We must do more to keep plastics out of the environment. From floating "islands" of plastic garbage that collect in the gyres of our oceans (Read more) to bits of plastic bags I find in the sediment that comes up with my anchor, plastic is a huge problem.
The Stanley Norman one of the 35 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjacks and a member of the last commercial sailing fleet in the United States. Out of a fleet of hundreds of skipjacks that worked Bay waters in the early years of the 20th century, today only this small number remain to carry on the tradition of working sail. STANLEY NORMAN is of interest as being one of the older skipjacks still dredging in the Chesapeake fleet. She was built in 1902 in Salisbury, Maryland, following traditional Bay-area design and construction methods.
So, I fell asleep last night to the relaxing sounds of rain and distant thunder. Around 01:00, I was awakened by the sudden, violent movement of the boat in her slip as she was brought up hard against her mooring lines and rolled about 15 degrees to port. There were the sounds of things crashing - both inside and outside the boat - and dock lines squeaking and moaning under the sudden strain. I was instantly out of bed, turning on lights and looking out on deck to see what was going on.
Saturday, 2017 March 18
Ahhh spontaneity... well... that, Spring Break and the fact that my friend Ralph had been waylaid by minor mechanical issues and was still in the US.
I woke early this morning, made coffee, and went up on deck to enjoy the sunrise. As I was sipping my coffee, watching the ducks swim by and the geese land noisily out on the creek, I looked down and discovered that I was being invaded by Cnidarians - a.k.a. Jellyfish. So, I grabbed the GoPro and started shooting ;-). I don't have a monitor for my action camera as it was not purchased for "point and shoot" use. To get these photos without immersing myself in the 8°C (46°F) water, the GoPro was mounted on the end of a long pole allowing me to stand on the dock.
In the blogpost, Sérénité: Winter Preparations 1, I discussed one of the steps I had taken to minimize heat loss. Now that it's officially Winter, the big battle is shaping up to be managing humidity onboard. The thing to understand is that most sailing yachts are not intended for year-round use and, as such, are not insulated to any great extent. So, the hull gets very cold and the moisture in the warm inside air condenses on the cold surfaces.
Answered nature's call this morning before sunrise and got a surprise when I flushed - the water glowed! Marine heads flush into holding tanks using water from the ocean, or in my case the Chesapeake Bay. When I pumped the handle the water entering the bowl lit up like a christmas tree. I tried to photograph my glowing bowl, but alas the glow was to faint to be recorded by my camera. After doing a little research I discovered the culprit was the bioluminescent microorganism Noctiluca (latin "Night Light") native to our waters.
After getting the heating system on the boat working with the help of a professional, my attention has turned to minimizing heat loss. The front door of a sailboat is the companionway - a complicated entryway that is designed to keep water out of the boat in rough weather. Unfortunately, it's not really designed with cold weather and energy efficiency in mind. What's needed is a insulated curtain to create a small entry foyer to keep the heated air inside and cold air outside when the companionway is open. So, I pulled out the sewing machine and got busy!