August 1-14, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 Aug 3 - We've actually been busy so sorry about the lack of updates. I've finished the course for the Coast Guard Sailing Endorsement along with helped Tom align his engine and fix a pretty serious oil leak. But back to our trip. We left you in Mystic and I was going to the Mystic Seaport. I ultimately went alone and was able to spend most of one day and then go back for about an hour and a half the second day. Cool place if you like boats, especially wood boats.

We arrived at Mystic, went through a draw bridge that we timed perfectly. Not because I'm smart since my research said it opened at 15 min past the hour. We arrived early I thought then learned they changed it to 40 min past the hour which meant we went right through. Next opening would be an hour later. On our left were two schooners. What a way to arrive. Tom and I were able to get an anchorage in the back of the channel and out of the way. It was cool because they were doing sail training each day on small boats. However, the little bay was full of jelly fish so I felt sorry for the kids when they dumped a boat.

I went in to the seaport the next day and started out in the buildings looking at the displays. Below you can see an example of one of the old outboard motors they have along with a steam engine.


 The steam engine was pretty neat but of course would never be able to be in use today. Too many exposed and moving parts. Somebody would sue.

You can see some of those parts below. I remember they used to have a ship position called oilier and his job was to keep things like this all oiled up. Those positions are long gone or at least they don't run around with an oil can anymore.



 When you are a lowly mate on a sailboat you sleep and eat in the Forecastle. It is pronounced folksaI believe. The sleeping arrangements are tight and living conditions are also tight. People would spend 6 or more weeks at a time out at sea and living in this area.

The other interesting thing is there is a Forecastle Card which identifies the duties and pay of the people working on the boat. This is posted in the Forecastle. They still have the card today but the quarters are a bit, not much, better. There just isn't too much space on a boat.


 I went into the barrel making shop and met the Cooperage. That is a title of the guy making the parts for the barrels then learned they weren't barrels. They were many other names and the name barrel is for one specific size. I still call them barrels.

Walking through one of the schooners, I saw the device on the wall that I'm sure most people miss. It is a log. It was trailed behind the boat and you can see the fins that would turn. You can see the close up I took of the gauges and they read out the distance traveled. Pretty interesting what we take for granted today.

 Then I entered the rope, oops cordage shop. They had a braiding machine to make the rope. You can see all the strands being put together and out comes a nice cord that will be combined with other cords and woven into a nice rope. Depending on the size you want, that depends on the number of strands you put though the device to the right.  

 Another building which was a tribute to the lifesaving crews. The picture to the left is not a sub, it is actually to save lives.

Then into the wooden boat repair shop where they had a demonstration on how to make the hoops for the masts which connect to the sails. The wood was first shaped then it was steamed for 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the wood cracked on this demo but he had some that were made previously we could see.

At the very bottom right you can see some hoops that have been put to work around a mast.


 They rivet them once they are bent and cooled. I think the line around the one hoop was to make a repair.

And that brings us to a schooner. You can see the mast, the top mast, the yards (those horizontal hunks of wood the sails hang on) and even how they have attached the stays, in this case, to the side of the ship. Other cases use chain plates.


 I took a tour of another schooner which had just arrived for some repairs. I'll show you in a minute where they had to pull their bowsprit (that hunk of wood that the foresails hook to on the front of the boat.) To the right you can see, from left to right, the top mast and three of the yards. All of this had to come down so they could pull that bowsprit.

Below you can see a picture of the top of the mast where the top mast is missing. You can also see a bunch of lines that are loose. These would have been forestay's but they had to be disconnected. Then to the lower right you can see the bow of the schooner with the bowsprit removed.


 When I headed over the yard, I found the bowsprit. Here was the problem. They were offshore and encountered some rougher seas when three of the bands around the bowsprit broke. That is a problem because they are holding those forward stays in place along with the foresails. I'm sure there was a call for all hands on deck. Well, they captain decided to pull all of this stuff off the boat so it could be checked and repaired where necessary. In the case of the bowsprit, they were going to have it x-rayed along with sounding it. (That means tapping it all over with a hammer looking for rot.)

Below left you can see the place the bands were when they broke.

Below right is a higher view of the boat yard.


 The Charles Morgan was built back in the 1800's and was constructed as a whaling ship. It has been on display somewhat preserved at the seaport for 20 or so years. They have decided to restore the ship so that it can return to the sea. This is a BIG job as you will see. I think they are burning through $7,500 a day working on this little baby. Everything is being remanufactured in the hull where the worms were eating away and rot was taking place.

