Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Talking Pumpkin

Halloween was a big deal in the neighborhood; a suburban enclave where our "baby boom" generation was born and lived its early years. Hundreds of kids would go door to door in costume, collecting enough candy to keep a sugar buzz going clean through to the New Year. Houses were in costume as well, some modestly with just a pumpkin on the doorstep and maybe a sheet thrown over small shrub as a welcoming "ghost". Others were more elaborate; family members in full scary makeup and costume, garages and lower levels turned into haunted houses, off-key dirges playing in the background, and lighting to fit the intended theater.

Our house fell somewhere in the middle, but still managed to be the talk of the neighborhood. Each year we would find the biggest pumpkin we could, hollow it out, carve a scary face, and set it in the window by the door. Hidden inside the pumpkin was a dim light to set the scary face aglow, and a speaker. Hidden in the darkened room with microphone in hand was my Dad, the voice of the Talking Pumpkin.

It was a pretty innovative use of technology for the early 1960s, which turned into a kind of neighborhood staple. As the years went by people would drive in to introduce their kids to the Talking Pumpkin, little ones giggling but also looking around, not exactly sure what to make of the mysterious voice.  It was all good fun.

Pops at our eldest daughter's wedding in  2005
On Sunday, October 18th, 2015, late in the afternoon, the Talking Pumpkin fell silent. The news came via the tiny speaker held in my hand, the voice of Brother Youngest telling me that our Father had passed away suddenly, fallen by a massive heart attack.

Kintala was anchored at the edge of the grid, waiting out some weather. It took more than an hour of broken communications and dropped calls to get the news to Daughters Three. The logistics of finding a safe place to dock the boat for several weeks, then finding our way to PA as quickly as possible, looked to be nightmarish.

But then...

Two years ago, on our first trip down the ICW, the Beast sprung a massive fuel leak forcing us to spend a month in Oriental, NC. We were there over Thanksgiving, our first away from family. Chris and Sherry were also away from family, working to get their own cruising plans together. We shared Thanksgiving dinner at a local eatery that caters to the cruising tribe, and they became some of the earliest of our cruising friends. As it turns out they bought a slip in Oriental but their boat is currently on the hard. Seeing us heading south they had gotten in touch with us once again, enticing us to stop in Oriental with the offer of a free slip and a chance to catch up.

Oriental was a day's sail away when we got the news, and they offered us the slip for as long as we needed. We arrived after a glorious day of sailing to be met by Friends Mizzy and Brian. After a couple of days of buddy boating they had beaten us to Oriental by a few hours and so were on hand to help ease Kintala safely onto the dock. Over dinner that night their gentle conversation and obvious care helped ease our hearts as well.

A week or so ago Friends Nancy and David cut their Seaward 32 loose from Oak Harbor and pointed the bow south, leaving their car behind as they normally do. A car free for us to use if they could work out a way to get it to us, or us to it. So they did. Currently in Hampton and having already made plans to rent a car for a day to do some chores, they left at O-So-Dark-Thirty the next morning and drove to Oriental. After a quick coffee with the Gang from Oak Harbor (Mizzy, Brian, Nancy, David, and us) they loaded us aboard the rental and headed north. At about that same time other members of the Gang from Oak Harbor, Wayne and Sue, themselves just two days away from dropping the lines and sailing off, got in their car and headed south.

The two vehicles met at a truck stop somewhere south of Richmond. Deb and I were handed off for the next leg of this Pony Express of Kindness. By late afternoon we were back at Oak Harbor loading up. Barely 36 hours after picking up Kintala's hook in the remote waters of the Pungo River and unsure of how we were going to get where we needed to be, we were pulling into the driveway of family with all transportation worries behind us.

There are no words big enough or deep enough to describe people who step up like that, utterly careless of their own plans and time; not expecting, indeed rejecting, any idea of getting something in return. They had friends in need and that was all that mattered.

If a person be very lucky in life they will accrue debts like these. Debts that can never be repaid.

Debts that can never be forgotten.

Pops and his brother Gene
We will be away from the boat for a few weeks. Kintala will sit quietly, as will this blog. Fathers die. Sons and Daughters lay them to rest, struggling with a world that is somehow, fundamentally different than it was. Then we look to our own sons and daughters.

And the journey goes on.

