Monday, October 29, 2012

October 28, 2012.

Lets talk about the weather. I don't really want to but if I don't I’ll be the only one on the east coast not talking about the weather. Sandy is being a bit of a bitch. Early in the week she looked as if she was going to stay well offshore. Then in midweek there were predictions of an abrupt turn to the west. Damn.

Last year during hurricane Irene we kept the Veranda in her slip and dutifully checked her lines all night. The wind blowing the water out of the Chesapeake was canceled by the higher than normal tides. So we sat in our protected slip with no ill effects. Was there some risk? Yeah. Did we dodge a bullet? Maybe.

So, faced with our second relevant hurricane in 2 years we decided we were living on borrowed time and pulled the boat. A couple of dozen boaters called up asking to be pulled before Sandy's Monday arrival. So we spent Friday moving boats around on the hard in an effort to make space for the sudden influx of new boats.

Then we spent Saturday and Sunday pulling and blocking about 30 boats. We worked for a bit on Monday finishing up last minute details and we're as ready as we're gonna be. So we sent everyone home and now we'll play it by ear.

We're safely tucked away in our rental home. The wind is in the 20's, the tide is normal and for now, things look good.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 16, 2012.

Yeah, its official. We're dirt dwellers, albeit temporarily. Because of the stayin' up north due to the whole tearing the boat apart for the refit thing we needed a place to live. Hopefully a place warm enough that I would not have to write a blog post where the words icicles and testicles appear in the same sentence.

We have friends that are heading south for the winter on their sailboat. Fortunately for us they have a lovely home here in Annapolis that they've agreed to rent to us for the winter. So we're moving to Beverly..... Hills that is, swimmin' pools, movie stars. Yeah, yada yada...are there anymore words to that song? I dunno. Yeah, anyway, for the time being we're now officially CLODS (Cruisers living on Dirt).

We thought we'd move in over the course of a few days but the plan accelerated itself a little bit. All my clothes filled 3 cardboard boxes and Christys only filled 4 (not counting shoes of course). Since we were ahead of the curve we grabbed all of our food and headed over to the house. When I say “grabbed our food” I’m talking 2 truckloards.

The townhouse is laid out very much like the townhouse we left behind in New Jersey including a large closet style pantry. Christy started filling the pantry as I lugged boxes of food upstairs and a funny thing happened. Before we knew it every shelf was packed and the pantry was officially full. And we still had a shitload of food in boxes. I guess this is what happens when you stow food in every nook and cranny on the boat; you end up carrying a lot more food than you imagined. Storing can goods under the seating in the living room like we do on the boat would be a little awkward so we'll have to work something else out.

I even found a few surprises. I gave up milk chocolate last year but we took some dark chocolate with us to the Bahamas. I had some every once in a while but was under impression that we had run out so imagine my surprise when I uncovered this little stash. Since it won't fit in the pantry I'm gonna have to take one for the team and eat it all as quickly as possible.

Autumn is happening around us, we're firmly entrenched on land, the boat comes out in a week or so and then the real work begins....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 13, 2012. So its boat show time again. Every year its pretty much the same ole’ same ole’. The same boat manufacturers showing this seasons latest and the greatest.  Every once in a while there’s something new that makes you stop and say WOW.  Sometimes it’s “Wow”, how cool or why didn’t I think of that but a surprising amount of the time its more like “Wow, What the hell were they thinking”.  A new trend I saw this year was the deck mounted winches on the new generation of catamarans. In the past the winches were mounted on the cabin top somewhat in the helmsman’s line of vision.  So to get rid of this possible safety issue the trend seems to be to mount the winches down on an angled panel adjacent to the instrument panel.  The way the lines are now led up and over a stainless plate mounted on the corner of the cabin top just seems kinda wrong to me.
Years ago lines had to be led “clean”.  Now it seems that with stainless plates, electric winches and fancy schmancy high strength line anything goes. I do enjoy looking through the vendor booths in search of something new and cool.   Since we’re starting our refit I did spend some quality time with the people at Garmin and Beta Marine.   But on a whole I’ve become a little boat show cynical.  One thing that hasn’t changed for me is using the boat show as an opportunity to meet people.  I interact with a lot of people on the internet by either reading their blog or by them following ours.  I said it before but it always freaks me out a bit meeting people who’ve been following our blog and know so much about us before we’ve met. This year we met 3 new to us couples.   Just before the boat show we were able to spend a few hours with Paul & Deb of s/v Kelly Nicole.  We took the skiff out to their boat and picked them up for a little river cruise followed by dinner at Davis’ Pub.  We’ve been following each other’s blog for more than a year so the playing field was a little more level.  They’ve been sailing in Lake Ontario for years and their plan for warm latitude sailing has been suddenly accelerated.  It was good to finally meet them as they headed down to Florida to start another chapter in their sailing life. Then there was a guy I met through work.  Mike was in the yard to sea trial and ultimately buy a beautiful Baba 40.  He recognized me from the blog and we did get to spend some time during the work day talking about boats. Finally while we were walking through the show we ran into Walt & Sally.  We’ve chatted through the blog so they knew we had alcohol in common so we immediately headed over to Armadillos for a couple of cocktails.  We talked about all things boating and were enjoying each others company when the phone rang.  It seems there was a problem at the marina. A customer had left earlier in the day in his sailboat and was reporting an issue.  He said he sailed away earlier in the day and now out in the middle of the bay the boat wouldn’t start.  He said he was going to sail back to the dock and could I be there to help them in docking.  I assured him that with the crowded harbor and the current wind direction sailing onto our docks was not an option.  I advised him to sail close to town and to call TowBoat US to aid him in getting onto the dock.  He agreed but imagine my surprise an hour later when he called and said that he had gotten the engine started and was now safely tied up at our dock BUT now the engine won’t shut down.  Won’t shut down?  He swears the engine won’t shut off.  Crap. He seems to be pretty unfamiliar with his boat so we’ve got to get up and head back to the marina. So we said a quick goodbye and headed back through the boat show. We pushed our way through the crowd with a sense of urgency. We made it back to the water taxi and after a short wait we were whisked back across the river. We double timed the short walk back to the marina and headed down to the waterfront. Sure enough, when we walked up to the boat it was still running. The owner started going through his theories on what was going on or whose fault it might be. I stepped into the cockpit and glanced at the engine panel. He had the key off and the engine was still running. Imagine his surprise when I explained to him that when you shut the key off you were shutting off the power to the panel which includes the kill button. It turned out that he was trying to start the boat by pressing the large red button clearly marked “Off”. But conversely he was trying to kill the thing by just turning the key rather than pressing the big red button. Once I was sure that Captain Alzheimer was all straightened out we headed home to the boat to start packing. Thats right we're moving....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 2, 2012. I'm noticing a disturbing trend. On my Monday morning jaunt to work I used to catch the sunrise during the trip. Now I leave in the dark and if I’m lucky I catch a predawn display.....Ugh, the days are getting shorter.
October 1, 2012. So what do you mean that even though I didn't open my thru hull but yet continued to pump furiously and the hose blew off and drenched my Electro San's circuit boards in fecal matter that I didn't bother to clean off and the thing failed that its not a warranty issue? Yes, that was one sentence.
I mean, if you drench sensitive electronics in fecal fluid and don't bother to clean it up are you really surprised that it fails? And then when you show up to have it repaired you're surprised that its not a warranty item? Seriously? I thinking that people like this flush the most intelligent part of their body down the commode in the morning. And hey look its Boat Show.....