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.

25 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
25 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
25 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
23 April 2017
23 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
22 April 2017 | Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
20 April 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, USVI
18 April 2017 | Francis Bay, St. John, USVI
18 April 2017 | Francis Bay, St. John, USVI
15 April 2017 | Saba Rock, BVI
14 April 2017 | Key Bay, BVI
14 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
13 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
13 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
10 April 2017 | Benure Bay, Norman Island, BVI
09 April 2017 | Benure Bay, Norman Island, BVI
08 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
05 April 2017 | Diamond Bay, Jost Van Dyke
05 April 2017 | Diamond Cay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Once there was a boat that should have exploded.

25 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/cloudy and overcast
Way back in the beginning of our adventure, we were berthed in Newport, Oregon waiting to head back to Port Townsend to start our redo on Zephyr. While there, we replaced our old three burner stove with a new Force 10 stove. A nice piece of equipment that has been great aboard. As we did the installation, we took a look at the propane line that went into the back of the old stove and would go to the new one. A simple rubber hose. Nothing special about it. Only thing, it didn't look that safe so we went to one of the local pipe fitting stores and were told we needed a new style of hose that was made of metal that would flex as the stove flexed when we were underway. No problem. We bought it and installed it when we did the stove. All safe and sound. Once we finished the refit in Port Townsend, we headed back to Newport as we headed south. Along the way, Tracy got quite sick. After a day or so, she was fine as we pulled into Newport. Once settled in, we turned on the stove to make some tea. Nothing lit. We checked the tank in storage out on deck and found it empty! We'd filled it recently so that made no sense. We started checking and the new "special" hose we bought for the stove had snapped sometime along the way south flooding the boat with propane!!!!! Into the cabin(Tracy sick) as well as the bilge and probably the engine room as well. It was amazing we didn't explode! I took off the "new" flexible hose and reinstalled the old simple rubber hose with two clamps at each end. It's been that way for years now and it's still doing just fine.
Flash forward to about five months ago. To use the stove, you have to turn on one of the circuit breakers in the electrical panel that turns on the "Fireboy-Xintrex" propane solenoid valve. It's got a propane sensor under the floor boards sniffing for propane. It also is electrically hooked to the solenoid that turns the gas on and off at the tank. So you turn on the circuit breaker, then the main switch on the unit and then turn on the burner all to get propane inside the boat to cook on. Several months ago, we started getting false alarms at the main unit that the Sensor under the floorboards was detecting propane. We pulled up the boards, stuck our nose down there and smelled nothing. We even put a fan down there for better air flow and still the alarm went off. I took out the spare sniffer and stuck it on and still the alarm went off. We deduced that the main electronics had to be bad. I got on line and ordered one from Defender and had it sent to our son so he could bring it down. Today was the day to install the new unit.
How hard could this be? Take out the old, cut the wires and install the new. Piece of cake right? I started with the basics. I took out the old "new" sniffer under the floorboards and installed the brand new one. I turned on all the appropriate switches and low and behold, the lights lite on the unit saying it works. OK, out on deck to install the solenoid and wire it in. Once that was done, I returned to the galley and we had flames on the stove. Only problem was that the light on the unit that says the valve is open wasn't lite. OK, time to change it out as well. Out came everything in the cabinet in the galley and in I went. Four wires on it so I wrote down(beats trying to remember)where each wire went and cut the wires. The electrician that had installed it had had to add some wire to each of the existing wires to make it to the bus bar so I just cut those wires and used them. Unscrewed the main housing and pulled it out.
Now it's not that I'm paranoid, I prefer to think of myself as simply "careful" so each electrical connection was nicely crimped into one of the butt connectors that's covered in shrink tube. I made all the connections and checked and rechecked that the unit still worked before I ever pulled out my heat gun to shrink the tubes and seal the joints. These connectors are very hard to get apart once you use the heat gun on the shrink tube. At each turn, it worked just fine so back out on deck to do the electrical leads to the solenoid on the propane line and then stow our two propane tanks. Back to the galley to disconnect the wires from the bus bar so I could crimp the butt connectors and the heat shrink the tubes. Then back to the cabinet to run the wire back where they started adding zip ties to fittings screwed inside the cabinet and to the buss bar to get connected. Then in goes the main unit and it get screwed in as well. After each step, I made sure to check that all was still working well(like I said, paranoid). In the end, about two hours from start to finish but we now have a safer boat that shouldn't explode due to a propane problem. Now we have to remember that we have to turn on the main circuit breaker, then the Xintrex control unit and then the burner to get fire.
As I was doing this, Tracy was working on getting the gunk out that had accumulated between where our prop shaft and transmission are under the floorboards. Grease, oil, bits of this and that plus of course kitty hair made for a real mess. Scrapers, 409 cleaner, brushes all came out plus a tub to put what ever she got out as she bent over the hole in the floor boards where she had pulled up the panels. Take our eight years on board and all in the previous owner gunk and it was filthy. It took her a while but it's all nice a clean or at least cleaner than it was.
I've attached a picture of the Fireboy-Xintrex S-1A Propane Detector so you can see what we were installing.
See the previous two posts for pictures of the solenoid and sniffer.

Propane solenoid

25 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/cloudy and overcast
Here's a picture of the solenoid that's joined into our propane line. It's hooked up electrically to the main unit so should it detect propane, it will shut off the gas. If any part of the entire unit should malfunction, it shuts off the gas and has to be removed if you want gas back at the stove. Since it's outside though inside the propane locker, I made sure to coat it with Corrosion X to stop salt water from attacking it. The last unit, while fine was covered in a good bit of rust and corrosion.

