Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
23 September 2017 | st marys, ga
17 September 2017 | st marys, ga
14 September 2017 | st marys, ga
12 September 2017 | St Marys, GA
10 September 2017 | st marys, ga
09 September 2017 | st marys, ga
08 September 2017 | st marys, ga
06 September 2017 | st marys, ga
04 September 2017 | st marys, ga
30 August 2017 | st marys, ga
25 August 2017 | st marys, ga
18 August 2017 | st marys, ga
15 August 2017 | st marys, ga
14 August 2017 | Kohala Mountains, Hawaii
13 August 2017 | Volcano National Park, Hawaii
13 August 2017 | Wa'a Wa'a, Puna, Hawaii
13 August 2017 | Kalapana, Ka'u, Hawaii
11 August 2017 | Kalapana, Hawaii
04 August 2017 | Kahala, Oahu
03 August 2017 | Kahala, Oahu
Recent Blog Posts
23 September 2017 | st marys, ga

Maria the Witch

I was patiently waiting for UPS to deliver the computer that I had ordered so long ago, during the hurricane. It arrived in Georgia, but was diverted from the Atlanta area down to Tifton, then up to Brunswick, GA, where it sat for about a week. It arrived today.

17 September 2017 | st marys, ga

Hurricane Immunity

According to the officials, we were without power for almost exactly 48 hours. It went out in the middle of the night a week ago and returned in the middle of the night the second night.

14 September 2017 | st marys, ga

Irma Photos

It seems the day after a hurricane is the best weather, blue skies, a little bit breezy, maybe it’s just the contrast with the horrific conditions of the day before.

12 September 2017 | St Marys, GA

Irma Update

No power, no internet. There have been many requests for an update, mostly by yardbirds who skedaddled to get away or hadn't yet returned to the boatyard.

10 September 2017 | st marys, ga

Irma Dwindles

After seeing the 0500 and 1100 NOAA updates to the progress of Irma, I decided to continue to hunker down and sit out the hurricane in the St. Marys boatyard.

09 September 2017 | st marys, ga

Bracing for It

It was 16 years ago on this date when I launched Kaimu in Norwalk, Connecticut, still unfinished, but able to motor and afloat.

Maria the Witch

23 September 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/post hurricane
I was patiently waiting for UPS to deliver the computer that I had ordered so long ago, during the hurricane. It arrived in Georgia, but was diverted from the Atlanta area down to Tifton, then up to Brunswick, GA, where it sat for about a week. It arrived today.
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It is another Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1. I am very happy with the one I am using now, it has a touchscreen, and now two batteries, so it can run all day on them, good to have on a boat that might lose power, it has an i5 processor which is fairly quick, and 320 gigs of hard drive, so I can accumulate blog pix, music, well, not too much.
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This second CF-C1 has a smaller quicker hard drive, a 128 gig solid state drive. I've never had one before, so I guess I will learn first hand how much faster it goes. It has a web cam built in and came with a second battery, so I don't have to go through the battery ordering process again. It came with an AC adapter. I installed Navigatrix, then put it aside to charge up its batteries.
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I ordered the computer because someone in the boatyard liked my current CF-C1, and when I took a look on eBay, there it was, $99, buy it now, so I did.
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I do a lot of my daytime internet work with the Getac B300, because I can read the screen when it's sunny. Some websites, probably engineered by geeks who live in the dark, use dark backgrounds for a "dramatic" effect. Us outdoor people can't make heads or tails of these sites, but the Getac has a button that increases the brightness about 10X, then you can read anything in the sunlight. When the Georgia boys come around looking for hurricane updates, they need amplification of the images. My snapshots taken in dim surroundings also need some amplification, so anytime I have a dim shot, I hit the button.
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The Getac is a panzer of laptops, when you hold it or have it actually in your lap, it feels like a chunk of heavy metal. It has no fans to cool it, it uses an intricate system of copper, heavy copper, to dissipate heat, and carry it to your lap. Yes, it seems to run hot, but it is impervious to desert heat, I could picture a military tank driver, sweating, climbing up into the sun and using his Getac to make that decisive blow to the enemy, who haven't been reading this blog and don't have that all conquering laptop computer. Woe to them. But here, in the peculiar Georgia heat, even the Getac hits its limit.
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The Getac's case is dark, so it absorbs heat. Even the CF-C1, which is silver, has a black cover when it is closed. In the heat here in St. Marys, both computers lose their marbles if they are left out in the sun. Keep them inside. The Getac begins to move its cursor erratically. The Toughbook acts dumb, nothing happens. Get them inside out of the sun. If they are sitting on a shelf with the sun on them, they get fried. It's like the dashboard of a car in the sun. Fry an egg.
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I was surprised that the Getac would be affected by the heat, but now I realize their most important customers are the police and fire departments, not the military, but I'm sure there are many deployed with the military. The waterproof feature is hard to meet if you also have to have ports and connectors to the outside world. If you close all the watertight doors on the Getac, there is no way to connect, except bluetooth.
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I may get a chance to take one of these computers out to sea in about a week or so. Capn Ford asked me to crew on a delivery of a Lagoon catamaran from the Carolinas to Ft. Lauderdale. We've done this before, just last year, along with my trips down the coast in Kaimu and Trillium. The time of year is important, this is the middle of the hurricane season, so we have to be sensitive to any developing tropical depressions off Africa and also have to research availability of marine services on the coast, affected by the recent hurricanes. Some have had high rip currents and waves, others were hit by Maria or Irma.
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The image is a painting, The Witch's Lagoon, by Elysia Byrd of the UK, it is available for purchase at saatchiart.com

