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Most people look forward to Friday afternoon...not this one.

After the on and off deluges of rain, I was finally able to hoist a couple of sails and tack back and forth inside the ICW. As I made my way along and the day dragged on I dodged traffic while zig-zagging down the ditch trying to make up some time by sailing faster than just driving straight with no sails. As I started passing the bombing range (Camp Lejuene I think?) a guy in a powerboat was approaching me from the other direction. Once again, I was being polite... and we saw how that worked out with the generator the night before. As I waited for him to pass and not tack across the creek i front of him I inadvertently bumped into some shallow water. Not a big problem, just put it in reverse and back off gently. This boat allows the engine mount to rise up as it is in reverse. Unfortunately his wake was rocking my boat as the engine was in reverse and somehow the engine mounts slipped and the engine started to slip down into te water as I was adjusting the sails to maneuver off of the sand. I jumped to the back of the boat, shut off the engine, and grabbed a line and with on hand held on to the engine and slid the line around the lift handle with the other as is started to sink. I grabbed the other end of the line frantically and hoisted the engine back up. Once the engine was above water I moved forward and adjusted the sails and sailed off of the sandbar. Holy Yikes at this point but lucky for me I deal with pressure well. I sailed downstream and put all of the sails away and pulled out the jib (the front sail) so I would have some steerage. I made it down to a channel that went out to the ocean and tried to set the anchor so I would be holed up near that entrance in case I had to sail into the ocean the next day. The anchor didn't hold so I moved further down the creek and did a soft landing on the mudflat. I threw out the anchor and went to work immediately on getting the engine and mount back in place (and secured them from future movement). I then removed the spark plugs and turned the engine over by hand to get the water out of the pistons. I sprayed the engine and carb with carb cleaner and got the engine to start. WHEW! Next I put the dinghy in the water and went about setting the anchors. Remember it is getting dark by this time. To add to the fiasco, after setting the anchor with the dinghy I pulled up to the side of the boat and revved the dinghy motor to push on the side of the boat. The motor started to rip the transom off the dinghy. It turned out that the wood had rotted inside during storage but wasn't visible. That was enough excitement for the night so I opened the hatches for a breeze and went to sleep.

I am a bad blogger: Friday AM continued.

Many issues have occurred that have distracted me from updating this blog. Suffice it to say, rain and mechanical problems trump bloging.

After visiting the ships store for my gas tank fitting only to find they didn't have one, I waited to purchase the daily ration of ice while I looked around outside. I figured why should I carry bags of frozen water around just to have them melt before their useful purpose was served like keeping my egg beaters and blueberries chilly. While I stood outside the store taking the view of the marina in, a man who overheard me inside asked me what I was looking for. At first I didn't recognize him as someone from inside and wondered if he was some kind of visionary or genie by the tone of his voice. I came to my senses upon realizing who he was and blurted out fuel line connector and he pointed me toward a marine service center on the property that may have the part... they didn't. Later as I contemplated his question I wondered what was I looking for... had I had my wits about me I probably would have said I was looking for what everyone else was, financial freedom, my soul mate, the perfect bloody mary, etc... but I didn't and I was left to wonder by myself and look for another genie.
After returning to the boat I fired up the idle-shy engine and retrieved the anchor. After a few stalls then engine and I made it out of the anchorage. With impending rain on the horizon I decided to put the canopy over the helm area. Unfortunately the rain was moving faster than it looked on the radar and I completed the task in a downpour. Then it got windy and rained harder. How does rain that big fly sideways? So after a good drenching I made it to the ICW and motored happy-ish along. I t6hougt of all of the good things about the rain to lift my spirits; and here is what I came up with: I didn't have to wash the boat, my solar shower wouldn't get to hot, Ned and the unnamed plant loved it, and I wouldn't get a sunburn. And that was the best thing that happened all day. To be continued...
Dinghyed back to the boat around 9:30 and decided against running the generator and air to cool down the cabins as there were local liveaboards all around me and I wanted to be polite. Next time I will most likely say screw 'em. It was hot and humid. Then it stormed off and on throughout the night so I was opening and closing hatches, sweating, swearing, getting woke by rain pelting me through open hatches, hearing strange noises and poking my head outside to investigate. I think the only ones who enjoyed it were Ned and the yet unnamed plant! Gonna don the rain gear and take a Dinghy ride over to the ships store to get some ice and a fuel hose fitting. Then I will have to put the canopy over the helm and take off down the ICW rather than going offshore like I wanted to. This is becoming reminicent of when Thom and I brought the boat north so many years ago when it rained for six days straight. More later...
Day one was greeted with light breezes upon leaving the New Bern area heading down the Neuse River. Further down the river the wind picked up to 10-12kts and got up to 10.3 mph motorsailing. After turning the outboard off I was still hitting 7.5mph.

Great progress until hitting Adams Creek, bucking the tide and wind on the nose. I took advantage of the long straightaways and rigged my solar shower to hang between two halyards Took a quick shower and the wind even blew some water Ned's way. Searching for a spot to stop for the night led me to a place called The Tiki Bar... I had to anchor up there!

It was located at Town Creek Marina with a restaurant named Fishtales. Cool place with a quiet anchorage and a restaurant with an outdoor Tiki bar that had a great live musician that sang great songs about fishing and boating.
Checking the forecast tonight to see if I can head offshore in the morning.

Day 1

Up early when a train past by the marina (Bridgeton Harbor, nice place... more on that later).
Restless sleep after that due to the events of the day that lie ahead on my mind.

Did my pregame/sail safety checklist, check the anchors, tie everything down and water the plants... did he just say plants?! Yup, I adopted a small palm tree in honor of my friend Thom (who also owns the boat). Since he isn't able ride along I thought the tree which I named "Ned" could take his place. I will be taking photos of Ned along the way so Thom can be part of the experience. I also adopted a small flower array that I have yet to name, maybe we will hold a naming contest.
I'm off to the store for some last minute supplies and then drop my car off for safe keeping at my friend Charles' house where I have been doing some work. Then back to the boat to get underway for the first leg of my journey to Morehead City, NC. I will post pics when I learn how on this blog dealio. Chow. -jimbo

Pre-trip planning

It is the night before departing on my 4-6 day journey to Hilton Head Island and the checklist has been checked (except for a few last minute details) and the excitment of leaving the dock has inspired this blog. After I get underway tomorrow I will try to describe the history of the Tiki and my thoughts and observations along the way. I am hopeful that my friend (and the boat's owner) will contribute as well. But for now I am going to doze off to the sounds and comfort of the dockside electicity powered air conditioning. It is July and quite hot here in Bridgeton, NC (New Bern) so the thought of dropping the anchor in some creek will be interesting. I do have a generator on this sailboat so I will not be without all creature comforts. OK, tomorrow is a big day, time for a nap.

Why a blog?

Many may ask why there should be a blog about a boat. The answer is simple and complicated. The simple answer is that I would like to share the experience of taking the Tiki Thomcat on it's voyage south after a long time spent on a refit of the hulls and all that goes with that process. The complicated answer lies in the journey the boat has taken us on as we enticed her back to the water.

Welcome to the Tiki Thomcat Blog!