Message in a Bottle: The Sail
Written by Michael Rendier
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 06:27
03 Jul 07 am
Dahlgren...a military complex including a weapons laboratory, the potomac and it's july 3rd. The retriever is in dry dock, and still needs to go into the water. Then we will begin cleaning and outfitting the vessle. Once it's in the water, a much needed nap, and we'll be off in the morning, headed for a couple weeks at sea around the coast of florida.
I would still like to know..."why is the rum always gone?"
03 Jul 07 pm
No hydrolic lift. It broke. Now we are stuck here in VA without a way to get the ship into the water. Haven't even gotten in the water yet, and the doldrums come flyin by...and the vessle bit me. It has drawn my blood.
04 Jul 07 am
Supposed to get a hydrolic lift brought to the boat, so we can get it into the water. There's nothing here besides the base, where they do weapons research. No hot spots, no libraries...nada. S'a good thing I brought something to do with me. It seems that this is turning more into an adventure each day.
Later, I would like one of the people who work here at the marina to run me over the entire vessle and identify everything for me. That will ensure accurate learning.
Some of the discussions have been quite interesting, and some of the ideas have been rather odd, though worth checking into. Oddly enough, I am coming to many other conclusions...those wonderful "tell-all's" that people are so used to having, and I am used to seeing.
It seems as if sailing is taking overy my head at the moment. Long thoughts about going places on a whim along with your home. All around the world if I wanted to. Though that's not the part that's getting me. it's the relation to the wind and water I am looking forward to. The taste and smell of the air, the look and feel of the water...learning how to be a good sailor, and Capitan eventually.
05 Jul 07 am
More stalls on the ability to put the boat in the water. I think it's all a little bit to coincidental...getting the vibe I felt off the owner of the boat, the marine hand and the owner of the marina. I have no experience sailing. but they don't think David is experienced either. A bit fuzzy upstairs...for sure...but experienced. At least enough for me. I don't care either way...I can put this vessle to good use once it is in the water...that I'm sure of. Call it a hunch, second nature or my gift for remembering things that haven't happened yet...but sailing can't be that hard. I'm already able to associate functions and faults within things on this vessle. And I've already become minded enough to start thinking like a sailor...in how I refference things. It's just lingo to some...but to me it'll become a part of my life. I can feel it already. Like I'm remembering past lives at a future date...I dunno.
Learned the hard way about catfish. No skin. Bad. Yuckky taste. Oily...and every catfish I've ever cooked has been filited...and frozen...so some experimenting will be necessary. either way, food must be had. Slow transition. Still on land...eating out of the water.
So it is to be saturday now. With the hydrolic pump being "manufactured"...not that I am a big fan of their excuses at this point...it won't be ready until the end of next week. The lift option...from that friend...won't be here until saturday. Oh well...more squatting in a boat on the top hil of a marina. I've never had to walk up so many stairs to get in and out of a boat...as the landlocked issue continues.
David is not ready for survival...and has gone to the church for help. I am ok with setting here and catching a catfish once a day...to keep us fed. Once we get onto the water and down where there are beaches...I'll have plenty of money. It is good to bring work with me! Last resort is I have shadow put money on David's card at ACE.
I, on the other hand, am enjoying this time to myself. No one to think about. No thing to think about. I've spent most of my time blitzed because this pot is very good...and I am just used to smoking with entirely too many people. That'll have to change. However, it's helping me to fucus on nothing. Staring off thinging about absolutely nothing and no one. My faith is fine for this journey...though I can't say the same for David. I was told by the city herself..."it's a full moon...it's time to travel." We'll make it home. I'have no doubt about that...and the inbetween time...well, that hasn't started yet.
Imago wash the main sail.
06 Jul 07
Didn't get to the main sail 'til this morning...and just what I thought...it was large to scrub by hand. Then back to a catfish. Filletted and skinned. cooking on the lid to a pot that is being used as an oven to cook some corn biscuts with catfish inside. I can use the top of the pot like a skillet and the bottom like an oven, considering we're only interested in cooking during the day...and we can't cook without baking...essencially. That experiment should prove useful!
the solar panels and lights are keeping us busy at night...and once we get a full bank of four batteries, then we will have music and other things on the boat. I can also save on the laptop by using the mp3 player. The rest couldn't draw the battery dead if they tried.
