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Old 11-11-2019, 07:17 PM   #141
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Well, it sounds like normal boat life times three, or so. This is a great adventure thread and it might retain more it's flavor accompanied by separate technical threads.

Maybe start new threads on separate discussions of different problems and link them here.

Atlantic City holds fond memories from my childhood with big wooden hotels, diving horses, electric eels lighting light bulbs, and such. Last time back, more recently, it was like a third world slum. Leaving was probably a good start.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:18 PM   #142
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This is the third time I've typed this entry over the course of the last couple of days. I keep thinking, naa, just cool down Dave, and then I delete it. Well, the time has come. I need to vent.

I have not been enjoying the last several days of this adventure. I spent most of my time in Atlantic City just trying, and failing, to do simple chores. I knew everything was going to take a little longer and more effort living aboard, but actually living it has been really frustrating. It took me all morning to get my laundry started, after wandering around an enormous marina, trying to find someone who worked there to give me the code, then wandering around a casino trying to find change to make the broken machines work. Getting groceries and making a failed attempt at picking some things up at the hardware store got me to sunset, and by the time I'd eaten something and cleaned a few things, I was spent for the day.

That night, woke up at 0330 to a funny sound and a very cold boat. The funny sound and cold air were both coming from my furnace. I was out of propane. No worries, I had a second tank that I'd just filled up a few days before. When I went to hook it up, I found that it had emptied itself. I suspect a faulty tank valve, because when I tried to work the valve, it felt wonky, and I couldn't tell if it was open or closed. So I went back to bed with extra blankets. It got down to 27 that night.

The next morning, I spent a couple of hours taking my empty propane tanks for a ride into town, and meeting new and interesting uber drivers.

Once I finally got underway, I found good, calm, sunny weather for my passage to Cape May. The seas were oily smooth, and I made good time. I wished I could carry on with the good weather, but there wasn't really any obvious destination I could reach before nightfall, aside from Cape May. I dropped the hook at around 1500.

I had a long list of things I should be trying to fix, but wasn't interested, and was really tired of troubleshooting and thinking about boat stuff. I feel like I've been spending a lot of my time trying to figure out why any number of devices is beeping at me, or not working like I think they should, and it's really grating on my nerves.

I went to bed early.

The next morning, I checked the forecast and decided to make a run across Delaware bay. The forecasts I'd seen were calling for 1-2 footers. I did not find 1-2 footers. I found steep 4 and 5 footers. I tried for a while to see if I could find a comfortable course and failed. I got my ass handed to me. When the coffee grinder destroyed itself in an epic explosion of beans, I bravely turned tail and headed back to anchorage.

I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why my propane system won't stop beeping at me. I could not. I also tried to figure out why my tank tender isn't accurate. I could not. It was another frustrating day, and I found myself questioning my life choices.

I also found myself wondering why my house batteries are discharging so quickly. I then found myself wondering why my generator isn't charging the batteries. Now that I'm in a marina, I'm also wondering why the hell I can't get any AC power onto the boat. Also, as of about 10 minutes ago, my generator wont run. It starts, then stalls. excellent.



This whole enterprise is starting to feel like a huge mistake. I'm feeling very disappointed, and very lonely.
David, maybe get a hotel room for the night or two. A good nights sleep in a warm, quite environment, will make a big difference. The weather is going to suck Tuesday and Wednesday so will be good days to sort things out on the boat and go back to a warm room at night.
I have never boated on the Delaware but I am guessing it is like many other bays and inlets. The seas are dependent on current and wind direction. When opposing they will not be good. Don’t rely on weather forecast to predict seas in these bays. Look at current and wind.
Hang in there! We’re rooting for ya!
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:20 PM   #143
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2nd the take one at the time to fix with the additional caveat that you first establish which is most important. If you plan to fix a bunch of stuff before moving on, you may want to have the heating problem resolved first so you can be comfortable and rested for the next day's challenges. The battery charging issue might be next since really bad things can happen when they are dead. The generator issue ranks right up there, but its place in the lineup will be dependent upon your plans for moving on down the line. I forget, where are you bound?
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:42 PM   #144
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2nd the take one at the time to fix with the additional caveat that you first establish which is most important. If you plan to fix a bunch of stuff before moving on, you may want to have the heating problem resolved first so you can be comfortable and rested for the next day's challenges. The battery charging issue might be next since really bad things can happen when they are dead. The generator issue ranks right up there, but its place in the lineup will be dependent upon your plans for moving on down the line. I forget, where are you bound?
Good advice. Triage is the key.

