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.....

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Books and more, at the Schooner Free Spirit Chandelry
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Day Of 'Town' Fun ~ January 20th...

It had been a while since we had casted off to shore and had a fun day in town.... So we headed in to Fort Myers for an awesome time at the Medieval Faire. While the boys and I were there, Tamer paid one last visit to Raoul before he left on his journey.

Above, Blayde receives instruction from Caleb (The Sleeping Samurai) on the best way to win an actual sword fighting contest. He did awesome, made it to the second level, but had some unfair competition with the 16 & 17 year old trained fighters. He had a blast, and really enjoy himself, which was the important part!

The duel!

This was a performed, 'real', jousting competition. The gentleman above was the announcer for both sides.

Because of the side we were on, we ended up rooting for Prince Philip and Lady Guenevere. This was the Bad Guys.... Prince Vincent and his little Lady friend.

Rousing up crowd participation!

Getting ready and armed for battle!!!

It was amazing to watch all of this happening right in front of us, as it had so long ago. You could hear the swords smashing into the shields and the armor.

The Lady Guenevere bows her head in embarrassment as Prince Philip loses the sword fight to Prince Vincent... Awwww...

It is a little hard to see, but if you look closely, you will see that the jousters are about to collide. When they would hit, wood would splinter everywhere, and the loser would usually fall from his horse. The battle ensued with Philip finally succumbing to Vincents sword. He then proceeded to kiss Lady Guenevere, who combined forces with Vincents Lady and beat him to the ground. Then, each of the Ladies stomped a foot into Vincent's chest, and won the battle :-)

A cute side note is that there was a little girl about 6 or 7 on her Dad's shoulders next to us who exclaimed at the end of the battle, "See Mom, girls do rock!!"

Here is a new one for ya.... Camel rides for only $5.00 :-)

The end of our wonderful day came to a close with this 'human' chess game (battle) between the English and the French peasants.

The English King, in all his glory.....

~The playing field~

We stopped for a moment before leaving to watch these two guys (taken from the audience), get completely humiliated by the 'Washing Wenches'.

Blayde, the athlete, getting to the top of the rock climbing wall.

Sailing In The River

Finally, after many years of waiting we were able to raise all of the sails and enjoy the power of the wind. Here Shep and the boys get the stay sail raised.

This will be a post of few words, as the pictures themselves will tell thousands.

Shep and Tamer quickly had all four of the sails raised. Here are the fore sail and the stay sail ready to catch the river breeze.

With the main sail raised...

The captain and his wife, busy at the helm!!

The deck view....

As soon as we were safely underway, I went to my favorite place.... In the dinghy, trailed out on about 100 feet of line off the stern.

Heeling, just a little bit.....

In a wing and wing configuration.

The side view, with a busy crew.

This is also the picture that they put on the front page of the Caloosa Belle, the Labelle newspaper. More on this later....

Sailing into the sunset!!

While I was below prparing my first dinner underway, I came out to check on the grill, and found all the boys singing; It's all for my grog! What a great end to an awesome day :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Steady As She Goes

After we launched, work progressed at a slow and steady pace. We had been working about 12 hours a day, and really only took breaks for mealtimes. We all needed a little down time to adjust to our new environment, and to a new schedule.

A close up of Raoul doing the finishing touches to the crow's nest basket.

Tamer's new shop on the starboard side of the cargo hold, which is still to this day being perfected and re-organized.

One of the last major projects is making the interior more livable. Of course you need lots of lumber for this, and it is difficult to get aboard in the dinghy.
Tamer's ingenuity has once again proved successful! He made himself a towing barge out of the inflatable dinghy, the sailing dinghy, and the inflatable kayak.

Lots o' lumber.....

Off loading is only half the fun :-)

Valin and Drake helping to install the interior shelving and cabinets in Valin's berth.

Blayde, in his on the Port side.

A still shot of what it is like to live and work aboard a sail boat.
A couple of energy drinks, an frs radio, a selection of polyurethane stains, and of course a bookshelf for the focsul laying across the starboard settee.

One evening we found water pooling in the aft bilge (where there should not have been any). Upon close inspection we found that the shaft post was leaking under the bed in the aft cabin. The rudder post is what keeps the rudder attached and able to steer the boat properly.

After repacking the seals, and doing a bit of clean up... my bed can now be reinstalled and we can fall into it knowing that the boat is not going to sink!!

Our First BIG Trip!

We loaded up Matt, Margaret and their dogs Jackson and Cody and off we went!! We were taking first real trip into Labelle!! Here is Matt, getting us started on our journey.

Margaret, getting a chance at the helm.....

Thank goodness that someone other than me has a camera sometimes :-) Valin, Drake and I, enjoying the ride...

Drake really wants to have a pet aboard, so he really enjoyed borrowing Cody for the day.

One of the many infamous gators!!

Jackson and Cody, Chillin'.....

Going through the Ortona Lock for the very first time! When you are headed west from Glades towards Labelle, they bring you in and drop the water level about 6 feet. Thankfully, it was much easier than we had anticipated. We left without a bruise or a scratch!!

Oh yah, we did learn one major lesson during our 'first time through'. Never, ever use your own lines, because they have ones installed for you. Shep had to climb to the top of the rail after we had dropped down 6 feet, to retrieve our line (the black one) off of the cleat.

Gotta love this picture!!
Go, go speed racer :-)

~The Captain and his First Mate ~

Drake taking his turn at the helm, while Mom watches out for wildlife.

Hmmmmm..... That's odd, Valin is reading another book.... Who woulda thought???

Blayde, looking very serious about his time at the helm.

Valin is great at the helm, but we can tell that he would LOVE to be behind the wheel of a speed boat too :-)

~My boys~

Her first night in port, looking more beautiful than we could have imagined.

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 =