06/28/2009, Oriental, NC
June 20th ... Oriental, NC
06/20/2009, Oriental, N.C.
We had bagels and fresh sliced tomatoes for breakfast and then wasted most of the morning. At about 10:30 we took the dinghy to shore and then walked over to the seafood shack to purchase our dinner...one pound of shrimp and a half pound of scallops.
We walked over to Steve and Kim's condo and put everything in their refrigerator. It was so hot that by the time we arrived, my shirt was soaked. Kim stuck it in the dryer for a while and I was back in business. Today is "Art on the Neusse" so we were obligated to walk through their work stopping at the Tiki Bar for a beer in the shade.
By this time we were hungry and stopped at M and M's for some lunch before returning to the boat. There was just enough breeze on the water to be comfortable.
At 6 we returned to Steve and Kim's for dinner... which was as good as you could expect. Sauted scallops and grilled shrimp with sliced tomatoes and onions on the side.
We returned to Sapphire, watched an episode of "Cold Case" and turned in.
June 19th... Oriental, NC
06/16/2009, Cape Lookout, N.C.
Three or four of the boats in our anchorage left this morning so after coffee we moved over to a little better position. I replaced the old impeller with the new one and then fired up the Honda for a shower. The temps here are forecast for the upper 90's for the next few days but there is always a breeze on the water so it is usually bearable.
We headed to shore to visit Steve and Kim and maybe ride along with them for some shopping. On the way we stopped to visit some folks anchored next to us and chatted for a while. As we passed "Sapphire" on our way to the dinghy dock we noticed a line hanging.
We always tie our dinghy up for the night with two painters one of which floats. Before we re-anchored, I had tightened up on of them to keep the dinghy away from the exhaust when in reverse but forgot to snug up the other line. When Kathy backed down on the anchor, the non-floating painter wrapped around the prop and broke. We continued on to shore and visited with our friends but returned in a few minutes to dive on the prop.
This is the second time that we've had this problem and since Mark is not around make the dive I got my gear on and went over the side. The water so dark here (but it's warm) that I had to work by feel but is wasn't hard to unwrap the line. I was finished in one dive.
I showered again and we returned to shore. Steve stayed home to wait for his new dinghy to be delivered while Kim, Kathy and I headed to New Bern to the Walmart.
We had a few stops to make and we didn't get back to Oriental until abut 3:00. I ran our purchases out to the boat and then returned to shore for a late lunch / early dinner.
Back at the boat we read until dark watching boats come and go through the little harbor.
June 18th... Cape Lookout to Oriental, NC
We hauled anchor at 8:30 and had a nice sail in the Ocean for abut an hour. As we entered Beaufort Inlet with the wind coming in, the tide going out, a tug towing a barge behind us, and every one and their brother fishing in the channel.... we passed "Scandia" heading out to Cape Lookout for the weekend. We met Arnie and Bev last year but hadn't sailed this winter. We had a nice chat and promised to look them up on our way south in the fall.
The trip through Morehead City and Adams Creek was uneventful except for some hard rain at times. The engine was fine, we saw lots of playful dolphins, and we arrived at Oriental at 1:30.
The anchorage in Oriental is small and we ended up way to close to a bridge to be comfortable but the holding was good and we had no choice. I went to shore to get rid of garbage and to order a new impeller. Steve was at the dock on my way back and I ended up running some errands with him.
We were invited over for dinner and ordered up a pizza as the TV guy attempted to figure out their system.
We returned after dark, watched some video, and went to bed.
June 17th... Cape Lookout Bight, NC
After some coffee and a bite to eat, I disconnected the checked the exhaust elbow to check for blockage and found none. Next I checked the impeller and found it in pieces with one our two vanes actually making contact. Usually we carry two spares but I had replaced it just before we left the Bahamas and was planning on picking up a new one in Oriental. With no spare however, I had the foresight to save the old one as a backup even though some of the vanes were beginning to tear.
I ran over to "Fine Lion" to borrow Steve's impeller puller and in a few minutes the job was done. Actually, it took three times the time to locate the old impeller than it did to make the switch.
While I was in the engine, I decided to change the filter in the bottom of the fuel pump which I had forgotten about when I replaced fuel filters the last time.
When Kathy fired up the engine it ran fine but there was still no water coming out of the exhaust. I did however hear water flowing in the engine compartment. I quickly moved our mattress to shut the through hull water for the engine and then reattached the water hose to the exhaust ... dumb, dumb, dumb. After bailing the water out of the engine tray, we tested again and, low and behold, there was water finally cooling our engine and exiting correctly. Unfortunately, about that time the engine started to sputter and died.
