Bookmark and Share
Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Ice on the Deck!
Bill, 29 and clear
12/05/2010, Oriental NC

Yes, that is ice on the deck!!

Last night I went to the town dock and neighboring marina where there was a fund raiser selling trees and serving food. I had some cider with a bit of local "cider enhancer"... quite good!

While standing there, I noticed a boat from Brooklyn Maine. I chatted with them a little and the father on board knows our friends on Starbound. The Son, Collin, and his dad, Paul, are sailing Paul's boat to the Bahamas. As we stood there talking it started to sleet!! More cider!!

Wobbly Skeg
12/04/2010, Sailcraft Services

Ok, this is a little hard to represent in an image... We are looking at the top of the skeg. The rudder post goes into the boat through the hole seen in the upper right. the tear seen in older blogs has been carved away. the core in this area was fractured, so Turtle dug it out and has cut foam blogs to fit in the space. Rather than filling it with solid epoxy putty, he will use foam with glass mat between. This will be lighter and stronger than the solid putty. Lara shot this video the morning after our "incident". With the angle, you have to look carefully to see, but the whole skeg/ruddger is easy to move... an shouldn't be!

12/04/2010 | GG Mora
'Wobbly skeg' sounds like a classic pirate's slur...'Ay, he's a scurvy dog, and his mate's a wobbly skeg!"
Artist at work
12/04/2010, Sailcraft Services

This is Turtle putting on the final coat of epoxy "putty". he says this will fill the grain of the glass fabric and allow him to fair (make smooth and hydrodynamic) the rudder with out grinding into the glass fabric.

Working around Turtle reminds me of my time working with my friend Kevin. Both have the same ability to see the work complete and build all the pieces separately so as they come together they all fit and the finished product is more art than craft.

My focus continues to be preparing the boat for the repairs. I occasionally help turtle carry the rudder around... he like to work in the sun because it make the epoxy cure more quickly, and it is warmer for him! Most of the time I have been clearing out areas that he will be working in. Yesterday, I removed the autopilot and associated wiring, the water lines running to the aft shower and the shelving, etc under the aft berths so he will have easy access to the tabbing that needs work back there.

Home away from boat
12/04/2010, 606 Church street, Oriental, NC

Here is our little house.

The insurance company is nice enough to pay for this little house in oriental so that we can get the family back together. As nice as it was for Tom and Joyce to lend me their guest bedroom, it is really nice to have my own space. The girls are still in NY and will travel down here soon.

Oriental is a nice little town. This morning is the first morning I have not started the day with work on the boat. I "slept in" had breakfast and joined a yoga class at a studio around the corner. It was just what I needed. This was followed by a bike ride to the farmer's market down near the town dock and the Bean (the local coffee shop). Although not quite like the expansive markets in the NE, there were some nice sweet potatoes, peppers, various gifts and pecans 5# for $5!

The girls sound like they both have a cold... and they will probably wait to travel until they are better. I can't wait to see them. As nice as the folks are here in Oriental, it is still lonely with out the family...
35 01.787'n:076 41.787'w

The work starts
11/30/2010, Oriental NC

Ever wonder what a rudder looks like inside? Well here it is. The areas that hold the hinges and the tang are solid fiberglass, while the rest of it has foam in the core that is in layers with fiberglass and epoxy in between. Once the space has been taken up, the fiberglass skin will be laid on the outside and faired to shape. Our rudder, when it is done will be lighter and stronger than the old one.

Mean while, Bill continues to "house sit" in Oriental. The insurance company has OKed renting a little house or an apartment so we can get the family back together again.

Oriental continues to be a very nice, welcoming community. And the weather has been about 60 during the day and 40 at night.

Seven Seas Cruising Association
11/28/2010, Oriental NC

Let me tell you about the Seven Seas Cruising Association (, especially about Joan in Norfolk area. She was tracking the boats int he Caribbean 1500 as we left Hampton, worried about the weather. When Joan saw that Sunrise had gone in at the Oregon Inlet, she called us on our cell phone (where did she get the number?). Hearing our story, she immediately offered to drive down with "warm milk and cookies, if that is what you need."