I got just a moment last night to check my emails. I got a message from Will. Said I was missed. It was the only message I had too...which makes me wonder about how much I'm missed. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to respond and/or post my journals so far. I did want to disappear for a while...no?
On more and more into a sailor. Each day, I learn more and figure out more. What it is beginning to become one with your vessle. Tailoring it, living on it. The 37 times you're going to hit your head on that one specific bolt before you realize it's there. David's a bit clumsy...most times he moves around inside, he's bumping into things and stepping on me...and things. I don't think that will stop...though I'll be to a point where I can glide easily through the ship as it can through the water. Remember the wind chime?
Makes me think of a larger ship...back and forth in the waves. Almost as if there's Pirate in my blood...like it's calling out to me...grooming me...getting me ready for the plunge. I have a bad feeling. I have a bad feeling about getting stuck on the water...getting a ship and a crew...I know it's coming. I can feel it. A good portion of a life at sea. That's what I am afraid is coming.
Well...it'll take some time before "Ahoy matey" becomess "Argh matey."
Tides. With horizon to horizon, I'll get a much better appreciation for the position of the sun and moon to put tides together. Two overlays...each with an eliptical shape. One for the sun, one for the moon. The position of each will illustrate tides. At least until I get good at understanding the sun's position out of my view.
See what I mean? It's coming out of my blood.
06 Jul 07 pm
The catfish was good...the catfish corn biscuts were good. Dry, and dip-able in chicken broth!
As I find myself unable to tear myself away from my music from before I left. It's kinda got me scared...to tell you the truth. I had to let someone go once...and that is when I was introduced to VAST...and Touched. Many nights it kept me company to the loss of Brad...and then another beautiful soul drops into my life...toting the same song. Years I waited to see who would bring that song to me...and now I find myself wondering if anyone will bring another song...and wondering if it will bring the same heartbreak with it. I guess it was just the wording in the song that held the meaning to this last one...the wording that I should have listened to earlier.
"I looked into your eyes and saw
A world that does not exist
I looked into your eyes and saw
A world I wish I was in"
Stepping the mast. It seems to be a wholy complicated issue the way that people talk...like it's impossible to do. I was in the military, and was trained to adapt and overcome. Once we get put in the water, damnit, I will get the mast stepped! It's just four guide wires...the for and aft stay and the port and starboard shrouds. I am sleeping in the quarter berth, and the mast rests on the tabernacle. More lingo, and sailing terms.
It's a good thing that I learned a little about the stars...for they are going to help us when we do some night sailing...at least for the directions.
And just so that I feel better...let me reaffirm my irritations with the plague called mosquitos.
That is all.
07 Jul 07 pm
Well Fuck! I am plum tuckered out! We got the boat in the water early this morning, and I began to clean and reorganize things. Then we got under way. Over this day, I have learned many many lessons. Here are but a few...
A) No standing up on the foredeck...else you fall off ship.
B)No bending at the waist...always at the knees...else you fall of ship.
C) Righty - Tighty/Lefty Loosey becomes over or under for knots...and is still less than helpful when tying knots.
D) Cell phones (or anything you don't want to loose for that matter) stays in the cabin at all times.
E) Pull in the ladder before you get under way...else you loose ladder.
F) Bend your knees...helps rock your feet underneath you.
G) Only 29 more times to go until I realize that there is a bolt there.
H) When standing in cabin at sea and fuckers with speedboats race by...and wake begins rocking the boat...watch your head.
I) No barefeet covered in soapy water above deck...else you fall off ship.
J) No jumping above deck while barefoot, else you hurt your ribs.
K) 3 points of contact saves scraped fingers and knuckles form where you land or grab.
L) Yes...god does want to get rid of the asshole with a flashlight. Today that flashlight became a burning disk of radiation. Now I'm a farmer and need to learn to drive a tractor.
M) Whe in doubt...head the direction you are trying to go.
