C&D Canal – Almost there

I know that most other people who cruise and blog don’t put down most of the stuff they are doing, rarely write much or they put in a vast amount of pictures. Pictures are on Facebook with friends and family right now, and I don’t have the bandwidth or time right now to upload everything to the storage site and post them.

We left Atlantic Highlands the other day and did a 24 hour run overnight and made it as far as Atlantic City, NJ/ Turns out my tach is hosed on the engine so we were running at what we thought was 2500 rpm and it wasn’t even close. I’ve been testing the engine by ear and have had it up to 6+ knots now.

We arrived at AC at 9 in the morning (we’d left at 9 the previous day). We spend the whole day and then one night there and left the next morning for Cape May.

We arrived in Cape May and came into the channel – and a few minutes after I turned the corner, grounded the boat in the mud. After talking to some locals found out the mud bank hasn’t been dredged this year and so it’s further into the channel than the charts and markers show. Go me…

We left Cape May this morning after we deliberated about the channel out on the Delaware Bay side. As it turns out, I measured the mast and came up with 54 feet from deck to top, add in the wind gear and you get 55, add in the deck top to water line and you get 58. Doh! No bridges. My measurements might be off but I doubt it. I was not going to risk our lives or the boat going under a bridge at low water and hoping it would clear by two inches. Nope. We went back out the way we came in, through the Atlantic Ocean side. Did just fine going out.

I set a course on the autohelm and following my charts around to the far side, passed the channel exit and then headed for the C&D canal.

We had NO wind except in the early morning pretty much all day. In the evening we started having engine issues again (this time the prop shaft, I think it’s not getting enough dripping going on down there….) anyway, backed off the engine speed, raised the sails and was flying at almost 6 knots without the engine (it was in neutral and idling). When we go close to where I wanted to anchor the wind was at 12 knots right from our backs.

I had a hell of a time bringing the boat around to the wind and getting the main down! It’s mast furling, not sure I like it all that well.

Maybe I don’t know what I am doing too – that could be it.

We ended up anchoring 3 miles from a nuclear power plant and two miles from the C&D entrance.

Dropped anchor in 20 feet of water. We’re holding very well, and not having any issues.

Yesterday and interesting thing happened. We got a call from a legal authority in Colorado asking about our old Dodge Shasta. It seems that the asshole I sold it too never bothered re-register it, he kept my plates (which I promptly had canceled when he didn’t return them) and it appears SOMETHING like a crime may have happened.

She wouldn’t give details and hinted that they weren’t sure a crime HAD been committed.

But let me say this, the guy was a Serbian, Russian accent, so was the wife, they had two kids and they were sketchy from the get-go. I just wanted to sell the van, he gave me what I asked for it, I signed it over and he vanished into thin air.

I’m wondering now if there was a terrorist group involved or something because I didn’t like him to begin with. They were cagey over names, places, what they were going to do and they were very quick to offer me exactly what we were asking.

Anyway, I don’t know what happened.

Tomorrow, the weather will be ok, but windy on our nose, and it’s not going to be easy to navigate through the Canal. I’m pretty anxious over this. It was bad enough grounding in Cape May…. wish me luck.

Good Night all

Begin Countdown….

Home Sale

Today is Good Friday, April 3rd, 2015. Today is “appraisal day” for the house. The buyer has an appraiser meeting with our realtor to go through the house today to see if it’s worth all this effort.

JoAnne met the buyer last week during the inspection, who indicated he was happy with the house, it was the “best” he’d seen in the price range, and he was sold on the view, deck and hot tub I believe she told me.

The inspection went well, but they found a couple of electrical items of which I was unaware. I can fix them, but he specifically requested a “licensed professional”. While I am a professional, I’m not licensed for electrical work in this state… so, no big deal. We accepted his objections and we’ll fix them, do an inspection and purchase a home warranty on the house for the next few months. Basically, the contract is still in force, and we’re moving on with it as if going to close on the designated date.

Hence the reason for this post. C-Day (Close Day) is April 30th. Twenty seven days. That gives us another week or so in the house and then we have to move out. If all goes well with the appraisal we will pack up and move.

I’m going over this afternoon to look at a small trailer in which to place a few tubs containing what’s left of our belongings. I mean “all the junk we collected over the years”. You can not believe how much stuff we gave to Good Will, threw out, passed on to the kids, neighbors and random people walking down the street, lol.

We have essentials left. Eating utensils, dishes, cups, cook ware, a small but useful propane grill, our ham radio equipment (and not much of that is left), our instruments and clothing. That is about all we have left. All of it has to fit in tubs, which then must fit inside a small trailer, which must fit in a tiny space beside my daughter’s house for the short time we will be with her.

After close, after the dust settles, after the money “is in the bank” and after we have a few days to decompress, we will set a final date, notify our respective companies of our departure and start planning our trip across country.

If everything goes well, by the end of May we should be leaving. We should be in New York at Stony Point by not later than the second week of June. If the Marina has painted and done the jobs I’ve asked for by then, we will be ready to commission the boat within a day or so of our arrival.

At that point we plan to have a short, relatively private “ceremony” to officially rename the boat, splash her and do some test sails, plan our trip down the ICW and our first 2-3 stops along the way.

That’s the general plan, everything is subject to change, there’s always a Plan B, C, D and usually E. We have learned to not set ANYTHING in concrete and be ready to improvise, adapt and overcome. So the count down begins.

