Day 119 – St Pauli Girl

Miles cruised 0, fuel purchased $0, slip fee $133, daily high temperature 66*f, low temperature 59*f

John and Priscilla are on the road again. We will fly to Chicago on Wednesday to visit our granddaughter Eleanor. We will be at the Lantern in Lake Forest at 7:00 pm on Thursday night so please join us.

Eleanor cannot wait to see her sea gypsy grandparents.

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After visiting Chicago Priscilla and I will fly to Ft Meyers and help our friend Tom Hauert buy a Sea Ray Sundancer 280. Then we will cruise a President 47′ fast trawler across the full width of Florida on the Okeechobee Canal to Riviera Beach for TrawlerFest. Dale will once again take on the blog writing responsibilities for the next 10 days.

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Our Key West racers Tod and Heidi invited us to meet them for dinner on Tuesday night at the Conch Republic in Key West after the racing. The Stock Island Marina runs a van to Key West every three hours so we will take the marina van to Key West.

On Tuesday the races were cancelled due to high winds. The sailing instructions designate that three races constitute a regatta so theoretically if no more races are sailed the Quantum Key West Race Week Regatta is complete. Fortunately the rest of the week the winds look to be acceptable.

We met Tod and Heidi Patton at the Conch Republic and had a delightful evening. I asked Heidi how she selected Blondie as the name for her boat. She said the rock group Blondie plays fun music that makes everyone happy. The Best of Blondie – Call Me!

Blondie 2 is a pearlescent white.

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Here is a photo of the Blondie 2 during KW race week.

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Here is a photo of the band Blondie

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The van ride back to the marina was a “happening”. The van driver (female) wears a short skirt and five inch heels. She is a live-aboard on Coconut row. We had a third world wind surfer and a couple that jumped ship off a 130′ tall ship when it stopped in Key West before the ship cruised to the Bahamas. The couple wanted to stop at Publix to get some snacks and a Red Box video. I went into Publix and bought a 12 pack of St Pauli Girl beer. It must have something to do with our planned cruise to the Bahamas. My first sailboat cruise in the Bahamas was during Thanksgiving week in 1974. We flew to the Abacos in a friend’s private plane. The first beer we had in the Bahamas was a St Pauli Girl. I guess you never forget your first girl. I shared the beer with the passengers in the van while playing my most recent ukulele song on my iPhone – “Wagon Wheel”.

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Bonus photo

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Carl ( Chef ) Wooden – quote of the day.

“To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.”
Jeanne Moos

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Jeanne Moos is a national news correspondent for CNN. She is based at the network’s studios in Manhattan.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , Moos originally wanted to pursue a career in print journalism, but while attending Syracuse University (where she earned a bachelor’s degree in TV-Radio), she decided to go into the television business instead. In 1976, she landed her first major job in television at WPTZ in Plattsburgh, New York, as the station’s first female correspondent. During her tenure at WPTZ, she covered local and national stories, including the 1980 winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York.

In 1981, she joined CNN as a reporter. It was there that she covered stories ranging Sent from my iPad

In the 1990s, Moos began to report on unusual and off-beat soft news stories, which is her current trademark. In 1995, she began a series of reports called “Making The MOOSt Of It.” Today Moos continues to file reports for CNN in a segment called “Moost Unusual,” seen during The Situation Room and during Showbiz Tonight on CNN Headline News. These stories tend to focus on subjects related to popular culture and make use of man-on-the-street style interviews, shots of tabloid magazine headlines, and clips garnered from videos on YouTube. They also frequently take viewers behind the scenes, showing Moos placing phone calls from her office or cracking jokes with other employees in CNN’s Manhattan studios

Days 108 and 109 – Head Honcho

Miles cruised 0, fuel purchased $0, slip fee $133, daily high temperature 79*f low temperature 73*f.

We had some maintenance done on the boat this week. Only one more week until CL makes a move to the Dry Tortugas. We have been in salt water for six weeks and our shaft zincs needed replacing. Same thing with the engine zincs. Key West is a good place to get parts and labor. We hired an ex-Marine diver to install our zincs and clean the boat bottom. We said our Pettit bottom paint is holding up well. However, he did spend and hour cleaning our running gear – shafts, propellors and trim tabs. The diver John came to Key West by sailboat 20 years ago after retiring from the Armed Forces. He was in a slip at the Boca Chica Navy Base when a friend asked him to dive on his boat and clean the bottom. He did it and then five more people asked him to clean their boat bottoms. Now he has two employees and cleans 40 boat bottoms a weeks. He uses the SNUBA air system (small air compressor with a long air hose) not dive tanks. John said anyone can have a successful business in Key West if they just show up on time and are sober and not high on drugs. He said it is not uncommon for job applicants to walk the docks at 8:00 am with a rum and coke in hand or late afternoon smoking a joint looking for work.

