Friday, 5 December 2014


Just after we launched.
 Monday arrived and we were unceremoniously dumped into the water without so much as a photo. We anti-fouled the bottom and found things to do to keep busy on top. Including hoisting the main on the new Tides Marine Sail Track which we had installed to facilitate the dropping of the main. It has been catching coming down since we had the new one made in South Africa. With this system the UHMW PE Track was installed into the existing groove on our Mast.  The system comes with beautiful Stainless Steel Slides,  Intermediates,  Reef,  Batten,  and Headboard Slides,  Also included are new Batten Luff Boxes.  It is a very nice system and super slick VERY low friction. The sail drops really fast now!

We have been on the hard so long David starting hunting for jobs! He found some 12v light globes to renovate!. Solders new terminals on because they wear or melt off in the light fitting....You will notice the wine. That's for cooling the soldering iron I'm told.

On Monday the 24th we were supposed to splash but it seemed a little pointless to splash then race off to Virginia for Thanksgiving so we delayed a week. We had intended to splash the previous week but a misunderstanding with the office and their schedule and the inconvenience of a Tornado warning combined to cause us to delay another week. In Tiger Point Marina there are a limited number of days in which we can launch a boat Taipan's size. The tide has to be slack and high and that tide has to occur during working hours. Between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. So we missed a whole week as tides didn't coincide. if we had missed the December 1st date we would have had to wait another week.

We set off towards Madison in Western Virginia on Monday 24th and got to Florence for the first night. The next day with time up our sleeve we detoured to Beaufort North Carolina to say farewell to our old sailing cruising friends Martha and Bryce on Silver Fern. They had just launched and were heading to the Panama and on home to New Zealand. Having driven for 6 hours in pelting rain we were looking forward to a night with them but were rudely awakened by a text from Robert at Madison to let us know that snow was forecast and warning us to make haste to them to avoid being caught in hours of snow and icy driving conditions. Not to mention Thanksgiving traffic.
Only a dusting by local standards but thrilled the socks off us!
Coffee and a quick chat and we were on the road again. We made it as far as Peterberg and had to call it quits. More pelting rain and horrid traffic and too tired to continue we had 2 hours to go in the morning. The rain had slowed but continued to drizzle intermittently and traffic got progressively heavier. At Charlotsville we stopped for a Starbucks and lo and behold!! ! started to snow.! We continued our way fascinated as we watched the world turn white. We found detours and back roads and manged to turn 2 hours into 4. Initially we were a little apprehensive but a few practice stops and starts and 4 wheel drive on we just enjoyed the ride!

Judith and Roberts beautiful cabin in the mountains was warm and welcoming and we settled in with them and Roberts sister Marilyn for the Thanksgiving festivities. A little local tourist thing the next day to craft art markets and still some snow laying around so it was cold outside. The last Thursday of November is always Thanksgiving and we were hosted by Chrissy and Eileen at their cabin nearby. What a sumptuous feast in an adorable setting with fabulous company. Couldn't ask for more.

 David, Eileen, Lauren, Chrissie, Judith, Marilyn and Robert.
Next morning we all went hiking in the Shenandoah Mountain foothills. Very pretty and very different to Australian bush! All the leaves are missing so you can see for miles.

Unfortunately, because we had to get back to launch Taipan, our visit was too short. Lovely to spend time, even briefly, with my cousin Judith and her husband and family. Headed back towards Fernandina on Saturday. The highway was packed. 3 lanes each way on the Interstate 95 all busy at 70 to 80 MPH. Like driving fast on Riverside Drive at peak hour for 6 hours. It took us 2 days and we had done over 2500km. But we had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Smoke!! Tonight the 2000W, 4 year old Victron Inverter started to smoke! No! The fuses are all OK! Its on the bench now. Tune in soon to get the latest on that saga.  UPDATE Victron replaced the unit for half price of a new one.

We are trying to get out of the marina and make our way to Nassau for Xmas with Jo and Paddy our good ol' friends and stalwart sailors from Sydney, currently lurking in Mexico and having a fat time by all accounts. So many ambushes when you have a deadline! Now the captain is not stuck for jobs!