September 12, 2012; 7:00 pm
Chip Ahoy’s mooring
It’s been a long wait but at
last I’m aboard Chip Ahoy again for the night, ready for a few days away
come morning. The forecast through at least late next week is for
perfect weather, though summer has ended. The sun is setting, the
temperature is about 70° and falling from near-80° this afternoon. By
morning, it should have dropped into the high 50s or so.
It’s that time of year when
going for a 4-5 days cruise requires packing lots of clothes, two
wardrobes even if simple: Some for warm, some for cool. Shorts for the
warm days, long pants and socks for the cool nights; it’s t-shirts and
sweaters season; boat shoes and sandals.
I’ve been hoping to get away
on something like this for over a month, but things kept coming up,
getting in my way. Last week it was Tropical Storm Leslie. Though more
than 200 miles offshore, it was nonetheless throwing 8-12 foot seas at
the New England coast accompanied by huge breakers and riptides. Just as
well, as one of the guys who works with us killed another computer, so I
spent from last Thursday through Sunday around the clock resurrecting
it, only brought it fully back to life on Monday.
Then I brought my Chevy
Blazer to the mechanic to get the heater working – flush out the cooling
system again. I figured it’d be maybe a two hour wait. Eight hours later
they told me I’d need to leave it – the brake line to the rear wheels
broke, twice, as they backed it out of the garage. After splicing it
once, they decided it needed to be replaced in entirety from master
cylinder to rear axle. I picked it up late this afternoon, drove it
home, then headed down here to the boat.
While I was waiting for them
to complete the job, this morning I began packing for my cruise, came
out on the launch with the laptop bag and another bag with clothes. One
the second trip out I brought my sea bag and the insulated cooler bag
with drinks and ice. Earlier today I called ahead to Brown’s Marina to
see if they had a slip. They should, but I need to call again in the
morning to make a reservation. At last, I’m aboard and good to go!
To take advantage of this
weekend — maybe the last of the season — I had to blow off my brother
John and sister-in-law Karen’s 25th wedding anniversary. It was a tough
call, but this has been the shortest sailing season I’ve experienced,
despite it being an overall great summer. Too many insurmountable
hurdles kept being thrown in my way — the first summer I was unable to
follow through on my big annual cruise plan. Nothing was going to get in
the way of this probably final getaway opportunity.
The plan is to drop the
mooring tomorrow morning after a couple cups of coffee and head up the
coast to Cape Ann. I expect I’ll find a slip at Brown’s Marina and Yacht
Yard – but if not, likely one in Rockport Harbor further up and around.
The wind should be favorable if light, from the SW to S for the next day
or two at 5-10 mph; seas 2-3 feet. If everything works out as I expect,
I’ll be in Gloucester sometime tomorrow afternoon and spend a few days.
I’ve still got vacation days
coming and – so long as the 5MileWifi system continues working – through
LogMeIn I should be able to work if necessary through my home/office
workstation. I expect I’ll need to, as the death-to-computers guy I work
with is getting out a fundraising letter that already is past deadline.
(As I told Barbara today, when he still hadn’t gotten it to us yesterday
as promised, “He can’t even be on time when he’s late.”) His rebuilt
laptop still sits in my office, humming again and ready to go; he hasn’t
had the time or inclination to pick it up.
I bungied the 5MileWifi
antenna to a lifeline stanchion and hooked it up to the laptop. It
works, at least at the moment.
— 9:12 pm —
It’s of course really
comfortable just being aboard for the night, but I can’t wait to awake
in the morning and make ready to sail, actually drop the mooring and
head out. Boy, I’ve been chewing at this bit for weeks.
