Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ice Ice, Baby

We just recently got back from a frigid trip up north.  Reason for torturing ourselves with the winter was because I had to take a DC Electrical systems course in Annapolis.  A few years back, Frank had taken a Diesel Mechanics course at the Annapolis School of Seamanship and touted it to be a very comprehensive, hands-on class.  Since I had been struggling with understanding wiring and how to build a well balanced electrical system on board, I figured the best thing I could do would be to get a more hands-on learning experience versus trying to learn through reading very dry textbook material.  Unlike Frank, I cannot learn through books, and trying to retain all the pieces of information involving DC systems has proven to be incredibly frustrating.  I cannot say more about how great the class really was.  Before the class, I had a very basic knowledge of how to wire some piece of equipment into our panel, but after taking the class, I now feel confident in troubleshooting any electrical fault as well as building a safe, efficient way of charging and maintaining our brand new Rolls Royce batteries.  The class teaches you everything from theory, what a diode is, to how to use a multi-meter, how to properly fuse, to the types of batteries, inverters, chargers, and regulators you can get for your boat.  Bob Campbell did a really good job teaching it all in a concise and relatable manner and being able to work with all the systems hands-on has helped increase my understanding of electricity exponentially.  If you do take the class, I recommend taking both parts 1 & 2, as part 1 really only covers just the basics.  

Annapolis School of Seamanship
Hands on training
Since we were taking a trip up north anyway, we couldn't skip out on seeing my beloved New York, and our well-missed friends and family.  The trip was short but sweet, and seeing 10-12 inches of snow made us feel a little less bad about living in Florida.  It reminded me of how miserable winter in NY can be, and upon my third day there, I got really sick with a fever and what I believe was the flu.  Yikes.  We haven't really seen a true winter since moving to St Augustine, so turning into a human popsicle in 7 degree weather was certainly not ideal (Mind you, 7 degrees was the HIGH and not the low). I can't believe that we have lived that way for most of our lives! Seeing only warm weather for a couple months out of a year is not cool (well, actually, it's too cool.)  Knowing that the cold was only temporary for us, we took advantage of how beautiful a white snowfall can be and played like school children on a snow day.  Snowball fights and snow angels made an appearance along with our dusty winter hats, shearlings, and snow boots.  Frank even had to shovel my parents’ driveway to get the car out, while I sat inside sipping hot chocolate, watching him through the window.  Thanks, but I’d rather squeeze into a tiny space to work an angle grinder inches from my face any day!  

My sister and I 
Caught in the Act! Frank getting ready to chuck a snowball at me
Yes, that says 7 degrees at 11:31am
Upstate, NY...
I even got to play with my darling, Cynthia :)
My brother and Cynthia
So long NY, until next time….


  1. Beautiful photos... I really love the one with the lit lamp posts and benches. We have escaped the snow so far this year here on the "wet coast" but that may not last much longer. You are so lucky to live somewhere warm!!!

  2. I've been looking at comments about the School of Seamanship and other Maritime Academy's on forums. Lots of interesting courses. I've been thinking of someday attending some classes and get a job at a boat yard doing some general work. Maybe I'll do something specialized, I don't know yet. I figure I can do some work at a yard for 5 to 10 years then work on my own as a surveyor. At least, that's an idea I have for when I retire from the military in 4yrs. I think working around boats like that would be more enjoyable. It's good to know the School of Seamanship worked out well for you.

    This has been a very weird winter. We've had single digit highs here in TN. Either way, cold is COLD. High today was 24ish with off and on flurries. People I work with say it's the coldest they've ever seen and that's after being in this area for 7yrs or so.

    I can understand hurricanes being named storms, but I just realized the other day that they're actually naming winter storms. I've never seen that before and thought it was a bit ridiculous. I look at it as a continuous winter weather system so it makes no sense to me.

    Anyway, stay warm guys. Spring and Summer while be here soon enough :-)