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06/11/2006: "May recap"

Since I have been lax at keeping this log current I will have to add several entries into one. I had stated that we intended to do more sailing and spend less time on projects. So far that has been working out. Here is a recap of May:

Weekend 1

We both got home early enough on Friday to get things ready and head out for the evening. We sailed on just a headsail down the Neuse and headed into South River for the night. Since my depth sounder has been acting up it was interesting. The sounder works well under most circumstances but when moving into shallow water it will lock up and just show the last reading it had. It may come back with a current reading but locks up again. Lately it just locks up and stays inoperable. Moving into shallow water is when you need it the most; itís not a good time to have a malfunction. Choosing our anchoring spot involves moving in and circling the area we think we will swing and seeing if we touch bottom. Since it is a mud bottom it doesnít do much damage if we touch but it can be a little nerve wracking to get free and try it again. If everything is clear down goes the anchor and we settle in for the night. This time it took three tries to find the right depth. The main channel is only 8 - 12 feet deep and we want to keep out of the channel so we just pick a spot and try the depth. We do have a lead line on board but so far it has eluded us. Saturday was a great day of sailing further down the Neuse and out into Pamlico Sound then working our way back up river to spend another night in South River. I did find that the problem with the depth sounder is most likely the transducer. Raytheonís recommendation is to attach my instrument to someone elseís transducer or their instrument to my transducer to determine where the malfunction is. Since it woks fine in deeper water (deep water around here is anything more than 15 feet) I am pretty confident it is the transducer.

Weekend 2

The forecast for the weekend was winds 10 Ė 25 knots, perfect for some fun sailing. We got a number of very long tacks going downriver with the wind building. We finally, after getting some pictures of the rail almost in the water reefed down and headed to our planned anchorage. For the evening we headed into Broad Creek (sometimes called Lower Broad Creek since there are five Broad Creeks in the area) and started looking for the perfect anchoring spot. We bypassed the area recommended by the cruising guide because I felt it was too open to the forecasted winds and moved further up the channel. We picked our spot and did our circle. We dropped anchor and settled in for a beautiful sunset and a quiet night. The morning brought a long sail back upriver with the wind continuing to build. Since we were going downwind the wind and waves didnít bother us too much until we needed to change course to get back home. At this time it was a good idea to reduce sail since it would be on a beam reach. We had never tried a maneuver called heave to or being hove to with this boat. This is a maneuver to stop the boat and sit in pretty much one spot with the sails still up. Hi Flite sits very comfortably with very little forward motion while hove to. This gets everything calmed down and it is easy to work on deck. Rather then reef any of the sails we just dropped the mainsail and continued on with just the mizzen and headsail, still doing 6+ knots.

Weekend 3

There was a party scheduled for this weekend and I also had to work Saturday morning. The weather did not cooperate and we had a combination of strong southwest winds and low water. When we get sustained winds from the southwest the water in the creek is pushed out and some of us are not able to get out. The plan was for all of us to head out for South River, get anchored and meet up with our dinghies and commence with drinking margaritas and eating a lot of Mexican food. Instead, we ended up in the clubhouse drinking margaritas and eating a lot of Mexican food. Thank goodness for having a Plan B.

I will save Memorial Weekend for a separate entry.