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SV Why Knot- No plan, no schedule, no destination.
The passing of my life mate has ended the cruise of Why Knot. Thanks to those that followed her voyages. It gave us wonderful memories and a heck of a life
Dreams in Works
Who: Bear (Jo) and Bligh (Howell) Cooper and Scurv
Port: Port Aransas, Texas
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Our greatest challenge was to actually bring in the dock lines at our home port and get going. Next came the actual act of living aboard which is way different than weekending or the occasional extended sail. This is life avoiding causing your mate to drop stuff or run into bulkheads. This is having so much stuff aboard that one has to inventory. This is life without land transportation in strange places. This is meeting folks and hating to say good bye, then looking forward to the time when courses cross again, to the surprise of seeing them at some unexpected place.

Outta Beaufort for Oriental

April 5, 2012
No mistake about it, this is a wonderful example of how a harbor town should be designed. The town was designated as the top small city in America, so the signs and locals proclaim. Not only that, they have a very impressive small maritime museum and a Third System fort nearby, Fort Macon. Unlike most of the Third System forts, this one actually saw combat. The curious thing was that after it was built, it was occupied many times due to "Congressional" economizing by a single caretaker. What a concept. A single caretaker was in charge when on April 14, 1861 when the local militia asked for the keys. He gave them up and until April 26, 1862 it was under Confederacy occupation. The Union occupied it until 1876 when they gave the keys back to a caretaker.
Beaufort has a "Burying Ground" which tells its history. Of the residents of that cemetery, there are several Revolutionary graves. There is a grave of a British Officer that asked to be buried standing at attention facing England so that he would look his finest on Resurrection day. There is a grave of a fellow with high military honors that has a 6 pounder cannon on top. The most interesting one is that of a young girl who asked to see England. Her father, promising to bring her home, took her there. She died on the return voyage and her father, true to his word, purchased a keg of rum from the captain and brought her home in it. She was buried in that keg. Today, children still decorate the grave with toys. Old dad was true to his word.
The oldest house in town was occupied by various notable folks. Of them, Blackbeard often stayed there. It is on the ghost tour list. Many homes were built by ship builders and that may explain why they still stand after 300 years. Technology almost destroyed many when folks started to insulate them. Seems the old framing allowed air to flow through the walls. When insulation was added with no vapor barrier, the walls started to deteriorate. We saw a house that was being renovated and the studs were ships framing with stud spacing about four feet on centers. They showed the signs of hand sizing.
We leave here today bound for Oriental. It will be a short day of only 26 miles but puts us in another historic city. It is supposed to be a nasty day tomorrow so we either go today or Saturday. Today is the day. More later.
Scurv note: Scurv needs a day aboard to let his sniffer recover. The waterfront is a favorite walk for local dog owners and young Scurv had lots to do.

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One Off the Bucket List
Bligh- great cool weather
04/03/2012, Beaufort, NC

April 3, 2012
To some a bridge is just an obstacle to clear in the AIWW. To me one particular bridge was on my bucket list and yesterday we passed it. That's one off the list as we sailed to Beaufort, NC. It was very windy and most likely a good day to be in the ditch. We touched bottom twice in the channel. Seems shoaling is changing so rapidly that it is impossible to mark each.
We reached Beaufort Town Docks at 1645. Wow, what a nice waterfront. Seems this is a favorite "jumping off" point to the Caribbean Islands for northern boats in the fall. I am thinking we were right about being ahead of the northern migration although we did see two other sailboats heading our way yesterday.
This town has claim to a very rich history. At this time, salvage operations are ongoing on Queen Anne's Revenge just offshore. That was Blackbeard's ship. Methinks a couple hundred years ago this place might not have been so welcoming. Seems old Sir Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort thought this place would make a good spot to set up a convenience store and in 1713 he surveyed it then it incorporated in 1722. It has been fighting hurricanes and pirates ever since.
Scruv has now learned a bit more about our little moving water world. He has yet to learn not to bark at folks walking by and since he is somewhat camouflaged on the boat he is successful in waiting until they are near to give them a bark. Some like it and some would rather teach him to fly. We are still getting questions as to how a Texas boat got here. No, dangit, we did not truck it here.
Enough of the dreamy stuff, back to reality; more work on the forward head today. We tried a chemical cleaner that must have damaged a seal. Now, I get to overhaul the whole thing. I am starting to consider a simple solution: a bucket. Then again, Bear and I are joined at the soul and methinks she might just object. So, she gets to spend the day with her e-book in the cockpit soaking up sunshine and I get to deal with the monster. Then again, it is simply messing about boats.

