October 2009 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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  October 18 - Wow, this is like being retrained once you take a weekend off. In this case, I happened to have taken a summer off. Before I catch you up, I'm currently in Omaha NE and just brought the Volkswagen Beetle back. Remember, we sold that beetle to our friends for a buck. Kind of pre-paid car rental. Currently I'm hanging out trying to remember how to do all this stuff and also doing a number of projects for our friends Steve and Linda.

Before we catch you totally up, lets take a trip into the past.

The picture to the right is of the sailboat show that I put on at Green Turtle Bay in August. I just love sailboats and at a sailboat show you just have to have flags flying! So we had flags and I took them up every halyard I could.

Deb had a great jewelry display and sold some jewels that she made at the show. In addition, my friends John and John played for the show. In the background you can see an O'day and a Gozzard which were two of nine boats in the show.

I ended up selling two boats as a direct result of this show. I guess effort does pay off.


Fast forward to a week ago. We pulled Freedom out of the water after the summer to do a couple of projects. The number one project was to replace the bolts for the centerboards. Don't let me get ahead of myself.

Into the slings the boat went and then we hauled it up and looked at the bottom. Since we hadn't moved much and we were hauling the boat anyway, we had the boat power washed and all the junk got washed off. The picture to the lower left is the one after they washed the boat and in several places you can see the blue signal coat.

The other picture below is when it was going back in and we have two full coats on the boat along with a third one on the first 6 feet.

You can see that we have cleaned up the hull and the bottom paint looks really good. Bottom line is that we really didn't have to do this but since we pressure washed off a bunch of paint and I HAD to haul the boat, then why not paint the thing.

Now for the real reason that we hauled the boat. The pivot bolts.

To remove the pivot bolts you MUST remove the trim going into the head and into the main stateroom. Once you get all the trim off, you can then get access to the bolt head.

Here is the real secret to a wonderful project. First you have to get those thick shims so that you can jam 4 shims between the centerboard and the hull in 4 places. Two forward and two aft. Then you need a floor jack that you use blocks to get high enough and then jack it up until the 2 by 6 you have on the jack comes into contact with the centerboard. Then pump it up just a bit to take all the weight off of the centerboard bolt.

Below you can see some pictures of the teak board that is used as a large washer along with the 5200 that is used to seal everything. Unfortunately, everything doesn't stay shimmed.

The wooden washer above needs to be taken off cleanly. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't come off as cleanly as the one to the upper right. To get it off that cleanly, I used the chisel that you see to the right on top. The other chisels and screwdrivers were to remove that underwater epoxy that I installed to stop the water intrusion.

Below you can see some pretty good pictures. The one below is the one that is of the bolt with the head broken off. That head broke off for us on the crossing from Clearwater to Panama City. Then we had to use that underwater epoxy to take care of the water intrusion. Sounds like fun doesn't it!

The picture to the lower right shows you where the bolt had obviously started breaking before we crossed. The rust is the old stuff and the shinny part is the part that broke. Interesting isn't it!

The picture to the left is mass of underwater epoxy that I chiseled off and you can see that it sealed pretty good. What I found interesting was that it has a really good impression of the bolt in the center.

I have an opinion that is mine. Wait, I think that is what an opinion is.

If you have one bolt problem you probably have two. The wood to the right is a section of the wood that is from the "other" side that wasn't broken. I made the decision that if I was replacing one, I would replace the other. As you can see, we had some water intrusion in the starboard boards wooden washer as well.

Below you can see the starboard bolt that hadn't broken yet. Guess what my opinion is? It would have broken at some time in the next 1-3 years especially since we will be going offshore again and subjected to beam seas that have the biggest impact on this bolt.

Above you can see the corrosion on the head and to the left you can see the corrosion at the opposite end.

It was time to change the bolt.

Below you can see the new wooden washers along with the metal washers that are imbedded in black 5200. I just picked up 5200 and it wasn't white. Oh well, that is just the way it goes as long as it is 5200.

We had it out of the water for two days and the 5200 was dry to the touch and we had no problems with leaks when we launched the boat.

By the way, my friend and I had both bolts replace in 2 hours. So this isn't a hard project but it does have hard access that you have to think through.

We arrived in Omaha on Thursday after stopping in St. Louis for some family business. Since I've been here, we have not only had a great time, I've been back into the mode of helping out on some projects around the house.

Today, we went to the airport to do two things. First, I just had to see my airplane and give it a nice pet. It still looks great. Steve is keeping things covered up so the dust doesn't mess up the paint. (We removed the wheel paints last year in case the tires deflated.)

