July 2012 - Chesapeake - Page 2

7 July 2012   Warrenton, Virginia
We both had very sore seat bones this morning, my knees seemed fine – the Ibuprofen that I took last night seems to have worked.

We had a lesson in the morning and the focus was on cantering on a lunge line.  I really struggled with holding a sitting trot – I just kept losing my stirrups.  After lunch we went for a one hour hack to the training field by the lake again.  I was absolutely rubbish – I was trying to get the horse to walk and control her with my legs, but couldn’t get it right – after twenty minutes both the horse and I were completely confused.   I had a go at the sitting trot, but again couldn’t sort that out.  Glenys meanwhile was trotting and cantering around like a professional.

Glenys demonstrating a sitting trot, Virginia

Totally despondent, in the evening I turned to alcohol for comfort.  After dinner, Glenys and I tried to work out how to control a horse using our legs and resorted to sitting on each other’s backs to try to feel what the horse feels – I think that this worked because (despite the alcohol) I felt less confused as I went to bed.

8 July 2012   Warrenton, Virginia
We were up early again for a morning lesson.  We told Debbie that we wanted to practice controlling the horse with our legs and doing the sitting trot.   It was a very good lesson and we both managed to do good, slow, sitting trots turning the horses in various diameter circles.  We decided to have the afternoon off to rest our aching muscles.

Over lunch, we watched Andrew Murray play in the finals of the Wimbledon tennis championship – the first time that a British man has made it since 1938.  Unfortunately, his opponent, Federer, was a machine and won the match.  Later in the afternoon, we went out for a look at Warrenton, which was very sleepy and incredibly hot.  We took some respite from the heat by visiting a small museum based in the old jail house, which was interesting, focusing on the town's involvement in the Civil War.

9 July 2012   Warrenton, Virginia
It was a bit of a drizzly start to the day.  The insides of my thighs are really stiff and hurting now.  I spent an hour stretching and going for a run before riding at ten o'clock.

I realised that I’ve not heard anything from the boat yard for a few days and became very frustrated trying to contact them to find out what is going on.  Chuck eventually rang me after my third message and told me that they have done exactly nothing in the past week.  The generator is lying untouched on the workshop floor; they haven’t ordered all of the parts for the standing rigging, so basically we’ve wasted a week.  I told Chuck that I wasn’t happy and told him that I was going to end my vacation early to get back to the boatyard tomorrow as it was apparent that things weren’t getting done without me being there

Bucklands Farm, Warrenton, Virginia

I also explained the good old British saying of “Spitting out my Dummy” - for our American friends this translates to “Spitting out my Pacifier.”  He hopes that he’ll be able to get things moving this week, so that I’ll not have to do this.  I sent him a snotty email anyway and copied it to his boss.  Hopefully, they’ll get off their arses and have things moving by the time I get there on Wednesday 11th.

We had a good trail ride for a couple of hours.  Debbie was thrown off the pony that she was riding when it was spooked as we approached some woods - she’s training it to do trail rides, but it obviously needs more work.  We carried on to a large meadow where Glenys and I did our own thing – trotting and cantering around while Debbie gave her pony some intensive corrective training on a lunge line.  My inner thighs were burning for most of this time, but we had a few good canters.  Habana, the horse that I’ve been riding for the past four days is a ¾ thoroughbred horse and was very excited & twitchy as hell as we came back to the barn.  I ended up in the lead and had to keep circling to slow down to wait for the others – hard work.

We’ve had a brilliant four days of riding and I would thoroughly recommend going to Debbie if you want to go horse riding in mid Virginia.  (www.Lanternlanefarm.com).  We spent the rest of the day chilling out and getting ready to leave tomorrow to kick arse back at the boatyard.

10 July 2012   Deltaville, Chesapeake
We had a lazy start to the day with a lie-in and then drove back to Deltaville, stopping off in Culpepper for a short walk around.  We arrived back at boat yard at four o’clock, which just gave me enough time to go and hassle Chuck.  

He was a bit crinkly because I’d given him a hard time, but it appears things that are now starting to move – the rigging parts are on their way, the parts for the engine mounts and stern gear have been ordered,  the generator’s been cleaned up and they’re getting prices for spare parts for it.  The plan is to be finished by the end of next week – I’ll believe it when I see it.

