Archive

Uncategorized

Every couple of years, my old plywood dinghy begins to look sad. Paint faded and cracked, bottom scraped where I’ve dragged it up on a pier or a beach, firehose coming unlashed from the gunnels. That means it’s time to bring a little respectability back to the dinghy. . .  give her a little love.

Minor projects this time – reglass the bottom around the centerboard trunk opening. It’s been leaking ever since I ran aground a couple of years back.

Glassed all around the trunk and down into the interior.

Cured and Sanded.

There a several places where I’ve worn through the glass on the bottom and shallow cracks are opening up. These need to be reglassed.

Cracks opening where I’ve worn through the glass.

And I’ve relashed the firehose in one section. Finally, new paint will make her look fresh and protect her structure for a couple more years.

Nice new white line.

And while I’m into the epoxy, I might as well fill a couple of opening seams in my tiller prior to refinishing. It won’t hold varnish with those big gaps in the tiller.

I’ve injected thickened epoxy into the seams and clamped around a plastic bag so that my clamps don’t get glued on to the tiller.

Here’s the unclamped tiller.

I hope to finish the glass and sanding today and paint tomorrow.  Got to get her looking good for Memorial Day Cruise!

 

Last time we checked on our hero, he was patiently waiting for engine parts, whiling away the days with varnishing projects.

Well, the parts finally arrived and I reassembled the engine and reinstalled it. Then (of course) corrected my errors in hooking up the various wires, cables, hoses – then it ran! After my first test run, the prop shaft began to back out of the coupling as I backed into the slip, and I nearly lost it again – but it hung up in the shaft log, and Ruth and I managed to fit it back into the coupling. Yes, the set screw was installed, but I’d done it incorrectly. Turns out, you have to “spot” the shaft. That is, drill an indentation in the shaft into which the set screw “sets.” I did that (easier to write than to do – involved long, sweaty minutes bent over the top of the engine with a drill, boring a divot into the shaft), then reinstalled the set screw with thread lock. It’s been fine since I did that.

Next thing, the engine ran away. You read that correctly. . . diesel engines can scavenge fuel from places other than the fuel injectors, and run without regard to the throttle position or stop lever. But why and where? Much reading ensued, afterwhich I concluded that my engine’s symptoms matched those which indicate that the fuel lift pump was leaking, thereby dumping fuel into the crank case, thinning the oil, which was then burnt in the cylinders. The run-away only lasted seconds before all the excess combustibles were gone, and so no damage occurred. I ordered another pump and installed it. Problem solved, but a scary experience.

Family commitments intervened as well, and then we got to go sailing for the first time this year. In July. We over-nighted late last week, crossing the bay, up Harris Creek ’til we got to “Drew’s Cove.” It was stunning, deserted, perfect. Here are a couple of photos to prove it (Ruth gets the photo credits this time).

 

This is the time of year when sailing is good almost every day. Breeze is strong, temps are moderate, even the rain is tolerable. So I’ve posted a few photos from recent sails. Not great stuff, but just to give you the feel of sailing on the Chesapeake in October.

Weather looks a little doubtful with respect to rain, but the wind was good. It was a fantastic day to sail.

Weather looks a little doubtful, but the wind was good. It was a fantastic day to sail.

. . . and I wasn't the only one who thought it was a good day to be on the water.

. . . and I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a good day to be on the water.

Photo from yesterday. Started out with fog in the morning. By the time I got on the water the fog was burning off. You can see the remnant mist off the point of Rosehaven (at right).

Photo from yesterday. Started out with fog in the morning. By the time I got on the water the fog was burning off. You can see the remnant mist off the point of Rosehaven (at right).

The cliffs, where I anchor in shallow water and scrub the growth off the bottom. I can anchor in about 4 feet and stand beside the boat brushing the growth off.

The cliffs, where I anchor in shallow water and scrub the growth off the bottom. I can anchor in about 4 feet and stand beside the boat brushing the growth off.

The work boats are always out here. Weather smeather ! - they've got to make a living. This is a hard job.

The work boats are always out here. The water is never too rough, the weather never too bad to make a living. This is a hard job.

dsc_5179

And I'm not the only pleasure boater who thought that a Tuesday morning was a good time to sail.

And I’m not the only pleasure boater who thought that a Tuesday morning was a good time to sail.

I think this boat has a throttle setting titled "plow," or "maximum fuel usage." He was at the perfect speed to send out maximum wake. I'd hate to have his fuel bill.

I think this boat has a throttle setting titled “plow,” or “maximum fuel usage.” He was at the perfect speed to send out maximum wake. I’d hate to have his fuel bill.

Canada geese making their way. One of the iconic harbingers of autumn on the Chesapeake.

Canada geese making their way. One of the iconic harbingers of autumn on the Chesapeake.

Hands-free steering.

Hands-free steering.

Salty skipper and the obligatory selfie.

Salty skipper and the obligatory selfie.

