Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rolling a mage

I have been stuck here in Green Cove Springs for over a week waiting for parts.  I did discover that the Internet connection is quite good.  So I decided to roll a new World of Warcraft character - a mage.  The leveling procedure at the lower levels has really changed in the past couple of years.  It is now much faster with a lot less running around.

Of course the big news is Cataclysm, the next add on to WOW.  I fear that I am out of disk space so I will either have to purchase an external disk (they say it takes 40 gigabytes) or just take a pass.  Hummmmmmm.

LocalVisibility.org

I got an interesting sales pitch from a local provider in Ridgewood, NJ for http://www.localvisibility.org. This is a web site that polls various search engines with a telephone number.  The result is a series of web pages that shows results of various search engines and also competitors that would show up in the same search.

The web site says that its target is small and medium businesses.  The hook is links to local service providers who can assist you with making your site better.

I was both disappointed and interested that the telephone number used in the search is one that I have not used in a number of years.  The current phone number does not return any results.  I used a couple of the search engines listed and found the correct listing.  It made me wonder.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Date Harvard Square

As a graduate of Harvard University I was invited to join a singles matching web site called Dateharvardsq.com. Founded by two Harvard Business School (where else at Harvard?  Do you need to ask?) with the intended purpose of matching undergraduates, graduate students and alumni of Harvard and other "interested parties" it just came online in early November.  Since I met the screening criteria I decided what the heck, I might as well sign up and see what happens.

Imagine my surprise when I received a email announcing my first five matches.  As expected they were all intelligent and very accomplished.  What I did not expect is that they were, well, steaming hot!  They were, however, all in their late 20's or early 30's.  Now being male I can appreciate women of that age - in fact I can appreciate women of just about any (legal) age.  But I was immediately struck by two questions:

1.  Is there something in the water at Harvard that makes exceptionally beautiful, intelligent and accomplished young women crave to meet much older men?
2.  Why are these women on a matching site in the first place?

My answers:
1.  No, most likely not.  The sign up process has a minor flaw, they don't ask the age range of people you would like to be matched with when you sign up.
2.  I don't know.  Perhaps they are so accomplished and beautiful that they are a bit intimidating.  But I never met anyone at Harvard Business School that could be intimidated by anything.  This suggests that perhaps the young ladies will meet their match.

I then received an email from a physicist who was more my age.  She told me that with the exception of my profile all her matches had also been quite young.  I asked her if the word "cougar" appeared in her profile.

I post this as a public service to "interested parties."  There are some really beautiful and accomplished women out there looking to meet someone that sparks their interest.  Go for it!

PS.  When Spencer was looking at colleges we investigated Carnegie Mellon University.  It is one of the finest if not the finest Computer Science school in the nation.  It is also one of the best Fine Arts schools.  The interactions of computer science nerds and young art students are apparently legendary.  I mention this because all of my Harvard matches had fine arts backgrounds.  Maybe there is more to the answer to #1 then I perceived.

Déjà vu - Again!

Richard Nixon, November 17, 1973: "I am not a crook."


Charlie Rangel, November 29, 2010:  I am not a criminal." 



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why I hate streaming video and "Net Neutrality"

"Net Neutrality" is the concept (to paraphrase a Monty Python song) that "every packet is sacred."  The idea is that one can not introduce "Quality of Service" (QoS) controls to sort out the higher priority packets from the lower priority packets.  It seems there is a great conspiracy theory that companies that actually pay to run the routers and install and repair the wires that make the Internet work (think your local cable provider) would take advantage of companies that make lots of money free riding (think Google.)  Oh those EVIL corporations that didn't contribute enough to the politicians currently in office.  Shame, shame.

Actually everyone should demand QoS.  It doesn't matter if the packets for your web page arrive out of order but it really matters if your audio or video stream doesn't arrive in the correct order and on time.  QoS gives higher priority to the audio and video packets to help guarantee the "Quality of Service.)  However the law of unexpected consequences has now kicked in.  With so much streaming video and audio the routers can get flooded and the non-video users get the equivalent of a Denial of service attack.  Apparently one or more people at the marina must stream video because every once in a while my service becomes non-existent for a couple of hours.  Ughhhhhhhhh!

