Saturday, January 30, 2016

Thanks To Bear Point Marina

Sunset at Big Sabine Point

We truly enjoyed our long stay at Bear Point Marina in Orange Beach. The casual, friendly atmosphere is exactly what we were looking for. Owner's Ken and Linda are really working hard to upgrade BPM. Nice people who take pride in their marina. Repairs and upgrades were constantly being done the entire time we were there. We enjoyed many beautiful sunsets from Wrinkles in Slip C-25.

We will miss the cast of characters we met and became friends with during our stay. Bob the fisherman, Gary, John, Scott and Kim, DuWayne, Capt. Bart, Fish, Tinsley, the friendly office staff and especially our good friend George. George entertained us many afternoons when we took "Beer Thirty" breaks from our projects. Even crappy Busch Light tasted pretty good chatting with George about life.

Maybe we'll pass this way again.



On Our Way Again

Barge in the channel

We managed to pull up all the roots we had planted at Bear Point Marina and got Wrinkles out sailing again. It is amazing how boats (and sailors) settle into a marina and seem to become permanently attached. We put on our big girl panties and threw off the dock lines at 8:30 a.m. Brenda was thrilled that the dolphins came alongside Wrinkles as soon as we turned out of the marina. Thanks for the send-off guys. Heading east toward Pensacola there was only enough wind to motor sail all day, but the beautiful sunshine made for a wonderful day. Since we had traversed this section of the Intercoastal Waterway last fall we have the comfort of knowing the route and that we will fit under all the bridges. Still not too excited about passing or being passed by those monstrous barges though.

The old Yanmar putted along nicely for six hours before we dropped our anchor in 11 feet of water off Big Sabine Point. We are now about 7 miles from Navarre bobbing in gentle winds with a fishing pole off the stern.

Big Sabine Point

Good to be moving again.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Pete the Pissy Pelican

Smokehouse Bay

The weather has really sucked in Orange Beach recently, so we decided to rent a car and drive down to visit our friends, Jim and Joni, who are wintering in a nice 3 bedroom condo overlooking Smokehouse Bay, Marco Island.

We took long walks around the island, shared great meals at restaurants and at the condo, had a few beverages, relaxed and laughed with our good friends. Jim and Mike also decided they should get Florida fishing licenses and try their luck on the local waters. Mike brought his fishing pole along, but Jim needed to purchase one in town. Since Jim already had a good supply of fishing equipment back in Wisconsin he decided to just buy something cheap. By cheap we mean a rod that looks like a kid's toy that comes with a tiny plastic tackle box attached to it. It wasn't pink with Little Mermaid stickers on it, but it was pretty darn close. Of course we gave Jim lots of grief over his "Spider-Man Rod" all week.

Both couples jumped into Jim's car and headed a few miles away to a park with fishing access. We were just about to the park when Brenda asked Mike where his fishing rod was. Oops! Back we drove to the condo to pick up Mike's rod and tackle box. Guess who got ribbed about having a senior moment the rest of the week?

Jim and Mike rigged up some live shrimp on their poles and found a spot among the local fishermen and several hungry pelicans. Jim and his mighty Spider-Man pole immediately caught a nice sized Sheepshead fish. Show off! The pelicans flew, swam and ran to the action with one actually getting the fish into his beak before Jim even had it up on the pier. We shooed the pelicans away, but they certainly believe people are catching fish for their pleasure. The pelicans stand right next to you just waiting for a free meal.


A local fisherman caught a small fish and refused to give it to the most insistent pelican of the bunch. This yellow headed pelican got even by sneaking up behind the fisherman and nipping his calf. Not long afterward the same pelican repeated this behavior with another fisherman who threw his catch back into the water rather than sharing.

Pete the Pissy Pelican then bit Jim in the calf after he threw his third fish back into the water. Just look at Pete's eyes in this picture and tell us he isn't a mean hearted bugger.

Pete the Pissy Pelican

The next time the boys went fishing they went to a different location to hide from Pete. The fishing was pretty good and Jim's legs weren't nipped by the local pelican mafia boss.

Beautiful day to fish



Are You Enjoying Our Blog?

We started this blog way back in the fall of 2011 with the intention of sharing our love of sailing and travel with others of like minds. At that time we also thought this would be a great way to allow our friends and family to share in our adventures. Wrinkles In Our Sails continues to be fun to produce and we hope to document and share our cruising lifestyle for a long time to come.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Brightwork Nearly Done

After hours of scraping, sanding and taping we used Cetol Natural Teak stain to beautify and protect the exterior teak. We just applied the first of three coats of Cetol Gloss to our newly stained teak. Mother Nature was kind enough to give us three successive days of sunshine and low humidity to accomplish all this work. Wrinkles is looking so much happier with her new makeup applied.

Boom Crutch - before

The boom crutch was in pretty bad shape, but we decided to see if we could repair it with epoxy and then refinish it with the Cetol. It was cracked and ugly in the beginning, but once it was repaired it looked pretty decent. The wood was oak, so the Cetol finish came out much lighter than on the teak. Some day we may replace it with new wood and stain it to match the teak, but for right now it looks good enough and it is very solid.

