Sunday, October 13, 2019

Home Smith - Can't get outboard started

We say goodnight to Homer Smith
The outboard motor won't start. For someone with a pet to get to shore that likes to anchor out, that's a big problem. I brought on the problem all by myself. I had Fleetwing hauled last May and didn't empty the tank before putting the boat up for the summer on land. Over the summer, the outboard sat on the aft rail in direct sunlight when the temperatures reach the 90's many days. This problem happened once before when the motor sat on the aft rail in Titusville (facing south) for four months. For that incident, I had the carburetor cleaned in St Augustine and it was fine for the rest of the cruise. The problem I'm having now sounds just like the same thing. I tried carburetor cleaner by spraying it in the ports but got no results. I plan on stopping at Zimmerman's in Southport to get it cleaned.

We made use of Home Smith's free courtesy car to provision for the rest of the trip south. We bought massive amounts of groceries and now we're stocked for most of the trip to Titusville.  The weather is a little iffy but the rain, if any, is predicted to just be in the early morning. We would like to reach Topsail Marina in Surf City which would stage us for the trip to Southport the next day. The current is ebbing in the afternoon that day with light winds so it ought to be fine.

Homer Smith's clubhouse to  be
Homer Smith is still expanding. He added the 60 ft ipe wood floating docks last spring and now he's building a proper clubhouse. It will have three washers and three dryers, three showers with one being handicap, a kitchen for transients, lounge, and even a work area. It will be a two-story affair with an elevator. Tony thinks he can do it in three months but it will probably take longer.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Homer Smith Marina in Beaufort, NC - at a dock

Our traveling companion for the last several days - Highlander
We had a day on the Neuse that will never be equaled again. It was glassy calm with winds of less than 5 kts. From past experience, the Neuse can equal the Albemarle in nastiness. It is shallow and it has a very long reach for the waves to build up. However, they can't build without wind! The large bays are behind us now, the rest is mostly protected waters although Cape Fear River can be bad if try it with wind against the tide.

Fresh filleted fish
We are now in Homer Smith Marina on one of their 60 ft docks which are a pleasure to tie up to. They have free laundry and if the fleet is in, you can get shrimp and the fish of the day. We will take advantage of the free courtesy car to get groceries on Sunday so we can stock up for the rest of the trip south.

Red Snapper, outstanding fish for a dinner



















There is quite a community here of long termers and we shared happy hour with our neighbors. It's a nice group of people. It doesn't hurt that the weather has turned warm and sunny without rain!


Friday, October 11, 2019

RE Mayo - at a dock

This guy is right behind us
Finally, finally, we made it through the Alligator River swing bridge! They did the first opening last night at 5:00 for a north bound barge which proved that everything was working as expected. The bridge engineer, who I've come to know, held a special opening at 7:30 am just for those on the docks at Alligator River Marina who had waited so long to get through. Out we filed and lined up for a mass exodus. The bridge opened as promised, we all went through!

Wilkerson bridge is always a tight fit - here it is only 63 hight
It was a great day to travel with north winds, no rain, and full sunshine. We made it to RE Mayo by 4:20 pm and got a dock for $0.40/ft. For our dock, there was no electricity and no water but that's okay since we were only going to be there one night. The docks here are not for everyone. They look broken down, there are two outhouses to serve as transient bathrooms and there are no showers. If you want all that stuff, you go elsewhere.

This is why you need 17 inch round fenders along
What does attract us are the flash-frozen locally caught seafood, especially the shrimp and scallops. They are packed flat so they fit in the freezer without any wasted space - and they are good! They also feature a heavy-duty marine store with items you won't find elsewhere. We're happy with the stop and always look forward to restocking our freezer with their seafood.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Alligator River Marina - Last day (we hope)

What are they looking at?

