Please join us as we travel the world on our Website: www.sailingfootloose.com I will update the blog as I have time and internet access.
On the hook off Cape Lookout, NC
We are finally a sail boat! Footloose got "wet" for the very first time on the 10th of September. And, I have to say that living aboard a boat "on the hard" is far less pleasant than on a boat that is actually floating!
Footloose is keeping us humble, though, and teaching us along the way. First it started with my having to actually drive away from the lift and failing to retain the careful instructions "Captain" Tom gave me about putting it in gear and which way the lever actually directed our motion. No! I didn't back us up, but when the critical time came to move her forward, I pushed the button that apparently disengages the clutch and therefore, we went absolutely nowhere. Well, for at least a few seconds, until the very helpful boat yard man who was fending off the stern very politely asserted "not to push the button when moving the gear shift forward". We were off on our very first trip aboard our beautiful Footloose.
It is our intention to leave the "heavy lifting" to Captain Tom and train the First Mate "me" to handle the helm. It is a total reverse to all of the cruising we have done our entire lives. So, I am learning the subtle nuances of how Footloose handles.
We traveled about 45 minutes down the Adam's Creek to our temporary home base, a delightful slip in Deerfield Yacht Club. As we got closer to the yacht club my anxiety rose in anticipation of having to put this 40 foot, 24000 pound sailboat into what seemed to be a very tiny slip. With Tom's very patient guidance, we arrive with no mishaps and were soon securely tied up in our slip. Then I had to learn all over again how to get on and off a boat which always seems to be either towering above the dock or drastically below the dock. I haven't fallen in yet, but rest assured, it is only a matter of time. Graceful and agile, I am not. I am sure I look a bit like a manatee climbing around the boat. What happened to the fearless woman who 22 years ago who would leap ashore with a dock line, oblivious to the fact that years later there is no "bounce in the knees" nor suppleness in the joints?
I might point out that I am not the only one on a learning curve. When we were safely tied into the slip and the engine in the boat was no longer required I deftly switched off the key and pushed the kill switch. Nothing happened, the engine happily continued to idle away. I tried again, no change. So, enveloped in my helmsman's ignorance I summon the Captain and alerted him to the fact that I don't know how to shut off the boat. He deftly completes the same ritual I have just performed, no change! The engine is still chugging away. Well, I said this boat continues to keep us humble, so it should not surprise you that 15 minutes later, we are still trying to find a way to kill the engine. Tom has tried to choke off the engine's air supply, very typically for a diesel; she just worked harder to keep running. We looked everywhere for a kill switch somewhere else or something else we were not doing correctly. Suffice it when I say the simple fix was that you have to hit the kill switch before you turn the key off. Tom was the eventual triumph one who got the engine to shut down. Amazingly humbling!!!
We won't talk about the socket wrench which found its way overboard and resulted in the Captain's snorkeling for almost an hour trying to recover it.
I will tell you that yesterday morning, we left the slip, headed out the Beaufort inlet and sailed (Actually hoisted a sail and maintained 6-6.5 knots sailing) all the way to Lookout Point, where we are currently anchored. It is windy, about 20-25 knots of breeze, but the anchor is holding and we slept aboard at anchor for the first time last night. This is a beautiful "shake down" spot. I would recommend it to anyone. Pristine and quiet are the two terms that describe this anchorage. I am beginning to see the dream take shape. Lookout world, Footloose is on its way.
09/06/2008, Beaufort, NC
Well here we are, "on the hard" in Beaufort, NC
Our trek across country from Huntsville Alabama to Beaufort North Carolina had us looking like a Hurricane Gustof evacuee. We had every nook and cranny on our Explorer Sport Track filled to the "gunnels" if you will. Selling our house and all our belongings left us with a large pile of things we felt we could not go cruising without. In fact at gas stops people asked if we were evacuating from the Gulf Coast! The reality of the issue is that we really could and will have to live without all the clutter we felt we needed when we started this journey. Our giving away treasured items that simply don't fit this life style, while not the intention of the process, has certainly been impactful in transitioning from a very material life style to one of more immediate relevance.
Enough of the philosophical and onto the reality of life as cruising sailors. We arrived in Beaufort on Wednesday morning to the fact that then Hurricane Hanna had taken a bearing on the East coast of North Carolina and we had to make some very quick decisions as to what to do to prepare. The decision to leave "Footloose" where she was, hauled out and sitting on land was a fairly easy one. With the safety of the location of Bock Marine on the ICW just North of Beaufort, we felt confident that we could find no better place to ride out a storm, when we simply have taken delivery of the boat and know very little about her, right now.
We pulled all the canvas off her, stowed her sails and everything else below, added some extra braces to her and went to bed on Friday night, awaiting the impact of the storm.
With 50 mile an hour gusts and constant winds from 25 - 35 miles per hour, I am very glad that we are not in the water. "Footloose" kept us safe through the wind and rain and while it is still blowing pretty hard at the moment, I believe we are on the downward side of the storm.
I am very grateful to Ken and his staff at Bock Marine for keeping a careful watch on all the boats sitting in the yard, here at Bock Marine. I also want to thank John from Beaufort Yacht Sales for checking on us, yesterday to make sure we were all set to ride out the storm.
After the storm passes, we will resume the process of preparing "Footloose" to get back into the water where she belongs. Through-hulls, fuel and oil filters, new head hoses, and more secure storage of our belongings need to happen before she gets wet.
08/28/2008, Huntsville Alabama
The end of August brings my last day as an association executive for a while. Huntsville is graciously allowing me to cut short my obligatory 90 days notice and so closes a chapter in my life and quickly opens another.
As Tom and I begin our journey to see the world, I would love it if you would check in on us from time to time and share our adventures with us.
We travel to Beaufort, N.C. to embrace our new home, a beautiful Caliber 40 sailboat, appropriately named "Footloose". As the three of us get to know one another, (The Boat and the two of us) I will continue to post to our blog: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/sailingfootloose/ This is the temporary location for it until I get the construction completed on our website: www.sailingfootloose.com We anticipate it taking us a good month to get settled aboard "Footloose", learn her secrets, and begin to discover the coves and bays surrounding Beaufort. Once we are feeling comfortable with our ability to sail "Footloose" we intend to explore the East coast. We will not be leaving the States until the last threat of Hurricanes have past and then we will head South to the Bahamas to work out the kinks on our "rusty" sailing abilities, get back to snorkeling every day, and settling into the cruising sailor's life.
From there, who knows............
08/23/2008, Huntsville Alabama
I have one week left to work and then Tom and I will pack all our worldly goods and make the drive to Beaufort, North Carolina to embrace our new adventure and become acquainted with our beautiful Caliber 40 "Footloose".
Tom asked me 3 years ago to quit work and go sailing. I loved my job and my career and selfishly refused. He reformatted his request in July of this year (2008) by asking me to take a sabbatical to go cruising. Presented with the option to return to work after our trip, I quickly agreed. Thus started a month long ordeal which has brought us to this point.
In the last month we have traveled to Chicago and Houston in search of the right boat. We have negotiated on two Valiants in Texas and one in Seattle. We are both firmly convinced that we were unsuccessful in our previous attempts to purchase our new boat (New to us.) because we were looking at the wrong boat.
Tom made contact with Ed Harner with Beaufort Yachts and immediately developed a great re pore with him. Ed diligently researched available boats along with listening to our endless ramblings in order to discover the right sailboat for us.
Mindy and Reinhart's "Maia" is to become our "Footloose". She is perfectly suited for our needs and I cannot wait to spend my first night aboard.