Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Once again

Click on a picture to see an enlargement.

Early mornings are best

Going throuh the lock of the Dismal Swamp

After all that happened, would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


We use it a lot on the boat. It works well on little bugs.
Bounce This Along
1. All this time you've just been putting Bounce in the dryer! It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them. It also repels mice.

2. Spread sheets around foundation areas, or in trailers, or cars that are sitting and it keeps mice from entering your vehicle.

3. It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.

4. It repels mosquitoes! Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season or wave it around in the boat.

5. Eliminate static electricity from your television (or computer) screen.

6. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.

7. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.

8. To freshen the air in your home or boat, place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.

9. Put Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner.

10. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.

11. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.

12. To freshen the air in your car - Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.

13. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan.

14. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.

15. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.

16. Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.

17. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.

18. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.

19. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight.

20. Golfers put a Bounce sheet! In their back pocket to keep the bees away.

21. Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them. It will keep them smelling fresh.

Friday, May 16, 2008

On the Hard

The picture above shows the reflection of the bow, 8 inches out of the water.

By Wednesday night we had said goodbye to the beautiful Dismal Swamp Canal with its miles of honeysuckle, occasional turtles and Great Blue Herons, its serene reflections and the comraderie of boaters rafted together on the dock at the North Carolina Welcome Center near South Mills. We were anchored with Puff on Mill Creek, amidst the busyness of Norfolk, Hampton and all the ports and docks and activity of this huge area. The 'plan' was to start early Thursday morning, heading for Annapolis where we would get the boat hauled to check on the possible damage of our going aground on May 4th. There was no lift wide enough to pull Harmony out of the water until we arrived in Norfolk. Going to Annapolis would take us closer to where Gareth and family live, so we thought we could have the job done there. The insurance company considered that an all right decision.

Weather permitting.... well, weather was threatening rain and lousy winds for going north, so at 7 AM on Thursday, Lew decided to have the boat pulled at Cobbs Marina, our favorite boatyard, in Norfolk. Puff took off, with sad goodbyes. We'll see them in Keyport next month. We made the two hour motor trip south across Hampton Roads and here we are. We honestly thought there was nothing wrong with the boat. It was a wise formality to get it hauled and check to see if there had been damage to our hull. As it turns out, once again, we are in a good place to get bad things fixed.

The hulls are fine but what a nasty surprise. The hulls are separate compartments above the keels. The port keel has a foot-long gash that poured water for over a minute when the boat was finally out of the water. The starboard keel has scratches along the bottom. We're not sure what else might be wrong. Probably next week the insurance surveyor will be able to fit in an appointment for us. After that, the fiberglass work and any other repairs can begin. Stay tuned.

The good thing about all this is that Cobbs did a lot of work on this boat two years ago when we bought it and Lew brought it up from Florida. We spent a lot of time in this area and know where the stores, restaurants and laundries are. It will also be terrific to spend the weekend with Gareth and family, four hour's drive away in Maryland. Next week we'll not only have the professionals here to fix things we cannot, but Lew & I will also get a chance to clean up and take care of some of the things we've found to need our attention.

Someday we'll get home. This feels like 'Charlie on the MTA', the Kingston Trio song.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dismal Swamp

When last we left the intrepid adventurers they were getting over being towed off a grounding. Today we are rafted up at the free dock at the visitors center at the Dismal Swamp (mile 28 of the ICW just below the Virginia border) avoiding an underwater post at the south end of the dock and, we hope, the gale predicted for the Chesapeak for tonight until tuesday. In between we went to Morehead City and stayed at a marina, met up with Kathy and Dave on Puff, anchored at Bellhaven, did a long (89 mile) day across Albamare Sound to Elizabeth City where we went to a local party for the cruisers that they have about every three days. We talked with some cruisers who had come across the sound after us and were hit with 6 to 8 foot waves and 25 knot of winds. The Dismal Swamp is not dismal. In fact, it is quite beautiful with depths, so far, not under 9 feet. Between its beauty and the friendliness and free docking of Elizabeth City, it is WELL WORTH IT. However, you need to time it well as the locks at each end open only 4 times a day. We just missed the 8:30 AM opening and had to wait for the 11:00. Puff and Harmony anchored in the middle of the narrow channel to block the powerboats from getting ahead of us and were the first ones into the lock and out of it as well. There were so many boats that the lock master had to work the lock twice to let people past. After each opening, he would hop in his car and drive up to open a highway bridge for us all to pass. Lots of turtles, snakes, birds, etc. in the swamp but the "ditch" as it is called is very narrow and perfectly straight. It is also very well protected from wind with large cyprus trees overhanging the sides. I think this will be the route of choice when we go south again.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

FW: North Carolina

Today was a 9.5 hour, 62 mile day with two runnings aground. The first was a humdinger! Out port pontoon caught 'something' and spun us 90 degrees left. Crunch! We were up on the limestone dredgings from the ICW which did not show anywhere. Both bows were 8'"or more out of the water and we had 12 feet mid-ships! It took TowBoat US 40 minutes to haul us off. A couple of miles later we went briefly into soft sand a few miles north east of that. Low Tide ain't for sissies! Soooo after travelling another 5 hours or so, we're at a marina just west of Southport NC for the night. Lew bumped his head which is not bad but the scab looks like Norman's Island, one of our favorite places in the Bahamas. What a souvenir.

Last night we were on anchor in the midst of the MOST beautiful Cypress Swamp imaginable. This morning the storm had passed and the water was a mirror. Everything was gorgeous green and shiny.
Now it all seems much more populated but there may be more wilderness between here and Beaufort. We hope to be there tomorrow night.

Stay in touch when you're away with Windows Live Messenger. IM anytime you're online.

Friday, May 2, 2008

FW: St. Augustine, Florida to McClennanville, South Carolina

We left St. Augustine about 6:45 AM and headed out to sea.  34 hours later we have entered Charleston (181 miles at sea)
 and gone 30 miles up the ICW to a funky little creek ('Five Fathom Creek') which is a home for fishing
and shrimper boats.  Leland Oil has a raft out and we get fuel in the morning.  It takes a couple of days like
this to really appreciate a shower.

Stay in touch when you're away with Windows Live Messenger. IM anytime you're online.

Back to work after baby– how do you know when you're ready?