Quincy’s Corner- Sage Advice From a Great Dane 190224

This is Quincy the Boat Dog’s weekly post to stay in touch with all of you and make sure you know she’s still around, living on a sailboat while her owners prep to go bluewater cruising.  You’ll have to guess what kind of advice may come next if you don’t click to read the rest- Continue reading

Money for Cruising- Dividends and Less Debt

I started this post several days ago.  Most posts take me several days to write if I need to put some thought and application into them.  It’s been raining in San Diego  and cold.  But the good news is that the new float switches that we just put into our bilge pumps work like a charm.  Good News.  Continue reading

A Happy New Year….from today on-

Photo credit to Pexels

First, you may have noticed the blog’s been a bit silent this last week…ya know…. because of the holidays but also because we’re out doing what we write about…adventuring AND traveling with kids.  We decided to take one last trip to Paso Robles wine country in 2018 and perhaps our last for several years…as we may not make it again before we cut the dock lines in 2019.  I’ll write about some of those adventures in the next few weeks.

Good Morning and Happy New Years.  I waited to write this post until this New Years morning to see if I would be more excited and changed on the first day of 2019…and it worked.  Although a bit hung over, I made the bed early, paid bills, started breakfast and started to think through this first post of the New Year for LF2SF.  Like last year, 2019 will be another year of change and firsts for the LF2SF crew but not lots of New Years resolutions.  Hotwife will retire, Tulum 5 will come out of the water and have some upgrades and improvements and we’ll cut the dock lines in October for Baja Ha-Ha 2019.  As of today, this is now 10 months away.  In those 10 months, we’ll want to get lots of things done and prep the boat and family, see friends and family and the girls will continue in school till summer and beyond.  This last week in wine country, I slowed down to think through some of the challenges that lie ahead; working through where a very changeable outline of how we get there in my little head.  Not much is set in stone with our family – we’re flexible and trying to teach the kids to adapt.  Here’s some of the things we’ll work through and I’ll probably write about this coming year as we go forward (sort of the framework in my head for this year):

  • (Short) Diesel Engine Course in January
  • San Diego SunRoad Boat Show (Jan)
  • Fighting the Funk- How we kicked mold and mildew ass! (Jan)
  • Going Domestic- Our new sewing machine and learning to sew Tulum 5’s new curtains (Jan)
  • Going more Domestic- Sewing Dinghy Chaps (Jan/Feb)
  • De-Installation (Tear Out) of the (working) washer/dryer currently on the boat
  • De-Installation (Tear Out) of the current fresh water Head and Installation of a Composting Head
  • Women’s Sailing Convention (Feb)
  • Pacific Sail and Powerboat Show (road trip with kids) (April)
  • Catalina (Ca) Spring Break Trip (April)- Overnight trips, spinnaker practice, engine test
  • Baja Ha-Ha sign-up, Crew Rosters and Official paperwork (May)
  • Tulum 5 Haul-Out- (June/July)
  • Catalina Extended Trip- Shake Down- (Aug)
  • Cutting the Docklines- (Oct)

What’s not mentioned above is all the work on the boat that needs to get accomplished and the amount of gear we still need:  boat haul-out, water maker, life raft, some way to wash clothes (tearing out the washer and dryer), a new composting head, a portable A/C generator, possible installation of a wind generator, teak deck work, teak varnishing, sewing and installation of new curtains and dinghy chaps and the myriad of other things that go into prepping a boat for bluewater sailing.

I’m also going to write more about financing our trip and how we’re doing it, along with working on the site and standing up the YouTube channel.

If you’re new to the blog or reading the blog, thanks and welcome.  If you’ve been with us since the first year when I had a total of “7” followers and “0” likes…thanks for staying and reading.  The point of the blog is to read it…so keep clicking and reading please- 

Excited about 2019!  Photo Credit to Me. 

LF2SF is not associated with the boat shows mentioned in this post.

Blog is a funny thing

A Blog is a funny thing,,,,I’m working hard on consistency!

Soooo, I’ve been doing all this reading on how to blog better, hints to get more traffic, info to help with getting readers to identify with my blog and my “niche”.  One thing I see a lot is that consistency is key and that writing on a regular basis is important and getting stuff onto your blog is important too.  So, I’ve been trying.  This week, I found posts from some of the blogs I read the most that were outstanding,,,,,so I re-posted them so I could have consistency and get things on the blog that I liked,,,,so my mentality is to share them with others.  And some,,,,kind of tickle my sense of humor,,,,like Shiny Boobs!  So the Blog is a funny thing.  Sunday the 16th was one of the best days ever for readership and views on the blog,,,,,while today and yesterday were two of the worst days in two years for readership on the blog,,,,,,since my standards are going up when I write more.

