Friday, March 31, 2017

New Jib

Arrived yesterday. Getting closer to going sailing again.

Need Crew

Need up to three crew:

Sydney, Australia to Cairns, Australia. Depart Sydney late April. Leisurely trip.

Cairns, Australia to Indonesia, Island hopping in Indonesia with Sail 2 Indonesia rally. Depart Cairns July 15.

Catalina 42 MK II

Captain (me) 30,000+ nm open ocean cruising experience.

Contact winchgrinder4@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

s/v Val Rescue

Nick informed me that s/v Val is under tow and headed to Australia. Great news.


Fair Winds and Following Seas :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

They found s/v Val

Great news. Just got a call from the Australian RCC. s/v Val was sighted 35 nm of the Australian coast. Nick and Barbara must be happy.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Ugly

Copy of a Facebook post about the cruising life.
***********
Final thoughts on this thread offered after 8 years, around 30,000 nm (I stopped counting years ago,) and three ocean crossings (Atlantic solo, Atlantic crew, Pacific 1/2 solo, 1/2 crew):

1. What you read in the classic sailing books is very dated. The Caribbean has been destroyed by the cruise ship industry. Most islands are only interested in your money. The nightlife is gone. Cruise ships leave, everyone closes their stores and restaurants. I have never been in the Med (yet) but the Portuguese and Spanish coasts are not cheap.
2. Sailing is a very slow way to get anywhere. One hundred (100) nm per 24 hour day is a good average. If you are going to anchor between sunset and sunrise realize in the winter that is only 8 hours. At 5 knots average that is 40 nm. You need to plan. You can easily get "closed out." The Med in winter. The Caribbean and parts of the Pacific in hurricane season. Once there (wherever there is) you should have time to explore and have fun.
3. There is a tradeoff between safety/security and cost. Anchoring out is free. Except during the unexpected thunderstorm when your boat drags and you feel like you lost 5 years of your life. On a mooring or a dock you are more secure but burning money.
4. Everything about sailing is physical. Not only sailing the boat but carrying groceries from the store, carrying fuel and water back to the boat, launching and retrieving the dinghy, getting your laundry done etc. Again unless you have a nice budget you will be using mass transit and lugging everything back.
5. Stuff breaks. You need reasonable spares, a reasonable set of tools, but most of all a bunch of creativity. We lost the lower shrouds 1,200 nm from land and 5 days from help. We got very creative keeping the mast sticking up! (BTW it took 12 additional days to make landfall. Things were a little tense. Good thing we keep a dry boat during passages. But our chain smoking rate doubled.)
6. Cruising is worse than camping. You are "outside" 100% of the time. You may need to trim or steer in heavy rain. Or when it is freezing cold. Or burning hot. When it gets humid so does the boat. Drawers stick. You sweat. The interior temperature of the boat is going to be the temperature of the water (as I was reminded every day in Newfoundland. - summer water temperature was 35 degrees Fahrenheit) Not to mention the bugs. When in Martinique we had cockroaches you could saddle and ride and rats the size of small dogs on the dock in the marina. You are either dragging in dirt or salt.
7. It can be very boring. There is little to do on a long passage and less to see. Sometimes the hardest part is staying awake.
8. The boat will try to kill you. Always. If it can't kill you it will try to hurt you. Safety always has to come first.
8a. The boat always moves (unless you are in a very sheltered spot. That doesn't happen often.) Walking, carrying things, sleeping are all done on a moving platform. You might be in light winds and tiny waves but the impact of wind against current can have you rolling 20 degrees from vertical i.e. 40 degrees overall or more. Which is exactly what Reboot is doing as I write this. And strangely the anchor chain is slack. Not to mention the idiots who will "wake" you in their powerboat when you are 65 feet in the air working on the top of your mast. Or just trying to carry dinner into the cockpit. I can't talk about the imbeciles who anchor 1/2 boat length from you on 10 feet of rope with a 5 pound anchor and a 1 to 1 scope. And immediately leave their boat. My doctor tells me high blood pressure is not good.
9. Exploration more than a few miles inland from shore is expensive. You have all the same expenses that any other tourist has, plus the cost of storing the boat.
10. Some of the things you don't budget for can be very expensive. If you are moving around the cost of charts can be high. I am guessing that the average cost to clear into a new country was $350. I had rig parts shipped to the Society Islands. Cost to ship inside the USA. About $100 USD. Shipping and customs duties including the cost of a customs broker to Nuku Hiva was $1,500 USD and took 3 weeks. Things wear out quickly. I need to buy new pillows. The old ones I bought 6 months ago. The constant movement has worn them out.
OK. Why do I do it? Because the people I meet are some of the neatest people on earth. That is enough for me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Allen Wrench Question (Help)

