The Doobie Brothers gave black water a certain charm and romantic quality. Keep on rolling, funky Dixieland, pretty mama, Mississippi moon, and all that. Well on a liveaboard, black water is just gross. So basically the rule on Misty Pearl is to use the marina restroom for anything solid. Visitors are welcome but beware. We don’t like pumping out.
At The Yards, this simple rule unfortunately isn’t so simple. There’s a restroom, of course, with a code on the door. But the lock doesn’t work so the door always is open. Plus the code is 1234*. (Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.) The door is about 5 feet from a dockside bar. Bar patrons don’t really care about cleanliness. The entire A dock, however, is rising in revolt so maybe things will improve.
None of this matters to Oscar, who thinks the best place to poop is on the dock right in front of all the people lining the rails to look at the pretty boats. We pretend we don’t know him but the leash probably gives us away.
As for the boat, things are coming along although we still have work to do. We changed the engine oil (the old oil was the consistency of hummus, which can’t be good), replaced some equipment, and have other projects rolling. And hey, the showers work great.
In the midst of this came the Spring Rendezvous. Twice a year, America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association holds a conference for those on the Loop as well as those planning to do it. The Spring Rendezvous includes numerous seminars relevant to the northern half of the trip as well as general topics of interest. We drove down to Norfolk for this year’s spring event.
Apart from picking up some of the the tip of the iceberg of information that we sorely need, we met some great people and saw some really cool looping boats. About 50 cruisers of many types and sizes docked outside the hotel. Most of them opened up for visiting.
We already knew Barry Newland, who with his wife Robin owns Crossroads, one of the other three Selene 43s on the Loop this year. Crossroads is hull 9, launched in 2001. Barry helped us get to Colonial Beach and we’re counting on him for tips as we travel. We also met Jeff and Terri Culy, owners of Change of Pace. Change of Pace is hull 19, made in 2003. (Misty Pearl is hull 15.) Both Crossroads and Change of Pace are beautiful and were admired appropriately by the masses. Misty Pearl of course remained in Washington with the same electrical problems, no TV, and the other things we still need to sort out. However, we look forward to crossing paths with our sister boats as we all move north in the next few weeks.
We have fleet shirts arriving tomorrow before we head home, which still sounds weird when home is a boat. We stopped by West Marine today and snagged updated charts for the chartplotters as well as the rest of the small things that one is obligated to buy on each West Marine visit. Like a dog-catching net in case one of the boys falls overboard.
The best news is that Mike and Max from ZMI have resolved the battery charger issue—caused by poor wiring from earlier non-ZMI work—which is a huge relief. We still often wonder what our surveyor was doing for his money but that in general is of secondary concern. The DirecTV guy is coming on Monday. Maybe this time for real.