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

  • Interior Work: Galley and Portlights

    CA bought a magnetic knife holder to put with her refinished cutting board.

    Getting the backing plate away from the magnet is not fun. You have to commit to pulling them apart without wavering in the least. If you hesitate, that piece of steel will take chunks out of your …

  • West River Sailing Club

    This is a set of chores we take on with joy.

    WRSC Dock Repair
    Every six months, we do another 20 feet

    This is the WRSC dock.

    A long, long string of wood and plumbing and electrical.

    The idea is to rip out pieces each year.

    Since becoming members, I've helped with a …

  • Faucet and Propane Regulator

    Plumbing — water, sewer, propane — is all pretty simple. Until it leaks. Then it's a right pain in the ass. Leaks can be difficult to diagnose. It's not always a good idea to tighten things down harder. Sometimes over-tightening breaks something else.

    Neither CA nor I grew up with propane. Not …

  • The Built-In Cutting Board

    CA likes having countertop she can use directly. A loose cutting board on a moving boat is a liability.

    The Whitby has a nice cutting board built in the top of the refrigerator.

    sander and cutting board
    CA sanding the cutting board

    This has consequences. Mostly it means having any ingredients that need chopping …

  • Leaks and the Wrong Goo

    There are two important classes of chemicals. Goos and Lubes. Goo to make things stop. Lubes to make them go.

    They each have specialized purposes. It helps if you know what you're doing. And in some cases, you learn as you go. This is one of those lessons learned.

    The …

  • It was cold — we fixed things

    Broken Bar Door
    Broke the plastic catch, lashing it shut

    Two weeks ago, I broke the catch of Red Ranger's bar.

    Thus lead much swearing. And this clamp-and-webbing catch.

    The clamp holds the webbing. The webbing holds the bar.

    It's a shabby necessity. A "jury rig."

    There are two choices. Replace the …

  • Home Handicrafts — Seizings

    CA cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned.

    It rained much of the weekend.

    I managed to drill out four screws and remove one of the mast steps to make it easier to put on a sensible sail cover. There's more to report here in the long run. For now, let me …

  • The Thing from Below the Foredeck

    We're tortured by The Thing from below our foredeck.

    Darkness on Deck
    The Dark Malevolence

    Like a malevolent toad, squatting on deck, it stares at us in the cockpit.

    In rare moments of lucidity, my partner's gibbering includes claims it rose from the chain locker, smelling of charnel horrors, and cold as the …

  • Cambridge and the Autopilot

    The West River Sailing Club cruising group ordinarily has a half-dozen cruises throughout the season. We were away, living in Nevada for some of the sailing season. With a pandemic, a cozy get-together is not a great idea. So, a cruise was a surprise.

    Some folks from the club decided …

  • Bedding

    The Whitby sleeps 6 (sometimes 7, depending on your saloon.) It seems like a lot of owners live in the aft cabin, and use the saloon and V-berth for guests.

    The aft cabin is designed to have two widely-separated bunks.

    A lot of couples sleep athwartship. One person is aft …

  • Labor Day

    Instead of taking a break to honor the Labor Movement, we worked.

    Some of it was wildly successful. CA washed down the entire deck. It's amazing how much grime accumulates when you're not actively using the boat. CA uses ammonia once each year to gently wash the teak toe-rails. We've …

  • Cleaning and Sailing — Part 2

    Yes, we have left the dock. Here's the cockpit, heeled over in 10-15 kt of wind. Beam Reaching down Herring Bay.

    Red Ranger Cockpit
    Looking a little more ship-shape

    And here's the view out on the water.

    Boats on the Bay
    Boats on the Bay

    Sun. Wind. Boats.

    We got our reefing lines and lazy jacks squared …

  • Cleaning and Sailing — This is the life

    All the dishes, freshly washed

    The galley is finally starting to feel like we live there again. We spent four days aboard; I did my day job from the boat using Herrington Harbour's WiFi.

    CA has cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned. And investigated stuff we hadn't looked at in years …

  • Outboard Fix

    Our Nissan/Tohatsu 2-stroke outboard is (with some care) still going strong. Early on, we broke a thing called a lift bracket.

    rusty bracket
    The rusty old motor-lift bracket

    It's part of the frame on which the outboard motor hangs on the transom of your dinghy. Studying the drawing, it seems to …

  • Zincs (Sacrificial Anodes)

    Having dissimilar metals in a salt water environment has consequences. Life-or death consequences. The galvanic current flow means your metal bits are dissolving. There are some clever tables providing details on how "noble" each metal (and alloy) is. The "Galvanic Series" and the "Anodic Index" show you what's happening to …

  • "Recommissioning"

    What's required to get Red Ranger ready?

    Cleaning. After over a year of sitting empty, Red Ranger is very dirty. So far, the galley is clean enough to cook in. The cockpit is now clean enough that we can start to look at the heads and berths.

    Water. The port …

  • Software Science Project

    Sailboat mysteries are bad. Knowing how everything works is sort of the point. And knowing how everything works may also be life-or-death.

    The electronics on Red Ranger can be split into two groups:

    • Portable. This includes phones, iPad, computers, watches. A hand-held VHF radio.

    • Fixed. This includes the two chart …

  • Red Ranger Prep — High Heat Index

    She's been on the hard for about a year.

    We had emptied every battery container (except one.) We had opened every locker and drawer.

    We'd even disconnected the vent fan for the Air Head composting toilet. The only thing left on was the bilge pump. On the hard, she takes …

  • D+5 — London, OH, to McLean, VA

    We're not "home" yet. We still have to move in.

    But we're in the neighborhood. And tomorrow we'll finish this.

    The south-eastern corner of Ohio, a tiny sliver of West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania, and Maryland provided some scenery.

    East Coast Greenery
    Working through the Appalachians

    Much of today was a winding, hilly road …

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