Monday, October 28, 2013

A New Boat and a New Toy!

No, we didn't get a new boat, but our friends did. James and Sandra traded in their trusty 320 Sundancer for this gorgeous 44 Ocean. There have been a lot of new boats this year -- who's next?
I know there are two boats in this picture. "Grand Passion" happens to be docked next to a Carver 466 so it's a cool way to see our models side-by-side.
The boat is docked in Baltimore for the winter and a few of us convened to see it on Saturday. The day was sunny and 60 degrees so Doug and I decided on an unconventional method of transportation across the city (at least for non-boating folk).
For anyone concerned with our safety -- don't worry, we took a bag with life jackets with us, I just took the picture before grabbing the bag.
We recently purchased this Lehr propane motor for our dinghy and just had to try it out. (Okay, fine, Doug just had to try it out and I gave in -- it's not exactly summer anymore in Baltimore.)
The propane motor burns a cleaner energy than gasoline, it's only 38 pounds, and it saves us from carrying a gas tank with us. The propane motor is a relatively new technology but we are happy with it so far and we had a smooth, lovely ride over.
Not long after we arrived the wind picked up; so much that we saw one sail on a sailboat get torn to shreds -- which is why I wanted to drive over -- but in the end I'll admit that it was a fun adventure (there, I said it) when we left for home around 3pm. We didn't have a long ride but any distance in waves can end up being a wet ride. Their boat is docked at BMC Lighthouse Point and we had to return to BMC Harborview. I snagged BMC's fireworks map and there is an image over the Harborview label so look for numbers 8 and 10 on the map to find our home. If the numbers are too small on your screen, look for the boat icon to the left of the words "Barge 2."
We put all electronics on our handy waterproof bag for the rodeo ride and got home mostly dry. Congrats again James and Sandra -- we love the new boat!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Unexpected Friends and Unplanned Guests

Fall is such a lovely time for a boating trip to Annapolis. The weather is cooler so we don't miss having access to a pool, yet it's warm enough to sit at the outdoor bar at Pussers watching football. We set off on Saturday for an overnight trip with 4 1/2 people (four adults and a 1 1/2 year old).

On our way out of the Inner Harbor we saw this Brazilian training ship coming in for a 3-night visit -- I love living in a port city.
I always think it's fun to see the decks filled with sailors as boats enter a port.
Once we were situated in a slip in Ego Alley we had our first surprise. Anyone recognize this boat from the June Neighbor list?
BackScratcher III, one of our permanent neighbors, was just one slip over from us in Annapolis.

While waiting for another couple that planned to spend the day with us in Annapolis, our friends from Sparrows Point showed up, as well as a friend from Parkside Marina. At this point we had six boats in Annapolis and friends driving down, things could only go downhill (or uphill depending on your perspective).

As usual, we started at Pussers where we had a great view of our boat.
And wondered aloud how cold this guy would be if he fell in.
As the day wore on and we started playing Catch Phrase -- the perfect boat "board game" -- it became obvious that we were having too much fun for an early night and would have 6 1/2 people sleeping on our boat. This was not the first time we have had unplanned overnight guests on board in Annapolis, however it was the first time everyone would be able to comfortably sleep inside the cabin. The more time I spend on this boat the more I love it. The guests that rode down with us and their child took the guest stateroom.
And our other friends slept in the salon with the large couch:
And loveseat that converts into a single bed:

And they all had access to the guest bathroom. (Which is really Doug's bathroom when we don't have guests. Admit it, you and your spouse use different bathrooms if you have the option.)
Looking forward to our next Annapolis trip....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The 2013 Clam Bake

The annual clam bake and raft-up (coordinated by the gracious folks on Almost Home) was held October 5-6 in Fairlee Creek. You would think each clam bake would be the same but there are always a few surprises.

First off, it was warm enough to swim. Yes folks, on October 5, 2013, I was wearing a bathing suit and I got in the water. I didn't stay in the water long but I did lay on the bow of the boat for a while. I'm so accustomed to bundling up for the clam bake that it felt strange to apply sun screen.

The warm weather brought other boats into the Creek for the weekend. We've had clam bakes where we are the only boats in the basin, not this year.
There was even a rare power/sail raft-up.
A fox visited the beach. He didn't seem very scared of humans so we steered clear of him. Perhaps people have been feeding him all summer? Perhaps he is sick? It was neat to see new wildlife but I worry about this little guy.
We had to set up a bit further down the beach than usual. Another raft-up beat us to the prime beach location (I guess they didn't get the memo that we had "reserved" the beach for our get together.)
 We're lucky everything cooked before the tide came in and washed out the coals.
Curious about the past clam bakes, check them out here: 2012 and 2011. (The 2011 post includes instructions so you can have your own clam bake.)

