Eleuthera…spiders and seaglass….and breaking stuff

After our harrowing experience at Little San Salvador we made our way to Rock Sound, Eleuthera later that day and anchored for a few weeks….it ended up being longer then anticipated due to some clumsiness on my part.

I had decided that we were due for an oil change.  We were way under on engine hours but over on the time frame for an oil change, so I decided to change the oil and filter while we were here.  Well, long story short, I pumped out the used oil, without spilling a drop (which I should have known was a bad sign) but couldn’t find my slimline strap wrench to remove the filter.  So, I went to the local NAPA and bought a slightly larger wrench that I hoped would work.  Unfortunately, the width of the new wrench snagged the oil cooler line and ruptured it….uh-oh…..bad weather was forecast for the upcoming weekend and after the Little San Salvador incident this was almost too much to deal with….essentially we were going to be without an engine until we received a new line….which in the Bahamas could take weeks……and it did…..we spent about three and a half weeks total and it turned out to be a good thing because we had time to see things and visit our favorite spots again and again.

Part of the moral to this story is ….take plenty of spare parts when you venture away from the U.S.  We have a cruiser’s kit onboard but it doesn’t include oil cooler lines.  I won’t make that mistake again……

 

here’s a satellite image of Eleuthera.  The pin is Rock Sound. The Glass Window Bridge is in the skinny part of the island just north of Gregory Town.
Image courtesy of Google Maps

We considered renting a car, but ran into the insurance issue again, so we hired a driver (Lyle) to give us a tour of the island.  He was a super nice guy and was full of knowledge about spots on the island.  The price wasn’t bad, eight hours for $125 plus he knew a great place for lunch.

The Glass Window bridge is in northern Eleuthera and is one of the few places you can see the Atlantic and the banks side of the ocean at the same time.  It’s more impressive when the weather is unsettled but still pretty cool.

The east side of the “glass window bridge” on the east side of Eleuthera see the video on my Facebook page….

 

the west side of the Glass Window….

 

 

Me at the cliffs….east side of northern Eleuthera

 

 

Long view of the Cotton(Ceiba) Silk Tree

 

A Cotton Silk or Ceiba tree

 

Cotton Silk Tree…upview

 

Beautiful beachfront church in Rock Sound

 

An abandoned 1950’s fire truck stored behind a Kalik beer warehouse….

 

In the spider cave….Kim doesn’t look worried at all….

 

We found this little guy dead on the side of the road….that’s about a 2″ Gatorade lid for scale…..maybe he was hit by a car…..I wonder how badly the car was damaged?

 

The “Boiling Hole” near the Spider Cave

The “boiling hole” is essentially a blue hole or a cave that is connected to the ocean.  At times, if the tide rises or falls rapidly, the water will churn and bubble. Many of the early residents believed these holes were homes to sea monsters.  Animal and fish carcasses would occasionally surface in these holes after hurricanes which only reinforced that belief.

Kim descends to her spidery doom….
The spiders are here !!!

Kim looks apprehensive …..

The beaches on the east side of Eleuthera were among some of the most beautiful and isolated….there was also a TON of seaglass…..

 

The spoils of a couple of hours of seaglass hunting…we found a few black pieces which are the third most rare ….
Believe it or not….that’s the moon

 

We found a great little restaurant and resort on the east side of Eleuthera across from Rock Sound.  It was owned by a wonderful lady named Rose Gibson. She was super friendly, would pick us up when she saw us walking around town, took us for an impromptu island tour one day while fish shopping and was a great cook !!! There are five cabins on her property that are on a hillside overlooking the ocean…..

Here’s a link to her website…..if you go tell her Brett and Kim sent you !!!

http://www.northsideinneleuthera.com


Remnants of the former Cotton growing industry spring up all over the island ……

There were thousands of these little land crabs running back and forth between the foliage and the surf….dropping off their eggs

 

A cropped version of this photo of Kim was used in Cruising Outpost Magazine’s weekly online photo collection….

