Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2016 IPY Calendar

...The 2016 cover...
I am very happy and proud to announce the 13th year edition of my Island Packet Yachts Calendar. Usually I have this completed by mid November, but this year I have been working very hard on moving 11,500 Island Packet Yacht owners' photos and thousands of photo albums from the server at IPphotos dot com into the new and upgraded web server at www.IPYOA.com/photos. This project has taken all my spare time and great effort since the Annapolis Boat Show on October 9th. Now that we reached Marathon, FL and taken a break at our "happy place" www.HarbourCayClub.org, I have found time to build the 2016 IP calendar.

January 2016
This seems like it should be an easy project. Simply select 12 photos, slap them into a calendar and release it. Not so, this edition took me 25 to 30 hours to create, I spent a day in the Marathon Public Library and two full days working on board IP 35 Island Spirit. I am very happy with this latest edition. I looked through 5,000+ photos to arrive at these 13 images. Note: I have 110,000 digital photos I have taken on my laptop, 90% of which are Island Packet yachts and sailing scenes, so I have the material. The best aspect to the IP calendar is when owners send me great photos of their sailing adventures. This year we have included several such wonderful additions from IP owners.

I enjoy creating this product for Island Packet owners. The $5.00 proceeds from each calendar help to pay for some of the fees during the year to upgrade and run the www.IPYOA.com website where 3,000+ members have shared over 16,000 digital photos. This web site is now serving nearly 20,000 page views per month and more people are joining daily. I enjoy the sharing, learning and community spirit of the Island Packet Yacht Owners' Web Site. I hope you learn from it and enjoy the sharing as well.

Here are the photos in the 2016 IPYOA 13th edition calendar.

 NOTE: Click on each photo. They are full screen images, 1024 x 768 pixels.
February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

If you would like to order one of these calendars, please see my online store here

Thank you for enjoying our Island Packet Yachts!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blasting Down Biscayne Bay

We sailed from South Beach, Miami to Key Largo, 50 NM
After spending just 23 hours in South Beach, we sailed 50+ miles south down Biscayne Bay, raising sails right off the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Miami, near Brickell Point.

Reefed main and jib, 25-30 knots on the beam in flat seas, perfect!
In the stiff 25 to 30 knots of east winds, IP 350 KISMET and Island Spirit sailed at hull speed all day. We had a reefed mainsail and a reefed 135 jib and, when the winds would drop to below 22 knots, we said..."Hey, who turned off the wind?"...we loved it, This will go down as one of the best sailing days in years. Beam winds on Biscayne Bay, flat seas, as in only one foot high, sailing hull speed and loving it along with Kismet!

Jim and Laurie are well known for their IP sailing skills and they actually sail more of the time than any other IP owners we know. They are masters at making their IP move well and they are also very hard to catch up to. It was really a spectacular day of sailing.

We reached Tarpon Basin off Key Largo and there Laurie and Jim hosted us to a delicious BBQ dinner. We had a lovely night on anchor recapping the terrific sailing day. What a beautiful place Tarpon Basin turned out to be, like anchoring in a large round bowl. This was our 7th leg up and down the Keys, but we have never sailed down the Florida Bay.  We usually run this area in two days, anchoring at one of the few suitable spots, Rodriguez Key.

We really liked this side of the Keys as there are so many places to anchor and go ashore. With 30 knots of east winds, that was not an option and the inside route was very calm. Thanks to Laurie and Jim, we now know of another great place to sail. Beautiful!

Here are some photos to enjoy.

Radeen and Laurie, Prosecco GrLs

Leaving Miami over our stern, always a sad sight for us, We love this city.

The final view of Miami while sailing south.

That is IP 350 KISMET way ahead under our jib.

Still chasing our buddy, IP 350 KISMET

IP 350 KISMET, before snagging the first crab pot of their sailing career!

