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Old December 14th 04, 10:54 PM
Joe
 
Posts: n/a
Default What was it like 4 U

Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.


Fetching Red Cloud
A true
story by Joe Butcher

It was a cold dreary day in December when we decided to take a
road trip, to look at what must be a hopeless case of a boat 120 miles
away from our homes in Houston . The add in the classified read 42 ft
sailboat great project, and the price was set to sell for scrap. Cliff
my boss, Michael my co worker and I loaded up and set off for the
Sunshine Bridge just this side of the Sabine river that borders Texas
and Louisiana not knowing what to expect. Cliff and Michael where
coming along to advise me, they both had extensive knowledge of boats,
Cliff being the former president of ,at the time, the worlds largest
offshore supply boat company servicing the oilfields , Michael the
previous owner of a 36 foot Morgan. I held a 1,600 ton freight and
towing licences (expired) and was somewhat knowledgeable about boats,
but would feel better with a little urging . We all had the Dream to
sail, and I wanted a live aboard.

We felt that it would be better to just arrive. No notice, no
advance warning , and to see if this derelict had a chance. The marina
was a combination shrimp boat dock, restaurant, and ostrage farm with a
sprinkling of discarded wine bottles, beer can, oil drums, and various
vessels falling apart along the pothole filled mud ridden road. We went
to the restaurant called Leo's to get a bite and ask around to see
where the boat was moored. Leo the owner of the marina and self
proclaimed harbour master took or order for oyster poorboys and a
picture of beer . We took a table by a large window and saw her, the
was no need to ask, the boat stood out.

It was a pleasure to look at , Built for the high seas with beauty in
the curves of it hull and her mast towering above all others . It was
the largest boat in the marina the closet thing in size was a 22 foot
shrimp boat built of plywood and nails more suited for this place. We
where a hundred yards away but I knew I had to have her. When Leo
returned with our food we asked him about the boat. Its a land mark he
replied. The shrimpers use her mast as range markers to enter the
harbour , Doubt she will ever sail again . We have had a dozen or so
people a month look at her, just no one willing to take her on, he said
as he left the table.

We walked the rest of the way to the boat not daring to drive the
road for fear of getting stuck . We saw Leo laughing and shaking his
head from the window. All the sails where gone, cut up to shade the
ostrages many summers ago. A couple of windows where missing and the
name painted on her bow was the H.M.S. NEVER SAIL.
A fellow sailor who had a small boat docked 50 feet away walked up
and looked at her with us not saying a word . She was a steel, center
cockpit ketch. The name starting with HMS and her design we knew she
was built in England. The boat was wedged between two pylons in a slip
that was designed for a boat to be 3 ft narrower. How did they get the
boat in here Cliff ask the newcomer? With the cat he replied , as he
pointed at a large hill of weeds that hid a caterpillar bulldozer that
had long since rusted to a halt, now consumed by the local vegetation.
She had 2 foot of water under her hull that needed 4 and a half feet to
float. That might be a problem Michael laughed you will need a dredge.
Maybe I said. And a chain saw for these pylons Cliff threw in. But she
was solid, overbuilt with the finest English steel. All the through
hull fitting where monel. The large engine room held a FMC diesel main
and a Lister Generator. Her rigging was solid, over built . The inside
was another story, so ugly we knew instantly it was built in the early
70s complete with flower power Formica and imitation wood panelling
that could cause cabin fever in a heart beat. The missing windows
allowed all the Mud Dobbers in that area of the river to call this
place home. There where nest in every light fixture, drawer, sink drain
and faucet, bunk, cabinet, everywhere possible. But in my mind I saw
the interior in mahogany. Will I do it. Can I deprive this place of
it's land mark. Can I get a live aboard so cheap! Is it worth it. All
these questions with no sure answers.

Cliff was on deck talking to the local. He was told that the boat was
brought over from England in the late 80s the owner was[soon after
arriving] involved in a divorce and had to sell her to the now owner
Felix a security guard at a local refinery. The boat has set for 8
years. He said Felix just had a fire burn his trailer down, and with
Christmas a few week away he will take any offer. I was hooked , I had
to have this boat. Cliff looked at me strangely not knowing what to
think as I climbed down in the engine room and started to remove the
starter of the main engine. What are you doing he asked. Removing my
starter , I'm committed that I will have this boat. You should be
committed, Cliff said. I wasn't sure how I should of taken that last
statement.

The Following Monday we had the starter rebuilt bought a battery and
departed for the bridge with cash in hand to buy the boat. We stopped
at a local hardware store and bought 2 five gallon fuel cans. Felix met
us at the refinery and accepted our offer of 4000 dollars, less then a
hundred a foot. I thought I saw a tear in his eye as we drove away with
the title.

