Saturday, December 24, 2011

May They Rest in Peace!

 It's winter.  We put the boat projects to bed for the winter.  Of course Belle is on the right.  On the left with the motor running barrel is "D-2."
I know, don't ask. It's a long story--the way the Boston Whaler got that name.  If you know our friend Addison, ask him:)

But wait, there is one more task before we close up for the winter. 

Last trip in for the year.

The batteries.  They are very expensive and have to be protected and floated for the winter
Here you see the batteries mounted under the cockpit sole.  I'm here to remove them and bring them in the house for the winter.  Karen was a big help fetching tools and helping me remember where I put tools.  I handed the batteries down to her.  They are very, very heavy!
 Pussifer is up helping out.  He loves being on the boat and knows every nook and cranny of the bilge and lockers

Each battery was conditioned with the multistage Battery Tender.  After all three have been conditioned and charged, we built a harness and put them on float management for the winter.  The heat sensor assures tender loving care and a long life for these top of the line batteries. Another benefit of having 300 Ah of supply is that the ham radio station could run for days off them without recharge.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sealing out the water

 Here is my solution for passing a cable up from the centerboard and turning it on a block to raise the centerboard.  I cut 3 pieces of oak and interlayed a total of four 1/8th inch rubber gasket material. There is a 1/2 hole through all the boards.  The first board has one layer below and two layers above.  The second board has one layer.  The cable snakes through all four layers thereby sealing out all water.  I will be lake testing this with a load in the spring.  Meanwhile I will need to add a raised section to the centerboard trunk decorative encasement so as to accommodate this new elevation. 

It's back to work tomorrow.  We will continue to finish the centerboard and its trunk as weather permits.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Summery of current projects

Just a note in summery of our present boat projects.  Our most pressing project is the repair and restoration of Belle, our 28 SeaPearl.  She will be our home away from home on the water. In addition to solving the leak, we plan to drill all the rivets out of the mast track and redo. Why? Because 3 have already pulled out at the base of the main.  Corrosion is evident on the rest.  There are hair-line cracks in the mast step on the main at the old welds.  We will need to have these re-welded. Then, of course, the steps will have to be repainted. I plan to re-paint the masts as well.  I rather imagine the hull and deck will end up getting a repaint as well.  Of course we are in the process of refinishing the bottom right now.  The electrical system needs some upgrading as well.  So much for Belle at this point.
I plan to re-finish Tridarka as well.  I have no intention of bringing the finish up to production grade but will make it easier on myself by painting the natural finish white to match the main hull.  We plan to make a Windfisher like platform to replace the current seating arrangement.  Thus we will be able to set up a tent on the platform as well as enjoy a spacious ride.
Lastly, The Boston Whaler Nauset will be getting a complete redo. This will involve complete hull resurfacing and painting. I will build the original mahogany center console and seating and re-power her with a 60 or 70 hp motor.  She should be a real looker and a great performer as well!
That should keep us out of trouble well into retirement.

One more thing before the cold

We sanded down the fill on the leading edge and shaped the Kevlar to conform perfectly to the edge. Great to have this done! Note that the gel-coat did not have any primer over it.  Not surprising that the anti-fouling came off in patches.  We will apply 2000/2001 epoxy barrier coat before applying anti-fouling next. First I will fair the edge of the Kevlar with epoxy fairing compound for a smooth rounded edge.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fixing Belle

Hope is restored! We're diging deep into the problems with Belle.  Everything looks worse when you don't investigate.  What we see is fairly reasuring.  The foam at the forward end of the keel is totally saturated with sea water.  Here we are digging it out.  On closer inspection there are no leaks from below, and the wetness is limited to the forward 1/4th of the slot.  We will dry it all out and pour floatation foam up to level.  Then we will glass over the top.  Question is, where did the water come from?  It now looks like the center board trunk is at fault.  With the extra 1000 lbs in the boat, the centerboard leaks out the hole in its top like a sieve.  I have the perfect cure.  I will raise the centerboard turning block up about 2 inches and place three rubber baffles in a row completely sealing out the water from below.  Then before reinstalling anything I will take it out with everything bare and sail it.  I will rebuild the trunk cabinet higher to cover the added height.  The full documentation of this will be posted. 
The hardest part of this job was getting Belle off her trailer.  Here are some pictures. Remember, only a 3 ton floor jack was used to raise her high enough for the trailer to clear.
Well there she is for the winter.  We'll give her a bottom job and repair the centerboard.  Stay tuned for these improvements.

