"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 do cuments the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them intouch 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…fornow.“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.
September 26, 2014
Position: 39 16.62N 76 36.16 Trawlerfest, I Dock, Slip 27, Baltimore Marine Center, Baltimore, Md.
Hello mis amigos, let’s see; the Naiads are fixed and the little white fiberglass ship headed for Port Washington, New York. Previously we removed the belts and suspenders forestay from the top of the mast to the bow rail because we have never used the paravanes except at anchor and we plan to be coastal weenies for the foreseeable future. What this did is open the seat we had built in Turkey (2006) for Mary to sit and watch her dolphins play in the bow wake. So for the first time here she is enjoying her seat. PW is the last major bay and anchorage before entering New York harbor. PW has taken a pro-active approach to boaters and have installed 20 free moorings to transients to use for 3 days. In addition they have two well built docks; one for holding tank pump-out and fresh water and the other nearby to leave the dinghy and visit a shopping center across the way with a grocery store and all the usual shops including a handy marine store. The mooring field had an international group of visitors including the Irish family we met up the road. Dick even met a couple from New Zealand.
In addition to having a friendly place to stop, PW is the last stop for the train to NYC. So what’s in NYC beside the obvious? The world’s largest camera stores, of course. I just wanted to go inside and breathe the air. And of course pick up a few goodies we Need, not simply Want. So we sold a lens that was a great lens but it was like carrying a log and bought a couple more. Well OK, a few more. B&H Photo & Video is an amazing place. They have everything for the motion picture industry, pro camera, computers, printers and anything to do with anything photographic. It was packed as it always is. Dick was totally overwhelmed with The Stuff inside.
So after the first stop at B&H off we went. Two places we wanted to visit are at the opposite ends of Manhattan Island. The first was quite a hike to the far end and took all day into the evening. We three made the pilgrimage to the World Trade Center Memorial. The first thing you notice is how quiet it is. Even the traffic seems to quiet when passing. No one talks. It is Very emotional. It is even difficult to write about it.
There is still some construction going on but the core memorial depicting the Twin Towers is in place. The memorials themselves are two square, tiled depressions in the ground with a second depression in the center. There is water flowing from the top to the bottom. Around the perimeter of both memorials are the names of the people who died in the attack scribed into bronze plates. One thing that seemed to be universal with each visitor was how they put their hands on the bronze plates and walked along as if to communicate with the victims.
It was a long walk to the Trade Center memorial. Along the way we saw what appeared to be a residential apartment building we hadn’t seen on previous visits that was a bit different. The surfaces were flat or opaque along with the windows. Of course along the major streets were ptomaine palaces on wheels. Heart attack city.
We returned the next day to take Dick to Times Square. We stopped before Times Square and went into the Hard Rock Café’ for lunch. Again, Dick was overwhelmed by the NYC Hard Rock and when we got to Times Square he was like a kid in a candy store. Times Square is one of the most cosmopolitan destinations in the U.S. Nearly everyone is a tourist. It is as if you took a few people from each country, put them in a cup, shook them up and spilled them out into the Square like dice. New Yorks’ finest were scattered here and there. They weren’t working hard thank goodness. So Dickiedoo had his picture taken with Mini Mouse and a couple of her friends. For a guy who grew up in a 20 family village and a one-room, 9 student, one-teacher schoolhouse, D Doo was in heaven.
For the most part, we boaters have a problem. A couple years into full time cruising we get completely settled and confident in our new lives and want to share our good fortune with others. It seems a shame to keep the magic to ourselves. What we find is most folks either don’t have the interest or just too busy with routine and really don’t want to come. It has been really fun for us to include Dick in our wanderings from time to time the past few years.
The little lady departed PWyesterday morning riding the tide thru NYC and NY Harbor, around Sandy Point, NJ and now she is approaching the entrance to Delaware Bay at first light and a light fog. Passing thru Hell’s Gate she reached 13.2 knots, a bit short of her all time fastest of 13.4 knots. This is the Brooklyn Bridge. There was a happening at the United Nations building so the Coast Guard was out in force with small patrol inflatable type boats with guys in front manning machine guns. A Coastie pulled up next to Egret to let us know there was a 175 yard security zone from the west shore of the channel. Here’s a parting shot of the city. Once in the harbor we took the time to run up to Lady Liberty and snap a few photos.
My dad was a young Army officer returning from France after WWII on the Queen Mary. He and a couple buddies made their way as high as they could so they could see the Statue of Liberty and the harbor. It was Exciting to be back in the U.S. after years away. What they didn’t know is they were standing under Queen Mary’s GIANT STEAM HORNS. When the horns blew passing Lady Liberty there was a lot of freaking and streaking going on. And the Boys got a hot shower. So that was cool.
The coastal trip last night was uneventful with no boat traffic she had to move for and even enjoyed a rain shower to give her a fresh water rinse. There was a little chop and spray to begin with that morphed into lazy swells from the east. Her speed was a tide game from 5.9 to 7.2 knots. Her overall average speed from Iceland dropped to 6.7 knots from 6.8 knots during the night. Today is Sunday morning. It will take over a full daylight day to reach the Chesapeake IF she catches the rising tide into Delaware Bay. It doesn’t appear she will. It is 17.7nm to the turn-in point into the Bay and it is high tide already. Bummer. So I suppose we’ll fight the tide into the bay and get as far as we can before dark then pull up to the west shore and fire TK down for the night and continue Monday morning. Move-in for Trawlerfest isn’t until Wednesday morning so there aren’t any time issues and fortunately there aren’t any weather issues.
It calmed once in the bay as we mentioned, however we fought the tide until an hour before dark anchoring 4.5nm from the entrance to the C&D Canal. (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal). There is a designated anchoring zone just north of a nuclear power plant. Farther north are a few ships anchored waiting on the tide along with a large fuel barge/pusher tug combo. Before dark we were sitting in the flybridge enjoying a spot of cheap but good enough white when a small outboard boat and a ship met mid channel framed by the setting sun. Was this a beautiful scene or what? Ho hum, what did you do today?
