Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 154 She's back!!!

Tracy got in late yesterday afternoon from her trip to Denver.  All is well!!  It's really great to have here home.  Yes--I shaved--even took a shower in honor of her return.  From what I have heard-read-she was not impressed with me growing a beard.  Gee, what a surprise!!  She prefers her man clean shaven.  Just not into the bristle feel and look.  So it's a nice clean shaven look for me.

Snowshoe--big white kitty--went in for his shots yesterday.  I had my bus schedule all worked out.  Be at the top of the hill above the marina at 10am to take the 10:05 shuttle to the "park n ride".  Catch the 10:30 "Castle Hill bus" and get off close to the vets office and walk the rest.  Well, that was the plan.  As I reached the hill above the marina for the first bus, I got a call from a company that I had ordered some special drill bits from(combo bit that not only drills the holes but has a tap set on the bit to make the screw cuts in the hole).  As I was talking to them--not watching for the bus, they drove right past me since I was a bit back from the curve.  Upset would be an understatement.  I then checked my bus schedule and hightailed it to another bus stop about a 1/4 mile away where the bus would show up in about 10 minutes.  Let me tell you, Snowshoe is no lightweight cat!!!  Add in that he wanted out of the box in the worst way--kept pushing his head against the top, and I had a walk in front of me.  Caught the bus fine and made it to the vet by my appointment time.  He got his shots and today, Blue gets the same treatment.  She will not be impressed.  Snowshoe slept the rest of the day.  I'm sure he doesn't feel well.

Baby Zephyr got launched today.  She's a 1981 Miller that came out just before us.  She had blown her engine just as she was coming into the marina.  Once in the yard for repairs, they tore her apart.  First the new engine--plus a new transmission.  The old one didn't work with the new engine.  Then new fuel tanks.   On diesel engine, after you shut down the engine, the diesel fuel that is in your lines gets returned to the fuel tanks.  On Baby Zephyr, hers didn't.  It went back to her filter system instead.  That won't work with the new engines so she required new tanks.  Then the new engines throttle system was just the opposite of what the old one was so when you pushed the throttle forward, she went into reverse.  That required a new binnacle cable replacement.  Then, with the new engine, the steering gear needed a new way to get to the rudder.  She had her steering gears replaced.  Add on that they found residential wire--solid core wires instead of multi-strand--and they had to rewire a great deal of her.  While our bill is big, I can't imagine how much theirs is going to be.  After getting her into the water, the engine wouldn't fire up.  The mechanics were scrambling  to figure out what they had done wrong.  Turned out they had forgotten to turn on the taps for the diesel fuel!!   No fuel--no engine!!  

Gordon and Nathan -the riggers--returned yesterday to fill some of the holes on the mast that had been left from earlier riggings.  They tapped and filled them with rods so that they can be painted to make the mast look like new.  I got some touchup paint a few weeks ago that will take care of that just fine.  They also rigged up the flag/radar reflector line to the port spreaders.  Now I can hoist what is required of us as we come into other countries.

Brion Toss--main rigger-- is due back today and should be on Zephyr directing the final stages of the new rigging.  Every day, we inch closer to being done.

Jack, the electrician, was busy on other projects yesterday but stopped by to see some of the wires and plot out where and what two mysterious wires do.  They appear to be for the electronics--wind and depth gauges that we have as a duplicate down in the main cabin.  We have the same instruments above deck.  With luck, he will be back on board today getting things done.

If you haven't checked out the links to Sandpiper and Wind Dancer, I highly encourage you to do so.  They make for great reading.

Back to Zephyr for another day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 153 Taking each day as it comes

For those of you that are new to our blog, we purchased Zephyr just over a year ago with the plan of taking her around the world.  So far, we have taken her from Birch Bay, WA to Newport, OR and back up to Port Townsend for a refit.  Zephyr is a Liberty 458 built in 1982 at the Shin Fa yard in Taiwan.  Libertys were built from 1982 to 1989--31 in total.  They also made a 49 footer.  

We moved onto Zephyr at the end of April and have been working on her ever since.  We had planned on having her standing rigging(holds the mast up) replaced due to her age.  We had spoken to Brion Toss at a boat show and decided he was the person to do it.  He's been at it since 1978.  We knew the electrical systems on board were a bit iffy so we set off to have it checked and repaired by Sea Marine--right next door to Brions building here in Port Townsend. In addition, we knew there were a few through hulls that needed replacing and that we had an SSB radio to be installed.   We arrived back on July 25 and have been here ever since.  We blew the transmission just as we were backing onto the lift to take us out but only in reverse.  Forward was fine.  Go figure--you use forward a lot more than reverse but reverse failed.

We figured on three weeks--since the transmission went--add on 2 more weeks.  Well, we're at 8 weeks with more still to come.  Jack--our electrician told me last week, he thought we would be done in another week.  I figure that means at least two.  Jack is a great electrician.  Very thorough in his work.  If he sees a problem, he'll discuss it with us and then fix it.  We both feel it is better to have it fixed and avoid problems in the future.   We knew there were problems when as we came up the coast from Newport, OR,  when I pushed the button for the macerator in the forward head and the radar and chart plotter went off line.  It's not supposed to do that.

The original plan was to have the work finished by mid-August and then head South back to Newport and close everything out there and then head South before the nasty Winter storms start hitting the Oregon/Washington coast.  With all the extra time we have spent here, we have pretty much missed that window.  Our plan now is to spend the Winter here in the Puget Sound.  In the Spring, take off for Alaska for a few months and then head South in late July or early August.  A year late, but who cares.  This extra time here will allow us to better learn the new systems on Zephyr and what she is capable of.  An important factor in any cruise.

For those of you who wonder why I have put in this bit of history, you'll see a link to several blogs that we have been following for many months.  Tom and Amy on Sandpiper have added us to their list so there should be lots more people reading our blog.  Tom and Amy on Sandpiper have been out there cruising for the past three years and are currently in Malta in the Mediterranean Sea heading for Gibraltar.  The family on Wind Dance set off earlier this year from Mexico across the Pacific after leaving Alaska about a year ago.  Imagine traveling with a young daughter--8 and a son--11 on a Catalina 36 footer.  The adventures both have had are amazing.  Tom and Amys fight to get up the Red Sea  a few months ago was incredible.   We highly encourage everyone who reads our blog to check theirs out.  It make for a great read.

Yesterday, I fixed the forward sail locker so that the water that comes into it will now go out a new fitting I drilled through the hull.  The water had originally gone down into the bilge 
instead of overboard due to a trough that went around the perimeter of the door frame collecting the water and feeding it down hoses.  Now it goes overboard.

Once that was done, I put on the "baby" storm sail we had brought with us from Denver.  It goes up the forestaysail about half way.  The other storm sail goes up about 2/3 of the way.  There is a big difference in the quality of the sails.  The original storm sail that came with Zephyr is a tough well built sail with lots of re-enforcements at each edge of the sail.  The one we brought--made for inland lakes, is about as heavy a canvas as is on the regular jib sail for Zephyr.  I'm not sure how long she will last in a big blow but we will find out eventually.  

I stripped out old wires for Jack last night from the electrical circuit box as far as I could before I lost them as they went through a bulkhead near the engine compartment.  We'll see what Jack wants to do when he arrives.

Tracy comes back this evening.  I even shaved and took a shower in honor of her coming home!  I had a nice growth over the past week.  Shame it was all grey in color.  It used to come in red--go figure that one.  My hair is brown--or at least it used to be.

The riggers are on Zephyr filling the holes in the mast left by previous riggers.  Not really sure why.  They claim it will make the mast stronger.  Brion is due back later today and should be on Zephyr tomorrow.  Wednesday at the latest.  The rigging is almost there.

To all of you that are new to our blog--Welcome!  To all of you that have been reading us over the past months, Thanks!!  Have patience.  We'll get out of here eventually.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 152 Jibs

Yesterday was Jib Day.  With the addition of the "Inner Forestaysail" I was able to raise our Jibs--both the regular and the storm jib and see how they look.  Both were original sails for Zephyr made in Hong Kong by Lee Sails.  They look to be in really good condition other than some corrosion on the grommets(big rings that hold the hanks-they hold the sail on the wire-).  Apparently while in storage, some moisture made its way inside the bag and caused a bit of corrosion.  I coated each ring with "Corrosion X" to make sure it didn't continue.  After selecting the line I needed to add for the "sheets"(lines that control the sail after it is raised) up they went.  The "storm" sail is a lot bigger than the regular jib on our last boat.  I put new "hanks" on the "baby storm sail" we brought with us from Denver.  The ones that were on it were too small to fit the wires that are on Zephyr.  Now we will have three sails to use when the weather gets to bad for the Genoa sail.  There are lots of times while out cruising that a smaller sail will be required.

I went back to West Marine and the local hardware store to get the rest of the fittings I need to redo the tubes in the forward sail locker(garage is more like it).  Some really smart guy at the factory set it up so the water that runs down the deck as it rains or as we take water over the bow, goes into a trough that goes around the opening of the "garage" and down tubes into Zephyrs bilge.  It should have been lead through a fitting in the hull to go overboard.  I now have the fittings to correct that today.  A few fittings, some hose, and some chalk and a drill and voila, it will be set up correctly.  The bilge should stay a good bit dryer.

