Heading to Florida for a Week of Boatitis

Wind Horse  during sea trials off Auckland, New Zealand.

Wind Horse during sea trials off Auckland, New Zealand.

On Monday I am driving down from Annapolis to sunny Florida. My goal is the Ft. Lauderdale area. Steve Dashew invited me to take a look at his latest FPB, Cochise. He is excited to share with me all that he and Linda have learned since beginning the FPB project with Wind Horse. It should be an exciting time for sure, as I first went aboard Wind Horse in Auckland during her initial sea trials years ago. Steve and Linda have since built a number of FPB models, which are happily cruising the world today. Their new 78-footer encompasses all that they have learned in over 100,000 miles at sea. Expect to see a lot more of this tremendous adventure machine in coming weeks.

I still recall seeing Wind Horse in Baltimore's Inner Harbor during the Trawler Fest that year. Steve and Linda were not part of the event, but we did have lunch with them and Bruce Kessler and a couple of other California cruisers. Later, they took me up on my invitation to visit us on Ridout Creek in Annapolis. Wind Horse took up most of the width of the creek, and my neighbors wondered why this mean-looking, 83-foot military gunboat was there, but assumed it somehow involved me. Steve and Linda spent a couple of days anchored off our dock, visiting downtown D.C. and area relatives. It was great fun, but it was cold and rainy that fall.

My interest in the new Cochise goes beyond seeing a new boat with friends. I have been thinking lately (and one reason for this blog) about exploring a modern ocean motorboat that does everything well, but is more affordable to a cruising couple. I don't mean a less expensive FPB, but rather exploring how to come up with a cruising platform that satisfies the mission statement for those who are not going world cruising.

I believe we are on the verge of a new era of passage making, whether it be sail or power. Most folks agree we need to be more conscience of our planet and its resources. We need to find new ideas and explore new concepts, that include a contemporary regard for the environment and our resources. And in some ways, to move ahead we must look back in time. Much more on this to come.

While in South Florida, I also plan to stroll around the 2017 Miami International Boat Show. I am not looking for anything in particular, but it is always fun to experience a big boat show, even though they certainly have shuffled the players around since the new show last year.


I will avoid the normal press affairs, as I am not really one of them these days. But if I see something noteworthy, you’ll hear about it. And I will be taking pictures.

Oh, yeah, about that. In the last six months I sold off all of my Nikon gear, a brand I have been loyal too since my first Nikkormat in the early ‘70s (still have it). I've watched the evolution of photography over the last dozen years, and it changed the landscape of imagery forever. So I decided to ditch the large, heavy, bulky bodies and lenses for newer technology. I switched to Fujifilm’s new X-Series of cameras and lenses. Everything is so much smaller and lighter, the lenses are superb, and the images are stunning. 

The Fuji X-Pro2 rangefinder-style camera is a perfect everyday walkabout camera, much like my Leica M6 was in the film days (kept that too). And the new Fuji X-T2 is a great replacement for a big Nikon pro body. Rugged, water resistant, fully capable with all the latest, it will be a great mirrorless system camera. And the best part is that both camera bodies share lenses, batteries, and accessories. I spent a lot of time researching this shift away from DSLRs to mirrorless, but I am certain it was a good move, as both cameras also shoot great video, and the X-T2 even shoots 4K. So I will be exploring video as well.

Going to be fun!


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