"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.
October 26, 2011
Behind fellow N46 owner's house, Ft Lauderdale, Florida Ft Lauderdale is called the Venice of America. Here you can see a few of the canals close to the inlet. The little red boat is Egret. To the right of Egret you can see docks. This is the location of the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show. At the bottom of the chart is the Port Everglades Inlet. PE is large enough and deep enough for the largest cruise ships and Navy aircraft carriers.
Hello mis amigos, it is 0350 Sunday am. The 961' - 105' beam - 34' draft (Panama Canal capable) Speed Racer just rocketed by at 20.8 knots. The CPA was .88nm. I called at 7.25nm, switched to VHF 06 and asked if he saw us. (At the time Egret was bouncing and the CPA went as low as .4nm at times.) He did and said he would maintain course and speed. We stood by the AIS constantly monitoring the CPA in case we needed to move to port. We purposely set the turning waypoint off Frying Pan Shoals 9nm off the sea buoy so any traffic just as this monster was running the coast would most likely pass inside. Speed Racer probably came out of Charleston and was headed to Norfolk. During the run from Beaufort to the waypoint off Frying Pan was 34nm offshore at the furtherest and will be closer most times for the balance of the trip south to keep out of the Gulfstream and weather farther offshore.
Until she turned at Frying Pan, Egret was running between 6.8 and 7.1 knots at 1500 rpm. After making the turn she slowed to 6.5 knots but we are hoping once we get away from the shoals and current wrap the speed will increase. The seas have been behind the beam. By fine tuning the Naiads we picked up between .1 and .2 knots. It doesn't seem like much but at the slow speeds Egret travels every little bit helps. A game of inches. Bottom line: at an average speed of 6.5 knots, Egret will reach Ft Lauderdale before dark on Wednesday, the day before the show opens. More to follow.
In addition to being a safety item the AIS helps pass the watch. It is now 0514. In a few minutes the MSC Stella will pass with a CPA of 2.60nm. She is 994' - 131' beam - 45' draft traveling to Antwerp at 21.3 knots. Behind her is the Rickmers Dalian, 633' - 62' beam - 27' draft, also on its way to Antwerp at a speed of 15.3 knots, CPA 2.71nm. Waterline makes a difference. Both ships are going to have serious weather the last third of the trip.
The weather these two ships will see in a few days is extremely rare for a private powerboat or sail to see during a normal circumnavigation or ocean crossing. We have the privilege of waiting for weather and traveling at the time of year with the best weather. Almost every ocean crossing route and timing for the world is laid out in Jimmy Cornell's book, World Cruising Routes. For example, crossing the Atlantic eastbound is usually a May - June deal. The Azores high drops in place and the trip is a connect the dot deal with perhaps just a couple relatively mild weather days, not what these two ships running to a commercial schedule will see off season. So all the what if's we hear so much of from internet forum participants are just that, what if's but extremely rare. Once forum participants get Out and accumulate some sea miles it is rare to hear from them again. It is as we say....no big deal. The world including both hemispheres are basically divided into 6 months on and 6 months off. You travel during the kind 6 months and dock for the winter or move into another hemisphere for the next 6 months. If you stay within reasonable latitudes north and south of the equator during the 'on' 6 months it is rare to have more than a simple gale at sea. Egret has not stayed within reasonable latitudes at times these past years and could not maintain course only 5 times, and those times for just 12 hours each. These 5 times were in areas rarely visited by powerboats so not to worry. From what I have read, most trauma at sea comes from poor maintenance or budget driven maintenance for the sail group and I have never heard of a private powerboat having a real issue at sea (in the open ocean). Ever. (Actually after rereading this we do remember a single powerboat sinking at sea. This was caused by a faulty repair that should have been corrected before leaving. It was not fixed and thru a series of maintenance related failures the boat did sink and the crew rescued before it did sink.)
Again from reading, the two biggest problems during a Pacific crossing is an exhausted sailor trying to enter a harbor at night and fully knowing better. Electronic charting is not accurate in the Pacific, it is just close. A good example, the harbor entrance to Pago Pago, American Samoa is 200 meters off on C-Map charts (640'). Some areas are better and other less traveled areas are sometimes worse. The problem is you never know until you get there and actually enter the atoll or where ever you are trying to go. Obviously it is better to jog offshore at night than take a chance. The second item is having a squall roar thru at night with reversing winds. Anchors that usually hold in a straight pull often times slide nicely along the sand when reversed and they don't reset. Reef city at worse or if you are lucky you just drag into shallow water. Girl anchors have no place on an offshore cruising boat. What works in calm areas where most folks live do not work at times like this. Holding almost every time is not an acceptable standard.
One boat Egret traveled with in the South Pacific was lost the next year in a nightime 45 knot wind reversal that put them on an inshore reef. (They were on anchor off a Fijian village) They literally walked to shore but lost the boat - their home. They were experienced, well traveled sailors but had an anchor that didn't reset during the reversal. The boat was picked clean by locals that night before the crew returned the following morning after daylight. It broke my heart to read his matter of fact account of the disaster. No insurance. Very sad.
Another item we mentioned in the past was brought to mind within the last month. We saw a cruising powerboat with a large Bruce anchor that is large enough for any latitude on this particular boat. The chain was oversized 7/16" and it had a hydraulic windlass. All good and bulletproof. However, attaching the chain to the anchor were two galvanized forged steel shackles. One was 7/16" and the other 1/2". A 7/16" forged steel shackle has a working load of 2000 lbs. The 1/2", 3000 lbs. The only working load chain figures I have are for 3/8" high test, not 7/16" high test which would be Much heavier, probably in the 7000+ lb range. 3/8" high test chain (G4) working load is 5400 lbs. Normal anchoring in sand or mud with reasonable wind isn't that big of a deal to have an undersize link because the direct pull isn't great and the chain scope and snubber takes up the shock. However in rock or when the chain gets wrapped around a coral head (boomie) in the South Pacific things change quickly. Everyone gets boomie wrapped in the South Pacific. When the wind is whipping or the pitching starts and the chain has no give.........its Real Bad. So it appears the large Bruce is a sacrificial anchor. I guess if you look at the bright side they will save the chain and give purpose to carrying a spare anchor all those miles.
Egret has been getting a 'pop' outside every now and again. The last time a little light went on. Yup, flying fish jumping at the running lights, hitting the pilothouse and falling to the deck. If we have enough large ones I'll gut and scale them for breakfast. When cooked quickly in butter the skin peels off with a fork and the pure white meat lifts off the backbone. Just add a little salt and pepper. At home we called them a Bimini hot dog.
