Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
Recent Blog Posts
12 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Happy Mother's Day

I of course had chicken Parmesan for breakfast on sourdough bread. I have still more in the fridge.

09 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Digging In in Crisfield

The frenzied packing of the rental car was done in about 4 hours. I had organized (ha!) what was to be packed, to be trashed, to be carefully stowed previously, so it was just a matter of grunt work. The vehicle was perfect for the job, a Toyota RAV4, midsize SUV with plenty of storage space when you [...]

01 May 2024 | St. Marys, GA

Preparations

After rowing the dinghy all over the river I thought the next day I would be sore. I was, sort of, but I felt OK. I want to do more rowing. That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

23 April 2024 | St Marys, GA

D4 Launchie

The laptop pooped the bed, so I have to scurry around with alternatives. Not as bad as typing on the phone.

17 April 2024 | St Marys, GA

Dinghy Skeg

I was suffering with what seemed like a cold and also had allergy symptoms. I awoke and felt fine. The green pollen that was coating everything was gone. Maybe it will return.

07 April 2024 | St. Marys, GA

Clammy Hands

Items came in from TEMU, the Chinese cut rate retailer. One was a nice little drone that cost about twelve and a half dollars. It looked like an easy thing to play with while I coughed and sneezed. I was fighting a summer cold, even though it is not summer elsewhere, it seems like it here. A nice [...]

Happy Mother's Day

12 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | Chilly AM, Warm PM
I of course had chicken Parmesan for breakfast on sourdough bread. I have still more in the fridge.
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Later in the day I began to think about dinner and I wanted white clam sauce with linguine. It is so simple that I don’t even have a recipe for it. I began by boiling 1/3 lb of linguine in a half liter of water. I decided to add spinach, about equal to the linguine, and the clam juice of a can of Snow’s chopped clams. A quarter cup of white wine went in as well as Italian spice mix, sliced garlic, sliced red onion, and a dusting of fresh black pepper. When the concoction was well on its way, linguine done, I added some Parmesan shavings. Mix well before serving. Don’t forget the clams, last.
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It is Mother’s Day weekend, and when I couldn’t get Cornelia Marie on the phone, left a message and texted her, I had two packages at the house. I biked over and was surprised to see Wilbur weeding the roses in front of the house. I said I had called and texted with no answer. He said they had been playing tennis. I grabbed my packages and biked back to the marina.
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One package consisted of all my VA meds, except for one. The other package was from TEMU and included a USB charging station with 5 ports. I had a couple of USB type C female to USB type A male adapters. Also I bought a heat dissipater for the propane stove. It would allow me to use the large skillet without burning everything in the middle of the pan.
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The smart watch now had a source of USB charging power so I charged it up. Cuddily phoned me and we talked a bit. She said she would text me if they were going to the Legion later. I could dawdle away the afternoon without shopping or going out, but I was low on ham for breakfast. If I went to the Legion I could go via the grocers.
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As it turned out I did get the message about going to the Legion and I departed with a large bag of trash that went into the dumpster and a small gratis TEMU shopping bag that received a package of smoked ham.
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There was obvious flooding on some of the streets and I did have to bike through some big puddles. At the Legion I parked my bike on the East side and entered through the side door. Cuddily was coming in the front door. We got wine, she treated me. They had been reserving a good pinot noir for me, so we both got almost the last of it. We took a high top with a view to the North. Teri arrived and I asked them about what food was good, as I had had a bad serving of fried flounder the first time I had food there this year. Shrimp salad was the unanimous choice, so I ordered shrimp salad when I refilled the wine at the bar. There is no service here, so if you can’t make it to the bar you are effectively cut off. I ordered the shrimp salad on romaine, not on hamburger bun, yuck.
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An amusing fellow dropped by the table and offered us what looked like dog poop, it was a fried mozzarella stick. We didn’t touch it and joked about it. When my little pile of shrimp salad on a leaf of romaine came, I cut up the mozzarella stick and mixed it with the shrimp. It was OK that way.
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I biked back to the marina without having any mishaps. I couldn’t remember the entry code for the pedestrian gate, but my muscle memory had me push the right buttons.
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Mother’s Day was gloomy, rainy, foggy in the morning. I had the ham and cheese omelet on sourdough for breakfast. I made an attempt to look at the Atomic Four engine, uncovered it. Not too much in the way of removing the cylinder head. Remove the alternator mount, just needs to be set aside, remove the thermostat housing, drain the water first, and then the head comes off with removing nuts from studs. The Moyer Marine video shows a fancy stud remover, it is a sales pitch. The studs can be removed by locking two nuts together and unscrewing the stud from the block. I am concerned that my engine has already exhibited signs of internal corrosion by the raw salt water cooling it, and the result can be studs that haven’t enough “meat” to hold the head down. In that case the stud hole in the block has to be drilled out and fitted with an insert that the stud can screw into. I already used one for one of the mounting studs of the manifold.
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The image is the view to the North from the Legion.