Mike arrives and brings a double rainbow….and has a Kalik !!

Since Hurricane Irma’s recent swing past the Bahamas you’ll be pleased to know that the islands here were largely untouched. We haven’t heard of any structural damage anywhere in Eleuthera.

Entertainment while afloat …..

Since there’s an upcoming period of unsettled weather headed our way, (prediction is 20-25 knot winds for three to five days) I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about how we keep ourselves entertained while staying on the boat for extended periods.  Sometimes that can be three or more days straight depending on where we are and how severe the weather might be.  We like to anchor away from the crowds but that results in longer (and wetter) dinghy rides to and from shore.

 

We spend all but about two months a year on board, so keeping ourselves entertained can sometimes be a challenge.

I have reached a point where I am reading about a book per week.  That can be challenging since maintaining an inventory of books in our limited space isn’t really a viable option.  It does present a chance for us to resurrect our old “book club” of which Kim and I were the only members.  It was very exclusive!

I discovered a series of books by F. Paul Wilson which mostly revolve around a character nicknamed “Repairman Jack”.  These books are set mostly in late 1990’s NYC and Jack is a sort of a private investigator/fixer who becomes increasingly entrenched in unusual cases and circumstances that have a supernatural cause.  Jack is sort of a Libertarian / polar opposite to a “Ray Donovan” type.  The first book in that series is “Cold City”.

There are related story lines that make up a series of about six books called the “Adversary Cycle” which start with “The Keep” (set in 1941) which was also an 80’s movie of the same name, that butchered the story line.  If you like fiction drama/mysteries with some supernatural twists, I highly recommend these books.

 

I also picked up a Jack Reacher book called The Killing Floor which turned out to be much better than the movies.  I can’t imagine why they picked Tom Cruise to play the guy described in this book?? I also read a couple of Randy Wayne White’s “Doc Ford” books which are turning out to be good reads…..thanks for that tip Mike !!!!

I have found my Fire Tablet aka Kindle to be indispensable.  Now that we have on board wifi I can download books at will !!! We can also access Amazon videos and games on it !

Shop Amazon Devices- Fire Tablet Starting at $39.99

 

We didn’t have an opportunity to get a “Bahamas phone” until our second trip to George Town.  That has made things much easier as these phones come with wifi hotspots.  BTC (Bahamas Telephone Company) recently started offering unlimited data for $35 per month.  Now we can watch online movies and tv shows through a variety of applications for free !!! Let me know if anyone wants the details of those and I can email them to you.  (They work stateside too so you could theoretically eliminate your cable or satellite tv bill.)  If you’re planning to be in the Bahamas for an extended period be sure to pickup one of these phones…..you can get a Huawei brand smartphone (pronounced Wowee) for about $59 plus $16 for a SIM card on a prepaid plan. I found this link for an unlocked Huawei phone on Amazon which might work throughout the Caribbean if you get sim cards for each place you visit…..that also makes the blogging easier !!!!

We also love to play board games.  But, space again is an issue….board games are out, so we have mostly dice games on board.  We play a lot of Yahtzee, we were recently introduced to a new dice game called “Farkle”….and we have a set of dominoes on board if we want to play “Mexican Train”…..it’s a fun game that was taught to us by our dear friend Joan in Florida …..

thanks for the introduction to “Farkle” Doug and Barb on SV Melinda Kay !!!

 

How do you know where you’re going? Or…..Guess what? You’re a Navigator too

We get this question ….A LOT….

“How do you know where you are or how to get where you want to go?”

 

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The question makes complete sense.  After all, most people are, at a minimum, accustomed to having at least a road map, road signs and street name signs.  Add to that a Tom-Tom, Garmin or other turn by turn GPS, either hanging on their dash or in their phone.  On top of that, whether they know it or not, they have had a subliminal geography course going on their entire life.  Some people may not be able to find New Jersey on a map, but they can navigate their local area pretty reliably.

