Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Monday, June 18, 2007

For Sale

We hauled the boat...
...put it up on blocks...
...and cleaned the crap out of it.

Now it's for sale here.

So, the trip is officially over. We're in Georgia right now at Hal's place and expect to be home on Wednesday, June 20th.

Some final statistics:

6657: Total miles travelled
4.9: Average speed (knots), 5.7 MPH
237: Total days
23: Nights spent at sailing through the night
13: Countries Visited- USA, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, Sint Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe (France), Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Also Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.
$22.72: Average daily expenses for me for 2007 including food, water, fuel, beer, boat repairs, fees, plane tickets and everything else imaginable (rate of $8292/year)
18: Total guests and crew

Blog Statistics:

Total Blog posts: 89
Average blog views per day: 55.5
Countries of readers: 32
US states of readers: 34

Thanks for reading, hope it was entertaining.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Not Again...

State of the boat

There's a lot of scraping and painting to do...
... so get back to work, Josh.

It's day 8 of cleaning the boat/setting it up for sale. We're almost done, I think. The boat may be hauled out today (as long as the guy doesn't ask if we're insured), and I think we can leave on Friday. It's a ton of work, but the boat's starting to look shipshape. At the end of each day of scrubbing, sanding and painting we treat ourselves to dinner at the bar.

Two days ago, we left for dinner at high tide, forcing us under a bridge only about 2 feet high in our dinghy. We all huddled in the bottom as we passed under, but forgot about the dinghy light on the stern. The dinghy light cracked and broke off, and the outboard engine slammed into the bridge. Oops.

As we came back from the bar hours later, it was dark out and we passed the police station. The cops dutifully spotted us criminals with our lightless dinghy and pulled us over. They didn't seem to be too interested in our explanation, refusing to allow us back to our boat. Luckily, a very large US Coast Guard boat was nearby, and they offered to escort us back to Kaleidoscope after awhile. So, with sirens flashing, the Coast Guard escorted us the 200 yards across the well-lit waterway.

I was hoping it would end there, but instead the Coast Guard sped ahead and met us at Kaleidoscope. They boarded the boat and searched it. I mean, really searched it. For maybe 40 minutes, two officers looked in every nook and cranny while another one questioned us. They sniffed our pancake mix, they emptied out all our dominos, they checked the holding tank, they tore up the place. Eventually, they found where we had been hiding a kilo of cocaine. Just kidding, they found nothing, of course, and eventually left disappointed.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Back in the USA

We're back in Ft. Lauderdale where multi-million dollar megayachts are commonplace and have names like Stranglehold, Insatiable, and Invader. We've been trying to find someone to sell the boat so that we can move back North. The first potential broker had never sold a sailboat before. He tried to impress us with his fancy clothing and overpriced car, but it was obvious the guy had never sailed a boat in his life. Moving on, we found a new guy. Doesn't seem perfect, but we're tired of looking and we're sticking with him.
A near miss.

Forest drew this. Awesome.
Sometimes we get bored at sea.

Dinner! Vegetarians look away.
We made great time.
So fast, not all the light could keep up.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

By the time you read this, we will be in the United States.

Kaleidoscope left Nassau before sunrise on June 4th and is now crossing the Gulf Stream under relatively calm conditions. The next piece of land we see will be the United States. Tropical Storm Berry cleared the area of bad weather for a few days and we took advantage. The entire passage has been calm and relaxing for the crew, unlike the last passage. Leaving George Town, after filling the boat with food and water and enjoying dinner aboard "Dream Catcher", we made the questionable decision to stockpile a gallon of wine and a bottle of rum within our blood streams the night before a sunrise departure. Josh had the worst of it, spending much of the next morning hanging over the lifelines dry-heaving while we pounded through wind and waves. Thankfully, he decided to use the downwind side this time. The only other time, off the coast of the Dominican Republic, Forest could identify Josh's dinner as it hit him at the helm.

Once again, the sea has provided all of our offshore meals, no more uncooked pasta and Ramen noodles for Kaleidoscope.

Very soon we will be in the land of cheap beer, cheap food, cheap fuel, free water, adequate transportation, and cell phone service. Also the land of dirty, polluted water, materialism and police officers that make you put navigation lights on your dinghy.

There is a lot to be done before we can leave this boat, so hold off on the welcome home party. Repairs, woodwork, and a daunting amount of cleaning need to be done before the boat is saleworthy. Then a boatload of stuff needs to be loaded onto a U-Haul, literally. This is all contigent on us finding someone to sell the boat and a place to sell it around here. If we can't, then it's around the corner 250 miles to Tampa.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I'm not sure if this is reported to landlubbers, but Tropical Storm Berry came across Florida yesterday and brought high winds even to us, 250 miles away. So, once again, Kaleidoscope was weatherbound.

