Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Whaler Strikes Back

Yesterday morning, I was convinced that it was time to replace the 40 HP Evinrude on the Whaler.  It's been nothing but trouble since we launched it a year ago.  It's given mechanics fits, and us.  But those of you who know me, and you regular followers, know how persistent (which is a nice word for pig headed) I can be.  I can be especially persistent after looking online at new outboard motor prices.

I wasn't happy with how the fuel lines fit.  They were new, along with the fuel tank and battery, when I ordered all the parts I'd need before leaving Stamford in September of 2011.  But they were loose on both ends.  I hied myself to West Marine, and found this fuel line kit.  Click on it to make it bigger, and read the bulleted items on the right.

Recommended for fuel tanks manufactured 2011 to present.  What?  What's the difference?   Regardless, the Whaler's tank was bought in 2011, so this might be the problem.

Back at the boat, I hooked up the new lines.  The connection to the motor was so tight that it wouldn't lock on, so I had to bend the tab a little.  Perfect.  But same problem.   The motor would sputter and die.

I pulled the cover off, looking at everything.  There, on the starboard side of the engine, was linkage not connected.  On inspection, it looks like it connected to a tab under the flywheel.  I pulled the pieces off.

Heck, I can replace this with a bent coat hanger.  I could, that is, until I snapped off the top of the flimsy pot metal connection.  You can see it in the center of the photo below.

Being pigsistent, I cobbled up a coat hanger and zip ties.  I hit the starter and the engine started right up and purred like a kitten.  

I hollered to Pam to see if she'd like to go for a boat ride to try it out.  Sure, she said, but eat your sandwich.  I went into the galley.

It seems that a dog, that shall remain nameless (Olivia) ate it.  No matter, let's go for a boat ride.

We loaded up the dogs and us into the boat.  Knowing my track record with the Whaler, I decided to motor upwind, so that if anything happened it would be an easier paddle back.

As it turned out, that was the only smart thing I did yesterday.  It was a long paddle back.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Peacemaker and the Twelve Tribes

Yesterday, I worked on getting the Whaler running.  It took about 3/4s of a can of carburetor cleaner, but it finally seemed to be running perfectly.   So I called for Pam and the dogs and we took a spin.

The dogs love the Whaler.  At 13 feet, it's a good size for them.  An inflatable wouldn't be anywhere near as good and I'm glad we decided to keep it.

Up ahead, we could see the Independence, an ICW cruise ship.  Then Peacemaker, a three masted barquentine rigged tall ship that we first saw in Savannah a year ago at the tall ships rally.  Next was a trawler, and then a cargo ship.  Talk about a variety of boats!

Peacemaker looked fascinating, so we decided to go for a closer look.

Look at the size of that garage!

Peacemaker was built in Brazil and launched in 1989.  It is 124 feet length on deck, 33 foot beam, 14 foot draft, and carries 10,000 square feet of sail.  It is owned by the Twelve Tribes, a "rogue" religious group founded in the Jesus movement of the early 1970s in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The Twelve Tribes is a fundamentalist religious group and believes that all present day churches have "fallen".  

The Twelve Tribes has been described as a cult and has received much negative attention from the media, especially concerning child labor and home schooling practices.  They had financial difficulties at one point and relocated to Island Pond, Vermont.  In 1984, the Vermont State Police and Vermont Social Rehabilitation Services seized 112 of their children, who were released later in the day when the raid was ruled unconstitutional.  Since that time, the group has been accepted by their local communities and has spread to many countries, and they number two or three thousand.  It is against their religious beliefs to evade taxes, and so are listed as a 501(d) corporation and pay property taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes.  They believe that men should have beards and long hair in a pony tail, and that women should be dressed modestly.  They don't own televisions.

The Twelve Tribes owns farms in Vermont, upstate New York, North Carolina, California, and Missouri.  And they own the Peacemaker, which provides apprenticeship opportunities for their young people.  Brunswick has been their homeport since 2001.

This is one interesting ship, and beautiful in many ways.  Check out their photo gallery.

One thing I love about this country is its religious freedom.  As long as no one is being hurt, these folks should be left alone to live their own lives.

Oh.  And on the ride back to Drift Away, the Evinrude died.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Diamondback Terrapin

We're still boxing up and moving our stuff from Drift Away to our storage unit.

It's hard to believe that we accumulated so much stuff over three years of living aboard.  We're not even packing up everything.  We're leaving all our boat stuff behind, as well as dishes, pots and pans, silverware, and so on.

Afterwards, since it was a postcard perfect day here in the Golden Isles, we took the dogs to the beach on Jekyll.  I know I post way too many pics of the dogs, so today I'm posting other stuff.

Conchs are everywhere.  Isn't this guy beautiful?

As are shrimp boats.

And prom photos.

Pam found this baby turtle at the water's edge.

Examining him closely, Pam (the vet tech) noticed that the back part of his shell was missing.  Luckily the Georgia Sea Turtle Center is on Jekyll, so we took him there.  Even though it was well after closing, there was a number of young people there waiting for a shipment of something or the other.  Pam hollered over the fence and got their attention and they let us in the back door.   A vet was there and identified him as a Diamondback Terrapin.  She said that terrapins live in the marshes, and that this baby was probably snagged by a bird who gnawed on his shell, and then dropped and lost him.  The vet thinks he'll be fine.

Today I'll be trying to get the Whaler's Evinrude running.  While you're waiting, here's some classic Carlin for you.  It's all about our stuff.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Drift Away is Haunted

I don't have any other explanation.

