Saturday, November 26, 2011

How We "Spent" Black Friday 2011

Black Friday 2011 - Biggest Shopping Day of the Year

The pressures of Black Friday seem to have hit an all time high this year with retail stores opening at 10pm and midnight ON the actual Thanksgiving Day holiday!  To us this is actually an all time low.  It makes us very sad that this is such a focus.  But for those that get into it - we watched one after another containership steam in with your "stuff". 
Several folks on E-Dock chose to spend Black Friday another way.  Here Kevin is chatting up a friend while enjoying a Black Friday beverage.  HUM?  Maybe that is what we need next year.  An official Black Friday drink to go with our Non-Black Friday activities. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crunch Part 2 - Our Turn

I think I have mentioned before that the most dangerous thing on a sailboat is a schedule.  Yeah, so...  Rigger Sean and his dad Jim were on a schedule for Tday celebrations with family so we had to get back to the dock.   And I think I also mentioned previously that the current races through this marina at a pretty good clip.  We had a plan and executed it but the current, north wind and tide had other plans for us.  We ended up with a bit of a tough/ugly docking.

No one got hurt and no other boats were damaged (bit of "rubbing" like they say in Nascar) but s/v Honey Ryder got banged up a touch.  We actually ended up in another slip temporarily.  Sean and Jim left for their Tday.  Tom and I chilled the 30 mins until slack tide and then with dock neighbor Matt's help, got s/v Honey Ryder back in her slip.  Sean said he has a guy that can weld the stanchion back and he would buff out the marks on the side.

Thanks to Mayor of F-Dock Rick and another unknown dock neighbor that tried to assist us the first go round.

Ah, live and learn aka another adventure.  *I have always been very emotionally tied to my/our boats - right or wrong.  VERY emotionally tied.  However I also realize that things are going to happen.  We have and are going to hit docks, run aground, etc...I know this.  Having said that, it's now been several hours since this happened and I am surprisingly ok.  We didn't damage s/v Honey Ryder permanently.  She will just need a little attention.  If anything, this has re-enforced why we picked a Caliber...strength.  She will take care of us and we will take care of her!  Sorry for the bumps today Honey.

Thanksgiving Day Sail

Our rigger Sean suggested a quick TDay sail to be sure all the fixes were working.  He picked up his dad, Jim who flew in this morning from Vermont and 8" snow and we headed out for a lovely sail around Charleston Harbor.

Good thing we did as Sean discovered the headsail furler still needs some adjustments.  Surprisingly we had the whole harbor to ourselves.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

To - All
From - crew of s/v Honey Ryder

Thanksgiving Come Early

We decided to have our TDay feast the night before so we could enjoy the leftovers for two days.  Turkey breast for two, masher, fresh green beans with sauteed onions, garlic and bacon, crescent rolls and boat apple dumplings. 

YUM. FYI - Leftover boat apple dumplings make great breakfast food. 

Turns out after turkey coma isn't just a land thing.

E-Dock Shenanigans

Kevin and Tyler were just itching to try out the water balloon launcher that Mac loaned them.  Of course Tom had to "assist" in the operation.

After a couple of practice launches, they successfully landed one on top of Rick's bimini, mayor of F-Dock.  SCORE!
 *Out of much experience....For legal purposes this story may or may not be true.  The names may or may not have been changed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


To a sailor there is no sound worse than the crunching of fiberglass.  E-Dock happy hour was interrupted by this horrifying sound this evening.  I am not completely sure of the details but here is what I do know..s/v Honey Ryder was in the line of fire and escaped only because the bowsprit & anchor of the boat next to us stopped the rouge boat.  My heart has finally stopped racing but that awful "C-R-U-N-C-H " will stay etched in my brain for a very long time.  I am hoping the damage to offending boat and the two other boats he smacked while docking is far less than that horrific sound.  Morning light will tell. 

Boat Pizza

I have been wanting to expand my cooking aboard s/v Honey Ryder to include use of the oven more.  I was apprehensive because it's so small.  Questions swirled.  Would it heat evenly?  Are baking times the same with such a small oven?  How can I keep from burning the bottom?  Will the broil set the whole top ablaze?  But curiosity, love of food and my sailing/blogging friend Deb spurred me to give it a try.  She made what looks to be a fabulous pie this week in her boat oven. 

Boat pizza (homemade) seemed like a good, safe start.  Turned out better than good for a first try.

Rock On Sailor Part 2- Wired Cockpit Remote

We found on our last boat that having a wired remote in the cockpit was not only convenient (a luxury some might say) but a vital safety feature. Sailing with just the two of us means one of us is at the helm while the other is - off duty, otherwise occupied, or assisting.

Being able to quickly turn down or mute music from the helm vs diving below is extremely important in a wide variety of occasions.

Rock On Sailor - Honey's New Fusion Stereo

Previous pain in the ass to use stereo combined with West Marine dollars to burn landed us with a new Fusion Marine Stereo.  Sweet.  Never mind the conversion rate on West Marine dollars.  (*Yes - we do know the conversion rate - $$ West Marine dollars means we spent $$$+ real dollars.  Yikes!   We just ignore that thought, instead plugging our ears and singing "Sailing, takes me away...blah blah blah.)
Enter our new Fusion stereo.  Again - Sweet.  But nothing is easy on a boat.  Fusion is one of the few "true" marine radios making it a much deeper unit than the standard car stereo passing for a marine stereo.  I am not sure why this is but I was told by Lake at West Marine that it just is.   This meant our current stereo cabinetry needed to be modified.  Doable but not simply.   Cap10 Tom hooked it up easily enough so we had tuneage the first night.   Cabinet refit is still in progress.


We wrapped up with rigger Sean and North Sails loft guru George today.  Headsail furler is fixed permanently, dodger maintenance and repair made and furling main is smoothly furling again.  Check, check and check - Whew.

New Stuff - Gear or Toys?

Ah, the age old question.  Spouses have been asking this question since the first cave person brought home yet another bow or added another newly carved stone chair to the cave.  And then there are the categories when it comes to gear - vital, necessary, nice to have, luxury.  This is where is gets grey and crosses over to toys.
So having said all that....check out our new "gear".

Hand crank coffee grinder for freshly ground coffee.  Yes, it takes a little work in the morning vs pushing the button on the coffee grinder but still way better than store bought, stale, pre-ground.
Ice maker.  Always messing with getting ice, refilling the cooler, having ice for cocktails, melting, getting more ice, transporting ice....ia a pain in the ass.  Enter the counter top ice maker.  This thing ROCKS!

It make 9 magically ice cubes in 7-14 mins.  And yes....we are making ice in our aft head!  It was the perfect spot for this little gem with plenty of room, ventilation for the until, electricity, and a drain in case of leaking or spillage.

 I read all the instructions (so female of m), plugged it in this morning and it has been making ice non-stop since for the cooler and bevs throughout the day.  Loving it!

Fresh Out of Grandmas TDay 2011

While most folks are heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma's this Thanksgiving, we are once again happily on s/v Honey Ryder.  Despite the lack of Grandmas, we are on the boat so all the world it right.  And the weather is warm to boot.  Almost too warm as the no-see-ums think it's spring and have hatched for some nourishment on unsuspecting boaters.  But even still...we are on s/v Honey Ryder so little else matters including invisible bugs.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

HAM Part 2 - Hello? Is there anybody out there?

KD0QAG - My HAM License number.  But don't call me just yet.
 Getting my HAM Tech License is just step one.  Now the fun starts....learning to actually use our SSB.
And no, this isn't our SSB.  It's an old HAM mic we have at home.  Don't ask, the story is too long.  Let's just suffice it to say that it's shown up in more than one party pic throughout the years.
Ground Control to Major Tom are you receiving?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Class, Study, Test Time Again - or how to HAM it up

s/v Honey Ryder came with a very nice SSB - a type of HAM radio.  Neither Cap10 Tom nor I had our HAM license.  I have been trying over the past year to read the book and study so I can take the test.  Many, many people simply home study and then sit for the test.  However, that wasn't working so well for me.  I found the material very dry - as in read 3 pages and fall asleep.  Additionally, I just wasn't getting my people-person, non-science brain wrapped around the concepts.  So I decided a class would be the best way for me to learn, study and hopefully pass the test.

The last two Saturday's I have gone to class  from 9-5 in preparation for my HAM Radio license test.  A wonderful group of 5 instructors lead us through the chapters giving us the concepts, reviewing and quizzing us.  In addition I studied each night and took the practice tests.

It all paid off.  I passed, missing only one question!  YAY!  I now have my Technician Class HAM License.  And yes, there are tons of jokes here for everyone to cash in on.  My friend Sea Salt has already started "Hambone" to which I reminded him that was "Princess HAM" to him!  Another sailing friend asked "Did you really have to go to class to learn to be a HAM?  Aren't you already a master ham?"  Hardy har har.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Volvo Ocean Race

We are not racers but I find the Volvo Ocean Race one of the most exciting sailboat races anywhere.  Hell, this isn't so much a long distance sailboat race as a match race around the world at incredible, crazy ass speeds.  Many call it the Mount Everest of sailing.  So pull up your arm chair, pop some popcorn, grab your brew of choice, your laptop and get ready for some spectacular racing.
*The coverage looks to be outstanding this year.