wait, those aren’t Ravenswing’s sails?! Right you are, they’re F36/39 Hecla’s, drawing nicely off the southeast Florida coast. A big Thank You to owner Jeff for the opportunity to crew with him in moving the boat from Ft. Lauderdale to Belize. He’s sailed his other Hecla-named boats on many significant offshore singlehanded voyages & races. This week is setting up to be an amazing skills-booster for this aspiring F36 offshore skipper. Better to screw up on his boat and get pleasantly coached back to safety :)

F36 Hecla was first named Screech, a boat you see on Farrier’s website F36 page. It’s the all-white one with a cassette rudder and three aluminum-framed cabin windows.

We had a long week of prep work, unfortunately having much more of a punch list than Jeff expected, due to some pro marine services folks not getting their stuff fully completed. I flew out last Saturday night and dived in to a week of boat-builder mode again. Except boy is that different in hot humid weather. Colin, I was drenched in five minutes!

Hecla had been docked side-tied to the dark-hulled boat in this photo.

That’s the Davey Ave drawbridge on the river in FtL. It was an odd week living under a bridge! Including big iguanas hissing at us when we passed thru the homeowner’s side yard. We finally got to cast off yesterday at 3:30, transiting four drawbridges on a busy Lauderdale Saturday party afternoon. I’ll post some video once back home on WiFi. We got to the Atlantic at 5pm, hoisted the main, jib and screacher for a mellow 9kts cruise down the Miami coast. We’re anchored just off the first FL “Keys”, and I’m writing to you at sunrise. We’ve found a half dozen minor rig tuning tasks for this morning, then we point these bows for Cuba. We won’t be landing, but will pass just north of Cuba then head west towards Cancun, MX. Near there it’s a left turn south towards the divers’ hot spot reefs off Belize. Hopefully we’ll do the 700+ miles in 3.5 days and have time for exploring The Blue Hole. Then it’s on to the airport in Placencia BZ for me, and Jeff will solo his boat on a diving / kayaking / sailing vacation.

So, our good ship is loaded up with voyaging supplies. It does feel different from sailing Ravenswing in her current day-sailor mode. The skipper is a racer and so was a good sport about me trying to give away a bunch of heavy, unnecessary-to-us stuff from the boat’s prior FL coastal cruising life. Hecla and her crew are eager to speed-reach across the Gulf of Mexico this week! The weather forecast has shaped up for steady downwind trades and sunny skies. Break out the sunblock and spinnaker sheets, baby…

So there’s your teaser and now you’ll have to wait until I get back online next week. Jeanne and the boys have satellite phone access to us, but otherwise I’m so happy to unplug and get back to nature.

Signing off from south of Miami.