LINKS FOR THE YEAR 2000
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Log for the week of December 3, 2000-Beaufort South Carolina, by APW
After several thousand dollars and a little bit of blood loss, the doctors could find nothing wrong with Phil. Which is good and bad. He is fine now and was the day the tests were run. I had a suspicion they would find nothing. CT scans are accurate 80% of the time for diagnosing appendicitis. Hopefully, he fell in the eighty percentile and there really is nothing wrong. Hopefully, it will not happen again. My mother, this time by phone-"Why can't you just cruise along the coast, so he can get to a hospital if it happens again." If Phil were a dog(with an appendix), I would probably recommend having the appendix taken out as a precaution. But, he is my husband and I am not sure the risks, (infection, anaesthesia, dehiscence) outweigh the benefits. Plus, I really don't know much about the appendix. Most animals possess a cecum, which I gather the appendix once was. Very few animals have problems with their cecums-cecae(?) (I wonder what the plural is), so I really feel at a disadvantage.
I usually keep a hand written daily log, but have gotten lazy while we have stayed in port. The last daily entry was weeks ago. The days all seem to blur together. One strange thing has happened- I can no longer sit still long enough to watch the TV. It's fascination lasted about ten days. It must be time to move on out.
This week we sanded, primed and re-painted all the metal work- rails, bow and stern pulpits, which Justin did last summer. "You really don't want me to paint these things" he said waving the paint brush for punctuation, "I really am a lousy painter." Sometimes it pays to listen to the young. Phil took the salt water pump apart to try and diagnose why it was putting out such a weak stream. It had gotten the name "piss pump" for its poor performance. In diagnosing, the malady, he seemed to have cured the problem, as it now shoots out a stream which can peel paint. Phil worked on up-grading the web page, which also had to be entirely re-loaded when our server in Bath went down. We spent a heck of a long time on the phone getting plane tickets for Ben and Nathaniel to fly down to Jacksonville Florida for Christmas. Phil hasn't seen Nathaniel since last April and I think it has been very hard for him. After listening to the travel agent complain about our last minute planning, I decided to also get the tickets for the kids February break. We are sending them to the Panama Canal- so now we are committed to getting their to meet them too! The tickets to Panama cost the same as to Jacksonville, Fl. Go figure.
The Spectra water maker arrived and we went out yesterday to open water to test it out. No more squeak. We are waiting for two more orders to arrive before we leave for good. One from Defender Marine and the other-our Seafrost ice trays, which I sent back a third time, because they started to leak- (again.) I am disappointed with those, but not with the service. They are guaranteed for life. Unfortunately, they are sheet stainless steel which just doesn't seem to take the abuse of multiple freeze/thaw cycles. They even say not to let them thaw, but that really is impossible, since we do not run the refrigerator compressor all the time. I wrote them this time asking about a cast aluminum ice tray- it might work better. Ice isn't really a necessity since we aren't the gin and tonic types. But ice might be handy if I have to cool down and abscessed appendix. There I go again, worrying. We hoisted the Christmas tree to the topmast-Mainer style. I am trying to talk Phil into putting lights on it. We shall see.
Beaufort has been good to us because it really is a touristy town. This is to our advantage for making money, it is not so great for getting basic supplies. I painted several little teeny paintings, which fit four to a standard sized piece of paper. I then got these sheets reproduced at the local "Mail boxes etc" for around .90 a sheet. The sheets I sell for $7 a piece. Business has been great, but I have a long way to go to meet our health insurance deductible.
