It is Friday August 31, 2009, after nearly the entire summer, Hullabaloo is floating in the water again. Dave and Wendy (Elysium) rode with us on the four hour trip to Portsmouth. There she sat in all her repaired glory, no more holes in the hull or dings in the fiberglass. After a thorough check of repairs they put her in the sling and kerplopped her in the Elizabeth River. Port engine fired right up beautifully, you can barely even hear it run. Starboard side, not so much. Rrrr ...Rrrr... Rrrr...nothing. Then they found a bent water pump pulley on the port side. Let me tell you; when it rains it pours. Got a new starter for the SB side, but the pulley was out of stock have to have it shipped, of course. Thankfully the marina was only 500 yards up the creek and we moved her over there to await parts. The marina was very nice, and the best part it was comp-ed by the yard.
We refreshed the fresh water system and started the fridge, another malfunction, then the hot water heater coil went kablooey. Boats just hate to sit, after her 14 week stay in Virginia, she was showing her displeasure. Three days later the pulley was installed and the fridge working, the parts for the water heater would have to wait til home. As with all things sailing, never - never have a schedule because the winds will not cooperate with any calendar. North winds rushed down the Chesapeake Bay at 15-20 on the nose, but it was time to go.
We motored over to Cape Charles at the tip of Virginia's eastern shore, a quaint, historic town on its way to recovery. Anchored off the Bayside Marina we had gorgeous views of the sunsets. There is a nice pub called Kelly's in town with an amazing selection of specialty brews. It is a small town with small town ideals, and everyone knows we aren't from around there. They were pleasant, but not crazy friendly like some of the other waterfront towns. We hung there two nights waiting for the winds to settle a bit. Then we headed back into the washing machine, northward bound. Next stop, Onancock, not too far a sail, but another rough day on the bay. Five to seven foot waves with just a 1-2 second interval. Somebody pass the barf bucket around.
Onancock has a split personality, fishing village and majestic historic neighborhood. The shopping district is a quick walk from the anchorage, they have a gourmet deli and a bakery. The locals are helpful and considerate as we toured the town with two of the kids and the rascally dog. Who, I am told, must be dyslexic, because he thinks he is a god (lol). We got milk, ice and beer, so we are all set for the next jaunt.
Saturday winds were much lighter in the afternoon, so after we finished school we headed back to the western shore. We made it all the way to Solomon's Island, which in reality is not an island at all. We called friends with a pier and had electricity for the evening then they served us a huge breakfast in the morning. They had a ton of kids over for the holidays so my children were thrilled to play in the yard and the wading pool. Needless to say they did not want to leave. We got a much needed freshwater washdown and then moved just around the corner, closer to town to hang out and relax for a couple days. Colton and Darby jumped and swam off the back of the boat. A 3' brown water snake swam by with barely a notice from the kids. We walked to Woodburn's grocery and loaded up. Brian and Lisa came by that afternoon and we grilled out and talked until late. Hullabaloo is a great place to spend time with friends, the hours just zing by and we love the company.
By now we have dallied more than our allotted one-week time, not that we have to rush back for work, but Brie was missing us (aka: running out of food). So we took off from Solomon's early in the morning at headed towards the South River. The Bay was packed with sailboats, racing or cruising, this is Labor Day weekend after all. It was a great day and we actually busted out the sails for a bit - glorious. Jim and Luann met us that evening for another happy hour. We talked about old times, hydrated and ate up the delicious steamed shrimp Lisa had brought over. It was another quiet night and early morning as we headed out on our last leg. Past the mouth of the Severn, under the Bay Bridge then hang a portside turn into the Magothy. I counted 28 boats heading out of the river as we were heading in. Once we cleared the traffic at Dobbins Island, it was smooth, nearly solitary, sailing. It was interesting to see the creek from the water, Hullabaloo had not been this way for 11 months. Before our winter experience - ten days on the boat would have been a huge deal, now it was a piece of cake. It was good to be home with a washer and dryer and king size bed, but sadly this adventure has ended. Now the question is...what's next?
06/01/2009, Dismal Swamp, NC
Hullabaloo is on the hard in Portsmouth, VA - the family is safelyhome in Arnold,MD. All we know for sure is we struck some undetermined submerged object while at about mile marker 24 in the Dismal Swamp. It was not a horrible sound by any means nor did it shock the boat and I figured it was just a bump until about two minutes later when the port engine quit. Fortunately the boat is designed into six watertight compartments and the infiltration was contained to the port engine area.
