September 15-30 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 Sept 17 - Since our last update, we have been spending some time in the art museums. To the right is a statue of Mercury and you can see the wings on his feet in the picture. This is in the center of the dome for the National Museum of Art. On our first visit, we took the tour of the statues and you will see some of the ones which were part of our tour as you look through the site.

I'm sure you will recognize the one below as "The Thinker." Unfortunately, cameras flatten our subjects and you will probably read where I complain about this a number of times.


This is a marble sculpture that is named The Reading Girl. It was done by an artist by the name of Magni. What was absolutely amazing about this sculpture was the manner in which the artist depicted the dress she was wearing. You could see the detail so well that you would have sworn it was material. In addition, the flowing lines of the dress looked exactly like those you would see if a person was there reading.

It was also striking because you could tell that the book she was reading was causing some emotion in her. This was from the way she held her body and of course because of the subtle tear coming from her left eye. I tried to get a picture of the tear but.... oops I'll be complaining about my pawn shop camera again.

The sculpture to the left is Gloria Victis cast in 1879. Being he person that I am, I talked to the docent after the tour to find out more about the way they cast these statues. If I have it right, first the artist creates the model and after they are certain they have every detail correct, they then cover the model with wax. This wax must be uniform and cover the model. Of course the detail must be exact in the wax too. Next they cover the wax with another substance which can resist the temperature of molten bronze. When they are ready, it seems that all they have to do is pour in the molten bronze which melts the wax (sacrificial) and takes up the space between the inner model and outer mold. Once it hardens, then they can remove the outer mold and you have your statue. It sounds to me like a very involved process and one where you would want to ensure the bronze is hot enough to stay molten until it melts out all of the wax and gets to the bottom. I'm sure they then let it cool for many hours before seeing the results. I'm also sure there are ways to make some repairs but we didn't get into that.
The statue to the right was very interesting, it was of a lady who appeared to be wringing out her wet hair with a child holding onto her leg and a fish below. I'm not sure about all of the semblance here but it was designed to be outside in a fountain. What I thought was cool was the fact that the water flow was carefully metered such that about every 5 seconds, a drop of water came off of her hair and landed in the shell below it. If you look carefully at the right picture, you can see the drip of water coming down.

And then there is Andy Warhol. The picture at the far left is of course Marylin Monroe and the one to the right is his picture of Campbell's Soup Cans. Now I don't know about you but I never really understood this part of art. Then I found out, on this tour, that the rationale is that once photography became something that could capture a person's likeness for posterity, there really wasn't a need for people who paint portraits. Therefore the artists began working in challenging what was the norm and stretching the concept of art. Of course, knowing that I was going to spend some time in the modern art part of the museum, I had to find out more before we arrived. So, I began my Art 101 search on the internet. I feel like I'm taking Art 101 anyway so you might as well have the language. What I learned so far was there are a number of standard ways to examine art when you are trying to understand it. I've listed those along with some brief descriptors below. I also learned, it helps to have someone else explain it to you if it really isn't your cup of tea....

As I found out, you should analyze art in with the following in mind:

Line - The size, shape, position, direction, number and interval density of the lines.

Shape - Rectangles, Triangles, Circles - The basic shapes portrayed.

Form - The mass or volume - 3 dimensional form - it can be a 2D object of a 3D form

Space - Is it 2D or 3D

Texture - What is the surface quality and why is it created the way it is.

Value - Is it light or dark? The focal points or center of attention can be created with "value."

Color - Color can also affect value with lightness or darkness.

One of the things you can take away from the pictures at the left is that Andy Warhol definitely liked working with color and value.

The artist who created the sculpture to the right is the same one who created the painting below. I found out that this artist was born in Germany towards the end of WWII. You can imagine the destruction he grew up in that went beyond the destruction of property. It obviously formed his opinion about the futility of war.

