Taking Valkyr out

We took Valkyr (a Downeaster 38, Mast head sloop cutter rig) out a couple of Sundays ago. It was supposed to be Angela, Zsanic, Jay, Eva, Barbara and me on the boat but a few days before we were scheduled to go out Angela found out she had to work. When she did she offered to let me captain the boat and take everyone out anyways. To be honest I have several people that have made similar offers of letting me take out their boats and I never have felt comfortable being responsible for their boats. Up till now I have always just said thank you for the offer but never taken them up on it. However, in this case, there were a lot of people looking forward to going out on Valkyr and it would be the only chance Eva would have to go sailing before she went back home to Slovakia. I have probably sailed as crew on Valkyr more than just about any other boat other than my own so I am very comfortable with how she handles and sails. The next positive is that Jay was going to be onboard and I knew that I had a very experienced boater and sailor to give a hand if I needed it.

Valkyr in Southport

We went sailing today from Valkyr’s new home. What a difference a face dock on the the ICW makes from being buried deep in a marina. Leaving is just a matter of pulling away from the dock. No backing and carefully missing the other boats in their slips or worrying about the current carrying you into them etc.. It also is really nice to sit on deck looking at the unobstructed view of the marsh across the waterway and watch the sun come up.

Surprisingly though not as long a haul to the ocean as from little river it was still a bit of a ride as the wind was on the nose most of the way to the inlet. On the final turn out the inlet we raised sails and sailed out. Winds were light so we had a long slow sail straight out till about 3:00 pm and then headed back. We had two large freighters pass us on the way in as they came out the Cape Fear Inlet. The first one did a bit to freak us out as they were on our port side approaching and wanted to  cross bows with us so they could pass on our starboard. We went ahead and did as they asked and all passed safely but it was kinda weird that they wanted to do that.

Valkyr moves to a new home

I got to help Angela and Zsanic take Valkyr to her new home up in Southport. It’s sad that they are now more than a hour away but I have to say that the new digs are 1000 percent better. Valkyr now has a marsh view the a strong breeze almost all the time. You can come out and sit on deck in the morning with your coffee or hot chocolate (poisen of choice) and watch the fishing boats and private boats heading for Bald Head Island or Oak Island heading out while the sun comes up.

The trip up was a repeat of my last trip up on La Bon Vie. No wind and motoring the whole way. Not much to say about it. The trip was uneventfull and safe which is the important thing. We left the dock in little river about 10am and got to the dock in Southport about 4ish i think.

Home again, Home again

After a lazy morning Orin decided we were going to motor back down the waterway to Little River. We spent a fairly quiet and uneventfull day on the water. Maybe 6 hours travel time.

Wooden Boat Race

Spent the night on Walkabout. Jay and Barbara invited me and Zsanic to stay on their boat while we were up in southport instead of staying on La Bon Vie. Being a bigger boat and with less people spread out it was nice. 🙂 also the air conditioning didn’t hurt.

We helped Jay bring Walkabout to the fuel dock in the morning but had issues with the prop. He just about didn’t have any maneuverability because of the oyster and barnacle growth on the 3 bladed prop. The water is very clean compared to the Cokina Harbor back in little river so I volunteered to go look at the prop after we got to the fuel dock. It was bad. There was about one inch of solid oysters on each side of all the blades. Instead of pushing the boat forward as the blades cut through the water it was more like the prop was a rough club just beating the water. We couldn’t find a decent scraper so jay handed down the stainless barbecue spatula. It actually worked better than any other scraper I have ever tried to use. The big long handle gave  you a good grip and allowed  you to keep your hands farther away from the oysters, and the big spatula end did a great job of scraping the oysters and barnacles off and stood up the the hard pounding of driving it along the blades and against the hard shells. Afterward the difference in maneuvering and handling was amazing.

Going to the Wooden Boat Race

Spent the day motoring to southport for the race on saturday. We had hoped to sail but the wind was just not there. Most of the day the ocean was so flat you could see the clouds reflected in it.

Bird Island on Valkyr

I went out on Valkyr with Angela and Zsanic yesterday. We were planning to go sailing but everyone on the boat was tired and the weather was really kicking. I would have been an challenging time sailing so we all voted to just anchor out behind Bird Island and grill some steaks and sausage. 🙂 It was the right choice!!!! The wind started out about 20 knots and we were gusting to 30 knots by the end of the day. It would have been some fun sailing but a lot of work.

We spent most of the day at anchor watching the antics of the power boaters out there. To be honest they just about stressed us out a few times. Several came real close to cutting our anchor line with their props. A group of 3 and then 4 boats that were rafted up drug their anchor about 40 yards and never even noticed till will told them. They finally stopped dragging after three of the four boats put down an anchor.

Winter Sailing?

Well it’s mid December so it should be winter.. but with average temps in the 70’s it has been feeling like very nice spring/fall weather. I just couldn’t resist the invitation to go sailing on Valkyr. Not a lot of wind today but enough for a steady 3.5 to 4.5 knots of boat speed. The ocean was almost flat with just a few ripples from a stronger gust or two. We just set the sails and balanced her out and didn’t really even have to touch the helm for long periods of time.  We lazed around on deck with the warm sun on our faces. The perfect day with just a bare hint of cool in the air with enough sun to warm us while we watched the dolphins jump out of the ocean under a clear blue sky.

Trip back from Steade Bonnet

We had a great day sailing back on Sunday. Broad to beam reach with winds 15 gusting to 20.. Valkyr was moving like a freight train.. nothing could stop her. Jerry on his Catalina 36 was having to work just to keep in sight of us. We gradually pulled away from them over the course of the day.

A pirate boat isn’t a pirate boat with out its own pirate flag.


Independence at the beginning of day lead us out the shortcut on the south side of the capefear inlet.101206

Stede Bonnet

Well the sad truth is that I didn’t take a single solitary picture out on the water during the race. 🙁 however here a few from before and after the race.

Angela talking to Jerry and his crew of pirates on Independence his catalina 36


Miriam the  pirate babe on the dock.


Miriam and Dave



the dread pirates Carle and Simms in a standoff.


Pirate Captn. Batchelder.


Trip up to Stede Bonnet

Friday I went up the ICW with Angela, Zsanic and Sailor the cat, on Valkyr. First thing before leaving the dock we had issues with the engine not pumping raw water again. It was looking like we were not going to go for a bit, but Richard came over and saved the day. He found that the anti-siphon valve on the raw water cooling side of the engine was no good. So we bypassed that quickly and were ready to go. We still left the dock in time to make the 10 o’clock opening of the Sunset Beach bridge.

It was a rainy overcast day with us all bundled up in foul weather gear the whole way.

2007 Sept 22 racing on la Bon Vie

We went out Saturday and raced. What a gorgeous day. We came in second on the first race and won the second race. There weren’t many of us out there but it was some tight racing. It was challenging on the starting line with some close maneuvering for advantage and rounding the pins/buoys during the race seemed to see us neck and neck there. The first race we were about 3 feet behind LC Marie come in across the finish line.

I got some pictures of LC Marie during the second race when she got frisky with a pin and it decided to go with her 🙂