Our mission -- Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enter .. OOPS, sorry, I got carried away. Let me start again.

Our mission -- Warm Waters and Great Weather: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Motor Vessel Traveling Soul. Its five-year mission: to explore strange warm waters, to seek out new forms of recreation and new civilizations, to boldly go where no Brown, Applegate or Higgins has gone before.

Friday, October 26, 2012

As you may recall, our last blog entry ended with the sentence, “The next blog entry from Traveling Soul will be SOUTH of Virginia.” OOPS! That was, of course, the plan, but a couple of things have happened to slow us down. The first, as you might have expected, was the fact that the work on the boat didn’t quite go as fast as we wanted and expected. Second, there is this little thing called Hurricane Sandy that is holding us in place.
As far as work on the boat, several things were completed on time and within budget:
·         The cutless Bearings were replaced
·         The stuffing boxes were serviced
·         The hull was waxed
And two things took longer than expected:
·         Replacing the toilets
·         Repairing the generator
And, as I am sure you have already guessed, there was one unbudgeted, unexpected repair – fixing the Purasan (the on-board sewage processing system for the aft head). Read on.
The main reason we went back to Detaville was to have the cutless bearings replaced and the stuffing boxes serviced. I added the hull waxing because the hull was starting to look especially bad, because I was laid up with my walking boot and frankly, because I was too lazy to wax that whole thing. All of this went well. The waxing job isn’t perfect, but it did get all the major marks off the hull and the appropriate amount of applied wax to protect it during the up  coming adventure. For a little over ½ boat unit, it was worth it.
Then came the time (and money) consumers. I told you in our last entry why we were replacing our toilets. When identifying which toilets to buy, we wanted the new model to be as similar to the old model as possible. The old ones had, after all, lasted 20+ years – plus we hoped that the hose and electrical connections for the new models would fit right into the hose and electrical connections of the old ones. That would surely save time and money.
Or so we thought. (Here, you might hear a deep mournful sigh.) As always, there were issues. Somewhere between me identifying the model and Zimmerman’s Boat Yard ordering the part, we ended up with toilets that were almost the same as the ones we wanted, but the size of the bowl was different. We received the marine size bowl (built for very small butts), when we thought we had ordered the household size bowl.  The technicians didn’t realize the mistake (and there was no reason they should have) until after they had almost finished installing one of the toilets. That meant they had to re-order the toilets and take the completed one out and put the new one in. There was another issue. Apparently, over the years, there had been some ever-so-slight modifications to the new model, so while everything fit, not all of the connections matched up. Among other things, that meant we needed some woodwork done on the pedestal where the toilet sits and that, of course, meant a little more time and money.
Still, the toilets were installed by Friday the 19th, as we had hoped. But then we had to wait on the generator. It turns out that I was right that there was a small electrical issue (the preheat solenoid needed to be replaced), but I was wrong when I thought that was the ONLY problem. For the past several weeks we had noticed that once in a while when the forward bilge pumped out there was a slight sheen on the water – meaning, of course, that some petroleum was leaking. It wasn’t much and didn’t happen all the time so we weren’t too worried about it. As the technicians started working on our little electrical problem, however, they found that we had a fuel leak at the generator’s injection pump. (The reason the sheen didn’t appear every time the forward bilge pumped was that sometimes we had used the generator and sometimes we had not – it all made sense.) That meant we had to have the injection pump rebuilt. That, in turn, meant we could not leave on the Monday as we had planned, but would have to wait until Tuesday at least.
(At this point I should give kudos to Zimmerman’s. They knew that I was a l-i-t-t-l-e bit upset that we had to postpone our departure date. So, they made a special run to the “rebuild subcontractor” with the old injector and had the rebuilder come in over the weekend to finish the job. As it turns out we are STILL in Deltaville, but I do appreciate the effort.)
So, now it is Tuesday AM and we are ready are ready to leave, right? Hahaha! If it were only so easy!
 On Monday afternoon we decided to replace a chlorine cartridge in the Purasan. It is really a simple job, but as we were doing it we noticed that the old cartridge did not seem to have been used very much and that the inch or so of water that was supposed to be at the bottom of the dispenser was not there. Hmmmm ‘twas a puzzle. We checked the system and called the manufacturer. Hmmmm still no answers. But as we started looking more closely we discovered that the two tubes flowing into the dispenser (one carrying water in and one carrying chlorinated water out) appear to have been reversed. Now I had never touched this system so it had to be a mistake by the Zimmerman’s technician who initially installed them – last June. I called the Boatyard and told them that I thought their man had made a major mistake. They responded immediately, sending someone to take a look. Sure enough I was right. He spent about 4 hours (at their expense) fixing the problem.

