Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is Noah In The House?

It's been a week and a half since we put aCappella in the water and it has rained almost every day. Not misty, foggy rain. No, it has poured - torrential rain with high winds. My boat shoes have never gotten dry. The dinghy went to the "dinghy doctor" for what turned out to be bad battery cables. It seems the original installation involved a shoddy splicing job which finally went bad in a hidden location. Jeff made it out to the boat one day when it was merely sprinkling to scrub the cap rail in preparation for coating it along with putting the dinghy back up on the fly-bridge. Not much has been removed from our lists. Simple stuff like buying the hose for the salt water wash down is about all that we've gotten done.

We're trying to get as much ActiveCaptain work out of the way as we can so when the sun comes out we can spend more time on the boat. We leave tomorrow to give several talks at the Greenport, NY TrawlerFest at the Mitchell Park Marina - I'm sure the weather will clear as soon as we leave town. The "kids" are going to Uncle Larry's for a few days. Yes, Larry does do more than boats. He loves dogs, too. Another reason I love him!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

She's In The Water!

All week "they" predicted rain with clearing Friday and through the weekend - perfect! We spent all day on a drizzly Thursday completing projects that had to be done before we could put aCappella in the water - tightening every hose clamp, spraying the shafts with anti-fouling paint, cleaning strainers, loading supplies, bleeding fuel tanks - lots of stuff. By the time we left she was in the slings waiting to be launched on Friday morning at 6:30 am. Nothing would stop us now.

Well, on Friday morning we woke to pouring rain and headed out with dogs in tow for our early launching - it's a 90 minute drive. We ended up soaked but it all went pretty smoothly. The rain never let up so we just started in on our to-do list - de-winterizing the water system, cleaning and organizing inside, checking the heat, frig, stove, heads, and on and on. Of course, we forgot to bring the "magic mat" (see our article on training dogs for the "poop deck", Canine Crew) - it wasn't on "the list" - so the dogs were not cooperating with their bathroom chores.

Once the boat was secure at the dock, I headed out to bring back breakfast along with the dogs - it was really pouring by then. Seeing the very steep (low tide with our 10 foot tides) ramp I decided that holding on to two Labs while carrying coffee and breakfast sandwiches was not a good idea, so I let them off leash at the top to run down by themselves - what could go wrong? Spry Dylan went down like a bullet - mainly a slightly controlled free-fall. Dyna followed behind. Half way down her back foot caught in a drain hole and she ended up splayed on her belly stuck. My cry for help instantly brought three guys from Journey's End Marina who helped free her. My heroes! Another reason I love this marina! Dyna was unhurt but I did lose one of the coffees (Jeff's)...

We all fell into bed exhausted on Friday night and awoke to the most glorious day on Saturday. The dogs were cooperative with their morning bathroom activities and we decided to reward them with a dinghy ride - we wanted to test her out anyway.

Our first real problem - it was dead. A check of the battery showed it was fine, so we assumed it was a reincarnation of the electrical problem we thought we had fixed last summer. No dinghy ride but now we couldn't put her back because the engine wouldn't tilt. Several calls to Larry with several attempted fixes didn't change the situation. We finally decided to put her back up onto the boat on blocks. Jeff was pretty frustrated but then our problem wasn't as bad as the boat across the way...

Next, a thorough boat cleaning (she was filthy), bilge cleaning, sorting through the engine room and lazarette, new bronze fittings for the salt water wash-down, and I can't even remember what else. Somehow we got to the end of our list in time to go out for dinner and back to watch a movie. We were ready to head home on Sunday. Of course, we awoke Sunday to rain. Well, at least it wasn't pouring rain. The three hour trip back to Castine was great with flat, calm water. Everything worked fine.

Dyna, otherwise known as "The Queen," claimed the settee in the salon on which she slept the entire way back.

Dylan stayed close in the pilothouse but he soon succumbed to sleep also.

Larry met us with our Whaler and helped put the bridle back on our mooring. He then chauffeured us back to shore. Tomorrow we head back to Rockland to pick up the car and start down our list for our August departure - gel-coat fixes, cap rail touch-up, install hosing for the wash-down, engine room painting, new exhaust blankets, new batteries, plus a lot more. We're down to (only) 58 things on our Project list.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bada Bing!

Yesterday our Whaler, Bada Bing!, went in the water while it rained. Rain today, rain tomorrow but Friday looks good for our launching, so the rest is OK. Our friend Larry returned from Florida where he delivered a boat and picked up his granddaughter. While there he had our life raft inspected and repacked, and the EPRIB battery changed - cause he "knows a guy." They'll be put back onboard before we leave Rockland. It sure is alot of money for something you never, ever want to use!!!!! Need to think of it as insurance.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Time Grows Short

We are scheduled to put the boat in one week from today. Actually, we're in pretty good shape. Barring no unforeseen event we'll be ready. Hey, what could possibly happen? But just to be sure I have been making plenty of overtures to the God Dylan. No, not our lovely puppy who turns two today by the way, but the Celtic God of the waves, for whom our Dylan is named. As you can tell, we are absolutely not above shamelessly sucking up to any available deity in the hopes of calm seas. I find it just as effective as swearing when you're in a blow.

This week was mainly attending to lots of small tasks. Adding the final connectors to the new VHF antenna and testing the fly-bridge radio, putting the snaps on the two new window screens, replacing the windshield wipers, etc. Jeff finished gel coat repairs on the Whaler and plans to bottom paint this weekend so she can go in early next week. Each trip we make down to the boat we load the car with items we removed last fall. Excitement is growing.

Our final tasks include preparing our four-legged crew for duty. We fear they have reverted into quite the landlubbers over the winter. I put the "training mat" back out several months ago which they are completely ignoring (see our article on training your crew to use the poop deck, Canine Crew, for an explanation). A week from today they will begin 3-days onboard as we whip them back into salty dawgs. We'll keep you posted.

Eight week old Dylan reports for duty. Where does the time go???????

Monday, June 1, 2009

5200 Follow-Up

A quick follow-up to my recent hair trauma. A search of Google (5200 sealant hair) turned up nothing helpful. I did find reference to using mineral spirits - although with various amounts of warnings - to remove oil based paint from hair. A couple of references suggested salad oil or very oily body wash. So I used a generous amount of baby oil, working it from the roots out for several minutes. I then took the hottest shower I could stand and let my hair air dry. My hair feels soft and silky with no noticeable residue. Maybe this will help someone else - from now on I will proudly wear my ActiveCaptain hat to avoid this from happening!

Note from Jeff: we have some 50 hats on the boat. Couldn't you use an old one instead of the nice new ActiveCaptain ones??