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Old 18-08-2007, 19:14   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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August 19 - an August event...

August 19 - an August event...
Well, we made it to Norfolk, with no excitement in the last several days.
Or, at least, none of the "perils of PaulinePig" variety :{)) Being asked by a huge ship to hurry through the railroad bridge, as they didn't think we'd both fit, what with all the tugboats attached, was attention getting. Having a couple of bulk carriers in front of tugs heading straight for us, on two different occasions, was pretty interesting.
The ride up the intra-coastal waterway was boring, in that there were huge stretches of nothingness other than wilderness on either side. However, there were several spots along the way where we stopped and smelled the roses, and played with the doggies, and had way too much to eat, fueled and watered the boat, and otherwise gave in to our inner sloth.
The boat is starting to shake out very nicely. All systems seem in order:
The batteries and the charging system are fine, despite our abuse of many hours of computer time as we try to keep up with others, do our planning and put up the umpteen pictures we've taken (see the galleries), and all the other things we run.
The refrigeration continues to keep everything either cold or frozen, depending on the appropriate compartment, and we are spoiled by the cold water whenever we want it in the hot times that have predominated so far.
The engine is doing marvelously, with higher oil pressures than have been seen before, running faultlessly at anywhere from just ticking over to close to wide open throttle all day yesterday in order to get to our anchorage after a huge section of no-anchoring possibilities. On that subject, for those in the various cruising forums who are reading this, there's shoaling north of Coinjock right about where the cut goes between the two little islands. I cleaned the slime off the bottom of the keel, but only because I'd not been paying close attention, but found that no matter how hard I went to left and right, the deepest it got in the channel was only about 7 feet. So, we did fine there, but it wasn't the 12' minimum we'd heard about. That said, it was fine the rest of the way, with no anxiety moments.
The electronics, too, have been faithful, never failing to light the radar on request, nor move up to whatever next spot we were checking out in the chartplotter. I even calibrated all the speed instruments, and they are now all very close in their readings, and more importantly, better aligned with reality.
The satellite pictures continue to inform, never mind amaze, which the technology does, to me, anyway, still. How marvelous to be able to see what's happening in several hundreds of miles, as it's developing. Taking several repetitions over time gives a very clear picture of the way the weather is going. As the hurricane season gets under way, that's very comforting, as we'd have a great deal of notice even if we weren't anywhere we could receive weather.
And, on that subject, the wifi setup is also a pleasure. With one exception, where we were in the middle of the boonies with nothing around us, we've pretty much had reliable and fast internet. The last few days, we've even had a good enough signal to utilize our Vonage internet phone system, which has allowed us to pick up the phone and call Lydia's mother in England (and if my son were still working there, Ireland, or 3 other European countries), all in the basic cost of the service. We won't have that offshore, unfortunately, but we do have both ham and single side band connectivity to others so equipped, some of whom also do phone relays.
Not that we've had any difficulties with it recently, but the plumbing is working very well, to boot. When I've wanted to wash down the stern, or save fresh water with the raw water faucet in the sink, or picked up the anchor from the gummy bottoms we've been in, the pressure salt (well, whatever kind of water we were in) water came reliably out of the hose and washed off the mud and whatever-else from the chain as it came up, and the anchor.
And, on that subject, the windlass part finally arrived, and is installed. Tonight was our first use, and, while we won't have proof until it comes up tomorrow morning, it should last even under severe conditions. Ya never know what you're missing until it's gone from your regular routine!
Our inverter, though somewhat spastic, seems to work, if you assign it enough of a load. That is way more than should be needed, but since we only use it on relatively high load items (saving the charging of toothbrushes and other small-load items for when other stuff is running), it's not a huge deal, but getting up in the middle of the night to reset it, and/or add load, in order to get the fans to work is a bit annoying.
Our night lighting, and the LED lighting in general, has been very enjoyable. We've found that the red LED ropes we have put out, actually, way more light than we need just to avoid running into stuff, and so during the night, if we have to navigate below, it's like daytime to our night eyes. Of course, the night vision is preserved, so we go back to the cockpit still enabled.
Even the dinghy is proving a joy. While I puttered in planning and picture sorting, Lydia went ashore from our anchorage in Willoughby Beach's lagoon. It's her sports car :{))
Our autopilot, and the steering, have performed flawlessly since our adventures in Charleston. Those who have had none, and swore they'd never need it, and had it later, agree, that having an autopilot isn't a luxury so much as it's a lifesaver for any long voyage.
Not that ours is such a long voyage, but it will be the longest we've done alone. All the weather we can find suggests that our route from Norfolk to Sandy Hook is clement, if not benign, though it looks as though some of it will be on our nose, for the next several days. We're thinking in terms of 4 days' travel, but weather could make it shorter or longer.
We'll check in on the Maritime Net on the Ham radio each night, if conditions will allow. Lately, they haven't, and tonight was particularly bad, with several stations having challenges, and, while I could hear some of them, nobody, again, could hear me. It's the luck of the draw, with atmospheric conditions, as to whether it works well or not. Perhaps, once we're out at sea, again, we'll be able to connect. Mostly, that's the only place we've been successful in making contact at all, let alone good contact.
So, barring any surprises, we're gone on the 19th, from Norfolk VA to Sandy Hook/Atlantic Highlands NJ. We'll be out of touch other than if we're successful in the Maritime Mobile Net, which will post our positions and conditions on the web, and relay info to any who would like me to send it on that way, through another relay.
Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
(Richard Bach, in The Reluctant Messiah)
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Old 18-08-2007, 21:23   #2
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You'll never get published with all that good news!! Seriously, it's refreshing to hear GOOD news stories about cruising & sailing in general. Good on you and more fair sailing.
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