Evacuation from Hurricane Irma

Sorry to post after the fact on something so important as our safety.

On Tuesday, the 6th of September, we evacuated from Key West onboard Makara. We headed to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, which is the first entry point into the country on the Yucatan Peninsula.

We had posted updated on Facebook, which broadcast our position as we traveled across the Gulf Stream.

We are safe and sound in Isla Mujeres, and well rested after driving our boat for 67 hours straight. Lindsay and I did 4 hours shifts the entire way without stopping. We motored almost the entire way, using 98 gallons of diesel.

Here is the link to our Facebook page that has updates along our journey.

Repairing the Rudder: Part Two

Part one showed you how we removed the rudder from the catamaran while the boat was still in the water.
Now it is time to open it up and see what’s broken inside.

This video will describe how to cut open a rudder in a way that makes it easy to put back together again. It will also show you the repairs made to the metal parts and a couple of cool materials that I used to make it stronger than before.

Makara Maintenance: Part One – Getting hauled out and being held hostage in the travel lift. Off to a bad start.

The first of many video blogs (vlogs) about our silly boating adventures aboard MAKARA. This one is the first in the series of a major (expensive) maintenance program that addresses several issues related to the vessel’s age.

Please be aware that we are giving you the day-by-day reality of shock over prices, disappointment in other people, general let-downs in situations and some of the profanity that ensues.

These are the shitty days in paradise. Sorry.

Blackish to Brackish: The Beauty of the Bull Rush

This is a spring called Three Sisters in Crystal River. Springs are fed from rain water that is filtered through the ground and as the pressure builds up it gets pushed back to the surface. That is one way that nature filters water until its clean.

So the locals organized and preserved the property from development. In 1994 Jacque Cousteau filmed “Forgotten Mermaids” here, and now the  Dept. of the Interior owns it. Pretty cool.

We rode this trolley that was made decades ago out of cast iron and merry-go-round parts to get out to this refuge so we could walk around and learn something.

My parents were interested in taking us to see Manatees on the Three Sisters Springs, but it was not the right time of year for that.

So I’m guessing that there were at least ten of these diesel-spewing monsters made.

I think Dad’s having a nice time but his mouth doesn’t know it.

We got a guide that was retired from the Dept. of the Interior, who volunteers a couple times a week to talk about the local wetlands project. We walked around the newly created wetland, which is a successful experiment in cleaning the nutrients out of runoff water.

Here is what water looks like when you and I are done with it. This is the water that comes into this very small wetland for cleaning.

The Bull Rushes were hand planted a year ago. They’re thriving.

The birds came almost immediately afterward.

Blue swamp iris. That’s wild.

The birds eat the Apple snails that are plentiful here.

Remember, this is just over a year old.

This is a Lantana. Also wild.


A reminder of Scotland for Lindsay.

Towards the end of the small wetland the water ran clear.

This is Northwest Florida, called the nature coast. It’s hasn’t been developed with condos like the rest of the State.

One of the springs. I’m told the manatees love the steady temperatures here in the winter. Me too.

Nobody there could identify this orange stringy plant.

We’re coming back next year when the gulf is colder so we can swim with manatees!