0645. The tide swung and the speed has dropped to 5.6 knots. We'll see if the extra speed in the speed bank is enough to maintain 6.5 knots. Currently the average speed is 6.8 knots.
A short time later. The speed rose to the high 6 knot range from what I guess was a small current eddy.
Monday, 1230. Egret's speed has been fluctuating between 6.8 and 7.1 knots. The seas are perhaps 1.5m behind the stbd beam and the wind from 16 to 21 knots true. Early this morning after checking the wind and wave forecast, Egret made a turn more to the south and eliminated a couple closer inshore waypoints. By the time the wind swings later this afternoon, Egret will be off Jacksonville and heading more south for the balance of the trip. At that point, whatever happens, happens. There are easterlies - beam seas - forecast for the remainder of the run to Ft Lauderdale. The good news is the seas are forecast to be less than 1.5m and winds not to exceed 15-18 knots. We'll see. And besides, no matter what happens, even if the worst offshore weather forecast moves inshore we'll just crank up the Naiad's and lettereat. This close to the barn it doesn't matter. We have seen worse so it's no big deal.
And there is one more thing. Stored in a small basket for the past few months in the pilothouse are two flags very special to Egret. One is the Seven Seas Cruising Association burgee Egret flew around Cape Horn and the other southern capes. Other than the capes and a few exceptions the burgee was ty wraped tight to the pennant staff to preserve it. It is barely still in tact and will fly this one last time. The same with the American flag that flew from the spreader halyard around Cape Horn. We did not fly this flag around the other capes but did fly it on special occasions here and there. It has a small tear in it so it too will fly just this last time as Egret passes under the 17th Street Causeway Bridge returning to Ft Lauderdale for the first time since leaving May 16th, 2004 on the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. I believe most people's most treasured possessions are not something they bought but something that is personal to them. It doesn't matter what it is except that it is personal. These two worn out scraps of cloth are something that are very special to ourselves. We have a new replacement American flag and SSCA burgee that are flying today but they are just that, replacements with little personal meaning. But then again, perhaps in time they too will become special. INSERT PHOTO 0011 HERE.
It is 1124 Monday evening. The wind clocked around behind the port beam from behind the stbd beam. It is puffing at 6 knots or so and there is very little motion. It is one of Those nights at sea when everything is perfect. The temperature is warm, the stars are out, the happy little Lugger is purring away and MS is asleep off watch. I just made a cup of Mary's spiced tea and snitched two fig newtons. Earlier I spent a couple hours on Mary's kindle reading a Dan Brown whodunit. The few ships leaving or entering ports have passed no closer than 3nm since dark. The other good news is Egret is flying. Ever since she landed in Nova Scotia she has been running consistently faster than usual. I never thought weight would make that much of a difference in speed but since we aren't heavily loaded with provisions and fuel she has been flying. Currently she is running between 7.3 and 7.5 knots at 1500 rpm. If this continues thru tomorrow evening we will have to pop out into the Gulfstream nearing south Florida, put out a couple worms and see what snaps. We already turned on the big freezer just in case we get a few snappers on the way. (Egret's fridge/freezer is divided roughly 2/3 fridge- 1/3 freezer) We don't use the large freezer (only) unless we are provisioning for a while like the upcoming Keys fishing trip with friends or later next spring when we pop over to the Bahamas for 2-3 months. Of course in the Keys or Bahamas we eat lotsa fish because they are so easy to catch.
0740 Tuesday am, the day before arrival. Egret is currently opposite Cape Canaveral. The sunrise to the SE is changing every few seconds. The prettiest moment was an orange fireball with starbursts of light thru the clouds to the ocean. Now the clouds are coming alive with color. Dolphins were with Egret again this morning. This group would throw themselves into the air as if they didn't care how they landed. INSERT We had dolphins for the entire trip including most of the North Carolina inland canals. This means there is lotsa food and that is nice to see. The seas increased during the night to nearly 2m off the port quarter. No biggie, we just gave the Naiad's a one number turn on the roll angle side. There are two knobs using the Naiad Multi Sea II system - Roll Rate and Roll Angle. The bottom line is when the seas are from the beam forward the numbers are kept the same 3 - 3, etc. When the seas are behind the beam with any force the numbers are increased by one on the Roll Angle side. Currently Egret is running 4.5 Roll Rate and 5.5 Roll Angle. This keeps the corkscrewing to a minimum. If we were willing to burn more fuel and run faster there would be more water flow past the keel, fins and rudder that would make the ride even better. Of course you know who is a squeaker and the ride is acceptable. Besides, if we arrived just after daylight tomorrow we would have to wait on the tide anyway to enter the canal to our friend's house. Farther down the coast at sunset it appeared the sky was on fire.
Halloween is around the corner coming on the tails of this VofE. These little ones are getting ready for the Big Night. Yup. Spiderman and superhero Miss Bumblebee. The next picture is of the Halloween Spooky Tree. Of course it depicts both the living and the dead. Did you see a motionless owl sitting in the HST with fierce green eyes glaring at the trespassers?
If it is at or past Your Time and you have the Ability - and are Still Working (gasp), do you feel like the HST? Living but dead? Finito but breathing? Walking worm farm? Trying to cling to normalcy by reading this drivel? There is one last gasp chance. Yea, I know it's expensive at the last minute but so what? You can still catch a plane from anywhere in the world and make the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show before closing and Do The Deal and shed the day to day gloom and doom - if it bleeds - it leads media nonsense, work pressure, etc. I'll pass along a little story from some years ago. My business partner built the largest all carbon fiber object by dimension and weight that had been built anywhere to date, a big deal accomplishment in the composite industry. (175' sailboat mast) His assistant called the Ft Lauderdale News and asked if they would like to do a story. The reply was; "if it falls on someone give us a call". The choice is yours. You can continue to be a common dirt dweller (commonus dirtus dweli) living in The Herd trying to convince yourself you are different. Of course you can never fool yourself. Or you could be doing something a bit adventurous being at peace with yourselves like looking out the stbd pilothouse door at the sun getting ready to set and watching the 486' Wega Saturn pass in front with a CPA of 2.17nm and seas less than 1m from astern with 12.6 knots of wind. This IS a good life. Bottom line: commonus dirtus dweli herdster or living a life of adventure at sea?
