Onward’s Cruise Journal 2012
New England Cruise

Updated: 2 Sep 12

August 2012

1 Aug 12; Wednesday; Wooden Boat Harbor to Holbrook I

  • It was another cold rainy morning. The Moondances weren't into moving in the rain so we decided to stay in place. I donned my cold weather gear: sweatpants, sox, long-sleeved shirt and set about preparing Onward's guest quarters for the arrival of fellow Corinthian Sharon Bell who will join me for the Corinthian Maine Cruise. Having completed the installation of the new pump on the forward head yesterday, today I set about cleaning up. I reverted to my timer technique where I set a count-down timer for 15 min and I work on a given task for 15 min and then move on to another. This keeps me for getting bored but is still effective for getting don relatively easy but not exciting tasks that require simply spending time on them.
  • Starting at 0630, I was on a roll and at 1000 I decided to add yet another task: sewing. I find that bath towel mats are great to have in the cockpit to clean up wet feet before going below or when coming in to the cockpit from a wet deck. The mats are so large they need to be cut in half and the cut edge hemmed. After cutting the mat, I discovered that I didn't have any edge binding tape so I tried just sewing it over -- bad idea.
  • I was rescued from being frustrated when Harriet called to say it had gotten sunny enough to depart for Castine. So I put stuff in traveling order and got underway. As part of the continuous saga of my SeaTalk network failure problem, I tried something new. Yesterday when it occurred I found that just pulling the 5A fuse not he autopilot computer fixed the problem -- but this time I just left it unplugged. The network started working normally and only the wireless remote autopilot control was not working. So, this morning, I simply unplugged the remote control transceiver module from the network and it started working normally again at startup. Go figure.
  • Moondance headed out and I followed. I set the rpms I normally use to keep pace and gave a course to the autopilot. Then I got busy doing stuff while keeping an eye out for pot floats. After about 20 minutes, I noticed Moondance had pulled well ahead and I was puzzled by this. Was Skip suddenly traveling at higher rpms? I looked at my SOG and found I was doing < 4 kts -- much too slow the rpms unless there was a very strong current I wasn't aware of. I called Skip on VHF and found out he was doing just under 6 kts. Where were the missing 2 kts going??? Only answer was that Onward must have snatched some traps on the keel -- one of the challenges of having the wing. So, I picked a clear spot and slowed, reversed the prop, and did a 360 to port . I didn't hear anything but I then saw a float where one hadn't been before. I went back to normal course and rpm but still couldn't get above 4 kts. So, I repeated the process this time to starboard and did 2 turns. Again I saw a float appear where there hadn't been one. However I was still not able to make normal speed. So I did a third maneuver and this time heard a noise and turned around to see yet anther set of floats appear. SOG returned to normal. This area of Eggemoggin Reach is one of the worst places on Penobscot Bay for density of traps and one can't often see if it is just a float or the infamous toggle connected to a float. Somehow I must have collected 3 traps in very short succession. It is interesting to listen to the lobstermen complaining about how their traps get tangled up with other lobstermen's traps making retrieval so difficult. A corollary, I guess, is that it is easier for a wing keel to catch them too.
  • As we proceeded W directly into the prevailing wind, I chatted with Harriet about getting a mooring in Castine. As we use VHF 77 as an inter-vessel comms line, we find that in certain areas local lobstermen do the same. So it wasn't surprising when a lobsterman nearby, said there were a lot of unused moorings that we were welcome to use. I at first thought this was someone being helpful and kind -- until he said thew were in Portland. So I decided to have some fun in kind and asked him for the lat / long for the mooring field. He replied that he'd look it up. A few min later he came back with 84º N 04º W -- somewhere N of London on the Arctic Circle. I thanked him and told him to have a quality day. Perhaps his little attempt at humor at the expense of a yachty did help him….
  • Ariel called to say they were anchored off Holbrook I. As there were no moorings available in Castine for today, we decided to join them. We were able to pick up 2 unused private moorings. The weather had turned warm and sunny on the trip over and I was able to revert to shorts and Tee. I invited the Ariels and the Moondances over for dinner and then went back to cleaning tasks.
  • Maine is the pits for Verizon cellular and internet service. But the good thing about this location was that Onward was connected again. For a while I felt like I was back in the Bahamas with the limited internet access.
  • The Ariels went out and found a nice bed of local mussels that they steamed and brought over. I made a focaccia. The mussels were delicious. I then grilled some chicken sausages and some spicy french-style green beans that we enjoyed with Harriet's salad. Harriet brought along her new dice game. Miles won the first game and Harriet the second.
  • We've heard a lot from local people and lobstermen about there being an overabundance of lobsters this year and the price that lobstermen are getting per pound is down substantially to $1.35 to $1.75. Ron Draper sent me a link to a NYT article that describes es the problem

2 Aug 12; Thursday; Holbrook I to Castine
  • A foggy morning greeted us. We waited for it to lift enough to make the short jump to Castine harbor. As we entered the harbor there was a race program going on that involved several classes of classic sailboats. I got a number of etherial photos of them as they drifted in and out of the fog. Neat.
  • Once getting to Castine and getting settled on the mooring. I spent some more time straightening up Onward's interior. Then I cleaned me up and went ashore to find Sharon Bell, a Corinthian from CT who would be crewing aboard Onward for the Corinthians Maine Cruise. We found each other in the parking lot and then quickly loaded her gear aboard Onward.
  • After getting Sharon settled inOnward's guest quarters, we headed ashore to meet the Ariels and Moondances at the restaurant operated by Bah's Bake House on the floor below the bakery. This was the night for the jazz combo: singer, pianist and base player. We had a delightful time with dinner, the wine, the music, and Sharon getting to know the group.

3 Aug 12; Friday; Castine to Camden
  • Sharon and I went ashore and she treated me to breakfast at Bah's Bakery. We then took a long walk around Castine. First we went to the green by the library and museum -- one of my favorite places in Camden. Then we went to visit the waterfront museum before walking on and taking a hike through the park at Blockhouse Pt. I hadn't done this before and I enjoyed the chance to explore.
  • Sharon departed in her car to meet the boat in Camden. Ariel and Moondance had left earlier. I made the the short trip to Camden and picked up a mooring in the N field at Shepards Cove. Wayfarer has marked its transient buoys with large orange polkadots so they are clearly visible. The buoy number and size limit for the boats that can use it are also written in large letters easily visible to the approaching boat. Neat. I wish this idea caught on with all marinas and harbormasters. Maybe we would have found the mysterious mooring 7 at South Freeport.

