Mike's favorite oyster bar
10/17/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
The day was promised to be cool but clear. We worked on refinishing the spindles on our taff in the morning...scraping first, then sanding, then bronze wool and finally a coat of Cetol. Kathy took the dingy and picked up Carol to go the grocery store while they still had access to the borrowed truck. When she returned we finished our refinishing and went for a dingy ride to pick up some ice.
The solar panels are working well and almost cover about 90% of our electrical consumption.
Lisa and Ellie... who both asked the same question. Our boat runs mostly on DC current... ie batteries. We have seven. One is only connected to the engine for starting purposes and has a dedicated alternator. (on the engine that charges it when the engine is running)
The other 6 batteries are wired together and run everything electrical on the boat. The refrigerator is the biggest user at 5 amps an hour in hot weather 3 in more moderate temps. The solar panels generate about 6 amps each per hour at optimum conditions and send the electricity to the battery bank.
We also have a Honda 2000 generator that we run to make up the difference between consumption and production of power. The Honda is also our only means of producing hot water when we are not running our engine.
Sunday, October 14
Another perfect day... mid seventies, cool breeze... but hot in the sun. We are still in Spa Creek mostly by ourselves. Our friends and neighbors have all headed south. "Restless" pulled out about noon today and we hope to catch them in a few days. We worked on refinishing more spindles ... half now have two coats and the other half have 3. I went to town for gasoline and water while Kathy cleaned below decks. We should be about full of water but don't really know because our gauge hasn't been working for about two years.... it's just one more project. We had a nice lunch and spent the afternoon alternating between work and reading.
Monday... October 15
We got another coat of finish on our spindles and then went to town with high hopes that a package would be waiting. Alas and alack.... No delivery. We shopped for awhile and then had a very nice lunch. When we reached the dinghy dock on our way back to the boat we found one of the tubes of the inflatable almost empty. I noticed that the cover on that tube's inflation hole was partially opened and closed it. We took off... a little lopsided, for the boat and stayed close to the shore. We made it and quickly pumped up the tube which remained inflated for the rest of the day... no puncture. For safety's sake we hoisted the big motor up to the stern rail and dug out the 2.5 horse for the remainder of our stay.
Not wanting to waste another perfect day I took the winches and cleats off the top of the taff rail and sanded everything down. While I was applying finish, Kathy cleaned and polished the cleats.
We boiled up shrimp for dinner and watched then watched another movie. (We are in desperate need of a movie trade. I am real tired of the ones we have on board)
Tuesday... October 16
We worked on teak in the morning and went to town at around 10am to check on our delivery. Nothing again. We wandered around a little and ran into Kevin and Liz who we had met in Cape May. Back at the boat we chicken fried rice for lunch (read multiple leftovers) and went to work on the teak...again. Kathy has been working on the stainless steel with Colonite Metal Polidh which seems to be the product of choice around here and seems to hold up reasonable well.
While the varnish was drying, we went to town to the Sailrite store and purchase some sunbrella to make covers for deck stuff... generator, jerry cans, etc. We stopped to see Kevin's solar panel installation before heading back to apply another coat. I made a pot of chili for dinner using some venison that Jack had given us in Delaware... it was a little hot but Kathy added another can of tomatoes to tone things down for the next time it becomes a meal.
We watched a real bad...Sam Elliot western that I think we will put in the trash. Sam was a bad guy ... which is just wrong.
As we wait
Mike and Kathy
10/17/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
We apologize for the boring-ness of our blog lately, but it reflects our lives perfectly as we wait for our last delivery.
Thursday, October 11
Today we woke to clouds and cool weather. It was fine with us because today was laundry day. One thing about boaters and laundry-it is almost always a two person job. We got all our dirty laundry into two big bags and took the dinghy into town. We hiked up the six or seven blocks to the Laundromat. There was only one other person there at the time, which is a good thing because this is a pretty small Laundromat, but nice and clean. We got our five machines going and began the waiting-I had my book with me, Mike seemed content to watch the clothes spin around.
We got back to the boat in time for lunch and tried to decide if we should tackle any new jobs. I put the laundry away and took a shower. The next big jobs entail tearing out everything under the sink to install the new water filter and a foot pump. Mike determined we didn't have all the parts for that, so he took out the trash and got some water and we read our books for a while.
Friday...One of our purchases at the boat show was a very good water filter. Although we are careful about the water we put in our tank and already have a filter on the system, we decided to add a filter that makes our on-board water completely safe. The installation entails removing the sink (easy) as well as the water-heater (not easy) Anyway, after looking things over long enough, I dove into the job and ripped everything out. The job was complicated by the fact that all the water lines are that flexible grey tubing with compression fittings that are not available any more. We went to town to find the proper fittings ... and to check on the arrival of our last delivery. The fittings were located, but the delivery was not which means that we will be staying the weekend.
At the same time as the filter was being installed, I also plumbed in a foot pump so that the electrical pump doesn't run every time we need water. By the end of the day everything was back together except the sink drains. We were invited to "Restless" that night to look at charts and plan our next few stops. Their package had arrived and they were planning on leaving either Saturday or Sunday.
Let there be light
10/10/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
After a trip to the hardware store, I finished attaching the mounting system to the solar panels. We had some lunch we moved them to the cockpit and attached a halyard to lift the panels into place on the davits.
Once in place I we had to bolt the lower half of the clamp to the upper side. This posed a problem... Kathy's arms weren't long enough to reach the bolts. Luckily Barry was around and he came to the rescue.
Then it was back to town to check for deliveries and to pick up some more parts for the solar panels. We stopped at an oyster bar to take advantage of their air conditioning and ended up having a half dozen on the half shell.
We had invited Steve and Carol for dinner and were having ham and sweet potatoes but it was so hot that I just wrapped them and threw them on the grill. It ended up working fine. Carol brought a loaf of warm bread and we had fine meal. Just as they arrived a thunderstorm rolled in and really washed the boat. It was the fourth time that it has rained on us since July 9th.
Wednesday, October 10
The solar panels are installed, wired, and working because it is another bright sunny day. Mike has worked on them all day-I helped run the wiring and fetched tools. Now he has gone to town to pick up a package at the harbormaster's office-we think it's some engine parts we ordered. I have been cleaning some, putting away all the things that had to be moved to work on the wiring, and polishing the stanchions. Not too exciting a day so far!
Happy birthday Becky!