The last overnight of the trip was more of the same until Egret hit The Wall. Yup, wall of current where the Gulfstream is compressed between the mainland and the Bahamas Bank. She was just 4nm offshore but the speed dropped from the high 6's and low 7s to 3.6 knots. It took a while but we changed waypoints to just off the beach and now less than a mile from the beach the speed is back up to 6.8 knots. At 11nm from Port Everglades (inlet to Ft Lauderdale) we put in Waypoint 1. Waypoint 1 simply says FLL. Leaving on the Rally we punched in waypoint quick save as Egret cleared the sea buoy heading to Bermuda. We kept that waypoint as WP1 all this time. Pretty cool, eh? 5.8nm to WP1. Exciting. More to follow.
Two thousand, six hundred eighty eight days ago Egret passed under this bridge in Ft Lauderdale on her way across the Atlantic as a participant in the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. Let's make this easy on your conscience shipwrecked by VofE. We'll just say places our little white fiberglass ship has taken us, the sights we have seen and the people we met are beyond anyone's comprehension unless they have done it themselves. Mary and I have done a few out of the ordinary things in our past lives and these days were certainly the best of the best. And the best part? We can do anything we want because we are free. What will the next 2,688 days bring? We don't have a clue except we will make it as interesting and adventurous as we wish. Isn't that great? And you know the best part? You can as well.
Perhaps we'll see you at the show. Ciao.
Position: 34 32.86N 076 44.15W SE of Beaufort, North Carolina en route to Ft Lauderdale, Florida.
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October 24, 2010
Hello mis amigos, Egret is under way for Beaufort, North Carolina then into the Atlantic for a 5 day run to Ft Lauderdale. More on that to follow. The past week has been lotsa miles ashore driving to Tallahassee, Florida to visit Scott Jr and family. Of course we have to include the picture of Jr and family. So now we have two grandsons. One is a Little Rice Picker (6) that lives in a Bangkok suburb, and the other a Little Pumpkin Picker (1). We'll see the LRP in New Zealand in a couple months but that is another story.
Returning to Washington, N.C. and Egret we spent a couple days for Jim's crew to finish the touch up on Egret's 10 years of gel coat whoops. No big deal. Weather slowed their work so in the end we had to leave and I will finish a couple spots myself down in Florida. No biggie.
In Washington we met 4 trawler folks who follow VofE. Ron, an N46 owner drove down and spent half a day with Mary and I going over stuff and answering questions. Ron's boat is in Mexico and they plan to travel next spring to Hawaii, leave the boat in Hawaii until the next year and head to New Zealand. During all this we had to insult his overweight dinghy and 4 stroke outboard. Yup, we told him to get what he could for it and buy a smaller, super light dinghy 9' to 10.5'. He has an old British Seagull that runs well and will be all he will need for the South Pacific. In the South Pacific you rarely travel more than a few hundred yards by dinghy and will do relatively little dinghy exploring, certainly not much long distance. In NZ, Ron can buy a Yamaha 2 stroke inexpensively and will be set. They plan to leave the boat in NZ and use it 6 months a year cruising locally.
Next we met John and Gayle on a 46' self built steel/aluminum - paravane trawler. It took John 5 years and the finished - well nearly finished - boat shows a lot of forethought. One item in particular caught my attention. They have the same 3GM30 27hp Yanmar wing as Egret with a V drive and a separate shaft and prop. John fabricated twin Delco 130 amp small frame alternator mounts that run on a dedicated serpentine belt. A traditional V belt drives the small original alternator charging the wing battery. The twin alternators have been detuned to produce 200 amps max so they won't overheat while charging the house bank and can be disconnected using a parallel switch from the house bank for actual wing emergency propulsion. The Delco alternators are inexpensive off the shelf automotive units and can be bought anywhere. They have no generator. Covering the belts is a well made aluminum cover.
A schedule is the worst thing to have on a boat. At times it is the most dangerous thing on a boat. However, we WANT for a number of reasons to make the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show. The weather is perfect for an offshore run from Beaufort, North Carolina to Ft Lauderdale. It is about a 5 day deal. We rarely drive away from a Happening. Starting last night (Fri) is Washington's big end of summerhappening, Smoke On The Water. It started with a parade of local high school students, a pep rally to fumigate the Falcons, a rival football team, and a few food booths. Today (Sat) starts with a PVC frame floating off Egret's former dock to hold numbered rubber ducks that will be released and drift with the tide to the railroad bridge finish line. Winners receive a prize of some sorts and the losers still win because the money goes to charity. We really would like to be in Washington for the Happenings.
As we mentioned before, Washington, N.C. is a great stop traveling North or South in the Intracoastal. It is just 29nm up the Pamlico River. By next year the shore power will be up and running and I'm sure the free docks like Egret's with no power will still be available. Washington is a Deep South small town at its best. Egret and her travels are being featured in the Washington Daily News the last Sunday of October. Imagine that? Another surprise. Washington Daily News is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Small town doesn't mean small minds. Of course we felt it our duty to sell The Life to Vail, the WDN staff writer and her husband Chris (Drummer Boy). Vail said DB lit up at tales of Nelson, N.Z. so we included a few photo's of Nelson along with the photo's they asked for with Egret in different places.
Egret left Washington an hour before dark and ran to 2300 then anchored for the night until daylight this morning. Currently Egret is roughly 20nm of twists and turns from the Atlantic. In one man made canal we came across these shrimp boats with Serious Paravanes. We'll fire this short VofE once under way in the Atlantic.
Later. Egret cleared Beaufort's sea buoy at 1430 and headed to sea. She is making 6.7 knots at 1500 rpm in less than 1m following seas and little wind. Egret is following a snaking 21 waypoint course to stay relatively tight to the beach inside the north flowing Gulfstream. The first waypoint is off Frying Pan Shoals, S.E. of Wilmington, N.C. - 84nm. From there the course runs closer to the beach. There won't be any fishing until we Have To run the edge of the Gulfstream in S. Florida.
The next VofE may be from sea or it may be from Ft Lauderdale. Or it may come from somewhere else if the weather turns. But it probably won't. You get the picture. Ciao.
October 13, 2011
Hello mis amigos, Egret departed Annapolis early this morning and is under way for Solomon's, Maryland. It is rare we miss a boat show when so close but we have a tight schedule on the way south. This picture is of the show boats the night before Egret left. However, we had a bit of fun when leaving Annapolis. A British/American couple on a largish Hallberg Rassey sailboat were anchored off the Naval Academy. They arrived in town yesterday and we met them in town for a reunion and a chat. So we decided to say goodby, but it was a bit early. Their stateroom is aft so we pulled up tight alongside and hit the bow thruster back and forth. If you are a boater you know it sounds like a train wreck inside. It didn't take long before sleepyhead Adrian popped up to see who was going to ram their home and send them down to the Dark Place. He didn't have much on. Not much later a bare arm reached up thru the companionway with a pair of shorts. During all of this the Boat Dog, Shelly, was going berserk. Then the other half came up in a bathrobe. We four were howling and giggling. So we had a chat and said our goodbye's. They are headed for the Caribbean for the winter but with their 8' draft and tall stick they will have to head offshore with just a few deepwater stops without bridges along the way.
