East to the Severn

Monday was “breezy” with small craft warnings. However, Tuesday and Wednesday were as perfect as perfect can be. Winds started at 8-12 mph from the NW moving to the W the following day. Air was crisp, evenings cool and skies blue. The attending boat count got whittled down to two, but that offered some spirited “racing” both days. It was Caledonia vs Sooty Tern and the leads changed hands enough to make both parties happy.

Enjoyed it Bob!

Trip video

Philosophy

Motoring out into North River

Life demands responsibility. We all make mistakes, but how responsible are we for those others make? Sadly, too many won’t take any ownership of the problems they’ve wrought in their own lives. It is an overwhelming problem in our land and to foment this discontent is criminal.

Like many, I’ve had enough of the corrupt “news” reports of left wing “peaceful protests”. Hate and destruction are never a recipe for heeling. The stories are practically unavoidable. You can forget who you are. So, I sought some peace on the water where no one is leering at you for not wearing a mask. Where you’re free to go where the wind takes you. A nice sail has always been restorative, rejuvenating and recuperative.

Though Chickadees’s projects are ongoing, it was time to sail her home from the yard after fixing the centerboard, painting the bottom and mending a few deck leaks. A light breeze pulled us out into North River as several porpoise raced in our wake. Beautiful creatures. Otherwise, it was just me and my Huckleberry pushing to weather. I longed to continue on up the Bay on some grand adventure removed from so much insanity. Soon I hope.

Hot Hot, Pot Pot

Camille waiting on her clothesline

Small boats are generally simpler boats, and, simpler boats are easier to use. An unused boat will suffer from neglect. Though new to us, little Camille was built in 1958 and found recently languishing in a shed. Over the past year she has given us some wonderful sails and warrants more attention. We’ve begun to cross off a number of her “to do” items. Improvements this week were: main sheet, peak and throat halyards are now new spun polyester, soft to the hand and supple. The old lines will serve as dock lines for C. I like to think they are souvenirs from her decades of sailing.

Used traveler with new running rigging

Bright sail ties dress up and hold a furl in the main. Looping the main sheet around the package was awkward and probably harder on the old sail. A discarded bronze traveler from Peter at Howard Boats replaces what was a rope traveler secured with two deck eyes.

Sail tie and new sheet

With a new masthead fly, Camille is ready for more memories.

Fly

Here is a short video as she cut along a string of a dozen crab pots. It was a very hot day. Think we’ll favor cooler evening sails for the next several weeks instead.

2 Short Sails

Finally took Chick back out over the past few days. Diving revealed she had little growth, but a scrubbing removed some scum and let her slip along even better still. The water was a perfect temp. Did some reading and napped in the shade of the cockpit afterwards. As the days heat up, late afternoon sails have been delightful too. Look here:

Memorial Day Afternoon

Sailed all through the grey weekend and then the sun came out finally Monday afternoon. This short video clip shows the sensation of “speed” in a little boat when your tailbone is riding at the waterline. Getting to know this boat has been fun.

Camille’s Reprise

Took a break to sail a wonderfully well-behaved little boat, Camille, a little fatty who’s grace holds no surprises. On her clothesline mooring now, she waits for this weekend’s fun and the weather looks obliging.

Camille

Made a short video playing with the phone’s iMovie app. Upon seeing a partial clip, my buddy Jay says, “Dogs really do like cats!”

What’s in a Name?

Our Tartan 27 has already proven to be a capable little vessel. The small sturdy bird commonly referred to as a “Chickadee” seemed an appropriate name for our tiny ship. Additionally, my momma used to call her 4 babies “chickadees”. So, yesterday we made it official.

Afterwards we took a short sail upriver and back.

In studying the sail plan, I realized the shrouds were backwards. Added to that, the spreaders were sagging as their support rod going through the mast was upside down. 2 of my sons cranked me up the mast to fix the latter. The fix required disconnecting the various shrouds while suspended and healing the boat to counteract the loose rigging.

Chickadee’s rigging is happy now. It’s not drooping and is properly tensioned. Her main sheet is new. The other was half the needed length! (That escaped my notice in surveying.) The Cubic Mini stove install is nearing completion. So, we’re making small improvements while keeping her working. Very satisfied with the boat! More later.

Getting Things Right

Running the engine to charge batteries is a poor solution at best to deliver amp hours back into the cells. A shore powered multi stage charger is far better. So, I added a Powermania 12 amp 2-bank “smart” charger that plugs into an appropriate extension cord led forward in the cabin and up through the bow dorade to pier supplied electrical power.

Other adds/fixes are:

  • Battery monitor: Xantrex LinkLite. This effectively a true amp hour “fuel gauge” to know the state of the batteries.
  • 12 volt/ USB outlets for all the 12v components now used from phones, cameras, speakers, handheld VHF, GPS, etc.
  • Bilge pump switch works now in manual mode, but automatic mode will require a float switch of some sort. I’ve a Water Witch switch from Luna that may serve. The wine glass bilge may be a challenge. We’ll see.
  • VHF Radio: a Uniden waterproof (overkill?) VHF radio is now mounted and powered. The masthead antenna will have to wait for a Spring haul out.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

May need a few more breakers as instruments and autopilot are added, but for now the boat is much improved. More later-