The Tinii

It's plural for Tinius, because we said so.


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How to Recover an Anchor (and your dignity) – By:Allison

So here is the promised real post about what we’ve been up to (besides dreaming of being on Reading Rainbow).

The last you heard, we were leaving Jacksonville. We tried to make it all the way to St.Augustine in one day but that would have been a long day. Long days are not our thing. We motored through some really straight and narrow (insert bible verse joke here) parts of the ICW that were lined with huge houses. It was pretty cool, actually, and a really easy day.

This house had it's own bar on the upper deck.

This house had it’s own bar on the upper deck.

One of the houses on this section of the ICW

One of the houses on this section of the ICW

We pulled into our anchorage behind a large trawler. Josh was at the wheel and I was up front ready to drop the anchor. Josh pulled into our spot and started backing up which I thought was my cue to drop the anchor. Usually I would pull out the rode to a good length and cleat it off before throwing the anchor over. I can’t remember why I didn’t, but I didn’t. No big deal though because there is 200′ of rode AND supposedly a knot in the end of it that keeps it from all going overboard. So I drop the anchor and Josh is backing up, and keeps backing up. I try to cleat it off quickly, but that squishes my fingers and gives me rope burn even though I’m wearing gloves. I yell at Josh to go forward but he doesn’t even realize that I dropped the anchor. He was just backing up INTO the spot he liked and away from the trawler. Oops. Communicating over a rumbling engine under stress is not our forte. So, when I tell Josh to go forward, he just yells, “WHY?” I’m thinking, “What the heck do you mean WHY?” and screaming, “JUST DO IT!” I’m still trying to grab rode and getting rope burns galore but still not too worried because – like I said – there’s a knot in the end. Except that there wasn’t. So about the fourth time Josh asks why I turn around to see our anchor, chain, and rope all disappear into the water. I momentarily consider jumping in after it. Josh momentarily considered shoving me in after it I’m sure.

Needless to say there was a lot of frustration and anger and not so nice words thrown around that night. However, the good thing about a boat is that you better get over it quickly because we only have 30′ of space to share and we also have to problem solve pretty quickly. So, we threw our extra anchor over and devised a plan for the morning. Luckily our GPS had tracked our movements so we could sort of tell where I threw the anchor over.

HOW TO FIND AN ANCHOR YOU DROPPED

Step 1: Stop yelling at each other about whose fault it is WHY the anchor is on the ocean floor in the first place.

Step 2: Get a small dinghy anchor on some rope, your GPS (if you were lucky), and some sort of float.

Step 3: Get in the dinghy and drive over to where you think you dropped the anchor.

Step 4: Now throw that little anchor over and drive all around in circles like a crazy person while praying really hard. If all goes well, that little anchor will snag your main anchor rode and you’ll pull it up!

Step 5: Laugh about all the mean things you said to each other.

Step 6: Tie a float onto that newly recovered rode and head back to our boat where you will TRIPLE CLEAT THAT RODE TO YOUR BOAT. Pull up your anchor and head on down the road.

It really was that simple. We lucked out with the GPS thing as it was spot on.

While we are talking bout anchors, let me tell you about our favorite anchoring technique – the kellet. Before we left, Josh made a kellet for our boat. This is basically any sort of weight that you can slide down the anchor rode. The theory is that this helps the anchor rode to lay closer to the sea bed which improves the anchor’s holding power. You can see some good pictures here. This website suggests a 25-35 pound kellet for a 35 foot vessel. Our boat is 30 feet and Josh overkilled it with a 40 lb. kellet. He basically took a length of pvc pipe and filled it with weights from goodwill and concrete. He capped off the ends and added to U-bolts – one to each end of the PVC pipe. The kellet has its own length of rope attached to one boat that we use for lowering and raising the kellet. The other U-bolt clips onto the anchor rode.

We have not drug ONCE using this system. Honestly, we’ve never put out the recommended 7:1 ratio either. For you landlubbers, everyone tells you to put out 7 feet of rode (the chain/rope combo the anchor is on) for every foot of water where you are anchoring. So, if you are in 10 feet of water you need 70 feet of rode out. That’s a lot and it means you can’t anchor in tight spaces without doing some fancy anchoring. With the kellet, we MAYBE did 4:1…5:1 if the weather was bad. We still never drug our anchor. Everyone will also say Danforth anchors suck, but that’s what we’ve got.

