Hello from Spa Creek in Annapolis, MD! If you read what we went through last week you’ll know we were in a conundrum with repairs to our steering system. We are glad to report that the repairs are done and it is all back together! I had new steering cables made and picked them up on Tuesday. Sharon and I spent most of the day yesterday putting the Idler bracket and pulleys/sheaves back into place and connecting it back to the rudder with the cables and it all went well – albeit it a long and hot day. It was a sweltering 93 degrees, but thankfully there was a breeze that helped a bit. It took a number of times to get the bracket in and the pulleys aligned but we did the best we could and think it will work well. It was by no means an easy task, but we did very well working together and just taking in slow and easy getting everything set. We hope to do a trial run of the steering system by taking a little trip up and back down Spa Creek this weekend just to make sure it’s all set. When you deal with cables you have to take into consideration that they can stretch a tad and settle into place. We may have to adjust the cable tension after we see how it responds, but hopefully it will all stay in place – it certainly should.
The other big thing we accomplished was that we installed new AGM batteries in the boat this morning. I had put new batteries in the boat about five years ago just after purchasing it and I just wasn’t sure they were holding the charge as well as I wanted them to. I methodically (Sharon calls what I do quite obsessive) write down the battery voltage each night before I go to bed and then when I get up the next morning (and yes, I have the figures from each day over the past year written down and in a spreadsheet – anyone have a problem with that?! J) and it seems like they haven’t been doing quite so well lately. It could be because we haven’t been traveling and running the engine up to higher RPMS over longer periods of time, or the fact that it’s been so hot and the fridge has to work harder at keeping things cold. But I was able to find a pair of Lifeline batteries here in town for a great price so I took the opportunity to get them in order to not have to worry about the batteries over this next year. AGM batteries are different than flooded batteries (like in a car) and are dramatically heavier. The batteries each weigh 162 pounds, so it was a job getting the old ones out and the new ones in. I was able to get a hold of a friend, John Rogers, who was on the Sail to the Sun Rally with us last year and lives here in Annapolis and he came with his pickup and gave me a ride to the store with the old batteries and then back with the new ones. He was also kind enough to come with me to the boat and helped me get them back into the boat. Thanks, John!
Other than that we have been getting some of the smaller things done around the boat. I got both our propane tanks refilled, re-painted the depth markers on our anchor chain, and Sharon did some provisioning and got some laundry done. I also ventured out on the bus to the Annapolis Mall on Monday and traded my old iPhone 6s Plus in for a new iPhone 11. The camera on it is amazing so you should see some better photos in the future!
We have gone a couple of times over the course of our visits to Annapolis to a local church called Downtown Hope. It has been a great church to connect a little with and is thankfully only a short walk away. Sharon met a wonderful woman at the church last year, Heather Fowler, and in reconnecting with her and her husband, Charley, this year we were able to have them out to the boat for dinner on Tuesday. It was a great evening!
This afternoon we had another couple, Bill and Julie, we met here a year ago over to our boat for Happy Hour. They are living on their Endeavor 42 sailboat and over the past year we had seen them again in Georgetown, SC as well as way up north in Maine. The name of their boat is Jubilee II and as they are also headed to the Bahamas this fall we are sure we will see them again.
We look forward to having a quieter and much more relaxed weekend as frankly we’re sick of working on our boat! I may actually go to the Annapolis Power Boat Show tomorrow while Sharon enjoys some quiet time. The Sail Boat Show is next weekend but at this point we’re not sure we’re actually going to stay around for it. Tomorrow we will have been here two weeks, and we’re getting the itch to start moving again. The Sail Boat Show is a week later this year, it’s usually the weekend before the Power Boat Show, and since we really don’t have anything we’re specifically looking for we may leave next Wednesday or so. The weather is cooling down and there is rain projected for Monday and Tuesday, so Wednesday is looking good to leave. But we could also decide to stay for the Show. We’ll see. We don’t want to get too far south too early as there is still some potential for hurricanes, but it would be good for us to get on the go again and just take short hops down the Chesapeake. We’ll let you know what happens!