On the 22nd June 2015 Vagabund were stroked by lightning at 2 am moored to a pier in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Most of our electronics were fried.
In January 2016 we returned to Florida to start repairing the damage
16th Jan 16
Back on Vagabund
Getting nowhere slowly
Thought sailing was without a fixed schedule but repairing Vagabund is a bigger task than we thought
18th Jan 2016
What a privilege to attend a service of worship, communion and teaching from God’s Word at Christ's Church in Fleming Island close to Green Cove Springs in Florida. The first session of a series Freeway: a not so perfect guide to freedom.
2nd February 2016
A perfect sunshine winter afternoon spend on Fleming Island golf course in Florida. A beautiful layout course with fast true greens
3rd February 2016
Being active!!! Zack installed a small 110V inverter with two 110V plugs on Vagabund Now we could buy 110V appliances
I was spoiled with a baby portable vacuum cleaner. Hight 2 and half coke tins The boat was cleaned in a jiffy with a big smile on my face. Added to that was 3 loads of washing
5th Febr 2016
Kennedy Space Center
The 5th Febr 2016 on a cold winters morning we had to leave at 4 o’clock to see the (possible) launch of a rocket at Kennedy Space Center. Bad weather and technical glitches stayed away and we were exited as “we have a go” was announced five minutes before the launch. The ULA Atlas V rocket was launched at 8h38 transporting the last of 12 GPS satellites to its position. The sound barrier was broken 76 seconds later.
Minutes later the fading white plume was the only evidence still visible in the air of the launch. With the stands slowly vacating we remained seated, looked at each other and Zack said I would not have thought that it could be over so fast. I was thinking “do it again I promise I will watch more carefully this time” We ended up alone together on the stands checking our photo’s to have a sort of replay.
The rest of the day we toured the NASA facilities. It was awesome to pick up the impact made on a Nation by taking up their Presidents challenge: “We are going to put a man on the moon”. The impact it had on technology worldwide is massive and we all benefit from it today…and now the new challenge to the world: “We are taking humans to Mars…. Who is in?”
Outside the Space Shuttle Atlantis building you are greeted by a full-scale upright replica (184 foot tall) of the space shuttle’s rockets and fuel tank.
The actual Space Shuttle Atlantis is displayed at 43.21 degrees (count down) with her payload doors open.
A replica of Hubble Space Telescope
We took a NASA bus tour for a drive to view the different launch pads.
The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is designed to assemble large space vehicles such as the space shuttles. It is one of the largest buildings in the world by volume and opening doors.
7th Febr 2016
Coping with the cold front:
At only 12 degrees we eat ice cream and are still deciding if we are going to drive back from town with the roof up or down!
12th Febr 2016
Magda is enjoying her favorite breakfast in St Petersburg, Fl with her summer clothes on.
13th Febr 2016
We visited the Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg and enjoyed his creativity. Setting new bench marks in art
Traveling through the Everglades of Florida we could not miss out on the opportunity to be on board an airboat
14th February 2016
Riaan at last my Ihop breakfast in Marathon Florida Keys. Good value for money for $8. Half the price for double the volume. Only on water for the rest of the day.
Today we road cruised down the Keys, visited the most Southern tip of USA, watched the sun set at Sunset Pier in Key West. Enjoying traveling with my wife.
15th February 2016
On our way to Miami Boat Show
Meeting up with Rudi Pretorius of Maverick Yachts and Andreas the original Vagabund owner on Bossa Nova.
16th February 2016
Feeling blessed for being safe
Driving north in Miami with Tornado warnings
Heard over news of tornados that had passed through 15 min ahead of us
As it started to clear we just see debris some places as we drive further north
27th February 2016
Feeling blessed and excited We are back in the water The mast is going back on Tuesday Still busy installing the new upgraded electronics Looking forward in exploring what they can do Now for the last little bit of fault findings and sea trials
Looks like total chaos! Busy pulling new wires
Upgraded electronics and new instruments
On our way to the water
Zack's smile tells a story!!! We are no longer land rats!!!
We are back in the water!!
11th March 2016
"Omstandighede bepaal nie jou geluk nie maar hoe jy na die storm in jou lewe kyk. Om n donker wolk is n silwer rand . Ons het storms nodig om dit wat ons het te waardeer en God se hand te sien! Met Vagabund se regmaak hierdie seilseisoen het ons geleer dat dit is soos om hekkies te hardloop. Elke dag het n hekkie of selfs n paar hekkies Die wenpaal is in sig!! Vandag se hekkie is alge in die diesel . Word deur n filter gepomp en skoon gemaak"
20th March 2016
After two months Vagabund is ready to explore again!
