Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It sure is flat here

We’re in a very flat part of the world.  Last night at about 7:00 we arrived in Colby, Kansas which proclaims itself an “oasis in the prairies”.  The oasis part seems a bit of a stretch, particularly so this morning in the midst of a prairie blizzard.  It was a very well forecast blizzard and if it lives up to its forecast it will be gone tomorrow but today it is thoroughly miserable outside.  Which would be why we are not alone here on the parking lot at Colby’s Walmart.

I had an early morning orientation with the Growsafe client, Colby Community College, at their farm east of town but I have no intention of freezing my ass off in this shit.  Sitting here now with the Proheat rumbling in the background and watching the blizzard outside the window its pretty pleasant.  SWMBO hasn’t broken her beauty sleep yet so I haven’t started the Onan noisemaker either.  Eventually I’ll have to though because the diesel furnace eats away at the batteries pretty steadily.

Getting out of Nebraska means we got back into data coverage on our cell phones.  When we’re permanently anchored we have the Hughes dish for internet access but when we’re on the move we depend on our Blackberries for data access.  We can tether them to our computers to get online but as often as not I just use the Blackberry to read email or for light web browsing activity.  For some reason however we were almost always unable to get online in Nebraska.  It wasn’t that we didn’t have coverage – our phones worked just fine.  It was the data coverage that was missing.  Sasktel must not like Nebraska for some reason.  We’re really getting pretty spoiled when we expect data coverage anywhere we go.  Its not that long ago that finding cellular coverage in out of the way places was still a surprise.

Yesterday I got an email from one of our slip neighbours in Cow Bay.  He was worried about Gray Hawk because she is riding a bit low in the bow and apparently is listing to one side.  I wasn’t too worried but I phoned Barry anyway last night.  We’re at about 1/3 of a fuel load and light on water so that will make her high in the stern which makes the bow look low.  We’ve got the dinghy loaded on the foredeck because I didn’t trust British Mike to get in and out of his slip without bashing our dinghy.  Barry says the dinghy is pretty well full of rain water now which could easily put a thousand pounds of additional weight on the bow. 

Barry had been onboard and assured me we weren’t filling up with seawater.  The listing thing is a “feature” of the boat.  With dual fuel and water tanks located at the extreme outsides of the boat it is pretty easy to create an imbalance.  The tanks are crossover connected and I never thought to close the crossovers before we left.   If one side of the boat ends up a little low for some reason (like the dinghy filling up with rainwater) eventually the fuel and water will drain to that side which only makes the list worse.  When we’re onboard we manage that by shutting off one side of the water until we get back to level.   Now we mainly just need to get back to the boat because she is clearly missing us.

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