N) You can listen to the waves and frequencies of the water the same as with light. It's got a story to tell...and I am all ears.
Well...those are just a few of the lessons that I learned today.
We haven't gotten the mast stepped yet...and were forced by ill vibed people to leave the marina by power. Consumately got lost. It's an issue with the charts. The charts we have run the coast all the way back to new orleans. Just not anywhere north of Norfolk, VA...so I'm having to navigate with a f-ing road map we got to drive up here. Doesn't work well. So we dropped anchor for the night. Priority in the morning...stepping the mast...cuz the engine doesn't like us...well...at least not for long periods of time.
So I got to swim...got to dive...got to smack myself in the face and smash my nuts while diving off the ship.
So yeah...charts and mast.
And a little bit of behavioral modification...a gift from me to david...his anger problem will be a moot point by the time we get back. I won't have it...not if he's going to be getting short with me off every syllable. No problem though...it'll be ok 'til we run out of pot/food/water. He is still attached...to the latter two. The pot...it's the only way to keep him calm. What happens when we run out? A miracle...that's what. I'll have a convert after this trip...bet your bottom dollar...he's already beginning to talk badly about his religion...and I'm sure that one of these days...when the pot runs out...we'll have that conversation. Unfortunately...that's not a conversation that I loose.
So...at 9:30 pm or so is when the sun set. It got low and behind the atmosphere...and turned red. The clousds in front of it looked like a ship...sailing across the horizon...over the sun...
I've seen the street of gold...so now all I need is a street of sapphire.
"Ever see the green flash Mr. Gibbs?"
08 Jul 07 early am
Ok...so the signs...
A) "It's a full moon...It's time to travel."
B) "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for." - Fortune cookie
C) U-haul truck with Virginia Impact Crater that created the Cheasapeak Bay.
D) Boat...Southcoast 25...built in Shreavport, LA.
E) Boat sailing across the sunset.
F) David made exclamation of the date on 7-7-07...something about 777 being lucky. I know it other ways.
G) And there is the turn on eleventh street...to Dahlgren Marina.
Nope...can't sleep. I've put a few back, and can't seem to make myself tired...so I took pictures of what might soon be the grand streets of sappire...as the moon hung low in the sky over the water.
The time...the time has already brought me closer to myself...very in touch with the me inside that I haven't been in quite a while. I've had to keep myself busy...and what use is a blank book?
Yup...sunburned...swimming all day...still can't sleep. I think I'm a might bit anxious. We had to tie down the mast so it didn't get rolled off the vessle overnight...and I realized...I've never slept on a boat in the water before...least of all a sail boat. We almost lost the mast a couple of times...due to the jackass' with speedboats...and the wakes while anchored.
So here are my hands...one day and we weighed anchor three times. Each time I got my over or under lesson on how to tie ropes around cleats to lock them off...and here is my life...about to be trusted to these ropes...just like I swore would never happen on the side of a rock face.
08 Jul 07 pm
Found a good marina...Cole's Point Plantation. Going to take some extra money to outfit the boat...and got those calls made. Just waiting here at a campground...until we get our mast stepped and tuned. We will likely be here the night.
Last night after dark, we saw fireworks all around us...reminding me of the six we have to shoot off.
Didn't get a lick of sleep last night. With the few close calls we've had with dumping our mast...we tied it down extra good...and went down for the night. the rest of the night...I was anticipating another series of waves to rock the boat...as it only happens when we're anchored. If the boat rocks hard...then I get dumped out of my berth...least that's what I sat up all night waiting for.
Had a really intense bit of jedi mind trick today. A hot guy was pulling his skeedoo out of the water, and got in his truck. I wanted to see him without his life vest on...and he got out of the truck, fixed the towel on his seat...and got bak in his truck...but without turning so I could see his front. I thought to myself that I just wanted him to turn around once. Then, he got out of his truck, turned all the way around once...quickly...fixed the towel again...and got back in his truck on the boat launch, and drove away. Never once did he even look at me. It might be coincidence. I saw providence.
So I've been poking around wth ths pirate ship thing. I could run it as an attraction in new orleans...if I pulled up the mississippi and made port in the french quarter, firing cannons and all. It was a pirate colony...I could sell dinner on a pirate ship. Perhaps a club as well...
