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201 F'n Saint

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About Ajax

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  • Location
    Edgewater, MD
  • Interests
    It's Obvious!

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  1. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    An experienced osprey couple. The new couples often build scanty, shitty nests that get blown off the marks and platforms by storms. They lose their eggs or hatchlings and sometimes try again. By the second year, they usually get the hang of it and do better. My spousal unit is an environmental biologist specializing in raptors and a primary focus in North American saw-whet owls but every year she also bands and examines osprey and she brings me along. I get to hold and help process these incredible animals.
  2. Ajax

    The changing coast of Maine?

    This thread is soul-crushing. :(
  3. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    Some of you denizens of the Chesapeake have seen these, but I had not until now. I've never seen such permanent markers for such a small body of water. These are essentially miniature, caisson lighthouses. There is a maintenance hatch to access the cast iron interior, presumably to service lights and sound signaling equipment. As you can see, they're falling into disrepair and the USCG merely uses them as something to attach the normal mark signs to.
  4. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

  5. I just finished dragging my hard dinghy around with me for 2 weeks. I bought new, spruce oars and leathers before I left. It really did work out well and I enjoyed the rowing. I can build up a good turn of speed without expending much energy. The only downside is that my spouse and I are still getting the hang of boarding/disembarking. The boat is tippy and we aren't always the most coordinated couple. Although most hard dinks have some degree of tippiness, I'll bet that there's a better dinghy out there for us that is more stable.
  6. Ajax

    Log Canoe Sailor Missing

    I keep hearing about the paddle boarder incident. I think this is mis-reporting. The SUP folks usually wear a belt-pack PFD that is a MANUAL inflator. In any case, it pays to test inflate your PFDs each winter. I'm pretty good about doing it.
  7. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    Yes. My spouse doesn't understand this. I told her that for men, going commando in extreme heat is practically a matter of survival. When I was driving patrol boats in the UAE, no one, not even the women wore underwear beneath our shorts. I did wear them on the cooler days of the cruise but still nearly ran out. So, we have returned. La Trappe Creek was wonderful and after a leisurely breakfast, we enjoyed an equally languid sail home of about 37 miles. This was the first off-wind sailing we had during the entire trip. I *finally* got to use the cruising asymm that a friend gave me. After previous runs with the symmetric and the pole, my wife was not enthusiastic. I assured her that this was easier. After showing her the snuffer, and performing a couple of practice gybes, she's fully onboard now. Lessons learned: - We pack too much food. It's not the zombie apocalypse, for Christ's sake. Also, our appetites were greatly reduced in the high heat. - We (she) packs too much clothing. Doing laundry during a cruise is not a sin or faux pas. Wearing less clothing is also acceptable. - Don't winterize the toilet with pink ENGINE anti-freeze. The anti-corrosive additive attacks the toilet pump seals. The toilet pump failed completely during the return sail home. Use the pink RV plumbing anti-freeze, but not in the engine. An upgrade to a Lavac vacu-flush is in the future. The trip was drama-free, no major equipment failures or "aw shits." I don't think we ever said "I wish I'd packed... or I forgot to pack..." No weather screw-ups. We sailed when there was wind and parked when there was too much or too little. My Samsung Galaxy Tab with a bluetooth keyboard functioned perfectly as a backup plotter below, while I used the old Raymarine C80 at the wheel. I also had a Garmin 76Cx with charts and a tube of paper charts if needed. I have one of the old Cruise-Air portable A/C units but I found that it's heavy, awkward and doesn't pack enough BTU's. I brought along a mini, residential window A/C unit that was smaller, lighter, stowed easier and did a much better job on those 2 days where we surrendered to the heat. I'm going to fashion some plastic duct work so that I can put it on the cabin top hatch instead of climbing over it in the companionway hatch.
  8. While out sailing over the past two weeks, my wife and I decided that we should make a video that spoofs as many of these vlogs as possible. We would each dress up, reconfigure the boat and film a brief vlog entry for each one, into a single compilation video.
  9. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    Howdy all- We spent an extra day in Solomons due to excessive heat and zero wind. I gritted my teeth about it but just couldn't bring myself to motor over 30 miles just to adhere to an arbitrary schedule. We fired up the A/C, swam in the marina pool, enjoyed libations, real showers, etc. When we did get underway, it was into 12kts from due north, so there was lots of tacking and chop. Like Governor's Cup, in reverse. We made it to Oxford just in time for cold showers and dinner in town. I love Oxford, quiet, quaint and lots of history. Today, we sailed to La Trappe creek in the Choptank River. As we arrived at the entrance marks, we were hit by a small, intense storm cell. Ice cold, driving rain, visibility ending at the bow pulpit made even worse by my decsicion to wear glasses instead of contact lenses. It didn't last long. This place is beautiful. We puttered to the head of the creek and sailed back down, Huckleberry Finn style. Grilled pork loin for dinner with grilled veggies from our garden. Again, someone is taking pity on us and cool, dry air is moving in. Temp tomorrow morning will be 64F. PS- I'm almost out of clean underwear.
  10. Ajax

    The Graduate

    I cannot believe that is the young boy who passed through the Chesapeake some years ago. AMAZING! Well done!
  11. Ajax

    How do you define bad crew?

    All of the rudeness, obliviousness, no-show, equipment breakage, "chatty-kathy" complaints are small potatoes. I had all of that. I sailed a shit boat so I had to cast a wide net for crew, so I netted the entire spectrum of stupidity. What broke my back was the willful disregard of the safety rules that I made 100% crystal clear beforehand. I refuse to stand before a board of inquiry and answer questions because someone was too fucking stupid to take common, basic steps to preserve their own life. Sure, I could have ejected just those individuals but racing just isn't worth it to me to wonder every time, "Is this the time I lose someone?"
  12. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    Oh- yes, we saw dolphins today, finally. They were headed south as we headed north, near Point No Point.
  13. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    Oh- a couple of photos.
  14. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    LOL...beautiful weather for the middle of July, right? Let's see... on Thursday, we sailed from Solomon's to Horseshoe Bend. We anchored under sail without even starting the engine. My wife is an alum so we had access to the SMCM facilities. She took me on a tour of the campus, we watched a bit of a riverside concert. The water was so clear that I replaced my zinc. We spent a day waiting out the blusterly northerly that passed through. I have a buddy who lives nearby and owns a sistership so he joined us on... Saturday, I think. We were also joined by Illegal Smile for a night. Sunday, we decamped and sailed back to his house at Piney Pt. in St. George's creek and discharged a couple of passengers. We also rigged my lazy jacks and I took on fresh water. We (sistership included) departed at 4pm. Since the breeze was from the NE and light, we anchored in Cornfield Harbor off Pt. Lookout for the night. This morning, we set off for Solomon's at 7am and sailed most of the way before running out of wind. I am now docked at SMSA for the night, watching the kids learn how to sail Opti's. Amusing, precious and hopeful all at the same time. The unseasonably cool air has been a blessing.
  15. Ajax

    A Form of Cruising...

    Here's the whole thing set up: As you see, you can't sail with it because it traps the mainsheet in the hole in the center, but you could motor with it on a brutal, windless day when you have to get somewhere. Not as nice as a bimini but stows quickly, requires no permanent architecture and would be simple and cheap to sew. The boat came with it.