Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns
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Friday, April 13, 2007

Sailboats Fair and fine# 55 :read oldest posts first

We sailed into Baileys Marina and spun Wolftrap around a piling on a line scaring the guy on the boat in front of us half to death. He ran back and forth across his boat not sure what to do. I snubbed the line on a midships cleat and we swung in on it hitting the dock kind of hard but with no damage except a couple scuffs on the rub rail. Georgene had the tiller while I handled the spring line. I think it scared her worse than the guy in front of us. We had the wind with us and had dropped the sail so that we were making about one to two knots when we got to the dock. Still that's pretty fast when you don't have an engine to stop you. To the fellow on the boat in front of our long bow sprite must have looked more like a ramming device than a spar.

We tied up and I walked up the Dock to talk to Mr. Bailey about hauling my boat. When I walked in I found myself in Church. The crew of five or six young men were all setting around in a circle and Mr. Bailey was preaching. They invited me in so I came in and sat down on a crate that I was offered. After a bit there was a prayer that no one would get hurt working today and that God would give each of them the wisdom and strength to be a good Christian for just this one day. I for one felt better as I though I might stand a chance of getting away from there in a week or so with out having my pockets filched of all coin.

Mr Bailey and I walked down the dock to look at my boat and he wanted to know what it weighed. “O,” about 9000 lbs. with all our junk aboard I told him.

Then it occurred to me that I didn't see a travel lift. “Got a railway,” I asked.

That's her right over there behind you he said. I stood wordless in astonishment looking at the rustiest worst beat up rusty cabled looking piece of equipment I have ever seen outside a junk yard. In a rather squeaky voice I said, “How much will she lift.”

“Oh about four times what your boat weighs. That's how all these boats got up here. I looked around and there were a couple of sailboats over 40 ft. I then realized why we had been praying a while ago. He went over and started her up her old gasoline engine was as quiet as a new Buick. He moved her toward my boat and the gears rattled and clunked as though the bearings were all worn out and the gears trying to climb on top of each other. He run the boom over Wolftrap and one of the kids climbed the boom and took my triadic stay loose between the masts they slung her and lifted her out of the water and swung her around to the other side of the causeway like dock and had her setting on blocks in less than thirty minutes. I started pulling the engine apart I needed a new exhaust riser, the second one in a thousand miles. I finally allowed myself to decide the engine was just to small for the boat and was working too hard. Since I had her apart and the parts were pretty cheap we decided to replace rings bearings and seals and lap in the valves.

We were waiting for parts and having a good time at Jensen beach it was a reasonable walk to a movie theater shopping center with fast food joints we partook of all their pleasures. We walked the beaches and the bridge across the river. The other side smelled better. We went to church with the crew a few mornings and enjoyed it. I don't think I ever heard preaching and praying that came from quit the same direction. They prayed for my engine they prayed that the keelson in the sailboat one of them was working on would not be rotten when he got the garbor plank off. They prayed for each other, some guy at a lunch stand and a host of others that lived close by. They preyed that the wind would blow the other way and push the rotting sea weed to sea that was along the shore and was stinking to high heaven.

They really were a nice bunch of people.

We met a young lady tall thin and some kind of pretty who was chiseling a plank out of her and her husbands boat. She showed me a couple she had replaced on the other side. She had done a beautiful job and had caulked it herself. She said with a big toothy and georgous grin, that all that praying must of helped. She and I, got to be pretty good friends, a fact not lost on my wife.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sailboats fair and fine# 54: read oldest posts first

Today is blastoff day for the shuttle. We got up to a buitiful morning the breeze had swung to the east and was light and cool. There was not a cloud in the sky. We unwrapped our sails. The lines we had wrapped arond them had not been needed but when a strong front comes through such as had been expected you never know when a microburst or even a toranado might be in store. I saw a sail come unfurled on a boat in 70 mile per hour winds one time. The boat was knocked down flat. The boat had been left at anchor and took off for the shore. Luckily the sail burst into a couple hundred pieces and several others and myself were able to get to her and reanchor. The weird thing was the owner give me hell for boarding his boat. You have to wonder sometimes what people are thinking.
The launch took place abot 1: 00 in the afternoon. It was a very moving thing for me. I got to thinking about where mankind has come from over thousands of years and here we are sending space ships into the emptyness or maybe crowded reahes of space. Depends on how you look at it I guess. whatching the shuttle sit there with vapor rising from her and listening to the count down on the radio was unforgettable. Finally she was off and we watched her disapear out over the Atlantic. The whole thing brought tears to my eyes. I got some rather strange looks from Georgene. after the launching we upped anchor and saild in a light breeze on down the Indian river.
Later that day I tried to start the engine and it would not turn over. Checking the oil I found water in it. We began looking for a for a plact to tie up for a few days on work on the motor. We could not charge batteries now. We headed on down the Indian River toward Jensen Beach a town that had a couple of marinas.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sailboats Fair and fine# 53 : Read oldest posts first

Dec 3 , Tuesday

We rolled out of our bunks this morning to a strongish southerly breeze maybe 15 knots. It had been choppy all night and Wolftrap was banging around a little. We had breakfast got our foul weather gear on and prepared for a wet and rough dingy ride to shore. I lined up on some markers I had picked out before we turned in last night. We appeared to be in the same place. The anchors were holding well. Of course we listened to the weather on the marine band which called for a cold front late in the afternoon. We planned to be back before then. But it was going to be a rough ride back. I dropped an extra bailer in the dink for the ride back. The wind would be picking up more as the day wore on. By the time the front got here the wind would be blowing 25 knots along the leading edge from the south.

I got in the dingy and Georgene handed me a couple of coffees and a thermos full. I fired up the little motor George got aboard with life preservers and a couple back packs. With dry cloths just in case and some lunch. Food would be expensive ashore. We started off heading almost into the waves. I throttled back to keep the bow from throwing water and we very slowly made our way to shore.

When we got to shore we pulled the dingy way up amongst some trees , out of sight from the road or the water. I chained the boat to a good size tree took the motor off and carried it about 50 yards into the woods and hit it under an old wind fallen tree. I put it in a plastic bag and covered it up with leaves. I took a pine bough and covered my tracks so there would be nothing to follow. We walked back to the beach and I lined the boat up with the swing section of a bridge if the boat moved with the wind coming from the south I would be able to see it's change in position by the bridge. We were off to the museum and I was some excited. I had a good time and It was fun for my wife too as we saw things I had worked on and she remembered me talking about them. Of course we didn't make the actual articles that went into space but we built prototype models for testing. The equipment that went in space was built by the big companies that had ridged inspection procedure that we couldn't afford. Later in the day we rode out on the bus toward the launch site but not close at all. That was a disappointment as we could actually see the shuttle better from Wolftrap. I guess you can't expect them to take a buss load of tourists out to look with explosive fuels being handled.

I was feeling a little uneasy about our boat and was glad to get back to the dingy.