I just pulled out the Origo
stove, filled it with fresh alcohol, put it out in the cockpit and made
a cup of coffee – so good I made another, as the evening chills. I’ve
put on a long-sleeve jersey, socks and jeans. Layers are everything and
having them along and available as necessary is all. I’ve brought along
all sorts of combinations that’ll work. That and the L.L. Bean
goose-down sleeping bag that Barbara gave me long ago (which I’m looking
forward to crawling into soon) will make this as usual quite
Sunrise tomorrow is 6:20 am
(sunset is at 6:58 pm – we’re almost at the autumnal equinox, but it’s
still summer, light still overpowers darkness, yahoo!). That’s late for
me, but it’s going to be really cool at sunrise (forecast: 59°). I may
not want to budge out of that sleeping bag for a while until it rises a
bit higher and begins doing its job of warming! We’ll see.
Massachusetts Bay and Ipswich Bay (ANZ251)
NWS Taunton, MA
Massachusetts Bay and Ipswich Bay
Last Update: 715 PM EDT WED SEP 12 2012
Synopsis...HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD ALONG THE EASTERN SEABOARD THROUGH
THE END OF THE WEEK. A WEAK COLD FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE WATERS LATE
FRI INTO EARLY SATURDAY. HIGH PRES THEN BUILDS INTO THE NE FROM THE
GREAT LAKES SUN INTO MON.
Tonight: S winds 10 to 15 kt...becoming SW 5 to 10 kt after midnight.
Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Thu: S winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Thu Night: S winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Fri: S winds 5 to 10 kt...increasing to 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon.
Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Fri Night: S winds 10 to 15 kt...becoming SW after midnight. Seas 2 to 3
ft. A chance of showers.
Sat: NW winds 10 to 15 kt. Gusts up to 20 kt in the afternoon. Seas 2 to
3 ft. A chance of showers.
Sat Night: NW winds 10 to 15 kt. Seas 2 to 4 ft.
Sun: NW winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 2 to 4 ft.
Sun Night: SW winds around 5 kt. Seas 2 to 4 ft.
Mon: SW winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Mon Night: S winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Fair - 63° F
Wind Speed E 3 mph
Barometer 30.32 in (1026.2 mb)
Dewpoint 54°F (12°C)
Visibility 10.00 mi
Last Update on 12 Sep 7:53 pm EDT
Current conditions at Beverly Municipal Airport (KBVY)
Lat: 42.59 Lon: -70.92 Elev: 112ft.
Tonight Clear, with a low around 56. Southwest wind 3 to 6 mph.
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 78. Light southwest wind becoming south
5 to 10 mph in the morning.
Thursday Night Clear, with a low around 58. South wind 5 to 7 mph.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 75. South wind 5 to 13 mph.
Friday Night A chance of showers, mainly after 4am. Partly cloudy, with
a low around 59. South wind 11 to 14 mph becoming west after midnight.
Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a
tenth of an inch possible.
Saturday A chance of showers, mainly before 7am. Sunny, with a high near
70. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less
than a tenth of an inch possible.
Saturday Night Clear, with a low around 54.Sunday Sunny, with a high
Sunday Night Clear, with a low around 54.
Monday Sunny, with a high near 70.
Monday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.
September 13, 2012; 6:45 am
Chip Ahoy’s mooring
Nature called early, awoke
and dragged me out reluctantly from beneath the warm comfort of the
sleeping bag. It’s a cool 58° under a perfectly clear false dawn sky;
dead calm. The sun’s just rising over the Marblehead peninsula and I’m
on my first cup of Folgers “Singles” teabag coffee.
Today’s weather is unchanged,
still looking great for the sail up to Cape Ann. It’s nice to be in no
rush. I just dropped a couple shades in the cabin to block the blinding,
low, and rising sun. The sky is cloudless and it feels like the
temperature is rising.
