Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Short End of Summer Trip

Friday, September 29, 2017
Wow, we have not been out on Summer Breeze since "Totality"! Hurricane Irma came to visit and created quite a mess, and we've been on a couple of short road trips. So it has been since August 21. Too long but here we are with 4-5 free days and the promise of cooler and nice weather so we are going south a bit, maybe Beaufort, maybe Hilton Head. We left today at 12:45 pm, 3 hours into high tide. That's our secret to a successful launch without popping any balls!

First I want to show you our latest update to SB. Our friend and neighbor, Hugh Allston made our new hand rail gates. He did a magnificent and beautiful job!

And this is our new "fix" to keeping Bella from peeking too far over the flybridge. That made us nervous! She can still peek but can't slip over. Not "Hugh" approved and still needs some tweaking but it worked.

As we traveled south, there were several rain showers around and a few drops on us but no rain and it made for beautiful skies. 
We anchored at 3:45 in the S Edisto River at Laurel Hill anchorage, as noted on Active Captain. And the dolphins came to check us out. Love it when that happens! (photo above)

The clouds were spectacular and so was the sunset with the surrounding rain showers. And then,a bit of rain came, so we decided to turn on the genny, the a/c and cook dinner inside.  
I did get my Day 29 and a Toogoodoo 365 painting in as we left the creek. It was high tide and this spot is just before the fork in the creek. I love how the water is peeking through the marsh grass and the distant tree lines are seen because of the curves in the creek.
My #stradaeasel set up on the boat.
Saturday, Sept 30
The wind came up about 5 AM, we checked the anchor and all was fine. We got up early (6) to make the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut at a higher tide as it gets pretty low there but after watching the morning weather update, decided to hold off. The low in south Florida is causing some winds, near shore gale warnings and rain showers.... then again after more weather station watching and coffee, we decided to continue on but only to Beaufort.
The clouds were heavy but created a beautiful sunrise!

Along the way, I completed my last painting for the 30 day challenge. As we entered the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut, I quickly sketched the scene and got to it. I had some challenges with a little wind, wakes from other boats, but got it done! #stradaeasel challenge!

We got to Beaufort around 3 pm and anchored just behind the mooring field that is next to the marina. That gave us protection from the winds, a great view of Beaufort and easy access to the dinghy dock!
We had a few projects we had been working on that we wanted to finish. The sunscreens now have new roll up snaps (just like on the Isinglass) and the tie down snaps to be used instead of the ropes. Rosie has a hard time untying (and tying) ropes. Fingers just don't work that well with them. So this little addition to the screens is great! 

And we also have the rope problem on the fenders we use at docks or locks. The fingers don't always work that great when you need them in a hurry. So we made up some straps with soft fleece lining that sits on the teak hand rails with grommets for the ropes and then Bruce found some line adjuster things. So now we just clip the loop in the rope and adjust the length if needed! Yeah!!! (for Rosie's fingers!)

We also worked on our no see-um gnat screens but that's still a work in progress. For another day. 
This is our view in the evening of the marina and city. The winds had picked up as predicted but not so bad. It was already cooler and the gnats are gone for now. 

Sunday, Oct 1
No sunrise picture today as we slept in. Oh well. 
Today our friends, Jeanine and Tim Jones who just moved to Beaufort came out for the afternoon. We picked them up at the dinghy dock and had lunch on Summer Breeze, including home made apple pie (from Jeanine of course!)! Then we went into town, walked around a bit and watched a bit of the 9/11 commemorative ceremony that had been postponed because of Hurricane Irma. Back on the boat later for a quiet evening. Not much of a sunset as the clouds were gone. Swept away by the wind! 

Monday, Oct 2
This was our sunrise Monday morning. The winds had quieted during the night but still a bit breezy. The clouds were still moving fast. 

Leaving Beaufort waterfront area...

Entering the Toogoodoo Creek about 3 in the afternoon. We had to hover around the creek a bit to allow for the tide to rise a bit more before crossing the sandbar. I love this little cottage tucked into the trees. I think it 's going to be a painting soon.

We had an almost perfect docking but not quite. The wind gave us a bit of a challenge in our turn around as it would catch the boat and move us. Wind from one side and tide from the other did not balance each other out! We had to abort the 1st try but made it on the 2nd approach. It was not pretty but it was without incident! Phew! 
We can do this!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TOTALITY 08-21-17

Eclipse day sunrise! 
Melissa and Caitlyn came in from Charlotte to spend the eclipse in the zone of "totality" with us in Charleston. We left early on Monday morning (8-21-17). The tide was still coming in but almost at peak so we wanted to leave the dock with the current still at our bow and of course we have a sandbar to cross! It was a beautiful sunrise, though cloudy. They were predicting about a 60-70% cloud coverage during the eclipse and a 30% chance of rain. And we had another successful and stress less dock launch! As long as we are at almost high tide with the current coming into our bow, we are getting this departure down!
Co-captains of the day are ready at the helm.
As so are we!

