Friday, December 09, 2005

Ugh, snow!

As I write this, the Northeast is being slammed by a major "clipper" storm. It is expected to dump up to 10" of the nasty white stuff on the Mid-Hudson region. Once upon a time, in my younger days, I did a little skiing. Even then, it was not necessary for snow to come to me, I would gladly go to the snow. Now, as I get older and have all but given up skiing, I have no use whatsoever for the snow.
I am so looking forward to the next year when I will be following summer around the country. A whole year without snow - WOW!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Winter doldrums

Just checking in. Not much to report. The boat is in winter storage and awaiting the spring thaw. Stopped by the marina last weekend just to check things and all was fine.
Planning continues for the cruise. I may have found my crew, I'll know more in January.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Drying out

This morning the boat was hauled out and put on blocks for the winter. While this is kind of sad, (I hate to see any boat on the hard) it is also gratifying.
Just after the travellift had picked the boat out of the water, the marina crew powerwashed the bottom to get all the algae off. It was good to see the copper bottom looking bright and shiny. And the whole bottom appeared solid. I guess I did a pretty good job of building and sealing the bottom. Everything looks solid and new. Now it's a matter of winterizing the engine and getting a tarp over everything. One more weekend of work and she'll be ready to take on the winter.
Spring can't come too soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Folding masts!

Here's a picture of the boat with the masts folded down.

The masts are down

I stopped by the marina yesterday and took the masts down in preparation for the haulout on Monday. It was raining so I didn't get to do a proper fold on the sails. That will have to wait until a dry day.
One interesting thing happened yesterday that got me thinking about another aspect of the cruise. I made contact via the 'net with a woman who owns land, including an island, along the Trent-Severn waterway in Canada. She invited me to stop and tie up at her island while I'm traveling the Trent. I plan on taking her up on it.
What this calls to mind is the idea that one of the greatest pleasures in taking a trip like this is the people you meet along the way. I'm thinking that it would be great if there are other people who live along the path of the Circle cruise who would contact me before I set out. This way, each place that I visit, I'll already know someone there, someone with local knowledge of what's worth doing and seeing. Each stop along the way would be like coming home, and seeing something new at the same time. What a great way to travel!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A sad time.

It's mid October, the weather's getting colder. Here in the northeast we just got over 8 straight days of hard rain, over 22 inches worth. The creeks and rivers have all overflowed their banks and many roads are flooded. Pumpkins will be in short supply as many pumpkin patches were flooded.
This is a sad time of year for me because I have to start decommissioning the boat. I made a trip to the marina yesterday. The parking lot was flooded and I had to wade through 6" of water to get to the docks. Once I got to the boat I started unloading items I don't want left there for the winter. A week from Monday is the scheduled haul out.
I'm hauling out a little earlier than I wanted because this is the boat's first season in the water. I want to have time to make a thorough inspection of the hull and rudder. If any work needs to be done on the bottom, I'll have time to get it done, or at least get it planned so I know where to start in the spring.
I'm not expecting any trouble, the bilge is dry so there are no leaks. But since I plan on spending at least a year living on the boat full time, I want to be doubly sure I won't run into trouble after launch next year.
I've also started work on a rigid dingy to use as a tender. The inflatable I bought this summer is too heavy, too cumbersome to use easily. The wooden dingy I'm building will be half the weight of the inflatable and much easier to stow on deck when not in use.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The boat.

The boat that I have chosen is an AS-29, designed by Phil Bolger. The design is really unique, and provides some special features than make it ideally suited to this journey. The boat is 29'6" long, 7'10" wide. It has two retractable "bilge boards" instead of a fixed keel. This makes it able to enter places where the water is shallow. It can navigate in water less than 2 feet deep. It also has two masts mounted in tabernacles. The masts are counterbalanced. This makes it very easy to lower the masts for getting under low bridges.
The Circle Loop route includes several canals and rivers. Some of the canals and rivers have both shallow water and low bridges.
The boat is quite comfortable as a live-aboard. She has a full sized double bed, a full galley, a living/dining room and a bathroom (head.)
There are only about a dozen AS-29's in the whole world.
I built this boat myself. The project took just under 4 years of part-time work.
One of the purposes of this blog is to demonstrate to other people who long for a boat of their own to consider building. By building I was able to spread the cost of the boat over the 4 years of the buidling project. I then end up with a brand new boat that's fully paid for!
If there's something that you want, don't just wish for it. Take steps to make it happen. If I, of all people, can build a boat, so can you. If you can build a boat, what can't you do?
The image accompanying this post is a scan of the blueprints for the boat. It is posted here only for purposes of explaining the design. These blue prints are copyrighted by Philip C. Bolger, Glochester, MA. No use can be made of these plans without the permission of the designer.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Yours truly, the blogmaster and skipper

Here's a pic of me aboard Walküre.


Welcome to the Voyages of the Walküre. This blog will be the place where friends, family and anyone interested came look for updates on the whereabouts and doings of the S.V. "Walküre." The boat is a Phil Bolger design called AS-29. It was built during 2001 and 2005 by yours truly, TheOldVoyager.
If all goes according to plan, the Walküre will be leaving in the spring of 2006 for the Great Cirle Tour of the Eastern US. This cruise, expected to take about a year, starts in the Hudson River, runs through the Erie and Oswego Canals to Lake Ontario, through the Trent-Severn Canal to Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, then to the Mississippi river, down to the Gulf Coast, to Florida and the Keys, then along the Inland Waterway along the East coast and back to NY.
During this coming winter, the boat will be upgraded and made ready for the cruise. I will also be making other preparations such as getting my house ready for sale to finance the cruise.