Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Back on the Boat

As you probably guessed by the dearth of blogging, Dawn and I have been off Windbird for the last month visiting family in Minnesota and the Dakotas, in addition to me flying several long international trips. We're back on the boat now, though, and preparing to head north to NYC and Long Island Sound on a 2-week minicruise. Our departure has been delayed by weather, namely Post-Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten that Would've Been Named Irma churning up the eastern seaboard. The rain stopped tonight and the north winds should die in the morning, so we're planning to leave Deale tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning.

Dawn's mom Marg drove back from SD with her, and will be accompanying us on our cruise. She's flying out of Boston in about a week and a half, though we can change her flight if we get delayed much further. It's her first time seeing Windbird, and we're excited to share a little of our cruising life with her. Yesterday (Monday) we showed her around Washington DC, and today we went up to Annapolis.

While we were gone, I had our HF radio tuner tested at Burghardt Radio in Watertown, SD. It turned out to be the apparent culprit to our HF not transmitting, with damage consistent with last year's lightning near-strike. So we ordered a new autotuner, I installed it yesterday, and then today I called into the Chris Parker show...and got no response. So disappointing, but possibly just RF interference here in the marina. We'll see.

I went around with Garmin a bit on finding a solution to our malfunctioning GWind wireless transducer and finally asked to just have it replaced with the wired version, and they agreed. A Gwind wired pack was waiting when we got back to the boat on Sunday. I planned on installing it today (Tuesday) but it was pretty rainy so I'll work on it tomorrow before we take off. It'd be nice to have working wind instrumentation. It should be a fairly easy install as we already have a GND-10 networked into our N2k network; all I have to do is fish the Nexus cable down the mast (we have a pilot line) and through our cabin ceiling.

Our neighbors John and Trina on Next Place (a 2007 Valiant 50) are possibly coming with us up to NYC. I'll be fun to buddy boat with someone again. If everything goes right - a big if - we'll make it all the way to Windbird's old home of Quissett Harbor in Woods Hole, Mass. It's a gorgeous area and Judy Handley lives a few miles away in Falmouth. Even if we don't make it that far, I'd like to make it to Newport, RI. Judy could meet us there, Dawn's mom would be able to get to Boston to fly out, and it's the "other" U.S. sailing capitol besides Annapolis. But as with so much else, it all depends on the weather. After a slow start the hurricane season really got going in dramatic fashion this week; we're keeping a particularly close eye on Invest 93L.