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.