Official - we're nomads
finally left Boulder on Sept. 1 and headed for Sea Fox.
Didn't get finished at the house soon enough to have time
to visit Minnesota, but stopped in Chicago to pick up the
cats who'd been staying with my brother, and visit with
Mom and brothers. We've shipped more stuff to Sea Fox than
we'll be able to find space for, but once we're there we'll
have a better basis for deciding what we can actually fit
on the boat.
anxious to get "home" to Sea Fox because we heard from the
marina this morning that one of our lines broke during Ernesto
and there's some gelcoat damage from hitting the dock. We're
assured that it is very minor, but it will be good to finally
get there and see for ourselves that she's really ok. And
I'm certainly ready to get on with it.
arrived at my brother's house on Saturday and will leave
tomorrow (Tuesday) so we've had a chance to rest up from
our hectic clean out project. Feels good.
for being a nomad, it's an interesting feeling to realize
that we no longer have a specific spot on the map that is
home. We've filed papers establishing a domicile in Florida,
but the address is our mail forwarding service, not a place
where we can hunker down. I guess our home is now "the world";
and I'm ready to explore it.
September 5 we arrived at Sea Fox to take up permanent residency.
We shipped far too much stuff so now we're again in the
throes of sorting through what we really need to fit onto
the boat and how to dispose of the excess. Our task is to
change it from a floating warehouse into our home - and
with everything stow-able for crossing open water. A marine
carpenter has been here to give us a quote on adding bookshelves.
The rigger did the work to have the line for the 3rd reef
led back to the cockpit (I hope we never need it.). So that's
two more items about to be checked off the list. Now that
we're here I really miss the convenience we had in Texas.
Everything here is a trek. Neal commented the other day
that we could never use this marina without having a car.
If we stop in this area again, it will have to be at Annapolis
where taxis are available for getting to grocery stores,
etc. The cats have adjusted well so far. They seem to remember
having been on the boat before. It'll be interesting to
see what happens when we begin moving. There's still so
much to do before mid October!
Fox has three reef points in the main sail. Reef points
are used to reduce sail area as the wind picks up. With
the reefing configuration that existed when we got Sea Fox
the first two reefs could be put in and taken out from the
cockpit but the third and final reef requires that somebody
go to the mast to put it in and to take it out. Now this
isn't very logical because you only need this reef when
conditions are really bad and this is the worst time to
have to go up to the mast.
fact when Sea Fox was being moved from Galveston to the
Chesapeake, while out in the Atlantic, a storm was encountered
where a 3rd reef, while not absolutely necessary, would
have been prudent. But no one wanted to go to the mast to
put it in.
our June trip to Herrington Harbour I asked the resident
rigger for a quote to move the 3rd reef from the mast to
the cockpit. I gave him our boat card so that he would have
both a phone number and email address. The boat card also
has Florida mail forwarding address on it. Late August just
prior to leaving Boulder we started using the mail forwarder
and in the 1st bunch of mail was a month old invoice from
Alpha Rigging. The rigger didn't bother giving us a quote
but just went to the boat and did the job. He also didn't
bother to call to discuss any aspect of the job. I found
this to be pretty irritating as there were decisions that
I would have liked to be part of. In the end the rigger
did a good job and we are happy with results but we don't
like his methods.
order to have the 3rd reef in the cockpit a rope clutch
had to be freed up for the 3rd reef. The topping lift was
relocated to a cleat on the mast freeing up a rope clutch.
3 ½ weeks aboard Sea Fox we're making a dent in the project
list. Got rid of some stuff; stowed some stuff; and ordered
some stuff; but we still have a full storage locker here
in the marina. Everything from the lazarette is in the locker
waiting for the guy who's coming to diagnose and fix (I
hope) the furnace problem. The bookshelves should be ready
soon and then we'll be able to unload the boxes of books
- but I think we still won't have enough places for all
the books and some will have to go. We've ordered the radar
upgrade and solar panels and wind generator - the last of
the big upgrades. We'll be poor but well equipped.
second weekend we were here, the marina hosted the Deale
Bluegrass Festival and Car Show. Very small-town folksy
and fun. Photos are below. The Navy Bluegrass Band was the
only one we photographed. Didn't know the Navy had a bluegrass
band. The cars were fun to look at.
been getting to know the area but haven't done any major
sightseeing yet. We're sampling the luscious cream of crab
soup whenever we find it on a menu. We hope to get a couple
of trips in to the Smithsonian plus some other touristy
things before we take off.
seen the notorious Chesapeake sea nettles. They're translucent
white jellyfish about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. There was
a small blue heron on the bank the other day and Neal saw
a pair of swans.
cats have settled in although they're still spooked at some
of the strange sounds. Patty's been up in the cockpit once,
but until we quit using it as temporary storage, we're not
encouraging them to explore the outdoors.
be here until the end of October, probably. It seems that
everyone leaves right after the boat show and it gets to
be gridlock on the ICW - especially when there are a dozen
or more boats all just milling around trying to stay out
of each other's way waiting for a bridge to open. We'll
wait a couple of weeks and hope the rush is over.
are the bluegrass and car show pics. Click on an
image to see a larger version
Falls National Park
we asked the locals what we should see in the greater Washington
area one of the must see places is the Great Falls of the
Potomac. We were told that it is the most spectacular falls
east of Niagara Falls. I don't know if that statement is
correct but it certainly is spectacular.
