We came to Kerpa May 8 with the expectation that she should be, more or less ready, maybe just a few days to put some final touch on her. But she was not ready at all, we were told that end next week she would be ready. We now reading May 30 and we still have at least a week more before she is ready. Very disappointing but fortunately we have time and can change our plans, the change of plans also means that our son and granddaughter probably cannot come to visit us. The plan was that they should fly up to Halifax and sail with us in Canada, but now we do not know how far north we can get within the time frame we have and flight ticket prices has gone through the roof so no visit from them unfortunately.
The ballast keel has just been attached to the hull when we arrived.
Delamination that have not been attended
General chaos aboard
Kerpa has been painted with Alwgrip and a new boat strip that better represent how Kerpa floats on the water, but the copper coat has not been applied.
A lot of things remains to be done and difficult for us to start with the work that we have planned to do before we cast off. But a few things we manage to do
The old anchor chain was running on over time so we
had ordered 400 feet 120 m of 3/8 inch G4 chain that we marked, and I pulled aboard with muscle craft as we did not have any batteries aboard.
Next project was to install the new batteries 8, 34 kg batteries, the old one was 110 Ah each, the new one bought from USA but probably made in China was on 135 Ah, so we increase from 440 Ah to 540 Ah. The brand is V-max and the price for this AGM batteries was very attractive compared with other AGM batteries, at least 1000 $ lower than 8 high end group 31 AGM. The spec for the V-Max is good and have very good rating from the one who bought them from Amazon. Next time we change it will be LiFePO4 batteries.
Installing the new wind transducer
Kerstin clean and wash the mast, much easier now when the mast is down, probably a decade since it was done last time.
A new block in the mizzen mast secured with a Dyneema loop, now I dare to go aloft in the mizzen mast with the Balloner halyard, before we had to take down the mizzen sail and go aloft with the mizzen halyard, very unpractical.
A new line cutter was ordered to replace the old broken one, but “of course” it was the wrong size so had to order a new one, but now the correct one is in place. Very good to have as we will sail up to Maine with lobster pots everywhere so very easy to get stuck on a Lobster pots.
Now place for the new ones
Numerous cables to be ripped out to be substituted by fewer NMEA 2000 back bone cable.
This crow nest of cables need to be tidied up
Some items now ripped out, but that is the easy part the problem is to pull all the new cables and connect them correctly.
Keeping a boat in ship shape demands a lot of skills, hopefully I will finish all the necessary work with out to many hiccups’, bruised knuckles and hopefully my self-confidence not to damage, if I’m lucky it might even get a boost.
It is difficult to work when the yard also is working on Kerpa so I only work on the boat during the weekends, so I make a mess inside on top of the mess they have made.
When we could not work on Kerpa we have to pass the time sometimes by eating, and finally we got to try the Chesapeake Bay oysters. We tested two types, the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island sound oysters. The Long island was better, but they lack the freshness of oysters from the open sea.
Now we sound like really spoiled sybarites but actually none of us have had oysters very often but even so we could judge the quality.
But Marguerites together with salt peanuts in the shell (can’t understand how they get them salty in the shell, but they tasted very good) is not bad either when waiting for a nice steak.
Or a beautiful Café Latte.
Rock Hall not fare from Georgetown were Kerpa is, soon it starts to rain again.
And when they are working on the boat we did some traveling. But before we could start our trip, we had to wait out really bad weather. It was torrential rain ca 300 mm in a few days, thunder storm and the weather system were very bad. Our idea was to visit some national parks on the way to Nashville and maybe travel all the way down to Key West, but the forecast for the whole stretch from Philadelphia down to Key West was BAD. One day we got mail from a cruising friend who was anchored in Key West, they had been hit by the lightening with severe damage as consequence.
So instead of going south we went north.
But first we had to visit US Boarder Control to get a new cruising permit (CP): Last year when we got the previous one, we asked how do we get a new CP, he said you and the vessel need to leave the country for 14 days, then you can enter again and get a new 12 month CP. I then asked if I only ask for a 5-month CP, can I they get the remaining 7 months when asking next time? Well I do not know he said different officers will interpret the rules differently. OK how wold you interpret the rules if I ask you next year? He thought for a while and then said if I had a good day I would probably grant you a new CP. With that in mind we called the US Border control and told them our intention, the officer was very friendly in his voice and said no problem just visit us and we fix it. Sounded good, but never take out a victory in advance. Finally, we got there, downtown of Baltimore after navigating heavy traffic and finding a parking spot. After passing security we then handed over our old CP, the officer looked at it and with a different voice he said I can not renew this on! Shit I thought, Why not? it expire tomorrow he said ( it was a year minus one day since we got our last CP). Well after some discussion I manage to point out for him that the old CP was only for 5 month and 7 month remains, he had never seen a CP of less than 12 month. He sat down in front of his computer for a long time and he looked very concerned, but finally we got a new CP for 12 month and we, who would be very happy with 7 Month, our fear was that we had to go direct to Canada. It was with a light hart we went out from USBC.
Next stop was New London close to Defender the boat equipment shop I use to purchase via internet most boating gears such as the chain, pumps, ropes etc, etc from. And of course, we did not get out from the store emptyhanded I can assure you that. The second most important place to visit was Cape Cod. We use Google Map to guide us when traveling and it is very convenient, I wonder how did one found the way in the old days?
The trip north took us close to New York with all the risk of traffic jam that could offer, but Google told us frequently about delays due to traffic jam and suggested alternatives directions we should take. We followed the advice from Google but that we should probably not have done. It led us on motorways that cost a fortune, we paid all in all 48 $ and the “Climax” was a trip over Washington Bridge for 16 $ in toll fee, that ended up on north Manhattan!!! (On the way back we toke a long detour well west of NY it added an hour or so nominally but we had a very beautiful ride back and as it was the Friday before the long weekend with “the memorial” day we guess we actually saved several hours by not getting stuck in any traffic jam)
Cape Cod was on the list for last year’s cruise, but weather did not permit us to get there, so why not have a pre-visit by car on this remote place before we pas by on the way north this year I thought. Well Cape Cod is not remote at all on the contrary vert large motor ways leads out to Cape Cod. Numerous with exclusive mansions and a big part of the island is owned by the Kennedy family.
Just a small house down town Provincetown of course with a sea view.
It was a fantastic early summer day
With flourish gardens
With lilacs and
Lillie of the valley both iconic and essential early summer signs in Sweden after a fierce winter and a cold spring we adore these flowers as they are tokens of the nice summer approaching, a real treat for us Nordic persons to see on this side of the Atlantic
Maybe cold in the water not many took a swim.
The South East corner of Cape Cod very beautiful, anchoring in the bay is a possibility in good weather for the brave or foolish captain, it is tempting unfortunately I do not think we could enter even at high tide, with local knowledge it is probably possible but definitely not without.
This is old whaling ground most villages has connection with the old whaling industry, in New Bedford there is a large Whaling Museum where one can see this model of a hart from a Blue whale
Massive hart that pump a few tons of blood a grown man can crawl up into the chamber.
Herman Melville the author to Moby Dick has of course been here
First edition of The Whale or Moby Dick, I have nor read it yet, but I will definitely do it soon.
In Mystic one can see the last and still sailing whaling ship Charles W Morgan (1841) it was active as late as during the 1920th
The sleek boats they went out to harpoon the whales with
The other crew had to share space
This is where the cook worked, a tough and probably not so rewarding task. I can recommend reading Wolf Larsen or the Sea Wolf by Jack London a story about a hunting vessel not for whales but for seals, where the cook a noble man and the ruthless but well-educated captain Wolf Larsen discuss poetry and Darwinism aboard the ship, a side character is Wolf Larsens brother Death Larsen who is far more brutal than Wolf Larsen and lack the interest in literature and poetry. Well worth reading.
When visiting whaling museums, one dismays about the slaughter of these magnificent mammals, how could they pray on these animals to almost extinctions? Well first one thinks they did not know better then, but then one realise the devastation of the globe is 10 fold worse today with enormous overfishing of the oceans, billions of tons of plastic waste in the oceans, massive deforestation one can go on and on counting to many examples of the over exploitation that occurs today. Some of them with the excuse of being environmental friendly such as oil palms on Borneo covering thousands of square kilometres where it previous was jungle only to produce “Bio-Diesel” to replace some of the fossil diesel fuel. Politicians could easily reduce the fuel consumption in a minute with legislation that drive the industry and consumer much faster towards smaller and/or more fuel economic cars……
Well that aside in Mystic there was a lot to see, I can recommend a visit.
A very big area is dedicated for old maritime history, many boats and ships being restored to historic glory.
Next in line was a traditional fishing vessel that fished the North Atlantic for Halibut and Cod with long lines with hooks, a potential “sustainable” method with very little catch of unwanted fishes especially compared with trawling. I remember as a very little boy seeing the movie Captain Courageous with Spencer Tracy in the leading role, fishing from such a sailing vessel, a very exciting and emotional film, the first time I cried when seeing movie, probably close to 55 years since I saw the movie and I still remember it, would love to see it again.
The cook had his place in the fore peak not the easiest place to cock in bad weather when fishing wintertime in the North Atlantic.
In Mystic they also had a guest exhibition from Uppsala about the Vikings. Nice to see.
Where to stay
As we can not stay on Kerpa we need to find an alternative. And a great alternative that we have discovered is Airbnb, one rent a room for a few days in someone’s private home, and rather often they are not home when you arrive, but they have left the key for you to find. You enter a private home and try to locate your room a very special feeling we have not get use to yet, it feels much better when the owner is at home when we arrive.
Here we stayed at an Organic farm, we use to have our breakfast on the terrace overlooking the
A posh house just at the water front, no one at home and opened the door when we arrived, we got a good laugh when we saw the toilette.
You might see the big “toilet roll” above, first we wonder why, then we realize everything is big in America especially some very big behinds so of course there is a need for some big toilet paper rolls. We had a very good laugh at that, no offence we hope.
Some living is very basic
Others are more magnifique place also empty, we had to find our way yo our room by our self, a strange feeling.
Warm and welcoming
So, we bought some lobster to boil, tasted good.
This is a Dutch barn more than 200 years old.
I can strongly recommend Airbnb, it is much cheaper than hotel, you meet a lot of people most of them interesting and or interested in you. But now we have lived more than three weeks with the rental car as the only fixed point carrying cloth, toiletry, food, etc in and out of more than half a dossing of Airbnb. Restaurant food most every day. This life is not only tiering it make a deep hole in our cruising kitty, we are really looking forward to moving aboard Kerpa