Monthly Archives: April 2011

Marathon behind, Bahamas ahead

Wee finished many days of preparation this morning. Hauled up our two muck covered anchors and went to the city marina and filled our water tanks. Got lots of ice, dropped off our trash and said good bye to our sweet friends Janae and Dave from s/v Wave Dancer (see link to their blog in the right hand column).

Motored out of Sisters Creek to the ocean on Hawk Channel and turned left. The winds were precast to be light and variable, and they have proven so. We raised the gennaker and were able to make way at 3 knots eastward. Sweet.

The seas are as flat as a calm lake, and the visibility in the water is fabulous for the middle keys. In 20 feet of water we can see the bottom. Our goal is simple: head northeast along the keys to get to our jump off point for the Bahamas by Friday. We have 70 miles to go and three days to do it in.

After a few hours, the wind went mostly behind us, so we pulled the genoa out on the port side and flew downwind wing and wing at a whopping 3 knots. That’s sailing! It’s making the best out of existing conditions. We are resolute not to use gasoline because it is so expensive, and it is twice as expensive in the Bahamas. We have 25 gallons total, and we want to make it last as long as possible.

So we’ve sailed all day, even though we got down to 0.9 knots at one point this afternoon. We resolved to just pull into our anchorage at midnight. An hour later the winds shifted to the northwest and picked up a little. We’re now sailing with the gennaker and main on a beam reach towards our anchorage in Long Key Bight. It is in sight, just 4 miles ahead. We should drop anchor just after sunset.

It currently looks like we will cross to Bimini, Bahamas on Saturday.

Thanks for checking in!
– Capt’n K & Lala

Location:Overseas Hwy,Marathon,United States

Bahamas prep continues, and continues….

Well I hate to say it, but we haven’t left yet. So close, we are so close! The list of things to do before we left kept getting longer, and longer, and longer. Even just an hour ago we were on the verge of hauling the anchor and taking off, and then we thought of more stuff we really should take care of before leaving the country. What have you guys been doing?, you ask? Well, here is a partial list.
We got oil and hunted down oil filters (30 miles away) for our outboard motor.
We scrubbed the bottom of our dinghy, which was way overdue. It had barnacles growing on it and it took a lot of elbow grease to get them off. But wow does our dinghy go faster now!
We scrubbed the bottom of Wee Happy, which was also getting slimy and had some barnacles starting. Lala did part of it and we hired Diver Mike to do the keel.
We had to find space on our boat for a bunch of stuff we had in storage. Major stowage reorganization project. It took hours. Albin Vegas have a surprising amount of storage, and it is quite shocking how much stuff Cap’t K. managed to fit below decks.
We got a few extra emergency gas cans.
We have been taking care of where our mail is going, and cell phone bills, and student loan payments, and bank stuff.
We have been saying our good byes and trying to have as many going away parties as possible.

And of course, there is the minor detail of where exactly are we going in the Bahamas and what route are we taking to get there? Hmmmm, maybe we will just have to give you the answer to that one when we get there, as we are not sure yet. We have a vague plan that is changing hourly, and in the end it may depend on the weather. There is little to no wind forecasted for the next few days, so that either means motoring across a calm Gulf stream ( which could be easy and lovely if I didn’t hate motoring so much), or it means waiting until there is decent wind in our favor, which would probably be AT LEAST a week or 10 days. Lately it seems that if there IS wind, it is from the East, which is not the direction we want.

So for all you readers who are waiting to “go to the Bahamas with us”, rest assured we are just making sure everything is ready and then we will be leaving for a safe passage shortly! We have one working camera (at least it works today, although Im sorry to say I can’t upload any photos from it right now because we just shut down our Internet connection and Im writing this on an Ipad, which has the annoying inability to upload photos). But there will be news and photos and video as soon as we are able to post again. Bon voyage!

Bahamas Bound?!?

We’re doing it. We’re going to the Bahamas.

We made it through our small boat crises, at least for now, and we decided since we are this close to the Bahamas, we can’t go back to New England without at least stopping there.

How long will these groceries last?

So yesterday we did the “Big Bahamas Food Shopping Trip”. Everyone has been telling us to bring as much food and beer as possible to the Bahamas, because food, and especially beer and wine, are very expensive there, and sometimes there is not much available in stores on the smaller islands. So we borrowed a car, went to Publix, and loaded up. I don’t think I’ve ever bought that much food at one time. We were there for hours. We visited every aisle in the store.

Getting it all packed away in our wee boat is the major project of the day. Here is a hilarious photo of what the bench in Wee Happy looks like right now. I got a really good laugh out of this, hope you do too:

Can you find the cat in this picture?

Departure date OUT OF MARATHON: tomorrow.

We are hoping to find some time to visit with our friends around a pool down the road this afternoon, once we surface from the mountian of canned goods that has overtaken our boat.

The dark side of Wee Happy

First of all, a big hearty thank you to those who contributed to our camera replacement campaign by donating and purchasing Wee Happy coffee! It means a lot to us to feel loved and supported by all of you out there! If you would still like to order some, just go to the last post and click on the “donate” link to go through Paypal.

So in today’s post I don’t have gorgeous photos or wonderful adventures to tell you about. I’m going to write a bit about the dark side of living on a boat called “Wee Happy”. I know this may be shocking, but the truth is we are not happy all the time. Especially this week. Living on a 27 foot boat has it’s advantages to be sure: we are actually out here doing this, for example. If we had a bigger boat we would still be only dreaming about being able to afford it. But it also has major disadvantages, mainly that it often feels too “wee”. We have been struggling more and more with not having enough space — no space to adequately work on projects, to cook, or just hang out and be comfortable. These are not minor things. I’m starting to long like never before for a real bathroom, and Cap’t K. fantasizes about things like standing headroom. And it is starting to put a strain on our relationship. We love each other like crazy, and we also love being really close to each other a lot (that’s how we made it this far!) But everybody needs a little space to themselves sometimes and we have been having a hard time finding that while living on this boat.