Lots of crabs to look at
The marina is a haven for crab boats. They come and go all during the day. There is a young couple with kids that went to investigate the latest catch of crabs. They were fascinated with the blue crabs. It's always a wonder to watch kids and their surprise and appreciation of everything that's new to them. As adults, we tend to lose that sense of wonder as we grow older. It was fun to watch. 

The first barge through in over a week!
The big news of the day was the progress on the repair of the bridge. They were successful in getting it to open using the backup system and they let a barge through than had been waiting for several days. Our turn will come Friday morning at 7:30 am for the boats in the marina. Later on, there will be a limited schedule published for the bridge operation until the primary system that was rebuilt is installed, probably in a couple of days. The limited schedule is not official yet but will probably be something like 9:00, noon and 3:00. 

We will head out at 7:30 with the rest of the marina crowd and likely reach RE Mayo for the night and, hopefully, Homer Smith the next day for a two day stay. Then we'll look at the weather and decide our next stop. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Alligator River Marina - things get dark

Well, there's still room, so far.
We arrived here Monday but some have been here since Thursday waiting for the bridge to open. Today was supposed to be the day they first tried to open the bridge as a test. The test failed. The bridge engineer will not promise any date and now it's very open-ended. In truth, we have no idea of when it will be repaired. There are a dozen boats piled up in the marina (but there's still room for a half dozen more) and the mood is not optimistic. The bridge crew works from morning to 7:30 but are now looking to Thursday for even a test run. All they say is that they are "working on it".

The dark picture matches our spirits
Meanwhile, life goes on and we did a laundry today. The marina has two washers and two dryers but unfortunately, none of them worked! You only found that out by throwing your laundry into the washer only to find out that it would not pump out the water. So now you had soaking wet clothes which we hang rung to put in the dryers. Just like the washers, they were nonfunctional. What to do? After a call to the manager, we were taken to the residence house and finished the washer there - but only after finding the dryer there was also nonfunctional - but al least that was fixable by unblocking the exhaust tubing.

In the middle of all this, I gave a 1.5 hour presentation on the status of the ICW south of here to a group of boaters similarly stuck north of the bridge. So we are all waiting. I saw a post today asking whether we thought the bridge would be fixed by the time he arrived in mid November!

So we wait and wait. There is an option to go around by the outer banks but it's a big detour and not possible with strong winds. Towards the end of this week, it becomes a possibility. It's a daily wait and see, ugh.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Alligator River Marina - Out for wine

Can't go in high winds, might lose them overboard
I decided to hold a "Going South" presentation this Wednesday at 2:00 at the clubhouse here. Everybody in the marina signed up and I updated all my charts for the event. I will cover all the latest things to be concerned about (and how to become unconcerned!) on the trip south on the ICW.

The iconic lighthouse of Alligator River Marina
Meanwhile, not only are the boats piling up since nobody can get through the bridge, but also large windage structures are parked in the Alligator River Marina parking lot. Today we had three pre-fabs parked because the winds were too high for a passage over the long bridge. They will probably be here Wednesday too since there's no letup in the wind predicted.

We went over for wine with Dixon and Kiki and traded stories of all kinds, very enjoyable. They had nice wine which we always enjoy. We also heard that the bridge is due to try an experimental opening sometime on Wednesday which bodes well for a Thursday return to normal, we hope.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Alligator River Marina - at a dock

Alligator River Marina is not as full as I expected. There's room for a dozen more boats
The forecast was for higher winds than we wanted but we started out anyway since the rest of the week had winds of 20 to 30 kts with higher gusts. As it turned out, the crossing was very smooth. The winds stayed around 10 kts and we had a level ride.

This Coast Guard crew was unaware that the bridge was closed (when I asked when it would reopen).
The problem, of course, is the Alligator River Swing Bridge. It is close to navigation with no firm uptime. I found the cellphone number of the engineer responsible to repair the bridge and gave him a call. He replied that the earliest date for the bridge to return to operation would be Thursday and that was optimistic! Evidently, there's some part that has to be manufactured from scratch since there are no spares and it's going to take a few days at least.

