Monday, September 29, 2014

Sea and Sky

Day 2 of our first “solo cruise” is going great. We anchored out in a pretty exposed area but it was so calm that we just bobbed gently and had Amazing views. I know it’s boring for most people but I can’t stop taking pictures of the sea and sky. The comings and goings of the day are so beautiful! At times, you can barely see where one ends the other begins.

We celebrated our first night solo at anchor watching the sun set from the cockpit.

We woke up to this.

We were very near a military training area and while coming in to anchor we saw several navy vessels flying around the restricted area. We’re not sure what waked us in the night but something very large and very fast went by. We’ve never been rocked as extremely before, even aboard Lucky. If our bed wasn’t athwart ship (across the width rather than fore/aft), we would have been thrown hard out of bed. Thankfully, nothing fell down and broke, but wow, I’d love to know what passed in the night!

This morning I drove us out of the anchorage and have put in a few hours today at the helm. It’s been much more quiet down lower in the bay. This morning there were flocks of pelicans and this afternoon there are tugs pulling barges that look like cities with shacks on them (dredging barges). Mid day, we met up with 2 Nordhavns at the mouth of the Potomac and said hello via the VHF radio :}

We’ve been making good time again today. If we continue as we are, we should arrive in Yorktown this evening just before sunset. If so, we’ll anchor right next to the marina, where Sean & Louise were anchored last night. There’s supposed to be very strong current in the river so we’ll wait for slack tomorrow to go to the marina.  We made the trip down much more quickly than we thought we would. At 1500 rpm we’ve been averaging 7 knots/hour with a fuel burn of about 4.5. That’s not bad!   

Boat Business

  • The fridge light fixed itself
  • The new router died! (Thankfully, there’s a Best Buy in Yorktown)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Leaving Baltimore

Morning departure

We had a great time in Baltimore at the HarborView Marina. The first part of our stay was quiet and Martin and I enjoyed having the boat to ourselves.  Sean and Louise arrived on Saturday and we had a tasty dinner at the Rusty Scupper. We used the few days of down time to check off several tasks that needed to be done. The biggest task was cleaning!  Blossom is a big girl and there’s always something to tidy up. She’s so squeaky clean right now and it’s motivating me to try to keep her that way. We also figured that we’d be showing her off during Trawler Fest and wanted her to look pretty. I took care of the inside of the boat and outside decks. Martin cleaned the engine room and laz, replaced and reconfigured our router (a full day of work there) and drilled holes in my sewing table to accommodate the plugs and pedal.  A Northern Lights tech came out on Monday and performed our 100 hour service on the two gens. One day there was some down time for me to work on my art quilt project for the master stateroom while Martin worked on the router. 

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get in to DC but we did made use of the bikes and went exploring the Federal Hill neighborhood just up the hill. I’m really pleased with our full sized bikes. (Our previous boat bikes had the little tires and I wasn’t very enthusiastic about their performance). Sean & Louise had bikes arrive at the marina so we all have “wheels” now. They’re great for short distance transportation and grocery shopping.

Pirate Ship filled with many very happy children

The second part of our stay was all about Trawler Fest.  Jeff arrived Tuesday night and we all went out to dinner at Porters Pub which was a nice little restaurant.  It was fun to have Jeff back on the boat. He has such a great energy and it feels like a party as soon as he steps aboard :)

Jim and Rick visiting

Wednesday night was a very special treat. A former work friend of mine, Rick, moved to Baltimore about 7 years ago. I was thrilled to be able to get a hold of him and arrange to meet up. We had a great evening of dinner and drinks aboard Blossom with Rick and his friend Jim.  Rick works for the Pride of Baltimore II so he was coming off a wonderful, exhausting work week with the Star Spangled Spectacular just having wrapped up. I'm so grateful that he was able to come visit. We had a fantastic evening of catching up and reconnecting!

