Friday, April 29, 2022

St. Marys, Georgia: Torqeedo to the rescue

 April 26, Tuesday

1100. Left slip at 0945.  Wind ten knots on the beam.  I was concerned about not getting the bow across the wind and being pushed back on the dock or other boats.  It was not a problem.  I was able to walk GANNET back and turn her into the wind and push off.  I didn’t even need to use reverse.  There was an anxious moment when I thought the Evo hadn’t started.  It had, but is very quiet, much quieter than even the Torqeedo.

Once clear of the marina I set the jib and cut the Evo.  The Evo’s battery was at 89% when we left the dock.  It was at 87% when I turned the outboard off.  With the wind well aft the jib had us sailing at three knots out Skull Creek.  I soon set the main.  I left the Evo in the water.  Even with the prop turning it is quiet.  On the brief occasions I left the Torqeedo in the water under sail, the prop made a loud whine.

Turning in Port Royal Sound brought the wind onto the beam and our speed to seven and sometimes eight knots with the tide with us.  I glanced back and the Evo was quietly charging.  100 nautical miles from the mouth of Port Royal Sound to the entrance of the St. Mary’s River.

Lumpy seas at the mouth of the sound.  I partially furled the jib and have let us continue SE at about three knots, wanting simply to be in position for the shift to the north forecast for after midnight.  The shift will probably be accompanied by an hour or two of rain.  Tomorrow and Thursday are supposed to be clear.

1400.  Nine miles offshore.  I see ships east of me.  A racing sailboat about 40’ flying the Swiss flag passed close astern heading north.  Three people on deck.  I waved.  One of them waved back.

I have just tacked to starboard.  Sailing around 235º at three knots.  Not trying to go harder into low waves.

1730.  Potential thunderheads are building over the land.  I put on my foul weather gear and put a reef in the mainsail.  Wet on deck with steep 3’ waves close together.  We are nearing the shipping channel into the Savannah River.  At least four ships anchored to the east of us.

I am about to sip a small glass of boxed red wine with cold leftover pizza at Central and listen to some Bach.

1830. Thunder and lightning over the land.  We were being forced too far that way, so I came about and backed the jib, tied the tiller down to leeward, and have hove to.  I brought the tiller pilot below. This is pointing us out to sea and toward the ships.  Just as I have been writing the wind has weakened. GANNET is wallowing.  I am sitting at Central in foul weather gear awaiting developments.  I wish I had sea room and no ships in sight.

1930.  So far the darkest clouds and the rain have passed north of us, but the wind has died.  I furled the jib.  Left the reefed main up.  Tied the tiller down to leeward and we are drifting.  We are in only 50’ of water.  I considering anchoring until the wind shifts and may still.

2000 Wind has returned from the north.  This is several hours earlier than forecast and may not last.  It is so far astern the main is blanketing the jib, so I lowered the main and we are sailing south at a couple of knots under full jib being slowed by leftover waves;

I could not see if the masthead tricolor was on until a few minutes ago.  It is.

April 27, Wednesday

0200. Light wind continued to veer.  North to east and finally disappointingly south, heading us again.  The tiller pilot repeatedly backed the jib.  I just left it backed, disengaged the tiller pilot, tied the tiller to leeward, leaving us effectively hove to, heading east out to sea at a knot or less.  We are ten miles south of the half dozen ships anchored off Savannah whose lights I can still see.

0500 I slept in my foul weather gear.  Woke and went on deck to find the wind had continued to veer and was now west.  We were heading south hove to.  I unbacked the jib. Engaged the tiller pilot and we are sailing in the direction we want at a knot or two.

0630. I woke and at last the wind is NW.  I went on deck.  Unreefed the mainsail.  We are making 4.5 knots smoothly on a starboard broad reach.

1000.  Pleasant sailing.  The wind continued to veer until the main was collapsing the jib, so I lowered the main.  We continue to make 5 knots under jib alone on a very broad reach, rolling on 2’ waves.  Sunny here and ahead.  Clouds to the north.  55 miles to a waypoint off St. Marys.  We will not make it before dark.  I did not expect to.  The water is shallow enough to anchor offshore if it is not too rough.

1200. Solid low overcast.  I gybed to a starboard broad reach to close with the land.  We were 22 miles offshore.  Rolling on waves now 3’.  A waypoint off the entrance to the St. Marys River is 44 miles away.  Bearing 215T.  We are making 5.5 knots 230-235.  Going to be just too late to go in tonight.  Tired.