The cockpit has become rather
disgusting; dirty, graying with dirt or mold. It’s hard to believe that
I had it immaculate, waxed and shining before launching in the spring,
and I’ve hardly used Chip Ahoy this season. I’m tempted to consider
trying to clean it up at least a bit in my free time over the next few
days after reaching my destination, but common sense says why bother at
this point in the season. I suppose it’d look a lot worse if I hadn’t
put in the effort last spring washing and waxing. It’s just kind of
I’ve still got to call
Brown’s Marina when they open and assure that I have a slip there later
today for the weekend, or make other arrangements. It’s going to be a
slow morning aboard, no rush to move. I’m simply appreciating ‘living
aboard,” having a second cup of coffee, waiting for the wet condensation
in the cockpit and on the deck to evaporate before I think about moving.
It’s nice to be not in any hurry: If I drop the mooring by 9:00 it’ll be
good; a little later won’t matter either.
I’ve got to check the gas
tank, maybe swap them over. The primary tank was pretty low the last
time I checked. I’ll refill it when/if I get to Brown’s Marina, but the
6-gallon backup tank is reassuring, enough to comfortably make it
through what remains of the season.
Friday, September 14, 2012; 7:30 am
Brown’s Yacht Yard & Marina
So far it’s been a very
enjoyable and relaxing getaway – no rush, just leisurely taking my time.
What’s perhaps the best is, everything seems to be working well, all at
the same time for once – if just in time for the end of the sailing
Yesterday on Chip Ahoy’s
mooring I decided to have a third cup of coffee; no rush and I wanted to
wait until I contacted Brown’s Marina. When I reached Val, she assured
me they had a slip waiting for me.
I dropped the mooring at
10:20 am and motored out to Salem Sound. There was still no wind, so I
didn’t even bother to hoist sails – another sailboat coming out didn’t
either. It wasn’t until almost reaching the Misery-Bakers Islands
channel that some breeze showed up. Outside the channel and into
Massachusetts Bay the wind finally arrived, generally as forecasted, WSW
to SW at about 7-10 mph; the sea was running at a comfortable 2-3 feet,
The main sail went right up
to the top; recently lowering the boom cured the sail-bagging problem at
the boom. The genoa too is now shaped as good as it’s likely going to
get. Unfurling it fully then tightening the halyard, while Caleb Jacoby
was aboard a couple of weeks ago at the tiller, made a slight
difference, but the shorter cable I made at West Marine this spring for
its tack to furler-drum is still maybe three-eighths, half an inch too long; the head
of the genoa is all the way to the top of the mast/furler swivel.
I found myself sailing quite
a bit off course along the way, just taking advantage of the wind, in no
hurry to reach Gloucester, just enjoying the experience. Once inside the
breakwater at Eastern Point I dropped sails and motored, after checking
the gas tank yet again. It was getting seriously light, but I didn’t
think I needed to swap tanks, thanks to not needing the motor since
Salem Sound, but it was getting close.
I called ahead, let Val know
I was approaching. Tom was waiting at the slip to direct me in and give
me a hand with the dock lines. After settling up my bill and grabbing a
block and bag of ice, I ran the 5MileWifi antenna up the mast then
hooked up to shore power. My 30-amp plug wouldn’t fit the 50-amp plug on
the dock electrical box, but Val loaned me an adapter.
After connecting, I hooked up
the battery charger then the laptop. Wow, even the 5MileWifi system
was working, though I’m still not clear how the TP Link software
installed by Digital Docs works – I got a great signal, automatically!
Enosmarine network to which it defaulted is working just fine, and I’ve
used it before while here. I’m not about to mess with success, risk
I stopped short of rigging
the “pup tent” over the boom, will do that this morning as showers are
in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning. Yesterday there was no
reason to have it up, and I just wanted to relax and otherwise get
settled in check things out.
I was able to connect to my
home/office workstation computer – expecting I’d need to catch up with
our organization’s belated fundraising letter, format the PAC mailing –
but Barbara and Chipster, the third staffer, had dealt with it more or
less; were going with what they have. It’s nice to be not needed while
off on vacation!
Early last evening I walked
up to “Expresso’s” restaurant for my traditional New York steak dinner.