We have met an awful lot of un-happy cruising ladies. They tag along with their husbands trying to keep them happy, meanwhile hating the lifestyle. I think the problem stems from the ladies inability to operate all the systems without the man's help. I think if the women just did everything for two-three weeks, like I did up in Maine, they will feel a lot better about themselves and their boat prison. Oddly, the men come up with excuses on why that won't happen. "There isn't time... "or "The weather isn't right". Phil thinks the men just want to remain in control and that is why they won't become the galley slaves- even for a few weeks. The women I talk to, all seem eager about learning- I definitely would have mutineed, if Phil hadn't been patient enough to go over everything with me, time and time again. I would have little trouble taking Iwalani by myself anywhere. How different that is from our first trip back in July. Knowledge is a comforting ally. APW
Log for the week ending December 10th 2000 Beaufort SC by PS
Well it's finally happened, we've had something stolen. Two nice varnished spruce oars made by Shaw and Tenney of Orono, Maine. They were taken in broad daylight between 11 am and 2pm today (12/10). We've been here for a month and not given theft a second thought. We come and go from the town dinghy dock all hours of the day and night. Amy took it pretty hard. There is a small part of the human race that missed something in their up bringing. Taking things from others. Who knows what the justification was this time. Needed the money, wanted to get away with something illegal, who knows? It still hurts just the same. Well, so much for trusting your fellow man. Now we will be carrying around heavy chains and locks. It's too bad. Maybe the Arabic way of cutting off a thief's hand isn't such a bad idea. I don't really mean that. I'm just upset.
Earlier this week we went to the beach to cut more firewood. It's still rather cool here. 50's during the day 30's at night. We also placed an order with Defender for some dodger frame hardware. They seem to be the only ones who sell it. West Marine doesn't. The exhaust elbow finally came for Amy's father's powerboat "Creeker". She was launched at the Dataw Marina about ten miles away. Amy and I brought her to Iwalani on Friday. I'll be going over the boat from bow to stern and making necessary repairs. It will be easier for me to work on her while she is rafted alongside. Talk about an easy commute!
I've got to tell you about the navigation program we used while bringing her around. It's called GPS MapKit and it's made by DeLorme Mapping. I bought it while were still in Maine. I don't see it advertised on their web site, but I will be calling to see if they still offer it. MapKit allows you to use an image (map, chart, etc.) on a laptop computer with your GPS. We scanned the charts for the trip and registered them to the GPS. You register the image by locating three co-ordinates using latitude and longitude. Once it's registered, you start up the GPS and it shows your position. It's amazing. I was astounded at how accurate it was. Our route determined by visual references was exactly along the line drawn on the chart. I mean exactly. The point of the GPS arrow on the chart was right on the line. And this was at a scale of 1:20,000. By the way that's another great feature of MapKit. You can zoom in on the image. At 200 percent, that little * (which means rock showing at low water) is really easy to see. Now we can scan the charts along our route and have a graphic display to go along with our hand plotting. As some of you may know, we have been using Streets 4 so far. It works great, but once we leave US waters it won't be much help. And Streets 4 doesn't show the depths or buoys. With MapKit we will have a graphic GPS plot to go along with our paper charts. And, best of all it's inexpensive (around $150 including GPS). The commercial versions, The Capn, NobelTec, are expensive and the chart CD's that go with them are even more so (over $1,200 for the US east coast). And the charts CD's don't cover the entire globe. While MapKit doesn't have lots of fancy features (tides, currents etc.) it does give our position, course and speed. We put the scans on a CD to save space on the laptops and make it easy to use them on either computer, Danny or Arnold (named after the characters in the movie "Twins").
I'm still working on the worldvoyager.com web site, using Adobe Illustrator to update the animated globe. I've also added more pictures to the boat page. Our friends on "Elf" should be here any day now. We can't wait to catch up with them on how their trip is going. Hopefully we will be leaving for Jacksonville, FL by the end of the week. We plan to do the outside route, about 120 miles, in a day and a half. The inside route covers 250 miles and would take us well over a week, especially if we spent much time aground! PS
Log for the week of Dec 17,2000,by APW Beaufort South Carolina
I learned a couple things this week. First, our shaft razor works. Second, I used to think that Dad's boat Creeker was grossly overpowered with an inboard 200 horse power diesel engine, tucked into a twenty foot hull. If it weren't for Creeker we might have lost Iwalani to the sea and would be looking now for employment at MacDonalds. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Last night I made the mistake of thinking we would have another boring log, as up until dawn this morning it had been a pretty quiet week.
