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Old 06-04-2011, 08:54   #16
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Re: Thorny Path

we just did it in a 30 foot oday.went from nassau to georgetown, from there to turks, then to san juan, now were in st.martin.good fishing, winds 15-20 with occasional gusts to 25.completely safe and doable.but going east sucks.smashy smashy.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:11   #17
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Re: Thorny Path

Countrybimm, do you happen to have a blog with more info about your passage from George Town to T&C, and then DR, through the Mona Passage, and then PR to the Virgins? I am making this trip starting in November and I'm trying to accumulate all the info that I can. Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:27   #18
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Re: Thorny Path

hey lowcountry.i do have a log that i keep on my facebook.your more then welcome to read it, though ill warn you.im 27 so a lot of it is seen through the eyes of a 27 year old boozer with blue collar roots.take that in mind when you read and you will enjoy.most days do have weather reports while sailing along with conditions at sea.ill message you those days, and you can add me on facebook if you want to read the rest....
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:29   #19
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Re: Thorny Path

just relized how much it is.
add me on facebook
neil buehner
neil_buehner@hotmail.com
im leaving the laundrymatt now in st martin, but ill be online tomorrow to accept.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:02   #20
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Re: Thorny Path

Neil, thanks for the quick response. I checked facebook, and it told me there were no Neil Buehners to be found? Anyway, I am on facebook under "Chip Hunt." I am in Charleston, SC. Maybe you could send me a friend request and I could connect with you that way. Also, I'm in my 30's, so I'm not much older than you. I like to drink a lot of beer and have fun, too. Looking forward to seeing your logs. I've done a lot of time in the Bahamas and feel very comfortable sailing down there. Turks and Caicos through to Puerto Rico, though, is the intimidating part of my upcoming voyage, and I want to gather all the info and advice I can. Thanks again.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:18   #21
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Re: Thorny Path

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific-Blue View Post
Could you confirm that route?
The rum line is via all the islands. The rumb line is the offshore route.
If we're going to get technical...a "rhumb" line is the course that represents an initial bearing to the destination. Which, from Mobile to Key West, is indeed offshore. Personally, I very much like the "rum" line concept, though!
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:51   #22
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Re: Thorny Path

hey chip.i tried finding you on facebook, no dice.there are a million chip hunt's,and when i punched in charleston,sc to filter nothing came up.im gunna try to just post it on here, if it will let me.if that doesnt work.try searching my email on facebook neil_buehner@hotmail.com its a _ between neil and buehner
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:52   #23
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Re: Thorny Path

Feb 16th,2011


My trip starts today.for me anyways.today was the day that we were supposed to leave Georgetown, Bahamas.The reason for this being my first day of the trip, is that this will be the first day i continue my sailing experience.Having getting the boat prepped in Florida, sailing through Nassau and finally reaching Georgetown i found myself not impressed.The boat is in fine form.power isnt a issue anymore due to the wind generator we installed.Our head no longer goes into a holding tank.Its straight into the ocean.very yacht like.the gulf stream didnt present a issue.no snags.Shauns parents had rented the nicest house ive ever been in.and it was a cottage.things are going smoothly.Im bored.Georgetown is filled with sailboats.its a last stop for the dead and almost deceased.Every morning the VHF spits out an hour of various new information from the next volleyball game to crafttime.****.if there was ever a floating retirement community this is it.So today my adventure begins.we have a week and a half to get leeann on a flight to turks and caicos.in between is 240 miles of desolute islands and prevailing headwinds.this means the boat will be smashing into waves instead of calmly cruising over them.on top of that they are calling for 4 days of 20knot winds.great.well not so great.we had the boat prepped to leave this morning and started off.made it out of the harbour and things started to go to ****.with a smaller jib(front sail) and a double reef mainsail (mainsail tied down to make the surface area much smaller) we figured it would be peachy.relize that we had a 50 hour straight trip to get us where we need to be.in six foot seas.straight into them.no problem.ive been kinda moody lately with being suck in port.i dont do well socializing with people.and after a week of being on land everyday with half of belmont i need to sail.everyone who came to the cottage were great.shauns parents are great.my boss glen and his girlfriend are great.martin and mary are great.very down to earth, like to have a few drinks(or more then a few if the card game is good that night) and the guys are all construction orientated.very easy to talk to.for a couple days.in the sence that after two days of people, i dont want to talk to anyone for another three.it wouldnt matter who they are.give me a engine acting up and a 12 pack of beer and thats plently conversation for me.i will say this though, the food was rediculous.everymeal made in that cottage was 5 star.glen martin and ed always made sure there was booze for us.top notch.but i missed the boat.i missed being on the water.and silence.anyways.so we leave today.240 miles.six foot seas.20 knot winds.perfect to get me back to where i want to be.except that i hadnt been on the water in a week in a half.i wasnt sharp.nothing was going right.we managed to snap our first line trying to get the main up.this is new.and made me think.the autohelm was ****in off on us.shaun had fixed it yesterday.sortof.well he tried.meh.simple mistake of backward wires, easy fix.nothing to worry about.except that this was the second thing to go wrong.on top of that we couldnt seem to get the boat to point.this is sailing into the wind as closely as the sail will allow.think of a watch.if were heading towards 12oclock and thats where the wind is coming from, we should be able to aim the boat at 130 and sail.we were sailing around 230.which doesnt seem like it was that far off but on a sailboat that goes 5miles an hour its huge.so i said ****it.were not leaving today.the stars werent aligned.that sorta bullshit.i was also fustrated that we were rusty.so we sailed for a couple hours dragging fishing lines and getting used to the ocean again.caught our first tuna.we had bought a book showing all the ocean fishes since i was sick of shaun guessing and me not being able to prove him wrong.turned out it was once of the few tunas they considered not good eating.ate it anyways.they were right.


