With our pal Judy's help we were able to get the pension forms filled out and away to Ottawa yesterday afternoon. Phew! There's a load off! Now we'll just be discussing the details like civilized folks. It has been amazing just how much was involved in that undertaking. Leaving aside the actual 22 years of service to crown and country, and the paperwork required for me to take my release, the actual processing of the pension docs has taken a minimum of a dozen people by my count including the non civil servants such as our daughter Kayt who had to receive this stuff in the mail and bring it on down to us.
Anyway, hopefully that's over with other than the small stuff.
The photo on today's blog is that of yours truly going down that gangway to the tender dock having to duck under the bow of Perseverance II tied up along the wharf. They had to move her that close as she is so large and they needed room at the fuel dock directly behind her for members. Astounding, eh?
I am beginning to wonder more and more about the wisdom of hanging around here in Halifax this late in the season before heading south. It's so damn cold! My blood must have thinned after the last year south without the Canadian blizzards to thicken the stew. I know that I have excuses: work to be done, waiting for my pension info, etc., so we really couldn't have gone any sooner, but it's fun to gripe. The whole business is exacerbated by our friends Lynn and Ken aboard Silverheels III who are already down to Charleston and complaining about the wind but not the cold. Check out their blog at www.sailblogs.com/member/silverheelsiii and you'll see what I mean.
Last night Pye, crewperson Ron's wife came over for a visit and to drop off his duffel. We wish that both would be coming with us for the trip but Pye can't get away and Ron was lucky enough to be able to get away from his position at the Dalhousie Medical School a little early so that he could fly down to join us in Newport for the Bermuda leg.
Today was a finish off little odds and ends and a tidy up day. The cabin area is looking pretty good, thanks in most part to Barb's efforts and now I need to sort out the deck as well as connect the solar panels and hopefully the AIS although the latter isn't quite so critical.
My latest forecast from Clearpoint has us with beam winds all day Thurs veering around to our stern in the evening. This should make for a good reach-run down the coast and get us into Shelburne harbour before the Friday blow that is forecast. Then Saturday will be nice to start the trip across the Gulf but it would only last for a day and then BOOM another blow picks up for Sunday. The forecast doesn't go beyond the weekend so I can't guess any further ahead than that but by the time we are in Shelburne we should be getting a 5 day look out. One possibility would be for us to go around to Clarke's Harbour and cut off a few more miles. It's a good sheltered dock, but has limited activities ashore so we'll discuss with Alan and Heather. The Admiral would prefer to stay in Shelburne.
Tonight is our informal gathering in the Wardroom at RNSYS so I will be posting this early so as to not have it on my mind and to be able to get the things done that I said that I would.
Tomorrow we'll post a shortie once we are underway.
|Summer of '09||
10/13/2009, RNSYS, Halifax, NS
Well. We always said that it would be weather dependent and now we are getting downloads that don't look too good. There are two successive low pressures systems marching up the coast from the US - the first will come through tomorrow and although that by itself would be enough to keep us in harbour, this Saturday the weather map for the Gulf of Maine shows wind arrows on which the little feathers have been replaced with a triangle and on some of them there have been feathers as well. From my meteorology training and counting on my fingers and toes that means that there will be winds in excess of 50 kts and in some cases up to 65! Not the place for little Nelleke or wee us to be, I think, Peri would be petrified. So, now our decision is: do we take the one nice day and head off up the coast and wait out the storm in Shelburne, which is a very good harbour, but one in which we'll be looking at 30 kt winds, and where it will cost us money, either alongside or on a mooring, or do we stay here in Halifax at our dock which has already been paid for and where the winds are forecast for 25 kts? Decisions, decisions......
Hold it! Hold it! Late breakin' news. The weather gods have changed their minds again. Now it looks like the storm will be passing more to sea and will have petered out a little bit. There are no more triangles on the wind arrows and the weather in Shelburne Harbour is calling for a max of 25 kts on Saturday. So now if we head on down the coast as planned we will only have to hold up for a day while the ich passes us by, and Shelburne is a nice place. Of course that was a significant change in the forecast only overnight. It might change again between now and Thursday AM.
So I guess that's sort of good news, at least better news, or at least until the forecast changes again....
Just to get back to boating, the picture on today's post is of a motor yacht that came in last night just after dark at about 22h00. If it weren't for the sound of his electric thrusters, we wouldn't have heard him come in, in fact we wouldn't have been aware of him at all, he was that quiet. Plus, considerate - nary a ripple! I guess I shouldn't lump all power boaters under the same heading. I got invited aboard this morning and the professional skipper showed me a whole bunch of places that he said we should make an effort to visit in Bermuda and the BVIs. He even showed us a place in Puerto Rico with a bio-luminescent pond that is being preserved as a natural park but into which you can kayak but not motor to preserve it (Check out biobay.com).
