Friday, July 15, 2011

Photo gallery

Click to see full-size, as usual.

Aquambulists at Milford, mentioned earlier. A close look at the satellite view in that original post -- you may have to zoom in -- will unravel the mystery.

The electricity perplex.

I've had the terrible experience of having the nav lights go dim and then dead at the Hour of the Wolf, in the middle of Cape Cod Bay. This is a bad feeling. I replaced my inherited battery -- a starting battery, actually, which I don't need -- with a more capacious deep-cycle battery; but I'm still very paranoid and Pere-Goriot about amps. So I've embarked on an amp-saving campaign. Among other things, I've replaced the incandescent cabin light bulbs with LED versions. Here's the old inefficient bulb:

And here's the nice new efficient LED bulb, consuming, what, a tenth of the current the old one did. It's shown in situ:

It may be more efficient, but it sure spoils the retro Jetsons look of that original-equipment 1970s light fixture, doesn't it? Looks like some ill-bred child sticking his tongue out. The light quality is colder and less homey, too.

LED replacements for the nav light bulbs are next, though that may have to wait till next year.

I also sprang for a solar panel to charge the battery whenever the sun shines:

This image also shows the new dinghy -- I have yet to tell that story -- and a weird cylindrical object on the rail, over to the left, which is the receptacle for an imposing seven-foot LORAN antenna, now languishing in a Harlem storage locker.

You don't want to touch that antenna without gloves on -- it's made out of somewhat sun-degraded fiberglass, and it's like handling a cactus. Tiny splinters of glass fiber work their way under your skin, and itch for the next week.

There's a LORAN unit in the cabin, which actually worked when I first got the boat, and of course works no more, because the Coast Guard finally shut down the LORAN system last year.

I only once ever navigated a boat using LORAN, and that was, what, twenty years ago? The charts then used to have a Cabbalistic LORAN overlay.

Ah, progress. GPS is a lot easier(*). So I ought to take the antenna receptacle off the rail, and remove the obsolete receiver from the cabin. But I probably won't. I have a kind of preservationist mentality. I like the Scapegrace's period feel and won't change it any more than I can help.

Finally, here's the sort of thing you can see off your starboard quarter, at anchor in Port Jefferson, if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night:

It's not quite as scary as it appears. There's a big industrial mooring buoy a hundred fifty feet or so from where I anchored in Port Jeff, and tugs and barges use it a lot. This particular tug came in, during the wee hours, and tied up to the buoy. The subdued rumble of its idling engines woke me up, and I took the picture. The next morning, shortly after sunrise, a huge fuel barge came majestically into the harbor, bound for the Port Jeff power plant, and my neighbor cast off and went to help it dock.


(*) Though the FCC has apparently given GPS' adjacent frequency band to some fella called Sanjiv Ahuja, proprietor of an outfit called Lightsquared, whose business plan is to sell wholesale wireless data channels; not to people like us, but to "people" like Apple and Verizon. The sages predict extensive interference. I can't wait. Groping my way into Buzzards Bay at three AM, in the fog, and suddenly I've got no GPS because Sanjiv just cut a deal with Rupert Murdoch.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    You doing any sailing? Miss the writing.