Monday, December 8, 2008

Caught Up

We just arrived in Fernandina Beach, FL. We're safe, sound, and WARM. In two and a half weeks we've covered 775 miles in four passages. All but this last one pretty much sucked. We've been rained on, snowed(!) on, had wind from every which way but where we wanted it - Mother Nature has pretty much had her way with us. But now, finally, we get to thaw. Fernandina Beach is beautiful! Well, actually it is nothing but industrial paper mills and smells like a dirty diaper, but did I mention that it is WARM?


We're also hoping we've left Murphy behind in the cold, and to be honest I hope that bastard freezes to death. Or drowns. I really don't care which. We've had more problems so far this year than in all of last year put together. Aside from the problems we inherited from the end of last year (generator not working, canvas trouble, etc), Murphy has gotten into our freshly serviced outboard (wouldn't start and had to be completely disassembled), holding tank & gauge (gauge froze and the pump wouldn't empty the tank), our diesel engine (mysterious never-ending white smoke), running lights (leaked salt water, corroded, and failed - mid-ocean of course), our hot water heater, and our new secondary winch (fouled and was nearly destroyed in a squall). But he sprung his pièce de résistance upon us at 7:00AM yesterday morning in the freezing cold. We were all ready to get underway from Charleston, but as Lizz starts to pull in the anchor chain it binds up within just five feet or so. Hmmm. That can't be right, we've got over 100 feet of chain out [100 feet that we let out I might add, because our neighbor who appeared to be on a mooring but wasn't, swung into us a few nights previously]. So we try again. Nope, definitely fouled on something. We tugged and pulled and backed and powered forward, it was hopeless. With 2 knots of current, 55 degree water temps, 35 degree air temps, and near zero visibility in the water, diving on the anchor was a bit out of my league. Murphy had particularly good timing - we had about a 26 hour weather window to make the 22 hour trip to Fernandina beach before a weeks worth of strong southerlies started to blow. If we didn't get out of Charleston within an hour or two we were going to be either stuck there or relegated to spending four cold days picking our way down the ICW. Fortunately, the fates smiled upon us. Our internet was still working on the boat, our first call to a local diver yielded two very capable gentlemen who, for a fair price, were at the boat and had the anchor freed within the hour. Apparently the anchor chain had gotten woven around a series of logs. We made it out of Charleston by 10AM, and were in Fernandina by 9:30AM this morning. And for the first time this year we were able to sail the whole way.

The Waddle

Despite the troubles and cold, it hasn't been all torture since we left. We had a great Thanksgiving with my uncle and his family, spent time with our friends Mike & Allison and Heather & Josh, and Greg & Jean met us in Charleston for a lovely day. And what could make a day more lovely than a gathering of 100 Basset Hounds? Yep, Charleston's Christmas Parade includes "The Waddle", a walking float of Basset Hounds. I imagine it just wouldn't be Christmas without it.


Blogger Michael said... still refuse to get a couple of simple diving items on board after yet another anchor incident? Just a spare air bottle and a wet suit is all you need!

December 26, 2008 at 11:48 AM  

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