10/16/2008, Bahia de Tortugas
Our day started with warm winds. We moved our boat to a new anchorage at the East end of the bay close to where the beach party was. I talked to several people with diesel engine experience. It all boiled down to one thing: was the oil consumption in the order of liters per hour, or liters per day?
I ran the engine the entire afternoon and evening and then checked the oil dipstick level. There was no apparent difference. Good news: the oil consumption seems to be at a reasonable rate.
Just to be sure, I bought 14 liters of engine oil to take with us.
10/16/2008, Pacific Ocean
This is our second night passage on the way to Turtle Bay. John is at the helm; I'm about to start a shift at 2 a.m. If we maintain our present speed we will arrive at 9 a.m.
The total length of this leg is 390 nautical miles. Winds are light, 8 knots coming from behind gives us a very low apparent wind speed so we are motorsailing.
We had a very nice afternoon under sail yesterday. The air and sea temperatures are noticeably getting warmer.
We fixed the radar mount yesterday. John held the assembly at the right angle with Vise Grips and Francois adjusted the height of the assembly using the topping lift, while I extracted the broken bolt and replaced it with a new one.
We had a problem with the furling line yesterday. The interior core of the line inexplicably bulged out of the line like a big hernia. This made it impossible to pass the line through a fairlead and impossible to furl the sail. Thank goodness this didn't happen to us in a blow! I removed the furling line and replaced it with a thinner line. Ironically this thinner line is the original line that Harken supplied with the new roller furler.
I also discovered an imminent problem at the furler. The tack of the jib is fastened to the furler with a short pennant made of something like Vectran. This pennant is suffering from chafe and won't last much longer. While we're in Turtle Bay I'll have to improvise something better. A steel cable pennant would be the way to go here. Maybe someone in the Haha fleet has steel cable and crimps that I can use.
I need to add steel cable and crimps to my list of required spares to carry.
10/16/2008, San Francisco
Here's a photo as we pass under the Golden Gate...
10/16/2008, San Francisco to Monterey leg
I woke up on our boat one morning to find that we were sailing slowly over large swells in the Pacific Ocean; we had started our trip to Mexico. An hour later, we saw a humpback whale constantly waving its fins around, then, a few minutes later, we saw a huge pack of seals following our boat. One of the prettiest sights was that on the left of our boat were large mountains, and on the right was an ocean that seemed to go on forever; it was just a beautiful sight. Hours later we finally made our first stop at Monterey; I was excited to finally set foot on land again. The moon was colored blood red as it started rising. The next morning, we left Monterey and continued our way down.
10/16/2008, Monterey Bay
Last night, we finally got all the major things done. This last week's activity included replacing lifelines and reattaching stanchions, replacing the backstay, mounting the wind instruments, and installing the new refrigeration.
We also decided to put a video camera at the top of the mast facing downward to the bow. This gives us a bird's eye view of what's ahead and might come in handy when negotiating coral heads. Besides, it's just plain cool.
Having gotten everything buttoned up (both the house and the boat), I drove the car home to park it there for the next several months. Gunnar followed me out there to give me a ride back to the boat. We had a nice dinner at the Corinthian YC and went to bed early.
Paula brought us coffee at 6:30 a.m., which was our wake up call. We cast off the dock lines at 7 a.m. and motored out towards the Golden Gate just as the sun was coming up.
The wind has been very light the entire day, under 12 knots, so we have had to motorsail in order to maintain reasonable speed.
We saw a whale, just off our starboard side. He put on quite a show, waving his flippers in the air.
We are now about an hour and a half from our first destination, Monterey, and the sun is setting.
Okay, we're getting close. We were supposed to depart Oct 10, but that isn't happening, because the rigger isn't done with his work, and we still haven't received some important parts. We're hoping to set sail Tuesday.
Over the last few days, we:
- picked up the new 200 watt solar panel, to double our solar power generating capacity.
- received the new AIS radio receiver hardware.
- had the aluminum arch for the solar panels welded together and installed it on the boat.
- installed the two solar panels. Each panel produces 200 watts, giving us a grand total of 400 watts of power! We will hopefully have to never run the engine for electrical power.
- started replacement of the lifelines. In so doing, we found that the bolts on some of the stanchions need to be replaced.
- picked up replacement teak rails for cabin top.
Here's what still needs to be done in the next 2 days before our departure:
- receive and install charge controller for solar panels (Fedex ETA Monday)
- install life raft on deck.
- install second propane tank in aft locker.
- receive and install correct winch crown kits for halyard winches.
- install new wind instruments and anchor light at masthead.
- install cable protector at mast base.
- install new backstay and hydraulic backstay adjuster.
- install new clutches for genoa car adjusters.
- install new stanchion bolts starboard and new lifelines.
- provision food, supplies and clothing for crew.
- provision fuel, water, and propane.
- install lee cloths.
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!!
* 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.