To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Hampton Snowbirds Rendezvous Day 2

Breakfast. Round-Table Conversations. Lunch.


Talked about tools and saw the coolest device for accurately measuring specific gravity optically. But a drop of battery acid onto the glass and look through the eyepiece and get a precise measurement of specific gravity. Very cool.

Talked about electronics and electronic charting. I think we've got the bases partly covered. Back on the boat, I Started running the X-Traverse app to get our GPSNavX charts updated. I think I'm going to buy a different set of Bahamas charts for the computer as backup to the chart plotter.

I do need to power up the backup computer (separate from the iPad and phones) and update the charts there, too. That's easier, since that's a simple use of Apple's AirDrop to move all the updated charts.


Island Time PC WiFi

We've been using the Island Time WiFi antenna for about a year now. And we have had our share of problems getting and keeping a solid WiFi connection.

Until today.

One of the speakers (Dave Skolnick) as well as conversations with Mark Doyle and a lot reading lead me to try reducing our bandwidth demands. The "backhaul issue" often limits WiFi bandwidth to microscopic numbers. Yes, the base station is theoretically capable of 65Mbps, but as a practical matter the wired connection to the internet is nowhere near that beefy.

And that wired connection is being shared by every other boat in the marina.

The practical bandwidth may only be 1Mb. So, I changed the Ubiqiti Wireless Max Tx Rate down to something really small. At MCS4 (39Mbps,) the overall CCQ quality number jumped from 40% to 98%. Fewer timeouts and delays from retries. I'm going to mess around this this some more now that I have working internet.

But first, I have to finish waiting for X-Traverse to update my computer charts, and download the OS X update for the computer, also.

Oil Cooler Blues

It's a little disappointing to have a broken engine. All the things we were planning to see and do are…



Coming down the Bay from Annapolis was four days of hard charging. Up early! Weigh anchor at dawn! Brisk! Hustle! Hustle! Hustle! All Hands On Deck. Ahooga! Ahooga! Take the helm Mr. Benmar! Mr. Lehman make turns for 6 knots! Motor or sail as far as a we can!


Bam: Engine problems.

What about all that built-up hustle? We need to get up early, weigh anchor and go as far as we can.



Maybe not so much.

A major repair shouldn't be a towering disappointment. It feels like it, but that's only a first impression. We're only delayed for a week or two. And we're delayed in Hampton, Virginia. There are much worse places to be delayed.

I have the urge to charge into repairing the engine as quickly as possible.

But that's nutty.

I need to order parts. Wait for parts. And then rebuild the engine. And that may involve taking the bus back to West Marine for more parts. Or asking friends to drive up from Norfolk with parts.

Or asking friends to stop by Kilmarnock and ferry a large, heavy box of parts down to us.

We're living on a boat, playing boat all day. Part of playing boat is sailing, but part of playing boat is fixing the boat.