Monday, December 21, 2009

December - Record Snowfall

I believe we set a new record in Maryland for the greatest 1-day snowfall in the month of December.  Whatever.  All I know if that after dealing with almost 2 feet of the stuff at the house all weekend, it was off to the office to do it all over again Monday morning.  And then to the boat to do it yet again Monday afternoon.  The snow was on Saturday, 12/19/09.  On Sunday 12/20, a friend went to check on the boats and sent me these some shots of the docks and my boat (thanks Tommy):

Somebody, at least, got part of the pier open.


But my finger pier is going to take some work.

It's a good thing I've got braces under the enclosure for support.


I am so not looking forward to this.

 There wasn't much I could do on Sunday.  I had a bad feeling when I pulled up the the entrance at the club/marina of how things were going to look.


Here's what the bow looked like on Monday after I got the finger pier cleared enough to walk on.


From what I gather, the wind was blowing the snow from behind the boat.  Thus the enclosure acted as a vacuum to build the snow up on the bow.

After about 2 hours worth of work, we're back to normal with no damage done.


Oh well, such is winter.  At least it'll be a decent ski season.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November Boating

Life is good in MD when you can take the boat out in November.  It's 67f in the cockpit right now (and we've got it open).  We're in downtown Baltimore for the evening as we've got tickets to the Ravens game tomorrow.  We were going to spend two nights (head home on Monday), but the weather isn't looking very nice.  Thus, we'll probably try and beat the sunset home on Sunday after the game ("overtime" anybody?).  Here's a few of shots.  It was a very nice ride.

We left just after dark and followed this guy for a while.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Projects

We ended up getting our original props reconditioned to the tune of around $50 each.  It seems that for this particular MC30 and Honda 50hp outboards, 11-1/4" by 13-pitch seem to be the best match.  I've got some composite ProPulse props as spares, but might lay out $120 for a new Honda matching prop before the next big cruise.  A big thanks to the nice folks at  Piranha Propellers for their help even though we didn't end up buying anything from them...this time around.

Back to the subject of this post.  One of my many Fall projects has been nearly completed:  replacing our Type I MSD (Marine Sanitation Device).  We've had an Electro Scan (formerly known as the Lectra/San) installed for years, but have had issues.   It appears our home waters have something in them that makes us go through electrode packs ($250 each) about every 12-18 months (these normally last 5-8 years).  There's also the annoyance of having to carry 40lbs bags of salt when boating anywhere but in true ocean salinity waters.  Thus, I just removed the Electro Scan (formerly known as the Lectra/San) and replaced it with a Purasan, from the same company.  The Purasan doesn't have electrodes and doesn't sanitize by using a large amount of 12v DC power to convert salt to chlorine.  Instead, the unit uses less than 5 amps and a cartridge containing sanitizing tablets to perform the same function.  Thus, much less maintenance, no salt to carry, much less draw on the batteries, and as a bonus, removal of the salt feed tank actually brought the waterline up by a good inch!

On to the next task: removing the vinyl "stripes" around the cabin ports...

Oh, does anybody want to buy a used Electro Scan system?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer 2009 - Back on the Chesapeake Bay

After about a week out of the water, Deuce has a fresh coat of bottom paint and is back in her slip at Maryland Yacht Club. We survived the Abacos pretty well. The only repairs needed were a new air conditioner water pump (thankfully it gave out on our final night) and I've still got to get the refrigerator running (again, thankfully we had a back up). Minor stuff considering all the things that can go wrong on a boat. The next project will be playing with some different prop sizes. We had been using composite 4-blade props for the past few years with mixed results. Cruise speeds were down to 15-16 and I was getting tired of replacing blades when they broke. Early in May, at our first night at anchor at Great Sale Cay, I put the original 3-blade Honda props back on. Surprisingly we got back up to 17+ knots at about 4,900rpm. After a few calls to some dealers and Honda directly I've found I should get my WOT (wide open throttle) up closer to 6,000rpm and Honda approves extended cruise speeds anywhere below this redline. So I dropped from 13 pitch to 12 and will see what happens this weekend. It looks like we'll join our club on a short cruise to Langford Bay near Rock Hall, MD.

It's a real let-down to have a vacation end, but at least when we get home we've got the entire Chesapeake to cruise all Summer and well into the Fall. If I couldn't come home to that I think I'd have to go on some sort of anti-depressant medication!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday - May 28, 2009

Time to head for home. We'll be loading the boat on the trailer at 9am tomorrow. After getting things settled (bimini removed, radar lowered, etc), I expect to be out of Fort Pierce around 11 am or so. That'll put us back home around mid-day Saturday. Then it'll be back to the house for a much-needed shower and probably falling asleep watching TV on the sofa. Pathetic? Yes. But after spending a month on the boat, 20 days of which in the Bahamas, we've got to have something small to look forward to before we head back to work on Monday morning. That's not going to be much fun at all. I hope that lottery ticket I bought before we left won.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday - May 27, 2009

We made it back to the USA with a good bit of luck today. What a nasty bit of storms blowing up in the Gulf Stream each day. It's truly nasty out there! Here's the current radar out of Miami. See all the storms over the Abacos?