Feb 17th,2011


Today the wind was doing as expected and not letting us leave for turks.This didnt mean we werent going to sail, just that we werent going to sail for 24 hours.the crew needed some heavy ocean experience.myself included.so we decided this afternoon that we would sail around stocking island for a few hours and brush up on the sailing.The morning was spent checking my facebook and email and getting a haircut.I know i said i wasnt going to get one,but shaun was going and it was getting pretty long.so we go.got a bahamian barber to cut my hair.i was pretty aprehensive about this due to me only cutting my hair twice a year, so it better be a good one.He was definately not used to cutting white guys hair but did a damn fine job of it.also used a straight blade to trim around my ears and neck.first time having someone use a straight blade on my skull.while it felt pretty good, i dont think ill be letting any barber do a shave that way on me anytime soon. The sailing turned out good, ended up drinkin a bunch of beers racing around the island and talking the future.the future includes a bigger boat.much bigger.theres one in dover, a 48 footer that shauns been looking at.figure buy it not this summer but next one.then take that winter off to work and outfit the boat.by my 30th winter we will have a serious ocean boat and can start doing the world.once we got back we decided to head to st francis yacht club on stocking island for a drink.we were thinking this would be the last night here so we should check it out.yacht clubs are usually a pretty good time since everyone there talks boats, and were usually the youngest and drunkest.didnt dissappoint at this club either.highlights include ordering pizza (its been awhile) and a bartender with some of the biggest tits ive ever seen on a frame like that.shaun pointed out later that she had a serious case of crossed-eyes.I hadnt noticed.


Feb 18th,2011


Stuck in this town again.the winds were predicted for 17 knots.that i can sail.by the time we got the sails out in the harbour it was gusting 26 knots.that should put the waves at around 6-8 feet.and lean the boat over to the point it will feel like were sitting on the side of it sailing.for 20 hours straight.not happening.we have two more days of this wind before it will calm down enough for us to sail.I have felt squirrelly in ports before needing to go,but never like this.we havent met one boat yet that we consider friends.we refuze to meet people.there all 60+.i dont know how many people have been to florida and seen those apartment complex full of the nearly dead playing shuffleboard and going to flea markets,but somewhere along the line one of them decided to buy a boat.and then 340 other couples decided to buy a boat and retire on it.And they all went to Georgetown.shoot me now.I have no problems with elderly people sailing, in fact i think its stellar.what i do have a problem with is them every winter making the great pilgrimage from the states to bahamas waiting for that perfect day to motor here.And then sitting the entire winter without sailing once before motoring back.AND THEN having the nerve to call themselves sailors giving thirdhand advice to anyone who will listen.ARGH.not a pirate among them.That could be my problem, im more pirate then cruiser.if only i had a cannon....and thats why i am so keen on getting out of this town.I need a port with booze and women.YARR.


Feb 19th, 2011


Pretty much one of the best days ive ever had on the ocean.we had a 24 hour slog to get through to our next anchorage.seas were 5-6 feet,wind around 20 knots.and we had to upwind for the first half the trip.making the boat smash through waves can be uncomfortable.and they were.but i was happy to be sailing and happy to leave Georgetown.The next town we stop in will be an entirely different country.we started drinking early due to the size of the waves.liquid courage sort of thing.that and since we had a bet as to who can catch the biggest fish on the way to turks, beers were needed to catch them.and did we ever catch fish.a Mahi-mahi is considered one of the oceans best fighting fish, next to sailfish or marlins.it also happens to be one of the best tasting fishes out there.also called a dolphin fish, its a vibrant yellow and blue color and has a enormous forehead.We had talked about catching one all last year, and i really didnt have high hopes.normally sport fishers will circle around a weedbed where they hang out.we always are going somewhere so dont have this luxery.turns out it wasnt needed.we hit school after school of them to the point we had three of them on at one time.i got some really good footage on my videocam of everyone fighting these fish.we kept the first one, which shaun promptly cleaned,but threw the rest back.looking back now we probly should have kept a few more but i dont like wasting meat.we eventually had to put the rods away just becuase we were losing so much time catching mahi's.unbelievable.this is something that sports fishers would charge over a 1000 a day to take out people.we did it in a 30 foot sailboat.fishin trawler.we also sailed from 6am till 630am.we ended up drinking over fourty beers in a 12 hour session.i managed to sleep from 1 to 3am then had to take the final shift getting us to the anchorage.tired, hungover and sailing directly into a rising run makes for a tough go.but we made it.just over 100 miles from turks, mahi in the fridge, and full day to recover before leaving.Morale is high.


Feb 20th,2011


Managed to sleep until noon.The anchorage that we are at isnt the best one, but our options were limited.We are currently in the Acklin islands.this is some of the most southern islands in the bahamas.the water is pristine.the beaches are pristine.almost nobody comes here.and im not leaving the boat.well i jumped in the water to try to fight off a hangover. Refreshing i suppose though water isnt my nigga. the wind is supposed to die down later tonight so we will be leaving at dawn.today is a reading/movie/sleeping day for the crew.everyone was pretty wiped.we decided not to get smashed for the final 100 miles.to hard on the crew.also going to do some cooking today.cooking on the ocean is rough when u have to have one hand at all times on the pot to keep it from smashing to the floor, and the other holding onto a grab hold to keep you off the floor.so pasta salad it is for tomorrow.we have been eating really good this trip with having a fridge.the produce is terrible in bahamas.I dont know why they dont grow there own, but they dont so its all shipped in.and not in great shape either.but being able to have fresh veggies on board allows me more opportunies to make actual meals.we got pretty good with cooking out of cans, but its nice to not need a can opener for everything.I am back to normal now that im in the middle of nowhere with miles of ocean to cover. We did have one neighbor.a old guy with his wife on a catamoran.he dinghy'd over to say hello and chat.being 27 and not 67 the chat didnt last to long.my people skills....ackward at best.


