25 March 2019 | Charleston, SC
21 March 2019 | fort Pierce, FL
14 March 2019 | Virgin Gorda, BVI
08 March 2019 | fort Pierce, FL
15 February 2019 | Virgin Gorda, BVI
07 February 2019 | Virgin Gorda, BVI
30 January 2019 | Provenciales, TCI
24 January 2019 | Hawk’s Nest Creek, Cat Island, Bahamas
23 January 2019 | New Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas
22 January 2019 | New Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas
21 January 2019 | New Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas
12 January 2019 | Broad Creek
07 January 2019 | Lake “someone get me outa here” Sylvie
The Stowaway (are you my mother?)
25 March 2019 | Charleston, SC
wil boisvert | beutiful
This guy flew in on the morning of March 23, while we were 60 miles off shore. Way to friendly... Feed him chopped cashews coated with peanut butter, bread and pasta. Lots of water and rest. Left before morning the 24th.
Today filled 81 gal diesel at Charleston Marine Center, provisioned, and taking the sea route to Georgetown (42 miles, late start). Teusday afternoon the sea will be impossible through Thurs, so ICW possibly all the way to Moorehead City. There I will be ICW for most of the Outer Banks.
It was great sleeping last night, real sleep, in a bed. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Charlie is unleashed today with life jacket. He did awsome in the harbor.
The Deep Plunge
24 March 2019
Sometimes you just have to jump in and figure things out while you are in the water. That is precisely what happened with Sereine. The original plan was to wave to Sarah and Bevis, then head for St Augustine doing an an overnight motoring against mild seas.
All actin starts with some half-baked plan... The trip started a little slow and bumpy, then the wind all but died and the seas calmed. This emboldened me to scoot out to the Gulf Stream and catch a lift. This was actually well done and I was gaining 2 knots and crusing at 8.5 for quite awhile.
Then George Harrison stuck his nose in my business. “All Things Must pass”, and the Northerly kicke up to 15 to 18 knots. Crusisers know what this means, but a Mainer just needed to see the effect. It sucked. There were 8 to 10 foot moguls and mongrel waves. Now this is nothing compared t your average Maine frost heave, but significant in its own right.
Sereine was rocking and rolling that would make the Rocky Horror Picture Show seem like a musical... wait, it is isn’t it. Anyway the boat was rolling to the extreme. It was either two hands on the boat, or find your self sitting on the life lines. I held on to Charlie in the cockpit with one hand, and the boat with the other two.
You know how to shake a Martini in the Gulf Stream while a North Wind is blowing? You just hold it.
The remedy was to do a 90 degree to West and get the hell out of the Stream. That took three hours, but shortly after the sun rose, we were experiencing the usual 15 knot wind swells, and damn happy for that. It should be said that Charlie was not amused.
The next million years was tolerable seas with some wind in the nose, but mainly motoring, At some point before Sunrise Sunday, Chrarlton Hesson showed up and the seas turned to glass. We enjoyed a low wind motor-sail for the next 12 hours,interrupted only once by the premature running dry of the port fuel tank. This create a pre-dawn opprotnity to enjoy bleding the injector lines.
Moving the clock ahead, we entered Charleston, SC harbor at 1535 about seven hours earlier than oiginaly planned.
Charlie was given free rein of the boat once I anchored, and he took advantage of this immediately. I will try to give him as much freedom as possible.
Tommorow the decision waits on whether to press on or chill for a week. Not obvious, but that was y third pun since leaving Maine. It is in the 60’s here, and seem frigid in the wind compare to the subtropics. I need to decide to. Slow my pace or press on. Not sure if I a. Ut running Spring yet. A week n Charleston can’t be that bad.
21 March 2019 | fort Pierce, FL
Sayng good bye to many friends here. Sarah and Bevis were kind enough to bring me o errands, e.g. propane. Dog suplpies, West Marine. Arnie and Hobe gave a nice leash, Doug and Roscoe were great company and an endless supply of dog bisquits. Paul and Buddy helped Charlie become a puppy again. Dawn the holistic bringer of meatballs and sage advice. The list goes on.
Leaving Harbortown marina tomorrow at 1000. The wave heght and direction combined with the wind direction does not look good for a totally sea route to St Augustine. I could do it if i motor to St. Augustne. This positions me there by Saturday afternoon/evening (157 miles) . This positioning is important, as it provides time to motor towad Savannah until Tues about 1400 before the wind kicks up.
Tuesday until Sunday is either travel inland, ICW, or hunker down as the wind direction and speed is unsaiable on the ocean. I can tuck in. At Savannah River by Monday evening/Teus AM, head North up Calibogue Sound,then norhest toward Hilton Head Harbor (I came that way on the southern trip).
Anchor at Hickory Bluff provides a boat rmp to bring dinghy and walk Charlie.
I can refill fuel at Hilton Head (see October southbound log).
