Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > The Poop Deck
Cruiser Wiki Click Here to Login

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-11-2008, 03:17 AM   #1
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 156
Send a message via Yahoo to Robinsvoyage
Default

Here is a full blog for Thu 5th to Tue 10th.

Pictures at the end...

I left Portland on Thursday afternoon, the motor mount not only having not been fixed, but additional repairs to it were being tallied against us. I made sure the boat was dry and locked up with the cats inside, and gave them four bowls of water and enough food that they didn’t like to last until sometime on Saturday… I figured they’d be okay until I got back that night… little did I know that things with AMTRAK would not go as planned.

Lastly I drove over to the Irving on Commercial Street and filled up 20 gallons of gas in jerry cans, which I then drove back and lashed to the deck on the bow. Because of the high cost of gasoline, this makes it a tempting target for thieves or people who might be desperate. In hind site, maybe I should have just marked the jerry cans, “condensed milk” or something crazy… I didn’t though, instead I ran a chain all through their handles and chained through the lifelines and a couple of cleats… I also locked them to themselves with a rather beefy padlock. On the voyage I don’t intend to move them, rather pump each one on deck into another jerry can for the fuel transfer to the main tank.. that’s if I even need fuel on the voyage, which I’m hoping I don’t exceed the base tanks 6 gallon capacity. Let me put it this way, I prefer to sail not only for the reason that I love doing it, but for environmental reasons and that now indeed fuel is gold… and I should learn to conserve the stuff. I have a couple more projects to do on Sunday when I get back, chiefly the new port and starboard navigational lights need to be installed, but the transducer for the depth sounder can’t go in, as the only part of the bilge where the angle of slope was under five percent, and that wasn’t over the keel, was in the aft section by the batteries. Unfortunately, the fiberglass here looks like it has a lot of coatings of paint and epoxy resin that is a bit too bumpy. The transducer is supposed to be mounted on a ring-base that has a slight slope, where the bottom, that needs to be flush with the hull, is affixed, then filled with mineral oil.. then the transducer sits on the ring and is tightened to it with screws… there has to be a watertight seal around the base.. and obviously with the bumpy resin and paint, I will have to figure out something else down the road…

So my drive down to Virginia began around 3pm.. I managed to avoid all major traffic james… and used my Bronco to assert itself when driving through New York City, as some people had trouble understanding what my blinker indicated. It’s fun to have a rumbling V8 that really makes the car fly when you step on it. Plus I’m seeing a lot of little cars in NYC… after the George Washington Bridge, I found people backed off.

Later, on the Jersey Turnpike near east of Trenton’s latitude, I once again got pulled over by a State Trooper who I had seen pass me earlier, then park to watch for speeders, and then re-emerge to pull me over. He was a lot nicer than the Massachusetts Statey, but gave me a written warning.. My theory is now that I was pulled over merely for driving 55 in a 65, late at night, with out of state plates… I really wasn’t weaving around or overly tired.. Before I was let go by this officer, he made me drive into the service plaza to get a cup of coffee..

As I got into Maryland, I started feeling the trip begin to drain me. Originally, I had planned to sleep in, so that I would be able to easily stay awake, but like the previous days before, had awoken at 5:30AM.. then departed that afternoon.

I felt myself falling asleep when I got into Virginia, and pulled into a very full rest area to take a quick nap. It seems with the high gas prices, a lot of people, including me, are skipping stays at hotels as we are trying to cut costs anyway we can.. I’d have to stay at a motel in Hampton or Newport News on Friday anyway…Stopping the Broco, I climbed into the passenger seat, grabbed a pillow, and was out.. for I think maybe 15 minutes, as I awoke drenched in sweat… I felt slightly better so I got back in the driver’s seat and continued my journey. Not long after, however, traffic on I-95 came to a hault, as a major accident up ahead blocked nearly all the lanes. Everybody was getting over on the left shoulder in a very disorganized way to get around the firetrucks, police cars, and a hearse. Indeed the SUV that seems to have collided with an eighteen wheeler, had it’s roof laying along side it, as it had been removed with what I suspect to have been a Maverick, a device which instead of spreading metal like the jaws of life, cuts it.

So I continued on my way, coming within 30 minutes of Hampton Roads, before stopping at yet another rest stop, where I did sleep for a couple of hours.