We're tucked into a slip and not our usual spot on the facedock due to their expectation of more boats coming in.
Meanwhile, we're prepared to wait a while. Going outside through Manteao was not an option for us given the three-day forecast of 20 to 30 kts winds with higher gusts! In cruising, you just can't have a fixed schedule! You never know what's in store for you - and perhaps that's part of the attraction.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Coinjock - We have the prime rib dinner

With the channel 90 ft wide, we meet up with this guy
The channel into Coinjock is rather narrow, down to 90 ft wide in places, so it's handy to know exactly how far off the center of the channel you can go - especially when you meet one of the tugs shown in the photo! Aqua Map with the USACE surveys is a real help here but Navinics with SonarChart is pretty good too through this area.
The tug went right down the middle, I let him do that...  I snugged over to one side but stayed out of the red! The depth numbers from the USACE surveys are also displayed in Aqua Map, handy to have.






The famous Coinjock restaurant

No visit to Coinjock would be complete without dinner at their restaurant. Their specialty is prime rib which we always have. Ann and I both order ours rare, a real treat.

The Monday forecast is looking okay for crossing the Albemarle with winds around 10 kts but out of the southeast. We'll take it since the weather deteriorates over the next few days after that.

The other obstacle is the Alligator River bridge which has been out of commission for the last several days. We heard this afternoon that the part it needed arrived and they plan to have it installed by noon on Monday - hopefully. We'll leave early Monday but we only plan to reach the Alligator River Marina and then RE Mayo by the next day if the weather holds.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Great Bridge Free docks - across from Atlantic Yacht Basin

The start of the ICW!
 We weren't concerned about going too far today since we hadn't planned on crossing the Albemarle until Monday anyway. With that, we had a relaxed start and took time to refuel too. We had expected a crowded ICW but it was no more crowded than usual.

We wanted to take advantage of the free dock just south of Great Bridge but was concerned that it would be full, given the expected boat traffic. However, when we arrived, there was only one boat on the dock so we had plenty of room. The dock here has a nature trail right off the dock and it's easy on and off with the wooden walkway. That's an advantage for those with pets.

Easy dock to get on and off
We took Hoolie for a walk along one of the trails and came upon an area where they must hold outdoor talks? It consisted of a bunch of sawed-off tree trunks that seemed to be useful for sitting upon and a presentation table made up of the same tree trunks, interesting.

Have a meeting with nature...
Sunday morning continues the weather watch. Monday is a possibility but the weather apps disagree. We will move on to Coinjock and hope for the best.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Hampton - Last day and with dinner guests


Hampton planted a row of beautiful pampas grasses. They shimmer in the sun when stirred with the slightest wind, very beautiful. We put up the rest of the enclosure, took on water, and a bag of ice. We even did a wash. With that, we’re set until we reach Homer Smith in Beaufort, NC. We plan to reach the free dock just south of Great Bridge on Saturday and move on to Coinjock Sunday. 



The trip across the Albemarle is iffy. The US based model has wind of 5 to 10 kts but the European model shows winds of 10 to 15 with higher gusts. It’s a go for the US forecast but a no go if the European model holds for Monday. It will be a wait and see day. The winds pipe up again on Tuesday so it will be a wait if Monday doesn’t prove to be good. Wind above 15 kts is a disaster on the Albemarle and 10 to 15 on the nose is on the edge of a disaster, especially with higher gusts. The reason is the shallow water, the waves build up into closely spaced, block waves that play havoc with your boat. 

We had friends over for dinner tonight on Fleetwing and we all had a grand time. It’s early to bed for us and a big day tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Hampton - Exploring the features of Downtown Hampton Public Piers


Downtown Hampton Public Piers has always had a selection of herbs for use by visiting boaters. They even have tomatoes and peppers along with makings for a fresh salad. I picked up a tomato daily for lunch and a few peppers for Ann. She intends to take full advantage of the garden before we leave on Saturday morning. 