Now the problem is that the current powers that be love net neutrality.  So there is no point in spending money fixing the problem when a federal regulator could arbitrarily force you to remove all the code with a simple administrative rule.  So here I sit with no bandwidth.  I love our politicians.  Thank you (the as&(*holes) is silent!

Why are your stories always about things that break?

Sitting here in Green Cove Springs waiting for parts I thought this was a great post from sailing vessel Sunshine.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The office at Green Cove Springs Marina has a porch.  This is the favorite gathering place for all of the people living at the marina and working on their boats.  The porch has a TV set.  Like most public TV's the selection of the channel to watch is somewhat arbitrary.  Normally if there is a single person with a particular interest that show ends up on the TV.  So I have been subjected to Dancing with the Stars, Ice Skating with the Stars and a collection of other shows that I have little or no interest in watching.  The other day I did get to watch several back to back episodes of NCIS but the Burn Notice marathon was eclipsed by football.  (Why is it that many people watch talking heads blather endlessly about sports?  I don't mind watching a good game, but the inane talking heads filling air time drives me nuts!)

The night before last a group of us old guys took over the TV and popped in Jim's DVD of Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition).  I had forgotten the opening scene.  They are sailing along and think they might see another ship in heavy fog.  Next moment - flashes of light and loud booms.  Someone yells "everybody down on deck" and then all hell breaks loose.  And for the next 130 or so minutes you are taken back to 1805 and life in the British Navy.  A quite satisfying evening for all.

I have been toying with purchasing the The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels.  I have read perhaps 5 of the series and enjoyed them all.  I am reaching the point where I guess I will have to spring for the $126.

Best line in Master and Commander: England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship *is* England.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving with KI4MMZ

Jim (Hobo II) and I were invited to Flagler Beach to have Thanksgiving with Bill of the Maritime Mobile Service Net.  Jim has some medical problems as a result of his service in the Gulf War so the dinner was prepared by two of his nurses.  It was terrific as was the company.

Thanksgiving is a special time for cruisers.  In various locations they gather together to celebrate.  Last Thanksgiving I spent in St. Mary's GA with 130 other cruising sailboats.  Green Cove Springs Marina (where we are currently working on the boats) had a Thanksgiving celebration of staff and slip holders that we were also invited to join.  I think it makes it particularly special when a group of people that you don't know well get together to give thanks for living in the United States.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yvonne Strahovski #5 - Ken-Mar Dog Rescue - Rescue ME!

Well, my month is up.  Now it is true that I don't have to return a video camera within the time frame for the money back guarantee but one can only carry a quest so far.  After all, I have sailing, partying, diving and drinking to do.  (Not to mention the ever so frequent and unpopular boat repairs.)  I understand that things didn't quite work out for Brian during his 30 day quest either; he thought he had failed and then several months later Brook actually contacted him and they met for lunch.

I have discovered that Miss Strahovski is a supporter of the Ken-Mar Rescue organization in Los Angeles.  I presume that she has a soft spot for dogs, particularly those in need of rescue.  So I want Miss Strahovski to know that in addition to being a sailor (with all the faults that implies) my friends would tell you that I am a dog very much in the need of rescue!  This nom de plume goes all the way back to my high school days when Lou Christie's Lightening Strikes was voted the song that best described me!

One Reason I love Garmin!

I have been having some problems with lock ups on my Garmin network.  In the past with other vendors what you bought was what you got.  If the system had a problem you needed to uninstall it, send it to the vendor for a costly upgrade, and get back something that might or might not have solved your problem,  Garmin has a policy of software upgrades that you can download from the internet and then apply to your equipment.  The entire process is quite painless (as long as you have an SD card.)

The best part is that each upgrade seems to come with new functionality!  For example version 6.2 for my 5xxx series chart plotters added a graph function.  Cool!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Green Cove Springs Marina #2

The good news about Green Cove Springs Marina is that there is someone here who knows how to fix just about anything.  The bad news is they also know when it is not worth it to fix something.

