Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Storms of November 

(from a couple of years ago)
The Storms of November* - Our fiercest winds usually come in November.  But not this year - November was a lamb...  a chilly lamb, but a lamb.

But we were not spared.  Instead, it seems that the storms were only delayed, until December.

As my physical condition slowly improves, we have been spending the occasional night aboard Eolian - This weekend we had planned to spend two successive nites, Sunday and Monday.

(Now I must digress slightly.  When we have strong winds in Anacortes, they almost invariably come in from the southeast.  With our slip, this means that Eolian is pushed back and away from the dock.  Normally this is a good thing, because we are not grinding the fenders between the hull and the dock.)

When we arrived on Sunday, the winds were in the teens, gusting into the 20s.  With some difficulty, we were able to pull Eolian over to the dock so that we could load our stuff and board.  But we made it.  The nite was windy, but we both slept well, knowing that the boat was safe.

On Monday we planned to drive to Bellingham.  But the winds were up even higher, gusting into the low 30s.  It was everything I could do to get her over to the dock so we could debark.

We did our thing in Bellingham, as the wind continued to rise.

By the time we got back to the marina in the late afternoon it was literally screaming.  Out at the end of the dock, I estimate that it was steadily in the upper 30 kt range, with gusts into well the 40s.  The gap between Eolian and the dock was as wide as ever, but there was simply no way that we could have moved her close enough to board, especially given my enfeebled condition.

So with discretion being the better part of valor, we retreated back to our Camano Island home, and left Eolian to fend for herself, alone.  We built a fire and enjoyed a glass of wind.  And I felt guilty for having left our girl to fend for herself.

The wind laid this morning, and we drove back up to Anacortes.  Eolian was fine with no damage.  We were able to board, perform our normal shutdown duties, and retrieve our "stuff".

And the weather forecast says another storm is coming this evening...

* Apologies to Gordon Lightfoot


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Aboard Again!

Sunday was a beautiful, sunny, calm day - a good day to reboard Eolian for the first time because the wind wasn't holding her way off the dock...  she was snuggled right up against the fenders.

And we spent the night aboard, ending the longest hiatus away from her since we acquired her way back in 1997.

I still have quite a ways to go before we could consider taking her off the dock, but that's ok - we normally wouldn't do that this time of year anyway.

So...  its good and getting better!

Here I want to say thanks to the boating community for all the support, concern and help I’ve received over the past months.  It is wonderful to be a part of this community!



Friday, November 2, 2018

Magnets, Again

Swallows are such graceful and skilled fliers - they are a joy to watch.

But when we kept our O'Day 25 in a marina on the Chesapeake it was too much of a good thing.  The marina was host to a huge flock of swallows who, it must be admitted, feasted on the clouds of mosquitos, keeping them at least somewhat in check.

But all that consumption had a resulting consequence...  Each time we visited the boat, it was absolutely completely covered with swallow exhaust.  For us, that meant that after driving the entire width of the state of Pennsylvania, with two tired kids and carts full of food, etc...  Dad had to get aboard the boat and spend two hours hosing off the swallow exhaust.  It was discouraging for all involved, to say the least.

At Shilshole Bay Marina, there was a big flock of some kind of small black bird that pretty much left the boats alone.  Well except in late summer and fall when there was some kind of purple berry ripening on the bluffs above the marina.  Then they would migrate en masse to some boat out in the marina, presumably randomly chosen, to dump their combined loads of purple exhaust.  Like everyone out on G-dock, we were the occasional recipients of this largesse.

Wait... weren't  we supposed to be talking about magnets, somehow... right?

Bird exhaust on boats is not a problem constrained to the Salish Sea.  Even half way around the world, in New Zealand, the problem exists.  With a world-wide problem, you'd think that someone would have come up with a solution by now.

Well, it just may be that someone has.  The list of things that seem like they should work, but actually do not is long and varied. And, it seems that Viki on s/v Wildwood in New Zealand has tried most of them, to little or no effect.

Until she hit on magnets.  Yes, magnets.

I'm not going to steal her thunder; it's her story to tell - read it here..  My purpose is to make her story known, and to ask whether others have tried her solution, or are willing to.  But as a teaser, here are two pictures I linked to from her blog post:

One week after cleaning; no magnets

One week after cleaning, with magnets


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New Eyes, New Beginnings

One of the marks of a great artist, or a great writer, is that they can look at a scene or situation with new eyes, even tho they may have experienced it a million times before.  It is that ability to see instead of just looking that is the great divider.  I know people who have this ability, but it is a rare commodity, making these very special people indeed (yes Sarah Gayle, I am talking about you).

I do not have it.

As a consequence, it is difficult indeed for me to see living aboard, or sailing, or boating in general with new eyes.  If I have addressed a subject once before, it is hard indeed for me to find something new to say about it.  And after 10+ years of blogging about life on board, I need to find my "new eyes".  Thus the dearth of recent posts.

None of this has been made any easier by my recent health problems - problems that have kept me off the boat, for all but one partial afternoon where I was required to literally crawl aboard on my hands and knees, since the end of July.

But I have had the surgery, and I am regaining strength in my legs.  And hope has replaced resignation.

I believe that once I sleep aboard again, I will get those "new eyes"  because I will have a new beginning.  There will be more, and more frequent posts, written at the desk aboard Eolian.

Fair winds, following seas, and calm anchorages to you.


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