Monday, October 31, 2005

Get Well Rollie

Norfolk, Virginia, N35 51 W76 18
We just heard some sad news. Our lawyer and long time friend Rollie Faulkner had a heart attack yesterday and he lies in intensive care. That saddens us and makes us wish that we could be there to comfort his family. Get well Rollie. Get well.

Yesterday I found a WIFI connection to the Internet and went berserk. I fixed up my acme net email account. I cleaned out my inbox and replied to all emails needing answers. I downloaded updates to Windows XP and to our Lowrance GPS. I got new schedules for the NOAA SSB high seas weather reports (I’ve been missing the reports recently because they changed the broadcast schedule.) I registered software online. I downloaded literature for the Sailmail SSB radio email. I got a replacement copy for the Ham University Morse code program. I got the Garmin GPS hooked up with the computer and tested it with three of my boating programs. In fact I wasted the entire day playing with the computer. Libby looked disgusted. Playing on the computer all day was supposed to be part of my past life, not the present one.

Interesting. The same software and GPS hardware that did not work under Windows 2000 did work in Windows XP. It had to do with comp port numbers. The USB-to-serial adapter created COM5 in W2000. The programs only recognized COM1 COM2 and COM3, and therefore didn’t work. Under Windows XP, the adapter appeared as COM4 and all three programs recognized it.

On the plus side of technology, the upgrade for the Lowrance was slick. I went to the Lowrance web page, downloaded Java runtime, downloaded an applet for the upgrade. The applet then ran and downloaded the new software release directly into the SD memory card that I borrowed from our digital camera and stuck in the slot of the computer. When it was done, I took the SD card, inserted it into the Lowrance and powered up. The Lowrance detected the card and automatically ran an internal program to replace its own operating software with the new release. Then all I had to do was return the memory card to the camera. Slick. Especially slick considering that 20 years ago I would have been fiddling with ribbon cables and DB25 connectors trying to make a custom cable to connect two devices.

We set out this morning early destined for the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW). The day started near freezing.

I also paid a price for yesterday’s Internet binge. As we set out, I discovered that these waters were exactly in the intersecting areas of three sets of chart kits. To make it worse, the kits overlapped some, and all three of them were replete with multiple views and cutouts of the Norfolk area. Still worse, we needed to make a choice on the ICW of one of two ways to go, but I couldn’t find the place on the charts where the fork was. Never fear, our trusty Lowrance GPS could help sort the confusion. But “Oh No” the Lowrance is misbehaving today. It forgot the local compass variation of 10 degrees 45 minutes for here, and on the map it seemed to show that things below Norfolk disappeared into hyperspace. Wait a minute I thought, I just upgraded yesterday. (The slick upgrade I bragged about above.) Could it be a bug in the new release? Before calling the support line I tried an old trick. I powered down, removed the chart chip, reseated the chip, and powered up again. It worked! The experience was reminiscent of the days with my Apple ][ computer and with the Prime computers at work. Reseating the chips and the boards was standard operating practice in those days when computers acted up.

We had a fine ride into the bay then into Norfolk harbor, and past the navy base. We passed 8 aircraft carriers, 2 submarines and numerous other war ships. It was very impressive.

Just as we passed downtown Norfolk where the ICW really begins, Libby spotted the USS Wisconsin in a berth on the side of the river. Wow! I had a great time a year ago touring the USS Texas in Houston. But the Texas was commissioned in 1910 whereas the Wisconsin was commissioned in 1944. I squealed for joy. Luck would have it that there is a marina only a few hundred meters away. We pulled in and secured a berth for the night. It felt so warm, more than 70 degrees. What a nice day.

Libby took off to see what was fun for her in downtown Norfolk while I headed for the battleship. We were both back within a half hour. The battleship is closed Mondays. Libby heard the bad news about Rollie. We’ll regroup and figure out an alternate plan. I asked the marina guy about checkout time tomorrow. He said, “When you get back from the USS Wisconsin.” What a nice guy. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pictures Uploaded

I just uploaded some pictures to the blogs going back to Troy Lock. Page down and have a look at them if you want.


