Around the world with S/V Zephyr

The adventures of Bill & Tracy as they fulfill their lifes dream of sailing the world. We've dreamed of this for years and now is the time while the health is still good and there is money in the kitty to make it come true.

18 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
18 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
15 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
15 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Curaçao
15 September 2017 | Curaçao
12 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
10 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
10 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
10 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
10 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
10 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
10 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
06 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao

Update on Black Water tank

18 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
Bill/partly cloudy with a breeze.
We went at it again today after coming back from the free bus ride to the grocery store. Along the way, I bought a nice aluminum rod to shove into the tank as well as some hose fitting so I can hook up a water pumping system I made years ago. After lunch, we hauled the tank to the side gate that has the water drain and poured in more water. It seemed to be rung clean so we took the aluminum rod and shoved it down the pump out tube that's on top of the tank. Seemed to get bound up so we took a flashlight and peered down the tube. About five inches down from the top, the pump out tube has pretty well sheared off. Jagged edges all around the break in the tube. It looks like we won't be needing the pressure washer or the transformer or CLR(Calcium,Lime, Rust)desolver after all. We need a welder to fix the problem and while he's at it, he can steam clean the tank. We called around and found Westech, Curaçao that next to the Curaçao Marine downtown. Called and after describing the problem they told me to bring in the tank and they'd take a look at it. Shouldn't be any kind of problem to either cut a hole or cut the top off, replace,the tube, steam clean the tank and reeled but we'll find that,out on Wednesday as I've made arrangements to rent a car. Now it's Monday I'm sure your asking why not do it tomorrow. It's because I have an appointment with a dentist on Tuesday at 0900! I apparently have cracked or lost a filling on one of my teeth! Man, are we living the dream or what? Just glad all these facilities are available.

Cleaning out the sludge in our black water tank.

18 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
Bill/partly cloudy
The job continues with cleaning out the sludge in our black water tank. It's been far worse than we imagined. Now that we have it on deck, we hauled it over to the starboard side near the scupper(deck drain) and started in getting what was inside out. While I was in town on Saturday, Tracy was here poking a piece of shroud wire up the bottom drain. It was plugged. It took a while but we finally got what liquid that was in the tank out. Next, we needed to get the sludge out. We'd pour water in the top inlet and nothing would come out the bottom. Tilt the tank a bit so Tracy could shove the wire back in and then a bunch of water and sludge would come out. We did this over and over Sunday morning with Tracy hauling bucket after bucket up over the life lines and then we alternated where we poured it. We used a cut off top to one of the Pepsi 2 liter bottles as a funnel. Worked perfectly. Once in the tank, I'd rock it from side to side over and over agitating the water and moving the loose sludge so it just might flow out the bottom. We started in on this just after 0700 and finally stopped about 1130 for a shower as we had plans to play Mexican Trains again in the afternoon with Johanna and Timo on Iiris. About 1100, as we tilted the tank, we hear this "thud" from inside the tank. From what we can only guess is that a slab of sludge that was laying on the bottom of the tank had finally come loose and was now flopping around inside.

When I was in town on Saturday, I bought a high pressure sprayer to shove into the tank but from the look of it, the nozzles is 1 3/8 inch and the hole in the top is just 1 1/4 inch so it doesn't look like it is going to fit. I also bought an drain auger to shove inside the tank and rotate. It's like a big spring on a rod that twist around in circles to help break up the junk in the tank. The two of us just keep banging away on the sediment by shoving the auger in and out, over and over. Then in goes more water and out comes the now dark black water and chunks of the sediment. We bought some CLR but we just heard from the factory that it's not recommended on painter surfaces(like out hull)so we are pretty much left with two choices. Just keep pounding away and then washing away what we break off, or cut a 6 inch hole in the top of the tank, get whats left out and then stick a plate to the top with lots of caulking and screws. When we went to the grocery store this morning(free bus) I hiked over to one of the local hardware store and bought a meter long aluminum rod for shoving inside the tank. Far more ridged than the auger and might break up the sludge chunk easier. I also bought a "male" end for one of our hoses so we can hook it to a salt water pump I made years ago and pump water up into the tank instead of using buckets. We'll see how that goes.