Yesterday evening we had dinner with friends and their friends. Don and Sharry have a 75' Northern Marine long distance powerboat named Starr. We read an article about Starr years ago in Passagemaker Magazine after a rudder modification. D&S have been everywhere and just completed a trip from the Far East to Hawaii. Don has a full size machine shop aboard and is a First Class engineer and can fix about anything. D&S have been cruising for years, starting in sail and most importantly still have The Spark. During the evening they asked the inevitable question, where did you enjoy the most? Mary said Patagonia. So we talked about that and you could see the eyes sparkle. D&S represent the epitome of self sufficient cruisers and particularly because they have a larger boat. Starr has a no nonsense blog and we recommend you give this a look to add to the mix and see another perspective. Of course ratcheting up the inspiration and information another notch won't hurt at all. Trust both of us and end the pain. http://star.talkspotblogs.com/
After terrorizing our cruising friends early on and getting under way, we passed a small fleet of Naval Academy ships practicing maneuvers, blowing their horns and doing boat stuff. The Naval Academy is a special deal and goes back to America's beginnings. There is a tour of the Academy you can take in Annapolis and it is well worthwhile. Later toddling down the Chesapeake the local blue crab fleet was working the traps. The boat in this picture has four crewmen working. I imagine it takes lotsa crabs to support this size crew. Also unique to the Chesapeake are their lighthouses. This one is guarding Thomas Point Shoal. The Chesapeake is shallow with mud banks on both sides of the main channel. There is room enough to run outside the shipping lanes and outside the channel markers for small boats with a draft of 8' - 2.5m or so. If you do get stuck, particularly with keel cooling it is no biggie. The bottom is soft and it is easy to dredge yourself back out.
Egret will arrive in Solomon's this afternoon. Assuming we can make it thru the sometimes shoaled creek entrance we will dock at a friend's house. Our major tasks will be to repair the windlass and equalize the AGM batteries. Later as this unfolds we will have a full report. More to follow.
OK, it was nearly low tide (1.5' tide) but we did make it thru the creek entrance however at times the depth finder read as low as 4.2 feet. We draw about 5' 7" at half fuel. So she slowly shoved her way thru the soft mud and probably cleaned the wheel a bit. No biggie. There were four deer feeding at the beach and two bald eagles were overhead. This was a surprise for a lightly populated residential area. After arriving at our friend's dock the first order of business was hooking up the BFYC - Big Fat Yellow Cord. The BFYC has been tucked away in the forward stateroom behind the drawers against the hull since 2004. We took the precaution of ty wrapping zip lock bags over the ends during this time and when we plugged it in and turned on the breaker it actually worked. I had forgotten how heavy that stupid cord is after using the 220V - 50 cycle cord all this time. Then it was a quick wash down and off to dinner with our friends. The first order of business tomorrow will be the windlass while Mary does laundry on shore power* instead of the generator. Imagine that? First time since 2004. More to follow.
*Egret's washer and dryer are made by Asko, a Swedish company. Other than a belt change on the drier they have given no problems. However, they are 60 cycle only. If we were to do it over again we would try to find 50/60 cycle units that would be the exact same size, however I am not sure if they are available.
OK, here's the deal on today's projects. It was cool this morning so we tackled the generator motor mount first. Of course this was to be a 20 minute job but it lasted a couple hours.......of course. Nothing is easy. We ordered a motor mount from RPM Diesel in Ft Lauderdale, the local Lugger/Northern Lights dealer. RPM has the advantage of a knowledgeable parts staff as well as a N/L factory warehouse the RPM trucks visit every day if they don't have it in stock. 954 587-1620 - ask for Peter - head parts person. We ordered the right number, they shipped the right number except they did ship two that made showing the modifications easy. The mount was to high.......by far. So rather than more phone calls and Waiting we got out The Tools. First we took a sharp paring knife and cut the rubber down to the steel center sleeve. Next we took a 4" angle grinder with a chop saw blade and cut the end off the sleeve. This picture shows the tools and the modified mount. However it took a couple attempts to lower the mount and we had to use a flap wheel as well as a grinding wheel. Every little bit we cooled the mount with water so the rubber wouldn't melt away from the sleeve. We did all of this on Egret's work bench - the top of the bare teak cap rail. Of course if we had girly glitter coat varnish .............. This picture shows the Spanish windlass used to raise the engine. . This is a simple way to raise or pull anything with simple tools. This was nothing more than a short piece of 3/8 yacht braid tied in a square knot and twisted tight with a hammer handle. The tools you need are: 7/8" - 1/2" drive socket and ratchet, 13mm socket, pair of water pump pliers, a 19mm - 3/4" wrench and a 3/8" drive ratchet with a 19mm socket and a large screwdriver in addition to what we mentioned. The trick is to remove the two 7/8" bolts then turn the angle mount to expose the 13mm bolts and use a ratchet. No problema.
None of this would have happened if we had changed the raw water pump housing O ring when it started leaking. The oil degraded (ate) the original motor mount. My fault.
Next came the windlass. We got a giantus break. So here's that deal. If you look at the photo from left from right you will see how the windlass comes apart in order. First is the black plastic cap that pops off with a screwdriver. Then unscrew the flat head machine screw inside the clutch wheel and remove it along with the flat washer. Insert the windlass tightening/loosening bar and loosen the clutch wheel and spin it off. Lift the capstan straight up. Note: this is IMPORTANT. The keyway is simply 3/8" brass keystock you can cut yourself and don't have to order from Maxwell. It pays to have spare keystock in spares. The short piece of keystock goes on TOP under the capstan and the long keystock goes in the chain wheel to deal with the heavy pull. If you reverse the two they will fit but you will shear the short keystock in a big pull on the chain wheel and you may bend the windlass shaft if you put the large keyway on top and really hammer the capstan with a lot of force. This is IMPORTANT.
