Travel 2017-2018

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That’s a Lot of Lead

House batteries were nearly dead. See House Batteries for their last days.

I have a theory that ice in the bilge may have frozen the switch in the on position, and the motor’s overheat protector kicked on and off over a period of weeks, running the batteries down in the dark winter months.

Or maybe they were just old. Or both.

Each one is 62# of lead and acid. They have to come out of the engine room, up the companionway ladder. 

Did I mention we’re on the hard? The deck is at least 10’ in the air. Climbing down a ladder holding a battery is an invitation to a disaster. 

We have a little 2-part block and tackle we use to raise the dinghy motor. This can hang from the mizzen boom. Or. I can sort of cheat and hang it from a mizzen halyard and lower the batteries over the side instead of over the transom. 

Hoisting is a similarly back-breaking chore of lashing a line through the handles in the tops and using the block and tackle to get them up onto the deck. Then down the ladder. Then wrestle them into their space in the engine room.

Here they are all snug in their beds, waiting for the wires to show up.

I’m going to install the Flow-Rite battery watering separately.

The previous batteries with T105 Plus with non-standard filler spacing.

These are T105, and there’s a HydroLink branded version of the FlowRite Watering System.





Then this. Note that the four house batteries are in different orientations. Plan carefully.

red ranger batteries

Yes, there are a passel of wires and fuses. The color coding is literally the color of the wires, making it easier for me to sort out what I’m doing.

When I was done, the charger was charging them, the voltage was sensible and my back is killing me from all all that lifting and hoisting.

House Batteries

The house batteries date from September 2011. We’ve gotten a hair over six years of service from batteries that are normally replaced every five years. They’re not *stone* dead. See Sudden Death—Joys and Concerns for details of the last time they died.

DSC03472

They’re not dead. But. They’re barely charging. The engine battery is happily sitting at over 13V. The house batteries, on the other hand, keep slipping down to 12V or less. And when the solar panels raise the voltage enough to charge the engine battery, it’s being drained by the house batteries. Not a good look.

I’ve got a little specific gravity tester. The acid seemed to register 1.10 (It’s hard to read.) This means there’s almost nothing in there but water. The sulphur is all bonded onto the lead. Which makes sense after six years.

Last time I replaced them, we were in the water. Moving each 62# battery off the boat was a series of awkward movements. Out of the engine room. Up the ladder. Out of the cockpit. Onto the dock. 

We’re on the hard, now. That means lowering the battery from the end of the mizzen boom using some kind of block-and-tackle. It certainly needs to be done ASAP so the pumps can keep the interior dry.

In 2013, I added these filler tubes to make it easier to top off the water. They’re great. But. The batteries still age.

IMG_1740

Now comes the hard choice: West Marine GC2 batteries or Trojan-brand? Theoretically, the WM is the same as the Trojan without the fancy maroon case. There is a minor difference: the WM is essentially the T105, and I’ve got T105Plus. The difference is 20 amp-hours times four batteries.

If I get the WM, I can have them delivered to the local store. To get the Trojan’s, I may have to go to Stevens Battery Warehouse in Annapolis to pick them up. Not too difficult, really.

Winterizing and The Pink Stuff

When we lived aboard, we didn’t winterize. Winterizing is a potentially big job. But we think we’re getting a grip on it. Except for one thing. And this year, it was a problem. So we had to do some diagnostic work.

Here’s the overview:

  1. Scout — the dinghy -- comes in. CA took a picture of Scout and I on the foredeck.
  2. Sails come down.
  3. Change the oil in the outboard.
  4. Put anti-freeze into the raw water system. (The Pink Stuff.)
  5. Drain (to the extent possible) the fresh water system. We don’t anticipate Great Lakes style super-cold winter conditions, so we can be a little flexible here.
  6. The bimini cover needs to come down to get cleaned, also.

The wind this past weekend was amazing. Gusting into the 20’s in the marina. So we left the sails in place for now. They’re hard to wrestle with if there’s any wind at all.

The raw water system has a clever winterizing setup. It starts with a case (6 gallons) of anti-freeze. 

We have a 6-gallon drywall bucket that has a hose fitting on the bottom. We have a 2-foot section of hose that feeds into the “sea chest.” (All of the raw water that comes into Red Ranger comes through a strainer into a box with outlets for the various systems.)

We close the through-hull input, attach the bucket to the sea chest, and work all of the raw-water systems.

