Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sanding & Varnishing

Our escape to Maine was partly motivated by a recommendation of having Northeast Boat work on Eve’s teak wood interior. Our timing was good because we caught this crew of professionals between projects and willing to give Eve some attention.

But first my captain and I had to empty Eve. We rented a Budget mini moving truck and spent a day carrying most of her contents and our belongings off the boat and into the back of the truck. We left only enough bedding in a locker to pullout each night. Otherwise we’re living on deck or out of “the truck”, which also serves as our land transport.

Once the boat was empty, including mattresses and many of her fixtures, we taped up all the cabinet holes and vents from the inside to minimize dust collecting.

For four days now an experienced team has been sanding and varnishing Eve's teak interior, gradually transforming her sun-bleached and saltwater abused hatches back to their natural beauty and preserving other areas down below. You wouldn’t believe the dust! Thankfully, the guys use a high-powered vacuum that does a great job. The varnishing work will continue into next week.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Maine Morning

Another foggy morning in mid coast Maine.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Passage to Maine

My, doesn’t the summertime flyby?

With the precious days of summer escaping and the ocean calling, my captain and I decided to set sail for Maine, a favorite summer cruising area. Our 220nm passage was foggy and rainy therefore I was usually at the chart table worshiping the radar. At least we were able to sail most of the trip, minimizing the concern of running over lobster buoys that are everywhere.

First stop, Rockport Harbor. Situated along Maine’s mid-coast region, Rockport is a calendar-worthy harbor filled with classic wooden sailboats and working lobster boats. It’s deliberately a quiet town compared to its bustling neighbors; Rockland to the south and Camden to the north. Also, as many of you know, home to Schooner Heron (shown in photo).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Narragansett Bay, July 13th

Good wind for a perfect sailing day in Narragansett Bay!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'll have to call you later...

I’ve lost count of the number of times I walked into a mobile service provider in June to sign-up for a US plan only to walk away empty handed for one reason or another. In the end, I opted to wait until today, July 11th, for the release of the new Apple iPhone. In the meantime I have visited AT&T stores and read everything online I could about the iPhone so I already have my questions answered and am prepared to make the expensive commitment.

Given the congested shopper traffic at an Apple store on a normal day, I decided to try my luck at AT&T today, especially since I was opening a new mobile account. I did my homework too – I visited my AT&T store of choice (Middletown / Newport, Rhode Island) and confirmed my options, prices and backup plan should they sell out right away. Against my better judgment, I got up early and stood in line (with a good book in hand) before the store opened to ensure I would be able to get the iPhone I want – a 16gig model in white.

I found it odd that the store didn’t open as early as advertised, but was relieved when they finally let a few people through their doors around 9am. About 45-minutes later a store rep came outside to inform us that (despite the one phone per person rule) they were already sold out of the 8gig models and only had ten 16gig remaining. No wonder they didn’t open early – they didn’t have enough phones to sell! They couldn’t have had more than a total of two dozen iPhones because the line had barely budged. Very disappointing. And I really didn’t need another reason to be hesitant about giving AT&T my business.

Disappointing for sure, but what was extremely aggravating was that they waited so long to tell us there were so few phones and then said we could continue standing in line to place an order which would take at least five days. Upon an earlier visit to this store they informed me that should they sell out, I could place an order and receive it the next day. This was why I went to do the queuing up thing…Arrrgh.

I hurried back to my floating home with a new backup plan. I'll order my iPhone online direct from Apple, where I have purchased numerous products without disappointment. Wrong. The iPhone is only available at Apple and AT&T stores. Bummer! Now I’m not sure what I'll do…

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Exhaust Exhaustion

Just before the long (and hot) July 4th holiday weekend an abundance of seaweed clogged the raw water intake of our generator, which caused the generator to overheat and shutdown. After replacing the shredded impeller, my captain discovered that the water-lift (muffler) had developed a small hole – this was why the carbon monoxide alarm was going on and off over the past week! – filling the engine compartment with water. With businesses closing early for the holiday weekend, it was Monday before we could question anyone about the availability of a replacement exhaust system. It took most of a day to remove the muffler from the engine room because so many things around it had to be dismantled first.
Our exhaust (Volvo Penta) was old and made of stainless steel. These day’s marine exhaust systems are made from plastic or fiberglass, so replacing what we had is not an option. Four days later we’re still trying to locate an exhaust system that will fit and meet our generators requirements. With fingers crossed, we’ve another option on order. In the meantime we’ve had guests who were unfortunately forced to camp afloat without the basic amenities we’ve become accustomed to on the Event Horizon – no running water (try brushing your teeth and rinsing with bottled water) or cold beverages.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Gas Theft

Last night there were thieves lurking in the Rockwell-like village of Wickford. Boats at the dinghy dock with external fuel tanks not locked down were stolen for their contents. This is the first such occurrence at our marina but apparently reports of gas theft are becoming increasingly common at marinas and on shore. Whether you’re a boater or a land lubber, the Miami Herald recently offered tips for safe guarding your gas.