Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns
Click the link below and go to my book site

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.