It didn’t reach my expectations, for the first time, but was a decent
meal and I was hungry. I planned to pick up a cup of coffee next door at
the Tally’s convenience store on the walk back to the dock but was
disappointed; they shut off the coffee machines at about 3 pm. I thought
about making a cup back on the boat but that would mean pulling out the
stove and fixings; decided to instead take a nap. I awoke early this
At 5:30 I walked up to the
convenience store and made two large cups of “dark espresso,” brought
them back to the boat. “Convenience” is accurate: I didn’t need to pull
out the Origo stove and fixings and make coffee this morning.
Today I plan to deploy the
“pup tent” and fill the primary gas tank, as soon as the dew covering
the cockpit evaporates. Beyond that, I’m on vacation. Tonight I’ll
return to “Expresso’s” for a pasta dinner (Italian is their specialty).
Beyond that, I’m on vacation until Monday and life is good, along with
the weather! I’m appreciating having a working Wifi system and laptop
access – with all that’s going on in the nation and the world,
especially now in the Middle East. Even when I get away like this it’s
not total, if I can help it.
Saturday, September 15, 2012; 8:35 am
Brown’s Yacht Yard & Marina
While I’m steaming mad, first
I’ll jump into my review of The Digital Docs, the small computer repair
business in Marblehead run by Stephen Bach. I keep going back to him
with this same problem, between the 5MileWifi system and my laptop. He’s
got them working together twice now – but only tentatively and
temporarily – merely long enough for me to reach a new cruise
destination where it again craps out. This happened in Provincetown in
July, and just happened again here in Gloucester. His response – when I
can reach him – is “bring it into the shop when you get back.”
Back in July while stuck in
Provincetown, using a very weak Wifi signal and the laptop’s onboard
card, I e-mailed him:
The entire reason I brought this problem to you after the last cruise is
that I've spent a whole lot of money on boat and systems -- just so I
can take a couple cruises like this a year. The two I've managed (and
this one has now morphed from "long weekend" to my annual vacation at my
job) I spent working on this laptop and 5MileWifi problem(s).
I continue to think the problem, like the solution, is small and with a
modicum of help I can fix it.
Apparently -- like 5MileWifi -- I'm not going to get any help here
either. . .
I brought the laptop back to
him again when I got back home. He got it working, again (another $90).
I didn’t bring the laptop aboard until Wednesday evening for the
Gloucester getaway cruise. The laptop/5MileWifi system worked perfectly
on Chip Ahoy’s mooring, it worked the first night and morning here. It
stopped working again yesterday afternoon – precisely the very
same situation that confounded me for over a week in Provincetown,
that Stephen supposedly fixed again upon my return.
I e-mailed him yesterday:
Strangely this is also exactly what happened when I arrive in
Provincetown last month. It worked initially a few times, then this same
problem appeared and remained – until you did whatever you did when I
got home and brought it to you.
I'd really appreciate if you can tell me what you did, so I can do it
and get to use the laptop/Wifi at least once this summer before hauling
out Chip Ahoy for the winter. This is the last cruise where I'll have
the laptop aboard. I only bring it along when I'm going off for a few
days, like this. It has yet to work consistently if at all this summer.
After again wrestling with
the problem for a couple hours and giving up, I called his shop
yesterday at about 4:00 pm, left a message. I called again forty-five
minutes later, left another message.
Meanwhile, I kept plugging
away (took a few screen shots of the situation and sent then on to him –
but using the weak and intermittent local wifi signal and the laptop’s
internal card, they took about 20 minutes to send): The 5MileWifi is
picking up dozens of strong signals; I’m connecting to Enosmarine,
signal strength “excellent,” 54 Mbps and a full five green bars. When I
try to get online – by various browsers or to send/receive e-mail – the
result is the same: “No Internet Connection.”
I called the shop again and
got what Stephen calls his “emergency after hours” phone number. I
waited until after 6:00 pm for a callback before calling it. He was
“just sitting down for dinner with the family,” would call me back in
In an e-mail I sent him at
7:08 pm, in part I wrote:
I can bring it back to you – when I get home – but this is the end of my
need for it until next spring. This is that iconic definition of
insanity; doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different
result. I expect it'll be the same dog chasing its tail next summer.
If I'm not going to have 5MileWifi the only limited times I need or want
it, why do I want to pay you to have it working when I don't? And if you
can't help me when I need it, well, we're back to the definition of
I wrestled with it a while
longer then gave up.
This morning I walked up to
the convenience store for coffee at about 6:00, took the cell phone with
me so I didn’t miss his call, though didn’t expect it that early. Back
aboard, I wrestled with the problem again with the same results –
nothing new or improved. The laptop is still picking up an excellent
signal using the 5MileWifi connection – but nothing on the laptop works
I walked up to use the men’s
room; when I returned aboard I discovered a text message on my
Sent from: 781-632-3319
Sep 15, 6:43 am
"Sorry. Off the clock this weekend with family. Can't solve problem
remotely. When the laptop leaves the shop the wireless is functional, so
i have no answers. Follow the protocols I wrote down last time. Other
than that, I am stumped. Recommend switching to a wireless modem with
data plan. Back on Monday morning at 8am."
Thanks so very much for your
interest and empathy, Stephen. A text message response? I guess you
didn’t want to talk with me.
I’ll find a more responsible,
“customer-centered” computer repair service for the organization and
myself when I get home.
“Other than the
assassination, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” Yesterday otherwise (was
there an “otherwise”?) was a settling-in sort of morning. I pulled the
gas tank out and refilled it ($4.53/gallon, Gulf premium unleaded).
Again I was surprised by how much remained while I thought the tank was
going to fumes: There was still over a gallon.
I filled the gallon jug of
convenient water for coffee, stowed beneath the bunk, and then deployed
the “pup tent” in advance of this morning’s showers. I appreciated
having it up under yesterday afternoon’s sun, and it’s nice for a bit
more privacy at the dock as well.
I read for a while (“The
Confessor,” another novel by Daniel Silva), had a light lunch (the other
half of my ham and swiss cheese sandwich and a small bag of Cheese-Its),
then took a nap. When I awoke and fired up the laptop the headache
appeared. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening wrestling with
it. At about 8:00 pm when all else failed, I walked up to Expresso’s
across the street and had a great meal of penne and meatballs, salad,
and fresh-baked bread with an olive oil dip; all for $15. On the walk
back to the marina, this time the convenience store still had coffee
available, so I grabbed a cup and brought it back aboard.
Yeah, back aboard I had to
take another shot at the laptop – but didn’t waste much more time
bashing my head against the bulkhead. It was just not going to work – I
had to be patient, wait for Stephen’s call in the morning. I surrendered
and pulled out the sleeping bag, read for a while then called it a
– 10:00 am
– it’s mostly cloudy, the showers have passed. Just light showers it
was, though the sky became dark, almost ominous as the front moved in
and over. The sun has begun to again peek out. It’s supposed to make a
full return soon and last through Tuesday afternoon, when the next front
brings heavy rain. I’ll be home on Monday so that won’t affect me.
Greg, down from his Vermont
mountains, is on duty today, “in charge” as he calls it, since he’s the
primary if not sole marina guy here over weekends. As I walked up the
gangway to the men’s room early this morning he was standing at the top
grinning, shook my hand and welcomed me back. He’d spotted Chip Ahoy
down on its slip, looked it up on the marina register. We talked for a
while – he was impressed by my 5MileWifi potential but baffled by the
problem. He’s got his laptop in the office but isn’t a ‘techie.’ We had
another good ‘reunion’ but I had to cut it short and get back aboard in
case Digital Doc Stephen calls.