Back at Dahlgren, I must admit, I did hear a good piece of wisdom.
"Sometimes it's good to be bored...you get in touch with yourself."
Boy...if you haven't guessed...I'm really getting back in touch with myself.
That, and I got to spend all day practicing my contact juggling...and the transitions are coming easier!
09 Jul 07 pm
Waiting on cash reciepts to get the mast up...then the labor.
I got an animation of the ship sailing across the sun finished and on my web page. It's rather neat!
Today I got to swim a while in a pool at the marina. Heat index was 107 deg today. The cool, clear, clean water of a pool cooled down the afternoon beautifully and gave me some time to think while doing laps. I've decided to do five laps around the boat every time we weigh anchor to make up in muscle tone what my health has stolen from me over the last few years.
Took a few moments today to dwell on some of my anger...and realized that it was time to let it go. The visions crossing my mind were enjoyable...to say the least...but are really more trouble than they are worth. This is simply one of those cases where wrath only incites stupidity...and that simply will not do.
I spent some time with the telescope (spyglass) today and cleaned all the lenses best I could and put it back together. Now we have a very functional spyglass. Unfortunately, it had vinyl wrapping to make it look like leather. I tore it off, and have a piece of my blue leather I'm going to decorate with beads. Sea shells, red coral beads, sky blue, blue and black pearls, and a few shells around a central piece of white coral. I'm thinking that I'll do an anchor with the pearls, some #5 with the shells, a red god and blue goddess beads...and some other decorations.
So the rig is up for the mast. Pete felt a bit under the weather due to his meds...so it'll be another day to step the mast. All the things I'll be doing on this trip...when the winds don't blow. the feeling hasn't barely hit me...but I looked at a sailing magazine today. I looked at some of the tall ships...some of what is to come...I'm sure.
10 Jul 07 pm
Still waiting on the mast. Storms. At least the weather has cooled down.
[shift keys acting up...arthritis...mah baby is 2 years old...the rest will be without caps.]
got my anchor designed for my spyglass. no black pearls, needles are too big. it's pretty though. got my signature on it as well...a 523 in red and blue. 3 reds, two blues and 5 clear beads.
got my tribal anchor tattoo finished. i really like it...and plan on getting it when i get back home.
it seems the trip is stretching out before us. i don't know...but a couple months at sea might just do me good.
then there is this cool idea. my crew and i [future tense] could sail from marina to marina around the world working at the marinas. something along these lines...'i would like to invite you and the owners/staff of the marina for dinner.' i really can't wait...it's going to be sooooo much fun.
getting back to my atlantis research...and it's organization in my web page.
the mast is up and both sails are beautiful. we had the first tuning of the rig and will do another one tomorrow while sailing. then, high tide at 12.30 pm...and we'll be waiting to head out with it. thank god for the invention of 60 spf.
upper and lower shrouds...fore and aft stay and the boom mooring. use the track to sight the mast...until it doesn't bend anymore. then take it sailing...
david went to get the rest of the money...and i'm left here contemplating the next several years of my life.
Cole's Point Plantation
Rt. 728, P.O. Box 77
Coles Point, Va 22442
Casey (Perfect Storm and the Ditch Bag)
13 Jul 07 am
We sailed for the first time yesterday. Leaning the boat into the water...almost on it's sides. A bit intense. Though I should get used to it. I'm just not comfortable with the boat on it's sides...yet.
Hard work is right. The swimming all the time became my sore arms...so now there's not much soreness...but pulling on the lines is really getting to my hands. They're a bit raw...especially after the good sail! All in all, we left port today around 4:20 am and followed the tide out. Now if we could only pick up the wind a bit better.
13 Jul 07 pm
Sunset came and went...and we didn't find a marina. We putted back into a river channel and hit ground...so we turned around and dropped anchor til morning.
14 Jul 07 am
Woke up and headed towards Reedville to find Fairpoint Marina. Again, the store is 5 to 6 miles away...so the marina owner loaned us his mercedes to go to the store. How cool was that?
