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Old 16-02-2009, 19:41   #46
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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
How's the butterflies?
None. None at all. as a cucumber. Just doing what needs to be done! If things go wel,, then they do. If they do not, then I will solve the problem. Or not.

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Old 16-02-2009, 19:51   #47
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Great! I can't wait for the pictures.
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Old 17-02-2009, 13:50   #48
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I agree. There seems to be window opening. Look at how fast these systems are moving through. The cloudy shot was this AM and the clear one about an hour ago. Passage Maker says likely clear and quiet -- not much wind to speak of.

Yellow cross is the location of my boat (Los Alamitos Bay Landing)

Michael
Yep!!! That's why I suggested forgetting about Catalina this time. I would count my blessings and make my passage direct rumb-line. That low pressure center may be right on your tail.

Enjoy your passage...
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Old 17-02-2009, 17:56   #49
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HMMMMMMM!!! That next cold front is sure moving fast. I think I would leave on Wednesday or Thursday, if you can. Things may start changing pretty fast. The forecast still looks OK for Friday but that doesn't give you much cushion.

I have no idea of the severity of that next front. Everything is just moving and changing too fast at the moment.
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Old 17-02-2009, 22:04   #50
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None. None at all. as a cucumber. Just doing what needs to be done! If things go wel,, then they do. If they do not, then I will solve the problem. Or not.

Michael
good attitude... and what they all said about an autopilot..man they are da bomb!!! would not leave the slip without my tillerpilot...

Watch that weather!!! you guys have had some crappy stuff..

about heading south in front of a front... I dunno... done that, but am not
so sure I would want to be caught offshore if the front catches up with me.. considering some of the weather you guys have had in the past week. Although you can ride the wind south AFTER it passess..
that how we do it in fla.. at least some of us do.. backside of a front usualy brings clear skies and good wind.. YMMV

photos please.. and good luck, fair winds, blue skies, following seas!!!
'bella
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Old 19-02-2009, 23:33   #51
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Looks like clear weather with light winds from NW. Give yourself plenty of time. It's gonna be a long slow sail.......
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Old 20-02-2009, 07:48   #52
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Is today the Day? Ha! We should have chipped in for a SPOT Messenger for Michael so we could all follow his track on the Web.
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Old 23-02-2009, 22:21   #53
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Still Recovering: Rambling report

I worked like the dickens in the days leading up to the departure. Stan (electrician) came by and wired in the chartplotter (Standard Horizon CP300i), checked the alarm wiring for the oil pressure, hooked up the GPS to the Icom so that the DSC button would transmit my MMSI number. I contacted BoatUS and made sure all my MMSI data was up to date. Put aside some history and listed the ex as a possible contact then called her and told her. Stan and I took apart the binnacle and found out that the old compass was built to be wired, so he rewired the compass using data cable. It now has a gorgeous deep, gentle ruby red glow at night! OMG! What a simply fix with rich returns as I would learn during the night passage. The compass was within 3 degrees of the Standard Horizon chartplotter and the USB GPS plugged into the Mac Laptop running MacENC. So Hud, there was no need to make any compass adjustments. I installed a depth meter and he wired that into my electrical panel.

The engine oil was utterly gray white. I had not checked it for a while and this concerned me. The transmission fluid was pink white. Pumped out some oil and it was heavily emulsified. Thick like molasses. Very thick. Ran the engine on Monday and decided I had a problem. Warmed up the engine and pumped the oil out using a vacuum pump from West Marine. Wonderful unit! Highly recommend it. Nonetheless, it took HOURS to pump the oil out -- it was so very thick. Talked to a mechanic and he said to change the filter and put 3 quarts of 30 weight in and then 1 quart of ATF transmission fluid in. I did that and ran the engine again. Over that week I cycled close to 7 gallons of engine oil and ATF fluid through the engine. The final change still gave me gray oil (instantly, without running the engine), but the consistency and feel of the oil felt better.