Mike holding is nemesis -- the walking boot.
It is finally off!!

Now I’ll bet you are thinking, “Whew! Since they disposed of the Purasan problem Monday afternoon, they should have on their way Tuesday morning,” right? Hahaha! Oh ye of so much faith. When they re-routed the tubes into the dispenser, we discovered that the pump in the aft toilet (the only toilet we did not replace) did not have the oomph to push water up to the tablet dispenser, so the Purasan could not work. Now what do we do? We came up with three options. Option one was to take out and rebuild the pump. The trouble was that we didn’t know if that was possible. Option two was to trade out the toilets: un-install one of the new ones and the old one and change their positions. That would give us a new toilet and new pump in the Purasan head, and an old toilet in one of the Lectra san heads – and the Lectra Sans do not need particularly strong pumps. Option 3 was to forget about it and go with two heads. Having spent so much money on heads over the past several months, I didn’t want to go with Option 3.
I won’t keep you in suspense. Early Wednesday morning (Ann was still in her PJ’s and I hadn’t had my coffee yet) one of the techs came over, took the pump back to the Yard, rebuilt it and reinstalled it. We tested it and there was plenty of oomph in the rebuilt pump and everything seemed to be working well. Total time? About four hours. Although we had now missed our Tuesday departure, we were prepared to leave on Wednesday morning. All we had to do was talk to Zimmerman’s about who was going to pay for the repairs. They had already agreed to pay for re-routing the tubes as that was their man’s mistake. I suspected, however, that they were going to tell me that the pump rebuild and re-install were on me – as that had nothing to do with the initial installation. I can tell you that IF they had told me that, I would not have been a happy camper. I was pleasantly surprised when Zimmerman’s suggested that we split the time and materials for the rebuild. I figured that would be in the neighborhood of $160, but hey, it was better than any of the alternatives.
Okay, it is Wednesday morning and NOW we are ready to leave, right?? Hahaha! (I know some of you are wondering what all this hahaha laughing-stuff is all about. Well, as the pundit once said, “You have two choices in life: you can laugh or you can cry and, it's always better to be smiling.” I know that doesn’t sound like me, but in boating you have to be careful about gushing water. If we cried about all the “issues” that came up, the flow of tears would probably sink the boat.) Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon we heard that Hurricane Sandy might be coming our way. Several of the models show it heading off to Bermuda (which would still cause us significant winds), but one of them showed it coming right up the coast. So, on Tuesday afternoon we determined to take it day-by-day and see what that damn hurricane was doing before deciding to head south. We decide to do the same thing on Wednesday morning and again on Thursday morning.

We have been doing some of our own maintenance and other projects. We took possession of our dinghy on Friday the 19th. (There is a story behind the dinghy, but don’t worry I am going to skip it.)  Anyway, after playing with it a little bit – VROOM! VROOM! –  we had to make a cradle to hoist the dinghy to the second deck. Our dinghy has four attachment points for our cradle, so we got four thin, very strong, non-stretch nylon pieces of cordage (rope) and attached them to the dinghy and to the hoist. We then raised the dinghy, trying, through a process of trial and error, to keep the dinghy level as we raised her. It took us several lifts and a couple of hours, but we finally got it right. Then we had to go to West Marine and, using the cord as a template, cut and prepare four pieces of steel cable. Voila, right? Well, not quite.

Our dinghy with its new cradle in its new davit.

