Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Leave for the Dismal Swamp and then Elizabeth City, NC

Wed, Oct 20 afternoon
Since I last posted for this day, we have had a problem with our batteries not charging even though we are plugged into the 30amp on the dock.  It was working yesterday when all of a sudden everything electrical turned off.  I'm glad Phil was on the boat when it happened as he got out his voltage meter and started trouble shooting if it was a loose wire or some other problem, but he thinks that the battery charger broke.
Phil Checking old battery charger
 The batteries do charge when we run the engine, which we have been doing as one of the new batteries was reading 9 volts.  For anyone that doesn't know about batteries 12 volts is a dead battery generally, so this was really bad.  Probably shortened the life of this battery Phil said.   This afternoon we went to West Marine with Chuck and Dianne on S/V Nifty Nickers (docked next to us) who were kind enough to offer us a ride on the car they rented for the day and bought a new battery charger.  I also got a book about fishing for cruisers as I want to know about this so hopefully we can be more successful catching fish off the boat.

After we were done shopping, we all went to LaBodega on Wine St for a Boater's Social.  We had a great time meeting other boaters docked or anchored here.
Chuck, Lorraine, Dianne & Phil from Nifty Nickers

Jean-Pierre & Josee (S/V J-PSA) and Lorraine

Lorraine, Dawn & Randy Ortiz of NirvanaNow

Each person was given a free drink.  While Phil was having a good time with friends from Sail Away (Ken and Jeanne) and and Nifty Nickers (Chuck & Dianne) I was getting to know new boaters.  After we got home, I cooked in the pressure cooker some stew meat adding some salsa and spices serving over Quinoa and Spinach.  This is the first time that I fixed Quinoa and it was a little crunchy, but not bad.  Phil of course, prefers potatoes. 

Thursday, Oct 21

Today is our last day in Hampton, VA.  This morning Phil started installing the battery charger even before I woke up.
Installing the new battery charger
It's working to charge the batteries, so what a relief.  This is a very nice charger in that you can charge one or all of the batteries.  It has a fan, which is noiser as it's on when charging, but then that's also good because you know it's working beside having a light on.  Phil was done about 9am when Bente Cooney of M/V Side by Side came by as arranged for me to teach her how to cast off.  She had taught her 8yo granddaughter to knit but it's been a long time since she done knitting.  Since the boat was still torn apart inside due to Phil's project, we went down to her boat. The nice thing about motor cats, is that there is a lot of space and you don't feel like you're camping.   Bente is Danish, so learned to knit the European way which is to hold the yarn in your left hand.  I'm glad I learned a new way to hold the yarn when knitting because it's much faster.  I taught her how to pearl and cast off.  It was so nice that we had something to teach each other.   Bente's husband is Tony, and they asked if we wanted to share the price of renting a car for 3 hours, which we did. Since we had a few hours until we left in the car, Phil and I visited the Hampton Historical Museum at $4 each.  This was a nice museum from Captain James time in the early 1600's to the 1950's.  There was a 2nd floor exhibit, which we decided not to visit.  I fixed sandwhichs for lunch and then it was time to leave. We went to Verizon Wireless and a grocery store that happened to be around the corner.  We also went to Walmart, Walgreens, and the Village Stitching Store for me to get a cable stitch needle as Walmart didn't have one. Once again, We went to West Marine to pick up a chart for Roanoke Island and a Q flag.  Phil also got the U-bolt to see if we can use it to clamp the fender board to the lifelines to get a couple cans out of the cockpit.  This is a work in progress.  It was a warm, windy day and we had a good time.  Most of the main streets here are 3-5 lanes wide in each direction.  The 4 & 5th lanes are often turning lanes.  After we got home, we filled the water tanks and started getting ready for leaving.  We each took advantage of the showers and I also used my FlowBee and cut my hair.  2nd time so far for this trip.

Tomorrow we plan to leave at 730am so we can time going through the bridges.  We are going through the Dismal Swamp and plan to spend the night at the Visitor's Center and then get to Elizabeth City, NC the next day.  We want to meet up with Tom Love, and old friend of Phil's who use to have his boat in the Mentor Lagoons in the early 1980's.

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