Karen all dressed up, sanding the centerboard

We'll continue our efforts through the winter whenever weather permits.  Today was huge for us.  The shop was completely cleaned and reorganized. 1 and 1/2 acres of leaves were ground up and put to compost.  The board is completely sanded and filled.  Next we'll put 2 coats of epoxy primer and then the antifouling on the large centerboard. 

We decided to restore the Boston Whaler Nauset, 1970 vintage.  So there are no shortage of boat projects in the boat yard!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Saddest Day

A very sad thing happened yesterday. A dream vacation and the trip of a lifetime came to an end.  The weather had been pesky and held me back for a couple of days. The real nagging concern was when I went out the bilge filled and filled the cabin to about two inches of water.  I tried to dismiss it as the bilge only need to be pumped twice a day while at anchor. Yesterday, after the fog lifted and the rain ended I decided to head for my first anchorage on the trip.  I had barely gone a mile when the cabin submerged with about 2 inches of water again. I vigorously pumped out the bilge and watched it while I was sailing.  I could see a veritable stream of water coming back from the cabin area of the bilge, not up through the bottom of the bilge or from behind.  Clearly there is a crack or defect in the centerboard trunk.  In the past I have always had to pump the bilge a couple times of day or left the bilge pump on during sailing.  Clearly there has been an insidious leak or tiny crack that has widened with the stress of sailing specifically in 20 knots the first day.  I always wrote the small leak off to the boat being older.  Clearly a repair is urgently needed now.  Obviously I was not about to set out on a month-long voyage in this state of affairs.
I'll be working on structural restoration on several levels some of which I had planned in the next year before my retirement.  I am afraid this will be the last trip Belle takes before those repairs are effected which will take me into retirement.  I will not have another vacation ruined with these sorts of problems dogging me and sending me home beaten to lick my wounds.
This blog was created to document this trip. I am not sure I will even continue it. I may keep it just to have it for retirement.  For now, I'm afraid the buzz is over.  For those of you who I enthused about HF radio contacts on an LeXpedition, I apologize for letting you down.  If you think you are disappointed, think how I feel.  For now, so long.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rain and Fog

Outside a steady rain drizzles down. There is a low hanging fog adding to the dreariness of the day.  I had planned to leave this morning but it's just too nasty.  My job today is to check out the wiring for the bilge pump.  The batteries are down to 12.5 volts so I will have to save my "juice" for lights and my anchor light. Tomorrow maybe there will be some sun to my batteries. But I'll need some to run the auto pilot early.  So no radio today, and no music either. Bummer day. Tomorrow will be better.  Time to do some reading from my well stocked library and Kindle.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Waiting out the weather

I tried it this morning.  Went out without reefing. The wind was slated to be 20-22 knots.  Turns out it's more like twenty-five.  That must be what the "small craft advisory" was all about.  To keep it simple, lets say the boat was overpowered by the wind and the bilge started filling with water.  So, I hang it up for today.  Should have slept in and forgot the whole thing like I was inclined.  Here's something I hate to admit.  On the way back I guess I took a short cut...well I did take a short cut, unthinkingly that I have taken for years in a SeaPearl 21 (with 6 inch draft.  Now I am waiting for the tide to rise.  It's almost off. going aground on low tide is an inconvenience. Going aground at high tide is a frantic call to Tow Boat US.  Darn I am going to have to pay attention better. 
I will probably spend the next 2 or 3 days at anchor. I am not going out until the wind is under 20 knots. 
Interesting thing happened with the bilge filled with salt water.  For sum reason the power was out to the radio. I checked the booster box and no power was coming out of it. On opening it I found a blown 25 amp fuse.  After that the radio worked but the TinyTrack was dead. Another blown fuse in the Rigrunner.  Not sure what caused all this but luckily I have all the equipment to service most problems on Belle.  More later on my time spent getting everything ready to go again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Some times you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't"

