Monday, September 14, 2009

2nd Year: Kent Narrows, Chesapeake Bay - Repairs & Other Stuff

Monday, September 14, 2009 PM
A long stop in Chesapeake Bay @ Mears Marina
Ah, we will be here for several weeks, awaiting repair of the Raymarine ChartPlotter that has been shipped back, repair of the CD Radio, repair of the windless and some other 'fixes'.  Andy & I are amusing ourselves with cleaning the boat - scrubbing, waxing, cleaning engine room, etc.  Took 3 days just to scrub our bimini top; will take  a week to wax the boat - top side only- phew.  Much needed work and our forced stop is a good thing.  Finally Fun will look like new when we finally finish. 

Eric & Carol
Never a boring moment aboard.  Had two sets of friends, back to back this week visiting us on their way elsewhere.  Eric & Carol, friends for more than 30 years, stopped by, as did Judy & Charles, my friend since high school.

Each evening was great, sipping wine, remembering our past lives and sharing tall tales.  We have several other friends in the area we hope to catch up with - Ellie & John, aboard ADIOS, are in Baltimore and will head south at the same time we will in Oct.  Dan & Char, whom we've charted with in Desolation Sound, live here and we hope to hook up shortly.  Again, the beauty of boating is friends everywhere that we get to see!

Now beginning our third week here at Mears Marina, still under repair.  Good news is that we have a working CD radio - our island music is blaring as we work aboard now!  We are still waiting for the Raymarine ChartPlotter to get fixed and shipped back to us; awaiting work on the windless to be done and get the gelcoat repaired.  We have met with the Broker and our claims against the manufacturer for the shaft problems and for the electrical generator problems are moving forward.  Andy spends his days sanding and varnishing (7 coats) the aft teak rail; changing oil in various and sundry places down below in the engine room and fixing the toilet pumps.  I'm scrubbing cushions and everything else and catching up on paperwork.

All is not hard work.  John & Ellie came by from their mooring in Baltimore in a rental car.  We had fun sightseeing in St. Michaels and Easton and just catching up with each's travel stories.  Bob & Chala showed up with a loaner auto for us to use while we are here!  We'll go to the Annapolis Boat Show together.  Andy & I will also meet up with friends from Novartis at the Boat Show and go to dinner with Mary O. & her husband, Neil.  I'm biking a few miles every day in this cool sunny weather in between my chores.  Our target date to pull out is Monday, October 18, to slowly head south, following the warmer sunshine. 

View from our aft deck at Mears Marina

Waking up each morning, peering out the windows to view the early morning sun, mist over the water and our resident heron fishing for his breakfast, reminds me how much I love being on the water and living on a boat.
 In spite of my significant frustrations with the mechanical problems that are driving this Type A Perfection Oriented Personality crazy, I can't imagine being anywhere else and can't imagine moving ashore.

There is a special peace about living aboard, watching the water and the wildlife all day, all night.  Simply being outside all the time, smelling the air and feeling the breeze and sunshine brings a calm and a smile all the time.  I often think back to my 'former life' of busy days and nights; rarely outside except to walk to and from the car; overbooked, overscheduled;  too many personal plans cancelled and postponed, all in the name of work.    Ahh, glad to be rid of the rat race.
Off our aft deck as the sun sets at Mears Marina
Enjoying friends aboard
Life is wonderful!!

Andy, likewise, certainly enjoys all this.  He has been quick to say, however, that I love this lifestyle more than he does, but that he wouldn't change anything.  We both look forward to the next adventure, the next cruise around an unknown corner and to seeing new places and making new friends.  This is far better than we ever imagined!  Of course, given our lack of experience when we started, we didn't know WHAT to imagine!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009
Just returned from five fun filled days in New Orleans, LA, getting to visit with my middle daughter, Stacey, and having a reunion of friends from middle school in Stuttgart, Germany.  Imagine, catching up with friends from 50 years ago...Bob Newman, Bob Flourney, Chantal Day Andrews,  & Jack Hopke & spouses or significant others.  Jack  as acting tour director, hosted us at his house for a great gumbo dinner and arranged a great few days  in Lafayette for us all.
The group + spouses about 45 years later!
We attended a Cajan Festival complete with great bands, much dancing, wonderful food tents (ah, chowing down on shrimp, gumbos, alligator, rices) and on and on.
Dancing at the Cajun Festival (none of us!)

