Beaufort NC at Bock’s Marina

It has been a hot, humid, busy month of June. We had a list of things to do – (no we are not done working on the boat yet!) – and we were looking for a dock to do them. We also needed a safe place to leave Yume while Ryan and I drove Shelly to her Mom’s in Asheville for visit.

The grand plan was to rent a car, take Shelly and Goose the 6 hours to Asheville, then turn around the next day and drive back to the boat leaving Shelly for a nice visit while the boys had some bonding time working on the boat.

Yea right.

First let’s catch up. In Wilmington (where we left you with the last blog post) we ended up anchoring over in Wrightsville Beach for a weekend right where all the weekenders love to run their boats at just the right speed for maximum wake. You can almost get seasick when these idiots do this all day. Plus they play this game of ‘how close can we come to the anchored sailboat without actually hitting it’. Not our favorite game. That is what they make flare guns for. Yes I own a gun people.

On Sunday afternoon after they all went home (and back to work on Monday hehe) we made a deal with a local restaurant to let us sit on their docks during the week.  The folks at paws4people were awesome to let us borrow a nice Tahoe to cruise around in all week. Shelly attended trainings for new clients and their dogs, while Ryan and I ran errands and got caught up some.

We had nice dinners with Terry and Kyria of p4p and Jim and Pat, all great people, and got out of town on Friday noontime heading north to Beaufort NC.

BTW, I suppose you do know that in NC they call it ‘Bowfort’ (long o) and in SC they call it ‘Bufort’ (long u). Just so you get it correct…

The first night, in Swansboro, we anchored off an island made from the dredging over the years to keep the inlet open, and spent some nice time at low tide playing on the beaches.

Just about dinner time, one of those massive summer thunderstorms came up out of nowhere. In no time it was raining and blowing about 50 mph and we could not see the shore through the rain, but I knew we were dragging anchor. By the time we got the motor started and the anchor under control we had dragged across some sand banks at least a half mile. We pulled up the rest of the anchor and chain and motored back to a marina to spend the night. Yuk. We need a better anchor!

The next day we pulled into the town anchorage in Beaufort after a morning of strong SW winds that helped get us there quick, but made for some choppy water.

One night was enough and we left the next morning up through Core Creek Sound to Bock’s Marine. Kenny and Nancy Bock built this marina and yard over the last 32 years or so and are well known for their hospitality and service. We like this place and these people!

This coming Friday will make almost a month here but we have managed to do a lot.

One of the things we did in Wilmington was bite the bullet and buy a bigger, beefier alternator, and the shop was kind enough to modify for me. Unfortunately the damn thing burnt up the first day heading north!

So – Ryan and I detoured three hours out of the way on the return trip from Asheville to take the alternator back to Wilmington so they could look at it. They were super nice (Alternator Specialists) and completely rebuilt it with new diodes and a rectifier.  All seems well now! The nice folks at Enterprise were amazed at how many miles we put on their car in 28 hours.

Besides the alternator, the other disappointment was fuel leaking – for the third time – from the port tank. So the first task after dropping Shelly off was pulling the floors up, removing the hatches I made, finding a 55 gallon barrel and pumping out all the fuel. Then I cleaned the tank, sanded it, added more glass and resin. Let the tank set for two days then put the fuel back in, let that set for two days testing for leaks and closing it back up. I am getting really good at this. Maybe someday I will even stop the leaks!

Our bread machine finally died and we found a replacement in a Salvation Army store for $10!

A list of all we have done would include:

Finally ripping out the evaporator and fixing it correctly. I am very happy to report the new evaporator looks very nice, and the refrigerator seems to be working flawlessly. Pray that it continues.

Making new cockpit cushions. Isn’t Shelly talented?

 

Replacing the blower motor for cooling the alternator.

Replacing the anchor with a brand new 55# Vulcan. This anchor is supposed to bury in its own length. They warn you not to back down on the boat to set it or you might break something. Plus I bought the next size bigger than they recommend. Lord help me if I have to pull this thing in without the windlass!

