Heading up the Chesapeake - Page 2

3 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
We hired a car from Enterprise, who came to pick up us from their depot 12 miles away.  It was a bit irritating that they were 40 minutes late, but the driver and the staff were so friendly that I didn’t have the heart to moan.  

Berthed in Herrington Harbour North

The on-line price for the daily hire was $60, but when we were picking the car up, we found out that the price doesn’t include any insurance at all - apparently, Americans use their normal car insurance for rental hire. There was nothing we could do except buy the expensive daily insurance from Enterprise, which increased our daily rental to $110 – very annoying.  Trying not to sulk too much, we drove to Annapolis.  

At Maritime Plastics, we met Jameson, who was very helpful.  There was a slight technical problem in that the existing lenses were 7mm thick and Jameson only had imperial sizes – 1/4” or 3/8”.  After a few minutes of debate, we decided to use 1/4”, which is 6mm, so it’s only 1mm thinner.  The strength of the slightly thinner acrylic is not a problem and bed of sealant holding the lens in place will be 1mm thicker and less likely to leak.  Jameson recommended that I use a silicone sealant called SCS2000, so I bought 5 tubes. 

Initially, Jameson said that the lead time was two weeks, but after I’d told him about our 12 leaking holes in the coach-roof, he said that it was a quick and uncomplicated job, so he would try to fit it in quickly.  I told them that I only had the hire car for today, so Jameson said that he would try to do the job today – he would ring me at 15:00 and tell me if it would be today or next week. 

After lunch at McDonalds, we drove into the centre of Annapolis and strolled around the streets for a while.  It’s a pretty place with many old colonial clapboard houses and the high street looks like Lymington in the UK.   At 14:40, Jameson rang me and told me to call by at 16:00.  We picked up the new lenses and Jameson explained the best procedure for using the sealant and installing the lenses.  Although the 12 lenses and sealant cost me $600, I’m really pleased to have them made on the same day – I’m now 2 weeks ahead of my schedule.

Boat Jumble

On the way back to the marina, we called at a couple of supermarkets.  Bizarrely, the supermarkets here in Maryland are not allowed to sell any alcohol and so we had to go to a liquor store to top up our beer and wine stocks.

4 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
No peace for the wicked, we were up at 06:00, so that we could set up a stall for the local boat jumble.  Roger at Free State Yachts had kindly lent us a table, so we loaded up the car and set up our stand.  The main item to sell was our Sailrite sewing machine, but we had lots of cruising guides and other stuff that we didn’t need any more.

Sales were a little slow with people wanting to pay only a few dollars for things, but we managed to get $600 for our sewing machine and $100 for other bits and bats, so it was well worth the effort.  At 10:30, we packed up; dropped the unsold stuff back at the boat; and took the car back to Enterprise, who then gave us a lift back to the Marina.

The boat looked like a bomb had hit it, so we spent the afternoon tidying up and getting the dinghy off the front deck.  Some of the unsold items went into the garbage skip; others into a free-cycle skip; and the rest went back into the lockers.

Later in the afternoon, Tom and Dorinda from “Corsair” came around to pick up the sewing machine.  Glenys showed them how to use it and then we had a few beers.

5 May 2019   Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
It started to rain heavily in the middle of the night, so I had to get up to check if the hatch holes were leaking – thankfully all was well.  It was still raining in the morning, so we focused on inside jobs.

Cleaning the aft cabin bilges

In November 2017, while we were in South Africa, I tried to do some maintenance work on the bearing hub for our steering wheel and ran into trouble.  I damaged the wheel-locking assembly, but the steering wheel worked fine.  We still had many miles to sail, so I was very reticent to damage the hub further and risk being trapped in South Africa for months.  So for the last 18 months, we’ve been using a piece of rope to lash the wheel.  

We pulled the aft cabin apart, so that I could get access to the rudder quadrant.   I lashed the rudder quadrant to stop it moving as the tides changes and then removed the steering hub.  I thought that I’d bent a pin inside the steering hub and would have to pay a few hundred dollars to get it machined out.  It turned out that the pin wasn’t bent and came out very easily.  I’ve lost sleep worrying about the problem for 18 months and I could have sorted out the problem in South Africa – duuhhh.

I stripped down the hub and removed the bearings.  It looks like the brake assembly wasn’t working because one of the bearings had leaked grease and the brake pad had become detached from its disk.  I bought all the spare parts when we were in the UK last year, so I have everything to sort the job out, but my main priority was the hatches, so I left the assembly until tomorrow.

I spent an hour cleaning the old silicone sealant from one of the hatches that I’d removed.  Meanwhile Glenys spent a couple of hours cleaning the bilges in the aft cabin.  A thankless task, but we want the bilges clean before a prospective buyer has a survey of the boat.  We also took the opportunity to throw away some of the electrical wire, hoses and other spare parts that I store in the aft cabin – we’re trying to de-clutter the boat.

First Lens stuck in its frame

With the hatch all cleaned up, I planned out how I was going to fix the new lens into the frame.  I’m like a three year old when I get my hands on a sealant gun and normally make a terrible mess, so I was very methodical and had everything to hand.  I have to do 12 of these hatches so I wanted to have a “fool-proof” method.  

I masked everything off nicely and wore latex gloves and it all seemed to go okay at first.  My plan was to strip off the masking tape while the sealant was still wet.  I applied the black silicone sealant to the frame, inserted the new lens and applied more sealant to fill the gap.  I then used a washing up liquid solution to wet my finger while I smoothed down the surface.  

I thought I had it right, but when I stripped off the masking tape, the sealant was too uneven, so I ended up trying to smooth the sealant without the masking tape in place and it’s now smudged across the frame and lens.  I’ll just have to wait 24 hours until its set and try to remove the smudged sealant.

It continued to rain all evening, so we hunkered down below and watched the final episodes of Season 5 of Game of Thrones - Season 8 is being aired at the moment, so only three more seasons to go on our binge viewing.