We got in the dink and put the engine down in the bottom with the engine head setting on top a couple fenders in case we took on water. I preferred to row as I could keep the boat turned stern to the waves . With a little backward rowing I was able to keep us from going too fast. And keep the boat lined up with the waves. All went well, but boarding was a bit wild with Wolftrap pitching and the dink ducking and diveing and trying it's best to go under Wolftrap's stern.. We got a board and had a slightly wildish ride until the front came through. The wind doubled in speed to nearly 50 knots but it was blowing across the river maybe a mile. Lightning cracked in the woods now to our stern thunder rattled the cups in the galley. The wind after the first gusts droped down to about 30 knots and swung farther to the north during the night. All in all it was a wild night and you can imagine how pleased we were with our anchoring job. There were no other boats within a mile of us so there was no worry there. By two A.M. The wind had slacked to about fifteen knots and all was right with the world. I was happy the winds would be light enough for a launch in the morning.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sailboats Fair and fine# 51 : Read oldest posts first

Last night we lazed around in the cockpit listening to some nice music on a local radio station. The sky is full of stars overhead but there is a city in almost any direction you look. You can see the glow in the sky from each of them. The stars directly overhead are the only ones visible. We heard on the radio there was going to be a shuttle launch in three days which inspired me to gaze at the stars in amazement as sailors have done for thousands of years. I wondered how many and from how many lands and seas they looked up and were nearly over whelmed by the wonder of such a sight.

Well it was a sure thing with a shuttle launching in a few days that we weren't going anywhere until that was seen. I planned to get as close as the law would allow and watch.

Since we had several days we decided to go over to the cape and tour the museum and ride out to the launch pad and see the shuttle. We were very excited about the whole thing so Georgene and I studied the chart book to see how close we could get. We made a decision on an anchorage that would get us close but give us room to drag anchor if a storm moved us. The anchorage was on the east side of the Indian river. Cold fronts and squalls usual come from the west and they would put us on a lee shore if an anchor pulled loose.

We weighed anchor and headed on over there in a light breeze and we ghosted along at about two knots and marveled at how good it felt to not feel we needed to make five or six knots.

We sailed into our chosen anchorage and dropped three hooks. Wolftrap set right in the middle of them. We were in a fairly large body of water and we would be leaving her for for long periods of time during the days. I put down a Danforth to the north west and the plow to the southwest. To the East I put out an old Heshoff yachtsman about 25 lbs.

We were anchored in mud and the yachtsman though it might drag in mud would not let go. So if she moved it would be very, very slowly and the other two would have ample opportunity to pull in again. I felt pretty good about how we were anchored and I expected that the anchorage would be full of boats watching the launching. I hoped everyone else would do a good job anchoring their boats. We put the sail covers on and wrapped lines around them to be sure they couldn't blow free. It's not unusual to get gusts of wind to 70 knots in winter frontal thunderstorms. Feeling secure we took the dingy and headed for shore and a two mile walk to the Museum

We were really excited about going to see the space port. I had worked for years doing work for Nasa and felt I was a part of all this and it a part of me. My part was very small but it was big for in my mind.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sailboats fair and fine# 50 : read older posts first

Just want to thank everyone for being patient and I should be posting regular again. I still can't post with Linux to blogger as I had hopped I'd be able to do. I would really like to stay off line with the computer I am doing video with.


Dec.1,Monday Georgenes Log

We were up early and had breakfast before we got underway. We waited until 8 A.M. To get some fuel at the marina across from us. We tied up at the fuel dock at the Anchorage Yacht Basin right across from the big dragon on the point. A man in the boat across the dock from us gave us a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs. The dock master let us stay at the dock long enough to let us stay at the grocery store about a block away.

We managed to get to the Esau Gollie ( Oh Golly )bridge just in time for it's opening at 9:15 and off we go- South on the Indian River again. The first stretch this morning was straight down the middle of this beautiful river. Just before noon the channel started to have a few zig zags because of the many little islands. We passed through the Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge and saw the tiny Pelican Island a mile or so away from the channel with dozens and dozens of Pelicans and lots of other birds watching us go buy. It has really been a beautiful day. We found another nice anchorage just off the waterway behind a little island at mile 945. We stopped around 4 P.M. And both took a short nap. I washed my hair and started supper and Doug took the dingy for a little sight seeing tour.

Having sailed most of the day and only having run the engine about 30 minutes I thought I had better check the battery charge. Sure enough it was down pretty good. We ran the engine another hour. We had run enough to bring the house battery up. But not the starting battery. With days now shorter some reading lights were nice in the evenings. Having it to do over again I would have put a larger alternator on Wolf trap as the one that came on the engine was only 15 amp. When we got to Ft Lauderdale . I run up on a fellow who had a nice 30 amp alternator that he was replacing with a 100 amp and really fancy charging system. I gave him $10.00 It had a bad diode in it and I got one for $15.00 and put it on the little Yanmar. I could detect a little slowdown for about twenty minutes if the batteries were down some but as the alternator load lightened Wolftrap was back up to speed again. There is no end to this more and more electricity thing I would have been just as happy had I stuck with the 15 amp alternator. It jut meant running under power a little longer. I do believe that when charging batteries at anchor the heavier load on the engine from a bigger alternator is better for the engine as long as you never charge batteries under about 1600 RPM's. For a fellow who builds his own stuff It's not a hard thing to but a small refrigerator on board run off a small rotary automotive air conditioner compressor. If you have to run the engine to charge batteries you may as well run a small refrigerator. Even the little 8 hp Yanmar will pull a thirty amp alternator and refrigerator while anchored. You can't run both while motoring If the little refrigerator is really well insulated say 6 inches you don't have to run it but about twice a week for one hour in hot summer time. Unless you are going to live aboard for long periods. I used in our sailboat Kate, the refrigerant that they sell in the automotive stores.

Us men are mostly fools. We take a girl off sailing who has been used to all the modern convinces and expect her to cook, serve meals and a few other jobs in blissful happiness with a kerosene stove that is contrary. No refrigeration, hardly any electricity minimal heat and not even a decent mirror to put her makeup on. You and I can't saw out a new hatch board without an eclectic jigsaw a couple of Rather manly wood planes, chisels

WE can't even read a chart without a chart table. No frilly curtains no flowery bedspreads. Except for one rather large problem we should take only men sailing.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sailboats Fair and fine; Read oldest posts first

Sorry folks this may take a few days. I am working onWolftrap Video of the trip south and to the Bahamas. My computer kept locking up and some of the programs quit working. I have had this problem before and have now set up a dual boot system with Linux on one drive and Xp on the other to do only video on using Premier. I will do all my on line work in Lenux. That should keep Xp free of trash. Anyway it will take a few days to get things straight again and start posting. Sorry about that!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sailboats fair and fine # 49 : read oldest posts first

NOVE 30 -Sunday Georgenes Log

We couldn't see much when we anchored last night but we got up this morning to find that we were in a beautiful place. The little man made basin was not meant for but one or two boats anchor- if that. There was a boat ramp that was very busy late last night and early this morning with fishermen coming and going. We were in a manatee area and I was hoping I'd see one- or an alligator. The one mile cut was really beautiful. We came into the Indian river and had a long straight stretch for about 35 miles once we turned to come down the river. This river was much wider with a little more depth and a lot of little islands just off the channel. At one of these islands we saw a couple dozen whit pelicans sitting on a sandbar. They are getting scarce and are considered endangered.