Feb 21st,2011


Were supposed to leave the Acklins today.the weather was supposed to be pretty nasty but we had the travel itch.plus the island had nothing to but a few houses dotting the beach.all empty.rich peoples cottages.good choice.personally the island fit me nice.but time to go.the island had a really big abandoned light house marking out a big series of reefs.very creepy looking.leeann had me take a picture of her with it in the back ground.we made it around the lighthouse and saw what the ocean had to offer.and what it had to offer was by far the worst seas ive been in.9 foot seas peaked all to hell.we started pounding into them and i was getting scared.shaun didnt give a **** bout the waves cuase he doesnt put thought into **** like that.i over analyze everything.its a good system.im also the voice of reason.leeann is unused to the oceans and neither me or shaun show our fear.on the outside we both are serene and doing the job we have to do.on the inside im going oh **** oh **** oh ****.shaun on the inside is probly thinking about fish.or his girlfriend.or his truck.who knows.i know its not the nine foot waves were looking at.so leeann thinks this is normal.we bang into it for about half hour when i make the call to turn around.so back we go around the reef.around the creepy lighthouse.back oto the safety of island.we did have fishing lines out the whole time cuase we were to busy to bring them in.my line looked like it had seaweed on it..half way in i saw it was a small fish.rod was hardly bent over.then it bent over huge.this rod could have been used as a lance..nothing bends it over.and it C'd out.it also almost ripped the pole from my hands.thankfully whatever ate my fish didnt eat my hook with it.sharks are dicks.


Feb 22nd, 2011


Woke up to shaun going "hey dood come check this out, sharks!".great way to wake up.turns out someone had put a couple fish pots out maybe 2 football fields out from our boat.and in between the fish pots and our boat shaun was seeing a shark fin.we have never seen a shark do that so i was pretty interested in seeing it.unfortunately in the time it took to get me outta my cave and up to the deck the shark had decided it had pressing business elsewhere.probly to punk someones else's fish.The day was absolutely perfect for sailing.winds down to 10knots, waves 6 feet, but really slow rollers.not steep, just rolling blue hills.perfect.once again we went around the lighthouse and started the final leg to get to turks and caicos.should be on the water for 30 hours.morale is high.shaun made a funny comment about needing to hit turks becuase he had only spoken to about five people in the last month...i wondered why i was happy these last few days.5 is a good number to me.we had a tough go sailing in the sence that this boat does not like to go into the wind at all.so we have to go way up, then way down to go straight.ran the engine as well to try and make better time.normally i dont like sailing with the engine, but with the amount of area we have to cover and the weather window we have, we gotta light the tires on this rip.fishing wise, another good day.shaun caught a ok sized mahi on his line, and got his line tangled with leeanns on his efforts to bring it in.i had brought my line in early to avoid this.we notice that trailing behind the fish that shaun had on his line was a really good sized one.so i dropped my line in, jerked it a few times in front of that bastard and hooked him.i got him beside the boat with a bunch of good leaps on his part and just let him swim beside the boat while shaun and leeann took care of there lines and there fish.by the time shaun said he was good to go to bring in my fish, mine made a big leap and shook my hook out.wasnt too dissappointed.i wasnt sure it was bigger then shauns from last session and i really dont like dealing with fish when i can avoid it.hatred of the living and all that.haha.we figured it would be like last time and catch tons of them anyways for fresh dinner.turns out we only managed to catch two barracudas.two of the biggest monsters ive ever seen.the second one i could hardly hold up with two hands.i dont know what they weighed but if they were 30 pounds i wouldnt be suprised.a angry 5 foot fish makes for a hard to shake off hook.got some good pictures and footage of them.its now night.we sit here in the dark listening to satilite radio with more stars around us then ive seen in a year.leeann and i keep watch while shaun catches a nap.the seas are calm, the sails are full.tomorrow will put us in a new country.in the words of motorhead "i just love the life i lead, another beer is all i need".speaking of which.....