As it turns out, she put us in touch with local sailors, who put us in touch with a sailing couple who lives here. They invited us to dinner and offered the house to Bill while the girls were up in VA. (They return around the 1st, so now we have to find some housing for the whole family.)

Joan also put us in touch with a marine surveyors who specializes in fiberglass to make sure we didn't miss anything.

Joan also drove down from the Norfolk area to pick Lara and Isobel up, and brought them home to her house for dinner and the night... then took Lara to a car rental place so she could drive to Onancock VA to be with her family.

I am so proud to be part of the Seven Seas Cruising Association and can't wait to fly their burgee and "pay it forward". Thanks to Joan and those who she put us in touch with. We really feel that we have an extended family out there.

"the incident"
11/28/2010 | Howard
Hi Bill, we met in Hampton - I was last minute crew on "Starbound". I have to say that I agree with your assessment completely. I was always leery of rallies for the very reasons you state and my experience in this year's Carib 1500 reinforced those thoughts. While we made it without too much trouble, I would not have left in my own boat with the weather forecast as it was. The rally can claim to offer all the help they want, but when you're at sea you're on your own.

Good luck with your repairs and the rest of your cruising.
11/28/2010 | Joan
Bill and Lara and Isobel,
We are just an extended family of cruisers. Just pass it on --to the next sailor who has challenges that you all meet.
The weather off Hatteras is something to respect, just glad you are safe. Boats Glenlyon(Sue Stanley and Rodney Carlson), Chardonnay (Scott Berg) and Babe(Jerry and Diane Wheeler), and many others have all assisted. As for cell number its good to have a database with contact numbers, may be SSCA should add float plans/contacts as well.
Fair Winds
11/29/2010 | Starbound
After hearing about your experience with SSCA we quickly dug into the storage locker and found our SSCA flag and are now flying it proudly for you! We miss you!
What was I thinking?
11/26/2010, or

This is a photo showing sunrise over Long Island Sound after our night-time run to Port Jefferson.

One of the things that I was looking for when we joined the Caribbean 1500 was to depend on more experienced people for weather and routing. Of course, what I found was that no one will have our interest in mind when they make their calls to go or not go. In retrospect, it was ridiculous for us to have gone out to sail down the coast of VA and NC with the forecast. Those who were making the call for the 65 boats to go were making that call in their own self interest.

Of the 65 boats that were signed up to sail, 8 never made it to Tortola. One boat was lost, one crew was lost and multiple boats had damage. The larger, faster boats "had a good experience". We did not have a good experience...

So, in the future, the weight of "go/no-go" decision is squarely on my shoulders. Only I can make sure we leave in weather that is appropriate for our boat and crew. Clearly a bunch of guys in big fast boat will tolerate more abuse than our family show. Our boat is designed to take Ocean storm conditions, and yet we are not seeking that kind of experience.

In a way the Caribbean 1500 was a great learning experience for us as we learned to trust our own intuition regardless of what the pack is doing. We allowed peer pressure and "experienced sailors" override our own judgment. Never again!

In the past there was a lot of anxiety for me surrounding routing and weather planning, it will be easier now as I know that I will certainly do better than anyone for us. I can't wait to get the boat back in order so we can carry on with our renewed confidence.

"the incident"
11/26/2010 | Diane
Try to put this experience behind you. Valuable lessons learned and hopefully fellow sailors can learn from your candid expression of following the well established Caribbean 1500 when your gut feeling tells you not to. Hope to see you once again on the water with fair winds and following seas.
11/27/2010 | Randy
Hey Bill and Lara,

Diane said it all - live and learn. You're good and seasoned sailors now and you know what is right for you. As expensive and time consuming as this event has been for you, it is relatively minor compared to the boat and life that was lost. In the end, you made the right decision not to press on and you've lived to tell about it and you can count that as a success. Happy Thanksgiving - keep in touch!

