Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 60 A day of rest

Today was a day of rest.  

For the past two months we've been going at it working on systems--ordering, installing and replacing.  With the surprise finding of the broken board that holds the propeller shaft in place, the renovation continues.  We consider ourselves lucky that we found it now and can get it fixed with advise from other boaters that have a lot more knowledge than what we have and workshops around that can make replacement parts.  If this had happened at virtually any other time our safety could have been compromised.  This board keeps the propeller running true with no vibrations.  If it had shattered while underway, it could have caused the shaft to go sideways and destroyed the packing material that surrounds the propeller shaft that keeps water from coming into the boat.  Not a happy thought.

Today was pretty much a day of rest.  I did laundry this morning while Tracy stitched at the boat.  With all the work she has been doing, she deserved some quiet time to relax.  After getting it all done and folded, we had a nice lunch of French bread, cheeses and Summer sausage out in the cockpit.  A nice relaxing lunch.

I worked at the computer studying our navigation software.  I couldn't keep my eyes open so I took a nap---yep, that's right a nap.  I haven't done that in years.  An occasional snooze but this was an honest to God nap!!  Two hours of rest.  The kids came by and joined me so the bed was full.  Got up a few hours later--not fully rested but better than I was.

I took more photos of the broken board to show the metal fabricator tomorrow so he will have a better understanding of what went wrong and what we need.   If I can, I'm going to try and get him to come to the boat for his professional opinion.  Can't hurt to try.  He may have a better suggestion.  We'll see tomorrow. 

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 60 A nice sunny, cloudy, foggy day.

We went to "Sea Fest" at the University of Oregon center by the marina this afternoon.  It was an open house where you could go thru the labs and try different exhibits and touch weird fish and octopus and go aboard their research vessels.  That's Tracy beside Wecoma.  Originally built in 1975, its been in use by the university ever since.  It goes out for 30+ days and drops sensors on earth quake and volcanic prone areas looking for data on shifts in the earth for later evaluation.  They just collect the data, they don't evaluate it.  That is left to the people back at the university after their return.  It normally carries 30 people while out.  13 crew and the rest are data and research collectors. 
As you can see, it's not a small vessel.  Theirs runs typically take them out as far as Hawaii.

The day started out beautifully sunny and bright and you couldn't ask for a nicer day.  Even the winds were lighter than what we had been experienced recently.  I worked on one of our navigation programs on the computer checking on depths and tidal currents to see what we may be facing as we go north.  

We took off for the farmers market where we found some great strawberries and beautiful loaves of bread.  We came back with a bunch of  food.  The kind of things you just can't find in supermarkets around here.  There were lots of crafts people there but we are in the situation of "if you can't eat it, it doesn't come on board".  We are running out of space and need every inch of it for later when we provision Zephyr for the long distance voyages.

When we got back from the open house, it was still gorgeous.  Sunny and bright and in the mid 60s.  That was about 4:45.  By 5:30 the fog was so thick you couldn't see across the harbor.  Later, it lifted and the clouds settled in for the night.  It may be 100 degrees in Portland but it stays cool here.  They keep forecasting  higher temps for Newport but they never get here.  A few days ago they tried to tell us we would hit 80.  Try 68 that day.  I guess the weather people here belong to the same weather peoples union as the ones in Colorado.  You'd think they would have it easier here since there are no mountains to play with the fronts going thru.

The world is a smaller place than we imagine.  The other day when we travelled to McMinnville to buy the outboard motor, the manager that worked with us asked us what kind of boat we were sailing.  When we told him a Liberty, he told us that his father bought one back in the mid-80s and had had it for years.  His was the 6th one built.  There were only 31 of them.  What are the chances that we would meet another Liberty owner.  It's a small world.

Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 59 Another delay

We got hit by another delay today.  Tracy was checking thru the boat inspecting systems since we had planned to head to Astoria on Monday or Tuesday.  She lifted a floor panel in the aft stateroom and found the bracket that holds the driveshaft to the hull had shattered.  It had been chipped by the bushings on the right side of the boat.  We had been told about it by the man who surveyed our boat when we bought it.  It had been fine until today.  Zephyr had been fine when we took it to the gas dock two days ago.  Some time it just decided to shatter.  You can see the big hole on the right side of the fitting in the photo.

We got several other boaters to come and look at it.  People who know a lot more than I do about these things.    One had recently installed the same type of unit on his boat.  One has been sailing for almost 50 years and the last had owned the largest boat repair facility in Newport till 7 years ago when he sold it.  The general thought is to reenforce the broken board with two plates of stainless steel.  One in front and one behind it.  Put all the screws back in it and fill the remaining void with epoxy.  Once it cures, it should be fine.  We made a template of what we need.  If that doesn't work, we may have to rip out the entire wood panel.  That where it gets tougher.  It's been fiberglassed to the hull.  Plus the drive shaft has to be removed to get the drive unit out so I can get to the board.  Not a easy thing to do.  

That's about all we got done today.  This type of thing can take up your entire day.  Now I have to notify several people that we will be late getting to Astoria and Port Townsend.   We couldn't move the boat if we wanted to as of now.

Better it happen now than when we were out traveling.  I'd have hated to have it go wrong as we were crossing the Columbia Bar.  That could have been disastrous.  We may be later than we expected but we will be safer!

Day 58 Time to pay more bills

While we may be on a boat, there are still bills that need to be paid.  Today was the day.  Thanks to the internet and on line bill pay, it is getting much easier and quicker.  Some needed stamps for the snail mail route but most could be done on the internet.  With us being on the move as of next week, paying bills on the internet will simplify our lives.

The battle over the shortwave radio ended just a few minutes ago.  All our money is being refunded.  I received an email this morning from PayPal wanting to know the circumstances behind my purchase and the payments I had made.  For some reason, the payment I made for postage wasn't applied to the same account as the purchase of the radio.  If the emails I just received are correct, the money should be off my credit cards as of tomorrow.  In this case, the squeaky wheel gets greased.  I made enough calls and emails that I finally got results.  Tomorrow, I'll order the radio from a different company and have it shipped straight to Port Townsend where it will be installed.  I've got the Pactor Modem--for internet service--already on board.  Since they work together, We're set.

The afternoon was running errands and reading more manuals and magazines.  I packed up the
Schaefer blocks for return to the factory for service and repair.  They have bearings on the inside of the big black wheel.  They're supposed to rotate as the outer wheel rotates.  Ours don't.  They are locked solid.  They still spin, just not as smoothly as they should.  If Schaefer is willing to repair them, I'm all for it.  These blocks control the lines (also known as ropes) that control one of the sails at the bow of the boat.  After the re-rigging, we will be using them.  Until then, we don't need them so we might as well get them fixed and shipped to Port Townsend afterwards.

We walked the docks this evening looking at other boats and speculating on their history and where they have been.   With so many older boats to see, there must be a lot of history floating at these docks.  It's fun to imagine.  It's like looking at a dollar bill in your wallet and wondering where it has been all its life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 57 Lost the internet yesterday

Sorry, we lost internet last night.  Don't know where it goes but it didn't make it to our boat.

As you can see, our guard cat was on duty this morning making sure no one passed her with out her approval.  Snowshoe doesn't really care but it makes Blue feel good that she thinks she is in charge of the companionway.  She is such a control freak.  The boys don't really care--just give is food and a place to sleep.  An occasional pet is nice also.

