Travels of SV Far Niente

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We have decided to sell our beloved Far Niente. Not an easy decision. We've sailed her from Maine to the southern Bahamas. She is outfitted with the best of everything and is being offered "turn key", just add crew and go. The equipment list (two pages long) and vessel description are available to interested parties.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Dinghy Chaps by Diana

Endless days and years of sunshine breaks down the best of fabrics. Our 10'6" AB Lite is the best dinghy we've ever owned and we want it to last a long time, so Diana decided to undertake the project of making covers for the dinghy tubes.

Note the custom drink holders and the anchor and rode bag in the bow!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blue Hole on Long Island, Bahamas

This is touted to be the deepest blue hole in the world at 600+'. It's unusual, not only because of it's depth, but you can wade out from the beach in knee deep water to it's edge and then...WOW!

There are international freediving championship meets held here every year. It's interesting to watch these young men and women from all over the world (without an ounce of body fat) compete.

We watched a young fellow with one fin attached to both feet (think mermaid tail) free dive to almost 400'! Most impressive.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


We are currently anchored in Thompson Bay, Long Island, Bahamas. I discovered this washed up on shore and decided to investigate. As I approached it began to "hum" causing me to turn and run! Today I charged up my Phaser and returned to the scene. I called out for ET but he didn't answer and I went in for a closer look. What I assumed was an alien spacecraft turned out to be a small submarine. Sadly it was anchored when a storm blew through and smashed upon the rocks.
It has been a cool and windy season so far this winter season with many cold fronts. Another is due to arrive tonight with winds forecasted 20 to 25 gusting 30+ with squalls. I expect we'll be "boat bound" for a couple days then hopefully we'll head over to the Jumentos for a month or so.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

We departed Vero Beach on Saturday, November 28th around 8 AM headed towards the Ft. Pierce inlet. Within minutes of entering the ICW, I engaged the autopilot and it immediately blew the breaker.

As we hand steered to Ft. Pierce, I wracked my brain as to what could be the cause. Shortly before we arrived the lightbulb in my head lit up. The old adage "what did you work on last" hit me. While installing the AIS system I had upgraded the buss bar that provides connecting points for several wires.

We dropped anchor in Ft. Pierce and I dove back into the aft cockpit locker to re-check my work. It didn't take me long to discover my mistake! I had inadvertantly misconnected one of the wires which supplies power to the autopilots drive unit. I corrected the wiring and we raised anchor and went out the inlet into the ocean. Our original plan was to proceed to the Lake Worth area and turn east and cross to Luycaya, Bahamas. Once in the ocean I engaged the autopilot and it blew the breaker again! Not good.

As we again hand steered south I read the manual and discovered a warning. "DO NOT ground the course computer"! It seems that when I mis-connected one of the wires that provides power to the drive unit, it in fact acted as a ground, frying the circuit board in the course computer. Not good!

Along the way we decided we were not going to cross until we had the autopilot working. We arrived at Lake Worth that evening in the dark and picked our way into the anchorage and dropped the hook. The next day my friend Bill from Veranda came over and doubled checked what I thought to be the problem and confirmed I was about to pay the price for a self-inflicted wound! I hate that.

I called Raymarine (the manufacturer) and discussed getting the computer repaired. They said "sure, send it in and within 4-6 weeks we'll get it back to you". 4 to 6 WEEKS! That won't work for us. I then attemped to buy a new replacement mother board only to find out they didn't have one. They only repair, not replace. CRAP!

Winding up this tale of woe, West Marine in Lauderdale had a new upgraded computer in stock...the X-30. The X must stand for Xtra expensive! Good fortune finally gave us a break as we learned that a friends son, who crews on a Mega Yacht was in a marina about a mile from where we were anchored....and he had a car!

Brian graciously loaned it to us and off we went. We returned to the boat with the new computer and a much lighter wallet. A weather window presented itself on December 1 and rather than install the new computer we headed for Ft. Lauderdale. We picked up a mooring ball that afternoon and said hello to our friends Bob and Mary Lou on Cygnus who also were there. The following day I installed the computer and did the basic programming. We were finally good to go.

Thursday morning we caught the 5AM opening of the 17th bridge and head for Bimini. Seas and winds were light in the morning but steadily built through out the day.

We arrived in Bimini On Thursday, December 4 about 4:30PM. It was our first time here and clearing Customs and Immigration has never been easier. We took a slip at Bimini Blue Water marina which is also a very nice facility. I expect we'll depart here tomorrow, December 7 and head for the Tongue of the Ocean and then proceed south.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

After six months on the hard, Far Niente is in the water again. She's a happy lady sporting all new canvas (by Diane), fresh bottom, all shined up and is anxious to head over to the Bahamas for the winter season.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A real fish story.

We were sailing in the southern Bahamas this past spring, having left the Jumentos headed for Long Island, Bahamas. Our charts showed that the water was several thousand feet deep and I had two rods rigged and fishing. I heard one reel start screaming as line was running out and I jumped up and began to increase the drag. Of course the fish hit on the rod with the smaller of my two reels. I tightened the drag as tight as it would go and finally slowed the outrun of line and began to work the fish. I didn't know what it was, but I knew it was big! We slowed the boat down and I began to slowly work the fish back towards the boat. Then, surprisingly, it started trying to circle behind the boat! I never had a fish do that before. Diane was at the helm and I told her "give me 90 degrees to port". As she turned the boat, the fish continued trying to circle the stern. For the next hour and a half, I fought the fish and Diane drove the boat in circles! I finally got it along side and grabbed the gaff. The fish, a Mahi Mahi, was on it's side and I was not aware of the girth of this monster. I have a medium sized gaff and when I gaffed him and got him on the foredeck, the first thing I noticed was the gaff did not go all the way thru. About the time that Diane was handing me the rubbing alcohol to squirt in his gills, he literally exploded! Violently thrashing on the deck, I mean 3 or 4 feet off the deck! The power he had amazed me. I jumped up on the cabin top to escape his trashing and in a flash he was free of the gaff and escaped under the lifelines. He then broke my 100# steel leader and was gone (along with my cedar plug). Diane estimated that he was at least 5 foot long and I figured he went a good 75#. What an adventure! I realized, afterwards, that I was totally unprepared to land a fish of that size and strength. The good news is he probably lived. I hope so. He left not one drop off blood on the deck, so the gaff had not done any major damage. I'm going back this winter and will attempt to make his aquaintence again.