The other day, I remarked to my Dad that it sure was hot. He simply said "It's July". That was a short conversation. I have a very high tolerance for heat. I grew up in piedmont North Carolina and I would really worry that something was wrong if it weren't hot in July and August. The very first mate and I traveled to the sound last weekend and it was no different there. If it weren't for our portable air conditioning unit, we, or I should say the first mate would not have gone. The goal for the weekend was to replace the fuel tank which had been cured of a tiny but annoying leak that had plagued us since we bought the boat. It wasn't bad enough to be a serious or a hazard, just one more thing to deal with and take care of. The main disadvantage is that the boat always smelled of diesel fuel. Of course when you have a diesel engine in the middle of the living room you can expect no less.
Summer Time Pictures
I had fixed the leak the week before with a good dose of West epoxy and some fiberglass cloth donated to the cause by my friend Charles (aka Charlie Gibson). I had plenty of advice on how to repair the tank from dock mates and on line email lists. I was advised to have it welded or have it professionally covered with a sealant. In the end I figured half a quart of epoxy and half a yard of cloth should disable a pinhole size leak. The repair and installation was done in record time and it seems to have worked so far anyway.
I recently added a list of some of my favorite nautical quotes to the web site. One of quotes states that "Cruisers don't have plans, just intentions." I'm not sure who said it but he was right. We intended to cruise over to South River and anchor out for the night. South River is a beautiful anchorage. We have been there several times. It's an easy sail from Whortonsville. You can leave late and get there in time to take a serious nap before cooking dinner. When we got to Broad Creek marker 1 it was evident that this was not going to be the best day for sailing. On a heading of 180 degrees we headed for the anchorage.
We were making a blistering 2.5 knots in very light wind. It was so hazy the entrance to South River would not be visible for another hour. The high point of the day came when I spotted a sea turtle about 15 feet off our port quarter. I had never seen one before so I don't know if he was big or not. His shell was about 24 inches from front to back, and he was a beautiful toffee brown with yellow markings. You think of turtles as being slow but this guy moved like an underwater rocket. My dock mates tell me that turtles are common closer to the ocean but it is a bit unusual to see one in the sound.
We continued our journey for another two hours. The wind got lighter and lighter until we decided sleeping at anchor would be somewhat like sleeping in a skillet. The very first mate indicated a distinct preference to sleeping with the air conditioner so we turned around and headed for the dock. We usually get some very nice days for sailing but this was not one of them.
Back at the dock, it took a cold shower and two hours of cooling off to get back to normal. During that time we were subjected to a tremendous thunderstorm. It sounded like a small war with the sharp lightening and loud thunder claps. Not a lot of rain but it was very intense for half hour or so. After the storm the dock mates wandered over to the Paradise Cove marina for refreshments. Dinner on board was an excellent marinated / grilled chicken dish with baked potatoes and a cold salad. Later that evening we had a nice visit with our dock mates in "The Cockpit", a newly constructed screened pavilion at the WYTC.
Dock mates Joey and Dorothy have a new boat. She is a 1960 model Hinckley Bermuda 40 named "Dawn Treader" and she is beautiful. If her picture is not in Webster's dictionary under "Classic Yacht", it should be. For a Hinckley, forty five years is not that old. The timeless design and lines are almost identical to the brand new ones. You should see the bright work and the wood interior. Joey says he is still discovering things he didn't know about the boat. It's a tough job Joey, but someone has to do it. I'm looking forward to seeing her on the water. Better yet, being on deck when she's on the water. How's that for a subtle hint?
Sunday morning was no cooler than Saturday night. Getting the boat properly tied, stowing the air conditioner, putting on sun covers, are simple tasks but with the intense heat the were a real chore. We left at about mid day, stopped for lunch and ice cream and arrived home at around five.
Summer Time Pictures