1730.   Pleasant downwind sailing ended about three hours ago when I found us on a lee shore.  The Georgia coast was nine miles away, but we were going to close with it north of the St. Marys River.  I gybed, but our course over the bottom continued toward land.  I realized I had to set some of the main and so raised it with the second reef in.  This was not enough.  I undid the second reef and tied in the first.  All this required more work than these words convey.  That sail combination is successful.  Our bow is pointing around 110.  Our course over the bottom is about 135, which is safe, but we may still be blown past St. Marys, which is 26 miles SSW.  I will try to figure this out tonight based on our position and wind strength and angle.  The wind is 20-25 now.

I have made a perhaps surprising decision.  I am not sailing to Iceland.  I may explain that in time.  I may not.

If the angles aren’t right for St. Marys I will move farther offshore and work my way back to Hilton Head.  

1900.  The waypoint off the entrance to the St. Marys River is 25 nautical miles away, bearing 219.  GANNET is sailing somewhere around 120 at 3 knots.  How to bring those together tomorrow at dawn I have yet to know.   When I turn GANNET her speed will significantly change.

I am sitting on the port pipe berth looking out through the companionway at the water passing.  That is the essence of the experience left to me.  I have done enough epic.  I may only go to sea again for a week or two at a time, seeking good wind angles and then working my way home.  Destinations no longer matter.  Just the experience of being in the monastery of the sea.  Is a week or two long enough?  I do not know.  I have not figured out the dying part of my life.  I have made false steps.  I am trying.

1730.  Music playing on the Boom 2 speakers.  At the moment George Winston.  

I poured myself a small amount of Laphroaig. 

We are heading away from St. Marys.  The wind has decreased from the 20 to 25 knots it was.  This was never serious weather, though there was a Small Craft Advisory out.  But as I experienced off the Bahamas on the passage from Hilton Head to Panama ultra light weight Moore 24s can be slowed and swept sideways by waves and currents unless perhaps they have three crew sitting on the weather rail.  I do not have such and so must respond differently.

April 28, Thursday

0500. I set an alarm for now, but woke an hour ago.

A decent night.  The seas flattened after sunset as I expected they would.  I turned off the wind at midnight and headed toward St. Marys.  When I woke at 4 am we were making 6 knots over the bottom according to iSailor, but heading a bit north of the river entrance.  With the wind almost directly behind us, I lowered the reefed main and gybed the jib.  We are eight miles from crossing the line of buoys marking the channel and eleven miles from the mouth of the river.  High tide there at 7 am.  Seven more miles from there to the boat yard.  We should be able to sail most of them.  Tidal currents here are strong.

1200 I am at anchor in 8’ off St. Marys Boat Services at mid-tide with the tide going out.  I think I have enough water to stay off the bottom.

I sailed under jib alone all the way to the entrance to what is called on the iSailor chart the Sweetwater Branch of the St. Marys River which winds its way in several bends to the boat yard.  It is difficult to measure the distance because of all the turns, but it cannot be more than four miles.  Probably only three.  When I turned on the Evo the battery was at 87%.  Although we had many hours sailing more than four knots, that is what it was when I turned it off in Skull Creek.  I saw the charging symbol often illuminated while while we were sailing, but essentially it did not charge at all.  Hmm.  A second ‘hmm’ is that the battery did not last all the way to the boat yard.  We were powering against the outgoing tide and sometimes wind of 18 knots.  As we entered the second to last bend, I heard three loud beeps from the battery.  I leaned back and saw it was at 20%.  We continued on until the battery was at 5%.  The anchor was already on deck, so I anchored.  Removed the Evo, dug out the Torqeedo and it took us the last quarter mile.  Despite the battery weighing twice what the Torqeedo’s does, 20 pounds versus 10, it does not appear to have greater range.

I have spoken by telephone to Andy, a friend who keeps his boat here.  I have emailed Rocky the yard manager.  I have repeatedly tried to telephone him, but there is never an answer and he does not have voice mail set up.  They haul boats only at high tide.  High tide here will be around 9 tomorrow morning.  If I have not heard from Rocky by then I will either pump up the dinghy and row in or take GANNET over to the dock by the travel lift if there is any space.

