Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Introducing Grazia!

Grazia - Noun (Italian) - Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form or proportion

There have been a lot of changes in the Rizzo household as we work toward our retirement goal of setting sail on the high seas. We bought a townhouse in Denver, CO and sold our home in Annapolis, MD.  Eileen will be heading west with Jamie to focus on helping him to become independent.  I will be living aboard Grazia in Baltimore for the foreseeable future and working remotely from Denver one week per month.

Eileen and I have been married for over 25 years now and have so very many beautiful chapters in our life book.  This is the beginning of a new one.  Personally, I am as scared as I am excited (ditto for Eileen).

To all of our family and friends; you are as welcome in our Denver home and floating home in Baltimore as you were in our homes in Penfield, Ithaca, Moravia, Holland, Kuala Lumpur, and Annapolis!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lifeline failure

Lifelines sometimes function as intended to keep one from falling overboard. There are also times where lifelines only serve to cartwheel you overboard as the top line is about knee high. Once in a while, a lifeline fails as was the case for me last weekend.  As I was leaning over the port rail to hang the spring line on the piling, the upper lifeline gave way.  Fortunately, I stayed dry!
 The piece pictured above is a swage stud.  It connects the 1/8" stainless steel cable to the pelican hook. The cracks on each side should NOT be there!

My new buddy Mike, the rigger at West Marine using the swaging machine to build a new lifeline for me. I guess he is swaging the swage stud! 

Here you can see the new swage stud and pelican hook.  The white cable is actually the nylon coated stainless steel cable. Another job done! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HMS Bounty Tragedy

On October 29, 2012 the HMS Bounty met her fate off the coast of North Carolina.  The US Coast Guard braved the conditions being dealt by Hurricane Sandy to rescue fourteen of the 16-member crew. The captain remains missing and one crew member is confirmed dead as of this post. 

HMS Bounty Sinking - Photo credit to US Coast Guard

Eileen and I went to visit the HMS Bounty when it was here at City Dock in Annapolis. It truly was a magnificent ship and it is so hard to believe that she is on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Here are a couple of the photos that I took on June 17, 2012 in Annapolis Harbor...

Stern of HMS Bounty

Bow of HMS Bounty
Port side view of HMS Bounty

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Tide is High!

This morning, I was whistling along to Blondie's "The Tide is High!" (click to listen!) This is one and a half hours after high tide on the morning of October 30th. I have never seen the water so high. The current water level is impacted by several factors; crazy amounts of rain from Hurricane Sandy, a full moon causing a spring tide, and sustained 25kt winds out of the south, which blows water into and up the bay.  I checked the boat at Noon (low tide) and the water receded only six inches.  I am thinking that tonight's high tide at 18:40 will be one to watch.  I am prepared to bring my hip boots and a step ladder! Chances are that the water will be up to the brick walkway.

In other "Sandy" news, we never lost power at home during the hurricane. The lights flickered a couple of dozen times, but I think it was the insurance policy I bought for the storm that kept us from losing power!!!...a Honda EU2000i...

This is the generator that I have had my eye on for quite a while and"Sandy" talked me into buying it...finally!  This generator has enough power to keep our sump pumps in operation as well as running the refrigerator.  It is quite small and very quiet and I plan to use it on the sailboat.  It has a 30 amp port which will provide power for the boat while anchored out. How cool is that?  Well, I think it is cool.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Here Comes Sandy

Sandy is a hurricane, currently north of the Bahamas, on the way to the Mid-Atlantic Region! I spent the morning getting Domingoman ready to weather whatever Sandy has to throw at her! I am not concerned about the wind or the rain, but I am however, concerned about storm surge.  We are on the bulkhead and have only about 4 feet from sea level to the top of the pilings.   

 Here is Sandy's projected path (five-day cone). We are hoping that it takes a more northerly path.  If the eye passes to the south of Annapolis, Sandy will be blowing water into and up the Bay.  If it passes to the north, it will blow the water out of the Bay and Domingoman will be sitting on her keel in the slip. 

 Double dock lines are in order to prepare for a storm of this magnitude

Bimini is off, headsail is off, everything battened down.  I am hoping for the best, but expecting the worst!

Weekend at Deep Creek

Eileen and I, along with two other couples were invited to share last weekend with our friends Dave and Carol Leach at their place in Deep Creek, MD.  It is absolutely God's country, about a four hour drive west. 

 Dave and Carol

We went to Swallow Falls State Park and hiked the 5.5 mile loop. Eileen and Cooper in the park office/store 

This place so reminded me of Robert Treman State Park in NY 

One of the several falls we saw during our hike 

A natural picture frame!

Not much holding this up!

Rick and Sue (front), Carol and Karin (goes with Cooper) in the kitchen.

 This place was amazing and we are thankful for the time away, for time with old and new friends.  Thanks Dave and Carol for your generosity.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kaia's first sail

On Sunday, we took the opportunity to enjoy a 70 degree October day out on the bay with our neighbor Elise and her daughter Kaia.  At 10 months, Kaia enjoyed the first sail of her life! The conditions were a little challenging with 20 kt winds and 3-5 foot rollers coming in from the South.  We reached across the bay and back and then motored around Annapolis harbor

Kaia trying out her sea legs 

Three lovely ladies 

This was the coolest thing ever! I have seen this on video before but never live.  This guy was wearing a jet pack and blasting up into the air.  You can see a marketing video here.