Archive for February, 2011

Past Hole-in-the-Wall – Starting Leg 2

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February 22, 2011 posted by admin

9:30pm Monday February 21, 2011

Tim again. Was watching Diane on the Spot Tracker. About 8pm this evening she sailed past the Southwest Point Lighthouse, better known as Hole-in-the-Wall, at the southern tip of Great Abacos Island. Here are a couple of photos from the internet.

Aerial photo of the southern tip of Great Abacos Island showing Hole-in-the-Wall lighthouse.

Hole-in-the-Wall, on the southern tip of Great Abacos Island, and its lighthouse from the air.

Hole-in-the-Wall lighthouse

The lighthouse at Hole-in-the-Wall, Great Abacos Island.

Tired After A Busy Night

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February 21, 2011 posted by admin

11:30am Monday February 21, 2011

Paul continues with this morning’s update: Just off the phone with Diane…

Captain’s blog Feb.21/11 Tired after a busy night.

So Diane is doing well and spirits are still high. 13kts of breeze right now and she is 34 miles from the turn at Hole in the Wall and pointed right at it.

Last night was tough. 20kts of breeze and lots of traffic through the passage. To add to this she needed to use her hand bearing compass because following the computer on the boat was frustrating due to shifts and lots of cross waves that kept soaking the boat.

During the night she had one reef in the jib and two in the main. All of these have been shaken out and the genoa is about to come back on deck so it can dry out. It was stuffed down below because of all the wave action.

The auto pilot is on and the batteries are full up. It’s time to eat since there wasn’t much time for that last night and then strip off a layer of gear and have a nap.

The boat is a bit wet from the waves and tossing the sails below deck, but Diane isn’t. Her new Dubarry boots and Gill foul weather gear are keeping here warm and dry which in turn is keeping her happy.

TIm again. Had a note from Guy Perrin of Sail World Canada who have an article for their readers about Diane staring her Qualifying Run, taken mostly from the prior two blog posts.

Diane’s latest location is available through Spot Tracker.

A Gorgeous Sunday Sail

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February 20, 2011 posted by admin

9:30am Sunday February 20th

Tim again passing along a slightly edited update from faithful shore crew Paul: Just got off the phone with Diane and she sounds great. She had a very busy night with about 9 big cruise ships to avoid and some freighter and other boats etc. The problem with cruise ships is that they have so many lights on board that it’s hard to see the nav lights and tell what direction they are headed. They also look like a small town at first when they are a ways off.

Her spirits are high and all seems well. She ran the autopilot all night and is recharging the batteries now so she isn’t using the computer for awhile.

Right now it’s a gorgeous beautiful day and she is having a really good sail and making some good time.

The FIS system is working beutifully and the boat GPS is a huge asset with all kinds of info that Diane hasn’t used before. Currently under full sail with genoa and no reefs. 14 kts apparent, 8 kts true, 1kt of adverse current, 97 nm to Hole in the Wall, high pressure system, will have to tack soon.

There appears to be an area off of Miami where the cruise ships sit in a holding pattern until it is their turn. She had to change course for awhile to avoid this. All of the changes to the boat have worked out well and her new sheet bags and soft shackels are pefect. Just what she needed. She is very happy with her progress and her spirits are high. She sounds pumped.

Follow along on spot tracker.

Rounded the Miami Buoy to Start the Solo Circumnavigation

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February 19, 2011 posted by admin

5:21pm Saturday February 19, 2011

Tim here. Just doing Diane’s update while she’s out on the boat. About 5:21pm Diane rounded the Miami Buoy, the start (and finish) mark of her solo circumnavigation of the Bahamas for her 1,000 nautical mile qualifying run. You can check her current position with Spot Tracker. Whoo Hoo! She’s off on another exciting installment of her adventure.

Diane put out out to sea via the narrow Biscayne Channel, which is only about 50 to 60 feet (15/18M) wide. Towards the end of the channel, the engine got swamped. With the main ready to go, and the breeze from behind, a quick hoist made for a smooth exit. Heading up the cost to the Miami Sea Buoy, the official start point of the qualifying run, Diane was dodging cruise ships and freighters “there are some pretty big ones man!”

Diane is having some keyboard troubles. Words are not always clear over a sat phone connection, but Di said something about  “hose the sucker down”. Having left the hose back on land, I’m left to ponder how she’ll wash the salt water out of her keyboard, or if she’ll be washing it out the with salt water. If only her keyboard was working, Diane could send her development team an email instructing them to find a notebook sponsor. Yep that’s my attempt at humour and likely why you prefer Diane to blog directly.

Phew It’s a Long List!

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February 18, 2011 posted by admin

February 17, 2011 ( on the mooring ball wanting to go!)

