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JUNESSA now has a sailing FAMILY!
WORK TO LIVE! DON'T LIVE TO WORK!!!!!
BACK ON JUNESSA!
Rick 72,531
03/30/2012, Port Townsend, WA USA

Ahoy! I'm back on JUNESSA!!! YEA! She is sitting pretty, just waiting to get wet!:)

I've been cleaning things out and fixing small projects to get her back in the water.
The PROJECT LIST has grown longer than my arm now.... :( Break out some more "BOAT bucks!!!"

It's been cold, rainy and windy here in Port Townsend, so I've been down below working in the engine room, cooking and napping! I know.... "get your arssss in gear and get her in the water!!!" I can hear everyone yelling! haha

stay tuned! :P


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LUNCH AT THE OFFICE
RICK, 71,250
03/10/2012, Afganistan

HELLO! From Afghanistan!
I'm having my "lunch" at the "office"... Bunny Grahms! No wonder why I'm loosing weight... haha

All is well here in the Sandbox! I've been flying a lot and staying busy working-out and walking. I can't wait to get back to COLORS... blues, greens, reds, yellows... anything other than tan and brown!!!!

Hopefully I'll be back in the USA next month to work on JUNESSA and maybe even get her wet again! :)

Plans??? Well, they seem to change by the week, so I'll just say... I PLAN TO GO SAILING. Not sure where or for how long, but I've been off my boat for way too long. I was thinking of Alaska again, but we'll see.

Cheers from the Sandbox!

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ORDERED CAPEHORN SELF-STEERING VANE
Rick, 69, 890
02/17/2012, Kandahar Province

PHOTO CURTESY OF CAPEHORN.COM

I finally ordered the CapeHorn self-steering Windvane for JUNESSA! I can't wait to install the CapeHorn and put it thru it's paces! It will be soooo nice to sail SILENTLY with NO ENERGY REQUIRED... 24/7!

The wind vane is a way to sail a 'course' by setting the wind vane to an apparent wind angle... say you want to sail 270 degrees or WEST, you point the boat to WEST, engage the wind vane and as long as the wind stays the same, you will sail effortlessly in a WESTERLY direction.

The big difference between this wind vane and an autopilot is, the autopilot will try its best to keep the boat on a set magnetic heading or course, so if the wind changes, the sails will need constant adjustment... with the wind vane, if the wind changes, the boat will change heading with the change in the wind direction because the vane keeps the same apparent wind (not really a good thing if you are near land!!!) The autopilot also needs a lot of electrical power to run 24/7 on a a ocean passage and they are NOISY and can burn out during heavy use. And in a pinch, some vanes can be used as emergency rudders.... So, I think I made a good decision for my offshore cruising plans! :)

I've been in contact with the inventor, Yves GĂ©linas, who sailed 28,000 miles without hand steering his boat JEAN-DU-SUD. I've been very impressed with his customer service so far! I'm expecting to have the CapeHorn ready for installation sometime in April! I look forward to posting pics of the install and the shake-down with it. Stay Tuned!

CapeHorn.com

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Winter in Afganistan
Rick 68,242
01/27/2012, Kandahar Province

Snow on the Desert!

January is coming to a close... Amazing how time seems to just pick up pace as we get older... Have you checked your 'Bucket-List' lately?

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Rick 67,447
01/18/2012, Afganistan

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

I'm back in the Sandbox of Afghanistan trying to stock up the cruising kitty.

This country is really spectacular from the air!!! It reminds me of America's Southwestern desert!

I received a photo of JUNESSA sitting high and dry with a blanket of new snow on her... she should really be sitting in a warm wet place like MEXICO or THE SOUTH PACIFIC!! Hopefully this will be the year of the Big Cruise! :)


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FLYING OVER AFGHANISTAN
Rick, 65,179
12/15/2011, Kandahar Province

My newest job location.... Kandahar Province, Afghanistan... It's ALMOST like flying in Hawaii... except no palm trees, no water, very little green... and people want to shoot you down here!!! In all honesty, it's very beautiful from the air! I would love to fly around with the doors off and a good camera in my hands!!! The light here can be so dramatic!



It's winter here, so it gets below freezing at night and warms up during the day.

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Inside Passage Video Update
Rick 42968
12/14/2011, Alaska Inside Passage



Enjoy!

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Port Townsend Art
Rick 63,876
11/27/2011, PORT TOWNSEND, WA

Art Work at Port Townsend, Washington... Winter is on it's way!

I'm starting to settle down in my new job in Afghanistan... The sand and dust was really kicking my butt at first, but i'm starting to get used to it. The country has a beauty unlike the desert southwest of the US... huge spires and mountains with beautiful patterns and colors- when the light is right. (I can't post any pictures yet, sorry!!!)

Have a great WINTER where every you are!!!
Please leave comments... they make my day! :)
Cheers from the sand box!

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ON THE HARD
Rick 63,545
11/22/2011, PORT TOWNSEND, WA

JUNESSA sitting pretty on the hard....

I didn't do much work on the boat while I was "HOME" this time, so JUNESSA looks pretty much as she did all summer. :(

I think the next big ticket item will be to drop a few 'boat-bucks' on a new Cape Horn wind vane!!! I'm finally convinced that a wind vane is needed to sail the 7-seas! I have two autopilots that worked fine during my Inside Passage trip a couple years ago, but I learned a lot about nasty seas and high winds during my Three-Amigos trip... A WIND VANE STEERING IS A MUST HAVE!!!

