Moving South Some More
04 December 2010 | Charleston City Marina - Charleston, SC
Sylvia - Sunny but cool
17 November - 3 December, 2010
We had paid for a month's stay at South Harbour Village Marina and ended up staying the entire month. We were able to get a great deal done on the boat and the weather forecasts were such that we didn't have a good window until a strong cold high pressure came to the area.
Bill and Tom Hetherington continued to work on the two recalcitrant winches and after another call to Australia and Tom taking one of them home to his shop in order to take it a part, they found the problem. The main drive shaft and the splines were slightly torqued. This could only have happened because the winches had been overloaded. Evidently Arco uses the same motor on various size winches so the motor is capable of delivering too much power to the winch. We had evidently done that when making sure that the halyards on the fore sails were completely pulled to the top of the mast. Tom and Bill put them back together and re-installed them so we could use them. But we bit the bullet and contacted our sailing friend, Bill Hooper, in Minnesota and he ordered us a couple of Harken electrics to replace them. That is a financial "ouch" but for safety reasons needed to be done. Hoop ordered them and shipped them to Brunswick, GA where we had planned to stay for a month anyway. There we can recoup some financially with the monthly rate and will have the time to put the new winches in. We are hopeful that they will fit fairly well where the old ones were.
With the winch problem found and taken care of Bill and Tom took care of a couple of other issues. The running lights are now working and there is forced air cooling directly on the alternator in the compartment under the companionway stairs. We can now close the small door in the guest quarters when we are motoring and cut down on the noise. And it was noisy. But now with the door closed and more sound insulation in that compartment it is so much quieter. I installed almost two full sheets - actually about 20 square feet in all - of sound insulation. It sounds like I just put the sheets in but it actually was many small to medium sized pieces placed anywhere on the walls where I could get to and stick them on. Of course, I had to work around all of the machinery in there. What a fun time! And I only bled twice. (I described my work more than that done by Bill and Tom just to make sure it was understood that I, too, had to work to improve Eos.)
We thanked Tom profusely for his help, paid him, and Bill picked up the to-do list from there. He cut off the bottom of the door to the head so it would pass over the rug that is in that passageway, installed patches of Velcro like material on the doors to the head and the workroom so they can be held open with matching patches on the passage wall and the front of the settee, installed a red light in the head (to keep from losing our night vision on passages) and got the final wiring down on the red LEDS that light up each of the companionway stairs. While doing these things Bill needed to go to the hardware store. I called Bob, the friendly dog walker, and reintroduced myself and the first thing he said was, "Do you need a ride?" Bless his heart. He came by, picked up Bill and off they went to the HW store.
In spite of the all the time working on Eos we had time to enjoy ourselves as well. We had a lovely dinner at Mr.P's in Southport with Tom and his wife Joan. It was Tom's birthday although we didn't know it and Joan had convinced the staff at the restaurant to tell Tom that they were out of Crème Brule which he loves. A little while later they brought one to the table with a candle in it. That was when we found it was his birthday. The surprise on his face would have been a great photo op. And how wonderful was it of them to invite us along to what was going to be a private birthday dinner out. We had not even met Joan until that evening.
The next day Joan came down to the boat briefly and brought a large bag of used books for us to take along with us and they both came down again later in the week so Joan could see Eos. They were busy getting ready to go to family for Thanksgiving and then on a cruise after that so they couldn't stay long but it was so nice of them to take the time to stop by. We now have another couple who we will certainly hope to re-connect with if and when we get up to Southport.
A couple of days later we had dinner at the Dead End Saloon here at the marina with Kathy and Jim Shearer on Shearer Adventurer. Kathy had graciously taken me to the grocery store again. We first met Jim at the saloon and enjoyed getting to know both of them. Kathy's twin sister, Kay, was coming in a couple of days before their planned departure on Dec. 1. Jim was still working the 2 days before they left so they were quite busy getting Shearer Adventure ready for her 4 month cruise to the Bahamas and back. That meant we didn't have time to really get together again but they did find a few minutes to break away and stop by. They wanted to see what Eos looked like on the inside and Kathy had a bag of used books for us. (We now have a small crate full of books to read and pass on.) They did take off on Wednesday and I got a call from Kathy yesterday wondering if we had made it to Charleston. They had arrived here the evening before we got in and had left early in the morning the day we arrived and were in Beaufort, SC. Again we certainly are hopeful that we will catch up with them sometime in all of our travels.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving here. Not like we have been used to in MN. We did miss all of the family but we weren't alone. The day before a couple of Canadian fellows came in from outside and docked right in front of us on the long transient pier. They had had a rough ride and were tired. I told them that if they were around the next day they were welcome to join us for a late afternoon Thanksgiving dinner. Dale and Mike did decide to stay so there were the 4 of us. I hadn't planned on guests so it was just a tinned ham, instant sweet potatoes, tossed salad, jello parfait and a couple of bottles of wine for the main part of the meal. Cheese and crackers and wine before hand and pumpkin pie at the end finished things up. Luckily the Dead End Saloon and Grille here in the marina has pumpkin pie on their menu so I had gotten 4 pieces as take out the day before just in case. Anyway, it was a lovely time. The fellows were happy not to have to cook and were very appreciative of the good but simple meal.
