In South Carolina…

Well we left Florida and headed to South Carolina on Friday. It was a great ride…

It seems that when Pat and I ride together that we talk a lot. We solve all the worlds problems and we plan the rest of our lives step by step. It’s a good time. She sleeps well while I drive and when we awakes, she has insights that we share and cherish. It’s a great time for both of us.

We did do something that we didn’t expect to do the day before we left Florida. WELCOME MAGGIE! She is a wonderful little dog. Since we lost Sadie last January, we have been gently looking for a puppy that would make us happy and here she is. You can click on the picture and enlarge it in a new window.

Magie1

She is a Schnauzer that is a salt and pepper color and will fit our lifestyle just fine. She loves to ride and loves kids and is a smart little girl. We will raise her as our own and she will make a wonderful part of our family. Magie, thank you for being there for us.

We will spend a week here in S.C. with the kids and family and then off to Colorado for the Ren. Fest. I look forward to doing some magic and doing what I do for a living. Lots of new stuff and lots of old stuff. But for the people that haven’t seen my show… Lot’s of new stuff.

I’ll keep this blog up as we progress. It is a sad time for us as far as Magic Wind is concerned. She is sitting on the hard in Florida as the hurricane season passes, but I have to tell you that next year is going to be a very active season for her. I will be offering sailboat rides, sunset sails, charters, etc. for the people that want to go sailing on her. I can’t think of anyone that knows about her that wouldn’t want to do that.

You can look at her site at: http://www.SailMagicWind.com. Contact Captain Paul if you want to know more about her travels and your chance to join a leg to them, or I can plan something special for you.

In any case, take care my friends and stay in touch, we’ll do the same.

Getting Ready to Hit the Road… Again

Well this week is a busy one. Pat and I are getting ready to leave on Saturday to head to South Carolina to visit with the Rush family. It will be good to see Brad and Stacie, Riana and Mallory. We will be there for a week and then set off to head west to Colorado for June and July.

Garlic to sell and Magic to do… Pat will have her Garlic Festival Shop at the Colorado Renaissance Festival again this year and I’ll be performing a couple of stage shows and a lot of street shows per day.

It will be a great time and we will keep you updated as we progress through the summer. I’ll try to keep everything up to date, but it hasn’t happened in the past, so I wouldn’t put any money on it.

Magic Wind is buttoned up for the summer and we are getting out of Florida for the hurricane season. You know if it get’s to the “N’s” the storm will be called, Nadine. (My daughter) and if it gets to the “P’s” then the the storm will be called, Patty. (We all know who that is.) Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far up the ladder this year.

Today Was a Sad Day

Pulling the sails off, storing the lines, rolling up the dingy, putting up the pads, setting up the moisture catchers, and locking the door for the season is a sad day as far as I’m concerned. She just looks weird sitting there on stands and not cradled by the water. There’s a sadness about her. I know you guys think I’m crazy, but I’ve bonded with that tub and she talks to me. I’ve told here that this is the best thing for her, but she knows that I don’t really know that until we get to the end of the hurricane season and see how things worked out this year.

So she sits, “on the hard” in a boat yard with several other boats. I know she will have good company and friends to talk to. I’ll just miss her and pray for her safety. Pat and I are confident that we’ve done everything we can to keep her safe and happy, so I will rest as easy as possible as she is getting used to being on land and not bobbing in her little slip in some little port… Somewhere.

But in the fall, she will be waiting for us. She will have a new bottom job. She will be waxed and polished. I’ll change her fluids and put on the sails and she will ride the seas again.

Good night Magic Wind, be safe.

Remember, you can click on a photo to enlarge it in a new window.

You can continue keeping track of us by clicking: http://bpwmagic.typepad.com/the_journey. We’re on land now. Our legs bob around a bit, but we’ll get used to it.

Mwhard

Well We Are Buttoning Up For the Season…

After a great night at the Burnt Store Marina and dinner with Ray and Cynde, we woke up and hit the water by 0800. Filled with diesel and water, pumped out tanks we headed northwest to the lock that takes you into the interior of Cattle Dock Point. Pat was the lock tender.

Remember, you can click on a photo to enlarge it in a new window.

