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.
10 January 2013 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
17 December 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
13 December 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
15 November 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
15 November 2012 | Bodkn Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
13 November 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
03 November 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
01 November 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
30 October 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
28 October 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
19 October 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
13 October 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
08 October 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
06 October 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
30 September 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
30 September 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
30 September 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
28 September 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
20 September 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
01 September 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
Recent Blog Posts
03 December 2017 | st marys, ga

Waan Aelon Kein

The good news is that the AIS transducer sold and the 421 chartplotter has been listed. We have sold our first item on eBay.

02 December 2017 | st marys, ga, earth

Super Mooned

On the last delivery the owner was replacing a couple of electronics and was going to toss the old units into the trash. I asked for them and now will try to sell them on eBay. I’ve never sold anything on eBay before. One unit is a Raymarine AIS650 transceiver, which is a great unit if you have [...]

02 December 2017 | st marys, ga

Blockhead

Now we have been hoisted up higher and blocked about 24 inches off the ground. This was in the works for a long time. It was very difficult to get any work done on the bottom of the boat with the center of the keel only about 4 inches off the ground. It was hard to even look at the damage on the keel. [...]

01 December 2017 | st marys, ga

The Daily Grind part XXII

The sudden change in the ambient temperature and the unfinished, unstarted, grinding job on the hull bottoms gives me a bad feeling, like will I get anything done before winter really sets in, now that I’ve squandered the 6 weeks of good weather by sailing around. In that time we’ve gone from North [...]

25 November 2017 | st marys, ga

St Marys Thanksgiving

Here again is the link to the flickr albums of the delivery trips, including this last one to Gulfport:

20 November 2017 | Gulfport, Mississippi

Into Gulfport

Panama City Beach was a refreshing stop for us. The marina, Bay Point, was inexpensive and well appointed. It was a cab ride to go anywhere. There is pizza cafe on site which is open evenings and serves wine and beer. It is the off season so there may as well be other establishments open in the high [...]

Waan Aelon Kein

03 December 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/chilly Fall
The good news is that the AIS transducer sold and the 421 chartplotter has been listed. We have sold our first item on eBay.
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I’ve been switching computers around in the boatyard and on Kaimu so that I can access the internet to order supplies or just take a break and cruise. I have two Toughbook CF-C1‘s that are very inexpensive and have proven to be very useful. My first has a 320 gig conventional hard drive and came with a dysfunctioning wifi card, so I used an external amplified antenna with it (enGenius). The second came recently, ordered during the hurricanes, when someone in the boatyard wanted a computer just like the one I had. They didn’t really want it though, so I ended up with a second CF-C1, but this one had a functioning wifi card and had a 128 gig solid state drive. Both were loaded with Navigatrix, a linux based operating system that was put together by cruising sailors and thus has a lot of useful features, including OpenCPN navigation program.
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The external amplified wifi antenna proved useful when internet was spotty and weak in most of the boatyard. Now the system has been upgraded with more access points and more powerful signal. Boats that are anchored in the North River Marsh can hook up to the internet.
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My problem started as soon as I had a very powerful signal at Kaimu’s location, where I was using the amplified CF-C1. The new wifi signal wasn’t working very well and some websites were timing out before they loaded. I commented to one of the wifi gurus of the yard about this problem and had the idea that first I should make sure it wasn’t the computer. I brought the other CF-C1 from its location in the communal area of the yard (woodshop) to the boat and it performed fine. I decided to use it as my computer on Kaimu since it worked so well. I brought the amplified computer to the woodshop where it also worked well. My guess is that the strong signal was over amplified and that was causing the problem.
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The third computer is the Getac which is geared for navigation use on board, working the same as a chartplotter with its daylight viewable screen and waterproofing.
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I began organizing my bookmarks so that both CF-C1‘s would be the same. I noticed the bookmark for http://outriggersailingcanoes.blogspot.com/, Gary Dierking’s blog site was missing on one of the computers and I like to check his site from time to time, so I searched for it on Google and found: http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/garyd/walap.html, his commercial site, plus a link to a beautiful outrigger canoe from the Marshall Islands. I like this canoe and searched Google images for it and ended up here:
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http:archive.hokulea.comholokai/1992no_na_mamo.html
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But this was an account of a voyage by Hokulea in 1992. It turns out that the Marshallese canoe was also along for part of that voyage which culminated in an important island reconciliation on Raiatea. I spent some time and read the entire account. Lots of deep Polynesian culture and history.
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Waan Aelon Kein is the name of the beautiful canoe. Compare it to this old lithograph of a couple hundred years ago:
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http:marshall.csu.edu.auMarshallshtmlhistpixHernsheim1883_92_Canoe.jpg
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or this:
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http://www.pacificproa.com/micronesia/marshall_isles_proas_lg.jpg
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It also is along the same lines as Commodore Anson’s proa from 1740 which was measured and provided a detailed accurate shape.
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I was spurred onto this thread by moving the BFB proa from its sawhorses to make room for the lifting crane when we were reblocked. I set up the proa with its windsurfing masts in place. Just a little bit more work and it will be complete.
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The image is from one of the above links.