  • The forward head flushes with raw water. We flush this until it runs pink. After that about a half-gallon will fill the hoses up through the anti-siphon fitting.
  • There’s a raw-water pump for the galley sink. Pump this until it runs pink.
  • The deck wash down uses raw water. Switch the valves and run the pump until it sprays pink on deck.
  • The engine uses raw water. This gets a little tricky.

(There used to be an aft head, air-conditioning, and refrigerations. They’re all gone, making our life simpler.)

The raw-water side of Mr. Lehman’s heat exchanger doesn’t really use too much anti-freeze. Only a gallon or so seems to sit in the heat-exchangers. The exhaust hoses may hold another gallon or so. 

The Tricky Part

The tricky part is getting Mr. Lehman to start in cold weather. He does not like the cold.

There’s a cold-start fuel override. This is really important because a cold engine won’t crank very much at all. It’s a huge burden on the starter motor, which means a huge burden on the starting battery.

The cold-weather start is a two-step process. Pull the engine cutoff and then push it in. Set the throttle pretty wide open. Then run down to the engine room and push a small “button” on the side of the fuel pump. There’s a little “clank” noise as a throttle bypass is set up.

DSC02218

Crank. The engine starts with a vengeance. It’s a sudden, loud firing of cylinders.

Leave the throttle wide open until all four a firing. Failure to do this means you have to do the process again.

And again.

Do Not try to simply crank a cold engine.

You know you’re in trouble when the alarm buzzers stop working. 

Yes. You read that right. The alarm buzzers stopped. Voltage displayed on the panel? 1.88V.

1.88V. 

That’s all of the batteries stone dead. Or is it?

Theory 1. They’re all actually dead. Volt-Ohm meter indicates they’re not dead. Also. Engine room light is on. So house is working. 

Theory 2. Starter battery is dead. I can use the emergency bridge to let house and starter work together. Or. I can just buy a new starter battery. It’s not complex to unwire the starter and lift it out.

So. I start unwiring the starter battery. Wait.

IMG_2358

The fuse looks “funny”

If you look closely just above the V in 58V, you’ll see that the conductor has burned away. 

And yes, that’s a 300A fuse. That’s about the ampacity rating of the huge #0 wires from battery to starter. That’s a lot of current. A real lot. This is a difficult fuse to burn out.

We have a spare. Volt-Ohm meter shows the starting battery at 12.8V. It’s still healthy. 

Put the battery back together. One more careful, careful try at this. 

  • Is the cold weather starter thingy set? Yes.
  • Throttle wide open? Yes.
  • Alarms buzzing? Yes.

The fourth or fifth try (I lost count) was the charm. Started. Ran. Flawlessly. It drained the last three gallons of pink stuff into the cooling system. 

Yay!

Afterwords? Overall system voltage at 13.55. Solar panels charging. Batteries reasonably happy.

Two more jobs to do: sails and fresh water. A few more weekends in which to do them.

Counter Top Replacement

The whole story is kind of complex. The bottom line is that we have a counter-top issue in Red Ranger’s galley. A serious “Concern”. Or maybe Concern in bold.

There are two strategies available. (Three, if “Ignore It” is a strategy.)

  • Replace the counter top with a new counter top using new materials.
  • Skin the counter top with something that conceals the “concern.”

When we lived in Florida, we put a layer of composite particle board on the counter-top. It was super-easy to work with, because it was flexible. You could cut it and force-fit it into place. A little silicone and we were done in a day. Done. 

It was nice. For a year or two.

Now it’s looking a little icky. And we (by “we”, I mean “The Commodore”) saw kitchen countertops made from recycled materials.

“Ooooh,” was the command I was given. 

Start here: https://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/All-Products/Cabinets-Countertops-Countertops

Wow.  The Richlite recycled paper. Wow. Wow.

But. 

That requires dismantling the galley. The fiddles have to go. And then I have to figure out how to replace them. The countertop includes a cupboard with a lid in it. I’d have to figure out how to cut the countertop to put the hinged lid (with a nice frame) inside it.

That’s serious finish carpentry. Careful cutting. Proper tools. Several days to get it apart cleanly. A week or more to reassemble. 

Nope. Replacing the counter-top is a big-old nope.

And. The smallest piece of Richlite is immense. Fine for your terrestrial house. But way too big for the 36″×18″ space.

