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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
More Stuff Done

Well, since I last wrote here's what we've gotten done:

- replaced the starter motor
- installed very cool sliding pantry shelves. 5 slide-out shelves give us lots of food storage.
- installed the new refrigeration. This is the keel-cooled refrigeration (somewhat misnamed, that is, the refrigeration is cooled via a bronze block under the water line on the exterior of the hull). This refrigeration includes a digital thermostat that displays the temperature of the freezer compartment AND that of the refrigerator compartment. Temperature of both compartments can be controlled independently. The whole system is silent and installs beneath the floorboards.
- purchased plumbing components to replumb A/C (air conditioning) unit. Will do this when there's spare time in Mexico. Loaded the parts and hoses into the compartment where the A/C is.
- installed Propane sniffer/interlock and solenoid.
- installed upgrade kits for the large primary winches. These upgrade kits modernize the self tailing mechanisms. We also attempted to upgrade the smaller winches, but infortunately found that Harken had shipped the wrong parts to us. So now we have to scramble to get the correct parts!!! It seems that everythign Harken ships us is the wrong part. Harken has been TERRIBLE with shipping the wrong parts to us.
- I got the arch I designed to support the solar panels made and installed it today. I installed one of the solar panels onto it. It's a superb fit. The second solar panel will be installed tomorrow. Together the two panels will produce 400 watts of power!!

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Action List

* complete new refrigeration installation
* replace starter motor
* test SSB email
- upgrade winches
- replumb A/C water strainer
* install life raft
* install solar panels
- test Raytech software
* install propane interlock & sniffer
- get AIS
- get directional wifi antenna
- install pantry shelves & locks
* install hose clamps aft head

(* = essential)

Here's what's scheduled:
Sunday: rigger Jonah will complete roller furler installation. I'll assist.
Monday: John and I will sail to Alameda to boat yard to have boat hauled and install through-hull for refrigeration and SSB ground plate. Rigger Jonah will meet us there to continue rigging work. Marin Metalworks will have final parts ready for solar panel arch.
Tuesday: Diesel mechanic will arrive to replace starter. Installer will arrive to install pantry storage system. Work will continue on rigging and winches. Marin Metalworks will start welding on solar panel arch.

Without giving away too much information, I would like to say I am deeply indebted to Marin Metal Works in Sausalito for their help with the solar panel arch. These guys are fantastic and I look forward to doing lots of interesting projects with them in the future.

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More progress

I bought a new roller furling from Harken. The reason is the old furling required maintenance, the cost of which approached 1/2 the cost of a new furler. So a new one was money more wisely invested. Also I got an extremely good price on the new one.

I worked all day helping the rigger install the new one. This is mostly finished. We'll finish tomorrow weather permitting.

I also installed the remote control for the sound system in the cockpit, and installed a new VHF radio and remote RAM mic.

I also installed the Sirius receiver and opened an account. That now works. I don't have to mount the satellite antenna above decks. It works equally well below decks, because fiberglass is transparent (enough) to radio in the spectrum.

Did I tell you, we have all LED lighting in the boat now?? It's fantastic, the total load for all the lighting is less than 1 amp.

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getting ready
09/29/2008, Tiburon CA

With less than 2 weeks to go, we are getting down to the wire, and starting to feel the heat of the coming planned departure date of October 10. We could let the date slip by a few days, but preferably not.

First I'll list the items that were on the list, that have been taken care of:

rewire electric water heater so it can't be run on the inverter
fix latch in forward head under sink
fix lock on forward head door
install new instruments and radar/chartplotter
install watermaker
remove existing AC inverter and replace with new
add AC outlets to all interior cabins and heads (9 outlets)
add kill switch to wind generator
rebuild, overhaul, and upgrade winches
perform engine service, replace motor mounts
replace house battery bank
remount forward head sump pump
repair fresh water system leaks
install bunk in forward cabin starboard side
install motor crane
install new Jensen/Sirius stereo system
make new sunbrella cover for dinghy
install LED lights for navigation lights

Here are the projects in progress, and nearly completed:

install new refrigeration
install SSB radio
replace standing rigging
repair or replace VHF radio & intercom

Here are projects that remain:

replace hose clamps in aft head
fix lock on chain locker
install shunt for wind generator amp meter
install new LED anchor light fixture
install wind instruments at masthead
replace selected lifelines
install upgrade kits on winches
upgrade line controls on jib fairlead adjustments
check & test starter solenoid
re-plumb water strainer for a/c
replace teak rails on cabin top
make sun shades for dodger and hatches
make insect screens for ports and hatches
test outboard motor
fabricate arch to mount solar panels
mount solar panels
install lee cloths
install pantry food storage system

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10/01/2008 | sherry
Hi Bruce & family~

Thank you so much for the reply and the info on the previous post! It is extremely helpful.