11/27/2010 | Henry & Sally Stevens
So thankful you are safe. We have followed your sails & glad Sunrise will soon be ready to sail again. Look forward to seeing you if ever this way again.
11/27/2010 | Joan
Just glad you are all safe. Yes, will take time to get Sunrise patched up--but sounds like you are getting there. We also have had weather lessons, and the more we sail the more we learn. Give Isabel a hug, she is a sweet little darling. And we hope to keep in touch!
11/28/2010 | Anastasia
Could not agree with your post more. The more experience Jen and I get, the right decision is staring us in the face. Variables make the decision difficult...stressful and sometimes the result of the decision is a major inconvenience, but 9 times out of 10 later we look back and say-"yeah that was the right call for us". We just got into St. Thomas yesterday morning...can't wait to see you guys when you get down here.
11/25/2010, Oriental NC


You can see that there is a flap of fiberglass... Turtle has jammed a little bar into the flap so it would be really easy to see... not that we needed it! Looking closely, we think that there was some bilge fluid in a void between the steel weight and the fiberglass skin on the keel. When we impacted, the fluid was blown out of the side of the keel.

Also, the first few feet of the keel looks like it was sanded down... We can see the various layers of fiberglass as though they are rings of a tree.

All of this will have to be cut away, back to the steel, allowed to dry out, then glassed over with about 40 layers of new fiberglass and epoxy. Since epoxy generates heat as it cures, we will be able to put on only 4 layers at a time, then wait until it has cured before adding more. The yard is estimating they will be able to add 4 layers, twice a day... so it will take 5 days just to glass it in. Of course the prep work will take a bunch of time before and then everything will have to be faired (made smooth and hydrodynamic), sealed with 6 or more layers of barrier coat (seals the fiberglass to keep the water from entering, then three coats of bottom paint (which discourage barnacles and other creatures from growing on the boat.)

11/23/2010, Oriental NC

Hard to capture in an image...

In a boat, there are "walls" that go from one side of the boat to the other, called bulkheads. Some go from the hull to the deck and separate the cabins. Others only go from the hull to underneath the floor. All of these form a "rib-cage" in the boat to give the hull stiffness and help it to keep its form.

Since we were dropped many times from the top of 8' to 10' waves onto the sand, the shock of those falls were transmitted up through the keel, through the skin of the hull and into the boat. That shock broke the fiberglass tabbing that holds the bulkheads to the hull. Most of them are on the port side of the boat.

It is the repair of these that has forced us to move off the boat... largely because of the dust created when cutting out the old tabbing and preparing to install the new tabbing.

11/23/2010 | Voila
Our hearts go out to you. I can imagine too well being in the same place with Voila! I am glad you have found good craftsmen to repair Sunrise and hope that the three of you will be sailing again as soon as possible. Alan and Felicity
11/23/2010, Oriental NC

Turtle cuts open the rudder to see what is happening inside...

First, we have to tell you of all the turtles in our life. Turtles seem to show up everywhere. We have seen lots of turtles at sea, several of them before our transit of the Oregon Inlet. Isobel has a Turtle nightlight, which is quite cool. One of the early images of the tropics that has kept us inspired during the preparations for the trip... is a photo of a turtle. I can't think of all the turtles in our lives... so it was not a big surprise when the fiberglass guy here at Sailcraft Services introduced himself as "Turtle".

Turtle is clearly a wonderful fiberglass craftsman. He has already carefully removed the skin of the boat at the top of the skeg to determine what was damaged. It appears that the rudder did not contact the ground, but instead it appears that it may have been hit by a wave when we were broadside to the waves during the "incident". Although Pete worked hard to keep us stern to the waves. There was a moment when we tried to motor back out to sea, then realizing we would have no luck there, we turn back toward the inlet. So, twice we were taking breaking waves broadside... Our rudder post is bent and the core of the rudder is shattered. The skeg is bent to port.

11/24/2010 | George Mora
Turtle's animal medecine:

"Turtle teaches us to be careful in new situations and to be patient in reaching our goals. Turtle also teaches us to take things slow, for it gives us time to figure out if we need to protect our self or forge ahead. Turtle shows up in our lives when we need to go into shell and wait until our thoughts & ideas are ready to be expressed. He also teaches us to be adaptable to our environment so we can find the harmony within it."

Life is funny, isn't it?

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]