Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Report 5/31: Replace the Deckhouse Windows

Another No-Project weekend... we are anchored in Port Madison. Its a little chilly for sitting in the cockpit this early, so I am down below, blogging. Am I addicted or what?

I have to go make a latte to wake up Jane soon, so I thought this would be a good time to resurrect an earlier renewal project. This project occurred in 2003

The 6 large cabin windows which Downeast installed at the factory were of low quality when new, and they hadn't improved over the years.
  • The rim extrusions were too light for the duty - when the attempt was made to conform the windows to the curved cabin sides during installation, the extrusions simply rolled, opening large gaps.
  • The glazing was the standard 1/10", which is way too thin for marine service, especially in such large panels (18" x 36").
  • The rim extrusion groove to hold the glazing was no more than 1/4" deep, perhaps less.
  • The "rubber" which was used to seal the glazing to the extrusion had gone hard, and no longer served its purpose - water was coming in between the glazing and the extrusion.
The thin section of the glazing and the vanishingly shallow retention groove in the rim extrusion represent a safety hazard. Were Eolian to fall off a wave, impact with the water would likely blow the glazing out of the frame.

Because the extrusions had rolled rather than bent, the seal between the windows and the cabin sides had been maintained over the years with an ugly accumulation of silicone rubber.

Finally, the glazing had cracked at most of the rim extrusion joints. It was time for the original windows to go.

We found (finally) a company which could custom make replacement windows at a reasonable cost: Bomon in Canada. Curiously, it doesn't seem that there are any window manufacturers left in the US (like many things I guess).

After the windows were removed, the openings were carefully measured and the measurements sent to Bomon (the guy to work with there is Alain). Then the openings were covered with vinyl held on with long-term masking tape until the new windows arrived.

They arrived on time (!) shipped in a large box, on a pallet. There was lots of padding, and each window was individually wrapped with heavy polyethylene and a padded overwrap. They are *very* well made - the joints between the two ends of the internal trim/clamp ring are so tight that a piece of cigarette paper would not fit between the pieces. True to form, Alain made them to my measurements exactly, including separate curvatures for the tops and bottoms to match the curvature of the cabin sides.

Because my measurements (and the exact fit) were designed to maximize the flange bearing surface, some grinding of the irregular openings was in order. I did this using my trusty angle grinder - exactly the right tool for the job. I learned very quickly that the powdered fiberglass dust went everywhere, so I used the poly overwrap from the new windows to tape over the inside of the window opening while the grinding was under way. Of course, removing the poly without dumping its messy load was kind of tricky, but doable.

Alain was less certain about his ability to bend the windows to match our somewhat extreme cabin wall curvature. His concern was largely unfounded. They all fit tightly, squashing the supplied foam rubber sealant to a thin black line. In the worst case (3/8" drop in the last 8" of the window - I'm not sure I would have wanted him to succeed in bending the frame and 1/4" lexan to this curvature...) the fit was a little open, but a little added polysulphide did yeoman service.

They look wonderful! And the anodized frames are much more attractive on the inside than the old dark brown ones had been. Other than the mess from grinding, this project was much, much easier than I had anticipated.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Rhythm of Life

The rhythm of life off the dock is different than it is on shore. It is, most importantly, much slower. And, unlike ashore where man-made urgencies and deadlines control everything, it is simpler, interwoven inextricably with the rhythms of the Earth: tide and weather.

This last holiday weekend, after so long on the dock, we got a refresher course.

Barring the need to rise early in order to make a long passage with the tide, or to beat a weather front (not usually a good plan...), this is how a typical day away from the dock goes for us:


(In practice, this seems to be 06:30 - 07:30) Rise. Check the water depth, and the positions of the other boats in the anchorage. Turn off the anchor light. Check the temperature in the freezer (since reworking the temperature setpoints in the refrigerator last fall, the refrigerator is no longer on the critical path for refrigeration - only the freezer). If the charge state of battery bank #2 can handle it, and if it is needed, turn on the refrigeration. Enjoy the absolute peace. I like being awake before everyone else.