Hurricane Immunity

17 September 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/hurricane prep
According to the officials, we were without power for almost exactly 48 hours. It went out in the middle of the night a week ago and returned in the middle of the night the second night.
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Kaimu is self sufficient with power and even with the hurricane clouds brooding over us, the solar panels still collected enough to keep everything charged up. I did not put the refrigerator on ship’s power because there was almost nothing in it, just half of a Crackerbarrel cheese sampler. It morphed into strange blobs of cheese, but I assume they, like most other processed foods, are of a different composition than healthy natural foods and will not decay, ever. I did not suffer any ill effects from eating the dessicated and half melted cheese blobs.
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I also didn’t go out of my way to eat much of that stuff. The beginning of the power outage had leftover Kalua Pork and Cabbage heated on a camp stove. This stuff is also in the “other’ category, will not go bad. That what does not kill you only makes you stronger, then it kills you. The after effects of the pork and cabbage were predictable.
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Not many in the boatyard during the ordeal. The power went out and that meant no water pressure, just a little to flush the toilets now and then, but no showers, no hot water. Wait, maybe I can use my solar shower that has been lying on deck for a year. Its plastic valve fell apart when I touched it. Yeah, it’s made for solar, not.
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So, when the power came back on, I didn’t have a crowd to fight through to get to the shower or laundry, and those were the first things I did. I had been wrestling with pre-hurricane preparation, sweating all over the place, getting my clothes all sweaty, and ending up a mess with a huge load of fermenting laundry. Clear the decks and wash up.
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Oddly I ran out of pasta and still had lots of Prego spaghetti sauce on hand. I thought I had proportioned those items when I was shopping.
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My bread went moldy, so I substituted Ritz crackers for bread, Ritz cracker sandwiches, now I’m hooked on Ritz and peanut butter for breakfast.
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The weather has been going along with 10 percent precipitation probability and it’s almost like the deluge of the hurricane never happened. There is a residual higher than high tide, caused by astronomics and run off from the hurricane further inland. It takes a while to get to sea.
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I received a package from the US Postal Service and it was a battery adapter for the VHF handheld radio that Carpenter Ron handed off to me. It allows me to use ordinary AAA batteries to power up the radio now that its rechargeable nickel metal hydride battery is dead. Now we have a working radio to get hurricane weather reports, more than a day late, Capn Ron. I also ordered AAA econoloop batteries, which should recharge in the radio’s charging cradle and are engineered not to lose charge when sitting idle. All this paraphernalia costs more than my Craigs List purchase last year of a hand held VHF, West Marine VHF55, which is still around here somewhere. I keep losing it.
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But the post office was delivering very soon after the hurricane had barely passed, and United Parcel Service was nowhere to be found. I went to their local UPS store and shipped out a defective computer battery, which was coming down to the wire for its return, to get my refund, from “gracetechnology2“, an eBay vendor who actually performed well during this hurricane mess. The post office delivered the replacement battery in the middle of this storm, but the boatyard was kind of disfunctional, so I got it a couple days late. This battery is for the CF-C1 I am now using. It is a second battery to extend the operating window to something like 5 hours. Good to have on a boat out at sea.
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Another CF-C1 with solid state hard drive and i5 processor appeared on eBay when I began looking for another one at the request of another yardbird, ninety nine bucks with ten bucks shipping. I didn’t ask if they wanted it, I was ducking the hurricane and ordering on my smart phone.
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This bargain computer is sitting somewhere on a UPS truck, who suspended service to our zip code here in St Marys, even though their local store was open. Even though the local postmen were wading through the hurricane floods, the UPS trucks were not.
