Log of SV Free Spirit and ships company

The chronicles of the schooner Free Spirit and her crew, embarking on an open ended journey upon the great rolling heap. Free Spirit is currently pursuing humanitarian and commercial goals in the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola. Working under the Ocean Reach USA and Paradigm Research banners, she is serving as logistics headquarters, workshop, and development laboratory for many ongoing projects. This is the log of her journey.....

Web sailfreespirit.blogspot.com
If you are joining us for the first time, click here for an introduction!
Books and more, at the Schooner Free Spirit Chandelry
Clothes and more, at the Free Spirit Logo Shop!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri November 27th - December 4th

We arrived here at Osage Beach, Missouri on the 27th, to check into a 3 bedroom condo. While we were checking in, it became obvious that the place was in the middle of the dead season, so I worked some magic, and for a small fee, we were upgraded to the 3 bedroom Penthouse.

The unit is about 2000sf, with 3 great bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, an entertainment loft (20x20) with a huge TV and poker table and a balcony with a hot tub, gas grill & patio furniture. We are all enjoying being able to 'spread out' from being in the trailer...

~Looking down from the balcony into the Living Room~

When we set up this reservation back in July, it was with the intent to meet up with our old friend Jon and his new family. Jon, a truck driver was stuck in Amarillo with bad fuel injectors. So, the boys were super excited at the prospect of sharing 2 full bedrooms (one with a king bed), for a few days :-)

~Looking into the kitchen and back to 2 of the bedrooms. Above is the loft~

Aaaahhh.... Living in the lap of luxury :-) The boys and I feel like royalty!!

While we awaited Jon and Angie's arrival the area was hit with a rarely seen Winter Storm. This is what we woke to on Thursday morning. Wednesday night was the best display of thunderstorm that I have ever witnessed. The lightning was lighting up the sky, at times, every 30 seconds or so. The boys loved it, and stood on the balcony in the pouring rain and hail to "soak" up every moment!

Hmmmm..... The interesting thing was watching the maintenance guys trying to clear this annoying wet snow with leaf blowers :-)

The amount of snow we received over-night was actually quite impressive!!

From what we can gather, they do not make boat shelters to withstand any amount of snow. Jon's wife Angie told us that she does not remember this much snow falling in 1 day since she was a little girl. Hopefully they will be joining us later today (Saturday).

~ into the blue ~

The sun was shining brightly, creating really cool steam effects off of the Lake.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Kansas.... Kansas.... and more Kansas....

Kansas.... the land of expired billboards, the World's Largest Gopher, the World's Largest Ball of Twine and free land for residential or commercial use....

Wow! There is so much to see :-)

It just keeps getting better and better!

Well dang it, I just missed the buzzard!!

This shot was my favorite, such great texture and color!!

Disclaimer... This post is for viewers with a sense of humor! We are truly sorry for those that we may offend who do not have one :-)

Dearest Rose - November 24th - 26th

One of the driving forces behind us taking this extended road trip, was to have the opportunity to reacquaint with dear friends and loved ones from the past.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have made this wish a reality. Time passes by so very quickly, as the chaos of the present distracts us from the precious memories of the past. There is such power in the relationships that remain strong and true even after a 17 year absence from regular contact.

Rose, who was my guardian when I was a teenager, remembered events and details, that as a selfish teenager, I had forgotten. Although, as she says, I remained true to our relationship, I am only sorry for allowing 17 years to go by without her presence in our lives. The last time we visited, was when Tamer and I were driving back from Ohio in 1989. Thankfully, we were able to have her join us for a wonderful day of sailing on 'Laura Ann'.

Thank you Rose, for sharing in the excitement of our dream, and for never wavering in your support of us. I look forward to you joining us in Europe :-)

Divide, Colorado November 17th - 24th

During our visit in Colorado, we were so busy enjoying each other's (Me, Tamer, James Blayde Smyth, Valin Anthony Clement Smyth, Drake Paul Boyd Smyth, Raoul Aaron Chapman, Shawna Marie Chapman, Cassandra Jenelle Chapman, Melody Rose Chapman, and the entire Gardner family's) company, that pictures were the last thing on our mind.... The kids were really glad to have the girls (Cassandra and Melody) to play with, and it gave them time to reflect and share their experiences so far. Thanks to the Gardner's for their hospitality!!

Raoul and Tamer stole away for an afternoon with the kids to take them on a hike up to Uncle Raoul's Cougar Cave. They came back with lots of fossils and stories of his adventures up there as a young boy.

