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.

21 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
19 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
19 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
17 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
16 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
13 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
09 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
08 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
06 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
03 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
03 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
29 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
29 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Deep Bay, Antigua

If at first you don't succeed--etc!

21 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/Sunny and strangely calm finally
We started in today with tracing the water lines from the raw water filter. My system send the raw water to the transmission cooler first then to the water pump and then to the oil cooler. My transmission needs the coolest water it can get. Before it was plumbed this way, it would overheat and blow the seals. It's been this way for the last 8 years and works fine.
The transmission cooler had a good bit of junk in it since it's just down stream from the raw water strainer and I'd found it with a good bit of grass and weeds in it when I last checked it. I guess it's not such a great strainer so I ordered in a new one. The one I have is all steel so you can't see what's going on inside. We ripped out the trans cooler and cleaned it out and flushed water through both ways. Clean thru all the tubes.
Next on to the oil cooler. It's a tough bird to get to and to get all the lines off. It took a while but we finally got out. This is where the impeller pieces would go when they break off and yes, we did find four chunks of previous impellers in it. Not whole vanes but enough. It's now clean. When we were putting it back, we found that one of the lines from the oil filter to the oil cooler had lots of cracks in it's outer lining. Not a good thing so we made some calls, found a shop that makes them, launched Puff and took off. It was 1130 and he goes to lunch at 1200 so we had to hurry. We were in his door by 1145 and out by 1150 with a nice new hydraulic hose(and $44.00 poorer).
We stopped in at Subway and had a nice lunch before heading back to Zephyr.
Once back on board, we hooked up the new hose and the old one an put the oil cooler back. The bad thing is that Snowshoe, our nice white Persian cat was underfoot just as I took out the oil cooler and several drops of oil landed on his back and side. Tracy scooped him up and it was off to the galley for a nice shower. Not a happy kitty to say the least. Most of the oil came out but he's a bit messy now but getting better as his hair dries out.
In went the transmission cooler with it's hoses and water lines. Hose clamps were screwed down and we were done. We cleaned up our mess and made plans to pull up the anchor and go out for another test drive.
Up came the anchor at 1530 and we were off pushing Zephyr at 1550RPMs. The temp climbed on the gauge in the cockpit to above 190. Inside, I hit the tank with my infrared gun and it showed up as being under 180 but still climbing. Once the cockpit gauge hit about 210, I checked again and we were still hitting 193. Not bad since we haven't run it at that rpm in quite q while but still about 10 degrees hotter than it should be.
We're down to taking off the heat exchanger( like a boats radiator) and getting it professionally cleaned. We talked to Brian at American Diesel and he agreed it would be a good idea as we are quickly running out of things to inspect or change. They are all closed for the weekend so Monday will be the day. We're getting closer but still not there.

Here's the difference genetics makes. Working on the engine isn't the most fun, at least for me. I get nervous and doubt my ability to actually do the work. As I was growing up, if something went wrong, my father just took it to a mechanic. We had the first house in Pennsylvania that had circuit breakers in it. He hated changing fuses. I NEVER saw him under the hood of a car and God knows what tools he had were covered in rust stuck away in the back corner of the basement. Tracy, on the other hand has no fear of getting in there and just doing it. Here father was always playing and working on things around his house even after he came down with MS. The first time I met him, he was coming out from underneath a car in his garage. Not surprising, both his daughters came away with the ability and confidence to do just about anything. Linda, Tracy's sister, when she came out to Colorado to stay at our house started in fixing anything she saw that needed attention. Didn't matter what. Tracy is the same way. Not much phases her when it comes to doing some repairs. Me, on the other hand, not so much. All the work we've been doing has been with the two of us getting ourselves filthy in the engine room. Sure glad she's here.

Still overheating!!!!!!!!