It was a nice relaxing ride to our destination just off of Limehouse Bridge. Not only would it be a great viewing spot but also a great people watching spot. There is a sandbar that pops up at low tide that makes for a place to swim in shallow water and hang out on a beach like sandbar.  There were other smaller boats and many kayaks that showed up. We lowered the dinghy and went over to the sandbar and played around with the dogs for a while before the eclipse began. The news media had said that animals may act weird and the weather may be weird. Whatever that means! Well as we played in the water, we were attacked by jumping shrimp! They would jump around us actually hitting us or landing on us! It was harmless though we did have a lot of squealing going on. One actually got stuck on Maya's fur on her neck. We laughed quite a bit about this after.  Then just before the eclipse began, the dark clouds appeared and we could see some lightening in the not too far distance but it was not on us. Dark clouds behind us with lightening, white puffy clouds moving around us hiding the sun here and there and blue sky towards the beach. Ok, the weather was weird and the attacking shrimp was really weird!

We perched up on the dinghy platform as the moon started to pass over the sun. The cloud cover was spotty as the eclipse actually began, but it was amazing to see! 

This photo with my phone doesn't show the eclipse at all! It is amazing how the special glasses clearly showed it all so well. 
It did get twilight dark for about a minute or so during totality and we could see the ring around the sun (Bailey's Beads?) and the diamond ring! It was suddenly quiet and then you could hear all the "ahs" and clapping and then it started to get light again. 
As the dark clouds got a little closer, we along with most everyone out there decided it was time to leave. The rain did start to come and we were grateful for the bimini and Isinglass protection on the flybridge. We stayed dry! We got to our overnight spot we had spotted last week and anchored at about 4:30. The rain had stopped by then and it was beautiful again. The trawler on a mooring ball was there as well as a beautiful double masted sailboat. This is a great creek for anchorage! 

It was a beautiful evening with lots of dolphins around us with some even coming right up to the boat several times to get a good look at us. 

We were gifted with even a more beautiful sunrise this morning. We left our anchorage at about 7:45 in order to catch the incoming tide at almost peak. Again, another perfect docking, the stress is still there but getting better!
Bella and Maya happy to be almost home! Oh, a Maya update! Last week, she would NOT "go" on the potty spot after I sprayed her with water. No problem on this trip! Guess she forgot that I did that. Though they did have a bath on the deck after the sandbar swim. So, we have clean and happy puppies after TOTALITY. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Case of the HANKLES

Have you ever heard of HANKLES? 

Sunrise on the Toogoodoo Creek. Looks like a painting to me for the Toogoodoo 365 Series!
It was a beautiful start of the day here last Sunday, so we decided to go scouting for our upcoming Eclipse trip towards Charleston and try out a new anchor spot for that evening. 
 Maya says "ok, if Bella says it's ok"! (We are dog sitting for Maya,  grand dog)
We left the dock at 11:30 AM as the tide was coming in and approaching high. If you remember, we have had some issues leaving the dock and popping our fender balls.  We are happy to say that it was the most successful and smooth dock launch we have had to date! We didn't bust any balls this time! 
Yes, it was a hot day but we had great shade under the bimini and a great breeze to keep us cool enough. We had not traveled towards Charleston yet on Summer Breeze, though we have on our other boats many times. The ICW can be a bit narrow on the way there and very shoaly. We made it close to Elliot Cut in about 4 hours but decided to not go into Charleston harbor as there was a ton of boat traffic between there and Limehouse Bridge. It is Sunday in August and thats what boaters do in the Lowcountry!  We found a couple of possible anchorage spots that we had hoped would be good for the upcoming Eclipse trip but they weren't really suitable to us. We turned around and went back towards home to a possible anchorage we spotted coming in that was off a side creek of the ICW. Turned out it was a great choice with deep water, lots of swing room and no boat traffic. All was good until when anchoring, we got 100' of chain out and the Windlass breaker kept flipping off so it was stuck. The chain would not move in or out. We texted our private 24 hour on call Captain advisor (son, Captain Bryan) and told him what happened and he says,
 "did you check to see if the anchor chain is kinked or hankled?"  Huh?

Hankle | Definition of Hankle by Merriam-Webster
1 : twist entangle. 2 : to involve (a person) in something by luring or enticing —usually used with in or on didn't want to join but they hankled him on.

Well, in our situation it was definition #1. We had our anchor chain all hankled, in other words, twisted and entangled all in the anchor chain locker but it didn't really get tangled until about the 100' length. Good and bad! Good that we able to anchor with 100' of chain out, which was good enough for the spot we were in. Bad in that we could not get any more chain out to use our snubber (another new word for me with Summer Breeze) and bad in that we had no idea how to get our anchor and 100' of chain back on the boat and against a current. Since we were safely anchored in a great spot we decided to stay and worry about it in the morning because we were worried that we may have only one chance to get it up. So, what are we to do?   Happy Hour! 

