|The Log of KAHOLEE
Her travels and adventures.
First sunrise afloat in over 7 years
Beggar's Wharf Marina, Rockland Maine
|2752 days after leaving the water KAHOLEE swims once again. Interestingly, she came out November 8th 2000, a leap year and returned to the water May 22nd, 2008, also a leap year.|
June 18th, KAHOLEE was on a mooring at Beggar's Wharf Marina in
Rockland, Maine. The following chart shows her position. During this
time we installed numerous systems related to sail operation including
the boom, and running rigging. By the time KAHOLEE come out on June
18th 2008 she was able to sail but some systems including the lazy jacks
and reefing systems were not yet installed. These Including her radar
mast, radar antenna, two GPS antennas, VHF antenna and Sirius radio
antenna would be installed upon her return to Northern Yacht
On June 17th I motored from the mooring to Journey's End Marina where KAHOLEE was scheduled to be pulled from the water on June 18th. I docked and began derigging her for her trip overland to Northern Yacht Restoration.
At left she is almost ready, only the genoa remains along with a few items on deck. I was lucky in that it had rained earlier, but held off long enough for me to dry the genoa before storing it. Once done, I walked down toward Hamilton Marine and had dinner at a seafood place right on the water. An in enjoyable last meal in Rockland, the place wasn't very busy and I had a great view of the harbor.
This would be my last night aboard until we were on the Chesapeake Bay. It was a much different experience being at a dock from that on the mooring. Waves slapped at the stern most of the night, and the morning was punctuated by lobster boats motoring about, but it was a last taste of Maine before heading south, so all in all, an enjoyable experience.
04 August 2008, Monday, Havre de Grace, Maryland
Departed Whitefield at 0300 for Havre de Grace, arriving at Tidewater Marina in Havre de Grace at about1400. The rigger had gone home, but we did get launched. Once KAHOLEE was secured Tim and I walked downtown to an Irish Pub and had our first blue crab session of many to follow.
05 August 2008, Tuesday
Rigger named Mike arrived bright and early and between the three of us the mast was raised. Installed the dodger and bimini and started outfitting for sea. Went to Dinner at MacGregor's where Tim had a soft-shelled crab sandwich and I had a Cuban pressed pork sandwich.
06 August 2008, Wednesday
A lay day, had lunch at Price's Bay Balls (kind of a mini-crab cake), crab cake and two and a half dozen steamed blue crab using Price's seasoning. Great food, highly recommend this place and their seasoning, which is very peppery but excellent with the crab. Returned for Dinner and had soft-shelled crab and cream of crab soup, again, excellent. In between we wondered around Havre de Grace, visiting some historical sites and the local maritime museum. We also drove across the river and visited Perryville where we had some great ice-cream at a local stand.
07 August 2008, Thursday
Tim departed at 0300 and I'm on my own. Hung out with the locals and worked on putting things away on the boat now that the v-berth was free. Ran the engine to recharge the batteries as we have been using the 12V fans to cool the cabin at night as it has been hot and humid.
08 August 2008, Friday
Visited with some of the local sailors and learned there is a pirate festival this weekend at Rock Hall, MD, also got some tips on how to enter Baltimore harbor with will come in handy. The weather has cooled off and NOAA is reporting small craft warnings so I'm sitting tight.
09 August 2008, Saturday
Planning on leaving Monday, weather looking better. Had dinner at Prices and visited Bomboy's for ice-cream. This is the local place to go for ice-cream, with a candy store across the street.
10 August 2008, Sunday
Borrowed the marina courtesy van and drove to Rock Hall for the Pirate festival. Listened to a lecture on piracy on the Chesapeake Bay Gonald G. Shomette and bought the corresponding book, very interesting. Watched the pirate performers do a sword play demo and headed back to Havre de Grace where I prepared red beans and rice and had dinner with Sam, one of the locals and his dog Buddy.
11 August 2008, Monday
Spent most of the morning securing everything for sea, departed the dock at about 1300 for Still Pond. Had just cleared the marina entry when noticed the engine overheating, reversed course and tied up to the seawall, not all that gracefully, but I did get it done. Had the marina mini-tug put me back inside the marina, this time along the seawall at the back of the marina.
Disassembled the engine water intake and found a surprisingly small amount of seaweed blocking the right angle fitting which attaches the raw water hose to the strainer. Removed and reran the engine, all is well.
Walked down to MacGregor's and had a Cuban sandwich, a mojito (not very good) and a Corona, then walked over to Bomboy's and had my favorite local flavor "Duck Duck Goose", then back to the boat.
12 August 2008, Tuesday Havre de Grace to Still Pond Creek
Up bright and early, showered and heading out at approximately 0800. This time it is high tide and there is much less seaweed in this part of the marina. Entering the channel all is well. This channel is fairly narrow so navigation is a hands on experience. Have entered waypoints into the Raymarine RL80CRC Plus and it and the Raymarine RN300 GPS are happy as pigs in mud, although the on-screen updating is a bit slow but once I was use to it not a problem. After exiting the channel south of Turkey Point I secured the helm so that KAHOLEE would make a circle and secured the items on deck which I had not had a chance to do when casting off. Also rechecked the anchors and made sure all else was ready for entering Still Pond. Proceeded south and arrived at Still Pond at approx. 1000. Had to dodge a few crab pots, but had no problem getting to the entry to Still Pond Creek. As I was entering the very narrow channel into the creek, the Coast Guard showed up so I got to follow them through which made things much easier. Still Pond Creek is very shallow so I motored very very slowly up the creak to a point about a mile from CG Station and anchored. N39 19.533' W076 07.338'. The water was kind of murky, but went for a swim and cleaned KAHOLEE's waterline which had become quite dirty in the marina.
Still Pond is beautiful, but has no Verizon phone service, will intermittent, but effectually none. With luck I can send text messages to Dorothy, but voice is impossible, which also means no Internet. Bald eagles sour around and the locals seem to boat rather than dive. The view of shore looks like something you'd expect in a Treasure Island movie.
Cheese and a couple of Dark and Stormies for dinner, oh ho ho...
13 August 2008, Wednesday, Still Pond Creek, Maryland
Ran the engine to charge the batteries, but could barely get the Xantrex Link 20 to show three lights. Swam a bit and observed the scenery. In the distance you can hear cannon fire or bombs being dropped at Aberdeen Proving Ground which is only a few miles away, it sounds like distant thunder so not disturbing. Occasionally an A10 Warthog flies over.
Noticed the cushions on the port side were wet and assumed it was me dripping on them after swimming.
Steak on the grill and a Red Stripe for dinner
14 August 2008 Thursday,
Found water coming from the port side aft bulkhead, further investigation revealed an anti-siphon fitting which is part of the exhaust/muffler system squirting water all over the wiring behind the bulkhead. This is directly adjacent to the back of the main electrical panel so as Jack Sparrow would say, "Not good!". I got out the manual on the engine and discovered I could not just epoxy this fitting shut as it prevents water form back-flooding into the engine cylinder head and cylinders. Spent the rest of the day contemplating what to do and seeing what I had on hand that could be used to duct the water away from the electronics. Luckily Still Pond is fresh water, as is most of the upper Chesapeake so no serious saltwater damages was done.
NOAA reported a storm warning for the area in the afternoon so I kept watch on deck. Most of the serious stuff passed to the west, but we did get a light shower. Nice lightening show though.
Feta, spinach scramble for dinner.
15 August 2008, Friday
Collected the parts for my jury rig and set to work on the anti-siphon fitting issue at 0900. 1000, having a working modification, but not happy with the water draining into the bilge. This is ok in freshwater, but not something I want to have a a standard procedure for the saltwater environment. Need to consider a fitting on the stern with a tube.
Xantrex reading a -115 Ah at 1000, Still running at 1500 and only down to -92 Ah, showing two yellow lights. Charge rate which was initially around 7A is now at about 2A. Need to figure out a better way to recharge the batteries or my engine will be old and die before I ever get to Key West. Luckily it is fairly fuel efficient. Need to verify I have the 65A alternator tomorrow, the stock unit is a 35A. Plan on running until I have three green lights on the Xantrex which is usually around -80Ah so I may have a couple of more hours to go. Will shutdown at 1600 so the locals can have some peace and quite.
Hot dogs for dinner and a D&S in the cockpit.
16 August 2008, Saturday
Have decided to reset the Xantrex as I it has yet to get to three green lights. I waited until the battery charge amperage dropped to 2 amps and did a reset. Am now showing 4 green lights. Will continue to observe.
Powerboats are are all over the place, peace and quite are a thing of the past.
17 August 2008, Sunday
Refueled today, adding both fuel cans and bringing the tank to about 3/4 full. Waited to late as there was no powerboat activity until I started fueling. Looks like anytime before 1000 is good though, these guys are not early risers. Storing everything and making ready for sea tomorrow at 0700.
Took the dinghy out and got some pictures of KAHOLEE at anchor.
Had last steak for dinner. Managed to burn myself on the top of the BBQ, will need to watch that in the future.
18 August 2008, Monday, Still Pond Creek to Worton Creek
Sent Spouse a SPOT report at 1645 and anchors away at 0700. Bottom is heavy mud and the anchor shows it. Did not clean anchor as did not want to drift much in such thin water. Headed to center river and proceeded downstream. Ran aground several times before I figured out that the deep water lay to the south bank of Still Pond Creek. Meet the Coasties exiting the channel who graciously waited for me to clear. Dodged some crab pots and headed for the main channel, center bay.
Tried to activate the autopilot, all electronics are not inop, Called Tim and left voice mail message. Reduced speed an motoring in circles. Tim returned call and advised the problem was probably a fuse and that the DC circuit panel was not circuit breakers, just switches. Went below and opened electronics panel and checked all fuses in the fuse block, all checked ok. Noticed one big yellow inline fuse and checked it, a 250V 5A fuse which was blown. Replaced with a spare and electronics operational again. Noted the RL80 did not lose its plot which is good. Proceeding south.
Arrived Worton Creek about 0930, entered the channel and called Worton Creek Marina on the cellphone, but was unable to get a stable connection so called on VHF and made a slip reservation.
1000 arrived Worton Creek Marina and rented slip until Friday at $1.50/ft plus $8.00 for a 30A electrical connection.
Sam from Tidewater Marina at Havre de Grace is here, anchored out.
Hormel Chili for dinner.
19August 2008, Tuesday, Worton Creek Marina, Worton Creek, Maryland
Spent the day sitting at the fuel dock with Sam and Buddy watching the world go by. This could become addictive.
Dinner at the Harbor House Restaurant, Angles on Horseback (bacon wrapped shrimp with a honey mustard sauce) for appetizer, crab cakes with corn on the cob for the main course and a wonderful apple cinnamon bread pudding with ice cream and whipped cream for dessert. Food was good, but the portions were kind of small for the price. Desert was the highpoint of the meal. Harbor house has a bunch of lighthouse pictures on the wall, and over 20 pictures behind the bar which are numbered. If you can pick out the three lighthouses which are not on the east coast, you get your meal for free. So far only one guy has done it back in 2006. Business was kind of slow as while I was there 1700-1800, I was the only customer. The price of fuel is impacting them since they are 8 miles from the nearest town. Hope things look up for them.
20 August 2008, Wednesday
Another day sitting on the dock with Sam and Buddy. New record for power boat fuel cost $750. Talked to the new owner, a guy about my age. He said he got about .8 gal/mi. Didn't have the heart to say I got about .25 gal/hour. Guess if you've got the money, it isn't a big deal. The Arabs should be sending these guys thank you cards though.
Made read beans and rice using my doctored up version of Goya's RB&R mix. Had dinner with Sam and Buddy on the dock near KAHOLEE where there was a picnic table.
21 August 2008, Thursday
Another morning sitting at the dock, think this has gotten to be addictive, but it is enjoyable. Aside from Sam and Buddy, met a nice couple from Maine, or at least originally from Maine who now lived down on the Chesapeake and sail a catamaran. Had a nice chat. I think I like this life.
Worked out course to Baltimore and transferred routes to the two backup GPSs. If I leave here at 0700 on Monday the 25th, I should be at the Inner Harbor Marine Center by 1300 estimating an average speed of 4.5kn.
22 August 2008, Friday
Today I will manually enter the course to Baltimore into the RL80 and begin cleaning up and storing equipment for sea in order to be ready by Sunday night.
Removed and replaced jury rig on exhaust system anti-siphon system. Used 3/4-inch heater hose with a #8 hose clamp to attach to the anti-siphon fitting and routed the hose to the bilge. Talked to Tim on this and have decided to reroute this into the bilge pump drain fitting at the stern due to the amount of water that is discharged into the bilge using this setup.
Attached ring pins to the safety rail fittings on the stern, cleaned up some items in the cockpit and stored them for sea.
Found several pieces of sea-grass in the strainer, probably from exiting Still Pond Creek, nothing at the strainer intake fitting though. Ran engine for 2 hours and 15 minutes, back to three green on the Xantrex, around -50Ah with a charge rate of 5.9A at time of engine shutdown. Based on the rate of use here using A/C for the refer, this should suffice until I reach Baltimore.
If memory serves, there is an $18.00/day charge for electricity at Baltimore Inner Harbor Marine Center. If this is true, it will be more economical to toss my remaining food which requires refrigeration, enabling me to shutdown the refrigerator and subsist on just D/C for the bilge pump during my trip to Allen, TX on the 26th. I will try and negotiate this with the Marina, though.
Worton Creek Marina is filling up with weekenders. Nice lady in house boat to my port side, put on a shirt to be more socially acceptable.
Chatted with the powerboat guy on "Simply Irresistible" (not named for the song, but how they feel about the boat) about his use of house type water filters. He uses a single regular filter attached directly to the marina water outlet on the dock, then feeds it into another of these filters located on his transom which feeds directly into a second charcoal filter before piping into the boat. He then uses a forth faucet filter inside. Might want to look into this as marina water seems to be less than ideal for drinking and cooking.
Hotdogs and a couple of D&S for dinner.
23 August 2008, Saturday
This morning's NOAA marine weather report indicates no hazardous weather for the next week, winds in the 15Kn range Sunday night with waves in the 2ft range, but subsiding to winds 5-10Kn with waves of 1ft or less on Monday with chance of thunderstorms.
Need to remember to have Spouse check me in for my SWA flight on the 26th as I will not have internet connection at the appropriate time.
Talked to Spouse, she had a great time at the Herman's Hermits concert last night. She will check me in on my SWA flight to Dallas tomorrow morning so I'm all set except for a few boat projects.
I suspected the problem with the autopilot was due to it being completely retracted and trying to retract more. I put it in place and sure enough I need to move the anchoring point on the cockpit seat. I need to look at the installation instructions and determine what the throw is on the actuator so I can position it so as to have the tiller centered when at it's half way point.
Had a nice visit with Sam this morning and a couple from Baltimore and a local guy with a very nice Japanese built boat of Alberg design. The guy from Baltimore suggested I stay on the right as per regulations and that it would not be a problem. He also suggested a different marina but at this late date I'll stick with the one I have scheduled. Maybe I may change when I get back, we shell see.
Washed dishes for the final time prior to departure as I will go to the restaurant tomorrow evening. Just a few things left to secure tomorrow and I'm ready to depart.
Finished off the last of the hotdogs for dinner. This leaves me some eggs and one or two other things that need refrigeration. I will give these to Sam tomorrow as, if I remember correctly, the marina I have reservations at charges $18/dray for a 30A hookup which is definitely not worth that amount.
It has started to rain, need to secure the forward hatch.
24 August 2008, Sunday
Spent most of the day sitting around with Sam chatting. Got some info on a different marina at Baltimore that might serve my purposes better, canceled the reservation at Baltimore Inner Harbor Marine Center after talking to Jake at Center Harbor Marina. Finished securing for sea.
Dinner at the Harbor House restaurant. Had their version of Sheppard's Pie, which was excellent.
25 August 2008, Monday Worton Creek to Baltimore
Up at 0600, making final preparations for departure.
0700 departed Worton Creek Marina. Had a bit of help from the lady on the boat to port getting the dock line off the piling, but otherwise an uneventful departure. Passed Sam's boat on the way out of the creek, looks like he and Buddy are still asleep. Passed the eagle or hawk with it's nest on the day marker and entered the small bay at Worton Creek, wind seems to be picking up.
Motoring south waves between 2 and 4 feet, vary bouncy. Estimated speed for the trip of about 25 miles to Baltimore was 4.5 knots, but may have difficulty maintaining that rate.
0900, seas are settling and I must have the current with me as I am making 5.6 knots. At this rate I should arrive about an hour earlier than anticipated.
1030 arrived at the entrance to Baltimore channel and turned west following the marker buoys. Decided to abandon the plan I had at Havre de Grace of switching sides once past the Francis Scott Key bridge as shipping traffic seems light. Using charts more than GPS, but all is well.
Passed under the Francis Scott Key bridge and swung around the red, white and blue buoy which marks the location where Key was supposedly at when he wrote the poem which became the Star Spangled Banner.
Arrived at buoy red 5 and called Jake at the marina. Got a voice mail connection immediately.
Making the turn into the inner harbor, tried to call Jake again, same result.
Arrived at the Center Harbor Marina, tried to call again, no luck. Walked over and talked to some guys on the dock, who were not much help. Back onboard and waiting, trying to call every so often. Watching the Duck amphibious vehicle take tourist on harbor tours. Got tired of waving so went below.
Noticed water in the bilge was visible through the finger holes in the bilge inspection hatches. Removed the after most one and was surprised to see the bilge almost completely full, not good. Checked the automatic bilge pump switch and it had been set to off, turned it on and noted that the LED that indicates it is on was not working. Kicked on the secondary, high speed bilge pump and cleared the bilge in a few minutes. Verified the automatic (primary) pump was working and double verified it was on.
This is a result of running the water from the exhaust siphon brake into the bilge. I had not thought it would pump that much water, but I remembered Tim saying something about all the water coming from it. This amount of water, assuming the bilge pump has been off all along, would include all the water since I installed the drain hose on Friday, 15 August and any of the water I took through the hawse pipes during the bumpy part of the ride over from Worton Creek, something like 7 or 8 hours of engine running at 1800 to 2000 RPM. The engine installation diagram from Bata Marine shows the siphon brake discharge being routed outside the boat and from talking to Tim about this earlier we had decided the bilge thing was not a long-term solution. Fixing this will be my most immediate project upon return to KAHOLEE.
I had advised Jake when I talked to him from Wroton Creek that I would arrive between 1300 and 1400, have decided to try and reestablish the reservation at Baltimore Inner Harbor Marine Center if I can not contact him by 1400. Do not really have time to mess about as my flight to Dallas is fairly early tomorrow.
1415 called IHMC and made reservation, departed CHM and in route.
1430 contacted IHMC on VHF 16, was directed to channel 68. Got called Captain by the marina operator, nice ego boost. Was directed to slip A32 and told to tie up stern to. This should be interesting, KAHOLEE does not really like backing up, especially with the dinghy being towed astern.
Luckily there was no wind so docking, while not pretty, was accomplished without any major difficulties. After securing KAHOLEE, I visited the marina office and paid up.
Received a call from the marina about the charges and was requested to come by and see them, so off to the marina office again. Upon arrival was advised that the charges were messed up and the electric was not included. They normally charge $18.00/day for electrical and the lady had been mistaken when she initially thought the charges for KAHOLEE included electrical. I told her I'd just toss the food I had aboard that needed refrigeration and do without any electrical as I was not a big powerboat with multiple air conditioners so my actually electrical load would probably be more like $3.00/day. The nice lady at the office messed around with the charges and adjusted what they were charging to match what I had already paid and set me up to be metered electric at $0.18/kilowatt hour which will be more reasonable (we shell see when I get back), in anyevent more economical than $18/day. This us usually reserved for boats staying by the month, so it was nice of her to take care of me. She said I should stop by tomorrow morning just to make sure once she had talked to the manager.
Showered, put on fresh clothing and headed to the Rusty Scupper restaurant located in the same building as the marina office for dinner. Had a powerful hunger going on after the long day at the tiller so I had a bowl of their cream of crab soup (only $0.70 more than the cup and twice as much). This was the best cream of crab soup I've had yet and at less than $7.00 probably the best bet on the menu. For the main course I had a 14oz New York steak and added a crab cake, along with a couple of their Rusty Scupper micro brews. Needless to say, there was no room left for dessert. My table was right next to the window with a nice view of the harbor, so while not inexpensive, a satisfying dining experience, none the less.
Back onboard, adjusting a few things for my departure. Wind came up and things are cooling off nicely. Baltimore actually looks very nice at night with the lights. There is a lot of construction going on downtown so during the day it has a very industrial look.
|The first picture on the left was taken in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay between Worton Creek and the entrance to the Baltimore channel. Seas were running 2 to 3 feet initially but things settled down after a couple of hours. The second picture is my first encounter with large commercial traffic. This will, undoubtedly be the first of many to come, hopefully they will all go as smoothly. Next is KAHOLEE's first bridge transit. The red, white and blue buoy marks the spot where Francis Scott Key wrote the poem which became the Star Spangled Banner, and finally a traditional sailing sloop passing Fort McHenry which was the inspiration for Key's poem during the war of 1812 while under attack by the British. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them)|
26 August 2008, Baltimore Inner Harbor Marine Center, Baltimore Maryland
Up at 0600, checked the bilge, all is well, verified the automatic pump is on. Finished putting things away and clearing lose items from the deck.
0800 shower and put on fresh clothes.
Checked the bilge, all is well, verified pump on once more. All is packed and secured except the cockpit cushions which will be the last thing put below.
0900 went to visit the office. Same nice lady, she said not to worry, the manager was not in yet but I was on metered electric so I could leave the food in the refrigerator. She even offered to call me a cab so I ran back to KAHOLEE to get my luggage, put the cushions below and lock the hatch. Got back to the gate and the cab was there. She was running out to make sure the did not leave. I need to get her a thank you gift when I get back.
On my way to the airport (BWI). Cab driver is from Somalia in Africa. He had lived in Dallas for a couple of years and was quite fond of it. Had a nice chat and arrived at the airport with time to spare.
Nice lady at Southwest helped me find my boarding pass as I had no Internet until just recently so Spouse had checked me in. Off to TSA which went smoothly. They had gone to a kind of light blue shirt which the guy I talked to seems to like better than the old white ones. They also have a real badge instead of the sew on ones they had before. I actually liked the white shirt look better, but the blue will probably be easier to maintain.
1115 on the plane and on my way to see my Sweetie for our 25th Anniversary. Will pickup the Log when I get back onboard.
02 September 2008, Tuesday
Back in Baltimore and aboard KAHOLEE. All is well, bilge has very little water in it so no worries there and nothing is missing. The battery looks fully charged, but the Xantrex is showing only two lights. Ran the engine and the alternator only put out 2A so as far as the charging system is concerned the batteries are full so I reset the Xantrex.
Had dinner at the Rusty Scupper, great cream of crab soup and an excellent steak. Can't do this every night though so I'll find something else until maybe departure day.
About 2300 was taking a walk on the dock and noticed the dinghy was full of water. Must have been from when I ran the engine and she was up under the transom. Pulled her out to dump the water and noticed a bunch of sea scum had started to collect on her bottom, borrowed a hose with a nozzle and got my boat brush and cleaned things up. She shows stains, but all the stuff came off, which is inline whit what the manufacturer said.
03 September 2008, Wednesday
NOAA is reporting tropical storm winds on Saturday as TS Hanna tracks up the east coast, so I have decided to stay put through the weekend as this location is more protected than the buoy field on Spa Creek in Annapolis. Made arrangements with the marina, no problem. Nice people.
Hanna is now in the Bahamas tracking NW and is predicted to become a cat 1 hurricane on Friday, making landfall somewhere in the Georgia, South Carolina area on Friday, then turning NE and making it to the Baltimore area on Saturday. By Sunday she should be in Maine and no longer a threat so I will depart for Annapolis on Monday when NOAA predictions are much more favorable.
Following my visit to the office I gook a shower and headed back to KAHOLEE where I checked to see when the USS Constellation would be open, which it turns out is 1000 so I messed about on the computer for a while and headed out at 1030 for the short walk to her berth near the Baltimore Aquarium.
Upon arrival I purchased a ticket and got one of the free audio tour devices and boarded the Connie. She is a beautiful ship, not as massive as Constitution, but then she is a sloop of war not a frigate. Even though she is designated as a sloop, she is ship rigged with three masts and enough guns to qualify as a small frigate. After spending several hours aboard including taking part in a blank firing exercise with one of her rifled guns I purchased a Ships Master membership at the USS Constellation Museum in order to help with the restoration. And is was kind of my gift to the USS Constellation CV64 on which I served during my Navy days back in the 70's (WESTPAC77). CV64 was commissioned in 1960 and decommissioned in 2003 which was a sad thing as I always though I'd be dead and gone long before she ever stopped sailing the seas. Time flies by, even the Enterprise is scheduled for decommissioning in 2010, not much left of the old Navy I knew. In any event, it was a wonderful experience visiting the Constellation of 1852.
04 September 2008, Thursday
Visited the Maryland Science Center today which is just down the street from the marina. This is a wonderful museum with lots of very interesting exhibits including a great dinosaur display and some really interesting exhibits on the space program. It also includes an IMAX theater and a planetarium. I spent the whole day here and as well as touring the exhibits I saw two IMAX movies one called Sea Monsters on prehistoric sea creatures which was in 3D and the second on hurricane Katrina entitled Hurricane on the Bayou which was about a bunch of musician working to save the wetlands around New Orleans and included some wonderful music. I also visited the planetarium and saw a great display on the night sky around Baltimore. During the lecture I noticed a small diamond shaped group of stars which I had always wondered about. When the lecture was over I ask the gentleman who operated the star machine about it and he actually fired up the star machine and helped me locate the star cluster. Turns out this is the Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters which Jimmy Buffett refers to a number of times in his book Where is Joe Merchant?. Now I know...
I had dinner at Phillips Seafood which consisted of a cup of cream of crab soup, crab cakes a mojito and key lime pie. The crab cakes were quite excellent with a very buttery taste.
Following dinner I walked over to Best Buys which is nearby and picked up a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements which I did not have on my laptop and allows me to work with my photographs and a Vornaco fan which runs on A/C to help cool the boat interior at night. On the way I met a couple of nice people near USS Constellation. He was taking her picture and I offered to take a picture of both of them. Turns out he was a retired Navy man and she was from Cuba. We had a great chat about the Navy and how things are going in Cuba. She thinks Fidel has died and Roul is in charge completely because they have not celebrated Fidel's birthday in a couple of years. Kind of like the Howard Hughes thing, so it may be possible.
Back onboard KAHOLEE, the fan made such a difference I could probably just get rid of the air conditioner. It is very quite and has two speeds. The first "dry" night I've had aboard since the adventure began. The D/C fans are quite noisy but do move air a bit, but now as much as this new fan, unfortunately they do tend to drain battery power which could be used for other things so I use them sparingly. Reminds me of Sam over at Worton Creek, and his battery issues. He was running a TV off of an inverter and would regularly kill his batteries. Oh well, the life aboard a cruising boat is never dull.
Which reminds me, today celebrates the first month of cruising. I haven't made it vary far yet, but then, what's the rush.
05 September 2008, Friday
Got up this morning and checked on hurricane Hanna. NOAA is still predicting tropical storm winds with gusts to possibly 50 mph starting late Friday night and going through until Saturday evening. Looks like a Monday move to Annapolis is likely so at 0800 I called the Annapolis Harbor Master and got instructions on how to approach the mooring field on Spa Creek. Looks like I will make my first drawbridge transit upon arrival as the mooring field is just west of the Route 6 bridge. I also ask about the naval anchorage just at the mouth of the Severn River as I was not sure if I could either pass to the north of this anchorage (the water gets a bit thin toward the eastern end of the anchorage) or pass through it if I stayed clear of any ships anchored there. I was advised passing through the anchorage was not an issue unless there were ships there and then it might be advisable to go far enough south to be able to enter the channel south of the anchorage. Guess I'll deal with it when I get there. If there are any guard boats I can always contact them for instructions.
Today the plan is to visit the aquarium so I guess I'd better get hot. I did find a Starbucks yesterday so I can make a pit stop on my way.
06 September 2008, Saturday
Tropical storm Hanna has arrived. The morning was relatively calm. Around noon the wind picked up and the rain intensified and remained so until around 1400 when it slacked off for about an hour an a half then came up again. All in all not a particularly bad first experience with a tropical storm aboard. I spent the day monitoring KAHOLEE and sorting things, watched a movie, Club Paradise, and worked on the website.
1600, rain and wind are coming and going, right now the rain has picked up. Guess I'll have dinner at the Rusty Scupper since it is close.
07 September 2008, Sunday
Making preparation for departure on Monday. Walked to the grocery store about a mile away, passing by the Baltimore Industrial Museum, which looked interesting but will need to wait for another visit. Had a late lunch at Popeye's near the store which will be the cheapest meal I've had here, then went to the store where I scored three bottles of Goya Ginger Bear along with some other provisions. Walked back along the waterfront where there are some upscale condos being built, actually some of the more appropriate condos I've seen. I was later told that the base price was around $1.4 million which got you a view of the alley. KAHOLEE has the same view and is much less expensive.
Back on the dock, and chatted with the people on the 45 ft. Bayliner in a nearby slip. As powerboats go, not a bad looking thing, big trawler yacht. Nice lady named Mary and her spouse, fun chat. They are heading to NC tomorrow, but not leaving nearly as early as I. Back to work getting things setup. Had to dump a bunch of water from the dinghy which had collected thanks to Hanna.
08 September 2008, Monday Baltimore to Annapolis
Up and at 'em. Turned in the power splitter and secured the power line and most dock lines. Started the engine after doing the basic oil/water filter checks. She is purring away. Dropped off my entry card and departed a bit later then planed at 0740. Hopefully my estimated speed of 4.5 knots will be slower than my actual SOG.
0945 only 15 minutes later than my estimated arrival at the Baltimore channel entry buoy, so things are looking good. Turned south and started heading toward the big bridge that crosses the Chesapeake Bay. At this point I can see both the FSK Bridge and the CB Bridge. Passed by Baltimore light and took a detour for pictures. Got passed by my friends on the Bayliner, exchanged waves. Got passed by one of the other mega-yachts just before passing under the CB Bridge, slowed to let him get by since there was large commercial traffic coming the other way in the channel.
Arrived on Spa Creek in Annapolis at 1315, about 15 minutes before my predicted arrival time. Called the Harbor Master on 16 and was advised to use 17, switched to 17 and was told to just grab a buoy and await the arrival of the patrol boat. Grabbed buoy 38 which is on the edge of the channel but has a good view and should have a fair wind. Bill from the Harbor Masters office came by in Patrol Boat 2 and we had a great chat, very nice introduction to Annapolis. He gave me all kinds of info on what to do and see. One of the really big yachts showed up from Baltimore about this time. Must be nice, my five hour trip is there two hour trip, but when I consider what it costs them, I'll settle for my extended time on the water, after all, isn't that what it's all about?
Rowed in and went by the Harbor Masters office where I met a guy named Cochise and got my tokens for the showers. Nice guy, he gave me a bunch of info on the local tours and visiting the Naval Academy. Took a shower, put on a clean shirt and then off to find somewhere to eat. There is a Phillips Seafood here so I can use my $10 credit I got in Baltimore, but of more interest was the Pusser's Company Sore I could see from KAHOLEE in what is called "Ego Alley", no doubt a reference to the size of the yachts which frequent it. AT Pusser's I had a couple of mojitos and as an appetizer coconut shrimp. These shrimp had a wonderful sauce and were perhaps the best coconut shrimp I've ever had. For the main course I had Jamaican jerk baby back ribs which were just wonderful. Unfortunately I got some of the wonderful sauce on my clean shirt. Oh well... Back to KAHOLEE for a good night's sleep.
As it turned out the buoy field is kind of rolly, but nothing Rockland did not prepare me for, so I was rocked to sleep by the Chesapeake Bay.
09 September 2008, Tuesday, Spa Creek, Annapolis, Maryland
Up about 0630, called Dorothy at 0645 and chatted a bit. Rowed in and took a shower and got some more tokens. Chatted with Cochise a bit and got the location of a good place for breakfast called "Chick & Ruth's Delly". Walked up Main Street a couple of blocks to the first stoplight where the delly was located doing a bit of window shopping. Very touristy, but done in a good nautical way. I'll have to go on t-shirt collecting expedition later this week. Arrived at the delly which is a real hoot. I understand that during morning colors, they all rise and salute. This happens at 0800 so I was a bit late as it was around 0900 which was good because I missed the morning rush, but I'll need to make it down here for that before I leave. Had corn beef hash for breakfast, which was good, but nothing near as good as the hash in Wiscasset Maine. Nice people had fun chatting with them and found out they have a B&B up stares called the Scotlaur Inn. I ask if they had any openings for the weekend after next as Dorothy was going to South Dakota this weekend so I was thinking I might stick around an extra week and be able to have her see Annapolis. Unfortunately with the Annapolis Boat Show just a week or so away, they were all booked up, but we can fly into Baltimore and visit later on.
I had planned to do the walking tour of Annapolis today, but NOAA predicted showers today, with a small craft advisory for tonight and tomorrow so I decided to just hangout on KAHOLEE for the day. Rowed back out and played boat bum watching the comings and goings in the harbor for the rest of the day.
10 September 2008, Wednesday
Today was my shopping day. First I walked down to the Chick and Ruth's Delly and had a 3/4 lb. bacon cheeseburger. I sware this thing was more like a pound and a half, but it was good. Then it was a walk down Main Street looking at various t-shirt shops. I found some nice pirate and sailing t-shirts at one shop along with some nice caps and a couple for Spouse too. I then found a second shop with a really nice locally made t-shirt which reminded me of the brick colored one I got on Maui. My last stop was the Pusser's Rum Company Store where I got a really nice pullover shirt in that brick color I like and a great Pusser's Painkiller t-shirt. I also got a nice set of Pusser's rum cups. They are made of metal with four different designs. There is an Admiral Nelson design, a John Paul Jones design, a Pusser's Rum design and a Pusser's Painkiller design. They had three different, well four actually, collector bottles of Pusser's Rum. They had the captain's decanter design Dorothy and I saw up on Oregon but only the John Paul Jones one, not the Admiral Nelson, a jug looking one with a nice design and a hip flask design. I opted for the rum jug as it was quite nice and unique.
11 September 2008, Thursday
Visited the US Naval Academy today. Went through the security check, nice people, friendly, not what I expected so a nice way to start the visit. Then I went to the visitor's center where I met this nice lady who did receiving. They had a large model of the USS Enterprise, no not that Enterprise or even the other Enterprise, but the third vessel to carry that name a two masted sailing vessel. The lady let me go around the counter and get some close up pictures. I think she felt bad because I had told her how I was looking forward to visiting the museum and seeing the ship models but it was closed for restoration. She even went and hunted down an article on the vessels named Enterprise for me.
After viewing a brief film on the Academy I began my walking tour. It is almost like stepping back in time. There are so many historical events depicted and artifacts from these events that it is simply amazing. Unfortunately the museum was closed for renovation so, like the USS Constellation, I will need to return to see it. I did get to see the crypt of John Paul Jones though. My tour leader was Captain Brown (Ret) a Naval Academy alumnus and class mate of current Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Stopped by the gift shop and got a Navy Sailing sweatshirt and t-shirt a couple of caps and some goodies for my Sweetie.
Back to KAHOLEE to dorp off stuff then took the water taxi to xxx Creek Cafe which is right on the water just downstream from the drawbridge for a wonderful dinner of blackened prime rib with cream of crab soup, a salad and butterscotch crème brulee, and a mojito of course, but only one.
12 September 2008, Friday
Stayed aboard all day. Ran the engine for several hours to charge the batteries. Read a bit of Johnson's General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. This buck was published in 1724, based on interviews with some of the actual pirates and the bible for pirate research. I'm into the Bartholomew Roberts part and it is very interesting.
Got out the computer since the engine was running and worked a bit on the website and read email. Found an email from Jamaica Rose (Christine Lampe of No Quarter Given magazine fame) with an interesting quiz on pirate quotes, fact or fiction. It required you not only to make the determination as to fact or fiction, but also state who said the particular quote. It was quit challenging with some fairly obscure movie quotes and historically documented quotes, but I managed to ace it.
I called the marina at St. Michaels to make plans for a visit there on Monday. Talked to a couple of nice ladies there named Christine, who is the curator and Mel who is the dock master. All set, need to contact Mel on 16 when I'm about 10 minutes out and she will take care of me. I'm going to join the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and stay at their docks. The Museum is 18 acres and has boat building programs and other activities which should be great fun to explore and take part in. I am looking forward to my visit to St. Michaels. Did I mention it is suppose to have a great bunch of places to eat blue crab?
When the Etchells class boats were returning today had one of them go by and a guy onboard asked me what sail number I had. I told him 158 and he replied he use to own 126. I gave him a thumbs up. Triton ownership is kind of like being a member of a club. Well, actually it is more than "kind of like". It is amazing how many compliments I get on KAHOLEE, especially considering I'm about the smallest thing out here that is not local. I could have got a bigger boat, but I couldn't have got a better boat.
Hotdogs for dinner, then watched the sunset and activity around the harbor while sipping a couple of Dark & Stormies. Life is good...
13 September 2008, Saturday.
Dinghied in and took a shower at sunrise. Talked to a guy in the showers who said to watch out for a bad curve on the Aligator River south of the Bay on the ICW, said it had a tendency to shoal and the shoal moved so get current charts or follow a local through. He also said there is no tide so you can't just wait to lift off. Need to check this out.
0730 back on board, running engine to charge batteries. Missed a call from Spouse. She is on her way to Spearfish to visit her mom. Sent her a text message and will call or hear from her when she lands. Working on website.
14 September 2008, Sunday
0800 started engine and ran for a few hours to charge the batteries. Went online and posted some questions on the charging rate vs the amp hour readout on the Xantrex. Cleaned up some of my lockers and placed things more appropriately. headed in to take a shower at around noon. Met a guy named Kevin who operates one of the taxi boats. These guys are all captains as the taxi boats will hole 17 people. He lives on a 26 foot sailboat so I'm not the smallest liveaboard in Annapolis. We got to chatting about places to stop when heading south and he offered to give me some local knowledge when I got done with the shower, so after taking a good shower and having an ice cream (the ice cream shop is the coolest place in Annapolis, temp wise that is) and having a latte at Starbucks I rode around with Kevin for a few hours and was able to get all kinds of good information on heading south down the bay and along the ICW. He mentioned the Alligator River as had someone else a few days ago and referred to the same sharp bend with the sand bar. I'll need to really take a look at this before I get there.
We also went up the river above the drawbridge. It is a totally different world up there, homes right on the water with private docks. The most amazing thing is the snowbird boats anchored in the river right in front of the river homes. This would be a nice place to stay if I ever return to Annapolis.
Kevin dropped me off at KAHOLEE and I noticed the scum around the waterline so I got in the dinghy with my cleaning brush and started scrubbing. This is when I noticed the paint on the starboard bow all dinged up. Last night there was no wind so KAHOLEE was snug up against the buoy. These buoys have a shackle and pin right on top which attaches the pendant. Apparently this stuff had been rubbing up against her bow all night and it had damaged the paint making scratches and little dings through the paint. As I am planning on raising the waterline about 4 inches, I may see about getting some better paint on her topsides or maybe a gel coat job, but this will be down the road a bit. For now I may use some white spray paint and sand paper to do a temporary cosmetic repair.
After my wash job I checked the batteries and they are looking ok. Since I will probably be here tomorrow to escape the predicted high winds I can run them tomorrow morning so I'll let them be for tonight.
I'm going to meet Kevin at a Davis's Pub on the other side of the Spa Creek which many of the locals have said is quite good and a local sailor hangout. Davis's Pub is on 4th and Chester and is quite easy to find, you get dropped off at the taxi boat landing at the Chart House and it's a short few blocks walk through some very charming old neighborhoods. I arrived early, had a seat at the bar and ordered one of the local brews and just enjoyed the ambiance. This really is a sailor joint, and refreshing after the more tourist oriented places. Kevin and his lady showed up and we had a great time chatting about cruising under sail. Kevin is a bit more adventurous than I, but then he is a certified Captain with lots of experience. It does look like I am going to have some long days ahead as places to pull in thin out a bit from here south until I reach the ICW at the south end of the Chesapeake.
For dinner I had crab balls, those mini-crab cake appetizers Tim and I had in Havre de Grace. They were a bit different, more like an actual crab cake than those in HdG but they were every bit as delicious. The nice thing was they were less than half the price which was a good thing for the cruising kitty. For dinner I had the special, fish and chips which was, likewise, delicious and reasonably priced. I now understand why there is standing room only in Davis's Pub. This was Sunday though so maybe I'll try it again tomorrow night and see what the Monday crowd is like.
15 September 2008, Monday
Started running the engine at 0800 to charge the batteries. If I had mileage for all the hours I've run the engine to charge the batteries I'd be half way to Key West by not if not there already. Once I had things running I plugged in the laptop and checked weather and email. It is at this writing about 1050 and the NOAA weather report is still a 0418 issue. Wish they would get these things out more often, it dose not look all that bad, although there is a bit of wind here in Spa Creek. Also the weather radio broadcasts are not coming through until around 1030 and they sound like they have backed off on the small craft advisory, although it is still in effect apparently. Oh well, better safe than sorry.
Email-wise, got a couple of good emails from Tim on the battery charging issue. I am going to run the engine today until I get it to drop to 2A input then reset the Xantrex. I will then verify that the battery Ah rating is set correctly and that my Peukert's factor is set correctly as well. This factor is used to calculate many of the readouts on the Xantrex Link 20 and is different than the default setting. Default for the battery Ah capacity is 200, where my Trojan T-105s are 225 and the default Peukert's factor setting is 1.25 rather than my 1.24. I will see if this makes a difference if in fact it is not set correctly. I will then maintain a battery log over the next couple of weeks to get some base line data on how my charging and discharging are going. I think this problem with the build up of negative amp hours seems to come along after I have turned off the battery switch for a while when away. We shall see.