Picture of the Town Dock Beaufort, NC

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Artillery and Too Much Information
04/01/2012, Same as an hour ago

April 1, 2012
As we sit here at anchor not far from Camp Lejeune, NC we can hear artillery impacting near enough (several miles) that it must be big stuff. I have been listening to a few rounds at a time landing somewhere waiting for the Fire For Effect salvos. Methinks they are getting some really good night practice in. Just then athe FFEs started hitting. I am guessing about six at a time. Someone is having some serious trigger time.
The other thing occupying my attention is a new app for the Iphone that tracks anchor dragging. Before this app, I did not concern myself with such unless the winds piped up. This program is perhaps too sensitive. It tells me that we have something like a 10 feet difference between when I set it and now. Unknown at this point is whether or not is has now gone deep enough to move no further. The winds are only 14 knots. So, armed with that information, do I spend half the night up watching the instrument or do what I would have done without it? Relative bearings to land objects seem to remain unchanged. Are the technogods working on my psyche?

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Actual Start of Phase VII
04/01/2012, Topsail Sound

April 1, 2012

We have been aboard for over a month but today was a milestone. We left Wilmington, NC and after 39 nautical miles we are now anchored in Topsail Sound near Sloop Point. Scurv was the story of the day because he did not know what the heck we were doing. He got one dirt trip ashore before we left but has not done so thereafter. For him, the day started quivering in Bear's arms and ended with a full enthusiasm for being on the moving boat. For us, it is a question of security as to how we keep him aboard on an ever changing movement. We left him hooked up with his extendable leash and that seems to work were it not for the fact that he manages to hang us from time to time as he moves about the cockpit. We'll all go through a quick learning curve.
It was absolutely great to sail into the Cape Fear River through Snow's Cut into the AIWW. Though we motored the entire way (again wind direction and traffic being the determining factor) it was good to be back into the migration. We met and sailed among four boats, three sail and one trawler. All of them were heading home up north. We met but did not know well, two boat crews in the Bahamas. One crew lived in the Bahamas for several years but now are going home to Canada. Small world huh?
The picture is of Figure 8 Bridge just north of Wrightsville Beach NC

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04/01/2012 | Bob
I'm so happy for you guys! Fair Winds!
Wasted Day

March 30, 2012
Having spent most of the night swearing off food, especially those dry beef tips I had for lunch yesterday, I spent most of the day horizontally attempting to do a checklist before departure. Guess that is not all bad since old sea lions can stand to lose some girth. By the time the sun went below the yards, I was feeling much better. Scurv though I was mad at him. Bear was glad for the absence of internal boat projects for the day. See, stuff works out. We did have a full day planned for pre-departure.
We still have a few things to stow before the high morning tide on Sunday. That is the real start to Phase VII. Not sure if April Fool's day is a good one for departure but hey, it fits. Those on our Spot list will soon be seeing updates. We do not plan to head offshore for a bit more time just to give Bear some more time for bone building (unless said passage would be in very calm conditions). There is an excellent inlet near here that would allow us to lay a rhumb line to Beaufort Inlet (that's pronounced Bofort vs the town in South Carolina pronounced Bufort). It is a sensitive thing an if you call the guys in either city and use the wrong pronunciation, they won't answer plus you get lots of demerits. It is more or less 70 nautical inlet to inlet. If we take the AIWW, it will take two days. No schedule means we have the time.
Scurv is normally a voracious eater. I was still in the rack when Bear attempted to feed him this morning. Talk about big dog hearts, he would not touch the food. Then he started stacking his toys against our cabin door. Usually, he is on guard topside most of the day but he stayed below waiting to get a noogie or two from all crew members. Spoiled much!

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Another First

March 29, 2012
Leaving on Sunday morning is the idea finally. As many harbors and anchorages that we have navigated and enjoyed we will have a first experience when we leave this marina. We are almost 20 miles up stream. We will be traveling down stream in a river. What is different about that? Right of way rules favor the vessel traveling down stream. Of course, sailing vessels take about the last position in the food chain but it is interesting to listen to ships work out the manner of passing each other when one is down bound with a following stream. In tight places of which there are a couple on the Cape Fear River it can get interesting since fairly high currents exists in the river at certain tide conditions. We have listened to ships discussing at what speed they pass in the current. If too close to each other, a higher than necessary speed can produce a situation where they can be "sucked" together by their own prop suction. Too slow and the current may cause the same result.
From this location north, methinks that currents and tides will become a much bigger factor to consider. As a pilot I always knew the best way to get your name in the paper was to land on a road, within a mile or so from a school. I am thinking that the best way to do that when boating is to get run over by a ship.

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Why Knot left Texas in January of 2010 bound for no particular harbor. We made ports of call all around the Gulf Coast to the Keys then north up the Atlantic Coast and to the Abacos.