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Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Boat Reviews, US |

Intracoastal Waterway: Books and Bilge Pumps in Oriental

A little maintenance is par for the course when it comes to sailing the Intracoastal Waterway, and new friends lend some advice.

Terry Blevins is traveling the Intracoastal Waterway with her husband Charlie and dog, Bella, on their 34-foot tugboat, Rainshadow.

June 26, 2013

This morning we headed down to Oriental, North Carolina. We have been dealing with occasional water in our bilges since we bought Rainshadow. Water mainly gets into the aft bilge. The bilge pump gets rid of most of it, but occasionally we have to manually eliminate the remainder. Charlie rigged a handheld water pump with a garden hose and wired it to electricity to handle it.

intracoastal waterway

Goodbye, Beaufort!

There appear to be several contributors to the problem — mainly water coming through the swim platform door and possibly a bad rudder seal. Tomco (maker of the American Tug) was very responsive and mailed the parts needed for the repair. Other American Tug owners have very dry bilges, so we are optimistic this is something that can be fixed once we get back to home port.

The wind was blowing, and the current was strong as we left Beaufort. It was so strong that we hit the side of a dock as we were leaving. The dockmaster yelled, “Don’t worry! It’s rubber! You just have some white paint across your hull. It will buff out!” I hope so.

intracoastal waterway

The Oriental Marina & Inn

When we arrived at the Oriental Marina & Inn there were just a couple of boats in the marina. Later that day, the Polly P. docked next to us. The owners brought their two Boykin Spaniels — Frances and Catfish. I was unfamiliar with the breed, and they explained that it was the official state dog for South Carolina, and that as you head south more people are familiar with it. Bella was happy to play with them.

When we came out of the boat for dinner, the marina was full of boats having a party. The New Bern Yacht Club had decided to get together in Oriental that day. Things were also hopping in the restaurant when we had dinner. Someone from the New Bern club said, “Hi Cathy!” as I entered the restaurant. I smiled and said “hi” back so I didn’t have to take time to explain that I was not Cathy. I was hungry.

After dinner, we enjoyed the evening with the owners of Polly P. We toured each others’ boats and then had a beer on top of Rainshadow. They told Charlie about an attachment for the cordless drill that allows you to pump out water more easily than using the rigged pump. Charlie’s eyes lit up. I think it is now on his wish list.

They also gave us some book recommendations, suggesting that Sarah read “The Knife of Never Letting Go.” I downloaded it on our Kindle for the trip tomorrow. They suggested Charlie and I read “Honey, Let’s Get a Boat.” When I Googled it, this is what I found:

This is the story of a couple’s travels on a 40-foot trawler cruising 6,300 miles and 145 locks around the eastern part of North America known as America’s Great Loop, or the Great Circle Cruise. Their nautical ineptitude is evident from the beginning, but pulling from their personal and collective strengths, the authors overcome doubt, a lack of experience, and real and imagined horrors. The odyssey is told the way life hands out its adventures — sometimes humorously, sometimes tragically, but always memorably.

I can totally relate.

Read more about Terry’s adventures here or on her blog, Rainshadow Voyages.