Swingin' on a Star

Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".

01 April 2010 | Palau
13 July 2009 | Palau
05 July 2009 | Yacht Harbor
03 July 2009 | Peleliu
02 July 2009 | Palau
01 July 2009 | Two Dog Beach
30 June 2009 | Mecharchar
29 June 2009 | Mecharchar
28 June 2009 | Ulong
27 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
17 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
16 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
15 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
14 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
13 June 2009 | Ngerutable
25 May 2009 | Yacht Harbor
30 April 2009 | Malakal
29 April 2009 | Koror
28 April 2009 | Malakal
27 April 2009 | Malakal

Underway to Ulithi Atoll

19 March 2009 | Philippine Sea
We had a great day of sailing today. My crew is loading up on Stugeron and Dramamine so it is pretty lonely on deck (they are sleeping 16 hours a day). It has been an eventless day really. We jibed once and tried wing on wing down wind. The seas are moderate but mixed from North and East enough that dead down wind is not working so well. We settled on putting the jib away and running deep (165 degrees to the wind) on port tack. We are less than ten degrees south of our Ulithi approach waypoint but passing north of Fais. Fais is an island a little south of Ulithi, and 30 miles closer, so we can bop in there if need be.

I fired up the genset in the early AM to bring the batteries back from -140 amp hours. The hydraulic auto pilot is drawing a fair amount of current and then there are always running lights, night lights, instruments, half hourly radar checks and the like. We just gave the genset a good service so I was bullish on its reliability. After it was running for about a half hour I though I heard the exhaust note change. The only thing I could think of that would do that was lack of water. I checked the coolant temp guage and it was rising. I shut the genny down at 180F with the assumption that I will need to change out the impeller. The one in there looked fine when I serviced the engine two days ago. It has been going for a good 300 to 500 hours. Unfortunately when you open the pump to check the impeller the water drains out. Sometime I put glycerine on the impeller to avoid the short term hyper heating that occurs when you start it up dry, not this time though. Doh.

Needing to get a charge going and not wanting to climb into the genset service at 5AM, I fired up the port diesel. The port drive leg has been giving us trouble engaging lately. It took me several revs to get it to connect. I originally thought it was the prop sticking closed, and that it may be (harder to open a prop when you are already moving too). I am now also suspicious of the drive leg itself. You can change the oil in the SD50 in the water but I think we need to have it hauled and inspected more closely. This is the leg that has had suspicious oil (some opinions suggest there was water in the gear oil others said it was fine).

We have been looking forward to a good haulout facility in the Pacific but have so far not found one on our track. NZ and Oz were out because of Roq. We did some basic repairs and bottom paint in Raiatea but I wouldn't want to get too complicated there. The US is the last place I've been where I actually felt confident in the boat contractors. We are currently hoping to find professional services in Singapore.

Our starboard drive leg has leaked oil since we received the boat. I couldn't track it down at first (I had so many boat issues to contend with at the time...). It seems that when you run it at high RPMs some oil comes out of the leg where it meets the hull. So we have a double drive leg debacle to deal with. Both are working fine with the exception of the sticky engagement on the port and the need to add oil sometimes on the starboard. I don't like anything other than perfect when it comes to auxiliaries though so we are babying them until the next haul.

We plan to arrive at Ulithi tomorrow early afternoon. We'll anchor there for the night and stay a day if it is really nice or head out the next morning for Yap. If we leave early enough Yap should be a day sail from Ulithi. We'll arrive late afternoon but our frind Eric on Whistler has confirmed out waypoints so we should be able to get into port later in the day without difficulty.

The radar is clear and we are watching a nice sunset. Hideko is instructing Miki on the finer points of night watch before her first go at it. We gave her a 2 hour shift tonight to break her in.

Hideko Says: "Miki's first night watch is coming up." Miki Says: "I'm excited to run the boat!"

141 nm to Ulithy
Vessel Name: Swingin' on a Star
Vessel Make/Model: Saint Francis 50
Hailing Port: Las Vegas, NV
Crew: Randy Abernethy
Home Page: http://swinginonastar.com
Swingin' on a Star's Photos - Swingin on a Star (Main)
Selected photos of Swingin' on a Star at anchor.
7 Photos
Created 18 September 2007
31 Photos
Created 15 September 2007
copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Randy & Hideko Abernethy, all rights reserved