Friday, November 15, 2019

Sea Trial

Mahvelous Marcy at the helm
After a recent repair to the boat transmission, my mechanic Sean Silverman suggested what is called a "sea trial" to check oil pressure and temperature as well as to make sure there are no leaks. I ran into our dear friend Marcy Alvarez a few days ago and asked if she wanted to go with us, as she has always shown an interest in the boat. So yesterday Marcy, Sean and I headed out from The Ford Plantation for the 2 1/4-hour run to McAllister Marina, 17 nautical miles down the winding Ogeechee River. It was a cold wet day, and we felt fortunate to be driving from the pilothouse with our generator and heaters running.  The trip was uneventful, which is exactly what you want after repairs have been made. Sean checked out the transmission the entire way down and everything seems to be working perfectly. Pressure and temperature were perfect, and there were no leaks of transmission oil.

 Marcy, it turns out, simply loves the river, the marshes, and spotting birds, dolphin and other wildlife along the way. I hoped she had enjoyed the brief trip, despite the dreary weather. 

This morning, as I was preparing to drive back to McAllister to bring the boat back alone on another rainy day, I was surprised to get a call at 9 am from Marcy offering to come along again. I was delighted to have her good company and she even took the wheel for awhile. We left McAllister at high tide there at 10:30 and followed the tide up the river to arrive home at 12:45.

There is a long tradition on my boats of giving nicknames to those who crew. There is "The Lovely Laura Lee", for example, along with "Dahling Ashley" and "Bonefish Bob" Spotswood. And Paul Hamilton, who has dubbed himself "The Bosun". Marcy will henceforth be known as "Mahvelous Marcy", and she has earned a Division Belle t-shirt for her efforts.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Messing About

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing... Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do...
The Wind in the Willows
By Kenneth Grahame 

My usual practice is to avoid posting here about maintenance of the boat, but friends have asked why I spend hours most days there. I'm simply messing about. I'm basically working through a list of preparations for our planned departure after Christmas for the Bahamas. It ranges from changing lightbulbs to ordering a customs sticker to changing oil in the anchor windlass to getting the fire extinguishers inspected for the year. Many of the minor items I have done personally, but some matters involve the work of others.

So do I enjoy all of this? Honestly, I do. I love spending time with family and friends, being out on the beautiful water, and being self-sufficient most anywhere. But I also love the technical side of things and trying to understand the many systems on the boat that I need to understand. So I'll continue messing about. It keeps me off the streets.