Although we could now hoist the dinghy, we need to put it into something when we raised it so it would stay in one place and not bounce all over. The Whaler had a davit and, while we knew the dinghy wouldn’t really fit, we were hoping that it might come close enough so we could jury-rig something that would work for us.  We THINK we have come up with something. Both the problem and the solution are too much to explain here, but if it works, we will be very proud. We’ll see.
We also cleaned the boat. I am generally responsible for cleaning most of the outside and, because of my splint, cast and walking boot, I haven’t done any cleaning since shortly after we arrived at Herrington North. The boat was filthy but between Ann and me, we gave it a pretty good scrubbing. It needs some more work and, depending on how long Sandy keeps us here, we may give it another cleaning.
We also changed the oil. I have been dreading the project for a month or more, but finally decided that I had to just do it. I still have to pull the five gallons of old oil out of the engine through the dipstick tube. But the real challenge and believe me it is a DIRTY job – is to change the oil filter. It doesn’t take long, but you have to unscrew the filter (which for some reason has a very smooth metal surface) with your extremely slick oil-covered hands while oil spills out of the filter and covers the sides. I now have a pair of shorts and a T-shirt that Ann calls my “oil changing clothes.” She didn’t get nearly as dirty as I did, but she was still a great help in getting everything done.
I know, I know, you are all thinking, “Hey, I thought this boating stuff was supposed to be fun! Haven’t you guys done anything but circulate money in to the economy and work?” Well, the answer is that we certainly have (I’ll get to that in a moment), but remember, we knew this was going to be a preparatory stop. And when we get to the Bahamas we will not be able to fix things – or to have things fixed – quite so easily. 

Steak, Lobster and champagne!
Celebrating the removal of  my walking boot.
Anyway, it hasn’t quite been all work and no play, as I finally got my walking boot off! In celebration, Ann cooked us steak and lobster. Mmmm! I do love lobster, oh, and steak too!
In addition, we have met some folks at the marina. Grover and Judy just bought a Nordic Tug 42 named Toucan. Although Grover used to be a boater, he got away from it for a time while he and Judy became RV people for several years. In August, they decide they wanted to become part-time cruisers – while maintaining their home in Tucson, AZ. For those of you who don’t know, that is where Ann and I met, went to High School and where our respective mothers currently live. Anyway, they had a rental car and took us to a place in Topping, VA called Merroir. They call the place a “tasting room,” in part because they have beer, wine and oyster tastings and in part, I have just learned, because they were unable to obtain certain site permits for a restaurant, so they are legally-obligated to call themselves a “tasting room” instead. You would have to see the place to believe it. It kind of looks like an old oyster house with some tables and chairs located on a large porch, and few picnic tables in the yard. The oyster boats are right next to the parking lot and the view of the Rappahannock is wonderful. The view, the food, the beer, the wine and good friends – what else could a guy want!!
Finally, as some of you know I have been involved in a project with the Carnegie Corporation. There are four of us who will be listed as authors, though some people did far more work than I did. My task, in addition to commenting on what everyone else wrote, was to write the introduction, including specifically a section on “net assessments,” and to keep the project focused on the net assessment approach – which was a requirement of the organization funding the project. (I know, most of you don’t know what the net assessment approach is. Of that, I am very glad because if everyone knew, I wouldn’t have had a job.) As you DO know (or can imagine) in any publication where academics are involved there is a cut-off date for changes, an absolute-cut-off-date, an absolute-absolute-cut-off-date and a TTIRMIAACUD (This-Time-I-Really-Mean-It-Absolute- Absolute-Cut-Off-Date). Well, on the Carnegie Project we have reached the TTIRMIAACUD. Actually, the TTIRMIAACUD is next Friday, so I am taking a day-long sabbatical to write this blog entry.
It is now Friday morning and we are still in Deltaville. It looks increasingly like we will be here through at least Monday and probably until Tuesday or Wednesday. The real question is what will Sandy do? Will she swing north or hit closer to our temporary home? To find out, you will have to tune into our next blog entry. We will try to publish it before we head south, but in any event, we’ll let everyone know how we are doing.
ANN’S NOTES:   I guess it is my turn to put my two cents worth in the blog.
I keep telling Michael that boaters do not … repeat … do not have plans. We have INTENTIONS. As you can see intentions can change very quickly when you have to deal with repairs and weather.
We did get a lot of work done over the past few weeks. This boat is very big when you start to clean all the little marks with a Mr. Clean magic eraser. Michael does all the decks and I follow behind and do the detail work. I was glad that is was a cooler fall day and not a hot, humid Virginia summer day.
I have stated before that almost everything done on a boat is a “two-person” job. Luckily Michael and I work rather well together. Getting the dinghy on the second deck is a good example of working together.  Jury-rigging the cradle was a full day job. My poor body has black and blue marks in some very strange places! Lying on the deck under the dinghy and adjusting blocks of wood may explain why I have those marks. The bottom line is we got it done!!!
I   have had my first experience of being ill on the boat. I had been fighting what I thought was a sore throat and a nasty cough for about a week. Finally on Monday the 22nd, with what I thought would be an eight day cruise ahead of me, I went to a Dr. Kauffman walk-in clinic / office. It turned out that I had a sinus infection … Yuck. I am now taking an antibiotic and Robitussin…plus a few codeine pills at night to stop the coughing. The codeine pills I had on board … Dr. Kauffman told me to use a Neti pot and hot showers, I am doing both but I have to tell you that the codeine pills work much faster.
I also joined my new friend Judy in a local Yoga class, it was good to get some “girl time” in and the teacher was good. Not as good as MY Yoga teacher, Rixie, but still I had some mat time and that felt great.
I guess that is all for now … we just have to wait out hurricane Sandy and than our Intention is to head south …
Traveling Soul … OUT

