Pandora on the hard, finally, and a UFO of sorts.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a month since Pandora found her way to Essex and into “decommission mode” at the boat yard.  While sitting in the slip, she remained unused, waiting the word to pull her out for some work on the hard.

After months of being aboard when the morning would come and go with little done but reading and enjoying the scenery, it’s been hard to get back to my “frantic, let’s get going, self”, fine tuned over the years.  Now that I am back on shore, for a while, all I want to do is to enjoy the moment…  Alas, that dreaded “honey do” list hangs over my head.  Perhaps I’ll have another cup of coffee.

The yard has begun work on the engine to be sure that things are in tip-top shape after 3,000 hours of use over the years.  I don’t know what has been done to the engine prior to my ownership but, while I have done regular oil changes, not much else has been done to the engine during the 1,000 hours I have put on.

Sure, prior to hauling, I have done plenty to her including interior cleaning along with re-bedding some of the ports with the hope of solving the admittedly minor water leaks that have been vexing me for years.  Happily, all of those leaks are behind the cabin liner and don’t find their way into the interior, but I’d love to keep all water, behind the cabinetry or not, from entering the boat.

Happily, after months of trying to find the leak in the domestic water system, I can finally say that IT’S FIXED!!!.   After tearing up the cabin sole numerous times, I finally found a very minor leak under the sole in the galley.   I also replaced the water pump with a lower pressure unit and now all is well.  What the actual fix was is still unclear, but it’s solved, for now…  We’ll see.

When non-boating folks hear that I have a boat it seems that the first question out of their mouth is “what kind” quickly followed by “how big”.  My answer, a SAGA, is often greeted with a blank stare, as they have no idea what that is.  I guess they think that a SAGA is something that Hobbits do.  Not knowing what a SAGA is  makes sense, setting aside the Middle Earth thing, as there were not many made, only about 50.  For the second question, “how big”, my answer is often, “well, it depends how far from the dock I am”.   Far out to sea she feels really little.  Close to a dock or something else hard and she looks a lot bigger.  This shot of Pandora in the boat yard gives a pretty good feel for what “big” looks like.  Out of her element she looks enormous, to me anyway.

Note how much bottom paint is showing on the keel as she was coming out of the water. Pretty thin. It seems that much of the ablative paint, well, ablated over the year she was under way. I have to settle on a better paint going forward.

In any event, there’s plenty to do to get Pandora ready to be put back in the water by late July so I’d better get cracking.

Meanwhile, following our SSCA gam we had two couples visit us here in Essex. Both had hoped to get here in time for our event, but were delayed by weather. Have you noticed that it’s been raining? Yikes! It seems that it’s been weeks, since we have had a stretch of dry weather lasting more than a few hours.

Peter and Helga aboard Twiga, whom I had met in Little Harbor Abaco, in the Bahamas back in May, are on their way around the world, beginning in Cape Town South Africa. Their boat Twiga, is a catamaran and it will be their home for the next few years as they make their way around. Peter is from Germany and Helga from Austria. They purchased Twiga in Cape Town, ran over to Brazil and up to the Bahamas, where I caught up with them. Brenda and I were thrilled to have them visit us here in Essex.  From here they will head to Nova Scotia, down the coast from Maine, to Florida and on to the Panama Canal.  After that they will head to the South Pacific.  Sounds like a great trip.  Hmm…  Hope Brenda doesn’t read this post.

They are a very nice couple. That’s Brenda in the middle after a nice dinner. Happy group. Twiga is a bit unconventional by staid New England standards. Catamarans are becoming more popular every year and are down right pervasive in the Bahamas where the water is skinny.   Peter and Helga keep a website too and it’s worth checking out.  Great news, some of it is even in English.  

Speaking of “unconventional”, this UFO, as it was described by a cruising friend who passed it on their run down the Delaware River a few weeks ago, is actually a solar powered boat, Planet Solar.   Pretty wild and clearly “unconventional”.

This “boat” is run totally by solar and has gone all the way around the world. Imagine how big the batteries are. Actually there are several tons of them on board. The panels that power the boat are very similar to those on Pandora but there are many, many more. On Pandora folks are amazed at how much solar we have with just four panels. This boat has hundreds. Pretty amazing. You can learn more about Planet Solar on their website. Pretty interesting. You can even see where they are right now by clicking here.

So, how’s that for a post with a bunch of unrelated elements?  Well, all this blogging stuff isn’t getting Pandora ready to put back in the water so I’d better sign off for now.  

Perhaps a cup of coffee first…



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