Yesterday while getting engine parts with Jim for Hobo II I struck up a conversation with another customer.  It turned out that he is the local Yanmar (diesel engine) repair guy.  We were discussing the "sweet spot", the engine RPM that gives the best miles per gallon for the current conditions.  He told me that Flowscan made such a device and I asked him how much it cost.  He said he would get back to me, and the final answer was about $1,700.  Jim pointed out that I would have to burn an awful lot of fuel to recover the $1,700 cost so I put the idea to bed.  I also knew that no matter how cool I didn't have $1,700 to spend.

This morning the local marine refrigeration expert came down to look at two problems on Reboot:  the refrigerator and the air conditioning.  Short story, both units are sneakers up and need to be replaced. The cost for the refrigerator is about $1,200 and the air conditioning closer to $4,000.  I have to have a refrigerator so the new unit was ordered and hopefully will go in tomorrow.  I don't, however, have $4,000 to invest in a unit I use maybe once or twice a month,  I spent most of today removing the old air conditioner.  On the bright side I now have a bunch of storage space I did not have before.

In the interim I tried to clean the contacts on my remote VHF microphone up in the cockpit.  It has decided to stop working.  After cleaning the contacts it is still not working.  Such is the life of a live aboard.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vibration

As I have been travel down the ICW I have noticed that when running the engine I was increasingly getting lots of vibration.  Yesterday when we pulled Reboot I discovered the reason.  Like most boaters I have sacrificial zincs attached at various places to prevent galvanic corrosion of Reboot.  One place is on the drive shaft.  It turns out that the zinc, rather than decaying by shrinking in general had decayed on one side while leaving the other side intact.  So I had this big off center weight attached to the drive shaft!  We changed it out and hopefully the vibration will now go away.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Green Cove Springs Marina

I got up at 3 AM to head up (down) the St. John's River to Green Cove Springs from Jacksonville Landing.  (Down because we were headed south even though we were going upstream?  Who knows?)  I was accompanied by Hobo II who had arranged for a diesel mechanic to look at his engine.  We arrived at about 7:50 AM and tied up to the dock. I had come for a "short haul."  They pull the boat out of the water, scrape and pressure wash the bottom and then drop the boat back in.  While we had Reboot out of the water I had the folding "Max-prop" folding propeller replaced by the original equipment bronze three blade propeller.  Folding props are great when you are sailing in light winds but you lose a lot of power motoring.  In Lake Michigan I did very little motoring and of course while racing you want every benefit you can get, but general cruising (particularly the ICW) results in many hours of motoring,  I was willing to give up light air sailing performance for higher speeds and better fuel economy while motoring.  We will see how it works out.

Jim (Hobo II) was able to track down his engine problems to a couple of gaskets he needs to replace.  He is going to pick up the parts on Monday and get the engine fixed.  He also ordered a new autopilot that he will pick up on Tuesday and we will install.

We expect to stay here for a couple of days.  With a clean bottom I am motivated to clean up the sides and deck of Reboot.  She has not had a real cleaning and waxing in over a year.  Also I have a large number of small projects that I hope to address while we are here.

Green Cove Springs is well known by the cruising community.  I had never been here and was delighted that it lived up to its excellent reputation.  The people were friendly, the work was done quickly and competently, and the price was quite reasonable.  I would recommend this yard to anyone in the area who needs services.

When we finish up here we will be looking for a weather window to head down to Key West, a trip of 5 to 8 days.

Postscript:  Wisconsin hammered Michigan.  GO BADGERS!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yvonne Strahovski #4 1/2

For those of you who can't get enough of Miss Strahovski she did a very beautiful photo shoot for DirrtyGlam in France for November 2010.  The link to the pictures is http://www.dirrtyglam.com/home.html

