We Almost Lose The Boat…

Where do we even start with his one?

It is probably best to offer a video summary first, then tell the story.

I could spend a lot of time talking about the storm even though from start to finish was only about 16 minutes – though it surely seems like hours. In a nutshell, I knew there was a tstorm coming, was watching it on radar on the phone which showed it moving north of us. We were only 3 miles from a very safe harbor, had just turned around a light marking a shoal, and had put out about half the Genoa sail as a light breeze was just starting that would help us get in a little faster.

With it beginning to sprinkle, I had just finished putting my rain gear on when the light breeze turned into 70 mph. And it was that fast with no warning. No waves in advance, no wind increasing, no noise, just 70 mph and driving rain. The waves caught up a minute or two later and were at least 5 feet. The wind took the sail and the boat completely out of my control and changed our heading by 90 degrees.

trackofthe boat.7.2016We went from a ENE heading up a channel to a WNW heading straight for the Jaynes Island light and the shoal on the other side. The boat was standing on her beam with the decks under water with water pouring in the hatches below. The noise was deafening.

Within a minute or two it was clear we were not going to be able to make it to deep enough water and the boat needed to change direction – like right now! With about 100 feet left to the shoal, I yelled at Shelly below to hang on and jibed the boat. We went from the starboard rail and deck under water to the port rail and deck under water instantly with a lot of crashing and things breaking and the boat flying through the water heading SSE. The engine is racing, the awning has ripped off the dodger and wrapped around the steering wheel and boat cushions, the cooler, and everything else is trying to go over the side.

torn.genny.7.2016The next few minutes are really a blur but I know that somehow I got the sail sheet off the winch which meant it was blowing, flapping like crazy and the sheets were being flung around trying to hurt someone. I know I was able to go up to the bow and let go the anchor. The boat was moving so fast that I just prayed the chain would hold in the windlass and it wouldn’t tear the the windlass right out of the deck.

The chain caught and jumped out of the windlass several times with a sickening crunching noise then seemed to grab and hold. The anchor seemed to hold but I really didn’t take much time to wait and see with the sail above my head making an awful noise and the engine still in gear and running full out. The waves were coming over the bow as well.

damaged.rollerI got back to the cockpit and started winching in the Genoa on the roller furling. With the wind and the lines all wrapped up it was very difficult to do. The next thing I remember was feeling the boat give like the anchor had let go. I went back to the bow and saw the anchor, 180 feet of chain and 200 feet of 3/4 inch line was gone. It had obviously jumped out of the windlass and run itself out. (Later we found the line and chain had melted the roller and shredded it where it had to be replaced.)

By now the storm had almost blown past us. We were able to turn the boat with the motor and get into the dock.

Whew. One for the late night stories.

repairingthegenny.7.2016And here we sit making repairs. Shelly has been sewing – the sail, the awning, the dodger and the dinghy cover all needed repairing. We are still dragging a grapnel out in the bay by the shoal looking for our anchor and chain. The wind generator mounting bolts were sheared off. It had to be removed, welded and remounted. And of course, it took most of that afternoon to clean up below. A lot of water came in and soaked all kinds of stuff. There was broken glass, pots and pans, pictures, books etc strewn all over the boat.

But it is all good. We are here and no one was hurt. We have met some great people who have been super friendly and helpful. And we really appreciate the thoughts and prayers from you!

smith.island.7.2016Just remember that if not for the storms we would not be able to really appreciate the sunrises, sunsets and calm beaches like we do! And shoot me if I ever, ever underestimate a thunderstorm’s power again.

Up until “the storm” Shelly and I were quite enjoying a relaxing, leisurely Chesapeake cruise, with short hops to places we have not yet visited like peaceful, remote Back River where we got to watch the new F35s practice landings mornings and afternoons!

cool.town.model.reedville.We visited Gwynn Island, supposed to be named for the man who saved Pocahontas and whose father gave him the island in reward. Then on to Reedville for the menhaden capital of the bay.

And finally to Smith Island – a real throwback to an earlier time where crabbing and bay men are still the mainstays.

bruce.hornsby.williamsburg.2016With a few more days here to tidy up, we will be heading back out this weekend and looking forward to getting in some more ‘cruise time’ and maybe even a visitor or two before getting back to work in DC.

Oh – and we got to go see Bruce Hornsby one night in old Williamsburg VA and had a great time out!

002And Goose is fine.


