Our busy summer had caused Cathy to defer several sewing projects that she finally was able to catch up on. The biggest was to make a bimini for our friend, Betty's power boat. Before Cathy could pattern the bimini, we needed to repair a couple of mount points for the bimini frame. Dave managed to find a little starboard to provide the backing for one side mount, and we found the missing hardware for a good price at perfectfit.com. With a little epoxy to fill the old holes, the new mounts allowed us to open the existing bimini. Cathy used this to pattern the new bimini, which fit very well. This is her 3rd time making one, and each time she has learned more and made the building easier. The result looks pretty good, too. It also was a big help to have access to a house to work in (thanks to Sue and Steve), where she could leave the project laid out over the 3 days it took to complete.
Back at Joy's, Steve had asked for a new pocket for Bay Dreamer's starboard locker, and while she was at it, Cathy re-stitched his dodger. Orion Jr has a new grill that needed a cover, and which now has one.
It was almost by accident that we realized as we were putting Jr away for the season that there was a BIG hole in the box that held the tiller extension handle locked in place. The plastic had simply become too brittle and failed. However, the folks at Forespar were great, sending us a replacement for free. It was an exact replacement, so the work involved was mostly cleaning up the old opening and ensuring it was caulked well when installing the new – a pretty easy install.
Over on Bay Dreamer, Dave helped Steve investigate why his auto-pilot had stopped working. As supervisor, Dave got to send Steve down into the “hole” by the rudder to discover the rudder sensor had slipped out of place. He was also on hand to hellp install clips on Steve's azy jacks to make it easier to disconnect them when he wants to deploy his sun shade.
We had an unfortunate “oops” when we were showing Orion to some prospective buyers. It appeared that one of the AIS cables that connects to the PC down below had failed. This connection is critical to ensuring the AIS at the helm works. Dave ordered a new one, and it was another pretty easy install. Once in place, the AIS on the PC at the helm was working as before.
Last, but not least, Dave had to talk to the city of Hampton about a new boat licensing fee they were implementing. We had received some mail that requested feedback, but it was already late when we received it. The bottom line was that Florida hadn't told VA that we had moved Orion Jr and the portabote to Florida. Once Dave got VA DNR to confirm this, Hampton took them over their books.
On a cloudy morning, the first hint of fall after a long, hot summer, we fell in line behind the other sailboats making their way to annual Tri-Service Race, passing the aircraft carrier Eisenhower as we left the Hampton River. We were crewing this year on Bay Dreamer, with Steve as Captain and Linda as first mate. What a difference a year makes. Last year, we drifted backward toward the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel as the current overpowered the little wind to keep us from even making the start line. This year we had a good 15 knots of wind all around the course, finishing in only an hour and half, as we made the circuit off Fort Monroe, out to Thimble Shoals light and back. It was a lot of fun.
The Tri-Service is a competition between the yacht clubs from the Navy, the Air Force and (what used to be) the Army at Old Point Comfort. The cup had been ours for several years, but was lost in 2014. With much fanfare, we won it back this year, as we hosted the post-race party. There were cheers from everyone, especially our commodore in getting the cup back.
When we weren't working on boats, or crewing on boats, we had time to enjoy some dinners with friends and a few visits from Bonnie and Troy and the kids – even one where they arrived by boat after the Tri-Service race. We made it to Busch Gardens one final time for the season as well. But the biggest surprise was a visit from Tarun (a friend from our winter in Marathon) who stopped by Orion in Hampton as she was heading up to Williamsburg.