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
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.
14 October 2015
16 February 2015 | Port Aransas
18 December 2014
02 December 2014 | Port Aransas, Texas
09 October 2014 | Port Aransas
28 September 2014 | City Marina, Port Aransas
04 September 2014 | Clear Lake, Texas
01 September 2014
24 August 2014
13 August 2014
09 August 2014 | Clear Lake Shores, Texas
01 August 2014
13 July 2014 | Clear Lake, Texas
29 June 2014 | Clear Lake/Canyon Lake
17 June 2014
15 June 2014 | Solomons, MD- same old slip- not moved
12 June 2014
28 May 2014

Butt Kicker Return to Port A

28 September 2014 | City Marina, Port Aransas
Butt Kicking

I recruited two other fools to help move Why Knot from Clear Lake, Texas to her home port at Port Aransas, Texas which is roughly 180 nautical distant. This time of year, the Gulf can be stormy, even active hurricanes. For the previous few days, rain was the main forecast and last weekend was no different. The forecast called for thunderstorms "some very heavy" but the winds were to be under 20 knots. Since the trend was for rain caused by a persistent low pressure wave, we decided to leave anyway. This was to be Why Knot's shakedown after recommissioning. We decided to sail first to Galveston then get an early start Thursday morning. If any problems arose, we were likely to see them on the 25 mile hop from Clear Lake to Galveston and still be in position to do repairs. We left Clear Lake with massive, nasty thunderstorms west of us and moving inland. As we motored out of the harbor, we were glad the storms were not chasing us. The Bay was flat and winds practically nonexistent. Since I originally planned to anchor in Bolivar Roads, I brought 10 gallons of spare fuel in case we wanted to run the a/c at night to get away from the bat sized mosquitos that were following me around. Those extra fuel cans would be very important later but not for the original purpose.

As we reached the Houston Ship Channel, the stormy weather started to develop all around us. We had some rain but nothing compared to the next day. We spent a quiet night in a transient slip and prepared for passage from Galveston to Port the next day. Since the distance is about 155 nautical miles, we decided to leave mid morning so that we would not get to Port A too early. At at 1000 hrs, we backed out of the slip in a gentle rain. Rounding the jetty the rain increased in intensity. As is usually the case, the winds were coming over the bow. There was no reason to hoist sails but we hoped that would change as forecast. We were waiting for the east southeast winds so we could have an easy sail. We had 15 knots of wind on our bow and were motoring into swells and waves. Why Knot was doing the tango in a very lively fashion. Though ready for a lively passage, stuff still found ways to take flight below. Waves were hitting us off the port bow. The swells had a ten degree wider angle and that made the ride anything but comfortable. I knew it would test the crew seasickness meds to the fullest. It was a good thing we decided to forego galley cooked meals in favor of sandwiches and snacks since balancing a plate would have been impossible. As it was, one could quickly stuff a sandwich between lurches but that was all. Food and drink was everywhere. Mid afternoon found us no less challenged. The good thing was that the rains kept the temperatures down.

Several times we hoisted sail only to find them useless on our course. Thus, we decided the trip would be motoring the whole way if nothing changed. It did not. Day turned to night and one member of the crew started an ordeal which lasted the rest of the cruise. His first event happened in the forward head when the boat lurched causing him to basically take out the wall mounted shampoo and soap dispensers. Next came the famous drink glass incident when said glass, not for use at sea, flew mid cabin and turned into a million or so shards of foot ventilators. Next came his dead sleep flight from the berth to the sole before awakening upon impact. Mind you, we were all being bludgeoned by the sea but these things were added to his day. Then his Ipad took flight and later his notebook did the same. The latter ejected its cd, memory cards and battery upon impact. While he is a seasoned sailor, he might not have been so accustomed to nasty nighttime weather before.

For the next 27 hours we were cursed with head seas, knarley swells and waves and rain, lots of rain. At times we had to de-tune the radar so much it was practically useless. The other challenge was that of of oil platforms, dozens of them. I told the crew about the need to mind the radar since some were not lighted. I came topside after trying unsuccessfully to get some sleep to find the person on watch eyeballing a radar target with no lights. The thing was huge and except for its radar blip, it was invisible beyond 50 yards distance. The moon was not yet with us and we were far enough offshore that the light level was not enough to see the platform.

Light pollution is a problem even offshore and without a moon. The instruments have night settings but some are still too bright. I usually drape them with a towel and only peek at them once in a while. The benefit is that if there are few clouds, one can actually see great distances in the starlight. The blue afterburner like trail of bioluminescence in the prop wash trails a good 25 yards astern and is a beautiful blue. Those are some of the rewards for being at sea in the wee hours.

