Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

Jellyfish. Sea Nettles. Whatever you want to call them, they are unpleasant to encounter. In the past, we've seen them during our more southern trips. Cambridge is practically famous for them. Our usual haunts are typically jellyfish free until the later summer months. It looks like we might not be so lucky this year. Scientists are predicting a large swarm. Looks like I'll be checking the sea nettle probability stats this summer and checking the status of the meat tenderizer on board. (For anyone who doesn't know, meat tenderizer is supposed to ease a jellyfish sting. I've never had to try it myself.) Even if we run into a bunch of jellyfish -- A bad day on the water is always better than a good day anywhere else.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Parade of Sail

The Star Spangled Sailabration came to an end yesterday with a Parade of Sail as the navy warships and tall ships left Baltimore. Once again, people were out in force to experience the spectacle.
It was difficult to truly capture the number of people that came out to watch.
A friend and I sat at the end of my marina to watch. I was amazed at the number of boats still in Baltimore - both anchored and sailing in and out of the city. Was this really a Tuesday? The boat traffic looked more like a busy weekeend.

I was able to snap a picture of one of the gray hulls:
HMCS Iroquois, Canada
The tall ships were the main attraction. They sailed out of the Inner Harbor, through Fell's Point, past Canton, and made a final turn past Fort McHenry. I tried to get pictures without other boats in the frame but it wasn't always possible:
Pride of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Lady Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Sigsbee, Talbot County, MD
Cuauhtemoc, Mexico
Witchcraft, Pasadena, MD
Cisne Branco, Brazil
Lynx, Newport Beach, Ca
Dewaruci, Indonesia
Wolf, Key West, FL
Gloria, Colombia
Sultana, Chestertown, MD
  Goodbye tall ships. Hope to see you in Baltimore again sometime soon.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vacation at Home - or - The Blue Angels Come to Baltimore

Baltimore has been in full celebration mode since last Wednesday when the Star Spangled Sailabration started. For me, this has been one of the coolest weekends since moving to the city. As I went for a run Wednesday morning, I caught a glimpse of huge naval ships like this one coming into the city:
People had brought their lawn chairs to the Korean War Memorial to watch all of the ships arrive.

On Thursday, I was trying to do work when I heard these guys flying over my house:
I was surprised by their arrival since I thought they weren't coming until their first show on Saturday (of course, they always practice before the Naval Academy graduation in Annapolis, so why would this be any different). Who can work when the Blue Angels are flying directly over their house? I couldn't contain my excitement and rushed down to the marina to see the view from there. It was like time stood still. Everyone in Canton stopped what they were doing and stood outside to see these magnificent airplanes. We've seen the Blue Angels in Annapolis before, but there is just something about seeing them in your hometown. I called my husband, I called my mom, I got very little work done.
The Blue Angels with Natty Boh.
Doug worked from home on Friday and had a conference call from 2-3:30. The Angels practiced again from 2-4 that day. He had to apologize for the noise because Blue Angels were flying over his house. I wonder what the people on the other end of the call thought of that. I was prepared for their Friday arrival and got all my work done early in the day. This time I was able to get a photo of this flying beast.
Our unexpected vacation began after Doug's phone call. Yes, we were already planning to take part in the Sailabration, but we weren't expecting to have as much fun as we did. There were people everywhere as we walked to the marina. The sun was shining, there was music blaring from bars, I felt like I was exploring somewhere new. Who knew Baltimore could feel so special after living here for almost six years?

In an effort to avoid the crowds, we took the dinghy into the Inner Harbor to see the tall ships. I have never seen so much boat traffic or boats anchored in Baltimore before. Just to be clear - Baltimore really isn't an anchorage spot. Unlike many cities, there isn't a real dinghy dock. However, the marinas had been booked for weeks so this was the only way some people were going to experience the Sailabration.

Welcome to Baltimore circa...umm...I don't know, lots and lots of years ago (with the exception of the skyscrapers).

While it may look a little funny on a Maritimo, I want a window like this on my boat one day:
Saturday was time for...yup, you guessed it...more Blue Angels. My parents came to Baltimore and we hosted about 14 people onboard for the show. The whole marina was packed with boaters, friends, and family. Being at the marina gave the show a whole new look:

I wish I had taken a picture of the spread of food that showed up after the show. We brought pulled pork, pasta salad, and jello shooters to share. There was also fried chicken, grilled filet, cole slaw, hoagie dip, brownies, etc., etc., etc. Boaters know how to party (and eat).

At about 9 pm the fireworks started. While we got a couple good photos, this was the only disappointment for the weekend. The show lasted only ten minutes and wasn't very impressive.
We rarely stay on board when we are docked in Baltimore but the party went well into the evening.

Sunday morning we cleaned up and went home to one last Blue Angels show. I'm not sure how I've made it through today without hearing those planes fly by. Here is a parting shot to remind us all why we were celebrating in the first place.
Many thanks to Doug for taking this picture.
Tune in again later this week. I'm hoping to get pictures of the tall ships leaving Baltimore tomorrow.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What is that sound?

No boat trip this past weekend. Instead we spent time working on a couple boat projects. What? You thought boating was all fun all the time? Okay, fine, we did make time to go to the Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival but that was after doing our chores and we didn't get to take our boat to the festival.

For a while now we've had an issue with our fresh water. It's been working just fine but there has been a horrible rattling noise whenever we use the water. I was starting to get embarrassed by the noise and decided it was time that we took action.

First stop - the engine room:
Doug is 6 ft tall but he still fits in the engine room.
We are very lucky on the 3760. We push a button and the aft seating area lifts up to provide amazing access to the engine room. While contortionist-like movements are sometimes required, almost everything is right at your fingertips. While Doug hung out in the engine room, I turned the water on and off as he tried to pinpoint the source of the vibration. No luck there.

Second stop - behind the aft shower:
We unscrewed this access panel and did the water-on-water-off dance again. We still didn't find the root of the problem.

Third stop - behind the refrigerator:
We removed all the beer from the fridge and pulled it out of position. While we were grateful for a mild day so the beer didn't get skunked, we still couldn't find the problem.

Last stop - back to the engine room:
That white cylinder in the middle of the picture was the cause of all the noise.
We attempted to install a water filter last year. We found that the filter decreased the water pressure so much that it wasn't worth it. However, thinking we might find a solution the filter was still partially hooked up to the fresh water tank. Doug left the filter housing but completely disconnected it from the water tank. Hurray! No more vibration! We believe the filter was letting air into the water pipes and therefore causing a vibration. We are still hopeful for a working water filter in a future project but will accept the small success we had this weekend.