The sun was pretty warm a couple times today, I even put on my bathing suit-and then it rained. We had decided to anchored at mile 915 and I;m really glad we did As we came around Dragon Point we passed a huge stucco dragon sitting right on the point! He was about 40 ft long and 20 feet tall. We anchored at about 4:15 P.M. in the Banana River. It is a popular anchorage about 1 mile from the point to a bridge. There are a coupe of marinas just across the river from us.. After we anchored we saw porpoise swimming around near us and also got to see a fireworks display at one of the homes across from us. Some kids set off about a dozen Roman Candles.

As a kid about 11 years old I visited my mothers brother who had a sign shop Miami. He brought more up to this point to show me this Dragon he had built it and painted it years before. So I had no Idea where the thing was but was kind of excited to run across it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sailboats fair and fine # 48 : read older posts first

Well we were up early this morning before the alarm went off. Georgene was in a chipper mood and says she doesn't mind getting up early now that we are in warmer weather. It's cloudy and we have had rain of and on all day today. We've had a good breeze all day but smack in our face so again it's been motor sailing. We traveled a little slower, straight into the wind as we did. We passed behind Datona Beach today and stopped at the municipal marina long enough to get Ice, fuel, water and a few snacks. We are in tourist country now lined with hotels, resorts and huge homes.

This afternoon we came down the Mosquito Lagoon it's a long straight channel with shallows on each side of the channel close in. This area is fishing camps aplenty. Camping trailers everywhere and people launching and tasking up boats every where along the way. According to the waterway guide the place lives up to it's name. It's fall so I guess the mosquitoes are down and I'm sure the strong breeze is a help as well. The channel has been full of boats all day. I guess these fishermen like to fish in the channel.

Some places they are rafted up and unwilling to move out of your way. It's no problem with Woftrap because I just move out of the channel but If she was drawing five feet I would have to wait for someone to move and listen to their grumbling as the boat behind us did.

The porpoise and pelicans no the fishing is good here they are plentiful. I've heard people say they ride the bow wave because they enjoy it. I think what they are doing is watching the bottom and when your shadow runs over a fish he darts out of hiding to escape and the purpose is on him in a flash.

Running down the lagoon we could see the big missile assembly building at Cape Canaveral we watched it all day and I don't think it ever got any closed even though we were running right at it. It is one big building.

At the end of the days run down the lagoon the channel mad a hard turn to starboard and came into a cut channel that ran across a mile wide spit of land. Trees grow right to the edge and a few in the water. There are people fishing off the bank every 30 ft. Everybody waves and once in a while hold up a pretty string of fish. We had to wait a few minutes for the bridge to open and then motored through. We went on about a quarter mile and turned to Port into a really small basin. I anchored up short on two hooks to make room for another boat if they wanted to anchor. We were at mile 870 and tired. We stretched in the cockpit drank coffee and listened to soft music on our radio.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sailboats Fair and fine, # 47 : read older posts first

Hi folks, Well here is where we are with the boat I am building today. Thought you might like to know what I do when I'm not on the keyboard. When the little boat is finished we will embark on high adventure. Now you have to know that at 70 couple of years old getting out of bed in the morning is somewhat of an adventure.

Picture at the top is the just glassed topsides

Next is the Rudder

Below it is the rudder hatch and hatch slides laying with them

The tp picture show the glass with onr coat of epoxy. With one more coat of epoxy on top then a little sanding and I'll start putting hatches and trim on her. One job I'm kind of dreading is bending a toe rail around the deck and bending half rounds on the hull as rub rails.. I will probably have to steam bend them and nail on to the hull to dry. Then drill the holes and counter sink for screws take the strips off and butter them up with epoxy and screw back on. I will likely have to have help doing the bending and nailing on when I take the strips out of the steamer as it has to be done fast. The good thing there is, that job is a ways off as I have to roll her over and glass the sides first. As with most things I dread doing, I start thinking about them way in advance so I'll have plenty of worrying time before I start.
I am really anxious to get the topside trim on and a coat of white primer, so the hull work will have to wait a little bit. I want to see what she will look like with hatches trim and a coat of white. Most if the trim is shellacked and it looks pretty good but will take on a darker amber color with several coats of varnish. I really hope the pine trim holds up well. It's a new thing for me ,varnish over pine but it will give me the color I want and so it will be a while in the weather before I can call it a success. I think it is so much prettier that teak or mahogany. Some of that is that I like the terpentine smell of working in pine.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sailboats fair and Fine # 46 : read older posts first

Here comes a barge with a missle on deck. Headed for Cape Canaveral . If you meet one of these in a bend in the river a deep keel sailboat is nice. Wolftrap with her shallow draft will run aground if you move over to much. My deep draft Fantaisa sloop wont, you just put the wheel over and she moves to the side until the keel begins to feel the side of the channel. No mater how hard you push over on the wheel she won't get any closer to the shallows. I have on occasion in a straight stretch of channel, let go of the wheel and let her find her own way. She will slowly wonder from one side to the other but never touching bottom.

Nov. 28-Friday

We went through the bridge of lions at 7;30 A.M. and after a brief stop at the city marina for fuel and Ice. We were on our way South again. St Augustine was really a nice place to stop- a beautiful harbor. At the town marina, Doug met a man that remembered us from Swansboro. Thats where we did the engine repairs. His boat, I think is the “Sempaytico”. They talked a while when we were getting fuel and he said he would see us on down the line. We waved good by as we backed away from the dock into the wind.

It has been cloudy and overcast all day but no rain. Temp around 70 degrees. Our trip has mostly been a long straight stretch today. The last feww weeks, we've been zig-zagging in and out of rivers- to the edge of the ocean and back again, away from the inlets. Today we passed one inlet and the rest has been a long straight run behind Florida's outer banks. It's more populated now in along the beaches,but some stretches are sandstone banks and real thick palm trees. Still see a lot of flat marsh land, but another change of scenery.

We stopped early today- 4 P.M. Anchorages are in shorter supply than farther North and we slipped into a long, shallow basin behind a little island and anchored. The next anchorage is another ten miles and we probably wouldn't have made it before dark. Besides we were both tired and this place is very pretty. It's barely off the water way and only about 4 ft of water. We are at about mile 820.

I really like these floating docks for Wolftrap. If the wind is pressing her against the dock we take the lines loose except for a bow line. With the dock low to the water Georgene puts the boat in forward the bow line comes tight and the stern swings out. The bowsprit swings over the low dock and when Georgene has the stern straight out. I take the dock line loose swing up onto the bowsprit by the head stay and George backs Wolftrap away swings around and passes by the end of the dock and were off. Any man that don't teach is wife to handle the boat is missing half the pleasures of cruising. Not only that but if the boat looks like it's going to hit a piling they are likely to try and stop it. I know one lady who has never set foot on a boat again after she smashed her toes between the rub rail and a dock. They just can't stand to see the varnish get scrubbed off against something. Besides that your probably stronger, let her do the one finger thing on the throttle while you do the heavy lifting. Every one in the marina will admire you for letting your wife get the praise for a nice docking job and believe me everyone will notice. With a little patience from you, she will learn to handle the boat. It's not that hard, no matter how hard most of us try to make it look that way. Doug

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Sasilboats fair and fine # 45 : Read older posts First

Nov27. Thursday Not Georgene's Log but Doug's memory

We spent the day wondering around town doing a little Grocery shopping and a little wine tasting. We pretty much filled up a grocery cart at the grocery store and they loaned us the cart to take everything to the boat. We loaded the dingy and ferried our cargo out to Wolftrap. Then went back and returned the grocery cart to the store. Walking around town we run up on a a wine tasting and always being up for that we joined in. Some of their wines are made from Fox grapes or scuppernogs and scuppernines. In Florida those grapes are known as Georgia bullets. I had mentioned that my parents were from Georgia, Scuppernog wine was a big deal at our house. My aunt shipped us grapes from Georgia and we made wine every year. I was delighted to find wine like I had grown up with so we bought some for ships stores. We got to the boat and packed them away and head for the fort in the dingy and for .50 cents we took a tour can't hardly beat that for a cheap tour.

