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.


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!


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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.

lle a vache, Haiti




We dropped sail in Abaka Bay and once again entered Port Morgan just before sunup. Within 20 minutes my friend and translator Villeme came paddling out in a dugout to meet us. Within another 20 minutes he had made the arrangements for Sister Flora's panga to arrive within the hour to start the offloading of food and medical materials for the orphanage that Flora runs in the village of Madame Bernard. What a blessing it was to have the offload go so smoothly. By early afternoon Flora's place had received 4 tons of food, diapers, powered milk, medical supplies, and the stuffed animals that my Mom had made. David and I spent some time with Flora and the kids before returning to Port Morgan to arrange for 2 tons of food to go to an orphanage on the mainland in a town called Petite Rivere. I purchased 20 gallons of gas so the panga from Sister Flora would transport the 2 tons across the bay to the mainland, saving the schooner from having to deliver and keeping our location hidden.

Inagua to the south side of Haiti




At first light weather conditions had moderated a bit and we were underway by 0700. We had a sporty ride down to the entrance of the windward passage highlighted by David's short battle with a marlin. Our 50 lb test line was no match for this king of the ocean, in my old line of work we would have called this a Zinnng Poww, that's what it sounds like anyway! The prevailing swell found it's way far into the bight of Haiti so we had a rollee night at best. By the following midday we had worked down to Cape Tiburon on the South arm of Haiti. Rounding the corner it was back to bashing to windward against the trade winds. At Point Grotueax I took over the helm from a tired crewman and tacked over on a course for lle a vache.

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Great Inagua Standby



The weather forecast called for 8-12 ft seas and 30+ knots of wind, I've been in this same area with these conditions before and with a boat full of food and a crew that was still a little green I decided to wait out the night and see what the morning would bring (much to the relief of the crew!) I again encountered Brother Carl who invited the crew to his house for dinner. We listened to some recorded music that Carl had sung many years ago as his nephew Louis cooked dinner for us. After a wonderful meal Carl brought out his Bible and led a beautiful devotion for us from II Corinthians. In his 80's now, Brother Carl still does one on one ministry with some local men who are facing the problems of today, we were able to meet several of the men over the course of the evening and we all felt honored to share some time with this mighty man of God. Upon return to the schooner we saw that the mailboat was getting ready to leave and we took bets as to how he would maneuver to miss us on the way out

Cargo loading, Great Inagua





We arrived at 0430 and dropped anchor for a bit of sleep before entering the port to load the food bound for Haiti. You'll remember from the last voyage in December 2010 that this is the harbor with the terrible surge and all the dock lines that we snapped. Summer weather patterns are quite different from the winter and we had no problems with surge while moored here. Word gets around an island quickly and we weren't tied up for more than 30 minutes before Brother Carl found me and once again helped with the customs transshipment bond. Morton Salt Bahamas again donated the use of their equipment to transport from the customs warehouse to the dock. A Bahamian by the name of Micheal from Andros Island stopped by and helped hand load the 7 tons of cargo bound for lle a vache. Just as we were finishing our loading we saw the mailboat on the horizon and we tightened the after springline so she wouldn't clip our bowsprit on her way into the same little harbor. As you can see in the picture there is only room for two vessels on the concrete wall (barely). Cargo loading complete I purchased some diesel at $7.35 a gallon........
and started looking at a weather plan for our Windward Passage leg.

Provo to Great Inagua




Our last days in Provo went by quickly and when a weather window developed we quickly said our thank yous and pointed the Star westward. On our last evening in port we had the pleasure of dining with the 2Gringos. It was a fun night and the crew is still trying to duplicate Polly's mango salad! Please check out their blog at www.2gringos.blogspot.com In the most recent edition of their blog they again devoted space to help bring awareness to what the Star of the Sea does. Thanks guys! We really appreciate the support!!
Bob Pratt at South Side Marina was a wonderful host as usual with his cruisers net in the morning and his great marina facility, thanks Bob! Can't forget Scooter and his gang over at Turtle Cove....... so many wonderful people in Provo. Well it was time to get underway and complete the second half of this mission so on the morning of the 28th we set sail for Great Inagua.