I got sick of the crowding in the boat so took it over to the dock and went and got the truck. I carried off the generator, the 6 gallon container of extra water, the battery charger and some other small items. It looks a world better in here now!
The composting head is working great using sawdust instead of peat.  Peat is mostly inert and won't compost. I tried and found out for myself last trip on the St. John's river. 
For the hams that wanted to talk to me today. both 20 meters and 40 meters are wall to wall contesting this w/e so I am not turning the radio on (except for APRS until Monday.  The Innova Sunny kayak has been a great dinghy (see Karen, I spelled it right).  Now it is deflated and packed under the vee berth.  We are ready to leave in the morning!

Rainy Days and Mondays

I'm sitting at the Big Deck restaurant in Cedar Key eating a Philly cheese steak  with curly fries.  I just finished a lot of work on the boat like duck taping the hatch shut and straitening out the big mess.  I got the radio back to working on 30 meters.  Don't know what was wrong but it is broadcasting my GPS coordinates every 20 minutes on APRS.FI  If you don't click on this link you will need to enter WB4FGF-8.
I am also messaging with my SPOT device.  You can reach my share page here. I will try to remember to press the OK button ever once in a while especially at anchorages.
It rained  quite a bit last night.  I woke up with wet feet realizing the fore hatch was leaking. I cranked it down tighter but it kept up a slow drip drip.  Today when checking it out I saw that a small rope got caught under the gasket and broke the seal.  I think it is OK now but just to be sure I sealed it with duck tape. Small craft advisories are out for tonight, so I'm staying put until it is safe to move.  I still have some still have some stuff to take back to the truck. There's just TOO MUCH STUFF in the boat!!
I'm planing on some radio work this afternoon around 5pm. On 7.165 up to 7.200 mHz for those of you who would like to make contact me.  I'll try to change the message re: what frequency I'm on in aprs and let it beacon at least once before I change over to sideband. 
I hope to leave tomorrow.  We will see how it goes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Launched and ready to go?

This last two days had been a blur of too much work and not enough sleep.  Yesterday I got up at 2pm and went up to West Marine to pick up the G2 chip for my new Garmin 78.  I pressure washed the boat and scurried around doing tasks until I dropped into bed about 8pm to a fitful sleep.  This morning I was up at 1:30 AM to leave.  The trip featured a flat tire on the boat trailer which gave me a hassle because I forgot to put the key in to remove the lock nut on the wheel.  Luckily, my giat channel locks took it off anyway. As I approached the Cedar Key turn off I impulsively turned off and called the Hardware store in CK. I was referred to the manager who graciously offered me a parking spot for a month at $60. 
Well, here I am at anchor right next to the dock in Cedar Key.

I ate a wonderful blackened grouper sanwich at my favorite resteraunt The Big Deck

This is a typical street scene on the dock at Cedar Key. 

Now I am typing under the bluish tint of the led light in the cabin.  The hot spot is working well on 3G only. I feel lucky to have internet at all. Cedar Key has poor cell coverage. I guess the big antenna 30 feet up is helping. 
I am completely bushed so am going to sleep.  More tomorrow and hopefully some radio work.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Enough is enough!

This is my final night at work.  I had to get up at 3pm and work like a dog to get the last of the chores done.  There were 12 tires to check and properly inflate (trailer and truck).  The boat was a dirty mess so I pressure washed it as best I could in the time available.  Finally, I put all my clothes on board.  All that is left is my medicines and computer stuff (not inconsequential with a laptop, and Netbook and a portable printer and all the 12 volt cords and accessory cables.
I will need to program the GPS's using Sea Clear II and therefore need cables to upload way points.  Well, I'm the one that likes all these toys. So I shouldn't complain, should I? Note to self: leave some decompression time at the beginning of a trip as well as the end.  Now, 12 hours of work.
In the morning I have to stop by the credit union.  In the afternoon it's off to the lake to West Marine the $1000 store to pick up a G2 coastal US waters map chip for my new Garmin 78. Darn, should have gotten the 78sCX which has everything on it.  Anyway, the truck is hooked up, the lights work and I'm all but gone.
I leave at 2AM Friday morning.  Follow me on   WB4FGF-8 and -10.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What to take on a voyage

I'm sitting here thinking about the anxiety that can arise when one ponders the consequences of forgetting something vital.  Well, nothing is really completely catastrophic.  I once found to my chagrin, that I had forgotten to bring any underwear.  That was on a week long trip across the Florida Panhandle.  Does the term "commando" come to mind?

 To be honest, over the years I have mostly been exasperated by the excess junk I have brought along.  I really believe too much is almost worse than not enough.  It really helps to have some time to think it over.  A list is a good idea too.  Karen is the list maker, so we are cataloging everything that goes on to Belle and then everything that comes off.  Notes are being made along the way about what works and what doesn't.  Talking about it helps too. Today I was talking to my friend Jim at Marine Concepts and he offhandedly mentioned someone needing to use a sail palm and needle. Note to self: find the sewing kit I have hidden away and take it on this trip.  A handy list needs to be added to when the thought arises. You know how it is with us older folks--out of sight, out of mind.  I hope someone can get something out of my notes on this blog. I must admit; I love other peoples lists. Ron Hoddenott wrote an article for Small Craft Adviser about how to camp in a SeaPearl 21. I have that list and have added to it, and other peoples lists, shaping a well thought out plan for various time spans aboard.  Karen puts these on Excel so we can modify as needed.

Actually, planning can be almost as much fun as actually doing the trip.  I feel pretty comfortable with my packing so far.  Booms and sails, check.  Main and mizzen sheets, check.  Boom pins, check.  Bailing and washing buckets, check. Well, you get the idea.  You'll know as well as I will how it turns out, because this blog is my journal and log.  Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A wonderful weekend

We had a wonderful weekend in the Smokies.  Our first day after checking into the Baymont Inn in Cherokee, we explored Cove Creek and imagined ourselves camping in the many secluded campgrounds by the river. 
The second day we took in the beauty of US 441 over the mountains with some time out to climb the magnificent Clingmans Dome. Lunch was in Gatlinburg at the Smokey Mountain Brewery --Restaurant.  The micro brew and  Phily Cheese Steak were amazing!

Saturday we took the long road to Asheville, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway was aflame with color and since neither of us had gone this way before, we were wowed by the vistas and the spectacular color and scenerey.
 Monday, Karen finished her custom bedding for Belle.  We loaded the last of the food and supplies, and short of personal items, she is ready to go.  On board are the aforemention food and supplies as well as 42 gallons of water, 30 gallons of fuel, an inflatable kayak and a dingy with all paddles necessary, a 2.5 hp outboard for the dingy etc. etc.  Ok you get the idea; a lot of work and effort at lists making and checking off!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

 Transportation for the trip.  The 6 foot dingy looks to be perfect for one person.  Both the Innova Sunny inflatable kayak and the 6 foot Mercury dingy live under the Vee berth.  The paddles and the oars as well as the snorkeling gear fit nicely below.  I found a nice fit for the 2.5 hp short shaft Tohatsu engine in the starboard quarter locker.  

The bags of food are nicely ensconced in the lockers under the quarter berth seats.  There is far and away enough food for 30 days.  I judge two could live well for a month on these supplies.
 This week off has helped immensely in getting ready for the trip. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Working on two boats

This is the begining of my cheap solution to hatch dogs for Tridarka.