Again, it is a BIG ship and a BIG job.

To the lower right you can see the planking of the hull and how wood shrinks when it dry's. They will have to rework the caulking and apply new sealant, today it will be a modern day sealant, between the planks.


You can see how they packed the cordage between the planks.

Then below left you can see an area they wouldn't let me enter where they are working to replace the ribs and the other structural members of the hull.

Below right is some of the bad wood that has been removed.

I took this picture because it shows you a good example of a "knee." They don't just cut this out of some wood, instead they have to find a tree which has a limb or big twist in it so they can cut it from that piece of tree. Otherwise the grain would be wrong and it would break.

You can see some more knees below and then to the right you can just see some lumber that has been cut for use in a slightly curved position when they need that piece. Probably a rib.

How did they cut those pieces? With a Lucas Mill. Essentially this is a chain saw that is positioned to the desired height after the log is leveled and off you go.

Below left you can see the sawdust coming off the blade.

Below right is a section of the boat to show how the ribs, planking, knees, and other framing should be assembled.

Here is the wheel of the Morgan. I thought this one was interesting because the ropes are attached to blocks which actually turn the lever the wheel is mounted upon left and right. Yes, as the wheel turns it rotates the lever which is connected to the rudder.
This is a picture of the boiling pots where the whalers processed the whale blubber.

And back to the schooners rigging. Again, you can see the mast, top mast, yard, and something you were wondering is where is the yard arm. That is the small section of the yard that extends past the outermost rigging. The end of the yard that is coming to a point.

I just happened to get aboard in time to see a demonstration of the crew climbing the mast to work on the sails. Can you imagine doing this at sea with a 12 to 24 foot sea?

Further down on the left you can see the volunteers helping to raise one of the yards. To the lower right you can see the yard has come up on the top mast.

This is a picture of their largest shop. They actually have a lathe in here that is 100 feet long and is to turn masts and yards. You can't see it because it is covered with "stuff" right now. they haven't used the lathe in the last 3 months so more stuff keeps getting piled on. In the future the stuff will get moved and chips will fly again.

You can also see some yards that are being worked on.

To the right you can see a yard that has been turned next to one that is getting ready to be carved. Today they will use electric planers and they won't do it all by hand.

That's enough for this update. Did I get enough pictures?

We left Mystic and have already made our way to Newport and it is a cool town too. We just moved the boat from where we were anchored for a little more protection. It's blowing about 20 knots right now and we will probably hang out on the boat today. I'm not really sure when we will get out of here but the wind will shift sometime and we will be off for Block Island.

So, back to my other story. We aligned Tom's engine in Mystic and were able to get it very close vertically but horizontally it still needs some work. The motor mounts need to be removed and slotted. Regardless on our trip up here he told me that it was much better on vibration. Then he told me about an oil leak that was getting worse. In the last 5 hours on the way to Newport he used a half a quart of oil. Yep, that's not good. After cleaning up all the oil, I came up with an idea to use oil pads to put under the engine and then we would wait overnight to see if anything came out. Then we would run the engine. I'm actually a pretty good mechanic but in cases like this when I know someone who is better, I call. The call went out to Bill in Clearwater who also has a Gemini and you met him on our website. He had rebuilt his engine so I knew he would have good input. In the end he agreed with my approach and we reviewed every place the oil could be coming from. I felt reassured my approach was right and we would find what the problem was. The big issue was could we fix it?

Yesterday morning I was over on Tom's Gemini and no leaks throughout the night. It was time to start the engine and see if we could see oil leaking. We started the engine and waited. I knew the oil would have to heat up first and then we would probably see something. After about 4 minutes I said to Tom, "OIL." He shut off the engine and we tried to figure out if it was coming from the oil pressure sensor, oil pressure switch, or the raw water pump. More cleaning this time up on the engine so everything was dry and no oil. In went more pads and also a mirror pointed upwards. Engine start again and this time we could see the oil was coming from the fittings where the oil pressure sensor was attached. Great news because that means we can fix it and the engine didn't have to come out. Tom started removing the oil pressure sensor and it broke off. Actually what broke was the 90 degree fitting where it was leaking. Tom didn't really break it off, he simply finished the job from the crack that had already happened in that fitting. Well, it didn't simply need to be re-tightened.