19 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ finally calm.
Here's what we did today, all with no success at getting past the over heating problem.
We took off the port alternator and got the the drain plug and got all the coolant out of the engine. Then, off came the "fresh water" tank on the front of the engine as well as several hoses. All had a bit of corrosion but not bad and the springs inside the hosed(keeps them from collapsing) were just fine. With the tank off, we could get at the thermostat. Out it came and into a hot water bath to see what temp it would open at. In the end, it looked like 195 was it's temp to activate. A little hot. In went a new one along with a gasket.
Next, off came the "Fresh Water" pump and several hoses. It spun like crazy when you spun the shaft. In went the new pump and on went some hoses and then the water tank on top of the engine along with a gasket or two.
In went a lot of coolant and the alternator was put back on. It didn't seem to take all 15 quarts so we saved some in a jug to add later.
On went the alternator and all it's wires and we started up the engine. Seemed to work fine(it started and didn't over heat at anchor). We had a nice lunch of a BLT sandwich and we were back at it. We started the engine and pulled up the anchor and we were off. The temp started to climb and a short time later, the gun said we were at 200+ degrees and the infrared gun showed us it was only about 148 while the gauge in the cockpit showed us 200+ on it's dial.

We headed back for the anchorage and dropped the hook for another day. I called Brian at American Diesel and he suggested pushing it tomorrow to see what the infrared gun shows us. If the gun shows us in the mid 190s it could be a problem but we didn't push the engine enough today. Tomorrow, check the water tank and fill again as needed. Then take Zephyr out for a real run and see what it can go. Crank up the revs and let her rip at 1700. If the infrared gun shows us back in the mid 190's we will get more advice from American Diesel.
We're stumped and would appreciate any suggestions.

The parts for the engine finally showed up.

19 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/finally some calm
It's now Wednesday and we finally got our engine repair parts. It wasn't easy but we did. We got our tracking number yesterday from American Diesel and took off for the Post Office only to be told that the package hadn't come in yet from Puerto Rico. It had gotten delayed. No problem. We could go in tomorrow(today) and get it. It should surely be in by then. We checked it this morning and it showed to be here in the Virgins. Yeah!!! Off we went by 0815 so we could get an early start getting the work done. Once at the Post Office, I gave the tracking number and our name to the clerk. he checked and yes, it was in but it hadn't been "checked in" so it wasn't actually available. He told us he would look for it and call us. I gave him our number and we headed for McDonalds to use their internet for some updates on our AT&T phone. Once done with that, we grabbed an "Island Safari" bus out to "PriceSmart", a Costco wannabe. We headed out and took a tour. We'd joined when we were in Trinidad. Both the store in Trinidad and here are set up almost the same so we knew what we would find. Lots of American stuff that was hard to pass by but we did only getting a bag of Walnuts(we'd run out). More things to get later but just not now. Had a cheap lunch just about like you find in Costco and headed back for another visit to the Post Office.
When we got there, I gave my name and the tracking number to a different man and he went back and came out with our package, all 20 pounds of it. We hiked back to Puff and took off for Zephyr. A short time after we got back the original man from the Post Office did call and left a message that the box was in and we could come by and pick it up(already had it). Now I needed to paint it so it would have a better chance against the rust that has invaded our boat. Two coats later, it's nice and red and ready to be installed but that's a job for tomorrow. I've talked and emailed enough people that I've been instructed on what to expect once we start on the job. Some times, you have to love the internet for the info you can get off it.
First, off comes one of our alternators because the drain plug for the block is under it(good planning huh?). Then we get to drain all 15 quarts out into buckets and then unbolt the big header water tank on the top of the engine and pry it off. In goes the thermostat as it's located under the tank(again, good planning huh?). Attach a gasket and bolt it back down. Then off comes the fresh water pump on the front of the engine and on goes the new one. In goes another 15 quarts of coolant and the job is done, at least until we check the engine for leaks and overheating. Lets hope all goes well. I've lost enough sleep due to this problem. I don't want to loose any more.

Anchors, boat hooks and boat parts.

