Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 1-7 The tow boat came just after lunch and towed us up the river with the incoming tide to the Wilminton Marine Center. They used two boats to maneuver us down the channel and into our spot on the face dock. Luckily, the best mechanic to repair our transmission was across the street! Our good luck. The trouble turned out to be a fitting that connected a hose to a pump in the transmission. This fitting was supposed to have metric threads but the original mechanic who assembled this transmission, when the boat was being built, used SAE (american) threads and just pushed harder to get it to work. We are lucky that it held as long as it did. During our wait for parts, we met several nice couples on other boats and watched the six foot alligator swim around the marina and sun himself on the mud bank nearby. There were also egrets and other song birds and boats coming and going to watch. One day, we launched the tender and went up river to Wilmington for lunch and to walk around. There was a farmer’s market going on and we bought some interesting vegetables. Finally, all of the parts arrived and were installed and we were off with the outgoing tide. We decided to go up the ICW a short way to save about 35 miles on our trip. After we got outside into the ocean, the wind was a bit on our nose so we hobby horsed for the first 6 hours. Then the wind went around and died and we had a nice trip to Hatteras in the Gulf Stream.
being towed up the Cape Fear River to Wilmington

alligator in the marina

mr. alligator

May 8-9 Around Hatteras and up the coast with no incident. We were still putting oil in the Z drive reserve tank every 6 hours. Going this slow is like watching grass grow but we did have a good current with us much of the time which helped.
May10 By 9 am we were inside Sandy Hook and headed for New York Harbor through the Verrazano Bridge. It was strange seeing the new World Trade Center buildings under construction! The tide was with us (planned) and we zoomed up the East River and were spit out the other side. We docked at Indian Harbor Yacht Club by 2pm and after a nap, had dinner with John’s mom and stepdad that night at the club. 

Statue of Liberty out my sink window

NYC skyline

lots of boats moving in New York Harbor

the Brooklyn Bridge

Almost to Hellgate and zooming along

May 11-13 Saw my mom and went to several dinners with friends and relatives and celebrated Mother’s day.
May 14-15 The time was right so we headed off down Long Island Sound in calm seas all the way to Jamestown RI, where we anchored at around 2am.  After some sleep, we took the boat to Barrington to BCHM where she would get her repairs done and get ready for the summer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April 13 It was a beautiful day and time for a final lunch at Taste and Sea with Semezana and Exodus. Afterwards, I picked up Susan and Suzie and took them to Twin Cays for a snorkel/shelling expedition. Snorkel/ shelling means looking for shells in the shallows using a snorkel and mask. We did have too much luck so we decided to go back to North Gaulin Cay and look for sand dollars. Here we had much better luck and Suzie found a good collection of them. All in all it was a good final girlies expedition!

April. 14 It was windy but we took the dinghy into Staniel with all of my herb plants and gave them to Suzanna at SCYC to use for their restaurant. Taking them back into the States was a tricky proposition. A last lunch at the SCYC was in order. Later, we were invited for cocktails aboard Exodus along with Semezana and John and Arnie had a good cigar on the aft deck before Semezana arrived. We all watched the sunset and had some good conversation. 

April. 15 The wind piped up quite a bit but luckily from the east which is no problem for our anchorage. I had John drop me off at the beach so I could have a final swim back to the boat- downwind. For dinner, we had Semezana, with their guest Linda, over and did a joint spread with the best for last- a special chocolate cake I had been saving in the freezer! Linda didn’t want any so there was more for the rest of us- yum.

April. 16 It was still windy but we needed to take in the last garbage in to Staniel. On our way over to see Migration, a Nordhavn 68, we said good bye to No Agenda. Migration is a brand new boat and has quite alot of interesting features so it took a while to see all of it and her owner was happy to show it off.

April. 17 Today was departure day. The wind was down a little and our run up to Norman's Cay was quick and easy. Along the way, we realized the oil was leaking again! John had gotten some more buckets of it and used it as we went along. We anchored off the western beach and waited for Joyant to arrive the next day.

Joyant sailing into the anchorage

April 18 Joyant arrived in the early afternoon and we moved closer to the beach to keep them company. After launching our tender, everyone got in and went for an expedition to the eastern side of the cay and the pond where we looked for hammerhead sharks. They breed in the pond but there weren’t any that we could see. Bad timing I guess. Joyant’s two grandsons enjoyed the ride and did see two turtles so the whole trip was worth it. Later, we all had dinner aboard joyant and enjoyed the boys drawings. They even made one of Windermere!

April 19 We left right after Joyant, who was going south, and motored up to the new marina on the south shore of New Providence called Albany. After we got settled, Wolfie and a friend met us and took us to his house so John could see it and then we all went out to dinner.

April. 20 Julie and Rick Palm arrived and we immediately left on our passage to Florida and up the coast. Everything was wonderful and calm till we got in the middle of the gulf stream. Then we were rocking and rolling and the wind, even from the south, was getting stronger. We knew worse weather was a head of us and we needed to get some more oil somewhere so we decided to go into Ft. Pierce. We had anchored near the coast guard station last fall but this time they made us move four times till we were “far enough away” from them. We were not happy with the CG to say the least. 

Peter Ross greets us in Ft. Pierce

April. 22 We got the tender down and Joan and Peter Ross came and picked the four of us up and took us to clear customs which was easy. Then we did some errands and went for a fun lunch at the Tiki bar at the Ft. Pierce marina. They dropped us off and we enjoyed the rest of the day on board.

April 23-25 We ordered the oil and waited for it to arrive. One day we rented a car and did errands and another, we walked around and found a nice lunch place, and yet another we walked to the little aquarium, we also took the tender of a ride around the harbor to see what was there and even some ibis in the mangroves. Over the days, the men found various parts that they could put together to help make the oil filling easier. The last night, another OCC sailboat from Australia arrived and anchored right behind us so we had them for cocktails. 

April 26-27 The oil finally arrived and we left on the outgoing tide around noon. Our passage went well and we were going over eleven knots at times in the gulf stream. Everyone was sharing the watches and it was wonderful having other easy people on board.

April 28 Around 8 am, when I was just waking up to come on deck for my watch, I heard the engine noise change and then a horrible high pitched noise that didn’t sound good. The engine stopped, I went up to the pilot house and John told me the transmission had lost its fluid all over the engine room floor. For the next several hours, we radioed to a nearby freighter that relayed our distress message to the Coast Guard. They arrived to tow us in to the Cape Fear river area. This took till around 9:30pm even though we were only about 50 miles off shore. Luckily, the weather was benign and the towing smooth. Outside the channel, they dropped us off and a towboat US boat came and towed us the rest of the way to a nice marina just a short ways up the river. We needed two tow boats to get us into the face dock but all went smoothly. We tied up and went to bed.

Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay to the rescue

Windermere in tow

Captain and first mate lunching in life preservers

April 29 We walked around the cute town of Southport and had a nice lunch downtown. It was wonderful to see all the spring flowering bushes even if they did drive Rick’s allergies crazy.

April 30 John made lots of calls to get the boat fixed and we borrowed a car to get some groceries.
Tomorrow we will get towed to Wilmington, NC which is about 3 hours up the Cape Fear river from here, and to the Wilmington Marine Center.