02 January 2013 | Annapolis, MD
26 December 2012 | Chesapeake Bay
19 September 2012 | Deltaville, Virginia
Snowy little ship
24 January 2013
Snow in Annapolis
We've stayed warm for most of the winter so far, and people familiar with Annapolis tell us that it's been a mild winter. We've been out sailing in t-shirts in December & January, so we can't complain!! The past couple nights have been very cold though, and we're really putting our little electric ceramic heater to the test. Last night we went to cook dinner and all of our cooking oils were solid... we were scooping oil into a pan with a spoon! The oil and vinegar dressing that I made for the salad was a little lumpy too ;)
We're staying warm with our blankets, and our kerosene cabin lights help take the edge off and give the cabin a "Warm, orang-y, glow." Maybe they're just tricking us into thinking we're warm. The boat is warmer than the outdoors, however, evidenced by the amount of condensation we collect each day. The dock we're on has shut off the water for the winter, and we fill our water tanks a few gallons at a time from our jerry can. Unfortunately, our jerry can is frozen solid, so I guess we'll be dealing with what we have in the tanks right now!!
We're going through very little water, however, since we have a raw water footpump lead to our galley sink. This gives us the ability to do the majority of our washing with the briny Chesapeake water, and we just finish off with a quick rinse of the fresh water. The Chesapeake water is cold (low 40s) and our water aboard Mandy is also very cold- probably also in the 40s- so doing the dishes is a less than pleasant task. We unfortunately have the added hardship of having a janky stove, so we can't heat any water for dishes. We take turns doing them, and it's break-time when your fingers are red with white knuckles and you're having a hard time bending/feeling them!! Our stove has been a problem before, and the previous owners said that it was damaged in shipping. We can't get the oven to work at all, and even when the stove is on full blast, it only gets to just above a simmer. It takes forever to boil water, and right now it's not working at ALL. There is an electric on/off solenoid on deck, and we can hear that it's not always clicking. No propane is getting to the stove, and the tanks aren't empty... Bob disconnected the stove and tried opening the valve and no propane came out of the line, so it appears that our switch may be frozen in place.
Our trusty companion THUNDER RANGE came to the rescue. Thunder Range is a little butane stove that we bought years ago for $15 at an Asian market. Little T.R. really pumps the BTUs out and gets a wok smoking hot to stirfry in just a few seconds. We've been doing the majority of cooking on our trusty side kick... but there are no Asian markets ANYWHERE in Annapolis. It looks like the closest one is near D.C., and we're down to our last little bit of butane. We're going to stop by a hardware store today and try and find a can to cook on tonight, but we've been looking and things are getting grim. We may have to go all the way into this great nation's capital for a few cans of butane.
I awoke this morning to a strange grinding sound a few inches from my head outside the boat. Any time you hear an unfamiliar sound (especially scraping!!!) it's cause for alarm! I stuck my sleep-encrusted face to the porthole and saw a city employee shoveling snow from the dock onto Mandy (sitting low at low tide). While I felt it was a little rude to move snow onto us, I was relieved to know the cause of the sound and curled back into my berth in my down sleeping bag < 3
When we finally did emerge this morning, it was sunny and beautiful, with a dusting of snow on everything. Annapolis is so beautiful in the wintertime!
We've been shutting the forepeak and quarter berth off in these coldest of days, trying to keep our heat just in the main saloon area. Our clothes and head, however, are in the forepeak. Moving aside our blanket/curtain to pee in the middle of the night really gives you a shock. It's damn cold up there, and surprising how well insulated that blanket is keeping us! The real wakey-wakey in the morning, however, is putting on a pair of pants and shirt that are so cold that they feel heavy and wet... or maybe that's just the condensation ;)
I'm sure we'll forget all about how this feels while we're lying cool rags on our foreheads in the stagnant heat a few months from now...