Learning more about sailing alone - heaving to affords a controlled way to drop and bag the sails. Heaving to is the answer to many moments when you just need a to create a space of calm, reduced motion without having to mind the helm.

Learning more about sailing alone – heaving to affords a controlled way to drop and bag the sails. Heaving to is the answer to many moments when you just need a to create a space of calm, reduced motion without having to mind the helm.

And the winner is. . . – actually, there are five winners – I couldn’t narrow it down any farther, because I liked all of the entries.

So, if the following bloggers will email their postal address, I’ll send you each a box of Ruth’s cards of “Bury the Rail.”

You can send mail to me privately at rick@ruthbaileyart.com

– Mr. Anonymous (obviously, I don’t know who you are:) for “Ok, everybody go Vrooom Vrooom while steer”
– Donna Wadsley bayphotosbydonna: “Ugh….Rick did promise crabs and beer when we’re done, right??”
– Tom Ward: “OK, she’s rolling good. Pop the clutch!”
– Bob Salnick: All of the entries were really funny!
– thecoastalfamilyblog: “Well, this is the last time I volunteer to help someone “move””

BurytheRail-wm

From July 25 2014: From my wife’s studio – one of my favorites – “Bury the Rail!” watercolor, 4.5″ x 6.75″

There is not much that is more boring than reading or listening about someone else’s vacation. Either leading or closely following that boredom, is that which comes from looking at photos of the same. I’ll spare you on both accounts and make this my second and final post regarding our visit to the Maine coast. Hopefully, the photos of boats will make it enjoyable.

We’ve recently visited Camden, Rockport, Bar Harbor, and Belfast, and my favorite sights were of the harbors.  Here are a few images:

This is a pinky schooner in Camden harbor.  Traditionally rigged with deadeyes, wooden blocks, etc.

This is a pinky schooner in Camden harbor. Traditionally rigged with deadeyes, wooden blocks, tarred and parcelled hemp line.

DSCN0984

DSCN0990

DSCN0986

DSCN0985

Some of the schooner fleet shrink-wrapped against rain and snow.

Some of the schooner fleet shrink-wrapped against rain and snow.

Members of the steel-hulled fleet berthed ashore for winter.

Members of the steel-hulled fleet berthed ashore for winter.

DSC_4902

DSC_4906

A sweet-lined wooden dinghy next to a dory.

A sweet-lined wooden dinghy next to a dory.

While in Bar Harbor, we went to the top of Cadillac Mountain and took 100 photos. All the views were stunning, but I’ll only inflict one of them on you. The vista from the top was just amazing.

DSC_4918

That’s the town of Bar Harbor you see at the bottom of the photo.

Oh, and we’ve eaten lobster and clam chowder, and done “Mainely” things – the seafood is terrific.  Okay – that’s all.  Next post, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I’ve been to Maine twice before, but only briefly – both were quick overnight business trips. I was active duty Navy and flew in and out two separate times. I saw the Navy base (stayed overnight in the barracks) and a little bit of the coast line from the windows of the aircraft (not many windows in most military aircraft, from a passenger’s perspective).

This week Ruth and I are vacationing in Rockland – and about this point in reading, you may be wondering how this post supports the theme of a “sailing blog,” especially one proclaiming it focuses on Chesapeake sailing. You have a valid point. This and the next couple of posts won’t have anything to do with Chesapeake sailing, but will feature this well-known harbor and some of the boats –  both sail and power – seen here.

While this is November and many boats are hauled and covered for the winter, there is still a lot to see, boat-wise. The harbor itself is beautiful, and the town is an historic sailing and lobstering locale.

Here's a classic plastic that hasn't been hauled yet. Hope they don't wait too much longer. By this time last year, they had a foot of snow.

Here’s a classic plastic that hasn’t been hauled yet. Hope they don’t wait too much longer. By this time last year, they had a foot of snow.

Some of the work boats are still on their moorings. There are many moorings in the harbor, and floating piers that are hauled seasonally.

Some of the work boats are still on their moorings. There are many moorings in the harbor, and floating piers that are hauled and launched seasonally.

We walked around town a good bit today, and enjoyed for lunch the best clam chowder I’ve had since we moved away from the Seattle area. We had a lobster roll too.  Wow – so good!

Typical of high latitudes, the tidal range is large, as you can see from this photo. 10 feet is not uncommon.

Typical of high latitudes, the tidal range is large, as you can see from this photo. 10 feet is not uncommon.

We walked through the boat yard to get a better photo of the harbor (at least that’s what I told Ruth). Fun to look at all the boats from deck to keel. This is one of the big schooner harbors. 60 – 95 foot-long wooden schooners with two to three masts.  Several were hauled and in the yard as we walked through. I was impressed with the scale of these boats, and their massive wooden spars lying horizontally on supports. Most of the big wooden schooners, however, will winter-over in the water, cosseted against the snow and rain. I now realize that I failed to get a photo of any of them – floating or hauled. l’ll remedy that in the next day or so.

