Tag Archives: Dockmaster

Bay Week 2014

Lifeline moored astern of Maelstrom.  The smallest and the tallest sailing vessels at the docks.

Lifeline moored astern of Maelstrom. The smallest and the tallest sailing vessels at the docks.

Three of four days looked like the picture above.  I had a wonderful sail over on Thursday evening.  There was a SE breeze, steady for two of the three hours I needed for the sail along the Catawba Peninsula (Lake Erie, south shore) and across the water to South Bass Island.  That breeze left when the sun went behind the cirrus clouds stretching out in front of an eastward bound summer thunderstorm.  Up came the engine and down went the sails.  I wanted to be in the harbor when that came through, and was successfully moored inside the break water along side Tec ……..

Last year I went to sail and Mindy and I had some fun.  This year I was there to work and there was a lot less fun.  I spent two days on a 15′ Boston Whaler setting marks for the centerboard fleet.  The first day was spent at anchor, a lot, as the engine on the first boat ran out of gas (who let this sailor run a motorboat, anyway?) and the second boat’s engine quite while idling.  I ended the first day wearing my t-shirt on backwards as I walked the 100 yds to the showers.  2nd day it rained, stormed, lighting showers, and more wind than the ‘big boys’ would handle.  Many of them weathered the storm in the lee of Rattlesnake Island’s east shore.  Day three went well for the sailors, but for us in the motorboat it was a day to try staying IN the boat as all the power boaters, throwing wakes up 3 and 4 times the freeboard of the motorboat, sped past at the high speeds one may assume a power cabin cruiser is capable of.  Sea sick?  Thank God (no really!  Thank God) No!

Time ashore was the highlight of the weekend.  I slept in the comfort of the Put-In-Bay Yacht Club’s chair indoors while the storm passed and we waited to see if we could go out after.  I shared dinner with friends in the evenings, as the sailor population was amply filled with Alum Creek members.  The Rum Party volunteers?  Alum Creek, led by the inestimable Allison Foreman.  Phil Verret was about, the Varvarosky’s, the Pyors’, Brent and Sharla, of course, and several of the ‘younger’ members, not all of whose names I know yet were pouring beer, soda, and rum punch by the pitcher, taking tickets, and hauling out the trash.

Bob and Chris Shepherd managed the regatta for I-LYA.  Thanks to them for their great work.

Saturday, after waiting out the rain, the docks were filled with sailors anxious to burn off the energy not spent on the water racing.  The deck of Maelstrom became party center for Alum Creek sailors.  It started about nine and went until… well, I don’t know how late it went.  When the ‘second shift’ arrived with a ukulele and five more strapping young men, I took my aging backside ‘down’ to Lifeline’s cabin just astern of Maelstrom.  Last thing I heard was some rock and roll song shouted across the water as I fell off to sleep.  Thanks for inviting me over, folks.  It was nice to be a part of the party.

Sunday morning was great for sailing while the fleet was out.  It turned into a typical summer day on the lake, and the air went straight up if there was any moving at all.  I motored all the way back to East Harbor State Park on the east side of the Catawba Peninsula.  It was a rough ride across the chop of the Western Basin.  A couple of hours unstopping the mast and stowing gear, a couple more driving back to Columbus.  My bed at home hadn’t felt this good since I returned from my last deployment.

See you next year, Bay Week.  Until then…the Old Fox is coming….

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Bay Week – Returning to Sandusky

toward St George Is

We were looking forward to sailing back together. It was only the second day we had together and another beautiful day for sailing was coming up with the sun. The wind was coming in as predicted from the Northwest and it looked as though we’d have a sweet run all the way back to Sandusky.

A glitch would keep Mindy from making the trip, though. She was on call for work and we couldn’t be certain if there would be cell phone coverage along the course as sailed, where ever the wind would blow us. Our excitement diminished and she decided she would head to her dad’s house for an afternoon visit and we’d meet back in Columbus. We said our good-bye and went off to our respective vessels. I got Lifeline under way and she stepped aboard the Jet Express for Port Clinton.

(Follow the journey home on the chart) http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/14844.shtml

I motored out from the breasted mooring and used Gibraltar Island as we had the day before. Clearing the wind shadow it provided I had a wonderful port reach all the way to Ballast Island. I pushed the tiller over and showed the wind her stern, making the transit through the narrow channel South of Ballast Island. I had some company. A couple of motor boats and a forty-foot sailboat joined me. The motor boat had plenty of bottom clearance. The two sailboats were a couple yards close aboard.