Another perk of the marina are the free bikes. They have about 5 bikes they keep for visiting boaters. Notice the basket on the front for carrying goods. There is a Food Lion supermarket about 1.6 miles away, a bit of a hike but handy if you need some things. 

If you anchor out, the marina maintains a dinghy dock at no charge unless you want to use the showers which you can for a nominal fee of $1.00. 

A new sign notes that there’s no docking without a reservation. They had experienced people coming in at night without an reservation and blocking the docking of late arrivals that had a reservation - hence the new policy. I think it’s a good idea. Temporary docking is at a rate of $10 for four hours (note that this does not apply to those that anchor out and just want to come to shore in their dinghy and use the dinghy dock - it’s marked as such). 

As for docking fees, it’s $2.00/ft unless you have BoatUS where it’s $1.75/ft. If you select the $2.00/ft rate, then the fourth night is free. Electric is extra at $5/night for 30 amp, $10/might for 50 amp and $20/night for 100 amp. 

We were successful in ascertaining that we still had an aft cabin - we can see the cushions now! Before (no photos!!) it was just a blob of stuff as far as the eye could see - and your eye couldn’t see very far. It almost looks like a cabin again, almost. It looks like Monday is a good day to cross the Albemarle so we’ll leave here Saturday morning and take the free dock by the Great Bridge and then move on to Coinjock for Sunday. Ann’s looking forward to the prime rib dinner at the restaurant there! 

When walking Hoolie tonight, I came upon crew putting shells away. They use the protected, flat waters of the river to train on. Meanwhile, I found a way to download routes and track in iOS 13 by deleting all the navigation apps I did not use. Once I pruned my app list to only four apps (Aqua Map, Navionics, etc.), the “Open In” dialog showed the remaining nav apps. So now I’m back in business! I have yet another call with Apple on Friday since I don’t know if this is a permanent fix or not. Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

95 today, too hot but followed by a great meal

Eta Gordon prepares dinner
It surely was a very hot day. We had the A/C going all day long, lucky for us. We did a little teak in the morning but it was mostly staying inside out of the heat. In the meantime, I discovered that the latest Apply iOS (13) disabled the loading of tracks and routes to an iPad. That’s a tremendous impact for all the boaters following my tracks as I head south on the ICW. I spent two hours on the phone with Apple technical support and I’m due a call back at 10:00 on Thursday with a status. One wonders how it’s possible to make such mistakes from such a big company that values it being consumer oriented. 


The saving grace of the day was dinner with Eta and Gordon Johnson. We’ve known them since we bought our Beneteau 423 in 2003. Eta puts out a wonderful dinner every time and so we enjoyed the  camaraderie of being on the ICW and meeting friends along the way. 

We still have a lot to do that we put off due to the heat but we’ll tackle that on Thursday. Monday looks like a good day to cross the Albemarle so we’ll aim for Sunday to reach Coinjock. 



Everybody digs in for dinner at the Gordons. We’ll have them over to Fleetwing on Friday. The interior ought to be somewhat presentable by then!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Finally, we get off


We were supposed to go in the water last night but we were after this beautiful, wooden boat. The owner had worked on it for three months over the summer in 95 degree heat. For a wooden boat, that’s a very dry environment. Once launched, the water came in since the wood had shrunk. The yard had to leave the boat in slings overnight for the wood to absorb water and swell - and hopefully become waterproof once again. The owner spent a fretful night listening to the bilge pumps but ever so gradually, the flow lessened. I came back the next morning.




Now itwas my turn. I looked pretty puny in the enormous slings used for all the big boats in the marina. At my yacht club in New York, I am one of the biggest boats in the yard - not here! So I floated through the air and was launched once the wooden boat was moved to a side dock (the flow had lessened to a point that it was manageable and seemed to be decreasing).

