Up Spa Creek
10/03/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
The Runaway Dinghy
About a week ago, Mike was washing the boat and he apparently stepped off the dinghy without tying it up. I went up above shortly after and some people on shore were shouting and waving at me-the dinghy was on its way to shore. They were hoping it would get there so they could take it for a ride. Luckily, one of our neighbors saw what was happening and went to rescue it. He brought it back to the boat and we tied it up securely. Since the dinghy is our mode of transportation to and from shore, it is a relatively important piece of equipment. One does not swim in Spa Creek. It seemed that was a lesson learned-what if we had been in a lake, or it had been a windy day?
Well, of course this is not the end of the story. The past week when Mike was working from the dinghy on the teak on the outside of the boat. I was cleaning something below when he shouted that he needed me. Yup, there was the dinghy making its way to shore. "Call someone, quick!" Well, I didn't see anyone about on the back of their boats, so I called Ken and Donna on the cell phone. Ken jumped in his dinghy, picked up Mike and set out after the wayward dinghy. It was by now hiding under a dock near shore. Once again, the dinghy was brought back to the boat and securely tied.
Now, Mike says he did have the dinghy tied up the second time, but must have knocked the rope off with the extension cord. I think there may be other explanations. Maybe we didn't go to shore enough those days and the dinghy just wanted to go? Maybe someone THOUGHT they had tied up the dinghy... Whatever the case, we hope the dinghy does not run away from home again-especially not while we are here!
Mike -Another beautiful day
10/03/2007, Prime Hook Beach, Delaware
Our trip to Delaware, September 28-30
On Friday at 9:00 we over at the nearest dinghy dock (about 50 yards away) waiting for the Enterprise people to bring us a car... and they did. After taking care of the paper work we brought the car back to the end of the street and went back out to the boat to get our stuff...and all our dirty laundry. We had not only invited ourselves over to Jack and Debbie's for the weekend, but also planned on doing all our laundry while there.
By the time we got out of town and over the bridge it was noon so we stopped at the Crab Shed for lunch. We've been there before and like both the food and the atmosphere. As I was finishing my fried baby clams, the phone rang. It was the alternator place saying that they had finished rebuilding ours a day early and that we could pick it up anytime. We drove down to Easton to pick it up and then east to the Delaware Bay.
When we arrived, Kris was there hanging out before work. We opened our mail that had been forwarded there. Kris is a huge UM fan so the sports sections that were included were perfect...thanks Davey. Kathy started our laundry and Debbie arrived shortly after. Then we were off to the wine tasting. On Friday afternoons the owner of a nearby wine store sets out snacks and offers samples of about six different wines. The food was excellent.... crab dip on bread, a eggplant based salsa, and apricot -chili meatballs. We are trying to find a good Chardonnay to purchase for ship stores but haven't found the right one yet. I mentioned this to Debbie and we were off to another wine store where the proprietor could help us with the selection.
Jack was home by the time we returned and steamed some crabs (the largest I've ever seen) some shrimp, corn and new potatoes. We had a feast on the porch and crashed shortly after.
On Saturday, Jack had to work and Debbie and Kathy went shopping which left me to watch football for the first time this year. During half time of the Notre Dame Game, I went upstairs to take a shower and couldn't turn the TV back on when I returned. There were just too many buttons. Debbie and Kathy returned shortly and were able to get me back on line.
Saturday night we went in to Rehoboth for a Punkin' Ale at Dogfishhead ( a micro brewery) and then dinner a very nice Mexican place. The food was perfect.
On Sunday morning we said good bye for about two hours and left with lots of gifts, clean laundry and a toast with 150 year old Grand Marnier.
The ride back was uneventful and we arrived abut 2:00. After calling a friend to deliver us back to our boat, we started the engine to charge the batteries and then headed to the grocery store while we still had the car to haul things.
It was a perfect weekend... we hope that Jack and Debbie can get to the boat sometime so we can attempt to return the hospitality.
09/30/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
Up at 7am and Steve picked me up at 7:30 for a repeat of yesterday's trip. First we picked up his outboard which had been professionally diagnosed as having water in the wrong places. They blew everything out with compresses air and called it fixed. We ran it for about 10 minutes in the tank and then loaded it into the pick-up. Then we were off to Easton again to return the used batteries. They hadn't charged me the core charge yesterday so I was honor-bound to get to old ones back as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Kathy was off to the grocery store with Donna which is always exciting.
When Steve and I returned, we mounted the outboard on his dinghy to head back our to our boats... but no luck. The motor would not fire. We pulled for about an hour...took the spark plugs out and dried them out but it just wouldn't start. After rowing me out to Sapphire, Steve was off for another bridge crossing to take the motor back to the shop. He was back later with a working outboard and some instructions on what to do when it gets severely flooded.
One of the little problems that we have been experiencing this summer is that every day there has been a little water under our engine. There is a large fiberglass pan under the engine that is about 8 inches deep. Any fluids that leak are easily identified and in this case had been identified as sea water. Our cooling system pumps sea water into a heat exchanger while another pump (water pump) moves antifreeze through the same heat exchanger and the rest of the engine. Anyway, the amount of water collecting under our engine had increased to about 1 cup per day of cold water which means that the sea water pump needed replacing. Sure enough, with a mirror and flashlight I could see water dripping our the weep holes that were put there for precisely this reason... when the seals wear, the water dripping gives you a little advanced warning that the pump is on it's way out.
Since I had a spare, and the pump is located on the front of the engine, the switch should be a piece of cake. By the time Ken brought Kathy and Donna back to the boat, I had the pump off and was getting ready to replace it with a the new one. I had Ken come down to inspect my work and we found that the drive tang (which for you motor folks, is just a reverse threaded nut with a tang brazed on that is screwed on to the end of the cam and drives the impeller) was worn and needed replacing as well. I made a list of all the Westerbeke parts that we needed ( including a rebuild kit for the bad pump) and got on the phone to the nearest dealer. Some of the parts were going to take a week for delivery so I put the new pump on and will take it off again when they arrive.
After a shower, we were off to town for water. We have four 5 gallon plastic containers and use around 10 gallons a day. With the boat show on the horizon, the public docks will be closed as of Sunday for 8 days so it's important that our tank is full. Since we're going to spend the weekend with Jack and Debbie, tomorrow will be our last chance for water.
The first item on our agenda today was to make sure our water tank was filled. We went to the hardware store and then walked to the State House which is only a few blocks from the water front. We just wandered around some of the narrow residential streets wondering what it would be like to live there. We filled our water jugs and returned to the boat . It was another perfect sunny day with 85 degree temps. I started on teak work and sanded more that I should have because it took me until about 5:00 to get a coat of varnish on everything. Then... we went on another water run to fill our portable tanks... our main tank is full. Kathy called the car people and they are going to be picking us up in front of our boat at 9am.