Newport News

Friday…

The first priority was finding the Amtrak station, which I did, down on Warrick Street. Then I looked for a hotel nearby, which was more of a challenge since there was a Minister’s conference going on, so everybody was either booked or charging over 100 a night. Econo Lodge up on Mercury and Aberdeen charged me only 75, but it was a little more than a no-tell Motel.. and in hind-site, I probably should have looked for something in Hampton. Vehicle storage for the Bronco also proved problematic. Uncle Bob’s said they had an outdoor spot for it, but when I got there the manager said they didn’t, and that it would have to be stored inside at a cost of $150 a month, plus insurance, plus buying a lock, plus a 20 dollar admin fee. Explaining my circumstances to the manager she gave me half off everything for the first month, so it came out to a little over $75..

In Hampton, I met up with my sailmakers, Breton and Dan Winters on Queens Way. They seemed very happy to see me, and sold me some sail ties.. when they didn’t have as many as I wanted, Breton went over to the sewing machine and made me a couple more. I like the fact that these guys are so nice, and was impressed that Dan could carry on a congenial conversation and still run around to different sides of a sail that was laying out on the loft floor and being made from fat sections of Dacron.

Before I left, Breton recommended a marina on the James River, and said they’d put in a good word for me. After I left there, I drove over to the James River and found the marina and talked to the manager about my plans.. he agreed to let me keep the boat there and gave me a pretty reasonable quote.

I then returned to Uncle Bob’s storage, backed the Bronco into a garage, locked it.. then took a cab over to the motel. The heat was stifling, and it was so humid that there was a white haze everywhere. Fortunately, I’d left the AC in the room on before I’d left earlier that morning.

Saturday

A taxicab drove me quickly over to the Amtrak train station down on Warrick, and I arrived ten minutes before the doors of the office opened. When they did finally swing open I sat down in the lobby and waited for a while, as it got seriously filled up with travelers who were taking the same train. Leaving there, I walked outside to the platform and walked away from the mass of people, before sitting on some portable steps. A couple of other people stood there too.. and old black lady and her daughter. We all got to talking, and soon I learned that the daughter was also a manger of an Uncle Bob’s, and was friends with the manager of the one where I was keeping my Bronco.

When the train finally arrived, I helped her with her large bag and she let me read a book that she’d bought on her trip to Israel that she’d just returned from. It was basically a picture book which showed various Biblical sites, quotes from the Bible, and secular stuff too to let you know what you were looking at. It was very interesting,… then the problems began with the train. It kept slowing down and stopping, and this happened again, and again, and again. Soon I realized that I was endanger of missing my connection in Boston.

When the train was just about to Penn Station in New York, its locomotive died completely, and we had to wait for a rescue engine to come and tow us into the station. The original plan was for it to then take us all the way to Boston, but they decided there in New York to switch engines.. and since it took two hours, it was obvious I was going to miss my connection on the Downeaster train to Portland. I called a conductor, who said her name was Margeret, and she told me she'd try and get ahold of a trainmaster... an hour later, however, it turns out she'd left the train and done nothing. My savior was a guy named Carney, who was also a conductor. He arranged for the Amtrak Station Chief in Boston to meet me and if necessary, provide a car for me to get to Portland in. When we arrived, however, the chief decided that a hotel would be arranged, and I'd simply get a train in the morning. We were about to head for the hotel when he got a call that the Downeaster had been delayed and was still at the North Station! He got me over to the other train and the North Station and I was the last one on... I arrived then in Portland around 3am.

Sunday:

It was 3am, and the marina was quiet, the harbour flat. I arrived at the boat and found that Lava and Elvira were highly annoyed with me for leaving them for a few days. I gave them some wet food as a treat, and went to bed.

The next morning, I found that the new motor mount was on.. and instead of being wood, it was a polycarbonite of some kind with stainless steel support screws, probably would outlast the boat... and certainly better than what had been on there previously.

Sometime on Sunday I rememered that it was my thirty-second birthday. Not a big deal or a special occasion when you're on your own and you don't know anybody in town. Later than evening I went up to a pub and had a Bitter ale and fish and chips, but I lost my appetite half-way through and went back to the Bligh and fell asleep. Monday I was supposed to leave anyway....