I'm actually going to miss Annapolis. I've become such a fixture here I'm getting free taxi boat rides. I went to Davis' Pub again tonight and had some wonderful pot roast, it was so tender it just fell apart, not to mention the cost is so much more reasonable than those tourist places on the other side of the river.
16 September 2008, Tuesday, Annapolis to Saint Michaels Maryland
Departed Annapolis at around 0840. After talking to Tim, I am running the engine at about 2600 RPM and making a bit more headway, although the through the water gage is still reading between 3 and 4 knots my SOG hit 7 knots during the trip. Must be the current makes the speed gage read lower then normal.
I had checked the NOAA forecast online before departing and it said wind 5 to 10 knots, waves 1 foot. Up to know they have been fairly accurate, but they blew this one (or maybe as it seems they do not update the online stuff as much as the broadcast stuff). I was reading 12 to 14 knots of wind out of roughly the north with waves of 2 to 3 feet. Due to my course across the bay, this put them on the beam so I headed up a bit figuring I'd make a more downwind turn eventually. I will need to do a better job of securing stuff in the future as there were several books that jumped ship and landed on the floor, but nothing broke. Eventually I burned more southerly and this is where I got the 7 knots reading on the GPS SOG readout, surfing off of some of the waves. I missed being able to go by the Thomas Point lighthouse as it was on the west shore and just too far away to go visit under the existing conditions. I was also so busy steering I couldn't even take time out to grab the camera, so no pictures of possibly the most beautiful lighthouse on the bay. I had not been able to get NOAA radio on my handheld VHF, but finally they came through, reporting a small boat adversary until 1000.
I did pass fairly close to the Bloody Point lighthouse and got some pictures of it, but this was after 1000 when things had calmed down a bit. Running into the mouth of the Miles River I had the wind right on the nose. KAHOLEE's new dodger was a wonderful thing or I'd have been soaked. I had removed the wings expecting a milk run, but due to the wind and overcast it was quite chilly so for the first time since Maine, I put on a jacket.
The run up the river was a series of "S" curves and since I'm playing it safe with regard to depth, I sailed a long way for the short line-of-sight distance I was making, but eventually I sighted the lighthouse at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) and gave them a call on the VHF. I was directed to the seawall to the left of the lighthouse and proceeded under reduced power to enter St. Michaels. Mel, the lady I'd talked to on the phone when I made the reservation met me and helped me tie up. The current would sweep the bow either into the seawall or away. Well it wasn't pretty, but we got her tied up. I then adjusted my bow and stern lines and set fore and aft spring lines. I also placed my finders horizontally so that they were between KAHOLEE and the pilings. This seems to have worked out quite well and will be handy in the future with the non-floating piling kind of tie-ups they use here.
Once secured I had to deal with the dinghy which was sticking out from the back of KAHOLEE due to the prevailing wind. I tried to tie her up to a near by piling behind KAHOLE, but since I'm at the end of the seawall there wasn't enough clearance. I am in a kind of secluded location, about 40 feet from a 116 year old Skipjack and behind a little wooden shack. The A/C outlets are on a portable affair which also gives some cover so I decided to pull the dinghy out and put her on the hard. The Porta-Bote people said I did not need to paint the bottom and in fact paint wouldn't hold. They also said she would only need an occasional wash to keep her bottom clean. When I pulled her she had a fairly good beard going and a somewhat different beard than she had had when we were in less salty water. I got out a couple of those green scrub pads and set to work on her until I had half the bottom fairly well cleaned. The most difficult thing to clean was the rubber hinges which the sea growth liked to adhere to much more tenaciously. I left the other half to see fit would be easier to clean when dry and will hit that with some new cleaning pads later in the week.
A fellow named Jim stopped by to admire KAHOLEE an I invited him aboard. He has a small trawler which sounded quite nice and was over on the other side of the Museum at the other docks.
I visited the shower facility which is quite nice and washed my hands several times, but never did totally eliminate the seaweed smell. It was then off to the Crab Claw Restaurant for a dinner which consisted of several beers, crab balls and a dozen steamed blue crab and some surprisingly good key lime pie. Half way through the crab I was wishing Tim were here to help, but I managed to win the latest battle in the War on Crustaceans so all is well.
I met a nice couple from the local area who were sitting next to me and having a more reasonable half dozen each. They had owned a Triton and were interested in KAHOLEE. I invited them to come and visit after they were through with dinner, then headed back to the boat.
I was about a third of the way through the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie when I heard a knock on the doghouse and I had my forth visitors. We sat and chatted for about an hour, exchanged contact information and said our good byes. So far I have had great fun with the people I am meeting, it's a much more laid back way of traveling by boat than by car and I'm looking forward to meeting other people along the way.
After my guests left I called it quits and buttoned up since it was a bit chilly and the wind was from the stern.
17 September 2008, Wednesday, Saint Michaels Maryland
My first full day in St. Mike's, as it is known to the locals, began with a visit to their very nice shower facility. I'm almost of the opinion that you can rate marinas by the shower facilities alone. I still think my favorite was those at Tidewater Marina in Havre de Grace though, where you had a complete room with head shower and sink all to yourself, but the facility at CBMM is quite nice never-the-less. Following the shower (finally got rid of the seaweed smell) I headed back to KAHOLEE to check email. There is a place called Harbor Inn which has an open wireless network which anyone can use so no need to use the cellphone connection.
Since I think I need to start putting down some sea miles I called the Tilghman Island Marina which is located in the Knapp Narrows, actually on the bay side of the narrows so you do not need to deal with the drawbridge. The manager or owner sounds like a great guy and gave me some "local knowledge" which will shave five to ten miles off this transit. I made a verbal reservation since I don't like giving out credit card info on a cellphone. He understood and just ask me to call and verify around the 23rd when I'm heading out. They also have a nice policy about weather delays around Maryland. If you need to slide the reservation back it's no problem, only if you cancel all together do you run up against any cancellation polices. I ran a plot on the computer and this will be a 19 mile day so I can even sleep in a bit an still get there by 1400, which is my usual target arrival time.
Next I plotted the run from Tilghman Island to Solomons which will be a my longest run so far by about 5 NM (30 NM overall). Solomons is located at the mouth of the Patuxent River and has been on everyone's list of places to visit. This will be the last place I have on my list of places to see until I get down to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay so I'm going to need to sit down one of these days and do some plotting before too long.
Some clean clothes and I was off to explore St. Mike's. It is a wonderfully rustic town with many really nice old homes and buildings. . I found a non-official Parrothead store and got me a cap with the Conch Republic flag and a nice Margaritaville inspired t-shirt. Then headed down the main street in the opposite direction.
I was taking pictures along the way and somehow lost the lens cover for my camera. After backtracking and not finding it I just chalked it up to caca passa and kept exploring. A ways down the street, out of the main tourist area I found Al's Grocery which had a delly and served a very reasonably priced soft shelled crab sandwich. They also had some old news papers so I was able to catch up on some of the news including the Wall Street problems, the elections and the Galveston situation. Not sure I'll do that again, it's kind of nice living in your own little boat world and not having to worry about such things.
After leaving Al's I found a nice local ice cream shop and had a Sunday before heading back to the CBMM where I visited there shop and took some pictures of some of the floating boat displays and of one of the restoration projects docking. Then it was back to KAHOLEE to veg.
18 September 2008, Thursday
Today was a provisioning day. I walked down to the Acme Grocery Store and purchased a few things which I was getting low on including a can of Acme Chili, which I had for dinner and was surprised at how good it was compared to Hormel. I do kind of miss the 15 different kinds of chili selection we use to see back in Truth or Consequences and El Paso but so be it on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake. I picked up a dozen of those green scrubbing pads too, so I could work on the dinghy's bottom along with a couple of gallons of water. Another thing I miss is the water machine where it was $0.25/gallon. The one thing I forgot to pickup was some eggs, so I'll have to make another provisioning run later this week.
Back aboard I stashed the provisions and got to work on the dinghy. Letting the sea slime dry proved to work on the rubber hinges, but not on the bottom, however rewetting it seemed to reconstitute it and made it fairly easy to remove. I did go through about half my scouring pads though, the stuff clogs them up something fierce.
As mentioned above, dinner consisted of a taste comparison between Acme and Hormel chili with Acme the clear winner, followed by watching National Treasure 2, which I had also picked up on my run to the store. It was better then the reviews had indicated although I found the Mayan style city of gold under what looked like Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota a bit far fetched not to mention the reference to the Lakota which placed them in the area much earlier than they actually were. Had they done a bit more research they would have known to reference the Northern Cheyenne instead. We'll also ignore the fact that Sylvan Lake was created in 1881 when Theodore Reder built a dam across Sunday Gulch, but it was a movie about finding a city of gold, so who am I to expect any kind of historical accuracy. It was still entertaining though.
As it was still early I popped in Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest, now there's a historically accurate piece, LOL. Of course this was a great excuse for a bit of rum. After a couple of Dark & Stormy(s), I was off to dreamland.
19 September 2008, Friday
Woke up about 0100, the wind had come up and due to the position of the Moon, we were experiencing a very high tide. The waves slapping against the stern and the creaking of the dock lines kept me awake so I got out the computer and did a bit of surfing.
I am hoping to be able to take some sailing classes from a gentleman named Captain Ted Wheeler in Ft. Lauderdale at the Blue Water Sailing School located there so I sent off a list of questions regarding a place to put KAHOLEE and several other course related items. This will be my birthday and Christmas present from my Sweetie and hopefully help me brake all those bad habits I've developed over the years. I'm planning on taking Corse A Plus which consists of Basic Sailing (ASA 101), Basic Coastal Navigation (ASA 103) and Bareboat Chartering (ASA 104) followed by Course C, Coastal Navigation (ASA 106) and Advanced Coastal Navigation (ASA 107) Both are a week long, the first includes a liveaboard cruise to the Keys and the second a Gulf Stream crossing to the Bahamas and back. I have also heard that Captain Wheeler is a real old salt with over 30 years of sailing experience and is a good man to take the classes from especially if you are a cruiser. I am really looking forward to doing this, but wish my Spouse could come along.
Around noon I hit the showers and then registered for the Apprentice for a Day program where I'll be helping put a floor in a beautiful little dinghy they are building. I will need to take a break around noon so I can see the movie they are offering at the Steamboat Building though.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I watched a powerboat club from Bear Delaware arrive and go into the marina across the harbor. It was quite interesting watching them hold place in the wind, although a few drifted in a bit, they mostly did a good job of operating their craft.
It is now 1800. I've spent the whole day inside KAHOLEE trying to keep from getting bombarded by the Navy. It seems they like to fire their guns out over the Bay from a place called Randle Cliff where the Naval Research Lab is. I downloaded Coastal Pilot 3 which covers the Chesapeake and checked the regulations. When I leave Tilghman Island I will pass through this gunnery range and I need to be out of this are by 1300, which does not appear to be a problem as if I leave at 0800 I should be out of the area by 1000.
Think my navigation problems were over? Not on your life, seems the Navy likes to have their aircraft bomb the poor old Chesapeake too, and of course you can't do that in a gunnery range so my next move from Solomons to St. Mary's, which will be around 38NM, passes through another restricted area. However the only place I really need to avoid is the actual target area which is fairly small, although I will pass just to the west of it.
Now all this isn't as dramatic as it sounds, the Navy has patrol boats out there to keep tabs on us sailors and make sure we don't get into trouble so it looks like all will be well. Once I'm away from the Washington area this high concentration of military should thin out a bit and probably doesn't impact the ICW at all, although I do need to get a hard copy of the appropriate Coastal Pilots as it will be easier to use when underway.
It is extreme high tide right now (1800). I actually have to step down to get on the dock, which is a first in the Chesapeake. The tide will peak at around 2030 and still has almost a half foot to go. This should put the water level right at dock level, good thing I tied the dinghy down earlier, but I may need to bring the oars aboard. I'll set the alarm for 2030 and take a look, although it will be dark by then.
I have some company at the dock, looks like the weekend crowd has arrived. All sailboats from the look of it though.
Hope all you lubbers had a good Talk Like a Pirate Day. It's a very good night I'll be wishing ye, fair winds and confusion to to yer enemies mates.
20 September 2008, Saturday
Today I'm participating in the Apprentice for a Day program at CBMM. We are building the floor for a dinghy that will be part of a historic Chesapeake Bay ship. The ships carpenter is named Don and my two shipmates are Jim and Doug. We started off fashioning cross braces which fit behind each rib in the dinghy, then proceeded to cut and shape the planks which run fore and aft. This section will be removable and have a hole for a bailing sponge.
For lunch I headed over to Big Al's Market and had a cheeseburger, fries with Old Bay on them and a Coke.
In the afternoon we shaped the first or six pieces which will from the non-removable part of the floor which lays outboard of the center, removable, piece. All in all a very interesting day and I learned a lot about wood working.
21 September 2008, Sunday
Got up this morning and decided to see about getting the autopilot working. This lead to rearranging and organizing the whole boat as I couldn't lay my hands on the manual right away.
Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, I have decided the purchase of those Pelican cases for the laptops was a complete waist of money as they take up a huge amount of room and I never use them. Maybe they will be of more use once I'm in Key West and anchored out or on a buoy and need to take one into town for some reason. But then I could just put it in a zip lock bag, so I'm left with something else for eBay.
I had visitors, two little girls who were admiring KAHOLEE with their parents. I invited them aboard to take a look around which they seemed to enjoy quite a bit.
All ship shape shape and a bunch of extra room following the clean up. I've got the autopilot manual handy for tomorrow.
Cooked a steak for dinner and watched about half of Treasure Island, the 1990 TV movie with Charlton Heston and Oliver Reed. Probably the best, most true to the book, version ever done.
22 September 2008, Monday
Checking th NOAA forecast this morning and it looks like we are in for the biggest blow so far. Winds predicted in the 25 knot range with seas to 4 feet, and unfortunately running through Friday which is as far as the prediction goes. So much for moving south.
Visited the office and extended my stay through the weekend. May have to move on Friday if the scheduled traffic shows up, but with the predicted winds and seas it may not be necessary.
Found an interesting website called the Captain's Wiki. It's a kind of online cruising guide written by the users. I added CBMM and Worton Creek Marina, and since it looks like I'll have some time on my hands, I'll add Havre de Grace's Tidewater Marina, Still Pond Creek, Inner Harbor Marine Center of Baltimore and the Annapolis city buoy field as well. If any of you have a favorite marina or anchorage, you might take a look and add it too.
Hotdogs for dinner.
23 September 2008, Tuesday
NOAA is still reporting high seas and winds so it looks like I'm here for a while. After answering email in the morning and having a cup of coffee I decided to see if I could sort out the autopilot. When single handing for extended periods the autopilot becomes a second set of hands, allowing me to go forward and set sails while maintaining head to wind, or even just go below and get a bottle of water. Up to now these types of activities have been slow down, bungee cord the tiller, move the chart plotter out of the way, run down grab the water toss it into the cockpit and come back up reset the chart plotter and then see how far off course I am. Needless to say, any such operation requires a lot of sea room since you would not want to pull this maneuver with any traffic around.
There are two problems with the autopilot, the first of which is the fuse through which all the current for the electronics runs is only a 5A fuse and the autopilot requires a 12A fuse. This is a simple fix, just replace the fuse as soon as I can find one which may be a tomorrow thing since I'll need to wonder around town and try and find one. The second issue is the mounting point for the outboard pin on the tiller actuator arm. It needs to be 24.5 inches from the centerline of the boat where the tiller is centered and it is only about 19 inches, which is where the actuator arm was set from the factory. I called Tim to make sure I wasn't off base and after getting advice on how to proceed and after reading the installation instructions which indicated you can pull the arm out of the actuator base, I tried to do so and it didn't seem to want to move. After giving this some thought I tried to twist it and apparently this broke it free and I was able to pull it out. I measured the distance from the center of the pin on the end that attaches to the boat to the center of the hole that attaches to the pin on the tiller and marked the appropriate spot on the cockpit seat. I then took used my hammer to pop the mount out of the seat. Since the only 1/2 drill bit I had was one of those flat wood bits I had to borrow a 1/2 inch drill bit from the Museum workshop. I drilled a couple of pilot holes before drilling the 1/2 inch diameter mounting hole and test fit the fitting which fit not quite as snuggly as it had in it's original hole, but examination revealed this to be because of the epoxy used to secure it. I initially tried to set the fitting in the new hole using 5200, but this did not seem to be a satisfactory solution, so I pulled it out and used my stick of epoxy (the stuff you see on TV that looks like modeling clay) to secure the fitting in place, including a bead around the underside. I then used this epoxy to seal the old hole trimming off the excess with a box knife blade. All in all, it looked surprisingly good. I test fit the tiller actuator arm and it seemed ok so now all that's left is to get the 12A fuse and test run it tomorrow. I will read the setup instructions tonight to see if there is anything unusual I need to do. My old Tiller Master just hooked up and you messed about with it until you were heading in the right direction, but this thing is way more complicated than that so a bit of reading will definitely help.
Went to the Crab Claw for dinner, had crab balls and fried chicken, both were excellent.
Walking back to KAHOLEE, chatted with some of the sailors tied up to the seawall. Both had Bristols a 38 and a 32. The 38 was flying the Conch Republic flag, but belonged to a local couple who had purchased it in Clearwater. The gentleman from the 32 was planning on extending his stay in St. Mike's to avoid the weather just like me.
24 September 2008, Wednesday
Went hunting for a 12A fuse but had to settle for a 15A since no 12s were available, however, Tim says a 15 should be ok, so no worries. Stopped by the Acme Market and picked up some more of their surprisingly good chili along, a rotisserie chicken (rosemary & garlic) with a 6-pack or Red Stripe, a few other items and a small container of ice cream.
Back aboard I feasted on the chicken before securing KAHOLE for the northeaster we are suppose to get shortly. All cushions removed from the cockpit and stored forward, table removed and mounted in the main cabin, all loose items in the cockpit and under the dodger either secured below or in one of the lazarettes, extra fender added aft. All seems ship shape so now we wait.
I am the only one here on the seawall. Weather that is a good thing remains to be seen, but I should have no issues with other boats. The wind, from the NE, helps keep KAHOLEE off the seawall so I should have no problems in that respect. My guess is this blow will not live up to expectations here since we are fairly well landlocked, but I'd not want to be out on the bay.
25 September 2008, Thursday
It is blowing quite a bit and KAHOLEE is hobby horsing but not up against the seawall, which is kind of strange since the wind is almost from astern, but not quite. I guess that little bit of angle in my favor makes the difference. I stayed aboard all day but did call the office to see if they had any cancelations, no such luck. Hard to believe, but a catamaran which is almost as wide as KAHOLEE is long came in in the middle of the day so I guess these people don't let a little thing like gale force winds stand in their way. It is tied up thirty feet or so in front of me so if I do have to get out of here, it will make it just that much more interesting since I'll have to back away, into the wind, instead of running forward. I'll go in and talk to the Harbor Master tomorrow.
Surfed the web most of the day and finally decided to turn the heater on. Nice and toasty in here now. Fixed Acme chili for dinner and had a couple of Red Stripes, then washed the pots and pans and put them away in preparation for my possible move tomorrow.
26 September 2008, Friday
Woke up about 0300, wind still blowing. Went and took a shower then came back and checked the wind speed, 14 to 16 knots, doesn't seem quite as cold though.
Saturday is still looking like a good day to make my move, so I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. Tropical Storm Kyle is heading up the coast and is predicted to pass between the here and Bermuda between 1400 Saturday and 0200 Sunday. Wonder how that will impact things?
Found a streaming audio of NOAA WX Radio and added it to the weather links on the website then took back to sleep.
0745, what a difference a few hours can make. We are no longer hobby horsing, it is still gray out and chilly but the water has calmed down significantly. If I have to move now it will not be such an event.
Just before I went to sleep last night the Link 20 went to two yellow lights indicating I needed a charge so I started the engine to charge the batteries at 0800 and by 0820 had my three green lights showing but still pumping around 15A from the alternator. I'll let her run until it drops to between 2 and 6 amps, probably around 2 hours, which is when the Museum opens and I can visit the Harbor Master and find out if I'm moving and where to. Might as well not delay that since the weather is as good as it has been for a few days.
1030 visited the Harbor Master and there was a cancelation for Friday so I'm good to go where I am. Guess I'll visit the steak house tonight for dinner. Got a couple of ideas on places to eat in Tilghman Island so that should be fun too.
Engine shutdown at 1100, charging amperage <5A. While the engine was running I manually input my course into the RL80 from St. Mike's to Tilghman Island. Which reminds me, I got a great deal on a gizmo that will let me put my routes on a memory card that can be inserted in the second card slot on the RL80, which means no more manually input routes. This will also help eliminate the potential for discrepancies between my chart plotted route and that on the plotter. Unfortunately it is getting shipped to Texas so I will not have it immediately. Time to get things squared away for a 0800 departure tomorrow.
Spent my last day in St. Mike's touring the CBMM. This is one of the neatest museums I've ever seen. You can actually touch the exhibits and in most cases board them. I'll do more on it once I get the pictures sorted out. I am very glad I am a member.
Spent my last night in St. Mikes at the St. Michaels Crab & Steak House. I had crab balls, crab imperial a Red Stripe and a couple of Dark & Stormies, yes they have Dark & Stormies, with key lime pie for the finish. I am going to forever associate blue crab with Maryland like I do lobster with Maine. The Dark & Stormies are the traditional version made with Gosling Rum and Baritt's Ginger Beer. Not as good as Pyrat XO and Goya Ginger Beer, but not bad.
Well time to hit the rack, tomorrow we are under way for Tilghman Island.
27 September 2008, Saturday St. Michaels to Tilghman Is.
Up at 0600, hit the showers then back aboard for a cup of coffee. It is raining off and on, but otherwise not bad. put away bedding and got out foulies. It would be a nice day to just stay aboard and watch the rain, but the weather is as good as it's been for over a week and I've been here too long already so it's time.
Best laid plans... Fog. All ready to go at a bout 0830, last run to the head dinghy launched and about to secure shore power and fog rolls in. I called Tilghman Island Marina and he told me he could see across the bay, but cold not see Poplar Island so my plotted course is fogged in too. Unfortunately he is heading out today and the marina is fairly well shutdown since it's raining there too so no more reports on how things look on that end. I will probably have to move unless this latest weather keeps some of those who were planning on being here on Saturday from coming. I'll visit the Harbor Master at 1000 unless things change drastically and this fog goes away. Even then, there is no way of telling what's up out on the bay.
1030 fog lifted and I'm off.
Motored to the mouth of the Miles River with out incident, turned south toward the Poplar Island Narrows. Initially visibility was good and I could see the channel markers so maintaining a course was easy, however, just as I arrived as the narrowest part of the channel, which for some reason lacks the markers which the wider part has, it started to rain sufficiently hard to restrict visibility to about a quarter to a half mile. This is also the part of the passage where you do the most maneuvering so I zoomed in on the chart plotter and correlated it's data to the depth sounder. One thing about the RL80 that I find annoying is its delay in displaying heading changes. At times I was way off course because I could over turn before the RL80 would display my new heading, so for this reason as well as the decreased visibility I slowed to about 3 knots, which actually seemed to exacerbate the issue with the chart plotter. I found that if I made the anticipated heading change, then held course until the plotter registered I could fairly well stay on my planned route. As you can tell since I am writing this we made it without incident. I entered Tilghman Island Marina and found a slip, tied up (it wasn't pretty but it got done).
After bailing out the dinghy, I used the cellphone to send Spouse a "I'm ok" message. While doing this I noticed the bilge pump running which is not unusual being the engine pumps a bit of water into the bilge but it shouldn't have been "still" having to clear the bilge so I pulled up the bilge boards and noticed a trickle of water coming from the stern. Pulling the cockpit deck hatch revealed a stream of water running from the stuffing box. As Jack Sparrow would say, "Not good!". Never having dealt with a stuffing box issue since back in her Atomic 4 days, KAHOLEE never had such an issue and since I was connected to the Internet I Googled cutlass bearing leak and got a link to adjusting your stuffing box. A quite good little site with lots of info which showed exactly what to do and how to test it once you made the adjustment. What threw me was facing down where it I couldn't see it was what felt like a set screw. I tired to get a wrench on it but couldn't get one to fit so I loosened the lock nut and noticed that the compression nut moved. It was there obvious this locknut was not tight. I rotated the compression nut by hand enough to see that what I had thought was a locknut was in fact some kind of tit, function unknown, but perhaps designed to guide a wrench when on the fitting. In any event at just over a quarter turn the dripping ceased and I set the locknut. According to the web page the test for a correctly set stuffing box was to run the engine in gear for 3 minutes then check to see if the stuffing box was hot. The test was run and I noted noticed a drip about every 20 seconds of so and after shutdown that the stuffing box was not hot or even warm for that matter. All seems well. I did give Tim a call to verify all this was done correctly, just to be on the safe side.
Red Stripe time...
Chili for dinner.
28 September 2008, Sunday, Tilghman Island
Surfed the web a bit, then off to the marina office to check in. Chatted with the owner a bit, very nice guy. He gave me a much better cruising guide to the upper Bay that was a bit out of date, but had better charts than those in my current chart pack. He also gave me a rubber bottle holder with Tilghman Island Marina on it that will fit my air horn and keep it from getting rust on KAHOLEE.
Off to the showers and was lazy until about 1500 when I over to the restaurant next to the marina. I was a couple of hours early for dinner so I chatted with the bar keep and had a couple of Dark & Stormies while witching football on TV. They actually had Pyrat XO Reserve as part of their rum locker so this must be a good grog shop.
At 1700 my cheeseburger arrived. It had been recommended by the marina owner and lived up to its billing. I switched to beer and settled in to watch Dallas play Washington, even though I'm not a big football fan, it was the only game in the house. Kind of felt like a stranger in a strange land surrounded by all those Washington fans, but had a great time chatting and getting to know people. Unfortunately the hometown team lost by 2, but it was a great game, Washington played exceptionally well.
Back aboard and to bed
29 September 2008, Monday
0100 Wind has come up. Up on deck making sure things are secured, adjusting dock lines and resetting fenders. Back to sleep about 0230.
0600 bummed around until about 1030 playing on the computer, then hit the showers. I plan on exploring Tilghman Island today so around noon I'm off to see the lizard. The sun has come out, although there is a bit of wind, and it's a beautiful day, so exploring should be fun.
Walked east along Coopertown Road until I hit the main drag where there was this lavender colored house, a gift shop in reality. To the left I could see the Bridge Restaurant and the Tilghman Island drawbridge. I turned right toward the south and walked past the volunteer fire station and a small market which I investigated. They were not stocked as well as I could hope, but they did have a bottle of Appleton Estate VX rum behind the counter. Since I'm running dangerously low on my Pyrat XO rum I made a note to revisit this place on my way back.
Further along I found Dogwood Harbor on the east edge of the island. Several working skipjacks were docked here, the first non-tourist, actual working skipjacks I'd seen.
Just past Dogwood Harbor I spied Harrison's Chesapeake House restaurant and having been told this was a good local fare place, stopped in for lunch. I had crab balls and the special, chicken and crab cake and a couple of Coronas. The crab cake and balls were as good as I have come to expect in Maryland, but the chicken was just great, so I did enjoy my lunch. While I was sitting there enjoying the view to the east of the marina and some rain clouds rolling in a guy came by who looked like a local crabber, but turned out to be just passing through and looking for a restaurant he had read about. Turns out he was a fresh water conch (a non-native resident of Key West) so we chatted about the Keys for a bit before he decided he'd give Harrison's a try.
Headed back toward KAHOLEE I stopped in at the market and picked up a small container of ice cream and that bottle of rum. Tilghman Island world be a nice place to live I suspect, people driving by gave me plenty of room (there are not sidewalks on TI except over the bridge an in front of the elementary school). A high percentage of them wave too, which is in accord with the friendly attitude I've been encountering in TI especially, but in Maryland in general.
Back aboard I stashed my rum and enjoyed my ice cream. That's it for today food-wise.
30 September 2008, Tuesday
Today I'd planned to do boat projects. The autopilot, topping of with fuel and adding biocide as well as working on fixing some minor port light leaks. The fuel docks are down by the bridge so I loaded my fuel cans into the dinghy and after bailing out the rainwater headed down to get fule at the old fuel dock which is actually on the island (south side of the narrows). I arrived to find I could not climb out of the dinghy since the tide was out and the top of the seawall was neck high. As I rowed across the channel to the Knapps Narrows Marina I encountered a very large powerboat waiting for the bridge to open. Although I had the right of way, I pulled up and waited. The Captain of this large boat told me to go ahead to which I replied I can wait, I'm not very fast. No worries, so off I went as fast as I could, made me laugh.
Pulled into the marina, filled up my two fuel cans and discovered a nice little Tike Bar (Bay Hundred Restaurant & Tiki Bar) which, of course, required investigation. Met a friendly young lady named Windy who was the Tiki Bar bartender. Ordered a Corona and took a look at the menu while chatting with Windy about sailing and heading for the Keys. To my surprise, while scanning the menu, I noticed they had conch fritters. Now there's something you don't see very far from south Florida, so having a go at them was a must. Not bad actually, a bit less conch than down in the Keys, but not bad. When I went to pay for lunch, the credit card was rejected, which I did not think anything about since this happens once in a while when the CC company decides I'm doing something fishy. Paid with a different card and headed back to KAHOLEE
Back aboard I added the biocide (1/2 oz/20 gal of fuel) and my two cans of diesel. This only brought the tank up to 3/4, so I loaded my fuel cans back into the dinghy and headed back to the fuel dock. Upon my return, I added about 3/4 of one can which put me at full on the gage and secured the other tow forward.
Just as I finished up with this, Spouse called and told me there were some strange charges on the credit card. Turned out someone was using our CC number so I had to spend a bit of time in reality dealing with that, bit PitA. As a result fueling was all I got done today.
I have been hanging out at the Tilghman Island Inn, which is right next to the marina. This has become a nightly affair where I sit around and chat wit Lou, the bartender and the two guys who own the place. They have incredibly good food, keeping a small menu so they can concentrate on making the selections perfect. As they are closed on Wednesday, this was my last night so I ask Lou what he would suggest as the best thing on the menu. His choice was the rack of lamb. Since Spouse isn't a big lamb fan this is something I don't usually consider and it's been about 1983 since the last time I had lamb, but why not. The meal started with a bowl of cream of crab soup, which Lou suggested I add a bit of Sherry to. You would not believe how good this was, too bad Tim wasn't here for this one. Next came lamb and Lou suggested some mint jelly. I first tried the lamb by itself and it was fantastic. Next I tired a piece with the mint jelly, which was good, but the flavor of the jelly overpowered the lamb, which had a great delicate flavor, with not tallow taste what so ever. This pleased the owner who was the executive chef immensely. For desert, I had their homemade fig ice cream which they make from fig leaves off the tree they have at the restaurant. As an aside, they have a huge herb garden and all their seasonings, or at least the great majority are fresh, produced on site.
01 October 2008, Wednesday
First thing in the morning I turned on NOAA WX radio to see what the forecast was. They are now predicting a small craft advisory for Thursday so I'll have to stay put one more day. I'll need to call Calvert Marina in Solomons and let them know sometime today.
Now to the autopilot, opened the electrical panel and replaced the 5A fuse with the 15A one I purchased in St. Mike's. Activated the electronics and plugged in the autopilot actuator arm. So far so good. Played around with the autopilot control head and everything seems to be working. I will test it on the way to Solomons on Friday. There is a compass deviation calibration procedure which consists of making 3 minute or greater circles, minimum of two, to let the compass align itself. This is not completely necessary, so if the sea state does no permit, I can do it later and still use the autopilot. I am really looking forward to this since it's about 30NM between Tilghman Island and Solomons and I was not looking forward to six hours of tiller time.
About this time, a Calvert Marina called to get my boat information so they could assign me a slip when I arrive. I had them roll my arrival back to Friday and gave them KAHOLEE's measurements. All is well. It would be nice to get out of one of these places on schedule though. I think the last time that happened was when I left Worton Creek, and the beginning of that day was bit of a rough ride. Oh well, time and tide mate...
Went to the Tiki Bar for lunch, burger, conch fritters and a Corona. Studied my cruising guide a bit and got some good pictures of the bridge going up and down.
Back on KAHOLEE, down to two yellow lights on the Link 20 so running the engine. This will let me know if there is an issue with the biocide before I put to sea. Link 20 started off showing the alternator putting out 6A, down to 4.3A now. I think there are issues with this thing, I should not be approaching 50% battery capacity and only drawing 6A or less from the alternator. I may reset it again. Done
Acme Chili for dinner and to bed.
02 October 2008, Thursday
NOAA has a small craft advisory out so I'm staying here. Worked on plots all day. Looks like 6 days of sailing time between here and the beginnings of the ICW. Some 30NM days, but with the autopilot working it shouldn't be that much of a chore.
Went to the Tilghman Island Inn again, for my last meal in TI, again. This time I had soft shell crag and crab cake with crème burlee for desert. What great food they have here, I am thinking about coming back and bring Spouse in December for a special dinner they are planning.
03 October 2008, Friday, Tilghman Is. to Solomons
Up at 0500 and getting ready to go. NOAA is forecasting 10 knots of wind and one foot waves. I haven't seen the marina owner in two days so I'll have to have Spouse call him and pay for the extra day.
Out on the bay and I'm thinking of Tim's statement that NOAA always gets it wrong. Waves are three feet and winds are averaging 17 knots.
I fired up the autopilot and it is working like a camp. Good thing too, because hand steering for 5 or 6 hours through this would be miserable.
I am taking water over the bow. Not just spray, but what is called green water when you are at sea. The port light on the starboard side above the sink is spraying water when I take green water, but most is going into the sink and I moved the cushion so on that side to the port side so it will not get wet.
Shortened up the painter on the dinghy so she will keep her nose up.
I stall have the fenders and the life lines down on the port side as I am not going forward with green water coming over the bow.
I am also going through an artillery range and need to be clear by 1300 if I understand what's in the Coastal Pilot correctly, but I should make that by 1000.
It's fairly amazing, running into this chop with the wind to starboard of the bow I am making right at 4 knots through the water and close to 7 knots over the ground. Good side of that is I will get to Solomons much faster. Bad side is trying to dock in this stuff, but Solomons is fairly well protected so it probably will not be a problem.
About half way and the seas are calming. I am not only getting spray from busting waves, not water. I put on my foulies, inflatable life vest with the harness and hooked up the life line to it so I can go forward and secure the fenders and lifelines. First time I've had the seaboots on, but since I'm leaning over there is water coming in the port scupper and I have a couple of inches of water on the port side so my feet got cold standing in that.
Funny, it doesn't seem as bad when you are actually up there. It really is a beautiful day, sun reflecting off the water. All secure and back in the cockpit. Everything is wet, except the cushion on the port side which is down wind. I am sure glad I have the autopilot working or my excursion to the bow would not have been possible.
Around noon, and I am much farther along than I'd thought. Went by a lighthouse and the seas are down enough to take a picture. Also went by something that looks like a fueling dock but is marked on the charts as experimental buoys. Lots of government stuff on the Chesapeake.
Arrived at Drum Point and turned into Solomons. Once inside it was quite calm, although it really wasn't that bad out for the last hour or so on the Bay. Ran aground while talking to the marine. Chart makes it look like I should have been able to make this but guess not. Went full reverse and walked up on the bow to bring the stern up. Off we go.
Docking as usual was not a pretty sight, but I'm tied up. Went up to the office and checked in. Back on KAHOLEE I noticed my dinghy painter had no dinghy on it. You would think I would have noticed earlier, but the stuff on the poop deck obscures the dinghy when she is close in so I just didn't notice. Guess I should have when I backed off the bar, but I was so intent on getting off I didn't then either.
Went up the road a bit to this little cafe and had some great seafood chowder and a Red Stripe, then back to the boat and called Porta-Bote. They will sell me another 8 footer for the price I paid at the Dallas Boat Show and give me a $100 discount since it's my second boat. Now all I have to do is figure out where to have them ship it.
Things are a mess, but cleaning up. Stuffing box is dripping more then it should but not as bad as the last time I adjusted it. Tightened it up a bit. Cushions are wet so I'll need to put them out on deck tomorrow in the sun, after I wash down and get the salt off everything.
Well, time to rack out.
04 October 2008, Saturday, Solomons, Maryland
Nice day, warm like I like it although the nights are cool. I'm at Calvert Marina, an interesting place. More cleaning up and another visit to the Four Winds Cafe, this time for a grilled chicken and Swiss sandwich. Not much otherwise. There is a Trawler rendezvous going on.
05 October 2008, Sunday
Cleaned out the frig. Tim will be glad to know I still have ice from Havre de Grace. This little refrigerator works quite well so I always have ice for me rum. Borrowed the courtesy car, an old Mercedes diesel and went to the closest shopping center which included a Boater's World. Unfortunately you can only use it for an hour so it was a rush trip. Got a replacement for the power cord which is leaving yellow stains on the deck and on me when it's damp, and some stuff to seal up the glass to bronze junction on the port forward facing portlight. Picked up a large battle of Appleton VX rum. I've been running through my Pyrat XO way to fast making the occasional Dark 'n' Stormy so I'll use this from now on. Went to the Food Lion grocery store and picked up some stuff, including a box of fried chicken. Spouse has noticed my increasing dining out expense so I need to be frugal, as she says. Also got some laundry soap and fabric softener sheets for my needed visit to the laundry which will be on Monday. Got some of that Goya red beans and rice mix, which is the best I've found, if you add some sausage and a dash of Worcestershire sauce and some Tabasco sauce.
Back aboard I put everything away and placed all the stuff in cardboard boxes in Ziploc bags and tossed the original boxes.
Checked the weather. Why doesn't it ever get better? It seems to just get worse. Looks like I'll be here until Wednesday so I may be able to rent a car for a day and explore Solomons. Too bad I can't stay longer, interesting place.
06 October 2008, Monday
Today is laundry, provisioning and marine store run day, so as soon as the due burns off I'll be on my way to the shower then the pickup the car I'm renting for a day before heading into town.
Found a liquor store with two bottles of Pyrat XO, right next to WM. Then bought some project supplies at WM so I can get the muffler syphon brake routed to the stern. Unfortunately they didn't have the type of hose I wanted in 1/4 ID so I'll need to go to Boater's World and check on that.
Visited a really great little market with lots of good stuff so I stocked up on soaps including lobster bisque and cream of crab. Then it was back to the liquor store for a bottle of sherry to use with the cream of crab soup.
Next stop Boater's World, but they didn't have the hose either so I settled for some cheaper plastic stuff which I will replace later on.
Also visited the pharmacy near by for some shampoo, cream rinse and batteries for the light in my binoculars. Then went by a video store and picked up a cheap used DVD, the new version of Journey to the Center of the Earth before heading back to the boat.
Put everything away and fixed some rice and Margaritaville Island Lime Shrimp for dinner. If you add a bit of water to the shrimp you get more sauce which is very good on rice.
After sunset I hauled my laundry to the laundry room to get things cleaned up as I was running out of t-shirts. Met a guy there who bought an old Navy Captain's launch and was fixing it up. Quite the project. I ask him about fuel economy since the military is notoriously not concerned about such things and he said the engine had been replaces so that he only burned about a gallon an hour, but only got about 7 knots at cursing speed. The original engine would get the boat to much higher speeds but fuel disappeared faster then you could load it. Laundry all done, back to KAHOLEE.
07 October 2008, Tuesday
Project day. Need to get rid of the car and get to work on some stuff before departing tomorrow. Also need to visit the office and pay for the extra days. Weather prediction for Wednesday seems to be holding.
Got out the Lowrance GPS for the car and headed to the Enterprise shop, dorpped it off and got a ride back to the marina.
I borrowed the courtesy car and went to a little rib joint for lunch and had some fairly good baby back ribs. The sauce wasn't quite up to what we usually get in Texas, but it wasn't bad in a toned down sort of way. The ribs were cooked to perfection though so along with a Corona and lime I'll pronounce it a good lunch. The only thing about these places up here, when it comes to lime in the Corona, they give you such a thin slice it is hardly worth the effort. Where I come from it's a 1/8th or a lime so you get some flavor.
Now it's time to get busy. First on the list was sealing up the glass to bronze junction on the port forward facing portlight, next putting a gasket in the starboard forward facing portlight. Since I was on a roll, I did the same to the port side head portlight. I also installed the last of the flag halyard cleats on the port forward standing shroud and installed a fairlead on the mast to keep the main halyard form going aloft.
Now that all the hardware projects were done it was time to do the housekeeping chores. Washed the dishes first, then put away the laundry, and finally collected and took out the trash. All that was left was finding a place for the new items I had purchased and I can call it a productive day.
Took a walk up to the head and had a chat with a Lieutenant (Navy rank) from NOAA. He is port of the charting team and had some really interesting comments and outstanding knowledge of the local area. I'll have to watch for these guys at boat shows in the future.
Only thing left to do is check the route and load it into the chart plotter and backup GPSs.
After taking a shower I settled down and did some serious online pillaging of the Caribbean in Pirates of the Caribbean Online before getting to bed, a bit later than I should have. Checked the weather report and all looks good.
08 October 2008, Wednesday
Up at 0600 and checked the weather report. They have changed it, waves now 3 feet. What good is a prediction if it comes out only a few hours before the event? Oh well maybe I'll go top off the propane tank today.
Surfed the web and did email in the morning, then went to Burger King for lunch. Took the propane tank along and had it topped off on the way back. Only have used 1.2 gallons since Havre de Grace which included running the heater recently. Not bad as things go.
Weather looks good for Thursday, assuming they don't change it again at the last minute. More plunderin'.
Got over flown by what looked like a MIG 15, painted red on top and silver on the bottom. A bunch of F18s buzzing about and a P3 Orion. The Navy has an airfield at the mouth of the bay and they are out in force today. I will go by their practice bombing range tomorrow and need to avoid the actual impact area which is not just restricted but prohibited.