The sculpture to the right is one of an airplane created with lead. On top of the wings are large books also constructed of lead. Obviously a lead airplane won't fly and especially if it is weighted down with a couple of very large lead books. The docent thought he was trying to say that regardless of the amount of knowledge we have, we still can't figure out how to stay out of war and end disagreements in peaceful terms.

This is by the same artist and in this case a great deal was lost because of the flattening of the camera. The docent thought the artist was depicting either the end of the world with everything being taken out of the center, or the attempt to bring new life into a war torn world by trying to breath new life into the center while surrounded by the grays of fire and destruction.

I thought that in real life it was an excellent use of materials and lines which created an excellent 3-D creation. I'm not sure about what it meant however.

Then we went off in another direction and into the paintings of the 18th and 19th century's. Of course one of the most prominent people was George Washington and the artist who painted this picture essentially made his money off of paintings of our first president. You might actually feel like you've seen this picture before. If you pull out a one dollar bill, then you will see that this is the picture that was used for the bill. Of course it is reversed because of the printing process.

Friday night, I played at the Capital Yacht Club. It seemed like everyone (about 50 people) had a great time and they enjoyed the music. I ended up playing for about 2 1/2 hours and took one break. They put out a tip jar and were very generous so that made me feel pretty good too. At the end, I got invited to play again next Saturday although this time it is for their annual police and fireman's meal. The Yacht Club feeds about 900 officers for lunch and dinner so I will be entertaining Washington D.C.'s finest from 3 to 6 p.m. Hopefully they enjoy it.


You've seen many pictures of the people we meet along the way and here is another one. Pictured to the right is Kathy and Mike. Mike had found my website and is considering the purchase of a Gemini 105. After a few emails, I found out he was out of Washington D.C. so I said I would email him when we got to the area. On Saturday, they met me at the Yacht Club and I took them in the dinghy out to our boat. We had a great conversation about what we liked on the Gemini and answered many questions about the lifestyle, our budget, and the boat. After a couple of hours I think they are even more seriously considering a Gemini. I wish them both the greatest amount of luck as they plan for their retirement and determine if cruising is the lifestyle for them.

On Sunday we were off to Alexandria. The town is steeped in history. Below left is a picture of a torpedo made at the torpedo factory which was started in WW-I and then brought back in WW-II. Now they have converted it for use by a ton of artists. Each person/s has their own studio to create and sell their art to the people visiting.

We also stumbled into a Parrot rescue display on the sidewalk. Of course we had to play with the birds and then give them a contribution.

Alexandria began in 1669 and the streets were paved with the stones which were used as ballast in the ships coming from overseas. When the ships arrived, they would unload the ballast stone and then load the ships with tobacco for shipment back to England.

There are a number of historic homes in Alexandria.

To the lower left you can see the home (right) of William Fairfax who was one of the original trustees of Alexandria. The home on the left side was owned by Dr. James Craik. As surgeon-general, he accompanied George Washington in every battle Washington fought during the Revolution. Unfortunately, Craik was unable to later save the retired president from a fatal throat infection in 1799. The home to the far left in the trees was the home of Elisha Cullen Dick who was a consulting physician during Washington's last illness. At the moment of Washington's death, Dr. Dick stopped the bedroom clock. By the way, the clock is available to see at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

The center picture is one of a shutter keeper that I hadn't seen before. They were everywhere and I guess these are to keep the shutters in the out position but you can rotate them and allow the shutters to close for a storm.

The picture to the lower right is the Stabler-Ledbetter Apothecary Shop. The bushiness opened in 1792 and continued in the family until 1933 when it closed because of the depression. Customers included George and Martha Washington and Robert E. Lee.

The George Washington Townhouse is a recreation of a modest 18th century dwelling that was originally built in 1769 by Washington to provide convenient quarters when business or inclement weather prevented his return to Mount Vernon. The house to the right is that recreation.

Below left is the Yeaton-Fairfax house built around 1803 by William Yeaton. He had no formal training but his claim to fame was that he designed and built the Washington family tomb at Mount Vernon.

