Bookmark and Share
SV Dawn Treader's Adventures
05/20/2013, Nanaimo BC

Here I am at the Nanaimo BC Yaht Club. Nice place, doing my laundry.
I have been on my cruise since the 10th of May 2013. I went from Tacoma to the San Juan Islands, Customs in Sidney BC, and then to Nanaimo. There we spent the night and got a couple of parts for my heater. Then we went to Desolation Sound and had a great time. I am back in Nanaimo since I will be dropping off this crewmember and then heading for Campbell River, BC. There I will get my next crew members for a weeks trip in Desolation Sound. What a place. I will do write ups and post with pictures in Campbell River.
All in all it is good. Boat is working well, and I am trying to get some projects done.

| | More

Yep that is right.
I grew up understanding what communications can do for you. From talking on the radio while working at the Fryeburg Airport, and definitely the whole while I was in the Army. My Army time consisted of much of the time being away from everyone, and only having radio communications with them for support. I am a very big fan of being able to communicate when I want to.
So I have been looking or better yet, researching the various methods available to me.
Onboard I have, a Uniden ES, Marine VHF Radio with DSC and Hailer. An ICOM 802 Marine SSB with HAM bands open for my use. Add a SignaLink USB for doing PSK-31 over the SSB. So yes, I can call SHIPCOM.COM and they will dialup any telephone number I want and I will get charged only $1 per minute. Basically the same price as Satellite phone price. But my SSB I can talk to ships and land stations all over the world. Oh, did I mention that the email is FREE? BONUS for getting my HAM license. So where am I going with this post you wonder?
Well I have been looking at the satellite communicator system 'FINDME SPOT'. Check it out if you want a cheap tracker, text capable, and SOS to the world over the satellite network.
I have the SPOT Connect version. It is designed to be controlled from iPhone and Android Smart Phones. I don't have one of those, but I do have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2...
My Tablet can control my ship computer from the cockpit, and I can control my SPOT Connect. So, as I am traveling on my way, the SPOT Connect will post to a Google map my location every 10 minutes. The manual and data sheets say it runs on batteries. But to update the firmware you have a USB cable for it. It also says to make sure the batteries are not in it when it is plugged in with the USB cable. Well, I know I flunked math all my life but, I experimented. It works full time if you leave it plugged in with the cable. SWEET!!! Save my batteries. I have the SOS capabilities with this rig too. Also, I can send text messages, no matter if I have cell signal on my cell phone or not. So guess what is going happen to that stupid phone of mine? It will be off most of the time when I am away from a port. Be forewarned if you plan to call me.
I have a USB Wi-Fi device coming that I am going to make into a Wi-Fi Antenna boosted to hopefully get me up to 10 miles of signal from a hotspot. So I can sit in a harbor and use an Internet Café or whatever's Wi-Fi signal. I will not even discuss here what I will do if the signal-network is secured...
Additionally, I can use the antenna as an Omni-directional and a unidirectional system. Either with a whip antenna or a dish setup, I am a guy who likes options.

SV Dawn Treader Upgrades
| | More
New Anchor and Chain

Well, I wanted to go with the 66 pound version, but alas, it was not going to fit. This would have been my primary anchor.
So, I am now the proud new owner of a 44 pound Lewmar 'Bruce' style anchor. It will be my secondary with 100 feet of 5/16 G4 High Test Chain and 300 feet of 5/8 inch rode. It s the shiney one on the Port Side (right as you look at the bow).
So I am back to the CQR 45 pound that has served me so well, with 300 feet of BRAND NEW $$$ 5/16 inch, High Test, G4 chain. That is the older, not so shiney one. BTW, it looks like a plow blade!
My 3rd or stern anchor will remain the 35 pound Danforth anchor with 30 feet of 5/16 inch High Test G4 chain and 200 feet of ½ inch rode.
Also I scored 165 feet of ½ inch yellow poly line. It will serve as a stern to land tie line. This way if it is in the water, it will float. I know it is irrelevant, but if a boat tries to pass between me and the land... Yep they see it and hopefully won't get fouled up in it. Also, off shore, I can tie a small float to the end of it. Dragging it will make some folks feel safer as they think they can swim to it fast enough to catch it. Then IF someone is on board, and IF they are paying attention they can stop the boat and then haul them in. So if I am alone? What then? Well, in the first place I will be tethered to a jack line running from the bow to the cockpit. I should fall over then, the tether is very short.

