September 28, 2013

Independence on 33'



"... there is nothing - absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats... in or out of 'em, it doesn't really matter. Nothing seems to really matter and the charm of it."  

River Rat, Wind In The Willows


Post #31 

10 Days in September....Here's a series of photos from September 2013 that, to me, capture the essence of why people do this.  "Cruising" is a whole culture in itself, and I am ever thankful that I planned, and waited, and saved, and worked, and planned, and figured out a way to spend so much time messin' about in boats... 

I am also thankful for the dozens of cruisers I've met in the past 6 months that have imparted so much of their cruising experience that has helped me to learn... then again, I continue to learn from my own mistakes... but lets hope I'll only make them once.
This series starts with yet another day trip to lovely Cumberland Island, where I have visited several times now... 

Dense jungle like growth, rich in wildlife... view from my anchorage.



Secret Shade Seeker...

Exploring Tiger Island nearby... Glory Days on the right.

Rich tidal marshes everywhere...

Back at home port, Fernandina harbor Marina


When an Osprey is overhead, it always stops me in my tracks... 





Sometimes people ask me, “What do you do with yourself all week long while you are down there on that boat?”…. 

It’s a simple question with a complex answer, cause I really don’t know where the time goes... but it goes, and it goes by too fast… I must admit, I spend a lot of time just looking and staring around … looking at the sky, the water, the birds, the sunset, other boats, and looking inside myself… 

Other biggies are walking, riding my bike, meeting new people, smiling at strangers, and planning out the meals for the day… reading, writing songs, singing, playing guitar, calling Mom, getting fish bait, fishing, and cleaning no fish that I never caught….

But there also seems to be an endless list of boat things that must be done… it’s not a chore, in fact it’s a passion that seems to never end… Here’s a typical list of things that have been completed lately…  test the sail reefing system, fix the torn insulation in the engine room, change the oil, change the transmission fluid, sand wood, do laundry, repair the flag burgee, repair the head, floss, address the fuel leak, order new fuel strainer, fill batteries with water, clean the battery terminals, change the fuel filters, get more olive oil, work on the blog, repair the hole in the dinghy, rig a jack line on the deck, put new fishing line on the reels, go to yoga class, repair the sanitation discharge pump, install a new bilge pump, install new LED bulbs, shop, mark the depths on the anchor line, clean out the anchor locker, reorganize the storage areas, seal the port windows that leaked, install wood plugs near every thru-hull valve, get more hose clamps, replace any worn hoses on the engine, get more fuel for the Mercury engine, go to Sailor’s Exchange store, explore prices on solar, wind, and generators, install the new compass, adjust the dock lines, adjust the stuffing box, check email, write poems, get spare spark plugs, shoot the bull with neighbors, fix dinner, peel shrimp, get ice, pump out the melted ice, get more ice, check the weather map, clean the cabin floor, tighten the cleats that need it, make a new table for the salon, mount the radar reflector, clean, clean and more cleaning … and well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg…. I spend a lot of time being grateful too.  It never gets old, and there is a unique satisfaction in completing each task no matter how small… So there.  Does that answer the question?  

Here's my "car"... I call her "Dazy"





Here's an old man and the sea... he smiled at me as he passed

Sittin' and staring again... to my right side

Sittin'and staring to my left side.... 


More Lessons Learned..
I learned another lesson on a recent day-sail outing with my neighbor buddy, Dave, pictured here.  We were headed out of the pass from Cumberland Sound directly out to the open ocean.  We had the current in our favor and the wind in our face... The combination of the two created some rather large swales that we had to dive straight ahead into... At first it was quite fun as Glory Days surged high on the crest of a wave and then dove deep into the valley of the next wave as we approached the final buoy before changing course to sail with wind on our beam... 



Long story short, waves were started to crest onto our bow.  Normally, that would be no problem, cause I had closed the front deck hatch... but regretfully, I failed to tighten down the hatch, or has is referred to as "dogging it down"... oops.... but when that big ass wave came over the deck, it opened my unsecured hatch up like a doorway and dumped a deluge of sea water into the forward cabin... maybe 20 gallons or so I would guess....hmmmm.... Skipper Joe learned again... my first action was to dog down the hatch so it wouldn't happen again, the second action was to get a huge towel and start sopping up the sea water... Dave was calm as a cucumber through it all as he is quite the veteran sailor of a Spencer 44 docked near me ... but Joe Greenhorn here, well its just another learning experience... dog it dude.



Thankfully, we lived to tell about it and it all turned into a Glory Day of sailing off the coast of Amelia Island for about 6 hours, 28 miles,... the next day, I set out my cushions and books to dry out in the September sun... another lesson learned...


 Safely back to the marina with Dave, my neighbor...

Returning to port here... 







Blues By The Sea

"Your goals minus your doubts equal your reality."