As usual in such conditions, the night was a long, tiring ordeal loaded with bruise causing lurches of the boat. One would think sitting on a boat is restful and that is the case in the harbor. At sea, one is always correcting for the three axis movements of the boat and after a few hours of that, one has had the equivalent of a full workout. In this case the workout lasted 27 hours which caused all of us to awake sore as hell the next day after making port. All of us had new unexplained bruises.

The last few hours were in heavy rain and microbursts that would have been pretty exciting had we been sailing. At long last, we made the jetties at Port A and the end of Why Knot's cruise. The familiar smells greeted us such as the rookery on the the north jetty and the fried onion rings from Virginia's restaurant. We heard a shout from an old friend on the second dock whom we have not seen in four years. As we approached the slip, Bear, Scurv and the ladies of the other two crew were waiting. It was a time honored tradition on display at the dock that has played out for thousands of years. Why Knot is now home and ready for the "fufu" duties of coastal cruising. Eeeeee ha! What a cruise it was.
Comments
Vessel Name: Why Knot
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 411 #24 built in Marion, SC
Hailing Port: Port Aransas, Texas
Crew: Bear (Jo) and Bligh (Howell) Cooper and Scurv
About:
Each other's only date in life. 30 years sailing Texas waters and now on the cruise of dreams (even though there are days when it is hard to believe). About Why Knot Why Knot survived Hurricane Katrina whilst in New Orleans. Year Built: 1998 L.O.A.: 41'-8" Hull Length: 40'-5" L.W.L. [...]
Extra: Scurv (ABSD= able bodied sea dog) signed on in October 2012. Scurv is a toy Schnauzer
Why Knot's Photos - Main
Pics along the way from Portsmouth to Mount Desert Island, Mine
35 Photos
Created 10 August 2013
Some photos taken along the way from the Chesapeake to Maine
33 Photos
Created 18 July 2013
Selected shots along the way from Wilmington to the Chesapeake.
13 Photos
Created 23 July 2012
Pictures of Scurv before and after his first haircut
8 Photos
Created 29 April 2012
Pics of along the Colonial Parkway in Virginia
18 Photos
Created 27 April 2012
Pics taken from Beaufort to Norfolk
23 Photos
Created 11 April 2012
Picture taken from Wilmington to Beaufort, NC
8 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Photos taken along the waterfront and underway around the Beaufort, SC area
20 Photos
Created 16 July 2011
Pictures taken from Charleston to Wilmington
40 Photos
Created 23 June 2011
The lighthouse in Hopetown, Elbow Cay, Abaco was built in the 1800s. Here are shots from the top
29 Photos
Created 1 April 2011
Nippers BG on Geat Guana Cay, Abaco. Posted here because of the stark beauty of the Atlantic shore
7 Photos
Created 1 April 2011
Pictures of things seen while underway.
16 Photos
Created 1 April 2011
Pictures of local favorites on Great Guana Cay
34 Photos
Created 9 March 2011
This is perhaps the prettiest of the Abacos that we have visited so far. Then again, there are degrees of perfection
20 Photos
Created 28 February 2011
Pics taken in and around Marsh Harbor and the Great Abaco Island
9 Photos
Created 23 February 2011
Shots taken on Green Turtle Cay of both the Atlantic and Bank side
6 Photos
Created 10 February 2011
These are random shots of Old Bahama Bay on the West End of Grand Bahama Island. This was our official port of entry.
8 Photos
Created 1 February 2011
The Heron spent about two hours sitting not more than 10 feet from Bear. This is his dock.
2 Photos
Created 19 January 2011
These are some pictures of a tug built in 1895 that was in commercial service for 112 years. It will be scuttled today for an artificial reef and dive spot
4 Photos
Created 13 January 2011
Here are some of the boats we have seen that struck us as unusual
6 Photos
Created 8 December 2010
Shots taken after leaving Charleston heading south to the jump off point of the Islands
6 Photos
Created 5 December 2010
Here are some pictures of favorite anchorages, landscapes and other things along the way
13 Photos
Created 26 November 2010
These are photos from our restart city. Having sailed from Port Aransas, Texas we stopped in Charleston for some medical repairs
8 Photos
Created 24 November 2010

Dreams in Works

Who: Bear (Jo) and Bligh (Howell) Cooper and Scurv
Port: Port Aransas, Texas
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.
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.