The idle time was wisely used. We checked out a plane wreck in the water from the Bahama's days as a major stop for drug cartels. The drugs were no longer there, but in it's place hundreds of fish had made it home.
In search of dinner, we dove down on a reef. Brad was able to shoot a grouper and we landed it after a tug-of-war battle with a moray eel who wanted the fish for himself.

The next day, in the cold (yes, sometimes it gets cold here) and rain, we set out in search of another snorkeling hole. We found no good reef, but at one point we were passed by a school of about 8 enormous spotted Eagle Rays. These are beautiful and harmless sting rays that have a wingspan of about 4 feet with a tail that extends another 5. One played the role of "schoolbus" in "Finding Nemo".

A short while later, I spotted the largest sea turtle I've seen yet. He was moving slowly at the bottom, so I decided to swim down to him. He barely seemed to notice when I grabbed on to his shell and enjoyed a free ride. Eventually, I became nervous about clinging to an animal that could easily bite my arm off, so I let go.

It's now June 3rd. Kaleidoscope is underway to Nassau, the capital and only real city in the Bahamas. It will be the last stop before the United States. I think I speak for all of us when I say we'll be relieved to finally be home. Only 200 miles to go...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Boring Update

Well, we've been "stuck" in George Town, Bahamas for the past week. The weather this month has been abysmal. May is supposed to be the last nice, calm weather before hurricane season which officially starts in 3 days, but Kaleidoscope has spent it scurrying from anchorage to anchorage hiding from the blasting East winds and squalls.

It's all OK, though. We all like George Town, and we've been able to supply all of our energy needs with wind power for the week. Plus, I got to do some pretty nice windsurfing.

We've spent a lot of time on the beach chatting with other sailors and playing beach volleyball. On 3 nights, the cruisers got together for 20 person poker tournaments at the local resort. Kaleidoscope won all 3, with Josh winning 2 and Brad winning the other.

It looks like the weather is calming down, so we're going to head out tomorrow. We'll most likely spend a week or so hitting some remote Bahamian islands keeping a very close eye on the weather, and then it's across the Gulf Stream to Florida.

Regarding those pictures, all the good ones are on Forest's camera, which we cannot connect to this computer, unfortunately. We'll post them in webshots when we get home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Ragged Islands

We arrived in the isolated Island chain of the Jumentos a yesterday. We had an exiting trip on the way here. Nothing like a lightening storm in the open ocean to give you a little perspective on things. A Southwest wind was blowing and we navigated our way to one of the island chain's only anchorages sheltered from that direction. This involved some exiting eyeball steering through coral heads and shallow sand banks. Once again we were thankful for Kaliedoscope's shallow draught. With the sun high above us and a few crew members on the bow we easily identified the boat sinking hazards and course changes were communicated to the helmsman. We shared the U shaped anchorage with two Bahamian fishing boats.
We awoke this morning to the pleasant sight of the clear water and sandy beaches of the low isolated islands of the Bahamas. Nowhere else have we found water as beautiful. In no other country has the call been so powerful to leave the boat to its anchor and swim out diving and exploring. Forest and Josh had gained some basic skills in snorkeling in our last island, Great Inagua. With our freezer full of Dorado from the passage, we passed on numerous opportunities to shoot Nassau Groupers and large snappers.
Upon our return from snorkeling Dan and I snapped back into our roles as co-captains. We discussed the morning's weather report and evaluated our anchorage's level of protection from expected wind and waves. Our decision was made easier as we watched both fishing boats pull up anchor and head for the other side of the island. In the middle of making lunch, we postponed our move until it was finished.
The first squall arrived before we had finished eating. The wind picked up and was whistling through the rigging. Rain began to fall at an acute angle to the ground and a waterspout (tornado over water) touched down a quarter mile to the north. We watched, fascinated, as the waterspout spun whipping up a mist where it touched the water. After a short time the squall passed and we decided to take advantage of the lull to move the boat. We rounded the small island's point and tried to drop anchor near the two fishing boats. After attempts at two different locations we could not get the anchor to hold. After lifting it back to the boat the second squall hit us. The wind was more intense this time and for a short period of time it took most of our engine power to keep the boat under control. Another water spout touched down near one of the fishing boats, but they seemed unconcerned. In fact the small outboard driven fishing skiffs left on their daily fishing rounds, out into the middle of the squall. We put some distance between us and the island and waited a half hour for winds to die down. Returning, with the sea much choppier, we identified a patch of good holding sand and set down both of our anchors with plenty of chain. With the boat held tightly we settled down to play cribbage and dominoes in the cabin, safe from the rain.