Pops and Tim and our eldest daughter at their 50th wedding anniversary in 2004

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Skunked again

For the second time in three days I got the weather completely wrong. Kintala rafted to Kokopelli last night after an easy day of motor-sailing through the Alligator / Pungo canal. The day was going well and the weather forecasts – at least the ones I had looked at when we last had internet– mentioned nothing but 10 knot winds. So we passed by the (very secure) Styron Creek anchorage and pushed on into the Pungo River. Charts showed a good looking place to drop the hook at a anchorage named “Slade Creek”, but we found it completely potted over and unapproachable. Kokopelli suggested we go around the next point of land, “Green Point” on the charts, tuck in as close as we could to the shallows, and stop there. Winds, after all, were light and variable and, after an easy night, we would make Oriental the next day. So we went around the corner and settled in.

After a few hours of good food and chat in Kokoppelli's cockpit it was time to call it a night. Just minutes after stepping back aboard Kintala the winds pick up and started to hum in the rigging. What? With some internet access again we pulled down new weather. Small Craft Advisory, winds 20+ gusting to near 30, waves 2 to 3 feet.


Clearly I need to trade in my weather card for one marked “NOVICE”.

With night fully fallen we dropped carefully off of Kokopelli's starboard side, letting the winds push Kintala back. Clear of the stern our Mantus hit the bottom, and we played out 100 feet of chain. Drifting back against the rode seemed a good idea as this anchorage isn't free of crab pots either. We didn't use the Beast to set the hook hard until we had stopped moving and were sure there were no wayward lines waiting to get twisted around the prop and shaft. A short time later we were bouncing around, once again riding out a bit of an uncomfortable night in an exposed anchorage. It is slightly after noon now, the winds have eased a little, but will return come nightfall.

I have to figure out a way at getting better at this. Though the weather I have been using said nothing about a vigorous impending cold front, the info must have been out there somewhere. I know this because, on the morning we left Coinjock, I overheard one of the departing powerboat Captains tell a friend he wanted to be “in before the weather Saturday night.” I looked again, didn't see what he was talking about, and so here we are.

I am about to give up on the GRIB files and NOAA's Marine Weather. At our last internet those both showed several days of moderate winds out of the north with no waves to speak of while surface PROGs showed the trailing end of a modest cold front passing over the area. An app called “Predict Winds” was closest to being correct, and we have added an app to the iPads called “Deep Weather”. This app leads to a detailed discussion of why the weather is doing what it is doing a what it is likely to do in the near and mid term. Maybe that is where the powerboat Captain got his heads-up?

Kokopelli left this morning looking for a more suitable place to sit. There are a lot of boats out there crossing the Pungo, but Kintala will stay where she is for now. We took our first real beating in the Pamlico River when we set out two years ago. With my batting average so low I am in no hurry to venture that way again until I know the weather will be better. It is a bit cold and not all that quiet here, but we are secure with shallow water and land off the bow and more than half a mile of deep water off the stern. The Mantus has held in 50+ knots before, and we have certainly been in worse places. Once this weather blows itself out we will think of moving on to Oriental.

In the meantime I am struggling a bit with my sudden inability to get anything correct when it comes to operating the boat. If we are going to stay off of docks, (and our pocketbook is telling us we really need to stay off of docks) then I simply have to put us in comfortable places when the weather picks up. But, like the .300s batter who suddenly can't hit a softball pitched underhand, I'm not sure what I am doing wrong when it comes to the weather, so I don't know what to change.

Maybe I just need to work with different weather, like that in Florida, or the Islands.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Some pics

I've been really lax about posting both here and on Facebook lately, mostly because we're out in the boondocks and haven't had much in the way of internet. I've also been terrible about getting pictures with friends we meet and/or visit, mostly because when we're together we're having such a good time I just never think about getting pictures. Then....when I finally think about getting pictures something happens like my phone camera goes all wonky as evidenced by this weird pic I posted the other day of our friends on Rover.

So I tried to rectify the situation but couldn't manage to get both of them in one place at one time before we left the Severn River Marina, so here at least is a good picture of Mike in the absence of Anja who was walking their dogs. Mike was waiting patiently to help us off the dock on day two of our attempt to do so, fortified with a large mug of coffee.

Somehow, since leaving our summer marina, I managed not to post pictures of David and Nancy our good friends from Oak Harbor, or Sue and Wayne who we met there, or Stephen, our good friend and fellow Tartan owner who generously hosted us at Kent Narrows, or Jan and Steve who we visited with in Chestertown, or Cindy and family, our good friends at Back Creek, or Tom and Maje who we know through Women Who Sail, or Carl and Ardys our new friends who we met while in Annapolis, or Ken on Catatude, or I'm sure I'm still forgetting someone else. I really, really have to get better at those group selfie things.

