Monthly Archives: January 2011

Good bye Good Goose

Good Goose lookin' Good!!

This morning we said good bye to our friends aboard Good Goose, the boat we have been traveling with since North Carolina. The crew started out as Roark, a good natured, intelligent computer programmer from Vermont, and his new girlfriend Sherri, who he had just picked up from the airport when we met them. Sherri stayed for about 3 weeks, braving incredible days of cold wind and long miles motoring through swamps and marshes on the ICW. She thought she was going to be sailing in tropical sunshine, so what she ended up enduring was admirable!! Then Roark’s mother Claudette came for Christmas, followed by Roark’s daughter Aishling and her fun friend Morgan. We have loved all the members of the changing crew aboard Good Goose and have really appreciated getting to know all of them. We’ve shared some good times and some challenging times, and through it all we have watched out for each other, traveled amazingly well together, shared food and beers and probably too much wine! Our boats rafted up together for weeks on end, and I think that even our boats will miss each other, as they were a bit like sister boats, both being the same size and style of boat. It was so wonderful to make such good friends, and we are looking forward to meeting up with Roark again back in Vermont, or next fall in the Bahamas!

Happy Roark!

Traveling together made figuring out all the details of navigating so much easier. Sharing the planning of deciding where to anchor, sail trim and boat details, warning each other of shallow areas, etc. made our trip so much richer. We thank Roark for his great companionship! We have met a lot of great people on our trip, but I don’t think we could have traveled so well for weeks with any of them like we did with Good Goose. (although we know he was just putting up with us so he could use our big powerful dinghy!)

Roark spinning fire for the first time ever!

Some of the highlights of our time together included eating oysters in the middle of a great expanse of marshlands, surviving gale winds and storms, enjoying a marvelous Italian dinner on Christmas, sailing our spinnakers together on sunny days, and last but not least, on one of our last nights together, we spun fire on our dinghy and introduced Roark to fire spinning!
Here are some photos of our Good Goose friends:

Everyone piles in the Dinghy

Roark and Sherri

The Good Goose family

Sister Sailboats flying Spinnakers!

Mangroves, Mangroves Everywhere

Mangroves in the Keys

We thought we were going to the land of endless sand beaches when we decided to go to the keys!

Turns out we were completely wrong. There are no beaches here. There often is no land. Many of the islands are just solid mangroves, a pictured above. They are so dense that you can not walk through them. They are an impassible tangle of thick brush. They don’t need soil above the water line, so they aren’t even technically on “land.”

We are hungry for a beach and for easy places to go ashore,but the mangroves make this territory very difficult to touch!

Capt’n K & Lala

Bloodshed aboard Wee Happy

We’ve been pretty happy about our recent upgrade into glorious weather, and our arrival into aquamarine waters and gorgeous sailing grounds. A few weeks ago, I was convinced that perhaps somehow we had angered the wind gods, and we were doomed to forever be attempting to sail in winds going in the wrong direction, or no wind, or too strong of winds…..but the last few days have been perfect and wonderful winds on calm waters. Just my kind of sailing! And the sun has been shining, the air is warm, and even at night the temperature is just about perfect. We were so happy to have all the hatches open when we went to bed last night, and fell asleep with the warm breeze caressing our faces. Ahhh, bliss! Perfect paradise!

And then we were awakened by buzzing. The unmistakable buzz of mosquitoes. Wee Happy was invaded in the middle of the night by a bloodthirsty army of huge mosquitoes! It felt like a nightmare, but it was true.

We did not passively submit to their terrorism. Blood was shed on the walls of Wee Happy as we aggressively fought back. Today we rigged up a screen over the door and hatches, and are further scheming ways to defeat the bloodsucking offenders. How dare they invade our happy space!!

Tonight, we watched a glorious sunset, and then as darkness fell we were immediately attacked again…..perfection is elusive.

The calm sunset before the mosquito storm

Key Largo – going up the mast

Capt'n K going up the mast to install the new windvane

Well, our windvane blew off in the last gale. So Capt’n K went up the mast to install the replacement.

We’re in Key Largo now, and mangroves are everywhere. Land access is difficuult because there are no beaches. There are great coral reefs, but the water is cold if you don’t have a wetsuit. The reefs keep the ocean from bringing sand ashore to create beaches. So we are just enjoying the nice sailing!