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"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
 
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NameChris & Maria
DateMar 02, 2009
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageHi. I just wanted to let you know how much I love your website. I also wanted to let you know how much I love my wife, who agreed to embark on this adventure several years ago. Hopefully, about 9 years from now, we'll be enjoying the cruising life as well.

Your web site seems to get to the heart of it all, and it's just great and inspirational reading. So far, my wife hasn't lost her nerve over the entire cruising life (She continues to say things such as, "When we get our boat"smilie, but if she does, I'll be certain to steer her back to your site for comfort.

Congratulations on such a great life. I hope you are enjoying every moment.

Chris
Birmingham, Alabama


NameKen and Judy Clark
DateFeb 21, 2009
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageHi There!

We just purchased a 36' Lancer named "Phantom" moored in Honolulu. My tour in Iraq ends July 4th and by August 1st we'll be "living aboard!"

Your website is chock-full of really great everyday observations and ideas. I especially like the way you decorate. With Panache!

Your website really is a study in what life is like aboard a sailboat. I can't thank you enough.

Hope to speak to you again.

Ken Clark smilie!



Reply:

Hello there Ken and Judy,

How delighted we are for you both and your new-to-you Lancer 36. What an absolute treat to see you here today. Thanks so much for sharing your success in obtaining the living aboard dream. I have no doubt you will fulfill your every desire with the lifestyle on the water, as you have made a most excellent choice in boat selection.

You will love sailing her more and more each time. She's a demon on the water. You have to hold her back a bit or she wants to flop over and emulate the kind of sailing more akin to that seen in the America's Cup. LOL!

I'll have to share with you my newest decorating/storage finds: my need of a linen cabinet started it all. I'm sure you are both scratching your heads. You'll love it. When I get it prepared for the website I'll be sure to send you a sneak preview first!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, I'm sure your tour in Iraq has not been easy for you or your family. Bless you both.

Hugs,

Charmaine (& Bill)


NameSusan Blake
DateFeb 11, 2009
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageHello Charmaine -

I really enjoyed reading your web site and "Charmainisms."

In March my husband I will be cruising from Palm Coast FL down the ICW, and then plan to spend a month at a marina in Marathon, then head up the west coast and cross at Okeechobee back to Palm Coast. I was hoping you would be so kind to provide us with some Marina suggestions for Marathon - boot Key. A quiet area at night would be a priority - also would like laundry, cable and wi fi access. A pool would be a big bonussmilie We will be at anchor or mooring the rest of the trip so this is the splurge part of the trip for us. We will be on a 36 foot trawler with 3 1/2 draft.

I thank you in advance for your time and suggestions -

Convivially !
Susan Blake

Reply:

Hello there,

Thanks for writing. It's always so nice to hear from readers. Glad you're enjoying the "Charmainisms" section.

I'd suggest Sombrero Resort and Marina,
located at the eastern end of Boot Key Harbor, round the dogleg to the left and you're there.
It's the only marina with a pool, and it has a very nice Tikki bar at poolside.

You'll enjoy it there. Wi-Fi and cable tv both are available there as well. I lived there for almost two years. It also has four tennis courts (two are lighted), great laundry facilities, and a weight room too.

Your shoal draft is no problem in Boot Key Harbor.
If I can be of further help to you, let me know.
Have a safe and enjoyable trip down!

Hugs,

Charmaine


Namekim bradford
DateFeb 08, 2009
Locationclick picture for more information
Messagekim again... smilie

I was trying to get some info on Bahia Honda state park. I called the park and they said that holding was VERY bad in the park. I guess two sailboats went aground during a storm that blew through??? My captain.. Ray... has been sailing for 30 years, so I dont think we would have a problem. Hes a (dive over and check the anchor) kinda guy, but was wondering about your advice. I saw your pics and we are extrememly excited about our sail there in April... the marina has a controlling depth of 3 1/2 feet so thats a no go for us.... we like to anchor out anyway, but like to dinghy to shore for the laundry stuff.. any suggestions???

Kim Bradford smilie smilie

Charmaine's !

Hi there Kim, The potential problems with Bahia Honda is that you anchor in between two bridges (the old railroad bridge and the new highway bridge). You can imagine what could happen in a big blow... with no where to go. It's not a very large area inside the two bridges.

The holding in Bahia Honda is comparatively poor to other areas in the Keys; but stay near the swimming buoys and there is plenty of sand and grass for your anchor to take hold.

Most of the people we have known who have dragged did so because they anchored in the wrong areas there. Otherwise, you should do fine. When backing down on the anchor (with about 30 ft. of rode out), once you feel it grab, give it another good, quick tug revved around 3000 RPMs. When the bow pushes DOWN with a resounding jerk... you know you're set tight. After that, let out the remainder of your rode and have a Mojito.

The "gust" that came through here the other night was a 60+ knot wind that was sustained for at least five minutes. So, in all fairness, many anchors would have dragged with such a wind as the other night. You would have to really been dug in. However, I'd guarantee you that my Spade anchor would not have budged.

Hope this helps. You'll love Bahia Honda. It has lots of places to walk to... you can dinghy around to the marina and tie up at the store there, get water, etc. Just don't dinghy up to the beach as it is not allowed.