So we are trying to find creative solutions to continue making this work, but the options are somewhat limited. This morning I wanted to just go out and get a hotel room to get “away” for a few days, but unfortunately, that is absolutely not in my wee budget. It’s kind of depressing.

Some looming difficult family matters have also arisen that we need to deal with back in New England and this is putting a damper on our spirits. We are starting to plan our trip back north. We may or may not stop for an abbreviated visit to the Bahamas on the way back. We were hoping that the path of what to do next would just become clear one day while we were out here sailing, but unfortunately it’s not that easy.

Oh, and did I mention that Cap’t K. has been working for a week straight on his taxes? Like I said, we’re not so happy this week. Crabbiness prevails.
And me, I’ve been working on my weaving projects and just got yards and yards of expensive silk tangled into a horrendous mess. Joy!

But hey, we have dolphins visiting us daily here in the harbor, so it’s not all bad! Just the other day I was returning to the boat in the dinghy and saw a small group of dolphins. I decided to shut off the engine and row to see if they would approach me. Sure enough, they came right over to me and began playing all around the dinghy. They swam under it thumping the bottom with their flippers, and came right up alongside close enough for me to touch them! They even stuck their heads out of the water and smiled at me!! It was magical. They followed me closely for about 15 minutes. A friend was on a boat nearby and saw it. He told me to sing to them, which I did. He said they love music. He took a few photos that don’t really show that much, but since I don’t have any other pictures I’ll post one anyway. You can just see the dolphin fin coming out of the water near my outstreched hand.

Lala reaching out to pet the dolphin

Happiness = Coffee

In my last post I mentioned that we coffee for sale. Yep, we have lots of it! Our wee boat is overflowing with wonderful coffee, and we’d love to pass some of it on to you, our dear readers.
So we’ve made it easy for you to purchase some. Here’s the deal.
A bag of coffee is $10 plus $5 shipping. We’re going to treat it as a donation, and you just happen to get a free bag of coffee for donating $15 or more. Feel free to donate more if you feel inclined! Or, if you want to donate but don’t want coffee, hey, no problem!!
When you click on the donate button, there will be a space to put a message. In this space write your name and mailing address, and we’ll get it out to you ASAP. Voila, it’s that simple.

All funds will be directed towards replacing damaged photographic equipment so that we can continue posting amazing photos to this blog.

p.s. This paypal account is also used for my art business and will show up as “Dreamweaver Arts”.

Powered up

This week we’ve been back in Marathon. I keep saying I don’t want to be here anymore, but here we are. In addition to more computer work, Cap’t K. has been putting the final touches on our new power system. We now have a wind generator AND solar panels. This means that for the first time ever we have MORE power than we need. We dont have to be always skimping with our use of the laptop, stereo, and lights. The installation has required a lot of tweaking, problem solving, trips to the store, and some frustration, but we are thrilled to have adequate power! And power from the sun and wind, which are present in abundant quantities!

We also had a special visitor this week. My friend and stilt dancing collaborator (also known as my “stilt daddy”) Mark Alexander came down from where he’s been staying for the last few months in Stuart, FL for a visit. Mark is the magic behind the stilt troupe I’ve done a lot of performing with called the Mortal Beasts and Deities. He arrived just in time to drive me around town to get some heavy items for our solar panel installation like golf cart batteries and lumber (things that are difficult to transport with a wee bike). We went out for drinks and dinner and watched a glorious Keys sunset together. He stayed overnight on Wee Happy with us and the next day we went out for a short but marvelous sail. The wind was strong, the water was blue, and the sun was sunny for our sail. We roller coasted over big waves and all got wet with the sea spray. A lovely day!

Happy Day on Wee Happy

Then we went back to the marina where Mark and I strapped on our stilts and went for a stroll. I tried out my new stilt pants, which were a little long, and a bit tight in the butt, but basically worked. Two people on stilts are a sight people don’t see around the marina often, and we were a pleasant surprise to everyone!

Struttin' our stuff!

The other exciting upgrade to Wee Happy is a new stove! During this whole trip we have been putting up with a 40 year old, crappy alcohol stove that smelled bad and was difficult to cook on. The flame was so weak it would take 15 minutes just to boil water. It was not inspiring to cook on, to say the least. We upgraded to a new model of alcohol stove that has amazing marvels such as a hot flame with an adjustable burner, and it uses much less fuel and doesn’t stink. Major improvement!!! I’ve already been cooking up a storm on it and loving it!
We would show you a picture of this new shiny addition to our boat if we had a working camera. But alas, BOTH of our cameras died horrible salt water deaths in the Dry Tortugas and we currently have NO camera. We are seriously grieving this loss, and perhaps you all will be too, since we will not be able to post photos of anything until we either fix a camera or get a new one. The photos in this post are courtesy of Mark’s camera phone. Thanks Mark!

So, as a fundraiser for our camera replacement, we are selling something special. Thanks to my sister Stephanie, who owns a great coffee shop in Luck, Wisconsin (, we have a big batch of custom label coffee to sell to Wee Happy fans! This coffee is a local Fair Trade, organic dark roast, and if it’s good enough for a coffee snob like my sister, it’s pretty damn good! You can enjoy a bag of your very own for $10 plus $5.00 shipping. Contact us if you’d like to order some!!

Stephanie modeling the Wee Happy coffee