1500 The tide has turned.  I did have enough water at lowest tide not to touch bottom.  By inches.

April 29, Friday

Now Friday afternoon.  Above is a photo of St. Marys Boat Services.  Unfortunately I just took it from GANNET.  We are still in the water.  

At 7 a.m. I raised the anchor and slowly powered toward the dock near the travel lift.  Before reaching it GANNET’s keel touched bottom.  Her designated draft is 4’1”.  I backed away and anchored in 6’ of water within easy shouting distance from the dock.  High tide was due around 10 am.  

Through Andy via telephone I learned that three boats were to be hauled ahead of me.  I waited.  Three were, but high time came and passed and they did not have time for me.  Allegedly they will haul me tomorrow morning.  I learned this only through Andy.  No one from this boat yard has ever communicated with me in any way.  Phone.  Email.  Text.  Carrier pigeon.

It is pretty here.  The ebbing tide is strong enough to hold GANNET’s stern into the wind resulting in a pleasant breeze blowing through the companionway.

During the sail my new halyard clutches prevented the sag in the main halyard the old ones allowed.  I discovered that there is again a small leak where the masthead wires pass through the deck and another from the port side halyard clutch despite my having used both butyl tape and Lifeseal on it.

I also discovered that neither of my two portable inventors are powerful enough to charge the Evo’s battery.  I tested one while in Skull Creek and it started to charge the battery, but I did not leave it on long enough.  After a few minutes it shuts down.  The inverters do charge the Torqeedo battery.  It is possible that the Evo is a $3,000 mistake.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Hilton Head Island: ready; considered not calculated; Yellowbrick activated

Although the temperature was only 76ºF/24.4C when I biked down to GANNET this morning, Hilton Head Island has entered the sweating season.  Interior ventilation was not a high priority when Moore 24s were designed and below deck, even with the hatches open, GANNET does not get much air.  I do sometimes wonder how water gets below so easily and air does not.

Nevertheless I managed to mount the Evo on the stern and arrange GANNET’s interior into a new configuration, neither harbor nor passage.  I am skeptical about hybrids, but hopefully this will be good for the short distance.  I have moved the anchor and rode deployment bag to the v-berth, filled one 5 gallon jerry can and tied it in its standard position on the v-berth forward of the port side of the main bulkhead, moved a clothing and a freeze dry food bag from the port pipe berth to the v-berth.

I have a second 5 gallon jerry can of water tied between the pipe berths and below the cockpit.

While doing this I inventoried the clothes bag and found that I have enough of everything except underwear which I will carry down with me tomorrow.

During her circumnavigation and even after when she was still in San Diego, GANNET was fully stocked, but since bringing her to Skull Creek I have removed a great many things from her.  Some into the dock box.  Some the condo.  It will be good to live on board her for a week and see if there is anything else I am missing.

I also fit the Evo onto the transom.  This was the third time I have done this and went well.  I have learned that it is easier to attach the battery to the shaft when the shaft is turned at right angles.  The distance to be reached is less and the groove on one side of the shaft onto which the battery must slide can be seen clearly.

I neglected to mention in the last post that last week I ordered and received various supplies, including Tanka and RX bars, both of which were brought to my attention some years ago by Steve Earley, for which I again thank him, and twelve cans of very superior Rio Mare tuna which I was told about by Tom Head, for which I again thank him, too.

Keeping my options open, I bought three courtesy flags:  Iceland; UK: Canada.  At a cost of less than $10 each from Amazon I can afford to be a big spender.

I also bought a new American flag.  The one used during GANNET’s circumnavigation is too faded and worn, though honorably.

So few yachts visit Iceland that it is difficult to learn proper Immigration and Customs procedures.  I found a contact page on an Iceland government site, asked some questions, and a day later received a courteous and useful reply, although it neglected to respond to my asking if they require a clearance from the last port.  The US does not require US yachts to get Customs clearance before departing, but most countries want that piece of paper.  I was hassled in Panama for not having it.  I expect I can get a clearance from a customs office in Savannah, though it will be an expensive Uber ride there and back.

I have said that I have never taken an uncalculated risk.  In thinking about the sail to Iceland I have realized that is not true.  There is no way to calculate the risk of the hurricane season.  So it is more accurate to say that I have never taken an unconsidered risk.  

To use the Yellowbrick one must pay a monthly fee of £12 and one must also buy credits which are used for each position update or email.  If you are wondering, only Carol has my Yellowbrick email and during a passage we exchange only a brief email once a week, usually on Saturday.  I send, ‘I’m fine.’ She sends back the same.  And that’s it.  I don’t go to sea to have conversations.

Not having been sailing, I deactivated my Yellowbrick.  I have now reactivated it and paid for the next six months.  I still have several hundred existing credits.

I will turn on the Yellowbrick for the sail to St. Marys and the return.  I will set it to transmit a position every three hours.  

If you want to follow, the tracking page is:

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Hilton Head Island: batteried; prepared; good news; Feynman’s Ode to the Wonder of Life

Carol has flown back to Chicago this morning after a week on Hilton Head in part to celebrate her birthday.  We had a fine week, even one day joining the hoards on the eleven mile long beach on the other side of the island.  A nice place to visit, but I much prefer the serenity and beauty of Skull Creek.

Thursday I took advantage of Carol having a rental car to have her drive me and the two new Lifeline batteries to the marina parking lot where I transferred them to dock carts.  I pushed one to the marina gate.  Carol the other.  We had timed this for high tide so the ramp down to the dock was least steep and I carefully rolled the carts down without losing control and ending ignominiously in the water.  From there it was simple to push on to GANNET where I got the batteries on board and switched them for the old ones.  All wires appear to be connected properly and everything I can test is working.  I haven’t been down at night to test the masthead, steaming, and deck running lights.

I have also hauled various other supplies down to GANNET, including a pillow.  Tomorrow I’ll go down and fit the new outboard on the stern and fill water containers.

If the wind forecast holds I’ll leave the slip Tuesday for a boat yard at St. Mary’s a hundred miles south, where I will haul and antifoul.  The wind is supposed to be from the south on Tuesday.  I will not push hard against it, but want to position us for a forecast shift to the north around midnight.  

I have been told that the detestable ferry boat will be towed away within the next two weeks to be stripped, cleaned, and taken out and sunk as an artificial reef.  Upon my return from St. Mary’s I will be eagerly looking into the distance as I come up Skull Creek and hoping to see its absence.

From Mark comes a clever and visually arresting video, Feynman’s Ode to the Wonder of Life, accompanied by Bach.  I enjoyed it.  Perhaps you will too.  I thank him.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Hilton Head Island; lovely; learned; two repeated poems


I have retired to read in bed MOLL FLANDERS and perhaps more of Ovid’s THE METAMORPHOSES after watching a pretty good Liam Neeson movie, WALKING AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. I came to MOLL FLANDERS after a diary entry in THE ASSASSIN’S CLOAK by Virginia Woolf.  I have never read it before and don’t know how far I will continue.  So far, so good.

Lovely here just now as it often is.  As you can see Skull Creek is glassy and reflecting pastel post sunset shades.

I was tired today.  Perhaps due to the COVID booster shot yesterday.  Not ill, just tired.  But then I am elderly.

I biked down to GANNET this morning and quickly learned that although I can lift the new assembled outboard which weighs 44 pounds, I cannot control that weight while kneeling and reaching out over the stern, so I will have to assemble and disassemble the motor with each use.  This is not difficult, though a bit more difficult than it was with the Torqeedo.  I could leave the motor permanently mounted on the stern, but this is aesthetically unacceptable.

My second wandering battery appeared at the front door today after its sojourn in New England.

In the past few days I have come across two poems which I have included here before.  They are worth reading again..

W.H. Auden’s  ‘Musse des Beaux Arts’:

Here is an enlargement of Pieter Brueghel’s painting, The Fall of Icarus’ on which it is based.

William Carlos Williams’ poem is also good, but not as good as Auden’s.

And from Fernando Pessoa, ‘Sebastian, King of Portugal’.


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Hilton Head Island: outboarded

The ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo outboard arrived late yesterday afternoon in three boxes, one each for the shaft, the tiller arm, and the battery.  I unpacked them and read enough of the owner’s manual to connect the tiller arm to the shaft and understand how the battery goes into place.  

This morning I woke early and carried the outboard to GANNET at high tide at 7 a.m. so that the ramp down to the docks would not be steeply slanted.  I thought I might have to make two trips, but I did it in one with the battery in my knapsack on my back and carrying the still connected tiller arm and shaft in my hands.  I only had to do this half the distance, a little over a quarter a mile, until I reached the dock carts in the marina parking lot and transferred my load.

Once on GANNET, after disturbing two Great White Egrets who were not pleased with my interrupting their hunt for breakfast, I dug out the outboard bracket, mounted the tiller arm and shaft and then the battery.  This last was more difficult than on the Torqeedo because the battery is twice as heavy, twenty pounds versus ten, and larger requiring a longer reach out over the transom.  It might be easier to attach the battery in the cockpit and then lift the whole motor into place.  I will secure a line around it and experiment.

The tiller arm can be removed from the shaft, but this is a bit more complicated than on the Torqeedo and with the ability to fold the tiller arm down making them one relatively compact unit, I may leave them permanently connected.

The motor started with the press of a button as it should.  Went forward.  Went into reverse.  And I turned it off.

Tilting it out of the water is as you can see different than on the Torqeedo.  It took me a few tries to fold down the tiller arm and I wish there were more than one angle to lock the tilted motor, but there does not seem to be.  It is all or nothing.  In this position the side of the battery is against the transom which is all right at anchor, but would no doubt bang underway.  

My initial impressions are that the ePropulsion is bigger than the Torqeedo, more complicated, and better constructed.

I had other things I needed to do today, including biking to a supermarket and a liquor store and Walmart, where I got my second COVID booster.  There are those who think it better to wait for a new wave of COVID before getting the second booster, but I am not going to try to outguess this virus any more than I try to outguess the stock market.

Assuming I have no reaction to this shot, as I have not to the three previous COVID shots, I will go down to GANNET again tomorrow morning and explore the new outboard further.  It’s full name is too long.  From now on it is simply Evo.

UPS tells me that my second Lifeline AGM battery is in Warwick, Rhode Island.  Considering that it was shipped from Arizona this is a considerable navigation error.  Allegedly the wayward battery will be delivered tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Hilton Head Island: short list; tragic mismailing; in the name of God; talented young

Another lovely morning on Skull Creek.  Sunny.  75ºF/24ºC.  A slight wind rustling the Spanish Moss and Palmetto fronds.  Often this place really is a version of paradise.  However, I am condo bound until the new electric outboard arrives.  UPS says it is out for delivery.

One of my two Lifeline batteries arrived yesterday.  The other has been misrouted and now is not scheduled for delivery until Thursday.

Yesterday morning I biked to GANNET and made the new screen for the forward hatch.  Another task checked off my to do list which is now down to five items, one of which I have no intention of performing until I return from Iceland and another is unlikely to be done.  There will of course be other small tasks and some new ones may be revealed on the hundred mile sail to St. Mary’s Boat Services and back, but here is the list as it stands at the moment.


Ship’s batteries


Repaint interior

Drop rudder for shaft inspection

As some of you may recall I am already largely provisioned, having bought more than two months supplies last year to make myself self-sufficient in case of a major hurricane.  That food is up here in the condo.  I have eaten some of it, but mostly need only to fill in the gaps and carry it down to GANNET.

One battery is here.  The other hopefully on Thursday.

I will sail to St. Mary’s to antifoul as soon as the wind permits after Carol flies back to Chicago on April 24.

I will not repaint the interior until late this year.

And I do not know if St. Mary’s has the personnel to drop the rudder or if it can be done without destroying some fittings which have been in place probably for more than forty years.  I have an emergency rudder on GANNET.

I expect to be ready to sail by June 1.  When I will actually do so I have not decided.  It in part depends on Carol’s inclinations.

I believe I know how to get to Iceland.  I do not yet know how I will get back.

There are three options.  Sail west to Canada or New England and then work my way down the coast.  Sail south to Scotland, England, Ireland, the Azores, and then across.  Sail directly back to Hilton Head.  Canada still has rather strict and complicated COVID requirements for yachts to enter.  The problem with Scotland, etc., is that it would require me to be gone from Hilton Head for months longer than I want to.  The crossing from the Azores could not be made before November at the earliest.  The problem of sailing directly back is the risk of encountering one or more hurricanes at sea.  I have been in hurricane force winds at least eight times.  I would rather not add to that total.  I have as yet no conclusion and might not make a decision until I  reach Iceland.  I am not conducting a vote or seeking advice.


I just finished reading an excellent biography of Joan of Arc by Helen Castor.

I knew the outline of her life as do we all, but not the details.

Here I am concerned only with the end.