09 October 2008, Thursday, Solomons Maryland to Reedville Virginia
Underway at 0820, another day of motoring into waves but not as bad as those encountered when leaving Tilghman Island. This was my first 40+ mile day and all went well. At about 1324 I passed out of the waters of Maryland and into Virginia. A kind of sad event in a way. While I'm looking forward to seeing new territory, I have had a wonderful time in Maryland from Havre de Grace to Solomons. Wonderful food, great people and beautiful scenery. I will have to bring Spouse back here so she can enjoy Maryland as I have.
I arrived off Reedville around 1500 and was met by Dave in his powerboat as I entered the channel. A bit of motoring through the remains of Reedville's fishing industry which lined the shores, passed a couple of WWII Destroyer Escorts and I was at Dave's dock and tied up. We chatted and had a Dark and Stormy to celebrate my arrival. Dinner was steaks cooked on the grill courtesy Dave and after a bit more chatting I called it quits and hit the sack.
10 October 2008, Friday Reedville Virginia
Had Grits and eggs for breakfast with Dave. I have not had grits in a long time and had forgotten how good they are.
Dave has just finished painting his boat and all the paper and tape need to be removed so we spent most of the morning doing this and had hotdogs for lunch.
After lunch we cruised around Reedville in Dave's power boat. There is a fish smell from the last of Reedville's fishing industry, but it mostly goes out to sea. The area is a wonderful place, very laid back with nice houses along the shore and lots of boats, power mostly, but a good number of sailboats.
After returning home we went to the local crab shack and got a dozen LARGE crabs for $24. This is vs. 36 for medium at all the places I've gone so far. What a deal, and they were even better then those I've had before as they are extremely fresh. The crab shack is also a crab receiving station so the boats are bring fresh crab every day.
11 October 2008, Saturday
Had grits and eggs again for breakfast. Dave has to leave today to get back to Arlington. He was busy so I worked on getting KAHOLEE ready for her departure on Sunday. We had hotdogs for lunch again, but this time the 1/4 pounders I had onboard.
Dave came down to say goodbye but we wound up removing the handrails which he needed to get off and could use an extra set of hands on. After putting this away, he came back around 1500 and we had a beer while sitting on KAHOLEE and talking about sailing. Dave is a racer and extremely knowledgeable on sailing. He showed me a few things which will come in very handy. He finally got on the road much latter than planned, but promised to come visit me in Key West.
Checked the weather before hitting the sack. It looks good...still...
12 October 2008, Sunday, Reedville to Fishing Bay
Got up at dawn and got the last minute things squared away. Checked the engine and for the first time it was down on oil a bit. Topped it off with the last of my oil so I'll need to get some more soon. I took one last shower in Dave's outside shower stall. It reminds me of the description of the out door shower in Tom Corcoran's novels about photographer/sleuth Alex Rutledge who lives in Key West. I definitely need to get me one of these. All this caused me to depart at 0845, 45 minutes later than planned. Motoring out of Reedville I set the plotter to follow the route I had entered yesterday and all looked well until I got out of the harbor and the route turned out to be a reciprocal of my previous track. I motored slowly into the wind and entered the course again. All is looking good now and we are on our way, not sure what that was all about, but I'll verify these things are correct from now on before departure.
Once clear of the harbor I turned into the wind and raised sail. The wind was from the port quarter so the ride was a bit rolly, but actually much smoother than under power. I maintained around 5 knots and all was well, especially the quite. Sailing is so much better than motoring.
There are a bunch of boats heading south, most likely from the Annapolis show. I am keeping up with them quite well though, but being overhauled by a tug pulling a barge. I diverted to starboard a bit to let him easily clear.
Arrived at the entrance to Fishing Bay at around 1300. I was tempted to keep on going but I couldn't make the next stop by dark so time to put the sails down and head in. I decided to do this due to the large amount of traffic and my lack of recent sailing experience not to mention I'm still figuring out the new sail control systems.
The way into Fishing Bay is a winding route through open water but after an hour and a half I dropped anchor in this beautiful little bay with a few other sailboats at anchor.
Took some pictures, refueled and fixed chilly and tamales from cans for dinner. By now there are quite a few boats anchored in here.
Time to hit the sack and check the weather for a morning departure.
13 October 2008, Monday, Fishing Bay to the Perrin River
Departed Fishing Bay at approximately 0745 in a parade of boats. Decided to abandon my deep water plot and follow these guys who were cutting quite a bit off that course by hugging the shore. Since I was the smallest boat in the parade I figured this was not going to present any depth problems.
A number of the boats had their jibs up and some had both the main and jib flying. Kind of hard to figure what advantage this offered since most of the ones I got a good look at had their sails luffing. According to Dave this causes the sailcloth to brake down and shortens the life of the sail so I refrained from setting my sails and just enjoyed the sun.
Today was a very light air day with winds of less than 5 knots so I motored along with the rest of the south bound boats until I started heading in toward the entrance York River where I would turn onto the Perrin River. Once in calm water and away from other boats I did the swing ship procedure which should have aligned the autopilot compass, but skipped the part where I put in the compass deviation since my steering compass is GPS based and was reading True vs. the Magnetic setting on the autopilot. According to the instructions this could be adjusted later.
Upon reaching the last bit of this route the water depth was quite deep relative to the general Chesapeake Bay scheme of things but the last little bit was fairly intense. The depth sounder got to the point of reading 2 feet in places which was probably between 4 and 5 feet based on the offset of KAHOLEE's transducer. However due to the soft bottom and staying exactly in line with the channel markers I proceeded and once inside the mouth of the Perrin River I began getting a 4 foot reading. I entered the Crown Point Marina and was greeted by Alan who I had talked to when making my reservation. I got pumped out and tied up then spent an enjoyable hour or two sitting on the porch at the marina store chatting with Alan about the area, sailing and a variety of other things. Apparently they were experiencing one of those extremely low tides so what I experienced on entering the river was a bit less water than usual, which seemed to be confirmed by the size of some of the boats at the marina.
Since the marina is a couple of miles from the nearest dining facility, Alan offered me the marina truck if I wanted to go visit, but I thanked him for his kindness and decided to just fix a feta and spinach scramble onboard. I am continually amazed at how nice the people are I'm meeting along the way.
After my dinner and cleanup I hit the showers which are excellent at this marina. The facility's main building is apparently very new and the shower facility reflects this. Alan has said they do not get a lot of transient traffic and most of the marina residents have been there for years, even generations. They are also working to improve the marina store so I hope they start getting more traffic. This is the York River marina nearest to the north/south rhumbline of the Bay.
14 October, Tuesday, Perrin River to Portsmouth Virginia
Headed out at 0745 with the sun directly in my face which made spotting the aids to navigation quite difficult, not to mention seeing the plotter screen due to sun blindness. I had checked the tide prediction and I was exiting at near high tide (rising) so the depth sounder was much happier today than it had been on my approach yesterday afternoon.
Another light air day with winds around 3 knots or less, but flat water so motoring again, unfortunately since this would be my last day on the Chesapeake Bay.
Played tag with a tug pushing a barge for a bit but finally got away from him when he turned in toward shore.
I passed fairly close to the Thimble Sholes Light and got some good pictures of my last lighthouse encounter on the Chesapeake before turning in toward Norfolk.
I stayed just north of the channel as directed in the cruising guide to leave plenty of room for any Naval or commercial traffic. Apparently this plan had its flaws since that tug I'd encountered earlier was coming up on my starboard side from outside the channel. This forced me to divert into the channel and run across to the green buoy marking the channel that runs in front of the Norfolk Naval facility. I was concerned about security issues here but it turned out to not be a problem.
My encounter with the tug was not over as he took this same route. There was a broadcast stating that recreational traffic needed to remain clear of the tug and it's barge so I and the other sailboat I was following diverted to outside the green markers on to the east. I was running at the same speed as the tug and maintaining my distance but noticed the engine a bit over its usual 180 degrees so I slowed to almost a stop, let him go by then cut across to the red buoy side of the channel and proceeded a bit slower. The boat I had been following, being of longer waterline, ran off and left me but I was not completely away from any traffic and could do a bit more gawking at the passing scenery.
After passing the Naval facility and looking at the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CV-69 and some of the other warships docked here this area becomes an industrial park, and not very enticing. Hopefully this is not the standard shore side scenery on the ICW.
I began to notice the autopilot as a bit twitchy which would not do in the more confined channels of the ICW. Some of it was due to wakes from other boats, but some was just yawing about. I will need to adjust the sensitivity before proceeding into the canals. This kind or motoring seems to be a bit slower than running on open water so I will need to add that to my calculations when plotting runs on the ICW. I may also need to slow down a bit and run the engine closer to 2000 RPM which may help the yawing as my stern wave will move forward. I seem to be fairly well overpowered with the 20 HP engine and prop combination. I had tried to get a picture of the transom earlier by holding the camera outboard of the stern but the pictures were not all that good. It does appear that the words Key West on the transom are in the water when running at 2400 to 2600 RPM.
I arrived at the Tidewater Yacht Marina at approximately 1430. The scenery here, while still industrial is starting to look a little better. I noticed a blue sailboat anchored just off the marina which I had anchored near in Fishing Bay and a liveaboard on a Columbia 26 so I'm not the smallest liveaboard vessel here. The battleship Wisconsin is moored across the Elizabeth River at the Portsmouth marine museum. This may require a visit before I head south.
After getting tied up I had a steak for dinner at the marina restaurant and then headed back to KAHOLEE to start getting her put away for my trip to see my Spouse. It was quite warm so I did just a few things then showered and hit the sack early planning on getting up early when it was cooler and finishing things off.
15 October 2008, Wednesday, Portsmouth Virginia
Got up at 0600 and started to make coffee. The propane alarm started going off and shut off the stove. A nose check indicated there was not any gas leaking into the area but attempts to kill the alarm failed. Checked the wiring numbers and pulled the electrical panel but could not figure out how to disconnect the alarm. Called Tim and discussed options Tim had said he thought these alarms were less then satisfactory an that he had had a similar issue whith his and disconnected it. Tried to locate the manual for the propane relay switch but could not find it so I located and isolated the wire running from the ala4rm to the switch and cut the wires. This rectified the problem. I will remove the sensor and remove the wiring at a later date when time allows. This incident cost me an hour an a half so I had to get hot securing KAHOLEE so I could make my 1300 flight to Dallas. As Tim pointed out, problems before morning coffee are not good.
As things turned out I had plenty of time to finish securing KAHOLEE, even giving her a bath. All lose deck gear was put below and I used the excellent shower facility at the marina to get presentable for polite society, even having an hour to just relax before Bob the taxi guy arrived to pick me up. I was taking the two large yellow Pelican cases I'd bought for the computers back with me as they were never used and took up so much space in the v-berth area. I should now have room for someone to actually sleep up there if need be.
About 0940 I walked up to the gazebo which served as the meeting place for taxis hauling my two backpacks and three pieces of luggage with me. I was about to call Bob and let him know I was ready if he was in the area when he pulled up a good 15 minutes early. Great timing.
The ride to the Norfolk airport was fun, Bob is an interesting character. When we arrived he offered to wait and take me to lunch for free, which I was sorely tempted to accept, but you never know how security will be so I declined. As it turned out it was a breeze an I was at the appropriate gate in just a few minutes where I had a breakfast bagel and a latte and settled in to on of the new easy chairs with it's electrical connection so I could use my laptop.
The the way these chairs were situated was kind of tight since the stool/table area was immediately in front of the chair and the other chairs were immediately to my left so I had my backpacks snugged up as best I could but it was still a tight fit between me and the stools. I was engrossed in messing with my laptop when this guy walks by and starts kicking my backpack with the camera in it, then runs over the edge of the other backpack with one of those travel bags with the wheels on it, only his was much wider then the normal bags you seen on planes. I guess I gave him a kind of dirty look to which me mumbled something before sitting down in one of the other chairs. When he got up to leave a few minutes later he felt it necessary to announce he'd go the other way. I relate this little story because it made me think of how many really nice, friendly people I've met so far on my travels. If this ratio holds I should have a wonderful time to look forward to as I cruise about on KAHOLEE. This was actually reinforced aboard the plane where I sat next to a Navy Lt. Commander who was graduate of Annapolis and flew F-18s. A very nice guy who was very interesting to talk to. He enjoyed Tom Clancy style spy novels and gave me one he had finished. I had intended to save it for the boat, but after browsing started reading it. If you like this style of book you would probably enjoy this author. I'll give you more info on it later.
I will discontinue the log at this point, picking up again on October 24th when I arrive back aboard.
25 October 2008, Saturday
Back aboard a day later than planned due to flight scheduling. All is well with KAHOLEE. Had dinner at The Deck resturant at the Tidewater Yacht Marina. NY Strip steak, but a bit over done, and She Crab Soup which is good, but not as good as Cream of Crab Soup.
26 October 2008, Sunday
Checked with the marina to see if the dinghy had arrived. Not yet so I'll call Porta-Bote on Monday. Spent the day cleaning up a bit and chatting with people on the dock.
27 October 2008, Monday
Called Porta-Bote and got the UPS shipping number on the dinghy. We had received the paperwork on it in Allen, Texas while I was visiting my Spouse so I was sure it was on it's way. Found out it was out for delivery so I'll need to stick around and wait.
The day started out nice, but it clouded up in the afternoon and the wind started to blow with reported gusts to 40. Not good! Temperature also dropped, again not good.
Dinghy arrived and I went over to the marina store and collected it. My friend Pat has a Porta-Bote and told me he found it easier t put together if you install the transom first, so I gave it a try and it did seem much easier. It started to rain while I was assembling the dinghy and the wind kept gusting so the boat would do a lot of rocking around on the dock. I am also in a short slip so there was no way to put the dinghy in the water without having it hanging out into the channel so after assembly I secured it to the end of my finger pier.
During the assembly a nice couple heading south on a catamaran stopped by and we chatted for a bit. Seems they have a problem with one of their sail drive units and will be spending another month here. Hope the weather stays kind of nice. November is the head south month for most cruisers.
Fixed Goya red beans & rice with modifications for dinner, quite good stuff. Add your choice of sausage (1lb) and Tabasco and Worchester sauce to taste.
28 October 2008, Tuesday
Puttered around on the boat in the morning waiting for it to warm up. Fixed eggs and bacon for brunch, then headed off to find the ferry so I could cross the Elizabeth River to Norfolk and visit this interesting little shop I'd been hearing about called W. T. Brownley Company. They specialize in compass adjusting and nautical instruments but also have a really up to date selection of charts and cruising guides, including the Skipper Bob Publications. Reached the boarding platform for the ferry and chatted with a couple of nice ladies who were waiting to cross. Seems Barack Obama was giving an outdoor speech in Norfolk tonight and they were all excited. Hope the wind abates or he brought his long johns.
Boarded the ferry to find they only accepted exact change and as close as I could come was a $5. I was saved by one of my lady fiends who gave me a $1.50 worth of quarters. This trip has certainly restored my faith in my fellow man, there are lots of nice people out there. I even offered to traid her the $5 but she wouldn't hear of it.
Arrived at the east landing and ran across a Starbucks so I had a latte and went in search of W. T. Brownley, which it turns out is about 4 doors down the street. A really amazing little store, if a bit small and cluttered, which actually just makes it more interesting. I picked up a MAPTECH chart kit which included digital charts and paper charts. This will get me to Florida where I'll need to get another one to get me to the Keys. I also got my two Skipper Bob Publications, one on marinas on the ICW and one on anchorages. I also picked up a copy of Coastal Pilot 4 and a copy of the Intracoastal Chartbook Norfolk Virginia to Miami Florida which the lady at the store suggested and said was quite popular with southbound cruisers. This book has margin notations on bridges and anchorages and is in a linear layout starting at Norfolk so it should be handy in the cockpit.
Next I headed to the Naticus Museum and got some pictures of the Battleship Wisconsin and lots of cool ship models. There is a marine museum on the 3rd floor which costs $8 but the ship and Naval Museum including the first and second floors are free.
On my way home I stopped at Outback and had a ribeye, for dinner, done correctly this time.
On the dock, while waiting for the ferry, I chatted with a security guy who was checking on what the ferry boats were doing. It seems they are running an extra ferry to take people up river to the Obama speech location. He said Mr. Obama was staying in the hotel at the waterfront nearby and was changing into a suit and reviewing his speech before heading to the site. Again, hope he has his long johns. I could see the security boat up river where the special ferry was going. Lots of people were excited, but way to chilly for me, so off to KAHOLEE. When I got to the Portsmouth side there was a crowd waiting to board the Obama ferry there as well, again all excited.
Back aboard I went over my new charts and books and decided I'd make the ten mile or so run to the Deep Creek Lock that begins the Great Dismal Swamp Canal on Friday then anchor there so I can enter the canal at 0830 when the lock starts operating. This will allow me to have plenty of time to deal with the two drawbridges I have to pass under on the way.
29 October 2008, Wednesday
The wind's still howling but I'm nice and comfy with my little heater so time to up date the website.
Programmed the chart plotter for the run to Deep Creek Lock on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. It took more than 50 waypoints so I had to do it in two legs, although the second leg is only about six waypoints, lots of turns with short straight sections. I will not leave until fairly late since there is really no rush as it's about a ten mile run, not to mention I have a couple of drawbridges to negotiate.
Funny thing is they are apparently going to shut down the first one, the Jordan Lift Bridge at MM 2.8, on November 8th as it is getting old and too expensive to repair, so my first drawbridge crossing will be one that I will not be able to repeat. I'll have to remember to take lots of pictures.
There is actually a bridge before the Jordan bridge at MM 2.6, the Belt Line R.R. Bridge but it is normally open, as is the Old Virginia R.R. Bridge at mm 3.6. My next bridge encounter will be the Gilmerton Bridge at MM 5.8 followed by the I-64 Highway Bridge at MM 7.1 just before I divert onto Deep Creek which leads to the Deep Creek Lock and the beginning of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal where I will anchor for the night so I can make the 0830 opening of the lock on Saturday. The plan is then to stay at the Dismal Swamp Visitor's Center around MM 28 before proceeding to Elizabeth City on Sunday.
30 October 2008, Thursday
Up at 0600 and transferred tomorrow's route to the two backup GPS systems. Then tried to connect the Garmin GPSMap 76CXs to the computer so I could get a real-time plot using the NOAA charts on the laptop. Apparently the people who write the planning software have yet to hear of USB as all of these programs use the old 9-pin serial port. Oh well, just another piece of hardware to buy. After lunch which consisted of my last bacon and eggs it's time to get hot and start getting things shipshape for tomorrow's departure.
31 October 2008, Friday, Portsmouth, Virginia to Deep Creek Lock on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal
Since this is a short day I departed fairly late morning and motored south along the Elizabeth River. At the Jordan Lift Bridge I made my first drawbridge crossing. As the Jordan Bridge is scheduled to be abandoned and cease operation on November 8th of this year I was glad to be one of the last boats to pass under it. There were a couple of railroad bridges one just before and one just after the Jordan, but they are normally open and did not present an issue.
Continuing south I eventually arrived at the Gilmerton Bascule Bridge which usually opens on demand, but was down due to train traffic on the adjoining railroad bridge. I floated about here for about half an hour while watching a large freighter unload and chatting with my fellow sailors. Once the bridge opened I proceeded south following another boat which was heading for the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. I figured I could just follow them and not have to worry about following my route on the chart plotter. Well unknown to me, my new found friends missed the turn into Deep Creek and suddenly went broadside in the middle of the river. I ask if they were ok and they said that, indicating the Deep Creek entrance was the turn to the Dismal Swamp Canal, so I executed a rapid reversal of course and followed.
Upon arrival at the Deep Creek Lock, we held position a short period as it was just before the last scheduled opening at 1530 until the lock opened and we could enter. I was the last boat in line and tied up to the seawall on the starboard side of the lock with assistance from the Lockmaster and waited for the surge of water entering the lock. My depth sounder was reading about 6 feet.
While waiting for for the clock to hit 1530 exactly I had an opportunity to chat with the Lockmaster who is a fountain of information on the Dismal Swamp and the canal. If I return I will need to make time to visit with him between lock openings and get the whole story regarding the surrounding countryside.
Once water began entering I was surprised that I did not encounter more turbulence, it was a very easy rise to 21 feet on the depth sounder. The Lockmaster said this was largely due to my position and that the first boat got a bit more of a ride, but not bad in any event. I was with three boats one from Canada and one from the U.S. We all tied up to the free pier between the lock and the Deep Creek Lock Bridge. Since it was Halloween The Canadian boat put out their plastic Jack-o-lantern (I will need to get me one of these next year) and the lady of the ship ask me "What do you say on Halloween?" I said "Trick or Treat?" to which she handed me a beer.
The people from the U.S. Boat were heading into the town of Deep Creek to visit a local Mexican restaurant so I tagged along and was very surprised at the quality of the Mexican food. I had carnitas which were every bit as good as those I'd had in El Paso. They were the pork roast style and exceptionally tender. Then it was back to KAHOLE for an early departure next morning.
01 November 2008, Saturday, Deep Creek Lock to the Great Dismal Swamp Visitor's Center
We passed through the Deep Creek Lock Bridge in conjunction with a trawler yacht which came through the lock at 0830 and proceeded down the canal. The leaves were starting to turn so there was lots of color, everything from green to dark red. There was no reason to use the chart plotter so I had not entered a course but kept it on so I could monitor my position.
We arrived at the Visitor's center fairly early, leaving enough time to do some exploring. I signed in and got my Florida Cruising Guide and info on the Canal, bought some greeting cards for Dorothy and did a walkabout before returning to KAHOLEE and fixing hotdogs for dinner while an impromptu party broke out on the beach as more cruisers arrived. I was rafted up with the smallest boat there but eventually we became fenders for the late arrivals.
I was invited aboard the 31 footer who tied up outboard of me and enjoyed snacks and wine with some of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. They were French Canadians and we had a great time chatting. I fixed them a couple of Dark & Stormies which they greatly enjoyed before heading back to KAHOLEE for a good nights sleep.
02 November 2008, Sunday, Great Dismal Swamp Visitor's Center to Elizabeth City North Carolina.
Up and at 'em just after dawn. First in in one of these raft up situations means you are last out so after being passed by nearly every boat there I was off and running south as part of the snowbird parade. Just before MP 25 I crossed out of Virginia into North Carolina, another milestone on my journey south, so I gave my Sweetie a call to celebrate the event.
When we arrived at the South Mills Bridge at about mile post 32.6 we had to wait for a bit but eventually passing through and entering the South Mills Lock at MP 33.2. I locked in with about 12 other boats being the second to last boat in and was rafted up to a boat tied to the starboard seawall. This worked to my advantage upon exiting putting my mid pack (but then who's in a rush?).
Just after exiting the lock I was just port of mid channel when I his something that felt like a submerged log. I radioed the boats following advising them to go to starboard of my track then set the autopilot and went below to check the bilge. Nothing appeared amiss so I returned to the cockpit and noticed my speed readout was not working, but this came back in a few minutes and all appeared well. Nice to have a tough little boat like a Triton.
We were now in Turner's Cut of the ICW which leads straight to the Pasquotank River where you actually get to use the tiller again. The Pasquotank is among the most scenic parts of the trip so far, especially with all the fall colors starting to come out. It starts out fairly narrow then broadens out as you approach Elizabeth City.
At MP 47.7 I passed through the open Norfolk Southern R.R. Bridge and after a couple of bends arrived off the Elizabeth City Bridge where we waited for the rest of our procession to arrive. The Bridge Master was one of the friendliest I've met so far in my limited experience, but still remarkably so. This turned out to be the norm for Elizabeth City as I was going to find out.
Once through the Bridge I tied up at the free City slips just off downtown Elizabeth City. This proved to be a challenge as the wind and waves were from astern going in, but with a little help from my fellow cruisers I managed to get all snugged up with out any damage.
After a bit of chatting I got my shower kit together and set off for the health club which was the place for cruiser's to shower only to find it closed on Sundays. Most of the little town was closed up but I did discover Thumpers Bar and Grille where I had a huge plate of corn beef, cabbage and mashed potatoes. This along with three beers came to $10 and change, a real difference from all the places I've eaten so far, not to mention the quality of the food was excellent.
Back to KAHOLEE and following some cruiser chatting I hit the sack.
03 November 2008, Monday, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
As the weather was looking like it would be Friday before I could cross the Albemarle Sound, which has a reputation for being quite challenging during any kind of a blow I moved from the City Docks to The Pelican Marina just across the river. This required a short walk across the bridge to get to where all my fellow cruisers were, but had the advantage of A/C, closer showers and free laundry, not to mention a slightly less exposed position.
After getting settled in I walked back to the City Docks and watched as they filled up. Many of the later arrivals were directed to the seawall to next to the docks as due to the weather most were staying. Those on a schedule had left early this morning to make the entrance to the Alligator River before the wind started kicking up later today. I then wondered over to the Museum of the Albemarle and paid them a visit.
I had dinner again at Thumpers with some of my new friends. This time I had an excellent cheeseburger and some beer before heading back to KAHOLEE across the bridge.
04 November 2008, Tuesday
Spent the morning on the boat puttering about. Checked the Elizabeth City website and took a look at their events schedule. Seems there is a wine tasting on Wednesday and a lecture on floating lights at the Museum on Thursday so I marked these on my calendar.
Elizabeth City (EC) prides itself on it's hospitality to cruising sailors and provides a number of services including a free ride to the local grocery store which I took advantage of and resupplied. The person from the store even took me back to my marina which was very nice of them. The store also had a Starbucks so I got a nice latte fix while shopping.
EC has an old movie theater which has been converted to a dinner/movie theater so I was planning on hitting this up tonight but first I had to attend the welcome get together the city puts on. This was started by a couple of local guys who would give a rose to visiting cruiser ladies and wine and cheese to the crews. These two gentlemen have passed away but EC continues the practice with a group of volunteers called the "Rose Buddies".
I arrived to find that even the Mayor was in attendance and that this was the norm. What a wonderful little city, from what I've been hearing Florida might take a lesson from them. What Elizabeth City lacks in warm climate they certainly make up for in warm hospitality.
My French Canadian friends had arrives so we all wondered over to the movie theater for dinner. There are regular movie theater chairs in the front half of the theater but tables in the back half. We got a table for five as I was the odd man out, not having my Sweetie along, and the only non-French speaker in our little group. Dinner was very enjoyable chatting and eating, but the movie turned out to be a bit intense for our little group, being a gritty cop drama based in New York with lots of profanity and violence.
Since it was election day, following the movie we went over to Thumpers to watch the results. I am amazed at how much our Canadian neighbors know about our political going-ons. Makes me feel like some hick from the sticks that I do not know more about them. I'll need to work to rectify that in the future. Then back across the bridge and to bed.
05 November 2008, Wednesday
Hung out on KAHOLEE until around 1700 doing plotting courses and entering routes, then walked across the bridge for the wine tasting. Ran into my French Canadian friends again and he joined us for the tasting. Nice layout good wine and good snacks, then off to Charters for dinner where we met up with more cruisers.
Dinner consisted of a margarita pizza, Cuban sandwich and a couple of Red Stripes then back to KAHOLEE.
06 November 2008, Thursday
Worked on the website today and more navigation tasks. Chatted with the guys at the marina store and did some more boat maintenance things in preparation for tomorrows departure. Hope the weather prediction holds which is for 75 degree temperatures and 10 knots or less with 1 foot waves.
07 November 2008, Friday, Elizabeth City to Deep Point Anchorage
Departed The Pelican Marina at around 0800, heading for the Alligator River Marina just this side of the Alligator River Bridge and a much needed pump put. The weather was overcast but winds were manageable. Elizabeth City boast the largest Coast Guard base in existence which has the largest hanger in existence. This blimp hanger is just monstrous, and is the remaining one of two. The other burned down and all that remains visible is the supports.
Entered the Albemarle Sound and set course for the entrance to the Alligator River at the 1AR buoy. The Albemarle Sound is noted for getting rough in the right conditions, but today looks like it will be a good day to cross, calm if not sunny. Since I was on the direct line from the Pasquotank River to the 1AR buoy I was cutting off about 3.1 miles of the ICW which runs in deeper water then doglegs toward 1AR. This more direct line decreased the traffic I had to deal with so I took the time to check out my radar. The radar system had been working at the dock but not at sea so I checked the connections and found the scanner cable connection was lose and once tightened the radar came to life, although since I was almost out of visual sighting with any land there wasn't much to see. I did notice this little spec a mile of so behind me and my binoculars reveled this to be a trawler yacht on the same heading as I. Looks like the radar will be quite handy in the future.
The trawler passed and the Captain radioed to say he liked my dinghy. He had, probably the largest Porta-bote strapped athwart ship and it was hanging a good foot outboard of his craft on both sides, probably 14 feet over all, or half the LOA or KAHOLEE.
The Alligator River entrance was changed in recent years but since all my charts were post 2007 I had the current buoy layout available. Still I'd been hearing horror stories about this particular area since Annapolis and was concerned it might prove challenging. This turned out to be a let down of sorts as I had no problems whatsoever and wound my way into the Alligator River and was in sight of the Alligator River Bridge. I had thought this bridge would be a bit further down since I'd made arrangements to stop at the Alligator River Marina just north of the bridge and it was only noon. The channel into the marina parallels the bridge and I was about half way when I learned their pump out system was not working so I excused myself and headed back to the swing bridge section of the bridge.
Once past the Alligator River Bridge motoring up the Alligator River is fairly uneventful as it is initially over a mile wide, although you do need to stay alert for snags even in the channel. I took some of this time to modify my route to include my second days run to the mouth of the Alligator River/Pungo River Canal where I had intended to anchor the next night. Since we are not traveling by statute miles instead of nautical miles I am under estimating my distances and easily made the Deep Point anchorage before dusk.
Once anchored and getting everything shutdown I grilled a steak and had a Red Stripe before hitting the sack.
08 November 2008, Saturday, Deep Point Anchorage to Dowry Creek Marina
I was up before sunrise and ready to go but hesitated to start the engine since everyone else in the anchorage appeared to be still asleep. Finally what appeared to be a Rhodes Reliant 41 named Echo headed out and I followed. We entered the canal just after sunrise and had the whole thing to ourselves. Numerous snags were visible so I kept an eye on Echo in order to have a little extra warning if something was amiss upstream. The morning was beautiful with the red sun rising and mist on the water.
Later the faster boats began catching up and it got a bit crowded. I heard a radio call from a boat aground and since no one else responded I called them and told them I'd stop and help. This proved not to be necessary as Echo stopped and tried to pull them off unsuccessfully and I figured if he couldn't I wouldn't be able to either. They were later rescued by a trawler with lots of power.
I touched ground once but not hard even though I was in the center third of the channel. The Alligator River is not something I'd want to try and transit at night. I encountered a Canadian boat named Gala from Nova Scotia which had run aground and helped them tip her so she could get off and proceeded on to the bridge which marks the end of the Alligator and the beginning of the Pungo. The buoyage reverses here which is kind of an interesting thing if you are use to having red to starboard then suddenly they are on port, but I knew this was coming so it was not a surprise.
Turned out to be another day of under planning on the mileage and I arrived at the Dowry Creek Marina at around noon. Loren and Betsy arrived shortly afterward and took the slip next to me. The Dowry Creek Marina is about 8 miles from Belhaven and very nice and laid back. It is well maintained and has really friendly staff. I learned the owner is named Mary, it was the day before her birthday and the rest of the cruiser fleet was planning a potluck dinner at the cruisers lounge at 1800 so I'd need to whip up something.
Wondered around for a while chatting and helping people tie up then hit the shower and fixed red beans an rice before heading to the lounge. Had a great time, everyone had to stay who they were, where they were from and where they were heading. Then we chowed-down. I had been telling Mary had not been planning to attend, but I'd told her about Dark and Stormies so she came to see what they were like. I had brought the Pyrat XO and some Appleton VX along with a couple of Goya Ginger Beers and was able to introduce her to the finer points of rum drinking which she greatly enjoyed.
There was a large model of the Edmund Fitzgerald in the lounge which prompted Loren to do the song of the same name while playing his guitar. Good voice and a good rendition. Shortly after most people left and Loren and I chatted for a bit before turning in.
09 November 2008, Sunday, Dowry Creek Marina
I decided to do a lay day at the marina to get some things squared away on KAHOLEE so I spent most of the day rearranging things and trying out my new bucket based dishwashing system which proved to be very doable. Loren and Betsy departed abound noon for Belhaven.
That evening Mary had a few visitors for her birthday and I gave her a bottle of Pyrat XO which she greatly appreciated. I chatted with her son who is a bartender and his friend on good rums for a bit ant then with an x-Triton owner on boats before turning in.
10 November 2008, Monday, Dowry Creek Marina to Oriental North Carolina
I departed Dowry Creek just after sunrise in company with several trawlers and headed down the Pungo River for my crossing of the Pamlico River and entry into Goose Creek. I was able to fly the genoa for a bit while crossing the Pamlico which gave me a tad more boat speed and helped stabilize KAHOLEE in the rollers which were on the port quarter astern.
Entered Goose Creek and proceeded to the channel which links Goose Creek to Bay Creek on the Neuse River. As I approached the mouth of Bay Creek I noticed a boat aground and was proceeding to see if I could render assistance when I saw my Canadian friends heading back to help. After an unsuccessful attempt to free the other boat we got together and I learned they were heading into Oriental which I had planned on skipping but it sounded like a good place to visit so I redid my route for Oriental and we crossed the Neuse in company. The winds were light but I did try and do some sailing but could not maintain more than about 3.1 knots so I went back to the engine.
We arrived at Oriental and acquired the last two slips at the marina, numbers 1 and 2. I am in number 1, right on the main street with a little ice-cream shop/coffee shop across the street which provides wifi which I am currently using from KAHOLEE. After getting the boats secured I bought my friends an ice-cream and we sat on the porch and watched the world go by. Four or five people we knew, part of our cursing community showed up including Loren and Betsy and we had a great chat until the sun set and it got chilly.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I got invited for dinner with my neighbors and was advised it would be formal. I donned my pirate attire and presented myself on deck asking if this was formal enough which everyone got a kick out of including Loren and Betsy who were passing by (no I did not actually wear my rig to dinner). Dinner consisted of some great pasta and wine with Canadian blueberries and yogurt for dessert. Great people.
Back aboard around 2100 and to bed.
11 November 2008, Tuesday, Oriental North Carolina
Visited the Bean coffee shop across the street for a latte and greeted the local dogs who come down to see what's going on. This is a dog friendly town where you can always find a friendly dog to play with. After a bit of chatting and sitting on the porch watching going's on I wondered down to the marine/gift shop and picked up a couple of boat parts, including a bailing sponge to replace the one that went walkabout with the old dinghy. I then walked around town, passing through some nice neighborhoods with older houses which in some cases were painted up kind of whimsically. Looks like a good place to live.
When arriving back at KAHOLEE I found Melinda Penkava who maintains the Oriental towndock.net website taking pictures of KAHOLEE. We talked about KAHOLEE and I gave her the grand tour. She took some interior pictures which made me wish I'd keep things a bit more shipshape and then headed down the street to capture some more of the happenings on the waterfront.
During my walkabout I'd discovered the M&M restaurant which was fairly near the docks. Loren had mentioned he'd had some really great ribs there the night before so I paid them a visit. It is kind of a Texas thing you know. As good as seafood is, we go into a kind of withdrawal if we don't have a nice big juicy steak or some barbequed ribs once in a while. While trying one of the local brews Loren and Betsy came in for the desert they had been to full to have the night before and joined me. The ribs were everything I had hoped, being so tinder all I had to do was pick up a bone and lay it in the bone plate then use my fork to devour the meat. I'll need to visit this place again one of these days. I followed up with some key lime pie and walked back to the docks with Loren and Betsy where I racked out for my morning departure.
12 November 2008, Wednesday, Oriental to Beaufort North Carolina
Got up around 0600 and wondered across the street to the Bean for a latte. Took my laptop along and found a good seat in front of the window where I could watch the docks and check email. Loren showed up a bit later for his coffee fix and said hi.
I had promised to fix my breakfast for Ron and company so when I saw them up and about I headed across the street and made arrangements as to when to meet. I then walked back to KAHOLEE and prepared a spinach and feta scramble which was done just in time for me to transport it to their (larger) boat. This, of course brought some interesting comments from my fellow cruisers. I did think I had enough (used a dozen eggs) to be able to share but they thanked me and said they would wait for another time.
Breakfast was great, and Halley the dog was very happy with her share of the fixing's. Then it was back to KAHOLEE to do dishes (my new dishwashing system works great) and off to Beaufort.
Crossing the Neuse River proved to be a bit of a bounder as the wind was blowing up river and causing some nice rollers, which due to my course put them on the beam but the crossing only took a bit less than half an hour so not to worry.
Entered Adams Creek and things got a bit smother. Passed several tugs heading toward the Neuse but had no problems. Eventually I entered the Adams Creek Canal which dumps me into Core Creek. The current in these creeks is quite substantial and I hit around 8 MPH every once in a while. This can be a bit scary when you are near a piling or day marker, best to give them a lot of room.
Passed mile post 200 at around 1230 just before leaving the ICW and entering the Russell Slough Channel on my way to Beaufort Docks. Passed through a drawbridge and was tied up by around 1400.
Checked in and got my free beer token, then visited the Dock House to retrieve my beer before walking down the street adjacent to the waterfront where I acquired a replacement pair of Croc flip flops a pair of Sanuk sandals which look like flip flops with a canvas shoe top and Lulu Buffet's cookbook, Crazy Sista Cooking before retiring back aboard.
13 November 2008, Thursday, Beaufort North Carolina
Woke up this morning to a gray rainy day. Looks like it may stick around for a while as it's about noon now and hasn't let up. I've been updating the website and read the intro to Crazy Sista Cooking which was written by Jimmy Buffett and Lulu's preface. I keep thinking about making a shower run, but I would probably not need to shower by the time I got there. Another day in paradise...
Met up with Ron and Jocelyn of Calisto III and accompanied them for a bit of shopping. Jocelyn liked my, somewhat wildly colored Crocs and they matched her head band so she and Ron both got a pair. Ron was a bit skeptical about the color, but went along. Here's our group picture...
Afterward we visited the North Carolina Maritime Museum. I was kind of disappointed that it didn't have more on Blackbeard, but it was fun and they did have a display of pirate paintings by Don Maitz which I have always enjoyed including his Forty Thieves which I bought a limited edition poster of.
This painting is even better when seen in a gallery. The colors are so vivid, and the detail exceptional. Hint, you need to count the parrot too.
We had dinner at Clawson's Restaurant, I tried their ribs which were good, but not quite as good as those at M&M's in Oriental.
14 November 2008, Friday
Another rainy day with a bit of fog. Calisto III tried to depart during the fog, but thought better of it and returned to anchor. I went back to the museum for a second visit but mostly hung around onboard.
15 November 2008, Saturday
Loren and Betsy arrived and Ron and Jocelyn departed. I had a wonderful breakfast at Sharpies Grill (need to check the name for sure) consisting of coffee, grits and two eggs over easy for about $5.00 at the suggestion of Loren.
Met a lady who I'd seen on one of the Lat's and Att's videos, I'll need to look up her name, but she was the one who always had her hair looking so good. They have a new boat since then, a custom made one which can be grounded without damaging it. Quite unique.
16 November 2008, Sunday
Loren and Betsy are out on the hook and I'm getting ready for an early morning departure at 0630 when the current is slack. Got fuel, pumped out and added water. Bailed out the dinghy and put the sail cover back on since it's all canals from this point on. Visited the Rocking Chair book store one last time and enjoyed chatting with the two ladies there about books. Bought a good research book on Blackbeard then back to KAHOLEE drop it off before having dinner at Ribeyes which consisted of, surprise, a good ribeye steak before calling it a night.
17 November 2008, Monday, Beaufort North Carolina to Mile Hammock Bay
Departed on a slack current at 0630 along with a couple of big power boats. Day was cool, but not uncomfortable. Currents were something to be aware of though as they would reverse when you passed an inlet and would be very confused at the inlet. Arrived at Mile Hammock Bay around 1400 and watched some Marine Ospreys practicing touch and goes. This bay is right next to Camp Lejeune so there is a lot of military activity, but it is a great anchorage.
18 November 2008, Tuesday, Mile Hammock Bay to Wrightsville Beach North Carolina
Departed Mile Hammock Bay at dawn. I had considered staying put since the next day was going to be cold an breezy, but my next stop would include a shower so off I went. As it turned out the wind was not much of a factor, but the cold got to be a pain. The highest wind I saw on my instruments was 22+ knots but it only made KAHOLEE lean a bit and did not impact steerage. The currents, on the other hand, were worse than previously encountered, but manageable. I had a momentary grounding at the Surf City Highway Bridge while waiting for it to open and trying to stay out of the way of my fellow boaters, but was able to power off.
By noon I was wanting the day to be over, but I still had roughly two hours to go. This turned out to be three hours because I could not quite get from the Figure Eight Island Bridge at mile 278.3 which opens on the hour and half hour (I was there at 1330) to the Wrightsville Bridge at 283.1 in time for its 1400 opening (it only opens on the hour). KAHOLEE gave it her all, but we were only at the half mile to the bridge marker when they began to close. This actually have me plenty of time to rig for my approach to the Wrightsville Beach Marina which was maddeningly just on the other side of the bridge.
Arrived at the marina just after 1500. The current here is quite strong so I bypassed the marina, then reversed course and made my approach. I am at the end of the fuel dock which required going around a power boat at the next dock then cutting in. When the bow goes through the current we had a tendency to drift down on the dock faster then we wanted so I corrected and made it past the power boat, but the dock contact was a bit of a bump, but nothing KAHOLEE couldn't handle.
After I was secured, a large power boat came in to dock in front of me. It was amazing to watch the current sweep him down the channel even with his bow thruster which he later said was ineffectual. Once he was tied up an older sailboat came in and he did the same dock bump I did so I didn't feel so bad. In between docking the power boat and sail boat, Loren and Betsy went by and waved. I'm liking this cruising community thing.