Adding varnish to toerails, steering column trim, cockpit table and the companionway stairs (which look awesome!)

Replacing the generator salt water cooling pump (allowing me to put the air conditioning on during the week of 100+ degree days)

Pulling the davits and adding big backing plates for better support.

Removing the nonskid paint in the cockpit (put on by the previous owner and it was badly peeling)

Replacing two more side ports (only three small ones to go!)

Of course in the middle of this, Ryan and I rented another car and drove back to Asheville to pick Shelly and Goose up and bring her home. We had missed her and were hungry to see her. Well, we were hungry period. That bonding thing did not include a lot of eating as we had no refrigeration and it was awfully hot!

Since that all took about three weeks, and if you pay for three weeks you have paid for a month, and since we had just a couple more things to do – we are staying a day or two more.

We have to borrow a car and go see the new Jurassic Park movie, go to the grocery store one more time, and do laundry one more time.

Then we will head up into the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers up through Oriental, Bellhaven and up into the Alligator River to Pamlico Sound. There we have to decide which way to go to Norfolk. Either we go up to Elizabeth City and up through the Dismal Swamp Canal and locks (which we really like) or change up and go through the busier Albemarle Chesapeake Canal and pass through Coinjock and Pungo Ferry into Virginia.

Decisions decisions.

Either way we are not far from the Chesapeake Bay. We have a couple of months before we have to be in DC, and it will be interesting to see what we can find to do.

Really, don’t worry about us. We’ll manage.

Come see us!

 

Beaufort SC to Wrightsville Beach NC

I started this post Sunday morning, Memorial Day weekend (thank you and we remember!) and finally finished it May 31 so it might be a little disjointed!

It feels great to be moving, although I am always a bit nervous when we get underway after sitting for a while.Especially when I do any work on the engine. Yesterday was oil and fuel filters, and an oil change. I had noticed the alternator seemed to chewing on its belt so I decided to swap it out for the spare. Surprise! There was no spare. Gulp. If I lost the belt we are engineless as it also drives the fresh water pump.

So I loaded the bike in the dinghy, and set off for shore and the 3 mile trip to the nearest Carquest. Of course, they did not have the correct width belt so we are running an oversize belt until I find the correct one.

Another thing on my mind is that the alternator overheats. We are using an auto alternator not really made for continuous duty. I added a blower fan and ducted the air right to the alternator to see if that would help.

We are in that stage of waiting for several different payments and having to use temporary affordable fixes until things settle down. Thankful I know how!

We really enjoyed ourselves in Beaufort. There are some amazing houses here.

The concept of a paws4vets golf fundraiser at ParrIs Island Marine Base is now in the planning stages. We met some truly amazing people who have offered lots of support. Lots of help will still be needed so if you know anyone in this area, or want to help please let us know.

While we were in conversations about this, somehow we managed to also set up a Dog Scavenger Hunt for Sat morning in downtown Beaufort. The plan is to start and end the event here in the plaza of the old armory.

It will be a busy spring!

I loved this sign welcoming us to Beaufort. It is stategically placed so you see it when you launch your boat at the ramp, or you are going back to your dinghy!

The first night out we anchored in a creek about 20 miles south of Charleston. Our issue always is trying to find a place for Goose. In the Lowcountry most of the shore is deep black mud and not easily accessed by water. This time we were lucky to find one lonely spot at high tide where he could get off on a patch of sea grass that looked like it had been grazed by horses! He was happy.

Before we could leave we had to send someone to the top of the mast as the Genoa halyard (pulls up the sail) had somehow gotten jammed. Shelly and Ryan used the anchor windlass to haul me up where I found the halyard wire had wrapped around the furling foil very tightly. It was fixed and a nervous captain was lowered back to the deck. And we were underway again…

We reached Charleston at lunchtime, but with a steady breeze blowing east into the harbor and the hundreds of boats out for Memorial Day it did not look like a comfortable place to anchor. We just kept going right across Charleston Bay for five miles and back into the waterway to the north.