Basically, to each his own but just know you don’t have to spend $300 on a fancy shmancy anchor and tons of chain. A bag of concrete and some Goodwill weights has worked for us.


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A new kind of post – By:Allison

We haven’t blogged in awhile. Mainly because we parked the boat in St.Augustine a few weeks ago and listed it so we can move to Haiti soon for Part 2 of the Year of Adventure. We are having fun, but life doesn’t seem as exciting on a boat when you are parked instead of sailing. Plus we are in a weird limbo and feel a little bummed. Selling Willy is a bit sad and we really want it done so that we can move on and get pumped for Haiti! Soon….I promise….you’ll get a post filled with pictures and stories of St.Augustusine. Mainly stories about crazy people (Florida is teeming with them) and pictures of historical crap.

But right now, it is 1 a.m. Josh fell asleep hours ago and I am just not tired. Plus, my side of the bed is wet because we left a window open while we went on a dinghy adventure in the rain.

So that leaves me doing a new kind of post. I think I will call these
posts “Late Nights With Allison”. You’re about to get a bullet point list of my late night thoughts. Prepare yourselves….

-One of my greatest regrets on life is that I was never that kid on Reading Rainbow talking about their favorite book. I would have sold Roxaboxen or Teddy’s Cousin Has Come To Visit or Stellaluna like it was my job. I get sad thinking about that. Which leads me to my next thought.

-There should be a tv show for all the grown ups who missed this opportunity. Basically bring Reading Rainbow back but don’t let children do that part anymore…only adults. Children get plenty of attention nowadays. Kids get their pictures made in specially carved out pumpkins goodness sake. Kids today are too pampered….let them find another dream. Reading Rainbow is all mine.

-Speaking of kids being put into pumpkins…when did children’s photos get so out of control? Probably the same time gender reveal parties became a thing. Our fanciest childhood photos consisted of coordinating clothing which was a huge deal because we are not wearing any clothing in at least 80% of all the other pictures. For example…

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Fancy picture where we are making awkward faces.

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And a normal picture where none of us are wearing clothing and my grandfather is totally being safe....

No offense if you are partying while revealing genders (that doesn’t sound sketchy) and sticking your baby in a pumpkin. I am amazed you have time, really! I don’t have kids and I barely get showered everyday. My mom was practically super mom and she didn’t bother making us wear clothes most of the time. So, my hat’s off to you.

– I have more thoughts about kids and my super mother. We are about to be in charge of educating four of them (kids not super mothers). Josh and I were having a conversation about important lessons our homeschooling mothers taught us because I want to keep those in mind while I am shaping the young minds of the Salvant kids. I said that learning you can do anything was important, but Josh brought up a good point. Our mothers didn’t get carried away with it. It never came across as, “You can do anything because the world revolves around you.” It was more like, “Dont be an idiot…you can do it.” For instance, Josh and I never really doubted we could finish our basement out ourselves, restore a sailboat, sail for a summer, or move to another country. However, neither of us assumed we could buy brand new cars, rack up credit card bills, and still get to do the things we wanted to do in life. Catch my drift? Now how do you constantly tell a kid they can do anything but keep them grounded? That’s the key to raising a confident kid who isn’t a selfish narcissist. I think. That and not being a selfish narcissist yourself.

-My last thought is this. If Josh were awake he would edit this and would probably want to post actual things about our trip instead of this garbage. He will probably think this post is weird, but he is asleep so its getting posted anyway ūüôā


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The Boat Diet

I discovered the key to happiness, skinny-ness, and possibly wealth. It’s called The Boat Diet. I can’t say I discovered it. Pirates probably did that, but they hadn’t perfected it and died of scurvy. Although not the discoverer, I can be the multi millionaire who writes a book about it, gets on Oprah, and creates an over night sensation. I mean, didn’t cavemen invent Paleo? They weren’t the ones to make money off of it though.

So here it is….

Are you feeling sluggish and stressed out?

Need to lose those few extra pounds?

What if I told you I knew the key to solving all your problems?

What if I told you that in a few short months I could have you tan, skinny, and relaxing in the sun without having to even think about working out or watching what you eat.

See...eat whatever you want.

