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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Location: Jupiter, Florida
Keith...
I want to be you when I grow up! Look forward to some stone crabs, sailing, fishing and camping with you next week. Great report...

Steve

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Slaughter, to be fair to the weather bureau, as the prevailing weather direction is from the west, the BOM there doesn't have the benefit of observations "upwind". I remember when I lived in Adelaide, weather forecasts were really accurate, as the weather had to first pass overland from Perth. The Tassie guys just have the Southern Ocean...

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:34 am 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
I'm not having a go at the weather bureau at all Tony. They do as good a job as they can possibly do with the information and data available. Rapid weather changes like that of our worst storm here, the Pasha Bulka weekend (pic below), were never predicted at all. Quite frankly, I never want to go through anything like that again.

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It's not BOM's fault. I get what you're saying, but Keith lives on the East coast, same as us, and is about the same distance from the equator as Brisbane-ites and I reckon they would love the luxury of an accurate weather forecast. Trouble is that the press here in Australia suddenly think they are the experts and try to out do each other by up-ing the predicted wind speeds and rainfalls etc. A few months back, throughout a storm period, the press quoted expected winds of 120km. I don't think it topped 50km's which wasn't that much different than BOM's prediction. Typical irresponsible reporting !

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Don't take life too seriously................it ain't permanent.


Last edited by Slaughter on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:29 am 
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Posts: 159
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Gorgeous trout, Keith. After my boys viewed your pictures last night, they asked to go fishing with you again. BTW, the children, including 2 yr old Perri, love your hakas. Thank you.

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2010 Hobie Tandem Island
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Thanks to everyone for the generous comments. They are deeply appreciated. If I inspire anyone, it is because I hope everyone will get the opportunity to use their AI/Tis to do similar trips and learn to appreciate the wonderful outdoors, especially National Parks. National Parks are our legacy. They are the mark of a true democracy.

@ NOHUHU—I’ve become very weight sensitive since I started using hakas. This recent 6-day trip was the last that I will carry that big cooler when traveling solo. Much too much weight. On solo trips, sautéed fish is out! I’m going back to my backpacking ways—actually, I’ve never done any backpacking, but I know their mind process and their attitude. On these trips, you NEVER use all your food. Frequently, you just have a snack (Lara bar, carrots) for lunch—why bother to make a sandwich for lunch? It just takes time from morning packing, and you don’t need it. So, don’t bring anything special for lunch. For breakfast, I frequently have a scone or sweet roll w/ Jet Boil hot water for coffee—quick and easy so you can begin packing. On my off days, I may have Egg Beater eggs w/ chopped onions & maybe a bit of cheese. For dinner, I keep it simple. I like Tasty Bites available at Costco and Whole Foods. I heat an open bag of Tasty Bites in my Jet Boil surrounded by boiling water, add a serving of pre-cooked rice, and maybe add some ham chunks. If I have some precooked broccoli, I add that. Do anything I can heat in the hot water of my Jet Boil. Simple. Carrots are frequently my “veggie.” Cabbage keeps well and, when chopped, makes a good salad w/ oil & Balsamic vinegar. Nancy and I call it Alaska Salad after we first used it there.

You never use all you water either. If it is cool, and you always scrimp on water like I do, you can probably get by easily on 3/4 gal/day. And, then, on a 3-4 day trip, your 1st and last days are travel days—you only use .5 gal on those days. So, on a 4 day trip, you only need about 2.5 gal/person—a careful person like me. Don't even talk about a rinse shower to me. Never done it, never will.

Navigation? I’ve done this trip 17 times. It has been 10 yrs since I last carried any charts of the area. I do carry my GPS and a lot of extra batteries. My GPS has several hundred waypoints which include key locations and fishing spots. I’ve been a sea kayaker a long time, and I am a straight-line paddler. That’s what I like to be in my AI. I also have routes on my GPS, and I am very comfortable editing them and making new ones on the fly, depending on the wind and the weather. While I could do the trip without my GPS, I like to take the shortest, fastest path between 2 points, and my GPS helps me do that. I have always protected my GPS with a dry bag—the latest is AquaPac type bags or their knockoffs. I've NEVER had a GPS quit on any trip.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:53 pm 
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Location: Lakeland and Anna Maria Island, FL
Keith - I'm looking forward to your trip report from this past week. The how much/how little to pack is a continual question in my mind. I was looking at my notes from our November trip and this stuck out: "A bit more wine. Less food. Frozen shrimp to use as bait or cook and eat."

I'm thinking about going to Cape Romano sometime in the next month. I'll do it solo if I can't find someone to go with me.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:22 am 
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Location: South Florida
I'll get back w/ you about that Cape Romano trip. Probably not a good idea to go there by yourself. The area still has a "frontier" or "wild west" atmosphere.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:27 am 
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Location: South Florida
First Enhancement of My Haka Table

When I first built my hakas with 3 boards and an aluminum frame (http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=240, scroll up/down until you find the haka construction post,) I liked the potential for replacing parts. Well, my first replacement has been the aka bumper strip on the haka I use for a table. I decided the table legs were too close together (9”) and could easily be widened while making the connection of the leg to the haka stronger. I simply replaced the bumper strip with one which was 3” wider on each side:
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The leg receptor is now attached to the aka bumper with a ¼” bolt rather than a short ¼” screw into the wood. The wider aka bumper allows the legs to be spaced 16.5” apart, rather than the 9” previously. I also strengthened the aka bumper by adding a 1.5”x1/8” aluminum bar along its base. The table is much more stable.

The new table:
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The old table design:
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Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:30 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Mid-North Coast offshore trip(s)

My visitor Sue is very keen to sail any or all of the following, singly or in combination. She has a 30 foot Toyota Coaster motorhome, which she envisages shuttling to a destination so civilisation is available.

Forster - Seal Rocks (return or stay o'night return next day)
Seal Rocks - Broughton (she has a contact with a member of a fishing club which has a hut on the Island)
Broughton - Nelson Bay
Nelson Bay - Newcastle

Inside alternative Myall Lake (launch at Bungwhal) to Hawkes Nest/Nelson Bay

Obviously the viability and safety of such trips increases with numbers in the fleet, but as a starting point, we would have my TI and her AI. We both have extensive offshore sailing experience.

Ideas please?

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Seats and Seats—WaterTribe EC2013

There were more or less 107 boats on the start line of this year’s Everglades Challenge. Every boat is unique, and probably every seat is also. I took some pictures of seats in Hobie Adventure Islands and few others. Here are some:
Dogslife had one of the simpler, more traditional seats. Like many seats, he has extended the back. Perhaps he can get by with a relatively traditional, high-back seat because he has a totally soften the boat with pool noodle foam. He did use a Hobie I-seat.

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This is JollyRoger’s bean bag seat. JollyRoger’s boat is not a Hobie, but he does have a number of Hobie parts (tandem mast & sail, akas, pedals). His custom-built boat has high free-board and this seat will probably work fine; although it would not be suitable for an AI or tandem.

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This is Chief’s seat. It is a traditional Hobie seat with an I-seat. In addition, he has mounted it well above the traditional seat location. He is certainly not going to be setting in water. With his dry suit, he should be fairly comfortable.

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CaptnChaos (aka Jim Quinlan) has a custom high-back with an I-seat cushion. With his dodger, he ought to be pretty comfy.

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I’m not sure who this seat belongs to, but again it has a high back anduses a Thermarest air mattress. If owner could easily convert it to his sleeping mattress, that would be a real plus and space-saver.

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Lastly, I’ve got a couple traditional boat captain chairs. The first sits on top of an elevated base. It will keep the owner from sitting in water and looks pretty comfortable.

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The second Captain’s chair seat is in this tandem. It has Hobie pedals and a lot of freeboard. I didn’t notice at the time, but this looks like a Klepper folding kayak. I don’t know how they are fitting the Hobie pedals in since the Klepper has a Hypalon (rubberized) bottom.

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I like these Captain chairs since they boost you pretty high, and they look pretty comfortable, but weight could be a problem.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:16 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
LOVE those options. Thanks Chekika. I'm shopping around for a waterproof bean bag right now!

Jim's backrest was great too. I noticed that Capt Chaos was the only one openly displaying a personal safety leash, and if he actually wore it, I want to give him a great big Hawaiian Hobie hug for that!

Walkin the walk,.. way to go. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:48 am 
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Location: South Florida
A Trip to Pavilion-- WaterTribe EC2013, Haka Table, Choppers, Rough Waters, and a Good Time

This trip really started at the WaterTribe 2013 Everglades Challenge at Ft Desoto near St. Petersburg, FL. I drove there from Miami on Friday to take pictures and watch as people prepped their small boats and themselves for the 280-mile trek along coastal SW Florida down to Key Largo. It is called a “Challenge” but it has become an adventure race. Competitors have 8 days to finish the race, but most will finish in 4-6 days. It is a grueling undertaking, which requires the competitor finishing in 6 days to make about 47 mi/day. If you aim to finish in 5 days, you’re doing 56 mi/day, and to finish in 4 days requires 70 mi/day. The fastest boat this year was a Core Sound 20 with father & son crew: 2 days, 2 min or about 140 mi/day. The Core Sound was designed for the Everglades Challenge. The fastest solo competitor was Iszatarock (aka Hal Link) in a cat. He completed the race in 2 days, 10 hrs. That is an amazing feat.

The Start Line about 6:45 am, Saturday, March 2, 2013

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On Friday afternoon, you meet people. Here is Kiwibird (aka Kristen Greenaway, who became an American citizen shortly after the EC) and Seiche (aka Denny Thorley.)

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Josh Morgan standing by his Stellar SOT sea kayak. Last year, he did his first EC in an AI. He finished just 4 hrs after Dogslife, one of the great competitors in the Everglades Challenge. Interestingly, this year Josh finished in 4 days, 10 hrs. That was 6 hrs after our Dogslife in his AI. Josh is a great kid.

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PenquinMan (aka Jim Czarnowski, Chief Engineer for AI/TIs at Hobie—I think) at the start line. Jim is a neat guy and great PR for Hobie. I understand he took this boat through the Wilderness Waterway including Nightmare—that earned him a “Gator’s Tooth,” the ultimate prize for EC competitors.

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Our Jim Quinlan, aka CaptnChaos, at launch. Jim has written a very heartfelt and honest story of his EC2013: http://captnchaosec.blogspot.com/

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Dogslife (aka Paul Kral) gave everyone a 10 minute head start before getting underway. Gotta get that flag flying properly. He has posted an excellent video showing the EC at water level--scary at times. The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjJGYVARfD4


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This is Chief (aka Steve Isaac, organizer and revered leader of the WaterTribe). After getting everyone off this morning, he has time to get under way. I don't know if he has posted his thoughts about the first time he has used an AI in his event. Unofficially, I've heard that he was never warm during his race to the finish in Key Largo. Dogslife has made the same comment. Chief's time was 5 days, 4 hrs, and 49 min--not bad for a Hobie AI first timer! Chief has made some interesting comments on a thread I started on the WaterTribe forum: http://watertribe.org/forums/topic/a-new-picture-story-w-a-slightly-different-view-of-ec2013

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Three days later, I was getting a camping permit at the Everglades National Park headquarters in Everglades City. Who should I run into? Denny and Kristen. Kristen has written a terrific report of her day-by-day EC2013. It is an excellent read and has some great pictures of traversing Nightmare at low tide. http://kiwibirdkayaker.blogspot.com/ The days are in descending order, so go to the bottom to start at the beginning. Note the Adventure Island behind Denny & Kristen--it may be Chief on his way to Checkpoint 2.

