Wednesday, May 15, 2013
If you have further questions please let us know. Additional photos coming soon.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Why the thought of living on land again? Well it wouldn't be just any piece of land. We definitely can not see ourselves back in the middle of civilization in a city. The land we are dreaming about would be outside of the US, have enough land to grow a lush garden and have the waves lapping on the beach. Our thoughts are more of a Swiss Family Robinson Project (without the shipwreck and wild natives). Can we build self sustainable living off the grid? Use natural materials from the land to build small living quarters that don't hurt the land but makes it thrive. Grow food and have small farm animals to supply our needs like chickens and pigmy goats. In this day and age our generation has lost many necessary skills thanks to the easy access to store bought items. Unfortunately many of these items from stores are polluted with toxin chemicals, that personally I don't want in my body. In our travels we asked ourselves and others "why aren't people growing more of their own food?" It seems ridiculous to have to be so dependent upon shipments to arrive from a far grocery store. Some people responded by saying that the land wasn't good for growing food. Until we landed at Blackpoint, Exuma. Here we saw the harshest terrain, solid rock with huge natural holes already in the land. What was the solution the local people found? Fill the holes with dirt and turn them into large planters. Huge sinkholes were even used for large fruit trees to grow. Genius! This also brought the fruit closer to level ground for picking. Great things happen when you think outside the box. Personally we enjoy and appreciate being creative thinkers and being around those that are like minded. Like they say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
We will continue on our journey enjoying sailing The Coup until its someone else's time to enjoy her. Along the way we will keep looking at our next possibilities and figure out what and where the Higher Force needs us and wants us to be. We are glad to be surrounded by beautiful people and places, it's a blessing to be able to appreciate the little things in life so much.
If you are interested contact us through our email. Please be patient with a return message, after all we are in paradise enjoying life.
Friday, May 3, 2013
The waters in the area below Blackpoint change to a harder to read greenish color which made it a bit more difficult to see the coral heads ahead of us. The first Visual Piloting Route (VPR) was through the Musha & Rudder Cay area. These are picturesque postcard perfect islands and one of the first areas where I saw a house painted in truly Caribbean flare. It was breathing taking and I could see why some have decided to call these Cays home, even for a few months out of the year. Supposedly Rudder Cay is home to David Copperfield, but make sure to never step foot on his island though. From what I have read he has guard dogs and security cameras everywhere. Rudder Cay does have an amazing natural cave which I would love to explore one day. In addition I heard Copperfield commissioned a life sized stainless steel sculpture of a mermaid playing a piano that was placed underwater. Maybe we will return one day to see if we can locate it.
Our first VPR area was accomplished and we headed on towards the next two around Darby Island and the worst at the West Pimilco Cays. Tom & Sue on m/v Andanté caught up with us in this area and passed us in hopes of doing a sounding for us before we made our journey through since they only draw 3'. As we made our next VPR Andanté quickly realized their depth sounder was not working. Sue said "sorry but it's reading 100+ feet right now" our only response was "Great! That means we have tons of water under our keel". Of course in reality we were barely squeezing by with about 6" under our keel. But six inches is better than zero! We made the final turn around West Pimlico as a huge shark swam up to say hello and check us out. He swam by our port side and decided to make a quick turn towards our stern. He looked more hungry then inquisitive in my opinion so I hoped we would make our last turn safely and thankfully we did. But it was a tricky one since another sailboat under sail decided to squeak right by us as we exited. After our last VPR area we were free and clear to head on towards our next destination of Lee Stocking Island. A huge thank you goes out to the Captain for all his hard work and number crunching for getting us through safely.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
As for the Coup we will set sail again this Saturday. It will hopefully be a long, slow and very enjoyable island hopping experience towards Georgetown. Hope to make more postings along the way when WiFi is available.
Enjoy all your Blessing!
