Great Gifts for Sailors!

gift

Hello Subscribers!  It has been WAY too long since I have written on our blog, so I thought I would try to get back in the swing of things with a holiday-inspired post.  Last year we created a wishlist for sailors that went viral.  Today, just in time for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, I present to you my 2015 Great Gifts for Sailors list!  There is a little something for everyone – the weekend sailor, the cruising couple, racers, liveaboards, etc.  And don’t forget the stocking stuffers!
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Thinking Back on Sizing Our Anchor Chain

Cruising World had a little piece by Pam Wall on “Choosing the Right Chain for Your Ground Tackle.” I enjoyed reading it, finding it to be a clear description of the different types of chain and how to go about replacing chain, especially on a new-to-you boat. It was much like the good lesson in chain I received from the wonderful anchoring expert at Defender two years ago when we had first bought Bear and were replacing the chain. However, in suggesting you look to your gypsy for the appropriate size chain, I think the article missed one further possibility that anyone plunking down a thousand dollars for new chain should be aware of: that, over years of using the incorrectly sized chain, the gypsy might actually now fit a different type of chain better than what it was designed for.
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Annapolis School of Seamanship’s Marine Diesel Basics Course

Last weekend, I attended the Annapolis School of Seamanship’s Marine Diesel Basics course. It is a two-day course designed to teach the principles and anatomy of a marine diesel engine as well as basic maintenance and troubleshooting. And after taking the two-day course, I can confirm that it does just that using lectures and hands-on work. I put together a YouTube video on the course and my experience, but also wanted to say a little more about a few aspects here.
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The Final Push to Annapolis This Past Summer

In case you missed it, Margaret put up the final video in our race north from St. Mary’s Georgia to Annapolis. The video is great, but we did not quite capture all the emotions and excitement of that final day of the trip. Obviously, we need to do a little better job filming our adventures. But, in the meantime, I wanted to add a few more details to that final push.
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Our New LED Dome Light Bulb and Our Energy Situation Aboard

We have a new video up today about the LED dome light that we purchased from AhoyCaptain at the Annapolis Sailboat Show. I figured I would say a little more here about how the light fits into our overall energy plan and where we are in implementing that plan.
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Pegging Our Oil Pressure Gauge

Below are two emails I wrote to the Tayana Owner’s Group, which, by the way, is a great resource for Tayana owners, owners of similar boats, and those that dream of owning one. As they deal with some engine problems we encountered over the summer and can be instructive, especially about actually following instructions, I thought I would share them both here, slightly edited.
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The Anchorages of Our Summer 2015

As we did did last year, I put together a list of the places we stopped during the summer of 2015. Our list is not nearly as extensive as last year – actually, over half as small – but we put in nearly as many miles, especially when you include the two days we rented a car in Solomons and drove to Washington, DC. Hopefully next summer we will have a lot of stops, all heading north as we head to Maine.
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A Quick End-of-August Update

We will continue to get the videos from this summer up on YouTube over the next couple weeks. But, in the meantime, I thought I would give everyone an update.

We hauled Bear at Sailing Emporium in Rock Hall, Maryland back on August 13th. We had shopped around looking for a do-it-yourself yard that was within an hour or so of Annapolis where folks could live aboard. I called every place on Skipper Bob’s DIY marina list and none allowed live aboards except Sailing Emporium. We have since heard that Herrington Harbor North allows folks to live on the hard while doing work, but they told me that was not an option when I spoke with them on the phone. Regardless, Sailing Emporium ended up being about a thousand dollars cheaper than Herrington Harbor. It also turns out that Sailing Emporium seems to be a wonderful marina with a pool, day room, great WIFI, nice showers, etc.
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Baltimore Cruising Guide From Our Perspective – Part Two

Life on the hook in Baltimore can be quite wonderful. This past summer, Margaret and I enjoyed ranging around town – and the coffee shops – in the mornings, then spending a relaxing few hours back aboard, before returning to the streets for happy hour and an evening of food. On the other hand, Baltimore also offers a full lineup of more high profile tourist destinations if you are looking for that. What you want to do in Baltimore might affect where you choose to anchor, as there are more local bar and restaurant options in Fells Point and Canton, but far more of the big attractions, like Camden Yards, the National Aquarium, and the USS Constellation right in or just outside the Inner Harbor. However, a dinghy or the water taxi will get you around to anywhere near the water.
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Baltimore Cruising Guide From Our Perspective – Part One

Baltimore is a beautiful city built around the water, so it seems like a natural place for cruisers to sample some urban excitement, including museums, the National Aquarium, great parks, a working waterfront, and excellent restaurants and bars. However, the two times we have stayed in the city, we have not seen another cruiser at anchor. There are some drawbacks to Baltimore that might discourage some folks, but these are easily superseded by its many charms.
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