You too can eat this….

...yet have a body like this.

…yet have a body like this.

Look how tan we are!

Look how tan we are!

It’s not impossible…it’s the boat diet.

First, buy a sailboat. A trawler might work but not as well. And don’t get too nice of a boat. If you’re too comfortable this won’t work. Preferably no hot water, no air conditioning, and an engine that conks out every once in awhile to keep you on your toes.

Now, quit your job, move out of your house, and onto this boat. Head somewhere warm. Not warm – hot actually. That way all you can really wear is a swimsuit so you’re constantly aware of that belly. Not in a bad way. It’ll be gone so fast, wearing the swimsuit is a good thing. Being aware will make you happy.

Oh, I forgot to mention the boat shouldn’t have a fridge, just an icebox. Now stock the boat and icebox with goodies. Wine, beer, cookies, pasta…all the stuff you couldn’t have on a regular diet but can totally have on this one.

Sounding good, right?

So off you go…to the tropics.

Heading south to hot weather...

Heading south to hot weather…

Your boat is gonna break down a few times. There’s a workout right there…sweating on a breezeless day, squeezing into weird boat spaces, trying to get bolts off that have been in place since 1975…who needs reps with weights?

War wounds from contorting and squeezing into boat spaces that were meant for lifejackets - not humans.

War wounds from contorting and squeezing into boat spaces that were meant for lifejackets – not humans.

Squeezing a flame arrestor onto a carburetor...aka an arm and chest workout.

Squeezing a flame arrestor onto a carburetor…aka an arm and chest workout.

Then you’ll go for a few sails. Not only will you be pulling up sails and getting another great ARM workout, but the boat will be heeled over and rocking…can you say CORE WORKOUT?

Now, anytime you want to get off the boat you have to climb a ladder and over lifelines. And if you wanna go to sleep you have to hike yourself up and into the v-berth. There are your legs for the day.

You wake up and put on your swimsuit and sweat off all your water weight all day. However, you’re also getting that tan I promised.

Navigating buoys AND getting a tan.

Navigating buoys AND getting a tan.

It’s so hot that you don’t want any beer or wine…just water. Remember how I said you could have anything you wanted…you can…you just won’t want it.

You’re so stressed¬†out sailing, or navigating buoys, or fixing engines that you forget to eat so you grab an apple.

You have to anchor, so you pull a 30lb danforth up and down a few times – or you have to dock and literally stop an 8000 lb boat from hitting the dock with nothing but your newly found brute strength.

It’s late, you’re tired, but you’re on the ocean and there’s fresh seafood so you through some on the grill. You eat about three pieces of shrimp and more fruit because its hot and you’re tired.

The next day you wake up to do it all over again but 5 pounds lighter and with more muscle!

It is a lot of work, but eventually you’ll start relaxing and enjoying things. You’re engine kinks will start to work out, you’ll get better at docking and anchoring, and you’ll start to eat more.

THEN…you have to walk, or bike, or longboard everywhere because you don’t have a car. So, you might be able to eat pasta and have wine for dinner now…but you’ll have to longboard at least 2 miles because people are dumb and don’t put grocery stores where you need them.

Longboarding for groceries.

Longboarding for groceries.

Aftermath of longboarding for groceries...

Aftermath of longboarding for groceries…

There it is…The Boat Diet! All you have to do is buy a boat, drop everything, and sail away….


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Fernandina Beach aka FINALLY back to society – By:Allison

It had been a hot minute since we’d been anywhere of any substance. Meaning – anywhere we could buy ice and coffee. That’s how we determine society nowadays. Our boat only has an icebox, and we hadn’t had ice since we left Sunbury. Between that and groceries running low we were pretty ready to be back among people even though the wild horses were good company for awhile.

We made the whopping hour trip to Fernandina Beach and picked up a mooring ball at the Fernandina Harbor Marina. This was our first mooring ball and I was nervous, but it was pretty uneventful.

We immediately freshened up and took the dinghy into town. The best part of Fernandina was the food, by far! There are a ton of places to eat. Our favorite was a little Cuban place called Hola. It was really inexpensive and DELICIOUS.

A plate full of fried goodness doesn't look that pretty, but we all know looks can be deceiving.

A plate full of fried goodness doesn’t look that pretty, but we all know looks can be deceiving.