I Think, Therefore It Rains
19 March 2019
It is a rainy day here in Fort Pierce, FL. Time to address the inside projects, but not until coffee has been enjoyed while perusing the news and other offerings from the BBC. This caught my attention: BBC Reinvent Democracy
It is thought provoking, and really puts the concerns that many of us have had for a long time into a nice easy to grasp concept, i.e. future citizens have rights that our democracies are not preserving. Hopefuy, Democracy 1.2 will provide bug fixes.
I also found the entire Buffalo Springfield collection on itunes for $29.90. Tell me that doesn’t brighten a rainy day!
When I sailed here from BVI, I was anal about the fuel. I used 1.5 gallons per hour as a factor for engine use. I did many hours of sailing under adverse conditions, particularly the high swells and little wind kind, in order to make what fuel I had left last. Sooo, when I refueled here at Harbotown Marina, I found that both fuel tanks were half full, i.e I was toting 60 gals of diesel when I thought I was running on fumes. Tht means that I was averaging 0.7 gal/hour... maybe changing the oil was a good thing.
I have three more days until I start the migration north. There are still a handful of projects left. I bought some fiberglass stock that I will cut down for battens. The oak battens in the Main snapped. These will have to be sewn in, as they will pop out otherwise.
Charlie’s life jacket came in. He will need time and beer to adjust to it. I am also installing life line netting to reduce the risk of his sliding overboard.
The mouse... needs to be dealt with in order to prevent some crittercal wiring from being shorted. I hear him at night CHEWING.
I can’t say enough about the kindness of people here toward Charlie. One lady, Dawn goes around every Wed gving a meatbal to every dog in the marina. She made a special effort to get one to Charlie. Doug from Ashville, NC introduced Charlie to Milk Bones. Paul, aka the Dog Whisperer, was an early effort to transform Charlie from the shy feral animal to a happy, big puppy. Arnie with his Frisbee catching miniture poodle, Hobe, felt my rope with bowline not on Charlie’s collar was unbecoming, left Charlie a nice leash. I was told Charlie is not in the islands anymore, so it is time to step up my game. Many of the dogs here are rescue dogs.
Marilyn is saying goodbye to more of her friends as they leave the island for their homes around the world. Her last month there wlll be very quiet.
The picture is a highly difficult balancing trick at Savannah Bay beach on Virgin Gorda. It was the day I first met Charlie.
Enough with the Back Story (Part V)
17 March 2019
The trip was almost completely sailing with a 15 knots tailwind. It was hot during the day, and nice at night. Charlie is useless as a sailor. You can tell why by the picture. He was sleeping rough in Savannah Bay since the 2017 hurricane. It is believed his family left the BVI because they lost everything. Airlines will not fly dogs because of some horrendous experiences in the past. The local sailor would bring food for him and put in a plastic tote. I late found out that the local Animal Rescue group maintains sites around the island where dogs are taken care of in situ rther than collecting them into a pound. It was the rescue group who collected Charlie, gave him shots and completed the paperwork to clear customs in the US. He was even given a Google microchip with my info.
Charlie go sick once, ten rallied for the rest of the trip. I had him down in the main cabin for the first three days, then in the cockpit for the rest of the trip. He was rudely thrust into the world of sailing, and did it cold turkey.
The trip was mainly pleasant and uneventful except for these exceptions:
- First night 2137h steered away from a large ship on a colision course within a quarter mile. They made no attempt to communicate of alter course. That was as close as I want to get to being road kill.
- Six minutes later herd abnormal splashing. Checked under the galley and found six inches of water. It was dry two hours earlier. I found the small hose for the refrigerator cooling water pump outlet has come off... fixed and drained the bilge.
- 0116h bilge pump was clogged, so pulled cleaned and re-installed.
- 1024h (3/1/19) hit head hard on the swinging main traveller. This is a very dangerous setup. I even was cranking it in when the line caught the winch handle and snaped it in two in my hand. Easy to break and arm when this swings.
- Saw a meteor/spaceship entering the atmophere. Unlike anything I have seen in the past, I cold actual see the white hot shroud and trailing flames for a few seconds, it then turned yellow for a second and finally winked out. Amazing site.
- Low winds and high swells created a special peril. The boom was swinging wildly and with great force. I was concerned the boat would sustain damage. Rigged a boom preventer and shortened the genoa. In the course of adjusting the genoa, at night, The port sheet escaped and the sail and line wrapped horrible around the stay. I spent an hour at the bow of this bucking boat painstakingly untangling the lines and unwrapping the sail. Eventually, wrapped the ail tight and started the engine to achieve some spped and relative stabillity. If I needed to motor, I would need to monitor and react to fuel use.
I had been using 1.5 gal/hour for the engine, and 0.2 for the generator. This onging calculation made it clear I would not have enough fuel to achieve Florida. I made the decision to shift to Hawks Nest Marina on Cat ISland, Bahamas for fuel. This would put me too west to deal well with the expcted Northerlies from this clocking front. Short of that destination, I decided to go to San Salvador island and Ridng Rock Marina. This island is more east of Cat Island, thereby allowing me to sail up the east side of Cat Island after refueling.
