New Year's Weekend 2012
02 January 2012 | Whortonsville, NC
Here in Carolina, nice warm weekends are scarce between Christmas and spring. When they occur, we consider them a gift and head to the coast if we can. The forecast was for unusually warm sunny weather and it was a long holiday weekend for me.
Saturday December 31, 2011
Our grandson Jonas was born a year ago on December 20 but due to scheduling conflicts his first birthday party had been delayed for 11 days. We left home in time to stop by Wolf Camera to try their picture processing and have a bit of lunch. We arrived at Jonas’ house right on time. There was a good crowd at the party consisting of friends and relatives. All Jonas’ grandparents were there and one set of great grandparents were in attendance. There was plenty of party food as well as cake and ice cream. We had a great time.. The party was scheduled from 1 until 4pm but nobody seemed to be in a hurry to leave. It was about 6:30 when we finally left for the coast. We had gotten about an hour away when Judy’s cell phone rang. Matthew called to tell us that Jonas took his first steps just after everybody left. We knew it would not be long before he walked so we were not surprised.
We arrived at the boat at 9:30. New Years festivities were evident. Someone across the creek was shooting fireworks and you could hear the folks cheer them on. The boat was cold and damp as boats tend to be when nobody is aboard. We used the new propane heater and it worked extremely well. It heated the air very quickly and we were able to read and relax a while before bed. I removed the propane canister and set it on deck before we went to bed. It was not terribly cold outside and the electric heater finally caught up so we slept comfortably.
Sunday January 1, 2012 New Years Day
We listened to the weather first thing. The forecast was good with temps in the high 60s and reasonable winds. I did want to replace the two newly glazed windows but that could wait. The forecast was for the wind to pick up steadily all day with a small craft advisory to come in the evening. We prepared to leave the dock for at least a short sail.
Last time I left the boat I had broken my own rule by not storing the ignition key on the engine’s seacock handle. This was in anticipation of the boat yard guy coming to realign the engine. As a result, I neglected to open the seacock before starting the engine. Luckily we avoided a catastrophe because I tend to be over attentive to the ship’s gauges. The engine was still cold when we left the dock, and we were running just above an idle so it took a considerable time for it to run hot. It was only when I saw that the temperature gauge was headed for 180 degrees that I remembered the seacock. I did have the presence of mind not to shut the engine down. I reached in over the hot engine and opened the valve. At this point we were in neutral at idle speed. Within seconds of opening the valve the temp started to drop and within another two minutes we were back to normal operating temperature. Although I am no mechanic I saw no apparent damage. I usually replace the raw water impeller every two years and would not normally replace it this spring but in light of this incident, I will replace it. To me replacing a 30 dollar part is cheap insurance.
Since I saw no apparent damage and the engine was running fine we continued out to the lower Neuse and set the sails. The wind was very light and there was no wave action. The boat was gliding along at about two and a half knots. We enjoyed the thermos of hot coffee and Judy made lunch after a while. We did not intend to stay out long. The wind was increasing steadily and we were both beginning to get chilled. I still wanted to reinstall the windows so we turned around after we had been out for a couple of hours. It was a terrific sail! What a way to start the New Year!
Relatively speaking, there was a huge crowd at the docks this weekend, if you consider the time of year. Ken and Jan, Don and Trish and Richard and Frances were there and there was a new couple that had just brought their catamaran to Ensign Harbor from River Dunes. We introduced ourselves to John and Allison and I spent too much time running my mouth instead of working on windows. Soon it was getting too late to start a project. Richard and Frances invited us for dinner. Richard and I went to the Bayboro grocery store for supplies to supplement the food they brought. I got to ride in their new Toyota Prius. It is a fine ride.
We enjoyed an excellent meal aboard the Catalina 36 and turned in fairly early after a long day. The electric heater had been running nearly all day so the boat was nice and warm. We slept comfortably all night.
Monday January 2, 2012
The wind howled all night. This tends to rob the boat of heat, but luckily the temperature was not all that cold. Re-installing the windows was still on my agenda. I had left the butyl tape in the bathhouse over night so it would be flexible for applying to the window frames. Ken was very interested in my process since their Catalina 30 is the same vintage as ours and may need the same “cure” before long. I showed him what I had done and he was kind enough to brave the wind and actually help me install the big center window on the starboard side. Cleaning the surface of where the windows would seal was not nearly as difficult as I had anticipated. I had finally found a product that would remove most kinds of gunk from the fiberglass surface. With Judy’s help, we replaced the small forward (head) window as well. We packed and showered and left at 11:30. We stopped at Wilber’s Barbeque in Goldsboro for roast chicken and two other stops at Wolf Camera and Trader Joe’s in Cary. We arrived home about dark without incident.
We started the New Year off right with an enjoyable weekend and a great sail. We plan to go to the coast as much as possible this next year but that is nothing new. We do have a big event in the offing. We have been informed that a new granddaughter will arrive in mid May. Wild horses will not be able to keep us away from that.
Happy New Year!