Once that is done, it's off to the wires that need to be tracked down and taken out.  Plus we have two wire that Jack wants to know where they go.  They seem to be important wires for the instruments.  Bill the detective will be one the job.  I'm a lot cheaper than Jack is.

The weather has turned quite delightful.  Nice and sunny and in the high 60s.  Not to hot and not to cold.  But boy, they sure do get a lot of dew here.  Every morning the decks are covered with it.  

Well, it's time to get back.  There is work to be done.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day 151 Getting closer!

When I got back to Zephyr yesterday afternoon, I found Gordon and Nathan hard at work on getting the stem fitting( holds the anchor rollers and genoa at the bow) attached.  As a matter of fact, it was already bolted on!!!!  Six weeks after it was taken off, it's back home again.  

We did some changing of the setup of the roller furling system.  In the past, it was connected relatively low on the bow causing the anchor to bump it as it was lowered and raised.  We raised the fitting so that there is now plenty of clearance so the anchor won't bump it anymore.  Instead of there being several fasteners holding it to the stem fitting, there is now a long heavy gauge stainless steel bar.  The base of the roller fitting is now several feet above the deck.  The other advantage to setting it up this way is that the genoa will be much higher on the deck when it is unfurled.  Setting it up this high will allow us to see under it easily.  Instead of it being a "deck sweeper", it will now be high enough to clear the bow pulpit(that shiny piece of steel that is at the bow of the boat so you don't fall off).  A much better arrangement.  

The aft stay(big wire at the back of the boat that holds the mast up) is still not installed, but Brion will be installing it next week after he gets back from his conference.  

Jack, the electrician, got the "steaming light" and "deck light" connected so now we have lots of light on deck when we need it.  It really lights up Zephyr nicely.  I made sure to buy spare bulbs for when these burn out.  Better now than not having them when you need them.  Jack changed some more of the wires out and now I have several to strip out this weekend.  It will make the area behind the electrical panel cleaner.  

With the rigging being almost done, I'm going to try and get the jib sails "hanked" on.  That's sailor talk for attaching them to the big wires that guide them as they are raised.  I will be attaching new "sheets" to the sails.  "Sheets" are actually rope that control the sail while the boat is sailing.  One "sheet" goes to the starboard(right) side and one "sheet"goes to the port(left) side of the boat.  Depending on the direction of the wind, you either pull the sail in or let it out.  There are none attached so new ones are called for.  We brought the "storm sail" from our boat in Colorado.  It's TINY compared to what is on Zephyr but I am sure there will be times where just a bit of sail will be needed to keep up sailing in bad weather.

My beard is growing nicely since Tracy left.  No reason to shave with her gone.  But if you see her( you folks in Colorado) tell her I'll be shaved before she gets home next week.  

Today started out cloudy and has now cleared up nicely with nice weather forecast for the next few days.  YEAH!!!

It took three hours to get my navigation software installed on my MacBook yesterday(why I was late getting back to Zephyr).  I'd installed the windows operating system on it and while the navigation program developed some hiccups as it was getting installed, it finally took it and runs just fine.  I got the GPS up and running on it also so now I have two different computers set for helping with navigating.  Add the Garmin chart plotter and the Raymarine chart plotter and there is no way we can get lost.  At least not until we get back in the water. 

Well, off to West Marine.  I need more toys for Zephyr!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 150 Some day our boat will float.

Jack, the electrician, hooked up the wires for the mast head light.  That's the LED light we had installed on the top of the mast.  High tech and not cheap.  You never have to go up there to change the bulbs.  Guaranteed for 5,000+ hours.  Hey--guess what??? It doesn't work properly!!!  Jack hooked up the wires and the "anchor light"(white all around light) and the Navigation lights(red to port, green to starboard, and white at the stern) worked just fine but the "Strobe" light function doesn't work at all.  Eric--the electrician that installed it, checked to make sure it worked in the Anchor and Navigation but didn't check the Strobe feature.  Jack--the electrician, figures it is a defective light and has ordered a new one.  It should be here on Monday or Tuesday.  Then Jack has to go up the mast and replace it.  This could have all been avoided if Eric had simply checked all the features of the light.  It even has a photo cell that turns on the light automatically when the Sun goes down.  It did look cool seeing it burning at the top of the mast last night.  Joan has got to be laughing her head off.

The photo shows the new winch that was installed on the mast.  Above it is the boom with steel toggles coming out the bottom. They look like white pieces of metal just to the right of the blue rope.  Now when we need to reef the main sail(make it smaller), we can take one of the lines that makes the main smaller and wrap it around the new winch and pull it in.  It's a lot tougher doing it by hand.  We had originally had the reefing line lead to the cockpit but now it is attached to the mast.  This way, I can release the Main halyard--raises the main sail-- let the sail come down some, then winch in the reefing line and fasten it with the toggles and then raise the main back up as much as I can.   A lot faster and easier.

Here is a picture of the rudder post with the stuffing removed.  As I said yesterday, they had installed much to much stuffing material and the wrong size to boot.  Now it is all repacked and will just need to be observed after we get back in the water to make sure it doesn't leak.  It took a few hours to get to it and get the old out but now it's all set to go.

The riggers installed another cleat on the mast yesterday afternoon so now we have four cleats to hold the new lines Brion installed.  I sure hope there is room on the mast for the metal steps I will be installing so we can get to the top of the mainsail after it is lowered so we can strap it down.  Not sure.

I've started installing navigation software on the MacBook as a back up in case the Acer computer should fail.  I've already gotten the GPS unit set up and a set of local charts that it will work with.  This afternoon, I'm going to try and install the Nobeltec VNS software and see how that goes.  It's a bit of a bear to install even on a regular PC let alone a Mac running alternate software that make it run like a PC.  It should make for a fun afternoon.

I've made reservations at the local vet for the kids to get their shots next week(one a day).  They all have to be set up with the rabies stuff so we can get into Canada.  While they won't be going ashore, it is required.  We're not sure how Shadow will do as he is now 16 and a bit frail.  He's not been vaccinated in a long time.  Since he doesn't go outside at all, it just didn't seem necessary. 

It's supposed to be nice this afternoon.  Cloudy now so how knows.  They say the weekend will be nice.  I'll believe it when I see it.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 149 Boy it can blow up here!!

We had winds blowing through here last night like I haven't seen in quite some time.  It started yesterday afternoon and took off.  I was walking over to do laundry and saw a sailboat heading into the marina.  Even with no sails up, she was healing over at a good 20 degree angle.  The wind was from the South so it was coming straight into the marina.  I took off running onto the dock to lend a hand.  Another guy took off from his boat seeing them coming in.  Tossed the clothes bag into the pier and got ready.  Point Hudson is a small marina with not a lot of room for maneuvering so any decisions as to what you are going to do have to be made real quick as there's not a lot of room for changing your mind.  They quickly decided on pulling up to the dock on their port side so the wind would push them against the dock instead of away from it.   With lots of fenders out, it's a wise decision.  Unfortunately, they only had one fender on the side they decided on.  There were three on the other side.  In they came!!!  I took the bow and kept them from crashing into it.  The other guy took the dock lines and started getting them attached.  The manager of the marina came down and helped too.  I kept the boat from hitting the dock balancing the side against the one fender they had.  As we got her tied to the dock, the skipper pulled the other fenders of the starboard side and wedged them in on the dock side.  At least they were prepared with all their dock lines so getting them tied up was quick and easy.   Apparently another boater came in earlier and hit a few of the boats before getting tied up.   The first question the skipper of the boat had was how much damage had been done to his hull was he came in.  He has the same blue paint on his hull that we have.  I can understand his concern.  Since I had been balancing his boat against the fender, he didn't hit the dock at all.  He was quite relieved and shook everyones hand after we got it set up.

A better idea is to stay out and wait out the wind.  In this case, coming in proved to be the better idea as the wind continued for the next 6+ hours and it was still blowing through the night though not so bad. 

We had a gentleman in Zephyr yesterday repacking the sealing packing on the rudder.  It had been packed with eight layers of material.  That is a lot more packing stuff than is normally done.  6 is the usual amount.  The problem of the leak was caused by who ever packed it the last time used the wrong size material.  They had used 5/16" width and it required 3/8".  While a 16th of an inch isn't much, it can be the difference of keeping the water out--good-- and letting it in--bad.  Now she is all packed and can be adjusted once we get back into the water by simply tightening the bolts that push the top down on the packing.  We should have no more leaks.

No Jack the electrician again yesterday.  I guess he is still recovering from this dental surgery of last week.   

The riggers showed up while it was still decent and got several cleats attached to the mast and other fittings repositioned.  They took off just before the wind started going to town.  I'm just glad that 90 percent of our fittings that keep the mast up were installed before the wind started.  All we still need is the stern fitting and the tough stuff will be all done.  There is still lots of finishing that still needs to be done to make it perfect, but that will be taken care of next week when Brion comes back.  No real rush as the electrical is still being worked on.  There just doesn't seem to be any end in sight for us getting back in the water.

A lovely dinner of Pork Fried Rice from Shanghai last night.  It just doesn't get any better Chinese than theirs.  If it calms down, I'll be doing a nice steak tonight.  The barbecue grill doesn't like the wind. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 148 Lots of new line(rope) on Zephyr!!