The next day we ran most of the day to a staging anchorage just 15nm from Baltimore. We took the time to use Mary Kate On N’ Off to get rid of the brown tannin stain moustache off the bow area then dinked in and wandered the little 2 street village on a peninsula. A local told us there was a restaurant a mile up the road so off we went for lunch. Yea, OK, it turned out to be a major march thru a wilderness area for at least 22nm or even more than that and it probably was at least that far walking alongside the road thru the woods however we did see a few squirrels and finally got to the restaurant/bar. Lunch was forgettable but filling and the service was slow. It didn’t matter after the forced march so we ate then waddle marched back to the dink and took a dinghy tour of the waterfront.
Now for a bit of techno. We did a little work while on anchor beside the tannin stain clean up. The water temperature for the main dropped on the way to the anchorage. This has never happened in the past. All it could be was a thermostat. It was. Here’s the deal. A Happy Little Lugger 668 has two thermostats under the plate just behind the expansion tank. After removing the 4 bolts and the top plate we were greeted by a square antifreeze reservoir holding two thermostats. To drain the reservoir I took the overflow hose off the back of the filler cap neck, filled it with fresh water so it was completely full, inserted one end into the reservoir and siphon drained the small tank. It holds about a gallon (it also drains the expansion tank) so be sure and use an appropriate jug to catch the anti freeze. Holding the two thermostats in place is a cast iron plate shown in the picture on top of the expansion tank. The thermostats are also stuck in place by two gaskets that slip over the edge of the thermostat. Insert a small screwdriver and pop each one out. (One was bad - so why not change both?) We had both in spares along with the gaskets so it was a quick fix. We re-used the antifreeze and topped up the reservoir. Now the HLL is back to tickediboo. The Lugger thermostat number is 35-10002 and the rubber gasket for the thermostat is 11-0015. In a pinch the NAPA equivalent for the thermostat is #169 for a 180 degree F/ 82 degree C. The top plate gasket is Lugger # 11013. If you have or will have a HLL like Egret, these are necessary spares.
OK, so Egret arrived at Trawlerfest as planned. So she got a nice bath and Mary chamoised her spotless. Of course the master head electric motor decided to take a powder. Dick worked all day taking it apart and putting it back together, redoing all the electrical connections, etc. I called Raritan in Ft Lauderdale (the heads are Raritan 12V Atlantis fresh water flush) and after checking everything and blah, blah, we determined it is the motor. Of course we have spare everything but a motor. All we have done in the past 13 years is change the head hoses* every 3 years or so and put in a couple joker valves. That’s it. Flawless. Anyhow, we’ll call and Fed Ex a new motor assembly and everything will be brandy new. Its just the timing is poor.
*Incidentally, if you plan to change the head hoses there are a couple tricks that make it easier. First, put the new head hose in the engine room while under way before changing the hoses. The hose will be super flexible and the installation is many times easier than cold hose. Second, remove hose from the Y valve end first. Wipe it dry with paper towels and duct tape it shut. This is like putting your finger on top of a soda straw. Then remove the hose from the toilet tail piece and immediately hold it as high as you can. Dry and tape that closed. Now you can remove the hose and nothing spills. If you don’t have spare hose (shame on you), you can beat it on the dock, flush the calcium contents and re-use the hose. We found the hose available virtually everywhere in populated boating centers. In Europe the hose is 36mm, not 1 ½” like in the U.S.
So first thing tomorrow morning Mary and I give a 2 hour presentation. First we’ll tell them a little of what they need to know then we’ll make them want to go cruising so bad they can’t stand it with a few photographs and verbal captions and then we’ll tell them how. And then more photographs. And then a dockside chat. We’re gonna rock their little boats. Great fun, eh?
So that’s it for this posting. We’ll report on Trawlerfest in time and next she moves down the road to meet friends with a N55 and on to Annapolis for D Doo’s grand tour of the U.S. East Coast.
Egret is for sale. http://youtu.be/AAR5wK-sWRs
September 15, 2014
Position: 41 11.32N 73 07.25W Stamford, Conn
Hello mis amigos, the Egret crew is under way for Newport. She departed at daybreak and wound her way thru the Boston harbor islands on a SE course along the coast.
Backtracking a bit, we fired the last VofE into space on Saturday afternoon from Winthrop YC. Later a lobster boat working the channel next to the yacht club was pulling his traps just off the YC docks. He has about 6 traps each on two connected strings and pulls them once a day. This photograph was taken Sunday morning. The flying crab next to the fisherman isn’t an attack crab but it is on it’s way from the trap to the water. What is significant about this photograph that this channel in a major harbor is being fished at all. Ten years ago the harbor was polluted. These days the harbor has been cleaned thanks to an innovative sewage treatment plant near the YC. The discharge water is “clean enough to bathe in”. Fishermen who used to kill the crabs because they competed with lobster for food are now returning the crabs to the water because they too are feeders that help clean the bay.
As we mentioned in the last VofE, the gang of four (GOF) came to Egret for dinner. Mary fixed the World’s Best Scallops along with the usual sides. Sue bought a giant baked Alaska. There is a story behind the baked Alaska. We were over at their boat the night before when we invited them for dinner and Sue asked Mary what she could bring. Mary said desert and Sue said she could bake a pie or something and Mary said joking, how about a baked Alaska? So after a little internet search, Sue found someone who made them and had to time the pick up with dinner. It was quite an effort on Sue’s part but nevertheless we had baked Alaska. Of course we still have 2 or 3 deserts worth in the freezer. It was another good night with yachtie friends. Its all about the people or have we said that before?
Just before dinner a giant, fast moving storm tore thru. It first appeared to be passing north of Winthrop then it turned and ran directly over the top of the YC and everything within sight. There were wind gusts to 36 knots and horizontal rain. The sky was unusual. It appeared to be boiling. This photograph is looking toward downtown Boston. Notice the sailboats heeled from the wind. Pretty cool.
OK, back to sea. Currently the little lady is running down the coast keeping around 3nm off the beach. We’re playing the tide game. Currently she is making 6.0 knots at 1500 rpm, down from 6.9 knots. More to follow.
