Is Boating A Team Sport?

Thank you Nordhavn 10,000 glorious spectacular nautical miles

Teamwork makes the dream work, or so the saying goes.

It is hard to believe that our first anniversary of moving onto “Orenda” is coming up next month. For the last 12 months, it has only been me and Scott (or Scott and I). I began thinking about teamwork the afternoon (we) installed the newly designed and fabricated black water tank lid and dip tubes. The tank lid is located under the master stateroom bed.  We removed the mattress to access the top of the tank. With Scott hanging over the bed frame, standing on his head, he removed the temporary lid and installed the lid (there are 16 bolts in total) and new dip tubes into the tank . My participation included supplemental lighting, providing each two-part fastener, handing tools, making bleach water, getting rags….  Could the task have been completed by one? Yes, but the combination of our individual efforts to achieve the goal made it easier and was satisfying for us both. I think when you are standing on your head working, any moral support is helpful as well as the comradeship of sharing the “dirty job” !

New schedule 80 PVC dip tubes installed onto the tank lid


Accessing the black water tank under the master stateroom bed

Scott’s new design and fab work was successful! The black water system operates properly again ! Yay! We moved on to adjusting the windshield wipers, then waxing sections of the boat (wax-oner and wax-offer…), measuring for the anchor block fabrication, …I think you get the idea.

I’m not sure what duo we compare ourselves to, perhaps Lucy and Ricky, Bert and Ernie, Abbott and Costello, Bonnie and Clyde?  Cheech and Chong?

The Orenda Duo

The last blog ended as we departed Stock Island Marina, Key West and were cruising to Rodriguez Key where we planned to anchor. However, at depths of 2 feet under the keel, we were apprehensive to continue to the anchorage. We decided to back-tracked some, found a channel through the reef, and continued on for a night cruise to Lake Worth, Palm Beach. The following day we weighed anchor earlier than planned due to predicted winds along our route.  The cruise was perfect until about midnight.  Orenda slowed to 5 knots and we began a 75 nm steady push into angry Atlantic head seas. Planner entry May 13; “worse cruise ever! Horrible!” We finally got into St. Augustine 6 hours later than our planned arrival and were exhausted but glad to be tied to a dock.  Active Captain described the St. Augustine Inlet as impassable by small vessels in difficult weather!  But as the esteemed captain of N55 Red Rover, would say, “we are not a small craft” which is in fact true, but on this leg of our northern track we felt like we were a little toy boat battling those head seas for so long.

Angry seas in the St. Augustine Inlet. The photo does not quite capture our experience.

A couple days later we left St Augustine to spend some time at anchor before returning to Harbour Town Yacht Basin on Hilton Head Island for a month stay. We decided Harbour Town was a great place to leave Orenda so we could travel home to Washington to see family and friends, work a couple of boat projects as well as check on our house!

St. Augustine Bridge of Lions; early morning departure, 6:30 opening.

We anchored in East River (passing the wreck of the 646-foot MV Golden Ray in the St. Simons Sound) and visited Silver Bluff Brewery in Brunswick, Georgia. The town of Brunswick is extremely interesting. General James Oglethorpe designed the town and street layout with repeating squares of residential blocks, commercial blocks and small green parks to create integrated walk-able neighborhoods. His goal was “social equality and civic virtue.” This was the 18th century!

MV Golden Ray capsized September 2019, St. Simon Sound. 656 feet in length, carrying 4200 Kia vehicles. It is still being scrapped.
Brunswick, GA City Hall
Brunswick, GA
Micro beer at the Silver Bluff Brewery. “The mouth of a perfectly happy man is filled with beer.”

Our next anchorage was Walburg Creek. St Catherine’s Island is both a salt marsh and wooded. Not open to the public, the island is owned by a foundation for the conservation of ring-tailed lemurs. We did not see any lemurs but black flies made their presence and were relentless! So we cruised on the following day. Our initial choice was Bull Creek off Calibogue Sound but it was very windy and shallow. So we moved on and anchored in the nearby May River for a few days. We enjoyed some tender cruising on Bull Creek, Savage Creek, Dolphin Hole and other uncharted areas. We visited Bluffton and Salt Marsh Brewing.

