Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A North Wind

Heat and especially humidity are torture for our poor Dyna. She's not just old but the surgery she had for breathing issues last year make her panting inefficient. So we are always considering how to ensure she does not overheat in warm temperatures. It's easy when we're at the dock - we just run the air conditioning.

We knew we would be anchoring all this week for the SSCA Gam, so we have been worrying a bit about the weather. What would we do if it was still hot?

After we left Olverson's we spent a few days on the hook that were warm but better than the previous weeks. We ran a small fan directly in Dyna's face at night which allowed her to sleep. But during the day she spent her time finding which side of the boat had the best the breeze.

We spent last weekend at Rock Hall Landing, a very nice sponsor marina run by two brothers and their wives. Friday was nice with just the hatches open for the breeze. Saturday turned humid and we had to break down and turn on the air in the heat of the afternoon.

We awoke Sunday morning to a stiff breeze as the wind clocked around to the north. The air turned cool and dry. Perfect Dyna weather.

Our hook is dropped on the Rhode River as we prepare for the SSCA Gam this week. Predictions are for the weather to hold steady. Just in case I have a gel cooling mat arriving and arrangements to dock at a marina a bit up the river if it turns hot and humid again.

Some may say we're spoiling our girl. But it's not being spoiled if you deserve it...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We're Off!

Today we finally threw off the lines and headed out to "sea", well, to a nice anchorage anyway. We left Olverson's about 10:30 am and dropped the hook in Jutland Creek about 2 hours later. The short trip let the crew get back into the swing of things and allowed us to make sure all systems were go. They were.

Dyna found the cool spot and settled in for the duration. Dylan started his lookout for dolphins - none spotted yet.

And of course Jeff got to play with all of his electronic toys, I mean, the critical new safety gear. That's the new software he's working on running on an iPad, an iPhone, and a Nexus 7. Cool!

It feels good to be cruising again. The anchorage is peaceful and calm. Tomorrow is a longer day. We need to be tucked in by mid-afternoon as they're predicting a bit of a blow.

So we've officially started our 2012-2013 cruise. We just don't know where it will end. That's the good part!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Steps Forward...

We always arrive at the boat with a long to-do list. There are lots of nasty jobs we do once a year or so when we are preparing for your winter travels. This year we took out the anchor chain, cleaned it, treated any rust, repainted the marks, untwisted the chain, cleaned out the chain locker, and put it all back. All in terrible heat. We think of it as the penance we have to do for the privilege of living on her the rest of the year.

Of course, Dylan thought it was great fun to watch until the heat really kicked in and then he retreated back to the A/C. I'm still trying to figure out what Dyna and Dylan's penance is...

This year has been particularly frustrating as it seems every time we get a job or two done an unexpected job pops up. We cleaned out the water tanks and refilled them only to discover a leaking valve on the sight-glass. Out went the water while that was repaired. While putting the engine oil in the lazarette we found water that had leaked in from one of the fills for the fuels tanks we removed last winter. So that had to be cleaned, resealed, and tested. While testing the heads, well, you don't need to hear about that one.

Some how we've managed to more or less keep up and our planned Sunday departure is still on the schedule. There's a final provisioning trip tomorrow, a few more tasks, and then the weekend to complete the final preparations. The whole crew is ready to go.

We're still hoping to anchor out a few days. We had worried the heat would be too much for Dyna.

Then last Saturday a fierce storm came through the Chesapeake. We listened to Coast Guard warnings on the radio, watched the sky darken and the wind pick up. There were even whitecaps in our well protected spot. The rain poured. But when it was over the temps had cooled and the air turned dry. It's been perfect weather since.

We've shutoff the A/C and thrown open all the doors and windows. Dyna has found her favorite spots outside in the breeze. If this holds we'll have perfect anchoring weather. Life is good.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Settling In

We arrived back on the boat a week ago. I came down with a cold the day before we left and we debated waiting. Jeff decided he could drive the whole way while I slept in the car. We stopped at our usual Red Roof Inn and met the "one well-behaved dog requirement." I slept little because even my teeth hurt.

Needless to say we had a slow start back at the boat only made worse when Jeff caught my bug and was sick on his birthday...

But fortunately the kids knew just what to do. They settled back into all their favorite spots, immediately remembered their morning walk to shore, and have resumed meeting and greeting their two- and four-legged friends.

They are carefully supervising all activities to ensure we are ready to throw off the lines in two weeks. We hope to do a bit of anchoring but it is so, well, bloody hot and humid! The A/C has been running around the clock. If you want to know the best spot to catch the cool air just check in with Dyna.