Next comes the chain wheel. Note: the chain wheel has a tapered clutch cone on the TOP of the chain wheel as well as the BOTTOM. When you service the windlass each year (you do don't you?) make sure you remove the top clutch cone and grease it as well as the bottom. It knocks out easily from underneath. Usually the bottom cone stays put after you remove the chain wheel. Next, slide the bottom clutch cone up over the LONG keystock. Remove the keystock. Above the black plate are a pair of clips that slide out of grooves cut into the windlass shaft. Remove these then slide up the black plate noting the lip faces aft. Now clean everything really well and grease everything for reassembly. We use an old shower curtain covered in paper towels or a newspaper to keep grease off the deck. During reassembly use white grease to hold the c-clips in place as well as the keystock. Also grease the shaft and everything else with white grease.
Once all of this is removed it will expose 4 bolts that hold the gearbox to the mounting plate. But first remove the motor and support it and keep off to the side. The motor is super heavy and you don't want to fool with that additional weight. The 4 bolts are 14mm. We used a closed end 12-14mm wrench and hit it with a hammer to get the bolts started. Remove two and loosen the other two. Now it's time to call the Admiral. While you hold this dead heavy %$@*#@^*@ gearbox in place have her remove the other two bolts. Here is where we got a BIG break. When I lowered the gearbox I saw there was a 4 or 5" spacer added to move the gearbox down. Egret's deck is about 2" thick between heavy fiberglass and the core. The four allen head bolts connecting the spacer and gearbox were nearly ready to come completely undone*. We whipped those up tight, raised the gearbox and struggled to hold it up while Mary got the first bolt started. This she did and the others were easy. So we have a bag of expensive parts we will return and will be happy to pay whatever restocking they charge. It works perfect.
*For you boat owners with Maxwell windlasses - or probably any windlass - over time we found the two motor bolts loose, the mounting bolts under the deck loose and now the extension bolts loose. It pays to check everything every now and again. It takes just a few minutes to give everything a shake or turn. If I would have shaken the gearbox and found it loose as it was it would have saved a lot of trouble, phone calls and pesos.
After cleaning up and putting everything away it was time for a touch of rhum du cane and a dinghy ride up and down Hunningsford Creek. Up the creek we came across this way cool boathouse. Tomorrow will be equalizing batteries, puting the parachute anchor and rode away that has lived behind the Portuguese bridge for a long time, a couple filter changes and a few odds and ends. More to follow.
^%$#@^&* Trace inverter. ^%#@&* Never did figure out the *&^$#@%* menu to equalize the batteries. When I cool off I will give it another go. &*^$#@#* Then it was simple stuff like putting away the parachute anchor that has lived behind the Portuguese bridge for a loooong time, changed a main fuel filter - 2d since Gibraltar - and general clean up. The storm windows came off as well and are stored in a custom cover below the pilothouse glass and tied in place. Mary touched up the stainless parts of the windows covered by the storm windows.
With most everything done we left early afternoon and headed down the Chesapeake. Currently Egret is anchored 1.5nm miles off the beach just north of the Potomac River and well outside the shipping lanes. It was glass calm all day and there is hardly any motion even this far from shore. TK dropped in 29' and we sent out 125' of chain plus snubber. Tomorrow we'll run to Norfolk and anchor at Hospital Point, another cruiser favorite to stage for the bridges and the lock at Great Bridge the next morning. More to follow.
So how calm was it chugging down the Chesapeake? Check out this picture of a sea gull sitting in peace and quiet near Egret. We anchored 1 1/2nm offshore in 12' (3.75m) out of the shipping lanes. We also took some great pictures of the moon and its reflection in the water before dark but we won't bore you with those. You will just have to do you own deal to see it.
Egret left this morning before daylight. Unusual for the Chesapeake, we anchored in sand and the chain was clean. Usually it is a 20 minute deal to rinse the mud off the chain. Sunrise was such a bright rose color it looked artificial. If we were in the Med we would say it was just sand from the Sahara. It has been so still perhaps it is just old fashion smog. Sad isn't it?
The cormorants have been flying by in large groups toward shore from their offshore nesting islands. They are flying just above the water to keep under the little wind there is. We even saw 3 brown pelicans, our first in a looooong time. Egret is riding the tide down the bay making 6.8 - 7 knots at 1450 rpm in less than 5 knots of wind. More to follow.
The trip thru Norfolk shows the U.S. Navy is as intimidating as always. There were ships of every type in drydock including the Big E (Enterprise). After an overnight at Hospital Point in Norfolk off we went to Great Bridge Lock. There were a couple bridge openings to catch along the way* but they are timed for cruisers and our southbound group made it with no issues. Great Bridge Lock opens on the half hour for southbound 'power and sail'. As you approach the lockmaster calls on VHF 13 (bridges, locks and commercial traffic monitors VHF 13) and advises "the stbd side has rubber fenders and cleats, the port side is steel and concrete but we will help you, the choice is yours". Duuuuuh, probably only a lawyer would choose the help side. (OK, sorry - cheap shot but I'm that way)
*If you google Intracoastal Waterway Bridge and Lock Schedule there are several sites with the list. Since Egret's last time down the ditch a number of bridges have been replaced by 65' fixed bridges. Only the first 20 or so NM and again in South Carolina are there a few opening bridges. South Fla of course is a bridge disaster and it is best to go offshore starting at Ft Pierce to whatever southern destination port you may choose.
Next it was a looong day running for a couple hours after an early fall sunset. We pulled off the waterway and dropped TK in Big Water, about 3m - 10', put out a bit of chain and crashed. Yesterday was spent running to Washington, N.C - up the Pamlico River where Jim Gardiner, my former boat building business partner has a high tech fiberglass shop. Some of you may have read about two ex navy, 485' corvettes being turned into giga - yachts in Abu Dabi. The yachts to be are carbon fiber from the deck up and Jim's group made the carbon parts here in N.C. So what a great place to have Egret's gel coat dings repaired from 10 years of whoops.
OK, here's a shameless commercial for Jim but it really helps if any of you need dings or whatever fiberglass wok done. Let's just say, Jim is the best of the best at what he does. His main work when we were in business together was mega yacht fiberglass upgrades, cockpit extensions, etc. The boat building company was an aside for both of us. Jim Gardiner, Compmillennia LLC, www.compmillennia.com email@example.com 252 628-8065
Washington, N.C. is a hidden yachtie jewel. The historic city has a restored waterfront right downtown, new docks and they are Free to visiting yachties. Yup, free. Hurricane Irene took out their shore power but the docks are great. Egret is on G Dock, side tied on our own little separate dock paralleling the waterfront. The dockmaster came by and gave us a hand docking, told us a bit of history and came back later with a welcome bag of goodies.