Feb 23rd,2011


The night went well.managed to get a little more sleep then normal and with the winds being so calm we ran just the engine.with the engine going and no sails to worry about it was just a matter of sitting in the cockpit and watching for the occassional cruise ship.everyone was up in the morning and pretty excited for making it to turks in the early afternoon.seeing it in the horizon was a great site to see after 30 or so hours at sea.once we got close enough to the island of Provo we saw a massive beach with resort after resort.people.under the age of dying.game on.had to go through a tricky reef passage then headed to Turtle cove marina.getting there we tied up and told the fuel attendant we needed customs.he said no problem and we waited.and waited.when the smokes ran out binny decided hes had enough and went for a tour of the marina.the marina itself is this very kool manmade circle shaped lagoon.bright green water, fish swimming under the boat and a tiki bar.which is the first place shaun headed.as the captian until we clear in, hes the only one who can get off the boat.so after touring the facilities (the bar) he came back with a round of rum punches with lots of ice for the crew and smokes.he also had talked to the customs guy.who turned out was just sitting in his truck waiting for boats to arrive.turns out the fuel attendant didnt bother letting him know that we were here.now customs in the carribbean is amazing.he drove over to the dock.gave us a bunch of paperwork to fill out, and procedeed to chat with us.didnt get on the boat, didnt ask any kind of customs type questions, just chatted.he laughed at how many beers we had in the dinghy (we throw the emptys there when under sail) and was amazed we had busch beer.told us some of the better bars with women, and generally any other question we had for him.after paperwork was done, he took our passports and stamped them on the hood of his land rover.done and done.we had decided to head back to one of the shadier looking hotels on the beach.thinking the cheaper ones would be where the spring breakers are.almost there and binny was staring at girls, not the charts and keeled out the boat.again.this is where the bottem part of the boat called the keel runs into the ground.we were in to shallow of water.in sand this isnt a problem, just embarressing.into coral reefs and rocks, like the one we were now sitting on, this can cause damage.tried backing off of it, no luck.unless we got a tow, were here till tide comes up, in four hours or so.luckily a local with a wakeboarding boat saw our prediciment and was kind enough to give us a tow.free of charge.the people of turks and caicos so far are the nicest bunch of people ive encountered in the carrib.everyone isnt just there to take your money, they generally are friendly.i will say this though.the water was so clear, and the coral so vibrant i kinda wish we hung out on that rock for a few hours.we got off the rock, headed around it and found a place to anchor.right off the beach, resorts everywhere.shaun went for a swim right away to check out the damage, and i guess there was just a couple skuffs on the keel.no big deal.by now we it was 6 or so, and we wanted to get some dry land under our feet,hot food, and icey drinks.we all put on our cleanest clothes, do a quik trucker shower, and get ready to pile into the dinghy.and in the process of getting the dink's fuel tank out, i manage to slam the locker door onto the hand primer of the fuel tank breaking it off.and spilling gas all over myself and the boat.now im drunk, tired, and smell like gas.but no way was i missing a chance to hit dry land and go to the bars.the engine of the dinghy has small inboard tank that if i can get fuel into will work to get us to the beach and back, so hoisting the fuel tank at head level i let it siphon into the engine tank.in the process spilling more gas on my clothes.we were joking earlier how we have to pick up a ugly girl so we can get hot showers and a comfy bed.this is needed now more then ever.and i just decreased my odds by a bunch.**** it, im the ships mechanic i should smell like this.lets go.so again we pile in.untie and fire up the blades.which prompty runs just long enough to get us away from the boat and dies.after sputtering and being a suzuki me and leeann paddle back to the boat while shaun pulls his guts out.decided it was not meant to be.made a ton of kraft dinner and watched half a movie after which all of us passed out from tiredness and booze.First night in turks and caicos with a 8pm passout.a taste of things to come?.tomorrows beach day, so who cares.


Feb 24th,2011


Woke up in paradise.nice sunny day, beach as far as the eye can see.lots of people combing the beaches this early.got up around 7am.generally we wake up early do to doing to bed early.beach day today.also needed to find a phone so shaun could call his parents, and a variety store so the crew can get smokes.after those two projects were complete nothing to do but tour the beach, drink beer and rum, and waste the day.smokes were easy to get.phone was not.turks is highly developed so there are no pay phones.everyone has a cell phone.also we had a tough time getting anywhere do to the fact that every hotel was all inclusive, or timeshare so even getting into them was tricky.we tried just walking into beaches, the resort closest to us, and made it about 50 steps before security was asking us questions.we couldnt figure out how they knew we werent on vacation till we looked what we were wearing.all three of us were wearing black tshirts, and shaun and me had backpacks.all three of us were drinking busch beer.and all of us are super tanned.turned out that security was nice though, and actually pointed us to the lobby.i really like turks.shaun managed to get into the lobby of another close hotel and the receptionist was good enough to let him us there phones to make the call.after that, beach time.by the time we walked the miles of beach and got back to the dinghy i was pretty well done in.the sun was also the hottest ive ever felt.everytime the clouds cleared to let the sun shine out it felt like lasers shooting into my skin.or so i repeatedly and loudly slurred to my crew.who who also in fine form.by the time shaun said he was going back to the boat to get mix i have had enough of the beach and was ready for a nap.when we got back there shaun decided that now was the time to bring up women with me, or more importantly in his eyes, what i was doing wrong to not be bringing them in.something along those lines, either way with both of us hammered it wasnt what i wanted to be hearing.comments were said.he left to go drink on the beach, i played slipknot and hatebreed at max levels while swilling lukewarm busch and scowling at all the vacationers sailing little catamorans around the boat.didnt take long to have the solitude i wanted.by the time they got back to the boat i was almost incoherent eating cold hormeal chile from the can.5 minutes later i was asleep for the night.figure it was around 7pm.


Feb 25th, 2011


Today the crew was in tough shape.turns out i wasnt the only who couldnt take the rum and the sun.shaun didnt remember anything of the afternoon.we had decided to take a slip at turtle cove marina.the price was right, plus we needed water and to top up the batteries.hadnt been to much wind last couple days to make power.docking was a treat considering that we only do it around 4 times a year, and the boat reverses like a bathtub powered with a electic egg beater.but got er done.walked around the marina a bit and went for lunch at sharkbites.this is a really kewl little bar right on the water overlooking all the boats in the marina.sports bar kinda feel, good prices, and fast (for carribb) service.i will be returning.tonight i think.we have internet on the boat, and everyone is still pretty haggard so the afternoon is going to involve movies and naps.kinda want to go to the bar tonight.thats the kewl thing about sailing such long distances.you have 5 days of nothing to spend money on.and then when u get to port...
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:53   #24
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Re: Thorny Path

Feb 26,2011


This morning was kind of mellow.nothing of interest to talk about.Had a hot shower.marinas are good for that.the afternoon shaun and leeann decided to take the dinghy over to the beach.Beachs dont really interest me.sand and sun.boring.so i spent the afternoon drinking rum and cokes while finishing up a book i was reading.by the time they got back both of them were in fine form.shaun had showed up mid afternoon to get crackers and a bottle of rum so i knew they would be gooned when they got back.they deserve it.its good for morale.one thing i managed to do over the afternoon was get my skype account activated so i could call phones from my computer.cheaply.i wish i had done this last year.it was good to catch up with some of them.i also managed to freak out brent by pretending i was the company he just got interviewed for.also spoke to ken and got a little info on how his trip went.sounds like he had a great time.its not on list of places to go, but few years from now if im in the area with the boat, i will have someone who has been there to give me a few pointers.we had decided tonight we would go to sharkbites to get some nachos and wings.unfortunately i was puking off the front of the boat before we made it there.managed to rally pretty good and held my **** together enough to actually enjoy the food they brought.we had thought about hitting up a small hotel bar that was on the way back to the boat, but both me and shaun were in pretty rough shape.well actually we were in fine shape.in our opinion.went to sleep with high spirits.i think.