I have a funny side story about the dogs. This was Maya's first time on a Summer Breeze trip. I had hoped that Bella's potty spot would just be a natural for her. So first time to go "outside" was a breeze! Bella used it and Maya followed right along! I was thrilled at how easy this was. BUT I had the great idea of cooling them off as it was a hot day and even though we were in the shade, I wanted to make sure that they weren't getting too hot. So I lightly sprayed them down with the water hose. My mistake was that I did that right after their potty break. Turned out that Maya related going potty to getting sprayed with water. So Maya held it until the next day! Oh oh! My bad.

 It was a beautiful sunset. It started looking like this and ended up like the next photo. 
We anchored in Church Creek or maybe it was New Cut which is a great deep creek off the ICW. For you locals, it's the creek where the above trawler is on a mooring ball that we can see every time we go by.

The next morning, Bruce went down and untangled the anchor chain under the Windlass. Sure enough we were able to get the anchor up! Thank God! But we knew we still had a good chance that the rest of the chain was still hankled so we got closer to home and decided to anchor just off the Toogoodoo Creek in a wide and deep area of the ICW. We let out the first 100' with no problem and that point, Bruce went down and untwisted the chain as it entered the Windlass as I slowly bumped the chain overboard. Turned out it was full of hankles and we feel that happened when we took the chain out to paint 25' markings on it and since it was on our dock, it got twisted going off the dock into the boat. That's our guess. We got it all back and now we are "unhankled".

We will go out next weekend for the eclipse watch with Melissa and Caitlyn.  Jordan will be off at UNC by then and Matt will be at work. 

We arrived back to the Toogoodoo Creek about noon. It was a hot and still day. This photo is just around the corner from our house. Like this dock and walkway, there are many others along the creek and ICW that have not been repaired since Hurricane Matthew last October. And I'm happy to report that we had a very smooth docking and none of Bruce's new balls were popped this time! I think we are getting it!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On The Softer Side... Cushions and Color

Loving the Blues.
We are making some progress on my (Rosie's) list as well. While spending some time in the boat yard (Bruce's list) "on the hard", we were also working on the soft side.
We removed all the blinds and fabric curtains. The curtains were all beautiful and custom made but.... you know me with my allergies! We've learned to keep things that collect dust 
and allergens at a minimal and we wanted a color change anyway. Right? We did decide to keep the curtains in the salon as they are easy to remove and wash and we love those blues. So this was our starting point for redecorating the entire boat. Love these blues!

We chose to work with the Jim, Jeri and Joe Perillo of Custom Canvas of Charleston after talking to a couple of canvas companies. They are a really nice family business and were great to work with. We wanted to stay pretty basic so we could decorate by adding color and want it to be easy to change the feel and look later by only changing the accessories. Since the cushions are a pretty big investment, we decided to go with Sunbrella fabric and a middle/dark blue (Galaxy) which matches the blues in the curtains. Now we can just add our accent colors, which are lime green, teal and yellow.

Choosing a fabric for the Vberth was a little harder as we didn't want the same color and we wanted to keep it light. It can be a dark area to begin with so anything dark would be .... dark!  We found the yellow Sunbrella (Cornsilk) which is a muted yellow color and goes well with the blues.  
Then we waited and now they are here!

The main salon original cushions.

The new look!
Yes it is still blue but a different blue!
You can also see the portable A/C-dehumidifier in the galley. We use it while at the dock on shore power. It keeps the interior dry and cool which is nice during these 100+ heat index days.

The vberth original cushions.

The new look!
It's a toned down yellow but looks yellower here in the photo.
This brightens up the forward cabin which is dark with all the wood. We've also removed the curtains and are adding peek a boo shades, just like in the master. They will be here in 2 weeks. 

The big wonderful captain's chair was removed and we brought in 
2 Ikea chairs which fit in the slot great and are comfy.
They were a great buy... 2nd hand from Melissa!
The captain's chair can easily be remounted when we are making a passage but since we will use Summer Breeze more coastal for a while, this suits our comfort better. 
The blue rug is still here as it has the blues we like.  
Elaine had told us that it was easy to wash and it was! Bella likes it. I'm keeping an eye out for a replacement but no hurry on this.

The master state room before....

Master state room now. 
The coverlet is light blue, a hand me down from one of the house bedrooms. I kept the cute starfish throw pillows from the main salon and added some teal pillows plus navy and teal sheets. Box fan is used while on shore power to keep air circulating. Since we don't live on the boat, it is kept closed up for long periods. This really helps with heat and humidity. 

The colors run through Summer Breeze
When I began the redecorate process, I decided to go with navy and teal and throw in some accents of lime green and yellow in other areas. It seems to be the color this summer as I've had no trouble at all finding them!
Shower curtain.