If you know the proper name for an allen wrench with a hole in the middle (hollow shaft) for use on anti-theft screws please email me at rebootagent @gmail.com. I want to buy a spare but don't know what to ask for/Google. If anyone has a source in Sydney, Australia that would be gravy..

Thanks

Doing the 360

After the 60 minutes of sun a thunderstorm came through. Reboot has now done a 360 around the mooring ball. Such fun.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Garmin 5012 Multifunction Display

Got it sorted with Garmin Australia. Once they realized it was on the U.S. books it all came together. Shipped it off today for repair.

After 1 hour of beautiful sunlight we are back to thunderstorms. Nice.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cockpit time

Sat out in the cockpit for the first time in quite a while. The weather has been terrible. Lots of rain. Even when it is not raining the cockpit has been wet. Or it has been very windy. Tonight it was dry and the wind not too bad. Looking around I realized that even though there are lots of boats here I am the only one in the morning field. There are a couple of guest mooring balls and some choose to anchor out but there is no one here tonight.

I have now traveled around Sydney Harbor quite a bit. It is the largest natural harbor in the world. That is part of the problem. It is so big that unless you go well in, even more than I have on land, there is no 360 degree shelter. Everywhere I go there is always some chop.

Fair wins and following seas :)

Windows 1.0

My relationship with my Kindle Fire reminds me of Windows 1.0. Today I went to the art museum. I tried to upload a couple of photos. It uploaded 59 pictures from something called my "Amazon Album." I can't find most of these pictures on my Fire. I can' t find them on the web. Then I tried to create an album in the " Prime Photos app. Which of course was installed as purchase crap that I can't uninstall. The pictures I had just taken were not available. And no I don't autosave to the hacker universe a.k.a the "cloud."

WTF

HELP

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thanks

I originally posted this on a cruising web site but it deserves to be shared with all my readers...

Warning - RANT ON

On another cruising forum I was complaining about their recent policy to charge money for webinars. It got me in a mood. On a day when many are sharing the blessings of a Saint with good Irish whiskey I share the posts without further comment.

FREE FREE FREE

I complain again (although no one seems to be listening) that XXXX is now a business (that, I admit, doesn't pay well.) What happened to cruisers helping cruisers? I do a radio seminar at rallies (for free.) I just put a couple who lost their boat in the Tasman Sea up on Reboot (for free.) (...)

************

My second post.

Having had time to work myself up to a dither.....

I would be remiss if I did not comment on all those who for FREE have helped keep me safe and sane for the last eight years of cruising.

Top Contributors: KI4MMZ, KM4MA, W3ZU. For daily position reports and weather information, coordinating with several RCC's when I broke my rig 1,200 nm from shore, contacting vendors to get specifications, following up with vendors to get parts made and shipped, researching and forwarding safe navigation information, and most importantly being there when in the middle of long solo transits I was slowly (or not so slowly) sinking into depressions. For FREE.

Et al. The Maritime Mobile Service Net, Intercon, Waterway Net, Pacific Seafarers Net, Northland Radio, Caribbean Safety and Security Net, Newfoundland Marine Net... All for FREE

And: Noonsite contributors, OCC and SSCA port captains, John Callie in Brisbane, Kevin Ellis in Nuku Hiva.... For FREE.....

Not to be left out: The USCG, the Society Islands (Tahati) RCC, the NSW Marine Police... Yes, they are government agencies but they went above and beyond..

And all those individuals and boats that helped me along the way. Names to numerous to list..... For FREE...

Thank you all. I raise a glass in toast of you all. Maybe more than one glass. It's five o'clock somewhere.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Hats

Here in Mosman, Australia a lot of the young people attend private school. This means a lot of young people in school uniforms. There are apparently quite a few schools as the uniforms are quite varied. Almost all of boys have ties. A good portion of them also have jackets. The girls have either dresses (styled in the 1950's) or skirts and blouses, some with jackets.

I would most likely not have paid more much attention if it were not for the hats. The boys' uniforms hats are almost all "boaters." The girls styles are more varied. They are so cute!

I have always found it ironic that JFK going bare headed ended the tradition of men wearing hats in the USA. Jackie O on the other hand was always impeccably dressed. She always wore a hat.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Gale warning

This morning the forecast was for gale force winds in Sydney Harbor. I decided to spend the day off Reboot. When I returned in the afternoon it was quite calm. The wind as since picked up, fortunately from the South where Reboot is most sheltered.

They have dropped the gale warning to strong winds but the wind has picked up from earlier. XO doesn't like strong winds at anchor so he is being needy.

I expected sunny days here. Most of what have seen is wind and rain.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America"

A book review

I read "A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America." I found it interesting , insightful and strangely somewhat funny. The author has a snarky streak. You might also want to keep a dictionary handy. Although not hard to read some of the language is not commonplace.

The basic premise of the book is that the Boomer generation (of which I am one) have used their population driven immense political power to screw everyone else, in particular their children.

Three separate reviews:

1. I leave it to each of you to decide the basic premise of the title: that the Boomer generation as a whole exhibits sociopathic tendencies. If that was it I would not bother to write the review. Nor will I comment on my point of view.

2. The book is a well researched, annotated and footnoted history of what actually went on from the 1960s to the present. Lots of charts, etc. A lot of the data contradicts my memory (beliefs.) Very enlightening. The data is primarily economic but does cover other areas. It attempts to explain the impact of various governmental decisions during that time period.

3. I found useful insights into what is currently going on in the political arena. I leave it to you to find your own.

You may agree or disagree with the author but the data provided alone imho makes this an interesting read.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Lawyer Joke of the Day

The madam opened the brothel door in Glasgow and saw a rather dignified, well-dressed, good-looking man in his late forties or early fifties.

"May I help you sir?" she asked.

The man replied, "I want to see Suzy."

"Sir, Suzy is one of our most expensive ladies, perhaps you would prefer someone else", said the madam.

He replied, "No, I must see Suzy."

Just then, Suzy appeared and announced to the man she charged $5,000 a visit.

Without hesitation, the man pulled out five thousand dollars and gave it to Suzy, and they went upstairs.

After an hour, the man calmly left.

The next night, the man appeared again, once more demanding to see Suzy.

Suzy explained that no one had ever come back two nights in a row as she was too expensive.

"There are no discounts. The price is still $5,000."

Again, the man pulled out the money, gave it to Suzy, and they went upstairs.

After an hour, he left.

The following night the man was there yet again.

Everyone was astounded that he had come for a

third consecutive night, but he paid Suzy and they went upstairs.

After their session, Suzy said to the man, "No one has ever been with

me three nights in a row. Where are you from?"

The man replied, " Edinburgh."

"Really," she said. "I have family in Edinburgh."

"I know." the man said. "Your sister died, and I am her lawyer.

She asked me to give you your $15,000 inheritance."

The moral of the story is that three things in life are certain:

1. Death

2. Taxes

3. Being screwed by a lawyer 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunrise at Balmoral

Fair winds and following seas :)

Though for the day

With all the news and fake news and partisan uproar my quote for the day:

"All that we don't know is astonishing. Even more astonishing is what passes for knowing."

PHILIP ROTH, The Human Stain

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The cruising life

The ultimate expression of the cruising life. Today i had to apply WD 40 to the spray head mechanism of my bottle of cleaning chemical so that it would function. Haha.....

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Donate to Nick Dwyer's Crowdfunding Page to Nick and Barbara Nick and Barbara are currently aboard Reboot. If you choose to help them recover financially here is a link. Fair winds and following seas ☺

Hello, Can you help Nick Dwyer raise 50000 to Nick and Barbara ?. Please donate to their JustGiving Crowdfunding Page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nick-dwyer?utm_id=1&utm_term=kW7k75Vaa Thanks for your support PS. With JustGiving Crowdfunding anyone can raise money to fund their own project - anything from setting up a foodbank, to buying a wheelchair for a relative or even saving a local football club. Want to raise money to make good things happen? Start your Crowdfunding Page today. https://home.justgiving.com/?utm_id=3&utm_term=kW7k75Vaa

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Nick and Barbara of sv Val

Nick and Barbara were dropped off on Reboot by the NSW Marine Police last night. We had some adult beverages and a good pasta dinner. They then got the first decent sleep in several days....

