The Adventure Begins

The Adventure Begins
Skinny Dippin'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011

We got word today that Skinny Dippin' is safe!  She weathered Hurricane Irene in our favorite boatyard in Oriental NC, Sailcraft.  They are a trusted business and we are very loyal customers.  We ended up putting her closer to the storm, but she was on land, which is said to be the safest thing next to a protected mooring.  We were worried about her safety only because Oriental took a 9 foot storm surge from the Pamlico Sound.  We didn't know how high it needed to be to float her. Luckily, it is more than 9 feet!!

Thank you so much to all of Skinny Dippin's fans.  It was a worrisome few days as we awaited word of her safety. Your support has meant the world to Tom and I.  Please keep the fine people of Eastern NC in your thoughts as they clean up, recover, and rebuild from Hurricane Irene.   This was one for the record books.  Thank you Mother Nature for allowing Irene to weaken before she got here.

More FUN ADVENTURES to come!!

Fair winds and calm seas.....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 20, 2011

This weekend was CANVAS INSTALL WEEKEND!! I have made made Sunbrella window coverings for the windshield and forward side windows! I’m very excited about them. I used Sailrite’s patterning material and made patterns for each window, allowing enough triple hemming to install the snaps that will attach the screens to the boat. Tom helped immensely with the install! I am a real wimp when it comes to my PressNSnap tool. My little hands just aren’t strong enough!

Here is a couple pictures of the finished project!

Then on Sunday, August 21, we did our regular storm prep. Irene is a week away and Tom has to work next weekend, so prepping has to happen today. She is forecast to turn east before getting here, but we know better.  Storms can turn at any minute.  We took down the bimini, strapped down the bimini frame, all deck chairs and cushions are taken to the salon. The dinghy came home with us, and the outboard is in the galley. Double lines all around and extra fenders are out. She should be good to go.

Then Monday August 22, Irene’s path brings her directly to North Carolina. Tom quickly got us a spot at our favorite boatyard, Sailcraft in Oriental. Our lift time is 11am on Weds the 24th.

Wednesday August 24th, We made a quick trip down river. We left at 630am to one of the finest sunrises I've seen in a long time.

We arrived right on time at Sailcraft and just had a short wait for our turn in the straps.  We got her up on the hard.

We kept second guessing ourselves, because nobody else seemed to be doing any preparation. Why is that? Are we just that OCD? Or do other people just not care about the investment in their boats?? Well, no time to worry about them. Skinny Dippin’ is as safe as she can be. We have to get home and back to work.

Thursday August 25th, Irene turns West. Now Skinny Dippin’ is in the path of the eye of the storm. And to top it off, now we have to prepare the home front. Tonight all patio furniture, bird feeders, wind chimes, pool toys, garbage cans, everything is stowed or tied down. Generator is ready, as is chain saw.

Friday August 26th will be a very nervous day. Hurricanes can change course at any minute. We won’t know where she is going till she truly gets there.

Please keep all of the east coast in your thoughts this weekend. There is going to be some seriously damaged areas. We could be one of them. Certainly where Skinny Dippin’ is, and possibly here at home too.

I hope to have the opportunity to finish my canvas project next weekend. 

Stay safe everyone. If you haven’t said I love you to those you love recently….do it now.

Stay Safe Skinny Dippin'.  We're thinking about you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

August Adventures!!

August Updates!! August 12-14 has us in Beaufort NC for the annual Pirate Invasion! What made this year special was Jimmy & Deb and Dan & Suzanne from Carolina Beach came to join in the drunken debauchery!! Danny also brought along Steve and Sally from New River. Jay and Emily also joined us on Saturday! This year’s event brought many more recreational boaters to Beaufort, than I remember from last year. Being on the Beaufort Town Docks is the only way to truly experience pirate weekend!

We left our home port on Friday morning at 8am. Our marina is right at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers. There is a draw bridge that we must go through in order to journey down the Neuse to…well, anywhere! The bridge is usually on request openings, but sometimes, like during “rush” hour it’s on the half hour. We literally pulled out of our slip at 8am, right on schedule, only to get stopped 100 yards out of our slip by the bridge.  The bridge clearance on this morning was 17 feet. We nosed right up to it to see how close we are. Unfortunately, we were very light on fuel, and a little light on water, and because of that, we needed at least 17.5 feet to get under. Darnit….had to wait for the 830am opening!!

The cruise down river was uneventful, just a peaceful cruise.

We arrived in Beaufort pretty much right on schedule at 2pm. We always try to arrive here at a slack tide. The current runs quick through Taylor’s Creek, docking can be quite tricky! We ran out to our favorite novelty store for a great big pirate flag!  Beaufort is such a pretty little town, with great restaurants and fun bars.

We spent two days with our friends and headed back home on Sunday. The weather was forecast for possible severe weather. We figured we should at least try to get half way home before it started. We almost made it the whole way home before the rain started. Then as we waited for our bridge to open, it stopped long enough to get tied up at our home slip!!

During the next few days at home, I worked on my current canvas project! I’m making exterior Sunbrella window coverings. I’ve got the front and forward side windows done. Tom helped me install all the snaps this most recent weekend, the 20th.

Now we are awaiting our first hurricane as boat owners. On Wednesday this week, we will most likely haul her out to sit out the storm in our favorite boatyard. If that happens, we’ll probably take the opportunity to get some fresh bottom paint.

More adventures to come!! Keep your fingers crossed that Irene doesn’t come to visit!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Fun!!

Wow…summer is FLYING by!! We spent a week on Skinny Dippin’ for July 4th week. We had hoped for another great cruise to new locations, but the weather was a little unsettled. Having been groomed by Sailors, we tend to wait for good weather windows for cruising to places we haven’t been to before. We’ve also been groomed to be super flexible and go with the flow. A wise man once said to me, any day on the water is a good day. So for me, any day on the boat is a good day, whether we go anywhere at all.

July has been full of projects!! I refinished the starboard side rubrail, galley hatch, and the two stern hatches. I finished the curtains and settee cushions in the stateroom. New tile, curtain and shower curtain for the head. Tom helped me reupholster the barrel chairs for the salon. And we bought a new futon to replace the loveseat in the salon. Tom will be building a base for it with storage drawers. All of you cruisers out there know you can never have enough storage!!

Tom has done a lot of electrical work, adding an outlet to the fly bridge, a new stereo in the salon, a new water pump for the generator, regular oil and filter changes.

I just made a huge order from Sailrite - my new favorite store. Exterior window coverings are next on my list. Sunbrella Linen will cover all exterior salon windows with button snaps. I got Phifertex mesh for the stern windows that face the aft deck. Tom is going to do a sunshade to hang on the bow to shade the galley. Friends have one of those and they swear it keeps the vberth area cooler. That’s where our galley is so any cooling would be awesome. The making for interior window bug-screens are also on the order and to-do list.

All of this, and we’ve gotten some good boating time in too!! Not enough of course…but some!

Hurricane season is upon us. We are in a new marina with new policies. Evacuation orders will depend on the size, strength and incoming direction of any given storm. So I spent some time last weekend contemplating storm ties in our new slip. We have a couple of evacuation choices if we need to make a run for it. Hopefully that won’t happen.

Pictures of all of these projects are coming! I promise to add them soon!! It’s amazing to me how homey Skinny Dippin’ is getting. She truly is a second home for us. And Home is, of course, where your heart is!