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March 2009

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Monday, March 23rd

A Weekend Out of Town

We are back from a busy weekend. We brought our trailer up to Coriís brother Steve, cleaned his garage, did some shooting, ate some burgers and sat around a bonfire.

Here is some background. When we were downsizing and getting ready to move to North Carolina we bought a 6X12 utility trailer to haul what stuff we were going to ďstoreĒ at relatives. After several loads to be stored we filled it with our remaining stuff and brought it out to NC and have been using it for storage since we moved here. Last month we rented a storage unit and moved our stuff into it. As a step towards our dream of going cruising we need to get rid of a lot of our extra stuff. Now most people would have gotten rid of the stuff and sold the trailer. We put the stuff into storage and sold the trailer. It actually saves us $10 a month over what we were paying for a storage spot for the trailer and gives us more time to sort through it all. This brings us to cleaning Steveís garage. Steve has more stuff then garage so he needed a place to store it until he gets a bigger place (garage). We sold him the trailer, delivered it and helped clean out the garage.

Now to the shooting. Cori has wanted to learn to shoot handguns and she set it up with one of the handgun reps to get together when we were in Richmond and do some shooting. Steve works at a facility that has a small shooting range. We met there for an afternoon of making holes in targets. Coriís dad is working in the Fredericksburg area so he and her mother came out for the day also. John brought a variety of handguns to use and we had an afternoon of instruction and shooting. We started with a 22 caliber revolver, moved up to a couple of 38 caliber revolvers, switched to a Glock 9mm semi-automatic, switched to the 40 caliber ďbabyĒ Glock semi-automatic and finished off with more shooting with the 22 caliber. The shooting was followed up by grilled burgers and a bonfire late into the evening.

Sunday we drove home and got ready for Monday.

Dale on 03.23.09 @ 09:00 PM EDT [link]

Tuesday, March 10th

Delivery Continued

I left you yesterday as we motored into the Pamlico River. We hoisted the sails and shut off the engine. We were officially sailing. We made around 6 knots, better then I had hoped, with the wind just off of our backs. In order to keep the headsail filled we couldnít hold our planned line and we needed to jibe across the river three times to make our entrance into the ICW. We dropped the sails and entered the ICW and motored through, coming out in the Bay River. We hoisted the sails but were overpowered with the full headsail and main. We tried reefing the headsail but ended up rolling it back in and sailing with just the main. We didnít get as much speed with just the main but held around 5 knots until we got to the Neuse River. Turning to head up the river the wind was directly on the nose. Once again we dropped the sail and started the engine. Motoring into the wind we could only make 4 knots and we still had 18 miles to go. My original calculation was figured at 10 hours if we could maintain an average speed of 5 knots. This was going to take awhile. Switching off at the wheel we made our way upriver making it just short of the town of Oriental by sunset with at least two hours still to go. We did enjoy a very nice sunset. With the GPS we made it to the entrance of our creek. All we have to do now is to maneuver around the marks and head up the creek arriving at the marina.

Did I mention the wind was out of the southwest? As I have pointed out many times, a southwest wind blows the water out of the creek. The entrance to the creek is shoaled so you need to find the right spot between the marks to avoid going aground when the water is low. With the water blowing out of the creek for two days it was even more important to hit the right spot. We missed the mark and went aground. I had called Cori on the radio to let her know we were coming up to the creek so now I called and let her know we had a problem. It took a lot of hard reverse to finally get free. She and Jeff, one of our neighbors came out in his dinghy to see if they could help. By the time they arrived we were aground again in another attempt to make it over the hump. This time it took a little help from the dinghy pushing us back to get free. One more attempt and we were aground again. At this point I was worried that we may not be able to get into the creek until the water came up again. With a lot of reverse and some pushing from the dinghy we made it free again. We maneuvered around and tried another line between the marks and this time we made it. With a flashlight reflecting off the last mark we turned and started up the creek. Jeff kindly hung out at the entrance to the channel leading into the marina so we could pick out the buoys leading us in. Half way up the channel we started plowing a furrow in the mud with our keel. Keeping power on, we made it in and turned into the slip. We were officially home, but sitting on the bottom.

It took around 14 hour to make the trip. The wind on the nose and all of the problems entering the creek slowed us down far too much but we made it.

Dale on 03.10.09 @ 08:26 PM EDT [link]

Monday, March 9th

Finally Out Sailing Again

Itís been a long time. I havenít added any updates because there has not been anything worth telling. Itís winter, not winter in Minnesota like I was used to, but still winter. Not much happening: go to work, come home, try to stay warm, repeat the next day and so on.

This weekend it changed. On Monday they were warning of snow, by Friday we were into the 70ís. Saturday it was in the 70ís and we went sailing. Rather then de-house the boat we went out with Jeff on his Morgan Out Island. For those not familiar with the term, de-housing is the process of making a boat you live on ready to go sailing. Winds were variable and light, contrary to the forecasted 10-15 knots. Imagine that. We drifted for a while then caught a light wind that got us moving only to die off again. Again we waited out the calm and got another shot of wind that had us doing some real sailing until it also died. It didnít take too long this time before the breeze started blowing again, this time the forecasters were right, this was a real wind and it held. Our first real good sail of the season.

Sunday was a ďworkĒ day. I had made arrangement to help deliver a Pearson 30 from Washington NC to our marina. By car it is about an hour and a half, by boat about 12 hours. The reason it was work was because I was being paid. We were going to do this the week before but it was raining all weekend and no-one thought it was a good idea to go. We needed an early start but were not able get going until 9:30. Our first problem was low water and not being able to get out of the slip. After several tries forward and back, going back further each time we were finally out of the slip but still dragging bottom leaving the marina. Soon we were out in the river and on our way.

More tomorrow.

Dale on 03.09.09 @ 09:30 PM EDT [link]