s/v Solstice

John and Shirlee's incredible adventure

10 December 2009 | Cartagena, Spain
11 October 2007 | Long Beach, CA
10 October 2007 | Long Beach, CA
08 October 2007 | Lala land
07 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
06 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
04 October 2007
04 October 2007
03 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
02 October 2007
30 September 2007
27 September 2007 | Morro Bay, CA
25 September 2007
23 September 2007
22 September 2007
20 September 2007 | Monterey, CA
18 September 2007 | Monterey, CA
15 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
14 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
12 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA

Repairs and reunions

12 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
We've been very busy since we arrived back in San Francisco Bay fixing things and visiting with friends.

During the passage from Westport, the water pump quit working. Tom discovered that the problem was caused by a disconnected line into the water heater. The water from our tanks had been draining into the bilge. When we tied up at the dock, there was enough water left for Tom and John to brush their teeth, but not for me. Tom reconnected the line and wrapped it to make the connection stronger. Then we refilled the tanks, and everything's fine. We'll be carrying extra water in jugs now, just in case.

John and Tom replaced all of the seals on the windlass. It had been leaking oil all summer (mineral oil, not petroleum). That project required that they take the windlass to the shop at Eric and April's in Berkeley. While they worked on that, I did laundry, got M�rzen's nails trimmed, and did some shopping. The big bonus was that we got to spend a couple of evenings hanging out with April and Eric.

John replaced the lift pump on the generator, and now the generator runs perfectly. That was a huge relief. M�rzen had become conditioned to problems with the generator causing swearing by John. Every time we started it, she came and crawled into my lap. She really hates it when we swear.

We had an electrician out to the boat to look at the SSB radio, autopilot and compass. There wasn't anything obviously wrong with them that he could find, but for the radio he advised us to separate the antenna from the backstay. John and Tom created separator pieces out of PVC pipe, and I went up in the bosun's chair to put them in place.

I got online with Raymarine to see what they had to say about the autopilot and compass. Our problem was especially difficult to trace because it went away on our passage here from Westport. They advised that it could be the result of fluctuations in the electrical current. We've had other electrical problems that have been resolved now, so maybe that was it. We'll keep an eye on it as we continue south.

The first Saturday we were here, April and Eric took us wine tasting in Sonoma valley, and then we all went to Jeffrey and Karan's new house for a barbecue. Since then we've seen both couples a few times and expect to see them a few more before we leave.

Murielle, Boris, and the boys dropped by the boat Sunday afternoon. That evening Andrew and Caroline had us over for dinner at their place in the City.

Mom originally intended to meet us in Moss Landing and had her tickets to San Jose. Instead she stayed with Donna in Aptos, but came to see us for a couple of days. I'll see her again in October when I fly to Portland for my final appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.

Mike Fitzgerald met us at the boat the first day to get a tuna that John had designated was his. He wasn't prepared for a whole fish at the time, so he came back the next day. (Meanwhile, John went ahead and filleted it for him.) He came back with Mary for another visit last night. It was very brave of Mary since she is extremely sensitive to motion. Even with us at the dock, she was suffering. The rest of us had fun, though.

A disappointing meal at Chevy's followed the next day by a trip to the City to see our financial advisor triggered a trip to the old neighborhood for dinner at Los Panchos and dessert at the Blue Plate. That was great! Cory, Cal, and JT were all working at the Blue Plate, but Murphy was on vacation, so we missed him.

Hue came to see me on the first Friday. Boris D came to see us on the second Saturday, bringing lots of information about cruising in Croatia. Rob and Asti drove all the way up here, and we had fun catching up. Asti's doing great at Google, and she says Shylaja is doing really well too.

Finally, because we're delaying our departure by a week anyway, we're staying an extra day so that we can see Al. He's flying into San Francisco from Chicago for meetings at salesforce.com.

Change in plans
Soon after we arrived here, I started looking at our options for moorage in San Diego. The original plan was to spend three weeks there taking care of our travelers' vaccinations, installing the tow-behind generator, provisioning, and fixing anything we didn't have time to fix here. (The Baja Ha-Ha leaves from San Diego.) What I discovered was that would cost three times as much to be at the dock in San Diego as it does here. Of course, we could anchor out, but many of the things we needed to do were easier at the dock. So we decided to spend an extra week here.

Now we've completed most of the projects, except that I still have some scrubbing to do. I'm also still working on getting boat insurance for when we sail out of our current provider's area - that's once we pass Ensenada. But now I finally have time to post a blog entry and update the sail plan.
Vessel Name: Solstice
Vessel Make/Model: Sceptre 41
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA, USA
Crew: John Forbes and Shirlee Smith
About: Our crew is Märzen (our miniature dachshund) and whoever else is aboard at the moment, if anyone. We welcome friends and family to join us as crew for specific legs of our voyage or to visit at a destination.
Extra: We left San Francisco May 1, 2006, on our proposed 10-year voyage, now reduced to five years due to the economic crisis. Visit our home website for photos, more words, and links.
Home Page: http://www.svsolstice.com


Who: John Forbes and Shirlee Smith
Port: San Francisco, CA, USA