Super Mooned

02 December 2017 | st marys, ga, earth
Capn Andy/chilly Fall
On the last delivery the owner was replacing a couple of electronics and was going to toss the old units into the trash. I asked for them and now will try to sell them on eBay. I’ve never sold anything on eBay before. One unit is a Raymarine AIS650 transceiver, which is a great unit if you have a Raymarine system. On the owner’s boat it was transmitting the old name of the boat and of course was colliding with the new boat, constantly. No wonder he wanted to get rid of it. However, it is both a transmitter and receiver, so you get AIS contacts to send to your Raymarine chartplotter, plus you are transmitting your own AIS information and letting other vessels know where you are, who you are, and your course and speed. I could probably interface this unit with OpenCPN on the Getac laptop. Maybe I will if it doesn’t sell.
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The other unit is a Garmin 421 chartplotter. The 4 in the model number indicates the size of the display, 4 inches. Kind of small. It is a size that is adequate for a depth sounder, and if this unit were the 421s, it would accept a depth transducer. The s is for sonar. This unit will also be up for sale. It would be perfect for the little C&C 24, Trillium, but we’ve found that the Getac is the preferred navigation display and I can just lug it along onto the little boat. I navigated all the way down from Annapolis using my android phone, but maybe that was not wise.
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I have some other nautical items to dispose of. Let’s see how eBay works, I can lighten the boat and stash some cash.
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They say this is the last super moon of 2017, so I took a long look at it with the Skymasters. It was hard to keep them steady. Although the moon looks bright, there is enough stuff in the atmosphere to smudge it a bit. I decided to take a picture of it and got out the old Alpex lens. Because it is a manual lens, I had to refresh my memory about how to set up the camera. I wasn’t satisfied with the first results and decided to compare the image to a blown up image using the standard wide angle zoom lens that Canon sold with many of these cameras. They are not the highest quality lenses. I once more had to go back to the camera manual to find out how to manually set the iris on the automatic lens. I used the same settings as on the Alpex and shot at f11. When I blew up the wide angle image, which was zoomed as close as possible, it looked just a bit sharper than the Alpex image. The moon was now higher in the sky and thus not as much atmosphere was in the way. I had to take another shot with the Alpex and it too was sharper than the earlier shots. The image is cropped a bit from that shot.