Our luck continued with optimal timing for the Cape Cod Canal, which cuts thru the CC Peninsula from the mainland. Tides are fierce and when there is any real wind there are overfalls at the exit. To this day if you ask Mary about waves, she still talks about Egret’s 2003 trip thru the CCC. We didn’t have any tide charts and besides, we have a Nordhavn. Yea right. There were waves at the entrance but they didn’t seem That Big so in we went on autopilot with guess who steering the boat by spinning the autopilot knob. Mary said something and I said, “it is what it is”. That was right before the Tall – Tight Waves with overfalls picked up el Nordhavn toy boat and turned her toward the beach, 90 degrees from her course. There were a couple dudes surf fishing and when they saw this giant boat about to run over their stuff they turned and fled like girls. In the meantime I spun the wheel and got back on course. For the remainder of the CCC we ran the HLL at 2000 rpm steering with our fingertips. It was really dumb and something we’ll never be so stupeeed to attempt again.
So after throttling back to keep from exceeding the CCC speed limit of 10 knots, she ran thru the canal quickly – max tide today was 4.8 knots - and enjoyed the tide ride until an hour before we anchored for the night in the bight next to Slocum’s Neck. Slocum as you know was the first ever single hander to circumnavigate. I know he sailed commercially out of Boston and New Bedford, which is just a couple miles away so perhaps this is where he lived.
Slocum mentioned in his book, Sailing Alone Around The World*, that he anchored in Caleta Breaknock** in the Chilean Channels. He wasn’t the first. Charlie C, a Spaniard from the 1500’s (who had his crew lug a giant iron cross to the top of the entrance mountain), Magellan, Drake, Cook and the rest of the who’s who of bygone eras and of course little Egret on her Personal Voyage of Discovery. (Along with personal friends from: s/v’s Hawk - USA, Lindisfarne - Sweden, Pen Azen - England, Six Pack - Australia and Vision – New Zealand and m/y Pelagic - USA).
*ISBN 0-7607-1986-1, a Barnes & Noble Books edition. Mary and I are fortunate to have an older edition Mary’s brother found in a used book store. This is a must-have book if you are or plan to be a boater. It makes we spoiled cruisers appreciative of all the things we have to make our lives more pleasurable than in Slocum’s time.
**It is super quiet in the anchorage. Mary and Dick are reading in the salon and I’m in the pilothouse looking out at Josh’s place. So let’s tell a sea story of sorts. Or I should say, a dream.
I would like to die a billionaire even though we’re a touch short and making zero attempt to become one. The money wouldn’t be for our family or us, but to give away. Number one on my list would be to make a deal with the Chilean government to purchase the land surrounding Caleta Breaknock including the entrance channel to be kept the same as it is today as it was in Charlie C’s time. (Caleta means Cove) We would use our favorite charity, The Nature Conservancy, to negotiate the purchase then give it back to the Chilean government to be kept pristine forever with ZERO commercial water traffic of any type, salmon farms and of course, no construction ashore. Only individual cruisers would have access. PERIOD. There should be at least one place left in the southern water world plastic isn’t taken where you must earn the right to see something so historical and so special.
Let me describe special. Mary and I had already spent more than a year farther south in Patagonia and we were now slowly working our way north to Puerto Montt at the top of the Chilean Channels to attend a cruiser’s wedding. Caleta Breaknock was at the top of our list because of the history. To get to CB from the south, you have to cross the Straits of Magellan and head north a bit along the South American mainland. We had reasonable weather for the crossing but as we neared CB the weather deteriorated to lotsa wind, horizontal rain and at the entrance channel, very heavy mist. With vis less than a couple hundred feet it was pretty wild. We were in the flybridge with a copy of the Italian Guide (Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Nautical Guide) turned to the photographs of CB. We couldn’t see. We were getting blasted by rain. The glacier dug channel was hundreds of feet deep so there was no anchoring to wait for better weather. The chart plotting and gps and - and was useless. Only eyes worked here. Finally we saw a waterfall to port that looked like the illustration except there wasn’t a second waterfall that would define the anchorage. We kept bumping in and out of gear getting deeper into this now-narrow channel with scoured rock walls on each side meaning there is so much wind from williwaws that nothing can grow. In we went farther and farther and slower and slower and the mist got denser. There was no way to turn around in the narrow channel with all the wind. Then the channel opened into an hourglass bay with no mist and two waterfalls on the far side as they were pictured in the guide.
Down went TK and soon after there were two lines ashore and it was Calm. It was calm because we were sitting in a wind shadow with lines to the west. There was zero evidence of anyone having been there. Ever. No plastic, no garbage no nothing. Later we did find a cruiser trail under a wind-bowed canopy of trees so it really wasn’t like in Charlie C’s time but very close.
There are trails on either side of both waterfalls. One leads high up onto a rocky mountain and the other near the smaller waterfall leads under the tree canopy into a less steep route to the lakes. If you walk far enough there are 5 upland lakes, each feeding into the other. It was MAGIC!!
Egret stayed 3 days and we hiked all day, every day. We should have spent 3 weeks, but we had a ^%@#@^%* schedule and left when the weather cleared. (The Italian couple that wrote the guide once spent 19 days to travel 10nm to clear the Magellan. So you beat feet when you can IF you have to be somewhere because of a ^$#*^&# schedule. Or did I say that before?)
Anyhow, that’s my dream. If any of you ever get there we would share the dream.
Egret departed the next morning for the easy run into Newport. There was lotsa space available to anchor so we picked a prime spot on the outside opposite the NYYC summer headquarters and down went TK. We really enjoy Newport. It is not only for the boating but the history. We love walking around town beyond the waterfront. We re-visited the church where Washington worshiped with a local friend and later went a couple blocks away to the White Horse Tavern, founded in 1673. Mary, Dick and I stopped by the White Horse for some suds just to enjoy the atmosphere and wander the rooms both upstairs and downstairs. Can you imagine the history here? The White Horse is where Washington met with a French general and together they developed a plan to defeat the British and end the Revolutionary War. Nearby, some of the homes like this one pre-date the Revolution. This particular home, the James Easton house, 239 Spring Street, was constructed in 1732. Others were from the mid 1800’s like this one at 94 John Street. So anyhow, Newport is full of history both inland and along the waterfront.
