Saturday, July 23, 2016

How's The Boat?

That is probably the big question on your minds regarding us right now. And the truth is, that is the big question on our minds as well. It has been about 3 weeks since Rover was hauled at the boatyard and so I figured I'd better bring everyone up to speed. We are still in Colorado and haven't seen the boat in person for a little while.

The primary goal of this time at the boatyard was to get the bottom paint done. Not just a simple bottom paint, but a stripping of all the old and flaking paint followed by a new barrier coat and new anti-fouling paint. Not a fun task and one I'm OK with farming out to a long as they do a good job at a reasonable price.

Soda blasted bottom.

That wasn't the only task though. Another larger task was to have the aluminum fuel tank replaced. With a reported average lifespan of under 10 years, we figured we were living on borrowed time and had better replace it before we awoke to a bilge full of diesel. There are several other potential tasks that we could have the yard perform, but those will depend on the estimates they provide as well as the my feel for how they are doing with the current projects.

The new fuel tank.

Initially, the boatyard was doing well with communication on the projects. Pictures were sent from the soda blasting process and barrier coat and looked good. They seemed to be making good progress and staying on budget. Communications seem to have slowed some, but my hope is that they are doing a good job.

So, they are hopefully finishing up the bottom paint and fuel tank install. They should also be preparing another estimate for another potential job. I guess I will soon see and we are keeping our fingers crossed for good results. It would be nice to know that not all boatyard are crooks.

In the meantime, we are visiting with family and friends and eating out too much...but it has been a nice visit.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Some Colorado Pictures Thanks To A $3 Cable

When we left on this trip, I decided not to bring along my laptop. All we have with us is a small Samsung tablet and our smartphones. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem...unless you want to write a blog post with some pictures from your "real" (digital SLR) camera, one that was made before all the wireless Internet connectivity options. Fortunately, as I discovered, my tablet and my wife's phone are newer Android devices and with the aid of a special cable these devices allow you to connect USB peripherals like keyboards, thumb drives, memory card readers, or cameras.

I couldn't find one of these cables while in Summit County, but found them in Denver. BestBuy had one from Samsung for $20, but I found a discount computer center that had them for only $2.50 (and you can find them on the Internet for a similar price). So, if you have an Android device that supports USB  OTG (On The Go), you may want to grab one of these cables. With the cable I was able to edit pictures directly from the camera on the tablet.

While the thin air at high altitude and the remnants of a chest cold are not good things to mix, we did manage to do a little hiking and sightseeing in the Colorado high country. Here are a few pictures from my home state.

Update: The blog editor I was using (on the tablet) didn't create clickable images.  You can now click on them to see larger versions.

The sign and sculpture at the east end of Main Street in Frisco.

Frisco is a cute mountain town. Near all the attractions but 
doesn't feel like as much of a tourist trap as Breckinridge.

Since this is a sailing related is a sailboat on Lake Dillon 
with Tiger Run and the Breckenridge ski area in the background.

More Dillon reservoir and sailboats with Frisco in the background.

This, and the picture that follows, are what Vaill pass looks
like if you get off the Interstate (I 70).

The road off of Vail pass leads to Shrine pass and the next
Few pictures are also from that area.

You can see the cuts in the trees that make up the Copper
Mountain ski area in the distance.

This rock has its very own wildflower.

Trying to wrangle the dogs for a picture
is a difficult task.

Before it was a tragic school shooting, Columbine
was known as the State flower. They do grow wild here.

A little hike near Freemont Pass, on the
way to Leadville.

A large American flag flying over a park in
Leadville with Mt. Massive in the background. 

Mount Massive is the second highest of the Colorado Fourteeners, prominent mountain peaks with a summit elevation above 14,000 feet. Colorado has 53 of them, the largest number of any state by a pretty wide margin.

Turquoise Lake (actually a reservoir)
with Leadville in the distance.

A bit of a drop off if you don't pay attention
while hiking near Turquoise lake.

Not even sure which mountain this is, 
just know it was west of Turquoise lake.

So there is a little taste of our home state and where we have been spending some of our time the past couple weeks. Places where snow can still be seen in July seems like a world away from our current life on the Atlantic ocean and Chesapeake bay..

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Far From The Sea

We made it to Denver, and just beyond, the day after my last post. The plains gave way to the Great American Desert and then finally the Rocky Mountains could be seen in the distance. We drove through Denver and made our way up to Summit County for our first stop to visit family.

Getting pretty flat here.

Unfortunately, the colds we acquired in Baltimore accompanied us on the trip. The congestion in our heads easily indicated our continuous change in altitude. We went from Sea level, through 5280 feet in Denver (it is known as the mile high city after all), and on to 11, 178 feet at the Eisenhower tunnel before descending to just over 9000 feet at our destination.

Back In Colorado

 Up here we are surrounded by many of the ski areas for which the Colorado mountains are well known. While skiing isn't an option this time of year, there is still quite a bit to do here. Hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, kayaking and...yes...even sailing are options here. At least they are when you well well.

Dillon valley and reservoir.

Not feeling great, we currently aren't in much of a condition to enjoy what the Rockies have to offer. In fact our only plans were to take in a free National Repertory Orchestra 4th of July concert at the Dillon Amphitheater and the fireworks display over the reservoir that evening. Unfortunately we only made it about half way through the concert before our colds had us retreating back home to rest

Dillon theater. Nice setting.

Hopefully a couple days of rest will be all that is needed so we can enjoy the rest of our trip. It does feel like we are a long way from our home on the sea.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Rover is land-bound again. Like usual, it was a tight fit in the haul out pit, but we got her in, got her lifted, and got her blocked on land.  I was impressed with the apparent care they took with handling the boat so I have some hope that I have chosen a better yard this time.

After finding a place for her to sit in the yard, we made some last minute preparations and headed out on our road trip back to Colorado to see family and friends. Until moving onto the boat, I've always lived near where interstate 25 and Interstate 70 cross. I-70 heading west out of Denver and into the mountains is as familiar to me as any place in the country. So, when arriving in Baltimore and seeing the I-70 sign we knew exactly how we would be getting back to Colorado.

Shortly after taking the on ramp to I-70, we saw an interesting mileage sign. Didn't expect to see Denver listed, but there it was...a mere 1700 miles away.

I'd like to say we have been doing the touristy thing, but we both seem to have come down with a cold right after arriving in Baltimore. Not feeling like playing tourist, we are just making the drive. The pretty green rolling hills of the Allegany mountains gave way to green fields of corn. Forested lands have slowly started turning into the great plains as we arrived in St. Louis.  This is where I'm writing this, while popping cold meds in our hotel room just west of town.

We should be in Denver soon.