Next morning. Mary has been talking to the 'day' dockmaster for the past 45 minutes. He told Mary the history of every boat that visited and Mary told a few of her stories in return. These folks are soooo nice.
So we need to wrap up this VofE and get busy with today's projects. Tomorrow Mary and I will drive a borrowed car to Tallahassee, Florida to visit our son and family for a few days while Jim's crew touches up Egret. After returning, the plan is to leave Washington, run all day toward Beaufort, N.C., anchor for the night, and the next day if the weather allows, Egret will run offshore straight to Ft Lauderdale. We are working hard to make the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show, the end of October.
If you haven't Done The Deal, and Its Time, as always we recommend you make this show. The FLL show is perhaps the largest and in my opinion, the best in the world. What is important as a boater is not only the boats, most every accessory manufacturer displays in FLL. For example, if you are looking at watermaker manufacturers, there are 10+ lined up in a single tent. Engine manufacturers are all represented, electronic folks - and not just retailers but the factory reps themselves, dinghy folks and so on. This is the place to learn. Of course we are going to the Naiad booth and have a little chit chat. Later we plan to make the N dock party on Fri evening.
38 58.56N 76 26.59W Annapolis, Maryland Anchored off Eastport Yacht Club
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October 5, 2010
Hello mis amigos, we need a vacation. Between socializing with other cruisers and three trips by train to NYC it was quite a stop. There was a British fleet that arrived by chance (not traveling with each other) a Kiwi boat and American friends we met in Newport. Port Washington is a great cruiser stop both going north and south. The city has 20 free moorings on a two day no charge basis (yellow moorings), a free pump out dock and water. The holding is good in the main anchorage across from the city moorings. The Long Island Railroad terminal is exactly 25 minutes walk up the hill in town. There is a second city furnished dinghy dock directly across from a shopping mall including a grocery store. If there is any downside the bay is polluted so its best to lift the dinghy at night. Since arriving in the Med and now here, Mary and I have been lifting the dinghy each night and putting it on the hip. We have a 6" cleat mounted inside the dinghy transom and a short line attached. We lift the bow and tie it off to the boat deck rail and Mary takes the short line and cleats it off so it doesn't swing. This keeps the dinghy cleaner as well as discouraging any theft.
Egret is at sea while I am typing this. (Whoops. 102' Sea Courageous just went by with a tow. They showed up at 9nm on a collision course. I called at 6nm and we both turned a bit to port and passed at .67nm. No problem.)
NYC was not what we expected. It was clean, the folks were friendly and it was fun. We saw just a couple vagrants, no gangs or tough guys. Of course we were in the tourist areas.
The first stop was a camera store. There we shed some camera stuff we paid a lot for and haven't used for some time, sold it super cheap but at least it is off the boat and of course we had to replace a few items with more stuff. Mary got a new camera that makes my camera's resolution look like an oil painting. It is amazing (D7000 Nikon). There is a sorta lesson here. We have been fine tuning our photo stuff for some years now. I'm not sure if it will ever end but we are a lot farther ahead than when we started. Had we have done this with our choice of boats we would soon be broke taking the latest gee golly whiz boat that fit our skills and perceived needs at the time back to the broker.
We walked as far north from Penn Station (its terminal is under Madison Square Garden) as Central Park - in the pouring rain the first day - south to Times Square a couple times and back one evening and did the Empire State Building tour. We saw every mix of folks you can imagine. Our lunch waiter in the Chelsea District was wearing heavy mascara. That was different. We saw young girls with legs so skinny their knees looked like knots. Two came out of a salon wearing short shorts and giantus platform shoes (for lack of a proper description). So I guess they were models or model hopefuls. One night in Times Square we saw a crowd so went over to see what was whipping. Oh my gosh!! There were two young ladies painted white with stripes over the white. That's kinda it. Paint. (actually there was a little more than paint but not much. Two photographers were posing them in athletic poses.)
Bristol, Rhode Island declares itself the most patriotic town in the U.S. There are not only flags flying everywhere but bunting as well. Even their no passing lanes in the streets are painted red, white and blue.However, New York was nearly the same. There were flags everywhere and not only businesses. Decals, tiny flags flown on bicycles, in store windowsand most everywhere. Two things stood out from 9-11.One was a chain link fence around a vacant lot thatwas decorated with ceramic tiles from all over the country with 9-11 Americana type captions. The second was at the Photographic Museum. They had a photographic display from 9-11 images. Both were heart wrenching. We wanted to see Ground Zero but it is by reservation made on the internet. Reservations were full until early October so we didn't get to see it. Of course NYC is all about speed - taxis and fire trucks. lights andskyscrapers. including the Empire State Building from the bottom to the top.
So New York City was fun. I'm sure we'll stop there going or coming in the future. But we need to keep moving. Egret left Port Washington this morning (Wed) at 0700 when the Max Sea current program said the tide swung and the current was whipping in the right direction. Well that was a fairy tale. It was 2.5 hours premature. So we slugged our way upcurrent making between 4.6 and 6.1 knots until the tide went slack then started flushing the little lady out to sea. It was gray and hazy on the trip thru the city but we still enjoyed seeing all the buildings we have seen in photographs since children. The East River flowing past the United Nations building was closed to daytime boat traffic on Monday and Tuesday while the U.N. was in session. There is no way to take a small boat thru at night because of the logs and giant timbers floating everywhere. The Coast Guard reported a 40' tree floating in the river and a 20' timber. Neither would be much fun to hit, much less the large pieces we saw and missed. Commercial traffic mostly consisted of barges being pushed by tugs and were not a problem. Even the ferries behaved. Early on we went by the Brooklyn Bridge. My brother is the sole agent for selling the bridge. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Egret's course took her out of New York Harbor, past the Statue of Liberty, past Sandy Point, New Jersey into the Atlantic and currently is running SW along the NJ coast toward the Cape May Canal. Here is a photo of the grand lady herself. In case you didn't know, the tablet she is holding reads; July 1V, MDCCLXXV1. There was a sea breeze of 20 knots or so at the beginning but once offshore it dropped to a steady 15 knots on the beam and was quite comfortable. We hope to arrive at first light to pass thru the canal to save a few miles and current and shallow water issues on the N. side of the entrance to Delaware Bay. The plan is to run all day tomorrow (its Wed night) and should arrive at the entrance to the C&D Canal linking Delaware Bay with the Chesapeake before dark. Friday morning we will enter the Chesapeake and will figure what to do from there. More to follow.