What most people don’t realize is that they use a form of marine navigation in their every day life….it’s commonly called Dead Reckoning or D/R for short.  D/R is essentially estimating your position based upon your known direction of travel, your speed, the elapsed time and use that to determine a point between where you started and where you are headed.  You didn’t know you were a Navigator, did you? Just imagine if someone put you in a car on I-75 (that runs North and South between Detroit and Miami). Pick any spot…assume a speed of 70mph and an lapsed time of 5 hours….where are you ? Ta-da !!! A D/R “fix” or estimated position (EP).

Many people, when they imagine marine navigation envision the use of a Sextant and some pretty complicated calculations based on the angles of the sun, moon or stars coupled with other fancy techniques.  Frankly, the sun and stars aren’t always visible, so navigators need a method they can use reliably when they can’t see either, that’s where D/R comes in.

 

A Sextant
A Sextant

 

Take a look at the snapshot of the chart below.  That’s an image of a “rhumbline” or direct course from an area South of Miami called Angel cut to Cat Cay (Cay is pronounced like “key”) in the Bahamas.  That rhumbline is 48 miles long.

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For the purpose of the example, let’s use our boat.  Kitty Hawk averages about five knots per hour under power.  If you average out the sailing speed, 5kts is also a safe number unless the wind really dies, at which point for this example we would fire up the diesel and still maintain 5kts.  A knot is 1.152 miles per hour, much in the same way a nautical mile is equal to 1.1 statutory miles.

We will also assume, just to make things simpler and avoid calculating “tacking”  (which is changing the course of the boat to take advantage of the direction of the wind) the boat, that the wind is coming out of the South at 10 knots.  That means we could sail straight across our rhumbline course on a coinciding magnetic course, using our helm compass and autopilot to be sure we stay on that heading. A course is an intended route….a heading is the actual direction the boat ends up going based on current (like the Gulfstream), wind or other factors.  In this scenario we would need to make a slight course adjustment to the south to stay on our rhumbline course due to the Gulf Stream that flows to the North in this area at about 1.5 to 3 knots.  (That would be a dream crossing to the Bahamas by the way.)  If we left Angel’s Cut at 7pm we could estimate our position on the rhumbline at any given time by multiplying the number of hours passed by our speed of 5kts and our ETA at Cat Cay would be ????

Drumroll please………….

If you said anything close to 9.5 hours later or around 4:30am….you’d be exactly right!!! Congrats !!! You’re a navigator !!!

Generally speaking, there are “road signs” out in the water as well.  That way you have a visual confirmation of when you’ve arrived at your intended destination.  While the U.S. has the best marked and best maintained system of waterway navigational aids, (called ATONs, as in Aid To Navigation, in the boating world) the Bahamas don’t do as bad a job as some countries.  Most of these markers are colored (red or green) and numbered so you know when you are approaching the first or last in a line at an inlet, channel, or where you might be in a waterway.    While Cat Cay doesn’t have any channel markers, you have to navigate this inlet by sight.  In contrast, Bimini to the North, is marked by lighted red and green buoys numbered 1 for the green and 2 for the red. When numbered, Greens are odd and reds are even.

In this day and age, GPS and chart plotters have made navigation even simpler.  Our chartplotter is capable of displaying our course, our speed though the water, speed over ground, heading and our position on a chart simultaneously.  It’s always a good idea to have a non electronic backup method, and use it underway, in the event of a catastrophic failure though.  That’s where D/R comes in to save the day.

 

 

Trying something new with Amazon.com

Recently, I discovered the Amazon Associates program.  Since we order a LOT of stuff from Amazon and have found it a great source for parts at affordable pricing, I was pleased to discover this.