The riggers were here in full force.  Brion Toss was up the mast threading new lines down the inside of the mast.  We now have a new Main Halyard--raises the main sail on the boom plus a backup in case it breaks.  A new Genoa Halyard-big sail at the bow- and a back up.  A new halyard for the jibs--smaller sails that are set to rigging about 5 feet before you get to the bow.  They are used primarily for really big winds when you don't want lots of sail up.  For long distance cruisers( all in good time) it is a necessity.  Plus a spinnaker halyard for that really BIG sail that always looks so pretty on boats--lots of colors.  Ours is a rainbow design of colors.

He also ran the new "running backstays" that will control the mast bend when the jib is being used.  It can put a big bend and strain on the mast unless the backstays hold it in place.  Brion replaced a big wire that had been set up to do the same thing.  This system allows us to better control the mast and the sails.  They hook to the mast about 3/4 of the way up it--just under where the jib sail meets the mast when it is raised so that the mast can't bend.

Brion used the good old fashioned way of getting lines down inside the mast--lead fishing weights attached to a thin line that goes into the top of the mast and is fished out through slots in the mast near the deck.  We have 6 slots on ours and used 5 of them to get the job done.  We have lines going all over the place.  I'll have to put labels on them for a while so I will know what goes where.  They came by this morning and attached several new cleats to the mast so that the lines can be attached properly and don't stand out too far from the mast like it shows in the picture.

We have a new winch attached to the mast just under the boom.  It is for hauling in the lines that will reef--make smaller--the main sail when winds get really out of control.

Lots of new toys for us to use and learn.  Brion even set up the lines that control the boom (main sheets) in one big loop so that hauling in the lines and the boom will be much faster and much easier even in big winds.  No reason to strain ones self when it is not necessary.

No Jack the electrician yesterday.  Not sure why but he will show up in his own time.  Some times it's better to just ride the wave than try and swim through it.  

It was just to cold and damp to do my blog this morning so I waited till now to get it done.  It's much warmer here in Safeway, plus I can get some shopping done.

Got to go, I have a workman at Zephyrs rudder post ripping out the stuffing so it can be repacked.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day 147 Progress!!!

To those of you that read yesterdays post--the building featured was from "An Officer and a Gentleman".  Judy Fry got it right.  Congrats Judy--you know your chick flicks!!

Yesterday, we had workmen on Zephyr.  Jack--the electrician was back.  Still sore but he appears much better.  He talked to Tracy (I was still over here blogging)about what had happened since he left--nothing.  Not really happy about that.  He took the morning to get caught up on what had happened at the yard and was on Zephyr in the afternoon hooking up lots of wires.  The VHF is now up and running and Jack did a radio check and got all the way to Seattle on it.  Nice range.  Much better than we have ever had with it.  He says it will even be better once Zephyr had a better ground system installed--later this week maybe.  Now I can hook up the computer to the system and see if our AIS works again.  This is a really neat system that tells us lots of information about the really big boats and ships that are around us while we are out at sea or even in a harbor.  Big boats and ships are required to carry a radio transponder that send out information about their boats--name, call sign, heading, speed etc.  If you're out there, it can be a big help getting in touch with them(if they are even listening) and with the knowledge of their course and speed, you know where NOT to go.  Really cool!! 

The riggers showed up nice and early and got right to it.  They put more epoxy on the bow so it could harden for the installation of the stem fitting(holds the forestay and anchor)and set about getting the boom ready for hoisting and installing.  The new gooseneck(connects the boom to
the mast--a real nautical term) was installed.  All screwed into the boom and up she came.  A great new fitting.  Much bigger than the last one.  

Brion went up the mast to measure for the forestay.  That's the big wire that will be holding the mast to the bow of the boat and that the genoa(big sail on the bow) attaches to.  The fittings were installed so it can go on today. 

Brion is off for another conference (boy he sure is popular) on Wednesday so he is trying to get as much done as possible before he leaves.  It's to address a gathering of boat surveyors!!!  Yeah--that's right!!   The same groups of people we have been talking about earlier this week.  He has my survey and others and is ready for bear.  I'd love to be a fly on the wall during that speech.  The bad thing is that he won't be back till Monday so unless the other riggers take action, not much will be happening till he gets back.

Lots of line--also known as rope to you land lubbers--was installed yesterday.  We are going to have a special set up for the main sheet.  That's the line that controls the boom(holds the main sail).  It isn't going to have an end to the line.  A special splice is made in it so that it becomes one long circle of line.  If you pull on just one strand of line, the blocks(big gizmos the line is attached to that help pull in the line) comes in at a 3 to 1 ratio.  If you pull on both lines at the same time, it will come in at a 6 to 1 ratio--lots faster!!  It will make controlling the main sail lots easier and can let out or brought back in lots easier.  Really cool!!

A new topping lift(holds up the outer end of the boom up) was rigged.  Brion used Spectra line.  Thin line but incredibly strong  The 1/4 inch line is rated to hold over 7,000 pounds.   Way over the top in strength.  It's hooked to a three to one set of blocks so it will be really easy to lift the very heavy boom and mainsail--yeah!!

Lots of drilling and more fasteners were installed on the mast.  Lots of new shiny bits of metal and things that go in them.  We're getting to look like a sailboat again.  Not sure when we will get back in the water but we are making better progress and I can't tell you haw good that feels.

My new "chip" for the chart plotter came yesterday.  Now I will have really great electronic charts for the area all around us here at Point Hudson.  This way, when we do get out, we will know what is where and what to avoid.  This "chip" covers from Olympia to Puget Islands.  Bill had already bought the "chip" to cover from Victoria to Point Roberts which is up North of us.  Now we are nicely covered.

Well, the Sun is about up and I need to be headed back to Zephyr.  The workman may be arriving soon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 146 Out and about--sort of.

It continued to rain yesterday morning so we were a bit shut in again.  We did get a visit from the woman I mentioned in an earlier post that had been sent from Brion Toss that wanted to talk to us and get feed back on the survey we had done on Zephyr.  She is trying to get a group together to set up standards for surveys.  She had read our survey and been amazed at its lack of information.  She encouraged us to contact Boat US about the survey and see if the folks that did it were really on their list of accredited surveyors and then to write the surveyors a letter about the problems we had found on Zephyr and get our money back.  We will think about it before doing anything.  While some times the squeaky wheel gets greased, some times it gets removed and changed.  We don't want to stir up the waters at our insurance agency and take the chance of them canceling our insurance.  That would be a bad thing.  We'll see.

After she left, we took off for the ferry to Whidbey across from Port Townsend.  On came the foul weather gear and off we went.  It was nice to be back on the water again.   The sounds of water hitting the hull and the smells of fresh water.  As we arrived, the Sun began to shine--at least through the fog that had set in.  We set off for the bus to take it around the island.  Hey--
--guess what!!!  The buses don't run on Sunday!!!!   Back to the ferry and back to Port Townsend.  

Lunch at the local Subway shop and back on the bus for Fort Worden.  A local "fort" that started in the early 1900's and was shut down in the mid-1950 as being obsolete.   It was set up along with two others to protect the Puget Sound from enemy boats that might venture in to cause harm in Seattle.  Can anybody tell me the name of the movie that this building was used in the opening shots of?  Hint--1982 chick flick.  We toured the armament museum and the commanders house.  A nice way to spend the afternoon.  The Sun continued to shine and it turned out to be a nice day.  Back to the bus and we headed on home.

While we sat waiting for the bus, Tracy took off her "foul weather" jacket and noticed a bit of discoloration on it.  Upon closer inspection, we found that the layer that keeps the water from penetrating it was flaking off all over the inside of the coat.  This solved a long standing mystery aboard Zephyr.  Several times over the past year, we had found pink flakes on the stairway into Zephyr and couldn't figure out what they were and where they were coming from.  Now we knew--they are the bits of lining from her coat.  Her coat being bright red, the flakes that were coming off it are pink--mystery solved.  Today--back to West Marine and get the coat replaced.  Foul weather gear is supposed to be water proof or it's no good at all.
Waffles for dinner and then a night of watching the "Emmys".  Not tremendously entertaining but an easy way to pass the evening.

The day here is starting as partly cloudy with a 5mph wind.  It is supposed to be somewhat sunny today--that is if you believe the weather people.  With luck, Jack--the electrician will be back today and work will start again on Zephyrs electrical.  The riggers should be back also now that class has ended.  We might actually see progress this week.  YEAH!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day 145 Still raining

It has started raining again as I sit here behind the ice cream parlor.  The cold and damp have taken hold and will be here for a few days so the weather people say.  It's quite a change from what we have experienced while being here over the past weeks.  We had gotten used to the nice sunny days and pleasant temperatures that we got spoiled.  It has been the coolest Summer I have ever experienced.  The daily temperature rarely got higher than the mid 70s.  Having lived in Colorado for  the past 15+ years, the high 90's was far more the normal with the humidity in the low teens.  Here, the temperature has been in the 70's and the humidity about the same yet with the gentle breezes that flow through Port Townsend, it is remarkably  pleasant.  Now suddenly a "low" has swept in and the weather has changed.  

Yesterday was one of the first days I felt sort of "trapped" on Zephyr.  With all the rain and overcast, it was a really boring day.  I read--dozed, watched TV--dozed and basically did nothing.  An unusual experience for me to say the least.  I'm just not used to it.  Once we leave here and really start cruising full time, I'm not sure how I will handle the days where we will be plodding along at 5-6 knots(if lucky) traveling to a new destination.  I guess, looking forward to the destination is what keeps people that cruise going.  Reading books about what is ahead so that you are prepared for arrival and the fun that that destination will provide.  Time will tell.