We had a plan to get the boat floating then see where we stood as far
as engine power. We had to pull her out from between the pylons and off
the mud. To do this we where going to walk a line around the marina to
a dock behind the stern about 120 feet away. When we tried, we found we
did not have a long enough line to go around the marina. Cliff and
Michael would not draw straws with me and I was elected to swim the
distance in the freezing water, I should of brought 100 foot of line
and a monkeys fist. I went across that marina so fast it was as close
as walking on water that I will ever get. We used the main sail
winches and with a lot of groaning and cracking of the pylons ,and our
backs, she shot out from the pylons squeeze like a baby being born.
Michael had replaced the oil and the starter on the main engine and to
or amazement after 8 years of not running the engine started with ease
- and a little ether. The fuel tanks had a lot of slime so we where
going to moter the boat back on a 55 gallon drum salvaged from the yard
as our fuel tank filled by 5 trips to the local gas station with our
new cans. We decided to stay the day and clean as much trash and gear
adrift as we could, then motor the intercoastal water way back to
Galveston bay, up the ship channel, and into Clear Lake where a boat
yard would be or first port of call.

We lost count of the mud dobber nest we removed at around 300 and
unloaded a ton of gear adrift left by some forgotten vagrant . After a
good meal at Leo's, Cliff left to Houston with plans to see us
tomorrow on Clear Lake; we decided to sleep but with no heat aboard
that was difficult and we decided to set off around 4am.

The channel leaving the marina was narrow and with no range marker
now, we soon ran aground. We sat there and cursed our luck until
sunrise when a friendly shrimper, setting out for the days catch was
kind enough to pull us off the sand and show us the channel to the
Sabine river. We hoped this short delay would be our last problem. We
hoped with a good tide and no more problems we would arrive in 13
hours.

The Sabine was running out at seven knots and with the seven knots we
where running we where flying down river, we had good charts and knew
where we where. The day turned out to be perfect weather wise the sky
was a crystal clear blue and the sun was finally warming us up. We knew
the intercoastal was coming up fast and we would have to make a sharp
right turn under the High Island bridge to head west . We started
stratigizing that with this current we would have to hug the starboard
side at hit the opening under the bridge at a fast nine knots to keep
steerage this would be a daring feat because of the way the bridge is
built we would not be able to look for barge traffic heading east, I
climbed the mast and could see over part of the bridge; around a
quarter of a mile out but no closer. Well I felt lucky and we proceeded
as planed.

To our terror and the blast of one whistle we meet a fully loaded 500
foot barge right under the bridge. We both screamed and I hit the
throttle full speed to escape being crushed between the ever narrowing
gap of the barge and the concrete bridge supports . We made it through
the opening with only inches to spare. The tugs wake exploding over the
bow and the Skipper flipping us the bird. We felt lucky again, this
time for not being smashed into, and under, the mud of the inter
coastal water way.
In the intercoastal our boat speed slowed faster then our heart
beats, but we could see for miles. Now confident the worst was over and
feeling good about the trip ahead . We relaxed for the 70 mile strait
shot to the Boliver peninsula.

The day was perfect, the engine was purring , we took turns steering
while the other climbed the mast and at fifty feet plus above the water
you could see forever the grasslands that border the intercoastal where
green and lush with lots of birds and an occasional alligator to notice
our passing , the weather a perfect 62 degrees. I was on top of the
world. Soaring like the birds.

We passed the day along by cleaning and removing more mud dobber nest.
We soon realised we where pushing against a current and we would not
make it all the way to Clear Lake before sundown . We did not plan on
this and only packed food for breakfast and lunch. With the Boliver
light house on the horizon at sundown we decided to stop an eat at a
supply dock. We figured we only had a few hours of running north in the
ship channel from here so we ate our cheese burgers and drank or coffee
in a hurry , and set out at just after dark into Galveston bay heading
north into the ship channel. I wished I had rebuilt the alternator. The
running lights soon dimmed and we feared that if the engine died we
would not be able to restart it. We had to conserve the battery so we
decided to disconnect the lights until we saw any other traffic. This
was not easy, the electrical systems was in disarray we had cut the
wiring to the switch panel and had a line powering the lights hooked
strait to the battery. I now wished I had brought a good flashlight!

