Saturday, November 21, 2020

Hilton Head SC, Another Leg Done

Our long journey from Montauk Point NY has come to an end. We departed on October 21 and sailed 963 nm over the past 30 days.

We pulled into Skull Creek Marina yesterday around 17:30 after a short trip from Beaufort. We would have been here earlier but had to drop anchor and wait for the tide to drop a foot or so to get under the McTeer Bridge. This bridge has no vertical clearance boards, but notes on the electronic chart stated that clearance is 62.75 feet when the top of the fourth fender board is showing, which is what I saw on our initial approach at high tide. That's about 1.25 feet too low so we waited about an hour and a half and then passed under with some room to spare.

I haven't really reflected on the journey yet, just feeling grateful that we covered the distance with no injuries or major breakdowns, grateful to have Lisa along for crew, and feeling the slight sadness that often comes at the end of doing things.

The list of tasks required to get the boat put away for the holidays is 89 items long. That's my focus right now. I'll leave the philosophical contemplation for later.

Today I visually inspected the engines, flushed the raw water cooling system with fresh water and wiped them down. The port engine is dripping salt water from the raw water pump and coolant from the fresh water pump, making a bit of a wet mess to clean up and requirng two significant repairs for when I return. The starboard sail drive may be leaking lubricant from the oil seal at its connection with the engine, like the port one was before repairing it in Portland. I hope that's not the case, but with two identical engines that have been run the same number of hours, it makes sense that the same repair may be needed.

I also topped up the diesel tanks from the fuel jugs,  washed the dinghy and flushed the outboard, ran the portable generator to clear gas from its carburetor and tidied up the running rigging. Meanwhile, Lisa cleaned the interior of the boat to be free from sporadic spots of mildew and applied preventer so it doesn't come back and spread. That is a big, time-consuming job.

The marina is in good shape and Intermezzo is in a very protected slip along a floating dock,  a safe home for the next couple of months.

Tomorrow's bigger jobs are defrosting the freezer anbd washing the decks and hulls, plus a myriad of smaller tasks.

I fly back to California on Monday.

Entrance to Skull Creek at the north end of Hilton Head Island, Port Royal Sound