Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pre-Departure Preps & a Visit…

This weekend has largely been devoted to getting ready for our next trip….while we’ll only be gone for a week (or less), we’re anxious to get back out on the water and give Ghost Rider some much needed exercise.  Ultimate destination is St. Petersburg where we’ll hook up with some friends and family, including our kids & grandkids who will be visiting FLA for a much-needed break from the frigid weather up north.

Speaking of weather….Fort Myers got clobbered with severe thunderstorms Saturday night, and we got rocked at the marina with sustained winds of 50+ MPH that drove torrential rains horizontally.  Nearby Cape Coral, just across the river, got whacked by an EF2 tornado.  In January.  That’s pretty weird weather. 

We learned a couple of things – the way we tie up Ghost Rider at the dock is pretty secure, and that we have a at least two leaks that need to be addressed….one around the forward deck hatch, the other appears to be in the dry stack enclosure.  We made some adjustments / repairs to both today, but likely won’t know results until the next time we get rain driven by 50 MPH winds.  I can wait.

Blossom is an Absolute Beauty
But by far the most fun thing we did over the past week / weekend was to hook up (twice actually) with Martin and Stephanie about their gorgeous Nordhavn 60, Blossom.  They’ve had it parked at River Forest Yacht Center about 30 miles up-river for a few months, but are back (from SFO) to resume their winter cruising.  They were fantastic hosts and we’ve learned a LOT from them already.  Good people.

Coincidentally both Blossom and Ghost Rider are headed north to the Sarasota / St. Pete areas respectively, only a day apart, and then later this year up the east coast of the U.S. in roughly the same time frames….so we hope to cross paths again soon.

Configuring the Boat's Office & Connectivity

Ghost Rider's Office
One of my big priorities early in our move to the boat was to get the boat’s office properly configured – for personal / selfish reasons, but also for ongoing business obligations.  By Christmas Eve (really, no kidding) we got the basic moves and configs done for the network, laser printer/scanner and our NAS unit, where we store our backups, pictures, videos and music.

The quality of the Internet connection at the marina, however, was dismal.  So this past week we invested in and installed a MikroTik AP/Gig-E Router and a MikroTik Groove wireless booster….that helped considerably, was even able to conduct a few VoIP conference calls without any issues.  MikroTik makes good stuff, but it’s definitely not for the networking novice....making it all the more amazing that I got it working.