Digging In in Crisfield

09 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | Summer
The frenzied packing of the rental car was done in about 4 hours. I had organized (ha!) what was to be packed, to be trashed, to be carefully stowed previously, so it was just a matter of grunt work. The vehicle was perfect for the job, a Toyota RAV4, midsize SUV with plenty of storage space when you fold down the rear seats.
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Jefferey, the free catamaran guy, bought my reel of double braided line at a bargain price. I was worried it would be stolen when I was gone. I donated a half gallon of windshield washer fluid to Geoffrey, the chemist, left by Eloisa. After all that work I overslept the next morning, I wanted to get out by 6 or 7, it turned out more like 8AM.
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Komputer Ken brought me to the airport to get the rental car the day before and we were to meet up at the Fuji Oriental Buffet on Dunn Ave., 10 minutes from the airport. Unfortunately I was in a line of over 20 people that took 45 minutes just to get to the counter. Things went smoothly after that and Ken had finished eating when I got to the buffet. I had texted him to not wait to eat, I didn’t know how long I would take. He gave me a couple egg rolls from his 3rd plate. The lady who takes the money frowned on me, but it was only a couple of egg rolls, OK?
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I took my fridge items with me and bought a soft sided cooler at Walmart, plus a few items I would need for breakfast the next morning.
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The vehicle had over 50,000 miles on it and the front tires would vibrate like they needed rebalancing, plus there were funny (not) noises coming from the front end, like the transmission was self destructing.
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I stopped at Florence, SC, for fuel and pit stop. It looked like I was getting between 25 and 27 mpg. Traffic was heavy and along the way there were delays due to construction and a myriad semi trucks and RV’s holding us back. I had a few dangerous encounters with crazy drivers who must have learned how to drive in Havana.
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I stopped at Emporia, VA, for fuel and found the price in all the gas stations near I-95 was identical and 25 cents higher than the first two stations I encountered going East to Virginia Beach. The traffic in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area was in late afternoon rush hour, complete with high speeds, reckless dare devil drivers, and more construction. The GPS got confused and was giving me directions for exits that didn’t exist, but after a while I was told I was on the best route.
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When I got to the marina I had to enter my passcode to open the gate and it didn’t open. I tried the old passcode, no dice. I tried the phone call to security option, but there was no answer, and no answer from the marina’s phone number. I really had to pee and here I was, stuck behind a wrought iron gate and fence. Eventually the security guy came around, making his rounds, and let me in. Just in the nick of time.
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I brought essential items to the boat and took a look around. Did I need anything else? I picked up paper towels and dish detergent at the grocers and a small table lamp at the dollar store.
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I was exhausted but full of nervous energy. Netflix was premiering A Man in Full. I binge watched the whole thing. It is well done and worthwhile, but it digresses from Tom Wolfe’s book significantly. I didn’t like the book’s ending and liked the movie’s ending better, but some of the plot lines were short cut or omitted, so the narrative is much shorter, the action carries on very quickly. I got a new feeling for what Wolfe was trying to do. A review in the Guardian suggested that the main character was Trump-like. I don’t think so, but he would definitely be a Trump supporter.
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I slept like a dead man. I had to go to the McCready Pavillion to have blood work done, so I didn’t have any breakfast. I wasn’t sure if I had to fast, but I did anyway. When I came back I made my usual breakfast. I had to continue to unpack the vehicle and stow on board, with rest periods in between exertion. I did two loads of laundry, here at $1.25 a pop.
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The plan was to finish unloading the car, stow on board, take a shower, meet up with the “Bad Crowd” at the American Legion. Rain was intermittent. I kept at it and could feel that my body was getting worn out.
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I showered and ran to the grocers, then to the Legion. It was my first time this year and a quiet evening. Cuddily and Teri were already having a whiskey and a pinot grigio respectively. I ordered a pinot noir and a flounder sandwich with sweet chili sauce. I made it to the table and Cornelia Marie showed up. We toasted each other and caught up on news.
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My sandwich came, an overfried piece of Vietnam fish on a plain hamburger bun. The sweet chili sauce was good. The wise women ordered shrimp salad sandwich which came on the same plain hamburger bun. Next time I will choose differently.
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After returning to SUNSPLASH I made linguine with white clam sauce. I used fresh parsley, Irish butter, and EVOO with garlic, and then clam juice and sauvignon blanc. This would be a very late dinner, but quite good. One of my favorites I have not made in a while.
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The next day I felt like I had been hit by a truck, not a hangover, a body that was sore, achy sore. I must take it easy today. The pizza oven and propane tank were stowed at the old Red Shell Shanty, which is now the Boater’s Lounge. The car was now empty of boat stuff. SUNSPLASH was mess of piled up things. I will deal with them when I am not so sore. Tomorrow is a Dr.’s appointment with a shopping trip to Walmart and Harbor Freight, both nearby the clinic.
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I made another steak salad with romaine leaves, some parsley, green onion, and tomato. The thinly sliced “stir fry steak” grilled in seconds. Put down a row of pieces, immediately go back and start turning them over, then go immediately back and take them off, one by one, onto the salad. Of course I ground black pepper on them while they were grilling.