Get some rest first, to bring back that Clint Eastwood gunslinger glint back into your eyes, then start picking off those puppies one by one.

If it was easy, any schmo could do it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:27 PM   #145
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Dave, sounds like a let down after a high. Remember, you`ve changed your life, radically. You had companionship on board and you don`t now. And you were cold, and frustrated in a variety of ways trying to get warm, that has to make things testing. Just being cold, persistently, is not good, especially if it`s getting borderline hypothermic.
You probably need to take a few days out and get some things fixed, with professional help if the jobs need it, or just to speed up the fixes.
That you typed the post multiple times before posting says you are bothered about admitting all is not smooth going. But that`s life, new boat,new systems, new lifestyle. You might be setting expectations high, and disappointed when reality doesn`t live up to hopes.
Keep at it. Keep posting. Find friends, even transient ones. Socialize. Keep talking here.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:14 PM   #146
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This is the third time I've typed this entry over the course of the last couple of days. I keep thinking, naa, just cool down Dave, and then I delete it. Well, the time has come. I need to vent.

I have not been enjoying the last several days of this adventure. I spent most of my time in Atlantic City just trying, and failing, to do simple chores. I knew everything was going to take a little longer and more effort living aboard, but actually living it has been really frustrating. It took me all morning to get my laundry started, after wandering around an enormous marina, trying to find someone who worked there to give me the code, then wandering around a casino trying to find change to make the broken machines work. Getting groceries and making a failed attempt at picking some things up at the hardware store got me to sunset, and by the time I'd eaten something and cleaned a few things, I was spent for the day.

That night, woke up at 0330 to a funny sound and a very cold boat. The funny sound and cold air were both coming from my furnace. I was out of propane. No worries, I had a second tank that I'd just filled up a few days before. When I went to hook it up, I found that it had emptied itself. I suspect a faulty tank valve, because when I tried to work the valve, it felt wonky, and I couldn't tell if it was open or closed. So I went back to bed with extra blankets. It got down to 27 that night.

The next morning, I spent a couple of hours taking my empty propane tanks for a ride into town, and meeting new and interesting uber drivers.

Once I finally got underway, I found good, calm, sunny weather for my passage to Cape May. The seas were oily smooth, and I made good time. I wished I could carry on with the good weather, but there wasn't really any obvious destination I could reach before nightfall, aside from Cape May. I dropped the hook at around 1500.

I had a long list of things I should be trying to fix, but wasn't interested, and was really tired of troubleshooting and thinking about boat stuff. I feel like I've been spending a lot of my time trying to figure out why any number of devices is beeping at me, or not working like I think they should, and it's really grating on my nerves.

I went to bed early.

The next morning, I checked the forecast and decided to make a run across Delaware bay. The forecasts I'd seen were calling for 1-2 footers. I did not find 1-2 footers. I found steep 4 and 5 footers. I tried for a while to see if I could find a comfortable course and failed. I got my ass handed to me. When the coffee grinder destroyed itself in an epic explosion of beans, I bravely turned tail and headed back to anchorage.

I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why my propane system won't stop beeping at me. I could not. I also tried to figure out why my tank tender isn't accurate. I could not. It was another frustrating day, and I found myself questioning my life choices.

I also found myself wondering why my house batteries are discharging so quickly. I then found myself wondering why my generator isn't charging the batteries. Now that I'm in a marina, I'm also wondering why the hell I can't get any AC power onto the boat. Also, as of about 10 minutes ago, my generator wont run. It starts, then stalls. excellent.



This whole enterprise is starting to feel like a huge mistake. I'm feeling very disappointed, and very lonely.
Ok, let's talk about the problems.

Generator may be starving for fuel. After your foray in 4 to 5' seas, you may have stirred up some gunk in the bottom of the fuel tank. Check the first filter on the generator. If that is the problem, check the first filter on the engine as it may be getting plugged also.

Regarding the batteries: check the water level if open lead acid. Check voltage of each battery to see if they are all the same.

