Thursday, April 30, 2009

Workhorse of the Intracoastal Waterway

The Neuse River

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today we are sitting in a slip at Ocean Marine Yacht Center in Portsmouth, VA. After a couple of false starts from Dowry Creek and then running for three days with just the port engine and no anchor windlass we docked here on Tuesday, 4/28 to take advantage of one of the largest service departments in the area. These folks work on mega-yachts much less little trawlers like The Rose. I had called ahead and inquired about service. They graciously moved us, (transients) to the head of the line and since we were in for repairs there is no charge for the dock. Early Wednesday morning the electrician was aboard, listened to the symptoms and agreed that it was likely a foot switch and brushes. Within two hours he had the windlass removed, brushes cleaned/reinstalled and had installed the two new foot switches that I already had aboard. Everything works! The existing, "down" foot switch was still working, but I elected to replace it as well and put the original switch in the spares bin. Meanwhile the diesel mechanic came aboard, listened to symptoms examined the engines and manifolds and concluded that it was likely a defective injector or lift pump. I pointed out that the Racor manifolds, (2) were getting difficult to operate and he agreed with cleaning and overhaul. The parts department manager placed the order and all parts are to be shipped overnight.

Today, (Thursday,4/30) the parts are in and I'm told they will be installed tomorrow. I understand we will also have a sea trial to insure that we reached the correct diagnosis.

Connie and I slept the first day we were here after running long and hard from Charleston. Neither of us minds long days, but running with one engine really stretches time. Thirteen hours at 5.4 kts is tedious!

We are making good use of our time here in the Portsmouth/Norfolk area. I needed to have a Coumadin level taken at a lab and then faxed to my Physician in Melbourne. That turned out fine so the dosage will remain stable for the next 2-3 weeks. The marina has a courtesy car which we used to shop at West Marine and Office Max. We will likely stock up on dairy and vegetables just before we depart.

For the past several years we have been unable to tour the battleship Wisconsin which is docked here in Norfolk. Actually they have a Naval Museum alongside the ship which is equally interesting. So today we took the ferry across the river from Portsmouth to Norfolk, ($0.75 for Seniors) had lunch and wandered through the museum and the battleship for the afternoon.

The foredeck and forward mounts of the Wisconsin

Connie getting ready to go aboard
The Chesapeake has been whipped into a frenzy by a weather system so we're in no hurry to resume our travels immediately. Hopefully later this weekend after the sea trial we'll make way to the upper Chesapeake and then the C&D Canal which connects the Chesapeake to the Delaware Bay.
Here are a few more pictures for your enjoyment.

Mary, the ownner of Dowry Creek enjoying happy hour with Connie

Pool deck and The Rose at Dowry Creek Marina

Fishing boats are everywhere

Members of a bagpipe group from Ontario

Paul & Connie Murgo
m/v The Rose, GH37
lying OMYC, Portsmouth, VA

Friday, April 24, 2009

Underway on St. Catherines Sound, GA

Doing as I was told..............................

The Rose departed Telemar Bay Marina in Indian Harbour Beach, FL on 4/13/09 and is underway on the ICW approaching, (4/24/09) the Neuse River in NC. This is our 10th trip, and for the summer we will enjoy our ultimate destination, Greenwich Bay North on Narragansett Bay where we will spend time with our family and friends.

This winter’s hospitalization has reinforced our need to solidify ties and reexamine priorities. My recuperation precluded cruising this winter, but the flip side is that our appreciation for The Rose, her safety and comforts along with new destinations has strengthened.

We were fortunate that friends stepped up to help with handling The Rose while I was recuperating. I have a tendency to underestimate, (really?) my limitations so the assistance was timely and welcome.

While recuperating at our condominium, we drove down and met with Joan & Bruce, (Forever 39) Neil & Sheila, (Silver Queen) and Randy & Barbara, (Lazy Dolphin) at Vero Beach Municipal Marina. The evening was spent sipping wine, enjoying dinner and chatting with our fellow owners at a local waterfront restaurant.

We left Melbourne on April 13th and had help aboard to Charleston where we spent two nights at Isle of Palms Marina visiting with Bill & Robin Evans who live nearby. Not only did Bill cruise with us from Melbourne to Charleston, but Robin fed us when we arrived and gave us the use of her car for the stay. They are good friends and gracious hosts! IOP is a smaller marina where service and staff resemble a yacht club rather than a run of the mill marina. Another favorite stop is established!

In between, we made our usual stop at Brunswick Landing Marina and spent time with Joe & Punk Pica on Carolyn Ann, more friendly members of the Mirage family. Brunswick, GA is and has been one of our favorite destinations ever since we spent our 1st winter there in 2004-05. We had dinner at a new place for us, 4th of May, which is across the street from BLM. Good down home cooking including meatloaf, chicken fried steak, okra and tomato pie!