After checking in I had dinner at Bluewater which is right next to the dock. My waiter was named Justin and was extremely helpful making selections. I had the barbeque plate with ribs, sausage and fish along with mashed potatoes and some Manhattan clam chowder which was excellent. I had a locally made key lime tart for desert which was perhaps the best key lime pie I've had since starting my journey. After dinner the manager came by and welcomed me to Wrightsville Beach and invited me back for lunch to sample their specialty crab cake. All-in-all a wonderful dining experience. Not to mention I got to watch the sunset over KAHOLEE which indicated I'd forgot to turn off my anchor light from the night before, but did verify it worked quite well.
19 November 2008, Wednesday, Wrightsville Beach North Carolina
It was in the mid 20's last night so I was glad I had the heater. Looks like it's going to be cold tomorrow so I'm staying put for an extra day. Checked tides, currents and updated the web site this morning, now time to hit the shower then go sample the crab cake at Bluewater. I'm then going to head over to West Marine about 3/4 mile across the bridge to see if I can get a replacement for my RAM (remote) microphone which is not liking being stretched to the forward part of the cockpit. There is an extension for it which I will also try and pickup.
Found out my RAM Mic is no longer manufactured and I'll have to send it in to get it fixed. Wonderful... looks like I'll be using the handheld in the cockpit for a while. Did call West Marine and found an extension cord for the RAM Mic with I can pickup in Charleston when I arrive. This will take the strain off the cord so when I do get it fixed it should be happy after that. So no need to go to West Marine.
On the bright side, the crab cake for lunch was wonderful, nice and buttery.
Linda and Dave aboard Chimo II a C&C 31 arrived today. They will be staying for a while to get their side curtains fixed.
Went back to Bluewater for dinner and had some great prime rib. Spotted Dave and Linda on the way out and sat in for a chat before retiring back aboard.
20 November 2008, Thursday, Wrightsville Beach North Carolina to Southport North Carolina
Got up and took a shower then headed out with some dockline help from Dave. It proved to be a fairly uneventful day as I motored along, thinking mostly about how much doing the "ditch" reminds me of driving down a highway, just vary slowly.
The Raymarine 4000ST autopilot has developed the annoying habit of quitting on me every once in a while. The arm that comes out of the actuator body unscrews, just disconnects really, and the unit will stop being able to make turns to port, which require the arm to retract. As you can imagine, this is quite disconcerting when you are approaching a pier with the current behind you doing around 8 MPH and you hit the 10 degree port button a couple of times and nothing happens. I have learned to stay in physical contact with the unit so I can tell if it seems to be not following instructions and to know about how long it should take for it to react so I can be ready to grab the tiller if necessary. Screwing the arm back in will bring it back to functionality, but this disconnecting thing seems to be happening more often. I understand from Raymarine that the actuator is the same for the new S1 unit so maybe I'll have to get one of those and send this one in. Then I'd have a backup at least. Kind of sad that this high dollar stuff isn't more reliable, but hopefully this is an unusual problem and not the norm.
Arrived at what's called "Snow's Cut" just past MP 295 near Carolina Beach. This narrow cut which passes under Carolina Beach fixed bridge prompted me to start steering by hand since it is fairly narrow and has several spots which require special attention at the helm. After exiting the "Cut" the dredged channel is also fairly narrow and has a dogleg followed by a almost straight run to the Cape Fear River. I slowed about halfway from the dogleg to the river to allow a Canadian boat to pass, then resumed speed, thankful to have someone else in the lead.
Once on the Cape Fear River I was depth was not an issue and as it widens out it was great to be back on open water again. I could actually let Capt. Ron take over and not have to worry about any sudden zigs or zags. I've named the autopilot Capt. Ron due to the line from the movie "I didn't navigate the Saratoga Boss, I just steered her.", which seems like a good description of what the autopilot does and since it periodically gets lost it seems even somewhat more appropriate.
While cruising along I fixed me a hot chocolate and a peanut butter sandwich and enjoyed a beautiful day. The wind was light and the current was behind me so all was well in the universe.
Eventually I turned more to the west nearing the approach to Bucksport and had to dodge the ferryboat that plies these waters, but all in all a good day.
After entering the channel leading to Southport I saw Whippoorwill, Loren and Betsy's boat tied to the town dock right behind some kind of out of place condos and radioed the marina and got docking instructions. There was not much current, but a wind made snuggling up to the dock an exercise in tug of war for the dock guys, but all went well.
After checking in I took a walk to downtown Southport and found a local coffee shop where I got a latte then wondered over to the town docks to visit Loren and Betsy. They invited me aboard Whippoorwill and I was amazed at how much room they had on a 27 footer. Of course they are 8 inches wider then KAHOLEE and have seemingly much deeper bilges which lets them have a bench table setup to starboard. Loren has fabrocated a hard dodger for Whippoorwill so it is a very comfortable boat to cruise on.
We went to Fishy Fishy for dinner and I had some good ribs. I'm on a rib binge apparently ever since having those great ribs at M&M's in Oriental. Afterward I headed back to KAHOLEE after scheduling a 0700 departure in company with Whippoorwill.
21 November 2008, Friday, Southport North Carolina to Myrtle Beach South Carolina
Up at 0530, prepared KAHOLEE for departure then had a shower and departed at 0700 rendezvousing with Whippoorwill as she passed the marina.
Passed into South Carolina near Little River Inlet at about MP 341.5
Possibly the most dangerous part of an ICW transit it passing through what is known as The "Rockpile" between MP 347 and 365 with the most challenging part of this between 350.1 and 353.1. The "Rockpile" is where the channel is cut through a rock base unlike most of the ICW which is sand or mud this area is very unforgiving of navigational errors and the section between 350.1 and 553.1 is narrow enough to present an issue if you meet large commercial traffic like a tug pushing a barge. Upon approaching 350.1 when heading south you need to radio and ask if there is any north bound commercial traffic, which Loren did, lucky for me since I was running on a handheld which lacks the transmitting power of a fixed mount VHF radio.
After gingerly picking our way between the rocks we made berth just south of the Barefoot Landing Swing Bridge at Barefoot Landing Marina on the east side of the ICW. This marina is noted for having a fairly large shopping area right next to the marina which resembles an outlet mall, but with a great variety of shops and even some attractions like a tiger show and a merry-go-round. There is also a Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach so I was off to Margaritaville as soon as I got things secured while Loren and Betsy explored the shopping around the marina.
Cabs are very expensive in Myrtle Beach as I discovered but once at Margaritaville I had a great time dining on conch fritters, a Cheeseburger in Paradise and a couple of Perfect Margaritas followed by key lime pie. After dinner I paid a visit to the Margaritaville Store and picked up some Margaritaville Myrtle Beach T-shirts, a sweat shirt and some flip flops before heading back to the marina and a good night's sleep on KAHOLEE.
22 November 2008, Saturday, Myrtle Beach South Carolina
I decided to spend a second night at the Barefoot Landing Marina so I could explore the shops. Loren and Betsy headed south but we made plans to meet up again in George town in a few days.
I slept in then wondered around the shopping area for a few hours picking up some things and having lunch at Johnny Rockets which consisted of a huge Original Cheeseburger with bacon and a vanilla malt. Since it was the end of the season prices were 40% to 50% or more off so good deals were everywhere to be had. Finally returned to KAHOLEE for an afternoon nap.
Around 1800 I went to Tbone-Z, a steak place located right next to KAHOLEE for dinner, where I had a bourbon marinated ribeye with mashed sweet potatoes with a calamari appetizer.
They were having a lighting ceremony at 1900 so after dinner I got to see all the Christmas lights before hitting the sack.
23 November 2008, Sunday, Myrtle Beach South Carolina to Bucksport South Carolina
Departed Myrtle Beach heading for Bucksport. Bucksport South Carolina is named for the same Capt. Henry Buck as is Bucksport Maine, where Tim keeps Glissando. In South Carolina Capt. Buck was timbering where in Maine it was shipbuilding. Probably procured the timbers for his ships in South Carolina then transported them to Maine for his shipbuilding enterprise, although, one does not associate Maine with a lack of lumber, but maybe there were types of wood available in South Caroline that were not in Maine
Bucksport is also famous for the sausages produced at a local store and I had planned on vesting the store and restaurant but unfortunately, the restaurant had had a slow season and had closed for the winter, but the lady named Sue at the marina said I could get some sausage.
As you near Bucksport you start thinking you are in a Louisiana bayou. The scenery is just like that, in fact I even passed a pack of coonhounds who bayed at me with that distinctive voice of theirs. Double check... Ok, no banjo playing so safe to proceed.
Unfortunately there was no dockside help at the Bucksport Plantation Marina so I was on my own coming into the dock. The first attempt with the current from ahead saw me going sideways to starboard and being washed away from the dock. I figured this might work for me going with the current so I tried the dock at the other side. Mistake... Unfortunately KAHOLEE has a lot of prop walk especially if you apply a lot of power, which turned out to be required to keep from hitting the dock. This pulled the stern to starboard causing me to go broadside into the front of the dock, which was luckily wide enough to allow such a maneuver. I dismounted and pushed the bow around into the current an got every thing secured though without any damage. While not seamanlike I was docked. After getting everything secured I went up and checked in and got my sausage, some mild and some spicy which should make for some good breakfasts in the future.
Back onboard I used the broiler to cook a ribeye and make some oven toast. Before hitting the sack I checked to see when slack current was the next morning and planned my escape for that period. As it was suppose to be cold, actually already was cold, used all my blankets which turned out to be a good thing.
24 November 2008, Monday, Bucksport South Carolina to Georgetown South Carolina
Bucksport is fairly far inland so when I got up there was frost, heavy frost, all over KAHOLEE. I waited for just enough sun to be able to clear the windows on the dodger and side curtains and made an easy departure as there was no current. Bucksport is on the Waccamaw River and the river below Bucksport is full of snags and floating vegetation, some of a fairly innoxious nature and some consisting of logs around 20 feet long. I passed an especially nasty one, which was probably the root ball of some large tree, just after leaving the marina. It was not moving so obviously sitting on the bottom even though the river is fairly deep. Several curves later I passed a large northbound catamaran power boat and radioed to advise him of this boat-killer and a few minutes later I got a "thank you" from him. Pretty country, but it did require vigilance while navigating the river.
At the end of the river I entered Winyah Bay and turned into the entry channel to Georgetown. As you enter the town area you swing to starboard on the secondary channel and can anchor right in front of the town. I located Whippoorwill at the far end of the town and anchored nearby. For the first time the CQR did not dig in on the first try, but I had read the bottom was kind of soupy here. Once anchored I was not really happy with my proximity to other boats. A large double ender just to the west of me did not seem to be swinging as if on anchor so I moved a bit closer to Whippoorwill and got a good set. Of course the double ender then swung around but I had a better location so no worries.
Loren came by and we decided to have a pot luck on Whippoorwill and I volunteered my modified Goya Red Beans and Rice. Loren also told me he had met the guy who ran the sailfar.net website. I told him I was on there and to ask the guy if he knew "Joe Pyrat", my nome de plume on the board.
Joe Pyrat, Loren and CaptK
Aye and the rum too!
Picture courtesy Betsy
25 November 2008, Tuesday, Georgetown South Carolina to Whiteside Creek Anchorage
Departed Georgetown at dawn for a long run toward Charleston, the plan to anchor out then have a short run into Charleston the following day taking advantage of high tide and timing our approach to the one swing bridge we had to navigate so as to arrive at 0900 just as it opened following rush hour.
All went well it was just a long time between stops. The trees here are still green so we are getting on down the road. We also passed out of what NOAA calls the East on their marine forecast page and have entered the South which kind of marks the halfway point weather-wise.
Arrived at Whiteside Creek near sunset and motored in. This creek is surprisingly deep so I had to look for a sandbank to anchor on to prevent the need for a lot of scope, but one was found and the anchor set. Loren, who seems to spend about half his time in his dinghy, Towee, (makes me feel like a slacker) came by. I was concerned about my fuel reading which seemed higher than it should have been so he loaned me three gallons of diesel which had an impact on the gauge and made me feel better about the next days travel. I had previously added all my reserve fuel so it was what's in the tank that there was. Loren had also set his crab trap to see what he could catch for dinner. I might want to get me one of these just for kicks.
Dinner consisted of reheated Red Beans and Rice and the last two pieces of my toasting bread done in the broiler with butter.
|Entering Whiteside Creek||Anchoring in Whiteside Creek|
Pictures courtesy Betsy
26 November 2008, Wednesday, Whiteside Creek to Charleston South Carolina
Our timing plan has us departing Whiteside Creek at 0700, traveling about 9 miles and arriving at the Ben Sawyer swing bridge at 0900. This only require us to maintain 5 MPH (I had switched my system to MPH from knots since the mileage on the ICW is measured in statute miles). The day was nice so I put up both my exit side curtains and was quite comfortable in the cockpit.
All was going well with our arrival at the bridge looking like about 0858 but just in sight we suddenly got a head current which dropped our speed to 4 MPH or less. Whippoorwill, like KAHOLEE is somewhat overpowered having also received a diesel engine transplant so we cranked up and cold maintain over 5 MPH and all looked good.
There were several boats anchored in the channel awaiting the bridge opening as we closed in on the bridge. We slowed and drifted about a bit while the appointed hour came and went. Someone finally called the bridge and ask about the opening and we were informed by the lady Bridgemaster that she had thrown the switch but nothing had happened. She was going to let the traffic clear and try again. This second try also failed so she called their engineer to come and fix the bridge and he was on his way. Down went the anchors. One neat sidelight to all this was a dolphin escort I got while heading backup the river to anchor. Fixed coffee, got out my book and had an enjoyable hour or so reading and relaxing. About 1000 we learned the bridge would try and open again so up came the anchor. This time the bridge was successful and off we went with a thanks to the Bridgemaster and her engineer.
The rest of the voyage was uneventful even my current enhanced entry into the Charleston Marine Center, although I was actually aground when tied to the dock and couldn't get really snugged up to the dock until high tide. Obviously my departure will require a high tide, slack current exit strategy.
I had dinner with Loren and Betsy at Saffron's a short distance from the marina. I had Saffron Chicken which consisted of a soup like chicken dish with rice, by that I mane a large plate of half chicken and half rice. It was excellent but I couldn't finish all the rice. They are also having a buffet for Thanksgiving with turkey, ham, prime rib, the works so it looks like we will be visiting here again.
27 November 2008, Thursday, Charleston South Carolina
Got up around 0700, had my quasaunt and a cup of coffee, French Vanilla of course and tackled my head problem. I since the pump was acting like it was vacuum locked I reasoned it was most likely the pump intake from the head bowl so I disconnected this after wrapping it as best I could with a heavy duty trash bag. Once disconnected the pump worked fine so I reconnected and it locked up again. My Internet research had revealed one solution to a Lavac lockup problem involved a toilet bowl plunger and I had noted just such an item in the shower room at the marina, so off to borrow the plunger. upon return I applied the plunger to the problem and got a lot of resistance on the upstroke which eventually did the trick and broke things free. I was then concerned about how I'd get the blockage out of the bowl so I reconnected the pump and tired to pump it trhough hoping it had broken up enough to go through. Luckily it all worked like a champ and after a minor clean up using some Clorox disinfectant wipes all was back in working order. All-in-all a good way to start Thanksgiving Day. Bagged everything took it to the dumpster and returned the plunger after a good hand washing all was done.
around 1100 Loren, Betsy and I went for a bike ride around the old town portion of Charleston. This gave me my first opportunity to pull out my bike and go for a ride. The tires were down so I used the hand pump on them and off we went. I wanted to see the Morganville store here in Charleston but unfortunately they were closed so I'll need to go back on Friday. There is no restaurant, by the way, just the store
Back aboard by 1310, stored the bike in the cockpit, kicked off my sandals and relaxed a bit before heading over to Saffron's for Thanksgiving dinner.
There were six of us for dinner which proved to be a problem seating-wise, but after an hours wait we finally got seated. The food was delicious though and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We did wind up sitting at separate tables but they offered us a together table once one cleared but we were already deep into the food so we thanked them but passed.
After dinner I walked over to the nearby Blockbuster and got a copy or WALL-E which I'd been wanting to see along with a copy of the new Journey to the Center of the Earth with Brandon Fraser, another one I wanted to see. I also picked up a copy of a mini series on revolutionary war times which should be interesting so I should be set for movies for a while. I then walked back to the marina and after some chatting went to KAHOLEE to watch WALL-E and recover from dinner.
28 November 2008, Friday
I've decided to spend a month here in Charleston. It is a grand old city with lots to see, and since the Holidays are upon us, it will give me a fixed address so my Sweetie can come and visit a time or two. I gave Dorothy a call and she agrees this would be a good plan and that if I depart right after Christmas she might be able to sail with me for a week or so.
One of the guys at the marina named Drew gave me a ride to West Marine to pickup the extension for my RAM Mic. Turns out Drew has a degree in history, and has been doing living-history for about 24 years. He does all kinds of stuff, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, WWII, etc. and has had extra parts in a bunch of movies, including North and South. He has a friend who does costuming so I may be able to get her to do my pirate rig for me which will be a relief to my Spouse. Drew invited me to march in the Charleston Holiday Parade as a pirate on December 6th. He will provide me with the gear I don't have, shirt, pants, etc. I am looking forward to this since it's the day before my birthday, it'll be a great way to start my last year as a less than 60 something. Yes, I know, but growing up is overrated.
Loren and Betsy departed today around noon, I'll miss them, but probably catch up with them down in the Keys.
I've started thinking about how to arrange the boat for two. Looks like I'll be moving things around a bit when bed time arrives and we use the V-berth, but it is doable.
Fixed a can of Campbell's chunky gumbo for dinner and spiced it up a bit with some Tabasco. It is kind of short on Rice, but if I make some to go along with it, it will be pretty good.
29 November 2008, Saturday
Bummed around on the boat for most of the morning and ordered a Bebi Electronics anchor light. This little light consists of 15 LEDs, draws almost no current and puts out more light than any other light I've seen. This little company is located in Fiji and is very well known among the live-aboard crowd thanks to their excellent, inexpensive products. I'll probably convert all my lights to LEDs over the next year or so. Should greatly reduce the load on my batteries. The pictures below, from the Bebi website, show the light off and on, but the picture on the right of the light on, does not do justice to just how bright this light is, you literally have to see it to believe it. The Owl light is $32.50 and shipping is $6.50. You can get it with a longer lead and a 12v electrical plug for a bit more. I got he longer lead and will install a 12v plug I have onboard. They take PayPal so making a purchase is easy.
Around 1300 I took a walk. There are photo opportunities on every street here, secret garden kind of places that you can glimpse through the fence or a gap in the hedge. I'll need to do some photo hunting later on.
Visited Margaritaville Charleston. This is a store only with no restaurant, but they do have a good selection of T-shirts and things. Got me a pair of pirate boxer shorts that are in a brick which you put in water and it "grows" into the shorts. Guess you don't get to use them right away. I also got some Margaritaville Christmas lights. I'm planning on dressing up KAHOLEE for the season as soon as it quits raining.
Crossed the street to Williams-Sonoma and picked up a little paring knife and some cooking tongs, then strolled down the street taking in the sights. It is definitely getting to be that time of year, shoppers in abundance. Happened by an Apple store and picked up a small A/C charger for my i-Pods then headed over to Saffron's for dinner. I'd been tempted to get their beef stroganoff on my first visit and thought this would be a good opportunity to try it.
After dinner back to KAHOLEE and watched Part 3 of John Adams. Not quite as entertaining as Parts 1 and 2, but good none the less.
30 November 2008, Sunday
Today was another rainy day so I stayed onboard doing some arranging, washing dishes and the like. I got the RAM Mic ready to ship to Standard for repair, tested my Margaritaville lights, dug out my last bottle of Pyrat XO (I'm going to need to get serious about finding some more) and updated the website.
The dinghy is filling up with water again. I'm going to need to see about some kind of cover, but then Dorothy is bring the racks I ordered so I can carry it on deck so maybe not. It does amaze me how much water the thing collects though.
One of the other little quirks KAHOLEE has is that she likes to run water off the edge of the sea hood right onto the place I usually sit. This is not an issue, unless of course, I have the laptop in my lap as I did today. While the laptop got a bit of water on it, it did not hurt it (missed the keyboard by an inch). The solution to this is to add some stoppers on the hatch so it stays just an inch or so outboard of the aft end of the sea hood. This will deflect the water to the top of the doghouse where it can drain off to the deck. Note to Tim; I wonder if you have experienced this on Glissando? Giving the sea hoods a slight forward slope would eliminate this since it mostly happens when the boat is rocking fore and aft at anchor or tied to the dock. Of course the spacers for the hatch would accomplish the same thing and probably be less work. The little grab rail on the after edge of the hatch prevents the water from running into the cabin once it hits the hatch.
Think I'll walk up to the marina office and get some ice. It's been a while since I had a Dark 'n' Stormy and with this rain, it seems the perfect time.
Well the marina only had 20 lb. bags of ice which were too big for my refrigerator so back aboard. I watched Part 4 and 5 of the John Adams series which takes him through his ambassadorship to England, his term as Vice President under Washington to his election as President. If you are interested in history this is a very interesting piece.
Fixed chili with tamales for dinner and had a Perrier to celebrate the end of Hurricane Season.
01 December 2008, Monday
Surfed the web till about noon, then got the bike out and made a grocery store run to Harris Teeter just down the road, picked up a few things including some fried chicken for dinner then back aboard
02 December 2008, Tuesday
Hanging around on KAHOLEE enjoying the warm day. Had chili for dinner.
03 December 2008, Wednesday
Boat projects, cleaning up. Was going to have my second can of gumbo, but I'd picked up some bean soup by mistake so had this instead.
04 December 2008, Thursday
Visited the ketch Adventure today and met CJ who provides interpretation aboard. He was dressed in slops and we had a great time hanging about onboard. I helped wash down the deck and got some great pictures.
Then it was off to visit downtown Charleston where we had lunch at Sticky Fingers, baby back ribs and a couple of local micro-brews. Next we visited The Tavern, a drinking establishment which dates from the mid 1600s. I met Gary the proprietor who is also the Captain of the local pirate reenactor group called The Charles Town Few. Gary showed me his cellar which was like a trip back in time. More pictures. My rum supply was down to one bottle but luckily Gary had a couple of bottles so I stocked up. I'll need to revisit later to add to the stores.
Went back to Heather's and Drew's to try on my waistcoat which is coming along nicely. We then headed back to KAHOLEE where we met up with CJ and I tried on some of the pirate garb he was loaning me for the parade on Sunday. Pizza and some Dark 'n' Stormies helped this along.
05 December 2008, Friday
Hung about onboard most of the day, called the local Raymarine repair facility to see about getting the autopilot fixed, Monday, and visited the grocery store to pickup my loaf of English toasting bread. Some pilot rowing boats arrived and some dragon boats which are large rowing boats of 30 or more feet LOA which will be dressed up for the parade of lights on the 7th. Drew came by and we had fried chicken.
06 December 2008, Saturday
Started preparing for the parade on the 7th. Got all the gear out and checked it over.
Tonight was the Parade of Lights, which I got to watch from the deck of the schooner Virginia.
Had New England clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl for dinner.
07 December 2008, Sunday
Up bright and early took a shower then laid out everything for the 1100 meeting of the Charles Town Few. About 1000 got dressed and headed up about 1045. Met Dave and Linda on the pier and after a few pictures, headed up to the parking lot to meet Drew. After meeting the rest of the crew including the pirate reenactors from Georgetown we headed over to the parade route. The parade didn't start until 1400 so we hung around and swapped stories. At 1400 we set off through old downtown Charleston. After we reached the end of the route we walked back to the Buccaneer Restaurant which is a festinating place with more pirate artifacts than the museum in Beaufort NC where I had prime rib and a Dark 'N' Stormy.
We then rode over to the Charlestown Maritime Center for pictures on the Virginia, but the sun was setting so we didn't get that done.
I was glad to get my boots off. My feet have spent at least the last four years in flip flops and did not like the confines of my new pirate boots.
08 December 2008, Monday
I had intended to go to the Raymarine repair place, but I needed to charge the batteries so most of the day was taken up with this. Messed about on the computer and updated the log.
Batteries up, too late to go to the repair place so I got out the bike and went to visit Gary at The Tavern and pickup some more rum. Wondered around for a while and finally found The Tavern. Spent about 4 hours chatting with Gary. He was in the Merchant Marine around the time I was in the Navy and we have visited many of the same places so we had a lot to talk about.
It was dark when I left with my basket full of rum. Gary gave me directions so I could get home a bit faster and off I went. Since I had not planned on being out after dark, I hadn't brought along the lights for the bike, but all went well and I and the rum both arrived back at KAHOLEE unscathed.
After putting things away I tried one of my store brand canned chilies which was unfortunately nowhere near as good as the Acme chili had been prompting me to breakout a second can of the Campbell chili, which was not as disappointing, but not on my list of top five canned chilies. Too bad you don't have the selection here we had in Truth or Consequences or El Paso. I compensated for this disappointment in the culinary department with a couple of Dark 'N' Stormies made with Appleton VX and a wee bit of Pyrat XO on ice just before lights-out, so as the day ended all was well with the universe.
09 December 2008, Tuesday
Again I'd planned to get pumped out and head over to the repair place which didn't work out, or has not worked out to this point. I was all ready to move to the fuel dock following the departure of one of the other boats, but this boat went aground in the middle of the marina and I decided to wait for the rising tide, Time to update the log following toast and coffee for lunch.
Wind came up so decided to wait.
Went to Drew's and Heather's for dinner, steak, roast potatoes, mixed vegetables and ice cream for dessert. Watched a history on the battles on lake Eire during the War of 1812 and some of Master and Commander, Far Side of the World, then back to KAHOLEE and bed.
10 December 2008, Wednesday
Got up and showered at 0730. My Bebi anchor light had come in so upon returning to KAHOLEE I emailed them to let them know it had arrived ok.
Drew picked me up at 0830 and we went to the Adventure where we did interpretation all day in period dress. Great fun, a wonderful ship. Learned a few things about the rigging on a square rigger and some knots. Very enjoyable interacting with the visitors.
Back to KAHOLEE to work on the website and the new anchor light.
Chicken and sausage gumbo for dinner
11 December 2008, Thursday
Did a bit of cleaning up in preparation for Spouse's visit this weekend. Went and visited Gary at the Tavern, then met up with Drew later and went to the Buccaneer for dinner. Had a local favorite, shrimp and grits, man was this good. They use special grits from Columbia South Carolina. It has shrimp, andouille sausage, green peppers, onions among other things in it and man-oh-man is it good.
12 December 2008, Friday
Got serious about cleaning up and clearing out the v-berth.
Drew gave me a ride to Enterprise at 1500 to pickup the rental car, then back to finish getting things ready.
Peanut butter for dinner, don't want to mess things up.
Put the Lawrence GPS in the car and headed out to find my Spouse at about 2240. All went well, but I missed the entrance and wound up at an Air Force base, got turned around and made it just in time. Very good to see my Sweetie again. Back to KAHOLEE.
Got everything aboard and put bedding on the v-berth then to bed.
13 December 2008, Saturday
Slept in a bit, then got up and went to visit the Adventure where CJ and Drew were doing interp. Walked about the park a bit and watched some reenactors creating a dinner including wassail a home brew of sorts. Kind of wish I could be here at closing to try this out.
Went by The Tavern so Dorothy could meet Gary. He gave her the caller tour and the history of the building and surrounding area.
Next we went in search of Christmas lights so we could decorate KAHOLEE. Went to a Walgreen's first and got lights and some other things then we had the GPS locate a Radio Shack for us so we could get some wire ties. After taking the scenic route back through old town Charleston we stopped by the grocery store on the way home for a few things before heading back to KAHOLEE.
Back aboard we started by stringing the icicle lights around the railings then we made up a line with colored lights to run up the backstay.
While we were doing this we learned a Canadian boat had tried to enter the marina during the swiftest part of today's current which was compounded by higher than normal winds. The boat was swept into the bow of the Virginia. They were trying to make a second attempt during slack current assisted by TowBoatUS while we were doing this. The marina is really shallow at low tide and they had some grounding problems, but finally made it. Their dodger was fairly well beat up, but I didn't see any other damage. The Virginia had received only some cosmetic damage, nothing serious.
Raised the backstay lights using the masthead flag halyard then installed the Margaritaville lights around the bimini and radar arch. As it was now getting dark, we decided to leave the forestay lights to me and got everything wired up and turned on. KAHOLEE did look quite nice if I do say so myself.
Took Dorothy to the Buccaneer for dinner where she had the fired shrimp and I couldn't resist the shrimp and grits once more. Her shrimp were excellent as was the sweet potato casserole she had as a side dish.
They were having another party at the Center so finding a parking spot was a chore but we finally got situated, although not very nicely. Figured we'd move it once the party was over.
Around 2200 the partiers started heading out so I moved the car to a better location and we hit the showers. KAHOLEE looked really nice from the balcony.
14 December 2008, Sunday
Went back to the mall in which we had visited Radio Shack to get Dorothy something for work on Monday.
Did a bit more sight seeing, visiting Margaritaville then headed home.
The Gateway laptop will not turn on. No power LED when plugged in either. Good thing I am not relying on this for navigation, the Sager laptop just keeps running.
I fixed Jamaican Jerk Chicken for dinner and we got Spouse all packed up for an early exit on Monday, then hit the sack.
15 December 2008, Monday
Up at 0400 got Spouse to the shower and headed to the airport for her departure at just after 0600.
Came back and got the autopilot actuator and RAM Mic and headed to St. Bart's Yachts, the local Raymarine repair shop. Jean-Michael, a real Frenchman, did a great job of getting it fixed in just about an hour, but couldn't do anything with the microphone.
Went downtown and visited Williams-Sonoma where I picked up a couple of more kitchen knives and a stove top cappuccino/latte maker. The over to Margaritaville for a stick on decal to adorn my dock power receptacle. Next I went by The Tavern to pickup some of this vodka infused sweet tea that is such the rage locally.
I needed to pickup a Christmas wreath which Dorothy had decided KAHOLEE needed (rightfully so) so I headed back to our Walgreen's but they didn't have any so I remembered there was a Target at the mall and headed over there. Got my wreath a couple of other things and headed back to KAHOLEE so I'd be ready to turn in the car at 1530.
Drew accompanied me to Enterprise at 1500 and gave me a ride home. I was beat so I dozed in the main cabin until close to midnight, skipped dinner completely and hit the sack.
16 December 2008, Tuesday
Got up at dawn, it was very foggy so I turned on the Christmas lights and got some pictures of KAHOLEE. Also got some of the Virginia looming in the fog which might be interesting.
1000 hit the showers.
Cleaned up a bit and surfed the Internet for most of the day. Called an outfit called Syke Sutler which specializes in English Civil War attire and left a message. This period is close to the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean so the clothing works well. I had borrowed some of their stuff when doing interp on the Adventure and was very impressed with the workmanship.
Read the instructions on my latte maker an updated the website. Kind of a laid back day following the weekend. I am looking forward to Dorothy's return on the 24th.
It has turned out to be a blue sky and big white cloud kind of day. Took a shower and am sitting around in shorts and a t-shirt. Life is good.
Did the break-in procedure on the new latte maker in preparation for tomorrow morning.
Made a feta and spinach scramble for dinner.
17 December 2008, Wednesday
Got up this morning and fixed a pretty good breve latte (Half & Half rather than milk) using the new latte maker. It was a painless operation, even cleanup is acceptable.
Last Sunday night I was walking by the dinghy and thought there were some leaves in it that I'd need to clean out. On Monday I noticed it was not leaves but something was shredding the floatation foam on the port side so I'd moved the dingy away from the dock. Today I noticed the damage had become more severe so I called Porta-Bote to see if they had ever had a similar incident. The gentleman at PB said it was most likely a rat. He gave me the name of an online source for close cell foam so I could make a replacement for the port side piece since the cost would be much lower then if they sent me a ready made part. Since I've been thinking about mounting small fenders around the gunwales on the dinghy to eliminate the scuffing it causes KAHOLEE's hull I figured this was a good time to start that project. I drilled and removed the large pop rivets that hold the foam in place, saving the washers in case I ever want to reinstall it. I discarded the chewed up piece and secured the good one inside KAHOLEE so I'd have a template for a new port side one. I will need to visit West Marine or some other marine store and get some fenders later this week.
While I was working on this Bob dropped off my new water filter system. In researching using chlorine bleach to treat my water supply I'd come across some nasties called THMs for Trihalomethanes which are not good for pirates and other living things. In a nutshell, they are created by the effect chlorine has on organic material such as leaves in the water. Most of the research I found indicated the problem THMs represent is less of a concern than what the chlorine gets rid of. The solution to this, as well as eliminating the chlorine taste in treated water is to use a filter at the tap and after researching various tap-mounted filter systems I had settled on the Aquasana AQ-4000 which removes 99% of both chlorine and THMs. This system is small enough to fit behind the sink and does not require any power. Along with the basic system I ordered two replacement filters and a mounting bracket to keep it secure while underway. As an aside I got a free water bottle. I am planning on flashing the water system to remove the smell it has developed then adding chlorine to my water as suggested in a communication I received from Clorox later this month. I will then install the filter AQ-4000 filter system.
Washed dishes and surfed the web a bit. Got a call from Kurt of SailFar.net fame. He was going to be here today but had something work related come up and is now planning on being here on the weekend. He was looking forward to paying KAHOLEE a visit but missed the opportunity in Georgetown.
Fixed chili for dinner and turned on the Christmas lights.
18 December 2008, Thursday
KAHOLEE is getting kind of crowded with all the project stuff laying about. Need to get things sorted out. Putted around, determined how I'd attch the filter to the faucet. Chicken and sausage gumbo for dinner.
19 December 2008, Friday
Cleaned up wondered around and chatted.
20 December 2008, Saturday
Another lazy day, just messed about on KAHOLEE most of the day.
Drew and Heather took me along on their Christmas shopping expedition. I stopped at Lowe's and picked up a 6x6x4 junction box for my WiFi booster project and a couple of books on piracy at the book store.
21 December 2008, Sunday
Hung around didn't do much. Last can of chili for dinner. You don't get the selection of canned chili here you did in New Mexico and far west Texas. I'm missing Wolf's chunky chili.
22 December 2008, Monday
Drew and Heather came by with my new waistcoat which looks great and fits well. Drew helped me put up the last of the Christmas lights on the jib stay. We had hot chocolate and chatted.
Jerked chicken for dinner. Still needs something.
23 December 2008, Tuesday
Drew took me to pickup the rental car at 1100. Stopped at a burger/ice cream shop for lunch, good burger and wonderful malt.
Went to Saffron's for dinner and had their version of shrimp and grits. They use a brown gravy like you'd find on mashed potatoes. I understand this is the usual way of fixing shrimp and grits, and it is ok, but I much prefer the recipe used at the Bucaneer.
Started getting things squared away for my Spouses arrival. Drew gave me a plate of wonderful cookies for Christmas. Fixed Jerked Chicken for dinner using a new jerk sauce called Island Jerk Seasoning from the Tropical Pepper Co. in Costa Rico. I had been intrigued by this product since it actually lists habanero and jalapeño peppers as ingredients. The last batch had been good, but sweeter then I liked. This batch turned out very good with the bite I was looking for. I had placed the chicken in this marinade yesterday and dumped the whole kit and caboodle into a baking pan and baked it until the internal temperature of the chicken hit 180° F. It was very good so I'll need to get a couple of more jars of this seasoning for later use.
24 December 2008, Wednesday
Finished cleaning up the boat in preparation for Spouse's arrival.
About 1345 I headed to the airport to pickup my Spouse. Arrived and after a couple of circum navigations of the facility the deed was done and I got a big hug. Stopped at Starbucks on the way back.
Arrived at KAHOLEE and unloaded.
Took Dorothy to the Buccaneer for an early dinner, where I had their wonderful shrimp and Grits and she had a Rueben sandwich.
25 December 2008, Thursday
Took a walk this morning. The city was for the most part deserted so it was a wonderful stroll through the old neighborhoods. We stopped at Cafe Cafe on Meeting Street at Market St and had coffee and shared a plate of the special (2 eggs, bacon, sausage, and grits). We hadn't planned on going very far and only had a $10 bill with us. The nice lady who served us said it came to $11-something but wished us a Merry Christmas so we had breakfast. I am very pleased to be finding so many nice people out here.
Had Christmas dinner at the Maritime Center. It was a pot luck affair, we brought a double batch of Red Beans & Rice. One of the local liveaboards named Bob, we call him Original Bob (more on that in a minute) fixed a ham, some people from Scotland fixed turkey and brussel sprouts and walnuts which is a local thing for them. New Bob brought a cake and a couple of pies. The other dishes ranged from sweet potatoes with pecans to lasagna. All in all a good mix of things and a good time was had by all.
26 December 2008, Friday
Drove over to the grocery store, got some coffee and a scone at the internal Starbucks then sat down and prepared my late Christmas Cards. Afterward we went by the Post Office and dropped them off.
Visited West Marine and Lowe's to pickup some parts for the battery charger project, and just drove around. Had dinner at some crab place where Dorothy had fried shrimp that were acceptable. I had their "Famous" prime rib that was imminently forgettable, in fact it was so cold by the time I was finishing up I left some of it. First really bad meal I've had.
Went by the grocery store and picked up some provisions, then headed home.
27 December 2008, Saturday
Met the guy from England at the marina office. He offered me a digestive, a biscuit with chocolate he called it, but really a cookie to us. Quite good. Chatted for a bit and got a sample for Dorothy, then headed back to KAHOLEE and fixed her coffee to go with her digestive.
Around 1500 we finished off the last of the Christmas cards then headed off to the grocery store for some ice cream and a latte, but they were still out of our ice cream so we headed over to the Post Office and dropped off the cards. We then headed across the big bridge to visit Fort Moultrie. Arriving at just after 1600 we were let in for free and made a quick tour of some of the fort. This display covers coastal defenses from the Revolutionary War through end of World War II. We will go back tomorrow earlier and do a more in-depth tour.
Back across the bridge to the old city we had dinner at Saffron where I had this she crab soup, a wonderful shrimp curry and what was described as their most popular cake for dessert. Believe me it should be their most popular. Dorothy had a grilled cheese sandwich and potato leek soup which was likewise excellent. The she crab soup was by far much better than that 'd had the day before at the fancy crab place and less expensive.
28 December 2008, Sunday
Got up early and walked town to the Cafe Cafe on Meeting Street for breakfast. I had a meat lovers omelet and Dorothy had French toast. Not a bad way to start the day.
Following breakfast we wondered around for a while looking at the old houses and their gardens.
We drove over the Cooper River bridge and back to Sullivan Island to do a proper visit to Fort Moultrie this time. When we arrived we paid the nominal entry fee and then picked up where we'd left off the day before and continued the tour of the interior of the fort.
Once done with the interior we wondered the grounds behind Fort Moultrie and visited the beach for a bit of cold water wading. It reminded me of California where my Caribbean toes were a bit put off by the low water temperature.
Next we visited the cannon display which contains guns from smooth bores to later rifled muzzle loading cannons. This was followed by a visit to the c. WWII batteries just down the beach from the original fort.
On our way back we stopped at Piggly Wiggly and got some ice cream, my favorite Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche and a cinnamon version of the same thing for Dorothy. We then walked over to Starbucks and had a couple of lattes before heading back to KAHOLEE for dinner
Fixed jerked chicken for dinner using the new sauce. Dorothy liked it so all I was happy as I had thought it might be too spicy for her. We had our ice cream while dinner was cooking.
29 December 2008, Monday
Went for another early morning walk down to King Street and back.
Cleaned up the storage lockers on the port side.
Fixed a pork loin roast for dinner using one of those cooking bags. It worked out very well, not quite as good as doing it on the rotisserie but almost. Used about half of the remaining Thai Sauce Tim had given me on some broccoli as a side dish. I'm really sad that they have stopped making this stuff it is just wonderful on broccoli.
30 December 2008, Tuesday
Found the laundry room free so did laundry this morning. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out and there was little wind so we sat out on the bench in front of the Maritime Center and did a bit of reading and sunning.
Two boxes came in today, the shipping box for the Gateway laptop and the box containing my backup radio and RAM Mic. I tested the new (used) mic and it worked just like new so now I have a spare. I'll send in the old one in a day or so for repair.
Cleaned up the storage lockers on the starboard side.
Went for a ride around Charleston. We just can't get enough of the old city. Visited the Charleston Museum and became members. This s a great museum with lots of Charleston related displays. It makes my list of favorite museums which now include the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore and The Chesapeake Bay Museum at St. Michaels.
Had an early dinner at Sticky Fingers consisting of dry rub baby back ribs. This allowed us to sample all their barbeque sauces. Sticky Fingers has been voted the best ribs in Charleston, a well deserved award.
Following dinner we wondered through the Charleston Place mall stopping at Starbucks then looking at their model railroad display and visiting Barnes and Noble before heading back to KAHOLEE for some reading before hitting the rack.
31 December 2008, Wednesday
The weather report indicates things will be cooling off, but while it does seem cooler this morning, it is not unpleasant. This might be short lived though as the prediction is for substantially cooler soon.
Today started off as a boat project day. We did a bleach treatment to the tanks and water lines and filled the water tanks. This resulted in KAHOLEE sitting on her waterline again. She had been sitting with her bow much higher than normal since everything has been moved to the stern and the tanks were empty. We also ran the engine to charge the batteries so KAHOLEE finished the year with proper attention. I also received the brackets for mounting the Porta-Bote on the stanchions and will mount them when it warms up a bit.
Speaking of the dinghy, I had put a sponge in the boat to see if it would be ignored, but it has been chewed up a bit. I'm starting to think it might be an owl or hawk instead of an rat since I have noticed some kind of bird (bird of pray) flying from the dinghy on occasion.
Around 1400 we drove down to King Street and visited Margaritaville and Williams-Sonoma, although I have been restricted from Williams-Sonoma since they are so expensive, but it was fun to look. We picked up a few things at Margaritaville for Dorothy and then headed over to the Buccaneer for a late lunch.
