Sunday, July 31, 2011

Surreal Saturday Really Takes Off

It was turning out to be a hot Saturday so everyone and their dog was on the water. As we all know.....some are experienced and some are not AND things happen to even the best boaters. We sat in the cockpit under the shade and just took it all in. What a zoo. The Aux Coast Guard nearly took out s/v Honey Ryder's starboard bow towing in a sinking SeaDoo and rider. The strong current caught them. We fended them off and they got parked right in front of us. Great! How is Woody going to tow us?

Turns out Woody and his boss got the call to tow the sinking SeaDoo and soon they were on the scene. He told us they will take care of this SeaDoo and then be back at slack tide to move us. In the mean time, the sinking SeaDoo, tons and tons of boats coming and going with their wakes, a tourist helicopter and then a very low flying US Coast Guard helicopter....made it all feel like the beach surfing scene from the movie Apocalypes Now - Ride of the Valkyries...without bombs, death and napalm of course. But very surreal. The song was thundering in my head as I watched the marine zoo.
Woody and boss towed the SeaDoo across to the fuel dock and then proceed to dink around with it for over 3 hrs! OMG! Tide's gone out, slack tide is here and we've got to get moved now. We only have this one shot at getting s/v Honey Ryder in. Woody wanted to come move us but his boss continued to dink around with the SeaDoo. We are freaking out! The slack tide window has now passed but Woody finally zooms over in the tow boat and tells us he THINKS we can still get her in the slip. THINKS? Okay. We let the current swing s/v Honey Ryder stern around so Woody can do a port aft tie up.
Oh yeah - a squall line has come through, firing up the winds and driving boats off the harbor and into the marina like rats off a sinking ship. Great - traffic to worry about.
But we cast off. Again Woody is the engine and I am the helm of our two ships. Tom is on lines and fenders. The idea is to let the current float us down past our row and then we can power back up and make the turn into our dock row. The trick is to stay straight while floating down with the current and not get swept sideways. If our keel catches the current, it can swing the whole things around into numerous boats and such. The first floatdown we get a bit sideways. We try again. I think we've missed again but Woody says we can still make the turn into our dock row. We crab along to starboard, aiming at the sterns of all the boats to account for drift. * Such a weird sensation to be aimed directly at the stern of a boat and yet not hit it. We approach our slip and turn slightly in. Tom, the dock moneys from the marina (Woody's term NOT mine) and neighbors help guide us in on the dock lines. I quickly untie Woody so we won't hit Greg's boat which is on the port side of our joint slip. We're in! Whew! No one got hurt, no boats were damaged. s/v Honey Ryder is home. Double whew! Thank you Captain Woody!!!!

Getting s/v Honey Ryder Home or How I Spent My Surreal Saturday

First thing Saturday morning we set about trying to figure out why the engine won't start. Dock neighbor Greg came over to assist again. We methodically started working through all the components of the fuel system to isolate the issue.

We found a couple of minor items but nothing that just screamed "stop the engine". Argh! We finally concluded that it must be the fuel pump it's self. Tom got the number of a diesel mechanic and he can come out Sunday morning - Sweet! Next Tom got a hold of Woody so we could get s/v Honey Ryder back into her slip. This would be a challenge. The current that accompanies the tides through the marine move at a very fast clip - something like 4 knots! Woody said it was doable but we would have to time it with slack tide and our window of opportunity would be very slim. Ok, now we sit and wait a couple of hours for slack tide.

Cap'n Woody and Lincoln to the Rescue

BoatUS tow Captain Woody arrives on the scene to tow us into the marina. He won't be able to get us into the slip this evening but he will tie us up on A-Dock which is the back of the breakwater. Kewl! Greg can finally get back to his boat. So much for a 3 hour tour! *Feel free to hum the Gilligan's Island tune for the rest of the posting. Go ahead.....can't really stop from humming it now can you? HA!