I’ve got no plans for today.
I’ll likely waste more time on the laptop doing the same thing over and
over while expecting a different result – but maybe I’ll get lucky,
uncover the solution: Hope springs eternal. Stephen left me with
nothing, so now it’s me or nobody – until I can find someone better than
him or me. It’ll have to be me now or someone else later.
– 6:10 pm
– It’s been an interesting afternoon while relaxing. When I walked back
up for another cup of coffee I offered to pick one up for Greg, who
accepted. We got talking further about my Wifi situation, then computers
in general, then politics, then the late Jerry Williams of WRKO fame. He
was stunned to learn of my long relationship with Jerry and so it went.
When I told him about rebuilding Chip Faulkner’s laptop from scratch
last week he was equally stunned that I knew how.
He had his laptop here,
showed me to it. One thing led to another and soon I was fixing minor
annoyances on it he’s been living with. It’s so nice be able to do such
(to me) little things that makes life so much better for others.
Besides, I didn’t have anything more pressing to do anyway; it was a fun
way to spend my time away.
Greg Porter owns 405 acres of
Vermont mountain paradise up in “The Kingdom,” will show it to me
tomorrow by satellite on Google Earth. I showed him aerial photos of my
new property back at home.
At about 4:00 I decided it
was time to get on with my chores for today. I’ve been intending to use
the dock hose to wash Chip Ahoy – especially the tern guano on the
roller-furler drum and anchor beneath the bow pulpit. Then there was the
now-necessary shower. This didn’t take long, though after undressed and
ready to step into the main shower stall I discovered it didn’t work,
had to move to the second shower room. As I keep learning, roll with the
It’s been pretty windy here
today; the latest weather report is calling it NW at about 10, but it
sure seems higher in the harbor here. I watched a sailboat going out
earlier, about the size of Chip Ahoy, with a reefed main and no jib.
This seemed about right for the conditions. It was being pushed along
energetically with a decent heel.
It’s supposed to become very
cool tonight, high-40s is forecast. I’ve been comfortable overnight so
far within the cabin and beneath my down sleeping bag; expect to fare
quite well. It’ll soon be time for dinner (the sun’s going down fast
now), so it’s back to Expresso’s; tonight I think I’ll try its pub side,
instead of the restaurant – if I recall, they offer a good bowl of chili
Sunday, September 16, 2012; 9:10 am
Brown’s Yacht Yard & Marina
It was an unusually late
start this morning. I awoke as usual just before dawn, took care of
nature’s call then closed up the cabin again and crawled back under the
sleeping bag – whoa, it was cold – at 47° I guess we’ve gone from
“chilly” to legitimately cold. I napped for a couple more hours, quite
warm beneath the down bag; decided I could wait for my first cup of
coffee until the sun came up and it warmed a little.
Fall/autumn (the autumnal
equinox) doesn’t officially arrive until next weekend, I just heard –
but as usual hereabouts, the feel of it is in the air soon after Labor
Day Weekend goes by.
It’s reached 60° heading for
just maybe 70° later this afternoon, so I walked up to the convenience
story and picked up a couple cups of coffee, one for Greg already atop
the dock in the office.
Last night, when coffee was
again unavailable at the convenience store on my walk back from
Expresso’s, I broke down and pulled out the Origo stove and coffee
fixings, made a cup aboard. It was getting cool even then, mid-low 50s.
I could imagine that I may not want to hike up to the coffee in the
morning anyway, might rather just boil some up from here to start the
morning. Instead, I did without, choosing the warmth of the sleeping bag
over coffee and an early start.
“Mr. Bullfrog,” the large
sailboat that tied up alongside at the next slip (no homeport
displayed), just pulled out. The woman aboard told Greg and me earlier
that their terrier climbed into their bunk last night – Greg noted that
it must have been “a one-dog night.” Funny; when I spoke with her by
cell phone earlier this morning, Barbara told me Gilly the Cat did the
same with her this morning. Does this make it also “a one-cat morning”?