Now we had a project. We had to find someplace that had a 90 degree 1/8" pipe thread fitting. Out came the bikes and we were off on a grand adventure as if we needed another one. We lucked out and a marine place actually helped us out. I think they called NAPA and got a fitting and then used an easy out to get the broken part out of another fitting we had removed. I didn't have a big enough easy out on the boat. Ended up costing Tom 20 bucks. We felt good. Back to the boat and Tom started putting it all back together. Easy job. Wrong. He called me and said "Jim, it doesn't fit. It's too big. I think I need to cut it down." I grabbed tools and went back to his boat. We ultimately cut if off about an 1/8th of an inch and radiused the edges and it would then turn so it could be tightened. Great. Tom got that all put together then couldn't get the sensor on. Before he pulled things apart, I tried and was able to get it going. Everything tightened up fine and when we started the engine all was good.

So, another boat fixed in an exotic location. Afterall, that is what boats are for - having fun fixing them because they all break. I don't care the make or model, they all break. You better enjoy it or you shouldn't get a boat.

 Aug 5 - Let me take you back to Mystic for a moment. How do you get those BIG schooners and ships out of the water? Not with a standard lifting crane or with slings. No, you need a rail and in this case, a rail that can drop into the water so you can float the boat on, brace it then lift it up and roll it into place. There are 4 motors, probably hydraulic, on each side and this entire structure goes down between those wooden posts. Now that is something I would like to see.

We went by the schooners again on the way out and once again, we made the bridge at the right time. It lifted for us and through we went. You might look at the picture and notice the concrete used to offset the weight of the bridge.


 After I picked up fuel, water, and pumped out we took off through Long Island Sound and past the islands into the atlantic ocean. We were motor sailing and then just motoring to Newport, R.I.

There were several light houses that we saw and I did take pictures of the two on the left. You might have noticed that just about every light house is painted differently. That isn't because the architects are making a statement for themselves, rather it is for identification. You will notice it again when you see one of those pictures of 20 or 50 lighthouses.

As we were approaching Newport, we waved at the people that must have assembled just to welcome us. Don't you think?

Nice place for a party.


 We were also welcomed by one of the 12 meter racing boats from ages past when those were what competed for the America's Cup.

As we turned the corner at the Fort it was obvious that the party on the hill wasn't the only thing that had been arranged for our arrival. Everyone had come out to anchor and they even had set up a big stage and live music was being played. Aren't they nice in Newport to go to all that trouble just to welcome Freedom to town!

Ended up this was the weekend for the Newport Folk Festival. And this next weekend is the Newport Jazz Festival. Great planning if you ask me because they can use the same stage, sound system, and all the other items that take so much time to set up.

We ended up anchoring further north off of Goat Island. Again, where do they get those names? I'll bet they kept goats there at one time.

We found the dinghy dock the next day and it turned out to be pretty easy. We've actually found 2 other dinghy docks too. They city is good here about having public dinghy docks but then again they have to because there are over 1000 moorings here in the harbor. They do love their sailboats up here in New England.

  Deb and I went in for one of her favorite things. Going out to lunch. It was good because there was a guy playing guitar who was pretty good too so we had a pretty long lunch. While we were finishing up, another couple walked up with a dog that only the owner could love. But wait, Deb just couldn't help herself and just "had to pet the dog she kept laughing at." That is how she met Bulldozer. Yes, that is his name and from what I saw, it was a pretty appropriate name. He just went through things and they moved aside just like a bulldozer.
 We had anchored out in what turned out to be a fairly large boat anchorage. Well, we had to because all the other places were full from the festival. You can see a picture to the right of one of the boats we were neighbors with. Beautiful Boat.  

Then a bit further out was a "little catamaran." This thing had to be 70 feet or so long and 32-36 feet wide. It was truly an island.

We explored Newport and I already told you about working on Tom's boat so I won't be more redundant than typical for my writing.

Yesterday, Tom and I went for a 2 hour dinghy ride in the harbor looking at boats. We toured the moorings, anchorage, and all of the marinas. You can see part of our tour in the pictures that follow. It was very overcast so the colors aren't as vibrant but I'm sure you will forgive me.

Below you can see another 12 meter boat and to the lower right is the grinders they use for trimming sails.