We spent most of the week on the phone trying to find a boat yard to haul Iwalani out. We are constrained by several factors. First our draft- at seven feet there are a limited number of yards that have docks we can even motor Iwalani up to. Second our weight; at twenty two tons, many yards don't have the capacity to lift us out. Third, many yards don't let boat owners do their own work. In fact, most yards around here are that way; and after seeing the shoddy workmanship done by "the professionals" I will have no one but Phil, or one of his disciples, do the work on this boat, or any other, we own. I am almost at the point where I would be willing to pay the yard for Phil's time! Almost. Lastly, there is an incredible prejudice to wooden boats down here. In fact I got so mad at one arrogant jerk in Georgia who said "You'll be lucky to find anyone around here that will haul a wooden boat. Oh maybe someone might be hard up enough to do it " I ended up hanging up on him. Prejudices run deep in the South. But we Northerners have our pride too. We have three more yards to try. We did find one that met all the criteria, but they couldn't haul us out until April. We should be in the Marquesas by then.
I talked to Phil about careening Iwalani. That is where you intentionally run aground so you can work on the bottom. He said with Iwalani's deep keel it is a scary, risky thing to do since you never know beforehand how they will lie down. When the tide comes in, the boat could flood before they ever get the chance to right themselves. Suddenly I saw why he had been so frenetic when I ran us aground just North of Beaufort North Carolina.
We were taken out to lunch twice, by Roger and Daisy Holzmachers parents on Dataw Island, he is older and retired and owns an electric launch type boat, which gives him little trouble and makes no noise. It seems perfect for a retiree.
We met an orthopedic surgeon, John Churchill, from Virginia who is single handing his Bristol Channel Cutter "Bucephalus" to the Bahamas. Phil tried helping him with his self steering which doesn't work. He asked Phil if we had a sewing machine on board. He said his dodger needed a little stitching. Phil said sure, no problem, we can sew it. John handed it to us all neatly folded and tied up. I got it out to Iwalani and laid it out. After taking one look, I said, "this thing needs to be put down, I can't help it." It was shredded, not stitching gone bad, but Cuisinarted. It looked like dodger cole slaw. Those are the magic words to Phil, when you say something can't be done, he will do his best to do it. Sure enough he patched and patched and sewed and sewed, practically building a new dodger in the process. The end result was serviceable, but almost as ugly as ours. Phil even made money on the deal. The dodger had gotten speared in Charleston by the bowsprit of another boat. John thought they were a little close, when anchored,but both boats agreed before going to bed, that they were ok, only to find when the tide changed at four o'clock in the morning, they weren't ok at all. Phil's lesson number 122a "when you think you should do something different you should do it."
Finally after weeks of waiting, our friends from Maine, Larry, Poe,and boys Tristin and Connor arrived on Elf. The grown ups I think are a little frazzled living in a confined space with a two and four year old. Phil and I are babysitting tonight to give Larry and Poe a break. Phil worked on "Elf's" windlass, which after six months died because of corroded switches. The "Ideal" windlass company decided they could use ordinary car switches dipped in rubber sealant to prevent corrosion. Didn't work. What's more they charge twice as much as the switches used by "Maxwell", the folks that made our windlass.
A few days ago, we invited our boat neighbors Diana and Paul on board for dinner. They mentioned that there was an uncharted wreck very near to where we were anchored. Phil and I looked at each other, in total understanding. When we returned from making water a few weeks ago we re-anchored in what we thought was the same spot. After setting the anchor, we like to run Iwalani in full reverse to make sure that it will hold. If the engine can pull us out, then we aren't really "anchored". This particular time, while backing down she fetched up so hard and so solid, it just didn't feel normal or natural. Iwalani's bow got pulled down like I had never seen before. The bowsprit practically touched the water. We both thought we would be diving on the anchor to free us, when the time came to leave; but for the time we felt very secure. We also thought it was odd that we could hear the anchor chain scraping on what we thought was the bottom. Everyone we talked to said that the bottom around here was phosphate and was very hard. That explained why so many boats drag anchor in this river. We thought it also explained the scraping.
Last night we were treated to a farewell dinner party by my parents friends up the street. The Knudson's have been great to us. They helped with Phil's appendicitis and both used to live on a sailboat when they first moved to Beaufort. They can appreciate the boat life. We told them of the domestic dispute we all were a party to in the middle of a still foggy night, a few nights ago, when voices carried better than on a movie soundstage. It was kind of interesting to watch all the other boaters watching and listening, surreptitiously, pretending to be checking anchors and dinghy lines.
