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Diesel Duck
The panel removed
08/31/2011

Photo of the installation.

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Bad crimp
08/31/2011

Here you can see the bad crimp which started to smolder.

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The morning after
Marlene
08/28/2011, Annapolis, MD

Although Hurricane Irene caused a lot of damage in this area, she was not as destructive as feared. However, the number of homes still without power is in the thousands and it will take several days for the cleanup crews to deal with the downed trees and power lines. Mobile cranes are busy lifting downed trees out of backyards.
We were prepared for the worst and are glad we got off easy with the highest wind gusts clocked at 42 knots at our location. Generally speaking, the wind hovered between 25 and 30 knots. Just so you know what kind of preparations I'm talking about to get prepared:
The day before the storm Benno dove on the mooring ball checking the heavy chain and swivel to make sure the mooring would be up to the punishment. While being in the water he cleaned Diesel Duck's propeller and the props of the bow thrusters. The engine cooling water inlet got an inspection and a little cleanup too.
In addition to our 5/8", 25 foot mooring pennant, we fitted an additional heavy weather 1 inch 3 stranded Nylon mooring pennant of 30 feet and an extra line to extend the shorter one.
Topside on Diesel Duck we removed both sails, folded them into neat packets and stowed them below. The flag halyard got removed as well as the two washdown hoses and the boat hook. The Caribe 9' dinghy was hoisted up and tied down on the aft deck. The 15 hp Yamaha outboard motor(2 stroke) was lifted onto the bracket at the stern rail and the gas tank tied to the mast.
With the generator running, our watermaker topped up our water tanks with fresh drinking water in case the water in the creek and bay would be contaminated during the storm and we would not be able to make any water for some time to come. Just imagine the water treatment plants of the city's of Baltimore or Annapolis would be overflowing during the storm and be dumping zillions of gallons of untreated raw sewage into the bay's water. Don't laugh, but this has happened elsewhere.
Benno cleaned both raw water strainers for our main diesel and the generator, because there is always the possibility that one would have to start the main engine and shift it into gear to assist the mooring in the extrem strong winds.
After all these preparations we sat back and relaxed with a book!

The picture was taken the morning after Irene had passed. The officials are right on the task.

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09/01/2011 | colin
Natural resources Police. Man they have a police for everything over there! If they do dump a zillion gallons of sewage in the water, I wonder if that cop writes them up?
Riding out the storm
Marlene
08/27/2011, Annapolis, MD

The wind is howling while the rain is pelting against our windows. So far, at 14:15 hrs it is gusting 35 kts and the Weems Creek has become choppy. Diesel Duck is dancing around on her mooring. Benno thought it prudent to let out our mooring line to the fullest in case the water level is going to rise. So while I stayed dry in the cozy wheelhouse, the captain donned his mask so he could see in the driving rain to go about the job. I felt sorry for him because the rain does hurt on your skin. But I did help him dry off!


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Shitty Weather
Marlene
08/27/2011

Picture of Benno in the rain with mask. Didn't need the snorkel!

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Navy guys on duty
08/27/2011

picture of Navy boat untangling the lines

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Waiting for Irene
Marlene
08/25/2011, Annapolis, MD

In anticipation of hurricane Irene the Navy has brought some of their fleet of racing sailboats into Weems Creek. There are seven Navy buoys located in this area and more Navy buoys in Luce and Clements Creeks where the rest of the fleet went.
If the Navy deems these places to be safe for their vessels, it makes us feel better. However, we are not looking forward to the approaching storm although we've endured winds of 50kts or more sometimes down in South America. As a precaution we've removed all sails.

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Things that most big boys find interesting
Marlene
08/18/2011, Annapolis area

On the return trip from the Smithsonian museum we couldn't pass up a side trip to the NRA National Firearms Museum, which was located close to the highway. With about 15 galleries and over 2700 firearms the sight was a bit overwhelming for me. But for my hubby the collections were far more interesting. I have to admit though, some of the pieces were magnificent.

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From a collector's point of view, this was a great place
Marlene
08/18/2011, Annapolis area

Here is Benno bending over a table display of firearms curiosa. I thought the intricate carvings on those two ivory tusks were fantastic.


