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, June 22, 2009

Fun At The Beaches In Georgetown

Only in a community of cruiser's would you find a buoy being used as a swing :-)

Awwww, isn't that sweet??? His brother completely buried him in the sand....

Ok, that's it, it's payback time!!

My Drake, you have grown so much in the past hour! The sand here was perfect for all beach activities.

One evening we went to shore at Sand Dollar Beach and saw TONS of this little trails all heading towards the brush line. Upon close inspection we discovered TONS of hermit crabs that must have been seeking protection. It was really neat to watch how organized and systematic their behavior was.

They were super cute too!

Matthew was by far the best conch shell blower that I have heard yet. This was one of our many beach campfire nights.

Our dear friend Leigha from 'SY Tranquility', on which she sails with her family; Cameron, Mia (7) and Fynn (5). I have a short story to share about the start of our frienship with her and her wonderful family. When we were in Annapolis for one night last October, just before the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, we saw a beautiful steel boat anchored in the harbor there. We all noticed that there were the cutest little boy and girl aboard who were climbing and swinging from every available line in the rigging. I mentioned to Tamer that they must have been raised on board the boat and that the family would probably be fun to get to know. The next morning we headed North, and really did not think of them again. Fast Forward to February when we arrived in Marathon to provision for the crossing to the Bahamas. We are going through the mooring field with the dinghy, and we see this beautiful steel boat..... Low and behold it is Tranquility, laid in our path once again. We met them at the weekly potluck on shore, and before we even knew what boat they are from, we hit it off. Anyhow... They were planning on leaving the next day, so we took the few minutes we could and were really sad to see them go. 2 months later they ended up sailing to Georgetown completely unexpectedly, and they were as surprised to see us, as we were to see them! We had a great time getting to know them better!! The cruising community is really quite small on the grand scheme of things.

Georgetown Exumas, Bahamas ~ The Beginning ~ March 19th

Our very first view of Georgetown Harbor... We had spent 3 weeks in the Bahamas at this point and never shared an anchorage with more than about 30 boats, so this was overwhelming! We arrived right after the Georgetown Cruising Regatta, so there were only about half the boats there that had been anchored just the previous week. I was super excited for the boys to have the chance to meet and spend time with other cruising kids!
Most of the boats anchored on the East side, which is on Stocking Island, it is also the same side as The Monument, Hamburger Beach, The Chat N Chill, St Francis Resort & Marina, and Sand Dollar Beach. Georgetown was about a 20 minute Dinghy ride towards the West on the mainland.

Our first sunset, off the stern of the boat, was rejoiced by numerous conch shell calls as the sun dipped behind the horizon. It is a cruisers custom that I was never aware of until our time in here in the Bahamas.

Our first day ashore was also Tamer and I's 24th Anniversary... It was so awesome to celebrate in such a beautiful place :-) After the scheduled 'adults' volleyball at 2pm, all the kids gather to play their own no holds barred games.

The boys were just happy to be hanging out and playing ashore with new friends.

Drake, enjoying the tree swing...

And being as high up as I would allow him to go in the tallest tree around! "But Mom, the view is so cool from up here, and I will be fine." :-)

Paul, Matthew and Bretton having some fun of their own with Andei, further down the beach in front of Chat & Chill.

The intense color of the water here never ceased to amaze me! My amazing Captain and I escaped for a little date for our first trip to Georgetown proper.

Birdies resting at the Dinghy dock at Exuma Markets.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Birthday's & Celebrations

I guess that I must have put this one in as a celebration of Squat going where no cat has gone before :-) Olivier is attempting to retrieve her from the back of P'tit Louis.

Often, during celebrations on Free Spirit, guests cannot stop themselves from climbing the mast and getting into the Crow's Nest. Here is a fine example by Michael who was on the boat for a potluck with his wife Cate, from their boat "Renaissance".

Michael did not manage to make it into the Crow's Nest, but did get to the spreader bars by hand. Bretton also took this opportunity to cross between the two masts on the tweenstay to celebrate his 3 months aboard Free Spirit Good job guys!

Matthew, just having a great time as he always does!

Bretton, Michael and Cate enjoying the time to meet and make new friends.

Paul never failed to entertain us with his great musical talent. Fellow cruisers would even ask him where his guitar was when they would visit the boat. Thank you Paul for all the great times!

Nathalie, Connie, Joanne and I all went to shore this day in Little Farmer's Cay. Connie's husband Walt and Joanne's, Georges stayed back on the boats. It was definitely one of my favorite places in the Bahamas. Connie was treated like a princess, as it was her birthday! She got a free drink at the little bar (Maybe 80 sq ft.), and a piece of cake from the proprietor of the Ocean Cabin Restaurant and Bar. Our couple of hours ashore sent us all home happy and laden, with ice, eggs and rum :-)

That night we had a potluck on the 2 boats and celebrated Connie's birthday again. While us ladies were in town, each of the boys made her something special from their treasures. She had tears in her eyes when we all sang Happy Birthday, and said that it was one of the best birthdays ever! One thing that is really special about the cruising community, is that you can meet and spend only a few hours with someone, and establish wonderful friendships.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Travels To Georgetown

The boats; P'tit Louis & Free Spirit anchored together somewhere off of White point. We all enjoyed some shore excursions, swimming and spear fishing here.

Nathalie coming back down the mountain that we never made it to the top to, because her, Olivier and the boys all said that it was way to hard to make it to the Atlantic side on this particular island.

Drake, just chilling out and cooling off :-)

I will never get over how gorgeous the layers of color the water offered in the Bahamas. It was like waking up in paradise~Every day!

Nathalie and I went on shore here, in Little Farmer's Cay with Joann from 'Enigma" and Connie from 'Summer of 42'. It happened to be Connie's birthday and this small community of about 55 residents were very welcoming. We were able to buy a few provisions, but better than that Connie was treated like a celebrity because of her birthday.

I was impressed by the local fisherman's catch for the afternoon. Maybe we should have paid them for some lessons??.....

Don't you wish that all businesses could advertise this way??


The view from the one restaurant on the island.

We were presented with this the next morning as we headed for Georgetown, Exumas. I have always felt as though a rainbow in our path was our dear and departed Gram showing us that the path was safe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Auntie Nina's Smore's Night

This is my first opportunity to display my fascination with campfires... I feel that it must be all the time I spent around the campfire as a kid growing up. Most of the time that you are in the company of friends around a fire; there are great memories made, and lots of silent thoughts while staring into the images that the flames make.

This particular night, we made the campfire ashore to enjoy and celebrate with instructions from Auntie Nina (Gina). She provisioned us in Marathon in February with enough marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers to have an indulgent night of smores!

~Matthew and Bretton~


Tamer, Paul, Olivier and Nathalie enjoying the evening of smores and serenity.

Here is Drake concentrating very hard on fitting as many marshmallows (per Auntie Nina's instruction), as he could fit on his stick at one time :-)

Valin, contemplating whether to lick all the remaining marshmallow off, or to wash it in the surf.

Auntie Pat's awesome 'frocs' (fake crocs), with beautiful decorations. For everyone who wears or wants to wear them, the Avon ones are the best! I think that after all this time on the boat, I have tried them all, and these are the most supportive and comfortable. Although, I must admit they are the only ones (because of the fake jewels on the back), that will rust after a short time in a salt water environment. Hmmmm... Maybe I need to plead for more :-)

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 =