The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS

Final Day in Norfolk

We have decided to stay an extra day here in the Naval Sail Training Centre. As of Sunday night we were still waiting for our antenna and I have a couple of extra chores that I could still do before setting off, not the least of which is installing the new wind instrument and at least putting the fuel filters into place below decks. Maury and Ginger also have some last minute things to do so as we were planning to make the first part of the trip in company with them, this works out very well.

We have already paid the bill up to today as the office is closed today and tomorrow so we'll have to slip another day's payment under the door or something to remain square with the house.

The internet service has gone down again and of course that has happened when there is no one at the clubhouse. Grrrr! I guess that's what you get when you have well meaning amateurs installing technology, and other untrained staff trying to maintain it.

Last night we went off to Doc Hatton's place and met his wife Jane, a former Crown Prosecutor in Halifax, and their Schnauzer puppy Hansel who was worth the visit all by himself. They live in a wonderful home right off the Lafayette River and were gracious hosts towards us to say the least. The evening was spent reminiscing on mutual friends back in Halifax and how much of what I had worked with was actually started by Doc when he served up there. We had the best Ceasar Salad that I've had in years and some excellent steak and fresh asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Is your mouth watering yet? And then they were kind enough to offer us a queen sized bed to sleep over, breakfast and a ride back to the marina in the morning. Doc's posting to Norfolk is drawing to a close and he is expecting to be posted back to Halifax where Jane will get her law practice back on line and he will head out to serve as the attaché in Afghanistan for a year. That will be a huge change from the gentile atmosphere of Norfolk - sandy beaches to rocky and sandy desert!

I am installing, or at least partially installing the new wind instrument today so I have been studying the manual. It's a much simpler setup that the other one that is already in place and I am hoping to use much of the cabling that is already run through the boat. My only question mark is the whole business of the "sea talk bus" which they refer to. As I only have two instruments that even use such a protocol I am hoping that much of what they want me to buy to put the whole business in line won't be necessary. Regardless, I have to make another West Marine run to get some canvas sewing parts for Barb so I will see if they have the additional part for the sea talk link and check the price. If it's not too dear I'll get it just in case. I will also buy an antenna rail mount although the wind instrument kit comes with one, I'd like to have one as a spare, just in case. Them I know aren't too expensive. The installation of the display unit was very easy as it is smaller than the old one and actually freed up space on the instrument console after I removed the old one. I will probably wait until we get to Elizabeth City to go up the mast to put the sending unit in. That means that we have only three really major projects to finish on the boat - finish installing the watermaker, which hasn't been such an issue so far since we have been stopping at places where we can take aboard reliable water; install the diesel filter system that we bought at the boat show; and, of course, the new wind instrument. Once those are finished most of the rest of the projects will be small in scale by comparison.

Our friends Cliff and Diane made a suggestion yesterday that we will act upon as soon as we can - they suggested that we get a US cell phone with unlimited long distance. Apparently they are very cheap and should cut down on our costs for comms a lot.

We have been getting a lot more wind here at the marina that was forecast but still a very bright warm sunny day. The weather witches are calling for much of the same and even warmer over the next four or five days so it was probably a good thing that we waited here 'till the storms went by.

It's Monday and the flight schedule is back on line. It is astounding how much noise a group of helicopters can make and since their refuelling stop is right opposite our dock the steady whup, whup, whup during the idle followed by the increase tempo and roar as they take off is something startling if you are not used to it. I certainly won't miss it after we get underway, but I will miss the marina. We will definitely stop off here again on the way back north in the spring.