We started the day by taking Zephyr to the gas dock to have the two head sewage tanks pumped out and to practice docking and turning to see what she will do.  Tried to pull her into one dock after the pumpout and got stopped cold.  It was a dock that they were working on as it was in very bad condition.  No boats so the perfect space to practice as there are less things to damage and boats to sink if I hit them.  We watched Zephyrs wake and learned that she take quite a bit to turn 180 degrees and reverse course.  We took off for our dock to see how what we learned would help us.  It worked perfectly.  We came in wide and went straight into her slip.  Success!!! The first time we had brought her in without some help from people on shore.  Not only did we get two very important tanks pumped out, we learned more about Zephyr and her turning ability.

Yesterday afternoon was different.  Some work, some play.  Started it working on our anchor. Got the anchor back onboard and then went to the local marine supply store for the fittings
to connect it to the chain. 

Bought a beautiful piece of stainless steel to hook the two together.  Got it all hooked up and spent several hours sitting in the cockpit reading manuals and magazines.  As I read, the "professionals" say that stainless steel should not be used as it is a different metal from what the anchor and chain is and could cause a problem in that different metal don't play well together when hooked together.  Don't understand why, they just don't.  So today, I went back to the same store and bought a different type of attachment gear 

This one is all galvanized steel so it will play well with both the anchor and chain.  It's not as shiny and pretty but will work longer and better.  At least that is what the "professionals" say.   At least we will be safer at anchor.  

If your read my last post, it talks about getting the bilge pumped out all over again after my mistake.  Checked it last night--still dry.  Checked it this afternoon--water!  Don't know where it came from but while it is down there, there is not enough to let the bilge pump pump it out.  Not sure if some water came in while running the engine or a pump of some type leaked.  Oh well, if it want to go down there so be it.  I'm not going back for that darn vacuum again.

Stopped by the Coast Guard station here in Newport to discuss crossing the Columbia Bar next week on our way to Astoria.  It is one of the most feared and tretcherous "bars"( where river water enters the ocean) on the Pacific coast.  There is always a conflict of water when what is coming down river wants to enter the ocean and when the tide comes in and won't let it.  It has a reputation for sinking boats that come in at the wrong time.    They suggested that we file a "float plan" before we leave here.  It's like a flight plan only for boats.  We contact them after arrival so the plan can be closed.  They also told us if we felt uncomfortable at the crossing, we could radio the Coast Guard and they would come out and escort us over the bar. 

I also wanted to discuss flares.  We have lots on board.  Some expired back in 1982.  They are normally good for three years and then need replacing.  It's another one of those things you buy and hope you never have to use.  We'd both been in the Coast Guard Auxiliary  for 6 years and had never been trained on how to set off flares in case of an emergency.  They walked me through what to do and how to do it.  Some boaters just stand on the docks and set them off or go out in their boats and do it there.  Neither is the smartest thing to do.  Either could start a fire.  While some of the flares are expired, I don't intend on getting rid of them.  They may be old but they have been stored in a nice dry place and I think it is better to have a flare-old- then not to have any.  If I need them, I'll start with the newest first.

Got another email today from the company we bought the shortwave radio from back on the 14th.  They are asking for the same $24.95 they asked for last week to cover postage to get the radio here.  I paid the postage last week!!  I checked with Paypal and they have the payment all on record.  I notified Paypal that I wanted to cancel the order and go else where.  I tried calling the company--left a message of the cancellation.  Sent an email--so far no response.    While they have a positive record at EBay, most of the complaints they have is for not responding to emails, returning calls and slow shipping.   Not sure which way to go but we can't wait any longer.  The Pactor Modem (let's us connect to the internet anywhere when used with the radio) is due in tomorrow.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 55 Anchors away

Today we got an early start pulling the anchor and chain.  Wanted to see how much we had and in what condition it was in.  I undid the shackles to the anchor and pulled it off the boat.  I made sure that the anchor was attached to line before I pulled it.  Didn't want it ending up at the bottom of the harbor.  Tracy held the line and I pulled.  Off it came nice and easy.

Next off with the chain.  I pulled it out of the locker--also known as the deep garage in the bow of the boat.  Tracy pulled it off the bow and piled it on the dock.  She pulled it out so we could see how much we had--225 feet of 3/8" chain and high tensile steel at that.  Very strong and a good length.  Because it is high tensile steel, it is harder than most chain but weighs less.  That makes it great for a sail boat where weight is all important.

We'd planned on putting tags on the anchor as specific lengths so we know how much we have out but we couldn't find webbing to tag it.  We put the chain back on board.  Thank goodness we have a windlass on board.  It has a very strong motor that winds the chain back on board.  The biggest problem is that to use it you need to have the engine running as it eats power by the bucket load.  I could not imagine pulling the chain on board by hand let alone with a 66 pound anchor attached.  Not sure it's even physically possible.

Tomorrow, reattach the anchor.

So far, no shortwave radio nor any information from the dealer I bought it from.  The internet modem shipped today.  We ordered it last Friday and will be here Wednesday.  We order the radio ten days ago.  Lets hope it gets 
here soon.

Oh, I messed up last night.  The head(toilet) in the front head operates by flipping a switch.  To the left is for pumping water into the toilet to flush it.  To the right is to empty the bowl.  I forgot and left the switch on the left that puts water into the bowl.  The bad thing is that the water never stops coming into the boat.  By this morning, the bilge was full of harbor water as was the shower sump right in front of the head.  I had quite a mess to pump out and clean up.  There is an automatic switch that turns on the 
bilge pump so that the boat won't sink but it didn't turn in.  Found that a wire was sitting on top of it and kept it from turning on.  Fixed it so hopefully it will work next time.  It could have caused the boat to sink if we had happened to have left the boat for the weekend.  Rented the wet/dry vacuum again and flushed the bilge with fresh water and cleaned it out.  We'll see what the future brings for the bilge.  I've learned my lesson.

As you can see, Blue has settled in just fine.  She rules the roost and makes sure the other kids know it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 54 A nice sunny windy day

I'll take the wind as long as I can keep the sun.  It started out with rain and slowly made its way to sunshine and wind.

Took apart the anchor assembly this morning.  It gets attached to the chain with a swivel mechanism that helps keep the anchor from twisting as it get set on the bottom.  The chain will be switched end for end since the the first few links by the anchor are a bit rusted.  We will see how the other end is tomorrow.  We had planned on taking all the chain out today and get it labeled with length tabs.  Unfortunately, the stores we needed to get the material from were closed.  We find it amazing how many stores are closed on Sunday and close early (3pm) on Saturday.  I have to wait till tomorrow to get my supplies.  Ah--the joys of small town living?

We brought the new motor down to the boat today and hooked it to the back rail.  Added a 
 stout steel cable and a big lock.  No reason to make it appealing to other people.  Now we're prepared for anything when we use the dingy.

Tracy took our sewing machine and custom cut and sewed a mattress pad for one of the front bunks.  We will be using it for sleeping while on the trip to Port Townsend.  We'll be on a schedule of 4 hours on and 4 hours off during the trip.

Had a wonderful beef enchilada for dinner.  Tracy is on a roll.  More strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Finally brought one of our cases of wine to the boat.  Made enough room to hold it.  Only one more case to come.  