JUNESSA's rear-end is going to put on a little weight when I get back!!! I'll add the two 65watt solar panels, the AirBreeze wind-generator and soon a CAPE HORN wind vane! I really hope I never back into something solid... could turn out to be a very very expensive accident!

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POWER OF AIS
RICK 63,545
11/21/2011, PORT TOWNSEND, WA

Screenshot of my Garmin chart plotter with AIS overlay,
using the ICOM MXA-5000

One piece of gear I'm 100 percent happy with and would recommend to all boaters is an AIS receiver. This little black box uses your vhf antenna to receive info from supported ships OVER THE HORIZON (I've 'seen' ships as far off as 29nm on the chart plotter!)

This picture shows the M/V EVERGREEN ship at 25nm and if I would press ENTER, the chart plotter or computer would bring up a dialog box with all kinds of useful data on that ship, such as NAME OF VESSEL, SPEED, HEADING, etc... So, now when you see a ship off in the distance and you can't make out the name, simply look at the chart plotter... or if it's nasty weather or foggy out, you just look on the chart plotter to see where the ships are!!! Pretty cool! (small boats aren't required to transmit yet, only the bigger boats/ships, so you still have to keep a good look out!)

Here's to technology that actually works!


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THREE AMIGOS
RICK 61,337
11/03/2011

My Dad (Richard sr) and Son (Chad) and me (Richard jr) on board SUNJET, a 35' Beanatu Catamaran.

We sailed from Grenada to Panama, via Bonaire, Aruba and Columbia and San Blas Islands.

This trip turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime! Three generations that have spent VERY LITTLE time together over the past 24 years, forced to be in close quarters for weeks, we got to know each other a lot better! We became the three amigos!!!! :)

Thanks Dad for bringing us closer together!!!!


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GARMIN 9555 REPAIR
Rick
11/01/2011, PORT TOWNSEND, WA

My poor Garmin 9555 in pieces!!!

I think it was the second or third time I used my Garmin when I accidentally dropped it on the floor, breaking the antenna... I was crushed! This thing was brand-new-right-out-of-the-box and I drop it! ugh! Lucky for me, it came with an external antenna.

It was going to be a $250 charge for Garmin just to look at the thing, so as any good cruiser would do, I got out the tool kit and started to disassemble the thing!

I tell ya what, they sure did make it difficult to get that little antenna out... If you look at the lower right corner of the picture, there is my tube of super glue pointing at the spot that broke. Garmin tried to reinforce this spot, but they need a longer piece of metal inside... the one onboard is way toooooooo short, and that's why it broke.

I put it back together and powered her up... worked like a charm! saved myself over $250 bucks!

Here's to technology and tools....

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LOCUST IN THE HEAD
RICK, 61,335
10/28/2011, Shelter Bay, Colon, Panama

This HUGE locust was in love with it's self... some how it was hanging on the MIRROR! CRAZY! It was bigger than my hand! We had to look over our shoulder when using the bathroom!!! haha

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DON'T MESS WITH NATURE
Rick, 60,715
10/28/2011, Fort Sherman, Panama

Chad!!! Stop licking the ant nest!!! Come on! We just ate pancakes with peanut butter!!! Jeese! the boy is always hungry... haha

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HIGH FIVE!
Rick, 60,715
10/28/2011, Shelter Bay, Colon, Panama

It's official... The three amigos made it to SHELTER BAY MARINA, inside the entrance to the Panama Canal!!! We completed the trip with NO MAJOR injuries (my broken toe, bumps, bruises, scrapes and cuts) and NO MAJOR boat breakdowns, so it was a total success!!! HIGH FIVE's ALL AROUND!


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UPDATING BLOG
Rick, 60,481
10/27/2011, Portobello, Panama

The sun has finally come back out, the winds have been light and variable, so it's time to update the blog site... enjoy!


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HUMAN FISH LURE
Rick
10/26/2011, San Blas Islands, Panama

We are being towed behind the boat with mask/snorkel gear! We look like human lures! haha We were hoping to find a sunken ship or old Spanish Gold Chest... but no luck!
Dad put the boat into high gear and we almost lost our shorts!!!! haha

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PLAY TIME
Rick
10/26/2011, 9 30'N:78 37'W, Middle of San Blas Islands

CHAD playing? or scrapping the boat's bottom! haha

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COCO BANDERO CAYS
Rick
10/25/2011, 9 30'N:78 37'W, Middle of San Blas Islands

This is were we anchored for the day! It was so beautiful it made the cover of THE PANAMA CRUISING GUIDE!!!

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TOP OF THE WORLD
Rick
10/25/2011, 9 28'N:78 40'W, Middle of San Blas Islands

I'm at the top of the mast looking down at the Huge Looking Cat below!!! 35 feet by 19 feet looks huge from up here!!! But docked next to the mega yachts, we look like a little toy!!

Our vhf antenna came loose, so I had to climb up and fix it... what a view!!

While I was up there a huge hammer-head shark swam right up to the boat then took off before I could power up the camera! We started wearing our dive knifes after that! :)

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