Returning to the boat we stretched out in the cockpit to watch the tourist go back and forth. About the time we got good and comfortable a police boat came over and asked us to move as there was going to be boat parade for Christmas so we upped anchor and moved farther out. We settled down again watching the goings on and another police boat came over and said the parade is coming right through where you are. You will have to move. This time I argued a little and was told I could move or they would move me and you won't like it he said. “Alright, alright” I said. My wife punched me in the ribs and said come on move the boat. The cop stood in his boat a few feet away with his fist on his hips watching. I motored out fifty yards and turned to anchor and he waved me on out so I went out another fifty yards and dropped the hook. In a little while to more boats came in and anchored almost where I was. Nobody bothered them. When the parade came through it was way close to shore and nowhere near either spot I had anchored in. I was aggravated but kept it to myself though my wife keep glancing at me out of the corner of her eye not sure what I might do. I would have done something If I could of thought of something to do. . When the parade was over we moved to the back of the line of boats and anchored again.

In a little while a boat came in and anchored close while I was below. We went below to eat and read a little and suddenly a boat that had anchored behind us gave five sharp loud blasts on his horn. I came up quick and we were being drug buy the boat that had anchored next to us. He pulled up his anchor to the water level and started motoring off dragging us with him so I yelled over to him and he went forward and got my rode loose from his anchor so we then went back and anchored for the fifth time At St. Augustine. By this time the whole thing had gotten to be a joke and I was by now in a pretty good mood and am now glad to have this little yarn to tell. The rest of the night was pleasant. Tomorrow would be a traveling day and I would be glad to be away from a city anchorage.

I have about two hours of video that I took in 8mm and then still photo's that I intend to put together in maybe an hour video. If I can remember how to work my video program I will be putting it on line for viewing . Probably in short segments in what ever length I can get someone to host it in. I put a link here to it so that any interested can go take a look. Time is running short as I am writing for two blogs building a boat and trying to sell a book so it may take a little while.


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine #44 : read oldest posts first

The old Spanish Fort at St. Augustine above.

Nov. 25, Tue. Georgenes Log

Left early this morning and motor sailed all day. We had a very pleasant day . I cleaned the boat some as we went along. We have a lot of mildew. I hope we can get some things dried out soon. The bots topsides don't leak but the early morning fog has dampened everything. We anchored a mile 765 in a little creek off the waterway. Tomorrow were going on to St Augustine and plan to stay for a couple of days. It should be a lot of fun there.

The spot we anchored in was not really a creek but a backwash behind spoils that had been dredged from the waterway and deposited along side. We went around behind it and anchored in about four feet of water. Another boat came in and anchored just after sundown.

Nov. 26- Wed. Georgenens Log

We started off a little different to day. When we started to leave the Anchorage, the other boat that had anchored not far from us had swung around on it's anchor and gone aground on a sand bar. We motored over to see if we could help them get off and as we were backing , Doug shifted into forward and nothing happened. We couldn't go forward and we backed in to the other boat and put a dent in it. Also they had out two anchors and one went under their bow and in the dark water we couldn't see it. We picked that line up in our propeller. We put fenders between the boats and Doug went over to free the prop. he then found that a clamp on the shifter linkage was broken and had to be fixed. He then started the engine and shifted by hand down inside the engine compartment so that we could move away from the other boat and then we anchored a gain and Doug fixed the lever. It didn't take long. He had it fixed before I finished getting breakfast. Needless to say we did not help the other boat any. They were really hard aground by this time time ,as the tide was going out. They would have to wait for high tide.

We only traveled about 10 miles today to St. Augustine. We anchored beside the “Bridge of Lions” and had lunch and the rowed ashore. We only walked around for about an hour as the weather looked as if it were going to get bad.A cold front was supposed to move through and thunderstorms were likely. I think probably we'll stay here again tomorrow and do a little sight seeing and maybe have Thanksgiving dinner ashore.

The last few days every time we had crossed ocean inlets we have been calling good friends on the “Colony Two” who are on their way from Deltaville to Fort Lauderdale out side. We didn't expect to raise them but we tried anyway. It would really be fun if he answered.

This harbor is beautiful tonight. “The Bridge of Lions” is really something to see! Day or night! The old fort, Castillo DE San Marcos,is just down the waterfront and it is lighted all around.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sailboats Fair and fine# 43 : read oldest posts first

Nov 23, Sunday Georgene's log

It was a very nice day. Doug and I read all day-didn't clean or anything-just relaxed all day.

Well that was her entry for the day and when she says we didn't do anything that's right she didn't hardly make an entry. Actually she read all day. I put the little air cooled motor on the dink and went exploring. The motor is a “Cruise and Carry” a little air cooled outboard motor that weighs 18 lbs, if I remember right. It was a great little engine. If you... The if you, being that you have to run all the gasoline out of it every time you use it. If you are careful to do that, It starts on the second pull, every time. Almost!

Wondered to the paper mill and took in everything I could see and after talking to a guard, was taken on a tour. They don't give tours but somehow I seem to always find someone who will show me around. I guess if you show some interest and ask a few questions there is usually someone will take the time. I ran from there down to the other end of town to the old part. There was no shortage of shrimp boats. I tried to buy some shrimp but everyone said all their shrimp were sold before they went out so one skipper gave me some.

Years ago we had a wood stove with an oven on a boat. My wife makes bread and you'd be surprised at the things you can trade for hot bread. Water melons, steamed crabs, Lobster, and scrimp to name a few are payment for a loaf of hot bread. Hot bread on the waterway is better than gold, especially if they can smell it baking.

The anchorage were we were was between the main channel and a little island. We were blessed with shallow draft and were able to go in close to the island where the tide ran slow and there were few boats anchored. At the north end of the Island was a Old North sea ketch she was about 75 ft long and heavily built she was anchored she was unpainted and her planking and topsides oiled. I would loved to have been able to go aboard. I dingied along side in hopes of striking up a conversation. There was no one on deck so I hung around a while and with great difficulty resisted the urge to knock on the hull or something. I motored slowly around her in the hopes that someone would come on deck but alas they weren't home or they didn't want to fool around talking to some American Yachty.

It was a shame that summer a storm came up the coast and blew her aground. Ten years later she was still there rotting away.

