Sailing The Chesapeake

The sailing adventures on Aeolus II of West River
(www.aeoluswestriver.net)

Joe McCary
Aeolus II  Catalina 27 #4795
West River, MD USA
38° 50’ 25.54N, 76° 31’ 52.20W
The Chesapeake Bay

 

The 2009 Sailing Season

 

Monday, February 14th, 2010
Valentine's Day

Spring is just 34 days away!

Above left, as the boats at the dock sit laden with over 2' of snow., Aeolus II after she was cleared and the path cleared to the boat.

Winter here in the Central Chesapeake Bay has been nothing short of brutal.  We had a record storm n December 19th that dumped 20 inches on us, the most ever for the month of December. January was not so bad, we had a couple of storms that dropped several inches each but after a few days had melted away.  Then on the 30th of January we got another 6".  Just a week later we were hit by what seemed to be the mother load, 27" of snow at home and a like amount at the boat.  And then just four days later were hit by a second blizzard with another 15".  Washington was stopped dead in their tracks, the federal Government was closed for 4½ days and then back on a 2 hour delayed opening.  After a week from the first storm I figured it was time to go dig out the boat.  So, with the grateful assistance of my brother  Mike and his 24" snow-blower we went down to clear a path to the boat and then clear off the boat.  It took us about 90 minutes to go the 500' from the road to the boat (this has to be one of the down sides to keeping a boat at a private dock). and another hour to clear off the boat. But after we finished I felt better, the boat had about 2 feet of snow on the deck and snow completely filling the cockpit up to the lower lifeline.  Before we started I noticed the boat was down on her waterline in the stern and the bow was sticking up and she was sluggish in the water.  After we finished she was floating on her lines again and was bobbing like a cork.  The ice that surrounded the boat was not solid and seemed like soft ice. 

After leaving we stopped at the green Turtle for lunch.  No sailing today, but a good day for the boat.

 

 

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
 

 

Today is a sad day for the crew of Aeolus II...

Today, Jessie Young passed away after an illness that has plagued him since late fall. He never complained about his plight.  Jessie, 85 years old, Mary's father, was one of the kindest and smartest men I have known.  He had more patience than anyone I have met.  Jessie was a PHD physicist; there was very little he did not understand or could not figure out.  He was many things: a scientist, a farmer, a  father, a family man, and  a sailor. He hailed from a small town in rural Mississippi where he grew up and later retired  to his beloved 150 acre tree farm. Among his trees he had a special glow.

He leaves behind a loving wife, Nancy, and a daughter, Mary, and three sons, Dennis, Howard and Bobby and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Our sailing experiences go back to the 70s when he first sailed with Mary and me on our 2nd boat, The Slithery Dee II, on a weekend trip to Poplar Island.  It was a cramped night in that small cabin, but we all had a grand time.  On another trip when we sailed to Yorktown and back on Aeolus, our 3rd boat, we encountered the worst storm I have experienced on the Bay.  During that storm Jessie had a calming smile that helped us keep our cool and wits. 

We sailed on and off since those early trips in the mid 70s.  The latest was this fall just before he fell ill.  It was just the two of us; we had a glorious afternoon sailing. It early October; one of those perfect fall days The Chesapeake is famous for, one with warm temperatures and nice breeze, almost no other boats about, but the best part was the company. We shared some laughs and had a wonderful time, we finished the day off with a dinner of crab cakes at Pirates Cove in Galesville. We sailed just once more together a few weeks later with the wives and that was fun too, but that afternoon in early October was near perfect; two friends. a sailboat and a wonderful time; what more can one ask for?  It was a day was full of memories I will treasure forever.

Fair winds and following seas in your final journey, Jessie, and thanks for all the memories.

 

 

Friday, January 1st, 2010
NW winds 8 knots
Air Temp 41° Partly Cloudy.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I suppose the inevitable has come to pass... the 2009 sailing season has come to an end.  It is hard to admit, but it seems true, the sailing season is over.  OK, we might get a warm winter day but for now it seems unlikely.   Today, as the Holidays draw to a close and after a stretch of bad weather (our region re3ceived a record snow storm on December 19th, we had about 2 feet in the Shadyside area) I finally found some spare time to go to the boat and check her out.  The water was high, and there was still some snow in the cockpit, but the bilge was dry!  I checked the lines and  took some pictures (see below). The next few days are predicted to bring some harsh conditions with 35 knot winds and temps in the low 20s.  So, as soon as we get another break I will go down to check her again.  My brother, Mike, gave me (and the boat) a nice new Life Sling as a gift.  Thanks Mike, it is a perfect next addition to the boat's gear.