No further then a mile north on the ship channel the fog started to
set in . With no radio we could not check with Houston ship traffic and
know what ships if any where in the channel. Still we could see to the
next buoy, and decided to keep going. We knew within an hour we could
turn into the clear lake channel. We had no chart of the ship channel
but knew the area well - we thought. Put it this way, in clear
visibility we knew the area well. The fog was getting thicker we knew
we where near Redfish Island, an Island that is normally one foot
underwater on the port side of the channel. As you pass north of the
island you can turn out of the ship channel. The fog became so thick we
could not see the next buoy. We decided we had gone far enough north
that we could turn west and miss Redfish and get out of harms way.

Both Michael and I felt good as we turned out of the channel and out
of harms way . That was until we ran hard aground on Redfish Island. We
where hard aground. It was getting cold and the day had been long. We
tried to back off with no luck, and we sat there thinking of ways to
get her unstuck. Michael knew his wife would be worried we where so
late. He came up with the idea to use the mizzen boom as a pry bar. Not
convinced this would work, but willing to try anything I started to
climb on the cabin to help him remove the boom.

Then we heard it, so strange a sound, like a thousand water faucets
where being opened at once. The boat started to list to port we saw the
water was being sucked out from under us we listed further and further
till the boat was sitting on dry sand on her side. Then came a
deafening roar a ten plus foot wall of water was rushing towards us
from the north, a ships wake. We're dead now Michael said calmly. We
both grabbed on to the Mizzen Mast an the wave burst around us. At the
35 degree list the steel hull took the impact of the wave . It shot
over and around us not a drop of water hitting us. What luck I yelled
as I jumped in the cockpit The boat gently rolled to starboard starting
floating and we backed off the Island into the ship channel. Boy, we
felt great to be alive and free of Redfish! Then sheer terror struck,
out of the fog we saw we had backed into the path of another outbound
ship . Michael dived head first into the engine room to connect the
running lights. As they came on all you could see was the red
reflection of our port running light reflecting off the bow towering
down on us . In seconds we where surfing away from the ship on the
wake of the bulbous bow and seeing nothing but a towering steel wall
speed by us at 20 plus knots. Another narrow miss, man we felt great
to still be alive. We followed the ships frothy wake north to the next
Buoy and turned west running from the ship channel as fast as we could.
We decided to slow and drop anchor and wait out the fog. Man, we felt
lucky and would take no other chances.

When the fog lifted we found we had run into a horseshoe shape of
pipes leaving a dredge. If we had gone another fifty feet we would
have hit it. Cliff was on the Clear Lake bridge honking and waving.
Michael,s wife had called the Coast Guard worried we that we where
so overdue.

We made it to the shipyard with no other problems. I have spent
three years totally restoring the boat and we are now ready for many
years of fun sailing , though I think I will never have another trip
that will be memorable and eventful , delightful, and terrorising, as
my first aboard the b

Joe


  #2   Report Post  
Old December 14th 04, 11:38 PM
Capt. Neal®
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Interesting reading, Joe. I can see why it was published in SAIL magazine.
It has all the elements that magazines want these days - one potential disaster
after another . . . I certainly hope you have progressed well beyond that stage.

Here is my story. Such a story would never get published in a magazine because
it has none of the ineptitude displayed in yours.


Cutting the Mustard
A true story by
Capt. Neal

I have lived aboard my blue water cruising yacht for nigh on fifteen
years now. I named her "Cut the Mustard" instead of "Cuts the Mustard"
out of a desire that she inspire me to do the job right on an ongoing basis
and not because as a vessel she is competent. Her very name serves as
a reminder to never stop being vigilant.

I purchased her in Nashville, Tennessee, fitted her out for living aboard
and blue water cruising, had her hauled overland from Percy Priest
Lake to Old Hickory Lake on the Cumberland River where I commenced my
journey to the sea via the Cumberland River to the Ohio River to the Tennessee
River and the Tombigbee waterway on down to Mobile Bay and the Gulf
of Mexico.

The journey took a fortnight and there were no disasters, no near misses,
no frightening moments and no uncomfortable situations. Even negotiating
the many locks turned out to be uneventful. In short, it would make for boring reading delineating how I did everything right.

I suspect more sailors do things right than careen from near catastrophe
to near disaster to near stupidity than it would seem. This is because
the only thing magazines will print is tales of woe in the latter category.
I guess it is because there are so many more people in the inept category
who read, enjoy and identify with others of the same ilk. They cannot
identify with professionalism.

In spite of this, I'll continue to do things right even if it means I remain
anonymous and have no story that will sell in the magazines. After all,
real sailors sail. We have few if any failures and should we have one
or two over the long years, we certainly would not be proud of a
story describing them and making us look the fool.