At least Jack--the electrician will be back next week and the riggers class will be over so we can get all of our standing rigging set in place.  It has been nice to see Zephyr with a mast again.  She looked a bit naked with out it.  Now all we need is a boom to make her look like a real sailboat.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 144 Overcast all over again.

I've talked about boats getting growth on their bottoms as they sit for sometimes years between haul outs.   Here is a perfect example of what can happen when maintenance is neglected and the sea takes over.  This is a propeller on a boat that came out just over a week ago.  It needed a good cleaning and having the bottom painted so it won't grow things on her hull as it has done here.  They were out for a week, painting, scraping and polishing their hull.  The propeller and drive shaft had to be removed so it could be cleaned and fixed.  The sea can reek havoc with anything that is submerged in it.   We've seen worse than this on boats.  Entire hulls encrusted with marine life.  The sea gulls love munching on it after it gets removed during the pressure wash.

It's overcast again this morning.  I guess Mother Nature is preparing us for what may be coming if we do stay here over the Winter.  While the cold hasn't settled in yet(it's 52 degrees as I write this) the clammy has.  Having spent the last many years in Colorado, we're just not used to the dampness that permeates everything.  This will take some time to get used to and we need to as from here on out we will always be surrounded by water where ever we go.  

Yesterday was a nothing day.  No workmen, no riggers, no nobody.  Nothing happened.  It was an all around lazy day.  I sat and read and dozed away the day.  The most exciting thing that happened was the boat yard almost had a trimaran(boat with a main hull and an extra hull on each side) fall off its stands.  They were trying to fold the extra hulls back in(they collapse against the main hull to make it possible to tow the boat behind a truck) and it almost took a dive.  It took some fast foot work to get it steady and properly supported.  

We have come to a halt with getting work done.  With Jack--the electrician still gone, no one comes to work on Zephyr.  With the riggers teaching the class on inspecting the rigging on boats still going on--ends today, they can't come.  We just sit and wait.  It is teaching us the patience we will need as we sail around the world.  It's a tough lesson for us having been used to the "push" all the time that owning a business calls for.  Time was always the most precious thing.  There was never enough of it and now, that is all we have.  As time goes by, I'm sure we will adjust.  

Well, that's about it for the week.  Just about everything stopped on Tuesday evening when everyone went home for the night.  I know I have complained in earlier posts about workers constantly in and out of the boat and wanting some quiet time on Zephyr but just sitting here waiting for what may or may not happen as to getting work done is tough.  We want to be out there sailing and not feeling stuck here at the mercy of the boatyard.  The three week job is now at seven and still counting.  At least with no one working on Zephyr, the bills for last week will be at a minimum(bright side). 

There is an old tradition(dating back to the Romans)of placing a coin under the mast as it is stepped in place.  We placed two items under ours.  I have carried this Canadian silver dollar as a good luck piece in my pocket since 1970 when I picked it up at the mint in Canada.  It has taken me through many good times and a few bad.  Now it will be here to protect Zephyr. 

The second is a Saint Brendan's medal a friend of ours in Colorado gave us before we came to Zephyr earlier this year.  Saint Brendan is the Patron Saint of sailors.  We had originally hung it from the mast, but the chain become so corroded by the salt air that we felt it necessary to find a more permanent place for it.   One good luck piece was good, two is better as far as I'm concerned.

Day 143 The lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer are gone!

Well, it appears that the lazy, hazy. crazy days of Summer are gone here in Port Townsend.  There is a definite slow down in the daily traffic and pace of the town.  They will be eliminating some of the bus trips come early next month and many of the stores here are having clearance sales getting rid of the goods they brought in for the tourists.  The last few days have been overcast and quite chilly.  It's just letting us know what to expect through the Winter as we sail through the islands.  The Sun has got to be up there some where, it is just hiding.

To pass the boredom of yesterday, we took a bus trip to Poulsbo.  Saw lots of green hills and sleepy villages was well as quite a few boats at anchor and in a few small marinas along the way.  We got off the bus and toured the shopping center that is next to the bus stop for half an hour and got right back on the bus to come back to Port Townsend.   Same bus, same driver.  A nice trip to see some of the peninsula.  

No workmen came to Zephyr yesterday.  Well, Troy--new electrician-- did to see how things were progressing and if there were any other problems or things we wanted to add to the list.  In and out and gone.  With Jack out for a few days, Zephyr has come to  a halt.  The riggers are still in class with the Coasties so they won't be by till Monday at the earliest.

I spent a great deal of yesterday surfing the internet at the ice cream parlor--twice and Safeway once.  I ordered a new "chip" of charts for our chartplotter.  They will give us all the info we need for the area around Port Townsend.  Bill--previous owner--had already bought a "chip" for the areas just North of here-farther up the islands.  Now we will be set for any cruising we want to do locally.  I also have some "chips" to give us the charts for farther North, but will have to get paper charts to see what areas they cover.   I also ordered the updates for our Garmin gps unit that sits in the cockpit and helps guide me with its charts.  The rest for the time was spent calling suppliers and ordering some parts and checking on earlier orders. 

Since it appears that we will be here for a while, I ordered the connector for our Raytheon VHF radio so I can turn it into a fog horn when necessary,  which up here is a great deal of the time.  Now, I'll have to see what kind of a horn I can find as the Raymarine horn is out of stock.  We want to make sure that any boats around us can hear us as we pass by in the mist.

And that is about all that went on yesterday.  Tracy spent most of the morning stitching and relaxing.  She is off to the doctor today to get looked at and see if he can fix her up.  She is still quite stiff.  God bless Motrin.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day 142 Catitude!!

Blue is still recovering from her night out.  She is repeatedly copping a catitude toward the boys.  Hissing and spitting and getting upset if they even come anywhere near her.  As can be seen, she slept most of the day away yesterday trying to catch up on what she missed the night before.  I haven't seen her sleep so much in a long time. She went well past her normal 18 out of 24 hours that she and the rest of the kids sleep.  She was waiting on the steps out of the boat this morning as I was getting ready to leave to come here.  After all, now that she has experienced the great outdoors, she considers it her cat given rights to come and go as she pleases.  Ain't going to happen.

The Coasties came by about 3pm for their tour of Zephyr.  These people came from all over the US for this class.  Some as far away as Hawaii.  It was all about checking the rigging of sailboats.  They inspected the new and the old rigging and asked lots of questions about Zephyrs history and her rigging.  Asked to see her chain plates(big pieces of stainless steel that the wires that hold the mast up hook onto that are bolted to the hull of the boat).  Ours are fiberglassed into the hull of the boat and can't be seen.  The only way to get at them is  cut out large sections of the interior hull.  

No workmen came to Zephyr yesterday.  At least until we had a power failure.  The battery monitor and controller went a bit crazy again yesterday.  It was charging  the batteries all morning so I turned off the charger.  The boats entire DC system went off line.  For some reason, heaven knows I don't know why, the battery switches had been switched to the "off" position and when I turned off the charger, it couldn't connect the battery power to maintain the system.  Of course, I had no idea as to what had happened so I had to call for a pro to come over(add $75.00 to the bill).  Jack--the electrician is our getting two teeth pulled so we got Eric.  He found the problem but doesn't know why the system is wired that way nor why the batteries were turned off.  A classic example of why Zephyr is wired so strangely.  Different electricians do things differently.  When I get back to Zephyr--and the Sun is up, I plan on turning the batteries back on along with the charger and see what happens.  It's all greek to me at least so far.

Tracy wants to replace the stuffing in the rudder post today.  As can be seen by the picture, the fitting has got quite a bit of corrosion and it has leaked just a bit the entire time we have had Zephyr.  The "pros" here at Sea Marine tell us it's an easy job.  Yeah--right.  I took some pictures and Tracy took them to Mark--yard foreman.  He says it's a simple unbolt, pull out the old and push in the new and re-tighten the bolts.  Somehow, I think it will entail more than that but again, at least I'm here in a boat yard surrounded by "pros" that can help me should I screw something up. 

It's misting currently and will probably stay overcast though out the day. The weather has been incredible for the entire past month.  The forecast is for much more clouds and some sprinkles over the next few days.  I knew it couldn't last till April.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 141 The mast is up and Blue has gone crazy!!

I woke up this morning to Tracy calling me to the forward compartment.  She had awaken to a crazy cat(Blue)growling madly.  She was attacking anything that moved and growling like she was insane.  I'm sure some of you back in Denver remember the last time Blue did this was about two years ago when she smelled some shampoo we had washed Snowshoe in.  Lasted about two weeks.  After getting back from brushing our teeth last night, I had forgotten to close the companionway hatch.  The kids were free to roam all night!!  Heaven only knows where they went or what they encountered but Blue has gone looney tunes all over again.  I found Snowshoe sitting outside as I left to come here.  I'm sure the daring duo was up to no good all night.  For the two of them, this was a dream come true.  At least, where ever they went, they came home.  Knowing Blue as we do, she either ate some bug or some grass and got really scared and reverted back to her roots as a ferrule cat.  With the Coasties coming today, this will be interesting.