Yvonne Strahovski #4

It is Wednesday thus time once again to comment on my quest to have Miss Strahovski join me for diving and sailing in Mexico, Belize, and/or Guatemala this winter.  I am delighted to see that Miss Strahovski has taken to the water to further prepare for her duties as foredeck on Reboot. She has also become one of the most popular posts of all time on this blog. (The most popular, parenthetically, {and you know how much this author loves to speak parenthetically} is the Foncia Capsize blog entry.)  Now I admit that seeing a 60 foot trimaran go butt over teakettle is pretty exciting stuff, but guys, watching the destruction of a rich guy's toy vs looking at Miss Strahovski?  (There is something ironic in that statement, but it will remain unsaid {note the clever use of a parenthetical comment again.)}  The sad news is that no one from Miss Strahovski's entourage has yet to contact me.  Brian Herzlinger (My date with Drew - 2004) actually did a lot of work to get his date.  I on the other hand have been sailing, motoring the ICW, drinking, touring, and enjoying friends rather than working at getting my invitation to come have fun into the proper hands.  Perhaps I am leaving too much to the power of the Internet, Google search, and fate.  I will have to contemplate further over this evening's nightcap (or two.)

XO and I are at Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville FL.  It is a great place to watch the sun go down.  The city has done a nice job of decorative lighting on the bridges both up and down the St. John's River.  There is a pretty illuminated fountain across the way.  It is a bit far but of course we sailors have binoculars and XO has cat eye vision (as he is a cat!)

We transited down from Doboy Sound GA (Latitude: 31-23'40'' N Longitude: 081-17'54'' W) last night.  We had light following winds so we ended up motoring most of the way.  In addition to Hobo II and Water Hobo we picked up a new boat (from Toronto, Canada of course) Spice of Life.  Water Hobo peeled off at the St. John's River entrance to continue down to Daytona to meet friends.  I am here to provision at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville and most likely haul Reboot to check the bottom before proceeding down to Key West, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.  I also hope to see my ham radio friend Bill (KI4MMZ) who has been taking care of me via radio for over a year.  I am also still having problems with both my fresh water pump (the new one seized up after about 1/2 hour of operation) and my water maker (which once again only worked for about 2 gallons of production before going sneakers up.)  Hopefully I can get both sorted out before I continue.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I hate the Intracostal Waterway

1. It is not an idiot free zone. While crossing St. Catherine's Sound in 30 knot winds I was cut off by a passing sailboat. I told him on the radio that I did not appreciate him cutting 15 feet in front of my bow in a 1/2 mile wide sound and was told that he gave me a "safe pass." He then proceeded to cut across my bow again, but this time he was a couple of hundred yards ahead. Branko pointed out that this same boat had cut him off in a narrow turn exiting Mile Hammock back just a few days earlier. And it was the same boat that had an argument with a bridge tender. First he rushed past us, then he complained that we had not kept up so he would have to wait for the bridge, then he kept asking the bridge tender to open the bridge when he was still 1/2 mile away. Of course the bridge tender won that argument.
2. Re "1" I think we both took some pleasure when we heard on the radio that he had run aground. Fortunately for him it was on a rising tide.
3. Any similarity between the charts and the channel is pure coincidence. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. Its like driving thru a speed trap with your attention on the speedometer. Except on the boat it is the depth gauge. Try that for 10 hours a day.
4. The channel is narrow and subject to shoaling. We have been fortunate in that during the days we have stayed inside to avoid the strong adverse winds offshore high tide has been centered around the daylight hours. Since the Georgia tidal range is 6 to 9 feet this gave us a greater margin for error. Now as the high tide times shift toward evening we find that the early morning runs are very stressful.
5. The distance between point "A" and point "B" is frequently much longer than a straight line. We left downtown Savannah and headed to Thunderbolt for fuel, a distance of about 10 miles on the ICW. As the bird flies it is about 1.7 miles.
6. And 7,8,9,... See reason "1"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Savannah Georgia #2

Our little task group (Hobo II, Water Hobo and Reboot) are casting off lines this morning to continue our journey south.  We spent a couple of nice days here in Savannah.  The dock is right on River Street (such clever naming) which is a big walking promenade filled with shops and restaurants.  Since we were here on the weekend it was quite crowded but the coolness of the evenings drove everyone off the streets by about 10 PM.

