LINKS FOR THE YEAR 2000
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WEEKLY LOGS FOR JULY
This is the log for the week ending July 2, 2000 by PS
Well the bottom paint is staying on and the auto pilot is working when we are under power.
This week Justin arrived. He will make a great crew. He is hard working and has a sense of humor. It looks like Ben will not be making the trip with us. Both his mother and I think he may regret it later in life. No use forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do.
Will Ansel is helping us with the ratlines. If this keeps up we'll have to pay him to help us crew.
We had a great overnight sail to North Haven Island. Breeze on the quarter and all working sail up. Then the fog rolled in around midnight and things got cold and wet.We are now(Sunday 9:30 pm) on our way back to Georgetown on another over-night sail/motor trip. It's a good way to break in Justin.
The water maker is running as I write. It's running great. The engine oil leak seems to have stopped since I changed the oil. Hummmmm.
We will be leaving next week end, I'll be calling Herb Hilgenberg by phone to get a weather update. We are still too close to his station to get a good signal. Should be able to talk to him on the radio when we are off Cape Cod.
Log for the week ending July 23, 2000 By PS,APW and JM
Ready or not? It seems that our departure to the Azores on Monday night was a bit of a test run really, for the boat and us. The boat wasn't really ready. Stuff was piled all over the deck. Bits and pieces of gear, paint cans, empty plastic containers. Some how I thought that I could finish stowing stuff while we were under way. Ha!. What was I thinking. Obviously not being seasick. Me seasick! It's never happened. Never! The closest I came was in a storm off the Atlantic coast and I still say I was too scared to be sick.
Here I am the first day out and I'm wasting perfectly good banana over the side. All of us were sick. It wasn't even rough. Two to four foot seas at most, wind from the west-southwest. Ideal conditions to head across the big pond. Of course looking at all the gear strewn about didn't help. Who cared at that point? When your are seasick all that matters is that you get somewhere that your body isn't moving. I've always felt pity on people that were seasick. All they wanted me to do was shoot them to put them out of their misery. Now I was living the nightmare. I have a new appreciation for blue water sailors.
Day two, nearing the George's Banks. It's cold and Justin was the only one smart enough to bring long underwear. Still projectile vomiting. Agg. A predicted cold front passes. At 10 p.m. Justin calls down below "Hey there's lightning out here." I go out on deck to distract him from the thought of being the tallest thing around for 150 miles. Amy and Justin had already shortened sail before the front reached us so I thought we were all set. Well, I can tell you from first hand experience that two days of being seasick, cold, not eating and not sleeping can really cloud your judgment. The wind shifted to the northwest and wasn't too bad. Then at 3 am on Wednesday the winds picked up to 30 knots. I'm laying on the cockpit seat trying to get some kind of rest when I realize that Amy is nowhere to be found. Mind you, we all wear safety harnesses while we are on deck, day and night. Falling overboard at sea is no joke. I finally saw that she was up on the fore deck trying to tame the staysail. She wanted to take it down but couldn't find the right lines. I got it down, but now the sail plan was way out of balance and Tilley the autopilot decided to quit. This necessitated hand steering. This wouldn't have been so bad if Tilley hadn't put the rudder way out of trim Amy fought the tiller trying to keep from jibing. It was to no avail. The mainsail jibed and slammed into the starboard running backstay. I was surprised that it didn't take out the rig. Then came the problem of jibing it back over. I looked up and saw the mainsheet wrapped six ways from Sunday around the backstay and the boom gallows. All I could do was pray that it unwrapped itself as the sail jibed back over. Luckily it did. I went aft to remove Tilley so we could steer. Then I decided to lower the mainsail and let the boat lay a-hull. Getting the sail down was a chore and took me about 15 minutes. After that Amy and I tried to rest on the cockpit seats and recover. It was shortly after that Amy said "Let's go to port." I looked at the charts and decided to go north to the Maine coast. Yarmouth N.S. was closer but I didn't have any charts. I started the engine and we began motoring back against a north west wind. It wasn't too bad after I raised the reefed main. We could sail close hauled and still make about 4 knots. Shortly afterwards Amy rolled into the bottom of the cockpit, completely exhausted. I covered her with blankets and let her rest.
The trip back went well, and we all seemed to recover a bit. I was even able to keep some bread down. Whether it was because of the thought of a calm port, or that I was getting used to being at sea, I won't know. We pulled into Swan's Island at 4 am. The lobstermen were just getting started for their day's work. After a big breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs we all slept the hours away. We stayed in the harbor for two days cleaning and putting away gear that should have been stowed before we left. At 9 p.m. Friday night we left for Robinhood. Our plan now is to get a new autopilot and re-think our food needs while at sea. You probably have read the stories of early voyagers eating "Hard Tack" and biscuits. Well, the crew of "Iwalani" has decided that it wasn't because they were poor and couldn't afford better fare. It was because that was all their digestive systems could stand! Doris Smith hinted that people don't eat the same things while they are sail as they do on land. I wish I had asked her to be more specific. Anyway, we are doing away with shore food. Now it's saltine crackers and plain bread for us.
