Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Long time no post


Just another day on the ICW

The weather was beautiful today. Temperatures hovered around 68 and the sun was shinning. We covered lots of terrain, most of which was canal but we traversed a couple wider rivers and creeks. To pass the time we worked on the boat. It was not as productive as some of the days on shore but we were still able to get a couple tasks done. The luff attachments on the trysail were of the wrong type and I webbed the correct type of attachments in to the sail. We also made some headway on polishing the oil lantern. We anchored at mile 160 of the ICW. Mosquitoes made their first appearance today. We put up screens over our hatches and are praying the pests don’t find another way in. It looks like a gale is on its way for Thursday. We may take the day off and spend some time in town getting supplies and hopefully updating the blog.


What’s that smell?

We arose this morning at 6 and had the ICW to ourselves for the first hour or so. Then around 7:30 we were passed by the late rising fleet of motor vessels. There wasn’t rain today, but rather a fine mist that beat into you, ensuring that you knew you are on the water. Breakfast was pancakes again. They were so filling that around twelve we decided we could hold on till our scheduled fueling stop at 3 for lunch. The Albemarle Sound had winds of 22 sustained which fueled a fierce cross chop that continually soaked the helmsman. Exiting the sound and preparing to dock at the Alligator Marina fuel dock I reached in the starboard lazarette for dock lines only to be blown away by the smell of foul fish. Hal had purchased squid days earlier to fish while in Deltaville and had stowed them in a Tupperware container in the lazarette stinking up the whole compartment. The smell only increased as he emptied them over the side. It took a half an hour for the cockpit to regain a normal level of fishiness. The Alligator Marina was just a gas station on the side of a road that also had a dock on the opposite side. We fueled and watered before heading in for some burgers and dogs. There is nothing quite like a gas station burger to quench the hunger in a man’s stomach. I shouldn’t really equate this gas station to every other station I have been in, though. They actually had lacquered alligator heads for sale. Got to love the South. We made it to mile 94 only 30 minutes after sunset and anchored off catfish point on the alligator river in NC.


Start of the ICW

We left our anchorage this morning at 6 this morning with the impression that we may have anchored in the middle of the channel the previous night. The wind was manageable at 15k for the first hour or so. We dropped our sail to head into the Norfolk harbor just as winds reached 25 with gusts over 30k. Aircraft carriers and submarines lined the harbor. There was very tight security surrounding all the naval ships. Chained flotations and machinegun mounted patrol boats made it impossible to come within threatening distance of the ships (possibly a response to the Cole incident). We officially entered the ICW around 11. The first few miles of the ICW are pocked with Bridges and we had to pause frequently to wait for a bridge to open, swing and lift. We are taking the Virginia cut route instead of the Dismal swamp route. We passed through the Great Bridge lock descending a whopping foot. Regardless it is always exciting to travel through a lock. Around one the rain turned torrential. We dropped anchor south of mark “42” on mile 29 of the ICW in 4 feet of water. We don’t have internet and thus can’t obtain the next episode of The Office. Arg!


Dan’s first day

The first couple hours of the morning were spent putting some final touches on the engine and cleaning up after the mess opening all the access points to the engine had caused. We pulled our anchor at 9:30 from Deltaville, Va and continued down the Chesapeake. The wind picked up to S12-15k late in the morning allowing us to sail for the first time in too long. We dropped anchor around 5:30 just past sunset in Back River off Langley Va. I think that’s the Langley of the air force base and the space shuttle, not positive though. We keep anchoring in soft mud with our plow. If it isn’t the best type for soft ground, why does everyone use it as their primary when that is all that the east coast is? We keep having these discussions about the blog, and it always becomes apparent that all you folks reading don’t post enough. We want to hear from you too. This isn’t a one-way street, it’s a freak’n boat.


Do we need all four bolts to fit?

Anxious to take a shower we got out of bed around 8 to use the marina facilities before our privileges expired. A quick trip to the hardware store yielded little of interest and we were forced to twiddle our thumbs as we waited for our engine parts to arrive. Hal and I decided to use the time to catch some of these alleged fish that we here so much about but never see. The dingy provided a stable enough platform for our expedition. After a few hours of casting and retrieving with no luck/skill we decided to head back in case the parts had arrived. Our engine had other plans, like drinking the rest of the gas before we were in sight of our destination. Hal and I ended up rotating rowing duty for the next hour or so. We are young and needed the exercise, right moms? Shrimp net throwing lessons occupied our time as we waited. Finally around 3 Brad set to work installing the recently acquired parts. Quickly the excitement of the new parts faded as confusion and frustration set in. The holes in the new fresh water pump were a fraction of an inch off, making it impossible to get all four bolts in at the same time. After numerous phone conversations with little resolve, Brad went to see if the marina mechanics could offer any advice. He returned moments later excited with news that they would let us use their drill press. In his eagerness the dingy’s prop became wrapped in the fishing line we had set moments earlier. Undeterred, brad rowed back to shore with our drill bits still trailing the fishing line. After breaking our drill bits twice and finishing the job with a borrowed drill bit Brad returned to try the new adjustments. The water pump still did not fit. Half an hour’s filing later Brad and I both still could not get the part on the engine. Brad left to pick up Dan at the Newport airport with the engine and boat still in shambles. Hal interested to see what the issue was with the part proceeded to get all four bolts in first try. Shocking! The rest of the evening was spent cleaning the boat and attempting to use a sewing machine. Now I have used a sewing machine before many times, home-ec, at home, etc.; but try as I did I failed miserably. I was able to get stitches that looked perfect on the top, but the bottom was a mess. Each time the needle went through the cloth and attempted to pick up the other strand it got pulled into a big loop so the bottom of my stitches looked like a shag carpet. I guess the lee cloths will have to wait. Brad arrived with Dan in tow late at night(like 11, but Hal and I both had already teetered off to sleep). Exhausted Brad was still able to get the engine up and running before hitting the sack.