Thursday, December 25, 2014

First night at Anchor Since June !

Anchored for the night after escaping the clutches of Twin Dolphins Marina, been there since October 5, it's time to stretch our sea legs again. If all goes well were headed for the lesser Antilles, BVI,Grenada and Trinidad!

Pic off the back of Discovery facing west, Christmas Day sunset

Pic of Wild Dolphin, our buddy boat going down to Marathon, it'd a Island Packet 40.

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Location:Pics from Elliot Point, Bradenton

Well episode 3 of the S/V Discovery mission to go places we never gone,see things we've never seen, explore galaxies we've ..... Oops that's another series . Well we have left the marina and are anchored at the mouth of the manatee river ready to head offshore to run down to marathon. Ultimately are destination is Miami and we appear to have the mother of all weather windows! Let's hope it holds, Christmas 2014 will be remembered for a easy exit from the marina and a quiet nite o our new super anchor, PM as we call it short for Preying Mantus) has quite a bite! Will sleep safe and secure knowing he's on the job! Merry Christmas everyone! More soon

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Location:Discovery is off on another adventure

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Year.....New Adventure

Caribe we come

Looks like we are headed this winter to the Caribbean

 WOW! But more on that latter, first things first?..

Well the holidays will be here before you know it, and it's time to turn our attention to the next chapter of our adventure on Discovery! It's been a busy 5 months since we put Discovery on the hard in St Pete and set off on our summer tour to reconnect with our family! Thankfully our visit with our kids, parents, aunts, sisters and brothers all went very well and we found everyone in good spirits and good health!
We returned to Discovery in early October and got there in time to see her bottom get a fresh coat of paint and her cutlass bearing get replaced! After some touch up on her boot stripe she was splashed and we motored her across Tampa Bay to Twin dolphins marina where we began the process of  putting all the gear we stowed for hurricane season back on her. Boy was there a bunch of stuff to put back together, dig out of lockers and carry up on deck to make her a fully functioning cruiser again! Thankfully the buckets of damp rid we left below decks did the job and we didn't come back to a mold farm like I worried about while we were away!
After a week of endless trips up and down the companionway steps we finally got Discovery back to the home we remember, but then the dreaded to-do list popped it's ugly head up..... All the things that broke during our last trip to the Bahamas, all the wish list items we wrote down last season, all the deferred or reg maintaince that needs to be done to systems on the boat, all take their place on a seemingly endless list of things that need to be completed before we once again cast the dock lines off here at Twin Dolphins!

With only about 3 weeks to go before we fly back to Ft Worth for the birth of our daughters first child, we set about punching each of about 30 items off that list!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

It's a girl!!

Our Daughter Alissa became a mother one week ago today! Little Lilly Renee Bloch came into our lives weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces at 6:35 AM! We are currently in Ft Worth soaking up baby time. The adventure will continue sometime mid December we will be back on the boat heading to Miami and a crossing early in January!!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Return from the Bahamas

After our kids flew home from Staniel Cay we bounced around the central Exumas for a few days till our friends on Stargazer and Casa Blanca and Tis Good returned from the Turks and we had a reunion at Big Major! We all messed about around Big Major and then spent a few days at Cambridge Cay on the moorings! It was early May now and we all were ready to head North and point our bows to the good old USA! We jumped off from Normans Cay and sailed to Nassaus' west bay? We spent one night anchored there and then off across the New Providence channel to Frazier Hog.

Again one night at anchor and then head east for the over niter to Bimini, we anchored up on the west side just off the beach hoping for a good nite sleep and then the jump across the Gulf Stream to Miami. Unfortunately the wind and surge prevented much sleep, so at first light we were off, it blew 25 knots from the south east and we sailed with 5-6 ft waves on our stern quarter, our most exciting crossing so far and our least comfortable. All went well though and we hit Biscayne channel at about 3 pm that afternoon and were anchored up on the west side of Key Biscayne and enjoyed a calm nights sleep finally!

Next morning it was off to the Dinner Key mooring field and the delights of a Coconut a Grove, one of our most fav stops on the east coast.

After a week at Dinner Key we were ready to continue south to Marathon, our plan was to hang out on a ball at the mooring field and then continue or journey back up to Tampa where we planned to leave the boat for the summer while it waited out hurricane season and we visited friends and family in the SUV we left at Twin Dolphins Marina. While in Marathon I was able to arrange to have all 4 of our house batteries exchanged for new ones at West Marine. It worked out well since the boatyard was right next to the west marine. It's great to have 4 fresh batteries to start our next journey!

