Week 3: On a Dock, Off the Grid

We slowed down this week, tying up on Monday at Osprey Marina near Myrtle Beach, SC to tackle a few boat projects before we hop offshore from Charleston.

Our dock lacks electricity and running water but the weekly rate is affordable, always a plus.

High on the projects’ priority list is getting our wind data flowing again. Doing so requires one or more trips up Vinyasa’s mast, and we prefer Allan go up the mast at a dock, in case we need help.

Man a top sailboat mast
Allan at the top of Vinyasa’s 62 foot mast on Nov. 26, 2019.

Allan uses two lines to go up: one tied to a bosun’s chair, and a second, safety line tied to a chest harness in case the bosun’s chair line breaks. By turns Vinyasa’s electric winch hoists Allan’s weight on the first line, and I manually take up a few feet of slack on the second line through a halyard clutch.

On the way down down, I manually release slack around the winch and clamp it off before releasing slack on the safety line, and then clamping it off.

Our Sena headsets* are extremely helpful throughout the process of alternating releases and clampings, as Allan can let me know when to adjust each line.

Sailboat tied up to a dock
The lovely view from our remote end of an Osprey Marina dock.

It would have been sweet to resolve the issue on one trip, but it was not to be. We await delivery of the needed part, and paying for 2-day delivery was for naught. UPS attempted delivery today, but the marina office was closed for post-Thanksgiving celebration, so they drove off indicating via subsequent email that they would try again on the “next business day.” Not sure if Saturdays fall under that category.

Overall, it’s been an “interesting” marina week.

We spent last Saturday at a marina in Southport, and had an unexpected jolt of adrenaline returning from a walk. An incoming ketch had tangled its dinghy in ours in a bungled approach to the dock, and our davits, stern solar panel and dinghy were in jeopardy.

Fortunately, sailors on a neighboring docked sailboat leapt into action, and between all of us – pushing, pulling, and fending off – damage was averted.

On the plus side, we continued to enjoy numerous wildlife sightings this week, ranging from a raccoon slowly but steadily swimming in front of our dock to a majestic eagle perched on a piling along the ICW.

Two sailboats tied to a dock
It took a little while to get over the unexpected excitement of detangling the two dinghies.

A chill Thanksgiving was a welcome respite with good food, relaxation and setting aside boat work. Next week we’ll continue our journey south. We are very much ready for warmer weather!

Sunset at Wrightsville Beach anchorage
Fiery sunsets are always special. This one was at a Wrightsville Beach anchorage.

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