Project Time!

Ahhh … Springtime … back in Connecticut, thoughts of … boat projects!  All boats (especially 14 year-old ones) require lots of TLC.  The project list grows during the winter in the Bahamas as it’s impractical to even attempt to have boat parts shipped there.

This spring began with replacing an increasingly problematic charger/inverter.  Except while running our engines or with solar power, it is our only way to charge our batteries with shore or generator power.  Doesn’t look like much, but critical!It also inverts our 12 volt battery power to 120 volts to run various small appliances at anchor.  Of course, our new Magnum brand charger/inverter is a completely different size & shape, with wiring terminals at opposite locations.  Oh, did I mention it weights 45 pounds, is mounted upside down in a very small locker of Lori’s clothes?  Theoretically a 3 hour job, 4 mounting screws & a few wires, it took 13 hours, excluding a custom exhaust vent contraption using various Amazon parts, a fan & thermostat (when “cookin” – charging our batteries at up to 106 amps creates a lot of heat!).

Next on the list was servicing the fuel injectors of our diesel engines & generator.  For all we know, they’ve never been serviced.  My first fuel injector experience was a little unnerving, especially reading some articles warning that if you this or that incorrectly, you’ll destroy your $20,000 engine!  First removing them … could be easy or in some cases require a specialized $500+ extractor tool.  Prepping for surgery with “lap towels” soaked in “blood” (pink dyed diesel fuel), all went fairly well, sent them to the “lab” (diesel injection specialist) & waited.  A few days later, the call came “Bad news … tests came back positive for complete nozzle failure”.  Oh, well, except for the $1,500+ (cough, cough) cost, it was actually good news as the re-building with new nozzles should provide increased engine performance & make the entire ordeal worthwhile.  They were returned as-good-as-new, blister-packed & all.  The re-installation went fairly well … until one of the injector mounting plates fell down between parts of the engine.  4 hours later over 2 days, I declared defeat & had to order a replacement.

All these projects make you hungry … so off to the donuts!  We recently heard great things about a donut truck in Colchester, CT called Redneck Donuts.  While only open Friday – Sunday, they offer pre-ordering from their nightly list on Facebook.  Neither rain nor Covid could prevent us from driving 35 minutes to pick up some scrumptious donuts!  Well worth the drive!


Even Lori can’t live on donuts alone!  We saw in the news that fishermen & oyster folks in Connecticut were being devastated with restaurants barely operating, so we had to do something!  Off to Noank!  We enjoyed waterside lobster rolls at the famous Abbott’s Lobster.  But Mystic Oysters was our true destination!  Darn … only sold by the bag of 50 for just $30.00, freshly harvested that morning (well … that was the line the old guy sitting in the chair told us 🙂

Boy, were they good!  Even giving 1/2 to family, that still left 25 to shuck & enjoy over 2 nights.

It’s a wonder to watch workers at a raw bar shucking them sooo easily … after a while I began to use a hammer to “help” as I was taking way too long.  We paired our oysters with a Sheer Chardonnay wine from Stonington Vineyards, just a few miles away from Noank.  Perfect!


When not being my chief tool-fetcher, fellow donut & oyster eater, Lori herself has been very busy as well!  With her jewelry making in full gear & lots of Covid lockdown time available, she bit the “ohhh should I really do this?” bullet and set up an Etsy shop. With creative assistance from dear ones and much decision-making, CraftMadeIn was born on May 28. Will the rest be history? and do you want to be part of it? Check out her offerings and if you “tell two friends”, I’m sure she would be thrilled. Feel free to click the above link to her shop!


Back “Home” to Connecticut

We never tire of passing by this lady on our way thru NYC into the East River

What a change of plans!  We had planned to be in Sarasota, Florida on May 5th for our 30th wedding anniversary, as we were married on a trawler on Sarasota Bay all those years ago. COVID-19 sure put a halt to that.  Instead, we are almost 1,500 miles (by water) north of Sarasota back in our old hometown of Essex, Connecticut, almost running right up the foot of Main Street, as they call it. This is the spot the British landed their raiding party in April of 1814, torching all of the ships & resulting in the single greatest loss of American shipping of the entire War of 1812.  The story is an interesting read: British raid on Essex 1814

Instead of Florida 80’s, it was quite chilly in the 50’s.  Attempting to put a positive spin on things (& since Lori was sick of preparing 99% of our meals during the last many months), we ordered a luscious lunch to-go from the famous Griswold Inn, a short walk up Main Street.

Here we were 30 years ago – at least neither of have changed a bit!

We spent the rest of the afternoon in nearby Hamburg Cove, an all-time favorite of ours over the years, especially with Benj when he was younger & even going back to my childhood – my parents took us 3 kids there many a weekend in our old wooden Elco powerboat.  Being so early in the season, we had the entire cove to ourselves.

Just our 1st batch of packages

With yet another night forecast to be in the 40’s, we relented & proceeded to our temporary summer home at Safe Harbor Deep River Marina to plug in.  Ahhhh, no weather issues, endless power, heat, A/C, water, cable TV, laundry on-site, a car (thanks Seth!) & almost daily Amazon packages (thanks David!).  After a short break, we’ll be getting right into our dozens of projects, which this year will include some engine work too – I’ll be learning all about working on fuel injectors!

We’d still like to spend part of the summer in Maine – we’ll see how the summer shapes up with COVID-19 concerns.