Archive for November, 2006

Entry for November 28, 2006 (reflections on Mandate)

November 28, 2006

Pic of Mandate from Tuesday morning anchorage

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Entry for November 28, 2006

November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27th –

We were fogged in this morning in Elizabeth City.  We couldn’t see more than about 100 feet over the water so we went to a deli for a bagel (so-so) and puttered around the boat for a bit.  Finally Rob called and said the fog should lift shortly and he wanted to head out.  I was game so we motored slowly out of the docks into the dense fog.

Once we got out of the town, the waterway opened up considerably so even though we couldn’t see far, we were not too worried about it.  My radar wasn’t working right since putting the mizzen mast back up and Rob’s has never worked well.  We navigated by

“dead reckoning” which is basically knowing where you were and estimating where you are by plotting your course and speed on a chart.  We both had GPS receivers which make this much easier.  We navigated in the fog for about 45 minutes before it started to clear and we saw a beautiful morning (finally).

The rest of the day was very unusual for this area at this time of year – no wind and warm weather.  Laura has had several (firsts) the last few days and today we added docking alongside a fuel dock and leaving while the slight wind was blowing us against the dock.  We used a spring ling attached to the bow of the boat while I motored forward to drive the stern out.  There are two concerns with this procedure.  First it the bow will eventually get pushed into the dock so you have to reverse before you damage something on the boat or dock.  Second, the spring line you are using needs to be released quickly when you have the stern away from the dock and hit the gas in reverse.  We got through both of them ok but we’ll do better next time now that Laura has seen it done once.

We did take on 124 gallons of diesel fuel at Alligator River Marina, one of the cheapest places on the ICW.  It was $210 / gallon.  For comparison, our marina in Deltaville was $360 / gallon so we didn’t fill up there and left with about 3/8ths of a tank.

We motored until after dark and anchored in a quiet place just off the ICW marker in the Alligator River.

When I went out on deck to check everything before going to bed, I asked Laura to come up.  It was an awesome sight.  The night was so calm with water was like glass and we could see the perfect reflection of the stars and moon on the water.  I don’t think I had every seen water that calm.  When we went on deck in the morning before sunset, it was a similar sight with perfect reflections of everything – the sky, Mandate (Rob and Sue’s boat) anchored about 50 yards away, trees and shoreline.  Hopefully the pictures we took will show the beauty.

Tuesday, November 28th –

We set a record today with 80 miles covered between 6:30 am and 5:15 pm.  It was mostly calm winds again as we motored through canals and open waters.  We did get the sails up for about ½ hour later in the afternoon for a little motor-sailing.  It was a little excitement added to our day to feel the push of the wind helping us out a little on our trek south.

We anchored just outside the city in Oriental, NC next to Mandate.  We had hoped to stay at the free town dock but it was small and already full.  I should mention that even though we are later than most boaters heading south, there is still a pretty good line of boats going down the ICW.  Most of the day, we had 5 or 6 sailboats around us.

Our alternator is still not charging the batteries very well so I might need to make some repairs in the near future.  We do have the option of running the engine at slow speed to recharge the refrigeration if the batteries get too run down.  The only other problem I’m working is overheating in the engine room which is running 95 to 100 degrees even with the blower running all day.  I need to add a second blower or get the current one working better.  Those temps won’t hurt the engine but there are other things in there that shouldn’t be running that hot – batteries, inverter, water pump, etc…

We are now about 240 miles south of Deltaville and 1,000 miles from Miami.

I can’t believe it but we have public wireless Internet in the anchorage.  I’m going to upload the blog now before it goes away….

Entry for November 26, 2006

November 26, 2006

Saturday, Nov 25 –

What a gorgeous morning.  I did sleep very well even though I thought I would be awake all night because I was so excited about leaving in the morning.  We had the alarm on my cell phone set for 5:30 am but I was awake just before it went off.  We both showered at the marina and there was very little to get the boat ready because we had thought of almost everything the night before.  (I know if I don’t do everything the night before, I won’t sleep because I’ll be trying to remember everything I still have to do….).

