Somewhere along the way, Jodi began shooting picture of the fantastic DRAMA in the sky. It was in the sunrises and the sunsets, but there was wonderful drama at other times too. She began capturing more and more of these dramatic moments and we collected some of the best for you to enjoy too.
Gary and I decided to give Country Dance a face lift for Christmas, being that she is 15 years old and starting to look a little long in the tooth. Starting with the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, I would have extra time to help Gary with this project, so lets go!
It all started with a new flush toilet. Gary has always disliked the Vacu-Flush, so this is where it began November 25th, 2014. Of course putting in the new Marine Elegance toilet left a few blemishes that needed repair, so Gary decided to paint around the base of the toilet, which led me to ask for a small cabinet next to the toilet to hold extra TP. While looking at that project we decided to replace the counter tops so the whole room would be like new. The question was what type of counter tops?
We tossed around several ideas – Corian, Formica and several others that just didn’t fit. We end up agreeing on Oak Butcher Block style. Gary had built a cedar plank canoe with epoxy and figured the same technique would work here. So we went on the hunt for the “WOOD”.
We changed our minds on the style as the butcher block was going to be a ton of work. The final plan ended up getting (3) squares/bundles of solid oak flooring to use as counter tops. These were tongue and groove which would help make up for our lack of a “real” shop. While getting them on to the boat, Gary missed a step and went straight down into the water at the back of the boat. The bundle of oak balancing between the aft of the boat and the dock as Gary bobbed in the water. A cracked rib and 1 bundle more to get on the boat, we were ready to start our counter tops (11/27/14).
We tore out the (2) tops in the forward head and proceed to layout the oak planks for the top. We counter sunk the sink for a cleaner look and added a fiddle on the front to keep items from slipping off.(not in this photo, sorry). The tops turned out beautiful and only took a week.
We started tearing out the “kitchen” counter tops; we did the left side of the galley first and worked our way around leaving the sink for last. We began laying out the pieces of wood as they will be on the counter. We tried to stagger the colors so we didn’t have too many light woods together. After laying out every top we proceed to glue all the pieces together.
As Gary looked at the refrigerator and freezer he decided to redo these also with new insulation. This is the one appliance that uses the most energy on the boat. So when I got home from work, I was in shock that we no longer had refrigeration. I had brought all of our freezer food to our neighbor’s boat for storage while the counter top was off; the rest was stored in a cooler with ice. A month later, the freezer is a little smaller, the fridge a little bigger, and both MUCH better insulated. Our neighbor had allowed us to share a freezer for the whole month.
Once all the counter tops were in place the real work began!!
Sand———Epoxy——-Sand——Epoxy——-polyurethane———sand———-polyurethane———sand—Epoxy——sand.. Grandma arrived for her annual winter stay on Jan 9th, and try and we might, the top was ALMOST, but not quite done. Along the way, we added some space in a cabinet, made a new spice area, and ……boat project. Added some under cabinet lights and POW…. a galley unlike any C470 you have ever seen.
How was your Holiday?
Allans aliens 1/28/14
We pulled anchor at 8 and headed for Allen’s Cay. Got mom up to see to the Nassau shores as we left. It was a short sail to Allan’s Cay with anchor down at 3:20. On the sail over we were in 19′ of water and it is so clean you could see the starfish on the bottom. We had to dodge a few coral heads on the way.
Allan’s is famous for the inhabitants of the island which are iguana’s. Allans iguana’s are the largest native “animal” to the Bahamas. They are Very large and love grapes. They scurry up looking for a handout as they are regularly visited by tourist boats from Nassau. Mom, Gary and I had a blast feeding these lizards.
Gary met up with friends from “Outrageous.” Rick offered to take Gary “HUNTING” spear fishing for lobster, crab, grouper and conch. They were able to spear one lobster, crab and one conch, was a good day.
Escapade arrived arrived the day after us. We were able to visit over the days we spent here.
From here to went to Normans Cay
Normans is famous for the drug Lords who owned the island, George Jung, who is now serving his time in prision.
