Archives for posts with tag: Kadey Krogen 54
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Look closely just above the middle of the pic, there is a crab pot buoy. Just missed.

We left Alligator River Marina (which was a great place to stay – the internet at the dock was fantastic) in 15kt of wind building to 20kt+ Set course for Manteo on Roanoke Island.

The initial couple of legs were fine; had the sail up and were charging along. Then …. OMG crab pots. Not just one or two or even one or two lines of. No, they were everywhere. Lines and lines of them. Bearing in mind, we had a 2-3ft swell, brilliant sunshine (going into) so lots of glare and the fact that the crab pot buoys/markers are about the size of a kid’s football, they are not the easiest of things to see at the best of times. And also, some of them were part-time submerged because the line wasn’t long enough, it got quite fraught on the boat.

As I took a video of a couple of close calls yelling, “Go left, right. Oh Shit, that was close”,  Paul was also yelling “Stakes, stakes”. Imagine my confusion until I looked up and saw ‘sticks’ sticking up out of the water. The stakes are holding fish nets but they were in places not marked on the charts and not the type of thing you really want to tangle with.

We weaved in and out for a couple of hours before reaching the restricted channel approach to Manteo, in which, fortunately, there were no pots.

Tied up our 54ft boat on 90ft of dock, rubbing sterns with a 40ft catamaran. Paul finally rigged up the new doggie recovery ladder from our little gangplank so we managed to tire out the dogs with swimming off the back of the boat.

Here for another day before moving across the other side of Albermarle Sound.

Thanks for reading.

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We are on the move again. 

IMG_0210After spending since the beginning of the year at New Bern NC, with a trip home for tax season, Paul had managed to get almost all of the projects he wanted to complete before setting sail again. We picked a date but the weather forecasters were predicting a possible, out of season/early sub-tropical depression forming near the Bahamas and moving up the coast during the week we had planned on setting off. (‘Best laid plans of mice and men’ and never tell the weather where and when you are going.)

We delayed a week and now the weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms etc but we decided to go anyway. 

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Passed the sail; to be passed by the motor boat

We have had longish days, with today being the longest so far of 50 miles. The dogs are just sleeping, stubbornly refusing to pee on their mats or anywhere for that matter. 

We rejoined our wake as we passed Oriental on the Neuse River and continued north and east up to River Dunes Marina. Nice facility but soooo buggy. And big buggers too. Unfortunately they really seemed to like Bella. 

Story: the marina has poop scoop bag dispensers and as I was pulling out a couple of bags, as the top edge of the bags came out of the dispenser, out popped a frog. A little, surprised frog. 🐸 

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Duck hunting hide

Yesterday and today we hoisted, well unfurled, the main sail and Paul had fun tweaking the trim to see if he could squeeze out another 0.05kt. 

Both last night and the night before, we were without cell phone signal. Had to rely on the marina wifi. Oh, and nothing at all whilst underway. Quite liberating.

We made our way up the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal into the Alligator River to the swing bridge. The canal information says to watch out for the deer on the shore, black bears swimming across the channel all the while avoiding the dead heads in the water. 

As we approached the swing bridge, I called the bridge master to make sure they were able to open on demand and I was told, ‘Yes, no problems”.

IMG_0223We were traveling pretty fast for us – 8.5mph+  with the sail up and a following wind. It was beautiful conditions. Closing in on the bridge, we could see a couple of sail boats on the other side waiting for the bridge to open. There was a sail boat in front of us making his way to the bridge, then us then another big motor boat behind us. We were listening on the radio to the chatter between the bridge master and the two yachts on the north side of the bridge. We were about 10 minutes away when the bridge opened for these two boats. Then we heard the bridge master say that the bridge was closing and that he couldn’t open the bridge again for at least another 30 minutes because the bridge is under construction. 