Tomorrow is supposed to be another nice day.  Hope so.  We can get lots more done.  With luck, I'll find out where our new shortwave radio is.  Hope it has shipped.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 53 Part 2

The day is ending and it's doing so with a bit of rain.  Haven't had any for quite a while.  It's been cloudy all day with fog and a slight mist that has turned into a gentle rain.  Should help clean off all the dirt and seagull leavings.  

Got the water tanks filled this afternoon.  Only took about an hour to get them all topped off.  Back up to 265 gallons.  Now that we have access to all of it, it will be interesting as to how long it will last.  We're looking into possibility of getting a water maker for Zephyr.  We'll see.

We put up the rest of the dodger(canvas that covers the cockpit area) this morning to get more space for lounging.  It should also help keep the kids closer to home--at least Blue.  Didn't work, she still found a way out and glared at us thru the port lights(windows on a boat).  She did everything but stick out her tongue at us as she looked in.  

Our neighbors came back to the marina today and spent most of it cleaning their boat.  Right down to using a tooth brush to get into the nooks and crannies.  Now with the rain, that will help wash off what may have been left after the washing.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, out comes the anchor chain for inspection and tagging with paint at specific lengths so we will know how much we have out.  When you anchor, there is a mathematical formula to have the right amount out.  If you are in 10 feet of water, ideally you should have 70 feet of chain out.  7 to 1 is the best ratio.

Tracy picked up some home grown strawberries this afternoon at the local "farmers market".  She made shortcake to go with them so dessert was great tonight.  The joys of a new oven.

Have a great evening.

Day 53 Missed last night

Missed last night.  Too late and too tired.

In our continuing endeavor to try new and different foods, we stopped at a restaurant on our way back from McMinnville, Oregon.  Their billboard out from the store listed "Elk Burgers" and the listings around the top of the buildings about what they had included "Monkey"!   They even had a neon sign as you can see with a monkey on it in the window.  Who wouldn't stop with an appetizing menu with lead ins like these.  They've been in the same location for over 25 years.  Your typical burger joint.  Linoleum and old formica tables.  Even had booths out in front of the restaurant.  Checked the menu and saw nothing with monkey but they did have
the elk burgers.  Nothing wrong with beef so I stayed with that.  So did Tracy.   Good onion rings but no jalapeno flavor on mine.  Just can't resist a good jalapeno and cheese burger.  I still long for some of my jalapeno turkey soup I make each year.  A firey taste of home.  Growing my own jalapenos allowed me to control the fire.

We had gone to McMinnville to get a new motor for the dingy.  Our 2hp Honda finally expired and we needed a replacement.  "Practical Sailer"(the Consumer Reports for sailers) recommended Mercury over Honda.  We've had Honda outboard motors for years but they weigh about 10 pounds more than the Mercury.  With it having to be put on and taken off the dingy regularly, weight is an important factor.  We have a crane system to assist, but there is still a good bit of brute force necessary to get it even to the crane.   So we are now the proud owners of a new 8hp engine to help get us to shore and back when we can't dock at a marina.  Bought one with a "short" shaft.  The motors come in different lengths for different uses.  Since our will be going on a small dingy, short was the way to go.  It will allow us to get closer to shore without hitting the bottom.

Now that we have full access to our water, we have finally used just about everything in the four tanks.  Took well over a month.  With them holding 265 gallons, I figure it will take several hours to get them toped off.  I'll put the hose in the fill tube and let her fill.  From time to time, I'll have to check the level in the tanks--unscrew an inspection port and stick in a wood dowel--(high tech measuring device).  Since we have 4 tanks spread about the boat, they each fill in turn.  As one fills, the water then migrates to the next until all are full.  Luckily, we can control the tanks as to where we want to take the water from.  If one tank gets contaminated, we can shut it off and pull from another. 

I'm off to fill the tanks.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 51 Three in a row and another delay!

We hit three nice days in  row.  At this rate, I could actually get a sun tan and not mildew spots.  Tracy and I worked outside most of the day.  It was such a delight.

I attached the EPIRB (emergency position indicator radio beacon) to the stern of the boat.  It is an emergency device that when deployed--the boat sinks--it sends out a radio signal that is picked up by the Coast Guard as well as airline jets that may be flying over head just to name a few.  We already have a life raft so we are better prepared than most boats.

I spent a great deal of the morning trying to find out what is happening with the short wave radio I ordered last weekend.  I got an email today from a different company than what I bought it from asking for more money.  It ended up being the owner of the companies email address.  I guess it is for postage but there was no explanation.  Took two hours on the phone and numerous disconnects on the internet before I got it resolved.  I may never buy from EBay again.  It's to hard to get to the person you order from.  So far, all I gotten in response from my emails is automated responses.  No real person.

Tracy went about cleaning up inside and out.  The boat looks much better.  We both have a bad habit of using things and setting them down and not putting things away.  A bad habit that needs to be broken.  

Had to take my new MacBook in for repairs today.  The space key and the letter "c" were sticking.  No real problem but it needed addressing and fixing.  Glad I had Apple Care.  All done and at no charge--took 90 minutes to get it done!

I spent a couple of hours with my head down in the deep bilge.  If you remember, when the sewage tank for the front head split a month ago, it would pump raw sewage into the bilge.  We had cleaned it with lots of fresh water repeatedly over an afternoon.  Now I wanted it totally cleaned out and dry.  We rented a wet/dry vacuum and went at it.  Pump it out and refill over and over until we were satisfied that it was all gone.  With all the new pumps we've installed, we want to see if we have any other leaks.  We'll know if any water shows up down there.

The folks from DuoGen are trying to get me the longest post available for my new electric maker of the stern of Zephyr.  We have to have it higher than we thought so it will need a taller mast for the propeller.

We got a call from the man who is going to do the rigging of our boat in Port Townsend--Brion Toss.  He is heading for Hawaii to do all the rigging on the big beautiful four masted boat in the photo.  He had been selected to do the job but it had been scheduled for late August or early September but after having the boat inspected by the Feds, the people that run the museum were advised that the rigging needs to be replaced now, not in a month or two.  He called to advise us that our job will have to be delayed for a few weeks as he and his entire crew will be off to Hawaii.  Tough luck guys!!  He apologized and said he would pick up any moorage fees and expenses we incurred while waiting for his return.  How's that for service!!  I told him we had emailed his company last week to advise them of the delays we were experiencing here and that we didn't expect to get to Port Townsend till about the first of July anyway.  He was sorry for our delay but relieved that we would not be tremendously inconvenienced because of he and his crew being gone.  I told him that there was no problem.  We could spend time in Puget Sound playing around before he got back.  We had planned to do some sailing there either before the re-rigging or after.  It was no big deal.  We were perfectly happy to wait for his return.  If the feds trust him to do a national treasure like the boat in the picture, we could easily wait for his return.  Now I have to call the boat yard that will be doing the haul out and let them know about the delay.  Again, no problem.   As long as we are gone from the Washington/Oregon coast by September 1 there will be no problem.  The ocean gets really dicey after that.

Tomorrow--another nice day--at least that is what the tv said.

Day 50 Another nice day in Newport-2 in a row!

Another nice day in Newport.  The Sun is shining brightly here in Newport and is forecast for the next few days.  Boy it's nice to see it.  I may actually get a tan instead of mold.