After a months long trial by the Catholic Church she was declared a heretic for among other reasons wearing men’s clothing which I did not remember, although I have read the Bible through twice,  is apparently proscribed in the Book of Deuteronomy, and turned over to the English who burned her at the stake on May 30, 1431, when she was probably nineteen years old.  The Church leaders considered that they acted out of love and the fire was purifying.  I can’t imagine the cruelty of such a death.  At least we don’t do that any longer.  Or crucify.  And we’ve given up drawing and quartering, too.  Modest signs of progress.

Thirty-one years later in 1452, in a much changed political climate and under pressure from the King and some of the nobility, The Church opened an inquiry into Joan of Arc’s trial and concluded that it reached the wrong verdict, that Joan was not a heretic, that the visions and voices she heard were from God not the Devil, and she should not have been horribly executed.

Almost five hundred years later on May 16, 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized as a saint.

I am not amused by videos of cute kids and though these performers are young, they are not cute, they are talented and dedicated.  They could not be so good without having giving a significant proportion of their few years to study and practice.  I wear hearing aids and have no musically ability.  Perhaps those who hear better and know more will find defects in their performances, but to me they do not sound like entertaining children, but like accomplished adult musicians, and they give some hope for the future.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Hilton Head Island: clean; short; strange paradise.

 Sunny, windy, and cool today, after three days of unsettled weather, including tornados, the closest of which touched down many miles away.

Yesterday divers cleaned GANNET’s bottom.  Their report showed heavy fouling, both hard and soft.  I expected that.  GANET was last antifouling in late August 2020, just before she was trucked across the country and had been sitting unused for several months until I went out a week ago Monday.

I biked down today and she looks perfect.  However that won’t last long.  Yesterday a gallon of Pettit Vivid white was delivered.  Carol is flying here on the 16th for a week.  As soon after she flies back to Chicago as the wind permits, I’ll sail down to St. Mary’s and apply it.  I am looking forward to having somewhere to sail to.

While on board this morning I inspected the asymmetrical’s furling gear to be certain that nothing has frozen during its too long lack of use.  It hasn’t.  And I applied new velcro to the overhead around the forward hatch for a screen.  I had to remove the old screen to rebed the hatch.  I thought I had screen mesh, but I couldn’t find it.  Some has been ordered from Amazon.  I’ll finish the job next week.  Mosquitos and no seeums make screens mandatory here.

My to do list is getting short.  Good.

Hurricanes.  Tornados.  Alligators.  No seeums.  A strange paradise.  Yet it mostly is.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Hilton Head Island: new things; replacement eagles


Several glorious days here are due to be interrupted by rain, but during them I have gotten some work done.

The top photo shows GANNET with the spaces between the Raptor nonskid pads painted with KiwiGrip.  Like all my work, except vainly I think my writing, it cannot bear close scrunity, but it definitely passes my viewed from a boat length away test.

The second shows some minor recent additions to GANNET.

The three objects on the left are solar lights which I use as cabin lights.  I have used the top two before.  The middle one, LuminAID was brought to my attention by Steve Earley.  Carol gave me one of the top, MPOWERED, once as a gift.  And the bottom Kizen I came across while looking for the other two.  It is something like a plastic hockey puck.  All three can be accordioned into a larger lamp, but I get enough light using them collapsed flat.

The top middle is a Spinlock halyard clutch.  I like the one I installed to starboard of the companionway for the main and spinnaker halyards so much that I decided to replace the clutch for the jib halyards to port of the companionway.  The Spinlock is designed for line as small as 4 mm and is infinitely easier to thread a halyard through than are the Lewmars I was using.

Below the clutch is a roll of gray leather repair tape.  

I have been using Blue Performance sheet bags ever since I bought GANNET in 2011.  After her circumnavigation I replaced the bags in the cockpit.  The new ones are not as well made as the ones they replaced and some of the fabric has already cracked.  This is cosmetic rather than structural, so I decided to try repair tape.  Some of the repair tape is now in place.  It looks quite good.  We will see if it lasts.

To the right obviously is a fire extinguisher.  I read that the Coast Guard has changed rules for fire extinguishers and so I bought one that meets the new requirements.  Thinking about the rules, I decided to check the shells for my Orion flare gun.  Naturally they are out of date.  I ordered new ones from that well known marine supply store, Amazon.

Other new things were ordered today but won’t be here until next week.

GANNET’s two Lifeline Group 24 AGM batteries are six or seven years old.  I bought these in New Zealand.  That is beyond their projected life expectancy.  They seem still functional, but I ordered two new ones.

And I placed the order for an ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo electric outboard.  This is the same model used by the French sailor in the video linked in the last journal entry.  With a larger battery it will have a greater range than the Torqeedo which is a consideration in the narrow waterways in this part of the country, and I am curious about the hydrogeneration, which will cause drag and noise, but will also increase range.

ePropulsion offers an external remote throttle at no extra cost, but it is an either or proposition.  There actually are two external throttles.  One side mount.  One top mount.  The side mount would require cutting a hole in GANNET’s cockpit.  The top mount is wireless.  It may be totally reliable, but I am not comfortable with being able to control the outboard only with a wireless connection, so I ordered one with the conventional tiller arm.

A problem solved itself as problems often do.

The closet boat yard in which I could have GANNET hauled out and antifouled is about 18 sailing miles away in Beaufort.  When I called today I learned that they are booked until July and that I would not be permitted to stay on the boat while it was in the yard.  Both are deal breakers.  Beaufort is considerably more than 18 miles from Hilton Head Island by land.  It would be a more than $100 taxi or Uber ride.  I could afford that, but I won’t.  So I have made arrangements at St. Mary’s Boat Services in the south of Georgia where I can stay on board while in the yard and can do my own work.  I was assisted in this by my friend, Andy.  I thank him.

Those of you who followed the Hilton Head eaglecam know that the two eaglets died of avian flu.  My friend, Susan, sent me a link to another eaglecam, this one I presume around Big Bear Lake in California.  I thank her.  The location is more scenic than was the one in Hilton Head.  I hope these eaglets are more fortunate.   If you need an eagle fix: 

Friday, April 1, 2022

Hilton Head Island: finally, one serious; a sailing video; whole range

A glorious day in the swamp.  75ºF at 5:30 PM.  Sunny.  A moderate breeze.

I am sitting on the screened porch, sipping a small amount of Plymouth gin and listening to Bach.

I am filled with virtue.  Of course, as I just wrote to a friend, I am always filled with virtue, but even more this evening.  Today I painted the non non-skid parts of GANNET’s deck.  This was a project that I began in early January.  I have—or so I convince myself—some legitimate excuses.  A virus.  Weather.  Not being here for almost six weeks.  But still!

I used KiwiGrip which I have not before.  It is not exactly a paint, but a deck covering intended to be stippled into a non-skid surface itself.  I am not interested in that.  This is only going in the small spaces between the Raptor non-skid pads.  I hoped it would cover better and last longer than the Interdeck paint I have been using.  Cover it did.   Last longer we will see.

A small delay while I refilled my truly small glass.  I provide the above photo as proof that it is small.  

I have to save room for a glass or two of Chianti which I will soon have after stretching my culinary skills to their limit by turning on the oven to bake a frozen pizza.

The other final is much more serious.  Perhaps tragic.  But I do not believe that dying during an endeavor you willingly undertake knowing it might be fatal is tragic.  

I made my first five circumnavigations without any way to call for help.  On my sixth I could through the Yellowbrick send out a distress signal.  I wish I could not have.  I know that hardly anyone will understand that. The purpose of the Yellowbrick was to let Carol know where I was.  Others were welcome to look in too.  

Working without a net.  Accepting total responsibility for your actions.  Is extreme.  And it is what I have done since age  thirteen.

I can set the age clearly because my mother for some reason demanded that I become an Eagle scout in the Boy Scouts.  I did at about the youngest age possible and never attended another meeting after I did.

She took credit for that award and I realized at that moment that if I blamed my parents for what is wrong with me, I would have to give them credit for what is right.  I did not want to share what is right with me, whatever that may be, so have never claimed others are responsible for my defects.  I accepted full responsibility for Webb Chiles in 1954 and I have never given it up.

This is from THE ASSASSIN’S CLOAK dated March 29, 1912, and is signed, Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

As regular readers know I don’t read much about sailing any more and I hardly ever watch sailing videos, but a comment from ZMK about the last journal post turned my attention to ePropulsion electric outboards.  I knew of them, but have in the past couple of days done more research during which I came across a video about the outboards by a young French sailor who sails exceptionally well a contemporary version of GANNET.  I enjoyed it.  Perhaps you will too.

In a book by Rebecca West, THE TRAIN OF POWER, in which she reported on four trials, including the Nuremberg Trials in 1946, I came across this: