A Real Work day
Last night we had a shrimp pot luck aboard with another couple that we had been talking to over the last day or two, Jim and Laurie O'Shea from Kismet. I made a shrimp dog's meal, which is garlic fried shrimp with previously cooked rice thrown in at the last minute and some fresh green beans after that. Laurie made a shrimp pasta which was really excellent. After, we walked over to the Silo restaurant for drinks and beer. This place is highly recommended to cruisers on a budget - full meals for under $10, hamburgers for less than $4 and inexpensive beers, plus the owner gets up on stage and entertains as a singer - pretty good, too.
The wind died down last night so the docks are calm again. The marina is a great place with wonderful service and amenities, but as the outermost boat we tended to be a breakwater for those further in. We were perfectly safe, just not as comfortable as I'd like. At one point working on yesterday's blog posting I was thinking that I should have taken a Bonamine for seasickness, and although I can't say that I've never been seasick, until yesterday I have never been even remotely queasy at the dock.
Barb and I have been discussing our travel plans for the next month and a half. Our situation is that we would like to make it to Tampa for Christmas. The issue is that we will have 40 days to make 1000 miles and the weather cannot be counted on, nor can the depth in the ICW. In addition we need to break up our legs so that we can get Periwinkle ashore for his rest stops. Our solution will be to make as much distance offshore as possible and travel at night which happens to be one of my favourite times to sail anyway. For instance, if we leave Moorehead City at 1800 on one evening we will be at Wrightsville Beach Inlet by 0600 the following morning and through to the other side of Cape Fear by 0900 where we can walk Peri and get some rest at anchor. Then weather permitting we can jump off to Charleston at 1800 and get in by noon the next day. These legs would be something that Peri could deal with, they are easily manageable by us and there are several secondary ports along the way that we could shelter in if we needed to. With our AIS I am less concerned about the amount of commercial traffic in the area than I would be otherwise, so all we really need is a good weather window for each of the legs. If between jumps it turns out that the weather doesn't cooperate we will simply stay where we are until it does. With 40 days to make 1000 miles that means we have to average 25 miles per day. With 80, 90 and 120 mile jumps we will have "weather slush" time to hang out for even a couple of days if need be. As a side benefit, if Barb gets some bunk time while we are at sea and I sleep when we are at anchor she won't be disturbed by my snoring!
Today as a work day has been both good and bad. First we did get some things done; others we got started; but unfortunately still others remain uninitiated. I got bit in the butt by a Brit again! Who would have thought of putting the back plate for a cheek block underneath the ceiling of the cabin that required removal of curtains, ceiling retaining boards and in one case a head wall. That's what I had to do to replace the sheave of the port cheek block, and then the bolts were seized and I had to hammer them out, and finally the sheaves that Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbour had in stock had the wrong sized bushing so I need to get something else. Of course today is Sunday so not everything is open. This means that we'll be sailing with a jury rigged port jib sheet standing rigging. I plan to use an extra snatch block to turn the line instead of the cheek block. I did get the trawler lamp hung and started work on putting the wind instrument sender aloft but just as I was getting ready to go up to install it the wind and seas picked up and we began to roll at the dock and that project became unsafe to continue. Barb sewed repairs to the flags and got the sheet bag ready for installation in the cockpit and I got started on changing the filter in the pressure water system, but again it is Sunday and none of the stores are open to get a replacement filter.
As it stands now our work for tomorrow is to change the ignition switch and solenoid, try to get the bits to fix the port cheek block if they are available, and get a charcoal filter for the pressure water system and install that. By then we should be ready to start the next part of out trip.