Rigging 101:
There are two types of rigging on a sailboat.  "Standing Rigging" holds the mast up-normally big pieces of wire.  "Running Rigging" controls the sails on the boat.   Today, we worked on the "Running Rigging".  

In the cockpit, there are two pieces of equipment that control the sails on Zephyr.  They're called "Rope Clutches".  Rope--now called "Line" once it gets on a boat--don't know why they change the name of it but they do-- run thru a mechanism that can hold the "line" while under the pressure caused by wind on the sails.  Today, we changed these "clutches" for some new ones.  The old ones needed replacing as they would hold the line but sometimes not as tightly as needed and the line slipped.  We installed two new Lewmar D2 Rope Clutches.  Both hold three lines each that come to the cockpit.  It holds the lines that raise the main sail as well as the genoa and other important lines.  There is lots of pressure on these lines and they need to be controlled with no possibility of them slipping and that is just what these new clutches do.  A nice addition to our equipment list.

Tomorrow, back to the wind generator.  We had to put off workings on it today as we had to raise it higher than expected to get it over the teak cap rail on the side of the boat.  When it goes into water mode and is positioned in a horizontal position so that it drags a propeller on the water behind the boat, it was hitting the teak and not getting into the right position.  Raising it allowed us to do that but may have put it in a position where it won't hit the water. We expect to hear from the dealer tomorrow wether we can continue on its installation.

We haven't heard from the company we bought the short wave radio from yet.  Hopefully it has shipped.  It's one of the few things that will keep us here.  We can't leave until it arrives.  It gets installed in Port Townsend.  Matt, our son, got his ham license earlier this year so we will be able to talk even as we cross the oceans of the world. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 49 Thank God for Advil!

Thank God for Advil and Motrin!  Now I know I've had it good for the past 7 years.  Yes, a lot of standing at the work table.  But that was just standing.  Now, it's up and down.  Up the stairs, down the stairs.  Into the "garage" in the bow and out of the "garage" in the bow.  The knees know I've done something wrong and they want me to pay.   While here at Christmas I tore up my hamstring in my left leg.  I'm doing everything I can to make sure I don't do that again.  I haven't done the exercises I've been doing here in years.  By the time we finally set sail, I should be in much better shape than I have been in years.  Remember the day Tracy went up the mast?  She paid for that.  Her legs put her thru hell over the next few days after that event. She had classic "rubber legs".  Every time she got up to walk over the next few days, it was all she could do to get up.  She's better now but the memory is still there.  We both have lots of exercise to do before we are in good shape.  

Today was one of if not the prettiest days since we got here back in late April.  Sunny, little to no wind til late this afternoon and the feeling of warmth.  While our high was only 57, it felt like the high 60s since there was so little wind.  It was a great day.

We worked on lots of projects today with the weather being so nice.  Started out raising the Genoa(big sail on the bow of the boat) to its full height.  It had fallen a bit the last time we had Zephyr out when the rope clutch came loose.  Now it's all the way up.  Next, I installed a set of rubber seals on the doors to the "Storage Shed"(big chest built into the stern of the boat for storage) as well as the propane locker where two tanks are kept.  Every time it rained they both collected a lot of water.  While they have drains, it's better to keep the water out than have to have it drain later.

Tracy went thru more lockers where thing are stored in the boat.  Found lots of thing that we felt we will be using and lots we will not.  If she felt it was important we kept it. if not--out it
went.  Space quickly becomes a premium when you sail and if it's not important, it stands little chance of staying on board.  Two bags of things took a hike to the dumpster.       

After that, we went at the wind generator. We installed the brackets on the stern and got the base unit mounted.  Tomorrow, the rest of the unit will get installed.  It takes time but it needs to be done right.  A lot of our future electrical power will come from this unit.

As I promised, here is a picture of Tracy's decorating in the stern stateroom.  She painted the stern wall starting with a dark blue paint merging it with a lighter blue and progressively lighter to make it look like water.
Then added fish--actually stuffed fish from "Butt Uglee Designs".  Jennifer Jones, a really talented and fun designer back in Denver we've known for quite some time.  Nice job--beats the heck out of a pure white wall.

We played taps for our 2hp outboard motor today.  It died a horrible death from rust and corrosion.  I took it to a mechanic to have it serviced and overhauled.  There was more rust and corrosion on it than there is on my knees.  Had to use a pair of pliers just to open the fuel line.  When the mechanic poured out the old gas--into a bucket full of other old fuel--it looked like a cup of coffee with lots of milk added.  It sat on the top of the other old fuel and then sank to the bottom of the bucket.  It was anything but gas.  Lots of corrosion in the tank had corrupted the gas and with that, the engine.  It would have cost far more to get it fixed than the engine was worth.  It looks like I'll be getting a new outboard for a belated Fathers Day gift.  On to a bigger motor for the inflatable dingy.  It will give us lots of power to get thru wind and waves. 

Time for bed--and more Advil.  Tomorrow is coming and I want the knees to be prepared for it. 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 48 Observations

Having been here for a while I've noticed some things.  

First, men around Newport have more facial hair than any place I've ever lived.  Beards, mustaches,  mutton chops on their cheeks, even Foo Manchu.  Either they have rebelled against the norms of society in this century, they see it as a fashion statement, they are single, or they just don't care.  Many are well maintained. Many are a mess.  Heck, we even saw Santa Claus on Fathers Day at the restaurant.

Second, their hair.  I've seen more long hair than I can remember.  Dirty, straggly, poorly cut--you name it--even mohawks and mullets.  I feel bad enough that most times I wash mine only every other day.  I never would have gone for that long in the past.  It was every day--no questions about it.  Having to leave the comfort of our boat to walk up the hill and shower instead of having one at your fingertips can change your habits.  Yes, I could take one in the boat, as we will do while on passages,  but the shower area is REALLY small.  Think of taking a shower in a telephone booth and then cut that space by 20%.  

The people are very friendly. I was raised in a small town and moved to a big town when I went to college.  I was hooked on big towns and have lived in them ever since.  I had forgotten the friendliness of the small town.  A few days ago while having lunch the man at the next table just started talking to us as though he had known us all his life.  

Their driving on the other hand is not the best.  For such a small town, hardly a day goes by that we don't hear sirens crossing the bridge on their way to another accident.  We've seen several accidents since we've been here.  People think nothing of just wandering into the opposing lanes of traffic as they drive down the highway.  

Time has lost much of its importance.  I have always loved watches.  My life revolved around time and its importance.  I have lots of wrist watches and pocket watches.  From my fathers Accutron from the early 60s to the Atomic watch that is accurate to the second every day.   Now I don't even wear one.  The Sun comes up and the Sun goes down.  That's what time has become.  Most of our lives revolve around what we do and when we do it.   That's how life is in the real world.  We've left that world for a different life.   

We are more concerned with the weather than the time.   Sunny days are more important.  With the Sun comes the ability to get more done and a much better feeling about what we are doing.  These past weeks have been full of stranger weather than I think either of us expected.  Other than the two days that hit 95, we haven't hit 60 in weeks.  I'm still wearing a coat just about every day.   Being in the 50s with the big winds we've had it really lowers the comfort of the day.  Each night we watch the weather just to see what is coming so we can make some kind of plan for the next day.

