Dream Away Update 03-10-2011


This update was written by the firstmate who sometimes goes by another name!!

The Passage Princess Rides Again

We are docked at Marina Paraiso at Isla Mujeres, Mexico. We got in Friday afternoon (March 4th), and are well settled in now. We always love it here, and old friends Thomas, the manager, and Kevin, longtime resident, gave us a warm welcome. Feels like old times. We are having great fun getting reacquainted with the island, and are awaiting a weather window for making the passage on to Key West. Looks as if we will be here at least another week … hard duty ;-). So far, we have had super food and the treat of all the Mardi Gras celebrations … music and costumed dancers abound. Great fun.

The passage from Jonesville Bight, Roatan (Bay of Islands, Honduras) was two-thirds wonderful. The first couple of days were gorgeous, and indeed the weather was kindly throughout the trip. But we went from calm seas to seas so tranquil there was barely a ripple, to lumpy seas that made me happy to stay in bed and try to keep my cookies down. Fortunately, the lumpy part was for only about the last 12-15 hours of the trip. Then we got into the snugged into the marina, and had a nice, long rain shower that helped take some of the salt off the boat. We managed a drink with folks up at the bar, but pretty much collapsed early as all of us were tired. By “we”, I am including dear friend and always highly valued crew mate, Jim B. This wonderful man has not only helped us on many passages and trips (including the Harvest Moon regattas in Texas), but is also terrific at fixing things. He and the captain got so many projects knocked off that they had to sit down and dream up a few more. And Puss (PNB) was the beneficiary of one of the undertakings. The boys built him a neat step so that the leap from floor to bed is now a gentle two-step process. This is quite a benefit to Puss who is getting old, and whose leaping days are beyond him. For more information on other Jim/Jim accomplishments, feel free to check out Jim’s online maintenance log at Google Docs. At any rate, Jim B. is a gentle, easy-going man with a wonderful sense of humor and who is gifted at story telling. He is always a much welcomed addition to our boat life. We rather hated to let him go home as we had hoped he could stay on for the passage to Key West, but the delays with our buddy boat, and weather in the Bay Islands, cost much more time than his “marriage continuation program” could afford, so it was only his willingness to be of help that kept him aboard this long. Thanks to you, Jim … and to Mary Ellen for sharing you with us. We owe that lady, big time.

Now, as you know, I pretty much consider myself a “Passage Princess”, sailing not being my main goal in life … I’m more of an “arriver”. But even I was singing the praises of the beautiful weather and seas during the fun part of the trip. The blues of the sky and the water were incredible, the wind was cool, and one could see forever. Passages like that are just my ticket. I even enjoy gentle swells … big ones … the key word being “gentle”. But, when the seas starting getting really confused, and the boat starts rocking and rolling, and pitching and yawing, I’d just as soon be on another planet. This lack of flexibility on my part has earned me the title of Passage Princess … and I wear it proudly, knowing that I represent a fair portion of sailing companions who may be less likely to confess to it except in the realms of the coffee clutch.

We didn’t get to sail at all, so hats off to our sweet little engine. She (The Karen) has been a treasure from day one. We kept her at about 1500 rpm most of the way, and that kept us averaging about 5 knots an hour until we got really swept up in the Yucatan current which had us hurtling 6-7 knots all the way to Isla Mujeres. The magnificent event of the trip was the pod of twenty or so dolphins, mothers and calves, who played in our bow wake. They came along at a time when the water was so still and clear that we could see them three layers down … and as clearly as if they were a photograph. Those experiences are always good for the soul.

So here we are … another passage under our belts. We’ll be posting our travel plans, and our travel realities, on the Dream Away web site. Our SPOT messages should also post there under the link Where is Dream Away, when we are under way. Next stop, probably Key West.



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