Time to upgrade to a better blogging tool: Team Red Cruising is the new site.
Avoid the rush, update your bookmarks now. Our first year, 2012-2013, ends soon.
Our second year officially starts September 16, 2013, at the new address:
In addition to fussing around with software, we're also doing minimal boat jobs. CA's making Floating Leaf Tiny Quilts, working and learning how to fish.
Meanwhile, I've done almost nothing.
Here's the new QR Code for our new blog location. Point your phone at this and bookmark it.
Saying farewell to Kachina: they've headed back to Colorado.
Greeting our new neighbors, Sirius. They just bought their boat and suffered a fair number of shakedown cruise problems after starting out from Annapolis four days ago. It was rough for them because they didn't really expect that a well-maintained boat would have technical problems.
But things on a boat are often marginal. They work during sea trials. They work as far as the surveyor can discern. But get out to sea in rough winds in the Chesapeake Chop and the roller furling jams, sails tear and the transmission won't go into reverse because the cable was falling apart. Ouch.
Red Ranger had its share of problems. But we more-or-less expected things to go badly for us. We didn't have an ambitious trip until we'd owned the boat for three years. These folks have set off in a boat they barely know. That's an amazing leap of courage and trust.
Stevie observed that living at a marina is quite a bit different from living in a house. She was amazed at how friendly all of us boat folks are. She was almost amazed that we just stop by to chat.
Looking back, we were equally amazed by this, also. One of the things we like so much about cruising is meeting new people and being able to see them regularly at the dock or in the anchorage. The distance between people is reduced to almost nothing. In the suburbs, and even in the cities, there are walls and lawns that keep people away.
Also visiting with Escape. They collided with a buoy and damaged their hull. A rather complex and extensive repair is required for this. They have to leave the boat for a while, since it's won't be safe to be on board while the repair crew is working with epoxy in the volume required to fix the hull.
Checking on the progress of Serenade and Baloo with their summer refit projects. Serenade is painting and rebuilding their fridge (amongst other things.) Baloo is putting in a new engine.
We begged Liquid Therapy to teach us the rudiments of Chesapeake Bay fishing.
Red Ranger came with a good saltwater rod. A little rust, but that's acceptable. The clicker on the reel doesn't work, so there's no noise when a fish starts stripping out line. The reel was filled with what looks like 10# line. Brooke suggests we get new state-of-the-art 30# line. The newer lines are made from Spectra and are less slick than monofilament, so it's slightly easier to knot. Most good tackle shops can recycle old line, which is appropriate for that reel full of god-knows-how-old plastic.
Our little ¼ oz. split shot sinkers may have been fine for fishing on 6# line for crappers and sunfish in New York, but here in the Bay, we need proper 2 oz. weights. Our little teeny tiny 8 and 10 hooks, also, are right useless. The smallest saltwater hooks are 4's for croakers. Plus we'll need something larger for Spanish Mackerel or Rockfish.
For offshore, we need a 6/0 hook for our hand-line rig. An 8″ cedar plug, for example, should do nicely. Add to this a basic slab/spoon, and one of those lures that will dive. One issue with diving lures is that they often have clusters of treble hooks where just one is enough. Wrestling with a fish and multiple clusters of hooks is an accident waiting to happen. Brooke suggests cutting the extra hooks off; leave just the tail hook. The other issue is that if you are at the lure's speed limit they will sail back and forth and sometimes even jump out of the water, a possible mess if you're trolling multiple lines.
Brooke showed CA how to get the hooks out. How to keep ‘em alive in a bucket when you don't have ice. How to kill ‘em. How Descale. Gut. Rinse. Soak in salted water.
Brooke told us this dad was a big fan of soaking in salted water. Apparently, he claimed it helped clean more blood out. Brooke still does this, but he's not easily convinced that salted water does anything more than make the fish salty.
CA breaded them with corn meal and fried them in olive oil.
Croakers are bony little devils. But. CA's had her first Bay to Table exercise. Yes there was blood and guts. We only had an appetizer's worth of meat. But she fed us with her own two hands.
The hard part is keeping her away from the fishing kayak that Bass Pro sells. The Ascend FS12T in Sand, for example. We think a kayak might be handy so we don't have to launch the dinghy and the outboard everywhere we go. A fishing kayak with rod holders and a place to store some lures and tools would be the right kind of fun for her. Except. We don't really have a good place on board to stow it.
After tearing the main cabin apart for the last three weeks, it was good to put it mostly back together. We vacuumed, washed, and stowed. Everything is back in place for the time being. The cabin is back to normal. Sewing projects fill the saloon table instead of tools and sawdust.
The implication is that we haven't done much to the boat this week. After working so hard to get the chainplates out, we're kicking back and doing less.
We pressure-tested the new water pump.
The news is good and bad.
The good news is the pump works delightfully. Water pressure was high, the engine ran nicely.
The bad news is there there's a slow drip from the top threaded fitting. By itself, that's not bad news. What makes it bad news is that it's essentially impossible to tighten the fitting or add more Permatex.
The bronze hose-barb fitting cannot be screwed out of the pump without removing the entire pump from the engine. Sigh. It's possible that I can remove the lower hose barb from the pump, rotate it 90° and then unscrew the drippy upper elbow. Ugh. Maybe the raw water will deposit some sediment that will plug the hole.
Engine Hours: ½. Diesel Gallons: 0. Miles Run: 0.
Read Aloud: Mistborn Trilogy.