I decided that the engine had been neglected by Steven the previous owner AND by myself. And that what I was dealing with was a huge build up of sludge contaminated by water from a previous steam cleaning. The mechanic agreed with the assessment and said "she would probably make it to San Diego.". Believe me, these multiple oil changes took a huge time drain on my schedule. The West Marine unit is sweet: You stick in the tube and pump it about 20X and step away. The action creates a vacuum and the unit just sucks on its own until it fills -- at which point it stops. No more vacuum, no more suck.

While I am dredging up what looked like cold molasses, I was working on a host of other things: I mounted the Plastimo Inflatable COB Module and the Lifesling. Practiced using the 5:1 Lifesling pully system. I drilled a hole for the depth gauge -- and learned to drill Mahagony REALLY slowly. And I resanded and refinished all the teak and mahogony paneling in the bathroom. I wanted a gorgeous head for the voyage. And I refinished the aft starboard cleat. I know. I was insane to refinish the head. But I so badly wanted to smell nice smells in the head.

Was not going to get a chartplotter -- but I was so annoyed that a decent refurbished GPS at getfeetwet.com was going to run me about 200-300 bucks, that I started researching plotters. Settled on the Standard Horizon CP300i. Why? Step-in price point. West Marine was willing to match an internet price. So for 650$, I got a decent plotter with GREAT resolution, landscape orientation (worth the price alone!) built-in GPS antenna, radar compatibility (SiTex works), AIS capable with my unit, and a digital depth sounder capable. And NMEA outputs. And DVD inputs. And a 3 year waterproof warranty. Garmin or Raymarine cannot touch that for 650. They just cannot. Of course, Stan nor anyone else at WM agreed with my initial assessment "Its a POS Mike!!" but I made my own call anyways. Yes, the CP300i mount is a POS. It is wiggly and weak. The unit ought to flush mounted. But for 650? It was worth it to me. I loved the unit on the trip. I think a comparable Raymarine product would have cost me easily 1200 bucks more.

Got an inverter wired into the boat too. I was all worried about the inverter. Wanted to do it "right". Had heard on different posts on different boards that Macbook batteries are sensitive. Mac laptops need a pure sine wave inverter. They might run, and they might not. Reagrdless, their batteries will not charge with a squared wave. BS. My 70 dollar inverter powered the laptop the entire trip and the sucker ground my coffee. I did not need to spend hundreds of dollars. Still, I know you get what you pay for, and it may be that there could be future residual damage. Frankly, I was shocked to see that the squared sine wave energy was charging the battery. And I even took the battery out and ran the laptop for a while without the battery. That worked too. In my opinion, the square or pure sine wave macbook debate is moot. Squared power wave worked.

The chart table I designed worked very well. A chart table in that location is a necessity. Willard owners: You need a decent chart table! Use this idea! It folds away!

Taped up the cabin lights with red auto tape (thanks Scott!). That worked great! The pot holders that kept the pot on the stove worked great!

Went to WM and looked for the manager. Told him I liked his store and his people and that I wanted to support his people, but I had a trip to take and I needed safety items. Said that I could go and bottom feed the net, or we could strike a deal. He said get what you want and I will see what I can do since there is a different mark up on each item.

So I bought safety tethers, parachute flares, autoinflatable rearm kits, another autoinflatable PFD, Plastimo Inflatable COB Module by Plastimo, Standard Horizon CP300i, and other odds and ends.

I know Mark --- no need to go crazy buying crap, but all that stuff I bought was basic boat safety stuff. And it is all one-time purchase stuff. I was not buying marine speakers or dishsets or teak cupholders.

Weather reports showed a window. Hahahahah! Window? There was no "window". There was a giant hole in the wall. There was no wind (save till the very end).

We had dinner at Busters and I was beat. That oil changing and transmission fluid changing and sanding and shopping wore me out. We pulled out about 6PM and motored SWW for an eternity. Then turned left onto 135 magnetic and headed south for three more eternities.

