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Showing posts with label Sailing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sailing. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Beaufort Buddies

Left Santee for a short jaunt to Beaufort, SC to meet friends Janet and Wayne Estabrooks.
Looking for their boat, we passed this guy protecting the bow sprit of a motor yacht. No only was he weathered, the parrot on his shoulder hadn't been eating any crackers recently.
Finding Wind Drift next door, she looked good in the rain.
Wayne's transmitter skills were laid out on the bimini so they could check-in to the Waterway Radio Cruising Club.
Beth resurrected her line skills and helped Wayne whip the ends of an anchor line for the dinghy.
After a few projects and a trip to West Marine we all went out and found a sandwich shop with huge portions.
On a Sunday night there was no charge for parking so we stayed at the marina in the van. I'm still uneasy about a knock in the night from law enforcement without specific permission to park, but all was quiet and no one bothered us in the rain. Marinas, especially those with shower facilities, could offer overnight camping at a low fee to boost revenues. This might be really good for them during the off-season.
Up at dawn, I make it to the dock just in time to hand lines to Wayne and Janet. They timed leaving for slack tide so they could easily back out of the slip in Beaufort.
Wind Drift turned and headed south on their way to Florida and the Bahamas. Wayne helped us bring our boat back to NC from Florida many years ago and we wish them well as they fulfill their dream of cruising to the Islands.
Walking back to the van I had to stop an check out this nicely restored sloop. They even had an Elco electric outboard.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurrying toward Florence

Up early, we checked the weather and decided to preempt our exploration and head for home. Hurricane Florence was predicted to be heading toward Durham.

Goodbye site 127.  $33 per night for electric and showers was reasonable for this interesting location.
I would be remiss if I didn't call out Dale and Laurie, the campground hosts at Muskegon State Park. They were always smiling and directed people on the best route to see the sunset, provided discount coupons to local attractions and passed out hot coffee, hot chocolate and donuts on Sunday morning. Thank you!

We pulled in to Tamarack, West Virginia before sunset covering 556 Miles, in 11 hours 23 minutes.

After a good night's sleep we climbed the stairs to the restaurant for a "Trucker Tuesday" all-you-can eat breakfast for half off. Beth asked two drivers walking out how it was and one responded "that breakfast will put a hurt on you." It really was good and we were fully fueled for the trip home when we walked out. Free boondocking, good food, and ever changing craft galleries make Tamarack a great stop.

After breakfast we drove 173 miles to Claremont where Carolina Coach and Marine had our new convection/microwave oven waiting for us. You may recall that the original one had a loose door hinge that squeaked annoyingly with any road vibration. Pleasure-Way authorized a replacement under warranty and we left Carolina Coach without our squeak. 132 miles later we arrived home in time to make supper. This marked the end of the first long trip in the new Lexor covering 4.404 miles where we spent thirty-three nights in the comfort of our movable cottage.

We were very fortunate that Florence veered east and stayed more south of us than originally predicted. Three days into the storm, some of the outer bands caught up with us and dumped about eight inches swelling our little Eno river considerably. There was some minor flooding and a few swift water rescues in Durham, but nothing like was experienced down east.

In the New Bern area, where we still have friends with boats, the water rose to record levels as the slow moving storm blew water up the sounds and rivers over multiple days.
Stern lines were released as the water ascended over the wooden pilings. Several boats ended up on the dock or underwater.
Visiting the marina to check on friend's sailboats, my heart ached for the owners of vessels that were damaged in the storm. The clean-up effort will extend well into the new year. Fortunately, none of our friend's boats received any major damage.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


 Circumstances change and the time had come for a good friend to sell his sailboat, a beautiful Landfall 38. Always up for an opportunity to mess about on boats, we accompanied Jim to the shores of the Neuse River to prep his boat for sale.

Beth drove our new van, while Jim and I brought a load of tools and cleaning supplies in his car.

Making the experience more challenging was the unknown of bringing along Jim's six month old puppy. We need not have worried, Chika only needed a little encouragement to get aboard the first time. After one shot, she was jumping on and off the boat like an old pro. She quickly learned to relax in the shade of the bimini when she wasn't taking trips to the dock to defend the marina from pesky mallard ducks.

After a long day of boat scrubbing, the three of us agreed that dinner at Captain Ratty's in town sounded better than cooking our own dinner. Soft shell crabs were in season, so I was a happy camper!