Pivoting blocks hold down the hatches and seal the dual seal gaskets.  A simple yet if I dare say elegant solution.
Karen working on the blankets for the Veebirth on Belle.  They are completely form fitting and really cool...warm.
Now for the bad news.  The motor mount alteration did not work as planned.  I had to do some serious hacking to get the correct angle for the motor. The only way this monster of a motor will allow the cockpit hatch to raise is if the motor is loosened enough to naturally lean back.  I had some nice pictures of the modified mount.  It only looked good but was so far wrong that serious cutting and chopping were required to  even get the motor in the well.  Now it is very functional but not good enough for a picture.  When I get back--probrably next year, I will smooth it out and make it presentable. 
The last of the big bucks is now spent.  I bought a new flare kit, two fire extinquishers and a couple of battery hold downs.  Of course the fancy new Lifeline batteries were and extra 3/4 inch taller so they wouldn't work. Oh well, another $30 bucks bites the dust.  All told it was $200.  I still have to buy a starting battery but that should be about $60-70 at Walmart.  That's it for this weekend.  I'm working all week so will be back at it again next weekend. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Waiting to retire and an update on preparing for the trip

I promise not to drone on about this too much.  According to my Anroid app. it's 1 year, 5 months and 5 days until I retire (if all goes OK).  The upcoming trip is planned to give me a taste of the free life.  I will have about 30 days to imagine that work is a distant memory.

Meanwhile we are practicing the sort of frugality that we imagine will be required for financial success during retirement.  Karen has taken over the food purchasing, shopping at all sorts of discount places such as The Dollar Store and Aldi.  It's amazing how much one can save if the mind is made up and the whimsical purchase urges are suppressed.  I'm taking some comfort in how well this has gone so far.  Indeed, Karen is nothing short of amazing in her ability to bring home supplies for less.
The reason I am commenting on living expenses during retirement is that I think the idea of practicing retirement strategies while still enjoying the safety net of gainful employment can make for a much smoother transition to the retirement lifestyle.  We plan to have it mastered by the above date.

As for trip preparation: things are going along pretty well. After hoisting the motor and placing it in the motor well it was obvious that I still have a clearance problem with the cockpit hatch.  I have already raised the mount by 1/2 inch and added 1/2 inch to the rear of the mount. Easy solution: just shim the motor mount back another one-half inch and the door will clear.  As soon as that is done--sometime next week, I will install the new Lifeline 105 amp hour batteries and try out the fit of the Honda 1000 watt generator,   In this cockpit well goes the 2.5 hp Nissan short shaft for the dingy, the Honda generator and 2 gas cans.  Hope it all fits!

I'll be ready to post the complete food supply list in about another week.  So far I have about 45 Hormel completes packed away in one locker.  They are easy fast food for the times I can't take time to cook.  I just peel them back and eat them cold. Even cold they are quite tasty.
Just over thirty days until I leave.  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hatch work on Tridarka

 What a beautiful day to work in the boatyard.  After a brisk climb up Stone Mountain, I set about to finish the hatches for Tridarka. So far I am happy with the results.  Soon I will update with my simple solution for securing them to the cockpit well.  You won't believe how simple it can be. Steve and I racked our brains.  Every solution seemed more difficult and expensive.  As is often the case, letting the mind rest helped.  I'll have it finished soon.  Stand by for this.

A Sunday climb up Stone Mountain

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Do You Pack for a Month's Voyage?

I am approaching the time when I need to get serious about packing.  Right now we are cleaning and preparing the boat for packing.  Karen just finished a set of custom sheets that fit the vee berth perfectly.  The blanket material is coming soon to make custom blankets.  I still have to buy replacement fire extinguishers and a flair signalling pack to replace the expired ones.  Then there is the not so small task of hoisting the 110 lb outboard up about 6 feet and into the motor well.  I'm holding off on that to run it in the tank a few more times so it will be ready to run when I try to start it the first time.  My solution for the hoist is to take my extension ladder and use a come-along to pull it up from the top rung.  With a piece of plywood for sliding protection...well I'll let you know how that one goes.
I bought about 40 Hormel select dinners as a ready to eat meal source when I don't have time to cook.  I will publish the entire packing list when it is complete.  It's still a month and one-half.  Luckily I was able to get a week off about two weeks before so I can have Belle completely packed well before D-day.  More on the logistics as it transpires.