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Planes and flying machines
Marlene
08/18/2011, Annapolis area

Planes of every kind and size.

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I think I'd rather be sailing!
Marlene
08/18/2011, Annapolis area

A visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum had us looking with amazement at the displays ranging from rockets to experimental flying machines and everything in-between. The museum is housed in a huge aviation hangar. I mean enormous, because there are masses of planes hanging from the ceiling, like a Boeing with a Concorde parked underneath. But it was not the Space Shuttle Enterprise or the Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird which only captivated my interest. The cute and little ultralights like the one pictured above which was used to lead flocks of Canada Geese to new migration routes made me marvel at all the things that can fly!

Pilots averaged about 31 mph when leading the birds but flew as fast as 70 mph and as high as 4,000 feet above the ground in this. Just imagine.
"Fly Away Home" a movie you must watch tells the story.

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All smiles - after breakfast!
Marlene
08/04/2011, Annapolis, MD

Two weeks ago Diesel Duck arrived in Annapolis, Maryland. This charming city is located on the Chesapeake Bay. The city is host to the very popular annual boat show and claims it is the "Sailing Capital of the World" which we truly believe to be true.
On Main Street, just a short walk from the City Dock is the "Chick and Ruth's Delly" - a landmark! If you haven't eaten at Chick and Ruth's while in town, you missed out. On Wednesday mornings between 8-10 a.m. SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) members come here for breakfast and to meet up. When Nancy & Burger ("Halekai") who chauffeured all of us in their van and Gail & Houston ("Blew Moon") and Benno and I arrived shortly after 8 O'clock, there was already a bunch of cruisers sitting upstairs behind tables weighed down with coffee, juices and plates piled with delicious creations from the famous kitchen. Wow, breakfast is offered here all day long, but if you feel like eating crab cakes for breakfast, you can have them too or anything else on the menu.
There'll be more postings to come while we are enjoying and touring this colonial style town. The United States Naval Academy is within walking distance as are the State House, St. Johns College, many historical buildings and of course lots of classy shops.
Stay tuned.

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08/04/2011 | Marcie & David, Nine of Cups
We're jealous that you're with Blew Moon and Halekai. Isn't the Chesapeake Bay lovely? Haven't heard from you in ages. Send us an email when you get a chance and catch us up on what's happening aboard Diesel Duck.
Its all for the birds
Marlene
07/18/2011, Virginia

Diesel Duck has moved up to the Chesapeake Bay for the hurricane season. It is lovely here. During the daytime temperatures are in the 34 deg C range, but nights have been a lot cooler than what we were used to and the humidity is down to 40%.
White travelling partly in the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) on our way up, we got a kick out of sighting the many Osprey nests built on top the channel markers. The Osprey is a large hawk weighing between 2-4 lb but their wingspan can vary from 4.5 to 6 feet. So when they are up in the air they are quite large. Of course we had to come fairly close to the channel markers at times which upset the birds and they told us so, squawking angrily until we motored a safe distance away. Cute birds!

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Space Savers
Marlene
06/23/2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Most of the time Diesel Duck is swinging under anchor, so there is no need for a lot of fenders hanging over the side. In order not to clutter up the topside of the boat, we deflate our fenders and store them below. But even when deflated, they take up considerable cabinet space and when we do need the fenders, the pump up process (even with an electric pump) takes about half an hour and the deflating process for a set of four a whopping hour and a half.
Yesterday we treated ourselves to new inflatable/deflatable StowAway fenders that came with a free hand pump. It took about 2 minutes to inflate one of these with the hand pump and to deflate you just undo the screw and roll up the fender. There is now a lot of free space in the locker!!