The vendors are busily setting up their land and in-water displays for the Newport Boat Show. Of course we get to cruise by in the dink to see what is whipping in the water displays. There is some pretty cool stuff displayed along with major junko. However, even though the junko was built to a price there is still a place for junko in the big picture. Not everyone wants to go somewhere and many never travel more than 25nm from their dock or mooring and that’s OK. Its all part of the deal even though we feel it is a bit boring but at least it is better than no boating at all. PAE has a new 56’ motor sailor on display. We like the 56MS because the bottom is so efficient and it has a low profile.
We’ll report on the show when it opens on Sept 11th but more on that later. What is more important to we Americans is the date that is burned into all of our minds like December 7th, 1941 and November 22d, 1963. Each year we do a VofE tribute to 9-11. Here are two images to commemorate the date.
OK, so the show opened at 1000 on Thursday morning and the docks filled quickly. There were the usual catalog collectors but I got the overall feeling there was real business going on. The larger boats got most of the traffic but even some of the ever-popular baby tugs were crawling with folks.
Of course we visited the N56 Motorsailor. Let’s talk about the Motorsailor for a minute. This particular boat was built for the European market, which means it is CE certified and it is a 50 cycle boat. 50 cycles don’t work in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. The rest of the world is 50 cycle with a couple exceptions like Brazil. So this means the cruel fact of sales is there haven’t been any U.S. takers, which in turn means the price has dropped to stupid low numbers for a new boat. I’ll get back to a small world* moment shortly but a knowledgeable boater we met in the pilothouse said it was a 50 cycle boat and dismissed it at that. So we know him a bit and said in a knee jerk reaction “so what?” “All you have to do is put in an Atlas System and any power, anywhere in the world that is plugged in including 60 cycle comes out as 50 cycles.” “It costs around 25k for the installation.”
I thought more about it and took a minute the next morning to call Atlas Power Systems in Ft Lauderdale. I lied. For this size boat the unit lists for $28k plus installation, however if there is room and there is, the price is reduced $1,500 for a single piece unit, not a modular unit. Anyhow, if anyone is interested, the Motorsailor is the steal of the century. An Atlas System, electronics of choice and off you go anywhere in the world you wish to see for a mere bag of shells. We took a photograph of the down below settee, dining and galley area and used two lovley models to scale the shot. The model on the left is Jenny Stern, from PAE Rhode Island who brings VofE to life along with web guru Doug Harlow in California. The other lovely lady is a visitor coming up the steps from the mid-ship guest stateroom.
*On January 21st, 2007, Egret was under way from her overnight anchorage at Puerto Toro (Chile) for Cape Horn. Along the way she overtook a 51’ sailboat named Home Free, also heading for the Horn. We took photographs of each other’s boat at the Horn and met a couple days later to trade photo CD’s. Bob from Home Free was the knowledgeable owner I mentioned and it was Bob I told about the Atlas System. Of course we had a nice chat, particularly when he said they wanted to go to New Zealand and mentioned Stewart Island, south of South Island, NZ. (Stewart Island is where Egret wintered in 2009). Small world, eh?
We met a couple at the show with an N47 named Happy we talked to on the VHF for a couple hours on a night watch 2 years ago off the U.S. East Coast. We talked until our thumbs got tired holding the mike. They were relatively new boaters at the time and had a lot of questions. Two years down the road they can answer the same questions for someone else. That’s how it works. We also met a Very Excited Canadian couple with a new N40 under construction. They follow VofE and were particularly interested in Newfound and Labrador cruising. There is a lot of useful VofE information on these two locations over 3 years, 2012-13-14, for them and anyone else that is interested. Our two favorite areas were the southern Newfoundland Fjord Coast (2012) and the out-village in Henley Harbour, Labrador (2013). July and August these years would have the information.
We enjoyed the show nearly all day for two days. Even after all these years of boat ownership and prior to that vocation, we still can’t get enough.
Perhaps it is time to explain why Egret is for sale. Other boaters have asked, including here at the show so we’ll tell the story once and hopefully be done with it. It has nothing to do with the boat. For what we have done she is the best of the best and will continue to be. We would buy her again and not change anything.
Mary and I have lived our lives in stages. Each stage overlapped into the next. The early years were involved in a simple form of automobile racing. As time and money allowed, this morphed in to more involved vintage racing and travel. Eventually we sold Mary’s vintage car and I quit vintage racing. I continued on 6 more years in a pro series. At the end of those years, Chevrolet dropped our team support (plus series support) and our cash sponsor literally died. Even with continued support it was Time for something different. Then came the Florida Keys weekend home and heavy fishing. After 13 years it was Time. Now we have been long distance cruising for 13 years and it is Time. What we are actually looking at doing is more difficult boating than we are doing now. However it’s New. Something New to Learn. Something exciting. The only way to go on a New adventure is larger (boat) we can’t afford or smaller and more difficult. We’ll mix this new form of boating up with a little Jeep rock climbing – off road exploring, Bubba Truck, perhaps a tiny……...GASP!!………dirt dwelling………… to store the personal Stuff from Egret and who knows what else. But all we know for sure is we are going to keep at it until we can’t.
We’ve changed more during our Egret years than any time in our lives. Material things have no interest in the least. The downside is that we have become so spoiled with Freedom and Adventure we can’t stop seeing and doing New. I can’t imagine inventing a routine to pass the time day in and day out like so many people stuck in a rut. Then the rut gets narrower and deeper and before long their comfort zone is miniscule and what then? Long distance boating has given us this gift of seeing and doing. It is priceless and it keeps on giving.
Here’s how it works. Mary and I are giving a talk at the upcoming Trawlerfest in Baltimore less than 2 weeks from now. Most of the talk will be a slide show presentation. We are going to pick out some random photo’s from Egret’s travels and put them in a laptop file. The photographs won’t be chronological, or by country or by anything resembling organization. Organization means work and we don’t work. We play if you haven’t guessed. So anyhow, we’ll have these photos on a slideshow and there won’t be any rehearsal. As they show on the screen, one or the other will tell the story about that particular day. Each and every photograph has a story. Its magic. Every one takes Mary and I back to that day. What a gift! Eh?
