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The Write Byte's Log.  Log 1997

The Ship's Log

(Took possession, Th.. May 29, 1997. This is the delivery from Annapolis to Cambridge, where she will be berthed.)

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Fri. May 30, 1997 23:17

Departed Port Annapolis Marina under clear, starry skies. Tim Fuhrmann at the helm, assisted by crew: Terry Cohen, Sean Fuhrmann, Bruce Franz and DeWayne Ward Jr.  Our Voyage begins!

0107  Abeam Green 87 Turn south, Hoist sails.  6-8 knot wind, heading 195 on a close reach.  clear skies, visibility excellent.

0130 Abeam Thomas Point Shoal.  Lovely night.  Terry at the helm.

0207 Abeam Red 86, Course 195

0250 Abeam Bloody Point Light.  4.9 kts wind freshening.

0332 Abeam 84A, turn to 180, Fog.  Visibility 1/4 mile, tops.  Can hear engine noise.

0413 Abeam 84, Still foggy.  Avg. 3.0 kts, +-

0430 moon was visible

0435 moon was invisible

0500 abeam 82, still foggy.  Avg. 4.3 kts.  Engine noises.

1015 After a rollicking romp up the Choptank, the wind died by Castle Haven.  Since Bruce was worried about a patient, we motored in, hailing Cambridge yacht basin at Hambrook Light.  Yielded no response. Motored into slip at 1015.  After a successful delivery to her new Home port, The Write Byte adventure begins.

June 1, 1997.  1600 Visibility 5 mi.  Low Ominous clouds.

Preparing to depart for trip around 19.

1800 Return safely to port.  Winds variable 6-9 kts.  Flew jib only, saw 5.8 kts peak speed.  Avg. 4.9 kts.  Shower squall blew through.

Friday August 30, 1997.  1045  Crew: Tim Terry, Sean, DeWayne.

We are preparing to depart for Crisfield.  This will be our first major trip with the boat.  We've owned her for 91 days now and have sailed her 60 of those days.

1218  We're under way!

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Saturday August 31, 1997 0741

We're pulling up anchor after a night's stay inside Drum Point at Solomon's Island.  Got in around 1830 - a pretty sunset to greet us shortly before settling in.  Dinner of Texas skillet (tc), breakfast of eggs, corned beef hash, hash browns (tf).  After dinner, DeWayne found success at fishing (croaker & nice spot).  Got Sean into it. Fell asleep with poles in hand - even caught a small one then.  0747 and we're off again.  - without even firing up the iron spinnaker! However we've learned how much (long) the fresh water in the aft tank holds up when filled only to the "L" - not much.  Gone already.

1730  Arrived Safely at Somer's Cove without incident.  Will anchor in cove anchorage.  Too many boats, but better than rolling in Tangier sound.  Took on 15 gal. Diesel.  100 gal. water.

Sunday Sept. 1  0800

Moved to City Dock for skipper's meeting.
1100  started long slow race to Deal Island. 3 boats in race, the other two did a horizon job on us.  Arrive in Deal Island 1730.  DeWayne injured foot cleaning boat.

Monday, Sept. 2

1100 Raced Skipjack race.  Came in 4th in field of 4.  Better showing than yesterday, but put in request for west winds @ 15 kts for next year.

1330  Depart Deal Island.  Terry left boat, sorry to lose her to work demands.  The boat lacks something with her gone.

1534 exiting Hooper's Strait.  38:12:50, 76:11:00.  We've been racing a skipjack, the Martha Lewis who is under power for the last five miles.  Our speed has ranged from 6.0-7.2 kts.  The skipjack is evidently doing 6.5 kts.  He just raised her sails and fell off to a road reach.  We'll see how we fare now.  Not very well, they took off like a shot, motor sailing right away from us.

Sunday November 30, 1997.  Noon.

Sean, DeWayne and I depart under overcast skies with a light drizzle, light winds.  This is our last sail  of the season as we must not use The Write Byte until April 1, due to insurance Reasons.  Our first season aboard The Write Byte has been filled with excitement, adventure and many, many experiences, unfortunately not documented here.  As the 970 nm elapsed distance on our GPS attests, we did some sailing.  This was made easier by virtue of my job, which kept me staying aboard for much of the season.  I spent many evenings sailing till after midnight with Ed Shorter as crew.

Nearly every weekend during the summer months, Terry and I entertained guests aboard.  Notable events included the trip with Terry's sister Janis.  We anchored in Oxford only to have 20 or so boats drag down on us.  At 2:30 am, we hoisted anchor and sailed home.  Since I hadn't gotten any sleep, due to worry about just this event, Terry and Janis sailed home after we cleared the shoal at  Castle Haven.  I slept.  When we arrived home, I noticed something hanging from the anchor.  It turned out to be a snail and oyster encrusted rubber rub rail from a Cal 34.

Another trip had Dan, Barb, Colleen and Jeremiah aboard.  (Brother, Sister-in-law and their children) We anchored in LeCompte Bay under a bright moon and nearly no wind.  Approx. 2:30 am, the wind came up and swept across the river and bay so much that we had spray breaking over the  bow.  Since our anchor held (again,) and there were no neighbors this time, I went back to sleep, getting up occasionally to ensure we hadn't dragged.  We didn't.  After a late and leisurely breakfast, we left only to run aground twenty minutes later at the mouth of LeCompte Bay.  An hour and a half later, we finally wrenched ourselves free and went home.  The week after we returned from Crisfield, we had an "incident."