I am so proud of Zack!
Before (working) and after photos:
Having a Navigation station with new electronics to play with. Feeling excited!!
Dinner on Vagabund. Saying goodbye to friends in style!
Last happy hour in Green Cove Springs!
Ready to receive guests again!
Zack catching a catfish! Back in action
22nd March 2016
Using the tides we arrived in Metropolitan Park Marina in Jacksonville just before sunset.
29th March 2016
Exploring St Augustine:
Lying on a mooring at St Augustine municipal marina
and tour the oldest city in USA
Castillo de San Marcos
Overlooking the marina
The narrowest street in USA
The Easter parade on Sunday afternoon
Lunch at a beer bar with a special draft out of their collection from over the world
A Beautiful street taken from our drive on the red train tour
A 600 year old tree
The old jail: completed in 1891 and built by the railroad magnate Henry Flagler to resemble a fine hotel. Inside is the sad story of criminals held in these cells
Locked up in this cage for 48 hours swinging in the tree was punishment for many prisoners
Visiting the Pirate and Treasure museum and explore the golden age of piracy
3rd April 2016
St Augustine is a city that I have fallen in love with:
Small restaurants everyone with its own vibe, beer bars, museums, music, art, shops and so many more
Cuban restaurant. There is so many more: Greek, Italian......The red train that we have took the previous day to tour the city
Villano beach where you park your car (not even a 4x4) next to your towel on the sand!
Spanish El Galeon is in the harbour
50m and 400 tons. They sail around the world
Rigging, sails and woodwork are impressive
Rhythm and rib festival this weekend
Eating 1kg of ribs while listening to the bands
11th April 2016
Busy bees on Vagabund:
Hauled out at St Augustine Marine Center. The last week we were busy with preparations of leaving Vagabund on the dry for the hurricane season.
The genoa and main sail were taken down and folded
Taken out of the water with the hydraulic trailer
The mast is been taken down with a crane from Jacksonville.
Unstepping the mast
Mast on the ground
Mast stored under Vagabund. Six strap downs to keep Vagabund secured in part of the hurricane plan.
12th April 2016
First leg of returning back to South Africa! Looking forward enjoying our grandchildren! Our second grandson is due beginning of May!
2nd Sept 2016
Feeling thank full
Tropical storm Hermine missed our boatyard in St Augustine in Florida with a 100 miles. Thanks for our South African friends (Andrè, John and Holli) for helping stow away things on Vagabund and sharing news and keeping us updated.
6th October 2016
Hurricane Matthew is strengthening to a cat 4 hurricane as it is approaching Florida.
Almost one meter of rain in 3 to 4 days. More than the annual rainfall in NW province in SA were we are currently holding prayer meetings for rain to break the drought.
Till now 11 Deaths already recorded in Haiti
Hurricane is closing in expecting the eye of the storm passing St Augustine, Fl around late Thursday night with the eye of the storm projected less than 70 km away.
Wind speeds over 200 km/h gusting more than 250 km/h expected.
Not a sight often seen. Walmart shelfs been emptying out as locals prepare themselves for the hurricane.
Evacuation has already started.
8th October 2016
Some feedback. Hurricane Matthew has passed. Our biggest concern is storm surge. We will only know the extend of the storm damage later over the weekend.
St Augustine Marine Center from the air before the storm in about May 2016
Actual position of Vagabund earlier the season as can be seen on google earth in May 2016
We are only 4 ft 6 inches above water level. The storm surge predicted was between 5 to 9 ft. We will only know later over the weekend what was the extend of the storm surge. (Photo before the storm)
During the hurricane
Streets in St Augustine
8 Oct 16
Soli deo Gloria! We serve a Awesome God! Thank you for all the people praying with us! Our hearts go out to the people in Haiti.
Message from Brett and Gideon:
“All SA boats in St Aug Marina; we were able to get into the yard only to look. Your boats are all fine and heres pics showing. We went on each boat and looked for damage - thank the Lord God no damage. Our prayers were answered!”
9th Oct 2016
After the hurricane
Aerial view of the boatyard indicating Vagabund's position. Island Explorer is the boat to our right.
One of the many damaged structures inside the boatyard.
Vagabund with some washed up debris against her. The boatyard was completely flooded with an estimated one meter of water. So thankful no major damage to our boat.
A photo from after the storm (location unknown)
The municipality doc was much more exposed to the storm surge.
Our ❤️ goes out to the owners of the damaged and sunken boats.