Monday, February 23, 2015

Preparation Day

We spent most of the day preparing the boat to receive our sailing friends from up north.  They are to arrive on the 25th in the afternoon some time.  The 24th will be taken up mostly by the MRI I am having done on the neck and sholder - one for rotator cuff issues and one for the irritated nerves I have been having all winter long.  

The boat looks nice and should be ready for our friends.  However, we are having an issue with the aft head, a Raritan PHII, that is pumping hard and squeeking a bit.  I put as bit of silicon grease on the pumping shaft and it did change the sounds pumping has made.  For us the season is growing short as we will be hauled in mid-April.  this will allow us time to get up north and start the mowing season, see DJ & the Family and then get ready to travel down to Texas for David's graduation ceremony.

Next year we plan on being a bit more adventurous and using the full tank of fuel we have.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Help from Friends

With a lot of help from friends all over the world, I finally got the wind indicator from the ST60 calibrated to indicate the true wind direction.  I think it is OK but who knows until a calm day occurs with no wind.  Then I will stream in a given direction and set the vane to dead ahead.  However, I am pretty close now.  In this case, it does pay to read the manual page 27 from Raymarine website.

If you have a ST60 or ST60+ then you can set the wind direction by pushing and holding left two buttons until CAL appears then push left button (disp) once only.  This puts you into calibration mode for wind direction.  Now push right two buttons to acheive the direction set.  One button will set a -number and the other a number.  this should swing the wind indication in the direction you chose.  When complete push right two buttons and hold until you pop out of CAL mode.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Maxwell Chain Wheel Selection Guide

Maxwell Chain Wheel

Selection Guide

Please print this page so you have a copy of the form below. Take a section of your chain,
lay it out in a straight line, and measure the dimensions as shown below.
Please complete the table below the drawings with the dimensions and other information
requested, and forward to Maxwell Marine Limited.
Chain Wheel Selection
P = pitch inside link L = length outside the link D = Chain wire diameter
W1 = width inside link W2 = width outside the link L1= inside dimension between 11 links 

Customer Chain Specifications
Manufacturer/Supplier name
Chain standard/code
Chain type: Short link/stud link
Manufacturers specification if known
P - Pitch length inside link
L - Length outside the link
D - Chain wire diameter
W1 - width inside the link
W2 - width outside the link
L1 - inside dimension between 11 links

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gale Time

The wind is howling in the rigging yet again and I am glad for a slip and not being out at anchor some place.  The dock attendants just came by to do pumpouts and I had a rain coat but did not put on the pants.  I became totally soaked from the coat down in seconds.  SAM finally broke out the fleece kayaking pants and even the nylon wind breakers too.  We re-energized out electric fires and closed up the hatches and companionway too.  It is definitely getting colder.  It is hard to get any energy to go in and do the washing.

Abby needs to go out for her 2nd daily walk to the pee post and this is problamatic too.  We are going to have to do something pretty soon and the gale is going to be with us for a while.  I guess it will be a cold wet walk with the dog.  I told SAM we need to get her a raincoat too.

Right now Abby is getting a haircut.  I guess her hair will dry faster if it is shorter and it may be a way to hasten summer weather if we shear her in advance.  She received her bath this morning and liked it until it was time to dry off and get the hairdryer treatment.  For some reason this drives her totally nuts,  Not from fear but from a ticklish point of view.  As soon as the air hits her neck and whiskers she acts like she is getting tickled.   Moore later.

Last night's party

We went to Jim & Linda's boat last night in response to the evening sundown invite.  He, like me is an Electrical Engineer and does a lot of projects on the boat.  Also like me, he is a ham of long standing.  We had a good time.Yesterday, I stayed on the boat most of the day but SAM went shopping most of the day.  However, she returned in time for the party - just in time with 5 minutes to spare.

