Sunday, August 17, 2014

A little catch up for Summer of 2014

Sailboats & Things
I have been dreaming lately.  More and more of my dreams are of sailboats and specifically, of Inspiration II.  I dream of all the work to be done this Fall and Winter.  I dream of all the materials I must collect and take with me to the boat.  I hope she does not sink after loading all this “stuff”.
I started a “Ship’s Log” yesterday.  It has 10 sections that deal with items needed to manage a live-a-board vessel for several months at a time. Now I need to generate the document forms for each section.  For example, Section 1 will have a form that lists Time, Date, Vessel status (in port, mooring, under sail, motoring, person on duty and position reports plus other elements of interest to the vessel and authorities.
  • Section 1 is the day to day log of all activities of being onboard.
  • Section 2 is all about Maintenance & Repairs.
  • Section 3 deals with Fuel status, concerns and hours of operation of the two diesel engines.
  • Section 4 documents Improvements
  • Section 5 contains Schematics of electronics, electrical and mechanical systems
  • Section 6 is a catchall Legal Documents & Miscellaneous grouping.
  • Section 7 chronicles Ideas for the boat and sailing
  • Section 8 contains To-Do Lists
  • Section 9  formally presents the vessel Survey(s)
  • Section 10 is an area reserved for guests who have visited the boat
I need to get motivated to generate some ham radio related project like getting the AllStar operational on a BeagleBlack and IRLP on a PiIRLP board.  This will reduce the size to a form factor suitable for the boat.  Right now I think I will work on the forms for each section of the Ship’s Log.  Bye.

JULY 31, 2014

A Saugatuck Work n Sail
SAM & I traveled to Saugatuck/Douglas, Mi Wednesday, leaving early, to meet up with Dan & Kathleen on S/V Kathleen.  We arrived just before lunch, which Kathy served up, and after a brief catchup of the past year we planned our work for the afternoon. The weather was cool and the sea fog was rolling in by the tonnes but Thursday weather promised bright skies and warmer inland temperatures.
Dan and I started on the radio project to check out his antenna system and then install a Standard Horizon Matrix 2000 VHF/GPS/AIS unit.  This DSC radio is very cool and reasonably priced at about $400±.
The antenna system checked out good with the old DSC radio reading 21W forward and about 2.5W reflected.  Not too bad for a boat system.  I mostly lent Dan moral support and watched while he did all the work on the install.  Well, actually, I played with his new chartplotter / sonar unit.  I did find out the sequence to adjust the depth offset so the chartplotter depth agreed with the standard depth guage so I guess I held up part of the bargain.
Prior to the real install we made a mock-up of the place below decks that the radio was to be installed to determine if the radio would receive the GPS signals: the GPS receiver must be very sensitive because it worked well and agreed with the chartplotter position.
After we got the unit installed I checked the power output of the transmitter and it was 19W forward with 2W reflected so it agreed with my previous readings.  After this we played with the radio and I must say the audio was excellent.  This is on my purchase list.
Today, Thursday, we took Kathleen out on Lake Michigan for a few hours but the winds were 5 - 8 Kts so it was not a real good sailing day.  The further we went out the worse the winds became and the lumpier the 2’ seas became.  Water temperature was 55°F in July.  This is a cold year on the water.
We had a great chat but soon it was time to make the three hour trip back to Indiana.  D&K promised to visit us this winter towards the end of February - Yea.  We cannot wait to have them aboard Inspiration II.

JULY 26, 2014
A long paddle

So I went out on the lake the other day and had a nice sail but could not beat close enough to the wind with this boat to get back so I was pretty much stuck on the far end of the lake going back and forth and around and around until I go tired.  I lowered the sails most of the way and started the motor and headed back up the lake into the wind.  When I arrived near the far end I killed the engine and finished lowering the sails and raising the centerboard.  When I tried to start the engine the recoil would not go out or in - it was hung up pretty good.  So out comes the paddle and I started the 200 yards back to the slip.  I made pretty good time for a while but then the offshore wind came up and I had to work hard to make it to the slip.  I was sweating like a horse but I stowed all the gear and cleaned up the dock lines and removed the motor to take back to the house so I could repair it.
Upon return to the house and a day later I tackled the motor.  Turns out the nylon line had swelled a bit over the years and it was too big to have it all fit in the recoil track. Since it was fraying anyway, I cut off 6” and it fit far better.  Now, I am ready to put it back on Little Yellow the next time I go sailing. Yea!
Here a couple of shots of the lake and slip area.

JULY 5, 2014
Little Yellow - the morning after the day before
Here it is the day after the 4th of July.  This is the day after the night before and when I slept soundly through the fireworks that I did not hear.  This is the day after the early morning arrival of Abby, who jumped upon my bed and awakened me, and who disappeared almost immediately.  This is the day that I could not go back to sleep after Abby Event.
I got up and made some porridge, via a three minute burn in the microwave, and added pecans, raisins,  cran-raisins plus local honey that I know came from fields nearby.  While all this was melding together, the electric teapot was plugged in and water was boiled, cooled to proper temperature and added to two bags of Teatley English Breakfast tea in a very fine teapot.  Breakfast was enjoyed on the back porch while being serenaded by birds of all sorts on this clear, cool day.
I took the deck umbrella cover off and laid it aside so that I could deploy the umbrella and made it so.  The morning sun was just filtering through the trees while I was enjoying my strong tea and Abby cavorting around the deck in her silent non-barking manner.  While all this was happening, I noticed a green tree frog sittng in a nook on the adjacent deck chair. She was a pretty frog.
Later in the morning I took the red but striped cover down to Little Yellow so I could cover the exposed boom that has the main sail attached.  I adjusted a few lines and this helped LY to ride more naturally in her slip and left for the m

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