September 1, 2008.
Happy Labor Day everyone. We’ve spent the last 2 days finishing up our “to do” list. One item that had needed “doing” for almost a year was the permanent securing of our solar panels.
We had ordered them at the boat show in Annapolis last year and had them shipped to Christy’s cousin Cindy in Georgetown, SC. We picked them up on our way south and once we had the panels we set aside a few days in Ladies Island, SC to install them. It was a difficult job (see November 1, 2007) as the panels are set so far back on the boat that I wasn’t able to bolt down the trailing edge. The only thing I could do was bolt the front and get a few zip ties into some of the pre-existing holes in the rear of the panels frames in an effort to secure them. It worked well enough, but was a pretty rinky dink way to do things. We just haven’t had the chance to be backed up to a dock so I could stand out on the dock and drill the required holes before bolting everything together.
Since we’re on the hard I figured I could do it from the ladder but the only problem was that our ladder was too short. In the spirit of the Olympics, I tried to figure out how the ancient Manchurians would have handled it. Of course! Find another ladder and tie them together. This is when Christy reminded me that all the ancient Manchurians are now dead. But I doubt that it was due to falling from ladders, so I pressed on.
I used a fifty foot piece of line and tied the ever loving shit outta the two ladders. I proudly stood my creation up to the back of the boat and realized that my guesstamation was a little off and the damn thing was an inch too short. So I had to completely untie it and stretch it a foot before re-tying them back together. So with my new giant ladder I was able to finally secure the panels as they should be.
On Saturday night we and the Solitaires were invited to Gail & Matthew’s house for dinner. The crew of Alisios were the best hosts, they served a truly gourmet meal, and it goes without saying that we enjoyed the evening immensely. Matthew and Gail take cooking to the next level. We had a soup to start with that had the words cold, yogurt and cucumber all in the description. I admit that I was apprehensive until the first spoonful, it was delicious. Cold soup, who knew. The rest of the meal was wonderful as well; then there was dessert too. Woo hoo. We all left fat and happy. Getting to see Gail & Matt one more time before we left was great, getting fed was a huge bonus.
Yesterday was finally the day to paint Verandas bottom. First I had to scuff the entire bottom and did a pretty good job of covering myself in fine blue dust. After showering twice I set about applying the first coat of paint.
Actually I first applied a 1 foot wide coat of paint at the waterline. Then I applied two complete coats over the entire bottom. This way we ended up with three coats at the waterline where the paint seems to wear the most. As soon as this was done I had to yet again jump in the shower in an effort to get ready for the biggest marina party of the season.
Herrington Harbour Marina held a party for all their slip holders. Our old marina in NJ used to hold parties like this during the summer so I kind of had an inkling of what to expect. The parties in Jersey were well done and loads of fun but I just wasn’t prepared for the scope of this party.
First off there were over 800 people in attendance and were all seated under 2 huge tents. There were hot dogs and hamburgers, corn on the cob, local tomatoes that rivaled those that New Jersey is famous for. I ended up eating 3 cheeseburgers, a hot dog, corn on the cob and some chocolate chip cookies, oh, and beer. There was free beer and wine and what cookout in the Chesapeake would be complete without crabs. They had a truckload of crabs brought in. There was a truck sized crab steamer that cooked crabs fresh all afternoon. As one truck ran out of crabs the backup truck pulled in with another supply.
People were lined up to get crabs. The only way you could get them was by the dozen. It wasn’t unusual to see people carrying off 2 or 3 dozen fresh hot crabs. The official estimate was that they were going to be preparing 10,000 crabs.
There was live music, things to keep the kids busy and the weather was beautiful. It really was a nice function.
So now today we’re doing a lot of last minute little bullshit things like painting the prop and shaft, vacuuming the interior, filling the water tank, washing the topsides etc.
We’re scheduled to be back in the water tomorrow.