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Around the Chesapeake (28 September - 15 October)

Another afficianado of the Harriet Tubman Foundation singers.
Actually, we are not sure where he came from,
but we gently removed him and placed him ashore.
 You may recall the while we visited Cambridge, MD we were tied up at the public dock, which is just outside the Dorchester Country Administration Building. Well, about 8 AM on Friday, just before we started to leave, members of the Harriet Tubman Foundation began forming up in the parking lot of the Administration Building – which coincidently was outside our port side windows and portholes – for their annual walkathon. Now I wasn’t a big fan of the speechifyin’ that went on; I could have gone without the Pastor’s comments, the Mayor’s speech and certainly the mini-rally for President O’bama, for example. But they also had a couple of Gospel singers from one of the local churches – and I am here to tell you that those ladies could sing!! I am not much of a Gospel fan, but when they have beautiful voices and they are belting out that Gospel music about 50 feet from your breakfast table – while you are drinking your morning coffee, of course  – man, that ain’t too bad!
After coffee and the morning serenade we left Cambridge and headed to Oxford, MD. (Now some of you might be wondering why Maryland has two boating towns so close together named after two of the most famous universities in the world. Well, I think that is a very good question and I haven’t a clue. (If you find out, please let me know.) Oxford has a limited number of anchorages. The most convenient is inside Town Creek and which has a very short dinghy ride to town. We went into the anchorage, looked around and decided that we really didn’t like it very much – there wasn’t much swing room and the water was a bit shallow – so we decided to go to the next little cover over, Flatty Cove. Flatty Cove has reasonably good protection from the south, east and west, but not so much from the north – and while we were there, the wind was from the north. Luckily, it was only 10 – 12 knots and didn’t cause us much of a problem because the holding was so good. The only challenge we had was that it was a little over a mile to town by dinghy and we weren’t quite sure how much gas we had.
This picture was taken from the park in Oxford, MD.
It is so artistic that I think we should copyright it.
I know, I know. You are expecting me to tell you we ran out of gas. Haha! Well, the joke’s on you because we didn’t! In fact we glided right into Town Creek and to a gas station. We did discover, however, that notations in Active Captain and other publications notwithstanding, there was not a public dinghy dock on Town Creek. So, we talked to the bartender at Schooner’s and he let us use one of the small slips the normally keep for customers.
Oxford officially marks 1683 as the year of its founding because in that year it was first named by the Maryland General Assembly as a seaport. Actually, however, the  town got its start between 1666 and 1668 when 30 acres were laid out as a town called “Oxford” by William Stephens, Jr.  By 1669 one of the first houses was built for Innkeeper Francis Armstrong. Oxford first appears on a map completed in 1670, and published in 1671. In 1694, Oxford, and a new town called Anne Arundel (now Annapolis), were selected as the only ports of entry for the entire Maryland province. Until the American Revolution, Oxford enjoyed prominence as an international shipping center surrounded by wealthy tobacco plantations.
A couple of centuries later, though, Oxford became something of a bedroom community. Yes, it has a small recreational marine industry with a couple of marinas and boatyards, but there are not many touristy shops, like there are in St. Michaels – and like Cambridge would like to have. In fact, there probably aren’t more than half a dozen stores in the whole town, including a convenience store and a book store that specializes in mysteries. They do have a very nice museum with several interesting exhibits. Did you know, for example, that prior to the Civil War the Maryland Military and Naval Academy was in Oxford? In addition, there are also a couple of restaurants, the aforementioned Schooners being one. At this point you are probably wondering why we went to Oxford. “It may be a nice place,” I suspect you are thinking, “but surely there are other places on the Bay to visit.” You would be right except for one thing: the Robert Morris Inn.
Now the Robert Morris Inn isn’t one of those typical Bay restaurants where the view is more important than the food. While it certainly is not the best restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay and maybe not even the best on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I am here to tell you that they make some awesome crab cakes. (I’m sorry, in re-reading that sentence I am not sure I conveyed the real deliciousness of those crab cakes. They were absolutely, positively, no-doubt-about-it GREAT.)  Anyway, The Robert Morris Inn has both a Dining Room and a Tavern, neither of which have a waterview. Instead they rely on strange things like the quality of the food, the excellence of the service, the quaint ambience of the room, and yes, just a little bit, on the price. By that I mean that – while it ain’t cheap – neither is it THAT expensive. In fact, if you will remember the last time we reported on great crab cakes, it was a result of our meal at the Narrows, on Kent Island. Ann and I agree that the Robert Morris Inn has better crab cakes – AND the price is less. (At the Narrows it was $37 for LUNCH crab cakes; at the “Inn” (as the cognoscenti call it – I have always wanted to use that word J  – the price was $27 for DINNER crab cakes.)  I kind of like writing about the Robert Morris Inn because as I do I can almost taste the crab cakes again. Sigh.
Well, after Oxford we weighed anchor and pointed the bow south. The first day we went 65 or so miles, arriving at Smith Creek, at the mouth of the Potomac, about 3:30. It was about five miles up the river from the Bay proper, but it looked to us like it was the best anchorage in the area – and we didn’t want to have to go another twenty or so miles before dropping the hook. Anyway, the anchorage was nice and very well protected. In fact the next day we went out to the Potomac and found it to be a bit rough – with a little chop and 2-3 foot seas. But in Smith Creek, we hadn’t even noticed it.