Lincoln is Woody's assistant and sidekick. This kid was awesome and will make one hell of a tow boat captain or charter captain or whatever some day - he knows how to handle his lines, fenders, and even the wheel. Oh yeah - and his TEN. *We found out the next day - Lincoln is actor Bill Murry's kid. Bill lives 2 doors down from Woody and Lincoln hangs with Woody all the time.
Woody ties up on our starboard aft side. He is the engine and I am the helm and we head in. At one point Woody says "Can you see the breakwater entrance yet? I don't see it too good at night. I have a real problem spotting it." HUH? I have never been into this marina at night. OMG! But we made it safely and got tied up. Thank you Woody and Lincoln.

Adventure and Excitement on the High Seas or at least Chalreston Harbor

Friday afternoon we kidnapped our dock neighbor Greg for a wonderful sail around Charleston Harbor. The wind was perfect. We sailed out past Ft Sumter and then tacked around and took the Ashley River channel down to the City Dock & Marina, back around by the Battery for a lovely run down past the Cooper River bridge......into a very narrow shipping channel.

Hello gianormus container ship. Where did you come from so fast? Captain of I eat little sailboats for lunch container ship hailed us on VHF and asked that we stay over where we are. Absolutely. We are running into thin water but we will just fire up the engine, roll up the headsail and give ourselves some maneuverability and to start motoring directly back to our marina. guessed it.....our iron genny didn't want to start. WHAT! Try again - shallow water, massive ship. No go. The wind catches us out of irons and tacks directly into the path of humongous container ship. He blows his horn and gets on the VHF to ask what the %#&@$# we are doing. We let him know our engine won't start. He CANNOT stop in time and has NO room to maneuver. We jib away immediately, keeping clear. I apologize to him on the VHF. He understands and says no harm no foul. Yeah right, you were down here fouling your pants!

Tom and Greg set about to figure out the @#%$#@&% happened to our engine. I take the helm and tack back and forth and run to avoid yet another container ship. Ssheesh - these suckers are fast. Oh look, another one is turning around to head out! The boys quickly figure out it's a fuel issue - as in not getting to where it needs to be. Check this, try that, nope. More checking - nope.
And look another monster container ship - this ones headed in toward us. Each time I make up some ground tacking us back toward the bridge and our marina, I have to run to stay WAY clear. Don't want a repeat of the first one as we are running out of clean underwears!

Finally we decide that we need to anchor just out of the shipping channel and call BoatUS because the guys aren't having any luck. Besides - that is why we pay for unlimited towing. And this is our first time to use it, not that that matters - UNLIMITED! Ring ring.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cruising Bikes

We snagged a couple of resort bikes for a run to the store for DampRid packets. Cap10 Tom got into it even though his bike lacked the fancy handlebar basket mine had!

After the store we biked over to Shem Creek for a couple of coldies at RB's.

Sailor J Rib Pirates

Food trucks and food carts are all the rage. How about Sailor J Rib Pirates?

Pool or Pond

We've never, ever been in a marina with a pool. Hell - some of the marina's we've been in barely have working head and shower fact, the later part of a holiday weekend they don't! Eeeewww gross I know! *No names here to protect the guilty. So where we are now is SO nice but kind of weird. Pool or pond - (come on....from Caddyshack?) We are more pond people so to speak.
Sort of gypsies in the palace as my ESS (Evil Sailing Sista) Kim would say.

But it has been nice to take a late afternoon dip after sweating the day away on boat chores and tourist stuff.

It's all in the wording - Ft Sumter

While roaming around Charleston yesterday, soaking in the history there were a couple of plaques and things we read that read "funny." I guess it's all in how you interpret things but.....
One said something about Ft Sumter and the "military occupation." Hum???? Are they referring to the Union forces or Confederate forces "occupying" the fort? Next was some statue in Battery Park and general so and so had helped protect the people from the French, Spanish and "pillaging Cherokee". Hum???

The recorded story of Ft Sumter we heard while on the mass transit boat ride out there was much more middle of the road- offend no one. However, there was this one weird comment on a plaque at the fort. Something to the effect of "the north HATED Charleston because it was profitable." Really? HATED? On a National Park plaque. Hum???

