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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Jake And Anne Board Tropical Dreamer
Keith, hot, but not too hot
07/01/2008, Oriental town dock

I took a nap, drove over to pay the Deatons bill (it was a lot less than I feared), and then walked the dogs to the sailboat. The first challenge was getting them in. At first they didn't understand why I was taking them into this strange place, as if it wasn't ours. The lady in the sailboat next to us was giving me the evil eye, as if I was a trespasser. It must have looked pretty odd to be introducing dogs to a sailboat that was apparenty in mid-cruise. Even though the boat was a foot or two from the dock at most, it was still too far. Eventually I had to lift both dogs onto the boat, which was easily doable from a dock roughly the same height above water as the boat. Once aboard, they did fine. The deck, even the non-skid, is slippery on the dogs paws. I'm going to have to keep a very close eye on them until they get their sea legs and of course even afterwards. The cockpit is large enough for myself and the dogs without being too cramped. If there were a few more passengers, however, it would admittedly get a bit cozy. The companionway steps are too steep for the dogs. The good thing about that is when I put them below, they will stay below; the bad news is that I have to lift them in and out of the cabin every time they go in or out. I won't be surprised if they learn to climb up and down by themselves over time. Oh, by the way, if you were wondering where your hat went, Matt, I've got it.

A Space At The Oriental Town Dock
Keith, nice today

I was fully prepared to anchor in the harbor, but wonder of wonders there was a spot free at the town dock. Perfect. Transient boats can stay there for two days at a time. My new Oriental friend Pat was there waiting and grabbed my docklines as I landed. Pat and his wife are taking my space at the rv park when we depart Thursday or Friday. Pat drove me back to Deatons to retrieve the scooter. The great thing about a town dock space is that I can drive the motorhome right up to the space and very easily load things into the boat. Plus, it makes getting the dogs acclimated easier since we don't have to dingy in and out yet. I do plan to take them on several dingy rides over the next few days. There'll be pictures, of course. I celebrated with a hamburger, hush puppies and a 1/2 and 1/2 ice tea (half sweet and half unsweet). It's 2:00 p.m. here and I'm either going to take the dogs for a walk to the boat or take a nap, or both. I also need to pick up and pay the bill at Deatons this afternoon... yikes.

First Cruise
Keith, nice, but getting windy
07/01/2008, Deaton Yacht Service to Oriental Town Dock

Not 1000 yards from Deatons I got stuck in the mud. That's right. I took this boat all the way from Annapolis to Oriental and never got stuck once. Stuck during the first 5 minutes. Fortunately it was only very slightly stuck. A few thrusts forward and then reverse and then forward and I was off. Thank goodness. It would really have sucked to have to call Deatons and tell them to come save me already. Cause, I went the wrong way around the marker. The marker that was marking the shoal. Red Right Return. Green Right Depart. Now I remember. The 2 mile cruise to Oriental harbor was otherwise uneventful. I gradually took the engine up to 6 knots and used the electronic autopilot most of the way. Matt, do I have a turbo charger on this engine. I wouldn't think so but I thought I heard one?

Celebratory Dinner At El Singeros
07/01/2008, Oriental, NC


Packing The Sailboat
Keith, not bad
07/01/2008, Deaton Yachts

My plan to get up in the middle of the night and unload the rebounder at the boat yard wasn't excatly a success. I was just too exhausted to get up at midnight so I didn't drive out of the self storage RV place until 4:00 a.m. I was able to park the motorhome near the dock where the boat was, but it was still a rather long walk. I unloaded the heaviest items and gradually worked them to the dock as the sky went from dark to light. The moon was just a sliver. I haven't noticed the moon in a long time. Then I slowly moved all the things in the picture onto and then into the boat. About 1/2 of it is stored. I was so tired by 8:00 a.m. I had to take a break. Headed back to the rv storage park, took the dogs for a walk and fed them, then ate some leftovers (picture of yesterday evening's dinner is posted above) and headed back to the boat. I really wanted to get out of the boat yard already so I filled the water tanks, let the engine run for a while to make sure it would, then cast of the docklines and headed out.

Marine Air Conditioning
Keith, hot and humid
06/30/2008, Tropical Dreamer

The sailboat isn't taking on water. This stream of water is the air conditioner on the sailboat working. Marine air conditioners use water pumped from the ocean to release the heat created by the compressor. It took about an hour to prime the pump, but once it started pumping water, the air conditioner started going strong. I don't know yet how good the system is. Frankly it seemed rather weak by Tucson standards, but it was probably 90 decrees in the boat when I turned it on so it may take a few hours to chill the boat down. The plan is to bring the motorhome down late tonight and unload my belongings into the boat while it is docked and while the marina is closed for the night. Then tomorrow I will head out and anchor outside the town dock and begin transitioning the dogs.

Parked In A Secure Slip For the First Night
06/30/2008, Deatons

I have to admit I asked one of the dockhands to drive the boat into this slip as I didn't want any problems while parking near the other expensive sailboats. Amazingly, the engine started right up and began purring like new after 9 months of storage. The engine appears to be charging the battery bank just fine, although the batteries are well charged from the solar and wind turbine. While the boat was going through the main area of the yard several of the marine tradesmen commented at the apparent quality of the installation Matt did. They refered to it as a "custom install" and I could tell they appreciated the work that went into Tropical Dreamer over the course of the last month. It is a good sign that I was somehow able to get the boat in the water by the end of June, which was my main objective.

In The Water

This is how good the folks at Deaton's Yacht Service are - They noticed that I hadn't painted the bottom of the wing keel (it was not possible while it was on blocks). They could easily have just let me go in, knowing that barnicles and growth would build up over the ensuing months on a part of the boat that nobody would notice but which would inevitably have a small affect on speed and efficiency. Not Deatons. They stopped the travel lift, set me up with more bottom paint, a fresh roller with a long stick extension, and let me paint the bottom of the bottom with two coats of the really good stuff before she went into the drink. Now I can sleep better at night knowing that the bottom is completely protected.

"Early" Splash-In
Keith, hot and humid, but I was too excited to notice much
06/30/2008, Deatons Yacht Sertive

I stopped into the office to check on tomorrow's drop in. They were pretty busy tomorrow and offered to put her in today. I had about 30 minutes notice before the travel lift arrived. That was enought time. I was ready!

The Last Day Before Splash-In
Keith, cooler because the sun is blocked by clouds, but probably rain later today
06/30/2008, Oriental, NC

I woke up this morning refreshed and ready to go. Took the dogs on a nice walk and then headed over to the boatyard. First I scheduled the boat to go in the water tomorrow morning (Tuesday, July 1, 2008), got the nuts and bolts I needed to finish the dingy and got it ready to go. Then I washed it and hoisted it up on the davits. I was worried that the dingy wouldn't fit due to the Hydrovane, but the dingy inflatable tube lays nicely against the big stainless steel tube support for the vane and it may even be more stable than before. The guys shifted the stands over so I could finish the bottom paint. I even put plastic bags over the stands after they were moved so they wouldn't blemish the already painted areas. Then I started moving things around in the boat to make room for the loads of my belongings that will start to come today and in the next several days. The rear cabin is going to be the main storage room until I get things more organized, which will take some time. This time tomorrow I should be in the water.


Singer Family Adventures
Port: Tucson, Arizona
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