Monday, May 30, 2011


We are on our way into the Chesapeake, off Virginia beach, in the dark, in heavy squalls.  The rain comes down in buckets. We have several AIS targets but most are not a concern.  We hear a "securite" call on the VHF. A research vessel is doing some type of survey, gives a course, location and references several buoys.  We are not too far apart, about 4 miles, we see the vessel on the AIS and watch it as it closes on us.  The beauty of the AIS is that not only do we see the nice little green AIS image on the radar but when we cursor over it the vessel name & details show up, even after the squall hits and we are "blinded by the rain"!  No radar image just a big yellow screen of "snow" with an AIS image.  I hail the boat on the VHF.  Immediately the captain replies, I tell her of our course and intentions.  "No problem captain we have you on the AIS. We'll be doing a 180 before R4, maintain your course, no conflict".

I have had some discussions in the past with other boaters. Some felt the benefit of a Class B AIS was minimal as they did not feel commercial traffic would pay any attention to Class B recreational traffic.

On this particular night, with this particular vessel I was glad I was "broadcasting".  After the radar the AIS is my favorite tool.  I'd rather be NORDO than be without the radar & AIS.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Powell Cay, Abaco to Norfolk, VA, 99.9 hrs, 742 NM

Sylvianne is still off in Taiwan and we need to get north of Savannah by June 1.  Brother Dave & Brother Bill join me in Abaco.  May 21 at 7 am we weigh anchor at Powell Cay.  99.9 hours later we are tied up at Waterside Marina, downtown Norfolk, VA.

Great crossing and what a great crew!  Thanks guys.  We really got lucky. We had a good "window", got into the Gulf Stream and rode it north.  We ran mostly 1500-1600 RPM, 1.7-2.0 GPH, had ground speeds of up to 10kts at times.  We could have cut 6-7 hours off the crossing but we made such good time we rounded Hatteras late in the afternoon and that would have put us into the approaches to the Chesapeake at 3 am.  I was concerned about commercial traffic and some weather (T-Storms) so we slowed down and actually went back and forth off Virgina Beach, trying to dodge the squalls.  They caught us anyway. The squalls were gusty from all directions at 30-40kts with buckets of rain.  I was a bit anxious with zero visibility in the dark and the rain "blinding" our radar but we managed OK.  Really loved the AIS. More on that in the next post.  At about 4 am the weather cleared and we headed into the Chesapeake. No big deal, now that I have done it in the daylight, a night "entry" would be fine, as long as the radar and AIS are working!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cell Phones

They start young. Anelize on her cell phone. She'll be driving, and talking on her cell phone next!

Emily Arrives

Sylvianne is still in Taiwan, visiting Danny, John, Anelize & new grandaughter Emily!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Solo to Abaco

After the boys go home I spend a week solo in the Exumas, do some boat maintenance, chase some bonefish in Pipe Creek and then take the boat to Abaco via Eleuthera.  The weather even cooperated! Speaking of weather, it has been fantastic here this year.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Swimming with the Sharks

Keith & Trevor snorkel with the Nurse Sharks at Sampson Cay.

Trevor in the galley

Our chef (nephew Trevor) prepares the catch; nothing like fresh Mahi!


Nice sail, big surprise!

Big Bull

Nice Bull Mahi, we released several big boys.


Keith with the two we kept, along with some Blackfin Tuna. These Mahi fed us all week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Boy's Week Fishing

Brother Dave and his sons Trevor and Keith fly into Black Point Exumas for a week of adventure and fishing.  We had a few really good weather days and best of all, the fish cooperated!
I'll post some photos as soon as I get a faster connection. Most WiFi here are satellite so slower than dial up and just can't handle much more than text and limited browsing (no downloading).


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cam & Meg Arrive

Not sure without looking at the log book but from January to the end of May, Sylvianne I cruised around the Exumas, hooking up with  "Krogenites" and other boaters; some we knew and others we met, then Cam and Meg arrived in George Town for a short visit.  We had a really great time.  Meg won my heart with her enthusiasm for not only fishing but reeling in her own fish (guys this is work) and then she not only cleaned the catch but prepared sashimi and ahi tuna, serving it up with raving reviews from the other boaters amongst us.
Thanks Cam & Meg!

Love DAD

Exumas update

Been away from reliable WiFi.  Can't afford to do this from the Sat Phone.  So where were we?? Ah, yes, the Keirs' visit.  We dropped Jim & Nette (Jeanette) at the "Airport" on Staniel Cay, really just a good ashphalt strip.  After a few hours' delay they finally boarded and departed. It is the Islands, mon.  It was great having you guys on board!