4 Aug 12; Saturday; Camden
  • Today was a busy day. First order of business was to make pepper biscotti and almond biscotti dough. Then I moved Onward in to the Wayfarer Marine fuel pier and filled off my 3 diesel tanks and 5 water tanks. A pump out came next. The the delightful young woman who was working the pier volunteered to was the decks. Well, I took her up on that! She is a sophomore at the Maine Maritime Academy and it was wonderful to hear her excitement over her future career. Neat! We tipped her well for the great scrubbing job.
  • While at the pier, they fetched all the packages I'd had sent to them for Onward; 5 of them. It was like Christmas. I was wondering why my package of mail from St. Brendan's Isle came in so large a box and when I opened it I found another box. It was a package from my daughter Joahna with a lovely father's day card and gift. Joahna has always been very attentive to Father's Day but receiving this unexpected package brought tears to my eyes.
  • Once Onward was back on her mooring I filled the laundry bag and Sharon and I took the launch back in. I immediately went to do the laundry while Sharon showered. While loading up the washer, I got to chat with a lovely young woman, Lisa, who was crewing on one of the large yachts in the harbor. She had a bachelor's and master's degree in teaching biological science and had taught for a couple of years. Then, while talking to her students about following their dreams, she had the aha that she should follow hers. So she decided to take a couple of years off and do the yacht-crew thing and was enjoying it. Her mother who has taught for 37 years founded an educational foundation to provide books and teaching equipment on Great Exuma in the Bahamas. I gave her info about the Bahamas Cruisers Guide and told her I'd be happy to help her mom in her endeavor.
  • While my laundry was in the dryer, Sharon drove us out to the local Hannafords market where we did fresh food shopping for the cruise. As we headed out to Onward with the clean laundry and shopping, we met up with Harriet and Skip who were just coming ashore to explore. I also talked to the Harbormaster about finding a diver to clean the Back Creek scum off of Onward's bottom.
  • Enroute to Onward we saw this J boat backing down the fairway at a good clip. Our launch driver commented the guy was crazy. Then I realized that it was Madrigal with Bill Kimbell at the helm. So I told the launch driver - he was fast but very good.
  • Once back aboard, we got the groceries put away and then I cleaned out the cooler. It was about 1400 and I was beat so I decided to nap in the cockpit. Sharon who had more energy spent some time polishing stainless steel.
  • As I was getting in the shower in preparation for going ashore to visit Corinthians, I heard a hail and went up on deck to find Dave Siwicki with is wife and daughters approaching with Bill and Kiran Kimbell aboard. So, we had a nice cocktail party! I got to show them my new cork cannon toy. Neat!
  • Sharon and I Ventured in to explore and have dinner. The patch job I did seems to be holding very well. I'd forgotten how nice it is to have a nice virile RIB. We first stopped for a visit to Ariel so Sharon could get a tour. Then we headed into town and had a delightful time visiting art galleries and the bookstore. We then met the Hardy's who were also walking around and headed off to dinner at Francine's Bistro. This is one of the restaurants on Ariel's List -- so I told Miles when he arrived just after us that this was going to be a calibration check on his recommendations. At the end of a delightful dinner, the consensus was the calibration was on the mark.

5 Aug 12; Sunday; Camden
  • Sunday was a bit overcast and foggy. It looked like rain was coming but somehow it didn't show. We Ventured in to Wayfarer Marine about 1330 and while Sharon used the showers, I went over to visit Madrigal. Sharon and I then walked into town and found a concert in progress in the park at the town library. The woman singer and guitarist had a beautiful voice and was accompanied by a fiddle. Great music. The park is one of the nicest city parks I've seen with a lovely tree shaded amphitheater built into a natural ravine going down to the water resulting in a lovely backdrop of the harbor for the audience.
  • After a bit of walking and shopping, we returned to Wayfarer for the distribution of our cruise information packets and a short Captains meeting. Then the cash bar opened and the good times began. It was good to see a number of Corinthians I'd met on previous cruises. The buffet was superb. I forwent the opportunity to continue the festivities on some boats that had slips because weather radar showed a line of heavy rain was on its way. We got back to Onward and settled in and were rewarded by the squall front falling apart before it got to us. Nice.

6 Aug 12; Monday; Camden to Southern Harbor
  • The Captain was busy making sure the chef got the dough for pizza ready and in the process lost the bubble on time so Onward was the last vessel to join the fleet parade out of the harbor. The wind began to pick up from the SSW and it looked like the day's race would be a nice reach across to the entrance to Fox Island Thoroughfare. Not long after the race started, the wind decided it had worked hard enough and took a vacation. With Sharon at the helm we managed to catch one of the boats that had crossed the start line ahead of us. She is a great helmsman who really enjoys being at the wheel. When a puff came the lighter boat got away again. With me playing whisker pole, we managed to catch the fleet just 0.7 nm from the finish line -- helped by the fact they'd caught a hole in the wind. Then some wind filled in. Unfortunately it decided to do that just beyond Onward's bow. The end result was we got to the finish line 3 minutes after the deadline. Ah well.
  • We motored up the FIT into Southern Harbor - a place I'd passed several times but never poked into. We anchored and Madrigal rafted up to us. Once the boats were settled, the Captain got the chef working on pizza as he'd invited the Madrigals, Moondances, Avas, and Ariels over. An invite went out to the Eventides but they had made other plans. However Tom and Gail from were able to join us. The chef had 4 pizza sheets prepared but decided to make 3 pizzas. The guests started saying they were full after the first two pizzas but yet somehow 80% of the 3rd pizza disappeared.
  • Dinner done, Kiran fetched her guitar and I got out the baby Taylor I'd bought from Skip and handed it back to its original owner. A wonderful session of music ensued. It was fun watching how the music memory of the two artists started to come back as they played old songs. A very good time seems to be had by all -- certainly if the numberer of wine bottles was counted.

7 Aug 12; Tuesday; Southern Harbor to Bucks Harbor
  • The steward did a good job of cleaning up from the pizza party. Sharon took care of bringing the cockpit back to oder.
  • I made the decision not to try to race if the winds were light and variable -- not conditions for a fully-loaded cruising boat like Onward to enjoy. Instead we followed the parade, toured by Butter Island and headed into Bucks Harbor where we picked up a mooring. Ariel came in and rafted to us.
  • I took advantage of the quiet afternoon to nap and begin to experiment with my cork cannon. With Miles acting as my Range Safety Officer, I tested out a fuse to see how long it burned (~4 sec). Then I added on scoop of FFG black powder with just a paper towel wad and got a gentle "pop". Next it was 1 scoop of powder and a cork which resulted in the cork being shot ~ 15'. It looks like I won't be taking on an M1A2 with this weapon.
  • Then it was time to prepare the hors d'oeuvres for the evening's party. I decided to make mini calzones with the 4th sheet of dough. I think I'm getting the hang of how to process this dough and roll it out into thin sheets. I made 3 calzones with rosemary ham, provolone, and spinach. The evening's cocktail and hors d'oeuvres party was great. Lot's of good food and schmoozing with friends were the order of the day. There were no calzone remnants to bring home -- hmm. We finished up the evening with drinks aboard Ariel.

