Monday, July 24, 2017

Moving on

The anchorage here in Ocean City Maryland is not the greatest with jetskis and lots of traffic. I'm the only one here and I think that I can make the cape May Anchorage by nightfall. And good wind for sailing finally. Wednesday and Thursday are no go days because of the wind from the north.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Made it to Ocean City, Maryland

After getting beat up by yet another thunderstorm this afternoon, I decided that enough was enough and I pulled in to wait out the Stormy conditions. They are supposed to disappear Thursday.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Leaving from Reedville

Saying goodbye to my very best friends Walt and Mary.
My new to me light air Genoa is ideal for these conditions.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Provisioning for leaving

I'm getting ready to push off Saturday for New York. It is a little late to be starting the great loop and there is no way that I am going to make Demopolis by the end of hurricane season so I have resigned myself to pulling the boat out and winterizing it somewhere along the way, I am not going to go down that horrible Delaware, but am headed to Norfolk down the Chesapeake which is the shorter way anyway. Today I am planning to fill several jugs with diesel to top up my tanks, get some ice and last minute salads.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Launching the new genoa

The wind was light enough first thing in the morning to raise the sail safely to check it out and see if it fitted okay.

Weather window looks possible for Saturday for heading north.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Back home

I arrived back to the boat yesterday and am getting ready to let go the dock lines once more. The boat had a faint odor of "old boat" with a couple of cups of water in the bilge which wasn't that bad considering I have been gone for 4 weeks. Weather doesn't look ideal for the next few days for going north to New York but something will come along.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Captain's license

I have decided to study for a Captain's license for boating. I really have no interest in working again but I must say that I have had such a great time with the delivery of friend's boats lately that I would be up for doing more. What made me think of getting it was a conversation with a captain in Annapolis who said that I could be taken to court by an insurance company if anything went wrong on a voyage. From what I gather, the Captain's license protects you from this. So anyway the downside to all of this is that I have to go back to school!!!!!! I thought that I had seen the last of a classroom 40 years ago. Anyway I purchased a new Nook from Barnes and Noble and downloaded the $17 complete study guide on it.
When I first heard that I could be sued, my first reaction was that I would not do any more boat deliveries, but after I considered what it would take, it is not that big of a deal. Ok it costs several hundred dollars and I have to study for the test but exercising my brain is not a bad thing and I have plenty of time when I am cruising to study for the test. From what I can see, there are 3 aspects to conquer. One is the experience, which in my case is cruising on a boat full time for 4 years and a lifetime of boating. Secondly understanding the "rules of the road" when it comes to boating, and reading this book will hopefully reinforce what I already know. And finally memorizing all the answers to the questions that they ask in the exam.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Video of my sail from Annapolis Maryland to Penobscot Bay in Maine

I'm enroute back to my boat in the Chesapeake after sailing to Buck's Harbor in Maine and in the meantime, I put together a short video of my sail.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Favorite things

When I am on someone else's boat, there are some things that I really appreciate. Such was the case over the past week when I sailed from the Chesapeake to Penobscot Bay in Maine. Here are 4 things that stood out.
1. Binoculars.
I have a pretty good pair of ProMariner ones on my boat but the Bushnell marine ones felt very comfortable. And get this. They were just 5x70 ones
2. Hat
I usually use a beanie but this Grundens hat really kept my head warm and stopped my ear phones from falling out.
3. Preventer.
It isn't easy to see in the photo but there is a dyneema line running from the back of the boom to the front. The front of it attaches to a line coming from the bow around the stays/shrouds.
4. Reefing system.
Again not easy to see from the picture but reefing was a piece of cake from the cockpit. Just pull on a line and no going up to the mast to lock the sail on to the Kringle.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Buck's Harbor in Maine

Wow! Talk about Beautiful. Stunning scenery with picture postcard vistas.
We managed to avoid all the lobster pots last night and got to the mooring around midnight. Up first light this morning to catch a bus south to Boston.
Overall the 4.5 day trip was uneventful but fantastic. We didn't see any whales because of all the fog but we saw lots of seals, porpoise and sea birds. We did have a number of issues because of the new rigging but nothing too serious.

An amazing adventure!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Made it to Maine

We are just sailing into Penobscot Bay and expect to tie up to the dock later in the evening.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Leaving C&D Canal for Maine

Left at 1pm and caught the current going down the Delaware. Passed the Ship John Shoal and took a video of it.
Bit shaky because it was like a washing machine. Nothing like what we are expecting tomorrow night with squalls up to 40 knots. Thursday and Friday are also expected to be bad so we are aiming for Block Island to shelter.

C and D Canal

The canal linking the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware basin is known as the c a d canal.
We overnighted at a place called Schaefer's marina at the western end and the plan is to transit the canal later this morning to time slack water at the eastern end to ride the current out of the Delaware.

Yesterday we raised the mainsail for the first time and discovered that all 3 reefing lines were short.
So this morning before we leave for Maine, I am going to take out the first reefing line and use the second reefing line in place of it and take the third reefing line out and use it for the second.

