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 Post subject: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:13 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
The only scary day was my first day out. I failed to read the tides properly and needed to fight to get through Adams Cut (a manmade channel connecting the Gulf of Mexico with the Atlantic). It was everything I could do to make progress against a 5 mph tide, into the wind and, oh yes, a driving rain. As soon as I made the Atlantic I was joined by a couple of bottle nose dolphins who played with me for the next mile or so. The day ended in a steady 20-22 mph wind, on a run, and I had one of the best sails of my life. I started out in gentle seas, 10-12 mph wind about a mile offshore, when I noticed the horizon turning white and bright. You real sailors are probably very familiar with this, but what I was watching was a moving front carrying much higher winds that was turning the sea in the distance a boiling, white-capped mess. I should have reefed when I saw that, but I was not experienced enough to know it...then. When the front reached me it got a little scary, not because of the wind but because of the waves. Three to four footers in following seas with all the noise of the wind breaking the tops off the waves...and me in an unfamiliar boat! I kept my stern about 30 degrees off the wind (and waves) and was still taking water over the stern every few waves. I was getting pushed around pretty badly, needing to use the paddle as rudder, and I worried about broaching (I don't know the limits of this boat yet). So I dropped the sail half way and hooked the boom between the goal posts (part of the Kuvia rig), giving me a modified reefing. What a ride! Within a few minutes I got comfortable and just enjoyed the power of it all. The only problem was that I got to my campsite 2 hours early.

I saw more creatures than I can remember, every kind of shark except for a hammerhead. Turtles, rays, lobster, tarpon, bonefish, barracuda and every kind of tropical fish imaginable. It was a week of moving through nature’s most spectacular aquarium.

Best,
g

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"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:34 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Kent,U.K.
Great blogg and pictures.Brought your adventure to life for me.Could almost hear the wind and waves from the writing alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:23 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 681
Location: Stone Mountain, Ga. U.S.A.
I've been away from this forum for a while. What a great adventure! We love the keys and have spent many good times down there. I have not seen them the way you have on this trip, but hope to one day.
Great pictures too!

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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:04 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
Chris, nice to have you back, looks like you have moved to Stone Mountain?

Yes the trip was really special, I did it again a few weeks ago and it just keeps getting better. The Florida Keys are a real treasure of, for the most part, unspoiled beauty. If anyone is interested in planning...or just dreaming...about a trip there is a really useful resource http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/paddling/saltwater.htm that maps the entire Florida coast, including the Keys.

Best,
g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:42 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
G, just took a look at that link, looks like a great resource.

So, what do you do? Drive down from Georgia, park the car for a few days while you kayak the shoreline?

D

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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:46 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
Trip logistics are always "fun" to plan, especially on a point-to-point trip. The wind in Florida is fairly predictable, with the trades out of the East-Northeast, making it easy to sail/paddle "down" the Keys and really tough to go the other way. I have a place in S. Florida where I spend about half my time and I use it as basecamp. From there I drive to wherever I am going to put in, I leave the car at a safe parking lot (there are plenty, including many of the kayak outfitters who are very helpful and friendly). I am then free to be flexible as to when and where I end up. When I decide my trip is done, I make my way to one of the State Parks or public campgrounds, of which there are dozens, and leave my kayak and gear under some helpful/watchful eyes. I then can either take a bus or, as has happened twice now, rely on the kindness of strangers for a lift back to my car. The hardest part is driving down to retrieve my stuff, knowing I am covering miles that will need to be retraced on my return. Not exactly a "green" way to travel, right?

Best,
g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:41 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
Very interesting, I expect it would be kind of a drag to make that drive afterward. I imagine the bus or other method could become a bit tiresome as well.

Have you tried long seaward tacks to move northward?

I get basically the same wind up here in NY. I know that on my little lake it can be quite challenging sometimes to get back upwind to the dock, but I have an additional issue in that the winds are not consistent because of surrounding hills and trees. I am very close to the Long Island Sound though, and this spring I hope to do some distance sailing on more open water. I hope to put the upwind sailing to a real test in these conditions.

With any luck I will have the Balogh rig by then. I'm pretty sure I'm going Balogh v. Kuvia because of the additional sail size and I'm interested in the outriggers as a safety factor (although I hope not to become dependent on them). I've also been thinking about using my S4 jib with the Bologh batwing and possibly using the small S4 main sail as a mizzen on the AII.

There is a fairly serious kayak/canoe~paddle/sail 8 day duration race down there in Florida every year (the name escapes me at the moment). I'd like to enter this someday. The same group does a shorter trip up in the Carolina's somewhere - I might start with that one. Also, Balogh (David Valverde) has a annual event down in the Carolina's every fall, I'd be interested in attending that as well. This is all a longwinded way of saying we should get together sometime for a group sail/camping adventure if there's any interest.

I cannot wait for this snow to melt!

D

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Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:07 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
The Florida race you mention is organized by http://www.watertribe.com/ and is called the Everglades Challenge. For most participants it is a serious endeavor.

As for sailing upwind, sure, but it is such slow going that I usually just paddle if my heading is within 30 degrees or so of the wind. I'll tack that close to the wind for fun but not for progress. Maybe I'm just lazy.

g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:28 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
Yes, that's the one! I don't have much interest in being competitive, but I thought it might be fun to try and complete the challenge some day.

As far as sailing upwind, I hear ya. I might even be more lazy though... as I will gladly sail all day into the wind if it keeps me from having to paddle that AII! Ha! not really but I do like sailing tremendously.

D

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Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP


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 Post subject: Re: Florida Keys, part 2
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:30 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 681
Location: Stone Mountain, Ga. U.S.A.
G,

So happy you are doing this. Beth and I have been to the Keys several times, but have not done it the way you have. I am envious. We have also paddled various places in Florida, the most recent was in Everglades National Park a couple of years ago. I will always have a soft spot for the Keys though.

B.T.W., yes, the new base is in Stone Mountain, but still ready to paddle the 'hooch anytime you are in town.

Cheers,
Chris

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