April 19, 2013

First Solo Outing - Post #5

Sailing is the second sexiest sport.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Sunday,March 17, 2013 - St. Patricks' Day
The way I see it, the sooner the better for me to learn how to sail this rig by myself.  It's gotta happen, so today seems as good a time as any... A few pelicans cheered me on as I made the call to leave the dock for my first solo outing in Glory Days.

It turned out to be a fine outing with good strong winds from the east at about 15 knots.  That means I'll be "beating" into the wind to get past the Brunswick River Bridge before I can really do much comfortable sailing on a beam reach or downwind.  I made sure to get everything in order before tossing off the dock lines.... You always have to stow every little thing on board so it doesn't go flying across the cabin when the boat heals over... Plus, its always a good idea to have everything you could possibly need already moved to the cockpit... sailing solo means it may not always be possible to dart below to grad a snack or the sailing gloves you are sorry you left in the cabin.

Before leaving, I even asked my neighbor, Ken, if he could greet me to catch the dock lines when I return.  Being a novice at docking this baby, I have no shame in asking for help.  He was glad to help, as most all boaters are.... I'll just him a honk on the horn before my approach to the dock.
Under way solo
 When I was out there, I called my mom to say hi and tell her I was on the high seas...  She thought I was kidding... So to convince her,  I emailed her this goofy little video... Hi Mom! See, I'm really here!

Here's photo of some of the basic tools of the trade while under sail... GPS, binoculars, sunscreen, camera, extra dock line, and auto pilot in place.

On the way back home, I took some photos of Serenity, a nice looking Catalina 36 that also lives at Brunswick Landing Marina.

That evening Brunswick was alive with music again for St. Patrick's Day....  This band was rockin' and  they even allowed one of the last lingering Elvis impersonators to join them for a couple of Elvis tunes... a nice ending to a powerful day.

April 18, 2013

Elvis Lives! - Post #4

The young Elvis

The Large Elvis

After returning to Marietta for a few days, Erin and I drove back down together to Glory Days.

Little did we know that an Elvis Fest was such a grand deal in this small Georgia town... Well, indeed, there was a hunka-hunka-burning-love Elvis impersonators all over town for this big event... Must've seen at least 30 of them... Everywhere you turned, you saw Elvis walkin' around town ... The young Elvis, the fat Elvis, the crooner Elvis, even the Hispanic Elvis...

Who's that with Capt. Joe?

The Yogi Master

Thankfully, I am a diehard Elvis fan and I was happy as a clam to check it all out.  They were performing all over the place in town... 4 at a time!  

Later that night, there was a big Elvis Shoot Out to crown the high and mighty one, but we opted for sunset dinner aboard Glory Days instead.   Perfect weather again... the marina is only a few blocks away, and I drifted asleep with a faint tinge of "I Did It My Way" in the background.

The next day we made our way out to the beach at St. Simon's Island for some walking and gazing at the sea... Erin did some nice yoga moves along the way here....It's a nice quiet beach... not white sand, but still mystical just the same with its abundant bird life and grey water of the Atlantic.

The Brunswick River Bridge is huge.... It is the tallest bridge in Georgia, and is a 3 mile long jaunt if you go both ways on it... Since its the only "mountain", hillside,  for hundreds of miles, it's a popular hiking and jogging spot... plus it offers some brilliant views of the tidal marshes.

The views from the bridge are awesome.

looking east



The Dixon Man Cometh! Post #3

To me, nothing made by man is more beautiful
than a sailboat under way in fine weather,
and to be on that sailboat is to be
as close to heaven as I expect to get.

Robert Manry, Tinkerbelle, 1965

Reporting to duty!

After a few days of sorting through all the mess I brought down here to stow on the boat, my oldest and bestest friend, Dixon, comes down to help christen Glory Days... Here he is "reporting to duty".

 Let the boat projects begin... one of the great things about Dixon is that he is a doer... and he loves to dive into most any type boat repair project... He bolted the dinghy davits to the stern rail and put air in all the boat fenders while I crawled in the cockpit locker to work on an issue with the hot water heater.   Somewhere along the way we managed to replace the head (toilet for you landlubbers) , pick a few guitars, and sail her over to Jekyll Isand (pics) and back... its all good....

On Saturday, like giddy little school boys, we took her out for her first outing.... Very daintily, we tiptoed out of the marina at a snail's pace, passing this big freighter on our way out... Suddenly, a couple of kids from Cordele are headed for the high seas... or as Dixon put it, "this is big... this is big".

Freighter watch.

The wind was a bit much at first so we motored across the bay and successfully followed the markers that led us into Jekyll Creek... With Jekyll Island on our port side we eased through the narrow Intracoastal Waterway for the first of many times to come. 

 A fuel stop at the Jekyll Marina proved to be a worthy stop... I learned the lesson the hard way to always keep the fuel pump handle in the "upward" position when passing it back to the dock hand... that avoids dripping diesel fuel into the sea.... a pair of crab sandwiches there gave us good body fuel for the sail back to Brunswick.  There's a great little country porch kinda place to eat at this stop.

Jekyll Island Marina - 1st stop

Regarding the sailing back, everything went just perfect.  We hit a good 15 knot breeze on the way back and got to feel just how nimble, yet steady, Glory Days would prove to be.  Perhaps over-cautiously, I reduced the sail area... ya never know how this gal's gona ride just yet... patience, grasshopper.

Sailing underneath the Brunswick bridge is a bit daunting.  It is the tallest bridge in Georgia and it gives you the shakes when you look straight up as you sail underneath her concrete supports.  On the return, we had to wait out a freighter turning in the river... A safe dockage back at dock 13 and a deep breath... the first of many outings to come had been a success.  Yay, Glory Days.

Joe and Dixon, maiden trip, Mar. 9. 2013

April 15, 2013

One 1987 Pearson 33.... Check! - Post #2

Those who travel fastest see the least,
but he that would see, feel, and hear the most
of life, nature, and God,
let him go down to the sea in a small sailing vessel.
 L. Francis Herreshoff

It was March 6, 2013

 Finally, the deal is done... Sailing Vessel, Glory Days is procured. After looking at over 50 boats, and losing two offers, over the past several months, a boat deal is finally closing... ahhhhh.... She's a 1987 Pearson 33, gently used... and she doesn't have a clue of what I'm about to put her through.

I won't go into the minutia of the boat survey or the sea trial except for a few photos here...  just put it say that The Hunt is over and she passed the survey with some little issues noted ...  I keep inching up 3 feet at a time when it comes to sailboats ... the 27' Catalina, then the 30' Newport, and now the Pearson 33... man, she's a sweet looking ride... sexy boat... basic, but adequate... for now at least.  Another small step for my little version ofmankind.... I  will say a big thank you to the previous owners for leaving her so clean.

The Brunswick Landing Marina... 

I think I'll keep her here for now .... it's a great location with lots of high end yachts... i'm actually, the little guy on the block in the Pearson 33... I'm okay with that... sort of like buying the cheapest house in a neighborhood of millionaries... Hopefully, I won't bring down the neighborhood drying my laundry or playing music till the wee hours...  

but there is also a clash of  cultures here... all these yachts lined up so neatly along the river are only a stones throw from some pretty impoverished neighborhoods.... unfortunately, that sometimes brings crime... They are folks who assume it is only natural and normal for them to have your things.... after all, you have some much, and they so little... it's easily justified in their mind. 

easy does it...

So back to the  boat.... She weighs in at 11,000 pounds with 16 horsepower of Yanmar get up and go. Lots of good wood in the interior, tho all the exterior wood needs grinding human labor to perk up the teak.  Its takes me days to unload, and sort, all me stuff, but its a good thing.  She'll need a bottom paint job before the summer is over, but that's pretty normal... it's all normal to pour money into a boat... that's what they do... drink money.  But the payoff is priceless.

More bird omens

When we were making the passage over to the marina for the haulout, I was thrilled to notice this big bald eagle perched upon a branch above the marshes... I'd never seen a bald eagle, outside of AlaskaSo again, the bird omens come into play as to what it all could possibly mean.  I was put further at ease when I researched the totem meaning for when an eagle crosses your path... Here 'tis.

"Spirit vision and healing surround you.  

Look at things from a new perspective.

Take a different path.

Trust what you are becoming."

I couldn't have said it any better, God.  Thank you.  

I move forward fearlessly.

Sleep gently tonight.









April 3, 2013

The Hunt Ends - Post #1

 Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground.
One never left port, and the other was an atrocious liar.
 Don Bramford

You can get addicted to sailing.  There will come a point when you can't walk away.  It's not just the act using wind power to propel you across the water .... It's a lifestyle, a culture... and in some cases, an affliction.  So is the case here.  Admitting your weakness to an affliction, and in my case a welcome affliction,  is the first step to help you move forward.... and so it is.  Accept that you are passionately obsessed and it's all glory days from there.

It had been about 6 months, maybe more,  since selling "Nimbus", the Newport 30' sloop, I've owned for the past 4 years.

I struggled with selling her, even on the final day before the sell.  She was a sweet ride, and perfect for Lake Lanier as my quick connection to the passion of sailing ....  Could I really part with her? .... tough decision, yes, but thankfully, I was devinely inspired by a bird that helped me make my decision.... a Kingfisher bird that is.  

As I was having my coffee one morning anchored near Buford dam, I was startled to hear a bird chirping away in a raspy ton perched atop the mast of Nimbus... Never before had any bird, much less a Kingfisher, come to rest on my boat at such a pinnacle point, the top of the mast ... It's a sign,  I know it is, and so I will follow.  I had prayed for a sign, and here it was, right on perfect time...  So when I see this here Kingfisher singing to the world on top of mast, it made me wonder... what's the symbolism of this I thought?  He left for a few minutes, and I brushed it off... but nooooooo, 10 minutes later he is back.... at it again.... I'm pleased and pondered at the same time... So I did a quick search on the web and came up with the totem translation of what it means if a Kingfisher suddenly comes into your life...

      If a Kingfisher comes into your life,                you might be required
to dive headlong into some activity
or possibly a new love will enter your life.
No matter what it is, don't be afraid of trying the new.
Kingfisher will be there to guide you.
You won't drown -- and you will have sunshine, love and abundance!
to dive headlong into some activity
or possibly a new love will enter your life.No matter what it is, don't be afraid of trying the new.Kingfisher will be there to guide you.You won't drown -- and you will have sunshine, love and abundance!

And that was a certainly good enough reason or motivation for me to part ways with Nimbus.

But now that this school teacher has officially retired from service to our youth, it's time to move to bigger seas.... and hopefully a bigger vessel.