THERE IS A PLANE Crashed in the shallow waters here and snorkeling around it IS done By all. We dinghied TO SHORE AND WALKED the beach and the SMALL road TO the airstrip on island. There are SEVERAL Buildings still STANDING FROM The days of the drug smugglers. Pretty cool. Had to RENT THE MOVIE “Blow” just to see the mention of the islands name by Brad Pitt.
Ft Pierce 12-08-2013
Getting in a little late, we dropped the hook in front of the Coast Guard station, right on the side of the inlet. Nice place, but the current was fierce and swung us violently back and forth 4 times a day. Sitting in the cockpit on our second day, I looked up to see us traveling backwards, and headed for a very expensive looking powerboat. I was able to jam the key in the starter and get us stopped before contact, but what a shock to be sitting there one minute and be dragging backwards towards the shore the next. I ran to the bow to get the anchor up and with only about 30 of our 100 feet of chain pulled in, the anchor came up sideways with 2 wraps of chain wrapped around the shank.
What had happened was the current was turning us so violently that the chain had actually wrapped back under its self, and simply un-anchored us all by its self. Nothing but major good luck had it happen both during the day, and with us on deck. Any other time, and this story would be about insurance and repairs to million dollar yachts instead.
We immediately found an anchorage “behind” the inlet. About 5PM we were fairly settled in, when a voice yelled “Country Dancer, your anchored in my spot.” Come on. There are no “My spots” when you are anchoring… somebody is just being a jerk. Rio was yapping away so we popped up stairs to see a 40’ish Bertram slowly circling us. Just before I matched the jerk’s comment with some JERKness of my own, Jodi said “hey that’s Frank.” As I swallowed the rather harsh comment that was in my mouth I tried to figure out who Frank in a Bertram could be and get the expression on my face back to something less obnoxious?
It didn’t take me too long, and I recognized the voice. Frank is the Frank of “Frank and Carol” who own “Southern Cross”, the Gulfstar 47 3 slips over from us in our Madeira Beach Marina. Obviously once they had an anchor down we went over and had a great evening sharing stories of our trip and the journey Frank and his friend were having taking the Bertram from SC to its new home in Florida. Quite a neat surprise.
The next few days were a series of dinghy rides into town to try and get Rio’s papers and a new pair of bikes taken care of. We decided to explore a nice looking marina and bingo, yet another C470. We met Paulo and Sylvia of “Samvaro III.” As they have a condo in Miami and were headed for the Bahamas too, we agreed to link up in Miami and see about making the crossing together.
Our last blog had us in sailing with “Ellie” in Bar Harbor Maine.
Well we sailed quit a ways since then. Sometimes it is hard to sit down and write about our travels. Some of the novelty has worn off, and things that we just HAD to write about at first are now “old news.” We are sitting in a great little anchorage, 700 miles from “home,” eating good, enjoying life…. but not writing enough.
So where have we been since Ellie was on board?
We left Bar Harbor and sailed to SW Harbor and stayed several days. One day we sailed up the Fjord to Somesville ME and spent the day. Took an hour to sail up and the same back. It was a beautiful sail and a nice day for a walk to the little town. This was also our most extreme tides with 18ft of change from high to low.
We returned to Kittery Maine 8/22 and mailed “Ellie” back to MN. We stayed several days and visited with our friends Pam and Dan.
We sailed in Maine for a month. We saw lighthouses, lobster pots, MAJOR rocks, extreme tides and lots of fog as thick a pea soup. Since we have sailed in Florida for several years we have gotten very good at dodging crab traps while under sail. We were not that lucky at “the dodge” in Maine. The density of lobster posts has to be seen to be believed and we hooked 4 while we were there. Our first was in Kittery on the way out of port. 2nd in Bar Harbor and 2 on 8/23 in 300ft of ocean. Luckily we were able to reverse the boat and unhook each of them from the keel.
We left Maine August 27 and headed to Gloucester MA. On our way we met up with a couple on “Silverheels” who were flying their spinnaker. This was a great photo op and way to make new friends, so I set about taking photos and radioing them to get email and phone numbers. They too were going to Gloucester so we made plans to meet up there for dinner and drinks. Gloucester is the home of Gordon Foods and Wicked Tuna TV show. We met one of the famous new TV stars at a local marine store. We spent Labor Day Weekend in this port.
9/2 We dropped anchor in Plymouth harbor but did not get off the boat. Just spent the night. This was the only place north of the Chesapeake where we touched bottom. How the pilgrims did it I will never know, as the harbor seemed absolutely impossible without GPS and a chart plotter.
9/4 We sailed into Woods Hole and then Hadley Harbor for 2 days. This is an island group that is owned by the Forbes Family (John Keary Forbes). They have placed 25 mooring balls in this quite harbor for transits to use while in the area. It is free mooring, but the land is private and you just can’t go to shore. While in the harbor, another C470 that we had never met moored next to us. “Snow Goose.” So we headed over to make their acquaintance. They are from Newport RI and sailed up for the week. The next day they left and in comes another C470, “Making Progress.” What are the chances of 3 C470’s mooring right beside each other in a little harbor like this?!
9/7 Newport RI was our next stop. Spent a week here. Met a couple, Scott and John who have a Schipperke dog like ours. We made a date to have lunch and a “play date” for the dogs. We also met a second couple who are from Duluth Minnesota, they have just put their boat up for sale. They have been cruising for the past 15 years. They took us on a driving tour of the town. So we were able to see the HOUSEs on Beach Blvd. “WOW”
While in port we went to the boat show and ran into “Silverheels” who was a featured boat at the show. Also at the show we bumped into a couple we met in Wrightsville NC back in May and the couple from “Snow Goose”, and two more C470 boats. So we had a awesome time meeting old and new friends.
9/14 Block Island was our next destination. This is an island in Long Island Sound. Quaint little island and it took us 2 hours to walk from one end to the other.
9/16 Where is Yale University?? It is in New Haven CT. We were able to pick up a free town mooring ball close to downtown. On our way in to port we met the crew working on the new Yale marine center. They were a motley bunch and reminded us of the crew from Deadliest Catch.
9/17 We have made it to the mouth of Hells Gate to NY city. We are able to grab another free mooring ball in Port Washington NY. While in port we met Stan who has a C470 moored here. He took us to lunch at the Yacht Club. Also met a young couple from Switzerland who bought their boat in Florida and sailed north for the season and was returning south to sell her and return home.
9/21 New York City! We walked to the train station at 8:30 in the morning. It is about a 1/2 hour walk. Once there we got our round trip tickets to NY and boarded the train. We arrived at Penn Station 45 minutes later for our adventure to the Big Apple.
The first thing we did was have breakfast from a street vendor.. a buck 57 for 2 eggs, toast and hash browns. What a deal. We were in town on a Saturday – so it was not crazy crowded on the sidewalks.
We headed towards the Empire State Building in awe of all the tall building and so close together.
We made it to the follow places in The City:
Empire State Bldg
Madison Sq Garden
Grand Central Station
and took the subway to ground Zero.
Everyplace looked like a scene from a TV drama, with too many famous streets to name.
9/22 we left port and point our boat towards Hells Gate and the NY waterway. We sailed by the UN building, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. While passing the UN we were escorted along with two others boats, by 3 manned machine gun carrying Coast Guards boats! What an exciting trip we had. While sailing out of NY we had to turn off our AIS, this is our navigation tool to show us where the other boats are, where they are heading and how fast. Why – too many boats in the area we could not see our route.
9/24 our new friends from Switzerland joined us on the sail down. We were going to go to Atlantic City for a day or so, but decided to bypass and go to Cape May NJ. This was an overnight sail and once again the weather did not obey the forecast with gusts above 35kts. Once at anchor we went to town for the afternoon and had Nadia and Jonah over for cocktails that night.
9/28 We sailed to Chincoteague Island/Assateague Island VA. What an adventure this was. We were looking for a quick place to sail into for the night. Called the City Harbor Master for dockage availability. Sure enough they have room for us. No problem with the boat size, we’ll fit just fine. Well it was not a quick into port, an hour later we made it, with help from the local fishermen who kept us from going aground. There is no one to help tie us up to this itty bitty dock. We made it, but it was not easy. This town is famous for their wild pony on Assateague Island that the volunteer fire department rounds up and swim them across the bay to Chincoteague to auction off. Several years ago there was a children’s books written about the pony “Misty of Chincoteague” and several others. This town also raised chickens and duck for sale. I was so enthralled with this town, I would go back in a heartbeat.
10/3 We left Chincoteague and sailed to Wrightsville NC. We needed to get around Cape Hatteras and so this had to be 2 overnights. We were in Wrightsville before and this is where we met our first C470 sister ship back in May.
This time we met a different types of friend, one in a white shirt and tie. You know them as Jehovah Witnesses. They come by your house and offer you their pamphlets. Well we had a group show up via boat to offer the word and their pamphlets. REALLY!!! I was so shocked! and laughed till I had tears in my eyes.
While in Wrightsville we celebrated my birthday with diner in town.
10/11 Gary and I put the boat up at the local marina and rented a car for the week to drive to Tampa for work. Gary needed to be in the office. We met up with Michael and visited for 2 days, and met up with Jenna for a few hours on the way back to the boat.
10/21 We got back to the boat yesterday. On the trip back from Tampa we ran across yet another C470, this time it was on a trailer on I95 heading to Canada to her new owners. We sure have been lucky to meet so many C470 members. This boat makes 16 for the season.
While in Charleston we met a father/son crew, Cecil and Hank, they are on a 42′ Catalina. Had them over for dinner and drinks, and Cecil didn’t let being 86yrs old slow him down a bit.
10/26 Gary and I have decided to do a little Inter-coastal cruising. We left Charleston at 8:30 and headed into the ICW. Our boat is NOT an Inter-coastal cruiser, and the stretch from Charleston to Fernandina Beach is really the only part of the ICW that we can sail with out fear of hitting bottom or a bridge. (We just ran into a mud bar, but were able to get off) It is beautiful though !!!!!!!!!
We moved from Tallahassee to Seminole Florida, bought a house and remodeled it from top to bottom.
Sold our little sail boat and bought Big Dancer. Made major changes to her. Pantry, new galley flooring, shelves, storage and lots of waxing.
We set sail in April to travel the world. Three months into our journey we have sailed the entire East Coast. Our goal is to make it to Canada then back down the coast to the ports we missed on the way up and winter in Mexico.
We decided on a teak serving tray and fid bookshelf holders. Gary routed the wood and I stain and seal them..glove up and begin. Once the pieces are dry we commence to put them all together for the finished product.
Apple baked pork chops for dinner with a salad and tomatoes from our plant.
Happy to us!!
Kittery Maine/Porthsmouth July 10th 2013 – We arrived in Kittery and had a great first few days, as stated in our earlier post. We met Gary’s cousin Ruthie and Jeannie for dinner and Dan for a walk in the park.
Now on with the story:
We entered the mouth of the Piscataqua River in the fog. Being from Florida we have not sailed much in fog at least not this thick.
The saying “thick as pea soup” is appropriate. We could not see 10′ in front of us, as we are trying to dodge lobster buoy’s which are everywhere. I stood on the bow of Dancer and directed Gary right or left to miss those little floating objects.
Kittery ME is on the north side of the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth NH is on the south side. This is the first port as you enter Maine. We originally were headed to York where there is another 470 owner. When checking for anchorages I found none in that area so we picked Kittery instead. As we entered, the fog lifted and we could see lighthouses on either side and forts to the left and right of us and one straight ahead. We anchored in front of Fort McClary and what a view this offered every morning and wonderful sunsets every night.
We met up with Pam and Dan Thursday night for dinner. They took us out for mussels, crab cakes and lobster. What a great time getting to know our new friends. They own Optimistic a 2003 Catalina 470 sailboat. They bought their boat 2 months before we bought ours. Though their boat is 3 years newer they are the same with a few exceptions. It is so cool to see other 470’s and what has been done to each to make it their own. Dan has added a remote to the auto pilot so he can change coarse from anywhere on the boat, Gary is so envious.
The next day Gary and I dinghied to Kittery and walked around the quaint town. Kittery is not very big and took about an hour. So we still had a full day to explore, we dinghied the 2 miles to Portsmouth NH. In the river there are several islands which can only be reached by boat or ferry. One of these islands is where the Naval Shipyard is and also houses the old prison. The prison is huge and abandon. It looks like a castle with barbwire fencing around it. Per Dan, they closed years ago. I would have loved to walk about that place. Gary and I found a spot to pull the dinghy up and walk to town. While in town I found a farmers market. Since we have started this adventure I have chosen to try new foods each night. So at that market I picked up Patty Pan squash, they look like UFO’s. We stayed in town about 2 hours then back to the boat.
When we arrived the fisherman were collecting their catch of the day. I flagged down the skipper and asked if they would sell a few lobsters. Skip replied sure, I asked how much, he said four fifty. I said what do you mean, he said $4.50 each. So I bought 2.
Now I have to keep these crustaceans alive till dinner, so I pulled out my 5 gallon wash bucket with the hole in the lid to house them for the next 6 hours. Floated them behind the boat on a line. It worked. Now we had lobster and UFS’s to cook for dinner. We boiled the lobster and grilled the squash.
We invited Pam and Dan for dinner on Friday so I had to get more lobster. I had not seen Skip Friday morning so I made Gary dinghy me over to another fisherman’s boat, he wanted $5.00 each, I bought 8. His were larger than the last ones, about 2 1/2 pounds. Now I have a problem, they won’t fit in my 5 gallon bucket. So I ran down below and retrieve the 2 milk crates we have on board. Gary and I zip tied these together to make our own lobster trap and float them behind the boat.
Pam and Dan arrived and the chatting began. I did stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer. Pam brought over a very large pot to boil the 4 lobsters, as mine would only do 2 at a time. I
made mashed potatoes with Parmesan cheese and acorn squash to accompany the lobster. After dinner we decided to re-christen the boat, since we were having such bad luck lately and the 470 group thought this was in order. They brought over a bottle of champagne just for this purpose. I pulled out the crystal wine glasses, pulled off the protective covers and the christening began. The next thing we knew it was 11:30 p.m.
Our new friends offered us a car to use for the week. What a treat. Gary and I are now mobile. So we are off the next day to find a few items we need. As I was getting into the dinghy I leaned over and in to the sea went my phone. So we add AT&T to our list. While out and about we came upon garage sales and of coarse I had to stop. Then I spied another farmers market, another new vegetable to try, a long skinny egg plant and zucchini.
Pam and Dan took us sailing on Saturday to Star Island. This island houses an old hotel and owned by the Star Island Corp. When we landed at the dock a young deckhand greets us (they are called Pelicans) and orients us to the island. Pam and I wandered, while the guys hung on the dock with Rio as he was not welcome. We move on to another island called Smuttynose where Rio could get off and do his thing.
Sunday we met up with Optimistic for steak dinner on their boat. With Monday being a work day for them, we made it an early night.
We are ready to move on but I have a problem, I still have 4 lobsters in my makeshift trap. So we Googled how to freeze lobster. Par boil them for 60 seconds, dip in ice water for 15 minutes, then freeze. So we have 2 more lobster dinners waiting for us in the next port.
We had a great time with our new friends and look forward to seeing them on the return trip. 10 great days in Kittery and we have our SSB back and installed again. Thanks to Dan and Pam for an address to receive mail. I made wine glass covers for Pam as she liked the ones I had on my crystal.
We departed Wednesday morning the 24th for Portland. It was extremely foggy that morning and we had to cross the river to the Yacht club to fill up with water. Gary was securing the anchor, when he yells “hard right”! A trap appeared out of no where and I had to avoid it. NOT – I caught it, luckily it didn’t get our prop. I watched it pull behind us for 10 seconds or so, then off it came. Whew!!! Sailed through fog for about an hour, then sunny skies for the rest of our trip to Portland.
We were at sea for 8 days. We had 5 storms in the fist 5 days, so we decided Ireland would have to wait until next year. We ended up with some damage from the knockdown and had to make repairs. So we headed to Cape Cod, the shortest distance back. As we approach Martha’s Vineyard about 50 miles out, the ocean is like glass and we can see for miles. Gary and I start seeing fins all around us. we are thinking whales or dolphins, as we get closer I start hearing the theme song from JAWS. They are sharks, hundreds of them. No not the Great White, but White tip Sharks. We had a blast looking for them and then chasing one down to get a photo. They were elusive.
