Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Feeding of the Pigs


Still hunting for a solution for our inefficient Frigoboat system. To bridge us to that, I begged and pleaded for more batteries, and with the help of Craig at Zahnisers, convinced the Captain that we needed a third and fourth house battery, doubling our capacity. These are in addition to the starter and windlass batteries. Installation was completed while we had our Medical Tour of New Jersey. Do not undertake this unless you have a reliable yard.

The new batteries were installed under our shower seat where we had wasted space. I could not imagine how this could be pulled off artfully. Well, there is a woodworking artist here. His name is John. And no, Zahnisers is not underwriting this blog.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Pigs Graphically Depicted


I really have no idea what this photo shows, but the graphs were generated here at Zahniser's where Chuck left measuring devices in the boxes overnight. The squiggly line is the frig; and Chuck says that is a good thing. The other line is the freezer. Hmmm.

More cowbell is apparently needed.
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Chez Rosenzweig, the All-Inclusive Vacation Resort


It does not get any better than this. Our dear friends Alan and Donna along with their sons Ben (pictured) and Mattie (sleeping, as usual) share their home and doggies with us. Shep is the only dog Peter ever liked, and Susie is a lover. (No offense to our other friends and their pooches, he is just not a pet person.) Not only do we have deluxe accommodations (our own laundry room no less), we are served gourmet meals that I am not even allowed to participate in. A TV the size of a drive in movie screen tops off the amenities. Thank you again Alan and Donna, for hosting us during our medical tour of New Jersey.

All is medically well.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Skype and Broadband on the Water


I have mentioned Skype while in the Bahamas but thought it might be worth repeating. Skype is great! It is a very cheap way to make phone calls, within and outside of the US, on your computer. Here, Peter is talking with our friends Rob and Christine in Canada, all for 2 cents per minute. Here is how it works, it is simple, since I am able to do it:

1. Get a headset like Peter is wearing. We got ours at Radio Shack, I think it was about $40. It just needs to be able to plug into your computer via a USB port.

2. Go to (I think) and download their software and spend a few minutes with their tutorial. It really is simple.

3. You prepay for minutes using your credit card. I think when I did it I signed up for something that kept the balance at a specified amount, like $10. That's a lot of talking at 2 cents a minute.

4. After you have established a Skype account and passwords, enter your phone numbers and follow the Skype instructions. The person getting your call won't even know you are using the internet,
provided you have a good internet connection.

5. Speaking of internet connection, we are using a Verizon broadband. I think this costs $59 a month and gives unlimited use of the internet provided there is a Verizon tower around. You are given a gizmo that inserts into your laptop and software to load. I don't think I have been anywhere where I could not get a signal good enough to connect except for most places in Maine, and that was a few years ago. There is no connectivity in the Bahamas.

6. In the Bahamas, we had to find a random or purchased signal to use Skype, and while sometimes this was not possible, it was surprising how often we could find a way to connect. Christine told me while at anchor in remote Pipe Creek for a week, every day she was able to sign on using someone's signal from Lord knows where.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blue Crabs


We carry crab lines onboard, and passed one day managing a small harvest, enough for cocktail hour. To catch crabs, you tie a piece of chicken neck or back to a specially constructed crab line (it has like a hook to attach the bait)and lower your line until it hits bottom, pulling back then just a bit. Attach the line to the toe rail or life line. Everyone once in a while you walk around and gently tug on the line to see if there is a critter pulling back. Sometimes he will keep munching away, so I always pull up on the line to see if there is anyone dining. If so, grab the net to catch him, and quickly dump him in a pail of seawater before he gets the idea that the crab net is not a good place to be and pinches it, disabling your ability without significant effort to free him.

To cook the crabs, create some way to steam them. I put a small pot inside a large pot and top the small pot with a cake pan. Put enough vinegar and beer in to a few inches. Get to a boil, dump the varmints into the pot, sprinkle a ton of Old Bay Seasoning on them, cover quickly, and soon they will be dead, and red, and are done!

Now to get the meat out, that's a whole nother story.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Mill Creek and Pig Update


After much discussion, we have decided not to head North this summer because we found we were making ourselves nuts trying to coordinate Repair of The Pigs with about a million doctors appointments back in New Jersey. So, we intend to dock the boat in Maryland and rent a car to get to New Jersey for a quick tour with the medical profession. Although it has been over a week since I was whacked by that car, my back continues to hurt and I need some help there as well. We have been blessed with the most incredible weather here in the Chesapeake since we have made this decision, low 80's and lots of breeze, so I am thinking God has agreed with this plan.

The Pigs continue to exasperate us. Installer visited Friday and put in more insulation. We spent Saturday and Sunday at my stepmother's, and today, awoke to a nearly dead battery, its life abused by those damned pigs. Peter is trying to add insulation, and we await a return of our phone call to the installer.

We are now anchored at Mill Creek across from our property. This is a view of First Edition from ashore.
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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Farmers Market at Annapolis

Each Sunday during there is an amazing Farmers Market near the dinghy dock in Annapolis. These incredible mushrooms will be a side dish, sauteed with a little garlic, to accompany a red meat.

We spent about a million dollars on heirloom tomatoes, corn picked this morning, glorious bread, choc chip cookies for the Captain, and a bouquet of flowers for the ailing admiral. As prescribed during discharge, I walked around town on this glorious 85 degree day, where we are now anchored out awaiting, yes, refrigeration technicians tomorrow.
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Curing What Ails Ya


This morning this little creature called to tell me that she hoped I was feeling better and to sing me a very special version of the Itsy Bitsy Spider. I would lay myself in front of another car to have this call every day.

My dear friend Vickie came to make me dinner and of course her husband, the Doctor of Mixology, made up the best batch of Painkillers ever. I even skipped the pain pill to partake.

I am blessed. But the Pigs are still driving me nuts.
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Hit by a Car and other Miseries

Yes, it had to happen sooner or later. Sixty year old women do not belong on bikes, peddalling around the busy streets of Annapolis. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT! As I was on the way to the market, entering a busy intersection but in the pedestrian lane and with a green light in my favor, some sweet young thing hit me, knocked me off the bike, and sent me to the hospital. It was the first time I rode in an ambulance as a patient since being an EMT; I much prefer providing care than receiving it. Cat scans and xrays show no broken bones, but lots of signs of old age. Thanks, doc.

Came back to the boat to discover that the work done that morning by the refrigeration technician did not pass the Emergency Medical Technician test: DO NO HARM. The unit, previously incapable of holding its set temperature of 12 degrees, now cannot reach 12, and hovers around 20 degrees, running constantly and pulling down the batteries faster than ever. Pigs.

Thankfully I have pain medication.