Whoops. Two Days Out For Maintenance.

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!



Demotivated in Paradise!

Demotivated in Paradise!

Although it seems like we have just been vegetating now that the temps are up in the 80’s every day, that is probably not the case.

After a month, we have actually made some progress on projects.

The Genoa sail was removed and taken in to Keith (who lives Moonlight Sue) for repairs and refit. He did a great job repairing the torn panel, shortening the sail by removing 18″ from just under the head, then replacing the sacrificial sunbrella on the leach with our last canvas upgrade! Hopefully next time I will see the stupid marker before I hit it. (See last post for more on that sorry subject)

We chose a sunflower yellow color for the sail to make it stand out from the blue and we think it looks great! Especially when seen from the stern with the yellow wind scoop, and the yellow spot on the stern with the Japanese characters painted by Shelly…

The generator salt water pump had been needing attention as it had been leaking progressively more water. I finally bit the bullet and paid an exorbinant amount of cash for a complete rebuild kit, and started in to get er done early one morning.

That job turned into a major production when it was discovered the aluminum timing gear cover had really bad corrosion that could not be seen until the whole thing was pulled off to see where the oil was leaking.

Westerbeke is super proud of their 30 year old engine parts as they have not made that engine for years – a new cover costed out at over $550. We were very (very) happy to find a used one on eBay for $60!

That should be here this week and we can put our main source of power back together…

In the last 30 days or so Shelly has been able to add 7-8 coats of varnish to the starboard and aft rails and is gleefully looking to start on the port side… She also sanded and varnished the inside of the main hatch and hatch doors and all looks nice!

The most fun things are the ones with instant gratification for not a lot of effort. We replaced all the foam floors and they look great! We really love these floors, but Goose does a number on them, so we will just replace them every year. Easy! We went with a little darker color this year to hide more dirt. Hehe

Of course there is softball three times a week, playing some music at the Tikki Hut Sat evenings, and walking Goose twice a day (at least).

Ryan has been spending most days in the marina with friends, (and his special new friend Shannon), and generally acting like it is summer vacation. This will change when we start north again in April.

He actually flies up to Atlanta and his second home with the Williams Family April 3rd. Ryan got his new computer two weeks ago and his ability to create his animations has soared. A very special thank you to all who helped!

BTW if anyone needs a mid to high level Thinkpad Lenovo laptop (two years new) please let us know!

Shelly and I are so worried about how we will ever manage without him! We are dreaming about actually going on a trip to the Dry Tortugas while he is gone. By ourselves – unless the Everetts hop on board. Check out a map of Key West to the Tortugas. It looks like a great trip!

This month is already filling up. The popular Marathon Seafood Festival is 3/14 and 3/15. This weekend is the Boot Key Harbor cleanup and party. Sunday is the softball party at one of the players homes. There is also a sailing regatta coming up.

This life is much more difficult to manage than you would think. I hope you are starting to feel sorry for us? Imagine having to sit outside with a cold beverage and watch this full moon come up over the harbor. We did have to put on a tshirt against the evening chill though.

And, although you probably don’t want details, we do actually work in between all this for paws4people foundation and a few other clients we have. (Thank you all!)

It’s hard to believe but we are already thinking about heading north again. Although we will not know for sure whether we return to DC until late April, we still are going to do some traveling towards the Chesapeake. We know we will be staying around Parris Island in Beaufort SC for a week or two setting up a charity golf tournament for spring of 2016. We need help if you have an interest or know someone who lives near there..

That should about do it until next time… Stay cool!



Back in Hilton Head Island for Christmas

Back in Hilton Head Island for Christmas

HHI SC Sunset

HHI SC Sunset

Hilton Head Island, SC has been warm and sunny since we got here 3 days ago. We even dug out the shorts and flip flops!

Ryan has been back to the top of the mast with another video…

We are anchored at our spot off Palmetto Bay Marina, trying to get some web work done for clients and p4p, and making preparations to go west in a rental car to spend Christmas with Shelly’s mom in Marion NC. Ian is driving up from San Antonio Texas to be there, then he will drive us back here in his new truck.

