Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Boatyard Days

We do love a boatyard. There is always so much going on. During the day, the action is non-stop. Boats come and go. Work happens everywhere at once - on your boat, that other boat, that boat that just arrived, that weird looking boat. Even that boat that looks like it will never float again is getting attention.

At night, it gets ridiculously quiet. Oriental is quiet to begin with and the pair of boatyards (Sailcraft shares the canal with Deaton's) is removed from 'town' by several blocks so it is really quiet.

We arrived here at Sailcraft in Oriental, NC on Monday, October 6 at almost exactly 3:00 pm. Remarkably, we had called them almost a month ago and set this up, to be hauled at 3:00 pm on Monday, October 6 even though we had no clear idea when we would be able to leave Colington. Somehow, the weather and our easy travel days resulted in us turning into the canal right on schedule and pulling directly into the lift well. Not bad.

Just fits!
Now, this is no trivial arrival. The channel coming into Whitaker Creek is notoriously shoaled. Our first grounding took place right here in March of 2012. But this time, we made it through the creek with about 5 inches to spare. Then, the canal into Sailcraft is narrow, crowded and busy. Narrow like as in 4 boats wide and there are always at least one row of boats on each side. The lift well at Sailcraft is perpendicular to the canal which means there is only 50 feet of clearance to make the turn. SeaClearly, from bowsprit to the back of the dinghy hanging on the davits, is 51 feet. Still OK. As we approach, they inform us that we need to back into the well. Great.

Then, something interesting happened to me. Throughout our travels last year on our trip south, we had Roux, our big old Chocolate Lab with us. Whenever we were docking, he would start barking. I found that I could not allow myself to be distracted by him and learned to focus on the job at hand and ignore the noise. Of course, we lost Roux in February. But, as we weaseled our way into the lift well, I could clearly here Roux barking and demanding that I focus on the job at hand. We spun SeaClearly on a dime (Yay! Bow thrusters!) and settled into the well and handed the dockhands the lines. They were duly impressed and I was grateful to Roux for the assist. I was so glad to hear him again.

Since that arrival, we have been banging out work. The list goes like this.
Barnacles. Boo! We think these may
have been slowing us down. Oh, and
the shaft anode was gone again.

  • Immediately, Mark from Inner Banks Sails was there to take off our mainsail to take it to the sail-loft. One of the batten pockets was chafed through, one of the battens needed repair, several areas need restitching. Cha-Ching$.
  • Hauled, power washed, blocked. Scrapped, prep'ed for bottom paint. Cha-Ching$.
  • Hull compounded, bottom paint, prop treatment, repack stuffing box, anodes. Cha-Ching$.
  • Tomorrow we finish up the paint, splash on Friday, have a couple of rigging items looked at and get our mainsail back. By Monday or Tuesday, we will be on our way.

Shine by Collinite wax and elbow grease
Bottom paint.
The tape came off shortly after this pic.
A little bit of touch up under the
jackstands and we are done!
What a whirlwind of activity. We left most of this work to Sailcraft but we did wax the hull, scrape the prop, replace the anodes and, generally, impeded the work by asking questions whenever possible. Everyone in the yard has been great. SeaClearly is looking marvelous and ready for another journey.

We always say that the best part of our travels is the people we meet and meet again. This stop has been no exception. On our trip down the Neuse River towards Whitaker Creek, a familiar boat name popped up on the AIS - 'Cloverleaf'. We contacted them and verified that is was, indeed, Bev and Dave whom we had met during our trip up the Chesapeake this summer. These are two of the most interesting people we have ever met (see our earlier post 'It's the People...') so we were fortunate to arrange to meet them for lunch before they left the area on their way south. We met several other great folks that I am sure we have met before and others that I am sure we will run into along the water somewhere again.

We are conveniently located within easy walking distance of town, the grocery store and 'Silos' restaurant. Every time we try to walk somewhere, somebody stops to offer us a ride. Oh, and for Jack, who accuses me of only writing happy thoughts, it was a little too warm today:)


  1. Tell Allan Arnfast that Jim Breashears said Hello.

  2. What a blessing Roux "spoke" to you!!! I am so happy he is there in spirit with you all! I miss him :(

    1. Roux had a big personality and he is still with us. Miss him every day.
      Love ya!

  3. Thought you guys were in a boatyard .... not an "R" rated movie !! What's all this about bottom paint, stuffing boxes and anodes .... and what's an anode anyway ??!!

    Glad to hear you're off to a smooth start and particularly tickled to be able to follow you on the tracker ..... especially when it showed Sea Clearly going "inland". Also glad to hear Duane had a "bad" day..... thanks for tossing us that bone !! The gate agents at ORF say "Hi" !!

    PS - Jack has hijacked Marcia's Gmail account so don't blame her for any off-color remarks !!

    1. I would explain 'anodes' but I am afraid to use the word 'sacrificial' now that you have this "R" rated perception going on:)
      Tell the gate agents we don't miss them!

  4. Duane, did you find out what the diver meant when he said that there was a large area that seemed to be delaminated?

    1. It appears that the diver may have been delaminating but there is nothing wrong with the bottom of SeaClearly. Everything looks really good, sounds solid. Hoping that a clean prop gives us some speed back - not that we will be able to keep up with you and your fancy new prop.

  5. Better get a different diver next time!