One night, (Thursday, 4/23) we anchored in Mile Hammock Bay. This is a protected and well-used anchorage right off the ICW. Unfortunately, it is directly adjacent to, and part of Camp Lejune. We anchored accompanied by the sounds of artillery and adjacent to an abandoned ship that is used for boarding practice. The helicopters finally quit around midnight and ultimately we slept well. The next morning we left at 6:25 after I had reset the inverter/charger and did my usual engine room check. For the past several days the inverter/charger has been acting wierd, not fully charged. I've done this procedure plenty of times so it went smooothly and quickly. Once underway Connie immediately noticed a strong vibration in the port shaft. I did a second engine room check and sure enough, the port engine and shaft were wobbly. I initially assumed we’d have to pull into Morehead City for a diver and perhaps an engine alignment. After some consideration, we decided to back down a bit with the props in reverse. Whatever was wrapped around the prop/shaft was dislodged and we were as good as new. That's a trick I stumbled on 3 years ago on the New Jersey ICW.


We are enjoying the ICW and wherever our travels bring us.
Safe cruising to all of our boating family.

Cheaper than a haul out?

Bill Evans and I working on the bow pulpit.

Connie at the helm......again!

USN Sub, Kings Bay, GA

Connie after a long day at the helm!

Robin & Bill Evans our hosts!

Bringing up the anchor at 6:00 am!

Paul & Connie Murgo
m/v The Rose, GH37

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Connie checking in with family.
Heading North

April 14, 2009
We are once again, (10th trip on the ICW) underway from Telemar Bay Marina in Indian Harbour Beach, FL. Our destination is Brewer Greenwich Bay North in Warwick, RI. We have made a concession to my altered status and for this part of the trip Bill Evans, (Robin, “Blue Magic”) will ride along to assist with the helm duties, etc. It’s not that I’m unable, but as the “Admiral” discreetly explained, he’s along “just in case” there is a relapse of the aneurism.

The first night underway, (Monday 4/13) we anchored just north of a bridge in Daytona. We knew there was a storm coming through, especially since Weather Mate was displaying vivid shades of orange and red. I dropped 100’ of chain and the snubber as Connie prepared dinner for us. Sure enough, after we had fallen asleep we were greeted with Nature’s fury. Winds gusting to over 30 kts along with lightening and rain made for an unsettled night to say the least. Surprisingly, the sounds of the nylon snubber lines working off the bowsprit are reassuring and help to put me to sleep. At some point during the night, I awakened in response to Connie calling me from the pilothouse. The anchor had dragged and re-set after the wind shifted direction 180 degrees. There were a few other boats in the area and from all appearances, the skippers were up during the night checking lines, etc. The three of us on The Rose were anxiously watching from the pilothouse for what seemed like hours, (more like 45”?) until the storm quieted enough to allow us to climb back into bed.

Tuesday we were scheduled for an early, (11 a.m.) arrival at Palm Coast Marina where we’ll relax for a day and get some shore time. We are slowly but surely regaining our cruising rhythm with early bedtimes and departures. Palm Coast is a friendly and familiar stop. The storm is still in the area, so we dock in a steady-drenching rain and tie up to the long side-to dock. We are greeted by name and The Rose with her dimensionsional requirements are well known to the staff. Since we arrived at 10:30, after showers we treat ourselves to a relaxed day reading and tending to other nonessential tasks. We had breakfast and lunch aboard but for dinner we walked to the adjacent European Village where we expected to dine at Bella Sera. They were closed for a private function so we ended up at Barbara Jean’s a well known Southern chain. This is, (as you would expect) a place for down home cooking and I had pot roast with baked potato. I likely exceeded my Weight Watchers points with that meal!

Shortly before our departure from Telemar Bay, Connie prepared a Palm Sunday dinner for eight and it was a great time. Guests included former RI neighbors who now live nearby along with neighbors and fellow owners from South Shores. We elected to pass on the flight to Rhode Island for Easter because we were concerned about the possibility of clotting. We missed being with our family and friends, but for the first time we were able to attend the sunrise Easter Mass celebrated by Father Nolan on the shore overlooking ocean. What a spectacular setting for a special day!
Your emails and calls are greatly appreciated especially as we make our way north to our summer berth in Rhode Island.

Robin Evans who graciously volunteered husband Bill to cruise with us and delivered him as well!

Bill Evans with his hi-tech eyeglass holders. He interned with Peter Ross, (fellow cruiser) and this custom retainer is all he learned........

Paul & Connie
M/V The Rose, GH37
Fernandina Beach, FL