Where the tank was.

15 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
Bill/sunny and windy
Here's a picture of where the black water tank was. The last owner had it fabricated and who ever installed it used Phillips, flat blade as well as square headed screws to attach it to the bulkhead and hull. Heaven forbid they use all the same type screws.

Macerator and anchoring.

15 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
Bill/sunny with winds
First of all, Tracy is getting better, day by day. Now just the occasional headache to put up with and that might be a side affect of the meds she's on but at least she can navigate through the boat now on her own two legs.

Late this afternoon, as I sat in the cockpit, I watched as a big storm grew off to our southwest. It looked black and big and ugly and far off on the southwest side of Curacao. It just kept getting bigger and darker and uglier and we both remarked that we were glad it wasn't coming our way. As expected, once we made that comment, everything went to pot. The winds, which have been primarily out of the east to south east suddenly changed and shifted to out of the southwest. This big ugly black storm was suddenly heading our way!!! We closed hatches and took down awnings and shut all the port lights. As I rushed around the deck with Tracy doing all the closing below decks, I was suddenly hit by a gust of cold air. Normally when that happens, rain is about to hit, hence the colder air. This time, just a sudden shift in the winds. A few days ago, we pulled up the anchor and move just slightly to get farther away from a big rock with a small empty oil jug marking it's place. We were swinging right for it as we moved around on our anchor. As we got closer and closer and the wind kept building, we turned on all the electronics and the engine to make sure we stayed away from that rock. Rocks and fiberglass don't play nice. We motored forward away from the oil jug and I pulled in about 25 feet of anchor chain making sure we were well away from it. All the boats in all the anchorages shifted their positions. With the boats in the "A" anchorage packed in so tight, it must have been quite nerve wracking. We sat outside watching the depth sounder move upwards from 30 feet to 3.5 feet and that was as shallow as it got. We sat in the cockpit for a bit over an hour and just watched and waited for the winds to shift, all the while with the engine running(be prepared). By 2030, the winds had shifted back to their normal and we were back where we started. The plan tomorrow is to pull up the anchor and move again. Not far, but far enough to keep us off that darn rock should the winds ever shift again.

As of this afternoon, we only had about 800 megs left in our Digicel account!! When I renewed our account, a week ago, we were at 19.3 gigs and it looks like Digicel has snatched our gigs away from us again. It's time for another trip to town darn it!!! This is the third time they have taken away gigs from us that we bought. When up set up an account, you buy a quantity of gigs, not unlimited. For some strange reason, if Digicel thinks you are using too much of your gigs, they take them away from you even though you bought them. Now it's back to town again!!! What a pain but this time, I'm going to the main office again and am going to talk to someone farther up the food chain than the normal sales personnel.

It's now Friday and here's what happened yesterday. We were up early in the morning and pulling up the anchor. With as close as we got to the submerged rock yesterday evening, we knew we had to move. We ended up about 100 feet farther out in the channel yet still in "B" anchorage so we're good. We let out about 125 feet of chain and pulled back to set the anchor which dug in quite well. I took the 1030 bus to town to see Digicel and yes, they had snatched about 10 gigs from our account. WHY? They have no clue. They thought that it was because we were at the end of our prepaid contract. Nope, it was only started 8 days before. In the end, they have no clue and made no excuses or even said they were sorry. It took 45 minutes to get the gigs back and another hour waiting for someone(supposedly a manager not that I believe that for one second as he lacked that "I'm a Manager" attitude)to head back to the back offices, stand around for 15 minutes and then come back and say that they have no clue. This is the third time that they have snatched big chunks of our gig after we paid for them and it's happened to other cruisers here in the anchorage. I left with 10.7 gigs back on our account. We'll see how long that lasts. With it taking so long, I didn't get a bus till 1430 getting me back on board about 1500.

