Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Moira arrives

Moria successfully completed her trip from Scotland to always sunny Tenerife (where it has been raining steady since she arrived.) We are now only waiting for Jessica and we will be fully crewed for the transit. Moria was a good sport, after two days of travel she managed to stay awake all day and even joined us for our evening sundowner on Urs & Isabelle's boat. Considering that our evening sundowner starts at about 8 PM and ends at midnight it was quite a trick!

Fair winds and following seas.

Monday, October 29, 2012

HMS Bounty Replica apparently lost

As reported by the USCG the replica ship HMS Bounty was abandoned by its crew in Hurricane Sandy

The story as reported (so far) by Fox News:

Update - apparently 14 crew rescued, two missing, the ship apparently sank :

What is curious is that they say 17 souls were on board, yet they have only accounted for 16.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Andrea gets conched

When Andrea, her cousin and I went to the beach she and I went for a walk. I discovered that she has a real love of sea shells but had never seen a conch. So I dug down deep in Reboot and found one that I had brought up SCUBA diving. I think you can see from the smile she was pleased to add it to her collection.

Fair winds and following seas.

At least this time it wasn't Spain

October is a big month for me. As I pointed out last year it contains five of my favorite historical events. Two  were yesterday. See I did not post as I had regressed into "computer guy" mode. First I was working with the marina to get their wireless running better. Then I was helping another cruiser get his "Sailmail" program to run. It was frustrating. We were able to get it running on his primary computer but not his backup. So at least he will have access as long as the main computer continues to work.

(For those curious, the other two favorite historical events were the birth of my sons. Way to go, Diane!)

Fair winds and following seas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Playing in Poo (2)

Rob's Clean Head
Today was another playing in “Poo” day. I continued to work on cleaning the bow holding tank. Rob (Kuijten) was not so lucky. The aft head that he has been using refused to flush. After taking apart the electric flushing system he discovered that the switch had rusted and was no longer working. After a quick consultation we decided it was safe to bypass the switch and use the panel switch. The only problem with this solution was that there is a manual valve that controls “wet bowl” or “dry bowl.”  Turning the control while also turning on the panel switch would take someone with 10 foot arms. We agreed that if we could set it in the “web bowl” position it would be OK. With some random parts and a great deal of creativity Rob came up with a solution that not only held the switch in the proper position but can be removed in a minute or two.

After finally being able to flush the toilet Rob proceeded to give the head “a clean sweep fore and aft.” Actually, I think he spent a couple of hours cleaning and sanitizing the head from top to bottom. It really looks great! The picture tells all.

XO playing mouse with Rob
Rob and XO have become great friends. When we sit in the cockpit XO takes up residence on top of the dodger and hangs out. Every once in a while he will stick a paw over or make a noise. Rob loves to play with him or just pick him up and pet him. So XO now has two staff instead of just one.

Fair winds and following seas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Playing in Poo

For the last couple of days we have been purging the holding tanks on Reboot. Normally one does what they can to not fill them up. When full you get a pump out, throw a little bit of water in the tank, and then pump it out again. We have had the luxury of filling the tank completely, letting it sit with chemicals overnight, and then pumping out again. The first couple of times it is amazing how much "stuff" comes lose from the side of the tanks. When done, we are actually pumping out clear water and much of the smell is gone. Quality.

Fair winds and following seas.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wrong Country

Today is the universality of the Battle of Trafalgar. Since I am in Spain we will not dress ship. At least I did get the opportunity to see the Bay of Cadiz where the battle was fought. For those who want more background see:

Fair winds and following seas..

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And then ... The bilge pump float switch

Testing the switch
One thing leads to another on sailboats. You know, if you read my blog, that we had to replace the impeller the other day. Doing this resulted in a lot of water in the bilge. We then discovered that the automatic float switch for the bilge pump was not functioning properly.

It turns out that it was just filled with grime so disassembly and cleaning was all it took. We also mounted it a little higher in the bilge in the hope that more "gook" would flush under the switch.

Here is a picture of pouring water into the bilge to make sure the switch was working.

Fair winds and following seas.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The good and the bad
I thought my engine problems were solved when I unwrapped a big hunk of rope from the prop shaft.

Today we started the engine and it was pretty clear that there was not water. So we started at the inlet, found it was clogged even though the filter was clear, and tried again. No joy.

The next step was to open the salt water pump. Sure enough, the impeller had decided to self destruct. Normally Yanmar engines are pretty easy on impellers but this obviously was not the case. Fortunately I have spares on board so it was just a  hour or so to swap out the old for a new. We now have water coming out the exhaust and the engine is not overheating. So hopefully we have found all the problems.

Rob changing the impeller
Fair winds and following seas.

