I went to Annapolis yesterday, as I am known to do on bad weather Saturdays to go visit my friends at Bacon Sails and Marine Supplies, where I can easily spent hours digging through nautical and sailing gear treasures. Bacon's is probably best known as a purveyor of used sails, however, they are also a boating consignment shop, and have great treasures for a practical (read tightwad) sailor. I have gotten many items for Arden there, my safety harnesses and tethers, a lot of rigging items - blocks, cleats, pad eyes, etc - if you need it for a sailboat, they probably have it. Back to the bitching. So I head up to Bacons yesterday morning in the mist and rain, and lo and behold, they are closed. Now, I dont expect them to personally inform me of changes to their hours of operation, however, I am completely mystified as to why they would be closed on a Saturday. I mean come on, most of their clientel are probably folks like me, working stiffs that have a tight budget and a passion for boats. It only makes sense for them to be open on a Saturday, thats when guys (and gals) like me have time to go spend what we worked to make all week. And I had a good bit of spare change to spend, and a shopping list that was fairly wide open. So, all complaints aside, I called a friend of mine that had mentioned another consignment shop he knew of not too far away. I got directions, and stumbled through Annapolis, over to Eastport. It turned out that the place he knew of only dealt with small boats-kayaks, Hobies, and other small fun knock abouts - but it was in the same funny waterside shopping area that housed Sailrite, a supplier of sailmaking and canvasmaking supplies and gear. I found there the main items I was looking for at Bacon's, nylon webbing for Jacklines (the lines that you attach your tether and harness too) and lifeline netting for Spook. Both of these are extremely important safety items, I think there would be nothing worse than to see your boat sail off into the distance - without you. So, now Spook and I will be able to sail with a much better margin of safety. I also bought a book on making courtesy and signal flags. Again we touch on what a tightwad I am.
Nautical etiquette requires that sailors entering the territorial waters of a foreign country fly a small flag of the host country. This can translate into quite an outlay of funds - consider that there are over 20 counties that comprise "the Caribbean" (28 to be exact) and if you bought a flag for each country - at about $30 a piece - your tour of the Caribbean would cost you $840 in flags alone. Consider the fact - again - that I am a tightwad, and you can see where a book on making courtesy flags has "me" written all over it. So, with a much smaller expenditure, and a bit of work, I will have a complete set of courtesy flags. Besides, what better way to wile away the hours at sea than to make flags for the countries that I will soon be visiting.
The icebox test is finished, actually it was finished sometime around noon on Wednesday, roughly 5 days after it started. I figure that was a fairly good result for my box, not quite the 7 days I had hoped for, but not bad all things considered. It wasnt an exactly scientific test, but it did demonstrate that the new box is more efficient than the original box by a factor of 5, and the air temp in the box hovered around 42 degrees, and stayed at 46 degrees for another 12 hrs or so after the ice had completely melted. It did show that there are a few improvements that I can make, I do not have any weatherstripping around the door, that will help a bit, and there are no partitions that divide the box, that might manage the cold a bit better inside the box. There is a test my boss has told me about that will actually measure the efficiency of the box. You weigh the ice block prior to putting it in, and then weigh it again after a 12 or 24 hour period. A little math and calculation, and it will tell you just how efficient you icebox is. This will help determine just how effective it would be to install a cold plate in the box, making it a true refridgerator.
So here it is, another rainy weekend, and I am feeling a bit stir crazy knowing that there are a multitude of things I should be doing to get ready, that I can't do because of the weather. The water tank still needs to be installed, and the length of the working day just got rearranged thanks to daylight savings time. is it 1130 or 1030, or maybe it is 1230...God if I know.