Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns
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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