Each time we think we're getting more skilled at running up and down the Bay, we learn that the Chesapeake is a tough old bitch and doesn't suffer fools gladly.
The dodger is done. So we're headed south to Deltaville so we can turn around and make a trip up north. By car.
See Week 30: Another Whitby Rendezvous for another version of the major job list.
Here's the major job list that I have. The Commodore may have others. The total list is 101 items; but it's important to focus on the important stuff.
Dodger. We actually sat in the cockpit during a rain shower. Ahhhh. A seriously crazy thunderstorm does involve rain blowing in the sides, as we discovered (a) . This isn't a full enclosure. But for keeping rain out of the companion way, it works.
Bimini. Dan included zippers on the bimini so CA can add side panels.
Solar Panels. There are at least four vendors for the 85W to 100W panels (41″×27″ or 40″×26″). I think that two panels with the long axis fore-and-aft will only have a moderate overhang and will leave enough room for (a) the boom in the middle and (b) grabbing the handles on each side. Besides $, this requires a few screws and a bundle of wires. The real complexity here is finding a way to route two more big (12 AWG 2-strand) wires from the deck down to the engine room.
Chain Plates. This is why we bought a Fein Multimaster. The complexity here is how to carefully saw apart some of our interior furniture to get to the chainplates. Apparently, the bolts are pretty easy to get out once we have access. The plates themselves simply pull up through the deck. Then we have to photo copy the metal part to get perfectly accurate sizing. We've been told that we'll need to get drawings made, and have new steel fabricated. Then we get to put it back together.
Water Tanks. We're going to do this in phases. The complexity stems from the unknown fit between bladder and open space. We'll start by replacing the V-berth tank with a bladder. If that works out, we'll replace the other tanks.
Raw Water Pump. This is a "simple" replacement. ADC in Kilmarnock has a new pump. Once that's in, I can rebuild the old pump and keep it as a spare. The pump housing is fine, it's the seals and the internal cam that wear out and drip.
Bilge Manifold. This isn't too complex; it mostly requires patience and careful measurement. After all, we'll be drilling holes in the side of the boat and filling those holes with bronze through-hulls and appropriate volumes of Boatlife Caulk. Then rerouting interior hoses. It's nice to have an ACE Hardware within walking distance when doing this job.
Haulout, Paint and Inspect Shaft Seal. This is something we'll pay the boatyard to do. There's a bit of scheduling complexity to when exactly we do this.
Except for the chainplates, each job should take about a week or less. Just getting the chainplates out may be a full week. Then there's a long delay with the drawing and fabrication.
Bottom and Propellor Ugliness
At 06:12 AM Tuesday we were underway from Annapolis.
We had wind straight on our nose until about 13:00, then it got ugly. The less horrible features of this were a favorable current and relatively calm seas.
We usually motor along at about 1700 on our tach. (The tach isn't calibrated correctly, so this is closer to 1400 RPM.) At these RPM's we usually make about 5-6 kt. (12″ pitch on the prop: theoretically 6.9 kt) Red Ranger's hull is capable of hammering through the seas at at 7.5 kt, but the extra fuel to get to this speed doesn't actually seem to be worth it.
Today our 1700 RPM barely made 4 kt. The bottom is foul. The prop is foul. It's amazing we can move at all.
CA scrapes much of the barnacle and algae off the bottom of the dinghy. This is a hint as to how crusted with life the propellor is on Red Ranger. Think of a little sphere of barnacles with a vaguely helical shape.
Also worrying is Mr. Lehman's temperature. He's running a few degrees warmer than normal. Is it because of the extra strain? Or is it because of gunk in the raw water strainer? The bottom is covered with gunk, perhaps we're not getting enough cooling water.
About 13:00, the end-of-times apocalyptic rains started. After fifteen minutes of blinding torrents with 20 kt winds, our weather alerts started chiming. Too late to warn us. And, not really appropriate. The alerts were about flash flooding in Western Maryland. No kidding! We were looking at a solid wall of water out here on the bay. Flooding seemed logical if unhelpful.