Sunday, November 8th, 2009
SE winds <5 knots
Air Temp 61° Sunny.

 It was one of those rare fall days; the temps soared up to nearly the 70s (on land) and was a very pleasant 61° on the water.  The winds were light and much of the afternoon we ghosted along.  The morning started when we left home around 9am and after filling up on gas we headed to The Bay.  We stopped for a Brunch at Pirates Cove.  After a nice breakfast we headed to the boat.  While I prepped the boat, Mary went for some emergency gas in case the wind died.  We waited a bit for the Pirates Cove Race Club  to get started and then we squeezed in front of them while they were running prestart maneuvers.  Sails up at the Red #4 and then we ghosted out of the river and into The Bay.  As the wind veered to the South and gradually died we decided to head back at about 3:30.  It was one long last broad reach until just before the Green #3, the wind died and we cranked up the "iron genny" and took down the sails as we motored back to the slip.  After packing up the gear and jackets and our lunch trash we headed for home at about 5pm.  We made a put stop at Carman's Italian Ice shop in Rockville for a wonderful Galati. If you haven't had one of these delightful dishes (a layer of frozen yogurt (fat free of course) and a layer of Italian Ice, my favorite is Strawberry-Lemon) and a final layer of frozen yogurt).

 

Sunday, October 25th, 2009
N winds 5-6 knots
Air Temp 58° cloudy.

The last time just Mary and I went sailing was way back in August!  She had spent the end of the summer helping her parents make the move from rural MS to the Washington DC area.  She was ready and clearly nothing short of a downpour would keep her away today.  The sun was mostly hiding behind banks of clouds, but her heart was shinning bright.  So, we take the opportunity to sail in cool temperatures and cloudy skies, I mean, after all it is late October and who knows how many more opportunities we will get this year.. take them when you get them.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
WSW winds 6-8 knots
Air Temp 73°

After a long weekend in Boston, celebrating Claire's 3rd birthday, we are back home and the warm fall temps brought us out for a nice afternoon on the water.  My in-laws had recently moved to the Washington area so Mary and I decided to take them out for an afternoon on the water.  I worked in the morning and Mary met me and we made the drive to The Bay.  We stopped at Ledo's Pizza in Edgewater, MD for some pizza.  We arrived at the boat for about 2:30 and they waited while I readied the boat.  We pulled away and in spite if the warm temps (I was in a short sleeve shirt) they were both chilly s out came the fleeces (the wife's and mine).  The wind was light, but we sailed and talked for a long while.  We turned back a bit after 4pm and with dying breeze we motored the last bit back to the slip.  After cleaning up the boat and tying her up we went to Pirates Cove for dinner.  Of course we had crab cakes and Mary had oysters.  A good time was had by all, it was a grand fall afternoon.

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
WNW winds 6-8 knots
Air Temp 63°

Annapolis Sailboat Show! I decided to head to the boat show early this year.  My brother, Mike, and I went to the show on VIP day (yes we paid the extra fee) and had a great time with low crowds.  I looked at all the tents of material, I re-subscribed to my 2 sailing magazines (Good old Boat & Sailing) for another 2 years each.  And I bought 3 rolls of emergency repair tape (special stuff that doesn't use adhesive, but it sticks to itself), and I bought a new fancy wind meter (measures wind speed, compass, air temp, etc). And I bought a cute sweatshirt hoodie for my 1 year old granddaughter and a nice sailing dress for the 3 year old.  I looked at some new boats and came away disappointed that I didn't have the cash in my checking account for a new Catalina 309... oh well, next year, at least I have a paid for boat!