Happy Hour

Trawler Fest began on Thursday. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy. A perfect day to cook chicken soup, so I made Tom Ka Kai, perfect for a rainy day.  Friday was a new day and it was sunny and gorgeous.  Sean & Louise left in the morning, headed out to Yorktown. We’ll be meeting up with them in a few days. We spent the day walking the docks, chatting with folks and giving a few tours of Blossom. 

Baltimore Heliport

Ice Sculpture

Friday night there was a dinner and movie event held by Passage Maker at the Baltimore Heliport. We enjoyed a great dinner, open bar, and watched Northwest Passage Documentary by Sprague Theobald.  It was an interesting documentary and confirmed that I don't plan on doing that passage, ever! We sat with a really lovely couple, Leigh and Wendy, who are early in the process of looking to move aboard.  

Saturday was our last day in Baltimore.  We’ve been going to Trawler Fest for years, in Ft. Lauderdale, Lake Park, San Diego, Anacortes and Baltimore. It was awesome to go once more, this time on our own boat. All those shows paid off and we finally are living the dream!  After so many years, we've come to know several of the vendors at the show. It was a nice day to catch up with people and say hi. We saw Leigh & Wendy again, chatted more about boating and enjoyed some wine in our cockpit. That night there was a dinner and live music show on the dock. We made it an early evening as our plan was to be off the dock when the sun was up.

And so we made it to our northern destination and are now heading back south. Today we were up early and ready for our first solo voyage.  I was a bit nervous (shocker, I know).  But we couldn’t have asked for a better day to head out.  There’s no wind and the bay is rolling glass dotted with fishing boats, sailboats and floating birds.  We have about 140 miles to cover and are planning on two long days to get as far south as we can before the weather turns a bit cold and blowy on Tuesday.  We’ll see how far we can get before sunset and find a place to tuck in and anchor. We’d like to anchor close by on Tuesday night so we can arrange to arrive in Yorktown on Wednesday at slack tide/current.

Boat Business

Our friends had a very interesting comment on their blog with someone asking if they would reach a point where they could just relax and not have things to fix major systems on their boat.  Sean wrote a great reply. The question made me smile because it's something that I'm always grappling with. Acceptance is the only way... We all hope to have periods of time (the longer the better) free from "major" issues but it's not reasonable to expect to have "no" issues at any given time.  (Sorry for the double negative.) Too many systems, too complex, too harsh an environment. Our friend Margie has a reply she always uses when someone starts talking about their boat woes... "yes, it's a boat". Nuff said.

  • Replaced the router so we now have strong wireless internet signal throughout the entire boat. This is router through which we connect to marina wifi so this is very important
  • Replaced window cover in master shower (it peeled off and we were left very “exposed” to the dock when showering!
  • Put protective film on cockpit console
 Still to tackle:
  • Caulk (again) the leaking hatch above the VIP bed.
  • Change out the Wavenet panel (the new one arrived this week) for the 9K gen
  • A list of maintenance items that our Wheelhouse Technology system is telling us it’s time to do.

New gremlins:
  • The follow up panel on the starboard wing station won’t power up.
  • The fridge light is out

Friday, September 19, 2014

Baltimore, MD

We got up Thursday morning and decided to do some docking practice in the anchorage that we were in before leaving for Baltimore.  There was a marina there with a T dock and no boats nearby so we could practice without interfering with, or endangering, anyone.

Stephanie at the helm!

While I’ve stood watch overnight on outside passages and done a bit of driving inside on the ICW, I had yet to try to dock the boat.  We decided that today was the day and after Martin had done his practice, Jim and I took to the forward starboard control station. Poor Martin had to retreat to the salon and close the blinds. There’s a reason I won’t be learning from Martin ;)  All in all I think I did pretty well. I pulled up closely and never smacked the dock.   I only had one freak out moment when I begged Jim to take control of the boat (he did not and I did not sacrifice any gel coat) so it was a success! I have much more practicing to do before I try this on my own but I have fantasies of pulling into a marina and docking her with no help. It will happen one day and poor Mart will go a little bit more gray on that day…

After all that excitement we headed out to Harbor East Marina in Baltimore for one night.  It’s in a great location and Jim walked us in to Fell’s Point. I loved this neighborhood!  If I were to live here, I think that’s where I’d want to live. 

