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

Week 2: Final Preparation

The Commodore Says: "We're meant to be outdoors: watching the sun come up."

Location: Docked at Deltaville Marina. Jackson Creek. 37°33'21"N 076°23'0"W.

This week continues Red Ranger's refit. More importantly; we need to get ready for our trip to Galesville and the Whitby Rendezvous.

24th. Monday


Install the through-hull for the shower drain sump pump. This means we drilled a hole in the hull.

I'll repeat that. We Drilled A Hole In Our Hull. For real. Last year we filled two holes. This year, we added a hole.

Also, we finally installed the poor WindLine Bruce (BRM-3) Anchor Roller. [The sorry thing has been rattling around in the back of our truck for almost two months, waiting for this day.]

This was a dicey operation because any mistake in handling tools or parts and—bloop—it's in the creek, a gift to Poseidon. First, we moved Red Ranger out of her slip and pulled her in bow first. With the bowsprit hanging over the dock, it's pretty easy to work on this. I also belayed the anchor roller to a cleat. If it did fall—and somehow bounce off the dock and into the creek—it would be tied to the boat and we could haul it back aboard.

Said goodbye to the crew of Liquid Therapy. Maybe we'll run into them next summer.

25th. Tuesday

Finish shower pump plumbing. Move Red Ranger out of the slip and back her in for the final days of preparation. Rig the sewing machine in the cockpit to work on the Bimini.

Had drinks on Green Eyes; may not seem him again.

Finished out-loud reading/performing book one of The Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire. CA votes for moving on to book two. Big issue here is that there are a vast number of characters. Voices are difficult. With seven major houses, I'm already out of accents. Every one of the Maesters are indistinguishable.

26th. Wednesday


Trial installation of CA's replacement Bimini cover. Needs work. We'll change the lacing around and see what we can work out.

We took an outing to Gloucester to get Marvel Mystery Oil, heavy duty "shop towel" paper towels, and sphagnum moss for the Nature's head. Score: 2 out of 3; all the sphagnum moss had fertilizer additives. We may have to mail-order coir bricks instead.

[Warning. Do not confuse Marvel Mystery Oil with 710Oil; 710Oil will melt your face off.]

We also went to Revere Gas to fill up a propane cylinder. Since we never owned a propane grill, we had no idea how this works. Red Ranger has horizontal cylinders; more common on propane-driven vehicles like fork lifts and golf carts. It took the expert a few minutes to figure out where the "bleed valve" was.


Spent our Starbucks free drink coupon. Probably that last one of those we'll see for a while.

27th. Thursday

Test the shower drain sump.

Important lesson learned. Don't silicone the drain parts to the bottom of the shower drain pan until after you test. It can be very hard to switch direction after the silicone has hardened.

Other jobs:

  • Change lacing on the Bimini cover: much nicer.

  • Final shopping: West Marine, NAPA (for oil and filter), grocery store.

  • Final drop-off at Nauti-Nell's.

  • Rework propane tank tie-downs.

  • Final stowage so that there's almost nothing laying on the cabin sole. Not easy to find a place for everything. But. CA did it.



Good-bye dinner with crew of Fortuna. (Sniff, sniff.)

Weather looks fair for departure tomorrow. Saturday wind may be against us. Sunday and Monday the wind looks to be fair again.

28th. Friday

Goodbye breakfast with Fortuna and Blind Faith. Also said goodbye to Mandy. Check oil, water and batteries at 0949. Underway by 1008. At Reedville by 1500. No wind, so we motored for five hours.

Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Sadly, it's not simple.

You see, there was this "throbbing" in the drive shaft. The kind of throbbing that can only be caused by line wrapped around the shaft.

CA, heroically, dove the propellor in Cockrell Creek. It is politely called turbid. My word was opaque, followed by, "You're crazy," and "We'll hire a diver when we get to the Solomons or Galesville".



She didn't want to shell out the expected $170 or so for a diver. So she put on her mask and snorkel and unraveled the Gordian Knot on our propellor.

Start 37°33.35′N 076°23.0′W

Finish 37°50.450′N 076°16.436′W

Time 5 hrs. Distance 18nm direct; 288nm run.


Attribute Value
Depart Start 37°33.35′N 076°23.0′W
Arrive Finish 37°50.450′N 076°16.436′W
Time 5 hrs.
Distance 18 nm
direct 288 nm

29th. Saturday

Up anchor and head out into the bay, bound for Solomon's Island. It was sloppy at the mouth of the Potomac (it usually is). Otherwise we had a delightful, low-key motor for about five hours.

Because CA removed the line on the propellor, Red Ranger felt silky smooth.

Today's problem?

The batteries are not fully charged. After running for five hours, they're not charged.

The alternator's regulator seems to be attempting to charge them by emitting 12.9V. Not enough.

It appears that my regulator's firmware is way wrong. My owner's manual suggests the firmware revision should be 38. My regulator claims it's 15. That may be a small part of the problem.

We had a quick drink with Joie de Vivre before turning in for the night. That meant rigging the dinghy, driving to their marina, finding Scott, and then driving the dinghy back to Red Ranger.

Start 37°50.450′N 076°16.436′W

Finish 38°19.896′N 076°27.578′W

Time: 9hrs. Distance 31nm direct; 41nm run.


Attribute Value
Depart Start 37°50.450′N 076°16.436′W
Arrive Finish 38°19.896′N 076°27.578′W
Time 9 hrs.
Distance 31 nm
direct 41 nm

30th. Sunday

I changed our regulator's battery chemistry setting from "universal" to "AGM". This may have a higher float voltage. It may charge the batteries better from the alternator.

We pumped out the little bit in our holding tank and took on 29 gallons of fuel.

We played leap-frog with Joie de Vivre up the bay. We motored; they sailed and almost caught us. We tried some sailing, they passed us. It turns out that they were motor sailing.

We turned on our motor and studied the fine points of motor sailing by chasing Joie de Vivre. We did what they did. Motor sailing brought Red Ranger's speed over ground from 6.2 knots to over 7.2 knots. That knocks 16% of the duration of the trip. For a 5 hour trip, that's 50 minutes.

Moored in front of the West River Sailing Club in Galesville, MD. We made it.

Start 38°19.896′N 076°27.578′W

Finish 38°50.737′N 076°32.240′W

Time: 7 hrs. Distance 31nm direct; 41nm run.


Attribute Value
Depart Start 38°19.896′N 076°27.578′W
Arrive Finish 38°50.737′N 076°32.240′W
Time 7 hrs.
Distance 31 nm
direct 41 nm

This Week

Engine Hours: 21. Diesel Gallons: 29. Nautical Miles: 110.

Attribute Value
Engine 21. h
Diesel 29. gal
Distance 110. nm