0830 next morning. It was uneventful night except for two Idiot sailboat guys. Egret's course was inside the buoys about 2.5nm offshore and the commercial traffic - tugs and tows - was offshore of that. The first Idiot passed Egret well to port, got about 2nm ahead, crossed to near shore then reversed course heading back north and if we hadn't changed course as Idiot Boy closed he would have hit us. We didn't say anything on the VHF and let it go. Next Idiot Boy decides to catch up then tried the same trick again except he crossed just in front of the bow. Mary was on watch and she called me up. I waited until he was close - the speed differential wasn't much - then turned once again but this time tight to his transom and laid on the horn to wake him up. He said "where did you come from?" so I had to tell him we had been running the same course for 23 miles and so on. Later it happened again with another boat. Idiot Boy II not only cut in front of a tug and tow but again came across the bow And nearly hit a small sailboat trying to hide while bobbing along. So he asked where did we both come from? Its Idiots like this that end up under barges they didn't see. Comments like "I'm hard on the wind", "I've been up 22 hours" and "where did you come from?" don't cut it at sea. Both Idiot Boys owe it to themselves and other yachties to be alert at night, particularly in a heavily traveled coastal area.
Later. So much for stopping near dark at the entrance to the C&D Canal. We wuz flying. This is the second time we found that by leaving Long Island Sound and hitting the tide on the fall at Hell's Gate in NYC and running all night we rode the tide the entire way offshore, up the Delaware on the flood and into the C&D. This time we rode the tide all the way thru the C&D and caught the fall on the Chesapeake side. If it weren't for getting dark we could have ridden the fall all the way down the Chesapeake. In the end we anchored off a beach for the night and moved the next morning (Fri) into the Chesapeake and turned up the Chester River to Chester, Md.
TK went down in 10' and out went 75' of chain plus snubber. After showering we dropped the dink and headed into town to see what was whipping. Well did we hit it right or not? They were opening the remodeled theater and were having a street party complete with the Clay County Community Volunteer Marching Band. The CCCVMB was an eclectic group of ex high school bandies a couple generations later. It was great fun. Some members treated the band for what it was and others treated it like life itself and were sooooo serious. Then the rain came but it didn't slow down anything. The umbrellas came out and the toasts continued for the theater, the band and any other excuse the locals could think of. This is our third time in Chester and now the third time we ate at the Hotel Imperial for dinner. It is a pricey place but it is tradition. I used to race cars in a series with its former owner so they took us around here and there the last times. We missed him this time but we heard from locals he is still in town and has become the town curmudgeon.
So today it was back to town and the Saturday market in the town square a couple blocks from the waterfront. We should explain a little about Chester, Maryland. It is the county seat of Clay County. Our racing buddy said 100 years ago, Clay County had 5,000 residents. When we were here last it had 10,000. So a doubling is size in 100 years is about right. Ft Lauderdale has grown exactly 50 times since I arrived as a baby a few years back. Yes, that was less than 100 years ago. The Saturday market hasn't changed much. We still bought veggies direct from the farmers and bread from the Amish bakers. Their bread is pricey but when you pick it up the loaf is heavy. There is actually something besides air beat into the mix. Then it was off to the local coffee shop for a snacko and back to the dink with the goodies. Then it was off to the supermarket. The locals that gave us directions couldn't get over the fact we would walk a mile to a supermarket. The two we asked both said it is a long way. So we told them we don't have a car and took off and left them wondering. On the way to the grocery store we came across this patriotic home. One item we bought was toilet bowl cleaner to get the brown mustache off the bow. (from tannin in the water)
After getting back we tried the toilet bowl cleaner and it worked but slow. The trick is to let it sit and work. We used a soft bristle brush with a long handle, sprayed the bristles and brushed it on. In the end it still took some light scrubbing but it came off and the little lady looks much better.
So now let's talk about boats. A few months back we talked about buying a brokerage boat and what to do and not to do. Back in Bristol, Rhode Island we met up with cruising buddys on N47 Bluewater. Egret was on anchor and they steamed by so we snapped a few pics. I was looking at the photo's later and was looking at the detail and thought that went into Bluewater so I decided to write about the advantages of a new build. First we must make it VERY CLEAR, BLUEWATER IS NOT FOR SALE AND NOT WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. This as always is about you. As you know we bought Egret new but Milt and Judy had years and years of cruising experience and knew exactly what they wanted, not like Mary and I. In addition, I can't imagine a more researched boat than Bluewater. Milt queried everyone he knew about this n' that and distilled everything down from there and threw in their own decades of cruising experience. They started in sail venturing as far as the Eastern Caribbean. Next came a 32 Grand Banks and soon after a 42 Grand Banks with years of trips up and down the U.S. east coast as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as the Bahamas and perhaps farther accumulating around 5000 hours. After working with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally as the main front man they got the long distance bug. This kinda happens to the more intrepid folks in time. So it Started.
At the time of purchase the N46 was out of production and the available boats were the N40, N47, N57 and up. I believe the N50 was out of production at that time and the N52 was to come later. So obviously they opted for a no flybridge 47. Milt is a retired U.S. Navy Commander and he is a belts and suspenders kinda guy. In addition to oversize Naiad's they installed paravanes. Knowing how they use their boat they wanted two generators; one as a day generator for most of the time and a second larger generator. It was a tight fit but by removing the sound shields they were able to squeeze in a 6kw and a 12kw Northern Lights. The 6kw has 3340 hours and the 12kw has 1025. In addition to the usual bow thruster they added a stern thruster. Milt says the stern thruster is as effective as the bow thruster. Both are electric. If the boat were a 55 or up I'm sure they would install a hydraulics package so the windlass and thrusters would be hydraulic. One interesting engine room addition normally found on larger boats is a 15 gallon fresh oil tank. Milt said he wishes he had a double tank made, the second side for used oil. The anchor is a 120lb Rocna they are thrilled with. The dinghy is a 12' Carib fiberglass RIB with a 15hp Yamaha 2 stroke engine, simple hand crank, no steering console but with a very practical stainless steel hoop for boarding. There is a large Steelhead 1500lb davit plus the back up boom for launching the dinghy. Milt is Mister Electronics, part of his business for years, so instead of listing all The Stuff we'll add this link Milt passed along to help others. http://www.bluewaternav.com/aspx/blob2/blobpage.aspx/msgid/733637 Milt also taught himself to use a basic cad/cam program to lay out the pilothouse electronics. The installation is perfect and all theRight Stuff is directly at hand from the Stidd helm chair. The interior customizing, decoration and colors are personal to them as they would be to you so we won't list those changes or additions except to say they have two Ekorness chairs in the salon which is one more than Egret and would be a welcome addition. Bluewater is perfect for M&J, she was their creation and she is beautiful.
