The Saililng Blog of Andante

Back to T of C

Back to October

November 2015 Ahead to December 2015

November 1, Sunday
Motoring in zero wind from Belhaven to the G9 daymark on Adams Creek. This anchoring spot is also the entrance to Ce3dar Creek.
November 2, Monday
Motoring from the G9 anchorage down to Morehead City Yacht Basin. The plan was to leave tomorrow to go across Onslow Bay to Wrightsville, but the weather has really deteriorated. Nothing but rain for the next two days, then wind from the wrong direction.
November 3, Wednesday Have been tied to the dock here in Morehead City since yesterday mid-day listening to the rain. The rain should fall steadily for the rest of the day. This morning I listened to my first Chris Parker weather broadcast of the season.  Listening to Parker is like a monastic vow for the snowbird cruisers. His broadcast for boats in the Bahamas and surrounding waters is at 6:30 AM, six days per week. Because weather is so important to those living on their boats in largely unprotected waters you can be sure that on any given morning their are hundreds of sailors listening to Parker disseminating his wisdom.

This is a screen shot of Parker's web site.  While many of us listen in, there are many others who pay a subscription fee for more personalized one-on-one service via email, fax and phone. Because the SSB broadcast can be heard by anyone with a shortwave radio Parker has a public radio problem. Many of us either by his book or send in a donation.

In 2014 Parker had a new broadcast center in operation with new directional antennas so that he could serve a larger audience. The map above shows his color coded directed signals kid to the broadcast schedule at the right. Both of these documents can be found on his web site.

Although this year I saw dolphins as far north as Norfolk, the highest concentration is here in the Beaufort area. The water is warm and the fishing is good.

This place is iconic in the snowbird community. This year I am skipping the Sanitary Seafoof Restaurant. The last few times I was here the food was a disappointment.

The bill fish don't stand a chance.

There is an annual Blue Marlin Tournament. This sculpture honors the winners of the tournament.
November 4, Wednesday Morehead City to Masonboro Inlet, Wrightsville Beach 10.5 hours motor sailing. Saw one dolphin. Cloudy skies trying to rain. The next morning I awoke to: Holy Dewpoint AquaMan. It's a fog event right here in Wrightsville Beach,NC. Doesn't quite live up to the standards of coastal Maine, but it's a fine effort.
November 5, 2015
Wrightsville Beach to Southport The cruising rallies led by Wally Moran and Mark Doyle on top of the usual number of snowbirds has led to no space at the inn.  I think I got one of the last slips available in the area at Indigo Plantation. On entry to the marina I found Capriccio. She belonged to long time slip holders at Swan Creek.

November 6, 2015
Southport to Osprey Marina on the Waccamaw River This is a popular, cheap, small, tight marina hidden off the ICW inn the trees. For weather reasons I stayed an extra night
Along the ICW I passed by Barefoot Landing. Barefoot Landing, in the first two photos, is now quite the kitschy place replete with an extensive mall, condo complexes and pirate cruises. The cable cars over the waterway a bit further south didn't seem to be operating
November 8, 2015
Osprey Marina to Georgetown, SC It has been cloudy and threatening rain for a couple of days. The derelict boats are still clogging the Georgetown anchorage. With the coming rain I stayed a second night. Due to the rain I never got off the boat.
November 10, 2015
Georgetown to Charleston Rode the ebb tide out of Winyah Bay. Motorsailed again today due to light winds from behind me.

 Just a few photos from Charleston, a favorite city. The library of the College of Charleston, the Citadel, and a typical residence in the old quarter. While in town I had new lenses made for my glasses by Dr Phillip Reiheld on King Street. If the aerosol you are using says keep away from polycarbonate they mean it! BTW, if you are wondering what it will be like as seawater levels rise just ask the residents of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Belhaven, Baltimore and Charleston. Forget the effects of hurricanes and King tides, it just takes a moderate nor'easter or full moon tide to inundate the waterfronts

November 13,
Friday -- November 20, Saturday

It was Friday, November 13, when I weighed anchor in Charleston. Of course in American culture Friday the 13th is a bad day to do anything. In the age of sail superstitious crews said one should never leave port on a Friday. I ignored the folklore. The excitement started right away. When I hauled up my anchor the windlass was really straining. To my horror someone's abandoned anchor and chain was caught in mine. Very quickly I got it straightened out and was able to ride the ebb tide out of Charleston.

