These are the voyages of the sailing vessel Pétillant. Her original eight-month mission: to sail from Baltimore to France via Florida and the Bahamas, to successfully navigate the shoals of the French douane, to boldly go where few Maine Coon cats have gone before was completed in 2008. Now she is berthed in Port Medoc and sails costal Spain, France, and the UK during the summer months.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rainy Sunday morning

We woke up about 5:30 AM to the sound of quite hard rain falling on the boat. We had to close a few hatches quite quickly, but did not notice that the USB hub for one computer got a bit wet, and therefore the mouse stopped working later. We are more sensitive to rain(and other sources of water, such as Calypso) than we used to be, but still have to work on this a bit more.

The Access Point and Vonage now work, but there are still a few bugs to iron out. The Vonage box seems to cause our ISP here in the marina to time out the connection frequently, and we have to re-login to the network. It is a hassle, especially because the phone becomes disconnected and cannot accept incoming calls. The disconnections occur every 30 minutes, or so. I think there may be a setting in the router that can fix this, but haven't found a solution yet. It may have to do with DHCP, and the periodic reassignment of IP addresses. It is a pain that I have to understand TCP/IP subnet strategies in order to connect a telephone, but I guess we are asking for some cutting-edge capability, and should be willing to suffer a bit to attain it.

"Connect everything to everything else." That was the headline on an IBM ad that I used to have posted in my cube, and I think it is a good philosophy. I still don't understand why it is so difficult...

We had a great dinner last nite. London broil, rice pilaf, spinach, salad, and a bottle of 2000 Chateau Julia(!), which we bought in NY, for only $40. Outside a restaurant, we don't often buy $40 wines, but this seemed to be a good deal, and it was. The wine was fantastic, and really went well with everything in the meal. Finished up with some nice chocolate, and a private viewing of another SG-1 episode. This am, we did eggs poached in the microwave, with herbs from our herb garden, on toast from our favorite bakery. Not bad.

The red cat is getting more and more stir-crazy. We have a new large vessel (~90-100 feet) parked behind us. It is home-ported in Nashville, and the buzz is that it was once the private yacht of some country-western singer, before it was purchased by the current owner, who seems to spend his time on the back porch staring into the distance. jlm thinks he is mean, and not amenable to red cats scampering across his decks. Dante therefore desparately wants to go on board and explore. He has already jumped down to the aft swim platform twice, willfully, in complete disobediance of direct instruction to cease-and-desist bad thoughts. We will have to spend a LOT of effort to control these bad thoughts.

We also cycled down to the Port Salerno seafood festival yesterday am. It is south of the airport, about 5-6 miles away, but the trip was not difficult, because the roads here are ALL flat. rxc had some "shark bites", while jlm enjoyed mussels. It was only the 2nd annual festival there, but they had a large number of booths, and the number of people was overwhelming. We were lucky to get there shortly after it opened. I think they will have to reconsider their planning next year, because parking will be impossible. On bicycles, it would even have been difficult to find a place to lock them up if we had arrived later. We may go down to the Greek festival at the Martin County Fairgrounds today.

At this point, the boat mods are pretty much complete. We are still waiting for the high-output alternator from Jackrabbit Marine, but that will be an easy install. Having done this sort of thing before means that I understand what needs to be done, and it will not involve much re-wiring - I have already done those major mods in preparation for this event.

I would also like to install a backup potable water pump, but first I have to find it, somewhere on the boat. This is really frustrating. We bought and brought so much stuff on-board that we have forgotten where it is stowed. An in-line water filter in the pot water supply would also be a good idea, but I can't figure out where to mount it, or plumb it. This will take quite a bit of thought, because the natural location is already taken up by watermaker plumbing and hardware.

So now rxc will settle into doing some studying for the ham radio license, and maybe doing some computer-related paperwork. Also, maybe some rationalizing of the tools and parts. We have a LOT of extra wire on this boat that we should not need for a while, so it should go into deep storage. Same with nuts and bolts and storage units for nuts and bolts. Then, we can start to buy fishing tackle!

More on Monday.

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