The plan is to slowly make our way further south for about a week before he has to head to his next duty station in NC.

The two days on the waterway just before making Wrightsville were cold and windy, and saw us hard aground at one point.

There is a spot in the ICW along Camp Lejeunne where an inlet from the ocean has piled up a bar of sand right smack in the middle of the channel. It is marked, but I missed the marker, and ran hard up on the sand at about 6 mph.

As this is not the first time running a boat aground, (sooner or later if you boat you will run aground!) the crew was pretty well versed in what to do.

First you try to sail off by using the sails to heel the boat as far over as possible which both reduces the draft and powers the boat forward. That didn’t work, and since the tide was roaring out and dropping fast, we quickly dropped the dinghy, lowered an anchor into,it and carried the anchor out about 150 feet to deeper water. Then we use the windlass to haul in the anchor, while hauling in the sails and powering with the motor at the same time.

That worked. Whew! If not the next step would have been to take the halyard (which is used to haul sails up the mast) to the dinghy and pull the mast down which would help,heel the boat way over…

Back in deep water and heading full speed for the drawbridge that opens only on the hour, we look back and there is another boat coming behind us heading for the same spot! We tried calling on the radio to warn them, and even jumped up and down waving our arms. We watched them plow right into the same shallow spot and go hard aground!

Since the dinghy was already down, I turned the wheel over to Ryan and told him to make the bridge, keep going and I would catch up after I helped the new boat get off.

And this is what they did during the hour it took us to free the boat that was aground!

The trip since Wrightsville has been much more enjoyable. Once the weather changed a bit, and we found ourselves ahead of schedule, we slowed down a lot…

We stayed two days in Wrightsville Beach at a free dock at Dockside Marina. The first night we had a nice dinner with Kyria and Danielle from paws4people, and the next night with Jim and Pat Henry who,we like very much. They are also followers of the blog and had lots of questions about what they had read. It was very cool to know someone actually reads this stuff!

The sail from Wrightsville to Southport was only 25 miles and it flew by as we has a 25 knot following NE wind gusting to 30 with a outgoing tide with us all the way put the Cape Fear River. At one point Yume was traveling over the ground at over 10 knots which is screaming for us…

Southport offered another free dock in the town harbor. We love these old fishing towns with the really old houses built by sea captains and passed down in the family.mof course, with Goose we get to walk a lot (twice a day) and we take advantage of it to see as much as we can.

This was a cool Christmas yard display…

We stopped on the way to Charleston at a small private island, dropped an anchor and took Gooose for his morning walk along a deserted ocean beach, collecting shells and letting Goose run free for a change. It was most pleasant although still a bit chilly.

Later that morning we sailed into Charleston and dropped anchor between the Municipal Marina and the Coast Guard station. Shelly and I walked Goose that afternoon, and were amazed at how much we were annoyed by a “city”. It was noisy, crowded, congested, and we decided not to hang around a tour like we thought we wanted to.

Part of the problem was we had just come from a night in McClellanville, a very small old seaport on the ICW just north of Charleston.

This town had been founded as a plantation in the 1700’s, then slowly turned into a community of old historical houses with small lanes fully of very old live oaks full of Spanish Moss. There were old fat dogs running free everywhere, and we stopped into the seafood market to buy a fresh whole flounder for $4 a pound and two pounds of rest shrimp for $3.50 a pound. They were delicious. And so was the town.

We much prefer McClellanville to Charleston!

Someone wanted some privacy and was building this house out in the middle of nowhere. No neighborhood covenants here!

After a nine hour motor (no wind) we arrived at Beaufort, SC, anchored and walked Goose that evening, then again in the morning for a 3 mile hike to the nearest grocery store for a couple of things before taking off for the short 30 miles to Hilton Head. It was another absolutely beautiful morning.

This is the Ladies Island swing bridge at Beaufort. Beaufort is another one of those old historical towns that is well worth visiting!

In a couple of days we will rent a car for the drive to Marion for the holidays, then back to Yume and back on the road.

We are not sure where we are going to visit, but we are sure it will be interesting and really look forward to it!

All of us want to wish you a very joyous and loving Christmas and holiday!