Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Cockpit Cover

Work this week on making the cockpit cover for the Christmas Ships Night.   Basically I wanted to keep the rain out but not spend much money.   I bought a drop cloth, a grommet kit and a couple of sleeping bag straps, sewed it together over a morning and it's done.   Cheap altogether costing me $49.

It likely wouldn't last through the season, but it will work for the night.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hanging the picture....

Work continues on the Carol-Marie as sabbatical progresses. A good deal of small jobs were done, like hanging pictures, registering the boat, registering the EPRIB, etc.

We kept the painting from the NiSe's settee, and hung it in the pullman berth.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TV Installed

Today I installed the TV bracket and mounting on the backside of the rear cabin bulkhead.   It turned out pretty good.

I also washed down the decks, although the rain storms helped out a lot.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some more chores on the interior...

I found a 12V 32" flat screen TV for the interior.  It turns out the LG 32CS560 has a nice 12V connector that will fit well into boat's system.  The down side is the device draw 14W through it's power supply brick.  Hopefully the power brick is highly inefficient so it may draw less connected to the battery.  If not the device draws 1.1667Amps which isn't really bad.  A load resistance on the device is 10.28 Ohms.  Our house battery has a capacity of 180 Amp-hours, and the engine's bank another 140 Amp-hours.

The next step is to buy a swivel mount for the back, and mount it near the companion way.   The thought is we will be able to connect the navigation system to the device as well to use it as a chart plotter repeater screen.

A serendipitous event occurred when I turned on the TV the first time after tuning the channels, the first program that popped up was Hawaii 5-0.

Hawaii 5-0 on the new TV
It was serendipitous because the same day I sent over the registration for the USCG with our home port in Aiea, HI.

All the work wasn't as good when I broke the custom fitter AC-plug cover.  Two of the four AC outlets on the boat were missing their teak covers.  The one near the gas station needed customization because of the light mounted near it.  Charing made careful drawings of the outlet, and found a woodworker here locally to tailor one for us.  Of course the fit was perfect, but when I tried to tighten her down, the center collapsed and fractured.

Well, back to the drawing board.  Luckily I kept the drawings Charing made and may be able to get a new one made.

Sabbatical keeps going.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Breaking down the sheaves.....

One of the next chores on the list was to break down, varnish, and grease the wooden sheaves on the running rigging.  Sheaves are the pulleys that help manage the sheets (ropes running from the sails to wenches).  For a classic look many boat owners buy the wooden sheaves; pulleys that have been encased in teak, or another hardwood.  When these wooden sheaves are varnished they are stunning.

Once I brought them home yesterday I had a hell of a time figuring out how to break them down or even if you could.  It literally took me about 10 hours of research on the net to find a wooden boat site that even talked about how to service them.

The basic components of them are the wooden block, pulley with bearings, two cap plates, a stainless steel loop, an axle, and four wood screws.

To break them down first remove the wood screws from the cap plates on both sides.   These cap plates are threaded on the axle.  To remove them I used needle nose pilers inserted into the holes for the screws to unscrew the cap plate on one side.  Once the cap plate on one side was removed I used a hammer and screw driver to tap out the axle.  The pulley was then extracted from the inside.  Above you see all the components.

The bearing and the axle were encrusted in salty grease, which I cleaned. Then sanded the wooden blocks, removing all the gray.  I washed the wood block in soap in water to remove all the dirt. Then began varnishing the block.   Each block requires 7 coats of varnish to have a lasting hard shell.  Once the varnish is dried I reassembled the first one, the work paid off; the sheave is functional and stunning to look at.

First days of winter maintenance....

The first thing a tackled on the boat was cleaning out the quarter berth.   I had yet to do a good cleaning back there and worked on cleaning out the cubbies under the berth.  I was surprised to find a cubbies seemingly untouched in 10 years packed to the brim with goodies.  Two sails were stuffed in the hole for a wind surfer, as well as a nylon kite.   But the best was a collapsable fishing rod with tackle box.

Here was the case for the rod, first opened, then closed.
The case had basically dry rotten and smelled foul.  Charing pulled a couple of great piece of fabric out and made a new case for the rod.  Her first step was to cut out the patch of the fish from Hawaiian printed material.  She then sewed together a case with a draw string.  No zippers to rot out, and completely washable.  It  turned out great.

Rod with the finished case and draw string.
More to work on tomorrow.....

Sabbatical begins, along with the boat chores....