(El Capitãn in the Stockade. Nassau, Bahamas)
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
A nice joy of Nassau has been some of the spots around to see. We have made countless trips to Atlantis, the bakery for coconut bread and even took a leisure stroll down to the area called Potters Cay, a market and great spot to get a fresh Conch Salad. Alyson on s/v Ripple took a walk over to Bahama Hands the other day, I look forward to that trip, they make hand screen printed Bahamas fabrics there. If you ever end up here for a period of time make a trip over to the Chinese Restaurant called Double Dragon, we enjoyed some conch fried rice and a wonderful dish of Lemon Fish Grouper or head over to the Fish Fry section of town and stop in at Mr. Andros for a wonderful dinner big enough to split between 2 people. Our choice for dinner at Mr. Andros was the Creo ($10) with a spicy pickled cabbage. The waitress was even kind enough to not put on the typical 15% gratuity. Make sure before you hop into ANY taxi that you negotiate the price before getting in, they got us for $25 each way to the Fish Fry area from Nassau Yacht Haven. The cabbie later told us it was $5 per head but I know there was still room to negotiate. When not playing we have conquered a few projects. One was the covered shade area over the exterior helm and even made some new exterior chair pillows. Back to work for me today. Enjoy your day everyone.
Monday, March 4, 2013
And so far he is saying it looks like an installation problem from the manufacture.
Please "like" their page and send them some much need love so they can get back up and running again.
NOTE: May 2013. Our friends on Three Sheets will be up and sailing again soon. Thanks to their insurance company Seaworthy, they are getting a new engine!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Well there you go, KISS, happy provisioning and storing everybody. Oh and as a note...these are great for storing in the bottom of those pesky 'V' spots in your boats lockers. If you live on a boat you know exactly what I am talking about.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Attached is a photo from our Christmas Potluck at the Tiki Hut. What a great day. Happy New Years Everybody!
The day was perfect. <10 knots of wind. We headed out of the harbor with crew ready to go. Crew included, Captain Manninugo (Matthew), Admiral Julie, Shandra, Chris, Temple oh and we can't forget the chief security officer "Wee One". The winds were low but perfect for her first test. As we motored out of the channel pointed into the wind and raised her sails. The crew asked if the Captain was going to turn off the engine? At first he hesitated, then quickly changed his mind and turned the key to off. WE WERE STILL SAILING!! What an amazing thing. We wondered around hitting 3.6 knots at one time and we all rejoiced. After about 2 hours we turned around and headed back to port. What a great day and many more to come.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
We just received a list of some of the Island Trader 46' owners. Some had email contact information but we are missing so much info. If you own one or know someone that does please contact us through email. I am going to be setting up a website for IT 46' owners so we can all meet and discuss issues and adventures. I spoke with Randy today. He owns the first one ever made. Here is a link to his Facebook page. We look forward to speaking with the other Island Trader 46 owners and thank you for your help.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
April Friday the 13th, I should of known better, I jumped in a 10 seat twin prop and flew from Key West to Clearwater, FL. What a ride, it was exhilarating, zooming amongst the clouds. Little did I know this was just the beginning. After landing Jesse and I went to the s/v Island Gypsy. She was a mess! There was no way he was prepared for us to leave anytime soon. We took the next few days to organize, stow and prepare the vessel for our voyage. We installed winches, cleats and the bow rail, organized tools, parts and food. Jesse assured me he had taken her out a week earlier and the mechanical systems were working. I noticed many flaws I would have fixed if she were mine. Most importantly she only had one lower shroud on both sides of the mast. But I was not going to spend the next 4 months in TI fixing her up.
The next morning we moved his 22 foot Shamrock Towboat from TI to St. Petersburg. This vessel is a center console work boat, similar to a skiff. At one point we got into 6 foot confused seas, a yucky ride to say the least, I probably would have lost my breakfast if I had had any.
Tuesday around noon we picked up a lady friend of his at the John's Pass fuel dock. We hailed the bridge tender and off we went into the Gulf.
