Saga’s Journey Home, Day 1 (January 20, 2014)

This is a post of Saga’s Journey home, Day 1.  I have included Facebook posts, in blue, from myself, friends and family. I have agonized over this — trying to get it to look just like it did in my Word doc, but I guess I can’t blog the way I can Word :).

Stay tuned for more posts about the trip from Georgetown, SC to Beaufort, NC, where Saga eagerly awaits future adventures under a new captain. Maybe I can shame He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named into sending me his posts from days 3 forward :)!

Respectfully submitted,

Kelly


 
January 20

Today Kevin and I began Saga’s journey from the Harbor Walk Marina in the Sampit River in Georgetown, SC to Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro, NC.  In Swansboro we will finish removing all of Keith’s belongings and leave Saga stripped of everything that is not “her own”.  From there, we plan to put her in dry storage for at least a few months while we decide what to do with her.

We are *almost* as connected to this little boat as we were to Keith.  I guess since Keith is gone, we feel an even stronger connection to Saga, and an overwhelming need to keep her safe.  To that end, we begin a 190 mile journey that will span four..five… who knows… days long.


Setting Sail

January 20 Wesley Wyatt
Kelly & Kevin setting sail
 
January 20 Stephanie Holt Sullivan
Kevin Sullivan and Kelly Wyatt heading north on Saga. Such an appropriate name. Safe travels guys, stay warm.
 
January 20 Kim Sullivan Oestereich
They are sailing siblings … Kevin P. Sullivan and Kelly Sullivan Wyatt … I want to hear the story after this adventure! ENJOY it as much as possible!! Keith loved you and loved Saga… And would want you guys to enjoy the journey… Hugs!!!


We left Kenny and Wes behind in Georgetown to handle paperwork and stay in contact with the authorities who continue to search for Keith.  This would be a great adventure with Kevin under different circumstances, and I am very sad that I never took the time to go sail with Keith.
 
It would have been nice to leave Georgetown on a day and at a time when we could motor Saga along the Harbor Walk so that all of Keith’s boating friends and family could pay respects to a sad little boat who is leaving her captain behind, but, we had “fair weather and following seas”, a VERY long way to go, an unfavorable forecast for the days to come, and little knowledge about Saga, her idiosyncrasies and the waters ahead, so we left as early as possible.
 
The first order of business was for Kevin to give me a crash course in sailing.  Remember that Kenny is a motor-boater, Kevin is a sail-boater, and I am a “no-boater”.  Kevin and I had our own adventures together sailing a little sunfish on the Hudson when we were teenagers, including one time the current took us so far upstream we could not get back without the help of a Big Sailboat that towed us home… but I didn’t have “formal” sailing training like Kevin and Keith had.  Yes, I know that to turn  a boat you move the tiller in the opposite direction, but that’s about it.
 

Captain Kevin

Captain Kevin


So, Kevin proceeds to explain to me the engine controls: One for speed, one to put it in gear.  At least I think that’s what I remember.  He ends this little lecture with something like “If I fall overboard, just kick it out of gear and turn the tiller and come back to get me. ”  (HELLO?  IF YOU FALL OFF????)  “But, I’m NOT going to fall off.”  Phew, thanks for THAT, Kevin.  And you think in a panic, after what we have been dealing with during the past few days, I am going to remember what you told me?  I don’t even know if I’ve recorded it correctly!
 
Next we go through other important things.  Like the LEFT side of the boat is the PORT side (“See, they are both 4 letters.”), the RIGHT side is the STARBOARD  side.  The BOW is… well, the front of the boat, and the STERN is the back.  OK.  Maybe he told me little memory tricks for bow and stern, but frankly, my head was getting full, my ears were cold.
 
Kevin turned the helm over to me (is that the correct nautical term?) once he knew that I could *at least* steer Saga and busied himself with getting other things situated on the boat.
You can't tell that I am steering Saga with my foot. So far, Kevin P. Sullivan would rate my sailing as adequate, I think.

You can’t tell that I am steering Saga with my foot. So far, Kevin P. Sullivan would rate my sailing as adequate, I think.


We made it from the Sampit River into the Intracoastal Waterway and proceeded north, cruising along at a whopping 4.5 MPH.  Did I mention earlier that we have 190 miles to go, and, approximately 10 hours of daylight each day?  Doing the math, that is about 45 miles a day, and that is about 4 1/2 long days of sailing.  Did I mention the unfavorable forecast?  Kevin and I expected two reasonably warm days, but, Wednesday was supposed to be very cold and very windy, and then Thursday and Friday was expected to be even colder.   We really wanted to get as far as we could today.
 
That’s about the time that Kevin decided he wanted to put the “sail” into my sail boating education.  So I learned that the “jib” sail is the most forward sail on the boat, the “mizzen” sail is the sail that is furthest back and that the “main” sails are in between.  And, oh, one is a furling sail, which looks to be a pretty cool thing.  And…. we are going to use one of them.
 
