Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Bags are packed………I'm ready to go.

Well its here and real after struggling thru last minute surprises today. I’m thinking of PP&M and there song. All my bags are packed ………I’m ready to go…..

Tomorrow at 08:00 hrs we’re slipping the lines…leaving the dock and headed south. The first leg will be the ICW via Adams Creek to Beaufort. That will take us till noon or 13:00 hrs and then out Beaufort Inlet to the three mile buoy. We’ll turn to a heading of 217 degrees magnetic for 83 nm to our Cape Fear waypoint. At Frying Pan shoals it will be a new heading to Charleston, SC. A heading of 258 degrees magnetic and 199 nm will take us to the outer sea buoy of Charleston Harbor. Then twenty miles into the harbor and we will drop anchor and sleep for the better part of a day. Our ETA is 09:00 hrs on Saturday at the outer sea buoy and then 4-5 hrs into the harbor to drop the hook. I’ll post again then….Best wishes to all…..Pat

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving..Floating Reflections

Here we are at 4:00 pm in the saloon reading, listening to NPR and experiencing a subdued Thanksgiving.

Although we miss family and dear friends that are our extended family we’ve had a quiet and wonderful day. Missing everyone will only foster a deeper appreciation when we are together both in past times and the future. Leading a simpler life, closer to nature, creates a still mind with time to watch gulls, dolphins and light as it changes thru the day. Wonderful and auspicious gifts. Life is elegantly full with these moments. I send to each of you warm wishes for lovely holidays . Namaste…………..

Aboard S/V Thalia Judy and I our engaged in our preparations for cruising south. On Tuesday we will be ready to pull the lines and head out to sea. We are watching the weather for a good window. We need 48 hours of winds from the West-North-East and reasonable seas to head South. In the interim preparationns continue. Judy has been busy creating a provisions list, ordering food, storing it on the boat. We will have approximately two to three months of stores on the boat. Can you say Dinty Moore! Although we may have a can of DM most off our canned & dried food is quite delicious. We’ve been sampling it over the last month before ordering a caseload! Judy has a can of Turkey for today but I rebelled and insisted on meatballs, marinara sauce and rotini for dinner.

I’ve installed our new 60lb Manson on the bow roller and we’ve stored the 70lb Bruce in the lazarette. Up goes the storm jib on the inner forestay ready of bad weather along with a new mains’l halyard that extends into the cockpit. We should now be able to reef the main from the cockpit. Less deck dancing for the old guy! I’m learning our new SSB and have exchanged emails via the radio. Still working on weather fax. Well, be well everyone. I’ll post when we leave.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

At last!

Finally, we are spending the last night ashore. Yesterday we fired up the engine. I took about an hour to review the issues of oil & fuel filters, bleeding the engine and adjusting the stuffing box. Today I went over our new SSB with partial results. I was able to log onto the Gulf of Mexico SSB sail mail server in Texas and the northern server in Nova Scotia. Some amount of complexity in combining SSBs with PCs to send and receive emails and get weather faxes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Longing……

Longing to go out.

I am smitten with wanderlust .

To be out with the smell of salt water,

the rhythm of swells,

rigging humming in the wind.

To experience the sun on the horizon

unfolding during the night watch.

Soon!

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Three more days………We will be back on board and preparing to go out.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Almost Finished ?

Today I think & hope that we are approaching then end of the repower project. We are on our fifth week in our little apartment and being placated by treats such as an ice maker, microwave, full size doors, going to the showers in our jammies. We do miss our own saloon, cabins, rocking.

Below is my photo of the day. The Beta 50 has been connected to the drive shaft and the coupling to the stuffing box is also complete. On Friday the electrical, seawater, and exhaust should be done and then out to the Neuse for testing. I’m excited to think that we are almost there!

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Last night Judy and I went over to Whittaker Point Marina for sundowners. A social hour of engaging with people that either you have never met previously or crews that you see every sixth month or longer. Most of the couples are cruisers getting ready to leave for the south today or Friday. Lots of discussions about routes, weather, boats, places to drop the hook, and good mooring fields. Steve & lynn, S/V Celebration, are going out to Bermuda and the south to the Virgin Islands. Carl & Joyce, S/V Running Free are heading down the ICW to Florida. Several others are doing the offshore coastal hops to Charleston etc. Really a lot of joy and hope. By the time we wished everyone Fair Winds I find myself excited to think in another week we will be doing the very same.

Tomorrow, hopefully, sea trials and then put our home back to together and by Sunday we will be aboard!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winter Poem

The Freshness

When it’s cold and raining,

you are more beautiful.

And the snow brings me

even closer to your lips.

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The inner secret, that which was never born,

you are that freshness, and I am with you now.

I can’t explain the goings,

or the comings. You enter suddenly,

and I am nowhere again.

Inside the majesty.

Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi 1207-1273

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thalia's Refitting

We are nearing the end of our sojourn on land while Thalia is getting repowered and new radio gear. So far Deatons has been right on schedule and Gary is doing a fine and thoughtful job.

After hoisting the old engine up with a crane thru the saloon hatch and placing it on a plywood skid way they pushed it out thru the companionway hatch and with the crane hoisted it off the boat. Several days have been spent on rerouting hoses, seawater strainer, and the deep bilge pump. Then last week they hauled her out to install a new packing gland, cutlas bearings and bronze screens over our three intake thru hulls. With that done it was back in the water to work on building up the engine bed to the correct dimensions that would allow the new engine to match up with the prop shaft. By the end of the week the Beta 50 is sitting on the motor mounts and we are awaiting the new drive shaft and couplings.

During this time we are also replacing the ICOM 700 SSB with an ICOM 802 SSB, AT140 auto tuner, and a Pactor III USB modem.This should allow us to get weather faxes and very limited email while offshore. It appears ,we are hoping!!, that we will be back on board this Saturday or Sunday. Currently, I’m spending my time doing coastal routes and Judy is working on provisioning and meals. I’ve been using Active Captain to scope out anchorages and marinas on our route south. The route at the moment is Beaufort to Charleston (48 hrs), Charleston to Jacksonville (40 hrs), Jacksonville to Ft. Pierce (35 hrs), Ft. Pierce to Miami and then over to Bimini.

So, once the drive shaft comes (Wednesday) it will be installed and then testing it. We will also be doing a week of sea trials to check out the engine and the SSB before heading out. My best wishes to all. Its hard to sit around for a month waiting to go out but the time is near.