Tell me this isn't a great picture and a wonderful anchorage. It was on Smith Creek, just off the Potomac.
Our night at Smith Creek marked a milestone of sorts. We had now spent 8 nights on the hook without going into a marina. That would not have been possible without our watermaker. It faithfully produced about 30 gallons a night, and we used only about 40 gallons per day. Although we might not be able to stay our indefinitely (we do need this thing called “fuel” occasionally – but I won’t know how much of that we used until we fill up in a week of so) the watermaker has given us a lot of flexibility.
As I was saying it was a little rough on the Potomac and, for the first part of the morning, on the Bay. The forecast called for 1-2 foot seas, but (once again) the meteorologists were off. It was 2-3 feet minimum, with an occasional four footer rolling in. Since we are almost always prepared for 2-4 footers, the seas didn’t bother us and we continued our journey south. We ran through a rain shower or two then turned east up the Rappahannock. It was about 20 miles or so from the mouth of the river to Urbanna, VA where we intended to stay three days.
Urbanna is kind of a quaint little village that Ann and I both like. The Nimcock Indians first settled what would come to be known as Urbanna.  The Nimcocks (the word means “Indians who live in towns,”) lived in huts within fenced-in villages designed to thwart attacks from other tribes. In 1649, Ralph Wormeley patented 3,200 acres on the Rappahannock, including the lands that the Nimcocks had cleared for their settlement and crops, forcing the tribe upriver.  Landowners like Wormeley established plantations on Virginia’s navigable rivers, which they used as private ports, shipping tobacco directly to market without the inconvenience and expense of going through an official port of entry. The 1680 so-called “Acts of Assembly” passed at Jamestown changed all that. They ordered local officials to establish 20, 50-acre port towns, at a cost of 10,000 pounds of tobacco each, through which all trade would take place. One of these towns was a small part of Ralph Wormeley’s “Rosegill” Plantation that would, in 1705, be named Burgh of Urbanna, or “City of Anne.” The town was named in honor of England’s Queen Anne.

Within Urbanna there are a dozen or so touristy shops, a coffee shop, eight or nine restaurants – including one inside a drug store that looks exactly like a 1950s era soda fountain – and one decent grocery store. But what makes Urbanna a special place for cruisers is that everything is within walking distance; you don’t need a car. While walking around we found the last “saying” I wanted for my “saying wall.” It is from the children’s book Wind in the Willows and goes:

Believe me, my young friend, (said the water rat solemnly), there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing … nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy and you never do anything in particular …

Kenneth Grahame
Wind in the Willows

There is another good thing about Urbanna. We sold our dinghy!!!! Now why are we so hung up on our dinghy. Well, as I pointed out during our time in Marathon Key last year,

“For cruisers, the dingy is the equivalent of the family car. It is the vessel you use to do everything from going grocery shopping to picking up friends who come to visit. Now, our dingy is a really cool 20 year-old, 11’4” center console Super Sport Boston Whaler with a 30 HP outboard; on the dingy circuit it can be basically described as a classic overpowered sports car. Moreover, like many other things on our boat, cosmetically, it has been very well cared for in that it has a well-varnished teak console and seats, as well as a highly-polished chrome steering wheel. Everywhere we go, people comment on the coolness of our dingy. The problem is that we need an SUV, not a sports car. Our dingy, for example, can only carry three people; our visitors usually come in pairs, making it necessary to make two trips to and from the shore; we can only carry a limited amount of groceries; we can’t use much more than ten of the thirty horsepower.”

So what was wrong with our dinghy? I thought I had explained all that in an earlier Blog entry, but after looking through the archives I can’t find it. Basically, there are two problems. We store our dinghy in its davit on the second deck of Traveling Soul. The Whaler weighs around 600 pounds, so we don’t muscle it up and down, instead we use a winch – and you know about the problems we have had with our winch. When the winch isn’t working, we simply do not haul the dinghy up and down. Even when the winch is working, however, the weight is a problem. While our winch raises and lowers the boat, we have to employ muscle power to push the Whaler from side to side. Basically, to raise the dinghy from the water to the second deck, we have to move the empty crane arm so it is extending over the starboard side of the boat, lower the cable about 20 feet and hook up the dinghy, raise it using the winch, then, using muscle power (and a specially created block and tackle apparatus which gives us about a 4:1 mechanical advantage), move the crane arm back to the center of the boat – while it is holding this 600 pound dinghy – so we can lower the Whaler into its cradle. Now moving the dinghy to the center of the boat when there is no wind is challenging, but doable. When, however, we get wind in our faces, that damn boat is tough to move – with or without our block and tackle apparatus.

Our last glimpse of the Boston Whaler.
She was a beautiful boat.

There is another problem with the Whaler. Rather than bring it up on deck, sometimes it might be easier to tow the boat from one location to another. But it has only about a foot of freeboard (the distance between the water and the boat’s “rim”). If we are towing it in our wake and there is any chop on the water at all, we are afraid we would swamp the boat.

The RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) we are buying weighs about 300 pounds (with motor) so it will be substantially lighter than the Whaler when we try to move the crane to the center of the boat when redeploying and raising it. Moreover, in the front the AB dinghy has about 2 feet of freeboard, making it more difficult to swamp. In addition, the Whaler has a maximum capacity of three people, where the RIB we are buying has a capacity of five; the Whaler requires us to keep her teak polished and shined, while the RIB does not. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Now the Super Sport model Whaler that we had is very desirable to a lot of people. There are folks who buy them and fix them up – just as other people might do for sports cars – and resell them. We got almost two-and-a-half boat units for ours and there were a couple of potential buyers willing to step in and give us good money (though not quite as much) if the original deal went south. Though that is substantially less than the cost or our new dinghy it is a decent price for a twenty year old boat with a twenty year old outboard.

After Urbanna we took the boat to Deltaville and left it for some work to be done. This time we had:

·         Cutless bearings replaced. Cutless bearing encircle the propeller shaft both where it leaves the hull and where it is supported by the struts. So, since we have two shafts, we have a total of four cutless bearings. The last time the boat was out of the water, the technicians at Zimmerman’s told us that our cutless bearings are worn and that is why we felt a bit of a vibration around 1400 RPM. We decided that before we headed south we would have the cutless bearings replaced. That time has come.
·         Stuffing Box serviced. The stuffing box is a casing in which material such as greased wool is compressed around a shaft or axle to form a seal against the ingress of water. It is used, for instance, where the propeller shaft of a boat passes through the hull. Most stuffing boxes allow a small amount of water to drip into the bilge. Ours is a “dripless” stuffing box which makes it better, in some respects, but needs occasional maintenance to ensure that it continues to keep out the water.
·         Two toilets replaced. What can I say? Toilets are toilets. On boats, they (apparently) never work very well. (Note: these are the toilets themselves, not the Lectra Sans. The Lectra Sans are processing systems, the toilets are … toilets. The Lectra Sans appear to be working well.) Anyway, marine toilets have a pump that brings in seawater to flush the toilet. The pumps on two of our toilets weren’t working very well. Although you might think that it would be less expensive to have the pumps repaired, we are beginning to think that when  you add the labor costs, it is often less expensive to replace the major end item rather than individual pieces of the systems.
·         Generator repaired. Our pre-heat solenoid and our fuel injector, apparently, weren’t working properly.  Although the more I think about the problem we had, the less I am sure that they diagnosed the issue correctly. I will have to double check when we get back to Deltaville.
·         Hull waxed.  Because my foot is still in a cast, we have not really cleaned the boat since we arrived in Herrington Harbor last June; it has gotten pretty dirty. Moreover, Traveling Soul has not been waxed since we have owned her. Since I am not going to be able to wax her while she is out of the water (which is the best time to do it), I went ahead and splurged – and spent ½ of a BU for a hull wax job.

While the boat was out of the water we spent time with our Virginia kids and grandkids, and with our friends Dave and Joan Wolf. We also spent the week pre-provisioning our boat and going to the boat show. We had to be careful about pre-provisioning AND about the boat show as we needed to get all our “stuff” in Dave and Joan’s car – as they were taking us back to Deltaville. In the event, we did buy quite a bit of stuff – and it all fit!! Coming back, we stopped at CoCoMo’s, which it a Bay Bar and Restaurant in Deltaville and you know what? It wasn’t half bad. If we come back next year, we’ll definitely give it another try.

ANN’s NOTES: It has been a busy summer… we have had a lot of family and friend time. We also have had all our medical check-ups and procedures done. Michael is excited about not having to wear that damn walking boot … it comes off on Thursday the 18th… champagne will be poured that day. I will have extra time in the morning when I don’t have to strap/Velcro him into the boot any more.

I have to admit that when we leave I will miss the wonderful chill in the fall Virginia air. Fall and Spring are my favorite seasons…followed by winter and then summer. I know what you are thinking, why do I head south for the winter? Well … that is the direction my floating home is going and my husband. Besides what is not to like about traveling, adventure and having friends/family visit.
I am happy to be back on the water and going again. Spending eight days without the support of a marina was fun. Having the ability to make your own water is amazing … add some water conservation to the mix and we are really independent. Now if we could only make our own fuel …

As Michael told you we delivered the Boston Whaler in Urbanna … I was a little sad to see her go … you must think I am crazy but she was a nice ride and a pretty little boat. Just too heavy to launch and a strain on the winch system we have. She went to a good home, a sixty foot Hatteras.
We get our new ‘car’ tomorrow and I can’t wait to drive her!!!

I want to thank Tim and Carrie (son and daughter-in-law, more daughter than in-law) for all the help in making this summer fun.  Sharing their time and keeping our computers running. Also for having such beautiful grandchildren and allowing us to spent time with Caylin and Gavin. We also could not do what we are doing without the love and support of our other family, Dave and Joan Wolf.  I cannot express how much they do for us, their home is always open to us and they have put many more miles on their cars – taking and picking us up from where ever we may be. Thanks you both very much and we love you always.

Next blog entry from Traveling Soul will be SOUTH of Virginia.
Stay tuned and thanks for reading.
Traveling Soul…OUT