17 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ still blowing
Another busy day today. It blew again through most of the night almost making me get up. Having a nice 88 pound anchor on a good ⅜ inch chain out about 120 feet off the bow giving us good scope lets me sleep at night. I might wake up but I know my Rocna anchor is doing it's job. I think we might have drug twice since we bought it back in 2012. Now 88 pounds is a heave anchor and at least a size bigger than is called for on a boat our size but if the bow rollers and Maxwell windlass we have can take it, then I'm all in favor of it. When we are stuck in a marina, I tend to walk the docks and check out other peoples anchors just so see what they have and how big it is for their boat. Most times, I find them undersized for what they are on. Rarely are they bigger than what we have unless the boat is much bigger than what ours is(46 feet). All I know is that with that anchor underneath us--day or night--I know I'm not going anywhere. I'll take it over a mooring anytime.
Anyway, I digress. We launched Puff for the first time in several days as 1-winds had died down for a while and 2-our package from American Diesel should be in. It's been over a week since it was mailed. We really want to get back to working on the engine and finding out why we keep overheating. There's not much left to change out of inspect.
So, in we went with our first stop back at Home Depot. Last week, I'd bought a small gate valve for our fresh water system and it ended up being too small. We have four fresh water tanks on board and all meet at one manifold for equal use of water from all four tanks. Each tank brings it's water to the manifold through a plastic hose that goes into the gate valve and then into the manifold. The forward starboard water tank is notorious for getting the most water sucked out of it so a few weeks ago, I unscrewed the gate valve to both the forward tanks and found that the "gate" portion had snapped off the shaft that opens and closes the valve. Not a big deal but they need replacing and since we are now back in a US territory and they have a Home Depot, what better place to find the replacement valves. We took one of the island safari buses out and walked up the hill to HD. They had tons of the gate valves in the size we needed but not with the female screw on end in a ¾ inche size. After much looking and getting some help, we found at least two of the four we will eventually need. I returned the too small one we bought last week and picked up these two. I also got some aluminum pop rivets to fix the broken boat hook.
We headed back for town and the US Post Office. We got in line with about 20 other customers, most with the yellow cards that get left in your PO box if the package won't fit. In the US, the clerk takes one card and goes in search of the box. Here, the clerk will take everyones card that in line and then goes and finds them all at the same time. The line grows again and again they take all the yellow card at once so the lines(maybe 15-20 people long, moves very quickly and efficiently. When I got the the head of the line, I explained to the clerk that my package was "General Delivery". Her response was that it was no problem and she would go look for it. Well, she never came back and another clerk took over. After waiting for a while and two sets of taking all the yellow cards and getting their packages, I asked the new clerk for help. I gave him our tracking number and as it turns out, due to Martin Luther Kings birthday yesterday, our package was delayed. It could be in later today or tomorrow. He wasn't sure but he didn't have it now. In the end, we checked the tracking number(finally got it from American Diesel) and found it was on it's way from Puero Rico an should be in tomorrow. We later checked and found it had made it to our post office in the late afternoon today. We can go and pick it up tomorrow!! We just might get this job done!!
We stopped and bought some more groceries(not eating out much can drain your food stores quickly)at the Pueblo Supermarket. A quick stop as we didn't have our rolly cart to hold everything. With numerous plastic bags in hand, we stopped for lunch at Wendy's. Nice treat for us. We were headed back to Puff about 1300 and on our way.
Another thing I bought today at HD was aluminum pop rivets. With my drill, I got out the old rivets on the broken boat hook and drilled holes and got these pop rivets in place to attach the hook to what was left of the broken pole after cutting off where I'd snapped and trashed the end. All went fine and now the hook is shorter but will still work just fine.
Shortly after 1700, we pulled Puff back on board and strapped her down so she won't shift in the wind(still blowing). Tomorrow, get an early start back to the Post Office and get the parts. With luck, we'll get this done tomorrow. The winds are dur to decline by late Thursday and we would like to be ready to get out of here by then. We have lots of places we want to visit but first, fix the engine and second, wait for the winds to slack off a bit.

Watching out at the anchorage.

