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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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Black Point To Staniel's Cay (Key)

P'Tit Louis will have all the attention in this post, because we had the opportunity to take lots of pictures of her :-)

We are winning the race, but just barely!

Olivier and Valin, with Paul at the helm rush past Free Spirit.

Ah, but wait a second..... As soon as she attempted to pass us, we stole her wind, with our sails and we raced ahead!

Bretton took this one from the crow's nest.

and this one too! I thought that this picture was unique because of the shadow in the water. He tried to get one of our shadow too, but was not able... I never cease to be amazed that we can move our home, with all her belongings, and a crew of 7, by capturing the power of the wind. Of course there are days that we must motor sail to reach a destination, but we try not too.

Nature In Black Point

Tropical Paradise.... So Far!

There were a group of butterflies wildly eating the flowers on the edge of the road. They were beautiful!

Take a load off :-)

The beach overlooking the harbor where we were anchored. Directly across from the calmness of the beach here, is the Atlantic side of the island, which is vastly different.

A walk about a mile to the left of the dinghy dock, there was this sign. We had heard through the grapevine about the blow hole, but were surprised by how it was!

A few hundred feet from the road, we came upon this seashore, next to the blowhole. The contrast from the Exuma Banks water was amazing.

Here is the Blow Hole! Empty of course... It was quite remarkably that the ground that surrounded the opening was more than a foot deep with this seaweed type growth. Outside of that, it was really desert like.

Thar she blows!

Just a big rock... Mathew, Paul, Andee (a friend of theirs), and the boys had a great time exploring this area.

Because the tide was coming in, the hole would blow water out about every 20 or 30 seconds. By the time we left, they were all soaked to the bone. Thank goodness that it is so sunny and warm here :-)

Up the coast a little ways, the boys found tiny little pools that were chock full of hardened salt crystals. Valin collected some for me to use in my cooking. I love fresh sea salt, it is the best :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Black Point, Exumas, Bahamas

Adderley's Friendly Store..... The Settlement of Black Point has a population of less that 200, and is full of wonderful people. The mail boat arrives here once a week, so when you see it come in to the dock in the harbor, you know that it is time to rush to the store to get the freshest vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat. What you find the most in the smaller places is potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, bananas, plantains, eggs, pork and lamb. They also have a small selection of canned and boxed goods. The prices here are at a minimum, twice as expensive as in the states, except for some of the meat.

Lorraines Cafe is owned by a wonderful woman named Lorraine and ran by her and her family. She also offers Internet for donation only. While in Black Point we began to practice some of the humanitarian efforts we have been so excited about. Tamer and Olivier spent about 12 hours total here fixing their Ice Maker, Big Cooler, and the network for the wireless internet. We received in return some of the best bread we have ever eaten made by Lorraine's mother.

This is the Police Station....

and next door is the jail....

One of the things that is not lacking here in the Bahamas is COLOR! It is everywhere, and makes everything sooo happy :-)

A beautiful, small house.

There is a local gentleman here that has created an entire "Garden Of Eden" out of Driftwood. This picture does not do justice to his artistic talent and diligence.

While we were here, the school had it's annual fundraiser. They were playing music, games, and selling a small selection of food. I was talking with one of the locals, and she said that they raised about twice as much money as they were expecting. All of the funds went directly to the operation of the school, and for materials. It was a fun event to be a part of!

Coming Home To P'Tit Louis ~ March 5th, 2009

We did a 34 hour trip from Bimini to about 5 miles north of P'tit Louis and dropped anchor there for the night. It was not recommended that we attempt the entrance to Black Point at night. The next morning, it was as if we could not sail fast enough, and that 5 miles seemed like and eternity!

Our first sighting of Black Point!

And of P'tit Louis with a full crew, along with our great friends Kimberly & Bruce of Nice & Easy.

Fendered and ready to raft up to them our Starboard to their Port.

It was so surreal to meet up with them here in The Bahamas, as we had been planning and working towards this for 2 years. There were times when we felt that we would never actually leave and meet this goal!

Blayde, Valin and Drake are on the bow line, Paul on the spring lines, and Olivier, Nathalie and Matthew ready for action.

Immediately after we were safely rafted (tied) together; Patrick, Katherine and Rupert of Noka came aboard to join the welcoming party. Rupert was really excited to see Free Spirit (The boys) again :-) There were hugs, kisses and tears during this reunion, and we were all really happy to see each other, and to meet in this Island Paradise!

Blayde and Rupert having a bonding moment!

Safely together again in the harbor in Black Point, Exumas, Bahamas.

Bimini, Bahamas, Our First Stop

I feel that I have failed all of our loyal followers by only having this one picture of Bimini..... We checked in, paid our dues and cleared customs here on March 1st, 2009. We were well prepared, and had all of our paperwork in order, so it was quick and painless. When you are arriving into the Bahamas by boat, you have to fly a Q (Quarantine) Flag until everything is in order. The Captain is the only person authorized to leave the vessel, and upon his return we were able to lower the Q Flag, and raise our Bahamian Flag. We only stayed here for 2 nights and then we headed to meet P'tit Louis in Black Point.


Last Day In The US ~ February 28th, 2009

It is pretty interesting that the few pics that I have of our last night in the United States, are of the boys playing and wrestling on the back deck. I am usually cooking up a storm of sea worthy foods for hours before we hit any significant seas. It is also impossible to capture the emotions that were running through all of us on film. Excitement, amazement, apprehension, sadness, happiness a slight fear of the unknown.....

It looks like Blayde may have been getting the raw end of the deal in this match :-)

The last sunset on US soil that Free Spirit will see for an undetermined amount of time.

Calm seas and beautiful skies, what a perfect way to launch for such a journey.

All of us were excited that we would rise with the next sunrise in the Bahamas!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Key West Sunset Festival

Bretton and Trisha happy on the way to shore to get down to Key West for the day!

Paul, with stars in his eyes for Key West!

Nana, exhibiting a positive attitude for the 2 mile ride to shore. The dinghy ride is always the longest part of a shore excursion! It can be wet, long and loud ;-)

Drake and Valin take a moment to play tourists in Key West!

Now it is Valin and Blayde's turn! I still cannot figure out how that small amount of allowance turned into ice cream and bags full of goodies :-)

Ok, now Paul I think we need to have a little talk...... Although Valin looks as shocked as might be expected :-)

This kind gentleman was posing as a movable statue in uniform. He would hand down suckers or little flage to passer-byes. He was there to represent the heroes that are fighting and protecting our country overseas. Thanks to all of you!

Trisha and Blayde watching the magician...

Nana, Valin and Drake watching the same magician from the other side of the crowd.

Sailboats approaching the sunset from the Sunset Festival in Key West.


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 =