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!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trisha & The Beach

Trisha, the closest thing to a daughter that I will have until I have daughter-in-laws, took time out of her vacation with family to visit us on the boat while we were in Labelle. We were all so happt o have a chance to spend some time with her and share our dream. She ended up staying a week, through New Year's and it was wonderful. The day we picked her up, we went to the beach in Venice Beach, Florida. It was great for all of us to get out and have some fun!

Drake, covered in sand after being buried, builds a fort of sorts.

Bretton 'lends a hand' to Valin who is carrying the boogie boards back from the beach.


A great shot of new friends ~ Bretton and Trisha

Trisha, Valin, Blayde, Drake, Paul and Bretton enjoying an evening game of Cranium on the City dock in Labelle.

Trisha is absolutely terrified of heights, so I challenged her to overcome her fears and get up into the crow's nest via the Bosuns' chair. After many threats and shakes, she made it up the spreader bars, and I was SOOOO proud of her!!

Of course, while Bretton, Blayde and Paul let her down, they had to tease her a little with letting the lines go faster than they needed too... All in good fun!!

Paul and Trisha at the KC Masterpice BBQ cook-off, where we went to watch Robert & Waddie shoot off the cannon. Bet you didn't know that there was a whole culture of people that travel around and do BBQ cook-offs?!?!

Bretton, Trisha, Paul and Blayde enjoying a little photo sharing and UTube in Paul's room.

Thanks for coming to spend time with us Trishawww, I love ya!!

Our First Christmas Aboard

The beautiful Sailing Vessel (SV) Free Spirit docked at the park in Labelle, Florida.

Sherron bought us a great little 2 foot tree to decorate for Christmas that we were perfectly satisfied with.... The kids and us decorated and put out our cookie plate for Santa. But Miss Terrie got us this beautiful full size tree that we surprised the kids with on Christmas morning. It took up the whole Starboard side of the Salon! Paul, Bretton and Tamer all helped me with the decorating and present placement on Christmas Eve. It was a wonderful way to spend our first Christmas aboard Free Spirit.

Tamer, Laura, Blayde, Drake, Valin and Sherron posing for a rare family photo. See the little decorated tree beside me on the table??

Blayde, Valin and Drake inspecting a movie gift that will bring them lots of laughter... Happy Gilmore....

Forget the Christmas lights all over the eaves of the house and enjoy the banners and bows!

Blayde and Valin really enjoying their gift, and I Robot.

Laughter really is the best medicine for all that ails you....

Me and my dear, wonderful man!

Paul juggling what may have been his favorite gift of all - Hot Fries!

Only on a boat would you have to move all the presents, to access the removable panel to start the generator because the inverter started beeping for lack of power. In the middle of opening presents, Valin volunteered to get everything out of the way to start the generator. Must have been all the espresso and coffee drinks we were making with the Bosch Espresso machine that Leonard and Julie gave us before we launched!

An interesting photo picturing 4 rooms on the boat... Tamer in the aft cabin, Bretton in the companionway, Paul in the Salon, and Sherron in the Pilot Berth.

Stockings are the best!

What Christmas is really about; Family, giving, hugs and love!
& Mad Magazine :-)


Blayde and Paul enjoying the decorative drawing that Paul put on his gag gift to Drake. He gave Drake a set of Pretty Ponies... That the boys took the heads off of, and had to see what happened when you joined them with firecrackers from New Year's Eve.
Happy Times!

Mom opening her Honeymoon present :-) Her and her dear beau were married on January 17th, 2009. We were thankful to be there when Hal drove to Glade's and placed the ring on her finger. We are so glad that she has found true love, and wish them all the happiness that life has to offer.

If they could only snorkel with the plastic candy canes that Valin got them for Christmas... It has to be better than all the cavities :-)

Paul and Bretton - Thank you so much for giving this time in your lives to be a part of ours! We are thankful that you are here, and a part of the Ship's family!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back To Labelle ~ Our Florida Home

The Labelle Flea Market is one of our favorite Saturday pastimes. It was great to share it with our new crew while we were in Labelle outfitting and preparing to leave the country. I know that there are never many pictures of me for the blog, so we have Bretton to thank for this rare, although embarrassing photo :-)

Blayde and Valin finagling over a bunch of radishes.

Our dear and wonderful friends Robert, Terrie & Robbie on SV Wahine were so wonderful to us during our 5 weeks in Labelle. I cannot express our thanks enough for their friendship and kind unselfish nature. They are currently on a 18 month plan to move aboard and cruise their 60 foot steel boat.
Above, the boys and their 8 year old son Robbie went in search of bamboo and scored big. See it being trailed behind the dinghy??

Robbie, using all his strenght to haul it to shore so they can 'build' something out of it. Hmmm... As a matter of fact, I cannot remember what happened to it after the adventure of finding it.... :-)

Robert and his wonderful Father, Waddy built and travel locally with this amazing air powered watermelon(or whatever is handy) cannon. A few years back Waddy was asked and accepted an oppurtunity to act as a consultant on Junkyard Wars. They are very smart, creative and a like minded crew for Tamer. I was shocked at the power of this thing to launch watermelons!!

What a creative name, huh??

Bretton, a gifted photographer, was snapping some great shots atop the ladder when I took this picture.

Bretton, Paul, Blayde, Valin, Drake and Terrie watching a blast off!
P.S. Although this picture would indicate that Paul and Bretton were involved in a serious face off, this was definatly not the case :-)

Well duh?!?! Didn't you know that these roosters are always in the parking lot of the Labelle Post Office??

Paul and Robert, chillin' during Terrie and their son Ronnie's mutual birthday party.

Mother and son cutting the cake...

Our sweet Mom Sherron, saying hello!

Mmmmmm.... That cake was some yummy stuff :-)

To Tow Or Be Towed..... That Is The Question!

Hmmm... Well here is the section on "Tow"..... We were just North of Titusville a few miles when this little sailboat raced past us at about 7 whopping knots, and ran hard aground. We called them on the radio and asked them if we could offer assistance in any way. Here is Paul in the dinghy (getting completely soaked) running them a line to tie off to the bow of their boat, from our stern.

It is quite dangerous to the crew on board, and can be hard on the mechanics to perform this operation. We had to attempt 5 times, without running ourselves aground before we were successful in getting them free.

It took about an hour, but we felt really good that we saved them about $1,000!

Soooooo, this is where we were really thankful that we had purchased Tow Boat US towing insurance last March! We were just turning into the St. Lucie River, on the way to cross Lake Okeechobee, in 10' charted waters, and we ran aground. Now, let me tell you..... We have run hard aground probably about 10 times since we have been aboard. And because I have the Master Captain, we were always able to free ourselves under our own power. This time was a little different from the initial huummmppphhhh of hitting.

So after about 30 minutes of trying to free ourselves, I mentioned to Tamer that this might be the time to get our $125 back on the insurance. Of course, he would have rather waited until high tide, set off some anchors, and done it the old fashioned way. I, on the other hand, really wanted to make our scheduled anchorage, and make less work for him and the crew. Tow Boat US showed up about 6 minutes after the call and got to work.

Hey, ya know, this is pretty awesome!!

After trying to haul us off for about 10 minutes, the Captain of the Tow Boat US vessel allowed us to power up and aid him. It ended up taking all the power he had, plus all of ours to get us free of this shoal. Of course, I felt justified in the purchase of the insurance, as the bill for this would have been $811! It is too bad that it is not offered outside of the US where we are headed very shortly!

Sunsets, Sunrises, and Florida ~ Early December

Sunsets while at sea are more amazing than from land, by far. There are no distractions to the eye, just you, the sea, the sky, and the sun. Tamer took these while we were out for a couple of days from South Carolina to Florida.

The type of 'touchdown' that we are in tune with and understand!

Sunrise the next morning just off of the coast of Fernandina Beach, Florida. We spent a couple days here, and then a couple at Cumberland Island, Georgia across the inlet again. It was a bit chilly, so we didn't spend much time on the beach or in the water, but it was still really beautiful.

Drake stayed at the ship while we were provisioning in Fort Pierce, Florida. He is definitely our little fisherman, and proved his skills by catching a small hammerhead shark off the docks. He threw it back, but not before getting some great pictures to prove his fish tales!

Pretty cool, huh??

Sunset in Fort Pierce...
After we stopped briefly in Titusville, Florida to visit Leonard & Julie and P'tit Louis, we stopped here to do some transitioning. Kent needed to take care of some land obligations that prevented him from staying aboard. It was here that we were sad to see him go, but understanding of what he needed to do. Sherron also joined us here, and we brought Bretton Hubbard aboard the day before we got here, in Titusville. Tamer had interviewed Bretton while up in Alaska this past August. Because his schedule prevented him from arriving until December, we set him up to crew for P'tit Louis in Florida. Due to the fact that Kent needed to leave, and P'tit Louis would have been over-crewed after all, he was able to join the crew of Free Spirit. It is funny and unexplainable how things happen sometimes!

Bretton's first time at the helm of a boat! It only took a few minuted to realize that he was a natural!

Bretton and I locking through in the Caloosahatchee River.

A regular sight in the Caloosahatchee River, the kids probably wonder if this was the one that they named Bob while we lived at Glade's :-)

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 =