Norfolk, Virginia, N36 55 W76 11
October 30 Well, we made it OK into Norfolk at dawn Saturday. The night was great but cold. The sky was clear and the stars beautiful. Early in the night the winds shifted so that we had a more comfortable point of sail. I set course for the Chesapeake Bay entrance, set the monitor for self-steering and set the foresail only (no main sail.) There was enough wind to make Tarwathie go 6.5 knots (hull speed) without any more sails. For the rest of the night I never had to touch anything. There were almost no other boats out there. We could have gone below and slept the whole night, but that’s a no-no. These are the waters where we were harassed by Crazy Ivan (the tugboat and barge with nobody steering) last summer. Also, just the night before we heard the Coast Guard rescue a man in a sailboat that sailed right onto the beach north of Atlantic City. Somebody always has to stay awake.

Anyhow, we’re here safely but we were both exhausted from lack of proper sleep. We’ll have to do better on the sleeping thing if we’re going to manage long ocean passages. We just rested and slept much of Saturday. Didn’t even write a blog.

Today is Sunday, the sky is blue and the temperature will reach nearly 68F (20C). That vindicates our decision to push for coming south. At our age and living outdoors a little warmth is much appreciated.

We’re at Cobb’s Marina in Little Creek. Our blog readers will remember this as the place where we stayed last June, and where we saw the sailing vessel Misty Isles (see the June blog entitled Misty Isle). There are stores and restaurants nearby, so it’s a good place to rest up.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Birdie Num Num

At Sea, N38 01 w 75 03
October 28 Apparently we decided to continue. It hasn’t been easy though. The wind veered around to come from directly astern. The hardest course to steer a sailboat is directly away from the wind. We have to tack downwind, inadvertent gybes are a constant danger, and we really get rocked and rolled by the waves. Today, Libby had to get her seasickness wrist device out, for the first time in months.

Still, when the sun came out it was spectacular. We’re almost alone out here, very few other vessels. The sky is blue and the sea is green (when the sun shines). We had a great view of Ocean City Maryland on the horizon. We should arrive at the Chesapeake Bay entrance around dawn tomorrow. Tonight it will be clear and cold. Tomorrow morning we’ll be cold and tired. Fortunately I feel familiar with the locale there. This will be our third entrance to the Chesapeake this year.

We have an unofficial mascot, a hitchhiker actually. There is a cute brown and white bird that we think is a sparrow on board. We named him Birdie Num Num. He hops around the boat both above and below decks. Sometimes he flys away but quickly returns to the boat. So far he hasn’t been stepped on or crushed. Libby thinks that he may have been with us since the Hudson river.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oh Yeah

At Sea 17 W73 56
October 27 Oh yeah it feels so good to be back at sea once again. We spent 3.5 months sailing inland. Today is the first time in open ocean again. The weather and winds are very nice. We’re doing 7 knots southward and I see a clear horizon to the east.

We left Liberty Island at first light, 07:00. It was very cold but clear. Negotiating the channels and the bouys and watching out for the ship traffic makes us nervous, but it wasn’t bad today. By 0900 we were off Sandy Hook NJ and clear of the traffic. Our plan is to sail to Cape May NJ. It will take about 24 hours. Just right for us to get back into the rhythm.

It’s now 1AM and we’re passing just south of Atlantic City NJ. The lights of the city are pretty spectacular at night. It looks like a mini Las Vegas, which I guess it is. The phosphorescence in the water is also the strongest I’ve seen it. The white crests of the waves near the boat glow in the dark a brilliant green. It look surreal.

We had a great day sailing. The winds were fair, and it was warm enough out here. The water temperature is 60 degrees so it’s somewhat warmer here than on land. Tonight it also nice, but the winds let off. We’re only making 3 knots since dark.

