Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yorrick Rides Again?

You know deep down,
I really really liked that diesel.
Skipper mulls over the prospect of losing his nemesis

So we called the mechanic in Beaufort today.

He is not positive yet but it seems the major oil leak from the diesel is the oil sender unit. This is a minor problem at worst.

Meredith's crew is effervescent. Yorrick may yet be pulled from the third ring of Dante's salvage yard.

Luckily for us Yorrick does not read Milton else it might well have chosen to Rule in Hell than Serve in Meredith.

(Note to Benoit: Unlike your practice with Nestor not everything is disclosed to our diesel)

Having only just named the beast we wonder if we were a bit hasty: Lazarus might have been the better moniker.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Alas Poor Yorrick

Possibly the last picture of poor Yorrick
irritant, friend, reliable dross horse

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio,
a fellow of infinite
jest, of most excellent fancy.
He hath bore me on his back a
thousand times,
and now how abhorr'd in my imagination it is!

My gorge rises at it.
(Hamlet of course)

Meredith is hauled and on the hard in Beaufort, NC. The mechanic looks at the engine this week and will advise as to whether he can fix our ailing diesel in situ or whether the powerplant must be removed for repair. If the latter I fear the costs of repair will be so high that repowering will be a less expensive option.

LESS expensive, not inexpensive.

Crew are sitting at home in London, ON where they distract themselves bycleaning and fixing the family residence. The kids term our activities as "interfer
ence" but we have convinced ourselves that they are overreacting. Of course we are merely reacting.

Enroute to Beaufort we were able to anchor in the Wac
camaw River in South Carolina, an experience recommended to all who traverse the ICW.

You find yourself in a scene from African Queen, riverbanks hidden with lush growth, the air filled with the screams and calls of all manner of unseen bird and animal.

That evening while sitting in the cockpit watching dark fall, Connie and I were surprised by a violent shaking of brush on the nearby riverbank.

The food chain at work we supposed.

The commotion went on for a long time and our admiration and sympathy for the poor victim grew. Something did not want to be food and was resisting with vigour. Unable to see what was going on we made some noise hoping to lend aid to the unfortunate yet heroic menu item.

Imagine our surprise when, after another 15 minutes of
rustling brush and violent shaking of small bushes on the riverbank there emerged from the same brush a small skiff. It entered the river not 50 feet from where we were anchored.

A young couple in the skiff was engaged in the futile exercise of not noticing or being noticed by us: he engaged futilely in an effort to get the outboard to catch, she brushing leaves and soil from the back of her sweater (which is really hard to do while still wearing the sweater).

Both were flustered: the outboard would not catch, the sweater became smeared with dirt and tiny bits of dried leaves.

Apparently it had been human nature we witnessed at work, not mother nature.

So occupied with not noticing Meredith was the crew of the skiff that they failed to notice the skiff was being carried by the current directly into the hull of Meredith where it landed with a thud.

Apoplexy ruled the skiff.

As we started to offer assistance Connie and I broke into giggles. It proved infectious and we had a brief but pleasant discussion. The outboard caught and the flagrant delictors escaped leaving only their youthful pride in their wake.

With that kind of action who needs pride?

Friday, May 1, 2009

It was the best of days, it was the ....

Carolina Beach, NC

Dear Reader:

I HATE the Cape Fear River. Piece of crap. When the wind isn't against you the current is. Or both are.

That said, and know that I am 8 beers (really) into the night:

We started at 7:00 a.m. and ended at 8:30 p.m. Here is the story, sort of, from a hazy perspective written while I drink beer #9 and listen to

Waccamaw River has a number of oxbows which are perfect anchorages. Southbound after passing the Cape Fear River make sure you take advantage of at least one of them. It is like being on the African Queen. Really. What a marvellous treat.

The day started well. Nice anchorage, nice beginning, tide with us. We made great time. Fantastic time, averaging 6 knots ON THE GROUND.

The only downer was the pontoon bridge at the entrance to North Carolina which opens only on the hour. Ten boats trapped on our side of the river. This is the only bridge I know where no one wishes the bridge master well. This little bureaucratic king takes his time. You are not allowed to pass the bridge until he gives permission, never mind how open the damn bridge is. He is a little Mussolini and when they replace his stupid little bridge many of us will bid for the right to give this pathetic little bureacratic loser his pink slip.

Southport, an anchorage shown by Skipperbob along the passage Northward is the Erieau of NC, ie. it is the asshole of the state. What a dive. Do not be tempted to take your sailboat (ie. real boat) into this 8th level of hell. We tried. No depth. No anchorage. No dock. I do not care what Skipperbob says. Just say no.

The Dutchman Creek anchorage just south of Southport is not worthy of consideration either. We tried. With any south wind at all it will not allow your boat to straighten into the current with the result that you are blown sideways into the bank and a guaranteed grounding. Trust me, we were there.

Then we traversed the perverse Cape Fear River, piece of *&*$#.

Now we are bedded at Carolina Beach anchorage and calm. Getting the anchor set we find the bilge pump plugged with oil and the diesel throwing oil like an NFL quarterback. Looks like the dreaded diesel replacement is stalking us.

Who knows? Not me that is for sure.

Yours truly,

Drunk and dissatisfied in North Carolina.