They have a free concert series over the summer that was going on Friday night, so we got to see that too.

Music downtown

Music downtown

The best part of all was the fact that there was a farmer’s market (FRUIT…finally!) and ice at the marina.

We left Fernandina and headed down to Jacksonville where we are now. We have lots of fun stories on this place so stay tuned…


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A not so little storm and wild horses – By: Allison & Josh

WARNING: We are tag teaming the post. I’ll preface each section with who wrote what. We made an agreement that we will not fix, edit, correct, or yell at each other for what the other one wrote.

Allison:

We definitely decided against going ashore at Frederica. Josh was itching to move again, so we geared up for a big day of motoring down the ICW to Cumberland Island. There was still a chance of storms around, but what the heck.

We got past Jekyll Island and the sky started turning dark. St.Andrew’s Sound was coming up. There was another boat we’d followed off and on during the past two days and he seemed like he was going to go for it so we decided to as well. St.Andrew’s Sound basically cuts all the way to the ocean and then you make a sharp right turn back up into the north side of Cumberland Island. We knew the conditions could get rough but it looked like a small storm on the radar and we were making good time. The seas kept building and the winds got worse. Everything got packed away and out came the rain gear….

Josh:

So Allison and I together decided that we couldn’t go ashore at Fort Frederica because the dinghy dock was completely on land except for two hours before and after high tide. ¬†We would have had to wait until 2pm and would have had to waist another day completely. ¬†On top of that we were starting to run out of provisions and didn’t want to have to travel on the July 4th.

When we got to St. Andrews sound the weather started getting rough, but, nothing too bad.  Then it started getting really bad! It was just like on deadliest catch.  The bow of the boat would point toward the sky then crash under the waterline.  The splash would fly back to the cockpit like a Water Ride at an amusement park.  There was another boat that was a couple hundred yards away from us.  It was crazy seeing what was happening to us happen to another boat.  The wave would lift the boat up and then it looked just like the boat would just sail into the air and drop.  I tried to get Allison to give me the gopro (so I could prove that
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More about the dead guy- By Josh

Well.. Yesterday was interesting (if your confused read the previous post).¬† People keep asking me if I was able to find anything out about the dead guy.¬† Here is what I know…

This is his boat.

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It looks like a boat you would find a dead body on.

Apparently he was taking it down the coast much like us… Yes on THAT boat…

He stopped here several weeks ago to do some repairs on his boat. (From the looks of it it would have taken him the rest of his life to fix it up even if he lived another 20 years).

The owner of the marina said that he was an older man who he thought was an alcoholic.¬† Apparently the owner thought that the guy was just trying to avoid paying his slip fee.¬† So yesterday he went to try and get the guy to pay up (as he had been doing everyday for a week).¬† When the guy didn’t answer he started yelling to the guy that he knows he is in there and if he doesn’t come out he is coming in. When he opened the hatch it was obvious what was going on.

Today the smell is completely gone.  Apparently the owner took 12 boxes of moth balls and 5 gallons kitty litter and put them all over the inside of the boat. Then he duck taped all the hatches, windows, and vents shut so none of the death fumes could escape.

Also in case you were wondering… No we are not going to steal that awesome anchor on the back of the boat… Maybe if we had a better place to keep it.


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“Sorry it smells like rotting fish” – By:Allison

We’re still in Turner Creek just south of Savannah. We anchored here for three days. There’s a Publix nearby and public transportation into Savannah, so we thought it’d be a good place to do some shopping and site seeing. The second night here, some friends from Nashville were in town so Willy had it’s first guests! They brought some steaks to throw on the grill and we had a good time trying to convice Luke he should also buy a boat ūüôā

The next day we were all ready to head out, but our battery was low. It had been draining a little faster than usual which was odd. It took us awhile to get the boat cranked up, but we finally did. We didn’t get too far though. The engine quit on us and wouldn’t restart because of the battery problem. We probably could have gotten jumped and kept going, but we were in a good spot for fixing a boat and the marina nearby had a spot open so we got a tow there.

