Monday, March 19, 2012

It doesn't matter how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich.

I'm going to quote that saying to the Bank of Montreal when I get home from my trip and see what they think! hahaha

The Old Man "feeling" the tiller as we sailed up to The Bitter End, Virgin Gorda

A family vacation to that will not be forgotten! We sailed from one side of the US Virgin Islands all the way to the edges of the British side. We snorkelled, combed the beaches, ate together, drank together, slept right beside each other and most importantly, laughed together. We all agreed it had been over 12 years since we were on our last family vacation with all four family members together. This time we had the pleasure of one more. Now, let me tell you about this little man. For the first few days we set the sails and watched little Riley sitting in Lindsay's arms to see how he was going to react to his new sailing lifestyle. And it was perfect. After pulling anchor Riley would gaze off into the the distance and instantly fall asleep. He would wake up a few hours later at our next anchorage, point to land and say with a broken english baby voice (that only Lindsay really understands) "BEACH". He loved the beach! He ran up and down, in and out of the water, inside the beach bar and out again, up wooden ramps, down wooden ramps, and always followed by Lindsay close behind with a smile on her face and a hand full of toys or anything else Riley dropped along the way. So Riley mostly slept on LB while sailing for the first few days. Then on the last few he decided to stay awake. He watched as I ran up and down the decks pulling ropes and raising sails. to my amazement the little guy began helping out. I would turn around and he would be pulling ropes and giving orders. He would throw both of his hands in the air and yell"UP" as I put the sails up and "DOWN" while I took them down. We would get into port and he would say "DONE" with a huge grin on his face. I'll tell you, I'm not sure what I will do without him for the next few weeks. Just a great little dude with a lot of potential. Much love Riley, you are the man!
Mom hanging out on the main boom as we motored down to Cruz Bay.

Not sure what Riley was pointing at but this shot was taken early one morning in Sopper's Hole as I went in for a coffee run.
This shot is a treasure for sure!

Early morning cookie!

The Old Man getting some "alone time" on his Zodiac.

Riley's mad at the banana because it was not in his mouth! Lindsay would say with a calm voice, "Yes, Riley's mad". The rest of us would try not to laugh in the background and encourage Riley. hehehe

Then he figured it out! hahahaha happy again!

Red Stripe. Jamaican beer.
We have this same shot on our last vacation. We would say "Smile Old Man" and he would reply "I am smiling" with a scowl on his face. Haha

Lindsay being an awesome mother. I must say, great work Lindsay. He's a handful sometimes. But man he is a cute little dude.
We sailed Lizzy Belle right through a pretty serious looking race with some huge sailboats from all over the world. The cool part was that their crew members were pulling cameras out and taking pictures of Lizzy Belle. She really is something special and not just to us.

Riley taking his first turn on the rudder. He would point off in a random direction and say, "that way" with a huge smile on his face.

Mom, happy to have the family together.

Good old Jiffy Pop. It is true. It is as much fun to make as it is to eat!

Riley realizing he can see himself in my camera lens. That kept him busy for a few minutes.

Riley driving the Zodiac looking like a "cool dude", as he would say.

That isn't Riley's Red Stripe on the left hand side.

I admire Riley when I think about how something as simple as pouring water from a watering can can make him laugh so hard.

Good times for sure!

The Old Man found the Pirate Bar on Norman Island. He fit in perfectly!

So did Riley!

Always smiling!

Riley with LB in the background.

I had to get a few shots with Riley and I. To Riley I became "Uncle Dude". I really like that name! Thanks Riley.

Lindsay and Riley taking Lizzy Belle back to the US Virgin Islands.

On our final sail we made Riley Captain of his own vessel. This is the sailing vessel Lindsay Welsford named after and purchased by Lindsay Welsford herself. She's a solid little boat with nice lines and only a draft of about half an inch. She's 5 inches long and made of solid Chinese plastic. It is a sloop designed vessel and made with the intentions of doing some serious offshore sailing. I imagine she will go on many voyages over the next few years, in and out of bath tubs, the kitchen sink, she will probably even get dropped in the toilet and possibly chewed on by Ella the family Black Labrador Retriever. But to Riley and his young super awesome imagination, she'll be crossing oceans and voyaging around the world. Riley and his Lindsay Welsford will discover new lands with interesting and fascinating creatures. Good luck on your adventures my little friend, if you ever need a solid crew member let me know and I'll stand by your side through the roughest seas. Thanks for joining us on Lizzy Belle, it was an honour to have you aboard. It was also an honour to have you pee on my right knee in the Zodiac at the Bitter End! hahahahaha see you soon!

Thank you to my family. I love you!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Straight up...Just good times with good people!

Sensible Cruising Designs, Francis Herreshoff...

Late night reading in my cabin.

When I first started exploring Lizzy Belle as a project two years ago John Steele who owns Covey Island Boatwork's in Riverport, Nova Scotia mentioned that I should read and buy this book. Not only does it outline the blueprints of the boat, how to rig an H28 ( Lizzy Belle's design), etc but it also speaks towards a proper, simple sailing lifestyle. I figured I would share a few passages with you guys as I find his writing speaks to this adventure and our sailing lifestyle.

