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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Skeleton of a Boat to Ocean Voyager
February 15, 2013
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Randy considers Ideath a four knot boat. That means, on long passages, instead of outrunning foul weather, she must endure it. In her lake sailing days, Ideath’s main cabin took up most of the interior. For safety at sea, Randy divided it into two compartments.

To keep the cabin from flooding in case the hull was punctured, Randy installed a watertight bulkhead just aft of the mast. An oval opening in the bulkhead allows passage from the main cabin to the forepeak. Nights offshore, Randy closes this opening with a watertight hatch. If the hull is breached, the bulkhead should keep water from flooding the entire vessel.

Looking through the watertight bulkhead from forepeak in to the main cabin.

He also designed and fitted a watertight companion way hatch. Only twice, when the seas ran taller than 15 feet, has he deployed it. Somewhere along the way, he installed an inboard engine.

The watertight companionway hatch stored under the cabin table. Coiled in mesh bags next to the hatch is a series drogue. The drogue, deployed over the vessel’s stern, slows the vessel in storm conditions. Randy hasn’t needed it yet.

Though these improvement might suggest a confrontational relationship with the sea, Randy sees it otherwise.

He speaks of his days and weeks offshore in more spiritual than technical terms. Out on the open ocean, he says, “after 9 or 10 days, you’re in the rhythm of how the universe works. How it’s all connected. You don’t get that serenity until you’ve been out 8 to 9 days. At least.”

It’s only then that his mind grasps the enormity of the universe. The simplicity of life away from land where all that really counts is flowing past Ideath’s hull and rigging– the waves, the moon and the sky. And the stars. Especially the stars. They’re “amazing” far out at sea, amplified by a clear mind. Undiminished by light pollution.

Randy tidying Ideath at the Town Dock. He stays on top of the painting and varnishing as best he can, saying if he does some each year, taking care of a wooden boat isn’t too hard. He doesn’t go for a fancy finish, saying his vessel, “makes no pretense of being a yacht. It’s a boat.”

It’s been 30 years since Randy discovered Ideath’s skeleton under a tarp in High Point. He’s 64 now. Together, they’ve sailed 23,000 coastal and ocean miles. Out of mind are thoughts of building the perfect steel offshore sailboat. Ideath, with her plywood hull, inner tube flotation and home made mast, will take him anywhere he wants to go.

Randy departed Oriental without saying where he was going. He just told one of his visitors, “time and tide wait for no one” and left. He dreams of sailing to Norway.

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Posted Friday February 15, 2013 by Bernie Harberts

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