March 22, 2012
Late yesterday the boat projects needed to go on the back burner so we decided to pick on Scurv. At this stage in his life, he has been called by many brand names none of which has been Schnauzer. That prompted us to think about learning the skill of giving him the distinctive trim of a right proper Schnauz. Over to Petsmart we go and we procured a toe nail gizmo that looks akin to some type of torture device along with a few other things to make our first lesson more professional. The internet is a fine thing and we looked up the proper cut for das Deutschland Dog. We got back to the boat and coaxed Scruv out of his suspicious glare. The afternoon was cool and in every way the type of day one would enjoy--- or not if one is the guinea pig human learning curves.
He did not care much for the use of my hair clippers due to the sound so we resorted to scissors. It took the two of us to restrain him but at least he was not biting as he did with the clippers. Going from stern to bow we started to reduce the amount of hair on Scurv. We did not do much around his head since we had concern about poking him in the eyes with the tools if he tried something like blood letting of his captors. Actually, he was fairly calm since Bear was dosing him heavily with treats. Hair was flying and we were underway to making him lighter, cooler and more Schnauzer like. Well, that did not go too well but he is lighter and cooler. We might have removed a bit much on his stern end since his butt now looks like a ferret sans tail. We also got the hair a bit short on his back legs and generally made a mess of the deal. We dared not laugh too much lest he catch on and become embarrassed. We now think that we will leave future trim work to professionals. The crew vote was three to nothing .
We will leave this place in a few days and head north. We definitely look forward to seeing what is around the corner.
On the Baby Boomers, we discovered there are no little one yet. The parents were just now building the nest in the boom. We removed the foundations and put a rag up there to stop the construction project. They were not too happy but we don't need additional crew at this time.
03/18/2012, Wilmington, NC
A QUIET SPRING SUNDAY
March 18, 2012
We have a very fond memory of sitting on a dock in San Francisco many years ago in the late afternoon. The sun was bright and it was warm. I believe the occasion was an anniversary trip that took us to the area and we enjoyed being near the Bay. We could see Golden Gate and beyond the bridge was a thick fog bank. We noticed that fog bank was moving toward the Bay and soon the bridge disappeared. Ten minutes or so later, that fog bank enveloped us and one really striking thing happened: it got very cold in that fog. Something similar happened here on the Cape Fear River. Thirty minutes ago it was near 80 degrees. Now we can barely see the bow of the boat and it is in the 60s. Likewise the sounds are muffled and we hear no traffic on the river. Shouldn't someone be sounding fog signals?
I ran the engine today and think I have a new gremlin. At about 1000 rpm, we get a rumble when in gear. It occurs between 1050 and 1100 rpm. Above or below that there is no noise. Could it be something associated with our new Max Prop? Anyway, that is something else to solve. Anyone owning a boat knows the list never goes away but does change.
The oiled toe rails are now dry and look good to us. I am not sure how often we will have to coat them but at least they are preserved. Now I have to dig out the entire sealing compound between the rails and the deck and redo that. It may not be necessary to even seal there but some boats need it to prevent leakage of the deck/hull joint. The prevention of rain related leaks is almost a full time job in older boats. So far, we have very few.
March 17, 2012
Happy St. Patty's day. Almost everything around here is green and folks are wearing some really weird hats and stuff. Being the green time of the year, there are some surprises we've encountered. One is the abundance of the spring growth around this part of the world. Things are blooming. The bees are doing their thing as well as the birds. To that end, we were told today by the crew of the boat next slip over that we are the guardians of some boomers. What? That's right. We have more correctly boomer babies. It seems that a small bird family has set up the nursery in the end of our boom. Sort of catchy on the title of this, huh? Anyway, the mystery of the bird sounds has been solved. They live in the boom. So, we won't disrupt mother nature and do any sailing until the little ones jump ship, so to speak. Not sure how much longer that will be but we hope they are fast learners. That does not necessarily mean we will be stuck in this marina but we won't hoist sail until the nest is clear. Our hope is that said nest is not a chick factory. After all, we have really good water pressure in our slip and the other end of the boom is open.
March 15, 2012
I will be in trouble for mentioning this but there is a point. At 0600 we, that is the entire crew, awoke to a very loud thump followed by a moan. Bear's day started with a face plant after rolling the wrong direction in the rack and verifying that it is a full three feet from the start to the finish of the fall. Not only that but ensuing nosebleed indicated that the first thing to hit the sole was her nose. Good thing we have carpeting in the cabin. After doing the ship's doctor thing and discovering that nothing was broken (neck or back) she decided to go back to sleep. It remains to be seen if she will get the black eyes that sometimes accompanies such events. Scurv was big time concerned and kept his ears pinned down until Bear assured him that we were not under attack. Not a good way to start the day.