Saturday morning, September 30, bright and early found us
heading for Washington. The falls are a mere 14 miles upriver
from Washington. We are constantly amazed as to how quickly
you get into wildness around here.
we arrived at the falls it was overcast and raining off
and on but we didn't let that stop us from enjoying the
falls. Because of the rain we didn't hike any of the trails
so if we have time we will return and take some of the walks.
people consider the Great Falls of the Potomac to be the
most spectacular natural landmark in the Washington D.C.
metropolitan area. Here, the Potomac River builds up speed
and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks
and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The falls consist
of cascading rapids and several 20 foot waterfalls, with
a total 76 foot drop in elevation over a distance of less
than a mile. The Potomac River narrows from nearly 1000
feet, just above the falls, to between 60 and 100 feet wide
as it rushes through Mather Gorge, a short distance below
the falls. The Great Falls of the Potomac display the steepest
and most spectacular fall line rapids of any eastern river.
we were observing the falls, a bunch of kayakers arrived
to kayak in the gorge. It sure is important for them to
know how to perform the Eskimo roll as several of them got
turned over as they as they tried to position themselves
in the current.
on an image to see a larger version
visited George Washington's home, Mount Vernon Saturday,
September 30. I particularly enjoyed visiting the estate,
both from a historical perspective of Washington but also
the insight into plantation life. The house while not particularly
magnificent or large by today's standards is never the less
impressive. The house setting, views and gardens are all
truly magnificent. The view of the Potomac River from the
front of the house is really spectacular. It is interesting
to note how near to Washington DC Mount Vernon is.
acquired Mount Vernon in 1754, and over the next 45 years
greatly expanded and improved the appearance of his home,
outbuildings and extensive gardens and grounds. He personally
oversaw every detail of design, construction and decoration,
even when away at war. The plantation was 8,000 acres in
area and the grounds include two formal gardens and a bowling
green. Washington died in the master bedroom on December
dining room was large and is probably the most attractive
room in the house. Washington had overnight guests almost
continuously, one year there were almost 6oo overnight guest
and there is even an outhouse to house visitor's servants,
and the dining room was the focal point. Next to the dining
room was a parlor with both a card table and chess table.
The other rooms of note are the master bedroom and Washington's
Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) 20th Anniversary Annapolis
Saturday, October 7 we attended an all day SSCA meeting
called a GAM. The meeting was held in a 3-sided tent. We
wore our foul weather gear which was a good thing as it
was cold and blustery all day long. Despite the conditions
we had a really good time.
Calder, Bill Trayfors and Scott Berg had a panel discussion
on power management which was very informative. They spent
over an hour afterwards answering questions.
was a presentation by a man who along with his wife was
on a round the world cruise. While in Thailand they survived
the tsunami. They were swept under water over an island
Leonard gave a talk about her circumnavigation plus events
since which was great. She is a very gifted speaker. She
has written 2 books, which of course we have, plus numerous
magazine articles about cruising.
Giesemann, retired Navy Commander and author. Gave a talk
entitled "It's your boat too: a woman's guide to greater
enjoyment on the water. There was nothing new for Mary in
met several other cruisers so it was an overall good time.
Annual Annapolis Sailboat Show
granddaddy of the fall boat show circuit, Annapolis draws
big crowds -- rain or shine. And not only did it rain on
Friday and Saturday, it blew a gale too! Show goers on the
outer docks looked like drunken sailors negotiating the
heaving docks, exhibitor's banners blew out in the 35+ knot
gusts, and some exhibits even blew over. Salespeople reported
a thin crowd on Friday. Saturday's crowd was amazingly large
for the conditions at least until the tent exhibits went
underwater, by as much as knee deep in spots. In the late
afternoon many tent exhibits and some boats in the inner
dock area were closed. Sunday dawned bright and shiny with
a huge crowd. Monday was another bright and shiny day and
attendance was again outstanding.
is our 4th Annapolis Sailboat show though this is the first
since we bought Sea Fox. The Annapolis Sailboat show is
the world's largest sailboat show with all the boats on
the water. We attended the first two days, Thursday and
October 5 was opening day, known as VIP day. The entry fee
is higher on VIP day which keeps the attendance down making
it easier to get around and reduces the wait time for going
on board the boats. Thursday's weather was just about perfect,
mid-70's but partly cloudy keeping it from getting too hot.
