This past month was a whirlwind of boat fixing, travel and getting ready to head south again.  If all goes well, we’ll leave next Saturday (Oct 13th.)  I guess it’s okay to leave on the 13th as long as it isn’t a Friday!

When we got home from New England we had a long list of things to fix on the boat–mostly ‘Skip’ jobs but a few things I could help with too (anything except rebuilding the head;-)  Our engine appears to be in tiptop shape after a thorough checkup with the diesel mechanic and electrician.  Skip removed both alternators and had them rebuilt  After all the hours we put on the engine, it was time.  We also heard too many stories of alternator failures this summer.

The diesel mechanic recommended that we have our fuel injection pump and starter rebuilt.  We had noticed a diesel odor recently and that was due to dried out rings in the injector pump.  The electrician moved the regulator outside of the engine compartment to help keep it cooler.   He also installed a new large alternator so we can keep to old one as a spare (a sure guarantee that it won’t ever fail!)

Skip fixed our compass light that wasn’t connected and installed a 12V outlet in the cockpit (useful for plugging in a spotlight at night or charging devices while underway.)

My primary jobs were cleaning, shopping and stowing.  Oy, I forgot how exhausting it is to provision the boat!  After 3 trips to Trader Joe’s, a trip to Wegman’s and Target I think I’m almost done.  Maybe one more TJ’s run… (Oh how I wish they would open a store on the east coast of Florida…)

On the traveling front, we spent a lovely week in Colorado visiting our British cruising friends Mike and Angie (Lady of Lorien) and Skip’s daughter Jen and husband Bill.  M&A have a cabin near Fairplay, a good 9000 ft above sea level.  It takes me a few days to adjust to the altitude.  Spending time with J&B is always fun.  They are such great company. Jen’s speech pathology business that she started to treat swallowing disorders is doing really well.   Bill is almost finished the multi-year automated TV lift out of the floor in front of their fireplace project.  He’s an engineer (can’t you tell!)  We are proud of them both.   Our granddog Jackson was happy to see us.  He’s a 12 yr old chocolate lab who still acts like a puppy.
Granddog Jackson
Granddog Jackson

Right after we got back we attended the Seven Seas Cruising Association gam at Camp Letts near Annapolis.  We had to drive there since the boat engine was still in pieces.  We had a great time, saw lots of people we knew and enjoyed the guest speakers–especially Nigel Calder who was a real hoot.  He’s the guru of boat mechanics and wrote the definitive book on diesel engines.  His talk on battery power put me to sleep but his presentation on what he learned about sailing (mostly the hard way) was hilarious.

I enjoyed meeting the Active Captain folks, Jeffrey and Karen Seigel who gave a very interesting presentation on practical first aid tips for cruisers.  I also enjoyed the presentation given by Mark Doyle who wrote Managing the Waterway.  Their newest books show much more detail on waterway anchorages.  I’m looking forward to trying out some of the suggested anchorages.  He’s a big proponent for taking your time while on the waterway and not rushing to get somewhere.  Like!

The best part of the gam was getting rid of a bunch of excess boat stuff at the flea market.  We got rid of all but 3 items.  I didn’t walk away with anybody else’s junk either, just a cool wooden cigar box that someone gave me for free!

Cool cigar box

This past weekend we attended the Annapolis Sailboat Show.  Skip’s main objective was to give Garmin a piece of his mind over the failings of our new chart plotter.  He discovered using it over the summer that it had less functionality than our older unit.  Certain features were missing and some were very tedious to use.  He was so frustrated with it that he wanted to reinstall the old unit and use both of them.  I vetoed that idea since there are already so many instruments on the pedestal that I have trouble seeing ahead!  I hope Garmin really does work on solving some of their software issues.

Last night we spent a lovely evening in Clement’s Creek off the Severn River with Rick and Eva (Calypso.)  We didn’t even mind that it turned chilly at night and rainy in the morning.  We look forward to seeing them this winter when they visit us in the Bahamas!

Well, that’s a quick update since I’ve been remiss in blogging (thanks for the reminder, Bob!)  I also haven’t taken many pictures, as you can tell.  Not to worry, once we get underway I’ll be in full blogging mode!!