When we had come into the anchorage the night before we had anchored on one anchor as were the other nearby boats. I had a scope of about six to one in six feet of water. In the late afternoon a trimaran abut 25 ft anchored close. In a little while a lady came over in an inflatable and informed me that I had to much rope out and that I might hit them.

I told her I was sorry I had put her in danger and that I would fix the problem. I dingied out a second anchor almost to the beach and pulled over between the two giving them more room. I guess she didn't know that the boat that's there first sets rules for how much room it needs.

Her husband later told me he was sorry that she just don't know and that he planned to take in some rode later before they went to bed giving both boats more room. He said he just wanted to give his anchor time to work in. He was very apologetic

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Saiboats Fair and Fine# 42 : Read oldest posts first

Continue Nov. 21 Friday Georgene's Log

We had to get fuel this evening and we put into a marina at Jekyll Island,Georgia. This place is where so many wealthy families had “Cottages” in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The state of Georgia now owns the Island which is now a state park and open to the public. We are now at mile 684. Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will be in Florida. Doug Says I'll be warmer just because I'll know I'm in Florida!

Saturday Nov22,1986 Georgenen's log

We got up early had breakfast and walked about 1 1/4 miles to the grocery store_ and back to the marina. It was a bout 10 A.M. when we left the marina. We had a really nice sunny day even though it was cold most of the day. We had to cross St Andrews sound and we were actually in the ocean water before we rounded the last marker and turned back in on the Southern side of the sound to find a channel through more marsh grass. It's the most seaward point since we left Virginia. We crossed the St. Mary's River, the boarder between Georgia and Florida about 2 P.M. WE anchored across from Fernandina beach Marina about 3:30 P.M. It really felt good to finally be in Florida. We plan to stay anchored here tomorrow and clean the boat up and let it dry out. It's supposed to be sunny and close to 80 degrees.

Crossing the St Mary's River is a little different experience the tide runs swift and you are crossing shipping channels with ships ,submarines trawlers tugs and barges an every manner of pleasure boat going in all directions. You come out in the river beside a Ship yard where ships set way up in the air in dry dock. There are barges for troops to stay aboard. ( I guess that's what they are.) It seems no matter which way you look there are shrimp boats coming at you or crossing your bow. This was my first impression on other trips through there not much was going on. First impressions are usually lasting so that's the way I picture the place.

The town is old and a fishing town with shrimper's and fishing boats a plenty. The place is kind of special to me as My Grandfather left Roanoke Va. On a train as a young man in 1870 and rode to the end of the line which was at that time Fernandina. There was a housing boom going on as people were moving there from new York. He became a house builder. There is a bar there that dates back to 1850 or so. I st there drinking a beer and imagined him setting there having a drink. There is a painting of a reclining lady of the night on the wall be the bar

I spent a fair amount of time watching the debarker skin logs at the paper mill. A great place to stop Fernandina!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine # 41 : read oldest posts first

Here is one of the occasional hunting fishing lodges along the waterway in Georgia. Most lodges are back in the trees on land.

Nov.18,Tuesday ( Georgene's Log )

It was still foggy this morning. WE waited and ate breakfast and about 9a.m. We decided to go anyway-carefully. We motored on compass courses from marker to marker until after noon. The fog slowly lifted and we had a few hours coming down the Coosaw River that we could see. It was still partly cloudy and chilly. We wanted to get as far as Beaufort S.C. ( pronounced Bufort If you prononce wrong you'll be told) and it was dark when we anchored.

Nov 19,Wed.

We probably should have stayed here a couple of days in Beaufort. We had to wait until 9: oo A.M. to get through the swing Bridge and then we stopped at the city marina for fuel and water. It was really a nice marina with a laundramat and store and the town had stores( groceries etc. ) very close to the water front. We may stop on the way N orth next spring and spend a couple days. Now we just want to get farther south- quick. We decided to try and get as far as Thunderbolt Ga. At mile 583. We sailed a good part of the day which we haven't done a lot of since we crossed the Albermarele Sound. We really made good time and we thought we would be anchored by 5P.M. We didn't count on waiting on a couple of bridges to open though and it was about 6 when we dropped the hook just about a mile past Thunderbolt.

Nov. 20, Thursday Georgenes log

We started off early this morning in the rain. It's been raining all day and still is. Although we anchored early,about 3pm we traveled about 45 miles today. It started raining harder and we were wet, cold and tired so we decided to call it a day. We ducked in a little creek off the waterway and dropped our Anchors.

Nov. 21 Friday Georgenens Log

We got up this morning to find that we had anchored in a very pretty spot. The sun was coming up and not many clouds. Cold, but clear today most of the day we were in narrow creeks bordered by marsh grass. It's really funny to be going along and see grass for miles and miles and see other sailboats maybe a mile or so away and it looks like there in the middle of a field. You can't see the next creek or river until you get right to the markers to make a turn. Every so often you see a tree or a little clump of trees on the bank and then grass for miles and miles. The sun came out this afternoon nice and warm. It's really been a nice day.

It's odd to me that everyone complains about going through Georgia. It's only a hundred miles and It's just a grassy wilderness kind of like so much of the Carolina's are forest wildernesses. When you do come on a fishing shack it's a treat. Running ranges is a little difficult at first but you soon get the hang of it. It sure keeps you in the channel. With little creeks coming in from the sides of the waterway and a current coming out of them you would soon find yourself setting on a mud flat without range markers to line up fore and aft.

When the tide is in Your sails are well above the grass and there is lots of motor sailing to be don. The waterway is so crooked purely sailing would be difficult. A lot of boats go off shore through this section of the country. Ihave met a lot of people in the Bahamas that have never been down the waterway they always go offshore. I always try to talk them into traveling the intracoastal once anyway, it's a beautiful trip but I guess not for everyone.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Saiboats Fair and Fine # 40 : read oldest posts first

The Picture on the bottom is beaufort S.C. and the one on the top is the Georia Savannas and this is where Savanah gets it's name.

Nov.18,Tuesday ( Georgene's Log )

It was still foggy this morning. WE waited and ate breakfast and about 9a.m. We decided to go anyway-carefully. We motored on compass courses from marker to marker until after noon. The fog slowly lifted and we had a few hours coming down the Coosaw River that we could see. It was still partly cloudy and chilly. We wanted to get as far as Beaufort S.C. ( pronounced Bufort If you prononce wrong you'll be told) and it was dark when we anchored.

Nov 19,Wed.

We probably should have stayed here a couple of days in Beaufort. We had to wait until 9: oo A.M. to get through the swing Bridge and then we stopped at the city marina for fuel and water. It was really a nice marina with a Laundromat and store and the town had stores( groceries etc. ) very close to the water front. We may stop on the way North next spring and spend a couple days. Now we just want to get farther south- quick. We decided to try and get as far as Thunderbolt Ga. At mile 583. We sailed a good part of the day which we haven't done a lot of since we crossed the Albermarele Sound. We really made good time and we thought we would be anchored by 5P.M. We didn't count on waiting on a couple of bridges to open though and it was about 6 when we dropped the hook just about a mile past Thunderbolt.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine # 39 : Read oldest posts first

Well we had anchored at Charleston on the 7th and it was now the 18th.of Nov. It's been a Long stay. My business Partner Bob Grow was in town doing consulting work. He showed us around town, took us to dinner and then grocery shopping at least once. We did all the touristy stuff around town visiting museums, and the slave market, the customs house and walked the docks on the Cooper river. We wondered along the Battery and looked at the old homes along it.