The weather forecast for Tuesday night does not look good north of cape May, with a cold front passing through. Winds will be 25 knots and squalls 35-45 knots and thunderstorms. We are trying to figure out what to do. We could go east from cape May instead of heading NE or we could duck into the cape May Anchorage to wait until the storm passes.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Last minute preparation before shoving off

We spent the day tidying up loose ends around the boat, going over procedures with the Riggers including deployment of the whisker pole and reefing. They also installed a top down furler  intended for the spinnaker that Don is referring to as the marriage wrecker but it is doubtful that we will be using it on the way to Maine. We went out into the bay to try it out and it worked reasonably well. The idea is that you can launch it from the cockpit unlike the sock where you have to go up on the foredeck.
The plan this morning, is to motor sail up to the c and d canal and overnight there. The next day go through the canal, down the Delaware bay and then make a bee line for Nantucket. After that sail around Cape Cod and onwards to Penobscot Bay. Weather looks good for the voyage.

In the meantime here is a video of the Sailboats here in the marina.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bacons

If you are a sailor, the best place to buy used sails is a marine consignment shop on the outskirts of Annapolis.
I was looking for a Genoa for my Westsail 32 because I have had to repair it a couple of times lately and I looked at the dimensions on the sailrite website and this is what it came up with.
So I did a search on Bacon's 100,000 sail database and came up with about 60 hits. I combed through these until I found one that appealed to me.
They brought it out and laid it on the table and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was almost new, hardly been used, exactly what I was looking for and what a steal! The only trouble was, that it was yellow. Yes yellow! Who ever heard of a giant yellow Genoa! What a hoot. Oh well. As long as it gets me to where I am going to, who cares right?
They do sell a lot of other stuff in the store so what follows is some eye candy for you to drool over.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Stepping the mast

My boat is in Reedville while I am in Annapolis getting ready to deliver a boat to Buck's Harbor, Maine. However before we set sail, we must step the mast. What happened was that my friends, Don and Ann on s/v Salty Paws broke their chain plates and decided to replace all their rigging. Their mast was stripped sandblasted and painted and state of the art wiring, standing and running rigging added. Today it all came together when we stepped the mast. I took a video of the day's events.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rigging

It is interesting to see how modern materials and techniques are used to rig a mast in this day and age.
The old mast was stripped, sandblasted and painted with awlgrip by the rigging company based just down the road here at the Bert Jabin's Marina in Annapolis.
You can see the tricolour light is LED and a Shakespeare whip VHF antenna and the anemometer that tells the wind direction and speed.
They are using rod rigging which according to Wikipedia tends to sometimes suddenly fail where it is bent at the spreaders or if the swages have not been carefully installed.
Wire is still being used for the forestay because a Harken furler is being installed.
The boat is cutter rigged so the other furler is for the staysail.
They are installing lazy Jack's on the boom and the preventers are attached to the stainless steel clip in the center of the photo.
The 4200 is used to insulate the stainless steel from the aluminum boom and mast to stop corrosion between the different metals.
LED lights will illuminate the mast.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Annapolis, Maryland

Downtown Annapolis is such a pretty place and it was all decked out for Independence day.
There were lots of young cadets and their families in town for the parade from the naval academy.
There is a lot of history here with many old buildings including the state capitol.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Choices

I was doing my laundry in Marsh harbour, which for a cruiser meant I had to find a laundromat and as usual there were some others there and while you wait for the washing machine and dryer it is not unusual to pick up a conversation or two. Anyway because I didn't have any laundry detergent a kind lady offered me some of hers and we struck up a conversation. I'm sure you have heard her story before or one like it. Her husband had retired and they had bought a beautiful Catamaran with the intention of going cruising. Well 6 months ago, her husband had a medical checkup and the doctor pronounced him fit and healthy and to go off and enjoy his retirement. Nine days later he suffered a heart attack and passed away. At this stage my new friend broke down and started crying. Between tears she explained that she now had to find a way to get the boat back to Stuart, Florida and to sell it. She was crying because she missed her husband and it was so sad to see how unhappy she was in a virtual paradise in the Bahamas. She regarded herself as tough enough to get through this ordeal and hopefully she will make it.

We all make choices in our lives and some like to live their lives to the fullest every day, while others save up for the day that they can stop working and go traveling. Alternatively you can go small and go now, but it is not for the feint of heart. A couple of weeks ago, in Bermuda I saw a young couple load 5 bags of groceries onto their paddle board in the pouring nighttime rain and wind to go out to their anchored boat. If you do decide to do the concrete jungle/cubicle thing, you better make sure that you exercise and eat healthy otherwise you'll end up like a lot of my peers who have health issues.

Yesterday was a travel day for me and now I am sitting in Back Creek on a mooring in Annapolis. The mast is on the dock having new rigging put on it by the riggers.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Marsh harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas

Probably the most popular place in the Abaco Islands is the grocery store here.
The thing is that the Bahamas is the only country in the world where the liquor store is bigger than the grocery store.
They do have a traffic light.
Snorkeling at Mermaid Reef had as many fish as I have seen anywhere.
Our neighbors came all the way across from Florida to go fishing off the reef here
Gaily colored houses abound.
Along with breadfruit, another import that has flourished is the bougainvillea.
Pistachio trees grow along the side of the road .
Like all of the Caribbean, the mango also grows wild everywhere.
And that leads into the most popular Restaurant here.
With Curly tails being a close runner up.