Two To Tango in the Wind

This is the new Blog from Janet and John Harrington as they sail Tango from San Francisco, CA (USA) to the South Pacific and beyond.

09 October 2019 | Kingdom of Tonga
27 September 2019 | Port Maurelle, Tonga
07 September 2019 | Kingdom of Tonga
20 August 2019 | Neiafu Harbor, Vava'u, Tonga
15 August 2019 | Kingdom of Tonga
04 August 2019 | Kingdom of Tonga
03 August 2019 | 78nm NE of Tonga
01 August 2019 | 15NM S of American Samoa
27 July 2019 | 530NM ENE Tonga
25 July 2019 | 530NM ENE Tonga
24 July 2019 | 10NM SW Suwarrow
21 July 2019 | 30 NM to NW to Suwarrow
20 July 2019 | 223 NM to NW to Suwarrow
19 July 2019 | 223 NM to NW to Suwarrow
19 July 2019 | Friday AM Sailing North
18 July 2019 | Just passed 5 NM North of Maupihaa Atoll enroute Suwarrow
17 July 2019 | Just passed 5 NM North of Maupihaa Atoll enroute Suwarrow
16 July 2019 | Just passed 5 NM North of Maupihaa Atoll enroute Suwarrow
15 July 2019 | Departed Raiatea 4PM Monday

Tango is Grounded for Misbehavior

12 October 2019
John E Harrington
Janet and I have grounded Tango for misbehaving. She literally blew up her anchor windlass and a total replacement is needed. And she did this after days of work getting the main diesel engine and long range communication systems ready for the New Zealand crossing. I rappeled down the backstay to clean and service the antenna isolators and connections. 7 stories into the cockpit and all done in one trip! I tightened the engine oilpan; I mean that thing requiring contortion, grunts, scrapes, and bruises. I fixed a split fuel line allowing loss of prime all the way to the main tanks (think god for the electric priming pump!). I found the source of water and replaced a chaffed hose (main diesel engine raw water inlet hoses replaced and guarded from chafe. I even reset idle speed and gave the engine a spa cleaning! 3 days of hard work!

We were celebrating a happy engine and communication systems by sailing to Tapana Island with dinner reservations at a "too die for" Paella restaurant accessible only by boat. Our friends on Whey-to-Go traveled with us. They got to watch me pull up the anchor by hand after the windlass made a loud cracking sound and stopped working. With the anchor up, Janet turned Tango and headed back to our mooring ball in Neiafu Harbor. Working from about 4pm to dark I determined the above deck parts of the windlass were A-ok. That left the motor and gear box. Last night I got the motor out and tested (think smoke) and found it was full of oil! Not a good thing but probably fixable. This morning I got the gearbox out. It was a typical struggle between deck sealant, hardware, and figuring the right tool to bang the shit out of it until it came loose. :)

The gearbox is shot. The inner gears are not meshing up to the main shaft collar so things can't work. The seals are leaking oil badly; thick stinky goo type oil too! Bad seal let the oil into the motor. I also found a lot of oil on the top of the gearbox (from the electrical explosion...). So with everything dismantled I opened up the motor... full of oil! As soon as I got the rear cover off I found the rear brush and bearing carrier had been shot rearward cracking it and with the armature shaft about 1/4" out the back of the motor. Trashed motor... I deep-sixed it. I should have taken a picture of the carrier first... on close inspection, lots of the other parts are worn out also including the chainwheel and clutch cones. Got to buy a new one... Good thing to get done, just not now, IN TONGA!

Miller time.

New one may be available in New Zealand the I have a supplier working the shipment already. I should have it moving this way in a couple of days. Think $5000 US. Ouch! The failure track is the leaky oil seals filling the motor with oil. When power and oil partied the explosion ruined the motor and probably shattered gears in the gearbox too. The windlass is original to Tango; 36 years old. Bad timing... couldn't have waited to when we could drive to get the new one...

So... with no anchor windlass, Tango is a lot like a car without brakes. She is grounded on the mooring ball due to her bad damn attitude and until we get it fixed. This may impact our departure for New Zealand. I hope to have shipment details soon...