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It’s like the anxiety that builds up when a hurricane is coming your way is dissipated by all the work you have to do to get ready. When it blows by, and some get hit really hard, and you don’t get hit, that pent up tension is looking for release, but the local community is mixed, some are still evacuees and want the local police to cordon off the community, some are like us, self sufficient, eager to resume business as usual. We are looking for things to do, we are pent up.
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We may have an outlet for our energy, the boatyard owner, chief crane operator, and manager, sat down to have a Mello Yellow soda while I was online with NOAA and asked about the next storm, “Should we be launching boats now, or is there another storm coming?”, is what he said. Yes, there is another storm, Maria, and I showed him it was tracking right along like Irma, maybe it will go a bit East. No, we won’t be launching any boats.
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The reports from the Caribbean were grim. Sint Maarten is descending into gang control of the streets, looting, home invasions, and atrocities. The French side of the island is even worse. The airport and seaport are both out of commission, so it is difficult for those who would ordinarily be able to get out to get out. I remember being stuck there during East Coast blizzards and realizing I could not leave until things got better. It was a benign captivity then, what the residents are going through now is like hell. Barbuda is zero percent occupied, which I hope means everybody got off there, because now Maria is on her way with another hurricane, likely to affect Barbuda again. I hope no one is there.
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A yardbird who has a daughter in St. Thomas was describing her ordeal. It sounded like she could manage, by paying huge fees, to go by boat to an island that had a working airport, and buy a ticket to fly out, but at a huge cost. They are residents and have business interests there. They may well be affected by Maria, also.
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Another yardbird came in to check on his boat, anchored in the North River Marsh, and only superficially prepared for the hurricane, and he reported it was fine. What was your anchor, I asked. A Danforth, he said. “Well, it must be caught on something”, I said. We speculated on what could be down there in the North River mud, another boat, another mooring rig, a sunken barge...
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The image is the latest 5 day forecast track for Hurricane Maria, similar to Irma’s track. It is projected to be category 3, for those who are counting.
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Like those who have survived a firing squad and are then immune to bullets, we have survived a hurricane (or two) and are now immune from hurricanes.

Irma Photos

14 September 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/post hurricane
It seems the day after a hurricane is the best weather, blue skies, a little bit breezy, maybe it’s just the contrast with the horrific conditions of the day before.
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The news was that Lang’s Marina, in downtown St. Marys, 6 miles by boat form the boatyard but just a few miles as the crow flies, had disintegrated and the boats tied up there had been sunk or blown ashore. The downtown was flooded. This seemed to happen after the overnight storm of the hurricane had passed. It was high water at high tide and a persistent wind at up to 48 mph finished the job.
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In the boatyard flooding had come up to about the same level as in hurricane Matthew. A couple of boats near the water began to wobble on their jackstands, so we pitched in and readjusted them. Another boat had a large tree limb fall, breaking one of the boat’s spreaders and crumpling a stanchion. A power boat broke free of its mooring in the North River Marsh and ended up at the edge of the marsh, stuck in the weeds.
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Here is a link to hurricane pictures:
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/8728395@N03/albums/72157689041791465
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It is a tree blown over on the North River Causeway, just around the corner from the boatyard.
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Well, power has been restored and with it internet, so I was able to upload the photos and post this post. We are still getting bacck to “normal”.