Today was back to the normal--at least what we have come to expect is normal for Newport.  Cloudy in the morning,  some Sun in the early afternoon, and then back to cloudy
 by mid-afternoon.  Sometimes a breeze and some times a howling wind.  Rarely calm.  When I woke up this morning--calm, I was struck by the quiet. It was deafening.  The winds came by 
lunch.  The high was as always--the mid 50s.  Will the 60s ever come?  

Today was another day of odd jobs.  The refrigeration tech that 
came to our boat when the system was having problems a few weeks ago told us that it would work better if I set up baffles around the air intake so that air would flow over the coils from the main cabin (there is a louvered panel in front of the unit) instead of from under the settee where the condenser is.  Cardboard and the ultimate fixer--duct tape. With some careful cutting and taping, all done.  Now it draws air from outside the box the unit is in.    Once that was done, Tracy went about defrosting the box.  That was the other suggestions that the tech had suggested.  We installed some racks in the bottom of the box so Tracy could reach the items down there.   It's a very deep box for lots of storage.  There is a shelf about half way down
to make storage easier but if it gets to the bottom, it isn't easy getting it out.  It's up and running now.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Later this afternoon, I replaced two of the electrical outlets. We'd seen some sparking when plugging in heaters and lamps.  The first store I went to had them on sale for .59 cents.  I wanted some of better quality.  Off to an electrical parts store and bought good quality 20 amps plugs.  This was something I was not about to scrimp on.  A stray spark at the wrong time could cause serious problems.  Out with the old and in with the new.  Problem fixed.

Day 47 Sort of a day off

Started out the day doing laundry.  Three loads of wash and three loads into the dryer.  A great way to spend a morning.  Another week of nice clean clothes.  When you don't have a lot of clothes, they don't last long.

Went to lunch at a restaurant north of Newport called Izzys. The only thing I can say about them is that they had great cinnamon rolls for desert.  The restaurant was offering a buffet style so there was a lot to choose from.  Unfortunately, it was either dry from to long under the heat lamps or just generally tasteless.  

After lunch, it was off to the Yaquina Head lighthouse.  Originally built if 1873, it's still in operation.  The tallest lighthouse in Oregon and a real work out for the legs.   The wind was howling at 35 mph and the high today was only 57 so you can imagine it could chill you to the bone especially when you have forgotten the bring a coat.  Tracy at least had on two shirts but I came prepared in just a tea shirt.   A really smooth move on my part.  We had to wait for
a while outside just to get inside the lighthouse.   I can't imagine what it must have been like back then out there far away from most of civilization.  They had to lay in supplies for quite a period of time.  Up until the light house was built, there had been many ship wrecks along that part of the coast.  After it was built, there were a lot less.  The coast of Oregon has a habit of being unforgiving.  It took us three different insurance companies before we could get insurance on our boat since we were in Oregon.  It was at least sunny which was a blessing.

Back to the boat for the rest of the afternoon.  Ran into other sailers on the way out and had a nice talk about boats.  Had them over to see our boat.  Read radio manuals for the rest of the evening--boy, how exciting.

Let's all hope the wind dies down tomorrow so we can get the wind generator installed.  

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 46 Part two

Finally finished the installation of the macerator for the front head.  Now we have two, yes that's right--TWO functioning heads in our boat.   It blew at 20-25 knots from about 10:30 this morning but I was bound and determined to get this job done.  The temperature was still only in the 50s and the wind chill took it much lower but I was buried down in the "garage" at the bow of the boat so it wasn't too bad.    It was the repeated trip in and out of the boat that got chilly. Took everything out of the garage and took the existing pump out--not really made for the job it was installed for- and put in the new one.    Checked for leaks(I'd put some water in the tank) and shrink tubed the wiring(covered the wire connection in a tube that when heated shrinks and seals the connection from the elements).  Then everything back into the garage and done.  Nice to have another job done.

Tracy decorated the master stateroom today.  A bit of a design touch with some paint and fishes.  Pictures to follow after it dries.  

We had our boats documentation(a US government document that certifies our boat as a US vessel) copied today so that we will have copies of it when we pull into foreign ports.  They always like to see it so we have been told.  We wanted the original laminated but they refused as they felt it might invalidate it.  The government has built in a nice safe guard to the documentation.  When copied, it shows the word "VOID" all over the paper.  Not sure how they do it but it sure is neat.  I stopped by the local Coast Guard station this afternoon to discuss the documentation as some of the information on it was wrong.  I'm to call the Washington office on Monday and see how they want to handle the problem.  Will probably wait till it needs to be renewed and then change it then.  Shows our boat weighs in at 66,000 pounds for the gross tonnage.    Not even close--try 38,000.  They show the net at 60,000 pounds--nope-try 32,000. Not sure where they got these figures but they need changing.

Still blowing at 20-25 knots with small craft warning all along the coast.  It's been extended thru Sunday night. At least it is still sunny, but boy that wind sounds like a bad Colorado blizzard!  Still beats a cloudy, rainy day anytime. 

Day 46 Another day of projects

Another day of projects.  Here's the picture of the steering assembly I discussed the other day.  All fixed now that I added shims to the bracket around the rudder post.  As you can see, I had help from Snowshoe.   He was very interested in what was going on down there and just had to see for himself.  Blue was sleeping or she would have been in there before he was.  With the rudder post being under the queen berth in the stern cabin, everything had to be pushed up and held there while I worked on it.  That bed can get quite heavy fast.

You'd think we were starving the kids. We brought in more dry food and just the simple sound of it getting poured into it storage bin had all the cats running to see what we had gotten for them.  Shadow wasn't waiting for it to be poured into a bowl, he just went at it in the bin.  Glad to see that he is putting on some weight after all these years.

Yesterday, all it did was blow again.  20-25 knots and still in the mid-50s.  It can cut thru you fast and chill you even if you are in the sunshine(rarity).    We have found that when it's cloudy, it is relatively calm here but on sunny days, it blows big time. At least that's the way its been for the past few weeks.

We spent another day getting things organized and ordered yesterday.  I cleaned out the Nav Station and organized the work shop area.  Brought in more tools that I got from our storage shed.  I ordered a SSB Radio(like a ham or shortwave radio) last night. This will allow us to send and receive emails and calls all over the world.  Now I will need to apply for another license from the FCC to operate it.  We will be able to get weather faxes to tell us what is coming as we sail and make contact with other boats and even people on shore with this radio. It's range can easily go over 1000 miles.  Properly set up, you may be able to actually call us when we are out cruising the world.  I'm having it installed in Port Townsend when we get there in a few weeks.  I talked to their head electrician yesterday about our boat and what to expect when we got there.  I want them to go over all the electrical systems and make sure they are all set up properly.  Can't afford to have a circuit go out when we are way off shore.

I also talked to a man that will pump out our diesel tanks so we can clean them.  They haven't been opened and inspected since the boat was built.  I'm sure there is bound to be some glop in there that needs to be gotten out. Don't want to get it stirred up and have the chance it will clog the filters and mess up the engine when we are off shore.  Do it now and avoid the problems tomorrow!  I've got precious cargo on board.

Well, I'm off to rip out the pump to the forward head tank.  Bought a new macerator(pump that not only pumps but chews up what it is pumping) for the system.  Then the forward head will be fully operational.  Got to strike while the wind is low.

More later.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Late with the blog.  Had no internet connection at the slip.  Doing it now that I'm on shore and have a good connection.

