Sunday, October 23, 2016

Goodbye! The First Day of Echo II's Latest Journey

I know I put it in here somewhere! Darn, it's crowded.

Tight fit in Echo II's quarter-berth: food, galley supplies, linens, rain gear, clothes, folding bike. The only substantial storage area on the boat. I love plastic bins. So organized. Pope hates them. (But he always asks me when he can't find something anyway.)

Let's see, does this one go on the port bunk? Or is it part of the dinette back? Let's leave the plastic covers on the cushions, please, until we get the leaks fixed.

Pope's brother Henry uncovers the sail (note the spiffy new sail cover in elegant navy blue) and adds some reefs to prepare for 25-to-30-mph gusts. Henry will accompany Pope on the first segment down the Chesapeake Bay to Hampton, where the deck leaks will be re-examined for alternative solutions, since Plan A didn't work all that well.
Pope and his brother Henry puzzle over how to get the boat safely out of the narrow slip in unpredictable winds.

The sparkling water in Whitemarsh Creek belies the seriousness of the wind. Note the pilings surrounding the narrow boat slip, the proximity of the dock next door, and the tiny turning basin: a slalom course on a gusty day. Add shallow water, with less than a foot under the keel at mid-tide, and it becomes even more important to get it right the first time.

Final step: unplugging from shore power, the last grounding link to land and our home marina.
Waited for the wind to die down for a brief calm moment and leveraged her out, with me on the dock holding her off the neighboring boat with a stern line, and Henry pulling her around to the right with a bow line around the front piling. Whew! Safely out of the slip before the wind picks up again.
Leaving the marina for good. It's up to the boys now, to get her to Hampton safe and sound. Then on to the Intracoastal Waterway, where I'll catch up in a few days. Final destination: The Low Country of South Carolina? St. Augustine, Florida? The Berry Islands of the Bahamas? Depends on the weather, condition of the boat, and our own patience and stamina.

Goodbye! A tear or two escapes when Echo II--the boat Pope and I slaved over for the last few months (well, at least Pope did)--disappears around the bend.

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