The Skin Alternative

Here’s what we did instead.

https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/52421575

This is High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). It’s a cutting board. NSF-safe cutting board material. Suitable for food handling. It’s ¼″ thick. 

It sits on top of the old material nicely. It’s awkward to cut because it’s super flexible. You really need an assistant (or a table saw) to keep it from flopping around why you cut.

It sands (and files) like wood, leaving a million little plastic beads. Have a vacuum cleaner handy.

It doesn’t drill well at all. It catches the bit in a curlicue of plastic and the drill jams and wrenches.

The big holes have to be cut in phases. Cut for a few seconds. Pull the hole saw out and knock out the plastic that accumulates in the teeth. Cut for a few seconds. Knock out the plastic. Eventually, you get all the holes cut. Maybe your hole saws are better than mine, but mine jammed solid.

Cutting the sink hole isn’t too bad. The wood isn’t exactly the right shape so, I cut inside the wood and then filed and sanded until the sink went in. The clamps hold the sink against the underlying wood, so it’s solid. Solid.

However.

The fittings (two fresh-water, one raw water) are now going through a countertop that's ¼″ thicker than it was before. It appears that most fittings expect 1½″ and that’s how long the threads are.

In particular, the back of the Delta faucet had two big plastic “nut-with-washer” things that hold the faucet assembly down. The bold was now too short, only a few threads would grab. But. A ⁹⁄₁₆″ nut with a big fender washer seems to do the trick. 

Edging

So. There’s this edge around the HDPE skin over the counter top. What to do?

Nothing adheres well to HDPE. Silicone sealant will cling, but it’s not a proper adhesive. Clear silicone it is. 

And. This thing I learned online.

  • Vinyl Glove.
  • Rubbing Alcohol.
  • Two Paper Towels.

Silicone the seam. Remember. Push the bead forward from your caulk gun. 

Done?

Splash some alcohol on one paper towel. Put on your gloves. Wipe your finger with alcohol. Run it along the silicone bead to push it down and create a nicely curved fillet. 

Wipe the excess silicone onto the dry towel. Refresh the alcohol with the wet towel. When you’re done, it looks really good.

Back Story

In case you’ve gotten this far. The story is long because the Whitby was designed with a double sink. In the confined space, a 24″ double sink means two sinks that are too small for anything useful.

The previous owner had replaced it with a single sink that was 20″ or so. And a block of wood to fill the void. The wood rotted.

We put a particle board skin down. It was ¹ ⁄₈″ thick and didn’t matter much when reassembling the fixtures. Now we’ve got something that will last the life of the boat. 

The Portlight Issue

The Whitby has a dozen opening portlights. Plus three hatches.

In the bright, tropical sun, it can get warm. Really warm.

The previous owner had curtains. We took those out because they’re dust and mildew catchers. 

We tried to make window shades from HDPE board. If you’re careful, you can cut a piece of “ Laminated Polyethylene (HDPE) Corrugated sheet” that fits the lens of the Beckson Portlight, and wedge it in. It cuts most of the light. 

Yes, they get old and brittle. But they’re cheap! $12 fills all of the portlights with a shade.

We’ve decided to try some SOLYX window tint film. CA got some samples. They have patterned privacy films and different levels of transmission for UV protection.

Unretouched image of film and no-film.

She also bought SOLYX’s little installation kit with the fancy squeegee and box-cutter. We had a squirt bottle to mix up soapy water — this is essential.

Also, they talked about using two pieces of tape to separate film from backing. There’s a knack to this. Once you figure it out, you can use two pieces of masking tape and — with only a few false starts — get the plastic to separate. While you’re peeling, squirt it with soapy water until it’s so slick it will slide all over the window. She squished it on, and then carefully used the razor knife to trim the edges.

It’s exacting work. Stressful because the material is so fine, it’s hard to make a clean cut that doesn’t involve tearing some part of the file.

We had to take a stress break to make espresso after doing the six portlights in the main saloon and v-berth.

We waited until the next day to do the aft cabin. Once that was done, we could mess with hose clamps and other ordinary chores.

We think we want to add some more LED light bars. About eight years ago, I bought a really nice “Tigress” red/white LED strip. Back then, it was the state of the art. They’re not made anymore because simplistic red/white has become kind of dumb.

LED light bars nowadays are either bright one-color, or they’re RGBW with a color-mixing control that allows you to pick any color you want. Or let it do different sequences of fancy color displays. The shopping is excruciatingly complex.

