Monthly Archives: June 2008

Happy muses…

While I find myself restlessly waiting for boat parts and good answers, I’m pleased to say my muses are keeping me busy, bombarding me with inspiration. As I’ve said before, they’re a twisted, delightfully bunch, and once they get on a roll, the ideas keep coming, meshing, creating more improbable twists and perverse situations. The plot has taken on a life of its own, and I’m amazed to find it heading in directions I never expected. This is the part of writing I love, when the plot unfolds the way the characters dictate, throwing me for a loop at times. It’s so satisfying, seeing things take shape, watching as Stevenson, the character everyone loves to hate, rises (or perhaps lowers) to new levels, and the repercussions ripple outward.

My kid’s on the Interwebs!!!

Yep… at AnimeNext 2008, she’s the one in the black Samus Zero Suit. Yes, we made her costume ourselves, including merging 3 wigs together. She said they cued the music midway through the intro, and she slipped after her final move because the stage was wet there, all the same, they kicked ass and took 2nd place out of 28.

I’m so proud!

Okay, and here’s another video of the same, though this one shows a bit more of what’s going on in the background.

Why does the stove not work?

Woke up this morning to the pleasant rocking and the persistent sound of bilge pump from the Silverton next slip over. Grey, muggy, soon to thunder, and I’d really like a cup of tea. But no go. The stove won’t light.  It looks like the new gas regulator isn’t working, but I’m too hungry to play games. So we head back to the house for breakfast, and now it’s pouring on an epic level, so going back to lay in the cockpit troubleshooting isn’t on today’s agenda. While a day of lounging in the cabin listening to the rain drum down on (and leak through) the bridge deck might be pleasant, not without hot tea.  Can’t do brightwork, can’t seal the leaking bridge deck, still no steering… oh well.  Might as well sit around reading, writing, and waiting. Why is it the answers you want the most take the longest to come? I’m still waiting, so with any luck… we’ll see.

Random reflections at daybreak…

The static bottom-paint test…

…continues. As in, Annabel Lee remains unmoved, unless you count me adjusting the docklines, occasionally firing up the engine and spinning the prop to flush away the Hudson silt beneath her. Truth be told, I’m not surprised. This is the nature of a boat, especially one of advancing age, and the choice is to either gracefully accept the fact or be miserable. Misery is rarely a productive state, so I stick with acceptance.  As one wise and experienced friend said, “Watch the engine hours. Every 25 hours or so, expect something to go wrong, and you’ll rarely be disappointed.”  At least I have a delightful view of the river from the dock, and it is so tranquil down there in the morning when there’s no one else around. Unless you count the duck with her five tiny hatchlings bobbing along. I really should take some pictures. But for now, it’s back to my imaginary world, where at least the boats run most of the time.

Six weeks…

That’s how long we’re told it will be till the new helm pumps and steering cylinder arrive. Yep. The steering cylinder’s leaking as well. The good news is we found a supplier with reasonable pricing, but NO ONE has the parts in stock, they come straight from the factory in Canada, so we’ll be tied to the dock until mid-July. All the same, time passes fast these days, so we’ll just spend the next few weeks rebedding the remaining leaking decks and straightening up any other loose ends. I’ll get started on some brightwork, and go back to burning the midnight oil.

Bravery in the outer docks…

I haven’t spent much time online these days as I’ve been spending more of it on the water. And while I’ve discovered the ability to access several Wifi signals drifting unsecured around the area, if I’m aboard Annabel, I have other priorities. Such as digging out old bedding between the teak decking and resealing so, with any luck (we’ll see when it rains tomorrow,) the port bunk remains dry. Or removing the upper and lower helm pumps, to rebuild the first and replace the second. Or pondering the rate of drip on the stuffing box. Or contemplating the lack of water beneath the keel at low tide. It’s a new moon, so low is especially low, at my dock roughly six inches lower than Annabel draws in the stern. Twice a day her transom sits somewhat elevated, and while it’s only mud below, and with a full skeg her prop and rudder are protected, I’m still not overly happy. Yesterday I decided to do some mid-tide prop-wash dredging. I fired up the engine, eased her into gear, and realized I was close to ripping the docks out. Back to neutral, and I tied her off to the pilings and sea-wall, then gave it another shot. Hopefully that flushed out a little room below.

I’m surprised again and again how people make a point of hiking all the way over to the outer docks just to comment on my little boat. True, I think she’s the most beautiful boat in the marina, but I figured my opinion is somewhat biased. Still, the compliments keep coming. I’ll give you, my old Annabel is quite distinct among the rows of sleek, generic modern boats but I’m continually surprised by her admirerers. And amused. The words I hear most are ‘beautiful’ and ‘project’. A fellow yesterday came over for a closer look, admitting while he’d love a boat like her, he didn’t think he was brave enough for a ‘project like that.’