How to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in this world is what New Horizons is all about. Please check out our website at www.newhorizonsofswfl.org We provide educational opportuinities for at-risk children in Southwest Florida. We are able to provide humanitarian aid to our Caribbean neighbors with our 68-foot cargo schooner, "Star of the Sea." The schooner is also used as a teaching tool for the "Call to Adventure" program that mentors young men at sea.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Star of the Sea Comes Home






After a month of hard work the schooner returned to Naples on December 1, 2011. I would like to thank Mr. Wayne Huizenga Jr. and the crew at Rybovich Boatyard North for all their help in our recent bottom job. New friend and volunteer Kevin came in on two occasions and helped with the black hull painting and the nasty task of shoveling up 4 tons of coal slag dust after the hull had been blasted, not a fun day! I would also like to thank Bill and Sea Hawk Premium Yacht Finishes for their generous donation of the material needed to perform the maintenance. We used Sea Hawk two part epoxy and anti-fouling bottom paint to complete the job. I am very impressed with the performance of their products! The epoxy is a high build formula that allows for thick coatings with fewer layers, and the ablative anti-fouling paint will provide years of protection from underwater critters. In an answer to prayer, a generous donor came forward and provided the money needed to pay for the coal slag blasting and other associated costs incurred while on the hard. It was a long month, I put over 3,000 miles on Ellen's car traveling from Bonita Springs to Rivera Beach and for the times that I stayed in Rivera Beach for multiple days at a time I want to thank Rick and Shelly for hosting me in their beautiful home. I'm looking forward to the upcoming Call to Adventure trip over the Christmas holiday. We are sailing with some teen boys from the New Horizons Teen Program. We hope for them to receive their scuba certification on this trip. Former crewman to Haiti, Zach Griffin, will be joining on this trip as first mate. We need donations to feed the boys on this trip so if you haven't already made a charitable donation for 2011 please consider this opportunity.
Have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year! Capt Bob

Great Product Equals Great Bottom Job!










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Friday, November 18, 2011

Still on the hard



The schooner has been out of the water for a month now and I'm looking forward to splashing her soon! When we hauled out all looked good until the pressure washer started peeling back the epoxy barrier coat (separates the steel from the anti-fouling paint). The barrier coat had failed from age more than anything else but to reapply the bottom has to be blasted to prepare the steel. The whole process is very expensive and my donated bottom job had turned into a real concern. Standing firm in prayer is all I can do......and did.....what a blessing when a generous donor came forward to help with the yard expenses and Sea Hawk Paints has donated all the material!!! I hope to have her coated by Thanksgiving and home the following week. Talk about a reason to give thanks this year................ I have many! Capt. Bob




Saturday, October 15, 2011

Re-fit time for Star of the Sea



The schooner is now on the hard in West Palm Beach for a much needed re-fit. Mr. Wayne Huizenga Jr., owner of the Rybovich Superyacht Marina, has generously donated a bottom job for the Star. As you may know rust never sleeps so I've been grinding and sanding for the past two weeks. I've been very impressed with the facility and crew at Rybovich, everyone has gone out of their way to be helpful. Plans are already in the works for the next trip to Cat Island and Haiti. Hurricane Irene devastated most of Cat Island but Brother Moss reports that the orphanage sustained light damage with some missing windows and gutters being the worst of it. My mom and sister have organized a sewing effort to make 200 dresses and 200 pairs of shorts for delivery on the next trip! The young men in the Call to Adventure program are now studying to receive their scuba diving certification. We will be sailing to the keys for their open water check dive over the Christmas Holidays. Until then the Star has several fundraising commitments to fulfill and an all girl overnight sail in November with my wife Ellen and Sarah Egner a marine biologist at Marine Lab and co founder of EcoKeys LLC of Key Largo. Please consider New Horizons of Southwest Florida in your year end giving. We rely on your support to continue our work with those in need. Capt. Bob



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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Call to Adventure






The schooner hadn't even had time to grow a barnacle before she was off on a new adventure with some young men from the Super Teens program. Ricardo, Luis, Brandon, Juan, and Javier along with hired first mate James Derby came together as a top notch crew. We sailed to Charlotte Harbor and picked deep anchorages each night so the guys could show off their diving skills! Using the Beatitudes as our teaching guide, our daily Bible study came alive in the marine environment. All of these young men have been in the program since they were in the first grade, now in high school they make Ellen and I proud of the young men they are becoming. Many thanks to those whose financial support made this Call to Adventure possible!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

