Saturday, November 23, 2013

Coyote Adventure IV: A New Journey Begins

The Captain and First Mate 

It has been quite a while since I last wrote a blog. About a year and a half to be exact! During that time I was back at work and visited my family in Canada regularly. Lynn was busy with many activities, including completely overhauling and flipping a 44 ft Endeavor, building a deck, working at West Marine, and lots of boat projects on Coyote. I can’t believe how quickly time flew and how much we had to accomplish in the last few weeks to get ready for departure.

We hauled the boat and cleaned off the most barnacles I have ever seen before waxing the hull and painting the bottom, we worked on the engine, did the usual provisioning, and decided a little too late in the season to paint the entire deck. Although it delayed our departure a bit, it was well worth it. Thanks Pete! Our boat is beautiful. And thanks Biscuit for the many hours of entertainment. We also left a little late so we could travel to Canada in October for my Mom’s 90th birthday. That was an awesome party celebrating an incredible women!

Workin' on the Boat

Just a few Barnacles!

In the Boatyard

We finally departed on November 14th on a beautiful morning with a bunch of people around to see us off, including Lee and Paul, Brenda, Pete, Kathy and Jim, and Lynn’s three daughters, Traci, Kari and Jami. It was the usual choked-up farewell. 

As we headed down the Bay it felt wonderful to finally be out on the water. We tend to get so preoccupied with other activities that we never really enjoy the boat when not on one of our Bahamas treks. We chilled, ate and just gazed off to the horizon…that is until after midnight, when a little bit of hell started. Unexpectedly the wind picked up to about 30 knots and the water got really rough in the bottom half of the Bay, south of Solomon’s Island. With the wind out of the South we were crashing into the waves, like a bucking bronco, for a good 4 hours. Of course it was during the most grueling time of an overnighter from about 2-6 AM. I started to feel like I was counting down every minute…I guess I was. Thankfully it was an almost full moon so we had lots of light, which definitely makes a big difference. Then with the sunrise the water calmed down as we reached Norfolk. 

The Beach at Nags Head

We found out that the Great Bridge lock was going to open that day at 11:30 AM so we decided to keep pushing on. Due to a valve problem they were only opening when the conditions were

An Unexpected Vinyard

just right, so we thought we should grab the opportunity and were lucky to be the last boat they let into the lock. After 32 hours (with little to no sleep) we made our first stop at Coinjock NC, which turned out to last much longer than planned or wanted! We did some laundry, had a long, hot shower, ate in the restaurant and then finally hit the sack. I was so tired at that point that I think I was starting to hallucinate…I know I have no recollection of actually going to bed.

Coinjock Marina

Finally on our Way...Before the Waves

We awoke the next morning feeling very excited to get on our way again…but, sadly Lynn discovered oil in our fresh water coolant when he did his usual engine check before starting up. This is a bad thing.

We called a local mechanic who diagnosed a bad oil cooler. Not a big deal, unless you own a Perkins and the part has to come all the way from England. Long story short, it took almost a week to get the part and the engine back in working order, which is actually faster than we expected. A shout out here to Ken Moore, the Yacht Doc, who definitely came to our rescue. If you ever find yourself stuck on a boat in Coinjock, he is the one to call!

Of course, as sailing luck would have it, bad weather came in as soon as the engine was fixed and we have opted to wait another 2 days for it to pass. If this all sounds a bit déjà vu-ish…that’s because it is. We were held up on our last trip for 30 days in Norfolk with generator and transmission problems. We were so happy to get past Norfolk this time…but, only made it 50 miles south!!

Love this Pic of my Man :)

The Wright Brothers Memorial on a Blustery Day -
Probably like the First Flight!

Oh well, we decided to make the best of it and toured the area…we were not far from the Outer Banks so made some visits to Manteo, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills. We stopped at a local winery, the Wright Brothers monument (which we particularly enjoyed), and of course had our first glimpse of the ocean.

Anyway, I have been trying to take this delay in stride. Lynn will tell you I have not been without a few frustrated moments…but it has definitely not been so bad. Unfortunately, this means that we will not reach our Thanksgiving destination of Beaufort SC where we planned to spend the holiday with Lynn’s brother’s family…which is the biggest down side of the whole thing. That and the fact that we watched a week of perfect traveling weather pass us by and now the wind has increased and the temperature decreased. From the glass-half-full perspective: (1) our engine didn't give out when we were in the rough Bay in the middle of the night, (2) Lynn found the problem early enough that there was no really serious damage, and (3) we are still happy, healthy and heading south. 

I just need to keep reminding myself that all this effort is to get to this…