Jim, Branko, Maggie and I took a bus tour of the city on Sunday morning.  It was fun but given that it was Sunday most of the places we might have stopped and seen were closed until the afternoon.  Unfortunate.  Then Jim and I took the "Ghost Tour."  Savannah is quite proud of its ghosts, drunks, murderers and philanders.  At least the tour guide operators are.

Jim and I did meet some people on Friday night and ended up going to a dance club.  The band was dressed like ZZ Top.  When we first arrived I was put off by the music.but they were just finishing a set.  When they came back the music was very danceable (or I had consumed enough beverage.)  The crowd was mixed - everything from 20 somethings to we old people. ("Stand Up, Old People" as they say at Wisconsin.)  The gal that we had met before coming to the club and I went out on the floor.  Next thing I knew I had been dancing with a number of partners until bar time.  It was a very fun night.

It was a good time.  Since several of my friends have commented that they prefer Charleston to Savannah I guess I will have to give it a shot next time.  Unfortunately Charleston does not have the downtown dockage (except at great cost) like that available in Savannah.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday XO

My kitten XO is one!  Happy birthday XO.  Maggie and Branko brought him new catnip mice for his birthday.  Thanks guys.

Savannah Georgia

The guidebooks say that if you only call on one port on the East Coast make it Savannah.  I would agree but it isn't that easy.

We made the sea buoy at about 2100 hours.  As is my standard procedure I did a security call announcing that three sailboats were headed up the Savannah River.  I got an immediate response from a Coast Guard small boat that announced he had us all in sight and was going to cut us off and head up the channel in front of us.  Since it was Veteran's Day (and my birthday) I thanked him for his service.  Actually, I always thank the Coast Guard and Navy Ships for their service.  He seemed surprised.

About a minute later I got a radio call from the Savannah Pilots.  They go by numbers, so the call was from Savannah Pilot 41 (or some number like that.)  He indicated that he was bringing a deep draft tanker down the channel and that there were two more deep draft vessels right behind him.  Since I have AIS I could see his progress (and one hopes, he could see mine) and we agreed that the sailboats would go outside the channel at the meeting point.  Meeting tankers is always weird.  Cruise ships are lighted up like Christmas trees.  Most cargo ships have at least a dozen working lights down the side.  But tankers rarely have anything but side and white all around lights.  (Most ships do not have "bow" lights, they carry their red and green lights on the "house" in the stern.  This really confused me when I started going out into the ocean.)  So here we are looking at a big dark blot on the water with just three lights.  Pretty spooky.  No sooner did the tanker go by then the next pilot called to arrange the meeting.  And then the third ship.

We continued up the river for several miles and then got another call.  This time it was an inbound ship.  He told us that he did not expect to catch up to us.  I told him we knew nothing about Savannah and could he help us find a place to anchor or dock.  He said sure.  Well of course after coming up a very dark river for about an hour we reach the LPG terminal.  It is so brightly lit that I start having trouble seeing the river and the marks.  So I look over my shoulder just as the radio crackles.  Yup, the ship is right behind us!.  At this point the river does a sharp bend to the left and then right and of course narrows down.  The pilot walked us through the pass on the radio, reduced his speed to as to not wake us, and then told me to drop in behind him and he would lead us up the river.  As we came around the second bend I see his tugs waiting for him.  So we drop back a little while they get tied up and follow the parade up the river.   The pilot tells us to do a wide pass on his starboard side and the tugs start pushing him into his berth.  They really churned up the river.

One frustration on the ICW is boats constantly calling on the radio to ask if you want a "slow pass."  Like I would say, "No, hit the throttles, get up on a plane, blast by and throw me out of the channel."  Then of course you are supposed to thank the boat for the slow pass.  In other words thank him for doing what he was supposed to do in the first place.  But I admit the devil made me do it.  As the cargo ship cleared my bow I thanked him for the slow pass.

As we continued up we got a VHF call from a outbound pilot.  I figured that we were getting pretty good at this so the meet would not be a big deal.  Imagine my surprise when the pilot started telling us which docks were full and which had spaces where we could dock.  We finally made downtown at about 0200 and threw some lines around the dock.