I think that I may have even resolved my issues with the documentation for my pension. First I was able to speak to a very nice woman in Ottawa who was very good at soothing my ruffled feathers. She has promised to change my language category so all further comms will be in English, plus she was able to let me know that she was the one who was going to be handling my file and that she would take care of any mistakes that I might make or blanks that I might leave. Second, Barb was able to find the forms on the web and could look at the English language versions so I will be able to fill them out more accurately. And finally, there is a long rambling letter from some head mucky-muck laying down the law etc., and our friend Judy has agreed to come out to read and translate it for me. Praise be!
I spent the morning knocking a few more items off my list - the Intrepid was dropped at Cdn Tire for her pre-lay-up grease, oil, filter, and then I walked to pick up my prescriptions and then back to the bank to drop documentation in the safety deposit box and then did a couple of loads of laundry - AH, such domestic bliss! I called Future Shop to check on my computer and they have only just started looking at her - so much for a week to 10 days to be returned to me - I dropped it off on the 5th - not impressive at all.
Now, since Judy's translation has set our minds at ease, we are off to courier Mike's pension docs to Ottawa.
|Summer of '09||
10/12/2009, RNSYS, Halifax, NS
Whoooooeeeee! If we needed any reminder that winter is on its way we got it last night! Around about midnight a cold front passed through with all the symptoms, sudden drop in temperature, wind shear and increase and HAIL! I can tell you that lying in the bunk and hearing that frozen water hitting the deck and skylights was a very powerful reminder of why we are heading south and that we had better pick up our socks and get on with it.
Dinner last night was a roaring success. It was great to see Kayt and her new extended clan, and Pat and Lisa made some really great appetizers to start us off. These are definitely going in the Sea Cook's Cookbook - thin sliced ham wrapped melon chunks, asparagus wrapped in cream cheese and smoked salmon, and grapes coated in a blue cheese cream cheese mix rolled in walnut pieces - yummm! In fact the leftover asparagus and smoked salmon went into a quiche for breakfast this morning.
Watching the weather picture again this morning and the download has a slightly forecast - Wednesday still looks crappy and Thursday is OK for traveling but the forecast wind has backed a bit and we'll be beating and then in the afternoon it will become confused and Thursday night Friday morning it will come 'round to our stern at a 15-20 knot blow. I am starting to think that we'll leave as soon as we can on Thursday and see how far down the coast we can get. We may be motor sailing (quelle surprise!) but at least we'll be making southing and there are loads of spots that we know of that we can tuck into if we decide it has stopped being fun. Our co-boater (is there such a word?) has also suggested that we could skip it and head directly for Plymouth and check in with customs there. That is another solution - a 2 day 17 hour solution in travel time from Halifax.
Today we ran the wire for the new solar panel which meant that Barb had to clear out our hanging locker so that we could pass the cable through. You can only imagine how much she enjoys doing that. The only saving grace is that this should be the last time that we need to do that for a while. The new solar panel has a high enough wattage that the cables are at least a No 8 so we had some rather stiff wire to feed through the hanging locker, head bulkhead, companionway cupboard and down to the meter and the regulator. I had hoped to get the entire install done, but part of it includes a diversion load for the excess current. Their recommendation is to hook up the overflow to a hot water heating element. The AC element is supposed to be good, but I want it confirmed that if the boat is plugged into shore power and there actually is AC voltage sent to the heater that it won't hurt the regulator nor the solar panel and especially not the batteries. I had hoped to get that advice from the techies at Xantrex but, curse them, they were on holiday. I think that they are supposed to be separate from anything else, but I'd like that confirmed.
Kayt came over for lunch before they set off for Saint John and they brought the soup. It was pretty good and quite exciting when Kevin spilt some really HOT soup on his crotch. My folks used to say that fire and water will move anything and they were right. Kevin went from calm sitting to on his feet dancing around in the blink of an eyeball. I'll give him credit that his vocabulary was pretty laid back - no expletives nor deletives.
After Kayt left we made our final trip to the storage unit with the last few things to put away. We are stowing away things on the boat and getting everything ready to leave. We are also having visits from old friend - David Gough and his wife dropped by and we hope they will come to the Wednesday evening "do" at the Squadron. David was an old friend of Barb who was kind enough to drive us from the church to our reception at our wedding. All the best people are boaties!
|Summer of '09||