This is definitely the age of discovery for Scurv. He is starting to get calibrated as to his position in the animal kingdom. I am delaying telling him that the only place he is top dog is with the crew of Why Knot. Yesterday, for instance, he was patrolling his usual territory ashore and had his head buried in the tall clover. He did not see the large chocolate lab heading at flank speed our direction. When I noticed the perp, I had just enough time to yank Scurv off the ground and into my arms. Scurv did the spider man jump in fine style and let the perp know that sneak attacks are not in the rules. Once the owner of the perp called him back, Scurv mentioned a thing or two about his parentage and his manners. Mind you, he was still in my arms at the time.
The boating world seems somewhat asleep. I am not sure if it is still too early or the price of fuel is the reason. Diesel is $4.20 here and I am sure that keeps some boats tied up. The mariyna owner mentioned the other day that industry wide, the average occupancy is 40%. Three years ago, this marina had a sizeable waiting list. Today, slips are abundant. Motor vessels are going on the market at really discounted prices. Methinks there may be far fewer go fasters on the AIWW.
I will finish the toe rails today. That makes over five days spent stripping, sanding and refinishing. It tested my A.D.D. We really like the way the teak oil looks and it is very easy to apply. The finish is not shiny but the wood looks new. We are not sure how long it will remain so.
Gnats--- today was a hot day with no wind. I kept feeling small bites by the flying critters some of which could barely be seen. By the afternoon, all those bites were itching lick crazy and I counted a representative sample of my hide to learn I had over three hundred such itchy spots. Smart huh? Scurv really liked being topside until he inhaled a few hundred of those pests and then it seemed better to be below. By the way, I finished the 80 feet of toe today so we don't have to sneak into port.
This afternoon, Bears snoz is looking better. We are sure now it is not broken.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE Surface
March 11, 2012
I decided to work on the 80 feet of toe rail today, the third day in a row. To get to the side away from the finger pier, I splashed the dinghy and was into the exercise of removing the last of the Honey Teak. It was a nice afternoon to do the work and I did not look around for several minutes at a time. Bear was in the cockpit making her Sunday family calls. Scurv was enjoying his new found freedom strolling the decks. Perhaps that contributed to the next event. I sensed a presence nearby and looked down from the dink into the eyes of Mikey, the gator. He was submerged except for eyes and nostrils not three feet away. I am not sure if he wanted to get in the dink with me or just hoping for Scurv to miss a step. Either way, at the moment of consciousness of his presence, it was like walking down a dark hallway and feeling something tapping on the back. After that, old Mikey and I kept an eye on each other. As quickly as he appeared, he was gone. Scurv was at the rail paying close attention and not barking. Methinks the two of them exchanged subliminal thoughts and Scurv, for the first time, realized he is not at the top of the food chain. It is a fact that humans are no longer at the top of the food chain once they are below surface. Things change drastically at the water line.
March 10, 2012
Tonight the clocks are back to Daylight Savings Time. Seems only yesterday we went the other way. It is good to see all the new buds and blooms in the Wilmington area especially the trees with very white blooms. I am wondering when the northern migration takes place in the cruising world. Guessing here that is very soon. We have decided to hang in here for a bit so that I can finish some projects such as the 80 feet toe rail project. Certainly, Wilmington is not the worst place to delay departure. We remember that some of the best surprises have been based on the thinking that we stay because we cannot find a reason to leave. That might work for the next couple of weeks.
A strange thing happened last night here in the marina. A work boat temporarily docked here decided to take an unmanned cruise on the Cape Fear River. To get there, it had to somehow untie itself, creep out a very narrow inlet and navigate a narrow channel that has several turns. Might this be the work of their boat troll? The owners got a call from a city tug this morning that their boat was traveling toward the sea on its own program. How did the crew manage to get it?
Scurv has had a few "puppy cuts" that basically trimmed the hair around his eyes and other spots. Now that he is five months old, his fur is getting long enough that we are studying how to trim him. He is not the least bit cooperative and seems to enjoy growling when approached by us with scissors. Schnauzer hair cuts are weird because it is a combination of near shaving some parts and leaving others untouched. I am thinking it will take both of us and perhaps some generous use of duct tape to get that done.
The tides here have been somewhat on the extreme side. Yesterday, for instance, I was walking by the boat and noticed the zinc guppy wire was loose. Then I found out it was sitting on the bottom a mere 3 feet below the surface. That explained why Why Knot was not moving in the slip. Then again, the mud is the consistency of mousse so no harm.
More later--- or not.