"L. Francis Herreshoff created some great yacht designs. His designs are marked by clean, sweeping lines and a simplicity of hull and rig that shows that they have been drawn by a real artist. In each design, he strips away every nonessential and leaves the true elements of a masterpiece. His father, Nathanael G. Herreshoff, had this same genius, but whereas the work of the father emphasized engineering perfection, the work of the son emphasized artistic perfection."

Way to go Lizzy Belle! You are straight up just a spectacular legend!

Meet Chris Belts but Ol'Beltzie is what I call him. I met Ol'Beltzie back in 2003 when I first ventured down to Tyler Hill Camp in Pennsylvania. Not only has he become a great friend over the years but has also been a huge mentor for me and has had a huge positive influence on my life. Beltzie takes a few months every year to go backpacking through awesome countries all over the world including Thailand, Nepal, Italy and New Zealand. Now he has become a sailor. The pic above, his first job on LB...cutting potatoes.
To celebrate Ol'Beltzie's arrival we cooked up some marinated chicken wings with hot sauce and blue cheese. Super good on the little propane BBQ.

Francis Herreshoff: STOVES
"Eating to a great extent is sort of a mental process. You hear one say "I feel faint," and almost falter in his tracks, but after throwing a load on his stomach he feels revived just as if the food were instantly digested and assimilated, had made it's thirty-mile cruise of the circulatory system, and built up new muscle tissue, a process requiring hours if not days. We have so accustomed ourselves to eating at certain times that many are seriously upset by any change in the schedule. Even our domesticated animals have acquired our habit."

Ol'Beltzie asked me if I needed anything from the US. I asked for some beef jerky and he delivered for sure. 10 packs I think. I also believe they only lasted 3 days. Love that Jerky!
Also Chris ( I'm going to write Ol'Beltzie's first name for the rest of this blog because it seems easier to say than it is to take the time to type that name out ) works for a non profit organization in Washington, DC. He said he encourages his kids to try something new everyday and challenge themselves. As a role model he tries to do the same. Chris has never been sailing and said he isn't the strongest swimmer. Good on you buddy for being that guy to look up to!

Chris enjoying the his time on the water. We were heading through 10 foot swells that day. He took it all like a champ!
Starboard foot rails (not sure why this is underlined. I can't seem to figure out how to get rid of it. Any suggestions?)

I like going south. It always feels like we're going down hill. Ha

Heading out past Buck Island, USVI. 4 miles from land (stupid underlined text for no reason)
LB taking the waves like a champ.

We spent the night at a place called Cinnamon Bay in the National Park. Evan got a chance to swim and play with a wild dolphin while snorkelling. Also, we swam with a ton of Sea Turtle's here.
Gorgeous sunset. We couldn't ask for anything else besides watching something like this take place on LB.
Chris enjoying the evening.

We chilled out that evening and listened to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. I love these super chilled evenings on LB.

Francis Herreshoff: THE CABIN
"What a joy is a sweet smelling, spotless cabin, with all clothes neatly stowed high and dry. What a joy to sit in such a cabin under the soft glow of a kerosene lamp and study the chart for an even more snug and romantic cove than the one you are anchored in and lay a new course in regions even farther from the maddening crowds: places where men are sailors or farmers can converse directly with the gods and can feel the pulse of nature and tell what the weather is going to be without benefit of radio. I can, or I think I can, design a cabin plan for H-28 for those who want to go where the water is clean, the pine trees are green, and offshore breeze laden with ozone, and where breathing, living, and sailing are joys."

Super awesome to run into Michelle and Al from Lunenburg, NS. These guys own the Sail Loft on Second Peninsula and taught me everything I know about sewing sails. I will say that those skills aren't much compared to them but I always appreciate the help and the experience has come in handy. I couldn't ask for better friends and it was a pleasure to see them for a few days.

I took some shots of "Easy Listening" for them.
I like this one most definitely.
Another good one. Beautiful boat and well maintained by Al and Michelle.

Crashing through the waves.

Francis Herreshoff: CAMERAS
"If you throw the range finder and the exposure meter overboard, you will save yourself much time and worry and then may be able to get that picture before the subject disappeared forever."

Al bought Michelle a hammock for their boat. I was envious as soon as I saw it. Chris enjoyed the sunset again while chilling back with a swing on.

These guys were so great to us. They taught us the difference between a steak cooked on a propane BBQ vs a Charcoal one. Awesome steak and hot dogs guys. Thanks again for everything you add to life!
I had a mini slideshow for them of "Easy Listening" sailing through blue waters. They were very appreciative but deserve anything I can offer them. Al was super pumped on the pics!
Cheers to super awesome friends! I couldn't ask for more. Not sure where Doug and Robin Philps are but it seems like some people are missing in this photo! hehehe
Lizzy Belle. Taken from Michelle and Al's boat. My first photographs of her under sail with me on it. I'm crouched down on the stern shooting photographs back at them. The crew on Lizzy Belle pretty much sail shirtless wearing only a pair of shorts with a leather belt and a solid knife on our hips.

