January, 2021

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Super Sunday. January 24th., 2021

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Wishing you all a belated Happy New Year.

The year started on positive notes. “Fleetwood” ‘s engine got going again on the 12th. In my previous blog of October 10, I reported that the starter motor burnt up in late July. The replacement from China still failed to fix the problem and after successively replacing the fuel solenoid, the glow plugs, the glow plugs solenoid and correcting the wiring from the ignition switch, she ran like new. With the help of local mechanics and advice I had solicited amongst my cruising friends, the cause of all the failures were traced to me replacing the key switch in Deltaville in late July. The original switch had rusted where I could no longer turn the ignition key. The replacement worked just fine in starting. But it turns out that it did not turn off the glow plugs once the engine ran, which caused the chain of failures.

This all spoiled my summer cruising plans. Once the engine ran, I moved the boat from the exposed summer moorage to a much better protected spot in the Cape Charles municipal marina and flew on the 14th to home port on the West Coast and am writing this from my daughter Lisa’s home in Federal Way, Washington state. Few of my local friends are able to see me because of the lock-down. Lisa works from home most of the week and I enjoy her company, a warm home and a real bed. I have been scanning/thinning the large slide collection I have kept at Lisa’s.

I am trying to get my 1st Covid-19 vaccination here and then plan to return to Virginia and sail south. Most likely I will end up in Cuba and then do my annual haul-out in Green Cove Springs, Florida before returning to the Chesapeake Bay. And then, after several false starts, sail the summer north to New England.

JESTER AWARD: Today, I received notification from the OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) that I have been awarded the annual “Jester” award.

When I read the qualifications for the award, solo circumnavigating in a boat 30’ or less, it seemed like a reasonably good fit. There are not too many folks these days that mess with miniatures. But if you see the list of the awardees there have been some modifications. And I am thrilled to be in the company of the likes of Robin Knox-Johnston, Matt Rutherford and Web Chiles. My gratitude is for the opportunity to get the word out that it can be accomplished at an advanced age and on a low budget.

I wrote an article titled: “There’s no Mandatory Age Limit for Ocean Sailors” for the bi-annual issue of the “Flying Fish” of the OCC, which was published in December. It is a condensed version of my adventure. Suggested reading.

MY BOOKS: In addition to the new options for my books that I reported in my previous blog, you can now also order a COLOR version of “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” print version from Lulu at a reasonable cost in comparison to the Amazon option.

Three weeks from today starts the Lunar New Year of the metal Ox. I was born under the Fire Ox. The last Metal Ox was 60 years ago, the year I was drafted as a 23 year old and ended up in Vietnam. It has got to be better than the 2021 year of the Rat. Rats spread diseases.