Slowly but surely the list is getting shorter.  I’m almost ready to start the 1000nautical miles.  Saturday looks like a good window opportunity also.  Nick flew home yesterday, so today was the first day by myself on the boat.  It’s very peaceful, yet I still had to have the music blasting away.  As for the jobs list, the rig is now fully tuned, the instruments have all been through a full systems check and the GPS is ready to go with the waypoints plugged in.  The main is bent on and all the strings have been run.  I even made it up the mast to tighten the D2s and spray the track for the luff of the main (yes, up th mast by myself!).  It was such a good day that I took myself up the street for a nice fat bowl of pasta for dinner, rather than a peanut butter sandwich and carrots from the boat.  I’m saving all of the good freeze dried food for the trip!  Hahahah.  Here are a few pictures.  Tomorrow I’ll do the sea trial and calibrate the computer and check out the channel to the east for a good point of exit.  The locals say it’s a good route, rather than going north to the shipping channel with all of the traffic. 

   On the mooring ball facing Miami and Coconut Grove Sailing Club

 Facing seaward.  The channel that is deep enough is actually to the left, rather than the one you can see to the right.

Sleep tight everyone!


Update From Miami :-)

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February 17, 2011 posted by admin

February 16, 2011
It has been a busy week.  Just to bring everyone up to speed, we arrived at Shake A Leg in Miami very late on Sunday night after a lengthy two days drive.  Monday and Tuesday were then spent getting the boat ready to launch. Shake A Leg was hosting a whole bunch of Melges from a regatta and couldn’t launch us until Tuesday night! This meant that we were putting the mast up at the crane at low tide at midnight. The mini was truelly a giant amongst the Melges and the Etchells in Shake A Leg’s yard. We stood head and shoulders above everyone and took up tons of space, which also made launching pretty tricky. There was very little clearance on the crane to get the boat out of the trailer, and when it came to putting the mast up we had to sling it about 4 feet below the pivot point, just to get it high enough to step. After Miami we’re going to resolve either a gyn pole or a different method that will allow us to put the mast up ourselves and not relie on other people’s cranes. So the mast is now up and we’ve motored over to our new home for the next several days. Coconut Grove Sailing Club is able to accomodate us and me sleeping on the boat. They also are a wonderful group of people.

So with the adjustments to the time line I’m now looking at starting on Saturday February 19th. I need to make sure that the boat is ready. I’m not going to rush things. The weather is looking good, and slowly everything is coming together on the boat, including the engine mount which I forgot in Toronto! Jack from Shake A Leg loaned me his from his J22. Thanks Jack! 

The plan for tomorrow is to get the rig tuned, get out into the bay and calibrate the computer and pull on some strings to make sure all of the sails go up and down properly.  Then Friday will be a time to check out the channel and whatever else is still on the jobs list.  Fortunately the list is getting smaller 🙂

We’re getting there!


Day 2 in Miami

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February 15, 2011 posted by admin

February 14, 2011 – Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Well it’s been a very productive day. First we met Jack our very kind contact person here at Shake A Leg.  He got us parked in with the Melges on the hard while we wait for our turn on the crane to launch.  Then we started putting the boat together.  The bowsprit is all put together, the lifelines and back rests are in place, rudders are on, mast all rigged and ready to go up, and now we’re just waiting for our turn to get on the crane! Tomorrow we’ll be at the boat bright and early and do some more mucking about while we wait in the cue. No pics as I haven’t found the camera yet, but maybe tomorrow! 🙂


Miami Arrival

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February 15, 2011 posted by admin

February 13, 2011

We’ve arrived safe and sound in Miami!  It was a very long drive even with the two of us taking turns.  Tomorrow we launch, rig and hopefully go sailing.  The fixed autopilot needs recalibrating, the rig tension needs checking and we’re going to try to do a run out to the sea buoy to scope out the route.  Then I need to do some more work on the charts.  Set and drift need to be calculated (Thanks Humber Sailing School!, and tuning in the SSB for some of the stations needs to be checked out. We’re in great shape and it’s awesome to have Nick here. Together we’re able to work through all of the jobs very effectively, rather than me trying to do it all myself! I’ll try to take some pictures tomorrow for you all.


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February 12, 2011 posted by admin

February 12, 2011

Just outside Erie Pennsylvania having some breakfast.  It’s near whiteout conditions on the highway and Predict Wind is showing the snow storm to be lingering for another hour or so.  We’ll probably wait it out….:-)  If you’re following along with the spotracker, you will see that we went to Rochester first to see my friend Dave.

Stay Safe!

We’re All Loaded!

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February 12, 2011 posted by admin

February 11, 2011

Boat’s loaded and we’re just going to have dinner and then Nick and I are on our way!  The spot tracker is onboard the truck and bleeping away, so you can follow us down the road.  The link is on the homepage “follow the boat” 🙂