Sailing To New York City

Preparing For The Trip (continued)

Neighboring boats in the mooring field on Back Creek.   Boats at Port Annapolis Marina.

The main chore today will be changing the oil in the diesel engine, since we'll probably motor a fair amount on the way to New York. After setting up for the job and opening up the engine access, Jerome started using a new hand pump he had bought to pump the old oil out of the crankcase and into a storage jug. Unfortunately, the pump was being very uncooperative, and in a very messy way. Despite major effort, oil was barely extracted from the engine, and slimy black oil was oozing out of the pump body and all over his hands. It was distressing to see the normally simple and neat operation turn into an oily mess because of a poorly functioning tool.

Jerome was all set to give up when we found another piece that was supposed to go inside the pump body. It was a slimy and sloppy job getting the new piece installed, and though the pump did work better, it still was such a major effort that there had to be a better way. So the chore will remain undone, and when we go to West Marine tomorrow, Jerome will get a better oil-removal pump.

Another chore was to try to repair the mainsail battens that keep popping out of their pockets by the mast. Experimenting, we noticed that if you try to slowly pull the batten end out of its pocket, it requires a huge force and is basically impossible to do by hand. But if you use a rapid jerking motion, you can pop the batten out without much effort. So when sailing, the problem must be happening when the mainsail flogs a little when raising or lower the sail.

We spent a lot of time closely examining the hardware and thoughtfully pondering the problem, proposing better or worse solutions as ideas came to us. Eventually, we figured out a good way to permanently fix the problem (disassembling the fitting and using 5200 sealant as glue), but for now we tried a temporary fix using super-duper rigging tape. It looks like the previous owner also tried this "solution", and since it didn't work too well for him, it might not work any better for us.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out on the mooring on Back Creek. Even though we were only a few dozen yards from my marina, it still felt like we were on a voyage, and everything looked different from out on the water. Being a pleasant weekend, the creek was quite busy, and it was interesting sitting in the cockpit watching all the comings and goings. By nightfall, all the moorings had been taken, plus a few boats had anchored in what little room remained.

Our neighbor in the mooring field, a German boat. Click on the picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.   A small sailboat heads back to the dock after a day of fun. Even though they had an outboard motor, they sailed up to the dock. This is a small enough sailboat that it doesn't require a marina slip. Instead, the next morning, marina workers untied the lines and led the boat to shore, where a forklift hoisted it from the water and deposited it on a shoreside stand.

Sunset on Back Creek, Annapolis.  

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