Friday, December 26, 2008

December 26, 2008.

If you've been following along then you know that we sent our primary laptop in for service. We got it back in 3 or 4 days and all seemed to be good to go. After a few days I realized that the laptop wasn't charging its battery. Christy called the service department and they walked her through a series of over the phone diagnostics.

The service tech said the results indicated that the battery was fine but the motherboard had a problem as it wasn't permitting the battery to be charged. So back to the service center it went. Again we got a super quick turn around but much to our dismay the diagnosis was that the battery would have to be replaced to the tune of 150 dollars.

I found it pretty hard to believe that the battery had failed at the exact same time we decided to send the computer in for service the first time. It seemed more probable to me that the phone service tech was right when he said it was something other than the battery. But how do you prove it?

Then it dawned on me. Since the battery runs on around eleven and a half volts maybe I could figure a way to recharge the battery while it wasn't attached to laptop. With my multimeter I was able to figure out which slots were the ones I would need to attach a charger to. Then it was a simple matter to cobble up a charger to hook into the boats 12 volt system.

Sure enough after a few hours on the "charger" the battery accepts and holds a full charge. Computer Nerd Bastards. Sounds like another phone call is in order. Unfortunately they are closed until the 29th so we'll have to be patient for a while.

On a more pleasant note, Inamorata with our friends Tessa and Jeff arrived this week so we spent some time showing them the ropes on the town’s bus line. Mostly we were just waiting for Christmas to happen.

Christmas here in Vero was as much fun as we had hoped. The weather is beautiful and the day started with Christy and I exchanging gifts here on the boat.

Then Nancy came by and picked us and the crew from Inamorata up. She had a full blown turkey dinner along with a standing rib roast and all the trimmings. The crews from Far Niente, Solitaire, Inamorata and Veranda all had a great time and probably too much to eat. Oh, and there was pie!

So now that the holiday is over we’ll be spending some time running around returning some of the stuff that I bought for Christy. Then its back to the boat chore list.

Boat Name of the Day......Clairebuoyant

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 22, 2008.

We’ve been in Vero Beach for a few days now. We’re rafted up with our friends on Far Niente and Solitaire. The crews of both of these boats have recently invested in new Land Based homes here in town. As a result, while they’re getting used to their new digs, we’ve got the mooring essentially to ourselves. Since there are already 3 boats on the mooring, which is the maximum, it’s nice to not have to wonder who’s going to be rafting up to you while you’re riding the free bus around town.

Speaking of which, the bus system; an experience like no other. The people you might run into on the free bus runs the entire gambit of society, except for doctors, lawyers, judges and that sort of thing. There are drunkards, gangsta’s, ho’s, immigrants of every flavor, the mentally challenged, the mentally deranged, the infirmed, some Canadians and I’m sure there’s even a child molester or two. It’s kind of funny to watch cruisers exchange looks as some of the local entertainment board the bus.

The buses are exceptionally clean and really make getting around town a breeze. It’s also a good way to catch up with the other cruisers and it’s an especially nice way to find out who’s got what bargain going on where.

We’ve been trying to accomplish at least one task from our “To-Do” list every day. So far I’ve been able to clean the “ICW Mustache” from the hull and spent the better part of an afternoon waxing the topsides. Christy spent most of Sunday “de-molding” the boat. We had been trapped so far north as the cold weather set in, we started to grow some mold. It’s not that we’re especially disgusting, it happens to everyone like one of cruisings dirty little secrets.

Anytime you have cold enough temperatures outside that you need to run a heater, you’re going to start a mold culture in your boat. Now that we’re far enough south that we can open some ports and live without the heat running it was time to wash away Veranda’s Penicillin. It’s a tedious process that involves pretty much moving everything and wiping down every surface you can with a bleach solution or some commercially available product like Legionnaires Away.

So we’ll be here for a few weeks as we take care of some doctor crap, visit with friends and tackle the rest of the dreaded “To-Do” list. The weather is pleasant and should make for a good place to spend the holidays.

Boat Name of the Day. I think that this is a great boat name. El Magnifico. When this guy called and told the marina that he would be in shortly he said it with such aplomb that you couldn’t help but to laugh. He was into the part and sounded very much like Steve Martin in the movie The Three Amigos. He proudly announced “El Magnifico will be at your fuel dock shortly!” The woman on the other end giggled a little bit during her reply but said that they were eagerly awaiting El Magnifico’s arrival. His reply was “Good, then you will have someone there to catch El Magnifico’s lines, Eh?” 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 15, 2008.

