Mal and Sandra with their friends Zinda and Robin Fitzgerald were headed out on a Irish mission to Hornby and back. Somehow Sue and Sandra conspired to have us all meet in Henry Bay for a drink or two… and dinner. It turned out to be a beautiful evening, not to mention, being surrounded by the Irish is a workout, on your face’s laugh muscles. I often wonder if the “Irish humour” is actually a gene and when an Irish child is born their first words are a joke! When the sun shines at this time of year our “backyard” is undoubtably one of our planets most beautiful areas.
The path out of the cockpit to the deck on our Passport 47 is narrow and we always found ourselves grabbing the wire life lines for support. This can be dangerous if you miss and hard on the hands is you are in a rough seaway. Finally I decided to replace that section of wire with 1 inch stainless tube. All I did was have a split fitting welded to one end and the other was welded to the first stanchion. If I need to remove the section it is still possible. Wow what a difference, easy to grab, secure and best tot all Sue loves it!!
Hurray - or – Akkkk what have we done!!! Sue with great excitement gave her leave notice so we are committed to our offshore adventure this fall. The boat list is small ( I hope it stays that way) , our piggy bank has no where near enough $$$, the list of what we need to organize seems way toooooooooo long but throwing caution to the wind we are off. You might find us at Costco in future year getting the $1.50 hotdog special to survive but as I often say ” you never know what might fall out the sky”. Josh is enrolling with PIE education for school and is very excited to be off traveling the less traveled road. Tilly will have to find a temporary home while we are gone because she is terrified at sea and really needs a few sheep to keep her occupied, Kayto on the other hand will join us, Yeh
As with most renovations it all started in a rather innocuous way, our Raritan manual head was leaking and in need of a rebuild. The story goes something like this; now that the head is out I should refinish the head base, now that the head base is out I should refinish the bulkhead behind the head, oh right the wash down pump needs replacing and the plumbing should be moved, now that I have access, maybe I should put a waste Y valve in and a shut off valve on the holding tank and all of this is connected to the forward gear locker that has a leak somewhere, I might as well tear that out – while I was at it .
Because there was not room in the head the vented loop was put in the forward locker all old holes in the bulkhead were sealed and the wash down pump was moved to the celling of the locker. Paint and a new LED light will finish off this zone.
This was not the day or two job it was weeks, but well worth the time spent. Leaks gone and the forpeak will never be so organized again. Also the shower was painted (Interlux Brightside ) a little varnish touch up - WOW big improvement. I’ll post a picture when all done.
Bluewater Cruising Association (which we are members) put on a one day safety at sea course for those of us that have never had the misfortune to use that expensive piece of safety equipment call the ” Life Raft”. Our thinking was it might be a good idea to have this experience before we were actually in a crisis, in fact our inflatable lifejackets had never been activated either! So off the whole family went to dress in full gear, jump into the pool and try all this out. Was it worth it - YES!!!!!, and it was a lot of fun.
In thirty years of cruising we have never fallen over board, need a life raft, even had to use a flare gun but you really don’t want the first time you use these to be in a real emergency when the stress is high and a wrong decision could cost a life. I recommend this for all sailors whether your going offshore or not. What were the big lessons?
1. Mustang lifejackets were great but you need a bum strap. Without this the jacket tends to ride up and you could slip out if your being tossed around in chop.
2. Know your life raft. Every manufacturer has different features and the position of the gear in the raft is different. Spend the time to study your particular raft. Our is a Givens and are happy to know its design features are great. We had trouble getting in the DBC because there was no ladder and with an inflated life jacket this is no easy feat!
We lost our beautiful spring like weather to a foot of slush, ugh. The last few days have reminded us why we really are looking forward to our trip South. Slush is worse than rain as it doesn’t run off, just piles up putting water in places that you never imagined!
Adesso came with a KISS high output wind generator with lots of spares. My research on the product indicated that it was a durable and respected name in wind generators of the past. Kiss is no longer in business but parts were available so with that in mind I rewired it when recommissioning Adesso after the trip across the US. During the summer trip around Vancouver Island an unexpected compatibility issue arose, the KISS does not have a regulator relying on a simple heat sink and diode to produce DC and assums that a battery can be overcharged to up to 10% of its capacity negating the need for stage regulation. Well that may be true BUT when you mix that with a Morningstar MPPT regulator for the solar, things are not so happy, the “smart” regulator sensing the high voltages that the Kiss would output would shut down charging and not recover until it was reset. The Mastervolt charger/inverter didn’t like it either, should I mention the Balmar regulator as well, Sigh@><!
The choice was to buy another regulator and larger heat sink for the KISS or look for something else if it was affordable. In the end I did not want to spend hundreds to support an older piece of technology on our boat so the KISS was sold to someone with a simpler alternative energy environment. Looking for bang for the buck and taking into account that Captain Sue wanted less sound we opted for the Air Breeze Marine and installed the carbon fibre Blue Blades made in Portugal. Wow – no more problems and very QUIET not mention the blaze of blue in the sunlight! Another project off the list.
One of Sue’s first projects was redo the upholstery. Adesso’s was dark and worn out in a number of places so fabric hunting was high on the list. It all started with fabric rub counts and swatches laying about the boat for weeks while the best colour choice was made. In the end a lighter blue/grey with no pattern was the winner, as it lighten up the interior of the boat and is very easy to clean, a major concern! Becky of Anchors Away was contracted to do the job. The result was nothing short of spectacular, thank you Becky!!!
I must say that though my feelings about furry crew is that life without is easier, Sue fell for Kato (his name now) at the local pet store and showed up aboard. He has adapted well considering we failed at the “head” training attempt #1, and has taken a couple of winter time dips in the ocean. If you can imagine a cat leaping out of frigid water so fast you didn’t even notice how he got out. On our first trip with him this Christmas we found out he loves a moving boat, as soon as we were off the dock the cat was roaring up and down the decks, my thinking was we were going to get a cat overboard drill on the trip! So welcome aboard Kato, I’m sure we will be posting your antics in the future.
Adesso arrived from Rhode Island with a new air conditioner which would pump out a little heat but in the Pacific Northwest real heat is needed to survive snowy days. The best heat for a larger boat are forced air or hydronic diesel furnaces that will put heat in a number of cabins. In our case Sure Marine in Seattle has a great reputation, supplying Webasto heater kits for the marine industry and is close by. We went with hydronic because of the installation, 1” hose was possible to run from the boiler where a 3” air vent line path could not be found. The other big challenge was where to put the boiler itself. All the room underneath the cockpit was already full of , generator, holding tank, water maker, spare anchor, auto pilot, leaving a small area behind the propane tanks the only choice. This was a tight fit, not to mention the contortions required to get into the area to install the unit as well.
The other challenge was the expansion tank had to be above the boiler which meant I had to be creative to find a place that would work. In the end the tank in one of our master cabin lockers keeps its contents dry and radiates nicely in to the cabin. The small radiators were installed in the bottom of lockers and storage areas, cutting a little into the space but this was a small price to pay for heat. The water loop ran from the stern of the boat where the boiler was, underneath the aft cabin bunk, along the removable floor boards to the forward locker, 150 feet of hose in all. The install is not for the faint of heart as there are many components all of which have to squeezed in to the boat somewhere.
With three zones all on their own thermostats we are cosy aboard even when the snow falls! The other bonus is the efficiency of this type of heat compared to the drip feed stove. Using a fraction of the diesel and a little 12V current has made Adesso our winter cruising home very comfortable. A special thanks to Sure Marine for the great service and support getting this all running! The air conditioner was sacrificed for room and power savings though we may regret that if we ever get to hot countries!