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Bright Eyes
The search for bright waters...
Epic Fail Weekend
Slight Wind
05/19/2010, South River, Edgewater MD

So Saturday we made plans to sail up the South River and down the Rhode River and anchor at one of thier islands. The boat was all prepped and we just went food shopping, we were ready to go.

We started the engine up on the first try and everything sounded good. There was water coming out the back exhaust, all systems were hooked up. This was our first time leaving this new slip though and it proved to be a troublesome one. When we backed out, the current along with our prop walk pushed our boat directly toward the main dock. We are in the second slip so it wasn't long before I was pushing our stern off the main dock. Luckily the slip next to ours just has a small DNR boat in it and the opposite side is empty. Also the 3 slips behind us were empty too, otherwise we would have hit everyboat in those slips!

We had to back up almost all the way into the slip across from us and even then when we tried to go forward we couldn't even clear our own slip again because of the current. Eventually we had 2 other people helping us push our boat around and we decided to back out the fairway. Going reverse with a boat is no easy task because the propellor tends to push us to the left (prop walk). So we zig zagged out of the slip nearly missing all the boats that were hanging out of their slips. It wasn't pretty but we were out of there.

This should have been our indication to stay home, but we are fearless (or dumb) and continued!

So now we are motoring up the South River talking about what a disaster that exit was when an alarm goes off at the starter panel. This alarm usually goes off when the key is left in the on position, and after flipping the RPM meter switch it turned off. But this time the RPM meter stopped working once the alarm stopped sounding. We just thought, darn must be some loose wires.

Well about 5 minutes later the engine stalls.

We try to start the engine back up and after a few lame turn over trys it kicks on, but then turns off after about another minute. Shucks! Christine reminds me that we are a sailboat and quickly lets out the Genny. Who needs a lame engine anyway. I decide ill look at it once we get to our anchorage. But the boat decides otherwise and we see a bunch of smoke coming from the cabin, o shit. Christine hands me the fire extinguisher and I go down below and open up the engine compartment. There is a ton of fog/smoke coming off the engine but thankfully no fire. Christine opens up the cockpit access and more smoke comes out but still no fire. At this point we realized we have overheated the engine. We leave the compartment doors open and let her cool off.

So now we are sailing along in a slight wind but the wind is coming at us so we have to tack a few times. Just before our last tack out of the river the wind dies. We are a decent distance from a near by shoal but once we lost all wind power the current began to take us to land. That combinded with all the power boats flying by and creating wakes that knock us to shore, we are soon SAILING BACKWARDS! I tried explaining to Christine the other day that it was impossible to sail backwards, so she had a fun time proving me wrong as we saw our trailing dinghy float forward of us.

This laughter soon ended as we felt a slight bump and realized we had run aground. Dang it!

Well the engine had stopped smoking and so it must have cooled off and we were in dire need of power so we turned her back on. The engine started fine and it was a relief to have power again. This lasted about 15 seconds when we heard a SNAP! and I saw our dinghy slowly floating away. We just had a prop guard installed and it did its job. I grabbed the line that was supposed to be holding the dinghy hopeing it was still attached but the line had been cut and the dinghy was just drifting further toward the bay.

Now this is a brand new dinghy as you readers know and I was not about to let it escape. I am not a great swimmer tho so I grabbed a floating seat cushion and jumped in after it. It would have been nice if we were so far on the shoal that I could walk but nope, I had to doggy paddle after this thing. The water was very cold at first but that quickly went away as I used every bit of energy I had to catch up to the dinghy. I was so tired I thought I wasn't going to catch it but the current must have helped me some and I eventually climbed aboard our lil runaway tender. The workout wasn't over tho and I had to paddle it back to our dumb boat that was still stuck in mud.

Christine had untangled the remaining line and restarted the engine in an attempt to get us off the shoal. But we were still stuck. I attempted to moter us off the shoal once I got aboard the main vessel but I too failed. Not knowing which way the tide was going (rookie mistake) we decided to call Boat US to tow us off. It went pretty smooth hailing them via VHF and they could be there in 30 minutes. While we waited for them we tried using a long 8 foot pole to push us off but that ofcourse failed. Also while waiting a friendly power boater offered to pull us off but we decided to wait for Boat US.