Everyone in the yard at Stingray Point Boat Works was very professional. They obviously knew what they were doing. They even put fresh plastic on the slings before lifting Fleetwing. They had a big roll for just that purpose mounted on the travel lift. Once in the water, Fleetwing started right up and we were off, heading south to Hampton. 

Along the way, I turned on tracking and when I arrived at Hampton, I uploaded the first track of my fall trip south, T_10_1_19.gpx. I will be doing that daily each day I move. I plan on being at Hampton for three days so we can get Fleetwing organized inside. The yard did a great job on the exterior but the inside is a mess. We just piled stuff in the aft cabin so we could shove off. You can access the track for downloading at the link. 
bobicw

I updated my iPad Pro to iOS 13 and so far it hasn’t shown the GPS loss of fix problem. I was running Aqua Map and Navionics SonarChart and discovered that the Navionics app also will use the external GPS when connected to an AIS receiver that sends such info over WiFi like the 
Vesper Marine XB-8000. So the moral of the story is that if you have an external gps source over WiFi, both the Aqua Map and Navionics apps will use it for GPS location instead of the internal GPS chip. In order for me to test for the iPad Pro loss of GPS problem, I have to periodically turn off the WiFi connection from the Vesper unit to the iPad Pro. 



So I walked Hoolie, filled the tanks with water and ran the fuel tank down to almost empty. I was pretty sure I had enough to reach Hampton but I wasn’t positive. Unfortunately, I shared that concern with Ann who wasn’t pleased that she had to join the captain in worrying.  I will have a new record (for me) in the amount of fuel I will be taking on when I leave. Hampton is also the home of Hampton University pictured above. 

Now it’s two days of inside work but at least we are on the water again! It’s a great feeling!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

2019 ICW Cruising Guide Overview

(One of the hardest things I've found out in writing a book is in getting reviews. Please consider writing a review if you can at Amazon Reviews. Just a paragraph will do nicely, thanks.)

We are all getting along in years. When I had this photo taken by my daughter in law, I asked Ann if she liked the photo and she said it was the best that could be done with the subject matter. Oh well. It will have to do.

I’m trying to ease the way south so you don’t have to repeat all the mistakes I’ve already made in my eight trips from New York to Key West. I’ve learned that most mishaps are avoidable and if so, why repeat them? It’s really not fun to run aground and wait for rescue from BoatUS or SeaTow, there’s no need. After nine years on the ICW, you learn what allows you to have more time to enjoy the sunsets. Why not? A cruise ought to be fun, so looking over what we discovered the hard way sounds like a better strategy, and that leads us to the guide.




The 2019 ICW Cruising Guide is organized into two parts:
- Chapters 1 – 7: Covers what we’ve learned while cruising the ICW that you may find helpful. It covers getting your house and boat ready for the trip south and your affairs in order for a long stay away from home along with an overview of basic ICW knowledge needed for the trip south and additional topics in the ICW University chapter.
- Chapter 8: Provides charts of shoaling areas by mile marker and how to avoid going aground. Also included are the anchorages and marinas we’ve found conveniently spaced for traveling south. Not every marina or every anchorage is covered since there are many other books for that, most notably, the Waterway Guide series. I wanted to focus on the places I found the most convenient and in the case of anchorages, those that have shore access for pet relief and are spaced at convenient stopping points.

So, what’s new for the 2019 edition? Of course, all the hazards have been updated per my passage through them in April and May of 2019. The charts now include the USACE survey of the shallow areas as displayed in Aqua Map Master where available. It has been a great year for the new guy on the block, Aqua Map. Including the USACE survey charts has given the mariner an increased level of confidence in navigating the shallows of the ICW. Your first investment should be to purchase Aqua Map Master if you haven’t already done so. It’s only $25 for forever charts and $10/year for USACE updates. It’s a bargain that can’t be beaten. Examples of what you can see with Aqua Map Master will be apparent when you flip through the hazard guidance in Chapter 8. I’ll have more to say on the app in the body of the guide.