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The salad dressing is an Italian vinaigrette which I used to make with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a pack of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix. I now use some garlic powder, onion powder, italian herb mixture, black pepper, and of course the olive oil/balsamic vinegar liquids. The correct ratio is 2 or 3 to one, vinegar to oil.
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I had spent the whole day not doing much at all. I didn’t feel like going out. The next day I saw the doctor and we went over my lab results and talked about the difficulties doctors have with warfare. They gave me a tetanus shot and also one for pneumonia. My prescription meds, two of which I had ran out of, were represcribed and a two week temporary supply of high blood pressure meds was faxed to the local Rite-Aid in Pocomoke.
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I took my time, to let the drug store prepare my meds, and stopped in a nearby liquor store to get wine. They had no Black Box, but had a cheap 5 liter box of merlot, 20% off due to box damage. I took it. I picked up the meds. I drove back to the marina trying a backroads route. It was well that I did because just before I turned off, a construction crew with crane and a line of backed up traffic was sitting on the main road into town. Several other cars turned off also and we drove down a nice 30mph road at about 45mph. A couple cars continued where I exited, at the lane that goes through the swamp to the old Native American Church. At the church another car kind of wandered while I cut to the right of them, onto Main Street Extension.
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I grabbed a dock cart and loaded it up with all the groceries, etc. The no-see-um’s were swarming as bad as I have ever seen them. At the boat I ran below and sprayed with DEET, then continued loading groceries and returning the cart to the head of the dock. Katie who shares a power yacht further up the dock greeted me and it was another glad you’re back. The day seemed less gloomy.
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I took the Schwinn up the dock and hunkered down on board trying to chase the bugs out. I guess I’ll make another batch of white clam sauce and linguine.
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The next day I made another steak salad, marinating the steak in red wine and balsamic vinegar. I watched NBA highlights on YouTube. I had to return the car the next day, so went on a short shopping trip for ingredients for chicken parm. I also grabbed some baby spinach.
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I showered and headed up RT13 to Salisbury, the airport, and the rental car return. My car service showed up and we returned to Crisfield. She said her husband had to help her with her business. The charge for today’s trip was more than double what the going rate was a year ago. I gave her $60.
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My bicycle seat keeps releasing and angling down, making the riding position uncomfortable. I readjusted it again. I was cycling to the Legion to meet up with Cuddily and Teri. I made it in just 12 minutes, very early, and not with a lot of effort. I had a glass of Sierra Mist with ice to hydrate and a glass of pinot noir. We sat at a high top at a window looking east. I bravely ordered the fried flounder again with instructions to not deep fry it until it became a lethal ceramic object.
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The next day was chicken parmesan day. I started by making marinara sauce and a garlic/lemon marinade. The chicken went into the marinade in a zip lok bag. I massaged the bag to get the marinade incorporated into the chicken.
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A very large skillet was started with EVOO and slowly came up to temperature. I put some flour on a plate, an egg beaten with powders and spices, and Italian bread crumbs from an old store bought container. I was able to dip each butterflied chicken thigh in the flour, then the egg mix, then the bread crumbs. Put em in the big pan. I used the main grill section of the Coleman camp grill, it fit well with the giant skillet.
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The cutlets are flipped when they are brown, then a scoop of marinara sauce is laid on them, a slice of mozzarella, and a smaller slice of parmesan. The heat is turned way down and the skillet is covered.
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A large handful of spinach is placed on a plate with and equal amount of fresh romaine. The vinaigrette dressing is dolloped onto the greens and then a cutlet complete with melty cheese is placed on the greens. Yum.
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While I was waiting for various cooking processes to complete, I bided my time trying to get my GPS dongle to work with the newly configured laptop. I had OpenCPN installed, it’s part of the Operating System, and I had all my maps installed. I hadn’t brought my GPS dongle with me, but there was one waiting for me on the boat. I could not get it to work.
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I had sussed these things out many times before and thought I had documented those efforts sufficiently. After searching down my own notes, I realized I needed help. None of my efforts, following my old notes, worked. Additionally I found other recommendations didn’t work either.
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At some point I was ready to quit. I had consumed the chicken concoction and some wine. A very nice dinner.
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The gist of my laptop efforts is that most of the online suggestions resort to opening a terminal screen and typing in commands that will help identify or kick the GPS in the butt. The most basic command is lsusb which lists your usb devices. In our case it is the Ublox chipset. I’ve run into them many times before, they are handled by linux differently and end up as ACM devices, which is I think Asynchronous Communication Module, not as the usual USB or SIO device. There are commands to get the data stream from the GPS device and a command to look at satellites, but they didn’t work. I got the idea to go into OpenCPN and check the connection configuration, it looked correct, I clicked on Open NMEA Screen, and the screen opened in a tab with GPS data scrolling down. It was working. The image is of OpenCPN and SUNSPLASH’s location, located by the GPS dongle.