When we walked off the boat for our showers, I almost slipped and fell – the dock was frosted over!  What a way to go!  After the showers, we unplugged our (2) power cords and stowed them below (for the first time).  We then cleaned off our clear vinyl in the cockpit because it was VERY dewed-on.  It was before sun-up, but we could see ok, and very calm as we backed out of the slip for the last time.  We motored past Rob and Sue who were throwing their last lines off the dock and worked our way out of the narrow channel into Chesapeake Bay.  It was AWSOME!  About 10 minutes after we turned to the east out of the creek, the sun started coming up over the horizon.  This picture is just before the sun-up as we were working our way out of the narrow Jackson Creek channel.  We were very emotional and it was the best leaving / starting I think I have ever experienced.

We motored all day to Norfolk and arrived there around 1:30 pm.  That was our goal for the day but since we had made such good time we decided to continue and motored past the naval shipyard with many, many huge warships, through Norfolk harbor and into the Intercoastal Waterway at marker 0.  The waterway starts in Norfolk and runs to Miami for 1,087 miles.  We were officially at mile #1. 

We them motored for about another 10 miles and stopped at the first lock on the “Dismal Swamp”.  There are two routes on the ICW from Norfolk with the Dismal Swamp option being very narrow but cool with close trees and long straight stretches.  I’ve been through it before but Susan wanted to see it for the first time so we decide to take the least traveled path.  We stopped for the night at the first lock (mile 10) because it wouldn’t open until 8:30 am.  We anchored in 10 feet of water in the middle of the channel because nobody was going through with the lock closed.  It was a weird night with no wind and no current.  I don’t think the anchor chain even did anything but sit on the bottom all night.

Sunday, Nov 26 –

We cleared the lock around 9:30 am.  It was Laura’s first and about my 500th.  We entered the Dismal Swamp canal and bounced off the bottom and off logs over the water for several hours.  It ran for about 20 miles to a lock at the other end, then 18 miles to Elizabeth City, NC.  We only did 40 miles today because of the two locks and 2 bridges we had to wait for but we did cross a state-line.

Then we tied up at a dock in Elizabeth City that had power and water for $15 / night.  Yesterday, we had some problems running our refrigeration during the day and when we finally got it straightened out, we used a lot of our (new) battery power during the night to “catch up” on freezing everything we had thrown in the freezer 2 days ago.  The engine alternator was not operating as well today as I had hoped (go figure) and only charged about ½ the power we had used the night before.  I’ll probably end up replacing the alternator with a newer, higher output model in the near future but we wanted to plug into shore power tonight so we could charge everything and get our refrigeration back to normal operating temps.

We had Rob and Sue over for spaghetti and meatballs (Laura made / froze them on Friday).  They contributed the wine and we talked about how lucky we were with the weather.  We had 2 days of near-perfect, sunny, no wind weather for the very narrow canals.  The next 3 days are supposed to be similar with light winds and we are going to try and put on the miles.  Only 1,065 miles to Miami.  We only travel about 6 miles / hour which is a mile every 10 minutes – what a beautiful way to see the waterway!!

Now I’ve got to walk about 2 blocks to Rob and Sue’s “free” marina.  They don’t have power but they do have wireless Internet…..

Entry for November 24, 2006

November 24, 2006

It’s 9 pm on Friday night and I’m sitting down with a glass of wine thinking, “we are ready.”  I dropped Luis off at the airport at 8:30 am along with another cruising couple from the marina that needed to fly home because of a death in their family.  I made several stops on the way back from the airport and felt pretty good about getting all the stuff I was looking for.  When I got back to the marina, the screw for our mizzen mast rigging had not arrived.  Laura and I then took off for the Laundromat and Wal-Mart.  We had another record at Wally-World – 2 full carts of groceries.  Even though I know we will be able to get groceries traveling down the Inter-coastal waterway (ICW) they will be a lot more expensive than Wal-Mart and we have the room to store bulk foods.

