18 October 2013 | Cuba Landing
Once we passed the iterance to Pebble Isle Marina we were in 100% new territory; that is what I was looking forward to. I love going places we have never been before, but for John I think that is where he started becoming more stressed, because he was navigating in unfamiliar waters.
One of our sources for marinas and anchorages is Active Captain, so according to Active Captain, we should have been able to anchor behind the last of the “paid slips” at Cuba Landing, in Waverly, TN, but as we were proceeding back to the anchorage area the depth became more and more shallow, showing less than 3 feet below the keel. BELIEVE needs 4’ of water to float and we prefer at least 9 to 10 feet to anchor. Cautiously, we returned to the fuel dock at the front of the marina. A marina employee, Tony, informed us that the marina property is located on a federal refuge and is leased from the government. There were no government employees working there, but because of the government shutdown, he was not supposed to be open – the “OPEN” sign was turned off. Fortunately, he is a very nice person and is willing to sell us some fuel and lease us a slip for the night. Our budget plan didn’t have us staying in a marina for a couple more nights, but the sun was going down and John was not about to try and navigate unfamiliar waters after dark. I probably would not have mind so much, but this particular marina does not have a courtesy car, and I was hoping when we paid for a slip we could get a car and go to a restraint and get some bread and fresh vegetables from a store.
Since we were paying to be at a marina we decided to take full advantage of it and get rid of trash, buy ice and do a couple loads of laundry. (I do not know how we had that much laundry, but we did.) Well, the washer was $1.25 and worked great. The dryer was free, but only dried on low, so needless to say, my clothes did not get done until noon. While I was doing laundry, John was checking the charts to see where we could anchor that night. Come to find out, there were no safe anchorages that we could make it to before dark. To say I was unhappy is an understatement. John, being the great guy that he is, did his best to make me happy. This included walking all over the refuge.
This marina has a few groceries and a deli, but since they were supposed to be closed, they were not restocking. I asked Tony if he had any bread; he checked to see if there was any left in the deli. He found me a loaf – not fresh, but better than nothing!
The marina had a nice place to sit outside, in front of the office. We sat for a while talking to Tony and Uncle Phil, a local pier 5 live aboard. After we talked for a while I said I would love a cheeseburger, and asked Tony if he had the stuff to make one. He had buns and cheese, but no hamburger. We continued to talk when Uncle Phil said, “do you really want a cheese burger?” I said, “Yes.” Then he offered to go to the store, 20 minutes away, to buy some hamburger for me. WOW! John quickly have him some money, Then Phil asked, “Don’t you need some lettuce, cheese and tomatoes to go with that?” I told him we have cheese, but the lettuce and tomatoes would be great. So, when he was ready to go he said, “Anything else?” and I said maybe some fresh fruit.
About an hour later, John and I were walking and Phil pulled beside us as we were taking pictures and had our requested items, plus offered to take a picture of John and me together. How nice was that?
Cheese burgers for supper, YUM! I still was not excited about being there for another day, but certainly not because of the people we met.
16 October 2013
8 Oct. 22013
Yesterday we were a lot later than we wanted to be getting away from the marina. After taking our vehicle home, and finishing up what was needed to leave the house empty for an extended time, it was 1330 before I back to the marina. There were still goodbyes we wanted to say to our boat neighbors and we needed to top off the fuel tank before we could clear the marina’s jetties and turn south.
Having been in a state of rush most of the day, I was tired and was ready to pull into the first available bay; but, the admiral indicated she didn’t like that bay and was persistent about continuing. So we continued on south for another hour.
By the time we anchored it was too late for me to take the admiral a ride in the dinghy. And, this really didn’t bother me. I was too tired to deal with it. The first day ended somewhat short of our expectations for the start of our great adventure.
10 Oct. 2013
Tuesday, we motored, sailed, motor-sailed, and then motored again. The sailing was great, occasionally hitting hull speed, about 6.5 knots. As the wind became less consistent we turned the engine back on to maintain our travel speed. Finally, as the channel narrowed and started zigzagging from shore to shore, I took down the sail and became a motorboat. Eight hours and 30+ miles upriver, we anchored our second night in a section of Panther Bay called Dry Fork.
Again we arrive too late to take the dinghy to shore. Needing to stretch our legs, we planned to go ashore for a short hike before we got underway Wednesday morning.
Wednesday we woke to a beautiful fall day. We were finally able take our dinghy ride to shore. Once ashore we were reminded we were in a river valley; the start of our hike required we go up a 20ᵒ incline changing our elevation about 70 feet. We had to stop for a short rest when we reached the top. We continued our hike looking for an old cemetery that is supposed to be near where we were. We never found any signs of the cemetery.
We motored another 30 miles and dropped the hook in Richland Creek.
This morning we woke to a heavy fog over the river. Though we had everything ready to get underway by 08:00, it was 10:00 before the fog lifted enough for me to feel safe in traveling the channel.
Still Counting Down
25 September 2013 | KDM
T Minus One Week and Counting:
We have moved up our planned departure by a couple of weeks.
The dinghy's painter is secured to BELIEVE and ready for departure; unfortunately, we are still bring stores aboard and addressing other needs, some of which are associated with readying the house we will be leaving. As I look at the task that still need to be addressed, individually, they are minimal; but these many small jobs become one jaw of the vice while the target departure (275) is the other. When an item is checked off the to-do list there is a momentary ease on the vice; but the feeling is short lived, as the pendulum continues to swing.
Will we be ready by the planned departure date? I don't know; we're trying. With so many marbles raddling around, it is disrupting my sleep and upsetting my digestive system. Too often, the time needed to complete a task grows in exponential proportion because of simple mistakes. If I don't make too many mistakes; if the weather doesn't disrupt the work schedule too much; if there aren't any unexpected developments, then we should meet our goal.
