Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cruising World

We haven't gotten to see it with our own eyes yet, but apparently a photograph I took last year in Gloucester, MA made it in this month's Cruising World magazine!

I didn't get top prize (darn - a nice pair of binoculars would have been awesome!) but it's still neat that it made it in there, especially because I had no idea they were going to put any of them in the magazine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks the passage of one year since we got married at Round Lake in Michigan. It has been a very good year and we are both happy to have made it so happily to the one year mark. One of our wedding gifts last year was a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast in the Berkshires. Hence, part of our blogging absence has been due to the fact that we spent a couple days last week at the Berkshire 1802 House near Sheffield Mass. It was very nice place to stay for our one year celebration. The landscape is beautiful there and we got to go for a hike at Bartholomew's Cobble. The B&B served a great breakfast, and the old house had a nice feel to it. I think for us one of the best parts was having air conditioning and as much running water as we could stand. That sure felt different!

Speaking of a/c, it has been HOT here. The picture above is Willie's typical pose these days: panting. I think we've only had one day below 90 F since before we hauled the boat out. We did get to go for a nice evening sail early last week. It is always great to get out in the harbor on a Tuesday afternoon. Nobody else is on the water then and it provides a much calmer more relaxing experience. More like sailing should be.

Our haul out and bottom painting made all the difference in the world for Madrigal. I had begun feeling like we had this slow old antique sailboat.... we could only motor at about 4.5 kts, and when under sail power, even in 15 kt winds we could only get going about 6 kts SOG. It was miserable. The motor back to home from the boatyard we hauled at: 7.5 kts! It was a amazing. Truly, truly amazing. Our sail on Tuesday afternoon drove home the point of the importance of a clean bottom. It was gusty out, probably 12-15kts sustained with gusts up in the mid twenties, so we didn't even bother putting the main up. We just wanted to relax and stroll around anyhow, so we just unfurled the genoa. Lo and behold, even beating against the wind with only a headsail we never dropped under 5.5 kts. We mostly sailed around 6-7 kts the entire time. It was AWESOME.

Anyhow, Happy Anniversary to us. I'll be in New Hampshire doing some archaeological digging for the next week, and then we hope to be able to get out and do some sailing with our newfound speed in the following weeks.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Just one more day...

Here we are, still on the hard. It's been a long and arduous journey to get where we are now...

Ok, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. I blame the heat. It's been roasty toasty since we got here (upper 90s, 100s, etc.) which means the average temperature in the boat during the day has also been upper 90s, 100s, and even 105 on Wednesday. Turns out, I'm a baby when it comes to this kind of heat without having the option of going swimming.

sanding sanding sanding...

blisters ground out and drying in the heat...

Good news though - we are bottom painted and ready to go back in the water! In fact, we were ready to go in this morning but (as our luck seems to have it) the workers aren't here today. This worked out fairly well, as I have a load of work to do and it gave me all day to work on it and Justin cleaned up the boat which is very nice.

Friends are a fabulous thing, and Mike (aboard Gaia) returned from his 621 day cruise a few days ago and was kind enough to help Justin paint the bottom of the boat on Wednesday. In his ever adventurous behavior, he attempted to sail here with his newly aquired sunfish, but realized he might never make it here in time as the winds weren't in his favor. He instead took the ferry from Boston to Quincy and it's a short 1 mile walk from the ferry stop to the boat yard that we're in. The painting was quick and we were free to hang out, have some nachos, and just enjoy the evening. It's very nice to have Mike back in town.

Gaia in Boston Harbor

Oh! Speaking of Mike...

We hung out with him for the 4th of July. We didn't really have any plans aside from "let's hang out with Mike." So we went to Gaia and decided to go visit our friend Mark up the Charles river for the big fireworks. We wanted to let the blisters on the hull air out a bit anyway, so it was a great day to take off and have some fun.

Long story short - we found Mark and climbed aboard. There was a ton of food...tasty food. We were settling in for the fireworks when suddenly there was a knock on the hull from ~6 kayakers and canoers, asking if they could raft up to us. What a funny thing, yet not entirely surprising. I think there were at least 17 or 18 people that ended up climbing aboard (with baked goods, no less...they were prepared!) and hung out with us for the fireworks. A good time was had by all, and as soon as the fireworks ended we all climbed back in the dinghy and spent the night on Gaia. Willie was with us too - he loved the dinghy, hated the fireworks. I think overall, he was happy to have gone :)

A few of the canoers and kayakers.

Didn't get a chance to take photos of the finished bottom yet. That'll be the next post!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

sanding, painting, etc.

We slept on the boat last night while on the hard. Not sure if they wanted us to, but they knew about it and seemed fine with it. I had strange dreams of the boat tipping over, people boarding the boat, etc. Sadly, I sleep better at anchor. It should be the other way around.

The marina power washed the hull this morning around 10:30 and I was surprised at how long it took - maybe 45 minutes or so.

As soon as they were done, I grabbed the dustless power sander and got to work while Justin ran to Constitution Marina to pick up our friend Mike, who is helping with everything.

It's now after 5pm and I'm about 1/2 way through with sanding, but am utterly exhausted. The guys had lots of projects to do too, and it looks like we'll be here for quite a few days because we discovered we have a few blisters in the hull that need attending to. I'll finish the sanding tomorrow. For the rest of the evening, I have some indexing to attend to.

ugh. Blisters.

Anyhow, a couple of pictures of our progress.

Justin and Mike

holding the entire boat up with my head.