Where I Am--Using HF APRS for position updates

I thought the hams among us might find my entree into HF (High Frequency) APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) of interest.  At home I run a APRS I-GATE station so I am pretty familiar with the use of APRS in a fixed station.  I have also run APRS via my Kenwood D700 (which I sold, sadly). Also I often run APRS on my Thunderbolt HTC via the APRS-IS servers online.
HF APRS is a quite different operation. While out of range of 2 meter APRS receivers I hope to update my position regularly to the worldwide APRS-IS servers.  Therefore I will be operating 300 baud 30 meter APRS.  I recently purchased a Tiny Trac 4 from Byon at Byonics and have successfully updated my home position on 30 meters HF so I know it works.  The trick is to get the right set of tones at the right frequencies so that the I-gate station decode them and relay the information.   Convention has it that the TNC audio tones are injected upper sideband (USB) so they are added to the frequency dialed up on the display.  Here are the outgoing frequencies required: 10.149.200 MHz and 10.149.400 MHz.  Since the TT4 uses 1600/1800 Hz tone shift, the correct dial frequency on USB would be 10.147.600.  When the two tones 1600/1800 Hz is added to this frequency the required sum frequencies are correct. I discovered that since the FT 100D only injects tones when in the "digital mode"  the way to get USB is to use the 300 baud packet U for USB and it works like a charm.  On my FT-857 the mode to chose is digital with "user USB"   I purchased a hockey puck GPS that plugs into the TT4 and is powered by it.vThere you have it. With some careful attention to some programing details done via windows terminal I set up the little thing to beacon every 30 minutes.  When I am out there traveling you can find me on by inserting WB4FGF-6.  I will also be beaconing with my SPOT device and will have figured out how to embed the map for the SPOT on this blog.  For a very thorough explanation of HF APRS and the setup frequencies for various modems and general theory click here
Next I want to try PSK63 with my sound card adapter. My USB sound card will connect to my Rigblaster sound card adapter.  The same station that picked up my APRS signal in Michigan also has a PSK63 APRS I-GATE . The same tune principles of tuning apply here.  If you are proficient with PSK you should do fine with this type of APRS.  The caveat is that the correct frequency is much more critical.  It is amazing to look at the waterfall and see all those signals being sorted out by the software and interpreted.
Thanks for the indulgence of those who do not care about this kind of stuff. I just wanted to share:)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Steve and Ginny are gone

I just took Steve and Ginny to the airport.  They're off to Miami and then to Panama. We had a wonderful two weeks together.  Steve and Ginny did a lot to help me with Tridarka's lee board.  We'll miss them terribly!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

About Tridarka

Rather than refer the reader to my website, I thought I would take a moment to explain Tridarka and also to outline the nature of this blog.  This blog is about the wanderings and life of the three of us: Karen, Pussifer our cat and me--Larry.  The work we do in the boatyard is every bit as important as the exploration that we pursue once our boats are ready for action.  I think that many readers will not only enjoy watching  us struggle for solutions, but also find inspiration from our problems solved and perhaps even learn a trick or two.

The boatyard is a big part of our lives.  We have three full size boats including a Boston Whaler for exploring creeks.  We also have (and I cringe in shame) three dingys and two kayaks one of which is the very seaworthy Innova Sunny inflatable which we use aboard Belle.  The other kayak is a Old Town Angler edition hard shell.  The dingys are as follows: a twelve foot Porta Bote which we towed behind Belle on our Saint Johns trip.  It has a reinforced transom with anti cavitation trim tabs and a 6 hp Nissan motor with a 6 gallon trip tank.  As a river boat, it is extraordinarily well suited for exploration of small creeks moving along at around 10 knots with 2 people aboard.  We also have an 8 foot Porta Bote which we use as a folding dingy.  Finally for offshore work we have a 6 foot Mercury inflatable.  For the two latter boats we use an extremely small and light 2.5 hp Nissan 2 stroke short shaft which fits in the locker on Belle.  The inflatable rolls up very small and fits just behind the main mast.  Well there you have it.  Our fleet; protagonists, if you will in our efforts to get out and see the work.

