Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns
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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.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine # 30 : read oldest posts first

The bottom Picture is a U.S. Army tug aground in about seven feet of water. That thing must be deep draft. Sadly, She's the only south bound boat we passed today.The picture above it is the anchorage at Swansboro and out in front of Caspers Marina. "Nice people."


We left early, about 6:30,and put in a very long day. We dropped Anchor about 25miles down the waterway. It started out to be a very nice day and the weather was really nice. As we were going through the swing bridge at Moorehead city, another boat passed us-- “Gimbi” from Biloxi. The captain called to us, “ Lets go back to Deltaville.”We smiled and waved to each other. Doug and I didn't remember the boat but evidently they had been in Deltaville when we were there. Maybe we'll see them again as we get farther south. The way it looks that's going to be a while. All day long, boats have been passing us going south on the ICW. We thought it was just because the wind was against us but this evening we found out the clutch has been slipping all day and has finally burned up. We turned around and with the wind with us we sailed back about 3 miles and anchored in front of a marina in Swansboro, N.C.

The next few days will be big ones. For a little background on the coming events let me say that as a small kid I had some experience with clutches. My father who was a builder of all manner of things built a garden tractor. For an engine he used a Model T ford engine with it's transmition. I hung over his shoulder and watched handing him tools, but most generally getting in his way. I learned a lesson when I asked a question and he begun to answer. It always took him a lot of time to think over the question and come up with a good answer for a small boy. I asked another question on another subject before he could answer and he lost his patience and said, "Boy when you ask a question If you want to know the answer keep your mouth shut so it can be answered. If you done really want to know don't ask. Now do you want to know or not." "Yes," I replied, and then got my answer.

What this all boils down to is this. The little little Yanmar engine has a small version of the model T Ford clutch on it. So I already knew a lot about rebuilding it right from the start.

While I'm at it, it may be helpful to some to know that the big hydrolic clutches on marine engines are the same clutch with a hydrolic pump to generate the pressure to hold the plates tight together to transmit power to the propeller shaft. Don't let those high techy types tell you you need to go to college to fix one. Seventy five years ago every man in America could take one apart and fix it.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine# 29: read oldest posts First

Boats anchored off Beaufort N.C. and the next one is a wild pony on the beach.

Georgene's log again today and a few more then I'll get back to describing some things that went on.

Monday, Oct,30

We started off early again this morning. Doug really likes to get going early. I have a little bit harder time getting up. It's been so cold the last few mornings. I could have easily stayed under the covers until noon. We got away before 7AM and it was almost 6pm when we anchored this evening. Belhaven was at mile135 and we crossed mile 200 this evening and anchored at Beaufort N.C. We motored most of the time but had a few nice quiet sailing hours down the Neuse River. Woftrap was anchored just across the channel from the board walk. Every one coming south on the ICW must stop at Beaufort. ( pronounced “Boford as aposed to Beaufort S.C.)” There are dozens of boats anchored in a space 100 yds. X ½ mile long. We row the dingy across the channel-about 100 yds. and there are docks all up and down the boardwalk and shore with dozens more boats tied up.

We stayed at Beaufort Tues. and Wed. Tuesday we walked all over the place and mostly looked. We found Hardees and had some ice cream. We also found a book store and I got some more paper backs for our bookshelf.

Wednesday we did our laundry and after bringing it back to the boat and having lunch, we visited the muse um. It was very nice. Doug especially likes to see all those old boats and enjoyed all the old pictures. We stopped at a very nice restaurant called Mikes and had had coffee and apple pie, then came back to the boat. I've been resting and writing while Doug's gone to fill water jugs at the dock and rowed the dingy to the little beach behind us to go walking. I guess it's a little island and their are ponies all over it. I saw some of them down on the beach this morning. It's still awfully cold at night and we are anxious to get farther south.