After waiting for the Ben Sawyer swing bridge, we found a nice, quiet deep creek three miles further and down went the hook.

First thing next morning, after I had shut down the refrigeration and put on the vacuum pump, I got out the hookah and went over the side to try and clean the growth on the bottom. Visibility was awful. I had to get about 3 inches from the hull to see anything. When you scrape the 3/4 inch layer of weed and the occasional barnacle with a plastic scraper, all the critters that make that stuff their home come swimming out and many thousands of them attach themselves to the nearest safe place. That would be me. In my nose, ears, navel … yea there too.

After half the boat was done the feeling of those little guys in my ears drove me out of the water. I looked like I was wearing a coat of little tiny sea creatures. Yuk. It is going to take some self motivation to get back in there and finish the job…

Then back out and mess with the fridge. Again.

Tuesday we made it to McClellanvile, a very old, very cool, very small town north of Charleston with a lot of history and great houses. Mayberry for sure.

The horse flies seem to out early and in numbers. Ah paradise!

The good news is that we are not hurrying, traveling half the day many days instead of sunup to sundown as in the past.  And visiting more.

We passed by Georgetown SC on Winyah Bay about lunch, and headed on up the Waccamaw River towards Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. It was an amazingly beautiful day.

After an overnight stop at Bucksport Landing for cheap fuel and a lot of running for Goose on the grass, we were out again the next morning headed for Myrtle Beach, and on to Southport.

 

We stayed a the free dock in Southport for two nights (we really like it here) and Shelly got together with Cece from paw4people for some training at the local fire station.

Then it was out and up the Cape Fear River to Wrightsville Beach where we will sit for a few days while Shelly gets to know some of the paws4people and paws4vets clients she helps manage.

Here is a video of coming up the river.

Happy June 1! Can you believe it?

Whoops. Two Days Out For Maintenance.

Publix. You take it for granted, but most times it is an all day affair for us to get groceries. We learn to buy smarter, to last longer between runs, and lighter as we have to carry everything on our back, bikes etc.

“Siri, where are the local grocery stores” is an often used phrase on the iPad. She is awesome for that. With all the stores mapped as I am navigating the waterway I can see how close we can get by boat, and then how much closer by dinghy. Can we get close enough to a dock to bike? Can we coordinate it with a Goose run? Is it near somewhere we can anchor for the night? (This gets double points and noted in the log for next trip!)

Coming into Savannah, Ga from the south, with milk running low, we found we could detour just a few miles (half hour by boat) up a navigable creek to Hogan’s Marina that had a Publix next door! I called them on the phone and was told a $10 temporary docking fee would allow us on the dock for a couple of hours. Cool! I don’t have to drop the dinghy, find a place to dock it, and pull it back up…

They were super nice at the marina. We did our grocery run, full heavy duty backpacks, an insulated carry bag for cold stuff, and a couple of other bags, and while Shelly put everything away (including fudge bars!) – we got out the hose, rinsed the boat, filled the tanks, and filled our containers for doing laundry.

Then we were out in the creek and headed for the waterway again.

The day was absolutely beautiful. Sunny, but breezy enough to keep us cool and put up a sail. We had plenty of time to get to Beaufort on Friday and pondering how much farther to go that afternoon.

Then wham!  Once we got back out into the Wilmington River, all of a sudden there was washing machine noise from the engine. Man I hate that! “Shut it down!”

Then you start the process. Do we have room to maneuver or are we in danger of hitting something? We were in 40 feet of water which is a little too deep too anchor comfortably, so we drifted into shallower water with  the wind and tide and dropped an anchor to figure out what was going on.