WOW.. You guys -have- been busy!! I'll check in from time to time after your journey is underway to see how the trip is going.

Just 10 more days and Calou is on her way!

~~~Thanks again. And I'll read your updates as you all have time to get to them during your journey! ~~~ :o)

~~ Sherry
New Boat, New Adventures
09/06/2008, Tiburon, CA

We're planning another sail to Mexico this October. As of July 2008, we have purchased another boat, a Jeanneau 47 that we have christened "Calou".

Bruce is outfitting the boat with the necessary cruising gear. Last week a Spectra watermaker was installed, as well as our Icom 802 SSB radio. Yesterday the installation of new instruments (radar/chartplotter, wind, speed and depth) were installed at the helm.

New refrigeration is going in; this will be a Frigoboat keel cooling system.

Other projects in the to-do list include installation of solar panels and a motor crane, and replacing the Xantrex 5200 inverter with another one that is more efficient. (Can you believe, the Xantrex 5200 draws 7 DC amps from the battery when there's no AC load?!)

Also, we're putting all new standing rigging, servicing the winches, and possibly adding two new winches to the cockpit.

Stay tuned here, as we will begin posting about the boat preparations until our departure scheduled roughly October 10.

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09/21/2008 | sherry in Anchorage Alaska
Are you traveling in your boat down to Baja again? Your videos on Youtube are AWESOME! If you get this message.. I'm curious, if you could select one place in Baja to live, where would it be? La Paz? Cabo? Somewhere else? Thanks much ~ and Safe Travels!
09/28/2008 | sherry
Hi again! ...Guess you've been busy and haven't been able to drop by your blog lately.

I'll continue to check it time to time to see if you come back with some new notes and maybe even a response :o)!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~LOVE this site!!!
09/29/2008 | Bruce
hi Sherry - you're right, we're busy, busy, busy!!! Preparations are taking 16 hours a day, 7 days a week now, with 12 days to go. We're making progress, but there's little spare time to update the blog. That'll change after we leave the dock. In answer to your question (where would we like to live in Baja), well here goes:

We hate Cabo for numerous reasons: it's Americanized, outrageously expensive ($150 a night for a slip in the marina). We love La Paz and Mazatlan. To live in Cabo is different than cruising and sailing, though. It depends what one's priorities are. La Paz is nice because it offers the comforts of home (good shopping and access to the necessities we Americans are used to) while still being an authentic Mexican town. If you want to get away from it all, I'd buy a palapa on the beach at Bahia de Concepcion. If dusty small towns are your thing, I'd look at Muleje or Loreto. These are all great places.
09/29/2008 | Bruce
in the above message, when I said, "to live in Cabo", I MEANT to write, "to live in Baja".

Oops! I hope this clarifies things.
Video: Sea of Cortez, Part 3: Concepcion to San Carlos

Here's a video with the highlights of our sail from Bahia de Concepcion northward in the Sea of Cortez, to Santa Rosalia and then across the sea eastward to San Carlos.

This video is Part 3 in a 3-part series.

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Video: Sea of Cortez 2 - Sailing from Puerto Escondido to Isla Martin

Here's a video with the highlights of our sail from Puerto Escondido northward in the Sea of Cortez, to Isla Martin.

Video and stills of our sailing trip in the Sea of Cortez, from Puerto Escondido to Puerto Ballandra where there was an informal cruiser's potcluck on the beach, then to San Juanico, then to Playa El Burro on Bahia de Concepcion, which featured a palapa-lined beach and a homey little restaurant called Bertha's.

We then headed north to an anchorage on Bahia de Concepcion called San Dominico, and met a guy named Garth on the boat INCLINATION who taught the boys about all the types of sea life in Bahia Concepcion, and showed them how to hunt for scallops and clams (steamer clams and the larger, popular "chocolates", so named because the shells are chocolate brown).

This video is Part 2 in a 3-part series.

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07/16/2007 | Rich Boren
Fabulous....absolutely fabulous Guys! Watching these clips makes it hard to wait the 353 Days until we cast off with our two kids and head your save some fun for us!

07/16/2007 | Bruce
thanks, Rich, we look forward to hearing from you in the Sea of Cortez!
Hauling the Boat out in San Carlos
07/07/2007, San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

CALOU was loaded on a truck this morning, using an ingenious submersible trailer that they back down the boat ramp under our boat, and six hydraulic arms are raised up that support the boat. Then the boat is pulled out of the water.

CALOU was then taken to MARINA SECA, where Pascale and I began the task of removing sails and all the rigging and the boom, in preparation for pulling the mast out on Monday.

Then sometime on Wednesday a semi truck will haul her first to Tucson, then home to Sausalito, California. We'll report on this blog how the trucking experience works out for us.

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