One would think that after clearing this channel I’d have hundreds of yards of distance between myself and any other boat. After all, Lifeline is a sailboat and most of the traffic is motor boat traffic; BIG motor boats; cabin cruisers; four bedroom apartments with motors. It seems I was a curiosity and drew these personal cruise liners to me like bugs to a zapper light. Some were courteous and slowed as they passed. Others took their look and rolled on through, leaving me to rock in their wake or change course and turn into the wash. I ended up doing both depending on how much time I had to make the adjustment. I was beginning to feel like a rubber duck in swimming pool full of active splashing kids.

Passing Kelley’s Island to the South my heart beat a little harder. It wasn’t that there was one commercial ferry coming toward me. It was that there were three, and one was the Miller Ferry to Kelley’s. I remember from my Navy days how much different a ship looks when staring down the bow. The beam of the USS Iowa looked foreboding off Guantanamo Bay, and I was standing on the deck of a Navy cruiser. The Miller Ferry looked just as foreboding, I assure you, when looking down its bow from only a couple of feet above the water. Not to worry, though, there was more than a mile between us and I was clear of her course before she needed to blow a horn. The other cargo vessel passed well to my stern and the Jet Express out of Sandusky just seemed to dance around all three of us.

I was running downwind, but with the waves and a bit of shifting of the air with the rising summer sun I found myself jibing often. A Catalina 22 of Lifeline’s vintage won’t run directly downwind due to the lower aft stays keeping the boom from swinging parallel with the beam of the boat. I went back and forth on broad reaches and more than a couple of occasional jibes were ‘unplanned’. Four hours of sailing and I was inside Sandusky Bay once again.

One more obstacle to steer clear of and that was the collier coming out of the port. The Coast Guard came close aboard passing me to port in one of their response RIB’s. Maybe they thought I was too close inside the channel but they cruised on by in one direction and the collier in the other. Like Gibraltar Island out at Put-in-Bay, I was shadowed from the wind. It was time to furl the ‘canvass’ and motor into Sandusky Sailing Club.

To my great surprise and with the joy of returning home from deployment, there was Mindy on the pier when I arrived. She decided to watch for her sailor from the shore, stopping first at Marblehead Lighthouse, then traveling around the Bay and stopping at four different marinas before seeing my truck and trailer in downtown Sandusky. We hauled Lifeline out after her full weekend of work for us, wrapped her up and thanked our host, Dock Master Tim, and went off to dinner overlooking the Bay. We enjoyed a tandem ride home down State Route 4, and we arrived home as the sun was setting down to its evening rest.

The four days of sailing Lifeline was a dream-come-true. It took work and sweat, planning and more research, and mostly it took patience and persistence. Most dreams do.

Old Fox 2

Flying ‘Donate Life’

See where I’m at:  http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/14844.shtml

(Click on the photos and they’ll fill your screen)

I did not stay aboard Lifeline while attending the Bay Week festivities.  Not that she is too small to my liking but she is too small and lacks the most primitive of accommodations that would facilitate a more comfortable stay with my wife on board.  We stayed in a hotel on the mainland for the three nights of the festival.

I wasn’t really surprised when I arrived at the docks on Friday morning to find most of the fleet already ‘out to sea’.  The races all started at 0920 and I didn’t arrive until just after 0900.  I was surprised when the inboard boat, Discover, was gone and the outboard boat’s skipper chided me for him having to move my boat.  If there was any glitch in the fine work of the Dock Masters it was that what we describe as a ‘support boat’ was tied up next to a competing one.  That would be corrected today and I was moved to the forth breasted out boat on the other side of ‘A’ dock.  This is where Lifeline looked more like a dinghy than a part of the fleet.

'Laughable' but full of pride

Forth breasted boat out.

And like a dinghy, on the third night, Saturday, the wind shifted to come out of the North and blew right into Put-in-Bay.  Lifeline was the furthest boat out and the only boat breasted out forth.  That made her a ‘scoop’ for the wind and pulled the whole group backwards as the wind blew down.  Not being aboard, I was not part of the scramble to keep our group from bouncing off the power cruisers behind us.  Staying aboard is important, and I know this from the Navy.  I was fortunate to have Dock Masters come from our club, and they were more considerate than I might have expected others to be.

