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02/01/2011, Sun Harbor Marina
You quickly learn while preparing to go cruising that you must stay focused, this is true from the smallest job all the way up to the main goal...cruising. It is very easy to become side tracked on just about everything you do, both on the boat and in life, you're in the middle of some job and you go down below to get another type of tool, you see something that needs to be put away, you put it away and before you know it you've lost track of what you were doing in the first place. When people find out I'm retired at 55 and living on a yacht, they assume that I must have been born with money, I wasn't, however I did stay focused through life, on both my career and on raising my two daughters. As I finish up my "last few things list' I have become pretty good at remaining focused on my final preparations, as I go from one project to another I nearly always finish one thing before moving on to the next. I hope that you also will remain focused in you lives wether it be your school, your job, your family or your health, or maybe all of the above.
Marina vs ballSteve
Ahhh life at the marina, most people would have trouble understanding the difference between living on a 41 foot sailboat at a marina slip or living on a 41 foot sailboat on a mooring ball, either way life on a boat is MUCH different than life on land. It's official now I have become use to life at the marina. On the ball I had very few visitors, seems that people feel that it is a hassle to get in the dinghy and go out to the main boat (it really isn't)' they seem to think that rolling around with the passing boat wake is uncomfortable (it isn't), I've had lots of visitors this week, Kim, Paul and Ginger brought down dinner one night, Ric came down and let me pick his brain about the Sea of Cortez (great stories), Ashley came by for lunch and my friend/electrician Mark came by and helped me hook up my new stereo (IPOD capable) and gave me an electrical 101 class.
01/26/2011, Sun Harbor Marina (still)
A Max-Prop propeller (pic) is a low drag, high performance, feathering propeller (prop), it's blades change position depending on wether the engine is in forward, reverse or if you're sailing. It is a highly respected and VERY expensive prop that is full of intricate gears. ON Monday my diver, Alex (pic), discovered that my prop had a little to much play in the blades....bummer. Yesterday Alex pulled Si Son's prop and today I'll be shipping it to Washington to be machined, this is a process that with shipping time will take about two weeks (maybe). If I wasn't planning on traveling south into foreign countries, where there is no Vessel Assist, and it would be a MAJOR headache (only a minor headache here), to ship a 50 pound prop to the US, I would probably not be having it done at this time, there weren't any huge problems, although I have noticed some vibration a few times....we'll see if that is related?
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.
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