Meandering Through Mercury’s Winter

An unusual sight around here.

What’s the saying? ‘Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night…”  If you think that is the official motto of the Postal Service in this country, you would be wrong. That is the official motto of the owners of S/V Andromeda. That’s us. Except fot the heat part. There is none of that, so just substitute the word ‘sleet’ and you’ve got it. During Snowpocolypse 2014, we are truly in the proverbial ‘winter of our discontent’.  With Mercury firmly in retrograde, slowing everything down and putting all kinds of roadblocks in paths, I’m practicing my cat-like waiting and watching mentality when it comes to getting anything done. I understand that’s the lesson of Mercury retrograde periods. Introspection, patience, acceptance. I’m not good at some of those things, but I’m trying. So progress of any kind lately has been slow going, for sure.

And that includes posting to this blog. Because my computer has died. Again. Thanks, Mercury. I’ve decided to name my computer Lazerus because Mike has had to bring it back from the dead so many times. I wonder what that means I should be calling Mike. So I’m posting this from my little Asus netbook, and it’s slow going. Mercury retrograde is no time to be trying to get computers to work outside their comfort zone. I THINK I finally got Picasa to work but we’ll see. I know computers are supposed to make our lives easier and all that, but really, I could have mailed a roll of film and had it developed and mailed back in the amount of time it got me to get Picasa to work, and with a lot less cursing.  Plus, I wouldn’t have had to agree to allow Big Googly Brother to know where I am at all times and when I go to the bathroom and whether it was number one or number two before getting my photos. Google Plus. REALLY?   Why not just ask for my firstborn child? The Red Blooded American in me screams in protest at these instrusions into my privacy. Discontented, indeed.

These beautiful little Aussies from Gearhart Australian Shepherds brightened our day.

But, computers aside, there isn’t much to report on progress in the Andromeda arena. My prediction is that she will not be back into the water until the third week in March, anyway. We keep going down to Astoria, but it’s now more of a ritual and a feeling that we need to check on her than to actually get much done. This weekend we traveled down, deciding to spend the night in our friend’s ocean cabin in Long Beach rather than spend the night on Andromeda. That was a very wise decision as Snowpocolypse 2014 hit about 30 minutes after we got the heat turned on. We had a cozy evening in front of the gas fireplace, eating popcorn, watching movies, and relaxing. Mike braided my hair. That part was kind of pathetic, but fun.

Mike uses his laser vision to look for Andromeda on the far shore of the Columbia River.

You know how you can just tell when things are not going to work out as planned and you have to be flexible (code for ‘sailing’).  That’s what we were dealing with this weekend. First the snow. Then when we arrived at the boat yard, we had no automobile access to the yard. There was a fancy new security gate that we had to open with a special card; the kind we do not have; because no one has bothered to give us one. Who knew? I’m all for security at the boat yard, but somehow I kind of thought that since we are paying for the use of said yard, we’d, I don’t know, be IN THE LOOP when it comes to receiving things like key cards. The previous week we had no access to the bathrooms because they had changed the security codes and failed to tell us. If I didn’t have high self esteem I would think it was a personal affront. But I believe it’s just poor office practices

So we parked in the upper parking lot, climbed down the cement retaining wall into the boatyard (oh yeah, that security gate is REAL secure) and climbed up onto the boat to find that she was suffering from snow standing on the decks. Know this: you will know every leak in your boat when snow starts to melt on your deck. Ugh. Warm weather cannot come quickly enough for me so we can start getting some of these things fixed. With the temps hovering around 34 degrees, it was simply too cold to work effectively. Stainless steel ladders are very cold and slippery in that kind of weather. We went to the Columbia River Maritime Museum instead. An excellent and safer choice.

The front window exhibit at the museum. Yikes! Very dramatic to be sure.

If you’ve never been to that museum, it’s totally worth a trip to Astoria to go. It’s small enough to see in an afternoon, but the displays are very cool, even if disturbing. Of course, many of them are all about the ‘graveyard of the Pacific’, as they call the Columbia River Bar. I talk myself off the ledge about that by focusing on how many boats cross that bar safely every day, and knowing we’ll wait for the right window to try it. It’s all about the window of opportunity. Still, the Coast Guard averages more than one rescue per day per year in this area. They are busy folks.

All this stuff, much of which is unidentified still.

Since we last checked in with the blog, two things have been accomplished: First, we brought home all the various containters of screws, bolts, nuts, and assortments of pieces and parts stored hither and yon in Andromeda. We stashed them on the dining room table and I commenced to spending my evenings sorting them and organizing them. The screws and such were easy, if numerous, but the parts and pieces had us scratching our heads. Many things are unidenifiable, making us fearful of throwing them out, but not knowing if we really need them. Anyone know what these things are?