Dale had spent 10 years building his boat. Mike was along as crew until Charleston and then Dale was hopeful that his son would join him. Dale wanted to end up in the Bahamas. Dale's boat was lovely and, of course, he and Bill had much to talk about. Their wives were back home in Canada but it was obvious that these long term high school friends were having a great time together. They came around 4 and didn't leave until after 8 which is indicative of how well we all got along even though we had just met. More great folks to try to reconnect with along the way.
Time for a small world story. Dale noticed that we had the book River Song by Phil Jenkins. It is a very well written and enjoyable book about the sailing history of the St. Lawrence river. Dale built a home for a friend back in Canada and she has a small straw-bale walled cottage on her land. Phil Jenkins is living in her cottage so both Dale and Mike know Phil Jenkins. Dale had to get a picture of us holding the book so he could send it back to his friend and Phil.
A couple of days before we left we rented a car and went back to Wilmington to just look around rather than have a list of things to buy. We wandered along the trolley tour route of old downtown Wilmington and then drove over to Wrightsville Beach for a couple of beach walks. Just a lovely do nothing but wander day.
The weather window we were waiting for finally opened Thursday, Dec. 2 and was forecast to last several days. It would be cool but the seas would be gentle. We said good-bye to the wonderful staff at South Harbour and took off at 1345 for the trip back up the ICW to the Cape Fear Inlet (which would be an outlet for us). It was another motoring trip. As Bill said, "Well, we certainly have motoring on Eos down pat." It was an overnight passage and considering the cold front it really wasn't as cold as we expected. Most of the night the temperature was 50 and with our long johns, layers and ice fishing outfits we were just fine. Just a like a night passage on Lake Superior. There was basically no moon so the night sky was quite spectacular to see. There were no other boats at all that we could see until we were actually in the channel to Charleston. The seas were very gentle and the swells were long so it turned out to be the most gentle passage we have had yet.
The gentle passage turned out to be a very good thing. We were doing our usual checking to make sure we didn't have a water in the fuel problem and discovered that the final fuel filter on the Cummins had just developed a leak and was spewing a small pin size stream of diesel into the bilge. We, of course, had an extra and replaced it with a new one. But it would have been a mess let alone terribly uncomfortable to have had to do it in rolling seas. Weather gods were good to us again.
Soon after the sun rose around 0700 I made the turn to get to the channel that would take us to Charleston. Now we had what little wind there was on the nose and the temperature was only 47 - the sun wasn't helping much - so the final hours into Charleston were the most uncomfortable of the whole trip. We came in the channel and turned to port and followed the ICW for a half mile or so until we reached the Charleston City Marina that is situated just before one of those bridges we can't get under. We tied up on the transient dock at 1100. And as with the end of all night passages, it was get Eos all settled in and then settle ourselves in for some much needed sleep.
We plan on spending a week in Charleston. The cover on our head sail furler roller (think of a window shade rolling up sideways) lost two screws. We found one on deck which is why we started looking. Thank heaven it didn't come off the top of the mast. We need to replace the lost one, of course, and get the cover firmly attached again. We found out that Selden Masts who makes the Furlex roller furlers is located in Charleston. How lucky, is that? Bill Hooper connected with his contact in the company and we have left a message with him to get back to us so he can come down to take care of the problem. He knows what he is doing and can do it in a much shorter time frame than Bill and besides if something gets dropped in the water (the furler is right on the bow of the boat) it will be his problem not ours. And staying in Charleston a while will let us be tourists which will be fun especially so close to Christmas.