Docked at one of the marinas were these two sailboats. It was interesting because the sailboats and other boats this large all were required to set anchors fore and aft to hold the boat off the dock. I'm pretty sure the docks would be torn apart should a pretty good wind come up and all of these monsters were just hanging on the dock.

Below you can see some more boats.

And some more boats.

The boat to the lower left was named Speedboat. I thought that was very appropriate given the extremely tall mast which means it can carry quite a bit of sail. The bowsprit was also very well built along with the cool centerboard that appeared to be able to go as far as 15 feet below the waterline. Another cool thing was the way the aft portion of the boat was built. The picture to the lower right shows the waterline transitioning into a broader working deck but not necessarily a wider waterline. That should make it faster.

Of course another beautiful boat. I'll bet you've noticed these are pictures of sailboats. There are a bunch of mega yachts here but not near as many as sailboats. As much as I do actually like a nice powerboat, I think their attributes of beauty are actually inside the boat while the sailboats are really outside.

And here is a boat that has competed in the Volvo Ocean Race. For those that don't know, that is a race around the world that has required stops. Those stops are coordinated with places that have lots of money so sponsors can be acquired along with a spot fans can see the boats in action.

Two things to notice. First in the picture to the lower left, it shows two centerboards which are mounted at an angle. This is because the boat is typically healing and on a tack. This way the centerboard is more effective since it will be nearly vertical. The same thing holds for the rudders. In the picture to the lower right you will see the port rudder and you can see it is also at an angle. Of course there is another rudder on the other side.

Then we ran across Intrepid. Intrepid is a past America's Cup winner. You can even go out for a sail on it if you want to and happen to have a bit of cash with you.

Below you can see four of the 12 meter America's Cup style boats that are available for you to try out.

The picture to the left shows the bow of Nefertiti on the left and Intrepid on the right. What I found interesting was the shape of Intrepid's bow compared to Nefertiti. It certainly appeared to me that Intrepid's bow would allow for more forward waterline when underway going to the wind. Do you think that is one of the reasons she won?

And another picture of the 12 M boats from another perspective.

Then we found the two boats you see below out on a mooring. These were also boats that are used almost everyday.

We headed past our anchorage and got this shot of one of the Yacht Club's. Nice building don't you think?

I don't know which one but I do know the New York Yacht Club has a facility here but I don't know if this is their facility

Then we ran on not just a gaggle of boats, but a gaggle of gaggle of boats. Well maybe it was really a BIG race. We learned it wasn't just any race, it was the New England Optimist's, called Opti's, Championship. There were people from all over New England along with Canada as you can see looking at the sails below.

What was interesting to us was the sheer number of boats. They aren't just in the water, they are all over the hillside. Do they carry them all down?

Nope. Little trailers that we saw were everywhere running back and forth from the beach to the boats. They set them all up on land, get their safety check, then the captain's (age 9-15) "man" their boats and off they go. This appeared to be only one of 2 or 3 places they were launching these boats. We were told there were 360 boats racing.

You can see below it was impressive and this wasn't all of the boats. Can you imagine the logistics for such an event? This is a commitment to the sport of sailing that you just don't see in the midwest.

Time for some routine work. I'm talking about laundry. Where to get laundry accomplished is always something in the back of your mind. Is it a long walk or do you need bikes? Wait, we are in Newport and they love boaters!

There is actually a Seaman's Church Institute that was founded in the early 1900's right by the dinghy dock. They have the best price lunches, a really cool dinning area with a brand new kitchen, along with laundry and showers. Yes, we have been taken to sailor's heaven. Two bucks for a shower, six bucks for two loads of laundry, a great lunch, and on top of all of that we are in a beautiful building too.

To the left you can see one of three places for food service. They also have outside seating.

To the lower left you can see the stairway which takes you up to the 2nd floor which opens into the library which holds more books on sailing than I've ever seen in one place. It all just got better.

Off the library is their chapel which was painted with a theme of the ocean. Overall, a very interesting building which it turned out is on the National Register for historic buildings.

The humidity was rising last night and this morning we awoke to some of New England's fog. Welcome to the north east. We heard fog horns all night long and this morning there was a really deep fog horn blowing every minute as required by the Nav Rules. My bet was it was a large ship underway passing in the channel.