Yume Gets New Crew for the Trip to the NC Outer Banks


shelly.goose.tryonpalacenewbern.2016We begin in New Bern NC, a beautiful town we liked a lot (highly recommended for a visit!). We played tourists for several days visiting Tryon Palace where the royal governor of the great colony of NC lived, and the governor of the state of NC before they moved the capital further west.

newbern.cemetary.2016Bicycles are very handy allowing us to cover way more ground than walking, and Goose gets lots of exercise. The cemetery in New Bern was amazing.

new.dodger.5.2016Some work did get done including finishing up the new dodger and fixing the broken ipad glass (again). As you can see in th picture it does take some nerve-steadying medicinal support to accomplish!fix.ipad

stevekarr.2016Steve Karr, a friend from US Navy Nuc Sub days (40 years ago), and someone I haven’t seen in 20 years or more, replaced Shelly as crew for 10 days.

As a neophyte sailor he experienced many different aspects of our life aboard, from the flat, mirror-like motoring with no wind to the thunderstorms gusting to 30 kts to the three days of 25 knots at a dock.

Our first day was just 23 miles to Oriental. We got there at 830pm and all four places to eat were closed already!

The following morning we headed out into a strong thunderstorm for the 40 miles to Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks. The storms passed on by and we enjoyed a very nice day of sailing and motoring and catching up.

mahi for supperFrom Ocracoke it was only 18 miles to Hatteras where we docked overnight in the middle of a Blue Marlin fishing tournament fleet (largest of the the day was 650 pounds) and left with some new friends and a whole freshly filleted mahi mahi. (That sure was tasty with Shelly’s mayo and parmesan recipe!)

With winds forecast to go to the NE and blow up to 50 knots (never happened) we beat feet north the 45 miles to Manteo, NC on Roanoke Island where the Lost Colony was – well – lost. Cool downtown area.

We got docked just before it started blowing – and it blew for the next 48 hours or so fairly hard. We were glad to be at a dock!

Yesterday we got underway around 830 to a beautiful clear day for the 55 miles up through Albemarle Sound and into the Albemarle-Chesapeake Canal with a nice stop at Coinjock for their famous 32 oz prime rib.

Today we head on into Norfolk and through there to Fort Monroe to finish up this leg. We leave the boat Wednesday to drop Steve in Charlotte for his flight home and then on the Marion to pick up Shelly and see Ryan off to his new home.

Life is perfect!

Enjoy the video!

Two Weeks to Go – Then It’s Northbound Again!

Updated-GOG-Header-FinalAfter two months of hard work, (and 6 months of preliminary planning), the golf fundraiser and the dog scavenger hunt we have been organizing is all coming together. It all starts Friday May 20 with a shotgun scramble tournament and ends around noon on Saturday when the dogs and their human families come back from their downtown Beaufort scavenger hunt.

We really do not know how many participants will be at either event because it seems no one likes to register until they know what they are doing that day, and what the weather will be. It’s very challenging to plan for events with unknown numbers of people!

All I can do is fall back on the old belief that it is perfect, and all will work out regardless of my emotional state of mind…

Then, on Saturday afternoon we are free until August when we have to be back in DC.

outerbanksWe are ready for some free time. We will likely head north and are talking about the outer banks of North Carolina. We have yet to take that path, and have only passed through in cars long ago. Sounds interesting. Then on up through the Chesapeake and north of Annapolis. We will see!

Photo-20160402194909571.jpgYume has been taking care of herself very nicely, allowing both Shelly and I to reach out to the Beaufort community for help with these events. There are a few lessons we have learned. One is that this county has over 1200 non profit that hold events year round so businesses are getting hammered for sponsorships, gifts and participants.

Another is since this is our first year, we have run into the ol’ “come back next year when you have proven yourself” line.

Another is that organizing events is hard work for two people. Throw in that we are not from here, and that we don’t have a car it really gets challenging. Well who said life should be easy anyway right?

People have been absolutely wonderful here. We could see ourselves living here under different circumstances.

Ryan – who turns 18 in July – has temporarily moved in with Grammy in Asheville for the unlimited internet, large refrigerator, flushing toilets and showers you can stand under and let run forever. What a wimp. He actually has a consulting gig making animations. Check out the animations on the YouTube channel named baccaman. He writes and creates all the animations you see on there – and gets paid good money to do it. We are very proud of him. And miss him of course.

Ian is finishing up his Air Force Loadmaster school and thinks he is being sent to Valdosta to work on the AF special ops C130 J planes. Ryan might go stay with him there.

008Goose is our hero, getting us in doors that might otherwise be a bit harder to open. We seem to giving two to three presentations every week now and are meeting lots of people.

That’s nice. But it just makes the 21st seem all that much sweeter when it will back to just Yume and the Philips and the water!

Let us know what’s happening out there in the word we left!