Friday, May 5, 2017

Blossom's Out of the Shed and Ready to Cruise

A calm evening

It was wonderful being back on board! Our time back on Blossom began with a long weekend of storms. The temperature dropped 30 degrees and we had thunder and lightning with pouring down rain. It was awesome! The cool weather meant we could open the doors and windows and get down to business without sweating to death.

When we arrived, the boat was half washed. I wish I’d taken a picture of our swim platform. There was no fiberglass for want of bird poo. But they came and finished the job on Saturday and Blossom was looking spiffy again.

Our first night having happy hour on the flybridge, I insisted, though it was a tad cold 😊
A few nights later it was more comfortable

The first few days were spent doing the basics. Everything had to be cleaned – not only had she been sitting for months, but we had bug-bombed right after we left to get rid of our weevil infestation. (It still sounds weird and I have no clue how we managed to be infested by those things.) We had covered all openings to the boat with plastic sheeting so there was surprisingly little dust and no bugs aboard. I was grateful for this as we’re under a shed and spiders are plentiful here (spiders turn me into a shrieking hysterical mess.) And all systems, machines and appliances had to be started up and tested to make sure they still worked. I've elaborated upon our "spring commissioning list" below in "Boat Business".

We did a couple provisioning runs while we were here. The first was apparently too big – both Martin’s and my credit card were refused and we were issued Fraud Alerts. We got that cleared up and now the boat is well stocked with everything from salt and pepper to wine and beer. One must have the essentials!

Luna Moth

This gorgeous little creature got blown onto our boat deck while we were in the shed. I did some research and found that it’s a Luna Moth. Without a mouth, they live a short life - meant to love and die. I released him into the trees, I hope he got lucky!

While we were gone, we had some canvas work done. We were really happy to return and find that he did a great job, we’re really happy with it.

Storm Plate Cover

Center Console

Cover for the toys

The marina is incredibly busy right now because we’re in the midst of the “northern migration”. All the folks who spent the winter and spring down south, in Florida, Keys. Bahamas, and beyond are returning north as hurricane season approaches to get out of the insurance exclusion zone. There's also a 40th Anniversary bash for Krogen's up in RI so there have been tons of gorgeous Kady Krogen's heading through as well. The yard gets hit with a double whammy because they store a lot of the northern boats, who, like us, want to get out and start their season now that the weather is nice up here. 

 Heading north
Boats waiting for the bridge which opens on the hour

The Wednesday after we arrived there was room for us on the dock so we quickly moved the boat over – with so many boats passing through we grabbed the dock space when we could. It felt great to be out of the shed and into the sunshine and we were entertained all day long with the constant stream of boats coming up and station keeping as they await the bridge.

Martin felt a bit rusty after 8 months but he did great!

Blossom at the dock

The view our first night having happy hour on the flybridge at the dock

One afternoon I went to see if we had any packages waiting for us and I saw this mess piled in front of the store:

Our life raft

Later that afternoon we were told that that mess was our life raft! It had been sent to Winslow for recertification (life rafts have to be recertified every 2-3 years depending on the brand). What a shock to find out that ours somehow deployed while being shipped back. The shipper piled all the contents onto a pallet, shrink-wrapped it and delivered it that way :/  This is a big ticket item and we’ve been told we’ll be getting a new one free of charge. I sure hope so!

I took walks in the morning and have a few photos showing the area around AYB. 

 Goose with a heck of a lot of babies

Chesapeake Mosquito control - spraying along the roadside

View from a wooded walking path of the crowded dock with Blossom squeezed in there

I was thrilled to finish a quilting project while we were here too! I started it in 2013 - I'm a very slooow quilter. Here it is, hung in our stateroom but visible from the galley through the mirror.


Although we were a bit isolated on this visit, sticking to the boat most of the time, we did enjoy a really lovely evening with a couple currently doing the "loop". We noticed a beautiful  trawler across the way one day and went to get a better look. She was a 43 foot red-hulled American Tug. Gorgeous! We shared a great evening with her fabulous owners whom we hope we'll meet again along our journey.

And so our 2 weeks flew by in a haze of cleaning, provisioning, commissioning, repairing, prepping and a bit of socializing. She's in the process of being detailed (polish all the stainless & waxed) and Ed came by the morning we left to clean the bottom and check our zincs so we should be good to go when we return in mid-May.

It felt wonderful to be back on the boat and it was hard to leave her again when it was time to head back to Florida. We're looking forward to returning and spending a little over 2 weeks slowly winding our way up north to Annapolis.

Boat Business:

Martin re-commissioning Petal & the davit

As expected, we found a few things that had gone awry over the past 8 months, some were no surprise, others were a bit perplexing. The big-ticket items that failed include: Sea-Fire, Wavenet units on both generators and the bilge pump. Our spring commissioning included testing all systems, equipment and appliances. A full list of re-commissioning is below with more details.

Systems & Equipment:
o  Fresh water system: Ran water to get rid of coolant used to winterize the boat
o  Black water system
o   Install new Seagull water filter in the kitchen sink
o   Wing engine
o   Hydraulics: thrusters, windlass and raw water pump
o   Main Engine. Had to by-pass the Sea Fire to start it and tightened a few clamps to put a small coolant leak off
o   High bilge pump - filled the bilge to it's tippy top to verify it would turn on
o   Dinghy engine and bilge pump
o   Davit
o   AC system - replaced air handler screens and added tablets
o   Sea Fire – Died over the winter. It was sent out, returned and Martin reinstalled it in the 2 weeks we were aboard
o   Bilge pump –It was rebuilt and reinstalled within a few days
o   Generators. Both gens started up no problem but both Wavenets (remote control panels) were blinking and had to be sent back for reprogramming. Martin will install them when they get returned to us
o   Ultrasonic hull cleaner. We have 2 units and one failed a few days ago. We’ll order a new one to be install later in the month

Appliances and gadgets:
o   Eartec Headsets - a necessity for us!
o   Replace batteries in fire & co2 alarms. One alarm broke and needs to be replaced
o   Sewing machines, running great!
o   Kitchen appliances: Replaced our toaster oven that had been acting up last season.
o   Clothes washer and dryer – swept the dryer vent as it'd been taking longer and longer to dry clothes last season
o   TV: Martin replaced the tv in the guest stateroom with a slightly larger smart tv. We got a smart tv in Florida and I love it – having access to Amazon and Netflix is wonderful!

o  Sort through the Ditch bag and Medical bag and replace expired contents  
o  Polish screens
o   Clean lines 
o   Lube the flopper stopper tracks
o   Cockpit chairs have been bleeding rusty circles forever, we sealed them up with nail varnish and will replace the screws later this summer
o   Added felt pads to 9k gen pump. It “clicks” and drove me nuts, now we can’t hear it from the stateroom.

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