Early December 2017
07 December 2017 | Whortonsville
It has been a while since I last posted but I have not forgotten how! We made a trip in August to remove sails and secure the boat for storms because we were planning an extended absence to take a “land cruise”. Our trip to Yellowstone National Park was simply delightful. We pulled the fifth wheel camper over 6000 miles in 5 weeks. We didn’t see everything but we saw a lot. The weather was unusually warm so we didn’t need all the winter clothes we packed. We had no problems that could not be overcome with a trip to the hardware store and the weather was with us the entire trip. As is my habit, I did write about it. I started a “blogspot” blog and made entries every few days. If you are interested that blog can be found at https://travelwithgramandpapa.blogspot.com/
I said before that it had been a long time since I posted to this blog but we did make a trip that I did not enter. During the last days of our Yellowstone trip we learned that our dear friend Jeanette Santoro had passed away. Jeanette and husband Nick own Ensign Harbor where we keep Southern Star. She had been fighting cancer many months. We weren’t sure we would be home in time to attend any sort of service but Nick and daughter Alyce sent an email notice to all their friends that they had decided to have a “Pig Pickin’” in Jeanette’s honor instead of a somber service. The party was in late September and everyone involved was delighted. It was a great party and I am sure Jeanette would have heartily approved.
Since the trip in late September, we have been catching up on things that needed to be done around the house. We have a huge wrap-around wooden deck attached to our house. It is much bigger than it needs to be but when we finished building the house we had an abundance of 2x6 lumber left over and since I hate to waste anything I built the deck to use the lumber. We had not done a good job of maintaining the deck as far as regular cleaning and re-staining so cosmetically it looked rough but it is structurally sound. We started by pulling questionable boards off. We found that in many cases we could simply turn the boards over, clean them thoroughly and screw them back down. This is very labor intensive but not as hard on the Visa Card. Anyway after that project was finished we went to Charleston, SC along with some friends to help my friend Hal put up an amateur radio antenna. We stretched that trip into 4 or 5 days and had a great time with some of the great restaurants in Charleston.
With shopping, cooking and cleaning up Thanksgiving consumes a week of our time. This year was no different and we had a blast. Kids Grands and In-laws alike had a traditional turkey feast.
Christmas is always a busy time and it started immediately after the Thanksgiving dishes were put away. The weather at home had been very warm and nice in November and December had been nice so far. Unfortunately the weather folks were telling us that it wasn’t going to last. A cold blast from the great frozen north was to descend mid week. We needed to travel to the boat just to make sure things aboard were as they should be.
Monday December 4, 2017
We left home at 9am and were in no big hurry. Our only concern was how much cleaning we would have to do and how much damage we would discover from our recent rodent infestation. In nearly 14 years in the same slip we had never had a mouse aboard to our knowledge. Suddenly one day we arrived to find they had taken up residence. Although we never saw one, we know these mice were tiny by the size of their droppings. Mouse traps were not effective because they could chew the bait off without tripping the trap. They could even get the bait off a “sticky” trap without getting caught. We put out several different kinds of poison in hopes of ridding the boat of the vermin. We were pleased to find that very small amounts of poison had been eaten from the bait cakes and that was about the only evidence of their presence. Judy cleaned all the cooking and eating surfaces and washed all the on-board dishes but that was a light load compared to what could have awaited us.
Since this was such a quick trip, we had a nice lunch in Kinston on the way down and warmed up homemade soup for dinner. The ceramic heater warmed the cabin nicely since it was not very cold outside. Internet reception was good this time using my external “booster” antenna so since it was too dark and cool to be outside we retired to the cabin for Internet surfing and reading.
Tuesday December 5, 2017
We didn’t plan to do a lot but we decided since we didn’t know when we were coming back we would take some action toward protecting the boat from freezing temperatures. We emptied both fresh water tanks and I pumped the waste tank. I don’t take any drastic action now that I am retired like adding antifreeze to water tanks and raw water system. Since most things that are affected by cold are below the water line, having freeze damage in unlikely in this area anyway. If super cold weather is forecast, I can make a day trip to apply antifreeze and do a more complete winterization. This way we don’t have to pump pink antifreeze out of the tanks this spring.
I was considering replacing our broken stanchion on Tuesday morning but we woke up to “partly cloudy” all over the boat and dock. The rain was forecast but not until much later in the day. We love being on the boat but when it is raining not so much. We loaded the car in the rain and headed east. We stopped for a leisurely lunch in Kinston and arrived in Cary shortly after our grandson Jonas got home from school. We had a nice visit with him and continued on our way, arriving at home at about 7 pm.