It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for six weeks already. It’s even harder to believe that in another week we’ll start slowly moving south. Our travel plans have been a bit topsy-turvey since Isaias messed up our timing, but we think we have a rough outline now.
Originally we were going to drive up to Connecticut for medical appointments while we were docked in Cambridge, but we had to reschedule everything when it was clear that Isaias was going to show up while we were away. With appointments moved to mid-September, the next plan was to leave the marina a few days early and park the boat on a mooring ball in Annapolis while we were gone. Then we had the bottom of the boat cleaned last week and based on the report from the diver, our hopes of getting another year out of our existing bottom paint were squashed.
So now the new plan is to leave the marina even earlier and head down to Norfolk to haul out. We’ll keep Pegu Club on land while we’re in Connecticut and when we come back we’ll put two more coats of a different bottom paint on her with the hopes that THIS time we can go two years before hauling out again.
Given how active hurricane season has been it’s probably going to be a bit too soon to head further south when Pegu goes back in the water, so we’ll explore the lower Chesapeake until we’re comfortable with the idea of moving on.
So what have we been doing for the past six weeks? Candidly there has been a lot of loafing around, but we’ve also been taking care of small boat tasks.
Routine maintenance had to be done, so Jeff took apart the windlass for its annual cleaning and inspection, and we disassembled the lower part of the roller furler. We finally cleaned the dinghy bottom (ugh – what a job – we should have asked the diver if he wanted to make some more cash by cleaning the dinghy), and the primary and secondary fuel filters were changed in preparation for this season’s travels. We’ll do the rest of the every-250-hours-maintenance when we’re in Norfolk.
After two years of full-time travel a few items gave up the ghost this summer. Our USB charger died so another one was installed. This is our second replacement now with the first one lasting only four months, so we ordered a spare for the inevitable future replacement.
Our Balmar battery monitor also died – just a few weeks after the warranty expired of course – which we were not happy about given it’s initial cost. We briefly debated installing another battery monitor but decided simply to remove it and go without for now. By this point we know what our battery and charging loads are like, so we’ll just check the batteries monthly with a multimeter. I don’t think we’d risk it if we didn’t have Firefly batteries, but they have 100% lived up to their advertising.
We discovered our galley sink drain assembly was leaking as we were installing another fire extinguisher that was sitting in a cabinet. This led to the discovery that the assembly was stripped so after a quick trip to the hardware store we put in a new one.
We also took care of a few small “someday” projects: We bought a $20 endoscope on Amazon to inspect under the floorboard near the mast to make sure the creaking sound we’ve been hearing isn’t something we should be concerned about (fortunately it’s not); we tightened up some electric cables that were hanging down a bit too loosely; new dorade vents were installed to replace the one that was accidentally knocked off of the boat, immediately sinking, several months ago; the starboard navigation light – which has been troublesome since we cut the dock lines almost two years ago – now has a new socket and lens which hopefully means it won’t need to be repaired every few months from now on; we ordered a smoke/CO2 detector; and Jeff has been diligently plugging away at the brightwork. Pegu is going to look SO spiffy when he’s finished!
It sounds like a lot, but really no individual project took a lot of time. The relaxation to work ratio has been very much in our favor this summer!
All in all it has been a good stay in Cambridge. We’ve enjoyed spending time with our cruising friends, the marina has free loaner bicycles so it’s been easy to pedal down to the grocery store or the hardware store to pick up the things we can’t simply order online and have delivered, and it’s been nice simply to stay in one spot for awhile.
That being said, we’re ready to get our third cruising season under way. We’ve been kicking around a few ideas for where to go and how to get there, all Covid-dependent of course. Stay tuned.