Rusty anchor chain before and after galvanising

I picked up a few parcels that had been delivered while we were away – I love Amazon.  We’ve received a new depth instrument panel, zincs anodes for hull fittings, a music stand, etc.  I’ve made a mistake with the music stand because it’s huge – that’s the problem with buying things without seeing them physically.  It only cost $30 and it will probably cost me that to send it back, so it’s destined for a charity shop.

We went out for meal at Toby’s – a very rough and ready place, but the food was very good.

11 July 2012   Deltaville, Chesapeake
I caught up on a few things with Chuck.  He’s finally managed to get a quote for two security frames made out of stainless steel.  They’re fairly simple pieces designed to act as bars for the aft hatch and companion way, so that we can stop intruders getting down below when we’re asleep at night.  Unfortunately, the quote was $1,500 for the two items – I told him not to bother.  It really annoys me that people quote outrageous prices just because it’s for a yacht – I’ll find a small fabricator somewhere else to do the job.

On the positive side, I’ve received some pepper gel spray and a 6 million volt stun gun.  My security plan is firstly to have the hatch bars to prevent the robbers getting into the boat.  I can then put on all the deck lights, scream abuse at them and call for help on the VHF radio.  If they don’t go away then we escalate.  I have a 2 million candle power search light that I’ll shine in their eyes to blind them, and then I can spray pepper gel into their eyes.  If I manage to disable them all, then I’ll be rushing up on deck with my new 6 million volt stun gun and zapping them (preferably in the groin).  This should paralyse them long enough for me to tie them up with some long cable ties.

We drove over to Richmond and picked up the anchor and chain from the galvanisers – it’s all very nice and shiny now.

While we still had the car, we drove around and did a few errands for the rest of the day.  Glenys talked to our son, Craig, on Skype – now that he’s got a steady job, he’s thinking of buying a house in the UK, which is great news.  I fixed up a wall mounting for my guitar, so that it’s out of the way, but easily accessible when I want to practice.  I spent half an hour practising – my left hand finger tips hurt now.

12 July 2012   Deltaville, Chesapeake
We had a slow start to the day, easing ourselves back into work.  I spent most of the morning organising various jobs and buying things on the internet.

Glenys polishes the topsides

Clifton, the rigger is getting on with building the standing rigging, but not much else is happening because we’re waiting for parts to arrive – engine mounts, cutless bearing, generator parts, etc.  The winches are being picked up tomorrow and should be fitted on Monday.  I’m guessing that next week will be chaos as everything happens at once.  I’m hoping that everything will be sorted out by next weekend.

I still have a problem with the windlass base.  The Lofran’s distributor has told me that Lofran’s parent company, Navimo are in receivership and he’s having great difficulty in getting anything out of Italy – perhaps the couriers haven’t been paid.  I mentioned my problem to Chuck who said that one of his engineers is very good at sorting things out and may be able to machine the seized bearing out of the base.  I gave him the base and the parts that need to fit into it – hopefully he can do something with it, so I cancelled the order for a new base.

Glenys did the laundry and then cleaned up some of the stainless steel on deck.  While the mast is removed, she can get at some parts that aren’t normally accessible.  I painted the anchor locker with bilge paint to get rid of the rust stains from the anchor chain.  It was a bit of a mission hanging upside down, in the blazing sun, reaching down 5 foot into the bottom of the locker.

13 July 2012   Deltaville, Chesapeake
Friday the 13th today, but a lucky one for me – Chuck dropped off our windlass base with the bearing and seal all fitted.  It’s a miracle.  I ran a few errands while we’ve still got a hire car and then started to put the windlass back together.

Chuck moved the stands that are holding up our boat allowing Glenys to paint the remaining hidden patches with antifouling.  She then moved back onto polishing the topsides.

I was told that a new heat exchanger for the generator is $1,200 – what a rip off, but I’ve lost the will to argue now and told them to order it.

In the afternoon, we took the hire car back to Gloucester and they drove us back to Deltaville.  We went to the barbeque area in the evening.  We’d planned to have a shared meal of lamb with Stan from “Green Eyes” – lamb is a scarce luxury in Virginia.  There was another group of people who had prepared a steamed, seafood meal with a huge pile of crabs, prawns, clams, sweet corn, onions & potatoes,  all boiled up in huge pots.  We helped them eat the sea food before having a second course of lamb – we were stuffed.