So, since I'm lacking any friend pictures, I'll leave you with some miscellaneous pretty pics from the last few days.

An interesting tug whose owners live aboard full time on her at Severn River Yachting Center
The military presence on the Chesapeake is sometimes astounding.
The parade leaving Mile Zero led by Kokopelli
Kokopelli in the Great Bridge Lock
One of the neatest boats I've ever seen. Anyone have any idea at all what it is???
We rarely travel with anyone so having Kokopelli as a buddy boat has been a treat!
The northern mouth of the Alligator Pungo Canal as seen from our anchorage spot
This barge approached the anchorage just as we were leaving. We decided to let him go ahead since he was doing 6.4 knots
and that's just a tad to fast for us. He took up over half the canal width and the total width of the channel. Good thing we didn't meet him coming the other way!!!

Clown Car …

No, I'm not talking about the still-a-year-to-go Presidential campaign. (Though I completely understand why “clown car” has become the catch phrase to describe many of those trying out for the position. It is tempting to compare them to little girls trying out for the cheerleading squad, but those kids are all smarter, more adult, and probably better leaders. Hell, any one of them would probably make for a better POTUS. I'll vote for the 14 year old who got an “A” in science class – thank you very much.) Unfortunately, today's clown car was Kintala bashing her way across the Albermarle sound.

With yours truly behind the wheel.

This was our third day out after our stay at Severn River. Day one put us at Hospital Point. It was kind of fun to be there again, two years after our first trip. We met and rafted up with Kokopelli and her crew, having last seen them in Back Creek. There were a dozen or so other boats there as well, and the next morning we headed off with the rest of the pack. At the end of day two we were rafted up with Kokopelli once again, this time at the dock at Coinjock. (Sometimes it is hard to stay off of docks, particularly in the ICW. It can be hard to find a good anchorage when you need one.) Today, day 3, had us aiming to cross the Albermarle; a bit of water with a nasty reputation. Not today though; the forecast had the winds at less than 10 knots, waves less than 1 foot.

And I believed them.

We were near the end of a long line of boats leaving Coinjock this morning, so I wasn't the only one skunked by the weather guessers. Everybody was getting thumped a bit, with Kintala's bow regularly going clean under in the steep, short coupled waves. The anchor is on the bow; its big, flat, spade shaped blade hitting the waves broad side on. So it is a good idea to have it securely mounted in its roller; chain pinned, cable looped over the shank to keep it from bouncing, and lashed to the bow pulpit. Kintala had 1 out of 3.

To me the big risk on the ICW is the WesterBeast calling it a day at a bridge or in a narrow cut. Should that happen the best option for avoiding disaster is having the hook pretty much set to pitch off the deck to bring proceedings to a damage-less halt. In the Albermarle today the big risk was pitching the hook off the deck and bringing proceedings to a disastrous, hull crunching halt. As soon as we had room we turned off the wind so I could go forward and fix my mistake, but it was a somewhat tense few minutes before we had that kind of room.

Then there was the sail work … or lack thereof. Kintala needs horse power to plow through waves, something sorely lacking in the Beast. The main, with at least one reef and maybe two, would have been perfect. Along with the staysail, Kintala could have punched her way happily through the waves all day long. Unfortunately the main was rigged to go up full but the jack lines were not rigged at all. (We are in the ICW, who needs jack lines to keep from falling off the boat in the ICW?) The head sails could provide the needed push to help the Beast, but I could not seem to make anything work right today. The roller furlings would not roll or furl without snags, snarls, and various “now what's the matter”s. Twice the staysail sheets got so tangled up someone had to go out on the foredeck to untie the knots. (Fortunately at times when the jack lines weren't missed.) Near the end of the day we were far, far off the wind. The jib jibed, un-jibed, back winded, flopped around, got put away (painfully slowly) and replaced by the staysail – again. Then the staysail jibed, un-jibed, back winded, flopped around, and got put away (also painfully slowly). All of this while trying to stay in the excruciatingly narrow channels that make up parts of the ICW. (It is hard to hold a point of sail when the water a few boat lengths off the channel is two or three feet deep.)

Fenders flopped around – which happens when they get tied at only one end. My toes got tangled up in lines. (Fortunately I was wearing shoes, which doesn't happen that often anymore!) The anchorage we were planning to use looked untenable in the winds and waves, so we pushed on south while watching the sky, finally finding a place to anchor that looked protected from the oncoming weather.