Petrified Forest November 16th, 2006

We drove through the Petrified Forest on the 16th of November on our way to Divide, Colorado. I don't think that my idea of what it was going to be like, could have been more different from what it was.... Although an absolutely amazing place, there really is nothing that resembles a forest at all :-) This is a "I have reached tourist status" picture!

The entire first part of the drive through the Park, was a complete rebellion by the boys.... They were incensed that they could not scourge and pick up anything they found on the ground. There is a part of me that really wanted to allow them to take "just one little" piece..... But..... it was also a perfect opportunity to to teach them the whole "If all the visitors to the Petrified Forest took one little piece lesson......." So, we ended up stopping at the shop and letting them buy a small box of petrified wood for them to send or share along our trip.

Here is a chunk of the wood that is scattered all over the sides of the road. It made me feel so "young" in the grand scheme of life being here. To be in a protected area surrounded by 225 million year old fossils, was quite humbling.

Up close & personal....

The following pictures were taken in an area called "Blue Mesa", which is a 3.5 mile loop off of the main road through the park.

Thanks to Blayde for taking this picture of his Mom & Dad!

These hills were called "The Tepees" Amazing colors!!

Periods associated with the different styles of petroglyphs in Petrified Forest include the Archaic (6000 B.C. to A.D. 300), Basketmaker (A.D. 1-700) and Pueblo I, III, and IV (A.D. 700-1450). A few Navajo petroglyphs have also been found (A.D. 1750 to the present).

For more information on the petroglyphs go to:

Our version of modern day petroglyphs :-)

This is near the end of the road (if you are heading south through the park), and is part of the old Route 66. If you would like to see some Frequently Asked Questions about the Petrified Forest National Park, go to:


Thursday, November 23, 2006

~ Happy Thanksgiving ~

We wanted to take a moment out of this special day to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving! It is hard to be away from home for such an occasion, but we are very thankful to be spending it with family in Colorado. We find that Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for all the good and positive things that surround us each and every day....

We will be to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri this coming Monday, and will be adding new posts then.

Love & Prayers to all

P.S. We also wanted to let all our readers know that Tamer has a published article in the November 2006 (#78) Seafaring edition of Latitudes & Attitudes on page 204 in the Sea Urchins section. The article is about a sailing experience that Blayde had last summer, and is well worth the read!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

South Rim - Grand Canyon

WOW! We made it to the Grand Canyon.... I have wanted to come here for many, many years. Now that I have been (for only a day), I am even more sure that I would like to return and explore for a couple of weeks. I told the boys that I will bring them back when they are grown, and we will take mules down into the canyon, do white water rafting, and swim under water falls.....

We found that although incredibly "Grand", the Sedona area was much more reachable. I felt very humbled and small looking down into the depths of the canyon. I can't help but wonder what it would have been like to be an exploring and come upon the canyon unexpectedly. I bet their first thought was, "How in the heck are we going to get across that"!

It is not viewable in this picture, but on the southern end of the trees down in the valley, there are a group of buildings. I believe that they are used for overnight accommodations for hiking trips into the Canyon. It really put into perspective, by how tiny they were, how far away it really was to the bottom!

It seemed to go on forever....

The one thing that I can assure you about this picture, is that NONE of the Grandparents would have tolerated the taking of this photo! I could not get far enough away from the boys (for safety reasons), to show the perspective from which it was taken. They are at the edge of a rock that hangs out over the Canyon (Can't you tell by the look on Blayde's face, and the death grip between them?). Behind them and to the right is the column that is in the following 2 pictures.

This is the first of a few bird encounters we had during the visit, can you see the hawk now?

How about now????

As you can see, there is a deep crevice between these 2 boulders, so we could not get to the tree, but the boys thought it was cool how it was growing out there all by itself.

Here is my proof that I did indeed allow the boys to "Climb the Grand Canyon" :-)

Our second and most memorable "bird encounter".... We pulled into this lookout and this beautiful Raven immediately jumped up onto the front of the van and started pecking on the windshield. He would stare through at us, peck down into the wiper wells, and stare some more. At first we were wondering what sort of an omen was being delivered to us. It soon became apparent that this was one of the really smart ravens in the park. We figure that he is trained well enough, that if he hears children, he knows there will be food! So, against all the rules, we started to feed him peanuts (when no one else was watching). He would fill his mouth, fly down to his nest and return for more. The kids thought the whole encounter was super exciting, and I have to admit, so did we!

