Saturday, September 27, 2014

PAX River

This morning found us anchored in the Patuxent River, just off the runway at the Naval Air Station (map).  Across the river is Solomons, Maryland, where we stayed a few nights last year.  This time, we needed neither the protection nor the services (although we did pick up their WiFi), and this spot was closer to the bay. We did have to put out over 200' of chain in 30' of water.

PAX River NAS, tower and hangars.

We dropped the hook a little after 6pm, a long day for us.  The weather was pleasant, though, and the traffic from the airfield light, so we had a nice dinner on the aft deck.  In the evening I drained the tap water out of the engine cooling system and filled it back up with coolant.

Apparently I misjudged the overall capacity of the system, because I had to add an extra gallon and a half to it.  I used filtered tap water for this extra bit because I only had three gallons of distilled.  I left the domestic water heater loop valved off, so there is still a little room in there to add straight coolant later, which will get me back close to 50/50.  As it stands, we're at 40% glycol and 60% water, which is fine for most purposes, but it leaves the additive package short.

This morning we had a bit of coolant leak out from the pump when the engine was still cold, but after it warmed up the leak stopped entirely.  With the old extended-life coolant, we were seeing leakage throughout the day.  It's possible that this is the best it's going to get until we replace the pump, but if we leak only a tablespoon or so every startup we can go a long time before that will be necessary.

It's quite calm out here on the Chesapeake today, and we're having a pleasant cruise, albeit marred by an unpleasant task.  I've been calling vets in the Yorktown area to see if one will come to the boat for George's final appointment. She's still eating and drinking, but she's getting too weak to move around the boat, the episodes of dementia are nearly constant, and she mostly lies around with a vacant stare.  She does not seem to be in any pain, but neither does anything please her any longer.

These decisions are always hard.  We've been taking turns crying uncontrollably. But we know now unequivocally that it is time; leaving Baltimore we became concerned that she'd go into crisis before we make our next stop.  If that happens, there is little we can do for her for many hours until we can make port someplace, and then we'd likely have to get her into a taxi for her final ride. We'd rather her last hour on Earth not be filled with the fear that comes with any trip in the carrier, followed by the unmistakable smell of a vet's office.

For now she is resting comfortably in the salon, and we're continuing to give her subcutaneous fluids every day and a half.  When she is awake and lucid we try to give her whatever comfort we can.  And we have our fingers crossed that she will make it to Yorktown without incident.

Tonight we should be somewhere in the Piankatank River, which is incidentally where Deltaville Boatyard is located.  We'll be right back there after we wrap up in Yorktown.  On this pass, we will only go as far up the river as is necessary to get a comfortable spot to drop the hook.  Tomorrow we will go most of the rest of the way to Yorktown, with a planned arrival on Tuesday just ahead of high slack, to simplify docking.  My cousins are in route now and should be arriving late tonight.


  1. Our hearts are with you for George. I know first hand what a difficult decision that is and the courage it takes to take that next step. Totally understand your wanting to give him a peaceful passing at home. We'll be thinking of you!
    Nina and Paul

    1. Sorry I meant her. Your girl of course.

  2. My heart, and tears, are with you guys too... you have shared a wonderful life of adventure with George, and I know how much she means to you both. May her final voyage be peaceful, thank you for taking the journey with her.


  3. A horribly difficult decision we've had to make too many times. It's always so hard to know when the time is right. Our thoughts are with you.


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