The Boat US tow boat eventually came and pulled us off the shoal. For anyone who is not a memeber of Boat US, please become one now. We pay $149/year, it was $134 the year before, and we get unlimited towing for free! He told us that he just had to charge the last person $1100 and that our bill would have been $700! We just got our memberships worth for the next 4 years, not to mention all the other benefits of being a member. Well now that we were off the shoal we could have had him take us home but we were already half way to our destination and the engine had just came on fine so we thought we were all good. Let's keep going!

How little we really knew.

To Be Continued.....

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05/19/2010 | Mid-Life Cruising!
Boy, when it rains it pours! You know Murphy's Law. Hope it all turned out okay
Weekend Highlights

-possibly blew up our MOTOR
-used boat us towing TWICE
-prop guard DOES work since it cut our dinghy line which joey then had to swim to retrieve
-proved joey wrong - you CAN in fact sail backwards.

we're busy today, check back tomorrow for in depth crappy analysis.

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05/17/2010 | Jim
Dear Lord I hope you are a member of BoatUS. I hope the engine is OK, keep us updated.
05/17/2010 | Snoodle Time
Sorry to hear that. Hoping you get some good news.
Getting Settled In The New Marina
05/12/2010, Edgwater, MD

So our marina moved us out of that enormous slip and into a smaller one, a much smaller one. Tuesday we moved our boat to the other side of the pier into a 35 ft slip and immediatly felt out of place as our boats butt was hanging out 5 feet on one side and 8 feet on the other (yes the pilings are not even). Luckily tho this slip had electricty for us to plug into so we could recharge our batteries. We spoke to our marina manager the next morning and we finally decided on a slip. It still only 35 feet but it is in close to the main pier walkway so no boats will have to pass us and possibly hit us.

This still lead to difficulty tieing off as the back pilings are atleast a quarter up our boat. We will need to install an extra cleat on our traveler to act as a spring line. Also the wind was blowing hard Friday when we moved into the new slip. Once we got her tied off tight we went inside for drinks to finally celebrate our new resting spot. The electric company would'nt set us up till Saturday but we had a fully charged battery and decided to give our inverter a try. We plugged in our cockpit lights and they came right on, Nice!

Our new view is of the South River Bridge. It's not too noisy and is kinda pretty. It will do.

Saturday while Christine had to work, I drove back to HHN to pick up our dodger wings that were left at the canvas shop. I also had lunch with my dad and picked up an Outboard Engine! No more paddleing for the Bright Eyes crew! My dad's friend Warren kindly donated to us a 1972 Johnson 2 stroke 6 hp outboard engine. My dad's friend Billy gave me the run down of how to use and service it. We started it up and it ran just fine. Cool!

The rest of Saturday was errands and getting our boat back in living shape. Earlier in the week we saw crabs swimming around already so the crab pots got tossed in the water.

Sunday was Mothers Day so a Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there! We spent it at my Aunt Dana's getting good grub.

We are planning our first overnighter of the season this weekend!

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05/12/2010 | Ramon
I like your Blog and have also switched from Sailblogs to Blog Spot. I find it a lot more useful, more pictures, links and information; plus it's FREE. I follow on my igoogle page the blogs that interest me whether it be here or on Blogspot.

What got to write to you today was your dilema with dock lines. It depends on your spot and ability but I would consider backing in so you can tie off the stern at the dock and two lines to the probably already there cleat on your bow. It is still not going to keep you from drifting into the dock by spring lines to cleats on the fairlead track should help hold you out enough. Happy Sailing to you both.
05/14/2010 | Snoodle Time
That is about the best suggestion you could get. Using your traveler as a spring cleat is not really a good idea as it is designed for upward force, not fore and aft pressures. If you do back into your slip, an excellent tie off point is your jib wench, from you now forward piling.
Should We Stay or Should We Go Now

Ok readers we would like your opinion.

We would like a little more out of our blog like custom sidebars, google anaylitics, google adsense, map tracking, RSS feed ect...

Our current sailblogs account is free and does not offer any of that. We could get those features at other blog sites such as Blogspot for free. At Sailblogs it would cost us $95 a year. Our only concern is that we would lose our audience here and the sailing enthusiast traffic that this site brings.