It passed. The sky brightened a bit. It rained some more. The sky brightened some more.
Around 14:30 or so, it got considerably worse.
The weather alerts started chiming. The exact spot we were—between Cove Point and James Island—was going to experience a storm capable of 35 kt gusts and rain so bad that it required a formal warning. We were told that mariners should seek a safe harbor.
Okay. We'd like to do that. After the last cloudburst, a safe harbor sounds good.
We looked at the chart. The closest safe harbor was Solomon's Island, two hours ahead. Through the storm.
Of course, we had to watch it coming. The wall of gray obscures the shore then, when it arrives, it turns into water everywhere. Water of such amazing volumes that our deck scupper drains couldn't keep up. Water of such amazing volumes that our light-weight foul-weather gear was soaked through. Water of such amazing volumes that we could not see anything outside the boat except water.
We struggled down to the Solomon's, soaking wet, engine chugging away making little speed.
Our new Wave Stopper Dodger worked. And worked pretty well. We new see some design changes that we think might be good. On the other hand, this was hurricane scale rain (without the winds). So, perhaps, it's not the kind of thing one should design for.
It's not a full enclosure. Water blows in around the sides. That's why we were soaked.
By 18:00 the rain had stopped and the sun came out. At 20:00 the birds are singing and things are starting to dry out on deck.
So, the engine was running warm. The bottom is foul.
The raw water pump is leaking. It needs a rebuild. But. It seems to be sending a healthy volume of water through the cooling system. We're not overheating. Just running a little warm.
Maybe the raw water strainer should be cleaned.
CA took it apart once we were anchored. And, yes, it a little goo in it. We've seen worse.
It also had a little fish living in it.
We've never seen that before.
We had a little stow-away fish in our raw water system. We named it "Scuppie." Then we threw it back into the creek.
Perhaps we've got more than just "some goo" in the raw water system.
Clearly, we're in desperate need of a haulout and scrape down.
It was already on on our list of jobs. It's last, and maybe needs to be elevated.
Today we did 40 miles in about 11 hours.
Tomorrow we only need to go 50 more miles. At 4 kt, will be 12.5 engine hours.
If the weather works out, we'll have winds out of the N, blowing 10-15 (gusting to 20) tomorrow. That would be the perfect contrast with today's apocalyptic rain.
18 June Travel
|Arrive||Anchored at 38°19.287′N 076°27.451′W|
Wednesday was the diametric opposite of Tuesday. The morning started with a fair current and a fair wind of 10-15 knots gusting to 20. It was out of the NE, allowing us to beam reach and broad reach down the bay. No running. No gybing.
There was a time when gusting to 20 knots was cause for concern. We would have been wetting our pants wondering what to do.
Today, gusting to 20 was a delight. We rigged "Jib and Jigger" (Yankee and Mizzen) and were able (for a while) to roar down the bay at over 6 kt in spite of a foul bottom.
The sailing couldn't have been much better. It was lovely. Delightful. Perfect. A world of difference from yesterday.
Then, around 12:30, the wind died. So we motored the rest of the way to Deltaville. We had fair current for the first few hours, but about 16:00, it set against us, making the last hour and a half frustrating because we. were. just. going. so. damn. slow.
We tied up to C dock after arriving and spent the night there.
The next afternoon, we moved to a slip on D dock. We cleaned and tidied, took Hollywood showers and generally relaxed.
There's no benefit to starting a job right before leaving the boat for an extended period.
We're going to park Red Ranger here and continue our travels by car.
We're thinking that it might have been cheaper (and slightly smarter) to haul out for this vacation time and handle the various shore maintenance and bottom-cleaning tasks first. But. That's second-guessing. We're using a slip and we'll haul out later.
19 June Travel
|Arrive||C-Dock Deltaville Marina approx. 37°32.940′N 076°19.878′W|
Engine Hours: 24. Diesel Gallons: 0. Miles Run: 88.
Read Aloud: The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicles. Book 2.