Week of 2018Jan15
We shared a nice weekend and enjoyed the week of 2018Jan15. Temperatures started to drop last weekend, but were tolerable. We had a few days of overcast and rain but today was rather nice. It was chilly, but not frigid… except maybe this am due to the wind. But as the weekend progressed, it warmed up nicely. Standing water in the area is frozen each morning when we take the pups for a walk. Usually, however, the ice is melted by lunchtime.
Anchor Chain Arrives
We placed the order for our new anchor chain last week and received delivery of the 400-lb drum on Tuesday. Many thanks to our Dockmaster, Jesse, for allowing us to store the chain and for helping us move it from the parking lot. Unfortunately, the delivery driver claimed to be unable to deliver it directly to the marina office. So he placed it in an adjacent parking lot on the front-side of the hotel. Jesse helped move it over to the marina office till we could get to it. Shannon and I are excited to get that task completed this coming weekend. Having the new ground tackle aboard will help us sleep better.
We are also looking into the purchase of a new anchor as ours is showing signs of age. Our preference at this point is an 85-lb galvanized anchor from Mantus Marine. According to the sizing chart, the 85-lb anchor should provide ample holding strength in winds of greater than 50 knots for a boat the size of Banjo. Although this means a bit more work for the windlass, we feel that purchasing a solid anchor is critical. In the future, we can look into a lighter 65-lb version for calm days. Since we only have funds for a single purchase, we are opting to get the heavier one first. “Plan for the worst” is a better general approach than “hope for the best.” And ground tackle is one of those systems that need to be rock-solid.
One thing we wanted to touch on was the performance of the Froli Sleep System we installed last week. Since installation, we have had almost no condensation under our mattresses. In addition, we have found the bed to be considerably more comfortable.
Going Out For Dinner
Shannon and I got to share a treat this week of 2018Jan15 and went out for sushi. We did not get the “boat” of sushi as we did on her birthday, but we did enjoy a few new items. The one we both seemed to enjoy was called the “Happy New Year” Roll. It was on special at our preferred sushi place called Sake Sushi Grill BBQ & Bar. The dish consisted of tuna, fresh salmon and asparagus topped with lightly seared tuna, salmon and masago. We also enjoyed Japanese-Style Dumplings, Gyoza, which is a favorite.
Our regular server was off last Friday night, but we enjoyed the food regardless. The restaurant was busier than we had ever seen it and it took more time than usual to receive our food so we had to entertain ourselves. We got time to talk, make funny faces and joke around with our server. Once the sushi arrived, however, we got right down to the business of eating.
Shooting Some Pool: 8-Ball
Back in December, we were approached by one of our dock friends who asked if we wanted to join their 8-Ball Pool League. The league is sponsored by the American Poolplayers Association (APA). Our league plays at Mickey Milligans, here in New Bern. We love this bar. It is casual and everyone is extremely friendly. Shannon wasn’t really interested in playing, but I was. We both figured it would be a good activity to get us off the boat and afford us some social time. It has been about 20 years since I have played pool with any regularity. The first month was an absolute disaster. I lost every match I played, but they hadn’t started the new season yet, so the matches were really just for practice.
There are only a few distinctions in the rules of the APA as compared to other leagues. For instance, in 8-Ball, players are not required to call their shots, except for the 8-Ball. Also, any ball that sinks counts, regardless of whether the shot was intentional. For the 8-Ball Matches, players race to clear their particular balls (solids or stripes) and then be the first to sink the 8-Ball in their “called” pocket.
In addition to the 8-Ball League, I also started playing on a 9-Ball Team as well. APA rules are a little different than other leagues. In 9-Ball, players score a point each time they sink a ball, with the 9-Ball giving 2 points. Each players level determines the number of balls they need to sink in order to win the match. The match is composed of as many games necessary in the race for the points.
I am happy to report that this week I won my first 9-Ball Match. It seems the key, for me, is to enjoy four Guinness Beers for a couple hours while practicing. This is the perfect number to help quell any anticipation or nerves prior to playing in a match, but not too much as to impair playing. Four seems to be the perfect number in this regard.
The biggest challenge for me is, in order to aim effectively, I have to get low and lift my head. This proves to be painful due to my neck problems from the Navy. My teammates have noticed that I often stand up before I have completed my shot. This is because standing relieves the pressure and discomfort from holding my head in that position. I’ve had to adjust my individual stance to allow me to keep my head more “level” when shooting. I seem to have been able to shoot banking and cut shots, but my “straight in” shots still really suck and I miss those often. Hopefully, those will get a little easier with more practice.
Stars, Snow, and Sunsets
As usual, Mother Nature treated us to some breathtaking sunsets. And, on one particularly chilly but cloudless night, I was able to capture some shots of the night sky. All of these were shot without the aid of a tripod, so please forgive the minor shakiness.
On Wednesday, we received a small amount of snow. Forecasters were calling for 1″-2″, and we received about an inch. Certain parts of the dock were a little deeper due to snow drift. Other parts of the dock were completely free of snow or ice. Fortunately, almost all of the snow melted the following day We fared well during the cold and the snow and Banjo did not seem to have nearly the condensation issues this time. This was partly due to us keeping a little more ventilation by leaving a portlight cracked open here and there. Also, we made sure to keep the heaters turned up to a good temperature keeping the boat nice and warm.
Water in the Head
Last night, I stepped into the head to wash my hands and noticed some water on the sole (floor) of the head. Shannon and I saw that Venus, who usually sleeps on a puppy bed in the head, had been cuddled up with Sagira at the base of our berth. We figured she was just staying warm. What we hadn’t noticed was that the bottom of her bed was wet. Upon investigating, we realized that one of the one-way seals inside the toilet must have frozen open or failed completely because sea water was seeping into the bowl. The bowl had filled with water and a small stream was trickling out onto the floor. The head has a shower drain in the floor so the majority of the sea water was just being pumped out but the sump pump.
Shannon and I spent an hour trying to figure out exactly why the bowl was filling since it usually required cycling the hand pump to bring water in. Afterwards, we decided to close the sea cock so we weren’t having to pump the sea water out every 15 minutes. Back at the end of summer, we purchased some maintenance kits for the head which included some new gaskets and valves and such. It looks like we will be removing the commode this weekend in order to perform the service and replace all the seals and valves.
This Coming Weekend
We are expecting a gorgeous weekend with temperatures in the 60’s. It is exciting to have clear skies, sunshine during the day, and warmer temperatures. This is especially true this weekend when we have some projects to complete on Banjo. As mentioned above, we will be servicing our head. In addition, we will be replacing our windlass chain-wheel to handle the upgraded anchor chain. And finally, we will be moving our existing chain over to our secondary anchor and installing the new upgraded chain.
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Until next time, stay warm and be safe!