Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The ugly temporary fix

My Catalina has three water tanks. They are selected on a manifold. Over time the manifold valves rusted. I go replacement valves and set about installing them. Unfortunately they are bigger. They don't fit in the space for the old valves. Since I don't have easy access to parts here is the ugly temporary fix.  

Fair winds and following seas:)

"CRUISERS HELPING CRUISERS"

Sitting on a dock or being in an anchorage the answer is pretty simple. Volunteer to help the boats around you. But what can you do if you are a dirt bound wannabe? (No offense intended, we were all there once and most of us will end up there again.) If you have spare time and ambition the answer is to be an information source. Adopt a cruiser or two

I was very fortunate that when I started full time cruising 10 years ago I made friends with 3 extraordinary people via the Maritime Mobile Service Net (http://mmsn.org) They have followed me and supported me for ten years and still do (with the exception of one we lost to cancer.) With a special mention of Bill Sturridge. What do they do?

1. Receive my sailing plan and make sure I get to my destination. 
2. Coordinate with International rescue authorities when necessary - like when I lost my lowers 1200 nautical miles from land in the Pacific Ocean. Yes, we saved Reboot.
3. Send me "heads up" information on weather and destinations.
4. Contact and coordinate with vendors to help me acquire parts (Nuku Hiva is not a hotbed of spare parts sources.)
5. Research destinations, find the best deals on necessary parts, offer advice on repair options.
6,  Be good company on long transits  (I am a solo sailor. )
7. Just be there for me.

True story: about half way soloing the Atlantic I told Bill about the great conversation I had in the cockpit the previous night. He quietly said "you do realize you are alone?"

So adopt a boat or two!

Fair winds and following seas:)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Over the freaking top!

I grew up in the New York City area and lived on Manhattan Island for the better part of a decade. I have been to London, Paris, Vegas. Nothing prepared me for the Casino Bay Sands in Singapore.  To call it "Over the top" is (I know this is hard to believe) a gross understatement. Floor after floor of every high end shop you have ever heard of - and at least twice as many that you haven't. This must be the same kind of shock one gets when visiting Abu Dhabi in the UAE. I am blown away and I haven't even made it out of the hotel complex! 

Having a bite to eat and off to the Art & Science Museum. It comes highly recommended. 

Fair winds and following seas  :)  


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Free at last

After several of having to depend on others for transportation my new dinghy arrived.  Yea!

Fair winds and following  seas :)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ashamed or Proud

So my Facebook account was locked for suspicious activity. Right after I replied to a post by my Congressman. I didn't agree with his point of view. My account was locked and my post deleted. It contained no ad hominem attacks, no foul language etc. It was a referral to principles of Economics 101. The thought police in action.

Am I ashamed or proud? I am ashamed that I am proud to be another American victim by opposing King Mark's propaganda machine.

Culture Shock

Yesterday morning was my last day after 3 months in Indonesia. This morning I officially checked into Malaysia, a process that took 15 minutes vs all day in Debut, Indonesia. It is about 5 miles from the Indonesian border to Purteri Harbor. It feels like a trip from the Moon to Earth.

A first step in any new country is to get a sim card for internet access. I traveled to AEON Shopping Center, Jalan, Indah. I felt like I was back in the USA. Clothing, computers, household goods, restaurants with global menus (but no pork.) Malaysia is a primarily Muslim country and there are head scarfs in evidence. But most peoples' clothing would fit in any U.S. or European (or Australian or New Zealand) shopping mall. There is certainly an Asian bias in products with Japan being a major source. But the product lines are international.

I was reminded of Dr. Francis Fukuyama's comment on the study of adjoining countries with different economic outcomes. It appears that Indonesia and Malaysia would be a good research set.

Tomorrow off to Singapore. That too should be interesting.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Singapore Strait

Just a few boats

Puteri Harbor

In Puteri Harbor Marina in Malaysia. It is a very modern marina, hotel, and mall complex. Just across the river is Singapore. We are upriver from Raffles Marina but on the Malaysian side. Will be here for about a week. Reboot is on a dock. How strange after all these months. New time zone. Decent restaurants. Women's knees. Wow. Tomorrow will sort out Internet and do a currency exchange. Currently using free WiFi in a bar. Crashed after arrival and dinner. Now 1 AM and wide awake.