The down side of Savannah is that there is no place to anchor and very few places to dock.  The three "marinas" are actually just face docks in front of hotels and they charge $3.00 per foot per night.  Strangely there never seem to be any boats at the dock.  The city dock charges $1.50 per foot but only has space for about 8 boats.  Fortunately we were able to raft up for a couple of hours and then take over the spaces vacated by the departing boats.

Downtown Savannah is right at the dock.  Since this is a very long post already I will describe it in another post.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yvonne Strahovski #3

Since Reboot is going offshore for a couple of days to Savannah I am filing this a day early.  The good news is that Miss Strahovski has been practicing her bad weather foredeck crawl.  There is the issue of missing safety equipment, life jacket, harness etc. but I will give her a pass since this is only practice.  The bad news is that she still has not gotten in touch with me.  I know that I should be wandering around LA with a video camera interviewing her hard rock climbing coach, her hairdresser, etc. but that is just not me.

I got an interesting note from my son Trevor.  Apparently Balyu, his girlfriend, is a big fan of "Chuck."  So Trevor gets to watch all the episodes.  Perhaps he can give me some pointers in getting in touch.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Miserable Run, A Cold Morning

We (Reboot, Water Hobo, HOBO II and a cast of dozens) are anchored in Wrightsville Beach NC. The current air temperature is 43F up from the high 30's this morning. The wind has been blowing in the 15 to 20 knot range. The wind forecast is for Gale winds at Cape Fear and a high in the low 50's. We would have to cross Cape Fear Inlet to continue down the Intracostal. After a morning VHF conference we decided that we would just stay here for the day and wait for better conditions. We were amazed at the number of boats that just headed out this morning to continue their transits.

Yesterday I got a radio call from a passing boat. It seems that they were headed for Wrightsville to have lunch with Tom Young and Maggie before they flew back to Milwaukee. I was disappointed that I would miss them as Reboot could not make the bridges in time. I did talk to Tom on the cell phone to catch up.

The trip yesterday was very ugly. We have be combating low temperatures for a couple of days. Even when well dressed the continuous 15 knot cold winds chill one and make for long days. Yesterday included 3 bridge openings that were perfectly timed to make us wait at each one. The Wrightsville Beach Bridge in particular was as Jim of HOBO II so aptly described it "the nightmare on Elm Street." We are traveling with a large number of snowbirds so each time we wait for a bridge we are in the company of 20 to 30 other boats. Coming down on Wrightsville the current was about 2 1/2 knots sweeping us to a bridge that only opens once per hour. Trying to stand still in a narrow channel with 20 other boats for 45 minutes or so was a real treat. Of course the time went by faster watching Towboat US try to pull another sailboat off the shoal. Of course he went aground at high tide so we got to check his bottom paint almost to the keel.

Once thru the bridge there are two marinas, one on each side. Several boats stopped to tie up to the docks. More than one tossed out a bow line in a following current with the inevitable results. Then a number of us turned to port into the harbor channel which was shoaled to about 3 feet since the tide was unusually low. After bumping 3 times in 1 minute I turned around only to be confronted with other boats trying to enter and several sailboats also aground. Great fun! Jim (HOBO II) noticing the difficulties of REBOOT and WATER HOBO just continued down the ICW. Both of us extracted ourselves and followed Jim along. We took the alternative channel (which turns out to be much wider and deeper.) On the way in we chatted with a Sea Tow boat and he suggested that we would be fine anchoring where we were for the night.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

THe RV Park

Last night our trio spent the night in Mile Hammock Bay. This is a very popular anchorage on the Intracostal in North Carolina as it is one of the few good ones. We shared the anchorage with about 30 other boats - many snowbirders on their way South for the Winter.

Normally it is very quiet on Reboot at anchor. In fact you can usually hear the voices of anyone in the cockpit of the boats around you. Imagine my dismay when the quiet of the evening was disturbed as some stink potter ran his generator all night so that he could have heat and light. Great stuff. Ugh.

I feel like I did when after many years of camping with my family in a tent we were run out of our favorite campsites by the sounds of the RVers running their air conditioning all night.