Had a Sunny Day today--an 30 knot winds so it was quite cold.  We fixed the binding rudder by adding some stainless steel shims to the turning arm bracket where it meets the rudder post--have a picture but no camera as I'm in the laundry room doing this post.  I'll post it tonight--internet willing.  Quick and easy job so the wheel no longer binds as we turn.  Another problem solved.

We bought a new grinder for the forward head tank but with it being so windy, we are putting off the installation till it's a bit calmer--still blowing outside--20+ knots.  The temperature is only about 55 at best and with the wind that strong, it really drops the wind chill temperature.

We started unboxing the new wind generator and putting parts together.  Lots of parts but good instructions. Just going at it slowly and methodically.  No rush--just do it right.

The kids don't care for the wind so while they go out, they don't wander to far.  We still have to watch them but it's a lot easier when they don't run off.

Got to get back to work.  Tracy is reorganizing the galley, etc.  Having been on board for over a month now, it's much easier to see the priorities of what needs to be on top and what can be buried down in a storage cabinet that you thought you needed handy.  I'm tearing into the Nav station and the workshop area.  A big mess with so many jobs under way, the tools never seem to get back where they belong.

More later tonight--again, internet willing. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 43 Some Power

We talked to the charger people this morning.  Appears we are missing some of the electrical connections for the charger.  We need a "shunt" between the charger and the batteries what ever that is.  Apparently, its some kind of a connector that does something to the power as it flows between the connections--don't know what.  Until we get that little piece of equipment, we can't get the charger to do some of the things we need it to do.  Oh Well, at least it will charge the battery in manual mode.  I can watch that so no problem.  We will still have power.

Went to the local aquarium this afternoon for a sort of time off.  They had a new exhibit--"Odd Water".  Showing the odd fish in the sea.  Lots of them.  Really a very nice exhibit.  Lots of kids as well as adults.  Apparently, it is one of the best aquariums on the entire West coast.  Who knew--and it's right down the street behind the marina.

Now that the forward head tank has been refiberglassed, I went about filling it with water to see how much it actually held and since it had been cleaned at the last pump out, I could freely empty what I poured into it with a clear conscience.  I got to 6 five gallon portable tanks and it appeared to be full so it holds a lot more than we thought.  Plus the existing pump got rid of all of it.  We did buy a new pump that will do a better job getting rid of what is in the tank.  I'll be installing it in a day or two.  

There is nice weather coming--at least that is what the weather people are saying.  We could finally hit 60 tomorrow!!!  A heat wave-finally!!

We still have to start installing our new wind power generator.  With luck, and good weather we will start on it tomorrow.  There is a forecast for high winds off shore so we will see what we get here in the harbor.  I'll take a nice breeze but not the gail force winds they are talking about.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The "kids"

The "kids" are adapting nicely to their new surroundings.  Probably the most improved is Shadow.  He used to be scared of any type of movement and shied away from virtually everyone--even us unless it was on his terms.  Now he is more relaxed and friendly.  Seems to like us being around us all the time where as before we were always at work.  He will jump in our laps and purrs all the time we are with him.  He still has some health problems, but he's 16 so all can't be rosy.

Blue sis still her same old "it's all about me me me!  The world is my oyster and I own it.  If another cat is getting attention, she just can't stand it and has to butt in and take over.  Been a few tussles but nothing bad--as long as she wins and since the boys don't really care, she does.

Snowshoe just takes each day and does what he wants.  He really doesn't care what is going on (just don't start the engine) as long as he has food, a pan and a place to sleep(a lot).  Typical boy.  He plays with Shadow and will go racing thru the boat playing with Blue--when it suits her.  Other than that, look for a big white lump and you will find Showshoe.

Blue has found out she really likes it outside and will do just about anything to get out there.  Amazing how small she can squeeze her body to get out.  Most time she just sits and watches or strolls the deck.  She has jumped ship once and knew she had done the wrong thing.  She was "grounded" for a day.  She's been better since then but still looks at the dock longingly.  Snowshoe looks but hasn't made the jump yet but you can tell he wants to.  Shadow hasn't been beyond the top step of the companionway.  He knows a good thing when he sees it.  A couple of crows landed on the stern a few days ago while Blue was outside in the cockpit.  She didn't move a muscle--just stared and stared.  They were as big as she is.  The crows were after the chicken I just finished BBQing.

We're glad we brought the kids play tower for them to sleep and play in.  It's about 6 feet tall and tough to stow but they love it and it is a bit of home. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 42 Installation

I installed the new charger this morning and fired it up.  Started charging immediately.  Dropped out of "charge" mode--where it pumps the highest voltage into the batteries down to "accept" mode--middle voltage charge range.  Stayed there all day.  It never went to "float"--like a trickle charger--to simply maintain the batteries.  It has been plowing in the volts all day long.  So far, it is acting just like the last burned up charger.  

I've put question about the system on several websites that are set up for cruisers.  Hopefully we will get some answers tomorrow.  It's one of the last really big things we need to get done before we take off for up north.

Tracy straightened up a lot of the main cabin today.  It had gotten a bit out of control.

The big drill we bought to assist us in winching the lines came back from the service center so we picked it up.  Another blockade to us leaving is gone.  Still lots more coming at us but we will get past them.

The weather still sucks as I'm sure you have seen on the tv.  Snow in the eastern mountains.  Totally overcast all day with winds of 30 knots.  That's gail force warning for sailers.  There was a small craft advisory  today and it continues thru the end of the week.  It's nasty out there.  We call it the "Hudson Effect".  Since we got here, the temperature has dropped to 10 degrees below normal.  Today set a new record for lowest temperature.  Also add record rains and we're on a streak.   We miss the blue skies and warm temperatures of Colorado.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 41 New charger tomorrow

We took out the charger this morning and took off for Portland.  Glad we did as when the repair facility put it on the bench for testing, it came back quite bleak.  The unit was badly fried.  Burnt circuit board and wires inside the unit.  It is supposed to be nice and shiny but ours was blackened and charred.  It was so bad that the tech was amazed that it hadn't caught on fire at some time.   The malfunction had fried all 6 of our 6 volt batteries.  After I had replaced them, the unit just kept on charging.  With it on--14.5 volts.  Even with it turned off, it still kept charging at 13.4 volts.  The batteries normally have a charge of 12.8 at full charge.  It shouldn't be charging when turned off!  With the charger out, they did read 12.7 volts--that's normal. 

Tomorrow I'll install it and see what happens.  We got back to late to do it tonight.  

More rain and lots of wind today.  Perfect time to go to Portland.  A long trip but necessary.

Stay tuned for more info tomorrow.  Sure hope it works.

Day 40 Fiberglass!

We finally went at the fiberglass that's been waiting for a month.  The temperature needs to be 60 so they say to do it.  It's been 60 maybe three times since we got here.  Two of those days were 95 but we didn't know we needed to do fiberglass repair work at that time.  The forward head sewage tanks had burst a seam and we had been merrily pumping sewage into Zephyr's bilge.  Took us a day or so to find the problem but once we did, we sealed off the crack--God bless duct tape--and stopped using the head.  Today, it may have gotten to 57 but it had to be done.