Weather that promptly died once the anchor was set.

It was that kind of day.

Kokopelli at anchor at the north end of the Alligator Pungo Canal

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

“Know when to fold 'em...”

I am not a big Kenny Rogers fan. Indeed, that whole genre of music usually makes my teeth hurt. But when a man is right about something (and his song gets stuck in your head) he should get some credit.

The forecast was for winds gusting to 20 with a small craft advisory. Not great but nothing to make a story out of either. Friends are out there even as I write, and the plan was to meet them at the anchorage at Ft. Monroe. It is only 30 miles or so, being hard on the wind for a few hours would not be that big a deal. And, truth to tell, as much fun as it has been to be here, spending time with good friends and hiding out from a hurricane, I am suffering a killer case of restless. Places south and warm, with sparkling water and sand bottoms for the Mantus, are whispering “come hither” in my ear. Yet they are still weeks away at sailboat speeds. Time to get a move on.

We looked at the cards and anted up, getting the deck set for being under way. We even raised a bit, recruiting help, playing out extra lines, and waking up the Beast.

Winds up to 20 had Kintala hard against the lines keeping her off the dock. There would be no just casting off and motoring away. After some discussion it seemed reasonable to drop the dock side lines, run a second spring to keep the boat from surging forward in the wind, pull in the off dock lines, get some quick release lines around the pilings for and aft, drop the spring, drop the lines, power forward and GO! An enthusiastic starboard turn would be needed to miss the next set of pilings, then we would be on our way.

We got right to the point of tossing the spring, sucking in the lines, and GOING. Then we stopped. The pilings forward that we needed to miss loomed large. The winds were a bit higher than we liked. We were running out of hands to handle lines and drive the boat. And just getting to where we were had taken more than an hour and required some serious pull using the jib winch to pull against the wind. The whole set-up felt wrong.

I've bounced off of piers before. Deb suggested that maybe we should have waited a bit more. Know when to fold 'em.

I tossed our cards onto the table.

A couple of extra lines thrown around the windward pilings would ensure the hull stayed clear of the dock. A bow line went the other way to keep the other side of the hull off the pilings and aid the spring. With the spring snugged up the crew of Rover went back to their own tasks. (Thanks Guys! It was a good try.)
An attempted selfie with the crew of Rover but it appears my phone camera
is going wonky. It took a bunch of really bad pics in the last two days.

The dock is about 10 feet away so we are boat bound. If the winds ease as forecast late this afternoon Kintala will make her way out to the anchorage and spend the night on the hook. Tomorrow is another day, less wind but from a better direction. Should the winds stay where they are, we will stay where we are.

In the mean time the boat is secure, provisioned up, and ready whenever the weather deals a playable hand.

A pic from our genoa restitching project. This is how the boat looks in sew mode.

Yesterday's beautiful sunset taken from a badly misbehaving phone camera.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A protest ...

... just like the good old days.

The Florida legislature is at it again. Denying boaters shore access in an effort to drive us off apparently isn't aggressive enough, so they are back to reviewing anchoring restrictions. They are having a “public” meeting tomorrow: during the hurricane season, during the Annapolis Boat Show, with most of the people who will bear the brunt of their actions a thousand miles away. If one was of a cynical mind one might think the timing was deliberate.

Since I hate to go down without at least the token of a fight, and since we are among those who will be affected who are also a thousand miles away, the least I could do was send them an email. No good is likely to come of it. If history is any guide people who are used to abusing their power never change their minds, and never give that power up voluntarily. Sooner or later someone has to come along who has the will and the means to remove them from power.

It would be preferable if the good people who live in Florida would do that through elections. It is, after all, their jobs and paychecks that will take the real hit.  Unfortunately that would require the US be an actual, functioning democracy. A claim that is open to debate. In any case, all such power shifts start with protests and trouble makers and then lead wherever they lead. So I thought I'd add my two cents worth, just to keep my "trouble maker" card valid. Here is the email I sent to

Dear Sir,

I understand that the State of Florida is, once again, considering trying to restrict the use of Florida waters to citizens at the insistence of the few. It is already well known that one local marine police force has been bribed to harass boaters at the behest of a single home owner. This, all of its own, is an outrage that the politicians in Florida are ignoring.