Sabbatical began this week, and although many think that I should have taken it in the summer I deferred to now to do all the maintenance I could on the boat.  I began with looking at my surroundings in the marina, and noticed I had squatters on my dock.  Like many squatters they had no concern for place and decided to dump where ever they felt like it.  Being one not to interfere with wild life I moved the boat to the another slip, a cheaper one without the surrounding wildlife.

Squatters on the dock

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weekend Day Sail with Friends

October 20, 2012

Charing, Polly and took the Carol-Marie out for a day sail on the Columbia.  Needless to say the docks were empty because the rains in the Northwest have begun.  Despite the low water levels we were able get out of the marina without grounding.

Just to show how low the water levels were.

Almost immediately we were soaked from the rain, sailing under jib alone.  We reached 6.5 knots moving against the current aided by the incoming rain storms and the pressure that accompanied them.  The river turned from a mirrored, reflective black to a sea foam green within minutes feeling the cold rain.

With no cover, I sat at the helm being pelted in the face with the rain throughly enjoying life, certainly in my element.  Just getting settled, satisfied with the rain in my face, we reached the I-205 bridge and turned back to the marina.   The time had passed and it was the closing day of the Island Cafe, cheap drinks to warm the soul, and freeze the bones.

Just after jibbing the rain stopped, and blue clouds opened up above us.  Still drenched, Charing went forward and snapped a picture of Polly and I.

Terry and Polly under blue clouds, I205 bridge in the back above the green Columbia.

We put the boat away, tied her up good and headed off to close the Island Cafe.  The Island Vice drinks are a secret mix of adult beverages, blended together with ice, and various flavorings.  Throughout my numerous visits to the place researching the mixture, the only think I know for certain is it only takes one or two to change your perspective on the world in a good way.  

Island Cafe on Hayden Island

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Offshore adventure on S/V Ranidan

October 4, 2012

Jim talked to me about delivering his boat S/V Ranidan while we were out a couple of weeks ago and then again at the swap meet too. Ranidan is a 40' Halberg-Rassy that is nicely maintained.

We left Portland around 3:00pm and arrived at Shilshole Marina about 7:00pm that night.  We stopped for Cuban Sandwiches at a great roadside stand outside the marina.  Bringing them back to the boat made a wonderful dinner.  Jim and I went over the plans for the next day and turned in early for the night.

October 5, 2012

I woke up at 5:00 am missing the dogs, they usually are ready to dog out about this time.  I went for a long walk in the marina to allow Jim to sleep.  After an hour of walking I returned to the boat and read for while, eventually falling back to sleep.  Sleep is always better for me on a boat, regardless of being docked or not.  There is something about the security of the surrounding, and the fact you feel the movement of the world that gives me a since of security.

At 7:20 I heard noise and felt movement.   Jim was up and getting ready, I grabbed my gear and headed for the showers, while Jim returned the car and checked out of the marina.  When Jim returned, we added fresh water in the tanks, motored over to the fuel station and pumped out the holding tank.

By 9:30 we were leaving Shilshole for Puget Sound, headed for Port Townsend, Washington. We went along Whidbey Island toward the Straight of San Juan.  According to Wikipedia, "Whidbey Island is the largest of nine islands located in Island County, Washington, in the United States. " 

Whidbey Island

We motored most of the day trying and hoping to make good time against the currents and tides, while dodging other sea going traffic.  By 5:30 we reached Port Townsend with Port Angeles still another 2 hours away.  We decided to stay in Port Townsend, home of the Wooden Boat Festivals.  Pulling into the Port of Port Townsend marina I got a real appreciation for the beauty and character of the wooden boats.  They were everywhere in the marina and many of them reminded me of Lin and Larry Pardy's Talesin.  Pulling into the marina we came along a tall ship that so meticulously maintained.  

We found a slip and went to check in, grab dinner and walk about the town.

Port Townsend is a city with a great deal of character and characters.   The downtown is full of historic building, and pleasant tree lined sidewalks.

Along our walk we came across a human power, mud bogger being towed on a trailer; not something you'd see every day.

The mud bogger actually seats five including the driver, all with pedals connect to the drive train.

Along the way we passed by a place that looked great for dinner and turned out to be so, Dos Okies.

Dos Okies was originated by two Okies that decided to drive out to the west coast back in the 70's.  When they went the wrong way they hit the coast line and decide to stay and sell BBQ.  Today, they are still there in a little roadside restaurant, where one Okie, serves, cooks, and waits on tables.  I don't know where the other one is.  The BBQ was excellent and very filling.  We needed a good meal after our 2 mile walk about town and we needed an early start to reach Neah Bay the next day.