As you can see from the picture, to do this kind of thing, you have to wear lots of protective clothing.  I bought a special suit to wear and a face mask and started in.  First, you have to clean the outside of the tank--acetone--takes off all the oils.  Then wash it to take off all the dirt.  Then sand(this is the ugly job) it to get off all the paint.  Then acetone and wash again.  Mix up the resin and hardener in a cup and brush the liquid resin on the tank like thick paint.  Put on the fiberglass--looks like fabric that you cut to the size you need.  Push it into the resin(wearing gloves) you have already painted on and brush on another layer of resin.  Let it harden for about 3 hours and do it again.  I wanted at least 5 layers of fiberglass fabric and resin to make sure it is sealed really well.  I don't want that stuff coming back into the boat.  Did it three times over the afternoon.  The only way I was going to get anywhere near 60 degrees was to close the hatch over the area and let the sun heat the space where the tank is.  

By the end of the afternoon, the resin had hardened and the patch should be solid in a day or so.  It takes a while for the resins to fully cure.  Especially since it still isn't at 60 degrees.  I'll try pumping water into the tank Tuesday. Should be cured by them.  It will be nice to get a second head working again.

Tomorrow, depending on the weather, either off to Portland to get the battery charger serviced or start installing the DuoGen on the stern.  Our lives and projects revolve around the weather here. Nice days allow us to get lots more done than rainy days and there have been far more rainy days than sunny days.  You take what you get and do as much as you can. There is always some thing more to do--inside or out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 39 Water water everywhere and now a drop to drink

We tackled the water pump today.  It had a problem of just running and running if the water tank was at half full.  It worked fine when the tank was full.  Go figure.  We replaced the pump--no difference.  Thought of replacing the water line.  Instead, we hooked it up to one of the tanks and it ran just fine.  Shut off after the system got pressurized.  That only left the manifold that controlled all four water tanks leading to the faucets.  Took it out and found a valve had been put on wrong years ago.  Bought a new one, installed it, hooked up all the lines, bled the system and now it runs fine.  We now have access to all 265 gallons in our tanks!!  Yea!  We didn't want to leave with only the use of half a tank.  

Tonight, the city put on a fireworks show.  Don't know what is so special about today but it sure was a great show.  

If the weather is nice tomorrow, we may get the fiberglass done on the forward tank.  Let's all hope for a 65 degree day.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 38 Another day of electrical fun

Another day of poking around the electrical system.  Not the most exciting, but a necessity.   I called the company that makes our charging and monitor system and discussed the setup that needed to be done after I installed the new batteries.  I don't want to burn these up.   After being on hold for 20 minutes, I finally got thru.  After 10 minutes of talking, I got cut off--just happened to be lunch time.  Called back--another 20 minute wait.  Got a different tech.  He walked me thru the setup checking lots of things I didn't understand and some I did.  I'd turned off the charger last night until we got this settled out.  Strangely, while we were checking the volts in the batteries, it jumped as though the charger turned it self on. Quit just as quickly.  Now they tell me something is wrong and I need to take out  the charger and take it in for inspection--another trip to Portland.  Don't know how long it will take them to inspect it and get it back.  The company did say they would give me a great discount if I wanted to upgrade to a newer model if this unit is bad.  Oh boy--more money!!

I called the company that was recharging the fire extinguishers.  I'd taken them in over a month ago.  Gotten a call that they would be done two weeks ago--not so.  Checked last week, nope, not yet.  Today when I called, I was told that they were working on them right then and I could pick them up later this afternoon.  They called back a short time later and said they were mistaken.  They didn't have my extinguishers.  They were still in Albany.  I offered to pick them up on Monday when I went thru there on my way to Portland.  Sorry, that wouldn't work as Albany only had the tanks, the nozzles were here in Newport. They decided to just give me two new extinguishers!!  Heaven only knows where mine actually are.  Figure they are lost in the wind but at least I have these.  They will make the insurance company happy.

It rained more today. Gee what a surprise!!

Tomorrow, figure out the new water pump.  

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 37 Off to Scappose

Off to Scappose to buy our DuoGen( and water generator.  Imported from the UK, it will generate power with a fan setup when the wind is blowing or when dragged from the stern of our boat as we sail.  We brought it back and stuck it in the storage room we rent.  I first have to analyze our current boat electrical system.  

Our charging system is way out of alignment.  Where most charging systems do a charging system of a high charge, medium charge, low charge as the batteries accept their charge and get closer to being fully charged, ours goes to a medium charge and stays there.  It never drops to a low or trickle charge to simply maintain the battery.  It cooks it instead!!  That's why we had to replace the batteries we had on Zephyr.  We had filled the batteries a week ago and they were down to the plates a week later with water/acid sitting on the bottoms of the battery boxes.  Not a good thing.  

I turned off the charger this afternoon and we will slowly let them discharge over the next week or so.  We can still use our 110 power, it simply won't recharge the batteries until they are down to 12.2 volts.  Then on comes the charger and we see what happens.  If it takes them to 13.4 volts and goes to a trickle charge, all will be fine.  If it stays at medium charge, I will be taking the unit out and into a service center--in Portland of course.  

So tomorrow, I will be taking out the seat cushions to see how Zephyr is wired and make a diagram on what goes where and what switches do what.  These are things that will be very important to know down the road if a break down happens.  After that is accomplished, then I can start the installation of our new DuoGen.  The men that sold it to me are going to help run the wires and set up the electrical connections. All we have to do is get Zephyr to Astoria.  It will be nice to have the help of a professional that knows what he is doing.

Other than that--3.5 hours up, 3 hours at the company,   3.5 hours back, that was our day.   

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 36-part 2

I messed up on my dates last night.  Oh well.

Here's a picture I took on the way to Astoria Tuesday.  A small break in the gloom.  Once in a while, we got to
 see some nice views of the shore.  

At least the trip was worth while.  The six batteries we bought were installed today.  I carted the batteries down to the boat.   It was actually sunny today.  We had to strike while the sun was hot.  Unfortunately, I had to take the batteries up and down while we were at low tide.  This made getting them up and down the ramp a real exciting trip.  With it being low tide, the ramp to the dock was very steep.  Having the sun out is such a rare event that there was no way I could wait for high tide when the ramp would be a lot easier to go up and down.  The old batteries were shot.  Water had leaked out from the batteries into the battery boxes and the lead plates were exposed.  Even the side and tops of the batteries were bulging. 
 Not sure what went wrong but it was really wrong.  Now I get to monitor the new system and see how they react.

Late this afternoon, Tracy went up the mast!! How's that for guts!!!  We had been planning on installing the cutter rig( a wire for hoisting sails between the mast and the bow) on Zephyr.  Bill (previous owner) had taken it off several years ago and put the rigging into storage.  The way we will be sailing(long hauls), we will need as much sail area as we can.  Plus, it gives us the ability to put up a storm jib should the need arise.

Unfortunately, after she got up there, the pin we needed for attaching the stay(wire) wasn't long enough to go thru the fitting on the mast.  Plus, we found that the messenger line(small line used to reinstall the line for raising the jib) had broken over the Winter so we couldn't get it installed.    
Down came Tracy and away went the rigging until we get to Port Townsend.  With the mast off the boat, we can get it installed much easier. We will find the right fitting and run the necessary ropes right up the inside of the mast while it's horizontal.

The replacement pump for our fresh water system showed up this afternoon.  I checked it out this evening and will get it installed as soon as I figure out the wiring.  The existing pump has three wire while the new one has only two.  Not sure what wire has to go.  I'll figure it out.