I arrived at the marina 1500h on 3/5/19. They were waiting for a delivery truck to provide diesel, so I chatted with Chris and his lady friend on their motor cat. Chris is an Irish expat, and his friend was from Mississippi. They were in their sevventies and the nicest people. Chris offered to sell me his ten gallons of diesel in jugs. I saw that as enough fuel to motor six hours up the coast of Cat Island, but with a strong easterly component. This would position me to close haul the expected northerly wind and make the far end of the island, where I could then sail more off wind.
After addng his diesel to Sereins starboard tank, I brought the jugs back to him. They offered me a homemade papaya and citrus daquri. At first I refused citing th need to get going. Te sun was getting low. After a brief discssion, I saw I was being rd and acquiesced. That was the best decision I could hve made. The drink was delicious, and the conversation fascinating.
Chris had sailed a wooden sailboat to Bar Harbor, Maine in the seventies. He had grabbed a leather bound, wooden mooring pickup buoy emblazoned with the name Jack Tar in Northeast Harbor, but was soon met by a returning wooden yacht whose captain explained that it was their mooring and he was welcome to any of the other moorig in a line they owned. He and his family were invited to the captain’s house to shower and stayed for four days. Friendships form quickly among sailors.
Chris mentioned that he neeed to scrape and repaint the hull. In Ireland they lean the boat against the dock and let the tide go out. They can do one side, and switch it for the next tide to do the other. The captain called the owner of Jack Tar to see if Chris could use his dock. The owner, Nelson Rockefeller, said sure thing. Chris subsequently enjoyed a friedship with Nelson as well.
I was also let in on wht a southern lady really means when she tells someone, ‘God bless you...”.
Eventualy I was back to see with Charlie. We moteored some extra hour than plnned due to a lack of wind. When the wind picked up to the 20+ knots predicted, I was close hauled and heeled to the point where water would come into the cockpit. The waves were a little more than the 6 feet predicted. They were 10 to 15 continuosly. At one point I was at the top of a swell and watched as Sereine pointed down bow first and we slid th twenty feet to the trough. It wa at that point that I spid the bouy to port with the double black diamonds. Must pay better attention to the navigation aids.
It was an exteremely long day, and I made the end of the island (Devil’s Backbone) around 2100. Needed to moor the shallow water to make the turn. Once made, I set sails and proceeded across Northeat Providence Channel toward Hole In The Wall on the southern tip of Great Abaco Island. It is night and this is a very busy section of a very busy channel. Mainly it is crusie ships with a smattering of fishing and cargo ships.
The winds were not as predicted. They were right in Sereine’s nose. After dodgng some strangly lit ships, I eventually was abe to maintain a northwesterly course. I was 224 Nm from Fort Pierce.
This cntinued through the night, the morning and into the evening. I was then rounding Freeport Harbour on Grand Bahamas Island. Lots of ship traffic, and I eventually made the Gulf Stream and a more northerly course. This went well for a time, but I was tracking a little more east than planned. I was loath to tack, as I was enjoying the Gulf Stream boost, which at times had me over 8 knots with just sails. If I tacked I would be workig against the Stream, and would see 2 knots.
The winds died to below 10 knots, so by 0910 I started the engine. I had done multiple calculations, and pt in an extr 20 miles by sail to shorten the distance to Fort Pierce so my remain fuel would be adequate.
It was later in the morning whn I used the CBP app on my phone to clear Customs, and was rejected. I did call Customs to inform them I believe the rejection was because I inadvertently select NO when asked if i had any animals. Michael Tango took my nformation and asked that I call him again in a half hour. I did, and he informed me that nothing seemed out of place n my case, and that it was either a glitch, or the animal question. Rafi has commented on this app and glithches. He gave me the OK to enter the countries and use his initials as authorization, hence Micheal Tango.
So ends the Back Story.
And on and on (Back Story Part IV)
17 March 2019
During the next four days, we rented a car and toured the island. This included Copper Mine Point, The Baths, some provisioning for the boat, clearing customs, Hog Heaven and back to Leaverick Bay to see Michael Beans (real name Michael Gardiner from Michigan).
Hog Heaven s a Barbeque place overlooking North Sound. Spectacular view and awesome barbeque.
Michael is a friend of Marilyn, and puts on a Pirate show, where he plays guitar, sings funny songs and tells stories with a lot of audience particiapation. There are folk who dinghy in wearing pirate costumes, so people really get involved. I should mention that audience is rewarded for doing various thing by getting to drink from the numerous bottles of rum he has in front of the stage. I mde the mistake of doing a few things right, and having to go to the stage and point the bottle bottom to the sky. To avoid getting nervous in front of the crowd, I focused on counting the bubbles rising in the bottle as I drank.
Michael is an exception persons. He uses the proceeds from the show to fund humanitarian efforts in Haiti (http://goodsamaritanofhaiti.com ). You can also meet him via https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bPvrZV0peXs.
On February 28, I spent a couple of hours freeing the anchor, as it had wedged in a rock or coral outgropping that I had not seen. I was prepared to dive, when I gave it one mre try. Miraculously, it freed, and I brought a bent CQR on board. Charlie and I set the sails and began the long, non-stop sail to Florida.