Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter is here. But I'll still keep and eye on things.

While we've been dealing with some very cold temperatures for a while, we just had our first snow (thankfully, only a few inches).  The boat is just about ready for winter as I just need to put the braces up for the enclosure, which I'll do over the next few days.  While I've had temperature sensors running for the past few years, this year I've added a real-time webcam.  Here are some screen shots:

Temp Sensors:

Daytime with the webcam:

I also installed some lighting so I could see the boat at night:

Hopefully, the dusting of snow will melt off before I have to board her!

Here's the enclosure I put together for the camera.  It was a rush job, but it should do the trick.

Here's the whole setup:  Camera to the left, lights in the middle, and below the lights is the box with all the electrical and the access point.

Another angle:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another November Weekend

More mild temperatures and light winds.   
 How can one resist a chance to extend the season yet another weekend? 

This time a short trip from our slip to downtown Baltimore for the night.

Will we be able to make it out again in December?

12/4/10 is the annual Baltimore Boat Parade of Lights.

Only time will tell.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Boating

I'm so glad we don't throw in the towel and winterize like most other boaters in Maryland.  Otherwise, we would have missed this past weekend.  This is the flattest I've seen the bay all year.

Leaving Kent Island

Chesapeake Bay Bridge (from about 6 or so miles)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Boating on the Chesapeake

Granted, I'm thinking forward to next spring when we'll head back across "the stream" (Exumas this time?), but this time of year really makes for some fantastic boating on the Chesapeake.  This past weekend we thought we'd get another overnight anchor in and were treated to a great sunrise.

Looking to the west the moon was still visible.

And then, of course, there's the leaves.

I don't mind a late start to the ski season.  There's plenty of time for that in January and February.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The way home.

It's been a few days since we posted as we've been pretty busy. We're in Fort Pierce, Florida now. The boat gets loaded on the upgraded trailer (we went from 2 axles to 3) tomorrow at 1pm EDT. We had a wonderful send off from Green Turtle by "Oreo, the 3 legged dog" as well as a great day at the beach.

It appears it's his beach, ALL of it!

We then spent a night at Great Sale at anchor. The first calm night there in our last 3 stops. I was looking forward to the fantastic view of the stars, but it was a full moon, so I couldn't see a darn thing!  But the Sunrise was nice.

We then had the idea to try to head directly home via Memory Rock. All was well until we left the bank and were met with HUGE swells. We turned around and went 20 miles to Old Bahama Bay at West End.  Storms were all over the place by then, and the holding for anchoring in that area is poor.  We wanted a slip.  It was Memorial Day weekend and there was a 4 night minimum.  Thankfully, the dock hand working the fuel dock remembered us from previous trips and took pity.  They were booked full (I've never seen the place full before), but had a cancellation for a 60' slip.  So they put us and our 30' boat in it along with a 29' boat.  Hey, what works, works.  And the folks on the other boat were very darn nice.

The weather forecast called for 2-foot sees with a slight SE swell, so we took off the next morning (Sunday, 5/30).  Why do weather people lie so much?  There was certainly a 2-foot chop, but that was on top of a good 4-foot swell!  It was 4 hours of UP, and DOWN, UP, and DOWN.  10 knots up, 20 knots down.  But the boat did well.  We never pounded and we passed some much larger boats.  I have no complaints on the ride except it's always annoying to go "uphill" in a boat!  As we approached Florida at St. Lucie Inlet, I was wondering where all the holiday traffic was.  There were no boats anywhere.  Then I got it; it was too rough to boat!  Oh well, when the ICW has chop, and you're happy to be in it, life is good!

We'll try and post some more in the next few days, but tomorrow starts the trip home and the very LONG drive.  So please excuse us if it takes a while.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Staging for the trip home.

We're probably going to spend a 3rd night in Green Turtle at Leeward Yacht Club.  The staff here is quite nice, and it's a good location.  And heck, for $.90/ft, I'm enjoying the a/c over anchoring!  Tomorrow we'll head out with 3/4 tank of fuel.  We'll stop at Spanish Cay to top off and get some lunch.  Then we'll keep going to for a night at Great Sale Cay.  The crossing day appears to be Sunday at this point.  We might leave directly from Great Sale or anchor just outside of Old Bahama Bay marina (I'm not going to pay their inflated Memorial Day rates and eat the 4-night minimum) and make the cross on Sunday.

As promised, here's a video of the Don't Rock Passage.  I wish the camera could do a better job of picking up the swells, but 2D just can't capture 3D images. However, you can tell the boat was running well through it, especially the little breaking swell we hit at around 1:18 into the movie.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Don't Rock Passage

There was no report from The Whale on Cruiser's Net today:

Whale Cay Passage: [No Report]
North MOW: per Susan at 808am at Penrod Point reports 3-5ft roll / 1ft chop / sloppy
But Man-O-War sounded interesting. We took a shot through the Don't Rock.

Purple are routes I plotted over the years.  Green are actual tracks from previous passages.  White is today's track.

The water got VERY skinny at times between the rollers. The depth sounder couldn't even get a reading, but I could sure see the sand below.  And then came the breakers.

See how close that sand bottom was?  Yikes!  It's a good thing we've got a shallow-draft boat.
At least we weren't out in the Whale Passage like this sail boat:

For those that haven't been through here, the white water on the left is breaking against a reef.  It had to be rough out there.

I'll work on a movie tonight from some video I shot and see what I can edit together.  It's hard to steer with one hand and take a movie with the other under such conditions (but it was fun :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Snorkel in the day, light the lighthouse at night

Wow, a busy day.  I'm not even sure where to start.  We decided to pay the professionals (Froggies Out Island Adventures) to take us out to some reefs to snorkel.  Wow, was that a good decision.

Thank God we had the shorty wetsuits with us.  As hot as it's been here it gets darn cold in 78 degree water after a while.

Then, after dinner, we took up some new friend's offer for a private tour of the lighthouse lighting (thanks Greg and Sandy!).  Franklin has been at it for 37 years!  Remember, this is a totally manual light.  He has to get up every 2 hours to crank it so it keeps running.  Ouch!

Check out the archives from 2008 for the typical shots.  These below are from the "keep out" area.

Back down below to get the thing going.

That's the crank to the right.

And there's Franklin doin' the cranking.

The walk down isn't lit...this is not OSHA approved!

The end result.

Wait!  There's a movie!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hope Town

Wow, quite a bit of construction going on at Hope Town Marina (we heard that Rudy sold a number of months ago, and I would say that seeing is confirming).  The place is going to at least double in size.  Sadly, though, there's even less boats here this year than last year.  It seems each year the tourism falls.  I guess the economy is showing it's ugly head.

We had a great meal at Cap't Jack's with some new cruising friends, Rick and Sally from Denver, CO.  They've also got a power cat.  Heck, this harbor is full of catamarans.  Why they're not more popular state-side I don't quite know.  Anyway, here was the sunset from Cap't Jack's deck:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Treasure Cay - We're not all about resorts, but this is our favorite.

I've got some issues connecting to WiFi hotspots for some reason, so I haven't posted much lately.  But the Verizon phone is working pretty darn well and I'm going to post a little bit from our favorite Bahamas Resort; Treasure Cay.  We might head to Hope Town tomorrow, or we might stay here another day.  Either does enough for me at the moment!  Enjoy just a few pictures since my bandwidth is a bit low right now:


I've got a movie of this that shows a lot more fish, but these little guys are over the place here.