Regarding the generator charging the batteries: Does the battery charger work on shore power? Do the batteries charge off of running the main engine?

Regarding shore power: Do you have a multi meter to check voltage? If so, start with the pedestal outlet. Then the boat end of your shore power cord. Did you switch the breaker panel from generator to shore power?

If you get frustrated or need some helpful suggestions, give me a call. I will PM you my cell number.

Best of luck!

Ted
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:16 PM   #147
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Hang in there Dave.
Like the idea about staying at a hotel (at night) for a day or two. Also, try to get some second eyes and hands to help with troubleshooting / repairs.
wishing u the best!
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:53 PM   #148
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This is the third time I've typed this entry over the course of the last couple of days. I keep thinking, naa, just cool down Dave, and then I delete it. Well, the time has come. I need to vent.

I have not been enjoying the last several days of this adventure. I spent most of my time in Atlantic City just trying, and failing, to do simple chores. I knew everything was going to take a little longer and more effort living aboard, but actually living it has been really frustrating. It took me all morning to get my laundry started, after wandering around an enormous marina, trying to find someone who worked there to give me the code, then wandering around a casino trying to find change to make the broken machines work. Getting groceries and making a failed attempt at picking some things up at the hardware store got me to sunset, and by the time I'd eaten something and cleaned a few things, I was spent for the day.

That night, woke up at 0330 to a funny sound and a very cold boat. The funny sound and cold air were both coming from my furnace. I was out of propane. No worries, I had a second tank that I'd just filled up a few days before. When I went to hook it up, I found that it had emptied itself. I suspect a faulty tank valve, because when I tried to work the valve, it felt wonky, and I couldn't tell if it was open or closed. So I went back to bed with extra blankets. It got down to 27 that night.

The next morning, I spent a couple of hours taking my empty propane tanks for a ride into town, and meeting new and interesting uber drivers.

Once I finally got underway, I found good, calm, sunny weather for my passage to Cape May. The seas were oily smooth, and I made good time. I wished I could carry on with the good weather, but there wasn't really any obvious destination I could reach before nightfall, aside from Cape May. I dropped the hook at around 1500.

I had a long list of things I should be trying to fix, but wasn't interested, and was really tired of troubleshooting and thinking about boat stuff. I feel like I've been spending a lot of my time trying to figure out why any number of devices is beeping at me, or not working like I think they should, and it's really grating on my nerves.

I went to bed early.

The next morning, I checked the forecast and decided to make a run across Delaware bay. The forecasts I'd seen were calling for 1-2 footers. I did not find 1-2 footers. I found steep 4 and 5 footers. I tried for a while to see if I could find a comfortable course and failed. I got my ass handed to me. When the coffee grinder destroyed itself in an epic explosion of beans, I bravely turned tail and headed back to anchorage.

I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why my propane system won't stop beeping at me. I could not. I also tried to figure out why my tank tender isn't accurate. I could not. It was another frustrating day, and I found myself questioning my life choices.

I also found myself wondering why my house batteries are discharging so quickly. I then found myself wondering why my generator isn't charging the batteries. Now that I'm in a marina, I'm also wondering why the hell I can't get any AC power onto the boat. Also, as of about 10 minutes ago, my generator wont run. It starts, then stalls. excellent.



This whole enterprise is starting to feel like a huge mistake. I'm feeling very disappointed, and very lonely.
Wifey B: I told you to go to the casino and gamble a little and eat at the buffet.

Seriously, that would have been good for you, or at least something similar. You can't focus on the boat every hour of every day. Watch a movie or read a book. Wake up in a boat with no heat, lots of hotels near and it's off season. Regardless you need some escape, even if just a day. Go see some nearby tourist sight.

Laundry. Ok, if there's any one thing that can make your life better on a boat, I vote for washer and dryer. Even a combo unit will handle what you have. It takes one of the most frustrating, time consuming items and reduces it to three minutes putting laundry in and three taking it out.

Then, sometimes you need to lean on others, professionals. It's worth paying for a couple of hours of a pro if it helps you keep your sanity....oops....I mean.....well, we know you're not sane, which is why I adore you....so whatever you have that comes close...oh helps you keep your good humor.

