SEPTEMBER---Deltaville, VA

Boat Maintenance:

For those of you ,who read last month's log, it ended with a cliff hanger----" Would Carl find the 3.5 amp short/leak that was running down the batteries?" Good news, he finally isolated and fixed the short on the9/3. Carl is my Sherlock Holmes of Electrical Mysteries! Personally don't understand electricity but can report the source was at the generator. Still don't know if we are having problems because of old, bad batteries or if the problems are due to our charger/inverter. Shipped the charger/inverter off to a service center in Florida. Carl took two batteries out of service so operating on four of them until we get to Florida where we will buy six new ones. Keith on CAMELOT let us use his spare charger/inverter while ours was at the service center. Basically stumbled around the boat without any power for a week until we started using Keith's charger/inverter. Our charger/inverter was returned to us on 9/13---needed a new electronics board.

My primary responsibility in the maintenance area is washing and waxing. Took 6 days to wax the hull. Brought our own scaffolding this year which worked well for me. Took another 4 days to wax the cockpit and smooth surfaces on the deck. Last year I did not have time to wax the cockpit or deck which is not a good thing. The hull and cockpit look mighty fine.

Carl discovered a crack in the post that holds the wind generator and radar. He brought a ladder up into the cockpit and climbed up on the radar arch to take the radar and generator down and then take the post down. Of course, the ladder was set-up when I wasn't around for me to see and then give him my thoughts regarding safety. The set-up did not look safe at all. Carl found a machine shop that fabricated something to his design. When he opened up the wind generator housing for general maintenance---it was filled with rust. Last year the yard left the generator in the cockpit during Hurricane Irene (the yard was working on our new mast step). Ordered new bearings which have been installed.

Checked out the watermaker.....found some broken fittings. Ordered fittings which have been installed.

Last year, we would hear the freshwater pump kick on every once in awhile but could not find the leak. This fall, this pump was coming on more and more frequently. The bilge pump was also kicking on every day. Had to find that leak. The hunt for the leak started by checking all the usual suspects (places where we have found leaks before) but found nothing. I suggested to Carl there were only three possible suspects left---the cockpit shower, the faucet in the head or the head shower. Carl said the cockpit shower was hard to get at and he didn't want to even think about trying to get at the head shower so he checked the head sink. BINGO!!! The leak is fixed---what a relief. Haven't heard the fresh water pump during the night once since fixing the leak under the head sink.

About September 11---things were under starting to get under control so talked about a target date to splash (9/2)1. However, on the 14th....Carl decided to fire up the radar---the radar would not boot up. Took it out to a Raymarine dealer......the board was blown. At this point, we started to wonder if perhaps our boat was affected by a lightning strike. Started asking around ......there was a vicious electrical storm a couple weeks before we arrived. Lightning hit the tree directly across the road from us taking off a limb. Also a transformer was hit---the marina lost all their electronics associated with the fuel and waste pumps. Carl contacted our insurance company--this started the process which has delayed our "early start" to the 2012-2013 cruising season.

Carl bought another solar panel from Erin and Bob on MANDY.

By the end of the month......all routine maintenance has been performed. We are ready to go except no radar or chartplotter! I think a herd of gremlins got on board this summer to raise havoc!

The boat's interior is a total disaster during project time All the tools come out of the garage and are spread all over from bow to stern. Oh, the joys of getting the boat ready for launching. About every 3 days, the two of us work together to organize the boat when the chaos gets out of hand. On the right is a photo of DISCOVERY with its washed and waxed hull.


DISCOVERY is still on the watched TILT in the lift heading for the water. Just one week for them on the hard and they are in the water. Splash envy.


Found that pesky water leak! The fitting for the hot water side of the faucet.


Projects can be hard work. Caught Carl taking a nap one afternoon. Yes, he is asleep holding his smart phone. On his lap is the West Marine catalog! Sleeping so hard that the flash on the camera did not wake him.


