Thanksgiving Weekend

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First of all: we love Thanksgiving Weekend for so many reasons, mostly it is family and all the good things family means. Thanksgiving Day was shared with our Cape Cod family. The days that follow, the weekend, are special since we do get together with more family, eat some more, tell some more stories and have fun together. Special thanks to Zach and Tab for hosting The Dinner.

Saturday, we took Marina and Zephyros out for a motor around on Averisera. It was cold so Marina was below most of the time and she  made Norm a cuppa. Thanks. Z got fitted out in a PFD and a safety harness. This allowed him roam around on deck while clipped into the jacklines he rigged.

Laura took her two boys to Guadeloupe for Thanksgiving and sent back this picture of Marc and Luke. Thanksgiving, Caribbean style.

I hate it when the picture inverts!

Caribbean Winter Sailing

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What's happening down South for sailors? Lots, it seems. In 2004, Norm took a 45 footer, Rumor, to the Caribbean and "did the circuit." It was five main races and a couple of minor ones. There were a few pure race boats for charter. These days, not so. Some of the world's top racing yachts are competing. Now, there are over a dozen races including the five majors. 

The major regattas are Grenada, St Thomas, BVI, St Maarten, and Antigua.If one rolls in the minors, a great cruising season presents itself. The minors aren't unworthy of attention, just not reported widely in the yachting press. Watch for the Mount Gay Around Barbados series to gain traction in the world yachting press.

Here's the Plan A:
Sail from the US East Coast to the USVI in October or November.  Sooner is better if hurricanes permit. Race the races and cruise between regattas.  What a winter! 

Dates for 2016/17 season.

1. St Croix International: Nov 11-13
2. Jolly Harbour Antigua: Nov 19-20
3. St Lucia Mango Bowl: Nov 25-27
4. St.Maarten YC: Dec 2-4
5. Antigua YC high Tide Series: Dec 18-22
6. Jolly Harbour Antigua Pursuit Race: Dec 31
7. Around Barbados Regatta: Jan 16-24
8. Grenada Sailing Week: Jan 28-Feb 2
9. Jolly Harbour YC Valentine's Day Regatta: Feb12-15
10. Around Martinique: Feb 19-21
11. St Maarten Heineken Regatta: Mar 4-6
12. St Thomas International Regatta: Mar 25-27
13. BVI Spring Regatta:Mar 28-Apr 3
14. Guadeloupe to Antigua Race: Apr 29
15. Antigua Sailing Week: April 30-May 5
16. Nevis Booby Island Regatta: April 30-May 2 (Conflicts with Antigua Sailing Week)

Sail back to the USA for a rest and refit! You might even make it to Cape Cod in time for the FIGAWI Race on Memorial Day Weekend.  

So: If you have a boat and the time, sail down in the Fall and sail back in the Spring and sail like crazy all winter. Except for the Antigua/Nevis conflict, a yacht can do them all.  Some might even have a nice cruise between events.

Plan B?  Make your own schedule:

Averisera: The Winter Plan

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Winter!  What to do with the boat.  A few months to really figure that out.  Maybe we will find suitable wet storage.  Maybe we'll haul.  Either one works.

Meanwhile, for the Fall of 2016, Zachary helped us secure a temporary slip.  It will be a bit easier to work on Averisera.  Also, we will haul the Nutshell pram and doll her up a bit.  It is well within reason to think about a sail at odd moments when wind and weather are gentle.  Thanks Zach.

Garage Refinished

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We have an idea about refinishing the house and creating a new look.  Seems that the house and garage were stained yellow when built in 1995 and have not been touched since.  A month ago we had the buildings washed.  Then E picked out some colors which we tried out in small places.  Then we adjusted the choices.

It took the two of us about four or five days net to do the whole garage.  Weather stretched out the gross time allocated by a few days.  We had a lot of ladder moving to go along with sanding, filling, and painting three coats.  The prime coat was soaked in quickly but decided against a second prime coat and went straight to the finish coat of Ben Moore Exterior Hot Springs Stone, if I recall correctly.  The doors are getting a light color of Salmon Stream.

The test run on the garage is complete and here are some before and after photos.  So far, we are satisfied.

This is the end state.  Before, the doors were dark green and the trim was a washed off yellow/natural.

Before washing and painting and during the lush garden time of July, it didn't look too bad.

The house will get similar treatment.  The front door is repainted with salmon color.  A new storm door is to be installed shortly.  The hand rails are coming down.  They are newly painted just because the old brown color was so unattractive.

Note roving garden gnome/lawn ornament!  When the flower beds die off, a lot of color is lost.

Before we painted the garage, we went for a short sail, our first together on Averisera since Sept 2014.  It was a nice day on Nantucket Sound.  We went home and had champagne.

Pretty Wychmere Harbor in the Fall of 2016.

Skerry: Winter Storage

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Skerry on trailer and car in garage.  We thought about flipping the skerry so it would not fill with rain or snow.  Then... it occurred to us that we could simply suspend the boat from the garage rafters.  After all, Skerry only weighs about 90 pounds.