Back from the store and we have a bit of a jaunt today. We have to sail past windmill point...now that we are in the Chesapeak Bay itself. Sialing can be kinda intense. Almost laying the boat on it's side witht he mainsail out...putting the windows in the water. Today, we are going out into the bay...into the wind towardsa the east. Then, cutting back across the wind in towards land, and once again out into the bay and back. That should put us around windmill point.
14 Jul 07 pm
Deltaville. Thank God!
I had a blast today. We got out into the deeper waters of the Chesapeak while tacking against the wind to make our progress. An hour out of port, and then come about, then an hour in...repeat. Rignt!
We hit shoals going out...all the while I'm steering and I see a bunch of crab pots. I didn't trust them and turned out towards open water. David insisted...took the rudder, and pointed me through the crab traps. Then we hit. Backed up and back to my course...deeper waters.
Got the jib sail up and began our first tack into the wind. There is a 55 degree arc directly into the wind that you can't sail. The other 305 degrees...you can! The way sails work though is that you get better speeds going into the winds. There is this "razor's edge"...when the airfoil sails begin to produce lift...and it's noticable. It will pick up your ship and punch the nose into the wind...remember the intense part? That's what we did most of the day. One direction...then another.
As the hours dragged on, we continued with only our jib out, to haul ass across the waters. Then...the tide.
I am starting to listen to the water. I'ts telling me things. When we are shallow, when the tide is fighting the wind head on and creating 2-3 foot waves. The sun ducks behind a cloud...and is thankfully hidden for the last four hours of daylight. The sun sets at around 9:30 pm...so it was the latter part of the day. We came in off our fourth leg of the journey and david decides to motor around this point we ended up behind...as it is getting late...so he aims for the land and then the point. I catch another lesson I learned. Yellow water. Sand bars. David keeps wanting to head into them...I keep wanting to head towards this fish trap thing I think I see off the horizon. I duck my head back inside the boat for a moment and look for a marina on the map...when we run around again. David lost his composure...buckling under the slightest pressure...and began flipping out. I'm trying to push us back out...David's screaming...and I tell him to head out to the deeper waters. He's been trying to avoid the deep waters...albeit successfully...because the waves have gone from 2-3 feet to 6-7 feet. The waves are making him puke and me giggle...though there were still issues with the angle of the boat in the water. We were racing now...the sun up for only another hour, and us in the Chesapeak. Halfway to the "fishtrap" I said "Screw it!" I noticed the shallow shore waves over the sand bar had become the 2-3 foot waves of deeper water...looked for the yellow color, and couldn't see it. I corrected the course across the point...and we began to ride the 8-10 foot waves. Now things were beginning to concern me. I didn't feel like dealing with such large waves and had David head in towards land directly ahead of us. We had a good clip in the wind...and needed shallow waters to anchor. The bow is launching out of the water abreast of a 9 foot waves and slamming...almost sideways...David is puking...the light is fading...and the race is on. David doesn't like being lost...and will be pissy if we have to moore offshore. Worst of all...the mast. It's creaking under the stress. The rig is still not properly tuned and was stressing along with the rest of us. And the waves are getting bigger. Suffice to say...we made it to a channel marker and cruised into one of the largest marinas on the Chesapeak. Unfortunately, after they had closed. That last part of the day was hectic...and reminds me of the dangers of the sea.
Well...I got a shower, a sandwich, a bowl and a coke...such luxuries...and have begun to think twice about this trip. I'm going to give it to Norfolk...and see if we can't get better outfitted...(charts and a depth meter that works will definately help.)...though it seems that I have a knack for the water already...some natural talent...It's kinda weird on one hand...and on another...expected...with my infinite self in play.
If the issues continue though...I'll be in North Carolina...and there just might be someone there who could pick me up...should I need him to. Well...I might just need him to say hello anyways. I'm almost out of pot. And I miss him. It's this damn song I got from him. It's really too bad that I had to end up shutting off my heart when I did...much as I do really like him. Most importantly though...he's a very close part of my family...and that he earned duely by helping me out in a pinch. It's weird. It's almost as if I met Beau just in order to meet Will. Stranger things have happened.
