S/V Earendil

21 May 2016 | Snead Island Boat Works, Manatee River
11 April 2016 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
17 March 2016 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
02 March 2016 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
02 March 2016 | Crow's Nest Marina, Venice, FL
21 February 2016 | Ft. Meyers Beach Mooring Field
17 February 2016 | Gulf Harbor Marina, Fort Myers, FL
16 February 2016 | Gulf Harbor Marina, Fort Myers, FL
15 February 2016 | Gulf Harbor Marina, Fort Myers, FL
13 February 2016 | Ft. Meyers Beach Mooring Field
31 January 2016 | Ft. Meyers Beach Mooring Field
25 January 2016 | Burnt Store Marina, FL
21 January 2016 | Platinum Point Yacht Club, Burnt Store Marina, Charlotte Harbor Florida
20 January 2016 | Sarasota Mooring Field
28 December 2015 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
16 December 2015 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
06 December 2015 | Gulfport Municipal Marina, Gulfport, FL
02 December 2015 | Gulfport Municipal Marina, Gulfport, FL
30 November 2015 | Clearwater Harbor Marina, Clearwater, FL
28 November 2015 | Moorings Marina, Carrabelle, FL

The End of the Chapter

21 May 2016 | Snead Island Boat Works, Manatee River
It’s done; Earendil is sold. Here she sits loaded on a trailer getting ready to go to Seattle, Washington. Her new owner, Dartanyon, is the guy in the blue shirt. We couldn’t have sold her to a nicer guy. Standing behind him is his friend Scott, who did the survey for him. We learned more about the boat and sailboats in the day Scott was aboard than I realized there was to know. All in all, things went fine. We had a great sail on the sea trial (doing as much as 7.3 knots in a nice breeze) and though we didn’t get near what we wanted for the boat, we struck what I think is a very fair deal.

Getting Earendil ready to sell and then the survey and preparing her to ship was so much work that all we are feeling is relieved that we no longer have to deal with her. In the three weeks between when we thought we had everything as ship-shape as possible, when Dartanyon visited the boat, and Wednesday when he came back for the final deal, we made four more repairs. One of the fans that has worked steadily for 30+ years quit. Shot, caput, bad bearing in the motor or something similarly fatal. So we replaced that fan. Meanwhile, the rheostat on a second fan went, so we took the rheostat out of the dead fan and put it in the working fan. Then the freshwater pump that’s been rebuilt at least three times got so tired that it couldn’t empty out the lowest water tank. So that got replaced. Finally, the freshwater foot-pump in the galley that had been leaking a drop here and there finally started leaking enough to get the floor wet. No rebuild to that, so that got replaced.

Dartanyon brings fresh enthusiasm and fresh capital to the boat and so I’m sure Earendil will continue to sail and even improve for years to come. I’m sorry we never got to meet his family, but I hope they sail and enjoy Earendil. She is, in the end, a very fine boat.

As for Bud and I (and Matey) everything we own is packed in the land barge and a rented mini-van. We are going to mosey back to Texarkana, dump our stuff, return the van, visit Jamie, replace the land barge and do some traveling. Before long we will probably buy a small and simple house, get a small and simple fishing boat and have fun in less stressful ways. This is the end of the blog; for updates you’ll have to catch me on Facebook, like everyone else.

Selling the Boat

11 April 2016 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
Well, in general, this is no fun. We spend our time getting things fixed and cleaned, fixing and cleaning ourselves, and worrying about getting the boat sold. So far I have advertised the boat in two forums. First I put a notice up on the Yahoo Norseman Owners Group that Earendil was for sale. Then I took photos and put them on Sailboatlistingsbyowners.com. I have gotten four fairly serious inquiries. The two most likely to result in a sale both came from the owners group. Three of the four were looking at Norseman’s in particular.

As for the cleaning and fixing, the biggest thing is that we painted the stripe. We found a woman at the marina that does this sort of thing and she gave us a quote. Later, she told us that she really thought we could do it ourselves and gave us lots of information and advice. We did it ourselves. I sanded, taped, and mixed the paint and Bud painted. We put three coats on each side. The picture is the second side from the main dock. It looks pretty good. We have a detailer coming on the 22nd to clean, polish and wax the hull and deck. I think the paint will look quite good with three coats of wax on it. We told the woman we wished we’d known we could do it ourselves with the boat in the water; we’d have done it long ago.

Other jobs have included having the rugs cleaned, replacing missing teak plugs over screws in the interior trim, polishing the cabin windows, replacing bad heat/sound insulation in the generator cabinet, replacing the 30 amp shore power receptacle that was erroneously installed by boat electricians in St. Augustine with the 50 amp/ 125 V receptacle the boat came with and many more.