After spending a day wandering the bookstores and just relaxing in St Augustine, we again resumed our journey southward.

The Bridge of Lions in Saint Augustine was closed for the rush hour until 0830 so we took our time getting ready to get underway. Once through the bridge we had a rather dull day of traveling down the ICW. We found ourselves in Daytona Beach for the night. The anchorage was a little crowded but we found a good spot to spend a calm night with no wind at all.

The next morning we were up and underway early as we planned a long day with Cocoa Beach as our planned stop for the night. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans. After only a half mile or so we found ourselves in the thickest fog we’ve ever encountered. Visibility was measured in yards. Along this section of the ICW the channel is narrow and it runs through the middle of a wide, very shallow body of water. The channel markers are about a mile apart. The chart plotter gives you a general idea of where the channel is supposed to be but until you can confirm this by seeing the next set of marks you’re really just making a blind leap of faith.

Even when using the radar we were really just putting to much faith in our electronics to be comfortable. So when we got to a set of marks with a little deep water charted off behind them we pulled out of the channel into an area of 6 feet of water and dropped the hook. We were only 40 yards from the green mark and could barely make it out through the fog.

We ended up waiting for an hour or so before the fog finally lifted but the delay pretty much doomed our days schedule. We made it to the Titusville bridge shortly before the evening rush hour closing and headed south for the Addison Point Bridge. We knew we wouldn’t make it to Addison Point before their scheduled closing so we took our time and anchored for an hour while we waited for the bridge to resume opening at 1700 hours. After transiting the bridge we were still 12 miles from Cocoa Beach with only 30 minutes of daylight left. We just kept plugging along until the light of day faded and we pulled off to the side of the ICW and anchored behind one of the marks 50 yards outside of the channel. We had a boat that was behind us do the same thing about a mile back up the ICW and we spent another very calm night at anchor.

After departing in the morning we were once again beset by fog, although not thick enough to slow us down. We kept up our voyage south to Vero Beach. Some homes have fancy yard decorations such as flocks of fake pink flamingos while other guys just gotta have that certain something that
nobody else has.

We arrived in Vero at 1500 hours and after hitting the fuel dock for 26 gallons of diesel, a pump out and a hundred gallons of water we headed out into the mooring field. Our friends on Solitaire and Far Niente have just both purchased homes here and their boats are moored together out in the mooring field. Since they allow 3 boats on a mooring buoy it was only natural for us to raft up with their 2 unoccupied boats.

We love Vero Beach and plan to spend at least a few weeks here while completing some projects and doing some follow up work at the doctors.

Boat Name of the Day. A small center console fishing boat named Fishful Thinking.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 13, 2008.

We’ve been loosely traveling with a pair of other boats and we had been discussing the weather for our upcoming jump offshore. There was some nastiness off the Georgia coast, a bit of which we experienced last night in the anchorage. There were small craft warnings in effect until 0600 on Friday off Georgia. I figured that if we left at 0800 we could ride the ebb tide down the 13 miles to the inlet at Port Royal Sound and into the ocean. It would be after noon before we were in “Georgia” waters.

When we woke on Friday after a sleep deprived night, the forecast had changed a bit. We went online and checked every source for weather that we could. There were small craft and gale warnings in effect until 1000 hours, now the wind was supposed to come from the west before veering and coming from the north. I figured that the 20 to 25 knots forecast would knock down the sea state after several days of gales from the south. Our intended route would be taking us along the western side of the gale warning area.

We still weren’t sure about leaving so we decided to stay until Saturday, and then the other boats decided to leave. That’s about when I hatched a rather ill advised plan. There’s an anchorage about 8 miles closer to the ocean than where we were in Beaufort. I reasoned that if we hauled anchor an hour after the other boats, we could head down to that anchorage to spend the night before leaving for St Augustine on Saturday.

That way, by the time we were just about to the new anchorage the boats that had left earlier would be out the inlet. We could call them on the VHF and get a first hand report on the conditions they were encountering. If things looked good we would keep right on going and if it looked to rough we would stop and wait until the morrow.