Heaven is ...

A 220 V power cord for my gaming computer and a decent Internet connection! Team Fortress 2 - Yeah!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Carnival Costumes

Last night as Rob and I were wandering around looking for a place to eat we came across a display of winning costumes from previous Tenerife Carnivals. They are so elaborate that I joked "once they are ready they drop the girl in with a crane."

So a couple of photos to share.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Marina Santa Cruz de Tenerife Cruiser Lounge

Cruiser Lounge
Marina Santa Cruz has added a cruiser lounge. We now have Wifi on the dock (but not on the boat.) Also vending machines for coffee, soda, water and snacks. It looks like I can bootleg power if I want to run my gaining computer. The only down side is that the connection isn't all that fast, but believe me it is better than not having it.

Fair winds and following sea.

Rob Arrives

I am back to having a second person on the boat. Rob has arrived. He is part of the crew for our Atlantic transit. Good guy. Here he is having a "fag" while we eat dinner at a Chinese Restaurant in Spain.

Fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Los Cristianos - Beach again

Sand Sculpture
Andrea's cousin's girlfriend was heading back to Romania. Since she was leaving from Tenerife South airport we decided to spend a day on the beach at Los Cristianos. After dropping her off the three of us headed for the beach. It had been raining in La Laguna and Santa Cruz so we did not have high hopes for a beach day.

We stopped for a bite to eat as it was still early and overcast. I ordered Cafe Americano (basically strong black coffee.) The waiter came over and asked me where I was from. I usually answer New York as everyone knows where that is and I did grow up in the suburbs. He told me with a laugh that he was serving me "Cafe Obama, American and black."

"Cafe Obama"
There is not a great deal about the American election on the news here but there is far more coverage than what we get in the US of foreign elections. Of course I can't follow the reporting as I don't speak Spanish but both President Obama and candidate Romney show up with about equal time.

The sun did finally come out after about two hours of hazy but warm weather. It got very hot on the beach very quickly but since it was near the end of the day we just headed back to Santa Cruz.On the way out I snapped the picture of the sand sculpture being created by one of the lifeguards. Unfortunately there were jelly fish in the water so we didn't get to swim but we got some sun and had a nice time walking the beach.

Fair winds and following seas.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Ramp in Marina Santa Cruz

The Road to Nowhere
You may remember from 4 years ago that I spent the night in a marina being wakened by heavy freight trains going by. They were always proceeded by the clanging of bells and the whistle that trains use when they are approaching a grade crossing. In the morning I woke up and discovered the grade crossing to nowhere. Each time a train comes the gates go through the entire cycle.

In the Marina de Santa Cruz we have a similar anomaly - the ramp? to nowhere. As you can see in the picture there is a ramp heading down to the water but then it stops. Even at high tide the base of the ramp is a good foot above the water line. It must have some purpose but for the life of me I have no idea what it is.

Fair winds and following seas.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spanish Electricians

I house sat for Andrea today so that she could go to work while the electrician fixed the electricity in her new flat. It was quite the comedy made even funnier by the fact that I don't speak Spanish.

Apparently the wire from the basement to the flat was not working. So the landlord had run a wire down from his apartment into the circuit breaker panel to give it juice.

Two guys showed up. Their tools were in a plastic bag. The tools consisted of a pair of diagonal pliers (side cutters), a drill and a screwdriver. (note the absence of a voltmeter.) They had a new circuit breaker panel.and breakers. They disconnected the temporary power and proceeded to remove the old panel and replace it with the new one. This took about 1 1/2 hours. So far so good. Then they went down to the basement and turned the power back on. Of course nothing happened since the problem in the first place was the wire from the basement. They spent the next three hours (yes, three hours) trying to figure out why there was no electricity. During this process a third guy showed up and they all were talking with each other about the problem. Finally, I am not sure how, they did get power into the apartment. At this point they started to work on the ceiling lights.They got one of the two lights working, when they hooked the second light up there was a spark and they blew the breaker. At this point they started taking more things apart. Since they didn't have a meter they attached wires to the drill and used it to test for power. You haven't lived until you have watched a guy hold a drill with the trigger pressed while another guy pokes around in a power box. After about another hour of this they declared the light fixture broken. Fortunately by this time Andrea had finished work and was able to talk to them in Spanish.

The best moment came when one guy was up on the step ladder working on the light and the other two guys were standing on the ground on either side with all three chattering at rocket speed in Spanish. It reminded me of the "how many ... does it take to change a light bulb? One to hold the light bulb and two to spin the ladder."

When I volunteered to house sit I wasn't real concerned. I figured I could take my laptop over and read a book on my Kindle for PC. Of course somewhere in the middle of all this the battery died.

Fair winds and following seas!