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Monday, November 14, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sorry for the delay in posting this update.
We left the marina in Demopolis along with 5 other boats about 6:00am. By 6:30 we were in the lock, and after being joined by one more boat, the gates were closed and we decended down to Coffeeville Lake and headed South.

Genesis was the slowest boat in the pack, but we never got too far behind the other trawlers and the catamaran that we'd locked through with.

About an hour south of the dam, we spotted our first bald eagle, as he circled over the river ahead of us. After a couple of loops he landed in a tree on our port (left) side, and promply turned his back toward us! Just as the boat passed him he turned around and posed for a good picture.

Shortly after that, we noticed the steering didn't feel right, and discovered a leak in the rudder steering actuator. Not good. We added fluid, but a couple of hours later we had to face the fact that we might have to return to Demopolis and call the trip off short.



We continued on to mile 146, the sight of Pickens Landing, an anchorage where two other boats in our group were already anchored. As we approached we were called on the radio by the Captain of "Lifes Tra-Vails", who invited us to raft up alongside the other boats for the night. Both the other boats were crewed by couples who were doing the "Great Loop".

The rest of the evening was bitter-sweet, as we got to visit with 4 other boaters who started out as strangers and ended the night as friends. The bitter part was the decision that in the morning, we would head back to Demopolis while the other two boats would continue south.

On Friday morning we untied from our new friend's boats and headed north after waiting an hour or so for a thick fog to lift. I had pulled the dinghy up close to the boat and tied her off, and as soon as we started moving, it flipped and filled with water. Not good again. 15 minutes of bailing with a 5 gallon bucket got us moving again.

On the way back to Demopolis, the weather was great as we saw another eagle, several groups of wild hogs, deer, and osprey.





We arrived at the Demopolis lock just before dark, and had to wait for a northbound towboat to lock up and exit the lock. The lockmaster then emptied the chamber and we entered the lower lates for our ride up. It was dark-thirty when we left the lock and the 30 minute ride to the marina was not fun in the dark. We did make safely back into our slip though.

After making some repairs, we hope to set out again for Gulf Shores - maybe in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016


This morning my brother Joe drove us to Demopolis and after a Walmart run we started the final prep to get the boat ready leave tomorrow.

We filled the water tanks, got ice, tied the dinghy to the back of the boat and did some temporary wiring of a new radio that has a built-in AIS reciever.

The dinghy is an 11' "Spinthrift" model rowboat thay I bought from a man in Georgia. It's a little big to store on deck, so we will pull it behind Genesis. I had good intentions of repainting it and renaming it Exodus (it comes right after Genesis), but that's another project that will have to wait.

The AIS reciever on the new radio is a neat safety feature. All the big commercial boats and many cruising boats have AIS transmitters, which send digital data messages several times a minute. The data typically includes the vessel's name, direction, speed, etc, and can be revieved from several miles away. So instead of meeting a huge towboat pushing barges in the middle of a bend with no warning, my AIS receiver will alert me to his position, speed and direction  while he is still miles away.

I still didn't get the new radio wired correctly to communicate with my chartplotter, but that can wait for another day.

We met this afternoonwith several other boaters who are heading south in the morning. There should be 5 or 6 of us, and we'll all go through the Demopolis lock together, hopefully around 6:00 am. It was really great to get to meet the other boaters and get to know them. Everybody has a story, and it's amazing how frequently God blesses us by letting us cross paths with people who stregthen our faith.

We will try to post at the end of the day tomorrow - if we can get internet sevice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016

At last, Glenda and I are about to leave on another boat trip!

Since we brought Genesis (she was Dusty Weather then) up from Ft. Pierce, FL in June of last year, we have been working on several projects such as hull repair (blisters), bottom paint, new propeller shaft and bearing, new through-hull fittings, air conditioning, converting lights to LEDs, re-flooring the cockpit, replacing the forward hatch, repairing rot, painting, wiring new fans, lights, etc.

During this work we sandwiched in several day trips with the kids, grandkids, and occasionally with friends or other family members. The day trips were fun, but there is something special about untying and going on a trip that is measured in days instead of hours. We have missed the "adventure" of river travel at 7 mph.

So........ on Thursday we will untie from slip B-6 at Kingfisher Bay Marina and head South - destination Orange Beach, AL.

I'll try to post to updates here every night that we have an internet connection.

Genesis spent last Fall and Winter "on the hard". She was not happy, but her bottom looked much better after some repair and fresh paint!

Genesis, on a day trip this Summer.

Monday, April 11, 2016

On the water with the new boat!

On Tuesday, Glenda and I drove down to Ft. Pierce, and on Wednesday morning we became the official owners of Dusty Weather, a 1969 Willard 36' Aft-Pilothouse Trawler.