I tried the Cuban sandwich which was the best one I'd had on hte east coast so far, but not quite as good as the one at La Cubanita in Dallas. Dorothy had collard greens which is kind of like one of those grape leave wrap things. It had some spiced rice with ham in side the leaf and was excellent. This is now on my list of favorite things at the Buccaneer along with their shrimp and grits. Oh yes, and a couple of dark and stormies to go along with the fine fare.
We returned to KAHOLEE and our neighbors invited us to go out tonight and celebrate New Years so around 1900 we met up with them at the marina office and headed down to Market Street to an Irish pub where we had a great time listening to a local Irish trio. The musicians were wonderful, a guitar player, singer/drummer and the son of the singer playing the violin. The drum they used resembled a large tambourine minus the little cymbal like things around the edge. It is known as a Bodhran Drum and is played with a little two headed drumstick that was flicked back and forth. I had previously only seen on one these in the National Geographic video, Blackbeard - Terror at Sea. The violinist was just plain nuts. He played so well we all were just festinated.
I had some dark Irish beer and their version of shrimp and grits which was very good and as the clock closed on midnight we headed back to our neighbors boat for drinks and conversation. About 0100 on 1 January 2009 Dorothy and I called it a night and headed back to KAHOLEE.
01 January 2009, Thursday, aboard KAHOLEE, Charleston South Carolina
I slept in until around 0900 and awoke to a cold, clear morning, Dorothy did a couple of extra hours of sack time before she was ready to face the world. I fixed her coffee and all was well.
We cleaned the refrigerator and tossed some stuff that had exceeded it's use-by date.
1500 we took a ride, no where special just wondered around. Stopped at a Harris Teeter grocery store and did a bit of shopping. Bought some crab meat so I could fix Dorothy some cream of crab soup tonight and doctor it up a bit. We picked up some Dulce de Leche ice cream and then visited Starbucks for a latte to go along with the ice cream.
Drove around a bit more, stopped by a drug store for a few things then visited Blockbuster and picked up a movie called Pirates of the Great Salt Lake. This is a comedy and was quite enjoyable. Very campy.
I fixed cream of crab soup during the movie and we had it along with some wine.
02 January 2009, Friday
03 January 2009, Saturday
This was Spouse's last day :( We decided to not try and hit Fort Sumter since it was largely a WWII type battery now but went to see the restored antebellum houses maintained by the Charleston Museum.
We first visited the Heyward-Washington House which dates from 1772 and is one of the few which still has it's support buildings in tact which include the carriage house, kitchen and the 18th century well.
This was followed by a visit to the Joseph Manigault House which dates from 1803 and is considered one of the finest examples of the Federal or Adam-style houses still standing.
We now departed from the properties of the Charleston Museum and visited the Calhoun Mansion. This house dates from 1876, built by George W. Williams for $200,000.00 (in 1876 dollars) it was described as the "handsomest and most complete private residence in the south." Today the house is owned by a lawyer and is really a museum containing his collection of furniture and artifacts. Several of the rooms appear to have wallpaper but are actually hand painted designs by Louis Tiffany of the Tiffany Lamp fame. You could literally spend a week in this house and not see all the details. It is still being used as a residence and there are even some apartments in the basement so it is a home to this day.
Part of the legacy of the Civil War due to the scorched earth policies of generals like Sherman and Grant has been the loss of much of the architectural history in the south. This has been compounded in many places, not just limited to the south, by less than farsighted urban planners, but luckily the old city of Charleston avoided being sacked so if you are interested historical architecture, I can't recommend Charleston enough. Many of these old buildings, including one of those given by Calhoun as a wedding present, are now B&Bs so come to Charleston and actually be able to live in places dating from the Revolutionary War days through the late 1800s.
Scattered throughout this narrative are mention of several places, but to make it easier I have listed my favorites here.
The Tavern, 120 E. Bay St. Dates from the late 1600s. Unfortunately no website and a working business, this building has been in the liquor trade since it's inception. The owner, Gary, is a fountain of historical data on the neighborhood and Charleston in general. (Good selection of rum too, including Pyrat XO)
The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon Late 1600s and sits atop the sight of the original Half-Moon Battery where Col. Rhett was commissioned to capture the pirate Stede Bonnet in May of 1718.
Heyward-Washington House c. 1772
Joseph Manigault House c. 1803
Calhoun Mansion c. 1876
Fort Moultrie June 1776 - the end of WWII. A timeline of coastal defense working backward from WWII to 1776.
This list will undoubtedly grow as I have yet to explore all of Charles Towne.
04 January 2009, Sunday
Got up at 0300 so I could get Dorothy up at 0400 so she could make her flight back to Dallas at 0640. I am going to miss my Sweetie. We were just getting use to living on KAHOLEE.
Went back to KAHOLEE and hung out for a bit then headed to Charles Towne Landing to meet CJ and pickup a belt and a c. 1700 shirt to go with my pirate rig.
Back aboard I took a nap. Dorothy checked in when she got to Atlanta and texted me when she got home so all was well. Took a shower around 1330 in preparation for the Charles Towne Few (pirate reenactment group) meeting at The Buccaneer.
1400 got my gear on and drove over to The Buccaneer and met Drew. I was the first person to arrive wearing a rig and it was interesting to watch the reaction of the locals. Arrrr!!! I had Collard Greens and Ribs for dinner, these are the same thing Dorothy had a few days ago and are excellent. Two Dark 'n' Stormies put me in a pyratin' mood so the meeting was a good time. More on this in the pirate section of the site if your interested.
Returned to KAHOLEE at about 1600. It rained a bit I hit the sack.
As a final dining experience we went to the Red Drum in
05 January 2009, Monday
Another project day, installed Sensabulbs.
I purchased these from Sailors Solutions, taking advantage of the 10% discount they offered based on an article on the Plastic Classics Forum. The photographs detail the process. It's an easy installation, the mounting clips allow the bulbs to be mounted from the top or side. Light is IMHO as good as it was using the incandescent bulbs but you get two or more bright spots when looking at the fixture. Power consumption was greatly reduced. While they are pricy, even discounted, I am very happy with the results. I might add that Sailors Solutions was very easy to work with, providing good information when I called and shipping for a very reasonable charge which had the bulbs here in quick order.
Called Streakwave on antenna which has not shipped, waiting for the call back.
06 January 2009, Tuesday
Streakwave shipped today.
07 January 2009, Wednesday
Hung around the marina.
08 January 2009, Thursday
Lunch/dinner at the sandwich shop over by Saffron's. Excellent
09 January 2009, Friday
Antenna arrived from Streakwave. Sorted the parts for this project and will assemble and test it when I get back from Dallas.
Went to Lowe's and purchased the hole saw I'll need for the antenna project and a digital caliper which I have wanted for a while.
10 January 2009, Saturday
Prepared KAHOLEE for my flight to Dallas tomorrow. Moved things inside.
Drew and I went to the Queen Anne's Revenge, the sister restaurant to the Buccaneer for dinner. This place is setup to look more like a ship than the Buccaneer with a somewhat different menu. I had their ribs which were very good, but they didn't have Dark "n" Stormies so I had a dark beer. Dessert was key lime pie which was excellent.
Went by the Buccaneer for a Dark "n" Stormy before heading back to KAHOLEE.
11 January 2009, Sunday
Finished securing KAHOLEE. Drew took me to turn in the car and drove me to the airport. Departed for Dallas.
12 January 2009, Monday
13 January 2009, Tuesday
14 January 2009, Wednesday
Departed Dallas and drove to Atlanta area.
15 January 2009, Thursday
Drove from Atlanta area to Charleston. Arrived back aboard KAHOLEE, all was well
16 January 2009, Friday
I've signed up to take a class on firing some cannons at Charles Towne Landing. These are c 1670 black powder guns so I spent most of the day studying the manual of arms on them.
17 January 2009, Saturday
Arrived at Charles Towne Landing early and got squared away as to where the class was. Patrick and John are the instructors and very knowledgeable on these old guns. Most of the day was taken up with classroom but in the afternoon we walked down to the cannons and selected the position we would hold on the gun crew.
Now days we call these guns 6 or 12 pounders. Back in the day, they referred to them as a Saker or a Demi-Culverin. This as analogous to saying a Ford F150 or a Ford F250. To a person familiar with cannons back in 1670 this told him everything he needed to know. For example, Saker describes a gun with an 9.5 foot tube firing a 6 pound shot and Demi-Culverin would mean a gun with an 11 foot barrel firing a 12 pound shot. These guns are properly called cannons and their shot cannon balls since, even though they are on a naval carriage, they are on land. Aboard ship, they are known as guns and the round as shot. We also went over the various parts and construction of cannon and the naval carriage.
The two upper pictures are Drew and one of the Sakers on the left and one Saker with two Demi-Culverin's on the left. It is hard to get a perspective on just how much bigger the Demi-Culverin is than the Saker, but if you notice they look almost the same size even though the Demi is farther back. I'll try and get a picture of Drew with a Demi-Culverin for perspective. The lower picture is of the 6 gun battery at Charles Towne Landing.
18 January 2009, Sunday
Still all worked up about the cannon firing. Studied some more on them.
19 January 2009, Monday
Did a receipt I found in a magazine about Charleston. It 's from a local place called the Red Drum. Using their spice seasoning I made a two pound rib eye, but diverted from their procedure and used an oven bag. These oven bags seem to do almost as good a job as my rotisserie back in Dallas. Well not quite but surprisingly good.
20 January 2009, Tuesday
Not much to do today. It's kind of cold so stayed in.
21 January 2009, Wednesday
Was a bum today, didn't do much, just surfed the web and slept, still cold
22 January 2009, Thursday
Drove around Charleston and did some sightseeing.
23 January 2009, Friday
Washed down KAHOLEE. It's amazing how much gunk builds up along the waterline.
24 January 2009, Saturday
Ordered a waistcoat from Reconstructing History. Reconstructing History is an excellent historical reference for clothing from the 1600's on. Looking forward to receiving this waistcoat which is sleeved as opposed to being more vest like. It was also on sale which was a good thing.
Still trying to figure out what I'm going to take off the boat. Lined out a bunch of projects an went to West Marine to get some parts as well as Best Buys.
Met Drew, Heather and Mike at the Buccaneer for dinner. Had what is becoming my usual, the rib and collard appetizers and shrimp and grits for the main course. The ribs are excellent, very tender. The collards are kind of like one of those grape leaf wrap things, there is some spicy rice with ham inside. The look kind of like a green mini-burrito and are likewise excellent. The shrimp and grits is outstanding, it consists of some finely ground yellow grits on a corn husk with onions, andouille sausage, breen peppers and of course shrimp. A lot of places here do shrimp and grits with a brown gravy that just doesn't cut it. The gravy overpowers the shrimp, but the Buccaneer does shrimp and grits right. Did I mention three dark and stormies? Yo ho ho!
Started working on what to dispose of. Old camping rule, if you ain't used it in a year get rid of it. Think I'll cut this back to 6 months and lighten my load.
25 January 2009, Sunday
Laundry day. Did manage to get the water filter installed. KAHOLEE's still a mess though. New sword came in. A fine piece from Loyalist Arms in Nova Scotia.
Got a call from Bill Donges, the third owner of KAHOLEE and had a great chat. The second owner was a fellow named Frank Futo who gave KAHOLEE her name. Unfortunately her original name may be lost as Bill says Frank was fairly old when Bill bought her back in the winter of 1983 so, alas, Frank probably isn't with us. Frank did make Bill promise to give him first choice if Bill ever sold KAHOLEE, but when the time came, Frank couldn't swing it so Pat David got her in '93 from an add Bill placed in BoatUS magazine, which was a good thing for me since Pat brought her to New Mexico where we met and fell in love.
Bill says the major events in KAHOLEE's life were a dismasting on Lake Erie in the winter of '84/'85. This was right after Bill got her and she had been little used for about five years by Frank so she was in need of some work. I was going to ask if she still had her original mast. Bill said it was an easy topple, but no dismasting is easy so this is probably mast number 2.
The other event was while doing some heavy weather sailing during the winter of '84/'85. Frank and KAHOLEE were coming out of the Beaver Park Marina and KAHOLEE hit bottom in a big wave trough. which resulted in the engine dying and KAHOLEE being swept into some rocks where she cracked her hull. The Coast Guard took Bill off but KAHOLEE didn't sink. They got her back to the marina and she was pulled the next day and fixed over the remaining winter.
Bill says the original owners name should be on a radio license that I have in all my KAHOLEE papers. I'll have to examine them when I'm home in February and see if I can find out who he is.
Bill has promised to send me an email write up on everything he can remember about owning KAHOLEE. I'll add it to her website when I get it. For now, here are some of the pictures (some pictures of pictures) that Bill sent along. The picture in the lower row is Bills KAHOLEE wall. The rudder is he original rudder which Bill replaced with her current rudder which is longer at the lower end. If you look at the rudder picture you will see the bronze plaque Bill had made and attached to the rudder.
26 January 2009, Monday
Picked up Drew and went to the surplus store to get a .50 Cal ammo box to use as a magazine, but it was closed on Monday, so I'll have to go back tomorrow.
Stopped at Bojangles, a fried chicken place for lunch. Not bad, but not great either.
Back aboard, off loaded some of the stuff and placed it in the car. Cleaned up most of the mess inside and installed the siphon break for the muffler system. Tested the siphon break and it works like a champ. No more water in the bilge. Now I'll just need to clean up 6 months worth of bilge slime, but that will actually be a pleasure. It'll be nice to have it all clean again.
Washed dishes and snacked on some of those soup and oyster crackers; only thing aboard that didn't require cooking and since all my dishes, pots, pans and plastic ware were clean, I didn't want to dirty anything up.
27 January 2009, Tuesday
Picked up Drew around 1100 drove to the Ammo Bunker and picked up a nice ammo box.
Lunch at the Pizza Inn. It's all you can eat so stay away if you are on a diet.
Went by Charles Towne Landing and made sure we were on the list for musket training on the 7th of February.
Picked up a small pork roast at the grocery store along with a few other items.
Wrote a review of a book called The Pirate Dictionary by Terry Breverton and sent it off to Jamaica Rose at No Quarter Given.
Updated the website.
28 January 2009, Wednesday
Helped one of the other boaters get his computer running and he took me to lunch at Ted's where I had a pulled pork sandwich. It was good but kind of pricy.
Continued moving movies from DVD to the HD on my computer. I hope to be able to take the DVDs off the boat and have all my movies on a removable HD.
Cleaned up a bit more and hit the sack after watching Pirates of the Caribbean #1.
29 January 2009, Thursday
The lock for my blunderbuss came in. A very nice piece, this is what is called a doglock and was the lock that competed with the flintlock until the flintlock finally became the standard. The doglock has a hook like safety behind the cock (hammer in more modern terms) which would prevent it from firing as it originally had no halfcock. This modern reproduction has both though, dog and halfcock. Can't wait for the stock and barrel to arrive.
30 January 2009, Friday
Very nice day. Hung around the marina mostly. Shorts weather, well if you're from Maine, but thanks to Tim now have a tendency to wear shorts when the locals are dressed like Nanook of the North. Had some left over fried chicken for dinner and a bottle Pyraat beer. Not really that good, but I had to try it.
31 January 2009, Saturday
Today is another blue sky day, but much more windy. Tonight we are having a Superbowl party of sorts at Drew's place. Mostly it'll be playing board games and snacking, but should be fun.
Drew had some cancelations so we are meeting at the Maritime Center with all the cruisers. I went and got a box of Churches Chicken.
The game seemed to be over at halftime so I called it quits as I was stuffed.
01 February 2009, Sunday
Seems the game picked up in the second half. Oh well, not much of a football fan anyway.
Not much going on so hung around and surfed. Really nice day.
02 February 2009, Monday
The blunderbuss came today. Opened it in the office and got some strange looks carrying it down to the boat. Don't think I'll have any problems with the neighbors.
Assembled it, installing the doglock. Gave Blair a call at Loyalist Arms & Repairs for some pointers, and to congratulate him on this fine piece. I'll take it to Charles Towne Landing next Saturday so Patrick can have a look.
03 February 2009, Tuesday
Spent the day researching how to treat the blunderbuss. The question is how would one of these with it's brass barrel have looked in 1670 - 1725? Would the barrel be kept shiny or would it have been let to brown and the wood treated in some other way, like painting which was done to various sea service muskets back then.
Had lunch at the sandwich shop over on East Bay. Got a Cuban sandwich
04 February 2009, Wednesday
Meet with Richard to plan some of what we were going to go over at the local pirate re-enactment group meeting on Sunday. Got to show of my blunderbuss. Drew came by and helped plan.
We all went over to the Buccaneer for lunch. Tried their Cuban sandwich. Not bad but not nearly as good as the ones at La Cubanita in Dallas. The Dark 'n' Stormy was, as usual, excellent though.
05 February 2009, Thursday
Seems there is no definitive answer to whether to age the blunderbuss or keep it pristine. It has a nice cherry stock so I'm leaning toward finishing it using a solution of boiled linseed oil and some thinners and dryers. Still haven't decided on what to do with the barrel though.
Drew took off for Baltimore. He is interviewing for a job with the maritime museum there which includes the USS Constellation from 1854. I showed him all my pictures of the inner harbor yesterday and gave him my Constellation hat for good luck.
The sleeved waistcoat c. 1670 I ordered came today but didn't quite fit. Too bad I had wanted to wear it to Charles Towne Sanding on Saturday. The design and workmanship were excellent though.
06 February 2009, Friday
Since I've been getting into pirate re-enactment and studying the period clothing that they could have worn, I've learned there are two sides to the pirate garb questions, Hollywood vs. Period Correct. The more outspoken Period Correct people are sometimes referred to as Garb Nazis and will take any opportunity to explain to you why your clothing is incorrect. The general opinion among the "PC" people is that all sailors were adorn in slops, wool knit hats, wool stockings and shoes with high heals that laced or buckled. Since most of this stuff when made in the appropriate period fabrics is a kind of beige, I tend to refer to them as the beige pirates or sometimes Captain Oatmeal. The logic behind this is based on the "Slop Contract" clothing the Royal Navy contracted to have produced and carried onboard ship as replacement clothing for sailors. The wool knit hat references back to a law designed to stimulate British wool production requiring all citizens, excluding the upper classes of course, to wear said hat each Sunday. The stockings are a general item back in the day so probably not an issue. The shoes are based on, as far as I have been able to determine, one shoe found on the wreck of the Whydah, a pirate vessel which ran aground on the east coast and sank.
The other side of the doubloon is the Hollywood pirate look. No pirate re-enactment would be complete in this day and age without at least a couple of Jack Sparrows. Of course the Jacks are the bane of the beige pirates who bristle at the very thought of another Jack Sparrow clone. The question becomes what did pirates really ware? To this end I have taken up writing an article on this subject. My conclusion is they were, in fact, actually more akin to the Hollywood stereotype than to the beige pirate stereotype. The article is time consuming since it requires a lot of research to document my conclusions and I will not bore you more this subject at this time, but once finished, I'll link the article to the website for anyone interested. I am fairly confident I'll become a target of discussion for the Captain Oatmeal and his crew of miscreants, but then that's what being a pirate is all about.
Drew showed up today and has been offered the job in Baltimore. I'm really glad for him as this has always been his career goal, to work in the filed of history and since he loves to do re-enactments this job is right down his alley.
When he was in Baltimore he had not been able to get his drug test since the outfit that use to do them for the museum no longer did them so he had a local place over in Mt. Pleasant across the Cooper River that he needed to visit to get this done. I volunteered to drive him over after he got off at 1300 so once the appointed hour arrived off we went.
Once the test was completed we drive back across the Cooper and had lunch at the Old Ice Cream Shoppe which has great burgers and even better malts. We followed this up with a visit to Kinko's where I made copies of some information Drew had obtained on the USS Constellation then dropped him off at his home for some much needed rest before returning to KAHOLEE.
I have always been a fan of Jules Vern and H.G. Wells, and similar types of science fiction which are set in Victorian times and feature a lot of clockwork brass machinery. While searching for things related to pirates I came the term "Steampunk" which refers to speculative fictions which are set in this type of Victorian setting. One of the most recent movie of this ilk was the 2003 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but it includes such things as Around the World in 80 Days, and even The Wild, Wild West TV series. One of favorite such movies were of course Disney's 2000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Fabulous World of Jules Vern which came out in 1958. Well you learn something new every day. Didn't know I was a Steampunk fan, didn't know they had a name for it.
07 February 2009, Saturday
Up and bright and early. Went by Harris Teeter, the grocery store and got a Starbucks breve latte from Alice then off to Charles Towne Landing for musket training. Had a great time and got to fire a matchlock as well as a flintlock. Interesting classroom training as well and fun talking to the visitors. Modified my pirate clothing a bit to more reflect the 1670 civilian community which basically meant I had to lose my waistcoat since the cut is more 1720.
Gave one of the guys a ride home then back to KAHOLEE where I had chicken and dumplings for dinner. Ran the engine for some recharging. then hit the sack.
08 February 2009, Sunday
Went back Charles Towne Landing for some more musket practice in this morning, then hung around on the Adventure until about noon before heading back to the Maritime Center.
Got outfitted as a pirate again and headed over to the Buccaneer for the Charles Towne Few (local pirate re-enactment group) meeting. Had a dark 'n' stormy, ribs, stuffed collard greens and shrimp and grits as well as a couple of dark beers.
Back aboard messed about on the computer and read a bit before racking out.
09 February 2009, Monday
Organized stuff in the cabin until around noon, then walked over to the East Bay Street Deli and had a bacon cheese burger and a coke.
It is just a wonderful day, all sunny and probably 70-something so today is dinghy day. The dinghy had started growing a better beard than I have, especially on the side which gets the sun so it's time for her to come out and get a shave and a haircut. Used some of those plastic showering pads to knock off the marine growth and dirt. Had her all fixed up in about two and a half hours. Tomorrow I'm going to launch the dinghy and do KAHOLEE's waterline so she looks a bit better.
I haven't updated the website in a couple of days, so I'm taking care of that. I got chastised by Tim for being remiss in this department a while back and definitely do not want that to happen again, so here I be.
The dinghy didn't get to spend the night on the dry. The tour boat guy on the next pier is having problems with his 150 HP Yamaha engines shifting after installing new shift cables and needs to pull the lower end off the engines in the water so I've loaned him the use of my little dinghy so he can do this tomorrow. She should work well as she is very stable, but I'm kind of like an old mother hen with her over on the other side of the dock all by herself. I should have her back by noon tomorrow and be able to do my cleaning job on KAHOLEE. Then I'll pull her a clean her up again and she can spend the night ashore.
Fixed some chicken gumbo for dinner and hit the sack.
10 February 2009, Tuesday
Went over to check on the engine project at 0900. Things were underway and they had a hard bottom inflatable to actually transport the pieces. The guy from the marine outfit used KAHOLEE's dinghy to disassemble the units so by 1000 I was rowing her back to our berth.
Once back on my side of the pier I loaded my cleaning equipment and set about cleaning up KAHOLEE's waterline. The area under the transom was really in need of a cleaning so I started there using boat soap on the transom with the brush then switching to the scouring pad for the dirt on the waterline. It took about an hour but she looked much better. Still had a stain around the waterline, but no dirt.
Rowed over to a friends boat and cleaned up his bow for him then back to my berth where I pulled the dinghy and gave her a quick cleaning before placing her upside down in front of KAHOLEE on the pier. I then washed up my cleaning equipment and placed it on the dock to dry.
During cleaning I discovered one of the fenders had worn a through the paint so I repositioned it. I think I'll pull the finders and clean them tomorrow or later today if it warms up. NOAA was predicting 70s but it doesn't look like it is going to happen.
Walked over to the East Bay Deli and had a burger for lunch and picked up some movies to watch.
11 February 2009, Wednesday
Was a bum most of the day, surfing the web. Did go over to the East Bay Deli and have a wonderful French dip sandwich with Drew, but that was about it until evening when I drove over to Harris Teeter and picked up a few things, including a baked chicken for dinner.
12 February 2009, Thursday
Tried to call John at Charles Towne Landing to see if we were going to clean muskets today, but couldn't get through to him so I started sorting and removing things in preparation for my departure via land for Allen on Monday or Tuesday. Shared my leftover chicken with Drew for lunch, followed by more sorting of stuff in the afternoon.
Fixed a pork loin roast for dinner using the crab seasoning I'd picked up in Havre de Grace at Price's with Tim. It worked out quite well, maybe a bit peppery. Might need something else though. The meat was done to a turn though, nice and juicy. Had most of the roast and a couple of rolls then watched an extended version of Waterworld before hitting the sack.
13 February 2009, Friday
Got up and answered email and updated the log.
I've been thinking about putting fenders around the outside edge of the Porta-bote to keep it from scuffing up the hull and to add some floatation. I was looking at a Practical Sailor yesterday with a letter on how someone had modified their 8.5 foot Porta-bote in such a manner only using pool noodles as the floatation collar. This might be just the ticket, less expensive and make her a bit of an unique little thing. He used all yellow, making three rings around the upper edge of the hull (two against the hull and one centered on these two), but I could use three different colors and give her a Caribbean kind of flavor. I can just imagine Tim wincing at this, but Porta-botes are anything but traditional, so why not have some fun?
Picked up Dorothy at the airport.
14 February 2009, Saturday
Slept in and went sightseeing with my Spouse. Had Valentine Day dinner at the Buccaneer.
15 February 2009, Sunday
Charles Towne Landing called, the musket shooting demo was canceled due to rain so we just hung out on KAHOLEE for the day and finished packing up stuff in the Jag.
16 February 2009, Monday
Took Spouse to the airport and secured all extraneous gear aboard in preparation for departure for Dallas tomorrow.
17 February 2009, Tuesday
Moved the last things out of the cockpit, secured the engine through hull, shutdown batteries and verified the bilge pump was operational. The modification to the exhaust siphon break has made a substantial difference to KAHOLEE's bilge. It is almost completely dry now so I'll have to do some bilge cleaning soon and get it shipshape. Departed at around 1100 heading for Dallas. Log will suspend until I am back aboard.
02 March 2009, Monday
The plan had been to fly in on Sunday but the weather in Atlanta had forced the cancelation of my flight to Charleston so I am flying today.
Back aboard and all is well. Since the flight was so early I had to get up at 0330 I am being a bum and will probably sleep in tomorrow.
03 March 2009, Tuesday
1030. Looks like I did sleep in. Sorted things a bit and went to visit the guys at the Marina. There will be a musket firing at Charles Towne Landing on Saturday so I'm going to rent a car and go do that, then depart on Sunday. Weather looks like mid 70s so it should be good sailing. Did some route planning. Looks like it will be an easy run to an anchorage at Tom Point Creek, then a bit more of a work day to get to Beaufort SC. After that I'll leave South Carolina and enter Georgia. The ICW gets a bit curvy down in that way so my runs "as the crow flies" may get a bit shorter, but there are some interesting towns along the way so it should be fun.
Speaking of "as the crow flies", I understand that phrase is based on Vikings who use to carry a raven with them. If they got off shore and were having difficulty determining which way to go, they would release the raven which would circle up until it saw land and head off toward the land. The Vikings would follow and hopefully find land.
Fixed red beans and rice for dinner and had a Red Stripe for a chaser. Think I'll watch a movie and hit the sack early tonight.
04 March 2009, Wednesday
Hopefully this is the last cold day. KAHOLEE is almost ready to depart and there is more room now since I off loaded the stuff I wasn't using. Once I move all the navigation books and charts to the cockpit chart table things will be back to normal. I have had a wonderful time in Charleston, but I am ready to get going.
Cooked some sausage for dinner and had it with mustard while watching some sailing videos on YouTube.
05 March 2009, Thursday
It is warming up, a great day. If this continues as NOAA has predicted I'm going to have some fine weather for my departure.
I'm renting a car today so I can make a few store runs and have a last meal at the Buccaneer. Life is good, just too bad Spouse isn't here to enjoy it with me.
Got the supplies and had my last meal at the Buccaneer, ribs, collard greens, shrimp and grits, and a couple of dark 'N' stormies.
06 March 2009, Friday
Another great day. Truth be told, I goofed off, well mostly, I did get a couple of boat things done, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to skip going to Charles Towne Landing tomorrow. Don't have a way to get t here anyway.
07 March 2009, Saturday
Today was a busy day. Everything on KAHOLEE is squared away and ready to sail. The dinghy has been launched and secured to the stern, water has been disconnected and I am just waiting to shift to the fuel dock to get pumped out.
1700, disconnected shore power and made an unevnetful move ot the fuel dock and got pumped out. Reconnected shore power. It was dark by now and I walked over to Blockbuster and returned my two videos. I found a copy of the Family Guy Star Wars video that daughter Stella told me about so I bought it to watch tonight. Then went to the East Bay Deli for a final meal in Charleston. Had the Cuban sandwich; not bad, but it can't hold a candle to the one at La Cubanita in Dallas. I am looking forward to having one down in south Florida.
Back aboard I went to take a shower and found Heather had left Stella's dress in the mail slots in the office. I later checked my voice mail and fond she had arrived when took the walk to Blockbuster. Unfortunately I had forgotten my phone so I will need to give her a call in the next few days.
Watched the video and sacked out, a bit later than I'd planned but I am feeling blue about leaving Charleston. I had a great time here, especially paling around with Drew and doing piratical stuff, not to mention firing cannons and muskets at Charles Towne Landing. I am of two minds, one wants to stay an the other wants to get going. The second is going to get it's way tomorrow early, maybe...
08 March, 2009, Sunday, Charleston to Tom Point Creek
Well looks like mind #2 won out. I departed early and got a call on 16 from Original Bob wishing me a good journey. This, of course, didn't help the hollow feeling about leaving, but it is one of many reasons I love this place.
Passed through the Wapoo Creek Bridge, the only drawbridge I have planned for today and entered a more remote part of the ICW. Fewer houses and fewer channels. Kind of nice for a change.
Arrived at Tom Point Creek at low tide around 1400. Eased my way in and anchored in this beautiful spot. I was treated to a equally beautiful sunset, had dinner of left over red beans and rice boiled in a plastic sandwich bag along with one of my last two Red Strips and hit he sack at right after the sun.
I used my Bedi anchor light for the first time here. It is much brighter than the masthead anchor light, takes a fraction of the energy and is more in the plane of view of any approaching vessel so I am very happy with it.
09 March 2009, Monday, Tom Point Creak to Bueafort, SC
Up before dawn got thing s squared away and awaited the sunrise, which was not disappointing. Tide is in, my 8-foot anchorage is not 13-feet. Good thing I added some extra scope last night before going to bed. The problem is it's still rising so a grounding would be not good. I will need to be careful in my navigation today.
The ICW is even more remote here, I can travel for miles with out seeing any houses. There are a number of narrows though so I'm proceeding carefully.
When I entered the Coosaw River which opens on to the Atlantic at St. Helena Sound I was on the first really open body of water since the Cape Fear River. Charleston isn't that open and it is amazing the Colonial, American (War of 1812) and Confederate blockade runners could actually escape the British and Union blockades. Open water is great, I can actually relax and enjoy more of the scenery. Crossed the 500 mile mark today, that's 500 miles from Norfolk, VA.
Checking the time I need to kick it up a notch to make the Ladys (pronounced Ladies) Island swing bridge before 1600 when it is closed for two hours. The current is against me here and I'm not making my 5 MPH estimated speed.
Luckily when I got off the Coosaw the current is was in my favor. This is a double edged sword though as running 8+ MPH over the ground in these narrows is looking for trouble.
Came close to grounding just outside Bueafort. The sun was shining in such a direction that the plotter screen wasn't all that visible, but the depth sounder saved the day, the most important instrument aboard.
Made it to the bridge at 1500 but they didn't open. The schedule says on the hour and half hour but c'est la vie. I circled for a half hour then made it through, arriving at the Downtown Marina shortly there after. Tied up , paid and sat down to relax and catch up the website.
Docking was a breeze. Walked down to Luther's and had a ribeye for dinner, not bad, but not great.
10 March 2009, Tuesday, Beaufort, SC
Spent the morning plotting routes. The ICW is a maze here so it was easy to exceed the 50 waypoint limit. Got kind of frustrated so I gave KAHOLEE a bath and went exploring. I'm going to go visit the coffee shop then wonder about seeing the sights. Just as my luck would have it, the Armory Museum was under construction, but I did see the house in which the Daughters of the Confederacy. Interesting little town, but they have these small biting flies, same thing I experienced at Charles Towne Landing, but they are in town here.
Back aboard I got my act together plotting routes. The plan is to leave on the 12th, do three days of anchoring out and then arrive at Jekyll Island on the 4th for a day or two layover before heading to Florida. Tomorrow I will top off the water and fuel tanks and get ready to head out. Might have to wait until around 0950 for a favorable current so I can get out of the slip and to the pump-out station, but we shall see.
11March 2009, Wednesday
Updated the website and getting ready to top off the tanks.
Moved things around up forward so I could get at the water tanks and topped them off. Then fueled from the jerry cans and refilled and secured them. I will depart sometime tomorrow between 0800 and 1000 depending on the current and get pumped out at that time. All that is left to do is check the oil and engine raw water filter.
I am going to visit the local deli for lunch after taking a shower. They have corn beef hash on the menu, I'm sure it will not be as good as that in Maine but it won't hurt to try.
It wasn't bad, enjoyable. I walked around town and took some pictures, then back to the boat. Entered the routes into the plotter and hit the sack.
12 March 2009, Thursday, Beaufort to New River
Not a bad day. Motored along passing Port Royal, SC and the famous Marine Corp base Paris Island to starboard, then crossing the Port Royal Sound. Things got exciting here while crossing a bank off Dolphin Head on the south side of the Sound. Waves were from astern, close together and probably three to four feet. I was actually boarded from a wave astern for the first time but made it to calmer waters at the entrance to Skull Creek unscathed. As it turned out this was just the beginning of a rather interesting day.
Passed Hilton Head Harbor to Port and entered the Calibogue Sound which was a nice sail until I approached and turned onto the Cooper River where following seas were once again an issue, but not as bad as those off Dolphin Head. The down side to this is that Captain Ron (the autopilot) can't quite deal with the rapid directional changes. He also has problems with areas of rapidly changing or very strong currents so today was a lot of hand steering which means I am more dependent on the plotter since I can't spend as much time with the paper charts.
Conditions settled down as I entered Ramshorn Creek, but this area has a caution regarding a narrow passage just prior to Redbird Creek. There are anomolies with the C-Map charts and this was one of them. The C-Map chart shows the green buoy in the middle of the narrow channel with the red quite a ways to starboard (south bound), so I split the difference and stayed close to the green buoy, but proceeded at just over 2 MPH. This resulted in KAHOLEE grounding with the current astern which greatly worried me, but once again she managed to free herself by turning to starboard and powering off. Amazingly once we cleared the grounding we had around six plus feet of water so I came to port and proceeded. Turns out the deep water is completely outside, west of that shown on the C-Map Chart. This is not the first such instance, of the C-Map charts being a bit off, but the first that has resulted in a grounding. Luckily this was around maximum low tide so it was not going to be a major issue either way.
Once through the narrows I entered Redbird Creek and found an anchorage in what was recorded as 8-feet of water but was showing 9-feet at the time. With the 9-foot tidal range here I put out scope for 20-feet and set the anchor alarm on the GPS.
13 March 2009, Friday, New River to Redbird Creek
I was a bit later getting started since I had been tired from the previous days adventures, departing Redbird Creek at around 0800. After passing through Walls Cut and Fields Cut I entered Georgia and the Savannah River at around 0930, in time to see the Coast Guard vessel Tarpon heading up river. Crossing the river and the South Channel I entered Elba Island Cut and started a number of narrow passages along the Wilmington River, passing through the Causton Bluff Bridge at mile 579.9.
Now on the Skidaway River I passed the town of Isle of Hope to starboard and through the Skidaway Narrows Bridge before entering the Burnside River followed by the Vernon River.
Another caution area was approaching, aptly named Hells Gate. The warnings stated shoaling and some buoy confusion. Again I was in fairly high seas from astern so Captain Ron was relieved of duty and yours truly took the helm. It was a bouncy ride and depths approached 6-feet, but the passage was made without incident and I entered the Ogeechee River for some more rocking and rolling. The Ogeechee leads to a narrows named the Florida Passage, off of which Redbird Creek branches to starboard (south bound) at it's beginning. I entered and anchored without incident and again set the GPS anchor alarm and put out enough scope to deal with the tidal range.
14 March 2009, Saturday, Redbird Creek to Kilkenny Marina (Richmond Hill, Georgia)
Got up this morning to fog. Visibility about half a mile but varying. I pulled the anchor and motored down Redbird Creek to the Forida Passage but could not see the other side so decided to return to my anchorage and wait until the predicted clearing at 1400.
Plotted a new route to the Kilkenny Marina at Richmond Hill, GA since I was not going to make my scheduled 39-mile run today. Departed at 1500 and made Kilkenny Creek by 1600 where I anchored and rigged for a port side docking as advised by the marina staff.
Docked at Kilkenny Marina at around 1530. This is an old style fisherman's marina with a few large powerboats from some of the well-to-do or maybe latecomers.
15 March 2009, Sunday, Richmond Hill, Georgia
Fog bound, visibility less than 1/8 mile. NOAA prediction that it will thin by 1100, but I will not be able to make it to my scheduled destination with enough leeway so the choice is to stay here or try and make a few miles. As there are no really decent anchorages between here and there I may stay. Of course this means I may get stuck tomorrow as well. I will check for marinas and see what looks likely but then this place is inexpensive so...
It's 1100 and things are quite clear. Had I been on top of things I may have departed a bit earlier. The forecast if for less fog tomorrow clearing at 1100 so I'm going to stay, head out tomorrow and shoot for my scheduled anchorage on Back River. Besides I've made friends with the marina dog, make that dogs.
I blew it, it has turned out to be a great day. Hopefully tomorrow will be the same. Well blew it might be too strong a word, this is a beautiful place and worth a look. Had fun chatting with the local's. Missed a photo op though. There was a power boat high and dry in the marsh when I came in yesterday, and I do mean high and dry. I had to look up to see him. They got it off last night around midnight and he is running around this morning. An amazingly lucky guy. The only drawback to this place it the bighting knats which ware out in force this morning when it was foggy, but they have retreated with the sun. You do need to remember to put on the bug stuff and you don't see a lot of people in shorts and T-shirts.
I bought a book on Ossabaw Island, Images of America, Ossabaw Island by Ann Foskey with a lot of wonderful old photos of life on the island. It will make a great read and remembrance in later years as well as giving my Sweetie a bit of the flavor of my adventures along the Intracoastal Waterway.
16 March 2009, Monday, Kilkenny Marina to Back River
A little foggy, but clearing. Departed at 0800 and had an uneventful day with the exception. Crossed the sounds of St. Catherines and Sapelo, nice to have some open water.. That exception was a spot entering Old Teakettle Creek where the charted channel is so narrow it was covered by the boat icon on the plotter even at full mag. Turned toward the east bank which is the outside of the curve and found safety, but not much, less than 4-feet.
17 March 2009, Tuesday, Back River to Jekyll Harbor Marina, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Got up early but had to hold off departing about an hour due to fog.
Off and running 0830. Overcast, but not a bad day. There are plenty of range marks along this section of the ICW to help find channels.
The sun came out as I was crossing St. Simons Sound and it turned into a beautiful day. Made it to the Jekyll Harbor Marina an hour earlier than planned do to favorable currents all day and executed a decent docking maneuver. Life is good.
As it was St. Patrick's Day I partook of the special at the marina restaurant, corn beef and cabbage. Not as good as that in Elizabeth City, but passable.
18 March 2009, Wednesday, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Today was a project day. First I had to hunt down the chip for the plotter which has the charts for Jacksonville south. It is amazing how you can lose something on such a small boat, but I finally found it and now they are stored in a special place. Of course they were so stored before so we shell see. I also called C-Map and found out the chip I have was due for an update in a week. I will join their club and get a fee update. The cost is the same as updating the chip so I get more bang for my buck.
Next I got on the phone with Raymarine. I had been unable to get the shallow anchor alarm to set on the depth sounder. After an hour or so of troubleshooting we determined the unit had an issue so I will visit the Raymarine service center in St. Augustine and see what can be done.
Updated the website and even added a few pictures which will hopefully placate Tim who is a picture junky. I could probably forgo the narrative and just post pictures and Tim would be happy and admittedly I have been remiss in the photo documentation arena. It is not that I don't take the pictures, I just spend a lot of time messing about with them when posting so it takes a lot longer to update.
The lady from West Marine in Brunswick called and will bring by my sump pumps this evening.
Some cute little munchkins came by and invited me to a potluck this evening at 1700. Luckily I still have one of the Hillshire Farms sausages so I can make my standard potluck fare of Red Beans and Rice. I'll need to think up something different one of these days, but this works well and people seem to like it.
The potluck was great, lots of interesting people and good food.
19 March 2009, Thursday
There is a small craft advisory out through Saturday so I'm going to stay put. I talked to the lady at the marina store and I can switch to the weekly rate and save a bit if I hit the 5 day window. The people in the Rhodes Bounty next to me, who are also heading south, tried to cross St. Andrews Sound yesterday and turned back. You are forced between two shoals, Horseshoe Shoal and North Breakers in a narrow cut which is actually in the Atlantic if you look at the charts and just shy of the COLREGS Demarcation Line. Even without the small craft warning this is going to be an interesting passage so I'm here for a few more days anyway. But all in all, not a bad place to be marooned.
Time to get started on the sump pump fix.
Loren and Betsy just arrived so I'll fix the pump this after noon. For now it's lunch and sea stories...
Had a great time chatting with Loren and Betsy. Sounds like they had a wonderful time down in Florida. I'm going to sit down with them and go over the rough spots so I'll be prepared.
After lunch I got to work on the sump pump problem. Turns out to be a fuse. The circuit (#17) also has the galley 12V outlet on it. I used this the other day to run the inverter in order to charge one of my battery powered items and noticed the lack of power. I figured it had it's own fuse, and sometime later when I noticed the sump pump not working I failed to associate the two events. So now I have some backup pumps, not a bad thing and some backup 2A fuses. I'll have to remember to not use anything that draws much current on that outlet.
