Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Key West - El Galeon arrives and we visit with Curtis Hoff

Our diver team from Down Under Bottom Cleaning - good guys
Today was "clean the bottom day" and our divers arrived around 9:00 am ready to start. The current rate seems to be $3/ft no matter how clean or fouled your bottom is. However, on the way north I wanted a clean bottom so I could do my usual 7.3 kts under power. Any fouling of the bottom slows down the boat a lot and we have a long way to go to reach Poughkeepsie, NY up the Hudson River. The zinc wasn't too bad since I had replaced it in January but part of the reason for that was the additional zinc I attached to the rigging and placed overboard. That zinc looks much worse than the one attached to the prop.

A very large ship!
Around noon El Galeon came into port. The ship is much bigger than I imagined. It's 171 feet long but seems overly tall. It originally carried 60 guns. The ship that arrived today is a reproduction but it's a 1:1 reproduction, a rare thing, most are scaled smaller to save cost. In seeing the ship in person at the dock, you are stunned by the shear size of the vessel. It's not just the length but also the height, it towers over everything in the harbor.

I liked the "back porch"
I bought tickets to tour the boat on Thursday. We had a chance to do that when it was in St Augustine but I'll not miss the chance this time. The original boat was launched in 1698 and I'm sure it was an impressive, state-of-the-art ship at the time.

Curtis and Melanie Hoff - nice couple
Later in the evening we went over to see Curtis and Melanie Hoff for wine on the back of his Trawler. They are just across the alleyway from El Galeon so they have a first row seat. It's great fun sharing stories on boating. Meanwhile we are starting to get serious about looking at the weather for a good window to head east. We hope to make Marathon the first day and then move on to Caesar's Creek followed by a sail up Biscayne Bay to Marine Stadium by Miami. Of course, that's only the plan and only if the weather holds, weather becomes paramount shortly.


Anonymous said...

As a Beneteau owner, I have followed your blog for a while. We will be heading north to the Chesapeake Bay in a couple of weeks on our 373 Beneteau, Vixen.

Terri and Larry
sv Vixen
Jacksonville. FL

Bob423 said...

Hi Terri and Larry,

We currently plan on leaving Monday for Marathon. If you're in the area, drop by.

Anonymous said...

We are at our home in Jacksonville. We will leave here around the 6th for the Chesapeake. Hope to see you when you head north, we will take our time and follow spring north. We spent March and April 2015 at Stock Island Marina. Stayed home this March to haul Vixen for new bottom paint and do some spring maintenance around the house. Look forward to seeing you on the water.


Unknown said...

$3.00 per foot to clean the bottom - David will be bringing his tanks and wetsuit when we head south next year.. That's the cost of a NICE dinner out!

Bob423 said...


Yes it is but it's the going rate in Key West. It's cheaper in Titusville.