Finally starting to sail!
24 June 2015
Last week I ordered a tablet, very cheap, to put some navigation apps on, the tablet had to be returned, as it didn't even have a compass built into it. I bought an ASUS Transformed with detachable keyboard instead, today I used it on the St. Johns River and it was awesome. I also bought a mount to fix it to the binnacle. Two days ago I met an older sailer, who actually sails, and he taught me how to fold my sails! I have an inventory of about 7 sails that came with the boat, the previous owner had told Jack that he only had two headsails, a small one and a large one, neither of which was in good shape and neither really fit the boat. After Jack taught me how to fold my sails I pulled out a sailbag labeled E27 JIB. The sail was practically brand new!! Whew, thought I had to buy a new sail. It was so crisp but it did have a tear, I took the sail to Mike and Pat who own a sail and canvas shop next door to the marina, in no tiime Mike had the sail repaired and brought it back to my boat! Every evening we have pretty bad storms two nights ago the transformer was hit and I couldn't find coffee anywhere the next morning.
I replaced all of my cabin lights with LED lights and fixtures the light is white and really bright, I kept one incandescent in the v berth and one in the head to see how they look, as I was one LED fixture short, so the last LED is probably going into the head.
Today I went to Lambs yacht center and learned how to pump out the holding tank, the previous owner didn't pump it out and it was really smelly, Dwayne was really helpful and we emptied and rinsed it out about three times.
Today there was barely any wind, I practiced tacking for hours only to go a mile or so, tomorrow I am planning on heading out in windier weather.
12 June 2015
Yesterday was a big day! When I bought the boat it was docked in a "mud slip", the boat was actually touching the mud that's how shallow the water is. I drove around Jacksonville to a half dozen marinas, let me say it is very expensive to park at a marina. 10 to 12 dollars a foot to park. At first I was appalled at 400 dollars a month to have a place to dock. One marina wanted to charge 270 a month but then another 100 for electricity. I realize that every dollar that goes to the marina is a dollar I could have put into the boat. The last marina I went to, the one where the boat was sitting is where I decided on staying. The dock master is incredibly nice and we hit it off pretty good. So back to yesterday. Yesterday the dock master and myself decided on a slip and got the paperwork out of the way. The tide was low all day, suddenly around 4 I felt the boat move so I got the boat started, undid my lines and wanted to back out, but ended up doing a very tight u-turn, almost a pivot. I motored out past D dock and over to B dock turned in, spotted the slip and pulled into the wrong slip like a BOSS, dammit I had to move over one more slip. A nice woman on a boat on D dock was watching me and waving, then came running over to help me once I told her I'd never driven a sailboat. I managed to pull into my slip and I got tied off. The dock master helped me tie off and explained to me how properly tie to the dock.I hooked up my power cord, and water and am sitting pretty.
I've been in Alaska for the past three years and this Florida heat is stifling! The previous owner simply stuck his air conditioner in the companion way. Well my fat ass can't climb the four steps and jump the air conditioner so today I built a pretty nice box to fit over my forward hatch. It's still hot outside and the boat is hot, but I can feel the cold air around my legs. It may not help much during the day until I put a tarp over the deck but at night I"m comfortable with just the breeze so the ac should be a bonus. A side note. I am using a small dorm fridge and because of the heat it puts off I decided to turn it off during part of the day so the ac doesn't compete with it.
Last night I installed a 32 inch LED television. I wanted a 24 inch but the store didn't have any more. The marina has great wifi and I can stream netflix and Amazon no problem. Also I have a ps3 and am trying to teach myself the guitar using RockSmith.
Things to learn/read about. Number one is the toilet. The head has two levers and a three position knob. Also there is a pump handle to pump water, not really sure at all how it works, so I have to learn that system. I filled up my water tank about an hour ago also. It takes a special key to open the filler cap.
I sleep at night on the starboard couch, it's comfortable and I have been leaving the door open at night to let the breeze come in. I figure that if I were under way I would sleep there to be close to the steering wheel and radio. The forward V berth I'm using for storage, which is mostly extra sails, I think I got 7 sails with this boat. I have to go through them and see what is what. more of my clothes is going to storage tonight.
Finally on the boat!
10 June 2015
What a crazy ride this week has been. Last week I drove over 400 miles to see this boat. I spent the entire day with the owner reviewing stuff on the boat, if it's broke I wouldn't really know. At 930 pm the owner left me with the boat, finally. I'm compulsive so after about an hour on the boat I unplugged the power cord, shut every thing off and left. I really wanted to think it over. 6 days later I decide to go ahead and pull the trigger and buy it. I texted the owner to tell him I'm on my way. I drive about 200 miles and get a text back from the owner letting me know it's sold. As soon as I hung up I got a call from another boat owner 700 miles away in Baltimore he just painted his 1965 Grampian 31. I turned around and headed towards Baltimore. As I'm passing Greenville South Carolina the Ericson owner calls to tell me his buyer has backed out. I spend the night in Greenville and change course to Jacksonville.
Going to Look at a sailboat tomorrow,,,finally
03 June 2015 | Johnson City, Tn
Randall / really cloudy outside, breezy, 80ish degrees.
In December 2006 I was bitten hard by the urge to sail, just like I was bitten in 1999 when I started working on my private pilots license. In 2008 I wrapped up my divorce and moved to Arizona. From 2008 til now I've looked on ebay and craigslist at sailboats and dreamed of the romance, the travel, the rum, (though I really don't like the taste of rum). I'd gone from the practical to hoping I found a tall masted ship with a cannon or two left on board. In 2013 I moved to Alaska with my girlfriend and we taught in a small native village in the Kenai Peninsula. In February of this year I decided, for some stupid reason, that I needed a little breather and left Alaska for Tennessee. Well Tennessee is the Volunteer state for a reason, nobody can make you stay there and so over the past couple of weeks I've been back at eBay and Craigslist looking at boats. I've exchanged emails with two Grampian owners in Annapolis, a Bristol 27 owner in Everett Washington and some eBay boat in southern California. One of the Grampian owners withdrew his boat from being for sale. The other just told me it wouldn't be a good fit. The Bristol 27 stole my heart and the skipper was great to chat with through emails. However his boat is no longer on Craigs so I'm sure it is sold. Last week I saved a radar, and autohelm in my eBay watch list. I ordered a Sailing for Dummies book from Amazon, that came a few days ago and I have not found time to open it and start reading.
Today I found a Ericson 27 in Jacksonville and after talking to the owner for about an hour, we agreed I should come down and check it out. So tomorrow morning I am driving to Jacksonville to see and step foot for the first time onto an actual sailboat! Hopefully tomorrow goes well and I walk away with the title to a new boat.
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