Sunday, January 31, 2016

First Race For Dandy

It was a bit gloomy today, but the wind was perfect for the Abaco Dinghy races held on the Sea of Abaco, just outside Hope Town Harbour. Dave and his friend Goldwin had a blast, and actually came in second in the first race of the three race series. However, at the start of the first race, they stopped in their tracks and had a rough time getting going again, so they came in last. They came in third in the third race, but after the handicaps were totaled, Dandy only came in 5th out of 6 boats. Dave was still very pleased with how the boat sails and he was exceptionally glad he didn't get wet, like he does when racing Sunfish. He said it is a lot more comfortable than racing Sunfish also. Below are a few photos from today...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Maiden Voyage

Many thanks to everyone who has been involved in our Abaco Dinghy project! Tomorrow Dandy races for the first time.

"What a long strange trip it's been!"

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ready To Sail

Today was supposed to be another windy and gloomy day, but we woke to total calm and sunny skies. What a perfect opportunity to get Dandy ready to sail. First step was putting the racing numbers on the sail. I bet some of you recognize the number from Dave's motorcycle racing days! Hopefully it will bring him good luck.

Then Jim came over to help step the mast...only to find out that it didn't fit! 

Out came the saber saw to make the hole it sits in bigger, but thankfully Dave noticed first that it didn't need much more room, and he sanded down all the layers of paint on the mast itself, which worked perfect.

Much more rigging had to be done and it took most of the day to do it...a lot of which was trial and error. By the time we had finished, the wind was blowing like crazy, so no first sail today. She is sitting pretty and ready to go though!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ready to Rig

Dandy has been brought over to our marina and has a high priority spot just outside the marina store's entrance. She draws a lot of attention and everyone who goes by ogles at this locally built and restored boat.

She looks wonderful, and the only water in her is rain water from above and no saltwater from below. With all the rain we have been having, Dave has been having to use our high volume electric pump to pump out all the Abaco Dinghies.

Now all we need is better weather and less wind to rig her mast, boom, sails, rudder, and tiller that are sitting on the dock next to the boat. Then it will be time to sail this dinghy that hasn't been out in many many years.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sailing Is Hard Work

Sometimes there are good results, like the Abaco Rage winning the latest Hope Town Sailing Club Race (that's Dave in the outback hat handling the the jib sheets)...

Other times it is frustrating, as seen in the video link of Dave being caught on the race committee boat's anchor line (thanks Catherine!), while Sunfish racing. Click HERE for the video. Either way, Dave loves a challenge.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Extension Project

Although Walkabout runs just fine, we couldn't help but notice that it cavitates in any kind of waves. We are pretty sure that's why the former owner sold it after owning it for a short time. Dave did some research and discovered that there are extensions available for the lower unit that will make it sit in the water further and not be so prone to 'catching air.' We had the boat hauled out in the boatyard while we were back in Florida, so this was the perfect time to install the extension.

It took Jim, Gus, and Dave (thanks guys!) to get the job done...of course while I am writing this, they are still working on it with a few complications to overcome.

This is a photo of the extension piece. Dave bought new seals to help with the black exhaust leak.
The seals were really hard to install and kept falling out, so Jim said, "let's duct tape it on until it's in the engine!" Yeehaw!  Unfortunately the duck tape didn't hold when Gus picked it up, and they had to start again. A duct tape failure..unheard of. 

When the project is done, we have a 4 bladed prop to replace the three bladed one (more power to get up on a plane), so we'll soon be set for more adventures....once the winter winds stop blowing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Just Launched

We arrived back in Hope Town yesterday to find out that Dandy has been launched! She is in the water soaking up, but from what we have heard, she has not taken on any water at all. It has been many years since Dandy has been floating. Thanks so much to Will and Heinz and all the other volunteers that have helped. Thanks to Jacqueline too for the photo...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Land o' Plenty

We are back in Daytona for a week, getting our fix of big box stores, fast food, variety, speedy internet, and lots of (what seems like) really fast driving around. It's a quick trip to visit family and spend time with my mother for her 90th birthday. What a milestone! Then with some provisions in hand (and bags), we'll head back to Hope Town.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sailing With The Famous

Dave and the hard core Sunfish racers have been getting the boats and rigs ready for today's first race series of the season. He races with some pretty famous and noteworthy sailors, including our friend Colin. Colin just finished racing his Swan 62 in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race in Australia, finishing 1st in one class and 3rd in another after the handicaps were tallied. This is amazing considering 1/3 of the 103 boats that entered had to drop out due to severe weather conditions and gear failure or damage. When Colin finished in Tasmania, he got to the dock and immediately jumped on a plane to get back to Hope Town to race Sunfish! He and Dave posed for a photo, while Peter concentrated on his rig repairs. Even though Colin owns his own Sunfish, he made sure he was there to help with the club boats, so everyone was ready to race.

Off they go out of the harbor. What an exceptional group of competitors!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Whatever Floats

It's not only boats that float around the harbor. Friends of ours are building a new house and the first order of business was to purchase a rainwater catchment tank. Now the tanks come in plastic, although some cisterns are made out of concrete and built into foundations of the buildings. Since Carol & John's home will be right on the Sea of Abaco shoreline, they have opted for plastic to help prevent saltwater intrusion should there be high tides or hurricanes. The tank was delivered by the freight boat to the public dock and it was up to the owners to get it to their lot. Being sailors, they tied long dock lines around it and launched it off the dock into the water. With the help of friends and dinghies, they then floated it out of the harbor and over to their spit of land.
The ingenuity of cruisers!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Someone's Knocking

Early morning visitor at the window. Hopefully he or she was just looking for a mate and not eating the wood...or glass!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

It's A Boat!

Dandy is looking more and more like a refurbished Abaco Dinghy. Heinz and Will have been sealing and caulking the seams, sanding and painting. I sure was surprised when I went over to their workplace and saw the progress that had been made.

Looks like she will be ready to launch soon!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The "Flitter-Quitter" Dance

It is so funny to see our hummingbirds and bananaquits dance around the feeder. Neither one wants the other to drink the nectar, but once they are situated one of each side of the feeder and can't see each other, everything is fine...until one of them moves. Then the dance starts again.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

(Photos taken from the New Horizon Treehouse front porch.)

Click HERE to check out an excellent video of Hope Town. What a great way to start 2016!