Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is that a dinghy in your pocket...?

Just like every guy needs a wing man, every boat needs a dinghy. It's just a fact of boating. My dinghy? It was missing. Misty Rose was incomplete. She lacked her wing man.

We'd always kept the dinghy (which was new when we bought the boat) underneath the porch at Oak Harbor. And this year, when I moved back from Washington, D.C., and we decided to look for it, it was missing.

Luckily, when Dad called Oak Harbor to find out What On Earth They'd Done With The Dinghy, they admitted they'd moved it into the shed. Without telling us.

Good thing we asked.

So on my day off, rather than sail, we went down to Pasadena and muscled the deflated dink into the car. And no. I don't have an explanation for the plastic bag hanging out of the back of my jeans.

For the whole year I've lived on the boat there's been a mysterious orange thing in a plastic bag. Apparently it's the dinghy pump. Good thing dad wouldn't let me take it off the boat, huh? I have a whole cabinet on the boat dedicated to Dad's bric-a-brac and crock-a-crap.

Putting the pump together was not too much of a mystery. I mean, I've got degrees. I can handle a pump.

Sadly, the pump came with six nozzles and a pressure gauge, which I never got to work. Maybe I should have stayed back in grad school for a dinghy 101 course.

I resorted to everyone's favorite method of trial and error for fitting the correct nozzle to the pump ports. Interestingly enough the nozzles lock onto the plastic ports. There's a spring-loaded thinger inside each one that needs to be depressed, we discovered, in order for the air to stay in when the nozzle is removed. This was discovered after much pumping.

Here I am pumping.

Dad took a turn. And pumped about 10 times before handing the reins back to me. I am daughter. Hear me roar!

I finished up the job more or less quickly.

And then took a nap on the dock while dad went to get the lock. Pumping is no easy job, OK?

After that, all I needed to do was tie her up and lock her down. Of course I locked her down. I mean, people have no problems stealing hoses and hoses have a lot in common with dinghies. Like... they're both made of rubber.

Now I just need to wash it. It's looking like it spend a couple years under a porch in Pasadena and we can't have that now, can we?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why did it have to be spiders....

Everyone has something they're afraid of. Something they wouldn't want to find in their house in the middle of the night.

For Indiana Jones, it was snakes.

For me? Spiders.

I cannot stand spiders. I loathe them. I fear them. They make me go all shivery. I once refused to allow my boyfriend to touch me after he vaccuumed up a few spider eggs sacs until he'd washed his hands 97 times.

I've gotten a little better over the years.

I am now a trained spider killer and I kill on sight.

Now, you may be asking yourself why I'm posting about spiders on a liveaboard blog. It's an interesting question. And if you haven't spent much time in marinas you probably don't know that spiders love marinas and boats. Love them.

And if you don't keep up with them they'll take over a boat. And they'll go sailing. And they never flake the sails correctly.


So when I lived in DC, there was a serious spider problem at my marina and I purchased a corn broom from Wal Mart specifically for killing spiders and wiping away their webs.

Then winter came and the problem got a whole lot better.

Now that it's spring and I'm at the new marina in Baltimore, the spiders are back, pesky things.

Today, for instance, I went for a short afternoon sail with my pal Pastor Mark and my dad. And Mark points out a spider on the boom. So I take the winch handle (I'd just been tightening the jib, so it was handy) and swing it at the dangling spider... and throw the winch handle overboard.

Luckily it was the floating kind.

Also unluckily I don't have a net, so Mark did man overboard maneuvers, Dad grabbed my feet and I hung three-quarters of my body over the side and managed to snag the handle.

Unluckily I didn't kill the spider with the throw and Dad and Mark refused to let me try again with the winch handle.

So now, I must ask you, faithful readers, if any of you have any awesome spider repellent techniques. Do you? I hope so. Because there's a lot of spiders here and I have only so many winch handles I can throw overboard...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The nerve...

So I dropped home today in the middle of the day to get something I forgot. It's pretty nice to be living so close to work, I must admit.

And I'm walking down the dock and I see a new boat next to me. I say hey and nod at the guy working on her and I keep walking.

As soon as I set foot on my boat, the guy goes, "Oh, I'm using your hose."

I look over and darn if he hasn't gotten my hose all uncoiled from the tower and connected it to his own hose to make it long enough to reach his boat. And his hose didn't look like the nicest hose on the block either. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I DRINK the water out of my hose. I don't want it connected all willy nilly to suspect hoses that may or may not have the plague.

"Sorry," he says completely in a completely unapologetic tone.

"Um, it's OK, I guess," I say. "Please be careful with it, it's my only hose and I need it for my water."

OK, so maybe that was a dumb thing to say. "I need it for water"? Really? What else do people use hoses for?

And in a totally bombastic tone, he goes, "I'm just filling my tank, I'll be done in a second."

What? Excuse me? You are using my hose and you're not even going to be polite about that fact that you're using my personal hose from my tower without permission?

I tell ya, the nerve of these sailors. Bold as brass.

And he didn't even coil it back up right.

This is a great example of my the principle of liveaboard life in a marina. The liveaboard is exponentially more likely to have gear used without permission or borrowed because the liveaboard, in fact, lives aboard and is exponentially more likely to have stuff for other marina denizens to steal or borrow. The more stuff, the greater the chances of having it beggared away. The more time you spend on a boat, the greater the chances of having more stuff.

See where I'm going with this?

I'll tell you where I'm going with this. I'm going to Wal Mart to get a lock for my damn hose!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The neighborhood....

So a couple of weeks ago I set out to leave Oak Harbor Marina in Pasadena and head to Baltimore. Since I'm working in Baltimore full time now, I figured that living there would not only save on gas money since the commute from Oak Harbor sucked, but I'd also get to live in Baltimore, my favorite place on earth.

So I called around to all the marinas in Baltimore and kept a list of pros and cons on each marina. Categories included: Price, Internet access, location of bathrooms/niceness of bathrooms and overall location.

Tidewater Marina won in most categories. They have no Internet, but are significantly cheaper than most and were offering a slip close to the very nice bathhouse. Sold! Dad called Oak Harbor and they easily were able to rent our slip out (which meant we got our deposit for the 2010 season back -- to go straight into the range fund.)

I shanghaied yet another unsuspecting crew -- this time my dad and my boyfriend Jon. That's Jon in the center of the picture... and my dad's rear end off to the left there. Hi dad!

We actually had a beautiful trip. It was warm and the wind was blowing over our beam the whole time, so we were able to reach right into Baltimore. Overall it was exceedingly pleasant.

But now to the point of my post. In addition to being my home, Tidewater is a serious boatyard in a very industrial piece of the harbor. Want to see my new neighbors? Coincidentally, Jon snapped all of the pictures in this post since I left my camera home (well, I took the picture of him and he took the rest):

My other new neighbors? The cruise ships. It's like living in a row house in the middle of mansion-land...