27 April 2010

2010 Cruise Plans

Two years ago we sailed to Bermuda for an extended visit. Prior to that, our last cruise was to Nova Scotia in 2002. The Maritimes have always held a strong appeal ever since our first visit in 1989. We visited again in 1997, 1999, and 2000. It seems we couldn't get enough, and that's perhaps why another visit is on the agenda. This time we hope to extend our range beyond Nova Scotia and try for Newfoundland. Take a look (photo by Beth and Evans).

It happens that a cruise from New Jersey USA to Newfoundland is actually quite longer than one to Bermuda. It's largely coastal and to the uninitiated that might seem less onerous than an offshore voyage. But the experienced voyager would not agree. It's usually land that causes difficulties, not water. The trials of an extended coastal voyage must not be underestimated.

Planning in earnest began in September 2009 with the purchase of guide books and charts. This is no small expense. Canadian charts average about $18 US, and I suppose we have 65 or 70 of these. In addition there are several versions of electronic charts that display on laptop computers. Then there are official publications and guide books. The list is long, and it's easy to drop between one and two thousand dollars US in a short period of time.

Once the requisite publications are available, the actual planning begins. More to follow.

25 April 2010

Let the 2010 Warm Season Begin

Kerry Deare was re-launched 02 Apr 2010, a sunny and calm Friday. She now floats in the still cold waters of Toms River NJ at the small boatyard described earlier. Aside from the usual checking out new parts, checking out old parts, testing new wiring, testing old wiring, loading gear, listening and looking for leaks, and trying to remember the details of rigging items, there isn't much to report. She looks just fine and is getting used to the comforts of being afloat where she belongs. Cosmetically and operationally the boat is in excellent condition once again.

This year we bent on a new mainsail, replacing the old sail built 21 years ago by the same sailmaker, Skip Moorhouse. Skip knows me and my requirements very well by now. Since this "Piney" is just as ornery as I, we get along well. So far the new sail looks good and most of the old running rigging fits perfectly. I've yet to complete a few minor fixes and sail on it, but I cannot see any problems coming up. We still have one or two "must fix" issues, including replacing a cracked tricolor base at the masthead, but it appears that we are on schedule. The 8-page "To Do" list gets more check marks each day.

Frenetic boatyard activity continues apace. The yard is really busy with many wooden boat projects, large and small. I take this as a favorable economic indicator for what people are doing with disposable income. Meanwhile it's nice to sit and gloat at all the work the "other guys" have ahead. Of course once that activity gets underway it usually means that one's own boat will shortly be saddled with a major deal-breaking issue that has to be fixed immediately, usually in the rain. Fingers crossed.