Chris here... hey y'all, we're on the waterway, the ditch, the famous ICW. Wait - now we're off it again, here at Jarrett Bay Boatworks.
We've had a great time thus far with our visit with Noni and Poppi. Even with some rain, we've introduced them to the wonderful world of boating - checking out things on shore, eating food, napping. You know - the stressful life. We rented a car to have the flexibility of visiting nearby areas too. Actually, it's not a car - it's a Chevy Suburban behemoth and I swear the thing has more room in it that all of Pelican! By the way, if you're ever in Beaufort and you need to rent a car, and Enterprise and Avis in Morehead City are out of cars (like they are now - a rental place being out of cars???), give the airport a call. They have rental cars at the charter facility there and they are very reasonably priced.
A few days ago we met our good friends from Aly Cat for dinner. They live about three hours from Beaufort, so we met them halfway at a restaurant that was a cross between a Greek cafe, a pizza joint and a Wendy's. It was awesome seeing them and talking about what everyone has been up to since the last time we saw them in Harbour Island. They said that adjusting to life on land has been tough - lots of people, lots of pressure, constant responsibility, plus the need to wear different clothes each day. I could deal with the rest of the stuff, but having to change our clothes on a regular basis??? Ick! We got there at around 5:30 and closed the place out at around 10pm, but we could have stayed for even longer. Cruising friendships are incredible. They are instantly made and, from what I understand, last a lifetime.
Speaking of cruising friendships, we've been in touch via e-mail with our friends from Side by Side. Last we told you, they were experiencing engine/transmission issues and had also lost their pressure water pump, resigning themselves to sun showers on deck. Awwww... Anyway, they should have reached Cape Fear and Carolina City by now and they are supposed to be hanging out at Aly Cat's beach house for a couple of days of R&R after their long slog north. They are trying to figure out a place to get their repairs done and have been considering the place we're at right this second - Jarrett Bay. Being a catamaran, there aren't many places with lifts wide enough to pull them out of the water, but this is one of them. So... we're counting the minutes until their decision, as the kids, and Kristen and I, are truly excited to see them soon.
We stayed at the Beaufort Docks for a few days. It's a real nice location as you can just step off your boat and be right in downtown Beaufort. They have decent showers and can fuel you right in your slip. Unfortunately for us, but good for the charity, there is a charity billfishing tournament kicking off this weekend and the marina will be packed full. As a result, we had to give up our slip. They were going to move us into a different area, but that area has a "hump" at the entrance that would make it difficult to get through at low tide. Since we would normally want to leave at 7:30am or 8:00am for our next destination, which unfortunately coincides with low tide, we decided to look at our alternatives.
Kristen and I told you about that gelcoat eating killer bolt that saw Pelican coming, and jumped out of the side of the dock in Charleston to rip out a portion of our hull. Well, we knew we had to repair the damage since we didn't want to get water seeping into the hull, so we called Jarrett Bay Boatworks. They are one of the largest boatyards on the east coast of the US and they build sportfishers, so we figured they would probably be pretty good at gelcoat repair. I called them up and they said they could look at us right away, so taking advantage of that we headed right out and up the ICW 6 miles to where we're currently at.
We tied up at the service pier and spoke with the estimator. After looking at the problem area, he recommended filling it with fairing epoxy and then painting it with Awlcraft as opposed to using gelcoat. He felt he'd be able to get a much better color match and also said that we shouldn't have any issue with it wearing differently than the area around it over time (any thoughts on this?). He also said it would take two days to do the work - one day for the prep, and the next day for the finish coat. Being a Thursday, and with them not being able to get to work until Friday, we had to make the decision as to whether to stick around for the weekend or to head someplace else and come back. We decided to stick around.
We had the opportunity to talk to a catamaran at the service pier behind us. They just bought their boat and plan on going cruising in a year. The cat needs a lot of work, including the fact that only one engine works (it actually has different engines installed port and starboard) so they have their jobs cut out for them. They had to get hauled out, and with the wind blowing from the beam they were having a really tough time getting off the dock. In the cruiser spirit, we put the engine on our dinghy, jumped in and grabbed a bow line and stern line and crossed the 100ft channel with them to hand them off to workers on the other side. They were then able to haul in on the lines to pull them off the dock and get the cat to the travel lift well and on their way.
This morning we moved from the service pier to a floating dock just down from where we were and they started the work. Hopefully it will come out well! In the meantime, as is usual on a boat, we have had to deal with another problem that arose - our pressure water pump won't turn off. It's supposed to pump water into the hoses until the pressure reaches a certain level, and then stop. It will kick back in intermittently to maintain the pressure in the hoses. Well, it seems to keep going, even after the pressure builds up, so we had half of the water system apart trying to figure out what the problem is. No joy yet, and we have a call into Jabsco to see if they can point us in the right direction.
Right now we're off to Sears to get Kaitlin new jammies and Pelican some new tools, so we'll talk to you soon!