8 Aug 12; Wednesday; Bucks Harbor to Belfast
  • It was a very foggy morning that greeted us. At 0900, Sharon and I Ventured off in the fog in search of Anasquam Too and Paul Jagar so I could exchange the new Corinthian flag I bought on Sunday for the largest size. We managed to go through the whole fleet and harbor without finding them in the fog only to find out they were on a mooring right off Onward's stern. That task done, we headed in to the pier for a walk into town. As I walked up the road all my memories of the area came back. We eventually found ourselves at the local general store where there were a lot of fresh baked goods for sale. I decided to buy several baguettes to make available to Corinthians who hadn't been able to buy some yesterday. They also had some fresh apple turnovers -- my favorite. The we got to the checkout to find neither Sharon or I had thought to take any cash. So we ended up returning to the harbor empty handed.
  • The fleet formed up to leave the harbor and Onward ended up as the third boat in the parade. There was virtually no wind and the GRIB showed no wind barbs for the area so I decided it was no use to plan to race. As Onward was in front, we decided to head straight to Belfast to have the afternoon to explore. As we approached Turtle Head at the NE tip of Isleboro Island, a very nice wind filled in. As this was only ~3 mi from Belfast, I continued on under power and picked up our mooring. This turned out to be opposite to Young's Lobster Pound so we headed in for a lobster roll. This turned out to be the best and largest lobster roll I've had. There seemed to be more lobster in it than in a whole lobster. Delish.
  • The Corinthian's had the dinner at the Belfast Boathouse where "Crazy Dave" who ran the barbecue in Tenant's Harbor in 2010. This time he did a lobster dinner with pulled chicken and sausage & barbecue beans and wonderful blueberry pie. It was a beautiful evening to enjoy cocktails and then dinner on the waterfront.

9 Aug 12; Thursday; Belfast
  • Today was a payday and started with heavy fog over the harbor. I've had the SailRite sewing machine in the salon since Saturday when I was going to do a quick job of hemming a too-long pair of jeans. I started the job and all was well until I got a bit impatient and forgot the rule of never pulling on the fabric. Well, I did, and in the process broke the needle. A quick replacement of the needle revealed that I'd screwed up something in the alignment as the machine was now shredding the thread so badly it would not sew more than a stitch or two. So I gave up in frustration.
  • By 1000 it had cleared up and revealed a sunny day. We Ventured in to the Frontstreet Shipyard and tied up Venture near Madrigal. The managing partner of the Shipyard then gave the Corinthians a tour of the new facility. I didn't rememberer there being a shipyard in Belfast -- and I was right. A partnership of owners of several Maine boatyards formed to build a new facility in Belfast on the site of the old sardine cannery. They essentially cleared the site and built a new mariana and shipyard spending some $10 M in the process. The goal is to be able to build new boats up to 160' and services existing yachts to 150 tons and 160'. The facility layout was designed for efficiency and was very impressive to see. The new buildings include one with two bays capable of handling a yacht 160' x 40". They have created 86 direct jobs. Very impressive since they started building the facility in January 2011! They got great cooperation from the state and local governments and the slow economy contributed by providing contractors ready to work quickly. Neat!
  • Sharon and I then took the tour bus to Searsport where I went off to shop at Hamilton Marine and explore Bluejacket ship models before heading back to the Maritime Museum. I stopped at the food shop next to Hamilton's and overdid some chicken tenders. I ordered 4 for a total of $4.50 and I expected KFC type small pieces. What I got was about a whole small chicken!
  • The Maritime Museum was great. We got to go "inside" to their photo archive where they have > 500,000 photos from the local area. They are slowly scanning and cataloging these and are half way through. Many are available on line through their website. They also have a great educational program for elementary schools where they have developed 10 six-week programs on the history of the Penobscot area. The programs include educational games. Schools can rent a kit that has all the materials they need to use the programs. Neat.
  • Sharon went off to look at art and I took the bus into town to look around. I ended up on Madrigal where I snuck in a nap in the cockpit before the start of the "Pontoon Party" organized by the Madrigals. A great time was had by all and then I went off to dinner at Delvino's with the Madrigals and the Ariels. There we found a number of other Corinthians -- many there because of Miles' recommendation. I surveyed all about their entrees and found everyone raving about everything. I ended up having pesto haddock with tortellini a healthy choice selected with the encouragement of Kiran.

10 Aug 12; Friday; Belfast to Isleboro
  • The morning brought us heavy fog that precluded the parade out of the harbor and racing to the next harbor. The Moondances decided to go directly to Camden to try to get a slip for the weekend instead of rocking out on a mooring.
  • While I waited for the fog to lift enough to depart, I decided to try to finish hemming my jeans. The SailRite needles do not have a detent / scarf on them so there would be only one way to insert them. As a consequence, I don't seem to be able to remember which way they go as I can come up with a good reason for them to go both ways. I finally had to go to their website and buy the manual that they never sent me when I bought the machine. I also repaired the shuttle retainer spring that had been damaged by the needle before it broke the other day. With that done, I was able to finish hemming one leg but finished half of it with only the core of the thread because the machine is damaging the outer layer for some reason. More research needed...
  • We dropped the mooring about 1100 and headed S to Isleboro. The autopilot network connection continued to give me problems. Today a new wrinkle was added: the network would work allowing me to use the autopilot, and then the connection would fail, reverting to standby and Onward would wander off course. This happened several times before it stabilized and worked normally for the rest of the trip. It is almost like a component needs to warm up -- but that doesn't make sense for a solid-state system. Baaahhh!
  • We arrived at Cradle Cove on Isleboro and picked up a mooring at the Dark Harbor Boatyard. Madrigal came in to raft. I was in shorts and a Tee because the cockpit had been warm. While standing out on the side deck, I got quite chilled. As soon as Madrigal was safe, I went below and climbed into bed with my fleece still on. Sharon, aka the Sandwich Angel, enticed me to get up with another delicious sandwich. I had to don jeans, sox and long-sleeve shirt before I could eat. I was still chilled so I went back to sleep.
  • I woke up at 1700 - just before we were to go over to Slowpoke for cocktails. I find that it now takes me 15 - 20 min to fully wake up after a long nap like that so I wandered about in a fog for awhile. I helped Madrigal break off to anchor because the weather radar looked threatening.
  • We had a grand time at the impromptu cocktail party on Slowpoke and Ava. The we returned to Onward where I grilled a canned ham and Laureen brought over a pot of her delicious pesto pasta. We had a grand time and completed the evening by introducing the Madrigals and Sharon to Farkle. By some quirk of fate, I won by a very comfortable margin.