Their story has gone global. They received telephone calls from Ireland and India asking for a statement. Also beautiful is the local outpouring of support including places to stay etc...

The current plan is to see if we can locate sv Val and go retrieve her. ...

Fair winds and following seas ☺

SV Val

Nick and Barbara on Reboot.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SV Val in the News

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/03/08/12/25/foreign-nationals-rescued-off-sydney-coast

SV Val update

On shore in Sydney and safe!

Just had a long conversation with the SMP. Nick and his partner spent the night at SMP. Got a bath and a good sleep. Also got to clean their laundry.! They will be appearing on Channel 9 at about 8 am here in Sydney. If anyone can capture and post for those of us without TV that would be great.

The Devil's Chessboard

With all of the discussion of the "shadow government" and the "deep state" I was motivated to read "The Devil's Chessboard." The book, by Salon founder David Talbot, is a biography of Allan Dulles, early director of the CIA. Dulles, like J. Edgar Hover, was a man described as "giving direction to Presidents." It is a fascinating story of deceit, anti-Semitism by the U.S. State Department, spys, Nazis, money, power and greed. It is a story of how the global business community was more interested in protecting their money than fighting World War II. Allan Dulles is portrayed as a facilitator, at times in direct opposition to his orders from the President of the United States.

Missing for me is the detailed annotations i have come to expect in scholarly work. One has to accept Mr. Talbot 's story at face value. Even so it is a heck of a story. Something for those long transits underway. Surprisingly to me the CIA even has a book review!

Fair winds and following seas :)

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol-60-no-3/seeger-the-devils-chessboard.html

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SV Val update

SV Val update: Captain Nick and crew transferred to rescue boat Nemesis. Approximately 200 nm from Sydney harbor. ETA midnight tonight if sea conditions do not deteriorate further. Have heard from OCC port captain. Am now POC for Sydney Harbor Police. Have offered Reboot to house Nick and crew while they unwind. Don't think my offer has made it to Nemesis yet so waiting for reply.

My contact information: +61 (0) 476 768 335
Rebootagent@gmail.com

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPV_Nemesis.

Fair winds and following seas ☺

24 GB

What a difference 24 extra GB makes. Bought a new Kindle Fire as I had cracked the screen on my old one. The new one has 24 GB more internal storage. Response time is like night and day.

Fair winds and following seas :)

SV Val

Sailboat "Val" call sign M0XXE. Rescue underway. Boat will be abandoned. Skipper Nick Dwyer exhausted. Will arrive Sydney this evening. I will try to coordinate efforts for Skipper and any crew. Believe 1 POB. My contact +61 (0) 476 768 335 or rebootagent@gmail.com

Http:// svval.yolasite.com

Roger on Reboot @ Balmoral Beach.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Morning strobe lights

It is 5:45 AM. It has been a rough night. XO is meowing. The winds have been 25 knots gusting 30. Reboot has been dancing and rocking all night. The wind has been howling through the rigging. Fortunately the wind has been from the South so the fetch is short but there is still a 2 foot confused swell. My back is killing me. XO is swiping at me with claws out for attention. I HEAR VOICES! I go out to the cockpit. Right off the stern of Reboot I see strobe lights, 7 of them, in the water. I hear "one minute at level 3, then one at level 2, then one at level 4. (...) Yes, they are rowing. When I think back on the time I spent with John Callie in Brisbane I shiver. I knew these people were dedicated but wow!
Fair winds and following seas :)

Für Elise

Beethoven's "Für Elise" is a very simple melody. Right hand, left hand, broken chords. It is one of the pieces that I use to rebuild agility and finger strength after not playing my keyboard for a while. It is actually one of the most difficult pieces I know. To keep the tempo constant, to make the chords flow seamlessly, it takes me hours to get back to that place!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Roger sv Reboot

Balmoral

Balmoral Anchorage from the hill. Walking down from Mosman.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Aussie Exercise

My mornings are always disturbed by voices. Being on a mooring buoy at the edge of a group mostly empty boats it is very quiet. The only sounds I hear are wave slap, rigging motion (from the swell) and XO's morning greeting. (Meow, meow. I was nice and warm cuddling with you in the bunk, why did you get up?) And I hear voices.

