A Travellerspoint blog

November 2009

Preflight - 2009

Wellllllll .... the blog is back. The ayes beat the shut-the-heck-up by a single vote. Did I mention that my Mom got lots of votes? Anyway, Carol talks, I write and we're both locked in our habits. Besides, the blog has become a sort of diary of our trips that I will try to remember when Carol is pushing me around in a wheel chair and I am dribbling cold oatmeal down my chin.

If I can believe the statistics from Traverllerspoint, many of the blog entries have been read in the hundreds of times; Mom must have been busy and she didn't even have a computer.

The segue from the last of last year's blog entries is that Carol's sister, Joan, is doing fine. The operation and radiation therapy were successful, the cancer is gone. Joan just had another operation to reconstruct and repair the damage done removing the cancer and all seems well.

I guess that a tradition is forming; in late October or early November we have a get together in Spring Creek that happens to coincide with Carol and I leaving, even if not on the actual trip. It's tough knowing that we won't see these wonderful folks that we know and love for a good while. On the other hand we are making some friends on the boating side of our lives and it's good to look forward to trying to connect with them in warmer climes.

We're at the boat; we, in this case, includes the red dog: Wile E, who is a real sea dog ..... NOT!!! His general attitude to the boat is that he would rather be in Philadelphia, or any place where the surface under his feet doesn't move. Still, getting onto and off the boat is the challenge.
Wile E in the cabin

Wile E in the cabin


Wile E on the stairs

Wile E on the stairs

Wile E thinking things over

Wile E thinking things over

Wile E on the brink

Wile E on the brink

It is exactly a year to the day that we left for the trip in 2008. Big difference --- this year we're working on the boat, not preparing to get underway. Since the boat is in Brunswick, GA, we're 500 miles farther south than Oriental, NC. That 500 miles means that we don't have to start the trip quite as early. Hopefully, we'll miss some of the colder weather in that first 500 miles which made us miserable last year.

The sort of non-plan is that we'll spend Thanksgiving at home with Mom and Sean and then head for the boat on the following Monday or so. Denise, and her son, Tanner, are going to stay in the house again this year, a good deal for us and Denise says for her also. Since Marilyn, Wile E's previous owner who watched him last year, has moved to Utah, Wile E will be spending the sailing season with Joan whose new house in Tallahassee, FL has a fenced in back yard.

It's kind of interesting to me to reflect on what a difference a year does make. Last year we thought that we were ready to take off, so we did. All the reading, good advice and short cruises were no substitute for actually getting underway for an extended trip. Among the changes are:

• The changes to the electrical system that we made in Marathon last year which included the wind generator, enhancing the solar panels and rewiring the house battery bank. This has made a huge, positive difference in battery management.
• We can carry about 85 gallons of water in our tanks and an additional 20 gallons in jerry cans. We never knew how much water we had in the tanks; the gauges were hard to read, didn't work well and were impossible to see without tearing the boat apart. So, I tore the boat apart and installed a tank monitor system. Now, we push a button and get readings for both tanks.
• The autopilot that came with the boat had been a problem, not working as much as it did work. Actually having to stay at the helm for long periods is boring, tiring and interferes with a proper Happy Hour. So, I installed a new unit this Fall. It has not yet been calibrated and sea tested but there are no error messages so, I hope, it works.
• The VHF radio is an important piece of cruising equipment. We have had a unit hard wired in the cabin and kept a handheld, battery powered unit in the cockpit. Battery power on the handheld was always an issue so I installed a new unit in the cabin that is hard wired to the cockpit with an extension unit: one radio, two sets of controls.
• Carol and I have moved, but only about 15-ft. Last year we slept in the V-berth, forward. Carol liked the tangled-toes togetherness, but we both have bad shoulders, my right, her left, that were aggravated in the close quarters. So we now sleep in the after cabin, sandwiched between the roar of the motor and the drone of the wind generator. It's not even a stateroom, but it does offer something on the order of a queen sized, or so, bed. Much better!
• Last year there were no power tools on board. A neighbor gave me a hand drill that I imagined would be good enough. Now I have a cordless drill and cordless saber saw. Go figure! I use them both a lot.
• We change our motor oil ourselves. This generally involved me getting naked, then getting a half gallon of oil into the disposal can and a half gallon on me. For about a week afterwards people would comment on my dark tan. We now have an oil pump that holds a few gallons. It takes too much space to store but neither of us want to give it up.
• The glass in our canvas dodger was accelerating from transparent to translucent. There are actually times when you have to see what's around you. So, we now have new stuff and can actually see through it. It's a miracle.
• When putting the sails up after storage, we noticed that the foresail looked really ratty. A new one seemed a better idea that continuing to shove more money into a deteriorating piece of equipment.
• When we started last year we had no siphons; now we carry three: gas, diesel and water. The funnels are too numerous to mention.

There are many other changes we've made where we adjusted on the fly.

We've enjoyed Brunswick, met some nice people and made some good friends. Many evenings have been spent on the the dock #4 deck, enjoying a good drink and good conversation while waiting for the sun to set, and it always has. Our mast is somewhere on the right side towards the end.

Dock #4 Sundowners in Brunswick, GA

Dock #4 Sundowners in Brunswick, GA

Posted by sailziveli 13:37 Comments (1)

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