We only went onto boats that held some interest for us as
44 - This is the boat that I originally wanted to buy but
couldn't as there were no used boats available due to the
small size of their fleet. It is a very nice boat and still
has features that appeal to us but thankfully nothing about
it made us wish we had it instead of our boat. In fact that
was one of the good things about the show, we came away
very happy with Sea Fox. They are now up to hull 33 to be
delivered September 2007 with a base price of $425K.
50 - We only went aboard this boat because we were impressed
with picture of its interior that we had seen in reviews.
It is a motorsailer but I could live with it. It is a very
nice boat but it should be at $1,090,145 base price.
Harbor 39 - This is Bob Perry's, the designer of Sea Fox,
latest creation. The boat fits into a standard 40 ft shipping
container. This reduces the cost of shipping the boat anywhere.
The idea is you ship your boat to that exotic location that
you want to sail and then you fly to your boat. To fit into
the container the boat is very narrow. It is very innovative
and they claim that it sails well, but it's not something
that I would want.
40 - This is a Polish built boat that is very reasonably
priced at $189K. The boat has had good reviews and one of
Mary's favorites because it is Polish.
Packet SP Cruiser - This Island Packet's latest and we were
definitely not impressed, though it probably appeals to
the Island Packet crowd. It is a motorsailer that looks
more like a very narrow power boat than a sailboat. Also
it has an odd interior layout. It strikes us as not wanting
to be either power or sail. It is not cheap at $330K.
52 - An acquaintance of ours has an Amel that we have never
seen so we were interested in looking at the boat. It is
a very nice boat with the most comfortable chairs that I
have ever sat in on a boat.
- With so many acquaintances with Beneteaus we wanted to
see what kind of boats they are. We were pleased with what
we saw, nice production boats.
- We looked at the Catalina's for he same reason as he Beneteaus
and pretty well came away with the same impression. Also
we still have a soft spot for Catalina since our first boat
was a Catalina.
440 - We were really impressed with this boat. It had a
surprising amount of innovation and unusual features for
a production boat.
48 - Our friends, Jim and Jennifer Bagley, have a Tayana
48 which we have never seen. So we wanted to see what their
boat was like. What a gorgeous boat, very high quality and
beautifully made. It also seems to be good value as there
are a lot of lesser boats selling at a similar price.
addition to looking at the boats we toured vendor stands
and tents. We were able to see everything that we were interested
in on Thursday which was a good thing as the weather turned
bad on Friday.
October 6 we returned to the show to pick up some items
we had purchased from Hotwire Enterprises that was being
delivered at the show to save shipping. What a horrible
day, a northeastern has set in late Thursday evening with
heavy rain and wind and the temperature was in the 50's.
were only at the show long enough to pick up the Hotwire
stuff plus buy a couple of other items we had seen on the
day before. We were OK as we wore our foul weather gear.
But it was pretty miserable for the sales people at the
fellow in the slip next to us at Herrington Harbour lives
in Washington D. C. and is our local source of knowledge
as to what to do and see in the Washington D. C. area. When
I told him how much I had enjoyed Mount Vernon he commented
that Monticello was, in his opinion, much better. So, on
October 8, we went to visit
Monticello is located 125 miles away in southern Virginia
so it was a bit more of an expedition than the other Washington
places that we have visited. The day was a nice fall day,
sunny and a little cool, just perfect touring a historic
was Thomas Jefferson's mountain top plantation near Charlottesville,
Va. The word Monticello in Italian means "little mountain."
The Monticello mountain was at the center of a 5,000-acre
plantation that Jefferson inherited from his father. Jefferson
spent a 40-year period of design, construction and remodeling
of the house and grounds.
house is truly spectacular, the grounds are very nice and
the mountain top site provides great views. Jefferson's
many innovations in the house also add to the interest.
think Mary enjoyed Monticello more than Mount Vernon but
for my part, while I enjoyed Monticello, I found Mount Vernon
more interesting as it did a better job of portraying plantation
life. In any event Monticello was well worth the visit.
did find the house much more interesting than Mt. Vernon.
