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Diesel Duck
Delightful Miami
Marlene
12/06/2011, Miami Beach, Florida

We are using Miami Beach as a jump off point this time to head over to the Bahamas. Miami Beach is also a delightful place. So for the cruisers, who have not had a chance to come down here for a visit, following is a little description. We are anchored southeast of the Venetian Causeway Bridge, opposite Monument Island. There is lots of swinging room for many boats with excellent holding ground.





Just a short dinghy ride underneath the bridge past the Collins Canal is a launching ramp and a free dinghy dock with a tap and water hose from the city. The Miami Beach Marine Police Station is overlooking the dinghy dock and a Police powerboat is stored in the lifts. The City of Miami Beach supplies Wifi free of charge everywhere with a strong signal in the anchorage.





About 100 yards east of the dinghy dock in walking distance is the recently opened "The Fresh Market", which is an upscale deli/supermarket chain that is a delight for the gourmet. Also a Publix Supermarket is located just on the next street over which can also be reached directly by dinghy up Collins Canal. However, there is no dinghy dock at the canal and a drop off/pick up might be a better solution. Beside the lovely eateries in this area, there is a Chevron gas station to fill your jerry cans with dinghy gas, an Office Depot and a hardware store.




You can rent canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and sea doos. Right across from the dinghy dock you might rent a bicycle from the city if you are too tired to walk, but there is also an excellent city bus transit system to take you into town.



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What is wrong with this picture?
Marlene
11/30/2011, Miami Beach, Florida

Actually there is nothing wrong with this picture. This is just a true expert, a real pro on a jet ski doing his workout and getting rid of some steam, performing side flips and even double saltos. Diesel Duck relocated today from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami Beach. Looks like people on the water are just as crazy here as they were in Ft. Lauderdale.










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Iron Man, no Water Man!
Marlene
11/18/2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Wow, we are sitting here in the anchorage of Lake Sylvia in Ft. Lauderdale. It is a little windy, about 15 - 20 knots and as I am looking out of the window I can't believe what I am seeing:
There is a guy flying around the anchored boats on a water-pressure-powered "JetLev-flyer R200" It is a new water toy that lets you go up to an altitude of 50 feet at 40 mph and you can fly as far as 128 miles. The flyer is powered by a 4 stroke power plant which trails behind.
You got to check out the You Tube for a demonstration. A fantastic toy you can have for only $128,000.









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Bridges and more bridges
Marlene
11/18/2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

If you've ever traveled on the ICW, you can relate to the nuisance of the draw bridges. Of course that's also true for the road traffic which is being interrupted by the opening schedules of the bridges on busy waterways, which they might see this as a nuisance. Yesterday, we woke to thick fog in the Lake Worth anchorage of West Palm Beach, but since we were going to clean our dinghy's bottom before leaving, the fog didn't bother us. By the time we were done with our chores, the fog had lifted and we decided to move on with no plans of where we would stop for the night. Kind of ad lib.
Had we both paid any attention to the charts and guide books that provide details of the fixed and the draw bridges, we probably would have gone out through the inlet to do a run outside on the Atlantic. As it was, the first bridge, "Flagler Memorial Bridge" after leaving our Lake Worth anchorage, opens only quarter to and quarter after the hour and we got there just as the bridge closed. Bad timing on our part and there was a strong tidal current, making the waiting for the next opening difficult.
The bridge tenders like to be called ahead of time by VHF radio of your intention to pass. But they do not like to be called too soon, just about 5 min. before, and they also like to have a visual on you. From the time the bridge stops traffic until the spans are fully open it usually takes 3 to 5 min. So if the next bridge, which might be two miles further ahead, is scheduled to open on the hour and half hour, you can guess that for most cruising boats it's a mad dash to try and make the opening. A call to the bridge tender to hold the bridge if you trail other, faster boats, will seldom be met with kindness.
To make a long, busy, and demanding day into a short posting, we managed 20!! bridges by gunning our engine numerous times, sometimes up to 8 ½ knots and giving her a hell of a workout she had not seen in years, until we dropped the hook in Fort Lauderdale. But the scenery was beautiful in-between bridges with super yachts and mansions lining the ICW and their perfectly maintained properties.