We got back to the marina around 4:30 and UPS had dropped off the rigging screw in the lounge.  I was so excited!  This was the last piece of the pie we needed.  If it hadn’t shown up today, we would have waited another day here and tried to track it down.  I didn’t want to leave without it because it was a very unusual part that took me a couple hours to find on the Internet.

I unloaded the car with Laura and she started packing away about 30 grocery bags while I got the boat ready to leave this dock for good.  I installed the rigging screw and tuned the mizzen mast rigging (adjusted all the wires holding the mast until it was straight and tight at both the top and mid-points where the rigging wires are attached), installed a new line cleat on the mizzen mast that I had finally found locally, hauled the dingy up on the davits and secured it so it wouldn’t sway in heavy winds or seas, stowed the propane tank from the grill, filled up the water tank (we hold 200 gallons), stowed the hose and cleaned up all the lines around the deck so it was clean for sailing.

I then brought the car up to the main parking lot where the manager told me it was ok to store for several weeks, and talked with Rob about timing for leaving tomorrow.  We are going to try and be on the water by 6:30 am to take advantage of the excellent weather forecast for the next 5 days.  We hope to make about 300 miles by Thursday when the next storm is supposed to hit.  That should put us a little south of Morehead City, NC. 

I’m going to try and push the team a little to make it to Titusville, FL by December 7th so we can try to see the space shuttle launch from an anchorage nearby.  It should be awesome since it is scheduled to be a night launch at 9:30 pm.  I’ve always wanted to see one go up and since they are only going to fly for a couple more years I would very much like to see this one.  I think we can make it there in 2 weeks if we don’t hit bad weather and hold up for too long.

I hope I can sleep tonight.  I’m so excited about starting the next phase of our adventure which will be a HUGE change from being tied to the dock and working on the boat for 12-14 hours a day.  When I think of everything we have accomplished in the past 6 weeks it blows my mind.  I can look around the boat and see all the fruits of our labors.  It’s awesome.

Anyway, this may be the last regular blog entry for awhile since leaving Deltaville Marina also means leaving a very nice wireless Internet setup.  Hopefully, we’ll find access shortly “down the road” and I can fill everyone in on our phase III of “The Adventure.”

Entry for November 23, 2006

November 23, 2006

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!!

We truly have much to be thankful for.. our families who are very dear to our hearts, and our friends who have supported and encouraged us in many ways! We are thankful also for good health and the opportunities that lay before us. And we are excited in our plans for the future. Thank you all for being apart of our adventure!

Today I’ll be in the galley most of the day, There will be six here for a traditional turkey dinner (I know that doesn’t sound like too many for most of you, but you can imagine the size of our place…) I can actually cook a 10 lb turkey in my new oven! With all the trimmings, and apple and pumpkin pie to boot, we’ll be groaning along with the rest of you.

Yesterday I made a lace tablecloth, a regular tablecloth pulls and gets in the way, so I cut a piece of lace fabric slightly larger than the table, sewed a casing and ran a soft elastic in it, it fits perfect, with no sliding!! And a nice fall centerpiece and candles really set the holiday off to a good start. – Laura

I too am so thankful for all the help and support we’ve received from our friends and families after decided to change our lifestyle so drastically and embrace this adventure. I’m especially thrilled with all the great feedback we’ve been getting from the blog and we hope we can keep it up at least once a week when we leave here.

We are still on track to depart Deltaville at sunup Saturday morning. All my major projects are complete and the boat is 99% ready. I’ve only a few things to finish tomorrow and hopefully the part for our mizzen rigging will arrive via FedEx so the boat will be 100%.

Tomorrow will be very busy. We’re leaving at 7 am to take Luis to Norfolk airport. He has “enjoyed” the worst Chesapeake weather that could occur and we never got out for a sail on the bay. The ‘nor-easter lasted for his entire stay and even now the rain has stopped but the winds are still 20+ knots. I know the boat would have never been ready now if he hadn’t been here this week. His help was of great value and given freely which makes it more special.

