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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Good post on clothing for sailing


Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

AWOL Like a Sailor

I'm Coming for YOU!
XO decided to get off Reboot this morning. Since the companionway stairs are on the dock being varnished I didn't think he could get off, but he did. Apparently he managed to go all the way down the dock (a good 100 yards) and on to land. At that point he noticed some goslings. The DNA kicked in and he got into attack mode. He got about 5 feet from the geese and mama took big issue. She first started to flap her wings, then went after XO and grabbed his ear. Chip (the marina manager) heard the commotion and went out and broke things up. XO exited to under the marina office and Chip came and found me. When XO heard my voice he came out from under the office. He cried all the way back to the boat. It was my fault he got in trouble!!!

Just like a sailor - sneaks out for a night on the town and the Shore Patrol has to bring him back in chains.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Varnish Time

After a few months at sea all of the exterior wood gets quite beaten up. The last few days have been mild with sunshine so i took the opportunity to clean up the wash boards and put on a new coat of varnish (actually 3 coats.) Here are the pieces drying in the sun.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Alligator Pungo Canal

One of the most boring stretches of the ICW from Morehead City to the Norfolk is the Alligator - Pungo Canal. Long, straight, fairly wide (so its hard to pay attention) and reasonably deep it is just a long motor slog from one end to the other.

The only thing that makes it intersting is that there are a good number of eagles that hunt along the canal. They come over the boat, circle around a few times, and then look for smaller prey.  Here is a shot of one of them.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Norfolk VA Arts Scene

Went to the Parlor on Granby to find some friends that used to work at the Lagoon of Baypoint Marina at Little Creek that now work at the Parlor. Of they were not there but I did have a nice conversation with a couple of the staff and guests. On the way from the car to the resturant I passed Work|Release. This is an exhibit - restaurant - bar - artist work space in the Norfolk NEON district. ("The New Energy of Norfolk".) There was an event going on so on the way back from the Parlor I stopped in. It turned out to be an exhibit of two students from the Governor's School.for the Arts. This is the High School of the Arts for Norfolk. The exhibit was fun. I had two reactions:
  1. The work was very dark. This from two young (17ish) women. Took me back a little.
  2. As a veteran of many New York City art shows it was fun to see a number of the young female students in their :"little black dresses with pearls." Wow, it was a long time ago when I was that young.
Fair winds and following seas :).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Night Out

One of the nice things about cruising is the impromptu evenings spent with other cruisers. I am at the North Carolina Welcome Center on Route 17. This is a shared facility with a dock that services the Dismal Swamp Canal. Last night we had six boats:
·         s/v Moxie (Gerry and Debbie Connolly)
·         s/v Suenos (Shawn and Leanne Hamill)
·         s/v Daruma (Mark Whitson and Joelle Williams)
·         s/v First Love (Gill and Sharlene)
·         “Gin Palace” Carried Away (Bill and Joyce Craig)
and of course Reboot. With six boats we had to raft up (the boats get bigger but the docks remain the same length!) This is always an ice breaker as you get to know the people who are crossing over your boat to get to land. In the late afternoon everyone had gathered on the dock with their beverage of choice. Gill invited me to barbeque with them. I was a bit concerned as I had almost nothing in the way of food to contribute. The grill got fired up (charcoal, not the normal propane on the boat) and the next thing I know everyone is bringing out snacks. Feeling very guilty I tried to retreat to Reboot but was stopped by everyone. I was invited to join and was even given some very nice steak. Desperate to do something I realized I had a large number of “snack pack” puddings and Jello so off I went to bring them over. I felt much better as people dug in. We are all headed north so tomorrow we will convoy up to Deep Creek lock. A lovely evening with new friends.

Fair winds and following seas J

Friday, May 1, 2015

A shift in focus

As I get ready to depart Sailcraft my focus has shifted from projects to weather. I had looked at Weather Underground and noticed that this weekend's weather was quite nice. I was all set to leave tomorrow morning. Then I looked up NOAA marine weather. Surprise surprise. The Eastern section of the Pamlico (the Sound) has gale warnings until Saturday night. The weather Saturday and Sunday isn't all that pretty either. Since I am in no hurry to go anywhere I think I will just muck around here a bit more.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Furler and Gybe Preventer IPort side)

One of the things that one learns while single handing is that furling the jib in strong winds is quite a task. This is true even if you have already reefed down. Like many things on production sailboats the furler drum is about the minimum size that the designer could get away with. It really needs to be about twice the size.

Anyone who has ever hung on a line knows that you can exert a lot more force by pulling a line attached at both ends sideways then pulling at one end. This is called a catenary and the formula in Cartesian coordinates is:

On Reboot this involves knelling in the cockpit, pulling sideways on the furler line, and then while trying to hold it reaching over and taking out the
slack through the jam cleat. This evolved to running the line from the jam cleat to the winch. The problem was that the angle was acute and there still was no real way of preventing the line from slipping back as one tried to manipulate it. The old system looked like this:
Old Jam Cleat and Deck Cleat

When the sail was at the appropriate size the line was then lead back to the deck cleat and tied off. The reason is obvious from the picture (once you know what to look for.) Note the angle of the jam cleat. This cleat is supposed to be flat, the forces on the cleat have bent it upwards.

Over the past couple of days I have re-engineered the area so that the line comes back to where I am pulling on the side of the jib furling line. I also added a block to handle the port side gybe preventer. In the past it has been wrapped around another deck cleat. The new system looks like this:
The new system

The back power clutch is for the gybe preventer. The block in front turns the jib furling line around. The forward power clutch holds the furling line in place. The lines are missing as I am waiting for the 3M 4000 to dry.

I am planning on getting underway in a few days so there will be ample opportunity for a sea trial.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Max Q

"In aerospace engineering, the maximum dynamic pressure, often referred to as maximum Q or max Q, is the point at which aerodynamic stress on a vehicle in atmospheric flight is maximized." In other words, if it doesn't fall apart at Max Q you have a chance of survival.

On Reboot Max Q is reached when every locker, compartment, and storage area has been emptied during some project so that there is no longer any possible place to walk around inside the boat. It is also a turning point. Usually this is the point at which projects are starting to be completed and things are being put back away. Today I felt like I reached Max Q.

Projects completed today:

  1. Replaced cockpit speakers blown out by too much party (now they will hate me in the yard!)
  2. Restraining blocks installed to hold "kitty liter" boxes of parts from sliding around in the battery compartment,
  3. Reassembled all the various parts taken apart to install the keel cooler,
  4. Re-engineered port side jib furling line, added block for port side gybe preventer,
  5. Drove to store and bought beer.
Item "5" complete intend to watch the sunset.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, April 27, 2015


Reboot is back in the water. I spent most of today debugging electronics problems. They all seem to be corroded cable connections. More tomorrow.

Fair winds and following seas :)