The Next Day on Our Trip

March 8, 2006

Man-o man… What a difference a day can make.

As we left the docks at Naples, the wind was at about 16 from the north east and as I headed south on the channel, for the 3.5 miles to Gordon Pass I was wondering if I was going to have enough engine to get through the surf that was building in my head. As I rounded the turn to the west, the sea looked calm and wonderful. The pass wasn’t pounding like it was when I came in and we just putted out past marker #1 and set sail.

With a full main and full jib the day began at around 1000 hours. We knew we only had about 30 miles to go so the sail would be great. The wind was coming from the north east, so we opened the sails and just bobbed up the coast at around 5 mph. The wind dropped for a couple of hours to 3 to 4 mph, but we weren’t in a hurry, so we just sailed farther off the coast on a broad reach and waited to see if the wind would pick up. It did and got up to about 10 to 12 and we changed our tack to due north and just sailed right on up the coast to Matanzas Pass and arrived at our slip at about 1800 hours.

It was a beautiful day. At one point I was in that zone where I was connected with the wind, sun, boat and seas, listening to some mellow Michael McCloud, pushing along at about 6.2 and pretty much connected with the entire universe. At that point Pat, who was on the deck reading a book, looked back at me and said, “What a great day.” I busted out laughing from deep in my belly! That was the biggest understatement that I had ever heard. At that moment, I couldn’t put into words the kind of day it was. It just was. No words could describe the peace and cosmic connection that was going on in my head and when Pat said those words, it was like a mental orgasm. Absolutely incredible.

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Dolphins, flying fish, pelicans, and assorted birds floating around made our trip home one of the best days I’ve ever had on the water. Fair winds, 1 to 3 foot seas, just couldn’t get any better. There is nothing like the sound of riding with flowing seas and as you surf over a 3 foot wave and that rush of water pushes from the sides of the boat. What a sound. Over and over again. Laying back with my head on the stern rail padded by a bunch of rope and my foot on the wheel, just barely conscious, but completely aware. Just a state of Is.

Pat brought us in without a hitch. She’s getting pretty good with Magic Wind and I think she is starting to accept “the other women” and that is wonderful.

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Man-o-man… What a difference a day can make.

March 9, 2006

Waking up on Magic Wind, reflecting on our trip and looking at my notes makes me belive that I live in paradise and that paradise is a state of mind. Life is good and I am so thankful of all I have and also the lack of things I have which makes this life possible.

As long as I have my sailing partner Pat and a sturdy ol’ boat, and family and friends to share it all with, I think I have the world by the balls and I won’t let go…

The day is new and I have things to do so I’m off. Magic Wind is safe and sound and needs a fresh water bath which she will truly enjoy.

Pat and I Afloat…

March 5, 2006

Brandon Oberling, Pat’s nephew that is in the Navy, got stationed in Tampa for the next 6 months. He decided to come down and visit us here in Fort Myers Beach for the day and wanted to go sailing. So knowing that it doesn’t take much for me to take out anyone for that matter we put together some food and headed out for the day.

It was a pleasant day on the water, warm, pretty calm and winds around 9. We sailed a bit past marker 1 and cooked some turkey burgers on the grill in the process. It was good to catch up with all the Navy stuff. He brought his room mate Dave along a great guy from Guam.

They were given orders for Tampa in instead of getting orders to Iraq. Kind of like winning the lottery. So he writes in the guest book, “Pat & Paul, Thanks for the ride during our Middle East Tour… Brandon & Dave.

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A good day at sea. 19.6 miles.

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March 6, 2006

Pat and I provisioned Magic Wind and headed out at 1010 hours heading for Marco Island. The seas were around 1 and the wind 3 to 4 so it was a motor sail for 43.8 miles.

As we pulled into Marco, I had my way points that took us into Factory Bay. At that point, I wasn’t sure of the anchorage being the first time in. There was a ketch coming in just in front of us so the right thing to do was to give him a call on 16 and see if he knew where he was going. He just responded and told us to strap on our seat belts and follow him in. His Boat Margaritaville led us in on the west side and we found our spot for the night.

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It was a nice anchorage. Quite a few rental boats bouncing us every now and then, but all in all a very comfy night.

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March 7, 2006

In the morning a cold front was moving down the coast, so we decided not to head down to Little Shark River, another 58 miles south and decided to head back up the coast. As we left the anchorage the wind was up to 23 and gusting to 30 and I had second thoughts.

As we hit the open sea the swells were about 3 to 5 and pretty wind blown so we tied things down and held on for the ride.

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The wind of course was from the north, so we motored for a while and then I decided to put up a reefed jib and head north west to catch some of the fresh breeze to help the engine which was running at 2600 rpm and only moving us at 3 to 4 mph. That worked well, so I put up a reefed main and just cut the engine and sailed for the next couple of hours.

It was a good, hard sail, and it was good to feel Magic Wind do what she does so well, sail. She handled the rough weather very good, but when I checked my track, we had sailed 10 miles and only moved about 2 miles up the coast. I dropped the sails and started the engine again, pointed her due north and bounced our way up the coast.

Pat at the Helm on a Bouncy Day (a 488k video)

As we approached Gordon Pass, Pat and I were whipped. The seas were building to 3 to 6 and this was our last chance to get inside before committing to the next 25 miles. It seemed to be a good idea to head in.

As I brought Magic Wind into the pass, for the first time here, it was narrow and the 3 to 6 footers were heading into the pass at a 25 degree angle and breaking. We surfed back and forth for 5 to 7 minutes which seemed to be an hour or two as we did our best to avoid the jetty and a BIG gas hog coming out.