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Tranquility at Lake Sylvia
Marlene
06/21/2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Many, many times have we visited Ft. Lauderdale, Florida by plane, car and by boat. If you come here to soak up some sunshine there is a seven mile beach lined with hotels of every kind. If you come by boat, you'll be astounded by the 165 miles of waterway, awed by the mega yachts tied up to properties of multimillion dollar villas and delighted by the marine stores and services to yachts. It's a boater's Mecca. Lake Sylvia had been one of our favorite anchor spots for years and it was not very well known, that is ever since "Skipper Bob" put it into their publication of "Anchorages along the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). Now the word is out and this little gem of an anchorage gets more transient visitors. However, it has always been a favorite for locals to come here on the weekend for a little swim, waterskiing or just partying on the boat. To get onshore, we have to dinghy underneath one of the three very low bridges (duck your head at high tide) and motor through the canal, cross the ICW and dinghy into the canal where the gas station is located at the corner. A little further up is a public ramp, but the wall is rough. A better choice is at the end of the canal, where the Southport Raw Bar is located. They let you tie up your dinghy for $10 but this amount can be redeemed for food or drinks when you come back from your errands or shopping. By the way, their food is very good! Across from the restaurant is a Winn Dixie Supermarket, less than a quarter mile further is a Publix Supermarket and the Bluewater Charts store, plus a large ACE Hardware etc. A West Marine flagship store is just 15 min. away and will be replaced next November 2011 by a West Marine Superstore (the size of a Super Walmart) just past the famous Sailorman store on Route 84. This West Marine Superstore is going to be the largest West Marine store in the continental USA! They will be having Segway scooters for the sales people in the store. Sorry, not for the customer. Please keep this confidential, this is inside information ;-)
In the picture: Diesel Duck anchored in the evening at Lake Sylvia.

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Tourist Trap
Marlene
06/15/2011, Key West, Florida, USA

Key West is a tourist trap, but a nice one! Benno and I had never been here before, so after we checked into the country which turned out to be a quick and easy process thanks to the friendly officials at the airport, we played tourists and mingled with all the folks from the visiting cruise ship and other vacationers walking all over town in 90F temperatures. If you like to collect shells, but are never too successful in finding the good ones, then you need to rummage through Key West shell stores. Just about any type of shell, polished and in excellent condition is available for purchase. Many shell types for just pennies a piece. I guess it takes the fun out of the discovery, but who is to know? The greatest treasure hunter, Mel Fisher, has a store in town displaying the artifacts he found off the Florida coast. Now that we have seen how the silver coins look like at the time they are salvaged we know what to look for when we are poking our fingers in the ocean ;-) However, you can buy your treasure right in the store!
I thought the dinghy dock might give you an idea how busy the town was.

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HMS York
Marlene
06/14/2011, Key West, Florida, USA

Not being superstitious to start a voyage on a Friday, Diesel Duck motored out of the Governor's Creek, Grand Cayman on the morning of June 10th, heading for Key West, Florida, USA. The weather prognosis was good and we were able to use the jib sail in addition to the main during the day. In the evening the wind died down and from then on for the rest of our voyage the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico were windless and the seas were flat calm. Perfect for any motor vessel! Just before sunset on Monday we dropped our anchor in the anchoring field at Key West.
Britan's fastest destroyer warship the "HMS York" was in town after her five month deployment in the southern oceans on her way home. Couldn't help it, but I had to snap a picture of her while we motored by.

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We are new grandparents again!
Marlene
06/06/2011, Cayman Islands

Wonderful news reached us this morning. Our second grandchild, Annaliese Lili was born this morning. Welcome to the world! We are thrilled and can't wait to meet her. Mom and child are well and are resting.
And so is dad ;-)

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06/24/2011 | Hillu
Hello little Annaliese Lili, welcome to the world...Hillu and Hans von der "Destiny"
Curious, but shy iguana
Marlene
06/02/2011, Cayman Islands

Iguanas run around wild on the lawns here on the island. This big fellow hung around on the dock where we tied up our dinghy. Meanwhile some of his cousins had claimed one of the sailboats, making it their lounge pad. If you chase them, be surprised at how fast they can run.



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Airy three bedroom house for you?
Marlene
06/01/2011, Cayman Islands

There are many tree houses and playhouses erected on the properties here on the island. This one, built like a ship in and on the tree caught my eye. Guess the real estate agent for the main building had a sense of humor too.

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Map of the Cayman Islands
Marlene
05/31/2011, Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are made up of three islands: Grand Cayman = 76 square miles, Cayman Brac = 15 square miles and Little Cayman = 10 square miles. The population is around 50,000 with 1.5 million visitors per year. Even during the summer months (May to October) there are sometimes 6 cruise ships visiting on the same day. The Cayman Islands are known for its tax free status and Grand Cayman Island is recognized as an international finance centre. It has the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. But people come here not only for the duty free shopping, the Cayman's waters provide some of the world's best dives.

