Occasional thoughts and deeds of an Engineer
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  • Quarterly Update :)

    Posted on February 23rd, 2014 cwmoore No comments

    Ok ok, I am a bad boy.  I never update my blog.  However, in my defense I (weZ) have been pretty busy this winter.  Somewhere after New Years day we blasted off the frozen upper North en-route to Rock Hill, SC to see my aging aunt, the last surviving aunt, and arrived the same day we left.  The entire trip was in brilliant sunshine but very cold for the whole trip.  In fact, the night after our arrival, it was 9°F in SC!  We had a good visit and got to visit the twins building for the first time.  Too soon we had to leave for FL.

    We arrived in FL after another good days travel and started the unpacking job – which was done in great disarray up North – and setting up for the time allotted for us here in St. Petersburg.  We did not forget to bring too much but that which was forgotten was sorely missed.  At the time of this writing we have found the missing video camera but seem to have lost the Kodak still of SAM’s. The ham radio is up and running and we have contacted W9LKI many times and found a great IRLP site run by W3RX (node 8676).  We spent the first weeks cleaning up the backyard of all the thorny bushes, hibiscus and other vining junk and it now looks good again but M says it looks bare.  The pool is in great shape but needs a bottom repair and sealed at the upper level to reduce water leaks.

    Our first big event of this season was Hamcation in Orlando.  This is the 2nd biggest ham radio event in USA.  We took the camper over and parked next to W9LKI on cement for Friday and Saturday nights. NOTE TO SELF – next year plan on being there on Wednesday so as to get next to a power pole down by the lake (in this case we would stay W, Th, Fri nights and go home on Saturday). The weather was lousy and rained the whole time except Sunday morning and lots of vendors left.  I bought a green laser pen for use on the boat to light up the channel markers (a bad idea as it almost blinds you with the reflection) and bridges.  The pen sort of works but is much more dramatic when you point it at a star – it is like a guiding light to the heavens.  Also bought some mic clips so I can finally hang the mic instead of laying it down.

    I was invited to help Kim deliver his boat from Ft. Lauterdale down to Marathon Key and then on thru Florida Bay and, finally, up the coast to Clearwater Muni Marina.  Along the way we were 3 days in Marathon with boat electronic issues, one night at Boca Grande and finally the last night in Gulfport Muni Marina. The whole trip was filled with surprises, tension and and storms of various magnitudes. The trip can be broken down into three pases and each will be discussed below as three paragraphs.  I want to thank Darrell for his introduction to Kim, the Captain, because without that, I would never have known about the trip nor been invited to join.  The whole process took 7 days and this was three days longer than expected.  The number one lesson learned was to enforce the shift schedule: the macho dudes of this trip thought they could do with out sleep and things go ugly before they got better.  The number two lesson was to install line cutters because there are hundreds of thousands of crab pots on the path we took.  The third lesson was to not absolutely believe the chart plotter for depths.  With these in mind we will go into the voyage of the Nanita, a 45′ Hunter of 2006 vintage.

     

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