Feb 27,2011


the bugs are driving me crazy.there is like one mosquito that just keeps picking on me while i sleep.enough that the last two nights ive had to wake up and spray myself with OFF.normally camping or anything like that bugs arent really a issue.somehow in the cabin im taking the worst of it at night.leeann and shaun arent getting hit at all.showering to often i think.everyone woke up in pretty good shape and i had mentioned about taking a walk to try to get groceries or hit the NAPA.we plan on leaving tues so there is a list of things we need to get and to do before we leave Turks.everything is pretty far away from us,but it was sunday.why not take a stroll.we managed to make it to the grocery store and load up for the coming trip.i have a ton of cooking to do tomorrow for our four day sail.with the cooking being tough while sailing i like to get it all done beforehand.I would also like to mention how nice Turks is once again.there roads are fantastic.the IGA was nicer then some canadian ones ive seen, and the produce was very fresh.Turks is ran by white people and it shows.i really didnt want to get racial with my blogs this year, but thats the fact of life.you can argue the point all you want, its true.im here looking at it.We also managed to download FUBAR 2 for today.shaun hadnt seen it yet, and ive only seen it once.so BBQ'd some pork up for lunch and watched FUBAR.awesome.Tomorrow is going to be super busy and thats the way i like it.for me, working while drinking is vacation.also posted a few of my videos on facebook.gave up trying to edit them.computer just wont hack it.something to do when i get back.also, i had talked to Devon Hoyer last night and theres a chance hes coming down to puerto rico a couple days after leeann fly's out.I dont know how its going to go have that monster of energy on board,but just thinking about it makes me laugh.and wince.


Feb 28th,2011


Driving on the wrong side of the road.that was the higlight of my day.we had decided to rent a vehicle to get the final supplies we needed for our trip to Puerto Rico.Also there was a irish pub in the tourist section we wanted to check out.most importantly was laundry.all of us had been recycling our clothes for the past four days with sniff checks.it was starting to get a little dicey.we had rented a small suv type thing, and shaun wasnt to keen on driving so i said i would.Driving on the left takes a little getting used to.driving in a straight line is easy, making turns on intersections is a bit tough.but after a hour or so had picked it up good enough to start ripping on the rental a little.having not driven in a few months it was good to get behind the wheel again.also felt like i was flying even doing 40km/h just cuase i was used to being on a sailboat.laundry went good, and then we headed to the tourist section to check that out along with hitting up the isish pub for lunch.Turks is super nice.ive mentioned this a million times already but getting into the tourist area was pretty kewl.very ritsy.alas it was laundry day so we were all wearing pretty much rags.good.stop the conversations before they start.the pub ended up having good food but a very limited beer selection on draft.the local beer they brew here is disgusting.i took a corona.only drank two beers during the day having to drive.normally this wouldnt stop me from ripping around with a glow on, but the backwards roads was making me cautious.damn brits and there colonies.The night was spent prepping the boat for departure in the morning, clearing out with customs, talking to another cruiser who wanted advice and drinking the last beer.its a good thing were going to puerto becuase we are out of beer.everyone packed it in pretty early with this trip tomorrow coming.here we go.


March 1st,2011


Checked the weather again this morning.they had now changed it so that friday was gunna be miserable.25knot winds with 8 foot seas.this is really bad for us becuase we will have over half a day to make port and nowhere to hide if it gets really ugly.we spent half hour debating on making the trip or not.our next window is monday and who knows what that is going to be like.after deciding to check the weather in puerto we saw they werent going to have nearly as bad of weather as turks so decided to go.the day was really slow for me.into wind our boat wasnt moving decently and with 400 miles to go, and weather coming on friday we cant afford to take our time.but had a ok afternoon with the winds and waves starting to die down a bit after supper.once night hits you start to relize exactly what you got yourself into.400 miles at 4-5MPH. four days on the ocean with no where to stop.it truely will be a stretch of ocean.after talking about saliing the world, being at sea for weeks, and turning into pirates this is the next true leg.and it worries me.you cant help but think of **** that can go wrong and run scenerios through your head.what to grab, how do you get to the dinghy.can you cut it free in time.dark ****in thoughts for what is supposed to be a vacation.well thats just me.generally i think things are always going to go to ****.knock on wood.which has become a 6 time a day habit for me and binny.any negative thing must be finished with knocking on wood.if you ever wonder why pirates and sailors are so supersious?.its becuase we cant afford to mess around with it.another thing worth mentioning while i bnoticed on day one of this Puerto Rico trip is the world ive reduced myself to.30ft by 11ft of space.with two other people.of which the first five feet is binnys Vberth.which i dont go in.besides the smell, theres no reason to go in there.so now down to 25ft.which is everyones living room/bathroom/kitchen.throw in two peoples sleeping quarters with that and you have my entire world.Yacht.and its enough.im on hour 13 of 80.already i want to be there.hammering into waves and winds for this long will take its toll.im interested to see what my final log before we enter Puerto Rico will be.Probly just incomprehensible babbling.most likely complaining.definately the desire to get the **** on dry land.


