Number 3

23 November - 3 December 2003

Dear Friends and Supporters,


Ah, down the Intercostal Waterway (ICW) from Norfolk, VA. Just south of Norfolk, the ICW splits and travelers have two options -- one is a canal through the Dismal Swamp (which we travelled on our way north in June) -- the other is east of the Dismal Swamp and is called the Virginia Cut. That's the way we went and we had a good day, motoring mostly, though we had the sails up a couple of times.

One of the problems of the ICW is that you can't pull over just anywhere. So Monday, we got a little too far along to stop in one place and had to push on well after dark until we found another place that we could anchor. Driving the boat through the dark in uncertain waters is not always fun, and even with modern navigational tools like G(lobal) P(ositioning) S(ystem), finding a safe place to anchor the boat in dark in unfamiliar waters can be scary.

We have become very proficient at anchoring this big wide heavy boat. We use a heavy CQR (say "sea-cure" = "secure") or "plow" anchor. This is dropped off the bow of the starboard hull attached to 30 feet of heavy chain, followed by 120 feet of nylon rope. We use more than the recommended length of anchor "rode" (chain and rope) to make a more secure anchoring. The heavy chain keeps the pull on the anchor horizontal along the bottom, thus digging the anchor in deeper the more the boat pulls on it. Once the anchor is "set (dug in by pulling on it by backing the boat up, or allowing the wind and waves to back the boat up) we tie a second line off the port bow to the anchor rode to form a bridle for the anchor. It makes the letter "Y" with the two hulls at the top of the "y" and the anchor at the end of the really long tail of the "Y". This bridle lets the boat ride evenly on the end of the anchor rode, with both bows facing the wind and sea.

We pushed on quite late to get through the Virginia portion of the cut and anchored in the mouth of the North River. We did this purposefully to give us an easy shot at crossing the somewhat dreaded Albemarle Sound.

With the winds again in the 25-30 knot range, we braved the Albemarle Sound, renown for its choppy confused waters and a bane to sailors headed either direction on the ICW. With the Lord's blessing, the wind was from directly behind us and we scooted across with all sails up and skipping (sometimes leaping) over the waves. We pushed on late into the Alligator River (and "No" we did not see any alligators there) and anchored up in a little cove near Deep Point (on your map at N 35°40.511' W 076°03.532'). We all went "ashore" (this is marshland, so the shore is nearly as watery as the water). Jonathan and I collected some mistletoe and hung it in the cockpit so Arden could get some well-deserved kisses.

On the next day to the lovely little town of Belhaven, NC. They have a nice little harbor, but we were really tempted to stay here by an entry in the cruising handbook which stated that the River Forest Manor restaurant had oyster fritters "to die for". We hoped for lunch, but alas, they serve only dinner off season. It is the day before Thanksgiving today. We spent the afternoon ashore, hardware store, library (for Internet and free books for Jon), a bodega (for Charas corn tostados, toasted/roasted corn tortillas, entirely different from the "tortilla chips" one buys in regular markets). The River Forest Manor is advertising a Thanksgiving Feast, served starting at 11 AM, and Arden lands the last available reservation for us.

Thanksgiving is spent eating. The fritters lived up to their reputation. All the food is prepared by "Miss Alice", who has been cooking there for forty years. I was too sated to do anything, so Jonathan single-handed getting the boat underway and did all the sailing for a short day of sailing. As Jon was docking us at R E Mayo & Co. at Hobucken Bridge, NC, he discovered the starboard prop was not turning, forward or reverse. A dark moment - visions of a blown transmission, broken drive shaft, thousands of dollars in repairs......

Sooooo, the next day was spent "fixing" the starboard drive, which had lost it's shaft key, a fifty cent part. Jonathan went in the very cold water and reported rope on the prop shaft, but it was too cold to cut it off, and I didn't realize at this time that it was significant. R E Mayo & Co had some key stock (square metal rod) and I manufactured a key and installed it, and tested, and re-installed and tested, and re-installed and tested...and finally seemed to get it on right. There was a problem with the shaft seeming to be 1/4 inch too short to secure properly. Stayed two nights, at 18 cents a foot (about 1/8th the normal charge at any other place).

Although the wind was a little high, we decided to head out as it promised to be from our stern. The weather report lied, and when we hit the Neuse River, the wind was gale force right on the bow, with breaking waves rolling down the long reach of river we had to pass over. We snuck into a little side creek and anchored for the rest of the day and night.

Sunday we sailed for Beaufort, NC (pronounced bow-fort in NC). Stayed at Beaufort Docks so we could use the courtesy car to go to West Marine and buy material to patch the popped dinghy.

(Oh, I didn't mention the disaster with the dinghy? crushed between the dock and boat as it swung away from the dock in high winds? Jonathan's death-defying leap to the dock to cut the remaining docking lines, and all that? Just as well.)