Locktender

Inlock

It was a very interesting ride. We didn’t get to sail much because everything was on my nose again, but it was a nice comfy ride. Magic Wind did great and got us up to the lock where we had to figure out how to run it. It is unmanned and very, very shallow. With Pat on the dock and me on the boat, we worked Magic Wind into the lock and then closed the doors. Then Pat couldn’t get the other door open to the inland. Another boat came up and helped. Just a button thing that’s all.

Lockinwake

Once Pat was back on board, we headed up the narrow and shallow channel for about 12 miles to the Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage. It was an interesting ride. Very shallow water. My depth gauge didn’t register any under the keel most of the time. I just went on trust that the water was there and looked for outs along the way.

Inriver

Click to see a movie of the river after the lock.

Once there, we were hauled out and then put on a truck and taken about a mile to the storage lot. It happened so fast and easy, that we now have to head back up there and take down the sails, bimini, dodger, etc., for the summer.

Thehaulout

Click to see a movie of the haul out at Port Charlotte Boat Storage.

That’s about a half days work and then we kiss her on the nose and say a prayer for her safety during the hurricane season. I’m sad, Magic Wind is sad, Pat is sad… But in my heart, I think this is the best thing for the season. We’ll see.

Click to see a movie of Magic Wind on the truck that took her a mile to her storage area.

Up the Intracoastal Waterway

May 17, 2006

This shot is of us leaving Matanzas Pass heading to the ICW. It is the bridge that connects San Carlos Island to Estero Island and Fort Myers Beach.

Sancarlosbridge

Trip Details:

Distance: 28.8 km
Max Speed: 6.9 kt
Moving Time: 9 hrs 27 min

We headed north and headed through the Sanabel Bridge then up to the ICW.

Sancasbridge

It was a day on the ICW. The wind was 20 to 30 mph and right on our nose, so it was a motor boat ride… A slow motor boat ride to Pelican Bay.

Icwhiwind

We made it to Pelican Bay for the night. This is one of Pat and I’s favorite anchorages. Nice, quite and peaceful. We always enjoy a stay there.

Pelbay

Pelbaybeach

On the morning of the 18th we sailed to Burnt Store Marina.

Trip Details:

Distance: 10.4 km
Max Speed: 8.1 kt
Moving Time: 2 hrs 17 min

We pulled in and had lunch and then went over to Ray and Cynde’s 43 foot Hunter for a visit. They sure are great folks. We chatted for a while and planed a Saturday trip to Palmento for a boat day with the Massy guys. It looks to be a nice day.

Tomorrow we are putting in our last leg of the season. We are heading up to Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage and putting the boat up on the hard for the summer. (out of the water on stands) I’ve heard that it is a good way to keep her safe in the screwy weather that they have down here in the summer. I just don’t want to say the word hurricane. But it is the season and they are going to start soon. So I’m trying to be resep… reesp… reaspanc… well you know that “R” word.

I’ll be posting photo’s on these legs when I have time, so check back in a few days. Lots of work tomorrow we go through a lock and onto a fresh water lake and channel system to get to where we need to go. I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

Oh My… How Plans Change!

Well now… It’s 5 days later and instead of heading into the front and going to Little Shark River for the night and then to Marco Island for the night and then to Fort Myers Beach, we just made the leap.

Here’s what happened… We sat in Boot Key Harbor for a couple of days and then we were going to head out, But the front was pushing in on Friday and we didn’t want the west to northwest front to push up into the Little Shark River, (where all the little buggy’s are), so we let the front go through on Friday and headed out after it passed and before the next one came in on Monday.

Here’s a shot of the Seven Mile Bridge going from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico just west of Vacca Key. The current here was rippin…7milebridge_1

Now that gave us a two day weather window, so what else could we do… We hopped into the water and pushed 130 miles across the Gulf and 26 hours later, we were in Fort Myers. We checked into Salty Sam’s Marina for the next 3 nights and then we are off to points north. I’m not committing to any plans at this time. The phrase for this trip is “Embrace Change”. With that said, we will enjoy our stay here and get a jump at getting things together for the land voyage coming up soon.

