Thursday, November 24, 2005

Honeymoon Harbor

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Thursday, November, 24, 2005, 17:51 UTC
Honey Moom Harbor

Guest; Amanda; SLC, Utah
Hey, we are having the time of our lives! We are getting ready to go fry some turkeys for Thanksgiving on an island in the middle of the Caribbean somewhere. Doesn't get much better than this! I love it, and I'm never coming back. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rose Island, Bahamas

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Tuesday, November, 15, 2005, 14:58 UTC
Rose Is. Bahamas

I have received so many emails inquiring about my safety and how Stray Cat faired during the three storms I thought I better write. This high seas email system just recently started working again since so many towers were destroyed in Florida.
Where to begin; just prior to Katrina I returned to Coconut grove to start a long list of maintenance issues after a very long period of back to back charters; I think about 190 days.
I had been watching an area of disturbed weather off Rum Cay in the Bahamas for about a week, thinking that if it developed and aimed at south east Florida I would not have time to do what I usually do, which is to sail out of harms way. When it decided to develop it did not waste any time almost over night it became a cat I hurricane "Katrina."
There were four meteorological models that showed the forecasted storm track, three of which had it making land fall above Ft Lauderdale than moving strait a crossed the peninsular into the gulf and building from there.
I felt good about the forecast since I was south of the eye (the clean/weaker side) by about 35 miles and had about 48 hours to move Stray Cat further south. I bought food and fuel and got underway to move south, two other sailors decided to follow me on their boats. We got as far as northern Key Largo and realized that Katrina was going to make land fall 20 hours sooner than predicted.
I didn't tell you about the fourth model that was assumed to have little likely hood of coming about; it did. This model was to make land fall at the same place than turn south along the cost to about the Keys than turn west for the gulf. If I have been clear in this description so far than you know what happened, I was on the dirty side of the storm and it was coming for me fast.
I picked a spot with Key Largo close in on one side of me and the extensive John Pennycamp reef system on the other to lessen the effect of wave fetch. I put out a 35lbs. Delta and 100' of chain than shackled a 35lb. CQR to the chain than I let out 200' of rode. I used chaff protection, turned off the propane, removed all items of windage, inspected all three engine rooms, inspected all interior items and in other ways made ready for the blow.
When the winds reached 40kts I put on my inflatable SOS life preserver and harness and had my eprib and other life safety gear at hand. At 45kts I started both engines and used idle forward to relive some strain on the ground tackle. My last chance plan for breaking anchor was to power my way the less than a half mile to beach the boat at Key Largo.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Navigation training

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Wednesday, November, 09, 2005, 15:05 UTC
No Position Data

Guest Andy age eleven
We are familea Tupin out on the big blue learning to sail and enjoying ourselves. Today we got up and decided to sail to Little Farmer's key from Bareterre Great Exuma, so hauled up the anchor and set out. I got to steer through some of the hardest navigating ever with my mom navigating. When it came time to give command to Mark and my dad, my mom and I didn't get lost but Mark did while it was raining but we go back on course. Yester day I caught a fish and ate it before getting sea sick. Well that's all for now, by.


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