We limped into Martha’s Vineyard and dropped the anchor in a beautiful area, light house to the right of the inlet and town to the left. We wandered around this picturesque fishing village for 2 days then moved to the other side of the island to Vineyard Haven. Here we saw kids at day camp learning how to sail, one boy missed his jibe and hit the back of our boat. No damage but a look of surprise on his face. I helped get him back on course.
From here we head to New Bedford and Fairhaven, which is just behind a huge hurricane barrier about 20 miles for Martha’s Vineyard. They have a near by hardware store, West Marine and a welding shop. We need to order parts to repair the rudder, new lines for the jib, stainless to beef up the enclosure and some badly needed rest. We dropped the hook by the first green marker which according to Active Captain is the only place in here we can anchor. We are amazed at all the large fishing boats in this one little area. We did some research and found out this was at one time the whaling capital of the world and today very active in scalloping and shrimp.
After our first night at anchorage we receive a visit from the harbor master, Captain Bob.
CB – “You can’t anchor here, you have to be on a mooring ball”.
CD – How much. CB – $45.00 per night.
CD – can you make us a deal as we are going to be here about 10 days?
CB – will check with the boss. You can stay one more night at anchor and I will chat with you tomorrow regarding mooring.
So the next day Bob gets back to us. No deals on the mooring, we are to use ball #1, it is rated for a boat our size and it is across the bay.
Now Gary and I have only grabbed a mooring ball once before in Key West at the coral reefs, so we are going to learn how to do this in 18kt winds. I am very nervous about grabbing a ball. Gary will steer the boat up to the floating buoy and I was to reach over and snag the float with the boat hook. So we slowly motored over towards this ball, I reach out and on the first try snag it. Now what do I do with it??? Gary yells, hook it on to the cleat quickly. Well I was not fast enough because the wind caught the boat and I had to drop the line, so we took a second swing at the mooring ball. I snagged it again and this time just wrapped the line around a single cleat. We are now on a mooting ball. This took about a half hour, whew glad this is over with.
We receive a phone call from Stan Walsh, another 470 owner who also has his boat in this inlet at the Fairhaven Marina. He offered to drive us to West Marine when our parts are in and drop me off at Wal-Mart for grocery shopping. Also, his son is putting on a regatta for the Wounded Warrior with a benefit dinner afterwords. We said we would join them Saturday for the dinner.
Gary and I went to New Bedford to check out the sights. First we have to find the dinghy dock that is tucked in between the huge fishing boats. Once at the dock we walk to town. This is a very unique town/village with lots of whale history. We run into Captain Bob and he offers to open the Visitor Center for us as it is after hours. We wander through and get to chatting with Bob regarding his history. He is friends with Steven Taylor and writing a book with him. Bob is a photographer and has taken photos of many of the rock bands and even did Faye Dunaway’s wedding. What an interesting life he lead.
My job the next day was to find stainless steal for the enclosure. After several phone calls I came across Ocean Marine Fabricating, Steve Shurteff. He said he would meet us Saturday morning at his shop to see if he could help us out. Once we arrive, Gary’s eyes grew large, Steve is building a KitFox airplane in his shop. They got to chatting about planes and 2 hours later we got around to what we came for, STAINLESS! Steve was very helpful and provided us with the correct sizes of stainless.
That night we met with Stan and his wife at the benefit dinner. Had a great time visiting with them and dinner was pretty good. Chicken for me, hamburger for Gary. Stan offered their sons mooring ball to us so we could save some money. We moved the next day. I am becoming a pro at grabbing these balls.
The next couple of days, Gary worked and I dinghy to town to do laundry. On Wednesday Stan picks us up and we head to West Marine, our parts are in. They dropped me off at Wal-Mart. Afterwords, Stan gave us a nice driving tour of Fairhaven, with a lot of history of the town. Back to the boat to make the repairs. We had to shore up the rudder so it won’t fall off when we remove the bolts which hold it. We are in 25′ of water and this would be a disaster. We re-glassed the rudder area and drilled new holes for the bolts. 6 hours later we have this repair done. On to the next project, adding the new stainless to the enclosure, then the new lines and tighten the boom-vang tang.
