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La Palapa sails on
not so fast
roger
09/17/2011, spain/gibraltar

well i managed to finish up all the critical pre under way things on the todo board this morning. swapped books at book exchange, filled water thank, syphoned last 2 jerry jugs of fuel into empty tank stowed two cases of duty free alcohol, tightened packing gland etc. i still have fuel filter swap, parts stow and a few others to be conducted on anchor. we got out of the marina just after noon and motored over to the fuel dock over at the other marina.

i always hate going into a fuel dock but this one was amazing. great dock plenty of bumpers and the nicest fuel guy i have ever met. he told us we would get 10% off if we took 500 liters or more. i did not think we could do it but in the end took exactly 500. this puts our max capacity at about 550 liters or 145 gallons. fuel was .90 pounds per liter so still a big price tag but it always feels good to be topped off and ready to go anywhere!

after this we motored another 500 meters over to spain and anchored in this nice free protected anchorage near a spanish marina. we dropped the anchor right next to our friends on chalupa who we had not seen since aden (its a small world). i dingied over with a couple of cold beers and chatted with them about their plans. they where drying fish for the upcoming passage as they dont have refrigeration so it was a good thing i brought cold beer!

armed with a bit of info on the town from chalupa i headed to shore to refill our cell phones and get more internet. of course i forget my flip flops on the boat so i had to walk around town barefoot like a homeless person. eventually i found a a store toped off the phones with a vending machine (it was sat afternoon and most every thing was closed) and got back to palapa with very dirty feet!

alas after getting ready to leave i think we will have to return to the marina. the genset is giving me the low oil light and i am having second thoughts on leaving before fixing the crack in the mast. i called them and they still have space so we will probably head over tomorrow.

cheers, roger

09/19/2011 | Caston
Catalina should fly parts, drills, taps and a guy to you to fix the mast! After crossing the Atlantic you are going to be their "Poster/Boat Boy". I don't think too many Catalina's have sailed around the World! I will meet up with you when you are in the Caribbean..... will need a break with TWINS due in a week......
09/20/2011 | roger hayward
hi caston, i agree. "jim" seems to have given up returning my email. i presume you have another 2 boys on the way so you will need quite the break!
09/21/2011 | Caston
Roger, actually a boy and a girl, Josh who I will be calling J.D. (his initials) and Charlotte who I am going to call Charley (pronounced Sharly)....
short term mast "fix"
roger
09/16/2011, gibraltar

well when i got up this am i had another email from jim at the spar company about how the worm gear bearings where set up. based on this i elected to not try to remove the bearing asm from the mast as the bearings where not captive. instead i would have to drill the stainless bolt in place through the mast, arggg! i had already tried this the day before but had managed to break off the requered 3/16 cobalt drill bit, crap!

after karli an i finished a long talk about the future and "life the universe and everything" and wanted to head down town for a change of venue i readily agreed thinking this would be a perfect opportunity to get a new drill. after a beer or two and an ice cream for me i found a 4.5 mm cobalt drill for 2 pounds and we headed back.

in the end i was able to drill the bolt out in place but not extract it. i re-tapped it as will as i could with my 1/4 20 tap. i was only able to go about half way down so i ended up cutting the bolt in half and now only have about 1/3 of the threads in the aluminum i did before. jim recomending replacing the bolt with a 5/16 bolt but alas i do not have a 5/16 tap or bolt but will arrange to get these brought over with the goose neck on larrys next trip. i managed to finish this up just as the sun was setting.

we are kind of done with the marina so i decided to treat us to a celebratory "last dinner" at the "upscale" restaurant. i even wore shoes and long pants! karli got a delicious steak and fries and i got a massive burger. the best part was we managed to us up all of our english money (all 42 pounds). tomorrow we will try to get fuel and head a few 100 meters to spain!

cheers, roger

09/17/2011 | Frank
You sure you don't want to track down a welder from the British Navy Yard or a commercial welder? It takes a while to learn how to weld well, let alone get the inert gas equipment to prevent the aluminum from oxidizing before you finish the weld. Man, what is is it with Catalina? Do they expect their owners to actually sail their yachts? Catalina seems to go out of their way to stick their customers with the worst case of planned obsolescence. Hope the "saddle" splint works.
09/17/2011 | Aunt Ann
Your blogs are fascinating, but all of your escapades and problems make me tired!
"Houston we have a problem (again)"
roger
09/15/2011, gibraltar

well today fresh off the battery project as we where getting ready to leave i discovered a slew of mast related problems and sent this help email off to catalina (alas i could only include the crack photo)

