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01/24/2011, Sun Harbor Marina (still)
When I tell people that I'm getting ready to sail a boat to Mexico, Central America and hopefully beyond, the first thing most people say is "aren't you afraid?", and I respond back "what should I be afraid of?", most of the time their response is either pirates (I'm not going to Africa) or the boat sinking. If you are a regular blog follower you already know of many of my backup plans...but just to recap; Si Bon has an onboard bilge pump that pumps 400 gallons per hour (GPH) of water out of the boat, I can also turn my generator into a pump that will pump an additional 120+ GPH, and just for the hell of it I recently purchased a portable pump that is rated at 3700 GPH (yes 3700 GPH). I also have three different types of emergency plugs to stop the incoming water and 2 VHF radios and a HAM radio to call for help.
Sun Harbor MarinaSteve/Sunny
01/21/2011, Shelter Island
I'm back at Sun Harbor Marina for a couple of days, there are a few things on "the list" that I'm getting taken care of, it's difficult for most contractors to work on boats on a mooring ball. I was busy all day yesterday meeting with various contractors and also had Si Bon's bottom cleaned while here. Being at Sun Harbor also gives me a chance to do laundry, fill water tanks, pump out holding tanks and give Si Bon a much needed bath, it's also nice to see old friends and hit Jimmy's for happy hour. Today I'm going sailing with my good friends Paul and Kim, Paul is celebrating his 70th birthday and has friends and family from out of town, it is MUCH easier to take a large group sailing from the marina as opposed to the ball.
Navigation is a VERY important skill for a cruising sailor to have, we have no road signs to look at or service stations to pull into and ask, "where the &*#% are we?" In this day of high tech electronics many mariners rely on their GPS's for ALL of their navigation needs, this is not a good idea. Si Bon has two onboard GPS's, one at the helm (steering wheel) and one down below at the nav station (a desk area), in addition to these I have also recently purchased a handheld, battery operated GPS. Even with three GPS's onboard I still feel it is very important to keep track of where you are by using pencil and paper navigation, meaning that once an hour you go down below, you get you latitude (lat) and longitude (long) from one of the GPS's and you mark a "fix" at the correct position on the paper chart (pic). Over the course (no pun intended) of the past year I have become very good at pencil and paper navigation, I now am anxious to go below and see what progress we've made since the last fix, I even test myself by using landmarks and a compass to take bearing and mark my estimated position (EP) on the chart and then compare it to the GPS fix.
01/17/2011, Glorietta Bay
I've been over in Glorietta Bay (pic at sunrise) since Friday morning, I'm not sure if I've mentioned before how much I love Glorietta Bay...but this weekend reinforced any doubts I may have had. The air temps have been in the mid to high 70's, Saturday I went for a great sail with a new potential crew member and Sunday I got to take in some football. They only let you anchor here three days a week, so in a few minutes I'll be weighing (hoisting) my anchor and heading back to my mooring ball (poor me).
Invitation to go sailingSteve/Sunny
01/13/2011, Sunny San Diego
Things on my "last few things" list are coming together nicely and March 1 is just around the corner. People always say to me "oh I would love to go sailing sometime" and I tell them "great let me know when you want to go" and then I never hear anymore from them, this seems to be a common issue with all boat owners. Soooo if you want to go out for a sail in United States waters better get ahold of me quick...and don't say "let me know when you are going" I LIVE ON MY BOAT IN THE WATER...I can and will go anytime. I will probably have one more mini cruise in late February with another potential crew member and I may take some little cruises around here before then, but day sails on San Diego Bay are also an awesome way to spend an afternoon.
When told of my cruising plans someone once said to me "the boat is your house, the dinghy is your car". The dinghy (dink for short) is now a vital part of my everyday life aboard Si Bon, I use it anytime I want/need to go ashore. The dink, as everything on a cruising boat, comes with it's own issues, it's not like you just blow up this rubber boat and all is well...where do you keep it while underway? what do you do with the powerful 8 horsepower outboard? What about at night when the dink thief's are looming about? For now I've decided to keep my dink on deck while underway, this means that I first have to use a mini crane, which I have installed on the stern (back) of Si Bon to hoist the 80 pound outboard off of the dink and onto a bracket, I then attach a halyard (used to raise and lower sails) to the dink and hoist it on deck, last but not least, I secure the dink and the fuel tank to the deck of Si Bon. This all sounds easy enough....until you try it by yourself with 10-15 knot winds and rolling seas. Don't want to jinx myself...but I've gotten pretty good at it. The other day I was dropping my engine off Si Bon and onto the dink, when a neighbor rowed by and stopped for a chat, as we talked I looked out and saw some pretty good sized wake headed my way...I wanted to try and finish before it hit us, so I kicked the outboard around with one foot to get it in the right position, at the same time I started dropping the engine until it was on the dink's transom and then quickly attached it to the dink. My neighbor commented "looks like you've done this before". This is one of the many jobs which seemed so difficult a year age...but is now just another part of life aboard Si Bon.
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