The 750gph that was installed in that compartment kicked on automatically and did not seem to be making a dent so we jury rigged a water puppy from the next compartment up and still saw no reduction in water height. Then we broke out the manual transom mounted Whale hand pump, still no noticeable improvement despite what I figure was about 1500gph at work. I was able to feel around and figured out that the mounting pedestal for the Yanmar/sail drive assembly had essentially been torqued so strongly that it had cracked and separated about 2/3 the way around the sail drive. We then found that by standing on the top of the crack we could depress the space enough to let the bilge pumps make some headway (a little).
This worked for a bit but then we figured that there was no way we could hand pump until the haulout at Ocean Marine in Portsmouth. The Coast Guard agreed to help with a gas powered pump. Although I must say that prior to the radio traffic I had had a nice telephone conversation and made no less than three very clear statements that 1: We were not sinking, 2: The water was contained to one sealed compartment, 3: That I was simply trying to mitigate property damage, and 4: We were not in reporting being in distress. Two minutes later, some of you may have heard, Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan, . . . Oh well I was glad for the 250 gpm (that was gallons per minute) pump that made short work of the water. They were great and stuck with us all the way to the lift even ensuring the bridges were open ahead of us.
By the way I am a Tow Boat US member but was informed that their service does not include the high speed pump though they would tow me in while it leaked. It didn't seem to matter that we could still make 5 knots and steer just fine, they just wanted to tow us in! The Coast Guard did it all gratis. Kudos to them.
I was just down there again today and it seems that the force on the saildrive literally separated the motor/saildrive mount from the hull right where it was glassed in. The port rudder took a hit to and has a bit to much play in it. I think the post is okay, but the bushings are spent. Worst part of all is the engine filled up with water and we may be looking at a total rebuild. Right know if I had to guess I we are out of commission for about six weeks.
Despite this hiccup we had a great year and will be back out there as soon as we can although you will not likely catch us on the Dismal Swamp again.
The tide was high and the seas were calm so we saved our selves a few hours and showed off yet another reason to sail on a catamaran, we snuck in behind Whale Cay - unheard off on a monohull. Read 'em and weep boys.
We are back in Manjack Cay safely anchored in the lee of the island. We are looking to cross the Gulf Stream hopefully tomorrow if the winds and the waves are with us. This will mean a 24-30 hour trip overnight into Port Canaveral by Friday a.m. Then trying to figure out how to check back into the country with Customs. I will keep you posted, the forecast is favorable, but of course flexible.
After 4 months and four days of amazing adventure we are back in the US of A. And I have one thing to say -thank heavens for free refills. After crossing into the US waters we were greeted by the coast guard
and their handy dandy 5 million candle power spotlight and a midnight
boarding. The checked their checklist for flares, life vests, horn and
fire extinguisher and were very polite. They gave us a copy of their
glowing hullabaloo report and slipped quietly into the night.
It took exactly 30 hours to travel from Manjack Cay to Port Canaveral.
We fueled up both the boat and ourselves then headed to an anchorage
to SLEEP. The trip was fairly comfortable but long and we are
exhausted. Will write soon. Saw manatees and dolphins all ready.
We are anchored in St Augustine my favorite southern city. In Daytona
we had dinner with the Dau family. It was great to see them again.
Thanks for driving up Scott. The next night we were at a marina just
south of here and found a couple from another boat we had met in the
islands. While it is indeed a huge world, it is small in such that you
can run into people anywhere. We moved up to the historic district and
are currently doing school work overlooking the old homes. Awesome
views from the waterside. Jen Edwards met us at the dock. I finally
got my greeting party! We are looking forward to a real American
cookout at her house tonight. Maybe a trolley tour later for a history field trip. The other day we toured the ancient Fort Mantazes so we are on a theme. The weather is sunny and warm with a nice breeze.
