Frank's Blog - Yes, Finally
Getting Underway Again - 7 November, 2016
Another summer has gone by. It was a great summer, really. I taught a lot of classes, did a lot of maintenance on the boats that the school I teach
for (Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship - shout out!) and did some maintenance on our own boat - mostly repairs of stuff that went
kaflooie over the months.
We had actually decided to sell Rockhopper and transfer to a trawler. Since Suzanne's back injury precludes us from doing any offshore sailing
unless the ocean is a millpond, we spend most of our time motoring around. I sail all summer, but we travel like an RV going down the Interstate at
6 MPH. So, if we were going to act like a powerboat, we might as well get the advantages of a powerboat.
Didn't work out. Although we love Rockhopper and feel she is perfect, there are not a lot of people out there who feel the same way about a boat
that is almost 40 years old. We wanted - needed - to get out of her at least what we paid for her. We figured the hundreds of thousands we had
spent on her were sunk costs, but she should at least be worth what we paid for her. Nope. Only saw ten people all summer. Literally hundreds of
people looked at her on-line and told us she was beautiful. But buy her? Nope - sorry.
So, we stay aboard and, to be honest, that is not a bad thing. We know Rockhopper and she knows us. We share a bond and that bond is
important - built over ten years worth of life together.
Anyway, it is time to go south again. Well past time, actually, but I still had work to do and as long as there is work that pays, I take it. But today,
that work is finished and we are underway again.
We are headed for Annapolis. This is becoming a tradition with us, we get underway a little later than normal on the first day and we head to
Annapolis. The first time this happened, we had to stop there to do a little repair. However, it gave us the opportunity to 1) get our sea legs back
after months at the dock, 2) test the boat systems out without worrying about going too far and 3) allow us to brush up on skills that might have
gotten a little rusty over the summer. So, this year, we planned it this way. We got started around 1100, after taking four hours to get everything
stowed and secured. Then, a run out of Langford Creek, down the Chester and back up into the Chesapeake Bay.
We run with RADAR on, even though it is sunny and clear. Actually, we are running with RADAR BECAUSE it is sunny and clear. You have to run
with it on in clear weather so that we can know what things look like on the RADAR screen when we can see them. That way, when it is not sunny
and clear, things on the RADAR screen are not so mysterious.
Finally, at 1530, we pick up mooring ball #40 at the Annapolis City Docks. I put two lines on the ball, on to hold us and one to back the first one
up. We shut the engine down, turn off the electronics and look at each other.
We are underway again.