Jefferson's architecture is definitely unique; was advanced
for his time and even quirky in some aspects - such as the
alcove bed that straddles two rooms. But I agree with Neal
that Mt. Vernon gave a better sense of the life of its inhabitants.
on an image to see a larger version
and Books, Books, Books
Fox came with only one poorly designed bookcase, not deep
enough for most books, mounted on the forward bulkhead of
the forward cabin. This book case (see picture 1) doesn't
start to hold all of the books that we want to carry with
us. Additionally a box to hold a TV was installed in the
forward bulkhead of the salon which protrudes into the forward
cabin over the bed (see pictures 2 & 3). We didn't' care
for the looks of the box and we didn't have any use for
we moved aboard we commissioned Thorny Seiler of "World
Class Yacht Carpentry" to design a build a set of bookcases
to replace the TV box. Pictures 4 & 5 show the bulkhead
with the box removed. Pictures 6 & 7 show the new bookcases
installed, don't they look great? Pictures 8 & 9 show the
book cases loaded with books. Now we have a decent amount
of book storage. Finally we relocated the small rack mounted
below the TV box, seen in picture 2, to the aft head bulkhead
as shown in picture 10.
are really happy with the results of this project. The salon
bookcase makes the salon look much homier than the old TV
box. And as a final benefit we get to keep most of the books
we brought aboard.
on an image to see a larger version
attended a diesel engine maintenance course at Mack Boring,
the east coast distributor of Yanmar engines. We both were
at the first day of lecture but only Neal went to the following
2 day hands-on training. They provide an engine that's the
same model as in your boat for the hands-on sessions. Neal
was glad to have a chance to work on the engine where he
could actually stand up and even walk around all sides.
I learned a lot in that first day and feel much more comfortable
with the engine now, but wish I'd spent the $$ for the full
3 day course. They augment the basic information and techniques
with helpful hints for making things easier. We're both
glad that we don't have the turbo charged version. The additional
horsepower doesn't seem to be worth the added complexity.
will be adding his observations soon.
rained all the way from Tracy's Landing, MD to Windham,
NH as we drove to my son's home on 10/20. Trees are in their
fall spendor, but the scenic route along the Hudson River
wasn't nearly as scenic in the rain so we abandoned the
rest of the "scenic" plan and just rode the interstates.
We haven't seen Jim's family for a couple of years so it
was great to be together for even a short time. Nathan is
a great little guy and smart as a whip, of course. Betty's
folks joined us on Saturday and Betty served mussels and
lobsters, Yummmmmmmmmmm. We stayed only until Sunday when
we drove to New Jersey to attend diesel school.
that we're ready, we're waiting for weather. The plan to
leave the marina on Nov 19th was thwarted by low water.
Saturday morning we were sitting firmly on the bottom in
our slip. On the high tide we moved to a slip farther down
the dock to be in deeper water and ready to take off on
Sunday morning. Then our neighbor came back in from the
bay and told us that he saw very shallow water in the channel
leading out. We motored out a little way and sure enough
we hit the bottom in the channel. Plan B was to head out
today (the 20th) and then we looked at the weather. There's
a big storm brewing off the Carolinas that is forecast to
hang around the coast for a few days and bring gale force
winds up into the Chesapeake. We'd be heading right into
it if we left today. So here we are hoping to get out on
Thursday or Friday and checking all the weather websites
frequently. Weather Underground has great marine weather
info. Thursday is Thanksgiving and I'll really be thankful
if we can finally get going.
been a hectic few weeks. We've sorted through the excess
stuff we brought and have discarded enough so that what's
left will fit on the boat. We still have far too much. We
decided to try to provision for 6 months even though we're
going no farther than the Bahamas this winter. I don't normally
do much menu planning so this was quite a challenge. This
is an experiment where we figure that we'll make our biggest
mistakes while we're still relatively close to home. In
the spring when we're back on the east coast we'll be able
to make corrections. We also wanted to get a lot of the
heavy stuff while we still had a car to get us to Costco
and Sam's Club. It's been interesting. A 6 month's supply
of kitty litter is a lot. So is the cat food. Having read
that we should have all of our paper goods before we get
to the Bahamas because of the expense there, we also had
to figure out where to stow six months of TP and paper towels.
The vacuum sealer really got a workout.
Mary in the "basement" stowing stuff
sold my beloved Celica to Carmax. They advertise that they
offer Kelley Blue Book value, and they do. It was a very
easy transaction. We got around using a rental car until
we returned that on Saturday in anticipation of leaving
enjoyed our stay here. It is a beautiful area and Annapolis
is a great town. We've particularly enjoyed getting together
with our friends Lana and Robert Lohe. Thanks, guys for
your great company and very helpful local knowledge. My
original gripes about being so far from everything diminished
as we got accustomed to having to make a trek to do anything
and we found some favorite restaurants. An interesting side
note is that this is the only place I've enjoyed listening
to sports talk radio - not all of it, but one program in
particular. In the past I've tolerated sports talk because
Neal likes listening to it in the car. But here I've gotten
so that I actually want to listen to the John Thompson show.
He's a Hall of Fame college basketball coach who has a well
rounded show with two equally professional and knowledgeable
cohorts and who has the prestige to get the best guests.
Imagine a sports talk show that isn't just ranting and raving
opinionated self-appointed experts. What a concept!!!
guess we'll get accustomed to waiting for weather.
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