One other note: Watch the entrance carefully as there is a shoal (island with a tree) right before the entrance and it's hard to see from a distance. It's marked on your charts but in real life it can sneak up on you. Stay to the western side of the entrance as you approach and you'll be just fine.

Big Hugs, Charmaine


NameRay and Kim Bradford
DateJan 21, 2009
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageWe sail aboard S/V NuTrix. She is a 1969 41 foot Charlie Morgan classic centerboard sloop. We plan on being in the Keys this April. We love as much information about living aboard as we can get. We're planning on doing just that when our youngest graduates....

Nice to read your stories.... We're in SW Florida... smilie

Happy sailing
Kim and Ray smilie
....

____________________

REPLY from Charmaine:

01/22/2009 Hi there Kim and Ray!

Thanks so much for writing.

When you get down to the Keys in April... give me a holler. You can't come to the Keys without experiencing the charm of Marathon's Boot Key Harbor. Hailed as "The Friendliest Harbor in Florida," it never disappoints. Be sure to attend The Dockside Bar & Grill's Sunday Night Jam Session featuring The Florida Straits Band and all the jammers who show up. It's been a tradition for over 25 years and they still rock the Dock and the Harbor as well!

Your youngest will graduate before you know it. You'll love the charm of living aboard and the freedom it affords you (at so little expense compared to land these days).

If I can be of any help to you both in your goals towards life aboard, let me know.

Big Hugs, Charmaine


NameAnthony C. May
DateJan 20, 2009
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageHi Charmaine:
I just spent the last hour and a half visiting your website. I accessed the link through seaknots.com. It was a wonderful experience.

I am writing to you from Hudson, OH. It is about 14 degrees outside and since I inadvertently left my car lights on, I thought I'd kill some time while recharging my battery.

I was initially drawn to your profile because I saw that you are a woman of color - not very common on a sailing website. Once I got to the site, I could see that among other similarities, both our families look like the United Nations. I was especially touched by your tribute to BJ. On the day your son passed away my son, Christopher (CJ) was celebrating his 13th birthday.

I enjoyed the pictures of your boat. Especially, down below. It seems very comfortable. I'm afraid "we" have "stuff" and unfortunately still cling to it. Therefore, the best I can hope for is a second home with a guest house that floats. At least that way everyone is accommodated.
For spring break this year, we are considering a visit to Key West for a bit of sun and sail. Though I am presently boatless, my former baby was a Catalina 30.

Well, I guess I should try to start my car. Thank you so much for the inspiration. For now, though, I'll have to live vicariously through you. I will check back often to see the adventure you call life.

Take care,
ACM.


NameBob Akins
DateDec 13, 2008
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageReally enjoy your site.Thank you for taking the time to keep it up.We are new to sailing (2nd year inland lakes)and planning our first coastal/keys trip in mid January.
Our Lancer is much smaller (1977 25)but we enjoy sailing this boat (our 2nd).
Maybe we will be in your area,if so we will keep an eye out. Our boat isn't named yet.
Thanks again... Bob and Dawn


NameGERALD BLIZZARD
DateDec 04, 2008
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageI already tried it again..used a thicker bottom boiler and didnt put so much in the bag..I really loaded that first one up and this time it worked fine...so thanks for the idea....and I have a lot more of your adventures to read so I will probably be mailing again...hopefully we will see you out on the water some time....fair winds...gerald


NameGERALD BLIZZARD
DateDec 03, 2008
Locationclick picture for more information
Messagejust wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying your blogs....hope you guys are doing fine and I will continue to read....sitting here now laughing about the one right after hurricane jeanne when the skeeters almost got you all....my gf and I are wannabe cruisers...we have a daysailer but are looking for a boat to cruise on...but since we are still working its gonna be a while I guess.....anyway..thanks for sharing...oh btw I tried your method for cooking omlets and the dayam ziplock bag stuck to the bottom of the boiler and when I lifted it to check it the bottom fell out..gonna try it again in the morning so wish me more luck...hugs..gerald(and my gf joanne)


NameJeremy Gow
DateSep 04, 2008
Locationclick picture for more information
MessageHi Guys,

You don't know me, but I've visited your website a number of times, specifically when I was considering purchasing and moving aboard a 36' Lancer. I did just that, last August, and have successfully lived through my first winter aboard. Seeing your website and how creatively you've used your space, really made the notion much easier for me. You two have done a terrific job of making the most of a boat that admittedly, is very liveable to begin with, but I'd have to say you've out-done yourselves.

The biggest challenges I faced (living in Vancouver, British Columbia) were somewhat the opposite to your challenges. I needed to keep the boat warm and dry in a very wet climate. When you heat a boat that sits on cold water, of course it sweats, so I installed an enormous household dehumidifier that keeps the humidity at a very comfortable level, along with an oil-filled electric heater, and a small box fan heater to circulate the air on board.

By the way, you are right - these are slippery boats - I had mine going 8 knots in a nice strong breeze last summer in the Canadian Gulf Islands on the Genoa alone...

Thank you both for the inspiration to go ahead and make a rewarding lifestyle choice... My next step may just be to try and make a living teaching sailing aboard my Lancer!

All the best, and many thanks,

Jeremy Gow


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