October 7th, 2012

October 7th, 2012

Sorry, Somedayers, it’s only October 7. So easy to forget what day it is out here on the deep blue see. HA! The first 3 pics are here…don’t know why they didn’t come through on the main post. I’m just trying to keep y’all confused!!

October 7th, 2012

October 7th, 2012

October 8
Hello-o-o-o Somedayers!
Here’s hoping your Sunday was a restful one and that you accomplished whatever it was you set out to do today; whether it was a few chores, catching a football game, or hitting the old pumpkin patch with the family. Tropical Attitude certainly accomplished her goal as she traveled from Isle of Palm Marina, just north of Charleston, SC (mile 465.5) south to her present position at Downtown Marina of Beaufort, Beaufort, SC (mile 536.3), a total of 70.8 miles today. It was nothing short of a gorgeous day. We’ve had sunshine, a little wind, a little rain, a lot of wind, and no wind…take your pick.
Today we’ll take you on a photo tour to show some of what TA’s crew experienced along our way. (1) You’ll see the house Capt. Pat has chosen for her “win the lottery” home. (2) Here’s our first hitchhiker of the day as it rested on the deck cooler. (3) That’s a shot of a typical low tide scene. (4) This was interesting. The Coast Guard vessel came up near us and Cap’n Greg said, “Not again?”, thinking we were about to be boarded for another inspection. But the vessel had an abundance of sailors aboard and we heard five whistle blasts, which means danger. We looked around their vessel and realized they were doing a man-overboard drill as a large item had been tossed unannounced from the stern. Again, Somedayers, your tax dollars are at work. It’s a relief to know someone is practicing should boaters or others ever need their service.
Photo (5) This is the Wappoo Creek Bridge, a bascule bridge that was only one of two bridges TA needed to have opened today. (6) The Wappoo Creek shows a typical cut we’ve traveled through. This one was pretty tight. (7) Somebody got a little too close to the shore on a low tide, perhaps. (8) Tropical Attitude’s day is coming to an end near Beaufort, SC. (It’s pronounced Bue-fort in South Carolina and the city with the same name in North Carolina is pronounced Bow-fort.) (9) These cumulus clouds are building which could mean something angry or nothing at all. Nonetheless, they are beautiful.
Enjoy the photos! If you get the chance, give us some feedback about the blogs. We’d love to hear from you. Send them to greg@bananawinds.com.
Remember, tomorrow’s Monday! Back to work or whatever you do on Mondays!
Today’s Nautical Lesson: Bow line- a line that’s fastened to a forward cleat at the bow (front) of the boat and then tied to a cleat on a dock or dock pole. Stern line- a line that’s fastened to the stern (back) of the boat and then tied to a dock cleat or pole at the stern. Spring line- a line that’s fastened to a cleat in the middle of the boat then tied to a cleat on the dock near the bow; one may sometimes be tied to the dock cleat at the stern. The spring line keeps the vessel from “springing” forward or backward along the dock.

