Sunday, October 16, 2016

Our Community Commercial

We haven't posted anything in a while, as there has not been much in the way of adventures.  I've taught some STEM classes, worked, and continued to be President of our Community.

Bonnie's business is going very well and she is enjoying its growth.  Bonnie is also still working on the house remodeling and applying her artistic skills to it.

As part of the Intern work I set up for the community, I thought a project to create a commercial for the community would help build a bigger sense of community, as well has help Realtors' represent what Oyster Harbor has going for it.

Here is a draft of the commercial so far.

I recently started doing IT Security work on a contract for the Census.  Its a huge project and I am excited about it.  But it will take away from sailing time and our adventures will have to wait a bit longer.

But there is a good bit of vacation, so I hope to have some short trips to share.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays 2015

Since I didn't create a single post this year, I thought I would create a Holiday Card to summarize this year's fun and events, as well as wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season.

Even the cat was sick of winter

While the very cold weather of early 2015 kept the pets close to the fireplace, I helped a friend bring his newly purchased Nordhavn 40 up the ICW.  Certainly we were heading the wrong direction for warmth, which I reminded him of often.

Moving the first Nordhavn 40 farther North

Here is a 21 minute video of the trip.  It might be a bit long to follow, but you can fast forward though some it to get the idea

Mckensie celebrated her first birthday.  Everyone came to Annapolis and Bonnie baked an incredible cake.

Mckensie got the top piece to play with
The winter continued to keep a strong hold on the area.  But I did get the drone up for some fun photos and videos.

Port Annapolis Marina
Flying over Port Annapolis
Fishing Creek Flyover

Oyster Creek and Chesapeake Bay Flyover

Eric and John Grunsfeld
This winter I got to see John Grunsfeld at the Cosmos Club.  He was speaking at the 25th Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope lecture at the Philosophical Society of Washington.

They publish the videos of their lectures at I am still a Member at Large volunteering and advising on IT matters and their website.

Spring finally did come and we launched the boat and began warm weather activities.  One of our residents scheduled a Waterman for Day trip for our community and a group of young people and adults got to work nets and learn more about the Bay.

I volunteered over the summer on the safety boat for two classic sailboats that take people out on Wednesday nights to experience old time 'sandbagger' sailboats.

Working the safety boat
We got out for a couple weekends on the boat.  Once weekend, returning from St. Michael's, we even had a beautiful run up the Miles River with the Spinnaker up.

Our eclectic spinnaker 

Picnic on the trampoline

400 clams ready for steaming in Cape Charles
Passing Thomas Point light just after sunset

2015 had us at two weddings of good friends.  One was at the Sagamore in upstate New York and the other was in Virginia at a winery. Bonnie made the cake as the wedding gift for the one in Virginia.

Bonnie's cake creation at Steven and Meagan's wedding
Bonnie built an outdoor kitchen over the summer. It turned out really nice and makes summer cookouts a blast.

Building an outdoor kitchen

My mom, Ian, Tyler and I joined my brother and his family for a trip to Nassau for Thanksgiving.  We did a few dives and some great sight seeing. My GoPro got a nice workout.

Mom, Tyler, Carl, and Eric
Tyler, Eric, Carl and Elena
Lisa, Kyle and Carl
Breezes was a decent resort, albeit the food was just okay
We certainly ate a lot of conch out in Nassau

Even did a Rum tasting
The Queen's Staircase
We hired a taxi and got a five hour tour of Nassau.  The driver was a great guy and we enjoyed his humor and insight.

Kyle, Ian, Eric, Mom and Carl

The diving was really great.  The winds and waves were high but it was warm and clear in the water.

Greetings from the Bahamas
Eric enjoying the Shark dive

Feeding the sharks

A not too well edited video from the wreck and shark dives

Winter has been easy so far this December.  We hope it stays that way.  This winter we plan on doing more house projects (Bonnie built a new master bedroom closet while I was SCUBA diving), and hopefully get a ski trip and/or more travelling in.

We wish all of our friends and family Happy Holidays, and a joyful, safe and prosperous New Year.

Happy Holidays from Bonnie and Eric

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Summer of the Drone

As we really aren't able to get out to much this summer and fall, as our old dog Tyson is moving even slower, and house projects seem to eclipse every weekend, I went out and bought a drone.  Well, two actually...

My brother sold me an old one of his, and when I went to get is programmed for a new remote, I ended up buying a bigger and better drone.

So when I can, I get some video from it and do some minor editing.

It didn't take me long to get fairly good at it, and it s a lot of fun.  Albeit, I like the aspect of gaining more ways to use the GoPro, then actually have a radio control quad copter.  My radio control years passed in the mid to late 1970s.

Here is the video compiled from my first flights.