Last night at about 7:30 pm I
headed up to Expresso’s for dinner, sat on the pub side this time and –
sure enough – found chili on the pub menu, ordered a crock with cheese
and bread. I was in the mood for a simple meal and it was perfect.
The plan is to depart here
tomorrow morning, probably between 9:00-10:00. The NOAA/NWS weather
forecast looks good:
Monday: Sunny, with a high near 72. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming
southeast in the afternoon.
Tuesday looks miserable, but
I’ll be home by then:
Tuesday: A chance of showers, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a
high near 73. Southeast wind 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 40%.
I’ve got an extremely weak,
intermittent, wifi signal using the laptop’s internal card. I think I’ll
bang my head against the bulkhead one more time, see if hooking up the
5MileWifi system has fixed itself since I disconnected its USB cables
from the laptop yesterday.
I e-mailed Digital Doc
Stephen Bach pertinent excerpts from this log/journal last night,
prefacing it with:
“Please feel no need to respond. I don't suspect you would anyway,
He burned his bridges and now
so too have I. His was through apathy and inconsideration: My
bridge-burning was intentional, so that I don’t forget and return to him
Monday, September 17, 2012; 8:30 am
Brown’s Yacht Yard & Marina
Another chilly night aboard,
the temperature dropping to 44° at about 2:00 am, only 51° at dawn.
Another morning when the right thing to do felt like staying beneath the
sleeping bag until things warmed up a bit. It’s now 57° on its way to
the mid-70s this afternoon. I walked up to the convenience store half an
hour ago, brought back a large cup of coffee, and am slowly breaking
inertia, starting to reorganize the cabin.
Yesterday, while Greg and I
were working with his laptop up in the marina office again, he showed me
his 405 acres way up in Vermont via Google Earth. (I had to reinstall it
for him – he once had it, he said, but it was no longer there.) While
talking he mentioned my old friend, Gene Burns – WRKO talk-radio host
back in the late-80s and early-90s when I was just starting in my new
vocation. I told Greg he could listen to Gene at his present location,
KFO in San Francisco, over his laptop with streaming audio. When I tried
to find the link to it, Gene was no longer there. We did further
research and discovered he’d had a stroke back in April and was no
longer on-the-air! At least he’s still writing a blog; his mind is
functioning, just no longer his voice.
Last night I walked up to
Expresso’s for dinner, ordered the crock of chili again, but this time
it came with Nacho chips – even better.
Once it warms up a little
more it’ll be time to get serious and prepare for departure. I expect
that’ll happen sometime soon after 10:00 am. I’ve learned that, once I
get started readying the boat, it usually takes only half and hour, 45
minutes – but this is one of those rare occasions where everything
including the dock power cord and battery charger have been deployed
over the weekend.
Gloucester/Marblehead: NW -> NE @ Noon -> 1:00 pm SSE
Wind speed: 3-8 mph, gusts 4-10 mph.
NWS/NOAA - Gloucester:
Today Sunny, with a high near 71. Light and variable wind becoming south
5 to 8 mph in the morning.
NWS/NOAA - Massachusetts and Ipswich Bays
Massachusetts Bay and Ipswich Bay (ANZ251)
Last Update: 715 AM EDT MON SEP 17 2012
Synopsis...LEFTOVER SE SWELLS FROM HURRICANE NADINE WILL CONTINUE TO
ERODE TODAY ACROSS THE SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND OCEAN WATERS. OTHERWISE HIGH
PRES SLIDES OFF THE MID ATLC COAST. A SLOW MOVING COLD FRONT WILL
APPROACH THE WATERS FROM THE W TUE NIGHT...THEN SWEEP ACROSS THE WATERS
WED. THE FRONT IS FORECAST TO STALL AND REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY E OF
CAPE COD THROUGH FRI WHILE HIGH PRES BUILDS OVER THE CANADIAN MARITIMES.