16 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Partly cloud and blowing hard with a few sprinkles.
It was a bit crazy in the anchorage today so we're glad we stayed on board. With the forecast for the next week to be the winds continuing from the east to the northeast to the north, everyone seems to be headed here to hide out. Lots of folks that look like they came from the British Virgin Islands showed up all through the day trying to find a place to drop their anchor. Several dropped off our port side but decided it was just to close to us and another boat that's off our side. Up came their anchor and off they went looking for another place. One was a huge catamaran called "Big Dog" and he was quite large. They sped through the anchorage passing close to the other boats but finally found one of the few remaining places. Other boats came by our side and also gave up and moved off. We moved to the back of the boats several days ago so we would have more room to swing if the winds came from the north to the east and it's paid off. We have boats to the front of us and a boat(big sailboat) to our stern. Another to our port and another to our starboard, all just the perfect distance that won't allow other boats to drop anywhere near us or them so we make out just fine.
The winds are still coming through in bullets. Here one moment and then calm then back again in the mid 20s to 30 knot range repeatedly making Zephyr pull on her anchor line and snubbers. We're in 18 feet of water and I've got over 120 feet of chain out so we have close to a 6 to 1 ratio on our chain. With it being a sand/mud bottom and an 88 pound Rocna anchor at the end of our chain, so we aren't going any where(unless some idiot drops his anchor and chain right on top of ours and hooks it. We have our anchor drag alarm on with the GPS of where we are showing on our B & G chartplotter in the cockpit. We slowly swing on anchor making a big "C" on the electronic chart on the plotter. Not going forward and not going back. We're hooked into the bottom just fine. This front is due to be here for at least another 5-6 days so it's just going to get more crowded as more boats come here to hide out.

It's now late Sunday evening and the wind has finally slacked off for a while. The wind generator is barely moving on the stern but we know it will be back soon. It's been blowing for most of the day. More bullets coming and going all throughout the day. The day started with with three more cruising ships coning in to the harbor. From what we've read, they get about 90 a month here. If there are less than three, many of the shops don't even bother to open since they don't think there are enough people to warrant it. Go figure.

We spent some of the morning cleaning up around the boat and then doing a few odd tasks. One of the lines to our "lazy jacks" was frayed and needed replacement. Lazy Jacks are lines that attach to the boom as well as the mast that when they are raised by pulling down on the line attached to the mast makes a grid that will hold the mainsail when it's lowered or reefed. I joined the new line with the old line with a needle and thread and pulled on the old line and the new line went right up the mast an through the block and back down to the boom. I cut off the old line and attached the new to the "Lazy Jack"(of course whipping the ends of the line)
and the job was done.
When we had to remove the ceiling panel in Trinidad, we misplaced the hook thats screwed to the ceiling that holds the port light open. I finally found it and screwed it back up so the port light is now supported properly instead of with a broken coat hanger.
In the afternoon, we had a good game of Mexican Train where Tracy beat me bad!!!
This morning(Monday) instead of going in to see of the engine parts had arrived(it's Martin Luther Kings birthday), I went forward and saw that the anchor chain had become tangled with one of the rubber snubber lines. I grabbed our boat hook and tried to pull it off only managing to break the boat hook! In the end, I did get the chain untangled but now I'm in the process of cutting off the broken tubes and with a couple new pop rivets, putting it back together. A bit shorter but at least it will still work. Yesterday, when we were clearing off the forward port bunk, we found two new boat hooks the last owner had left on board. We knew they were there but now we may have to put them to use if the repaired on is too short. It's will still be about 10 feet long but that might be too short for what we need it for. It had been 14 feet long made of three sections, now two and ¼ sections. Oh well.
As we were about to have lunch, a chartered catamaran came into the anchorage trying to anchor close to us. There were just two people on board and the wife, or girlfriend, was having none of it. She just sat and watched as the man steered the boat in, ran forward and tried to drop the anchor, getting some chain out before the boat veered off to the side and swung around. This went on over and over till he finally gave us and moved to a different area of the anchorage(far from us) and did it all over again. Again, doing it all by himself made the job just about impossible in 20 knot winds. He tried a third and a fourth place before he finally got it down and hooked. I''m guessing that this trip is his idea of fun and not hers.
Tomorrow, off to the post office to see if the part has arrived.

Grocery shopping in Charlotte Amalie

14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Partly cloud and blowing hard with a few sprinkles.
While we haven't hit all the grocery stores, the biggies are K Mart and Pueblo Super Market. Kmart doesn't carry any fresh food but tons of every thing else. Pueblo carries just about everything you would need. As for liquor, the Cost U Less can't be beat. It's an alcoholic dream come true.
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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