Whew! finally in and heading 3.2 miles past marker 13 to get to Naples City Harbor Marina. After we got there, I called on 16 and received the response that there was no room for us for the night. I made a circle or two and noticed that there were some mooring balls and so I headed for the gas dock to see if we could hook up for the night. I would have rather had a slip since the night promised to be around 40 and it would have been nice to have some heat.

When I got to the gas dock, the dock master said that he just got a cancellation and we could have a slip. It was a nice night. We had happy hour, walked to town got ice, an orange, paper towels and a half of a small key lime pie, which was a 7.5 on the key lime scale. Simple things to make a great night. Grilled salmon and enjoyed our stay.

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As I write this this morning the wind is light and is going to shift around to the south east by early afternoon. That should put us on a broad reach and just blow us up the coast. I like that point of sail. Here’s hoping the seas have calmed down a bit.

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Log Update

Just a quick update about our last few sails. You can click on a photo to enlarge them in a new window.

February 18,2006

Bro. Dan came into town on the 17th and I can’t think of a better way to start off a visit to Florida then to take a sunset sail out into the Gulf.

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We headed out about 1300 hours and sailed down the coast about 10 miles and about 10 miles out. There we watched the sunset and then headed back toward port. At that point I was at the helm and Pat, my wife, called and asked where we were and I told her. She asked how Bro. Dan was doing, because he has a history of having a bit of motion sickness. She asked if he was sick. As she said that, Dan came up from below and blew his lunch down wind. (Good move on your part Dan).

What timing on Pat’s part all I could say was, “Ahhh, well yes he is.” That was the first I knew he wasn’t feeling so good. What a treat! Bro. Dan is the first on Magic Wind to do the “up chuck” thing. Congratulations Dan.

We sailed until about 2330 and had a great time watching the day become night and sail under the stars.

February 27, 2006

Pat is still out of town. Bro. Dan and I have been working hard and the day was just too nice. So up in the morning, blow off our work and go sailing for the day. I dropped Dan in the dingy and I did some sail arounds and he got some shots of her under sail. She does look pretty on the water doing what she does so well. On the water by 1000 hours and back by 1900 for burgers and frys at Bonita Bills. Life is so good here.

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February 28, 2006

Pat got home on the night of the 27th, so I asked her what she wanted to do. Spend the day on the water was all she said. Well it’s always ok with me to head out. We left about 1100 hours and returned about 1630. Just in time for happy hour at Bonita Bills. Another good day. Bro. Dan had to run CD’s and talk work. So it was just Pat and I. A great day and a good sail. Winds have been around 10 to 20 and 1 to 3 feet on the gulf. So sailing has been awesome.

Brandon, Pat’s nephew, will be in on Sunday and we will take him and his roommate out for the day and grill a nice dinner for him. It will be a good day.

Pat and I are planning on heading out early Monday morning for Marco Island. Then from there south to the Little Shark River. Then turn around and come back. We have a great window coming up and it is about a 100 mile trip down so we will provision up and have a good time.

I’ll catch you up later.

What is it… The 2nd of March?

It’s bee a month. So what’s new. I love this blog thing. I can write when I want and let it all build up and give it to you in a block. It’s a good way to stay in touch.

The last 3 weeks of February have just blown by. I went to Phoenix and back. Pat worked a few shows out there and is now back for the next 13 days. Pat works hard and it is nice when we have some “kick back” time together and this is it. We have played for the last couple of days. We are on our own now and so we are heading out to sea on Magic Wind and will be out for 4 days. Heading down the coast to the Little Snake River. About 95 miles from here, and about 50 miles from Marathon at Vaca Key. We are just going for a sail and we have a nice window.

Brother Dan blew in and out of town in the last 10 days. He came in and I moved him onto Magic Wind. He has made her his home in Florida. He is knocking on doors and is blowing away the musicians in the area with his music. He is good and he will do well down here. I think his heart is in Auston, TX. It is the live music capital of the world. And he is hanging with some of the big dogs. I expect he will be there most of the year and come down here during the winter and scoop up the dough from the tourists. I’ll keep you posted as to where and when he plays around here.

He has also introduced me to some the funkiest bars around here. He has found a couple of open mike nights and the jams go well after hours. The lock the doors and don’t quit until 9 or 10 in the morning. A good time for all.

I understand that the Rush family is fighting the flu thing. They keep giving it to each other. Looks like the end is in site and now their immune systems will be good for a while.

The Burgards have been in touch and all seems to be well with them. I received a couple of photos, one of Kayla and one of Stevie. I’ll try to get them here so you can see them. Nadines camera is not talking to her computer very well, but these are the latest that she has at the moment.

Kayla

Stevie

It was good to see Pop and Donna on my trip to AZ. They are doing well. One day Dad sat and watched me dig through my shit in the storage shed and laughed as I said, “Well you can’t get these anymore, so I think I’ll just keep ’em.” Man I have to stop that and just put a stick of dynamite under all those boxes and blow them up. My life would be lighter then.

Brandon is in now in Tampa for the next several months, (Pat’s nephew that is in the Navy), so we will be seeing a lot of him. It is good to see him in the states instead of Iraq. Aunt Pat will take care of him. He will be down this Sunday with his room mate and we are going to do a sail and have some dinner. It will be fun to have him around for a while.

I plan on updating http://bpwmagic.typepad.com/magicwind so that you can keep up with our sailing adventures.

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