Essentially, whenever we mention a product in a post, we now have the ability to add a clickable link in the post for the product that will take you directly to Amazon where you can purchase it.  It isn’t limited to products but may also be an ad for Amazon Prime (which I’m not sure how I lived without) or some other promotion being conducted by Amazon. We will still have the Google Ads in the posts as well, but the Amazon links will be clearly marked “Amazon” at the borders. Even if you don’t buy the specific linked item, you can use our link to access Amazon and help support our blog since we still get a small commission when you buy items or gift cards through one of these links !!!

MOST IMPORTANTLY …..IT IS AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU !!!

like this …..

Or this…

In the interest of full disclosure, if any of our visitors use the link AND purchase the item or a gift card, we do get a small commission…..

Please let me know if you think it makes the blog less enjoyable……I’m not a fan of too much advertising, but I also like saving time by avoiding research to find a recommended product I see online, outside of a retailer. I’ll do my best to keep them at the end of the posts to avoid clutter, but please let me know if you’d prefer them nearer to where the product is mentioned.

Thanks for reading, supporting our blog and I hope you enjoy the posts and any products you might buy !!!

Things we fixed (aka broke) along the way….

Things we fixed…..(the last few things on this list were more like upgrades)

Both heads (toilets)…..rebuilt the pumps, replaced the intake and output lines, replaced the water intake strainers, siphon breaks..rebuilt the forward head pump multiple times before finally replacing the entire housing…

Diesel—adjusted the Valve lash, oil changes, used high dose diesel cleaning solution treatment four times due to contamination of our injector pump…(this wasn’t an issue we caused, it was caused by a boat yards poor work in NC)

Patch the Genoa Sail sunbrella sacrificial cover

Racor filter / housing rebuild and filter change

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Galley Faucet….this began to leak and reached a critical point while moored in Key West…..the faucet was so old that the owner of a plumbing supply warehouse, who was in the family business for 50 years said he hadn’t seen one of these in 35 or 40 years!!!

Galley Sink….at some point in our boat’s history….someone (possibly a sadist) used 3M 5200 to seal the sink to the countertop…..for those of you unfamiliar with 5200, it’s a great product for installing things you want to be bulletproof…..it’s not so great for something you might want to remove….ever……even employees at boatyards groan audibly when they learn they have to remove something installed with 5200….it has been nicknamed by some “death paste”.   The upside is, since the edge of our sink was so severely damaged during removal, we had a custom single bowl sink fabricated and installed …..if anyone needs such a replacement let us know we have a great source for these sinks !!!

imageimageimage

 

Drinking water inline filters (x3)

Aft head cold water faucet replacement

Power switch for VHF radio….which completely deteriorated and fell apart in my hand when we went to switch on the radio to check the weather in the Dry Tortugas…..

Zinc replacement x2

Remove lines from props ….five times….one with a crab trap on it….no bonus crabs though….

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Tune up, recommission the diving air compressor and change the breathing air filter

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Replace outboard prop and kill switch

Refrigerator coolant line unclogging

Replace Aft cabin fan….then replace defective blade….then fan died…again…ugh

Unclog Lazarette drains

Unclog sink drain x2

Fix aft head intake leaking seacock

Replace steering sheave and pins

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Replace Hatch solar fans

Replace / upgrade anchor to a Mantus 85lb galvanized anchor

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Upgrade Battery cables, install battery bank monitors, replace underrated/melted battery selector switch and install a main fuse for battery banks

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Install new Wind instruments and displays

Painted the salon and V-berth interior

Repair salon sole soft spots

Shower stall refinish……

This all added up to about $12k for the year in boat upkeep….they say to anticipate 10% per year of your boat’s value for upkeep so we are a little high but fingers crossed that goes down next year……

 

   

The psychological struggles of living aboard……

 

“The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.”   –  Samuel Smiles

I have felt, at certain points in my life, that I had been successful in certain aspects because I had chosen some paths of lesser resistance or perhaps only attempted things at which I already knew, or felt, I could succeed.  Right or wrong, I think everyone has these feelings at one time or another.  During these times you can doubt your abilities to adapt or overcome adversity, to learn and comprehend new ideas and master new or unfamiliar  technologies.  The important thing to remember is that no matter how alone you feel, help isn’t far away.  This help may come even from within through exercising some patience and the study of your “enemy”.