October 6, 2012

Morning came early and as soon as we could see we left Port Townsend to head out to Neah Bay.   The currents caused eddies all over the inlet making getting out to the channel a slow process.   The sunrise along the Straight was worth the long ride to channel, a wonderful pink sky backed the light houses as we fought the eddies.  Leaving the inlet and the marina we also had to navigate our way through the clusters of sea otters laying on their backs munching on their morning meals.  It's something to see them, floating on their backs, watching the boats go by as breakfast entertainment.

I realized something about Jim, through the morning and mid-day - he's an excellent cook.  Jim's salads are outstanding, and he makes a mean breakfast coffee.

By mid-day we had wind!  Setting sails, we were making 9 knots at times heading out with the current.

Jim and I spotted whales about 100 yard off the shore leading into Neah Bay.  It had been a while since I was there and although it seemed familiar after 10 years a lot had changed.  Neah Bay is on the Makah reservation, and is frequented by salmon fishermen, and yachtsman going out to sea.  

As we pulled into the slip I notice the fish boat opposite us was listing to one side.  As I looked upward to the top of the outriggers it was appearent the reason for the boats positions was the weight of the bald eagle perched on one of the outriggers.

It is hard to appreciate the size of the bird in the photo, but he was at least 4 foot tall and had a striking pose, as he watched us pull in.

We found the reservation to not be all that welcoming, so we headed for the local market and picked up two steaks that Jim cooked on the boat.  Once again Jim's culinary arts were certainly appreciated; he made a very tasty meal.

We watch a sailing movie, "Captain Ron" for entertainment on the laptop and turned in early.

October 7, 2012

We motored out of Neah Bay at 6:30am and headed for Grays' Harbor.  Jim and I got up about 5:00am,  had breakfast and got the boat underway.  By 10am we were in blue water heading out to a 6 mile limit to parallel the Washington coast.

Flat seas and no wind meant we we moved only under power throughout the day.  By 7:30pm we approached the lights of the channel leading to Grays' Harbor.  In reading Charlie's Chart's, the author warns not to pull into Gray's Harbor unless you really need to or conditions are really good.  Having no wind, and flat seas, made the crossing of the bar easy, it was reading the lights that was hard.

A large seawall protects the marina in Gray's Harbor from the winter storms, but makes an erie approach at night.  The marina is mostly for commercial fishing, so it attracts aggressive harbor seals that could be hear barking from a mile away.  A light fog had come in that night, which diffused the industrial lights of the fishing boats behind the sea wall.  The combination of the barking seals, diffuse lights and moonless night, made the approach seem like a fitting scene for a horror movie.

We moored the boat and turned into bed at 10:30pm.

October 8, 2012

Once again we arouse at 5 and were out to see in an hour headed for Astoria.  The weather and the bar turned ugly as we made our way out of the harbor to open water.  A light rain and a 15knot wind made the 5 foot swells hard to fight through.  By early morning the swells and wind had driven wave height to be about 8-10feet right into our nose.  The boat motored up the swollen wave, leading to a 8 foot drop of the bow as she crashed through the waves.  We could only make about 4 knots while we moved toward blue water.  In my eagerness I tried to push her a little more, but the resulting bouncing caused the bow anchor to come off and we began to drag it.  jim ran up to the bow and tied her off while I held the boat steady.  No real damage was done, so we motored on.  Oddly I was relaxed in mix of wet weather and bouncing sea and took  a nap on the deck in the late morning run.

By 4:00pm we were close enough to Oregon to find the #1 buoy and made the turn around her.

The long entrance to the Columbia Bar is often short circuited by pleasure boat placing their boat at risk for roll over in the powerful waves on either side of the channel.  We ended up crossing the bar at 5:30 and on the Columbia River by 6.

Ranidan pulled into the marina in Astoria and soon I was packed, off the boat and back to work.  My wife brought Jim's son down to the marina from Portland.  Jim bought us dinner at a place in Astoria.

It was a great trip!  thanks Jim, Charing and Ranidan for the wonderful memories.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekend Selling and Another Weekend Buying....

Last weekend we went over to Schooner Creek Boatworks for their swap sale, and opened a booth of our own.  After going through the Catalina 30 - NiSe and the CarolMarie, we had so many left overs it wasn't funny.  With more than two sets of spare every things, we decided to sell off any surplus at the swap sale.  In the end we made over a hundred bucks, selling out way before closing.

