Thursday, March 12, 2015

A weekend at the boat

We decided to make a run to the boat (a 14-hour drive).  The forecast temps were supposed to be in the 50's after a brutal winter.  We wanted to sweep off the snow, drop off the solar panels & running rigging (to leave more room in the minivan on the "Big Move") and get some work done.  Somewhere in Indiana, we realized we forgot the boat keys.  About the Maryland border we realized we not only lose an hour (east coast time) but it was also "Spring back" day!  We lost two hours :-(  Who planned this trip? 

We waited until Annapolis to eat dinner.  Husband mentioned Katana Sushi restaurant across from the Hilton Garden Inn several times.  (In the past, I could only get him to go out for sushi on my birthday!)  Apparently, it's his new favorite place.  We were afraid they would be closed, but a quick google confirmed they were open until 10.  We arrived at 9:00 pm and walked in behind a group of 20.  Oh, yeah.  It's Saturday and apparently we are OLD.  We couldn't remember the last time we've been out this late!  We pulled into the hotel only to realize we forgot the duffle bag with our clothes for the weekend.  "I thought you grabbed it."  "I thought YOU grabbed it."  Are we having fun yet?  
"Hey, that's us!"
We were up bright and early.  It turned out Husband had all the tools he needed to break the padlock on the boat in less than 15 minutes ("Good thing I didn't choose a life of crime").  Odin was frozen in place and covered in snow.  I ended up on snow detail.  There was a nice layer of ice underneath to make it even more fun. 
Don't worry, they said.  The Chesapeake never freezes!
Husband installed the new chart plotter and VHF before I finished and said, "Did you get a picture of the first boat project?"  He was proud that he was drilling holes in our boat within 5 minutes of arriving.  Goof ball.

My husband isn't just an expert at fixing things, but a creative genius.  I like to think this explains the mess that explodes around him as he works.  He doesn't just fix things, he makes the part or fabricates the tool.  He's also used to working solo.  (ie. climbing off the bimini roof to get a tool laying right next to me in the cockpit)  We're working on it.

By now it was already eleven, so after a quick walk through of the boat I asked to be released for errands.  "As long as you come back with trash bags & lunch."  Deal.  I found the Trader Joe's (across from the West Marine), grocery store, book store & Starbucks.  All set!
"Break time"
By now the boat was warming up, so as Husband began changing out the running rigging, I got out the trash bags & started cleaning down below.  The boat had looked pretty clean but some of the cleaning supplies were from as far back as 2000.  I also would be bringing kitchen ware & dishes from home so I had to make room.  I measured cabinets and for a carpet runner.  Back out for errands.  I had also forgot to go to the bathroom while I was out earlier (rookie mistake--the boat is still winterized).
"Pretty new running rigging."
Later, I fell asleep on the salon couch while Husband was on the floor mumbling about wiring. (I assumed he was talking to himself.  He knows electricity is my least favorite system.  Apparently, I was supposed to be listening.)  Salon couch comfortable?  Check.

We did an evening run to Target.  Clearly we're from the midwest.  The Target has a parking garage and elevators.  We walked out of the parking garage and all the way around the building before we realized we needed to take elevators up to the store.  They even have an elevator for your cart!

Day two.  I watched Husband putting mounts on the solar panels.  "Gee, that looks like something I could help with."  After 4 hours of climbing around, we were showing voltage with the sun out!
My favorite upgrade so far.  Pack the espresso machine!
First mate's new role being defined:  "Did you bring a sharpie?"  "Did you bring the label maker?"  "Did you find the dinghy pump?"  Ummmm...

After lunch, the Captain said, "Time to go up the mast to measure the standing rigging."  Dang.  "That's what we came for."  It turns our the climbing rig he had been practicing with was giving him trouble.  "What if you hoist me up?"  The next thing I know, I'm halfway up with a tape measure in my hand.  (Don't drop the tape measure!  "That will leave a mark.")
Pretty solar panels.  Yes, that's ice!

The one project I was hoping to complete was a runner just inside the companionway.  Husband had put down a sheet, but it was clear we were going to need something non-skid and quickly.  Errands revealed most runners are 20" wide to start.  Too wide.  While doing my morning stretching, it hit me.  Yoga mat!  It can be cut to size (and around the step), easy to clean, non-skid and can double as a YOGA MAT.  Later Husband asked, "How long is the yoga mat?  Did you get a picture?"  He needed to order a battery cord that would stretch from one battery box to the other, and the yoga mat was a great way to measure it!  (First Mate gets a gold star).

My afternoon chore was taking chart inventory.  Several sets were as old as the boat (1993).  A few were older!  Husband asks if I'm going to run errands because "we need a bottle of wine."  Didn't I want to sit out in the cockpit and have a glass of wine before we leave?  I'm gone (rookie mistake #2.  Check that you have the car keys before you walk to the car.)  I may have snuck into West Marine & bought more charts.  Side tracked.  Is it a coincidence the liquor store is next to West Marine?  I don't think so.
Is that a picture of a bottle of wine (Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc) or the new chart plotter?  Both!
We had a great dinner at Yellowfin Tuna.  They have a wonderful spot to watch the sunset.

The Captain wanted to stay.  I reminded him the boat is still winterized and "we have to go home and get the cat."
"Good bye, Annapolis.  See you soon."


  1. Well written, first mate. Thoroughly enjoyed your sense of humor. Didn't take long for husband to turn into captain in you account. Admire you adventurous spirit. Don't think I would be up to the challenge you are undertaking.

  2. The boat looks nice! I think your husband’s skills are spot on. And as long as he drills holes on the right spots, you’ll manage to stay afloat through your voyages. Haha! Anyway, thanks for sharing this with us. Have a great day!

    Kent Garner @ Whites Marine Center