Friday, December 22, 2023

On the hard for the Christmas Season

Well Sports Fans, Christmas 2023 is here, whether we are ready or not! I have a feeling the anti-american folks are gearing up to make a repeat of the 2020 year of hate and discomfort, but today everybody out there seems to want the Silent Night season to come alive. It feels nice outside, so let's have some cheer! Me too. For some reason I am reflecting a bit this year, could be I'm getting on in years and social security checks are on the way. Too bad we don't have grand children to spoil, I guess we will try to make do and fix the boat up a bit. About a month ago, I traveled North on the St Johns to Jacksonville, that journey used to take about fove or six hours, but the Albin 35 can cruise at 16 knots using about eleven gallons of diesel per hour. The trip used three hours worth of time and fuel. One thing I like about the Cypress Moon is that I can comfortably handle the vessel alone, docking and driving. Previously, I had traveled as far as Jax to Daytona solo with last boat, but the comfort level was a bit lacking due to distances I had to run from the helm to the deck to get lines ready, etc. Here are some recent imagery; We recently had new interior and exterior cushions, along with a new enclosure and a sunshade installed.
Recent Journey North;
Cypress Moon is currently at Sadler's Marina getting new bilge pumps, bottom paint, waxjob on the hull and two solar panels on the roof. I have a feeling the Christmas bonus has a new home in someone else's bank after paying for all this new stuff. Come May, we are off to South Florida for a grand journey around the state so all of this maintenance has a purpose. Perhaps Musk's Starling system will make its way onboard, too. We can't go cruising without streaming our Saturday Morning Cartoons now, can we? Have the Best Christmas, hug your family and have a great new year! Cypress Moon Actual, Out.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

After the hurricane, we place boat back in water!

We spent a couple weeks overseas, left the boat on the hard in case hurricane or bad storm came to visit, so we had excellent peace of mind while we were out having fun. I paid about $800 on haulout and storage for three weeks, so we had no issues to worry about despite a big hurricane drill on our return. Went back to get the boat today, about twenty minutes later I am tied up at our home dock.
I got clear of the lift and warmed up our 440 horse power beast on the St Johns, I did two passes of the home dock at 18 knots. This video shows me cruising sensibly at 7 or 8 knots.
Initiative comes to thems that wait. DC

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Reporting Safe from the current Hurricane.

Well, We have somehow been incredibly lucky with the current hurricane, but one never knows what is coming over the horizon to cause havoc, right? There is still three more months in the season and we need to stay aware of hazardous weather to come. I was taking amoment to wander the web to check out old friends and their old blogs, looks like more than a few have "departed the pattern" in our life. Not me... We are still here in Florida enjoying the water and life in general in good heath with our friends, local and far away. As a matter of fact, we were visiting Europe for the past couple weeks where we reconnected with our London Friends from 27 years ago. I even purchased some lederhosen to dress up on a tracht kleidung day out in Salzburg! (As always, there was a couple of meters of Schnapps being offered to us)
We spent a couple weeks in Salzburg and two nights in Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic. Proof:
We met a new friend at the Sporer liquor cafe on Getreidestrasse in Salzburg. Albert is the Hauptmann of the Salzburg Guard, he invited us to go to the Rathaus, which is the old Town Hall. We climbed up the tower and had a perfect view of the old town. Then, off to the lounge for schnapps!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Back to Palatka

