Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Visiting Aunt Dar and My New Cousins (11 of 'em)



Welcome to my new 11 cousins, offspring of mother Spice and father (a corky!) Spike. Born two days prior to my arrival, family is doing well. Spice and Spike showed up on my aunt and uncle's doorstep a few months ago after living in the wild.




Aunt Dar examines one of her new neighbors and for the moment, forgets her troubles.

 
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Replacing the Engine

The Captain decided it was time to replace our engine, which although running very well, has almost 8500 hours on it. And, although Peter has made significant progress in his diesel mechanic capabilities, when you are sitting our there in God's Country, you want to know your motor will start. After a month on the hard we scooted over to Zahniser's at Solomons Island, Maryland, to replace the Yanmar.

Jim, the mechanic who will be in charge of this project from soup to nuts, called upon the human forklift to sit on a plank as a counterweight to the 350 pound engine.




After inching the motor along the plank, a chain was wrapped around it, and it was hoisted up the companion-way.







Here, Jim proudly shows his extraction while the Captain, relieved that the process is over, smiles.


And to formally announce the arrival of our new baby, Yanmar 4JH4TE, 75 HP. The installation process should take a few weeks, and I will go to visit Aunt Dar.
 
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dinner aboard The Duck

 

It is great to be invited to dinner, but even better when the host turns out to be a Chef and a Culinary Institute instructor. Uwe and Babs are cruisers who dock in Virginia for the winter and Kingston, NY during the summer. We are fortunate to have run into them on Uve's birthday as we enjoyed a fine meal and the company of Pam and Oscar on Jocassee.
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First Edition, Relaunched

 


Almost a month to the day we arrived at Schroeder's, First Edition's work was completed and she was splashed. As soon as we started the engine, we realized the alternator was not charging the batteries. As another boat was in the sling waiting for us to clear out, we did not have time to address the issue while here, but Schroeder's guys showed up as promised the next day at Dozier's Regatta Point, the marina next door. This is an excellent marina with clean bathrooms and showers, as well as a loaner car (but no fuel). Mechanics determined we had a short caused by a cable burnt through by the engine. As it was blowing hard, and we had a dinner invitation from the boat docked next to us, we decided to stay another night.
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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Images from Mill Creek

Ospreys build nests on the daymarkers, and squawk like crazy as you approach their nesting grounds. Here at Marker "2MC" mother is hiding, not yet having delivered her bundle.

Approaching our creek can be hazardous, as there are unlit oyster beds where we all hope the seeds will produce future appetizers. The bay's oyster supply has been devastated by man's attempts to increase crop returns, with fertilizer accounting for their demise.


This is a shot of the property next to ours, the remainder of the farm which was divided up into lots, one of which we will call home. This "farm" is a tax shelter and not a bad neighbor.







And here is our actual lot. It is the overgrown one next to the well constructed rip-rapped neighbor (Lou and Cindy). It is the home of numerous Lone Star ticks, two of which found me and precipitated a visit to the local doctor.




This deer head was found on the Tillman's property, with the body in several parts nearby. For awhile the townies were complaining about coyotes and I guess I now understand why.

Chillin Out at Carter Creek

 

Thankfully, we joined the Tillmans on Phase II and escaped temperatures exceeding 100 degrees on the hard. There was no wind, but also no nettles (New Jerseyans know these as jellyfish), so we were able to swim. We met up with Vickie and Len at Solomons, Maryland, then went to the big something river on the eastern shore, then to Urbanna, Carters Creek, and again to visit our property on Mill Creek. As always with the Tillmans, we invented some new cocktails, had some great laughs, and planned our future homes. The Tillmans own the adjoining property at Mill Creek, and we are hoping they build before we do so we have someplace to live during our construction. We have also requested a pool and a tiki bar.
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Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's No Wonder...

 

Discovered by electronics guy while troubleshooting our problems that relate back to the installation of our equipment in Connecticut. I guess they did not know what to do with this wire.
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Living on the Hard in Deltaville

 
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There is no photograph that can possibly depict with any sense of accuracy how we have been living aboard First Edition. She is sitting in a cradle where tons of work is on-going. In our cabin, the closet is emptied so that the refrig guy can install wires. The stacking closet is also emptied. These clothes are stuffed in various places within the 44 foot space we call home. Fortunately, we borrowed an airconditioner that gets inserted into the hatch. Unfortunately, when it rains, it leaks onto the bed. Our bathroom is a mess. The head has been removed and sent back to the factory, and the hoses attached to said head are in the process of being replaced. All the cabinet contents are also stored everywhere on our 44 foot space. The hotwater heater has been removed from its cabinet, along with other contents kept in that closet, and, you got it, also stored around our 44 foot space. The space where the old refrig unit was is now empty awaiting the new unit and of course, the other contents of this space are sitting around in our 44 foot home. The counter tops have to be kept clean so the refrig guy can install around them, so no storage here, other than hoses, wires and tools owned by said mechanic. During this process we keep all of our cool items (iced tea, lemons, milk for coffee, ice for cocktails) in a large insulated bag that leaks. About 187,422 flies have decided they like it here, and are also sharing the space.

So, we have decided we are going on vacation, and will be sailing with our friends the Tillmans! This may make some of you shake your heads, but anyone who has lived on the hard will understand.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cocktails on Mill Creek

 
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Deltaville is about 1/2 hour from our property on Mill Creek, and we invited Rick and Linda from Sojourner to join us for cocktails on our dock. It was a beautiful evening with 5 boats anchored in front of the property, ospreys circling, and a nice breeze. Lilies I had transplanted from our Roseland home have taken and proliferated. A line of crab pots had been laid in front of our property, which is adjacent to land owned by our friends, the Tillmans. We actually saw oyster shells washed up on our shore, hopefully these are returning to the Bay.

Some day, after we build, I hope to create a little Manjack for the cruisers. Peter thinks I am nuts.

Every time we come here I am so happy with our decision to buy this property.

Recognizing Jimmy

 
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While our work continues at Deltaville, we have had time to visit with my stepmother Kathie and her beau, Jimmy. My father (a heaven resident) picked Jimmy out for Kathie and he sure did good. Jimmy helps out at the Disabled American Veterans, where Kathie is an officer of the Auxiliary, and during the installation dinner of their officers, Jimmy was presented with a plaque for his contribution. Jimmy cooks, cleans up, runs errands, and probably does much more than many of the members. Fortunately, some one recognizes his contribution despite the fact that he cannot be a member, being non-military (at least in the US). We are very proud of Jimmy and based upon the smile on his face here, he is delighted with the award.

The day after this dinner we attended the Greek festival, where Jimmy was cooking away in 90 degree heat in order to raise money for the church. He is a good man.