Preparations

01 May 2024 | St. Marys, GA
Cap'n Chef Andy | Summer
After rowing the dinghy all over the river I thought the next day I would be sore. I was, sort of, but I felt OK. I want to do more rowing. That which does not kill you makes you stronger.
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I had to start organizing and securing things before leaving the boatyard to go up to Crisfield. Moving is a bitch. I am doing it twice a year. The best thing is to get both boats equipped equally so I just have to get myself up there or down here as needed.
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Geoff, the phd chemist showed up after a long while. He and his wife motored their Bayliner yacht to Fernandina, not that far, for the trawler fest. He was in the boatyard to work on an old pump that is expensive to replace and expensive to rebuild. Why don’t you just get a modern electric pump? Apparently he knows why.
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I was getting more industrial as far as getting things ready for me to leave to go up North. Eloisa called and expressed her exasperation for, “Old White Men”. She was upset about her wipers on her vehicle. Cool it. It’s probably bad contacts on the wiper motor connector, but it could be an old wire that snapped. I’m afraid she will come down and have me look at it. But, she doesn’t trust me to work on it now. Good. At least she has some new spark plugs. Got.
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The wood storks that Eloisa loves so much are getting a lot of air time, some at high altitudes, around this area. There is nesting right across the marsh from us. There are no wood storks up in Crisfield. There are other seabirds up there, plenty to see.
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The plastic reels I bought at Harbor Freight were too small to reel up my 3/8” double braided line. Maybe 70 fathoms. I returned the reels and took the original reel that the line came on and started to rebuild it. I fit the reel together with epoxy/glue hard mix and then glassed the flanges to the central axle. This is all part of the tying up of loose ends.
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The old windsurfer sails that have been strewn near the port bow were taken up and rolled up, bagged, but some were mildewed and wet. Put them out in the sun, roll them all up. I probably won’t get to prepare everything, the time to leave is only about a week away.
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I reserved a car just now for the 1st of May. This creates a deadline.
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I got busy coiling the 70+ fathoms of line onto the repaired rope reel. This took considerable time. A work table under the catamaran was cleared, stuff going up to Crisfield went onto a small table, stuff going to the trash went into a large bin that I could cart over to the dumpster. The windsurfer sails were rolled up and bagged and the bags were piled on the empty table. The plywood table that I used while building the dinghy got its items relocated to the Crisfield stash, the trash stash, and finally a stash was created with the plywood and more stuff that will remain will be located there. I loaned the pressure washer to Komputer Ken.
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The port hull had some rainwater in the bilge, so I bailed that into a 5 gallon bucket and poured that into the boatyard, several times.
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Jefferey, the free catamaran guy, went with me to Southern River Walk and we only consumed 3 bottles of wine. I was not allowed to drive. Work did not abate the next day, dammit. Shopping trips brought some items from the Post Office that was still receiving forwarded mail from Crisfield. Jefferey wanted to comp me a meal so we ended up at the Horse and Cow Pub and Grill. This is a restaurant location that has had 3 or 4 restaurants over the past few years, all failing, till now. I was shocked at the submarine theme inside, insignia, submarine warfare videos on display, and more importantly, local submariners at the bar and at tables with family. I don’t think this restaurant will fail. The quality of the food led me to think a retired Navy cook was in charge. My steak salad was quite more expensive than the similar from Long Horn Steak House and not as good, however Long Horn’s quality had dropped a bit also. All the Horse and Cow’s burgers are ½ lb. That would be more than I can handle at one meal.
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I had chicken parm sub at Southwest River Walk and it was not so great. I depends on who is cooking that night.
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The big news was the Trump trial in Manhattan and the NFL draft. I expect Trump to not have too much of a penalty from the trial, but his image has greatly suffered. The truth comes out. The NY Jets were given a B+ in the draft. Maybe their image will improve. We fans are skeptical after last year’s fiasco.
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The internet in the boatyard is down and won’t be fixed by the time I get up to Crisfield which has its own internet problems. I found my T-mobile Galaxy S23+ worked perfectly as a tether. My laptop hard drive had failed after I swapped it, apparently, before it had wound down. The data was still there but it couldn’t boot normally. After a long session of swapping files using the drive on a USB adapter, swapping onto a second bootable linux drive, I was able to reinstall linux on the bad drive, then swap all the files back. Whew.
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All went well. There were programs that needed reinstallation. Linux downloads from the archive, online. No internet. Wait, use the Galaxy phone as a tether. Bingo. I was able to reinstall the apps I needed. To get the Calibre ebook database installed and working I had to do two data intensive operations, update and upgrade. It might take forever. When I started I was mesmerized by screens of data code scrolling rapidly by. It took a while, but not much longer than the boatyard’s regular internet.
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One book I had been reading was Richard Evan’s “Third Reich at War”. I was able to resume. I was rereading a book that is academic and incomprehendable. The sheer numbers, the extent of the atrocities, needed to be read and read again. Some aspects apply to us today, but as bad as the war in Ukraine is, and as bad the animosity and conflict in Gaza are, they are tiny compared to the World War, the millions upon millions who died in combat, and worse, the innocent civilians that were put to death in the millions, the neighbors who turned others into the SS.
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The battle between the communist Russians and the extreme right Nazi Wehrmacht at Kursk remains the largest and most destructive battle in the history of warfare. I think the German death of 175,000 is hard to comprehend, but the Russians lost ten times as many.
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As the book goes on it gets into things like the guilt of Germany, statistical breakdown of very dry analysis, and it becomes hard for me to keep going. Like the war in the Pacific, the war in Europe demanded the war end as soon as possible. The Nazis were following their perverted obsessive annihilation of the Jews and Communists. It seemed like the lucky ones that made it almost all the way through the war would be put to death when just a month or two would have meant their survival. I kept hoping that the book would end with a large final section of bibliography, but I’m still not finished with it.
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The idea that Trump is a Nazi is not far fetched, but also not correct. Hitler died of his own hand at age 56. Trump is 77 or so and probably will resist anything that would end his life. Not so for the rest of us.
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After a couple days I finally finished 3rd Reich at War. Whew. The Nazis, although never having more than about 1/3 of the popular vote, maintained their control over Germany through intimidation and fear. They followed their flawed agenda blindly and destroyed most of Europe and its people.
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I sold my reel of 3/8” line to a fellow catamaraner. I wouldn’t have to worry about it being stolen while I was away. Someone had taken my tubs of M700 wet/dry epoxy. I think I know who.
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The image is of a sunset at the travel lift well in the boatyard.