We’re debating whether to put in at Cape May or to continue another 24 hours to Norfolk Virginia. We’ve done 48 hours sailing several times before. The weather is such that if we stay in Cape May, we won’t see such favorable weather for another 4 or 5 days. The counter argument is exhaustion in the cold weather. We’ll see how the decision comes out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Still Holed Up

Liberty Island Park NJ, N40 42 W74 04
October 26. If I think of patience lessons, waiting in a safe hole for the weather to improve weighs large. Listening to the weather this morning, it became clear that we should wait another day. Especially because it takes time for the waves to subside after the heavy winds stop.

We did wait today and the winds turned out to be much stronger than forecast, so our decision seems even wiser in retrospect. Still, I’d like to get going southward. It’s cold and getting colder every day.

I claim fixing the waste disposal pipe as my major accomplishment for the day. I borrowed a wrench from Barney and removed the pipe. The seacock below the pipe was closed so no water came in. The problem was that a wooden bung blocked the pipe and I couldn’t get it out. I had to saw off the bung with a hacksaw, then drill a hole through it with a bit and hand drill, then dig out the pieces with a screwdriver. It took me an hour.

I also started writing my memoirs. Time will tell how much I stick with it.

Two more boats came to the anchorage today. One of them, a Canadian boat, had to place and re-place his anchor six times before he was satisfied. Our anchor seemed to drag at the rate of two feet per hour and we were getting too close to Barney's boat. We pulled it up and moved forward 100 feet.

Barney thought we were crazy to spend November in the Chesapeake. It’s too cold in November. We’re considering it. There is a nice weather window to jump from New York to Cape May in one day, sleep one day, then sail on to Norfolk in a third day. Norfolk should be warmer than Philadelphia.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Holed Up

Liberty Island Park NJ, N40 42 W74 04
October 25 Today was the first since we’ve lived on the boat that we stayed shut in. In Libby’s words, we “holed up.” It was so cold and rainy and windy outside that going outside was unthinkable. We puttered around with projects we could find in the boat, cleaning, organizing, rearranging.

I tried to undo the “permanent” changes that NY requires in the waste handling. We’re in NJ and heading out to sea so I prepared to pump wastes into the sea. Unfortunately I hit a roadblock. I had put a wooden bung in the discharge pipe and now I can’t get it out. I’ll have to wait until we can get a pipe wrench to remove the pipe and then try to unbung (debung?) it.

I also tried a last ditch attempt to revive the broken computer. I read somewhere that corrosion is the thing that kills computers after water immersion, so the best thing to do is to dry them thoroughly with gentle heat. I baked the computer in the oven at 150 degrees for one hour. No response. The green light won’t even come on when power is applied. I cranked the temperature up to 200 degrees, whoops, temperature control is not precise on our oven and it overshot to 220. The plastic case and keyboard keys melted. Oh well, I had nothing to lose by trying. I still have the hard disk, and it is not melted. Perhaps it will still work.

I’ll get Jennifer to mail our backup disk when I know a mail address we might be for a day or two. I can use the backup disk to restore my files and address books.

Last night and this morning the winds were fierce. Luckily we lied in a spot sheltered from the winds and waves. I also tied a line ashore to keep us close to the wall. Today I heard a honk of a police horn. I looked out and there was a mean female policewoman. She shouted, “No tying up.” and untied my line. I thought that very mean and contrary to safety. However, since she had a gun and since the wind had mostly abated, I didn’t argue with her. She also made the neighboring boat untie his line too.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Visit to Ellis Island

Liberty Island Park NJ, N40 42 W74 04
October 24. This morning I tied a line 150’ from Tarwathie to the wall onshore. That gives us the extra security for tonight and tomorrow’s rough weather. The man from the next boat hailed and asked to talk on the radio. We did.

The man, named Barney, he had his son Ben onboard. Barney kindly let me post my blogs using his SSB radio. He has the ham license and the extra equipment needed to make it work. I was impressed by how easily he sent it away. I’ll have to work on getting the ham license and the black boxes. My blog fans will appreciate it if we post more often.

Ben is a pilot for US Airways. He needed to go back to work so we rowed him ashore and showed him how to get the ferry to New York City. Ben sailed with is dad in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Azores and in Southeast Asia. Barney is a real world cruiser. I’m going to try to pick his brain tomorrow.

