Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns
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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.

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