Farewell Voyage

Farewell Voyage

Now that things are settled and official, I can report that we have sold our lovely Green Eyes. I was a bit sad to leave her, but it’s a relief to know that now we can focus on Tipsy Lady and get her ready for next season. Plus, it’s a pretty major item to check off of our summer bucket list!

acf2KaQlQHdbPBy7.jpg

We sailed Green Eyes down to Yorktown Friday for the July 4th weekend. The forecast called for storms, but it turned out to be a gorgeous day. It was a lovely sail down… Until we got there.

We had reserved one of several mooring  balls the city has in the York River, just a little ways out from the town dock. We had stayed there previously and it worked out really well. This time, things weren’t so smooth. The wind  and current were pushing us opposite directions so we couldn’t get situated in a good place. We were just getting pushed into the ball. They had replaced the old (plastic?) balls they had before with huge steel ones. It wasn’t pretty. I bent our boat hook in the struggle to keep us off the ball.

The sailboat on the ball next to us had obviously had the same issue. They were tied up alongside their ball, with spring lines from the bow and the stern, and a whole bunch of fenders in the middle to protect the boat. We pulled away from the ball trying to decide what to do. We almost just left to go anchor in Sarah Creek across the river. We decided to go back and mimic what the other boat had done. Once we got her all settled, it actually worked pretty well for the duration of our stay, although it was a little nerve wrecking during the storms that came through over night.

So we had just caught our breath after the stress of tying up to the mooring ball when we got a text from the potential buyer that was meeting us there to look at her. It read, “I’m on the beach, off your bow.” Oh my. We wondered how much of that struggle he had seen! Alan brought him over to check out the boat while the kids and I checked in with the Dockmaster.

The next morning, we made a deal. We’d have the 4th in Yorktown, then sail her a few miles up the river to the buyer’s slip on the 5th.

Independence Day in Yorktown began with a parade.

qpU5u1L0BW4WsMSM.jpg

We played in the water for a while during the day. The kids’ raft became the “dinghy side car.”

gv1g5eeHsz4gZ3w3.jpg

We were, however, rather disappointed that the evening’s fireworks were cancelled due to storms.

The next day the river was smooth as glass for our last little journey with Green Eyes. We had an almost magical experience as we motored along, though. We saw more dolphins at once than we have ever seen during all our time on the Bay. They were everywhere, some swimming right alongside the boat. Every time one would appear, there would be squeals of delight from the kids. This is just a little snippet of them; I’m terrible at managing to point the camera in the right direction at the right time.

It was one last lovely memory of Green Eyes. We’ll remember her fondly.

There are a few more pictures from the weekend here.

Spring update

Spring update

Last year, we bought a new boat, and barely used it. The boat was so far away from our home in Pennsylvania, and it was such a busy summer, filled with all the busyness of selling a home and moving. It felt that we hardly got to stretch her legs.

We moved in the fall, and got to experience a taste of what we anticipated life to be this summer. With the boat now a short drive away, we could pack some snacks and blankets and be there quickly for a weekend sail. There are so many great anchorages within a day’s sail. We envisioned a summer of exploring all around our nook of the southern Chesapeake. Even an afternoon’s sail after church on Sunday was suddenly realistic.

We were settled in our new home and we had a boat with more room for everyone, so we got a puppy over the winter. Come spring, the plan was to bring her along and teach her how to be a good cruising pup.

0W3soYHKMNq7fcIr.jpg

We had, of course, some maintenance planned while she was on the hard for the winter. We knew there were some issues with oil leaking in the bilge, so Alan wanted to address that – go over the motor, and clean up and paint the bilge. As he got into the project though, he discovered some other serious issues that needed to be addressed while the motor was pulled out. There were a couple rotten bulkheads that need to be replaced, and it sounds as though that project is going to be a huge pain in the tuchus.

The upshot is, sadly, Tipsy Lady is out for the season. She is truly the boat we hope to have for many, many years so we want to take good care of her and really properly address the issues we’ve found.

We did get out a couple weekends ago on Green Eyes. She has been for sale, but really was located in a terrible place to try to sell a sailboat. She finally made it back to Deltaville (still her home port since we never did change her lettering after buying her), and hopefully will sell this season now that she’s in a good sailing area. In the meantime, at least we can get out and sail with her.

The five of us – the kids all a bit bigger than the last time we were on her- plus the puppy… suffice it to say, it’s definitely a smaller boat. We only went out overnight, but I don’t think we could survive a 3 week trip on her anymore. At least not after the taste of the comparative luxury of Tipsy Lady.

Ah, but it was a beautiful little sail. We weren’t sure if we were going to go out at all. Savannah had a 3:00 softball game, so we figured by the time they finished and we got packed, it would just be too late. But there was a nice breeze and it just felt right, so we rushed home, threw some bottled water and granola bars in a bag, picked up a takeout pizza, and headed for the marina. We were out by 7:30, sailing toward the sunset at a brisk 5-6 knots.

IVPXDFjEkpBbQlEf.jpg

There was some real sadness as we had to let go of the summer we envisioned, but things never are quite as you envision them. Now we look forward to some sails on Green Eyes until we find a buyer for her, some sails on our little G-cat, and really making the most of all that this area has to offer.

QpjS3RorM7ur94uX.jpg

Pining for spring

Pining for spring

The other night Alan and I watched the movie Captain Ron. I hadn’t seen it before, but I’d recommend it, it was pretty funny. Man oh man, did it ever make me ready for spring, though. Now, I’m pretty much guaranteed to be ready for spring just about the day after Christmas, being one of those people that always seems to feel about 20 degrees colder than everyone else. But a movie about a family learning to love sailing together?… I want to be there NOW. Where I can neglect laundry and cleaning, and the kids never ask to watch TV or play on the computer because it just isn’t an option, and we’re all (stuck) together without all the distractions of home… Sigh.

I can’t wait til we get Green Eyes back in the water. My brain is bouncing around all the relevant topics – sandals and bathing suits, cooking aboard, storage solutions, kiddie entertainment aboard, can we still make all the kids sleep together in the v-berth? Okay, in reality, Alan is taking care of the most relevant concerns – the necessary repairs and upgrades… but someone has to think about the day-to-day living concerns.

I’ve been reading The Boat Galley Cookbook, which I received as Christmas gift from Alan. I’ve already filled a small notebook with notes on food storage and preparation aboard. I’ve also perused some of Alan’s books on cruising and living aboard and picked up other useful tips for general storage and managing living so very, very close to one’s loved ones. We may not be ready for long-term cruising yet, but taking advice from those who do can make even a weekend go so much smoother.  Bits I’ve read plus just one season’s experience has given me a feeling of being much more prepared this year. I have a lot more note and list writing to do, and I’m sure my confidence is rooted in my novice and naivety but I’m feeling very… “Let’s do this!”

In addition to whatever weekends or weekend-length trips we can manage, we have two one-week long sails planned, plus our two-week long trip to Jamestown, which I am most looking forward to.

The other by-product of watching Captain Ron  – I asked Alan if he’d like it if we referred to him as ‘Captain.’ “Captain what?,” he wondered.

IMG_3434Captain ‘Stache. But of course.