March 2nd,2011


Well the night was rough.seas were not huge just miserable.the worst part was not trying to stay awake.thats easy.the worst part was trying to sleep.as soon as your head hits the pilllow all you hear is the creaks and groans of the boat smashing into waves.shaun had the same problem i did.leeann didnt.she was feeling seasick for the first time on the trip and popped graval.by 7pm she was out and didnt wake up till 3am.which worked out great since both me and shaun were fragged by then and needed a time out.in the morning we managed to pull a weather report off her iphone from the last little island in turks.and it was the best thing ive seen in a while.the winds and waves for the next five days were steadily dieing down making for the perfect crossing for us.**** yah.woke up around 7am.ive now had bout 5 hours sleep since we started this trip.suprisingly i feel refreshed.a new day.nothing but sea and the boat.fairly calm seas.a day of days.the day was spend napping and plotting courses.we had tried to use the sails to tack east the south.then east then south.our target is southeast.we cant sail there.by 4pm ive had enough of trying to sail that **** in calm seas.we got a engine.we have diesel.use it.so we plotted a direct course to spring break.and in 60 hours we will be there.since the seas were calm, autohelm is working, and we have no sails to trim we started drinking.knowing we have another 3 days on the sea with nothing to do but fish and listen to satilite radio no reason not to.we did see alot of whales flopping all over the place.nothing super close, but still kewl to see.i managed to catch a mackeral around 5pm.i was passed out and leean yelled hey neil.no response.neil fish on!.i popped out and reeled him in.fresh fish for supper.the evening was spend playing risk on my computer.i made poor choices in placement early on making for a quik win for binny.alas the batteries ran out on the laptop before he could win.nobody had noticed i pulled the power cable soon as i saw the outcome of the game.he already owns the boat.no ****in way hes winning risk too.Going to spend the night getting as drunk as i can.nothing to hit, nothing to see.why not drive drunk?


March 3rd,2011


Woke at noon.i hadnt woke up once since like midnight.shaun and leeann took turns keeping on a eye on the boat.whoops.feel terrible.a hangover is one thing.a hangover on the boat isnt much fun.thankfully the seas were calm and we were just motoring so my skills hadnt been needed.pretty calm day just chugging along to Puerto.fuel is becoming a issue.not that we are going to run out just yet.we just dont think that we have enough to motor all the way there.we cant really use the bottem half of our fuel tank since theres 30 years worth of crud hanging out on the bottem of it.we had this problem last year, so now we just keep it over half.unfortunately to get where were going we are going to need wind or we are going to have to dip into the bottem half.we also did some chart plotting and found that we can anchor on the north west side of the island to refuel and take a break from the ocean to recharge ourselves.the night watch went good.i took the 8 till midnight shift just watching movies on the laptop and staring at the ocean.binny took till 4am and leeann took the watch until 8 or so when both me and shaun woke up.4 hours sleep seems to be all thats needed since we nap a bunch during the day.getting used to the ocean again and dont really care how long its going to take long as the water and food hold out.got a couple weeks left if i wanted to.i dont.


March 4th,2011


the seas were calm again.fuel is now a major issue.we definately dont have enough to get there.thankfully its a sailboat.so we sail.winds were light so we ****ed around with the spinniker.thats the big parachute sail boats use to sail in light wind when its coming from behind the boat.the wind was coming from the front of the boat so we improvised.worked for a couple hours till the wind picked up.tried motoring in the evening and the motor quit.as predicted it managed to slurp up some dirt from the bottem of the tank.got to bust of the sterling work shirt and work on it.easy fix since the same problem as last year had it running in half hour or so.was good to put the work uniform on and get some diesal on my hands.miss working on transports most days.this is a good way to take that edge off.decided to head for the nearest port in Puerto Rico to get fuel to finish making it to San Juan.this town is gunna be awesome.the GPS charts shaun bought for for this year had pictures on it.we flipped through a bunch of the ones on it and it looks like a great city.also bet shaun on first fish, biggest fish,most fish.whoever got two out of the three wins the bet.the bet?.round of shots at the bar.i dont know why i keep betting with him for fishing type **** since i always lose, but it passes the time i suppose.he caught one mahi.and there was the most biggest and first fish.son of a bitch.we got a six hour burn in heavy winds to finish the trip to Puerto.its 9pm.im gunna take watch till midnight then wake the skippers drunken ass up to finish taking us in.after that it will be a 3am wakeup to heave the anchor and blessed sleep in calm waters after that.im really glad the waves and weather held for this leg.four days of bad seas would have made this miserable.having the last six hours rough is a good way to finish the haul.you should look fragged when you enter a new port.plus were outta diesel...


March 5th,2011


Well my engine fix turned out to be short lived.The engine is dinked.i know exactly what the problem is.we ran a bunch of dirty diesal through the system clogging the fuel injector pump.same as last time we tried to run it under a half tank.this meant instead of going to San Juan we had to park on the west side, which is a passage between Puerto and Dominican Republic.we also had to fight low winds in the wrong direction to get to the anchorage.imagine being super tired, pissed off, and seeing where you can sleep.its like 2 miles away.and then having to use wind to get there by going back and forth to inch forward.we were within a 20 minute motor by midnight.we parked around 5am.and then slept till 3pm.Here we are.Puerto Rico.land of beer and tits.only were on the wrond side of the island. with no motor.while we are in transit and not cleared in, only the captian can go on land to get needed items like diesal and smokes.which we are out of.he came back an hour later saying everyone was sleeping.turns out 2 till 4pm is siesta time.lazy spics.just kidding its a great idea.just shut down your work day to have a nap.turn that 8 hour day into a 10 hour one.lazy spics.we ripped the whole fuel injector pump apart.mainly shaun.i was still groggy from lack of sleep and didnt feel like doing it.so i just read the manual and told him when he was forgetting ****.after tearing it apart, putting it back together, bleeding the system a bunch of times and still having a 300 pound piece of metal that does nothing we called it.decided to sail to San Juan to clear customs and maybe get someone to look at it.