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We are anchored here!
Marlene
05/31/2011, Grand Cayman Islands

From the harbor of George Town we motored up and around the island, through a channel into the North Sound which is displaying only 7.5 to 9 feet of depth and further on into Governors Creek. It is a pretty lagoon where we are swinging under anchor in 15 feet of water together with a handful of other cruising boats. This lagoon is protected on one side by mangroves and surrounded by upscale homes and multimillion dollar mansions sitting on estates bordering on canals similar to Ft. Lauderdale. A short dinghy ride through the canals is where we tie up at a wooden boats dock. Across from the street is the "Cost U Less" very well stocked Supermarket at the Governors Square Shopping Center. And parallel runs the West Bay Road which gives access to the Seven Mile Beach. The tourism guide claims the Seven Mile Beach is the jewel of the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean's Best Beach! It is really 7 miles of white powdery sand and the water is a turquoise color with no rocks or anything visible in it.
Benno and I have taken the bus into the commercial district, visiting the A. L. Thompson's hardware store which is bigger and better stocked than the largest Home Depot we have ever seen. Also the Supermarkets are equal in size and quality merchandize to any North American store. This is a truly delightful island, so clean and well kept. The only downside is, there is no 3G service here, which means no internet through our cell phone and there is no open wifi or internet café near the lagoon. We have to visit the "perk Up" an upscale coffee shop which has free wifi for its customers.

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Grand Cayman and grand welcome!
Marlene
05/30/2011, Cayman Islands

In the morning of May 30th Diesel Duck tied up at the Custom's dock of George Town, Cayman Islands. We had left Shelter Bay Marina, Panama at 14:00 hrs on Thursday with blue skies and light winds. The next day at sea we were able to use our jib sail in addition to our main. On Saturday we were close hauled with increased wind and the seas started to slap our hull spraying our decks and windows with green water, encrusting everything with salt. On Sunday we had several squalls. One in particular that I clocked at 35 knots of wind with the rain coming down in sheets, then driving with such force over the sea that through the sheer pressure of the rain on the door, the water found its way through a tiny gap, gushing onto the floor like an open faucet. I was busy mopping while Benno had his hands full tying a reef into the main while he tried to brace himself in the wild motion and torrential downpour. So we were delighted to pull into the calm surroundings of the Grand Cayman harbor the next day. Four officials came onboard minutes after we tied up to check us into the country. Such efficiency, pleasant and friendly treatment we hadn't encountered for a long, long time. DD tied to the Custom's dock in this picture.

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OK, last picture before I put the lid on
Marlene
05/16/2011, Shelter Bay Marina, Panama

So there it is, the new generator. Working like a charm so far and I hope it will give us good service for a long time.

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05/23/2011 | Hillu
Hurra, Hurra - es ist geschafft !!!
Like a new car
Marlene
05/16/2011, Shelter Bay Marina, Panama

The feeling I have with the new generator running is like having a new car. All you want to do is drive it around for enjoyment!

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Oh, what a joy
Marlene
05/16/2011, Shelter Bay Marina

On Monday afternoon Benno flipped the switch on the instrument panel and the new generator started up. Purring like a kitten. With the sound cover on and the engine room hatch and door closed, all I hear is a humming sound. Music to my ears ;-)

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In position!
Marlene
05/14/2011, Shelter Bay Marina, Panama

Wow, the gen set is in position in front of the main engine. I left out many details, but you'll get the idea. it was a half a day's work to get it in with just the two of us.

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Turning around
Marlene
05/14/2011, Shelter Bay Marina

We are using a makeshift gantry from a cut off of 4x4 beam to hang up the generator from the cabin engine hatch in order to turn it sideways soon, but first we have to remove a couple wooden blocks to lower the cradle to the level of the generator bed. Note the little chain hoist we carry on bord of Diesel Duck. It comes handy once a while. Good to have on bord!

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Almost there
Marlene
05/14/2011, Shelter Bay Marina

Slowly does it!

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