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.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer Breeze On The Hard

So, our last post was of us delivering Summer Breeze to the boat yard.  Our diver had been telling us that we had some bare spots on the bottom paint and we are thinking that the long trip from St Petersburg to Charleston stripped some of the paint off.
Between rainy day delays and then our Baltic Sea cruise (not on Summer Breeze), it has been about 5 weeks since she has been away from home.  Here she is in the boat yard up on the stands, they call it "on the hard".  Thank you Anthony and company at Marine Propulsions (locally known as the  Rockville boat yard) for doing a great job!

And today was the coming home day! We are in the middle of summer afternoon thunderstorms 
so we hoped they would stay away as we didn't need the strong winds and lightning to hit while we are trying to dock and thankfully, we were all clear today but it was blasting HOT and HUMID.  
And since we have to time our entrance to our back yard because of a sand bar, we anchored 
out in the creek and Bruce went for swim to cool off. 

The dolphins were close by but never came up to check him out. 

So, we decided to change the how and direction of docking. After looking at our dock from neighbors (the Becks) dock, we realized that the curve of the creek at our house was maybe causing us the problems we were having with departures from the dock.  Remember the bigs scrape along the side and all the fender balls we kept popping? So now, we have bigger balls! Hmmm..... well after popping all but ONE of our fender balls that we have had for years and using with our other boats, we decided that Summer Breeze requires bigger balls. More updates on that later, I'm sure. 

We docked successfully and thankfully our neighbor was out and came out to lend a hand 
(Thank you Anne!).  It was a bit challenging as it was a first time docking on the starboard side with bigger dock fender balls and the new fat lines, which are a challenge in themselves to handle. 
(I don't know but that bow looks awful close to the pier head to me!)

Also, while in the boat yard, the new cushions were being made and they should be ready later this week. I'm excited about that! I've been buying new throw pillows here and there and 
I seem to be in another pillow conundrum! How can that happen? It does. 
I can't wait for them to be here and then onto the next indoor project. Either counter tops or stairs. 
I have no idea what Bruce's "next" project is but I know there is one. 

What do you think? Too close to the pier head? Hmmmm... ?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Day Tripping to the Boat Yard!

Well, it's time for Summer Breeze to get hauled out of the water and have the bottom painted. Yep, one of those continuing maintenance jobs that has to be done, is costly and not fun. But a requirement! It has been absolutely beautiful here and now we have several days of good, hard and steady rain. And just in time for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival too! Dejavu my artist friends?  

But the rain was off and on and just a steady rain, not t-storms, so this was our window to take her to the boat yard. Since it was to be a short trip out to N Edisto River and Bohicket Creek and into Adam's Creek where Marine Propulsion has their yard, we decided to invite friends for the day trip and stop at Bohicket for lunch, then drop the boat off (where we had already shuttled the car to the day before).  James and Beverly joined us for the day and we brought breakfast to have on our way since we scheduled to leave at 7 am. 

Sunrise on the Toogoodoo Creek

Well, like all well laid plans... not all goes so well at first. As we got ready to unplug from shore power and the engines are warming up, Bruce notices that the starboard engine is not spitting out water like it's supposed to. So after cleaning out the sea strainer and checking absolutely everything he could, it worked better but still not great. Then a light comes on that we have never seen before with that engine. Well, that was enough warning for us! We knew we could get it to the boat yard on 1 engine but that creek is not a wide one and we would be entering as the tide was going out so we didn't think we could maneuver a turn around and docking with 1 engine so our vote was to not go. But then he talked to our personal captain and boat mechanic advisor, Bryan and he convinced us that it was ok. So after an hour delay, the tide and current was still good for a smooth departure so we are back on. And it was again a pretty good departure. We still don't have it down 100% but we are close! We did pop (another) fender ball off the dock. Pop! There goes another! But we are off with plenty of deep water to cross the sand bar! Departure was around 9 AM with an audience from the Nipper dock!
Beverly and I set up breakfast on the flybridge.

James enjoying the bit of sun that came out in between rains

Beverly learning how to be a captain
We travel in a light drizzly rain down the creek, Wadmalaw Sound and the N Edisto River.  The rain was to hold off until the afternoon but no, it was raining. Just a light steady rain but we are dry in the enclosed flybridge and enjoying the view. We looked at the weather radar again and the afternoon rain had changed to red and yellow bad weather cells to come over us by 1:00.  So we decided to abort lunch at Bohicket Marina, take the boat over to the boat yard and drive to lunch. Good move! The rain did stop enough for us to get the dinghy back on top. 

Well, I'm happy to report that we got into the creek and boat yard before the storm hit and we were ready with lines and fenders for a port side docking on the face dock, like we had planned with them the day before.  Easy peasy.... BUT the large sailboat was still there.... they hadn't moved it yet...  So, they meet us over at a slip instead. And we have never docked her into a slip before. That was actually something we have been thinking that someday (hopefully never) we would have to attempt. So not only did we have to turn her around in a tight creek but also back her into a slip. We had not planned on putting Beverly and James to work but I moved lines and fenders while Bruce sweated out on the fly bridge and gave them each a job of holding a fender and a line to throw, which they did very well.  And I want to say, that our new head phones work really great. 

Like my rope around the neck? They keep slipping off my head!
Bruce and I can talk in a normal low tone voice to each other and give instructions or info, without yelling... mostly. Thanks to our friends, Roger and Kathy Tatum for insisting we get them! They work great! Bruce did a fantastic job of backing Summer Breeze into the slip! The men on dock were helpful and got us set as soon as we threw the lines. One of them told me what I a great job I did talking the captain through the docking. Bruce can't see the back of the boat or swim platform from the where he stands so I have to tell him where and how much to go. The men were very complimentary of my handling that. I was proud! And our crew did a fantastic job of moving the fender where needed and throwing a line. Though the hard work was all on the Captain! He did a great job! Arrival was about 11:30 AM.