March 6th,2011


Woke up early this morning to start heading to San Juan.i wasnt real stoked on the idea since we would be heading 60miles upwind with no motor to then sail, not motor into a cruise ship channel.we have done this before drunk in Nassau Bahamas for the hell of it.but we knew that town.this is a whole new animal.Now getting a boat to move in low winds that is anchored without a engine is tough.what also makes it tough is having a 75lb anchor that works really good stuck in the dirt under your boat.normal procedure is to motor forward till it breaks free that have me haul it up.with no engine we couldnt break it free.ended up putting full sails up to break it, then have me haul it up while moving.normally the anchor isnt to bad, but i hadnt lifted it in five days or so.it makes a differerence.the last five days of sailing ive done little to no physical work other then keep my ass in the boat.just about blew a nut liftin er up.I swaggered back to the cockpit joking how easy it was to lift outta the mud.i just about **** myself.binny dont need to know that.so we get moving.the winds are light in the passage so we have full sails out trying to get moving.we finally get north of the island and see exactly what we are tackling.20knot winds out of the east.which is the way we are heading.seas are big.6ft big and steep.now we have to go 60 miles.with the engine should take about 12 hours.but instead we have to head directly north away from the island, then turn towards it going mostly south and a little east till we are gunna hit land, then back north.what should have taken 12 hours is going to take us over 30.in shitty seas.and high winds.put our smallest sail up front and double reefed the main.we cant run any less sail short of just a mailsail.we are out of smokes.we havent had a beer in 5 or 6 days now.we have nothing to mix the rum with but water.and this is how we have to finish the trip to Puerto Rico.Once again seeing land.seeing the island i want to be on.and pounding waves for 30 hours.high notes of the day include not seeing the whale that was 30 feet from the boat cuase i was watching a tv series,having a 8 foot wave hit off the side of the boat soaking everyone, and sailing sober.morale isnt high.not one ****in bit.


March 7th,2011


Were about a third of the way to port.the night went ok.we have been trying different ways to make the boat go faster.This has cuased some discussions between me and binny with me finally giving up and spending the day in the cabin sleeping.both of us have different ideas on sailing.and since binny is the skipper, and fairly fresh i decided to give him the sails for the day figuring ill get my chance when he burns out.turns out this was for the best.becuase by late afternoon we were finally on a tack that would take us into the San Juan harbour.got into the harbour around 7pm.all of us were pretty happy.ill admit binnies way worked out pretty good.can't be right all the time.i dont care that i was wrong this time because were here.and man o man it was worth it.there is a really old massive fort that the spanish built 400 years ago or so, and they have lit it up at night, really kewl way to come into a new country.the harbour itself is massive.Puerto Rico is american.and like anything americans do, its BIG.the harbour allows for a bunch of cruise ships to be in at the same time, plus all the big cargo ships.it was over a mile just to get to the marina.this was really good becuase we have no engine, so we have to tack to get there.there was a cruise ship leaving as we were going in.after i called in and started chatting with the harbour pilot boat, we had no problem giving the ship all the room it needed while still sailing.finally here.by the time we dropped the hook everyone was pretty tired and just fell asleep by 9.i feel better now.