Monday:

Monday arrived to find a hot and muggy day with no wind to speak of... and since gas is so expensive I'm obliged to wait for a day when I can sail to Boston rather than motor there.

The good news was that the boatyard defered my bill until after the voyage and after I get back to work, this will help since I'm already over budget.

At the end of the day one of the dock boys, Kyle, used the crane to mount the motor on the back of the boat. I'm glad that's over with, now I can leave any time. After this a man let me borrow is Mercedes to get groceries and anything else I needed.. pretty nice, 300 Couple.. kind of run down, but very comfortable.

For dinner I walked down to Commerical Street and had dinner at an Irish Pub. Just a Cobb Salad and a pint of Guiness... then I walked back to the marina, to find a very heavy fog had set in, and no wind.

Tuesday

Today I was supposed to leave, but because of Thunderstorms that were quite severe on the coast, I was advised to wait until Wednesday.

This evening I also fixed the topping lift so it actually works like it's supposed to, rather than acting like a leash.

I plan to now leave after 5am in the morning.

The Portland Yacht Services Boat.



Bligh in her slip with her name on the back.



The car I borrowed.



Happy Birthday to nobody.



Lava peaking through hatch.



Lava on backpack.



Lava outside in cockpit as seen from inside boat.



Fletcher with Registration and motor. On Sunday morning the motor
ran just fine, as I predicted it would on a nice warm day!



Cleeves, founder of Portland from the 1600s.



Wooodworker fixing the cockpit combing on my boat.



Another shot of my boat in her slip.



The first meal I cooked on board. Chicken Stew on a bagel!!

__________________

__________________
Robinsvoyage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 08:33 AM   #2
Retired Mod
 
Lighthouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Home Port: Durban
Posts: 2,984
Default

Safe passage Robin. Please keep us updated.
__________________

__________________


The World Cruising & Sailing Wiki

Help to build this free, online World Cruising Guide.

"Built by cruisers, for cruisers''

I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Most sections
Lighthouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2008, 05:58 PM   #3
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 156
Send a message via Yahoo to Robinsvoyage
Default

It is difficult to express the disappointment I am feeling in my failure to plan for certain problems that I have encountered on the voyage that have lead me to postpone the voyage yet again until I get passed certain obstacles.

On Wednesday the Eleventh of June, at 0613, I shoved off from the docks at Portland Yacht Services. Morale wasn’t the best, as it had been a very trying week, but at long last I was underway. The wind was very, very light, so almost immediately I unfurled the larger genoa and the full main. Even with this amount of cloth catching the wind, I was unable to exceed two pathetic knots without the assistance of the Honda outboard on low power, which was enough to push me up to 5.5 knots easily.

As my sailboat passed Cushing Island to port, and headed out of the channel into the rolling grey Atlantic Ocean, we were met by a parade of six foot rollers that were very shortly spaced. I was highly impressed with the way the Paceship East Wind handled them at an angle, as she seemed to so casually yawl and pitch almost in a slow determination to make the ride as smooth and comfortable as possible. This must be due to the lovely long keel, narrow beam, and decent ballast, as she performed several times better than my little Newport had off California.

This was about as good as it got, for just a time earlier, I’d noticed that while Lava was not happy, Elvira was yowling and vomiting nearly continuously: On the v-berth, in the salon, on the companionway steps, on the starboard quarter-berth, it was a vomit-fest, and she soon retreated into a hole and curled up and refused to move. Then it became time according to my rhumbline to turn from Southeast to South for my next waypoint which was my Boston approach where I’d turn back to the west and enter Boston Harbour… but the wind was blowing at pretty much magnetic north, and it was so light that I was having trouble sailing very close to it. If I’d had less of a time constraint, it occurred to me that it would have in fact been easier to sail to Portugal! I wanted to kill the motor asI’d never planned to run it so long, but the Honda wwas still helping us along in the doldrums that were stifling our progress. So I turned the boat SSE and as close to the wind as I dared, giving the sails some wind, while continuing to run the motor.