Francis Herreshoff: CLOTHES
"Of course dressing too perfectly is nearly as conspicuous as the swordfisherman's hat and almost as ridiculous, for if it is true that clothes make the man, then it is interesting to note which of our acquaintances can stand a patch or two and still be respectable. In other words, if clothes do make the man, then logic would seem that most of us are merely stuffed shirts."
I wanted to show you guys the original Certificate of Registry from 1968 when LB was built.
June 18th 1968
Built in Chester Basin, NS which is about a 30 minute sail from my folk's home in Mahone Bay.

I made a list of all the repairs that had to be completed before my family arrived. We booked a slip at Crown Bay Marina and spent three days working on LB. The entire community was super impressed by our efforts as was I in the spirit of my crew. Thanks Evan and Chris. I couldn't have done it without you guys. Much Luv for sure brothers!

Chris took off all of LB's blocks in her running rigging and sanded them by hand, prepped them and threw four coats of varnish on them in two and a half days.

Obviously Chris killed this job. They look great! These guys were Made in Canada, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and we're most definitely proud of it.

Evan spent a day and a half reinforcing the forestay again. It was frustrating work but he completely took care of the business. We had him harnessed in from the top of the main mast and could pull him up and down with the winches. Good work buddy!
Reinforcing Mary Gwen ( the winch ) as she was starting to pull out from under the deck. All good now!

Yeah that's right! Our new zodiac and propane powered 2.5 horsepower engine. This bad boy runs off all those little canisters you use for cooking when camping. Life is good today. Oh and side note: Both Kayaks were lost at sea and could not be recovered ( although Evan did not give up his Captainship on Old Yellow easily). I think I made that word up by the way...Captainship!

Evan enjoying the new gear. Get back to work man! hahahahaha
We met Kevin and Jenny way back in Viques, PR a few months ago and kept running into them along the journey. These guys mentioned they had a sewing machine onboard their boat and we decided it was time to run a few lines through our Jib Sail. Super great way to prevent problems before they happen. Thanks guys! See you back in the BVI's for sure. I thanked them over and over again, Kevin replied, "We are all in this together dude, no worries". Love the attitude!

Close up, so you guys can see what is happening here.

Evan all packed up and ready for my folks to arrive. Remember Mike and The Island Beachcomber Hotel? Well they took Evan in for the week and gave him a bed on Tiger Lady (that huge Catamaran in previous blogs) while my folks, sister and nephew join LB for a family vacation. Another straight up thank you to the Beachcomber for their awesomeness!

I'll write my full name for Chris out this time... Ol'Beltzie giving one last cheers at the airport on his way home to Washington, DC. No doubt my friend you will be missed and are one hundred precent invited back to Lizzy Belle next year for another adventure. Chris pulled sails, snorkelled over sunken ship wrecks and challenged himself like it was his last day on earth. A great roll model for his program back in Washington, DC and our kids at Tyler Hill Camp this summer and every summer to follow. Inspiring! No doubt about it! Good luck buddy and we will see you in a couple of months. Peace out Ol'Beltzie!

And then there was this guy! Riley Welsford Smith. Already a legend on Lizzy Belle as he was pulling ropes on LB way back on a cruise when he was three months old in Mahone Bay, NS (and by that I mean he was kinda not liking the wind at that age and spent some time with Lindsay, my sister, down in the galley). No worries little buddy. I figure by the age of two years old on day three you will be well on your way to working towards the First Mate position and by the 5th day we will be looking at "Captain Riley Welsford Smith". After all friends, this is what it comes down to...FAMILY!

Stay tuned... five family members, threeish/four beds, 28 foot boat and 10 days of great vacation time on Lizzy Belle.

"Your companions on a cruise has a far, far greater effect on the success of the venture than any cabin arrangement. Beware of those guests who board you with portmanteaus and sachels filled with shaving gear, sunburn lotion, and sports clothes. If they do ever unpack, the H-28 will look like a combination of an apothecary shop and second hand clothing store. They will spend most of their time on board pawing over bags looking for that gadget which although they don't know it, was left at home in the bureau where they will find it on their return. Watch out also for those females who are triced up and gasketed-in for if called on deck early they will be as good as a hermit crab snapped out of it's shell, which was built by another. But their are girls, god bless them, who can take it, are real companions and helpmates; who can stand a trick at the tiller or galley. That's the kind right up our alley."
Talk soon,
Dave Welsford (Now to be Deckhand), Riley Welsford Smith (The honorary Captain of Lizzy Belle), Barb Welsford (In charge of all "IT" problems), Old Man Welsford ( The guy that make sure it all runs smoothly for the next week). Wish us luck!

Francis Herreshoff: LAST WORDS
"Eat sensibly, don't get sunburned, for no berth is comfortable under those circumstances. Make the whole cruise and interesting game where you have pitted your wits against the elements: try to do everything in the best and simplest way; try to improve your technique each time; rest and relax whenever you can, for there are many occasions coming when you will need a well rested mind and body. If you cruise this way for a week in a small boat you will be greatly refreshed and strengthened, and if you go for a whole month or year you will feel like a Cydesdale stallion in the leafy month of May."