Thursday, September 17, 2020

April 26-May 2, 2020 St Marys Boat Services and Airbnb in St Marys, GA, week 1

We finally moved our boat to St Marys Boat Services outside of St Marys, Georgia.  We have been planning to do this to replace all of our through hulls since we returned from the Bahamas in June of 2019.  One of our through hulls had a broken nut that was holding it in place in the end of March 2019.  We had the boat hauled in the Bahamas and replaced that through hull.  After inspecting the others, we decided to replace all of them.  Our boat was built in 2007, which is fairly young to have to replace the through hulls.  We had some electrolysis issues that leached the metal.  Since we have done some things to correct that issue, we want to replace all of the through hulls to avoid any surprise leaks in the future.   

For those of you that are not boaters, the ones we replaced let water into or out of the boat with a connection through the hull.  That would be sink, shower, toilet, & engine overboard, and engine, air conditioner and toilet flush water intakes.  That made a total of 14, and we did 13 at this time.

On Sunday, April 26, Dave and Pete left the Marina at 9:30 am and anchored near Cumberland Island, outside of St Marys, GA by 3:45.  I drove Pete’s car to St Mary’s, GA where we rented a little house through Airbnb.  We decided to call this a “workation”.  After working in the heat all day, it was nice to have an air-conditioned house with a full kitchen, nice shower, and living room furniture to relax.

 leaving our slip and in the fairway between the docks


 Monday, April 27- Our boat was hauled out and set on stands in the boatyard at about 1:30.  It had to be done at high tide because the approach is too shallow at other times.  We removed 3 through hulls that day. 

We have to center the boat in the slip. Then they bring in the travel lift and place the straps under the boat to lift it out and avoid hitting the mast.


Always nice to be able to check the hull, prop and rudder
It's a tight squeeze to move boats around the boatyard.  Rocky is an expert at moving the travel lift.  Our boat is now on stands.  Notice the antenna laying down next to the solar panels.  That was the new one Dave placed.  He was glad it had a hinge to lower or else he would have had to remove it for the travel lift to back away from the boat.  

 Tuesday, April 28-we watched JoyBird being hauled out.  George had been at Brunswick Landing Marina before having a leak.  He will be working on his boat here.  Seven through hulls out.  As Pete was sitting on a chair under the hull of the boat, he was joking about how he should be wearing a snorkel and mask just to get a reaction from people walking by.  Yes, he is related to his father. 

JoyBird brought to St Marys Boat Services via a trailer from Brunswick Landing Marina

 JoyBird had to be moved from the trailer to the travel lift to be able to set it on stands in the boatyard


That's George by the ladder.  He has a great view of the sunsets from his spot and a nice breeze off the water beyond the bushes

 Wednesday, April 29-Dave did a search of the hardware stores in St Marys and found a bigger pipe wrench for more torque and a baby Milwaukee Saws All to fit in smaller places.  Great tools!  All of the though hulls were out by 3:00.  There were 14 total.  One was replaced a year ago in the Bahamas, but it needed new fixtures.  Interesting event-as Dave was removing the through hull in the galley, the through hull snapped right between the nut and fitting.  At anytime, we could have hit that while storing things under the sink and would have had water leaking into our boat.  Whew!!

 "Baby SawsAll" Had to have Dave's dirty foot in there to give you a comparison for size

Dave started sawing this to remove it and it snapped.  Another accident waiting to happen
Aft head through hull openings for shower and sink drain, fresh water intake to flush toilet, and an overboard though hull for toilet waste when you are beyond 3 miles offshore.

Pete cleaned each of the through hulls while Dave and I took an inventory of all of the replacement parts.  Of course, we needed to order more parts. 

Thursday, April 30-I drove to Brunswick today to pick up packages at the marina. 
Dave ordered the additional parts that we needed through the the boatyard.  According to Rocky, the owner, the parts would be there the next day.

Since we had to wait for parts to continue with the through hulls, Dave and Pete started on another project, finding an above the waterline leak.  The stern of our boat has a “boot”, rubber bumper rail, along our swim platform which they removed to inspect for leaks and reseal.  It is where the deck and hull meet and forms a big smile on the stern of our boat.  Not many other photos of work today, so I included photos of our Airbnb house in St Marys.


the "boot" runs along the stern from the deck, under the Rapid City, SD and up to the deck on the other side creating a "smile"


Our lazy spot or living room, which we enjoyed morning and night

The dining room table looking towards our bedroom doors

Dining room towards kitchen and bathroom




 We even had a washer and dryer!!  And a deck off the back and side of the house.

Friday, May 1-the through hull parts DID NOT arrive today.  Rocky’s comment “If they aren’t here today, they should be here tomorrow”, became a joke after awhile.  So on to other projects. 