The car fits in right under the skerry.  Next thing is to bring the Nutshell up from the yard and get to work on her.  After being in the water for about two months without bottom paint and against a hard dock, Nutshell needs some love.

Averisera: Cruise Ready

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A break in the weather would be nice.  It is cold.  Too cold for this couple!

That said, the boat is cruise ready and we've even had a "cuppa" on board. Sunday, the 30th, we went out and tested the autopilot which works well now that we remember how to operate it. We took the opportunity to test towing the Nutshell Pram.Tows like a dream. When I get her freshened up after this rough season in the boat yard she will both look and tow even better.


On a recent weekend, Grandson Z helped Norm with some boat chores aboard. The young fellow is enthusiastic, to say the least. When it was time to go, he hauled the pram alongside, got aboard, and asked to row. The wind was blowing pretty hard.  I said "Yes." Why not? He did it with a huge smile on his face. Norm didn't touch an oar.

A Florida friend just got title to a Yankee 30 sloop located in Chatham. E and Norm helped out by carting the boom, sails and cushions from the former owner's house to the boat. It was a big job. This is half of the total job. Hope to see Wayne and his new boat cruising this next summer.

Averisera: Close to the end!

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Moving Aboard?

Thumper thumps.  Water in tank.  Berth cushions and decorative pillows installed.  Surplus tools and fittings removed.  Must be about done.  The morning temperatures are around 40 at sunrise and above 50 at early afternoon.  Chilly for cruising but we'll work something into the plan.

Some pictures of where we are now.  We are in Wychmere Harbor in Harwichport, MA.  It is a beautiful harbor serviced by an outstanding boat yard.  We have enjoyed working on the boat each day we can.  A very nice place in which to busy ourselves with sailboat projects.

Pretty views of Wychmere Harbor in the Fall of 2016

The Boom-Boom Room and Thumper got a redecorating, too

The pretty interior finishing is all thanks to Elizabeth!

Averisera: Thumper Thumping

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No pictures.  Thumper was installed aboard Averisera without incident.  There was one teeny part missing, an o-ring for the injector.  We could start and run the engine for a short time without it to check for the inevitable leaks of diesel fuel.  We did.

Then... today we got the o-ring.  Installed same and fired Thumper up, tightened a few more fittings and got Averisera's diesel leak free.

However... the shift cables showed their age a quit.  New throttle and shifter cables ordered.

While all this has been going on, Elizabeth has been beavering away on the various small electrical tasks.  Small, ha!  Sit cross-legged on the berth, lean forward into a small space and do a three handed job with two hands in the dark.  We placed two new berth lights in the quarter berths.  In part to illuminate this area where we store a lot of cruising gear.  In part to make reading lights for our grandchildren when they cruise with us.  Never give up on your fantasy.

Averisera: Thumper Returns

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On the 5th, Thumper was wheeled down the pier and hoisted into the "Boom-boom Room."  Smooth as silk.  We had just landed our Nutshell pram at the dinghy dock after an afternoon of puttering on Averisera when we looked up to see Dan and Zachary wheeling the diesel engine over towards the pier-head.  Oh boy, all other plans on hold.  We're not missing this!

"Thumper" is our recently rebuilt 1984 Yanmar 1GM diesel.  It produces 6.5 hp at 3000 rpms and weighs about 200 pounds.  It pushes Averisera along at about 5.5 knots on smooth water.  Thumper lives in the recently refurbished "Boom-boom Room."  If you know anything about one cylinder diesels it is that they make a racket.

The engine was rebuilt by Zachary under the watchful eye of master mechanic Ross.  The engine is now pretty much as good as new.  Thanks Ross for the good work on the engine and teaching Zachary a few new tricks.  The Harwichport BY guys are really super.

We hoisted the engine off the cart and lowered it into the engine space.  Zach fitted the mounting screws and Thumper was preliminarily installed.  Jobs for today are to align the engine and connect the various parts such as wiring harnesses, hoses, and so forth.  There are a couple of small pipes still to be received from Yanmar and installed.  Simple to do while on board.

A few days later, on October 10th, we had Thumper running for a bit until a vapor leak stopped it.  Since we are awaiting the new fuel line pipes and will have to re-bleed the entire system, this isn't very important.  Basically, the engine runs as expected.  

Some pictures:
Zachary and Thumper

Gosport Regatta 2016

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Elizabeth and Norm got off Cape (end Sep '16) to visit friends Tom and BJ in Kittery, ME then help Tom with Race Committee for the Gosport Regatta.  The Regatta is held as an end of year pursuit race starting off Portsmouth, NH and finishing off the Star Island Resort on the Isle of Shoals, NH.

Tom Brown, PRO

Terrapin, Frers 30  (Sexy black sails!)

Valadare, C&C41 at Star Island Light


The top finishers, Frers 30, DEFIANT, and J24, second by a nose.

The race featured a nice breeze, no breeze, a nice breeze, no breeze and then the race ended.  And the wind blew up to 20 knots until we left that evening.

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