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Coming home

All the commotion and uncertainties of boat search, prep and movement to home slip is behind me. There is a “coming home feeling” to being back on the water. The first reaction is to raise sails, find a nice peaceful anchorage, put feet up with a suitable beverage and watch the sunset. That will come soon, but there are still assorted details to yet to address……find the water leak in the fresh water system, finish cleaning, organize and stow essential gear, sort out lines – clean and replace as needed, treat and pump tanks, load and store provision. Moderate chaos still reigns below deck. Doing this right will take some time, but as they say, ‘there’s nothing more fun than messing around with boats’ 🙂

Meanwhile, she’s (Valinor II) settled in a secure slip in a beautiful location. That’s sparkle on a shinny, waxed hull, not marks!

A short work day got some things done. We moved to an adjacent slip – now bow in. And, my furry crew got introduced to the boat. He managed the boarding ramp and the companionway – down & up – with only a little assistance.

Next step is to work though the chore list (above). I’m pretty sure it won’t all be done before we slip the lines and find that idyllic anchorage for at least one night…… The first Valinor liked this spot.

Home Slip

Just a short update —-

Finally, all the paper work and boat work is finished. Last Saturday (9/14) we launched and headed up the Bay to her new slip, with her new name and home port lettering on. Thanks for the great crew help from friend Ron.

It was a near perfect day.  Mostly sunny, with wind from the SSE at 10-15kts and an incoming tide. Slight chop and following low waves.  All in all, great run downwind under full sail.  All systems worked as expected.  Still a few minor issues to handle and some topside and cabin cleaning, organizing and stocking to do.

Home slip is an easy motor ride up Mill Creek from the Bay proper – just above a really great crab house….Cantler’s for those who know the area.

And, what a beautiful, quiet location – even a large lawn for exercising the pup 🙂  It’s a private slip with three sailing neighbors. Looking forward to settling in and enjoying time on the water again!



Full circle

After a wonderful couple of years traveling the Country full time in our motorhome, we’ve settled again close enough to the Chesapeake to be back on the water. The lengthy process of searching for a suitable boat, and going through the survey and negotiations finally met with success.

The search criteria, apart from affordability, was a comfortable, well equipped and structurally solid sail boat 32-36ft in length. Several boats were inspected from 32 to 40 ft varying in age from 25-35 years, all but one were in the immediate Annapolis area which will once again be home port.

The lucky winner is an ’88 Catalina 34 tall rig, wing keel. This is a familiar boat, though I’ve never sailed this model. It is nearly identical to my former Catalina 30 – same rigging, keel, electronics and engine – just several feet longer. The extra length provides for more comfortable living quarters, and capability to handle a wider range of sea conditions – at least with more comfort.





She is in remarkably good shape for a 30 year old boat, clearly well cared for over the years and upgraded to current standards. That said, there are a few maintenance and improvement issues. The head sail needs a good cleaning or replacement. The bottom will be sanded out and given 2 coats of ablative paint before we launch and move to her home slip. Some detailing is needed on the interior, as is maintenance of the refrigeration. Planned improvements include a windlass and a stern swim platform to facilitate getting on and off the dinghy – especially with a dog. That would be Tacker, a 40lb, 9 year old Brittany.

I think he’s going to be helpful crew … … that is if I can get him to stay awake to stand watch …

Looking forward to being  in a slip with sailing friends as neighbors, AND it’s a short dinghy ride to one of the best seafood restaurants in the Annapolis area – especially good crab cakes! And, it’s only a 10min run down creek to the Bay.

She’s a documented vessel, though expired, so renewing with the Coast Guard and changing name and home port are top on the to do list. Hoping to get help at the Coast Guard Documentation Center which is only 45 minutes away.  Currently named Althea, she will be christened Valinor II following her predecessor.  The ceremony to secure Neptune’s blessing will be employed when the time comes……with appropriate libations.   Stay tuned for more about our adventures on the water to come.