September 15-31, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

Previous Log - The most recent past log

All Logs - This takes you to the list of all of our logs

Sept 16 - We had that water pump replaced and then we took off up the Potomac. Before we got to this spot the engine stopped. No problem, just switch fuel tanks. I had figured it would run out before now. But then it wouldn't prime. Oops - problem. We dropped an anchor and I went to work. The problem ended up being some kind of blockage in the port fuel pick up line. So I had a couple of options - I love options! One, fix the problem. That means tearing the fuel system apart. Not here. Second option, take fuel from the port tank and put it in the starboard tank. No problem - I got out my homemade fuel polishing system and hooked it up and simply pumped fuel from the port to the starboard tank. Then we hauled anchor after starting up the engine and we were underway again. Deb was happy we didn't have to put the dinghy back in.

The next day we passed this house where they must be planning a wedding. then we came upon Fort Washington. They didn't fire on us. And then the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. what a site with the Washington Monument in the background.


To the left you can see Alexandria. They have a great marina and wonderful area with restaurants and sites that we found last time we were here on our boat.

The capitol building is easy to pick out and of course the Washington Monument is too.

We passed by Reagan airport with planes taking off and landing just above our mast. Well, maybe a bit more that just above.

Then this fire boat came racing up behind us. He turned a 360, really he did! Jet drives and a flat hull evidently. Then he went by us and headed up and set up this wonderful water display with all of their pumps and nozels. You know we've been welcomed into ports before but this one was pretty special. Check out the pictures and all that effort they must have gone through. Just think, they even knew we would be late because of the water pump problem...

Ok, I think they were actually checking out a new fire boat...

We passed this Schucker that I had to get a picture for our friends who also have a Schucker. You might recognize it because I took it's picture back in Beaufort, SC.
To the left you can see the docks of the Capital Yacht Club. We quickly got settled in at the dock we were renting for the next two weeks while I travel to Maine. At Happy Hour we went up to the Club and met back up with a bunch of people we knew from 3 years ago. It seems they remembered me playing guitar and hopefully that was a good thing. We saw Senator Craig who is now retired and had a great conversation. The we saw Bill who was a retired test pilot of F4's and F 15's and 16's. I'm sure you can understand why this was a fun night already talking airplanes. Then we saw Jay who is just Deb's size and a wonderful person. Next arriving was Craig Cole also now retired but was in charge of Art's and Redevelopment for Washington. And of course we saw Rob who is still there as the bartender. To say the least, we got settled in very quickly. It was a great evening and a wonderful experience to be welcomed back to the Capital Yacht Club. IF you ever go to Washington D.C. This is THE place you should use for your headquarters. Either anchored out or by dockage.

After packing today and doing laundry, I got off on the bike for about an hour and a half. It was a quick trip but I just couldn't fly out of here without seeing the major sites. And to the right is the Capitol.

Below left is the Washington Monument and then the White House.

And then there is the Lincoln Memorial. Can't you just hear Forest Gump yelling Jenny, Jenny.

Or perhaps Martin Luther King delivering his I have a dream speech.

Or perhaps - well you get the idea.

And looking back form another perspective is again the Washington Monument where you can clearly see the difference in stone they had to use.

This is the Korean War Memorial. This has a special place in my heart because my father served in the Korean War. Not on the ground but on a ship which was hit and he helped fight the fire and save the ship. He lived while others didn't, thus I live today.

All of the memorials bring to light the fact that the monument below left is totally true. I never served. My father and brother did along with many other people I know. Thank you!

And the pictures that follow are those of Vietnam Vets looking over the Vietnam Memorial.

I was on a quick tour and didn't really expect to get one of those tear dropping pictures. You see, I have been at this memorial several times. I've seen people taking tracings and watched them point at names. I've never had my camera to capture the moment. Today, with a 500 mm lens I actually caught one of those moments that brought tears to my eyes. The pictures to the right, below, and finally to the lower right - are that sequence.

Look at the picture to the lower right. I present it in black and white on purpose to signify the 70's. Look at the two people and the feelings they have at this moment. The hand on the wall and the reflection of his hand and arm back into the wall. Was it his brother? A friend? A comrade in arms?

I don't know this visitor or his supporter, but I truly hope this visit has brought an even greater appreciation for the person who's name is forever etched on that wall.

Sept 22 - Sorry, I was caught up in travel and working. Wow, I actually forgot how much time that 4 letter word takes!

I took off from Washington at 0 dark thirty. Yes, I left on a cab at 3:45 am and headed for the airport at Baltimore. Once I caught the plane, I arrived in Boston at about 7:30. Picked up my bag and got some breakfast. Waited about 3 hours and caught a bus up to Camden Maine. This trip took almost 5 hours but it was a good trip. Comfortable seats along with movies aboard. They even had electric outlets so that I could plug in the computer if I wanted. Pretty cool buses up here.

