Monday, November 28, 2011

Oil lamps, good wine, and great food. Another night at home. It doesn't get much better.

Into the Wild

Another example that shows how far we are from San Diego. Not only did it rain twice last week but we were almost attacked by a killer rabid fox.

Ok, so maybe we weren't almost killed or in any real danger at all but I was startled a bit. This little guy was hunting in the rain for some moles or something at the waters edge right next to the dock. I don't think I will get used to all the wildlife here. Last night we were driving home and a car coming towards us flashed his brights a few times. I automatically thought there would be a cop car parked around the corner and slowed down to the approved 25/mph speed. I drove around the corner and didn't see a cop at all. There were 5 white tail deer just hanging out next to the road eating grass. I feel like I am in the jungle. I think the only wild land animal I ever saw in San Diego was a rat. Seriously. There aren't even squirrels there.

ps. San Diego has loads more marine life than Annapolis does. I haven't seen any fish or anything here yet. In SD there were sea lions and seals everywhere. Sometimes we even had dead flying fish in our dinghy in the morning. I am sure there are fishes here but they have been hiding so far...

Monday, November 21, 2011

I've Been Keeping a Secret

We have been living with refrigeration for the past couple months. I know many of you will think that this lowers our 'bad-ass hard-core live-aboard' status, but that's ok, it's awesome. We were never planning to cross into the cold side but it happened. One of our friends was clearing out his storage locker and had a Waeco cooler style frig that he needed to get rid of. It is a few years old but was only used for one cruising season. Seeing as we are such great people, we decided to take the unit off our friends hand for a very reasonable price. It has been great keeping things cold without having to keep ice in the ice box. There is really only one drawback to the unit and that is that the buttons get stuck sometimes. However, I have been told that in the newer models of the same frig unit they fixed the sticky buttons and replaced them with a streamlined digital read-out. Anyway, now that we have it, I can honestly say that being able to make our own ice was worth every penny we spent on the thing. Yay! Don't judge us; you know you like ice in your drinks too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's Cold

For the third night this week the temperature has reached a blistering 30 degrees Fahrenheit (that's -1 degree Celsius for everyone else in the world that didn't grow up in the USA). It was freezing, quite literally. We are set up reasonable well for cold weather. We have 5 oil lamps that we use every night for light and a Force 10 propane heater. The first night for dinner we were warm and dry. However, we don't ever sleep with our Force 10 going as it is a pretty decent fire hazard. By the time morning came it was down right frigid in our cabin. After the second night of going to bed warm and waking up cold we went to West Marine and bought a portable cabin space heater. (West Marine Link here) We bought it on sale and I think it cost around $80 with tax. I cannot say enough great things about this heater. We have had the heater just over a week now and it is amazing. For the past 3 freezing nights we have been warm and cozy snuggled up in our v-berth.

Temperature  inside our boat after we bought the heater.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Back Creek

We took our skiff across the creek from the marina over to the other side of the harbor last night. It just so happens that there is a dinghy dock right outside of a great local watering hole. This is the view of the full moon rising from our skiff on our way across. You can just barely see the Chesapeake Bay bridge through the haze in the background. This town has such great access to bars and restaurants via the water, it is amazing!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Snug as a bug in a rug

In the travel lift waiting for launch
She made it. Our dear Ellen Louise is currently sitting snug in her slip in Annapolis. She arrived on Wednesday and we have now spent our first night on the boat. I can't express the amount of stress that was lifted off my shoulders the minute she hit the water. It feels soo good to be 'home'. It is weird to be sitting down below with the lamps going strong and look up out the windows and see leaves. It is crazy that just a week ago we were staring out at palm trees.

Last night it rained and it was the first time we tested our newly bedded windows for water tightness. They worked perfectly and not a drop made it inside the boat. It is going to take a while to get used to the cold, damp, wetness that seems to never end here but we are having fun. I'll tell you more about the fun parts soon.

Splash! No leaks and a dry bilge. Couldn't ask for more.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Slaughter Across the Water

Moving to the East Coast is tough. We cried and complained when we left San Diego but I have to say that Annapolis has been great. Since we have been here we have eaten 36 oysters and countless Dark & Stormy's. I love being in a town where every restaurant has a raw bar and every bar stocks ginger beer*. It is such a great area for sailing and eating and drinking for that matter. On our second day here we happened upon an annual tug-a-war festival. For anyone not familiar with the area- the Annapolis Harbor has two distinct areas: Historic Annapolis and across the harbor is the Maritime Republic of Eastport. For many years Eastport has been trying to declare their independence from Annapolis as it's own independent town. Somewhere along the way they all started an across the harbor tug-a-war to declare something... not quite sure what the winner gets but it is good fun either way.

We showed up as the first team of tuggers was starting. There is a long line that stretches across the harbor and about 30 people on either side tugging and pulling. There are three or four rounds and finally someone is announced the winner. Ironically, this year the tug-of-war was officially declared a tie. Anyway, there was a great band playing, lots of beer flowing, and plenty of oysters to eat. All and all; a great first week in town. I have to say, I couldn't ask for a better first week in a town. I am looking forward to many more great times here in the Chesapeake...and lots more oysters to eat.

Bushels of oysters

View across the harbor. The line goes the whole way from here to the other side of the harbor.

30 people to a pulling team.

The Eastport Oyster Boys 

EDIT: I heard later that Annapolis was declared the official winner so they must have had a tie breaker or something that we missed. Either way, just wanted to clarify that I have no idea who actually won or if it even matters...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bronze Polishing

I may have overestimated my motivation to polish bronze... oh well. It will look good once it's finished.

Removing the chrome and polishing our bronze port holes 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Good to be Home

I know I haven't been very revealing about our reasoning for moving back to the Chesapeake Bay but I can tell you that it has been amazing to be close to family again. We have been spending time together and eating some gourmet meals (thanks to M) and drinking just a little too much. To say the least it has been stressful and hard but at the same time a happy time to be thankful for everything and everyone in our lives.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

She's Gone

After a week of waiting and stressing our Ellen Louise is finally on her way to the other side of the country. The load went reasonably well with no major problems. We had been wondering how much she weighed and our best guess was around 16,000 lbs. Well, she weighed 17,300 lbs with everything we own inside her so I think my estimation was spot on.

Anyway, we fly out this afternoon and the next post I write will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Naked Boat

We are still here. I know you must be wondering why I have not yet posted photos of the move, well, it's because we are still in San Diego. The trucking company delayed our truck three times and finally it is coming. We will load the boat to the trailer this afternoon and fly to Annapolis tomorrow. This whole process has been a bit crazy and a bit unnerving but we have made it though with out killing each other. The boat is all packed up with everything we own and the mast is unstepped. We taped our hatches and lazarettes for added protection from the elements. Everyone we have talked to says that since the boat will be moving around 70 mph that it basically will have to deal with gale force winds for 7 days straight. Fun. Anyway, today is the day and now all we have to do is sit and wait....