With the anchor down, and out of trouble, it did not take long to figure out the noise is in the transmission. Oh crap. Is it the 30 year old transmission ($2000 rebuilt) or is it the damper plate which was just replaced in Myrtle Beach last June?

We decided to sail back into the creek to calmer water, let the engine cool down a bit and see.

An hour later, and four tacks back and forth against wind and tide, and we squeaked by the docks on the point and dropped an anchor by a marina.

30 minutes later I had the transmission off and could see the new damper plate had thrown two springs, which should never have happened. On one hand there is joy it is not the tranny, but on the other there is confusion why the damper plate has failed.

For those interested in mechanic stuff, here is where I have dropped the transmission off and can see the broken springs on the damper plate.

Since it is already 330, it is quick to the phones to find a replacement and get it overnighted (only $100 fedex!) so,we can get it fixed and on our way again.

We took Goose into the marina for his walk, and  are very surprised to find we were the talk of the marina! Everyone wants to know why we are anchored, what’s wrong and how can they help. They offered us very reasonable dockage, so we used the dinghy to push Yume into a slip.

Two days later, the engine is fixed, and while we were on a dock ( first time since Dec), we took the opportunity to work on the freezer, rebuild part of the rubrail, pull the dinghy on the dock and scrub the bottom, and give Yume a good wash down.

 

See my fancy teak splicing in the rubrail?  (You are looking over the side of the boat at the protective rail that is mounted on each side of the hull.)

Those are called scarfs by the way. That was a day and a half project to remove the old cracked teak, cut the two new pieces to fit, line up the old screw holes and drill them out, then install with epoxy. Then sanding the pieces together, bung the holes, and sand those, then sand the rest of the rubrail and apply two coats of oil. Cut and install the used piece of stainless rub strip and we are good to go! That bad piece has bothered me since we bought the boat! All fixed and handsome now!

Now for the engine repairs details (those not interested are given permission to skip this part!)

From the last time I did this, I have an eyebolt mounted under the cockpit aluminum plate holding the steering column and just hook a small chain fall that I use to pick up the back of the engine. I have to take off the two rear engine mounts as they are attached to the bell housing which comes off.

The new plate arrived at 10am. Amazing what Fedex will do for $100!

The old damper plate still mounted on the flywheel. This thing is supposed to take up any torsion between the engine flywheel and the transmission. The trans shaft slides into the spline in the middle.

And the new plate is in and ready for the bell housing, engine mounts, and transmission. Really the hardest part of all this is alighting the transmission coupling with the shaft coupling. That is a pain in the butt!
You can just see my makeshift oil pan under the engine. It is a gallon oil container cut in half and works great!

This morning Ryan was supposed to be in charge of getting the dinghy out on the dock and scrubbed. He had notice from me the day before this job was coming, to try and reduce the amount of whining about having to ‘work’ but it didn’t seem to make any difference at all.

If you are a parent , you might identify with the thought of “it’s just easier to do it myself that’s listen to all this whining” but you decide there is a line to be drawn somewhere- right? And do your best to ignore the mutterings.

About that time Ryan dropped the lazarette hatch on his foot. This thing weighs about 25 pounds and I know it can hurt you as I have dropped it on my head and back. Luckily he just had a pretty good gash and some torn toenails and bruises. It could have been a lot worse. But he still got out of working. I asked him if it was worth it!

Shelly panicked a bit and had visions of missing toes and stuff.

We are very happy to back out on the water.

Harbortown HHI lighthouse

It was a very nice motorsail over to Daufuskie Island SC to drop the hook for the night. Then over to Harbortown Marina at Sea Pines in Hilton Head Island the next morning for fuel in the place Shelly and I got married 30 years ago!

Yesterday we pounded into a 20 knot breeze across Port Royal Sound over to Beaufort and we are anchored off Port Royal Marina.

This next week will be spent putting together a golf tournament fundraiser for paws4people/paws4vets for late April 2016. Anyone want to help?  It will be a lot of fun.

