Sad Day

My Brother

It’s the week before Christmas and everything should be good, but it isn’t. Last week my brother, Ron, had what they thought was a heart attack. It put him in ICU and in an induced coma for three days. He came out of it weak but better. After two days he signed himself out of the hospital and went home. Thursday I was able to call him and we talked for a while. That night he died. Nothing else to say.

5 Years ago and Today

Posted on November 16, 2011 at
Herrington Harbor North (38°46’N – 76°33’W)

I have been to the boat! And it looks as good in person as it did in the pictures.
In the boat
The house closed and I expect the cash to be in the account tomorrow. I am taking tomorrow to complete all the banking stuff I need to do to get the money here. I will be back on the boat on Friday. The survey is still set for Tuesday and everything should be set for me to takeoff right after Thanksgiving, probably Tuesday or Wednesday.

Now it is Thanksgiving day, November 24th, 2016 and I am getting ready to move aboard my new home. Ro and I will be leaving Saturday morning for Hilton Head where the boat is docked. The survey has been completed, the engineer has corrected everything on the hit list. I have a corporation (The Roaming Nomad LLC) in the works. The final payment to the owners has been made and I have a bill of sale. The boat will be documented in Delaware under the corporation name. I have insurance (including TowBoatUS) and I am all set to go.

10 Days later and I’m still here!

The seller is clearing up the last of the hit list Items and I’m going down for an inspection tomorrow. Things are moving, but they are slow. We are going to bring the boat up here to Osprey for the winter. In April I plan to start heading north with planned stops in Hampton, Annapolis, Barnegat Bay, Falmouth, and possibly Albany. Get to see the part of the family I haven’t seen in a while. Might make a stop in Patchogue, too.

The Survey

OK, I had the survey done. Not too much to get done, but some of it can be expensive. The controls from the fly bridge were “sticky”, in other words they locked up. The owners captain actually rammed the dock because he couldn’t get them into reverse. One engine was hard to start, or rather hard to keep going for a while (looked like fuel starvation) this “corrected itself” and the engine ran till we go to the marina for haul out. But the engine was again hard to start when we started back. The Fuel gauges either don’t work or there was no fuel in the tanks. Other small stuff, but the agent said he would fix everything.

There was one other thing that was serious, A pinhole leak in a metal pipe that connects two raw water hoses. If the pipe is not connected to the boat ground this could just be an isolated failure, if it is connected then there could be other damage to the heat exchanger. This could have been caused by not replacing the zinc in the heat exchanger.
Hole in pipe

This is what the leak looks like in action:
Hole in pipe

Well, now to see how well the agent carries through and gets the hit list fixed. He said two weeks, but I can see thanksgiving with me still in Myrtle Beach.

Offer accepted! Now the wait for the survey and closing on the old Nomad

The New Nomad
The New Nomad

Hurricane Matthew has really hit here. I took Old Nomad up to Little River to have her put on the hard for protection. Well, the jib was shredded. Insurance will help that. But now the boat is stuck at Grand Dunes Marina because the Socastee swing bridge is closed to marine traffic until further notice (could be 10-15 days). The out of water survey was complete and Friday the in water survey and sea trials will be done.

Mean while down in Hilton Head, My offer on the new Nomad (a 48′ Tradewinds Trawler) has been accepted. Since it is a buyers market I had to drop the price on the old Nomad, but I was able to offset that by getting a good price drop on the new Nomad (actually if it were a sellers market I might have come out worse). Now I need to get the Tradewinds surveyed. Because of the hurricane the travel lift at the marina is out of commission, but it should be back by the end of the week. Unfortunately, the surveyor is backed up with insurance claims and wasn’t able to schedule my boat till Nov. 2nd.

If everything goes as planned I will be out from under on the old Nomad by weeks end and sailing south by November 20th on the new Nomad.

The Nomad Has changed!!!

The Nomad, New and almost ready to travel!

