Sunday, November 29, 2009

Elizabeth City, NC

Well we made it out of the Deltaville boat yard on Thanksgiving morning bright and early. Those guys were wonderful to us and they rushed our work so we could be out quick. They were going to be off for several days so we would have been stuck if they decided not to bring Kasidah in and stay a little later that first night (thank you Chuck and all of the guys in the yard).
When we left in the morning it was like pea soup out so we were really glad for the radar, it worked awesome. We spotted a few 900ft cargo ships heading for us and lots of fishing boats. When the fog lifted we had to motor most of the way into Norfolk because there was nothing for wind. On our way into the bay we had a sub in front of us which was really cool to see. The battleships and other large vessels were also very impressive as we made our way to the anchorage. That night at about 3 am the wind picked up to about 30 gusting over 50 and the boat that was in front of us ended up in back of us, at that point it was lightning, hailing and down right freezing. We prepared ourselves for the weather just in case we dragged. The wind now was about 40 knots with gust up to 50. Then it started to come from one direction and then another, and then the anchor alarm went off we would drag a little then it would set, drag a little then set. The marina was right behind us and we decided we would pick up and reanchor out and away from the marina. The boat that dragged behind us picked up and left altogether. It was amazing how well we managed to reposition ourselves and how quick we had the anchor back down and twice as much out (that’s why we dragged in the first place, I should have put more out knowing there would be a storm). Jon ended up sleeping in the cockpit for the rest of the night. When we woke in the morning the other boat was gone however two other boats were next to us. Later that day we talked to several other cruisers who had broke bow lines at a dock and others who had also dragged where they were.

Friday we headed for the Dismal Swamp which is 22 miles long and at least 6 foot deep in center. We had many things come up to kiss Kasidahs bottom the whole way down the swamp. When you enter the Dismal swamp there is a lock which opens only a few times a day so you have to time everything as to get there on time and to exit it also. Robert is the Lock Master and he has been doing it for 16 years, he is very knowledgeable about the Dismal and he enjoys entertaining cruisers. Westayed that night on the swamp at the North Carolina visitor’s center. It can only hold a few boats so you raft up to each other. That night there was 7 boats. We rafted up with a couple who comes down the canal from Norfolk for Thanksgiving each year. Later just before dark another 27ft sailboat showed up so we helped them raft to us. Turns out they are from Senica Lake in NY. One of the finger lakes. Small world and it's getting smaller.

We ended up on Pam and Dan’s boat (36ft Albin Trawler) for dinner with Jim and Erin from the 27ft Catalina. Pam is a great hostess and Dan had a lot of info for Jon about cruising. I hope we meet up with them again some time or another.
We left Saturday to get to the lock by 11 which ended up just right. We will be traveling for a few nights with Jim and Erin so this will make things a little nicer having other cruisers around.
We arrived at the Town docks in Elizabeth City, NC around 15:00 and tied up with plenty of time to walk around town. Not much happening here but the people are so friendly and the docks are free of charge. There are two other boats here waiting to cross Albermarle Sound.. We are staying till Monday morning then crossing the sound.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Out on the Chesapeake again

My new boots, nice

Well we are out of Cambridge today and it took only 40 days of wait to re-build Kasidah. It was a real thrill to get out back out and moving today. I (Jon) was a bit worried about the boat being slower because of the added weight, and once out and moving I did notice our boat speed was down a bit, But our s.o.g. was good. Thinking that we were getting a good push from the tide we moved on. The AIS was working great, the radar was easy to read. The solar panels were pumping 6 to 7 amps into the boat. We were using more than that but that's OK. The dinghy was riding nicely after a small adjustment on the tie downs. Then the knot meter stopped working. WTF. (I get that from Bill) Well we made Solomon Islands, and set the hook by 3 PM. The dinghy was dropped into the water in 3 minutes, and Sara and Blue said thanks. Back at the boat I pulled the through hull for the tri-data and just laughed. You know this is the 2ND tri-data in the boat. the 1st one lost it's temp sensor and we had to scream and yell to get a new one before we left Cambridge. They were nice enough to give us (no charge) some RAYMARINE paint designed just for transducers. Well the crap had slid of the bottom of the transducer and wrapped itself around the paddle wheel. I can hardly wait till tomorrow to see what it does to my real boat speed.

Tomorrow we head for Miller Creek just south of the Potomac River. It's night and I can now hear the wind generator singing to my batteries. We'll see how it does over night. A night cap and it out like a light.

