October, 2017

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October 24. My friend Ce Ce’s summer evening ordeal on the Discovery Channel on November 2nd.

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

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“On my way to the Green House restaurant, on the waterfront, my attention is drawn to an attractive lady in a turquoise blouse, walking along the beachfront. I think: “The Girl from Ipanema”, before I wrestle my camera from the back pack, she has disappeared. But when I am sitting behind my laptop, I see her come in. She is sitting kiddy corner across from me. “But instead, when she walks to the sea, she looks straight ahead, not at me”.

When I get back to the boat, my neighbor on the catamaran “Iato” invites me for a Sundowner.

When I climb aboard with my standard fare to go with a drink, my hot deep fried shrimp crackers, I am introduced to…..the Girl from Ipanema. Her name is Ce Ce and it is her 59th birthday today. She has come from Atlanta to visit her friends here on “Iato”, Rick and Linda. She flies back to Atlanta tomorrow.”

And on page 312 in France in 2012:

“This is Ce Ce’s first visit to Paris, we visit all the tourist spots, Montmartre, Saint Germain des Prés, Champs Élysées, the Metro, etc. The Eifel Tower has already been stored away for the next season.

I forget to collect my camera bag from the overhead luggage rack when we transfer from the Thalys train in Brussels. I have no proof to show from here on where I spend my Sunday mornings. You’ll have to take my word for it or check with Ce Ce.

We are on our way from Namur. I enjoy the company and the help, especially in the locks. Ce Ce has no camera but she has an I-pad and a video camera.

From here forward the photos are to Ce Ce’s credit.”

I only knew Ce Ce of the one evening aboard my neighbor’s catamaran in St. Thomas. But she was the only one to respond to my posting in my blog when I was coming up the Rhone river. I invited anyone to join me for the trip, because I had a rough time handling the 250 plus locks by my self. I had planned to go through Paris but the canal to Paris had too little water for my six foot draft. I took the train from Namur in Belgium to meet Ce Ce in Paris where we did the tourist thing for the weekend. Two weeks earlier Ce Ce was watching TV on her couch when two masked men broke through her screen door. It was a hot Georgia summer evening. She managed to wrestle her self free when they had her on the ground and tried tying her up. She fled into her garden and one of the robbers shot her with his sawed off shot gun. She was bleeding but managed to hide in the trees. The trauma was most likely her reason to get away from the scene for a while when she read my invitation. You will see from this short video:

https://youtu.be/d3RvhGy_lNY 

what kind of a tough and fun lady she is. I saw her last on a visit to her and her boy friend in Atlanta last year January. I know you will enjoy the program. I will watch it for sure since I will be at my daughter’s home on the West Coast.

Ce Ce in Paris

Ce Ce in Paris

 

Tuesday October 24. My plans after the successful hull repair.

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Besides yesterday’s good news on the repair progress, I can also report good news on my back injury recovery. For the first month after the surgery there was no noticeable improvement. 

My daughter, Jeannine, is coming to spend Thursday and Friday with me here and lend a helping hand and then take me back to their home in Chesapeake. I take the train from Newport News to Baltimore airport on Monday the 30th and arrive that evening at Sea-Tac for a 40 day visit. My return flight on December 12th comes in late and I may rent a car to make a short trip to New York/ Rhode Island to check out potentials for my engine replacement. I had planned to be back in the water by now and move the boat back to Portsmouth, Va. where I am closer to supplies for the repairs to the interior. Now I will probably not be ready to sail away until well into the Spring. If it becomes too close to the start of the Hurricane season I will probably make the loop into the Great Lakes I had intended for this year. Rose Marie, my second oldest daughter, turns fifty on February 3rd. and just like with Lisa’s 50th birthday it will most likely be another family celebration and I count on flying again on a pass from Laura to the Northwest.

In my August 2nd blog I detailed the financial challenge in resurrecting “Fleetwood”. The insurance paid the $19,400 for the wreck removal, and I paid the towing company $19,000. The surgery bills took a good bite out of my savings, even after the Medicare payments. Since the shipwreck I have drawn down my savings from $ 10,000 to $ 4,000. It would have made more financial sense to walk away from “Fleetwood” and purchase a $ 10,000 or less fixer-upper. But I have no regrets, yet. “Fleetwood” launched in 1980 has been part of me for nearly half of my life. If I pace my self with the help of each month’s almost $ 2,000 social security check and find a reasonably priced engine replacement I might not need any more financial help. In 2010 I had to replace my old Renault Couach engine in Romania on the Danube. That cost me $ 8,000 but I managed to pull it off without donations. But if the well runs dry I will take you up the offers I have already received. I will do my very best to keep entertaining you with my adventures. Treating yourself or as gifts with my books “SoloMan” and/or “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” helps the cause directly. Also I am available for slide show presentations of my adventure for the privilege of selling and signing my books.

In my August 2nd blog I wrote: “I am looking to replace the one cylinder 10 1/2 HP engine with a two cylinder 12 to 18 hp, Kubota (Nani N-14) or Mitsubishi (Sole Mini 17) block, Westerbeke 12-D or a Yanmar YM2GM or similar in a good used or rebuilt engine. Preferably near the Chesapeake Bay.” If anyone has any leads for me, please, contact me. So far I have not had much luck finding this. My Schadenfreude side hopes that some salvaged engines from the hurricanes will show up in the market.  Maybe someone knows of a marine industry company who would like to be on my sponsor section for a discount on a new engine. The blog and my Youtube videos get around. Since I started my first Go-Pro videos a year ago I have attracted an active following. One video has had over 5,576 views. Richard Spindler, founder of Latitude-38, has given me lots of exposure and I run into sailors all over the globe familiar with the boat name.

Monarch on their migration to Mexico

Monarch on their migration to Mexico

Cotton ready for the picking.

Cotton ready for the picking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a couple pictures taken with my $29.95 Wallmart smart phone or my Akaso EK7000 action camera. Both are only good for short distances. I have postponed spending money on a direct reflex camera like the old Nikon D-50 I ruined in the wreck. If you happen to have one extra to give away or trade for my books , in the Northwest, you’ll be getting real photography again.  

Monday October 23rd. The hull repair of “Fleetwood” ‘s stranding was a success

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

It has been a while since I posted my last blog. Over a month. I had expected to have the good news, of the successful repair, weeks ago but I ran into a number of delays, figuring no news is good news. There was a lot of doubt if I would be able to pull it off, not in the least on my part. So, today is a big day and I look forward to long list of work to do, now the main repair is accomplished, and equipment to procure to get back on the water.

I have a 7 minute video of  the repair at: https://youtu.be/Ia64vaUW3bw showing details of the repair, including today’s carbon fiber reinforcement. I had a lot of help and advice from Todd Dhabolt who built the boat from a kit I had sold him in 1984 and from George Whisstock, the creator of the NAJA kit. 

I have also had a lot of help here from the people of Cape Charles Yacht Center. The town and surroundings have grown on me and I have made up a 13 minute video that will give you a sense of the unique location:  https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=OrUT82hXjfM

There is also a 2 minute movie on the unusual flying inflatable/ amphibious ultralight/annexe volante/fliegendes Gummiboot: https://youtu.be/5sgnnhnlHLw

It is getting late. But I wanted to get the good news out. Tomorrow is supposed to be a rainy day and I’ll follow up with my visiting schedule to the Pacific Northwest in November/December and my plans for the rest of the boat repair and plans for the coming year.