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Primrose with Mike and Diane
Mike and Diane Robinson's big Adventure!
It was a dark and stormy night.....
Sunny and cold
11/22/2012, Charleston, SC

Friday Nov 9 we filled up with fuel, 130 gallons, and left SW Creek Marina New Bern, after a week of boat prep with Bob Adams from RYC. Bob came out from California to do a passage with us. Unfortunately Primrose was not ready; new problems, parts delivery and hurricane Sandy put us behind schedule. Bob was a great help and good sport. We thought we would be ready to shove off upon his arrival but we misjudged. After leaving SW Creek marina we motored to Beaufort 40 miles and anchored for the night. Noticed fuel in the bilge. Concluded that it may be spill from vent hose. Next morning we headed down the ICW. Beautiful million $$ homes along the way. Anchored in Swansboro SC 24 miles. Still fuel in bilge problem. Auto pilot not working. Next day motored 69 miles to Southport, SC on the Cape Fear River; 12 hours. Beautiful weather for two days. Had several visits from dolphins, one trio swam along side the cockpit for 30 minutes. This drove Annie nuts.She just barked her head off. Took a slip in Southport; $83/day...ouch. Searched more for fuel leak and discovered a fuel fill hose leaking, saturated to the point it leaked through from inside like a garden soaker hose it would not hold liquid! Drip drip into the bilge. Hired local yard to help replace hose.....ouch. After 2 nights in Southport decided on ocean passage to Charleston. 130 miles.

Checked Cold front moving south (Nor'easter). Winds forecast at 10- 15 and seas 2-3 feet Tuesday building to 20 knts wind and 6 foot seas Wednesday. This sounded like an easy passage, it was not. No moon, overcast, no stars: it would be a pitch black night (....dark and stormy). We left Cape Fear River at 1330 Tuesday. We decided on 2 hour watches. Diane came down with mal de mar after a few hours. Bob and I did 2 hour watches as the wind and seas built from 15 knot to 20- 25 knots with gusts to 30-35, seas from 2-3 feet to 6-10 feet with breaking tops....hmmm We sailed reduced jib and jigger (mizzen sail) and no main sail. As the wind increased we reduced sail to no mizzen and handkerchief size jib. Primrose still doing 5-6 knots, speeding down waves at 8-9.5 knots. Through out the night could hear waves coming but unable to see them. We soon discovered that we did not stow things properly below; stuff flew off shelves and cabinets. What a mess. Off watch there was too much rolling and strong diesel smell from the bilge to rest below so Bob and I napped in the cockpit (maybe 5 minutes at a time) during our 2 hour off watch while the other steered. It was a long, COLD night. At dawn there was no sun just gray sky and big breaking quartering waves. We did have a "hello" from a passing sea turtle. We entered Charleston ship channel entrance late afternoon. Seas flatten close in. Diane came up feeling better. Calling Charleston marinas we found all but one full.

We ended up at Cooper River Marina at 1700 Wenesday and got a side tie on the river, also a ship channel. During ebb tide the current at the dock: 4.2 knots! Son Graham picked us up and off to his house for hot food, warm beds. Meanwhile Primrose took a beating. Marina called me in the AM. Surge from passing tug rolled her to the point a fender popped up to the dock. Primrose banged against the dock with exposed nails and got a whooping. Cooper River Marina Is located on an ex Navy yard. The dock area was used as a submarine degaussing station. Very industrial area adjacent to the ghetto. The pier from the parking area to the docks is 1/4 to 1/3 mile walk.....hmmm exercise.

Many lessons learned on this trip. Bob was a great sailing mate and friend. Next time he vists we will be ready and we'll be in warmer climes! Thanks again Bob for all of your help!!
See photo gallery

11/25/2012 | Sheesh
Wow, sounds like a rough ride! Bummer to hear Prim sustained additional damage, but glad you are with family to tide you over! Bet you're looking forward to said "warmer climes!"

Love you lots!
11/27/2012 | lain
After the storm surge
cold 20 knots wind
10/30/2012, Northwest Creek Marina, New Bern, NC

Quite a drop when the surge goes back out to sea. Lots of dock line adjustments.

10/31/2012 | Fred
Glad to hear that you're alright, and the boat
is safe. Now the clean up. Looks bad on TV.
10/31/2012 | Richard
you are looking good, Mike. And the non-skid on decks makes her look like a new vessel.