Then Libby and I continued to the bus and ferry for Ellis Island.

I visited Ellis Island a few years ago with my sons David and John and my grandson Nick. Libby had never been there before. It’s a great place to visit. The photographs and the narratives make one really imagine how is must have seemed to the immigrants who were processed here. Doing that in the immense hall where they stood makes it poignant. The accounts say that there were numerous complaints about our treatment of the immigrants, but overall I got the impression that a lot of humanity was expressed in such a massive undertaking. About twelve million immigrants entered America via Ellis Island out of sixty million who immigrated to America (North and South) since discovery.

My favorite display on Ellis is a picture and a narrative about the man who brought warm milk for the children each day. He had a big pot and a ladle and it was sail that the children loved it. Wouldn’t you know though that I didn’t get a good picture of it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It Was A Very Good Day

Liberty Island Park NJ, N40 42 W74 04
Ocober 23. What fun today. We roared into NY Harbor past Manhattan under sail at a breakneck clip of 8.2 knots. Never mind that we had a 2 knot boost from the tide, we enjoyed the speed. Libby said, “This is the only way to do New York.” I agree. The weather was OK, mostly cloudy and cold, but occasionally sunny and warm enough. The wind was fickle because we sailed too close to the NJ Palisades. The red rock cliffs of the Palisades soared above us. On wonders how they formed that way. Remarkable.

Total trip time about 6 hours from Tappan Zee to Liberty Island. It was a lot of fun. There was very little boat traffic, considering the location. We meandered from one shore to the other looking at the sights.

We’re anchored in the same place as last summer, behind the Statue Of Liberty. This time there is one other boat anchored here with us. We plan to stay tomorrow and to visit Ellis Island. Libby has never been there.

I tried three times to get a WI-FI connection to post my backlog of blogs, but none of the tries worked. I could see lots of WI-FI sources, but they were either secured or too weak. Sorry readers, I don’t know how long it will be to get this posted. We can’t do it from the park. The only exit from this park is to the NJ Turnpike, so we’re isolated here. It seems ironic to be in the middle of the Big Apple and not be able to get anywhere on land.

The weather forecast calls for bad weather Monday night to Tuesday. We’ll see the remnants of Hurricane Wilma plus a Northeaster, with lots of rain and winds 40 to 50. Off the NJ shore the waves will be 17 to 30 feet. Needless to say, we’re going to stay here until the weather improves. If the center swings more to the west than we thought, we could get 65-75 knot winds.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


NYACK NY, N41 05 W73 54
October 22 Today we endured rain and cold and clammy weather. It makes a good reason to head south. Still, for a few breif hours it we had nice weather, and the colors down here look much better than upstate.

We’re spending the night on a mooring courtesy of the Nyack Boat Club. We stopped at their dock and I went to the clubhouse to ask permission. I met the commodores of the club sitting in front of big picture windows looking out on the river and the club member’s boats. They said it felt too cold for them to go sailing. They were very gracious. I love their clubhouse. The main room could host a wedding reception for 1000 people.

This afternoon a sparrow decided it was too far to fly across the river so he stopped on the boat. He walked up and down the deck, perched on the rail, and perched on the Monitor. After a while he was rested and flew away.

There is a very strange structure north of Poughkeepsie. It looks like a temple with a gold room and a vaguely phallic shape. I wonder if it could be the home of Reverend Sun Yung Moon.

Pete Lemme told me that Poughkeepsie spent a lot of money on their waterfront to make it boater friendly. However, we couldn’t find anyplace there to land a boat. I think the waterfront money went to park greenery for the land-based citizens.

Our mooring lies only a few hundred meters north of the Tappan Zee bridge. The lights of the bridge look very pretty.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Poughkeepsie NY, N41 42 W73 57

Poughkeepsie NY, N41 42 W73 57
October 21. We felt much freer today. We finished erecting the mast. Our expected guests cancelled weekend plans. I repaired the wiring so that the wind instruments and the radar work once again. We can sail to NYC then out to sea as soon as we want. Both Libby and I feel a surge of freedom.