Got out my bike and went for a ride with Lorne and Betsy. Snagged my shirt sleeve on a fence and took a bit of a tumble but nothing hurt, except my Triton T-shirt now has a ripped sleeve. Oh well, it will add to the flavor of the shirt. We visited the beach and the local grocery store which is sadly lacking so I'll have to wait to stock up on much of what I keep aboard except maybe eggs. I did pick up some flour tortillas though.
Back at the marina I took a shower and had the ribs at the restaurant before retiring back aboard KAHOLEE.
20 March 2009, Friday
Today's projects are adjusting the drip from the cutlass bearing and adding the noodle bumpers to the dinghy and generally cleaning up, so up and at 'em.
Well, didn't get any of that done but did enjoy bumming around. We had a sock burning to celebrate the return of spring, an interesting little affair which started in Annapolis and is slowly working its way around the world, with calibrations now reportedly as far away as Australia
21 March 2009, Saturday
Cleaned up much of the interior wood using Pledge. Browed the courtesy van and made a grocery run, stocking up on eggs and a steak for dinner one of these days.
Tomorrow is Loren's birthday, he'll be 60 so I took him and Betsy to dinner tonight. It was great fun and the food was great. I had the ribs again and they were even better than last time.
22 March 2009, Sunday
Removed everything from the poop deck and cleaned the deck. Rearranged the stuff in the port lazarette which allowed me to remove everything from the poop deck other then the two water jugs and the cleaning material bucket. I moved some of the stuff that is little used from the port Lazarette and placed it in the fantail locker which allowed the oil and antifreeze containers to be secured in the port locker. I also managed to get the remaining Porta-Bote flotation foam in the locker and moved the empty sail bag to the fantail locker.
During this excavation I found the matting I had intended to use as a moisture barrier and laid it out for tomorrow. I moved the pool noodles to the cockpit along with my remaining flag halyard line so I can rig the bumpers for the dinghy tomorrow too. If luck is with me I should get the stanchions, bow pulpit polished tomorrow the water barrier matting in place and the dinghy rigged with it's new fender/floatation foam, but if now, there's always St. Augustine.
Had a bacon cheeseburger for lunch and a Corona, good burgers here.
Pat had called earlier and I'd missed it so I called him back and made arrangements to meet him in Jacksonville on the 28th. He's going to spend a week with me on KAHOLEE exploring St. Augustine and the surrounding area. Should be great fun. This does mean I need to get hot with those pool noodles though so he can actually have a place to sleep.
Had my steak for dinner, cooking it in the broiler which worked out quite well. This stove really makes the difference between the camping experience and actually "living" aboard.
23 March 2009, Monday
It is kind of cold and gray today so I'm going to skip the dinghy modification and save it for St. Augustine. I'm preparing the boat to get underway tomorrow, washing dishes, putting things away, stuff like that. If it gets a bit warmer this afternoon I'll see about polishing the stanchions and bow pulpit. I'm going to put away the bike now in case it starts to rain later.
24 March 2009, Tuesday, Jekyll Island to Fernandina Beach, Florida
Departed around 0900 after getting pumped out. Anchored just off the marina and secured fenders and lines.
Approx 1000 rounded the outermost buoy of St Tomas Sound. Had a greater than 180° view of the Atlantic. Gave Dorothy and Tim a call to celebrate. Gentle rollers, KAHOLEE was happy.
1424 hours, crossed into Florida, again, called Dorothy and Tim to celebrate. A significant day.
Had some difficulty picking up the mooring at Fernandina. The pickup buoy broke away from the line which did not have a loop for the bollard. Snagged my foot on this buoy while moving forward, not much damage just a little blood. Got secured and patched my foot before setting up the dinghy to row in.
While rowing in the port oarlock lost its lower nut overboard so I was forced to paddle with one oar to the dock. This was a trial as it was across the current, but I finally made it.
Checked in and the helpful guys at the marina set me up with a replacement screw/nut. The sign-in sheet has a clause stating you can not dump any gray water while at one of the city moorings. This effectively means you can not wash dishes or even just wash your hands. Not sure if this is designed to force you to use their restaurants or not, but I suspect it is regularly violated. Or just anchor a hundred yards away and not be bound by such stupidity. Hope this does not foreshadow the rest of my visit to Florida, if so I'll be off to Texas.
Tomorrow I pass through the Atlantic Bridge which is notorious for its current, sometime approaching 6-knots. I am planning on leaving at around 1130 which will put me in at slack current. I'm going to stay at the Beach Marina since there are few good anchorages and what there is suggest two anchors due to current. The following day I'll depart at slack current and make it to St. Augustine before dusk.
25 March 2009, Wednesday, Fernandina Beach to Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Waited to depart until 1130 in order to make the Atlantic Bridge near slack current. This bridge can flow 6-knots which is above my maximum speed due to the narrowing of the channel as it passes under the bridge. The actual event turned out to be a non-event luckily although you could diffidently tell the current increased as you passed under the bridge.
As I pulled into Beach Marina just north of the McCormick bridge I ran aground on a shoal in mid-channel but backed off and ran closer to the T-heads which proved the place to be. After docking and getting KAHOLEE secured I checked in and had a nice chat with one of the dockhands who was into cars.
After taking a shower I visited the restaurant at the marina and had conch fritters and a pretty good steak before turning in.
Back aboard I entered my plot for the next day and checked the weather. The weather report indicated some winds in excess of 30 MPH after 1100 the next day so I made plans to depart as soon after sunrise as possible the next morning.
26 March 2009, Thursday, Jacksonville Beach to Saint Augustine, Florida
Departed Beach Marina at 0745 ahead of a power boater who was also concerned about the weather. Winds were around 8-knots.
The power boater passed me around 0900 and we exchanged hales. At this point it looked like we may have beaten the weather but around 1000 the wind started increasing but I had made it far enough south to avoid the higher winds and only saw indicated wind of just over 20-knots.
Winds held in the 20-knot range for the rest of the day, giving me concern about my entry to the Oyster Creek Marina in Saint Augustine. Coming under the Vilano Beach bridge I observed an SOG of 9 MPH. I was tempted to take a picture but I was hand steering and it didn't seem wise to release the tiller at the time. Once I rounded the outer buoy at Saint Augustine my speed fell to 3.8 MPH.
Upon approaching the Bridge of Lions I had a bout a 30 minute wait and considered anchoring but decided to motor by the old fort and take some pictures.
About 10-minutes prior to the bridge opening I assumed a position facing into the current and was able to set the throttle so I could hold position and waited for the bridge to open. This is a lift bridge like you see in Maine which is seemingly unique down south.
After passing under the bridge I motored to the SR312 bridge and turned up the Sebastian River. It was approaching low tide so I had to watch my depth gauge and carefully work my way up the river about 2-miles to the Oyster Creek Marina where Paul, the dock master, guided me into my slip uneventfully. The marina is fairly well protected and I was only experiencing 10-knot winds with momentary gusts to 15-knots.
After getting tied up Paul and I wondered over to Hurricane Patty's for a few beers and I got introduced to some of locals.
Took a shower and racked out.
27 March 2009, Friday, Saint Augustine, Florida
Kicked back in the morning doing some cleanup onboard and surfing the web for a good rental car price. Finally settled on Avis for around $26/day and walked down to their office a couple of blocks south on US1 to pickup the car a Chevy Malibu. Since Avis is right at the Win Dixie grocer store I picked up a few things before driving back to the marina.
Fixed some of the pork chops I'd picked up and had a Dark 'N' Stormy before hitting the sack.
28 March 2009, Saturday
Did the dishes and more cleanup and took a shower. A fellow came by who has a Triton and had read about KAHOLEE on Tim's web site. He had realized I was in Saint Augustine by my SPOT track and had come by to say hi so we wondered over to Hurricane Patty's and had a couple of beers and chatted. Then we came back to KAHOLEE and took some pictures.
About 1400 I headed to the Jacksonville Airport to pickup Pat, arriving just 15-minutes before his flight, making about five orbits before picking Pat up and heading back to Saint Augustine.
Back at the marina we got pat moved aboard and headed over to Patty's for dinner where we had fried alligator with some really wonderful sauce for starters. Pat had a grouper wrap which he reports was very good and I had a great bacon Swiss burger.
Back aboard we had some rum before turning in.
29 March 2009, Sunday
It rained cats and dogs all night so I got up early and pumped out the dinghy which had at least 3-inches of water in it. Later Pat helped me with my flotation project and we got one side done before running out of line. So we took showers and drove down to Saint A to look around.
We went by Sailors Exchange which has been featured in numerous magazine articles but it was closed. Tomorrow! We drove around old town and took pictures having lunch at a local Pizza/Italian place which was outstanding then headed north along the A1A stopping at Vilano Beach and watching the ocean. Further north we stopped for a latte then headed back.
We stopped at Win Dixie and picked up some dolphin fish and a few other things for dinner. Pat grilled the fish and I fixed the broccoli. The fish was seasoned with a Cajon seasoning which was good but did kind of over power the fish. We will have to try this again with a different seasoning.
After dinner we downloaded pictures and worked on our computers for a while then hit the sack.
30 March 2009, Monday
We drove by the lighthouse and out the A1A which runs on the barrier islands to seaward of the mainland and had a great time visiting some beaches and sightseeing.
31 March 2009, Tuesday
Today we drove around some more and explored some of the older sections of Saint Augustine taking lots of pictures. We visited a on the water for dinner called Santa Maria which turned out to be a bit disappointing for dinner so we only had an appetizer and a beer.
01 April 2009, Wednesday
It rained all day so after breakfast at Village Inn we headed to Barnes and Noble where we spent the rest of the day which allowed Pat to catch up on some internet things and me to spend a bit too much on some very interesting books.
02 April 2009, Thursday
Today we visited El Castillo de San Marcos. This is a wonderful old star fort built after the English moved into Charles Towne to defend Spanish holdings in La Florida. Although construction was planned much earlier, it didn't begin until 1672 in response to the English establishing their colony at Charles Towne in 1670. It took over 20 years to complete El Castillo de San Marcos with work ceasing in 1695. El Castillo de San Marcos has been attacked numerous times but never defeated although it changed hands several times through various treaties.
I was interested in taking cannon training at El Castillo and contacted National Park Service Ranger Joe who supervises the cannon and musket training at the park. We had a great talk and he showed me an exceptionally fine version of a Spanish flintlock musket. I am now all set to come back on the 18th at 0830 to begin my training. Later we watched a video on firing of the cannons. The commands are similar to those at Charles Towne Landing with some variations and of course they are in Spanish at El Castillo.
After several hours of exploring the fort and acquiring a few books on the forts of Florida, artillery and pirates as well as a really nice spyglass for my pirate kit, we had lunch at The White Lion Pub where we met Judy who has been working in St. Augustine for many years. Talking to her was very interesting as she had some real local knowledge of happenings in St. Augustine over many years.
Following lunch we walked through the old town and found a shop belonging to Tiger Lee the famous photographer of pirates. We met Tiger and got to chat with him in his newly opened shop and I got an autographed copy of his 2009 calendar, a copy of a Pyrates Magazine I didn't have and an old style chart of the Caribbean. I also got invited to join him on an in garb pub crawl on the 10th which looks to be a lot of fun.
After a bit more walking we started to get a bit worn out so we headed back to the marina.
Pat at the drawbridge, Castillo de San Marcos, La Florida, Spanish Colonial America c. 1700
With a little imagination, of course...
|Pat aboard KAHOLEE ready
for a day of adventuring
|Outside view of the original
Saint Augustine City Gate
|Inside view||Old Drug Store|
|Oldest wooden school
house in the USA
Saint Augustine Street
|The West wall
Castillo de San Marcos
|SW guard tower|
|The drawbridge||SE guard tower||South wall with
Spanish colors flying
|Beautiful example of a
Spanish period flintlock musket
|Original Spanish bronze canon
Fired by NPS
Living History Volunteers
|Side view of 6-puunder
|Mortar with carriage
|Side view of mortar||Battery, south wall
looking from the west
|Battery, south wall
looking from the east
|Original Spanish bronze canon
with garrison carriage east wall
|East wall||Barracks||Chapel||Display depicting the various
owners over the years
|Spanish coat of arms opposite
the south inner wall as you exit
to the drawbridge
|Spyglass view of the south wall
What a pirate or English
attacker may have seen
|SW battlement||Pat begins his
exploration of old towne
|Pat makes a statement...||Interior courtyard garden||Another garden||Outside wall of old
The north wall showing the layering of defensive positions.
03 April 2009, Friday
Headed over to Anastasia Island and Beachcomber's for lunch. This is a neat little surf shack kind of place just off the beach. Food was excellent and very reasonable.
The rest of the day was spent cursing around the old town part of Saint Augustine both on foot and in the car.
04 April 2009, Saturday
Got up early, hit the showers and then drove over to Beachcomber's for breakfast before heading south to the Kennedy Space center. The drive was a bit over an hour down I95. Initially the Florida Highway Patrol was very busy near St. Augustine but things cleared out and a bit further south although we ran at the speed limit to avoid any unnecessary hassles.
Once we arrived at the Space Center we purchased out tickets and had a wonderful day visiting the displays and touring the facility. We initially took a turn through the robots in space walking tour then took the bus to visit the gantry near the shuttle launch facility which had Atlantis prepping for a launch and the Apollo launch control facility which featured the original launch control room and a Saturn V rocket complete with the LEM and moon buggy. We also saw a film here on the landings in July of 1969.
Back at the main visitor facility we took a ride on a shuttle simulator and watched a movie on the moon landings. There is really too much to do here in a single day so I figure I'll be back.
We departed at around 1800 and headed home stopping for dinner along the way.
|Pat at the entrance to KSC||Pat and his new buddy||Vehicle Assembly Bulding||Pad 39A with Atlantis
preparing for a launch
|Shuttle launch control building|
|The business end of a Saturn V
|Pat and the Moon Rocket||Second stage engine||Third stage engine||Third stage|
|The Apollo Capsule and
|Lunar Excursion Module
|Moon Buggy||Pat and the
|Mercury Atlas Rocket|
05 April 2009, Sunday
Today is Pat's last day so we are getting things together so I can drive him to JAX arriving around 1100 or so. Seems like he just got here.
Drove to JAX and said goodbye to Pat then back to Saint Augustine. Not much else happened today.
06 April 2009, Monday
Cleaned out the car and took it back to Avis. It was raining so one of the guys at the marina gave me a ride back.
The antenna for my Sirius radio came in today. I got he radio working and started cleaning up the boat. It was a windy day, saw something like 26-knots on the wind instrument. Periodic rain also so I mostly stayed close to home. Had lunch at Hurricane Patty's, a prime rib open face sandwich which was very good.
07 April 2009, Tuesday
Clean up day. Stored stuff that had been taken out for projects, arranged things which had been moved so Pat could have the forward cabin and did the collection of dishes which had been building up. When you have company you don't want to take time off for such mundane chores.
Reserved a car from Avis so I can go to Charleston this weekend for Founders Day.
Had a really good cheeseburger and a couple of draft beers at Hurricane Patty's. Took along my new book, The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard.
Did a bit of pillaging online with Pirates of the Caribbean Online, then got the website ready to update then Expression Web took a dump and I lost it. First time for this and it might be related to running RayTech Navigator, Photoshop Elements, Expression Web and surfing the web all at the same time, although this laptop is very healthy so who knows. In any event, it is not something that happens very often and I should have saved my work just a bit more often.
Called it quits and hit the sack.
08 April 2009, Wednesday
Made coffee and puttered about for a while, wrote Mom and Linda six post cards then headed over to the showers. Chatted with some of the local guys on the way and dropped the post cards in the mailbox.
After the shower chatted with Doug who is a licensed Captain and working on his interior varnish (makes me feel like a slacker) and then got back on updating the web.
Instilled Sirius antenna on the radar mast and mocked up the line run.
09 April 2009, Thursday
Washed the dishes and got things squared away for my trip to Charleston tomorrow.
We had a cruisers pot luck tonight which kind of interrupted my plans gut it was fun. I made my old standby, red beans and rice.
10 April 2009, Friday
Keeping the Sirius radio powered but turned off causes a 0.7A draw static draw increase so I'll need to turn it off at the circuit breaker when not in use. It also draws a fairly healthy load when running and I've been running it a bit since hooking up the antenna so it was necessary to run the engine this morning to recharge the batteries.
Picked up the rental car around noon.
Had lunch at Patty's with Bill and Paul. They have a special, meatloaf, lunch on Friday, then headed for Charleston.
Took longer to get there than I had expected due to traffic congestion in Georgia. When I arrived I went by the Charleston Maritime Center and found they were having a birthday party for Jeff, the Dockmaster and that both Bobs were there. I was invited to stay and had a great time. Afterward I headed over to the motel and sacked out.
11 April 2009, Saturday
Got dressed and arrived at Charles Towne Landing at around 0730 and borrowed one of their gray wool jackets. The day was about perfect for the Founders Day celebration. I visited CJ on the Adventure and got assigned to Demi-Culverin #5 as the rammer/sponger. We fired the gun about 5 times during the day and I had a wonderful time talking to the visitors.
By the end of the day my feet were killing me so I was glad to get back to the motel and dispose of the boots. After a quick shower and change of clothing I drove to the Buccaneer for dinner and said hi to Ada. They have stopped offering the ribs so I had collard greens and my favorite shrimp and grits and of course a couple of dark and stormies.
12 April 2009, Sunday
Slept in and headed out around 1000. Drove down to my old Harris Teeter, got a latte and picked up some Goya ginger beer and a few other things I have been unable to find in Saint Augustine. Then went by the Meeting Street Piggly Wiggly and got a few boxes of Goya red beans and rice along with, again, a few other things.
Around noon I headed for Saint Augustine, stopping along the way to have lunch at Church's Chicken. The trip took quite a bit less time as there was no really traffic to speak of so I made the marina in time to fix some grits and join in on the Easter pot luck.
13 April 2009, Monday
Took the car back around noon and picked up some project stuff at West Marine and some food supplies at Win Dixie before returning to KAHOLEE for lunch which consisted of the fried chicken I'd purchased a Red Stripe and some ice cream.
Following lunch I took a nap until around 1400 then updated the web site.
Wind came up this afternoon so Bill and I wondered over to Patty's for a bowl of soup. It started raining just as we finished so got a little wet heading back to KAHOLEE.
After dark it started lightening so I shutdown the computer and hit the sack early.
14 April 2009, Tuesday
It was raining and lightening until around 1120. I enjoyed a text message chat with Drew who was exploring the lightship Chesapeake in Baltimore.
Fixed some coffee and started thinking I might redo the log so you don't have to scroll through everything, maybe a table of contents based on months would work better.
Fixed jerked chicken for dinner using one of the jerk sauces I'd acquired while Pat was her and some Goya rice and black beans. The jerk was good, but not as good as that which I'd made using the sauce I found in Charleston. Watched PotC #1 and hit the sack.
15 April 2009, Wednesday
This is the Spouse day. Poor Sweetie is in a rush to get things finished up.
I got up at 0630 and started doing my laundry. I had let it build up and had about four loads to do so it took until around 0930 to finish. Just after I started the fire department pulled in, three units. Apparently someone on A dock had a medical emergency but things turned out ok and all was well.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I fixed bacon and eggs before getting out the tools to start fixing the anchor platform. Due to the chain running over the wood and it's exposure to the sun it was looking kind of sad and had developed a crack down its length. Doug, the fellow just up the dock had suggested using West System epoxy to seal the crack before redoing the varnish so that was my project for today.
First I moved both anchors ashore and removed both anchor rollers and rigged KAHOLEE's old cockpit shade as a bow shade to keep the sun off. This revealed a smaller crack forward of the roller furler. I sanded the area around the cracks and built up a "tinkers dam" using painter's tape on both sides of the cracks. Next I mixed my epoxy and using a disposable brush ran the epoxy into the crack. The dam allowed the epoxy to be above the surface of the platform so I could later sand it down to surface level and avoid any dips.
|KAHOLEE with sunshade||Anchor Platform with
"tinker's dam" in place
|Detail of "tinker's dam"|
Following this I took a siesta for a couple of hours then around 1700 I removed the tape. I'll let it set until tomorrow and then get to sanding.
Gave Spouse a call to see how Tax Day had gone. She seemed happy is all is well.
Grilled a steak for dinner and had a couple of Dark 'N' Stormies for dinner then started updating the website.
16 April 2009, Thursday
Walked down to West Marine and picked up a 30A to 3-prong adaptor, then over to AVIS to reserve a car for Spouse's visit. I then walked down to Home Depot to get an orbital sander a small space sander, sand paper, paint thinner, a heat gun and an extension cord. It was about a two mile walk but the weather was nice and it was good exercise.
Back aboard I took a bit of a siesta then started sanding the old varnish from the anchor platform around 1400. Mostly finished up around 1700 in time to fix some broccoli for the cruiser pot luck.
After dinner I hit the showers and retired to KAHOLEE to update the website and for a movie and some reading before hitting the sack.
17 April 2009, Friday
Read a bit then fixed breakfast of eggs and bacon. Dishwashing was the next chore to take care followed by some general cleaning up.
Around noon Bill, Paul and I headed over to Patty's for the Friday meatloaf special.
Back on KAHOLEE I did a bit of final sanding then wiped down the anchor platform with paint remover. I gave Tim a call to see how much of a paint remover/varnish mix I should use. Tim said a third to half so I mixed a bit over a third so not all that stood between the anchor platform and a new coat of varnish was taping. Taping took a bit longer than I expected especially when it came to covering the bolt heads and their washers. I used one of the utility knives from Hamilton Marine to cut away the tape around the washer edges and had a fairly good looking tape job by the time I was finished.
I mixed the thinner/varnish and had at it. The top came out looking pretty good but the sides were a bit lighter than I had hoped but all in all it was much better than it had been.
With Paul's help I found a container for the left over varnish and put things away. I'll hit it with another coat tomorrow when I get back from cannon training at El Castillo.
After cleaning me up a bit I updated the web even going back and inserting a picture of the dinghy project. I contemplated cooking my last steak on the grill, but I've had two meals today and may not want to spoil myself, we shell see.
18 April 2009, Saturday
Got up early and hit the showers then walked down to El Castillo de San Marcos. Stopped along the way to get a latte and walked through old town. It was a great walk, no body to speak of there except me and the squirrels.
Arrived at the Monument administrative offices and got signed in and a good seat. The morning consisted of all the technical stuff and a final exam. I missed one because I skipped the question for some reason, but I passed so after lunch it was off to the east wall for practice.
I got to run the drill four times in three different positions with two different Master gunners. It is a much more complicated movement than that at Charles Towne, more like a dance but it looks awesome when done correctly. I am looking forward to tomorrow when we do it for real. I have arranged to get there early and get into full regalia as a Spanish Marine.
Got another latte on the way home and saw Doug on his way to work.
Once back aboard I changed and got to sanding on the anchor platform before applying a second coat of varnish.
Fixed a steak and some butter noodles for dinner then updated the website. Spouse let me know that Jimmy Buffett was live in Frisco Texas, right next door to Allen so I tuned in on Sirius XM and listened.
Going to hit the sack early tonight so I'll be in good shape for my first day as a Spanish Marine tomorrow.
19 April 2009, Sunday
Feet were kind of sore this morning but I made it to El Castillo in time to meet Jeff and get suited up. The morning was spent drilling after we moved the tools up to the east wall. We broke for lunch around noon and I found a shady seat in the courtyard where I got to talk to several visitors and had some photos taken.
The after noon things got serious and we began firing. Things went well although we are still having trouble remembering exactly what to do with the commands in Spanish but we are coming along.
After we finished I helped clean the cannons then headed home.
20 April 2009, Monday
My feet are not happy today so I'm sleeping in and will stay close to home today.
Updated the website and added some pictures.
21 April 2009, Tuesday
Feet doing a bit better. Started preparing the boat for my visit to Dallas. One more coat of varnish on the anchor platform
Had a burger at Patty's
22 April 2009, Wednesday
Feet much better today. Worked on the anchor platform.
Walked down to AVIS at noon and picked up the car and checked in with SWA at 1255.
Dinner at Patty's, blackened pork chops, cheesy grits, black beans and rice and a couple of beers.
23 April 2009, Thursday
Finished securing KAHOLEE, ran engine to top off batteries, verified bilge pump operation and closed the engine through hull once I was done running the engine. Gave Doug my phone number just in case and headed for the Jacksonville Airport around 1000.
Log will be on hold until I return.
05 May 2009, Tuesday
Arrived back in Saint Augustine running on fumes. Refueled the car which I brought out so I'd save money on rentals when I have visitors and let me do a bit of exploring further from home.
Checked KAHOLEE over and she looks fine. It was around 100°F inside but a check of the refrigerator revealed all was well with my food supply. I opened the forwarded hatch and turned on the fan and in a short time the temperature inside was down to the high 80s and much more tollerable.
After unloading most of the things from the car and dropping off the paperbacks I had brought back at the marina library I set about designing an air conditioner housing since I've brought the air conditioner back in order to deal with the heat of summer in Florida. After a bit of dock-walking to see what others have done I designed the following which can be made of plywood and will fit over the forward hatch. I'll paint it white once it is done so it will stay cooler. All the other such constructions on the dock were gray and I think white will help reduce the run time on the A/C unit.
The A/C will be handier than I had originally thought since they have placed a large power boat right on my windward side so I am getting little to no breeze anymore. Glad I decided to bring it back.
Junk for dinner. I'm going to need to get back on a better diet.
06 May 2009, Wednesday
I had intended to work on the anchor platform today but I waited too long and it got hot an muggy so I'll get an early start tomorrow. Visited with Doug a bit. He is still working on his interior teak. Doug offered to help me build my A/C housing and let me take a look at his inside and out. Nice guy.
Hit the shower and then went by the office and picked up my mail. Got my red socks and garter belts from Jas Townsend & Son. These items are part of the Spanish Marine uniform I'm working of for El Castillo. I also got the rope sandals I'd ordered but they turned out to be just a tad short so I'll need to send them back for the next larger size. Otherwise they look to be quite comfortable and will work well with my pirate rig. Which reminds me, while in Dallas my daughter Stella and I went to the local Renaissance Fair and I acquired a most beautiful waistcoat in a very dark purple with a printed design. I'll have to get some pants to go with it for a more upscale pirate look then when I use the slops.
Took the car out for a few errands. First went by the UPS store and returned the sandals. Then I visited Foot Comfort of St. Augustine. Them make a shoe known as Marks which are orthopedic but are modified to look like buckle shoes from the early 18th century. I decided I'd forgo some authenticity for some comfort. Mark Schmitt, a certified Pedorthist fitted me and installed the buckles and tongue extensions. The shoes look very period although you can tell they are not but they are extremely comfortable. I'm planning on giving them a try at El Castillo on Friday. Next I went by Win Dixie and picked up some food supplies then it was back to KAHOLEE.
Got everything put away, had a smoked turkey leg I'd picked up at the store and three Coronas then watched a movie. Took a shower around 2300 and updated the website before hitting the sack.
07 May 2009, Thursday
Got up early so I could do my boat projects during the morning cool. First I got out the scouring pad attachment for my extendable cleaning handle and cleaned the water line. I am going to need to take the dinghy around KAHOLEE to really get this done but for now she looks much better. I do need to start thinking about getting her waterline raised though and adding more coats of bottom paint.
Next on the list was the anchor platform but before I got started on that I rigged KAHOLEE's old cockpit awning as a shade for the forward doghouse and deck. I think I'll be able to reuse this awning and only need to have a cover made for the forward part of the deck.
I sanded the anchor platform, wiped it down and applied the 5th coat of varnish. Only 5 more to go and I can call it done. I am hoping the tape will not be a major issue to remove.
Finishing my projects around 1100 I updated the web and will fix a spinach omelet for lunch.
08 May 2009, Friday
Up early, drove to the Castillo and had breakfast at Mary's, eggs Benedict (very good) then over to the fort. Helped Jeff make cartridges for the cannons. Fired the cannon at 1030 and even had enough volunteers for a two battery shot at 1130 then had lunch at Mary's (a wonderful cheeseburger) before doing the afternoon firings. My new simulated old shoes are working great. Feet still get a bit sore but nowhere near what they did with the borrowed shoes.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I rinsed out my shirt and fixed marinated chicken for dinner using some marinade called Pirate's Gold. Surprisingly good. I had not thought this particular marinade would be quite that good, a pleasant surprise.
Took a shower and hit the sack.
09 May 2009, Saturday
Up early again and breakfasting at Mary's once more (two eggs on grits and toast). Had a nice discussion about the Castillo with some local ladies and was just a bit late for the opening of the gate, but no worries as our first firing starts at 1030. Helped Jeff make musket cartridges. These are paper cartridges which contain the powder needed to fire the musket and in a real situation hold the musket ball and act as the wadding for the load.
Only enough Marines for a single gun today but a lot of fun. Lunch at Mary's again (a wonderful Monterey chicken wrap, best thing I've had there yet). In case you haven't guessed, Mary's is kind of the hangout. It has a wonderful view of the bay and very reasonable prices not to mention great food and friendly people. I seem to be a regular already and got a wave when I came in.
Today was the maiden operational voyage for Saint Augustine's new simulated pirate ship the Black Raven. Since my position, right front, gets to aim the cannon I had a couple of opportunities to target the pirates as they went by. Unfortunately this pirate is diesel powered so we have a hard time really getting on target especially with the safety constraints which prevent the guns from being traversed very much. But we did give them a bang. Tiger Lee, the local pirate photographic artist was aboard on the first run so I'll have to tell him next time I see him that I had a go at 'em when he went by.
After all was done we had a good chat in the break room. Quite a few of us are vets so lots of sea stories and war stories. I greatly enjoyed this actually. These are really good people and I am enjoying this immensely.
Feet are a bit swollen but I think I'll be good for another day.
Back aboard I rested a bit and then fixed some fish my neighbors gave me very fresh and excellent flavor.
10 May 2009, Sunday
Another early morning. Coffee and a spinach sausage omelet at Mary's then off to el Castillo. Fewer people today as it was Mother's Day.
Lunch at Mary's was another Monterey chicken wrap as these are really good.
Got to talk to a really nice Hispanic family who were very interested in the Castillo and a couple of visitors dressed as pirates who got a kick out of it when I told them they were job security for us Spanish Marines.
The afternoon was punctuated by an idiot climbing the wall just after we fired the last gun of the day. Joe captured him and he got a ticket. Good on ya Joe, hard to believe how stupid people can be. Other than that it was a pleasant day.
Got lazy and had a couple of beers and dinner at Hurricane Patty's. Crab stuffed salmon, cheesy grits and black beans and rice followed by one of their delicious pieces of key lime pie. Then back to KAHOLEE to rest up.
11 May 2009, Monday
Today is shuttle launch day. It is scheduled for 1401 EDT. I am watching NASA TV on my computer and should be able to see it from the end of the dock.
T -5 Minutes went down to the end of the dock and watched with Doug. We couldn't see it until it was over the cloud layer but initially you could see the fire trail behind the shuttle, very impressive.
Unfortunately I only got a few pictures. Once again the camera repeatedly failed to fire when the button was pressed. I am becoming very disappointed in this camera am may consider selling it and getting something more reliable if I don't get a satisfactory reply to my query to Canon.
12 May 2009, Tuesday
Worked on the anchor platform and bummed around the boat all day.
13 May 2009, Wednesday
Another day of just hanging out
14 May 2009, Thursday
Dave and Linda of Chimo II arrived today. Haven't seen them since Charleston. Took them to Win Dixie so they could stock up on food. Linda is campaigning to stay a week. They have been anchoring out a lot and she is liking the showers.
Had dinner at Patty's with Dave and Linda. Had the pork chops again, good as always.
15 May 2009, Friday
My rope sandals came in and fit great. Also my 17th century shirts arrived and also fit well. It will be nice to be able to change shirts at the fort each day.
Skipped going to the fort to get some boat cleaning done. Got the new TV installed and started sorting things.
Today is meatloaf day at Patty's so had lunch there.
Surfed the web a bit and worked on sorting some expense stuff with Spouse. We now have video conferencing so it is nice to be able to see her.
Updated the web.
16 May 2009, Saturday
Up early and off to El Castillo to defend the empire from those pesky English, French and Dutch in my new shirt.
Breakfast at Mary's.
Had a good day at the fort, back aboard and relaxing. The new shoes really make a difference.
17 May 2009, Sunday
Went downtown and had breakfast at Mary's then visited with the guys at the fort for a bit. Decided to take a bit of time off and let my foot really recover.
Back aboard KAHOLEE an messing about. Got ready to go to the local pirate group meeting at American Graffiti on Anastaisa Island. Drove over and waited for some people to show up. Had a great time. They are a bit more Hollywood then the CTF but a lot of fun, so I joined. Nothing like working both sides of the street, Spanish and pirate.
Back to KAHOLEE. It looks like a storm is in the brewing and has started to rain.
18 May 2009, Monday
Called Heidi and made an appointment for tomorrow at 1400 for a fitting for my uniform.
Looks like the rain is her to stay. Bailed out the dinghy. Otherwise just hung about the boat.
Fixed an egg, sausage and cheddar scramble and watched a movie.
19 May 2009, Tuesday
The holding tank is full so once the rain stops I'll need to move over to the pumpout dock and get that taken care of.
1400 drove over to North Beach and met Heidi and her spouse. Got all measured up and left a deposit. That took about an hour, then spent three hours chatting with her husband about sailing. Got a lot of good info on travel to the Bahamas.
Went by Win Dixie and picked up some tuff for dinner, fried chicken, some drumsticks for tomorrow, bread and ice cream.
Had dinner and watched another movie.
20 May 2009, Wednesday
Still raining so just hung around KAHOLEE all day surfing the web. Reports are this will last a couple of more days. Put the drumsticks in some jerk marinade and pillaged the Caribbean online.
Bailed out the dinghy again and made jerked chicken for dinner. This jerk seasoning, Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, is a bit over the top heat-wise. I suppose if you figured out just how much to use it would be ok. The bottle certainly should go a long way. I think I like the Pirate's Gold Inferno Hot Marinade best of the locally available stuff, at least so far.
21 May 2009, Thursday
Washed my pirate/Spanish marine shirts and socks in the morning, then bailed out the dinghy. Drove down to the local filling station ad added air to my left rear time which was getting low (for the second time) and drove to Discount Tire. They fixed it for free under the road hazard guarantee. I then drove over to the local Sticky Fingers and had ribs and a beer for dinner before coming home. Did a bit of online pillaging and hit the sack.
22 May 2009, Friday
More rain. Stayed aboard all day. Sausage and cheddar omelet for dinner.
23 May 2009, Saturday
Still raining, although it seems to be slacking off a bit. Surfed the web. Bailed out the dinghy. Chicken gumbo for dinner
24 May 2009, Sunday
Kind of cloudy, but the sun is starting to peak out. Went to see Midnight in the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian with Dave and Linda. Great movie, funny.
Afterward took a ride and then had an early dinner at Hurricane Patties. Menorcan Gumbo a 1/2 pound burger and a pitcher of beer.
Let Linda and Dave borrow my two DVDs on the fort and Saint Augustine and they let me borrow two movies, The Others and The Village. These are movies with surprise endings and were quite enjoyable.
25 May 2009, Monday
Sun is out, and it is warming up, the down side of sunny days, but things are drying out. Bailed out the Dinghy and pumped out the last little bit this time so she can dry out. Put up the sunshade for the foredeck and washed the dishes, then surfed a bit online and updated the website
Paid my monthly slip fee and made arrangements with Paul to make it automatic since I'm staying through at least September.
Had a ribeye and corn on the cob for dinner. Grilled the steak and boiled the corn. The corn, from Win Dixie with the husk on, was surprisingly good.
26 May 2009, Tuesday
I figured seven coats of varnish was enough since it is hard to get multiple days in a row to work on it and it is looking quite nice. Also, with the recent rains I figured the tape would be about as soft as it is going to get. Removed the tape, installed the rollers and anchors by 1100. It was getting kind of hot and I was soaking wet with perspiration so following the installation I took a nice shower using cold water at the end to drop my internal body temperature. Much better!
My neighbor Bill's boat got backed into and needs to go to the yard for repair. I'm going to help him with line handling tomorrow around 1300. I'll need to tell Dave and Linda so we can plan their pill paying trip accordingly.
Back aboard, stashed the tools and updated the website.
Linda and Dave needed to send a UPS package so I drove them to UPS then we took a tour of downtown followed by a run to the beach for a bit of barefoot beachcombing then we took the A1A up to Jacksonville and returned via I-95. It started really pouring on the way back so when we got to the marina we headed over to Patty's for a couple of pitchers of beer and some snacks, winds and onion rings.
That did it for dinner so after a bit of surfing it was an early to bed for me.
27 May 2009, Wednesday
Up early, took a shower around 8 and met up with Dave and Linda and headed to Village Inn for breakfast. Apparently Wednesday is Pie Rush day so you get free fruit pie with any order (including just coffee) from 1000 - 2200 so after breakfast we got our pie and headed home.
Talked to Doug about construction of the A/C housing and got a list of parts to collect. Doug has graciously offered to help me build it so Spouse will be comfortable when she comes out in July. Nice people here.
1300 I helped Bill, my port neighbor with his boat move to the boatyard for repair of the damage he suffered when hw was backed into. Not vary far, but kind of fun. BoatUS did the tow.
Back aboard for some surfing an web update. Started to pour again so nice time to be inside. Dave and Linda had walked downtown, hope they are not getting soaked.
28 May 2009, Thursday
Just kind of messed about onboard today, not much going on.
29 May 2009, Friday
Spent the day at the Castillo firing the cannons and talking to visitors. Had dinner with Dave and Linda at at Patty's where we saw Kevin, one or our gun captains at the Castillo.
30 May 2009, Saturday
My foot was not happy today so I stayed home and let it rest.
31 May 2009, Sunday
My foot was much better today so off to the Castillo.
01 June 2009, Monday
Went in today to help Joe oil cannons clean muskets.
02 June 2009, Tuesday
Went shopping with Dave and Linda and bought a mint plant which I have on the foredeck.
A fisherman at he head of the dock gave me a King Fish which I cleaned and cut into steaks. I gave it to one of the other boaters who is going to fix it tomorrow night.
Had Mojitos with Dave an Linda about Chimo II and chatted until after sunset. We then decided to get a snack at Patty's but were too late as the kitchen was closed.
Returned to KAHOLEE and had a package of carnitas I'd purchased, but they were disapointing.
03 June 2009, Wednesday
Water my plant first thing this morning. It looks quite happy. We had a pot luck tonight, fix chicken sausage rice for pot luck and had some great chicken and some of my fish.
04 June 2009, Thursday
Got up fairly early and went to the Castillo to help with maintenance on the cannons. Met up with Jeffery and started working on the guns. John showed up shortly after we started working to help out. I was working on El Barbaroso (the barbarian) initially applying linseed oil to the carriage then grinding rust from the barrel and repainting. Around noon, Marty showed up and Jeffery took us to lunch at Mary's where I had their great Montery wrap and several ice teas. Back at the fort we finished the guns and started working on the muskets for the upcoming inspection.
Headed home around 1700 and had a dinner of appetizers and beer with Dave and Linda at Patty's. We chatted until after dark and on the way back to KAHOLEE Chuck another of our boaters, gave me a guided tour of the large house boat at the end of B Dock. Wow, what a mansion.
Updated website and hit the sack.
05 June 2009, Friday
Today I'm off to Charleston to attend the Adventure training onboard the vessel of that name on Saturday but first I need to repair the bumpers on the dinghy and get her off the dock. I am replacing the line which secures the bumpers with wire ties which should last longer.
Having finished off the dinghy I showered, packed and headed for Charleston. After an uneventful five hour drive and checking in at Motel 6 I visited the guys at the Maritime Center and then Ada at the Buccaneer where I had calamari, stuffed collard greens and shrimp and grits. I do love the shrimp and grits at the Buccaneer. Then it was back to Motel 6 and to bed.
06 June 2009, Saturday
Got up, showered, packed the car and off to Charles Towne Landing. Met up with CJ in the office and said hi before heading over to the visitors center for the class with Patrick. There were only two of us there who had signed up and one walk-in. Kind of disappointing, I had thought there would be many more. The training was very interesting and I learned a lot about structuring my contacts to the situation as well as getting a really good book list that I am looking forward to investigating. After lunch we visited the Adventure and observed before returning to the classroom for a bit of final discussion.
I departed around 1400 and stopped at the Old Ice Cream Shoppe for a jalapeño burger and a malt. Then off to my old grocery store for a bit of shopping and a couple of lattes. Last stop in Charleston was the gas station then back to Saint Augustine.
Had some rain but nothing bad. Arrived before dark and had a snack of pulled pork and brisket courtesy the ongoing potluck at the marina.
Back aboard for a bit of surfing then to bed.
07 June 2009, Sunday
Up early and off to El Castillo for a day of cannon shooting.
Back around 1700, had a couple of pulled pork sandwiches at the cruisers picnic area then fixed my steak aboard and hit the sack.
08 June 2009, Monday
Up early again. Planning on doing some cannon maintenance today and firing the musket at El Castillo for the first time.
Found some touchup needed on the paint on cannon #2 and 3 so took care of that. Had a great time firing muskets and bonded with one I call Rusty a 1762 Brown Bess Replica with a very smooth action. Fired her 6 times with nary a misfire. Some say these muskets misfire all the time, but with a bit of proper maintenance they really are quite reliable.
Had a steak for dinner, watched a couple of Hornblower DVDs and hit the sack.
09 June 2009, Tuesday
Bummed around the boat a bit and ordered some reenactment stuff, an extra pair of socks, another shirt, a haversack and a wallet.
Chicken for dinner and watched A Bridge To Far.
10 June 2009, Wednesday
Went to Borrillo's Pizza and Subs for lunch/dinner around 1100 and had one of their great strombolis and a beer. Afterward, since Wednesday is the low cost wash day at the car wash so I got the car a bath then picked up some Loctite and batteries at Home Depot. Next I visited West Marine but didn't buy anything then over to Win Dixie for a few supplies before returning to KAHOLEE.