We have someone coming to see the boat next Saturday (the 16th) and another couple on the 23rd. After that we’re not sure. We will continue to work and worry until she’s sold.


17 March 2016 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
Our good friends Jim and Margaret left Tuesday morning for Marathon, in the Keys, and then hopefully a short stay in the Bahamas. I took this picture as they were motoring away from Regatta Pointe; I didn’t realize that Margaret, at the helm, was also taking a last picture of the marina. Our friendship hasn’t ended, and we will see them again as they pass this way in May (wherever we are), but we are no longer cruisers, and we might not even own a cruising boat by then.

I also managed to list Earendil on sailboatlistings.com. That seems like a very final step; although it is a first step in selling her, it is a final commitment to her sale. Bud is having a very hard time with this. I’m not happy about it either, but we both know it must be done.

Meanwhile, the work goes on. We’ve contracted to have the red stripe painted and I am prepping it for that. I already stripped off the Earendil from one side of the bow. That hurt. I made a small repair to the bimini and covered the throw pillows in a light tan to help brighten the interior. We stripped off some crumbling sound insulation in the generator cabinet, fastened some wires up more out of the way, and I put new insulation in. We took all the sails down, managed to stuff them into the land barge, and took them to a sail loft in St. Petersburg to be washed and mended. Earendil will be in as good a shape as we can get her by the time we sell her, and that makes it even worse. Our only hope is that by selling her in such good shape she’ll go to an owner willing to keep her up. She’s a great sailing yacht and deserves many more good years at sea.

But they won’t be with us.

Six Weeks to Nowhere

02 March 2016 | Regatta Pointe Marina, Palmetto, FL
We arrived back at Palmetto yesterday, back at Regatta Pointe Marina. We are back on dock C, just on the other side and a few slips in (where the finger docks are wider and maybe a foot longer). There were 5 or 6 of our old dock mates there and after we were tied up we were chatting and as everyone was saying “welcome back” I remarked that we’d gone 6 weeks to nowhere. Margaret said it sounded like a good book title, so I used it as the blog title.

It’s comforting to be here. Bud is not happy at all with the way things have turned out, but he thinks it is the right decision. We have come to realize that we like two different kinds of boating. I like to go boating to see things: ports, rivers, coast lines, whatever. I am basically an inland waterway boater. Bud likes to go sailing and would be content out on the ocean for long periods of time, at least if he could learn to do watches and sleep while he’s offshore. He’d do the inland stuff too if he could get rid of 90% of the other boaters. Anyway, we aren’t going to distant shores, so this boat is too much to own and maintain. It needs new owners who want to really sail her. I hope we find them.

There was no wind to sail yesterday. So this entire abbreviated season we have not sailed without the engine once. The bad weather this year was a real factor in our decision. All the wind we got was in strong fronts, too nasty to be out in. In between were very nice light air days, too still to sail in. We never even put a sail up yesterday.

True to form, we did get to make one last repair. Bud thought the helm (steering) felt really light as we pulled away from the dock in Venice. I asked him if he wanted me to go check the steering cables and he said no. The autopilot is working fine now and continued to steer. Bud hand steered around a crab pot and said he would like me to check. He showed me how he could move the wheel about 6 inches without affecting the rudder.

I went down and stacked all of the bedding on one side of the aft berth so I could lift the boards and look under at the steering quadrant. The first thing I saw was a lot of slack in one side of the steering cable. Further investigation revealed that the bronze pulley that the cable turns on was out of its bracket and its axle was gone. I found the bronze axle on the bottom of the boat below. It had one cotter pin through it but another hole with no pin. There are two horizontal pulleys. I looked across at the other one. It was still in place, but I didn’t see anything that was fastening its axle on the top. I reached through and pushed on the axle from underneath. It moved up about 3/16” and then I could see a hole for a cotter pin, but no pin. I couldn’t move the pulley all the way back in to its bracket, so I got out two cotter pins and a pair of needle nose pliers and explained the problem to Bud who went below and fixed it. We had to idle the engine in neutral and disengage the autopilot so the steering quadrant would not be moved while Bud worked on it. We were very fortunate that this happened on a flat calm day out in the Gulf with no one around us. In about 15 minutes Bud had it repaired and on we went. We’re certain this happened because someone who worked on the autopilot removed the pulleys to move the steering cable and forgot to replace the cotter pins. But what’s a trip without a repair?

So we’re back, and we are glad to be here with everything in one piece. We will be happier still once she’s sold. And very sad too. I just hope her new owners care for her as well as we have. She’s a great seaworthy boat and sails beautifully. She deserves the best of care.