We have been eating way too much and doing some shopping for the trip south. I bought a new set of noise canceling headphones to use with the XM radio when we motor so much down the Tenn-Tom. Tomorrow, I am picking up a broadband card so I will have no excuses for updating the website on our trip south. Of course updating isn't my only concern, I'm looking forward to getting good weather too.

We leave on a plane Wednesday for Nashville where our friends John and Julie will pick us up and take us back to Grand Rivers. Then I have a couple of windows to replace, we need to restock the boat with fresh foods, and pick a date to head south. I'm thinking either the 25th or 26th if the weather cooperates for our window replacements.


 Oct 19 - I have to get one more past update. We played at a dock party back in September and Julie got this picture of Deb and me. Doesn't she look cute!

We set up and then the rain came and we moved in under the dock and played until 9:30. John George and I had a great time playing and really felt appreciated.

Below you can see a picture of Julie George and Deb. Both are cute aren't they!

And finally, below right is the last night that J-3 played at the Commonwealth Yacht Club. As a matter of fact, this night was actually J-3 + a B.

I'm sure you can figure out that below it is me that's opening the 3 hour event.


 To the right you can see a guy by the name of Bennett playing the harmonica along with my rendition of an Eric Clapton song. Don't you just love Eric?

Below you can see John George and to the right is John and Bennett playing together.

The reality is that we have a great time playing our music and tonight we were very blessed with the fact that we were advertised in the Nauti-News and we had people show up at the Yacht Club just to hear us play.


 And at the end we had a fun time playing a song together. This is very rare since John (right), me, and John Penny (left) all have different styles. We were planning on working up 4-5 songs that we would learn together but you know how things like this go. We all have things to do and the reality is that the system we had of playing 5 songs and switching worked. We were able to play for 3 straight hours and keep the audience entertained. It was fun and this is one of the most memorable events of this summer - playing with the other 2 J's. Truly, I will miss the music and the friendship. Thank you John and John.

We are only a day away from flying out and back to the boat. The interesting thing is that I have a person interested in another sailboat. Yes, you can work in another part of the country or even not that far away in another city and still meet your customers needs. I hope for the owner of this boat that this sale (sail) goes through. I guess we will see.

In case you are wondering, one of the major projects I'm working on is finishing up. I have a full day tomorrow of projects but just to let you know, I did pick up the broadband card today. Now to see if it works.

 Oct 21 - We left Omaha this morning and right now I'm sitting on the airplane in Chicago waiting on another 75 people to board. We just got rid of about 100 and it looks like we've been exposed to 175 different people's cold's, flu, and other things that in the past got us sick on our return airplane ride. It's interesting that when we are on the boat, we never get sick. When we fly, we typically get something. Hopefully this time our flu shots will help and we won't have the problems we've had in the past.

On a very positive note, we had a great time in Omaha. Deb did her normal girl thing with Linda. I did the guy thing with Steve and fixed a bunch of stuff around the house. It was nice being away from the resort but at the end we were starting to get excited about going cruising again. Next year will be a short visit back to the midwest since we should be up the east coast somewhere.

 Oct 26 - We left. I'm going to go back to yesterday and fill you in on us leaving but the bottom line is that I'm updating the site right now as we pass the Rock Quarry heading south on Kentucky Lake. Rewind to yesterday.

On Friday I had worked out a deal on another boat and received an offer from a buyer in Colorado Springs, CO for a nice boat we have at the marina. Bottom line on that contract was I received the sellers signature on Sunday evening and got everything done that I could and turned in my phone and door card.

What resulted from the work I was doing is I got further and further behind. So the windows ended up getting finished with a gaggle of help from my friends which turned into a going away dock party/working afternoon. From top left to right it is Jim, Bennett, Deb, Julie, John and lower left to right is Gary, Ann, and John. Picture below is same group but with me in the pic. These are all great people and friends. It was a nice way to end our stay at Green Turtle Bay.


Above and to the left is a picture of the new windows. Again..... Yes, I seem to be an expert at replacing windows. The front one was all that really needed replacing but since I had to buy a full sheet of Lexan, then why not replace all the big tinted windows? It made sense to me. Have material, replace.

We love clear windows so it really was worth the effort to do the work.

As you can see below, we headed over to the fuel dock at about 8:30 after I got the enclosure put on the back of the boat. It really is nice having the full enclosure that is water tight. We filled up with 25 gallons of diesel, picked up 7 gallons of gas for the Honda, and pumped out so we would be ready for the trip.