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
SSE winds 6-9 knots
Air Temp 70°

So I have sailed with my 2 ½ year old grand daughter and I have sailed with many friends.  But today, I had a rare pleasure of sailing once again with my 85 year old father-in-law, Jessie (if you follow this you might recall my daughter is also named Jessie, she was named for him).  He and my mother-in-law last sailed with Mary and me last over 30 years ago when the Seafarer was new. But time marches on ... and now circumstances have forced them to move from their beloved Mississippi tree farm to be near their daughter, Mary.  They arrived last Wednesday evening and had what can only be described as a whirlwind few days dealing with purchasing a condo at Leisure World.  The move in was in record time, finishing by Friday afternoon.  Their son Howard and his wife Linda drove the truck up and orchestrated the move-in but had to depart on Saturday morning in spite of the invitation to go sailing (some people just don't understand the benefits to one's karma from sailing).  So, faced with the prospect of shopping for some needed furniture or going sailing, my  father-in-law opted to go sailing.  The forecast was for small craft warnings and winds 10-15 knots with gusts, but the weather just didn't seem like that. A quick check of live conditions at noon for Thomas Point showed just 6-8 knots.  Since we both had the choice of driving to the boat and checking it out OR going shopping, we opted for the prospect of sailing!

The weather was warm and sunny with temp about 70° and the wind was light at 6-9 knots.  So, at about 3:30 out we went!  OH what a grand decision!  I hoisted main at the slip and had the genny out before we turned to head out toward river on a broad reach, when we turned at the red 6 we were close hauled all the way out..  We didn't sail far, but it was just the therapy the doctor ordered; we made it out only as far as the green 1a and then turned back for home by 4:30.  We were safely back in the slip by 5:30, just 2 hours.  And then after buttoning up the boat we headed off to Pirates Cove for some Crab Cakes.  It turned out to be a perfect guys outing. The moral of this story is you are only as old as you let yourself feel and Jessie, my father-in-law, is feeling pretty young.  We will do this again for sure!

 

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
NW-SSE winds 8-10 knots
Air Temp 72°-76°

After a glorious day sailing on Sunday and a beautiful fall day predicted for Tuesday, My Brother and I skipped other commitments to spend the day sailing.

We departed home at just after 8 in the morning to brave the Beltway's RUSH hour traffic.  After a couple errands (post office and bank and Starbucks and a stop to pickup some sandwiches for lunch from Bayside Beef and Bull in Edgewater), we arrived at the boat a bit before 11 am and were able to slip the dock lines before 11 am.  The wind was light, about 5 knots and out of the North West.  We made a couple short tacks in Galesville and were able to tack out on a port tack to the main part of West River.  We were able to fetch the Red #2 in West River on the same tack.  As we headed ENE past the Green #1A and on toward Thomas Point the wind started to die.  We broke out lunch!  Those guys make the best Roast Beef sandwiches and for a great price!  With the wind dying we pressed on and shortly the wind picked up again, but this time it was almost directly from the East.  We continued close hauled on a Port tack and as we did the wind continued to shift to the SSE.  At about 2 pm we decided to tack over toward Popular Island. We sailed about 4½ miles in an hour and decided it was time to head back.  When we turned the wind was directly behind us and we sailed along slowly.  After almost an hour we decided it was going too slow, so we cranked in the Genoa and turned on the engine.  We motored for a half an hour and when we cleared the shoal off West River we again turned off the engine and sailed all the way to the turn into Galesville in just 20 minutes.  We powered into the slip by 5:10 and were packed up and pulling away by 5:30.

We stopped for gas at the Edgewater WAWA ($2.37.9 a gallon, not cheap, but not as bad as home).  Then it started to rain.  We were really lucky with today's weather; not too hot and no rain until after we were on our way home.

Sunday, September 13th, 2009
N winds 8-10 knots
Air Temp 72°

What could be better, two old friends out for an afternoon sailing. Stu and I have been good friends since the mid 80s where we worked together (we are both photographers) and have kept in touch ever since.  We continue to work together on various projects.   We both love photography and we both love sailing, Stu is also a private pilot.