We also want to replace the counter-top.  Something like Green Building Supply’s Recycled Paper Countertops looked really cool. But they’re thick and heavy and expensive. We only need a tiny (36″×18″) piece. This is difficult to buy, because the pieces tend to be huge. They don’t seem to offer a cutting service.

Instead. We’ll go with a big sheet of HDPE. Essentially, a cutting board. A little silicone goo to keep water out, and we may have a better countertop. Boring white, but without a seam and a leak.

Contrasts

It was a weekend of contrasts. Two dear friends came down to visit for the weekend and sail. We’ve had some drive-by visits where a quick sail on Red Ranger can be worked out. This visit was a stark contrast to those. These were folks looking to sail. 

To make things more complex, we have tenants on Red Ranger.

Chris was seriously entertaining a “crack-of-dawn” departure: nautical twilight. 40 minutes before sunrise. Amy was not delighted with the idea because we didn’t need to cover a lot of miles by sailing through all of the available daylight hours.

Saturday, we got a comfortably early start. The wind built from what we call 10g15 (10 kn gusting to 15 kn, or F4) to a steady 17 kn (or F5.) When we cross over to Beaufort F5, conditions start to get sporty. The good news is that the sea state in the Bay was pretty flat, so it didn’t turn into Red Ranger crashing into the waves, throwing spray everywhere.

We started the day with a relatively simple Yankee-Mainsheet until the wind was clearly past the 17kn threshold. While we could reef the main, I prefer to drop  the main entirely, and raise the mizzen. Since the winds were building and projected to keep building, jib-and-jigger seemed more prudent.

Our tenants — the crew of Island Time — were working at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis. That meant we could sail around with their apartment during the day on Saturday.  Chris, Amy, CA, and I went back to DC to leave Red Ranger for the tenants on Saturday night.

On Sunday, we returned to the boat. The six of us spent a long time chatting while we waited to see if the rain was really gone or whether there might be a tiny bit wind.

The wind didn’t show up, but we went out for an hour or so and drifted around haphazardly. We rigged the mizzen stays’l to see if we could coax a little speed out of Red Ranger in the nearly still air. 

On the left side of the picture is the mizzen mast and mizzen sail. There’s a red sail cover in the lower left corner. The mizzen stays’l is a vast contraption, stretching from just abaft of the main mast all the way back to the end of the mizzen boom. 

Saturday — blustery and lively, Sunday — chatty and slow: a weekend of contrasts.

Whitby-Brewer Rendezvous 2017

When we bought Red Ranger, we bought more than a boat. We bought a family. This year’s rendezvous involved six boats at the West River Sailing Club dock, and almost 30 people in the various presentations.

CA put together an epic program and party.

Our trip up on Sunday was bouncy and unpleasant. There was 10 kn of wind directly on the nose. There was no alternative to bouncing up the bay. We hoisted the sail near the West River Green “1”, but only sailed for a half-hour or so. We had a schedule, and beating back and forth wasn’t really part of it.

While Monday is the expected arrival day, Sunday had good conditions and several boats arrived early. Our contract with WRSC doesn’t really start until Monday, but, the club was flexible.

The proper content begins on Tuesday.

We learned about the refit on Uhane Kai. It’s almost done. She may be departing the Chesapeake next year.

We learned about surveying from a local surveyor, Karen Alt.

We discussed weather, and weather resources. Terry, of Island Time, moderated the discussion. Here’s what I jotted down.

Attainable adventure cruising. https://www.morganscloud.com/about/

Modern Marine weather. https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Marine-Weather-Traditions-Technology-ebook/dp/B00BZDR2XE

http://Saildocs.com

http://passageweather.com

http://www.buoyweather.com

Delorme in reach weather

Weather underground marine 

http://www.marvsweather.com/cu_01.html

We learned about the San Blas islands from the crew of Memory. Get Eric Bauhaus’ book.

We learned about dinghy renovation from the crew of Shooting Star.  We’re going to buy some ToobSeal for the pinhole leak in our dinghy.

We learned about sewing projects from the crews of Indefatigable and Alembic.

We got some promotional gear from Sailrite, including hats, shirts, and tote-bags. We had a raffle to share the bounty among all the crews in attendance. (I got a new hat.)

And that was just the first day!