 I scoped out the marina to get some help with that fuel and just kind of took in the view one more time.  

Deb on the other hand was at her station being the first mate while also the Commodore of our fleet. You can see the other boat in our fleet folded up. Doesn't she look like a proud fleet owner as the Commodore? Deb is ready to go and if you recall, I was worried when we came up the waterway this time that she might get here and want to stop cruising. End result was - absolutely not. She was ready to get out and have some more adventure. Now all we have to do is brush up on a few of those things she seems to think she's forgotten but so far I can't figure out which ones they are. She's doing great.

Now comes the sad but also exciting part of the trip for John who is following us down the waterway.

We met John and Julie at the start of the season and hit it off very quickly. With common interests in boats, electronics, and of course music - you remember he was part of J-3 - well it was pretty easy to hit it off. John and Julie share a common goal to be able to go boating full time after John gets his Captain's license and to work on other people's boats. Problem is he doesn't have the "honest" time yet and since he want's it to be a earned Captain's license, then he wants honest time. The only way to get it is to go out and be on a boat. Either working for someone else as a mate or on your own boat. Since you aren't going to get too many jobs in Kentucky working on someone else's boat, then the only real solution is get to Florida where you can. So, now we get to today when John is following us down to Florida.

Problem was that Julies mother was about to have hip surgery and Julie is working in St. Louis this winter at an H&R Block. So to the right in the picture you can see Julie (in the red coat) hugging John goodbye. Doesn't it bring a tear to your eye? The love that allows them to separate to achieve the larger goal. Wow!

So away from the dock he pulled with Julie right there.

Separated by only a few feet but probably what seemed like an ocean she waves so long for now.

With that, we are leaving Green Turtle Bay and off for the great adventure.

For me, this will be my 5th trip on the Tennessee and the Tenn-Tom. The thing I'm looking forward to is all the color in the trees and watching it change back to green foliage as we get further south. Otherwise, the trip is just the trip and we hope nothing breaks. But wait, the speed sensor isn't working and I think they must have put tape over it to protect it from the bottom job and forgot to pull it off. Looks like I'm going swimming when we stop. Sound like fun? It really sounds like cruising to me.

Below you can see us leaving the protected waters of Green Turtle Bay in Grand Rivers Kentucky. I'm thinking it will be 3-4 years before we return if we find our way back even then. We will miss the friends we've made the most!

We rounded the corner for the canal and were blessed with a beautiful landscape of changing trees.

As we round the corner to Kentucky lake I am welcomed back to the cruising lifestyle. You wonder how was I welcomed aren't you. Well the winds were supposed to be on our beam and they are right on the nose. It doesn't matter, we are underway and heading south. Two boats and two different adventures.

How long will we travel with John? Great question. I know it will be until we get to Lu Lu's south of Mobile but after that neither of us know. Julie is motivated beyond belief to find a job in Florida so she can rejoin John. Do any of you out there have a tax office or anything else that someone with a great mind an attitude can help you accomplish?

We on the other hand are heading to see our friends we have made all along the coast of Florida and probably will end up in Key West again for the winter.

Since we have a broadband card now, look for many, many more updates!

See you in cyber space and I hope you enjoy us cruising again!


 Oct 27 - Boy am I talking to fast! Good news is that the tape came off and I didn't have to go swimming. Bad news is today the engine started loosing power just like it does if a filter is bad. After several times of it loosing power and then stopping, I pulled off to the side expecting to see bad filters. I changed them but they really weren't bad. Then it worked for a while and started slowing again. But sometimes it would keep running for a half hour. Puzzling!

The day started out in the rain and it is still raining. I just had to get this picture of John under his "bimini" which is made up of a rainsuit. The picture to the lower left shows him in the normal position which is sitting down with the top of the rainsuit showing over the top of the port-a-boat. Boy it was time to quit when we pulled into Pebble Isle to call it a day at about 1 p.m. Only about 35 statute miles but you just have to imagine how cold it was especially if you have sat in the rain for 5+ hours. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Don't you want to join him? He is a real good conversationalist and all you need is a good rainsuit.

So in one of the lulls of rain, I pulled apart all the filters again which were clean but this time I changed all the gaskets. In addition, I tightened all the clamps in the engine area because there must be an air leak somewhere. If that doesn't fix it tomorrow, then I'm changing the fuel pump.

Yes, we are cruising again!


 Oct 28 - My friend Paul wanted to know if the picture above right was diesel or red wine? Diesel. Looks nice and clean doesn't it. As far as the motor goes, so far so good today. I'm thinking the problem with the motor was a small air leak that I must have fixed replacing all of the gaskets in the filters and tightening all of the hose clamps. We are still doing fine after 5+ hours so that's good.