A highlight was having a BBQ dinner at the home of our former football coach, Capt. Newman and his wife, now well into their 80's, but full of memories of us as young kids -- Chantal & I were cheerleaders and the guys all played on the RAMS team. Laughing, reminising, choking up and thoroughly enjoying the adults we have all become, we  vowed to  get together again in a few years, including our much beloved Coach!
Sharon, Jack, Coach, Bob N, Bob F, Chantal

Our 1962 yearbook & a RAM cake - ahh, memories!

October 16, 2009 Friday
Still tied to the marina dock in Chesapeake Bay, now freezing to death it seems like, especially after sweating to death in New Orleans 80 degree heat!   Cold, rain for past few days and expected for the next few days.  Way time to be GONE from here!  Repairs are just finished (we think and hope).  Can you believe, our RayMarine Chart Plotter we have had NOTHING BUT TROUBLE from since Day One was finally returned (after sending in both Chart Plotters and other equipm,ent that works with it) and the problem, according to the paperwork returned by RayMarine was that they did NOT finish the job the first time we sent it in.  They actually admitted that in the paperwork send back to us.  Technician said "found the mod VDR-0808 was not finished when here last...the tape was not placed across the three power pull thrus on the CCFL board which is known for comm problems.: He went on to state that there was damage to the power connection terminals" -- probably because they did not do a good job first time around?!!

Granddaughter Makenna playing with the windless Aug. 2011
The windlass was worked on as it had not been set properly by the manufacturer and was wobbling; steel bolts with only minimal nuts and washers had even bent and the windlass was certainly not solid.  It was set in basically layers of balsa wood which clearly showed the impact the windlass was making on the wood -- chewing  at it!  We added a ring of steel and beefed it up and used appropriate strength/size washers, nuts & bolts.  Lots of photos were taken and hopefully, the manufacturer will learn how to do this right the first time next time around.  Our dealer did agree to pay for this one.

October 14 - 16, 2009
Ego Alley in the dark at Annapolish
With friends,Bob & Chala, back on board for a couple of days to party, we attended the Annapolis Boat Show in the cold and rain, rain, rain!  We had a good time, in spite of the weather, but certainly did NOT climb on many boats...too raw out. We shopped the tents and displays, which protected us somewhat.  We all had a great time celebrating the guy's birthdays - both will be 70 on the same date - Oct. 25...amazing how two best friends from high school share the same birth date! 

Ah, five straight days of rain.....hunkered down and caught up on 'stuff'. Boat still hasn't gotten waxed...think Andy was doing rain dances during the still of the night............

Sunday, October 18
ping ping zing zing, rattta rattta tat..........What the Hell?  Sounds like raining UPSIDE DOWN from the galley sink as I finished the evening dishes.  Without the water running, this sound was LOUD....A shout to Andy -- 'something is WRONG!" 

 Brain engages and we both realized a hose had burst somewhere and water was spraying underneath the sink.  Bumping into each other as we charged down into the master bedroom, we were met with a cloud of steam and HOT water pouring out of the bathroom ceiling, all over everything.  As Andy ripped out panels, I was afraid something would electrocute him ---- a hose did burst...a hose encased in a STEEL cage like thing -- the steel had ruptured and so had the hose, spewing out all that water. 

Blown out hose

Andy finally got it all shut down and I slopped up the mess.   Long story short, upon investigation, who ever in CHINA that installed this hose, had too much hose left over and so this person twisted it around and around, thereby putting KINKS into it that finally, with the vibrations from the boat, wore it out and wore it through, allowing the break....geeze 

I'm totally convinced this boat is a lemon....on and on and on........the dealer paid for this repair.  He pays for the little ones, but not the major big expenses that have failed (the cutlass bearings and the generator problem totallying about $12,000+).  We are certainly not finished with these issues and are investigating a number of things, including analysis of the cutlass bearings 'made in a very fine factory in Tiwan'....  We bought a new boat so we would not have to deal with a lot of repairs.  Joke is on us!

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