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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Appledore Key West Sail

 Jack & Carol 
On my last blog, I wrote about the “When and If”. I was actually, at the time, doing a recon, dry run, to find the “Appledore Jeff” , the ticket guy, and a place to park and secure the bikes. This was in preparation for our sailing trip around Key West. Jeff was right in front of the windjammer “Appledore II” .
Who brought us to the “Appledore II” ? Jack and Carol! They are the guru organizers, not only on this sail, but they seem to be putting together some function of this sort or another all the time. From the Key West Half Marathon Volunteers, to pre and post marathon parties. They are a great asset to the military retirees and to Key West.
Our Gang!
I have to give a little more history on the Appledore II taken from “Wikipedia"
Dolphins Port Side! 
Launched on August 22, 1978, Appledore II is the largest of her four sister ships, Appledore I, III, IV, and V. Appledore II was the last schooner custom built by the Harvey Gamage Shipyard in South Bristol, Maine, which had previously built the tall ships Mary Day, Harvey Gamage, Shenandoah, Bowdoin and Spirit of Massachusetts, among others. Designed by Bud McIntosh, she was structured to endure heavy weather and the open ocean.[1]Appledore II is gaff rigged on both her masts, with a hull speed of 10.5 knots and a length of 86 feet (26 m) overall.[2]
Her maiden voyage was an 18-month circumnavigation, which commenced in November 1978 from Portsmouth, New Hampshire and concluded there after the Appledore II visited many ports of call around the world. This voyage has bee chronicled in two books, Dreams of Natural Places, A New England Schooner Odyssey and Sailing Three Oceans, both authored by Herbert Smith.
Since that time, Appledore II has sailed extensively throughout the Caribbean, conducting educational and private tourism. For a number of years she served as the Semester At Sea vessel for marine biology majors from Southampton College of LIU. For the past 20 years she has been offering day sails from her home ports of Camden, Maine and Key West, Florida. Twice a year, Appledore II makes a 2,000-mile (3,200 km) offshore voyage between these destinations. As a prime example of a historical wooden schooner, the Appledore II is regularly featured in books, movies, advertisements, and post cards evoking traditional coastal Maine sailing. The Appledore II regularly participates in the Key West Wrecker's Cup Race (a regatta she has won on numerous occasions) and is a mainstay of the annual 'Windjammer Weekend' in Camden, Maine.
Appledore II
United StatesName: Appledore IIOwner: John P. McKean, S.E.A., Ltd.Builder: Linwood Gamage, Gamage ShipyardLaunched: August 22, 1978Homeport: Camden, MaineGeneral characteristicsType: SchoonerDisplacement: 52 tonsLength: 86 ft (26 m) overall, 65 ft (20 m) on deckBeam: 18 ft 9 in (5.72 m)Draft: 10 ft (3.0 m)Propulsion: Sail, auxiliary engineSail plan: Gaff-rigged, two-masted topsail schoonerSpeed: 10.5-knot (19.4 km/h) hull speedComplement: 49 passengers, 4 crew
Our sail began promptly at 1:30pm with Captain Chris giving the commands to untie and push off from the dock. It was fascinating to watch the crew turn this mighty big sailing ship around the bay area with millions or billions of dollar boats and ships in close proximity. The Appledore II cleared the jetty and headed for open water. What we saw next was totally unexpected. I counted at least six sail boats underwater on the jetty and other nearby islands. I know last month was rough and windy weather wise, but I didn’t think it tossed sailboats enough to free them from their mourings and or anchors. The Captain said the State would most likely cover the salvage cost and settle with the insurance companies in the end.
Calm Sea!
The wind and ocean was so calm that we didn’t do much sailing until we cleared the point at Fort Zachary Taylor. That didn’t deter us admiring the shore line and a cruise ship tied up at one of the larger docks. As soon as the Appledore cleared the point, Captain Chris hollered, “Dolphins port side”! Several were feeding in a large circle around the Appledore. I didn’t have my large Nikon to capture the moment, but I did my best with my little Nikon point and shoot. No, I didn’t get a good Dolphin photo. With 49 people on board, about half were spouses, who prepared enough munchies to feed 98! Shrimp, fruit, sandwiches not mention deserts were enjoyed by us and smiles were coming from the crew also.
A few of us, who were at the stern of the sail ship, even got a chance at the helm. It turned out to be an exciting afternoon in the waters around Key West!

That is what we did and saw!

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