October 14, 2016
I have sold the Nomad (sail version) and have placed a deposit on this beauty. A 48′ Tradewinds, TRIPLE stateroom, Trawler. The new adventures of this old nomad are about to begin. Don’t know if it will happen but I am planning on doing the “Great Loop”. Then, in addition to being The Nomad, I will be a “Looper”. This is a trip around the eastern US from Florida to New York, up the Hudson, through the Erie Canal, the Great Lakes, and down the inland waters of the Mississippi & Tom Bigby waterway to Mobile, Alabama, and out into the Gulf of Mexico. That is set to start in spring 2017. Keep an eye on this space for new pictures of the new and improved Nomad (Yep, keeping the name, without a cutesy “II” after it.) and tales of my travel and adventure to come.

Ok, first tale, “The First day”
We found this 48′ Tradewinds Trawler on line after months to searching. We must have looked at a thousand candidates. One was a 48′ Sea-Master that looked beautiful. Triple staterooms, nicely finished galley with ceramic tile back splash, really nice. But for some reason there was no picture of the engine room. I kept asking the broker and he kept stalling. Then hurricane Matthew hit. Got an email the next day “48′ Sea-Master damaged in storm (It’s on the West Coast of Florida) water in the engine room over the engines, boat removed from sale.” I bet the engines were under water well before the storm hit. But THAT’S OK! In the time I was waiting for the sale of the original Nomad to go through I kept looking and found the 48′ Tradewinds trawler I put a deposit on.

We went down to Hilton Head to inspect the boat at Windmill Harbor. The trip started with a very poor breakfast at the Litchfield Diner (that’s twice in a row, never again). But we got to the marina and met our agent and checked out the boat. It was as good as it looked in the pictures! It did show it’s age, being made in 1985. Two soft spots in the deck (none serious) and a few cosmetic problems. But she had all the requisite equipment, three staterooms, sleeping for 6-8 without pulling out a blow up mattress, Full galley with full refrigerator, three zone HVAC system, twin Volvo Penta diesel engines, a Westerbeak 3 cylinder diesel generator, etc., etc., etc. After spending about 2 hours crawling around I decided that this is the one and made an offer. I placed a deposit to show I was serious and hope the offer is accepted.

After completing the paperwork Ro and I started back. Since we were going to pass through Beaufort an the way back we decided to stop at my favorite South Carolina restaurant for pizza, Pinini’s, next to the Beaufort city marina. Had our usual, the Mediterranean, no onions, extra anchovies, and a great micro brew, a Belgian dark pilsner.

After dinner we started back for home, made it over the Charleston Bridges and then the car broke down (I hate cars). The clutch would not engage. Called AAA and had a tow back home. Now the dealer is coming to get the car and figure out what is wrong. I am due to have the old Nomad inspected today for the damage she received during the hurricane, but I don’t have a car to get there. Hope it’s warm enough to take the bike.

Another day, another adventure.

Oh yes, check out the pictures “The new, improved, Nomad”

Fernandina to Port Royal 5/12/2016

Took off yesterday from Fernandina, plan was to go outside to St. Simon’s Island. It was sunny, warm and a 10knt wind from the south east. Past the St. Mary’s Inlet breakwater and turned north. First I had to get past the pickets on patrol, gathering all the illegal shrimp. I set a course and passed two crossing shrimpers by passing in front of them by about 1/4 mile. By then I was into the nice warm day and gentle 2ft seas, so I decided I would go for Port Royal, SC, 120 miles. Being on my own I agreed with the mutiny. Then I put up the sails and charted a new course, 32 Degrees Magnetic. That would end up right at the entrance to Port Royal Sound. ETA at the buoy was 12:30 AM. Didn’t have to trim much, I was doing 7 knts and was happy to let the autopilot hold the course. As I was passing Wassaw Sound the sun was getting low. Not wanting to have to take down the sails alone in the dark I struck them and went on under power. Getting past the Savannah River entrance (Tybee Roads) I was confronted with a sight I had never seen, two white lights high above the horizon with a green light a little lower. It was too dark to see anything else, and in my position it didn’t look like it was moving. So I powered on at 6nkts. A few minutes later I looked again and it looked to be closer, and the green light moved to the left. It was moving! I “put the pedal to the metal ” and got past the entrance only to look back and see an empty car hauler about 1/2 mile back crossing my stern, those suckers are huge. Made it to the entrance to Port Royal within 15 minutes of the original ETA, but then the fun started. First and weather report came over the VHF radio (The radio automatically switched to the weather channel because it was a serious weather alert) Thunderstorms ahead, but don’t worry, there’re well inshore, Then I saw the clouds off to my left and right and a roll of clouds streaking between them. And the lightning started. It was weird lightning, yellow, not white. And it was going from cloud to cloud, and cloud to ground. And it was all around. The wind came up to about 30knts and when I passed under the cloud roll I could swear my mast cut through them. I was sure I would be hit. But as quick as it came it passed behind me. a total of 1 hour of shear fear, then calm. I passed the rest of the voyage quickly and set my anchor just before the Lady’s Island Drive High Bridge. 19.5 hours, 120 miles, Avg 6.3KNts

Winter in Ft. Pierce, Fl.

I spent the winter of 2015-2016 in Ft. Pierce, FL. I was in Daytona at Loggerhead but one night there told me it just wasn’t the same place. So, the next day I packed up let loose the lines and moved over to Halifax Harbor. Not a bad place and I stayed there for a month. During that time Ro came down and we took a cruise to the Bahamas. It was a nice trip and really relaxing, not having to pilot through the shallow waters, or pay the fees.

We got back to Daytona just before New Years. On the 25th of Jan I again tossed the lines and took a three day cruise down the ICW to Ft. Pierce. Nice trip overall, on the hook at Tittusville, in a slip at Melbourne. Got into Ft. Pierce on the third day and tied up on A Dock. This place should have a shuttle out here, It’s about 1/3 of a mile to the dock gate. They let me use my bike on the dock so it’s not that bad. There are two Tiki bars nearby, and a pub like place that has Boddington’s on tap (when available). There are two Publix Markets within biking distance and enough restaurants to keep me happy.

Ro came down for a week and we rented a car to go to the Keys for a couple of days. Walked down Duval St. Ate at Sloppy Joe’s. Looked the place over and found that it was very much the same as everyplace else in Florida. Lots of Tiki Bars with boat drinks and their version of a Cheeseburger In Paradise. We stayed in Key Largo which I liked better, I also liked Marathon. Boot Key Harbor looked good, but crowded.

I am now getting the Nomad ready for my trip north. I plan on departing May 1st or sooner, depending on preparations and weather. Don’t have much to do, but it depends on other people meeting the schedule.

Engine instruments connected to the data buss!

I have connected the engine instruments to the data buss for display on the helm and navigation desk MFDs (Multi Function Displays). This will give me the ability to see what the engine oil pressure, temperature, voltage, RPM, and fuel level are without getting on my knees to view the display panel. I used a RS11 interface from NoLand Engineering. It was an easy installation although when I asked Raymarine and NoLand Engineering they both said to ask the other and did not want to guarantee anything. But it went easy, except for the special cables I had to order, and everything is working as it is supposed to. If you would like a complete narrative on the installation let me know, I haven’t been able to find one that describes connecting a NEMA 2000 interface to a Seatalk Ng backbone.

The story of the dinghy oars.

Last summer I took a really nice trip to Lookout Point. N. C. couldn’t have had a nicer place to stay for a few days. The first day at anchor I put the motor on the dinghy and we went to shore and over to the beach. Great day, but on the way back I ran out of fuel (D’oh! a Homer moment). So I pulled out the oars and started to row, then the oar lock broke. Paddled like a canoe to the boat. The next day we decided to head back, into a 35knt gale. We were towing the dinghy and I forgot the oars were in there. The dinghy flipped and one oar went to the bottom, (D’oh!, Homer moment #2).


Well I finally go around to trying to replace the missing oar. First, the oars don’t come with the oar lock, so I have to buy new oar locks (The kit only comes as a set of two for the boat, cha ching). But Defender had them so I ordered one oar and the upgrade kit of oar locks. Yesterday the oar lock kit arrives, the oar is back ordered to Europe and won’t be here till the end of September. Today I put in the new oar locks and set up the one oar with the new connection piece. I’ll be waiting for the oar to come, but I leave here October 1st.

Update 9/18/15: The oars came and it was two in the package. Now I have two new oars and everything is fine.