Friday, May 30, 2014

T minus 48 hours.

Here's hoping that weather participates and the winds stay calm. In  48 hours SV Terrapin will be making her maiden voyage with Captain Phil, First Mate Dave and Green Horn Todd.  Feel free to do the "favorable weather" dance in support of a smooth sail.  More to comes as our week long adventure of cruising down the California coast starts.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Less than two weeks until Southbound!

This weekend, I took my final trip up to Alameda to finish the gargantuan laundry-list of things to do on Terrapin before we bring her down the coast.  The plan is to leave Alameda early on the 31st of May at slack tide and sail straight through to Santa Barbara.  This first leg of the trip will be just me and my friend and fellow sailor, Dave.  I made the decision not to have Aimee and the girls on this leg since the weather has the potential to be nasty along this part of the coast especially around Point Conception.  Once we get to Santa Barbara, Aimee and the girls will join us on to San Diego by way of the Channel Islands and Catalina Island.

Needless to say, the to-do list for the boat is huge.  In fact, I have had to triage this list to identify the "must-do" items that are absolutely necessary before the big trip down the coast.  

The largest (in both scope and price) of these problems has most certainly been "Eddie" the autopilot. I am not too hip on the idea of hand-steering a 45 foot boat for 54 hours straight, so this one was right at the top of the list.   Now, even though the previous owner had assured us that the non-functioning autopilot simply needed to be "reconfigured", I had a feeling that it was going to be a bit more complicated.  As with most things boat-related, it was waaaaay more complicated.  Turns out, not only was the hydraulic pump rusted beyond function, we had an array of leaky lines and broken valves that needed to be replaced.  This repair was well beyond my skill and pay level so I called Star Marine in Oakland and the owner, Ian did a beautiful job of rebuilding the system.  

Unfortunately, he only finished it today, so I couldn't shake it down while I was up there.  So when I get in on the 30th, Ian is coming with me for a sea-trial to make sure that it all works the way it should (fingers crossed).

Next up, was the freshwater system.  On my last visit, I filled the 125 gallon water tanks,  but the water was not draining to the day tank and the pressure water system.  As you can see below, this is the mess that I had to make sense of.

 Turns out, there is a little vent hose on the side the day tank which was actually full of water.  When I pulled off the hose, water started flowing through the system like magic!  One of those rare occasions on a boat when the fix is actually easier than anticipated.

The rest of the weekend was spent changing out batteries, replacing gauges, fixing up the rigging, marking 350 feet of anchor chain and doing a full inventory of equipment and getting rid of all the crap on board that we don't need.  

New 1000 Amp starting battery

New block and tackle for the backstay.

New BBQ grill mounted.

350 feet of anchor chain marked for depth.

The gigantic pile of crap that I hauled off the boat.

So, that's it.  That was my last trip up until I fly up on the 30th to bring her down, so she is as ready as she will be.  Now, I'm just hoping that this crazy west coast weather settles down in the next couple of weeks.

Sitting pretty and ready to go!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Meanwhile in San Diego

Every year it's bad....but "bad" doesn't usually start till September, not May

Preparation comes in many forms

One item on the never ending list of preparation is a family trip to the dermatologist.  Nothing screams fun like paper gowns.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prelude to when the family gets bored

Mom and her expanding collection of lame hats.  I'm not amused

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Suck it West Marine

Anyone who owns a boat or knows a sucker than owns a boat most often knows that boat is simply an acronym for "Bring Out Another Thousand".  While provisioning for our maiden voyage I can't help but think this b.o.a.t., is sponsored in part by West Marine.  West Marine, where the same exact items selling down the street for a reasonable asking price are grossly overpriced.

"But these toothpicks are designed to effortlessly pick the freshly caught tuna out of your  porcelain veneers, hence why we are asking a mere $2 per toothpick. You do own a boat don't you?"

For the common folk, West Marine can leave you not knowing wether to scratch your head or your ass first while feverishly searching for the exit.  West Marine is where money goes to die! It's been with pleasure for us to seek out what we need elsewhere. Don't feel like paying $30 for a kill switch attached to a lanyard, look on eBay. You'll find two with 6 different heads for a whooping $12 bucks.

Need some nylon cord with 1350 lbs tensile strength but don't feel like taking out a home equity line of credit? Head on over to your local army/ navy supply and pick some up for pocket change. It's amazing that something used for "boating" is wallet draining, yet that same item used for "camping" is chump change.

For all you high falutin yachties, "camping" is when the average American heads out into nature to sleep in their own filth, eat meals out of cans and roast "wienies" on sticks. (The revolting thought alone makes you want to clutch your freshwater pearls, I know).

Our score of the day were two adult sized offshore automatic inflatable life with harness and as an added bonus, they both came with rearming kits. Laymans Terms...we bought awesome life vests that automatically blow up when they hit water, as in the case of someone falling overboard.  Both were less than the price of one. Score one for the Nance's, nothing for West Marine today.  But alas, we're sure the day will come when we are without and left with only one exorbitantly expensive option, till then, suck it West Marine.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Whole lot of nothing

For the first time in what seems like forever we did nothing today.

Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

Unless you consider holding down the couch something. Part of what made us relish in being complete sloths was the inability to recall the last time we did nothing, also knowing that this will unlikely happen in our near future made it that much more enjoyable.

 Lately we've been consumed with figuring out logistics of how to get our boat down to San Diego, and selling off the rest of our items we won't be needing. After last weekend's trip to San Francisco to work on the boat it became apparent to Phil that we will need crew to help for the maiden voyage. If you're paying attention, you'll know that I don't know how to sail. Thankfully we have friends who know someone (Dave) who sails and is looking at getting his captains license.  Needing hours for his license he's offered to help sail from San Francisco to San Diego, which a huge relief. The plan is to have Phil and Dave sail down to about Ventura, covering the "hardest" part of sail and then the girls and I will meet them, hop aboard and sail off to the Channel Islands followed by Catalina Island and then home to San Diego.   Although I've had great visions of our maiden voyage just the four of us with stunning pictures of us with the Golden Gate bridge in the background, we feel this is best for the girls.  The trip can be challenging till Ventura and we don't want the first experience with the four of us be less than pleasant. We really want the girls to feel safe and actually want to get back on the boat after the first trip.