At this point we were about 5 minutes away, the boat behind 6-7 minutes and the one in front 3-4 minutes away and there isn’t much maneuvering room due to shallow water. After much back and forth on the radio, the bridge master relented and kept the bridge open for us all. Not sure the traffic waiting on the bridge was too happy though. Heard a few car horns sounding as we went through. 

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The lighthouse is not on our boat; it is on the land behind 😊

The marina in which we are staying tonight is literally, ‘go through the bridge and turn left, NOW’. Called them on the radio and was told to pull in behind the sailboat. Confusing because there was no sailboat. Fortunately it is just a long wall and so we tied up with plenty of room fore and aft for said sailboat which eventually came in and tied up in front of us.

IMG_0216The dogs couldn’t wait to get ashore until Ebba got stung by a bee. 🐝 

Tomorrow we are going to Roanoke Island, Manteo town, for a couple of days and then into Albemarle Sound.

Happy Boating.  Thanks for reading.

(Bug: lots of them; Back: on our trip; Beyond: where we have been before)

IMG_0200My first attempt at writing this update, WordPress lost my text and pictures so I am trying again. The shortened version.

Made it to the boat in 10hr 30min. Very tired but safe.

 

 

IMG_8619Hot weather = dogs swimming.

 

Two days of good weather, now it is raining and getting cooler.

Both Ebba and Bella have pee’d on the boat since being back. Yay! Progress.

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Dogs going nuts over the ducklings squeaking around the marina.

 

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Paul is halfway through fitting his rev equalizer to the engines.

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Tired dogs after 7 mile trail run in the pouring rain.

 

 

Thinking of everyone who is being affected by the April Spring mega storm.

Thanks for reading.

PS: I think I just figured out why it didn’t save before – the internet connection crapped out on me.

unnamedLast Friday, people at the marina were adding extra mooring lines to their boats and with good reason. It was a little like the preparations made as Hurricane Irma approached last year. It felt rather deja vu’ish. Winter Storm Riley was working itself into a frenzy off the east coast.

unnamed-1Although we didn’t get rain, we did get winds gusting in the 50+mph range and instead of a tidal surge, we had a tidal suck. The water level must have dropped a good 6ft. So much water left the area that the boats closest to shore and the first finger docks on all three main docks were high and dry. To our advantage this time, we are docked on the inside side of the dock so we don’t get the full brunt of the wind and the waves. There were no free-drifting boats either which made the whole experience a lot less stressful.

unnamed-2During conditions like this – sustained winds 25kt+ the swing- and drawbridges close and remain so until conditions improve to a safe level which meant that there was no ‘tall’ traffic in or out of Trent River for 2 days.

unnamed-4The nor’easter storm that caused our gale force winds, moved up the east coast of the country leaving in its wake, floods, heavy wet snow and many downed power lines. Fortunately here, we had none of that. I understand that the UK has had similarly strong wind conditions and consequent damage. Thinking of you.

What we do have are cold temperatures. OK, I know it’s not as cold as it is back home in Pittsburgh but even so! As I am typing this, I have on two pairs of trousers, two shirts and a sweatshirt. I just took off my beanie but am still wearing my thick socks and slippers. I’m not really complaining; well, yes I am but as with most things on the scale of life, it’s survivable.

IMG_7387Still exploring the National Forest down the road from us. The dogs found a tortoise on the trail the other day though it didn’t want to say ‘hi’ to them.

I took them on Sunday when the winds were still high. Now, they love the beach but on Sunday, neither of them wanted to walk on it, at least not into the wind which was the way we needed to go. The sand was being blasted horizontally at us. So we took the scenic route through the trees.

The dogs are doing quite well on the boat with regards to toilet arrangements. Bella will pee during the night and sometimes during the day if encouraged. Ebba, with whom we thought we would have no problem, is proving to be a little more stubborn. Only once has she peed but I think, if she would perform if it was really necessary – such as if we were at anchor.

unnamed-5Yesterday, Paul spent most of the day just hanging around … up the mizzen mast. He was mounting and wiring up the new radar and also adding our wifi booster arial so that when a marina says it has wifi, we will be able to pick it up on the boat rather than having to go ashore to the ‘club house’ to use it.

unnamed-6Now it’s raining.

