Summer Finale

September 22, 2022

Tardis was due to come back to Connecticut early for the rebuild of the transom, but I did get in one last cruise up Damariscotta River and John’s Bay just to the west, with a stop across the Sheepscot at Indiantown Island to start getting the boat ready to travel.

Coming out of John’s Bay I went through the “Thread of Life,” a 50-yard passage about a mile long lined by huge houses on one side and ugly rocks on the other. Typical Maine cruising: heart thumping, eyes on the plotter, “I hope this is right;” but in reality, 85 feet of water under the keel, well-charted and extraordinarily beautiful.

The boat ran beautifully, and I think I have the hang of power management. The only thing that can really run down the batteries is heating water and running the fridge simultaneously. And if it’s cloudy and foggy for a couple days, the fridge has to go off for about 4 hours at night, but since it’s never really hot, that doesn’t seem to matter. New AGM batteries that will take advantage of every ray of sun should help.

The more I think about it, though, if I was starting to build Tardis right now, I would follow Syste and Ton’s plan and use propane for cooking, heating and hot water. I have always been a little afraid of propane, but since every other boat I know uses it, propane doesn’t seem to be a problem.

I have had a revolution in 110-volt power with a little lithium power-pack called a Jackery that John got me for father’s day. It charges by solar, house current, or the batteries. So I can always keep my electric outboard fully charged and can use my regular computer if I want. Unbelievable how much power can be stored in such a small package.

For use at the dock I got an induction cooktop — no smell, no flame and seemingly instant, steady heat. You need ferrous pans (no stainless steel) for it to do its magic, but worth it given the price of stove alcohol these days.

Topped off a great summer with a land cruise up to Castine and Camden. We were sitting at a harborside restaurant when I saw what I thought was a mirage down at the docks: Black Knight, the most famous of the powerboats designed by the genius behind my beloved Memsahib, Walter McInnis. 80 feet of perfect mahogany and varnish. A celebrity sighting for sure to end a wonderful season in Maine.

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