Yesterday afternoon, Tracy tried a microburst on her black water tank macerator. About 5 seconds worth. It sounded strangely like the tank was empty as we could hear it spinning very fast like it wasn't pumping anything and yet Tracy knew there was "stuff" in her tank. We diagnosed it as a blown macerator. The impeller was gone so it couldn't pump anything over board. It was time to get down and really smelly dirty. Not a fun job but not the first time we've had to do it.

This morning(Friday), we started in on taking out the macerator and draining the black water tank. Tracy got all the tools out and spread lots of plastic around to keep the stinky stuff contained. Now for those of you that have never seen a macerator, there is a big white hose from the storage tank that goes into it full of unprocessed "stuff" and a much smaller hose that comes out of it taking the processed(finely chopped "stuff") down and out the through hull. Both hoses are quite thick and don't bend that much and in the end, it's just better to cut them off as once tightened and clamped to the macerator, they really don't like to come off. Out come a ton of my tools and with my hack saw, I cut through the smaller hose after shutting off the through hull. Strangly, that hose was empty. It should have been full. I shoved plastic bags in the ends of the hose and then cut through the bigger hose that comes off the storage tank. It too was just about empty. It should not have been!!! We tapped on the side of the steel storage tank and it sort of sounded empty but not quite right. Something was blocking the outlet from the tank!!! What had started as a "simple" macerator replacement was ending up into a real project. I cut grounding wires and wires to the "on" switch and then started taking out the screws that hold the tank in. All this after removing all the wall boards that cover the tank. Off come a number of hoses and vents till we could finally get the tank loose and get it pulled out. The last time we did this as back in Mexico so it's been a while. Once the last wall screw was out, I took a pry bar and moved it just a bit and it came down inside it's storage space with a loud thunk. It wasn't empty but about 3/4 full! It holds 18 gallons so that puts it at about 14 gallons and quite heavy. There was no way we could simply lift it out of the head and onto the deck. We needed a crane. Something was blocking the bottom port and not letting anything out which was fine since we'd removed the hose to it. Tracy got one of our black and tackles and attached it to the end of the boom and with her lifting, I slowly maneuvered the tank out of the space and up through the hatch. We put pads on the deck to keep it from scratching it. Once on deck, we tied the tank off to the port, and starboard sides with the block and tackle still holding it up. Now we have to wait for sundown to try and get the bottom drain open and what is left in the tank out. It hasn't been that stinky but my nose doesn't work that well so I'm not the person to ask. Working inside a pretty well closed room with darn little ventilation, I saturated a couple a towels with sweat. Tracy is sitting at the table giving the macerator a thurough cleaning and replacing the seal and impeller. With it already out, it was a good time to do it. Now we wait for tonight to empty the tank and then start in again tomorrow getting everything back where it belongs. Gee, man we are living the dream!

The picture today is of our black water tank suspended on deck.


15 September 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
Bill/partly cloudy
As I sat on deck this morning, here was the sunrise I was greeted with. Beautiful"

