31 October 2011

L-l-livin' th-th-the D-d-d-dream

We have SO got to get out of here!
...I betcha Milwaukee didn't have a snowstorm on Saturday.

We hired another boat yard to take care of our repair/upgrade list.  To that end, we had to do a bit of shopping, which is the only reason we were out and about in this (we don't even own clothing for this kind of weather anymore).

It wasn't all bad, though.  We did start of the day with donuts and coffee at Carlson's Donuts and Thai Kitchen--not kidding.

I never had a potato donut before...interesting concept, weird texture.  Jane reports that her apple fritter was the best one she's ever had.

The big news is that we made our first passage yesterday.  On our own, in our boat, we made the nearly 10 (statute) mile trip from our Marina on the South River to the Hartge's Yacht Yard on Tenthouse Creek.  And I'm happy to report that it was technically hitch free.  It was rather ironic having to navigate our way to the yacht yard where our gps will be installed.  One of us was sure we could manage it by going from buoy to buoy as listed on a paper chart.  The other one of us was sure that that was a recipe for disaster.  Not that we wouldn't get here eventually, but that it would be dark and even colder and we would be divorce court ready by the time we did.  We were just about to purchase a hand-held gps unit for over $500 when One of Us had an inspiration: There must be an app for that.  And sure enough, thanks to our $9.99 Navionics chart plotter and gps program for Android, it was smooth "sailing" (with only 1.9 knots at best, raising the sails would have been pointless) all the way.

On top of this victory, we managed to dock--at pilings, no less--on the first try, partly thanks to a guy who saw us coming in from his boat and ran to grab one of our lines.  Either we look amateurish even from afar, or else sailors are always just there to help. (The Slacks tell us it's the latter.)  So there we were, basking in the glory of our fledgling competence when no more than two minutes after I shut down the engines, a good quart of fuel spewed out of a through-hull in the starboard engine compartment (I'd wondered where that through-hull went to.)  I felt a little foolish opening the hatch and jumping down to see what was wrong as I was sure I wouldn't know what to look for once I got there.  But in fact I did figure it out...at least I think so.  A hose had come unclamped and the fuel was trickling out of it.  Given that it stopped gushing out of the through hull after an initial burst, I suspect it was a connection in the fuel return line (not its technical name).  I reclamped the hose, but now we have about a pint of diesel in our engine compartment bilge and the fuel system will need to be bled.  But, hey, we're in a boat yard.  No problem, well, not for me--this time.

And for our crowning achievement, we figured out how to use the propane grill.  That is to say, we figured out how to load a can of propane and get it to light.  Steak for dinner as our, may I say, well-deserved reward.

Yesterday's tiny taste of cruising has gotten us more excited about getting underway than ever.  I'm pretty sure we won't last much past Friday in these here parts.

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