Also, understand there's experience and lessons learned. Every problem is new today, but down the waterway you'll recognize them. There will be fewer at a time. Plus you won't make the same mistakes, well more than a dozen times at least.

Spend some time around others. Did I mention Casino. Real thing wasn't to gamble but change environment for a day. Oh, the neon and lights and sounds are so good to liven you up. Go to the marina or wherever just to talk and pass the time or do so with another boater at the dock. Every hour, every day, doesn't have to be productive, waste some, it's yours to waste as you see fit.

Knowing when to hold em and when to fold em doesn't mean you quit the game forever, it just means you know when you have an unplayable hand so you wait for the next cards. It applies here. I remember once in NC we lost power, couldn't find a flashlight. Power came back soon, we didn't need one so didn't look. Lost it again. It was getting colder inside too. Now we find out it could be a while. Well, we put on some clothes and didn't even pack anything and jumped in the car and went to the nearest hotel. There simply was no use beating our heads against the wall or depending on power to return. It didn't until about 10:00 AM. Also, from knowing when to hold em and when to fold em, more poker analogy coming up. When you're at a table, you know when your focus is slipping. Maybe you had a bad beat or maybe you're bored or maybe something someone said or did or maybe you're tired. Well, you don't fight it. You get up and do a "walkabout." Or you leave. You just know to do so before it costs you as you might have made a stupid play on the next hand. Well, on the boat you have to know the same. When to get up and go do a walkabout.

Now, if you don't learn when and how to escape before it really gets to you, then it won't be the stupid %@$%$##& propane valve you're angry at but it will be the boat and the entire idea of boating. You enjoyed round one, with family, on the canals. Maybe call them and ask how things are and describe your problems with humor as you normally do. At least the conversation can help. I could talk to my five year old niece, Aurora, any time and suddenly life would be good. Keep the word "walkabout" in mind. It's for your own good.

You know, when I taught, there was a thing teachers would do sometimes and that is take a "mental health day." Students should do the same. We not only allow but encourage them in our business. When you just don't want to be there one day, then don't. I don't know if it's the whole feeling of playing hooky or what it is, but that one day can change your entire outlook. Don't be afraid to take one.

Don't be too tough on yourself or Sylphide. Relax a little, refresh, recover and then set easy expectation to just address one thing. Don't even think about the others until you deal with that one.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:34 AM   #149
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And don't forget: breathe, and relax. You're alive. You'll be fine. BandB's advice is priceless and many others, too.

*and thanks for the heads-up re. post #84; will look now.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:41 AM   #150
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Just read the specs and looked at the images: Slyphide is a magnificent vessel, one I'd be very happy to own. Some early teething problems, is all.Take one problem at a time, after deciding which is the most important to you; start with that one, once you're in a good frame of mind.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:56 AM   #151
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This whole enterprise is starting to feel like a huge mistake. I'm feeling very disappointed, and very lonely.
Take a deep breath....

Or two, or three, or eight hundred and forty five...

Happens I'm feeling some similar pain just now, with genset not starting and a main engine alternator not alternating. It'll get better... for both of us. One step at a time.

-Chris
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:38 AM   #152
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And most importantly, don't forget this: Once you get these issues sorted out, you'll know the boat that much better. Which means going forward, everything you encounter is that much less of a big deal.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:41 AM   #153
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The Adventures of Sylphide

Hang in there!

I have felt similarly disgusted with my boat before, but things always seem to slowly work themselves out with a little thought and effort, and then I once again remember why I like the boat. As some wise person said, things are never as bad (or good) as they seem.

Many of the long time posters on here are very knowledgable (not me) and will walk you through these problems. Lord knows I’ve had to lean on them for help throughout the years, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:04 AM   #154
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Story time

There once was a time in my life where I was trapped in a job I hated, my health was suffering, and I wasn't physically able to do the things I love. The stress of it all had me thinking I had Celiac Disease, what with all the chaos in my guts.

One day walking to work in about a 25 knot wind, I came across a young Western Hemlock tree about three feet high. I stood there watching the Hemlock for a while, fascinated by the way it was shrugging off the wind gusts.

It would lean over with all of its branches shaking and flying in the direction of the wind, then when the gust finished, it would come back into perfectly balanced vertical symmetry.