D4 Launchie

23 April 2024 | St Marys, GA
Cap'n Chef Andy | Summer
The laptop pooped the bed, so I have to scurry around with alternatives. Not as bad as typing on the phone.
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I flipped the dinghy over and positioned it to work on the inside. The epoxy was going off in the heat almost imme⁰diately, so I moved the epoxy workstation under the catamaran, in the shade. A mix of "glue hard", colloidal silica with some fiberglass mill ends in epoxy, was smooshed under the ends of the seats and any place that might need some extra reinforcement. The temperature was soaring and I took breaks in between the work.
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The areas under the seats and in the bow and stern were painted with Rustoleum gloss white with a brush, then a Chinese roller was used to paint all the flat areas. Finally I painted the inboard surfaces of the bow and stern transoms with some of the leftover gloss almond paint.
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The next day I put another coat of white on the interior. It was hot and the paint dried almost immediately. I was having heat problems and took many rest breaks during all this. After putting on the second coat of white and taking a break I decided to install the oarlocks. The procedure is to drill a fine drill that the screws of the installation will follow, but drill again with a large drill, not too deep, which will get filled with epoxy and fiberglass mill ends. The idea is that the screws will get into the deep fine holes and be encapsulated with the epoxy mixture elsewhere. I used some JB Weld structural epoxy because I didn't need too much and it said it was rated for 2 tons. I mixed it with "Glue Hard" and put the oarlocks on the rub rails. Gunwales.
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Heat has a bad effect on me. I can work for 5 minutes and then have to take about 10-15 minutes break. Chest pains could be an after effect from the Ole Mole Chili Dogs. Take a break, drink some more warm water.
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I drilled more holes in the bow and stern transom. I needed something to grab at the bow and also at the stern. I also needed a lifting harness to bring this dinghy on board, using one of the halyards. My solution was to drill two holes at the bow and stern and thread a 3/8" line all around, tie in a good square knot. I could use the lines to lift the dinghy and if we were going to bring the dinghy to the water, there was now a grip line at the bow and stern.
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I ran across a 2 hour interview with Greg Lemond on YouTube and could watch it while I was waiting for other things. His story is one of calamity. Recovering from leukemia. He's the reason many of us, me included, got more serious into cycling back in the 80's and 90's. He was gifted and just burst his way into international cycling, from America, no one else could do what he did. He challenged and beat Bernard Hinault, the French national champion, who was duplicitous. Americans were not held in regard by the French. Lemond beat Hinault, suffered a broken wrist, and while recuperating was shot by shotgun by his brother-in-law while hunting turkey. He only survived because a police helicopter was in the area.
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However unlikely it may seem, after being dropped by his sponsors, Lemond recovered. He was way out of shape and recovering from massive shotgun wounds, but he kept riding his bicycle. He went on to win a total of 3 Tour de Frances and a couple of World Championships. When he was not doing that well bicycle racing, he thought he had some kind of ailment. It turned out that cyclists were starting to use sophisticated doping. He quit when he could no longer compete.
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The next day I thought I would put the dinghy in and give it a row. The tide was out. It was hot again. I was out of bread and had a ham and cheese omelet for breakfast. I decided to wait for a high tide. Wouldn't be one till after 8PM.
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I had a reel of 3/8" dacron double braid line. The reel broke and the line became a snarl, all 70 fathoms of the remainder. I had tried to unsnarl the snarl and had some of it gathered snarl free and hung on the back of the dinghy. What a mess.
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What I learned from the bos'n's in the Navy was to flake out the line, all of it. There's no short cut. That's what I did with the first portion that I hung on the dinghy. Tedious. You take the bitter end and begin freeing it from the snarl. 70 fathoms is a long piece of line and of course you can't do all that in the heat at an advanced age. I left the bunch on the dinghy and started with the other end, hard to find in the snarl. After a while I was pulling out the bitter end and a length of line and flaking it down on the gravel of the boatyard. Then go back and pull it all through the snarl, maybe getting another yard of line out of it and having to flake it all down. Do it again. The heat would get to me and I could sit in the shade and work on the computer.
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The hard drive I had been using crashed after I erroneously swapped it while getting some books from another drive, Australian anthropology books.
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We focus on the ice age in North America, because it had a huge impact here. Meanwhile in Australia the First Nation, the Aborigines, not only lived and created oral tradition that exists now, but it was created during the ice ages, when Tasmania was connected to the mainland, and other places had stories about when the sea levels were lower.
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One oral tradition concerned a volcanic eruption of 3 craters. It happened 39 thousand years ago. A stone axe was found buried under the ash of the eruptions.
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The Aborigines have a concept called Dreamtime. It's like something that has existed for a very long time. Humans come and go in and out of the Dreamtime, sometimes go to it when they sleep. Their stories from long ago in the past center not on the people in the stories but the locations they travel through. This makes certain locations sacred.