Boatyard News:

When we arrived the last week of August......the boatyard was like a cemetery. The only people staying on their boats in the yard was Ken and Louiselle (FAIR WINDS), John (HOPE FLOATS), Ron and Lena (the other DISCOVERY) and us. Kris and Craig (TILT) arrived on 9/6. Eventually cruisers started arriving---Michael (WIND IN THE WILLOWS), Erin and Bob (new owners of MANDY), Stephen and Marja (MOTU), Sharon and Bill (SIMPLE PLEASURE), Paul and Linda (BLIND FAITH), Rick and Linda (SOJOURNER) and Rose and Keith (CAMELOT). Sure do miss George and Doris (GRACE) who stayed in Florida during hurricane season and Kathy and Mike (SAPPHIRE) who decided not to cruise this year. By month's end---only TILT, the other DISCOVERY and FAIR WINDS have launched.

The book shelves in the lounge are over-flowing but I have resisted picking up any books (love my Kindle). Up until a week ago there no items on the donation shelf. There is a new dryer in the laundry room that runs for 99 minutes. The marina has gone green (bring your own glass for water and cup for coffee). It appears there are fewer employees working in the yard and it appears that the yard is catering to the big, big boats! Other than that.....all is the same as in past years.


It was hot and humid the first couple days of September. We'd work awhile and then head to the air conditioned lounge for a break. Drank lots of water to stay hydrated. One night it was too hot to sleep so we went up to the lounge around midnight and watched a movie. The remnants from Hurricane Issac arrived around the 3rd with lots of rain which helped cool it down. Other than that first week......the daily temperatures have been much better for working. It cools off quickly once the sun goes down. Enjoying the warm to hot days while we can knowing that it can get pretty darn cool to cold in October!

Happy Hour and Dinner:

Until the electrical issues were resolved , we ate out or bought "take out" from the small deli at the Deltaville grocery store. (Note: no electricity means no refrigeration or even cabin lights at night) The deli makes some finger lickin' good fried chicken. Yes we know that fried chicken isn't good for us but it is so delicious. Ate a couple times at the Galley and the pizza place which has new owners. The new owners serve beer/wine and a much better pizza compared to the pizza served by the previous owners.

Drove to Kilmarnock one evening.with Ken and Louiselle for ribs. Arrived at the restaurant at 7:05 PM----it closed at 7:00 PM! Asked a woman in the parking lot for a recommendation. She suggested KC's Crab and Cue (about 3 miles east of Kilmarnock). It was a great suggestion. Shared the KC Combo--two pieces of fish, 4 shrimp, 3 scallops and 3 oysters with the best Hush Puppies I have ever tasted. Returned to KC's Crab and Cue with Kris and Craig. Met Tom on PERSERVERNCE II (Kathy was ill) and CHINOOK.

Once DISCOVERY''s refrigerator was running, started to eat down at the screen porch. Tried to keep the dinners simple because have to carry everything down the ladder and on to the porch. The bag gets heavy with dinner, tableware and beverages. By the middle of the month, more and more cruisers joined us in the porch. Everyone prepared their own dinner but everyone shared their cruising stories!

Went to the Middlesex Moose Lodge for dinner one Friday night with Kris, Craig, Ken and Louiselle. This lodge invites the public twice a month on Friday night. The Lodge had a spaghetti buffet set up. Ordered pitchers of beer for the table. Had a good time.

One night for dinner in the porch, Kris and I bought shrimp. She found an excellent marinade on-line. She also peeled the shrimp, prepared the marinade and skewered them for both of us. It was a lot of work for her and greatly appreciated. Kris also put some asparagus on the grill. I made a lemon, spinach, feta and orzo salad. An outstanding dinner. Would have to drive many miles to find a better dinner.

Meet at the screen porch around 5:00 PM for a drink and conversation before starting the grills. The photos below were taken the evening Keith and Rose arrived. Make chicken marbella with rice for dinner. Kris brought a great salad. When I take photos, I need to learn how to avoid that glare on the water from the setting sun!!!!