Eh...my luck...all these people around me who love me...but are afraid to love me.
Oh...by the way...that point we ran aground on? That was Windmill Point. We made our intended destination...by the skin of our teeth...as I saw on the charts once we ended up in the marina. When I turned us around the point...it was right passed where the shallows stopped...with the sun setting behind the bridge across the Rappahanock River. Depending on the wind...three to four days until Norfolk...then an ICW into North Carolina...behind and around Cape Hatteras...to continue south. We have to cut inland so as to avoid having to go 100 miles into the open sea...and then back.
Yawn...Imago to bed.
18691 General Puller Hwy
P.O. Box 219
Deltaville, VA 23043
15 Jul 07 pm
We left out of Norview today and made our way around Stingray Point Light. Now it's a tremendous jump betweein here and our next marina...so we thought. Weather said a chance of afternoon showers. Cool. Off we went...into the wild blue yonder.
we put up the mainsail for most of the day, and sailed off hauling ass. learned about the traveler in the back and that it can add extra speed. we actually had a wake behind the boat. Sailing passed several ships and other vessles, listening to the radio and all the distress calls...we headed out into the chesapeake. remembering the warning about afternoon thunderstorms, i kept my eyes peeled...and on the horizon. i learned how to watch the wind...and see where it dies and picks up again, or if we're about to cross into winds...all by watching the water.
then it happened...thunderstorm. it had built up into a t-cell, and was visible 60 miles into the air...and headed right to the north of us. not bad...we still have four hours of daylight. on we went hauling ass. then it happened. we were damn near in the middle of the chesapeake, when the storm turned...and it turned south. now, the storm, which we would later find out tore the shit out of richmond, va was bearing down on top of us...and the race was on. the winds, tide and storm began churning the waters, and the average two foot wave became 6 foot...in a matter of minutes. we needed to head in to land...and needed to RIGHT NOW. if nothing else, to shallower waters...to bring the waves back to four feet, and anchor. the mainsail needed to come down, and the motor started...so i climbed on the foredeck of the ship and began pulling the sail down. the boat is tossing wildly on the 6 foot waves, as i'm holding on to the mast for dear life...me and my issues.
the sail is down, the jib was rolled, and we aimed for the nearest land. once we got to about 14 feet, i dropped the anchor, and we shut everything up to weather the storm. it's a normal afternoon thunderstorm...it'll be short.
down inside, my heart racing, we break out the corn beef hash..to have lunch. once we finished...david got tired of the waves. we were not fish tailing at the end of the anchor. the tide and current plus wind had us with our side to the waves...which began tossing the boat. the storm had yet to come upon us...and he suggested we loose the jib and make for a point several miles north...and i had to pause a moment. me, water, storm...shaken, not stirred. i looked again...to find another way out...and out of the corner of my binocculars, i found the solution. A channel marker. A lone channel marker that i could only see with a bit of sun behind the storm...BEHIND the storm...which was now pounding the chesapeake south of us.
never thought i would say these words...but we had to go south...into the storm. then a quote popped into my head.
'the closer you are to danger, the further you are from harm.' -BC
so be it. south. into the storm.
aiming for the marker was easy. going into it and surviving...i'm not sure. it's low tide...and we are now headed for two channel markers that are litterally less than 10 feet off the shore of this beach. the storm is continuing south...and missed us completely. we got passed the beach side markers, and passed a sign that said 'DANGER'. around to the next channel marker...at the end of the beach. the waves are crashing on the shalows on either side of the boat...and we see the river entrance...on the other side of this little alcove...and david exclaims 'i'm following the current...i know rivers.' and we plunged headlong into the current...over a shoal and into the 20-40 foot waters of an inland marsh called winter harbor. we found a dock and a marina by looking for a gas pump...and found one that looked like a clown that turned out to be a pump out station. a couple locals stopped by and gave me a couple packs of cigarettes...wondering how we got in...as they don't ever see sailboats there. we ate, smoked, talked well into the evening about random things involving tesla...how he usually comes up.
mosquitos were beautifully absent and i'll get some much needed rest.
