Cypremort Point to Ocean Springs

2/2/10 to 2/17/10

Due to a very bad weather forecast we decided to take the ICW and play motorboat  instead of offshore. We made it to the Charenton Canal in a bit over 5 hours, anchored and waited for Sterling and 'We Don't Neaux' to catch up. He was delayed. He came putting in and rafted up to us a few hours later.

While waiting, we heard "Sea Yawl Later", a catamaran West of us, asking about a place to stop. We clued them in on our location. They made it in after Sterling and rafted up on our other side for a visit and some seafood gumbo Cathy made. Nice folks from Texas on their way to the Bahamas. Even later another catamaran, 'Guiding Star' pulled up and anchored. We felt kind of odd, the only monohull among three multihulls!

We all headed out at first light. Because of the river being high we went downriver, taking the Bayou Chene route. It's longer but faster because the current is favorable almost all the way. 'Guiding Star' opted to head upriver, against the current, and through the locks. We never heard from them again! Don't know if their faster speed put them way ahead or if they got stuck at the locks and were behind.

'Sea Yawl Later' continued on and we anchored just off the little island where Bayou Chene instersects the ICW. Sterling had been having some engine problems and it stopped just far enough away from us that we couldn't toss him a line. He dropped his anchor, got the engine going, thenrafted up to us.

Fired up the propane heater 'cause it was COLD. The forecast was 100% rain and cold for the next day, so we stayed at anchor. Visited, ate, read, watched TV and the crewboats and tugs pass by. It was miserable outside, but comfy inside.

Sterling decided to head back to Delcambre due to his engine and alternator problems. He headed back West and we continued on East. He called us that night to let us know he made it back with no problems.

Made it to the Houma Downtown Marina in a little under 4-1/2 hours. Had to push through mud to get within about 4 ft. of the dock. Plugged in, filled the water tanks and just took it easy.

About 8 hours after leaving Houma we tied up to the old, hurricane beat up dock at the Boomtown Casino at Harvey, a few miles from the Harvey Locks. We tried to time it to go through the locks on Sunday, hoping for less boat traffic and no curfews on bridge openings.

Cranked up and the engine would stop. Changed the fuel filter and all was okay. There seemed to be black sludge in the filter. I'm sure that was my fault. When I changed the oil before we left I dumped the old oil into the fuel tank like the crewboats do. I think that was a mistake and that's where the sludge came from. I've never had a problem before.

Didn't luck out at the Harvey Lock. We had to wait over two hours to get in. A quick trip down the Mississippi River and almost right into the Industrial Lock! Note that we went UP 12 feet in the Harvey Lock, then DOWN 12 feet in the Industial Lock!

I felt soooooo much better coming out of the last lock. I HATE LOCKS!

Made it to Rabbit Island at the entrance to open water about 3:15 PM and dropped the anchor.

2/8/10 - The Day the REAL Fun Begins

We headed out into relatively open water. Headed East into a 20 - 30 kt EAST wind. Well it started out a little South of East, but not enough to sail. Understand that we have to still follow the markers in the ICW - the water is too shallow outside the channel. A bit later, with the seas building, the wind shifted enough to unfurl the jib and motor sail. For about 20 minutes. Then it abruptly shifted from dead ahead. Then the exhaust leak started and had to throttle back a bunch to keep smoke and soot down to a minimum. We were making 2 to 3 kts and "hobby horsing" a lot in the short period, steep waves. I want to say they were running 2 to 4 ft., with the occasional 6-footer plus, but were probably higher. Several times 'Valkyrie' buried her bow completely.

Cathy decided to nuke me a cup of coffee. Remember, it was COLD! I had on long johns, jeans, snowmobile suit and a down jacket. When she hit the button on the microwave, the big inverter smoked! WHAT NEXT?!?!

We normally don't travel at night, but our ETA calc's said we'd arrive after dark. We decided to go for it rather than anchor in all the howling mess. Once we made the turn for the Biloxi pass we were just enough off the wind to unfurl the jib again. Motor sailing with jib only our speed jumped up to 6-1/2 kts! YEA!!!

Soon we were in calm waters, motoring between the Biloxi casinos and Deer Island, across the Biloxi River and into Ocean Springs. Took us a while to get settled. We had no idea which slip or every just where the marina is (it takes up the whole place!).

We made 50.7 NM in 12 hours and 2 minutes, with an average speed of 4.2 kts. Which I guess isn't bad considering those long hours at 2 to 3 kts.

2/9/10 to 2/17/10 - At Ocean Springs, MS

We met up again with Nathan and Mattie de dog aboard 'Waltzing Matilda', and met his friend Shawn, a very nice lady. She loaned us her car for several days of playing tourist, shopping and washing clothes. She shot this picture of us:

Note the bundled up and the hidden long johns of both of us. It has been COLD. As mentioned, we decided to stay here until the weather is better. We figure that'll be March.

Check out Nathan's Blog at:

Niles drove over from Slidell and we found the exhaust leak. The nipple between the manifold and coupler had backed out about a half inch. We tightened it all up, but still a very small leak. I bought a bunch of Permatex muffler putty and tape. Put the putty on yesterday and will add the tape for further protection tomorrow.

We got most of the soot everywhere cleaned up. Pulled the inverter. Bill and Jan are going to bring one. They're coming in the next day or two to play RV at the nearby National Seashore Park.

Somewhere in all the stuff going bad, our engine batteries gave up the ghost. I noticed one is marked 05/06 and the other 12/05 so I guess it was time. Like most 12-volt batteries, the cold weather finished them off. I think I'm just going to get one replacement right now and the other later.

All in all, we're lucky folks. Life always has some problems, but these are really not that big a deal. We're aboard our home, the heat works great, we're in a nice place with wonderful people and great friends who lend a hand.

Life is good!