Getting Ready for Fall October 2011
03 October 2011 | Whortonsville, NC
After our soggy trip to the coast last weekend, we were glad to see some dry weather in the forecast. Fall in Carolina is great for boating but the weather is changeable. This past week was a prime example. We left the boat in a very soggy, sorry state last time. There was water everywhere and no way to dry it out in a continuing downpour. The forecast for the weekend was for cool and dry.
Friday September 29, 2011
Our trip began as usual. We followed the same pattern as most weekend trips. We left a little before 5pm and stopped for fast food in Ramseur, NC. We were looking forward to nice weather. All the forecasts were for bright, sunny and windy conditions. We were not sure we would be able to go sailing due to the high winds but we were sure that windy conditions would help dry things out. As you can imagine, we were a bit confused when we got to Raleigh and saw huge black thunderstorm clouds hanging about. What’s up with this? We figured it must be a local thunderstorm but we were wrong. It rained so hard that traffic was slowed for at least 100 miles of the trip. What a bummer. Driving in the dark with a driving rain is not one of my favorite activities. By the time we arrived in Pamlico County, the rain had slacked off a bit. We stopped at a service station on the way to don our rain gear so we would be ready when we got to the dock. We unpacked only what we had to have for the night. I managed to get pretty soaked but I managed to keep my shoes fairly dry. By the time we got settled and buttoned up inside, the rain stopped.
Saturday October 1, 2011
The weather Saturday morning was great with bright sunshine and a cool breeze. In fact, the wind was Northwest at near 20 knots. This put a real damper on our sailing plans. Judy’s inspection of the boat’s general status revealed way too much mold and mildew to suit her. The boat had been used almost none for 8 weeks and had endured a hurricane during that time. Since we are planning a longer trip soon, we decided to devote the day to getting the boat for a little cruise.
Last weekend we noticed that one of the small hatches in the salon was dripping water. I ordered a new gasket for it but did not want to deal with replacing the old one unless it was absolutely necessary. We closed all the hatches and did the water hose test. I sprayed the hose full force from every angle I could think of and there was no evidence of a leak. The dripping last week must have been caused by a small piece of debris between the gasket and the sealing surface or, more likely, condensation because of the extreme high humidity. In any case, I will store the new gasket in my locker at home until it is needed. The cushions in the quarter berth had gotten wet so I pulled them out and borrowed Nick’s lawn to lay them out to dry on plastic sheets. I think the moisture in the quarter berth was probably a combination of a leaking companionway, because we had not applied the canvas cover, and condensation. It is hard to describe just how wet the atmosphere was last weekend. The bright sun and brisk cool wind made quick work of drying the cushions. I cleaned several other covers and things that had gotten soaked as well. While everything was out of the quarter berth, it seemed like a good time to sort out all the stuff that really did not need to live on the boat. This activity quickly spread to the navigation station and the storage boxes above the batteries. I was surprised at how much I was able to just throw away.
By the time we finished it was late afternoon. Bill and Susan were working on their new Pearson 33 which we had only seen from outside. We were invited aboard for a tour and refreshments. It is a very nice boat with many creature comforts. They had extensive canvas work done and Bill had made done a neat repair to fix her hurricane damaged rub-rail. The new boat passed inspection with flying colors. Bill and Susan had brought dinner along and Judy had our dinner in the crockpot. We ate together in the Ensign Harbor Cockpit. Nick and Jeanette joined us later and we all had a great time catching up and telling stories until way past bedtime. It seemed like old times, having a great time with friends after a day of messing about in boats.
Sunday October 2, 2011
Sunday’s weather was a repeat of Saturday with more sunshine. Unfortunately, neither of us slept very well for one reason or another. This is rare but it happens sometimes. We got up at about the usual time. Coffee was consumed in the salon and not on deck due to the crispness of the breeze. Judy finished everything she had planned in the cabin and I started on the remaining boat chores. I pumped the waste tank and applied all the canvas that had been off since the hurricane. I had done some repairs to the lifeline cushions, so I replaced them. Judy filled the water tanks and I added 5 gallons of diesel fuel. My new stuffing box wrenches proved to be a little too small. I will bring tools and attempt to adjust them next time we are down. Now the boat is in first class condition. New bottom paint, new stuffing box and all the trimmings, cleaned up, buttoned up and ready for another adventure which we hope will happen soon.
We left in time to stop in Raleigh to see Jonas and his parents. I had not seen him in several weeks and he had changed a lot. He is now crawling quite efficiently and pulling up into a standing position. The world would be a better place if there were more people as happy as Jonas. We all walked over to a little park near their house so he could try out the swing. He liked it right away and started kicking his little feet. When his dad swung him higher he cackled with delight.
This was a very successful weekend and we are hoping there is still some sail time left for us before winter drives us ashore.