Am rather excited for this coming Saturday. David, Bekah and Toria are coming to visit for the whole day. Hopefully the weather will be somewhat warmer and drier and not windy. Would like to take them on a little cruise but obviously it is all weather-dependent.

And now, last but not least – 18.2 and 18.2a 2018 Reebok CrossFit Opens

Yes, we burned a mega hole in our cellular data allowance on Thursday evening as we watched the live announcement from R.A.W. Training. And it was another workout that both Paul and I looked forwarded to. Even the clean after the workout didn’t sound too bad. Neither of us lift heavy so we rather thought we would quickly reach our max and then just sit and watch the others complete the rest of their max lifts.

Once again, we signed up for Friday Night Lights at CrossFit Burn. We got our warm ups done and our required equipment laid out. Our judges were primed (Paul’s to keep him on track with me apparently) and 3…2…1…Go!  we were off, DB squatting and burpee’ing over the bar. Because we are doing scaled in the old farts’ division, we had an empty barbell and were allowed to step over it rather than having to jump.

We raced along and out of the corner of my eye I could see Paul always pulled ahead of me on the squats and I caught up on the burpees. We really were both neck and neck so in round 8, I decided that I needed to step up the rate of squats which I did. I kept pace with him then and then  pulled ahead. I beat him by 2 seconds. He says that if he hadn’t done the extra burpee in round ?, victory would have been his again. Haha. Not.

We finished in just over 6 minutes so had a good 5 minutes left for lifting. We both hit more than we had anticipated. I had put out plates to take me to 100# not really anticipating using the last 5#. Last time I had done heavy (for me) cleans, 100# eluded me every time. However, in the heat of competition, I got that bar up and stood tall. Was quite proud of myself. I had time for one attempt at 105#; failed. The clock ticked over the 12 min and we were done.

Paul 1 : 1 Joanna. Bring on 18.3

Thank you for reading.

IMG_3011It happened. Couldn’t stay away any longer. Paul and I bit the bullet and visited CrossFit Burn – it’s about 1.5 miles south of us. Even though I had signed up for the Opens, I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to do them. It’s not the same, completing an Opens’ WOD at a visiting box. However, Steve Jassett and all the members we met made us feel so welcome that I decided I would have a go. And after the 18.1 announcement on Thursday evening, Paul signed up too.

Before I get into the Friday Night Lights workout, though, life has been plodding on quite nicely. The weather has been glorious (right now though it has taken a turn for the worst) and we have been able to wear shorts and t-shirts.

IMG_7383The blossom is out in abundance along with the daffodils and the pollen. Both Paul and Ebba are suffering.

David and Toria came down last week for the day. Had a wonderful time. Walked across the bridge, met with several of the New Bern bears, had lunch, played on the swings and ate cookies. A great day.

I have been taking the dogs the ‘new trails’ we found and have extensively explored a small portion of the forest. We also were able to walk along the beach even though it is blocked in many places by fallen trees. The water is shallow enough to wade out around them. The dogs love this and come back to the boat absolutely exhausted, which we love. Except that the boat is full of sand. But, hey!

IMG_3001Paul, and me sometimes, are still working on the engines. Had the injectors off, cleaned, tested and we have now refitted them and put the engines back together. Again. Well almost. The starboard one still needs a couple of finishing touches before we can start it. The port engine went back together perfectly and all the other bits Paul changed worked just fine.

However, the starboard engine proved to be a different kettle of fish. Maybe, more likely probably, because I was the one who put it back together under Paul’s guidance. I gave him a running commentary as to which screws/bolts went in easily and which proved to be tight/awkward. Anyway, to cut a long story short, apparently #2 injector, which I had said didn’t feel right when I tightened it up, proved to be the one that was the problem. Somehow, a washer didn’t seat itself properly resulting in a ‘miss’ every time the engine turned over. Fortunately no damage was done and Paul managed to put it back together and now it works.