11 Aug 12; Saturday; Isleboro to Camden
  • The early morning was heavy fog and a bit wet from the fog. I took advantage of the quiet morning to finally get around to changing the activated carbon water filter on the potable water tap. Nice to have potable water gushing vs. dribbling.
  • The morning broadcast of bingo numberers resulted in Onward winning with the first number called! Must have been due to Sharon who was bingomeister.
  • We waited about until ~ 1200 before dropping the mooring and motoring the short distances S to Camden. The fog was still thick at the anchorage but lightened up a bit as we proceeded. The Camden harbor was clear of fog by the time we picked up a mooring.
  • We took the launch in and met with Bill and Kiran. I joined them as Bill borrowed Sharon's car to do some food shopping while Sharon did some shopping in town.
  • The Cruise wrap-up dinner was great: wonderful food served under a tent and great people to share it with. These cruise-ending events are always a lot of fun yet a bit sad as one has to bid farewell to friends as most will disappear in the morning as they head back to their "real lives". As a full-time cruiser, I almost feel guilty that tomorrow will be just another day of cruising with no job or other life to rush back to. Almost...
  • The good news was the launch ran till 2200 so the transition back to Onward was easy. It was very calm during the night but rolly as the gentle swell made its way into the anchorage.

12 Aug 12; Sunday; Camden
  • Today was Sharon's birthday but she managed to keep it secret until her departure.
  • I helped her load all her gear in the launch and then in her car as she made an early morning getaway back to CT. It was very pleasant having Sharon as crew during the Cruise.
  • First order of business was to do a load of laundry. That done, I took a walking tour of the town then ducked into a bar for lunch to get out of a rain squall. Then headed back to Onward where I spent the afternoon putting things back in order.

13 Aug 12; Monday; Camden to Boothbay Harbor
  • Guess what? Another foggy morning greeted me. I took Onward in to the Wayfarer pier at 0815 to take on water. They let me hang for a bit as I took the dinghy into town and went to the Post Office to mail a birthday package to Joahna and books to Elena. One of the challenges of cruising the coast is finding a USPS that is accessible from the harbor and open when I'm around. But finally got that mission accomplished after it was delayed a few days because I'd misplaced the packages aboard. Gotta shape up the Steward!
  • Onward set out in the fog behind Moondance which had taken off as I pulled into the pier. The fog was moderate at the outset but by the time Onward entered Mussel Ridge Channel - the narrowest and most challenging part of the trip - it was so heavy visibility was down to ~ 100'. It was a bit of an edgy transit with several vessels appearing ghost-like out of the fog -- some with no radar signature. Nice...
  • As Tenants Harbor passed, the fog dissipated and I was able to motorsail as Onward headed WSW along the coast. Just E of Booth Bay, Onward caught Moondance and we sailed for a bit into the harbor where we picked up moorings at the Carousel.
  • I whipped up a batch of the pasta sauce my sister taught me to make and served it with some great tortellini. The Moondances helped me eat the pasta and finished off a couple of red wines that had served us well.

14 Aug 12; Tuesday; Boothbay to Portland
  • A beautiful morning without fog greeted us. We were underway by about 0730 with light winds on the nose. We decided to put into Portland and go to Peaks Island -- one of the offshore residential areas -- and take the ferry in from there based on recommendations from Miles. We picked up moorings from Peaks Island Marina at 1315 -- a bit pricy: $65 for Onward; however it was peace of mind as I wanted to depart immediately to spend the afternoon in Portland.
  • After a blissful shower, I Ventured over to fetch the Moondances and headed in. We quickly paid the mooring fee and headed for the ferry which was about to leave. I was astounded by the amount of traffic and passengers waiting to board. There is no ticket needed to take the ferry to Portland -- just to get back ($7).
  • We spent the afternoon walking around the waterfront and shopping. At another kitchen store I found more neat items for the galley -- including a garlic slicer.
  • Then we were off to Gritty's Pub where we enjoyed several types of their beers brewed on site. For dinner we ended up at a good Mexican restaurant where things started off great with a blueberry and pomegranate margarita -- a healthy cocktail but very sneaky as it goes down so easily!

15 Aug 12; Wednesday; Portland to Isle of Shoals
  • The morning was clear but overcast. Onward dropped its mooring at 0720 and headed out in the calm. The sun appeared for awhile warming things up but the light wind remained on the nose. A rainstorm system approached us as we headed E but fell apart with only some light drizzle and cloudiness. We arrived at Isle of Shoals at 1610 to find a lot of open moorings from the Portland and Kittery Point Yacht Clubs so we we readily able to snag one. That done, I needed a nap. About 1700 I was refreshed enough to talk to the Moondances about going ashore. i found two grumps on the VHF - it was that kind of day. I decided they couldn't leave here without taking a walk ashore so I launched Venture and fetched Bailey and his grumpy owners. Once ashore conviviality returned. The young woman minding the pier turned out to be from Oahu and was experiencing a bit of environmental contrast. The Star Island Company frowns on having dogs come ashore but Skip informed them Bailey was a therapy dog and all was well. He became a hit with everyone we met having to come up and say hello. We bumped into the operations manager and activities manager who welcomed us. We took a walk about the island and then returned to Moondance where Harriet whipped up a light supper while Skip and I sang to her in appreciation.
  • A number of boats came in just before dark -- I guess they made and end-of-day run over from Portsmouth. They picked up moorings that I'd not noticed were there tucked in the cover by the breakwater.

16 Aug 12; Thursday; Isle of Shoals to Gloucester
  • We were off for Cape Ann by 0730 and made an uneventful crossing to Gloucester. We picked up moorings from the town harbormaster ($30) and headed into town for lunch. We found the Halibut Pub where we enjoyed some great clam chowder and a half-deli sandwich along with a great local beer. I got the Hardys to walk around a bit to explore the town before heading back to the boats for a nap.
  • In the evening we went in and were met by Chris and Heather who we then went to dinner with and caught up on their activities since we last saw them in the Bahamas. Chris's mother lives nearby and they come to Ipswich to teach the sailing program at the local yacht club each summer. This fall they will head back to their boat which is on the hard in Mexico and resume cursing on the W coast of Central America.

