Monday, August 25, 2014

Feeling Crabby?

This past Saturday we had our good friends out to the boat for a visit and a sail.  After the initial tour of the grounds, the kids started seeing crabs in the water. They grabbed the net and started swiping. Those crabs are fast little suckers!

But the kids kept trying and soon one crab in the bucket turned into two, turned into six!

We thought we needed to keep them in a bucket of Neuse Water until we would cook them later.  So they had a sail a on the boat with us.  We would later learn this wasn't necessary.

During the sail, the kids went below and played games.

We sailed to Green Springs, where the kids jumped overboard and play a while. The adults had a good visit on board while watching the kids.

Back in our slip, our friends had to leave before getting to learn  with us how to cook the crabs.

The boys hauled the bucket of crabs up to the picnic shelter where our club Commodore and another visiting guest taught us how to id males from females.

Females have red tip on their claws and a rounded shape on their belly.  We also threw back two females so they could continue the line of crabs.

Males do not have tipped claws and their bellies just have a long marking. They do not need to be thrown back.

The boys were shown how to cut the crab in half,

Clean the yucky stuff from inside.

And repeat until all the crabs are done.  Then we went up to the kitchen to boil them in a little Old Bay for 2-3 minutes, just until they turned red.

Ready to eat!

It is quite a bit of work for the amount of meat you get, but it was a great learning experience.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sailing Camp 2014

The boys attended a second session of Sailing Camp at Blackbeard Sailing Club last week.  Caleb and Nathan were students and Luke and Jacob were volunteers.

We had been on the waiting list and had not heard if they would be able to go or not. Saturday morning I happened to mention it to the head instructor and he said, " They are on the list, of course they can come".

We had already been at the club most of the previous week. So Sunday afternoon, we rushed home did some laundry and grocery shopping and Brian mowed the yard, then we were back down for dinner and another week on the boat.  Brian commuted back and forth to work each day.

Here are some photos of camp.

Most of the kids went home or to their grandparents at the end of camp each day. Another family had their cousins visiting from MI and were staying in a tent on the grounds. So we had fun in the evenings with them.  One project they did was to tie die t shirts and submerge them in the river all week to see how brown they would get.

We had a great time sharing the Prince's visiting family.

Another project  all of the camp kids did was to make a Pirate laundry bag for one of the advanced coaches, who will be a freshman at Eastern Carolina University this fall.
All in all it was a great week of camp, but after two weeks away from home, I was grateful to pull into our driveway Sunday afternoon.

Grandpa's Visit

Monday afternoon, August 4, Grandpa arrived for a visit.  It had been about 14 months since we had seen him last.  He had driven his motorhome all the way from Colorado.

That evening we had dinner and then went to his campsite to visit awhile.  He stayed 2 nights at the Neuseway Nature Center Campground. 

Tuesday morning we loaded up the van and headed to New Bern to show him the sailing club and our new boat. We had tossed around the idea of taking a trip down the river or even to Cape Lookout for the week, but decided to just stay at the club and take things day by day.  That afternoon he and Brian went to check out a campground a little closer.  He ended up driving back to Kinston Tuesday night and then driving the motor home to the new site Wednesday morning.

Wednesday was Brian and my 20th wedding anniversary.  We celebrated by dropping the boys off with Grandpa and going out to lunch at the Stingray Cafe.  We shared a whole flounder plate.  Very good!

That day was also the birthday of one of the ladies at the club.  Luke made a pan of brownies for all us to share that night after dinner.

Thursday we just hung around the club. We went sailing in the afternoon and a heavy rain started just as the guys got the sails put away. We looked like  drowned rats coming into our slip.

Friday afternoon we sailed to Green Springs, a local redneck water park up the river and met our friends, the Hardees.  The kids all had a great time swimming and playing together. They were also there with some other friends who were visiting from PA.

Saturday evening was the annual Shrimp-A-Roo at the club.  It was rainy all day, so by evening there were 130 some people crammed into the clubhouse for a feast of shrimp, chicken, and all sorts of sides and desserts brought by everyone.

It was neat that he got to share in several firsts with the new boat with Brian. The first real sail, first meal on board, and the first anchoring.

Sunday morning Grandpa left to start the trek back home.  We all had a great visit with him.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Launching of Grace

This past Friday, July 25, our new boat, Grace, was launched.  It is a  1995 40 ft Beneteau Oceanis.

