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Mystery solved

26 Aug

We got our DNA report back today on Abby! We were all sure that she was some mix of Yorkie and terrier, but we were wrong. Our report says that we have a Maltese-Chihuahua mix! The mixed breed one one grandparent’s side is probably terrier, but the DNA test couldn’t define it with enough probability.

Abby mixNot very boaty, but definitely floaty, as we now know more about our crew. And knowing is half the battle.

Okay Fort Lauderdale, you won us over

27 Apr

Last year when we came through Fort Lauderdale, it was spring break and we stayed at a public marina just off the beach. What do we remember about that visit other than being parked right next to a mega yacht once owned by Tiger Woods? Red solo dixie cups littering the beach and drunk people throwing up. As our east coast adventures wind down, Robin believed that Fort Lauderdale has more to offer and was determined we could find it. We succeeded on this visit (especially since it was post spring break).

We visited the Museum of Art (they have a wonderful and moving Civil Rights photography exhibit) and the Museum of Science (fellow boaters June and Joseph got scared with us at the Goosebumps exhibit…thanks guys!). We also saw a few IMAX movies in 3D (Islands of Madagascar and Avatar), found a old car show, walked the fancy shops on Las Olas Blvd where we saw Rolls Royces parked next to Lamborghinis, and enjoyed all the boardwalk sights. It was especially fun to sit in our cockpit and people watch as boats large and small cruised up and down the New River, most with their music pumping.

Our marina also had lots of muscovy ducks, and since it is spring time there were ducklings aplenty. Max wanted to chase them all down, but after the palm warbler incident, he is not trusted around anything with feathers.

Robin met a wonderful and passionate boater…in the showers…which just proves that you never know where or when you are going to meet someone special! We wish we could have hung around longer and gotten to know Audrey and Frank better. Check out the great work they are doing to connect Americans, especially people of color, with our national parks.

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Kid wall at the Museum of Art

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Lots of cool cars

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Peyton in action

An amazing find (updated…it’s an April Fools)!

1 Apr

One of the chores that needs to be done regularly in warm waters is a good bottom scrubbing. Not just for aesthetic reasons, since the boat moves more cleanly and efficiently through the water free of seaweed and gunk. Andy dove down with fins, mask, and brush to attack the keel. What he found was pretty freaking amazing. Up against the dock piling, he noticed an old jar sticking out of the mud. Madi loves to collect old glass, so he snatched it right up. The jar was filled with mud and muck, so he hopped up on the dock to give it a good hose rinse. Turning the jar over, a large clump of mud dropped down onto the dock. Andy was about ready to drop the mud into the harbor when he felt something substantial in the dark mass. Substantial indeed, as the mass contained four gold coins of considerable age. Hispania is clearly visible on the coins so it seems pretty clear what their origin was.

They could be fake, as they sell these things all over down here, but they aren’t as shiny as the ones that you can buy in the gift shops, so even skeptical Andy is lifting an eyebrow. A quick search online shows that collectors pay anywhere from $1000 up for Spanish doubloons that look like these. Regardless of authenticity, we are through the roof with excitement here on Tango. We usually only find fishing line wrapped around our props.

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Lessons in rock

19 Mar

We found an unassuming shop along the A1A, but only from the outside. It looks like an opal shop, and I (this is Robin) stopped in during a run one day to see if they could engrave sea glass as a gift (don’t tell Madi). The old man who owns the store has been collecting and selling gems, petrified wood, sea glass, rare corals, old jewelry pieces, and rocks since the 60s…and the bins and bins and bins of treasures show this passion.

On the walls are photos of him as a young rock hound with his rock hammer wandering through the California desert. We came to find out that he also spent time as a child in Vanport (in Portland, OR where we are from) as his parents helped build ships during WWII!

After hours in this shop the girls are broke, but we are all richer in stories and rock treasures. If you are ever in Marathon, you must check out J&J Jewelry Repair and Gifts…an amazing and warm place.

Looking for that one stone

Looking for that one stone

 

Unearthing new treasures

Unearthing new treasures

Warderick Wells blow hole

28 Dec

Love the look on Madi’s face when the second gust hits her face.