20 years ago a big boat on the ICW was a 50 foot Hatteras. Nowadays the boats you see look like mini cruise ships just like this yacht tied up on the ICW.

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"Stress Relief"
Marlene
11/17/2011, West Palm Beach

Has the owner of this catamaran picked the right name for her, we wondered?
On Wednesday morning we woke up in the anchorage of West Palm Beach to discover that the catamaran anchored in front of us seemed to be sinking. The starboard hull was much lower than the port side hull and there were no signs of anyone on board. Benno called the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16. Their response was immediately and after shifting to a working channel, Benno explained the situation and gave them our telephone number. The duty officer called back from a landline for some more details and the exact GPS position.



It took the Coast Guard "Small Boat" only about five minutes to arrive at the catamaran and we heard them giving a report that the vessel was indeed going down. But also, that the officer had been in contact with the owner just the previous day by phone and apparently this catamaran seemed to have been in trouble before as the citation fastened to the bimini top suggested.



So the contacted (stressed) owner, with his two dogs, who lived in Hollywood, Florida, which is south of Ft. Lauderdale, had to fight rush hour traffic and rush with a gasoline driven pump to the rescue of his "Stress Relief" boat!

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11/18/2011 | Hillu
hat er sich wenigstens bei euch bedankt?? Grusss aus Panama, Isla Linton
SSCA Gam
Marlene
11/17/2011, Melbourne, Florida

Last weekend the SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) Gam in Melbourne, Florida was in full swing. We've been members for a long time and are now holding the status of Lifetime Commodores (25+ years). It's a great cruising club of likeminded boaters. (click here for SSCA website) This year, while we traveled from our way back from the northern part of the USA, we timed it so that we would be passing through at the time of the annual general meeting and social activities. It started on Friday and ran until mid day Sunday at the Eau Gallie Civic Center. In the gymnasium there were tables for vendors of nautical stuff, just like a boat show and two large conference rooms were set aside for seminars.



What a surprise to find Jesse James, the Maxi Taxi driver, who we knew from our visit to Trinidad behind the table of the Chaguaramas Development Authority, promoting tourism for Trinidad.



Benno is hosting the "Round Table Discussion" for the areas of Venezuela and Panama.

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Diesel Duck fan and antique car collector
Marlene
11/11/2011, Melbourne, Florida

Meet David and Georgia Katz. David took "Seaducktress" a 44' Diesel Duck, from East Asia all the way to Australia and then from Australia, via Hawaii to continental USA and up to Alaska and down. As you can read, Diesel Duck trollers do get around! We met up with the Katz's here in Melbourne, Florida, where they live and where David attends to his antique car collection which includes a Ford Model T Fire Engine among many other beauties. He could start an automobile museum, in fact, the place is already a showcase.



Picture of Seaducktress courtesy of George Buehler

Of course we talked about boats, especially Diesel Ducks, while the Katz's treated us to a fabulous curry shrimp dinner at their spacious home, which overlooks the ICW with our DD anchored right in front. Thank you both, we've had a great time with you and hope to meet up again.

