Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We are in Miami! Finally! And we have a new boat! And it is warm here! So very exciting.

We drove from Yuma, Arizona to Van Horn, Texas on Wednesday. We stopped in to visit my Aunt Charlie in Phoenix along the way, and got to visit with my other Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Dwayne who happened to be visiting as well. On Thursday we had a short day and spent the night in Houston, Texas with our friend Kate Easton from the Glenmore Sailing Club. Kate recently moved to Houston for work, so it was great to see her new place. Her parents were also visiting, so we had a lively dinner swapping sailing stories as they go cruising each year with the Calgary Yacht Club flotilla. Friday we were planning on pushing through straight to Miami with maybe just a nap at a rest stop, but instead we blew a tire at around 11 pm!

We were going over a bridge in Florida when we heard the tire go. We pulled over once off the bridge, and assessed the damage. Of course the car was full of all our sailing gear, so we had to pile that all on the grass to dig out the spare! We changed the tire fine, just had a bit of an issue getting the wheel to let go (see the awesome video). Thanks to my Uncle Dwayne for offering advice over the phone. Interestingly, not a single person on the highway stopped to see if we needed assistance. Apparently chivalry is dead, even in the south!

We continued on the spare to Chattahoochee which proved to be a very tiny town with nothing useful. Hannah was excited to see Chattahoochee because there is a country song about it she likes. We ended up driving a bit farther and spending the night in Tallahassee. We got the cheapest sleaziest motel I've ever seen, and went for dinner at the Tomahawk Girl Bar. Class all around! We got our tire changed at 8 am the next morning and had a quick breakfast at iHop and we were off! We made it to Miami at 7 pm on Sunday and managed to meet up with our landlord Sonia right away and get into our apartment. It was a very long drive and we were totally bored out of our skulls by the end. We'd pretty much run out of things to discuss and just read our books or napped when we weren't driving.

Monday we slept in really late, then unloaded the boat and did a massive grocery shop. We are now mostly all set up for training! Today (Tuesday) we ran some more errands and continued to set up and rig the boat. The boat is a 2005 but is in great shape and is set up really nicely. It hasn't been sailed since 2007 I think. We went over it closely from stern to bow and replaced most of the electrical tape and bungee but otherwise the systems look great once we figured out what was what. The one issue we had was the jib halyard, but we managed to sort it out what with our assortment of luff wires and jib halyards from other boats! After a trip to West Marine and a second trip to Home Depot I think we should be able to sail tomorrow!

We have uploaded a bunch of photos from the road-trip to the Picassa web albums, including some funny videos from the boat loading and tire changing. Enjoy!
November 29, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We arrived in Palo Alto on Monday night, where we stayed with my brother. Tuesday we spent the day in San Fran exploring. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge and went for a run in Golden Gate park. Then we went on a search for smoothies that got us stuck in downtown traffic. We headed back to Palo Alto and visited my brother's office, then went climbing at the huge climbing gym in Sunnyvale with Tom's co-worker Nykolai. The evening ended with Tom letting me drive his sports car until I made the clutch smell like burning. Awesome day!

Today we left palo alto at 6.30 am and took the 101 along the coast. Stopped in Santa Barbara for some lunch (very pretty with mountains, palm trees and ocean) then headed into LA. Wow did the volume of traffic suck! I didn't notice any accidents or crazy driving, just a lot of cars going slowly. Took us about 4 hrs to get through the city. We finally made it to Santee to pick up the new boat. By the time we finished loading it was 9.30 pm and we were still over 5 hours from Phoenix so we decided not to push it and stopped in Yuca Arizona for the night. Beautiful stars out in the desert where there is no light pollution!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 1 of road trip

We got up early this morning and packed up the car in the frosty cold. We took the ferry from Sidney to Annacortes, Washington. We decided on this route as we have both taken BC Ferries quite a lot and wanted something new, and also to avoid the long line at the border.

We got through customs and immigration with only minor questioning which is always a bonus. No one ever understands or believes us when we say we are driving to Miami to go sailing; I'm not sure why!

The ferry and drive to Portland were un-eventful and we made good time. We are spending the night with my good friend Gisella who is attending chiropractic school in Portland. She made us a lovely dinner even though she has two tests tomorrow!

Driving South

Well, today we are off on our adventure at last! We are driving to Miami to train in the warmth! We leave from Victoria this morning, and we are stopping in Portland, Palo Alto, Phoenix, Houston and Mobile before arriving in Miami! We take possession of our new boat in San Diego and we can't wait!

Make sure to follow along on the blog, website, facebook and twitter. We will try and write an update every night.

Huge shout out to Adrian Round for freezing outside all day yesterday to build us some bomb-proof roof racks! We'll get some picks up soon once there is daylight!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Website Re-launch

Well after several weeks of hard work and easy access to an HTML tutorial, we have re-vamped our campaign website. The new domain name is www.wildrosegirls.ca. Please take a look and let us know what you think! If you notice any issues we would love to hear about them. We have added a finances page with a more detailed breakdown of our spending, and re-done our sponsorship page to better showcase our supporters.

We also now have a twitter account (@Meers_Flanagan) as well as our Facebook Page "Wild Rose Girls."

Our new email address is wildrosegirls@gmail.com. Please keep in touch as we love to hear from our supporters! Email us and ask to be put on our mailing list to receive regular emails about the campaign.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nov 3 - New Photos

Matt has finished editing the photos he took of us last week while training. The theme seems to be "intensity faces". Just goes to show you how focused and hard we work during our training sessions with Bunny! Notice Hannah sailing without booties and dangling her foot in the lovely 10 degree water off Vancouver Island. Meanwhile I'm wearing 5mm booties and whining about the cold! Thanks again to Matt for the great photos.

Kerr Photography