Land and Sea Park

27 Dec

We sailed into the Warderick Wells Land and Sea Park on Boxing Day. We have been consumed with playing, amazing snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, and potlucking with fellow boaters.

It is so beautiful and amazing here…words fail…so pictures follow. The biggest news is that there are BOAT KIDS! Sixteen of them to be exact! We haven’t seen the girls much, and they are in heaven.

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Boat kid sillies

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Happy Accidents

3 Nov

So we’ve had a couple of days to recuperate after our rough start to our Gulf Stream crossing. We find ourselves in Palm Beach at a rather nice marina right on Lake Worth. The wind is howling outside right now, and we are glad that we are not out in the middle of the stream. Wave heights are predicted at 13 feet in the next 24 hours. We will just settle in here until we get a nice weather window. No hurries.

As we were walking around town we started talking about these little “happy accidents” we find ourselves in. Every time we get stuck somewhere because of weather, we always find some cool new adventure on land. This weekend’s adventures included some great Chinese food, mall walking, a fancy dinner, and a visit to the sea turtle rescue center in Juno Beach, Florida.

Tonight we saw a really good movie (Captain Phillips) and indulged in some rarely acquired fast food. (Wendy’s!) We are all happy and embracing what life throws at us. Can’t change the circumstances of weather so you just roll with it.

We ran into a nice couple here at the marina who used to be docked right down the row from us in Vero Beach. They just happened to be visiting the marina to attend a wedding at the clubhouse. It was nice to see some familiar faces, and they were nice enough to give us a car ride and shave 3 miles off of our walk to the movie theater.

We thought that you might like to see what it looks like going down the Intracoastal Waterway, so we are including a 30 minute video compressed down to around 4 minutes. This illustrates why we don’t want to travel down the ICW again. You will see us negotiating one of the 30 drawbridges between here and Miami. Some open on demand, but most open on the half or quarter hour. If you miss an opening, you have to wait around for the next one. It’s like a little game of tag on the water. It really is frustrating when you are only a minute or two late and you have to wait 30 minutes for the next opening.

Regardless…the sound of our engines sped up 8x is kind of funny.

Sea turtles are so wonderful!

Waiting out the northerlies in Palm Beach

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Peyton’s perch underway

 

Dinoflagellates

4 Sep

A few¬† weeks ago we noticed a bit of bioluminescence in the water at night, just a bit of sparkling. We have seen this out in the gulf stream, and all of us think it’s pretty cool how the plankton can glow when disturbed. Over the weekend we decided to brave the no-see-ums (who do not respect bug spray at all) and check it out again.

What we saw was unlike anything we’ve seen before. We felt like we were walking onto a set of the movie Avatar.

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Any disturbance, from a splash or a fish, caused the water to glow blue-green quite brilliantly. We ended up sacrificing our ankles to bites and sat on the sugar scoops playing in the water and watching in amazement. We could see every fish swimming around, as they would disturb the plankton and cause the water to glow with their movement. Each droplet of water was an individual light show. When the girls stuck their hands in the water, the plankton would stick to them and make sparkly and glowing spots on their skin. Turns out this is a special summertime event, caused by a special kind of plankton called dinoflagellates.

We tried to get photos and video of the girls playing with the bioluminescense, but it just wouldn’t show up withe camera equipment we’ve got. I did find this great Discovery News video, which shows the phenomenon in San Diego.

Turns out there is a whole industry developed around playing with the dinoflagellates in Florida during the summer. Midnight kayak tours, complete with glow sticks, allow you to float and glow paddle through them. Simply amazing to watch.

We decided we need to get a portable microscope, so we can see our dinoflagellates up close and personal.

A Sad Mystery

30 May

While walking along an old Bahamian road I happened upon a little old cemetery with a very sad memorial. It commemorates the death at sea of 21 Haitians. I did a search online and the only reference I could find was one article for the memorial and nothing more. Odd. I shall continue my search. There is a story here that isn’t getting its due.

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After school playground

24 Apr

The day’s work is finished and school books are put away. Time to hop in the dinghy and head for no name island!

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