I spent most of Wednesday replacing some shore power outlets and temporarily wiring my VHF radio and my chart plotter into the boat for our trip home. I also added a usb charger for our phones and iPad.

Wednesday night Clyde and Sandra (who had owned Dusty Weather since 1992), took us out for a great seafood dinner, and then gave us a tour of the area before dropping us off at the boat for our first night aboard. Clyde also offered to accompany us on our first day's journey on the boat - an offer I quickly accepted! I was still a little nervous about driving such a big boat that I wasn't familiar with, and I felt much better with Clyde there on the first day. His experience proved very valuable when I ran Dusty Weather aground. But, I'll let Glenda tell you about that, since I know she's going to anyway😆.




This morning, (Thursday), we did a little organizing, called the insurance company to let them know the needed repairs were done, and then Glenda and I went grocery shopping. With Clyde coaching me, we pulled away from the dock around 11:30 and headed South toward the Okechobee Waterway. We travelled about 38 miles today and driving the trawler was lots of fun. The pilothouse has a 360 degree view, and the height adds emphasis to the view. We are tied up now at a private dock just East of the St. Lucie lock, which opens at 7:00 am. 


Glenda says:
First let me begin by telling what wonderful people Clyde and Sandra are!  We have not just purchased a new boat, we have made great new friends.  Clyde and Sandra gave up two days of their time just to help us be more comfortable with "Dusty Weather".  They gave us a personal tour of Ft. Pierce, a fantastic dinner, and fun company.  




We left Ft. Pierce around 11:30 Thursday.  We traveled along enjoying the beauty of the Florida shoreline.  I even took the helm for a few minutes, just to get a feel of boat.  Tom was following his Garmin charts very carefully and watching the channel markers closely. Clyde had come along for the first leg of the journey.  Sandra had promised to meet us at St. Lucie lock marina.  All was going well.  Suddenly at 4:55 we ran aground.   The garmin showed that we were in the middle of the channel.  The boat was stuck it would not move.  Tom just stepped aside and let Clyde take the wheel.  He saved the day!  After much patience, expertise and perseverance and with the help of couple boaters wakes we were free.  We had no clue why the channel markers were off but I suppose the water shifts a lot of sand around.  Sandra called to tell us she was at the lock and we assured her she would not have to wait long.  We arrive at 6:08--- the lock closed at 5:00.  Again we were going by the information on the garmin that said the lock was open 7 to 7.  Now Sandra is on the other side of the lock and we can't get to her!  After a series of phone calls, it's decided that we will go back up river a few miles into a neighborhood where Clyde and Sandra have wonderful friends.  The entrance into neighborhood is narrow and shallow but once again Clyde's expertise gets us safely in.  (I was instructed to leave out the part about not being able to fine the house, so I will😇)  So here we sit on our new boat in this nice quiet neighborhood being thankful.  Thankful that God let us meet 2 such 
special people.  Thankful that Clyde was with us when these "adventures" took place.  Clyde and Sandra taught me with grace and humor, to enjoy the journey.  That is a lesson God has been trying to teach me for a long time.  




May 2015. We are buying a new (to us) boat!!

New Boat !!!

For some time now we've known that we had outgrown the KnotSoFast. We wanted to take on longer trips and the grandkids were getting too big to sleep on the narrow bench. And both we and the grandkids really wanted to share our trips with other people, which just wasn't possible on the little tug. There just wasn't room, not to mention the port-pottie, no table to eat at, only a camp stove for a galley, etc. It worked for two people, but add a dog and a couple of teenagers and it got small really fast!

I considered building a bigger trawler, but in light of my recent medical issues, I decided that I just needed to buy a used one and get out on the water, instead of spending the next 5 years in the backyard.  So for the last few months we have been looking at used trawlers and motorsailers, but couldn't find exactly what we were looking for.

Then a month ago we talked with the owner of a 1969 36' Willard Pilothouse - one of only 5 such boats, and one of only two on the Eastern side of the US. Glenda, Abby and I drove down to see the boat and immediately fell in love with it. The owner had taken good care of her for over 20 years, and he graciously agreed to let us be the next owners.

We are driving down this week to begin the trip from SE Florida to Demopolis, where we will keep her while we repaint the bottom and do some minor upgrades. This will be about a 3 week, 1000 mile trip home - by far the longest boat trip we've ever taken.

Thanks to all of you who have followed the KnotSoFast travel blog at www.tomstug.blogspot.com for the last 5 years and 2400 miles. I hope you enjoy reading about the new boat too!

There is a place on the blog (right below the "Buy Abby's Book" tab), where you can enter your email and get the new posts sent to you automatically. That's a little easier than having to go to the blog to see if something new has been posted.

Tom

PS - I'll post pictures of the boat as soon as I can - probably in the next day or two.