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Rings. Olympic and otherwise. 2014, the year in review.

Posted by Bo | January 23rd, 2015

Olympic Rings and Torch

I’m a bit behind on my year-in-review post, but I’ve done them for each of the past several years, so I didn’t want to leave this year out. It’s certainly been the most pivotal yet.

The year started with incredible work opportunities; two bowl games, including the BCS National Championship in Pasadena, then the winter olympics. The. Winter. Freakin. Olympics.

I drank vodka in Russia, wine in France, Heineken in Amsterdam, Yuengling in Pennsylvania, and bourbon in Kentucky. I sat in the same room as Vladimir Putin, although he disappointingly was wearing a shirt. I was, however, flogged in a Russian sauna with birch leaves by a man who was not. And I was reminded, yet again, that despite differences in locations, cultures, and governments, people are generally awesome.

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Bridges, bridge tenders, spontaneity, and second chances.

Posted by Bo | January 21st, 2015

Bascule Bridge

After leaving the boat yard early on Wednesday, I began the 70 mile, 2 day trek back down the intracoastal waterway through the slew of bascule bridges to Charlotte Harbor. Why, I wasn’t sure, but mostly because my car was still at Burnt Store Marina and, well, I didn’t have any better ideas.

I dropped the anchor in Sarasota Wednesday afternoon and tossed around the idea of spending a month there at Marina Jack, the uber-nice marina where the boat was when I bought her 2 years ago. But I’d been there and done that, plus they’re pretty proud of their slips, so I charted out the remainder of the trip south on my Garmin Bluechart iPad app.

I left at daybreak on Thursday knowing I’d have to get lucky with timing the bridges in order to make Burnt Store before dark. The route would take me under 11 bridges, 10 of which were too short for my 55′ clearance, requiring the whole process of stopping traffic and raising the bridge just so I can pass.

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Sunrise strolls, boat yards, amateurs and pros.

Posted by Bo | January 14th, 2015

Snead Island Boat Works Photo

Having taken an epic nap the prior evening, I wasn’t surprised to be wide awake in the fours. I fired up my iPhone hotspot to do some early morning browsing of the topic that’d been on my mind the night before.

Motor Mounts.

Once I exhausted that subject and a few others, I fired up the coffee maker and opened the hatch to confirm that the boat and I were still in the same location where we fell asleep.

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What went right and what went wrong–generator mount edition.

Posted by Bo | January 13th, 2015

Rusted Generator Mount

Last post I wrote about the passage my friend Randy and I made across the Gulf of Mexico. A lot went right, but a few things went wrong, so I’d like to do a little processing here if you’ll indulge me.

What went right…

We safely crossed a 360 mile stretch of water. I was offshore for 78 hours, 30 longer than my previous longest crossing. We had a good forecast of 10-15kt wind & 3-5′ seas for the next 4 days (although the forecast ended up being very inaccurate).

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78 hours, 20′ waves, gusts to 35, and my best crossing yet.

Posted by Bo | December 31st, 2014

Perdido Bay Sunrise

At 0550 on Saturday Dec 6th, we cast off from Bear Point Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama onto a glassy Perdido Bay with the full moon off the stern rail and rising sun off the bow pulpit. We raised the main and mizzen as an outgoing tide pushed us out of Pensacola Pass head first into rocky 3-5′ seas.

My crew, Randy, and I had a few goals for this trip to Florida’s west coast. I had never been offshore longer than 48 hours, so at an estimated 72 hours, this would be my longest crossing to date. We also were committed to sailing as much as possible–most crossings of this sort turn into motorboat rides and that wasn’t our intention.

We aimed for this to be both a delivery and a shakedown cruise. We wanted to sail as much as possible and see what broke.

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