What is there to report? There was no wind. We did not sail. The Perkins 4-108 ran flawlessly for 18 hours. About 8 hours into the trip, during my time to sleep, I woke with a vengence: The boat felt different. We had been running with just the main to help steady the boat, but she felt faster now and less jarring. The throbbing of the diesel for hours now was like a deep pulsating totem in my blood: BoomBoomBoomBoom BoomBoomBoomBoom BoomBoomBoomBoom BoomBoomBoomBoom BoomBoomBoomBoom BoomBoomBoomBoom.... I felt like I was in a JRR Tolkien book feeling the incessant beat of the Orcs war drums.

The oil pressure stayed about 60+ and the engine never broke 180 on the temp gauge.

Still, I got up and asked Steven why the boat felt different. He said we were getting a little help from the wind and some help from the current -- but not enough to sail. We were doing about 6.5 knots then

It was biting cold. My levies which had always felt heavy duty and rugged now felt like a pair of light linen pants such as one would wear in the Sahara desert. There was NO substance to my pants! My nice Gil Coastal jacket was insufficient in of itself. Had to use two jackets and multiple layers under that. My leather neoprene gloves were good. And I forgot to get a woolen pullover cap. Had a baseball cap, but that sucked mightily.

Then there was a following sea. Arrrgghhhh! I could not hold a course for the life of me. Every 3-9 seconds seems I was pointing in a different direction!

Weather satellite stuff worked flawlessly. Looked at the infrared images of our area and agreed with the satellite that it was damn cold. Very little cell coverage. But... almost always could get an SMS text message out. Could not call, but texting worked. 3G network not available that far out. We ranged between about 9-17 NM miles from the coast.

How sad is a main sailing boat cabin with no heat in the dead of night. Gone were my cheery incandescent lights, jazz and blues, and toasty toes from my West Marine space heater. Instead, there was a hellish red glow in the cabin made more surreal by the frosty, damp feel of the air and the incessant throbbing drum beat of the diesel. All the counter tops were damp. My joints were stiff. My hair, matted with sweat from raising the main, hours later still had not dried. The air stank not of wine, coffee, beef, or chocolate, but diesel fumes. This was sailing?

I spent two years preparing for this???? I looked up and saw Steven still at wheel with a fleece blanket wrapped around his legs. He let me sleep an hour longer knowing I had not really slept the first time around. As I strapped on my PFD and cinched the harness, I gasped as the cold damp cloth pressed against my now shivering flesh. Still, this was the real deal as far as I was concerned and it was wayyyyyy past my watch.

I go out into the real chill and relieve Steven. He goes below and before he goes to bed, he spends a good 30 minutes taking readings, recording position points, and charting our progress! He is an amazing man and I was lucky to have bought this boat from someone like him. I saw him crawl into the V berth and the red glow disappears and all I am left with is a cold night and the utterly relentless, incessant, perfect beat of the diesel. When it is dark on the ocean, you cannot see ahead and you cannot read. All you can do is play mind games with the compass points.

The morning glow came. The sun rose and the dolphins started playing. Steven poked his head out about the Point Loma appeared and wanted coffee. He was aghast when he heard me grind my beans in the grinder. Where is the instant??? He shouted! Told him what I had was wayyyyy better than instant! We drank coffee and talked. I was even more stiff. Later, I got some cleaner and scrubbed the surface of the boat and read the chartplotter manual.

We made the SD buouy, but I corrected course a little too eagerly and entered some kelp. We were still a distance from the Point, and other boats were in closer, but I turned and headed us out to sea a bit. The plotter showed the buoys pulsing – nice feature! As we entered the bay, Steven could not believe how people simply did not obey the rules of the road. Even the police and Coast Guard sped up and down the channel wherever at whatever speed. Riding all the various wakes was quite an experience.

There were a few remaining glitches – as we came came deeper into the bay, Kona Kai Marina called and said that my slip was not available and put me elsewhere. However, I did not have a slip map and so we spent a good hour backing in and out of slip channels looking for the right spot. Finally, we docked with the transients whose boats looked like they could have been extras from a post-apocalyptic world vis a vis Waterworld and walked to the Marina and found the new slip. It was hot and we were dressed for the North Pole.