Typical summer weather brought evening thunderstorm activity. We were lucky to get an after dinner walk in before the raindrops fell. New Bern is one of those special southern towns with well-preserved buildings that weren't destroyed in the civil war.

Here's a view from one of the marinas in town. The old schooner is used to deliver Christmas trees during the holiday season.

Each fall, the town puts on a "ghost walk," where historic homes are opened to visitors. Docents in period garb explain the history of the families that built the homes. We have attended several times and can throughly recommend the experience. It makes for a fascinating evening. This is one of the homes I'd love to see inside.

Another day of cleaning and the boat looked good so we all headed back to the Triangle.  Still in the new engine break-in period for our van, we followed the blue highways home. The highway lines on the map weren't the only blue things around. Not far from the marina we stopped at Nelson's Blueberry Farm. Putting the van refrigerator to good use, we filled it with twelve quarts of fresh berries!
Only a week later, Jim and I were back at the marina to ready the boat for a marine survey. Similar to a home inspection, a marine surveyor checks the integrity of the hull, deck, rigging, engine, and boat systems. Still winterized, we had to reconnect the plumbing systems, then clean and fill the freshwater tanks.

With temperatures reaching 100 Fahrenheit, we were relieved when the sun dipped below the horizon.

Making the evening even better, friends Earl & Karen on s/v Temptation invited us over for conversation. Earl had prepared a pitcher of our favorite Bahamian cocktail, the goombay smash, to accompany a tray of coconut cookies reminding us of time we had all enjoyed together at Green Turtle Cay.

Potential buyers and the marine surveyor joined us the next morning for a trip to Duck Creek, the nearest facility able to lift the boat out of the water. Backing into the slip, two big slings, attached to a travel lift, slipped under the boat. Lifting her up, it became apparent that the wind generator would not clear one of the big beams on the travel lift.

Undeterred, the marina staff used a pallet and forklift to remove enough of the generator to enable raising the boat.

What could possibly go wrong with this procedure?

The creative marina crew solved the problem and finished lifting the boat without incident. Nobody even dropped a tool in the water.

After a successful relaunch, the boat and crew sailed back to Northwest Creek to wrap-up the survey. The surveyor was thorough, spending a full eight hours inspecting all the boat systems. He was very complimentary of the way the vessel has been maintained. That came as no surprise to those of us who know Jim.

Our final day at the marina was spent cleaning up from the sail and making some minor adjustments to the boat. With the boat shiny and secured in her slip, we headed home.

Although we were exhausted from the heat, we did stop for a treat.

Google Maps showed that Main Street's Ice Cream Cafe was only a short detour from route 17.  Located in the tiny town of Vanceboro, the cafe was like walking back in time. Tin ceilings, friendly service and good ice cream will have us coming back. Gunsmoke was even playing on the TV for entertainment while we waited.

It is always satisfying to see projects completed and a boat ready for new adventures. I appreciate the opportunity to help a little. We didn't know the outcome when we left, but hope the sale goes through and works out for everyone.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Seaplanes and Sailing

Enjoyed a long weekend at Fairfield Harbor with good friend Jim Thompson. The intent was to get his sailboat cleaned up. With a seaplane fly-in scheduled at the nearby Bridgeton Marina, the weekend became more about fun than cleaning. Discovering that crews from Temptation and Bubbles were also going to be there, it quickly became a cruiser's reunion weekend where we played games, ate too much, and retold stories of sailing together in the Bahamas.

The motley crews gathered on the bleachers to get oriented.

Long lenses were abundant, but not really needed. Planes took off and landed right offshore, then buzzed the marina for an up close and personal experience.
Lots of seaplane photos follow, with a few sailing pictures at the end.

For more about the fly-in, click through the the Wings Over Bridgeton web site.
This plane is from our old stomping grounds in the Adirondack Mountains.

Captains Jim & Earl
Capt Jim wondering if this could be his next dinghy.
Captain Craig
Captain Jim checking out a restored 1958 Trojan runabout. The Triangle wooden boat society had some beautifully preserved vessels on display.
Oh, and we did finally get Jim's boat cleaned up. Not only that, but we took Skat out on a shake-down cruise. We shook-out more than expected when raising the sails. Beth knocked off Paper Wasp and Mud Dauber wasp nests with no injuries to the crew!
Looking back at Fairfield Harbor and Northwest Creek Marina.
Heading out onto the Neuse River. Raising the sails and knowing Skat is ready for her next adventure brought the fun weekend to a close.

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