We thought we better go see Ft Sumter while we are here this time. If the %$@*^!@* jackwagons in Washington DC don't fix this debt ceiling stuff, our wonderful national park system will be one of the first payments to get suspended - my opinion only. * No other comment here on that topic. I will just get too worked up and my head will just pop off and I really don't want that to happen while I'm on holiday.

Ft Sumter is an amazing piece of US history and we are really glad we went.
*No comment on the massive amount of tourist crap you can buy in the gift shop with the confederate flag on it.
**And DON'T email me or post a comment explaining the confederate flag! I don't want to hear it!

Mass Transit Boat Style

Nothing against mass transit. In fact I am totally for it and will probably be using more of it in the future. However there is mass transit and then there is mass boat transit. You know......the cattle call to get as many people on a tourist vessel as possible to go out and see some nautical based thing, snorkel around a sandbar or fish with 75 complete puking strangers. But sometimes you just have to do it in order to see what you want to see. We grin and bear it but if you look closely you will see our grin is because we know that soon we will be off mass transit boat and back on s/v Honey Ryder - just us two!

Fleet Landing Shrimp and Grits

Mike and Stacy took us to the Fleet Landing last time we were in Charleston. It was so good we went back.

Plus the interior is really kewl. Very nautical in a funny, twisted way so of course we like it.

However the main attraction is the food.

YUM! Tom's shrimp and grit above. Below is the after. Don't try to steal a bite - you might pull back a nub.

Around Charleston

So many kewl homes

Hot summer fun.

Wednesday night races. Look closely - that sail is purple! Be still my beating Wildcat heart!!

East Bay Meeting House

One of our favorites.

Owner Robin, a gracious host.

Yum! Be sure to stop by if you get to Charleston. East Bay Meeting House.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sailors are just good peeps

*Picture doesn't have anything to do with posting. I just thought it was kewl.

I've said it before and I will say it again many times.....Sailors are good people. Maybe a little strange but good. Ok, some are downright odd but still good.
Good guy case in point, our new dock neighbor saw me arriving back from my provision run on the grocery getter yesterday when I nearly ran him over on the dock (remember old fashion brakes). Later he offered up his car for us to use during the day if we needed while we are here. Now how great is he! This is a guy we just met and visited with for 15 mins or so and now he is offering us his car. He is coming over on his lunch break today to help Tom troubleshoot the bilge pump. Sailors Rock!
*Neighbor doesn't need his car during the day because he works from his boat! Yep - he has managed to find a job that he can do from his boat! Note to self - get one of those!
**We have run on to one or two sailors that weren't good peeps. Turns out they aren't really sailors but posers instead.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grocery Getter

This trip we are minus a rental car. No worries.

The resort rents bikes. AND if you return it in under 4 hrs - FREE. Sweet!!

AND this little jem has a basket on the front. That will come in really handy for putting a few items up there.

But of course I got cocky and bought too much. Being the foodie that I am I tend to to this almost every time I am at the grocery story....."ooooh, special on whatever- I'll just get a little of this and some of that and a bit of this and whomp up burgoo #5t", and next thing you know I have umpteen bags and enough to feed 20.

Never fear. I have a backpack and two fold up grocery sacks. *I don't know where or how I thought I was going to carry the two additional bags. I am not one of those talented women from a far off continent that can balance a small village on her head. Hell, I was having a hard time trying to remember the brakes are not on the handlebars like my bike back home but instead old school - slam the peddles in reverse. OMG!

However, somehow I managed. I don't think I could have gotten one more item on my person/or bike. *Emily and Barry - not bad for an amateur eh?

Ding ding - out of the way. Human pack mule coming through. And yes, I know the other words for mule. No need to let me know in the comments section my punny friends.

*You might be curious to know why I didn't ride my new folding bike. Well.....I don't have it yet. Long, frustrating story for another day. But I have not given up hope. I am choosing to believe that the jackwagon guy that is the seller is just the king of goofballs and that he really will come through. If not, you won't have to read about it here. You will know because you will read about it in the news "Deranged, outraged female sailor beats man to near death with very nice jib line because he didn't deliver on a Craigslist folding bike."

