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!











How To Slow Time

After a year and a half of always seeming to have a goal – get here, finish this, get there – we sit on a mooring in St Augustine Fl and read books, and walk the town and the dog.

Maybe visit a cell or two…


In some ways, sitting is a difficult thing to do! I even find it challenging to write a blog post!

The mooring field here in St Augustine is very busy, very crowded and fairly uncomfortable as there a many moving boats to churn the waters all day, combined with a few windy days, and fast moving large tidal currents all conspiring to rock us from morning to night.

We passed through here last week on the way to Jacksonville to pick up Ryan from his trip to Atlanta… So let me catch up on that.


When last we were together, we were in Miami Beach with Ian, and calling a cab to take him to the airport and back to Air Force Combat Control School in San Antonio. We had a great short visit with him. It is so cool to see your little boy all grown up (and paying for the drinks and dinner!)


Then there was Shelly and I all alone again, for one of the few times in the last 23 years… What in the world do we do? (Besides walk Goose twice a day!)

We were supposed to head to West Palm Beach and pick up Ryan but the word came down via text that he was extending his stay for a week and we should pick him up in Jacksonville instead. We had 10 days!

Nice! We headed north, moving very slowly, and getting used to stopping after only 20 or 30 miles a day.

From Miami we only made it to Ft Lauderdale. This is not our favorite place unless we need something fixed. They do not like sailboats here at all…

We jumped outside the next morning for the short hop up to Palm Beach and the visit with Shelly’s buddies from when we lived here in Naiad and Ian was two! While Shelly was out with Kathy, I dug out the hookah (not what you are thinking. It is a small electric air compressor, 40 foot hose and a mouthpiece for diving!) and cleaned the whole bottom of Yume from the growth that comes from sitting for two months in Marathon. The water in Palm Beach around Peanut Island is crystal clear to 25 feet and a nice strong current washes the stuff away as you clean.

West Palm to Hobe Sound was a half day sail up the waterway with a nice wind at our backs. We had not been anchored long when another Irwin 41 pulls in right next to us and anchors! Since only 45 were built ( we are hull #44) it was exciting stuff. The owners were from Jacksonville and had the bought built for then (#2) 32 years previously and had taken extremely good care of her. It’s fascinating to go aboard a boat just like yours and see the differences owning for that long can make!

The beach here was stunning and we had it much to ourselves – and took full advantage.

Hobe Sound to Vero Beach was another lovely short sail. We begin to get into a slower mode, walking for miles with Goose to see things we have sailed by before. Out to the little beach village and back to the anchorage is quite a hike, but the weather is perfect and the neighborhood is super peaceful and pretty.
The strong SW breeze continues in our favor the next day as we head towards Cape Canaveral. We don’t go there as it is out on the coast and the waterway swings inland following the Indian River. (This used to be where all the oranges came from but now it is mostly houses!)
We have to stop at 430 and wait until 530 for the bridge at Addisons Point. They hold up boat traffic for 1 1/2 hours for the Canaveral workers to get across the bridge and go home. Jerks.
As we waited we watched huge thunderstorms north of us building and building with huge bolts of lightning in the distance. That is always fun when you remember we have a 54 foot high metal pole stuck up in the air!
No worries though as we get through the bridge, hoist sail and haul butt the 5 miles to Titusvile where we grab a mooring just before the 30 knot cold rain filled wind howls down on the slower boats who came straggling in behind us. It’s nice to be one of the fastest (cruising) sailboats out there!
The next night it is Rockhouse Creek at Ponce De Leon Inlet. This is really cool place, with a very old lighthouse, (not needed any more as the inlet is all silted up) and one of the best places to run Goose ever as the big tidal range leaves a great big sandbar at low tide with really nice sand and lots of tidal pools where he can run his heart out (and no wild hogs anywhere).
There is price for everything though, and here it is noseemums at first light. The anchor was up and we were gone without even getting Goose off at first light! Man those things can bite!
In St Augustine we stayed a day or two, then moved on to
Jacksonville to figure out how to get Ryan from the airport to the boat. We also had talked Deka Battery into warrantying all the batteries bought last May and that had to be done there as well.
We ended up at the free dock just inside a Sisters Creek, renting a car for a day and getting everything done, including a much needed grocery run.
With new batteries, a restored son in the foreberth, and plenty of food, the question was what to do?
If you remember, Shannon, Ryan’s girl friend from Marathon was going to be in St Augustine for the summer starting May 1, so we decided there was time for a last week together before we headed towards DC.
But first, we turned north to visit Fernadina Beach and Cumberland Island. Both places were very cool, with many more miles walked on beautiful beaches and forests on Cumberland, and more spent peeking in and around the old town of Fernadina.
I did not know that Nathaniel Greene from Revolutionary War fame had been given land on Cumberland and had built a house there in the early 1800’s. Then the Carnegies came, bought it all up and built mansions. Too cool.
 Walking around Cumberland was awesome…
Goose could care less how long ago the Indians lived here!
We visited another old fort on Amelia Island, Ft Clinch, that guarded the mouth of the St Mary’s River. Now the old fort just watches nuclear submarines go in and out from the sub base up the river.

