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Winter work

As the sailing season comes to an end – at least in the northern regions – the list of off-season projects begins to grow. With a new (to me) boat, it seems the list is pretty long despite the good condition overall …..







My 1988 Catalina 34, which has been nicely upgraded, still has some issues. Not surprising for a boat of this age, 1) the ports and hatches need re-bedding. 2) The interior surfaces need a thorough cleaning. 3) Some hoses need replacement. 4) A minor water leak in the fresh water system needs to be found and fixed. 5) Wood needs sanding and sealing. 6) Sails and canvass need cleaning and minor repairs. 7) Fridge and water heater need replacing. 8) There’s a small soft spot on the deck that likely needs repairing. 9) And, the shaft and cutlass bearing need replacing. The last item, which also means dropping the rudder, will wait till the yards thin out in the Spring so there’s room to haul and block.

I already had the bottom sanded and painted, the hull cleaned and polished and her new name and home port added before launching and bring her to the home slip in Annapolis (Eastport).




Meanwhile, the shop will service the engine, replace filters and change fluids, and likely replace the heat exchanger prior to winterizing.

Items 1, 2, 5 & 6, and maybe 4, are all DIY projects. So, now I have boat stuff to do for entertainment over winter!  It will feel great to have a ‘like new’ boat come next sailing season!  May even have some help from a sailing friend.

But don’t expect much help from Tacker, my number one crew.….


Welcome to the Neighborhood

Well, we settled here, approaching a year now, where family has been for decades. Family names on streets and the odds that many of the folks we meet are somehow related. You would think we knew the area. Not so well it seems. It has taken company from our motorhome travels and distant Colorado friends to encourage some exploration. So, here is a quick look at Thurmont, MD and surrounding features.

Within 40mins we have several National Parks including Antietam Battle Field and Gettysburg Battlefield. Both of which should be on every one’s list to visit. The associated foundations have produced amazing films and displays that do everything but put you in the battles. A remarkable look at that piece of history.


NPS is doing a wonderful job renovating the facilities and displays at the C&O Canal, including rebuilding the aqua duct, and re-watering to float a canal boat, in Williamsport – which also has Civil War history as a hospital town.

And a walk along the tow path offers assorted photographic opportunities…

Closer to home is the Catoctin Mountain NP with assorted hiking trail (not far from Camp David). Of family interest is the now defunct mountain spring still. During prohibition in the ‘20s, local folk built a rather extensive facility capable to producing large quantities (18 500gal vats) of whiskey …. until the revenuers found them. It seems gunfire was exchange and a revenuer shot dead. A distant relative was found guilty of the murder and incarcerated for some years. The back story says the revenuer was shot in the back, and his partner (behind him) was engaged in an affair with his wife. The subsequent assumption follows that our guy was innocent, and the truth covered up. Always fun to have ‘interesting’ relatives 😊

Then came the tour of the local covered bridges, all three of which have been fully restored and have accompanying parks on beautiful streams. Anyone would provide for a beautiful picnic, and wade in the creek……



Then there is the giant slide (covered) at a local church park. Built in the early 1900s.



Throughout much of this part of the Country, the winery industry has grown. The hard scrabble ground that offers poor farming, makes for good grapes. At least three wineries are close at hand. And a stop at one gave us a great tour and explanation of the wine making process – not to mention an extended sampling of their wares. It pays to go at off times …