Dave pulled the prop off to replace the cutlass bearing because the lip that prevents the cutlass bearing from going up the shaft tube was almost gone.  Dave places a zinc on the shaft, but it could be damaging the cutlass bearing.  So he probably won't put one there anymore.   He remembered this as being an awful job back in 2016, but it went surprisingly well today.  He also cleaned and lubed the prop before replacing it.  Pete shined it up “purtee”. 


                                                                    the cutlass bearing


Dave removed both macerators because, the Jabsco pumps had impellers that would lock up when not being used at a marina for several months.  There was a fan shaped blade, and when the “shit would hit the fan”, it would chop it up and send it overboard.  Problem-hair (from non boating company) would wind around the blade and stop it from working.  Dave was more than sick of taking that apart to fix it.  And they had paper thin gaskets which would leak with the slightest damage.  Then “poop soup” would run down the sides of the pump. 

Dave replaced the Jabsco pumps with Whale pumps.  After Dave gave me a great demonstration with his hands about the size difference, I will tell you that the Whale pumps were larger and was a new concern.  He had to move an outlet and junction box in the forward head, and one junction box in the aft head. 

While working on the macerator in the forward head, the air conditioning duct to the v berth was exposed.  Dave had an “AHA” moment.  We have been considering replacing the duct work because of the “boat smell” that we have whenever we run the air conditioner.  This looked like a great time to go ahead with this project.  He ordered the duct work from a marine store.  While installing, he found out that he needed section in a bigger size.  He was able to find that at Lowe’s.

Pete cleaned the “smile” on the stern of the boat while I cleaned the 5200 sealant out of the boot.  Great teamwork.

Saturday, May 2- I spent part of the day helping another boater find some parts.  I was heading to the grocery story anyway. 

The parts for the through hulls didn’t arrive today, so on to other projects.

Dave and Pete found a pallet in the boatyard to support our dinghy on the ground.  They lowered it onto the pallet behind our boat. 



Dave didn’t want to do any work in the lazerette today because he was worried about getting leg cramps.  He’s been working in some tight places.  But he ended up in the starboard aft lazerette anyway.  The fittings for our swim ladder were rusty, so he removed them along with the cleats and supports for the davits.  Each one could be contributing to the leak.  So it was a good time to re-bed them.  While in the lazerette, Dave removed the corner of a shelf that always hits him in the ribs.  The simple things that make life easier. 

On to other possible water leaks on the stern.  There is a USELESS well on the stern on the port side.  We see no good reason for it being there.  It fills with sea water and grows a slime that we occasionally clean out.  So we don’t even want to store things in there.  Dave removed the trap door.  He installed a plate as part of the lock for the well.  It was easier to access it with the dinghy on the ground.

Dave put epoxy on the stern smile sealing any obvious holes and cracks.  It has to dry for 24 hours.  We’re thinking this is probably the main source of the leak.

Pete was Dave’s “go-fer” today.  It really helps to have someone hand you tools, etc, when you’re in a lazerette or the tool is back inside the boat.  

We originally thought we would be in and out of the marina in one week.  Luckily, we were able to extend our stay in the Airbnb.  One week down, not sure how long to go.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

April 4-25, 2020 Marina Life/ sv Joybird

Here are a few highlights of the month.

Since Jimmy Buffett’s concert tour was canceled this summer, he started showing past concerts on online.  I guess it’s usually a paid service to live stream concerts.  But he is showing past concerts for free.  They also have fans send in photos or videos of themselves, so we decided to send one in.  We took our dinghy out for a ride and made a video.  There were dolphins in the area, but I messed up on the first take.  So a friend put two videos together for us to send in. 
!! Video on desktop

We later made a shorter video and it was used online during one of the concerts.

We took our boat for a day sail April 7.  We took the boat out into St Simon’s Sound, but not out onto the ocean.  We saw dolphins several times that day.  We checked out the wreck of the Golden Ray cargo ship in the sound.  We even saw people working on the Sidney Linear Bridge.  Interesting day. 

On April 9, Dave and another boater friend, Lilley, made cookies on the grill.  She wants to sell them at the marina.  Dave showed her an easy recipe for ESP cookies.  The recipe is one Egg, one cup of Sugar, and one cup of Peanut butter, hence the ESP.  They put the cookie sheets directly on the grill which caused them to burn.  They should have had a diffuser of some sort.  They still tasted awesome.  She planned to hand out samples, but she ended up making $10 from boaters that wanted to pay her for the cookies. 

Lilly's mom, Trish, was working with gloves on, but wanted to taste the cookies
Dave and I are eating a low carb diet.  So for Easter dinner we had a Greek dinner.  I made tabouleh with cauliflower instead of couscous.  I made a “pita bread” with cheese, almond flour and egg.  We had chicken with homemade tzatziki sauce.  Yummy!!  It was strange not going to church because of the COVID 19 virus.  I think my mother must have been rolling over in her grave.  I watched mass live streamed from our local Catholic Church on Facebook.  On Palm Sunday, I watched the Pope say mass at St Peter’s Basilica.  That was great to see. 

Dave taught Pete how to make an eye splice in a rope.  It forms a loop at the end by splicing the end back into the rope itself.  This was a double braid eye splice.  Every type of rope has it’s own instructions for the splice.  Dave added a stopper ball onto the halyard rope to keep the halyard from jamming at the top of the mast.  He had to cut off the old splice, add the ball, then make a new splice.  

In April, several people in our marina helped save a boat that was taking on water at the dock.  I wrote up an article for the Facebook group Women Who Sail that I included here.  Great story. 

I would like to share how a boat that was taking on water at Brunswick Landing Marina in Brunswick, GA was saved by many helping hands at the marina, but especially by the help of one of our members, Hood on Symbiont.

Early Tuesday morning April 14, 2020, the sailboat JoyBird started taking on water.  The owner, 88 year old George, was trying to handle it himself, but called 911 at about 4:00 am.  The Fire department didn’t have much help to offer other than waking up other boat owners on the dock.  The first person to arrive was Hood, from Symbiont because her dog woke her up.   George refused to leave his boat.  Hood climbed on board and was able to start his manual pump, since he wasn’t strong enough.  They realized that the manual pump alone wasn’t going to remove enough water.  Hood went for more help.  She woke up Rich on Ohana who brought a hand pump.  Hood contacted Matt and Trish (who works at the marina) next on Alfitairie, who were already awake and on their way to help. They contacted Bjarne, another employee that lives at the marina on Lantz-alot with his wife Deby (WWS).  Bjarne was able to bring the marina’s pump to the boat.

The trash pump arrived about 4:45 am when the water was over Hood’s knees.  Once the water level was down, they were able to access the hole.  George knew every inch of his boat.  He explained to Hood where he thought the hole was.  She was like an extension of his hands finding the hole in the water that was now about a foot deep.  Hood held her hand over the hole and kept the pump clear.  Another boater, Mark, arrived with bung plugs.  They used wooden and rubber plugs, a cut up t-shirt, tar filled gauze and an ultra sized tampon to slow the incoming water. 

Once the boat was stable enough to be moved, they had to wait about 2 and a half hours to be hauled out.  They had to wait for the boat yard to open at 8:00 am to be towed to the lift.  On the way from the slip to the haul out lift, the generator running the pump stopped working.  Hood went back in the water to hold her hand over the leak around the plugs for about an hour.  When they arrived at the lift, it was low tide.  JoyBird has a 7 foot draft and was sitting on the bottom, which added to the delay.  Haul out was finally done about 10:30 am.

The good news is that the boat was hauled out safely with the hands of many people at the marina.  George has moved JoyBird to a DIY boatyard where he can make the necessary repairs.  We need a big shout out to Hood for spending several hours in the water in the early morning hours to help save this man’s home.  She deserves the MVP award.  Even though she has her own boat issues, she is always willing to step up and help others.,

Lessons learned: know what equipment and tools you have on board should you start taking on water.  Take some time to get to know your dock mates.  And keep an eye out for what looks normal or unusual on your dock.  Boaters have always been known to come to the aid of others. 

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help George through this rough time, should you want to contribute.  JoyBird is a 103 year old sailboat that George has lived aboard since the 1960’s., Friends of JoyBird and George.  Thank you. 

March 13-April 3, 2020 Condo on St Simon's Island

Pete and I spent 3 weeks at a VRBO condo on St Simon’s while he regained his strength and mobility.   Dave would join us overnight a few times.  But Dave continued to work on boat projects rather than sit around a condo.
Pete's first outing with borrowed walking sticks for support
St Simon's Pier was closed due to the Covid 19 virus

We were just at the beginning of the COVID 19 virus.  We felt pretty isolated at the condo.  I would go out for groceries.  Pete and I would go to his doctor’s appointments.  And in between appointments, we found a few places to walk on the island.

I enjoyed having a dishwasher and laundry at our disposal.  We watched movies and played cards.  I did most of the cooking, working out Pete’s new diet.  He has to stay away from fried foods and butters, wheat and nut breads and preservatives.  So back to fresh baked white bread.  No spicy food or processed foods with lots of preservatives.  He needs to eat carbs with his meals.  So it’s trial and error as to what affects him. 

Entrance from parking lot
view of kitchen towards door
view of kitchen from the entrance foyer

view of dinging room/living room with door to deck. stairwell on the right to the bedrooms/bathroom upstairs

back towards window to the kitchen, half bath on the left then foyer to entrance

Pete and I found the Wesley Memorial on St Simon’s Island.  It was built in memory of the Reverends John and Charles Wesley who lived in this area in the early 1700’s.  We returned with Dave on the weekend.