There is a lot of satisfaction in buying new and creating your dreamboat that starts life in drums and boxes. I'm going to say that again. There is a Lot of Satisfaction in buying new and creating your own Dreamboat. Now I must say it isn't particularly easy. When you buy brokerage you get what what you get. There is a brief time of anticipation but once you make your decision and are going thru survey it is a relatively short time before you are The Owner. Buying a new build is a series of highs and lows and waiting and worrying and waiting and commissioning and this n' that but later it all comes together and you have Exactly what you wanted. It is like building a custom home. We did this as well as owner builders and it wasn't easy but we made it easy. Now here is the deal. You can do it the easy way or the hard way. We did both the easy way by not micro managing and ended up with a beautiful home and obviously a boat we are thrilled with, even after all these miles*.
*(At night cruising up Delaware Bay the happy little Lugger hit 11,000 hours - trouble free as always)
It is amazing the creativity and expertise that goes into today's complex but super reliable ocean capable boats. And now let's talk about ocean capable boats. Years ago in the Florida Keys, a tourist trap cluster of shops had a boat on display that at the time was the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic. It was a sub 6' sailboat with a tiny Evinrude outboard as an auxiliary. So some guy floated across the Atlantic eating who knows what and made it and didn't die so I guess you could say it was a successful crossing. That is not the standard we choose to follow and wouldn't. We would almost rather watch the 6:00 news than cross like that. We met a fellow in Mahon, Menorca (Balearic Islands off Spain) that crossed the Atlantic in a popular 55' semi displacement boat with a paid crew of 4 or 5 and a deck full of large plastic fuel drums. He hasn't moved far from Mahon since (4 years) and is el thruo with anything to do with At Sea because he probably got caught in following seas along the way.
Following seas in a flat transom, semi displacement boat is not much fun. So let's talk about that. Semi displacement boats are planing hulls that plane when they have enough horsepower and squat and go faster than displacement speeds when they don't. So they have a deep forefoot and are flat aft to keep the stern from sinking and get on plane. They have transmission gear ratios to spin small props fast to make all this happen. Along with this are small rudders because with that much water flow at speed they work well. High speed sportfishermen or coastal cruising with semi displacement boats this works fine because when you aren't concerned about fuel mileage you can add throttle, squat the stern and run faster with more control. Now, when you cross an ocean you must conserve fuel so a normal planing boat is riding on its waterline at displacement speeds tying to conserve fuel. However they still have the deep forefoot and flat bottom aft along with small props and small rudders. When a quartering, following sea picks up the transom and sets it over (because the bottom is flat aft and it spins on the forefoot) the autopilot is struggling to keep up at low rpm with minimal water flow past small rudders. It happened to us once in Proud Mary, our little 32 Grand Banks even though she was a single. (twins would have been worse) We were on the Bahamas Bank in a storm with following, quartering seas. The autopilot freaked so we had to hand steer down sea and keep the waves square to the transom and turn where we wanted to go after the wave passed under the stern, then straight again for the next sea. After a couple hours of this nonsense we anchored for the night and slept in the salon where the pitching was minimal. At sea we would have had to keep going hand steering. So what we're saying, there are boats to do it safely in comfort and not. So the bottom line is, if you want to go to sea safely and in comfort you need to buy a boat with a proven pedigree (and not the hype of a pretender because when you are 500nm or 1000nm offshore and the wind starts puffing you Do Not want to be a guinea pig or a pioneer.) This is what Milt and Judy from Bluewater did and they crossed an ocean safely and comfortably* going on to cruise the Med. *Well OK, they did have a storm off Portugal that beat them up a bit but it was just uncomfortable, not dangerous. Like always this passed and they made their way into the Med.
OK, back to cruising. Egret is in Annapolis anchored off the Eastport Yacht Club. TK dropped in 42' and we sent out 225' - 70m of chain plus snubber. Holding here is good, there is no appreciable wind predicted and with more chain it could get to be a problem as the anchorage fills pre Annapolis Sailboat Show. Most folks will stay away because of the anchoring depth and that is a good thing. Today we used the waterwayguide.com guide to fuel pricing, made a couple phone calls and took on 500 U.S. gallons of fuel at $3.58 U.S.P./gallon - .94/liter. On the way we managed to run aground but laughed at ourselves and lit up the little Lugger and pushed our way thru the mud. No biggie. The lady at the fuel dock said she knew she met us before. So while pumping fuel she went to her boat at the same marina and came back with an antique Egret boat card complete with the wacko e-mail address from some communications wannabe dude we used to begin with thru the SSB. We met she and her husband aboard s/v Angel in the Bahamas during Egret's first winter there in 2002. Small world. More to come on Annapolis in the coming VofE.
Today while choosing photo's for this VofE we looked at the past few VofE photo's marking Egret's arrival back in North American, thru Nova Scotia, entering the U.S. in Newport and now to Annapolis in the Chesapeake. This is a short time in our lives and we have seen so much in just the past few months. As important or more important were the folks we met, new and old acquaintances. Ya know, this cruising life really is the Real Deal. Reading the mind numbing and mind dumbing Yahoo news recently since internet access brings home VERY CLEARLY just how fortunate we are to be able to shed all this unhappiness and do our deal living in peace and relative ignorance. With internet access we visited a couple yachtie forums. On one the gloves have come off and how the participants banter back and forth about this n' that boat is a giggle. I believe they are missing the Big Picture. It isn't the boat unless you plan some grand offshore adventure down the road, then the Right Decision is imperative. A boat is just a tool to make ourselves happy cruising, not happiness in itself. After the initial anticipation until ownership, pride of ownership as a major part of the experience diminishes as the experiences themselves unfold. This happens rather quickly as the miles pass. Throwing off the docklines is the most difficult task in boating. When the polar ice caps turn liquid this group will still be arguing about boats and will be sitting behind the keyboard waiting to pounce on the next victim of perceived ignorance. Sitting at The Desk. Aging prematurely because of the pressure. While others cruise. Getting all wrinkly because the clock is ticking. Tick. Tick. Tick. And there is more. And the currencies of the world are loosing their value. If it were me I would gather up my euros, pesos or whatever and invest in fiberglass and soon. In fact, I would probably pay cash because in weeks or within a few months it might take a bigger piggy bank to buy your dreams. Oh my. Ciao.
Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.