So if we moved to Blogspot, would you still be likely to follow our blog? And do you think this is a good idea? Please be honest and all advice is welcome.


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05/10/2010 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
I've seen a number of people move to Blogspot. I rarely look at their blogs anymore. Sailblogs is an easy way to check a large number of sailing blogs.

My 2 cents.

05/10/2010 | Verena
I say go!! Make your own money rather than paying someone. We can follow each other on blogspot!
05/10/2010 | Wayne from Morro Bay
keep both, when you post a message on your Blogspot site, just post a quick message here with a link
05/10/2010 | Fordyce Eldred
Yes - just make sure we get the link. Question did you use back up charts on trip
05/10/2010 | Mid-Life Cruising!
I say make the move if you want to. We'll still follow you!
05/11/2010 | Jay Gordon
Stay. I'm not likely to goto a site covered with ads. It seems thought that you see blogging as a money maker and not a hobby so it is probably inevitable.
05/11/2010 | Joey
Fordyce: I'm not sure what your asking, but on our recent trip to the new marina we just used our new Garmin. We have paper charts available if needed.
05/11/2010 | Joey
Jay: It might seem like we are just looking for money after posting that last blog ad but I can assure you that is untrue. We do want to post some ads to help with our cruising kitty but that is not the purpose of this blog. We know those income numbers will be pathetic, and we could easily devote our time somewhere else to make money at a better rate. Which we do.

This blog is number one: a way to communicate to all our friends and family. And number two: A fun way to recap our adventures and share with anyone who will listen, a hobby.

One of the fun parts of this hobby is to be creative and entertaining. This is where we feel sailblogs is lacking. We know you might enjoy just the words and pictures we post and we are grateful for that. But we'd like to do more like add fun things to the blog and I love statisics personally. And paying $95/year doesnt make alot of sense.

We look forward to making this blog the best it can be and have as much fun with it as we can!
05/12/2010 | C
I say GO! Sailblogs needs to learn that if they don't keep up with the competition, then they will loose clients. $95 is a ripoff for something that is normally free. Additonally, I follow several blogs that have made the jump, and have kept their free SailBlogs site as a "Forwarding" site by simply posting a "teaser" post ending with a link to BlogSpot or Blogger. The "teaser" posts are basically just a Title with a few short sentences ending along the lines of "check out the rest" as a hyperlink to their other site.

I am sure if you look hard enough you can find other SailBlog sites doing the same thing.
A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

I read about this from someone elses blog she says she makes like $100 a month just from other ppl signing up (referrals)

heres the concept, you log into your mrrebates account and shop at one of over approximately 200 online stores. It has alot of the majors brands you'd normally shop at. Each one has a percentage off next to it, and if you make your purchases while signed in, at the end of the month you get a check mailed to you with your savings. Instead of hunting for coupon codes online everything is in one place.

As a bonus, if you refer friends and they sign up and use mrrebates, you get 20% of their shopping and savings.

I signed up, lets try this out. Click the banner to sign up. Its free, and only takes a few minutes. They don't even ask you for personal information except your address to mail your check!

They even have with a 4% rebate!

I would love it if you would enter my email address as your referral. Its [email protected]


Mr. Rebates

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05/06/2010 | Jay Gordon
"They don't even ask you for personal information except your address to mail your check!"

They don't need to get anymore personal than that. Would you like to know how many things I could tell you about yourself just from your address? Prepare for spam. They don;t give away money for nothing
05/07/2010 | Christine
Thanks Jay, that IS a good point. I guess time will tell. I belong to several survey sites, as does Joey and and they send me emails regularly yeah, BUT ... we also get great gift certificates in the mail once we get enough points to redeem and we get to pick the place! I love it! I'm at work, I'm checking my email, why not get a little icing on my cake.

If it turns out that I am getting spam from this site, (I chose not to enroll in the newsletter) then I will remove this post.

05/07/2010 | Jay Gordon
The spam may not come from their site as companies buy and sell this info to each other.

