Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

We hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas.
Stay safe and have a wonderful New Year.
Goodbye 2008.... Yay!!!!!

Cross your toes
Here comes 2009

From Mel, Bob, and Radar

Back in PCB. Finally!

The stay in Memphis was a little longer than expected. That cold I had been trying to avoid finally caught me. Oh well... three days in bed and I have been all over Europe with a bird's eye view via HDNet.
The world's coastlines from above - Europe.
The Scandinavian coast line is beautiful. Especially Norway.
I love HD

So we've decided to stay here for a few more days and spend New Year's Eve with the folks at Baypoint, then on with our journey.
We found out today that our boat insurance does not cover Gautemala. That settles that!
So... Bahamas and south it is.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year's Eve and a great New Year.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home for the Holidays... kinda

Well... we haven't made a post for a few days because we have left Istaboa in Panama City and flown back to Memphis for some quick family holiday stuff. We are planning to be back aboard by Christmas Eve as our family plans end early.
Our good friends aboard RoyEl are keeping a close eye on Istaboa as are the staff of BayPoint and Mark the teak guy from Mattke Bros.


The above pic is a 43 Nordhavn owned by Eric and Christi. This adventurous couple is not fooling around with coastal cruising. They even passed by the Gulf of Aden which of course is a very dangerous pirating area. They seem to not worry about pirates saying technology will make them safer. Hmmm. I admire their audacity.
The last email I received was a trip summary... I will let you read it.

From Kosmos, a Nordhavn 43, that has just crossed the Atlantic in 20
days--at 1.97 gph:

We made it!!! :-)

Kosmos Atlantic Passage Summary

Vessel: motor yacht Kosmos (Nordhavn 43, 43 feet)
Aboard: Eric and Christi Grab, and Colin Rae
Departed: Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain on November 30, 2008
Arrived: Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe on December 20, 2008
Route: 2768 nautical miles, SW then W
Hours: 480 (20 days)
Fuel burned: ~950 US gallons (3590 liters) (76% of total fuel aboard)
Fuel left: ~290 gallons
Averages: 2.91 nm/gal, 1.97 gal/hour, 5.76 nm/hour
Generator hours: 15 (= air conditioning and laundry hours)
Water used/ made: 550/400 gallons
Active fins on time: 99%
Paravanes deployed time: 60%
Highest seas: ~10 feet.
Average seas: ~6 feet
Highest wind: 42 knots
Average wind: ~15 knots
Failures: Starboard navigation light bulb (replaced with spare)
Kosmos totals: 26091 nm, 4424 hours on main engine, 1712 hours on generator


Having the paravanes deployed the majority of the time cost us some
speed (~0.5 knots), but the extra comfort was worth it. We had mostly
following wind and sea, but there was a mix of no wind and even a
couple gale force winds from squalls. At the end we had beam seas and
wind. Nine flying fish grounded themselves aboard. We saw 4
sailboats, and 6 ships. Colin is a future Nordhavn 40 owner (hull
65). The passage was a wonderful learning experience for him and he
was great crew. Overall it was very successful passage. We will write
more details and have pictures on our travel log
( in a few weeks.

We are 4/5 the way around the world. Now it is time to enjoy the
Caribbean and then through the Panama canal to explore Central
and Mexico. We plan to return to San Diego in May 2009.

Eric & Christi

Adios and Merry Christmas if we don't post again till after,


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big blow at Bay Point

Ahhh, Beautiful Bay Point Marina at sunset... So peaceful

But for the last couple of days it's been a bit of a blow here.
As I sit in the pilothouse of Istaboa, I am keeping my eye on a sailboat that has broken loose from it's mooring and is stuck on a mudbank. Hope that mudbank holds her because we are in-line to meet up if she breaks loose. We have alerted the staff at the marina so I hope to see someone (Coast Guard?) do something before dark.
As you can tell from the graph on Istaboa's Airmar Weather Station, it's blowin and been blowin all day. Click the display pic to enlarge.
40kts sustained winds with gust up to 50. That's breezy. It has definitely been a 2 flag day.

Right now... I am going out to hang a couple of fenders because that sailboat just keeps inching closer.



Update at 6:00 pm: SeaTow arrived in time and towed the sailboat away. The folks at Bay Point are on the job. This will make for a better sleep tonight.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Update from our friends on Kaleidoscope

We received an email from Clyde and Mia onboard Kaleidoscope. They have made it to Guatemala safe and sound. Maybe a little tired from those all night runs from Isla Mujeres down to Guatemala.
I downloaded their pics and ,Man!, they really are giving us the itch take Istaboa to Central America. It all looks so beautiful.
PS: They have just sent me some more pics of Lake Izabal which is part of the Rio Dulce. I will post these in the next couple of days.

Thanks for the pictures guys... Maybe we will see you soon.



Almost famous...

Wow! We have been mentioned on Panbo. That is the de facto marine electronics blog . Ben Ellison, the blogger, is the Marine Electronics Editor for at least two major Yachting magazines.
He liked our Wireless setup.
Thanks Ben.
Here's the Link

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finally! We know.

Click the photo to enlarge please.

Now we have an answer for folks when they ask what Istaboa means.
My friend Angie, a very talented photographer from the Memphis area, is working on a project photographing hands. She likes the name Istaboa and thought it needed a definition. We like her definition. Very Cool! Thanks Angie.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WIred up Wirelessly

Now for my techie freinds...

Since we are tied up in Panama City waiting for a weather break.... I started tinkering with a WIFI router I picked up a couple of months ago at Best Buy.
It's the Cradlepoint MBR-1000. This thing is really neat for $250.00
I have both my AT&T USB Aircard and Melonie's Verizon USB Sierra card (We have a couple of months left on the Verizon Contract before we turn it off.. although it seems to be faster in more places so far) hooked up on this little box. Sometimes one is better than the other and the router will actually sense this and connect to the faster one automatically. Throughput is like any other wireless N router.
But to take it a step further in anticipation of WIFI only in the Bahamas... I hooked up the Port Networks MWB-200 which is a WIFI amplifyer.
It all works together very well so far.
If the AT&T Aircard has a weak signal the Verizon picks up the slack unless the MWB-200 has a better signal. How slick is that for 250 Bucks.
Next test will be to load up SKYPE on the Non-Cellular port and test that. I'm sure it will work here in the states just fine. Sitting at anchor just off Elbow Cay in the Abacos will be the real test. In theory it should work well.
Here is a review: