Chloe was wearing her pirate costume. Minerva was flying her NC Sail pirate flag. Lance's new stuffed shoulder parrot and our pirate costumes waited in a salon locker for the evening's festivities. Two fresh bundles of firewood sat wrapped in plastic on the deck. The rum pantry and groceries were stocked. We crossed our fingers and put Minerva in reverse. She smoothly backed away from her slip, and we were off to the fuel dock. So far so good.
We pulled into the fuel dock and topped off the diesel. Minerva leaned a little to her starboard side with the newly full tank. So far so good.
We slipped the lines and backed out of the fuel dock. Lance took her out of reverse and put her in forward and we were off to a fun destination. Finally.
Then forward motion slowed. Lance revved the throttle - we should have been doing 6 knots forward but were just drifting along with the wind and inertia from the initial thrust. Fortunately the wind was at our backs so we drifted slowly past the anchored boats and sailed her back into her slip. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the shaft was not turning with any real intent, even with the engine revs up Lance could stop the propeller shaft from spinning by gently touching it with his shoe, or (as later discovered) his hand and a gentle grip.
Our friends had gone ahead of us for the pirate festivities, and were either making way there or were already settled in Beaufort for a night of pirate partying. Without extra hands to catch us it's good we have had so much practice at landing her in the slip without power. Of the last five times out, we were towed in twice and sailed her in ourselves the other three.
Well, at least we have a plentiful supply of rum. Day drinking anyone? This boat is going to turn me into an alcoholic. Seriously.
|Movie night: Fight Club always makes me feel better when I'm angry. And popcorn. And rum.
The mechanic confirmed our suspicion. The transmission really is toast. We thought we had saved it; it can't be saved. When Lance's eyes widened at the quoted price for the replacement transmission the mechanic said "yeah, they're pretty proud of that", which has become our new mantra for all boat repair parts. The new transmission (thankfully one does actually exist) is on its way, we have an installation date on the calendar for end of October, and there's not much we can do but wait for it. Seems like a good opportunity to pull forward little projects from the Tier 3 list while we wait.
|Evicting a big pile of untrustworthy line left us with plenty of space for the emergency Danforth, which we rigged with flaked and ready-to-go anchor and rode. This topside port locker had already been outfitted with rubber mats to protect the boat from the anchor.
|Lining the starboard topside anchor locker with snap-together rubber tiles ensures less banging around for the old original and now spare anchor, and space to dry underneath. We setup this anchor as an emergency third anchor with chain and rode, and hope never to use it. We also evicted a giant pile of untrustworthy line and old cleaning stuff, replaced it with a new brush, EZ Mooring system and two new 30' long snubber lines. The experience we gained from battling Tropical Storm Isais helped guide us greatly on what should be handy in this locker and I was able to cannibalize some old never-before-used rope into spliceable line with the help of a big bucket of fabric softener, a strong marlinspike, and several days of determination and sore fingers. There is also room for the folding bicycles in this locker once they've been retrieved from California.
|The leftover snap-together tiles fit nicely in the aft head over the teak grate, they're easier on the feet while showering
Oriental and nearby New Bern are significantly socially active towns ordinarily. It took everyone a beat to figure out how to translate the usual frequent community events into socially distant and safe events, but we're getting there. Oriental's annual Pirate Jam ultimately was staged on Teaches Point which is surrounded on 3 sides by water. The music still went on, the difference was the fans listened from boats, kayaks, and dinghies. The fans let the musicians know their appreciation with boat bells and fog horns. Turning in $100 of receipts from local stores and restaurants earned us a Pirate Jam flag, a creative way of supporting the event sponsors since charging ticket prices wasn't feasible on the open water.
|Winch, Disassembled, Still Life
There are 13 of them, Lance is servicing them one at a time. Each one is cranky in its own unique way and they are all long overdue for some TLC.
|Mural at the seafood shack in New Bern