We put up the plywood in our aft cabin ceiling and it looks wonderful. We will be putting up the foam and vinyl over the next few days while we are cruising or if we have to stop later next week for a weather break. The weather is supposed to be excellent for cruising until at least Wednesday so we are hoping for a solid 50-60 miles a day.

All is well on Second Wind and we wish everyone a great Thanksgiving. -Bill

Entry for November 22, 2006

November 22, 2006

We’ve had a very windy storm that started yesterday afternoon and it is blowing us over while we are tied to the dock (well… not really, it just feels like it…).  We did pull the boat out of the slip yesterday morning and motor over to the work dock to have our mizzen mast put back on.  It was fairly uneventful except for old father wind trying to push the boat around.  We pulled back in the slip and it was very nice with Laura, Susan, Rob and Luis all handling the lines.  I wish I had this crew with me all the time!

Rob went up the mast and attached the forward (triadic) stay which runs from the top of the mizzen mast to the top of the main mast.  We had used one of the halyards from the mizzen mast running down to a winch on the bottom of the main mast as a temporary forward stay until the real one was reattached.  This is a nice thing to have because it keeps the mizzen mast from falling backwards into the water.  While he was up there Rob straightened out all the stays and lines which were a mess after the mast being hauled off the ground and moved to vertical by a crane.  He was a HUGE help to getting Second Wind back into her “ketch” mode.

We then tuned the rigging on the mast as best we could without having one of the mid-stay turnbuckles.  It seems while the mast was down we somehow lost one of the large screws and I routed around town all day yesterday trying to find a replacement.  I finally found one on-line last night and called the vendor this morning.  They are going to overnight me one and I should have it on Friday.

Luis assisted with hooking up all the mast wiring inside the boat.  There were 8 cables and about 20 wires to reconnect.  He was excellent at following directions on how to strip and connect all the wires and all of the systems worked the first time we tried them.  We also completely wired the new VHF marine radio with a hailer (loudspeaker on the mizzen mast) external speaker and new antenna connector which we had to cut off to remove the mast. 

While we were working on the wiring, Laura prepared the packages to send back the rest of our wind generator parts for refund and shopped for Thanksgiving dinner.  She cooked chicken enchiladas for dinner and we had Rob and Sue over for dinner-n-a-movie for the 5 of us.  I very much enjoyed the company and conversation.

It looks like the chances of getting out for a sail with Luis are very slim.  This ‘nor-easter is really hammering us with 35 knot winds gusting to 50.  Tomorrow morning, Thanksgiving, may be our only chance and we’re hoping for a couple hours of calmer weather to take the boat out into the bay for a brisk cruise.

Today I’m going to tackle the battery monitor (Link 2000) which will allow us to closely monitor our new batteries and how well they run everything on the boat while we are cruising.  I’m looking forward to having that information so I know exactly when to run the engine for battery recharging.  It should pay for itself quickly with fuel savings.

With the mizzen mast back up and the huge storm last night we were prepared for the worse with leaks in our cabin.  But, guess what?  We only had a small leak through one of the portholes in the cockpit what wasn’t pushed in all the way.  The mast step and wires didn’t leak a drop and I was so excited all our work paid off.  Today or tomorrow we will probably start putting up the ceiling plywood.

Entry for November 19, 2006

November 19, 2006

Hello all.. did you think that we forgot about writing? We’ve been up early and constantly on the go (mostly working) that we’ve not had time to keep you up to date.

So, where were we.. Thursday got the old batteries out of the engine room- 6 batteries, about 70 lbs each, that Bill hauled out of the engine room, up a flight of stairs, out of the cockpit, hauled off the boat and into the car.. then there’s more.. only 4 new batteries to haul into the boat, into the cockpit, down the flight of stairs (one at a time) into the boat- this took two of us as these are mega batteries and weigh 120 lbs each… but it doesn’t end there.. they had to be dropped into the engine room floor. Bill rigged up a strap for me to hold on to and swing that end down kinda behind him, as he guided the other end into place.. no need for extra weight lifting that day to build up those biceps!! Any way.. as of today, all the batteries are in place, hooked up and even set up with a monitoring system that lets us know how much is being used, and when it’s being replaced.. cool huh? As for most of the time away from the dock, we’ll be using the battery power.. that’s why these are very important and it took three days to complete that project. Wooooohoooooo its done!

