June 30, 2013

My Brother and The Doors Of St. Mary's

(Post #21)

What is more pleasant than a friendly little yacht,
a long stretch of smooth water,
a gentle breeze, the stars?

William Atkin

My Brother And The Doors of St. Mary's

I'm not too good with dates these days, but some time in mid June, my brother, Mike, came down to Ferandina for a great weekend aboard Glory Days... He arrived on a Thursday evening just as I was folding my underwear on a park bench facing the harbor... great laundry facilities here at Fernandina Harbor Marina.... Anyway, did you ever notice how often people use the word, "anyway" so frequently in routine conversation?... Anyway, that's the way it seems to me... I don't get it, but anyway.  What's with that?  I presume it's a transition word when a conversation approaches a lull.  Anyway, it's all good. 
Hoist that thang Bro!

The Cumberland Queen Ferry Boat passed us along the way.

After some waking hours in the marina, Mike and I departed for the 10 mile trip to St. Mary's. We timed our departure to leave with the outgoing tide.  We motor sailed for the most part since my genoa sail was in the shop... don't ask. later. 

Anyway, St. Mary's is a quaint little town nestled up the mouth of the St. Mary's River, which we navigated.  It took us only 90 minutes to arrive at our anchorage....It was a pleasant passage I must say, navigating the markers of an unknown channel.  Here's some pics of what we found when we arrive in St. Mary's, Georgia. 


For some reason, I got on a DOOR theme with my camera in St. Mary's.  The doors seemed to be speaking so I tried to give them a voice... This is what ya get....

Mike was entranced by this particular door.
The Come Here And Get Married Door.
The purple door. 

The seductive screen door.
The red that wants to be a purple door.
brrrrooonk!!!! it's an anchor dude, not a door!
The Submarine door

The Take it Easy kind of door.

The Three Paths to Heaven Kind Of  Door... sinners, saved, and Unitics.

The French tickler kind of door.
The Overlooking Silver Artwork Door.  (My fav)

Back to the Batmobile!!
Sexy Glory Days  blowing on the bay.
Peeking thru the prana again.
Double Vision ... it's what I like!
This was a "feel good" moment...       a manatee has just passed thru, evasive as ever. 

Annie is very attentive.

My brother Mike, digging into my cajun shrimp-combo-festi-tasti-super meal-magnifico- suprema!

I'll explain this later. 
What a classic old boat....  so well restored... (see, I can be serious.)
Almost home after a day trip to St. Mary's Island.  We only had one sail working since the genoa is being repaired. 
What a great weekend,  Mike.... I hope you come back soon!
Yes Joe, anything you say.
Hey look!   Can you do this?!
The Cumberland Queen Ferry Boat... She passes us again.... 

A Mooring Ball Debacle

(post #20)

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.... Albert Einstein

This particular post is out of sequence as it occurred a month ago during the post titled Amy Gets Her Sea Legs... but nonetheless, here 'tis...

Mooring Ball Debacle

Like I said in the earlier post, I was feeling quite confident with my previous experience in securing the boat to the mooring ball.  I mean, after all, how hard can it be?  You motor up, you grab the mooring ring with your boat hook, and you secure to the rope harness you have ready in place.

After all, this one  will be even easier, because I've done it before, and now Amy can steer the boat as I secure the mooring ring.... piece of cake.
Amy at the helm.
At first it seemed like a breeze.  We approached very slowly, and I easily snagged the ring of the mooring ball with my boat hook... so far so good... but as we were moving, the current seemed to pull me away ever so slowly from the mooring ball, and the line of the mooring ball, slowly slipped through my fingers as I as was not strong enough to physically pull the boat into the current to make the connection.... drats.
At least the moon was shining ...
Still so far, it's not a biggie.  Yes, we missed the ball, but now we will just put her in reverse and make a second approach to the ball.  

But suddenly the engine died.  The temperature gauge alarm went off and the engine went totally cold.  Shit.

I dashed to the helm to fire her up... no luck.  We had a dead engine and we were drifting further from the mooring field.  My first response was to drop an anchor.  This worked fine and at least we were stationary now until I could figure out the problem with the dead engine.  I mean really?  The engine had never done this before.  Why in world would the engine suddenly conk out at such a critical time?