Once you have committed to live on board a boat of any type, you will almost certainly be faced with a situation, repair or replacement of some system or component with which you are unfamiliar or unskilled.  This can make you feel very overwhelmed and even helpless.  It can even make you want to abandon the dream if you hit a really low spot.  A combination of challenges or gear failures can test even the most hearty among us.  You will question your decision to pursue the dream you have committed to and wonder if you have done the right thing.  After all, for many cruisers, embarking on a long term cruise or to live aboard full time requires a tremendous sacrifice of stability, financial and physical.  These feelings can be compounded by the distance from assistance of any type and a lack of readily available support, whether it is technical or emotional.

It is important during these times to remember that patience pays off.  The seemingly insurmountable problems of today can be overcome with some time and even the slightest change of perspective.  Don’t be afraid to take your time, walk away from the project and take advantage of the time it takes to have parts delivered and recharge your batteries.  You can’t reasonably expect to be an expert in every field, unless of course you happen to be an ABYC Master Certified Techinican in a variety of fields, in which case, do you have any free time to stop by Kitty Hawk ? Haha….(no, seriously, swing by..)

Whenever I am faced with a repair of a system with which I am unfamiliar, I always take the time to conduct a “reasonable” amount of research on the system or component before I try to tackle it.   This can relieve a tremendous amount of anxiety.  Dealing with the unknown only adds a layer to the stress of the situation.  Many systems on a boat, sail or power, have evolved to be reasonably user friendly.  The research tactic can also translate to the planning of a trip to a new cruising area.  Reading the cruising guides, thoroughly reviewing the charts and comments from others who have visited the area before you can make the unknown much less intimidating. If you are anything like me, knowledge reduces stress.  Don’t be afraid to contact a professional and get their input. I was initially surprised how many will give you free advice (not unlimited) on how to best tackle your problem.  I have even enlisted professionals to evaluate my repairs for as little as one hour of their normal labor rate to be certain I hadn’t missed anything.  You’d be surprised how generous they can be with their time in these circumstances.

I can’t imagine how some cruisers make it.  I have seen many online requests for help because the people living on their boat didn’t know how to fix or maintain their engine, outboard, dinghy or any other systems and were apparently unwilling or unable to research the repairs and couldn’t afford professional help.  Their first and only recourse was an online plea through social media for assistance.  Most of these requests are from the same people over and over again.  Living with that degree of uncertainty would most certainly diminish my enjoyment to the point that I might surrender and I’ve seen almost all of those cases end up in a “Boat for sale” posting.

So, how do you avoid that?

Research.  You know how they used to say “Reading Is Fundamental” ? Well, it wasn’t just a catchy slogan.  If you know going in that you can’t afford much (or any) professional help, learn as much as you can about your potential dream boat’s systems.

Take “baby steps”.  There are tons of seminars (online and real time) being given away out there.   They cover everything from repairs and maintenance to upgrading and even boat handling skills. Go to (and watch online) as many as you can.  Be prepared to get a “starter boat” and move up from there adding complexity as you go.  If you can’t resist buying your dream boat right out of the gate, limit your cruising until you can become versed in the systems and their upkeep/maintenance.  That way you don’t end up stranded in a remote location.

Be realistic.  Don’t make your first boat a Pandora’s box of systems you know nothing about and assume nothing will break or go wrong.  The learning curve can be steep and you don’t want to break the bank (or your spirit) in the process.

Finally, remember it’s supposed to be a fun adventure, not a soul crushing grind.  If you don’t rush things and learn as you go, even a complex  problem can be an enjoyable challenge.

