Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Update, Back to the Kittiwake!

April 17, 2018

It seems like I am waiting a long time between posts.  We haven’t been constantly traveling or having ‘adventures’ to report!  But, here’s an update for the Olsons in recent weeks.

We returned home to Michigan from Key West in mid-March, about two weeks earlier than has been our habit in recent years.  But, we had work to do at home, plus grandchild time, neighbors, church family to enjoy.  We suffered through about three weeks of pretty cold weather (high in the 40’s, lows in the 20’s).  There were just a couple of days that were less windy and with sun – on those days, I managed to get the yard and gardens cleaned up from the winter.  Mostly, we just huddled indoors, living our ‘normal’ lives with housework, cleaning, cooking, reading books, and with Dan constantly on his PC researching issues for the boat. We both had our fill of doctor/dentist appointments to last us for a while.  I did get to see all three Michigan grandchildren several times, had dinner with the entire family a couple of times.  We did have our favorite neighbor over for dinner and wine a few times. We attended church and caught up with that group.

But, then it was time to get to the boat.  We had an entire pickup truck FULL of items we had purchased or set aside for the boat.  Plus, there were a few packages at the marina that had been shipped to the boat.  Most of the projects are Dan projects, with Gena as his favorite (and only) assistant!  Here is a short list (and I’m sure I have forgotten some….):

Install new fuel filter system (Raycor)
Assemble two Ikea chairs we bought for evening lounging/reading (Done!)
De-install old radar arch and radar system
Install new radar arch, new radar, and other pieces from the old arch (BIG, will need help)
Install wiring and screens for radar and charting/GPS systems (will be contracting for that service)
Figure out what we have/what we need for audio/video entertainment systems.  Install new HDTV digital antenna on the new radar arch.
Organize new tool box, eliminating duplicates and freeing storage space (Done)
Perform tune up on port engine (starboard was done last Fall)
Obtain service for our microwave oven (Scheduled for our time in Norfolk)
Continue to organize and become familiar with housekeeping on the boat (unending chore for Gena)

We are docked at Olverson’s Marina on Lodge Creek, near the mouth of the Potomac River.  This is where we purchased the boat, and this has become our ‘home away from home’.  We spent several weeks here last Fall while we loaded up our household goods, cleaned, became familiar with the various parts of the boat.  The folks here are so warm and helpful.  The marina is somewhat out in the country, but there are stores (hardware, grocery, restaurants) within easy drive.  Most of our time here, we are the only people on our dock with other boat owners coming during weekends.  Everyone we have met has been wonderful.  It has been the perfect place to make as our home port as we learn about living on board.

Our plans for the next few weeks include:
·         Attend the America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association Spring Rendezvous in Norfolk the first week in May (a two day cruise from here).
·         Cruise down the Dismal Swamp Canal (which includes two bridges and two locks).
·         Explore the Albemarle Sound as we return north to this marina (spend about two weeks).
·         Return to Olverson’s to complete scheduled work.  We will also be here when a few other boats from the Marine Trawlers Owners Association (MTOA) arrive on June 28. 
·         On June 30, all these boats will go to St. Michaels, Maryland, for a huge concert and fireworks display.  Should be a real hoot!
·         From St. Michaels, we will continue up the Chesapeake Bay, exploring as we go.  The rule is NO SCHEDULES!  We will look for good weather windows to travel.

The ultimate goal, for this boating season, is to bring the boat to a marina near home in Michigan.  While we are in boating mode, we have agreed to dock the boat after a few (6?) weeks and return either home or to Georgia to visit family.