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Going after some of these books crashed the hard drive that had all my recent stuff. Ephemeral.
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I panicked. My hard drive was dead. I had a spare chassis that I had given Cornelia Marie, but she gave it back, unused and not fully charged. I had that hard drive, which I thought was a clone of mine, and another older drive. I was facing an end of my endless amassed digital data. I appealed to Komputer Ken, I need the Navigatrix installation drive. He tossed it down to me.
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So I spent the time between unsnarling the 70 fathoms of line and trying to get my computer situation back. I found out I was missing a little harness on one of the hard drives. I had to use my defunct hard drive on a USB adapter to transfer files off of it, the ones that are indispensable. I had to make sure, the drive would be wiped and everything on it would be erased. The files were saved onto Cornelia Marie's hard drive. To use the hard drive on the laptop as a boot device it's best to have it installed in what's called a hard drive caddy. To use a hard drive as an external storage device it's best to use a USB3 adapter and not have the drive in the caddy. I had to be careful which drive was which.
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Eventually all was restored, but there was still a bunch of snarled line to unsnarl. The next day I unsnarled the rest of the line and begged for a ride to Harbor Freight to get a reel to wind up 70 fathoms of line. I bought two reels, one for the line and another for the 75 foot collapsible garden hose that will be put away when I leave for Crisfield.
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I borrowed a hand truck and used it to haul the dinghy to the dock after dumping out rainwater. We had had a serious front come through with lightning and high winds. The rain drenched my hoodie that I had left out. I twisted it against the boat cradle next door to get the water out and then left it in the now blue sky and sun to dry. The dinghy was unceremoniously cast into the water and led around the docks to a floating dock where I could climb into it. I went back and got the oars and oarlocks. A fellow was at the dinghy and wanted to talk about it. I got in and rowed about 500 feet to the dinghy dock where I tied it up.
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This was the first time in the water and I was curious about how it would trim out because I had substituted a copy of Chesapeake Light Craft's seating arrangement and I thought the middle seat was now too far forward. It turned out to be OK. If I had a passenger in the dinghy or a bunch of water and groceries it would trim out perfectly. As it was now with just me in it, the transom was not in the water, but the point of the transom, the keel, was immersed. The dinghy rowed easily. If I had a sailing rig on it, it would trim out perfectly. I dragged it up on the dinghy dock. People are so polite, even in a coarse boatyard. Your dinghy looks fabulous. Yeah, right.
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I had to take a break. Komputer Ken said he and Steve the Environmentalist were going to test their ARK, a remote controlled water vehicle that consumes trash from the water, later around 7PM.
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At around 6 I decided to go back to the dinghy, I was eager to try it out again. A kid was down on the dinghy dock, one of the twins from the big catamaran in the river. He had toilet paper and masking tape over his thumb. He had cut himself and that was his makeshift bandage. He wanted a ride out to the catamaran. I had no lifejacket on board and really didn't know how the dinghy would behave, although so far it was OK. We got in and began to row across the river to the big catamaran.
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There was a problem I noted, the rough Polish rustic oars I had made were jumping out of the oarlocks from time to time. Nothing was tied down and I was afraid of losing the oarlocks overboard. When we got to the catamaran they onboard were getting ready to go ashore in their high powered inflatable (deflatable) dinghy. His dad was holding his left arm close to his body. I stabbed myself he said. Like father like son. The kid climbed into the inflatable and they sped off to the dock we had just come from.
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I rowed back and tied up. I brought the oars and oarlocks back to Kaimu and the tools. The oarlocks had pins that could be driven through the shafts of the oars. Then you could lose an oar and an oarlock, but you wouldn't lose a loose oarlock. I drilled and pinned the oarlocks to the oars and added some clevis pins to secure them.
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I went back and rowed across the river to my old C&C 24, Trillium, which had been neglected by its next two owners. The sail cover was in tatters, the sail exposed to U/V. I rowed back and met Steve and Ken and their environmental craft. There were others gathering for a test of the remote controlled environment saving craft.
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The tattoo artist was there with a Stand Up Paddleboard with an electric jet drive, scooting around, showing off. A photographer was there with a drone following all the action. The ARK went across the river with its flashing lights, a suction mouth would drop into the water and a big paddle wheel would spin and throw surface water that would go through the device and be filtered or otherwise analyzed and returned to the environment. The drone followed all the way across and back. Impressive flight time.
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I had been out in the dinghy, but the gnats, the no-see-um's, were pestering and I docked the dinghy and called it quits. I took a few photos of the ARK and the sunset.
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The image is of the dinghy at the dinghy dock.