Whenever + 15-30 minutes:

Turn on the inverter and make two lattes. The sound of the espresso maker serves as Jane's alarm clock. If it is nice, move to the cockpit and enjoy the lattes while watching the birds in the quiet harbor.

+ another 20-30 minutes:

Make another pair of lattes. While working on these, listen to the NOAA weather on the VHF, get a gander at the tide book, and talk about where we will go today. We usually have a Grand Plan (like "Go to the San Juans", or "Go to Poulsbo") but these are purposely vague. Consider tidal currents, wind, impending weather, etc... and make a destination decision. This could be a confirmation of an earlier decision, a confirmation of the Grand Plan, or something entirely different.

Until time to go:

Monitor electrical state of the batteries. If the departure (and the engine-driven battery charge while we hoist anchor and drive out of the harbor) is a long way off, it may be necessary to run the generator, but we try not to do this until say 09:00, when everyone is pretty much awake in the anchorage, so everyone can enjoy the morning peace. Cook/eat. Read. Talk. Play guitar. If crabbing season is open: crab.


Tide, weather and all other things being equal, we try to get to our next anchorage before 16:00. That way, we are not rushed in the evening. Hoist anchor, drive out of the anchorage, and hoist sail (if there is wind).

Under Way:

We love the peacefulness of being under sail. Other than the sound of the wind and the water as the boat makes its way, it is silent. Occasionally (like last weekend), we are joined by a dolphin or a porpoise for a while, or sight some Orcas, or even a grey whale, and feel privileged and in awe. I have lots of pictures taken under way of the ever-changing canvas of sea and sky.


Drop sails. Drive into the anchorage, survey, choose a spot, and drop anchor. Shut down the engine. Drink a ceremonial Anchorage Beer, and watch the next boats coming in to anchor. Cook/eat. Read. Talk. Play guitar. But now add: drink wine, wine cruise, or visit other boats if we see someone we know. If there is a town, there will probably be a dinghy trip to shore. If crabbing season is open: crab.


Check water depth, and the positions of the other boats in the anchorage. Turn on the anchor light. Check the temperature in the freezer, and give it another shot of runtime if necessary.


Lather, rinse, repeat.

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to get me slowed down to the pace of the Earth. Until I get there, I am anxious and somehow unsatisfied.

But when I finally synchronize, there is an amazing peace.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Destination: Manzanita Bay, Bainbridge Island

If you arrived here by searching for a chart, please see this page.
After coming thru Agate Pass, Manzanita Bay, on the Northwest corner of Bainbridge Island, is an easy destination. It is also a quiet and peaceful alternative to Poulsbo and Liberty Bay.

After exiting Agate Pass, you go nearly due South, directly into Manzanita. Because of the land contours, it is a little hard to pick out offshore, but as you get closer it becomes obvious.

Manzanita provides great holding in what we think is ideal anchoring depth (20-30 feet) for most of its length (depths on these chart segments are in feet, not fathoms). We prefer the larger Southern bay (the smaller Northern bay is much shallower, but we have anchored in it too). On entering the Southern bay, you will note, about 1/3 of the way in, two "No Wake" buoys. Unless you want to become a turn point for water skiers, it is wise to anchor below the line made by these buoys.

I know that I have used these same adjectives before, but "delightful" fits here too. And "peaceful", and "intimate". We have never had trouble finding a place to drop the hook here, even on last Sunday, the day before Memorial Day. I think that should tell you something. (Oh NO! I let the secret out!)

The West shore is low bank and has some lovely homes on it, while the East shore is a little higher - the homes are just as nice.

It is apparently a tradition on Memorial Day weekend for a beautiful collection of old wooden power boats to gather here, at a dock near the NW corner of the bay, and at anchor nearby. It is worth coming here just to see these beautiful boats. Given my recent experience with the mahogany bowsprit on Eolian, I have even greater respect and awe for these owners that have been able to restrain the wood's natural tendency to return to forest floor mulch, and do it so beautifully!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekend Report 5/22: *NOT* a project!