For most of the morning I sailed southwest very comfortably. When the wind died and I tried to start the engine it failed me. A wrap on the starter with a hammer and it got going. Even after the wind came back up I left the engine running. My thought was that I didn't want to arrive at the St Mary River and not be able to start it. Throughout the day the wind continued to build and the seas became even more confused. From the very beginning of the day the autopilot was overwhelmed by the seas and wind, meaning that I had to stay at the helm ALWAYS. After running the engine for ten hours with it really doing nothing to help my progress I got tired of listening to it and shut it down, figuring I would deal with the restart when I was off Fernandina Beach.

Meanwhile the seas and wind continued to demand my presence at the wheel. Sometime after midnight I had to roll up the Genoa because I was being overpowered by the wind and seas. I would have liked to make the main sail smaller, but it was too rough to go out on deck to take care of it. When I am at sea I am attached to the boat, but I am still very careful about going out on deck. If should fall and be hurt there would be no one to help.

When I got to the entrance channel the engine wouldn't start. A rap with the hammer and the starter did its job.

First thing on getting into the Marina I called the diesel mechanic and arranged for him to come on Monday morning. Throughout Saturday I took a few catnaps and straightened out the mess down below. Later in the day Jeff and Sally arrived and invited me to dinner. (They have a motor boat and had come down the waterway over the course of several days. Their boat does NOT do well out on the ocean in heavy seas.) Starting Sunday morning early I began work on routine engine maintenance (change all fuel and oil filters, change oil). By 3:30 PM I was working on changing the impeller that pumps sea water to cool the engine (the radiator in your car does this). With just a slip of the hand I sliced open the end of a finger. I could see this was serious. About a year ago I cut the same finger on my left hand, not as badly, and it took days to stop bleeding and weeks to heal. On the spot I called a taxi to take me to the hospital. 3.5 hours and five stitches later I was back on Andante.

This morning, as scheduled, the diesel mechanic arrived. I had to stay with the boat to explain symptoms and be a third hand while he tested different things. In the end the starter problem seems to have been a loose connection.

This afternoon I finally got to the pharmacy to fill the antibiotic and pain prescriptions. The injury to my finger has been relatively painless, probably due to what is happening to my sensory nerves; another story for another time.

With my prescription in hand I could finally put away all the tools that I had been using on Sunday.

As a side note, while in Charleston I had new lenses made to replace the ones I ruined. The new prescription and lenses are out of this world. Although not cheap, I am glad that I had to have them made and stumbled accidentally on an optometrist who is better than any I have seen since our days at Illinois.


Interesting architecture. The church tower looks more like a castle keep.

The guy sitting to my left built the first east west railroad in Florida: Fernandina to Cedar Key. We're checking our watches and discussing the train schedule

The big sailboat came in yesterday evening after dark. --Chessie out of Fisher Island, FL--  My guess is she is about 100 feet long. From the shoes lined up on the deck she has a crew of 7. The little boat at the right side of the picture is about the same size as Andante.

I have seen Diamond (116 feet), out of  Miami, in Fernandina Beach in prior years. On the one day run down to Miami she burns $1000 of diesel fuel per hour.
Fernandina Beach has a couple of paper mills, some shrimp trawlers, and a lot of really good restaurants. It is not a fine arts town. The theme of the two collections of painted small pillars is 'the arts are alive in FB.' A pretty modest effort.
November 26
Happy Thanksgiving
Mary-Lou, Sheila, Susan, Tom, yours truly, Bryan. The photographer was Dean. The crowd on Dalmation for Thanksgiving lunch
November 27


On leaving Titusville on Black Friday, 11/27/15, it was fitting that this squall was threatening. I brought my foul weather gear up on deck so it went south of me. So glad my foulies have this power

Rainbow from a shower that didn't miss me. I had put away my foulies
November 28

Pirates on the Indian River in Florida? Must be Captain Hook. Peter Pan and the Lost Boys are all the cruisers headed south to Never Never Land.
November 29, 2015
Fort Pierce, FL

An interesting twist on his and her sinks. Can be experienced in the lone working bathroom in a large, well known boatyard of central Florida. The couple that sits together stays together?