I would attend the meeting being held on October 8 to voice my disgust personally, but my Florida registered boat (which is also my home) is currently in the southern Chesapeake Bay. Our insurance is invalid if we are in Florida and a named storm damages the boat during the hurricane season. In addition, we have discovered that places like Annapolis, MD are very welcoming to the cruising, boating, and live-aboard community. They enjoy having us as guests. We enjoy spending our money with them.

In spite of the attempted betrayal on the part of Florida's compromised political system, we are looking forward to returning to the southern Florida area, particularly Biscayne Bay, in the next few weeks. It has been our experience that the people of Florida do not share the anti-boating views that their political leaders are being bribed to pursue. Indeed, whenever we share the story of the state's underhanded attempts to serve those who are buying their influence, rather than the public good, people are pretty sympathetic to our dissatisfaction. A good bit of Florida's service industry is supported by boating, cruising, and those who live aboard. Those whose jobs depend on providing that service know who supports their paychecks. And they know it isn't those serving in the State House.

The tide may be turning. Politicians who harm the many at the insistence of the few may soon find that they really are on the wrong side of history. That is never a good place to be. It is my hope that there are enough true public servants in the Florida legislature to turn back this squalid attempt to kneel before the rich once and for all.

Tim Akey
s/v Kintala

Ed Note: You can follow the Florida anchoring debate on Wally Moran's website. He is actively involved in the fight to defend anchoring rights in Florida. You can also send an email to the email address in the body of this post if you are concerned about your anchoring rights in Florida.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Things not mentioned

One of the few moments the rain slowed down enough for me to risk my
non-waterproof camera to sneak a picture.

Sunday was one of those days that never show up in the Cruiser magazines. Though Joaquin turned far out to sea another storm system battered the area with “1,000 year” rains. We spent the day kind of grimly holding on as Kintala shook, pitched, and groaned her way through a day of lashing rain and wind guests in the high 30s. At high tide the road into the marina was under water while waves washed over the higher of the fixed docks. The low fixed docks were under by several feet and the walkways to the floating docks did weird things, bouncing like diving boards and sticking up into the air. Getting off the boat was a chore, but we had to when the rising tide pulled the power cord completely taut. A few minutes later the flood waters shorted out all shore power in the area anyway.

The fuel cans were stored off of the boat for the storm. It took another jump to the dock to retrieve one so the Honda generator could get a tank full and be brought into play to keep the batteries charged. Even if the dark clouds and rain weren't rendering the sun inoperative, the solar array had been removed and stored below. By Sunday night yours truly was well and truly tired of the wind, rain, waves, and ride. Hurricane or no, the idea of having run off to hide in a hotel room was feeling like the option we should have taken.

Come Monday morning the boat was still dancing, but just a little. No rain fell. There were even a few shadows in the salon, something not seen for many a day. The air was dry and cool and a look at the NOAA sight showed Joaquin well to the east of and moving further and further away.

A short aside here; though NOAA was seriously worried about Joaquin making landfall in the US, European models always had the storm turning east. Still being a pilot at heart and having had a life-long relationship with weather and weather forecasts, I was curious as to why the difference. From what I can learn, NOAA's funding for climate research and forecasting is being reduced, leaving them working with outdated models and limited computer capabilities. Something that, frankly, sounds like lunacy. Nothing is more expensive in lives and property damage than being unprepared for large scale weather events. But America isn't even keeping up with the rest of the world when it comes to forecasting and research, let alone being on the leading edge. Lunacy indeed. Anyway...

What a difference today

A hurricane scare is much better than a hurricane hit. Come early Monday afternoon we started turning Kintala back into a sailboat. With the boom back up in the air, the anchor, dink motor, and solar panels remounted in their normal positions, and the bimini and dodger back up, boat life is slowly returning to something nearer to normal. Today the main sail was bent back on, halyards run to their normal places, and the cockpit is, once again, a cockpit. In the next day or so we will start repairs on the head sails. (We noticed some stitching and a few tears in the sunbrella when taking them down.) While Deb is running the Sailrite machine I may try to track down and fix some of the worst leaks that made themselves apparent over the last few days.

This is work that just has to be addressed. Putting damaged sails back up when heading out for a 2000 mile season is pretty poor seamanship, sure to lead to even more damage later. This has been a good place to ride out the storms, and we have friends here who are also working hard at getting back underway, so hanging around for a few more days to do things right isn't a bad thing at all. Still, the weather for the next week and more looks to be perfect for getting a move on. So, good place or not, it will chafe a bit, pinned here getting things done that need to be done, while the sun is shining and the winds blowing gently on a good point of sail.

