...said Captain Ron.
Posted by Monty
And so, back from a restful day at the beach, with fresh oil in the engine, full fresh water tanks, three quarters of a tank of diesel, fully stocked larder and fridge (including some fresh salmon procured the previous day from Fulcher’s in Oriental), and very high hopes, we set off for a shakedown cruise of indeterminate length and destination.
We would be going across the Neuse River and enter the South River, a tributary where we had anchored before and where Carol saw dolphins. We would anchor there, do some exploring, and grill the salmon. Somewhat familiar territory, although we have only been there once, but a nice trip easily doable in a few hours. The itinerary from there would be decided on a daily basis, depending on weather, wind direction, and the disposition of the Captain and Crew. The long term weather forecast looked good. My thinking was we would return when the weather turned south or enough things broke that we had to make port for repairs.
While powering up the instruments, it became apparent the radar was not working. A little fiddling with it and I determined the power connector was not making proper contact with the pins in the back where it was plugged in. This was a known issue, discovered at survey before I bought the boat. What fixed it the last time was bending the pins a little to let them make contact with the power cord, but no joy this time. So I went to work on the cable end, which promptly snapped. More fiddling got the radar to power up, and I really did not need it today anyway, but it will have to be addressed. Hopefully I can get a new connector and not have to buy a new radar.
After taking care of a few last minute chores, we got started a little late (around lunch). We exited Broad Creek under engine, and decided to motor over as the wind was basically on the nose. Traffic crossing the ICW was no problem, just a couple of shrimp boats and a tug pushing a barge. Waves were a little choppy, but nothing big, although I did take a little spray into the cockpit from time to time. We ate lunch on the way over, explored up the river a little, going further than our previous time, and anchored in what I thought was a good place, given the forecast for southeast winds clocking around to the west. We should have been in the lee (so the land is protecting us from the wind and more importantly the waves) but the winds were coming from the wrong direction. I listened to the forecast again, but nothing had changed. Except the winds were not coming from the right direction. And they were gathering strength. And they were pushing waves right down the river, causing Sea Bird to bounce and sail around on her anchor.
Now, this was fine with Carol.
You see, it was hot today. And Sea Bird is not air conditioned. And there was this wonderful breeze coming down the front hatch, which we had opened as soon as we anchored and were safe from the breaking waves.
But the wind picking up contrary to the forecast unnerved me. So we raised anchor and moved to a spot that would offer protection from the actual wind that was occurring, as well as the wind that was forecast. And all was well.
Except the wind died. Did I mention it was hot?
So I bribed Carol with a dinghy ride, promising her some moving air. We explored up a creek a ways, went back to the boat, and made a probably hilarious attempt at scrubbing the waterline of the boat from the dinghy. It didn’t work. Then it started cooling off and we grilled the salmon (it was excellent) and had him with a salad. Carol then went to take her much anticipated shower, to wash away the stress of the day and cool down.
“Monty, come here. You’re not going to like this.”
She has never been wrong on that one.
The hose to the shower head had severed at the fixture. We took showers with a bucket of water and a cup to dip it with. It was interesting.
Tomorrow, we head back to the dock for repairs. Broken radars are one thing, but hey, Columbus found the new world with just a compass, right?
But on Sea Bird, not being able to take a shower threatens mutiny.