Like clockwork we called and got a report of surprisingly lovely conditions so we kept going. I had already put a double reef in the mainsail, making it as small as possible. We rolled out half the genoa and sailed down the river and out the several mile long inlet.

Conditions were a little choppy near the inlet but once out to sea, things smoothed right out. We were soon skimming along at 7 knots under the full genoa and a double reefed main.

We were making really good time with 15 knots of wind in fairly benign conditions. At sunset we debated reducing the size of the genoa while it was still daylight. When it comes to reefing, the old adage is that “If you think of doing it, then you better do it”. So we reefed the genoa down to half size.

The winds had been from the west and shortly after sunset started to build. We found ourselves blasting along at 8 knots with only the small mainsail and about half the genoa out. We pulled in some more of the headsail and were still banging along with a double reefed main and just a slice of genoa out.

This is where the rollicking good sail became something a little less than “good”. The wind was now about 20 knots but the sea state was starting to build. We had small rollers passing harmlessly under the boat from the side. So with our two small sails up the motion was not uncomfortable. It’s funny how something as small as an additional few knots of wind can change a situation. When the wind built to 25 knots, Veranda with her tiny sails was once again blasting along at 8 knots but the comfort level was starting to drop considerably. In retrospect, its all kind of a blur, but during the night the wind built to 33+ knots and the rollers were now accompanied by the occasional breaker.

The worst part about the random rogue breaker was that we were traveling parallel to the waves. When a big roller passed under the boat from the side we felt like we would topple 15 feet down into the trough of the wave but the wave simply passed under us. When a breaker comes through you don’t know what’s going to happen. It can break before it reaches you, it can break over you, it can break just after passing you or it can grab you in its curl and break with you. Our saving grace was the fact that we had enough wind to keep the boat driving through the curl of most of the breaking waves.

We had several waves break over the boat leaving us a salt encrusted mess. We had a couple that scared us and one that almost made me start to pray. The one I like to call “The Big Nasty” caught us just right and drove us sideways down into the back of the preceding wave. We had over a foot of water up on the port side deck and water, a lot of water, made it into the cockpit. Unfortunately, Christy was below when it broke and the sound and motion of that wave was terrifying. Everything in the boat went flying and it sounded like we had hit something very big and very solid. That was definitely a holy shit moment, with only another 92 miles to go!

We’re a center cockpit boat so we sit pretty high above the water. That was the first time we’ve ever had water get into the cockpit. I’m not talking about some splashing, I’m talking about solid water running in. It was also one of the very rare times we’ve ever worn our life jackets while underway and it’s the first time we’ve ever tethered ourselves to the boat while we were in the cockpit. Edy, are you proud?!!!!

After a few hours the sea started to be influenced by the wind veering from the north. We were taking huge waves on the starboard quarter. When talking about wave height it’s easy for people to exaggerate the size of the seas. The formula for determining wave height is something like “terror x anxiety divided by number of hours of sleep x the square root of the number of miles from safe shelter” I’m too tired to do the math so I’ll just relate an observation. The top of our radar arch is about 11 feet above the water. I can say for certain that the seas were 4 or 5 feet higher than that. But again, because of the big wind we were able to outrun most of the trouble, but that speed was also scary.

We would be surfing down the face of a wave and the boat wanted to broach and turn sideways to the face, the result of that would be catastrophic. But as the bow of the boat started to round up, this presented more of the headsail to the wind which pushed the boat back to our original course. The result was even more speed, often catching one then a second and even a third wave in quick succession. We were often seeing speeds in the 10, 11 knot range.

Through all of this the autopilot was a stud. The wind and seas were big and the forces involved were incredible but the autopilot steered through everything. Between the auto pilot and the balanced sail plan, Veranda did a very nice job of taking care of us.

We did have one casualty though. We lost a crew member over the side, the egg timer. While we are under way at night we set the egg timer for every 20 minutes, we get up look around the horizon, check the radar, chartplotter and AIS so that if we doze or lose track of time, we will still be aware of what is going on. He’s gone and while he could be replaced I doubt that we’ll need too, I think it’s gonna be quite some time before Christy is talking to me again and agrees to do another offshore overnighter.

Once again AIS proved its value as we crossed crowded major shipping lanes off Savannah and Jacksonville.

