21 May 2011
Partly Cloudy, 75
Sorry about being so long between posts but things have gotten busy with the launch of the new Midnight Breeze and my job. It seems things were happening at light speed around here and just now have started slowing down, so I'll try to catch you all up on the happenings.
Three Saturdays ago (April 30th) Mary and I took delivery of the new Midnight Breeze. (See pictures in the gallery.) The day started off at 0900 with a walk-through and systems check. The second half of the day was spent with a sailing lesson. Afterwards, we spent the weekend moving on to the boat. We still had to leave Midnight Breeze at their docks for the next week so they could perform repairs and clean up on items that we found needed attention. (Plus the boat show was still in progress at our marina and while that was going on we could not bring the boat over). Other than a few lose hatch locks and some blemish issues everything seemed to be in working order. So, that first night Mary and I went out and celebrated with a nice dinner at Middleton's in downtown Annapolis. After dinner we went upstairs to the piano bar and had a great time.
Sunday came all too soon and found us still unpacking and trying to store things, for our return trip next week will bring even more items. We have vowed to not bring anything onboard that we would not need in the islands. (Yea, right)! All we can do is try. We had a great time that first weekend and we're looking forward to getting Midnight Breeze out for our first solo sail to our marina next week.
Here is a little note for the techies out there and anyone new to the AIS system of identification. If you have a marine radio that is AIS capable of transmitting and receiving you must get a personalized pin number from the US government. Now, be careful, there are two ways of going about this. First, if you do not plan to sail outside US waters you can go online to the Boat US web site and apply for one through them. If you are planning to sail outside US waters you must go through the FCC. I'm not sure about the first option but the second option the FCC requires you to have a station license before you can get your AIS Pin. You can get both at the same time when applying through the FCC online. Two additional notes of interest First, it's going to cost you $160.00 when you go through the FCC. Secondly, when you go to program your radio with the pin number that you receive, you only have two chances to get it right. If you screw up both chances you will have to send the radio back to the manufacture and get it erased before you can try again. Since Midnight Breeze is planning to sail outside the country I went through the FCC. I filed one day and received my call letters for my station license and pin number the next day through email. The actual paper license I received in two days. Now that is what I call service. I work for the US Government and they can never do anything fast! What a treat! In fact I had it so fast I was able to call my sales rep gave him the information and he had it programmed for me before we picked the boat up. (A side note, I have a Raymarine radio and AIS unit.)