It had a profound impact on me at the time. When I was feeling overwhelmed I would tell myself, "Be the Hemlock" and visualize that little tree shrugging off whatever the winds could throw at it with quiet grace.

Might be an irrelevant story and meaningless to you, or anybody else feeling stuck in some negative chapter of their lives, but hints that we are more resilient than we know.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:46 PM   #155
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Thank you everyone. I really do appreciate the support. I guess the honeymoon period is truly over. Turns out she farts in bed and constantly hassles me about the position of the toilet seat. In fairness to Sylphide, It's true that I do snore, and a couple of those bed farts may have been mine. Now begins the part where commitment and hard work are needed to keep this relationship going.

I spent some time last night talking to the PO, and tried some more troubleshooting. No joy yet, but there's a tech here at the marina that is supposedly coming down to help me sort some things out, although he said he'd be 'right out' about two hours ago... Hopefully I can check off the AC / battery charging issue today.

If not, it's not the end of the world. I'm currently charging my batteries with the main engine, so I'm not completely out of options. The heat is working fine, I've got plenty of fuel, and aside from not having any hot water due to my electrical issues, I'm comfortable enough for now. The weather is cold and gray and sleety, so I'm not going anywhere until tomorrow.

I've shifted my plans a bit, and won't be trying to make it all the way to Norfolk this time around. Instead, I'm going to try to make Annapolis, and plan on keeping her there for my next trip back to work. While I'm there, I'm hoping to hire someone smarter than me to check a few of the more important things off the list, and hopefully I can get caught up enough to not feel quite so overwhelmed. I'm sure it won't be the cheapest option, but at the moment, I've got more money than skills, and I think It'll be worth it.

I think It's time to hire an engineer who can teach me stuff. My worst enemy right now is my own incompetence. There's just so much I don't know, and the learning curve is awfully steep from where I'm sitting. I need a turbo charged infusion of knowledge and hands on instruction.

If I don't get this AC issue sorted out today, I'll start another thread with specifics.

Thank you all so much. I owe you all beer and a hugs.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:54 PM   #156
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Hey Dave, that's good news you have heat and help coming. I'm pre-building my electrical system on paper for my boat. I'm using Nigel Calder's book. It's really great and useful for understanding marine electrical systems and some other systems onboard. Check it out. It's work the money to me. maybe early X-mas present.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/00...language=en_US
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:16 PM   #157
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I've shifted my plans a bit, and won't be trying to make it all the way to Norfolk this time around. Instead, I'm going to try to make Annapolis, and plan on keeping her there for my next trip back to work. While I'm there, I'm hoping to hire someone smarter than me to check a few of the more important things off the list, and hopefully I can get caught up enough to not feel quite so overwhelmed. I'm sure it won't be the cheapest option, but at the moment, I've got more money than skills, and I think It'll be worth it.

If it helps, Zimmerman Marine at Herrington Harbor North marina in Deale, a bit south of Annapolis, has a good rep for marine services. Not impossible to get to Reagan airport from there, or even BWI.

And then there are also several options in Annapolis, maybe if transport to BWI is a deal to solve. Bert Jabins, Port Annapolis, probably others.

There's also Dave Skolnick (sp?; posts as "Auspicious" in cruisersforum) in Annapolis, and he knows electrical stuff.

-Chris
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:19 PM   #158
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You are gaining so much valuable knowledge and experience in a compressed period of time! It WILL all be worth it.

Also, keep in mind my good friend Bob Bitchin's favorite saying: "The difference between ordeal and adventure is attitude". Of course, even he will admit that occasionally you need a bit of time to foster the right attitude!
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:50 PM   #159
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Dave wrote:
Quote:
I think It's time to hire an engineer who can teach me stuff. My worst enemy right now is my own incompetence.
That's exactly what I've done: I found an old boat electrician who can't work or move very well any more, and I do what he tells me to! I have learned a great deal, and completed the first big three wiring tasks. My soldering has improved out of sight, and I installed a fridge last week (this has made a huge difference to Seabiscuit already). It's not that "you'll get there" it's "you're getting there already but are not aware of it".

@MurrayM: love the "Be the hemlock" story!
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:54 PM   #160
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Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
..."The difference between ordeal and adventure is attitude"...
That's a good one. It's getting written down
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"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
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