Thursday, September 27, 2012

Off to Annapolis

We finally packed up enough of our new boat projects to start the 120 mile run up the Chesapeake to Annapolis, Maryland. This is part of my long term career plan of working my way down the career ladder: I’ve got a job working with the electricians who setup and tear down the boat show in Annapolis. This is the biggest sailboat show in the US – says the press release. They take over the town docks and cram boats and gear into the historic downtown. It is really two shows. The first is the sailboat show and then a 3 day break to tear apart the sailboats and move in the power boats for the power boat show.
I’m thinking that this will be a brief stop on my working career. Not sure what the corporate bennies are. I’m hoping for a free pass into the boat show and a new baseball cap. Maybe the T-shirt.
Navigating the Chesapeake is pretty easy with all these lighthouses leading the way. We only had one big bulk carrier ship call us on the VHF to let us know very politely that crossing his bow probably wouldn’t be a long-term healthy decision for us. We heeded his advice and took his stern.
Not sure which way this lighthouse wanted us to go.
Finally, got to sail the new boat downwind. She definitely takes a lot more sail cloth to keep moving in light winds than our J did. It’ll take a while before we really understand how to sail this boat well.
We did get some more projects completed. Here’s the new dish rack I built at our friend Steve’s cool wood working shop while we were visiting the west coast (thanks Steve!!). Now we’re just waiting for the stencil to show up so Chris can colorize it a bit.
Storage, storage, storage… critical on a boat. Here’s a new rack in the bilge to hold the milk carton with excess chain plus some space for cheap wine and beer. The necessities.
Gotta go. I need to prepare myself for a staff meeting tomorrow– and, oh yea, take the carb off the outboard and de-gum it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jeorgia Sails Off --- Without Us!

Jeorgia has a new owner and we, on the other hand, simply own one boat now: Georgia. A real financial relief. Investing in sailboats is a bit like like Richard Branson said about the airline business: “The easiest way to become a millionaire is to start off a billionaire and go into the airline business.” The new owner is a project manager on the refit of the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln that is starting in Norfolk. She will have a life of ease, club racing and doing lazy afternoon sails on the Chesapeake. We hope she is well cared for. I explained to the new owner as he was getting ready to leave that the warranty was 90 days or 90 feet, whichever comes first.
I rented a car for a few days and drove up to DC to pick Chris up at the airport on her way back from San Diego.  We decided to do a day in DC being a tourist.
This is where our elected officials, aka Congress, diligently debate daily and reach wonderful and wise compromises that keep the country’s spirit up: supporting a health care system which provides the best results in the world at  the most economical price, diligently removing waste from the military budget, and ensuring that we will leave a better country with even better opportunities for our children than the one we inherited. We should all be thankful to ourselves for electing them.
We stopped into the US Botanical Gardens. Here’s a Venus Fly Trap to step carefully around.
Here’s the starter Venus Fly Traps – so dream on Meghan and Tyler (who are raising a killer fly trap in their kitchen).
Lots of long named orchids in bloom in the gardens hot house.
This is the congressionally funded research project into hybrid sunflowers. It is a cross between a giant sunflower and a TV screen.
A drinking fountain in the Smithsonian Museum. It reminded me of when I was a kid growing up in rural Florida, aka The South. The A&P grocery store I used to go into with my Mom had two fountains at the back. This was one of them.

Well we haven’t been lazy working on Georgia. Here’s the newly painted and refurbished windlass motor.
Here’s the new 77lb Spade anchor that the windlass will be picking up. Now we just need to get the new chain to go with it and we’ll be ready to sail.
Painting the dish rack.
To relax at night we watch our new flat screen TV. So far, not much on.
We finally got the new name on Georgia – and I think we spelled it correctly this time. Whenever you rename a boat there is an elaborate renaming ceremony that is required to avoid future bad karma. Part of it requires giving Neptune a drink of good spirits. The champagne was thoughtfully supplied by our friends Torbin (aka Capt Bligh) and Judy when we bought her in Nova Scotia. The rest of ceremony I will explain to Chris tonight.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Goodbye Mom

Here’s a picture of my Mom in good times. She past away last month after a long decline. May 14, 1929 – August 24, 2012. It was definitely time. I never do this end of life stuff well- dogs, people, close relatives, fish – its all hard.  It was a relief to know it was over and quite and peaceful at the end. Chris and I headed out to Seattle for the funeral.
It would have been an Irish Wake, but my Mom being British surely wouldn’t have approved. I didn’t have a lot to say to Mom while we were out for the funeral, but I did show her my pony tail and wished her a good trip. Here we are at my sister Liz’s house. It was good to catch up with family. Plus we got to inspect Ron, Liz’s husband. This was the first time we’ve met him. He passed inspection with flying colors.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW, WHAT A RIDE!"
We didn’t get to catch up with too many friends while we were on the Left Coast – sometimes life is just a little too busy. Had a great lunch with our blog reader John and his wife Lee in Richmond Beach. Got to spend some time with my old friend Steve and his girlfriend Dianne. Above is the results. Steve has a great wood workshop. The wood above is the stack of parts that will be the hanging, oversink dish rack on Georgia once it gets assembled and painted. You can see the TSA notice they left in the package. I guess they thought this was suspicious with possible terrorist potential.
We spent a fun day up in Bellingham with our daughter Meghan and her boyfriend Tyler. I got to talk techie stuff with Tyler. But the highlight was the fresh caught, BBQ’d salmon Meghan put together.
We even got in a tourist trip to the Pike Place Market. I had to air brush in the blue sky, ‘cause everyone knows it always rains in Seattle
Looking for back-to-school supplies in the Market
After a week in Seattle we headed down to San Diego (Carlsbad) so Chris could visit her parents and I could put in a cameo appearance. Here’s the family crowd having a fun lunch at the Fish Market in Del Mar.
We had a good dinner with our friends Ken and Di on their patio on the cliff face overlooking the Del Mar beach . Di forced JoAnn, Jessie, Lee and Terri to come over too. It was great to catch up with them all.
We got a chance to visit with our friends Seung and Zhara and get in a little twins play time.
I’m back in Virginia working on the boat(s). Chris comes back on Tuesday.

Mimi and Peter, AKA Mom and Dad, at the piano on the ship Queen Elizabeth in 1956. Kind of odd, as neither one could play the piano.
The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.
Marcus Tullius Cicero