Showing posts from October, 2009

Current Position

At 6:54 PM on 10/31/2009 Reboot (and I) were at 31°40.00'N 081°09.73'W heading 306T at 0.1

Current Position

At 6:53 AM on 10/30/2009 Reboot (and I) were at 32°33.59'N 080°24.11'W heading 190T at 0.2

Current Position

At 5:17 PM on 10/27/2009 Reboot (and I) were at 33°31.39'N 078°31.95'W heading 228T at 6.5

October26th - Beaufort NC to Wrightsville

My care package arrived at noontime today.  I don’t usually wait as late in the day to depart but I had to move Reboot out of the marina or pay another hefty sum to spend the night.  Since I am on a very tight budget moving won out.

I had a so so weather window.  The good news was that the wind was from the NW at 20 to 25 with seas of 3 to 5 feet.  The bad news was that it was overcast with the possibility of rain.  Net net, as we used to say, it was a very fast sleigh ride down the coast to about 20 miles north of CapeFear.  I tried to round Cape Fear and keep on going all night but the wave action was rolling Reboot quite a bit and I did not want to venture further offshore to get a stable boat when I could duck in at Masonboro Inlet, pick up the ICW to go around Cape Fear, and then go back outside to travel direct Charleston, NC.

On the way down I ran into two large and several small US Navy ships engaged in military exercises off CampLejeune.  I can remember the day when I used to b…

Oriental, NC

I ducked into Oriental, North Carolina to avoid a bad weather forecast.  I was glad that I did as my two day stay was great fun.  As I was coming in I became aware that there was a free town dock with a 48 hour limit of stay.  There are only two slips and fortunately one was empty so I slid on in.  Of course my depth sounder read 0.0 feet but it seemed like Reboot was still floating so I tied up,

I had stopped at the fuel dock to refuel. Since the fuel in the jerry cans was about 2 months old I refueled from the cans and then had the marina refill the cans.  That was when it became apparent that I could scoot over to the public dock.  Since it gets occupied very quickly the marina manager suggested I take the boat over and come back for the cans.  So I did.  On the way back to pick up the cans I discovered a tent being erected for a pig roast and talked to “Tennessee Bob.”  He told me that the roast was a benefit for “Girls on the Run.”  Tickets were only $10 so of course I purchased o…

Nautical Silks

A great gift idea from my friend Laura …

Nautical Silksfor more information Contact:

2976 N. Cambridge Ave.

Milwaukee, WI53211





For Immediate Release

Get wrapped up in a work of art. Nautical Silks is a new line of original, hand-painted silk scarves by Laura Livermore, featuring nautical artwork.  Each scarf is made to order.  The designs, painted with French dyes, are inspired by traditional nautical signal flags and can be customized with your boat name, club name or other personal message.

Laura, the designer, felt there was a need to have a stylish and feminine touch to women’s sailing attire.  Somehow the polo shirt and matching team hat just weren’t cutting it.

A Nautical Silks scarf is an elegant, easy-care fashion accessory that lets you step off the boat in style. A perfect gift for women who take their fashion as seriously as they take their boating. 

 (Pictures here, having trouble showing, plea…

Peeps is Back

Peeps the autopilot is back!

Mile 159.7 Anchorage

October 2009

On west side, saw one sailboat at anchor

Mile 154.1 ICW - Anchorage

October 2009

Anchorage on the west side, approximately 8 – 10 feet of water.  I shared it with 6 other boats.

Underway Visit from the Coast Guard

Since the weather was fine but going to get worse at the end of the week I decided to leave ElizabethCity a day early.  So did everyone else.  By the time I got up almost every other southbound boat had already departed.  ElizabethCity is the home of the largest Coast Guard Air Base so it did not come as a great surprise to see USCG Helicopters and small boats driving around in the ElizabethRiver.  I was also not surprised when I heard a Coast Guard small boat hailing several of the sailboats that had been at the dock on the previous night.  In fact, there was a certain level of relief when they boarded the sailboat that had left right before me.  I figured that they would be tied up with her and I would just ease on down the river.I am sure you have anticipated the punch line. They were more than happy to zoom on down to where I was and invite themselves aboard.  The visit was short, friendly and professional.   It was also obvious that the ElizabethRiver is a great training aid for …

Happy Birthday Trevor!