It's 9 am and I've been working on this update for the last two and a half hours. No, I'm not a slow typist. It takes a while to process the 140 pictures I took, select the ones I want to use and the adjust the exposures before starting to write. What I was going to tell you however, it that the fog is still the same thickness. We are supposed to have a front pass through today and less humidity will follow. So we should be able to get underway to Block Island tomorrow. Today, I will take Deb to town again and show her another part of Newport I discovered yesterday afternoon walking to the grocery store.

Hope you enjoyed all the pictures! By the way, the Facebook experiment is kind of working. I have some people who have become "friends" and I'm starting to post from time to time when I update the website. I'm still not sure this is the best way to notify people of updates so if you have a better idea, let me know.

 Aug 5 - late I just received an e-mail from Walt on another Gemini and his daughter was on one of the 400+ boats out there. He told me that the Opti championship was bigger than I thought. He said, "There were 9 countries there, and 21 states with kids from 8 to15 years old. 372 kids. Your website says it right, it was a huge event,well organized." After a bit of research I found out there was an exemption for a couple of kids less than 9 years old to compete. We heard the screaming at the award ceremony tonight from our boat. They had a great time!

Tomorrow the weather is right for us to leave for Block Island. Then we head back towards Manhattan over the next week. I talked to the guy who helps me with investments and he is trying to get me into the stock exchange. Don't get me wrong! I have little money so the thought of getting on the floor is a pipe dream especially after 9-11 but still I'm dreaming. Who know's, perhaps we will get a chance. I can see me now wearing sandals, shorts, and of course the T-shirt saying Living the Dream which I now make with pictures of the places we've been.

More later, I got some great pictures of the International Tennis Hall of Fame today.

 Aug 5 - But written on Aug 7th. We just happened upon the International Tennis Museum. Did you know that the first US open was played in Newport? This is where tennis started in the U.S.A. Pretty cool don't you think?

The grass was beautiful because they don't play on this court very often. We heard that the you could actually play tennis here if you wanted to. Of course there might just be a fee involved.


 So, knowing tennis people who just might want to play and being influenced by my cousin Julie, I told them I wanted (and I really did) to know the rates for playing on grass courts. Time to regress, you have to understand that I love tennis. I actually played for my College about 200 years (oops, that was before tennis) I meant 37 years ago. I never got to play on grass but I did imagine the game a bit slower and the ball coming up quicker. So, it was time to find out rates.

We head into the museum and told them we wanted to know about the rates. They said just head through that door and go back and talk to them. I said the door says, you have to pay the museum fee. They said, it will be ok.

Alright, Julie would have gotten in without asking but I felt like I had a pretty good deal going. I could see the rest of the courts, and of course you too, and find out about the fees too.

The picture to the lower right is one of the courts that you and I can play on.


 We just kept walking, knowing everyone else had those very conspicuous paste on passes on their shirts. Who cares, we had permission. We were headed for the main clubhouse and the pro shop.

We found it and also found the rates start at 90 bucks an hour for 2 people. That is pretty steep but I have to admit I would split 2 hours with someone if I still played tennis. That would just be too much fun. You even get to use their locker room, showers, and if you want, you can buy some balls with their logo. Who could resist that? Not me!


 We walked by center court where many stars have played. Jimmy Connors, Author Ash, etc, etc. By the way, those two guys are from St. Louis.

It just happened that center court was closed. They had it all set up for the opening concert for the Newport Jazz Festival. As it turns out, this festival has opened here for many years even though the big event is out at the Fort.

My bet is that many of the contributing sponsors have some pretty good seats for that opening night concert. Fortunately, the weather looks like it will be wonderful.

 Say Hi to Tom. Tom has been cruising with us for the last week and he is the guy with the Gemini I've been helping out with a few issues. We've had some great dinners together and tonight was our separating dinner. He was off west and we are off to Block Island.

It has been a great time together.

Just as we were finishing dinner, I looked out the window and saw a guy on a mini 6.5 meter racing sailboat that I just had to talk to. Tom was up for the dinghy ride and Deb said, see you in 15 minutes.

Meet Simon Day. Simon told us his story while he was working and that is just why I came by, a story. As it turns out, and yes it is true, this boat has crossed the Atlantic twice in races. Not with Simon at the helm, rather the original female owner. However, after she became pregnant she sold the boat to Simon for a "reasonable price."

The name of the boat happens to be Josephine and evidently was sponsored in some form by Blue Water Sailing Magazine.

This boat is a racing sled and has a 7 foot keel and as you can see below left, also has two rudders depending on which tack you are on. I'm sure this thing is a wonderful sailing machine.