March 8th,2011


A new day.Leeann was leaving tomorrow so we had one day and night to give er in Puerto before she left.The first thing shaun did was go get us beer and smokes.it was around 9am.breakfast beers.clearing into customs was super easy and by 11am we had clearence to tear up the town.Headed into San Juan and it is such a wicked city.First off, its old.the streets are cobble, and narrow in places.this is the first time ive seen european type roads and houses.i got a kick outta it.we headed to senor frogs for lunch.i was happy to see senor frogs here.always a good time.after lunch and beer we decided to go to the old fort.leeann like tourist type things, and me and binny like forts.worked out good.the fort itself was massive.i definately wouldnt want to be the troops trying to assault it back in the day.decided to head back to where the dinghy was to have a waterfront drink and get some more beer for the dinghy ride back to the cooter.after that we were cruising back when saw a police patrol boat who had another small boat pulled over.right away we knew we were ****ed.no life jackets, and we all have beers cracked.after they waved us over we tried to stuff open cans wherever we could hide them.which on the dinghy means behind legs and leeanns purse.turns out they just wanted to see what we were upto.the fact that they didnt speak english well, and leeann played dumb about knowing how to speak spanish worked great.they couldnt give us **** if we couldnt understand them.they conveyed the fact we needed life jackets then apoligized for not speaking better english.my kinda cops.back to the boat to refuel.by now everyone was feeling pretty good so we decided to take the dinghy the other way to find a couple ocean bars.to get to the other end of the harbour where the beachfront hotels and bars were meant going under a couple really low bridges then through a small lake.as we were going under the last bridge i told binny we were getting shallow, to which he replied nah we got like six feet.and thats how we took the shear pin off the prop for the dinghy.so while leeann and shaun paddled the rest of the way to the beach, i hauled up the dinghy engine and replaced the pin.easy fix just takes a couple minutes.just as i finished up some old guy started hollering at us in spanish and blowing a rape whistle at us.figured we werent supposed to be there but didnt want to leave so we paddled over to him.there was a young guy there with his dad just swimming around who translated for us what the problem was.turns out the lake was a no motorized zone.well lucky for us the engine wasnt running anyways.so we headed down to the ocean front bar for happy hour.2.50 coronas and free nachos.good deal.spent a couple hours there then figured we'd head back to the cooter for a couple hours till the nightlife picked up in San Juan then head in.ran the motor the whole way back.**** em.now this is where the night takes a turn for the worst with me.after getting back to the boat the newfie tunes and outlaw country tunes came on.which means i will start getting supper happy and lose all control of my restraint with booze.and i sure did.by the time we were dinghy'ing to town i had my head between my knees and was catching a nap for the 15 min ride over.as we approached the dock, i perked right up, grabbed the anchor rope and popped right onto the dock like i was walking up a ladder.and promptly lost all balance flying back into the ocean.****.im now soaked.my wallet is soaked.its like 10pm and a long dinghy ride back.and i just ****ed up our night.they wanted to go back to the boat, and i was mumbling cant do that, no time.you guys go out, ill watch over the dinghy while your gone.they didnt want to go that.i didnt want to waste time going back to the cooter.then somebody had the idea of walking to senor frogs who has a gift shop,and just buying me new threads.everyone was happy with that plan and off leeann and shaun went to get me shorts and a tshirt.senor frogs is very surf shopish so i was ok with the idea of wearing those clothes.took my shirt off and started using it as a sponge to get alll the water out of the dinghy.we were parked by the customs office, and a older cop came over to see if i needed help.told the cops i was watching the dinghy while the skipper went out drinking.i think he felt sorry for me, but left me alone.bout half hour later shaun and leeann come back swinging a CVS bag.this is bad.CVS is like the american shoppers drug mart.i know instantly the clothes are going to be touristy ****.big sigh.and they are both smiling like crazy looking at me.****.turns out the selection they chose was exactly like i figured it would be.gray shirt that sais PUERTO RICO in big letters, swim shorts with the webbing on the inside that didnt make it to my knees.and a panama jack hat.the hat was alright.i had lost my fox hat when i fell into the ocean.well i didnt lose it, it was in the water and shaun kept running it over with the dinghy trying to drunkenly grab it.so i had cut my losses on it.now we were standing in downtown san jaun, kinda like a stone park area which in the daytime has lots of vendors and foot traffic.this time of night was pretty dead.after laying out my clothes i start stripping off my wet stuff.and for some reason decided to **** with them and get buck.in the middle of the vending area.with cars driving by.leeann and shaun had turned around as soon as they saw me doing this, knowing im usually pretty self concious, and not wanting in any way to see my junk.i was tapping shaun on the shoulder laughing like hell when i heard the whistle.turns out that same cop had came back when they showed up.im now facing him completely naked calmly pulling my shorts on like its no big deal.cop was pretty stunned.turns out he just wanted to tell us we couldnt park the dinghy there.shaun informed him that we had permission from customs that morning to park there.the cop told us he would watch our dinghy, and that was the end of it.i love carribb cops.decided to head to senor frogs.im now gooned, and wearing the most touristy clothes you can buy.not going to be a good night for the ladies i dont think.im also constantly tugging at the webbing that is squishing my balls.ive been a boxer guy since about 8, these nut huggers are driving me crazy.finally get so sick of it i just rip the webbing in half and the boys are happy again.shaun didnt bring ID, so no frogs for us tonight.next bar.little dive bar down the street that had some pretty good tunes playing and cold beer.got a good picture of shaun with his new hat turned sideways, 2 twentys in the other side of it and throwing up some gang signs with a big graffiti behind him.my picture of the night is me throwing the metal horns up in the street with my new clothes.its a bad picture.not being photogenic at all not suprised.decided to hit up one more bar and this one was sweet.it was long and narrow and packed with a mix of locals and tourists.the local girls are pretty hot here.we were all pretty gooned by now, so i just found a wall to hold me up while i nursed my beer and people watched.at the back of the bar was a bunch of tables, one of them being filled with 8 girls all quietly chatting and looking miserable.or so shaun sais.i couldnt really focus by that point and was just trusting in my new friend the wall.i watched him stagger over to the middle of there table, talk at them for about two minutes then stagger back over with a smirk on his face.i guess as a ice breaker shaun had decided to use the hostile approach."your all a bunch of miserable bitches".slurred.i guess that ice breaker didnt work.but he felt pretty good about being the fun police for a moment.decided to pack it in after that, with leeann insisting on getting road beers.shaun insisted on getting sunflower seeds.i wasnt about to talk at that point so i insisted on nothing.woke up in the morning on the cooter.nobody remembers how we got back or who drove.not one beer had been drank on the way back.leeanns first and last night in Puerto Rico was a night to remember.from what we can remember....


March 9th,2011


Leeann leaves to go home today.kinda wierd.she had been on the boat for like two months.we were all pretty haggard but laughing over coffees about how the night went.mainly laughing at me.i didnt mind though.you can either give er and have fun stories to tell.or you can sit at a table and be miserable bitches.shaun was to hung over to drive leeann over to the marina so i said i would take her.waited around for 10 min for the cab to show up then she was gone.made it back to the boat and was using the head when i heard leeann yelling at us from outside the boat.i was in no position to see what was going on, so i yelled at binny to figure out what the problem was.turns out leeann had forgotten her passport on the road, and had somehow managed to convince a guy with a small pontoon boat to drive her back to the boat.this is the problem with being on the water.you cant just walk upto it.i figured she lost about 30 minutes with all that, so im curious to see how close she was to missing her flight.spent the rest of the afternoon napping and the evening watching The Wire.were in a bit of a pickle with this engine not running, and having no wind to make power.batteries are almost dead, but we got the generator so im not super concerned.i know that the batteries will be ruined when we get to Trinidad, but shaun doesnt seem to care, and since hes footing the bill im not about to either.Also confirmed that devon hoyer will be showing up on the 14th of march.him being here for a week is going to hurt.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:37   #25
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Re: Thorny Path

Hey man, found you on facebook, sent you a friend request. looking forward to seeing more of the blog and some photos.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:18   #26
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Re: Thorny Path

Countrybimm, your posts are hillarious! When can we get more?
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Old 05-05-2011, 19:31   #27
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Re: Thorny Path

haha thx...i really dont write them for everyone just sorta friends and family...me posting my logs was just so a guy on here could see conditions for the passage....
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