Voyage 2005-2006: Chapter 5

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22 Apr 2006, Preparations for the Trip North, 34 02.587 N/ 077 53.468 W

    The crew has been busy since their arrival to Carolina Beach. So busy, that our Christmas tree is still up. We had an impressive colony of sea growths on our mud (from Fort Pierce) encased hull. We hired a diver to harvest the critters and check on the zincs. We now have a super clean hull ready for the Bay. We had the rig tuned and replaced the engine control (it failed 140 mile offshore). Oil has been changed. We are ready!

    It took the dogs two weeks to get back to normal after our trip. Also, Gina (Lab) was diagnosed with Cushing's disease which is going to require many vet trips. So Ann is going to stay with the puppies while Bob takes the boat up to the Chesapeake. Our neighbor (and fellow bocce player), Dave Domenic (a.k.a, 'Sea Dog') was kind enough to offer his services to accompany Bob to the Bay. It should be a really fun cruise.

    SV Moony arrived in the Abacos (from Nassau) yesterday. The weather has been a bit boisterous so their progress has been somewhat slowed. SV Dances with Dragons arrived in Puerto Rico on Wednesday. The had a great trip from Fort Pierce and even saw some whales. Paint us envious. Part of us is sad that we are not out there with them but right now we feel our place is here with our grandbaby to be, our other grandbabies, and the 'kids'

25 Apr 2006, Sea Dog's First Day-Night-Day, 35 14.590 N/ 076 35.450 W

    Sea Captain Bob, skipper of Jule-III, graciously invited me to crew with him on the journey to Baltimore. Even though I am a rank amature I have admired SV Jule-III for a long time. I jumped at the adventure. Since a few of our legs would take us away from the ICW and out to sea, I had my doctor give me Rx for a motion sickness patch - just in case. Departure from Carolina Beach was exciting yet uneventful. The two hour cruise up Masonborough Sound was simply magnificent. SCB showed me the intricities and attributes of Jule-III. SCB is an excellent skipper (you don't know how happy I am to write that), he also seems to be more popular than the pope - nearly every other skipper waved at him as they were passing!

    Our wives and my daughter drove up to the Wrightsville Inlet and waved us out to sea. We had a perfect 10k wind blowing Northeasterly at our back and when we popped the sails.... Whoppie! We were sailing. It is impossible to describe the simple exhilaration of sailing into the sunset in a magnificent sailing vessel like Jule-III. For me this lasted about an hour. Seas were rolling about 6 to 8 feet and waves were breaking over the bow. What fun! Good sea captains never get seasick and I was protected by the $40 patch behind my ear. I was actually laughing out load. It was at that moment I learned a lesson every seaman knows...... Never laugh at Neptune! A wave of nausea hit me and sent me to the rail. After two hours I deep-sixed the useless patch. After six hours I was still glued to the rail with 15 hours to go to landfall. SCB put Jule in autopilot and fixed me a bunk below deck at the lowest part of the floor. This helped enormously and I was able to lay still, with an arm around the P bucket and in a fetal position all night long.

    With the dawn came calmer seas and calmer bays and SCB found every one, the leg into a tiny marina at Hobucken where we tied to at 4:00pm Tuesday was grand sailing. I must add that SCB made letter perfect, Captain Ron style loop and dock at the marina. Too bad no one is around to bear witness except one old man shucking oysters.

    Tomorrow - a day at the marina for some minor engine repairs then on Thursday, off to the Alligator River.

26 Apr 2006, Sea Dog - A Day at RE Mayo, Shrimp and Bait, 35 14.590 N/ 076 35.450 W

    Today was spent at a tiny marina straight out of a 1950's Rob't Mitchem B movie. It was great! SCB and I traded learning experiences today. He taught me the proper use and care of a P-Bucket and some of the intricate navigation equipment aboard Jule-III. One amazing piece of gear that SCB calls 'The Toy' is a GPS system that displays the boat and it's location, direction, speed and heading anywhere in the world down to accuracy measured in feet. It also indicates weather, tides, wind direction and velocity. I suspect it can also brew up a cup of tea but I haven't seen this yet.

    SCB also taught me about the nature of boat people. What a grand family of individuals! I use the word family because that is exactly how they act with one another. Always ready to help one another and spend time in conversations. There are also the 'black-sheep' members who tend to hot dog and brag. Just like an extended family.

    I taught SCB about being an Italian for a day. We polished off a bottle of grappa then had a meal of gnocce with red sauce, sausage, peppers and meatballs while watching the movie "Goodfellas" on the DVD. Yes, Jule-III has a flat screen TV, a DVD player and a first class CD system. Makes roughing it at sea manageable.

    If the rain stops and the winds subside we are off early tomorrow to the headwaters of the Alligator River where we plan on anchoring for the night.


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