2014-12-21 “It was bound to happen sooner or later…”


First though we had to get out of Miami and get on our way to Marathon in the Florida Keys. On the way out of Key Biscayne though we passed Stiltsville which is part of the Biscayne National Park. Read the history here, its very interesting.



I was saying it was bound to happen well as we arrived at Rodriquez Key which is halfway to Marathon I noted a small rust stain on the front of the heat exchanger on the Yanmar main engine. Definitely not a good thing…..


Did I mention that there is not much around Rodriquez Key so we really had no choice but to head on down the keys to Marathon where we would be able to get mechanic help.


Luckily we made the transit without incident but there was a fair amount of salt spray wanted to get the cleaned up and everything flushed with fresh water.


As it turned out the housing really just died of old age and having salt water pumped through it.


Did you know that BOAT actually is actually an abbreviation? It is short for “Break Out Another Thousand” which is also called a BOAT unit. So after a couple of BOAT units Magnolia is healed!



We are not going far, just a mile or so to the mooring field well we will hang out for the holidays. Magnolia and crew would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and whatever it is you do, be safe cause the new year is coming!

2014-12-15 Palm Beach, Miami & GenIV

Magnolia departed Stuart FL headed south on the Intracoastal Waterway towards Palm Beach with some of the most expensive real-estate in the country. Perhaps that explains why 2-300HP engines are not enough and there MUST be 3! One of those are you kidding me moments!


The passage from Lake Worth to Miami is about 65 miles which is right on the edge of completing in daylight hours particularly with the shortened winter days of December. To avoid rushing to make a daylight entrance into Miami Magnolia made the passage down the ICW during daylight hours and then anchored just inside Lake Worth Inlet. The crew took a couple hour knap and just before sunset we got underway for an overnight passage to Miami comfortable we would be departing and arriving in the light.


Our friends and mentors Ty & Suzanne owned a boat name Liberty which they sailed on the east coast and then across the Atlantic as far east as Turkey. “Taia” below was once known as Liberty and is now sailed my a wonderful family with young children aboard. Lovely people whom we met in the Abacos last fall. We ran across them as we were headed to our anchorage near Lake Worth Inlet and as they arrived from Saint Augustine.


After our knap and boat preperations we were off but first be had to share the inlet with  another private yacht, though much different and BIGGER than Magnolia!

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The picture below was taken about 1 mile off shore as we headed out into the ocean for our over night hop. It really is nice and MUCH safer to be offshore. There is nothing to bump into (not that much anyway) and you don’t worry too much about shallow water!


We arrived Miami without incident and as planned finding a nice anchorage right on the west side of Miami Beach.



The big motivation to visit Miami was visit with cousin and fellow GenIV Kyle McAndrews. Consequently the Admiral directed her barge be brought around so she could head into town. (Truthfully Annette’s dinghy is called “Blossom”, Magnolia  “Blossom”, get it?) Smile


We met Kyle for Sunday Brunch walked down to the beach followed by a Mojito or two at an outside café at the Lincoln Street pedestrian mall. It was a non-stop gab fest of catching up and enjoying  perfect Sunday afternoon. 



It was looking like a perfect sunset was coming so we hopped in Blossom and enjoyed the sky as the sun set behind downtown Miami.




We really enjoyed our visit and always great to catch up with family.  We will be getting underway to Key Biscayne and then on down the Florida Keys to Marathon Florida later in the week. Vessel and Crew are well!

2014-12-12–Bahamas House–Stuart, FL–Mack Pack

After 17 days (yes 17 days in place!) it was time to get on the move but before we could we really wanted to catch up with our friend John. We had a one day overlapping stay in Vero so it was a must do. I met John many years ago when I walked up to his Bed & Breakfast on Harbour Island and asked if he had a room. I suspect I am one of the few who showed up with no reservation. No matter over the years I returned and later Annette and I both spend time at his terrific place! We even met out friends Mims and Vicki ( http://a2baker.com/magnoliablog/?p=3487) there! John has sold Bahamas House and so we will have to keep the great memories we have!


Annette enjoying the holiday lights at the Vero Beach Yacht club.


There are portions of the ICW which are really shoaling which forces us to pass these areas at high tide. To make high tide at the St Lucie Magnolia needed to be underway at first light.


It was more like before dawn when we actually got underway!


Well on our way as the sun rose.


Magnolia made a port visit to Stuart primarily to have her sail cover replaced. Below is the old cover which could at time be a challenge to store the main sail….


