Saturday, January 9, 2010
Yesterday I had intended on heading a bit further down the ICW, but the local West Marine had to order the chart I needed, so I was sort of stuck here in Charleston, at least for one more day. So I took advantage of that bit of unexpected down time and cleaned the boat up a bit, and realized that when I finally get to a warmer place I am really going to have to tear the boat apart and clean it, the stove and the heater have put a coating of soot and smoke all over everything, me included. So it looks like I am going to have to do a spring cleaning fairly soon, I'm not sure how much more of that I can stand. I am really contemplating either rebuilding the stove and the heater, or replacing both. The problem is, they both work, although not as well as they could, and are both original to the boat, so I have a bit of sentimental ties to them.
So Spook and I went on walk about yesterday while we waited for the chart. It was a pretty nice day out, not too cold, brisk would describe it best, and there was lots of sunshine. We headed down towards the Battery and Battery Park, and had a fine walk, about 4 miles or so of walking. Lots of really nice, huge older homes, some dating back to and predating the Civil War. Quite a trip we had. The park down there is an off leash park, so Spook had a chance to get off the leash and run a bit, which I am sure really made her day, back at Calvert Marina she was rarely on the leash, but so far for most of this trip she has been totally on the leash. So was a good break for both of us. Notice the palm trees in the pictures I took. What about palm trees says cold? Not a thing - I would pick the coldest winter in 20 years to come visit.
I had not heard from West by 3, so I called them, and they confirmed that the chart was in. I didn't press them on what time it had come in, as I was supposed to be called when it did, and so I asked the folks at Charleston City Marina if I could get a ride out there to get it. The office staff did even better than giving me a ride, there was a driver near there, so they just sent him from his last stop over to West to pick it up. There we are back to the hospitality thing.
So I sit here this morning, thinking about whether I should head out a bit later this morning or not. Yesterday would have definitely been the day to go, it was much warmer and there was more sunshine, and I am feeling just a bit lazy. This morning it was 24 degrees outside, 38 degrees inside, and it has taken me a bit to warm up, and I'm not sure I want to brave the cold yet again. I am pretty sure in the end I will knuckle down and raise anchor, but I know that if I do go onward today, it will not be all that far or for all that long. I need to get fuel, and as it turns out the next marina down (Ross Marine, ICW mile marker 476) does have the cheapest fuel prices around, $2.55 per gallon as opposed to $2.98 a gallon here.
I checked the fuel level yesterday, and I am down to 6 inches of fuel, there is no gauge for the fuel level so I have to measure it. That makes 12 inches of fuel used since the 29th of Dec. If the tanks were perfectly square it would make calculations easier, but they slope on the bottom, so even though 18 or 19 inches equals 40 gallons, 6 inches does not equal 13.3 gallons. Probably more like 10 gallons. I did a bit of calculating, and I have gone 181 miles on just about 28 gallons of fuel. On the surface that does not sound so good, 6.5 miles (nautical miles) per gallon. However, what that really translates to is .69 gallons per hour, and most of those hours at just over cruising speed, which I figure is actually pretty good. I usually try to stay at 1800-2000 rpm, but following Clay on Gemini I have had to boost that a bit to 2200 rpms for most of the day. So overall I suppose my fuel economy has not been too bad.
So do I stay or do I go? Not really sure at this point, but I suppose I will have to make up my mind in the next few hours. Maybe while I wait I'll bake some cookies (seriously) as I am using the oven to help heat the boat this morning. Did I mention it was cold?