I had noticed a lot of gulls at our beach and thought I'd check them out, and see how they react to the drone.  I did some great dives on them, but they did not seem very impressed.

The Hunter Sailing Association has a crab feast on a neighboring creek and I took the opportunity to get a bit of video.

This video is of our creek, and a passing cruising boat owned by a nice guy named Gary.  He was visiting someone in our community as they head south for the winter.

I'll add more as I edit the video.  Most of wha seemed awesome in the first days of flying it, now seem fairly dull.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Selling the little A-Frame

Our renters bought a house and we decided its time to try and sell the A-Frame.  Its an adorable place and Bonnie just redid the kitchen.

So if you know someone looking for a house in Annapolis...

Here is a link to more info:

House info

One more house to go, and we are off to living on the boat. Yay!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A week of fun and relaxation in Nassau

After this extra long and extra cold winter, it was really great to get away for a while.

We flew to Nassau to help our friend move his boat  from Nassau to Marsh Harbor.  Not that the crew needed any help, but it was a great excuse.

The weather was not favorable, with lots of wind predicted for the entire week.  So we decided to stay in Nassau.  Tokkie thought it would be fun to move the boat to the marina at Atlantis. So we did a short lap around Paradise Island and got a great slip at Atlantis.

Bonnie and I had never been there, so for us it was to be lots of fun.

Before we moved the boat, we went to Potter's Cay and had fresh Conch.  Our friends Kevin and Karen on M/V Avalon told us about Tall Boy's Conch Stand, and said he had the best conch.  He was also the first stall to serve prepared conch about 17 years ago.  The area was originally know as a market where you could buy fresh conch or vegetables.

Here is a video he has.

Our friend Kevin told us we needed to eat the Crystalline.  We asked Tall Boy for some, and he gave us four pieces.

Bonnie eating the Crystalline

I looked it up to see what it really was. Here is the link, and a short summary below.

CRYSTALLINE STYLE. Strombid Conchs as well as other Mollusks possess a gelatinous translucent rod, some 10 cms long, that may protrude from the visceral mass during cleaning procedure. In most Caribbean countries, this gelatinous rod is considered as aphrodisiac. In fact, it is the crystalline style which is an element of the digestive tract, secreted by the style sac which is an expansion of the stomach. It contains only digestive enzymes which are progressively dissolved in the stomach and takes part to the digestive process.

The boat move was event-less and very pleasant.

I love to snorkel, and have jumped in the water in some strange places.  Nassau harbor is actually very clear, but littered with junk.  I took video from the dock and from snorkeling in the harbor.  The compiled results are in the YouTube video below.

I still have to compile the water park, Atlantis, and Dolphin photos and video.  They'll be in the next post(s)

Thanks again to our friends Tokkie and Gail for having us on board for a week, and showing us such a great time.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Arriving in Nassau

We escaped the unending winter in Annapolis to help our friends move their Nordhavn to from Nassua to Marsh Harbor.  Not that they needed help, but we decided it was a good excuse.

The weather was not cooperating, so we decided to stay put in Nassau and enjoy the sights.

We got in the on Friday. It was a quick and easy flight.

A test video made on a Chromebook with web based editing software. It seemed to work.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Best wishes for 2014

I for one, will be glad to see 2013 go. Although the year had a few wonderful events, such as a few weeks in France, it was mostly a year of withering projects, dwindling profits, doing a lot of what I didn't want to do and not nearly enough of what I wanted to.

From Sequestration, and the government shutdown, to a hit and run by a drunk driver and totaling my pickup, its been a year to mostly let pass.

But being the eternal optimist, I have big hopes for 2014.  Hope its a great year for us and for all of you!


Your friends,
Eric and Bonnie

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 Close out and Thoughts for 2014

Not much has happened this summer from a sailing perspective.  We only took day trips on the boat as Bonnie's dog is having severe hip problems in old age and we are hesitant to leave him at a kennel (aka doggie spa). Also the business is way off, with the CR and Sequestration driving project profits into the dirt. So much for the semi-retired life - at least for now.

When last we left the boating project list, we had one new engine and one on its last legs.  I was hesitant to buy replace the old one, as it was still working and we had no plans for summer adventures.

We planned to replace it this winter, and by coincidence, Honda has come out with an extra long shaft sailboat outboard that is 15 hp.  Compared to our 9.9's the difference is huge.  It not really speed that would increase, as the hull speed is limited due to the length and hull type.  But it gives us much more power when going against a current or wind.  We can't use regular outboards on the boat, as the shaft length, transmission gear ratio, and prop size don't work for big boats. They are meant for the small, light , planning hulls of little boats.

Potential new engine
Of course, we already have one new engine, so I will need to decide if its worth selling it or trading it in, or just giving up on the idea and staying with the proven Yamahas.

I have yet to measure the engine compartment to see if it can actually fit.  I'll also need to change wiring harnesses and throttle cable positions. So the jury is still out...

I was reading a great article in Good Old Boat magazine about D/L and SA/D ratios.  It reminded me that; 1) weight is critical on a catamaran, and 2) our catamaran has varied in weight by as much as 3500 pounds depending on what we are doing with it.

Here is a chart I made up of the variations in these ratios based on our weight.

Variations in D/L and SA/D Ratios for our PDQ 36
For those of you who are boaters, you know these numbers and have possibly purchased your boat based in part on them.  For PDQ 36s the advertised empty weight, no engines, no nothing, just the hull is 8800 lbs.  Of course that is not the number that will hit the water.

When we purchased the boat, the weight on the lift was 10,500 lbs. Not too heavy for the boat type.  I know many mono-hull owners with 36 foot boats that have hull weights at least double or 2.5 times our weight.

Once we got all our spare parts and basic stuff on the boat, the weight went up to 11,500 and by the end of the third season we collected enough stuff (full fridge, freezer, water leaking into water-tight compartments, etc.) to add another 1000 lbs.

Last November when we prepped to go south, and I watched the waterline disappear beneath the Bay, we were a whopping 14,000 lbs.  Jeez.  But we sure didn't starve.  A friend of ours with a PDQ 36 in the Bahamas said they were 15,000 lbs one year when they hauled it out to paint the bottom.  It was fully loaded with their 'normal' cruising gear.

We certainly see performance differences above12,000 lbs.  She gets to be quite a dog.  Another reason bigger outboards would be a nice addition.

For a comparison to the ratios of other types of boats, a light boat typically has a D/L of 200, and a heavy boat a D/L of 350 to 400.  So we are still light on that scale.

A Gemini 35 has a D/L of 133.  Of course that is the advertised ratio, and probably not at its cruising weight.  So we are a bit better than they are.  But their SA/D is 21.6 which is a lot better than ours.   That might be because they have a bow sprit and a taller mast.  The Tom Cat has "cruising" D/L of 108 and SA/D of 19.5.  Its shorter than our boat, but has outboards and is very light. It does have significantly less sail area than us.

Here is some real humor - the advertised rations for a Fountaine Pajot, Mahe 36, is D/L 104, SA/D 25.3.  I have no idea how they got those numbers, as the Mahe 36 has a huge Bridge deck that must weight hundreds, of not a couple thousand pounds more than our bridge deck (and theirs has a full kitchen in it too).  Then add two large diesel engines. They say the total weight is 11,500 lbs.  I think they forgot part of the boat. I certainly am not seeing that D/L as accurate. And they have the SA/D of a very fast racing boat, with a mast 13 feet taller than ours.  Hmmm, 13 feet more mast is a huge amount of weight and pressure up pretty high for a short catamaran.

We will haul the boat at the end of October and see how the winter goes for dogs, kids (oh yeah, we are going to be grandparents in late Feb/early March), and for the business.  Hopefully next year will allow us more adventure time.

That said, I do plan to go somewhere this winter that has clear blue water and white sand beaches.  So stay tuned.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cape Charles Clam Slam 2013

We went down to Cape Charles by car this past weekend so that Bonnie could sell her solar lights at the Cape Charles Clam Slam.

She and Dora had a booth in a great location, and the activities were fun for me as well.

Calm Slam compiled videos of the Parade 
and Smith Island Skiff races.

The fun of small towns is their ability to 'stop and smell the roses' on the days events occur in town.  Everyone is happy as the people can walk to the events, the businesses are racking in cash, and there is a lot of entertainment on a scale that does not overwhelm the town.

While Bonnie was setting up the booth, I took a trip to the barrier islands to collect specific shells that she and Dora wanted.  The islands are some of my favorite places, as there are few, if any people, and nature is at its best.

I came upon a group of sharks feeding in the shallows behind some breakers.  They looked like dark moving spots in the water.  I came upon one and scared it away before realizing I needed to get some video.

Big Bull Shark in Shallows

It took a bit before he/she got startled enough from the boat to move.  I am guessing it was about 6 feet and was a Bull Shark by the profile.  Also the beach had a few dead Bull sharks washed up (probably from fishermen killing them).

Dink on the beach

The typical beach there.

There was one other person on my beach!

View towards the dunes

Me on the beach.
Incoming tide moving fast across the sand bar.

I did some fishing on the dink, and at the town pier.  Got a Rock Fish almost to the pier, but he got off with half my lure.  An older lady about 20 feet from me caught him about 30 minutes later. He was 28.5 inches.

Oh well, at least I did not have to clean it.

The drive was pleasant and we came home with three dozen soft shell crabs and lots of pears and other fruit Bonnie and Dora got.  Guess I'll be eating soft shells for a while.