30 October, 2015
Been waaaaay too long.
Let’s try a new font and see if I can cut and paste it onto the site-may be more readable. The new clutch (3rd this year) finally came in from Tehas. Scottie came on board to help me puterin. Sometime in the past few months, he had an epiphany and thinks that he knows why they keep failing. So….we placed a couple of shims to move the clutch 64/1,000” closer to the generator to take the preload off the bearings. I guess we’ll see. Anyhow, we got out of Solomons early on the 28th for what proved to be a long ride down the Chesapeake Bay under small craft warnings-4’, 4 second seas on the nose with 22 knot winds from the south. Bang, bang, bang. The coffee carryometer was stuck at “7” all day long. (a “0” is you can sip while walking, a “10” is “take a step, take a dive, splash”). Still, it felt great to be back to our world. Not like we’re world travelers or anything, but I just don’t feel like I belong when I’m fightin’ the crowds on dirt. Cruising is my Xanax. Ten hours later, we were anchor down behind Gwynn Island, about ¾ of the way down the Bay. Our anchorage was tucked in under the north shore, as winds were predicted to gust to 40+knots as a front passed through during the evening. The wind generators were making money, the rain was rinsing off the salt, and life was good.
The hook was up by 05h37. The winds were down, the rain had stopped, and the seas were less than 2’ under gray skies. We made good time to Norfolk, and the skies had cleared enough that the sun was bright and the temperature was in the 70’s. As we made our way down the harbor past the Naval repair facilities on this now familiar leg, we kinda wished that we had time to hang for a day or two, but the South and warm weather (as well as many friends) are calling. As usual, we are the ones bringing up the rear of the fleet. Our early arrival at todays’ destination, Atlantic Yacht Basin was delayed a bit, as belied by our log entries: 1400-waited for N & PBL rail bridge construction crew; 1500-waited for Great Bridge Lock; 1600-waited for Great Bridge opening. By 1700, our thoughts about sitting in the sun at the dock, were pretty much scotched. After we had put on 900 gallons of diesel and were tied up at the face dock, the sun was low and we did a few chores before the Patriot’s game on Thursday Night Football.
We had to take an unexpected “personal day” on Friday, so remained at AYB. It gave us a chance to make arrangements to store the Girl here next Summer so that we can travel to Michigan, Europe, and family vacations. The delay also gave me a chance to witness the following vignette, taken right out of the “Boating Don’ts” parody video that has forming in my brain over the years. I’ll try to paint the picture for you the best I can: So, I’m up on the boat deck scrubbing, and Josh, the dock dude, walks down the dock looking like he’s getting ready to catch the lines of a boat coming in to the space behind us. (we’re on a face dock which parallels the ICW). Nobody coming. He walks back along the face, and waves to a motor cruiser throwing lines to folks on the dock with red pilings (that’d be the gas dock). Words are exchanged, and the aforementioned cruiser pulls out, and motors to the spot behind us, where Josh and another boater are waiting to catch lines. The spot is, maybe 70’ long, the twin prop boat with bow thruster, 50’, max. There’s a kid, maybe 13 or so on the bow, and a middle-aged guy at the aft midship cleat, both in position ready to toss the lines to the dock. All of the yard crew is gone for the day, the sun is low-it’s that time of day before dinner that is so peaceful and quiet. That’s when the feces hit the rotor. The guy driving the boat from the upper helm, who looks like a shirtless slightly overweight Jabba the Hut (not judgin’-just tryin’ to paint a picture here), starts screaming like a man possessed. He’s yelling at his crew to change lines to different cleats, and etc. The verbage is sprinkled, no laden with “F Bombs” and other various depradations regarding his crews’ lineage which should not be recorded in this polite company. Worse, he’s like a broken record, nothing new, just the same sentences over and over again, each time at a higher volume (I didn’t think louder was possible, but like I said, this was a big man). Maybe 20 times- no exaggeration. By this time, Suzanne has roused from the computer in her office, as she can hear the commotion outside over the music from her Ipod. We agree that it’d be best not to make eye contact, and go back to our business. When the noise subsided, I looked over and the boat was safely tied, the dockhands nowhere to be seen. Another boater walks past the Girl, looks up at me, and says “Never a dull moment at AYB”. I make an appropriate but sensitive comment, maybe echoing Chris Christie’s exclamation, asserting that “That was rude, even for New Jersey” (the boat’s registered in NJ) and he says “that boats’ name should be changed from “Crazy Lady” to “Crazy Man”. There’s another chapter, but I’ll let it go at that. Funny thing was, he had the boat lined up perfectly at the outset of the screaming, and could have just eased her in. The moral of the story is simple. Buy 2 way communication headsets. I did, and now no one but me hears the Admiral when she talks to me like that.