October 6th, 2012

October 6th, 2012

October 6
We know, we know, Somedayers!
Yesterday’s blog didn’t get posted until this evening. Tropical Attitude has been in some pretty remote locations along the IntraCoastal Waterway lately and Wi-Fi and even cell phone reception have both been sparse to say the least. The crew is glad you’re hanging in there with us though!
TA pulled out of Osprey Marina bright and early this morning. Didn’t we say we wouldn’t be sleeping in? There was sunshine, a cool breeze around 63 degrees, and a mist rising off the waterways. A squeegee in hand was a must to clear the enclosure windows over and over so Capt. Greg was able to see ahead. No one else except the harbormaster seemed awake this morning and he was busy waving us a farewell from the office deck. I think he’s gonna miss our captain.
TA puttsed quietly out of the little approach and back into the ICW at mile 373 along the Wacamaw River for a lengthy day’s journey. We seemed to be the only vessel underway this morning except for a lone fisherman tucked in by some trees at the shoreline. But it wouldn’t be long before we shed our jackets from the sun’s warmth and enjoyed the antics of dolphins playing in the water ahead of the bow. Oh, there was also that tugboat that came lumbering from out of nowhere behind us and pushing quite a wake. Of course, you realize they don’t slow down to minimize the boat wake when passing so we prepared for a morning roll; not the Krispie Kreme type either.
We really only passed one other sailboat throughout the entire day and her crew seemed in no hurry to get anywhere. It seems we have a pattern of that going on here lately. It appears most of those crews are either working their way home after “playing” all summer or “playing” their way south with no particular destination. But in many places we traveled today, there were skiffs everywhere and fishermen doing their thing. What astounded us most was a power boat pulling a young boy on a tube at an inlet opening right in the middle of a narrow cut in the ICW channel. Now… we have enough difficulties working through those types of passages dealing with low tides, currents, and shoaled areas without having to watch out for a child falling off a tube. Makes one wonder what the parent/friend/adult is thinking in that “captain’s” seat.
This was strictly a day of staying focused ahead as we traveled just over 83 miles down the Wacamaw River past Georgetown, SC; across the Winyah Bay to the Western Channel into this little bitty waterway called the Estherville Minim Creek Canal that went on for miles and miles. Talk about a nail biter experience! Neither Captain Greg nor myself wanted to be the one at the helm if TA went aground! We could even feel the change from high tide to low tide in TA’s speed as well as note the lower water levels and a real need to find the deepest water…at least over 9 feet! Not once throughout the day were we at the same depth for more than a few minutes. Remember, too, TA’s depth gauge freaks out on its own terms frequently and we can read anywhere from 9 feet to a sudden 200+ feet! Yes, that would be funny under different circumstance! We’ve learned to count on the FishFinder gauge in those moments and mentally add two feet. Who said you didn’t have to be good at math to do this job?
So the crew continued along the narrow path south enjoying the marshland views, the many instances of dolphin play, and the majestic sight of a bald eagle atop a dead tree. Oh, and yes, we need to mention the kamikaze birds that fly over head and then dive literally straight into the water for dinner. Is that what they call a real “dive-in restaurant”? Sorry, I hope you understand it’s been a long day… smirk!
Now TA’s lines are tied to a long dock at Isle of Palm Marina (just north of Charleston, SC) right in front of what appears to be, from all the noise on shore, one of the area’s most popular restaurants. Not to fear, this crew reheated some leftover pizza and hit the shower. The VHF is plugged in to the charger, the cell phones are plugged in, the spotlight is plugged in, and the crew will soon be plugged in, too. Oh wait, Cap’n Greg went to the cabin to get something and has never come back. I think he’s already recharging!
Stay safe!
Today’s Nautical Lesson: Channels 16 and 68 on a VHF radio are considered hailing channels. In other words, if a boater needs help or assistance in any way, they would contact the Coast Guard, a marina, a towing company, and so on by using one of those channels. The communicator at the other end will then direct the hailer to switch to a different non-hailing station to carry on the conversation for whatever the need was. Channels 16 and 68 are to be kept for emergency only after making the initial contact. We suggest that if Jimmy Joe Bob wants to discuss how many fish he has “in the box”, he should pick up his cell phone and call his buddy in the other boat.

October 6th, 2012

October 6th, 2012

October 5
Hey Somedayers!
Tomorrow may likely be YOUR day to sleep in. Those of us on Tropical Attitude chose today to catch up on those Z’s! It was excellento!! Our night’s stay at Osprey Marina here in Myrtle Beach, SC was a quiet restful one. This marina is topnotch. The first picture on site today is reverse of our approach down this little canal and out of nowhere appears this beautiful little place, often referred to as a hurricane hole (a safe harbor in inclement weather). We’ve been here in past years and it is definitely our favorite marina.
When we checked in last night, the marina manager gave us a welcome bag which included sweet rolls, crackers and marmalade, detergent and fabric softner, sample-size toiletries, a key chain float, a cozy, pad of paper and pen, and more. This morning we were greeted in the marina office with Krispie Kreme doughnuts, muffins, bagels, and lots of fresh coffee! This place is great! Best of all is their amazing marina staff, all of whom are friendly and helpful and full of conversation.
Cap’n Greg had some banking to do and the harbormaster called in his son-in-law to drive us into town to the bank. You sure don’t find that kind of assistance back home! What a pleasant young man he has for a son-in-law. On the ride we got some local history and learned about the owner of Osprey Marina. Apparently the gentleman owns over 150 surrounding acres and this “hurricane hole” was actually the site of his rock excavating company years ago. Water from the ICW started filling in the big hole that was left from excavation. What to do, what to do? His decision then was to turn the site it into a marina. Great choice as far as we’re concerned! Thank you, Gene, for the ride and the history lesson.
Laundry called and we spent the afternoon in the marina office facilities taking care of that. It was pleasant to sit in their spacious meeting/ dining area, catch a little “Kardashian”news, watch a little “Dog, The Bounty Hunter” and then “Coming To America “ with Eddie Murphy. Sometimes ya just hafta get off the boat! From our windowed view we watched other vessels mosey down the canal and arrive at the docks, including the center cockpit sailing vessel Cats Paw, an aged 45 footer. ( Pictures 2 and 3 show a bit of our view from there. )We had actually anchored with Cats Paw in Cedar Cove and again in Mile Hammock Bay but had passed her up a day or so ago. She is a slow moving vessel and her owners appeared in no hurry to be anywhere in particular. Her captain, Bill, came and sat with us for awhile and he and Cap’n Greg exchanged sailing trials and tribulations for a few laughs.
Later in the day, Cap’n Greg busied himself installing a new bilge pump switch that will sound an alarm whenever it runs. TA has always had that but it had stopped working some time ago. Landsharks, the pump rids the bilge below the floorboards of any unnecessary waters that may have appeared from places it should come from (perhaps the shower pump) and those mysterious and sometimes untraceable places that will often remain unknown. Only a few bleeped out words were heard so it wasn’t too hard of a job! Pat got some cleaning done and also has started to rub down the teak below deck with lemon oil- we can check off the galley area today. One can surely tell the difference.
There’s the best Italian pizzeria, Scatori’s, about 3 miles away and they will actually come to the marina and pick boaters up for dinner. What an excellent business mode of operation! We made plans with Cats Paw’s crew of two, Captain Bill and First Mate Sharon, and the four of us headed into Scatori’s for New York-style pizza and wonderful conversation. They are from Athens, Georgia, and have been out for two months enjoying the east coast. They’ll be staying here at Osprey for awhile for some boat maintenance but perhaps our paths will cross again some time.
We talked to both our sons today on the phone; the oldest one (Mr. Tampa) just returned from a week long college geology trip to the Appalacians and the youngest (Mr. San Diego) along with our daughter-in-law will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary tomorrow. Time marches on. Tomorrow TA marches, errr…motors on down the ICW to parts unknown at this point. You just never know where she’ll turn up next.
By the way, enjoy the last photo. Just wanted to show you proof that Cap’n Greg helps with laundry, too!
Here’s hoping you have something fun planned for the weekend with someone you enjoy spending time with!
Remember, SAIL NAKED! As it’s been said, “It puts color in your cheeks!”
Today’s Nautical Lesson: Steaming lights are a red light on the bow on the port side, a green light on the bow on the starboard side, and a white light at the stern. They should be turned on at dusk and throughout the dark while underway. These lights indicate to other vessels that you are seen, that you are indeed underway , and help determine which direction you are going. An anchor light is found at the top of a mast and indicates that your vessel is stopped and at anchor; it is left on throughout the darkness to indicate your location. Deck lights are white lights usually mounted on mast spreaders pointing down so that work on the deck in the dark can be completed…like finding a beer or some wine in the deck cooler after anchoring or docking!