Back to Tridarka.  I bought Tridarka the 21 foot trimaran which Chief (Steve Isaac) and Matt Layden designed for the 300 mile Everglades Challenge at Cedar Key last year.  Apparently after two trips in the challenge, the second netting 3rd place over-all, the two previous owners had serially decided that this project was not for them.  Both Chief and Hal Link had poured tons of cash into the project making me the lucky recipient of a very good deal and a fine "bomb-proof" sailer.  It is a one to one sailer, meaning one knot of speed for one knot of wind up to about 17 knots.  The sliding akas and stainless rigging along with the carbon fiber spars are way overbuilt yet the boat is quite light, making it a great beach cruiser.
Some of my writings will definitely include work on, and stories about Tridarka

What is "See You There"

Just thought I should clarify.  SYT is a group of us who go to Cedar Key every year from Atlanta.  We are all members of the West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron which is admirably run by Ron Hoddinott. Since we saw each other once a year only, we thought it would be nice to get together around Atlanta.  Well, now you know.
Regarding last night's festivities:  Steve Ladd of "Three Years on a Twelve Foot Boat" fame was the star of the party when he sat down at the Casio keyboard and regaled us with a wide variety tunes. Jeff played along on the base.  We we're more than impressed the Jeff's recording studio which he set up in an upstairs room in his house.

Steve and Ginny Ladd were the guest of honor last night.  They are back from Panama to regroup and restock for the rest of their great circle Caribbean trip.  Having skirted the north coast of Cuba and sailed across the straits of Yucatan they have just finished a one-and -one half year sail down the coast of Central America via the great reefs of Belize, the Bay Islands of Honduras, the Rio Dulce and the Mosquito Coast. Their boat is currently in Panama.

Steve has finally succumbed to the need for a motor and has a nice little Honda 2 hp longshaft waiting for him. This represents a paradigm shift for Steve as he has resolutely stuck with his no motor policy throughout both this trip and the "three year voyage" of some 12,000 miles.

We're enjoying the company of the Ladds for one more day as they are flying out Wednesday. Steve has done his trade mark beautiful  glass work on my new mahogany leeboard for my trimaran, Tridarka. For this we are most greatful!
Wish them the best!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The guys jamming at Jeff and Diana's

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone

See to there gatherings at Paizanos

Gary,Diana, Jeff, Steve, Ginny Genise Bernard, Karen

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone

Belle is a floating ham shack and high speed communications center.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone

Here's the pictures


Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone

Getting ready for sailing the west coast of Florida

This blog will be the daily journal for my travels aboard Belle, my 28 foot SeaPearl trailerable sailboat. The personnel referred to in this blog are as follows: Larry Whited age 61, that's me, Karen also known as Karen Prescott--well we're not here to tell on her age, my life partner and willing helper, and Pussifer, our adventurous and overly spoiled cat.

Right now, we are preparing for my month-long voyage along the west coast of Florida. I most likely will start my trip at Suwanee, on the Suwanee river.  The first night will be spent aboard at our favorite Florida stomping ground, Cedar Key.  From there I will be traveling (alone-sadly) south just off-shore and ducking into my favorite gunkholes to spend the night. I hope that I will make it as far as Key West, and then over to the Tortugas.  In all likelihood my return from the Tortugas will be off-shore, strait to Fort Meyers.  I plan to spend as much time as possible around Charlotte Harbor and Cayo Costa specifically.
As I continue preparations, I will blog whenever something in the preparation merits comment.  I hope to hear from as many as possible commenting on my activities. My trip will also be documented at my website: and on Facebook.