Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Moving Onboard - Finally!

Jamestown Bridge, Newport, RI

A visit from Steve 
Today is moving day and we are out of our house.  With a one day stop in New Rochelle to visit Mom we should be living aboard Atalanta by Friday!  Recent days have been focused on packing all of our belongings in a 40 foot container and stocking Atalanta with what we think we will need for the next two years aboard.  With the transition in full swing, the magnitude of our adventure is finally hitting.  Spending time with family and friends has even more meaning.  Kay and I are looking forward to visits from friends and family.  We have our first booking for the end of February and are very excited to think about hosting Sue and Dennis in paradise. 
Atalanta is having some final work done on her this week.  Custom Navigation is installing our AIS system, which will allow us to identify other boats by name on the open seas.  This is a key piece of safety equipment for open water passage making.  We are also getting our SAT phone set up so we will be able to access phone and data regardless of our location, including out at sea. 
With a little bit of luck, we will be leaving Bristol, RI the first week in September.  Our first leg of the journey will take us to familiar waters in Long Island Sound, culminating with a visit with Mom. 
Many of you have helped us greatly to prepare for this trip.  Kay and I are very grateful.  From Paul allowing us to store our container, to Rachel and Pat baby sitting our Truck, to Tara and Chad helping us move, to Dennis and Susan with all their advice, ideas and experience.  There are others, too many to list including all the venders, mechanics, and Bristol Marine.  Thank you one and all.
Our next posting will be the first of the actual voyage.  Stay tuned and stay in touch.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Engine Work a Success

Murray Grooving on the Wind
We just returned to Vermont after a great cruise east.  The overall purpose of the trip was to get our engine repaired at Hanson Marine Engineering in Marblehead, MA.  On the way we decided to have some fun and relaxation.  After a strong wind, high waves and rain, we arrived in Cuttyhunk.  Getting into the protection of Cuttyhunk Harbor gave new meaning to the phrase "shelter from the storm."  The next day we advanced to Quissitt to pick up Chad and Tara for a little R and R on Martha's Vineyard (see prior post).

Cape Cod Canal
Heading East
The sail to Marblehead (2/3's the way to Maine) was beautiful.  Fortunately, we were able to sail most of it and avoid using the engine which was leaking oil at a rate of 2 quarts every 4 hours.  Hanson Marine Engineering provides high quality work including a specialty with older Perkins engines like ours.  Fred Knowles has been our engine guru for the past three years.  He indicated that the rear main seal needed to be replaced.  Hanson was the only operation willing to do it with the engine in the boat.  All others wanted to pull the engine at a cost of over $10,000 (which doesn't include the engine repair).

We were on a mooring at the Boston Yacht Club for four days while Dan and Robbie did the Job.

Dan figuring out how to Lift the Engine 

Day one: problem solving how to raise the engine in the boat (6 inches or so) so that they could pull off the shaft, transmission, bell housing, and rear fly wheel to get to the rear seal.
Engine Lift Plate
In Cockpit

Day two: actually lift the engine, disassemble and get the part to the shop for the install of a new rear seal.

Pulling the Bell Housing
Off the Perkins

Day three:  Put it all back together and make sure it works.

Tight Engine Space
Robbie and Dan worked tirelessly. Some amazing problem solving to issues that they were constantly being challenged by became the order of the day.  It was amazing to watch them work.  What a great team.

By 4:00 PM on Saturday, the work was complete, the engine ran flawlessly, and the problem was solved.  Hard to believe how much work it was to put in a $75.00 part.  I cannot say enough good about Hanson and the job Robbie and Dan did.  Thanks Fred for making it all go so smoothly.  Now Kay and I feel the engine is ready for our journey south!

Tools of the Trade

Home Sweet Home

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Points East

Kay and Murray in the Narragansett

On July 24th, with Leo and Inky, we left Bristol, RI bound for Newport.  With the wind out of the south, we tacked our way out of the Narragansett.  After a wonderful day of sailing and a great dinner at the Moorings in Newport, we said goodbye to our guests and prepared to leave for points east the next morning.  The weather on the 25th was poor. With high seas and winds and fair to poor visibility we sailed to Cuttyhunk.  Cuttyhunk is the last of the Elizabeth Islands, a chain of islands that extend from Cape Cod into the North Atlantic and define Buzzards Bay to the North and Vineyard Sound to the South.  A tiring ride as the seas reached 4-6 feet and the winds were over 20 kts.  After a few bourbons and a good nights sleep in the protected inner harbor, we headed to Quissett Harbor to pick up Kay's daughter Tara and Chad.  
On Charlie and Cathy's mooring
in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard

Once they were on board, the weather became beautiful.  We sailed to Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, both on Martha's Vineyard.  After returning to Quissett and saying good bye to Chad and Tara, we began our journey to Marblehead to meet Hanson Marine and Engineering for some fairly extensive engine work.  The journey to Marblehead is about 2/3 the distance to Maine.  Seems a shame not to continue there but unfortunately, time doesn't allow us this pleasure.
Chad and Tara

After one night in Plymouth, we were able to reach Marblehead with calm seas and clear skies.  Thursday and Friday will be engine work days, with Bobby and Dan pulling the rear end off the motor and replacing a rear seal.  Not a small or easy job to do while the boat is in the water.
Super Yacht on the Rocks in Woods Hole
In the Cape Cod Canal on way to Marblehead

While the boat is being repaired, we will explore Marblehead, a beautiful old sailing port, filled with homes from the 1700's, history, and stories.
At anchor in Hadley Harbor (Woods Hole)