June 11, 2010, Olympia, WA (Swantown Marina)
Our boat neighbor and friend Jeff Orlando made these great boat cards for us! He runs his own blog site at www.nonsuch30.com. From there, you can click on the "yachtcards" link and take a look at other cards he has created. He did such a great job. These are such a great thing to have while out cruising. It is a great way to share your email or website with friends you meet along the way.
June 9, 2010, Olympia, WA (Swantown Marina)
When we moved aboard our sailboat, we understood that we had to give up certain luxuries in life. We gave up personal space, microwaves, square beds, roomy showers, and other nice things found in the typical suburban home. One thing we did not want to give up was our refrigerator. Andiamo came equipped with a nice Isotherm sea-water cooled refrigeration unit that did a great job of cooling our built-in icebox. The little unit worked every day for us for well over a year. Although it wouldn't freeze ice or keep icecream frozen, it did a good job of keeping dairy fresh and beer cold. It was all going great until about 2 months ago when it gave up the ghost.
I was preparing for my last trip to Afghanistan when the refer broke so I only had a few days to help Tami diagnose the problem. Needless to say, after I left, the problem fell square in her lap. With an already full schedule, Tami found time to contact a repairman and make a valiant attempt to get the little guy fixed. On a side note here, we found out the hard way that these little buggers have small zinc anodes in the water lines to keep them from corroding. Our boat and all through-hulls are bonded (or so I thought) to help with this corrosion problem - all through hulls except the water intake for the fridge. So after a year of neglect, the little zincs were long gone and corrosion had set in all through the system to include the compressor, condenser, and evaporator. It was ruined. The repairman thought he could repair it, and after 2 weeks of working on it and replacing parts, we had it back in the boat...it still didn't work.
Once again, we pulled the dang thing out and took it up to Boat Electric in Seattle to see if their refrigeration guys could do any better. After a day or so, they said it was a lost cause and that we should go ahead and purchase a new fridge - OUCH! So, after $1,000 bucks already spent trying to save the old one, we began our search for a new one. We wanted a similar model because of the mounting configuration and reputation of Isotherm among a few other reasons. After some research and price comparison, we settle on a new Isotherm ASU 4701 sea-water cooled unit with holding plate for the cool price of $2,200. (Excuse me, I just threw up a little in my mouth!) Defender.com had the best price, no sales tax, and an overnight shipping option - we took it! I'll save my customer service experience with Defender for another blog, but it wasn't fun. In short, if you are buying anything from Defender, don't trust the website. Call in your order and talk to a human to make sure the person who is supposed to be watching the web orders does his/her job!
Finally, after 2 months, $3,200, and a lot of headaches we have a new fridge. The installation was a breeze (yes, I read the instructions) and the new holding plate is a much better fit in our icebox than the bulky aluminum evaporator from the old unit. We still have some clean-up to do, but the holding plate froze quickly and the icebox is cooling nicely. I think (hope) we are going to be happy with it. If not, you will certainly hear about it.
June 5, 2010, Olympia, WA (Swantown Marina)
Part of preparing Andiamo and crew for departure includes mandatory survival training. Until last week, we only had one child sized immersion suit on board the boat. Tami and I had resorted to committing the one suit to the kid with the most potential (just kidding) until we found a good deal on another suit at Second Wave in Seattle. So now, both kids get an equal chance at survival and a bright future should we be forced to abandon ship.
So, today was survival suit donning and picture day. We introduced the kids to their new fashion wear and explained how to get in them. They weren't taking it seriously at first, but then we explained to them how it could save their lives and that sharks hate the taste of survival suits. That instantly changed their minds. They are true believers now! Of course it was too hot for us to try ours on, so the kids had all the fun. It was a useful and entertaining training event. Both kid's suits were in good shape and fit relatively well. All the zippers and velcro worked and the even the whistles and lights got a trial run. We all had fun and took a few pictures for historical purposes.
On a side note, last week, Tami and kids took our liferaft in to have it inspected and serviced. It was an old Avon that had been aboard the boat since we bought it. They didn't really know how old it was until the service technician inflated it for them. It smelled like World War II and I think it had a wooden floor! Nonetheless, the 28 year old artifact was condemned. The kids did get a good education out of the experience, however. The technician gave them a little class on the raft and its contents. They were even able to taste the survival rations. They got in the raft, but got out quickly because they couldn't stand the smell. So, needless to say, we had to order a new raft. We ordered a SeaSafe, offshore, self-righting, 6-man, hard-case liferaft. It should be here in a couple weeks. The kids were excited to hear that our new raft won't smell like the silent film era.
Well, back to my story....even during a serious safety seminar, Christian had the humorous wherewithall to give Abby a set of "bunny ears" with his 3-fingered glove during picture time. Those kids crack us up! More survival training pictures will follow in the album shortly. Enjoy!
April 23, 2010
Andiamo III is our 1982 Hans Christian 43 Traditional Cutter (hull #68). She was designed by Harwood Ives (Glouchester Yacht Design) and built by Hans Christian Yachts in the King Dragon boat yard in Taipei Hsien, Taiwan. From tip to tip, she is just over 52' long, 13' wide, and carries a draft of 6' 2". Tipping the scales at close to 40,000lbs, she has full keel with almost 13,000 lbs of ballast. Since new, Andiamo has sailed over 60,000 nautical miles and visited world destinations like the Mediterranean, South America, the Galapagos Islands, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Hong Kong and other exotic destinations in between. In 1994, Andiamo completed the Pacific Cup Challenge from San Francisco to Hawaii with the first all-women crew.
Andiamo is a solid, heavy, ocean-going, sea-worthy vessel. Her warm, teak interior is full of history and nautical character. She is a head-turner at any dock, powerful under sail, and extremely sexy at anchor. The moment we first stepped aboard, we knew we were home. Not even half-way down the companionway and Tami says "we'll take it"! So, after a solid survey and sea trial, we became the third owners of Andiamo in the fall of 2008. During the purchase process, we came across some paperwork listing the names of the original owners, Susan and Andy Kerr. Thanks to modern technology and the internet, we were able to connect with Susan quite easily. It only took a few minutes over the phone for us to become friends. Susan regaled us with stories of world travel and shed some very valuable light on the boat's colorful history. Since that time, we have become very good friends and remain so to this day. We are so blessed to have her in our life and hope we can give Andiamo at least half the adventure that Susan and her husband did.