Monday, February 5, 2007

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Posted by Picasa

Sailboats Fair and Fine# 28 : read the oldest posts first

This Video starts at the Anchorage on the Alligator river on that foggy morning heading to Belhaven.

Another Post from Georgene's Log Book
Sunday Oct. 19
We stayed anchored at Belhaven today. We took the dingy into the boat ramp and tied up. We walked into Belhaven and spent a few hours just walking and looking around. We got a few groceries And some more charcoal to heat with. It should be a little warmer tomorrow, I hope. We just lazed around all day today and enjoyed it very much. The two of us enjoyed Belhaven. There are two very nice marinas here and it's only a short walk into town where they have all kinds of stores, restaurants, laundromats etc. We got hot dogs from a nice lady in a sub shop and then walked down along the water front . There are some beautiful old houses here. At “River Forest Marina” they have a “Manor”That looks like one of the plantations out of “Gone With the Wind”.There is also a museum that we intended to see. We walked back and got another hot dog and then got groceries sand took them back to the boat. We just never never made another trip to town. The afternoon was polished off by reading napping and a really good supper and then read some more.

View Leving the Anchorage for Belhaven in a larger map

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sailboats Fair and Fine# 27 : read oldest posts first

Oct.17,Fri. From Georgenes Log Book
We were up early again and on our way to cross the Albermarle Sound. It turned out to be a good sailing day. I was surprised that there are so many markers and buoys-almost like a highway marked clear across the sound. We sailed a good part of the day and then motored some- mostly after we got into the Alligator River. There's a swing bridge across the river at about mile 84. we thought on such a big river we would probably have to wait for the bridge to open on the hour. As it was surely rush hour and the bridge was the only way to the mainland. Doug called find the next opening time, the man said “Have it open for in just a minute Captain.” He did too. We didn't have to wait at all. We went on down the river to about mile 104 and anchored between Bear point and Tuckahoe Point. Doug had to get in the dingy and row all around the shore line and go ashore to explore. The scenery has really been something. All different kinds of trees and shrubs than we have at home. The water has a kind of rusty red color mixed in from the cypress roots. It's all been different and beautiful but i guess I really liked Saturday morning ( Oct 18 ) the most so far because of all the fog on the canal. We had a long trip down the Alligator River- Pungo River canal. We left our anchorage between 6: 30 & 7:00 & the fog was all along the edge of the canal, until the sun came out good and strong a couple of hours later. The temperatures are still in the 60's. We stopped early at Belhaven to get Fuel and ice. The ice cost $1.00 and the fuel was free.
As we had come out of the canal into the Pungo River, we helped another boat that had run aground where the channel was really narrow.
I didn't take long and we were on our way. This boat was at the marina in Belhaven ,when we stopped for fuel. A man came hurrying out onto the dock to thank us for helping him& introduced himself to us and introduced him self as, Larry. He and his wife, Joanne, on their sailboat” Tring”Had left York River yacht Haven the same day we did. When Doug went up to pay for our gas Larry had already taken care of it. A nice Surprise!
We anchored about 2PM just across the channel from Belhaven. We rested all after noon and read. I haven't smoked for 3 days and i;m almost making my self sick eating crackers and candy. Hopefully, I will get over it in a few days. I told Doug I'd quit when we left. and I didn't buy any extra cigarettes to bring along. I finished the pack I had in my pocketbook our first day out & so, I've quit.

View We started a the North river in a larger map

China's sailing history:

Hello to my readers in North Korea and China.
On the e-mail forum " Boatdesign@yahoogroups.com " there is an e-mail thread going on called: Any group members in China? It turns out there aren't any and there is an argument going on about China's part in Pacific trade and the landing on America's west coast during ancient times maybe two to four thousand years ago.
So far there have been one hundred and nine posts on the subject. This subject is off topic but any of you that have any knowledge where eastern boat design are concerned should get in there and give us the benefit of your knowledge. Of course you have to join to group, so when you do there will be some members from China and Korea.