Irma Update

12 September 2017 | St Marys, GA
Capn Andy/post hurricane
No power, no internet. There have been many requests for an update, mostly by yardbirds who skedaddled to get away or hadn't yet returned to the boatyard.
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I hate trying to write using the cell phone. So, this will be a brief update.
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The damage in the boatyard consists of one boat losing a spreader from the main mast due to a tree limb falling on it. A power boat at the floating dock sank the day after the storm, but that could have been prevented if they had been paying attention. A motor yacht on a mooring broke free and drifted off to the causeway. Fortunately the wind direction sent it inland and not out to sea.
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The town of St Marys had a catastrophic tidal flooding that destroyed Lang's Marine and most of the boats there. Ironically Lang's had been on the upsurge of business after hurricane Matthew when Fernandina was destroyed.
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I was worried about little Trillium, the C&C 24, but it was too rough to venture out and go aboard. Today, 2 days after the storm, I was able to kayak out and go aboard. There was no water in the cockpit and no water down below. The photo is of Trillium taken from the kayak with the cell phone. When internet is restored there will be a hurricane photo album on Flickr. It looks like my data cable is only good for charging the phone, not for tethering.

Irma Dwindles

10 September 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/hurricane prep
After seeing the 0500 and 1100 NOAA updates to the progress of Irma, I decided to continue to hunker down and sit out the hurricane in the St. Marys boatyard.
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The forecasts of the TV news shows are alarming and represent the worst case scenario most of the time, they are based on the upper limits of the data. However, conditions in South Florida are very scary and the policy of trying to scare us even more with extreme forecasts has a beneficial effect of getting the reluctant to get up and evacuate. I believe the NOAA forecasts also have a touch of the extreme. It is better to err on the upside than under.
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So, the current conditions at Sunday noon here in St. Marys is NE 15 or so, moderate to heavy rain. Not unusual conditions for a place that sees violent thunderstorms regularly over the hot and humid summer.
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The image is from wunderground.com, their hurricane and tropical storm section from their severe weather tab. The update at 1700 gave a 1 percent probability of winds of 50 mph at Kings Bay Naval Base at the peak of the storm tonight and Monday. Probability of 34 knots was about 1 in 3. The lurking problem is storm surge, which can persist even when the storm is declining. The high tide is after midnight, so maybe I will stay up.
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According to the forecast, the storm will dwindle to category 1, then tropical depression as it approaches the Florida panhandle. It will then be about 150 miles West of us here in St. Marys.

Bracing for It

09 September 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/hurricane prep
It was 16 years ago on this date when I launched Kaimu in Norwalk, Connecticut, still unfinished, but able to motor and afloat.
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Now I hope it doesn’t come to an end with destruction by hurricane. I texted someone with the thought that it would be hell to start all over again. Would I ever get out of this boatyard, or be forever repairing.
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The NOAA forecast seems to be the one that gives me the information I need. I can plot the coordinates of the forecast, which gives radii of wind strength from a forecast position. Because all the forecasts so far have had changes and those from Accuweather, weather.com, and wunderground.com have not been consistent. They are trying to calculate what this storm is going to do and it’s very tricky.
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I was looking for any post hurricane photos of Divi Little Bay in St. Maarten, a lovely resort where we stayed several times, also the one hurricane hole that I know of on that island, Oyster Pond. When I saw photos of Oyster Pond I was shocked to see the carnage. Hard to believe that an almost perfect hidden harbor with heights all around it could be devastated like that. Divi did have some damage, but it looked like most of the roofs were intact and a report from there said the staff and visitors weathered the storm without major injuries. How to get off that island now, with the SXM airport a mess.
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I went around the boatyard and took BEFORE pictures. Only a few people still puttering around. I will leave at midday on Sunday if necessary.
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Right now it looks like winds in the 60‘s, storm surge less than Matthew last year. But there will be a 3 NOAA updates before noon on Sunday. Then it will be time to decide.
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