Read: Bahamas Shakedown or Refit or Caribbean or en Francais
Rather Pathetic Christmas Dinner

Exhausted from blizzards and sleeping in airports, this is all I could muster for dinner. (Notice the new ultra-leather settees though :) The main feature of this dinner is the wine, which we had no trouble finishing: unusual for us. To bed and wake up earlier to get out of here at 5 AM to make our loading time. (If we had known that the loading was going to run 4 hours late, we could have slept in. Grrr.) Guess we'll have to open presents later...

Blizzard of 2006
12/21/2006, Boulder, Colorado

In theory, we would be in Ft. Lauderdale about now preparing Norska for loading onto Super Servant 3 for her trip South. (We'll be doing the 747 to windward thing.) No go, grace a the Blizzard of 2006. Somehow the logic now is we dig out, while DIA digs out, we finish when the buses to the airport start running again and the airplanes start flying again, Cath goes somewhere, I go to LA, and somehow we meet up in Ft. Lauderdale and load the boat the next morning - Oh boy! Cath, being French, has difficulty in summoning up a respectable American Gothic pose...

New Fishing Gear! Thanks Howard!

Fishing gear, check! Thanks to our fishing expert, Howard, we are complete with a spinning outfit for those afternoons when you're at anchor and those yummy lookin' snapper are just wandering wherever they please under your boat. In addition to Howard's generous donation, we are equipped with a Hawaiian sling, spear, and a Penn Senator trolling rod. Oh yeah, that was another Howard donation - duh! Keep checking the blog and you'll see fish popping up. I can't wait 'till I get another Dorado!

In case you guys don't know Howard, he also helped ferry the boat back from the Bahamas and saw to our fishing success.

Bienvenue au blog en français

si vous lisez cette page, vous avez trouvé l'endroit où vous pourrez lire notre carnet de bord!

Vous pouvez entrer des commentaires (lien 'Comments' ci-dessous) pour corriger mes fautes de français ou simplement nous dire que vous lisez le journal de bord!

Pour voir notre position, cliquez sur la carte (Current Position).

Vous pouvez aussi envoyer un email (lien 'Send Email' à droite), mais surtout pas d'attachement aux emails.

PS - cliquez sur "Photo Gallery" à droite pour voir les photos des Bahamas en juin 2006

à bientôt! Cathy

The Plan

The Plan is to ship Norska to Martinique and sail her back to the US by June or so with an emphasis on the French Caribbean, Dominican Republic, and the far out islands of the Bahamas. We'll be taking Shelby (Sophomore) and Spencer (7th grade) out of school and, of course, doing without paychecks for the duration. Given Shelby's academic direction, we are seizing this semester as the last chance we have to have an adventure as a family. Its not around the world, but its a big deal for us!

Valves Everywhere!
12/06/2006, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The original gate valves for the tank selector manifold were leaking air, causing the water pump to lose its prime. In addition to nixing the accumulator and installing redundant, variable speed pumps, we replaced the intake manifold valves with ball valves. We also added a valved manifold downstream of the pump as well. During the Bahamas Shakedown, we sprung a leak in the cockpit shower valve assembly. It shouldn't have been a big deal, but 1) we were nowhere near anyplace to get new parts, and 2) we couldn't turn the water on without dumping water into the bilge so we ended up pumping as much fresh water overboard as we used onboard: hardly ideal water management. By install the downstream valves, we can isolate a damaged water circuit from the rest of the system: lessoned learned.

Solar Panels
12/06/2006, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Our new solar panel mount on the aft bimini. After trying other locations, we settled on what you see here as a reasonable compromise. The two panels (240W total) are not nearly enough to power the boat; they cover about half our energy usage on a good day and a quarter on a not so good day. Its all about fridge efficiency, which isn't too good on a stock J/40. If we continue with the boat after our Caribbean tour, the fridge box will be replaced. For now, since we'll be in the trades, the wind generator makes up the difference and if worse comes to worse, we have a high output Balmar on the engine. On our Bahamas shakedown, we learned a lot about energy usage and the need for good energy instrumentation if you're going to play the alternative energy game.

This combined bimini, solar panel mount rids us of the straps and vertical tubes of the original aft bimini: much easier access to fishing rods, BBQ, etc. However, because we can't just roll it up, it needs to be beefy enough to withstand a serious storm. The structure is designed for a 40lb./sq. foot wind load (about a CII hurricane) using 1" tubing with seriously thick walls. The fittings are heavy duty and thru-pinned with 1/4" bolts. We can remove just the solar panels in ten minutes if we have too. You can hang from it no problem!

Hatch Protectors
12/06/2006, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The original hatch had been torqued a few times by errant jib sheets caught around the lip. I replaced the hatch and fabricated these lexan protectors that fit around the edge to keep the sheet from catching underneath. The standard approach of using rubber bumpers doesn't work on the J/40 because the deck slopes well off under the hatch edge.


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