Dinghy Skeg

17 April 2024 | St Marys, GA
Cap'n Chef Andy | Full on Summer
I was suffering with what seemed like a cold and also had allergy symptoms. I awoke and felt fine. The green pollen that was coating everything was gone. Maybe it will return.
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I had put a coat of epoxy on the interior of the dinghy and reinforced some areas that didn’t have proper fillets with improved fillet material, I call it “glue hard”. It’s colloidal silica with added fiberglass microfibers. When it sets up it’s like rock, impervious to ordinary tools. Best to shape it while it’s wet. Instead of dealing with that stuff the next day, I flipped the dinghy and worked on the exterior.
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First I sanded with the belt sander and the pad sander with 150 grit self adhesive paper. The hull was smooth with a lot of rough areas and divots. I dusted the hull, then made a mix of fairing compound. This consists of 50/50 colloidal silica/glass microspheres. I used a very large tongue depressor to mix and spread the mixture over the bottom of the hull. I did not try to create another layer on top of all the rest, just fill the weave in the fiberglass cloth and any rough spots.
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When I finished I thought I would sand and paint the exterior tomorrow. Then I realized I had forgotten about the skeg. Should I cut out a skeg and glue and screw it to the hull before painting? I will add it later. I want to see what the color, almond, looks like. Rain is coming again so I have to do what I have to do beforehand.
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Following the stock market involves following the Trump phenomenon, Truth Social, as it soared up to around 70 bucks a share when it was initially listed. The fundamentals indicated this stock has almost no value, gee, I should short it. Now, days later, it is around 40-50 dollars a share. I could not short it because there are no shares available to short. There is such a demand to short the stock that those who hold shares are not willing to part without a significant fee for anyone who wants to “borrow” shares to short. Perhaps there are Trump adherents who just want a stock certificate to frame and hang on the wall.
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My favorite stock now is Laird Superfoods. Nuff said. Clear One, a firm whose products I used during broadcast work, and who shot up when the pandemic forced people to telecommute and thus bought their products, now has a 50 cent dividend payable tomorrow. I can’t wait. There is a buy signal for it so I will hold.
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The next day I ran the grinders over the dinghy hull and applied a coat of Gloss Almond, from Rustoleum. I expected to see some irregularities but it was worse than I expected. There were patches where the glass weave was not filled and some dings here and there. I sent a photo to a couple of friends and one responded wonderful and the other said isn’t that just like the green dinghy you had before. No mention of the irregularities. The International Space Station, however, taking photographs of the recent total eclipse remarked there is a catamaran in Georgia with severe irregularities. Also no mention of the almond colored dinghy alongside it.
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I rushed ahead with the paint job because we have another rain event coming through early in the morning. Paint now or forever hold your brush. Most of the day will have some rain.
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In fact the rain event was a deluge. I planned to do my taxes indoors while the rain came through but by the time I got around to it the rain had stopped. I had been consoling Cornelia Marie over the phone because her sailboat engine and vehicle engine were acting up. Too much for her to deal with all at once. I retreated into the woodshop with the laptop and smart phone. My tax documents were downloaded somewhere on them and the wifi signal was strong in the woodshop.
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After going through all the ridiculous gathering of data to do my taxes I found out the tax prep service I was using was a sham, they wanted $66 for what should be a free simple tax preparation. I quit them and used Turbotax. Turbotax had some nice easy new features that made data acquisition very easy, except my newest Samsung upgrade had my .pdf files paired with Samsung Notes with no option available for the .pdf file apps I had been using since forever. The laptop’s battery died and I gave up on the woodshop. Back on board I used the phone. I still couldn’t open a .pdf but I could take a screen shot of it and use the .jpeg image with the Turbotax app. It took about 4 hours to do a very simple tax return.
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I was hungry and needed a quick meal. I tried the beaten egg in a bowl with boiling water thrown on it and made egg drop soup, adding ramen noodles and the chicken flavoring packet. Add some oyster sauce and sesame oil and it was acceptable. I knew I had to make a shopping list for some alternative meals. Chili dogs.
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The aftermath of the rain event was clearing skies and 40 mph winds. My allergies suddenly were going haywire. Either the winds were stirring up dust or pollen was coming in from the WNW. Maybe I was allergic to Kansas City.
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When I texted Komputer Ken about a shopping trip he said he was going to pick up Doc at the hospital in Jacksonville. Heart surgery. We returned to the boatyard and I borrowed the car to go shopping. $150 later I had ingredients for chili dogs as well as several other menu items. I forgot to get cabbage though.
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This time I started with a large skillet with a large onion, diced, drizzled with EVOO, and while it was starting to sautee, dusted it with chili powder, cumin, cocoa power, and a couple tablespoons of apricot preserves and peanut butter. A jar of chunky medium salsa went in and then 10 hot dogs. I used the boil/poach method so as to not burn the bottom of the pan. I had a couple chili dogs for dinner, donated a couple to my boatyard neighbor, and froze the rest.
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The next day I found a piece of 1X3 scrap lumber that I could use for a skeg on the dinghy. I quickly cut it with the correct angle and put it on the upside down dinghy. Perfect.
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I love meat balls but haven’t made any in a long time. I had bought some ground meat with that in mind. I also had kielbasa, but my plans to make soup with it were incomplete. Also there was a partial package of pepperoni from months ago. Pepperoni is forever.
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A very large onion was minced and thrown into a large skillet that already had a half cup of bread crumbs and two beaten eggs. The kielbasa was chopped with great difficulty. Try it. The pepperoni was also minced. Spices were added and the mixture was hand blended together with a pound of hamburger meat. When it was homogeneous it was formed into 13 meatballs. The skillet was wiped out and heated with EVOO.
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I could only fit 7 meatballs into the skillet and sauteed them, set them aside, then did the remaining 6. I set them aside.
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The remaining fat in the pan was not excessive so I sauteed diced onion for about 5 minutes, then added a tablespoon of minced garlic. Dusted with “Italian Spice Mix”. Added a large can of pureed tomatoes. Not Cento, too good for this experiment. The mixture in the pan was bubbling and I added as many meatballs that could fit without everything spilling all over the place. Tedious work.
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I began putting meatballs into zip lok bags, sauteed the last few in the sauce, bagged them all but one. Added the sauce to the bags, maybe a third of a cup to each one, and had the lone remaining meatball in a bowl with the remaining sauce. It was tasty. Not as good as Geoff’s.
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I ground away the paint on the centerline of the keel where the skeg should be. I washed the wood for the skeg and also cut off a pair of small diameter pvc pipe sections the length of the skeg. I waited a while to consider what I was planning to do. I made a small batch of epoxy and painted the skeg and the area it would be adhered to, then mixed some glue hard, smeared a bunch of it on the skeg, screwed it down, then formed the excess smoothly along both sides of the skeg. I had limited time to work the epoxy due to the heat. I concentrated on making it all smooth enough to encapsulate it later with a layer of glass and more epoxy.
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The next day it was hot and the epoxy would go off in a short time. I cut a triangle of glass to cover the skeg, soaked it with epoxy and the area it would be glued down. I used the pieces of pvc on either side of the skeg to keep the glass situated while the epoxy went off. I had dry clamped all this previously. I mixed the rest of the epoxy with 50/50 silica/glass microspheres and faired some rough spots on the hull. The heat of the day caused the mix to go off too soon. The fairing of the rough spots resulted in an even rougher finish than when I started.
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The image is of the newly installed skeg.

