Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Baxter and I prefer to focus on the positive.  With a small living space and nothing but rain, wind and cold beyond the companionway, we have setup a countdown for sun in the forecast.  Every day the weather is a little bit better and moving in the right direction.  Today's low was yesterday's high, and the wind today (and thus the tide on the Neuse) is light.

Staying in one place also helps bring things in focus that may not otherwise be.  And so it is, Baxter has found a very very very small oil leak under the engine, we are talking a few drops, BUT that could also be the beginning of a very very very big issue.  So we will look into that before pushing off too far, just to be on the safe side.  Thank you weather hold for helping us find that.

I have been using the galley more and love cooking on the boat!  A person is limited by space and equipment and so you have to make do with what you have, which is all you really need.  I have, though, already thought of ways to redesign the galley in my head.  Not that I have plans to remodel my kitchen or anything, but just saying.

Anyone who is not environmentally conscious should live on a boat for 2 weeks to understand how much water and food is wasted.  Filling the tanks with water every time you run out and not being able to find a place for wasted food (no garbage disposal and you just put a new trash bag in so you can't throw the food in there and have it sit there for days) really promotes conservation, just to eliminate the extra work required.

Kala is looking forward to a little sunshine as well.  Before the cold and rain set in, she was swimming every day, sometimes twice a day.  She is ready to get her paws wet again and chase the ducks around the docks.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

After two days of rain and temps below 40 degrees, we're ready for sunshine.  The weather has motivated us to find breakfast restaurants in the area (Pollack's was incredibly delicious) and new ways to watch tv on the computer, including hulu and netfix instantly, but we lack our daily dose of vitamin D.

And of course, there are always the fun boat projects that you thought you had already fixed, but they rear their ugly head - like a water pump.  Can't live on a boat without it, and it can't leak.  The guys at West Marine know us well.

Now that we have had a taste of anchoring and getting along on the ICW, we are looking forward to going South.  As soon as we have a good weather window, we'll leave the Neuse behind for a couple weeks and set out to see what NC, SC, maybe even GA & FL look like from the east coast.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Close Reaching

We left Adams Creek at 8:15 am worried about Kala's inability to potty and the bad weather forecasted for the afternoon.  As soon as we got out on the Neuse, we put up the sails and decided to give it a go.  The day before, as we motored up, we could only get 4.5 knots boat speed over water.  Today, we averaged 5.5 knots on a close reach and maxed out at 6.7 knots with the sails trimmed and Stella really showed us what she was up for.  We made it back to NW Creek almost 3 hours faster than the day before.

Kala had never been happier to see the end of the dock.  She leapt from the boat like a flying fish and b-lined it straight for the grass.  She came back tail-a-wagging.  We soon proceeded to PetsMart for some Nature's Miracle "Go Here" spray pheromones to see if we can get the potty patch working.  At some point, grass will not be an option, but don't tell her that yet.

Later, Baxter was head down in the heat pump for the reverse cycle A/C as we expect rain tonight and highs in the 40s tomorrow and Monday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Too Good To Be Bad

We left Northwest Creek Marina about noon headed out for our first experience on the ICW from the Neuse River. After fueling, we raised the sails with no planned itenerary other than anchoring somewhere along the way. We were close hauling and tacked our way down the river for about 4 hours. Once our boat speed slowed to about 1.5 knots, we took Kenny Rogers advice when he said "you gotta know when to fold 'em" and we started motoring.

The entrance to Adams Creek (ICW from the Neuse) is somewhat tricky so with a combination of the charts, the chart plotter and our binoculars we worked our way to a nice protected spot on Cedar Creek. We were greeted by dolphins, ospreys, and what sounded like sea lions barking.

Now it was time for a beer and a little dinner. Just have to take Kala to potty on the potty patch first... yeah, not so much. When we turned off the engine, she jumped up ready to go...Great!! Ran to the foredeck, stopped, looked back and inquisitively wondered where the dock went. She's used to jumping onto the dock, running to the marina and putting her paws on fresh grass. Something is very wrong with this picture. And so it went all night...poor girl. She knows the boat is her house and can't manage to go potty on it. In other words, she's too good to be bad.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Introducing S/V Stella Blue

We now have an address in New Bern, NC - at a marina.  Our house literally moves with the wind.  It all seems surreal and pretty great.  There are so many adventures in life that Baxter and I want to experience and this boat opens the door to a new world.

Not to say it doesn't require a bit of work.  In the last week, after working all day, Baxter has replaced the head with a new Raritan, rewired the windlass (the anchor reeling system), replaced the fresh water pump, replaced the pump for the reverse cycle heat-A/C, and we have set up our living space into 2 hanging lockers, 4 drawers and 3 galley sliding cabinets.  Of course, we do have the lazarettes (lockers in the cockpit) but that's just for cleaning supplies, fenders, and boat hooks and of course the emergency manual bilge pump.  And this boat was in the best situation of any we found.

She sails so well and we look forward to taking her places she's always wanted to go.  We always have room for friends and family to join us on the adventure.