After dropping a goodly amount of cash on keeping the Cypress Moon at the old Naval Base in Green Cove Springs, I was allowed to depart for home with a vessel that now had a working bilge pump. And fresh filters, oil and fan belt. So I have that going for me, which is nice. I headed solo in a southerly direction up the Ol' St Johns river on a 20 mile quest for home and hoping to make the tide that lets me rest on our home dock. Fairly simple, just make the engine roar louder with go-faster fluid and try not to hit any crab traps strewn across the river, thank-ewe. I think I drank a couple liters of water at 500 milliters a go, it was a sultry afternoon! Made it back and made a couple attempts at sideling up to the dock and made it compfortably on the second go-around. Cypress Moon now rests in her home spot and we have a few more tasks coming up. 1. Sand, prime and paint hard top of fly-bridge. 2. Install two Solar Panels, run wiring to batteries. 3. Sand, prime and paint front doors of house 4. Pressure wash all surfaces of Cypress Moon. There, not too much. Right? Photos and stuff; First off, On the way to the boat I decided to stop by the Shuttle Liquid Tank that lives in the harbor. Cool, I actually touched it. It felt like a light weight tank, hard to believe it carries the load it used to. The last couple of pix are of the home dock area. The ski ramp is owned by some neighbors, they won the Red Bull Soapbox Derby a couple years running. They ride bikes into the water on that ramp. Finally, our home dock.
See you out on the water!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Video Fun

"Quiet, Numbskulls, I'm broadcastin'." Moe Howard Gonna do a video dump of some of the fun going on in our region. Jazz band playing in our living room. Four Swings without a Miss.
Passing Fort Sumter and traveling ten hours offshore to Florida, onboard Cypress Moon.
See you out on the water!

Friday, May 19, 2023

Back to boating!

Welp, long time, no see. Our last boat was a very nicely set up Newport 30 Mk2 which we donated to the local college about two and a half years ago. It was a gift from a friend so we felt better donating it rather than selling it on the market. We had painted it and replaced the sails and canvas so somoene is enjoying that boat in good health. Hopefully. Anyway, it was very nice to not have any boating expenses Per Month; Dockage ($250), Insurance (150) upkeep (All Of IT!) and so forth. But I was missing our trips on te water. I didn't want to redo our Trawler experience, those types of boats cruise at 8-10 knots per hour and you really have to be patient. For example, a trip to Jax from Palatka is five or six hours. I studied various boat types over the last four years and decided I wanted a boat that would be sea-capable, have longish range and be able to sprint above 15 knots for when we are in need of speed. Albin 32+2 or Albin 35 Command Bridge seemed to be an answer. The problem was not too many were really available and the prices were pretty high. I made an offer in Florida for a nicely set up 32+2, it had 1600 hours on the Cummins 370 diesel and the interior and control station had new upholstry. When we did the survey and test run I wound up paying $1300 plus a couple hundred on travel and lodging to find out the boat had some insurmountable issues. Darn. Got my deposit back and went to Virginia to look at this:
There were some intitial issues which still need to be worked out but the boat had 830 hours on a Yanmar 440 diesel, it had been neglected for the past few years due to an aging owner. Best part was the boat was seven years newer than all the other vessels on the market. We made the deal and began planning for the journey back to Florida. Other than the Bilge pump being inoperative, and some other minor (Don't install the new depthfinder gauge by my KNEES. JERKS) stuff we were able to get underway. Here is the fast Narrative; Departed Urbanna, Va at 1430, Thursday heading towards Deltaville and Portsmouth via the Chesapeake. Turns out the bilge pumps were completely inop, good thing I bought a portable bilge pump with hose and alligator clips. Boat handled the Chesapeake very nicely at 14 knots with quartering wind and seas. We made Portsmouth and stopped at a local marina at 1930. The marina was closed so we tied up to the fuel dock awaiting the morning. We were under way at 0930 heading for the Dismal Swamp. After waiting 40 minutes we cleared a railway bridge and proceeded to the North Lock arriving at about 1115. We then moseyed down a thoroughly enjoyable canal at 6 knots arriving at the South lock at 1515. Winds were picking up and we heard that the Alligator river bridge across the Albemarle Sound would probably be unable to open for us so we ducked into Lamb's Marina in Camden, NC. Buck a foot for the night and good pricing on diesel, we stayed two nights. Larry is a complete boating Gentleman! We departed Sunday and crossed a very sporty Albemarle Sound with fifteen knot winds from the Northwest. Passed the Alligator River bridge we rapidly made our way towards Oriental. It was a beautiful passage, we only ran aground once, for a brief minute or two. Oriental has the greatest Marina/Resort and we had a grand evening. The resort even provided towels for the showers... Anyway, underway for Beaufort at 0830, we arrived about an hour or two later and missed a turn on the river for Morehead City! We were now offshore and heading for Carolina Inlet going a brisk 16 knots. We arrived later in the afternoon and made our way to what used to be Southpoint Marina. It's now corporate owned so be prepared for three dollars a foot and pricey fuel. We had a good meal and prepared for another off shore trek from Cape Fear... Not. We got out past the mouth of the river and the Southwest winds were VERY bumpy so we came back inside the ICW. So we followed the ICW and the many No-Wake zones to Isle of Palms Marina where we paid big bucks to refuel and stay the night. No food and water for the evening, we had military MRE's for dinner. We were up and refueled by 0900 and headed offshore for Amelia Island, Florida. It was about ten hours offshore and we stayed the night. The fuel dock opened at 0900 and we proceeded to Palatka arriving at 1530. 550 gallons of fuel and approximately 60 hours underway. We still need a bilge pump. Good trip, good fun for over 750 miles Some photos;
First view of the Deltaville Bridge on the Rappahannock River. Looking at the chart plotter and the crew relaxing in the back. We had no idea how the boat would perform but we were knee deep in the project!
I'll be back after lunch. Okay, I'm back. The fella with binocs is a retired Surface Warfare 05, on his left is a retired Johnson Controls engineer. I was set for technicians and navigators for this particular journey! First stop was made on the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth, VA. We got there just after sunset and it was a fine marina, just no one there to give us codes for the Heads or any other assistance. We tied up at the Fuel pumps. We took on about 60 gallons of diesel (Capacity is 260), dockage was $2.00 a foot. Underway about 0930, we were delayed a bit by a railroad bridge but soon were heading for the Dismal Swamp. George Washington was a big part of creating the canal, so we had that going for us, which was nice. Here is the northern lock. P.S. There is a speed limit, 6 Knots. we were the only boat on the Canal so they knew if we were messing up. There are a couple places for free dockage on the canal if you are interested in hiking or enjoying a few days in the park.
The last couple images are the South Lock. Here are some videos;
After clearing the canal it was another hour or so to Camden, NC. We arrived at Lamb's Marina and stayed in a secure weather proof shelter from the forty to fifty knot winds forcast for the next day. Buck a foot for first night, half buck a foot for second night. Cool!
We'll load some more tomorrow. New Name for vessel!; Cypress Moon-- Out.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