17 Aug 12; Friday; Gloucester to Sipican Harbor
  • I went to be undecided on wether I would accompany the Moondances to Plymouth. I woke up in the morning with a compelling need to see my sister in RI. So as soon as breakfast was done, I dropped the mooring and headed out saying farewell to Moondance as I passed.
  • Winds were light from the SW - on the nose of course. The day turned sunny and pleasant and off Situate the wind shifted to the W and I motorsailed for about 15 min before it went back to the S and jumped to 18-25 kts apparent on the nose for the final approach to the Cape Cod Canal.
  • I got to talk to Laura and Elena. Elena got her bag of gifts and loved the "Good Night Cape Cod" book as she made Laura read it 5 times. She also likes the series of photos I set her of grandpa with various statues of animals.
  • Along the way, the autopilot switched uncommanded to Standby about 5 times -- something it had never done until on the Corinthian cruise about 10 days ago. At first I had attributed it to RF interference from one of the radios. But today it did it 5 times; once while I was watching it. Not good. I was afraid this was further signs of my autopilot computer starting to fail.
  • To add to the problems, the engine governor began having problems maintaining a constant rpm. It began acting like the on-engine fuel filter was becoming clogged. I checked the vacuum gage and the vacuum on the Raycor pre-filter was normal. When I switched from the port to starboard Raycor it made no difference. The I couldn't remember if I had changed it so I decided to install a fresh filter cartridge in the Raycor and switch to it. This still made no difference.
  • The current was with Onward and enabled > 7 kts. SOG through the canal in spite of the 15-18 kts headwind. However, once through the canal, the current became adverse. To make it interesting, the wind picked up to 20 to 30 kts apparent on the nose and made for the infamous Buzzard's Bay short chop. To top it all, the engine could not deliver more than 2600 rpm resulting in an SOG of 2 to 4 kts! I found it very disquieting to not have the extra 1000 rpms of engine power at my command.
  • As I slogged it out of the canal W entrance channel it was obvious I wouldn't make my intended destination of Cuttyhunk. So I made for the first place that would allow Onward to get out of the seas and wind and hunker down for the cold front that was moving my way. I clawed my way around the outer lighthouse and made for Sipican Harbor. I anchored just NW of the green can. Once secure, cocktail hour was declared and I relaxed fro the first time in many hours.

18 Aug 12; Saturday; Sipican Harbor to Greenwich Bay
  • The cold front did not arrive during the night as I had expected. The outer edges of it were arriving as I weighed anchor and headed S. The autopilot worked normally from the outset. Then after a hour or so it started to again switch uncommanded to Standby. Then just after the rain started in earnest, the autopilot died completely and all control connections to it via the SeaTalk network failed. With rain, winds, and quartering seas it was necessary for me to hand steer -- something I almost never do under power except when maneuvering to anchor or moor.
  • I have always had this dread of the Autopilot failing when I was alone and offshore. Well today I got to experience it and I didn't like it any more than I thought I would. I guess the good news was it happened only 25 mi from RI where I had planned to spend some time.
  • Once Onward got to Newport in the East Passage, the seas were calm and at least I could use the wheel lock to make it possible to leave the helm for short periods. I anchored off Godard Park at about 1630. Once secure I called Kathy to say hello and then climbed into bed. I had gotten badly chilled during the last few hours of the trip and the only way I could get warm was to climb in bed.
  • I eventually warmed up enough to get up and have cocktail hour and make dinner. I found a good ebook to read, "The Lost Constitution" and all was well for the night.

19 Aug 12; Sunday; Greenwich Bay
  • Today is Joahna's birthday. I expect the card and gifts I sent got to her in time. I miss talking with her.
  • Kathy fetched me at the yacht club and we went off to Mass together. Andy cannot yet risk being among large gouts of people and their germs so it was just the two of us. After church we went to her home where she prepared brunch and I went out to run some errands for her.
  • Niece Kristen and her fiancé Jameson were home for the weekend and Kathy planned the brunch so they would be well fed to start their trip back to Baltimore. We had a grand time.
  • I spent the afternoon just hanging around with Kathy. Our time together this year was foreshortened by Andy's kidney transplant saga. With her having to go in tomorrow to prepare to start teaching on the following Monday we won't have the nice relaxed time together we've come to enjoy each summer. The good news is that Andy is doing very well and is noticeably stronger since the transplant.
  • I took advantage of having a good internet connection to update my Mac and iPad software and upload all the Corinthian Maine Cruise photos I'd taken to a Picassa album for folks to enjoy.
  • On the way back to the yacht club, Kathy took us by the house Katie and Matthew now have on Warwick Neck. Very nice!
  • I decided to partially haul the dinghy up on the davits overnight. While fixing a twisted fall, I must have scraped my right shin without realizing. When I got in the salon and decided to change out of my shorts, I found I had a very bloody ankle and foot which had now turned the inside of my shorts bloody. What a mess trying to staunch the bleeding, clean the shorts, clean the foot, clean the floor, bandage the cut… Baaah.

20 Aug 12; Monday; Greenwich Bay
  • I spent a good part of the day trying to troubleshoot the autopilot. It started out working again normally but then failed completely again after 4 hours. I have never had an electronic problem that has been this hard to diagnose exactly what the failed component was. It seems every time it failed it did so with a different set of characteristics. It seems this is due to the network component of the autopilot computer being the principal factor and that the network topology is quite complex. In the end, nothing left to do but get the computer repaired or replaced ASAP.
  • Bill Kimbell decided to put his Mako in the water and came by for a visit. We had a beer together while I regaled him with my autopilot and fuel filter sagas. That's what good sailing friends are for -- to cry on each others shoulders and drink beers while recounting boat problems! I celebrated Bill's arrival by causing my injured shin to start to bleed again. Am I good or what! I've got to get Dave Siwicki to school me on good bleeding suppression techniques.
  • In the evening, Kathy fetched me in her new car. She has been leasing VW Passats for years and last week they offered her a great deal on an early replacement. This is the second time I got to be the first person to ride in the back seat of one of her new cars. Once home, we drank wine and chatted while she conjured up a delicious dinner from whatever was about. We joked this was a skill she got from our mom who was famous for her ability to replicate the miracle of the loaves and fishes -- feeding large groups of sudden visitors when she had just said she "had nothing in the house". To top it off, I got to do some laundry and I forgot about autopilot problems for a while. Life is good.