We are pulling things out of the boat that need to be stored and taken to the trailer before we put Magic Wind up on the hard for the summer. That’s going to be a new experience for me. Not sure how I feel about a boat out of water for that amount of time, but all the guys that I talk to say they do it all the time, up north. I’m still sitting on the fence.

To get back to the story, we really enjoyed Boot Key Harbor and will go back again. Everyone was friendly and had a special “island” feel that made you feel at home. Darn good Margarita’s too. AND the bar at Sombrero Dockside had Gosling Rum. Now that’s a plus. We just didn’t plan to be there five nights, but there we stayed. Didn’t really get anything done either. We feel that we were in some kind of zone or something.

The sail back was interesting. Just Pat and I. Didn’t see a boat for 20 hours of the trip. Several times I wondered what the hell I was doing out there, besides enjoying every precious moment. There’s something that goes through my mind when the last bit of land goes away. I feel that maybe that might be the last time I see it. By choice, or maybe not. Depends on me, my boat and my desire. Maybe, I’ll just keep on going. Maybe someday. Maybe not. It all seems so insignificant at that point, yet it’s all so important. Kind of like nothing is there, except everything. I hope to take you all there someday.

The last “Salty Piece of Land” we saw before sailing across the Gulf all night long. Just some scattered keys that need to me explored. (I’ve made notes.)
Lastkeys

It was a special night. The sun went down and Pat and I were watching as the last bit of light slipped past the horizon. I said in jest, “Watch for the green flash.” And when it slipped away, Pat looked at me and I at her, we just kind of looked at each other and then I said, “Did you see it?” She shook her head yes. And so did I. For the first time we saw it. It does exist. And neither one of us wanted to admit it, but there it was, that fuzzy little flash of green. What a gas. You would have had to been there.

The first one is the Sunset. The next one is Sunrise. The Full Moon was in between. I couldn’t get a shot of that because of the movement of the boat and exposer stuff.

Sunsetflash_1
Sunrizesable

Then in about a half hour, the full moon came up above a low cloud bank in the east. Big and orange. What a night. We sailed and Pat slept. She came up on deck around 0400 and took a couple of hour watch. That was a surprise, but a welcomed one. I was out like a light. (Next season I fix the auto pilot). She took two more watches through the day and I slept two more times. All in all it was wonderful.

Ahhh… It was good to see the marker at the beginning of the channel here at San Carlos Bay and Matanzas Pass. That maker put us about an hour out.
Homemarker

We started with the wind from the north on our bow and so were the waves. Around 0200 I had a chance to put the sails up as the wind went to the north east a bit. By 0700 it was from a solid east north east and the sailing was great. By the time we got off of Naples, it was from the west south west and we were flying. 6 to 8 kts and flowing seas. What a ride!

Once in the slip, it was time for a very, very cold beer. It was good too. So was the second one… Millertime

Brother Dan is playing at the Smiling Dog tonight for the last time this season. I think I’ll go up and have a beer and listen to some good music. It is always nice to hear him play. He’s got some good new songs he has written this season. I look forward to the CD and song book.

Trip Details:

Trip Distance: 131 nm
Max Speed: 8.8 kt
Moving Time: 26 hrs 28 min

Magic Wind is doing a wonderful job. She is safe, solid and is loved by many. I think I’ll keep her…

Click to view: Just a little sailing movie coming into Fort Myers Beach with a good beam reach. 1.1 meg

Remember, you can click on a photo to enlarge it in a new window.

Safe & Sound in Boot Key Harbor

We’ve enjoyed our stay in Boot Key Harbor. We didn’t do much, played cards re-provisioned, drank margarita’s, talked with Jack, went to town. So all in all not much of nothing, but we had a great time doing it.

Now it’s time to move on. There is a front moving in tomorrow night, so we thought we’d take off in the morning and head up to the Little Shark River on Cape Sable. (About 38 Miles) There we will anchor and sit with the 60 foot mangroves as they protect us from any storms that may blow through.

Then on Friday, we plan on shooting across the Gulf back up to Marco Island. We will anchor there and then head up to Fort Myers Beach for a night. After that we will head north to Charlotte Harbor and points north for a couple of days.