Capt. Neal





"Joe" wrote in message oups.com...
Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.


Fetching Red Cloud
A true
story by Joe Butcher

It was a cold dreary day in December when snipped remainder for brevity

  #3   Report Post  
Old December 14th 04, 11:46 PM
Nav
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The spelling is probably too good as well.

Cheers

Capt. Neal® wrote:

Interesting reading, Joe. I can see why it was published in SAIL magazine.
It has all the elements that magazines want these days - one potential disaster
after another . . . I certainly hope you have progressed well beyond that stage.

Here is my story. Such a story would never get published in a magazine because
it has none of the ineptitude displayed in yours.


Cutting the Mustard
A true story by
Capt. Neal

I have lived aboard my blue water cruising yacht for nigh on fifteen
years now. I named her "Cut the Mustard" instead of "Cuts the Mustard"
out of a desire that she inspire me to do the job right on an ongoing basis
and not because as a vessel she is competent. Her very name serves as
a reminder to never stop being vigilant.

I purchased her in Nashville, Tennessee, fitted her out for living aboard
and blue water cruising, had her hauled overland from Percy Priest
Lake to Old Hickory Lake on the Cumberland River where I commenced my
journey to the sea via the Cumberland River to the Ohio River to the Tennessee
River and the Tombigbee waterway on down to Mobile Bay and the Gulf
of Mexico.

The journey took a fortnight and there were no disasters, no near misses,
no frightening moments and no uncomfortable situations. Even negotiating
the many locks turned out to be uneventful. In short, it would make for boring reading delineating how I did everything right.

I suspect more sailors do things right than careen from near catastrophe
to near disaster to near stupidity than it would seem. This is because
the only thing magazines will print is tales of woe in the latter category.
I guess it is because there are so many more people in the inept category
who read, enjoy and identify with others of the same ilk. They cannot
identify with professionalism.

In spite of this, I'll continue to do things right even if it means I remain
anonymous and have no story that will sell in the magazines. After all,
real sailors sail. We have few if any failures and should we have one
or two over the long years, we certainly would not be proud of a
story describing them and making us look the fool.

Capt. Neal





"Joe" wrote in message oups.com...

Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.


Fetching Red Cloud
A true
story by Joe Butcher

It was a cold dreary day in December when snipped remainder for brevity


  #5   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 12:38 AM
Joe
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Spelling Nazi,
Lets hear your story, Or do you even have a boat Dave?.

Joe



  #6   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 12:51 AM
Donal
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Joe" wrote in message
oups.com...
Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.


Fetching Red Cloud
A true
story by Joe Butcher


Top marks, Joe. That was the best sailing post that we've had in a while.

Regards


Donal
--



  #7   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 01:15 AM
Joe
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Capt. Neal=AE wrote:
Interesting reading, Joe. I can see why it was published in SAIL

magazine.
It has all the elements that magazines want these days - one

potential disaster
after another . . . I certainly hope you have progressed well beyond

that stage.


But of course I have, The key was to get while the getting was good.



Here is my story. Such a story would never get published in a

magazine because
it has none of the ineptitude displayed in yours.


Cutting the Mustard
A true story by
Capt. Neal

I have lived aboard my blue water cruising yacht for nigh on fifteen
years now. I named her "Cut the Mustard" instead of "Cuts the

Mustard"
out of a desire that she inspire me to do the job right on an ongoing

basis
and not because as a vessel she is competent. Her very name serves as
a reminder to never stop being vigilant.

I purchased her in Nashville, Tennessee, fitted her out for living

aboard
and blue water cruising, had her hauled overland from Percy Priest
Lake to Old Hickory Lake on the Cumberland River where I commenced my
journey to the sea via the Cumberland River to the Ohio River to the

Tennessee
River and the Tombigbee waterway on down to Mobile Bay and the Gulf
of Mexico.

The journey took a fortnight and there were no disasters, no near

misses,
no frightening moments and no uncomfortable situations. Even

negotiating
the many locks turned out to be uneventful. In short, it would make

for boring reading delineating how I did everything right.

I suspect more sailors do things right than careen from near

catastrophe
to near disaster to near stupidity than it would seem. This is

because
the only thing magazines will print is tales of woe in the latter

category.
I guess it is because there are so many more people in the inept

category
who read, enjoy and identify with others of the same ilk. They cannot
identify with professionalism.

In spite of this, I'll continue to do things right even if it means I

remain
anonymous and have no story that will sell in the magazines. After

all,
real sailors sail. We have few if any failures and should we have one


or two over the long years, we certainly would not be proud of a
story describing them and making us look the fool.

