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Old 04-08-2007, 14:45   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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August 2 - Charleston's many delights

For the last two weeks, we've been docked in Charleston City Marina. We've
managed to get nearly all of our issues resolved or projects previously
delayed finished. We took a sea trial to check out our prior instrument
misbehavior about a week ago. I'd met a young man who drove the courtesy
van for the marina and invited him and his girlfriend along, and Lydia
invited the childhood friend of some of her kids, and his roommate, living
in Charleston and going to school here. After motoring out of the marina
and the channel, and clearing the artificial reefs formed by the jetties
near the harbor entrance, we started extremely slowly, on just the
spinnaker, and came home in a rollicking good breeze under full sail,
motoring the last bits into the marina.

Unfortunately, there was a severe current running to go with that breeze,
and, putting it kindly, it was not one of my better dockings. Without the
gory details and blow-by-blow, we missed the first attempt, the current was
strong enough to blow us into a couple of things, and we bumped the stern
platform. Minor damage resulted to the rub rail and the ladder, but we
docked in the opposite direction from the way we were when we left. That
put us stern-to the stern of another boat on which there is a German, a
Captain hired to take his boat the same place we're going, and the dog Macy
those of you on Lydia's log list will recall having read about. As it
developed, they were going to leave at the same time we did, though not
necessarily sailing in tandem, but keeping in touch over the radio.

We've met so many wonderful people here in Charleston. People near us on
the dock are, in some cases, those we know from internet contacts. Others
come into, and go from our lives very quickly, but stay attached via the
internet. Many are either going where we are, or have just come from there,
so we're very encouraged about our upcoming travels, having heard
encouraging reports on previously nervous-making segments.

We've learned about geckoes from a couple who used to raise them, among
other livestock, including that one may feed them the flies you assassinate,
if you appropriately skewer them and offer them to the hungry critter. Of
course, the objective in having geckoes aboard is that no insect survive,
as, while cute (think Geico), they aren't particularly cuddly or
affectionate. We conquered the very few cockroaches, large (euphemistically
called palmetto bugs) and small (German) that we found last year by copious
distribution of the baits sold inexpensively in grocery and discount stores.

However, that was at the same time we introduced a small gecko, so we aren't
sure that he wasn't the occasion of many of the smaller ones' deaths. In
any event, if you don't feed them - and this one disappeared into the boat
immediately, so we have no idea of his provenance - they die. So, if we were
to acquire a couple of them, or, as that couple accidentally acquired a
gecko passenger in Florida did, killing and skewering flies and offering
them up, we'd either have to find enough flies or other insects to keep them
nourished, or feed them something else.

I mention this because where we are now (more later on how we arrived),
there are enough flies to be a nuisance, but not a plague, and we'd rather
have geckoes than exercise the flyswatter. However, back to the German, the
Captain and Macy...

Macy, having had a solitary life for nearly all her 7 years, attached
herself to anyone who'd pay attention to her. First it was Lydia, as you've
read, but as soon as Joe (Captain) arrived, she was torn between him and
Lydia as to whom she'd either follow down the dock or stay next to. So,
when Joe left, and we left, we expect she was bereft.

However, I digress. The other boat had enough problems and the owner had
such a total lack of knowledge either of them, or how to fix them, that the
Captain eventually walked off the job. As his home was near where we were
going, he hitched a ride with us. With Joe along, we'd have another hand to
stand watches and, better, he was an experienced Captain who, had we engaged
him, would have cost us a thousand dollars or more for our trip. So, good
company, and very useful to have if circumstances got dicey.

As it turned out, we had much in common. He'd been a music teacher for 30
years, and was an active gigging trumpeter, playing with many notable bands,
beginning when he was 16! Obviously a prodigy on the trumpet, he was also a
very experienced Captain, and before we knew that he'd be coming with us,
he'd gotten out the charts of the inside route we'd expected to take,
showing us all the little tricks of the trade. Our charts had not included
the Intra-Coastal Waterway, the inside route, avoiding Cape Hatteras, so
that was very helpful.

At the same time, we discovered that our chartplotter wasn't compatible with
the chart chips we'd ordered from C-Map/Jeppesen. They were very
understanding, and - including the two we'd ordered back in January - took
back the entirety of what we'd ordered at full value, replacing them with
chips which didn't exceed the memory on our plotter. We checked them out,
and aside from some anomalies of having incompatibility between two chips
where their coverages overlap (have to take one out to let them read the
area), all is well, and we're covered from Sandy Hook, a suburb of New York,
all the way to the Dry Tortugas park, at the very end of the Florida Keys.

We had finished all of our electrical checkouts after our repairs, and I'd
managed to get the new internet equipment to the point I would feel it ok to
put it up the mast. However, as always, time marched on, and I used it up
in repairing the dings generated in docking in a very heavy current on our
sea trials of the electrical work. So, the ladder and rub rail of the swim
platform were repaired, and the dinghy re-slung (to allow a higher and more
level mount) but the up-the-mast work, including getting the spreader boots
(the things which help the sails not be torn in the rigging hardware)
attached, nor the sail slides lubricated, the hailer horn (the speaker which
allows us to broadcast voice traffic, or, more importantly, make the
appropriate noises in fog or alarm conditions) attached, nor one of other
the pieces of gear which departed in our storm damage back in February, the
"Windex" - a pointer and boundaries which let us tell at a glance where the
wind is coming from.

As those are non-critical items, and the weather window looks perfect, we
made ready to go at first light. Meanwhile, the most significant problems
on the other boat had involved lighting, absolutely necessary on the ocean
and in shipping lanes. On the owner's entreaties, Joe had decided to stick
it out with Jade, the other boat, taking it on the inside route where
lighting was of no great moment. So, he informed us as we were starting the
engine that he'd stay. However, as we were also doing some stowing and
other make-ready activity and didn't leave immediately, not 10 minutes later
he was back asking if he could still come. Turns out there'd been some more
discussion and the owner hadn't been willing to make the needed adjustments
to not only go inside, but have Joe along.

So, a little after 8 on August 3rd, we shoved off. Stay tuned...



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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You seek problems because you need their gifts."
(Richard Bach, in The Reluctant Messiah)
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