And now, a moment to relax after discussing all those stressful obstacles…..

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Upgrades…..then…..Southbound and Down…..

Well, it’s been a pretty eventful month, or so. We took advantage of our time in Oriental to upgrade our battery banks wiring and a few other things.  Some of our battery bank cables were undersized, not properly crimped, our banks lacked a main fuse and our smaller bank had been wired in a slightly less than a fully efficient manner.  We also installed two Bogart/Trimetric (Model TM-2030-RV) battery bank monitors which have made keeping tabs on our charging and battery bank status much, much easier.  That’s one of the things about buying an older boat, she’s been through a few owners and while some were meticulous, some weren’t, and if a system is working one owner may never have had the need to address or investigate the status of the individual components that may not have been exactly “up to snuff” when installed by the prior owner, owners or contractors or the standards have changed over time in favor of better, safer or more efficient methods..

IMG_2049Now that’s a pretty bad crimping job…it was covered by electrical tape……

We also added a Blue Seas electrical master panel to our AC shore power system that has a 30 amp, dual pole, ELCI (Electrical Leak Circuit Interrupter, if your boat happens to develop a leak of AC current into the water while plugged into shore power, which is extraordinarily dangerous, it shuts off the AC power).  The breaker itself has a sensor in it that measures the amount of electricity flowing out and compares it to what returns and if there is a slight difference it trips the breaker.  We discovered once we powered up this new panel that our water heater was wired incorrectly since the new breaker tripped as soon as we energized the circuit.  As it turns out, the wiring for the water heater was a commercial type of wiring (IEEE marine cable, intended for use on Navy and commercial vessels….with this type of wire red is ground, black is hot and white is neutral, so our water heater was basically wired backwards, which still allowed current to flow through the element but the new more sensitive breakers caught the difference in the polarity/voltage returning and shut it down) since the color coding was different it must have confused whoever originally wired it.  It took an extra fifteen minutes to correct this and then things operated perfectly.  We also added a safety cover to the interior of our shore power plug connection which was missing.

I’d like to extend our gratitude to Jim Bonnett, the owner of  Wavetop Technologies in New Bern, NC, for his assistance with the battery and AC upgrades.  He’s been having some website issues but if you need any work he’s an ABYC Master Technician in a lot of fields (maybe all of them, I haven’t counted yet) . His current website is www.wavetop.com but he may migrate to a new one if his current issues prove to be linked to that web address.  Jim is so educated about AC and DC systems and wiring it can make you dizzy just listening to him talk….he’s a very smart guy. You can also reach him at Jim@wavetop.com

We also painted our newly re-plumbed and re-opened forward shower stall…..

 

IMG_2031     IMG_2053

I also painted new length markers on our anchor chain and replaced the shackles…..

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I decided to go with Red at 50′, white at 100′, Blue at 150′ Black at 200′ and Orange at 250 just before the chain runs out and the rope rode begins.

We’d also like to give some well deserved praise to Pete Waterson of Seacoast Marine Electronics (http://seacoastmarineelectronics.com/) in Oriental, NC.  Pete is the owner and installed our new NMEA 2000 backbone wiring, AIS transceiver, a new Raymarine I70 display, a masthead anemometer and wind direction sensor which is now all tied into our Garmin 741XS chartplotter at the helm.  Pete also installed a new VHF antenna and Windex while he was at the masthead.  Pete also helped me (or maybe I helped him) rewire our binnacle wiring and add a power/ground bus to clean up the connections there and eliminate some voltage loss and an issue with a weak ground.  If you find yourself in Oriental or nearby and need any electronics or assistance be sure to look Pete up.  He’s  a great guy and his office staff (Jill, his wife and Betsy)  are super friendly and helpful.