16 September 2013
T minus 4 weeks and counting:
Diana and I are still working on our “READY for DEPATURE” check list; another round of task have been checked off. Over a three day period, I picked up maintenance supplies and spare parts for the engine; Diana went through BELIEVES’s storage compartments removing extraneous items, most of which were food stuffs beyond their recommended use-by date; we also brought home bedding and clothing that will be added to this week’s laundry; and, Diana cleaned and oiled the interior’s wood surface while I finish coating selected exterior surfaces with nonskid paint. There are still a few tasks to be done before we start loading for the trip, but I predict most of our supplies will be aboard by this time next week.
11 August 2013 | KDM
T Minus 10 Weeks and Counting:
A few weeks ago Diana and I decided to write separate versions of our boating experiences. We felt recording our prospective separately would provide a better understanding of the experiences we shared aboard BELIEVE. Although we still have a couple of months before we plan to start our adventure, we have been working toward our departure for a long time.
We set our sights on this undertaking when we decided to sell our Catalina 27, Sans Souci, and buy BELIEVE. For me, buying BELIEVE was stepping off the deep end. The hull and deck were solid, but this Morgan 32 needed a lot of work. We found her in Panama City, FL and she had not been used in some time. All of the surfaces on the inside of the boat, including the stowage compartments, were covered in mold. And, dealing with the stench that had permeated the waste plumbing added to the challenges.
We had BELIEVE transported by truck from Panama City to the Rottgering Marine boat yard, near Eddyville, KY. There, for more than a year, Diana and I spent most of our spare time cleaning inside and out, stripping and repainting the bottom (that's after adding an epoxy water barrier coating), rewiring the mast and correcting mechanical issues in the steering. Since we put BELIEVE back into the water, project work has been less concerted.
Even so, BELIEVE now has a new cockpit table, and a new set of cockpit cushions. We have also added a dodger, upgraded the traditional head with a composting toilet and replaced the Bimini canvas adding detachable sun shades and bug screens. I have also changed out the old alcohol fueled galley stove for a pressurized kerosene stove. And, we have cleaned the fresh water system to ensure the water is potable.
Currently I am focused on installing a solar panel atop the dodger. With a little luck I might be able to put together enough electrical supply to routinely use our refrigerator.
T Minus 9 Weeks and Counting:
I got off to a good start on installing the solar panel, but found some flaws in my original installation concept. The issue was really simple: because of the panel's boxed edges, if I attached the solar panel directly to the top of the dodger I wouldn't be able to reach underneath to attach the nuts to the mounting bolts.
As slow as I am, it took me a while to come up with a solution. Finally, I have mounted sections of square tubing on the underside of the panel, one section at each corner. Now, each corner has two mounting bolts going up between the tubing and the underside mounting lip of the panel and will have two mounting bolts going down between the tubing and the top of the dodger. The mounting bolts are located close enough to ends of the tubing to allow a wrench to hold the nut for tightening.
Also, the tubing is mounted flush with the ends of the panel. In this location the tubing will prevent the mainsheet or other control lines from snagging the solar panel and possibly ripping it from its mountings.
I still have to mount the solar panel to the dodger and complete the wiring runs. If the weather had been more cooperative, I would have had this project completed this week. Hopefully, I will have this installation completed by this time next week.
T Minus 6 Weeks and Counting:
With all of the running around that Diana and I have been involved in, my progress on the boat projects hasn't been quite as efficient as I had expected. Even so, the jerry rail is ready to be mounted; I mounted cleats on the dinghy - to tie off the finders. Today I cleaned the terminals on both the house battery and the engine starting battery and I pressure-washed the deck. These accomplishments don't sound like much, but with the high heat and humidity we are experiencing I drain out rather quickly; in the last two weeks I have lost seven pounds in fluid weight, and that is a lot of sweat.
All of the need-to-have projects have been completed; at least there is nothing that would stop us from pulling away from the dock. What I am working now are the nice-to-have items; things that should make our time aboard a little less strenuous. BELIEVE is over 30 years old and high traffic areas of the deck have worn making footing less secure; so as a safety improvement, painting applicable areas on the deck with nonskid has been added to the list.
Getting the Act Together
05 May 2013 | KY Dam MArina
Duke / Rain
It is another gloomy day in the neighborhood. I am so ready for some sunshine. At least during the last couple of weeks we had a few days that were descent. The Admiral and I started our spring cleaning – summerizing - aboard Believe. So far, we have oiled the interior wood, pressure washed the deck, removed a load of unused items, inventoried the storage compartments under the quarter berth and did a thorough cleaning / sanitizing of the fresh water system. Cleaning the fresh water system required multiple treatment / flushing cycles over a three day period. I still want to install a filter to improve the taste, but now I don’t hesitate to drink the water from the tank.
Projects are ongoing: Over the winter I purchased, repaired and installed a pressurized kerosene stove in the galley. (Pic Attached) I am currently stitching together a new bimini cover, and planning to install a couple solar panels when the bimini is done. There are additional projects in the waiting, but some of them may have to be done while we are underway this fall.
The Admiral and I are planning an extended time aboard before Memorial Day to develop our list of priorities for this fall. Our junket will be limited to the lakes, and once we get into the more narrower areas we will be limited to motoring.
This trip should give us a better understanding of food, fuel and water usage, and a snapshot of our physical limitations. At least, with the repeated handling of the anchor and rowing the dinghy, I expect my stamina to improve.
For now what I really need:
Fair Winds and SUNSHINE,
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