Treasures in the Chesapeake
After leaving Annapolis, Wild Horses headed a little further south in the Chesapeake to Herrington Harbour South in Rose Haven, Maryland. This marina has been just what the (boat) doctor ordered. Here, we have had the opportunity to get some boat issues sorted out while also relaxing in a gorgeous marina/resort just a few hours south of Annapolis. It has been a real treasure hanging out here for a few days.
But why here? On our way to Annapolis a few weeks ago, a few boat issues crept up that we really wanted fixed in short order and the contractors we needed to do the work are affiliated with Herrington Harbour. If we could get ourselves to the marina here, they could do the work.
What boat work did we need done? First, after we had left New York City, we started experiencing some problems with our new chart plotter i.e. it decided to randomly turn itself off and on. Not once or twice, but almost a few times an hour. We have back up electronic charts on both our phones as well as on our tablet so this issue has been more annoying than critical in nature. Still, weirdly enough, we wanted it to work properly. Second, out of the blue, our AIS (automatic identification system) on the chart plotter stopped showing us other boats. Huh? The idea of AIS is that you have an electronic fix on other boats with AIS and they (those with AIS installed) have an electronic fix on us. Only having half the picture was less than ideal and if it wasn’t fixed before we have to navigate in the dark again (for example, when we cross the Gulf Stream in late December and need to leave in the wee hours of the night) it would be a BIG DEAL. As we learned when we left New York for Atlantic City in the dark, having AIS aided our poor night vision immeasurably. Not only did we know where other boats were relative to ourselves (especially the big commercial boats) but we also knew which direction they were going and if they were on a collision course with us. So, yeah, pretty important!
Our awesome contractor, Andy, fixed just about everything. The dude is a wizard with electronics. He rewired, he crimped, he connected, he repowered, he tested, and our problems were solved. At the end of the day, the AIS issue was a defunct motherboard. Thankfully, Andy was able to order in and install a workaround part that put us back in business. And the random on/off cycling of our chart plotter seems to be a power issue, partially caused by a poorly sized cable. Again, Andy to the rescue with a new cable. While moving the boat today, the chart plotter once again turned itself off and on, but it is doing it far less. That is something! There is one more undersized cable in the mix that we will look at replacing. The solution is out there!
While at dock we also took the opportunity to call in a professional sailboat rigger to tune our rigging properly. We have always tuned our own rigging (mast, mast stays, back stays, forestay) but we are hacks at this at best. Since we will be sailing A LOT once we hit the Bahamas, we wanted to ensure that our rig was set up correctly. Having professionals assess and correct the tuning was money well spent. In less than half an hour, our rig went from out of tune to being able to perform like an orchestra 😊.
What else? Oh man, our anchor light. When we re-stepped the mast way back on the Hudson River, we discovered that our anchor light had become non-functional. The anchor bulb is new and its wiring is fine so we figured it was just a loose fitting. Easy fix. Except, the anchor light sits on top of our 60-foot mast. And yours truly is the official Wild Horses mast climber. Yikes. We decided to attempt the fix here since it is a very protected marina with little boat traffic. Plus, we had a perfectly calm weather day on Friday. The last thing I wanted was to have the boat rocked by wind or waves while perched on top of the mast. And, yes, once I was up there it was clear that the anchor bulb had just fallen out of its connector. Yay! A two-second bulb replacement + one terrifying height = a functional anchor light. 😊
Ocean has had her own treasures here at Herrington Harbour. Not only does she get to play off leash on long stretches of grass but she found a ball, laying abandoned under some dinghies. After three days, she has yet to put the ball down except for sleeping. Hmmm, I guess sometimes the value of a thing isn’t related to money or popularity or need. Sometimes it is just how it touches your heart and makes you smile. Herrington Harbour South has been like that for us. Like I said, it was just what the boat doctor ordered.
Today we are on the move once again. We will be going further south in the Chesapeake to Solomon’s Island. Brise is already there and Sensai will be joining us in a few days.
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.