Just received this evening shot of the Key Largo waterfront from the Stewarts. Just beautiful. You can see Dawn Patrol, I think, on the far side of the first pier.
Things have been a little quieter for me since Paul, Alan and Dawn got off the water. No need to carry my cell phone and note pad everywhere I go. But I do miss getting those reports from the race once or twice a day. It was always fun to hear about the excitement, hard work and adventure.
The evening photo from Key Largo is appropriate as I see Kiwibird is leaving out of Flamingo for a night passage on Florida Bay. She is traveling with Seiche. They were caught by high winds this afternoon near Flamingo, sat out the winds and now it looks like they are heading across Florida Bay.
Above is Kiwi's track. That's a satellite image where you can see the shoals, islands and reefs. Just remember they are doing it at night.
And there she is below at an earlier checkpoint. No need for me to talk about her trip, it is being well-documented on her blog by fellow watertriber Floatsome. Take a look.
Speaking of New Zealand natives, I came across a great compliment for John Welsford and his designs. I was exchanging emails with Webb Chiles who is down in New Zealand now getting some work done on his boat Hawke of Tuonela. He said JW's name came up while he was having a new traveler put on his boat. I'll let him explain.
"Matt, the Ashby's Boat yard worker who installed the traveler, is a Kiwi who has built boats in several other parts of the world--Europe, Brazil, the U.S., and . Here in NZ at one time he built John Welsford designs to various stages for home completion. Mostly he did full construction, but no painting, which he says is the 'worst' part of the job. Matt said that Welsford goal is "the most smile for the dollar', which means going small because as Matt said pointing to a big catamaran across the dock from me "there is no way you can get enough smiles per dollar from something that expensive.." "
What a great compliment. Yes, small boats and big smiles. Thanks for passing on the story Webb. I'm sure JW will be glad to hear it.
This blog isn't the classified ads for boats but I did hear of a boat for sale worth mentioning. Dale Davenport is selling his Caledonia Yawl "Rebecca Ann." I'm very fond of this boat, both the design and the actual boat. Back when I was building Spartina Dale was posting stories about sailing trips on board his yawl. I read those stories countless times, learning from the successes and mistakes, looking for ideas and vicariously cruising with Dale. I found a lot of inspiration in those trips.
I was very glad to meet Dale at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival in 2009 and thank him for those stories. We spoke for just a few minutes, comparing notes on our cruising. And later that day we sailing near each other in on of the "races."
Now don't get me wrong here. If I've got the choice between the Caledonia Yawl and the Welsford Pathfinder I'm going with the Pathfinder every time. But still, that Caledonia Yawl is one nice boat. Check it out here.