Eventually we got a window to head north. Like last January we made the overnite trip from Marathon to Venice and spent a night on the face dock at Crows Nest.

We were Refreshed after a good night sleep and the first day hooked up to shore power in 5 months! (It was hard to believe we had managed to spend only 2 nights in a marina since we left twin dolphins Jan 7th!) And the two nights we spent in Nassau we didn't hook up to the shore power!

We got up the next morning to a strong wind so we decided to use the ICW and head for Sarasota and their mooring field. It was only a 3 hr trip and we got the ball with no issues and put the dink down and off for lunch and shopping in Sarasota.

Next morn we set out for the last leg of our adventure, the trip back to Twin Dolphins! It was non eventful and by lunchtime we were safely back tied up at twin dolphins in a slip just one boat away where we left from, over 2 thousand miles slipped under our keel since that morning 5 months ago!

At this writing were busy washing the accumulated sand and rust that a boat builds up after 5 months in the tropics!

Playing golf living in air conditioned comfort and running errands in our car is a real adjustment from the life we just left in the Bahamas!

Below are some more pics from the last parts of our trip

The last Barracuda caught on the trip, this one between nassaua and Bimini

While in Marathon the wind cooperated one day and we took the dink the 2 miles out to Sombreo Key light and had a great snorkel trip, the reef and the water were every bit as good as the Bahamas .

Out with the old in with the new, batteries that is!

While at the boatyard in Marathon changing the batteries we were busted by these guys, we always see Manatees in the boatyard there!

This trip to Marathon we rented a car for a day and went up to key largo and islamoralda, we spent a few hrs at the dolphin research center, the dolphins there are amazing and they preform almost constantly,could have taken hundreds of pics!

While in marathon we caught up to friends from Kemah, on Daddys Money a 57 ft Nordhaven, they were dock mates of ours at waterford marina, Joe is pictured at breakfast with his drink of choice while at the stuffed pig, the bacon Bloody Mary !

Sunset on our way from Marathon to Venice.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

After the Ragged Islands

We returned to the southern Exumas after our 3 week adventure in the Jumento and Ragged island chain. Our friends Mark and Kathy from Nancy Lu joined us on a week of exploring Cambridge Cay area! After they left for Eluthera we bounced around the central Exumas between cambridge and black point until our Daughter Alissa and her hubby Jason flew into Staniel for a weeks visit. We had a great time showing them our favorite spots around the central Exumas. We visited Wardrick, Cambridge, Staniel, Big Major, and Black Point. Had a great Time! Pics below

Above pics are at the Staniel Cay Yacht club, just walked back from the airstrip after the kids flew in!

Pics from a snorkel trip at Cambridge Cay! These were taken at the sandbar that's next to the aquarium snorkel sight at Cambridge! Alissa found some beautiful conch, and her and Jason posed with the squall in the background. That squall had just finished dropping a water spout!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More from the Bahamas

We had so many good pics from the ragged's and our return to the Exumas  we are posting a few more


Anita and Kathy from Nancy Lu chill at bonefish grill in Duncan Town

Conch burgers made with our fresh caught ragged island Conch!

Our buddy boats, Nancy Lu and Hold Fast over at our boat for lobster dinner!,

Down town Duncan Town!

The great conch fisherman herself!

Ragged islands

After the Island rally we hooked up with a couple of boats who planned to head down to the Jumentos and Ragged Island chain. These are remote cays that stretch south west toward Cuba! In fact Duncan Town the only inhabited island is only 50 miles from Cuba and many cruisers use it as a jumping off point for a trip to Cuba! Not many sailboats go this far south because there is no water, no fuel and very little in the way of supplies, our watermaker made this trip possible!

We left Georgetown and travels south to long island and spent the night at Thompson bay, then left early in the morning and crossed from the banks off of long island to the great Bahama bank by way of the comer channel, a 8 mile shallow (8-10 feet) pass. It was dead calm and the water was like a looking glass. We saw a pin cushion star fish every 50 feet or so, it was a spectacular trip!

We arrived at water cay, the northern most cay at around 3 pm and spent the night there. Water cay is know for its number of sharks because the Bahamian fishermen clean their catch there and the sharks see boats and think food, no swimming there!
We then traveled down to raccoon cay and stayed there for 4 days! Lots of great reefs to snorkel lots of sand dollars under the boat, spectacular beach, and those ever present barracudas and sharks. We ended up getting used to swimming with the barracudas, the sharks were another story!
We then traveled down to Hog Cay, it's a beautiful crescent beach just north of Ducan Town. We spent 2 weeks there! More snorkel, lots of conch, and that's where we found over a hundred sea beans!