So we arrived in Saint Augustine a little worse for wear and exhausted. No egg timer equals no sleep. We anchored right in front of the downtown area and cleaned up the boat and stowed what had taken flight during the trip, which was an unbelievable amount of stuff.

Town is beautifully decorated for the holidays and by luck we arrived just in time for the “Parade of Lights” boat parade.
December 12, 2008.

It’s funny how things can change in just a day. When I posted last we were waiting out a weather “event” and then heading down to and out Port Royal Sound.

We’re anchored in the Beaufort River with an intense tidal flow. The wind was from the south all day at about 15 knots. When evening came it built (as predicted) to 20 to 25 knots and began to veer out of the west. So then the boat was facing east into the ebbing tide and the wind was pretty much blowing up our skirt. It’s not really a problem for us but we were starting to sail around a bit on the anchor.

We were down below reading when we were hit with a couple of bigger gusts. I turned on the anemometer and went above to have a look around. We were absorbing sustained gusts of 35, 36 and 37 knots. We had dropped the hook all the way at the end of the anchorage in case a situation like this arose.

The bridge here is now back to its standard schedule and late in the day we got a new neighbor, a beautiful Island Packet named Wind Whisperer. They were they only boat in our proximity and of course, they became an issue.

Ten minutes after the wind started gusting into the thirties they started to drag. Their anchor recaught the bottom about 30 feet off our starboard beam. They were close enough that I could see the glow of their television as they sat below bathed in the warmth of “Idiots Bliss” completely unaware of the situation.

I repeatedly hailed them on the VHF but got no response. I can only assume that they must consider it appropriate to shut the thing off once they drop the anchor. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t have their radio on, especially in the deteriorating conditions. They hadn’t even glanced topside or they would have been doing something about the situation.

We were below and I was looking for something like a can of corn to throw at them while Christy was being more responsible and getting out our air horn when she looked out the port and said “Oh my God, they are going to hit us”. I rushed topside and exploded out of the enclosure just as the Island Packet’s bowsprit ripped through our lifelines. His second anchor hanging from the bow had bent one of our stanchions, destroyed the upper lifeline and gashed into our cockpit coaming. Thank God, I was able to grab his bowrail and keep the anchor from sweeping along our deck.

I had both feet against our cockpit while putting everything I had into wrestling with the bucking bowsprit. I could control it but couldn’t really do anything with it. If the bow had swept forward he would have gotten our shrouds and possibly dismasted us and if it had been able to swing along down the stern it would have probably destroy our radar arch. The radar arch holds our solar panels, wind generator, radar, dinghy, and several antennas.

Christy was blasting the air horn and I was screaming all the foul words that I knew and finally I felt the bow pulpit start to vibrate in my hands, they’d started their engine. They backed away into the night to give anchoring another shot.

They went right back to the same spot and dropped the hook and immediately came drifting willy nilly right at us again. They came so close to nailing us a second time that I had to run to our bow pulpit in an effort to fend them away as they went by. Now I’m freaking out because there was a real good chance that they could snag our anchor out of the bottom as they dragged theirs along as they went by our bow. Luckily for us, their anchor did not grab the bottom and it passed directly over our chain without snagging it.

They pulled their hook in and went back to the same spot to try again. Now we had our engine running so that we could dodge them, even though we were still anchored. This time they spun past our stern, clearing it by 10 feet. Through the use of a system of decibel enhanced verbal communication I made sure they were aware of my displeasure. I told them to turn on their God Damn radio and pointed out that due to the huge size of the anchorage available, they better try someplace a little further away. Like f*#king Minnesota.

By this time the winds were clocking 40 knots and 2 other boats had broken free. Fortunately the crews of these 2 boats had been paying attention like responsible mariners and reanchored without incident. After several tries the Island Packet was able to get their anchor to stick and I hailed them on the VHF. I asked if they were insured and the woman said “Why, do you have any damage?” I responded with “Your boat weighs over 12 tons and you just T boned us, of course we have damage, we were planning on leaving in the morning I’ll expect to see you before 0800, over” It was several hours before the anchorage was quiet again. I sat up in the cockpit until 0200 until the winds died off.

The next morning they came by and gave us their insurance info, so we’ll have to see how that goes. They seemed like decent enough people but one thing that struck me was that they never apologized. They said that they were sorry to have met us under these circumstances but nothing about the damages to our boat. It was almost like it was normal behavior. The guy did have the nerve to whine that his navigation light had been broken. If its not one thing……..Oh yeah, sometime during the excitement when I was running around on deck I kicked something and broke my pinky toe.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11, 2008.