We Endeavor to Persevere Hurricane Season 2022

Hello Sportsfans, Long time no see! We are still milling about smartly in Northeastern Florida staying dry (for the most part) and dodging deadly storms in the slick manner to which we aspire. Hurricane Ian definitely was destructive, it was supposed to directly approach us and as the storm interacted with Fort Myers it seemed that the storm began a bias towards the right, Easterly, as it traversed the Florida Peninsula. It is an ugly aftermath down there and we won't know exactly all the loss and damage for a few weeks. This is the view from Tuesday afternoon, the green dot is projected center of storm, we live a few miles North by the Hwy 17 sign.
We dodged a big one. Our location is about 35 miles West from St Augustine and we seem to be in a sweet spot concerning hurricane approaches. We are not immune but we will have a bit of notice before anything blows us down. Here are some images from Thursday while the storm was passing to the South, near Daytona. Our dock and bulkhead are fairly high above the normal water levels so we avoided flooding. Our two sections of swamp worked beautifly absorbing the rising waters. (Our neighbor's dock was destroyed) Our banana plants along the boatramp did not fare so well in the winds. Overall, we were extremely lucky and feel extremely humble. On a separate note; I still visit a few of the old blogs out there, Hello Larry, I do visit the Mirage! Virgil Xenophon, hope you are well, too. Until later, we remain boat-less and free in Palatka, FLA. Barco Actual... Out.