So on Friday am, while Bill was working on the battery ordeal, I had a few little projects lined up to do.. one of which was the mounts for the TV.. I measured and whittled the pieces to fit, and when they did, I mentioned rounding out the corners of two of the pieces that will be visible, Bill thought it a good idea, so I got out my router and went to work.. much to my savvy woodworking ways, I pulled a blunder and when the wood yanked out of my left hand, my right hand ended up going over the router bit, digging into my ring finger. I shut off the router, realizing that the tip of my finger was pretty well mangled, ran to the boat, grabbed a towel, then ran to the boatyard to find Bill.. he happened to be heading back to the boat. Seeing this happen, the boatyard clerk, Judith (a real sweetheart of a southern girl) notice me and called the Dr at the clinic in town. They would have been going to lunch shortly so when we arrived there a few minutes later, they were ready and very efficient in taking care of the old finger.. well, I’m gonna live and the finger will survive, after 5 stitches and a bit of raw skin covered with what the doctor called “monkey puss” used on burn victims so that it will heal without forming a scab. A few Tylenol with codine got me through the first night. After a quick visit back to the docs on Saturday am with instructions on how to care for it and the return visit scheduled for Friday to take out the stitches.. I’m back working..

Saturday night we got an invite out to the couples house who had worked on our dodger, for a oyster roast.. and that’s what they literally did! After stoking up a huge bonfire.. a grate was placed at the edge of the fire and the oysters were set on there to steam.. Oysters have always reminded me of a good thick “loogie” of snot, so they aren’t high on the food chain list for me.. but since I had not ever had them cooked like this, I gave it a try.. two was all that I could handle,, but then that left a bunch more for the crew that was there. Later we had a nice dinner of barbeque roasted chicken and a bunch of fixin’s. It was a very nice ending to the week..

This am we slept in a bit.. but then back to work.. finishing up a bunch of the little things and prepping for company. Luis Briones (a former ReserveAmerica CA employee and friend of Bill’s) is flying into Norfolk tomorrow and will be spending Thanksgiving with us. We hope to get out for a sail on one or two of the days.. Luis recently took some sailing lessons and has plans for sailing in the near future.

Tuesday morning bright and early(7:30 am!!), we have scheduled to have the mizzen mast put back up. One more step to having the boat all back together for our scheduled date of departure – the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving. I’m really looking forward to warmer weather!

Entry for November 15, 2006

November 15, 2006

What a great couple days we’ve had today in terms of getting the boat ready!

Yesterday evening we went shopping and picked up our new vinyl and foam for the cabin ceiling.  On the way back we stopped at Wal-Mart and hit a new record with our spending.  We bought a 20” LCD TV and DVD player along with a bunch of other kitchen appliances we’ve been lacking (blender, toaster, etc.).  We then stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Gloucester for dinner.  It was awesome – they had jumbo margaritas for $7.50 and the food was good too.  When we got back to the boat, we unloaded the car and I decided to remove the old TV and setup the new one.  After checking that everything worked and taking all the boxes to the dumpster we didn’t get to bed until after 11:30 (very late for us).

Today I woke up very early thinking about all the projects that were going to be ready to work today while I was starring at the jumble of wires coming out of our ceiling over the bed.  I decided to start there so sorted and arranged them all into good and obsolete.  I tore out the old hailer and several wires that were no longer used.  Laura slept in a little (she deserves it) and gradually woke up as I was shinning lights and making noises.  This was around 7 am.

Rob stopped by a little later to borrow back his caulking gun and my tap-n-die set.  I coaxed him into going up the mast to install the repaired windvane I’d been working on for the past couple weeks.  Guess what?  It worked!!  This instrument has never worked since we had the boat so this was awesome.