Transworld Formosa 41 – Adventure

I had a rather nice surprise waiting in email yesterday (so did JoAnne). The person who runs a Facebook Owners Page for the Transworld Formosas contacted us via email and invited us to join the page (which we did). It is interesting that he had posted images of “Duna” on the FB site the very day I was writing checks, moving money and getting things in place for the purchase of said vessel.

Kurt is the owner of one of the Formosas and there are several others on the page who also have similar (not exactly alike ) vessels. I’m sure that we will all be hearing much more from one-another in the near future. If I get the chance, I’ll post some images of the various boats here.

Contact Page

By the way, the Contact Page (https://windsoftime.us/contact-page/) has been modified with a new email address for us at the boat (which may change one more time before this is over).

RV

Last notes, the Dodge Shasta RV we bought originally for the trip has become no longer necessary. We sold it last week at a loss just to remove it from the yard and give it to someone who can (and will) use it.

Recreational Vehicle

The RV…. a machine that takes you from your house to a campsite, to a lake for fishing, hauls your boat or All Terrain Vehicles behind so you can tramp through the wilderness, fish or hunt.

Downsizing from a 5 bedroom home with two people to a 40′ sailboat has to have a transition, right? Or not.  Some people go right to a boat.  Some already have a boat and are set up in two households.  Some of us have had to give up our boat(s) and jeeps and other things just to downsize and collect cash to be able to GET our sailing vessel (and don’t even have it yet!)

In our case, our plan included going across country to get to the East Coast from Colorado.  We haven’t left yet.  But we did some math and figured out that it was going to cost a lot to stay in hotels, eat out a lot and visit friends.  Some friends will “put us up” for a day or two, but we can’t really “put them out”.  We don’t want to get in the way of peoples’ lives while we’re traveling and visiting on our way across the country.

So the math worked out that we should buy an older, small RV we could load our remaining belongings (clothing, radio gear, JoAnne’s special cooking tools, tools to do repairs and a few other important-to-us things, like books) instead of staying in hotels and eating out every night.  So we went on a search and found an old, 1978 Dodge Shasta with a 440 engine, some dents, dings and assorted minor hail damage, but no apparent leaks.

This week it has rained like hell, so I’ve been checking everything on the RV and sure enough… no leaks.

I’ve done some repairs like changing out one of the valve cover gaskets, repaired some damage on the house in the rear of the vehicle and have tested a few things.  Last night I dropped the vehicle off at Pikes Peak Traveland, a local RV sales and service place for a “Check the House” inspection.  They will check the entire house systems out for me (I don’t have time to do it right now, and I have no way to check for propane leaks etc).  I told them IF the house checks good to install new lights on the rear (Brakes, taillights etc) and look for a broken window (one of the side panel windows is shattered, but still in place) as well as to examine the vehicle’s tow system to see if it is sufficient to haul JoAnne’s Wrangler behind us.

We figured it would be good to have a dinghy, you know?

Our belongings have been pared down from 36 years of stuff we’ve collected, saved and stored (in some cases without even knowing what was in the boxes!) to about 12 storage tubs, one military footlocker full of books and 4 tool bags.  The next challenge after the RV is repaired and made sea—er roadworthy is to figure out how to pack all that stuff in there.

So, downsizing from a 5 bedroom house to a 22 ft RV should be quite an interesting process.  Since we’ve already downsized as much as we have we think we can do it.  But, if not, we will go through all of this stuff yet again, tub by tub and eliminate things we don’t need, or duplicates of some items.  We decided to keep most of the Amateur Radio equipment, since it works, it has certain jobs and most of it is small (except the HF rig).  The HF rig can be used on the boat, on the road, in the RV, at a camp ground or a friend’s house.    We can remain in contact with our family through HF using “Airmail” and the Winlink 2000 system of radios across the country.

Dishes have been cut down.  I think she has what she needs, but any replacements or items she wants we’ll get.  We gave all our beautiful flatware away to our daughter.  She had a few pieces.  She threw them out before we could get them for the RV.  Oh well, you cruise, you lose.  I guess we’ll hit Walmart and pick up a small, cheap set for the RV which will do double duty for the boat later.

Tools… were a problem.  I have five sets of tools.  Electronic tools (I’m an electronics technician, so this is a kind of lifeline for me, and can earn me money).    Mechanic’s tools.  Need them to work on the RV going across country, and eventually the engine of a yacht.  Metal and woodworking tools.  I can “make things”, maybe things I can sell or things I can use.  Power tools.  They are battery operated (Li-ion batteries) and aren’t quite as bulky as A/C operated power tools, but these include a drill, a Sawzall, a skill saw (small rotary blade) and an LED light.  I also have an A/C powered sander, a charger for the batteries and a dremmel tool.  Lastly we have a bag of rigging tools.  This bag has things like string, lines, ropes, shackles, a couple of sailors knives I made, some marlingspikes, bees wax and various other things.

Thus far I can’t figure out how to eliminate any of these.  Eventually, I suppose we can pare those down when we find our boat and figure out we need three wrenches, a hammer, an axe and a pocket knife to do everything.  I doubt seriously THAT day will come. haha

So in a few days when I get the RV back I’ll have the task of figuring out how badly I suck at Tetris in trying to fit all that stuff into the RV, out of the way, and in a location that keeps it over the centerline and nothing heavy over our heads….

On the bright side, we won’t have to “down size” to a 40 foot boat either.