Friday, November 5, 2010

And the rains came

I had hoped that once I got out of the Canadian Maritimes and the Northeast United States I would be greeted by better weather. It is true that the run from Norfolk down to New Bern was OK, but just OK. Crossing the Albemarle Sound and the Alligator, Pamlico and Neuse rivers wasn't great but they were OK. In fact the run down the Pungo river was quite pleasant.

This morning we shifted over from Town Creek (where I dragged last night) to the Morehead City side. The three (H2OBO, Hobo II, and Reboot are at the beginning of the Bogue Sound stretch of the Intracostal. As we came around the corner by the State Port Terminal we heard a "special marine alert" for the Bogue Sound inlet - basically - don't even think about trying to go thru it for a couple of days because the waves and wind are so bad. Nice. Then we have Tomas doing his thing down off Haiti. I thought that after Earl and Igor I had paid my dues for this season. I guess not.

It rained pretty much all afternoon which was OK since I was tired from being up last night waiting for Reboot to re-float. So XO and I took a nice nap. He was unusually cuddly, he always sleeps in my bed when I am there but today he tucked himself in my arms. A big ball of warm fur. It was nice.

We were thinking about heading down the inside tomorrow but we will first have to see what the weather brings. We would of course go down Bogue Sound and right past Bogue Inlet. Maybe not the best strategy.

Cheers.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good - Bad - Good

Last night Water Hobo (H2OBO), Hobo II, and Reboot were together for the first time since Yarmouth Nova Scotia.  The night started out great with cocktails on Water Hobo and then Maggie made a great "Sunday dinner" for us all.  Branko and Maggie had purchased a set of dominoes at Walmart and we settled down to plan "Mexican Train."  Of course the purchase of dominoes did bring up the subject of the James Bond Dominoes - the only heroine name that I think appeared in two movies. Switching to card games I remarked on my personal favorite - Solitaire (of Live and Let Die)  - who was at 22 the youngest Bond girl ever.  Now Jane Seymour OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) and aged a bit still in my humble opinion one of the most beautiful women in the world.  (I am sure Nigel will tell me if she is "Lady Jane" or
"Dame Jane" or whatever.  It is always good to have a Brit around who knows such things.)

So after a pleasant dinner and games we came out on deck to find that Reboot had dragged anchor and run aground.  Or to be more precise - run a-mud.  I got to inspect the first foot of bottom paint in the light of Branko's flashlight.  It actually looked better than expected!  The tide was going out and by midnight Reboot had picked up about a 15 degree list.

This morning at about 4:30 AM I checked the status to find that Reboot was back afloat.  Branko called out to me (the noise of raising my anchor chain had woken Maggie) and I motored over to Water Hobo.  Since we plan to leave this morning to continue our trip South we just rafted up.  Maggie and Branko went back to bed but I was too jazzed up so I have being doing mail and blog things waiting for dawn.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yvonne Strahovski #2

Today marks the start of week #2 of my quest to get Miss Strahovski to be my guest and foredeck person on Reboot this winter in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.  I am sad to report that neither she nor any of her entourage has contacted me yet.  (as an aside, Entourage was one of Trevor's favorite TV shows.)  I was encouraged to see that Miss Strahovski has done sufficient research to recognize that foredeck person alway needs to carry a knife in case of rigging jams and so forth.  Her selection seems a bit of overkill but you never know.

Sometimes it is a simple fix

While in New Bern I (with the help of Jim from Hobo II) installed a manual pump for fresh water in case the electric pump fails.  This upgrade was a direct result of the fact that the electric pump did fail while I was in Canada and I had no running drinking water for about three weeks.  When we finished the installation and tested it we then turned the fresh water electrical pump back on.  Guess what, it failed.  But further investigation determined that the fuse had blown.  We replaced it and the pump started working again.

The fuse is the type that are in your late model car.  It is difficult given where the pump is installed to check or pull the fuse.  When I went to Advance Auto Parts I discovered that they now make fuses with LED's built in.  When the fuse blows it glows to tell you it has blown.  Pretty neat idea, one I took advantage of.

Marine Directory Asia - A useful resource

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