At that point, we will take Magic Wind and get her ready for hurricane season. Button her up and make sure all is secure and well and insured. She has given us and a lot of other people a very happy season of sailing. Next year she goes to work taking passengers out to enjoy her on the sea.

We will probably be disconnect for the next couple of days because we will be in the Everglades State Park area and I’m not sure what connections are available out there.

So the cruise continues. Here’s a shot of our little piece of heaven here in the keys for the last couple of days.

Remember you can click on any of the photo’s to enlarge them in a new window.

Mwbootkey

Yep, We’re Still Floating Around the Keys…

Let me catch you up on the last couple of days…

May 6, 2006

Trip Details:

Distance: 29.3 nm
Max Speed: 7.6 kt
Moving Time: 6 hrs 44 min

We sailed from Key West to Newfound Harbor. We anchored at N 24 38.7 W 81 22.8. A very nice spot, protected, smooth and good holding.

Coming out of Key West was really bumpy. The waves were breaking over the bow a lot and Pat got soaked. After about a half hour of driving into the waves, we turned west and set sail. Waves were a beam and wind was 15 to 20 from the south. a very nice point of sail. Beautiful water, beautiful day. We did see a Grande Sea Turtle… Huge.

Click here to watch a 1.2 meg clip

Nfhaproach

Anchorenfh_2

May 7, 2006

We sailed to from Newfound Harbor to Bahia Honda State Park. A guy in Key West warned me about the currents and i read in a book that they are the fiercest in the Keys… Well I hope they are because the approach to this place was a rock and rollin’ experience. REMEMBER to stay out and then hug the 11 foot shoal to the east for the smoothest ride. This I learned after 3 tries to the approach.

Once inside it was a beautiful place to spend the day and night. We dropped the hook and once settled, we took the dingy into shore. It was an exciting time. We got ice, dumped off trash and had ice cream. But land sickness was setting in so we headed back out to the boat, got out snorkeling gear and headed to the beach. All in all a great day.

This is a number one spot to spend the day. It was a bit bumpy at night, but still a great place to stay.

Trip Details:

Distance: 11.6 km
Max Speed: 6.8 kt
Moving Time: 3 hrs 13 min

Something is burning in Florida. Makes for great sunsets. But we haven’t seen any news, so were not sure what it is.

Since the photo’s don’t match up with the captions, I’ll let you match the captions up with the photo’s anyway you want to…

This is Pat on the front of Magic Wind on our finale approach to Bahia Honda State Park. They cut out part of the old bridge so that sailing vessels can enter from the Atlantic side of the Keys. You can see in the distance where we are going to anchor.

This is where we spent time in the water. Pat with Magic Wind in the distance. You can also see Puff III in the foreground.

Here’s just a nice shot of Pat and Puff III, (That’s right the dingy has a name. Thanks Pop!) It was a very, very nice day here.

The sunset was great thanks to all the smoke and haze from the Florida fires somewhere north.

Patbhapproach

Patwatermwdistance

Patnpuffiii

Sunsetbahiahonda

May 8, 2006

Well up in the morning and off to Hawk Channel. Heading east north east to Vaca Key and Boot Harbor. We headed out about 0830 and jumped back into that current and got outside and things settled back down. Made the left and headed east. Winds at about 10 to 15 and a beautiful morning for a sail.

We passed this little island just outside of Bahia Honda State Park.

Smisland

Sailing down was once again a great experience. Blue sky and very blue water. Nice waves which gave Magic Wind something to do and kept me on my toes. Comfy, secure and a safe passage along the beaches of the Keys. This is truly a good trip to stretch our physical, mental and spiritual sides.

7milebridge

We pulled into Boot Harbor at about 1115 hours and through the draw bridge. After making our way around the edge of the harbor, we got to our little marina called Sombrero Marina and Dockside Bar. We pulled in and docked. Ron the dock master, let us pull it together and then we went up and checked in.

