Tuesday, January 3, 2012

radio days

I placed an order the other day for a new radio.  We carry two radios on board Spartina, one as a primary radio and the other as a backup that is tucked away in a dry bag along with the spare gps.  My backup radio, which is seven or eight years old and had to be repaired a year ago, has lost its volume.  The basic repair price for the radio was $85.  Buying a new Uniden Atlantis 250 Handheld Marine VHF from Defender, with shipping, comes to about $77.   

The most common use for a radio on board is checking the weather stations, which I can be seen doing at Dobbins Island on the Magothy River, above.  We'll check the weather first thing in the morning, a couple of times mid-day and then again in the even.  Only once in a while do we use the radio to communicate with someone else - typically a bridge tender or the captain of a passing tug.

Bruce gives me a hard time when I'm calling a bridge tender as the tender typically responds by calling me "captain."  Bruce seems to think Spartina is too small a vessel for me to be called captain.  I think he is jealous because he does not have a radio.

As for other sailing gear, a while back I sent my North Face Convertible Pants in for warranty service.  I had never sent pants in for any kind of service before.  But the customer service folks at North Face told me that they would repair the stitching around the pockets, which had come undone.  I sent the pants in and a few weeks later they sent a box to me that contained not the repaired pants, but instead a brand new pair of pants.

That is very good service, particularly when you consider the pants had been very well used for the past four or five years.  The new pants were a different color than the ones I had sent it, Moab Khaki in place of the original Dune Beige.  I might have grown to like the new color, but I would not have grown to fit the new inseam which was two inches longer than my pants.  North Face tells me they are now sending me pants that are the correct color and, more importantly, the correct length.

Even with the little mix up, this is great service.  When I do need to buy another pair of pants, they will be made my North Face.

We are getting a little blast of cold arctic air today and tomorrow so there is not much fishing going on. But the wind and cold temperatures will be gone in time for our fishing expedition this weekend.  Fishing for stripers has been good over the past week, let's hope it stays that way.  Interestingly enough, mixed in with the stripers these days are blue fin tuna weighing up to 150 pounds.  This is a phenomenon that occurs every six or seven years, big blue fin tuna coming in to feed on the menhaden within a mile or two of the coast.  Odds of us catching one are very small, and I don't mind that as I have heard fisherman have spent up to an hour and a half reeling them in.  Our trip is a half-day trip, just four hours.  I don't know that I want to spend half my trip fighting one fish.


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