16 Jul 07 pm
so we tried to finish our sail today. Weather said afternoon showers again, and that winds would be 5-10 knots and waves a foot or less.
damn. slow going at best. we got up early and caught some fish for breakfast. Croaker and Tailor blue. Excellent inside of a tortilla! At high tide, we made for the channel that would take us back through the hellish corners...but two full feet higher. we skipped a shoal and were out into the chesapeake again.
following the weather, there was little to no wind and less waves all day. we couldn't barely get going with the jib, and so we didn't bother with the mainsail. on and on, around new point comfort lighthouse...and into mobjack bay. as we were rounding the channel markers, the south became horribly dark, and a voice called out on channel 16 on the radio...'we got squalls down here in the chesapeake/virginia beach area...and they're moving northeast.
fuck...storm again. we dropped the jib and hit the motor, to hurry ourselves into a port. squalls aren't usually very long, but they have a tendency to be really intense. then the motor overheated and died. it's beginning to get windy...fast. it's coming at the perfect angle though, as we loosed the jib again...and the wind began tipping the boat into the razor's edge. hawling ass now...in a matter of five minutes, and i get ready to roll the jib as david gets the motor running. five minutes later, the motor quits again, and david calls the marina.
'compass point...this is the retriever. we're coming in under sail, our motor has died...and we need out of the storm. could you bring a dingy out in case we need help'...
the owner hopped into a skiff and came out to meet us. the wind pointing us right up the mouth of the east river.
'retriever, this is compass point. we're a difficult marina to get into...'
but the wind was on our side. we came about and the wind pointed us right into the marina...along a dock...without incident. i rolled the jib and we coasted to the dock, where i had to jump off and stop the boat, to tie it off.
once again, a calm night with storms expected all day tomorrow. perhaps we'll sit here for a day. two days out of norfolk.
kieth d. jones
6199 east river rd
p.o. box 128
mobjack, va 23506
17 Jul 07 pm
still problems with the motor. we've gotten a bit of work at a retail greenhouse farm that is being torn down...as the farm's main staple is wholesale. while at work, the marina owner decided to have his mechanic look at our motor. He found all the same problems we did, and offered to fixit for a hundred dollars plus parts. cool. back to work a few hours, and off to bed.
18 Jul 07 pm
more work on the farm. Piddly crap about sanding a bunch of rusty mailcarts for a trade show. thinking it's just work, i didn't put sunblock on. "Burning Face" should be my new native american name. between that, and the fumes from the aluminum paint curing agent, add another headache.
the mechanic broke one of the head bolts and had to take it in to have it removed. $40. sometimes I think all these people are trying to break us so we have to go home. eh.
finally, all the carts are done and ready, so I get back to my original job. tearing down greenhouses...and saving what cinder blocks we could. end of the day, and we are off to bed again.
19 Jul 07 pm
we got our motor back, and it is working better than ever. we got home from a long day of hauling litterally tons of plastic and rubber, hauling cinder blocks and collecting the rubble left over, which I found incredibly easy to shovel once it had been collected on a trailer...it had to go in a dump truck.
after work, a jewish family asked us to dinner for shabbat...and we also got a bit of stoner relief from aaron...the husband. He explained his project about the white flags to us...and unfortunately got consumed by his two kids, so we called it a night and prepared to take off in the morning...amid small craft advisories. the marina owner didn't want us there anymore...for whatever reason...though he was the most helpful owner we'd run into. all in the interests of having us gone albeit, but helpful none the less.
20 Jul 07 pm
we were chartered by aaron to take him and his family on a boat ride. with the new motor, that would be just fine. the winds were too strong to put up the sails. we had also found a nasty crack inside the cabin...under the mast. we braced it with a 2x4 and sailed a quick circle around the mouth of the east river in Mobjack bay.
back at the marina, we prepared to leave...and to motor around the point south, around Yourk spit Light and into Hampton. It's just north of Norfolk.
Just out of the marina though, the engine died again...still overheating. shit. $140 down the drain. turn back or continue on?
the crack in the beam of the ship was on the rear side of the mast, and I decided we should take a chance with the Jib. It would only pull the mast forward, and relieve the pressure.