The 6 knot winds and 3 foot seas were directly on our nose. We motored until we passed the Egmont channel. Then raised the canvas and turned into a close reach. My first realization of trouble was during this process. I asked Jesse "Which one is the topping lift?" He looked at me like a deer in headlights. I replied "OK, the line that attaches to the end of the boom.". Then I asked him "Which one is the main halyard?", same look...I replied "The one that pulls up the main sail.". Then he jumped on the bow and attached the jib sheets, brought both ends of the jib sheet on the outside of the shrouds on the same side, not through any of the blocks and wraps it around the winch. Not the way to hook things up!
About 20 minutes later, POP goes the starboard lower shroud straight for my head. I ducked just in time and screamed "Into the wind!" We dropped the main and Jesse went below to get some parts. Up he comes with...... Chain!? After fumbling with the shroud for 10 minutes it's temporarily attached..... by Chain!?... He now wants to put the main back up. After long deliberation, of me explaining the physics of sailing and rigging, and him telling me it doesn't matter, his lady friend pipes up and says "Let's not put it up" so he left it down. Thank God! My belief is, we would have lost the rig if we flew the main. Boys and girls..... always have your full rig up before going sailing!
A little time later I looked into the companionway and saw smoke. Jesse ran into the engine room and screams "Shut her down!". Now I'm sailing a 46' Morgan with a tiny jib in 4 knot winds, on a close reach. I look at the GPS and we're going 1 knot sideways. 20 minutes later Jesse gets back behind the wheel and sarcastically says "Check it out." I go down into the engine room and look at the alternator. He rigged up the belt so that it was working, but it wouldn't for long. I congratulate him on his Macgyver skills but questioned him on spares. He continued to explain how he has many spares aboard, just that none of them are for this boat. So we need to find safe harbor and gets some spare parts, quickly. Luckily, New Pass isn't far, he said he has been in and out of that pass many times and knows it like the back of his hand. Boys and girls..... always carry spares, for your engine, before leaving port!
About an hour after sun down, roughly 9pm he turns Island Gypsy towards the channel. We pass the outer marker around 9:30. However, a few days later I would read an article from 2003, which stated the Coast guard removed the markers from New Pass because it was too dangerous to navigate.
I feel her bump the ground and encourage Jesse to put her in neutral. A few seconds later she comes to a halt. Now, when this happens to me, I put the vessel in reverse, back off the shoal and find a new way. Well... Jesse decides to gun it straight through the shoal, full power. There we were with an 8 foot draft, full keel sailboat dredging a channel. Come to find out she has a new 45 hp VW diesel engine. Way underpowered for a 46' Morgan! All I can think of at the moment was "I'm givin' her all she's got Captain!". To no avail, for the next 30 minutes I attempt to get Jesse to turn around.
SMOKE! The rigged up alternator belt broke. We inspected the engine room. Not only was the smoke thick but there was a lot of water in the bilge now. We inspected further, the bilge pumps were no longer working and water was pouring in through a hole the size of my thumb, from the stuffing box. Jesse rewired the bilge pump and put line in the stuffing box. We turned all power off except the bilge pumps and tied on some webbing to replace the belt. All is back to normal except that we're in 4 feet of water with an 8 foot draft sailboat. After all this, the Captain decides we'll rest until morning.
I took night watch, grabbed a blanket and took a nap in the cockpit. We were taking 3 foot waves to our port aft for the next few hours. Around 11:30pm I was awoken buy a few drops of rain hitting my face. The sprinkles stopped, but what happened next alarmed me once again. 20 knots of wind out of the SW started blowing. I knew the full fetch of the Gulf would produce 6 foot surf within 30 minutes. I alerted Jesse, we put out a Bow and Stern anchor and waited. Sure enough, in came the 6 foot waves, they were beating us up pretty good but they were still hitting us on our port aft.
After 20 minutes of 6 foot waves crashing on the stern, Jesse comes up with an idea. Let's cut the stern anchor rode and the waves will swing us around. I argue that all that will happen is we'll end up broad side in the waves. I begged and pleaded, please don't cut the stern anchor. He goes out anyways, and sure enough he cuts the stern rode!