Clammy Hands

07 April 2024 | St. Marys, GA
Cap'n Chef Andy | Chilly AM, Warm PM
Items came in from TEMU, the Chinese cut rate retailer. One was a nice little drone that cost about twelve and a half dollars. It looked like an easy thing to play with while I coughed and sneezed. I was fighting a summer cold, even though it is not summer elsewhere, it seems like it here. A nice old gentleman was sitting with me on the Pandemic Porch where I was placing the drone, preparing to take off. He was interested in the drone and babbled about his nephew or son-in-law who used a drone to make videos of properties for sale. I read the Chinese manual and started the drone. It flew in my neighbor’s direction and he camplained, it almost hit me.
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I tried again. The controller had a button to try to correct for the crazy flight. This time it soared off and I panicked, what could I do, it zoomed up and took a turn for Rocky’s shop. It crashed into it. Everybody laughed. I put it away.
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I was feeling poorly and didn’t have energy to continue with the drone. I regressed into hunker down mode.
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The news was that the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after a ship rammed it. From what I know now, the accident was a freak event, the pilot and the crews that man the ship have contingencies for almost anything that can happen. When they lost power and propulsion they were able to alert the local authorities about 90 seconds before the impact. Traffic was halted by the sheriffs and the only people on the bridge were a pot hole repair crew who ended up in the drink, in Patapsco River water that was frigid enough to kill anyone in minutes, this at 1:30AM.
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While I was under the weather I was under the weather. A storm came through with a tornado warning and I hunkered in. All my tools were under cover, mostly, and I lay down in my bunk to suffer. Eloisa called me, we are here. I had to get up and go down to see her. She was upset. Her windshield wipers were stuck. We had worked on replacing her spark plugs and that required removing the cowling that held the wiper motor and the wiper motor electrical connection had to be disconnected.
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The spark plug replacement on this vehicle, a Ford Windstar, is a nightmare, which continues afterwards.
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I took the windshield wiper arms off and Eloisa cycled the wipers. I put one wiper on and she cycled them again. I put the other wiper on. She cycled again. They seemed to mechanically be assembled correctly. Then she tried other settings of the wipers and they intermittently ran or stopped all over the place.
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I washed the grease off my hands and tried the wiper control myself. There was obviously a problem, but if you ran the wipers on speed 8 they operated normally, and you could stop them at speed 1, then shut them off. Other speeds were erratic. We had the company of Geoff, the genius phd chemist, who can also fix almost anything, and he looked at things. Eloisa went off for the evening. Geoff said, I think that little connector that you can’t find a plug for might be the problem.
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The front, with a tornado warning, came through, thunder and lightning, big rain, dripping from the same old drip on the overhead hatch. No tornadoes.
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The next day was wet and overcast. I stayed in and began the cure for the common cold, wait it out for a few days.
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Eloisa was up in the mountains to “take care of business”. I wasn’t up for any fun anyway. I felt like I had the flu and was coughing up phloem prodigiously. I had once had bronchitis during a bad allergy season and this seemed the same. It was difficult to sleep, so when I did sleep, usually in the morning, I stayed in my bunk and got the most of it. I could get no work done and the weather and gnat swarms didn’t help.
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Geoff was relaunching his beautiful yacht for the upcoming trawler fest in Fernandina and his near neighbor was in the yard with his trawler just 50 feet away from Kaimu. I hope I am well and can visit the event, even though I don’t have a trawler.
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The SailGP racing series went to Christchurch, New Zealand, and I found a synopsis of the highlights on YouTube. The announcers sound like they are calling a horse race. The racing is exciting and if you like watching sailboats race, and who doesn’t, try it out. The USA team has recently changed its crew and they are obviously learning how to handle the boat. New Zealand won the final race on their home waters.
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I had no appetite, didn’t go out to the restaurants, and didn’t go shopping, just lay low and let time cure the cold or whatever it is. I ran out of wine and coffee. I gutted it out for a couple days. I was running out of my already meager supply of food. I could still make a mean ham and cheese omelet sandwich for breakfast but when din-din came around I simply didn’t eat, I wasn’t hungry. Then I had a night of really bad coughing, etc. I was getting worried. If I went to the health clinic it would be the VA clinic and I would have to get permission from the Maryland clinic at Pocomoke to visit the one here in St. Marys. At least I have it available as a last resort.
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I was able to try some work on the dinghy. When the rains came I had to turn it upside down to prevent it filling up with water. The last storm dumped about 3 inches of rain. While it was upside down I worked on the bottom and the bottom edges of the gunwales. Epoxy fairing mix was applied to any divots. The next day I could smooth the patches with the angle grinder with flap disk and pad sander. The bottom edge of the gunwales was rounded with these tools after I marked where the oarlock sockets would be mounted, where the gunwale had to remain square.
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Next I turned the dinghy upright and began working on the top outside edges of the gunwales the same way. The ends of the gunwales at the bow and stern were blended into the shape of the hull. Work was interrupted by rest breaks which included flying the new little drone.
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I found on YouTube how to properly set up the drone. Unlike the fractured instructions that came with it, the video showed a gyro calibration button. If you don’t calibrate the gyro the drone immediately goes haywire and becomes a Japanese Kamikaze killer, not the cheap meek Chinese drone clone. It is, I think, a clone of the Mavik Pro Drone. Of course it isn’t as good, but I haven’t flown the real thing. The clone drone has 3 speeds. Supposedly on the higher speeds it will have enough power to fight the breeze, which my old Bugs2 could do, but I found even a light breeze would make it difficult to hold position. I’ve been meeting more boatyarders who are either annoyed that I’m flying into their air space or happy to have some entertainment at my expense. Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing, I am told. The drone cost $12.98 from TEMU.
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I finally felt well enough to go shopping and Komputer Ken said he was going to the hardware store and he’d take me along. We had a nice chat, hadn’t been out on the road with him for some time. I chatted about clam farming. It was my new food obsession. When I was really low on available food and didn’t want another ham and cheese sandwich or peanut butter, I made a quick soup, like a Thai clam chowder.
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I put about a cup of water in a bowl with some instant tom yum paste, about a heaping teaspoon, and microwaved it till it was boiling. In a second bowl I scrambled an egg, then poured the hot water into the bowl. Instant egg drop soup, but then the clams went in as well as some sesame oil. It was surprisingly tasty, but maybe I was starving by that time and would eat anything.
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The YouTube clam farming videos were from Cedar Key, of course, and from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, just South of Crisfield. Another came from Vietnam or Philippines. They showed the process of incubating the tiny, microscopic, clam larvae, nursing them along, and then letting them grow up in the local waters. They need no food at this stage, they filter feed, and as a result, the local waters get cleaned up. Of course the local waters cannot be polluted.
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The image is of clam harvesting from the Associated Press, photographer Alvaro Barrientos.

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