As stated earlier, " The longer it's been the more fun we had!". Rich read parts of the blog and then said "By reading your blog, you would think we had a good time!" Actually, we did. There were some unsettling moments such as the thunderstorms and general bad weather, but overall it was a memorable experience.
I found myself thinking about the next trip before I had been home a week. What did I learn? Oh, dozens of things. You can ask questions, do research, read books, or whatever, and the actual experience always has a few surprises. Of course, each area you sail in will have its own lessons to teach. And you can almost always say that the actual weather and sea conditions will be worse than NOAA says it is.
What would I change? The thing that sticks out the most is that I want to install a waterproof speaker similar to my stereo speakers so that I can hear the VHF better. I had a handheld, but didn't use it any as the sound from the mounted radio was much more intelligible, plus I have been told I am hard to understand when using the handheld. It may be that I need a new or different handheld.
I could have used some cockpit cushions. We sat on the throwables but they weren't very comfortable.
I installed battery powered LED cabin lighting, and we had adequate light. The squeaky plywood filler panels used to make bunks are going to have to be reworked.
Blues Image is in the drive way at the moment with Christmas lights on it. She'll get back in the water at Watts Bar Lake sometime around April. In the meantime, we will be planning her next great trailer adventure!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Eventually, it was our turn, and Rich backed the trailer in the water. By now the water was white capping and getting pretty rough even in the harbor. I spent the next 30 minutes in extreme discomfort as we tried to get the boat on the trailer and snugged up with the winch. By the time we were successful, I was exhausted and the boat had quite a few new scratches.
My project this winter will be to weld on some guides and rework the trailer winch so that I can reach it without laying full length over the bow on top of the cleat and under the bow pulpit while straining my guts out to crank the dang thing.
An hour spent taking down the mast, storing all the sails and rigging, retracting the tongue, and we were almost ready to go. We then noticed the boat had slid back from the bow stop about two inches during retrieval and the whole trailer was flexing. Another 30 minutes and two large ratchet straps enabled us to slide the boat snugly up against the bow stop.
|In Rich's driveway|
A quick stop to get some diesel fuel, and Oriental was in the rear view mirror. A relatively uneventful 11 hours later, I dropped Rich off at his house and then Blues Image was back in the driveway.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
|Oriental Waterfront from the bridge.|
We got the boat tied up with no issues. The dockmaster even loaned us an extension cord so we could plug into the shore power. I have a 15 amp male connector installed in the cockpit. It is rare you can find a marina with 15 amp power, so I had purchased a 30 amp to 15 amp adaptor for this purpose. Unfortunately, I had only brought one 25 foot power cord, and we were always slipped nose in, which puts the inlet too far from the outlet.
|Snug in our slip.|
Friday, November 25, 2011
After a relatively restless night, we awoke before dawn on Thursday morning. The water was flat calm and the sky was beautiful with few clouds, the moon setting in the west, and the sun rising in the east. About sunrise, the motor yacht to the east of us raised anchor and ghosted down the river channel. Most likely a snowbird heading south.
|Forespar Stove under way.|
Rich fired up the generator (yes, I said generator. You thought we were just a little dinky boat, didn't you?) to charge up his cell phone. Actually, that was the only time the entire trip we used the generator. Rich had brought it just in case we needed some power out on the hook.
I brewed some coffee on my new Forespar galley stove in the percolator. Forespar had fashioned this gimbaled stove after the old Sea Swing stove. I wish I had the Sea Swing, because unlike my Forespar, it utilized rolled aluminum plate for a gimbal and would reflect some the heat back toward the cooking area. The Forespar throws a lot of heat sideways and had a detrimental effect on my varnished companionway door.
The weather for Friday was forecast to get rough, with 25 to 30 knot winds and the waves on the Neuse predicted to be 3-4 feet. If you have ever been on the Neuse, and I now had two days experience, you know you don't want to be out in 3 foot waves. They are often referred to by people in the know as "square waves" as they are of such short duration that they generate a washboard effect with a constant pounding on the hull.
With this in mind, I steered west intending to stay in the general vicinity of Oriental as I knew the wind would pick up in the afternoon and it might get rough. We planned to get a slip at the Oriental Marina before conditions deteriorated too much.
|Self portrait near Janiero.|
Rich stayed down below pretty much all this time. He had not slept much the entire trip and was trying to get some rest. The 1/2" plywood storage covers and filler panels under the bunk cushions would squeak mercilessly on their fiberglas ledges every time one of us would roll over or move. Rich had the V berth and I had the dinette berth. They both squeaked loudly with every move, and when you only have 2 inch thick cushions to sleep on, you tend to move a lot trying to find a comfortable position. So neither one of us was particularly well rested.
It was now early afternoon, and rather than dodge the ferries and continuing towards New Bern, I elected to turn around and head back to Oriental. The wind was picking up rapidly, and the 170 was now too much. I pulled it down and put up the working jib. It was no easy task, as the waves were getting up and the bow was bouncing around. By now you have guessed "we don't need no stinking roller furler!" Although at times it would be nice. However, to install one would cost one third what I paid for the boat! I am nothing if not cheap.
As we traveled back east, the wind and waves kept building. In about two hours we were outside Oriental Harbor, and we fired up the Honda and turned into the wind so I could drop the sails. I bought everything I needed to install lazy jacks, but didn't have time to make them up and installed them, so it is a little tougher in a blow. We had to run the engine at half throttle. The waves had already built to 3 feet, and were breaking over the bow when she nosed into the trough. Rich held us into the wind, and I fought with the dancing boat and the mainsail, trying not to fall into the water. The jib has a downhaul line which helps greatly, and the previous owner had laced nylon line from the lifelines to the toe rail which kept the jib from blowing overboard. I finally got the mainsail tied to the boom and we turned around and headed for the channel marker. It was getting scary rough quickly. We got into the channel, and I radioed ahead to arrange for a slip.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
|A little weather moving in...|
|Can you go any faster?|
|Stylish as usual|