After letting it all go, this weekend both boats closed.  The NiSe closed and so I paid off the CarolMarie - now she's mine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Another night out and another adventure.

On September 19th Tomm comes into the office and says, "I am ready, let's go."  Can only mean one thing to me and that's the boss wants to go sailing, who am I to say no.

Being only the second time out on the CarolMarie I asked him if he knew of anyone else wanting to go.   "Sure," he says, "let me call James."  Jim as it turns out ordered a Hallberg-Rassy in 2004 and sailed it back from Europe to the US, and went up and down the east coast.  Jim was looking for a place to move his boat to and happened to be in Salpare Bay when Tomm called.

After a quick car ride to the marina, we check in with the Habor-master and there's Jim having one with the boys, Justin and Cap'n John.  So we invite John and Jim over and prep for a quick sail up river.

I had yet to even open the reacher, so since winds were light I suggest we pull her out for the evening.  Once we got out Tomm and John helped me deploy the reacher with sheets that were way too short.  Jim steer us downwind as we hoisted the sail.

Once fully deployed I could see a couple of pin hole patches were made, so we'd likely need a new one soon.  Being that we were on the Columbia River, the current kept us mostly in place.  After a half hour of going no where, we dropped the reacher and motored over to the Island Cafe on the opposite side of the island from the marina.  John jumped off and went back to his boat (a 2 block walk) while the three of us had dinner.

After enjoying a nice dinner, we set off to motor back to the marina.  On the way back we motored back up stream toward the airport, only to find a soft grounding near the marina at the entrance to the channel (see the picture below.)

Ariel view of the island.  The marina is at A, the cafe and the grounding spot are shown.  The purple lines are where the gillnets crossed the river, and the orange circle where the buoys were at the end of the nets.

I reversed the motor and we came off easily, no worries I thought she's a full keel and it shouldn't be a problem. When we got past the sandbar on the east end of the island and back out into the channel I smelled burning rubber, then an alarm fired off.  The engine was starting to overheat, the water cooling pump belt broke.

I shut down the engine immediately and went to work raising the staysail. Once raised we had enough wind to control our drift down stream and back to the marina. 

As we were sailing along I saw a strobe in the water, mid-river.  I hollered out the crew that I think it could be a kayaker in trouble we should check it out.  As we drifted closer I could see that the flasher was attached to a buoy.  That buoy marked the end of a driftnet, with the boat on the other side of the river.

I was watching for lights on the river for fishing but I didn't see what the COREGs from the Coast Guard ask for.  

Signals for trawlers

  • Vessels of 20 metres or more in length when engaged in trawling, whether using demersal or pelagic gear, shall exhibit:
    • when shooting their nets:
      two white lights in a vertical line;
    • when hauling their nets:
      one white lights over one red light in a vertical line; and
    • when the net has come fast upon an obstruction:
      two red lights in a vertical line.
  • Each vessel of 20 metres or more in length engaged in pair trawling shall exhibit:
    • by night, a searchlight directed forward and in the direction of the other vessel of the pair; and
    • when shooting or hauling their nets or when their nets have come fast upon an obstruction, the lights prescribed in 2 (a) above.
  • A vessel of less than 20 metres in length engaged in trawling, whether using demersal or pelagic gear or engaged in pair trawling, may exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section as appropriate.

The fishing vessels had no lights and were under 20m in length.  A typical gillnetter is shown below.

It wasn't long before one of them came over and told us where the nets were.  We tried our best to sail around them, but ended up sailing over another misunderstanding the earlier guidance given.

We were able to sail all the way to the dock, only turning the motor on briefly to berth her.  Another night, and another adventure.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Reading "Sailing Around the World Alone"

Well I have been reading "Sailing Around the World Alone" again for the 4th time.  Written by Joshua Slocum at the turn of the last century about being the first one to sail around the world single handed.

Slocum reading aboard the S/V Spray

I am amazed by his writing style and elegance for simplicity and self-reliance.  For example from his book when he thought he might be attack by pirates,

"Now, it is well known that one cannot step on a tack without saying something about it. A pretty good Christian will whistle when he steps on the "commercial end" of a carpet-tack; a savage will howl and claw the air, and that was just what happened that night about twelve o'clock, while I was asleep in the cabin, where the savages thought they "had me," sloop and all, but changed their minds when they stepped on deck, for then they thought that I or somebody else had them. I had no need of a dog; they howled like a pack of hounds. I had hardly use for a gun. They jumped pell-mell, some into their canoes and some into the sea, to cool off, I suppose, and there was a deal of free language over it as they went. I fired several guns when I came on deck, to let the rascals know that I was home, and then I turned in again, feeling sure I should not be disturbed any more by people who left in so great a hurry."