 

We were later joined by our good friend, Mike, in Oriental, just in time for the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival on October 17.  It was a great day, beautiful weather and lots of good music and food.  Apparently, this was a tradition among the old time farmers in the area and on Saturday nights they would come into town and play music on a variety of front porches around town.  Time and progress being what they are, this tradition was slowly lost and has been revived during this once a year festival.  The Carmona Brothers and Laurelyn Dossett were the final performers of the day and if you’ve never heard either of these, I recommend looking them up online.

https://i1.wp.com/towndock.net/img/19635.jpg?w=660Aaron Carmona and his traveling pooch (photo credit to Towne Dock)

We waited for some weather to pass and departed Oriental on October 20th around 8:00am.  It was a nice trip.  We arrived around 11:45am in Morehead City, NC since we wanted to make the first day short and non stressful…then Murphy reared his ugly head.  As we approached Portside Marina in Morehead City a large tugboat that was bow in at the state port abruptly moved astern into our path.  I was forced to throw Kitty Hawk into full reverse to avoid colliding with the tug.  As the dust settled from that encounter we again proceeded toward the Portside Marina face dock.  There was suddenly something very wrong.  It took about five seconds for me to realize that for some reason we were no longer getting any forward propulsion.  I immediately shifted to neutral, then tried reverse and got the same result….no response …I could hear the transmission shifting and assumed we had lost our throttle cable.  After advising Mike and Kim that we were going to be coming into the dock at about 3 knots SOG (speed over ground) I called the marina hands on the dock on our VHF radio to let them know.  We managed to dock pretty easily, all things considered, despite coming in at what felt like warp speed.  Once we got settled, we diagnosed the problem and it was, in fact, the throttle cable that had broken just below the shift lever.  I spoke to the owner of Portside Marina, Denard, who is  a super nice gentleman.  He not only found the part for us, but let his brother in law, who works at the Marina, drive me over to get it.  The cable was replaced two hours and $27 later…..Portside Marina is the only place I’ve ever walked into and been immediately invited to partake in the employee lunch.  They were having fish one of the guys had caught and a local restaurant fried them up for them….talk about hospitality !!!

 

Our trip South was Kim’s first long distance trip on Kitty Hawk….she got her first experiences in the ICW (and her first grounding, so that’s over and done with), navigated out of the Cape Fear Inlet and made two overnight offshore trips.  One was between Cape Fear, NC and Charleston (a rough one) and the second was between Port Royal, SC and Jacksonville, FL.  During the first hop we even got the wind to cooperate and we sailed for 6 hours.

IMG_2076The Admiral at the helm…..

Next time I’ll detail our stops at Beaufort, SC and St.Augustine, FL and share our ghost video from Facebook if you haven’t seen it yet…..

 

Congress Proposes 5 Year USCG Documentation

Let’s hope this passes….

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1987) authorizes Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission funding levels for two years, and includes provisions to improve Coast Guard mission effectiveness, help modernize the Service’s aging vessels and other assets, and reform U.S. maritime transportation laws. The bill was introduced by Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), along with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Ranking Member John Garamendi (D-CA).

A link to the bill…..see section 312 for the specific language….

http://transportation.house.gov/Components/Redirect/r.aspx?ID=469613-61819595

and here’s how bills work

…haha…I love these

A list of great books….(subject to ongoing additions)

These are fiction and non fiction, technical and entertaining…..in no particular order…This first incarnation of this entry is just off the top of my head….

Cruising Handbook….

Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual……

Marine Diesel Engines….

How to Read a Nautical Chart…..

all by Nigel Calder…basically anything by him is well worth reading

Airborne by William F. Buckley

Longitude by Dava Sobel

Seamanship Secrets by John Jamieson

The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing by Scott and Wendy Bannerot

Storm Tactics by Lin and Larry Pardey

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Adrift by Steven Callahan

An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof

Inspecting the Aging Sailboat by Don Casey

The Next Port by Heyward Coleman

More to come……

While this link may not display these books initially ALMOST all of these titles are available through Amazon…..