It was a lovely day even if it did start off at freezing (zero degrees C). The river was covered with fog and there were numerous photo opportunities. We tried to capture some with the camera.

The day got progressively sunnier and warmer and the foliage color along the banks got nicer. There was no wind and only a handful of boats on the river. Altogether a fine fall day.

We stopped at 1600 at the only feasible place around. We’re at the Mariner Restaurant dock and we can stay here if we buy dinner. Our progress for today was only 45 miles. We’ll have to do 80 miles tomorrow if we want to make Liberty Island. The weather forecast predicts rain Saturday night through Tuesday.

I didn’t write any blogs in Catskill. Apologies. A lot of things happened. The first night (Tuesday) we stayed at a restaurant dock. That evening I set up our new folding bicycle for the first time. I set out to take the PC up to the Catskill Library to post my blogs. I had a milk crate tied to the luggage rack as a cargo carrier and the computer in the crate. Before getting off the dock, the bike hit a bump and the computer leaped out of the crate and into the water. It was only 2 feet deep. I retrieved it right away, but it doesn’t work. Oh no!

Our grand total of things lost into the water since February is one pocket knife, two boat hooks, a cell phone, a camera, an end wrench, a light bulb, and now a laptop computer. I’ll bet that no matter how many years we sail, dropping things into the water will never cease. Mariners must accept that hazard.

Actually I was thinking of getting a new laptop anyhow. The old one can’t recognize two PCMCIA WI-FI cards from two manufacturers. I suspect something wrong on the mother board. Also, it wouldn’t recognize either GPS via the serial or USB ports. I want to use the GPS with several software programs we have.

Wednesday we put the mast back up. Once again it felt like a lot of work. Everything went OK except that all the wiring bundles coming down from the mast and through the deck wound up 5 cm too short! There must be a kink in the cables that did not get pulled straight before stepping the mast. The only way to get the kink out to take the mast down again. We’re not going to do that. Today I laboriously created 5 cm extensions for 19 wires using butt crimp connectors. Luckily I had a package of 20 connectors, only one left now. Anyhow, the instruments work. Tonight we’ll try the anchor and steaming lights on the mast. I have a new masthead light with a photocell that automatically turns the light off at dawn. That means that I can’t test it during daylight.

Thursday was shore chore day. We rented a car and drove up to Schenectady. Our missions were to (1) buy a new thermostat for the refrigerator, (2) sign papers for the house with Rollie Faulkner, our attorney, (3) buy a new computer. I couldn’t easily order a computer online because I wouldn’t know where to ship it to. We accomplished tasks 2 and 3. Rollie surprised us with a lunch with him and his wife Rosemary. That was a lot of fun. The Faulkners told us about their trip to Italy.

The new computer is an Averatec 4200. My friend Cheri Warren told me that Averatec is a best buy. We went from store to store checking prices and models. On our fourth stop we went to Staples. Luckily they carried Averatec and luckily they had a good one on sale. It was the floor model. They reloaded it with a fresh copy of Windows XP and had it ready for me by 1900. We took it up to the Kinkos on Wolf Road and registered the warranties, and rebates, and downloaded Firefox, and posted blogs. The new computer seems neat so far. I haven’t learned all about it yet, but it has internal WI-FI and it did recognize connections to the Garmin GPS. So far so good.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Quick Helllo

(10/20/04) Wolf Road Kinkos, Colonie NY

No time to write a proper blog right now. We put the mast up, took care of house business, and bought a new computer.

Tomorrow we set sail for NYC. We expect to hole up there behind the Statute of Liberty until Hurricaine Wilma passes by.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Turbine Sails Upright

We spotted this barge with a GE turibine-generator sailing past Catskill. Our GE friends will be glad to note that the barge is sailing right side up. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 17, 2005

Familiar Haunts

Schodack Creek,N42 26 W73 47(10/17/05)For nomads, Libby and I seem to like familiar places. We lie at anchor tonight in Schodack Creek, just off the Hudson River. At this place we had diner with Pete Lemme and Glen Kaatz, and we went swimming with John and Grayson Undrill, and where we went swimming with John, Cheryl, Nick, Sara, Katelyn and Victoria.

We enjoyed the sail today. We started at lock 4 in Stillwater. The air felt cold and clear, but the wind blew less than yesterday. The flow of water in the river looked very high. We saw every power dam spilling water as fast as it could. Since water means money they must have been forced to spill. The river is full of logs and debris and many of the buoys are half submerged.

In Waterford there is a supermarket on the shore with a dock for customers. We took the opportunity to buy a couple of week’s groceries. That must be the most convenient place for boaters to shop on the whole east coast.

At the Troy lock we had to tie up to the wall to wait for the lock. I made the error of tying too close to the end. On the other side of the wall there was a powerful current as the river spilled over the dam. The end of the wall was only 10 meters behind us. When it was time to move a powerful eddy of the current held us pinned. It took all our strength and some more scrapes on the rub rail to get off the wall. If I had moved another 30 meters forward to tie up we would have had no problem.

When one exits the Troy Lock there is a wall of rock to the left and open water to the right. The water is very turbulent, being just downstream of the dam. If we had tried that yesterday when the wind was blowing so powerfully from the right, it might have blown us right onto those rocks. I’m glad we decided to lay-up yesterday because of the wind.

As we passed Albany I used my cell phone. I called farewell greetings to my friends Norman and Celia. Then I called Rollie, our attorney. The sale of the house seemed at risk again as we heard signs that the buyer may be getting cold feet. By the end of the day I think we surmounted the problem. Libby and I will both rejoice when the deal is closed. Ownership of the house is the last remaining apron string tying us to land life.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Layed To

Lock 4, Stillwater NY,N42 56 W73 39(10/16/05) First thing this morning Fred Mueller joined Pete and I. Before setting off we listened to the weather forecast and I got a big surprise. The forecast said heavy winds with gusts up to 70 miles per hour. Category one hurricanes blow at 70 mph so that got my attention. Tarwathie does not handle well under motor power in heavy winds. The wind can turn the bow and neither the motor nor the rudder can control her. I would feel safe under sail with 70 mph but not under power.

I changed the plan to go to Troy today. Instead we went down to lock 4 in Stillwater. There is a sheltered canal here next to the lock with a big concrete wall to tie up against. I plan to spend the night here and continue tomorrow.

The voyage went well. The wind was gusty but not overpowering. I regretted one thing though. As we approached lock 4, we saw a dock adrift in the river and I saw the owner standing on shore looking forlorn. I briefly considered going to aid him but I thought that the wind would blow the dock to the far shore and he could fetch it later. Later in the day Pete and I were walking and we saw that dock caught at the edge of the dam. The water will wreck it in a few hours. I felt guilty for not trying to help that man when we had the chance.
Pete and Fred had to go home and Libby came back to rejoin me.

Three big sailboats from Quebec came through the lock and I talked with the captains. For once, these people could speak good English and they seemed very pleasant. My favorable reaction had absolutely nothing to do with their remark -- "Nice Westsail 32" :) However they did not want to spend the night anyplace that did not have electricity and water. I smiled and thought how different Libby and I value comforts compared to them.

FLASH: breaking news. Just as I finished writing the above, the three Quebec sailboats came back. The river water was so high that none of them could pass under the next bridge downstream. They came back and tied up on the wall in front of Tarwathie. Two of them had to raft to make room for the third.

I helped them to tie up and I must say that all 7 of those Bequers impressed me as very nice people. I was glad to have met them.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Intrepid Monarch

Whitehall NY, N43 54 W73 24(10/14/05)We left Chipman Point around 0900. I see it as a milestone event because we are starting our trip south for the winter. The lake seems very narrow down on the south end. It felt like a river journey. The weather was cool but very pleasant, and the fall colors were nice.