IMG_2997The next problem proved to be the ‘new’ water pump on the engine. It doesn’t work. So tomorrow Paul will replace it with the old pump until he can actually get a new one. (Paul had found the ‘new’ pump in one of the lockers when he was clearing out/tidying up. Should have known.)  Update on the water pump: apparently the new pump, when it was put together at the factory, was put together back to front. A common occurrence. Not. It works now though because Paul took it apart and put it back together the correct way around. I guess it was sucking instead of pumping.

IMG_2999Have to say, wriggling around the engine in a space that is 4 ft high and about 15 inches wide is a workout in and of itself. I think between us, we have managed to use almost every muscle we have. Functional fitness?!

But to 18.1 Paul and I got to the gym around 4pm thinking we were early but had to sign up for a heat at 6pm. Obviously others had similar ideas and got there before us. It was OK though. Gave Paul the opportunity to take some photos and for me to judge one heat.

IMG_2998And then it was our turn. I told my judge my goal and asked him to keep me on pace. Paul told his judge, “That’s my wife and I want you to keep me ahead of her.” Or words to that effect. We were both doing the old fart’s scaled WOD – 8 sit ups; 10 DB clean/STO; 14/12 cal row. He rowed 14 cal and I rowed 12.

Although I didn’t get ‘no repped’ I did once stand up too quickly from the sit ups, having only completed 5 sit ups rather than 8. My judge was on it immediately so I didn’t lose too much time. However, I rather felt it would come back to bite me at the end.

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CrossFit Burn : 18.1 Standards Briefing

My judge did a great job of pushing my pace, to the point that I completed one more round than I had hoped for.  In the background though, I could hear Paul’s judge letting him know I was off the rower and he had to get a move on. His judge obviously did a very good job because he beat me by 6 reps.

IMG_3007Looking forward to 18.2 announcement tomorrow. Good luck to all at T2 CrossFit. Bring it on.

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Was it that boring?

Thank you for reading.

From Paul:

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Working on the starboard engine gearbox etc

Now we have settled into somewhat of a routine at our base in New Bern NC, it is time to get into the bigger jobs we had left for this time.

The engines had been given the once-over in Stuart, FL however we knew there was other work required.  This week the Port engine got the ‘works’ (or part 1 of the works).

The damper plate between the engine and the gearbox was original and should have been changed several years ago.  To do this the prop shaft has to be uncoupled and pushed back out of the boat about 5”to make room for pulling the gearbox.  To get access to the gearbox, I removed the exhaust, the hydronic controls, wiring and finally drained the gearbox oil using an oil pump. The gearbox is held on with 6 bolts and once they were undone, we manhandled the box back the few inches needed. Certainly dropping the gearbox off was quick. Some may say too quick.  The bell housing was next (15 bolts) and behind that can be found the damper coupling.

IMG_7320The old unit was tired but came out easily and the new unit was bolted to the flywheel and the splined gear greased.  With the bell housing replaced next came the fun bit – getting the round non uniform metal gear box off the bottom of the boat and aligned so as to mesh in gear and butt up to the engine.  Joanna and I tried lifting it – nope!  We rigged up some coal miner levers with 2×4’s and with webbing straps, long bolts, significantly modified sumo deadlifting in the 4’ high space, managed to wiggle the gearbox into mesh and snugged it down. Seven hours into the Sunday job and feeling pleased with progress we took the rest of the day off.

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Now you see me – now you don’t. Just after taking this pic, Ebba fell over the front of the dinghy.

After a round of Tylenol, hot showers and a good night sleep, I got back on the next step of the project: to replace the water, oil and transmission heat exchangers, the raw water pump and associated hoses.  Although not technically difficult, it was a physical day and after coupling everything back up, refilling the gearbox with oil and the engine with coolant, the engine was started and run with everything working.  We have also realigned the engine with the prop getting run out down to a tolerance I am now happy with, so hopefully no more wiggle on the prop shaft.