After dinner Phil and I walked back with a somewhat quicker pace than usual. The wind seemed to be picking up. We had a wet ride back to Iwalani in "The Grape" our dinghy. Both of us nervous, because we could not see Iwalani's anchor light. Finally we got out to her. She was happily at anchor with Dad's boat Creeker tied along side. The anchor light had just blown out. Phil re-lit it and before going to bed I walked around the cabin making sure things were secure. Phil had left a box of electrical parts balanced precariously in the engine room, which I restowed. I left a few things out on the galley counter, since what the heck, we were at anchor. I made sure my clothes were nearby, in case of emergency. Phil was happy because the wind generator was cranking out over 30 Amps. He had been wishing for some wind, because our batteries were getting low keeping the Christmas tree lit. Phil had picked up a head cold from the Napa Auto parts dealer getting some things for Dad's boat. We were both tired, but the wind generator sometimes keeps one or both of us awake. When Iwalani is at anchor she sometimes can heal over just like under sail, especially if it is windy.
Just before dawn the wind really started to pick up. Iwalani healed over, but I shot out of bed. "We are aground," I cried out. Sure enough I could hear the things I left on the counter crashing to the floor. Even with his head cold Phil mobilized faster than any person could humanly do. Creeker was still tied along side to Iwalani. The tide still going out for another two hours. Iwalani was stuck on the river bank, with her bow facing down back into the river, her rear end sticking straight up in the air. "Remember our discussion on careening?" Phil asked. "This is the worst case scenario" He tried her engine, but the prop was out of the water. The tide was still going fast. "The engines not pumping water" I shouted "shut it down". Iwalani was starting to lean on her side. Her under water parts were facing the wind, which was trying its best to push her over more. Phil got the spare 3/4 inch line, two hundred feet of it, out of the bag on Iwalani's deck, fastened it to Iwalani's bow cleat and got into Creeker. "Undo me" he shouted. I had a hard time undoing Creekers lines, there was already a lot of strain on them; but, got him free while he started her engine. He was almost done repairing her, we had gassed her up just yesterday. I paid out the ¾ inch line while Phil took off mid river in Creeker. It was starting to get light enough that I could see that several boats had dragged anchor into our anchoring spot. It had good holding ground. Iwalani had just decided it was getting too crowded for her tastes. How none of us didn't hit one another was a miracle. I stood on the high side of Iwalani watching Phil maneuver Creeker into position to pull Iwalani off. Suddenly, Creeker stopped and Phil lifted the engine box. Oh no I thought Creeker's engine had died. Phil later told me he thought he heard a cat crying from inside Creeker's engine compartment; that's why he was looking at the engine. No cat. Creeker began pulling; and pulling, but to no avail. Iwalani was stuck. I was still standing on the high side, The wind was too loud for me to shout to Phil .I felt like I should be doing something. I went down below to close the portholes on the downfallen side. No water was coming in to the boat, but the tide was still going out. Stewart was crying for his breakfast. The bottle of salad dressing had fallen off the counter, but had not broken. The cork had fallen out and the floor was covered with a slippery slick wash of balsamic vinaigrette. I knew I should have hung the bottle in its correct place last night. I went back up topsides and watched Phil move upriver with Creeker. I was giving up. "This isn't going to work" I cried to the wind. Just as I said that I could feel Iwalani move. Yes! Creeker gave it all she had and Iwalani slid off the mud bank like a baby out the birth canal. We were off, but were not out of danger I ran back and started the engine. She wasn't pumping! I shut it down and tried again. By this time Phil was within earshot. "The engine isn't pumping water" I yelled to him. Just as I said that I could hear the coughing sputter of the water pump coming to life throwing out exhaust water. I tried to regain steerage control of Iwalani, so she wouldn't crash into another anchored boat or run back up into the mud. Meanwhile we are still dragging a 65 pound anchor and one hundred feet of chain. VRRRRREEEEET. I heard a totally unfamiliar sound. "You just cut the ¾ line up, in the propellor shaft razor." Phil yelled to me. "what's the depth sounder say?" HUH? I never turned it on. I went below quickly to turn on the instruments, slipping in the salad dressing. It was now fairly light out, but no signs of life from any of the other boats. Phil got Creeker tied along side and we motored out into the river and waited, idling with the motor going so we could re-anchor when