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As I was launching my AI, Kristen passed by on her way to Checkpoint #2 (900’ further along shore in Chokoloskee.)

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Kayaker Kneadingwater came by and asked if we were the Checkpoint. I pointed to our boats and said, “Do we look like WaterTribers?”

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Once packed, Maria & Tom Sanders in their double and I headed out the passes to Pavilion Key. Osprey nest with a couple of expectant parents

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Steve got this close up.

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Steve and Maria, left, after leaving Chokoloskee, on Gulf of Mexico. To the right is a Hobie AI—a WT EC2013 competitor. It is 3:20 pm, Mar 5. I think the competitor could be WaterTribe’s Chief.

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Maria and Steve in camp on Pavilion Key.

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It is our Day 2 on Pavilion, but WeedWarrior and Machete, EC2013 competitors, are beginning their Day 5 as they head for Checkpoint #3, Flamingo. It is about 65 miles. Somewhere on this leg or in Flamingo, they dropped out of the race. These fellows work for the Park Service controlling exotic and invasive plants and are right at home in this section of the EC. I don’t know why they did not finish because they seemed pretty confident when I talked to them the evening before and as they were launching.

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This Bald Eagle is an old friend also. He was sitting on the point of our spit as we went fishing.

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I had never seen him with a mate until this year when I was on my 7-day (aborted to 6) Flamingo to Chokoloskee trip. As I neared an island just east of Pavilion, I spotted a Bald Eagle pair and their nest. I’m glad to know my old friend has a mate after all.

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Boy, fishing was slow today. Winds were bad. I caught this Gafftop Sailfish. Only a mother could love this slimy, smelly fish. What a face!

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The seas on the west side of our spit were building. We wondered if our friends, Tom and Debbie Turner, would make it out.

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In front of our camp, the pelicans were having a bit of a feeding frenzy.

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Steve got this picture of the pelicans in action.

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He also got these two shots of a Common Tern (Apparently the name comes from the fact that the bird is found all over the world.)

First, the attack


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The recovery after the unsuccessful attack

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The seas have really gotten rough, but we could see the sail of Tom & Debbie’s Tandem in the distance.

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Nearing camp

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The landing

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We were treated to a beautiful sunset. Steve captured the moment.

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This is the first time I’ve ever seen a pack of helicopters over Pavilion. Presumably, they are coming up from the Naval Air Base near Key West—about 90 mi SSW.

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Steve demonstrates his new, “Neil Armstrong look-a-like” Kokatat dry suit as we head out fishing on Day 3.

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Fishing was better today. Steve caught a nice redfish which he released because it was slightly undersized.

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Afternoon visitor

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Debbie helping clean fish for dinner. Isn’t my haka table amazing? Here it as a fish cleaning station. BTW, this trip was taken before my recent modification of my table to make it more stable. That modification is in a post just above this one.

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Here, my haka table serves as the focal point of a great picture. Maria, Steve, Debbie, and Tom.

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Tides coming in—Maria and Steve loaded and ready to return to Chokoloskee

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On our return to Chokoloskee, Debbie & Tom pass me with Maria & Steve in distance.

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Pedaling through the pass

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Steve got this interesting shot of Tom’s tandem lined up with my AI as we near Chokoloskee.

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The picture makes it look like we are close to Chokoloskee, but, in fact, we are still a mile away. It was taken as we emerged from the pass. We will take the shallow channel along the sandbar to our left to move to the edge of the oyster bars, and then work our way to the right along the bottom of the oyster bars. This will get us in position to go up the middle of the bay to our launch site.

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Between the WaterTribe EC2013 activities, challenging weather, helicopters, my haka table, this was a pretty eventful trip. As usual, good food, good friends, and boats that performed flawlessly. What more can you ask?

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:57 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Great photos Keith.. makes me wish I was there.

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
Fantastic. Looked a bit nippy at Pavillion this year.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
tonystott wrote:
Great photos Keith.. makes me wish I was there.

Me too 8) :wink:

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2011 AI Golden Papaya



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