IMG_7321We have the same work to do on Starboard engine. That should be easier in some respects in that I have learned a couple of tricks during the first rebuild. However, the majority of the plumbing is on the starboard hull side of the engine which means access is more challenging. After that the oil and filters are to change and fuel filters to check/change and we should be ready for the next phase…In a couple of weeks we plan a quick trip back to Pittsburgh and I want to get the fuel injectors overhauled whilst we are there.  We did this job before and although it is not that difficult to do it is challenging due to the confined space of the engine room.  This is the part II and last big job we should need to do I hope for a while.

We can then focus on the interior refurbishment and lighting upgrades.

From Joanna:

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How to pass the time while waiting for the draw bridge to close – stick you head through the bridge railing and watch squirrels.

What more can I say. Well actually, I can say that I was rather slow with publishing this and we have now completed both engines. Did the second engine in 3 hrs. Learned lessons from the first. Built a ‘proper’ hoist system to lift the gearbox this time so not so many sumo deadlifts. The injectors still need to be done. And yes, redoing the plumbing on the starboard engine was a squeeze. Thank goodness for abs.

IMG_7314The dogs and I try to stay out of the way as much as possible and to this end, we have found a new place to walk/run. There is a National Forest 12 miles down the road so we go there. It is wonderful. I imagine it will get very crowded when the weather turns warmer (yes, it is cold again today) but for now, it is just perfect.

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A wind sculpture – inspired by the lotus flower

Thanks for reading.

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Questionable as to whether or not there is any

We are adding to our list of things we would rather not experience again whilst cruising on the boat: (1) hurricanes; (2) snagging a crab pot with the propeller; and the new one, (3) visiting Swan Point Marina, Snead Ferry NC.

But let me back up. (I wrote this on Tuesday, 6 February 2018, ie yesterday.)

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Can’t help looking back when the view is this good

We try plan the tides/current so that we get a push rather than fight the current and for the most part, we have managed this OK. Have come to the conclusion that so long as there is not interference from inlets and rivers, flood tides flow north and ebb tides flow south on the Intracoastal Waterway. I am open to discussion on this.

With this in mind, we timed our trip up Cape Fear River perfectly and got a good 3.5kt push up to Snow’s Cut. Logic and looking at the charts would suggest that the current would continue flowing with us through this very narrow cut but no, as you enter the channel, boom (not literally) the current goes from being your friend to being your not-so-friend – a complete reversal to a 3.5kt punch on the nose. However, we followed all the advice shared by previous sailors and navigated without incident. You don’t want to meet another vessel coming in the opposite direction in Snow’s Cut; it isn’t really wide enough to pass.

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Incoming

The rest of that day was a race to get to our destination before the gale force winds kicked in and the rain came. We made it to Bridge Tender Marina, Wrightsville Beach in time but with the current in full flood, sucking us towards the swing bridge about 200 yards away from the dock, docking was rather tricky. Paul had to move the boat sideways while maintaining station with our space on the dock, not hit the boat in front and certainly not clip the bridge with the stern. And the wind was blowing upwards of 20 mph by this time; all adding to the excitement.

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Me, watching where we are going

I paid for our dock for the night which was the most expensive so far on this part of our trip, then was told that the only facilities were restrooms in the restaurant next door which didn’t open until 6pm (actually it didn’t open at all) and closes at 10pm. The dock was OK but for that price with no facilities, probably won’t be visiting that one again.

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The dogs watching the dolphins

The redeeming features of this place were: the beach was just 1 mile away and dogs are allowed on the beach between November – February so guess where we went for a walk before the rain. Got back just as it started. And, there was a Starbucks and a West Marine and a Harris Teeter a half mile away. To these, we walked in the pouring, nay, torrential rain. What one will do for coffee! The dogs were not impressed but at least it washed off most of the sand they had collected earlier.