One thing I really enjoyed was a model sailboat race on a small lake in town. Sailing them looked to be great fun except that those guys take the whole thing dead serious. I doubt that I could get that wrapped up in it.

We rode the little wooden bodied trolley all over town. This tourist thing is something we have never done much of so we really had a good time as it was kind of new for us. My Parents came from the deep south and they always had a fondness for the southern cities and I guess some of rubbed off on me. I found the place fascinating.

We had done a lot of walking since leaving the York River and now were able to walk a couple miles going and then coming with an armload of groceries with out any problem. We were both felling pretty good about that.

On our last morning there I walked into town in rain and fog and got our mail. When I got back Georgene was ready to go but we were fogged in. We lounged around drinking coffee and reading our mail. Georgene had sent off a lot of letters as we traveled so she had a stack of responses full of questions about our travels. That would keep her busy over the next week or so answering them.

Finally about 1:30 P.M. the fog lifted just a little so we weighed our anchors and headed out. We motored compass courses from buoy to buoy. The temperature was getting up around 70 degrees now and the fog and clouds were patchy. After a time We hoisted the foresail and picked up a knot in an almost nonexistent breeze. After about 20 miles we rounded a marker and headed into Church creek. As we finished up our anchoring which took a couple tries to find bottom firm enough to hold us so we were in very shallow water but secure. The fog began settling in again as the temperature dropped some. After sun set low flying scuddy clouds came through. There was a bright moon coming through the clouds and a dog barked over on the shore, we could hear people talking.

A few other boats came in, in the fog and anchored. We could see their anchor lights but not them.

There were some trees along the south shore and a couple times when the moon came out from behind a cloud we could see them all spooky and forlorn looking draped in silvery Spanish moss. I had the old Kerosene anchor light but I also had a an electric light as well so I put it up to to see how much farther the battery light could be seen beyond the kero light. I got in the dingy and rowed off to look. To my surprise the yellow kero lantern could be seen farther than the expensive battery light. The kerosene light had a very good Fresno lens. The electric light had one that was simulated out of plastic. After that I felt much better riding to anchor at lest in the fog with my old standby kerosene light.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine #38: read oldest posts first

I hadn't put my long underwear on so I donned them this time and they felt good after being wet. I went topside and began hoisting sails. In a few minutes we were barreling along in a stiff breeze with no waves. The water way only about fifty yards wide hand nothing more than a riffle on it. It feels kind of unnatural to sail in a good breeze with no waves but boy do you go. Around noon we were in the harbor sailing hard on the wind but it had fallen light so were kind of ghosting along. In the waterway you seldom get to let the boat sail itself. Here in the harbor we did and it was really pleasant and it's a great reminder as to what schooners and ketches are for. temperature was up and the sun was warm so we heated up some water and took baths in the cockpit. We finished and dressed just before a tour boat passed us.

We had passed under the guns of Fort Sumter and now were reviewing those along the Battery of Charleston itself. We were heading for the mouth of the Ashley river and beating against a swift tide. Progress was slow. We didn't care. The sun was low in the sky and just beginning to turn the sky pink. After a time we eased into and anchorage behind a red nun dropped two hooks and dropped back on them and hung beside the buoy about thirty yards from it. There were more boats coming into the Ashley and they began anchoring really close. We put fenders over the side just in case. WE wound up with six boats in a very small place and all but us left the minute their anchors hit bottom. WE generally try to make it a habit to stay with the boat at least through a change of tide to see how she will ride at anchor. I guess I don't trust my anchoring as much as some do. You never know though it may be divine providence they trust in or insurance.

It was getting chilly so we covered up in a blanket and watched the sun set under the Ashley Bridge while our coffee was making. AS the dark settled in over the distant Fort Sumter I tried the imagine the shelling back and forth between Yankee ships and the fort about one hundred thirty five years before. Cars running up and down the road beside the anchorage made that a little difficult. We were to stay a couple of weeks and I was never comfortable with the anchorage. The mud bottom had been churned up by thousands of anchorings over the years and boats dragged often in the strong tide. If there was much wind blowing we never stayed away from the boat where the wind was against the tide. There were boats running to and fro at anchor and some pulled out. One couple came home in the middle of the night and had to retrieve their boat from the coast guard station. They then took the boat out into the middle of the channel and anchored. In a few minutes the coast guard made them move and they ran up and down the river most of the night and come daybreak they anchored be side us way to close. At least this time they stayed aboard until the departed. We were glad to see them go.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine#37 : read oldest posts first

We were out of there early before daybreak The tide was out and I had to climb the muddy ladder about seven feet to the dock. The ladder was covered in mud and I being one of those painters that get all over me or a brick layer that gets motor all over me, I manged to get mud all over me and it was wet and cold. We eased out and on down the water way just as the orange broke through the early morning gray sky. There was a stiff breeze blowing and we were going to be on a beam reach. I went below, Georgene, motored along and I changed my cloths.

I had been up and down the coast outside several times and had traveled a little of the waterway once. This was the first time for me to travel the ditch all the way to Florida. I am by now feeling a little closed in. Most of my blue water sailing has been along or with a couple other guys along. Georgene and I got beat up by a very low tropical low years ago on a trip to Bermuda. She vowed not to do it again except maybe in short hops. So thats what we are doing we'll skip over to the Bahamas from Florida and Island hop from there. The Bahamas are perfect for the person that doesn't want to spend weeks at sea. I have a now and then yearning for sea passages but I do them alone. There is some danger involved and to take someone that doesn't really want to face that danger is wrong. More that that I will ruin your sailing as well. The only problem is there is something in me it doesn't satisfy. Now I'm yearning again. I'm building the wrong boat for that so I may sail the one I'm building a few times and sell it. John Wellsford is designing some boats I like and I may build one of them for an Atlantic crossing. I am not talking about this around the house and I half dread having to bring it up. Once its out plans will start to form.

I am building in a plastic covered bow shed. Bad weather has beat it up some so I will have to do some repairs on the shop first.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Saiboats Fair and Fine#36: read oldes posts first

The above Picture is Georgetown mainstreet with it's bell tower. This is a really nice little town. I haven't been back since 1998 I wonder of the steel mill is still there to support the place.


It was raining and chilly this morning and we decided we didn't much want to walk around in the rain in Georgetown so we ate breakfast and left about 9: am. The weather cleared up after a couple hours and we had a pleasant day. We decided to stop early about3P.M. At mile 430, we went into Mc Clellandville. We walked into town to find a store andI certeinly am glade we did. The most georgouse trees I've ever seen! All over the place. Doug said they were called live oaks. I hope we get our Vidio cameraback soonand I'll want to stop at Mc Clellandville on the way North Next Year we're going to get some tapes of those beautiful trees.