OK, so Mary’s down below reading and I’d rather write a sea story than re-read Slocum for the umpteenth time so we’ll tell a tale about one photo we’ll include in the Trawlerfest slide show.
After making the loop, Egret headed back into the Mediterranean. Eventually she worked her way to the Italian island of Ponza, south of Rome. We puttered for a few days then decided to circumnavigate Ponaz in the little dink with a 3hp outboard. Ponza is around 8nm long and not particularly wide. So off we went and started by hitting the Roman baths and cave close to the anchorage. Soon after we began exploring every cave we came across. We learned from a previous trip to Ponza years before, that one cave was so deep without a chimney to illuminate the passage we needed a large flashlight shortly after the entrance. So in and out of every cave the little rubber boat went. There are lotsa caves in Ponza. One in particular was super special. Near the far end there was a chimney that illuminated the walls different shades of green and blue, reflections from the clear water and the white sand bottom. This photo was taken there. (You’ll have to come to Trawlerfest to see the photograph.) Anyhow, we explored to the end of every cave around the island including the deep one that was dark. At the end of the blacker n’ black cave was a large, 3 story basilica. Some cave entrances were so tight we had to roll the dink on its side and push over rocks to enter the cave. Magic! It took all day until nearly dark to make the circle. In the end we were sweating fuel but we made it back to the boat running on fumes. Can you imagine how cool that was? Cool, rut, cool, rut, crcrcrcr. Oh my. You get the picture.
There is an Irish sloop anchored next to Egret with mom, dad and two young, home-schooled Boat Kids. They are flying an OCC – Ocean Cruising Club – pennant so we went over and invited them over for coffee this morning. Mom was teaching school so dad came over. We talked for a couple hours hearing their stories and giving him information on places they would eventually like to cruise.
It took them 9 years to build their aluminum sloop while working full time jobs. During those years they ended up with two Boat Kids. Two years ago when the Kids were finally old enough they left Ireland and headed Out. Now they are on their way back home to replenish the cruising kitty then head back Out once again. When we pulled up to their transom in the dink the little 4 year old girl asked if she could take our dinghy painter. In those words. I love it when Boat Kids, particularly 4 year olds talk like that. Great parenting, eh? Can you imagine how responsible these two children will be after their years on the water? One thing we were happy to hear was how much they have enjoyed their time in the U.S. and the welcome they received everywhere.
Here’s a last look at Newport.
Egret cleared Newport Harbor’s red flashing light at 0602 this morning (Sunday). She ran out of the entrance channel on a tide ride then turned the corner and headed for The Race at the entrance to Long Island Sound. Of course we didn’t figure the tide because it was time to go and it was what it was. Keeping with our good luck the tide swung just as she reached The Race (3 knots plus) and off she went in super calm seas. Her speed soon reached over 9 knots and an eventual high of 9.4 knots. She wuz flying. The far majority of the day was spent over 8 knots and her average speed since Iceland returned to 6.8 knots from 6.7 knots. The sun was out, it was warm and including the tide ride it was as perfect a day you could wish for. Anyhow, we pulled up to a beach before dark and Mary fired TK down in 26’ at high tide. Out went 100’ of chain plus snubber.
Tomorrow she moves 4nm to a marina up the Houfatonic River in Connecticut. The port Naiad actuator (piston) is leaking so a tech from nearby Naiad headquarters is coming over to replace the seal. We would do it ourselves but it requires removing a casting that isn’t any biggie but there is an electronic potentiometer that rides on the fin shaft and if that isn’t removed perfectly its nearly a BU to replace. So we’ll pay a little labor and let an expert do the deal. The good news is the port actuator is under the master berth with acres of access. The stbd side actuator in the master head with less access was replaced last year so it will run for another 13 years.
The tech that is coming is Phil P. who helped the Naiad boats in Bermuda, the Azores and in Gibraltar during the 2004 Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. Small world, eh?
OK, so Phil from Naiad came and went. The actuator is tickiedeboo and all is well.
NYC is next.
Egret is for sale. http://youtu.be/AAR5wK-sWRs
September 8, 2014
Position: 42 22.06N 70 58.44W Winthrop Yacht Club, Boston, Mass
Hello mis amigos, Egret departed Boothbay Harbor at daylight and ran to an intermediate stop before Boston. The day went well with calm seas and no current issues so we changed our minds and ran a little farther into Portsmouth, an interesting harbor 7nm farther along the way. Portsmouth has a number of inland bays and on charts it looks like there would be plenty of places to anchor for the night and move along the next morning. There isn’t. The bottom was either rocky or hard. The reason is the current screams thru the harbor draining from far inland and any sand or mud that thought about hanging out in Portsmouth was dreaming. Also, there are at least 10 million moorings in Portsmouth taking up any available space with enough water to anchor even if the bottom had good holding. So anyhow, we pulled up to a yacht club with no name visible or VHF channel posted and took a mooring out of desperation. So finally a launch came out and said he had been calling us on Channel 78 and of course we don’t have 78 because the two VHF radios are set to international and besides, there was no channel 78 posted anywhere. So we played dumb newbies and paid them for the night and left at daybreak. Fortunately it was slack high so there weren’t any issues.
Early the next morning she passed Gloucester, Massachusetts and as luck would have it a parade of ol’ tyme schooners was coming out to race. The morning sun had them lit and was this a sight or what with all the different era schooners rallying to race? This beautifully maintained Alden schooner Brilliant was our favorite. We colored the photograph Antique Light to fit the era.
Soon after we got a phone call from our buddies from Winthrop Yacht Club. Their whole gang was in Provincetown, Cape Cod for the long weekend. Long weekend? We are so removed from schedules we didn’t realize it was Labor Day Weekend. Of course we haven’t worked for years so 3 days in a row doesn’t mean much these days. Anyhow, they called ahead and made arrangements for Egret to return to Her Spot at the YC. The first time she arrived they didn’t even have 50 amp shore power. So they called a local at home to open his marine store for the bits and within a couple hours the little beauty was living on the BFYC – the big fat yellow cord like a real dock weenie.