The marina is run by really nice people. It’s a little worn down and not in the best shape, but it’s not expensive and there are lots of places within walking distance. There is a little shack on the water that seems like it is from The Rescuers. Remember that movie? With the mice and the dragonfly named Evinrude? Old blues music drifts down the docks from this shack and it only adds to it’s sort of class-less charm. We docked up here and called our dads…like you do. My dad thought there was a bad connection somewhere so we started checking them. Luckily, my parents needed to come up here anyway to get the jeep from my cousin’s house in Beaufort (who we stayed with while we were there). So, my parents offerend to help us out while they came to get the jeep.

In the meantime we thought we’d take the alternator in to be tested, but we wanted it to go to a real alternator shop. So I looked one up and we found the bus route to Mr.Alternator and Starter. Josh threw the alternator in a backpack and away we went. Once we got there I thought we’d struck gold. The best shops are the sketchiest looking, right? Two dogs there to greet you, random old men hanging out and chatting, in the rougher part of town.

Josh hauled out the alternator and said he wanted to have it checked out. The guy grabbed it, and immediately got on the phone. I was chatting up the older man who was clearly just hanging out. The main guy got off the phone and croaked out, “Five hundred bucks.” We were thouroughly confused. “This has a lot of hours on it. It needs rebuilding – and what are these wires anyway.” Stuttering from confusion we admitted we weren’t sure what those wires went to. I mean, we just disconnected the thing and there are about 5 million random wires on our boat. He then proceeded to chastise us for not knowing our boat well enough. At one point, his friend who I had been chatting with said, “Why don’t you hook it up and test those wires. See what’s happening.” “I don’t need to,” was his reply. “It’s shot. I know that much. But you’ll definitely want me to rebuild it.”

We should have walked out, but we really just wanted him to get in there and SEE if anything was wrong so we paid him a fee to open it up and see what was wrong. Not before some more chastising, however, and a lecture on how he could, “rebuild an alternator 50 miles offshore if he had to.”

The more we thought about it, the more we wished we had not left the alternator with him. We wanted to explore Savannah some though, so we took the bus back to downtown and tried to brush it off. Unfortunately, Mr.Alternator wasn’t going to let us. He ended up calling us each at least five times. Once, he informed Josh we should get rid of our boat because we don’t know what we’re doing. Keep in mind this is the alternator mechanic who can’t identify the wires on our alternator.

We make a plan to just go there the next morning and retrieve the part. So, we load up again on the bus and head over. Luckily, Mr.Alternator wasn’t there but a much kinder man was behind the counter. He told us that the voltage regulator had been bypassed and that it would cost about $300 to rebuild the alternator. We kindly told him we just wanted it back.

So now we have the questionable alternator in tow and we¬† meet up with my parents in Savannah who had just arrived. We ended up riding with them to Beaufort to pick up the jeep and see my cousin. We got some dinner¬†and my parents got a little mini tour of the town. If you’ve never been and you are going to be in the Lowcountry,¬†you have to visit Beaufort. It’s such a pleasant place!¬†There is a lot of history, it’s very walkable, and there are a ton of cool shops and restaurants (including my cousin’s store The Beaufort Clothing Co.)

But, as usual, I digress.

So, back¬†at the boat my¬†Dad comes up with a rewiring scheme and figures out what’s wrong in about five minutes. We make a plan to take the alternator to a new shop in the morning for a new volage regulator. We also realize we need a new battery switch because there’s a short in the one we have.

The next day, today, is when the real story begins.

When my parents first got to the marina, I apologized for the smell. Every now and then you got a waft of what smelled like rotten-ness. I assumed people were cleaning fish or catching crabs and the leftovers were smelling rather putrid. It wasn’t overwhelming, but certainly unpleasant every now and then.

This morning, while sitting around patting ourselves on the back for a new and improved battery system on the boat, we see an ambulance pull up. I had just walked by some people at the previously described shack and they seemed to be in okay moods so I didn’t think much about the ambulance. My back was to the situation as well. My parents and Josh were keeping a close eye on the situation. A few minutes later, police cars arrive and the marina owner starts leading the EMT’s down the docks to a derelict boat on the other docks directly in front of us. They proceed to open up the companionway and the putrid smell I had assumed to be rotting sea creatures became overpowering. “Do you think someone died in there?” Josh asked.

Our noses said, “Definitely.”

We proceed to watch one EMT lower himself into the boat and come up rather pale. “Do you want to go see,” he asks his coworker. That answer was, is, and should forever be NO.