Tamer and The Raven 'having words'.....

Our first sighting of the great Colorado River, which the boys were upset they did not get to see up close and personal. We went and saw the IMAX movie on the Grand Canyon before we went to the park, and the river scenes were amazing!

Tamer and the boys on a little expedition, challenging me to join them. My excuse was that I needed to get some pictures of them.... Much to the enjoyment of all the viewers at this look out, I was called a "sissy girl", and even Double Dog Dared, to get down there! I figured that the Momma's worry I spoke about in an earlier post, may ruin their experience :-)

Just a precious little blue bird that was awaiting the completion of our lunch on the edge of the Canyon, so he could enjoy our dropped crumbs.

FINALLY! A picture of me that I was excited to post ;-)

~Art of the Creator~

My favorite scenery picture of the day, I wish that pictures could really show the boldness of the colors, and depth of beauty that we experienced here.....

Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park, about 10 miles north of Sedona, on 89. It was quite chilly the day we were there, and due to the fact that we were all fighting colds, we did not swim. That will have to be on another visit! Beautiful place to see....

Finally!! The boys have a chance to climb the rock faces. I was not able to watch too much, you know, Momma's worry...

A little guidance...

I was soooo sure the jeans were not going to make it through this climb.

Should I go down??? Should I go up???

Valin was a little uneasy about the climbing that Blayde and Drake were doing, so he chose this rock for his journey.

~Slide Rock Gorge~

Blayde traversing an unusually challenging area of the rocks.

Valin.....Well, being Valin :-)

I feel so blessed to have such amazing, respectful boys! Over the course of this trip, they have become experts at posing for (just one more) picture!

Brothers share a special kind of bond......

Introducing Propcalc 4.0

Use Propcalc to easily match your hull with your engine, transmission, and propeller
Put the known data in the top fields, then hit the Update button to get the answers.
Results, of course, should be verified by a Naval Architect or qualified surveyor.
Data is provided for three bladed propellers of average type
For two or four bladed props, use the modifiers shown below.

Fill out the fields as follows:

Vessel LWL (ft) = Waterline length
Vessel Disp (lbs) = Vessel displacement
(max) HP = Rated Engine Max HP
Engine RPM max = Engine RPM at Max HP
Engine RPM cruise = Desired or estimated cruise rpm
(Cruise or Max) Kts = Speed to work the calculations for
Slip = Propeller efficience. 45% is average for a displacement cruiser.
Gear ratio = 1: Gear ratio of transmission
SL Ratio Adj. = This value will be added (or subtracted, if a negative value) to the calculated S/L ratio.

Key information:

If the "hp required" is greater than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too low for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is significantly less than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too high for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is greater than the "Max HP", then your target speed is too high for your engine/hull parameters.
The S/L ratio is calculated automaticaly based on your input. It can be adjusted if necessary, but normally it should be left alone.
If the calculated S/L ratio exceeds S/L MAX, then the results are likely to be non-predictive. Try a lower speed requirement.
SL Ratios of 1.1 - 1.4 are typical of displacement hulls. Semiplaning or planing hulls can go higher.

Typical propeller slip values:

Sailing auxiliary, barges, etc less than 9 Kts............45%
Heavy powerboats, workboats 9 - 15 Kts....................26%
Powerboats, Lightweight Cruisers 15 - 30 Kts..............24%
High speed planing boats 30 - 45 Kts......................20%
V bottom race boats 45 - 90 Kts...........................10%


it is possible to get irrational answers by irrational input , I.E specifying excessive speed for hull type and length
Any attempt to exceed hull speed (1.34 times the square root of the waterline length in feet) with a displacement hull are likely
to fail unless the hull is extremely fine (multihull) or otherwise exceptional. In such cases, an S/L adjustment would be in order.

2 and 4 bladed props:

For two bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by 1.05, and the pitch by 1.01
For four bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by .94, and the pitch by .98

Vessel LWL (ft) =
Vessel Disp (lbs) =
  (max) HP =
  Engine RPM max =
  Engine RPM cruise =
  (Cruise or Max) Kts =
  Slip =
  Gear ratio = 1:
  SL Ratio Adj. =
  Prop rpm max =
  Prop rpm cruise =
  Pitch =
  Diameter =
  Static Thrust =
  Cruise HP =
  Cruise HP% =
  SL Ratio =
  DL Ratio =
  SL Max =
  HP Required =