The picture at the lower right is what it looks like if you just miss the train back to Washington, D.C. Yep, we missed it by a fraction but the good news was, it wasn't the last train....


Well, I got sick again and my Aunt Sandy (nurse) threatened to fly out and shoot me if I didn't go to a doctor. Well, maybe that is a bit overstated but she was a bit concerned so I called my doctor in St. Louis. He called me back a few hours later and I had all the symptoms for him. He thinks it may be a virus so I've begun taking one of the drugs he prescribed before I left. It is truly great to have a doctor that loves to sail too and the fact that he would prescribe the drugs for me so we could have them on the boat. We should be getting better in a couple of days and when the fever drops I have to take the medicine for another 48 hours.

Also, our friends Bill and Christy arrived in Washington, D.C. this afternoon aboard their boat Veranda. We should have a great time visiting and seeing much more of D.C. over the next week. Yep, even more picture s....

  Sept 22 - I started getting better on Friday the 21st. I'm not sure the antibiotics helped but I am getting better. Of course I took Thursday afternoon off from the museums and tours of Washington, D.C. because I played my guitar for the happy hour of the Yacht Club on Thursday night. I had fun and it seemed like those who came had fun too. This was actually a practice session for me because I'm playing Saturday between 3 and 6 for the fireman and policeman picnic which feeds up to 600 officers. Pretty cool I think and what a great thing for the club to do. Well, enough of the future, this is what we've been up to.

We took off with Bill and Christy and one of the first things we saw was another protest. They seem to have at least one protest a week here in D.C. I guess they have to get a permit because it seems that they always have a tent and police around whenever there is a protest. So far we've seen war protests, a protest against the new weight surcharge for airlines and now the green card protest. It seems that the only thing moving for someone to get a green card in any kind of quick fashion is a turtle. I stopped and talked the the guy below who was nice enough to pose for this picture. He told me he had been in the process for over 7 years and knew others who have been in the process longer. He was a professional and wanted to work in the states, he told me that many other countries have much faster processes and they are getting the best minds today.

Below right is a statue of Washington within the Washington monument.


 We got our tickets, which are free, and went for a bike ride to take up a little time. We rode the elevator up the monument and got out almost 555 feet later, which is the height of the monument. The first cornerstone was laid July 4, 1848 rose up to 156 feet until the construction stopped in 1858 because of lack of funding. It was 18 years later when President Ulysses S. Grant, in 1876, approved an act authorizing the federal government to complete the project. The monument was partially redesigned, it needed some structural work and then started again. This delay is why there is a difference in the color of the stones for the monument from the bottom section to the middle and top section. The monument was completed in 1885.

The pictures you see below were taken from the top of the monument. The windows are hazy so that is why the pictures don't come out as clear. They wouldn't let me take out a window - imagine that. The picture to the lower left is of our anchorage. Our boat is the one on the left at the top. Veranda's boat is the center bottom. Did I mention I wished I had my good camera back?


 The pictures above are of the WW II memorial and Lincoln memorial. Of course you probably recognized the White House to the upper right.

The blurry picture to the right is one of the stones inside the monument we saw as we were riding down. It ends up that every state placed a stone within the monument. Unfortunately, we didn't stick around to take the tour of the stairway coming down. I think it would have been cool to have walked down the 880 or so steps so we could have looked at the stones and construction. Of course, that wasn't the unanimous view so we did ride down and next we stopped by the Lincoln memorial again.

The picture to the lower right is one of the two statues that are set at the Potomac River bridge. I believe they were given to us by France.

 We rode across this bridge and headed to the Arlington National Cemetery.

There are over 290,000 servicemen and their family's buried in the cemetery which is made up of 624 acres. About 24 burials are conducted every weekday.

This cemetery was proposed in 1864 and 200 acres of the Robert E. Lee family property at Arlington was taken for a cemetery. By the end of the Civil War, over 16,000 bodies were buried here. The heir to the property sued the government for taking the land and ultimately the Supreme Court ruled in the heirs favor so the government paid him $150,000 for the property.

