Heading Out from Baltimore

We’re leaving Fells Point on a lovely, breezy morning.  There are about 5 knots of wind blowing us out of the Patapsco River and we’ll get a nice ride for a while.  Then it looks like we’ll be beating gently toward the Bohemian River. Our search for a global definition of the word civilization was not satisfied here in Baltimore.  We found pockets of intelligence, kindness, happiness – people working to make civilized lives in a profoundly uncivilized structure.  On we go, still searching. Thank you to the friendly and welcoming people waiting tables at our favorite restaurants, the respectful and inquisitive visitors to our respective working establishments.  The Domino sugar plant squatted across the changing seasons – an aesthetically pleasing industrial image of decay.  We saw Baltimore’s attractions and enjoyed the historical ships, the museums, the tulip garden.  We’re really glad we’re missing the War of 1812 2.0. So farewell, Baltimore.  We will.

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Toys?!

…Ok so, Dena went to the Big Sky Place (Montana), about the time our new Simrad NSS 7 multifunction display (MFD) with 3-G broadband radar showed up… That thing is fucking cool! Without going into too much technical nomenclature I’d just like to say, I think this box makes the Garmin 740s look like a Fisher-Price toy. The way it’s built just demands a certain level of respect and it is so easy to read and comprehend, out-of-the-frack’n-box, that an end user such as myself can flush-mount it in 45 minutes and program it for cruising in seconds after that. It’s a GPS chart plotting system, meaning it will follow our position using the built in GPS receiver and apply that position to a pre-loaded chart of the near coastal United States and Canada. It is also a display for a 3-G Broadband Radar… Don’t get me started on that, just read this (dead link). Now that, that was work! Dena got off the plane from Montana and went up the mast on the first day to install the radar mount (pictured) and the radome. We hauled the dome up in a sail-bag and she unwrapped it right there on the mount, like this. …In the bag, but not attached to the boat in any way. …And bolted down. After that we ran all the cable through the boat and wired it up to the MFD down below. Then it was my turn. I drilled all the holes and riveted the cable ties to the mast and we turned it on… In less than a second it swept the entire Baltimore inner harbor and gave us a perfect image of all the on-the-water vessel traffic in the downtown basin. It really does work that well!

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The Fog of reconstruction…

…Life gets in the way of blogging. You know, as a member of this global community of hyper-opinionated end users I feel a certain responsibility to the art-form but lack of interaction ultimately has it’s effect on the priority of such discourse. It’s a responsibility, yes, but not big on the “Go, No-Go” list. Ok, so… Dena’s been working on the little boat, S/V Tinker, and the bow roller project with the same amount of intensity given to both – switching back and forth from each just long enough to let the chemistry dry. …On the bow. …And, between glove changes, behind the camera.  Tinker’s fiberglassing had to happen on two separate days, but it makes for a good before/after photo.  Both sides are done now and the bow has been cleaned up and layered.  Some fiberglass cloth across the stern and a good coat of epoxy throughout the interior and we’re good to start putting it back together! I did my share on my good-weather days off… But once again, Dena gets to do most of the boat work and she does it well! …For instance, The above photo was shot over our last work week and because Dena has such a keen sense of project timing, the jobs that absolutely had to have two people on them, such as bolting through the deck,  happened when we were both available. So, yesterday was one of those rare days when the weather was so perfect, all day, that it inspired us both to work straight through till sunset. The new bow rollers are in place with through-bolts, starboard backing plates and lags and have no problem supporting my weight. The bollard is backed with stainless steel plate and bolted with 1/2 inch bolts.  If the true strength of a cleat[…]

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