Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back on High Spirits

We are back on High Spirits after a couple of days off the boat and we stayed at
Jen's place in Hyattsville. The boat rode all the storm with no problems.  We had a nice  rental car from Enterprise, a Chevy Spark.  Cute and small, but fine for two people and also cheap.

Took a lot of picture at Jen's.  The tree picture is of the tree that fell against their house during Hurricane Sandy, but did not cause their power to go out. It fell and is supported at the top of the tree against the house and the wire just kind of slide in between the branches.  Jen called Pepco, the local power company. They will come and take the tree away, as their responsibility is to make sure the power lines are not damaged or knocked down.  The tree actually belongs to the house next door which has been bought by a house flipper.

Adam is 2 and a half, Erin is 5 and a half, Joy is   TOP SECRET

The next door neighbor's tree against the house.  The was a small amount of water that leaked in on the back porch, but not into the house proper.

Playing a game in the living room.

Erin decided to be a princess for the parade at school today.

Adam decided to be a dinosaur for Halloween.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Well we are all prepped for Hurricane Sandy.  Stripped the top of the boat off of anything that could catch the wind and cause trouble.   We took off  the Bimini and dodger, plus the jib sail plus all he bumpers.  Try to take a picture before we leave tomorrow for Jen's house in Hyattsvlle.

This kind of reminds me of Hurricane Irene last Fall, had to do the same preparations and ended up at Mark's and Mimi's house in Holliston, MA for a couple of days. No damage to High Spirits then, and hopefully no damage next week.

Going to be there until Wednesday.  More blog later.



Well it is Sat morning, and we have a couple of more items to take off the deck. Going to take down the anchors and the life ring.  Also going to take off the folddown table and sweep under the cockpit lattice floor so that nothing clogs up the drain hosesin case we get a lot of rain.

Here are two pictures of the deck after yesterday.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Repairs

This morning was spent watching DJ from Zahniser's Marine Center finally get a handle on the front head sump pump.  Steve Farnko - here is what he found. The grounding strips back at the circuit panel were corroded enough to drop the voltage down so that the pump drew too much amperage and shorted itself out.

The fix was to take apart the circuit breaker panel, get back in and clean the grounding strip so the connections are working properly and they front head pump gets the correct 13 volts.  OF course, the old pump was toast.  Fortunately, in our spare parts inventory, we were carrying a pump and just had to wire it in. Now I can empty out the shower tray with the pump instead of with a manual bilge pump.

DJ's next job is to climb up the mast and try to figure out why our forward steaming light is not working.  We have voltage at the deck. Hopefully just a burned out bulb and not the receptacle.

Befoe we got here we spent a few days at Herrington North marina in Deale, MD.  Really nice place to visit. Joy worked on the pump for the aft head.  Took it all apart and used one of our pump repair kits. So we are back to having a two head boat.

Also going to have DJ look at our remote microphone to see if its problem is the mic or the port on the back of the radio, his thought is that it is the port.  Our remote mic receives but does not transmit.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Deale, MD

Tonight finds us in Deale, MD at Herrington North Marina.  Deale is a very small town south of Annapolis, on the way to Solomon Island where we plan on meeting Jen, Mark, Adam and Erin this upcoming weekend. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for an afternoon sailing trip. Right now Sat looks better than Sunday.

Plus we plan on having Erin stay on the boat with us for another overnight with Nani and Buppa, that are or names from Erin and Adam.

We had a nice sail down yesterday with Dave and Peg Shaake, they are a wonderful couple we met on or sailing adventure in the Bahamas and other places with them.  They are on the land for some family reasons, but hope to get back on the water with their new boat, Wanderin Star. New to them, an older Island Packet 38 which has been over to the Azores with a previous owner.

On the way down, we cut through a Naval Academy sailing race. It looks like they were racing 30 footers, here is a picture of Navy Blue and Gold Spinnakers.

Plus another picture of Adam.

We will hole up here for another day to work on the back head pump problem. It certainly is nice to have two heads when one breaks down.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sailing with Erin and Adam

Jen and family finally arrived around 1 pm or so.  They took the Water Taxi, only cost $2 per person. Not bad unless you travel back and forth a couple of times in a day.  But it beats taking the dinghy in and having it ripped off.

We did take our dinghy in with Erin this morning.  A nice peaceful ride.

Then in the afternoon we went out for a sail/motor boa ride. Adam likes speed so he was very excited about seeing the power boats blast past us.  Especially when we almost at a standstill due to lack of wind a times.

So here are some pictures from today's adventure.

Adam at the helm with Mark
Erin and Mark. Think Erin is eating one of the fresh baked muffins from Friday.

The four of them in one picture frame.
Adam at the restaurant tonight.  He loves cheeseburgers!
Erin- age 5 years , 9 months

Erin on Board!

Well after three days in Hyattsville visiting Jen, Mark, Erin and Adam we are back on the boat in Annapolis.  Some of our land activities were shopping, going to the movies, going to the library, and taking Erin to school.

Every morning, I would drive Erin to school.  She is in the kindergarten group at the Community Nursery School. There are three kids in the program. They do the morning shift and school and then their parents work with them in the afternoon at home on kindergarten type stuff. The director of the school checks their progress for movement to first grade.  Not sure where Erin will go next year.
Could end up being home schooled.

After I dropped her off, I headed over to the local library and starting researching Medicare options for supplemental plans and also Part D drug plans.  Looks like it is going to be Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield programs for me. Coverage by our local nurse practitioners and local drug stores. 
It is all on the web, so that makes it easier to compare plans and costs. Whatever plan we pick will be a savings vs our current Cleveland Clinic Plan that costs $760 per month for each of us.  Health insurance is our biggest expense per month, except if we docked every day.

Picture of Joy and Adam at nursery school. Adam is in the two times per week program on Tuesday and Thursday. Joy worked Thursday for Jen as Jen had a meeting at her office.

Adam close up. He is now 2 and half.

Erin at age 5 and a half

Jen working at nursery school.  They were doing a project involving leaves.

Erin and Joy reading on the IPAD in the front V Berth, Friday, Oct 19.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wonderfull Day with Josh and Rachel

Sunday was a wonderful day in Baltimore.We spent the afternoon and evening with Josh and Rachel at their house in the Mt. Washington section of Baltimore.  It is where Pimlico race track is located.

Took the light rail up, cost $1.60 per person.  Josh picked us up and we started in on yard work.  It seems that we are the yard crew for both Jen and Josh. Actually I like cutting the grass since we have not had any grass to cut since 2001.  No grass to cut at the condo in Sagamore Hills or the apartment in Shaker Square. 

Pizza for lunch and got to watch some football during yard work breaks.  My areas were grass cutting and mulching leaves. Joy work mostly in weeding and trimming the front yard bushes. Josh has planted new grass seed in the back so that just got a light raking.

For dinner we went to a local sushi place and then back to the boat.  Having lunch with Rachel at her school on Monday.

So here are some picture taken yesterday, Sunday, Oct 14


Josh is in his third year of Emergency Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins and Rachel is teaching art at an elementary school in the Federal Hill section of Baltimore.

Takes a lot of skill and fine muscle coordination to mulch leaves!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Resting in Baltimore

Every once in a while on the boat, we need to take a day off from travelling.  Yesterday was that kind of day.  Joy did a lot of cleaning on the boat, including using the kayak to clean the water line.  the water line picks up a lot of dirt and was looking kind of ugly. She also rinsed down the deck with some fresh water to get some of the salt off.

I spent the afternoon going to West Marine which is about a 30 minute walk from our marina. First I had to go to Kinko's downtown. Took the free bus but it took over an hour to go to Kinko's for 5 minutes and then back to the boat. Then onto West Marine to buy a life jacket for Erin for when they come on the boat next weekend.

The current plan, subject to weather, is to sail to Annapolis on Monday.  Then on Tuesday travel to DC to stay at Jen's for 3 nights. Then back to Annapolis on Friday with Erin. Jen, Mark and Adam come on Saturday for a sail date.  Then do it again in Solomon's Island the following weekend.

We hope to get out of the Chesapeake by Nov 1.

Today we are being visited by Linda and Francis Miko, sailing buddies, along with Sofie, for a long segment back on our trip south in 2010.  My does time fly.  Linda is back doing real estate in Annapolis, and Francis is back consulting for the Library of Congress.

Josh and Rachel came for dinner last night. Ate at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant and then went to see ARGO, opened last night. Really good movie, go see it when you can.  Notice the length of hair on the guys,  This movie is about the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979-1980.

Joy stayed overnight at Josh's last night. I slept on the boat as I wanted to make sure they did not catch my cold.  Should be fine for this afternoon's company. Josh has to go to work Sat at 7 am, Rachel at 2 pm/.  So Joy and Rachel are going to do some art projects for Rachel's teaching job. She is a half time art teacher at an elementary school in the Federal Hill District of Baltimore.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cold in Baltimore

We arrived this afternoon and brought the cold weather. In fact it is supposed to go down
to 36 degrees tonight.  Break out the ceramic heater.  Today we warmed up the cabin with the diesel heater.  Worked just fine, warmed High Spirits from 56 to 66 in only a couple of minutes.  When it
starts up, it draws about 20 amps but then drops down to 6 amps.  Most of the early current draw is to warm up the glow plug and get combustion going.

So yesterday was a long 12.5 hour day and nights. We arrived at 8:30 or so into a crowded anchorage in the darkness.  One of the boaters we had met at Cape May helped out. We finally got the anchor down and went to sleep.  I was pretty tired plus the cold from Joy kicked in yesterday.

Got up this morning and head out to Baltimore, staying at Inner Harbor East.  I think we are the only
transients here as our dock is totally empty.  Have to talk to Bill the GM.  This place is great as it is only a few blocks away to Whole Foods, CVS, movie theater, many great places to eat the water taxi and the free downtown bus.  Plus they gave us parking passes which get any visitors 50% off on their parking.

Here are a couple of pictures from the trip.  Notice my Fall sailing clothes.  The nuclear power plant is the Salem River Plant.


John and Helen Leddy, Aqua Mirus, are from Amherst, NH and spending the winter at the Megadock in Charleston, SC.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cold in Cape May, NJ

We arrived yesterday in Cape May after a nice ride the Jersey shore. The wind is not in the right direction to go up the Delaware River so we are waiting until tomorrow.  The current change is a
little later tomorrow than today, but that is a fact of life on a slow going sail boat.

We are staying at Utscht's marina, and they have a real nice gift pack for visiting boaters including a bottle of cranberry wine. Saving that for when we see Josh and Rachel on Friday.

Waiting for Helen and John Leddy to come over from the anchorage where they stayed last night.
We had thought about anchoring, but decided that we like to be at a marina when it is cold so we can run our ceramic heater. Plus Joy has a cold.

Picture of Joy in her Fall sailing gear.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Big Winnings in Atlantic City

We hit the casinos today.  Big winnings of $27 for Joe, offset by Joy's loss of $14.

I won my money at the Atlantic Club casino playing craps, Joy lost hers in the video
poker machines.

No pictures today.  It was a rainy day. We spent the afternoon with John and Helen Leddy of Aqua Mirus.  Travelled to the Atlantic Club via Jitney bus. These are privately owned vans, like the size of a small Hertz van at the airport. Holds 13 seats.  They travel around AC for $2.25.

The Golden Nugget is on route #2.  Took abut 30 minutes to get back to the Nugget from the Atlantic Club which is the last hotel on the western end of the strip. Actually it was one of the first hotel/casinos built here. It was an old Hilton property.

Tomorrow we leave for Cape May with looks like 4 other boats. Three boats came in today from Sandy Hook. Kind of sure they are headed out tomorrow.

Joy has a cold so she decided to go to sleep early tonight at 8:30


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Atlantic City, NJ

We had planned on sailing to Sandy Hook after visiting with Jill and Matt in NYC. After testing the coolant for several hours on Sunday, we took off for Sandy Hook.  Got to the Statue of Liberty, and Joy decided the coolant level was dropping. Turned around and went back to Liberty Landing in Jersey City, NJ.  Pulled into a slip and the next day Amed  came over and checked over the whole system. Ran the engine in reverse at 1,200 rpm for two hours to get the engine up to operating temperature.  No change in coolant level.  Cost $125 for the service but we did get free dockage which would have cost $170 or so.  Kind of did okay on that transaction.

Then we took off to Atlantic Highlands, please note paragraphs out of of time order as I added
the above paragraph after I typed this blog. Just have to read it the way it is.

Arrived in Atlantic City after a 12 hour motor/sail down the New Jersey shore. We left Sandy Hook area at 4:30 am with two other boats.  One of them kept going south but we buddy boated with John and Helen on Aqua Mirus for the day. In fact, they are two docks over here at Farley State Marina at the Golden Nugget Hotel ( formerly Trump Hotel).

We got to Atlantic Highlands, the town of Sandy Hook and had a nice stay on a mooring ball for only $50/night, including 12 hours 10 am to 10 pm launch service.  Saw latest Clint Eastwood movie. Trouble with the Curve with him, Amy Adams, and Justin Timberlake.  Nice grown up movie about a guy who is getting older and his relationship with his only child, Amy Adams. 

We had a very calm ride down the coast with minimal waves and not too strong breezes.

The coolant situation seems under control.  We have to check the level before we leave for Cape May to see how much was lost.  Also check the oil, we seem to burn about 2 cups of oil every 16 hours.
Not too bad for an engine that is 28 years old.

So what do you do here in Atlantic City?  After sleeping to 7:30 am, Joy pulled out her bike and rode off to the Boardwalk, where you can ride on it to 12 noon n the Fall.  Summer time it is until 10 am.
Last night we walked around the Casino and were wondering where are the $1 blackjack tables, certainly not here. The lowest we saw was $5, one table only.  The craps tables were $10 per bet, one table at $5. So I don't think we will do much gaming here.  They do have a very nice year round pool on the sixth floor which is the afternoon activities list.

Going to go to the Boardwalk casinos later today. Tomorrow is also Browns vs Giants at 1 pm, should be on a TV set someplace in the casino.

Heading down to Cape May as soon as the winds turn away from the south, and then up the Delaware when the winds turn back to the south. Hope to be in Baltimore on Wed/Thursday. Seeing Josh and Rachel on Thursday night and Sunday.  Hope to see Francis and Linda Miko on Sat.


Here is a picture of Joy John and Helen Leddy of Amherst, NH on Aqua Mirus.  They will be spendin 4 months this winter in Charleston, SC.

Here is a little fellow traveller who stopped by for a quick snack!