Saturday, June 11, 2016

"THE CANVAS CAN DO MIRACLES, JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE"


Saturday, June 11, 2016
This has been a busy 3 weeks.  Between moving out of the condo, getting the boat ready, sailing (well, really motoring) to Newport and David's and my introduction to the life of a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, we've experienced a mixed bag of emotions and adjustments.  In between of course we have been enjoying the beautiful sunsets, the busy Newport Harbor, the help of friends and relatives and the relative quiet and calm (but sometimes noisy and rough) life of living aboard a boat on a mooring in the middle of Newport Harbor.
These sunsets from Borden Light Marina will be greatly missed.
We will miss the friends we have made there too.    

How many power boaters does it take to raise the jib?
Thanks guys - you were a great help. 

Waving Good Bye to our good friend Mike Mason.
Hopefully we will see you, Someplace Else.
I know it's JUNE, but the weather could be a LITTLE warmer!!!

One fine day
we take a little tour
across the bay
and what do we see?
A NORTH PACIFIC 43!

But the sunsets in Newport are unforgettable too. 

The storm is coming - but in fact, it missed us.  I took this
from the Alofson Pier at Fort Adams. We commute there via
Oldport Launch  on "Chemo Days" since we have a car parked there.

A Christmas Present - and a delicious sampling (yes, only a sampling)
of White Wines and seafood pairings at 41North.

We are enjoying the convenience of using Oldport
Launch this summer. (Thanks Perrin Tysor).  

Cosmo is anxious to get moving, but between appointments
and the weather not giving us window of more than 2 days we
haven't gone far.  SOON!

Winds of over 40mph will make short work of an old
and weather worn sailcover.  Really, the zippers are
what let go. A new one is already on order.
It's that 10 year bomb again!

Another Newport Harbor skyline shot.  Enjoy.
So, for now, as we sit out yet another rain and thunderstorm on board (mind you, I'm not complaining - it comes with the path we've chosen) we take every day one day at a time.  David is so far (after one treatment) handling the chemo pretty well.  No horrific side effects and he is gaining back his strength.  He is determined to beat this.  With the fresh salt air, blue skies, gorgeous sunsets, the faith, hope and prayers from family and friends I know he will.  Soon the sails will be raised on Obsession, for "The Canvas Can Do Miracles," SAIL AWAY.




Saturday, May 21, 2016

WE CANNOT CHANGE THE WIND, BUT WE CAN ADJUST THE SAILS

Saturday, May 20, 2016.  Obsession has been launched.  George and his crew at BLM worked magic, driving the travel lift down the parking lot of the marina, weaving around boats and cars, put the slings around Obsession and reversed the trek through the maze of boats and cars to the launch site.



In the water she went, but this time she had to be towed to a slip because the engine isn't connected to the fuel line.  Now Fairhaven Marine will work their magic and get her running. 


Meanwhile, Neil Thurston from Thurston Sails/Canvas in Bristol delivered the new Dodger and Bimini.  The isinglass is so clear it looks like there is nothing there!  More Magic!  And he added a few little things, like a D-ring above in the top of the bimini so we can hang a solar lantern, and a special little piece of leather so the radar pole won't ruin the canvas as well as nice gray leather covering along the edge of the dodger for dirty hands.


We will start to move more "stuff" aboard this week. Our hope is that she'll be ready to go by Memorial Day, but I think June 1 is a more realistic date.


On the home front we've had a set back.  Shortly after  David's routine colonoscopy in March, he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.  This was shocking news, and has forced us to re-think our plans for heading south down the ICW in the fall.  He will undergo chemo treatments at the Cancer Center here in Fall River every 2 weeks for 6 months.  So...it means no trip down the ICW until the fall of 2017. His prognosis is good - he's strong, healthy and we are confident he will beat this.  Just a bend in the road.  What is the old saying?  We can not change the wind, but we can adjust the sails.  Well, we have done just that.  We will summer on the boat, as we always have done, sail around our favorite haunts here in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, and Long Island Sound in between treatments. Another old sailor's saying, A bad day on the water is better than a good day on land.