"i am currently in gibraltar getting ready to cross the atlantic and i need some help on a new problem

i just noticed missing bolt in mast that holds part of the roller furrler in the mast even with the top of the gooseneck (see photo 2)

long story short only "half" the bolt is missing the rest is sheared off inside mast in a part of the roller furling (see photo 2)

i also noticed loose bolts on gooseneck and boomvang connection to mast and a crack on the mast near gooseneck.

if you recall the rivits holding both the goose neck and the the boom vang gave out on the pacific crossing. i replaced the goose neck rivets with stainless bolts washers and nuts in fiji before it failed. i replaced the boom vang rivets with stainless bolts tapped into aluminum backing plates post failure in australia.

have you seen this bolt sheer off on the roller furling on any other boats? what about the cracks in the mast ? i am very concerned about the new one in the first photo but also the ones in the third and 4th photo as well which have been there.

also, what is your recommendation on getting the bolt bit out? is there a way i can remove that part of the roller furling with the mast and sail on the boat. i think it will be challenging/impossible to get it out in one pice in place.

fyi main cabin windows and standing rigging at deck are leaking as well but will save that for another email.

thanks for the help should be back CA in a year or two and would happily buy some beers for more help!"

i got a very quick reply for the mast guys!

"Dear Roger. This all can be fixed. 1. The screw that has the head sheared off can be drilled out and re-taped but for now drill, tap & install another one at the same elevation about ¾” aft. 2. Remove the gooseneck bracket. Grind out the crack in a “V” shape ¾ of the thickness of the mast section up ½” past where the crack appears to be. Clamp the mast together to close the crack and weld the prepared area. Keep the weld flat even if you have to wash it with a second pass.

Tell me where to send a custom gooseneck bracket with a wrap-around saddle. The fasteners will spread the load with the larger mounting surface of the saddle."

so stay turned it may take me a while to learn to weld aluminum!

cheers, roger

Battery project Phase II
roger
09/14/2011, gibraltar

well Phase II f the battery project went remarkably well with only a few divots. The batteries were actually delivered before noon without me having to walk down to the battery store! i got them on board and got the old ones off the boat and taken away with only mild back pain. i can not imagine doing this when i am 60! The snag occurred when i tried to put all the cables back on. of course the posts where a little shorter than the bolts in my previous batteries and i thought i would have to rip the panel off again and rewire everything. fortunatly after sitting back with a beer and thinking i realized if i disconnected the non working charger and reorganized which battery the main wires went too i would be ok!

karli had gone out for a cable car ride up to the rock while i was working to take some photos. she got a great one of the marina and you can see palapa pretty much dead center in the photo. alas they sold her a one way ticket and would not let her pick up the audio tour at the top because she had no passport. long story short she had a very long hike and made it back to palapa quite tiered and grumpy.

i meanwhile after getting everything together realized in needed distilled h2o so back to town i went on my own mini hike. i managed to get everything back together in time to get shore power connected and meet the chocoboers for dinner at a little curry place!

cheers, roger

Battery project Phase I
roger
09/13/2011, gibraltar

So today i walked down to the battery place to pay for the batteries that where supposed to arrive. of course after finally finding the place i discovered i did not have my credit card (another story) and the batteries would not be arriving. i walked back to the boat and after recovering the credit card at the restaurant "we" had left it at the night before decided to prep for the batteries arrival.

as you can see from the photo i removed all but 3 batteries allowing my self access to the stuff below the batteries. these include the holding tank, and the fuel tank. it was good that i got a head start as i discovered the holding tank level sensor had completely come off the holding tank. i replaced this using gorilla tape, my new favorite replacement for duct tape! i also discovered evidence of leakage out the top of the tank where the "sweet air pump" was located (see me pointing). this thing supposedly pumps air like a fish tank into the holding tank to make it smell better. it had long ago stopped working. some of you may recall the macerator replacement in brisbane when i discovered some multi colred thing in the holding tank that had jammed and broken the macerator. this turned out to be part of this "sweet air" system. in any case i removed it entierly, found a plug wrapped it in plumbers tape and then just to be sure applied 5200 all around it.

i also decided to take a look at the fuel level sensor while i had this opportunity. i took it out and found nothing wrong on the sending unit. i tightened a few wires near the gage and then took the opportunity to calibrate it. i now know when it reads empty i have about 2 inches in the bottom of a 13 inch tank. when it bottoms out below empty i have 1 inch left! will have to work out what these means in volume.

these where once in a lifetime opportunities to fix stuff as when the batteries are in i have no access. hopefully i got both the fuel tank and holding tanks sealed properly or stand by for a very grumpy blog post! tomorrow batteries.

cheers, roger

gibraltar day!
roger
09/10/2011, gibraltar

we left our very opulent very rolly anchorage around 10am a bit behind sched but as soon as we got up. we hailed chocobo on the vhf to get the details on their "escape" they where not really sure what the "transcretion" was and reported a very uncomfortable last night as well. this was good as all morning the talk had been of how we wished we had been on a catamaran the night before! they also reported the current was not bad about 10nm out in front of us. after making us some boiled eggs for breakfast karli went to take a nap to recover from the lack of sleep the night before.

the ride was again very smooth motoring along at 5 kts and 2400 rpm. i again ran out of fuel after exactly 10 engine hours confirming we are basically burning a gph at the 2400 rpm setting and added another 10 gal. it looks like i really need to clean the prop as i should get close to 6 kts at this setting. alas, it is way too cold to get in the water so i am a bit concerned about this!!

we got around the rock of gibraltar (see photo tomorrow) without too much adverse tide or wind and karli was able to sleep right up to the harbor. or course by the time we got to the harbor we had 20 kts of wind and i was concerned about docking. fortunately the harbor is inside this block of condos blocking the wind quite nicely. once we figured out where to go (the marina was not on the cart in the same place) we got in and managed to back in between two other boats with no drama. of course we are actually touching both neighbors by the time we secure i really do not dig this med mooring crap!

after we got situated we could hear loud music and remembered it was gibraltar day! of course this meant no parts for 3 days until things reopened on tues, "perfect" timing. after getting the boat closed up and having a few drinks on the dock we decided to walk down town and check out the party. fortunately karli had her new favorite red dress on and i borrowed her red hat as everyone was decked out in red and white. it turned out to be a bit longer walk than planned eventually we found the dock area but before we could stop for some food karli spotted the chocoboers. we stopped by there boat had a few more drinks and a bit of food before going out on the town. it really was like st Patricks day. we got what seemed like really cheep rum and cokes and found a cool roof top bar to enjoy them at.

after a few rounds of these we decided we needed to get back to palapa (probably should have left earlier) we ended up diverting to a burger king on the way back where karli made friends with another gay employee and got directions home. we finally made it to palapa and bed after some heated discussions about behaving responsibly or lack there of!

cheers, roger

karli returns for yoga detox
roger
09/09/2011, puerta jose banas, aka "puerto of the rich and famous"

i managed to get up at 9am today for the ssb net and got to talk to stu and sandy who are back in mallorca. looks like we will not meet up with them until the canaries. i was eager to get over to peurto jose banas 3 nm away as i was not sure exactly what time i was supposed to meet karli. i had also promised Danielle and roget' breakfast so finally i packed everything up in the polar bar and headed over. after a bit of knocking on the hull they appeared dazed. by this point it was 1030am so i was not feeling too bad. i got down to business and made my egg scramble with bacon, very good if i do say so my self. i had even brought a caraf of coffee and juice.

once breakfast was over i left the dirty dishes and headed back to palapa and got under way just in time. as i was heading over to jose banas i got a email from ian on vagabond reporting that the ING crew had been released by pirates after a 3M USD ransom had been paid. you can check out the details on.

http://www.noonsite.com/Members/sue/R2011-09-07-1/view

you will remember we where very near ING back when it was pirated and it was great to here they where finally free but this brought up all my anti pirate rage i had put to the back of my brain. i just can not fathom the international non response to this whole thing. we are truly in the twilight zone the governments will not take decisive military action to kill any pirates or anyone that could be a pirate in this area but rather blame the victems who have also been prohibited from defending them selves, amazing!

in any case i got anchored and was getting in the dingy to head into the marina when i got a text from karli that she was finishing up her hair event. i dingied into what has to be the most opulent marina in the world. mage yachts everywhere but not just that Mercedes mazeratii laberguni etc driving out on the piers to their boats, truly crazy. i managed to find a spot with a ladder and tied up. after finding a little bar cafe to meet karli at i settled down to people watch. i was watching hot chick after hot chick walk by when all of a sudden karli appeared in her new hair and short red dress fitting right in.

we headed over to a little Italian place so she could get spaghetti carbonara that she had been craving all week. i did not really realize it was a no food as well as no drinking event but apparently that was the deal. you can read more about the details in karlis blog. it was quite hot again so after lunch we headed out to palapa for a nap. this was challenging given how rolly it was but we managed.

we met Danielle and roget' on shore for dinner around 8 and had a great pizza and Caesar salad. the waiter was a real dick and danielle and i told him as much and we happily left him zero tip. karli insisted buying dinner for the chocoboers to thank them for keeping my company all week. i tried to point out that it was really a privilege but no one seemed to be paying attention to me. we did manage to discuses pirates and 9/11 and social welfare with roget' and i both getting pretty loud before karli called knock it off. at one point i even accused roget' of sounding like he was an american!

we decided for any early departure while the chocoboers stayed out. in retrospect this was good as apparently the chocobers where "chased" by marina security in a boat with a floodlight and everything (they managed to elude them). not sure exactly what the cause was perhaps they wanted to charge 100 euro for docking the dingy or perhaps the obnoxious water complained of no tip. we got back to a very rolly anchorage and did not really get to sleep until 3am when the tide turned a bit but at least we did not have to outrun anyone in cuba libre'!

cheers, roger

09/10/2011 | gary hayward
I think your pirate comments are right on! However, if you and all your like-minded friends are out of country and thus unable to vote for any REAL change . . . Love, Dad
09/10/2011 | nancy
Hi, Roger, I'm at the library. The address for the "ing" site doesn't work as a link, but is correct when typed in. Powell commented on the inaccurate position. My comment is on the time stamp on one of the locators. Is it off by being +24 hours? More reports after I look at those on my email (I haven't been on line for several days. :-() NAH
another night out on the town with the party animals on chocobo
roger
09/08/2011, marbella

apparently i complained to much about the wake up call yesterday or perhaps i was just wearing out my welcome but this morning the chocoboers tried to sneak off without me. i awoke just before dawn and no chocobo. they where not crafty enough to loose me and i got the anchor up and underway i could still see them less than a mile out in front. after a few hours i called them on the radio, you could hear the disappointment in their voice as they where clearly hoping for a day alone!

today was incredibly boring motor on flat calm water again but i decided to spice it up with a little butt sunning on the foredeck. i actually found a book about the endurance to read (shipwrecked in the ice trying to explore Antarctica). it was quite interesting and gives you some perspective on life! also a very quick read i finished it all in one day. alas the book was so interesting and the seas so calm i got a bit too much butt tanning in. i also broke up the monotony by running out of fuel. it took forever to find the siphon and then siphon 10 gallons back in and during this time chocobo gained another mile on me. fortunately they reported some head current so i was able to head to shore and by hugging the coast in 20 feet of water i was able to almost catch up with them as they battled the current at a "safer" distance from shore.

finally around 630 pm after about 11 hours of motoring we dropped anchor off this marina in the town of marballa. it was a cool spot other than the jet ski's buzzing all around. i took another freezing cold swim shower (this was when i first noticed the butt burn issue). and got dressed and headed over to chocobo in the cubra libre' for our pre dinner cocktail. we took the massive dingy in and danielle and i stopped at this 3 for 2 mojhito place on the water (where i could stand up and drink) while roget' explored town a bit.

we ended up having dinner at this pizza place overlooking the beach and danielle and i shared the 16 euro 2 beer 2 pizza combo. we found another cool spot for a post dinner bottle of wine but only managed to go through two bottles tonight. we are getting soft. i promised to make breakfast in the morning but you never know if people will remember these things the next day!

cheers, roger

09/10/2011 | David
Your position report for this post has you more than 20 miles inland in Algeria and at 2000 ft elevation. I hope you have something more reliable to navigate Palapa.
09/10/2011 | roger hayward
hi dave

i noticed this when i did todays update, will try to fix it.

the spot update should always be right and mostly up to date. there is a link on the right side of the page

thanks for the Q!
09/11/2011 | David
OK, that looks better... both the blog position and your spot link. Any idea how the blog nav got spoofed? Especially how it put you in the Algerian mountains!

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