Monday, December 7, 2015

First trip south

Zoe is in Cocoa Beach.  We moved her in August from Anapolis to Deltaville and had the engine serviced, the chart plotter replaced and the bottom paint redone.  Keith and Valotta accompanied me, Keith on the boat and Valotta in my truck on the move.  We stopped in the Solomans night one and on to Deltaville the next day. Was a pretty uneventful trip.  

I enlisted the help of a local sailboat Captain, for the jump South as my experience with offshore sailing is limited. I will leave out his name as he was a very nice guy and helpful but a few of his decisions were questionable.  

Day one had captain myself and first mate Kathy up and moving with the high tide to escape Deltaville. We has a nice downwind motorsail maintaining 6 to 7 knots to the great bridge lock below Norfolk.  We had intended to stop in Norfolk at a marina chosen by the captain.  Unfortunately, I assumed he knew where he was going and he was expecting me to direct him there. I learned that he was not on top of the situation 12 miles past the mark. In his defense my iPad that I was using as a backup to the new chart plotter he was using had stop functioning properly.  I believe that was the point that I stopped deferring to his judgement.  We also lost the front running lights in the rain late in the day.

 We started day two with dead batteries.  I hooked up the generator to crank the engine and it started then stalled.  After cranking for a bit it took hold but showed pressure on the fuel filters. We stopped early in Coinjock to see if we could get some mechanical help. I did some trouble shooting with Keith on the phone and determined that we had a valve left closed from the service in Deltaville restricting flow.  We also found the alternator was not charging and a small fuel leak. 

Day three.  We received excellent service from the mechanic at Coinjock.  Captain proved himself useless for diagnosing engine problems and to have no understanding of deisel engines. 
Day three 10:00 found our captain afraid to cross Abermarle sound in 10 knot winds.  After researching the forcasts and assuring the captain we could handle 3 ft water, we decided to go. The day proved to be a good down wind sail through the sound and down the alligator river.  We anchored in 25 knot winds for the night with 30 plus gusts.  Captain again showed questionable judgement and went to bed without any thought to an anchor watch. I spent the evening in the cockpit with my portable heater and a drag alarm. The wind died around 1 so I retired below for the remainder of the night.  

Day 4. Captain awoke and proclaimed himself well rested. (Easier to do I guess when it's not your boat) we headed down the Aligator river and stopped for the day in Belhaven.  Nice small town.  No real services. 

Day 5.  Motor sailed to Orient uneventful day. 

Day 6. Motored to Moorehead City where we took on fuel and pumped out. 
Continued on to swansboro had to dock in 30 knot winds pushing us back and in. I handled the boat as Captain had shown that he had no experience handling a full keel. Unfortunately Captain didn't handle the fenders properly as he was to busy spouting docking orders that made no sense.  We ended up damaging the rub rail against the dock where a fender should have been placed. That was ok though " no real damage". I think he said If that is all we tear up on this trip we will be in good shape. Again, not his boat. 

Day 7. We motored on to Wrightsville Beach and found the last open dock to leave Zoe for a couple days while I took Kat to the Airport and picked up Keith for the open water leg of the trip. Captain top off to visit with friends and was nice enough to only charge half his rate for leaving the boat unattended. Not sure what is proper but I am not accustomed to paying someone to visit with friends. 

Day 8. While Capt enjoyed his visit with friends I found batteries and switched them out. Then headed to Charleston.  

Day 9. Captain still off fishing with friends for half price. I dropped Kat at the airport and picked up Keith.  Headed back to the boat to prepare for an early departure. 

Day 10. We headed out with the tide. Forcasts called for north winds 10 knots clocking east and building to 20 knots the next day. Plan was to head south and stop in Charleston.  We took on fuel in Carolina beach. Seas were calm as we exited the Cape fear River. We motorsailed into the night.  We decided on three hour watches.  The autopilot was not effective with the following seas so hand stearing was required. The captain suggested raising the main to help stabilize the boat.    The seas built to around 10 ft on the beam which made everything difficult.  I hit the bunk at midnight leaving Keith and the Captain in charge. I woke around 3 to the sound of the boom banging on the gallows and went up to see what was happening. The main was jibeing and banging in the wind and the Captain had added a full head sail.  The wind had clocked around on the port quarter and the captain informed me that we were overpowered. I told him we needed to get the main in and reduce the head sail.  He thought we should just ride it out until light.  Again not his boat getting beat up. I rolled up the jib and worked my way up front as Capt showed no interest in fixing the problem he had caused. We pulled the main in tight turned directly down wind and I dropped the main. He told me later he regretted not reeling the main. I regretted going to sleep and leaving him in charge. We weren't expecting the 20 knot winds until the next day but Zoe reefs easily and should have been done long before we got to that point. 

Day 11. The seas were still 10 feet and confused. The wind was 20 knots gusting to 25. We chose to bypass Charleston as Parker's weather suggested the east winds would hold another day then clock south which would have stuck us in Charleston for several days. We ended up spending 40 hours in those conditions and arriving at St Mary's river inlet at dawn. 

