Saturday, June 29, 2013

Meanwhile, Back At The Farm...

While Terrapin undergoes major repairs, we have left her in the skilled hands of the professionals and we are spending time with family and friends.  We cannot stay on the boat for a number of reasons including no water, no electricity, no internet, and hauling Kala at 70 lbs up a ladder is a bit challenging.

We are enjoying our time immensely and even though we are far away, we find ourselves spending most days planning our route across oceans and to beautiful anchorages.  We have hope and that makes all the difference.
Have you ever taken a ride on a Mule?
Homegrown moss to create our own topiaries.
Fun playing in the dirt...not a lot of this stuff offshore.
Family Farm Fun
Slip 'n Slide (Yes, Kala participated)
An intense meeting of the minds (Baxter and his Dad)

Baxter and his nephews - who are yes, too young to drink...
Shooting Targets

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats..."

Or so goes the quote from Kenneth Grahame, the author of "The Wind in the Willows".

We love sail boats. I'm not sure what is wrong with us but for the past three years we’ve spent the better part of our lives living on, and spending our money on sailboats. We like talking about sailboats, thinking about sail boats, going to boat shows, walking down docks where sailboats are tied, dreaming about sail boats and the places they can take you.

We’ve spent a lot of our savings on our two boats and don’t regret a bit of it… though we wish we weren't sitting in New Jersey having to repower at this very moment.

Here are a few of the very neat boats that we've seen in Liberty Landing Marina...

Just another pretty (BIG) Ketch.

Summer Wind- This is now in private ownership with a small crew and in incredible condition.
Spirit Of Bermuda- A 2006 replica schooner. It must be great to sail a traditional boat with modern construction.
Vendee Globe Boat Energa- We followed the Vendee Globe daily so it was VERY cool that Gutek and his boat were close to us on the dock. He was a great guy to talk to and even with the language barrier he was nice enough to tell us about the Vendee and his boat.

Hindu - A great schooner that does sunset cruises in Key West. Our friends Steve and Dennis know the owners and we saw the boat when we spent part of the winter a few yeas ago in the Conch Republic. A schooner would be a fun boat to cruiser around the world on!

Incentive- We had a storm roll through the area and Incentive was moving so much that they started to pull out the dock cleats. Things were tense for the crew I'm sure!

Miscellanous Stink Pots- There was a power boat race last week. Lots of gold chains, trans ams and noise. Good times! :>)

Isn't she a beauty? - my hot wife and a Valiant 47!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

And the verdict is ?!?!?!?!?

We're getting a new engine AND fiberglass work!!! 

You never know what a day will bring....As we hauled the boat out of the water Monday, we didn't expect the surprise that was waiting for us on the shaft log.  We cannot be certain at this point the cause, but needless to say, Terrapin will be having a bit of work done on her.  

Um...that crack is not supposed to be there but we can say that we feel lucky it is only a crack and didn't become a gaping hole while we were offshore.

We removed the galley along with the solar panel and hard dodger so that and old Westerbeke exposed and ready for removal.
The replacement; a beautiful Yanmar 4JH5E

Terrapin - poised and ready in Jersey City, NJ just across the harbor from Manhattan.  She told us she can't wait to go offshore again and neither can we!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

NYC and Jersey City

We have been in Jersey City for almost a week, pending an analysis of our options with the engine and analyzing the best choices for the boat, our family and the places we would like to go.  

In the meantime, we have had the opportunity to meet up with friends and family.  There are worst places to be "stuck".  Of course, there are a lot less expensive places to be stuck as well. 

Last week, we navigated our way around the NYC subway system to Brooklyn and had dinner with cousins Sarah Hope and Annie; took a trip down memory lane with Steve through Washington Square Park and walked through the World Financial District with Fletcher.  Right in our marina's (Liberty Landing Marina) backyard is Liberty State Park where my grandmother, after being processed through immigration on Ellis Island, caught the train in 1912 to find her way to Detroit - where in turn she met my grandfather...and so on, and so on. 

The issues with the boat are stressful and a financial burden, so being able to get off, even for a couple of hours helps us to clear our head and changes our perspective.  Oh yeah, Tropical Storm Andrea also paid us a visit but all the wind had dissipated and we only had rain (lots and lots o'rain) to deal with.  All of a sudden, boat leaks don't seem to bother us too much.