After a while a very nice monarch butterfly landed on the boat and rode along with us for a while. I thought about his journey to Mexico. He (she?) was starting very late in the season and probably isolated from fellow monarchs. Mexico lies far away. I thought about the energy to make such a journey. I wonder how efficient the butterfly’s means of transport is (joules per gram payload per kilometer traveled). It must be many times more efficient than human transportation. I wonder if the butterfly eats during the journey or if it just uses stored energy. Libby and I thought that the butterfly could ride south with us and get a leg-up. Alas, a while, the butterfly took off and headed south on his own. We were traveling about 4.5 knots and the butterfly did about 6 knots. He disappeared into the sky in few minutes. Good luck intrepid butterfly.

After lunch we arrived in Whitehall at the bottom of Lake Champlain. Ahead of us lies lock 12, the beginning of the Champlain Canal. We’re going to wait here for Pete Vonie. Libby will take Pete’s car down to Albany. Pete and I will spend the night in Whitehall and start the canal in the morning.

Whitehall looks picturesque from the water, but ugly from up on the road. It is the birthplace of the United States Navy. There is a dam here and the water discharge today is rather violent because of the recent heavy rains in this area.

Pete is a teacher, so after supper I read to him the history of the world from the book called Anguished English. We both laughed so hard we cried. If you haven’t read that book I suggest that you look it up.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Back In The Saddle

Orwell Vermont, N43 48 W 73 22
(10/13/05) Well, after a three-week hiatus we’re back onboard Tarwathie. The boat suArvived well. We found her in the same condition as we left her. One exception, the refrigerator/freezer had stopped. The weather was cold and rainy, and the solar panel won’t charge the battery without sunlight.

Another big difference this time -- we moved out of our house. We gave the truck to our son John and the car to our daughter Jennifer. We sold the house – not final until November. We disposed and/or stored our belongings. At this point, Tarwathie is our one and only home. It feels very good. More important, we said goodbye to our children and grandchildren for a long time. Our next planned contact with any of them is in Alaska next June. It was hard to part. We miss all of them already.

Our first item of business when back on the boat was to take the mast down. This time it seemed much easier than the first time. A little recent experience goes a long way. We knew what we were doing this time.

We also stocked up on food to last several weeks.

It has been a pain in the neck to use our cell phone. We had to drive almost 30 minutes to find a place where we had a cell phone signal.

The Champlain Canal was closed last weekend because of excessive rain. Hopefully it will be open when we get there on Saturday. The plan is for Pete Vonie to join me Saturday at the top end of the canal. Libby will take Pete’s car and meet us at the bottom end of the canal. Another friend, Fred Mueller will join Pete and I Sunday.

Another good reason for heading south is that it’s cold and wet. I should say COLD and WET. The tropics seem very attractive right now.

The fall colors were late and unimpressive this year and the geese migration seems to be very late. Global warming?

My beard is getting so long that if I don’t trim it soon I’ll look like a Hassidic Jew or an Amish elder.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ready to sail again

West Charlton
(10/9/05)Well, we sold the house and moved our furniture into storage, I've been to Alaska to take the dog up to live with our son Dave and his family in Fairbanks. Now we're ready to sail again.

Here's the plan.

  • This week we'll head back to Champlain and take the mast down.
  • The weekend of October 15 and 16 we'll head down the locks through the canal toward Albany. I've invited Rollie Faulkner, Pete Vonie and Fred Muller to come with us.
  • We'll get the mast raised and rig for sailing in Catskill the week of the 17th.
  • The weekend of October, 22 and 23 we'll sail down the Hudson toward New York. We invited the Undrills and the Faulkners to sail with us.
  • From New York we'll head for Cape May, NJ, then up the Delaware Bay to the canal, and over to the Chesapeake Bay.
  • We'll explore the Chesapeake for several weeks then set sail for the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.

The bad news is that I suspect that it may be 2-3 more weeks until I get to post blogs again. I bought two PCMCIA cards for my laptop and both stopped working. There may be something wrong with my laptop's PCMCIA port. If so, the remedy is a new laptop. Nevertheless, I'll ask Jennifer to post status reports to the blog so you'll know we're not lost.

By the way, don't miss Jennifer's photo gallery of pictures sailing with us. Here is the
link The link is also on the blog sidebar.