Egret arrived at Winthrop YC early afternoon. The photograph is from the boat. The clubhouse is in the top right background. As soon as Egret landed we hooked up the BFYC and gave her a fresh water bath. Dick dug the BFYC out earlier from behind two drawers in the forward stateroom. Ironically the last time the BFYC was hooked up was at WYC the year before. Small world. While at the dock in Iceland she was on the 50 cycle cord. The following afternoon our hosts, Ralph & Sue, Don and Karen showed up and invited us to Donnie’s boat for cocktails that morphed into dinner. It was a great evening.
Both couples are N Dreamers. Donnie and Karen have to work just another year or so before buying their dreamboat and heading Out. Ralph and Sue are on a little longer schedule.
Since arriving at WYC, Mary, Dick and I have been polishing the little lady. What is done so far sparkles like the day we bought her. Mary’s stainless is a thing of great beauty. One maintenance item was to take the 18’ Para Tech parachute anchor out of it’s bag for an inspection, a fresh water rinse, an air dry and repacking. At sea we keep it ready to go behind the Portuguese bridge and when we’re coastal cruising we put it away in the anchor locker.
First the parachute was hung to be rinsed and dried. The two fender balls in the foreground are the retrieval floats and the blue bag is the storage bag. Here’s the important part. Dick was a pilot during his career and even though we tell him he is useless and hopeless, he really isn’t. Dick KNOWS how to pack a parachute. The next photograph is how Dick folded each pleat and kept the shrouds straight leading to the anchor swivel and ring. The last photograph shows the lazy slip loops that pull free easily keeping the shrouds from tangling. After, the chute was packed back in the bag and returned to the anchor locker. For what it’s worth, we’ve never used our parachute and we haven’t heard of any N owner using theirs. Would we still buy one? Yes.
OK, so a couple more days have gone by and for the most part it’s been mostly work and little play. However, the little beauty is sparkling once again.
Tonight our WYC buddies are coming over for the World’s Best Scallops from Knight & Knickle in Lunenburg. Donnie told us last night we ruined their lives (with VofE) then Ralphie chimed in and said we did theirs too. Oh well, if they have to give up Dirt and live a new life of Freedom and Adventure we did our job. They are fortunate. At least they won’t spend the rest of their lives looking down and thumbing an electronic device or watching others on TV in their spare time. What a waste. Of course that’s just my opinion.
Egret leaves at daybreak for Newport. We’ll take our time and anchor somewhere for the night and arrive in Newport, Monday mid-day. We really enjoy Newport and particularly the Newport Boat Show. The NBS opens on September 11th and continues thru the 14th. Perhaps we’ll see a few of you there.
Egret is for sale. http://youtu.be/AAR5wK-sWRs
September 4, 2014
Position: 42 22.06N 70 58.44W Winthrop Yacht Club, Winthrop, Mass (Near Boston)
Hello mis amigos, the Egret crew is under way for an inland harbor in Maine’s wilderness to visit cruising friends. A few days back she left Southwest Harbor for Camden, another little jewel along the Maine coast. We planned to take on water the night before leaving but there was a lot of activity at the dock near dark. A swordfishing boat had been tuna fishing offshore and caught a giant Bluefin tuna in the 6-700lb range. The boat was at the fuel dock waiting on a truck to take it away to market. A single fish these days can bring tens of thousands of U.S.P. – U.S. Pesos. The fish was wrapped in a fish blanket packed with ice to keep it cool.
So we got water early the next morning and began threading our way thru maize of lobster pots for the 40nm run to Camden. We learned quickly in Maine to lay out a course and hand steer along the line dodging pots the entire way. There is no way to allow the autopilot to steer the boat. The set and drift is too much to keep popping off and back on autopilot missing pots. Actually it’s no big deal because the distances are short and with three of us aboard we steer for an hour or so then the next person takes over.
Along the way were a few seals, lots of birds, particularly around the inshore lobster boats as they pull the traps, toss the old bait to the beggars, re-bait and drop the pots. The local dolphins don’t run over and play in the bow wake like usual. They go about their business, usually in singles or an occasional pair ignoring the boats. I suppose there is such concentrations of working boats zipping around they have had enough. The small inshore lobster boats are a study in efficiency as the captain snags the buoy, takes a wrap on the hydraulic wheel in front of the helm then the stern man takes over. As soon as the pot is up the boat spins away to the next pot as the stern man works the pot and sends it back overboard. There is no lost motion. Their workday begins as first light and usually by 1300 they are headed back to the dock.
Camden is a small tourist town with a small fishing community. We anchored in 24’ at low tide at the harbor entrance where the larger boats anchor. Because there was little room to swing and there was no wind forecast for days, Mary sent out just 100’ of chain plus snubber. We spent time on wifi in a bookstore/café and later talked to the owner. He said they have a year around business in the bookstore itself. The summer season is madness like most of coastal Maine but he said there is an affluent community that lives year around and visit the store, particularly during the holidays.
While we were there a small coastal cruise ship arrived and ferried perhaps 25 people at a time ashore in a flat bottom launch. There is always a difference in boat or ship building. Some are heavily built and others are built to a price. This particular cruise ship was the Wallymart of coastalcruise ships. When they dropped the anchor the rattling from the chain chute sounded like the shipwas built out of beer cans. I’m not sure they could survive the impact from a lobster buoy, eh? Plus the design was no more imaginative than a saltine box with a pointy end.
Departing Camden this morning at 0530 the sun was on it’s way up beyond the horizon painting the harbor entrance in saturated colors. Later the sun rose over a small island and Mary caught a lobster boat working in the distance. And while we’re showing a few snaps, here’s a fewfrom a sunset harbor cruise in the dinghy.
The Yamadog 15hp dinghy motor was stumbling a little between idle and higher rpm. Even though I had drained the carburetor while away the low speed jets had a bit of residue clogging the tiny orifices. We raised the dinghy to the boat deck and removed the carb, cleaned it within a couple minutes and put it back together. We are going to lead you thru a carb cleaning in 4 photographs as well as explain what to do if the outboard goes under water. Of course this cleaning only applies to 2 stroke outboards. A 4 stroke outboard that goes under water is usually in Big Trouble. Stuff happens. I know it won’t happen to you but it has to us probably 4 times over the years, even as careful as we are.