Today: W winds around 5 kt...becoming SE this afternoon. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
Tonight: S winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 2 to 3 ft.
September 17, 2012; 8:00 pm
I didn’t depart Brown’s
Marina this morning until 11:00 am. It was so calm that I was able to
cast off unassisted, though Tom had offered to lend a hand if I needed
him. After motoring out into the harbor I hoisted the main sail, but it
wasn’t doing very much. As I was heading for the mouth of Gloucester
Harbor, the 131-foot schooner “Harvey
Gamage” of Bath, Maine, came sailing in.
It was soon followed by the
90-foot schooner “Thomas
E. Lannon,” berthed in Gloucester.
The temperature had climbed
with the sun. Before reaching the breakwater at Eastern Point a NE
breeze had picked up so I changed over to shorts, t-shirt and sandals
then unfurled the genoa. Once outside the breakwater the breeze became
steady at about 8 mph, gradually drifting from the NE to SE by around
noon, where it stayed.
The sail back to Salem Harbor
was very pleasurable with the steady breeze and temperature in the low-
to mid-70s under a cloudless, sunny sky. I had Chip Ahoy tied up to its
mooring by about 3:15 pm then set about reorganizing the boat and
packing up. When I had everything ready to, I decided to take a nap
aboard, called and told Barbara I’d call when I was ready to come home.
At 6:30 I closed up the boat for departure, called Barbara then the
I loaded all four bags onto
the launch to bring ashore in one trip. Barbara was waiting at the top
of the dock. I lugged the two heavier bags – the laptop and seabag – up
first and loaded them into her CRV then went back to the end of the dock
and brought up the other two. She drove them up the hill to our lot
while I picked up the Blazer in the town parking lot and drove it home.
Another enjoyable and reasonably successful getaway cruise was done,
likely the last of Sailing Season 2012.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Home — Marblehead, MA
5MileWifi System Problem — Postscript
Last night I e-mailed Digital
Doc Stephen Bach, in part:
I’m home again after a great sail down from Gloucester today.
I left shortly after responding to your message this morning; thought of
a better analogy on the way home that perhaps you can relate to. . . .
Can you identify at all? How would you feel? That’s what I go through
each time your fix isn’t and I try to reach you.
Frustration in the extreme, buddy. I hope you and your family had a
better weekend than I did.
Again, all I need to know is what you learned in order to fix my problem
long enough to get it out of your shop. Once I know what you did/do,
I’ll never need to bother you again. This seems so simple.
How much will that cost?
He replied this morning:
"I am having Rhonda (my assistant) open a support ticket with your
vendor to see if we can get to the bottom of this. The problem is that
THERE IS NO SIMPLE FIX; I cannot tell you what I did, other than the
protocols that I wrote down for you the last time you were here. I spent
several hours trying to get it to work, so there is not a one or two
sentence explanation of what I "did/do" to get it to work!" . . .
". . . We should not be penalized because the vendor is unwilling or
unable to help. Their own drivers on their web site do not work!!!
"We are now trying, at our own expense, to see if we can get a more
satisfactory result for you. If we are unsuccessful in getting a
response from the vendor, I'm afraid there may be nothing more that we
can assist you with. We've got 4-5 hours into your problem now over
several months, and all we have is an unhappy customer and frustration
on our part also. We did not go into business to disappoint customers."
I appreciate his response and
offer, if after-the-fact again, but don’t know if he’ll have any success
with 5MileWifi. I never have, which is why I brought it to him
initially. I also don’t know if I want to risk going through this all
over again – have a system that works out of the shop again only until I
reach my next destination where it craps out again.
My options are: 1) Find
another computer repair service and give the laptop, antenna, and system
to them — hope for the best but risk the same frustrating result, or; 2)
Buy another laptop over the winter and hope for better luck with it come