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Tantalus Quartet – Four Reviewers Forever

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There are four of us working on this together. Therefore Quartet! Why don’t you just call us Raphael, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatello. Or perhaps, since with a quartet you think of music, how about PDQ, Ludwig, Antonio, and Wolfgang. Whatever you call us, we are all for one and one for all. Although, that comes from another quartet, or should we say a trio plus one.

Who was Tantalus? In mythology he was first invited to dine with the gods but stole nectar and ambrosia which made the gods angry. Then Tantalus offered his son as a sacrificial offering to the gods and cut him up and boiled him in a stew and offered the stew to the gods. Guess what, the gods were even more upset with him. As punishment they made him stand forever in a pool of water with fruit hanging overhead. That seems kind of boring but not too bad. BUT, it gets worse. Every time he tried to lean down to get a drink, the water would drop so he couldn’t drink. If he reached up for the fruit to eat it would always be just out of reach. And that is how we get our word tantalize. (Being gods, they also brought his son back to life.)

Why did we choose Tantalus? Not a real good reason, mostly we liked the name and the story. So Tantalus Quartet.

Our purpose. Kind of eclectic, but to review different things we have seen, experienced, companies we have dealt with.

Here are some short reviews:

Sailing the San Juan Islands – We chartered a boat from Anacortes Yacht Charters. We were probably a little unusual because when they asked for years of sailing experience, when you totaled everyone onboard it came to over 100 years. We had a minor complaint. We called and asked what the weather was like, what we could expect. We had figured it would get chilly and were going to bring fleeces and jackets. No, the secretary said it is always in the 70s and 80s and very pleasant, even at night. So, we believed her and packed for warmer weather and left our jackets home. We later decided the office person had never been out on the water in her life and was telling us what it was like on land.  Well, it is always colder on the water, especially here where the water is pretty chilly. We froze our buns off and wore everything we had brought with us. Finally at the first island with a gift shop we all bought sweat shirts.

 

We went by Orcas Island but never saw any Orcas. What was stunning to someone used to the Chesapeake Bay and water depths ranging from 8 feet to 25 feet for the most part. Here you have 200, 500, or more feet and places where the depth sounder doesn’t even register. One night where we anchored and guy on another boat marched up and down his foredeck in kilts and playing the bagpipes. He finished with Amazing Grace. He got an ovation from all the other boats.

If you do this, stop in to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. Nice city but we went mainly to see Butchart Garden. We have been to a lot of nice gardens but this is probably the nicest we have ever seen. All the rain they get has to help. Although, the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena, CA is right up there as well.

Annapolis Rigging Co. – The rigging on our boat had hairline cracks in the swage terminals of the rigging.  We found some but the guy from the rigging company found even more. Not safe.  Wouldn’t be too bad if it was a little daysailer, although still not a good idea. However, this was on a 36 foot boat, so it could be really dangerous if the rigging gave way. Especially since the time it would be most likely to do so would be in the middle of a storm. So we had the rigging replaced. The boat was launched and started sinking, which had nothing to do with the rigging. The through hull fittings had deteriorated and needed to be replaced, so the boat had to be hauled back out and all the through hulls replaced. The boat stayed nice and dry the next time we attempted to launch it.

Finally the mast was re-stepped and the rigger started reattaching everything. There was some screw up and he had to go back to their shop to get some parts. Then when he got back, he got the mast secure but hadn’t finished up. At that point it was later in the day and a thunderstorm was coming through. I don’t blame him not wanting to work on metal rigging with this large metal pole and wires sticking 30-40 feet in the air and lightning in the area. Not a great combination. So he said he would come back the next day and finish it up, which he did.

At that time, I just paid the credit card bills without looking too carefully. Six months later I looked and they had charged me an extra $700 for the extra trips. The credit card company said they needed to be notified in 3 months to dispute things and the rigging company refused to refund the money. So, despite the fact that they did a good job, we are not very happy with them. And now we check he credit card bills very carefully each month.