Beer Art Car

Martin and I explored the town a little bit that afternoon and evening.  We managed to find a Kilwin’s (ice cream and fudge store – yup, it’s that good) and a Whole Foods.  So it balanced out in the end…  Then we sat on the flybridge for a while and listened to Hall & Oats, who were playing at the Pier 6 Concert Pavillion, but frankly, it wasn’t that loud or fabulous so we went to bed early.

This morning we headed across the bay to the HarborView Marina where we’ll be staying for a little over a week. We’ve been here before, staying aboard Vector while attending Trawler Fest last year. It’s very exciting to attend this year on our own boat! We’re docked out on the end, conveniently located right behind the floating Tiki Bar.

View aft: Tiki Bar and Harbor

View forward: Baltimore Museum of Industry

View to port: Domino Sugar Factory and Sailing School

This afternoon we said goodbye to Jim.  It’s hard to believe that 3 weeks has gone by so quickly. We’ve learned so much and are so grateful!  We’re incredibly happy that PAE is having Jim help us get back down to Florida in mid-October. It also made our goodbyes today a more simple: “we’ll see you in a few weeks!” rather than goodbye.

We’ll be here for about a week and a half and have so much planned, it’s going to fly by.  Sean & Louise will come in tomorrow to a marina nearby. We’re planning on going to DC for a day which will be awesome. (I lived there in my 20s and haven’t been back for almost 20 years.) A Northern Lights tech is coming on Monday to perform the 100 hour service on the gens. And Jeff will arrive on Tuesday night and he’ll be staying with us through Trawler Fest.

To end today's post, here's a gratuitous cat picture...

Picture from Rock Hall when Girl George came for a visit and I got some cat cuddles (I should clarify that Girl George’s real name is George but because I had a George too, I’ve grown used to referring to them as “Girl George” and “Boy George” and it’s habit now…)

Pasadena, MD

Sharing the channel: Vector on the left, USCG cutter in the middle and a large container ship to the right

Passing some of the tall ships and sail boats leaving Baltimore Harbor

On Wednesday we crossed the Chesapeake Bay and anchored in Rock Creek.  It was a four hour cruise that got interesting once we entered the Patapsco River. There were Coast Guard Cutters and freighters along the channel.  We got this image of Vector cosying up next to the two. They weren’t really that close but the distance makes the photograph look very exciting!

We anchored in a little bay just around the corner from Vector but were bummed to find that we had no 4G and limited internet from a nearby open source. So we moved around the corner the next morning where both were better, even though it was less than a quarter mile away. This was a quiet area and really beautiful. On Wednesday, we dropped the kayaks and Martin and I peddled to the end of Rock Creek. We were rewarded at the end by arriving in a tranquil bay and having a bald eagle fly overhead, land in a tree and watch over us.

Rock Creek

The end of Rock Creek, there’s a bald eagle in a tree just left of center

Jim towed a kayak over to Vector so Sean could give it a try

Wednesday was spent getting a lot of errands done.  Martin was able to contact the service reps for the generators and schedule them to come out on Monday. We made marina reservations for our visit farther south the first week of October and I arranged for my Mom to come visit us after Baltimore for a week aboard. We also got great news from PAE that Jim will be able to take us down to Stuart/Ft. Lauderdale in mid-October for the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. We’re very happy that he’ll be our delivery captain and will accompany us back down!

