April 26 to May 3, 2016: I found that weather forecasts are about 50% accurate. Maybe it will rain, maybe it will not. Maybe it will be windy from the East, or maybe from somewhere else. Our sailing from Rio Dulce, Guatemala to Key West Florida started by motoring for three days, as the wind was directly in front of us, and we had a very limited area to sail in. This was definitely not what was forecasted. We stopped in different anchorages for first three nights to rest, the wind simply was not what we had expected.

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A Christmas Meal with Grilled Fish at Sea

Before my trip, a friend gave me a book ‘Sailing a Serious Ocean’ (Author: John Kretschmer). By reading it and other books, I learned it takes a lot to sail cross an ocean. I am relatively new here but in my mind, I was ready for sailing blue water. Last summer, we spent five months for boat maintenance and enhancement projects. By putting lots of effort into the boat, John trusts his boat even more. I trusted his sailing and survival skills. I decided to be fearless. We set sail with light wind heading East. At the beginning it was as if the boat was gliding with two wings.

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Christmas Dinner at Sea?

Invitations are open to whales, sea turtles, dolphins, and Mother Nature…

We are almost ready to leave the USA. We plan to sail directly east to Longitude 65 from Stuart. (Some call this route ‘I-65’). Then, going south to Saint Martin. That way, we don’t have to struggle with the wind direction in the Bahamas. This will take about two weeks. We will go everywhere ‘With a Strong Will to Live’. Wish us fair wind and calm sea! Merry Christmas!
The main reason we stopped by Stuart was to meet a professional (from Mack Sails) to go over new installations on the boat.

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‘Viva’ Holiday Spirits in Saint Augustine

The wind led us celebrate Thanksgiving in Saint Augustine, VERY OLD city. Wandering the city with the crowd, it is as if I came to Europe. I am thankful for this journey. Unexpectedly and painfully, we are staying St Augustine an additional two weeks to replace an anchor windlass system. When we were ready to leave, we struggled with releasing/lifting the anchor chain. Then, the old windlass system broke a gear off inside. Without a windlass, we cannot anchor the boat. While waiting for a new one (92 pounds), we found a local wood worker (for a new teak wood base) and local stainless machinist (for frame cover).

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A Near Miss During the Night

We woke up to this shrimp boat which washed up on the beach during the night in Amelia Island, Florida. The boat was CHAINED to a fellow shrimp boat, and according to the owner, someone cut the chains—someone must really not like that guy. The prevailing winds and tide washed the boat across the channel and onto the beach while we were sleeping. The shrimp boat passed aft of us and in front of another anchored sailboat, thankfully missing us both.

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Night Sailing and 675 Pounds of Paper a Year

During a pitch dark sky, a crescent moon arose around 4 A.M. while sailing from Charleston to Fernandina Beach. John did most of the night watch on his BIRTHDAY. (We celebrated it with pineapple cake later.) When I was on duty, I set my timer every eight minutes and went out to check if there are any other ships nearby and things are okay. In eight minutes the boat travels about 1 mile. The sky was dark and the ocean was darker but I enjoyed watching many stars. John enjoyed the speed of sailing and sound of water splashing by the boat.

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Perez Art Museum Miami

Perez Art Museum Miami (Driving Time from Fort Lauderdale: 40 Minutes): New addition in South Florida. PAMM was first opened in December 2013. The building was designed by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron who attended the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. They were inspired by Stiltsville, a small community of houses on posts in Biscayne Bay. This building is eco-friendly and collects and recycles rainwater for the gigantic hanging gardens. The concrete floors, which are strong but lightweight, are filled with big plastic balls (acting like bubbles) that are not solid but hollow.

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