Crazy day passing through the Singapore Strait. Just a little boat traffic. Plus "me and my shadow." Singapore patrol boats everywhere to make sure you don't cross the line. And at the turn into the Johor Strait one has to navigate through an anchorage. Pretty tiring. Of course the marina does nor show up on my "new" chart. But glad to be here.

Hope a beer will put me back to sleep.

Fair winds and following seas :)

In Malaysia

In Puteri Harbor Marina. Beautiful place. Last time Reboot was at a dock was 14 February 2016!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

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. Biggest difference - the decks are all carpeted so everyone is barefoot.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Local Help

This morning we were on shore when a strong thunderstorm came through the anchorage. We were concerned about our boats dragging. The very heavy rain obscured our vision and the rough surf suggested it was not a good time to hop into the dinghy to check.

After several hours the skies finally cleared. We headed out to check on the boats. One was missing having dragged. Where was she? Nuzzled up against and tied to one of the large fishing boats. Apparently some of the locals had rescued her and secured her until the owners could come.

These kinds of selfless acts help restore faith in the kindness of people.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

TJ

Made it to TJ. Right near the equator. Getting daily heavy rain. Annoying.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, October 6, 2017

At anchor Tanjung-Pinang

All safe. Horrible harbor. Shallow approach. Waked by a fast ferry. Harbor full of floating garbage. Lots of boat traffic. Not reassuring.

This is the place we are scheduled to check out of Indonesia. I think they could have picked a better place.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Crossing the line!

At
060810ZOCT2017
Reboot at

00 00.000 N/S
105 00.000 e

Appropriate activities and honors made to King Neptune and God Poseidon. (Not my first, already a shellback.)

Its fall!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Light Air Sailing

06000ZOCT2017
00 25.772 S
105 19.118 E

Most sailors prefer the westbound route around the world. Dubbed the "coconut route" it has much to offer. The prevailing winds are from the Southeast as are the waves. This gives a rocking chair ride. It also requires little in the way of constant sail trim. The downside is that since you are running away from the wind it takes a stronger wind to achieve the same boat speed.

This is what I expected on my current trip. But I am very near the equator (about 25 miles) so well north of the easterly trades. What I am instead experiencing is light northeast winds. The good news is that I am going upwind. Reboot 's speed generates apparent wind so the wind seems stronger than it actually is. The downside is I have to constantly trim to keep Reboot in the "slot." So far I have been able to maintain an average speed of 3.8 knots in about 6 knots of wind. That is great. About 100 nautical miles to go including "crossing the line." As a "Shellback" not quite the same but a memorable experience none the less.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Underway to T-J

050029ZOCT2017
S 01 41.651
E 106 06.878

With virtually zero wind i am motoring at 1800 rpm. This is a problem as Reboot can not motor 202 nautical miles on the available fuel. On the other hand this trip will take 48 to 72 hours. The odds are the wind conditions will change during that time.

The beginning of any trip is frustrating. One knows how long at various speeds (3 knots, 4 knots, 5 knots) the trip will take. And about how many hours one can motor (for Reboot with my current deck fuel about 150 nautical miles.) But experience proves this can all change. So one is conservative. To use fuel at the beginning of a trip is troubling since there is no way to resupply.

Geography has a major impact. The winds and waves near land are influenced by the land. This can be beneficial. Or, as frequently happens after hours of light wind the wind rises near the anchorage as you are trying to get the anchor down. In order to get away from the island I am motoring until I get enough wind to sail. Hopefully soon.

Fair winds and following seas:)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tanjung Pinang

Departing. 1 POB + 1 Cat. 202 nautical miles. ETA 2 to 3 days depending on wind.

Banka-Pari

At anchor. All safe. Miserable trip. Light winds. Heavy rain. Limited visibility. Many fish aggregation devices as hazards. almost invisible on radar. Hazards invisible on radar during rainstorms. Arrived in rain. Anchored. Reboot rolling 20 to 30 degrees as is everyone else.

Departed with wet laundry. Expected to be able to dry in transit. That didn't work out. Entire interior and exterior sopping wet. More rain expected as we are almost on the equator.

Fair winds and following seas. :)

The two fly problem

For some reason Reboot always has two and only two flies buzzing around. Never three..kill one, another shows up. Weird Fair winds and follo...