Archive for December, 2008


Splash and Dash

December 24, 2008   

A splash and dash according to pilots is when they run out of fuel and need to land to refuel! I did two in two days one in a boat and one in an airplane!

Arriving in Florida late on monday night from the UK very tired I found that as I had thought Yeoman had not unloaded and I was taking her off the ship that had brought her from Southampton. I stayed with my friend Steffi and in the morning we headed up to West Palm Beach and Cracker Boy Boatworks. Lots of security to get onto the port including fingerprinting and picture taking.

The forecasted 25-30 knot winds made things interesting as the boat was unloaded to weather of the tanker so we were plastered against the side of the tanker and combined with the throttle cable being broken (I had a new one to replace it but the reason for the cable breaking meant we needed another part as well) we asked for a tow from Towboat US.

They hip towed us to the haul out at Cracker Boy and were very good about it the guy knew his boat – sometimes they don’t so I was a little worried.

After hauling out, pressure washing all the salt off of her deck and hull I crawled around inside for 4 hours getting a to do list and question list going as I haven’t seen her in 18 months.

Christmas eve is not a time to fly needless to say the airport was packed at Fort Lauderdale and sadly there were 4 wrecks in the airport area with one car turned over. The flight from Fort Lauderdale to Philidelphia was on time and uneventful. However, we left Philidephia late and completely full and then the pilot announced we were running out of fuel due to un forcasted 155mph headwinds and would have to stop at Salt Lake city for a Splash and Dash. Amazingly it took the 15 minutes they said it would and we arrived only 2.5 hours late into SFO. I was amazed at how the passengers treated the flight attendants like personal servents with the call buttons being pressed continuously! US Airways is not a great airline – no inflight entertainment (not even music), even water has to be purchased and box meals for $7 each. I felt bad to for the flight attendants having to deal with upset people for 9 hours in the plane!

Merry Christmas everyone

Christmas display in Lauderdale – the kid who lives there says they start putting lights up in September! Even their sportsfishing boat behind their house is covered in lights.

Another airport!

December 22, 2008   

I am sitting in Washington DC airport waiting for a flight down to Fort Lauderdale.

On Thursday last week I flew to London arriving on Friday and after dinner with my parents drove on Saturday morning 3.5 hours to Dartington Hall in Devon. It is a very beautiful venue for a wedding and the weather was good. I got dressed in a dress for the first time in many years much to my friend Charlie’s surprise and met up with my friends from university at the church for a short sweet service. The church was relatively new (19th century) as it replaced the 16th church but for those in the US that is old. The original pews meant there was no falling asleep as they are so narrow and make sure you sit bolt upright. The reception was in the great hall with a lovely vaulted ceiling I believe originally built in the 14th century. With Christmas decorations the place was magical. Charlie (the bride) and I lived together at university for 3 years. It was fun to catch up with other friends, the meal was delicious and we all managed to keep each other awake until past midnight (we are getting old as it was hard work to stay up that long!).

On Sunday morning I got up early and met the group that had to travel for early breakfast before a 3.5 hour drive back to London. I decided to break up the trip with a few jaunts down memory lane taking the exit off the A303 to Gasper the small hamlet where we had a country house when I was a child. The house is still looking good although it needs a new thatch roof sometime soon. I remember working with the thatchers putting that roof on. My parents did a beautiful job of the restoration of the place it fact it was in a magazine.

I quickly stopped by the house to meet up with my parents for christmas lunch at the Lensbury (their country club) which put me in the christmas spirit and I got my British sunday lunch which is a must when I am home. Back home in time for the street christmas party that my mother started 13 years ago. Most of the kids on the street are all grown up and have left home but the ones that were at the party I hardly recognised and had to stop myself for saying the boring ‘my you have grown’!

Home for a quick 5 hour nap before taking off to the airport for my flight to Washington. Next stop Fort Lauderdale to unload Yeoman before going home on Wednesday for Christmas in San Francisco.

Happy holidays everyone.

Christmas fun

December 16, 2008   

I took the day off on Sunday and had great fun with my nephew and mother in San Francisco walking around seeing all the lights and window displays. It was raining so there weren’t many people. The Macy’s display was very cute with puppies and kittens and the Hyatt had a very large gingerbread house display. Henry was pointing out all the details some which I missed it is amazing what little kids notice. After an attempt at a nap which didn’t happen it was time to go to SFYC for the yacht club childrens christmas party. Santa arrived by boat and Henry was very quite taking it all in with wide eyes. He sat on Santa’s lap and said ‘merry christmas’ than we had a green reindeer made from a balloon and decorated some christmas cookies for mum and dad. I have a great week of christmas dinners/parties to attend it is nice to be home at this time of year.

Good times.

Merry Christmas everyone.


December 13, 2008   

The launching of the 40 footer went well at Svendsens and she is now having electronics installed and interior cushions done while I finish off the deck hardware and we await the mast delivery in a few months. The owner seems to be happy to finally have his boat in the bay and now I have to fix all the leaks which we are finding in the inclement weather. Hope all of you with office jobs appreciate the warmth and dry inside! I got hailed on today big pieces of ice falling out of the sky. In fact it is warmer in London than San Francisco.

Off to LA for the last time

December 5, 2008   

The Saga 409 build is drawing to a close so I spend Monday thru Friday in LA finishing off last minute stuff/decisions on the boat. She will be loaded onto a truck next week and I will be in the Bay to unload her and hopefully the owner will have a smile on his face. The boat was taken out of the shed to have the bottom sprayed and the graphics look great on the hull. There is a lot to finish off in the bay – small details always seem to take time.

I had a great time staying with the Leths – family friends who have known my dad since before he married my mum… It has been a great project for me getting to see them every month.