Fletcher and Baxter in front of the East River
Baxter's cousins, Annie & Sarah Hope in Brooklyn
The Manhattan skyline from Liberty Landing Ferry.
The oldest bar in NY.  It's where George Washington took his men after signing the Declaration of Independence.
Washington Square Park
Steve's Stoop.  He spent lots of time hanging out, and getting arrested, here in 1968.
Having fun on the ferry with the new World Trade Center in the background.
Liberty Train Station.  Where my grandmother bought a ticket to Detroit in 1912. Kala is impressed.
The platforms at Liberty Train Station.  Imagine the rows upon rows of platforms with immigrants waiting to find their dream in America....somewhere.
The signs inside the train station read "Ferries ->" and "<-Trains".  I guess the immigrants could pick their future based on these little red signs.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea.  Let's hope this is as close as we get to hurricanes this season.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Black Monday

Today was judgement day for our Westerbeke 58. Just like "Black Monday" in 1987 when the global stock market lost a tremendous amount of value in one day, Molly and I lost a shit-ton of money today. We got the bad news from a nice diesel technical named Emad who came to the boat before lunch to test the W58 and see if the cancer was truly terminal. It was.

We are now facing a lot of options. We have to repower Terrapin, there is no choice. Do we use the Beta 60 which is a marinized Kubota or the Yanmar 4JH5E which is more expensive but a really nice engine. Do we repower here in Liberty Landing Marina and get part time jobs in New York City or sail back to Deltaville with no engine and have the job done less expensively?

Big decisions and a number of liability questions yet to be answered. There is no sugar coating this, we are a bit frustrated but are up to the test that is boat ownership and full time cruising. This is going to be a financial hit but we are strong and will make it work somehow...

Just to prove that we have not lost our sense of humor, high tide brought a used condom to the boat. A gift from NYC for the screwing we're getting?

This is how we really feel, though. We do love us some adventure! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Go Where The Wind Blows You

One important tenant of the cruising life is you never know what to expect.  Baxter and I had a friend ask us once what are plans were for where we were going.  At the time, we were contemplating crossing the North Atlantic this summer, or maybe cruising to Maine, or even taking a quick run to the BVI before hurricane season but we couldn't be exactly sure.  He said to us "Just go where the wind blows you" and I have adopted that as my new philosophy to live by.

Given that, our passage began Thursday with a great run down the Chesapeake Bay, moving along at over 7.5 kts and out Cape Charles by the afternoon.  We had light wind on the stern and very minimal seas so we motorsailed for a few hours.  It is said that necessity is the mother of invention and by that, we made a bimini out of canvas that we found on the boat.  We worked on a couple other boat projects and just enjoyed not being at a dock.  The night was a little chilly but the weather was good.  We turned the engine off at sunset and sailed through the night.

After 16 hours of fast sailing, we turned the engine back on Friday afternoon. About the second hour that the engine was on there was a loud noise...and smoke...and a lot of oil in the oil pan...blah blah blah.

Baxter was able to diagnose the problem, fix the leak while underway and we were off again- until the noise came back.   Our fear is that there is significant damage to the engine from running without oil  Most boats have a low oil alarm and/or shut off and ours just didn't work. Ugh. we can always second guess ourselves with the "should have" " could have" would have" of things that we should have checked but you can't stay on top of everything all the time.

In any case...we were 75 miles from New York City so we decided to sail there for repairs and call Tow Boat US (like marine AAA) since we have a membership that includes free towing.  They were not interested in towing us very far so they told us to sail as far as we could into the harbor and then they would come find us.  Terrapin happily agreed.  We tacked around 600 ft cargo ships, doing over 8 kts, sailing around range markers and in and out of the channel markers.  All the way to the Verrazzano Bridge, when we lost the wind and a container ship was on target to run right over us in 14 min (thank you AIS for telling us how long we have until impact.).  Moitessier would have been proud. From there, Tow Boat took us through Brooklyn, in front of Manhattan across the Hudson to Jersey City, where we are now.

So, we went where the wind blew us.  I never thought our lives would take us here.  Would I have picked a different set of circumstances, sure...but then maybe that would have changed our decision and I wouldn't see the Statue of Liberty or the new World Trade Center.

We are waiting for an analysis on the engine this week, praying for little damage and a quick fix and then we can set sail again - I hesitate to say where because only time will tell.  As Baxter's Dad says; "it's not how you act that counts but how you react when bad things happen." We're trying to react to this issue with positive thoughts, a longer term view of getting moving again and learning from this problem. What we did find out is Terrapin LOVES blue water and that is where she belongs.
Old warbirds practicing overhead as we left the Chesapeake.
Make-shift bimini with a happy dog.
One of the benefits of ocean sailing.
Kala is in there somewhere! Her blue leash is clipped into the boat for safety.
Wing on wing to make some more speed to NYC.
New York Lighthouse
Kala is impressed with the New York skyline.
Stretching out on new cockpit cushions.
This photo reminds me of the CSN&Y song "Southern Cross". To paraphrase... "We've got 47 feet of waterline nicely making way..."
We love this boat. She is a sailing machine!
Baxter at the helm pulling into Morris Canal from the Hudson River
When you're stuck you might as well enjoy a little paddleboarding. Making lemonade out of lemons (Manhattan skyline in the background.)
IMOCA 60 race boat skippered by Zbigniew Gutkowski in the Vendee Globe. The boat is right behind Terrapin!