St. Catherine’s Island. Lots of dolphins.
Also anchored in Walburg Creek was this fishing vessel.
Sunset on May River.
Bluffton, SC
5 or so days in May River, I was impressed how well the anchor held with all the Memorial Day boat traffic. This is the anchor watch screen. We get an alarm if we exceed the established anchor distance.

We were back in Harbour Town on June 1st.  My sister Julie and her best friend Leigh flew in and stayed a few days with us! It was the best! Just fun and more fun in Bluffton, the Salty Dog, beach visits, tender ride to the Dolphin Hole, playing euchre and bike riding. We did however learn that our ebikes were not so much appreciated in Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island even though we spotted several there.  Eventually, Julie and Leigh had to return home and we got busy preparing Orenda for our short absence back to Washington State.

Iconic Lighthouse in Harbour Town, Hilton Head Island, SC
Couple of manatees sunning in the marina.
Julie and Leigh, cruising in the tender to Bluffton.
Playing 3-handed euchre in the cockpit. Hilarious! Just hilarious!
Dolphin Hole, the dolphins came up to the dinghy!
“They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, No-one you see, is smarter than he….”

We flew home the following week. It was a busy, busy 12 days. Dentist and doctor appointments, house and yard chores, sleep-overs, visits with neighbors, friends, and of course our grand kids and kids!  The Pacific Northwest was experiencing temperatures in the triple digits during our visit. It was hot but very little humidity. Neighbors Kim and Push hosted us for beverages and a dip in their pool. Dear friends Karla and Paul organized a gathering so we could visit with friends we have not seen for almost a year! And BMX racing in Moses Lake. Scott completed two boat projects in our shop where he had the tools to do the work and managed to get a Harley ride in as well.  An awesome visit! Thank you everyone for spending time with us.

Family! Mayzee is on the left, then Hadley upside-down with Jon (Eileen’s beau), then Billie (Russ’s sweetheart), Russ, Eileen and Scott. This… is… a normal photo!
Friends and family!
Road trip to Rosyln, WA to The Brick, said to be the oldest operating saloon in the state (1889) to meet boating friends Marilyn and Bill (now retired from boating). The saloon unique feature is the running water spittoon beneath the bar.

The week at home was so busy, both Scott and I going different directions, we were like “ships passing in the night.” When we returned to Harbour Town and the boat, I thought, hey what happened to the Orenda Duo?  Perhaps our “land-shelter” makes it easier to be independent with less need to work as a team to achieve our objectives or goals?  But on the boat, the objective is the same, cruising and in our case it’s a team sport.  A reliance that we each totally and thoroughly participate in this full-time cruising lifestyle.  

We are heading out for a three day/night 466 nm cruise to York River, Virginia from Hilton Head on the outside as they say in this “neck of the woods”. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Elsa is predicted to cross Florida and follow the east coast north so it was time for us “exit stage right.” Seas are flat, weather is sunny and 80 degrees and it is promising to be a very nice cruise.  We will be in contact with Rich our weather router periodically for weather and storm updates and we expect conditions to remain favorable until we reach our destination.  

A very nice cruise.

We both are usually in the pilothouse during the day on these long-leg cruises. I take the helm at 10 pm until 2 am and Scott from 2 am to 6 am. And with a cup of coffee, I take over from 6 am to 10 am.  It does take teamwork to make our dream work.

5 thoughts on “Is Boating A Team Sport?


    Looks like you guys are having quite the adventure in the Atlantic. Reading your blog was a nice escape from the daily grind of video conferences.

    Take care and be well,
    Eric D


    1. Wonderful to hear from you Eric! Yes, we are having quite an adventure. Our philosophy upon retiring was to retire to SOMETHING! I think this life style is keeping us active and we are still learning everyday. Hope all is well with you and the family. I enjoyed my time working with you. Take care, more adventures to come! Abby and Scott


  2. Laurie Boliver

    Wonderful post, Abby! We loved meeting you and Scott in North Palm Beach. Look forward to our paths crossing soon! Just landed in Maine where we will explore for next 3 weeks. All the best! ⚓️Laurie and Matt on N46 “First Light”


    1. Thank you Laurie and Matt. We had planned to go to Maine this summer, however plans changed. We are in Baltimore, planning to explore the Chesapeake for the next month. We had a family gathering in Cleveland, OH at the end of August so we decided to hold off on Maine until next summer. Look forward to seeing you again! Safe travels!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s