09/01/2010, River Dunes, Oriental, NC
We decided to leave Belhaven because we didn't want to get kicked out of the marin a and have to anchor out someplace during the store. We traveled up towards Oriental, having made reservations at River Dunes, a very protected harbor (see map) to ride out the hurricane. After arriving we took down the jib and stored it in its bag and place it in the rear cabin. We washed the cushions and stored them below as well. (We needed to "debug" after going through the NC swamp). We then took off the solar panel, stored the dinghy motor and deflated and bagged the dinghy. In the morning we will remove the bimini and dodger and put the deflated dinghy in the cockpit. We are expecting winds around 50mph according to tonight's weather report.
As we continue to travel we are finding out just how small the sailing community is. As we started to dock at River Dunes, Jim saw a Catalina 445 with a hard dodger. Turns out it was the 445 that he helped commission with Steve at Dunbar Yachts. Robert the owner came by to prepare his boat for the storm and we had a chance to talk. We helped him take down his jib, and he gave us a hand in taking down our solar panel. Both jobs were easier with 3 sets of hands. Jim of course had seen the boat, but I had only seen the exterior on the hard. Robert was kind enough to show me interior. What a beautiful boat. Of course I want one now. Oh well.
We will take some pictures and video tomorrow and keep you posted.
Our friends on Leprechan (John & Cheryl) live in New Bern but have spent the summer in Bayfield WI for a variety of family functions. We were hoping to see them while we were in this area, but they were not planning to be back until this Friday. That was until Earl. They let us know yesterday that they would be back on Wednesday to make sure the boat would be ok for the hurricane. I am hoping we can get together for dinner Thursday or Friday to catch up.
08/30/2010, Dowry Creek Marina, Bellhaven, NC
We left Coinjock and are staying at the Alligator Marina tonight. We were going to anchor but it is only $1/ft here and we won't have to worry about losing our anchor on a snag, which the cruising guide cautions about. Tomorrow we will have a long slog to Bellhaven. Everyday as we head south, we pay close attention to Hurricane Earl. Right now it doesn't look like it will hit the east coast, but the waves are getting too large for us to go off shore which means it will take us longer to get home because we will have to travel more down the ditch. But safety is our prime concern.
We left Solomons on Thursday morning around 7am and arrived in Irvington around 4pm. Our friends we met at Knapps Narrows on Tilman Island. Tommy, Brenda, Ryan and Tyler made arrangements to for us to stay at their yacht club (Rappahannock River Yacht Club). They have a home there 5 minutes away. Great couple with great kids. Ryan and Tyler remind us of our sons at that age. Ryan, the oldest looks out for his younger brother and LOVES video games (Jim III) and Tyler is full of energy and charms everyone with his beautiful eyes and mischievous smile (Daniel). We hope we will see them again either back here or that they will visit us in Georgia, for a little southern hospitality.
Arrived in Solomons on Monday and we put the boat back in the water on Tuesday. It looked good with the new bottom paint and the hull freshly waxed. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday washing the boat, putting the canvas back on and reprovisioning the boat. Jim changed the zinc while it was out of the water and tighted the packless shaft seal.
The weather when we arrived was perfect to do the work. Temperatures were in the high 60's and 70's. A big change from when we left. We know it will get warmer as we go south, but it shouldn't be nearly what we experienced in July.
The month home went by quickly but as expected, temperatures have become more tolerable. Our biggest concern now is hurricanes. Right now there is a tropical depression #6 off the coast of Africa. We know of a couple of places along the ICW that are hurrican holes or protected areas. But we hope we that won't be necessary.
Jim's brother arrived today to stay with the dog while we bring the boat back. Not having the dog will allow us to stay at anchor more and to go off shore. In other words, we don't have to worry about taking the dog to shore to do her buisness.
We we get to Solomons, we will inspect the bottom paint and put the boat back in the water. We will wash the top, put the dodger and bimini back on and reprovision the boat. On Thursday, we will head south towards home.
07/31/2010, Solomons Island, Md
We arrived back to Spring Cove Marina on Saturday 7/24 at about 11:45 AM. Good thing we left Knapp's Narrow's at 6:00 AM. We had a high of 100 deg that afternoon. On Sunday it was 104. Monday was cooler and we began preparing the boat to be hauled. I changed oil and filters including both fuel filters. We took down and flaked the head sail. The dodger was removed and the bimini stowed.
On Tuesday morning when we started loading the rental car Maggie became very nervous. She tried to climb into the trunk twice. Finally I let her get in the back seat where she happily stayed until the boat was hauled.
At 9 AM I backed the boat into the haul out slip. She was lifted out of the water and moved over the hard where the guys pressure washed the bottom and scraped off the barnacles. This is the first time she has been out of the water since she was commissioned in 2008.
In the previous blog Leslie mentioned water spraying into the engine compartment while we were underway to Solomons. Water was leaking at the PSS. (Packless Shaft Seal) Our normal cruising rpm is 2500. At that speed water was leaking around the seal causing the bilge pump to run every 8 - 10 mins. When we throttled back to 1500 rpm it stopped. This had us pretty freaked out. When you are in the middle of the bay and water is coming into the boat your heart rate increases dramatically. I pulled the bilge cover off so we could see into the bilge from the cockpit and we tested the manual bilge pump. We put out both the head and main sails and turned off the engine. The leak stopped. We were able to continue this way until we had to turn up the Patuxent River and into the wind. We furled the sails and limped in just under 1500 rpm.
While doing the PM on the engine I checked all motor mounts, mounting and shaft hardware. Once on the hard, we checked the shaft and cutlass bearing. Everything was intact and we found nothing that could be causing the leak. After arriving back home to Brunswick, I got on the internet and the PYI website. They are the manufacture of the PSS. I also consulted our local guru, Steve Pittman. It looks like all that is needed is a small adjustment to the PSS collar.
Spring Cove Marina will bottom paint the boat on or about 8/19. We will drive back to Solomons on Sunday 8/22 and the boat will be launched on Monday 8/23.
Once the boat is back in the water and everything is put back together we plan to head back to Brunswick.
Posted other pictures of the haul out in the Photo Gallery.