It has also been a great year for dredging! The list of sites dredged since last year is impressive and includes Ponce de Leon, Jekyll Creek, Sawpit Creek, Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, Fenwick Cut, Watts Cut, Dawho River, Johns Island, Isle of Palms, parts of McClellanville, Shallotte, Lockwoods Folly, and Browns Inlet. Other sites due to be dredged this summer include Fields Cut, Hell Gate, and parts of Butterfield Sound. All of this activity will be covered in the guide. One may ask, with all the dredging, why do you even need a guide? Well, it turns out that even though Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff was dredged to 11 feet, it is already shoaling in, down to 4.5 MLLW in spots! Other areas are also shoaling in but not to the same degree. It’s good to know where the shallows are.

The Call of the ICW and the Cruising Lifestyle

As you travel the ICW, you are immersed in the present. You’re looking at the charts, the boats coming towards you, the next shallow spot, that barge over there, that something in the water ahead (a log?). Time passes quickly. How far to the anchorage or marina? Can I make it in time before the storm comes? Will I make the bridge opening on top of the hour? There are lots of things to consider while underway on the ICW. The experience will anchor you in the present like almost nothing else. I find it exhilarating, perhaps you will too.

Ask yourself, why delay? You will never remember 10 years from now the reasons you didn’t start your ICW adventure this very year. A trip down the ICW is an experience of a lifetime. It's challenging, it's exciting, it'll test your mettle, and you'll see new things and meet new people. You will experience at least one heart-stopping moment a day! You will get more opportunities for such "excitement" spending nine months a year on a boat, especially cruising the shallows of the ICW. There is nothing like resting in a peaceful anchorage at the end of a long day, wine in hand, and watching a sunset like the one above in a secluded anchorage – immersed in the present.

So, relax, sit back, and plan ahead but first let’s get acquainted. Ann is an artist. She paints in watercolors and in pastels. Most recently, she paints scenes from our ICW travels and while we're in Key West. Her pastel at left is a scene from the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Her paintings can be seen at Pastels by Ann.


As for myself, I worked 38 years for IBM as a senior engineering manager before retiring in 2002 when we bought our third boat, Fleetwing, a 42 ft Beneteau 423 sailboat. I post regularly on Waterway Guide with the handle Bob423. I like to have all the latest stuff in electronics and computers, which I'll go through later in the guide. I am also the Forum Owner of the Beneteau 423 Yahoo Group site with over a thousand members worldwide. You can join that group too but you must have a Yahoo account.

In 2018, I joined the staff of Waterway Guide as an On-The-Water Cruising Editor where I periodically write articles for publication and update the Waterway Guide Alerts for the areas where I cruise, which includes the ICW from New York to Key West and Long Island Sound.
More recently, I started a Facebook group, ICW Cruising Guide by Bob423, devoted exclusively to the Atlantic ICW which currently has 5700 members who post their real-time experiences as they proceed along. I’ll post updates as they become available from many sources. It has become the go-to place for the latest Atlantic ICW status. I also maintain all the Waterway Guide alerts for each of the shallow areas and they will have the current guidance on passing through them without incident. Be sure to join the Facebook group, just google the name underlined above.

Thank you for buying the guide. If you chose the hardcopy version then the eBook version is free on Amazon.com. It's the one with all the links, which will be active on the Kindle, the Kindle on PC, or the iPad Kindle app. I will also post the links ordered by page number in the Cruising Tips section of my blog at fleetwing.blogspot.com so you don't have to google anything if you just have the book version. For that reason, I’ve left the links in blue and underlined so you can find them.

Please leave a review on Amazon.com. All reviews are helpful to other boaters considering a trip down the ICW. Hoolie needs a few more friends along the way. We can’t wait to start enjoying those ICW sunsets again, why don’t you come along too?



Look for us as you cruise the ICW and stop by when you can. Hoolie will greet you and I’ll pour the wine. The time has come, as the walrus said, to talk of many things, of shoes- and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings...

