S/V Panacea: May 31, 2004

Wow! What a Memorial Day. We toured Ft. Jefferson located on the Dry
Tortugas and our own Memorial Service. We plan to go back this evening
and tour it on own and at our speed. We tagged along with a tourist
group that came over from Key West on a large catamaran. We were not
brave enough to just go straight into their food line though! We did
come back to our own boat and have a snack for lunch.

After lunch, we moved the boat. When we got here there were a lot of
boats in the anchorage. We anchored over on the side but Benny wasn't
real happy about the water depth. Last night when we went to bed, the
anchorage had 25 boats but this morning by 10 AM, there were only 12
boats here. So, after things loosened up, we repositioned. I am a lot
happier. Usually it is Benny that worries about dragging the anchor but
last night, I was a nervous wreck. There was about a 44' Tartan sailboat
behind us (Benny estimated it's worth at a little over a half a
million). All I could think about was our anchor dragging and this
magnificent marvel of steel (S/V Panacea)crushing it like match sticks.
So, I was up or waking Benny up to look out to make sure we weren't
dragging. I was wide awake at 4 AM checking so I got up and sat in the
cockpit until about 6:30 AM. I did some computer work catching up the
logs. I hope with that boat gone and us repositioned that I will sleep

We went snorkeling after we moved the boat -- well one of us did. We
were headed over in our dinghy to recover a t-shirt that had dropped in
the water when we noticed this large dark gray fin hit the water. As we
watched the dark gray object, we realized it was not a dolphin but a
member of the Jaws club. I instantly nutted up. I settled down a little
when I began watching a stingray that was at least 4' across. He was
swimming under the dinghy following us. We had Timber with us as we
were taking him to the shore for a run/swim/potty.

We carried the dinghy across a land barrier to the water on the other
side of the fort. This is where we were supposed to snorkel. I was on
the beach with Timber, Benny was rowing the dinghy around to the beach.
When Benny got over, Timber and I joined him in the dinghy and when
Benny jumped out of the dinghy to snorkel, all of a sudden I turned into
a huge WUSSY! I could not get out of the boat. I was watching from the
dinghy while Benny was snorkeling. WE both saw parrotfish, starfish,
coral, fans, and other fish to hard to describe. Benny was marginally
annoyed at me but I couldn't help it. I was all pumped about it until we
saw the 6' shark. OKAY Steve, you are right -- there are sharks and
sometimes they rattle me!

So that is where we are so far today. WE have had several people come
over to look at the boat. Everyone is real inquisitive about it and
seem really interested. I told Benny that I thought they just wanted to
see the Beverly Hillbilly sailors. He is convinced everyone is impressed
with it. Two people, two different outlooks.

We are out of fresh meat now and are deciding if we are going to have
canned food or if we are going to trade some beer for fresh fish. Benny
has threatened to fish but so far he is tinkering with the bilge or
motor or solar panels or who knows what! We were told by friends to
stock some beer to swap for fresh fish/shrimp to the local fishermen.
They come in the anchorage and folks visit their boat and barter with
beer or cigarettes. So, we will see.

So, that's about it for today. We are not ready to leave yet so we will
be staying at least one more day. I am not ready to hit the open water
just yet. We will probably leave on Wednesday.

Benny and Timber

Lauryn: Please do not forget to take care of the financials that I left
Jonathan: Please cut the grass.