And the wind? It started up as we entered the channel! Damn!

I posted more pictures in the album called First Coastal Passage on my profile. I even got all the pictures in order -- and with captions! But here are a few shots from the album.

Could I have done it by spending only money on some food? Skipped the fueling (she actually would have had enough for the trip in her tanks as was), not bought any fuel filters (we did not use one and I bought many primary and secondaries since she had not been run hard for three years!), not bought any safety gear, and not done any wiring, even skipping the paper and electronic charts I bought? Yes. All I really needed in hindsight was some water and food to eat (and I ought to have cycled the water out of the oil). That was all I had to do for this trip. But I just could not do it that way. I had to prepare for the worst that I could imagine. Even when I was into offroading, I took the same approach.

Thanks to all the offered advice. I am afraid the reality of this trip is that it was a tempest in a teapot. Shakespearean thought: This was not King Lear weathering the ultimate storm in that hovel, this was Much Ado About Nothing.

Nothing really happened.
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Old 23-02-2009, 23:27   #54
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Nothing really happened.
Perfect.

Welcome to San Diego!
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Old 23-02-2009, 23:43   #55
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Trust me........boring is good. Sure beats the alternative...
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Old 23-02-2009, 23:43   #56
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<snip>I am afraid the reality of this trip is that it was a tempest in a teapot. Shakespearean thought: This was not King Lear weathering the ultimate storm in that hovel, this was Much Ado About Nothing.

Nothing really happened.
Nonsense, MV! A lot happened!

A man prepared himself and his vessel assiduously so that both would have the best chance for a successful voyage. That the voyage proved uneventful is beside the point, I think.

By working in a seaman-like manner, you have placed yourself in the tiny minority of humans who venture into an alien environment prepared to cope with the worst that you can imagine - even if, in the event, none of it comes to pass. Would that the majority prepared half so diligently.

Congratulations on a job well-done, Captain!

TaoJones

PS: Rather than being Much Ado About Nothing, MV, because you prepared so well for the voyage and it came off without a hitch, you do not have to bemoan Love's Labour's Lost.
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Old 24-02-2009, 00:06   #57
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PS: Rather than being Much Ado About Nothing, MV, because you prepared so well for the voyage and it came off without a hitch, you do not have to bemoan Love's Labour's Lost.
Cracked me up!!! Thank-you for your kind words.
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Old 24-02-2009, 02:03   #58
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I know Mark --- no need to go crazy buying crap, ....
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.
What is there to report? There was no wind. We did not sail. The Perkins 4-108 ran flawlessly for 18 hours. .



LOL You are West Marines best friend!

But we love you for it and your first 'sail'!

Congratulations and well done!

Being cold, tired and hungry is the Militaryís biggest enemy. The Army does a lot to make sure the troops are warm rested and fed. Why? Because they work better that way The Army even has a word for it: Morale

The other night the weather was perfect for a sail but I had been snorkelling all day and turtle hatching watching the night before (I'll put some photos up) so even though all was perfect I said "No, Nicolle, lets not sail tonight, lets go to bed first and go tomorrow!!!!!!!!"



Before you go get a big sleep, stick a warm cat in your undies, and pilfer the supermarket for some energy giving junk food


All the best


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Old 24-02-2009, 05:20   #59
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Way to go, Micheal! And thanks for the great "after action" report and photos.

Hud

p.s. you DO know what would have happened if you hadn't prepared as well as you did, DON'T YOU???
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Old 24-02-2009, 05:23   #60
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MV,

Congratualtions Captain on a job well done! Being Prepared is never wasted effort. You did everything right! Don't change your approach to future trips Had you not done many of the things you did, the outcome could have been different. ie: the engine ran flawlessly because you made it happen. Imagine being out there in the cold and dark with No wind AND NO engine!

Congratulations,
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