Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good-Bye 2008 and Happy New Year to All!

As we sit in Grey Hound's cockpit,  we've just been thinking of what a year it's been!!  With the arrival of Teagan, our first grandchild and Dick's retirement!  We've had a really special year.......a year of first's! we can't help but want to say "HAPPY NEW YEAR" to all our family and friends!!

As of 2008 we've done 6,238 nm on Grey Hound 
and 2,005 nm since May '08 for this season,
283 nm in Florida and have done 3,650 miles towing the boat.

We're looking forward to 2009 and what it may bring.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Butternut Key

We moved today to Butternut Key because a north to northeast wind shift is predicted.  Again it's great holding and Grey Hound is sitting in 2.7 ft of water.   The plans for New Year's have changed from Key West to Key Largo........(probably Gilbert's)..........this area of the Upper Keys is really nice and we want to explore it more. We'll pick-up mail in Key Largo and see what happens from there.

Today while we were anchored 3 dolphins came up on the starboard side totally catching us by surprise since one came totally out of the water!!  They were good size and we really enjoyed seeing them so close.  Unfortunately we couldn't get the camera out fast enough so sorry Folks, no pix today...........Maybe tomorrow!!!!!!

Winter stars and constellations

I don't think either of us ever realized that stars in the winter months look different than those we normally see on Lake Ontario in the summer.  So we find ourselves checking the book Amy gave us a bunch of years ago "Discover the Stars" by Richard Berry.   We easily found "Orion" but still can't find the North star (we actually think it's shrouded from the distant lights of Miami).  Last night there were so many shooting stars it was quite a show.......You see in CNY at night we're usually head down hurrying to get in out of the cold not looking up!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sorry (not) another sunset with our friends.

We're showing our "fresh water" mentality  but we love seeing dolphins!

Meanwhile back at Grey Hound

...........Dick is perfecting "piling protection".   He says Grey Hound does not like the the big round pilings about 8 feet taller than her freeboard loaded with sharp stuff!  I have to agree with him.  We launched in Melbourne 3 weeks ago and have been at a dock for three nights.......everything else has been a tie up for gas etc.........for a very short time.   I think you'll enjoy Dick's invention!!!!!  Sorry guys,  patent pending    ;-)

ps.  notice how high Grey Hound's bow knuckle still is out of the water..............with a LOT of STUFF on board!  She likes being a cruising boat!.......that happens to be fast.

Exploring with "It" pays off

After breakfast and some boat maintenance "It" (dinghy) took us on an excellent adventure.  A long time ago I was reading through a bird book and read about this beautifully colored bird called a Roseate Spoonbill.  The bird is about 32 in tall and is a beautiful pink color that goes to's head is a very pale green and the tail feathers are orange.......I thought if I could ever get to see one I'd be VERY lucky!!  Today, we found the "mother-load"..........a whole bloomin' mob!  What a sight!

A day of wildlife, beautiful scenery and 75 degree water!

We woke up this morning to a nice quiet anchorage complete with a pair of osprey just in front of Grey Hound.  We've been watching  since yesterday afternoon and don't get tired of watching them.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Heading to Bottle Key

Dick's parents left yesterday and we headed north for essentials (gas and pump-out).  We heard about this secluded Key just west of Tavenier.  What a beautiful place!   We're anchored in 3 ft of water in front of an osprey nest and have already spotted a Reddish I type we can hear a dolphin surface around us as he/she blows out air....must be time for a late night dinner!  It's just crazy!!!  He/she is right out there!!   Nothing else but black and stars around us!!  What a country!!!!!!!!!

A Tropical Christmas

We spent the day at Shell Key and grabbed a mooring ball.   We had a great meal of fish tacos and we were treated to at least 6-8 rainbows..........Showers?  Who cares!  It just gets warm again and then it's time for another swim!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from the gang on Grey Hound!

It's Christmas day and of course another nice day.  We may get a morning shower and then its off to Shell Key for some swimming and eating with The Chief & Millie.  Mom just wants to be back on shore before dark!!

The Christmas gifts were fun to open and we got some good "stuff".  I now have my own hockey shorts!