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Sunday afternoon onboard Diesel Duck
Marlene
10/30/2011, Melbourne, Florida

Diesel Duck is parked (anchored in 8 ft) on the southeast side of the Melbourne (Florida) Causeway Bridge, protected from the North and Northeast hooley, which is blowing down the Intracoastal Waterway at 20+ knots. There are always chores to do, but today, Sunday, we decided to give it a rest. Yesterday I had made a large casserole dish of lasagna al Forno, so today and tomorrow it will be lasagna time and no cooking on my part is required. Therefore I snuggled up with a book that is with our Reader. This might not be a new thing to you, but electronic books have been creeping on board of cruising boats in the last few years. These days you will find a Kindle, a Sony Reader, a Nook, or the all famous I-Pad on almost every other boat. Yeah, there are still paperbacks being traded in cruiser hangouts, but some of these paperbacks look really bad and you wouldn't want to pick one up in fear of picking up a disease, or the selection is so limited that you already know most of them. We purchased a Sony Reader early last year after the holiday rush and have made good use of it. While cruising anywhere in USA waters or the Virgin Islands area that provide cell phone coverage, we can access the library of the Sony Reader free of charge to download a new book with the Reader device, or use our laptop computer, if we have Wifi access anywhere or in any country, to download a book from the Sony Reader Store and then transfer it to the Reader device via a USB cable. It is a terrific thing because before we bought the Reader while we traveled in foreign countries, we often ran out of reading material. There were no stores to purchase a novel in English and when we found stores that carried some, the selection was very poor and the books were expensive. I remember one time in Ushuaia, Argentina a paperback was priced 22 dollars. Now we can read what we want anywhere. An added benefit is also the light weight and slim format versus holding a book in your hands that is two inches thick. Benno is reading at the moment the complete and uncut novel from Steven King "The Stand", that has 1448 pages in tiny print (which you can enlarge if you want on the Reader.) A reader can hold more than 1000 of these books in its memory and takes no room away, think about of the space you save on a boat.





The evening view from our anchorage over to the Melbourne Causeway Bridge





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Stowaways and waterway impressions
Marlene
10/25/2011, Titusville, Florida

The ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) from Norfolk, Virginia to South Florida is a very beautiful part of the USA. There is so much to see and so much history to discover. Diesel Duck went down the ICW all the way to Charleston, South Carolina and anchored just off the famous Fort Sumter. click for link to Fort Sumter On Saturday, Oct. 22, in the early morning, we ventured out to sea into the Atlantic Ocean to run with the very light wind and small waves south for 29 hours to St. Augustine, Florida before going back inside into to the ICW.





While being out at sea, there is really not much to do except keeping watch for other vessels. Our autopilot steers the boat and we keep an eye on the instruments and change or plot a course if needed. So while I read my e book on a Sony reader sitting in the wheelhouse, I noticed a couple of little birds flying around our boat. These were not the type of birds that live off the sea. They looked windblown and disheveled. After trying to sit on the ropes, the dinghy and various other places, these little things started to fly up to every window and port light, looking in. I thought that was funny and kept reading my book. But to my surprise, all of a sudden we had two fluttering, chirping birdies inspecting the inside of Diesel Duck. They had managed to squeeze through the front starboard window unnoticed. I opened the door and the overhead hatches to give them a chance to fly back out. Benno shooed one of them out of the aft cabin and I went below to start preparing a couple of cordon bleu for supper. After eating our delicious meal we both made a thorough inspection to make sure the birds were gone and then we closed up the boat. I guess there are more little hiding spots onboard than we know of, because the next morning we discovered two happy, well rested, blind passengers that wanted to fly out toward shore. Later on we discovered another bird of the same variety which had crawled up underneath one of our outside propane storage tanks and the night was a very cold one. It was dead. Oh, we felt so sorry!





Dolphins love to play in the bow wave of traveling boats. They are fast swimmers and we never grow tired of watching them. There are dolphins also fishing in the ICW, but these guys were out in the Atlantic on Sunday morning.



Look at this dual dwelling. A beautiful house on the ICW's Adam Creek Canal. One owner has a John Deere tractor to do his small lawn and the other owner got himself a bigger Kubota Diesel tractor to do his side of the lawn. Or is this his and hers?



Now is this not a beautifully painted hot pink house? Bet you it belongs to an award winning Mary Kay saleslady and there is probably a pink Cadillac parked out front.