At this point, I am realizing that I have been smelling a dead body for THREE days. Three. Adventure of a lifetime, folks. And here you thought living on a sailboat was the glamorous life. Truth is, I am currently docked directly downwind from a rotting corpse.

Yes, it is very sad that this man died and no one even missed him or realized it for four days (he passed away before we arrived at this marina). I felt especially bad for the marina owner who made the discovery and was clearly shaken by the situation.

I also, could not stop wishing I had brought my Netti-pot to thoroughly disinfect my nostrils. The desire to shower in some strong anti-bacterial soap is also quite overwhelming. Everyone got a bit of a chuckle over the fact that I apologized for the smell which was unknowingly a dead man.

Josh and I are currently sitting at a library writing this blog. The man’s body has been removed, but the stench is lingering. Knowing what it is now, we couldn’t keep marinating in the fumes. We felt very determined not to spend money eating out, but tonight might be the exception. Grilled sausages were on the menu, but I just don’t think I can cook and eat with the smell of death all around us.

We haven’t gotten the full story on this man, or what happened. We aren’t sure if that was his boat, if the marina staff knew him, or exactly how he died. I don’t know if we will, because hopefully we are high tailing it out of here tomorrow. The plan is to head to¬† another marina near a stretch of the ICW called Hell’s Gate. We’ll rest up a bit and prepare to conquer, yes conquer, Hell’s Gate on a rising tide. After that, we’ll keep making our way south toward St.Augustine. Hopefully, there are no more dead bodies along the way.


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Day 1 on the ICW-By Josh and Allison

Yesterday was crazy. It was awesome, it was intimidating, it was my childhood Treasure Island fantasies come true (that sounds dirty), but most of all it was worth it.
We shoved off from Marsh Harbor boatyard at 9:00 am.  Said goodbye to the friends we had made over the past several weeks and were off.  About two miles from the boatyard is a drawbridge.  Just as the bridge was opening for us our engine died. We hailed the bridge on the vhf and told them not to hold it open for us. We got the engine started quickly and went to anchor nearby to steady our nerves a bit. We
decided to try again, but guess what? Engine died again. Once again it started back up quickly. At this point Josh figured out it was dying when we pushed the engine too hard. The mechanic had adjusted things a bit and we were giving it too much gas for the new tweaks. So we tooled around in am open area for a solid 45 minutes to make sure that was it. Another boat was coming through northbound so we radioed in to let them know we’d be trying one more time. Josh thought it was funny to say, “Is it third time’s the charm or three strikes your out.” Allison did not think that was funny, but it turns out third time is indeed the charm. We made it through!

Before we knew it we were in a beautiful open sound! We both kept saying it was all worth it. We got the the north side of Hilton Head island and were following the buoys well, until Josh decided not to listen to Allison’s awesome navigational skills. We ran aground…like barely…but couldn’t get off and didn’t feel like waiting. Luckily we had just purchased our Boat US membership with unlimited towing and Allison sort of wanted to get our money’s worth anyway so we went ahead and called them. A really nice guy came from Boat US, hauled us off in 5 minutes, and then showed us the best place to anchor for the night.

Anchoring went well although you wouldn’t know that from the way Allison acted. She was so nervous, she barely slept (and kept josh awake all night as well) and checked our coordinates constantly.

Guess what, we didn’t move!

Now we are sitting here plotting our next course of action. Hopefully we’ll make it most of the way to Savannah.

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Hoping & Praying: Allison

We have been in Beaufort three weeks now. Last Thursday the boat finally got put back in the water, but we couldn’t head out right away for two reasons. One being a tropical storm that decided to show up. Another being that water was coming in the boat.

Yes. Water. Inside the boat.

Turns out when the rudder was removed it cracked the area around the rudder post just a little so that a very small, but steady stream of water was coming inside. Just enough for concern.

After the tropical storm passed, Josh filled the crack with epoxy and covered it with resin which solved the problem.

BUT, Sunday I came down with a fever and a few aches. Nothing terrible, but enough to make me want to sleep all day and be pretty useless helping on the boat.

So, I rested today and drank a ton of water. We are hoping and praying really hard to head put at high tide tomorrow. Say a prayer that all goes smoothly and that Willy finally decides to cooperate along with the weather and my body.