We probably kept too much, but you never know when someone in an anchorage somewhere will need a plastic knob with a screw on one side or a piece of aluminum with three holes bored into it in random places. Some people might see these as trash. We see these as karma kitty material.

The other thing that happened is this:

A beautiful sight! New shaft!

Now we are waiting for the weather to warm up, for our propeller to get here, and for Mercury stop being apparently backwards. We can’t have that fiberglass repaired until the weather is a little warmer. Maybe by the time we get her back in the water our dock will be repaired and we can put her into a protected slip rather than at the commercial dock where she has been since the piling fell over. Until then, we meander through this winter and try our best to be contented.


22 thoughts on “Meandering Through Mercury’s Winter

  1. Interestingly enough, you and Dani must be in sync. Her computer which I have saved many times finally bit the big one and we were forced to order a new one for her.

  2. The Huh? with wires is a temperature sensor. The construction is typical and the PTC on the upside down tag gives it away. No idea which type exactly, maybe a PT100 (100 Ohm at 0°C) which is ubiquitous.

    The other part… I’d guess again electronics. Probably a diode, maybe a resistor, maybe even something fancy like a transient voltage suppressor. Impossible to tell without markings or testing. Could also be something mechanical that I would not think of. 🙂

    • My first thought was an electric blasting cap… but Temp sensor sounds better 🙂

      Let’s just say that I can’t wait until I retire from the military 😉

      • That would work too.
        Yet another item for the ever expanding “Innocuous stuff that will get you into deep trouble with airport insecurity” list. Obviously talking about the PT100. 😀

        Thankfully the booming stuff is supposed to be controlled, have markings, and different electrical characteristics.

  3. Seems that the unusually brutal weather in the US has as all crawling along at a snails pace. Why haven’t I blogged? Because I just can not get excited about partially finished carpentry work, no matter how lovely the radius curve is!

    Hang in there! Warmer weather is coming!

    • Yeah, after a project drags on for while it sort of loses its charm. Still, I consider my job right now to be just to sit back and wait for things to come together. I mean what can we expect? It’s winter!

  4. As a reformed (as in, I’ll never do THAT again with people depending on me) System Administrator, I’ve developed a simple, but effective policy towards computers.
    1. Buy Apple
    2. Buy the AppleCare plan.
    3. When the AppleCare plan expires, buy a new computer.
    4. If problems occur during the AppleCare plan, ask for help. It will be immediate, effective, and graciously given. You’ll be productive again quickly and feel like it was worth the money. Kind of like AAA for computers.
    5. Keep buying Apple.

    Computing is enough of a headache, and of reasonable cost, and human life too short, that I just pay what it costs to have no headaches over the span of the AppleCare plan.


    • You speak with words of great wisdom. Our son is a complete Apple convert and recently hooked me up with an iphone which I admit that I love. Ccomputers do wierd things for me. And we have a lot of computers in the house. I should probably just take the Apple oath and be one with it.

  5. Good luck with the cold, chica! It’s already starting to get hot here, which is not a plus in my book after last summer in Banderas Bay. It made me want to move to Alaska, though that could have been the whole pregnancy thing.

    • I prefer weather that is in the middle, not the extremes of either end. But one thing that is sure as taxes and death is that this world continues to turn and the seasons change. So eventually we’ll get that fiberglass done!

  6. I sure hope it warms up soon too. This week, I’ve been in Tampa, FL area and heading back tomorrow (Fri) back to the sub-freezing temps of TN. 🙁

    Went to the Gulf Coast around here earlier to watch the sunset and thinking how much I would love to be out on the water sailing off beyond the horizon.

    Think warm thoughts, it’ll be here soon enough.

  7. I’m cold inside just looking at your pictures, although those puppies look warm! This very cold winter for us has given me a new found respect for people who live day in and day out when the temps are in the 30’s. You guys are tough.

    Just like you we have SO MANY SPARES PIECES. Screws, bolts, nuts, strange misc things. Right now they are all in a top drawer on the boat but we’ll need to figure out how to store them when we don’t need them front and center. I like the plastic storage bin you have there. Maybe something like that because Tate doesn’t want to leave any of them behind.

    • We got those at Harbor Freight if they have that down in LA. I figure even if we don’t need some of these things, other people we meet along the way might need them. If’s a fine line between storing enough stuff and storing too much stuff.

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