We are doing well in CT, and my Symphony is fine, no problems since we have floating docks there.

warm best wishes
11/01/2012 | Dan Elliott
Glad to see ya'll are okay. Get to someplace warm tropical as soon as possible!
11/05/2012 | Frances
Hi Diane & Mike Friends in the UK, Hugh and Delma Evans, have asked us to look out for you. they have been in touch with you recently via Moody Owner Association. They will be joining us in the Abacos in mid January and if you are there will be great to meet up with you. We are currently in Savannah moving south for departure to Abacos mid December. Regards, safe travelling, Frances
11/25/2012 | Sheesh
Great shot of you and Primrose. Lotsa lotsa
Dodged a bullet
10/28/2012, Northwest Creek Marina, New Bern, NC

We dodged a bullet when hurricane Sandy passed NC off shore. The predicted winds did not develop (yet). Still forecast 30-40 knots this evening. Last night it was mostly 20 gusting to 40 occasionaly. Was up several times throughout the night to adjust (loosen) dock lines and check on Primrose....yawn.... tired today. Storm surge has taken on a new meaning for us. Fixed docks under water today, sea boots are a must! All is well here just wet and windy. Can't say the same for the Chesapeake and North. We do look forward to warm weather and calm anchorages.

11/25/2012 | Sheesh
Oh my! I've never seen a dock underwater like that. Were you sleeping aboard?
11/25/2012 | Mike
Oh yes we were aboard. The docks there are not floating so water can rise above them during a storm....not like home.
Storm prep
10/27/2012, NW Creek Marina, New Bern, NC

Spent most of yesterday preparing for hurricane "Sandy". It is forecast to pass us 200 miles off shore however we have forecast of winds 40 to 70 knots and storm surge. Water is up 3 feet over night. Docks are fixed not floating so it is now a challenge to get aboard Primrose. Water expected to rise another 2 or so feet. It may cover the docks.....hmmmm we're not on SF Bay any more. Prep means taking all sails down, canvas bimini down and store anything that can become a projectile in big wind. Add extra dock lines then ad chafe gear to all dock lines. Dockmaster Paul generously supplied us with fire hose to use as chafe protection for the lines as they cross through deck chocks. Steady rain now Saturday early with forecast of 8 inches in next 24 hours...blah!
On a happier note projects are coming together: Diane applied new non skid paint to the decks (Kiwi Grip) and did an awesome job (see photo gallery for pics). Still to finish: installation of SSB and VHF radios. Bob Adams, friend from RYC is headed out to join us as we cast off for the Bahamas. He will arrive next Saturday then we will leave shortly thereafter. We will be underway soon!!

10/27/2012 | Shirlee
Beautiful job on the decks!!
10/28/2012 | Mike
Thanks Shirlee,
Diane did a great job (except 2 panels I messed up). Kiwi Grip is very easy to use.
10/28/2012 | shirlee
Hope you can keep posting during the storm. And that you ride it out safely!
dog walking
09/06/2012, NW Creek Marina

Heidi's been sick. Vet here can't figure out what it is. Next week: trip to Raleigh to vet college for a look. Meantime she gets a ride to her morning walk. Annie stands by. Annie fell in yesterday and no way to get out! We didn't know till neighbor knocked on the boat. I had to climb down ladder to grab her. She was tired. We think she tried jumping from boat to dock and missed. No more leaving her on deck without supervision. Hmmm cruising with dogs is a challenge sometimes.

09/08/2012 | Jeffrey
Luckiest dog in the world!
11/25/2012 | Sheesh
Life jacket?
Repairs/Early morning
09/03/2012, NW Creek

Spent two days in the engine room/bilge repairing stuff: replaced rotted platform for engine linkage, remove abandon sump pump, hoses, wires, remount pressure water accumulator tank, replace manual bilge pump hose and on and on. This job would take an hour at a work bench but..... in in the engine room with 3 feet of head room and a floor covered with thru hull fittings, hoses, prop shaft and various things that cut, poke, stab and no place to sit or kneel it took a day and a half. Kept thinking of the old WWII submarine movies making repairs in tight quarters. Unlike physics for every action on a boat there are 4 or 5 equal and opposite reactions. One extra reaction: many sore muscles!.
Jobs accomplished, evening reward: a very fine Scotch Whisky.
Next morning very pretty scene on North West Creek. Our nieghbor (boat with green shade covers) has just completed a 10 year!!
Primrose is now equipped with a new bimini, a must to escape the sun....see photos in photo gallery.

09/06/2012 | R Gard
you know, Mike, there are new variable pressure pumps that allow you to remove the accumulator tank. My tank is still good, but I know others who've switched over to the more expensive variable pressure pump to pick up the space formerly occupied by the tank. Shurflo Smart Sensor or Jabsco Sensor Max.
enjoy the time while your boat teaches you about its innards. nothing like quality time below the cabin sole.
09/07/2012 | Mike & DIane Robinson
Thanks Richard that will be stored on the wish list for future!

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