On Wednesday, we shared tips and best practices. This is facilitated by Deb, of Island Time, who makes sure that everyone can share their lessons learned with the rest of the Whitby-Brewer family.

The crew of Alembic talked about Western Caribbean destinations. Looking at the hurricane devastation in the Eastern Caribbean made this particularly poignant. 

We also reviewed some more mundane details. Scott (of Joie de Vivre) showed is the latest features of the web site, including the Slide Show of boats. We looked at sales information about our boats. And we also have a brief “business” meeting. There’s rarely much business beyond reviewing our tiny budget and getting volunteers lined up for next year.

Indeed, the biggest budget issue is the pennant. We have been selling some appliquéd nylon pennants, and it’s time to reorder. The current material doesn’t stand up well in a marine environment. Maybe we should switch to printed dacron? Or appliquéd dacron? Or Sunbrella? Lots of discussion. 

Thursday, we bid tearful farewells.

The trip back had (again) wind almost directly on the nose. The sea state was much flatter than the trip up. With a little care, we could keep 45° off the wind. With a wind-speed of 4 kt, we couldn’t really make much headway. We motor-sailed under main alone. This let us make a good speed (generally over 6 kn) with the engine a hair above idle speed. I think we set a record for the trip, doing the entire thing in 3h 20m. 

The crew of Island Time are working at the Annapolis Sailboat show. Their boat is in Florida, so we invited them to stay on Red Ranger while they’re working up here.

Some Firsts

The West River Sailing Club Autumnal Equinox cruise involved a number of firsts for Red Ranger. It’s difficult to count the number of firsts we enjoyed.

The first of the firsts was visiting Harrison Creek and Dun Cove. This is about two miles north of Knapp’s Narrows. It’s quiet, and secluded. We’re grateful for the recommendation as a cruising destination. We’ll be back.

Rather than move Red Ranger nearer to town, we took the dinghy down to Knapp’s Narrows and the village of Tilghman. Two miles by dinghy in flat conditions was fun. If the wind had picked up, this would have been a long, wet mess. 

This was our first visit to Tilghman and it was a delight. Lunch at Marker Five was excellent, and the price for fuel on the other side of the narrows made the dinghy ride even more valuable.

The town is (of course) cute. It’s also microscopic. We saw two restaurants — Characters and Marker Five — a small marina, some commercial wharves for the watermen, and a gas station. The buildings seem to be a mixture of newer vacation homes and older, traditional houses. We didn’t look very hard, and we’re certainly going back to take a more thorough survey.

The Kronsberg Park Tower wasn't our fist mysterious structure. It was, however, our first mystery on Tilghman Island.

We had a number of theories to explain this structure. All were proven wrong when we finally checked WBOC’s web site for information on the tower. The mystery is much more exciting than the reality. 

Hint. Note the four doors on the side of the tower. They have knobs. And they have hooks so they can be held open.

And yet.

There are no steps or platforms. Weird, right? What kind of giant can use the top 7' tall door that’s almost 21’ off the ground?

And no, I won’t reveal the mystery here.

One of Red Ranger’s sailing firsts was to sail off the anchor. We watched another boat hoist their mains’l while at anchor, haul in the anchor, and sail away. Because the cove is large, and there were few boats, and only 6-8 knots of breeze, we decided to try this, also. 

We have a mizzen, which makes it very easy to turn her and sail away from the anchorage. Pushing the mizzen rotates the boat. She’s remarkably responsive to the twisting moment of this sail. The gentle drift generated by the mizzen is only about one knot in six knots of wind. I think this is too slow for the rudder to have much impact on direction. The mizzen, however, steers nicely.

CA’s personal first was nabbing four mylar balloons in the Bay on the trip back.

We treat balloons in the water as an MOB drill. We have a passionate dislike for balloons released into the wild. Plastics in general cause a great deal of harm, and balloons in particular are dangerous to the Bay. Here’s an article from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service on balloons and wildlife.

Another important Red Ranger first was raising the main. This does sound a little crazy. It’s true that ketches handle well under heads'l and mizzen: we call it the the jib and jigger rig. I’m talking about something else on this trip. For the past eight years, we’ve used the engine to hold Red Ranger into the wind when raising the main. We’ve read about using the mizzen for this, but never actually tried it before. With light breezes and plenty of room to maneuver in the Choptank, it turns out that the mizzen does better at steering into the wind than CA does.