Propane sniffer

25 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/cloudy and overcast
Here's a picture of the propane "sniffer" that goes under the floor boards "sniffing" for propane all the time.

Our new "Raw" water filter

23 April 2017
Here's a picture of our nice new "raw" water filter from Greco. A nice piece of engineering.

The old filter

23 April 2017
Here's a picture of the old raw water filter assembly. Very out dated compared to the new designs.

Moving, wind and changing the "raw" water filter.

23 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/sunny with winds
We spoke too soon about avoiding the partying surrounding Carnival. As we lay quietly at anchor in Lindbergh Bay about 1500 yesterday, the music started on shore. We were about 500 yards from shore and yet we could hear the music(especially the bass drums) of music blaring out of huge speakers. I'd gone in for a round of snorkeling to see if there was anything worth having Tracy join us. It was just a mass of sand, grass and some small outcropping of coral but nothing worth her getting wet for. As I returned to Zephyr, I could hear the music and If I could hear it, it's not a good thing. I figured we would be moving once I got back on board but we didn't make the final decision till I was done with my shower. With the music even louder, the decision was made for us. We were moving. All we had to do was pull Puff back on board, get her stowed and we would be off to another bay(Brewers Bay)just around the other side of the airport. We closed up what needed closing(port lights that let in exhaust in the stern), started up the engine, pulled up the nicely set anchor(swam on it when I was snorkeling)and took off.

It took us about 45 minutes, avoiding planes as they came in for landings and dropped the anchor on the northwest side of the bay. Unfortunately, we chose the wrong place as we felt our anchor slide across the bottom, hitting a bommie of coral here and a bommie of coral there each time jerking the chain out and then letting it go with a big thunk at the bow sprit. We tried twice in the northwest area before moving over the the south east area where there were more boats. We normally like to sit by ourselves as far from other boats as we can safely anchor. We attached our super snubber and yanked back on it with a nice burst from the engine. The chain went out in a darn near straight line really setting the anchor nicely in the bottom, what ever was down there. Now here's the bad part. About 30 minutes later, music started on the beach we were now anchored off!!! Lucky for us, there are no resorts of hotels on this beach as there were on the last one and by 1800, the music stopped as people went home as the sun was setting. YEAH!! Quiet descended on the anchorage at least music wise. As for the planes coming in and out of the airport, we they still came and went, everything from small Cessnas to big airline jets for Delta, United and Spirit to name a few. I knew this island depended on tourism but now I understand how they do it. Thousands fly in every day, spend their time and money here and fly out. It keeps the wheels greased.

It's now Sunday afternoon and it's been a busy morning with us doing chores while the planes zip by just to the west of us. We've been so busy I don't think we've even noticed them but we do have a wind factor since it's blowing about 20+ knots which is keeping our wind generator and batteries quite happy. While Tracy read the manual for our Ratheon R10XX radar trying to find out why it has stopped working, I started in on changing out our "Raw" water filter system for the engine. For those of you that have been following us for a while, you'll remember the numerous clogs we found in our "Raw" water system when our engine was over heating back in January. It wasn't the cause of the overheating but it didn't help matters that so much grass and stuff had gotten past the filter if you can call it that. We're sure this piece of equipment dates back to when Zephyr was built as it's all steel with no way to see what you've gotten in or how clogged your filter is. It was time for it to be changed. I'd ordered in a new one from Defender, a Groco 1000 which has a nice plastic basket as well as a clear housing so you can see what's in there. Today was the day to change it out. I'd even bought new screws to hold it in place. Previous pieces of equipment have been mounted with all typed screws, most with different heads on them. Some Phillips, some flat and some square headed. This time, every head would be the same--phillips. Not my favorite but what was available. I've been thinking about changing the filter system for some time and the planning I did payed off. Everything part of my plan came off just fine. Take off the bracket that holds the old one but first, suck out what water was in it so it doesn't get all over the engine. Then cut the existing hoses making sure the water that was in them didn't go everywhere. Of course, my first thing was to close the thru hull that the water comes into the boat through(duh!). I sucked out the water with a huge syringe and then unscrewed the bracket and either took off the hoses or used a hack saw to cut them off. One hose slid right off and one needed the saw but both came off. Next, plan where to put the new, much larger filter against the wall of the engine room and drill holes for the brackets making sure it didn't cover any thing that was already there or overlap one of the doors to the engine room. Out came the drill, screw drivers,hose clamps, wrenches and most of all, Teflon tape for the thread of the fittings. My planning went fine and though it took about two hours from start to finish, it came out just fine with no leaks when we started the engine once we were done. Now we can see what in the filter and clean and change it when we see it's necessary. Our old diesel fuel filter was the same way, built our of stainless steel but you never knew how bad the filter was inside the housing. No more. Now we know. Job done and no mechanic at $100 per hour to pay.
As for Tracy and the radar, we still don't know but will be checking further. It could be a loose wire or since it's an antique, it may have just simply died. TIme to did a bit further.
The picture is of the "filter" that is supposed to stop grass, etc from getting into the engines cooling system. Old on the right and new on the left. Big difference in filtering power. As for the top of the handle on the plastic basket on the left being broken, it came that way and once I called Defender and sent a picture, they sent me a new one at no charge. Great customer service!
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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