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"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders

Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret,arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret do cuments the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them intouch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning areover…fornow.“Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began withthe Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat,sometimes not.Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.

February 10, 2015
Position: 26 07.14N 80 07.33W Behind a private home in Ft Lauderdale.

Hello mis amigos, the little lady is under way to Ft Lauderdale from the Trawlerfest docks in Riviera Beach. There is some weather coming, probably the same weather from the west that is sweeping the U.S. The wind has been clocking around since we left this morning.

Let’s be critical of one of our fellow boaters for a minute. This is for your education, not to find fault with the boat or the boat handler, just an important misjudgment on someone’s part. Egret entered the marina at slack high tide and there wasn’t any wind. We were told bow in, stbd side tie. When we got there it was stern in, stbd side tie. Big difference, particularly because the runways were relatively narrow and our slip was the last one next to a walkover bridge. However we had the foresight to enter at slack tide and the minimal wind aspect was simply fortunate.

A few hours later a single engine trawler entered the fairway and immediately got caught up in a <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>strong falling tide. After a few desperate maneuvers, the boat was swept to the end of the fairway where it was pinned sideways on the bow of two Trawlerfest boats. Fortunately there were quite a few people on board and they had the presence to place fenders between the trawler and the bowpulpits. The delivery captain also had the presence not to do anything silly with the throttle when it was inevitable they would be pinned. She drifted at current speed until she was pinned. In the end there was no damage that we saw and a commercial tow pulled them off and helped them into the slip. (We removed the boat name, hailing port and broker information to keep the boat as anonymous as possible.)

Like I said, it wasn’t a boat problem or the fact it was single engine. I’m not absolutely sure we could have made the turn with the tide running the way it was and I wouldn’t want to find out. The lesson is; the captain should have anchored nearby until the next slack or near slack tide.

Nothing we boaters do is particularly difficult if you simply think about it before hand. Of course that’s easy to say and we don’t always make the right decision. So anyhow, plan ahead when it’s Your Time.

This Trawlerfest was very different than the Baltimore Trawlerfest. The boats were larger for the most part and the crowd’s interest matched the boat size. There was a nice mix of boats from around 75’, just guessing, down to 36’. Most of the boats were brokerage although there were a few new boats. The all-day seminars had a surprising number of people attending. My favorite seminar was the one where there was a large panel of 9 captains to answer the participants’ questions. All of the panelists were long-term skilled boaters. Peter Swanson, Editor of Passagemaker Magazine handled the mic. For most questions he passed the mic from one end to the other. Occasionally he got a number of different answers, particularly when each captain gave their opinion about watch schedules. Each one was right because it worked for them.

The best part of the program was at the beginning when Glenn (Tut) Tuttle, VP of Seven Seas Cruising Association presented powerboat Circumnavigators, Bruce and Joan Kessler with a Lifetime Seven Seas Cruising Association Commodores’ Honorarium for their westabout circumnavigation in the early 90’s. This award is well deserved, not only for the Kessler’s circumnavigation but also Bruce’s many year effort to bring new boaters into the boating community. Mary and I were in the audience at a Solomon’s Island Trawlerfest in the Chesapeake, summer of 2003. Bruce Kessler and Milt Baker were on that panel, same as the panel the other day. So we went from slack jawed participants to panelists. You could do the same it you choose. It begins with Baby Steps.

Accolades for the Kessler’s that will appear in the coming Seven Seas Cruising Association Commodore’s Bulletin are below.

Powerboaters Are Cruisers Too!
Circumnavigators Bruce and Joan Kessler
Are Named Honorary SSCA Commodores

As part of the “Powerboaters Are Cruisers Too!” initiative to attract more powerboaters to Seven Seas Cruising Association, the SSCA board of directors voted unanimously to make iconic powerboat circumnavigators Bruce and Joan Kessler honorary SSCA commodores. At a short ceremony at TrawlerFest in Riviera Beach, FL, on Jan. 24, Bruce was presented with his red commodore’s burgee, a circumnavigation certificate, and two SSCA circumnavigation patches by SSCA’s point man for the new initiative, board vice president Glenn Tuttle.

As a couple who cruised many miles under sail before going over to the so-called “dark side” and becoming powerboat cruisers, we applaud SSCA’s moves to embrace cruising powerboaters as full-fledged members. While the great majority of world cruisers are sailors, over the nearly 40 years we’ve been SSCA members, we’ve seen more and more serious cruising powerboaters in far-flung ports around the world.