Which brings us  back  South to St Augustine, reading books, and taking strolls around the old town watching tourists and glad we aren’t one. Hehe

We will hang around for two weeks, try not to go crazy, then start making our way up the coast again. Next extended stop is Beaufort SC to do our best to set up a fundraising golf tournament for spring 2016.

See you soon!


Trade Out Sons and Head North!

We are moving again. After a hectic last week of preparation, and visits, and goodbyes, we rented a car for a day to join the chaos in the big cities.
Early Friday we headed to Miami International airport to pick up Ian for a 6 day visit, then continued north to Ft Lauderdale airport to drop Ryan off to visit his buddy Sam and family in Atlanta for two weeks.
Then we turned around for the 3 hour drive back to Marathon, stopping at several places and spending all of our monthly allowance for provisions for the boat while we had a car to carry them.
Everyone only wanted a little more time together with both boys…
After a cool full blood red moon, and watching the space shuttle cross the night sky, Saturday was music and potluck at the Tiki Hut.It was a great night and very enjoyable to both listen to and play with Ian again.
Most everyone was appreciative and sorry to see us go. Sunday we hung around for the last softball game as most people have left to go north, and the Phillips are taking a third of a team!
We also made it out to Sombrero Key for some snorkeling (and a trial run for Yume). Although we rolled badly in the swell, we still had a swell time. Hehe
Monday morning we pulled out at daybreak into a choppy ocean with good strong winds. We stopped and tried spearfishing for supper but there were nothing but reef fish so we moved on to anchor at Smugglers Cove for the night on the inside of the bay to get out of the sloppy ocean.
Goose was not very happy to be back at sea. He has about 1250 miles to go.
Tuesday we made our way up the bay side to Key Biscayne Bay, and dropped an anchor at Adams Key. Shelly did some laundry for Ian, and we just hung out, played cards and took it easy. That is what you supposed to do when cruising!
Early Wednesday we pointed Yume out the really long Caeser’s Cut Channel to the ocean to see if we could dive on Pennekamp Reef but it was a bit too rough.
So we just headed towards Key Biscayne, flying along with the jib and mizzen. I cut in behind Key Biscayne channel to get into calmer water, and the bridge that leads right past downtown Miami and over to Venetian Isle.
We were there with the hook down by 130, and the crew was ready for shore leave!
Along the way, a dolphin with a missing piece of his fin joined us for about 30 minutes, just swimming at 6 knots beside the boat, and coming up for air every now and then. It drove Goose absolutely nuts! It’s times like these you really wish you could talk dolphin…
Ian had no trouble adapting to the slower cruising schedule, except when we ran out of cell tower. How is the world going to survive without Internet? Sheesh.

Yesterday was tourist day for us in South Miami Beach Beach. We walked for miles, drank in an Irish pub off the very costly main avenues, then found a cool place for dinner. Seafood of course.

I found an old friend Miss Piggy on the way home who asked for my support. Glad to help Ma’am!
Ian flies out today at lunch, and Shelly and I will make out way to West Palm Beach to pick Ryan up on the 12th. Then we will meander our way to DC to be there by September.
Plenty of time.
Come see us!













The Yume Odyssey – a Different Approach to Life!