We are just barely in GA. We left Fernandina Beach. After shrimp fest
weekend we realized that the paper mills are loud and smelly and they
operate 24/7. We moved just a bit north to Cumberland Island. This is
a national park once owned by the Carnegie family. There one time
suumer mansion sits in ruins since 1918 and the great depression. It
is now home to 200 wild horses. We walked about 2 miles with a park
ranger who gave us the low down on the rich and famous prior
We have left beautiful Beaufort. We took a horse-drawn carriage tour and learned a bunch of history, from the eyes of the southern perspective, definitely different than the Yankee version. No offence meant, I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Beaufort remains an adorable little town with lots to see. There is no market or drug store, but lots of nice shops and art galleries. We stayed there three days just chilling out and admiring the views.
We continue northward on the ICW. We stopped at the same Seafood Market in Green Pond SC that we stopped in 7 months ago on the trip down. The owners remembered us and the boat. This time we doubled our shrimp order, got diesel and water. They say they are 17 miles down a dirt road somewhere between Beaufort and Savannah; it is a 40 miles trip to Rt. 95. This is definitely the middle of nowhere. They are very nice with thick southern drawls. We bypassed Savannah because we saw all we needed the last trip and we are headed for Georgetown, SC. Seems like King George left his mark all over the place, from Georgetown, MD to Georgetown Exumas, it can get a little confusing. There is also a Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, one night in Georgetown, Exumas we heard a woman telling a story about how her brother was supposed to visit, but he bought an airline ticket to the wrong island chain Georgetown, I bet he had just as much fun in the Caymans.
We have met new friends here, the horseflies. They are abundant and attracted to the dark blue of the bimini top. They don't bite, too often, but there could be hundreds of them buzzing around if you don't have a designated swatter. Colton volunteers for the job and the dog is in charge of eating all the carcasses, they both seem to enjoy their tasks. We have been anchoring at night alongside the ICW, it is very calm and quiet. Two nights of steamed shrimp for dinner, they were as good as we remember.
Today was yet another new. While idling slowly through a calm dugout canal we saw a ripple in the water. Alligators! We eventually saw a bunch wading in the mud, waiting for an egret to forget the danger lurking below. It was like a Sunday night Wild Kingdom, only without the slow motion.
Dennis is going to meet us in Georgetown (South Carolina) we have booked a marina for the wash down and electricity. There is a lot of bug juice to scrub. We have not explored this town; we hear it is quaint if you can ignore the smell of the paper mill. I will let you know.
We are still in Treasure Cay. The marina here has a pool and an internet cafe, the harbor is very protected, we have friends here and the weather is gorgeous. Why leave? Well the infamous pig roast of course. Today we will leave to sail to Nipper's on Great Guana Cay, it is a short sail maybe five miles. Every Sunday they have a huge barbeque buffet set up, with two pools and an ocean front view. $20 bucks for all you can eat, what more could you ask for? In all likelihood we will sail back here to anchor this evening. We are expecting yet another cold front bring stronger winds and Great Guana is too exposed for that. I posted a couple more pictures on my facebook page. The kids are all well, they swam most of the day yesterday and went to bed exhausted at 8 o'clock.
We remain in Great Guana Cay, if you recall back at new years when we met a family from Georgia. Well upon our return we found them here again. They and their 9 year old son have stolen Colton and he has stayed with them the last two nights. We went fishing and caught two
more jack. One on a spear and one on a hook. Darby walked under a
flying bocce ball and sustained a cut on her forehead. She is
butterflied back together and healing well.
We caught another interesting thing on the fishing line. Totally inedible. A large brown seagull grabbed the lure and got hooked in the cheek. I recalled a lesson Chris Wagnon taught me about 22 years ago
when a loon landed in the parking lot at Cosca. Dave took a towel and
covered the birds eyes and wings. He was able to work the hook free
and the bird flew off squawking.
As we came back into the anchorage here last night I saw a 6 ft nurse
shark swim under the boat. Do you have any idea how much attention one
attracts when one hollers out "hey look at that big shark!"? I do...
We will be here for Easter then over to Hope Town.
Dave and I are in the Bahamas on our sailboat but I wanted to thank
you for a lesson you taught me many years ago. You might remember when
a lion landed in the parking lot at Cosca. You took one of the horse
blankets to wrap it up and release it. Yesterday a large brown seagull
grabbed a hold of our fishing lure. We hauled it in and wrapped it in a
beach towel just like you had. He squawked and flew away once Dave got
the hook out of his cheek.
I thank you and the seagull thanks you. Have fun. Lisa.
