Archive: » 2011 » January

Bailando’s Anniversary

Today, a year ago, Bailando was ours.

What a year it’s been. Transitions have transformed us. Ricardo’s father passed away at 80. We travelled quite a bit, in part because of that. We moved away from LA, our home of many years. We closed our businesses, sold pretty much everything, and now live aboard our sailboat. We’re learning mechanical stuff. We connect with our environment more than ever; the weather, the land, the sea. We have big and small projects in the works. We’ve started writing songs and sing them.

This is what we’re living as our second year with Bailando begins. And with it, we are dreaming a better dream for the second half of our lives.

Maiden Voyages – Ricardo’s birthday sail

It takes us a few days, but we finally discover that the engine problem is due to a hairball in the fuel hose. With the engine fixed and a new fuse for the wind generator, on November 7th we’re ready to head up north to celebrate Ricardo’s birthday on the 12th.

We’re just about to cast off the last two dock lines and head out of the slip when Ricardo goes to start the engine and IT DOSEN’T EVEN TURN OVER!!! Instead, the only sound we hear is the cartoon-like twang of a spring.

Flabbergasted, we give Jeff a quick call. After a lot of hypothesizing, trial and error we discover that the problem is this huggable little rascal… an archaic relay switch for the starter.

Three days later we’re able to get the replacement part, install it and finally cast off those dock lines.

Real-time update!

Due to all this R & R (relaxing and repair-work), our blog is a few months behind…

So, we thought we’d let you know how we’re doing right now. We’re still in Port Aransas, just a few weeks away from launching ourselves across the Gulf of Mexico. Our to-do list is ready to travel.

In mid-December we were on the hard in a boatyard painting our bottom and met Nathalie and Xavier, a couple from Belgium. They too bought their boat here in Texas — that’s the internet! They set out on Rafale while Bailando was still on stilts and sailed to Florida just as we plan to do. We emailed to see how their passage went and to glean any tips they would offer us.

This is what they had say… and we’re really glad they wrote us in English because our Flemmish is pretty-much nicht…

Hello the Bailando bunch.

A happy newyear …. and a lot of ( nice ) adventures .
Greetings from Marathon, on the Keys in Florida .

We had a fast wet wild ride to Venise ( Florida ) , arrived there on Sunday morning 0400 , and we left Rockport on Mondaynoon , total millage 818 . Needed 3 days to get everything dried out , we had a lot a leaks . Nathalie was attacked by the charttable, who smached here against the force 10 burner who marked here with a 10 inch purple bruise . We left Venise on Wednesday to Fort Meyers Beach , stayed there for about 1 week and did a overnighter to Marathon and sailed under the 7mile bridge .

Got aground in leaving Fort Meyers in 15 feet of chartered water . Had engine problems to Marathon ( bad engine batterie ) tried to sail in Marathon but got stuck and were towed in .

Some advice … go sailing in heavy weather , just a couple of hours , all leaks will show up

we were very happy with the AIS system ( lot of traffic in the gulf )

put all your electronics and cloths in watertight bags

get some preprepared meals for the voyage … the kind you have to reheat or add boiling water

have a decent bunk with a leecloth so you can catch some sleep

have a second bilge pump

buy Transderm scop patches against sea-seasickness , costly but very effective

Or do the ICWW , like our friend Rick , he left 3 days after us , got beaten up in the gulf , broke a port light
went into the ICWW at Galveston , got pushed out of the channel by a tugboat and run over by a shrimp boat
when anchoring …..

pick your choice …

but we had very nice moments and now looking for a weather window to the Bahamas , maybe middle of next week.

Nathalie & Xavier

Nathalie and Xavier, glad to hear about the ‘very nice moments’. Thanks for the tips and fun sea stories. We kinda already knew how the Gulf can be, but it’s helpful to get “positive” reinforcement!!!

Once the auto pilot is back from servicing in CA, we will look for a weather window and we’re off… should it be a crossing of the gulf or should we take the ICW?

Pick your choice… we will!

Here’s Nathalie and Xavier visiting us on Bailando

Happy New Year!

No better time than now to start making 2011 memorable!

This is our New Year’s card… that’s an original photo without any smoke and mirrors!