This little red boat's name was called "Toot Toot" and I thought it was cute.



A nice young couple in this little trawler waved to us while we passed them and we think they probably built her. A very nice looking boat.



A boathouse on the ICW advertising services, restaurants, B&B and displaying a big fish head.






Many bridges span the ICW. The newer high-rise fixed constructed ones, like this one are a relief, because we just pass underneath. Usually, they are 65 feet high in the middle.



However, there are still very many of the old type bascule bridges that have not enough clearance for us. We have to call the bridge tender on VHF channel 9 and request an opening. But if these bridges are on major highways or well traveled streets, they are restricted, which means they only open at certain times and we have to time our arrival and pass accordingly, or have to wait in front, announcing our intend to pass at the next opening. (Sometimes there is a stickler up there and if you arrive a couple minutes after the set time, he makes you wait another 30 minutes or a whole hour!)

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The interesting travel on the ICW
Marlene
10/14/2011, ICW

Moving south from Annapolis, our anchor came down for the night at Wicomico Creek, just south of the mighty Potomac River, which goes up to Washington from the Chesapeake. Next stop: Willoughby Bay, Benno's favored place because of all the activity across the bay with tons of Navy helicopters coming and going. If you anchor between Willoughby Bay Marina and the green marker "WR 13" you'll be able to access the Wifi signal of the interstate hotspot from the nearby Rte. 64 with a good amplified Wifi antenna like ours, the "wirie" Click here for the Wirie
While Benno's binoculars are glued to his eyes following the Navy's activities, I take a trip to the Walmart Super Center and K-Mart. You get there by walking from the public launching ramp, where you can leave your dinghy, through the underpass of Rte. 64 to Ocean View Ave. (less than a 1/4 of a mile) The No. 5 bus runs along there and takes you right to the shopping center.






The stretch from Willoughby Bay down to Norfolk and further is my husband's delight. His head was going like a submarine periscope watching all the military floating hardware along the "Navy Alley" Aircraft Carriers, more than just one, Destroyers galore including the famous "Cole"
click here for background info on the Cole





In downtown Norfolk, across the Hospital Point, the famous Battleship "Wisconsin" is docked for public display. Click here for background on the Wisconsin





After we locked through the Great Bridge lock, we spotted a squadron of "Riverine" SOC-R boats (Special Operation Craft River) of the Navy Click here for background info on the Riverine
These special forces training on the Virginia Cut Route and the Dismal Swamp Route of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). What they do is classified, so don't ask.









At the time of this writing, DD is under anchor in front of Currituck on the Currituck Sound in 9 feet of water and picking up Wifi from the town to post this report. We are avoiding the announced 20 knots+ S/W winds for the next two days.


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Diesel Duck is heading south - Yeah!
Marlene
10/10/2011, Chesapeake, MD

What more could we ask for? Perfect Diesel Duck weather to head south. Here we are passing the famos Thomas Point Lighthouse off Annapolis, sitting on the Thomas Point shoal in the Chesapeake Bay. After some delightful months in Maryland we dropped the mooring in Annapolis. Diesel Duck is heading out again toward sunny Florida and beyond.

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Messing with diesel oil
Marlene
10/09/2011, Annapolis, MD

I am not doing coffee here to support the troops. Benno drained more than 2 gallons of diesel fuel out of the huge double barrel Racors. Black, yucky stuff! In the picture you see me filtering the diesel through a Melitta #4 filter. What filtered out looked like clean Ocean Spray Cranberry juice. Hey, with a diesel price of close to $ 4.00/gal this was over 8 bucks saved!

