Saturday, December 19, 2015

Let the winter projects begin!

Yes, the basement is still a mess. No, not everything I've taken off LIQUIDITY has been stowed. No, not everything I've taken off LIQUIDITY has been taken out of the car!

There's been some progress: I've done some pre-storage triage, setting aside items that need attention and/or minor repair. In that regard, I've spliced a new dock line eye, and repaired/replaced two whippings.

Minor as it is, I managed one fun little crafts project: crafting a sheath from a well-worn sheepskin slipper that had seen better days. Folded in half, the vamp is just the right size for my knife, I used the original rawhide lacing, and the original holes in the vamp made it super easy to stitch. Matching eyelets on the back provided attachment points for the belt look. Picture shows the companion slipper and the finished product.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We're on the hard!

I completed the haul form last week... okay to haul anytime after the weekend. Tuesday morning came and so did the call from the Marina office. Liquidity is on the hard.

The season ends as it always does, with unloading remaining gear, winterizing the boat, and a winter cover of white shrink wrap plastic. At the same time, we begin the countdown toward Spring 2016: It's already November, so December, January, February is short, then about two more weeks and the cover's cut off! (Is the 2016 edition of Eldridge out yet?

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Summer Vacation

Okay, so it's actually OUR summer vacation, me, L and Bear, away for a total of seventeen days. It didn't all go according to plan, but it all worked out. The log looks something like this:

Friday, August 7 - Boston to Scituate, sailing half and motoring half. Relatively uneventful except for the phone call that L was needed in New York.

Saturday, August 8 - L disembarked, got a ride back to Brookline and then drove to New York. Bear and I departed late morning in order to time the current change at the Canal just right. We had a nice little breeze, a broad reach, just light enough that we needed to motor most of the way. We did hit the Canal on time though and had an easy transit, continuing on to Red Brook, where we anchored at Bassetts Island.

Sunday, August 9 - Showers forecast, with a gusty North wind (to 25 knots). Perhaps a great breeze for a sail to Cuttyhunk, but single handing with Bear on board, I opted for another night at Bassetts. The sail to Cutty would be easy enough, less so grabbing a mooring alone in a big breeze. The great nightmare would be getting to Cuttyhunk and finding no moorings in the pond; not a problem usually, but with a North wind I didn't want to be outside!

Monday, August 10 - Bear and I had a nice sail to Cuttyhunk. No rush, and lots of moorings available when we got there.

Tuesday, August 11 - RAIN. Not rain, RAIN!!! The challenge was finding the lighter, drizzly parts for taking Bear ashore. Otherwise, a long day inside.

Wednesday, August 12 - L is on her way back to Boston, and Bear and I left Cuttyhunk for New Bedford, in anticipation of a Thursday morning rendezvous. It was a great 10 mile sail, on a beam to broad reach the whole way.

Thursday, August 13 - The bus from Boston to New Bedford was on time and L was back on board. With no wind, we motored back to Cuttyhunk.

Friday, August 14 - With L just starting her vacation, we stayed in Cuttyhunk pond, walking and exploring beaches.

Saturday, August 15th - Got through to the Menemsha Harbormaster on the second try and managed to wrangle a mooring reservation. Through Quicks Hole and across Vineyard Sound, sailing about half.

Sunday, August 16th -  Lots of walking in Chilmark. Lots!

Monday, August 17th - Stopped in to see Everett Poole, of course.

Tuesday, August 18th - Time to ride the current to Lake Tashmoo, an easy ride on a broad reach. We did take note of the Coast Guard patrol, advising us to keep our distance from the beach, a reminder that is was both our vacation week and Obama's.

Wednesday, August 19th -  Too relaxing to leave Lake Tashmoo!

Thursday, August 20th - Okay, how about one more day.

Friday, August 21st - Heading home now, back across Vineyard Sound, through Woods Hole, and back to Bassetts Island.

Saturday, August 22nd - This was the first sailing day in the rain, and even then, just a light drizzle. A little breeze would have been nice; it's a long way on the motor to Scituate.

Sunday, August 23rd - Last day... FOG! Less than a quarter mile visibility, increasing a bit as the morning went on, then closing in again inside Boston harbor. Go figure.