Blockhead

02 December 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/chilly Fall
Now we have been hoisted up higher and blocked about 24 inches off the ground. This was in the works for a long time. It was very difficult to get any work done on the bottom of the boat with the center of the keel only about 4 inches off the ground. It was hard to even look at the damage on the keel. Now I could get a good look.
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The procedure for raising Kaimu higher and blocking it higher is interesting and a bit more complicated than you’d expect. The travel lift that is normally used for lifting boats isn’t wide enough to fit Kaimu, so it has to be lifted by crane.
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First a forklift arrives with a pile of wood blocks about 2 feet long and look like they were cut from 4X6 stock. The yardbird with the forklift starts piling up a stack of 8 blocks at each of the four corners of the boat. I comment that he is a bit old to be playing with blocks. He makes another trip after setting the pallet with remaining blocks near the boat, if we should need extras. He returns with a pallet with four pads that are placed on the ground for the crane’s hydraulic feet to rest on. These feet extend out from the crane’s frame to provide support and help prevent the crane tipping over. The pads are about 4 feet on a side and about 4 inches thick of laminated plywood. They are almost too heavy to move, but the forklift operator hustles around and puts the pads where he thinks the crane will need them. He goes off and returns again with two pallets stacked on top of one another, one pallet has coils of heavy cable, the other has very large hoisting straps rolled up on it. He puts the straps near the bow and stern of the boat. Each strap is about 60 feet long and about 10 inches wide X about 1 1/2 inches thick. The crane is rated at 50 tons and has a computer that prevents hoisting a load that will topple the crane. Because catamarans have so much beam, the crane has to lift them boomed out so far that the heaviest lift is about 10 tons. The two Lagoons we delivered recently were just under this weight. Kaimu is about 8 1/2 tons by the crane’s reconning, but my own calculations put it at around 7 tons.
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The crane then arrives under its own power and parks behind the boat and lined up with one of the pads for the crane’s feet. The foot is on a beam that extends out from the crane under hydraulic power, then the foot is deployed downward under hydraulic power. The foot at the other end of the crane is extended and its pad is put into position, then the foot is lowered. Both of these pads are on the side of the crane towards the boat, the feet on the other side are simply extended and lowered to the ground without pads.
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The crane is telescopic and extends up to around 90 feet and lowers its hook. The heavy cables are attached and consist of two cables, you can call them port and starboard, and each of them has two cables you could call fore and aft. They are hoisted up and the crane pivots toward the boat, positioning the cables above the deck. Meanwhile the large straps are pulled underneath the boat so that the ends are equal length on either side of the boat. There is one strap forward and one aft, the ends are put up on deck and each end is attached to one of the four cables. The attachment is with very large D shackles. The pins are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
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The crane now takes up the slack in the straps and they are carefully positioned on the hull(s) so that they are lifting at a strong point. We used the positions of the crossbeams as an indicator of where the hull is strongest. So, one strap was lifting at beam #1 and the other at beam #4. The boat is blocked at beams 2 and 3. The boat is then carefully lifted and the blocks are laid down in a box pattern, 4 layers high, then the old blocks which are larger are laid on top of the stack. Wedges are used to fill in gaps between the keel and the blocks. The boat is carefully lowered until it is supported only by the blocks.
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The reverse procedure goes more quickly, especially when the forklift operator leaves the heavy straps on the ground. He said they had “Whupped me”. He came back the next day to retrieve them.
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The difference in grinding on the hull with it up about two feet higher was significant and a lot of progress was made in the next couple of days. The photo is of one of the stacks of blocks.

The Daily Grind part XXII

01 December 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/winter chill
The sudden change in the ambient temperature and the unfinished, unstarted, grinding job on the hull bottoms gives me a bad feeling, like will I get anything done before winter really sets in, now that I’ve squandered the 6 weeks of good weather by sailing around. In that time we’ve gone from North Carolina to Fort Lauderdale, then from St. Lucia to Fort Lauderdale, and finally from Fort Lauderdale to Gulfport, Mississippi. When we first left the working environment had just started to cool down from the high heat and high humidity, and now on the way back to the Gulf Coast the change in temperature was distinct, my Caribbean clothes were inadequate, I froze, although the low was only 41 degrees.
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I started some grinding today, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and it was about 1 PM and there was no warmth from the sun. I was using a 40 grit belt sander on the starboard hull to remove old layers of Pettit 2000 barrier coat. This stuff might be effective if it is applied during summer’s heat, but if I remember correctly, I was applying it in October in Maryland using heat lamps to warm the surface. Maybe that was not enough. The difference between the port and starboard hulls is significant, the bottom paint on the port hull comes off in chips, on the starboard hull that was coated with the barrier coat, there are large patches where the bottom paint sloughed off, leaving bare epoxy/glass surface. So, I am grinding a substance that is like old chewing gum, it clogs the sanding belts and bubbles when it heats up from the friction of sanding.
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I manage about 2 hours of the sanding torture. My arms are sore, the belt sander is not a lightweight tool, I find other things to do. Still, I get about 8 feet of the bow sanded. It is obvious that the reblocking of the boat, lifting it onto blocks so that it is higher off the ground, is necessary. We have been asking for this for all this year. I’m sure it will happen now.
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The boatyard is in full swing, the season here is the reverse of the season up North, there the boats are launched in the Spring and hauled out in the Fall, here they are launched in the Fall and hauled out in the Spring. They spend their winters in the Bahamas, South Florida (The Keys), or in the Caribbean.
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I hate to admit it, but it’s coming up on 2 years I’ve had Kaimu here for repairs and rebuilding. A lot of work has been done and a lot more has to be done. It’s like building a boat all over again. When I put the boat together 15 years ago I wondered if I could do it at my age, now I am much older and doing it again. It is taking much longer this time. Of course, back then, the boat was very simple, no solar panels, only the mast up, none of the rest of the sailing rig was ready. Now it is more complicated. The work is just a difficult though.
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I spent about an hour today with the grinding process and could see that if the stuff stuck on the boat’s bottom won’t come off, then OK, it is there to stay. I will have to order more epoxy as I am almost out. I have to make fairing mixtures and repair any damage to the laminate. The boatyard owner, chief crane operator, and manager says he will lift the boat on Wednesday. Probably early. No sleeping in.
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The day seems short, freezing cold in the morning don’t want to get out of the bunk, then coffee and late breakfast of Ritz crackers and peanut butter, then venture out to find out it’s almost noon. Prepare for grinding, put on a Tyvek uni suit and respirator, get to work grinding, give up after an hour. It seems like late afternoon already. I go to the communal area and use the computer to check on the progress of the rest of the world. It’s about a quarter to four and it is seems like the sun is going to set. It starts getting chilly again. I watch a presentation by Benoit Mandelbrot in the TED series on youtube. I try to hang on and the other yardbirds are off to make supper. I leave in the dark and make a ham and cheese sandwich for supper. It is pitch black and a quarter after six.
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The image is from the internet, it is the Mandelbrot set graphic.