Anchored out Monday night, preparing to go. Spent the evening with Jonathan ordering us all get to something useful done while he made up all new docking lines. I mounted and connected the wind generator, which instantly started supplying enough power to run the whole boat.

Alas, dragged anchor in the middle of the night on the tide change, and in getting squared around, discovered the starboard prop shaft was loose again. Another dark moment. Several hours reflection and prayer in the small hours of the night lead to the conclusion that the rope on the prop shaft had melted into a rock hard "washer" that was spacing the shaft just a 1/4 of an inch short of its proper length, preventing proper installation. Water temperature = 48° F. Arden has a wet-suit and went in early armed with our sharpest knife, and though she tried until she was in an advanced stage of hypothermia, was unable to cut away more than a small portion of the hardened melted rope. Jonathan suited up, and has the same result (hypothermia and little success). I had no wet suit, but hung upside-down in the water, with mask and snorkel, Arden holding my feet, and cut and sawed to no avail. We decided to call on a professional dive service to scuba down and cut it away.

Arden and Jon went ashore to make arrangements, while I disconnected everything at the other end of the shaft. The local "diver" talked to Arden on the phone, and he told her that the was no use using a knife or saw, a hammer and wood chisel was the only way, and we could probably do it ourselves. Jon and Arden arrived back at the boat with a brand new wood chisel, razor sharp, and Jonathan suited up in his wet suit and scuba gear and in five minutes had the rock-hard polypropylene "washer" chiseled off and the prop shaft pushed in where it belonged. Our hero! By the time Jonathan was done "checking" everything under the boat (boy was he having fun now!) and getting his gear off, I had the prop shaft fixed right and ready to go. We were all so relieved and tired (except Jon, who was exultant), we went ashore to wash out the scuba gear and had a celebratory dinner at "Ribeyes Steak House" where Jonathan devoured enough steak to feed a small village while Arden and I ate an excellent salad bar and huge "fix 'em yourself" baked potatoes.

Wednesday morning finds us sending this late newsletter, Temperatures in the high thirties, telling us to get going south.


Who needs Central Hudson? We heat our new home with one upside down flower pot on the gas range and close all the cabin doors. It gets up to a whopping 60 degrees and we can take our hats and gloves off. I feel like I'm skiing again with the cold winds, layers and layers of clothing and constant motion. Only thing lacking is snow, although Jon reported ice on the deck in the middle of the night. I insist on opening the hatch at night when its 30 so there is no condensation in the morning and we find ourselves and clothes all dripped upon.

We met a sweet French family who have been on their little boat for 11 years with two little girls under 9. I told the mother about our planned stop in Haiti to leave the Christmas presents we collected in Kingston. Later she arrived at our boat with her two darlings carrying two bags of "extra" toys. (there is no place on board for anything extra) She also brought a bag of "extra" child medicine that she was throwing out. I was touched by their generous spirit and its experiences like that which make us glad to be here and encourage us to press on, press on.

So everyone went the extra mile to dive in frigid waters to save the prop. Mom likes to prove her valor as much as the next guy and we were all quite elated after the ordeal was finally over.

Thanks to God all mechanical difficulties have so far been solved with a minimum of expense but lots of crew effort.God has blessed Kip with the gift of problem solving and I plead for inspiration for the Captain daily. We could not have come this far without extra help, believe me.

The moments of darkness and despair recede as we find that we are not given more than we can handle (although we don't find that out until After the torture!). Jonathan has had a miraculous change of heart and now is prodding us to get busy and complete projects and make lists. This is the guy who in former times spent 90% of the day sleeping or with his nose glued to his lap-top. He has proven he can single hand the whole boat including leaving anchorage.

Heading for warmer waters but don't know if we'll make Haiti before Christmas. We are thankful not to find ourselves grounded or hugging the bottom somewhere, even though we don't get to Church very often and had to break the Sabbath to get emergency dinghy patch. Our confidence is increasing and we are pulling together as a crew/family. Thanks be to God.


[Jonathan (unavailable at press time) sends his best wishes and wants everyone to know he's having a great time.]

Our best wishes to you all,

let us hear from you,

The Hansens

Kip, Arden, and Jonathan Hansen


The Family-to-Family Project

c/o Kip and Arden Hansen

153 Malden Tpke

Saugerties, NY 12477

(845) 246 0131 (home)

(845) 987 2759 (cell)


1. If you know of others who would like to read this update, you may forward this email to them.

2. If you'd rather not recieve these occassional updates from the Family-to-Family Project, please let us know by e-mail, and we'll take your name off the list.

3. If you've received this update via a friend, and would like to sign up receive them directly, visit the "Contact Us" page on our web site at

4. You can make donations directly to us via the "Donate Now" button at the bottom of our home page at

or by going directly to this link: