Winter Scene So Familiar

Still winter days are some of the most beautiful; they excite me. The greys, the browns… the reflections in the water… just divine. I spent many winter days out on Stony Brook Harbor in my youth on my 12′ aluminum skiff, clamming, exploring, enjoying the serenity of winter on the water. I still love it. Despite the lure of the warm tropical climate in the winter, the New England winter is so special, especially on the water, and I’m happy to be here. Some more shots of my “neighborhood”… (and yes, that is my ‘lil tree de noel from last year!)

Published in: on December 19, 2007 at 10:25 am  Comments (3)  

The Return Of The Conestoga Wagon

It’s Back… and better than ever. Nearly 50º here today, after a slushy snow/frozen rain/sleet combo yesterday. I took advantage of this fine day to erect the winter cover. I had the local sailmaker install another zipper on the starboard side, since I’m starboard side to the dock, and the water depth prohibits me from spinning around. Also, recalling my slightly depressing, mostly dark wagon experience last winter, I had her install 2 clear panels in the roof section to help bring in light and hopefully some warmth from the sun. And of course, repair a few of the rips and tears. Simple but time consuming, the cover went up today, and is all done except for some lashing lines which I’ll run under the hull tomorrow. This weekend is forecasted to bring us a ‘lil Nor’easter… I’ll be nice and snug.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 5:43 pm  Comments (1)  

Mastless, The Bunk Diet and Smaller Is Better

One thing I like… self sufficiency. The Nor’sea 27 was built for self sufficiency. The mast lowering system is truly a beautiful work of art-ful engineering. I got the mast down, de-rigged and ready to carry off the boat. Then I went and found a few helpers. So nice to not need to waste people’s time.  I love the ease of handling everything on this boat – it is indeed such a sweet machine. Notice also in the second pic below how PERFECTLY the Radar and reflector fit into the bow pulpit when the mast is down. Everytime I do this,  I get a kick out of that.

I’ve been sleeping forward lately, which I think I mentioned earlier. But here’s a pic of that situation, it’s narrow, comfy, but narrow! Well, sorta comfy… actually, I’m really surprised I can sleep through the night on that ridiculously skinny mattress. I haven’t fallen off yet… c’est incroyable!

Published in: on December 10, 2007 at 9:04 am  Comments (3)  

De-Rigging With A Canon

Beautiful day yesterday – got the boat de-rigged and ready to lower the mast today. I’m in a pre-mo spot for lowering the mast. A bulkhead in front of the boat, will facilitate easy maneuvering once she comes down. To remind myself of a few details, I reviewed my mast raising video from last year – what a silly video, that isn’t very helpful.  Got my new Canon EOS Rebel.. to replace my MIA Nikon D40. I’ll get a chance to compare the two. They are virtually the same, except the Canon is 8MP while the Nikon was only 6MP. So far, I miss the Nikon. The Canon makes alot of noise when you shoot a pic, and I haven’t figured out how to turn that off yet.   

Published in: on December 9, 2007 at 8:55 am  Comments (2)  

The Frozen Spray and The Flung Spume

He who hesitates is frozen… but all is not lost! I’m here. Home is where the boat is. And that’s Maciel Marine in Vineyard Haven. Had a fun (in the loosest sense of the word) trip over yesterday from Oak Bluffs. It’s only about 5 miles or so. It was a cold December morning, about 25º, and the wind was blowing NW 15-20kts. Not the ideal day, but I had a bridge opening to catch. I figured if I kept the kero heater fired up, I’d be able to duck down to the cabin and warm up on occasion.

Check Out The Vid on Youtube!

And the webcam at the new dock.
Which is pretty darn handy !

Published in: on December 7, 2007 at 10:01 am  Comments (1)  

Permanent Winter Home

Finally got into Maciel Marine, thanks to Nat Banjamin going over and vouching for me. It is a nice protected spot and I’ll have shore power, which will be real luxery. Condensation has been brutal with just the kero/diesel heater. Far more than I recall last winter, so I guess the electric heater helped dry things out substantially. I should be tied up there tomorrow. Had to make a special call to the bridge tender to schedule a bridge opening to get me into the Lagoon. Here’s an arial of about where I’ll be… in case you need to find me. 

Published in: on December 5, 2007 at 2:56 pm  Comments (1)  

Winter Living Aboard: No Shore Power, No Problem

I think I can do this without shore power. The 12v fan I bought yesterday works great. Cabin was up to 88º last night…. tropical! However, I woke up to 32º this AM. And that is the concern… but I think I can tolerate jumping out of bed, firing up the heater, and getting back in bed for 15-20 mins until the cabin gets up to 60º or so. I think with some more insulation and the winter cover to block the wind, I’ll be able to make it through the majority of the night even on the very cold nights. Fun Fun!

Published in: on December 4, 2007 at 10:12 am  Comments (2)  

Snow on the Deck

Yeah it snowed last night. First time poor Chamois has seen snow on her decks. I felt bad I didn’t have her under her winter cover. She was cold, I could see her shivering. But it didn’t take long to melt the snow off the deck once I got the Force 10 heater fired up. I’ve been running it on diesel, and I’m quite pleased. Seems to smell less than the kerosene does. Burns just as well too. And that means on less fuel type to carry.

I’ve also found that sleeping on the settee in the main salon isn’t all that bad. It’s narrow, but  I slept just fine last night. And I didn’t have to bother with dismantling the table, inserting it, and dragging out the cushions to fill in the center area for the forward double bunk set up. So, this might be a viable solution for winter this year if I can’t find any electricity… which is turning out to be more of a problem than I anticipated. I’ve basically abandoned the aft cabin for now. I expect to do alot of baking this winter… baking = heat 😉 Oatmeal, M&M, peanut butter Cookies last night.

I have spoken to alot of people regarding dockage and power in Oak Bluffs, and the story I get is the same. Docking is a free-for-all, anyone can use an available slip, but there is no power. The town shuts it all off, and no one can do anything about it. I bought a 12v fan today to help circulate all my wonderful diesel heat, and hopefully get my toes a little warmer. Hopefully I’ll find a permanent home soon and erect my winter cover.Ramble… still no pics… boring. 

Published in: on December 3, 2007 at 4:57 pm  Comments (3)  

This Is What a Post Looks Like When…

your camera get’s stolen, cause you left it at the cafe for 45 minutes accidentally while you went to check your mail and hang out with the guys at G&B.

No pics. No pix pix pix pix pix pix. Nose pick.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 9:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Too Many Choices, Too Few Decisions

I have too much freedom. Imagine such a thing… I could just about take my boat and my work anywhere. But I can’t figure out where to go! Trés bizarre. Of course, it’s not quite that simple, there are personal considerations and many reasons for not just sailing off into the sunrise… So in my quest to find a suitable winter home (I’ve narrowed my choices to: Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, or Long Island)… I took the first step in an unknown direction and moved the boat to Oak Bluffs, where I can step ashore. There’s no shore power, and I’ve already been told I can’t keep the boat here for the winter by a passerby, who seemed to think she knew ALL. So, we’ll see what comes of it. But I must say it was lovely to get out for a little ride ’round the corner. I would love to just hoist sail and go somewhere… the itch itches… it’s not even February yet — AND I just got back from a delivery. I’m also kind of into the idea of winter sailing. I’m only marginally concerned that its just about December and I have no clue where I’ll be for the winter. I secretly hope I’m forced to move the boat to either Long Island or Boston… just for the sake of a trip! (wait, is it still a secret then?… and anyways thats kinda like getting married just for the wedding.)

I also got my new smaller solar panels wired up. They fit so much better… properly proportioned for this boat.

Published in: on November 29, 2007 at 10:15 am  Comments (2)