04/09/2012, Shelburne NS
Well, here it is, a fine Monday morning and the last day of the long Easter weekend, and a busy weekend it has been for wee Mikey and Barb. It has drawn once again to my attention how fortunate we are to have such excellent friends. We have been very lucky that everywhere we have lived, traveled or cruised we have lucked out by finding kind and generous people who were willing to take us into their circle, even if as cruisers that could only be for a short time. Many of our cruising friends we have been able to maintain contact with either through subsequent cruises or e-mail, or Facebook or in some cases all three. This blog helps them keep in touch with us as for many of them theirs does for us. In other cases we will simple exchange an email or three every once in a while, just to keep abreast of developments.
Here in Shelburne there have been a number of people who have followed suit and here at least, while we remain on the hard, we can see them regularly. Our cruising and YC buddies Pat and Lisa from Noonan Knight were able to come up for the weekend for a two nighter sleep over and it was like old times chatting about events in Halifax and what has been going on. Yours truly assumed the chef de maison duties for Friday and Saturday night with Barb acting as sous chef and we took a couple of drives into the countryside to show them the Shelburne area and to Lockport to take in an Easter Pageant that was directed by our buddy Ian at the Anglican Church in that community.
And then, for the piece de la resistance, on Sunday we took the opportunity to invite many of the folk that had befriended us here in Shelburne over for a Sunday Easter dinner and this time I was the sous chef and Barb got to flex her culinary muscles. Sangria followed by a beet vichyssoise which in turn led to baked ham and roast veggies with grilled asparagus as the main course. Then for desert she lost control completely and prepares baklava, orange flavoured cupcakes and a coconut layer cake. Diners could have their pick or, as I recommended, take some of each. We dined exceptionally well and the only problem was that we now have loads of ham and much desert to get through before it all spoils. If anyone is in the area do drop in and have some. You'll be doing my waistline a big favour.
Oh and we were able to finish the counter tops as you can see from the photo on the post.
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||
04/05/2012, Shelburne NS
I have confirmed the size of our prop shaft at 1.75" and have ordered the take off pulley. The one that I am getting a type that I have never used before. I am used to the type with a keyway to fix it to the shaft, or with a spud, but this one comes in two sections - the first is bolted to the second and when you tighten the bolts together they clamp down on the shaft. It's not that the pulley is split in half but rather that there is one disk that fits on the shaft first followed by the second which are then bolted together and drawn tight. The end product is supposed to be a solid fit. Can't wait to see how it works. The other two things that I have to get is a much smaller pulley for the alternator and an alternator belt with spare. If I am really tricky I just might be able to rig it up so that the belt will be the same size as the one for the engine driven alternator thus eliminating the requirement for two separate spares.
On our past cruises, as we are quite comfort conscious and have a lot of electric hungry devices aboard, we have tended to run the engine a lot, even when we were under sail, just to keep the batteries powered up. In fact, I often took the point of view that if we were running the engine anyway we may as well have it in gear and get some power out of it which in turn would lead us to motor sailing and pointing a course much tighter to the wind than we would be able to do in a ketch. And this would lead us to setting off, especially if we were planning against the calendar, when the winds weren't as advantageous as we normally would. All we would wait for is flat-ish seas and we would be motoring into the chop if we had to. If this new prop shaft take-off system works even half as good as I hope it will we should be able to change all that and get back more into actually sailing. As well, once we get back into the lifestyle when we head south again we will be doing so earlier in the year, say at the end of August or early September, so if we need to wait for the winds there won't be as much thermometer pressure to get moving. Our fastest trip across the Gulf of Maine has been 42 hours from Shelburne NS to Onset Mass on the other side of the Cape Cod Canal, motor sailing. But if that same trip should take 50 hours under sail I can live with that especially with the price of fuel these days. Even on our small gunkhole cruises that we are planning for the next year or two, if we can save some moola in fuel charges it will go a long way to maintaining our cruising budget. Add to that Barb's new knees will make it easier for her to get in and out of the dink and virtually eliminate the need to pull into a marina as often as we had been, we should do quite nicely on our pensions in future cruising.
Tonight will see the completion of the kitchen countertop project, I hope. This morning the plumber came in to hook up the sink and that went well. The photo in today's post is of the functioning sink in place. Plumbers earn every penny of their fee as far as I'm concerned and I'm not just speaking of the toilet clearing jobs. Trying to work workman's hands in and around small spaces to fit on washers and nuts is something that I've done quite a bit of, especially aboard Nelleke and I am quite happy to let a pro do it on the hard, thank you very much. The sink is the largest one that I have ever seen outside of a set tub which this isn't. Big enough to soak the largest pan we have to get off stubborn baked in grease and to bathe the hound (don't tell Peri) One we have the last section of countertop is in place, other than painting the walls and finishing the pantry cupboard, the kitchen will be done.
Next project - upstairs bathroom!
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||
04/03/2012, Shelburne NS
I finally got herself to post something again even if it was only to the comments section of each daily post. I really like it when she adds her points of view just so that we can all get a different outlook at whatever we have been blathering on about.
More, Barb! More!
I am saying this as she gets the posts to appear directly on her facebook so perhaps we can pressure her into writing more. Especially as with her knee now she is spending a lot of time on the couch under the cooling patch working on the computer. She could easily spend fifteen minutes and post her own blog, couldn't she? Come one, come all! Let's get her typing. If for no other reason that to make the site more interesting than simply me droning on and on.
We are still waiting to find out exactly the numbers that will be arriving upon us this weekend for Easter Dinner on Sunday. Barb has bought a nice ham and hopefully we will be able to show off our new nearly completed kitchen or at the very least our kitchen counters. At last count there were going to be eight of us for sure with the possibility of 2 or 4 more. We are just awaiting their RSVPs. We have invited our friends Pat and Lisa from Noonan Knight to come down for the weekend. They are one of the couples that we are waiting to see if he can get the time off.
Have I mentioned yet that my visit to Nelleke on Saturday has left me in a much more favourable frame of mind. It appears that she survived the winter very well and sometime during the last week of this month we will be heading down there to do the launch preparation and we will try to schedule a launch in early May. With any luck we should be in the water on a Thursday and be on the way back either Friday or Saturday. The weather will be the determinator as usual.
One thing that I would like to try to get done before we set off is to install the pulley take off on the prop shaft that I will be experimenting with to see if I can get some power from the freewheeling shaft while we are underway under sail. I have heard pros and cons for doing this but I want to see for myself. I am going to have a 9 inch primary turning a 2.5 inch secondary on the alternator. I already have two alternators, the one on the engine and our spare, so I figure that I may as well see if I can get some energy from the spare. If the primary conks out I can always still get at the spare quite easily. Even if I can only get 5A or so out of it under sail, that combined with the solar and wind power sources should enable me to spend more time sailing and less motor sailing on offshore legs when we are using the autohelm. The local diesel shop is sourcing the pulleys for me. Hurrah!
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||