Within 5 minutes we were taking 6 foot rollers right to our beam. Slamming uncontrollably side to side. Each wave would slam us twice. Once to the port as it came and then starboard as it slammed us. The noises the boat created were duplicated in only the scariest of movies. We had radios, black bean cans, tools, parts and pieces flying throughout the craft for what seemed like an eternity. As us sailors say "She puked all over herself".
All night while getting thoroughly beaten up, I kept looking to shore. Wondering is that beach or rocks the waves are hitting? I mean, come on now, I'm pretty sure at this point Island Gypsy is down for the 10 count. I hoped for the best but prepared for the worst. I put all my things in a dry bag and waited, well actually I held on for dear life.
Around 7:30am the sunrise was gorgeous and the waves subsided to 3 foot rollers again. It's a beach... and it's 200 yards away! Around 8:00am Jesse informed us that the rudder post put a hole in the bottom and we were taking on water, time to abandon ship. Everyone begins grabbing there things and heads to the cockpit.
We put the 12' aluminum dinghy in the water on the leeward side. Tried one outboard motor...it didn't work. Try the other motor...it didn't work either. "Guess we'll have to row." I exclaim. Jesse replies "I don't have any oars". 'WHAT?????'. We ended up using some wood trim that we found as oars.
All night long Jesse's lady friend had been a real trooper, joking around all night while staying upbeat. I grabbed a life jacket and put it over her head and fastened it. She, all of the sudden, becomes distraught and hesitantly proclaims "I can't swim!". Great, I'm thinking, can anything else go wrong? I jumped in the dinghy and used all my might to keep our current rescue craft at the side of the Morgan. Jesse's friend get's in, followed by Jesse. The first couple waves hit us on the stern, no big deal.
Then, a 3 foot wave hits our rear quarter and swamps us. Jesse's friend screams "My medicine!". I jump in and start grabbing bags. The next wave flips them in the water. Jesse hollers "We can stand!". Jesse's friend stands in the knee-deep water and exclaims 'Thank F.....G God!" which is followed by a wave that knocks her down. All three of us then began moving towards a fishing boat. It was waiting for us in some deeper water. We jump in and got onto land within 10 minutes.
Once on landed I called Julie to come pick me up. She then started the long 6 hour haul from Marathon to come and get me. Grandma Rosanne and Grandpa Wally thankfully live in Sarasota, so I hung with them until she showed up. I was so exhausted, hungry and thirsty, it was a very somber day indeed.
Many lessons where learned by all that day, especially me. Always carry spares and only an inflatable dinghy with oars is exceptable as a lifeboat! I personally learned many more lessons than that of course on that day, but I'll keep that discussion to happy hour!
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Congrats to them for thinking "outside" the box!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Remember to get up to date info and pictures join our Facebook page:
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Last Sunday I came up with the idea to hold a Scavenger Hunt for some of the cruisers. Something to beat the heat and have a good time for all ages involved. All week long I sat down working on ideas for the hunt & the worst of them to figure out was, a prize. Something that could be split between all ages and members of 3-4 per group. Luckily at the last moment it came to me, GAMES! We ran to the store and loaded up on things anyone might enjoy. Then ran back to the marina for the games to begin. Four groups of people participated, Team: Scalleywags, Bilge Monkeys, GO!! and JAWS. They were to find as many items as possible within 2 hours and to follow the rules. The one item that held the most points was a bright yellow smiley face balloon that the team leader had to carry and bring back in tact for 100 points. Only one team arrived back with their balloon in tact (GO!!). A second team (Bilge Monkeys) decided to pay someone $10 to retrieve a balloon that had escaped before the Hunt even began. Plus some team members were busted driving instead of only walking and using a dinghy. But I made the mistake of only saying that rule instead of adding it to the printed list of rules. The teams came back the judges retired to a location to tally up all the points. What a tough job to do. We factored in that the teams that didn't cheat had lost their balloons and the teams that did cheat were deducted points. This would even out the scores and be a bit more fair. Two teams were neck and neck with only a 1 point difference, JAWS & GO!!. The breaker was creativity points for "I can't believe we all fit in here". Team GO!! Won. Thank you to everyone for participating & to Charles for bringing adult refreshments. As a note the winning team decided to share all of the cool prizes with the rest of the players. So after the hunt the games continued. :)
Scavenger Hunt Photos here
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Hilary & Charles, Erica Scott & Riley, Kendall & Diane, Paige & Chris, Bob, Tom & Sue, Sally & Ed, Jeff & Annie, Alex & Andrea, Karen, Owen & Anne, DJ & Mary, Jamison, the whole crew at City Marina, and the many other cruisers we have met along their own journeys.