The first photograph show the tools you need, at least for a Yamadog. You don’t need any parts like gaskets or o-rings. If by chance you have a 10mm swivel socket/wrench like in the photograph, you don’t need the ratchet and 10mm socket. Notice there are two size screwdrivers. This is Very Important and we’ll explain this later. One item we didn’t have was a can of CRC Cleaner/Degreaser to spray the jets and carburetor body clean. Automotive brake clean spray or electric clean will do the same thing.
The carburetor is held to the crankcase by two 10mm head bolts that go thru the carb and thread into the crankcase. There are two pieces of linkage on the left side, one removed by unscrewing the Phillips screw and the second by unsnapping a white nylon catch capturing a linkage rod. The fuel hose is on the right side held in place by a spring clip. It is easiest to pinch the spring clip with two fingers and use a screwdriver to slide the clip down the hose then remove the hose. That’s it: two pieces of linkage, two thru bolts and disconnect the fuel hose. There is a little more to the disassembly than this but there are no more parts to remove, just a little PATIENT JIGGLING to remove the air box and the carb.
Now for a couple hints that help. First of all, don’t do this in the water. Water is magnetic for carburetor parts that sink. Any small part dropped into the bottom of the dink is guaranteed to disappear. Put an old towel below the front of the engine against the transom to catch any falling parts. Put the dissembled pieces AWAY from harm’s way around your feet or anything that if it gets kicked may scatter the parts. Keep the parts on the floor and NOT on the dinghy seat. We always put the parts on white paper towels so we can see them easily.
OK, so now its time to dissemble the carburetor. It is best to remove the float bowl from the bottom of the carb holding the carb upright so gas doesn’t spill and it keeps any crud or water in the bottom of the bowl and not scattered into the upper part. There are 4 small Phillips head screws holding the float bowl in place. Looking at the float bowl it is easy to see there is only one way it can be reassembled. Once the float bowl is removed, clean it and set it aside.
Remove the black plastic float by unscrewing the single Phillips head screw and carefully slide the pin out of its receiver, lift the float and needle and set it aside.
Next, remove the black rubber plug over the top of a round tube holding the low speed jet. Using the small blade screwdriver, unscrew the jet. It is VERY important not to use a too-wide screwdriver blade that scrapes metal from the side of the tube and sprinkle it nicely into the jet. The small diameter jet shown in the photograph is usually the cause of low speed idle issues. Holding it up to the light and looking thru the tiny orifices you’ll usually see one or more are clogged with stuff. Spray the jet thoroughly with cleaner and double check all the holes are perfectly round and clear.
Next remove the short fat jet, clean it and shake the large thin jet out into your hand. This jet too can have stuff in the tiny holes in the narrow portion. Clean this thoroughly as well.
Once the jets themselves are spotless, spray the carburetor body interior and passageways with cleaner/degreaser.
Reassemble the parts carefully. Replacing the carburetor is not difficult but it does take a bit of concentration and jiggling to get everything back just right. The only linkage to adjust is the throttle linkage with the long Phillips screw. Personally, I tighten the screw with a little throttle applied to the twist throttle and it seems to settle back correctly than trying to set the throttle to the little red triangle on the twist handle.
I also use the pliers to unscrew the nut from the fuel filter on the right side of the engine and clean the filter. OK, so I can never remember the nut size and why I use pliers like a hack job mechanic. Incidentally, the factory fuel filter on the side of the engine is useless. ALWAYS install a secondary in-line fuel filter between the primer bulb and the engine. In- line filters are directional so keep that in mind. Change the in-line filters once a year. Any of you with a silly 4 stroke, an in-line fuel filter is a quadruple must.
If you are wondering what the brown coating is on the carburetor, it is CRC Corrosion Inhibitor or in some places overseas it is marketed as CRC Soft Seal. It’s the same product. This will keep the carb, any stainless bits and literally the entire engine block except for plastic parts from corroding. It is magic the way it works.
If you have a dumb attack or whatever reason your 2 stroke goes under water, much of what you do is the same. Nothing changes in the carburetor cleaning. First remove the cowl and spray the entire engine with fresh water. Don’t spare the water. Remove the carb. Remove the spark plugs. Put the water hose in each plug hole and let it run for 30 seconds each while slooooowly pulling the starter rope. Then put the water hose in the opening in the block covered by the carb and let it run. Pull the starter rope quickly and pump the water out of the plug holes. Rinse the pistons a couple more times and pump the water out. Clean the carb and the fuel filter on the side of the engine. Blow the fuel lines clear of fuel and water. Switch to a clean fuel tank if you have a spare. If not, make SURE there isn’t any water in the in-line fuel filter. Clean and replace the spark plugs. Pump clean fuel into the carburetor with the primer bulb, pull out the choke and pull the starter cord. Usually the engine starts on the second pull. If not, keep trying and if it doesn’t start after 5-6 pulls, remove the spark plugs, clean them and try again. If the spark plugs are fuel soaked push the choke back in and clean the plugs. Spraying the plugs with cleaner/degreaser – electrical contact cleaner, etc. really helps.
Once the engine starts it usually runs rough. Let it run at fast idle for 2 full minutes or more then shut it down, clean the spark plugs and pull the starter cord quickly once again to pump any remaining water. Put the plugs back in and restart the engine. If the engine is still running rough, repeat the clean plug/pulling process. Once it is running smoothly install fresh spark plugs. It is IMPORTANT the engine runs for at least 15 minutes before shutting it down and putting it away. Adding extra oil to the mix also helps lubricate the rotating parts. You don’t have to leave* the big boat to run the engine, just tie the dink alongside, put it IN GEAR and let the engine run at a fast idle or more. The reason to do this is to heat up the combustion chamber and burn any remaining water, particularly the water behind the piston rings. If you don’t let the engine run for an extended period the rings can stick overnight and if you don’t put the engine in gear it won’t generate enough heat to burn off the water. There is a workaround for stuck rings but I’m not going to tell you because if you do what we say here you won’t have a problem.