Sunrise on anchor in a calm east wind, Tarpon Basin

The next day was a bit more calm, with only 10-14 knots of south winds. We were able to sail 30 nm from Tarpon Basin to Channel Five, dropping the hook at Jew Fish Hole, just to the SW of Channel 5 and Fiesta Key.

Sailing a lovely 30 mile day in calm seas with a south wind.

Full main sail, full jib

What a beautiful view

IP 350 KISMET underway

Jim looking under the jib 

A boat aground for a long time in shallow  Florida Bay

I love to sail close hauled, look at that wind angle.

The jib is against the spreader tip and the movable jib car is all the way aft.

Dinner on Island Spirit with Laurie and Jim, friends since 2008.

Radeen and Hayden, enjoying another memorable evening.

These last few days of sailing and learning a new area were really fun. Thanks to IP 350 KISMET for showing us the Florida Bay side of the Keys. We hope to learn more about this great area. Tomorrow, it is time to move into Harbour Cay Club in Marathon and take our scheduled one month Christmas docking break. Thank you for sailing along!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Offshore to Miami Wallcast

...Offshore Map..
On Friday, we said good-bye to Ron and Mary Ann of IP380 CAVU who watched our boat and had us over for champagne and delicious snacks when we returned. We blasted offshore from Vero Beach via the Fort Pierce inlet and turned south, running 1 mile offshore for the 100+ miles to Miami. After 21 hours, we entered Government Cut Inlet at daybreak, ran the channel into the Miami waterfront, turned north and then east to South Beach. Arriving South Beach at 9 am, we made breakfast, talked to Jim & Laurie on our buddy boat IP 350 KISMET, and promptly went to sleep.

Our plan, as outlined months ago on our calendar, was to attend the South Beach WALLCAST. The New World Symphony School event is the number one SoBe venue on TripAdvisor. We did it! After all the work with the Boat Show and showing a boat in Hilton Head, SC was over, we were so happy to be here. We have now attended 6 Wallcast concerts and we will make the next one in January, too. This is a NOT TO MISS event if you are in the area. Truly amazing! To learn more about SoBe Wallcasts, see this link.
The South Beach Wallcast at The New World Symphony
Photo Credit; www.NWS.edu

Sailing offshore was a great trip, we had 15-20 knots on the beam all night long. We sailed a jib only and added 1500 rpms on the motor to push through the 3-4 ft waves running at 4 second intervals. This kept our speed at 7 knots as we wanted to make Miami at daybreak, which we did.
Reaching offshore for Miami

Looking west to the Florida coast

A beautiful sunset, confused seas.

Welcome to Miami South Beach at first light.

A cruise ship visible under our jib, returning to port pre-dawn.

Arrival at the inlet, right on schedule

Looking back out to sea past Fisher Island condos with sunrise in the inlet.

Large container ship heading out to sea.

Look at these containers. They are tractor trailers stacked 14 rows wide and 6 to 7 + high.

Arriving City of  Miami in the sunrise, beautiful!

The Miami skyline gleaming in the morning sun

Anchor down off South Beach, 9 a.m, We did it, now time to rest!

Radeen made a great salad for lunch, I rarely blog about food, but this was beautiful.

Dinghy ride along the reflection in the Collins canal

Radeen going to the Wallcast via dinghy in the canal

Hayden, Radeen, Laurie and Jim in our favorite spot for the Wallcast,
Tonite's program was The Music of Vienna, by Strauss and Brahms. Fun, fun, fun!

Looking at the park from the screen, Those blue lights in the back are from the large projector.

Lincoln Road Plaza, a short walk to Starbucks and much more

The 7,000 sq.ft. Wallcast screen on the side of the Symphony School's building.
The guest conductor was Mark Wigglesworth, Britain's National Opera Conductor and
former associate conductor of the BBC Symphony. He gave a fascinating introduction. Very cool!

After only 23 hours in South Beach, we lifted anchors at 8 a.m. Sunday with IP350 KISMET and sailed together on 25-30 knot easterly winds south into the Florida Keys. More to follow!