Since the weather is to be bad again tomorrow, we figure we will head to Portland to check out the DuoGen I talked about in yesterdays post.  Solar panels are  also on the docket.  

Day 36 Will it ever stop raining?

We've had over 1.5 INCHES of rain today and it is still raining!!!  There is a reason that Oregon is green but my goodness. It needs some sun to stay that way.  Rain is in the forecast for the future.  Sun--come out,come out where ever you are.

Spent some of the day ordering more stuff.  It 
will never stop.

Went in search of the steering problem.  The wheel bound up at 23 degrees on a starboard turn.  Some times on a port turn.  We took up the stern bunk to get at the rudder and see what was happening. Turns out that as the wheel is turned, it turns an arm that is attached to the rudder post.   As it turns, it runs into a bolt that hold the entire steering unit to the boat.  It has to ride up over it as it makes the turn.  For a while, we were concerned that the steering was in need of a major refit and it would have to be done before we leave for Port Townsend.  Instead , all I have to do is file down the top of the bolt a bit and all will be fine.  YEAH!! Big relief.

Read more manuals tonight about the electrical system and the water system.  If it clears up enough, we will install the new batteries tomorrow.  If not, we may be off to Portland 
to buy a DuoGen--a big propeller that sits on the stern of our boat that makes electricity for our boat.  It will also work if we put a different attachment on it and drag it behind the boat as we sail.  Either way, we get electricity to charge our batteries.  A major concern when out sailing.   Our everyday life--just like yours--depends on how much power we can generate for our home.  You get yours thru long wires, we must make our own any way we can.  Solar panels will be added to the sides of Zephyr on a swing up hinge so while at anchor we can get even more power. 
The water pump for the boat is acting up again.  It just keeps on running long after the system should be pressurized.  We've got plenty of water and the lines are fine, so out with the old pump and in with the new.  Earlier, we thought that one of the lines was letting air into the system but after checking the lines and closing off each tank in rotation to see what tank might be letting air into the system(each acted the same-the pump just kept on running), we finally came to the conclusion that the tanks are fine, the pump is bad.  Hey, it's just money!!!

I'm off to bed and it's still raining!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 35 Too late to blog

Back too late to blog last night, plus Jeremiah Johnson was on.  Love that movie.

We took off for Astoria today.  I would have labeled this blog--rain, rain, go away, come again another day.  The day started out with a glowing orb in the sky and quickly disintegrated to that stage of not quite rain and not quite a mist.  Just enough to use that wonderful intermittent windshield water feature, at least in the early afternoon.  By mid afternoon, it was full on wiper on the drive.  Stayed that way for the rest of the trip.  It was three and a half hours just to get there.  The reason--we'd had enough of the fuss over the batteries so it was off to Costco for a nice set of 6 volt batteries.  We've checked the starter set--both 12 volt and think they are fine for the time being.  We'll see.  Loaded up all 6 and started the trip back.  More rain so the going was a bit slower.  While going through the back roads of Oregon in  a drizzle there was no reason to hurry.  Left everything in the car and walked thru the rain back to the boat. 

Rained through the night and the forecast is for rain for as far into the future as I can find a forecast. What is with this state?  Don't they know about sunshine?  Does mold and mildew rule their lives?  I'm from Colorado.  I know there is a Sun up there--Hey come out and play with us!!!

Today, read up on installing the new batteries.  With all the charging equipment on Zephyr, I want to make sure I do it right.  If I don't get them installed til tomorrow, that's fine.  Off to the manuals.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 34 Lube it

Today started out with a misty rain.  Lasted till after noon.   So we worked inside in the morning. Organizing and stowing many thing that had accrued over the past week.  I worked on the things on my work bench.  If I touched it, I used it and then stowed it.  Tried to put thing away in a logical way.  Tracy cleaned and stitched on a project and organized things throughout the boat.  It's amazing how cluttered a place can get if you're not careful.  

I spent the afternoon on deck.  I lubed anything and everything that had a ball bearing or a hinge.  I used a product we came across called Corrosion X.  Supposedly binds with everything it touches and make a super slick surface.  I started at the bow and worked toward the stern.  Every block and hinge got treated.  I straightened out crossed lines and line stoppers.  I made sure to carry lots of paper towels.  When I work with any type of liquid, I will always spill some and today was no different.  Now everything flows much easier and smoother.

Clouds and cold came in by 5pm and that was the end of the afternoon working outside.  Retreated inside for another great dinner.  Home made potato soup with chocolate cake and strawberries for desert. That new stove sure works great.  Tracy loves it!

Tomorrow--off to Portland if the weather is bad or work on the boat if it's nice.  More rain on Tuesday and Wednesday so we may wait till then.  Do what we can while the weather is nice and do other things when it's not.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 33 A stinky day in Newport

Started out the day clearing out the "garage"--also known as the storage hold on the bow  of the boat.  Several feet wide by three feet by 5 feet deep.  A great place to keep things that you need but want out of the way.  This is also where the tank is for the forward head.  You remember--the tank that split a seam and needed to be fixed?  The same place that the pump out for the tank lives.  Lucky me--I got to take everything out of the "garage" and dismantle the pump.  It still acted like it was pumping--going up and down--but it wasn't pumping anything off the boat as it is supposed to.  To make a long, smelly story short, I got it all cleaned out and parts replaced and now it will work fine.  Unfortunately, I can't fix the seam on the tank until it warms up enough to use the fiberglass repair kit.  It needs at least 65 degrees and we are no where near that.  Low to mid 50's at best.  Today was totally cloudy--never saw the sun.  Afterwards, everything back into the garage.   Maybe tomorrow but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Ran errands in the afternoon.  Hit up the local marine supply store.  They had been closing on Saturdays at 3pm but expanded their hours to 4pm today for the Summer.  Wow--open clear to 4pm.  Still closed on Sunday as is most of Newports businesses.  Try that in Denver and the customers will have many bad things to say to you.

We expect to be heading back to Portland on Monday.  We know some battery experts there. I'd talked to them several times in the past and bought some electronic for Zephyr there back in December.  Nice couple of guys--ones an engineer and the other use to work for NASA if memory serves me right.  Getting batteries here is just a no win situation.  Anything you want just takes to long.  With two shipments coming in wrong, we have had enough and will be off to the big city.

The fun continues tomorrow.  Every day, we learn more and more about Zephyr and her many systems.  That's all part of the fun of going sailing.  It's not all fun in the sun, let me tell you but you do get a great feeling of accomplishment after seeing how things work and getting them back up and running.  We are learning what all her different sounds are.  Everything from the refrigerator coming on to the water pump to the bilge pump.  Each has its vibrations and tells you "hey--I'm still here". We've laid in a dozen of each filter for the engine.  Both diesel and oil.  We'll be prepared once we get off shore just in case we need to replace anything.

We order a new water pump today.  We've had a problem with pressurizing our water system.  Tanks full-runs fine.  Tanks half full-runs all the time.   We'd started isolating the tanks one by one to see if one of the tanks had a bad hose and that was why it was malfunctioning.  We'd close off three tanks and see if the fourth caused the problem. Tanks one acted up with the pump just continually running.  Tank two did the same.  Since we can't believe that both tanks had the same problem and since the pump was making really strange noises, we just ordered a new one.  We'll see if it corrects the problem once it gets here.  At the worst, I have a backup pump for the boat.  Can't have too many backup parts you know.  ;-)