Saturday morning we receive a call from Captain Bob stating we can not be on this mooring ball, it is against the rules, something to do with insurance. We have to move back to ball 1. We have been on this ball for 4 days. We agree to move. Sunday we met up with Bob at the marina and he asked us when we were leaving and we said July 5th. He asked that we settle up with them that night, we asked what do we owe you? Bob $270.00! What, we were only on the marina’s ball for 2 days. Bob states his boss is charging us for using the private ball. We pay the man and he says we can stay on a different private mooring ball on the other side of the harbor, no charge. So me move again. We are not sure why we can stay on this one for two day for free, but had to pay for the one our friends gave us permission to use???
The Fireworks on the 4th in the harbor are beautiful. The next day Gary writes an email to Stan regarding the payment of the mooring and to make sure his son gets his portion. Stan forwards this email on to the City, which stirs up the pot. Bob calls us on Friday at 4 in the afternoon and says we have an hour to get off the mooring ball. So we were run out of town.
Our next stop is Cape Cod, Provincetown. What a cool place. This semi-island is not very lager, but has a very diverse culture. You know the flower hydrangea, it changes color with the acid in the soil so you can have pink, blue and white all on the same bush. That is what P-town is like, you can be blue, or pink, or both!
We also found that our boom-vang tang was cracked and needed to have it welded. We actually found a shop who could do this for us, Michael Kacergis. As we approached his place we see metal flowers, fountains and stuff all round his shop. He gives us his history and how the shop was his fathers. He fix the vang part and off we went. Met a couple, Paul and Carol who were anchored on a Valiant 42 just behind us. Had them over for dinner. They are cruising for 6 month each year.
We pulled anchor on Wednesday July 10th and headed to York Maine. Once underway I discovered that there was no place to anchor in York, so put our anchor down in Kittery Point instead. When the fog lifted in the morning, low and behold, there is a another 470 just like ours moored not 200 feet away. Since we did not make it to Ireland we decided to meet as many 470 owners as we could and Dan and Pam Morrison were on our list. Once we were secure at anchor we fired up the WiFi and found out that Gary’s Cousins Jeannie and Ruth went through Kittery on their was to Portland ME. They had on their bucket list to go from Portland OR to Portland ME, and they had just driven right by us and none of us knew. We got a hold of them on Facebook and on their return trip they stopped to see us. Had a great dinner at Captain & Pattys and caught up on all the family gossip. We met up with Dan on Thursday and walked to Fort McClary which is the backdrop view from our mooring. Friday night we had dinner with them. Lobster at last!
May 22nd Wednesday
Pulled anchor after 2 nights at Norfolk VA – headed to Sarah’s Creek. We left early afternoon for a very pleasant sail. Met another sailing vessel Summers Breeze via the VHF radio. He is single handling his boat which is 38′.
We arrived safely at 6:00 pm at a nice quite anchorage in Yorktown River. We dropped the hook out side the yacht club in Gloucester Point VA. This marina has 315 slips (most of them have boats), a pool, restaurant, boat yard and library. I was able to exchange the books I read on board for a whole new selection. We dinghied up the river to find the Food Lion store and auto parts, a 15 minute boat ride and 1/2 hour walk one way.
After being at anchor for 2 days we decided to have the boat pulled out of the water and have the bottom paint done, replace the dripless shaft seal and add a “spurs” line cutter to the prop. Since we left we have put on over a thousand miles and we knew we needed to repaint the boat so now was a good time. Bottom paint has a life span of about 2 years. When we arrived at the boat yard to be lifted out, it was low tide and Gary and I had to “PLOW” our way in as the depth was 5′ 8″ and we draw 6′. Once in the slip, the yard crew were unable to get the straps under the boat to lift us out. The keel and rudder were sitting on the bottom. They tried everything from weighting the straps down to pushing a plastic bottle tied to a rope under the boat and hopefully pop up on the other side. No go! So after 2 hours we were tied in the slip for the night with the winds blowing up a storm. For those of you who have been following our blog, remember the couple we met in Wrightsville with the 470 Catalina, who tracked us down, they had their boat in this same yard. What a small world.