As things sometimes work out we didn't stop in on the way home. I think we were to meet someone in Georgetown. We passed Mc Clellandville by and as often the case when you let an oppertunity slip by you loose it. The following fall Hurricane Hugo came in at Mc Clellandville pushing an eighteen foot wave in front of it. The trees and most of those antebellum homes that had stood there a couple of centuries were gone. At least that's what we are told. We have passed by that old town four times over the years since then and have not been able to work up the courage to go into town and see the place. That is really not the thing to do as the town to some degree depends on boats coming up and down the waterway for a living.

This is a good place to talk about my Chesapeake Bay Lumber reef. The main on Wolftrap has a lower reef that doesn't take up much sail so it isn't much good as a reefing point. The good thing about it is. The boom fits the mast with gaff jaws that fits around the mast and a down haul that you can pull the boom down tight with. But you can also raise it. So You drop the sail just enough and and put in a reef then raise the sail and the boom is just over your head when standing. A battened boom tent lays on top and ties down around the edges. You can't sail with it but it's great to be under in the rain when motoring or sailing under foresail and jib. While in Florida we made a few changes in it. We layed the boat hook in the boom crutch and the awning on top of it all tied down. The down haul on the boom was used to tie the forward end of the boat hook up under the boom. Now since the main sheeted to a boomkin we could sail with the lumber reef in. This was a great improvement for the Tropics. We also had an awning for the fore sail boom but we only used that at anchor to keep the hot sun off the boat.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine # 35 : read the oldest posts first

The top picture is looking down the Waccamaw river the next one a little sandbar and then my shadow in the water. The last picture should be first its the cut with it's stone banks. The Waccamaw dumps out into Winyah bay. This whole area is breath taking in it's beauty. This is, Gone With the Wind plantation country. Take a look at Georgetown and close you eyes you may see ladies with parasols and young men in white suits riding Tennisee walking horses and elderly couples in carraiges. It's all there behind the darkness of your eyelids. Now and then you may see a for real paddle wheeler round a bend of moss covered trees along the river. Now that's a thrill.

Nov. 5 Wed.

Well it was up early this morning., Last night we anchored on the Ocean side of the inland waterway, in Little River. A beautiful place with Spanish moss hanging off the trees and a few small white houses along the southern shore line. Shrimpers were coming and going early this morning to and from the ocean. We were in the shallows and they rolled us hard. Sleep was out of the question. There was a little fog as I guess there is everywhere along the coast in the fall of the year.
Today was a long canal run, known as the cut, down to the Waccamaw River at mile 375. We had run on engine through high banks with black peat jutting out from the dark rich soil along it's edges. As you go along these channels the scenery changes every couple of hours. For a time you feel as though you are in wild country and then there are homes of the type found along the suburbs of any American city then you break away into a near jungle like swamp. With trees hung in moss and cypress knees all around. Every half submerged log has Tiel Pot turtles lined up on them. They slide off into the black water to be gone.
We bump bumped our way down the river in light rain that seemed so fitting to the southern swamp we made our way through. We were now out of the Waccamaw and into Winyah bay. With sail up we sailed across the bay to Sampit River that winds it's way into Georgetown. We came into the river in front of Georgetown and anchored. We found ourselves in plain view of a steel mill and a town that reminded me though on a much smaller scale of Dundalk Md. Where I grew up. With it's nigh time glow of steel making and the sound of trains shuttling back and forth with loads of glowing red steel. A couple of ships were tied up and were being loaded with steel. They almost looked to be trapped in such a small river port. An old clock tower peeled out the hours day and nigh mixed in with the sound of squalling tires and roaring V eight engines straining to do 0 to 60 on main street in town. Then the sound of a police siren as some teenage boy got himself a summons to go see the judge.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine#34 : read oldest posts first


Only took about ten minutes to fix the line on the mast . Some young guy climbed up the mast and hooked the line for us.We got started off about9AM. It was a beautivul day, temperatures in the 70's. We had a fair wind but light. We sailed and motored and made good time until this afternoon as we turned into the channel at Southport. The tide was against us then and we slowed down right much. We stopped for fuel this afternoon and the dock was so high above us that Doug had to stand on handrail and climb up. They have six foot tides here and it was low.

It finally got warm enough this afternoon for me to wear shorts for a few hours. As soon as the sun got low it started cooling off fast, tho.

We anchored on the north side of a pontoon bridge( the only one in the country now) with about 50 or so other boats. The bridge has broken down and we all have to wait until they fix it before we can get under way again. As I'm writing it's 7:30 PM and we are waiting for the Coast Guard to let us know if and when the bridge is going to open tonight.

The bridge opened about 10:30 and we motored on through. I would like to have seen the bridge better. We only went about 4 miles to find an anchorage. We anchored at mile 342- just about a mile across the boarder into South carolina.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

No posts until Tue 19, 07

Hello all,
I'm going to be away for a few days and am having computer problems so there will not be any posts until Tues. Feb 19. Please come back then and we will get at it again. Below is a article about my Book Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns.
"Mooncursers" takes place near "Baltimore Maryland," during the early part of WWII. A story of two boys, each battling his own devils. Both are strengthened through adventure and the overcoming of self imposed guilt. They decipher a cryptic note and right an old wrong. All this in order to give new meaning to the life of an elderly lady living in an old Baltimore slum and to return to her what is rightfully hers. This is a story of boys who find young manhood and lifelong confidence through adversity, adventure and intrigue. Between these covers are other short stories for old boys and young men. Some will delight, drawing a chuckle and others to inspire thought. A few will leave an introspective question or two to ponder. One story is pure piffle. See if you recognize which one. Doug

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine #33 : Read oldest posts first

Nov. 3 Monday

We took in our lines and backed away from the dock At 6:55 AM. There is almost no wind and just a hint of fog. We were both happy to be on our way again. A week of messing around in one place has begun to be a long time. Funny thing how big a hurry I was in considering we didn't have to be any place at any particular time. I guess when your traveling you want to travel. The sky was overcast with a smooth layer of clouds that look e like they had been spray painted up there. One thing for sure with a sky like that I was sure there would be no wind for at least a day. We enjoyed the big houses along the water way and motored along at ease.

Being close to the ocean the trees had that look. They all leaned inland with fewer leaves on the Ocean side. I guess the salty wind does that. Kind of gives the trees the look of a strong wind blowing.

We motored along with sandunes between us and the ocean. Now and then we would get a good look at the Atlantic. There must have been a storm off shore someplace because even though there wasn't any wind the seas were running big. The ocean was beautiful. The clouds reflected their gray color in the ocean. It light up as though it were silver with white breakers standing out on it's silver gray surface.

We were running along enjoying the scenery when we heard a bank and a for sail halyard whistled through the air and hit the deck with a thud.

I walked forward cursing the stupidity that let me put that halyard up there without wiring the shackle in place. When I got there and looked up there was the broken shackle hanging in place with the safety wire still in place.

We went on thinking to find a marina where i could get someone to run me up the mast. We pulled into one at Whiskey Creek a nice little marina with floating dock. This was something new to us.

I talked to the fellow at the gas dock who told me he would not be able to run me up there. He said If I let you fall we'll have to buy the marina back from you. He told me he'd come down and help me at lunch time, and he did..

I at one time would climb a mast with out giving it a second though but I shinnied up. This kid walked up the mast like a Haitian walking up a coconut palm. He grabbed the mast brought his feet up and laid back and walked. Swinging one arm out and around to grab the mast then the other. Amazing!.