Did a bit of web surfing and played PotCO for a bit. Watched the first tow DVDs of A Band of Brothers before hitting the sack.
11 June 2009, Thursday
Got up early and did the laundry. Updated the website.
Steak for dinner, watched some more Hornblower DVDs.
12 June 2009, Friday
Spent the day at the Castillo. The heat index was something like 119° at 1330 so that shoot was canceled. I did an interpretation on weapons using the blunderbuss, wall gun and a brown Bess musket. The wall gun is a 43-pound 1-inch bore massive musket used as a portable cannon. It has a bayonet lug on it but you would need to be Superman to bayonet fight someone using this weapon..
The Park Service guys want to pay for a background check on me so I can help their IT guy. This is going to be more like work but if they need the help, I'll lend a hand.
Went over to the White Lion and had a couple of brews with one of the guys after we called it quits at the Castillo, then off to see Heidi to pickup my new uniform pants.
The pants look great and I showed Heidi my fancy waistcoat from the ren-fare in Dallas. She had some great fabric which we will use to create a coat and pants combination to go with it, although this will be after my uniform is finished.
Back to KAHOLEE where I had a garlic and peppercorn pork loin roast for dinner and watched some more Hornblower DVDs.
13 June 2009, Saturday
The shuttle launch scheduled for today was postponed due to a hydrogen leak on the mechanism that ducts hydrogen from the launch pad. Looks like it might be the 17th but there may be scheduling conflicts with another launch.
My foot was not happy today so I stayed home. Need to do some cleaning up anyway. Updated the website.
14 June 2009, Sunday
Another day at home. Went shopping with Linda and Dave and picked up enough supplies to last me until I depart to see my Sweetie and a rotisserie chicken for today.
Watched some movies and surfed a bit before bed.
15 June 2009, Monday
Went to the fort today and fired muskets. I am doing a Q&A session between shots on the firearms. Skipped the wall gun this time and just did the blunderbuss, brown Bess musket and pistol. This is my double barreled pistol and Joe came by and took it to see if he could smooth out the action so I didn't have it for the rest of the day. Good questions and fun firing. Forgot to put the pan flash guard in place the first time so I singed Tom bit. Sorry Tom. Lunch at Mary's then back to demoing and shooting. Tom brought his cleaning kit so we cleaned muskets together this time. It was fun and we had some visitors asking questions and wanting photos. One of the ladies from the gift shop had to wait for her spouse, Kevin, one of our marines so we went over to Murphy's and had a couple of beers and a sandwich for dinner. Once Kevin arrived I headed home.
The musket I am using is a second model brown Bess which I have taken quite a fancy to. It is one of the few which is actually browned and not all shiny so I call her Rusty. She has a very smooth action and has yet to miss fire on me.
16 June 2009, Tuesday
Watched some movies and cleaned KAHOLEE a bit. Took a shower around noon. Fixed a nice thick ribeye steak for dinner which came out very nicely and was very enjoyable. It rained in the afternoon so tonight should be a comfortable one.
17 June 2009, Wednesday
Went shopping with Dave and Linda today, had fun.
Had a stuffed (rice) pork loin roast for dinner.
18 June 2009, Thursday
A large rain storm was just west of Saint Augustine so it was a cool day. Showered and relaxed onboard. I am looking forward to getting the air conditioner onboard as it is quite warm here and only going to get warmer.
David Allen called and we are going to meet here at the marina on Saturday at 1000, then visit the Castillo and have lunch. Think I'll take him to the pizza place downtown or maybe the Beachcomber on Anastasia Island.
Checked out some new features on wonderweather.com, a very interesting radar map display. I'm going to link the website to this later. Checked in at pyracy.com and read some interesting posts on aging items. One post mentioned that this stuff was new at the time so aging is not really a requirement. Funny people seem to overlook this. You want things to look used but not ancient.
Fixed turkey legs for dinner and read some from my latest book Blackbeard the Pirate, A Reappraisal of His Life and Times by Robert E. Lee.
19 June 2009, Friday
Had breakfast at Mary's, their Adkins omelet then headed to the Castillo.
We have been trying to get a shot at the Black Raven, the local tourist pirate ship, but she is really a twin screw power vessel and is generally so fast we can not get through the Spanish garrison drill in time. The garrison drill is designed to time firing so you fire every 15-minutes, but today we were short on people so we did a Spanish version of the English field drill which is much more rapid. Tools are placed like we do at Charles Towne Landing so my right front position gets the ram and sponge rather than the worm and scoop. At 1030 we spotted the Raven just leaving the Bridge of Lions heading north. This motivated us to do one of the most rapid load and fire sequences I have yet been party to, and as luck would have it we had one of Joe's special cartridges which are always crowd pleasers. Once we were loaded Joe, who was our gun captain, gave the order in English to "Fire as she bears." so our botafuego (linstock) man delayed just long enough to get the Raven in our sights before letting her go. There was some guy in a white shirt standing amidships on the Raven with his arms out stretched facing us as we fired. Apparently we got this pirate as he was no longer there when the smoke cleared and the Raven showed us her heals turning to the east and running for the open sea. There was a great uproar from the visitors, especially the younger ones who were ecstatic to see we had sent the pirates packing. This is, to date, my favorite cannon firing and I'm going to remember this one for a long time. Bueno for the Spanish Marines y El Castillo de San Marcos, the Spanish Maine is once more safe from the scourge of the sea! Our only regret was we didn't have any additional cartridges so we could have fired another round.
Lunch at Mary's, the Monterey wrap and ice tea, then back to the Castillo for the afternoon firings.
Steak for dinner to celebrate our victory over the pirates then sacked out. The night was cool and quite comfortable as I'd rigged my bug netting over the forward hatch.
20 June 2009, Saturday
Today David Allen is coming to visit so I'm not going into the Castillo in Uniform. David, his brother and his brother's son arrived at 1000 and we headed to Castillo where we had sandwiches outside the east wall and watched the 1030 cannon firing from outside the fort which I had never done before, an interesting perspective.
I gave my guests the grand tour of the fort and we watched the 1130 firing from the gun deck then headed over to Anastasia Island for lunch at the Beachcomber. I was remiss in taking pictures so I'm hoping David will send me some he took and I'll add them here. David and company headed back to Jacksonville around 1300 and I fueled up the Jag and visited Target and Wal-Mart for some items I needed then back to KAHOLEE. The afternoon was a hot one and not very comfortable, so I waited until around 1900 to fix chicken legs for dinner then sacked out.
21 June 2009, Sunday
Today I'm charging batteries in preparation for heading home to Allen and my Sweetie. The morning is quite comfortable so I figured a good time to do this and a bit of web updating.
It's about 1530 warm but not as hot as yesterday. Batteries are all charged and I got a happy Father's Day call from the munchkins so all is well. Think I'll go over to Patty's for dinner rather than trying to cook inside and warming things up even more.
Had Dinner at Patty's with Dave and Linda, blackened pork chops, one of their best dishes.
22 June 2009, Monday
Got to the Castillo early a raised the flag. I then did a walk around to check that things were in good shape. Picked up a few pieces of paper and some old cannon cartridges. Found one of the display guns off it's mount and the quoin moved from one of the field guns. Amazing what people will do to things. Anyway all put right.
No one showed up today other than me so Jill, one of the Rangers who use to be a living history volunteer put on a uniform and lead the musket firing. We did 4 shoots rather than the usual three and Jill did an excellent job.
Had lunch with Joe and enjoyed a good chat. Think Joe was a bit tired though.
Rusty, my Brown Bess musket (actually she's the Park Service's, but we don't tell her that) finally had a miss fire on the last shot of the day. The flint's edge broke on the first shot, although I did get a flash in the pan. I may have put too much priming powder in the pan which would not let the frizzen seat and allowed some of the powder to run out. Second try after re-priming I got no spark but she went on the third try. A bit more testing revealed the flint was the problem so I replaced it with a new one while I was cleaning her before heading home.
Fixed a bowl of chili for dinner the hit the sack.
23 June 2009, Tuesday
Checked in online with Southwest and got my boarding pass at 0800. Took a shower then walked down to Avis to retrieve my car. It is about $15 cheaper to rent a small car from Avis and drive to the airport than it is to take the shuttle and you are not tied to their schedule.
Had dinner at Patty's with Linda and Dave. Had one of my favorites, blackened pork chops.
24 June 2009, Wednesday
Up early, showered and headed to the airport. Log will suspend until I return.
04 July 2009, Saturday
Happy Birthday SPOUSE!!! And to the USA.
Spouse and I arrived back aboard just before midnight and hit the sack. While driving through Jacksonville we had parked on a bridge (along with a lot of other people) and got to watch one of the most impressive fireworks displays I've ever seen. Lots of fun.
05 July 2009, Sunday
Here's a detail shot of the Carry-On air conditioner which we got from a fellow in Frisco Texas right next to home who was selling it on Craig's List. It makes a world of difference on those hot Florida days.
Spent most of the morning getting the Carry-On air conditioner working. Had a problem with the condensation drain but think I have it sorted out. The forward cabin is quite nice and we are hoping it will get the whole boat cooled off over the night. Need to order a filter for it and a foot for the leveling leg but otherwise it seems to work well. This is an important upgrade as I didn't think Spouse would like baking inside KAHOLEE. Keeping Spouse happy is important you know.
Made a Wal-Mart run with Linda and Dave to pickup a extension cord for the A/C unit and picked up a few other things while we were there.
08 July 2009, Wednesday
Got up really early and drove Dave and Linda to Orlando so they could catch a plane home. Then drove over and checked out Disneytown, although it wasn't open yet.
Took Spouse's Mustang by VMP Tuning and had Justin do a dyno tune on it. Her car really has a good engine in it and puts out some great HP. Justin does excellent work and had provided the tuners and tunes for all our Mustangs. Highly recommended it you want your Mustang to perform better and even if you want to get better milage.
Went by Bahama Breeze and had dinner. We have missed them since they closed the Dallas restaurant. Had my usual, Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings and a Mojito. Life is good.
Back to Satin Augustine and early to bed.
09 July 2009, Thursday
10 July 2009, Friday
11 July 2009, Saturday
Departed in Spouse's Mustang for the drive back to Allen, TX. Log suspends until I return.
30 July 2009, Thursday
Well I got an email from Tim so I guess it's time to start updating the log again. I've been thinking I need to to this for a while now but I've been busy doing living history at the Castillo and wondering about Saint Augustine.
I had a late breakfast with Dave and Linda at Le Cafe right next to the marina around 1000. Afterward I drove down to the Castillo where I was going to work on a digital photo catalog of the unique markings on the forts antique cannons. I got a copy of the inventory and a map of their locations from Jeffery and set about organizing the order in which I'd do the guns so I wasn't running from one end of the fort to the other. This took longer than expected as I was also identifying the unique features I'd be photographing on each gun. There are three types of cannon at the fort, cannons, howitzers, and mortars. The difference has to do with the arch the round fired from them takes. Cannons fire a projectile on a fairly flat trajectory. A howitzer on a bit more of an arch, and a mortar fires it's projectile on what is referred to as high angle, lobbing it very high in the air then letting it drop back. Handy for getting a round over a wall. The guns are made of bronze and cast iron, bronze being the better but more expensive casting. A very interesting thing about the old Spanish bronze guns is the amount of detail on each one. They were named from the factory and had differing coats of arms and sayings on them. For example, here are some pictures of the 18 pounder bronze cannon tube that resides in the Castillo's courtyard. It's name is "El Milantes" which means "The one from Milan" This is embossed in a scroll near the muzzle. A little further back is another scroll which reads "Vilolati Fulmina Regis" which translates to "Thunderbolts from the offended King". On the first reinforce (the reinforced after section of the cannon) is the coat of arms of Spain which has a scroll reading "Carolus III D.G. Hispan. Et. Ind. Rex", "Charles III, by the grace of God, King of Spain and the Indies". On the back of the breech it reads "Solano Fecit Sevilla Ano D 1764", "Solano made it in Seville Spain in the year of our Lord 1764". On the right trunnion is "44 Qs 81 1/4 Ls", (44 hundredweight 81 1/4 lbs. or 4482 lbs). On the left trunnion "Cobs AFNs" i.e. cobres afimados (refined mix).
Coat of Arms
After cataloging all the guns on the east wall and courtyard I headed over to Heidi's to pickup my uniform waistcoat and discuss some other projects. While there she showed me a sailors jacket in brown wool she had started for an other fellow which he hadn't picked up. She made me such a deal on it I acquired it as well although it will need to be completed.
Showers were to the north when I left and headed to Win Dixie to pickup some stores. It started to rain just as I left the store but I'd forgotten my ice so I went back and of course the rain picked up, so I got a good soaking loading the stores aboard KAHOLEE, but then it's Florida so it wasn't that bad, nice and pleasant.
Had dinner, rotisserie chicken and then got to work on naming and cataloging the pictures of the guns and updating my Log. I'll work backwards and forwards on the Log until I have it up to date.
31 July 2009, Friday
Rested up aboard, being a bum mostly.
01 August 2009, Saturday
Went to Fort Matanzas today to participate in their monthly cannon shoot. This is a small fort located on the Matanzas inlet which protected the back door to Saint Augustine. This inlet was how the Spanish resupplied Saint Augustine during the 1740 attack. The Spanish Governor realizing the inlet was critical to defense of Saint Augustine constructed Fort Matanzas over an 18-month period following the 1740 attack. It only ever fired a couple of shots in anger when the British probed the inlet in 1742 in preparation for a second attack on Saint Augustine. The British realizing they would not be able to control the inlet departed and canceled their attack plans.
I had a great day, got to wear my new waistcoat and actually fire the gun several time. During some of these shots I burned a whole in my shirt, luckily missing the waistcoat. It is very laid back compared with being at the Castillo de San Marcos. Think I'll go back on Wednesday.
02 August 2009, Sunday
Hung out aboard all day
03 August 2009, Monday
Spent the morning at El Castillo de San Marcos working on the cannon project. Finished the south and west wall. Back aboard and did a bit of cleaning.
04 August 2009, Tuesday
Today is special. It was one year ago today when KAHOLEE was launched at Havre de Grace in Maryland.
It has been grand!
She is showing the mile a bit but still looking great. I suspect I'll need to start considering a haul out eventually but I'll probably wait until hurricane season is over and consider raising her waterline and a boot stripe as well.
Went shopping today. Picked up some PVC tubing for my cockpit shade project an some other stuff at Wal-Mart, Target and Win Dixie including some Blue Ray DVDs
Watched Harry Potter, Order of the Phoenix and hit the rack
05 August 2009 Wednesday
Got up early, hit the showers, put on my uniform and headed for Fort Matanzas. Met up with Richard and rode the boat to the fort where I spent the day talking to visitors and shooting muskets.
Headed home around 1700, stopping to pickup some fired chicken at Win Dixie. Watched Master and Commander; Far Side of the World and hit the sack.
06 August 2009, Thursday
Spent the day listening to podcasts, catching up on the world of technology and motor sports. Did a bit of cleaning too.
The wind blew the canvas cover on the A/C unit in so that the v-berth got a bit damp during the daily rain. I need to get a bit of chain and attach it to the bottom of the cover which will prevent this in the future.
Fixed bacon and eggs for dinner and watched a movie then did a bit of reading and sacked out.
07 August 2009, Friday
Today is laundry day but they are working on the machines at the marina so I'll need to find a Laundromat.
All done with the laundry. Did a bit more running around and had an early dinner at Sonny's BBQ. Not bad but now great. Richard, one of the living history guys, gave me a hint about a place at SR206 and US1 so I'll give them a try one of these days.
I had purchased the first season of the new Knight Rider so I watched disk one of that before hitting the sack.
08 August 2009, Saturday
Stopped by Starbucks on my way to Fort Matanzas where I had them fill my new water jug and got a breve latte. They didn't have any sandwiches that looked good so I stopped by the Kangaroo station for a ham and cheese sandwich. Unfortunately I remembered to bring my new water jug but forgot my mug. Oh well, guess I'll start leaving the mug in the car so I always have it.
After a great day at Matanzas, I picked up a burger on the way home then watched some more Knight Rider before turning in.
09 August 2009, Sunday
Had coffee, checked email and downloaded some podcasts and a couple of computer recovery CDs first thing this morning. Today I need to go by the Saint Augustine Lighthouse and pay for the lighthouse excursion Spouse and I are planning on taking later this year.
On the down side, the hot water heater is not working. I'll need to investigate this later and see what's up with that. Also need to do a bit of battery recharging so it looks like a engine running day too. This will give me hot water no mater what comes to pass with the hot water heater so dishes are on the list as well.
Water heater problem. Searched through my documentation and couldn't find any on the water heater which is a Seaward Products model S700 6-gallon unit. Visited their website which had nothing in the way of troubleshooting, product schematics or manuals. I took a look at the units location and removing it will require some extensive cabinet disassembly as I do not think the unit will make it through the service opening or clear the space between the stove and the stern bulkhead of the doghouse. I have reactivated the breaker to see if the unit will reset. I will check the wiring diagram to see if there is a secondary fuse in the line somewhere.
Another thing I discovered is that the unit has aluminum internal parts so using bleach to clean the water system is not suggested. This will not limit me cleaning everything else though but I will not be able to run a cleaning solution through the hot water heater in the future.
10 August 2009, Monday
Got up early, showered put on my uniform and headed downtown. Had breakfast at Mary's then headed over to the Castillo where Richard and I rolled out the 3-pounder gun on a field carriage and the ammo demo box in preparation for our interpretive sessions starting at 1000.
Everything went smoothly with the sessions and we headed out for lunch at noon. I had a Cuban sandwich and we headed back to the fort for the afternoon sessions.
We are open until 1900 now so I stayed and went over to the bank for our Garrison meeting at 1900 with John. The meeting was quite interesting and I met some nice people before heading home.
Fixed salmon for dinner, watched a movie and hit the sack.
11 August 2009, Tuesday
Ran the engine today to charge the batteries and surfed the web a bit.
Checked the weather and it looks like hurricane season may be finally starting to pickup. TD Two is predicted to develop into a Tropical Storm but if it stays on the arc it is currently following it should pass well north of Saint Augustine. I will need to start monitoring this much more closely. The below graphic should update until the storm has passed so refer back to it as needed.
12 August 2009, Wednesday
Spent the day at Fort Matanzas
13 August 2009, Thursday
Spent a lazy day on KAHOLEE reading.
14 August 2009, Friday
Project day, washed the deck and cockpit. Went to Home Depot and got some PVC tubing and put up the cockpit shade. Bailed out the dinghy and put up the cockpit shade.
15 August 2009, Saturday
Fort Matanzas. I have a kind of routine now. Go by the Starbucks in St. Augustine Beach, pickup a sandwich, have my water jug filled and get a latte, then head to the Fort.
16 August 2009, Sunday
Finished Harry Potter #6, The Halfblood Price.
17 August 2009, Monday
Spent the day at Castillo de San Marcos. Did a fun demo of cannon, their various projectiles and muskets.
18 August 2009, Tuesday
Got hooked on reading the last Harry Potter book.
19 August 2009, Wednesday
Fort Matanzas. Got to fire muskets this time. Finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.
20 August 2009, Thursday
A shopping day. Went to try a rib joint I'd heard about for lunch. Quite good. Went by Home depot and picked up some PVC tubing to fix a problem with the awning. Then by Office Max for some binder material to consolidate my DVDs and boat cards. Finally stopped at Win Dixie to pickup provisions.
21 August 2009, Friday
Fixed the awning and surfed the web most of the day. Pillaging the Caribbean online.
22 August 2009, Saturday
Went to Fort Matanzas and spent he day talking to visitors. We got rained out toward the end of the day so we did our thing at the visitors center for the last hour or so and studied some primary source documentation in the office. Made a couple of copies of some of this for later reading, including some journal entries by Mendez's Chaplain describing the time around the landing at Saint Augustine, very interesting.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I fixed pork chops for diner and watched Master and Commander before hitting the sack.
23 August 2009, Sunday
Read some of the Chaplain's journal, fixed coffee and did a bit of web surfing this morning.
I'd planned on moving all my DVDs to a binder which I had purchased at on Thursday at Office Max. Problem was once approaching full this particular DVD storage binder would not close. You think they would have figured that out during the design phase, but then I suppose that assumes they actually have a design phase which includes testing. In any event, I found I could not store all my DVDs in this unit and in fact is would not close at anything approaching 75% of its rated capacity, so I'll need to exchange it for something that will work. The nice thing about going this route is it will save me about 2.5 cubic feet of storage, not insignificant on my little boat.
Today was also engine running day in order to charge the batteries, so much of the day was spent working on the computer while the engine thumped away.
Ordered pizza from Domino's for dinner and did the dishes.
24 August 2009, Monday
Slept in then hit the showers after firing up the computer and getting it to downloading my podcasts. I've become quite fond of podcasts which let me keep up with the Formula 1 season and what's happening in technology. Some of these are even video podcasts so it gives me a source of things to watch that varies, unlike my DVD collection which gets a bit old after a while.
Plans are to re-rig my awning support today with the stuff from West Marine and return and find a working solution to the DVD storage question.
Went to Staples and found a DVD solution, then over to Office Max to return the old unit. Afterward I had a French dip sandwich, a double cappuccino and a milkshake for dessert at Le Cafe.
Back at the marina I picked up $20 worth of quarters for doing the laundry and got to work on fixing the awning rigging. The old system was using the spare jib halyard to support he center of the cockpit awning which let it chafe where it went under the port spreader. Since this was not a long range solution I'd decided to setup a couple of extensions running off the main halyard, one to the boom and one to the center of the awning. Didn't take long to get things squared away and all was as it should be.
Here's a close up of the suspension system running from the main halyard.
On the down side today there is a new low in the Atlantic, Invest 92. It is report to have a 30-50% chance of tropical development in the next 48 hours, so I'll have to keep an eye in it, especially considering I'm heading back to Allen for our Anniversary on the 26th. It is moving at 25 MPH so it could make it here quite rapidly but hopefully it will turn north just like hurricane Bill did. Unfortunately they do not show projected tracks on lows so only time will tell.
Well the plot is thickening...
Invest 93 has cropped up since this morning, although it has a low chance (<30%) of development within the next 48 hours. I Just wish they would show predicted paths on these lows.
On the brighter side, I made chicken mole tonight and it was great. This was my friend Bert's favorite Mexican dish and is high on my list of favorites too. Mole is a chocolate based sauce. When Bert first told me about it many years ago, I must have given him a very strange look because he immediately said, "well it's not sweet". I got a chuckle out of this because that is exactly what I was thinking, a Hershey bar on chicken. As it turns out, it is very slightly spicy but has a wonderful flavor. You mix the mole paste with water or chicken broth (3:1 water/broth to paste) add sugar, in this case 1/2-tablespoon and a bit of salt then reduce over low heat until it thickens. Meanwhile you bake some chicken breasts adding the sauce once they are done and on the plate. I suspect you could add the sauce before finishing the chicken which I may try next time which would look more like what chicken mole usually looked like in El Paso. Anyway, it was great.
Cleaned up and now it's time to hit the sack.
25 August 2009, Tuesday
The weather picture looks about the same although the computer models show a favorable track for Invest 92 and 93. 93 looks to be heading into the Pacific across Central America and 92, looks like it will be heading north towards Bermuda although one model shows a slightly more southerly route which would take it near Georgia and South Carolina, still not really bad for Saint Augustine. Time to have some coffee.
As you can see Invest 92 (red 1) has been upgraded to a high probability of development with in the next 48 hours. Not good. What is good is the models all show it moving away from Florida.
26 August 2009, Wednesday
Got up early to do laundry and shower then squared KAHOLEE away for my absence until the 31st.
Prediction is for a northerly route for Invest 92 so barring any drastic change of course I should be ok for the next few days and able to safely visit my Spouse for our anniversary. Log will terminate until I return on 31 August unless the situation changes forcing my earlier return.
31 August 2009, Monday
Saw the guy from Unique Autosports who has a show on SpeedTV on the plane. Funny, I thought these guys would be flying first class. I said hi and told him I enjoyed his show and the cars he builds.
Drove back to Saint Augustine and had an early dinner at Le Cafe, a French press which is kind of a French version of a Cuban sandwich.
Back aboard, all is well but I had left the propane switch on and the batteries are down so I'll have to charge them tomorrow. I'll need to specifically check this in the future as long as the monitor is blocking the view of the electrical panel.
01 September 2009, Tuesday
Invest 94 (Red 1) is looking like it may head toward south Florida and it is predicted to have a good chance of tropical development within the next 48 hours so It will require watching closely. There is another area of interest just of the African coast (Yellow 2) so we are inline with our approach to the peak of hurricane season on September 10th. Can't really complain, though, as it's been a good year so far, but then it only takes one so as Mad Eye Moody says in the Harry Potter books, "Constant vigilance!".
After a nice morning of surfing the web, drinking coffee and listening to my tech podcasts it's time to run the engine and charge the batteries so I guess I need to get off the computer for a bit.
My hot water heater has stopped working on shore power as reported earlier and the parts arrived while I was away so I opened up the box and took a look. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the heating element would allow installation in the available space, negating the need to do any major surgery. Put this on the to-do-list for Thursday and Friday. Pictured below are the spare thermostat on the left and the heating element on the right.
Invest 94 has been upgraded to a tropical storm and named Erika. The computer models are not favorable as is the 5 day projection. Still there's a good probability it will miss Saint Augustine. Time will tell.
Shut down the engine and had a pizza from Domino's for dinner while watching The Matrix.
02 September 2009, Wednesday
Checked the weather this morning before heading to Fort Matanzas for the day. Richard had finished my leather gear (cartridge box, bayonet scabbard, sword frog, gun tools pouch and belt) which looked great. He is an excellent leather worker. Headed over to the fort on the first boat and had a great time firing muskets and practicing the Spanish musket drill. We were rained out around 1400 and headed over to the office where I stripped and cleaned the musket I'd been using before heading home. Stopped for some ribs before getting back to KAHOLEE which were excellent. Surfed a bit, listened to some podcasts and hit the sack.
03 September 2009, Thursday
Slept in today and did some housekeeping (washed the floor) but otherwise I was worthless.
Tropical Storm Erika seems to be drifting more toward the north so things are looking up in that respect.
Had the last of the ribs for dinner and watched the second Matrix movie.
04 September 2009, Friday
More housekeeping and organizing. Took out the trash and got rid of some unneeded boxes. Things are looking pretty good and much less cluttered.
Today is a really nice day. Although it is overcast, it is only about 85°F so I've turned the air conditioner to low, but not completely off since it keeps humidity inside KAHOLEE down a bit.
Tropical Storm Erika has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression (Yellow 1) and is sowing low probability of development within the next 48 hours. There is also a new low (Yellow 2) just off the coast of Africa but it too shows low probability of development in the near future.
Bailed out the dinghy. She was getting a bit full and will need to be pulled soon and cleaned up.
05 September 2009, Saturday
Up around 0730 hit the showers and drove to Fort Matanzas for a day of musket shooting.
Got back in time to attend a marina cookout and enjoyed some excellent barbeque.
2000 called it quits and headed back to KAHOLEE.
06 September 2009, Sunday
Washed down the deck and went to Win Dixie for supplies. Listened to a couple of tech podcasts and just bummed around.
07 September 2009, Monday
Today was my Castillo day. Joe, who heads the historic weapons demonstration program is back from sick leave so we got to fire muskets again at the Castillo. Since I've been practicing the musket drill with Richard things went exceedingly well. The down side is the air conditioner in our break room has quit working but at least we are through the hottest part of the year. Richard an I setup an awning in the courtyard and brought out a table and benches along with some barrels and other items designed to make it look more authentic. We proceeded to work on leather and weapons while inviting visitors in to chat and sit with us between musket demonstrations. A great day all in all.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I fixed chicken mole for dinner which was a great end to the day before hitting the sack.
08 September 2009, Tuesday
Happy 444th Birthday Saint Augustine! It was on September 8th 1656 that Pedro Mendez stepped ashore here at Saint Augustine and started the longest continuously inhabited city in the continental United States.
In honor of the day I watched my historical videos on Saint Augustine and the Castillo before running the engine to charge the batteries.
Had pizza for dinner and got carried away with playing video games finally going to bed at 0200 on the 9th.
09 September 2009, Wednesday
I am paying for my laps last night, up at 0630 and preparing to depart for Matanzas. Doug is replacing the engine in his daughter's boat just down the dock so I helped with the photo documentation until they got it aboard and the dogs were no longer needing to be held then headed to Matanzas.
Made the usual stop at Starbucks for coffee, water and a sandwich. Arrived at Matanzas, checked in and headed over to the fort with Richard and Kevin. Had a very nice day with some very interested visitors. Richard and Kevin say this is the time of year where you get the people who are really interested in history where the summer crowd is more tourist oriented. We fired muskets and demoed the cannons. By the end of the day I was on a roll to the amusement of both Kevin and Richard, although they seemed quite pleased that I was so into the history of the area.
After returning to the marina I had dinner at Hurricane Patty's consisting of a bowl of the Minorcan chowder and some chicken wings with a pitcher of Ying Ling beer. I also tried one of their new vodka lemonades which is very good. One would need to watch drinking these though as it would be very easy to down a whole bunch of them.
To bed early.
10 September 2009, Thursday
Slept in until around 0930 then made coffee and since I am now starting a new month Verizon-wise and can start downloading again I am updating the computer and retrieving my favorite podcasts using iTunes while having coffee.
Spent most of the day doing computer related research. Seems the new thing is so called Flash Cookies which save data to your computer even if you have opted out of regular cookies. Guess these people are not really interested in your wishes on your system. There is an online settings manager for Adobe Flash Reader which seems to work to some extent, but it also seems to not make the changes you specify permanent. I've contacted a security specialist about a local manager and will let you know what the answer is when it comes. Here's a link to an explanation of Flash Cookies.
Had a steak for dinner and watched Short Circuit.
Hit the sack around midnight.
11 September 2009, Friday
Rested up for tomorrow witch is cannon day at Matanzas. Did a bit of house keeping and laundry.
12 September 2009, Saturday
Matanzas today. It is cannon day so lots of fun firing cannons with Richard, Chris, and Chris.
13 September 2009, Sunday
Boat bum day, snoozed a lot. Dinner at Patty's, pork chops, blackened.
14 September 2009, Monday
Spent the day at the Castillo with Richard firing muskets.
Tonight is our Garrison meeting which was a bit more "active" than usual. An argument about the voting privileges of a family membership ensued. They do not have it defined very well in the bylaws so there is room for more than one interpretation. Richard got a bit fired up during the meeting so we went by Patty's for a beer afterward to relax a bit. Had a bowl of Minarcan chowder for dinner.
15 September 2009, Tuesday
Hung out on KAHOLEE. Downloaded some podcasts and joined Audible so I can get audio books for a good price ($14.00/mo for 2 books). Downloaded The Lost Symbol (From Audible) the new Dan Brown novel and The Scepterd Isle Vol. 6 covering the first half of the 18th century of British history. Domino's for dinner.
16 September 2009, Wednesday
Headed to Matanzas, stopping off at Starbucks for a latte, sandwich and water as usual. Richard had to do some personal stuff today so it was just Kevin and me. I got to do the whole musket firing and interpretation all by myself. Kevin said it was good but I don't think it was as good as Richard does, but then he's had a lot more time to develop his presentation. Fun never-the-less.
17 September 2009, Thursday
Spent the day goofing off onboard. Not much exciting to report. Chili with canned tamales for dinner and listened to The Scepterd Isle which covers England from 1700-1750. There are a number of these BBC broadcasts available from audible.com which I am interested in hearing but this one covers the period we represent at the Castillo.
18 September 2009, Friday
I had planned on going in to help Jeffery make cannon rounds today but it seems they had made them the day before so I had breakfast with John Higgins and spent the day doing interp.
19 September 2009, Saturday
Had a sausage omelet for breakfast at Mary's then went to the Castillo for the first day of Cannon School. I had planned on doing it as a refresher but Jeffery didn't think I need to so I spent the day doing interpretation with the other guys. Went over to the office at 1100 and photographed the students for their ID cards. Had a Monterey chicken wrap at Mary's for lunch.
As today is "Talk Like a Pirate Day" we went over to O'Malley's for some grog after work. Jeffery and some of his salty old mates sang sea shanties which were outstanding. Had a lot of fun but decided to hit the road before the grog had me so I went home around 2000. Hurricane Patty's was having a shindig as well but I did manage to find a parking spot.
20 September 2009, Sunday
Had breakfast at Mary's, feta, spinach, sausage and mushroom omelet then headed to the Castillo. This is the second day of Cannon School so while the students fired and trained Richard, and I manned the tent and interacted with the visitors. Richard and I setup the tent and brought out the 3-pounder field gun. We setup a kind of camp and use it to work with the visitors. Had a jalapeño cheese burger at Mary's for lunch.
Home again, had hotdogs for dinner and listened to The Lost Symbol.
21 September 2009, Monday
Had another feta+ omelet at Mary's then spent the day at the Castillo de San Marcos where Richard, Tom, Warren and I fired muskets and interpreted their use and associated tactics for the visitors. Enjoyed the jalapeño burger so much yesterday that I had another today. I'm in a rut, but I do miss the southwestern cooking.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I finished off the hotdogs and listened to The Lost Symbol before hitting the sack
22 September 2009, Tuesday
Finished listening to The Lost Symbol and ran the engine to recharge the batteries.
Got a pizza for dinner, played some PS3 games and hit the sack.
23 September 2009, Wednesday
Headed for Matanzas, making the usual stop at Starbucks. Since Richard and I have to go to the Castillo around 1700 to act as background for a commercial they are filming there we are planning on heading out at 1530 so we will be demoing his Brown Bess musket and my blunderbuss. This will free me from having to clean the NPS's Charleville musket and make our departure more rapid.
Had a good day at Matanzas. This is the time of year where you get the people who are more interested in the history of the site than the summer crowd so it is more rewarding for the interpreters.
Took the boat back to the mainland at 1530 and headed to Castillo de San Marcos where we got out John's 3-pounder field gun and set it up along with a Brown Bess, sword and bayonet for me. First off they had us guarding the gate, going through part of the bayonet drill, then showing the "talent" as they called them how to load the cannon. We did musket drills following this in the courtyard as background for them filming on the gun deck. Finally we stood guard over one of the bronze guns. Interestingly this was the gun which was originally at the Castillo. This was the end of our planned participation so we took off the coats and gear and put away the cannon and it's support equipment. We went up to the gun deck to see if we could take down the flag but were told to leave it for a bit. This gave the camera crew some unexpected shooting opportunities and additionally one of the the other local living history people who had gone through our cannon school in-garb which gave them even more opportunities. Once things were done we headed out but got waylaid by the camera crew and actors for personal photos just outside the first drawbridge. All in all a fun day. The best part was watching the sunset from the gun deck with only Richard an me in the Castillo. It was almost like going back to 1740 if you kind of ignored the modern buildings. The Freedom our local schooner came sailing in just at dusk and the Black Raven the local pirate tourist boat passed by enhancing the impression. The Raven even looked pretty good in the gathering dusk, reminding me of the boat Tim and I'd seen up in Havre de Grace which the captain described as a 3 mile boat, stating it looked really good from about 3 miles away but got funky on closer inspection.
Headed home to KAHOLEE, changed cloths and wondered over to Hurricane Patty's for dinner. Met Dave and Linda along the way and invited them for a beer. We got Linda her white wine and a pitcher of beer for Dave and me. I had my favorite, pork chops, black beans and rice and cheesy grits and we discussed happenings at the marina. Apparently there has been some issues lately and some of the problem boats are being evicted. I am seemingly oblivious to all this drama since I generally hang out with the locals rather than the marina crowd, except for Dave and Linda and my dock, B, is the one with the nicest people. The good news is it looks like the owners are dealing with the issues.
Back to KAHOLEE, called my Sweetie and racked out.
24 September 2009, Thursday
Got up around 0730 and took a shower then back aboard, downloaded some podcasts this morning and listened to Leo Laporte the Tech Guy while updating the website. Spouse called and told me I needed to go get a flu shot. Went to Le Cafe with Dave and Linda for a late lunch. Checked my mail on the way back and had received some books from Amazon, Hackers; Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Where Wizards Stay Up Late, and Rum; A Social and Sociable History. Tracked down a CVS which was doing flu shots today and went to get my shot, then headed by Win Dixie and picked up half a fried chicken for dinner and a couple of other thing. Had dinner and watched Cranky Geeks with John C. Dvorak and updated the website.
25 September 2009, Friday
Another day in paradise just hanging around KAHOLEE all day and resting up for Saturday.
Had turkey legs for dinner and hit the sack.
26 September 2009, Saturday
Went to Matanzas to day as usual. Richard was sick so it was all mine, well mine Kevin's and Chris'. But Kevin took off for a couple of hours in the afternoon so I got to do a lot of interpretation. Chris said I was getting much better which made me feel good, although I'm no where near as good as Richard. Since Chris had made paper cartridges for both Richard and me I got to do a rapid fire demonstration to get rid of the extras firing three shots in quick succession. I managed to reload and fire three in a minute and a half which isn't good by Spanish Infantry standards but probably not bad for a noobie.
Stopped by Win Dixie and picked up half a fried chicken for dinner.
27 September 2009, Sunday
Today was an out and about day. I went by Le Cafe for breakfast and had an egg, cheese, and bacon quasant with a double espresso just to get me going. Next it was off to the car wash to get the Jag all nice and clean.
Le Cafe was having the long sought after Cuban Sandwich for lunch so I went back by and tried one. Every time I'm tried to get one in the past I was either to early or it wasn't the special that day. It was quite good, but I think my favorite is still the one at La Cubanita in Dallas. At least so far.
Then to Home Depot for some rags and saddle soap to clean up my leather gear. Got the rags but they don't carry saddle soap. The clerk must have been a city boy as he had no clue what saddle soap was. Next it was by Target where I picked up some new pillows, as the old ones were falling apart badly. Also picked up a few DVDs that were on sail, some Tide with color safe bleach and some Biz per Spouse's instructions regarding getting stains out of my uniform shirts. Found the saddle soap in the shoe department so all was taken care of.
Went by Win Dixie and picked up some groceries.
I've finally decided to order a musket and bayonet. Talked to Spouse and got the ok so I ordered a 2nd Model Brown Bess Musket from Dixie Gun Works along with a bayonet. This is the Pedersoli Brown Bess who makes a very fine reproduction and I've got it on a second day delivery so it should be here in time to break it in at Matanzas on Wednesday. This will be the second addition to my boat defense system as Joe calls it.
Watched a couple of movies, The 3:10 to Yuma and Bullet then wondered over to Hurricane Patty's for a bowl of soup. Found Dave and Linda celebrating Dave's 40th birthday so I bought them a pitcher and we chatted for a bit then back to KAHOLEE and to bed.
28 September 2009, Monday
Had breakfast at Mary's then went over to the Castillo. Richard is still sick so I got the honor of coordinating the volunteer interpretation efforts. Setup the canon (3 pounder) in the courtyard along with the tent, table, benches and support equipment with help form one of the guys. Tom showed up so we had three guys and Joe (chief of the historic weapons program) let me dispense and account for cartridges and I got to do the talk to the visitors during the shooting demo. Again, not nearly as good as Richard, but getting better toward the end. Lunch at a Mexican place just across the street for the Castillo. We tore down and put things away and headed home around 1700.
Had some water and cooled down on KAHOLEE then updated the website. Also ordered some accessories for the Bess from Track of the Wolf, small tools a spring vice etc.
Chili for dinner then hit the sack.
29 September 2009, Tuesday
UPS says the Bess is out for delivery so I should have her sometime today. Hopefully not during my visit to Heidi to review uniform construction. Gave Chris, the guy who owns the little used boat part store here at the marina, the left over tubing from my awning project. It was just in the way and I probably will not need it. Planning on doing some house keeping today.
Around 1330 I was heading to Heidi's to discuss what she was going to work on first. Heidi makes the uniforms for the Spanish Garrison as well as other historic clothing and does a great job, excellent workmanship. However as I pulled up to US1 I noticed the UPS truck so I returned to the Marina and waited. Sure enough my Brown Bess arrived so it got to go for a ride over to the island.
Met with Heidi and she will do my Spanish great coat first, then alter the sailor jacket she had and is fixing up for me. We will wait on my fancy duds for later since the 12th Night Celebration isn't until January 12th of 2010.
On the way back to KAHOLEE I stopped by the Castillo and borrowed a flash guard and got a flint and piece of lead to wrap the flint in. I am very pleased with my new musket and look forward to trying her out tomorrow at Matanzas.
30 September 2009, Wednesday
Richard is still sick so I was on my own. I got Chris to use his spring vice to install the flash guard in the morning. Unfortunately Chris had to leave early in the afternoon which limited my shooting to just two shots but the Bess performed flawlessly.
I am flying home to see my Sweetie tomorrow and Spouse checked me in while I was at the fort so all that I need to do is pack up and secure KAHOLEE tomorrow morning.
01 October 2009, Thursday
Washed the dishes, secured the water, removed and secured the air conditioner to the bow pulpit using my bike lock cable and headed to Jacksonville dropping the Bess off at the Castillo for safe keeping on the way. Log will continue when I return.
06 October 2009, Tuesday
Returned to Jacksonville, drove to the Castillo in Saint Augustine and picked up my musket, then back to KAHOLEE where I installed the air conditioner, turned on the water and settled down to rest.
07 October 2009, Wednesday
Usual drill, stopped at Starbucks but couldn't find my water jug. They only had egg salad sandwiches so since I'm back on my diet for a while I passed, just got a latte before heading to Matanzas. The gentleman making the latte ask why I wasn't getting water too and when told him I had misplaced my water container he graciously offered to make me a large water to take along. Nice people.
Richard was back on his feet so we had a great day shooting. Kevin, Richard and I discussed setting up for cooking once the weather cools off and decided to get a 2qt cooking pot, a brazier and a few accessories. I'll order these tomorrow.