Okay back to getting the boat out. Eddie and Danno returned Saturday morning at 10 and pulled us out. We were floating, an hour later we were up on stilts and a ladder tied to the rail so we could get aboard. It is now sitting way up in the air. With the use of a tote bag on a rope we could pull Rio up and down along with other items like tools. Otherwise we had to carry everything by hand. This was so much easier. We worked on the blisters that had started on the bottom all weekend. The neighboring boat a Morgan 41′ owned by George and Karen, similar to our friends Sally and Brian’s boat were also working on their bottom. We hit it off as friends and began to help each other with different items that needed to be done. George had some left over epoxy that he applied to a few of the finished blisters on our vessel and Gary went up their mast to attach a new wind indicator for them.
The Marina had a courtesy car that I was able to use while on the hard. It has been 2 months since I last drove. I remembered how. First stop my favorite Wal-Mart!! Got some fabric to cover the new jerry cans we picked up at the previous port, then on to the Big Lots, Food Lion and West Marine. My second trip was to Lowe’s for lumber so we could attach the new jerry cans to the top of the boat. It was so nice to have a car to gather all the items we needed. On my final trip to town I did the big shopping for the crossing, 12 cases of coke, 3 cases of beer, canned soup, chicken, steaks, hamburger, pasta, chips, powdered milk, etc.. I was amazed at how much food you need to buy for a month to eat. No running to the local store once you leave port. Again everything went in the tote bag to go up to the top of the boat. Once I had it all packaged and back down the ladder, the restaurant put it in their freeze for us. It takes ours quite a long time to freeze that much food.
We had Eddie and his wife Ello over for dinner, to thank him for all the work he did and the fish he added to our coffers. George and Karen came the next night and we talked for hours about sailing. They brought fixings for rum drinks to go with the taco salad we did. I even made the taco bowls..
While on the hard we can not use the AC because it needs water to cool the unit, so there we sat in 80 to 90 degree weather, had every fan on and port hatches open trying to keep us cool. I even went to the pool one day.
I polish the stainless steel on the topside of the boat while Gary was working on the bottom. We got everything done in the week we were in the yard. The boat was splashed on Monday early, fueled up and we are off again.
We did a layover in Cornfield Harbor, then Solomon’s Creek and finally to Annapolis.
May 19th Sunday Norfolk VA
After 30 hours of motor sailing we were ready to drop the anchor and get some badly needed sleep. Neither Gary nor I slept well on this trip. Not sure why. We had no wind and the seas were bouncy again. As were arrive at the mouth of the channel there are several container ships already in the channel coming and going. We have installed the AIS and are able to see the ships and their name, heading and speed. Suddenly one of the ships radioed US asking OUR destination, and we responded with our heading. They said they would take the outer channel and we were to go straight up the channel. Once we out of the channel and headed to our anchorage we felt much better. Those ships are big!!!
First thing on our to do list is Coke, we are out and Gary needs a fix. He can’t live with out a diet coke. So we head into town to a 7-11 and stop to ask a gentlemen for directions. Turns out he is also a sailor . Martin offered to take us to the 7-11 to get the pop we were in need of. After we returned he invited us to dinner. Molly & Martin fixed pork loin, corn on the cob and salad and their daughter baked cookies. Fabulous! Rio got to play with their golden retriever and had a blast. Martin was delivering a racing sail boat the next day further north on the Chesapeake.
While at anchor across from the navel base we were able to watch the helicopters fly all day long. It was a show. They would fly over with their orange painted power poles as practice cargo, and do touch downs, hovers and pick up navy seals.
After two days we were ready to move on. I did the laundry at the marina and hung them out on the boat. The next day we pulled anchor and head to Sarah’s Creek. After 6 hours and a beautiful sail we arrived and dropped the hook out side of the marina. A wonderful location and the subject of our next blog.