Version 2 APW
I would like to add a few comments of my own. Keeping a sense of humor always helps in a bad situation. I will probably never forget Justin helping me get the reef in the main and haul the jib in. He was all the way out at the end of the bowsprit, yelling "this is more fun than roping hogs!!" It was very hard laughing and throwing up Cracker Jacks at the same time and may account for the candy coated popcorn ending up in my eyes...
I never thought I would see Mr. Salt himself-Phil, get sea sick- somehow it made him more human. The only "person" not afflicted by mal du mer was Stewart- who still demanded breakfast, lunch and dinner served on schedule as well as a clean litter box. Even Larry the canary was sick.
We were not prepared at all and I knew it from the start. Luckily it was a learning experience for all of us. What was I thinking with all this fresh food? There is no way to dice vegetables and serve up a delicious stir fry supper under those conditions. I thought we would all have cravings for fresh food. No way. Highly processed chemicals are the way to go. It took all my effort to open and heat up a can of Spagettios. Freshly ground coffee? Forget it. It makes you pee. Being a girl at sea also has its disadvantages. Peeing is a mornings project. You have to go in the head, open the seacocks, pump, close the seacocks etc. by the time you are done with the upside down contortions you are terribly sick. Boys are at a distinct advantage there.
Now all the jib and staysail sheets have their own cleats and wont go to the pin rails. A spagetti like confusion of rope, over rope. At one point the jib sheet pulled the lashings out of the pinrail. It took all three of us to secure it down. Where is the jib halyard? Which is the staysail sheet? Justin and I are learning all the lines and can raise and lower the sails more easily, with the additon of downhaul lines. We had relied on Phil far too much. When he was out of commission Justin and I had to learn in a hurry.
I am now going to have to restock the larder- we are going to try more Macaroni and cheese, baked beans, cup of soups and Ramen noodles. More spagettios and canned ready-made food. The ice box will store cold sodas, and bread. I actually thought we could make our own bread at sea-, we have enough yeast to last a century. I have Scopolamine patches for seasickness and will try them out. I think I grossed the fellows out, with my ever-ready ziplock barf baggies.
When I fell in to the cockpit "floor" I landed on top of boxes, geer, plexiglass and a piece of plywood Justin named Jerry. Disorganization can lead to exhaustion. We need to discipline ourselves to put things away after the are used. The lack of order I know contributed to Phil's malaise. Our double berth in the focs'le will also be used for storage, not sleeping. We never slept up there. We tried to.It was like being a flapjack on a short order cooks' frying pan. Lift off, three inches and you landed in an entirely new position. The cramped claustrophobic quarter berth is ideal. It locks you in so your muscles can actually relax.
Warm clothes. Long pants, wool watch caps and sweaters are not enough. Long underwear, wool socks and parkas would be better. It is July in Maine- Phil and I had tropics on the brain. Only Justin had enough warm clothes. More clothes- I thought I'd be able to hand wash half way through the trip. Yeah right.
We need to get another tillermaster-one that has a remote, so it can be operated from the cockpit. Climbing out on the boomkin to make minor adjustments works ok when you are well rested. But when you are weak, tired, dehydrated and vomiting, it's not a lot of fun. Tillie will become the back up. We did not test Phil's self steering vane. We will probably do one more sea trial too, assuming the weather patterns still hold. "Gotta get there-it is" has killed more pilots and people who thought they were prepared. Only when we are prepared mentally as well as physically will we leave.
Justin's version (Yeah me, the whipping boy. I am still around. Muahaha.)
