Ship of Fools? Rusty Tools?
11 December 2018 | Windmill Harbour
We brought Gratitude to her home slip at Windmill Harbour Marina, HHI, SC in April 2017 and there she sat. We visited from time to time, but did not take her out because we were in the process of renovating our new (to us) home on HHI, having shoulder surgery (Lauren had both replaced over the span of 6 months), and allowing our old retriever the comfort of solid ground before she finally succumbed to old age. In the midst of all that, we packed our belongings, sold the Farm, and moved to HHI. And, then we threw in a trip to South Africa with the most recent to turn 13 grandson (wonderful trip). Finally, in October, we got out on Gratitude for three days — it was supposed to be three weeks, but “issues” have a way of interfering with plans. It seems the bearings in our roller furler had seized from corrosion and no amount of soaking in hot water with vinegar would free them up; indeed, it seems they got stiffer with more soaking. So, a call to Schaeffer Marine (the manufacturer) determined that they would send us a new bearing. We, of course, reciprocated by sending them a check. The new bearings arrived and the forestay (the big wire that helps support the mast and around which the genoa is furled) was loosened (only after we secured the mast with a spare halyard) and the mechansim was removed. Alas, the old bearings could not be taken out of the torque tube (gets technical, but bear withus) so, another call to Schaeffer Marine. “No problem; send the old torque tube to us and we will remove the bearing with our hydraulic equipment.” Off went the 20 pound, 4’ box. When it arrived, our friends at Schaeffer Marine called to say that the torque tube had an irreparable, damaged internal weld and they were surprised the mechanism did not fail while we were sailing. Not to worry, they had a new torque tube, which was good, because we had a new check!
Finally, with the help of boating friends (including a power boater who offered to help with the “broken sailing thingy”), we installed the new parts, reset the forestay, and hoisted the genoa. So, while it was an aborted trip, the three days served the purpose of a shake-down cruise — we found out what was wrong and fixed it. Then, while we awaited the start of our planned trip to the Bahamas, we decided to replace the old galley sink and faucet, which was so corroded the spray head could not be pulled out of the stem.
Finally, the day arrived — December 11, 2018 — for our planned departure from Windmill Harbour. Actually, we had planned initially to leave the 10th, but (a) the weather was bad, (b) we had some appointments and last minute items to attend, and (c) the lock (through which boats pass to and from Calibogue Sound) was being repaired and painted so hours of operation were quite limited. At 8:15 this morning, our dear friends Klaus and Karin came to the dock to see us off, and they brought a rose. It seems their rose bush blooms every year at this time, and they used to take a blossom along with them when they went to the Bahamas. Because they no longer are doing that trip, they brought us the rose to carry on the tradition.
The weather, although very cool, was fairly benign, so we decided to go south via the “outside” (ocean) route and not via the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). We had a delightful run (some of us napped), came in at St. Catherine’s Sound, and decided not to anchor where we originally planned (Walburg Creek at the north end of St. Catherine’s Island) because the anchorage was exposed to the winds and it is forecast to be another cool (cold!) night. So, we pushed south in the ICW (deciding there were more options to stop than if we stayed outside) and now are anchored in Wahoo Creek at the very southern end of St. Catherine’s Island. No one is here but us and the wildlife, enjoying a lovely sunset. Tomorrow, we plan to go outside again and push further south in search of warmer weather.
So, rusty tools? Fixed! Ship of Fools? Nope, cautious sailors who enjoy each other’s company amidst the splendors of this world.