“IN THE END… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”
― Lewis Carroll

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Waterway Guide Cottage - our last day, end of blog for spring

Fleetwing on the hard, may she rest in peace for the summer!
We took the canvas off today and stored it all inside, carefully laid out so the glass wouldn't be wrinkled. It was hot in the full sun which served as a reminder of what it's like here during the summer months. We have the dehumidifier set up inside to cycle at 50% so we hope that's enough to keep the mildew at bay. We've never stored Fleetwing over the summer on the hard so it's a new experience for us.

Our stay in the cottage has been a godsend. The accommodations were first rate and the view can't be beat. We just like to sit on the porch and watch the goings and comings of the boats. I have one more major chore before launching Fleetwing in the fall and that's redoing the dinghy bottom. I have to get the dinghy bottom back to just fiberglass without any residue from the barnacles which is going to involve a chemical treatment to dissolve the calcium deposits left by the barnacles. That will probably be a very hot chore but we need a good bottom on the dinghy for the upcoming trip south in the fall.

Our view off the porch at our "cottage" which is more like a country house. What more to want?
We will be leaving for points north on Monday morning to reach our daughter in Pennsylvania at our halfway point. Then it's on to Lagrangeville the next day, our home for the summer. We have lots of things planned for the summer that includes having four of our grandkids over for three weeks, a week for everyone in Ocean City, NJ, a week for us on a road trip to Maine to explore old haunts, and trip back here to do the dinghy and then a final trip back here to splash Fleetwing and continue on to Key West which we missed dearly this year!

This is the last official blog for this season. There will be sporadic blogs on special events during the summer but not the daily blog like when we're cruising. This year, the blog will restart upon our return to Stingray Point Boat Works at the end of September and this time it will continue all the way to Key West! Wish up good luck!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Stingray Point - at the Watereay Guide cottage

Ed Tillett's boat, a "Trumpy" made boat. 
I decided to buy a dehumidifier for the boat for summer storage. I found one at the local hardware store and put it in Fleetwing at the "Continuous" setting, on all the time. One of the side effects is the heat from running t all the time. I checked it today and it was 91 inside the cabin when it was only 75 outside. Well, maybe I overdid it. I then set it on running only when the humidity was over 45. That's probably too low too but I've give it a try.

An inside view
We were invited to view the boat races from Ed Tillett's boat today so we went over around noon. He has a "Trumpy" 60-foot wooden boat. It is from a grand era that's no longer much on the water. However, it's elegance at its best, just a beautiful boat for enjoying what the water has to offer. Today,  it was races in small boats, very short but amply powered, great fun.

This was a "buy me" boat, it would go out and buy, "on the spot" oysters caught that day and store them in the hull below.  
We went back to Fleetwing to offload some more "vital" equipment for storage on land and all we have to do on Sunday is remove the dodger and bimini. Then it's off to New York for the next four months. I rented a SUV for the trip north and I've managed to cram it to the gills. I think that any size car you have will always be packed so there's room for nothing more.
We have a magnolia tree in the front yard at the cottage. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Stingray Point Boat Works - Fleetwing is Airborne

Fleetwimg is airborne!
We did our last minute preparations on Fleetwing and the crew arrived right on time at 8:00 to lift Fleetwing out of the water and move her to the land home for the summer. At Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, we do all our own work including operating the travel lift for taking boats out of the water. it was really strange to stand aside and let someone else do all the work. I knew where the lifting straps had to go and how to position the boat stands but so did they. They were very professional and did a good job.

The cottage here from Waterway Guide is very nice!
If I count the docking fees and fuel costs as well as the fee for storing the boat on land at PYC, we actually came out ahead and it was much easier than trying to find a window to go north up the New Jersey coast at the end of May.

It overlooks the bay, we've enjoyed our stay!
Fleetwing will be here until the end of September when we will return for our trip south in the fall of 2019 but this time all the way to Key West. We really missed out two month stay there this year! We can't wait to to back!