Monday, August 31, 2009
There is just NO WAY we can be out of here (responsibly, anyway) by
tomorrow. So our new goal is to leave by next weekend (Labor Day
weekend). We have a very good chance of making that goal.
Today we got both headsails bent on. It went pretty well all-in-all.
The yankee (our large headsail) ended up being a couple of inches
long, even though we thought it might actually be a little short. I'd
like to blame it on Spin-Tec's instructions but the fact is that we
measured the actual length we needed so we screwed up somewhere.
Since the furler's foil keeps the luff straight, there's just a tiny
little jog near the foot of the sail. Not enough of an issue to worry
about. Someday we'll be working on the sails again and we'll take
care of shortening the yankee then. We had to experiment a little
with block location to get the furling line to wind up on the drum
(or, as Lulu calls it: "the bobbin") without trying to climb the
headstay but we eventually got it. Sure is nice to just be able to
roll or unroll the sail.
I spent the remainder of the day working on several projects and
completing none. Lulu was bust down below rearranging stuff. Last
night she made sandwiches for dinner. I requested some clam chowder to
go with. Well, all of our canned goods are in this deep pit behind
the stove. The opening in the top of the pit is about 16" long but
only 6" wide. It's virtually impossible to reach the bottom without
climbing on something. So, back when we were first stowing our canned
goods I came up with the brilliant idea of loading the canned goods in
those old canvas Safeway shopping bags and then tying a tag to the
handle telling what was inside. Impossible to reach the bottom of the
pit and pull out one can of something but relatively easy to pull out
a bag at a time. Or so I thought. Turns out that it's pretty easy to
manipulate the cans inside the bag when you're lowering the bag into
the pit. But when you're hoisting the bag back out, the cans resist
all attempts to be rearranged enough so the bag can clear the
opening. At first I watched Lulu struggle for awhile while thinking,
"Geez, woman! What is so hard about pulling a bag out of a hole?"
Then, being the helpful kind of guy I am, I offered to take over.
WHAT A PAIN! We ultimately got our can of clam chowder out but we
resolved to do something to fix this situation.
Well, to make an already too-long story a little shorter, we
ultimately ended up moving the cans to the cupboards behind the settee
seatback where they are much easier to get to. We shoved our foul
weather gear in the pit behind the stove. As a bonus, this little
move managed to help relieve our list to port a little. We've got a
lot of canned goods.
We got rid of some stuff yesterday and got most of what was left
stowed. You know how in the old days the officers on a ship were the
only ones who knew how to navigate? This helped to minimize the
chance of mutiny. If the crew mutinied they wouldn't be able to find
their way back to land, not knowing the art of navigation. Well, Lulu
has that same kind of insurance. She's the only one who has any idea
where stuff is on this little boat. You'd be amazed how easy it is to
lose stuff on a 28' boat.
I think all our big jobs are at least started. Should be able to
finish them up in the next couple days. Not sure what the weather is
supposed to do this week. Guess I'd better start paying attention. It
was sort of nice in Newport for awhile today but this afternoon the
wind piped up and things got kind of cold again (as usual). I'm
thinking about submitting a new slogan to the Chamber of Commerce.
Something like "Newport Blows". Think they'd go for that?
Well, time to tie this up. It's just about time to tuck into Lulu's
tuna casserole. Life is good.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Says right there in that old article I saved from a long ago issue of Cruising World: "Beginning with only basic sewing skills, this author converted his hank-on headsail to work with new roller furling gear. Here's how you can do the same thing". How hard can it be?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Boat" in Newport sometime before we left so that anyone who wanted to
could come over and get a close-up look at our new home. Well, it's
not going to happen. Just not enough time left to plan it. However,
anyone who would like to drop by is more than welcome. We'll be back
at the boat in about a week. I'll post the actual date when we get
there. Please fell free to stop by and take a look. I'll post more
detailed info about where the boat is when we actually get back to her.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
home place (now referred to correctly as "Cody's house") to get some
big projects done. Before we left the boat on Sunday we managed to
get the second Spin-Tec roller furler installed. I've now lost count
how many times I've been up and down the mast. The steps really do
make climbing it no big deal. And, the climber's harness I bought
yesterday from Oregon Mountain Community should make the whole safety
issue much easier to deal with. I spent yesterday in sweltering
Portland spending way too much money. Amazing to come out of West
Marine with, essentially two shopping bags and be $700 poorer. But it
was all stuff we needed so I guess that's the way it goes.
Lulu spent yesterday recutting the staysail. Have to install luff
tape where the hanks used to be and sew a piece if sacrificial
Sunbrella along the leech and foot of the sail so that, when it's
rolled up, the sail material itself isn't exposed to the damaging UV
rays of the sun. Today she has to re-do some of what she did and
maybe get started on the jib.