Day 12. We decided to dump the Captain in Fernandina and head to Cocoa Beach on the inside as the winds had clocked south at 20 knots.  We rested for a couple hours took on fuel and pumped out. Then Keith and I headed on to Jacksonville.  We stopped for the night at Beach Marine. 

Day 13. We rose early and headed out for Datona beach.  We bumped in St Augustine cutting a corner to sharp but was able to make it back to the channel without hanging up. We went through the bridge with Earl's Girls who later gave us some good advice about some serious shouling.  We ran aground in the middle of the channel but powered through the sand and ended the day at loggerhead marina.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Beach Wedding in the BVI

In early December we headed for the British Virgin Islands to marry our youngest off and spend a week playing. We leased a 47 from Conch Charters.

We headed for Trellis bay to catch the full moon party and pick the kids up from the airport.

While we were there mom and the kids headed down to Road Town for a Dolphin encounter.

Next stop was the Baths

From there we headed up to Leverick Bay four some snorkeling and fresh water showers.

Next was the bubbly pool and Sidney's Peace and Love Bar for Lobsters.

After a hike around Sandy Cay taking selfies with a Go Pro camera mounted the wrong way, we headed down to White bay and visited The Soggy Dollar Bar.

We visited a couple others while we were there.

The next morning after spending the night at Sopher's Hole we headed over to The Bite at Norman Island for some stand up boarding and snorkeling at the Indians.

Well, that finished the honeymoon part of the trip, next came the wedding. The kids had reservations at Long Beach so we caught a taxi at Sopher's Hole and headed over for the day. We had a beautiful setting and a very nice ceremony performed by a local minister. Definitely a fantastic finish to a great week.

Capt. Mike

Catching Up

It has been a very busy year and I have been neglecting my blog. That doesn't mean that we left our boating dreams behind. I will attempt to chronicle the rest of 2014 and get started on the new year.

August Zoe
We decided it was time to get busy on Zoe's Toe rail.

It has been slow progress but the results are striking 

August Whatta Deal.

We have had a good summer entertaining the kids and grandkids out at the lake on our Catalina 30. We picked up an inflatable kayak and it has been a huge hit.

September Zoe

Next project for Zoe was the addition of a Rogue Wave WiFi extender.

I spent 2 days hanging on the back railing fishing wires down the radar post and through the engine room to the router at the nav station. We are very pleased with the performance of the Rogue.

Our youngest Shannon and her Hubby Dustin joined us for the boat show. We had a nice weekend at the show and good food at The Boatyard.

Winter came early this year for Zoe. We had a beach wedding in the BVI and a hip replacement to get through so we spent the rest of October packing up. Zoe is currently on the hard waiting for spring and a new adventure. We are planning a spring move to Virginia for some cosmetic work and a fall move to Harbortown at Cocoa Beach Florida.

Capt. Mike

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Breaking even

We headed annapolis last weekend to relax and sail alittle. We managed to knock the nav light off the bow pulpit getting away from the dock and then left the dink to get stuck under a dock as the tide came in. So the second half of the weekend was spent fixing the nav light and working the water out of the dink moter. Also noticed an extra pair of holes drilled in the inner hull of the dink. Of course these holes allowed the inner hull space to fill with water so I had to pull the plugs and hoist the dink on the davits to get it to drain. I will be filling those holes next trip. 

Capt. Mike

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whatta Deal !

We took the kids and grand kids out on the lake for the 4th of July. We had a very nice evening but our little 5411 diesel overheated on the way back. We made it back in and I went back Monday to tear down the water pump. I got the empellor replaced but discovered a water leak past the shaft. Fortunately, a replacement pump is still available and is on the way.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Frustrating summer

Headed to the boat week before last to reinstall the headliner and work on the toe rail. I only got a day and got rained out so I headed back to Ohio to work. The leaking area stayed dry so I reinstalled the head liner and pronounced the repair successful.

I headed to the boat this weekend expecting to get several days to work but had a breakdown and had to head back after a day to try to keep the business on track. I did manage a full day of teak repair and bung replacement. Hopefully, the next trip, I can start on the toe rail without needing to fix something else first. I guess I can't do anything but keep trying.

As a side note, we spent a weekend on our Catalina 30 with our grandson and had a grand time. We launched our Advanced Elements Kayak and and it was definitely a hit.

My granddaughter Lucy joined us Sunday and took over the boat.

Capt. Mike

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chasing leaks

I tore the headliner out of the front berth over the weekend. I traced the leak back to the (for want of the correct term) main Bullard post. The teak decking that buts up against it has deteriorated and the caulk needed some work. I dug out the bad wood and saturated the area with Mr Smith's penetrating epoxy. I used my Fein multi tool with a rasp to cut out the grooves and replaced the caulk in the grooves. It rained over night and appeared to stay dry. Will give the repair a little longer before I put the headliner back in.

I also mounted the stainless steel strip to the back of the boat. To protect the paint from the dinghy. Will post a pic next trip. The real challenge for the day was fishing the dinghy into place to be lifted onto the davits by myself. It involved the pulley system for the lift, a boat hook and extra rope to maneuver the dingy around the docking posts.
Capt. Mike