Below left you can see one of the sobering views of the cemetery. To the lower right you can see one of the tombstones of a Medal of Honor recipient.

 Some of the mos visited places in the cemetery are President John F. Kennedy's grave. You can see the eternal flame at the center of the picture. One of the quotes engraved on the surrounding stones is "with history the final judge of our deeds.." which is quoted from his inaugural address.

Lower left is the Memorial Amphitheater and lower right you can see that I just had to go and see what it felt like to sit in the marble chair.

 Next we saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Here a sentinel of the Third U.S. Infantry maintains vigil around the clock. The sentinel paces 21 steps down the mat before the tomb, pauses 21 seconds, and returns. The changing of the guard takes place every half hour this time of year and is a very respectful ceremony. It is only fitting that we pay respect to those who have given their lives to protect our freedoms which we have today. I for one, appreciate everything people in the service have done for us.


 Another view of the cemetery along with the Washington Monument in the background. Again, this was a very moving experience and one that everyone should experience when they come to Washington, D.C.

 One of the things that happens on a regular basis at the anchorage is over flight of helicopters. It seems that we are on the low level helicopter path on the way to the White House or other helicopter landing zone in D.C. I think there are probably 100 or so flights a day and they may occur at any time day or night.

I captured this picture as we were riding our bikes back across the Potomac.

By the way, earlier in the week when the President flew down to Quantico to have breakfast with the marines, we saw his helicopter along with 4 other escorts. I'm sure they were all armed too.

The next day we went to the National Aquarium. All I can say is disappointing. I would leave that off if I were you and go to a good aquarium.

 We were off to another museum and Bill happened to see these guys on top of the now closed Museum of American History. They were looking at us, I think, with binoculars, while I was taking a picture of them. By the way, they also had M-16's or other rifles hanging on their shoulders. I was just hoping they didn't connect me with that protest yesterday...

We went down the the Museum of Natural History next. We saw everything from dinosaurs to a great film on this history of this planet. The picture to the lower right is one of Deb with one of her mammal friends that was hanging out in the theater.

 To the left is the Hope Diamond. They have it under a pretty good glass case and I'll actually bet it has an alarm or two on it as well. Although it looks greenish in the picture, it is actually blue. (I know, don't complain about the camera.)

Next we were off to the Art Museum again. We took some more tours and simply wondered around a bit. However, we still haven't done enough in the Museum of National Art.

 As we were moving through the museum, we ran across this gentleman painting. I talked to him for awhile and it ends up he teaches art and copies paintings which can then be sold. To be able to come in and paint takes many months just to be approved. Then you can only come in one day a week. He has been working on this painting for over a year. By the way, if you are interested in his work, his name if Gerald King and you can see his work at

As we were riding back to boat we say Miss U.S. America. I don't know if this was legit or not but this is her picture.

I think I mentioned that we were able to get tickets for a White House tour through Senator Larry Craig's office. We took the tour and it was impressive. Of course first you have to clear security. Deb and I presented our I.D.'s and were immediately allowed to enter. Christy presented her I.D. and in she came too. However, Bill presented his I.D. and we thought they might lock him up. Is it he has an outstanding warrant or perhaps he listened to Cat Stevens too long and now may be going over to the dark side??? Well, after about a half hour wait, they got everything worked out and Bill was allowed in too. The secret service takes things pretty seriously so we didn't joke with them about Bill's being "detained." Actually, he had to wait to the side while they called Craig's office. Ends up Bill's name wasn't on the list even though it was on our letter. Oops. They got everything cleared up and in we went. I was actually expecting a tour but what really happens is that you walk through staying between the lines looking at each of the rooms on the ground floor. I do have to say it was impressive looking in at the Library, Vermeil room, China room and then up to the East room, Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room and on to the State Dining Room. These rooms are open for tours in the morning and then at 1:00 p.m. the White House gets put back together and it gets ready for the receptions and other events that will occur in the afternoon and evening. Of course we didn't get to go upstairs to the living area or down to the theater room. We left the White House by going out the cross halls and entrance on the north side of the structure. There we made our way outside. However, it was as we were moving through the cross hall that one of the portraits was very moving. You must understand there are portraits of all of the past Presidents hanging on the walls but the one of Kennedy was striking. I wish I had a picture of it but they wouldn't allow cameras on the tour. This picture was unlike all of the rest of the portraits, he was looking down and you could almost see that their was a look about him that he was reflective, contemplative and probably resigned to his fate. The artist captured a feeling and I am pretty sure it was painted after Kennedy was shot so the artist must have painted this portrait of what he thought Kennedy should have looked like after the events of his presidency. 

Since I was still pretty sick, we came back to the boat while Bill and Christy went off to another museum. I rested so I could play my guitar for happy hour on Thursday evening. It was more of a practice but we all had fun. Towards the end of the night, guess who walked in? Senator Larry Craig! Yes, we were introduced to the Senator and he was a very nice guy. Since this was his club, he came up in jeans and said to us that when he is in the club, his name is Larry. Of course I couldn't bring myself to call him Larry but I was able to buy him a glass of wine as a partial thank you for what his office did for us.

Friday it was back to the Hirshhorn Art Museum where we looked at modern art again and then back to the National Museum of Art and we still haven't seen it all...... Saturday it we were off to the Farmers Market for all of our fresh vegetables and then took the subway to the grocery store for the rest of our shopping. I then played my guitar and sang from 3 until 6 for the annual police and fireman picnic. I'm happy I was feeling better by this time but I was worn out at the end.

Sept 25 -  I didn't give you any pictures of the Farmers Market so I just had to include the one to the right and bottom left. Deb loves earrings and rings. I guess she thinks you just can't have enough of them on the boat. Of course the rule of throwing away something if you buy something new goes out the window at times like these. However, on this day, nothing was purchased. After all, we kind of have a budget but with the look of intense concentration on her face, I'm not sure if she has totally bought into the "rules" of the boat at this time.

Below left you can see Deb is still intensely searching for the "value" purchase. I kind of think it was Christy, behind her, that put some sense into her but who knows.

After we left the Farmers Market, we took the subway to Harris Teeters and picked up the rest of our provisioning. Next we rode the subway back home put away our "stores" and then I was off to play my gig.

Lower right you can see the Jefferson Memorial.


I have forgot more than I should have about our presidents. Thomas Jefferson was on of if not the most influential presidents known to us. As the writer of the Declaration of Independence and a person who stood for education, I felt like I had a kenship to him. I remember when I broke apart our Mission and Purposes into a Mission, Purposes and Values statement which is still in use today at the College I left. That was pretty cool, however, it was nothing compared to what Jefferson and the people in his day did for this country.

I found myself wondering if my life was on the line, would I have done the things that I did? Would I continue to stand for the education of every person at the College or would I fold? I guess I will never know although I did pay a price for my beliefs.

I think the two quotes below are absolutely correct! You simply can not stay ignorant if you want to advance your society and when you do get educated, you will find happiness. The guy was a rock star.

As we were riding back, we picked up this picture and as you will see below, I found the entire experience a wonderful one with regards to town planning.

As you look at this picture, I want you to stand in the White House which is pictured in the lower left. Think about the effect this has, as the President of the United States of America, you look out your window every day and you see the monument of George Washington who was the first President. Then you look forward and you see the monument for Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence. I think that the town planners had a wonderful vision simply to ensure the current President would understand that his role is so much more than simply a person who is currently in the White house. His life isn't on the line and he is the leader of the free world. Will he or she stand up to the challenge or will they fold? Such a question. I hope we continue to ensure our presidents don't fold.

Lower left is a picture of Roosevelt along with his dog. Once again, I had forgotten that he served 4 terms as President. Of course after which, term limits came into being. The picture to the lower right is one that show a part of half of the monument. This monument is one which uses water as one of the key elements. As I tried to remember how many dams and other projects he constructed in the "new deal" I found the fact that he brought us out of the great depression and then had to enter into WWII a daunting task. I guess that is why they placed this monument next to Jefferson's. Again, the President can gaze upon a part of it.

I remember reading and trying to place myself into the soup lines which surrounded the country during the depression. I grew up in a family that was divorced and many challenges with regards to money. I still think that given the semi poverty that we grew up in was nothing compared to what the people during Roosevelt era were facing. Fortunately, a new deal was found and we got out of that one and today, we all individually face our own new deal. Of course, to me, that means pay yourself first regardless of where you begin so you will have choices when you need them or want them.

You would think that in Washington, D.C., a town which is promoting alternative fuels and transportation, would actually have bike racks where you can lock your bikes. However, that is not the case. I don't know if they think we are carrying plastic explosives hidden in the welded frames which we purchased from Japan but I think it is crazy. I'm just shocked there isn't a bike rack next to every public building in Washington. However, there are signs and as long as the police don't come by and cut your locks and then impound your bikes, you can use the signs.

By the way, the reason we were parked here was we went to the Holocaust Museum. I don't have a great deal to say about this except it was the most horrific event in human history. I am proud to be an American simply because we did the right thing in WWII and stopped a lunatic. I personally enjoy a diverse society and believe that the diversity brings much more to the society. In my opinion, everyone should see this museum but make it the last one of the day and be prepared to spend at least 2-3 hours going through it. Next, plan on going home and praying that nobody will ever come to power anywhere in the world like Hitler.

Monday brings another day, and Bill and I took off for some embassy's. The one pictured to the right is the Embassy for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. We stopped by to ensure we understood everything we need to do before entering their country. In addition, we also wanted to make sure we had the right forms to use for our pets. Bill and Christy have two dogs and of course we have our bird, Jimmy Buffett.

We met the most wonderful lady who gave us the importation forms for pets along with all of the other information necessary to get into the Bahamas. Of course the most important thing she provided was the website address so we could print out everything she had told us and fortunately it all agreed. Bahamas, here we come.

The picture to the lower left is one of the homes in the area. It actually reminds me of the homes in the Central West End in St. Louis. It would be cool to live here however I'm sure it would be expensive.

The picture to the lower right is the Mexican Embassy. However, the address we had to start with was the Mexican Consulate. I won't go into details but I have to tell yo that Bill and I rode forever and it was all up-hill! I found the most wonderful person at the Mexican Embassy and she spent 20 minutes finding out that we should really leave Jimmy Buffett behind. They have a big black market and as a result they will take the birds into quarantine coming in for 40 days and going out the USA will take them and put them asleep. Bad day for our bird. Now we will be searching for a bird sitter for the 2008 trip to Mexico.

We have told you about the Washington D.C. Yacht Club and to the left you see the entrance. There are two offices, first is the one for the Dock master and second is the one for the Assistant who really "runs" the club.

Lower left is the bar area and you can see all of the burgees hanging from the ceiling. They have visitors from all over the world and when we come back this way, I know that we will stop by again. This is one of if not THE most receptive Yacht Clubs in the world.

The picture on the lower right is the library and it is also a great meeting room. Everything is wonderful and again, it is a great club. By the way, they have great showers and laundry facilities too.

Bill and Christy aboard Veranda, are pictured to the right. Bill is updating his blog and by the way, he is a great writer too. Christy was waiting for her time to answer the emails.
As we were leaving the last happy hour at the club, we went down to a great guy, Jim, that we met's boat to see the boat and his African Gray. On the way, we saw this pool that was suspended between the dock . Too cool, I think I might do this at some point.

Leaving D.C., you can see the Regain National Airport with some traffic underway. This is a busy airport and I have to say that it was really cool to hang out in D.C.

Tuesday, we left Washington and started back down the Potomac. Bill took the picture below as Freedom went under the bridge leaving Washington, D.C. and he also took the one to the lower right as we were motoring down the Potomac. Yes, Freedom has now left D.C. Sorry folks, back to the bickering between parties the way it was previously.

We made 56 nautical miles and anchored off of a point where we were protected from the southerly winds. The winds shifted on schedule so an hour after we were anchored everything smoothed out. Of course it wasn't that easy. My primary anchor, a Bruce which to the non anchor people looks like a claw that gets buried in the seabed, wouldn't anchor on two tries. The Bruce doesn't work well in grass so I pulled out my other anchor which I have just for this occasion. It is a Delta, which by the way looks like a plow, and it set on the first try.


 We got underway Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. so we could take advantage of the push of the current down the Potomac. We were right about the current and the wind cooperated too. We had south to southeast winds which helped us along the way. Overall, we made 59.1 nautical miles with the anchor getting set at 3:30 p.m. That was an average of 6.5 n.m. per hour which is pretty good considering the GPS starts tracking speed as soon as we start moving to pull in the anchor and keeps tracking it until we are completely set. It wasn't unusual during the trip to see speeds of 7.5 or so knots on the GPS. We motor sailed throughout the day because we wanted to do the trip in one day.

Below left, you can see another picture Bill took of us under sail. The boat looks pretty good doesn't she for an almost 12 year old boat. Below right is a picture of Bill and Christy's boat. They have a Person 42 foot center cockpit and they have done quite a bit to fix her up.


 As we were making the turn to go into the Chesapeake we passed this weather buoy. If you ever wondered how they know the winds, sea temperature, tides and current of the water, this is it.

After we made the corner the engine quit. It just up and quit. I changed fuel tanks although I knew that shouldn't be the problem, primed the engine and it still wouldn't work properly so that meant I must have gotten some bad fuel and the filters were clogged. It took me 8 minutes to change both of the fuel filters and we were back underway again. I keep the filters where they are easy to get at and I have the wrenches labeled that I need so the process is really quick. I'm going to get a vacuum gauge to screw into my fuel system so I will know from now on when they need replacing rather than simply relying on the change at 100 hours.


 As we were approaching Point No Point, no I didn't stutter or make that one up, we were called by the Coast Guard. Evidently, the Navy was using their targets which are mounted on poles in the Chesapeake today. I called back on the radio for both Bill and I and told them we would comply with their request to stay at least 1 1/4 mile away. However, they couldn't get in touch with the boat in the picture to the left and had to chase him down and away. I don't know if they were firing neutron particle beams at the target and wanted us out of their "range" or if it was more exciting and jets were making strafing runs with laser guns. However, we didn't get to see anything and within a half hour we heard the call on the radio to continue on our own courses. We immediately changed course and were now on a better course for Solomon's Island.

We were spending money on Thursday. I had ordered new 1/4" chain for my anchor along with a new pump for our shower. Both were in so I picked them up. Fortunately, they gave me a ride in a van back to the dinghy dock so I didn't have to carry the 40 pounds of chain on the bike. I got a ride back to the store and rejoined the group and then picked up my new 2200 gph bilge pump. More on that later. We then took all the purchases back and returned to head to the grocery store. Reprovisioning is an all day event when you are on bikes and it can be fun. I will tell you it is much more fun on bikes than it is walking! We returned to the boats and we got together for dinner on our boat. We had a great dinner, new recipe soon to be written up, and of course a few glasses of wine. A great day for all. Friday, Deb and I will be taking the bus to the nearest Wal Greens which is too far to ride on bikes. It is 45 min by bus. Another day of adventure.

We are getting closer to leaving for the Annapolis Boat Show. I have a list of things we need for our boat which I have prioritized. We have to get electronic charts for our GPS of the Bahamas and as a backup, I have to get a program that will read the charts I have of the Bahamas on my laptop. Then there are some other things we will need such as a good shortwave receiver so we can listen to the weather and other fun stuff for the boat. In addition, we will be saying Hi to the Gemini people at the show. This is the celebration for the 1,000th boat but I don't know what they are doing for it at this time. We are planning on taking our big shoe horn so we can find a place to anchor. Evidently, it is pretty crowded up that way during the boat show. Imagine that, boats everywhere. Sounds like fun doesn't it.

 Sept 30 - I mentioned that we had to go to Wal Greens for our blood pressure medicine and if you are cruising, it isn't as simple as hopping into the car and taking off. First you have to figure out where it it located and then you have to find a bus schedule. Of course your assumption is that the bus schedule will be the "bus schedule." Well, it seems they changed some of the stops and times and just haven't had time in the last six months to print a new one. Oh well, thanks to some "regular riders" we were able to get on the right bus. To the right you can see where we got off to catch a transfer bus to ultimately get us to the hospital and which was where the Wal Greens is located. So far it has only taken us and hour and a half to get this far.  

Fortunately, everything was ready and we picked it up, wondered our way back through the hospital and then found their cafeteria. Deb said, I'll bet you can't wait for some hospital food now can you. The food didn't disappoint us at all. They lived up to the hospital standard of bland, no salt food that seems to be pre-digested. Yes, that is exactly what I wanted but when you are hungry and it's lunch time, you seem to eat about anything.

After that memorable lunch, we went to our designated waiting space and on time, new schedule time not the printed one, our bus arrived and we got to take the hour, wondering, ride back to Solomons. Overall, we had a good time on the trip because we were able to see some more of the area.

I mentioned that I picked up a 2200 gph bilge pump. The reason I did this is that my friend Gary who owns Zipadedoda, once had a Gemini. On one trip offshore, he hit a 4x4 that was old and barely floating on the surface. This holed his boat and he had to do a quick patch job to slow the water down and get back to shore. He was about 10 miles offshore at the time. Since I didn't have a bilge pump on board, this is one of the items I wanted before we leave for the Bahamas. My decision was to get a BIG pump and store it so if we need it in either hull, I can take it out, plug it in and let it pump while I'm trying to figure out what to do to fix the problem. I picked up 15 feet of hose, wired the pump so I can plug it in to a 12v plug I have in the center of the boat and tested it. I pumped out a 5 gal bucket of fresh water in about 4 seconds. Now we are talking a pump. The good news is that it just fit in the port hull. Now this is a pump I want to look back on when we are finished cruising and say that is the best investment I ever made and I never used it.

While we are talking pumps, our shower pump never worked very well. It was an inline small pump and it would get clogged up very easy. I found out on the Gemini list serve that they are using the Whale Gulper 220 now. I had them get me one at our friendly West Marine store and I installed it. Fortunately, it fit too. The other hoses you see are spares that I keep stored here, I'm really not that bad at installations. One thing of note is that you do have to use some fittings to adapt the hose in the shower to the size of the pump. Regardless, it works great and will pump the shower dry now and since it has a check valve installed, no water comes back. Another good project finished and now the shower is much more useable.

We headed over to Bill and Christy's boat, Veranda, for dinner last night and of course a great time was had by all. We had a great dinner and of course Bill entertained us with his non-stop humor.

We also are talking about heading to the Bahamas and getting everything ready. This is the first time for both of us and we've had lots of advice. It really isn't that hard of a trip but like everything else in life, if you haven't done it, you think it is harder than it is. Our real preparations are creating the lists we need of food, spares and safety equipment before we leave. EVERYTHING is more expensive in the islands and getting something shipped to you is also expensive because you have to pay the duty for importing parts or other items into the islands. The lists are getting longer and we are getting ready for our big spending spree at the Annapolis Boat Show. I have a list that will kill the budget but fortunately I've decided I don't need it all for this trip. I will need it however before our next trip the following year which is Mexico but that is another story.

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