Friday, November 29, 2013

Watertribe 2013 North Carolina Challenge

At the end of September, Julie and I joined this year’s Watertribe North Carolina Challenge, a 100 mile adventure race in small boats.
We were supposed leave the beach at 7:30 am on Friday Sept 27, but the start was postponed and later cancelled  (the first time in the history of the race) because of high winds extending for three days or more.  We still had a great time meeting lots of fun and interesting people and camping and spending time near the water.

We made the 11 hour drive down to Cedar Island, NC on Wednesday and pitched a tent at the Driftwood Motel and Campgrounds in Cedar Island.  
North Carolina Bound
Our camping spot was beautiful.  It had a waterfront dock, soft grass and a small 8x8 shelter under which we pitched the tent.  By Thursday the National Weather Service was predicting NE 25 knot winds for several days.  A small craft advisory was in effect.  We rowed Creamcheese from the boat ramp into open water and then surfed down the breaking waves onto the beach.  I realized getting back out through that surf was going to be a problem for Creamcheese.

We had a great time making new friends, swapping stories about cruising and boat building and learning new tricks and training techniques.  

Creamcheese between a Vanguard 16 and WildBlue's Sirocco 15.

A custom trimaran, Leatherlungs' CLC Noreaster, a Sea Pearl

An old Moth converted to a trimaran - over 200sq ft of sail
on a 15' boat!

Sirocco 15, Core Sound 20 "Dawn Patrol" lands on the
beach in the background.

In the morning ...

Ah well.... next year.
The moth sails south

Preparations for Watertribe 2013 North Carolina Challenge

Preparation for the Watertribe 2013 North Carolina Challenge involved training and equipment upgrades.  We did our rowing on two small local lakes.

Practice for rowing the Harlowe Canal - mast down

Sustained 2.5 mph rowing with all gear

We did a capsize test to get comfortable with self rescue: Climb up on the deck, grab the mast and hang over the water.  Spalsh.

Prepare to capsize

Creamcheese floats high on her side
Swim around the the exposed bottom.  Reach up and grab the chine log.  Give it a gentle downward pull.  The boat pops back upright.

Back up, boarding from the stern
Swim around to the stern, climb into the boat.  Start bailing.  There will be about five inches of water in the cockpit.  None in the cabin.

Slot-top cover, halyard
I wanted the slot top cover to protect the cabin while under sail but the halyard was cleated down in the cabin which would have made it difficult to drop sail at a moments notice.  I routed the halyard through a raceline check block to a belaying pin set into the aft deck rail.

To sleep in the cabin while it was wet, a simple vent made out of PVC pipe and a recycled Philadelphia Cream Cheese container.  Pun intended.

cockpit storage pockets, netting in the cabin
I added canvas pockets in the cockpit and storage netting in the cabin.

bronze oar hardware
We started the year out with galvanized oarlocks and oarlock sockets, but these were squeaky and dirty.  It didn't take too many miles of rowing to convince us to switch back to bronze.  I added leather buttons on the oar leathers and tennis racquet "overgrip" tape while I was at it.