Those were in the Gulf Stream most of the day. And as the pattern has been, those storms over Florida will end up crossing the stream too. Our friends, Bob and Karen, don't have a deadline to get home, so on their slower trawler they decided to stay at Old Bahama Bay in West End. The place was only about 30% full last night, but they just e-mailed to say the place is packed. The slower boats are all coming in as anchoring overnight at the outer Cays is getting to be quite uncomfortable. We might only do 17 knots, but that was good enough today to leave at 7:30am and make it into St. Lucie Inlet at 11:30. The storms blew up just as we got in.

We just got into the inlet as this one let some rain loose.

And then they really blew up. This was over the inlet just as we got into the ICW:

And that was at Noon! Glad we didn't wait to leave any longer (partially due to Kristen beating me up to get out of bed this morning!)

Tomorrow we'll take a cab ride 12 miles to Vero Beach, FL to get our truck and trailer. Sheesh, I have to drive on an actual road again???

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday May 26, 2009

Did the month really go by this quickly? We're back at Old Bahama Bay at West End waiting to make our crossing back to the USA. We had to wait out some very large thunderstorms today after our arrival from Great Sale, so we'll give it a shot in the morning and see if we make it to Florida. Then it's time to run around and get the boat on the trailer to come home.

But enough of that. Here's some of what we saw in the water today at Old Bahama Bay. It's actually pretty amazing the marine life they have within 3 feet of their shore (really).

I don't think we'll see anything like this in the Chesapeake the rest of this year. Dang.

Monday May 25, 2009

We made a run from Treasure Cay to Great Sale Cay today. Flat water, wonderful ride. Then, the snorkeling:

I better check on the anchor. One never knows what the night might bring.

We better have the anchor in. Here's the storms we were seeing on the horizon:

I had the underwater camera with me and caught Kristen on the bow with this shot (probably one of the better/more interesting shots I've ever taken in my life):

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday May 22, 2009

We're still at Treasure Cay. Patty says to stay put, so that's just what we're doing. But to be honest, in this weather, we've got no other destinations anyway. We'll hope for some sun today so we can get back to the beach. I'll see if also can't get our one refrigerator fixed (it's been giving us problems and I finally shut it down a few days ago). Thankfully, we've got the chest freezer and it's small refrigeration compartment that we're managing pretty well with. Here was last night's dinner. As you can see, we're really roughing it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Morons (er..."Moorings")

We're still at Treasure Cay. A very nice place to stay in good or bad weather, and a very decent staff. But I do have to vent a bit. If there's a name on a boat one should avoid, it's anything from a charter company. One big-name charter company here seems to attract, well, less than desirable clientele. I'm going to firmly state that we have met some lovely cruising couples from the US, Canada, and Europe on their own boats, but it would appear these are not the same sort of people who charter. We just had to complain about such a charter boat that tied up at the end of the dock near us last night running their generator all evening (noise and Carbon Monoxide risks). They left this same marina a day before, and then came back right after the office closed. We were just about to go for a swim, when, after their horrible attempt at docking, they decided to "bathe" in the pool. Today, after speaking with the marina staff, I found out they claimed they "just tied up this morning" ("this morning" being the morning AFTER they arrived). LIARS!!! People in the Bahamas actually work for a living. Those from countries where their governments provide "everything" (except a good vacation/holiday spot, obviously) should keep that in mind. When you travel, please be respectful of the locals. Here in the Bahamas, they're really quite nice.

"Ugly Americans?" Are you kidding me? People can be quite "ugly" from anywhere.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 18-19 - Treasure Cay

Current location: (click here)

We heard chatter on Cruisers Net about bad weather coming, so what better place to be stuck than a resort? The prices at Treasure Cay for dockage aren't that bad here considering (about $75/day including water & power). Not that we plan to stay here for long, but it's laundry time again, and this is a protected harbor. On day one, the weather wasn't too darn shabby...

It's tough roughing it in paradise, but we're trying our best to manage.

Day number 2, however, was a bit of a different story. The good news is, I've got time to catch up on this Blog. The bad news is a nice little gale has set up over Abaco. Oh well, they need rain and we're getting a free wash-down. For those that have been here, this is the view from the marina at Treasure Cay out to the mooring basin. I'm not sure we'll have any wax left on the boat (it's only about 1/8 mile to the basin)!

This is my lower half after adjusting some lines. Those shorts aren't supposed to be two colors!

Ah, but wait, it clears up in time to grill dinner!

Here's a little video of the rain. The mooring basin is to the starboard (right) side of the boat (where most of the video is taken). I'm in red on the bow adjusting lines.

May 17, 2009

Ma7 17, 2009 - After another day and night on a mooring in Hope Town...

Oh, and GO RAVENS! (for those Baltimore fans out there):

We decided it was time to try something a little different and get yet another mooring in Great
Guana (that watermaker sure does come in handy at times!). We spent the day at the Nipper's Pig Roast.

I have to admit, I didn't see or have any pork (I'm not sure what the deal is with that) but the views sure are pretty.

Unlike the rest of the crowd, we were back on the boat and ready for bed near sunset.

Next, we're off to tuck in for a few days of bad weather.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 14-16, 2009

It's hard to say enough about Hope Town. We haven't moved from here as we haven't felt inclined to. You be the judge.

I did bring my work with me, but getting e-mail on a beach like this rather makes it worth it.

We did decide to grab some lunch today.
Here's the view:

And our guest under the table:

After picking up some conch salad, we headed back out to a mooring for the next few nights.

Catamarans are rather common here, unlike at home.