Then it hit me.  I noticed the black colored spring line dangling over the side of the boat.  When I went to retrieve it into the boat, it was taunt.... hmmm.... this could only mean one thing, the line must be wrapped around the engine prop!  And so it was... 
Me donning snorkel gear to clear the rope off the propeller.
That explains why the engine had overheated and would no longer crank.... All types of thoughts raced through my mind like... like "oh no, we'll have to be towed... oh no, this is going to be expensive" ... "oh no, all the other boaters are watching us deal with this inept attempt at snagging a mooring line... " ... but that was the least of my worries now.  There was only one solution... Get out the dive gear and swim below to untangle the mess wrapped around the prop.

I dropped the anchor immediately, and soon donned my swim suit and my snorkel gear from the boat.  Here I was about to go underwater in this strong rapid current with a water visibility of only a few inches.  I decided to tether myself to the boat with a line just in case I lost my grip, I wouldn't get washed downward in the current.  So here I am, tying myself in  with two bowline knots on each end of the line and preparing to enter the murky water.

 Rope jammed propeller shaft. Never a good thing. 
The little Yanmar diesel had never let me down, until now... when the spring line jammed line around the prop, it made made the engine overheat.  Thankfully, it shut off before any damages were incurred... we hope.

Suddenly, I noticed a nice looking 50' sailboat, Serenity, moored very near us and a man was sitting outside in its cockpit.  I flagged him down in order to contact him on the VHF radio.  When he responded, I simply told him what I was about to do, go underwater, and wanted to notify him just in case my plan went south.  It seemed like the right thing to do, especially since I was leaving Amy aboard as I went under.

He turned out to be a life saver named Bob.  Long story short, Bob motored over in his dinghy to assist.  It was nice to have another guy nearby as I plunged under the hull to unwrap the rope that was twisted around the prop.  It took about 4 dives but I finally had it all unwrapped.  After that we fought the current until we finally had the mooring ball secured successfully to the bow of Glory Days... aaah... sit back now and relax... another mistake, another learning opportunity.... whew.
Thank you Bob for your help.  Serenity, a Juneau 50... what a beaut.

June 18, 2013

8 Days On The Hard at Tiger Point

(post #18)

“The love that is given to ships
is profoundly different from the love men feel
for every other work of their hands.”

Joseph Conrad, The Mirror of the Sea, 1906”

8 Days On The Hard

If you are unfamiliar with boating vernacular, let me explain.... if a boat is "on the hard", it means that the boat is now on land, typically in a cradle or boat braces at a  boat yard.   One puts their boat "on the hard" in order to work to the hull or make repairs on the underside. 

For clarification purposes, "on the hard" has nothing to do with sexual arousement or the ever feared warnings that are mentioned over & over again in commercials for Cialis.

So back to the point.  Glory Day's is on the hard, or somewhat in the shop, for upgrades, maintenance and preventive repairs.  Painting of the hull was the main task at hand this week, as was buffing of the sides, as was replacing the log shaft hose on the prop shaft.
check out that shine!  It took 3 days.
8 days on the hard at Tiger Point Marina


This is Greg putting on some epoxy to the keel before painting.
It was a cool setting right on Egan's Creek.... bait store at the bridge.... 
The bronze prop was painted with "Shark Skin"
A well buffed boat with Marina office in background ... Tiger Point Marina
Fort Clinch just a stroll away...

More Fort Clinch.... battles were fought here in  early 1800's

What were they thinking?
Instead of fighting battles, they could've been sauntering down this river beach.
Yay! Amy returns!

Pier Fishing... but no fishes...

A pink spoonbill on Egan's Creek made my day.
And yet another stranded Horseshoe Crab... I save a couple of them by placing them in the surf, but then decided to let nature take her course.
Fishing Pier and boat launch nearby.

Lovely garden on this cruiser.

When I got the bill for the repair work, I went into sticker shock.... but like all boat jobs, it took longer than expected and cost more than you figured on.
cutlass bearing to replace

special gizmo that installs the cutlas bearing.

Now she's in ....  gorgeous.

Log shaft hose replaced.... 8 hours labor $$$$$ ouch

Their office sits in a marsh on Egan's Creek
 Egan's Creek

Local corn snake doing his job.

Glory Days on the hard....

Dinghy trips at sunset to end each day

Back in the water she goes now...