We’re comfortably anchored here in Beaufort, SC. The trip here from Charleston had to be a 2 day affair. The bridge just below Charleston didn’t open until 0900 so that left us with only 8 hours of daylight to make the trip south.

We opted to spend the night in a very protected anchorage in the Bull River. The bridge just north of Beaufort is also a problem these days. It only opens twice a day, once at 1000 and again at 1400 hours. We were up and underway from Bull River at 0700 for the 16 mile run to the bridge. It was a good thing that we decided to leave plenty early as there was a very thick fog enveloping the area. Visibility was variable; it was anywhere from 50 yards to a half mile but the trip went well. We arrived at the Ladies Island Swing Bridge with 20 minutes to spare.

We listened with amusement to a couple of boats traveling through the fog about 15 miles behind us. When traveling in fog you’re supposed to blow a long blast on your horn every 2 minutes as you move along. One boat was a big trawler with a built in horn while the other boat was a sailboat with only a hand held air horn. They decided that the trawler would use his horn so the sailors didn’t have to waste their air canister. The problem was that he couldn’t seem to tell time. The sailboat called him every 2 minutes for at least an hour to tell him when to blast his horn. They completed their journey safely and made it through the bridge at its 1400 hour opening.

We’re waiting out a serious front with big winds from the south. So far we seem to be in a gap with horrible weather to our east and to our west. This system is supposed to pass this evening and give us decent wind from the northwest. If that happens we’ll be riding the tide out at 0800 and head out Port Royal Sound and once again into the ocean. Next stop Florida, hopefully.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 8, 2008.

Our plan was to motor to Beaufort, NC and head out into the ocean for a 40 hour sail to Charleston. What is it that they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Oh, that’s right, it might end up in an ass kicking.

We said our farewells in Oriental and motored away from Whitaker Creek at 0930. We had a 3 1/2 half hour trip to get to the inlet in Beaufort, NC. Arriving around 1300 hours would get us there just as the tide was starting to ebb so we could ride the tide out into the Atlantic. We had a north wind behind us so I wanted to avoid that whole wind versus waves thing.

We motored the entire way because I had promised Christy that we would put a few more hours on the drive train before we headed out into the ocean. So of course, the wind blew from the north and we motored along while everyone else we saw sailed southward.

We timed the inlet well and were soon out to sea. The forecast was for 10 to 15 knots from the north on Friday followed by 10 from the north on Saturday and finally 10 to 15 from the north on Sunday. We started out alright and sailed southward at about 6 knots for the first 30 miles. Then the wind started to die just as it was getting dark. We had only enough wind to move along at 3 to 4 knots for the entire night. By the time dawn broke we were doing a steady 2 1/2 knots. Our first 24 hours, that’s right our first 24 hours covered just 101 miles.

The revised forecasts we were receiving said that on Saturday evening the wind would build to 15 and that it would climb to 15 to 20 after midnight (all from the north). So we patiently sailed along at 2 1/2 knots for the majority of the day while anticipating the evenings promised higher winds. That whole “patience is a virtue” thing is all bullshit, in hindsight I should have started the engine and motored all day in the flat, practically windless conditions. The dogs did use the calm conditions to take me up on the offer of a quick walk to the bow for a little business.

After sunset on Saturday the wind did start to build and we were soon bounding along at a little better than 6 knots, for an hour. Then the wind died away to practically nothing. All that little burst of breeze did was stir up the sea state so that we had a difficult time keeping the sail full in the now rolly conditions. But that discomfort only lasted for an hour or so.

Then the wind came back with a vengeance. It was a little west of north so instead of beam reaching along we found ourselves close reaching. We were making good speed even as the winds built to a steady 30 knots. Then the wind did one of those precocious things that it likes to do, and it veered yet again.

It came from the west northwest and we found ourselves close hauled, bashing to windward in 10 foot angry seas. Oh yeah and the moon had set at 0030 hours so it was dark as hell. We weren’t going to be able to run the rhumb line right into Charleston, SC as we were being set to the south so we considered our options.

