Making new friends, and upgrading to lithium batteries

While we were in Annapolis, we met a number of other cruisers who were in the mooring field along with us, or in the anchorages or marinas near by. Tons of boats were in town for the boat shows (the powerboat show would be held one weekend in early October, and the sailboat show would be held the following weekend). We enjoyed drinks and snacks one afternoon with Amy & David from Starry Horizons, and later in our stay, we hosted Lisa & Bill from SV Jo Beth for cocktails one evening on Oestara. It’s always fun to meet other sailors, especially ones who have made their boat their home and make big voyages. Sharing stories of adventures, and how we all got into this lifestyle, really makes for some great conversations!

We also finally (!) met a bunch of other boats with kids aboard, which was great. Sarah & Marshall (both Aggies, and most recently from Houston–the world is so small sometimes!), and their boys, Jonathan and Preston, were living aboard Rex, an Antares catamaran. We met them on the dinghy dock as we were all heading back to our boats one day, and we spent a few afternoons at playgrounds and such with the kids running around having a blast.

One afternoon there were a whole bunch of cruising families at one of the playgrounds, and it was so cool to meet them all – Dawn Treader, Deep Playa, Explorer, and Nahla. I’m sure we’ll cross paths with some of them again as we head south!

Meanwhile, on the boat project front, we finally decided to upgrade our batteries from gel to lithium, and our time in Annapolis was a great time to tackle that project. It took a lot of planning, purchasing, and equipping, but once it was time to swap the batteries out, Patrick was fully prepared!

We went with Blue Heron for the new lithium bank, and Hank George, the owner, could not have been more knowledgable, nicer, or more helpful during the process of determining which batteries we should purchase, what would fit in our space, how everything should be set up, and how to get the darn things to Annapolis and onto the boat!

Patrick made new cables, sorted out the correct configuration, and then got everything installed one quiet day on the boat. Cecelia and I went and had crepes for breakfast and then hit Starbucks for some wifi (where we unknowingly sat down across from Bill & Lisa from SV Jo Beth; when we started chatting, we realized we were mooring neighbors.)

Phil drove down from DC to visit us for the night, and I took him out to the boat via dinghy when he got into town. When we arrived, Patrick had just hooked up the batteries fully and was ready to flip the switch. Hooray, they worked!

Now all that was left was programming the new regulator, and also sorting out how to tighten down the batteries to hold them in place firmly. And getting rid of the old batteries, of course! Patrick found someone on Facebook Marketplace who would take them off our hands, so we pulled into a nearby fuel dock to fuel up, and at the same time offloaded the old (VERY HEAVY) batteries to their new owner. Patrick and Phil went to the hardware store the next day for some blocks of wood and shims, and Cecelia helped Patrick get everything tightened down into place while Phil supervised.

Success! What a good feeling to have a project all done and dusted in just two days from start to finish!

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