21 Aug 12; Tuesday; Greenwich Bay
  • OK, so I got up resigned to having to replace / repair a dead autopilot. Now it was a matter of working out how to do it. However during the night it occurred to me to connect my 600R wired remote directly to the 400G course computer to see if there might have been anything wrong in the network wiring between the 400G and the cockpit nav console. I then looked at my email and found Bill Kimbell had just emailed me with the same suggestion. Great minds - a scary thing.
  • First I just turned everything on after being off all night. Yesterday the autopilot came alive for 4 hrs when I did this and then re-died after 4 hours. Today, it stayed dead. So I shut down the electronics and did the direct connect of the wired remote. After powering everything up -- the autopilot remained dead. Then I checked the 5A fuse for the 400G's SeaTalk network and found it fine but the autopilot did not resurrect when I reinstalled the fuse. Then, as a final action to be thorough, I pulled the 40A fuse for the 400G main power and checked it and found it was good. So, I replaced it and the autopilot remained dead. Just to be thorough I checked to see if I'd seated the 40A fuse correctly and found it moved a tad as I pushed on it -- then suddenly the autopilot came alive again!
  • I retraced the wiring schematics for all of Onward's electronic systems to better understand the network topology and to prepare new CAD drawings of the connectivity. While doing this I monitored the autopilot and it continued to work fine. WTFIGO???
  • While doing all this, I decided it is time to buy a new course computer if only to have as a spare. We'll see how long the 400G works. Could all this have been due to a poor fuse insertion as I've checked that fuse several times over the last few months? A lot of the odd behavior of the autopilot could be explained by thermal effects that either promoted conductivity or made it worse as the fuse connection heated up due to higher resistance of a poor connection. I did learn from the manual that if the 400G or the remote sense low voltage (from a bad / intermittent connection) it will reset to Standby. We'll see how this plays out tomorrow.
  • I tried to contact Joseph and found that he had been in Guatemala for several days as part of his MBA program and vacation. Neat.

22 Aug 12; Wednesday; Greenwich Bay
  • OK, the gods are toying with me. At 0600 I switched on all of Onward's navigation electronics -- and the autopilot worked just fine! I plan to leave the electronics on for the rest of the day and monitor the autopilot. I'm still thinking that buying a backup core computer makes sense for me.
  • Mojitos! While in Provincetown, I had a Mojito made without sugar -- just rum, mint, lime juice, and club soda. Delish. That led me to experimenting with making them aboard but substituting Stevia or Truvia for the sugar in the recipe. Delish. The hard part was finding the fresh mint. Sharon solved this problem by liberating a lot of mint from her neighbor's garden before she joined Onward for the Corinthian Cruise. That solved the problem for the cruise but the mint quickly faded - it still smelled minty but looked like lawn trash. Today, on a high from finding the autopilot still worked, i looked into alternatives to fresh mint. I found a mint extract by Watkins on Amazon and ordered a couple of bottles. But, I also came across this recipe for making mint extract that I plan to try:
    • Mint Extract: To make mint extract, obtain a pound or so of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves (harvest them at noon time on a sunny day), wash them well and crush/bruise the leaves. Add these to a quart sized canning jar of vodka and place in the sun. Using a piece of well-washed, new cheese cloth, strain (and discard) the leaves from the infusion after three to four weeks.
    • Also, McCormick offers Mint Flakes: the dried leaves of the spearmint plant, derive their name from the Greek mythical character, Minthe. From California, they have a sweet, cool and aromatic flavor. McCormick makes a mint extract (ALCOHOL (89%), WATER, OIL OF SPEARMINT, AND OIL OF PEPPERMINT)
    • Doing a Wickipedia review I found that there are many members of the mint family and that the generic term mint usually refers to Spearmint whose "leaves can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. They can also be preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, or oil. Spearmint is an ingredient in several mixed drinks, such as the mojito and mint julep. The most abundant compound in spearmint oil is R-(–)-carvone, which gives spearmint its distinctive smell." Peppermint adds menthol to the carvone.
  • Well the gods decided to continue the autopilot fun: at 0830, the autopilot died again. Actually I've now confirmed is that its connection to the rest of the SeaTalk network dies. I tried the technique that seemed to work yesterday of removing and reinserting the 40A fuse but this time it had no effect. I even changed fuses to be sure there wasn't a faulty fuse playing havoc. Then I tried removing and reinserting the 5A fuse for the SeaTalk network on the 400G. This had no effect the first two times but on the third or 4th the network came back to life. Definitely a sick 400G course computer.
  • I moved Onward in to mooring G44 at the East Greenwich Yacht Club for the day. This is the former mooring of EvenStar that I met up in Cradle Cove in Maine as they started a planned around-the-world cruise. On the way in the autopilot dropped off the network but reappeared once Onward was moored.
  • Tonight was the monthly Chi Phi dinner at the EGVFA Club overlooking the anchorage. Fraternity brothers Richard Garzilli, Paul Lane, John Waddington, and Steve Carlson came out for pre-dinner cocktails. I last saw Steve in 1965! In catching up I found that Steve was a close friend of one of my childhood buddies, Paul Donahue whose summer home was on Pojac Point near Godard Park.
  • I asked my pharmacist bud Richard about the grains used to measure black powder for my cork mortar. This ended up with a firing of a cork salute before we took the launch in to dinner. There were eleven of us for dinner and it was a very enjoyable evening with lots of dormant brain cells being awoken with stories from our youth of events and characters we shared. With the encouragement of Jim Moretti and Richard Garzilli, I decided to organize another High-Low-Jack card game aboard Onward with other college buds -- a reliving of our weekly games during our college summers, so long ago.

