Monday, August 10, 2009
Being on the hard for 3 weeks gave me an opportunity to run in a rural location. I enjoyed the slow turns through this beautiful part of North Carolina. On one run I discovered this "huge Golden Oak" ala Jimmy Buffett. It appears tests were done and it is over 2000 years old. Definitely worth mention!
If you click on the tree it will enlarge the photo and in the middle you can see where a cactus that is quite old is growing in the tree!
Been awhile since decent access has been available so here goes the update. There is a section of the ICW called "the Rock Pile". Avoid at all costs or have a good lookout and travel at low tide. I was in what was supposed to be the channel on a falling tide and STRUCK! Hard I might add. As the water in the ICW is colored by tannin from the cypress trees, visibility is about 2 inches.
I moored at Barefoot Landing Marina and tried to survey the damage to the keel but even with a diving light it was sketchy at best. I arranged to be hauled at Tripp Marine in Shallotte. It was the only travelift wide enough to take a 23 foot cat. I had intended to haul and do work in the Chesapeake so this moved the schedule forward four weeks.
Damage was not as severe as I imagined so decisions were made to repair damage and paint the bottom , new zincs, cutlass bearings and dyna plates. As the boat had sat in the tropics the gelcoat did not have that shiny look so I was prepared to sand the hulls with 1200-1400 grit to polish the gelcoat. Fortunately, BJ turned me onto this polishing product that acts like 1200 without the sanding and a lot less work. All in all I was on the hard for 22 days. It was a good experience as I did the best bottom job I have ever done and the boat is in much better shape than prior to the crash.
Shallotte is fairly isolated and the yard was 6 miles from town and that presented some challenges. BJ who runs Tripp was a real find. He helped me by ordering all materials and driving me to town when I needed provisions. He also let me use any tools I needed!!! Fantastic.
The site on the hard overlooked a wetland and as I was the only person staying overnight it was not your usual yard experience with the dirt noise and other problems. The view from the back of the boat as the sun went down over Dark and Stormys was excellent.