Like we said last night The Green Turtle was a great dinner and good for laughs.  We hope everyone is staying warm up north.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Green Turtle

 Had a great dinner at the Green Turtle and Santa has been Very Good more pix and fun to come tomorrow!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hail, Hail the gang's all here!

The Chief and Millie arrived in Islamorada yesterday and we have started "pegging the fun meter"!  We now know four of the bartenders at the Lori-Lei and have a really good idea of all the food on the menu.  We took a ride today up to John Pennecamp Marine Park  and viewed some amazing aquariums!  Then it was back to the Lori-Lei (surprise) and "pegging the fun meter" again..........didn't want to miss Happy Hour 'ya know!  Oh, by the way Dad, Millie has joined the Bushwhacker Club and the Chief is looking for his good 'ol Caribbean partner to "take the trash out".   ;-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's going to be Christmas at the Lori' Lei

We pulled in front of the good ole Lori' Lei restaurant yesterday afternoon.  It has changed some since the last time we were there but the bar is still in the same place.  The fine dining building was wiped away via hurricane Wilma awhile back.  Overall the fish sandwich was the best yet last night and our bartender, Hank (he says he is never going back to snow!) grew up in North Syracuse and used to tend at The Cobblestone!  He didn't remember Melissa though....

We saw an old friend yesterday while going through Jewfish Creek.  The Granger's old F27, now renamed Boudicca was in front of Gilbert's so we'll probably see them again.  Overall we have seen more multihulls in two weeks in Florida then we see in a decade in the Great is good to be among friends!

The water is crystal clear and thin......but we should have a calm anchorage for Christmas and The Chief & Millie are scheduled to arrive sometime this afternoon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Elliott Key to Key Largo

We decided to spend two nights in Elliott Key since it was so pretty and quiet.  We saw a Spotted Eagle Ray and our first Hammerhead shark.  Also we visited our first pirates last night, Irwin and Dottie.  They anchored next to us and invited us over for happy hour.
Cruising rule out for trimaran pirates......we had a ton of laughs listening to their stories as they have been all over the Caribbean for the past 15 years.  They were only heading north to Miami because they needed another case of rum!

Tonight is dinner at Alabama Jacks.  It's on Barnes Sound and we're anchored 100 yards in front of the open air deck.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunset at Elliott Key

We had a nice headsail run down the Biscayne Bay and are a 100 yards off the western shore.  It's really beautiful out here......Quiet and a nice sunset before I put the steaks on the grill.  We better get used to "thin water".  

Out Port Everglade and down the coast..


Miami at last!

Yesterday we were finally able to get out into the Atlantic Ocean!  After a good night in Lake Sylvia we went out via Port Everglades along with a huge container ship.  The pictures don't do justice to the scene.....mega yachts, other sailboats, tugs pushing the boat around and then ...US!  But, we managed and once we turned south Grey Hound just took off.  I think she was glad to be out of the ICW and into her element.  

From Lauderdale to Government Cut (Miami's entrance) took just two hours and we averaged around 10-11 knots.  The seas were 3-4 feet with a mixed chop so it was a little wet but the dodger helps.  We saw our first frigate bird but no sea life.

After getting the hook down in front of Miami YC we headed to shore on "it" and met Kenny, Rick, Shawn and Alex for a couple of cocktails on the patio.  It was a fun night and we may see them again in the Keys after the first of January.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tomorrow Miami<<<<<<<<

Go'in to the ocean............out the Ft Lauderdale Inlet and down the coast to Government Cut!  Forecast....East 10 -15.........Cool!   We have a goal, Rick and Kenney are waiting with beers!

The Jetson's anyone?????

Night time in Lake Sylvia

Still southbound

We left Boca this morning after a great breakfast courtesy of   "Chez Dick".   The omlettes were awesome and we were able to have breakfast in the cockpit for the first time in a very long time!  The new cockpit table is another great addition to our inventory and Dick fabricated it himself which is even better.  It rotates 360 degrees so we're never at a loss for serving guests!  Right now we're sitting on the hook in Lake Sylvia in downtown Ft Lauderdale and we've seen 2 big manatees surface off the stern of Grey Hound!  We continue to marvel at the homes and boats around here and feel very lucky to be here.  We've met some fellow cruisers......Cathy and  Neil from Connecticut on their boat "Briar Patch".....  a beautiful traditional boat he built 20 years ago...they've been cruising her for years and spend summers in Maine and winters in the Bahamas.  