Later in the morning we decided to hit the hardware store and shop for some wet weather gear for Laura at Boat/U.S.  We found everything we needed at the hardware store except for a few types of marine wire and connectors.  We then hit Boat/U.S. and Laura tried on an excellent jacked and bib-pants that were made for working out on the deck in wet weather.  She couldn’t find the color pants she wanted so when we got back to the marina we went on-line and found all the right stuff for about $40 cheaper – at the same place!!

The wire I wanted was $45 / spool and I wanted 4 different colors.  This will just about allow me to completely re-wire the entire boat with the other spools I’ve already purchased.  I didn’t buy it because I thought it was too expensive.  When we got back, I went on-line and found the exact same wire for $25 / spool.  Nice!

We stopped by NAPA on the way back and they had our new batteries.  We loaded them in the car (with help – they are 120 lbs each) and the car was sitting low with 4 of them in the back.  Rob helped me bring one of them on-board and remove the (2) 6-volt batteries it replaced when the gal showed up with our new canvas.  We stopped work on the batteries and helped to install the canvas on the boat. It was awesome to take off the plastic that had been covering our decks for the past 5 days and replace it with the new shiny canvas enclosure.

After she left I motored over to NAPA to see if they had my starter.  They did!  I picked it up and they said I was their “customer of the day”.  I had spent $1,087 on batteries and $385 on the starter.  Never let it be said I don’t support the local economy….

I brought the starter back to the boat and immediately started on installing it.  Laura was preparing stir-fry dinner for the 4 of us (with Rob and Sue) while I was climbing under the engine.  I had visions of my still being there while they were enjoying the dinner and wine but it didn’t work out that way.  The starter went in fine without a hitch.  As I was kneeling in my shower, grease all over my hands and arms with my head and shoulders tucked between the shower wall and engine and I was attempting to do a 1-arm curl with a 50 lb starter to line up 3 bolts I couldn’t even see I started laughing.  The thought that came to my head was, “are we having fun yet?”  But guess what?  It went in fine and started up immediately on the first try after I hooked the batteries back up.  I tried it several times during the night and it’s 5 for 5 so far.  Almost a record for this engine?!?

We had a nice dinner with Rob and Sue and we mostly talked about when we were leaving.  Laura and I had always planned on leaving right around the weekend after Thanksgiving but Rob and Sue had been pushing for each coming weekend.  Now, they need to wait for their canvas to be finished and are hoping we wait for them.  It made me laugh. 

We’ve just about setup for our friend Luis to come visit next week and stay for Thanksgiving.  That will be awesome and we’re both looking forward to having him as our guest.  I hope we get some good sailing weather!!

One bit of bad news from the wind generator company.  The generator is mostly shot and it probably doesn’t make sense to repair it.  I’m still waiting for a final quote but it doesn’t look good.  Most likely we’ll wait until further down the road and install a new one with all the latest gizzies for less money – that’s the way electronics are working now-a-days anyway.  Oh well, I gave it my best shot.

Entry for November 14, 2006

November 14, 2006

Yesterdat (Monday) –

It has been difficult to keep the blog up-to-date because the internet at our marina has not been working very good since the storm on Sunday.

I started work on a few new projects while waiting for parts on our in-progress jobs.

I went to the hardware store early in the morning to look for a few wires to finish up my inverter installation on Sunday.  The inverter is working great and is already charging the batteries much better than our old one.  The hardware store didn’t have the 8 gauge wire I needed for a proper AC ground on the inverter chassis so I eventually obtained it from West Marine (at $2.75 / foot for 8 feet).

Then I started working on the anchor chain and locker.  The last time we tried to anchor, the anchor chain jammed in the winch when we were pulling it in.  It jammed because it wasn’t feeding correctly into the anchor locker in the bow.  Rob and I modified the feeder tube under the winch and tried pulling in the chain from the parking lot.  Rob was operating the winch on the deck and I was sprawled across our forward cabin bed with my head in the chain locker.  Even after our work it still jammed.  This is going to require some additional thought because it doesn’t seem like there is enough room in the locker for the chain.  It’s another area where I think the function was poorly designed from the start so it may be some major work to make it right.  