October 4th, 2012

October 4th, 2012

Oct. 4, 2012
Yo ho ho, buccaneers, er-r-r, Somedayers!
Tropical Attitude tossed the lines at 7:15 a.m. today and set off on a southern compass run. The crew was impressed with the South Harbor Village Marina staff as the dock master was helpful last night and was at the boat early this morning to help us unhook electric cords, release lines, and even toss our fenders inboard. Kudos to people who care about their jobs!
TA set off at mile 311.4 along Oak Island, Holden Beach, and Corkin Neck. We were on the upswing toward a high tide; great for crossing inlets (places where the ocean crosses into the ICW) and a concern at times for passing under fixed bridges (the higher the water, the higher the boat/mast/antenna/wind indicator). All our necessary bridges today were either fixed (vertical heights of 65 feet) or on-demand bridges. On-demand simply means we call the bridge tender about 1 mile out, the tender acknowledges us over the VHF and sees us. When we get close enough to his or her liking, land traffic is halted, the bridge raises or swings, and we go on our merry way. Voila! No waiting today and no “OMG” moments!
Scenery was plentiful as opposed to yesterday’s swamp line, trees, and sameness. If you’re into real estate hunting , this would have been your day aboard TA as we passed house after house, condo after condo, and even a few trailer parks here and there. The Cap’n and I can’t get over the size of most waterfront homes, each seemingly bigger than their neighbor’s. He and I passed through here together a few years back and are amazed at the new developments. Didn’t someone say the economy was in the pits? Well, shiver me timbers! Someone forgot to mention it in this neck of the woods/waterways!
We apologize for the number of pictures today but you know what they say? A picture is worth a thousand words. The first shows a typical lon-n-n-g pier needed by most homeowners; second is a sailboat that has obviously run aground and been left to its own demise. The third is someone’s dream that took a turn for the worse and is probably now a fish haven. Next you’ll see one of the inlets we passed by, which had extremely difficult currents to motor through. The fifth photo is a small section of what’s referred to as “the rock pile”, an approximately 14 mile stretch of underwater rock ledges. Staying in the center is of utmost importance!! No need to tear off a keel or prop shaft here!
The sixth photo is, yes, a cable car system that carries golfers over the ICW from one tee time to the next. We always think we’re going to brush the bottom of one of those cars. After that you’ll see what nuns and cans look like out of the water. Yup, them thar’ are big’uns! Next is a first for even us to see. Yes, that power boat has a hull cover. No one wants to see a naked power boat, for heavens sake! The ninth photo is a shot of the “concierge” in the Osprey Marina, where TA has docked for the night. Cap’n Greg said this little guy greeted him the last time he arrived here a few years back. Finally, there’s a shot of our traveling friends, Jan and John, aboard Arcadian. We finally met up with them personally at the marina fuel dock here but bade them smooth “motoring” as they have chosen to move along to an anchorage. Perhaps TA and Arcadia will share the waters again in the future.
Here we are for the evening at mile mark 373.3 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Some would think that traveling a mere 62 miles is not very far for a day’s effort. You’re likely to rethink that when you know that your speed is just over 6 knots ( about 7 mph) and your eyes and ears must be focused ahead at all times. What will you watch for? Day marks that lead the way, inlets that wreak havoc on the currents and depths, bridges of all sorts, boaters going every which way, fishermen in rowboats tossing nets for bait fish, storm clouds, logs sticking up, logs floating, shoaled up areas, the depth gauge, the fuel gauge, the tachometer, the bilge alarm, thunder, and on and on. Why not just go faster, you say? Most of this leg of the ICW is a No Wake Zone, although we all leave some wash behind us.
So Somedayers, we’re going to be landlubbers tomorrow, get this boat cleaned, do the laundry, and make a grocery run for TA’s next departure. If you drive really fast, you can still meet up with TA and hop aboard!
Today’s Nautical Lesson: How does one captain communicate with another captain? Most will use a VHF radio and occasionally will sound a whistle or horn. One whistle or horn blast indicates you are passing the vessel in front on her starboard side. Two whistles or horn blasts indicates you are passing the vessel on her port side. On the radio, the captain may just say “One whistle” and not actually blow a whistle. Of course, there are many other reasons to communicate but that’s another lesson. LOL

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