I like looking at the hardworking lobster boats, with their lines refined by decades of experience, working in every kind of weather.

This one looks more like a yacht-finished lobster boat than a work boat. Still, a good looker, though.

Although this one looks more like a yacht-finished lobster boat than a work boat, a closer look reveals the pot puller on the starboard side. She’s a good looker.

Ruth spent half an hour sketching the harbor at the waterfront park. The park is adorned with retired aids to navigation, and it was interesting to see the these massive devices up close.

DSC_4847

This appears to be a whistle buoy, and I think that long shaft must be part of the piston mechanism that drives air through the whistle in response to wave-induced motion. It’s enormous. The whole device must be 20 feet from top to bottom.

A mushroom anchor, apparently, keeps these aids in place. Wish I had Ruth standing beside it for scale, because it's a giant.

A mushroom anchor, apparently, kept these aids in place. Wish I had Ruth stand beside it for scale, because it’s a giant.

As usual, I find it very difficult to post via phone, so now I’m several days behind. Cell service and blog posting software are a fairly sensitive combination.

We anchored in this very popular anchorage, but we were the only boat remaining overnight from the 20-plus boats that were here earlier in the day. All of those day trippers were here to take advantage of the sandy beach, easy boat beaching, protected water, and fairly deep anchoring with good holding. This a great place for swimming and relaxing by the water.

Raft-ups, beached boats, solitary anchoreds, jet skis, dogs, kids, beer, potato salads - summer fun on a hot day on the water.

Raft-ups, beached boats, solitary anchoreds, jet skis, dogs, kids, beer, potato salads – summer fun on a hot day on the water.

I took the opportunity that fairly clear water provided and dove on the prop for barnacle scraping. There were many tiny barnacles, but now they’re gone.  I also brushed soft growth from the bottom, as it had since early April when the bottom was clean.  This has given me back at least a half knot under sail, and more under power.

Joys of boat ownership. I can tell this is season Number Two for this coat of bottom paint. Just doesn't keep the soft growth at bay effectively during the second year.

Joys of boat ownership. I can tell this is season Number Two for this coat of bottom paint. Just doesn’t keep the soft growth at bay effectively during the second year.

We also enjoyed a fairly dramatic sunset, but my phone isn’t up to the task of faithfully recording it.  I’ll post a few different photos from our “real” cameras when we get home.

 

As we sailed south last week in the rain, my wife and I reminisced about our three-year sojourn in the Pacific Northwest. Although we loved the area, the thought of moving there for retirement had raised some reservations: could we live with the perpetual wet weather? Could we conceive (again) of sailing in cool-to-cold wet weather? In the Northwest, if you aren’t committed to doing things in the cool and rain, you will do very little outside. Then I looked around me, and took note of the abominable weather in which we were sailing. We both caught the irony of the discussion and laughed out loud through our two layers each of foul weather gear.

But for the last two days, we’ve sailed in stunning, beautiful weather. Dry and warm but not hot, proverbial far winds and following seas – and many, many days are like this in the mid-Atlantic states, and Maryland in particular, where we live.

So, while rain doesn’t really keep us off the water, the sunshine and moderate temperatures are definitely the preferred conditions for sailing.

Shipwright Harbor launched Cay of Sea early last week, and I’ve spent a few days getting things squared away.  Among those items were cleaning, varnishing, cleaning, rigging, cleaning. . .  Well, after 4 months closed up and cold, things were/are bit untidy.  Yard time seems to make everything dirty, no matter what I do.

New Headsail

I visited Bacon Sails several days ago, and picked up a nice used headsail for $475.  On Cay of Sea this will occupy 117% of the foretriangle, which is slightly larger than we had before.  The extra sail area is welcome of course, but more than that a sail that is in good shape and will set well will help a lot.  It’s also worth noting that there is no compromise in the shape of the sail to accommodate roller furling.  I’m going to enjoy the extra bit of efficiency I get.  This sail also features a reefable foot.  I can take 3 feet out of the foot of the sail, which will drop the sail area down to below 100%.  I will also get another smaller sail eventually, and would have last week, but Bacon Sails didn’t have an appropriate sail in their inventory at that time.

I got lucky and also found a deck bag (in their huge bin of unwanted canvas items) that was the right color and right size.  $65, and it’s in pretty good shape.  I will get turn-buttons to close the back of the bag (it currently has UV-ruined Velcro) and sew a loop on the back as well, so that I can lift it off the deck with the halyard.

DSC_4339 DSC_4340

Figuring out halyards, new sheets, and a downhaul took a couple of hours.  Then the trial hoist of the sail – it fit perfectly, allowing for stretch of the luff – I was very pleased with the sail and stowage.

I’ve also begun the spring varnish routine, and will need to add several coats to this preliminary sanding/coating applied today.

DSC_4336 DSC_4337

DSC_4342 DSC_4343

DSC_4341

%d bloggers like this: