Monday, December 31, 2012

Saint Augustine Lights

“There is no life like the sea, where reality falls so short of romantic expectation”

Joseph Conrad, ‘Lord Jim’

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The St Augustine Lighthouse, this one built in the 1870s. The predecessor was a Spanish watchtower built in the 1500’s. It is the site of the oldest aid to navigation in North America.

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Even in daylight the structure works- definitely ‘visually conspicuous’.

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The Lightner Museum, across the street from the old Ponce de Hotel. If you look close enough you can see a ghost horse walking his carriage and ghost tourists past the building.

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The central plaza in St Augustine. This was the site of one of the pivotal civil rights marches led by Andrew Young in the 1960’s, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sit-in at the downtown Woolworth’s 1964- who knew Florida was such a political hot bed?

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Proof that Chris got her Christmas cards in the mail before mid-night on the 25th.

Happy New Year and good luck in ‘13!

Paul and Chris

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

HappyHolidays

The crew of Georgia hope you have a Happy Holiday season and the best of luck in ‘13.

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Chris and I didn’t go for mutual Xmas gifts this year, but Georgia got a nice new dress. This asymmetrical spinnaker was unwrapped today. We bought it from a guy who only used it to sail to church on Sundays. Turned out he wasn’t that religious and only ended up going to church twice.

We sure miss family and friends at this time of year.

Paul and Chris

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Zambia Picturelog

Chris has been working in Zambia evaluating Midwifery education there for the past few weeks. Here’s some work photos:

Chilengwe falls- beautiful Chilengwe falls- beautiful!

Kaputa- beautiful downtown Kaputa

Kaputa- beautiful downtown Kaputa

Kaputa hotel bathroom

Kaputa hotel bathroom!

Kaputa hotel- sign at entrance to our hotel

Kaputa hotel- sign at entrance to our hotel (my favorite, editors note)

Kasama training- community family planning counselors-  they start them young

Kasama training- community family planning counselors- they start them young

on the road to Kaputa- Slide out in the lovely red clay mud

On the road to Kaputa- Slide out in the lovely red clay mud

on the road to Kaputa- the bridge is washed out- we crossed it going, but coming back was another story

on the road to Kaputa- the bridge is washed out- we crossed it going, but coming back was another story (looks like a tough way to get to work)

on the road to Kaputa- the turn off to the Congo border- about 2kms away On the road to Kaputa- the turn off to the Congo border- about 2kms away

Project logo on box of family planning supplies- handpainted

Project logo on box of family planning supplies- handpainted

Roadside stop to buy a delicacy- dried catapillars- yummy

Roadside stop to buy a delicacy- dried caterpillars- yummy!!

Stop for some sightseeing- bridge to Chilengwe falls

Stop for some sightseeing- bridge to Chilengwe falls

the road to Kaputa- 240 kms of this

The road to Kaputa- 240 kms of this

Trying to leave Kaputa- can they move the minibus- No- so we take the long route home

Trying to leave Kaputa- can they move the minibus? No- so we take the long route home

Trying to leave Kaputa- the washed out bridge blocked by a stuck minibus full of passengers

Trying to leave Kaputa- the washed out bridge blocked by a stuck minibus full of passengers

 

Chris should be back in the St Augustine on Saturday with a little luck.

Paul

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

4am Adrenalin Rush–Yikes!

We made the trip from Morehead City,NC, to St Augustine,FL, in 3 nights and 2 days. Not as much sailing as we would’ve liked. Most of the sails were during the night time breezes and the boat handled nicely. The days were pretty still though and we relied on our 65 horses to keep us going.

We left Morehead City Yacht Basin at about 9am to head out to sea. Problem was that when we got to the 65 foot clearance fixed bridge that was just around the corner from the marina, the reader board said 63 feet. The reader boards are panels of wood with the bridge height numbers painted on then: 62,63,64,65,66… As the water level goes down, the higher number shows up.We need 64ft 3in to get under. We headed back to the marina and tied off on the long fuel dock to wait for a lower tide. Took a walk into the waterfront of Morehead City and then we  borrowed the marina’s courtesy car. We drove over the offending bridge and into the old sailing port of Beaufort. Lots of 1700’s seafaring houses and commerce buildings- pretty place.

We left again and this time the bridge had 66 feet clearance. We sailed out the Beaufort Inlet. It is a 5 mile sail out to the sea buoy.

Now comes the exciting part. At about 4am we were motor sailing 32 miles offshore approaching Cape Fear. There was some moon, but the overcast skies made for a dark night. I was on watch, while Chris was sleeping in the starboard bunk. Crunch! The sound was like the old soda and beer cans, when they were thicker than todays paper thin ones, being stomped on on the sand. A metal crush muffled sound. I jumped up and pulled the throttle back to idle. Chris jumped up and reinserted her heart back into her chest. Having a medical background can be helpful in these situations. I looked behind me and there was 20-25ft cabin cruiser style fishing boat a few hundred feet off my stern. No lights! Just the gray looking outline of a white boat in the dark. It looked like a boat that was abandoned or just drifting. I turned the boat around to investigate. Then the green and red running lights turned on on the boat. I tried raising them on the radio, but no response. Eventually we came up close enough to yell to them, “Are you OK?” They said yes. We then yelled at them to pick up channel 16 on the radio. After a brief, somewhat strange conversation, he said he was fine, that we didn’t need to stand by.

Looking at our boat showed no damage. The best I can figure out is that we did a glancing blow with our 77lb Spade anchor on our bow. I had the Radar running at the time with a 2 mile guard zone. It is supposed to sound an alarm if anything enters the zone. This boats radar signature was just too small. Night watches became even more diligent from then on.

The rest of the trip down we played tag with the Gulfstream. The GS is a river of water that travels north along the East Coast. You get too close to it and the current pushes you way fast in the wrong direction (north). As we would get close to the GS the water temperature would go up to 79*. That’s swimming temperature and a hell of a lot warmer than the 50* water temperature we had in the Chesapeake just a few days ago. The current would also be 1 knot against us. Move in toward shore a few miles and the sea temperature would drop to 74* and the current would slow down or even sometimes reverse and start pushing us. We had dolphins playing with us when we were near the stream. Always a happy sight.

So we made it to St Augustine this morning after only hitting one boat (yikes). The plan is to stay on a mooring for 2 weeks while Chris is off to Zambia for a work project and I try to whittle down the never-ending boat project list.

Paul

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Test post

Checking e-mail posting connectivity.
We are in Morehead City tonight and plan on leaving in the morning to go outside into the Atlantic. The plan is to leave Beaufort Inlet and head offshore to about 5 miles clear of Cape Fear. Then point at St Augustine, Florida. It will probably be about a 3 day passage, with possible stop off points like Charleston or Jacksonville if we don't like how its going.

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