It had been out of the water since June 27 when it was pulled after the sea trial for a new bottom paint job and a few repairs. We used the new Bridgeton Boatworks Yard.  The owner, managers, and workers were all very nice and  knowledgeable. We were happy with the service we received there.

Brian, Luke, Jacob and Nathan motored it down to Blackbeard Sailing Club.  They were not able to sail because as you can see, the water was glass, no wind.  Caleb rode back with me in the van to wait for them.  It took about an hour to go about 4 miles down river.

Brian got her right into our new slip like he'd been doing it for years.

They got in around 4pm.  The next few hours were spent getting the lines just so. There are double lines at each of the four posts.  You have to have them adjusted just right so the boat can move up and down with the water level, but not bang any of the posts or dock.  We also got some gear loaded on board, made beds, etc.

The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning off and on, filling the water tanks,and little odd jobs. One job was sanding and adding stain/varnish  to a couple of the teak places on the sugar scoop. I didn't get any pictures taken inside.  I will have to do that soon and get them posted on here. We are still learning where we will put stuff.

Brian got out the dinghy and put the motor on. Something broke on it, so he spent some time fixing it. Once fixed, he took the boys out for rides. Here he is with Jacob.

When we eventually go cruising, this dinghy will be our car. It is used for when you are anchored out and need to get to shore for supplies, sight seeing, etc.

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Changing Names

The boat we bought was named Carpe Diem; Latin for Seize the Day.

It was a nice enough name, but we wanted to change it.

We decided on Grace.

Several people have told us we need to have an elaborate name changing ceremony.

I looked up the ceremony this morning and was not impressed.

It is basically praying to the god of the sea, Neptune and giving a wine offering.

No thanks.  I serve the One True God and do not need to be sinning against Him by asking a mythical character to protect our boat.

I looked up boat blessings and came across this one.

A Blessing For A Boat
May Nicholas and Brendan bless this craft
Many angels dance above its deck
To ward off dangers fore and aft
From wind and wave and sunken wreck
All who sail it may they protect
And may all who cruise this mighty lake
Treat it always with wise respect
Ano foolish risks ever take.

We can change the first line to May God Almighty bless this craft...

Monday, June 30, 2014

New Season

We are about to begin a new season in our lives.  A great friend keeps telling me to blog about it. So this is for you, Geri. ;)

My husband grew up sailing on a huge lake in Kansas on a 30 ft Catalina named Starshine.  He also had many small boats of his own, a sunfish, laser, catamaran...

The last few years before we moved, we had a small canoe/kayak rental business. 

So when we moved to North Carolina two years ago, the proximity to the ocean was a major draw.

After living here a year, he bought a 28 ft Freedom sailboat. We named it Wings.

We spent most weekends on the boat. Mainly sailing up and down the Neuse.  We anchored out several times in different locations. Basically camping on the water. The inside was snug, but not cramped. Everyone had a bed.

Now B's dream is to liveaboard. Obviously, Wings is not a liveaboard size for 6 people, four of whom are still growing. So the search began for a larger boat.

We started looking at Morgan's, put an offer on one 3X before the owner decided he didn't want to sell after all.

 We drove down to Charleston, SC to look at another one. That fell through as well.

B put an offer on a Bruce Roberts 43 and went for a sea trial and survey. The survey came back unsatisfactory, so we did not get that one.

  B and the broker drove up to VA to look at one.  It needed too much work.
 Next came a 36 ft beautiful Nunsuch. But it had a mast so tall we wouldn't be able to go under most bridges.

Then a 43 ft Gulfstar came up all of the sudden. The owner had heart problems and the Dr. said no more cruising. Again, beautiful boat, but it would not fit in any slips at our sailing club.

  We made an offer on a gorgeous 42 ft Catalina, but again, the owners were not quite ready to let her go. Which is understandable.

We drove to Beaufort, Edmonton, and Oriental looking, looking , looking.

After all this looking and learning what we like and don't like, we put a low offer on a Beneteau Oceanis 400.  After one counter and recounter, it was accepted!  The sea trial and survey was this past Friday. The boat is pulled out of the water and is now "On the hard" waiting to get new bottom paint, and a new name.

We are going to rename the boat Grace. The old name was ok, but we wanted a new name for our new start as a liveaboard family.

I do not have a timetable yet as to future plans. We will be putting our house up for sale, selling/giving away most of our stuff, learning to live with less.  To start, I think we just want to stay close, go up and down the East Coast. Eventually B wants to go south to the islands and experience that.  All will be done by God's Grace.