Friday, May 31, 2013

Approaching Bridges and Their Guidelines

Flagship Sailing School | Approaching Bridges and Their Guidelines - Latest from the Blog Bridge clearances in Florida are normally given on charts and are typically measured in feet above mean high tide levels. The name of the bridge can be found on the bridge, some charts, and from cruising guides. Most, but not all, fixed height bridges in the Tampa Bay area have a clearance height of 65 feet. If the bridge you are approaching is a bascule bridge, you will need to request an opening. The most efficient method for this request is to use the VHF radio, channel 9 on low power. (The channel in other states may be different. If you are unable to raise the bridge tender on the radio, you may use a sound signal – 1 prolonged blast followed by 1 short blast of your horn.) When about ¼ mile from the bridge, you should call the bridge tender as follows: Give the name of the bridge three times. For example, “Anna Maria bridge, Anna Maria bridge, Anna Maria bridge, this is the sailing vessel KylieAnn south bound requesting an opening”. The bridge tender will reply giving you the time of the next opening. Some bridges will open on demand. Some are scheduled every 20-30 minutes and some are restricted to certain times of the day. Once contact has been made, follow the instructions given. Let the bridge tender know that you will remain on channel 9 until clear of the bridge when you should go back to channel 16. The bridge will sound it’s horn as the raising process begins. Watch for the gates to come down to stop automobile traffic. When the bridge is fully open, you may begin to move through. Just before the bridge begins to close, the bridge tender will give 5 short blasts (the danger signal) on the bridge horn. When approaching a bridge it is important to note the direction of the wind and current. If they are propelling you toward the bridge, you must be careful not to get too close. Always assume that you could have an engine failure in which case you will need room and time to anchor. There are no specific right of way rules when passing under a bridge. Listen to your radio so that you will know what other boats will be passing through at the same time. Also, note whether or not they will be coming toward you. If you are at all unsure, GIVE WAY.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My short conversation with Meow's First Mate

I ended up having a short conversation with the First Mate that sailed Meow, a 39 foot Leopard in the Regatta del Sol race from St. Pete to Isla Mujeres. I asked him why they sailed so far off the rhumb line and he said that it was not his decision as he was only the first mate.

Movie time

Flagship Sailing School

Sunday, May 26, 2013

3SUM goes on a Sunday cruise to shake the barnacles free

We took 3SUM out to set the barnacles free and back to their natural habitat in a safe,convenient and professional manner in our weekly duty to help green our Mother, the Earth. Oh, and motor around a bit drinking beer and dreaming of chick-o-sticks - the delectable candy bar snack that makes my top 10 best ever foods manufactured on our Mother Earth!

Sailing, steel reserve and Chic o stick

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Painting down below

We’ve been doing tons of work lately on our Irwin 32. I just finished painting the cabinets with Interlux Bilgekote paint and need advice on whether to paint the wooden drawers, as they still kind of smell like the boat did years ago when it was badly neglected. You know the odor—diesel fuel, oil and old head hoses. The drawers have never been painted before and are made of plywood. What kind of paint should we use?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Canadians up to their Old Tricks!

I made an innnocent post on the Zero to Cruising's facebook page I found using the googlebox about crab props. Guess what? They plagiarized me! Yeah! Stole my made up word and posted it on their blog with no credits to me! Well, I was quite upset. Then, we saw Argo and I thought, what the heck, the Canadians helped us out of a jam back then. I'll just let this one slide.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This woman needs no hands to drive and she has her hazard lights on

I was stuck in this traffic jam and my lane was not moving. This woman drove by while putting her hair in a pony tail and the other one used to hold her cellphone. This went on for about 10 minutes. I nearly spilled my martini when I saw this. 

Google Hangouts – a great way to have a live get together

Wally Moran was a guest at a Google Hangout recently hosted by Teresa Carey on the subject of “How do you prepare to voyage”. This hangout appears below (embedded from YouTube). I joined the hangout as a viewer and found it to be a great experience, seeing the show live and being able to post questions live to the panel of great sailors. I would like to invite all listeners of The Sailing Podcast to come and join our Google+ community named “The Sailing Podcast” as I hope that over time we can use this technology to have some live interviews with some of our guests – maybe even have some back after the podcast to answer some Q & A from listeners. You can join Google+ by having a gmail address. If you don’t have a Gmail address yet, you can always sign up for a free one at – even if you only use it for accessing Google+ and participating in Google Hangouts. How do you prepare to Voyage?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Raucous rolling tonight, but quite pleasant.

The rain is keeping the drunken dockrats off. They are like big, annoying mosquitos that talk loud, swear all the time and the effenheimer is their favorite word to use. They use it as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, gerund, dangling modifier, prepositional phrase, etc.... Take that word away from them and you have a mute.

Trying to get a boom tent for the boat

We have a boom tent for 3SUM, but it is for the amas being out and it is quite big. Right now, our boom tent we are using is the size of a large handkerchief and it is somewhat adequate at keeping the hatch dry, but if the rain comes in at any angle but straight down, I get water down below. So, I am trying to figure out different ways of addressing this problem. I may have to lay into doing some serious buckminster fullering on this project involving fiberglass tent poles since 3SUM has some might weird angles. I want to keep this somewhat simple and not get too complicated. I want to be able to knock the boom tent down in 30 seconds or less. Right now, I have a clustermess on my hands.