Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jack - RIP

It's with a sad heart we need to inform you all of a passing.  Jack, our beloved refrigerator system, has gone on to Refrigerator Heaven (which as I imagine is something like Antarctica with the movie Ice Age running over and over).  Jack had his last breath this morning, followed by a loud ka-clunk and then shut off.  Diagnosis shows that the compressor failed, has seized up and repairing our older Grunert system is not really an option as parts aren't readily available and a replacement compressor just doesn't really exist.  Jack was an organ donor and will be leaving some of his parts to better the lives of others.  3 holdover plates are still in grand condition and we will be looking to use these in conjunction with a new motor / compressor setup.  I'm trying to figure out the differences / benefits / drawbacks of air cooled v. keel cooled systems as we look to replace jack which was a water cooled system (thus we are already plumbed for this should we decide that type of system is best for us).

Please email or call me with any thoughts as this is a time sensitive topic.

We'll miss you Jack - thanks for all the great cocktail ice you provided!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Shakedown Logbook

Shakedown Logbook - San Francisco to San Diego, Ca

  • Port of Departure: San Francisco, Ca
  • Departure Date and Time: Tuesday, July 7, 0430 PDT
  • Stops in Between: El Morro, Government Point (Conception), Santa Barbara, Smuggler's Cove, Two Harbors, Newport Beach, Oceanside
  • Port of Arrival:  San Diego, Ca
  • Arrival Date and Time: Saturday, August 1, 1700 PDT
  • Total Travel Time:  26 days
  • Miles Traveled: 573 nm
    • Sails a' soaring: 243 nm
    • Engine a' roaring: 330 nm
  • Engine Hours:  80.0
  • Nights spent at:
    • Sea - 4
    • Anchor - 9
    • Mooring ball - 4
    • Slip - 9
  • Forecast:  long term forecasts showed 2 strong hurricanes, Dolores and Enrique, in the southeast Pacific and that they would likely affect the normal weather patterns in and along central / southern California's coastline.  Overall, things looked amenable and thus off we went
  • Navigation Notes:  What we learned was what I had been told by so many over the last few years, we definitely motored more than we would've expected, partly because we were trying to get to anchorages etc. at a decent time of the day but mostly because the weather just wasn't in our favor, sometimes for days at a time.  We sailed when we could, and, despite the irony, actually sailed a lot more in southern California than we did north of Point Conception.  We have the Dolores and Enrique to thank for that.  We gained confidence in our Yanmar, yet learned how to hoist and sail with our asymmetrical, which prior to this trip hadn't even been unveiled from its sock
  • Maintenance Notes:  Overall very pleased as little maintenance needed to done.  We had lost AIS connection according to our land based friends but it was always working for us, so I believe off central CA we were just too far off shore to hit the land based stations.  We had some self ascribed issues, like wrapping the spinnaker halyard in the furling headsail, which we resolved with some patience, but overall the trip went off pretty smoothly.
  • Personal notes:
    • Chris:  Last night a friend asked me how the trip went for me, overall.  And my answer kinda surprised was fun, comfortable, and fulfilling.  After thinking about my answer, what I realized was I was just feeling in my groove, just living life, and didn't think at the time that what were doing was anything different than what I was supposed to be doing.  The Hesitant Half performed with accolades, accepting a challenge never dreamed of, pushing through a couple of bouts of seasickness, driving us into new anchorages and mooring fields without a hitch and smiling once we hit warmer climates.  I come away knowing as a couple we are ready for whatever and wherever the fair winds bring next....  
    • Monica: Overall, it felt like a long trip down.  We weren't able to sail as much as we were hoping and my Captain was really good about recognizing when we should just suck it up and put the sails away and turn on Ol' Bessy. I cried a lot and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do this cruising thing.  The nights at anchor were difficult because I was unsure and worried we were going to drag.  After meeting several other cruising couples this seems like a normal concern and the end thought is that we just need to practice more and ALWAYS use our big ass Mantus anchor.   Now that we have reached our first destination it doesn't seem like it was all that bad.  We didn't die and nothing serious went wrong with the boat.  That is a definite win and we really feel like we made it and can call ourselves cruisers now!!!

Shakedowns, Breakdowns, and Victories by The Hesitant Half

Let me just start off by saying HOLY CRAP!!!  I can't believe we made it!  Yes, we are only in San Diego.  But still!  I totally feel like that counts as cruising.  We had several multi-day trips, sailed through outstretched arms of a hurricane, experienced several pitch black nights where we were unsure of where the sky ended and the ocean began, anchored out, slipped at anchor, moored, stayed in slips, refueled at a sketchy fuel dock, dealt with minor problems when they arose, filled up water tanks, explored new cities, walked for miles in search of beer and groceries, enjoyed assorted Happy Hours, snorkeled, surfed, hiked, kayaked, practiced our diving and water aerobic skills off the side of the boat, got pulled over by Harbor Patrol, met new people that we actually had things in common with, dealt with ding-dongs...This all sounds like cruising to me!!!!!  SeaGlub, Chris, and I made it over 500 miles!  If that ain't cruisin' y'all should just stop following our blog and move on to one that is more adventurous.

For the rest of you...I shall continue...

I'm not going to lie, there were lots of tears.  I can't say that this is much of surprise.  Most people that know me have seen the affects of hormones take over and water flowing out of my eye sockets with ease.  What can I say?  I've been known to be emotional from time to time.  Like everyone, things make me cry.  Whether it is for reasons of joy, sorrow, or fear, I wear my emotions on my sleeve and am proud of this character trait.  Insert extreme exhaustion and I am bound to be a complete mess.

Nighttime sailing was also a huge test for me.  This has been my biggest fear throughout the preparation for our journey south.  It's Dark! (Insert Hesitant Half)  What if we run into something!?!  Then again, what is there to run into?!?  As it turns out, night sailing wasn't all that bad.  Yes, it is dark.  VERY DARK!!!  But, with our trusty radar turned on, there isn't really anything out there to run into in the first place.  The first 3 nights that we sailed were completely black.  It just so happened that we left during the new moon phase and were dearly missing the blue light of the moon.  The low cloud blocked the stars and we were so far out that lights from ANYTHING wasn't an option.  I've always heard people say that the water has almost an oil like quality, well this is the best way I can describe it as well.  Aside from sailing through oil slicks near Santa Barbara (which was extremely unfortunate and depressing to see), the ocean has a visual quality like it is thicker then anything I can imagine.  If we had any wind during this particular leg of our trip it would not have had this appearance.  Surprisingly enough, I was glad to see it and experience this phenomenon non-the-less.

Tears of joy streamed down my dirty face when we reached Santa Barbara and slipped easily into our guest dock accommodations at dusk.  I had been on my boat for 5 straight days, drug around at anchor, got seasick for 2 days, dealt with dehydration, was sure I wasn't going to make it, and had just an overall feeling of not accomplishing anything.  Truth be told, we were probably never in any real harm...but I was sure that something was bound to go wrong at any moment.

We had a night in the Channel Islands when the Park Rangers came out on boat and warned us about hurricane conditions and the we "should" be fine at our current anchorage in Smuggler's Cove.  It turns out that we were, but that understanding came after a restless and loud night spent watching our anchor and that of those around us, making sure all parties involved were safe and secure.  I sat in the cockpit full of fear and doubt and crying seemed like the natural thing to do.  It wasn't going to help anything, but I just couldn't help it.  I was scared!!!  The wind was blowing us in the opposite direction of where it normally came from and if our anchor broke free we would be heading straight for shore.  The 8-10 foot swell in the water was making life uncomfortable and making me concerned that a big roller would just pull us and our anchor right out of it's holding.  Thank goodness for the reassuring embrace of my Captain!  We laid together in the cockpit, discussed an exit plan if we had to get out in a hurry, and stirred with the sun to see that everything was as it should be.

Again I cried when we hooked up to a mooring ball at Two Harbors, Catalina.  We had chosen...I'll say it again...we had chosen to sail at night and make the trek to Catalina from the Channel Islands.  Who does that on purpose!?! (Insert Hesitant Half) I'm sure a lot of people do, but it felt like a bold decision at the time.  We checked our charts, listened to the weather, calculated our mileage and I was part of the decision to travel at night.  I felt like yelling, "Look at me with my big girl pants on!"  Let's sail through the night so we have plenty of daylight the next day to get to our destination.  And again, we survived the night.

Several more times tears were shed throughout our trip for personal reasons, instead of my normal watershed caused my my hesitations.  First off, let me just say that I love my husband very much!!!  I don't know what I would do without him in my life!  But let me tell you, being around your spouse 24-7 is a feat all in itself!  You can hear each other breath, eat, think, you name it!  It is a test for sure.  Couples are put in strenuous situations and have to take on new experiences together.  Opinions about what to do and not to do are shared and not always agreed.  When we were landlubbers I would go on a walk to clear my head.  Now, we had no escape from each other and we are having to learn to be with one another all over again.  It almost felt like when we were first dating or just started living together, on eggshells trying not to upset each other.  But it's like they say, love conquers all, and it's doing what it does and helping get us through this adventure of uncertainties.

I'll tell you what, those times when it's your watch, unless you have a book to read or something specific to do, your mind just wanders.  I had day dreams of grandeur and nightmares of what could go wrong.  One night my brain wandered off to my recently passed Auntie Jan.  I wondered if she was watching me, sending dolphins to help me remember how remarkable the world and this adventure is, helping to keep my engine running smoothly, keeping me safe.  I was sad that I couldn't be in San Diego soon enough to show my boat to her.  I questioned life and why things happen the way they do and why certain people couldn't be tortured with such horrible pain instead of the good ones.  Chris woke up and found me crying at the helm and told me I was lucky to have such an angel watching over me.

Lastly, I cried when we sailed down the channel into San Diego Harbor and arrived at our new slip at SunRoad Marina.  Jimmy Buffett's 'Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes' was blasting from a cheerful group around the pool as we pulled into our slip with ease and adjusted our lines.  That is a very wise man and we couldn't have had a more perfect song playing upon our arrival!  
I knew that no matter what happened I had made it!!!  I had cruised!  
I made it home!

San Diego Happy Dance Video
...must watch :)

La Jolla in the background

We've arrived!!  San Diego at last

And no less than a few hours we had our first visitor, cousin Kippy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Logbook to San Diego

Logbook to San Diego, Ca

  • Port of Departure: Oceanside, Ca
  • Departure Date and Time: Saturday, August 1, 0830 PDT
  • Stops in Between: none
  • Port of Arrival:  San Diego, Ca
  • Arrival Date and Time: Saturday, August 1, 1700 PDT
  • Total Travel Time: 8.5 hours
  • Miles Traveled: 44 nm
    • Sails a' soaring: 25 nm
    • Engine a' roaring: 19 nm
  • Engine Hours:  4.5
  • Average Speed:  5.2 kts
  • Forecast:  light morning winds followed by afternoon winds picking up to 12-15 kts by afternoon from the W-NW
  • Navigation Notes:  This was pretty much gonna be a leave when you can then catch the winds eventually in the midday and sail the rest of the way.  Exactly how it worked out.  Glad we left when we did even though we had to motor for 3+ hours as we arrived at a desirable time.  NOte to self and others, as you come into San Diego harbor from the north be sure to stay clearly far enough away from the shore line as large kelp fields line the La Jolla / Point Loma area.  We stayed 2-2.5 miles offshore and this proved just right.  We basically aimed from Oside for the red/white San Diego buoy.  Once at that buoy it made more sense to follow the green channel markers into the harbor given the wind shifts over Point Loma rather than the 'red, right, return' theory'...
  • Maintenance Notes:  Nothing of note
  • Personal notes:
    • Chris:  Awesome day of commuting from Oside to San Diego.  We filled up the fuel tanks without any real challenge, got out of Oside and yes, had to motor for a bit, but once we started sailing, boy oh boy what a pleasure.  We sailed to within a par 4 of our slip.
    • Monica: I don't know what has been happening with me the last few weeks.  Don't get me wrong...I love our Yanmar motor...but sick again!?!  I can't believe it!  Clearly this girl and the boat are meant to SAIL!!!!!  I threw up again and then we proceeded to put the sails up and give it a Go.  The wind gods were in our favor and we sailed the rest of the way to my dream!...Back to San Diego!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!