 After a pleasant stop at Pirates Cove for a nice Sunday Brunch and then on to the boat, we were able to slip the dock lines by noon. The afternoon took a slow start, the engine started and then stalled and would not restart.  We began to think the day was over before it started.   But, after we finished getting the rest of the boat ready, the engine started and ran just fine.   We motored out of the slip and out to the main part of West River where we hoisted sails and Stu took the helm and sailed us out well past Thomas Point.  Stu and I both used to crew on our good friend, Joe's boat, Irresponsible. Just past Thomas Point the wind died, we ghosted along and limped further out in the Bay.  We turned South and caught a little breeze for about a half an hour then it died again.  We rolled in the Genny and motored toward the slip, but in a short time I noticed other boats that had wind so we stopped and started sailing again.  What a good decision!  The wind re-filled in at about 12 knots.  The boat charged ahead with the rail down having a glorious end to a beautiful afternoon for 2 old friends.  We sailed all the way into the anchorage in Galesville where we took down the sails and motored to the slip. In just a few minutes the boat was tied up and buttoned up and we were off to  a nice dinner at the Green Turtle where we watched most of the Redskins game (they lost to the Giants 22-17, but who cares!).

We will have to do this more often.

 

Friday, August 28th, 2009
NNE winds 15 knots
Air Temp 75° 5am

Wind prediction courtesy of National Hurricane Center
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml

TS Danny position as of 8/28/09 5qm and
predicted tracks for the coming days...

The image above is a link to view the entire site.
Map courtesy of http://www.stormpulse.com/

Saved by the approaching front

Early morning reports put Danny's track over 300 miles East of Annapolis and the chance of Tropical Force winds on The Bay looks to be less that 5% (see below). So, I don't see any pressing need to move or retie the boat. Another bullet dodged!

 

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
WSW winds 10 knots
Air Temp 86°

Here we go again ... enter Danny

We seem to be at a tipping point for Tropical Storm Danny. Today the National Weather Service has prediction models ranging from passing the DelMarVa coast by hundreds of miles and other possible tracks have it passing over the coast.  Of course, we are hoping Danny passes far out to sea.  If the track shows a closer pass on Friday, it will mean an extra trip down to the boat to batten down and double the lines.

 

TS Danny position as of 8/26/09 5pm and
predicted tracks for the coming days...

The image above is a link to view the entire site.
Map courtesy of http://www.stormpulse.com/

 

 

Thursday, August 20th, 2009
SW winds 5 knots
Air Temp 76° Humidity 95%
7:20am

What a Beautiful Morning!

Up early and driving the boat (under power) to Casa Rio Marina to get the bilge pump worked on.  Beautiful morning, but whoa the humidity is like a Turkish bath!  When I arrived at Casa Rio I waited for the mechanic to show up (he had a personal emergency) and then they discovered my problem was less extensive than I anticipated.  Turns out that it was a corroded connection and a bad float switch.  I had a new float switch so, after an hour and new crimped connection I was back in business.  To Casa Rio's credit I was prepared to replace the pump, but they said there was no reason.  I saved over $150 from their honesty, thank you!  I rewarded them with a case of beer after I paid the yard bill.

Saturday, August 15th, 2009
SE winds 5  knots (or less)
Air Temp 88°

A special day sailing with niece Laura and boyfriend Peter. 

Peter had never been sailing before, he was a power boat person. So, I took my brother, Mike and my sister-in-law, Barbra and Peter and Laura  sailing for the afternoon.  Being college aged people we got a late start (they had been up late the night before) so it was set to 10:30am.  By the time we loaded the car it was almost 11 am.  Then we needed to drive the 1 hour and fifteen minutes to the slip.  Of course we had to stop to pickup lunch (roast beef sandwiches from bayside Beef and Bull in Edgewater to have later on the boat.  Then another stop for some ice and a 6 pack of beer.  By the time we left the slip is was about 12:30.  In the light wind we motored out to the main leg of West River and set sails.  We sailed along for 4 hours before turning back.  We sailed between 0-4 knots but we were sailing and Peter and Laura seemed to be enjoying themselves. 

Laura and Peter Sailing

And after sailing the experience is complete with Crabs!

 

Saturday, July 25th, 2009
S, SE winds 10-15 knots
Air Temp 85°

A day at the dock, working on the bright work.

Today I started the sanding and refinishing of the bright works. After a trip to the Annapolis West Marine store and a quick purchase of lots of refinishing goodies I was armed with some 120 grit sandpaper and some brushes (why are brushes so expensive) and a $45 can of Cetol.   Then it was on to the boat.  Sanding wood is not my favorite thing in life, but I did discover it can be somewhat relaxing.  So, I sanded and made quite a mess.  And eventually ran out of sandpaper, so I had to stop.  I have about 1/3 of the wood left to sand and then start applying the finish.