First we needed to remove the main sail and existing cover. The sail was taken to Mack Sails sail loft for inspection.



The below pages are really for me so I don’t loose the measurements if we ever need to replace the existing sails.



This is the new Mack Pack Sail cover installed.


Finally a little shot of laundry day and a double dose of CNBC on television (I listen most days on XM).


Tonight 12-13 December Magnolia will make an overnight hop down to Miami to visit my cousin and fellow GenIV Kyle McAndrews. Very much look forward!

2014-12-04 Busy Times in Vero Beach, FL & A LOT of FUN!

You can always tell when Magnolia has been anchored through some not so nice weather. There is always a project completed and this time it was not MY doing! The Admiral is a little partial to red as you might have guessed. Annette previously made the pillows with the letter “B” flag embosomed. That was not enough though so now we have red sport seats that really make the cockpit pop!


The mooring field at Vero Beach is protected 360 degrees, the bus system in town is absolutely free and it is just and easy place to be and replenish “ships stores.”


We were also welcomed by our friends Bert & Prudence from Mansfield, OH. The 4 of us have spent time together all the way up and down the coast from Maine to Georgetown Bahamas and it is always great to catch up.


Since we had a rental car and a little time we got a start on our provisioning before heading to the Bahamas. No there is no beer in that pile, just $500 from Walmart. The beer requires its own dinghy trip!!! Smile


We have been looking forward to our trip to NJ to be with our friends Jack & Kathy Tennar in New Jersey sadly we would not fly till Thanksgiving morning so we were “skyped” in for the Wednesday festivities! 


My friend Jack Tennar is also from Ohio, he grew up in Marion. His brother Ted, daughter Trista and wife Tina also came over from Ohio to celebrate the holiday. Jack and Kathy along with Christina and Caitlen had a house full and made is feel so welcome!


To work off some of Thursdays turkey we took a field trip to Cape May and visited the light house there. Those 200 steps to the top sure helped work off some of that dinner.


Annette & Caitlen making their way to the top.


We flew from Philadelphia back to Orlando and on the way back to Magnolia we stopped and visited with Ty & Suzanne Giesemann. You might recall Ty & Suzanne are the ones who got us started with sailing. Please read: “2013-11-05 Dealers, Enablers, “What is Possible”, All in 5 YearsSuzanne is also a heck of a writer and had written on many subjects. My personal favorite “Its Your Boat Too” and Annette is in the middle of “Wolf’s Messages.” It is always great to catch up and assure them we have not yet killed ourselves or anyone else as we make our way.



While we were traveling I received one of my favorite pictures. I am one of the older “Generation IV Steinke’s.” I wish I knew off the cuff how many GenIVs there are but rest assured there are tons! My Godson Leo is actually one of the younger ones! None the less below are a few of the Washington GenIVs. I cannot help smile when I see pictures like below. They all such nice hard working people it makes be proud to be a GenIV!


I gave Magnolia’s water-line a good scrubbing this morning. We have been on the mooring for a couple weeks and things start to grow! We start moving again this Sunday and I for one am ready! We want to make down to see GenIV Kyle in Miami before he heads off for the holidays so there is no time to loose!


2014-12-01 Vero Beach, FL…..and yes know..behind again!

Sadly a continuing problem of lots going on and not many pictures to tell the story. The below is almost self explanatory. Back at the Pine Island anchorage I thought I allowed the grill cover to blow away during a storm. I was PO’d at myself enough that I had to make the replacement. Adding insult to injury I later discovered that the cover had NOT blown over and it was right where it was suppose to be. Smile I did repurpose the cover for some dinghy related items.


The Admiral seems to really like her Hartges Yacht Harbor Ball Cap, I think its mostly because its red.


One of the not to miss occasion was the Seven Sea Cruising Association (SSCA) annual “Gam” in Melbourne FL. Since I was ignorant of the meaning till a couple years ago:

Gam:  “ a visit or friendly conversation at sea or ashore especially between whalers.”


This is the friendly conversation part!


BTW, Magnolia is fully equipped vessel, complete with “Man Cave” which the Admiral lets me out of occasionally!



While we were at the GAM we made arrangements to have our old main-sail cover replaced. As you can see the current one is really stuffed with our fully battened main. This leads to making it REALLY hard to store the sail which further leads to not suing the sail at EVERY opportunity, which leads to more fuel consumption…..

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Next update will be soon with news from Vero Beach and Thanksgiving celebrations! Be Safe – Magnolia’s crew!!