Portlight Shades Completed

s/v Honey Ryder didn't come with portlight shades. This means during the day the bright sun beats in heating the interior up and at night in a marina we are basically a big fish bowl, flashing all the neighbors. Last time we cut up an auto shade and taped them to the portlights with gray duct tape. NOT pretty but it worked in a pinch.

Thanks to s/v Raindog, I think we now have a solution that will work.The prototype turned out ok. *Thanks to s/v Hello World and Tim R - fellow Caliber owners for measurements.

Lightweight fabric with a touch of UV seemed the perfect solution.

Ventilation on s/v Honey Ryder is great but that meant 12 of these suckers to sew up. Twelve to sew+some seam ripping+running out of white thread completely the night before our 6am flight = a typical Sabrina's Sail Loft sewing project!

Final assembly on the boat included Cap10 Tom assistance. Thank you sailorman!

Finished product. Closed portlight.

Open portlight.

Open portlight evening. No more flashing the least not by accident!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sail Loft Opens Again

Many years ago I learned to sew in 4-H. Don't laugh- it's what rural kids did...actually it's what parents to did keep their kids out of trouble. My mother sewed a little but HATED it. So I learned in 4-H. I did ok. I might have won a ribbon at the county fair for my strawberry print apron with strawberry shaped oven mitt pockets (attached with Velcro) but I certainly never wore any of the few clothing pieces I made to school! I have standards people and kids were way meaner back then. Teenage years are hard - I didn't need to be wearing homemade, crookedly sewn clothing to junior high. Bad acne was enough.

Through the years my sewing has evolved primarily into boat / canvas projects with a repaired skirt hem thrown in here and there for good measure. The first major boat sewing project was a complete set of cushion covers for our Catalina 22 s/v No Worries. She still had the 70's brown / orange colored herculon fabric that is scratchy as hell and never deteriorates. *Seriously, who invented that stuff! My parents still have a couch covered in it. My mother refuses to get rid of it because "it's not worn out." Duh! It' s herculon mom, it will never wear out!

Back on the C22 we were able to fully relax thanks to my royal blue and white, tye-died cushion covers. Far out man! Various other canvas projects were completed. Once we got our Catalina 30 s/v Distant Drum, the projects kept coming. Cap10 Tom surprised me one Xmas with a Sailrite Machine and Sabrina's Sail Loft was officially opened. While it's nice to be able to create and sew various boat projects and thus save some serious $$- it's not without a love/hate aspect. But a few pin sticks, generous amounts of beer and massive amounts of swearing get me through a project. Just kidding....sort of.

I recently had to drag my machine back out for a few s/v Honey Ryder canvas projects - which means taking over the entire basement TV room yet again for Sabrina's Sail Loft. My Evil Sailing Sister Kim and her husband Tim just added a C30 to their fleet of boats.

Kim has some major canvas projects in front of her as well in Kim's Sail Loft. Given the love/hate of such tasks, I suggested we have a Evil Sailing Sisters Sew off of some sort - cause we are easily entertained and it seemed like it might be fun and/or funny. Below is what I received from ESS Kim.
Evil-Sailing/Sewing Sista Smackdown
Okay, I think we need to establish some parameters.
You get:

Points for difficulty of project.
Points if the previous work done was done by an idiot. Unless, of course, the idiot was yourself.
Points if you go 15 minutes without dropping the F bomb and scaring your pets.
More than 5 F-bombs in a 15 minute period.
If you say more than 10 in an hour, you have to go to the penalty box.
Stabbing yourself with seam rippers/scissors/needles anything pokey....and then doing the same dumbass stunt again.
Bleeding on your project. (However, points for efficient blood removal....)
Feel free to add to the list....

Yes - ESS Kim pretty much hit the nail on the head or rather the sewing needle in the thumb with these smackdown rules. Let the games begin. *And NO, I do not still have the strawberry print apron with oven mitt pockets shaped like strawberries!