Float Plan For Spring CruiseMichael
The forecast has come into focus for our spring cruise, and with it, our destination; looks like we'll be sailing to Beaufort, NC. SW winds will dominate through Monday, at which point a front will turn them around to the North, then East through Friday, meaning we get to go "downhill" both ways! We're using the 12-mile slue once again to cross Frying Pan Shoals. Tomorrow night at sea will be c-c-cold.
Spring Cruise to Beaufort. But which Beaufort?Michael
On Saturday Tammy and I depart for a seven-day cruise to Beaufort. But which Beaufort - NC or SC?
Southport Cruise - Good Friends, Good Sailing (Video included)Michael
03/04/2013, Cape Fear, NC
James Dodd and I took Aria to Southport for the weekend, where we met up with Ben Edkins and Danny Caswell. We arrived in Southport at 1500, tied up Aria at the marina, then jumped aboard "Winds of Freedom," Ben's Beneteau 36.7 to crew for Ben, who was trying out a new gennaker rig. Two boats in one day - a sailor's menage a trois, you might say. We had dinner at Mr. P's, then cigars and scotch aboard Aria.
Michael's Secrets of Winter Sailing on Long BayMichael
I guess I should thank Hurricane Sandy. Because of her, I was unable to take "Aria" to the Bahamas this year and discovered, instead, the joys of winter sailing on Long Bay. Since December, I've logged 480nm, including several trips to Southport and Bald Head, crossed Frying Pan Shoals into Onslow Bay, spent two night on the hook at Bird Island and made numerous day sails. I leave tomorrow for Southport. Honestly, it has been some of the best sailing I've ever done in these waters. Winds are consistently 10-15kts and except for the casino boats I have had the ocean and the anchorages all to myself. Over the course of this delightful season of winter sailing, I have developed a few rules.
A Vote For Winter SailingMichael
If ever there was an argument for winter sailing, this is it: Winds 12kts out of the south, brilliant sunshine; Aria making 6.5 kts over flat seas; Tom Leonard and I with Long Bay entirely to ourselves; me cooking gumbo in the galley, eaten from my dog bowls and washed down with beer. Wow!
Looming Engine Problems Resolved (photo essay included)Michael
Tearing into the engine as I have in the last month revealed several looming problems - corrosion in the fresh water cooling system, improper fluid in the wrong amount in the transmission, and last but not least, an elongated pivot hole for the alternator. I had noticed that my V-belts were wearing faster than they should, and here was the culprit. I never would have found it until, one fine day, the alternator simply tore loose.
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