We also tried another experiment on Red Ranger. We invented the “shabby traveler.” The Whitby was not designed for a conventional square bimini covering the whole cockpit. The main sheet’s anchor point requires a semi-circular bimini. 

Many boats have travelers, but Whitbys have an aft cabin hatch, and the traveler would block access. A removable traveler is an expensive option.

We have a cleat that’s more-or-less under the boom. I think it was intended for handling the running backstays. Our boom vang is a removable four-part block and tackle that can be used to pull the middle of the boom down to the toe rail. Or. It can be used at the end of the boom on the cleat. With a big snap shackle, the main sheet can be removed, eliminating pressure (and chafe) on the bimini when running downwind.

Of course, gybing is complicated. Need I say more? It’s a challenge on any big boat. 

Sunset on the Dun Cover on the 2017 equinox. 

Anchor Locker, Ground Tackle, and Silt

The bottom of the Chesapeake involves silt. A lot of it. Anchoring in silt is kind of fun. You barely have to think about it. Except, of course, for the silt that stays with your anchor chain.

When we first started sailing down here, we heard an old salt explain anchoring in the Chesapeake.

“Y’all are doin' it wrong: you cain’t back down under pow’r: you’ll just dig a furrow in the silt. To anchor in the Bay, you drop the hook. Then you take your first beer. Then you may back down under pow'r to test the set.”

“Take your first beer” he said.

The other end of this operation is hauling the chain back in. In most cases, the chain links themselves are holding the boat in place. The 25 kg chunk of steel is just insurance.

Our locker has about 100′ of ⅜ HT chain, another 150′ of rope that’s the primary rode. On the other side is another 150′ of rope with maybe 20′ of chain that is our first backup.

We have a second backup. Really.

The red ball is a float that use us to help understand exactly where the anchor is.

If we’ve been anywhere for more than a few hours, the chain will be caked with silt. A tube of mud. We have a nice wash-down system, and CA can hose the chain clean as it comes in. 

But, of course, it’s not clean. It’s mostly in a “reduced mud” state. After being hosed off, it has somewhat less mud than it come up with. But it’s not zero mud. The mud accumulates in the anchor locker because the locker has one drain, and we don’t keep the chain near that drain.

It’s hard to see, but through the little door is a white patch of hull with a brown, wood divider. The port side of the locker has a drain. The starboard side? 

No drain.

So mud tends to accumulate. How much mud?

This weekend we took out all the chain to give it a good fresh-water rinse.

You can see About ⅝” of mud in this picture. There’s a metal probe on the end of the calipers for measuring depths. 

Yes. That’s a pretty big pile of mud. It never dries out. And. The chain sits in it. Rusting.

We drilled drain holes so that the muddy water could run down into the hull and — eventually — wind up in the deep bilge. It does mean that once a year we have to take a hose and run water into the anchor locker, under the floors, chasing the mud and silt back to the deep bilge. 

We pump as much of it out with a hand pump as we can. Then wait for the sand to dry out, and shop-vac up the left-overs.

Okay. So the fun of anchoring in silt ends when it’s time to hose out the hull. But until the annual hull and ground-tackle washing, it's a lot of worry-free fun.

Happy Birthday Sail

Overnight in the Rhode River. 

Here’s where we anchored. 

There’s a big open creek with a bunch of low islands. Very salt-marsh. Many other boats because it’s very pretty and accessible.

It’s a few hours south of Annapolis. A few hours north of Herrington Harbour.

Here’s something we saw in the bay.

That’s some classic schooner. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it’s maybe 47′ or 50′ in length. 

Often, schooners that are still working are 80′ or over. The Spirit of Virginia in Norfolk is big.

This was small enough that it didn’t require a big professional crew to raise and lower the heavy gaff-rigged sails.

Interestingly (to me) she was slow. We blasted by her wondering why she wasn’t moving. That’s an odd thing to feel in Red Ranger. We have a ploddingly slow boat. We know that and actually kind of like it. 

When it was blowing 12 to 15, we made 6 knots and were happy. We might have been able to squeeze 7 knots of out her, but that means a steeper angle of heel and pulling out the mainsail. I don’t like to spill the olives from my martini, so we try to avoid heeling. 

As the wind died, so did our speed. When we crossed paths with the schooner, we were barely doing 4 knots. We really should have shaken out the mains'l. But. We were on our final tack into Herring Bay and there was no reason for any more speed.


  © Steven Lott 2017