Please read Crusing with prudence enties on 7/14/08 and 8/5/08. They drove people to a site hoping fopr money. The company got 3 weeks of attention from prudence readers and the prudence couple got nothing.
05/07/2010 | Joey
yeah I rem that experiment of theirs. they got kicked off cuz too many ppl were clicking on the ads for them.

we plan on adding adsense evenutally but will not encourage click abuse.
Goodbye Herrington Harbour North

Ok so alot has happened in the last week. On Thursday we got tossed back in the drink (thats cool sailor talk for water). Oddly enough they put us back in our old slip which we were allowed to stay in till Sunday. We had some dejavu walking down that long E dock and it was fun to see our dock neighbors one last time. We truely are going to miss the wonderful people at Herrington Harbour North.

On the last day on the hard I finally finished servicing the engine and it only cost me one finger. I got the appropriate tool to change the secondary fuel filter and that went pretty smooth, only spilling some diesel fuel.

The zincs were still a pain in the butt tho. There are three zincs on our Yanmar 3GM30. One on the backside in plain view and two that are more hidden on the side behind the fuel filter and fuel pump. After a second trip to the hardware store we finally had a socket that would fit, 15/16 of an inch! But alas I am weak and could not get the bolt off. Luckily Christines Dad Paul came by to pick up his ladder and lent me a longer socket wrench to give me better torque. So I went back down below eager to tear this bolt off and it came flying loose with the first pull. Unfortunatly this caused me to slam my own hand into the engine and smashed my pinky finger. I now have two dark purple fingers. atleast they are still attached! But it was all worth it as I slid in a brand new zinc to protect our engine. The other two zincs I deemed inaccessable and called it a day.

Friday and Saturday were spent cleaning up and getting the boat ready for her first sail of the season. We got our Dodger back from the shop. We now have all new glass so we can actually see through it while sailing. Also combined with the connector and the bimini it does a great job of protecting us from the sun and rain. Unfortunatly the canvas shop forgot to give us back the wings of the dodger, well now we have a reason to go back to HHN!

We put the sails back up with minor trouble. The genoa was tough to raise but I attribute that to my overall lack of strength. I really gotta hit the gym. Once we were all packed up it was time to start the engine. Can you guess if the engine started easily? Ofcourse it didn't! But I had the engine door already open eager with anticipation to solve any diesel problems with my newly acquired knowledge. After about an hour of bleeding the low and high pressure systems and tightening all the the hose connections we decided to try again. And viola she came to life! Let's get out of here before the sun goes down. We waived bye to Mark as we left our slip and only one line behind. Up the bay we go!

Our first sail of the season went as about as well as we could predict. We had to brush off a few cobwebs but we got right back into the groove of things. We turned off the engine as soon as we could and started with our favorite sail, the big Genny! We sailed downwind in peaceful quietness. The weather was predicting late afternoon thunderstorms and there was about 10 knots of wind so maybe thats why there wasn't alot of boats out. We were pretty open, cruising along at about 7-8 knots.

Kittens first sail, grab a line cat!

As the wind died down a lil we attempted to put up the main sail but we ran into trouble with the track. One of the track pieces was damaged and needs to be replaced so we just left the main down. After about two and a half hours of sailing we came up to the mouth of the South River. The wind was now pathetic so we flipped on the engine and putt putted the final leg.

It took us about another 40 minutes to go all the way down the South River to our new marina which brought the total trip to 3 hours and 40 minutes for 22 miles. We know, sailing is slow.

We would have loved to easily tie up our boat and fall asleep but that was not the case. Our new slip is way too big, about twice of what we need. This made tieing her up almost impossible and we spent the first 15 minutes just holding her in place by hand and trying to figure out how to reach the piling. Eventually we had to borrow a dinghy from another boat to tie off the back lines. Another problem was that the power supply plug is a whole slip over and our power cord won't reach it while letting us also access the finger pier. So we are camping again untill they can fix this problem.

We decided to reward ourselves with an overpriced dinner at Yellowfin.

HHN to Liberty

PS: We took our new kitten to the vet and she is very healthy. Yes it's a GIRL! So we have to scratch the name Cullen and think of a new one. We are playing with the name Nala.

Click For New Cute Kitten Pics

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Who: Joey and Christine
Port: Edgewater, MD
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