Thursday, October 04, 2012

Deck Clutter. To Do List.

En Route, Hudson River

42 44.21 N 073 41.26 W

Welcome back to sea level Tarwathie. We are done with the NY Canal System for this year and back into the world of tides and tidal currents. But still a few days away from salt water.


We will Both be very happy to get the mast back where it belongs. As you can see in the photo above, our top decks are fouled and cluttered in this state. It seems very unseaworthy, which of course it is. It makes both of us uncomfortable, but it is unavoidable with the mast down.

Most inconvenient is the dark red wooden frame that holds the forward end of the mast up. You can see it in the picture. It blocks access to the windlass which makes anchoring with the mast down very awkward. However, on the canals we never need to anchor. Tonight we hope to tie up to the Athens, NY public dock to avoid anchoring again. Tomorrow morning the mast goes back up at Riverview Marine in Catskill.

To finish our preparations to go to sea we have a short list:

  • Leave the red wooden frame behind in Catskill.
  • Honda generator and diesel jerry jug stow away and lash down in the engine compartment.
  • Gasoline jerry jug lashed on deck. Water Jerry jugs have permanent teak chocks and ties to secure them.
  • Dinghy stows under the boom in its own teak chocks.
  • Canvas tarps, drop cloths, and oars stow under the dinghy.
  • Bucket, and docking lines all stow in the lazarette.
  • Danforth anchor detaches and stows in the lazarette. Only Betty, our CQR plow anchor, stays mounted and lashed fast to the bowsprit.
  • Bicycle lashes to the side of the dinghy. Up there it is out of the way of all lines and it does not hinder crew movement.
  • Bolt down the cockpit sole.
  • Mount the wind vane on the Monitor self steering.
  • Raise the lee cloths in cabin bunks.
  • Secure latches on the cabin sole hatches.
  • Rig jacklines port and starboard to clip our harness tethers to. Bring out harness/life jackets and tethers.
  • Prepare a route plan and enter it in the chart plotter. For this passage, we plan to go New York City to Norfolk, Virginia in 48 hours. At the 24 hour mark we pass close to Cape May, NJ and have the option to put in there if necessary. From Cape May, we can choose to go offshore again (the outside route), or go up the Delaware and down Chesapeake Bay (the inside route).
  • Start checking 3 days in advance to find a weather window.
  • Top off the fuel and water tanks.
  • Lash down the outboard motor on its brackets.
  • Lower flags and pennants.
  • Raise the radar reflector.
  • Check function on VHF, AIS, GPS, SSB, and radar. (Whoops, I need to reinstall the airmail software to post blogs with SSB. I had a disc crash this summer. The software allows us to get weather forecasts and to post blogs while at sea. )
  • Do an oil change if within 50 hours of the due time. Check water levels in the batteries. Check filters. Check coolant.
  • Position the boat to a jumping off point; likely the Statue of Liberty or Sandy Hook, NJ.
  • Prepare a big pot of chili or goulash in advance. Those dishes are easy to rewarm, filling, and good. That minimizes fancy cooking while at sea.
  • Since it is October, we will dig out long johns, gloves, wool hats, long pants, flannel shirts and foul weather gear. The only other time we did the Jersey coast in October, it was bitterly cold in the open cockpit at night. (beautiful though; those conditions make lots of photo-luminescent bacteria in the Jersey Shore waters, leaving a glowing train in our wake) Remember, we go only on a north wind. By the time we approach the Chesapeake, it should get warmer.
After writing it, the list does not look short, but it all takes less than an hour to do (except software installs)

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