The mast went up flawlessly yesterday.  the riggers were there nice and early getting more hardware installed.  Lots of blocks and line were added so it will be much easier to get finished later this week.  The crane showed up about 11am and up she went.  She was hooked down to the deck by 4 shrouds(BIG wires) and lines lead forward and secured.  The crane was removed and there she was.  Four shrouds--wires that lead from the mast to the deck--were secured to turnbuckles.  Two on a side and we all went to lunch.  After lunch, two more were attached and that was it for the day.  As the mast was raised, each shroud had to be measured for length from a point on the mast to the fitting on deck, cut to length.  The fitting that attaches it to the deck was then fitted and attached to the deck and on to the next.  I showed pictures of the fitting several weeks ago.  They are really high tech fittings that can be used over and over again.  Far from cheap, but really cool.   Gordon and Nathan will be back today to finish what they can.  the boom is still waiting for more fittings.  

The vinyl ester putty was re-injected into the holes in the bow for the stem fitting and can be drilled today for the bolts to hold the fitting to the deck.  The previous batch had just gone wrong.  To old I was told.  After they install the aft stay--wire at the back of the boat that holds the mast up, I can install the radar and GPS dome and we will be in great shape.

The Coasties will be at Zephyr today for "class".  We talked to Brion yesterday before and after the mast raising about what he wanted from us.  He asked us to put together a list of things we would expect from the surveyors as they inspect the boat.  Now please keep in mind that when you buy any boat, a survey needs to be done just as you have a home inspected before you sign on the dotted line.  It is there to protect you from buying a lemon.  If you ever plan on getting any kind of insurance on you boat, a survey will be required by the company or they won't insure you.  It's not like a home.  You can't sink a home!!!  Our insurance company wasn't impressed with our survey and we only got insurance on Zephyr since she had already been insured by them.  What they found fault with in the survey is exactly what we have been having fixed and didn't know was wrong.  

Tracy and I brainstormed--or at least slightly squalled--last night and made a three page list(took two + hours) of what we feel a surveyor needs to look for when checking any boat.  After what we have done on Zephyr,  we feel we are fairly knowledgeable as to what needs to be checked if possible.  It doesn't matter if you are a power boater(yuck:-)) or a sailor, the systems are for the most part the same.  There are just more systems to check on a sailboat.  We covered everything from  checking the engine to the electric lights and the heads.  If any boat was checked this way, I'm not sure any boat would ever get sold or bought.  In any boat, especially a used one--or "previously owned", there will be problems.  You can't avoid them.  It is just what you are willing to accept.  We were "green" when we bought Zephyr but now understand that she is just going through a mid-life refit.  Sure there was more wrong than we bargained for, but Zephyr was and still is a great boat and there is no regret about buying her.  Boats like her are hard to come by and we just got lucky.

Well, I have to get back and see the crazy cat and take another shower.  Yeah, that's right, another shower in only two days.  Ah, we are living the dream as our friends say;-).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 140 Getting closer.

Here's Brion Toss inspecting the mast as the "dressing" gets done.  We hauled the mast over to Zephyr on a cart especially made for transporting masts--just don't look at the almost flat tire.  On went the spreaders and fittings and we're getting there.

Now earlier in the day, Brion, Gordon, and Nathan--the riggers three descended on Zephyr to get the stem fitting(holds the wires that hold the mast up on the bow) installed.  The hole that had held the bracket had been filled with "vinyl ester" or some such stuff.  It had to be drilled out and the new fittings bolted home.  Well, guess what?  The "vinyl ester" hadn't been mixed properly and was no where near hard!!!  Now it has to be drilled out all over again and refilled with properly mixed stuff and allow to harden.  We will be using the inner forestay(fitting about 5 feet back from the bow) to hold the forestay(wire that holds the mast up on the bow) instead of the normal fitting.  at least until the new stuff hardens.  Nice try Joan!!!

I installed the new grate in the "garage" that Jack had stepped through a few weeks ago.  Had to haul out a good bit of things--fenders and line--from the storage area at the bow and get it put in.  Since several of the slats on it had been replaced and it is quite a custom fit piece, I had to take it back to Robyn the wood worker to have a bit cut off a few of the slats.  I had to get it installed as the riggers--Nathan-the shortest guy--will be down in the garage to get to the anchor locker to install the bolts that hold the stem fitting in place.  At least that was the plan at the time.  Now it isn't going to happen for a few days--until the vinyl ester gets installed and allowed to harden.  Back the stuff went into the "garage".

Hey, just saw a raccoon walk by out back here.  I'm back at the ice cream parlor--closed of course as it about 6am.  I'm trying a new program that our son recommended that will allow me to type this anywhere and simply post it when I can get on line.  Not quite there yet with all the interruptions.  The weekend is coming when it will be a bit quieter.

I actually got my shower yesterday--shaved too.  When you have to walk a bit to take a shower and you have limited access to your boat, some things just fall to the wayside until there is time for them.  Sure feels nice being clean and clean shaven--clean clothes too!!

We had lunch at Sea J's again--great local hamburger joint and took the bus to the local vet to see about getting the cats shots done so we can go to Canada later.  They're closed for a few days--til Thursday.  But we sure had a nice bus ride.  

We got back to the boat just in time to help the riggers get the mast carted to Zephyr.  Another boat was brought in yesterday and plunked down beside us.  It's getting crowded here.  We put the mast on 55 gallon drums behind the boats and the riggers went about their job of getting all the necessary hardware installed.  There is still lots more to get done this morning--that's one reason why I'm here so early.

I went with Brion back to his shop to get another lesson on making eye splices in my new halyards.  I'd tried on Sunday night but just missed the mark.  Brion showed me where I had gone wrong and voila, I got it done right.  Now just lots of practice and I'll be a pro--like 50 more tries.

Dinner at Shanghai again.  Just can't get enough of their food.  It is so good.

Tracy's back and hip are still bothering her.  She doesn't do well under the stain of all this work going on around Zephyr.  All will be well once it is done.

The class Brion is teaching to the Coast Guards people starts tomorrow.  Eight at a time will be on board inspecting Zephyr.  He wants us there also to show people what has happened on board her.  He showed the "Survey" we had done to a friend of his that is getting together an advocacy group to appear in front of congress to press for a better regulation of the "surveyors" so that there will be a national standard and a test they will have to take to be certified to do these inspections.  She was NOT impressed with our survey and wants to talk to us about it and get more facts.  He(Brion) has also asked us to put together a list of things that we feel a surveyor should see while inspecting and things he might miss.  We will be doing that this evening.  After what we have learned, it will be an interesting list.  There are many things that should have been caught on Zephyr that weren't-- the electrical is one and the rigging is another.

Well, time to get back.  The workmen/riggers will be going at it again today.  No electricians yesterday as parts are still on order.  The new battery monitor will be in tomorrow and the other parts might make it in today.  Jack is having some teeth taken out on Wednesday so we don't think he will be back for the rest of the week--maybe Friday if he's lucky.  When Tracy had it done, she was out for almost a week.

If there is time, I'll try and get an update later today. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 139 Down to the last few days?

Here's the picture of the blackberries I told you about yesterday.  Lots of them and more coming as they ripen.  For the most part, these bushes are treated like weeds with big mowers used to chop them down on peoples property and along the road sides.  With the thorns they have, I can understand why.   They would make the perfect barrier for a property line if you wanted to keep people out.

We think we are down to the last few days before we get back in the water.  The mast gets stepped tomorrow with the prep work being done today.  At least that is what we have been told.  The electricians will be back today for more close up work.  I'm going to try and turn one of the battery boxes 90 degrees today to see if it will fit.  It will give us more space under the settee.  Space is always a premium on boats.  We try and squeeze every bit out of it.

The Sun is just about to make it over the horizon.  It's been a lovely morning.  Lots of stars as I walked over here.

I cleaned out the bilge again yesterday.  Got all the water that had come out of the broken plumbing.  It's nice and dry again.  I put a few more paper towels down there to soak up the last few traces of what was left.  Hopefully it will stay dry.  Going head first down a small opening while squirming about on the floor between two walls isn't that much fun.

We lowered the inflatable dingy off of Zephyrs deck to make more room and make the deck safer for the riggers as well as the "students" that will be all over Zephyr on Wednesday.  We don't want anyone falling overboard.  There isn't water under us.  We deflated it for the trip up the coast and it's not the easiest to move about.  We tied line to her and over the lifelines she went.  Tracy below and me above.  Glad I wore gloves to avoid rope burns as I let it down.

Cleaned up more in Zephyr yesterday.  Lots of magazines have made their way on board and we haven't read them yet.  Time for a quick scanning so they can be gotten rid of.

Back to West Marine yesterday to get the special T900 line we need for the "running backstays".  Picked up 60 feet at half price since they wanted to get rid of it.  A lot cheaper than the last we bought.  I also picked up a new light for over the work bench area as the last one broke when it was removed to cut the holes to gain access for the pad eyes that will be holding the "running backstays".  Three sets of LED lights.  Runs on batteries so I don't have to worry about the wiring and if we have a power failure, we will still have a set of lights inside the cabin.

We had home made pizza last night.  AH--pizza and beer--the all American meal as we watch tv.  I'm really glad Tracy talked me into taking the dish antenna off the house and bringing it along.  There was no way I could have imagined we would be here this long.  It has made being here much more enjoyable.  At least while cruising, if we get tired of a place we can move on to another harbor.  Here on the "hard" we can't go anywhere.