That isn't in the cruising magazines either.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Head and heart

Kintala is tied with a total of 10 lines strung to pilings. All the canvas is down. Everything is stored, stowed, and secured. Compared to the beating friends took in the Bahamas, we are sitting pretty and safe. We are. But it doesn't feel that way.

The boat is bouncing and rolling, tugging on her port side lines as the wind blows a constant 30+. On an outside dock, there are waves nearing three feet washing past the hull. She is making noises unfamiliar since we have never been on her when she was rigged for a storm. For those who have never lived on a boat, unfamiliar noises are not passed off easily. They vie for attention and understanding. When a new one pops up everything gets put aside to puzzle out what has happened, even sleeping. A sailor will sleep blissfully as the rigging sings in a 20 knot blow, but let something thump against the hull or slap on the deck, and that same sailor will be up and moving before being fully awake. Just now we heard a sizable “thunk” for the third time and have yet to figure out what is making the noise. Sounds minor, but it grinds at the back of the mind. Sleep will be shallow and bothered this night.

We took some time off of the boat this afternoon, going into town with the crew of Rover for lunch and a movie. (The Martian: good flick.) It was a needed break. Kintala is never happy when the winds blow and she is tied to piers. She has been so confined for several days now and there is at least two more to go before the forecasts have this storm finally moving away. The folks who live around here, whose houses don't float, will be glad when it does. Flooding is a concern with the ground totally saturated. When we drove out of the marina today we had to go the back way as the main road was flooded even though the tide had yet to reach high. Lunch and a movie was enough time to have the tide peak and start to recede. Had we returned after just a lunch there would have been no path back into the parking lot.

This is a part of cruising that is hard to explain. The head says all is well, that we are perfectly safe in this place in this weather. But the fact is we humans don't really look at the world with the head, we see it though the heart. What we know, and what we are experiencing, are often in open conflict. When that happens we go with the heart. I know we are safe, but I want to feel safe as well.

I will be glad when this storm is over; when Kintala is back together and ready to sail.

We cannot be on our way soon enough.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Stood up

Friday 8am track

Kintala is as prepared for a hurricane hit as we know how to make her. All the canvas is down and the aft end of the boom is lashed to the deck. The solar panels are stored below with all of the associated external wiring taped to the bimini frame. That frame has lines run to various cleats to support it. The dink, dink motor, and anchor are all stowed in the cockpit, and a hundred additional tasks were done as well. It was two days worth of intensive work, most of it while wearing full foulies in deference to the constant rain. This is what one does when invited to a dance with a hurricane named Joaquin. But, as of this morning, it appears that Joaquin has had a change of heart and is going to dance across the Atlantic after giving the Bahamas a thorough bashing.

There is nothing quite as good as being stood up by a hurricane.

Which is not to say that we are sitting in the sunshine. The forecasts for the next three and one half days include heavy, heavy rains with wind gusts to 40 knots. The weather here is still deteriorating rather badly. At any other time such a forecast would suck serious lemons. But compared to what it could have been? I may go sit by the pool (in my foulies) and drink a cold one (even though steaming hot coffee would be more appropriate) just to celebrate our apparent reprieve. Of course doing that would mean actually getting off the boat, and I'm not sure we will be doing that for a couple of days at least. The wind is pushing us hard away from dock and the lines are set to make sure the hull can't reach the hard stuff even if the winds shift. Which means we can't reach the hard stuff either. Still, I would rather be boat-bound than leaving the boat behind while scurrying for cover at a hotel far inland.

Likely, it will take three days or more to have ye 'ol Tartan ready to move again. Of course trusting a hurricane is not what smart people do. Kintala will sit, just as she is, for a few days yet. Once the momentum of more than one hundred billion pounds of hurricane is fully committed to a direction that doesn't point toward Severn Creek, then we will think about making like a sailboat again. It would be extra nice if the rains finally moved off before that task begins. Working in the rain is one of those things one does when one needs, not something one does when one wants.

Pulling down the headsails exposed some wear so it will likely take an extra day or two to tend to some restitching. That, and the fact that I will not be pushing as hard putting things back together, hopefully in the sunshine, as I did while taking things apart in the rain...yeah, a week at least before being happy gypsies once again. More likely two.

But we will be happy gypsies once again. Something that wasn't as likely just 24 hours ago.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Our nekked girl

I hardly even recognized her as I strode down the dock late this afternoon. I'll be very glad when we have her back to herself again. Just hoping that there's some Bahamas left to go to...

The very full aft cabin.