Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Cruising

Chopper enjoying the Patapsco from the bow seat aboard Miss Gen.

It was four years ago on Easter Sunday, that Maggie and I became the very proud owners of Me Voy. At that time we were fairly certain that within a few short months of week-end work we would have her ready for cruising. We soon realized the scope of the enormous project we had undertaken and our education officially began. Now we are both well versed in all aspects of boat restoration and repair, and I have even risen to the status of professional yacht technician. We have learned a lot from our time with Me Voy, and the education is only just beginning. 
Chopper helps keep watch.
 Easter is a special holiday for us. I am a preacher's son, so I know very well, the meaning of the day. Jesus was put to death and arose from the grave a new creation three days later. It seems only fitting that we would have acquired Me Voy on the day of resurrection. She was alone, and dead in every way. It has taken several miracles to bring her back, but today she is almost better than she ever was. Completely resurrected.
Leaving the marina in our wake.
 I would like to be posting pictures of a day on the water aboard Me Voy, but there are some issues that could not be taken care of in time. It seems the raw water pump for the engine, has begun leaking badly. I managed to take it all apart, and I found the shaft is badly pitted and needs to be replaced. This is fairly simple unless you are dealing with a 1979 Perkins 4-108 that was manufactured in Spain. Everything is just different enough to be impossible to find. So, we decided to take Miss Gen out for the day. So Here's the story.
Maggie likes to hang on
 It was a perfect day for sailing. Wind was SE 10kts steady. We had planned for a short sail, but with conditions so good why would we stop? So we decided we would sail for Fort Mchenry. History buffs my know this as the fort that was being bombarded when Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem.
Miss Gen Catching good wind
 We were sailing up-wind against a strong current, but Miss Gen made good headway, and handled beautifully.
All smiles as we leave the home front
Chopper is a very good lookout

Fort Mchenry
 After a few hours of beating into the wind, we made it to the Fort. Still perfect wind we decided to turn into the harbor and head for the Korean War memorial park in Canton.
Nice beam reach heading toward the city

Docked in Canton
 This was now officially a cruise. We stretched our legs, pooped the dog, and headed on out. The clouds were beginning to gather and the breeze had started freshening.
Spirit cruises passes wide of us in front of the fort.
 After leaving the park, it really started to blow. Our steady 10kts had started gusting to 20kts plus. This is not bad in a yacht, but it can be fairly frightening in an 8 foot dinghy. I managed to hold her to the wind all the way around the fort, all the while digging my fingernails into my palm, as I tightly gripped the main sheet. We passed dangerously close to the rocky sea wall that protects the fortress turned park. As my fingernails sank deeper into my palm, a lady yelled from the shore, "Don't you got no motor? I'd be so scared!". I guess we looked like we weren't scared, but at that moment, I was concentrating too hard on staying off the rocks to even give a reply. The waves thundered against the seawall, the wind howled, and we shifted to windward holding our course, wondering if it would be a good time to put on life vests.

Maggie takes the downwind home stretch
After rounding the fort, we could finally turn downwind. We had a good laugh, and surfed the waves, making good time homeward. Maggie took over at the tiller and brought us home just before the storms started. 

Me and Billy relaxing on the back deck
It was another great day. Maggie and I spent the rest of the evening talking about the past, and the future. We toasted the last of the Chivas to four incredible years and watched the storms pass from the comfort of Tara's back deck. Perhaps next Easter we will be sailing Me Voy.


Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Sounds like a great day, and glad ya'll made it back before the storm. Four years ... time does seem to fly when you're working on a boat doesn't it? BTW, Chopper is soo cute!

jomamma said...

I love it when you guys get out on the water, ya'll work so hard. You deserve some down-time.

Travis and Maggie said...

Actually it seems like a lifetime since we first got Me Voy. It seems like we were soooo, um young? green? optimistic? unrealistic? sometimes pessimistic. I can almost remember a time when we didn't have boats, but that seems like ages ago.

Jomamma you've seen us work for a while now, but rest assured we've definately slowed down quite a bit. Now that this has been Travis' "job" for a while we don't have to work weekends anymore. At least not both days, and definately not if we really don't want to. Some projects are really fun though and we just don't want to stop ;)

Laura and Hans said...

Hans wanted to buy one of those little dinghy things in the worst way but I put my foot down and said NO! This was after I found out what it was like to sail with a 270 pound man in a tiny sailboat. I also now refuse to get into a double kayak or a canoe with him.
Chopper is quite a salty dog and very brave.