Autumn in Florida


Here in Florida, you can tell it is autumn – it doesn’t get to 90° anymore! (Also, the daily rainstorm only comes every couple weeks now.) All the locals have ceased to predict “the worst hurricane season in decades”, as it has passed rather calmly. And, slowly but surely, the beaches are filling more and more with each passing week. By January, we will be awash in tourists here on the SunCoast.


I have completed my Instructor Certification for the American Sailing Association and have begun teaching for Flagship Sailing School in Clearwater. I hope to make yacht deliveries this winter from the Caribbean, and continue a bit of day chartering around Tampa Bay.


Karin is still running the show in the office at MIC and loving it. Now they give her a bus pass as another perk, so with the ‘Bikes on Buses’ program, we are able to anchor anywhere in Pinellas County and she can get to and from work easily.


Very SHOCKING news – Windigo was struck by lightning at the end of August! Yes, many of you know I had designed and installed a system to avoid lightning strikes, but alas my pride of long-distance VHF radio capabilities overrode my common sense as I had left the eight-foot antenna on top of the mast from last spring’s Gulf crossing in place – extending beyond the lightning system terminals. In any case, the antenna is not there anymore (sic) and we suffered very little damage due to the protection system. You may read of the event in detail in the January issue of Sailing Magazine (the large-format magazine . . .). [A nice photo of Windigo’s deck while I was up the mast.]


In September, we celebrated on Karin’s birthday by going out to eat – THREE TIMES!


October brought the Clearwater Jazz Holiday to town, so we moved Windigo to a close anchorage and attended all four days of the free festival. The beautiful Coachman Park was the venue, and it filled in nicely for the headliner act each night, culminating on Sunday evening with Herbie Hancock.


On November 8th we participated in the Veterans Day boat parade around Madeira Beach and were honored as the best-decorated sailboat out of 70 entered vessels. Did I mention that we were the only decorated sailboat? We were awarded “valuable prizes”: several gift certificates for restaurants and an overnight stay in the luxurious Renaissance Vinoy Hotel & Resort.


Anyway, we had a blast with our friend Gene Lucky who crewed with us that day and has a snappy salute! [I believe John Williams & the Boston Pops CD “I Love a Parade” playing on our 675-watt sound system had something to do with the recognition . . . John Phillips Sousa with thump!]


So we have ventured beyond Gulfport, Downtown St. Pete, and Tampa to include: Madeira Beach, Clearwater, St. Pete Beach and Bellaire Beach. Besides parades in some of the aforementioned places, more “valuable prizes” await us as we will participate in holiday boat parades in Redington Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Indian Shores, Indian Rocks Beach and Treasure Island in the month of December. With all the parades, Captains’ meetings, and awards banquets, we have over 15 parties to attend in December! A party every other day is a tough mission, but SOMEONE has to do it.


Speaking of valuable prizes, I was the winner of the Grand Prize at the opening party of a new West Marine store in Madeira Beach. [It was returned for $200 cash!] Then, at the St. Petersburg Sailboat Show (at which we saw an impressive lunar eclipse!), I won the drawing from a local boatyard to be the recipient of a haul-out, hull cleaning, new barrier coat and antifouling bottom paint job. Windigo’s underwater parts will get a makeover next March, right on schedule.


I have been averaging 40-50 miles/day on my bike, (much to the delight of the tire manufacturers). We have discovered new grapefruit and orange trees, and are awash in the fruit. Yummy. The bagel chips are a bit difficult to eat with my dental appliances, but I manage!


Coming in the next newsletter: New windows for Windigo. . .


Congratulations to my daughter Jessy, & Greg her husband, for they are expecting a baby boy before the end of the year. Be prepared for the upcoming “cutest-baby-in-the-whole-world photos” . . .


Our permanent and EXACT address:
Capt. KL & Karin Hughes
S/V WindigoIII • PMB 365
88005 Overseas Hwy. #9
Islamorada, FL  36033-3087

A temporary address here in St. Pete:
Capt. Kevin L. Hughes
2475 47th Street S.
St. Petersburg, FL  33711

Text-only Email addresses aboard Windigo, checked daily:

Email addresses checked when at a land-based computer:

And of course, the NEW LOCATION of the Windigo Travelogue Catalogue: