It's 30 degrees in Annapolis right now with a 20-25kt breeze. Why is this OK? Because I just got off the phone with one of our neighbors and we had a huge ice storm at home last night to this morning! Apparently, the power will be out for 2-3 days, and I was just checking the power company's website and all they have listed for when it will be back is "TBD".
Our neighbor, Scott, went to our house to check on our sump pump, and the water is almost to the top of the sump hole dug in our basement! A few more hours and we could put Pelican in our basement. Fortunately, Kristen's Dad has a generator and is heading to the house as we speak to power up the sump pump. Scott said all of the generators in the region are sold out at this point, so Poppi's generator (Poppi is Kristen's Dad) is going to become the communal generator for a few days to run everyone's sump.
On top of the power issues, we have a bunch of limbs and trees down around our yard, but it sounds like none of them are threatening our house - yet. We also had one of our gutters come apart and it poured water onto the side of our house, which then went to the inside of our house. I didn't think we'd have to worry about leaks in our house - just our boat!
Today was final wrapup day on the boat - our last chance to take care of the last minute details before we do our first hop to Norfolk. Kristen schooled the kids while I borrowed a car from Chuck and Mary, two wonderful people I met online on Sailnet. I stopped by Bacon's to drop off our old propane tank and our old outboard mount to put them up for sale, and while there I found a used block and tackle I could use to lift our dinghy. I love that place! Then I stopped by True Value to fill our propane tank (yes, Poppi, I used your account so you get the points), and I ended up at West buying a few more random items.
We took Pelican out this morning to "Seatrial" the new autopilot. It was blowing pretty good out there - we saw wind gusts to about 30kts. The first go around of calibrating the autopilot didn't go so well, but then we realized that we had placed Kristen's new Sailrite Sewing Machine right next to the autopilot compass. The Sailrite machine is about a 50-60lb chunk of steel, and that might have had something to do with the erroneous compass headings :). We moved it elsewhere, and all of a sudden the autopilot calibration worked. Go figure!
Returning to our slip was easier said than done. The piers that jut out from the dock allowing you to board your boat are all really small in this region. I don't know why they do it this way, but they do. Anyway, everyone backs their boats in down here to make it easier to get on and off of them. Well, Pelican doesn't back well to start with, and having a 20-25kt breeze catch your bow EVERY time you start backing into the slip makes life difficult. 5 tries later, I just pulled in bow first. Alright, I caved, but, well, whatevah...
Tonight we stopped by Cantler's, a great seafood restaurant just outside of town, for dinner. We always enjoy going there, and we figured it would be a nice treat since it is our last night with a car for a while. After heading back to the boat, I stopped by Matt's place (Matt being one of the people working on Pelican for the past few weeks, and also one of the people out there I can truly say cares about not just his work, but the people he's doing it for) to pick up our XBox. If you ever need mechanical, electrical or electronics work done, specifically ask for Matt at Engineered Marine Systems in Annapolis.
That brings us to the here and now. I've uploaded our course into our chartplotter for our trip to Norfolk. I've checked the weather like 12 times in the past hour, and it looks like we'll have enough breeze to sail down, although it might be a little bumpy in places. I've talked to lots of people with local knowledge. It's a fairly straightforward 24hour trip about 150 miles south, but since it represents the first leg of a much longer journey, I want everything to go perfectly. Well, I'll settle for adequate. OK.. I'll settle for getting there with all of us still on board and Pelican still floating. I don't know if I'll be able to do an entry while underway tomorrow, but hopefully our Spot will update the map correctly and you'll be able to see where we are every few hours. At the least, I'll update you when we reach Great Bridge, our stopping point just south of Norfolk. Tooduloo!
P.S. A few HUGE thanks are due... first to Scott and company for not just checking our house, but going out and getting new batteries for our sump pump UPS, checking our basement and just keeping track of our house so closely. You're beyond awesome! Another big thanks to the ever wonderful Poppi for jumping into his truck and heading right to our house with a generator. You're always there for us, and we appreciate it! And a large thanks to Chuck and Mary from Sailnet for lending their car to a few complete strangers! You made our lives a lot easier today and we owe you a huge amount of thanks!