I will spend the day in the shop building the engine access hatch into
the cockpit sole (which I brought home). Also will finish up the
sliding hatch and the dorade for ventilating the AirHead.
An aside to you dirt-dwellers out there who don't speak "Sailor": The
two sails on the front of the boat are usually attached to a long
cable ("stay") that runs from the point of the boat to the top of the
mast or thereabouts. The sails are usually attached to the cable with
clips known as "hanks". To change a sail, the sail must be dropped,
removed from the cable, stored in a bag somewhere and then the new
(larger or smaller) sail is "hanked on" to the stay. With roller
furling, the sails are attached to a piece of aluminum ("foil") that
has a track along it's edge. The foil is installed is such a way that
the stay runs inside it. That's what we were doing last weekend. The
sails are modified with a piece if fabric that has a small diameter
line sewn in ("Luff tape") which can then be fed into the track and
which will then hold the sail in place on the foil. Then, instead of
lowering and removing the sail, it is simply rolled up like a window
shade. Roll it up partway and you have a smaller sail. Roll it up
all the way and the sail has been nicely stored without taking up any
valuable below-deck stowage space.
Sole, as in cockpit sole: This is how sailors refer to the "floor".
So I'm putting an opening in the floor of the cockpit so I can gain
easy access to the engine room. A "floor" on a boat is actually
something else and is involved with the actual framing of the boat.
Dorade: This is a kind of vent that is baffled so that, should sea
water enter the vent, very little, if any of it will make it's way
End of class.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
ready! I headed to town to get it, hauled it back to the boat, spread
it out on the dock and measured it to see if it was right this time.
Well guess what... IT WAS!
So my job during the afternoon was to climb the mast a couple times to
install the upper ends of the stays and then, after installing the
lower ends, start endlessly tweaking the turnbuckles to get the mast
to stand nice and straight without tightening the standing rigging so
much that it poked a hole through the top of the cabin. It was a
beautiful day and, with the new mast steps in place, climbing aloft
wasn't scary at all. Lulu tended my safety line from the cockpit and
it all went pretty smoothly. I did find a couple wee problems:
During mast step installation, I apparently lost the ability to count
and measure. I somehow forgot to install the last climbing rung on
the port side. This makes the 2 top rungs (the "standing" rungs)
pretty much inaccessible. I plant to fix that today. The other wee
problem is with the safety harness set-up. Having nothing else to
use, I just used my offshore safety harness. Well, I tell ya, I'd
sure hate to be hanging vertically from that thing for any length of
time. I'd probably strangle myself. So, I need to buy a rock
climbing harness on my next Portland trip. Today we'll use the steps
in combination with the bosun's chair to add the missing rung and to
do some tweaking on the ends of the spreaders. The main thing is, I
was very reassured to find out how natural and unscary it was to climb
aloft using mast steps.
When Lulu wasn't tending my safety line, she was down below canning
tuna. Decided to buy a tuna and try canning on the boat to see how it
will work out. With only two of us aboard, much of the meat from the
tons of huge fish we're going to catch would mostly be wasted. Only
so much fridge space and no freezer. So, she broke out our trusty
Presto pressure cooker and loaded it with 8 half-pint jars and away
she went. You have to process tuna for a LONG time (like an hour and
forty minutes after it reaches pressure) but she ran two batches
anyway. Could've canned 16 jars but we only had a dozen. That left
enough fresh tuna for a tuna satay over rice last night and who knows
Today's big job is to install both furlers. Not as nice out today as
it was yesterday but hopefully it at least won't rain on us. I'll try
to get some photos of the bosun's chair in action. This is the last
big job before we go back to Silverton for a week to get the rest of
the stuff done that we need to do there.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
our self-imposed deadline of getting started south by the end of
August. Let's see...what's been happening?
Windvane: We got hauled out at River Bend again yesterday. Seems
like we were just there. My Dad and my uncles Norman and Felty came
along as crew. A saltier bunch would be tough to find. Wouldn't be
surprised if they were all sporting gold rings in their ears and
tattoos next time I see them. Our only job in the yard was to check
the butt-end of the boat for damage from our collision and to
basically re-mount the windvane. Both projects accomplished with 2
hours to spare before the tide was high enough to go back in the
water. The vane, now installed correctly, is once again as solid as a
rock. I'd just as soon not test that, though.