You can see us tied up this morning at Pebble Isle Marina. What a wonderful bunch of people. Everyone was helpful and even though we really didn't need fuel we took it on. The bright spot, after a rainy day, was this morning we got to sample their "world famous" cinnamon rolls. We waited and they were worth the wait. I haven't have a cinnamon roll in years but I can truthfully say this one was great. They also had free morning coffee for the transit dockage people so if you are heading on the Tennessee and want to stop for a night, you might want to give them a shot. Fair prices and very friendly people.

Below is the picture of the Cinnamon Roll but it is in John's camera. To the right is the picture of the restaurant and where we ate the "world famous" cinnamon roll. Yum Yum.

We left a bit later than normal but this is going to be a long trip and it really doesn't matter. At about 8:40 we pulled away from the dock and you can see the gas dock and restaurant in the building in the middle of the picture.

As we were heading out of their well marked channel for the Tennessee, once again I got the welcome of the fall foliage. We turned up river and started to make miles. I don't think I've said much about the current but it is now at least 1 knot on our bow. We've been averaging about 5 knots over ground and later in the day we were down to 4.6 to 4.7. Of course it is going to rain buckets for the next few days so it is looking more and more like we are on the longest trip ever from Green Turtle Bay to Pickwick. Oh well, the company is good and we have enough food to feed ourselves for about 3-4 weeks. This way we can help the local economy in Columbus when we restock.

Of course now that we are underway wanting to make miles, the CSX Johnsonville Railroad decides this is a good time for a couple of trains to go by. One in each direction. I guess since they own the track and the bridge I should just smile and enjoy watching a couple of trains. Remember when you used to do that as a kid and enjoyed it? Guess what, I guess I'm a kid again.

I'm not going to bore you with the ooh's and ah's of the color at least in the narrative. Just enjoy the pictures.

At the end you will see that John is still following right along. Today will be a good day and at about 12:30 Deb heated up some soup and he pulled along side for a bowl from the mother ship Freedom. Tasty, especially when you are in an open cockpit and single handing!

 Oct 30 - Life on the waterway! To the right you can see the light house home that is almost complete. I've been watching them build this and it does look pretty cool. It was about this point when I went to the weather report on the radio Wednesday afternoon and found they were predicting major thunderstorms and possible tornado's on Thursday. After giving it quite a bit of thought and having John also listen to the report, we decided that we would anchor out for the night and then head into Mermaid Marina for tomorrow and probably the next day because again more thunderstorms were to arrive all day lasting into Saturday.

Below left you can see that we never had those storms. Fortunately, the people at Mermaid gave us our money back for Friday so we could get out of there. The new owners of the marina have quite a bit they are planning and the marina does need a good face lift.


Perhaps this sign at Mermaid is why they have T-shirts that say "Get your top off at Mermaid Marina." Well I'm thinking they actually mean a fuel top off but who knows? We aren't visiting during summer season so no direct knowledge.

Since I had little else to do other than question our decision, I cleaned up the Nav station where a bunch of stuff needed sorting and thrown away. I also had some time to take the pictures below of my Captain's License. Actually they don't call it a Captain's License. The title Captain is one given when you command the ship and the license, in my case, is a Master. You can read it below but the part that took me time to get taken care of was scheduling the sail part of the test. The other thing was getting proof of my boat ownerships from the State of Missouri. In the end, it was all very good.

The other meaningful thing below is where it says I am good upon "Near Coastal Waters." That means I've proven that I have more than 360 days of off-shore experience and I can now take passengers off-shore as well as inshore. I still think it is pretty cool and what a great opportunity I was given at Green Turtle Bay to take the class and start the process of receiving this Merchant Mariner Credential.

  Today we started the engines and mine immediately died. So, 25 minutes later I had the fuel pump changed and we took off at 7:30 a.m. We are making slow time because the current ranges around 1.5 knots against us. This is up from the 1 knot a few days ago because it is getting narrower. We are expecting to see 2-2.5 knots for the last 10 miles heading for Pickwick Dam. After that, it will be stop for fuel at Grand Harbor and motor flat for the rest of the day and then it will be all down hill. We can't wait for the current to be going with us!

That's it for now and the thunderstorms haven't materialized today so we are hoping they won't tonight. I think we are getting closer to a larger town so the broadband will work and I can check the weather for where we are going to be anchoring tonight.

Stay tuned.

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