SNUBA dive system.

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We hired the “Head Honcho” to fix a air leak in our vacuflush (toilet) system. Get it- head is the the word used for toilet on a boat. Perry the owner, calls it marine sanitation solutions. His story is his father owned the marine sanitation repair business and passed away. He came down to sell the business and settle his fathers estate. One of his father’s best customers called when he arrived and needed work done. That was fifteen years ago and he is still running the business.

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We also had the oil changed in the starboard transmission, the one we replaced, to keep it in warranty.  Matt the mechanic did a fine job.

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I have been to Key West more than 20 times but I had never visited the tourists site Fort Zachary Taylor. We visited it on this trip. Construction on the fort started in 1845 and took 21 years to complete because it was difficult to get building materials delivered to the remote Key West location.

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The Civil War fort is a beautiful relic, with brick archways built by Irish and British craftsmen who learned the castle and fort building trade from generations of artisans many of whom had worked for Napoleon.

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Photo by Andy

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Photo by Priscilla

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The fort has the largest collection of Civil War armaments in the United States. The majority of the decommissioned civil war cannons were used to reinforce new concrete construction as the fort was expanded. It was cheaper than shipping the cannons back to the mainland to be melted down in foundrys.

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Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Before his presidency, Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rising to the rank of major general. His success in the Second Seminole War attracted national attention and earned him the nickname “Old Rough and Ready”.Taylor died suddenly of a stomach-related illness in July 1850.

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Bonus photo – pelican feeding frenzy with our catch

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Carl (Chef) Wooden – quote of the day

“I’m thankful for the sea breeze that feels so good right now, and the scent of jasmine when the sun starts going down.” – Johnny Cash

Johnny “J.R.” Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor and, author who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

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Day 93 – The Conch Republic

Miles cruised 0, fuel purchased $22 for the dingy, slip fee $133, daily high temperature 81*f feels like 88*f

We had the opportunity to meet an amazing person. Jennifer is a nurse at a local clinic. She immigrated legally from Cuba at the age of 22 after three attempts to enter the U.S. by watercraft. Starting at the age of 18 she tried to float across to the U.S.  She said there was no resemblance to a boat. One time her craft was an upside down kitchen table strapped to 55 gallon drums. The US Coast Guard caught her each time before she had “dry feet.” She gave up and went to medical school in Cuba to become a doctor. At the age of 22 she received a call from the Cuban embassy advising she and her brother had been granted visas. Since she had never applied for a visa she was surprised. It turns out her grandmother had applied for visas for Jennifer and her brother when they were born and it took 20 years to get approved.

Her father encouraged her to go to the US even though she was in Cuban medical school.

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One way to spend Christmas Eve is at the helm of 105′ gaff rigged schooner. The America 2 is a replica of the ship that won the original America’s Cup race in England in 1851.

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Captain Priscilla

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Captain Father John

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The Conch Republic
The Conch Republic was established by secession of the Florida Keys from the United States of America, on April 23rd, 1982 in response to a United States Border Patrol Blockade setup on highway U.S.1 at Florida City just to the north of the Florida Keys. This heinous act effectively isolated Keys Citizens from the U.S. mainland since the blockade was on our only land artery to and from the mainland. This roadblock portrayed Keys residents as non-U.S. citizens who had to prove their citizenship in order to drive onto the Florida mainland! Hardly an American thing to do!
We protested! A totally American thing to do! Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlow along with a few other ‘key’ Conchs, went to Federal court in Miami to seek an injunction to stop the federal blockade, but to no avail. Upon leaving the Federal Court House , on the court house steps , Mayor Wardlow announced to the world, by way of the assembled TV crews and reporters, that ; “Tomorrow at noon the Florida Keys will secede from the Union!”

At noon, on the day of secession, at Mallory Square in Key West Florida, Mayor Wardlow read the proclamation of secession and proclaimed aloud that the Conch Republic was an independent nation separate from the U.S. and then symbolically began the Conch Republic’s Civil Rebellion by breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a U.S. Navy uniform. After one minute of rebellion, the now, Prime Minister Wardlow turned to the Admiral in charge of the Navy Base at Key West, and surrendered to the Union Forces, and demanded 1 Billion dollars in foreign aid and War Relief to rebuild our nation after the long Federal siege!

Thus began our Conch Republic journey which still continues today! We are both Conchs and we are Americans and we are proud to be both. By act of Congress we hold dual citizenship as Conchs and as Americans and will fight for the right to be both!

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Bonus photo

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Carl (Chef) Wooden – quote of the day.

“I spent uncounted hours sitting at the bow looking at the water and the sky, studying each wave, different from the last, seeing how it caught the light, the air, the wind; watching patterns, the sweep of it all, and letting it take me?” – Gary Paulsen, Caught by the sea.

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Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dog sled race, the Iditarod; have provided ample material from which he creates his stories.

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