A Crew’s View – Part One

I am Jeff’s father and I had the pleasure of sailing with him from August 26th from Wrightsville NC through the end of his voyage in St. Mary’s Georgia on October 6th. When he asked me to join him my immediate response was YES. But I can say that I entered this journey with fear and trepidation.

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Marine Diesel Courses for Cruisers

Even before we bought Bear, Margaret and I had discussed how we needed to take a marine diesel course. Neither of us had much of any experience with diesel engines beyond encountering a few issues during a charter. Once we became boat owners, we recognized that our Yanmar was the single most expensive piece of equipment and that performing preventative maintenance would be the best way to protect that investment. But, because of limited time and money, this past spring we did little more than look into the marine diesel course offerings across the country. Consequently, we went into our first summer aboard Bear hoping for the best and committed to trying to understand the diesel and get comfortable performing basic maintenance on it.
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A Cruiser’s Review of St. Michaels, Maryland

Sailors from across the Chesapeake Bay know St. Michaels well, as many of them have made a weekend trip to the town a summer tradition. Cruisers from further afield, traveling north and south along the bay, may balk at St. Michaels out-of-the-way location, some fifteen miles across the Eastern Bay and down the Miles River. However, if these folks knew all that St. Michaels offered as the bay sailors do, they would not hesitate to put in the extra miles. Moreover, the prevailing winds often allow boats to reach across the placid Eastern Bay, making for a fast and fun sail to St. Michaels.
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Log Canoes, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and More St. Michaels

After our incredible first night and fabulous sail aboard Selina II, St. Michaels continued to deliver some great experiences, most of it centered around the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. In preserving the bay’s history, the museum is doing a tremendous amount to sustain both the culture and environment of the region, which creates a diverse, intellectually stimulating, and sanguine atmosphere in St. Michaels that is a lot of fun to be a part of.
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A Review of Selina II, a Beautiful Catboat with a Great Captain in St. Michaels

As I said in a previous post, Margaret had scheduled a shoot with Captain Iris of the Selina II during our visit to St. Michaels. It was not long after dropping anchor that we got our first glimpse of the boat and captain, as they circumnavigated the harbor under sail with a four-person dinner party aboard. Immediately, I was taken by the graceful lines, rich teak, and massive sail of this huge, forty-one and a half foot catboat. At the helm of this enchanting boat, working her way under sail through the narrow space between Bear and the docks of the maritime museum, was a fitting captain. In a white shirt, khakis, and a straw hat, Captain Iris matched the Bristol look of Selina with her own casual yet completely proper and appropriate nautical attire. And, in much the same way that the well-kept, classic catboat provided the perfect welcome to St. Michaels and the reverence that town has for maritime history, Captain Iris gave us a big smile and hearty wave as she passed, making us feel like we were good friends returning to town.
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Fabrics for Cockpit Cushions

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I spent most of this week eagerly awaiting the mailman.  Our neighborhood deliverer looks like a cross between Nicholas Cage and Al Bundy.  He is a super nice guy, and this week, I was particularly happy to see him bring to my home an assortment of small, precious packages containing….wait for it…. swatches of fabric.
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A Special First Night in St. Michaels

Heading ashore from Fogg Cove in St. Michaels, we had to round the point into the main harbor, which was a real treat. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum stretches on either side of the point, with skipjacks, bugeyes, and other old boats lining their docks and the reconstructed Hooper Strait lighthouse lording over the whole scene. As we came around, we drooled over all the wooden boats and seemed to be constantly waving at folks along the bustling waterfront and harbor. As we made it further into the cove, we passed the iconic Crab Claw restaurant, busy with Thursday night diners, before finally pulling up to the well-maintained, public dinghy dock.
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Gift Ideas For Your Favorite Sailor

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While I was recently putting together an x-mas wish list, at my mother-in-law’s request (have I mentioned how awesome my in-laws are!), I realized that I was putting many things on the list that we needed for the boat.  And then I realized that a wish list for sailors would be an awesome blog post!

If you are looking for gift ideas this holiday season, check out my list below.  It contains ideas for all budgets (from $2.99), including practical galley gadgets, a few luxury treats, and a couple of silly stocking stuffers!).
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Foam Update – Open Cell Dry-Fast Foam – Part 2

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Measuring the “aired out” foam in our library (which is a work-in-progress itself!)

It has now been a few days since I unwrapped the foam from the vacuum bags and plastic wrap.  As I mentioned in my last post, foambymail.com suggests that you let the foam breath or air out for a couple of days to allow the material to bounce back to form. The sheets I ordered were supposed to be 3″x90″x50″ and 3″x50″x45″.  The measurements I took this morning are 3″x90x49.5″ and 3″x48x45″.  These measurements, though not completely accurate, fall within the company’s “dimensional tolerances”.
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Sailing (and a little motoring) from Annapolis to St. Michaels

After our long stay in Annapolis, we found it difficult to drop the mooring ball. Even after all our friends had left the town, Margaret and I decided to stay just one more day so we could get the boat organized and enjoy a last night in Annapolis, planning to leave the next morning. Bringing our dinghy on deck the next day, we realized it had picked up quite a bit of growth during our two-week stay in Spa Creek. And, by the time we had cleaned it off, got a pump out, and refueled, it was afternoon, and Margaret raised the possibility of staying on yet another day. But despite the allure of another Pusser’s painkiller and morning coffee from City Dock, I steered Bear out onto the Severn after pushing away from the fuel dock.
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