23 Aug 12; Thursday; Greenwich Bay
  • I decided to see how the gods were treating the autopilot and switched everything on and at first the autopilot would not talk to the network and then it started. It is frustrating to not be able to understand this behavior. If it was do to the failure of a discrete component of the network module -- then it should stay dead. In any case, it affirms my decision (expensive) to replace the unit with a new core pack.
  • Harriet Hardy called to say they spent a nice night a Duck Island Roads and were now on their way back to the Chesapeake. I had a great summer cruising with the Moondances. We'll meet up again in the Chesapeake.
  • Not quite sure what I did to occupy my morning - but I was busy. I went in to pay for my mooring at EGYC just before noon and then rewarded myself by walking to Pal's Restaurant for a delicious veal parmesan sandwich. That done I moved Onward back to the anchorage and took a nap. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading William Martin's book: "The Lost Constitution".
  • I learned that the new autopilot core pack is on its way!
  • Kathy called and invited me to go shopping with her. Each summer I've gone with her as she has done shopping for classroom supplies. I am always appalled at how much teachers must use of their own resources to outfit their classrooms and provide supplies for other people's children. It turns our we are both fans of Chipotle burrito bowls so we had a nice dinner together. While shopping, I found a Brother 2240 laser printer on sale for $60. The one I have used on Onward for the last 6 years is in need of replacement and the new printer cost less than buying a toner cartridge for the old one!
  • As I was falling asleep, I received a phone call from my childhood friend Paul Donahue -- Steve Carlson managed to track him down and passed on my contact information. We had a nice talk and I started plans to get the three of us together for lunch.

24 Aug 12; Friday; Greenwich Bay
  • Another beautiful day dawned. Only disconcerting thing is a that NW Africa is in its trouble causing mode spawning systems that turn into tropical storms: there is TS Isaac, tropical depression 10, and soon-to-be tropical depression 11 brewing.
  • I spent most of the morning rechecking electronics wiring schematics. The 400G when turned on with the rest of the electronics again refused to talk to the network. After sitting for 20 min or so it decided to come to life and worked for the balance of the day. While working on the schematics, I came across a note from myself from July 2006 about the failure of my ST7000 autopilot controller. Then it came back to me that my original controller had died and I ended up getting a ST7002+ which is the one that died last December. It is storage that I should have two of these units fail and then the 400G fail -- all network related. On this basis, I think I am going to look at the network topology and see if I should make some changes - perhaps in power distribution.
  • I spent time talking with Ron Draper and Bill Kimbell who have been tracking my electronics problem saga. Both recommend putting in a stabilized power supply for Onward's navigation electronics. I concur and will get that started tomorrow.
  • Steve Carlson and Paul Donahue met me at EGYC and we went to Pal's for lunch. We had a grand time for about 3 hours sitting around and talking about the days of yore. I was amazed at how much detail these two remembered from a time that is just a fuzzy blob for me. Maybe it has something to do with them having continued to live in RI. Great fun.
  • Niece Linda called and invited me to go out to dinner. Then I ran into Bill Kimbell as he brought Madrigal back from Situate. I helped him fold and put the cover on his mainsail. This absolutely confirmed my decision to go with a furling mainsail -- there is no way I would be able to handle a sail the size of Onward's by myself. I joined Bill and Kiran for a drink and met their friends. Then it was off for a nice filet dinner at Texas Roadhouse with Linda and Leo where I got to be served by my great-nephew. Linda has promised to make me her signature dish, chicken parm, before I leave RI. I have two witnesses to this promise!!!

25 Aug 12; Saturday; Greenwich Bay
  • I did some research and selected a 12V DC power conditioner / stabilizer with backup battery that I will order and install along with the new course computer. After making this decision, Kathy called to invite me to have coffee with her and two of my nieces. She arranged for Rob Tedder's wife to pick me up. So I quickly got cleaned up. Then I placed the order for the power stabilizer equipment and I Ventured in.
  • While having coffee, Niece Susan who provided me a lesson in painting with watercolors last year, said she would try to arrange a get together. Kathy decided to do her weekly shopping today so she could have Sunday to relax before she had to start the new elementary school teaching year on Monday. We stopped home to find that my new autopilot and controller had arrived! Neat.
  • Kathy and I did our shopping outing to BJs and the WalMart. I found a compact AC powered vacuum bagger and I bought it as I had been searching for one small enough to carry aboard for years.
  • While walking through the WalMart, of all places, spice section I found bottles of Watkins mint extract. This was the same stuff that I just ordered via the internet a couple of days ago so I bought some to try.
  • Kathy and I had a nice lunch together and I got to think of how much I enjoy the simple pleasure of spending time together.
  • Susan called to say the Rocchio clan was going to meet at my nephew Bob's home. Kathy and I picked up some desert and headed over there. Bob has done a wonderful job of making his back yard a relaxing place to entertain with pool, gazebo, patios, and a large wet bar. We ordered pizzas and enjoyed each other with food and drinks. A wonderful family time. My brother must be looking on with a smile on his face to see what his family has achieved and become. I am so fortunate to be able to enjoy this.
  • I got to entertain them by showing the the video Laura has sent me of granddaughter Elena playing her harmonica and guitar and belting out her newest song: "Mommy Choo Choo". A real show stopper.
  • It was too late for me to attempt to load Venture with all the swag I had accumulated so Kathy put me up for the night.

26 Aug 12; Sunday; Greenwich Bay
  • Kathy and I headed off for the 0730 Mass and then to Panera Bread for coffee with Rob and Liz Tedder. Kathy then deposited me and the swag at EGYC. I managed to load it all to make one dinghy trip and get it safely aboard Onward. The rest of the day was spent stowing things and preparing for the reworking of Onward's navigation electronics and their power supply.
  • Relaxing here in Greenwich Bay, i recalled from just having read the book "Salt" that the term "wich" was first used in England to denote a place where salt was produced. There were many "wich's" in costal England and eventually the use of the suffix got divorced from the connection to salt and became common in place names. How 'bout that…
  • In mid-afternoon, I received a call from my daughter Joahna. It was delightful to hear from her. Maybe my prayers at mass had some effect.
  • Bill and Kiran Kimbell stopped by on their way back from a fast trip to Jamestown for lunch and a cocktail hour bloomed. I experimented with my newly-found mint extract to make Mojitos for Kiran and I. I underestimated the strength of the mint extract so they were a bit minty. Kiran was a good sport to put up with my mixology experiment. I think the mint extract will work well for making mojitos once I get the proportions right.
  • The Kimbells then invited me over for dinner and we had a nice evening together at their beautiful home.

27 Aug 12; Monday; Greenwich Bay
  • I worked on installation of the new autopilot and power conditioning plans. Not a lot to show for the effort. I spent a good deal of time working on new CAD schematic drawing of the electronics.