I will continue the blog this summer.  It's also an opportunity for me to try new things with design and editing. So, follow along, if you will.  Our adventure is just beginning.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Showers bring May Flowers-and a Boat in the Water

Peggie and Tom Perrotto help us prepare
for the upcoming trip.  
It's May 1, 2016 and for the first time ever, Obsession IS NOT in the water.  The engine delivery brought about even more issues, possibly contaminated fuel (40 gallons of it) in the fuel tank, corrosion of some wires (well, after 10 years it's not uncommon).  We can only hope that as the month progresses things will start to come together and Obsession will be launched soon. Meanwhile, the weather also needs to cooperate.  We've not had temperatures over 60 degrees other than a day here and there.
We continue to enjoy sunsets from the condo, and other land-based activities that we won't be able to enjoy when we move aboard the boat.
Peggie and Tom Perrotto had us for dinner one night last week.  They offered advice and encouragement while we pored over their ICW Cruising Guides and Peggie's past logs.  As much fun and informative it was for us, I think Peggie and Tom enjoyed sharing and remembering their trips. They will be traveling down the ICW this fall and winter too, but on their new to them 36' Monk Trawler, Tom Foolery. 
My Uncle Norman and his wife Margie arrived for a quick visit, and we had the family to the condo for an early season cook-out.  That makes 3 family dinners here at the condo this year.  I do think this is the last one.
So... not much "Boat News" this entry,  just an update on our progress to date.

I will miss these sunsets, but I know we will have many
new sunset views to enjoy and share in the coming year.

Now, that's a CAR!

We went to Hillary Clinton Rally in Central Falls, RI. We have
ordered our absentee ballots so we can vote in the
election in November no matter where we are.  

With only one decent warm and non-humid day I've only
managed to put one coat of varnish on one door.  
Norman and Margie visit.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"NASA (aka Janice and David) We have an engine!"


The engine resembles a swan.  

The past 9 months have been filled with anxiety and anticipation since we first found out about the failure of the Raw Water Exchanger and ultimate engine failure in September.  Dealing with the insurance and marinas has been a true learning curve for us.  For those of you reading this who have a diesel engine, we learned something new.  This part should be examined every 5-10 years for possible failure.   However, I digress from today's happily ever after story.



Monday, April 11, 2016

"Hurry up and Wait" Game or "Enjoy it While You Can"






First decent sunset in a couple of weeks, April 8, 2016
The weather has not cooperated with us at all over the past 2 weeks.  Rain, wind and SNOW (yes SNOW) have delayed delivery of the engine and even beginning work polishing sides and painting the bottom of Obsession.
Snowstorm - supposed to be a dusting to 3 inches
ended up being 6-8 inches! April 4, 2016
I would like to varnish the doors to the main cabin, but it's too cold. Meanwhile we have spent time enjoying the sights from our deck at the condo, watching movies on Netflix and On-Demand, (The People vs OJ, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black for examples).  These are things we won't be able to do once we move aboard the boat.  We hosted Easter Dinner for 10, probably the last time in awhile that most of my family will be together.

High winds and abnormal high and low tides sent these
styrofoam blocks and the gangway adrift.  It was
better entertainment than morning TV!


High winds April 3, 2016
It never gets old watching the coal ships and barges come and go.

We try to get out on the deck as much as we can to enjoy
evening sunsets like this one from April 10, 2016.


Easter Dinner for 10 - NO KIDS TABLE!

