Saturday, May 20, 2006

More progress

Well, the sails are lashed onto the spars, and the cabin is starting to look like home. I've started the process of moving on board, and I've spent the last 2 nights on board. From this point on, I'll only be going to the house to check mail, and move stuff out. The boat is pretty much my home from now on.
Wow! Hard to believe, but it's all starting to come together.
The weather has been lousy, rain every day. Other than that, it's really cool not going to work every day. Retirement realy is great, too bad it's usually wasted on old folks.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Well, I got the enging running and it's running really great. The overhaul of the carb over the winter seems to have done the trick.
Today, the weather held off so I was able to get the masts up, and all the rigging run except for the sails.
I took the boat out and motored down the creek to check out the functioning of the autopilot. Spooked out a few people as I passed them. They couldn't quite figure out who was steering as there was nobody in the cockpit.
I think I need to adjust the "gain" on the pilot, but otherwise, it's great. Also the depth finder works.
All in all, things are going pretty well. If the weather continues to hold off, I might stay on board tomorrow night. Gotta get settled in sometime soon.

Monday, May 15, 2006

What a day!

This has been a day of good news and bad news.

The good news - the boat is in the water and the bilge is dry. It's dry around the hull fitting for the head intake, and the head works great.

The bad news - the engine won't start. Probably gook in the fuel line, but with the rain coming down in buckets I couldn't risk taking things apart to check.

The good news - the contract for the sale of the house finally arrived at the lawyer's office, signed and ready to go.

The bad news - the buyers have put off the closing until June 15th. That means I have to make another mortgage payment, etc. and it means a slightly later start to the trip.

"The best laid plans" etc.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Yahoo email list

My blog page now includes a banner to make it easy to sign up for my Yahoo email list. Scroll down to the bottom left of the blog page, type your email address into the window, hit the "Join Now" button and you're in. All new posts on the blog are automatically emailed to the Yahoo list.
Also, if you join the email list you will have access to photos that will not be posted on the blog.
Have fun. (I will, LOL!)

The first day...

of the rest of my life. Wow! I did it! I retired.
Thursday, the hospital had it's official "retirement tea" for me. About 50 people showed up, I think; I really didn't get to count. The VP of my division came and made a little speech recounting my accomplishments at the hosptial during my tenure, then I had to make a little speech, too.
I put up a little display showing my boat, the route I will be taking on the Great Loop, etc. I handed out a lot of cards for people to keep in touch. The cards list this website, my email, the mail-drop address I'll be using in Florida, etc.
My staff surprised me with more gifts - a log book, a journal and a beautiful fountain pen.
The hospital gave me a folder with some really nice gifts and told me I could choose one. I picked out a really nice pair of binoculars, something that's always useful on a boat.
Yesterday, I didn't do much at work. I just went around to people who didn't come to the tea and said my goodbyes. Then my boss took me out for a drink.
And that's it. My career in healthcare is ended. "Free at last, free at last, thank God almight, I'm free at last."
Today, I start on the adventure that will define the rest of my life. I'll be making a trip to the marina today to make a last check of the hull, tie on my docklines, drop off the bedding and a few other items.
Monday the boat will get her feet wet for the first time since October. Then I will start in earnest to disengage myself from the house. Over this coming week, I will be moving out of the house and onto the boat. Then I can give the house a good cleaning to make it ready for the buyers.
I have to pinch myself. This is really happening! Wow.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Winding down

Today is my second-to-last day of work. I'm at my desk clearing up a few last minute items. This afternoon, the hospital administration holds it's official "retirement tea" for me. Tomorrow, I'll come in, say my goodbyes, turn in my badge and keys and I'm done. It feels a bit spooky to know that I won't be getting up every morning at 5:00 to drag myself in to work.
This weekend, I'll make the last of the preparations for launch. I don't have a lot to do, mostly just tie on my docking lines, and give the boat a thorough inspection to make sure she's ready for launch. I have an appointment with the travel lift on Monday. As soon as she's in the water, and I'm sure there are no leaks, I can start moving my gear aboard.
I have noticed that as of this morning, 26 people have signed up for my Yahoo group. If there are any of you who live along the route who want to sign on as crew for a few days, let me know. I will be single-handing most of the way, so there will be room for guest crew if you're interested. I have one person signed up already. He'll be coming along the week of June 18 to gain some experience in the locks on the Erie canal. He's planning on taking his family on the Loop sometime in the future and wants some experience before he does.
As plans are right now, I will be in Waterford, NY the weekend of 6/17 & 6/18. Anyone in the area who is interested in seeing the boat should stop by the town dock in Waterford that weekend.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Some random thoughts...

on the price of Gasoline.
I will be doing quite a bit of motoring while in the various canals that lie along my route. For this reason, I included gasoline as a major item in my cruising budget. Now that the price of gas has gone through the roof, I have to rejuggle my budget to make allowances. That got me thinking about what's really happening here.
Consider: Prior to 1964, a "dollar" was actually a piece of silver of a certain size, weight and purity. A gallon of gasoline cost about $0.29. Today, a newly minted Silver Eagle (offically carrying a face value of $1.00) costs about $13.73 in Federal Reserve Notes (FRN's). So...with gas selling for $3.119 (FRN), that works out to 4.402 gallons per silver dollar, or about $0.227 per gallon in real/silver dollars. Once again, what's happening is NOT that gasoline is getting expensive, it's that dollars are gradually becoming worthless.
Last summer, my home marina had to sell gasoline by the 1/2 gallon, as their pump was so old it didn't have a "2" for the first digit in the price. I guess they will be selling it by the quart this year.
I can't wait to see what the price will be in Canada. Their "dollar" has even less value than ours.

Yahoo email group

To make it easier for folks to keep up with my whereabouts, I've started a Yahoo group. This service allows emails to be sent to a group of people at one time, instead of sending individual emails. Hey! I'm retired, remember? I can't spend all my time writing individual emails to everyone. (As much as I'd like to, there just won't be that much time that I will be connected to the web.)
If you'd like to get email updates, please join the group. To join, visit:
and click on the "Join this group" button.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A splendid party

Saturday night my staff from the hospital treated me to an evening at "Cheesebugers in Paradise," the local Jimmy Buffett restaurant. Nearly all of my staff attended in honor of my retirement. They presented me with a wonderful brass bell for the boat, and a shadowbox of mounted fishing lures. We drank, we ate, drank again. A splendid time was had by all.
Afterward, some of us regrouped in a local pub and I brought my guitar and played a few songs.
To all the staff who participated "THANK YOU!"
Now I have just 5 more days to work. Next Thursday, the "official" retirement tea will be held at the hospital.
All the arrangements for my pension are now complete, and the first direct deposit of pension money is due in my account on June 1, the same day the buyers want to close on the house. It's a little scary, but it is really happening.