We are off the dock! For the first time since last August, Eolian is a boat instead of a floating teak-lined apartment that soaks up time and money!

We left the dock at about 10:50, hoping that the daily winds would have built up some by that point - not so. We motored over to Agate Pass (where I took some pictures to add to the Agate Pass destination post). Then thru Keyport and into Liberty Bay. We are currently anchored off Poulsbo (wifi is a great invention!). I took more pictures to add to the Poulsbo destination post too. (When I originally did these posts, I was embarrassed to find that I had lost my pictures for these areas).

Of course, the winds came up not long after we dropped the anchor. But we were anxious to get away from the dock, and then there is the tide thru Agate Pass to contend with.

I really do want to do some sailing because I want to put some strain on the rig and recheck things afterward. But there are 3 more days, with essentially identical weather forecasts, so we should have plenty of opportunity.

In the meantime, wine, and marinated rib-eye steaks await!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hot Diesel

No, this is not about some kind of exotic and weird fitness training.

Bear with me.

When we first brought the boat down to Seattle, and I moved aboard, it was winter. The boat had two full water tanks, so I didn't see the need to deal with water issues right away.

Eventually, however, the inevitable happened. In the middle of a shower, getting ready for work, I sucked air from the port water tank. Naked and slippery with soapy water, I slithered out to the galley, pulled up the floorboard, and re-valved the water supply to the starboard tank. I'll bet people living on shore don't have to do that too often. I got to work that day on time in spite of it.

As time wore on, I realized that the water in the starboard tank had a funny smell to it. Eventually I decided that it probably would be a good idea to use up that water for non-cooking issues (I was living as a bachelor - that did not signify much of a change).

Diesel floats on water. I'm just sayin'. (cue ominous music)

Once again, the inevitable happened, and again while I was in the shower, getting ready for work, not yet quite awake. Except this time, instead of air, the last thing out of the shower head was a gush of hot diesel. I stood there, dumbfounded, red liquid dripping off of me. I had just showered in hot diesel fuel! And, now, there was no more water in the tank. And of course, I had not refilled the port tank either. So there was no way to even rinse it off, let alone wash. I'm real sure people living on shore don't have this happen. OK, now what? It was either towel off and go to work, or towel off, get sort of dressed, go outside, find a hose and refill one of the tanks, and then re-shower. I have to confess that living on a boat had become a little discouraging for me at that point.

Well, I had started in this job only a few weeks earlier, so I was not ready to show up late for work. So instead, I showed up reeking of diesel. (Eleven and a half years later, I still wonder if that was the right call, but I do still have the job). Thankfully, none of my co-workers lit a match near me.

Apparently, the Previous Owner had stuck the fuel hose in the wrong deck port and pumped in a few bucks worth. What to do? His call: Ignore it and let the next owner deal with it.

Eventually I got all the diesel out of the tank and the plumbing thru use of 2-3 bottles of dishwasher liquid, but there was a long time during which I couldn't cook with or drink water from aboard, since it all had to pass thru the contaminated plumbing. It made for good dishwashing and showering tho.

"Hot diesel yoga" does have a certain ring to it...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

s/v Black Opal

s/v Black Opal is a 58' Sampson ferrocement schooner, owned by Fred and Lynda Brady, and their teeny tiny dog Rusty (never doubt that Rusty is a part owner...).

Black Opal was previously named Serenity, but Fred and Lynda said that too many boats had that name, so they changed it. They have decked out Black Opal like a pirate ship, complete with ratlines and a black PVC pipe carbide cannon on the foredeck. The interior (not surprisingly, if you know Fred and Lynda) is like no other boat I've been on. With its pressed tin ceiling, porch swing in the galley (!), and the chandelier in the saloon (!!), Whimsy might have been a good name for her.

Fred and Lynda originated on Mercer Island, but spent a number of years at Cordova, Alaska. Accordingly, you would expect that they are self-reliant and capable. You would be right. Fred has made all of his spars (the masts started life as light poles), sewed a collection of flags, reshaped his mainsail (actually, a mainsail from a Downeast 45!), and has just completed making a new rudder. He also built all the cockpit furniture. In fact, Fred is the inspiration for me taking on the making of our new bowsprit.

When they first arrived at Shilshole, Fred and Lynda had crossed the Gulf of Alaska with their previous boat Halcyon Days (40', also ferrocement) - a journey not to be taken lightly at any time of year. Through the forward port on the deckhouse, Lynda's collection of tea cups was lined up and on display. Somehow they had survived the crossing.

Black Opal is a clear amalgamation of the two of them. The boat is rock solid (it's cement!) and ready to go anywhere and sustain any conditions. But the chandelier, the porch swing, the eyes painted on the oars stored in the rigging add a laugh and smile.

Black Opal was featured prominently in an article by Becky Coffield called "A Schooner Kind of Summer" in the December 2007 issue of 48 Degrees North, covering the annual Captain Raynaud International Schooner Race. (We have an autographed copy.)

If you have time for a beer or a glass of wine, you should knock on the hull and get a story from these two. They have a lifetime's worth of adventures to share.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Report 5/17: Bowsprit Renewal

The job is complete - the deed is done.

After nine months of work, the bowsprit installation is complete.

No, I did not hire a kid to start the nuts on those impossible to reach bow pulpit mounting bolts - I brought some of my automitive tools aboard: a 3/8" rachet, two really long 3/8" extensions, a 3/8" universal joint, and a 9/16" deep socket. I put the nut in the socket, and taped a washer over it on the end of the socket. Then, with the extensions I had enough reach to get to the bolts, and the u-joint allowed me to turn the socket even tho I was not lined up with the bolt. Then back up on deck, I squirted generous quantities of polysulphide under the feet of the bow pulpit, and then Jane tightened the bolts while I went below again with my long extensions and kept the nuts from turning.

Then the rest of the weekend was spent on the remaining finishing touches:
  • I borrowed a Loos tension gauge from Doug on Angelique and retensioned the rig
  • We brought down the newly regalvanized anchor and put away the 300 feet of 3/8 chain and reinstalled the anchor
  • We put away the 250 feet of 1" nylon rode in the port side, and added the 50 feet newly regalvanized chain leader.
  • We reinstalled the staysail boom
  • We bent on the yankee and the staysail
  • And in a completely unrelated task, I rebedded the port over the office desk - it had been seeping when it rained hard.
Finally, we took a couple of beers and drifted out in the waterway, hardly working, for the first time in months, as there was nothing hanging over our heads, It was a unique feeling - I actually felt guilty.

But then as we drifted past the stern, I glanced up and noticed that the triatic stay was loose, so the guilt feeling passed. I will tilt the mizzen masthead aft an inch or so tomorrow night. The whole rig is a little different.

Thus endeth the bowsprit renewal project

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Every boat is haunted.

In the bilge, in the backs of the cabinetry, in the engine compartment, the new owner of a boat will find that the Spirit of the Previous Owner has been at work. There will be incorrect wire sizes, poor connections, bad connector choices, hoses installed with only a single rusting hose clamp, etc. For some reason, the spirit seems to do its worst in the least accessible spaces, perhaps because it can hide its work there.

Exorcising the Spirit of the Previous Owner seems to be a task that, for most people, lasts until the boat is sold to a new owner (at which time of course, the old Spirit of the Previous Owner is automatically replaced by the new).

Joe had a notably vicious and creative Spirit of the Previous Owner on Tropic Star, and so he had arguably the greatest incentive to work this out. In a melange of mixed metaphors, Joe decided to formally do an exorcism.

He built a small replica of Tropic Star to be used in the ceremony.

In the end, most of G Dock participated. We all put something symbolic of the Previous Owner of our boats aboard the sacrificial replica. The golem from Eolian was a little man made of electrical tape and silicone rubber - the two things our Previous Owner had apparently felt could fix anything. He certainly used them to fix everything in any case.

The ceremony lasted most of an afternoon and into the evening. There were adult beverages, of course.

At dusk, a time when the Spirit of the Previous Owner would be active but reputedly at its weakest (also most convenient for us), the final, climactic acts were begun.

As G Dock Poet Laureate, Art gave the invocation, and commanded the many and several Spirits of the Previous Owners to join with their representative golems on the replica boat. (Yes, that's an adult beverage in his left hand - it was required as an integral part of the invocation - magical spirits, distilled in a far away mythical land called "Scotland" - at least that's what he said).

The boat was placed in the water (she floated on her lines!), and the final act was begun.

In the water and with her sails already filled and tugging to be free, the replica was annointed with liberal quantities of cleansing lighter fluid (also blessed by Art).

With a cheer that echoed into the deepest parts of the bilges of all the boats on G Dock, the replica was ignited and cast off. Amazingly, as the purifying flames swept over her, she sailed beautifully out directly away from the dock (Joe should consider a career as a Naval Architect if he ever gets tired of designing airplanes).

I was Fire Marshall, in the water in our dinghy with a bucket ready to douse the flames if the replica should happen to turn back toward the dock, entirely unnecessary as it turned out.

Did it work? We think so.

Many years have passed since The Ceremony. Most of the boats which were cleansed by it have left, and have been replaced by others, not so cleansed. Perhaps we should consider a reenactment of the Ceremony.

But only if we can get Art to officiate.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Destination: Gig Harbor

If you arrived here by searching for a chart, please see this page.
One of our favorite places in Puget Sound is Gig Harbor. This little harbor got its name when Peter Puget sent the Captain's gig into it for exploration.

It is really easy to miss. We sailed past it on a number of occasions earlier in our time here in the Sound, knowing it was over there on the shore, somewhere, but never being able to pick it out on the shoreline - even with binoculars.

Going into Gig Harbor is a bit of an act of faith the first time. It is over there on the west shore, just South of Colvos Passage and North of the Tacoma Narrows, right where the line of houses along the road descends to the shoreline. Really, it is there. Even from relatively close up like in this picture, the entrance is not obvious. As the chart segment above shows (not very well), it is necessary to close with the shore some distance South of the entrance and then head North hugging the 2 fathom line. If you take a more direct path in, you are at risk of running over the shoal extending South from the sandbar where the light is. Then, as if that isn't enough, you will need to veer to starboard immediately after clearing the entrance to avoid another sandbar extending northward from the South shore. Finally, there will be a lot of small boats coming and going thru the entrance, some of which do not appear to understand the consequences of a deep draft keel. There is plenty of water, if you stay in the channel.

Once inside, you will find that this is a hurricane hole! Other than the twisty narrow entrance, this is a land-locked saltwater lake. And it is lovely!

As the harbor widens out, look to port and you will see the Tides Tavern. You will definitely want to stop there for a burger and a beer at some point in your Gig Harbor experience - everyone does. They have a great dinghy dock.

Although you can anchor anywhere in Gig Harbor, we like to go toward the back in the shallower water. Once settled, you will find that there is always something to watch. Although this is a closed in feeling harbor, it is large enough where there is usually someone sailing around amongst the anchored boats, or a high school kayak team working out - you might become a turn point for them!

Seems like every time Jane and I visit Gig Harbor, something in one of the many, many galleries calls out to us, and we leave with a work of art that captures another aspect of our Puget Sound experience. This watercolor is a lovely depiction of Gig Harbor; it hangs on the bulkhead in the saloon, and is a daily reminder of a lovely place.

Go there, and I promise you, you will come away charmed as well.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers' Day, Seattle Style

Today for Mothers' Day, because Jane requested it, our son Adam took Jane (and I) kayaking on Lake Union. Adam has his own kayak (he built it - it's a Chesapeake Light Craft), but we don't so I rented Jane and I a two-holer from a place on Westlake.

I have been in kayaks before, but this was Jane's first experience in the tippy craft. She was a natural! We explored up the west side of Lake Union to the Sleepless in Seattle house, and then cut across the lake to the east side where we went into each of the narrow waterways between the floating houses.

What a unique lifestyle! And for virtually all of the houses, plants seem to be an absolute requirement. Greenery and flowers were everywhere! The houses in the old section are all terribly unique, unusual and very interesting. There is a new section of floating houses at the northeast corner of the lake - great houses, but utterly lacking the character of these.

When we started back across the lake, a race developed! We were doing really good, but then were forced to retire when one of our rudder cables broke and we started going in circles. We got back ok, steering with the paddles, but this is a lot less precise, and not suitable for racing, or so we said.

After the kayaking, we retired to Adam's house, where Ken and Erica joined us for for grilled hamburgers and a few glasses of Adam's chocolate mint stout, topping off the evening with some superb family time.

Mothers' Day, as only Seattle can do it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekend Report 5/9: Bowsprit Renewal

This weekend, we brought the refurbished windlass down to the boat. We used the jib halyard and the winch to hoist it from the dock cart onto the boat... Jane ran the winch and I ran the tagline. That sucker is heavy! We positioned it on its side on the edge of the stainless steel mounting plate, and I did the re-wiring, using the new wire entrance glands. Then I liberally coated the bottom edge with silicone, and stuck on the fiber-reinforced ABS isolator that I had previously made, keeping it lined up by sticking a couple of the mounting bolts in the windlass.

When the wiring was complete, we rolled it upright and into place. Jane kept the isolator on and guided the bolts into the holes in the stainless plate, while I supplied the bulk lifting. Then it was just a matter of putting the isolator washers under the bolt heads and tightening the nuts. Windlass installed!

Then, since there was still time, we used the halyard again and picked up the bow pulpit from its inverted resting place on the foredeck, where it stayed all winter with its skinny legs sticking up into the air like something dead. With some maneuvering, we got it into place, and I bolted it down to the bowsprit platform. I know it is hard to pick out in the busy picture above, but trust me, there is now a bow pulpit!

Now I have to hire a little kid or a midget to get the nuts started on the last 4 bolts, which penetrate the bulwark, too far forward for me to wedge even my svelte body to reach.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Rule of Twelfths

When we arrive in an anchorage and the tide is in mid-cycle, we need to estimate how much more (or less) water there will be at high or low tide. We use the Rule of Twelfths. It goes like this:
  • In the first hour, the tide will rise 1/12 of the difference between low and high tide
  • In the second hour it will rise 2/12 of the difference (for a total of 3/12 = 1/4)
  • In the third hour it will rise 3/12 of the difference (for a total of 6/12 = 1/2)
  • In the forth hour it will rise 3/12 of the difference (for a total of 9/12 = 3/4)
  • In the fifth hour it will rise 2/12 of the difference
  • In the sixth hour it will rise 1/12 of the difference
For falling tides, use the same rule, but it will fall 1/12, 2/12, etc.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Destination: Blake Island

If you arrived here by searching for a chart, please see this page.
Blake Island is a jewel. It is far away from Seattle, yet it is right in Seattle's back yard. All of Blake Island is a Marine Park; it is inaccessible except by boat. For the non-boating public of Seattle, it is far away, yet once you are there, the Seattle skyline is the whole eastern horizon.

For those in Seattle who do not have marine transportation, the m/v Goodtimes (and perhaps other Emerald cruise boats) will take you from downtown to the Indian longhouse on the NE corner of the island for a unforgettable meal of salmon cooked at an open fire and native dancing and culture.

There is a tiny marina at the NE corner where the cruise boats dock, but which can accommodate a few additional boats for overnight moorage as well. And the island is ringed with State Park mooring buoys, for those who wish to avoid the hustle and bustle of the little marina (um, that would be us).

We have used the buoys on the East side and those on the West side. None are immune to the roll which comes from the wakes of the passing shipping, or the ferries, but perhaps the West side is a little calmer. There is a "mooring cable" arrangement on the West side, but we avoid these things like the plague (I'd much rather anchor).

The whole island is threaded with hiking trails which take you thru deep northwestern woods, all ending on sandy beaches. Eagles soar overhead, and the interior is primally quiet. There is much to explore, and boating families with children enjoy Blake Island for just this reason. (Apologies to Scott and Angela of Ghost, as this is their favorite anchorage - guys, if I got this wrong, please fix it in the comments!)

The far northwestern tip of the island is a lovely sandspit which is a designated kayak/canoe primitive campground. I think it would be really fun to take a kayak onto the Southworth ferry from Seattle, and launch it at Southworth with this campground as a destination. It would be a protected mile long paddle with a great endpoint.

Legend says that Blake Island was the birthplace of the Suquammish Chief Sealth, for whom the city of Seattle was named. More recently, the entire island was owned by one Wm. Trimble. He built a reportedly beautiful mansion on what he called "Trimble Island", but abandoned it in grief when his wife was tragically killed in a freak accident in 1929.

Eventually, the mansion burned. Recently, family of a long-gone great uncle revealed that he and a companion sheltered in the mansion after losing their boat in the icy waters of Puget Sound. They started a fire in one of the fireplaces, which perhaps had a defective chimney. They left the island, not knowing that a smoldering ember had initiated the demise of the mansion.
Few signs remain.

Walk the beaches, walk the trails, and realize that few cities in this country have such a jewel so close, and yet so far.

Leak Testing, Naturally

It just absolutely poured all night here in Seattle, giving me a worst-case leak test of the bowsprit installation.

There is one tiny leak, at the aft outside corner of the port sampson post. This is an easy spot to get at - I will reseal it once the leak testing finally stops.

Everything else is dry! Dryer than it has ever been since we got the boat!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

OK, I admit that I was whining yesterday

The weather man seemd to have it in for us - tempting us with a favorable forecast, and then once we were committed, dashing our hopes. And so I moped around all day yesterday, feeling quite put upon. You'll recall that the NOAA forecast was for rain for the foreseeable future.

Well, we awoke this morning to bright sunshine and calm winds, despite rain and wind all night long. It was so unexpected, I actually thought for a moment that I was still dreaming. Even before my first cup of coffee, I checked NOAA... and they said it was going to be sunny and calm winds today. What a difference 24 hours makes!

So we did it. It took 9 hours of hard labor for both Jane and I, and a lot of help from our son Adam, Fred (Black Opal), and Curtis (Wind Dancer, the slip next to us). There were no breaks for pictures, so I don't have any showing the installation. But believe in magic: all 16 holes, so carefully laid out and drilled, lined up perfectly.

The sampson posts are in, and all the deck openings are sealed with polysulphide sealant. The rig is re-tensioned, more or less - I need to check it again when it can be the primary object of my focus.

Still remaining for next weekend: the anchor windlass and the bow pulpit. Jane is taking in the anchor and the 50' chain leader for the rope rode on the port side of the anchor locker for regalvanizing tomorrow. And we still need a few nuts and cotter pins. But we are now enjoying a well-deserved glass of wine and celebrating the completed job.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow

It is raining this morning.

In Seattle.

Who would have guessed? The rain that was forecast yesterday to arrive late this afternoon, and then last night to arrive about noon, showed up at 08:00.

So, I am not going to try to create a water-tight seal between the bowsprit and the deck... while it is raining. And it is also windy... not the best thing if you're planning to remove part of the standing rigging on the mainmast.

I have taped over the exposed holes on the bowsprit to keep the wood dry that I intend to create a seal against when I do finally install it. It is sitting forlornly out in front of the boat on a dock cart.

But tomorrow doesn't look good either. In fact, it looks like it is going to rain now for the foreseeable future:

Rain Chance for Measurable Precipitation 80%

Hi 58 °F
Chance Rain Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Hi 56 °F
Chance Rain Chance for Measurable Precipitation 40%
Hi 58 °F
Showers Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 70%
Hi 56 °F
Showers Likely
Hi 55 °F

So, we will wait for appropriate weather.

Trying not to be discouraged.
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