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Preventative Maintenance
Benno
10/09/2011, Annapolis, MD

The year 1999, when I was building the diesel fuel polishing system for our boat, a Teflon joint compound from Permatex for NPT pipe joints was the hottest ticket on the market, apparently good for everything including water and gasoline or diesel fuel. It was so easy to use, a real blessing for a pipe fitter. I used it too. It speeded up the job so nicely on the two diesel filter panels I was building for our Diesel Duck under construction back then. When we launched the Duck in May of 2005 and I pumped for the first time diesel fuel through these panels it all looked so good and that it gave me a happy feeling. Two years later, in 2007, when the first pipe joint started to weep diesel fuel, my happy feeling was getting a punch. From that time on the happy feeling received countless punches as every pipe joint started to weep and leaking and it almost turned into a flood of diesel fuel. It needed some serious fixing done.



Here in Annapolis, having access to all kinds of stuff from finest bread to good wine and all the tools a man can dream of at the building centers like "Lowe's" or "Home Depot" I was thinking of using the idle times of the few months weathering out the hurricane season here on a mooring on Weems Creek to fix this problem. I learned quickly the cure would be unscrewing every pipe joint, cleaning the thread and using yellow Teflon tape, also called yellow gas line PTFE tape to seal the joint. Hunting down this tape became a challenge. Sure, I could buy a tape at the Home Depot, but it was a no name product not showing a ULC approval number or CSA number. It was some cheap China tape. I had enough problems and did not need a future new pain in the ass. I found the real Made in USA yellow Teflon tape with all the approval numbers for professionals at "Fastenal Company" here in town.




Diesel Duck's galley became a workshop for a short time. I drained all the diesel out of these filter panels and removed the panels one at a time for the rebuild job. We salvaged the diesel, a good 2-1/2 gallons and Marlene cleaned the fuel while running the diesel through a coffee filter. It was black diesel, but it came out clean like a whistle. For cleaning the male pipe thread I gently used the wire brush wheel on an electric 6" wheel grinder. To clean the female thread I used the proper ½ inch NPT tap, in another case it was a ¼ inch NPT tap. I applied the minimum 3 wraps required for the yellow gas line PTFE tape (Teflon tape) on the male pipe threads and assembled everything.




After installing new filter cartridges, the panel got primed with the cleaned, recycled diesel fuel and put back in service. Time will tell and I keep my fingers crossed and hope the pipe joints will stay dry from now on!!

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Boatshow Time
Marlene
10/08/2011, Annapolis, MD

I could not think of a better way to end our stay in Annapolis than to attend the annual Sailboat Show. Under a blue sky with brilliant sunshine that warmed the day to the upper 70th F. Benno and I mingled with thousands of boat minded enthusiasts. Looking at products we already have onboard we got the chance to talk to the experts attending the booths and found our chats very informative. The highlight of the day was when our friends, Kathy and her husband Darius, from the s/v "Breeze Hunter" out of Whitby, Ontario, where our boat was built, spotted us. They drove up from Deltaville, where their boat is at the present time. A big hello ensured with a promise to meet up again down south.



For the last time we waded into the Weems Creek to board our dinghy for the return trip to our boat. Meanwhile the Navy was training on their eights through the anchorage, bringing back memories of my youth when I participated in this sport.







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A visit from Diesel Duck owners
Marlene
09/30/2011, Annapolis, MD

Meet Ruth and Randal Johnson who came for a visit onboard "Diesel Duck." Ruth and Randal own a 46+2 (51' LOA) Diesel Duck called: "Dora Mac" click for Dora Mac's web site which was built out of steel at Seahorse Marine Manufacturer in Zhuhai, China, unlike our "Diesel Duck", which is constructed out of aluminum, built in Canada. "Dora Mac" is a big sister ship, but very different below and on deck, however, they are both from the same designer, George Buehler.
Ruth and Randal are in their 4th year of cruising and presently, "Dora Mac" is berthed at the Karpaz Gate Marina, North Cyprus. When I read in their blog that they would be coming home for a few months to Roanoke, Virginia, we invited them to come and see us while we were still in Annapolis, Maryland. And they did. The day flew by with great conversations of interesting topics in between me cooking a hot lunch and dessert to treat our guests. We are looking forward to seeing them again, perhaps.