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This is as close as we could get on the ‘deep’ side of the dock

We watched the first half of the Super Bowl using Paul’s iPad while the boat shook with the wind gusts and the rain pelted down. Now the thing about the rain is that when we bought the boat, the interior of the cabins got soaked from leaks somewhere. Whilst on our way to the boatyard after Hurricane Irma and since we have been back on board, we have ‘sealed’ the windows to see if they were the source of the leaks. Touch wood, this storm was a good test and there were no leaks.

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While waiting for the tide, Capt Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl came by

To get to last night’s (cough) marina, we had to pass through 3 swing bridges – all three opening on the hour though the second one also opened on the half hour. The distance between 1 and 2 was just too long for us to make the half hour opening so we had to wait 28 minutes until the hour opening. After that, fortunately with the aid of the current, we beetled our way down to the third bridge and made it with 13 minutes to spare. Phew. Stressful. After that it was an easy cruise to Swan Point (cough) Marina.

I had made a reservation earlier and was advised to call the dock master’s phone on our approach. I called on Monday morning on our way to confirm that there would be sufficient water etc for us and was again advised to call the dock master. This really should have raised red flags but we ignored them – how bad can it be? Hmm.

Well I called the dock master on his cell phone and got no reply. Left a message. Called on the radio – no response. Nothing for it but to dock ourselves. We turned into the entrance and promptly slowed – running in the mud. The dock sticking out towards us was listing to the right so we decided to go on the higher side. After disturbing lots and lots of mud and silt from the bottom, we finally settled starboard side to. There was no-one around. No-one. But what there was, was very loud country music blaring out of a tub in the back corner and lots of derelict boats. Just weird. Ghost ‘town’.

IMG_7275Went for a walk. What a god forsaken hole. Then a short plump guy turns up, says he is the dock master and adamantly  suggests that we move the boat to the downside of the dock. Why? Because there is more water there. Hmmm. How much more? Oh, a good 6”.  That will be important at low tide. It will stop you leaning over. (How bad can this really get?) You want me move the boat now? Well, I would because in a few short minutes you will be stuck fast on the bottom. Needless to say, Paul was fuming by this time.

The idea was to back out, turn around and back into the dock. Nope, not going to happen. I remained on the dock during the maneuver and at one point, thought he wasn’t going to make it back to the dock in any direction. But thank goodness for Lehman engines. He came back in bow first. About 30 min later we were hard and fast on the bottom and as wavelets came in the boat flopped from one side of her keel to the other. We never got closer than 2.5 feet to the dock; just sat there. Even at high tide during the night, we still didn’t move closer.

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Wrightsville Beach

The internet didn’t appear as an option never mind using the password. I didn’t check out the facilities. The docks rocked and/or tilted as you walked on them. There was nowhere really for the dogs to run. There was one road in/out; every other one was a Dead End. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough though we did have to wait until 2 hours before high tide to have any hope. The dock master said that our best bet was to back out and put our stern towards the wall and then we would be able to turn and go out forwards. Every time Paul tried to put the stern towards the wall, we stopped. In the end we backed out all the way to the channel and then gunned it. Absolutely a place to be avoided at all costs.

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Camp Lejeune’s targets

Had a glorious cruise today though as if Mother Nature was trying her best to erase last night’s memories. We went through Onslow Beach Swing Bridge then heard on the radio later that it was broken and would be closed to boat traffic for at least 2 hours. It wasn’t us. We passed through Camp Lejeune firing range to the sound of live fire and jets overhead. Made it to Spooners Creek Marina just as the current was switching against us. Perfect timing. The marina is lovely – plenty of water. There is a place for the dogs to run. There is a Lowes, Wally Mart, Starbucks and West Marine all within walking distance. What was that place yesterday? Oh I can’t remember.

Thank you for reading.