Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
27 September 2016 | St. Marys, GA
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
25 September 2016 | Wynah Bay, SC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
19 September 2016 | Carolina Beach, NC
16 September 2016
16 September 2016 | Morehead City, NC
13 September 2016 | Dowry Creek, NC
13 September 2016 | Alligator River, ICW
13 September 2016 | Coinjock Bay, ICW
13 September 2016 | North River Landing, Intracoastal Waterway
Recent Blog Posts
27 September 2016 | St. Marys, GA

The North River Challenge Part

Anchoring in the Fernandina Beach City Marina mooring field at 3 PM, it had taken 8 hours to work the boat from the sea buoy, up the channel, around Amelia Island, and into the marina. I put the sail cover on the mainsail.

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL

The Paper Mill

Here is a photo of Fernandina Beach’s beloved paper mill. It looks like an amusement park. The locals say it helps keep the city from becoming totally dependent on tourists, like St. Augustine.

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL

Fort Clinch

On the way in to Amelia Island the channel heads straight in towards Fort Clinch State Park. Here is a not so good photo of Fort Clinch. The park is very much a natural Spanish moss and white sandy beach kind of place.

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL

The Red Right Returning Part

I tried to sail up the channel but it was too late, I was too tired, the tide must be ebbing. Nothing to do but anchor in the Atlantic Ocean off Fernandina Beach, the beach not the city, in about 40 feet of water. The sea was calm with big swells coming in from tropical storm Karla. My concern about [...]

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL

The St. Marys Entrance Part

My anticipation of arrival was painfully wrong. We slowed way down and the last 65 miles began to draw out. Instead of arrival at the sea buoy in late afternoon or even in daylight, we got there just before midnight. It reminded me of arriving at Beaufort or Norfolk, the tide flow was a very important [...]

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL

The Last Sunset Part

Now that I had the lashed tiller thing down pat, I could sit forward on the cabin top as the boat forged its way ahead on 240 magnetic. Trillium is a small boat and my toes rested on the toe rail while I was sitting on the cabin top leaning back against the mast.