the tide changed, so it wouldn't be wind against the tide. We eased up on the throttle. The anchor seemed to be holding where we were. I went below to clean up the salad dressing, make coffee and feed Stewart, who by this time was totally upset because his breakfast is the first thing we take care of when we get up. After a half hour Iwalani started creeping near Paul and Diana's boat. Neither of them had been on board all night. I raised the anchor while Phil maneuvered the boats away from their tiny sloop. I got the anchor part way up, only to find that a wire cable totally wrapped around the flukes and the anchor line to Paul and Diana's boat. I couldn't pull the whole mess up any more with out running the risk of breaking Paul and Diana's anchor free. I got in the dinghy and started to cut the line away. It was wire coated polypropylene, the same kind used in fishing trawlers. Oysters and years of muck coated the line. I didn't have any gloves. Rusty pieces of fine wire were sticking into my hands making them look like porcupines. I was glad I had had a recent tetanus shot. "Hurry up" Phil was yelling to me, "I am losing control of the boats" Finally I cut the last wrap of line from Paula and Diana's anchor line and we were all free of this wire mess. Obviously, we had anchored on top of a wrecked fishing boat and the anchor had grabbed the wheel drum of trawl cable. The strong winds had finally put too much strain and the fatigued, rusted metal had let go, releasing Iwalani from its hold. It would have been a nightmare to dive in that mess, in poor visibility water, we would have gotten fouled ourselves, it was kind of a good thing that it broke free when it did. Another thing we learned is that we have no bilge pumps in the bow. If Iwalani does this again, with her head down and rear end up, all the bilge pumps in the world would do no good if they are all located in the stern. Just one more thing to worry about. APW
Log for the week of December 24th, 2000 Beaufort, SC by PS
Happy Holidays everyone. We hope this holiday season finds you in good spirits. As you may have read in our last log, things were pretty exciting. Well that's not the case this week. While adventure might be on our list of things to do, being washed ashore was not one of them.
I am still trying to recover from the NAPA cold. I am on the mend though. Monday I called the tech people at Compaq to figure out what Arnold's modem problem was. After talking to three different people they said to send it in, so off it went by Airborn at 2pm that afternoon. Then I went to the beach for more firewood. I should be collecting shells in my bathing suit!
I spent the rest of the week trying to recover from my cold and working on Amys' fathers' boat. I put a new battery in, changed all the fluids, and re-wired some electronics. I finished up the last things on Christmas Day.
We had anchored a bit in the channel after going ashore last Sunday. I guess the word got around among the tug boat operators, because when we anchored back in the mooring area they seemed to be lost. I was sitting down below one night and I thought I saw lightning. When I looked out, there was a tug moving out of the anchorage with his spot light on. Woops! Guess he won't use us as a turning point anymore. We are now on two anchors. Hopefully we will stay put. I think the anchor would have re-set before we went ashore, if there hadn't been a big ball of wire cable on the point of the CQR. We are not taking any chances this time.
I am looking forward to seeing Ben and Nathaniel on the 26th. I haven't seen them since September. That's one thing I don't like about this trip, not seeing my son's for ling periods of time. They are growing up fast. We are picking them up in Jacksonville, FL by car (thanks to my in-laws!) and from there we will be going to the Kennedy Space Center. It should be fun. One of my favorite movies is "The Right Stuff" which Ben got for my birthday.
Well that's all for this week. PS
Log for the week ending December 31,2000 by APW Beaufort SC-yes South Carolina still…
The Best and the Worst of 2000
Top Five Equipment Performers on Iwalani Phil has his own list on "what works and what doesn't " in the boat directory of our web page about the boat. These are my favorites. I have made my decision based on reliability, high performance, ease of use and low cost.
1.) Lee Sails: Iwalani's sails were very well made and extremely affordable. They are the un-sung heroes, so far.
2.) Furuno Radar: How we lived without it for so long is a mystery to me. I have seen other brands of radar's on other boats and the picture isn't as easy to read as the Furuno.
3.)"The Grape" Our Kittery Point tender made in Kenebunkport Me. Tows well, sails well, rows unbelievably well, and goes like a bat out of hell with just the 4 horsepower motor and yet is light enough for me to get on deck with a four part tackle. I still do not understand why so many people use inflatable dinghys. Ours is still in its bag.