Lovely teak showing through

A couple more coats of Cetol Gloss should finish up this project and our old backs and knees will be grateful. Anybody who thinks this cruising lifestyle is just sunsets, beautiful beaches and cocktails is way off. Yes we do get all those great things, but we also put in a lot of work in between. Now where did I set my rum and Coke down?



Monday, January 11, 2016

Nina and Pinta Tour in Perdido Key

While the Nina and Pinta replicas were docked at The Oyster House in Peridio Key we decided to take a tour. Brenda's sister Karen and brother-in-law Peter joined us for a nice lunch and a tour of both ships. The Columbus Foundation had the replicas built as sailing exhibits that would roam from port to port for everyone to tour. Neat!

The tour costs $8, but since we are now officially "seniors" at 55+ we got aboard for $7 each. Both ships were hand built in Valenca, Spain by eighth generation Portuguese shipwrights. The little Nina was just 65 ft. long and 18 ft. wide. Not much area for the 24 hearty souls aboard originally. The Pinta replica was built 15 ft. longer and 6.5 ft. wider than the original. It still seems awfully small for a crew of 26.

We loved the huge rigging lines and wooden pulleys. The wooden windlasses were really interesting, but it is almost depressing how little improvement there is in our "modern" manual windlass aboard Wrinkles. It is still just a simple cog wheel design made out of metal.

The massive tillers projected 10-12 ft. into the boat and were still 8 inches square at their forward ends. You could just envision the awful job it must have been to man those things in bad weather.

Did you know that the ship's names, Nina and Pinta, were just nicknames? We must have been napping that day in high school. The Santa Clara was nicknamed the Nina by her sailors. The name Pinta was also a nickname, but the original name appears to have been long forgotten.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Mast Man

Hi there, this is Sandwoman. While I might be able to sand teak till the cows come home, my nemesis is heights. Enter Mast Man. He is able to climb masts with only one or two stops to catch his breath. He can accomplish three tasks in one climb (route a burgee halyard, route the staysail halyard and remove the staysail stay). And he does it all with a smile. He is my hero!!!

Mast Man detaching the inner stay
Routing the burgee halyard


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ugly Teak is the Bad Guy

Ugly Teak is in the bottom of this picture.

One of the features that drew us to Island Packet sailboats was the lovely and liberal use of teak. It gives the IP's a classic big boat look which appeals to us. It shines and highlights the wonderful lines of our home. Well, that is what is supposed to be happening. The reality is our brightwork ain't so bright. The Florida sun has weathered most of the teak to the point it is flaking. Ugly Teak is the bad guy in this story.


Enter "Sandwoman", she sands faster than a Sahara storm, jumps over tangled electrical cords with ease and laughs at stiff backs and achy arms. Yes folks, "Sandwoman" has been to the rescue. The menacing flaky finish has been beaten back and beautiful stained teak will soon shine proudly on Wrinkles.

You go girl! ( "Sandwoman" costume is on order. Woo Hoo!)



Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wait Just One Friggin' Minute!

Bulkhead oil lamp

We moved aboard Wrinkles and located her on the Gulf of Mexico to enjoy freedom, adventure and of course nice warm weather. Brenda and I went to bed last night with a space heater running full blast in the cabin and a cozy oil lamp flickering. This morning there was frost, friggin' frost, on the dock. As a lifelong northerner I should have a pretty good tolerance for cold weather right? Move south - poof, instant weather pansy.

Brenda of course is always cold. Cold seems to start at any temperature below 82 Fahrenheit. So this 31 degree morning is not her idea of balmy weather, although the hot tea and oatmeal I made for her seem to be helping. Add the heater running, hoodie sweatshirt and blanket wrapped around her and she is almost comfortable.

Let's get some work done and get this boat heading south - really, really south.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Back To Cruising You Lazy Bums!

Gramma getting spoiled.

We have been enjoying a long visit with family and friends in Orange Beach, Alabama. Everyone has gone home now and it is time for us to get our expanding waistlines back to sailing. Ice cream, wonderful meals prepared in the condo, dinners out, comfy couches, soft beds, more ice cream, a 70 inch flat screen TV, beer, wine and Drambuie have all contributed to our laziness. Our pants are no longer buttoned! It is time to get moving. We will miss all these wonderful people, but we had a great holiday season in their company.

Mike burning calories.


The view from the condo.

Tomorrow we will move back aboard Wrinkles and finish a number of projects to make her cruise ready again. All of the exterior wood needs to be sanded down and refinished, canvas work, forestay replacement, VHF antenna replacement, ............................... You get the picture. Fortunately we enjoy working on boat projects, so it will actually be fun to get started again. Well, maybe not the "Replace the stinky, smelly, icky head hoses project." Anyone who wants some boating experience is quite welcome to come aboard and help with that lovely job. We'll even buy the beer!

Boom crutch getting cleaned up.

We plan to get everything done in the next two weeks before sailing out of Bear Point Marina and heading east to Carrabelle, Florida. There we will top off the tanks and head across the gulf toward Clearwater, Florida. Our last crossing wasn't exactly a Sunday picnic, so we are hoping Mother Nature will say, "I already kicked their butts last time. I think I'll be nice to them this time."