Today (October 22, 2009) is Trevor’s birthday.  And in celebration a pod of dolphins greeted Reboot this morning in the AlligatorRiver.  Cool!


Much of the ICW in Virginia and North Carolina passes thru swampland.  I expected to have the same experience that Jerry and I did on the Erie Canal passing thru the Montezuma Refuge – lots of aloe and Benadryl to deal with numerous bug bites.  In fact every residence I passed had a screen in porch.  Why am I telling you this now?  It seems I have made it far enough South that there has not been the cold nights or killing frost that suppressed the insect population.  Last night I was visited by mosquitoes for the first time since the Montezuma Refuge in upstate New York.Then again, it is nice that it is getting warm at night time again.

Mile 28 Dismal Swamp Route - ICW - Uncharted Hazard

October 2009

Mile 28

North CarolinaWelcomeCenter

150 Foot dock on East Side

Water at North end of Dock, Faucet is hard to find, on face of dock about 8 feet south of the north end.  Not the faucet at the water fountain.  Rest rooms, no showers, pump out or electric

People in the welcome center are very friendly.  Free internet access on WelcomeCenter computer.  The welcome center staff will give you the boater’s packet of information when you walk in.  They are very friendly.

Uncharted Hazard

North Carolina has constructed a bridge across the ICW just south of the welcome center.  The structure takes 3 ½ minutes to open from the closed position.  It connects the welcome center with a State Park on the opposite side.  The bridge tender on duty said that they watch the canal and open if they see a boat.  There was no telephone number or horn signal posted.  If closed I would suggest the normal long – short horn sequence to get their attention.

ICW October20th - Even a Stone Heart can Break

I woke this morning to 43 degrees F in Reboot.  Burrrrrrrr.  I set out at about dawn.  At 10 AM it was still cold.  The Dismal SwampCanal is lined by trees on both sides so until the sun gets way up in the sky it really does not warm the canal.I am used to being worried about hitting bascule bridges as I pass thru.  I was not prepared to have to pay attention to the tree branches that hang over the canal.  It is pretty easy to pay attention to the first 10 feet up, but my mast goes up 60 feet!  I learned the hard way when I trimmed a tree.  The branches were thank goodness small so I just got a shower of old dead branches with no harm done to Reboot.It feels strange to see the depth gauge reading 1 to 3 feet all of the time.  Normally that would have me concerned but of course the canal only guarantees a 6 foot depth and I draw 5 feet.Once clear of the SouthMillsBridge and Lock the canal continues for a couple of miles.  It is a canal, narrow, shallow, tree lined on both sides.  One h…

Mile 11 Dismal Swamp Route ICW

October 2009

Tied up just south of the DeepCreekBridge which is 500 yards south of the lock.  Approximately 55 foot dock on east side.  I tried a U-turn but failed as the canal is narrow with a strong current and I could not get the bow around.  If I had someone on the bow to tell me how much room I had left I might have accomplished it.  In the end backed into the dock.  Since I was set up for a starboard side tie for the lock everything had to go over to the port side.

Hardees across the street.

Mexican restaurant next to the dock

Rite-Aid pharmacy and 7-11 across the bridge – a short walk.

Nofolk to Deep Creek Bridge via the Dismal Swamp Route

I left Norfolk Naval Base mid-morning to head down the ICW.  Wind was out of the North and had been sustained enough for the waves to build.  As forecast the wind clocked around as I was heading down along the piers and the sun was a welcome sight after three days of wind, overcast, and rain.Securite – Securete – Securete …They do it differently down here!  It is followed (sometimes) by “This it the Coast Guard vessel “name” escorting a Navy Submarine.  Please maintain a 1000 yard security zone around the submarine.  The use of force, including deadly force is authorized.”  Then they call out ships (including the big container guys) and tell them what to do – stop, turn, go backwards.  It is a far cry from the tour boats in the MilwaukeeRiver announcing their intentions.I am headed south along the ICW using the Dismal Swamp Route.  Like the Erie Canal it is tedious.  The channel is narrow and shoals often so you have to pay attention.  Unlike the Erie Canal I have found myself with b…