Had a lot of nice people today. The fall crowd is much more interested in the History of the structure than the summer bunch.
Carrying around the Bess reminds me of playing Davy Crockett and watching the TV show when I was a child, only he had a Kentucky Long Rifle and not a Brown Bess Musket, but the length of the Bess is about right.
Stopped by the BBQ place at 206 and US1 and got a pound of brisket for dinner.
08 October 2009, Thursday
Ordered the cooking supplies from Jas. Townsend & Son and started the download of my two monthly books from Audible.com. I selected Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. I also downloaded all my podcasts which took the better part of the morning so I left the computer at it and headed out to find a cleaning rod for the Bess. She had an almost 42-inch long barrel so the normal rifle type of rod is just not long enough. I tried a couple of places and decided to get one similar to the one I have for the blunderbuss and just add it to my existing cleaning rod.
Next I went by Win Dixie to do some food shopping. They have a new program which lets you get a 5, 10 or 20 cent per gallon discount on fuel at Shell depending on how much you have spent at Win Dixie so I sighed up for one before checking out.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I cleaned the Bess and settled down to watch some of the special features on the second disk of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea DVD. Fixed grilled salmon for dinner, played Pirates of the Caribbean Online for a bit then updated the website before hitting the sack.
09 October 2009, Friday
Hung around KAHOLEE most of the day. Helped Paul the Dock Master do a pump out on a catamaran but that was about it. Surfed the web and listened to my podcasts but that was about it. Fixed a steak for dinner.
10 October 2009, Saturday
Went to Matanzas today and had a great time. Had my first misfire on the new musket but it was due to a lose flint which I tightened and all was well there after. Richard and I are going to participate in the Changing of the Guard in Saint Augustine tonight so we left early so we could get a parking place. We first went to Mary's and had burgers for dinner, then setup a table and chairs (which Richard had in the trunk of his car) and proceeded to clean our muskets. We then met up with some of the guys and got our uniforms squared away before heading over to the old Spanish Quarter. We met up at the cantina then marched down to the City Gates accompanied by a drummer where we were posted on guard duty for a while before marching back to the cantina where we got some water and went over the drill which would happen down at government house. I was in the first group who would actually shoot so we departed first marching down Saint George Street to the Governors House where we loaded our muskets and posted in front of the Gates. Shortly thereafter the second or relief group marched up and we went through the relief procedure then fired our muskets (the procedure was to expend loaded rounds before departing). Next we marched down to the end of the block and waited for the relief squadron to finish it's presentation. Afterward we all formed up and marched back the the cantina now accompanied by two drummers. All lots of fun. Attached is a link to a previous Changing of the Guard which I was not in but it will give you an idea of what it looks like.
11 October 2009, Sunday
Cleaned the musket this morning and listened to podcasts, fixed a mushroom, ham, and cheddar scramble for lunch.
Organized my DVD collection, had a steak for dinner and did the dishes. Nice restful day.
12 October 2009, Monday
Spent the day at the Castillo with Richard and Tom firing muskets. Got a call from Dave and Jan, old friends of Spouse's from Minneapolis. They are going to be here tomorrow and we will get together.
13 October 2009, Tuesday
Jan and Dave arrived and after showing them KAHOLEE we headed to the Castillo where I borrowed John's Escapeda so Dave could see this magnificant example of a Spanish musket. We then wondered Saint George street viewing the old city gates and the Spanish quarter. Had lunch at Mary's before heading back to the marina via Anastasia Island and a lighthouse drive by.
Met Dave and Jan at Hurricane Patty's for dinner
14October 2009, Wednesday
Spent the day at Matanzas with Richard, Kevin and Chris. Jan and Dave came by but to early to see us fire so I demonstrated cannon loading for them before they set off for points south. Had one misfire which I fixed by changing flints
15 October 2009, Thursday
Showered then made a run to Staples for a cable that would allow me to attach my iPod to my monitor. Like usual these are way over priced but the nice gentleman at Staples suggested I might find a slightly better price at Best Buys. Since Mark's (the president of the Garrison) store was nearby I dropped by and chatted with him for a few minutes about the Garrison's pending attack on Fort King George. He advised me I'd need a set of gaiters and told me where I could get them locally so following this I headed over to this location and picked up a pair. I then drove to the nearest Best Buys about a 25 mile run and saved about $10 on the cable. Also picked up a few DVDs that were on sale and a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for the PS3.
Returned to Saint Augustine via the A1A which was a very relaxing drive. Called Heidi to see if she was around. I wanted to show her a picture of a coat worn by Billy Bones (Oliver Reed) in the TV movie Treasure Island 1990 and get her opinion on construction but she must be out and didn't return my call so I just had a nice drive, passing through downtown Saint Augustine, and over the Bridge of Lions with a quick stop at the Lighthouse Museum to check in pending our lighthouse trip on November 1st, then before heading back across the 312 bridge to Win Dixie for supplies and finally back to KAHOLEE.
Stuffed salmon for dinner and some wizarding with Harry, then hit the rack.
16 October 2009, Friday
Cleaned the deck inside KAHOLEE and laid down some bug spray. Used the fan to speed drying. Then cleaned the sink are and did the same. Downloaded the second half of What Would Google Do? and a few podcasts that had updated. Listened to them but otherwise a lazy day.
17 October 2009, Saturday
Off to Matanzas this morning with the usual stops for a latte, sandwich and water. Richard was away today so it was just me and Chris the Matanzas historic weapons supervisor. All in all the day went quite well, although it was cooler and quite breezy which prompted me to keep the west window closed.
Departed around 1630 and headed for downtown Saint Augustine. Found a parking place and had dinner, a great cheeseburger with jalapenos at Mary's before suiting up for the changing of the guard. Met up with the troops at the cantina and went through the prep then marched to the Governor's Palace and took up my post. Was promptly relieved by the relief column, discharged my musket and marched back to the cantina. After a bit of chatting headed home to KAHOLEE.
18 October 2009, Sunday
It is even cooler today than yesterday. I have the hatch open and the AC off for the first time since I installed it. Hit the showers this morning and doing some cleanup. Read some about setting up a medical kit and developed some questions for my doctor next time I see him.
Spent most of the day online then fixed pork chops for dinner and hit the sack.
19 October 2009, Monday
Breakfast at Mary's then to the Castillo and started setting up. Richard came in a bit late then Tom just before we shot for the first time. Had a great time and am looking forward to The Siege of 1702 which we will be doing this weekend on Saturday. Did have one misfire due to a bad flint.
Back aboard KAHOLEE, hit the shower and fixed a steak for dinner. Finished off Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on the PS3 then went to bed.
20 October 2009, Tuesday
Called Heidi and chatted for a bit. I want her to take a look at the coat worn by Oliver Reed in Treasure Island 1990 so I'll go by around 1400 on Thursday.
Went by Win Dixie and picked up tortillas and some wooden serving spoons for Wednesday when Richard and I will try cooking at Matanzas. Went by West Marine too, to see if they had a disposable propane canister adaptor which they did but not to fit where I wanted. Then over to Home Depot for some small files for doing gunsmithing. Found some interesting lights while I was there so got a few of them. They are red, blue and green, have a built-in whistle, a flashlight and a glow stick which will also flash. Sounded like a good safety thing for KAHOLEE.
Paul at the marina has told me they were going to have hamburgers for $1 tonight so I had purchased two. Had a couple of Red Stripes and the burgers at the cookout area. A beautiful end of the day watching the sun set.
Back aboard and updated the website then to bed. Tomorrow will start early as I have to go by Mark's and pickup a tent for the Fort King George event where we attack the Brits in a week or so.
21 October 2009, Wednesday
This was our first cooking day at Matanzas. Richard made pork stew and it was great. The little 2-quart pot seems to produce an abundant amount of food. Richard, Kevin and I were all happy with the results.
22 October 2009, Thursday
Day off, the last for a while. Did laundry and a bit of housekeeping.
23 October 2009, Friday
Went to the Castillo in civvies and got things squared away for tomorrows event. Went by Hobby Lobby and purchased a couple of trunks, one to replace the two smaller ones onboard KAHOLEE and one to act as a cooking chest at Matanzas. Then went by Home Depot and got a hasp for the cooking trunk so we can lock it.
24 October 2009, Saturday
Went in to the Castillo today in my slops, black waistcoat and pirate hat. We are doing the siege of 1702 so earlier attire is appropriate. Everyone was in the standard uniform so I got to lay back a bit today. Setup our two A-frame tents I'd borrowed from the Garrison and helped with other things in preparation for tonight's events.
Had dinner in the Castillo as provided by Brandy one of our female volunteers, rice and chicken, ham, olives, etc. Then I met up with John and Warren our doctors to get prepared for being their amputation patient. My lines consisted of a lot of screaming then passing out, but it was fun and my voice made it through the night. The Castillo is very beautiful by candlelight. Hope Spouse gets to see it like this one of these days.
25 October 2009, Sunday
Came in to the Castillo today to help tear down the tents and actually fired the guns twice. Spent time working on muskets and then tore down the diamond tents and the big tent that had served as the doctors operating room.
26 October 2009, Monday
Richard and I had breakfast at Mary's then over to the Castillo. Tom and Marty showed up so we had a good group. We still had our A-frame tents up and everything in place from the previous day so setup was a non-event. Shooting went well and we are moving along with our new program to show soldados doing day to day tasks at the Castillo. Jill is working on a poster for us that looks great.
27 October 2009, Tuesday
Finally a day to relax. I was a bum all day. I did manage to install the hasp and lock on the cooking trunk and went by the store and got some cooking supplies which I loaded into the new trunk.
28 October 2009, Wednesday
Spent the day at Matanzas. I brought in some Goya Mexican rice and chicken strips which Richard cooked in our little kettle. We got an amazing amount of food out of this little 2-quart pot, feeding four people with seconds for three of us. We did smoke ourselves out of the building but it was worth it.
29 October 2009, Thursday
It was foggy this morning when I got up but cleared up an was a beautiful day. Today I'm driving to Orlando to pickup Dave and Linda at the airport. Had an espresso and ham, cheese and egg croissant at Le Cafe, then put in some gas before running the Jag through the car wash. Plugged in my iPod and listened to my Windows podcast while driving.
Met up with Linda and Dave and drove back on the A1A. We are planning on having dinner at Patty's around 1700.
Good time was had by all at Patty's. Jalapeño burger, Minorcan chowder and some chicken wings along with some good beer.
30 October 2009, Friday
Clean up KAHOLEE in preparation for Spouse's arrival tomorrow.
31 October 2009, Saturday
Finished cleaning up and picked up Spouse at 1300 at JAX. Drove down the US1 to Matanzas and visited the fort where Dorothy got to meet Kevin. Unfortunately Richard had left early so she didn't get to meet him. Back to Oyster Creek, we had dinner at Patty's and hit sack.
01 November 2009, Sunday
Had breakfast at Mary's then met the tour group at the Saint Augustine Beach Police parking lot where we loaded up on the bus. Our first stop was at Mount Dora where we had lunch at a very nice English teahouse. I had bangers and mash which is sausages and mashed potatoes with gravy and an excellent English beer. We then walked around town and visited the train which is run for tourist. Before boarding the bus we got stopped at an ice cream shop where Dorothy had a cone and I had a malt.
We then traveled to Tarpon Springs where we unloaded at the Hampton Inn before heading to Rusty Bellies for dinner. I had shrimp and grits which they call Carley Sue's and a cup of ??? Following dinner it was back to the hotel and to bed.
02 November 2009, Monday
Up around 0730 and down to breakfast for a sausage and egg biscuit before heading down to the Greek quarter where we boarded the tour boat and headed out to Anclote Key to see the lighthouse.
Following the lighthouse visit we returned to Tarpon Springs and had lunch at a Greek restaurant called ???. The food was excellent and we had xxx and xxx with an excellent Greek beer called Mythos. Next we wondered around town for a bit and visited the Sponge Factory where we watched a short informative movie on sponging and bought some souvenirs before heading back to the bus and departing for Saint Augustine. We shopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner, but Dorothy and I were so full we just had a soft drink and sat on the porch. We arrived in Saint Augustine around 2030 and headed back to KAHOLEE where we hit the sack as we were very tired.
03 November 2009, Tuesday
Slept in and had breakfast at Le Cafe around 0900. Packed up and then did a bit of exploring around Saint Augustine stopping by the lighthouse and picking up one of the new calendars for Spouse. Next we headed north along the A1A to Jacksonville. Dropped Dorothy at JAX and headed back to Saint Augustine. Stopped by Win Dixie and picked up some supplies before returning to KAHOLEE for dinner of a quarter roast chicken and a spinache salad. Listened to a book on tape then turned in.
04 November 2009, Wednesday
I was at Matanzas today. Richard didn't get there until around noon, so I had the place mostly to myself all morning. Well if you don't count the few visitors we had. I sewed a button on my waistcoat that had come off and cleaned my musket. Unfortunately we didn't have any cartridges for the muskets so I didn't get to shoot today. I did demo the cannon and muskets for several groups and had a sandwich for lunch. I also read up on candle making and inspected the molds. Need to get a small pan to melt the wax and some wire to help suspend the wicks but looks like I'll be able to start doing this shortly.
Richard arrived at noon and I gave him the book I'd bought for him. It is called The Invisible Hook and applies economics to pirates. I've got it on my iPod and quite enjoyed it so I figured Richard, who has a PhD in economics would get a kick out of it.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I had a great steak for dinner then hit the sack.
05 November 2009, Thursday
Got up late and checked email. Jeffrey had sent the latest Castillogram which included a link to Dixie Gun Works who is offering a new Pedrosoli Spanish Musket.
Couldn't resist so after checking with Spouse I ordered one. Can't wait!!! This will work better for interpretive purposes than the Brown Bess, although I do love the Bess dearly, a Spanish soldado should be carrying a Spanish musket.
Typed in an article form The Geeks Atlas, 128 Places Where Science & Technology Come Alive by John Graham-Cummings on Gunpowder, Guncotton, and Cordite which I sent off to Jeffrey then took a shower. Back aboard I updated the website before heading out to pickup some supplies.
06 November 2009, Friday
Waited for the fusil to arrive then hit the showers then went to the laundry mat and did laundry. After unpacking the musket I noticed a large scratch near the breach so I called Dixie Gun Works and made arrangements t return it. They will ship me a replacement which will arrive on Monday, unfortunately to late for this weekend.
Laundry was next which took an hour or so then Went by Win Dixie and picking up some things. After Win Dixie I dropped by West Marine to see if they had one of the monkey fist key rings, but no luck but I did purchase a replacement flag (US Yacht Ensign) for KAHOLEE as her current flag is getting a bit worn. I even remembered to take in my WM coupons so I got a good price.
Preped for Matanzas but discovered I was short on rice for the Chicken Mole.
Steak for dinner then to bed.
07 November 2009, Saturday
Up early showered then headed over to Win Dixie for some rice. Picked up a package of Goya medium grain rice and headed to Matanzas.
Richard and I used the dolly to haul our cooking box, cooler and water container to the island and got the cooking started and the fort setup. Today is cannon day so Chris was in uniform too. Had a good day shooting and the mole turned out excellent, we even fed Carter the boat captain and she liked it quite a bit.
Discussed tomorrows Garrison Day at Castillo and headed home.
Hot Dogs for dinner and since I had some ice from the cooler, a couple of dark and stormies.
08 November 2009, Sunday
Breakfast at Mary's then over to the Castillo. One of the maintenance guys let me into room 8 (our volunteer room) where I dropped off my stuff. Since he and I were the only ones there and he had left the area I had the Castillo all to myself so I had a seat in the shade and just appreciated the structure.
Jill showed up along with one of the guys which signaled the end of my solitude. More people arrived including Richard so we got together with Joe and found out if we could set up our tent and bring out the field gun. He indicated it would not hinder the plan so we set these items up and then settled down to plan the days activities. One squad was going to fore the cannon and the other, the one I was part of, was doing a musket demo on the front lawn.
Since we had enough people to make a more impressive squad of musketeers Richard and I would post with bayonets fixed either side of the entry to the sally port. The squad would march up and order us to remove the bayonets and fall in then we marched out to the green where we did some marching drills before firing. Really cool, wish we had enough people to do this on Mondays.
Lunch at the pizza place in Old Town.
A great Garrison Day. We even had time to clean muskets without rushing.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I had some of my favorite soup and a couple of dark and stormies (which used up the last of the ice) for dinner then read some of my log entries. I really need to work on them to clean up some of my typos and syntax errors. Played Pirates of the Caribbean Online for a bit, participating in repelling Jolly Roger's (the main bad guy in the game) attack on Port Royal. Updated the site then hit the sack.
09 November 2009, Monday
Met Richard at Mary's for breakfast, had a Greek omelet, then headed over to the Castillo and got the tent, which was already up, setup with the rest of the "stage dressing". Unfortunately this didn't last as the potential for rain prompted Joe to have us tear everything down so we would not have to deal with wet canvas. Of course, once this was done it never rained again. Richard, Marty, Tom and I had a great day demoing the muskets and talking with the visitors. Lunch was at Mary's where I had a jalapeño burger. We also spent some time talking with Joe about programs and had a good day all in all.
Headed back to the Marina, took a shower, changed clothes and headed to the Garrison meeting.
Back aboard KAHOLEE fixed some soup and hit the sack early. Hurricane Ida is heading this way and tomorrow is a boat project day.
10 November 2009, Tuesday
Got up and checked the weather. Ida is downgraded to a tropical depression (winds <39) so things look better. Still I stripped the sunshade and air conditioner, placing them in the cockpit. Went to West Marine and got 6 new dock lines then had lunch at Le Cafe, a French Press. Doubled the dock lines on the bow and took the dinghy to the stern where I put two dock lines on each of the pilings to port and starboard. Of course now nothing will happen but better safe than sorry. The neighbor thanked me.
Called Andy at Matanzas to see what the situation would be for tomorrow, he will check and get back to me.
Called Richard and let him know. He is going to set me up with a sling, frizzen stall and flash guard for my Fusil so I can shoot it on Wednesday if the situation allows.
Andy called back just before dark and said we are a go for tomorrow. It looks like the weather will be ok, but we will deal with the situation as it develops. As KAHOLEE is secure I will not need to worry as Ida is only a tropical depression now and it looks like it will be in the center of the state until around 1900 on Wednesday. Will check the status tomorrow before heading out though.
Chili for dinner and a movie then hit the sack early.
11 November 2009, Wednesday
A Matanzas day. We had miscalculated and this was not the day the lady from the gift shop was going to cook so we made Spanish rice. We also had trouble with thefire and lots of smoke. Chris is now letting us carry a second cartridge for re-priming which makes us happy.
Stopped by Win Dixie and got some charcoal for tomorrow at Fort Mose and some baked chicken for dinner.
Dinner and to bed.
12 November 2009, Thursday
Richard and I are at Fort Mose today to talk to some 4th grade students. We have setup two A-frame tents and are using the brazier to heat water for tea. Talking to the youngsters was a lot of fun. We will do it again tomorrow.
Had lunch at a nearby seafood place then headed over to Win Dixie for some wood charcoal.
13 November 2009, Friday
Housekeeping day, not much else. Picked up my new hat blanks from Townsend.
14 November 2009, Saturday
Usual stops then out to Matanzas. Mexican rice for lunch.
15 November 2009, Sunday
Rested up and bummed around the Marina.
16 November 2009, Monday
Had a good day at Castillo. Setup our encampment and had fun chatting with Richard, Noah, Chaz, Tom, Marty and Joe
17 November 2009, Tuesday
Took my new hat blanks out to Heidi. One will be a 1702 Spanish uniform hat which will have a flat brim with a red plume. The other is going to be my 1740 Spanish tricorn which will allow me to give the Park Service back their hat.
18 November 2009, Wednesday
Today is the paella day at Matanzas so I'm quite looking forward to lunch today. Made the usual stops and arrived about 0900. Richard and I could think of nothing but the coming meal so we had hunger pangs all morning. When the meal arrived our Spanish lady friend was all dressed up in period clothing and brought her sister along. We had more food than you could shake a stick at, paella, home baked bread and a wonderful dessert cake with wine sauce.
19 November 2009, Thursday
Housekeeping and a bit of shopping, otherwise a slow day.
20 November 2009, Friday
Had a diver clean KAHOLEE's bottom. She was looking kind of sad around the waterline which cleaned up nicely. Diver reported the rest looked good. It is only where the sun is able to work on the sea growth that it gets a good beard going.
21 November 2009, Saturday
Made the usual stop at Starbucks on the way to Matanzas. Nice day. Richard made some of the Mexician rice with chicken, chorizo, onions and peas added. It was great and with a bit of help from the boat crew it all disappeared.
Hamburger and bowl of Menorcan chowder for dinner at Patty's.
22 November 2009, Sunday
Hung around KAHOLEE and rested up.
23 November 2009, Monday
Met Richard and Noah at Mary's for breakfast then spent the day at the Castillo. We setup our sunshade awning along with the stage dressing to make it look occupied then spent the day firing muskets and doing interpretation.
Tonight is the lecture on the history of colonial Saint Augustine so Richard, Noah, John S., Tom, Marty and I headed over for pizza at around 1700 then to the Lightner Museum theater around 1800. We got setup to provide background for the event guarding doors, giving directions and taking tickets.. Around 1900 we headed in and watched the lecture and portrayal of Pedro Mendez, heading home at about 2200.
24 November 2009, Tuesday
Slept in then updated the website
25 November 2009, Wednesday
Matanzas today with Richard and Noah. Since it was raining Richard had not brought his musket but I'd brought Maria (the fusil). My first shot was in the rain and she performed flawlessly. This musket is very reliable, perhaps due to the blond flint which works seems to work much better then the dark English variety.
Didn't feel like cooking tonight so I stopped by Pizza Hut and got a Meat Lovers pizza and headed back home for pizza and a movie.
26 November 2009, Thursday
Happy Thanksgiving. I went to the Castillo today and was surprised to see we had enough troops to fire cannons so it was a fun day. A large number of our visitors were foreign nationals since most Americans were having Thanksgiving dinner and not out running about. Met some really interesting people.
Steak for Thanksgiving dinner aboard KAHOLEE.
27 November 2009, Friday
Day off and after several days in a row of "work" I just bummed around KAHOLEE. Fixed red beans and rice for dinner.
28 November 2009, Saturday
Fort Mose today with Mark, Richard, Noah and some of the boys plus people from Mose. We setup our A-frame tents and the stage dressing so they look lived in. Mark provided a Garrison flag and stand for us so it looked great. The lady's fixed a delicious meal on the fire and Richard, Noah and I fixed tea on the brazier. It was quite chilly even with the great coat on so we stuck close to the fire and I decided to purchase one of the boat cloaks from Jas. Townsend which should get me through the winter and work with any of my living history clothing.
On a sad note, someone had vandalized the beautiful signage along the walkway to the original site viewing area. These signs had half-models of pistols, bayonets, etc. mounted on them so they looked much better then the usual such signs. These had all been chiseled off by some vandals at some point between now and our last visit. Very sad.
29 November 2009, Sunday
Went looking for a hot beverage cup and some of the Spanish chocolate. Met Joe and some of the boys and had lunch at the new grill across from the Castillo, then went to the Mercado and found a nice Spanish made cup. Went across the street to the Spanish Quarter Museum gift shop and picked up two of the coloring books Heidi had showed me which have very nice depictions of historical clothing and a book named Jonathan Dickinson's Journal which describes a journey from Port Royal Jamaica to Philadelphia via Saint Augustine and Charles Towne which occurred in 1696.
Afterward I visited the tavern where I got a line on the chocolate drink the Spanish used instead of coffee or tea from a lady living historian who was a history professor at Flagler Collage which is sold under the name of Abuelita by Nestles. I first headed by the Discount Grocery store but what they had was out of date and I found out it could be purchased at Wal-Mart so it was off to Wally World where I got my Abuelita in both a solid form and a mix. The solid form looks like it is more original but both require milk so I'll have to pickup some for testing.
On the way back to KAHOLEE I stopped at Win Dixie and picked up some supplies.
30 November 2009, Monday
Had breakfast with Richard then headed over to the Castillo and setup our camp display. Good day shooting, the fusil is very reliable. Lunch at Mary's where I bought lunch for Joe and Jill since both had just had a birthday. Nice people they are. Jill had got engaged to Chris from Matanzas so we all wished the the best in that regard.
Fixed a steak for dinner and watched some movies on NetFlix before hitting the sack
01 December 2009, Tuesday
Had a nice chat with Spouse on the phone this morning, then cleaned up a bit.
Today my copper tea pot is suppose to arrive so I'm waiting. I may go out and run some errands. Richard called and it looks like an 80% chance of rain and thunder showers tomorrow so we are taking sandwiches to Matanzas instead of cooking.
02 December 2009, Wednesday
After hitting the showers I went by Starbucks got my coffee and water but they were out of sandwiches so I stopped at the speedy mart just past the 206 bridge and got a couple of sandwiches. It was suppose to rain and have thundershowers today so we leaving the cooking gear at the admin building so we would evacuate rapidly if necessary.
I did bring along the new copper teapot to show Richard but otherwise we had an easy time transporting our gear to the island. Chris (the park ranger incharge of the historic weapons demonstration program at Matanzas) started talking about canceling the musket demos due to the wind but decided to let us try. The wind really wasn't that bad and it is interesting to see if the muskets will fire in such situations and since both Richard and I had no misfires during the day so the wind didn't appear to be much of a factor.
Richard and I are having dinner tomorrow to celebrate our birthdays 12/4 for Richard and 12/7 for me. We invited Kevin who was happy to join us and even offered to pay (Kevin is a really nice guy). We declined since we are both planning on a fairly healthy dining bill but it was nice of Kevin to offer.
Stopped by Win Dixie and picked up some beer, fired chicken and ice cream for dinner then headed back to KAHOLEE for dinner and a movie.
03 December 2009, Thursday
Slept in then updated the website. Think I'll be a bum today before meeting Richard and Kevin for dinner. Tomorrow I'll get industrious... Well maybe. Saturday and Sunday are British Night Watch so I'm going to be busy for a couple of days being an East Florida Ranger.
Dinner with Kevin and Richard was great. Good food and good conversation.
04 December 2009, Friday
Kind of a gray old day so I stayed in and sorted my East Florida Ranger gear.
05 December 2009, Saturday
Today was busy. I got up at 0530, showered, put on my East Florida Ranger gear and got to the parking lot early. It was clear so I got my usual spot and called Richard. He had a meeting with his condo association and a Gator's game today so he was not coming. Breakfast at Mary's, then over to the Castillo, or should I say Fort Saint Marks. Met CJ from Charles Towne Landing in the parking lot and had a chat. Setup the base camp but on the other side of the courtyard since the British and us Rangers will be drilling on most of it. Got out the British 3-pounder and settled in. It was a rainy day so not really good for being outside but we hunkered down in our tent and John started cooking beef stew.
1200, stew was great. We are firing cannon using the British field drill. Afternoon saw us doing the drills after receiving our pay vouchers. Most of the Lobsters (red coats) did musket and marching drills, we did a cannon drill that went off well.
Joe let me fire my double barreled pistol from the gun deck. I was loading from a single musket cartridge so it was a bit hit and miss as to the sound since I could not load each barrel evenly, but she fired well.
Wondered over to merchant's row and picked up a few things, a spoon and fork, some lantern hangers and such.
My foot was bothering me so I skipped the march to Government House and had dinner at Prince or Whales (PoW) with John S., John A. and David. We were joined later by James. I had bangers and mash which was excellent a Guinness and some PG tea.
06 December 2009, Sunday
More British, although today is only us Rangers. Joe brought in a coat that was a duplicate of the ones from Treasure Island 1990 and is going to let me take it to Heidi so she can make me one. I have always lusted after one of these.
A very laid back day but lots of fun. made a cup of tea, fired cannon, lunch at the pizza place only spaghetti, sausage and meatballs this time. It was cool, but not as bad as yesterday and no rain thank goodness.
Made up some 60 grain loads for my pistol. These worked will enough but 80 might be a bit better. Right barrel flint failed toward the end so had to dump one load (we were firing loose powder not paper patched.
Cleaned my pistol, sat around and just appreciated Fort Saint Marks then headed home.
Soup and some breakfast sausage for dinner along with a couple of beers. Updated the website.
07 December 2009, Monday
Black Monday. I'm 60.
Being now "Officially" old I slept in a bit and shipped my usual breakfast at Mary's. We are back to being Spanish today at the Castillo so I put on my usual uniform and headed in. It was a fairly lazy day, trying to rain every once in a while so we tore down the camp early. Richard is still busy with his condo stuff so it was just Tom, Marti and me today. We did have one unusual thing happen. While doing the musket demo, Tom's musket discharged while being loaded but did absolutely no damage to anything. Lucky! We had Joe inspect the weapon and gave him a verbal report. He said he had seen something like this happen a couple of times before during this type of weather but no one had ever been hurt. Again, luckily. The following demo went off without a hitch so it must have been a fluke.
Joe hates paperwork so I volunteered to do the spreadsheet accounting for volunteer hours for 2009 for him. It does my heart good to see how happy that made him and since he takes such good care of us it was my pleasure to do so. Joe is a great guy and makes the volunteer experience at Castillo de San Marcos a real joy.
Got Happy Birthday greetings from Joe, Jill and the crew.
Went by Win Dixie and got some BBQ pork, chicken wings, Corona, limes and some ice cream. Some birthday dinner... Back to KAHOLEE we celebrated by watching Treasure Island 1990 and checked my email. I had Happy Birthday messages from Joe & Marge, Tim, and Richard, and a Facebook wall greeting from Dana.
Hit the sack early, again an "Old" trait.
08 December 2009, Tuesday
Got up fairly early and chatted with my Sweetie, then checked email. Had coffee and surfed a bit then bailed out the dinghy. It has been raining quite a bit here lately so she was very happy to be back on her waterline.
Around 0930 I called Heidi to see about getting her to make me a foul weather coat similar to the one Oliver Reed wore in Treasure Island 1990. Amazingly, Joe had had one of these custom made for him some time back and had brought it in. Joe is bigger than me so it doesn't fit well, but he loaned it to me to take to Heidi so she would have a reference. Unfortunately Heidi hadn't slept well so I will wait a while before calling her back.
Went to the office to check mail and found two letters, one from Linda and one from Matanzas. Linda's Birthday Card had cute little pirate stickers on it (a family trait these stickers) and a card which said "Happy Birthday to a Brother-in-Law who makes our family better!" Inside it says "A little weirder, maybe, but definitely better!" Cute Linda. ;) It also included a wonderful Christmas letter from Mom which Linda had written for her which I greatly enjoyed.
I also got a nice Birthday card from the folks at Matanzas. Nice people out here.
When I got back from my mail run I noticed Heidi had called so I called her back and made arrangements to see her just after 4PM today to give her the coat to copy.
Visited Heidi and had a nice chat then back to KAHOLEE for some final cleaning up before heading to Dallas.
09 December 2009, Wednesday
Buttoned things up and dropped the muskets off at Castillo. Headed out around noon. Log terminates until I get back.
08 January 2010, Friday
Back in Saint Augustine, but staying at the Saint Francis Inn with Spouse for a couple of days
09 January 2010, Saturday
Had breakfast at the Inn and visited the Oldest House today. Snacks in the afternoon then walked down to have dinner at the Florida Cracker.
10 January 2010, Sunday
Slept in, had a late breakfast at the Inn then packed up and took Dorothy to the airport in Jacksonville.
Back aboard KAHOLEE, ordered pizza and moved stuff in. It will take a while to get things squared away.
11 January 2010, Monday
Went to Castillo and spent the day firing muskets with Richard and the crew. Worked on the VIP time accounting for a few hours.
Fixed soup before heading to the Garrison meeting at 1900.
Went by Win Dixie after the meeting and picked up some supplies including some mole sauce and chicken for cooking at Matanzas on Wednesday.
12 January 2010, Tuesday
Went in to Castillo to finish up the VIP accounting. Got done around 1400 and Joe took me to lunch at Mary's.
Back aboard KAHOLEE to rest up for tomorrow's expedition to Matanzas. Pork chops for dinner.
13 January 2010, Wednesday
Slept in a bit, hit the showers, then off to Matanzas. Had a great day hanging out with Richard and Kevin. Kevin now has a Brown Bess and is shooting with us, which was great fun. We fixed chicken mole for lunch which we had with tortillas.
Back aboard I watched s couple of movies and had bacon and eggs for dinner then hit the sack.
14 January 2010, Thursday
Woke up early and updated the website then went back to sleep as it's a sleep-in day.
Up about 1000 and started cleaning up and putting things away. After the main cabin was squared away I decided to watch Grand Prix, one of my favorite movies and do a bit of web surfing.
Kind of bummed around for the rest of the day, had eggs for dinner and hit the sack
15 January 2010, Friday
Fixed coffee and surfed the web until around noon, then went downtown to pickup a tea pot at the Mercado. When I got to the NPS parking lot I gave Joe a call to see what he was doing for lunch and found he was at Mary's so I joined him for lunch and had fun chatting about the new computer he is building.
After lunch I headed over to the Mercado to look for a tea pot. As it turns out they only had one design and only four of them, but they were on sale for half their usual price which made them $15 each so I got two, one for Matanzas and one for me.
Next was grocery shopping at Win Dixie and Publix for boat supplies and stuff for Matanzas on Saturday.
Back aboard around 1600 and put things away. Noticed my starboard spreader flag halyard had parted so cleaned up that and will need to figure a way to fix it. The line is hung up on the pulley at the spreader so it may be possible to snag it and pull it down.
Decided to fix the paella dish I'm planning for Matanzas tonight. It is a bit more complicated than what we have been making so this will simplify our cooking and allow us to only use one pot tomorrow. Baked the chicken in the oven and fixed the rice portion in a pot on the stove. added the chicken then just before finishing some extra water and the shrimp. Tried a couple of small bowls and it isn't bad. Not as good as what Emma fixed, but passable and since I am using chicken breast strips with no bones and that I pealed the shrimp it will require less cleanup which is a good thing since we have to haul all that kind of stuff off the island at the end of the day.
Hit the sack around midnight.
16 January 2010, Saturday
Up early and off to Matanzas. It was raining slightly and foggy, especially on top of the 312 bridge so I ran my fog lights and extra taillights for visibility, not mine, but those approaching. Made the usual stop at Starbucks and enjoyed the drive to Matanzas. Found the gate already open so in I went and finished my coffee in the parking lot.
When Richard arrived we moved our gear to the boat and signed in before heading over to the island with Kevin.
It was a great day, foggy from time to time but our fire kept us nice and warm. The paella turned out excellent and everyone enjoyed it. Our new teapot was a success too allowing us to have a good supply of something hot. Chris is on leave so no musket firing, but an interesting crowd and more people than you would have thought considering the weather.
Back aboard KAHOLEE I had chicken mole for dinner.
17 January 2010, Sunday
I was planning on taking care of getting a small storage unit today but since it's Sunday I've decided to do house cleaning. and save that for my weekend (Thursday and Friday). So I'm starting the day with a call to my Sweetie, coffee, updating the website and Bond, James Bond.
18 January 2010, Monday
Went by Mary's for breakfast. Had a lot of fun with the usual suspects shooting muskets and BSing at the Castillo. Lunch at Mary's
19 January 2010, Tuesday
Cleaned up a bit on KAHOLEE bur for the most part a lazy day.
20 January 2010, Wednesday
Went by Starbucks where I had a nice chat with a Mustang owner before heading on to Matanzas.
As Richard says, the winter visitors are much more into the history of the place then the summer crowd. Enjoyable day, chicken and Spanish rice for lunch.
21 January 2010, Thursday
Kind of bummed around today. Had a pork roast for dinner. Have been having problems trying to access Star Trek Online so worked on sorting that out.
22 January 2010, Friday
Richard, Kevin and I went to the movie. After picking up our tickets we had lunch at the mall before the film. We saw Avatar in 3D IMAX and it was simply wonderful. Much better then the old 3D which always gave me a headache. Following the movie we had a drive back through the rain to Saint Augustine where we had dinner at the Longhorn (great steaks)
23 January 2010, Saturday
Good day at Matanzas, usual stuff, Starbucks and red beans and rice for lunch.
24 January 2010, Sunday
Found out Frank Suddeth had passed away and that there are plans for the Garrison to be involved in the funeral. Had to re-plan some of my activities for the next few days. I will need to skip Monday at Castillo in order t get things together.
25 January 2010, Monday
Took today off from the Castillo and will take Wednesday off from Matanzas in order to attend services for Frank Suddeth a longtime ranger/historian/reenactor at the Castillo de San Marcos who had just died of cancer. I had not known Frank long, but I had come to greatly respect his knowledge of the history of Saint Augustine and greatly enjoyed talking to him as he was one of the nicest individuals you could ever hope to meet.
Since most of my uniform shirts were dirty I planned to wash them today and take care of the tasks I'd normally do on Tuesday. The day started with a cleanup on KAHOLEE and packing all my laundry into my mesh bag. Headed to Mary's at noon and had lunch with Richard and discussed plans for Frank's fair well and for Saturday at Matanzas (British Night Watch).
Following lunch, headed over to the Mercado and picked up a combination tea pot, cup and saucer to replace the tea pot I have on KAHOLEE which will be moved to the Castillo for use there. Then off to CVS for some shampoo, rinse, and other such things before going to the laundry. After washing, drying and folding everything I drove to Win Dixie to stock up on supplies then back to KAHOLEE. All is ready for tomorrow. Steak for dinner.
I am taking a Technician HAM radio class and 1900 was the beginning of the first two hour session. I left a bit early so I could be sure to find the place and discovered the GPS in the Jag didn't know the street. Called the number provided with the flyer and got directions which got me to the building but it didn't seem anyone was around. Finally discovered they were on the other side and spent an enjoyable couple of hours with some very knowledgeable people.
January 2010, Tuesday
Squared things away onboard KAHOLEE in the morning then showered and was ready to meet Richard at 1630 to drive to the funeral home for Frank. We stood gard on the casket, taking turns with the other soldados. Frank was laid out in his finest British uniform, with wig and holding some of the brochures he was always passing out at the Castillo. Frank was also an artist, drawing pictures of colonial life which was very accurate. Many of these were on display as well as a beautiful video/slideshow of pictures of Frank from childhood until just recently.
27 January 2010, Wednesday
Up around 0500, showered. Was back onboard when Richard arrived and we drove to the Castillo and had breakfast at Mary's before heading over to the Castillo to prepare for Frank's funeral procession's passing in review. When they arrived we did a present arms and they fired the British field gun which signaled Jeffrey to fire the three six pounders on the wall. After this we headed over to the church where services were held. Mark Schmitt did a great eulogy for Frank as did his brother-in-law. Next we drove to the cemetery where we setup John's 3 pounder field gun. When the time was right we fired a three shot musket salute and then the gun was fired three times. Quite the send off. British as well as Spanish attended, Frank would have enjoyed it.
Back at the Castillo Richard and I had lunch at Mary's then headed back to the marina where I transferred my gear back to the Jag and boarded KAHOLEE for a nap. Later I had a bowl of chili for dinner then hit the sack.
28 January 2010, Thursday
Spent the day studying the HAM Technician manual and downloading a driver update for my laptop. Fixed bacon and eggs for lunch and turkey legs for dinner. Finally got Star Trek Online working, but I'm not sure if it was the driver update or fixing a bad web connection that actually did the trick.
Since I appear to be aground in Saint Augustine, at least for the foreseeable future, I'm not going to update on a daily basis, but only when something noteworthy occurs. I will also try to include some of the pictures related to previous events for those who enjoy them.
12 March 2010, Friday
Setup camp at the Mesa-Sanchez yard in preparation for Spanish Night Watch. I'll be camping in my new 18th century wedge tent for the weekend and I'll be the camp Commandant. Picked up the wood supply this morning as well so we should have a good warm fire at night. Aside from my tent, we have the two Garrison tents and the Bell Arms tent which looks like a small teepee and is designed to hold muskets.
13 March 2010, Saturday
Only one vender, but a good crowd thanks to the musket firing which draws people in.
14 March 2010, Sunday
Started packing up around noon and managed to get everything into the Jag's trunk. Glad I got the two piece tent poles. Then did a walk down of the area and headed back to KAHOLEE. Looking forward to a shower.
15 March 2010, Monday
Test day. I've been studying all day and hope I'm ready for the HAM test tonight.
Passed the test!!! Now just waiting for the license to be granted.
22 March 2010, Monday
Having passed my licensing exam, I was granted my HAM radio license today, KJ4TKB. Now all I need is a radio.
9 April 2010, Friday
Drove to Charleston for Founders day on Saturday. Road work in Georgia slowed things down a bit, but otherwise an uneventful trip. Stopped by the marina. It was Dock Master Jeff Davis' birthday so I hung around an helped setup then stayed for the party.
10 April 2010, Saturday
Back to being English. Fired the 12-pounder and hung out on the Adventure. Great fun.
11 April 2010, Sunday
Headed back to Saint Augustine.
15 April 2010, Thursday
Headed out for Dallas. I had intended to take two days, but I was on a roll so I drove straight through. Only thing of note was something that fell out of a pickup while driving through Louisiana in the middle of the night which I hit. Little of no damage, so not as bad as it could have been.
16 April 2010, Friday
Arrived in Dallas. Spouse was happy, but not about me driving straight through. Slept most of the day.
06 May 2010, Thursday
Fly to South Dakota to visit Mom
09 May 2010, Sunday
Fly Back to Dallas
26 May 2010, Wednesday
Just got the new Jaguar (a 1999 Vanden Plas known as J3 back from having all the door dings fixed when a woman making a right turn on a red light crosses over three lanes of traffic to impact my passenger-side door. Plano police took over half an hour to arrive so vehicles were moved by order of a Plano city maintenance employee. Woman lied about the accident, no determination was made by the police officer. Stay in Texas extended.
12 June 2010, Saturday
Drive to Saint Augustine
14 June 2010, Monday
Stay at the Saint Francis Inn. Room wasn't as good as last time we visited, but not bad.
15 June 2010, Tuesday
Spouse flies back to Dallas.