The North River Challenge Part

27 September 2016 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Warm Summer
Anchoring in the Fernandina Beach City Marina mooring field at 3 PM, it had taken 8 hours to work the boat from the sea buoy, up the channel, around Amelia Island, and into the marina. I put the sail cover on the mainsail.
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If I knew what I know now, when I set out to bring this boat down from the Chesapeake, I would have not gone into the intercoastal waterway, I would have sailed outside all the way down. The first 90 percent of the voyage was sailed with hand steering and running in the ICW under power. The unreliable engine caused a lot of grief when I was forced to sail.
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Heaving to, and, self steering with lashed tiller, are two skills that I only picked up near the end of the voyage. Now I could probably take this boat longer distances, but probably won’t sail it again, it will be for sale to some lucky local sailor.
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Next will be continuation of refitting Kaimu in the St. Marys boatyard, relaunch, and probably be stuck here in the south for winter.
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I think I will be rigging Kaimu up as a cutter, as before, but repositioning the staysail as a self tending club jib. Then adding a yankee topsail to the headstay. No roller furling, both sails will be hanked on permanently, and dropped and zipped into sail covers, like the main is, when they are not in use. The rig will have turnbuckles, not lashings.
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The original builder of Kaimu modified the Wharram plans and put a full size berth where there is usually a large chartroom. Wharram usually had the cabin on one hull house the galley and one on the other hull house the chartroom. I’m thinking about taking the full size berth, which runs athwartships and converting it to two countertops, i.e. chopping out the middle of the berth to form two big counters on either side. Then the original piece can be reinserted to convert it back to a full size berth for visitors, otherwise it will provide extra counter space for doing projects, library, etc.
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I lounged in the Sailor’s Lounge at FHMarina, Fernandina Harbor Marina, and did a lot of blog entries, and other internet stuff, but the internet connection was wierd, it kept hanging up and I had to restart the computer to get it going again. I was alone in a sumptuous leather upholstered lounge with an NFL program on the wide screen tv, my feet up on the leather ottoman. I was wondering why no one else was using this very nice place. Then I saw a guy swiping the electronic lock outside with his key card and nothing happened. He tried again and again. I put down the laptop and walked over to the door to buzz him in and guess what, nothing happened. Oh, I said, you can’t get in. He said outside, but I could hear him, you’re locked in. Yes, I could not open the door from the inside and he couldn’t get in from the outside. He went to get help.
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It turned out the electronic lock system was out of commission and the marina on duty guy who checks on all the buildings had to open a back door with a regular metal key and I was freed from my luxurious captivity. I wanted to watch part of a football game and also get dinner, so I left the marina, my stuff was perfectly safe in the lounge, and had beef tips while watching my favorite team lose in embarrassing fashion.
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I had to find the key guy to get my stuff and then I could kayak back to Trillium. It had been a nice day. My plan was to try to start the engine in the morning and then motor up the St. Marys River and North River to the boatyard where Kaimu was.
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The motor didn’t start, although I did clean the badly fouled spark plugs and found the bad wire connection that was preventing the battery from powering the electric starter motor. The engine just wasn’t going to run.
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There was a gusty ENE breeze blowing, so I got underway with working jib and light main, sailed the anchor out, tacked up the channel toward Cumberland Sound, then right into the sound, going well, skirting the shallows, then bearing off for the mouth of the St. Marys River.
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This was good sailing, but the North River, which meanders into the St. Marys, would be difficult to sail. The problem is that with all the meandering, you have to sail 10 miles to go 1. I could see the masts of the boats in the boatyard, but it was a long zig zag trip through the swamp to get there. It is not really a river, just a creek through a swamp. It was like a final test, you tacked up the Bodkin, you tacked up the ICW, you tacked up the channel to Fernandina Beach, now you have to pass the last baddest gauntlet.
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Fortunately Trillium is small and handy, it was the skipper who had to perform and work the vessel with a little shallow narrow channel that turned back and forth. I expected to touch bottom at any time. I had two things in my favor. The tide was coming in, so if I got stranded, I would be lifted off after a while, and, the tidal current would start pushing me along, helping.
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I was doing a lot of hand holding the sheets and pulling them without using the winch and pesky locking winch handles. I had a couple of blown tacks, this is when you get close to the edge of the channel, turn to tack back and don’t get the bow of the boat through the wind. Maybe the direction of wind changed a bit, maybe you dropped the tiller and the boat hesitated, sometimes the flopping jib sheets would dance in the air and snag a cleat on the mast. I was sometimes dropping everything to charge up on deck and release a snagged sheet. When you blow a tack, the best recovery is to wheel around to leeward and jibe into the tack. This means turning toward that river bank and hoping the boat whirls around fast enough that you don’t get snagged.
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One badly blown tack had the jib wrap around the headstay, something that almost never happens. I had to give up ground and work the jib free while drifting downwind. I kept working the boat and dealing with fears of shallows and some nice lifts when the wind would go my way. We ended up on the last meander with the boatyard right there to starboard.
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I got closer to look for an open spot on the docks, and then I touched bottom. I could see people I knew walking around on shore, some looking at me and pondering, doesn’t he look familiar. Ron the woodworker waved at me. I recognized his day glo green tee shirt. Of course I was just sitting there, grounded, kind of embarrassed, but not really. We had done well to sail up this nasty bit of water and now it was just a matter of time to catch another gust of wind, have a bit more tide under us, and then we were off the bottom and over to anchor in a line of boats further up the channel.
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I packed up stuff I would need ashore, I wouldn’t be back any time soon, secured the boat but didn’t lock it, put the sail cover and tiller cover on, stowed the jib, lashed the tiller amidships, stowed the cockpit cushions in the cabin with the zippered edges down, and then launched myself into the kayak with the computer, some clothes, cell phone, water, and my notes. No one met me at the floating dock and I began trudging up to Kaimu with my load. All was in order there, then I trudged over to the communal area and caught up on news with several of the boatyarders who had their stories to tell.
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The image is of the St. Marys and North Rivers. The boat icon is where the boatyard is. You can see how twisty turny the river is, making it a difficult sail.