Rigging: As I've written before, I ordered a new forestay and inner
forestay so I could install my roller furlers. Even sent the old
rigging along so they'd have something to measure. It was supposed to
take "3 or 4 days". About a week later, I asked about it and find out
that they were waiting for one of the fittings to come in. "Should be
here tomorrow". The next day I get a call asking for clarification on
what I was ordering. I explained. Again. Finally, this last Monday,
I get the call that the rigging was done and at the store. All
excited, I head down to pick it up. I had no idea what it was going
to cost but it ended up costing about what I expected (as opposed to
what I was afraid it might cost). Back at the marina, I decided I
really should check the new rigging out to be sure they did what I
asked. Well, they almost did what I asked. Does that count? Even
after the clarification phone call, they still cut both stays too
short. ARGHHH! So the next day I took everything back to the store.
Explained the issue, this time complete with genuine Stoder
illustrations, and then explained that now I was also pressed for
time. Well, the upshot is that the rigging is now supposed to be done
on Friday. I certainly hope so but I'm not holding my breath either.
Stern pulpit: As of last week, it was supposed to be done this week.
Tomorrow I'm hoping for a phone call that says "your pulpit is done
and it turns out that we overestimated the price". C'mon, a guy can
dream can't he?
The sail modification stuff (luff tape, sacrificial Sunbrella strips,
etc.) that we ordered from Sailrite has shipped so it should be at
Cody's when we get there. Which is very good because one of the
reasons we're headed back to the Shire is so Lulu can modify our
headsails to fit the new furlers.
So, anyhoo, we have about a week's worth of work to do at the Shire
(I'm consciously trying to refrain from calling it "home" since
Siempre Sabado is home now). Then we'll bring a big load back (life
raft, dinghy, outboard, sails, etc.) and spend the last week of August
stowing everything, tying up loose ends (including turning over the
car to our son, Lucas), and waiting for our perfect weather window to
Except for last night and most of today, the weather in Newport has
been really nice this past week or so. Actually got warm and the sun
actually shone and the wind actually died for awhile.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
chowder, I believe I was whining about all the stuff we've got that
either doesn't work, or broke, or.... After one of those nights where
you lie awake in the wee hours wondering what's to become of you,
things started improving. The folks at Davis instruments were aghast
that the sextant arrived broken and are sending me a replacement that
they had in their repair shop. The stern rail (pulpit) that I
designed and submitted to the fabrication shop is actually being
worked on and "should be done middle of next week". How many times
have I heard that phrase or one very much like it? The parts for my
forestays have arrived and the rigging "should be done in the next few
days". The repairs to the windvane are minimal and I'll be able to do
it myself while I'm fixing the installation. The guy in the boat who
hit us is paying for the haulout so I can do the repairs on dry land.
Got hold of Spectra and they temporarily fixed my watermaker issues.
I need to do a little replumbing today as I seem to be sucking air.
I'm hopeful that this project will end well but it's pretty
frustrating while working through it.
But the Frigoboat refrigerator continues to work silently and
efficiently. Had to turn it down a little as it was freezing
everything except the beer. And speaking of beer... Oh, wait, no it's
only 9 AM. Guess I should probably have breakfast and fix the
Thursday, August 6, 2009
On the Oregon coast, Mo's is supposed to be THE place for chowder.
People line up to get in. Well, we've given Mo's two chances and they
failed both times. Not that they don't make a decent chowder. It's
just not CLAM chowder. More like potato and bacon chowder. Both
potatoes and bacon can have a place in clam chowder but they should
not mask the taste of the clams. In this case I think they were
trying to disguise the fact that there were few if any clams in the
chowder. Then, last Sunday I tried a cup of "clam" chowder at the
Rogue Brewery in Newport. A guy would be hard-pressed to find one
single piece of clam anywhere in the whole cup. I found none and the
stuff didn't even taste like clams. COME ON! I'm sorry to say that
the best clam chowder we've found on the coast so far is a can of
Snow's or the fancy Campbells' stuff (the kind that's not diluted)
with a can of chopped (not minced) clams added. That's a freakin'
shame. Lulu's going to make her own clam chowder on board this
weekend so maybe we'll finally get some really good clam chowder on
On the other hand, if you want a really good bowl of oyster stew, head
up to The Sea Hag in Depoe Bay and shell out $9.95. The bowl is
almost big enough to double as a bicycle helmet, it's served with a
lemon wedge and a nice big pat of butter melting on top. Lots of
oyster crackers and an unbelievable number of oysters. The oysters
are nice little spoon-size fellas and I'll bet that 2/3 of your
spoonfuls will contain an oyster. Excellent stuff.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
installed the windvane incorrectly. The instructions they provide are
very incomplete and hard to follow. I've asked them to send me a
drawing or photo of what the heck they're talking about. But, the
upshot is that I can probably fix the vane just by reinstalling a
couple of support brackets. If so, might not have to wait around to
get jacked up by the insurance guys. We'll see. It would have been
much easier to do the vane installation when we were still hauled
out. Now I'll probably have to work from the dinghy. But as I said,
"If it were easy..."