Maybe one day our paths will cross again in another harbor. Until then, Let the Good Times Roll.
Friday, July 8, 2011
As many of you know we are staying in the Florida Keys until hurricane season passes. Our lack of posts on the blog are pretty tragic nowadays, lol. But life goes on. We have been so lucky to find so many new friends here and we look forward to hopefully sharing some of the summer fun with some of our land loving friends & family members. So for anyone who would like to stay a bit more informed on our current travels make sure to join our Facebook page & hit the "Like" button (https://www.facebook.com/coupdamour). Having a constant internet connection is pretty few & far between right now. The phone is the easiest connection we have on a daily basis to keep in touch. All is well here in paradise and we send our love.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Benji and his vessel made it safely to Honduras and just text us to let us know he is ok!!!
s/v Trifecta (a trimaran) is on 'Vessel Watch' around the Florida Keys area & the Coast Guard is trying to locate him over the VHF, with no response back yet. His name is Benji you might remember him playing the banjo for us on Christmas morning from his old boat. If anyone spots him or his sailing vessel please let us know. He sent out an email to his loved ones on 4/28/11 from Fort Myers and said he was heading to the Dry Tortugas then Cuba & then Honduras Mexico from there. Last heard from he acquired a female passenger named Lx or Ix (we think that's her name). We will keep trying to hail him over the VHF. If we hear any news we will update.
Update: 4/09/11 11:42 pm
S/V Chasing Sunsets
Sent us an email saying Benji is suppose to meet him in Honduras. He emailed the Coast Guard to keep a 'Vessel Watch' for the s/v Trifecta. Benji supposedly left Ft. Myers, FL on 5/01/11 (3 days later then he scheduled) and is to arrive now in Honduras around May 13th now. The Vessel Watch calls out the vessels name and then waits for a response back. Benji only has a VHF for communications onboard. If we hear anymore news we will let you know. If you hear from him tell him to please check in. As we have recently found out ourselves it tends to take longer then planned to sail from point A to B. We are hoping he is alright and hope to hear news soon.
I just talked with the Dry Tortugas fort and they did see Benji on May 3rd and 4th and he left ether the afternoon of the 4th or on the 5th of May they did not remember just what day he left so with a trip of 540 nautical miles and a speed of five knots he should be here in Guanaja tomorrow.
I will let you all know when I see him.
S/V Chasing Sunsets
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
We're about to leave for the Caribbean in our 46 Island Trader. Ports of call will be Key West, Longboat Key in the Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Getting help to people in need is our objective while underway. We have an extra 4 tons of cargo capacity and room for 2 to help drive. Looking for donations from eyeglasses, toys, clothing
Matthew and Julie
We have contacted every musician that we know across the country to help out and hold a benefit. If you have a band or know of someone that would want to hold one please contact us. It doesn't have to be anything big, anything helps, especially if we can get enough people to do this by May 15th, 2011. Thanks everyone!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Many people have helped us along our journey and we can never thank them enough for all of their love, support, knowledge and kindness. So as Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) once said "Pay it Forward" and that is what we are going to do. Since we have been blessed with a boat like we have, with all it's space, we are locating charities that we can work with to deliver goods to others less fortunate then ourselves. After all our boat is an Island Trader and that's what they we're built for, carrying lots of stuff from one place to another. We have already located a few different charities but if you have any suggestions of your own please contact us.