Return to Naptown: An Update

Put this guy to work scaring off the 30-plus ducks that were overrunning Stella’s Marina. He did his job well.

Apologies for being radio silent since I brought Further south to Annapolis. Yes, I’ve been busy but I’ve also been lazy, too. And a tad frustrated. Details on all of that follow.

So, the plan was to be here in Annapolis for a couple of weeks, primarily to help a friend with her booth at the U.S. Sailboat Show and also to get some work done on the boat, before wending my way down the Chesapeake to Hampton, Virginia. I would be there for a week or so, linking up with the Salty Dawg Rally and departing offshore for Antigua on 3 November.

Well, the boat show was interesting. I’ve done the show most years since 2011 but this was the first time I actually OWNED a boat. So instead of being a show of daydreams, the sailboat show became a show of “do I really need that?” and “can I actually afford that?” Between that personal shift, and the very real sense that the show was smaller and had less stuff than usual, and this year’s U.S. Sailboat Show was kind of a downer.

Still, I did buy a few things, including some nesting kitchenware that fits in my galley (so I could ship my Calphalon pots back home to Plum Island), some odds and ends, and even a long-desired sewing machine. That’s right: I bought a sewing machine. And I’ve spent time since the show learning how to use it. It’ll be a while before I’m whipping out awesome canvaswork, but it’s a-comin’. You just wait.

Enjoying a glass of wine by the fire at Stella’s Marina

It was around the time of the show that I discovered that Further was in need of some work. The shaft seal—where the propeller shaft passes through the hull of the boat—developed a slow leak. Not enough to sink the boat but enough that I was wary of going offshore without fixing the situation. In looking back over the receipt from when I had the engine checked out last March, I rediscovered this tidbit: “Packing box is out of adjustment range (PSS over compressed). Replace when needed.” So it was really nothing new, it just wasn’t pressing…until now.

Thing is: to replace a shaft seal means pulling the boat out of the water, and boat yards hereabouts are pretty busy this time of year. I found one yard (where my friend, Renee, had a ton of work done on her boat last autumn) able to do the work. I spoke to them early last week, at which time they said they’d get the parts in first and then I’d bring the boat over for them to haul out and do the work—Thursday-Friday of last week, or maybe Monday-Tuesday of this week. I got an email from them last night saying the parts will be in by the end of day THIS Thursday, meaning the work won’t begin until Friday. And it’s a two-day job, minimum, so I’d have to scrounge up a place to stay over the weekend (I can’t live aboard while Further is out of the water). Sigh. I’ll talk to them today about when the work is ACTUALLY going to get done.

As evidenced by the yard, the marine industry here in Annapolis is very much on island time. I’ve written about this before: “No worries, mate” and “Soon come” and “Mañana” are the M.O.’s in Naptown. So my guess is: I’ll take the boat over on Monday, the work will get done Monday through probably Wednesday (because a two-day job will invariably take longer than two days), and then I’ll be back in the water.

But that means I’ll be back in the water too late to join the Salty Dawg Rally. As a result, I’ve been pretty despondent since last night’s email. Hell, I even had one or two quality people lined up to go along as crew for the trek. Really. Again: sigh.

In the mud yet again. Compare how the stern is up out of the water…

No matter. I know I have it good and easy compared to billions. My town didn’t get nuked off the map by a hurricane a couple of weeks ago, I have a roof over my head and food on the table, and despite being stuck in the mud in the marina (as I experienced so much last year), things in Jones Cove are quite enjoyable. Oh, and I’m quite certain I’m going to win that $1.6 billion lottery tonight, too, so there’s that.

…with the waterline in this photo. Further afloat in her slip…what a concept!

And if going south doesn’t happen (although there’s no reason I can’t go on my own, separate from the rally), there’s an open slip at a nearby marina with deeper water AND a couple of job prospects here in the Annapolis/D.C. area, so another winter in Naptown may be in order. And in a worst-case scenario, I could haul Further out of the water, winterize her and go back home until spring.

Autumn twilight over Jones Cove

So there’s a lot on my plate right now. And then there’s the little fact that the Red Sox start the World Series tonight…

4 Replies to “Return to Naptown: An Update”

  1. Fear not – sometimes the universe throws you a lifeline. Maybe – just maybe – if the boat yard knows you need to be prepped for the southern departure – the crew will be ready to help it done this weekend. And then you can prep next week for the journey. And then your Sox will win the World Series.

    It could all come together for you – you just have to be open to the possibility that the cards are aligned for you. After all – you’re on an incredible journey and warm water and sun just may still be in your future!

  2. Sending landlubber best wishes getting shipshaped along with, less so, good lucks as related to events at Fenway

  3. Thanks for the update, Circum! Keep the faith on the Further front, brother, and the Sox are about to win another World Series. Fare thee well, and we’re rooting for you from Conkid!

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