 

 

Sunday, July 19th, 2009
S, SE winds 3-7 knots
Air Temp 77°-80°

After being away for a while and then non-stop work it was great to be back on the water again.  The winds were light but fairly steady.  We arrived at the boat and were out of the slip by 1:30.  We sailed out to Thomas Point and back.  The boat seemed fast as we passed many larger boats.  On the way back, with the wind dropping we passed several boats that switched from  sail to power. It was a lovely cool afternoon.

 

 

Wednesday, June 23th, 2009
E winds 3-5 knots


What a special day!   Our granddaughter Claire came to town for a visit (mommy was at a meeting in DC) so we went sailing!  We were out for a record 3½ hours!  Previously she had only been out for an hour or so, but with the cool temps and light winds we made an afternoon of the trip.  Claire said she wanted to go fishing so we bought some worms and tried her hand. But in reality, all she wanted to do was reel in the line as soon as it hit the water.  So, fishing lasted just a few minutes and sailing was the remainder of the afternoon.  Not a whimper or a tear, we sailed slowly (no heeling in the light airs) but she had a good time.  She doesn't complain about the PDF but clearly she doesn't like it.  I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than sailing with a granddaughter! Maybe as she gains a few years and more experience we can brave more wind, but for now the gods have been right on the money on what she needs wind wise.  Thank you AEOLUS!

Sunday, June 7th, 2009
E winds 12-16 knots
no sailing today

The winds were forecast to be light and variable and all  morning I watched as the wind at Thomas Point hit a blustery 5 knots at 11am.  So we decided to go do some maintenance on the boat.  On the last afternoon sailing I had a broken mast tang that attaches the boom vang to the mast, so I went by  West marine and picked up a new piece ($4.50) and a few extra items ( a new float switch for the auto bilge pump, 2 screws in case the existing screws on the vang were damages or had to be cut off.  I also bought my granddaughter, Claire, a nice whale flashlight.

Then on to the boat.  My landlord, Joe was there doing some yard maintenance (a good thing, I'll explain later).  I started to remove the old screws.  But, the screws (I have no idea how long they were in the mast) were frozen solid.  I tried some oil, but they didn't budge.  Joe, the landlord offered a "Nut Driver" he had in the shed.  It is basically a manually operated hammer drill.  You whack the end with a hammer and the force is converted to not only with a blow in but also a ¼ turn to unscrew the screw.  The top screw broke loose in about 5 whacks.  But the lower screw took repeated blows until it finally began to turn.  But turn it did and the both came out and surprisingly, were reusable. The $4.40 tang needed to fit in the mast slot but wouldn't quite fit.  So rather than repeat the same banging process to loosen screws further up the mast (big cleat would have been in the way) I drilled out a ½ inch of the mast slot.  The rest was simple, the boom vang was back in working order in about a half hour.

Now I was ready to go for a short sail.  I started getting the boat ready.  But Mary (the Admiral) let me know she wasn't feeling great and would rather skip sailing.

 So, after some other projects, skip it we did.  We went to Ledo's Pizza for a late (6:30) lunch, maybe hunger was the problem... And then a pleasant drive home.

 Maybe sailing will come next weekend.

Saturday, May 20th, 2009
SE winds 11-17 knots

Memorial Day Weekend
(Saturday)
A SPECIAL Thanks to our Troops at this time both, our Former and Current.


If there is any date that marks the beginning of the sailing season, it would be Memorial Day Weekend.  The weather forecast for the 3 day weekend is a bit sketchy.  Saturday the 23rd is the best with decent winds and later small craft advisories and possible Thunder Storms.  Sunday is the same with more chance for Thunder Storms.  Monday is forecast to have more rain.  With lots of things to do around the house, we opted to go sailing just one day, Saturday.  We decided that with even a chance of storms we should go early and come home early.  My general rule for missing storms on The Bay is to be off the water by 4pm.  So we left the house by 8am and after an ice stop and breakfast we arrived at the boat and slipped our lines and were out by 10:05.  Not too bad for a couple who likes to sleep in on weekends.  The wind coming out of the slip was light but we hoisted sail and killed the motor.  We sailed out of the channel leg of West River making just 3 knots.  But as usual, as we made the turn to the East onto the main part of West River the wind shifted to the SE and picked up to a steady 11+ knots.  As we sailed out toward Thomas Point Light House the wind has increased to a steady 16+ knots.  We were back at the slip by a little after 2pm.  It was a glorious day on the water and the start of the sailing season, even if a bit delayed.