Thanks for all the comments and responses from the last email. We like hearing from you!

Goose says Hi!

 

 

Following the Sun North

Here we are in Georgia, almost to Ft McAllister. If you have read enough of these long winded posts, you know Ft McAllister is where we bought Yume in November 2013 and started this journey.

In Dec 2013, we left for the keys in Fl, then back past here to DC, then back past here to the Keys in Jan and now back past again heading for DC. And you are caught up! Or dizzy.

As I steered the boat for 10 hours today (well technically I have an autopilot but I have to watch and make the changes) I had a thought.

I wondered how you (the reader) wanted me to write. Then I wondered if it really mattered since I am the one who has to write after all.

But, I would be interested, if you are interested enough to respond, how you would prefer these posts.

Currently it seems I manage a post every couple of weeks.

Would you prefer shorter posts more often? Less pictures or more? Less words or more? Less videos or more? Less personal thoughts or more? What else?

What would it take for you to tell someone else to read this? And what would make it more enjoyable for you.

Just asking… Send an email to coachmiami@gmail.com or reply to this. Thanks.

We are three days north of St Augustine. First we went back to Fernadina Beach to drop the hook in afternoon thundershowers, then up to St Simons Island and Fort Frederica which was way cool.

Then today we had a very enjoyable day to Kilkenny Creek, Ga. The weather has been perfect. The bugs are certainly enjoying it.

We have had the fly swatter out for the first time ever slaughtering horse flies and tiny vicious biting flies. All of us are below at dinner time, with the screens in and swatter handy! Add in the fornicating love bugs that seem attracted to open mouths and it is much more comfortable below!

Last night we motored up a three mile side trip to drop the hook at Ft Frederica founded by Mr Ogelthorpe of Savannah Ga fame who sailed to England twice! to get money to build and arm a whole town against the Spanish hordes certain to attack from St Augustine. They did attack on 1742, and the greatly outnumbered English (4000-1000) simply waited until the Spanish stacked their muskets and proceeded to eat dinner to attack while hidden in the woods in the Battle of Bloody Swamp (so called as the swamp ran red with Spanish blood).

This is all that is left of the little fort, but the town (surrounded by a mile long earth berm is easily seen. It is a great place to see! The live oaks are amazing…

Obviously I love history and am greatly enjoying forcing this stuff on Ryan and Shelly!

We very much enjoyed our stay in St Augustine as well, although the mooring field by the Bridge of Lions can be rough, especially with the afternoon thunderstorms. None of the varnish work got done, but there is a great used sailing gear store where I got teak and parts to finally fix the rubrail, and electrical parts to split the house battery bank to try and figure out our usage issues. We seem to have a real problem using way too much power and way too much internet bandwidth.

Shelly and I explored a lot of the old town, taking a different route twice a day as we walked, or road bikes with Goose tagging along. This is another historical part of the U.S. and well worth the time to get off the tourist streets back into the old town itself. The old Ponce De Leon hotel built by Flagler for the rich way back when is now Flagler College and a beautiful structure to tour.

We ate lots of fresh shrimp and fish from the local boats too.

Ryan and Shannon had one more week together before we head back north. We enjoyed a pizza with her Dad the day before we left.

Tom had some good stories to tell as he is a marine biologist who works specifically with right whales.

We packed up the bikes in the dinghy, took once last sunset picture of a front coming through and we were underway again. Great feeling to be moving!

This morning we stopped in Altamaha Sound at the ocean to walk the deserted beach with Goose. We both keenly felt so grateful as we had just passed Broughton Island where we lost Goose for three days in January. Imagine the pain if we had to pass that island having not found him…

But we did and we are so appreciative of all the people who helped. (If you missed that story read it http://miamiphillips.com/sailing-life/how-the-town-of-darien-helped-find-a-lost-goose/)

And so it goes.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms who keep the world running!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yume Odyssey – a Different Approach to Life!