Next I started on the washdown pump in the bow.  When we anchor the boat overnight, the chain and anchor will pick up a lot of mud and crapolla.  The washdown pump picks up seawater from under the boat and pumps it through a small garden-hose type connection near the anchor.  It’s use it to wash off the mud and debris from the chain / anchor while it is being brought onto the boat.  This keeps the decks much cleaner in the morning.  Anyway, the pump didn’t work (go figure) and I started troubleshooting.  Turns out the main switch for the washdown was broken and the pump had a bad pressure switch.  I replaced the main switch (after a trip to West Marine) and by-passed the pressure switch on the pump.  I’ll rig up a hose with an open end so the pressure will never build up too much.

Tuesday –

I’m really excited because today starts our reconstruction on many projects.  Right now, the boat is in really bad shape because of all the stuff we’ve taken off to get fixed and today is the turning point.  We’re supposed to get our new canvas today (we’ve had a plastic tarp covering our aft deck for the past 4 days and I told Laura we must look like the Clampetts), the replacement house batteries and engine starter should be here tomorrow and we should know tomorrow about the status of our wind generator that I sent back to the manufacturer.  Once the wind generator comes back (or I know it’s not fixable in the short-term), I’ll have the boatyard put our mizzen mast back on.

Laura and I started the day working on our aft-cabin ceiling.  She had already rough-cut the plywood and covered it with West System epoxy to make it waterproof.  We started tacking up the pieces and making adjustments in her measurements.  She’s really good at this and none of the pieces were too small so we just had to trim a little here and there.  We measured for the final cuts in the ceiling and made another mess by cutting over our heads with a jigsaw.  We cleaned everything up and are ready to put in the new plywood (I think).  We’re waiting on the final installation until we know about the mast timing.  It will be much easier to pull the wires through the mast base with the ceiling open like it is now. 

Entry for November 12, 2006

November 13, 2006

So, It’s a Sunday morning here in Virginia, overcast and threatening to rain. Our Dodger (the cover over the cockpit) has been removed, so the canvas maker can repair the zippers and make us a new top.. it will be about Tuesday before it’s returned. On Saturday, after removing the dodger, I cleaned out a bunch of the old caulk around the cockpit and Bill used a stuff called Sikaflex – a really sticky waterproof caulk type sealant. He did an excellent job. (we don’t want any leaks!)

As the day went on, the winds have picked up considerably, beebin’ and bobbin’ us all over the place. The rain has been pelting a lot harder than expected too, so it’s a good thing we covered some of the cockpit with plastic to make sure that the pedestal with all the navigation equipment doesn’t get wet. So far so good though, no leaks into the cabin, or anywhere else.

We’ve been working pretty steady lately, so the past few evenings we decided to take a ride in the dinghy and check out the sunset. Check it out.. I didn’t get a picture of when the sun was reflecting off the water, but it was really cool! Then we did a little exploring up some of the inlets and bays before dark settled in, very nice! There’s some really gorgeous houses and scenery in this area.

Today since the weather is so crappy, it was a good day for indoor work.(never any rest for the weary- haha) Bill and I installed the new inverter. Bill set up his wiring plan on a computerized data information sheet (he’s so good about that stuff) and together we rerouted wires and got things working excellently! Along with being labeled and done properly.

Looks like a really good day for Soup and sandwiches for supper. I’m enjoying my new stove, have even been doing a little bit of baking and trying new recipes – made a really nice shrimp and broccoli alfredo dish last night! Ummmm..

It’s supposed to be another not so nice day tomorrow, so I’ll most likely take a trip to Gloucester to pick up the vinyl and padding for the cabin ceiling as well as stopping at Wal-mart. Woohoo.. a day in the big city!