Our Spot Track for the day (left) and me as we pass Thomas Point.


On our return we were greeted by a family of Canada Geese near the slip (Claire would appreciate them I am sure), mother and father and 10 little chicks in tow.  Mary (Grandmom) asleep in the cockpit after we return, she is dreaming of Claire by prior arrangement with the granddaughter.

 

 

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
SE winds 8-12 knots.

A Great Summer Evening

Oh, What a night! Mary and I went to the boat about 6pm.  We dodged the PCRC fleets as they raced out of the river.  Our clean bottom gave us a feeling of extra speed and the engine purred along smoothly.  After clearing out of West River's narrow channel we headed out for the Red #2 and the Bay beyond.  At about 7 we turned around and headed back.  As we approached the mouth of Rhodes River we noticed the last 4 non spinnaker boats heading for the finish line.  They last boat was about 300 yards ahead of us and moving slowly.  We easily gained on her and by the time we reached the anchorage area we were ahead but since we were not racing and she was, we luffed up and let her pass and head for the finish line.  It was great sailing on a nice cool evening at 5.8-6.2 knots.  Two very relaxing hours on the water is worth their weight in gold.  The spot record below is missing a half hour of our trip, the half hour would have extended us out further in the Bay by 1.5  miles.  So much for super accurate tecnhology.

 

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
SE winds 23 knots.

SPLASH DAY 2!

One the first try the engine alarm went off and the boat was re-hauled and Casa Rio Marina mechanic came back and waved his magic wand and 3 days later it was running like a sewing machine, better than it has run since I got it.  Today I was called and told the boat was ready to re-launch.  I was busy early in the day and could have it wait in a slip for me a few days.  But the weather report is for rain and thunder storms later in he week, so after our scheduled meeting for Mary's retirement we made our way to Casa Rio and I drove the boat to her slip.  The engine purred all the way in spite of bucking 20+ knot head winds most of the way.  It was a relief to she her safely in her slip. Next step will be some actual sailing!


Aeolus II in her slip after spring haul
and some engine maintenance.

 

Friday, May 8th, 2009
SW winds 6-8 knots.

SPLASH DAY!

It has been raining for months here, well ok, for days anyway.  It has rained everyday this month .  My boat has been waiting for the yards to finish some work.  They did a beautiful job on the bottom paint and they buffed the topsides to a nice shine, she looks new.  The engine, a 4 stroke Honda 9.9 needed the oil changed and some new grease and I decided it was time to replace the impeller (preemptive maintenance).  So finally today was SPLASH day. I twisted my good friend, Stu’s arm to help with the car shuttle.  We stopped and picked up some lunch and dropped his car off at the slip.  Then we went by and picked up a case of beer for a yard tip and then to the yard.  They had launched the boat and everything was ready when I arrived.  I started the engine, stowed my rain gear (brought it along in spite of the sunny skies) and turned on the spot.  After about 10 minutes with nothing else to do we shoved off.  About 100 yards past the bulkhead a loud, high pitched tone coming from the engine controls started whistling.  I shut off the engine.  I restarted it and nothing so we again started to move down the creek. After 15 seconds in gear the tone reappeared.  Now I am starting to worry.  I turned around headed back to find out what was going on.  We had a 8-10 know breeze that nicely pushed us (bare poles) back to the bulkhead from which we had just departed.  After tying up I went to the office.  Chuck, the mechanic, came out to look.  We spent a half our discussing what happened.  Chuck did some quick “tricks” and still nothing.  So, the yard manager re-hauled the boat and Chuck promised to have it running shortly. Another weekend lost. And I hope nothing too severe. This is not a good sign for sailing season this year.

 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Wind 12kts S, warm today high 88°

The boat is nearly ready to re-launch. All that remains is the ready the outboard for the season (new oil and new plugs, etc).  And I have to wait until the marina can schedule the re-launch and then drive back to the boat.  Of course there is still some cleaning work that needs to be done, but that can all be done from the slip.  The year is about to begin...
 