So Kevin tells me about how there are two lines on the jib sail (one port and one starboard), and I’m thinking there might be another one, too, used for furling and unfurling the sail.  So, we let out the sail secure it to one side and Voila!  Another MPH or so.
Saga's Jib Sail

Saga’s Jib Sail


Saga looks so pretty “under sail”… even if it is just one sail.  That is, until the wind shifts and we need said sail on the other side of the boat.  Now Kevin wants me to learn about “jibing the jib”.  Do what?
 
Loosen this rope, tighten that one, secure … was it this or that rope?…, pull a rope.  How hard can it be? I soon learn that moving the sail between sides of the boat is not that hard, and, can happen single handedly.  I guess that is a large part of why it was possible for Keith to sail Saga alone.    I proudly announced to Kevin that I posted to Facebook that I can now “jibe a jib”, and he dashes my confidence by asking me how I spelled “jibe”.  Well, J-I-B-E, of course, how else you spell it?  WRONG he tells me!  It is G-Y-B-E.  Now why would it be like that???  Not to be put down, I pull out my smart phone and soon report to Kevin that both spellings are acceptable.  So, I am very happy to be able to jibe the jib, and if he wants to gybe the jib, that is fine with me!  Looking this up while writing this article I found this very useful glossary of nautical terms.

January 20 Kelly Sullivan Wyatt
I now know how to jibe a jib.


Now  we are cruising along.  We are traveling along beautiful areas of the ICW.  We see herons and other water fowl, we travel through cypress swamps.  The canal is very calm, and we have an opportunity to talk and reminisce about Keith, his sailing, how much he loved Saga and what a cool little sailboat she is.  We have lots of opportunities to take pictures of the canal, we have cellular access, so we can share these pictures with our friends and family who are anxiously waiting to hear how our journey is progressing.
 

Our ever-faithful follower

Our ever-faithful follower


Beautful day and a beautiful area to cruise

Beautiful day and a beautiful area to cruise

 

More pretty views

More pretty views


Spanish Moss covered tree

Spanish Moss covered tree


 


               

Along the way we came upon a group of people jumping up and down on a dock on the port side of the boat. We waved and went on by, but were soon hailed by none other than Keith’s good friends Thomas, Ellen and Alyson from the S/V Island Girl. It is too bad we didn’t know we would go right by there, or we would have stopped for a brief visit. And it is too bad we didn’t think to ask them to get a photo of Saga sailing by. It seems that is just another “woulda-coulda-shoulda” that we thought about during this entire time in our family.
 
Being the no-boater that I am, I have never had the experience of a swing bridge.  There are a number of these along the ICW, and we went through several along the way.  Here is a video I took.

January 20 Kelly Sullivan Wyatt
Swing bridge at approx 35 of 190 miles.

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

From Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. I will say I am glad the woods are NOT snowy… You, Kevin P. Sullivan??


 
The rest of our journey was uneventful.  There were more interesting things to see including:

a train bridge that stays up until a train comes

a train bridge that stays up until a train comes


a pretty cool house boat

a pretty cool house boat

 

an osprey nest on the top of an old tree stump

an osprey nest on the top of an old tree stump


a pretty incredible three-masted sail boat

a pretty incredible three-masted sail boat

               

January 20 Kelly Sullivan Wyatt
near North Myrtle Beach, SC

We spent the last hour or better under sail only (no motor). Between the tide and the wind we went almost as fast as under motor earlier. Our max speed under motor+wind+current was approx 7.2MPH. We got to 6.3MPH with wind+current. It was quite peaceful and quiet when under sail only.


All in all, it was a long, but satisfying day.  We made it further than we expected.  We learned our way around Saga, and she tolerated us and took us unfailingly for 50 miles.  After docking at the Barefoot Landing Marina, where a wonderful dock master took us to the grocery store, waited while we shopped and gave us a recommendation for a good place to eat (get the ribs at the seafood restaurant!), we called it a night early and immediately fell asleep.

January 20 Kelly Sullivan Wyatt
near North Myrtle Beach, SC

Kevin and I made it from Georgetown, SC to N. Myrtle Beach, approx 50 miles today. Tomorrow we will end the day around Southport so that Kenny and Kevin can spend the next sailing day (probably Thursday, since Wednesday there is supposed to be really bad weather) going from Southport hopefully to at least Wrightsville. This is a tough leg since it is in more open water with more traffic… And bigger boats.


 
I shoulda, coulda taken a similar trip with Keith, and wish that I had made the time to do so.

Barefoot Landing Marina, North Myrtle Beach, SC

Barefoot Landing Marina, North Myrtle Beach, SC

By Sullivan Family

5 comments on “Saga’s Journey Home, Day 1 (January 20, 2014)

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