The cruisers who have been coming for years have built what they called the yacht club, a shade pavilion made from bamboo, palm stocks, and floatsom! Very cool! Everyone leaves a memento behind in the club and we did too, we found a hard hat on the ocean side beach so we put our info on it and added a Texas burgee!

It was a great trip, the ragged's are really special!

Photos below

Above is the yacht club on Hog Cay beach!

Inside pic of the yacht club!

Just one days haul of sea beans from a hog cay beach!

These are all over the sea floor in the ragged's, the water is 5 feet deep in this pic! Just like bottled water!

Bar b q pit at the yacht club

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bahamas Feb and March

We left dinner key in Miami Feb 4th, sailed across the gulf stream with Two other boats, Stargazer and Casa Blanca. We had a pleasant passage, leaving at 9 am and arriving Frazier Hog in the Berries at 12noon. We stayed a night anchored there and then sailed to Nassau about 40 miles away.
In Nassau we stayed at Yacht Haven marina for two nights and cleared into the Bahamas. We then motored east to rose island where we anchored and snorkeled.
After one night we left and sailed to Allen's Cay, we checked out the igunanas and spent one night anchored there. Weather was approaching so we went on to emarald bay mooring field at wardrick wells, the HQ for Exumas land and Sea Park. Very beautiful. We got to move to the north mooring field the next day before the worst of the weather hit! After 3 days there we sailed south to Musha Cay and spent the night protected from a west wind.
We sailed thru Cave Cay cut into exuma sound the next day and sailed the 50 or so miles to Georgetown! Made it in less than 10 days a new record. We spent two weeks in Georgetown and then took a two day trip to Conception island, a uninhabitated island east and south of Georgetown. Very cool.
Next we participated in a 60 boat rally to Thompson Bay on long island, it's a 80 mile long island just south and east of Georgetown. Had a great time and took a bus tour all around the island. Pics of all of this below!!!!

Our anchorage at wardrick wells, one of our not to be missed spots!

-Anita on our way up Boo Boo hill to check on our sign we left last year. Alas no sign of it!

Lots more boats in Georgetown this year, this shot is off Chat and Chill beach!

Had fun feeding the rays on chat and chill beach, the conch guys gives you bits to feed the rays!

This pic is looking Oceanside at Conception Cay, that's coral down there!

Photo of the boats behind us on the way to Long Island!

Bus tour took us to the museum.

Anita posing in front of Deans Bly hole , worlds deepest at 690 feet!

Catholic church high above clarencetown in long island.

Our tour bus! Only the best here in the Bahamas man!

Columbus monument at Santa Maria point, northernmost in long island.

One of the views from the monument!

At the finale party of the rally!

Back bay at calabash Harbour where we anchored for a night on our way back to Georgetown.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Bradenton to Marathon!

Discovery is in Georgetown and we finally have good Internet so here goes a quick rundown on events from Jan 7th when we left Twin Dolphins headed south!

First leg was from Bradenton off shore to Venice where we spent a couple of days waiting for a weather window to Marathon!

Then it was up at dawn and a straight thru sail to marathon! Made it in 30 hrs!

Spent a few days in marathon again waiting for a weather window! Hit our favorite spots!

While in Marathon caught Eric stone at his new home base!

Caught this Bonita on the way to Marathon!

Had lunch in marathon at keys fishery, had company !

Dinghy dock at boot key Harbour marathon !

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Bradenton to marathon 200 +NM!

Well that was fun, we left Twin Dolphins Friday Jan 10th at 8 am, sailed off shore to Venice, spent a couple of days at Crows nest marina, left there Sunday morning at about 9 am, motorsailed south in some lumpy stuff, 15 knots of NE wind and some big leftover swell from the cold front that passed the day before. Wind settled and the seas improved and by nightfall the wind filled in from the east as expected and we spent the entire night sailing only on just the headsail at 6.5 knots. Wanted to sail because of all the crab pots we would encounter off of the coast and Florida bay. When morning broke on Monday we were just a couple of hrs from the real skinny part leading to seven mile bridge. We brought the headsail in at 9 am and motored to and thru the channel. Caught a nice Bonita on the way! Managed to get a mooring ball at boot key and we will rest up prior to heading north to dinner key! Some pics below

Gulf was calm as we left Tampa bay!

Discovery on the face dock at crows nest marina in Venice.

Dolphin statue in wood at the beach park just steps away from crows nest.

Water color of the marina in Venice.

Day trip downtown Venice beach!

One that did not get away!

Lunch at keys fishery in marathon

View from discovery looking out on a packed boot key Harbour !

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