Capt. Neal


Good story Capt, A bit boring but fine seamanship for sure.
Notice no others have stories of conquest, just lame spelling comments.


Guess plopping down thousands to a yacht broker is not worth talking
about eh?.

Joe






"Joe" wrote in message

oups.com...
Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it

lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in

Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.


Fetching Red Cloud
A true
story by Joe Butcher

It was a cold dreary day in December when snipped remainder for

brevity

  #8   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 01:19 AM
John Cairns
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
...
On 14 Dec 2004 14:54:46 -0800, "Joe" wrote:

Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.



LIE!

This abortion was never published in either of those magazines. Sail
sometimes
doesn't do a perfect job of editing, but this is so poorly edited that it
wouldn't get published in Screw Magazine.

BTW, back issues are available if you want to post the dates and issue
numbers
it allegedly appeared in, and anyone is stupid enough to think they even
need to
check.

BB


September '00, volume 31 number 9, 'twas no trouble really, have 6 years of
back issues in magazine holders upstairs, am no longer a subscriber, of
course. This is funny, I actually read this article when it was published, I
won't tell you what I thought about the author when I read the article, I
have subsequently had a change of heart. Every sailor has taken their boat
out when they probably shouldn't have for various reasons.

John Cairns


  #9   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 02:17 AM
Joe
 
Posts: n/a
Default


John Cairns wrote:
wrote in message
...
On 14 Dec 2004 14:54:46 -0800, "Joe"

wrote:

Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it

lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in

Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.



LIE!

This abortion was never published in either of those magazines.

Sail
sometimes
doesn't do a perfect job of editing, but this is so poorly edited

that it
wouldn't get published in Screw Magazine.

BTW, back issues are available if you want to post the dates and

issue
numbers
it allegedly appeared in, and anyone is stupid enough to think they

even
need to
check.

BB


September '00, volume 31 number 9, 'twas no trouble really, have 6

years of
back issues in magazine holders upstairs, am no longer a subscriber,

of
course. This is funny, I actually read this article when it was

published, I
won't tell you what I thought about the author when I read the

article, I
have subsequently had a change of heart. Every sailor has taken their

boat
out when they probably shouldn't have for various reasons.



How true John, I was desperate to get the boat the hell out of Leo's
marina. I admit it wasen't the safest thing to do, but I made it
without dying and thats all that matters.

Do you subscribe to Readers Digest by any chance?

And for BB you non-beliver you can buy my book soon from Doubleday
publishers. I'm hoping on getting a mid 6 figures for exclusive rights
to publish it, they are eager but not eager enough yet. It is called
Columbian Gold. Rumor is Leanardo DeCaprio wants to play me in the
movie version. Screen rights will go for 10-15 million Im told. But Im
not counting my chickens before the eggs hatch. It's just a hobbie
after all.

It's not about spelling and grammer, you can hire a very smart speller
grammerist for next to nothing.

I was going to get Bob a directing job fiming the flick version but
after his dis'n me as bb Im not so sure. If you say your sorry Bob i
might send you the outline for your opinion. After you sign a
non-disclosure form of course.

Joe


John Cairns


  #10   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 02:25 AM
John Cairns
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Joe" wrote in message
ups.com...

John Cairns wrote:
wrote in message
...
On 14 Dec 2004 14:54:46 -0800, "Joe"

wrote:

Here is the story of my quest for a sailboat. After you read it

lets
here your story, IF you have a boat. This has been published in

Sail
magazine and readers digest. It is copy writed.



LIE!

This abortion was never published in either of those magazines.

Sail
sometimes
doesn't do a perfect job of editing, but this is so poorly edited

that it
wouldn't get published in Screw Magazine.

BTW, back issues are available if you want to post the dates and

issue
numbers
it allegedly appeared in, and anyone is stupid enough to think they

even
need to
check.

BB


September '00, volume 31 number 9, 'twas no trouble really, have 6

years of
back issues in magazine holders upstairs, am no longer a subscriber,

of
course. This is funny, I actually read this article when it was

published, I
won't tell you what I thought about the author when I read the

article, I
have subsequently had a change of heart. Every sailor has taken their

boat
out when they probably shouldn't have for various reasons.



How true John, I was desperate to get the boat the hell out of Leo's
marina. I admit it wasen't the safest thing to do, but I made it
without dying and thats all that matters.


Or sink the boat. Good lessons, the ones you tend to remember, limiting the
possibility of repeating them in the future.I would add, taking the boat out
when you probably shouldn't is what makes you a sailor.

Do you subscribe to Readers Digest by any chance?


No.

Joe


John Cairns






 
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