Oh yeah, the plane I thought was painted pretty cool and it makes sense that they have the Brewers on it. I think the team was flying out. The pictures below are out the window of the bus as I was traveling along the shore.

When I arrived in Camden, Dick and Tina picked me up and took me for a quick tour. I was able to get the panoramic below that shows the harbor. Then I took some closer-up pictures of each side. The people up here love boating! I mean they love them. They will put their boats in around late May or early June and boat during the summer then pull them out in September. OR, they will hop aboard and head for Bermuda and then on further south for the Caribbean. I want aboard one of those trips. But wait, that just might happen.

We then headed off to a spot that provided a view of the rocks that line the banks here. No fun if you can't navigate. By the way, one of the wonderful antique wooden boats just hit the ledge not once but twice. Another person was at the helm who was supposed to know knew what they were doing. I guess they didn't. That will be settled in court since the damages were about $100,000. Not bad for a day out sailing.

I also picked up the pictures below.

Tides here are about 11 or 12 feet so most people are on moorings or as you will see later on floating docks that are moored into place. That increases density of boats.

Meet Dick. Dick is the guy that is in charge of the curriculum for True Course - the company I am now teaching for. He knows this material like he wrote it all. This has been wonderful for me to see his approach to presenting the material and to clear up a point or two. You can already figure out that it is completely different sitting in the class so that you can be prepared to take the Captain's test. With that pressure off, I am now just picking up the small details of the material so I can present it. I already have so many ideas on how to take it even further I think I have a month of work to do. I can't wait for my first class - it will be fun for all and I'm sure all the new Captains will have earned their titles but will have fun doing it.

The experience in this class is amazing. The guy sitting telling a story to his classmates has over 100,000 miles of ocean time. He has been the captain of several Gunboats which are BIG cats and are designed for racing. He's showing some pictures of some races he has been in. Along with Cat's he also has crewed and Captained a number of historic boats. Now he's here to get the official Coast Guard License. Everyone else in the class also has a ton of experience - why are they here? Not just because of the License, although that is important, it is because of the increased knowledge they will and have learned. Every student has learned during this week and it has been exhilarating along with tense at times. Bottom line is that everyone has questions and is ready to learn. They are doing their part and we are trying to do ours. They will be successful. We expect to see eight new Captain's by Saturday.

And to the lower left is another view of a harbor. Beautiful up here but it's getting cold!

I will be here until Tuesday when I start back to Washington. I'll fill you in on the details later but I should leave early and be back late. Here is the good news - Curly - the guy telling the stories above, may need some crew in the future to head off-shore. He's got my number and I'm hoping he will be calling and I will be available. It would be a good time to be two weeks running a Gunboat from anywhere to St. Martin - don't you think? By the way, we also have people who are crew on schooners, NOAA boats, their own boats, fisherman wanting to charter - you get the idea, true boaters who love boating.

 Sept 27 - The class has been going great. So great that right now the eight students in the class have passed their OUPV (6-Pack) exam to qualify for their Maritime Marine license. Ok, for all of you that means they will be officially licensed Captains as soon as they finish the paperwork.

It was a pretty intense morning on Saturday and you could hear a pin drop in the room as everyone took their exams.


 One of the exams is on plotting. You can see to the left one of the new Captains figuring out just exactly what was happening based on their speed along with the set and drift of the current in Block Island. No GPS's and autohelm's allowed in this class! We are back to the basics as required by the Coast Guard and they have become competent enough to do very well on the exam.

Once everyone finished, up to 4 1/2 hours testing for some, it was time for a very quick lunch and then I taught the towing endorsement class. Everyone learned a new vocabulary along with the various ways to tow. At the end we went through some of the legality's involving towing verses salvage and it was time to test again. The students who did continue on into towing also all passed. No doubt a good thing.

Yesterday we started the Masters certification which will allow them to ultimately be the master aboard vessels holding more than 6 passengers. Again, when that class is finished there is another exam.

Tomorrow, I will be heading back to Washington to be back with Deb, Jimmy Buffett, and get the boat ready for our trip down the east coast. The trip will start at about 6 a.m. and will involve a car ride to Portland, bus ride to Boston, plane to Washington, bus to the metro station, metro to near our bus, then a walk to the yacht club where Deb will need to unlock the gate. Long day of traveling but I will be happy to get back.

I've had a great time putting the dot's on the i's and crossing the t's with regards to teaching the class. Now I have about 2 weeks of work ahead of me to document everything. Since you've read my website you know I love to have pictures, so that means a projector will be in my future to provide a new dimension to these classes when I teach. The classes should be lots of fun.

I'll let you know when I get back and it looks like we will be moving on the boat again around Friday depending upon the weather.

 Previous Log - The most recent past log
 All Logs - This takes you to the list of all of our logs

Web Page by Jim Faughn

Jim and Deb's Adventures