4.) Trip Mate G.P.S., Street's Four, (not Streets 7), and Map Kit all by Delorme mapping in Yarmouth Maine. We call this whole group of stuff "David", after David Delorme. A total cost of less than two hundred dollars and we can go anywhere in the world.
5.) Trimble Galaxy, Inmarsat Even though this was one of the more "big ticket" items on Iwalani, it has performed flawlessly and the e-mail part isn't too expensive to use. It also has very good weather information that comes free, twice a day and can act as an on-board epirb or distress signal should we go down.
The Five Losers on board Iwalani
1.) Interlux Micron CSC Bottom Paint. I am not going to say anything more about this...
2.) Sailrite Dodger Kit: This was a complete waste of money. It had terrible directions, didn't give enough clear plastic and if I built it according to their specs, would have been very flimsy. Use the directions in "This Old Boat" by Don Casey if you want to make a dodger. The frame stuff and fabric can be ordered from Defender Industries.
3.) Jensen Stereo System-most expensive most watts. It was possessed coming on by itself in the middle of the night. Radio didn't work and it sounded like a tin can rigged with a tuning fork.
4.) Black Max Spotlight: no waterproof switch, hard to hold, and died at the worst times.
5.) Arnold- my high end Compaq armada 7800 DVD playing laptop. As much as it pains me to say this, (even though I am using him right now, thanks to Ben, Than and Phil who used up precious vacation time getting his brains back together) he is unreliable, poorly designed with the CD and floppy disc driver unable to be used simultaneously and even though he is still under warranty for another year and a half- Compaq techs are lousy at repairing him and in fact, never have repaired him.
The Best Piece of Advice
From Herb Smith (Appledore) "Set small goals. Consider the first leg of a circumnavigation, even if it is just to DeMillo's in Portland Me. as an accomplishment-and take lots of popcorn."
Worst piece of Advice
We haven't gotten any.
Press Gang, Halifax Nova Scotia (Granted this was the first meal after eight days I didn't throw up)
Denny's Titusville Florida
Space Cowboys with Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones and James Garner
What Lies Beneath, with Harrison Ford
In the Heart of the Sea, by Nathaniel Philbrick. The gruesome story of the whaling ship Essex. Hopefully whales haven't passed down a hatred of wooden sailing boats to their next generations.
Phil likes Rose Bay near Medway Nova Scotia. I liked Glen Cove NY.
The Western end of the Delaware River
Robinhood Marine Georgetown, Me (This isn't really very fair, because it's the only marina we have been to!)
Phil and I spent a quiet Christmas by ourselves on board Iwalani. We were invited out to Christmas dinner with some of the people we had met- but it didn't seem right leaving Stewart by himself on Christmas day. Phil and I had a twenty five-dollar spending limit, for each other, which we both upheld. It made shopping challenging and more fun. We shared duck an l'orange with Stewart, all three of us huddled up to the woodstove as it was very cold and opened our Christmas presents. The new U2 CD, rubber gloves, and handkerchiefs for Phil, new earrings and a really nice cigar for me. Stew got a catnip toy, which he went ho-hum over.
Phil finished the work on Creeker, Dad's motor boat, which we took to Ladie's Island Marina early Tuesday morning. We borrowed my parent's convertible and drove down to Jacksonville to pick up Ben and Than, who were flying in from Rochester NY. Once we got to Jacksonville the top came down on the convertible and we got to see our first woman with a tan- the parking lot attendant at the airport. She was very pleased to show us how tan she was on her left arm and how white she was on her right side, a result of leaning half way out a ticket booth.
Instead of heading back to South Carolina, the five of us- (Stew, Ben, Than, Phil and I) decided to head South. Iwalani was left with her new electric anchor light, (which Phil made), switched on, two anchors and "The Grape" tied alongside, in the Beaufort river so it looked like we were home. We had wanted to go to the Kennedy Space Center for years. We stayed at a run down Holiday Inn and enjoyed sun and temperatures in the seventies. Wednesday we did the NASA tour. Once again Phil and I had no cruising guide, or in this case tour book, so we sort of flew buy the seat of our pants. NASA itself occupies the outer most islands, on a spit of land that is midway down the eastern coast of Florida. It is completely isolated from civilization, being surrounded for miles by wildlife refuge. This is necessary to safeguard the populace from an explosion, since if one of the launch rockets for the shuttle went off, there would be an explosion the size of an atomic bomb, without the nuclear fallout. Looking at the chart kit, Phil and I knew we couldn't get Iwalani that far, because it is too shallow. It really isn't possible to get there by boat at all, since walking from the inland waterway would be a real hike. Not impossible, but not for the faint hearted, we saw lots of alligators and thousands of TV's, (that's turkey vultures for you non-birders). All those TV's must be getting plenty to eat, since every mile or so, we'd see another group circling over something dead.