Well, time to get back.  Not sure when the workmen will be arriving but I expect it will be soon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 138 Cleaning all over again.

Cleaning up the inside of Zephyr was the plan for the day.  Workmen coming and going all day really limits what you can do inside your boat.  You want to be there, but you really can't be inside as that will distract them and could interrupt the job they are doing.  So, yesterday was put away and clean day.  I tackled the workbench area and started on the nav station.  Parts and pieces got filed away.  I still have to pull everything out of the draws by the workbench and organize them.  I have lots of boxes for getting all the screw, nuts and bolts arranged.  After Zephyr is in the water, and quiet returns, I'll have the time.  Tracy cleaned and rearranged lots of the food boxes as we have had to drag all the boxes of food out from the settees so the electricians will have better access.  They have been on the forward bunk for weeks trashing the compartment.

Blue tried another escape yesterday when our backs were turned.  She better at it than Steve McQueen was in the "Great Escape".  While she didn't have a motorcycle to assist her she sure can jump.  Off the bow all over again and down to a shelf the "stem fitters" had been using.  I think she missed the platform they had erected and landed on one of the rungs of the A frame they used to support it.  She was quite scared as I rushed around trying to rescue her.  She eventually made her way to the fence by the A frame and tried to walk the 1 1/2" rail.  Not an easy task even for a cat.  I got to her and lifted her off.  She was to scared to let go with her claws so I had to pry each one off to get her loose.  Then she latched onto my shoulder for the rest of the way down the ladder.  Needless to say, she got her claws clipped later last night.  Boy, when she wants to hang on, she really wants to hang on!!

Another trip to West Marine after lunch at Sea J's.  A great burger place that unless you are a local, you will never find.  With it being right across from West Marine, it makes the trip there that much better. I have to go back to WM to get some T900 line this afternoon.  We will be using it for the "running" backstays.  There are lines(rope) that will support the mast angle toward the stern of the boat.  Easily adjustable to make sure the mast remains a straight and true as possible.  We had used wires since Zephyr was launched but now will be swapping over to lines with block and tackle to keep her mast true.

We collected black berries last evening from around the work buildings at the boat yard.  Lots of bushes and lots of the berries were nice and ripe.  I add a picture in tomorrows post.  Tracy mad a black berry cobbler last evening--YUMMY!!!

That's about it for yesterday.  Today--more cleaning since the "class" will be this Wednesday and doing the wash.  I'm even going to take a shower and shave!!!  Clean all over again!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day 137 Here's how it can happen.

Yesterday was a perfect example as to how a boat can get wired strangely.  Troy--our new electrician--has been here cleaning up the systems.  Tucking, pruning, covering and rerouting wires as is necessary.  If I got the story right--heard from Tracy--he was working down in the pump area--all the fresh water pumps are in one area- and snipped some of the wires to redo them.  Along comes Jack--primary electrician--and sees what he is doing--oops!!   He cut some of the  wires that Jack had already redone.  He didn't understand what Jack had installed.  They then had to be redone and with suggestions from Troy, two new solenoids installed that will better run the pumps with less energy draw.  This shows how a boat can get all screwed up.  The first man does it one way and the second does it another and voila--you get Zephyrs wiring system.  My hats off to both of them for what they have done to make us a safer and better boat.

The boom is now under Zephyr in the yard ready for Tuesdays installation, at least sort of.  The fitting where the boom attaches to the mast where all blown.  The welding point on the stainless steel had at some time gotten sheered off.  As the fittings were old, we decided to replace the entire assembly--a bracket on the mast, the fitting that goes into the end of the boom as well as what attaches the boom to the mast.  At some point, the strain on the fitting was to great and the welds simply sheered off leaving the end of the boom flopping, yet still attached to the mast.  Better a new one than a rebuilt one.

They will be "dress" the mast on Monday as Brion wants the mast up on Tuesday.  The US Coast Guard folks will be here Wednesday for their class on Zephyr.  There is lots to do before the mast can go up.  The stem fitting(holds the anchor as well as the forestay) hasn't even been attached to the bow.  Spreaders need to be attached and the wires that hold the mast vertical still need to be installed.  Monday will be pure chaos.  Especially since we will be having the electricians on board at the same time.

I practiced putting eye splices in our new halyards(lines that raise the sails).  I have a lot to learn.  I did one end of the line--bad!!  Went at the other end of the line--better but still not right.  I'll wait for the pros to show up on Monday for better instructions.  I can't waste line as you have to cut off the sections after you screw up a splice.  You can't reuse the line as it is all messed up.

With the redoing of the water systems yesterday and bleeding of the lines, the forward heads hot water faucet started to drip. I took the fitting off after de-pressuring the system and stuck it in my pocket planning to go to the local hardware store for parts. A few hours passed and I made a list of other things I needed to get and took off on the bus.  Getting back, I fixed a few things and settled back and talked to Tracy for a few minutes.   Suddenly the sounds of water could be heard beside Zephyr--we were in the cockpit at the time.  We wondered why Zephyr would be letting loose with water.  Suddenly it dawned on me that Jack--the electrician had reconnected the wires to the fresh water pump and was checking the system not knowing that I had left one of the faucets wide open.  I'd forgotten I had the part that needed replacing in my pocket when I went to the store and not fixed it when I got home.  A "senior moment" or "snap" as one of our friends would say.  I rushed below decks to inspect the flood.  Jack apologized--though not his fault for the flood.  It wasn't to bad as the opening was right beside the sink but there was still a good bit of water to clean up.  Another trip was made to the local hardware store--hey--they had never seen a rubber gasket like what I needed.  It isn't a washer at all but a type of "hat" or "cap" that fits over the end of the fitting.  Ah--those crafty Chinese boat builders.  I'll be ordering new faucets on Monday.  Two sets--forward head and stern head.  Might as well get all of them set for changing as their time will come.

We've been "talking" via email with another boat "living the dream".  They're currently in Greece on their way to Gibraltar so they can come back across the Atlantic later this year after the hurricanes settle down.  If you really want to read about being out there, try logging into www.sandpiper38.blogspot.com.  They have been out there "living the dream" for the past three years and had an article published in "Latitudes and Attitudes" magazine in the current(October) issue.  We've been following them since we were in Seattle at the boat show last January.  It's been a big help getting an insight into what actually goes on out there.  We first hooked up with them just as they were leaving Indonesia headed for Sri Lanka.  They have quite the blog to read.  Take some time and read it--I know you will enjoy it.   

Well, back to Zephyr.  It's cleaning day as we have company coming next week and Zephyr has to look her best.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day 136 Lots happening.

Here is what caused the breakdown in our plumbing yesterday.  As can be seen, it was beyond salvage.  Jack--the electrician--as well as many other titles now, tore out the kick plate in the galley step(that's the vertical piece in a step) to gain access to the fittings and installed lots of new hose.  This time, the kind  that won't rust and corrode.  When Zephyr was built, plastic hose wasn't used on boats or virtually anything.  Now it is everywhere.  We are back up and running.  It may have taken him all day(6 hours @ $75.00/ hour) but what the heck, you can't do without water.  Now I have to rip out the Paloma heater.  I'll have lots of nice new space on the forward bulkhead of the engine compartment.

Troy, our new electrician,(we think Jack got to frustrated with Zephyr after 6 weeks of fun) is working on more connections.  Renewing and replacing as he sees problems.  When we pulled into Point Hudson, the "off" switch for the engine that is mounted on the binnacle(where the steering wheel is) no longer shut off the engine.  If the alarms I discussed yesterday ever go off, I want to be able to shut her down ASAP without having to climb down the stairs.  He replac
e the connections and it should work just fine now.  He is also replacing the connections on the key switch that turns on the engine below decks.  Again, one of those necessary things.  At over 6 feet tall, he is having fun squeezing into lots of the small spaces on Zephyr.  Jack, at about 5 foot 10 had it much easier.

The really big news is that Brion Toss, our rigger, is going to use Zephyr as a teaching tool next week.  He is teaching a class to 16 US Coast Guardsmen on how to inspect boats for problems.   There have been an escalating number of boats that have been inspected--surveyed by "professionals", that have actually been unsafe yet the new owners were told the boats were fine.  These guys will be all over Zephyr, inspecting and checking systems and learning what to look for on boats like ours so that in the future, they will have a better idea of what to inspect as they check out other boats.  After what we have gone through, I can't tell you how excited we are to have all these people going all over Zephyr.  It will be interesting to see what, if anything they find.  Look for our post next Thursday.  

We spent an hour with Brion yesterday afternoon learning how to put "eye" splices on line(rope).  "Rope" becomes "line" once it comes on board a boat.  Nautical term don't you know.  He invented a tool for making it real easy.  I'll be practicing it a good bit over the next few days.  We will have more classes on it as there are many different types of "line" that are used on boats and each gets spliced just a bit differently.

I stopped the installation of the SSB yesterday.  The boat yard was ok with my decision as to the matter.  If we change our minds, we can always get it installed before we leave here next year.
Here is another picture of the fittings that were used at the water heater.  It took me a while to get it downloaded.  This is a 5 inch section of hose that is made up of copper, bronze, steel and iron pipe, all connected to the rubber hose which went to the other fitting, which by the way isn't hose made for drinking water.  You're not supposed to use different metals in a fitting like this.  Lots of corrosion over the years.  It's amazing that it didn't go sooner.  It's all been replaced with the proper hose.