We were just past Winyah Bay. We had the choice of pounding for 40 miles to Charleston only to arrive probably several miles to the south and having to tack our way back up to the harbor. Or we could divert to the inlet at Winyah Bay and beat our way for about 20 miles to get there. We’ll take Winyah Bay for $200 Alex.

We turned for Winyah Bay at about 0500 and didn’t reach the safety of the inlet until 1300 hours. That’s right 8 hours to go 20 miles. I didn’t think to note the distance spent tacking back and forth as we made our way to the inlet. To say that the conditions were horrific would be putting it mildly. The wind was a steady 28 to 33 knots for hour after hour without dropping to the low 20’s until around noon.

The sea state was like nothing we ever encountered. The waves were so big and close together that we couldn’t even tack the boat. We’d get about halfway through a tack and a huge wave would smack and push the bow back away, the sails would refill and we’d be off again on the original course. After trying to tack several times we opted to jibe 270 degrees as it seemed to be the only option that met with success.

We started the engine in an effort to make some progress towards our goal. It really made no difference as one minute we’d be surfing down the back of a wave that hadn’t broken and the next minute a wave would break across the bow and bring the boat to a near stop. The engine really made no difference in our boat speed and did very little in our ability to point higher, so we killed the engine.

Well, we pretty much endured an ass kicking like no other we’ve ever had. So once inside the safety of Winyah Bay we decided to motor a little south along the ICW to Minum Creek. That’s where we first discovered the free range mosquito plantation but since its December, thankfully, there were none about.

We had the hook down and the boat squared away by 1500. So all in all we had traveled 235 miles in 53 ½ hours for a moving average of 4.39 knots. Had I started the boat and motored when we were sailing at 2 ½ knots we might have beaten the storm into Charleston but I was still in the belief that patience is a virtue. Ya know, until somebody beats it out of you.

After dropping the hook I was about to drop the dinghy to take the dogs ashore when they both came to the bow and did their business. It was magical and brought a tear to my eye. When we went to bed at 2000 hours there were 4 other boats in the anchorage with us. When we woke after 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep at 0700 we were alone. So we got up and headed south down the ICW for Charleston.

We made great time and are now safely anchored here in Chucktown. We’ll probably just spend the night before heading out to Beaufort SC tomorrow where we’ll wait out a forecast weather episode for a day or two.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 3, 2008.

As the good doctor in Young Frankenstein said….It is alive! There was good news and bad news though. The good news is that the transmission and new V drive are installed. After the mechanic was done with his part of the job he left the boat so I could start the re assembly of my part of this deal. I worked all afternoon and finished up just in time for dinner.

The next morning the mechanic came to the boat and we started her up to see where we stood. The boat started right up after a month of sitting. The transmission worked as it should and all the temperatures looked good.

We put the transmission in reverse and let the boat run at cruising RPM’s for 2 hours while tied securely in her slip. No problems, no leaks, all temps normal so it was time to take her for a ride. The mechanic came with us for the test drive and all seems to be well.

So once we arrived back at the marina we signed off on the job and I went about the work of reinstalling the generator. I wanted to wait until we were sure that everything was okay before I started messing with the generator again. I started right after lunch and after a few hours everything was once again ship shape.

Now for the bad news. We weren’t able to slip away without paying. Ouch.

I can’t say enough good things about Deaton’s Yacht Service. The only difficult part for us was that the mechanic who was assigned to us was also the Tow Boat US captain for the area. It was very frustrating to have the mechanic making headway on our job only to be called away by some dipshit in a sailboat who’d run aground. Damn boaters.

On one occasion he was called away by a guy who called up on the VHF and said that he had dragged anchor and his keel was banging on the bottom. Then he says that he’s going to shore but he’ll take his handheld with him so please hail him on the VHF when the tow boat arrives. Christy and I were following along on the radio and couldn’t believe that someone would leave their boat while it was aground.

The mechanic left the dock before 1500 hours and didn’t return to the marina until 2100. When we saw him the next day he told us that the guys boat was on a mooring in his own backyard and he felt that it had dragged so he wanted the tow boat to drag his boat and his mooring out to deeper water. These are the kinds of dipshits that were keeping our work from getting completed.

As the plan stands for now we’re planning on leaving Oriental early on Friday and going out the inlet at Beaufort. We’ve got a 212 mile trip to Charleston scheduled. The winds are supposed to cooperate but we’ll have to see how it goes.