Hooking up the autopilot as a fog began to envelope us suddenly, I found that it needed to be recalibrated, and was stuck at 258 degrees! I put it in calibration mode and let it try and steer the boat, but even after doing numerous clockwise circles, it failed to register… this was an awful turn of events, as I really rely on the unit to allow me to attend to other tasks. Meanwhile, the fog grew worse, and the ocean flatter, and the wind eventually died completely. I throttled up a little, worrying about the amount of fuel we’d been burning, but was unable to attend to anything while the autopilot refused to cooperate. The GPS showed that I was about eighteen miles southeast of Cape Elizabeth, and I was growing a little sea sick, which for me is usually brought on by stress rather than the boat’s motion. I took a few snapshots of the fog, and made a decision that without help, a new autopilot, and Elvira off the boat, I would not be able to proceed to Boston, let alone Bermuda. It wouldn’t have taken me too much longer than the four hours or so that I’d sailed to turn back towards land and reach Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but I knew I’d be dealing with a new boat yard, new people who didn’t know me, and I really couldn’t afford to be ripped off again or treated badly. It was enough of a let down by a lot of people whom I’ve counted on in the past the week before, so I swung the bow around and turned back towards the Cushing Channel and back on to Portland.

When I got within Cell phone range of shore, I called up Portland Yacht Services, who promptly asked me where I was and at what time I had left that morning, before finally asking me an ETA. They thanked me for the call, and asked me to hail them on VHF channel 9 when I was fifteen minutes or so out. On the way back the wind picked up a lot from the south making my return running a good deal smoother and shorter.

So I returned, and felt very, very bad about it. Elvira acted as though she was dead, and refused to look up and acknowledge her name when we got in…she won’t be doing the voyage. The staff at PYS, however, have kept checking on me this week and been the only friends I’ve had in this heartless city an state. They’ve inspired me to try again, and given me some suggestions as to what to do when I come back, but they sincerely, obviously, and with no ambiguity, want me to succeed in getting the boat to Bermuda and having a safe and enjoyable time.

Today was Friday.. they’ve hauled the boat out of the water and it now sits on the hard, mast up, rigging ready, awaiting for my next attempt. I’ve been told that some people didn’t want me to get far or to do the trip at all, which hasn’t been helpful. One phone call on Sunday the 8th, alone in this awful city, preparing to face the sea was a real eye opener. Most of you who know me and didn’t call will never hear from me again, as I don’t need anymore of your endless pessimism or Monday-morning quarterbacking. What I really want to say to you can’t be said, as innocent eyes may be reading this.

Thanks to:

Portland Yacht Services

58 Fore Street in Portland, Maine for being the only ones in New England that stood up for me when it counted… Especially Tim for talking some sense into me Thursday night aboard the 65’ schooner Lion’s Whelp… that’s the main reason I’ll be trying again sooner rather than later.

Thanks Jay for supporting me on Paceship.org and giving people some hope that they can do extraordinary things when they put their minds to it and sacrifice, albeit, a great deal..

The same for Sarah and Bruce and Deena and Mongo and I guess Brian too…. It means a lot.

Robin



















On a lighter note.. watch Lava!

__________________
Robinsvoyage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2008, 06:14 PM   #4
Retired Mod
 
Lighthouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Home Port: Durban
Posts: 2,984
Default

Wow Robin! Thanks for posting the update and so sad to hear that you returned.

Let us know when you are leaving for Bermuda again.

Chin up!
__________________


The World Cruising & Sailing Wiki

Help to build this free, online World Cruising Guide.

"Built by cruisers, for cruisers''

I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Most sections
Lighthouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2008, 06:45 PM   #5
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 156
Send a message via Yahoo to Robinsvoyage
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
Wow Robin! Thanks for posting the update and so sad to hear that you returned.

Let us know when you are leaving for Bermuda again.

Chin up!
My Boss said they're okay with it if I try again in August.. so that's probably what we're going to do. He went on to explain that he personally expected that I would try again ASAP.

Robin
__________________
Robinsvoyage is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bermuda


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Set Up A Free Cruising/sailing Blog On Cruiserlog Lighthouse General Cruising Forum 2 01-03-2011 06:55 AM
Caribbean Sailing - Pre Canal Transit Zanshin The Tavern | Welcome Aboard 2 02-11-2010 10:14 PM
Pre-arrival Registration For Panama Lighthouse Regional Discussions 0 02-11-2009 04:03 PM
I'm Finally Excited About The Bermuda Voyage. Robinsvoyage The Poop Deck 3 05-22-2008 10:15 PM
Bermuda Cruising Rally danielgoldberg General Cruising Forum 3 02-17-2008 06:59 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0