May Shakedown Cruise 2016
13 May 2016 | Whortonsville NC
My friend Richard called a few days ago. He said that I had not made any blog entries since January and he was worried about us. Well, thanks Richard! It is great to have friends who are concerned enough to call and check. It is true that I have not made any entries since January. I did make a trip back in February but it was quick oil change / maintenance trip and since the first mate was not with me, I did not make a blog entry.
Since Judy is still working during tax season, we don’t usually even try to get to the boat until late April or early May. This year we have a sister-in-law who was very ill. In fact she was to the point that we were not willing to get very far from home because we feared the worst. Over half the people that suffer brain aneurysms do not live. We are glad that she is recovering but she still has a long way to go. With our sister-in-law on the mend we wanted to travel to the coast and check on the boat.
Monday May 9, 2016
We were not in a hurry to leave home because the goal of the day was to get to the boat and unload the car. We accomplished that goal and even managed to swing by the “Rockin’ Comet” restaurant in Clayton NC for a vegetable plate. The weather was nice when we arrived. Don and Trish were relaxing aboard for a couple of days. We had not seen them in quite a while and enjoyed catching up. Richard and Frances arrived not long after we did. With our goal for the day accomplished we went with Richard and Frances to Oriental for dinner at the M&M. One of the specials was Mako Shark. The M&M usually does a good job but I will have to say I was not overwhelmed with the shark. I ordered it blackened. The optional sides were ho-hum boiled red potatoes or a salad (for an extra toll). At least the company was good. We were all pretty tired when we got back to the docks and it was almost bedtime for us.
Tuesday May 10, 2016
Tuesday was a work day. The boat was not as dirty as it sometimes after a winter of neglect. Pollen is typically the biggest culprit but this year there was enough rain to wash most of it off before we arrived. The interior of the boat was not as bad as we had expected. Our wrestling match with mold and mildew along with better conditions meant it was not necessary to scrub the entire interior, again. However, the exterior needed some attention. The coat of winter grime was evident. A combination of pollen, mildew (several varieties) and plain old grime left the decks two shades darker than they should be. The boat cleaning task is closer to washing a house than a car. I first thing in the morning and was almost finished when we stopped for a late lunch. The most labor intensive part of the work day was yet to come. I had managed to load both sails and the other canvas into the Matrix for the trip. Judy helped me wrestle individual sails out of the car and onto a dock cart. It’s funny that the sails don’t look all that big when they are in place on the spars and the boat is under sail. However when you are trying to get them aboard then secured in their proper places it seems like you are dealing with “acres” if Dacron. It is all I can do to lift and carry the headsail. The main is smaller but even it is a handful. Judy guided the headsail up the furler track while I did the grunt work of grinding the halyard winch. It took most of the afternoon to get the sails on and we decided to leave the bimini top for the morning. We had homemade spaghetti for dinner and visited with Richard and Frances until we all nearly fell asleep. It was a good day but I was plenty tired.
Wednesday May 11, 2016
We own a sailboat because we like the water and love to sail. The weather on Wednesday was just great for sailing. Bright sun and a 10 knot breeze from the southwest. It doesn’t get any better than that. We left the dock at about 9:30. When we got to the river we sailed straight across toward South River, then we tacked and headed up the Neuse toward Oriental. We had a light lunch on the water. We did not deploy the big headsail when we first started but needed it later. We got back to the dock mid afternoon. As we left the dock, Charlie (S/V Dash) and his friends were leaving. They planned an extended trip but had trouble with a throttle cable. They were delayed about a day and a half but that is the nature of boating. We have been delayed and inconvenienced by mechanical issues many times. It happens to everyone.
I was actually more tired after sailing than after working. I am not sure why, maybe I was still tired from the previous day. I still had some work to do which I did not look forward to. The holding tank was getting full so I used the portable sewage tank (AKA Honeywagon) to remedy the situation. Judy drained the water tanks and replaced it with some of a more recent “vintage”. We had time to relax under our cockpit cover. I was able to check in to my amateur radio “traffic” due to the wonders of the Internet. We ate canned vegetables for dinner and they were just great. We have a rule while staying on the boat. It does not have to be dark before you go to bed. I thought hard about it but did manage to stay awake until almost 10 pm.
Thursday May 12, 2016
We were up early and took a walk down to Point Marina while it was still cool. We got everything done on the boat and headed up for showers before departure. I had been trying to get Nick’s WIFI booster working for some time now. I thought I had the problem solved but it is still very stubborn. I spent more time than I meant on the problem but finally gave up yet again. I took it home and try to replicate the circumstances on my WIFI network.
This was yet another great trip to the coast. Hopefully the little ship is mechanically fit for some adventures next month. Nick and Jeanette are still tentatively planning a trip to the Albemarle Sound at the end of this week but the weather is not cooperating. We hope to do at least a short trip early in June. For now, Judy is going to her archeological dig next week and I am headed to the world’s biggest hamfest in Dayton Ohio during most of the time she is gone. Stay tuned for further developments and Richard, I will try to do better in the future :-)