It’s frustrating (remember,,,,I’m male,,,,,Type A,,,,and like pictures),,,,but if you’re reading this and you’re the same way,,,,,ya gotta realize that this is just part of the whole blogging thing and I need to realize it as well.  I’m getting over it,,,,,I’m over it.  This stuff happens and I can’t predict which posts will go viral or get read by lots of folks,,,,but I know I want to write consistently or post consistently if I can,,,,so I try.  I’m ok with re-posts,,,hell, the authors often send me messages and thank me for those re-posts.  But my goal is to get my own writing on my own blog as often as possible and get folks to stay with the blog so we can grow together,,,,,as I’d rather have 90 folks who read the blog than 9000 who just view the blog then don’t interact.  This is funny too,,,,,cause I have about 10 folks who interact with me through the darkness of cyberspace on a regular basis, and this is great.  I’m really glad to have folks who somehow found this blog and then stuck with us.  I’d love to have 100 great followers rather than 1000 folks who just glanced at the writing.

As we get closer to leaving the US to go bluewater cruising,,,,things will get more interesting.  We’re going to get our own Youtube channel and drone and look into satellite internet for the boat (if we can afford it).  Ok, enough ranting,,,,I’ve run out of white wine!!! Good night-

Upcoming Posts-

Hi everyone, here’s what’s coming up this month:

  • We’re rolling down to southwestern Arizona to check out Imperial Dam camping and paddle boarding.  We’ll be testing our new camera and wide angle lens to show you pics of the campgrounds, kayaking and paddle boarding in that area.
  • We’ll be doing in-depth photo’s and story on Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.  Yep, we’ve been to this park several times.  The Park has gained such popularity it’s hard to find camp sites now but there’s more to see and do than just camp.
  • In two weeks,  LF2SF will be at the 2017 Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show in San Francisco for 2 days.  We’ll be looking at all the new stuff for sailboats, taking pictures of our favorite blue water cruisers and reporting on whatever we want to, bringing you up to date stuff that actually applies to boats that leave the safety of a harbor.
  • We’re going to continue to make you question the sanity of enduring hard and cold winters worldwide by doing a photo expose on the British Virgin Islands.  Our friend just got back and brought us fantastic pics that we have to share.
  • Lastly, we’ll cover by photos and post the before, during and after of professional sailboat painting, what you get for your money and what it actually looks like,,,,on my own boat.

We’re getting a new camera and might actually read the instruction manual or the book recommended to us to bring you better pictures and updated info.   Stay with us, remember we’re prepping to leave the U.S. in 2019 for extended BlueWater Cruising with a Great Dane and two small kids,,,which should produce some great stories and YouTube Channel videos.

If you like us,,,,follow us.

 

 

If you’re in the Caribbean, help this family find Dove II-

I would love to start murmuration (the act of murmuring) throughout the Caribbean with these posts to create a strong lookout for Dove II,,,,as she WILL eventually show up somewhere off the Caribbean or South American shoreline,,,,someone just has to remember or care who she belongs to.

Nearly a month ago I posted a story about the English Family  who lost everything in early December 2016 when their Hanse 50ish ft sailboat lost its rudder and they had to abandon it in the Atlantic Ocean, several days east of the Caribbean islands.  You can read that story on this link: http://livefree2sailfast.com/2017/02/08/will-you-help-this-sailing-family/.  Since then, I started following their WordPress blog, Westerly Adventures and published one of their posts last week with a bit of my own hyperbole attached to it, at this link: http://livefree2sailfast.com/2017/03/08/family-life-continues-despite-past-adversity/.  I’ve been touched by their story and the nature of their resiliency as a family.  Yesterday I received this reply back from them,,,,which was kind of a jolt because it quickly personalizes a post when you’re actually getting something as personal as this:  We’d just like to thank you for making people aware of our situation and our blog.  The comment of ‘ obviously they have a lot of money’ couldn’t be any further from the truth. We have only got the money that the lovely caring people from all around the world have donated us on the gofundme page. With that money we were hoping to pay the salvage when our boat turned up, but as we have lost hope that it’ll ever turn up. We are hoping to use that money to buy another boat to carry on cruising.
Whilst searching for a suitable boat, we are trying to make the most of our time in Tortola by doing the things we love that don’t cost any money, like hitchhiking to the nearest beach and surfing. We have met some lovely people in Tortola that have given us accommodation on their boat, and also the use of surfboards at the local beach.  When we find a boat to carry on with, we will be cruising on a very tight budget. It’s either that or go home back to the normal life of work and school.  Obviously it’s hasn’t worked out as we planned but we are trying to make the most of the situation we are stuck in.  If it wasn’t for all the help we’ve received from the caring sailing community, we wouldn’t be here now.
So a huge thank you for making people aware of our situation and blog.

James, Fran, Heath & Isla

We’re a family with kids around the same age as Heath and Isla and I’m not sure we would have the same response to losing our boat as this family, which is why I’m writing this particular post, on this particular day.