"Loose the Jib"...and we were off into the 15-20 knt winds and 2-3 foot waves of mobjack bay. barely high tide, we had it easy going for a couple few hours, being pushed along by the wind and the waves towards our next destination.
Once we were out in the bay though, with the tide and the winds going the same direction, the waves grew to 4-5 feet, and were unfortunately hitting us on our port side, creating a very rocky situation. all the way one side, back all the way the other side.
after hours of this back and forth, my knuckles couldn't handle it anymore, and I took a seat in the cockpit...which was surprisingly easier to handle.
finally, we reached the channel marker I was looking for, and we came about...to take all the 4-5 foot waves on our starboard...a much rougher ride...and after a couple minutes, we decided to come about again and continue to norfolk, which was in sight.
the entire time, we fought the wind with the jib, because of having to cintinuously turn into the waves. we wrapped the jib around the fore stay and had to turn back into the waves, fighting the wind until the jib came out again. then it was a chore to come about, and turn back to our port side. the jib was filled with wind and we continued on south towards Horn Lighthouse. I noticed the jib was more slack than usual, and I looked up the mast. the top of the jib was coming down...and down it came, piling itslef up on and around the bow.
"Don't loose the jib! get up there and get it!" David screamed at me.
Up off my ass to the front of the ship...and I began to wrestle with the jib. It came out of it's slide and wrapped itself and the sheets around the bow of the ship, so while rocking wildly back and forth, I began pulling up what I could. at one point, i was wrapped up in the lines and sail, and a gust of wind threatened to take the jib off the ship with me on it. bellowing in the wind, I scrambled to get it all into my arms...and then to untangle it from myself. Hsd the jib taken me overboard tangled in it, I'd have been screwed. david umndid the knots on the ends of either sheet, and I was able to get it all up and on the bow of the ship. He started the motor, and we headed for another channel marker that was heretofore unobserved. finally, I got the jib down the hatch on the bow of the ship, and return to the cabin, to wait for the motor to die. I realized, had i not had to load tons of rubber and plastic into 10 foot dumpster from a trailer, I would not have known how to pull the jib up out of the water while we were under way.
the motor luckly kept runnin to the end of the ocean, into Salt Ponds Harbor.
Just as the motor died, a dingy came out and offered to take us to a T-dock, where I would again have to act as the brakes for the ship.
I leapt to the dock, and rounded a cleat with the line in hand and braced myself against the moving boat. It pulled and I set back in a football tug-o-war stance, and stopped the bow of the ship, which turned the bow right at the dock. BAM! Now the stern began to continue on, and david threw me the line for the stern. I grabbed it and started hauling the stern towards the dock with my right arm, and bracing the bow of the ship with my left. Once forawrd motion had stopped, I dropped the line to the bow, and began my tug-o-war with the stern. david tried to help by pulling on the rope, which began to drag me off my center of gravity rendering me useless. I told him to stop, and brought the stern in and tied it down to another cleat.
successful landing! we tied off the spring line, and went to get our slip for the evening...then to the restaurant, which had a bar.
"LONG ISLAND PLEASE"...and as the night wore on, so did my buzz, which calmed me down beautifully. shower and dinner, and passed out I did.
21 Jul 07 pm
david has found a bit of work on some computers...and I got a small tour of the beach along first street on my way to get a pack of cigarettes. the marina attendant told me that the store was a mile and a half away. Perfect...and off I went. On the way bak, i used my pace count from the military to judge the distance. 18 clicks. Just barely 40 meters over a mile. Once I told david, the client he had asked me "so you actually walked a mile for a camel?" "why yes I did"...which was apparently one of their first marketing campaigns.
bored as hell and unable to get on the net without paying (f-ing marketing) I drew up a Port side view of the ship on the 'puter...and named what I could. I'ts cool, and I will put it online soon as I hit a good hotspot.
I also had to change pens. the last one I had was brand new when I got on the boat. It emptied today.
22 Jul 07 am
the sail is over...due to unforseen circumstances with the boat, and forseen circumstances with the capitan. Now on to my dreaded enemy. greyhound buslines.