We can certainly see the difference in the amount of boats here at the marina now that it is after Labor Day.  No where near as crowded.  The boat yard on the other hand is a buzz with activity.  Lots of boats coming and going everyday.  People are done with their boats for the season and now want work done over the Winter months. One wooden boat came in for an estimate as to the cost of repairs.  An old wood power boat that they had bought for $10 grand.  The estimate in labor alone is over $25,000.  That is with out parts and the woodwork that needs to be done.  Lots of rot in her decks and bulkheads.  We on the other hand wanted the work done now and will enjoy sailing during the Winter months when it isn't so crowded.  We would have preferred to do the sailing down off Baja, but that time will come.  Now we will have the time to play with Zephyr and maybe get to Alaska next Spring/Summer.  Tracy has always wanted me to see it. I of course would prefer to go where you take cloths off, not put them on.  Tracy will be shipping clothes to Zephyr in a few weeks when she goes to Denver.

Well, that's about it.  The Sun is up and the day is beginning.  Lots to do, or at least watch.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 135 It's earlier than I thought!!

It's earlier than I thought!!  As I walked to the ice cream parlor to do this blog, I thought it was about 5:35am.  Oh no, I heard the local clock tower chime in at 5:00am.  The clock in the stateroom was off again.  So Good Morning to you all.  I hope YOU got a good night sleep.  The digital clock in the stateroom gets all screwed up when Zephyr is "off the grid".  When Jack takes us off of normal 110 power and we have to run in battery mode through the inverter.  It changes the electric "wave"pattern or some such pattern and the clock--being digital--runs much faster.  Once we are hooked back up to shore power, it goes back to keeping time correctly, it's just not at the right time.  At least that is what Jack-the electrician told us after the first time it happened.

I have to meet with the workmen this morning first thing and put a stop to installing the SSB radio.  Because Zephyrs hull is so think--2 inches--they would have to take off several layers of the fiberglass to allow the grounding plate to be set at the proper thickness so it can make the correct connections to ground the radio.  At least that is how it was explained to us.  That will require another workman to take a BIG chunk out of Zephyrs hull so the plate will fit and redo a good bit of fiberglass.  The installation cost will sky rocket to an easy $5,000 with all the work that will need to be done.  That is just not in the budget at this time.  We are currently racking up fees of $1,000/working day while being here.  Another $5,000 is off the charts.  The radio can stay in its box till later when we will have it installed.  Tracy came to the collusion--and I agree with her--that we will just get a satellite phone.  It will allow us to keep in communications with all the parties we need to and we can still use the computers to download off the internet.  Next year, or when ever, we will have the radio installed.

Yesterday morning, Jack--the electrician--went back at the electrical.  The lights had failed to work the previous evening so he went looking for where to hook it up.  He pulled on the last wire and shabang, the hot water pipes burst.  Zephyr has several ways to heat water.  The engine, with the electric water heater and with a device called a Paloma propane water heater.  The pipes to the Paloma burst.  The fittings had all corroded to next to nothing.  The inside diameter of the hose had shrunk to less than the size of a pencil.  The original diameter of the hose is over 1 inch.  Water flooded out and down into my nice dry bilge( I'd just cleaned it out last Saturday).  After a short time, the flood stopped.  At the time, we had no idea where the hoses led only that the water in them was warm.  Apparently, the water from the electric water heater goes up to the engine and the Paloma that then out into the boat.  That is the reason why the engine always felt nice and warm to the touch.  Jack got another piece of hose to try and fix the problem, but with all the corrosion, plus the fact that the Paloma heater is relatively unsafe to use--runs on propane and is in the engine compartment with no venting--we have taken it off line and will eventually remove it.  If we need hot water while cruising in the future, we can either boil it on the stove or run the engine.  If we run the engine, it will also recharge the batteries at the same time.

I dried out the bilge again last evening, but when I checked later, there was more water--not much-- down there again.  So some hose is still leaking.  The search goes on.

The riggers showed up to install the stem fitting(holds the anchor and genoa sail) at the bow.  They pushed and poked and banged and took it back to the vise and finally got it to fit.  They didn't drill the holes necessary to finish the installation as they have to be done at just the right angle and I think frustration during the fitting had taken over.  I know it would have on me.

We had a new electrician--Troy-- on Zephyr yesterday.  Jack brought him over and introduced him.  He went to work, along with an engine guy, to find and fix two of the alarms in the engine compartment.  Zephyrs engine comes with three alarms.  One is for oil pressure.  If it fails, a buzzer on deck goes off(the cats hate it).  A second one is on the fresh water cooling system.  If it gets to hot-pump fails-the same buzzer will go off.  The third is hooked up to the exhaust system.  If it gets to hot--the impeller(little rubber wheel that pumps water through the engine)fails to go around pumping water and the engine gets to hot, the buzzer goes off.  Pretty much, if the buzzer ever goes off, run for the switch and turn off the engine.  Some thing is wrong.  We can diagnose the problem after the engine is off.  Two of the alarms were not hooked up properly.  The oil pressure alarm was the only one wired correctly.  Now they are all hooked up and running.  At least I hope so.  You don't really want to hear the alarms go off.  But hey, better they work and not go off than don't work and really need to go off.  It can destroy an engine(insert lots of money here) fast.

We think Jack is getting tired of the frustration Zephyr is causing him.  Plus, I'm sure the yard has lots of other boats that need his knowledge and ability.  That may be a reason why he brought Troy over.  Nice guy, Troy.  Apparently just new on the job and fresh out of school. 

Well, today should be an interesting day.  I don't think the yard is going to be to thrilled when I tell then to scrap the SSB.  I guess I'll find out in about an hour.

Have a great day everyone!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 134 Who knows?

Sorry I'm late today with the post.  I had a hard time gaining access to our account.

Well, the beat goes on.  They came to fit the stem fitting--gizmo that attaches to the bow that holds the anchor and genoa.  It doesn't fit!!!  It seems that it is torqued and needs to be straightened--again.  The rigger had already sent it in for straightening but apparently it didn't take so it's off again for more work.  The current estimate is that the mast will be stepped(put on the boat) next week.  To much still needs to be done by the riggers so this week is out.  Oh well.

Jack-the electrician-- is still connecting and disconnecting wires.  I ripped out several last night that he told be to get rid of.  They don't go anywhere anymore.  Everything from big wires to small ones.  He is getting down to the end--he thinks.  Unfortunately, with that he connected yesterday--pumps, etc, the lights on Zephyr now don't work.  They did over the weekend but were gone last night.  I'm sure a connection got routed wrong and we will be fine later today.  Jacks like that.  He sees a problem and goes after it like a blood hound until he solves it.

We met with Brion Toss--rigger par excellence- yesterday for an update on his bill and what still needs to be done.  So far we are on track with the money end.  I think he is going easy after seeing what Sea Marine has been charging us.  More things need to be ordered so we wait patiently.

The battery monitor(Xantrex Link 2000) that I sent back for inspection in New Jersey that came back with a clean bill of health basically died yesterday.  It won't read the batteries correctly anymore even after Jack changed how they were wired.  The company has offered to refund my service fee but that set us back a few more days as I had to order another one this morning.  With luck it will be here in a week, but I'm not holding my breath.

Ah, the Sun is now up and it sure feels great.  We are set for really nice weather over the next few days.  YEAH!!!

I signed up or a class at Carol Hasse's sail loft for early next month.  I got the last space.  She builds sail for off shore sailors so I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can as sails are VERY expensive.  To replace our main sail, they told us $7500.00!!!  Yeow!!!  The Genoa--big sail at the bow is over $8500.00!!! 

Now all I have to do is find a good diesel school for training on what to do if it should die.  When your out there, there isn't a AAA to call for assistance.  It's do it yourself.  We both have lots to learn.  That is a big reason why we are staying here(set in quicksand) over the Winter.

Well, I have to get back to Zephyr and make sure Tracy is up.  The worker bees show up early here some times--late some times too. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Day 133 We're staying!!

We've made up our minds, we're staying here for the Winter.  At least unless something happens that changes our minds again.  I plan on going to Newport next week to pick up our stuff.  At least as much of it as I can put in the car and them off to Portland to get the rest of the DuoGen(makes electricity) and back to Port Townsend.  At the rate that things are happening here, there is just no way for us to be gone in a reasonable amount of time to still be in the proper weather window for going down the Pacific coast.  Yeah, I know it will be cloudy and cold and windy but we just don't see that there is any real reason to rush off.  What better a place to learn all the new systems and make sure they work than here.  If something breaks, we know where to take it to get it fixed.  But again, this is all set in sand--maybe even quicksand.  Time will tell. 

Yesterday--Robin-the wood worker returned.  He had a migraine on Friday.  He sanded and worked his little heart out on getting the teak done.  At least enough that the riggers can install the stem fitting(holds the sails on at the bow).  As you can see, he is making big progress.  From a broken piece of wood to repairing the fiberglass to forming and installing the new teak, he is doing a great job.  Jack, the electrician jumped down into garage and broke the spokes of the shelf that you stand on.  Robin took it and cut and installed new teak and then oiled it.  It looks great.
Over the weekend, we talked to several people about polishing bronze.  The local foundry suggested soaking it in ketchup for two days.  The acid in the tomatoes will take it all off.  The "green" way.  Another booth that sold a metal polish said to use Lysol toilet cleaner.  Much less "green" but also much faster.  I opted for the less "green" tactic and went at it.  It looks great.  I'm trying to upload a picture but the website doesn't seem to want to let me.  I'll try later.  She shines great.  