The marina had a sign up that said in the event of a hurricane all boats must move as the docks will be taken up. Kind of a strange concept for a guy from a marina on pilings to take in.

Georgene and I never had spent much time in marinas a lot of things about marinas were new to us.

In our earlier years of sailing we would have everything packed when we got home on Friday night and head for the boat eighty miles away. As soon as we got there we took off sailing found us a place to anchor snf spent the night. We'd sail all day Saturday and maybe all night then back to the dock and pack up the car after dark and get home at Midnight

If it hadn't been for hauling and painting we most likely would not have gotten to meet any of the marina tenants. Probably some thought us snobbish but it wasn't so we just wanted to sail. I'll have to admit there was some motivation to get away from people.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine # 32 : read oldest posts first

Oct.31 Halloween!

Were still in Swansboro. Doug has the engine all apart in the cockpit and we've been waiting and we've been waiting on parts all week. A place in Moorehead city is supposed to bring them this morning.

Last Friday Doug rigged a boom and a pully and lifted the engine up into the cockpit while we were still at anchorage. Saturday he took the thing apart to make sure what was wrong and what was needed to fix it. We explored a little in the afternoon and Sunday. Sunday. We found the Grocery store a couple miles away and stocked up a little. Monday morning we sailed into the marina ( Casper's ) and tied up. Doug called Moorhead city to order parts and we've been waiting since then. We walked into town and enjoyed our stay but we are ready to get going now

Yesterday morning we saw another boat from Deltaville. Lynn and Smokey Slater on the “Saugeen Witch” pulled up to the dock across from us. They used to have a Ruarks Marina years ago when we had our first boat there. That's been close to twenty years. Hope we meet up with them again farther South.

The “Saugeen Witch” at one time was Tom Colvins boat. He designed and built her and I think as best I remember may have sailed her around the world. I think his first trip was in a schooner of his design and construction.

I had a good time at Casper's Marina they had a little limited machine shop there and I did a little work for them, did a little welding for myself. The place was a hangout for the retired crowd there in town and a place where tall tales abound. There was one fellow that spent his winters way up the rivers fishing from a shanty boat. One of the other men would run up there in a small cabin boat pick up his catch and carry him supples and in the spring tow hem back to Swansboro He had a spare bunk on board and from time to time some of those fellows would go up the river and spend a couple days away from their wives.

There was another fellow that lived across the street from the marina who made both muzzel loading and cartridge rifles though the later were illegal rifles. He was careful who he made them for. Mostly he made guns for family that his family had been making guns for from a time before the revolutionary war. Story was that the federal firearms people came after him and were so impressed with his guns the got a congressman to but through a special bill that was attached to something else that allowed him to get a license free of charge. He made several rifles for the agents in the years following.

He was looking for someone to take over in his place and offered to teach me with the expectation that I would teach his uninterested son if he ever wanted to learn. My interest at the time was going sailing though I regret not learning the gun making I've never regretted the sailing trip so there you go.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine #31 : read oldest posts first

Here's a couple more boats anchored back at Beaufort. I'm not sure but that black hulled boat may be a "Bill Trip" design. The picture with the little blue hulled boat has a white boat over at the shore. That is the dingy dock there. Your dink needs to be strong enough to bang up against the pilings all day and have everyone climb over it.

Well here we are anchored just off Swansborrow. We anchored under sail and with no power and little wind we hardly pulled the anchor in at all. Last night was not a great night the changing tides had us dragging anchor several times in a crowded anchorage. We had sailed in with the tide running out against the wind so we were barely moving over the bottom so the anchor did not really pull in. I was concerned, but I was not the only one dragging anchor. The wind was up some and the boats ran up to windward then turned sideways and charged down river with the tide sometimes pulling out their anchors and sometimes jerking them around to set upwind again. Woftrap didn't sail on her anchor as some did but when the wind slacked the tide would push her to windward. With an increase in wind she would blow against the tide. The anchorage was a mess with every boat reacting different to the wind and way to close together. So they tried to run all over top each other most of the night.

I wanted to re anchor Wolftrap but it was the middle of the night and boats were every which way and I just couldn't see myself charging back into the anchorage under sail. Finally at day break some boats moved out and made some room. We hoisted sail and hauled in the Anchor and Georgene headed out to the channel with her. She jibed her around and headed back in at a good 4 knots. I dropped one hook and we run on dropping the second anchor snubbing them up and they didn't catch hold. We got the anchors up and headed out again and I dropped the Main and jib so we came in on foresail at about two and a half knots and went through the anchoring thing again and this time they took a good bite.

Fellas Let me tell you something, teach your wife how to handle the boat and let her do it, as much as she will. I have many times seen a one hundred and ten pound women trying to fend a boat off a dock or handle a couple of anchors and tackle with her husband cursing her the whole time. He looks a damn fool and she looks like she would like to throw his fat ass overboard. Let her gently push the throttle back and forth while you haul halyards and anchor rodes you both last longer at boating. Throw a wad of paper in the water and let her doc to it for practice.

Feeling pretty good about Wolftrap staying put this time we crawled back in the bunk and got some real sleep until about Ten A.M.

About noon after and rest I food I unbolted the engine which took about an hour.

Then I took the main sheet off which is double blocked on both ends. I attached the main sheet lower block to the engine. After that I hoisted the main boom up high making a gen pole out of it. I lifted the engine out with the four part main sheet. I less than two hours she was setting on a piece of plywood that at had stowed under a bunk for just some emergency like this one. In about two more hours the clutch was apart and I knew what was needed. We went into the Marina and talked with, Casper, the owner and the parts were ordered and would be there on Monday when the supplier would be coming to Swansboro from Moorehead city.

I rented a slip for a few days not wanting to be in a crowded anchorage without and engine with boats sliding all over the place.

You would be surprised how many people with really fine boats don't know how to anchor. Some drop the anchor and then don't pull it in they just leave it laying on top the bottom. About one A.M. they are dragging all over the anchorage screaming hollering and blowing horns.

If You have an engine it's an easy matter to pull up your anchor and move. If you don't your going to be up fending off fifty thousand pounds of boat that wants to run over top of you.

If you don't and you stay where you are you might as well be married the the guy because you are going to be all over top of each other.

About sundown with the breeze falling light I went in and tied a rope from the forward outside piling to the dock that we would be laying along side. The idea being that if we suddenly got a sail full of wind and came shooting in like a bullet we would either break the rope, pull out the piling or stop our boat. I had a line around an aft cleat and we sailed in under foresail alone. As we came to the end of the dock and dropped the sail. We eased into the slip at about a half knot. I went around the piling with my aft line and brought Wolftrap to a stop. Folks walk down to Casper's Dock about sundown so we had a pretty good audience to either be boat handlers or fools. They took our lines and we got a hand of applause.

An awful lot of the confidence of doing this is a result of Phil Bolsters sail laceing on the mast. It never hangs it always come down quickly and freely and I just can't sing it's praises enough. The other thing is the Top yard is just heavy enough to drop the sail quickly. That is of course if you keep the gaff level while it drops. Let the peak or the throat get ahead and it's like having breaks on it.