After a moment of deliberation it was apparent I hadn't gotten all of the air out of the fuel system. It only took a minute to bleed the system and we were ready for another test. Finally, everything seemed to be working.
In the afternoon we went to shore to hike the beach with Kim and Steve. It was empty for miles... but that was soon to change. As we were securing our dinghies, a large Catamaran pulled in and dumped off about 50 passengers, each with their yellow shell collecting bag. We had a nice walk anyway.
In the evening we had snacks on "Fine Lion" who were working on getting rid some food from the boat. They are only one day from home and what we eat they don't have to haul ashore.
June 16th... Cape Lookout Bight, NC
Today was overcast and rainy. The wind held steady at about 20 knots and we had waves in the Bight of about two feet. Our day was spent mostly reading, working on puzzles and putting together meals.
The forecast called for more of the same tomorrow so we'll probably wait another day here before heading to Oriental.
The only event of note came in the late afternoon when we started the engine to top off our batteries. There was no exhaust water leaving the boat which means there is a blockage in the sea water side of the cooling or the sea water pump isn't working. We have been experiencing some overheating at higher RPM for the last two or three weeks which seemed to be worsening with time.
The only things I could think of that would produce those symptoms were a build up in the exhaust elbow where the water is mixed with the engine exhaust or a faulty impeller. I decided to wait until the morning dive into the problem but slept in the cockpit to keep track of the wind and the possibility of anchor drag. Without an engine, I needed to be able to deploy a second anchor quickly.
June 13th and 14th... Charleston SC to Cape Lookout, NC
We left the slip at 7am bound for Cape Lookout N.C., which is directly east of Beaufort, NC and about 225 miles away from Charleston. There was a little swell from the south east which made for an uncomfortable roll as we worked our way out into the ocean for a couple of hours. When we turned for our waypoint at Frying Pan shoals the roll got a little better. There was a little wind and we had sails up, primarily for stabilization but we were getting a push of about a knot and a half.
We spent most of our time reading but did have to put the books down at one point to land a nice Mahi. It ended up being 45 inch female. The fore deck was moving too much to clean it up there so we moved the cushions and cleaned it in the cockpit, washing down with buckets of sea water when we finished.
I dipped some thick pork chops in egg and cracker crumbs and after searing, popped them in the oven with some potatoes that were baking. Kathy wilted some spinach with our new olive oil and we had a wonderful dinner .... still a little rolly for eating, but with one hand on the plate and the other on a fork, we prevailed.
I went below and rested until about 11pm and then took over for the night shift. There was a spectacular light show in the east for about 5 hours with lightening behind a cloud bank further out in the ocean. The storms all stayed out there and we motored on calm but still rolly seas. The night was uneventful. We rounded Frying Pan Shoals, and aimed for Cape Lookout which was about 80 miles away at that time. At about 4 a.m. there was a wind shift from the south to the west and it picked up enough to sail for a while. We were running on a reefed main (which is the procedure at night with storms in the area) and our staysail for a little balance. I added the Jib and put the engine in idle for about an hour before went to the north and the wind died out completely.
At 5:30 Kathy came took the watch and I went to bed and slept for about an hour and a half. When I got up I thought it must have been about noon, but no such luck, it was about 7 a.m. It's amazing what a couple of hours of good sound sleep will do... I felt fine.
Although we were about 40 miles off shore, there were fisherman in the area and so we put out a couple of lines. Within 20 minutes we had another Mahi in the boat, not quite as big as yesterdays but much more lively. It made a mess of the cockpit before Kathy could squirt some cheap vodka in its gills to slow it down some. It took quite a lot of vodka-it must have been a Russian Mahi.
After getting it cleaned and the cockpit scrubbed out again. I took the lines in .... we had no more room in the freezer for fish.
The day was spent reading on much smoother seas until we approached our destination. At about 3 p.m. thunderstorms developed over the land and moved east and south over the ocean. We were on a course of 40 degrees (NW) and were we far enough away that most of the storms would be south of us by the time we made enough westward progress. For the last 2 hours of our trip we watched thunderstorms slide south between us and land. We got a few sprinkles but nothing of consequence.
With our anchors down in 25 feet of water at 5 p.m., I took a shower and opened some pretzels and some dipping mustard. Steve and Kim came over later with some seared tuna and wasabi sauce. After an hour or so the sky darkened and the wind started signaling the end of our party. We had a good thunder storm with lots of rain and about 30 knots of wind but with the wind moving our boats around, we could see that we were too close to "Fine Lion." We got our rain gear out to move as the storm abated but when we looked up ... saw that Steve and Kim already had their anchor up.
They moved about 100 yards off our port and reanchored. I called to apologize as it was our job to move but Steve just passed it off good-naturedly as usual.
There were no more storms and I slept with out moving until daylight.