In the slip at the boat yard.
So Summer Breeze is there for a while. She'll have her bottom painted among a couple of other things to look at. We may not get her back before we leave on a trip in a couple of weeks so it may not be until July. It's amazing how empty our dock at home looks. We miss her already! And now that the floating dock is free again, perhaps we can use the Grady for a bit before she sells. 

Anyone interested in a 225 Freedom Grady White?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Summer Breeze cruising in our back yard!

May 10, 2017, Wednesday. 

In the Lowcountry, there are plenty of beautiful spots to explore and for us to continue to learn how to handle Summer Breeze. So we decided to head out for a couple of days.  We left the dock at 8:30 am right at high and slack tide with a successful and easy launch. 
We've been out of town and I've had a sinus infection and finally I'm on some good drugs so we decided I could recuperate on Summer Breeze for a couple of days. This is our 2nd voyage since bringing her home. The dolphins even joined us and swam at our bow on our way out. Unfortunately, I didn't get a perfect pic. All you can see here is their splash but it was pretty awesome!

2 dolphins swimming along our bow as we head out the creek

1st mate Bella

We decided to go the S Edisto River and explore up the river past the cut where we hadn't been before. It took us about 2 hours to get there and after cruising up and down a bit, we decided on an anchorage. The big annoying horse flies had been out so we were also looking for a bit of a breeze to help with that. After chilling out there for a bit and having lunch, we realized that we weren't as comfortable there as the water (we were up river a bit) had tons of cloudy silt and sand going by. Probably not good for the engines if we ran the generator later. So we picked up anchor and moved down river where the clouds of silt weren't. We anchored again at Raccoon Island anchorage spot (Active Captain) where there were 2 other trawlers already anchored up for the night. We had noticed a steady parade of sailboats and motor yachts cruising north as we headed south. It was a beautiful evening with a bright orange sunset followed by a perfect full moon. 

After a little happy hour and a nice shrimp and pasta dinner, we settled in for the night with the port holes and doorway all open as there was a gentle summer breeze blowing. Well at midnight, the current changed direction, the wind stopped and a swarm of mosquitoes flew through the boat! So up starts the genny and the AC and Bruce spent the next half hour killing mosquitoes! Then we had a quiet night! 

Thursday morning, we hung around the anchorage but after another weather check, we saw that the rain forecast for Saturday morning was even stronger so we decided to move closer to the Toogoodoo for the night so we could come in at high tide around noon on Friday. We pulled anchor at about 11:00 am and had some trouble with the snubber getting tangled up in the chain and of course, the swivel shackle was twisted again. Captain vowed we wouldn't leave the dock again without getting that fixed!  The wind had also picked up quite a bit. 

We had a smooth ride though at low tide, we encountered shallow water in the ICW, not only in Watts Cut but also on the north side of the 174 bridge. The lowest we had was about 2' beneath our keel.  We entered Steamboat Creek and found a suitable anchorage for the night at about 2:45. We had a great afternoon and evening enjoying some warm gentle breezes as the winds slowed down a bit.  

Friday morning, we took the dinghy down and went for a short spin. We had been needing to get it off and get the motor in for a checkup. We can't get it off at our dock because the crane would set it on the floating dock and not in the water! We then weighed anchor at 11am in order to get back home with an manageable tide. I'm happy to report that we had a successful and 95% perfect docking arriving home at about 12:45. The tide was just starting to run out at a faster pace and we struggled a little bit getting the stern of the boat close enough but we managed just fine! Yeah!!!👏👏👏 

And I am getting ready for an art fair at the Tall Ships in Charleston so I was able to get more work done on one of my last paintings for the fair. Though I need a name for this one! It's a boat I took a photo of at Bowen's Island. Almost done!

Bella wants to know if she can "go" on her grass now...???

A little bit about voyage #1:
I didn't log our 1st voyage as it was quite traumatic for us so I think I can talk about it now. About 3 weeks of having her home and realizing that we had 3 weeks of travel coming up, we really wanted to take her out. The weather was good but it was windy and gusty. So against any good Captain's judgement, we decided to go anyway. The tide was rushing out, the wind was blowing and our dock departure was not pretty. Ok, that's all I'm going to say about it except that we do have a little bit of repair (paint and swim platform trim) to take care of - all can easily be fixed. We spent the night mid-way in our creek as we we realized it was not ideal for us to be out. And we couldn't get the GPS to work on the nav system. Turned out it was a simple switch we had not realized had been turned off. Details! We had a great evening despite all that, and the next day we returned to the dock with a perfect docking. Yeah!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Makes me feel fine.....

It's official! 
Summer Breeze 

Taking the old name off. Mar Azul is a great name but we've had
Summer Breeze
picked out before we had this boat!

And yes, we celebrated with an official denaming and renaming ceremony
along with champagne. Even Bella had a little cup. 
We even added a green branch with a camellia bloom to "help guide us safely home".

Other updates.....
We have a new mattress. I'm sorry that I didn't get photos of getting the old one out because that was hysterical! Almost got my chance to use a chain saw! He and James had to fold it in half and tie it up after the mattress got the best of them. We had a good laugh. Getting the new one in was a bit easier. 
I ordered one from Wayfair, thanks to my neighbor Anne's recommendation! So we got it on the platform, took the plastic off, got it placed and it just opened up! Perfect! 

 New arm swing arm lamp in the main salon/galley wall. 
Bruce has been doing stuff in the engine room as well but I'm not sure what!
We are slowly updating and getting her ready for cruising! 
One day soon!