We have continued to downsize and clean up our act here at the condo.  Boxes of (Snow Village and Lighthouses, Christmas Tree and Decorations, Seasonal Decorations etc.) have been moved up to the attic, past bills and other paperwork have been collected to be burned or shredded.  By the end of the month we should be 99% paperless consumers.We hosted Easter Dinner for 10, probably the last time in awhile that most of my family will be together.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Getting Closer


Today we spent considerable time at the condo downsizing in preparation for our trip south.  I actually threw away my winter coat -I've had it since 1988.  It was hard to do, but even if we come back to New England for a visit this winter, I think I can get away with my leather coat. Or...maybe it's about time I bought a new one?  David, on the other hand, was able to say "good-bye" to many long sleeve shirts and sweaters that he won't need.  Along the way we found some pictures of us sailing and enjoying Obsession 42 the first summer we owned her (We have owned 3 boats called Obsession - a C&C 29, a Catalina 36 and now a Catalina 42).

Engine update - the rebuild should be finished soon and re-installation within the next week or so. (fingers crossed).  Other work on the stuffing box and propellor shaft will be completed too.  David is also designing a helm seat that will become a project for his students at BP Tech.  Electrical upgrade is in process and new canvas, dodger, bimini and enclosure have been ordered. 

He's happy cuz we're sailing -
he has a winch handle i his hand -
and we are healing and there is wave action off our stern.

We still love our wine and rum, and each other!

One of the Danbury Mint Lighthouses from my collection.
SANDY HOOK Lighthouse
We will certainly be seeing this on our trip south.




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Preparations Begin for 2016-2017 Retirement Dream Cruise - Join Us!

A HOLE IN THE WATER...?


Saturday, March 19, 2016.

Today's blog will be the first of the 2016 sailing season and extended season into 2017 with our retirement dream cruise down the ICW to points south and the return trip.  This blog will also be my experiment in using the iCloud photo library and practice in downloading pictures.  I will also be updating my e-mail list.  If you are receiving this blog and no longer want to, let me know, also, if you'd like to receive it by e-mail instead of looking for it on Facebook (I will continue to post it on FB) just inbox me your e-mail address, or even better yet, send me an e-mail and I'll add you to the list.  (nbbj2004@yahoo.com)
Obsession under sail from Newport to Fall River
after engine failure


Here we go...
At the end of last season (Labor Day Weekend, to be exact) Obsession experienced a major engine failure, the cause of which is still to be determined, but ultimately we have had to have the engine totally overhauled and rebuilt.  Along the way other problems surfaced, such as the stuffing box and the propellor shaft coupler after 10 years of use and good care will have to be replaced.  We are also replacing the canvas and the batteries, and upgrading the alternator and battery charger and installing new lifelines.  I'm sure we will find other things to upgrade, replace or fix as spring preparations get underway.
Engine removed from Obsession to be transported to
Niemiec Marine in New Bedford for repair.


Preparations also include downsizing the condo, preparing for renters, planning for car storage, browsing cruising guides and other sailors' blogs, and much more.   We are looking into mail forwarding services, becoming as much "paperless" and more on-line savvy as we can.




One last thing.  We would be most happy to have some friends meet and/or join us on our trip when possible.  While we will have an itinerary, it can be modified.  If you're interested in meeting up with us and/or joining us for any part of the trip, and can see your way to and from certain destinations along our route, let us know and we just might be able to work out a plan.



So far we plan to leave on September 15, 2016 from our mooring in Newport, RI, head to Block Island for a final Mudslide at the Oar, then on to Greenport, NY for a final grocery shop, ice, fuel, water and overnight electrical charge at the town dock. Next stop, Port Jefferson, one of our most favorite places on Long Island, then Port Washington before leaving for NYC where we will try to get reservations at Liberty Landing Marina. Sandy Hook is next, then Atlantic City then Cape May. I'm figuring 2-3 weeks for this part of the trip. Most of these day trips are 25-50 miles, except the one from Sandy Hook to Atlantic City. And...as you can see, that trip is along the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey.

Newport to Block Island
Block Island to Greenport, NY

Port Jefferson to Port Washington then to NYC

NYC to Sandy Hook then to Cape May

Of course, Cosmo and Zin will be with us all year.