01 July 2014
Well, now that we're home, and I am sitting comfortably with my feet up, I thought I'd share the final stats of our little sailing adventure.
We ended up sailing 2033 miles. I am still working on what our average speed was, but our top speed was 9.3 knots, noted on GPS at about 3:00 am one night north of Isla Cedros when we had the jib up. As you might imagine, the jib was pulled down shortly thereafter!
We experienced the following mechanical failures:
1) Throttle cable (left on exhaust by mechanics and melted) - replaced with spare 2) Exhaust leak - replaced missing bolts and added lockwashers. 2) JABSCO sea water impeller - replaced with spare 3) Hurth 100 Transmission - replaced with new model ZF-10 4) Air Cleaner - not replaced yet 5) fresh water pump - not replaced yet
Here are some things we strongly recommend:
1) ECOXGEAR's ECOXBT blue-tooth waterproof speaker - this thing worked great. Absolutely no complaints, we could listen to music anywhere on the boat.
2) Gill Short Cruising boots - great traction and very comfortable and warm. I would definitely recommend these, especially if you find yourself with a need to walk to the end of a long bowsprit at 3:00 am on a moonless night to pull down a headsail.
3) Speedo Hydro Comfort 2.0 water shoes - the traction on these shoes are fantastic, they dry fast, and were comfortable enough to wear to bed.
4) Grundens 'Gage' raingear - performed flawlessly, we stayed completely warm and as they are 'breathable', we stayed completely dry, even wearing them for 12 hours straight. Absolutely top-notch gear, I really can't say enough nice words about these.
5) OpenCPN - free open source chartplotter software. I whole-heartedly recommend this software. We used the Climatology, GRIB Viewer, Weather Routing, Ships Log and Watch Dog plugins.
6) Visual Passage Planner - inexpensive routing software based on Pilot Chart data - this really helped me understand the wind and current patterns for our route
7) Standard Horizon GX2200 - combination VHF, GPS and AIS unit. We purchased the remote station and installed it into our cockpit, and the PA speaker which was installed below our radar. I honestly couldn't imagine at this point making that trip without AIS - being able to 'see' ship traffic in time to respond was critical, and the CPA (closest point of approach) alarm really made those dark nights less terrifying. If I had one complaint, it was that the alarm was hard to disable or adjust the range. It would alarm again while I was digging through the screens to turn the alarm off or reduce the alarm range, and I'd have to do it all again. Even though - I really can't recommend this excellent bit of equipment enough, we were very glad to have this aboard.
8) Downwind Marine, in San Diego - the folks in this store were incredibly helpful, and if you're in San Diego about to go to West Marine, take a quick walk over to this place instead.
9) PAC West, also in San Diego - if you are looking for a full-service boat yard, or just a new transmission, these folks are just amazing to work with. They were too busy to help us with the installation, but they gave us all the information we needed to do the job ourselves, and got a new transmission to us in 24 hours. Ask around, and everyone will recommend these guys - - and we do too!
10) Marine Man, in San Diego. If you need help, reach out to Marine Man. He arrived in moments, crawled around in our engine room, and gave us some really helpful advice on breaking our old transmission loose - and wouldn't let us pay him. If you are in San Diego and need help - give him a call!
11) San Diego Mooring Company - Vanessa was the person we worked with, and she really went the extra mile to get us everything we needed to get our boat moored. She found us a sublease so we could get on a ball ahead of the waiting list, helped us locate shackles for our mooring tether, and even sent a crew out to our boat to make sure we got it hooked up right. Vanessa personified almost everything we loved about the people in San Diego - she was utterly pleasant and helpful, and without her, we'd really be in a tough spot.
12) San Diego Maritime Museum - specifically Toby White and Anna Stoermann. Toby and Anna are tour guides and deck hands there, and between them know everything there is to know about the amazing ships and exhibits at the Museum. If you can, take the Pilot Boat tour with Toby, and the Swift Boat tour with Anna - but the entire experience at this museum is worth every penny.
13) WeatherFlow wind meter - this little gizmo plugged into our phones' headphone jack, and helped me separate 'fact from fiction' when the wind was blowing. We kept a running log of the winds we encountered, and this little tool was an indepensable bit of equipment - especially at night!
14) Garmin QUATIX watch - I'm absolutely in love with this watch. If you are going on an ocean adventure, do yourself a favor, and get this watch. It's worth every penny.
15) Goal Zero solar panel - we used this every day to charge phones, my watch, even the kids' Nintendo 3DS - and even in the harsh ocean environment, it worked flawlessly. If you're about to buy a small solar panel, definitely take a look at what Goal Zero has.
16) MAZCOM, in Mazatlan. If you have electronics or radio issues while in Mazatlan, give these folks a call - they really went the extra mile to help get us back 'on the air', and were very reasonably priced, considering the impeccable service and support they provided us with troubleshooting our ICOM M802 SSB radio installation.
17) Princeton Tec Byte LED Headlamps - don't go on deck at night without one. Great battery life, and the red light was really handy to have at night.
18) Monitor windvane, by Scanmar International - we didn't buy this, it was already on our boat... but it would be a crying shame if I didn't recommend 'Monica' to other people. If your boat doesn't have a windvane, please consider getting a Monitor. We really can't recommend this enough, 'Monica' was an incredible asset to have aboard.
19) Nonstick Magma pans - space saving, oven safe, and truly non-stick, these pans were an incredible set to have aboard.
20) Simple Green. If you don't have some of this aboard, get some!
01 July 2014 | Moscow, ID
Stoic has found a new temporary home in San Diego, and we arrived back in Moscow tonight! The kids were ecstatic to be home and see their dogs and family. Dain and I are relieved to be home safe and sound.
We owe a huge thank you to Toby & Anna for their kindness and selflessness. They were instrumental in lifting our spirits and helping us get where we needed to go. They taught us all about San Diego, and spoiled us rotten. I hope we find a way to make it up to you someday.
We also owe a huge thank you to Bill & Jeri for helping us with the boat & mooring, running errands, and being so welcoming and supportive. We are forever in your debt!
My Mom and Dad get a huge thank you for taking such great care of our dogs while we were gone, and stocking our fridge!
Also, thanks Bert for being so supportive and willing to help us get home!
Thank you Sera for helping us communicate with the mechanic, and being so supportive!
And thanks to everyone else who cheered us on!
This has been a wild ride! I hope to update this blog with more pictures and stories soon!
Battle of the Bilge
28 June 2014 | San Diego
We found a tremendous amount of oil in our bilge. Unfortunately, we also found no oil at all in the engine.
We are hoping the oil drain plug wasn't tightened properly after our oil change and it's not something worse.
27 June 2014 | San Diego
It turns out Dain and I have mechanical skills... we installed the new transmission, and it works!
Thanks to Bill and Jeri, Dain's second cousins, we are getting closer to finding ourselves a mooring ball!
The kids are happy, they have milk, cereal, and wifi. :)
25 June 2014
We made it to San Diego!
We had to call for a tow to get us into the bay...we cleared customs, and then they towed us to the guest docks. We now have power, water, and showers!
Dain's brother lives in San Diego and he has been kind enough to show us around and take us to mechanics. He also took us to the maritime museum where he works, and gave us an awesome tour! The ships are amazing!
Yesterday we found someone who can get us a new transmission, today we are trying to remove it. It was nice to be clean for a while.
Hopefully we'll have a new transmission and a long term space for the boat in a couple of days and then we can get home!
22 June 2014
We're floating listlessly, in sight of the Coronado Islands, San Diego is right. over. there! Why can't we have just a bit of wind? A slight breeze, a mere puff... something... but the sea, is like glass.