Sept. 7, Sun. 1997 - Revisited.
This part was too painful for Mon. Capitan to bear, so I shall do my best to recapture it.  Though I myself, the Faithful First Mate was not aboard.  Tim and Sean had taken The Write Byte out and upon returning, backing into the slip, a vent hose (about 2" in diameter) broke free and wrapped itself with tentacle fury around the drive shaft, dismembering the limb from the tranny and stabbing our poor girl right through her  Writeous hull.

Taking on Water - fast and furious.  Thank goodness dear Bruce  was on Hemisphere Dancer and the good dock master Ed was near by.  With extra hands and an extra pump, the four managed to keep her royal Bristolness above water until she could be towed to Yacht Maintenance.

For five weeks she was "in hospital," Tim keeping her spirits and his afloat with visits.  It was sad not to have her seaworthy for Phyllis and Rick's visit in September.  But, they pledged to enjoy  her hospitality in the coming year.

And when the day came to return her to the slip, I  joined Tim at Y.M. and we backed her out and began her short trip home.  For a couple of hours, our WB  was her old self - and so was Tim.  And, I got to enjoy them both amid a pristine autumn eve.

Since then, we've paid off her bills, Tim, Sean and Ed conquered what we believe is Second in the Choptank Cup Race on Oct. 18.  Foul weather gear (gift of the mate to the captain) - isn't that what everyone does for anniversaries? has been tested with flying colors this fall.

Today is Dec. 1, The Write Byte's first official day of hibernation.  But I suspect her sleep won't go totally undisturbed.  There will be check-ups and check-ins, check-lists and check-offs.  And a ship's bell to polish for a gleaming debut (encore) in the spring.

Sad to leave her for the season.  But, she's earned her rest.  And we can store up a new cache of dreams to share aboard her in the beautiful year to come.

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Post Scripts
Memories of our first year aboard The Write Byte include the pooters:  Camille, Guenevere and Chance.  Guinny had a preview walk aboard, but Fourth of July was the first time we really went out with them.  They surprised us by not acting the roles we thought they'd play.  Camille the Chicken turned out to be the saltiest of them all, unwilling to come off the doghouse even when we hit a squall.  (Tim snatched her and tossed her below.)  Guenevere, the Fearless was quite content to stay below or in the cockpit.  Chance the Delinquent was chicken at first.  But, by morning was determined to vie for Camille's Salty Dog Title.

On other trips, they did quite well.  Camille watched fireworks over Cambridge with us that trip while the other two slept below.  Another trip, Chance did a "Land Ho" run down the dock in Oxford.  Guinny, bored with the cockpit took herself ashore, thank you.  Chance hit the drink once and Tim was kind enough to rescue the drowned rat.

Other memories?  Of course.
The glorious recommissioning of June 22, 1997.  Aboard, Captain, First Mate, Sailor Sean, Mom & Dad, Joe, Angela & Rachel, DeWayne and Del, our surveyor.  A glorious day of great sailing - good wind!  Tim read an anglican prayer provided by Bruce and I read a Jewish prayer for the journey.  Ed and Stedman looked on, but didn't sojourn.  Our good luck token is the conch shell retrieved by Rene on our honeymoon.

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So many good times - taking Don Bauer and wife Fran, daughters Heidi and Amber out.  (Amber, great at the helm!...) that evening taking Frank and Lily out for a zesty sunset, a silvery full moon sail - Lily a treasure at the helm, Frank dipping the toe rails in the water  with white knuckles... ah,  those two enjoying a night alone on the boat.

Oh the most glorious of many glory sunsets belongs to Ernest and Shirley's afternoon on the boat.  The sun would not be satisfied, each drop had to ignite a new fire - crimson, salmon, indigo, turquoise, - shimmer on.

And Frank and Lily's return with her two younger children, Frank's Dad... and speaking of Dad's, I almost forgot to mention Don having his Dad with him.  What a charm to watch the elders aboard (including mine) enjoying it so much!  And the kids ...  and the dogs!  And  the teens and the adults.  Okay, I'll stop now.

I'm sure there is much more I've overlooked, but I will try closing again.  On Sat. Nov. 29, a pretty day, Tim took Stedman out.  Stedman, Tim's mentor, Sean's oftime captain, my friend;  Stedman really started it all for us.  So, I'll end with remembering his words to Tim as his wise old hands took the helm:  "I could get used to this."  Or the look on his face when we were racing one Wed. night - pure peace.

May the peace be with us, throughout this season and  aboard The Write Byte next year.

From the Captain;
Now that mate Cohen has dutifully filled in the blanks of my sorely wanting narrative, I would be remiss if I did not mention that Mate Terry "Queen of Speed" Cohen did while at the helm on July 19th hit the high speed for the season of 8.3 knots in a run from Cambridge to Oxford. That said run took a mere hour and twenty minutes from departing the marina piers to arriving abeam Choptank Light.  Even constant attention to sail trim was not enough to allow us to broach the mark during the Choptank Cup, during which time we did average 6.7 knots.  During her run to Oxford, Terry "Queen of Speed" Cohen averaged 7.2 knots.  It was a good season.

May we have 40 more just like it  or pray, even better.

Your most humble servant

Dec. 1, 1997

Unskilled and Unaware

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