Bruce and Joan have played a big role in making that happen. They’ve been voyaging under power for all those years, including their renowned 1990-1993 west-about circumnavigation, a voyage that inspired many others to begin voyaging under power. We’ve been close friends with Bruce and Joan for almost 30 years and were privileged to join them aboard their game-changing Delta 70 expedition yacht Zopilote for a 1,000-mile cruise along the east coast of Australia in 1991. Milt also crossed the Atlantic with them aboard Zopilote two years later.

Bruce was named Passagemaker of the year by Trawler World in 1998 for “tirelessly and selflessly answering any question, being available on almost any occasion, helping hundreds and even thousands of others realize their dreams of cruising under power.” Bruce and Milt worked closely together organizing the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally, which saw 18 passagemaking powerboats cross from Fort Lauderdale to Gibraltar. And Bruce is the founder of the biennial FUBAR (Fleet Underway for Baha Rally), a non-profit rally which has sent hundreds of powerboats to Baja California beginning in 2007. In addition to SSCA, Bruce is a member of the Ocean Cruising Club and the Cruising Club of America. Bruce and Joan are truly icons of the cruising world.

Bruce is also well known as a Hollywood director, now retired, and his directing credits include many well known TV series, including Mission Impossible, The A-Team, The Commish, Riptide, Hardcastle & McCormick, Baretta, and many more. Before he became a director he was best known as a racing car driver who drove at LeMans and won his class in a 12-hour endurance race in Sebring. In her heyday Joan was an actress, perhaps best known for her role as Elvis Presley’s love-interest in the 1964 movie Rostabout.

The Kesslers base their 64-foot Northern Marine trawler yacht in Southwest Harbor, ME, where we keep our Nordhavn 47 trawler Bluewater. Come summertime our boats will again be just across the pier from one another at Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina, and we’ll be out cruising Downeast together.

Milt & Judy Baker, lifetime commodores

Boating has never been easier or safer. The boats are better, the equipment is better, the aids to navigation are superb in most places and weather forecasting has never been more accurate. During Bruce and Joan’s circumnavigating years it was rare when they knew exactly where they were and why it was such an accomplishment. They didn’t have a little red boat marching across a navigation screen to keep them up to date 24/7. Even since Mary and I began, things have improved considerably. More accurate electronic charting and simpler, more intuitive navigation software along with AIS are two important safety improvements.

The next day, Mary and I did a Photography and Cruising seminar. We had a good time. Two hours wasn’t enough. We needed another hour because I spent too much time on cruising and not enough on photography. I would love to do a half-day presentation on cruising to serious folks, answer their questions and show the same around the world photographs. Except this time I would like to use one of the Mac 5k – 27” desktop screens. A few times during our presentation I turned the small Mac laptop around to show the difference between the laptop and the screen. Perhaps we have to tell Peter Swanson from Passagemaker/Trawlerfest that if he wants us back we need to have a Mac desktop screen. Hummmm.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>We’ll close Trawlerfest with this photograph taken the morning Egret left. Mary and I got up early to catch slack low tide. The sunrise was one of Those. It was really pretty. We captured N64 Sweet Hope’s flybridge and superstructure silhouetted against the daybreak.

Before we leave Trawlerfest completely we have a couple comments. Like Baltimore, no one could believe Egret’s condition. We heard this over and over again. That was nice.

Second, quite a few folks stopped by and told us they follow VofE. Many thanked us and that was very thoughtful of them. Considering the relatively small attendance this was a considerable percentage. When we fire VofE into space we don’t know what happens beyond there. Its nice to know that folks care and our time is well spent.

OK, so a lot has happened since we returned to Ft Lauderdale from Trawlerfest. Of course we have been playing. Playing r us. In addition to time spent with friends we took a couple driving trips to snap a few pics. One trip was sorta different. We moved to west Ft Lauderdale in the late 70’s. Six years later we built our dream house a couple blocks away. The other day for the first time we visited the Flamingo Gardens attraction less than 3 miles away. During the 1920’s a local family built their home in the boonies west of tiny Ft Lauderdale on a natural oak ridge. During their years they planted tropical trees from around the world. Today they are some of the largest trees in Florida. <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>These days Flamingo Gardens is a major destination favorite of school groups as well as tourists. There is a very large active aviary with double entrance and exit doors. Our favorite place was the Flamingo pool. The flamingos are wild birds, not caged and could leave at will except they would miss being fed. So they stay on welfare. Mary and I snapped away between bites sitting at a lunch counter. They also had some exotic plants we saw in Moorea, French Polynesia. We spent the day then drove by the project where we used to live.