St Marys Thanksgiving

25 November 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Chilly Winter Weather
Here again is the link to the flickr albums of the delivery trips, including this last one to Gulfport:
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/8728395@N03/albums/72157689480153634
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I am now back in St. Marys, it is night and there is no one about. It is raining on and off. The road trip from Gulfport was made more difficult by delays of a half hour or so due to accidents and road construction. It ended up over 9 hours. At one point I took an available exit to try to find a local road to bypass a delay that had us standing still. Skipper, who did most of the driving, was angry that I had snapped like this and took over the driving and we went back into the big delay. Of course it sorted itself out right away and I felt foolish. He is the skipper, more resolute and patient.
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Now Thanksgiving has passed and a rainy chilly feast was held at Seagle’s Hotel, which is a bar and restaurant in St. Marys. About a hundred people signed up for the annual dinner, put on by the townspeople for the cruising sailors who are mostly on their way South. This year the number of attendees was down, probably due to the heavily damaged waterfront. The town provides the turkeys and hams and the cruisers provide side dishes.
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The boatyard is very active this weekend with many yardbirds returning to launch and head South for their winter cruising. It is not the best time for one of the two bathrooms to malfunction, but that’s what happened. Now there is only one bathroom available for the crowd to use. Pick a number.
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The photo is from the last leg of our recent delivery. I thought it was possible to right click on any photo in the uploaded album and save it, but it turns out you have to use flickr’s download function which includes selection of file size, so you can actually download the original photo if you choose the largest file size.

Into Gulfport

20 November 2017 | Gulfport, Mississippi
Capn Andy/Chilly Winter Weather
Panama City Beach was a refreshing stop for us. The marina, Bay Point, was inexpensive and well appointed. It was a cab ride to go anywhere. There is pizza cafe on site which is open evenings and serves wine and beer. It is the off season so there may as well be other establishments open in the high season.
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In the morning we left the dock and raised just the main with 2 reefs in it. Wind forecast up to 30 knots, which is why we stayed in port for a day. The reach to Gulfport is about 165 miles and we expect to make it in about 27 hours. Our route was replanned to be closer to the beach all the way, maybe 2 miles off except at Mobile entrance where there is an obstruction. The idea was to sail along in water that has little fetch for the wind to build waves. The downside is that land features can create turbulence and then the wind can be erratic.
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We found the boat speed to be too slow on our first leg so we bore off on a heading for Pensacola. We decided to run an engine both to keep the batteries charged and to keep our speed up. We wanted to arrive at the Gulfport sea buoy in daylight.
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I felt like napping in the afternoon and when I was in the bunk looking up at the lexan hatch over my head a wave broke over it. I decided to take a picture of the next one. After a half hour I was tired of holding the camera in position to take that picture and no waves breaking over the bow. I put the camera down and a wave broke over the hatch. Sheesh.
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Skipper tried to find a course that gave us speed and smooth ride at the same time, but it was rough. Our speed over the ground was around 7 knots with 2 reefs in the main and 70 percent of the roller furling jib. Lagoon provides reefing suggestions based on wind speed. Our arrangement would be good up to 33 knots of wind
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We were now on Central time and the sun was setting at a quarter to 5. I will be on watch at 8 to 11 and then on at 5 in the morning. Our ETA at the sea buoy would be early afternoon at the current rate.
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Skipper was on watch and it was blowing 25 knots across the deck at about 60 degrees off the bow. I was using the computer for a game, then calling up the nav program when he wanted to know about boat speed or resetting our course. Near the end of his watch I went on deck to see what I was up against. Just then the wind meter went up to 33 and I got the feeling we were OK but not OK if it got much higher. I suggested we shorten the jib. The reefing plan for 38 knots of wind is what we had in the main and 30 percent jib. We shortened it to about 50 percent. We also eased sails. The boat eased up. At the same time we killed the engine as we had about 9 knots of boat speed, no need for the engine. The batteries were topped up fully charged.
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The owner was awakened by the sudden stop of the engine and he came up on deck. What’s happening, well the wind went up so we killed the engine and reduced sail.
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We continued sailing toward Pensacola on a course of about 280 true through very rough water. The wind dropped down after a while, but would rear up again for a short time at around 30 knots. The boat was now conservatively rigged and jumped around anyway. At Pensacola we were to turn off the wind on a course of 260 true, not much of a change, but enough to make close reaching into beam reaching. We will also be closer to the beach in smoother water so our boat speed should go up.
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I slept the whole 6 hours between watches. It was cold on the boat, the North wind had brought chilly temperatures. I came up in the cabin where skipper was managing the situation, even he was chilled, even under what looked like eskimo parka foul weather gear. He was concerned because there were oil rigs all around and a course had to be replotted and checked for obstructions. He was now going dead downwind to the sea buoy at Mobile and our speed had dropped due to the jib being blanketed by the main. He had made coffee which I eagerly had with some coffee cake, making sure I didn’t take the very last piece.
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I looked at our route along the beach which we could not take and deactivated it. In the OpenCPN nav program it looks like only one route can be active at a time. Then I right clicked on the Gulfport sea buoy and selected Navigate to This. Now a route was formed from our current position directly to the sea buoy. It was like a direct line between the sea buoys of Mobile and Gulfport. Then I zoomed in on the line and traced along it, looking for any obstacles or shallows. I had to put one more waypoint midway in that line and move it a bit, creating a slight dogleg. Then the origin of the route, our position when I started it, had to be moved seaward slightly. Now the route was complete. A nav panel is created on the chart when you activate a route and it displays all the parameters in one place, velocity made good, time to go, estimated time of arrival, and range and bearing of the final destination. We were making around 6 knots and ETA was early afternoon. I had rolled out a bit more of the jib now that it was not blanketed. On this route we could come up around 15 degrees and that opened up the wind angle on jib.
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The sun was rising and so I took a picture. Now I could see the ships at anchor that had triggered AIS alarms. We had our alarm set at 2 miles, so any ship that would come within 2 miles triggers an alarm. These anchored ships must be within 2 miles. I thought about starting the radar, but with the sun up we could see any unlit obstacles. We did have one tower appear, white so it looked like a sail at first, and it wasn’t on any of our charts.
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The owner came up and had coffee, then took over the watch. We were getting close now. Skipper came up and I made super egg toasties for breakfast. Time to go was now 3 hours. We had scrubbed our original route and now headed right for the Gulfport channel, cutting off the sea buoy. We would join the channel just to seaward of Ship Island.
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I took a nap with skipper on watch. He and the owner furled the sails and were now running at about 2800 turns on both engines. The wind was calm and the sea flat. In the cabin was like being in the bridge of a tug boat. The cabin windows of a Lagoon catamaran are vertical and wrap around the cabin just like a ship’s bridge.
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The centerpiece of the bridgedeck is the Getac computer and it’s OpenCPN nav program. It had been running the whole time of this trip from day one, on an AC adapter powered by an inverter. When we were entering or leaving port it was placed in front of the helm and gave a graphic view of the channel. It is waterproof and shock resistant and is daylight viewable.
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The image is shot over the shoulders of the skipper and owner as we line up the channel into Gulfport.
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