Words of ?wisdom? from Captain Ron

Jeremy was kind enough to give me blogging privileges on this site a few weeks ago but I have been hesitant to write. I write like I talk, and once the stories start to flow...well, they flow downhill. :)

This morning we are bobbing on a mooring in Key West, and it is raining gently outside. It reminds me of my own adventures on the S/V Remedy, and the many times I have started my day with a cup of coffee and my journal, trying to express the feelings that are attached to this life.

Key West

This blog is about our adventures in Key West and I apologize in advance for its length. Key West, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a unique place. It is a tourist town that is like St. Augustine, only wilder and less classy. The general mind set here is party with a capital P. You will see the ghost tours, art galleries, and trolley tours typical of St. Augustine, but you will also see strip joints and clothing optional bars.

Night Watch

I have had some wonderful experiences recently. Experiences that make all the hard work and excessive spending worthwhile. The best of these experiences have occurred during our recent "night watches". The three of us, after much discussion, agreed to do a straight shot to Key West from Sarasota. That meant sailing through the night. We split the night into 3 shifts with me taking the the first shift(9pm-1am), Jeremy taking the second shift(1am-5am), and Bill taking the early morning shift(5am-9am). The first night we sailed all 3 sails in order to make use of the light wind.

The Storm

Jeremy and I have been pretty fortunate when it came to sailing. Every day we have taken Tillicum out it has been ideal weather. Our luck could not hold out forever. We have now officially sailed our first storm. What possessed two novice sailors and one experienced seaman to take to the water on day with rain and winds blowing 30 knots? Well, it started with a trip up to the manatee river to get hauled out. We managed to find a cheap boat yard that would paint our bottom coat and allow us to do some of our own work on the inside. The day started out rough right from the beginning. We got a late start leaving due to me taking too long to get supplies and engine trouble, which included snapping a belt and springing a leak in our fuel line.

Heading South

img_3633.jpg We're 70 nautical miles from Key West, mid day on March 13th after running through the night in light winds. It has felt like a long time coming, but we're finally on the move, headed south. The past couple weeks have been a blur of work, both preparing the boat for this trip, as well as trying to wrap things up at my consulting company in order to take this little vacation.

Boat Cat

boatcat.jpgThus far living on a sailboat has been very interesting and full of surprises. Lots of these surprises have been like surprise! Your heater doesn’t work or surprise! There is a leak in the water lines. Fortunately we have had several pleasant surprises as well. We recently discovered that having steps on the mast is wonderful and I love that Dolphins like to swim next to your boat. One other pleasant surprise is how well our cat has taken to life on the boat.

Weekend Sailing

img_3071.jpg Jamie's friends Jessie and Drew picked an amazing week to visit us in Sarasota. The long cold spell which had been bringing us temperatures in the 30s finally broke and gave way to comfortably warm days in the 70s. The weekend rolled around, and we were greeted with near-perfect weather for our planned weekend sailing trip. Captain Tim returned, and the five of us headed north for an overnight trip, our first that involved anchoring.


Break-Out-Another-Thousand. Evidently we have purchased a hole in the water into which we get to throw all of our money... or so the cliché claims. These are both sayings I've heard plenty of times before, but somehow they feel all the more real when you begin to live it.

Life on a boat

Living on the our new sailboat has been quite nice so far.  Our marina is beautiful and the people are friendly despite the fact that most are of the older, yuppy variety.  It has been especially nice running in to people who tell us how beautiful our sailboat is.:)  One of the nicest features of the marina is its location.  It is great to be in walking distance from everything.  Car? What car?  We have a car?

Day One

There were five of us on our first trip with the Tillicum.  Tina and Tim joined Jamie, myself, and our cat, Quixote.  Tina graduated with Jamie from the University of St. Augustine.  Tim was a captain we hired on the recommendation of our broker, and whom we were all very grateful was along for this trip.  He proved himself fully during the day, and we plan to hire him again to help us learn as much as we can during these first few weeks while preparing for our upcoming trip.