Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Retirement - at last!! And starting cruise # 5

Finally getting the cruise portion of our blog started.  It's been a bit slow because the computer broke down - it's starting to seem like everything is breaking down.  But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We officially retired the First of September.  (Hooray)  So the first and second and third we spent emptying lockers where we kept all our belongings, my tools, and various materials for projects on the boat which haven't been completed (they never are and probably never will be.) And shopping and stowing and stowing and stowing.  And when we got finished, everything was on the boat, but we had no idea where and there was no room for us.  I wanted to stay at our slip for another day to sort things out.

But Suzi (being very slightly superstitious) did not want to start our cruise on a Friday (who knows why, but it's supposed to be bad luck.)  So we left Thursday afternoon and went a few hundred yards and anchored.  And shortly thereafter discovered that the module that controls the charging of the batteries and the monitoring thereof was not on.  (Isn't this interesting so far?) Checking with my electric meter, I discovered that there was power to the unit but the power light was off.  I checked the fuses and everything I could think of and then we pulled up anchor and headed back to our slip at Hartge's.

We went and found our friend Mike, who has a bigger meter than mine (I have meter envy).  Mike knelt down next to the errant electrics and (literally) within five seconds discovered the problem.  He was checking the fuses.

I said, "I already checked the fuses - they're fine." 

Mike responded, "It's not the fuses, it's the fuse holders which are the problem. It always is."  He showed me the corroded contacts, cleaned them up and put them back together and everything worked.  He told me to get new fuse holders at my earliest opportunity.  (Which I did.)

Suzi now calls him "Miracle Mike."

So back out to anchor, a visit with daughter Tara, took her back to shore in the dinghy and thus ended the first leg of our journey.

Day 2 (September 4, 2009) Larry fixed his world famous omelet for breakfast and then took the dinghy into Galesville to get fuseholders (among other things) and then back on board, took the boat all the way to the Rhode River.  (Step 2 of our journey was a little longer than our first, but not much - the Rhode River is only a couple of miles.)

Day 3 (September 5, 2009)  At anchor in the Rhode River, friends rafted up with us.  (For you who are nautically challenged, that means they tied up their boat next to ours.)  We had Golden Daze (Larry and Janie  who have a Morgan Out Island like ours but newer) tied on our port side (that's left to you lubbers).  We had Cap and Linda on Zydeco on the the starboard side.  Cap and Linda had friends tied to their boat, and we ended up with five boats on our anchor to watch the fireworks.

Here are some pictures of fireworks fo those of you who haven't been fortunate enough to see them before.  They're really beautiful.  We're told that the same guy that does the fireworks in D.C. lives near the Rhode and he and all the neighbors kick in to do a kick ass fireworks display.

We've included the photos for you, but you'll have to supply the sounds yourselves.  It works best to look at the photos with a bucket on your head and hit the bucket with a mallet in a staccato manner.  Some of you of the more intelligent ilk may only want to imagine this effect.  The rest of you please let us know how it worked out.

After each really spectacular display, you have to say, "Oooooo..."  or "Ahhhh..." and if you have a horn you honk it, just to let everybody know how much you like it.

All together now....(Hammer blows to head and then    "Oooooooo..." (Honk Honk)

You should also be drinking a beer or (if you're a sailor) a rum.

The next day (there's always a next day, you just can't stop them,  but I'm going to stop enumerating them, or in some cases even mentioning them because nothing happened) nothing happened.  But the Next day, we met some friends we hadn't seen for several years, Bill  and Ramona  on sailing vessel Victory. We had a very nice visit with them.  Other than that, nothing happened.

The next day, nothing continued to happen.  We are attempting to raise the bar on competitive relaxation. 

The next day, about the 9th, (it hardly matters) we had a bouncy sail up to the Severn River near Annapolis.  Traveling up the river we could see the homes of the folks who have more money than God. (Which saying I always wondered about - why would God need money?  Does he even have pockets?  What does he keep in them... breath mints maybe.  My thought process may have been slightly skewed by copious amounts of rum.)

I have to stop saying  'then'  all the time.  It's getting tiresome.  So is, "the next day"  so I'll stop and everybody will just have to figure out for themselves when one day ends and the next begins.  It really is not of consequence, at least not to those who are not working.

So we moved the boat down to Weems Creek where we stayed for a few days, I think.  We met Jim and Ellen  and their little dog, Cruiser on their boat Solution, a Seawind 32.  We visited back and forth.  We dinghied ashore for groceries and stuff.  Nothing exciting.

But then we tried to pull up the anchor and discovered that we had snagged a huge chain.  'Bout the size of your arm.  And it had to be at least a hundred yards long.  It was lots of work, and we muddied the deck and us from stem to stern.  but we got free and sailed to Annapolis and spent a couple of days.  We saw Johnny Depp's boat. It's a bit bigger than ours- maybe a hundred and fifty feet.  And we would have photographs of it for you but you'll have to wait and find out later why not.