I love night sailing. The whole sky puts on a show and I could stare at the stars forever! With that in mind, I left Bald Head Island Marina about 5pm November 7, 2009. The idea was to get out to the Cape Fear safe water buoy before dark. The winds were light but enough to sail with and the current was with me so even with not much sailing speed I was still going 6 plus knots over the ground.
I thought this would be a good time to try the Monitor Windvane and so I did. Son of a gun, it really works - it's a pain when the wind is shifty or very light, but it works and it saves all sorts of power when sailing. I got a pattern for a paddle from Scanmar (the people who make the thing) for a ketch rig so the mizzen boom doesn't smash it, but I think I should have used the light air paddle - the one I made was just too touchy. In light air of less than 6 knots apparent it just doesn't keep a course very well. There's no surprise there because the manual mentions that.
But for longer passages with good wind (10+knots) this baby will save all sorts of power and will steer a darn good course! I'm impressed and quite thrilled.
I'd've taken a picture but it was pitch black by the time I got it all sorted out. Maybe one day I'll do it again and take said picture.
Most of the night was motor sailing. I was running just above an idle - not really good for a diesel but very easy on the fuel. Also, I didn't want to get to Winyah Bay Inlet before daylight so I had to keep to about 5 knots over the ground.
Every so often the wind would increase and we'd be moving right along so I could stop the engine and test the shaft generator. It works, but not below about 4.5knots. Then it uses power rather than generates it. The upside is that at a solid 5 knots it will supply enough power for the autopilot, all the instruments, and the refrigerator. I suspect that at 6 knots, it'll power the water maker, too. But with 10 knots of wind I couldn't test that.
The downside is that it's noisy. I'm not sure if it's the rotating gear or the stress on the v-drive, but I'm going to have to find that out. It could just be that the split pulley isn't balanced all that well. But as an experiment, I'll call it a success!
I arrived at the channel entrance exactly at 7:00am and started up the bay for Georgetown. True, it's like 6 miles out of my way going down the AICW, but I heard it was nice here and I needed fuel anyway. So I stopped at Boat Shed Marina for the evening, putting the boat away and taking on fuel and water. I decided to have a bit of a walk in town and maybe grab some lunch.
Ok, Georgetown is guarded from boaters approaching from the south by the stench from the paper plant. Apparently, the two big employers here are International Paper and a steel mill. The paper plant emits a foul odor that travels at least 10 miles over Winyah Bay. But once past the foul plume, Georgetown is a very pretty town. The waterfront contains a mixture of working and pleasure vessels with a large proportion developed with a boardwalk. It's lovely to walk there.
The main street, Front Street, has a theater and several restaurants and touristy stores as well as a large department store. It is truly like Main Street USA - the kind of boulevard that we pine for now. It is nostalgia made real. It's maybe three New York avenue blocks long. Because it's Sunday most of the shops are closed - but a few of the restaurants are open. Now, I'll do fru-fru eating every so often (less often now while I have no job), and with that in mind, I was looking for a good place to eat.
Way at the far end of town is Aunney's (pronounced onnies , like Donnie's without the 'D'). If you like country food and plenty of it go there. On Sunday they have a limited menu, but not that limited - I had fried chicken, collard greens, mac & cheese, a piece of cornbread, rice, and iced tea for $11.00 - and it was only that because I had all white meat ($1.00 extra - I was feeling expansive). All the women there are super nice and if you like good down-home cooking and good conversation this is the place.
Kindle (yes, like the reading device) was mostly my server. But no matter who ends up serving you, you'll enjoy it and have a darn good meal. You won't leave hungry. I only wish I could have had some of their home-made desert! Mmmmm. Highly recommended! Super friendly!
The east end of Front Street is tree lined and the trees are gorgeous! This is what tree lined streets should look like!
If you're traveling by Georgetown on your way through the ICW, you should stop and set a spell.
See you on the water where I'll meet some new friends tomorrow at an anchorage!