Pictures of Curaçao beaches 7

15 September 2017 | Curaçao
Bill/partly cloudy
Some sand and some coral beach.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shin Fa 458
Hailing Port: Denver, Colorado
Crew: Bill & Tracy Hudson
About: We've been sailing since the early 80's on lakes in New Mexico and Colorado and finally took the plunge and bought Zephyr.
Extra: We moved on board in April of 2008 and have been working and sailing her ever since. Up to Alaska and down to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. We're now in the Caribbean in Grenada after making the crossing from South Africa 7 months ago.
Home Page: http::/
Zephyr's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 54 of 54
The electrical connection with switch for the new Spectra Watermaker.
Our new watermaker--it still needs the hoses run but we are getting closer to getting the job done.
La Panga Restaurant and Marina Palmira office
You put your trash out in trash cans by the curb.  Here, they put it in raised steel containers to keep animals out of it while awaiting pickup.
OK, sounds like a restaurant I want to try.  Nothing wrong with a skull on the sign.
Boats in Marina Palmira.
Bigger power boats in Marina Palmira.
More boats in Marina Palmira.
Marina Costa Baja
Looking West from the marina.
Looking North towards the hotel La Fiesta.
Boats at Marina Costa Baja.
We sat for quite a while just watching the sun go down and see all her changing colors.  Each night provided a whole rainbow of colors.
La Fiesta Hotel.  Nice place and just about empty.
Matt getting some relaxation at the pool.
They stroll the docks each day.
Along the sidewalk at Marina Costa Baja.
Looking down from above.  Boy, it
The view from the top of the mast of the marina.
Out into the bay.
The "Beach Club at the hotel.
More of the Marina and the hotel.
Pangas along the beach at Los Muertos.
The dingy dock at Los Muertos.
Looking out from the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Pelicans and the pangas along the launching ramp at Los Muertos.
The Sun glinting off the bay at Los Muertos.
What used to be the Giggling Marlin restaurant.  Now El Carbon.
Rock walls out by the dingy dock at Los Muertos.
One of the flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.  Look closely.
More flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.
The Eastern end of Los Frailes.
Ensenada de Los Muertos.
The ceiling of the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Blue goes hunting.  She knows there is something on the barbecue grill
With her toes spread, she is weaving on the life line.  The camera is still, she is not!
At anchor in Los Frailes.
The anchorage in Los Frailes.
At the pot luck dinner along the beach in Los Frailes waiting out the wind.  The wind won!!
Our new Fender Step.  It will make coming into dock much easier.
Our new Spectra 200T watermaker.  Now all we have to do is find the time to install it.
The Immigration Office in Ensenada, Mexico.  At least it is all in one building now instead of spread all over town.
The big flag by Baja Naval Marina.  An easy land mark to navigate to.
The Port Captain
The Mexican courtesy flag flying from our mast spreaders.
Celebrating crossing into Mexico.  The white wine had gone bad so we gave it to King Neptune instead.
Looking towards Ensenada Harbor.
25 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
Around Kudat and the Penuwasa Boat Yard
39 Photos
Created 18 November 2013
Up the hills till an opening shows up in front of you and then see if you can get down into it. Not always.
36 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Some photos of our diving on the reef.
30 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Our trip around the north end of Borneo
20 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
10 Photos
Created 23 October 2013
Our trip around Malaysia starting at Tawau.
36 Photos
Created 21 October 2013
51 Photos
Created 13 October 2013
Our trip from Tawau around the top of Borneo down to Brunei.
6 Photos
Created 9 October 2013
13 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
24 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
Pictures of our dives off Musket Cove Marina
20 Photos
Created 7 December 2011
Avea Bay on South Huahine and on to Raiatea Island.
39 Photos
Created 25 July 2011
Our arrival in Tahiti through Huahine
91 Photos
Created 18 July 2011
Getting Zephyr ready to go.
37 Photos
Created 28 October 2010
My three days getting not only knowledge and some self confidence but nice and dirty.
8 Photos
Created 26 August 2010
Heading South from Escondido.
23 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 30 April 2010
An old salt factory.
33 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Incredible sandstone
17 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
A great place to spend time exploring.
48 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante
25 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 30 April 2010
47 Photos
Created 14 February 2010
Our continuing adventure as we head North farther up the Sea Of Cortez.
47 Photos
Created 22 January 2010
8 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Our visit to the famous "Mushroom Rock" bay.
12 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Art and statues along the waterfront as you walk through downtown La Paz, Mexico
13 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Still heading South but now in Cabo San Lucas
24 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
Making our way South along the coast of Mexico
25 Photos
Created 28 November 2009
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