For as long as we were away, we made fewer stops than usual, excluding the side trip to New Bedford, of course. Wind was light for most of the trip and the sailing wasn't great, but with long stays in port, it was very relaxing. No complaints.

Best quote of the trip, overheard on Squid Row in Menemsha: "Any day you're here to complain about is a good one." Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Peddocks Island - 1st overnight getaway of 2015

The season's been slow to start, with a long winter, damage at the marina, and a cool spring. Seems like everyone is four weeks behind, but catching up.

That said, we're back from our first long weekend on LIQUIDITY. We stayed over Friday night, sailed to Peddocks Island on Saturday, anchoring in Perry Cove, and returned yesterday. Light air going, but a nice 10 knot East wind coming home!

Peddocks is always a delight... a bit of roll in the anchorage from passing boats but that settles down in the evening. And since most of the passing boats were small, their wakes were fairly gentle. 

As always, a delightful sunset over Boston as viewed from Perry Cove. The wake up scene wasn't bad, either.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tomorrow is March 1st. What's on tap? More snow!

Over the near twenty years that I've been sailing LIQUIDITY, I've pretty much honed my seasonal routine. In particular, my pre-launch, spring routine is pretty simple:

  • Take off winter cover, buy sandwich and soft drink, climb on board, have lunch, go home.
  • Wax and buff hull
  • Service sea cocks
  • Touch up or paint the bottom and boot stripe
The calendar for all of the above? Cover generally comes off mid-March, and everything else is finished the week before tax returns are due. Launching while April is still in single digits has always been my goal.

So, with two weeks to go until "Take Off The Cover Day," the marina looks like... THIS:

Seriously, the only land in that picture is what you see in the background. What's in the foreground are the docks, slips, pilings, and finger piers at the west end of Marina Bay. That, starting in about five weeks, is where the boats go!

I'm going to ignore the forecast that's calling for more snow Sunday evening into Monday. With two weeks to go, my plan (at least for now) is to stick with my well honed spring routine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In January, we do the best we can

I stop sailing in October, and by Thanksgiving, LIQUIDITY is under wraps for the winter. Holidays aside, December is spent sorting gear in a less than perfect triage: save for next year, hold aside for repair, toss in trash, sell on eBay, recycle at a gear swap. That brings us to January.

The cover comes off LIQUIDITY in March. February is the boat show. January, squarely in the middle. So, with sailing three months behind me and three months ahead, I've done what sailors for centuries have done in their free time; I (figuratively) picked up pencil and paper, and wrote verse after verse after verse of lyrics, all to the quite well known rhythm of Blow the Man Down.

Given my propensity for volunteering on The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and given the notion that "blow the man down" is a bit violent for the 5th graders who walk the deck of our beloved sloop, the chorus was changed up a bit. The tune though, is easy to write to, easy to sing, and as I said, quite well known.

If you want to try a practice verse, this is among my favorites:

Music's more fun when it's done with a crowd... Way, hey, hauling away...
If you can't sing on key you should sing really loud... Hauling away on a Clearwater day!

Having never before performed in public, or at least not since chorus in 7th grade at Walt Whitman Junior High School in Yonkers, I wasn't sure about actually performing a shanty. My new found hobby was writing them! But, then came the invitation to Clearwater's "Open Boat" pot luck and song swap, in Kingston, NY, coincidentally on my birthday and conveniently located near family willing to provide overnight lodging. So...

Have as much fun watching as I and select members of the Clearwater crew (past and present) had singing. The lyrics were written specifically for Clearwater and condense about 500 years of Hudson River history down to less than four minutes. It's bad acoustics, off key singing and cell phone video; it will look and sound better if you join in and sing as you watch!

Friday, January 2, 2015

It's 2015 already!

See how fast non-sailing season is going? Thanksgiving is gone, Christmas is gone, New Year's is gone. So I'm thinking there's St. Patrick's Day, Easter or Passover depending on your inclination... wait... that's pretty much it!

Okay, so I left out Valentine's (or is it Valentines') Day. Also a couple of three-day-weekend holidays, which are more about vacations than whatever we used to celebrate, so I'll ignore those.

We're down to just two more check marks then!!! See how fast non-sailing season is going?