As far as the Kennedy Space center goes, we'd recommend checking out the art gallery, the rocket garden (see how many mistakes you can spot in the signs for each rocket, kind of embarrassing really), the orbiter Explorer, which makes Iwalani look like a Victorian Mansion, (those space shuttles don't have much room for crew) the Imax movie and listening to the astronaut of the day lecture, even though it is kind of corny. Hop on the bus- pass by the first stop, which is launch pad 39; get off at the next two stops. The second bus stop has the building dedicated to the Apollo missions, with a huge Saturn rocket and tiny piece of moon rock- (felt like plastic to me). The last stop has the building where they are constructing the International Space station. Although all the workers were on vacation, there is an enclosed observation deck, much like that for a huge operating room, where you can watch them construct each section.
All of Kennedy Space Center is funded by tourist dollars. Since they are forty miles from Orlando and Disney World, there is a lot of commercialization and dumbing down of the Space Program for the average American. Omitting a lot of the actual physics and math was unfortunate for us, but maybe in the future they will make an exhibit for the scientists or wanna-be astronauts.
We came back to Beaufort Thursday night. We left Ben and Nathaniel at my parent's house, as Than was fighting a bad cold and not only was it pouring rain, but it was windy and intermixing with the rain was sleet. Besides my parents have electric blankets. They had just gotten back from Vermont, so it was nice to see them again. Iwalani was going to be cold. Phil, Stew and I got back in Creeker and headed out to Iwalani. It was a half-hour trip and by the time we got to her, I was soaking wet and frozen; I had all I could do to get Creeker tied along side and tie the fenders in between the two boats. Even Phil the furnace was cold and having trouble with his hands. Phil and I decided that South Carolina is no place to retire to. Everyone here says the weather is really unusual-so what? It still has the capacity to get this cold. It's incongruous seeing frozen puddles and palm trees. Maine at least has ice boating, cross country skiing and skating. It's supposed to be cold. With our woodstoves and red oak wood, we can get our house at home to a comfortable eighty-five degrees in the dead of winter. We haven't been able to get Iwalani above sixty five- that's up high, along the floorboards it still is icy cold. Phil and I both spent a lot of time thinking about Alva Simon- the fellow that wrote "North Into the Night" he must have been nuts to voluntarily ice himself in. Why go north when you can go south?
We brought the kids out the following day and did my customary treasure hunt, this time for their Christmas presents. I had come across the box of old treasure hunts I had done over the years, before we had left Georgetown. It made me sad to think I wouldn't do another treasure hunt while we were on the boat. I have a lot of fun thinking up the ten riddles they must figure out before getting any of their loot. But why not do it on the boat? I found tiny little treasure chests at Wally-World which would take the place of our family treasure chest in Maine, which has been buried, left on islands, swamps and in forests. We had a lot of fun even though the hunt was all on board Iwalani.
Phil, Ben and Than spent the next few days repairing Arnold, who had just returned from the Compaq warranty repair facility-still broken. They actually got him working again. Thanks guys.
New Years Eve we also celebrated on Iwalani. We tried lighting off fireworks earlier in the day on Hunting Island State park Beach, but got chased off by the park ranger. We found a marsh that was muddy, but just as adequate, along side the road- no one chased us off from it. We saved the bigger rockets for the boat, which we let off at midnight. We went to bed after stoking the woodstove for the night. I noticed it wasn't drawing as well as it had been, not putting out much heat either. Sometime in the night, Phil was kicking me to get out of bed; I could vaguely hear an alarm going off. It was the carbon monoxide detector, which has a shrill sound worse than a smoke detector. I was so groggy it took me a while to figure it all out. (One of the sure signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.) Nice to know the alarm works. We'll be cleaning the chimney before we use the woodstove again. APW