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Lucky us!
Marlene
09/13/2011, Annapolis, MD

I couldn't believe my eyes, but our Diesel Duck picture made it onto the back jacket of George Buehler's "The Troller Yacht Book" 2nd Edition. Wow. Inside, there are more pictures of our duck and of course of other Diesel Ducks in various sizes including nice stories written by their owners.

This book gives detailed information about choosing a design, engines, systems, outfitting and how to get a shipyard bid, among other useful ideas written in George Buehler's "lively and engagingly eccentric style." A must read for anybody thinking about ocean cruising under power and worth reading even if you still think you want a sailboat!

To order and other information, please click here

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Freezer on the fritz!
Marlene
09/09/2011, Annapolis, MD

Oh man, when it rains it pours! I did not want to be the "bad news queen" again. Benno just finished fixing the 120 VAC panel, when our freezer went on the fritz. I noticed with horror that the gauge indicated that the temperature inside the freezer had gone up, up and up, right thru the roof, very close to above freezing, although the two LED lights indicated that the compressor was charging. But it was not! Now I had to announce the bad news very diplomatically to my husband. This new dilemma did present a challenge for me and for him to fix the problem. My mind was already racing what to do about all the frozen goods that were now slowly defrosting.
After some probing and checking this and that Benno jumped the digital controller. Voila, the compressor came to live purring like a cat. It wasn't the sensor in the freezer, the actual temperature was still displayed at the readout. This meant that the problem was somewhere in the $350 digital controller and not with the compressor. After closely looking at the controller he noticed the unit had piggyback a small Potter & Brumfield relay, which turned out to be the culprit. An electronic supplier in Gaffney, SC had this relay in stock for $8.86 plus shipping. What a relief!
So now you think I managed to save all the frozen ice cream? Not! We both had to be rewarded for the stress.






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09/09/2011 | colin
Isn't it wonderful how everything electric has to have an electronic component which always fails.
What can happen with a bad crimp
Benno
08/31/2011, Annapolis, MD

Once upon a time you smell smoke. We don't smoke, it wasn't a barbecue and it wasn't our neighbor grilling brats. "It must be coming from the outside, someone burning trash," I said. But no, "There is smoke coming out of the batteries," Marlene declared. "Oooh yeah" Missis bad news. Close enough, the smoke walled out of the lid underneath our 120V AC wall with the generator control panel, the two 120VAC distributor panels and the inverter control panel.
Hastily I switched everything off and started to nose around.
First, the top panel of the generator control came off. It was fine. Then I moved on to the larger panel in the middle. It was NOT fine. Actually, it looked bad, really bad. Cooked wires, cooked 30 Amp main breaker. What had caused this mess? It didn't take me long to find a bad crimp on a ring terminal, the one on the a black 10 AWG wire, which runs from the main breaker through a pickup coil to the main bus. Originally the panel came prewired and the bad crimp took 6 years to almost start a fire. Was it a Monday morning crimp?

Funny, Marlene is thinking this happend now with the new generator installed. She has a good point there.
The old 1 cyl. diesel gen set labored heavily and slowed down when we were using more than 18 Amp. The panel harbored already the bad crimp, but the bad crimp still managed to provide 18 Amp. Now, with the new 3 cyl. Northern Light diesel generator installed, which easily manages 30 Amp, we used sometimes the electric on demand water heater. This one drew 18 Amp when going and on top of this the watermaker was running, which drew another 12 Amp. Do your math, this is equals 30 Amp. So this bad crimp got overloaded and heated up to the point where it started to smolder.

Naturally I replaced everything new, the ring terminals, the double 30 Amp breaker and the wires. For crimping I used an onboard professional crimping tool.


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09/29/2011 | Werner & Zorka Blume
I keep checking your progress with much interest. I hope all is well. Have a safe trip and all the best from all of us.
Werner & Zorka
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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