Again, my thanks to Gordon Fowler and Brian Ross of Alum Creek Sailing Association, as well as the crew and skippers of the boats I was breasted out from.

My ‘mission’ today was to raise my ‘Donate Life’ foresail to promote signing up for the organ donor registries in Ohio and Michigan primarily.  This has been a goal for me since arriving back in Ohio.  My wife has been a donor coordinator for fifteen years now.  I gave over my time to volunteer for Lifeline of Ohio1 while looking for work.  That gave me an opportunity to help promote the concept with a year of volunteer work.  I got the idea to put the Donate Life logo on the sail watching video from the Volvo Ocean Race and seeing how they promote their sponsors.  Today I would make my debut in the sailing community among the 75 or so yachts racing and the surrounding islands.

logo bright

The westerly wind made a circumnavigation of Middle Bass Island an easy task.  I reached northward.  It inverted the logo on the sail, but the logo is pretty bright in the colors on the Dacron and is still visible over my port side in this configuration.  The mulit-hull fleet was off to port and I was about a half mile off the shore.  Local knowledge was lacking.  I’d sailed aboard another boat as crew in the October 2009 Fall Bay Regatta aboard Foghorn, an S2 9.2 out of North Cape Yacht club.  I was retracing the route of that trip today, but forgot about the reef between Middle Bass and Sugar Island, just to its northwest (see the NOAA chart link).  I had a new chart plotter, courtesy of my wife at Christmas, and I learned quickly enough I was not going between these islands.  I came about and beat back windward to circle Sugar Island.

Multihull race day three from the south

Multihull race day three from the south

The sun was being shrouded by a blanket of clouds.  That was good for two reasons.  The first was it kept me from being cooked in the sun.  I don’t sail with my bimini up, it keeps me from tending the mainsail.  The second was the increase in the westerly wind velocity.  It was perfect for flying the sails wing-on-wing and doing so filled out the foresail very well.  It would be a ‘banner’ day for showing the logo.  I was able to run the whole length of Middle Bass Island’s north shore.  Coming behind me were some of the larger catamarans.  They blew by me as though I was stuck on that previously mentioned reef, but smiling as they did.  Coming from the other direction were some cruisers who chose the opposite direction for the circumnavigation.  As they were beating upwind while I was running down, they were smiling and waving as they sat on their rails.  This was the most fun of the day.

In case you haven’t pulled up the NOAA chart, Middle Bass extends under the surface for several hundred yards past it’s visible termination and I needed to sail ‘round the buoy marking the end of that reef.  Coming to starboard I was crossing that stronger westerly and it continued to grow with the day’s progression.  Still, Lifeline and I were able to handle full sails.  The cruising fleet regatta was now in sight of us, and though few might be looking in my direction, those that did were able to see the Donate Life logo brightly gleaming back at them.

Lifeline and I had some trouble as we cleared the lee of Middle Bass Island, though.  Heeling over wasn’t the problem.  Catching the sail on the anchor was.  I haven’t modified my anchor’s rigging and it hangs suspended on the bow pulpit as was the design at the time she was built.  This puts the flukes and their cross bar up where a tacking sail can catch on them, and the foresail did just that.  The light winds that started the day would have allowed me to ease about and free the canvass, but the current conditions would not.  She just started to wrap around the forestay.   “THAT’s not going to happen.  No, no, no, no…” I thought.  I might have even said it, or shouted, but as no one else was there to hear me, it’s of no consequence.  The ‘energy’ of those words was present on the boat and I loosed the jib halyard and headed her up then went forward.

Now, stand by for the lesson learned….I was wearing my manually inflatable life vest, a safety must on my vessel when single handing, especially in ‘big’ water like the lake.  And I almost needed it, as  being on my knees and pulling the sail down wasn’t quite enough of a balanced position as the wind kicked the boat around and the waves pushed over the bow.  I was wet , the sails were wet, and the deck was wet and I ‘almost’ took a swim.  But I managed to get the sail down and put the bungee over it to keep it mostly on deck.  The sheets were all  twisted and to keep them from pulling the sail about in the wind I removed them from the clew.  It was curiosity that hit me as I clasped them onto the mast and noted that Lifeline was sailing herself on a port tack.  I had not loosed the main sheet and the tiller had caught on its own tending line.  Maybe the boat sensed I was going to fall over and sailed herself under me and gave me a steady ride?  It’s a great idea for a fantasy story, but my error in not losing the main sheet put my boat under way with no one at the helm.  This would have been a problem in tight quarters, such as might be found within the race course boundaries.  Tactically having the anchor mounted as it is caused a situation of concern in safely operating the boat.  The money spent at Catalina Direct on a new anchor mount for my bow will be money well spent before the next open water trip.

The jib was down and now the sailing was slower but far better controlled.  I needed three tacks between Ballast Island and Middle Bass to make it upwind to the harbor.  I used the lee of the west footprint of Middle Bass to my advantage and progressed well toward the remains of the old winery.  Clearing this part of the island again I needed to go back and forth from port to starboard tacks one more time before having a straight shot into the harbor.  My only disappointment was that with the foresail down I was not showing the logo.  Few would be able to see and none would discern the same logo on the pennant at the top of my mast.  That was mostly for in-port identification but I left it flying all the time.

Thursday Aug 1 2013

Approaching Put-in-Bay from Ballast Is

It was a terrific day on the water!  Just being among the fleets was a thrill for me.  Making the debut of the Donate Life logo goal completed a three year vision and commitment I’d made to myself for the program.  Over 106,000 people are waiting for life-saving transplants nation-wide in the United States and more than 3,000 of those are in Ohio. (note 3) Ohio allows for voluntary registry through the Department of Motor Vehicles upon driver’s license renewal.  One person volunteering can affect up to eight (8) other lives through organ donation and help improve the life-style/mobility of upward s of fifty (50) others through tissue donation, which include giving someone a new set of eyes.  The DonateLifeAmerica organization can help you find the means for you to register in your state in the U. S. www.donatelifeamerica.net.

solstice setting sun over alum 2013

Tomorrow Mindy will join me and we’ll sail out to where the perf fleet are showing their colors!

(1) Please note there is no financial relationship between Lifeline of Ohio and Lifeline Sailing.  The name similarity is a coincidence of the entendre’ of the name between the importance of lifelines on a sailing vessel and the name of the central/southeast Ohio Organ Procurement Organization.

(2) The operations and maintenance of Lifeline Sailing are funded by my personal budget and any sales of my book From Tampa to the Cape, Eight Days Around the Florida Peninsula; available through www.iuniverse.com under the nom de plume’ John Louis.  The book is available in soft cover and e-format and also available through Barnes and Noble.  (I’m somewhere around 450,000th on the best sellers’ list.  Marketing, don’t you know)

(3) Facts and figures; organ donation needs; http://www.lifeconnectionofohio.org/donat_facts.html  updated since writing the article

Bay Week – Getting to the Island

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/14844.shtml (open in a separate window to follow the journey out)

I’ve been single-handing Lifeline for about a year, now.  On Alum Creek Lake, just north of Columbus Ohio, that’s not a real difficult task.  The challenging day was last fall during our Old Fox Regatta when the wind blew 15 all day and after five hours it was all I could do to hang on.

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(photo credit; The Author; Blackberry Storm II; 8-1-2013.  Cedar Point From the Sandusky Harbor Channel)

Thanks to the Dock Master, Tim Kyle at the Sandusky Sailing Club, I left Thursday afternoon from Sandusky Bay in bright sunlight and relative calm I thought I was in for a nice upwind close-reach riding a westerly breeze of around 7 – 10 mph.  And that was the case across the Bay. It was warm.  I could hear the screams coming from the Cedar Point roller coasters. I was flying a full mainsail and my #1 jib.  I had checked the radar before leaving the dock.  The storm cell looked to be moving South and East.  I expected I would ride the feeder winds, so I was looking forward to a cooling breeze that would rotate from West clockwise to North and back to West.  It was going to be a glorious ride.  Such are the plans of hopeful sailors.

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(photo credit; http://www.vacones.org; downloaded from Google Images)

Except for working on the sail balance, I left the Sandusky Bay behind me with little difficulty.  I was actually being pulled up-wind and had to keep correcting.  I let the boom out six or so inches more and eased the jib a bit.  I can never quite get that lower-inboard tell-tail to fly unless she’s close-hauled.  The range marker for the lake freighters has a bit of a shoal around it and I wanted about fifty yards clearance around it.  I needed that to stay off the shoal, but no more than that to make room for the freighter making her way up the channel.  I know these freighters are small compared to those ocean going ones I’ve seen while serving in the Navy, but from the cockpit of a Catalina 22 they look just as large as their bigger brothers.

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(photo credit:  parks.ohiodnr.gov, downloaded from Google Images)

I picked a spot on the horizon between the Marblehead lighthouse and Kelly’s Island.  That gave me plenty of room off the rocks at Marblehead and no worries about Kelly’s at all.  The sky was getting gray over Marblehead, as expected.  The storm was a pretty good sized cell and would take the sun away for an hour or so.  Since it was mid-afternoon I was looking forward to the cooling down and less reflection of white light in my eyes as I sailed northward.  The breeze began picking up and I looked over at the shore to see what kind of shelter there was, just in case.

The main pulled harder and the jib went taunt and my attention went to the sails and the tiller.  It was getting to be a fun ride now and the new chart plotter Mindy had bought me last Christmas was telling me I was doing a mile-per-hour faster than the old Horizon speed meter.  Five knots is design hull speed on this boat, if I remember correctly, and the chart plotter read 5.7.  I close-hauled the sails to point a little higher into the wind.  That would bring me closer to the shore in case I misjudged the storm or it changed direction.  Lightning was flashing in the distance behind me but I wasn’t hearing any thunder at the moment.  I looked forward.  Yes, I had put the anchor up.  I looked to the cabin.  The companion way boards were all the way up forward.  Now where is that raincoat?

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(photo credit; erietvnews.com; downloaded from Google Images)

The first rumble of thunder came over the trees.  I turned to look and the sky was all gray above and getting black just over the tops of the green.  The shore was a mile off and directly into the wind.  I wouldn’t get upwind in time to the beach if I needed to now.  Best to keep sailing and make my way around the edge.  I hove to and let Lifeline settle out.  No other boats around except the lake freighters.  One was anchored waiting to enter Sandusky Bay and she was off of Kelly’s.  The other was tied to the pier of the gypsum plant on Marblehead and she wasn’t going anywhere either.  OK, I went below to get the companionway covers and my rain jacket.  Nothing changed when I came back up several seconds later, except that the thunder was now announcing its presence.  Then it came.  That cooling of the air just before the storm hits, so refreshing from the day’s heat and so ominous in its presence yet.  The cooling meant I wasn’t going to skirt the storm, I was going to ride it out.

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(photo credit; plsntcov.8m.com, downloaded from Google Images)

Thunder grew along with the rain.  I was still on the edge of it.  Lightning was overhead now, and I have an aluminum antenna pointing up from the water twenty-four feet into the air.  Nothing to do about that now.  No single reefing line on my sails, I have to turn upwind and do the entire evolution at three points on the boom as well as lower then raise the halyard.  Nope.  That ‘reef early, reef often’ advice I give all the students I teach was hidden under a pile of confusing and misleading confidence now lying on the deck in front of me.  I put on the rain jacket just in time.

It pelted the sails and was soon pouring off of them, and overboard.  I eased out the Dacron/canvass to spill the wind and hold my course.  The shore and my view of Kelly’s was becoming shrouded in the rain.  Lightning was all around me, overhead, behind and now in front.  “Well, I’m in it now,” I thought.  This I prayed as I passed the freighter on the pier and came out of the shadowing of Marblehead.

And then everything just went gray.   I couldn’t see anything except twenty yards of water around me and that, thankfully. “I wonder how this is going to turn out.  God and St. Brendan be with me and put a steady hand on the helm.”   Lifeline was riding well.  The compass heading on the chart plotter had read 298 degrees.  Now I was reading 305.  As I rode through the wind I continued to try to spill wind and the wind kept filling the sails back in.  Soon the heading was 315.  Then it was 328.  I was running with the storm and had turned toward the anchored freighter and Kelly’s Island.  Would I hit one of them before I could see them?  Then the chart plotter heading was…well, so covered with water I couldn’t read it anyway.  One less thing to ‘distract’ me from looking ahead and trimming sails.

I must have run for about thirty minutes this way before the storm went past or I sailed out of it.  Either way I was in the middle between Marblehead, Kelly’s Island, and the Catawba peninsula.  The lighting and thunder continued to warrant attention, in case the storm turned about, but the sun was now out and beating down hard.  It was hot again.  That anchored lake freighter was miles off my starboard quarter and I wasn’t even close.  There wasn’t another boat on the water.  Go figure…

I should have expected it, but how often do I sail after a storm passes? Never, of course, because on Alum Creek I don’t take the boat out in a storm, and by the time they pass I’m off drinking and eating merrily, or something else.  But it was calm.  Completely calm, which is to say I was dead-in-the-water, sails hanging out to dry in the revived heat of the afternoon.  I hate motoring my sailboat, but with a deadline and the Dock Master waiting for me at Put-In-Bay what choice did I have.  Besides, making the boat move through the water meant creating a breeze and I needed to cool down.  My thirty-plus year old engine jumped right to the task and I motored toward the South end of South Bass Island.  The sails luffed and dripped.  The raincoat had neither absorbed water nor held my own in, so it was nearly dry.  The lines were dripping puddles beneath where they hung.  I went for an hour like this.

I decided to take a minute and feel the breeze.  If it was building again I wanted to use it and save my fuel for entering harbor or anchoring.  A nice westerly was coming up.  I was just getting to the longitude off the East side of South Bass Island, and still far enough South to make the passage between Catawba and South Bass.  With a westerly breeze I changed my sail plan and reached North for Ballast Island.  It felt good to heel over with the wind again and turn the noisemaker off.  As much as I respect the need for the ‘auxiliary’ engine, I don’t like running it.

The run up to Ballast Island was as the run out of Sandusky Bay.  The sun shone, the breeze was steady, and the sails sang Jimmy Buffet tunes all the way up.  Approaching Ballast Island I could tell the wind was south-of-west just enough that I could close reach the narrow channel to the south of the island.  Clearing the western red buoy marker I tacking over and drew straight on to Put-In-Bay harbor.  One of our Dock Master’s for the weekend, Gordon Fowler, was sitting in the stern of his boat, already enjoying libations after a full day of jockeying boats to fit the space the I-LYA was afforded for the weekend.  He called me by cell phone and directed me into the piers where Lifeline would be sheltered for the weekend’s activities.

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(photo credit; Peggy Turbett; http://blog.cleveland.com/travel/2008/06/great_lake_erie_getaways_kelle.html)

An adventure several years in the planning was now under way.  I had sailed Lifeline to Put-In-Bay to be part of the Bay Week Regatta.  She’s small and insignificant, more like a dinghy alongside the yachts actually racing, but she’s my sailboat and I was just excited to be there!

Quiet comaraderie

It was a quiet night on the docks, or so I thought.  Maybe it was just the quiet in the air.  The cove was a sauna.  It wasn’t the most comfortable night to work on LIfeline.  Overcast and darkening gray in the sky.  That brought out the green in the trees, that deep, dark green that makes a forest both inviting and at the same time foreboding.    I was on board to tighten up my mast stay cables to specifications.  They were pretty saggy during the last race and I want them snugged up before this weeks’.

Norris stopped by.  We talked about how he and Kioko are enjoying Balanced Sheets.  He leased the club’s boat for the summer.  Some leaks still that I didn’t get repaired last year.  The woodwork needs new finish.  We talked about one-fifty grit sandpaper, three-hundred grit paper, then varnish, steel wool rub, and varnish again.  We parted and I kept on working.

I took a phone call from a Sea Scout Skipper about arranging to meet and show him our facilities and arranging for his Ship to come down and visit the docks and going sailing.

I finished my work.  It took some time to get seven cables to where I was comfortable.  They were far from being safe, even, and I was embarrassed to myself for not properly rigging them sooner.  I ‘bent on’ two traveler lines and a ‘Cunningham’ for the mainsail.  The one rigged last week was too short.

Jim, the Dock Master this year, was ‘on board’ so I walked down and discussed the phone conversation I’d had with Steve.  I’m putting Steve and Jim together via an email.

Then I saw Doc on his Catalina 22.  Doc is the Skipper of the Sea Scout Ship I’m supporting.  I got a look into his cabin and noted a fine wooden panel for his electrical system.  He’s mounted it on the port bulkhead (wall) next to the table.  Mine is factory original, on the floor.  I have to stand upside-down to operate it.  I think I’ll rewire mine like Doc did his.

No wind, sauna like, but some decent progress in keeping Lifeline in good shape and the camaraderie that makes boating the worthwhile venture it is.

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