The Paper Mill

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
Capn Andy/Warm Summer
Here is a photo of Fernandina Beach’s beloved paper mill. It looks like an amusement park. The locals say it helps keep the city from becoming totally dependent on tourists, like St. Augustine.

Fort Clinch

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
Capn Andy/Warm Summer
On the way in to Amelia Island the channel heads straight in towards Fort Clinch State Park. Here is a not so good photo of Fort Clinch. The park is very much a natural Spanish moss and white sandy beach kind of place.
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The channel diverts to the right and circles Amelia Island counterclockwise. Cumberland Sound branches off to the right.
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The tidal currents in the channel and near the island are very strong. We were sailing at a 45 degree angle to the channel and just able to keep Trillium in the channel. Closer in to the island there are submerged jetties that block the current.

The Red Right Returning Part

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
Capn Andy/Warm Summer
I tried to sail up the channel but it was too late, I was too tired, the tide must be ebbing. Nothing to do but anchor in the Atlantic Ocean off Fernandina Beach, the beach not the city, in about 40 feet of water. The sea was calm with big swells coming in from tropical storm Karla. My concern about the open anchorage was that a tug and tow could come across, they often do not follow the channels.
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In the morning everything looked different, there were a couple of research vessels anchored landward last night, now the sea was open and empty. There was almost no wind. I wondered if I could even get into port.
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I started sailing with the 150 and light main again, but it was obvious that the added sail area of the 150 gave us more speed but bad tacking angles, so I changed down to the working jib. Now our speed was a bit less, but the tacking angles were tighter, and we were going to do a lot of tacking, the light breeze was almost directly on the nose.
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The wind was predicted to clock to the northeast, so whenever that happened we would have a fair breeze to get into port. For now I worked on sailing Trillium in, using the broad outer areas of the entrance to make long tacks. Slowly we were arriving.
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The wind did shift just as if we had ordered it, and now we could sail along the right side of the channel on starboard tack all the way in. The photo is of the red buoys on the right side of the channel.

The St. Marys Entrance Part

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
Capn Andy/Warm Summer
My anticipation of arrival was painfully wrong. We slowed way down and the last 65 miles began to draw out. Instead of arrival at the sea buoy in late afternoon or even in daylight, we got there just before midnight. It reminded me of arriving at Beaufort or Norfolk, the tide flow was a very important consideration. It was Friday night and we’d been on this route since Wednesday morning. We had done about 200 miles in 2 1/2 days.
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The entrance starts out with wide areas to either side of the channel that are navigable with a sailboat, then it narrows and in the constriction are submerged awash jetties close by on either side. This entrance is well marked for the Navy uses it to access its submarine base at King’s Bay. The channel takes a right turn near Amelia Island, wraps around the north end of the island and deposits you in the city of Fernandina Beach.
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The image is of the OpenCPN display of the route.

The Last Sunset Part

25 September 2016 | Fernandina Beach, FL
Capn Andy/Warm Summer
Now that I had the lashed tiller thing down pat, I could sit forward on the cabin top as the boat forged its way ahead on 240 magnetic. Trillium is a small boat and my toes rested on the toe rail while I was sitting on the cabin top leaning back against the mast.
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After the Charleston pilotage station last night there have been no ships to be seen on this route. Then we had 3 at once, like coming into an intersection. Then we went off in our own separate directions.
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I was calculating how the rest of this voyage would take place. It looked like I would need three more 12 hour stints to cover the last 135 miles, two at 50 miles each, and the last one of 35 miles. The 12 hours hark back to when we started in Wynah Bay in the morning, so each 12 hour period is either from morning to evening or evening to morning. The first two stints got us to the pilotage and then to the ocean intersection, and this last stint was better than 50 miles. We could be at the St. Marys Entrance sea buoy in late afternoon.
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I had alread taken a photo of what I thought would be the last sunset on this voyage.
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