Thanks to all for watching and caring. We'll get some pictures on tomorrow.Well we found our boat speed up and all was well.
Monday we were having some problems with dirty filters on the engine and we found our way to Reedville Va. on the Cockrellville Creek. We anchored in front of the Seafood Co. restaurant and walked the dogs there in the morning. The owner came by and was nice enough to bring Jon to a place to get some filters, come to found out he is the town supervisor and the town fire chief and…. The alarms went off while they were out so Jon arrived back at the boat with his wife...Ya right.

We left shortly after and headed south in some heavy fog and not so nice weather but nice wind 20 25 on our stern to the Piankatank River, the radar works great…had a few 800 plus foot cargo ships coming at us and picked them up, plus could find out all about them with the AIS.

We were still having problems with the fuel and decided to call ahead to the Deltaville Marina, so here we are in Jackson creek (a little tricky to get into).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We're Off

Well, finally the day has arrived. We will be heading out to new lands and adventures first thing in the morning with our mightier Kasidah. The work that has been done to her is unbelievable. Andy’s Stainless steel work is much more than what we had hoped for. This guy is very talented and we will take our hats off and give him a bow. Mid-Shore Electronics was wonderful and helped us in every way. They are some of the nicest people we have met and worked with thus far. They also always made us feel right at home during the work on Kasidah (thank you very much for this). Here are a few photos of
the work.

Jill will be going to Amy and Jeremy’s house for the holidays.

We, on the other hand, have no idea where we will be for Thanksgiving,…but it will most definitely be further SOUTH. We’re sure there has to be a few more cruisers heading the same way as us.

Edited by Jill

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wind, Rain and Lots of it

The stainless steel work has started to take shape on the back of Kasidah. It looks huge but hopefully when finished with all the goodies and Dink will fit right in.
Jon has been busy today going over all the new items and how they should be wired, the different parts and locations of item that will be attached to the davits and of course finishing up the watermaker. He ended up using the booster pump that was bought for it to also circulate the cool water for our fridge. This was an option that we had purchased a few years ago when we replace the whole unit. Knowing that we would be in warmer climates it seemed like a good idea.
The wind has been blowing a good 20-30 all day and lots of rain. They say the next two days will be very wet and winds gusting well over 50. I will have to find things to do. Please email me or even better Skype me…..

Craig and Trish the other sailboat that has been here with us for the past few weeks, left yesterday to go to Annapolis to have other work done on their boat. They are from Australia and plan on sailing back at their leisure. We went to their boat to wish them well and have some wine. We gave them some crabs since we had so many, later Jon went over to see how she was doing with them and she said she couldn’t put them in the pot because they were holding each others claws(that’s cute). Trish made us a pan of Lasagna which was delicious, there was so much we had two meals from it.

This is my catch

This is from the Crab market

Once again Jon received a crap load of oysters, he will either be really sick of them when we leave or have a few good recipes so I will eat them (Sorry Laure). We have been fortunate to receiving fresh veggies from the owner here Frank, he has a garden and every few days brings us goodies, one new veggie we tried was “Bock chew” this is really good fried up with some onions, it taste like celery and spinach all in one.
I have noticed that one thing I really miss is have a washer and dryer. Not only is it expensive but you have to watch out for things that other people leave in the washers and dryers, like pens and chewing gum. yuk

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Getting Colder

This week has been filled with all different types of projects. We added a few solar vents to help with condensation and bought a renewable water absorber doohickey to replace some of the ones that just fill with water (condensation) and then you throw them out.

We had the door made behind the head for the watermaker, this cost way more than we expected to have been. Jon will be doing more of this type of work if we want to stay out here.
We are working on the installation of it today so we should be able to make water before long. I sent the doggie’s paper work to the Bahamas on Monday because of course they are on “Island Time” and could take a month to get back to us.
Andy the Stainless Steel guy came on Wednesday and took all the measurements for the Davit system and will be back to do a fit Monday. We plan on being back on the water and moving some time this coming week which is a good thing because the temp is slowly dropping.

Ray invited us over to his “Ship” Copeing on Wednesday night to go over his charts and waypoints for the Bahamas, so I made a nice dinner and it ended the day off with good company and more knowledge for us to use.

Most of the Crab man have stopped crabbing for the season and started bringing in Oysters, we ended up with a huge amount last night because one of the boats brought a large basket in for the owner of Mid-Shore and he was away for the weekend(Jon is in his glory). I bought a small crab pot and have been trying my crabbing out but every time I get a crab the little booger seems to get out as soon as I reach the surface with the pot.
Every morning we walk the dogs down by the river where there are a few marina’s, well the night before Jon had woken to a three alarm fire and was wondering where it may have been. On this walk we found what had caused the alarm. At this one marina a large boat had caught fire and burned right to the ground. This really brings chills to our bones. We have been told that this was the third fire there this year. I smell something fishy in the air…….