4-13-09 We are safely moored at Hope Town on Elbow Cay. It is overcast and almost kinds cool. Darby's head is healing nicely. Brie has a new goal of finishing school by the end of the month. Colton is watching cartoons in a bar. Tomorrow is Dave's birthday. We are making a chocolate pie. We will be here a couple days. Then who knows. Will keep you posted.
We are celebrating Colton's birthday with a devil's food cake. How's that for apropos? We are working our way northward slowly but surely. The Whale Cay requires crossing an inlet into the Atlantic then around a small cay and back into another inlet into the beautiful sea of Abaco. The crossing is extremely weather dependant and varies from flat calm to what they call a rage. Sounds bad. Don't want to try a rage. We will look tomorrow and see what we see. From there it is Green Turtle Cay. From there we will watch the gulf stream weather. I know I don't want to come back to cold weather. We will take our time up the icw. We would love to have company up the coast if you want to join us on a leg of the journey let us know and we will gladly make room for you. Miss you, my laundry room and my new shower. Write soon.
We are back in Rock Sound in Eleuthera again. Grabbed dinner at Sammy's cafe. Got some ice and groceries at Dingles. We will sit here and wait for these crazy winds to settle and make another jump north. Maybe Monday. We are currently in Governors Harbor on Eleuthera. This was the original capital of the Bahamas. It is very old southern Virginia colonial in its style, except the houses are amazing bright colors. The sail here was fantastic. The wind has settled and it was an easy ride. We caught a small reef jack but he was too little to cook, so we set him free. Tomorrow we will move up to Royal Island or Harbor, can't remember which it is called then back to the Abacos. The weather is supposed to be perfect. Everyone is well and doing fine. Brie is anxious to get home and we want to get north to be closer to Bebop.
From Governors' Harbour we had a long sail to Royal Island. This is the planned community with a jack Nicholas golf course. Houses here are slated to start at $5.5 mil. So start saving your spare change. We
snorkeled for dinner but only came away with scenic memories.
Early yesterday we started a long day of rock and roll sailing and I don't mean the stereo was too loud. Just as we were about to start our turn toward the cut, bam! Another Mahi, this one was smaller than
the last two but not small at nearly three feet. We reentered the Abacos at North Bar Cut. There the waters settled and everyone felt better.
We called from a cut report and who should answer us? Our buddies from Civil Twilight. Yeah. We had dinner at Snappas in Marsh Harbour. We ate, drank and caught up for a couple hours. It was good to see them again.
We are currently on our way to Treasure Cay to hang out, swim and get the towels washed. I can send this from there. We are having Gerri and Allen over for fresh Mahi on the grill.
The children just continue to get tanner and blonder. You won't recognize them when we get home. Everyone is healthy. Brie is making bread. Darby is pretending to take a nap. Colt is measuring
ingredients. Oh yeah yesterday in history he studied Christopher Columbus' travels. Not so coincidently we had recently gone to San Salvadore where Columbus landed. How's that for a relative field trip?
Write soon. Back to 16.
We are sailing away from our gorgeous port today. We will head north and stay farther up Cat Island. Then Friday trying to get to Little San Salvador aka Half Moon Bay, owned and operated by the Holland America Cruise Line. The wifi will be sketchy or non- existent for a few days, but don't worry about us, now that spring has arrived the weather will be settling. Not that the weather is bad by any means, but the winds can get gusty and the boat a little rocky. We will be stopping in some places we did not get to on the way down. Stand by for further adventures. We left Cat Island and sailed all the way to Little San Salvadore.
Along the way we caught three huge barracuda. Ugly. They all returned to the sea. So could be that we caught one three times. When we got to LSS the cruise ship had just up anchored and took the
3000 occupants with it. Leaving a deserted Disney World - Bahamas-style island. We walked around and saw all the fake island stuff meant to convince cruisers that they are island hopping. Brie got to pet their
pet sting rays. We walked along the beach with thousands of empty beach chairs and empty bars and cafeterias. Interesting from that perspective.
The night was very rolly and not exceedingly comfortable. Another cruise ship came in at 0700 and the tenders started hauling everyone to shore. This made it even more rolly and loud so we left.
We took a long long sail across the Exuma Sound. There were 10-12 foot rolling waves following us and pushing us along. We maxed out at 12 knots. Very fast for us.