One last parting shot of the last raft-up for 2013.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Boat Show

Every year we venture down to Annapolis for the United States Powerboat Show. The oldest powerboat exhibition in the country, 2013 marked its 42nd year and I highly recommend the show even to non-boaters. I find it fascinating to see how different boat manufacturers use limited space in smart, creative, and luxurious ways. Obviously we were not looking for a new boat but we still had plenty to look at (and spend money on).

We arrived on Friday before the 10am start of the show and found others waiting to enter.
One of the first places we stopped was a mattress vendor. This was an important stop for me because I'm tired of an uncomfortable mattress that belonged to someone else. We tried out the options and put a down payment on a new mattress before leaving the show (more on that once our new mattress arrives).
There are vendors with boat lines of every color imaginable. The sales lady tried to get my attention by pointing out the pink lines; she apparently did not know that I don't do pink. I did suggest that she market the pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
You can pick the perfect lettering for your vessel's name (every girl likes options).
There are shiny anchors for both boats...
And your jewelry collection. Rather than having an anchor weigh me down, I chose a silver flip flop pendant so I can comfortably wear the summer shoe in the middle of winter.
How about a new grill?
Or a life raft? (I like to pretend that the little raft is for pets.)
But don't worry, pets aren't forgotten here.
There are folding bicycles for traveling around new marinas.
And some vendors will do anything to get you to talk to them.
Perhaps having something that only floats isn't enough for you.
There are multiple places to find a little "liquid courage" as you decide on the perfect boat for you.

And, of course, there are boats. Boats on land...
Boats with beautiful green hulls...
And gigantic catamarans available for charter.
For old times sake, we lingered for a bit near the Regals.
The newest boat feature we are seeing is a retractable sun shade. Very smart.
We walked away with a new mattress, propane engine for our zodiac, flip flop pendant, and mini dehumidifier pouches for our hanging lockers. Until next year...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Marine Trawler Owners Association

It has been a busy few weeks in Harborview. The Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA) hosted their northern rendezvous here this week. Harborview monitors channel 10 and I listened in as the MTOA docking committee assisted their members upon arrival. I've been to a boat rendezvous before but never one that was big enough to have its own docking committee. I don't have final numbers but quite a few boats made the trip.

One of our transient neighbors is here with the group and I learned that they plan a couple meetings each year -- one in Florida and one "up north." According to the MTOA website, there are over 1,000 boats in their membership pool. Talk about a great way to meet people.

Since most of their members own slow-moving trawlers their mascot is a turtle. There were turtle pins everywhere.

A couple quick scenes from their first day on the dock:

Turtle merchandise anyone?
Show your MTOA pride with hats and shirts. Some of my favorite t-shirts have been acquired at boating rendezvous.
Gift bag anyone? Wish I knew what was in them.
Bringing the beach to Baltimore.
I'm sure they all received this newsletter another way but it was nice to see it posted at the marina office.
The busy week continues with the Annapolis Power Boat Show tomorrow and our annual clam bake this weekend. Watch for posts sometime next week.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Neighbors

What? Two posts in two days? Well, many of my local friends have commented on how much they like the neighbor posts so here's the September list.

Because of Trawler Fest and MTOA, many of these boats have stayed for a few weeks and we've had the opportunity to meet new people. For me, it's been reminiscent of the friends one meets at an all-inclusive resort -- You spend a lot of time together in a short time period -- Sometimes you make life-long friends, sometimes you just enjoy the company and move on. Either way, it's always fun!
"Just One More" - Cruisers 455 (We had strongly considered this style boat in our live-aboard search.)
"Resurgent" - DeFever (This couple normally docks in Washington, DC, have been our neighbor for a couple weeks, and are attending MTOA.)
"Panchita' - Egg Harbor (This couple has spent the last six year cruising. They started in California and have been through the Panama Canal. When I grow up, can I be them?)
"Aisling" - Gulf Star (Our first repeat neighbors in Harborview.)
"Twilight Star" - Histar
"Step Two" - Baymar 46
"Kindred Spirit III"
"Moon Dance" - Ocean (Our new permanent neighbor.) 
Don't forget about our biggest neighbor, the SS John W. Brown. I didn't get to "meet" them but it was a treat.