The Aussie's have a remarkable number of early morning exercisers: kayakers and paddle boarders. But the most remarkable are the swimmers. I am not close to shore. Every morning groups of swimmers come by Reboot. They swim a couple of miles. I recognize some who do it every day. Sometimes in the rain. Impressive.

I got to thinking (always a bad idea.) Can I hear them better in the morning? It turns out the answer is yes. (Nick C already knows this, but after all he is a retired Senior Chief Sonarman.) For the reason see the third block of information in the following link:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Sound/refrac.html.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

American Politics

What a crazy time. As a temporary ex-pat in Sydney, Australia the locals ask me about President Trump, Russia, Obamagate (the allegation that President Obama had then candidate Trump's phone tapped (as was proven Obama did to a reporter,) allegations of sedition by former President Obama and his supporters etc. Since like them I have to depend on what imho, is a deeply flawed and partisan media, my answer is "who knows, we live in interesting times." I feel the USA has become the first "banana republic" with a free press. Very weird. Given the focus on contacts with Russians I have stopped visiting "beautiful single Russian women who want to meet men" web sites. I hope this keeps me out of the news.

#wiretap #obamagate #MAGA @Potus #resistance #sedition

Roger sv Reboot +61 (0)476 768 335

Aussie Spirit

I was sitting on Reboot reading. She is rocking 30 degrees (15 a side.) XO unhappy and needy. He doesn't like the continual rocking at anchor. Rain coming and going, "heavy at times." Like most of the day. Heavy.

I look North and what did I see? A fleet of racing sailboats headed for me. Turns out the mark was only 1,000 yards away. Watched them come and round all day. "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." Crazy, but fun to watch.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Roger sv Reboot

Friday, March 3, 2017

Rain

2" more forecast for today. Ugh.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Latest Giraffe News

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39151912

Fair winds and following seas :)

Rig Noise

Ever since I replaced the standing rigging in Nuku Hiva and Tahiti I have been troubled by noises. I discovered that by lubricating the balls where the stays / shrouds attach to the mast they would twist off any twist I had inadvertently added by tightening the turnbuckles. But I still had a weird halyard slapping noise that sounded like a halyard hitting a shroud. Today my old eyes, the sun, the wind (and a little bit of rain) conspired to show me the problem. The port lazyjack lead is threaded incorrectly. This would be a minor problem if it wasn't 40 feet in the air and Reboot was not in a rolling anchorage. I am adding re-threading to the list of "things that require climbing the mast." Hopefully I will find someone here in Sydney, Australia soon to tend my safety lines.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Design of the Johnnie Walker Black bottle

The forecast is for rain, rain, rain. Fortified by scotch, beer, books and smokes I am prepared. As I returned to Reboot I thought about the JWB bottle for shipboard use. Square. No wasted space in the locker, doesn't roll. Too tall for my "speed rack." Glass - not my first choice. Weak cap. Not good. Risk mitigation: reduce amount of fluid in container smartly.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Roger sv Reboot +61 (0)476 768 335

Kindle Fire help

When I post my blog to Facebook through a forwarder it drops all the CR/LF data. This is unique to my Facebook posts. All the other sites render it correctly. Is there a key sequence for a "hard" carriage return on the Fire?.....

Blast from the past: in 1968 I operated an IBM 1620™ computer*. The operator console was an IBM Selectric™ typewriter. We amused ourselves by writing routines to make it loop "tab, tab, tab,tab, cr/lf." Not quite as satisfying as it would have been with a full carriage. We were young, male, and stupid.......

* I also walked 20 miles to school each day through a blizzard; uphill both ways......

Fair winds and following seas :)

Starter Battery

Took the dead starter battery of Reboot. A friend put it on his charger. After two days we declared it dead. Bought a new battery. Hooked it up. Nothing. Put meter on battery. Plenty of voltage. Noticed an extra wire I had not hooked up. Hooked it up. Wow, it works! Hehe.....
Moral: You need all the wires.....
Fair winds and following seas :)
P.S. raining again today after raining all last night. Ugh

Indonesian Coast Guard

Just got back from a visit to an Indonesian Coast Guard patrol boat. Very beautiful. Immaculate. Great fun with lots of selfies with crew. B...