*If you do leave the big boat, make sure to run up wind or up current running back and forth a short distance from the boat in case the engine quits so returning will be easy using oars.
OK, so that’s it. It isn’t difficult and anyone taking their time and keeping PRINTED notes handy won’t have a problem. If not, there’s always a boater nearby who knows and would be happy to lend a hand.
VofE has many, many little techo’s like this. If you take the time to look them up, print and index them in Your Words, it will save you considerable trouble over your boating years. I cleaned my first outboard carburetor because I had to, not because I wanted to. Once I did it the first time we never worried about it again.
Yamadog 2 strokes are still available in the Bahamas if you are a U.S. East Coast boater. We bought several there over the years including our latest 15hp on the big dink. The smaller Yamadog came from New Zealand. For larger outboards, Evinrudes are available everywhere these days and they are still 2 stroke. An Evinrude would be my personal choice for any outboard 40hp and above, plus they pass every country’s emission standards. They have much more horsepower per rated horsepower and are just as efficient if not more efficient than a 4 stroke.
Egret arrived early afternoon at our friend’s mooring. We met Jim and Sue and had a nice chat then they loaned us their car to drive to a local grocery store. This is our first real grocery store since returning to the U.S. Wow! The store had EVERYTHING and the prices were so cheap compared what we had been paying they almost seemed free. We loaded up on fresh fruit and veggies, meat, snacks and cheap but good enough wine. Later we went out to dinner with J&S and their good friends Mike and Charlotte who own a local boatyard. They too would like to buy a long distance powerboat and head Out after their coastal miles.
Jim and Sue are much like Mary and I. They worked hard, enjoyed their children, educated their children and when the children were settled J&S sold their home, bought a sailboat and headed Out. Ultimately they ended up doing a 5 year circumnavigation. It was interesting to hear about places they saw we didn’t. How did we meet them? What’s the common bond? Boats of course.
Today we made the intrepid 10nm run to Boothbay Harbor (Maine). We picked up a mooring near the inner harbor instead of anchoring. It appears the places to anchor are well out of the harbor and there is a swell running with a little wind so it’s the reason we opted to be a mooring weenie. Anyhow, once ashore we began looking at boats on the dock (what else?) and we met a couple with a 36’ Grand Banks. So we yuped it up and found out there is a festival beginning tomorrow so we paid for a second night to see what is whipping. More on that later.
Boothbay Harbor is a typical 2 street deep tourist town and a local lobster industry. Everyone is selling T shits, other touristy doo-dads or lobster rolls. Its fun and we walked around the town looking at historic buildings for a few hours, looked at a few more boats for Dickiedoo to buy and so on. Friends spent time last year on their N in Maine. Anita had a great time on her paddleboard along with her hubby in a kayak with the wee one. This photo is for them to reminisce. INSERT PHOTO 5605 HERE.
Of course we have been pounding Dickiedoo to buy a boat and spend 3 months in the U.S. boating, then head west in a motorhome and spend 3 months Jeeping and then return to NZ for 6 months in order to receive the NZ equivalent of Social Security. Then D Doo mentioned he didn’t need to have the SS so naturally we ratcheted up the pressure to spend even more time in the U.S. NZ locals believe local boating is great, but once you have spent time on the east coast of the U.S., NZ boating* is lacking a bit of diversity. The difference between Maine cruising, the Boston/Newport area, the Long Island Sound/NYC/Hudson River area, the Chesapeake Bay, North and South Carolina, South Florida and the Keys and hop over to the Bahamas for a shot of crystal clear water, white sand beaches and salt scrubbed islands is hard to pass up, particularly considering the price difference between NZ and the U.S.
*Please understand we aren’t knocking NZ boating. We loved our cruising time in NZ because it was new and exciting, particularly Stewart Island. NZ was the first place Mary and I spent time (by air) after returning to the U.S. with Egret. However, after locals spend a few years cruising the NZ offerings, the U.S. east coast offers so much more. Forward thinking Kiwi’s could keep a boat in the U.S. and commute back and forth for a very nominal amount. Same for the north, west and south coast Aussies.
OK, so the next day we did the tourist deal again and later in the day returned to the marina to sample their chowder. Chile, chowder, music and overall good times were on the list of 10 or so places participating. The marina was voted the past two years to have the best chowder and we voted this year in favor of the marina. The chowder is the best we have ever tasted. It was so full of goodies I don’t see how anyone could sell it commercially. However, it was a real treat. Before heading back to the boat we bought a few more lobster direct from a lobster co-op.
This evening (Friday) the town put on an unbelievable fireworks display, particularly for such a small town plus it will be a week-long event. Dick really enjoyed it for sure.
Early tomorrow Egret will move west along the coast on a 42nm run to a small isolated cove we spotted on C-Map that appears to be sheltered from any wind and swell. We’ll arrive early enough so if there is any issue there are other places close by to choose for the evening. The next day (Sunday), Egret will arrive back home at the Winthrop Yacht Club near Boston. Some of the members are N Dreamers on a short leash to begin living their dream. However like all Dreamers, things have to happen, stuff and businesses to be sold and so on. WYC has been on our minds since we left Iceland.
Here’s a last look at Maine.
This posting will be sent from Boston as it is completed tonight here in Boothbay Harbor. Boston has too much to offer to be diluted by another posting.
Mary and I have been allowed the privilege to give a presentation at the upcoming Trawlerfest in Baltimore, Maryland the end of September. The subject will be Egret’s Circumnavigation and How To Get Started. We will hurry thru the circumnavigation portion and concentrate on what is important; how to get started. For the remainder of the session we will have questions and answers. We also volunteered to depart from the usual and told the Trawlerfest folks we would be happy to list several times during Trawlerfest to host a dockside chat from Egret to take questions and answers. We don’t know just yet if they will take us up on it as part of the curriculum, but in any case if Mary and I are aboard we are happy to talk long distance cruising if you happen to wander by.
Egret is for sale. http://youtu.be/AAR5wK-sWRs
Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.