Finally on my way again

Little Bay
Dinghy in little Bay with Sirocco in the far background left

That’s not a UFO in my pictures–there is dirt in between the sealed lenses of my trusty Canon A630 camera that I can’t remove.  I have tried to disassemble it, but since the camera still works I don’t want to risk its’ destruction to remove an annoyance.  So, for now there is a little dot in the upper left of most of my images…

Maybe I should wait until after I actually depart before posting this…  Nah, I’ll risk it!  I am finally getting underway with the bow pointed toward warmer climes for the winter.  Talk about a late exit!  I am now a couple of months behind when I had originally planned on leaving Massachusetts.

One thing after another conspired to keep Sirocco at anchor–not all of them unpleasant diversions, of course, but one that does stand out as a sad occasion was the passing away of a dear old friend.  She was 105 years old, and had been slowly losing her vigor, so it wasn’t wholly unexpected, but it still came as a shock to get a phone call late at night that she was in what was expected to be her final hours.  A visit was arranged for the next day, but early in the morning I received the sad phone call that she had passed away during the night.  That was a bit of a blow, as I had fully expected to be able to say goodbye.  I had a long visit with her widowed husband that day, which helped to lift both of our spirits.

On the bright side, I got to spend Thanksgiving at home with family, and that was a wonderful and festive occasion.  I was particularly thankful to spend the holiday with my parents, brother, his girlfriend, and my young nieces instead of on a cold boat in a lonely anchorage somewhere!  Now the time has come again to make an attempt at departure.

Engine room hatch
Work progresses on the engine room hatch

I have made good use of my extra time here and Sirocco is better-prepared than she was even a couple of weeks ago.  I replaced the rusted, grease-clogged alternator with a new 65-amp one; relocated the dipstick tube to accommodate the new alternator; installed new LED lights at the masthead for the anchor and tri-color lights (still have to figure out why they aren’t getting good voltage though…); hinged the engine room hatch; added chocks to the dinghy so that it will sit in place on the cabin top; and many other little things…  There is always more to do and it seems that the “to do” list never gets any shorter!

I am now carrying a SPOT satellite tracking device so that I can update my position to family and friends back home even when I am beyond the reach of radio or cell-phone service.  My position can be viewed at:

 http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0EuQ9n9SafdnIAkbYdxpjJCnsyXnrd0lq

 

One of these days I will try to figure out how to put that map here on my blog, but for now if you are interested you can just click on the link.

I have a new storm anchor thanks to the young family that I bought my fiberglass dinghy from.  They were ready to depart almost two weeks ago and called me one afternoon to see if I wanted the nesting dinghy in which I had shown some interest a couple of months before.  I could have it if I met them in Marion harbor before sunrise, they said.  I told them that I would be there and showed up at the boat just as the sun peeked over the horizon.  They were still asleep after a long night of last-minute preparations, which didn’t surprise me.  As I waited for someone to answer my knock on the hull, I struck up a conversation with their neighbor, who had come by to offer an Eldridge pilot book for the departing boat’s trip.  He asked me if they had a storm anchor and I told him that they only had what was on their deck.  He said that if they wanted it they could have the danforth off of a 45-foot Hatteras sportfisher that he used to own.  “Everyone needs a storm anchor”, he said.  He is totally correct there!  Later in the morning the neighbor came by again, and this time the departing family was up.  The neighbor brought down his big, 40-lb Danforth anchor and gave it to the grateful new cruisers.  They passed their old 30-lb danforth-style anchor to me to make room for the gift from their neighbor.  There were two very happy anchor recipients that morning!

I have to get going now–there is still much to do if I want to leave this evening!

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