Awhile back, I found this mangled quarter on the floor.

I don't know where it came from, or why it's beat up so badly.  But this isn't the strange part.

We've been packing up our things and hauling them to our storage unit in preparation for our move to New York.  A few days ago, Pam went through the middle stateroom and packed up everything, and then cleaned it.  She washed the bedding and throw rugs, and scrubbed the floors.   Yesterday, while passing by, I noticed something shiny on the floor.  I picked it up.

It's a Euro one cent piece dated 2005.

Nope.  No idea.

In other news, the Whaler's Evinrude is being really cranky.  It  doesn't want to start, and when it does, it idles poorly.  At a dock neighbor's good suggestion, I replaced the year old gasoline with new, but it still won't run.  It may be shellac in the carburetor, so today I'll spray the snot out of it with carburetor cleaner while cranking it, and maybe pull the plugs and clean them.  I need to get this running so we can get the dogs off the boat while anchoring out next week.

It's always something.

Oh, and my laptop has been copying photos onto the external hard drive for over two days now.  Hopefully, it will finish this morning.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Victory Beer!

I took a walk down to the marina office yesterday.  I had two packages waiting for me.  One was a 1 TB external hard drive that I needed so I could offload 368 GB of photos from my laptop's 500 GB hard drive.  The other package contained impellers.   Two were for the Ford Lehmann's, and the other for the 7 1/2 KW Onan generator.

I'll replace the Ford Lehmann impellers when Drift Away is on the hard in Florida.  The seacocks for both are frozen, and if I beat on them and break them, we'll be in deep doo doo.   But I replaced the Onan generator's impeller.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  I know I took the long way around the barn to do this, but at least it's done, and done right.

I also took the time to write the impeller part number on the pump's cover plate.  I had a devil of a time getting the right impeller because Onan used a variety of pumps.

That will probably be it for boat projects until we get to Florida.  Pam is still packing stuff and we're moving them to our storage unit.  Tomorrow we'll bring our bicycles, records (yes records), the record player, and other things we don't need to cruise down to Florida.

And yep, that victory beer tasted mighty fine.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This Ain't Good

Yesterday was a wonderful day.  Pam and I took a drive to Beaufort, South Carolina to visit Dan and Pat on Iron Hore (the H is silent) and Gil and Hope on Sweet Surrender, Isle of Hope refugees like us.  We enjoyed reliving old times and made a few new ones at Hemingway's, a great little pub right on Beaufort's waterfront.  Afterwards, Pam drove back (as the designated driver) to Drift Away where we enjoyed the gorgeous Georgia weather on the aft deck.

I grabbed my camera and shot Elmer and Myrtle...

Elmer and Myrtle were discussing the merits of the Krispy Kreme glazed donut versus the Dunkin' Donut's version.  Krispy Kreme won hands down.  Well, only because Myrtle deemed it so, and Elmer looked a little chagrined at not providing same.

And then Pam and I saw this coming in.  This got our attention mainly because we're on a "dead end road", and no boat traffic comes this way.  Look closely.  It was on it's way to the travel lift.

Look really closely.

It seems the dolphin striker (the stay between the end of the bowsprit and the hull at the waterline) let go, resulting in the bow of the boat being ripped off.  The headsails are furled, so I can only surmise that he hit something.

It's times like this that I love my trawler.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boats Boats and More Boats

Yesterday started with a pleasant surprise.  Fellow Isle of Hope refugee Frank on Tailhook called.  He left Isle of Hope Marina for good and is taking his boat to the Tenn-Tom, and stopped at Brunswick for the night.  We had a chance to catch up on the news of all us ex-liveaboards from Isle of Hope.

As Frank and his friend Jack left, they cruised past Drift Away before making a 180 degree turn to leave, and Pam got some nice photos of Tailhook.  Frank was a Navy pilot, by the way, and hence the name.

The dogs enjoyed the passing boat.

We ran some errands and moved more boxes into storage, and when we returned we saw, from the parking lot, Dick and Deb on Journey To... making the same pass by.  We didn't have our camera to take their pic, but we decided to take the dogs to the beach and stopped at the Sidney Lanier Bridge to photograph them going by.  

The dogs enjoyed the beach, as they always do, and then we hied ourselves to the south end of Jekyll to see if we could get a better shot of them passing by.  We didn't, but we photographed a few other boats.

Journey To... decided to anchor just south of Jekyll Island Marina, which is why they didn't pass the southern tip of Jekyll.

It was another beautiful Golden Isles sunset...

followed by a brilliant full moon.

As our days are winding down, our senses of the beauty here are heightened.   One door closes, another door opens.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sea Foam on Jekyll

Pam and I spent most of yesterday packing up our belongings on the boat and moving them to our storage unit in preparation of our move off Drift Away and back to upstate New York.  But we decided to take the dogs to the driftwood beach on Jekyll Island to let them run.  It's one of our favorite places to go, as well as theirs.

The wind was honkin' out of the east.  Even though high tide was at 7:22 PM, by late afternoon the beach was already quickly disappearing due to the high wind out of the east and the full moon.

The wind was blowing hard, and Olivia was barking at the swaying palms.  This confused Chevy.

So they decided to run!  They had something new to play with- sea foam!

The beach was covered with it.

There is nothing finer than laying on the beach...

watching the waves.

The view of St. Simons from Jekyll.

Ruby wanted Pam down NOW!

Chevy really does smile.

Friggin' Pelicans.

Just to give you more of a flavor of how hard the wind was blowing, here is a video...

Please excuse the annoying wind in the mic, but it was blowing that hard.