Clear Channel

Back in the early days of broadcast radio the Federal Communications Commission issued “clear channel” AM broadcast licenses.  The idea was that local broadcast stations could share the airwaves with certain generally big city radio stations but at night the “clear channel” stations had no other competition.  Supposedly big city stations had better access to news and public opinion than the small local stations. At least that is what their lobbyists convinced the FCC over 3 martini lunches.  Several of the New York City Stations – WOR, NBC, ABC, CBS, and WINS were clear channel stations   Most of the clear channel stations had very high power output e.g. 50,000 watts so that they could cover large areas of the U.S.  Since I have an SSB radio on board and the antenna is a long wire (the backstay) it turns out I have a great rig for listening to the New York City broadcast stations.  Of course they don’t play rock and roll any more (“This is Murray the K on the swinging soirée”) But I g…

Autopilot installed at last, waiting for a weather window

Of course, not only were the wires on the new autopilot control head different.  The mounting was different.  So I had to drill out part of the cockpit dashboard to get the new control head to fit.  The circle drill was under about five other boxes way in the back of the stern cabin.  And the soldering gun was in another box somewhere in the same area.  And the electrical tape … well you get the general idea.  Now I have to figure out how much of the “commissioning” is actually necessary.  Commissioning is the process of setting the operating parameters for the autopilot.  The computer is the same; it is just the display that is different so I am not exactly sure how much needs to be set up again.If it works OK I will be on my way to Key West.  I figure it will take a couple of months of taking it easy each day and exploring along the way until I get there.  Now I go from waiting for parts to waiting for a weather window to depart.  I could actually leave today or tomorrow, the boat c…

Am I crazy

Thanks to Dan – if you every wonder if I am crazy please enjoy the following:

New Autopilot Control Head!

It arrived – of course in New Jersey.  But Ace and Bill were up for an aviation boondoggle so they flew it down to me in Norfolk.  Of course this was supposed to be a visit but as the weather continued to deteriorate I got a “Hi, we have to leave, here is your mail and the box” and off they went back to NorfolkAirport. I got back to Reboot and opened the box.  I had been warned by Raymarine that this was a slightly different model then the one I had sent in, and mine was not repairable so they were going to replace it instead.  Slightly different meant that the wire pigtails that were attached to my old unit were not attached to the new unit.  Raymarine had changed the interconnect cables!  So of course I could not hook this one up to see if it worked.This morning I called Trident, the local Raymarine repair shop.  Joy of joys he had the parts I needed to hook up the new control head.  Of course it is raining cats and dogs here and the control head is out in the cockpit so I am deferr…


Today is the Navy’s Birthday.  It celebrates the Act of Congress that gave General Washington, who was busy fighting the Revolutionary War – in particular in the area of BostonMA, the ability to commission ships to fight for the United States.  So raise your glass and toast the US Navy!  (West Marine carries a great book George Washington’s Navy.  I am sure Trevor could send you a copy.)I received my West Marine “care package” today.  Thank you Dan for getting it shipped to me.  I was looking for a couple of boxes but Dan put all the little parts inside the big housing that I had ordered.I left JEB Little Creek Fort Story at about 1:30 this afternoon and headed for Navy Operating Base Norfolk.  I had been in Little Creek for almost two weeks and other transients were in need of the pier head where I had been docked.   Rain is forecast for the next couple of days, it was a gorgeous afternoon of light winds and calm seas, so I headed over to Norfolk Naval Base, a trip of about 7 nautica…

Getting Ready To Move Again

After a very pleasant week plus here in JEB Little Creek it is time to cycle up to move again.  The weather has turned cold reminding me that if I want to go up the Chesapeake Bay I better get off my butt and get it done.  So today is devoted to getting Reboot seaworthy again.  This is the process of getting everything that is lying around strapped back down or put away so that it does not go flying around the boat when Reboot goes bounding thru the waves.I am hoping that my care package from Trevor (full of my purchases from West Marine) will arrive as scheduled today.  I was hoping for my autopilot control head, but Ace has not called so I presume he has not seen it yet in Ridgewood.  I can hand steer for short stints up the Bay so perhaps I will have it catch up with me at Annapolis or PawtuxetRiver.It’s also time to start doing some in depth reading about using the Intercostal Waterway (ICW.)  Since I single hand the boat I have to be prepared more than if I had crew on board.  Fo…

Raymarine Autopilot

Yea!  I heard from Raymarine!  The part that I sent them is broken.  Why am I happy?  There are several different components and if this part worked then I would have to start all over again.  So they are going to send me the replacement part (I hope today) and I may get my autopilot back!  Wouldn’t that be great!  Stay tuned..