His little boat a gift from an aging friend was called the Spray.

He rebuilt the Spray, all 36 ft of her by his own hand when he was 51.  The book chronicles the three year circumnavigation, and is a wonderful read.   Slocum was lost at sea five year after writing the book aboard the Spray.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cleaning and finally a test sail....

More cleaning, more cleaning more cleaning...... I was getting sick of cleaning the boat.  But in the end sailing her was worth the effort.  Here's her decks finally cleaned off, and the cockpit teak cleaned for oiling.

Teak Cockpit cleaned.

Port-side hull

Starboard side hull

 Starboard Side Deck

Port-side Deck

The cushions all cleaned and now bunks are made, and the cabin is cleaned.

 Dinette with Robert Thomas Original Painting
 Navigation Station
Pullman bunk

With everything in decent order we decided to go out for the day on Saturday.  Kevin Rhodes my long time friend and crew-mate, his son boom-butt Taylor, his daughter Sarah, and my friend Lee all joined Kona and I for the day sail up the Columbia River to the I205 bridge.  We left about 3:30pm, winds were 5-8 heading out of the southwest.  We motored out of Salpare Bay passing the dry-dock on the Washington side of the river before putting up sails.  We set the jib, and the staysail, then hoisted the main.  

 Taylor and Kona with the jib and staysails.

We were doing about 3-5 knots until the wind picked up to 10-12kts.  Once that wind picked up the Carol-Marie really took off up to 7.3knots (8.5 mph).  Which to non-sailors is not that fast, but few of them actually steer a 25 ton vehicle with no brakes.  She was flying!

Kevin, Kona and the back of Sarah

Kona proved to be a great sailor, at as far as Lee was concerned.   Kona has a significant tell to explain his mood, specifically his nose.  You see his nose turns red as he becomes more exhausted.  About an hour and a half into the sail Kona's nose was bright pink.   It was about the same time we had decent winds.  As we turned around near the I205 red buoy, we turned from a reach to a slight beat, having to tack down river.  With two nice chairs in the cockpit, one each for Kevin and Lee, Kona had no where to lay and get rest; at least no where he saw fit.  So being the plush prince of the decks he decided to take advantage of the tacks to steal the chair of the lee-ward side of the tack.  By stealing the lee-ward side, he was always against the edge of the cockpit as the boat heeled and he wouldn't slide out of the chair.  I noticed Kona seated in the chairs, but never saw how he was getting in them.

About mid-way back, Lee said to me, "Terry you've got an excellently trained sailing dog."

"really?"  I retorted.

"yeah," Lee explained, "Every-time you say, 'Helm's Alee', he gets up.  Then while we are bent over the wenches controlling the sails he sniffs our bottoms, until we turn around then takes the chair of his choosing."

I guess some animals too are born sailors.

We tied up about 6:30pm, and put the boat away.  Great first sail.

Sla'n - Terry

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Days 1, 2 and 3 of Used Boat Ownership

They say the happiest times in a boaters life are when they buy a boat and when they sell a boat.  Well we bought the Carol-Marie this weekend.  She is a Hans Christian 38 MKII built in 1980.  We are her third owners, and she has not been in salt water for more than 3 weeks.  She has been in the Columbia River most of her life, sitting idle, waiting to be used.  To paraphrase the old saying, 'The saddest sight in the world is a boat rotting in harbor.'  But that's what she was.....

We spent the first three days cleaning out the boat.  12 half filled jugs of motor oil all expired, expired flares, expired fire extinguishers, etc.....  Seaweed hanging from the port-lights, old socks, old shorts, old toothbrushes, and bunion pads....  Three pick up trucks full of junk, thrown away or place in a pile to sell at the swap meet in two weeks.  The boat raised out of the water an additional 2 inches. We clean out the cabin area, washed the cushions, put them back into the boat, so now she is clean inside.  Thanks to Charing and Cheryl for helping out (actually doing most of the interior cleaning.)  I promised I wouldn't post their pictures here.

S/V Carol-Marie on Survey Day

She needs to be cleaned, brightwork done, new decks, new hatch cover, new running rigging, new sails, the list goes on and on and on....  But we are two years away from sailing her to Hawaii, which has been our plan all along.  Stay tuned more pictures to come.