2013-09-29 Living the Moment–Class of 2013

Below is our gang from the SSCA GAM I mentioned. (L->R) (A**2), Alan & Michelle from Connecticut. Their boat Kindred Spirit is a sister-ship to  Magnolia. I discovered Alan’s website years ago when I think we were still shopping for Magnolia. He is a fabulous craftsman and thinks of the best modifications to make these already good boats better. Dudley & Cheryl (Blind Date) have been dock mates of ours for the last couple of years. They are not heading south this year but soon we hope. Beyond dock mates they have been great friends and always been great sounding boards for all things sailing! Frank & MaryMarie are home based in New Jersey. We met them at last years GAM have enjoyed following there trip this summer to Maine. We look forward to see them as we travel down the coast. We all come from different backgrounds but we are all in the moment right now, what an adventure and group to share it with!!!


The closing dinner was on Saturday night and Annette & I excited to get moving we brought the anchor aboard just as the Geese were moving to feed.


Alan & Michelle snapped a picture of Magnolia as we were departing the anchorage.


Below is SV Kindred Spirit at anchor near us. She is a really nice boat!




Annette had a lovely sail down the Chesapeake Bay and anchored just off the Patuxent River in Solomon’s Island. As always the US Navy provided entertainment as aircraft came and went from the nearby Naval Air station. We were also lucky enough to meet us with Chris from SV Vacilando. We have been following Chris & Melody’s on Facebook for a long time and met them F-F this last July on our last visit to Solomon’s. Though Melody was visiting family they too will be heading south in the next few weeks. Are you seeing the trend here? We are off to Reedsville tomorrow.

2013-09-27 Simply Just a Couple of Great Days!

Magnolia got underway Tuesday and made a short of hop over to the Rhode River and since then had a couple days of just relaxing. We made a point of getting over to Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to take advantage of their miles of trails. It is a very lovely place. We have been getting in at least a 3 mile walk everyday,



(As you can tell from the above, I am still a geek)

On the SERT property there are a couple different places of historic places which really appeals to me,


(That Admiral is always a patient model)


(The picture does not do the view justice! This is looking down on the Rhode River where 150 years ago ships arrives to take Tobacco back to England)


2013-08-24 – “Go Day”

Though we tried to wake with a “Laissez-faire” attitude this day was going to be different from all the rest. Today was the day we finally left the dock and took the dock-lines with us, ie we are not coming back!


(The “Admiral” at the helm backs us out of our slip former slip while the “Deck-Ape” looks after things forward.)


(Our friends Nona and Charlie’s rocket-ship, also known as SV Frequent Flyer!)

We visited with a number of employees at Hartge Yacht Harbor who worked on and helped us prepare Magnolia. We filled the water tanks and we were off.


(Hartge Yacht Harbor – Galesville, MD)


(Even the barometer is pointing towards a sunny day as the Admiral takes us out)

Our first day passage was all of 5 miles over to the Rhode River where we will be participating in the Seven Sea’s Cruising Association Gam (gam (gǎm) n. : A social visit or friendly interchange, especially between sailors or seafarers.) 


(Magnolia at Anchor in the Rhode River with Camp Letts in the distance)

We dropped the “dink” in the water and motored to Smithsonian Environmental Research Center around the corner from where we are anchored here on the Rhode. It is a lovely place to get ashore and stretch your legs a little


We did a three (3) mile hike declared victory and are now in relax mode!


All in all a great way to start the adventure!

2013-09-20 It’s “Cats & Dogs” Time!

I know, “there’s” always something exciting going on aboard Magnolia. This time we really mean it! By the close of Friday we will be completely moved aboard no longer making the trudge from house to boat and back! So happy about that!

One of our “Cats & Dogs” was to have the compass swung (calibrated)which was an interesting experience. The gentlemen who did the job brought this really cool device aboard which was built by his father when he started the business. It is basically an aircraft gyro with a 12volt to 400hz converter included. It really was a very cool device!


The process was simply to motor back and forth north and south and then east and west and adjust the compass on each pass. The entire process took about 2 hours but we will long benefit from the couple of hours of effort.


A better close up of the custom built gyro device.


The next job was cover and secure our extra fuel and water Jerry Cans. Annette undertook the sewing portion of the job onboard Magnolia. This was the first sewing job Annette she had done onboard. We were able to set the saloon up so she could work pretty efficiently.


Next it was my job to secure the cans safely on deck. First step was a nice piece of pressure treated lumber primed and painted with a “few” coats of HomeDepots best. Add a couple stainless ubolts from McMaster-Carr along with acorn nuts (keep things nice and smooth) and we have a pretty secure tie-down point.



Short haul for bottom clean and zinc replacement scheduled for Monday. Away from the dock on Tuesday? We will see!

2013-09-06 The quiet before the storm? Maybe–Maybe Not

The last few weeks on Magnolia have been busy but we are hardly near “dock-line” fever. When you set off on a trip as we have planned it is a symbolic gesture to remove your dock lines from the dock. (Generally if you are coming back you leave the lines on the dock). Magnolia will participate in the Seven Seas Cruising Association (http://ssca.org) GAM in three (3) weeks from which we will directly depart on our slow journey south towards the Bahamas.

One of our last major projects was to have an access plate installed in our starboard tank and have the tank cleaned. First thing diesel tank guys are like “septic tank engineers.” You have to have them, but they are certainly an acquired taste!


You certainly want to keep them in their “box.” As you can see I sealed everything up near where they were they working.




As you can see the diesel sprinkles on the paper my concerns were well founded!

The Admiral and I completed loading out the Master’s cabin. We continue to cull the contents trying to reduce where possible but we are down to the perceived basics. I suspect by the time we come back to the Chesapeake in the spring we will be saying, why the heck did we bring this or that!!!


Yesterday brought on the balance or our canned and dry goods. It took the better part of the day to for Annette to get everything entered into inventory and stored.


We currently have 570 types of items that we track in inventory. This includes number onboard and where each of those items is stored. You would be surprised how easy it is to loose and item on a 44 ft sailboat!


We have an handful of small tasked to tackle but we are no where near “dock-line” fever! We are scheduled to have out compass swung (calibrated) next week and the week after we after that we will have the boat “hauled” (out of the water) for a bottom cleaning and couple of small maintenance actions. Want to have the bottom as slick as possible when we get underway south!  We still have 3 weeks to stave off the “fever” but so far so good!