The little things

Off to the clinic today to get a flu shot – no joy, they were out of vaccine.  Then on to the PX.  Joy of joys I purchased new pillows and pillow covers.  For those who have been on Reboot in the past few weeks you can imagine how pleased I was to deep six the old ones.  I also got a small saucepan so I can now heat soup and pasta sauce in something less then a 5 quart pot.I got the sails bent back on this afternoon in preparation for relocation this weekend.  I think I will be going over to Naval Operating Base Norfolk but I am not sure.  Raymarine still (after a month) has not started work on repairing my autopilot, it appears you need to call and ask them on a frequent basis when it will be ready or it can get pushed down in the queue by those who are calling and complaining.  I am not pleased with their level of customer service.  It is very difficult to single hand without the autopilot, possible of course but more difficult.  I am running out of transient time in Little Creek an…

Back in the hard life again!

Its 80 degrees, the sun is shining, the harbor is calm, there is a gentle breeze wafting across Reboot.  Some days are just tough!

Little Creek Amphibious Base

Bill, my dock neighbor, took me to the commissary and for a quick tour of Little Creek.  He told me that in the last couple of days the Little Creek base and FortStory, and Army base about 15 miles from here had been combined into a single base.  Little Creek has a new name; we just don’t know what it is.I was struck by two things during the tour.  First, almost all of my Navy time was (fortunately) between conflicts.  My experience in military bases was significant and obvious decline and decay.  There was not enough funding to keep the bases going at a maintenance level, much less any funding to make them actually livable.  That has all changed, at least here at Little Creek.  There are still remnants of prior decay, for example the beach area is shut down and the buildings falling down.  But the core housing and services buildings have been renovated and many new buildings constructed.Second, the shift from my “Old” Navy to the “New” Navy is quite obvious.  When I was assigned to t…

Sea Gods 4; Roger 0, Zip, Nada, etc.

I thought I would mention in passing my contributions so far to the sea gods:Two ball capsOne glove (actually a pair as the other has no match!)One Phillips head screwdriverI have to add some rum to the mix to make them happy.LOL

Wear and Tear

It is amazing the wear and tear a couple of months can have on a sailboat.  McKinley Marina in Milwaukee was a very calm and protected harbor.  In all the years of Reboot’s residence we never had to replace dock lines much less worry about damage to the hull.  All that has changed.

Today has been warm and clear in Little Creek and I have had the opportunity to check out Reboot for wear and damage.  It didn’t take long to find some.  So far, to give it some prospective:

The luff and the foot of the jib have come completely unstitched.   The luff of the main is starting to come apart too.

Two of the four fender whips (the ropes that hold up the fenders) have one of the three strands broken.

Two of the dock lines are worn from the continuous wave action at Lincoln Harbor Yacht Club.

I have found one major and several minor sections of damage to the gel coat from impacting the quay walls and locks in the Erie Canal.

On a lesser note, the hose on the inflation pump of my inflatable has a hol…

Sept 29 - Oct 1 Transit to Hampton Roads

There are two ways to sail – upwind and downwind.  We had both on this trip.Peter joined me Monday night and Tuesday morning we set sail from Lincoln Harbor Yacht Club bound for Hampton Roads.  Like all transits this one started miserably; wind 25 knots gusting to 35 directly in our face.  Even so it was cool passing Ellis Island and the Status of Liberty.  We passed under the VerrazanoBridge and Reboot was in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.For the first day our progress was excellent even though conditions were miserable.  Here is an experiment you might try to share our experience.  Find a friend with a pickup truck.  Have he/she four wheel it over the roughest terrain available for 24 hours at 35 miles per hour.  Stand in the bed of the pickup truck. Every few minutes have another friend throw a bucket of ice water at you.  You get to try to sleep for 1 hour and then you steer for 1 hour.  Does this sound like fun?  Any sailor will tell you it isn’t, and I am no exception.  …