SV Dawn Treader Upgrades
| | More
03/17/2013, Olympia

As I have been sailing and just doing my thing for the past few years, one of a long list of items havs bugged me.
The front windows of my cockpit enclosure have been really yellowed from the Sun and UV, and they were hard and brittle. Actually to the point of making it kind of hard to see out of, and they would break/crack if they were bent at all.
Well, no more. I ordered $189 worth of Stataglass and some thread and a few other small odds and ends from They are the great people who have helped me learn many things about sewing and my real nice, LSZ-1 sewing machine. It is the 'cat's meow' for sail repair, and canvas work for those of us who want to be self sufficient.
Now the front windows are almost completely clear, almost to the point of not even seeing the glare of the lights or anything on them. IT IS SO NICE!!!
I am glad I finally got it done. I feel a lot better about sailing at night now that I will be able to see what the heck I am aiming at.... After all, even though you can push my boat away from the dock by hand, it takes quite a bit to stop 34,000 pounds of boat going 8 knots! I know, there have been a few dcks that actually have made it stop.
Anyway, pictures to follow soon.

SV Dawn Treader Upgrades
| | More
What is a Fire Extinguisher worth?
03/17/2013, Olympia

So, what happens if you have a fire in the engine compartment of a boat?
Let me tell you, I don't want to find out first hand. So... I just re-installed a automatic fire extinguisher in the engine area. I know someone is thinking, 'Re-Installed'????
Well, I was working on the boat, and actually in the engine area, the $500 Automatic fire extinguisher was right there, in the middle of where I was mounting some things. I said to myself 'Self, you better put that somewhere where you won't accidentally discharge it'. After all, it is an occupied space authorized fire extinguisher, hence the reason for the$500 price tag. So I did.
Well I completed the job at hand, and went to grab the $500 fire extinguisher, and yep, I discharged it. Let me tell you it was real cold, and with my respiratory issues, it made things interesting. I got out and into the cockpit, sat down and tried to breathe in fresh air. Yep, the colorful language was flowing out of my gasping for air mouth. After about a half hour, I went down below and opened up some hatches. I let the boat air out, and then of course added to the colorful language that I will not repeat here, I commenced to again tell myself, 'Self, you ID TEN T so and so'. Well, so I got a larger model unit that is even larger than the one I had before. I thought since that doing the calculations the first time and adding a bit of cubic feet for good measure I had a sufficient one. But I figured that since I was getting a new one I would go to the next size larger.
Anyway, pictures to follow soon.

SV Dawn Treader Upgrades
| | More
Got my license
03/17/2013, OLympia

Yep, got it!! I am officially a Merchant Mariner.
I have received the ratings of Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels... that means I can legally take up to 6 paying passengers aboard my boat for day sails, evening sunset cruises, as opposed to morning sunset cruises, and such. Actually, I can have paying passengers aboard for as long as I can put up with folks invading my private domain. But only Inland Waters, which is basically anywhere not in the ocean, but that includes all of Puget Sound as fair game for me and any charters.
Additionally, I received the ratings of Ordinary Seaman, Wiper, and Stewards Department.
Now I will get the next upgrade to Master 100 ton, Towing and Sailing endorsements when I head north out of here in May. About the time I get to Alaska I will have met the requirements to upgrade to Near Coastal Waters, meaning up to 100 miles into the oceans.
It will help as I will try to get some extra toy money by doing small evening or day sails and maybe a delivery of two a year. The deliveries are where the big bucks are. A few grand for a couple of weeks a few times a year? I can do that.

The Crew
| | More

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]


Dawn Treader's Crew
Who: Jim
Port: Olympia, Washington USA
View Complete Profile »

Powered by SailBlogs