Bootkeybridge

Just before we went up to the bar to take care of business an ol’ salt named Jack from a couple of boats down came up and introduced himself and welcomed us to the marina. He has a 48 foot trawler and after he lost his wife a year ago, lives aboard. He and his wife had a 32 foot sailboat that they spent 5 years sailing from here to Venezuela. You could tell he missed her a lot. He also told us if we needed to get around the island that we could use his van, just stop by and pick up the keys. Now that’s a nice guy. We took him up on his offer after lunch and headed up to Publix and K-Mart for supplies. All he asked for was some ice cream. It’s a good life.

Jack

Here’s a short clip, 1.4 megs of Magic Wind just sailing. I only put these up to give you a taste and feel and see the water going by. Let me know if they are too redundant and I’ll stop. If I don’t hear from you in the comments then I’ll keep putting the little clips up for posterity.

Click here to download the clip

We are tucked in for the night in a very quiet corner of the harbor. The water is like glass and we are looking forward to a nice nights sleep. It’s been kind of broken for the last couple of nights, but tonight I will sleep like a baby. Good night my friends… Tomorrow is another day.

Trip Details:

Distance: 14.8 nm
Max Speed: 6.6 kt
Moving Time: 3hrs 18 min

The End of Day 2 in Key West, FL

Pat and I have decided that we need to get jobs here, or we need to hit the seas in the morning. I opt for hitting the sea. Pat says that’s what she wants to do too. So, we have spent the evening pulling it together and we should be out-a-hear at 0800.

That will put us at Newfound Key at about 1300 or 1400. Somewhere in there. We will drop the hook for a day or two and then off to Bahia Honda. They promise dolphins, turtles and they have seen whales there, but I think we are not in the right season for that.

Our weather window continues to look good at least through Tuesday. Only because that’s all they will commit to and NOAA has a pretty good record of missing the mark a little. But that’s not my only source for weather. I put them all together and then make a decision. Then I make that decision right.

We will have a great time… Again.

Remember you can click on a photo to enlarge it in a new window.

Here’s where Magic Wind ended up after 21.5 hours at sea… A well deserved rest.

Mws1ststopkw

The Key West Chicken population is still strong. We understand that because of the “Bird Flu”, they are going to take them all away… It’s a sad day in Paradise!

Kwchickens

Key West will still have all the color that it has always had. Here’s a one man parade that took up the middle of the street. He was a great site to behold.

Kwelvis

Well, yesterday Brother Dan packed up his guitar, loaded his back pack and jumped ship to grab a ferry back to Fort Myers Beach… He left us with some herbs, fishing tackle and a new baby cheese grater. He’ll be back, they all do…

Bdmovinon

Just walking away. But we will continue the journey without him and we will keep him close to our hearts as he continues his journey also. God Bless you Dan.

Bdwalkinaway

Here’s a nice “Group Shot” of the three of us in a bar on Duval Street in Key West. Yea it was shot into a dirty mirror, but that’s all we had to work with at the time.

Groupshot

So the photos don’t line up with the captions… Go figure. I’ll work on that when I think it makes a difference.

Another Day in Key West, or Day 2

Pat and I decided to spend one more day in Key West. We sat on the back of Magic Wind last night having “boat drinks” and decided that we need to spend one more day in port to take care of some business and plug in GPS way points for the next 3 or so days at sea.

Today is beautiful as usual down here and we are starting out slow… As usual… We are getting ready to head up to a bar that has a pool and waterfall for a beer and a dip. After that it’s lunch at the Schooner Wharf with Michael McCloud in the background. Then to Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration. In between we’ll do laundry and clean the boat up for the trip tomorrow.

We will be heading out to Newfound Channel to anchor there for a night or two. I found an ol’ 1800’s ship wreck in 18 feet of water that I want to check out about 25 miles from here.

I just found out that a good friend of mine, Jeff Kasper of the Dew Drop Jugglers, lost his mom last week. I hate that. It leaves a real hole in your heart and mines been gone now for about 15 years and I still have “mom attacks” every once and a while. My love and prayers go out to Jeff and his family and all I can say is fill that hole with all the love and memories that you have of her. It will help.

I’ll go now and shoot some photos of Key West and paste them up here for you all to see…

Trip Information from Fort Myers Beach to Key West:

Distance: 126 nm
Moving Time: 21 hours and 38 minutes
Max. Speed: 8.8 kt
Moving Average: 5.8 kt