Monday, October 15, 2018

First night on Division Belle

Saturday I drove some 10 1/2 hours from Richmond Hill, GA to Edgewater, MD with my car loaded down with tools and a few necessities for the boat. I spent Saturday night at a nearby motel and arrived at the boat Sunday morning around 6 am. Yesterday (Sunday) was for unloading gear and stowing equipment while today was devoted to making things livable and providing for necessities such as coffee in the morning. All the while, I have interrupted myself figuring out how everything works on this boat.

While I was exhausted last night, it was fun spending a night on the boat just to experience it all. For example, because this boat has been in a cold climate, the freshwater tank had anti-freeze added to it, so it was necessary to empty the tank, fill it with fresh water and some kind of treatment, empty it again and refill it. The process took about eight hours. It takes a long time to run sinks wide open and use up 480 gallons of contaminated water.

Sleep was fitful last night with all of the usual boat noises. Pumps turn off and on to run heater/air conditioners, boats go by, the boat rocks. There are new and strange noises. But it really does feel amazing to be doing this again.

My shopping costs in Savannah and here have been helped enormously by the Sears expected bankruptcy filing which has now occurred. The Savannah Sears is closing and I picked up boat tools at around half price. Here near Annapolis, I bought some basics yesterday and today from K-Mart, which might face a similar fate since it is owned by Sears. It's a sad and sorry end to a great brand. But hey, who can argue with buying a couple of decent coffee mugs for 89 cents each today?

If there are any readers of this new blog, please sign up to your right on this page to receive email updates. Also, you can see a map of where I am at each posting by clicking the location shown at the bottom of the post. I'm hoping to make it interesting reading, but you can be the judge of that.

While I plan to stay away from discussions of boat maintenance, I can't help but note that one of my blog entries about my last boat was called "What was wrong with Steel Magnolia". This is a well-built boat, but it has had little maintenance. The systems are elegant, but they don't all work. Our plan involves four steps. First, a representative from Burr Yacht Sales where I bought the boat will be here tomorrow for about two days of troubleshooting minor problems. These are things like the horn works from the pilothouse but not from the bridge, the washing machine has no hot water, etc. Second, mechanics will be on board beginning Friday to bring all of the engine room maintenance up to date, and fix a few problems. Third, we will go to a nearby boatyard to deal with things where the boat needs to be hauled out of the water. And finally, there are cosmetic issues including paint, varnish, cushion and sofa coverings, etc. that we will have done wherever we can achieve the best results either here, along the way home, or in Savannah.

There is much to be done, but as my mother used to say, "God, grant me the serenity to endure my blessings". I never thought I would own another boat, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity to follow my dreams once more. As Alfred, Lord Tennyson said in Ulysses:
Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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