Friday, April 24, 2009
Wind 10-14kts SW Clear Skies and warm mid 70s.

The bottom is painted!

The week has been cool and rainy. Yesterday (Thursday) was the first nice day .  I was glad I had asked Casa Rio marina to handle the painting, they handle the daily charge and all the prep and paint and I just have to wonder when they will be done.  So, today I drive down and am pleasantly surprised to see the bottom and hull polishing are both done!  They did a nice job.  With the purchase of an eight foot A frame ladder I venture into the cockpit to start cleaning.  On my last visit to West Marine I purchased some new biodegradable deck cleaner and  mildew stain remover.  These Are the new West Marine Pure Oceans line of products.  I am pleasantly surprised to find they really work well!  Upon reading the instructions I learned that you do not dilute them in a bucket of water like most deck cleaners. Instead you wet the surface and then spray them cleaner on let it foam a bit and then scrub off.  It was like magic. And the West Marine Mildew Stain Remover worked as well!  In my 35 years of sailing I have found mildew the hardest to remove of all the various sailboat messes and this seems to always come with a very noxious smell.  But the new West Marine Mildew Stain Remover works with ease AND doesn't have a bad odor.  This winter left the cabin side of the main sliding hatch covered with a black mildew.  To remove it I just sprayed on the remover and wiped clean with a paper towel! Easy!

Tomorrow will find me back cleaning more of the deck and some inside the cabin.  All that will remain is for the mechanic to take care of oil and grease and change the plugs on the outboard.

Last Summer Mary and I met some new boat owners from New Brunswick. They were having lunch at an adjacent table and we over heard they had just purchased a new boat.  Today found Rik and Linda just 4 boats down the line getting their boat ready for the long trip home in a couple weeks. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wind 10-14kts NE Clear Skies and cool (40s in the am)

Haul Out DAY!

The taxes are all done (tax day in the USA is April 15th) and the boat was scheduled to be hauled today (10 am).  I went to the boat early and started the engine (the battery held a charge over the winter!) on the 2nd try.  After a quick trip out of West River and over to Rhode River and up Cadle Creek.  The trip was cold and seemed windy, but was uneventful.  I made my way to Casa Rio Marina at the prescribed time of 10 am.  The yard guy carefully hauled her out and power washed the bottom to clean all the scum off.  Then a short trip to the yard space.  So, there she sits, high and dry on the hard.  Some observations, no blisters and no "Catalina Smile" so I am a happy owner.  She is very dirty, so a good cleaning is first of the "projects" I have to do.  And then there is the new winches and the traveler to install.

Hopefully she will be done in a week to 10 days.  She is sporting her new Maryland annual registration decals and a new fishing license ($50) so she will be ready for Spring in a couple weeks. 

 

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Just a quick note to thank my site viewers.  Today is the archive day for the Cluster Maps statics. In the past year there has been 1443 hits from 31 countries.  That is a nice number, so, thank you.  And to those 13 hits from Mongolia, well you have my attention.

Fair Winds and following seas to all...

...
Late Saturday, mystery solved.  I received an email from Jay, my Mongolia viewer.  It seems he is also a Chesapeake Bay sailor and just like keeping an eye on their home waters. Jay sails out of Herrington Harbor, just a few miles South of West River.  Jay I am pleased to hear from you, thanks for solving the mystery.  And as I said in the email, when you get back I'll buy you a beer at The Cove!

Sunday March 22nd, 2009
First Visit to the Boat in 2009

When I was finally released from the boot I was able to make a visit to the boat to check for water and how she was tied.  Much to my surprise, she was dry as a bone!  Not a drop in the cockpit or in the cabin.  And she was tied well.  I was so relieved after spending the past several months worrying about the water she surely had taken on.  I was accompanied by the wife, Mary, and my mom.  We had a nice lunch at Pirates Cove.  While at the boat I marked the location with my new SPOT, so you can see the slip.  I would warn that the Google Maps image is over 2 years old and that is not the boat, but instead, the older Seafarer 22.  The SPOT will remain on for a week (3/29)., but also I have put a version of the same map above.

While at Pirates Cove we noticed that they are doing some shoring around the public dock.  They are installing some large rip-rap to help fight the erosion.  Rocks are not too common on The Bay so I made a mental note that these are large boulders. 

The next step is to arrange to have the boat hauled and get the bottom painted and the new hardware installed.


Friday  March 20th, 2009
SPRING!

My foot is well on it's way to being healed!

An early morning visit to my Doctor confirmed that my broken foot has been healing.  Although the doctor said it is not completely healed but is well on it's way to being completely filled in.   Now I am allowed to "transition" from my ugly boot to shoes, that is 2 shoes!  He warned that I may experience some pain and might want to wear the boot.  Well, he is the doctor so I won't question his wisdom, but I don't see it hurting again.  Of course, I will take it easy and be very careful with my foot.

My next project is arranging to have the boat pulled and the bottom done.  There is plenty of work I need to do this spring, things like installing the new traveler and mounting the Bimini and installing new winches.  Loads of general cleaning and some varnishing are on the list.  Also, I purchased a "new" new roller furler and and 3 sails, a 120% and a Mylar 150% and a fully battened main.

This Sunday I plan a visit to check out the boat and will report back then.

Sunday March 1st, 2009
4"-8" of snow predicited for evening
Broken foot update

They are predicting snow tonight, the most of the winter, 4" to 8" and the worst will be East of DC, so the boat will get dumped on.  My foot is still in that ugly boot and will remain so for another 3 weeks. I can't wait to get that thing off...

Now for the fun news.  My granddaughter, Claire, who lives some 400+ miles away keeps me smiling through all the winter.  Today she painted me a picture of Aeolus (see left).  I can see it, sailing along on a starboard tack on a calm Chesapeake Bay. When everyone else is looking at the prospect of snow and more snow and cold winter, Claire keeps thinking of warmer times and sailing!  She sure knows the way to my heart when she keeps asking, "When do we get to go ride on Aeolus, Granddad?"  Spring is just a few weeks away and then a little bit of work and then we can go sailing Claire, Granddad can't wait!

 

Wednesday February 18th, 2009
mixed snow/rain
Broken foot update

I had a doctor's visit last week and the foot "appears" to be healing.  But that sounded a bit tenuous.  He said he will know more in a month or so... This has to be done before sailing season!  This boot is beginning to be a real drag. Any wet weather means a wet sock and cold toes.  This better be cleared up before April first. 

I have begun thinking about this season's upgrades to the boat.  My plan now is to have it pulled in April and while on the hard to have the engine looked over and checked out.  I will also add the long awaited traveler.  And IF I can find the funds maybe a new set of Self-Tailing 2 speed winches. And parentally install the Bimini top.  I have been thinking about doing some modifications to the interior.  The admiral wants a more comfortable bunk and make it wider, so I am looking into that possibility too. And heck since I am day dreaming/planning why not a new teak and holly cabin sole?

Tuesday January 20th, 2009
Inauguration Day
Gaithersburg, MD

Winter is supposed to be the time to get ready for sailing season.   We make plans for our first weekends and keep adding to that ever expanding "To Do" list for spring haul out.  But today I had a setback.  I went to a former neighbor's wedding Sunday the 18th and while walking across the floor I felt a sharp pain in my foot as I turned around a table.  A visit to the Orthopedist today confirmed that I had a non-displaced Jones fracture of the 5th Metatarsal bone in my left foot.  Talk about a klutz?  So, while everyone else is bundling up, I am wearing this way less than fashionable black boot with my sock sticking out the front end.  It doesn't hurt much but what a pain in the neck.

My BEST Christmas present ever...

December 25th 2008
Sudbury, MA

My wife & I decided to venture to Massachusetts to visit the grand kids for the Holidays this year.   We gave Claire, our 2 year old granddaughter, a doll house that came equipped with furniture and some small doll figures.  We also give her a small wooden bathtub sailboat. Of course she instantly dubbed the boat "Aeolus", but the surprising part was, she went and took out the small dolls from the doll house and put 2 of them in the boat and told me it was Claire and Granddad!   What a special moment it was for me to see she was putting herself and me into a sailboat.  I feel I have a convert!  The boat was eventually moved from it's place behind the doll house to a more convenient location and she played with it the entire week we were there.  I see a bigger boat in this kid's future! But for now, this was my nicest Christmas Gift, what more could a Sailor/Granddad ask for than to have the apple of his eye put herself and him into a boat without anyone else suggesting it to her? I was, and still am,  touched!

 

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