We are into our second week here at Deltaville Boatyard in Deltaville, Virginia. We had mentally budgeted for a stay of up to two weeks, so no problem there, but man, has it ever gotten cold since we arrived. We had a couple of days of shirtsleeve weather last week, but now the lows are dipping into the 30s, and today's high did not break 50. At least the water is still above 50, so we can run the heat.
We did spend the weekend on the hard, which meant running our three little 1,000-watt portable heaters as high as they would go. With our integral water tank attached to the steel hull, the water was in the mid-30s when we woke up. At least we got some sunlight through the pilothouse windows in the mornings.
We had not planned on the haulout, but the stabilizer repair ran a small risk of dropping the fins out of the boat, so the yard decided to err on the side of caution and put a jack under them while the work proceeded. The plan was to do all this in the slings, but they needed the lift elsewhere and ended up blocking us. As long as we were blocked, we elected to repair some bottom paint damage as well as take care of the snubber issue.
This last item involves some paint and fairing damage on the bow where the eye/thimble of the snubber was being slammed against the hull by the bow wave under way. We talked to the yard about maybe some kind of stainless plate on the bow to prevent this, which would have been a good deal of work, but when I showed the problem to our friend, fellow boater, and engineer Rod, he suggested welding a small rod atop the bow eye to keep the shackle from rotating far enough for the thimbled eye to hit the hull. So that's what we did, and it looks like it will work well, although only more cruising will tell for sure.
A couple of big Krogens came in last week, and another Nordhavn 47 was hauled out Saturday, allowing me to get another great view of two of our favorites, the Krogen 48 and Nordhavn 47, blocked up side-by-side. The Krogen is actually a rare twin-screw example of this model, which typically has but a single engine. The Nordy came in with stabilizer problems, on the same model we have, so I was very interested in their tale.
Krogen 48 Texas Ranger on left and Nordhavn 47 Never Say Never on right, backlit by early morning sun. Compare to last week's photo of Nordhaven 47 Happy next to Selene 48 Changer.
It turned out to be three guys from Chicago -- the owner, and two buddies who were helping him move the boat from Annapolis to Florida. They had no interest in hanging around Deltaville for a couple of weeks while the repairs happened (or staying in a freezing boat on the hard), and booked flights back to Chicago out of Norfolk Saturday evening. We offered to drive them to the airport in a borrowed car, and they were very grateful -- it's an expensive two-hour cab ride otherwise.
That let us do some shopping at Lowe's on the way back, and also have a nice dinner at Fiorello's in Yorktown, a really nice Italian place that happens to be, of all places, in the Holiday Inn. The Lowe's stop involved mostly flooring supplies, for the woven vinyl product I mentioned in the last post. The tiles are here and they look great, but I needed skim coat, a contour gauge, carpet tape, and a number of other items to do the installation, sometime well after we've left the yard here.
The other thing that has happened since my last post is the Great Bridge Lock has broken. The damage involves an underwater valve, and until it is repaired -- a project which will take over a week and has yet even to be bid -- it is "open" to traffic on an intermittent basis, at the ideal confluence of low tide and minimal wind, when the levels on both sides of the lock are the same. The Corps of Engineers has cleared out the backlog of southbound boats that stacked up when the lock first broke, but the lock could close indefinitely at any time, and right now there is a small window of just a couple of hours each day when we could conceivably get through.
At the moment, we are pinned down by weather in any case. Yesterday was the last good window until maybe Friday, but our work is not yet done. We were waiting on a part for the stabilizers, which arrived this afternoon. With any luck, we will have most of the work done tomorrow and we can prepare for departure on Thursday, moving over to a different dock to re-load the scooters.
The marina and anchorage here have emptied out rapidly with the advent of the cold weather. We are the only yard boat still in the water, and only the yearly slips are occupied in the marina. We need to be moving on, before the water's too cold to run the heat, and we will leave at the next good window. Our next stop will be Norfolk, and then we'll head down from there to Chesapeake to take on a thousand gallons or so of fuel, enough to get us all the way to Florida and then some. After that, it's anyone's guess -- we'll ether make a window for the damaged Great Bridge Lock, or we'll opt to hammer through the Dismal Swamp Route, or maybe even go around Cape Hatteras on the outside. What I know for sure is that we do not want to still be in Virginia come Thanksgiving.