Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Back to Norwich for the summer

Despite the inconsistent weather, we had the boat ready for its scheduled launch date and this year, they hit it right on the head. Despite that, we had to wait a few extra days to let the storm and rain debris clear somewhat and on May 14, we went down river.

 As soon as we left the dock in Portland, we encountered our first log. It was one of many that day

Despite the cold conditions, once in the Sound the wind was behind us and the water smooth. We ran at almost 17 miles per hour and we at New London in what seems like no time.  We know. Seventeen miles an hour is nothing to most of our boating friends but it's pretty speedy for us.

The docks at Portland Riverside are better but still a little shaky for Frances and while she is much better, she was a little unsure about getting on the boat, so Bill took that 62-mile trip alone.

No problems and the boat ran perfectly although it was cold and Bill wore a heavy winter ski jacket for almost the entire way.

 Once we got to Old Saybrook, the weather and the sea state looked a lot better

 As Bill attempted to back into our slip in Norwich, there was Frances waiting.

"Attempting" to back in is pretty accurate. The wind and tide were running and it did take a number of tries to get the bat secured. Frances remembers six attempts; Bill can't believe that he was so inept. He does remembers finally making a good approach on his third attempt only find that he was almost in Lou and Jane's slip next to ours. Oh well, there's nothing wrong with being close. Eventually, we made it.

Now we have to do the annual boat cleaning but if the weather is nice, that will be just fine.

Looking forward to a great summer with all  of our boat buddies.

Here's some video from the helm of the trip:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Back to the boat after the snow

 It's March 24 and it's finally warm enough to get back to work on our list of boat projects.  The snow is gone, even though we had the third "nor'easter" storm earlier this week. Nor'easter is now a TV weatherman term meant to keep us glued to our TVs. That works, of course, even though the last storm didn't leave enough snow here in Hartford to shovel.

Okay, back to boating. We arrived at the boatyard with two things on our list: Replace the hydraulic lines on the trim tab pump (one of which was leaking) and install our newly rebuild starter on the starboard engine.

The trim tab part went well enough. We trimmed the hydraulic hoses back and installed new fittings. Those fittings turned out to be hard to find. The local shops had nothing. Boat US had lots and we ordered four. After three weeks, Boat US couldn't figure out where those fittings were. So we ordered four more from iboat, which is located is one of the nation's boating capitals, Utah. I had our hydraulic fittings in hand in six days. So much for Boat US.

The new fittings were installed on the trim tab pump lines in minutes but to see if the pump now actually worked, we had to add automatic transmission fluid up to the "full" line on the pump. The full hole in the pump is really small, smaller than anything we had on board, so we'll have to hunt up some really, really small tubing to fill the pump and then test it.

Then came the starter. It was on the starboard engine and it worked okay but not anywhere near as fast as the port starter, which had been rebuilt three years ago by our favorite auto/electric guy in Middletown, Connecticut. It took our guy two months (they knew were were boaters in winter storage) but now, the 30 lb. original Chrysler starter was ready to re-install.

After a lot of surveying the installation area, we managed to get the starter in position and when we finally had it seated, bolted the damn thing down and reconnected the power cable.

Once that was done, we straightened up the cabin and dragged our bags back to the car. But, the weather was so nice, we decided to check out the dock and the boats in storage. Looking at boats is one of our favorite activities and we burned up a few minutes doing just that before we left.

The video is below. We'll be cleaning up our old and somewhat dirty bilge soon.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

"Your channel will no longer be eligible for monetization"

Really? Gosh, what should we do?

Nothing, it appears. In the last five years, we've posted a hundred or more videos to include in our blog. On You Tube, we have have more than 360 "followers," a term we really dislike. Many of them have contacted us to comment or simply say, "we like your videos." Some have become friends.

The last time we looked, we had earned something over $3.00 for all of that work. No problem, we never began posting videos to make money. So, we'll continue to post videos of our boating adventures and You Tube can continue to make whatever money they can on our efforts.

Our faithful Admiral, Frances, has visited yet another doctor and has received some what we were told is really useful medication. She's not strong enough to throw lines to the dock hands yet, but knowing that woman, she will be. Figure two more months and she'll be climbing up and onto the boat and letting us know it's OK to get underway.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Ice in the river

We haven't accomplished anything on the boat due to the extended period of cold weather that we've been having. (If you are a nearby boating buddy, we know that you already know this, but our readership spans the nation after all).

It began with a week of very cold temps, not out of the ordinary for late January or early February. There was also a couple of minor snow storms and then a drastic change in temperature upward for a couple of days and to see 45 degrees during the day at this time of year is certainly not what we'd normally expect.

Just a few days of warm weather started the snow melt north of us and that raised the level of Connecticut's major rivers. Then it got cold again, but this time colder than anyone expected. Early on January 14, the temp in our car measured -7 degrees at 7 a.m.

As you might expect, we hearty New Englanders watched as most towns banned on-street parking, closed the schools and issued threats of electrical outages. There were long lines at our local supermarket and once again, we wondered what people do with all the bread and milk that they buy when faced with winter weather.

But, you'll be glad to know, we survived and due to Frances' superior culinary skills, did so over some damn good dinners. We did shovel some snow but there's nothing wrong with some exercise when you are otherwise trapped indoors by the cold.

We visited the boat earlier this week, mainly to charge the batteries. While we were there, we shot some video of the river. As of today (five days after our visit) the river is closed at East Haddam due to an ice jam. Two small (65 ft.) Coast Guard boats have been unable to break the ice dam and the bridge over the river was scheduled to be closed to traffic today while they made another attempt.

There are a number of missing spiles (pilings) at Portland Riverside, were our boat is, but nothing really serious. We have a couple of small boat projects that include refurbishing our trim tabs and doing some minor electrical wiring, but those can wait.

If you are among our friends who decamped for Florida (thinking of John T. here), good move this year.