Monday, December 15, 2008

app 50 nm to miami

Wow, Boca Raton.....Lake

So far since yesterday (7 bridges and a very strong >20 kn S easterly headwind) we spent a very windy night in N Palm Beach  but our ground tackle held great and we had a good nights rest.
We woke up bright and early this am and still had to stay on the inside and were able to do 13 more bridges in better wind conditions and arrived in Boca Ratan Lake about 3:30.  For some of the bridges we had to have the  "pedal to the metal "but thank you Mr Saildrive we made it.  It is beautiful here!!!  and I don't think we've been this warm in a long time.  Hope you enjoy these pix!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Very Interesting........

8:30pm.......Is that a Big Boat dragging or is that a mirage?   "Ahoy, Skipper!! Are You Dragging?"
"Me?!?  (as Dick shines the light)....."I am not dragging".......Dick...."OK, but I must be imagining your problem just wanted you to know"...........anyway we know exactly how it feels to get into an anchorage and not be able to get the hook to catch........They left and we hope they found a better spot for the night.................with any luck we were able to get our "dragging" experience behind us in the North Channel......Stay tuned for more excellent adventures!

Manatee Pocket

Port St Lucie Inlet Bridge

Port St Lucie, Fl

We motored and sailed today 37 miles to Port St Lucie, leaving the anchorage in N Vero about 9 am.   It's just amazing how thin the water is in the ICW!  We traveled a very thin line down the channel in a building N to Ne 15 -20 kn under jib for a while the sun was out and the water and scenery was just beautiful!  Right now we're anchored in Manatee Pocket, a very cool and protected anchorage.......with some amazing homes and yachts.  We were hoping to take the outside route down to Miami but a weather forecast for strong easterlies will most likely prevent that.  Even so we're having a great time and Grey Hound is carrying us and all our stuff fantastically!   She's not even looking like she's down on her water line.  Many thanks to Jean and Tom for their great hospitality and the turkey for dinner was great!

Friday, December 12, 2008


At noon today we headed out of the Eau Gallie River and down the ICW (intercoastal waterway) to you landlubbers....we had nice 10-15kts out of the NW and made it just north of Vero Beach and had a great sunset and moonrise.  It was a perfect start of our next adventure.  There were plenty of dolphins, ospreys and other very cool things to see on "day 1".

Tomorrow we try for Manatee Pocket, near Port St Lucie.....and guess what?

It's a lot warmer than Syracuse!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We are having fun in Melbourne

After a long but easy drive to Melbourne we have been slowly getting Grey Hound ready for a 4 month sail this winter.  We launched in Ballard Park.  It was a great facility and probably the nicest launch we have ever used.  We had no issues stepping the mast and with Tom's help we were ready to motor down the cove to Waterline Marina for a few days to provision.  After doing a zig and zag around a bunch of piling we pulled into our slip.  Amazingly, we already knew our neighbors!!

While trying to get to the dock (yep, it was a tight fit) I yelled over to a couple to grab the dock lines.  As crazy as it gets......they happened to be Roger and Danielle on Chocobo.  The Manta 40 cat is from Montreal and they were docked on "D" dock at Sackets two years ago!!  Talk about a small world.  They are just starting their round the world trip.

The night before was an outing to Lou's Blues with Jean and Tom....a cool pub with live music.  It was a great time and the music was good.  A good time was had by everyone.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We have just been welcomed to Florida!!!!

It is 11:24am on Saturday and we just came into Florida on I95.  Kismet, I know you are not too far away now!
So far the trip down has been fine.  We have 23 miles to Jacksonville and Tom A. figures we'll pull into Aspen Way about 3pm.  From there we will start to figure out the logistics of launching and storing the trailer and GHP.  The price of gas is much better than in NY and it has been averaging about $1.69/gallon.
Right now the weather will dictate as to when Grey Hound will head south on the intercoastal to the Keys.  It will be nice to be in the area before the 22nd, which is when the Chief and Mom will be pulling into Islamorada.
I'm really liking NOT having a shovel in my hand!!!