Sailing Magnolia

03 September 2017 | Brunswick
05 August 2017 | Brunswick, GA
15 July 2017 | Brunswick, GA
12 July 2017 | Brunswick, GA
15 June 2017

Preparing for Irma

03 September 2017 | Brunswick
Sunny, Wind 5 knots
We spent this past weekend on the boat with the family and joined by our first guest, my mom. We had great weather sailing and visiting the beach. We took Magnolia out for a "no wind" sail on Saturday just to practice getting the sails up and down. As even the basics we still need to relearn. We are getting comfortable docking her now and less anxious when we leave port. We knew that would come with time.

We spent Sunday morning going through our disaster preparations procedure getting help from John on Aeeshah, our new neighbor boat. We striped her bare of all canvas and head sail stowing the dinghy on the fore-deck tied down tightly. We doubled our dock lines and left extra dock-lines on deck for use during the storm in case we needed it. Now we wait to see what happens in the next week. I hope that Irma loses momentum as she cuts across the Georgia coastline. For now, we sit and wait.

40th Birthday Sail

05 August 2017 | Brunswick, GA
Partly Sunny with 10 knots of wind
Today we celebrated my birthday on the boat sailing with the family. I could not think of anywhere else I would rather be. the weather was perfect to head out into the river for a nice sail. I was nervous all morning until we pulled away from the dock. I still get a bit anxious of the thought about going sailing. I am sure this will go away with experience.

We motored our way under the bridge and then got into position to hoist the main sail. This was the first time Margaret and I hoisted the sail by ourselves. We learned a few valuable lessons. When hoisting the sail watch out for the batons getting caught in the lazy jacks. The boat must be pointed into the wind at all times. After a few attempts Margaret get the main sail up and then we were underway. We turned to engine off and sailed under the main sail for a while. We started to get our confidence and put out about 50% of the Genoa. We did not want to have too much sail out in case the wind picked up and we keeled over too much. Normally this would not be an issue but we did not want to scare the kids!

Lilly was in charge of the "Ginny" sheet on the windward side while Margaret too leeward. When it was time to "tackle" as Lilly called it, she released the sheet form the winch while Margaret took control of the sail trim. We "tackled" about 5 or 6 times before we realized the weather was going to get us. There were storms predicted in the afternoon so we did not want to risk it.

After we sailed for a few hours we brought in all the sail without incident. No sooner did we drop the main the wind picked up to 20 knots. Glad we did not have the sails out. We got to experience what Magnolia could do under sail. It felt good and we were getting the hang of it. We are looking forward to our next sailing trip to take it to the next level. We are getting comfortable around the docks. We can bring the boat in and out with any issues. It still makes me nervous but I guess that is a good thing.

"Running Aground"

15 July 2017 | Brunswick, GA
Sunny with a wind of 10 knots
Today we decided to take the boat out of the slip to practice getting in and out of the dock and pump-out. Margaret and I spent about 20 mins choreographing our moves to get out of the slip. think of it like a dance where we drop one rope, pull another, then let go... We had to account for a wind at our beam blowing about 5-10 knots. Not ideal but doable.

We decided to leave the slip in reverse then turn around in the channel. Everything was going well until I went too far out of the channel in reverse and we ran aground. We tried to muscle our way out with the diesel, nothing. The one thing we had going for us is that we had a rising tide, which rises pretty fast where we were. We sat on the bottom for about 10 mins or so when finally we had enough water under us to float again. Part of sailing I guess.

We successfully got it back into the slip later on that afternoon without incident. As I write this it almost feels like we have never sailed before. What is interesting is we have racked up as many hours on the water as any seasoned sailors. It comes down to a confidence issue and overcoming our fears of handling a boat of this size. Something we will soon learn and become comfortable with. It will take time but we know we can do it. Later on that day we spent time on St. Simons beach and relaxed in the sun with the kids building sand castles and a few craft beers. Nothing like a family afternoon. That is what it is all about! the next day we took the kids to the tall ship, or as they call it the Pirate ship. They thought there were real pirates on board!

All in all on this trip we spent about 2 weeks on the boat. the kids got accustomed to it and Margaret even took care of closing her up. She did an awesome job! I know some of those things were way out of her comfort zone but it is part of owning a boat. I am so excited to get back down to her on my Birthday for an afternoon sail maybe an anchor. Who knows?

Our First Sail "Just the Family"

12 July 2017 | Brunswick, GA
Sunny with a wind of 10 knots
We decided it was time to build the confidence to take Magnolia out on our own, without help from a captain. For Margaret and I a "win" was simply getting in and out of the dock without incident. Our nerves were building and we were thinking and rethinking how we would approach leaving the dock. We decided we would back out and turn, bow around and go out of the approach bow first. We gathered the necessary help from our boat neighbor Kevin on No Plan. We would how the bow close to the dock to give us the best angle when departing the slip. As we backed out the wind gusted and we could not get the bow turned around. We had stalled in the middle of the causeway with the wind blowing on our beam pushing us into shore. We had to get the boat turned around and fast. We had the wheel turned but the boat was not reacting. I throttled up to try to get the boats power to turn us around, nothing! Margaret came back tot he wheel to help. Eventually we ended up getting the wind to push the bow towards shore and backed out of the causeway. Not what we had planned but we got out of the slip without incident.