Last night I was awakened to slapping halyards against the mast and after trying to ignore it for a while and in good neighborly standing I went to the foredeck to find the guilty line.  After a quick jury rig I went back below to finish the sleep.  Upon awakening a bit later than usual at 0745 I heard the piter pater of rain on the cabin top.  After enjoying this for a period of time, I got out of the sleeping bag and fixed my breakfast and SAM's too.

I quickly headed for the shower to beat the morning rush that has occurred with the arrival of 12 more boats that were kicked off the Green Cove Springs Marina long pier.  Why this occurred no one seems to know but they are here and half are projected to stay forever.  It is a lot more genteel down here at this end.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

V Berth discoveries

We were prowling around the front V-berth compartment last night and SAM found a new little cubbyhole which has been untouched by human hands in a while.  Inside was a heavily rusted ammo can that contained wire products withing a perfectly maintained clean environment.  Also was a nice emergency start booster that had a completely dead AGM battery that so far has failed to respond to any charging attempts. Also, a wobble water pump similar to the one we had on the old Inspiration and a Y Valve but both are untested so it remains to be seen if they have any value.  The final find was two small sails of a type that could be used as a stabilizing sail in an anchor situation to keep the boat from moving from side to side.

This l,ocker area has great potential as a repository for a new battery to drive the windlass.  The solenoid/switching box is in this area now so adding a 12 VDC Deep Cycle Battery would result in a very short run to the windlass.  I even have an extra port on the ProMar charger to keep it charged. Yea, a small win.  Now to get Al to glass it into the area.  I was thinking of a hand carved Styrofoam block encapsulated into a fiberglass mold and then this whole assembly being glassed or epoxied into place up forward to support the battery - hum, thinking again.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another bright, sunny work day

The day dawned for us at 0830.  I made the daily Oatmeal breakfast for the both of us and put the obligatory nuts, cranberries, raisins and local small honey producer honey.  After that, but quickly, comes the strong coffee I make for myself and the rest of the pot is to be diluted to whatever the day dictates.

Just as a note: the Poo Powder came in yesterday so the immediacy of running to the clubhouse may be over.  We do not want to put our more or less solid waste into our holding tank, which we can enjoy again when we retire, so inventive ways to avoid this are dreamed of by every cruiser.  Hence, the Poo Powder that is supposed to rid us of this malady.

Moore later but SAM beckons to yet another water intrusion point of old origin, thank Heavens.  I have a distinct aversion to water leaks from any source.  Any sailor can relate to this statement.  Backtracking, the night was cold but the morning was bright and sunny.  As the day warmed so did our spirits and those at the clubhouse.  We all reluctantly departed for our tasks of the day. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Life on a boat

No matter the size, life on a boat is a bunch of compromises and confrontation.  It is how you accept and bow to these situation that defines life on a boat. An unbending will against the unmovable object does not work.  Fortunately, the Captain is always right and things go proceed.

I took a shower today and it was well needed.  It even felt good and I luxuriated for several minutes as the warm fluid pounded by neck and back with a moderate force.  I only wish it was warm forever but even I, the captain, know better.  In the near future, I shall luxuriate in one of the two onboard showers.  One exits to the bilge and the other to a pan to be dumped as grey water overboard.  I like the idea of bypassing the bilge so that is the one I will use.  On to the future, for which reason, I bought the boat called now Inspiration II.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Clean up day

Today I awoke early and went down to the clubhouse.  Later back at the boat I mapped out the day to SAM.  I was going to the camper and clean up and move stuff from the car to the truck.  Also on the table was to get the truck out on the road and drive a few miles.  Upon return from the little jaunt SAM and I loaded the camper and re-organized.  We also put air in the tires and pumped up the air shocks.  She is sitting pretty now.

Later we organized the boat and partitioned stuff to go to the "lock up".  Still latter we lounged around the cockpit and watched the sun go down and the chill starting to creep into the bones.  Right now SAM is fixing the food and it smells great.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Missing days? What!

I thought I was posting some blogs to this line but apparently this was not the case and I am days behind.  Bummer as it was good stuff.