26'06" North 81'47" West


We arrived home early on the 14 th of July. Star of the Sea performed beautifully on this voyage and I'll be getting her ready for "A Call to Adventure" trip this coming week. A Call to Adventure seeks to help guide young men in finding and developing their natural talents in a challenging nautical environment. Our mission trip to Cat Island and Lle a Vache would not be possible without the generous donations from many of you. Thank you for making this important work possible and many thanks to those who pray for our safety and the success of the voyage!
Capt. Bob


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homeward Bound






We got underway at Port Morgan and left the harbor under full sail. The trade winds had moderated enough for us to enjoy a 8-9 kt reach for the first part of the day. The afternoon rains gave way to a long night of lightning and rumbling. We passed the eastern point of Cuba around dinner time the second day and we were well into the Old Bahama Channel before the swell died.
David kept us well stocked in Dorado which were cooked several ways, the crews favorite being pan fried with blue cheese tatar sauce and lime! By the time we reached Cayo Lobo lighthouse off the coast of Cuba the wind was dying and we started the iron genoa and motorsailed all the way to the Florida Keys, crossing under the Channel 5 Bridge at 10:15 on July 13. Home port tomorrow!


video

Final day on Cow Island





It was time to get the schooner ready for the long ride home and we spent most of the day checking all systems, changing oil in the main engine and generator, looking over the rig looking for chafe and securing SID our new deck tree, I'll include a picture of SID coming aboard but you'll have to get the story from Pastor Dave! We attended the afternoon soccer game that was for the championship of the island, which ended in controversy with the visiting team walking off the field and getting into their boat for the sail home.....quite funny. Villeme gave us 6 large spider crabs for dinner and we put a tarp down at dinner time to catch some of the flying crab being broken open with a hammer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cow Island






I had never had the chance to explore Lle a Vache before and when it dawned on July 6th the trade winds were howling above 30 kts and the forecast was for high seas and winds for two more days, I figured now was my chance to get to know the island. The village of Cacor (ca-ah-coc) is across the harbor from Port Morgan and the home for Villeme our translator. We had given Villeme the responsibility of providing clean water for his village using the two Sawyer gravity feed filtration buckets that were donated by Capt. John Puig of Naples. After set up and instruction we set off on a hike across the island to Abaka Bay. Lle a Vache is known to Haitians as the Hidden Treasure and our hike confirmed the beauty of the island. Even with all it's problems, this little corner of Haiti shows a lot of promise.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 5th






With a successful first day behind us today we concentrated on discharging the rest of the cargo, cleaning the schooner interior and granting the crew some shore leave. Port Morgan was very generous with us, granting us access to their salt water pool and giving the crew some time to get their land legs back. A local fisherman who we had brought a used sail for brought us a dozen lobsters in appreciation for the sail. Our Spanish friend Alen, the master of the paella, came aboard to create a lobster paella. Solo sailor and founder of the Ocean's Watch organization, Donna Lange, sailed into Port Morgan with a solar oven and composting toilet project to administer. Donna is also a professional musician and her presence at dinner brought with it a guitar, steel drum, flute and harmonicas. With Sharky on the five gallon bucket, Dave on guitar, and Donna on the steel drum the schooner was rockin.


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Sister Flora's Orphanage






The tone on the island was much better now than in December when the cholera was rampant. Life wasn't as strained as before and the stress level drop was very obvious. I searched out Father John, the priest who had set up the cholera treatment facility, he told me that on my previous visit the disease was at it's peak and that 1 in 10 residents had contracted cholera and 23 had died during the outbreak. There were no active cases on the island at this time and we exchanged contact information for further work together. The children at Flora's place were happy and looked healthy. If you ever thought that the Kids Against Hunger program didn't save lives, look at these photos and know that donated food is all these kids have to eat. They are just now finishing the food that we brought in December and this new shipment will get them thru the rest of 2011. It breaks your heart to visit this facility but I'm so thankful for Flora and her staff without whom these children would be just another statistic of the heart break that Haiti can be.