Anchored on the Great Wicomico
09/16/2008, Great Wicomico River
September 13... Wicomoco River
We started the engine at about 7:40 to leave Deltaville. Neither of us had slept very well and were up early. As I began the process of retrieving the anchor, and turned on the wash-down pump there was nothing. I could hear the pump running but it wasn't pumping. Without the time to spend fixing or replacing it, I got out our bucket on a rope and 30 minutes later had the rode up and somewhat free of mud.
For about 2 hours we had a wonderful sail with 10 knots of wind from the north-west. Then it was calm. We motored sailed for a while but when there was little hope, furled all sails and motored into the Wicomoco River at about 12:30. Our first attempt at anchoring was a failure... the bottom was hard and the Bruce just bounced along. We found some deeper water with the hope of better holding and on our second try made the thing stick.
Our anchorage is a cove on the south side of the Wicomoco, a little up-stream from Reedville. It's a very pretty anchorage. We didn't really need to go to town and thought this might be a place to repair the wash-down pump.
I had removed the pump while under way and it looked older than the hills. I took the end off the pump and applied some electricity and everything seem to work alright.. After lunch I attacked it in earnest. First replacing everything and tightening all hose clamps and then testing with Kathy on the foredeck activating the switch. As it turned out the problem seem to be that the pump which is supposed to be self-priming ... isn't. It only has to lift water a few inches but... just can't seem to do it anymore.
Rather that try to resurrect the dead, we'll just get a new one in Solomons.
The other problem that we noticed on the way north was that our hot water heater ... which I had repaired a while ago, seems to be have the same problem as last time. I'll have to grind my failed repairs away and try again when we stop for a day or two.
It was a beautiful day here with temps in the 80's. It clouded up in the evening and there were thunderstorms in the vicinity .. but for us the night was quiet.
Leaving the ladder behind
09/16/2008, Deltaville, VA
September 12... Deltaville, Va
There is no rhyme or reason that I can see to the launching of boats here. I told the office we wanted to splash on Friday, but our friend Mike drives the travel lift and seems to have the final say. I had told him the middle of the day but that could mean anything.
So we took down the tarps that had seen reliable service keeping pine sap and other debris off our clean canvas. We gave one to our neighbor who is alone with a baby and a 4 year old for 28 days at a time while her husband is at sea. The other we rolled up and will keep as a shade for the cabin in weather that is too hot.
Kathy took a shower and I washed the decks since we have unlimited fresh water for the last time in the foreseeable future. After taking the hoses apart and stowing them, we had a late breakfast ... with toast from our camp toaster... which started a small fire of crumbs in the galley and had Kathy momentarily glancing at the extinguisher.
As we were finishing our brunch, Mike headed up the road with the travel lift and signaled that we were next. The process is relatively simple. The lift which is U shaped pulls up straddling your boat and two very large straps go under the hull. Mike lifted the boat while Will returned all the jack stands and wooden blocks to the trailer which is towed by a smallish John Deere tractor and follows the travel lift wherever it goes.
Before he drove away, I cleaned and painted the spots on the keel where we had been sitting on wooden 6' x 6's.
After lowering us into the well we jumped aboard, started the engine and drove about 100 yards into Jackson Creek where we anchored for the night. There are small craft warnings on the Bay until 10 pm and we didn't want to bounce around that much.
That's about when the bilge pump went off... actually it doesn't go off it starts pumping ...but I wired a buzzer into the line so when it is in fact pumping, we can hear it.
It was not a good thing. After scrambling around checking all thru-hull fittings, we deduced that our problem was over-filling our water tank by a few gallons and once we pumped it out everything was back to normal.
It was pleasant being back on the water.
The courtesy car
09/12/2008, Deltaville, VA
September 8th... Deltaville, VA
My first task this morning was to remove the cockpit grates, sand them, and apply a coat of finish which took up most of the morning and all of our Cetol. The car was available so we made a quick run to the hardware store for finish and brushes.
After lunch we read until there was enough shade to apply the last coat of finish on the starboard rub and toe rails. We also gave the port side its second coat.
While not refinishing, Kathy cut out the fabric for the new cockpit jump seats.
Rain is in the forecast for the remainder of the week... which bodes poorly for the teak work that we need to finish. However, we only need to apply three coats and we should be able to do that between showers if we have to ....
September 9th... Deltaville, VA
Today dawned overcast and the radar showed scattered light showers for an hour and then clear for a few hours. After finishing coffee I applied a coat of finish to the cockpit grates and moved them under the port side of the boat for protection. Then we removed all the tape from the starboard side and washed it down. At least half of the boat looks good. We had an early lunch and immediately started applying a coat of finish to the port side finishing around 12:30. By 2:30 we heard thunder in the distance and prepared for a storm. Our dinghy is inverted on the foredeck with a halyard attached to it's bow. We raise the forward end with the halyard to a 45 degree angle to allow light and air in the forward hatches. When a storm is approaching, we lower the dinghy and lash it to the deck. We have a tarp over our bimini and another over our cabin and dodger. The one over the cabin is folded back so the we have better access to the cockpit. The tarps need to also be tied down properly in a storm. By the way, the tarps are not so much for shade as they are to protect our newly cleaned dodger and bimini from pine needles and sap.
We had a nice thunder storm around 3 pm but by 4 pm things were steamy again. We spent a few hours reading before making a pizza for supper.
September 10th... Deltaville, VA
Another overcast day here in Virginia. After coffee and checking the weather I applied a coat of finish to the cockpit grates. Next I sanded the portside teak and prepared for everything for the last coat of finish. Kathy checked out the car and headed for the store while I put on the last coat of finish.
After a little left-over pizza, I got out the bottom paint and painted the areas that were covered by jack stands on the initial painting, put another coat on the bottom of the keel and leading edges, and generally used up the remainder of the paint.
Kathy did a couple of loads of laundry... while I started a new book.
Between 5 and 6 pm while the second load was in the dryer, someone walked away with her laundry bag. It was nothing special but it's what we use to haul clothes around. There is an area in the laundry room where people put things that they don't need and our speculation is that some moron decided that the bag was one of the unwanted items and went home with it.
September 11th... Deltaville, VA
Happy Birthday Liam!
The day started very early with rain drops dripping on my pillow. It didn't look like we were sinking but a damp pillow is very low on the comfort scale. I got up and found a towel to lay over the area that was getting soaked and found a dry place to sleep on the settee.
After daylight and some coffee I began to track down the leak and found a little locker (closet) over our berth that was wet. In it was stored and container of screws and bolts, wrenches, electrical fittings and weird screwdrivers. As I removed these items ... the rusty water inside the screw container dripped across our bedding which had been washed yesterday. Needless to say it need to be washed again today.
So while I re-bedded the stay in question, Kathy headed for the laundry. She returned a while later with our missing laundry bag who someone had been dumb enough to haul their things in. There was no one around , and the contents of our bag were in the washer....so she just brought the bag home.
Later as she was washing and drying she spoke with the French offender and explained that our bag had not been on the "Free Shelf" and she had collected it on the spot. The thief was fine with everything....but requested that her change purse, left in the bag, be returned so that she could continue feeding the machines.
Meanwhile... I washed the port side and hit the hull topsides one more time. From there it was mostly cleaning. We did check out the car to refill propane and run a couple of other errands but that was mostly it.
Our tanks are full, clothes are clean, and our cupboards are as good as they get during this time of year. So I think that we are as ready as we can be for a launch tomorrow.