28 Aug 12; Tuesday; Greenwich Bay
  • I moved Onward in to a mooring at EGYC. Then I decided to take Venture over to Norton's Shipyard to pick up a couple of Yanmar engine fuel filters that I had ordered. Before departing Onward, I decided it would be a good idea to replace the filter in the Raycor filter/separator mounted on Venture's transom. The last couple of days the Yamaha had been stalling with symptoms of being fuel starved as pumping on the fuel line bulb kept it going if it started to falter. Wow! Was the filter difficult to get off! I finally managed this and then I found I couldn't get the transparent separator bowl to unscrew from the filter. I finally had to drive a steel punch through the side of the filter to keep the internal part from moving as I torqued off the bowl. I guess they didn't put any lube on the threads at the factory and I didn't lube them when I installed the complete unit. This time I made sure the o-rings and gaskets were oiled and I put anti-seizing grease on the threads. Venture purred nicely when started. I believe the problem is associated with the *&)!@j ethanol in the gas we have to use here in the US contributes to gumming up the filter.
  • I then did my shopping at Norton's and found that Bruce who runs the store intends to cruise to the Bahamas so I gave him information about the Bahamas Cruisers Guide I write. I spent rest the morning cleaning up Onward a bit and working on updated CAD schematic drawing for the electronics systems that I plan to install tomorrow.
  • At 1400 Jim Moretti, Ed Flanagan, Don Greco, Richard Garzilli, came out on the launch to have a High-Low-Jack game as in our college days. Jim Tomasso showed up a few minutes later. In about 3 hours we managed to get through 2 11-point games of 6 player "Cutthroat". We had a ball. and drank a lot of beer. I tell these guys not to buy or bring anything and I end up with more beer aboard Onward than I had to begin with in spite of all the drinking! Don pointed out that the game took longer than it used to because we aren't quite as sharp as we were at 20! I'm not ready to buy that theory.
  • We followed the card game with a great dinner at Pal's. Of course, the conversation got around to politics in the end. After quietly listening to the Obama-bashing, I couldn't sit still and started citing a lot of facts and history about how we got here and the lack of a good alternative being presented to the nation. My friends listened. Then we quietly moved on still good friends.
  • I got dropped off at Kathy's house to pick up my power electronics and then Kathy managed to drop me off at EGYC in spite of her busy evening preparing for her new fifth graders.

29 Aug 12; Wednesday; Greenwich Bay
  • I spent the morning reviewing wiring diagrams in preparation for the installation of the new autopilot. The search for a place to locate the new power conditioning electronics took a while before I identified an accessible but still out of the way place in the upper electronics panel locker at the nav station. I was able to find in my MacGyver locker just the piece of aluminum angle extrusion that was needed for the installation.
  • At 1530 Linda came to fetch me and take me off to her home for the promised Chicken Parm dinner. I had a nice time sipping wine and reading by her pool while she finished preparation for the meal. Linda's mom, MaryAnn, and Ed joined us for a nice relaxing dinner. Well, I have to make the statement: Linda's Chicken Parm was simply the best I've ever had! I am now spoiled. I may never again try to make it myself.

30 Aug 12; Thursday; Greenwich Bay
  • I started the day by completing the installation of the new Newmar NavPac 12 V power conditioning unit. I decided not to wire it into the circuit breaker board until after I had installed and checked out the operation of the new autopilot using the existing power distribution.
  • I spent the rest of day installing the new Raymarine Smart Pilot X-30 core pack / course computer. It is located on the forward bulkhead in the forward hanging locker in my stateroom. It is a good, dry, central, unobtrusive location for such an important piece of equipment. However it requires doing the wiring in a very cramped space. The good news is that Raymarine switched to improved connectors using a screw tightened clamp. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to reorganize the SeaTalk network wiring. In the end, I decided to leave it as it was to get the new equipment in and checked out. Then I will reorganize the network.
  • Then it was time for testing the new installation. First I turned on all the other navigation electronics to see that they still worked normally and they did. Then I turned on the autopilot and went out to the cockpit console where I plugged the new ST7002+ controller into the network connection that runs directly to the new SP X-30. Nothing happened. I moved the network connection from the right to the left jack on the ST7002+ and the Autopilot worked normally. Hooray! However I was puzzled why the network connection would not work when plugged into the port jack yet the network connection that provides the heading data from the autopilot to the rest of the system worked fine in the port jack. The possibility that the brand new ST7002+ had a bad network connection or that there was yet another network problem appearing really had me bummed out.
  • To check out if it could be just a connector problem, I plugged both of the network connections into a 3-jack jumper block and ran a short jumper from it to the ST7002+. Now both port and starboard jacks worked fine! There must be a slight contact problem with one of the friction connectors in the network cable that runs to the course computer. All this had zapped my energy so I declared nap time and took a long nap. After 90 min I got up and had the energy to clean up much of the mess that got made as I did the installation and do some work on the power conditioning installation.
  • Having finally done enough for the day, I declared cocktail hour and relaxed. Rob Tedder, VP of Manufacturing for New England Ropes, came aboard for a beer. I met Rob through my sister and have enjoyed our encounters at Panera Bread after I go to church with Kathy. I got to show him a lot of his rope in application as Onward uses NE Rope almost exclusively. We had a nice evening and it was a very pleasant way to end a long and a bit trying day.

31 Aug 12; Friday; Greenwich Bay
  • I got organized a bit and then dropped the mooring and pulled into the fuel pier for fuel and water. I used 71.5 gal of diesel since filling up at Wayfarer Marine before the start of the Corinthians Cruise. By 1000, Onward was back at anchor off Godard Park so I could begin the installation of the new power conditioning equipment for the navigation electronics.
  • I decided to feed all of Onward's navigation electronics from the new Newmar NavPac 12 V power conditioner. This required me to modify the DC power panel by cutting the copper busbar that feeds each of the 10 circuit breakers in the 4 banks. Three of the 4 busbars had to be removed, cut into separated segments and then reassembled. Then I had to reroute the 12 V feeds from the main power switch and route new feeds from the NavPac so everything would get power from the appropriate source. Now the VHF radio, speed, depth, wind, AIS, Sirius Weather, SPX30, and E120 now get their power from the NavPac. That done, it was nice that everything worked. The last job was to connect the wireless remote base station and a jack for the wired remote to the SPX30's second SeaTalk connector.
  • I cleaned thing up just enough to make Onward capable of moving in the morning then I showered and headed ashore for a date with Kathy. I'd invited her and Andy to dinner earlier in the day but she said she preferred picking up some pizza and having a quite evening at home after a hectic first week of teaching fifth grade. We had a nice time enjoying being together and it was the perfect way to wrap up my stay in RI.
  • Bill Kimbell had also invited me to the annual East Greenwich "Last Night" festivities that I enjoyed so much with him a couple of years ago. I intended to stop by after having pizza at Kathy's but when the time came my week of pushing hard to get the new electronics working left me with too little energy so I had to forego the fun and missed saying goodbye to Bill and Kiran.