Living and Working Aboard
02 January 2013 | Annapolis, MD
Erin / Cold & Sunny
Now that the holidays are over, work is starting to pick up for the two of us again. We are both living aboard and working from Mandy, and we're staying in Annapolis for the winter. We've had a number of people ask how we're both able to live, work and play aboard Mandy, and it's something that we're trying to figure out ourselves. I teach private guitar, mandolin and ukulele lessons aboard our boat in the evenings, and my schedule is just starting to fill back in. When my students come aboard, Bob heads out to run errands or continue working at a café to give us a little privacy. Bob works during the day as a private contractor for various mechanical design jobs, taking positions where he can work from the boat. As long as he can find an internet connection to send his employers updates, he can work from anywhere. Annapolis has a very convenient city-wide internet program that we can access from any anchorage or dock in the city, giving us the opportunity to make the most of working aboard the boat. Annapolis has a great music scene, and we are starting to perform locally as our duo, Rib Bone. As a guitarist, I can fit my instruments nearly anywhere- but the remarkable thing about our space negotiation is that Bob is a drummer. While living aboard our O'Day 22 in upstate NY, we kept the drum kit, guitars and Bose L-1 P.A. system aboard and were able to sail to many of our gigs. With a Bristol Channel Cutter, we have much more space- but we're quickly finding ways to fill it. Besides all of our clothes for 4 seasons, we have a mandolin, guitar, ukulele, drum kit (snare, high-hat, 2 ride cymbals, and huge African djun-djun as a bass drum), and our P.A. system. Even though there are things that we find daily and think "this could be done a little differently to give us a little more storage..." I personally am beyond impressed with how Mandy swallowed up all of our possessions in a way that we can access them fairly easily. Now we just have to find a way to fit two folding bikes and a bike trailer in there somewhere...
26 December 2012 | Chesapeake Bay
After three months of working to get Mandy back in action, we finally set a launch date for November 29th. We had a few set backs along the way... Bob had to return to Michigan for almost a month, we found a few surprises to work on before she was to be launched, and a hurricane came to stall our progress. After all of that time to prepare, we were confident that she was ready for the water. The morning of the launch, however, I was filled with anxiety. Several boats needed to be moved to get Mandy out, and the travelift didn't come for her until after noon. She shuddered awake as the straps lifted, seeming to stretch out her sprit and mast after two years of a sedentary living. She slowly dipped her keel in, testing the water, and then settled in on her lines and welcomed us aboard. As the straps fell away the three of us were free. Pulling out into Jackson Creek was an adventure in itself, as we'd never seen Mandy in the water before. Even though we'd been living aboard while working on her for the past three months, everything was different. She showed us around the creek, and we picked out a slip in the marina to load the rest of our supplies aboard before we left Deltaville. We gained a new appreciation for everything about Mandy- but especially her "user friendly" decks.
We had decided to travel to Annapolis for the winter so that we were able to find work easily, and so that we'd be in the Chesapeake and able to sail all winter. Being northerners, we aren't worried about the winter temperatures in the Chesapeake- and we both enjoy winter sailing. We left Deltaville on December 1st, with an unseasonable 60 degree day, and pointed our sprit north as every other boat was moving south. Our first sail in Mandy was better than we expected, with 15-20 kt southeasterly breeze, pushing us along in a broad reach at 6 kts. Our first day of sailing Mandy gave me the greatest sail of my life. Her forgiving ways, gentle motion and ease of operation were pure pleasure. Everything seemed to move in slow motion as she showed us the way up the Chesapeake. We arrived in Annapolis three days later, just before sunset. We anchored off the Naval Academy seawall for the first night, and moved into Ego Alley the next day. Mandy had spectators lining the dock as she moved elegantly down the aisle. Cameras flashed as she found herself a slip, and as we tied her lines we answered questions as Mandy accepted compliments. It felt like traveling with a celebrity! She seems quite comfortable right here at the City Dock, and we're going to stay for a while. I'm getting my guitar, mandolin and ukulele studio going here in Annapolis and Bob is starting work in January. We played our first gig at a cafe in town last week, and the three of us couldn't be happier!
Here's a video of our sail up the Chesapeake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiYIPJl0Z6w
Mandy's New Crew
19 September 2012 | Deltaville, Virginia
Bob and I recently purchased Mandy, Bristol Channel Cutter, hull #32 in Deltaville Virginia. We've been searching for "the one" for nearly three years, and we completed a thorough search of nearly the entire coastal U.S., including the Great Lakes, and extending our search to Maritime Canada too. We've chronicled our search in our blog on our website www.rib-bone.com. After spending the winter working in Seattle, we purchased Mandy in the spring and moved east performing music and slinging street food until all hours of the night to help us pay down our debts and collect the meager beginnings of a cruising kitty. This September we moved our entourage to Deltaville where Mandy has patiently awaited attention and the promise of dipping her keel back into adventure. We'll be chronicling our list of projects in our next posts!
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