Sean & Louise, heading out to dinner to dinner on Petal

Sean and Louise have marina reservations nearby for the next two nights so we decided to head into the inner harbor of Baltimore on Thursday.  A local couple that passed by told us that there’s a Hall & Oats concert tomorrow night that we’ll probably be able to hear it from where we'll be docked so we’re planning on cocktails on the fly bridge tomorrow evening! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chester River and Centerville

Vector Underway

We’ve just spent a couple of very pleasant days anchored in the Corsica River, just off the Chester River, southeast of Rock Hall.  We stopped in a beautiful part of the river lined with trees, interspersed with large homes tucked away in the woods.  One afternoon we were sitting in the pilot house and watched a bald eagle fly over us. Nice!

We used our time here to practice deploying the flopper stoppers and the dinghy. After several attempts, we got a good feel for the flopper stoppers. Though deploying them in windy/bumpy circumstances (when they are needed…) will add a bit of excitement into the mix.  We’re planning on practicing this regularly so we’ll be efficient at it when we need it.

Blossom looking stately at anchor

Monday we went exploring the bay in the dinghy and then we took our bikes in the dinghy up the Corsica to Centerville.  Louise and I road the bikes to a quilt store – yes, we found yet another quilt store!  It was a nice store and we both found some “must have” fabric J The guys walked around town, filled a jerry can with gasoline and stopped for a drink. We met up at Doc’s for a very good, early, dinner.  And as night was falling we headed back down river and I practiced driving the dinghy. It was a bit of cheat since I could follow Martin’s bread crumbs on the GPS but it was fun, and good experience for me.

We only stayed a couple of nights because we had very limited phone service and no internet. Martin needs to arrange for some service work to be done in Baltimore next week so we headed to out anchor in the Patapsco River on Tuesday. It’s about 25 nautical miles northwest of where we were anchored on the Corsica and located in a suburban area of Baltimore.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rock Hall with Friends

Friday was special day for us as we pulled in to Rock Hall to find Vector docked and waiting to help us with our lines.  We snugged up close and docked stern to stern, neighbors at last!  There was a big fishing tournament going on at Rock Hall that Saturday and for a minute we thought we might get shooed away but luckily we were able to stay for two nights as long as we snugged up to each other on the end of the dock.

Vector and Blossom, together at last!

We spent the next two days catching up and generally having a great time together. Martin and I got a lot of cat time in with (girl) George and Angel. We walked into town for lunch one day and wouldn’t you know it, we found a tiny quilt shop. Louise and I got some beautiful holiday fabric and started discussing our future sewing days together…

Girl George and Martin chilling on Blossom

The big excitement of Saturday was thanks to yours truly. Friday evening I had decided to clean out the porthole windows from the salt spray and ended up pushing a screen through the hole and into the water. Not so good. So the next day Martin generously took one for the team and donned his shorty wet suit to brave the murky 76 degree water to retrieve it. This was particularly important as we have no spares! 

Martin, ready to treasure hunt

We put “order spare screens” on the to-do list right away.  Free diving didn’t work so well so we broke out the snuba set up we have, attaching a long hose to one of our dive tanks. There’s a regulator on the other end and Martin’s put on a dive belt (thanks Sean!) to help him reach the bottom. Dropping a weight and string out the window to help navigate, Martin found the screen sitting in the mud in no time.

Snuba in action

As for boat maintenance, the 9k generator decided to put us in our place and broke down, again. The guys will take a look at it later today. Now we have three big brains trying to tackle the rather irritating brand-new generator that refuses to work for more than a couple days in a row. I hope we get it sorted out soon. The 9k is quieter and the exhaust is less of an issue (the 20k filters in to the master stateroom if the wind is right and it’s stinky).

This morning we’re heading out to an anchorage in the Chester River. Sean did some research and found a great place where we can anchor then drop the dinghy and explore a small down that’s up the creek (Centerville). Wouldn’t you know it, there seems to be a quilt shop there! J 

I have Moroccan stew cooking in the crock pot and it’s a wonderful 63 degrees out. We’re looking forward to dropping the hook in a quiet, out of the way area and having company over for dinner!

Annapolis: Ducks and Navy Midshipmen

Heading in to Annapolis

Docked in Annapolis. View from our cockpit.

There are a lot of both in Annapolis!  We stayed at the Annapolis City Docks, right in the downtown area. It’s a narrow channel that backs up to main street and is filled with dozens of resident ducks that are fed by tourists and passers by. 

It was a very convenient location and we really enjoyed staying there. We went out to eat several times, trying out several of the restaurants along the main area.  In the evenings we were experiencing high, high tides and there was significant flooding along the roads.  After a couple evenings the police blocked it off to keep cars from racing through. You wonder if they realized that it's salt water they were splashing up into the car!

 I was very pleasantly surprised to find that there was a quilt shop (and a really nice one!) only two blocks from a grocery store J  Once again, I loaded up the paniers to overflowing with a combo of food and fabric…

Who’s that handsome man?

Our first full day in town we relaxed and did some sightseeing. Martin and I went on a tour of the Annapolis Navy Academy. It was really interesting and at the end we were able to catch them practicing for a parade that was happening that weekend. Almost all of the 4000+ students were out on the field. It was a very impressive show, practice or not!

Practice Parade

We were also able to get some work done on the boat – and ticked another project off the to-do list. A Dometic tech came out and was able to fix the chiller. While working on the chiller he also happened to find a leak in the system.  He had been telling us that it would be really difficult to locate a small leak and then, completely by chance, he found the drip and was able to fix it.

We easily could have spent another day or two there but the marina was booked for the Star Spangled Spectacular event.  It was also perfect timing to head out and meet our friends who had come down through the canal and were docked at the free dock in Rock Hall.  Rock Hall is a small community, located about 20 miles east of Annapolis across the bay.  It was a windy day and the bay was choppy with up to 3 foot seas. Unfortunately I tried to type while we were underway and discovered that that was a bad idea. I spent some time in our master state room. I think this is my favorite place when underway in rolly seas. Like a kid in a car, I get lulled to sleep and don’t feel sick at all down there.

And so we arrived at Rock Hall at about 10:30 on Friday morning. After years of talking about it and 4 months delay, we finally were heading out to meet up and begin cruising with Sean & Louise!  More in the next post…

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Maryland and Beyond

Another beautiful sunset, in Solomons, MD

There's not much to report, we've had a quiet couple of days. Yesterday was cool and rainy, a perfect day for getting things done. Martin and Jim changed the oil in the main engine. That required going to a hardware store to get some tools first. A kind man at the office offered to give them a ride so that made it much easier. The oil change was a success so that’s a major maintenance item done. I cleaned, made a crockpot curry for dinner and finally took inventory of all our food stores and recorded it in an excel spreadsheet. 

This morning we headed out early for Annapolis. The forecast was for 4ft seas which made me a bit nervous about getting seasick but we’re out here now and it’s about 1 to 1.5. I guess I didn’t need the patch, but better safe than sorry!  I’m looking forward to Annapolis. There’s even a quilt shop biking distance from the marina!  We’ll have the Dometic folks come out to do some work on the chiller and we’ll get to play tourist a bit too. 

We have our itinerary more or less set for the next couple months.  We’ll spend 2 days in Annapolis, leaving on the 12th,. Then we’ll head across the bay for the east side and hook up, Finally(!) with our friends Sean & Louise. We’ll go to Baltimore on the 19th and drop Jim off. We’ll stay in Baltimore for a little over a week, attend Trawler Fest, and Jeff will be back on board with us for the week.  Then we head to Yorktown, near Williamsburg, VA.  My Mom is planning to come out and join us for about 5 days. Around the 9th, we’ll head to Deltaville with our friends while they have some work done. 

Some time around the 15th we’ll have a Nordhavn rep, Devin, coming to meet us from the west coast. He’ll be helping us get back down to Stuart, FL. We’ll have a bit of warranty work done and then we’ll head to Ft. Lauderdale where we’ll be in the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. I’m a bit nervous about having Blossom in the show, it’s weird to have hundreds of strangers walking through your home. Once we’ve met that obligation, we’ll return to Stuart to finish our warranty work (including getting our new propeller).  I’m heading home for about 2 weeks in November and when I return, we’ll be free to cruise!  We plan on spending the holidays with Sean & Louise in the Florida area. Key West anyone?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Deltaville to Solomons, MD

Martin deploying our day shape – to be displayed when at anchor

We had a late morning on Friday anchored on the Poquoson and practiced deploying the dinghy before we left. 

Dinghy Up!

Then we took off heading north.  The guys had changed the coolant in the 9K gen (per a tech’s suggestion) and we got a bit ahead of ourselves thinking we’d solved the problem - it ran like a dream all night. Then it totally died just before we took off in the morning. L  So we switched to the 20k but it wouldn’t start from the helm, only from the gen itself. So it looks like we have a few more gremlins to address.

We ended up anchoring just outside of Deltaville, VA. Soon after we anchored a heck of a storm blew past and we got a nice rinse. It was a quiet evening after that.  We headed out early in the morning on Saturday for Solomons Island, MD.  We had a bit of a rough docking but we made it in with no loss of limb or gel coat so all is well, we’re learning after all J 

View North

View South

We’re staying at Zahniser’s Yacht Center.  It’s a large, nice facility with a pool, restaurant and decent ship’s store. Most of the boats here are sailboats and it’s very picturesque. There’s a beautiful Nordhavn 76 across the water from us.  I really like it here and would love to come back and spend a few days checking out the area.

We’re at a fixed dock so we got to use our Marquipt stairs and step across. We spent some time working out how to use fenders to keep the step off the dock as the tide moves us up and down past the dock.  We inflated one of our huge fenders and it worked like a charm.

Step across and stairs

Fender fending off the step across

In the evening we headed into town and had a great dinner at the Lighthouse Restaurant. Then we walked up to the Tiki Bar to see what was happening on a Saturday night. It was a happening place and we were happy that went to check it out.  We got home just minutes before a huge thunderstorm blew through.

Today is a gorgeous day and the first that we haven’t need to run the air conditioning in months. It’s wonderful to have the doors open and listen to sound of sailboat rigging clanging (I love the sound!) rather than the drone of the AC.  Jim and Martin have a long to-do list which includes taking a look at the 9k gen, changing the oil on the main engine, a practice racor change on the transfer filter, trying to trace the leak on chiller #1 and fixing the leak in the guest room hatch that getting Jim’s feet damp whenever it rains.  I’m going to bike to the grocery store for a couple items (we really don’t need much so I’m hoping not to over load the bike this time!) and do laundry. Also on my list today is cleaning the stamoid cushion covers, and to post this to the blog!

The guys picked up their complementary marina bikes, Jim got the pink one

UPDATE: Well the guys figured out what was ailing the 9k gen! One of the lugs on a 15amp breaker sheared off, cutting power to the control panel.  One mystery solved.  They were able to get a temporary replacement from West Marine that will hold us over until we can get a proper part from Northern Lights in Annapolis.

Bad breaker

Interesting sign at the Food Lion parking lot.

The winds have picked up and are now coming from the north (responsible for the lovely cool day).  Tomorrow they'll be from the east, meaning the Chesapeake will be a bit bouncy. We've decided to stay here for another night and head up to Annapolis on Tuesday. That will give the guys a bit more time to work on the maintenance tasks on their list and I'll get to explore the town a bit. And yes, I'm aware that it's not quite a fair deal and that I have it a bit easy, I'll do some cleaning and make a curry so I feel less guilty :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Entering the Chesapeake

AYB Marina
Covered docks

We enjoyed our two night stay at AYB. It’s a located right along the ICW and is a working yard with storage facilities. The location is great, with several stores within walking and biking distance. I was able to bike to a fabric store, get a pedi and shop for groceries, score!  Of course I only brought 1 pannier and the rack bag for the bike because I wasn’t going to buy much. So when I filled the bike bags and had 5 more plastic bags to deal with, I panicked a bit.  I managed by hanging the plastic bags off the handle bars and walking back to the boat. A lovely couple from the marina were driving by and stopped to help by taking all my plastic bags to the marina for me J  Okay, lesson learned, always bring all the bike bags when shopping…

We had dinner out at El Toro Loco, a Mexican restaurant walking distance from the marina. We checked out the covered dock area at AYB. We’re thinking that this could be a good place to store Blossom on our off season. Our plan is to live aboard 6 months a year so we’re looking for a place to keep her July-December where is doesn’t freeze. They have covered slips and it’s in fresh water so the critters won’t grow on her bottom.  They have a great rating on Active Captain too (Active Captain is an extremely helpful “yelp” for mariners). Actually, we saw the Active Captain boat at AYB, Acapella. I'd love to meet them and tell them how much I enjoy their website!

 Pumping out (Martin was so pleased when I took this pic...)

In the morning, we moved to the fuel dock and took on 800 gallons of diesel, 15 gallons of gas for Petal and we pumped out.  Then we headed out through a bridge and then through our first lock. Cruised through Norfolk and all the military yards and out into the Chesapeake Bay.  We had military vessels passing by and had to share bridges with barges.  

We had a moment of realization today when we looked up and said "we’ve made it to the Chesapeake!"  About 1000 miles north, ocean passage, overnights, ICW, bridges, locks and channels.  It feels good to have made it this far and we feel like we’ve learned so much. Much more to learn of course, but we’re on our way J

Military landing craft coming through the lock
Barge coming south

As for the boat issues, we’ve had some success and some “not so much”:

·  Chiller #2. A dometic tech came out and spent a few hours on the boat. He confirmed that we had a bad harness, and a bad board, and that he can’t access the harness because it’s tucked so far away.  He left us with a new harness and the name of an outfit in Annapolis that can do the warranty work.

·  9K gen. The guys spent several hours working on the gen and thought they had solved the problem but after running for an hour, it once again overheated. Jim spoke with a Northern Lights tech who gave us a few suggestions to try tomorrow.

·  Engine temp. Martin spoke with another Nordhavn owner who has his engine fans pulling out rather than one in and one out of the engine room. Martin spoke with Delta T, got the thumbs up, and reconfigured the intake blower to be an exhaust blower. The ambient temperature is about 8 degrees less today but our engine room temp is 16 degrees less so we seem to have some success.

·  We found a bit of yellow liquid that we’re now thinking is coolant, under the main engine. It seems to be leaking out when it’s started up.

We also got some very good news today. Our training captain, Jim Mobley, had an obligation and was to leave us on the 10th.  All boat plans being written in sand, he’s now free and will be able to stay with us until the 19th.  Those extra 9 days are gold and we're really happy!

This evening (Thursday, the 4th) we decided to anchor in the Poquoson River, north of Norfolk.  As we began to enter the river, we turned into quite a squall that was following us up the Chesapeake.  The seas were choppy and about 2 feet. Then 5 dolphins came to play, they were breaching out of the water, it looked like they were playing in the chop.  And then a rainbow appeared and the squall dissipated. Very cool.

Martin and Jim are in the laz working on the gen right now. We'll grill dinner and have another early night. In the morning, we'll practice deploying the dinghy and flopper stoppers and then head north again. Probably to another anchorage.  

Our plans for the next week are starting to come together. We made reservations at a primo spot, right in downtown in Annapolis for the 9-12.  The Dometic folks will meet us there to work on the chiller and we'll try to find a Northern Lights tech for the generator if it's still overheating.

Our friends Sean & Louise told us about a huge celebration that's happening in the Baltimore Harbor from the 10-16th, the Star Spangled Spectactular. It's a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the national anthem.  It looks like a huge festival. That's probably why we can only stay til the 12th at our Annapolis marina. We're hoping to see some of the tall ships, navy ship and the Blue Angles.