Post #30

I love the blues....The Amelia Island Bluesfest had been on my calendar for several months now, and the date had finally arrived... me like.

When I got to Glory Days on Friday, September 13,  I was surprised to see that the main stage was located only about 200' from my boat... nice.  I now had a "birds ear" location to hear all the great blues bands ahead and a VIP ticket to be at the front row to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies... photography. 

Unpack the car, open open up the boat, and let the good times flow.  The night began with a free concert in the streets of Fernandina with the  Castilla Band opening up the 2 day event... nice... 


Glory Days and the main stage in the background... me like  :)

The Albert Castiglia Band bringing in the evening...

See main street below... They shut down Center Street and rock on....





The evening also brought another picture perfect sunset  as you can see here.  This is a great marina, Fernandina Beach Marina, because the location is right smack dab on the Intracoastal Waterway, facing west for some of the finest sunsets I've seen... but then again, they all seem better now that I get to view them from my own sailboat.


Saturday brought on a whole new group of blues bands beginning at 11:30 a.m.... things started out slow, but before long it was a great day of rockin' blues featuring some great acts like Claudette King, Zac Harmon, Mud Morganfield, Roger Hurricane Wilson, and the lovely Ana Popavic, quite the guitar maestro....did I say I love the blues?.... so simple, 12 bar blues, but so passionate... Mark your calendar for the 2nd week of September next year...


Claudette King, B.B.s  little girl
Josh Miller Band
Ben Prestage, the one man band
She never stopped...

Nor did Ana Popavic as seen below...
                                                    







Ana Popavic, The Yugaslovian Blues Killer
Zac Harmon Band





Son of Muddy Waters, Mud Morganfield...

His and Her rock and roll shoe wear...

                                                    




Good Night All...






September 12, 2013

Headed back north with Jesse

"That's what sailing is, a dance, and your partner is the sea.  And with the sea you never take liberties.  You ask her, you don't tell her.  You have to remember always that she's the leader, not you.  You and your boat are dancing to her tune."

Michael  Morpurgo... "Alone on a Wide Wide Sea



Post #30

Glory Days spent the month of August, 2013 in St. Augustine, Fla, at River's Edge Marina.  It was an ok marina, but I had become spoiled with the comforts and wonderful view of the marina in Fernandina, so it was not a real disappoint to leave River's Edge Marina to head back north to Fernandina Beach.  

I was joined by my friend, Jesse Stubbs, who drove down from Fernandina to make the northern passage with me back to Amelia Island. Jesse is a cool guy, at 28, with lots of sailing experience and a good thinker and just an all around easy guy to be with... laid back hippie type like myself I suppose.
Pickin' guitar while we're waiting for the wind to build up and blow us north...

Here's the course below that we took.. We motored to the city marina at dusk the night before and tied up to a mooring ball just north of the Bridge of Lions.  That way, we could depart without having to have the bridge opened for us.  They open it every 30 minutes upon request.... I always feel "special" as cars wait for me to pass thru.... they are suddenly on "my" schedule...

Bridge of Lions at night from the mooring ball.

After a good nights rest, we untied the mooring ball at 5:20 a.m. on Wed., Aug. 21, 2013.  

It was dark... very dark.  No moon, no headlights, dark as shit, only a black sky loaded with diamonds above us... 

Another learning experience taught me yet another lesson of cruising .... I should have studied the charts in daylight before we left to familiarize myself with how to view the markers at nighttime .... and how to read the lights... some  are green, some are red, some blinking every 2 seconds, some blinking ever 4 seconds... Some not even on the chart... But I assumed I knew the channel well, as I had cruised thru it several times recently, but during daylight.... nighttime is something totally different...  Long story short, we made it out to the pass and lived to tell about it... almost ran aground, but we won't go into that, because we didn't run aground... just nearly.


video


Flagler College, St.Augustine
America's oldest city... Hello Goodbye


The old Spanish Fort right downtown
Glorious sunrise....

We got underway at 5:20 a.m....Before the trip with Jesse, I installed this brand new Ritchie Compass.... man, it's nice... and it should be,
 for what it cost... don't get me started
...
Installed a new compass!


video



 Winds were light at first so we had some time to snooze....


these birds were in some sort of FEEDING FRENZY..... It entertained us for about an hour or more...



the wind eventually picked up and we made 71 miles in 13 hours.





ya, Kumbucha at sea... what a treat!



After 2 hours of motoring north, the wind finally begin to increase.... and before long we were making a steady 4 knots toward our destination.... all along the coast here, you can spot landmarks for Jacksonville, Mayport, Amelia Island and more...This photo was taken about 4 miles off shore, thus it appears a bit hazy...



Here's a friendly manatee that was grazing the marshes when we got back to Fernandina.




Finally, Glory Days is back her to her favorite slip... The month in St. Augustine had been nice, but it was deliciously good to get back to this marina.... great views and friendly surroundings.