Cruising with Soggy Paws
Soggy Paws is a 44' CSY Sailboat. In 2007, we set sail on a 10 year around the world cruise.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
2008 Presentations
Sherry did a half hour presentation on the San Blas at the East Coast Sailing Association and Melbourne Yacht Club monthly meetings.

Dave did an extensive presentation on Cruising the Western Caribbean at the Seven Seas Cruising Association 2008 Gam.

Both presentations (and some useful cruising links) can now be found on our SSCA 2008 page.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008
Lots and Lots of Pics Posted

OK, all you armchair travelers, I have spent most of the last 3 days uploading all our photos from January to now to our Picasa photo album, including all of the San Blas. We have taken at least a few photos in every place we stopped.

Enjoy! Our Photo Album

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Sunday, June 17, 2007
Leaving for Belize Today
The weather has cleared. We are leaving Dry Tortugas today about noon.
Destination: Ambergris Cay, San Pedro, Belize

Planned Route: Leaving Dry Tortugas headed S and SW toward coast of Cuba. Plan to stay 12 miles offshore and follow the coast of Cuba to Cabo San Antonio, then drop about 60 miles straight south, before angling off for a direct route to San Pedro Belize. Total distance: 531 nm, approximate time enroute: 4 days.

General expected waypoints & progress:

Leave Dry Tortugas 1200 17-June
12 miles off coast of Cuba 0900 18-June to 0500 19-June (Tuesday)
Due south from Cabo San Antonio Cuba 80 miles (to 20-30N 85-10W) arrive abt 2000 19-June
Sail straight SE from there direct to Ambergris Cay
Off SE Tip of Chinchorro Bank, Mexico 0400 21-June
Ambergris Cay, San Pedro Pass, 1200 21-June (Thursday)
(all times EDT, and assuming a 5.5Kt average speed. We can go 6-7kts if wind is favorable)

Our bailout plan for bad weather or problems will be as follows:

(a) Back to Dry Tortugas or Key West if in the first day
(b) Coastal Cuba for a temporary severe weather or mechanical situation, when along the coast of Cuba
(c) Isla Mujeres or Cozumel, once south of Cuba
(d) Chinchorro or maybe Xcalac once near Chinchorro Bank

Expected Weather: Current weather forecast is showing SE and East at 10-15 for the foreseable future.

General Communications:
Northwest Carribbean Net at 1000 EDT on 6209 or 6212 USB
We may listen daily at 2000Z to Herb's Southbound 2 weather net on SSB 12.359 MHZ USB.
We will listen to Chris Parker's Caribbean Weather Net. 0630 4045 USB
We will attempt to check in on the Waterway Net at 0815 EDT 7268 LSB
We have not been real regular on the Ham/SSB freqs yet, so if we're not there, don't worry!
We will be doing daily updates to our website (http://www.svsoggypaws.com/blog2008/) and we'll send a 'we've arrived' message out when we get there. (assuming email/computers still working).

Our position is updated and displayed at the following website each time we communicate ashore via the WINLINK system (at least daily when weather an propagation permits);
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?call=KN4TH

However, lack of an update should not be grounds for concern!! We may just be too tired or have equipment problems.

We have worked hard over the past few months, and Soggy Paws has never been in better shape for going to sea. Weather looks good. We hope for an easy trip!

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Thursday, June 14, 2007
Waiting for Weather in Dry Tortugas
Well, we were all poised to set out for Belize... but between our planned arrival on a weekend, and (more importantly) a weather forecast which indicated we'd run into a nasty squally system in the middle of the trip, we've decided to hang our for a few days in Dry Tortugas and let the weather go by.

The weather for hanging here is beautiful (for now). Glassy calm most of the time, and the water is starting to get really clear.

Dave sent me up the mast yesterday morning to put the 'top of the mast' stuff back in place since we're free of 65' bridges for awhile. After we finished our chores, we up-anchored and motored Soggy Paws across to Loggerhead Key. We anchored off a drop-dead-gorgeous beach and took the dinghy out snorkeling. We snorkeled a marked wreck... an old steel schooner that wrecked in the early 1900's. Lots of fun, fish, old wreck pieces, and one HUGE Jewfish (aka Goliath Grouper). On the way back, we
stopped off in an area of big coral heads. They were fantastic... about 10' diameter live coral heads, loaded with fish.

The weather is supposed to turn nasty here tomorrow afternoon, so we will probably dive today and then get ready to tuck up inside the protected harbor til Monday. After Monday things are looking better.

To all those women racing in the PCYC Mermaid Regatta this weekend... I'll be thinking of ya! Have fun and most of all remember to "Put your ass into it".

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Dry Tortugas
We arrived at the outer bouy at about 6pm and were anchored west of Fort Jefferson by about 7pm. We hopped in the water for a reconnaissance snorkel and to make sure the anchor is set (this side of the island is notorious for bad holding). The anchor was pretty well set, but we decided to move it to a better spot... our anchor chain was a little close to some live reef, and of course we want to be eco-friendly. It took us 2 attempts to get it where we wanted it, but finally Dave snorkeled it one
more time and said it was well in and clear of any reef life.

We are finally away from the lights of civilization and so the stars on the foredeck were gorgeous.

We have no cell phone coverage out here (gasp!), so Dave used the Iridium phone to call Matt at the NWS office for a forecast update. He still says there are signs of a developing low down in the NW Caribbean that we might run into (though I can find no evidence of that on any of the charts I pulled yesterday morning). I will pull some more data via Winlink myself, and Dave said he'd call the NWS again just before we make our final go/no go decision (noonish today).

This morning is glassy calm. The sun is rising over the fort (anyone who wants to see pictures, Google Dry Tortugas Fort Jefferson). There are dolphins swimming around next to the boat (feeding). And I can hear the birds on Bird Island making their bird noises. If we didn't have the worries about approaching hurricane season I could easily stay here for a week or two.

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Monday, June 11, 2007
Enroute to Dry Tortugas
We left Key West this morning at 0830. I hooked the big wifi antenna up this morning just before we left, and was getting 2 commercial wifi providers pretty strong. I paid $12 for a 24 hour pass on the Beacon Net wifi... so we could download weather and email, and upload our 'weather guy' picture to the blog. We had wifi for about a half hour while motoring a miles or so off Key West. But then it died. The cell phone lost signal about an hour later, as we were nearing the Marquesas. We are officially
homeless, phoneless, and internet-less. I'm on tranquilizers to cope with it. (just kidding). I did get a little panicky when I realized late Saturday night that I wouldn't have much internet access after I left my house in Satellite Beach. But, I realize it's the old... "Price you pay for the life you lead".

It's beautiful out here, but the wind is negligible and we are motoring almost due West in glassy seas. Our ETA in Dry Tortugas is about 7pm.

We just passed Mel Fisher's dive boat on the Atocha Wreck. I took a picture and marked the spot on the chart.

We finally did a detailed plot of our trip from Dry Tortugas to Belize, including estimated speeds, etc, and realized that our most likely arrival has us arriving in Belize on Saturday. That usually means more Customs hassles and likely overtime fees. We are discussing options to delay entry til Monday. We may stay a day at Dry Tortugas if our weather assessment indicates everything looks stable. And/or we may hole up on the north end of Turneffe Reef in Belize til Monday morning.

Once we are sure when we are leaving Dry Tortugas, I will post a Float Plan for the trip.

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