Venice Is not on the Way to Marathon (2/29/16)

02 March 2016 | Crow's Nest Marina, Venice, FL
If you look at the map that shows where we are and where we’ve been, you’ll see that today’s new position is back north of where we were at the Fort Meyers Beach mooring field. We’ve turned back. We got some bad financial news. That on top of the bad weather, the many small repairs we’ve had to do, my dislike of blue water (read night) sailing and being too far away from family, has finally tipped the scales. Earendil is on the market and we’re going back now to get her ready to sell.

We had a beautiful day getting here, but again, we had to motor sail. It seems the only wind we’ve gotten is with strong fronts or in the wrong direction. It started out promising, building to 10 knots and just as we were thinking about putting the jib out (the main was up) the wind went forward and died. We sailed the rest of the day with under five knots of wind. The water was smooth and turquoise and it almost looked like the Bahamas. We sailed along the outside of the islands we’d passed with Pat and I got to see the bridge between Sanibel and Captiva islands.

I told my brother I might end the blogs when we got back to Regatta Pointe in Palmetto, but he thought I should continue until the boat was sold. I might, as someone out there might like to hear what it’s like to prep and sell a boat like this. Writing is getting more difficult, and sometimes painful. Selling her will be difficult and sometimes painful, but we are looking forward to the next phase of our lives, so that’s a positive. I don’t think either of us has any doubts about the decision now.

Decision Time

21 February 2016 | Ft. Meyers Beach Mooring Field
We got up Friday morning with the intention of heading out to an anchorage off Marco Island, the first leg to Marathon and then on to the Bahamas. I told Bud that in all honesty I was not looking forward to the trip. His reply startled me. He said we should just go back and get a mooring ball at Ft. Meyers Beach and then perhaps we should plan to return to Palmetto to prepare the boat for sale. So we came back here and we are on the same ball we were before.

That evening, as we sat down to eat we heard the bilge pump run. That was odd, as it had been dry, and even though we ran the engine, we had put a lubricant on the stuffing in the stuffing box and very little moisture came through, not enough to lift the switch on the bilge pump. A couple of minutes later, the fresh-water pump came on. I immediately thought we had a fresh water leak. Bud said perhaps it was just close to coming on from the last use and it was coincidence, but I knew he was just wishing that were true. The bilge pump and then the fresh water pump came on again. Bud said we’d made the right decision to turn back.

We looked for a leak and found water around the fresh water pump, but couldn’t tell where it was coming from. So we turned off the fresh water pump, ran the bilge pump until the bilge was as dry as we could get it, and went to bed.

The next morning we went ashore to walk Matey and take showers and then came back to tackle the job. Both of us had decided independently that we should dry out the area around the fresh water pump, turn it back on to pressurize the system and try to see where the water came from. I did the drying, as I can better reach around under the floorboards. When I had it thoroughly dry Bud switched the pump back on. Soon I saw a trickle of water from a tiny hole under the pump. But I had figured out that was a pass-through from the area behind the pump, and when I reached in there with some paper towels they came out soaked. So the water was coming from behind us. Bud took off all the doors for the spaces under the aft sink and around the shower. I got down with a light and immediately saw dripping. Some drying and investigation showed it to come from a “t” in the water line in front of the shower. I tightened all the hose clamps. One seemed loose. After I tightened it the dripping stopped. I dried the area and we pressurized the system again (actually, it still had pressure). No more leak. After about an hour and using the water to do dishes, so the pump ran a couple of times we checked again. All was dry.

I felt pretty good about finding and fixing that problem, and also glad that it had cost nothing. I could tell through the day that Bud was feeling bad to have made the decision to turn back. I told him I would consider carrying on, as I knew he really wanted one last season. I slept poorly last night, I guess with the three year break I’m no longer used to sailing, but the two seasons we had, the experience in Destin and the numerous repairs, have made me aware of what can go wrong and so more anxious than the first time we set out. We talked a bit this morning. I told Bud I didn’t think I could go on and he said he’d really like to at least get to Marathon and the Keys for a bit. Then we could head back and be somewhere (probably Palmetto) to work on the boat by the beginning of April so we could have it ready for sale before the really hot weather set in. So that’s the plan.

The sun is setting on our cruising life, just as it sets in this image of Ft. Meyers Beach. There will be those of you who are disappointed for us, and it is a hard decision, but we will have other choices once the boat is sold. There will be those of you who are disappointed in us, and I can only say, Earendil will be for sale in May, have at it.
Vessel Name: Earendil
Vessel Make/Model: Norseman 447
Hailing Port: Wilson, New York USA
Crew: Bud Campbell & Jill Bebee
About: We are a newly retired couple about to embark for points south. Our crew includes our 14 year old toy poodle, Knaidel, better known as Fuzzy. He is a somewhat reluctant crew member, but would rather sail than stay without us.
Earendil's Photos - Season 2, Bahamas
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The group in the cave at Cave Beach.
The group in the cave at Cave Beach.
Added 4 January 2012