Sunday, October 25, 2015

Taking the boat to winter storage

October 24, 2015. Today was the day to get out of Norwich, run west down the Sound from New London to Old Saybrook and then make the long run up the Connecticut River to Portland, just across from Middletown.

The frost on the dock had melted by the time we got there but it was still a very cool morning. We had previously taken on fuel so we were free to take in the lines and let the old Chryslers get warm going down river. There wasn't another boat out that morning until we arrived at New London.

The weather was overcast but the visibility was remarkable. We could pick out the water tower on Plum Island as we passed New London Ledge Light. The Sound itself made for an easy ride: 1-2 ft. seas with the wind from the east. It doesn't get any better than that.

Navigation on this trip didn't exactly strain our skills. There are only two waypoints, first at Bartlett Reef and then at "Bell 8" just off Old Saybrook.  After we were a few miles past Bartlett Reef, Frances pointed out the inner light at Old Saybrook inlet. Bill spotted what she was referring to and said that it couldn't be Old Saybrook because we were still nine miles away. He declared that it must be a sailboat. However, noting that the target spot didn't move at all, Bill finally had to admit that what we were seeing was, in fact, the Old Saybrook inner light. Funny, Frances is the one who has vision problems, or so she says.

 Bartlett Reef

If the sun had been out during our trip up the Connecticut River, we would have experienced the best fall foliage in memory. As it was, the colors were still impressive and there were lots of people on the upper river out for one last fall cruise.

For those of you who have followed our boating adventures over the years, we can report that our old engines performed perfectly. We ran at 3000 rpm for a SOG of about 15 miles per hour. All the work we did on them last winter really paid off.

We shot some video during the day. Can't take a real cruise without video!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It's getting late

Even if we had planned for it, this wasn't the weekend to leave Norwich for our winter home in Portland. The warm whether turned cold somewhat quickly and our original plan, to leave next weekend now, seemed like good sense.

We continued to take stuff off the boat on Saturday. We started the engines, after checking all the fluids, and let them warm up for about 30 minutes. Everything worked fine.

On Sunday (after a nice warm night of sleep thanks to our old AC unit on "heat" mode) we really began loading up. We also put on and tied down our winterizing supplies because it's a very long walk from the car to the boat once we get to Portland. We had a lot of laughs figuring out how to run a line through all of those anti-freeze jugs. But, even if we run into some rough weather, the jugs won't be able to slide all over the deck.

Also on Sunday, our dockmate Sue had her boat, "Obsession," hauled out at the boat launch at nearby Brown Park. We've seen this done a hundred times but we had to shoot some video of it, anyway.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mid-October. Time to leave.

Even the birds know that we've not going to be here much longer.

This weekend, all the A-dock folks (or many of them) gathered on the dock for one more pot-luck supper and it was are fun. Sure, it got dark fairly early but who cares?  This is one of the last weekends when we'll see people that we really like and have spent the past summer with (and probably many others).

Bad sentence. I'll have to edit that. But, the thought is still there.

On Saturday, we took a walk around the marina and shot some video. Deep blue skies and no wind. The leaves are beginning to turn across the the marina. One more weekend then then we have to leave.

The video isn't our best work but it gives you some idea of what our marina was like in one weekend on October.

The next morning, the off-loading began. Take down the canvas,, unload the coolers and haulm all that stuff back to the car.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

No hurricane

On Sunday morning, October 4, it was still cool and a little windy but the sun was out, finally. There were even a few people around while we enjoyed one of Frances' great breakfasts and our Sunday New York Times.

As nice as the weather was, it is time to begin planning our exit.  We've done this so many times before but somehow, actually saying that we've leaving on October 21 hurts a little.  After all, we've had a great summer and admitting that it's over isn't easy to do.

We took a walk around the marina. Most of the "seasonal boaters" were still there. The marina is showing a little wear but from here, it looked just fine.

The big news is that on Thursday, a barge and tug arrived, we assume to repair the docks damaged by last winter's ice.

Not a minute to early, we'd say. That dock wasn't going to make it through another winter.

We took a mini-road trip on Sunday to complete the purchase of the stuff we'll need to winterize the engines and the water system on the boat once we get to Portland, were we store for the winter. No sense buying these  things at the last minute when paying attention to the prices can save some money.

Wal Mart came up with a discount on the -50 degree pink antifreeze that we use to protect the water pipes, tank and pump. Tractor Supply (one of our favorite stores) provided the 10 quarts of engine oil and the two filters that we need. That all came to $91.54, about $9.00 less than we paid for the same stuff last year.

Next, we check the engines one more time, fill the tank with gas and then head out for one more winter.