I talked Simon into standing up so I could get the picture to show you some perspective of his 6 foot body and the entire boat. Just in case you aren't into conversions, a 6.5 meter boat is about 21 feet long. Are you ready to cross the Atlantic in a 21 foot boat?


Well, Simon isn't just an owner. He has taken the boat from Newport to Bermuda twice. As a matter of fact, this is the information from the boat track of the Newport to Bermuda race in 2009 when Simon raced single handed. He told us it was a pretty good race except for one time on the way over. On the way back, it was a real experience. I used to love watching some of the races showing their positions. It is really cool that you can track these people on their voyages?

Deb isn't ready to head that far offshore unless we get radar. Do you have a radar you want to get rid of? How about Craig's List?

Aug 7 - I took the panoramic below this morning from our boat. Problem is there aren't near as many boats this morning as there are tonight! You will see!


 I had the bikes in the dinghy when Deb got up and she was ready to explore Block Island. As it turns out, they decided that they were going to have an Art's and Craft's festival since we were sailing out. It was thrown together for us since there were only about 50 booths. I'm sure if our plans were more solid they would have had more displays. We appreciate the effort!

We biked over to Old Harbor and just happened to arrive with a ferry arriving. Thus the picture. But wait, there's more. Yes, I'm on a roll with panoramic's today so you get to see one of Old Harbor too.



 We then went to lunch and decided that we absolutely had to ride our bikes about 8 miles down to the southern lighthouse along with on to The Oar. Alright, if it wasn't my birthday today then Deb might not have agreed quite so quickly. But she went and we did have a great tour of the lighthouse.

The pictures below are ones that are taken in my artsy fartsy mode. Yes, I'm trying to be a better photographer so you have to visualize and take some pictures that might just turn out to really be pictures instead of snapshots. I'm still learning.

 We arrived at the lighthouse and guess what? I'm now a senior citizen - depending on who's definition you use. We got senior citizen discounts so there it be. We will ask from now on and who knows?

The picture to the right is of the stairway leading up to the top. These are the original cast iron stairs which were cast in 1873.

Then below you can see the frenal lens from two different perspectives.

One of the unique characteristic of the southern lighthouse on Block Island is that the light is green. It can be seen from 17 miles out on a clear night.

 And here it is lit. No, I don't have that much pull that they would light it for me. Instead, because this is registered as a historic place the light house must be lit 24/7. You might have noticed that there are two lights. Each one is 1,000 watts and if one burns out the other one automatically comes on.

Below left is another perspective.

And below right is a line drawing of the lighthouse. Today they don't have people pouring oil into the light every four hours thus the lack of need for the lighthouse keepers.

 The view to the left is from the top of the lighthouse and we just happened to crawl up there on one of the most beautiful days. You could see four states from the top.

Then below you can see the cliffs that we rode along for the rest of our ride. The land in the distance is Long Island and that is our destination tomorrow. Montuck.

And finally, you get to see the lighthouse. This lighthouse is famous. They moved it and as we were told, this is the largest structure ever moved. You see the land is being deteriorated by the waves and the shore is being eaten away. So they moved the lighthouse only to learn that in about 50 more years they will need to move it again. If you have a long horizon investment plan, you could buy land about 300 yards inland and in about 200 years you would have waterfront property.

 We rode up and down some more hills then we mostly rode down. Arriving back to the Salt Pond and New Harbor. If you look real close you can see our boat at the very back of all of those boats anchored next to the far shore. I'm serious. It's back there but you would need a magnifying glass.

Just so you can see how much of a boating problem these people have, I took another panoramic shot showing the harbor. It is getting full don't you think?

I'm beginning to think that the people up here suffer so much through the winter that when summer comes they just have to get out and enjoy life. I can't say they are wrong.

 We went to The Oar for water and a glass of wine. Lot's of water and a little bit of wine. Deb just happened to notice that the liquor bottles had some visitors. I'm sure this isn't just a problem at this restaurant and it is actually a good reason to drink wine instead of a mixed drink. I just happened to get the shot to the right with my 500 mm lens. You can see the little guy in there with his wings eating the sugar. But when he fly's off he doesn't fly too straight. I'm sure they shake them out before pouring.

From the pictures below you can figure out pretty quickly how they get their name.

Now, I have to say the food was VERY good. We went back with the dingy for dinner and it really was good. So, order wine verses mixed drinks and enjoy the food which was priced right.


 When we arrived back at our boat we had some visitors from another Gemini. Meet Billy, Risa, and John. They have a mid 600 series Gemini and of course the conversation drifted into differences between models and what we've done along with what they've done to the boats. We had a great conversation and as always just had to get a picture of them on our boat before they left.

It is always nice to run into Gemini people who also love their boats!

 As the sun was setting, old glory was flying off of several masts. It does make a beautiful sunset.

Tomorrow we will be hopefully sailing the whopping 15 or so miles to our next destination. It just happens the slack current occurs at about 10 am so that means we will start pulling the anchor at 8:15 am. We should have a flood current (running in) until slack (no) current. Then it will turn to an ebb (outgoing) current. I'm planning on setting my course according to the direction we are going and letting the current run us up and back down. Theoretically we should end up according to plan. If not, I'll just fix it. We should be anchors down at about noon tomorrow. Big day, right.

Hope you are enjoying the pictures.

Alright I know you are wondering just how old this birthday makes me. I just turned 55 and officially I have turned from a dropout to a retiree. However, I just took a part-time job so I don't think I'm actually a retiree even though I will start getting a small check in September. Instead I'm looking at myself as a part-time dropout. Or in short a part-out. If you work for a total of 3 months a year, does that really mean you have a job? What if you can fly and do your job for about 2 weeks a month from anywhere your boat is. Does that mean you are retired or are you a drop-out or are you a part-time worker. I wonder if they would give me a hundred thousand dollars stimulus money to study my psychological condition of not knowing what my real status is in life. They gave money to study monkeys on cocaine and to change windows in a visitors center that is closed so why not me to study what condition my condition is in?

Ah, the questions you can create cruising.


 Aug 10 - So here we are heading over from Block Island, R.I. over to Montuck, NY. This is actually an easy trip since it is less than 20 miles. However, you do have to consider the current and when the current is different than the wind then you just have to take everything in stride. We were about five miles offshore when the autohelm stopped working. Ok, this wasn't the entire helm so we just went back to hand steering. An inconvenience but still that isn't a problem. Now the real question is what's wrong? When we got anchored, I got on-line and found a service manual for our autohelm. I read it and looked at the schematics to decide how to troubleshoot the problem. I pulled the wheel off that had the drive wheel attached and disconnected the motor. Deb turned on the autohelm and I was able to measure voltage coming from the head so that meant the drive motor was at fault. Ok, we just went form an $1,100 problem to about a $450 problem. Things are looking up. I decided that since it was broken, I would tear into it just to see what was up. Afterall, if it is broken I can't break it much further. Also, Raymarine doesn't fix these units anymore. So, it was all up to me. Deb said, you can fix anything. I said, nothing to loose.

I figured out how to take the motor apart and then cut off a protective shroud that got me to the wiring. Then I found the easy fix. Wire broken. I cleaned it all up and soldered it back in place along with the ground wire. Then it all worked. So, I glued the piece that I cut off back together and then put the motor assembly back together and reinstalled the entire unit. All is good and we just saved $1,100 which in this economy is a very good thing.

Below you can see the main street of Mattituck. Cool little town and in the picture to the lower left you can see the cheese shop that we picked up the Gorgonzola Dolce cheese for a wonderful spinach salad.


 We walked to a grocery store too and picked up a few things that we needed and then back to the boat.

Tonight, like last night, we had dinner at the Touch of Venice Restaurant where we had some of the best Italian food since we left St. Louis where we would have dinner with our friends Donna and Alan. I can't say enough about quality fresh ingredients.

 We arrived back on the boat and Deb immediately took to feeding the swan's or in this case, swan.

She didn't like holding the food up high so the bird had to work for it so we don't have a full extension shot but this one is pretty good regardless.


Tomorrow, we have a 60 nautical mile day. That is about 10 nm longer than we typically accomplish. However, weather will shift on Thursday along with the fact that we will have a flood tide (push.) We should average about 6.3 knots so that means about a 9 and a half hour trip. We have to leave at 6 a.m. to catch the incoming tide so we will be up early. Or at least I will.

We are heading for Port Washington and we plan on hanging out on Thursday then start riding the train in on Friday to Manhattan. Hopefully you will enjoy our trip into the city. But lets don't get ahead of ourselves.

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Jim and Deb's Adventures