Between driving trips we have been putzing on the boat. When you have a boat there is always something to do. The difference between having a boat and dirt dwelling is you want to do it. I used to hate working on the house but most times I enjoy working on the boat. It’s just different.

Another driving trip was a repeat loop west of Miami. (Miami is about 20 miles south of Ft Lauderdale). Once again we enjoyed the birds and critters. One lady really didn’t get it. She did everything but poke an alligator to get it to wake up for a picture. Too bad the gator didn’t wake up <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>and give her ankle a snap job. I would love to photograph that scenario with a wide angle lens and sell the snap to the tabloid artists at Fox News for major green except the screaming would probablyhurt my ears and I can’t cover both ears while I’m taking a picture and besides I would probably have to help her and then with no hands for the ears it was best the gator didn’t wake up and give her a quick mercy snap so she’ll go home totally clueless with her silly I phone pictures and bore anyone she can corner.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Both Mary and I followed a small whitish heron for quite a while that was flying off the bank and snagging minnows from the creek then landing. We were trying to capture the moment it dipped a small fish from the water. Mary got the best image. The minnow was lost in the water droplets near its beak and the next frame showed the minnow clearly but the shot was less interesting.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>The next little scenario was a gallinule paddling along the shoreline when it spotted a spider web on a branch near the water. So it cruised over and ate the spider. You probably won’t be able to see it with reduced resolution but we can see the spider in its mouth. So that was cool unless you were the spider.

And so it went. Another good day in the playground.

<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Another playground was at the Chihuly glass exhibit in the Miami attraction, Fairchild Gardens. Fairchild Gardens on Biscayne Bay has a similar theme like Flamingo Gardens. During Miami’s early years a couple patrons imported <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>trees and foliage from around the world. The glass display was scattered around the grounds. We were with friends so we four puttered around the displays. For any of you that haven’t seen a Chihuly exhibit it is really special. Here’s a snap of an in- water display. There were smaller pieces for sale. Most were in the $7,500 U.S.P. range. I talked to an attendant and to date they has sold 22 with a month to go before the exhibit closed.

More putzing then another road trip. This was west of Ft Lauderdale to Everglades City, a gulf coast fishing village of 400 full time residents. By chance it was the first day of the Everglades City Seafood Festival and they expected 50,000 folks to visit during the festival. Was that luck or what? Yup, red necks mixed with red cheeked snowbird tourists. Quite a mix. The necks even had a Sons of Confederate War Veterans booth selling food. We didn’t see a single person buy food from these<em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>^@@&+#$s so that was good.

In addition to vendors selling tourist junk there were plenty of food booths. <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>Oh my. We began by splitting an order of Gator Tail (alligator). Tasted like chicken. So after a little local tail we wandered the booths then hit the fried food booths. It was another great day people watching.

Leaving we wanted to photograph the Post Office in Ochopee, not far from the turn-off to Everglades City. More luck because we caught the postman emptying one of the mail boxes. I believe it is the smallest Post Office in the <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>U.S.

We made a couple other stops on the way home. One had a walk into a cypress tree hammock. This shot turned into a black and white was my <em><em><em>Egret</em></em></em>favorite. The lower southwest and very southern coast of Florida is relatively unchanged and much of it is parkland. Hopefully it will stay this pristine forever.

This Friday we haul for 2 coats of bottom paint, zincs and change the Naiad fin shaft seals. Between painting we’ll buff and wax the lower portion of the hull we couldn’t get from the skiff in Islamorada. We’ll also photograph the Naiad seal change and show exactly what tools you need and how you could do it as well.

The Miami International Boat Show and the Brokerage Show begin on this Thursday. The MIBS has smaller boats and many marine vendors of consequence. The Brokerage Show has most of the larger boats. The N display will be at the Brokerage Show.

If you don’t have reservations already, South Florida this time of year is a welcome relief from the frozen wastelands farther north and in Europe. It is best to stay in Ft Lauderdale and commute rather than trying to stay in Miami. The trick is to leave super early to find parking. An hour wait wandering the boat docks before the show opens is well spent instead of finding parking later in the day.


Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.

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