To Jack Van Ommen on Fleetwood, the Caribbean cruising community, the folks in Antigua & Barbuda, the BVI, Jamaica and the Women who Live on Rocks;  please keep an eye out for Dove II, a 50ish foot Hanse floating somewhere off the Caribbean Islands.  It belongs to a family mentioned who would love to get it back.  Without pouring salt on their wounds and for the purposes of identification only, here’s a photo I have of the boat when she was in the process of starting her drift, taken by the crew of Tilly Mint:

Dove II rudderless and being abandoned at sea

It was and will always be a hard choice to abandon a boat at sea, but I would have done the exact same thing to stay with my family AND not have to endanger others with a probable second rescue attempt.  With just the facts I’ve read and seen on the YouTube video, I think the family made the right choice.

I wish this family would stay the course and continue sailing if they find a suitable boat, but I also understand if they can’t or don’t,,,,these are the big boy decisions we all must make.  I know this post sounds a bit like cheerleading and it is,,,,cause it’s my blog.  If you want to help support this family; you can look for their boat in the Caribbean, follow their blog and keep them in your prayers.  If you like my blog, you can follow it too.  

Will you help this Sailing Family?

Do you want your blogging voice heard loud and clear in order to help a sailing family with two young children ?

On or about 19 Dec 2016 a young British family with a 7 and 10-year-old on board lost their sailboat rudder in the middle of the Atlantic on the way to the Caribbean, forcing them to drift for three days until rescue on the 21st of Dec 2016.  You can watch the true YouTube video of their rescue at this link and find their WordPress Blog Site at this link to read their story,,,,in their own words.

Their GoFundMe Site that was set up by Will Marks (one of the crew from Tilly Mint), is now closed,,,,but you can help the family by sharing their story, looking at their WordPress Blog and getting the word out about their boat, which might be drifting toward the Caribbean Islands now; there’s a $10,000 dollar reward for finding it.

The Story:

In a nutshell, the family was on their way from Portugal to Barbados on their 50 Hanse when their rudder disintegrated in unsettled weather in the middle of the Atlantic, on or about 19 December 2016.  The family had done extensive preparation of the boat and the husband has crossed the Atlantic before, they had an extra crew member on board and they didn’t panic.  After three days of trying to somehow get steerage, they made contact with rescue authorities, and less than 4 hours later a large freighter answered their distress call.  For at least 24 hours, they attempted to somehow get over to the freighter, but the seas were too rough.  Another freighter arrived on scene, but the seas were again too rough for anything to happen.  In a stroke of luck, a crewed Discovery 67 named Tilly Mint (not a bad way to get rescued) was within 100 miles and backtracked by motoring,,,over 75 miles to get into position to attempt a rescue.   After hard work on the part of the Tilly Mint crew, the entire family from  Dove II was brought on board Tilly Mint,,safe.  The family was forced to abandon Dove II, a 50+ ft Hanse in the Atlantic, with most (if not all) of their personnel possessions on-board.

Dove II rudderless and being abandoned at sea

Dove II rudderless and being abandoned at sea

 

I’ve already followed their WordPress Site and tried to do my part by donating but the GoFundMe Site is closed.  The good news is that the site was opened on 10 January,,,,and is already closed because it went over its goal.  But I want to do what I can, so I’m writing this story in the hopes that all of you will read it, share it, re-blog or press it, and keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Fran and her two children, soon after rescue by Tilly Mint

Fran and her two children, soon after rescue by Tilly Mint

I watched the YouTube Video last night and it was extremely visceral for me, as we have young children and want to take off sailing.  I think this family did things right and had a stroke of bad luck.  But their story isn’t over yet, I think it’s just beginning and I’ll continue to watch their blog to see how they do.

What can you do and why?  Some of you that occasionally read my posts have VERY large blogs and lots of followers.  You can make a difference by getting this story out or at least sending out the links or watching the YouTube Video so folks can support the family.  Help get the word out about their their boat,,,in case it’s found and can be returned to them.  Follow their blog, let them know you’re out there.  While I may not be the most eloquent writer or blogger, I know even these small things may help.

I’ve pulled the photos off the YouTube Video stills taken by the crew of the Tilly Mint and they need to receive photo credit for these photos. 

 

Camera for the Blog

Better Camera =’s Better Blog Photos,,,right?   After seeing some really great pictures on other blogs and looking at a few of my own, I decided to find a better camera.   So I’ve decided to use my wife’s camera, hoping for some better pics on the blog soon.

Followers on this blog are signing up slowly but surely as more and more of you find us and decide to stick with us.  Roberta Pimentel reminded us that blogging takes awhile; and it must be fate as I heard Jimmy Buffett say he once sang to an audience of seven people when he was starting out.  I write about sailing, cruising, PTSD and adventure travel, but as I look at different blogs on the same subjects; I’ve noticed a trend.  Many blogs I’ve looked at start with the “boat trip” and end once the trip is over,,,,like all their excitement is over?   I’m pretty pleased to be able to start this blog and get to know all of you before we start our sailing adventure (several years before we leave); but I’m authentic as we do have a boat,,,and I’ll write and do a YouTube channel while we’re out and about.  Once we get back, I’ll still love sailing and want to write about it, but from a different perspective.

Next up: We’ll continue my series on Selling Tulum, Captain License and I’ll start a new series about authentic old world Pirate Experiences (which won’t be what you think, as it’s all real!) 

The End