Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy

Well, we survived Sandy with no discernible damage and consider ourselves very lucky. After Irene last year and the flooding, all of Colington was holding their breath. And after watching Lagniappe, our Catalina Capri 22, almost go down in the storm then, we were more than a little nervous about SeaClearly.
We do have a better pier and slip configuration with tall pilings (not attached to the pier). But still, she weighs in at a healthy 28,000 lbs. Push on that with tropical storm-force winds and - well, you don't want to get your fingers, arms or other body parts in the way.

We added extra lines, put on the old sail cover and tied it down, removed the Bimini top and connector, lashed down the boom, secured the furlers at the drums. Closed all seacocks, disconnected from shore power. Checked, double checked, triple checked. 
Ready and waiting for Sandy


We left the Wind Generator in operation. The manual says it is so smart that it will shut itself down if the wind gets too high. So, we thought, let's see just how smart you are.

The wind and rain started on Friday. And. It. Just. Kept. Going. Like Irene last year, it got to the point where you just wanted it over. We had constant winds in the mid 40's. If you haven't seen constant winds that means they never let up. They might gust higher but they never go below mid 40's. It is never calm, quiet or peaceful for days.

 We had gusts over 70 mph and still had winds over 40 mph through all day Tuesday. We were feeling very sorry for the poor Weather Channel girl that got the Outer Banks assignment.

Stop shaking the house! Stop blowing my boat over to those ridiculous angles! Stop pushing water into/out of our canal! Just go away! Oh no, she is going to hit the pilings again! Put on rain gear, run out into the hurricane and tie her down! Climb onto the wildly pitching boat - OK, this was mostly just because we wanted to get on the boat. We wanted to check on her. We had one or two small hatch leaks. Not bad for rain and wind like this.

Our preparation and on-going efforts helped avert the minor problems. We were fortunate not to suffer any catastrophies (like lines breaking, pilings pulling out, rigging snagged, headsails shredding or other boats breaking loose and ramming into us - as examples of the things Junie and I imagined would happen).

Wind Generator - thinking.

The Wind Generator performed exactly as advertised and kept our batteries fully charged throughout the storm despite having to run the bilge pump more than a few times (rain water - but that's another story). And it was entertaining to watch as it would peak out, brake itself, re-check the wind and go again. Pretty cool.

For all of our worry, we were all fine. Maybe a little stressed and exhausted. Actually, SeaClearly didn't seem too stressed. Neither did Roux. Nothing got broken, nobody got hurt. No floods. We had power, TV and internet the whole time. The ocean side of the Banks took a pretty bad shot this time and lost some houses, some beach. It is going to take a while to dry up.


We were much luckier than the folks up the coast to the north. Their damage is horrific. Our hearts go out to them.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I have been reminded that I am long overdue for a new post - so, here ya go!
It's been a couple of weeks since we got back from the 2012 Annapolis Boat Show. It was a very cool  long weekend. We got to drive a Container ship, mowed down a sailboat that got in our way, met some fellow Cabo Rico owners, got two highly sought after books (signed by the authors), spent a chunk of our boat funds - and never got on one boat at the show.

Junie bringing a Container ship into San Francisco
So. First, the Container ship. Through one of Junie's many 'best friends' that she meets on airplanes, we got hooked up with MITAGS - the Marine Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies. It is a training campus for Merchant Marines, captains, boat pilots, etc. They have, among other things, a very sophisticated simulator system. It is like a big 360 degree IMAX theater for teaching boat skills. Absolutely amazing.


We got to play with several different boats but the most educational was driving the Container ship. We got to see, first-hand (virtually) just how slow such a large ship responds.

Which is how we ran over a small sailboat that suddenly appeared half a mile ahead. Once you start trying to turn this ship, it is several minutes before anything happens. As our guide pointed out, the most useful tool the boat captain has at that point is the horn. We will give these guys plenty of room.



On to the Boat Show! We have been going for several years now but this time was really different. Since we won't be buying anymore boats - ever - we spent all of our time tracking down pieces, parts, safety gear. We spent 2 solid days in tents, comparing prices, asking questions. Aimee, you wanted a story about pirates. Well there were some there. Mostly in the marine electronics booths.

View of the Annapolis Boat Show from Eastport

In the evening we met up with some folks from the Cabo Rico users forum that we had been communicating with via the web. It felt like we already knew these people. Had a great dinner, shared stories. One of the guys, Thierry, has the CR42 built just before ours. He took us aboard one day. Really interesting to compare the subtle differences.

And the books. I am sure that everyone already has Lee Chesneau's 'Heavy Weather Avoidance and Route Planning' and Chuck Paine's 'My Boat Designs' but do you have signed copies? Ha!