As far as getting anything else done yesterday, Brion Toss came by with Gordon and decided that the pad eyes(for the new running backstays-keeps the mast straight) that Gordon installed are 90 degrees off.  So Gordon has to reinstall them.  They had planned to "dress" the mast.  Put the spreaders back on and get the shrouds(wire on the mast) installed but by the end of the day, neither was done.  This is one of the reasons we expect to be staying.  Delay after delay.

Jack--the electrician--was busy elsewhere.  He cracked a tooth over the weekend and needed to get that looked at.  Plus, there is another boat that needs his help.  Of course, it didn't help that 
he dropped his phone way down into the bilge of the other boat and now has to go hunting for it.  As far as we know, he didn't come by Zephyr at all yesterday.  Somebody did--looked in the engine room and lifted one of the floor panels in the stern cabin, but that was about all.  We took off for Safeway right after lunch(leftover curry chicken).  Tracy had several blogs to catch up on as well as emails to reply to.  Then off to West Marine for more stuff.  Paint for the bottom--$85.00 a QUART!!  I needed some hardware to attach the end of the anchor chain to the boat.  We finally got home about 4:30 and everyone was gone.  

Dinner was steak--long since frozen in the freezer section on Zephyr and ears of corn--lots of them.  A vendor was selling them(he cooked them and then you ate them while walking around the festival) over the weekend and Tracy bought a bunch that he had left over when the festival was over.  We had half of them last night.  More for tonight.  Snowshoe wants to eat the husks.  Tracy has to cover them as he is quite determined to get at them.  The other kids don't seem to care.

Every night, as we walk to the restrooms to brush our teeth--can't do it on board as no where for the water to go-- I am struck by the stars above us.  We see many more stars than I would have expected being so close to a big city.  Every night, the Milky Way is out there for us to see.  It is an amazing sight.  I can hardly wait till we are alone in a deserted cove far away from all forms of civilization.  Our time will come.

Today.  If lucky, workmen will show up.  We plan on pulling the anchor chain and getting it washed and marked with paint and nylon webbing to tell us how far out it has gone when we anchor.  No better time than when it is on the hard.  Ah--the cruising life!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Day 132 The festival goes on.

Yesterday was the last day of the Wooden Boat Show here at Point Hudson.  It finished up with a boat parade.  Most of the boats, not only those at the marina but also those at anchor in the harbor all put up sails or started their engines and paraded past the marina.  Quite a show.   I took some short videos of it and will post them when I figure out how to do so.

Tracy and I attended two more lectures.   Tracy went to one on "Where not to go and where not to miss" and I went to one of "Sail making essentials".  Tracy loved hers and bought a book on different places that we will probably end up going here in the San Juans.  I really enjoyed mine also.  It was very informative as to how to sew on hanks and eyes on sails so they won't ever come loose.  I already have most of the equipment she  showed so We're just about set up for doing it if an emergency showed up or if I want to retrofit a sail.

I finally got down into the bilge and got it all cleaned out.  Most of what was down there was just water but there was also some anti-freeze from when they were working on the engine.  It is nice and dry but still needs a good scrubbing.  I just wanted to get it dry.  If any water shows up, it is either from rains when they happen or from a leaking water tank.  I want to see if any shows up over the next few days.  If not, perhaps after the next rain.  That will tell me quite a bit especially after we get back in the water.  If no water in the bilge, and then some shows up, we must have some sort of a leak.  The life of a water "detective".

Tracy took off some track along the side rail so we could reposition two of the "cars" that the genoa sheets(ropes that control the big sail at the bow)run through.  The cars on the tracks were on backwards.  The "stops" that control the "cars" are supposed to face forward not back and they were on backwards.  We unscrewed them and re-bedded them with a product that seals the screw holes so no water can get past them.  It will prevent any seepage into the rail.

We had lunch at the Shanghai booth again and I bought two orders of Pork Fried Rice to put away for later.  Tracy sent me back to get her two orders of Sweet and Sour Pork but the chef--actually was out there overseeing the booth- wouldn't sell it to me as he felt that by dinner time, they would be gummy and taste bad as far as he was concerned.  He gave me his private phone number(he remembered us from earlier visits to the restaurant as well as the booth)so we could call him and get an order from the restaurant that evening that was made fresh.  I stopped by the restaurant and he made an order especially for Tracy.  What a treat!!!  When I tried to pay for it, he refused and jokingly told me to get out and enjoy the dinner.  A really nice guy.  Only about 30 if that.  We really enjoy his food.  It has definitely been one of the high points of staying here, and it is right across the marina from where we are.

Today, we will have the workers back on board for more fun and games.  Robin, the woodworker that was out Friday should be here to finish the bow so the stem fitting--holds the anchor and genoa on the boat--can be installed.  With out it, the mast can't be raised.  Jack will be back at the wires.  Brion Toss and Gordon, the riggers, will be getting back with us and be getting the mast ready for its "stepping" later this week.  The shrouds that keep the mast vertical still need to be installed as well as a lot of hardware for its installation.

It's going to be a busy week!!  

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day 131 Classes

We spent quite a bit of time yesterday at classes at the Wooden Boat Festival.  Some good and some not so good.  The best was a class on sail making by Carol Hasse.  She's been making sails here in Port Townsend for the past 30 years.  A great talk about what to look for in a sail and how they should be made especially if you are going out for long distance cruising.  They require a much heavier sail than inland sails.  We had her company inspect ours and they came out just fine.  Not quite up to blue water strength but her people recommended was a few more line of stitching and a bit of re-enforcement to the corners.  With all the money going to Sea Marine, we told her to just leave them alone.  We have a Sailrite sewing machine on board and can make most of the suggested re-enforcements ourselves.

One teacher didn't show up.  Another primarily talked about the autopilots he makes and sells.  Like I said, some good and some bad.

Other than that, we walked around and looked at booths and I had more pork fried rice--lunch and dinner. 

The bands continued till midnight again.  We're sure glad we were in a well insulated boat and up wind.  The sound didn't carry as bad.

We have two more classes today and I hope to get the bilge finally cleaned out.  Not a pleasant job which is one reason I have been putting it off for so long.  I expect we will also be going into Safeway for more provisions some time this afternoon.  We bought another bus pass for the month of September.  We figure we will certainly be here long enough to use it.

The weather has been beautiful the past few days.  Nice and sunny and pleasant temperatures.   The festival got lucky as several of the past weekends have had lots of rain.  

Other than that, not much has been happening.  Have a great day everybody!! 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day 130 Let there be light!!

We finally have lights in our boat!!!  Jack--the electrician--hooked one of the mystery wires to a ground and voila, we suddenly have lights back in Zephyr after 5+ weeks of using just the one AC lamp and flashlights we have on board.  They seem much brighter than what we had before the redo.  Maybe the new heavier wires have something to do with it or may be it is just the elation of having lights again. Not sure, we're happy to have them again.  That mystery wire also was the ground for many of the other systems on board.  Apparently, they took one ground wire and used it to hook up most of the electronics and pumps and other things on Zephyr.  They didn't seem to care that that is not the way to do things.

With this wire hooked up, I can now reinstall the bilge pump that I ripped out earlier to see if it worked.  Yes, it is hooked up to the same system.  With that revelation, Jack will probably be rerouting more wires on Monday to make the system correct.  I will have to finish emptying, cleaning and drying the bilge before it can be put back in.  A VERY messy job.  I sure hope the pump works properly.  I've got to check the hoses to make sure they aren't blocked with stuff that was in the bilge before we got hauled out.

Our wood worker, Robin didn't show up on Friday so the bows teak work isn't done.  I'm still not sure who is reinstalling the stem fitting(holds the anchor and genoa sail at the bow) but the mast can't go back up till it is installed.  I did find out from one of the people at the Wooden Boat Festival that the easiest and "greenest" way to clean bronze is to soak it in ketchup for two days.  The acid cuts through the oxidation.  I just might get some at Safeway this afternoon and try it while it is off the boat.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Met with Gordon(master rigger) at one of the booths and got an update on what is happening with the refit.  Brion(our rigger) didn't get home till late Wednesday after his truck broke down.  He had to drive his 1950 panel truck(no power steering) all the way in by himself from Burning Man.  Really took it out of him.  Not a fun trip back to Port Townsend.  They will be getting back with us on Monday  and start refitting the mast so it can get raised some time next week.  

Jack--the electrician--will be finishing up with the rest of the DC systems next week and starting on installing the SSB radio.  After that is done, we go back in the water for testing all the systems.  After that, we haven't decided.  Stay here or head South.  Which ever it is, only time and Mother Nature can decide.

There are LOTS of boats anchored in the harbor and in the marina for the Wooden Boat Festival.  I haven't seen that many boats at one time since we have been here.  I did make some contacts as to diesel schools  in the area, so if we stay, I can attend one of them.  We will have to bring our car up here from Newport to make that feasible but that is no problem.  As the days pass, it seems more like we will be here over the Winter.  Lots to keep us here but lots of reasons to take off South also.