We had to pump-out and refuel on the service dock. This approach would be much simpler as the wind would gently push our beam to the dock. We landed nicely on the dock for our first solo tie up experience. However we knew that we would eventually need to get back int he slip and the wind was not letting up to 5 knots as the forecast had predicted. We took a nice motor out of Oglethorpe Bay to Fancy Bluff Creek, As we started to enter the creek we were greeted by dolphins. The kids loved it. We took them to the bow and the watched the dolphins swim an play right in front of us. Once we were free and clear of the bridge we decided to sail. We did not put the main up because we nervous about having too much sail out. Keep in mind this was our first trip alone so we were being extra cautious. We set the Genoa and we were sailing nice and slow. We turned the motor off and drifted about 3 knots. Nice and slow to reset our nerves. We knew we had to bring her back into the slip. As we made our turn upwind to come about we forgot one small thing, tie knots in the end of the Genoa sheet. As we made our turn the sheets came out of the block and sail flew like a giant flag with the sheets dangling in the water. What a rookie mistake. I tried to wrangle the sheets in but the force was too strong. After about 5 mins or so we got control of them and turned the motor on. Again a move we had not planned.

We made our way back to Oglethorpe Bay and begin preparing our nerves for the next experience, docking her in the slip. I started practicing my moves choreographing the turns and throttle. I was able to gain a bit of confidence on how handling her. By now the wind was steady out of the west about 10-12 knots. I called the marina to make sure there would be hands on the dock to help us bring her in. As we got closer to the slip we had 4 people ready to help. I decided i would aim high and let the wind push our bean into position. As i slowly entered the dock channel i started to feel nervous. I remembered to my rehearsal of the moves, "i can do this" saying to myself. Margaret was in position with the dock-lines. We moved closer to the slip entrance. We were within 10 feet and the wind was not push our beam as much as i anticipated. I needed to fall off about 5 feet so i throttled in reverse to try to get better alignment. Margaret threw the first rope and the dock hand caught it. We were close but not in. Margaret threw the second line and the other dock hand caught that one. We were almost there, in the slip without incident. Because I aimed high and the wind did not push me as much as i thought i rubber the dock with the bow of the boat. Our help on the dock maneuvered the lines and boat and we were brought in safely. My nerves subsided as we were now in the slip. The only evidence of the experience is a small grey streak on the bow as i will rub i out later.

We had done it. This was a big confidence builder as i learned how the boat reacts to my moves and handling. I will call it a success, no damage to other boats, scared children, or other damage to think of. We celebrated with a beer and relaxed thinking to ourselves what a huge milestone this was. We know in the future this will become much easier but for now this was our first "baby step".

Delivery Day

15 June 2017
Sunny with gusts to 17 knots. Seas 2-3 ft.
Today we delivered the new addition of our family to Brunswick, GA. Margaret and I sailed north from Jacksonville Beach to Brunswick via the Atlantic Ocean. We had a chance to get to know her on the first journey. We only had one scary moment as i was trying to dock her. W brought along Captain J who helped us on this journey. While preparing to dock i was positioned nicely but forgot how difficult it was to maneuver her. The wind picked up to 17 knots and i got a bit scared so i gave the helm to Captn J. He brought her into the slip safe and sound. I have hours of practice ahead of me to get used to a boat this size. It is a little intimidating to say the least trying to handle a boat this big.

We started the endless boat chores to get her ready to meet the rest of the family. We cleaned her from top to bottom, organized every square inch, and performed the renaming ceremony. The offered the previous boat names to Posidon to remove for the register only to add her new name "magnolia" to the register. Renaming is a time honored tradition that sailors do to ask for recognition of the new vessel and ask for protection. We are a bit superstitious so we thought it only appropriate to offer her a proper renaming ceremony.

Over the course of two days we spent a lot of back breaking work to get her ready. the following chores were performed:

1. Organized every compartment and locker
2. Cleaned and detailed down below
3. washed ans waxed the topside
4. cleaned and restored the teak
5. removed the previous names
6. restored the dighy to original condition
7. sealed and protected the canvas dodger
8. Organized all the equipment manuals
9. Removed and cleaned all excess equipment from
the boat
10. We prepared the kids room so that they will enjoy spending time on her.
11. Prepared her for leaving at the marina

We forgot how difficult it was to maintain a boat. We are giving her the care she needs to get back to her original state. It was time well spent and remind us of the Luna Sea days. we will take care of her and she will take care of us. We are excited about the journey she will take us on.
Vessel Name: Magnolia
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 432
Hailing Port: Atlanta, GA
Crew: Chris, Margaret, Lilly, Miles, & Maddie
About:
Our family is starting our next adventure. Chris and Margaret who are familiar with living an adventurous life are providing the children Lilly (6) and Miles (4) new and different type of family adventure. [...]
Extra: We plan to travel the seas in search of remote places while teaching our children about living simply and pursuing your life's dream. Magnolia represents our "Life's Dream Realized". We will "Explore, Dream, and Discover" new places and experiences together as a family.
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