The day dawned with wind in the rigging but overcast skies and lower temperatures.  SAM & and I had breakfast and a leisurely coffee before I headed to the clubhouse.  Not too much was going on so I came back to the boat and started working on the LED Fwd Head project I started yesterday.  Before long I realized I needed some parts from the local ACE Hardware so I headed out to buy some crimp connectors and a simple hole saw drill bit.  Sans drill bit I headed back to the boat to finish as much of the project as I could.

About noon I rounded things up but still needed the 3/4"+ hole saw.  SAM & I headed for the Home Depot and got the very expensive Milwaukee mandrel and 3/4" saw and headed for Steak n Shake for lunch (My 5 way Chile was reasonable but SAM's burger was mediocre).  After lunch we haeaded back to the boat with a stop in between.

Back at the boat, I finished the forward head outboard fluorescent conversion to LED White/Red conversion.  I finally got a chance to use the white butyl putty to hole the wires into place while I mounted the lens.  Afterwards we tried the light and it worked AOK.

SAM is now down at the clubhouse cooking the fishe we did not want to stink up the boat cooking locally.  Not too sure where she is as it is now fully dark.  Probably working on the crossword puzzle.  NOPE HERE SHE IS WITH THE FOOD!  BYE.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Beautiful day and lots of activity

This was a mentally busy day.  We awoke about the normal time and I made the oatmeal porridge with some good things added and then went to the clubhouse.  No one was there so I returned to the boat and just waited for our visiting people to call for lunch before (they were scheduled to leave for Tallahassee).  We had a great lunch of excellent pot roast at Sweet Sensations.  After we went to a yard sale plus looked for an auction.  Later they hooked up their rig and headed out.  We were sad to see them go.

Later in the afternoon, I called Al to see if he would go up the mast since it was such a nice day.  He said he would be over in a few and showed up a bit later with his bosun chair. I used the electric winch on slow speed to hoist him up and SAM tended the safety line with three wraps on a smaller winch.  He replaced the wind vane arm with the one I ordered from Ultimate Passage.  It appears to work ok now but said in the tech manual I need to do two complete revolutions of the boat next time out to calibrate it.

Afterwards, Carol came over and we had a cockpit party as the temperatures were balmy.  Al brought me a HP Slate 7 to see if I could fix the microusb port that was broken.  I did a quick search and came up with the following link but it does not look all that easy but at least it appears possible. Later after everyone had left SAM washed my hair in the tub so I feel clean and fresh as I write this blog line.  Night all!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

More rain and 14kts N wind

i awakened about 0530 this morning to the sounds of water and surging; therefore, I was on high alert listening for issues but a few minutes of listening produced no sounds worthy of alarm. However, I was awake and there was no turning back to sleep mode.  Now, I am writing  and slightly cold  as the heaters are not really keeping up with this size of boat.  I have an estimated 3KW running and this is about 10K± BTU's which is not sufficient to do more than take the chill off.  Still I am happy for this and am feeling like making some coffee on the stove to add a bit more heat.  BFN.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Thread the needle

We moved into our slip today AM as Holland Marine wanted our spot for business purposes.  We did not get too much advance notice so we had moved in less than 15 minutes using the HM crew.  Kyle was the pilot for the move.

We are in slip 4B and it was lie threading the needle.  Once into the slip it seems OK but we will find out in the next gale.  I have every fender we have on board deployed to starboard but they could be easily moved if the situation arises.  I will spend the next few days getting the wired internet working and maybe even the cable TV will work too.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Almost, almost there - drat one more thing or two

This is the first time I have sat on the boat writing on the computer with all systems running including airconditioning/heat pump.  Yea, and here we are many $1000's later. Marina just changed antifreeze (not needed but gives me assurance), oil (probably not needed but again those assurances) and adjusted valves that definitely needed attention ( a burn valve would be just around the corner.  To-Do is to add a solenoid that assists existing starter manual solenoid so as to allow a much more direct connection to the battery as the generator was not starting so good.  Also needs a new start 12VDC Battery.