Special Events:

Jim and Bentley (SALTY PAWS) stopped in Deltaville for a couple days. Invited them to join us at the screen porch----told them everyone does their own thing as far as food is concerned. They brought their musical instruments and entertained us while we ate dinner (two nights in a row). The musicians did not go back to their boat hungry (cruisers shared dinner with them). I guess they "sang for their supper."

Deltaville Marina and Boatyard's Annual Crab Fest was held on 9/15. When the Crab Fest Announcement was posted on the bulletin board it said "Bring Your Own Favorite Beverage." What??? In the past, the owners provided beer as well as soft drinks and water. About 3 days before the party, heard that the yard crew was disappointed with the "no free beer" things and the crew let the owners know. Two days before the party, heard from one cruisers that there would be free beer after all. New this year at the fest......roasted pig. For my dish to share, I made a hash brown potato casserole. There were so many good sides that I was almost too full for crab and pork. Had a great time. Around 6:00 PM, Erin and Bob (MANDY) brought out their musical instruments (Erin plays guitar; Bob plays percussion). Stephen from RED RANGER also brought his guitar. Enjoyed some good music

As mentioned under Boat Mantenance.....we believe DISCOVERY was involved in a near lightning strike (no evidence of a direct hit but several electrical issues including two blown electrical boards). Carl contacted our insurance company (we have coverage for electronics with a $500 deductible). The process--have a certified Raymarine technician assess the equipment (all our equipment is Raymarine) . Deltaville Boatyard met the assessment requirement. Carl created a spreadsheet of all the electronics on board DISCOVERY to make it easy for the yard (basically a checklist) to complete the assessment. Deltaville did an out of water and in water assessment. What a surprise---they came up with the same results Carl did when he checked the equipment on his own. The insurance company sent a surveyor to make sure there wasn't any structural damage to the boat. The equipment assessment report was issued on the 26th. Waiting for our insurance company to tell us what the next steps are. The surveyor was not available the last week of September so we are waiting.

Kris and I went to the Deltaville Farmers' Market. Lots of booths but only one selling produce. Most of the tents have some kind of craft. Oh, there was a tent with local honey, local organic meat, local cheese and the some of the best bread you will ever taste. Ran into Allison and Mark (ANGEL) when we walked in (they had finished shopping and were headed back to their boat). Krs and Craig have spent time with Allison and Mark cruising. Carl and I met Mark and Allison in 2005 in the Dismal Swamp and haven't seen them since.

Photos from Crab Fest! The crabs arrive in bushel baskets and then transferred to cardboard trays. Welcome to take as many trays as you like. It takes a bit of work and time to pick a crab. New this year was a roasted pig. Yummy.


Top left is Kris and Craig (TILT). Top right is Rick (SOJOURNER). Bottom left is Linda (SOJOURNER). Notice the tables are covered with brown paper. The mallets are for beating the crab. There are lots of wipes and paper towels for your hands.


Carl enjoying his crab. Carl was more disciplined than I was when it came to the sides. He saved room for crab while I was filled up from all the side dishes.


Ken and Louiselle (FAIR WINDS)---their first time at Crab Fest. Louiselle really enjoyed the crab.


On the left is a photo of our table. On the right is Kris and I standing around sipping our beer.


Erin and Bob provided music. Everyone loved the music.

It is fun to get to know that guys that work in the yard in an non-work setting. Dan drives the lift. He is always so serious when he interacts with us in the yard. Dan is polite but maintains a deadpan face at work. It was a blast to see him enjoying the party and the music. He danced away and his face carried the biggest smile.

Below are two photos of Tom having a good time. Mostly know Tom as the crane operator. Erin and Bob brought their cask of dark rum that they shared with the crowd. If you wanted a sat in a chair and put your head way back. Erin then opened the spigot and the rum pours into your mouth.

Last two photos....Louiselle and Ken leaning on the beer truck listening to Erin and Bob. On the right is Lena (the other DISCOVERY) and Star (new gal in the Deltaville Boatyard office).

Submitted by:

Marilyn Thoreson
October 1, 2012