We have the stereo up loud, Janet is cooking to get food prep'ed and in the freezer for the New Zealand trip. Tools are cleaned up and parts put in bucket until the new unit arrives (except for that damn motor). But... thanks! I feel better. :)

Anchored at Sasia Island East of Vava'u

09 October 2019 | Kingdom of Tonga
John Harrington
we are about 2 weeks from departing for New Zealand. I'm waking up all the communication systems. The Satellite... connection is
dead again... grrrrrrrr. This is from or SSB (big radio) link.

All is well. Clear water with at least 60 ft of visibility. We've been waiting for a day like today with good weather for this area. Janet is
making lunch. Soft taco's with Pico de guyao. After lunch and I suspect a fire hose to cool us off (unknown bright red peppers we will
snorkle the reef. Planning to head back to Nieafu for the night.


Farallon Electronics Support ROCKS!

27 September 2019 | Port Maurelle, Tonga
John E Harrington
About a year before Janet and I left SF for the South Pacific I worked with Farallon Electronics, San Rafael, CA and installed a new and very complete electronics suite. It is 100% B&G and has been one of the items that has help make this adventure safe and secure.

For several months the 12" Zeus3 Chartplotter demonstrated some minor issues (a green vertical line in the display, wouldn't read memory cards, occasionally wouldn't interface with the radar...). Usually after a couple of restarts it would behave and it's odd behavior never impacted the helm 9" Zeus3. We were inconvenienced... then it completely died; wouldn't turn on.

I contacted Eric Steinberg at Farallon Electronics and he was able to get Navico/B&G to agree to a warranty replacement. Then Eric went that extra mile and was able to broker Navico into supplying the replacement from Australia to Tonga. Seems Navico US doesn't ship overseas! Well after about a month of managing and intervening on Eric's part the unit arrived today. It is installed, configured and working perfectly.

Those of you that know me understand that I don't "shoutout" often but Eric and Farallon Electronics made the extra effort and supported Tango, on a remote island (Vava'u) in the Kingdom of Tonga. Tango has sailed more than 6000NM to get here. The photo is of our anchorage... very remote and wonderful!

THANK YOU Eric! Janet and I appreciate your extra efforts and we'll make sure people know.

Vessel Name: Tango
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52 Cutter Rigged Sloop
Hailing Port: Houston TX, USA
Crew: Janet and John Harrington
About: John is a retired USCG ship captain and engineer, well experienced with offshore sailing and operations. Janet is learning quickly and makes Tango a welcoming home that is looking for adventure.
Extra: Janet and John are full time cruising. Our adventure started with the 2018 Baja HaHa rally and we continue our adventure visiting Mexico, crossing to the South Pacific in March/April 2019, then travelling on toward New Zealand.
Tango's Photos - Main
A collection of photos from our exploring in Vava'u.
15 Photos
Created 26 August 2019
A collection of photos from our swim with the whales.
6 Photos
Created 17 August 2019
Some photos during our 25 day Pacific crossing. Not a lot of photos because we were pretty busy with watch standing, eating, and sleeping.
33 Photos
Created 25 May 2019
29 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 23 May 2019
12 Photos
Created 18 March 2019
41 Photos
Created 4 February 2019
Photos of places Tango visited along the mainland of Mexico's west coast.
2 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 4 February 2019
Photos from our transit to and around Banderos Bay.
27 Photos
Created 29 January 2019
Photos of our cross from La Paz, anchoring off Muertos, and arriving in Mazatlan.
17 Photos
Created 29 January 2019
Photos from our crossing from Baja to the mainland West Coast and the places visited
2 Photos
Created 27 January 2019
FInally done. Took less than 1 week in La Paz and workmanship was top notch.
4 Photos
Created 27 January 2019
This folder will hold project related sub-folders showing elements of the various projects done to support Tango.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 3 January 2019
Photo's taken during our trip from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, MX during the 2018 Baja HaHa sailing ralley.
31 Photos
Created 3 January 2019
Places and event during our stay in La Paz Mexico, mid November to early January 2018.
12 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 26 December 2018