Bah. Everything Phil and Amy have said about me being sea-sick is bull. I heaved up some grapefruit juice on day two out, and that was it except for a bit of queasiness. Why at one point I was out hanging off the bow rail yelling "Yeeehhaaawww! This is more fun than ropin' hogs!" back to Amy who was heaving up some rather painful Cracker Jacks near the pin rail. I was doing this when Amy and I were taking down the jib, around 6 PM the night before the 30 knot squall. That was about the worst thing that I have ever witnessed. The squall I mean. I was asleep for the beginning of it all. Then I hear Phil virtually yell "Why can't I blankin STEER! Tilley is trying to steal the boat!" Then when I was still in a half dazed awaking state, I hear him scream again... "It's gonna jibe!" and I hear the sails snap and the boom hit the port running-back-stay with a loud TWANG. I came up on deck to make sure we still had 3 crew aboard. It was freezing! Of course I was standing there in my long john's with no shirt on... But still. It couldn't have been more than 50 degrees out, minus wind chill. Brr. That was really the only point where the boat was really rocking, and almost everything on the nav station came flying out, trying to kill me. I was not impressed. Then Phil took down all the sails, and Amy fell into the cockpit with our friendly stowaway Jerry the piece of plywood, some Lexan shards, the contents of the ditty-box, a crate... You get the picture. I couldn't STOP laughing when I saw her lying there when I came up for my watch. Jerry and Stewart were the only people who didn't get seasick to the point of hurling (at least once). Even Larry wasn't excluded in this group. Poor little bird.
Personaly, I think the problem is where the bunks are situated around the axis of rotation when we go over waves. The axis is way in back, so when we go over a wave the front of the boat moves up and down about 8 feet. If the v-berth, you can actually fly off the bunk a couple inches with each swell. Not fun. The Quarter-berth next to the engine is now considered the best place to sleep while underway. Especially if we are motoring, because then the white-noise from the engine drowns out whoever might be moving around.
Oh yeah. The radar is cool. I think everyone should get one. I was fiddling with controls at one point and I made the thing pick up lobster buoys and rain clouds. It was cool.
Bacon and Eggs at swans was the best meal I have ever eaten. Mmmmmm. Too bad it was at 4 am. Heh.
So that pretty much sums it up. Get radar, don't go with Phil when he's half-cocked, and eat bacon and eggs. Wisdom from the seas, and yours truly, The Whipping Boy. Oh yeah, and fog horns are loud. Don't forget that part. Oh yeah and don't hang out with Phil and Amy when all they can find for on-top canned food (for breakfast) is baked beans... *shiver* They even had the nerve to offer me some. (All though the spagettios and hot chocolate were good) OK, anyways, bye.
Log for the week ending July 30 by PS
Waiting, that's the word for the week. After researching tiller pilots, we decided on a Raytheon ST4000 GP Plus. It's the strongest, with a maximum force of 200 lbs. This is more then we need but should give us a long lasting unit. Then the waiting began. We called Bob Ayer at Coastal Marine Electronics on Monday afternoon and placed our order. We also asked him to order a wind vane indicator so that the auto pilot would steer by the wind. We told him to use an over night delivery. When we called on Tuesday he said that because the parts were ordered late Monday the delivery wouldn't be till Wednesday. We got a courtesy car from Robinhood Marine and drove the one hour trip to Bob's. When we arrived, the road to his shop was blocked by a travel lift that had over turned. After waiting for over two hours for the delivery truck to show, we gave up and made the one hour trip back to Robinhood. We told Robinhood that we would have the car for two hours, not four. There would be pay-back for having it for four hours. We couldn't get the car till after 5 pm on Thursday. We called Bob and he said he would wait for us. He gave us the cables we would need to get things hooked up and we returned to Robinhood after our second two hour round trip. The wind sensor was not the unit we had in mind. It was the ST60 which is the most expensive unit Raytheon makes. It does everything but change the weather! We decided to return the ST60 and get the unit that is made for the auto-pilot, at one quarter the cost. The unit is the Z159. It goes on the stern rail and measures wind direction only. We called Bob on Friday morning in hopes of getting the Z159 on Saturday. We told him to ship it directly to Robinhood. We later found out from Robinhood that FedEx doesn't make Saturday deliveries to the marina. Amy franticly called Bob hoping to stop shipment. Well, it was too late. It was already en-route. Robinhood offered to see if they could expedite things. They are a Raytheon dealer! Duh. Within a half an hour they had a unit shipped to Bath (10 minute drive) for a noon time, Saturday, pick-up! Lesson learned. We still had to return the ST60 wind vane to Bob. Another 2 hour round trip. All told we spent 8 hours trying to get the auto-pilot! I never would have believed it.
With the wind vane in hand on Saturday at 1 pm I began hooking it up. By 6 pm we were ready. Today (Sunday) we talked to Herb the weather guy and he said it looks good for a Monday departure. So, this afternoon we went for a trial run with the new auto-pilot. It works great. It's quiet and easy to control. We have a remote so that we can even make adjustments from the head! We also made water while we were in the clean waters of the Gulf of Maine. Unlike the last time we headed out to sea, the boat really seems ready. We plan to have a quiet morning getting last minute things taken care of. Stowing loose items, securing the dinghy on deck, clearing the port pilot berth and moving things onto the forward double. Well, It's time I got this posted. The next few will be shorter as we will be using the Inmarsat e-mail. PS