First Shakedown Cruise

Background Material

Pilgrim at anchor in upper Spa Creek, Annapolis, with Truxtun Park in the background. This is where Jerome anchored between our two shakedown cruises.  

While Jerome was working on Pilgrim, he kept the boat at Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard, either tied up to a dock or hauled out in the boatyard, depending on the type of work being done. During some of this time, he also rented a car so he could easily shop around for boat parts, etc. Although marina living with a car is very convenient, it's also quite expensive, especially in Annapolis (you have to pay "Annapolis prices"). Once Jerome got Pilgrim squared away, he turned in the rental car and left the marina, but remained in the area at anchor or on a public mooring. To run errands ashore, he would lower his dinghy and row it ashore, then walk or take a bus to his destination.

Meanwhile, I'm living on my boat at Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard (paying "Annapolis prices"), plus I have a car. Right now, I'm semi-retired, which means I don't have enough money to retire full time, but I also don't have to work full time, either. Since I'm not working at present, I wind up spending a lot of time on my boat working with my computer (processing digital photographs, working on my web site, learning new computer languages, and so forth).

I bring up the computer because just as Jerome was starting his shakedown cruises, I had a serious problem with my desktop computer. I had tried to install a second internal hard disk, and although the disk actually worked, somehow the computer got seriously screwed up and wouldn't boot (except into Safe Mode, if you're familiar with Windows). In the several days leading up to the first shakedown cruise, I had been pulling my hair out trying everything I could think of to fix the computer. Unfortunately, just about everything I tried seemed to make the problem worse, leading up to a spectacular disaster when the computer wouldn't even power-up—totally dead, except for some mysterious beeping.

Needless to say, this was a totally frustrating nightmare, and I had to leave the whole computer mess unresolved as Jerome and I got ready for our first shakedown cruise. Luckily (or so I thought), I had full backups of all my files, but restoring the files would later cause yet another problem. However, that's still in the future; for now, let's pick up with our sailing adventure as we prepare for the first shakedown cruise.

Preparing For The First Shakedown Cruise

Just before our first shakedown cruise, Jerome had been on a public mooring in Annapolis Harbor. Although a mooring costs $25 a night, being in Annapolis Harbor is so convenient that it can be worthwhile. The mooring field is very close to a public dinghy dock (within easy rowing distance so you don't need to use an outboard motor), and once you step ashore, you're right in the middle of downtown Annapolis. The downtown area is chock full of shops and restaurants, including a good source for boating supplies (Fawcett) and a good hardware store (Stevens).

Monday, May 7, 2007

By prior arrangement, I drove downtown to meet Jerome on Monday morning, so we could take care of a bunch of pre-cruise chores. We drove to several stores to pick up items for the boat, and we stopped at the Whole Foods supermarket at Annapolis Harbour Center to stock up on provisions. Jerome really likes the soups, salads, and prepared foods at Whole Foods Market, since they're healthy and easy to use on the boat (though they're expensive).

Regarding expenses, Jerome and I agreed to split the cost of the provisions that would be consumed while I was crew. Jerome would be responsible for other boat-related expenses, while I would be responsible for any transportation expenses to get to and from the boat for my crewing stints.

Once we got back to the downtown dinghy dock, I helped Jerome carry the load of supplies and provisions to his dinghy. It seemed like a good time to get acquainted with Pilgrim, so I was invited aboard and Jerome rowed us out to Pilgrim. I got a good tour, on deck and below, providing a new crewperson with a very useful introduction to the boat and its gear.

After touring Pilgrim, I couldn't resist taking some pictures of Annapolis Harbor from the boat—Annapolis has a very lively and interesting harbor. I've included a few pictures of the scenery around the harbor on the next page.

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