Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mixing in the Galley

Happy New Year to Family and Friends in the Netherlands!

For those of us here are not working on boats (Jak's quote "it's a working day") and still living in 2008 this is the time to prepare some New Year's Eve appetizers.
Back in Berkeley at REI we got this fabulous GSI hand cranking blender and with strong stainless steel blades I must say perfect for on a boat!

With too much good food around Point Loma and the need to cut back a little bit on the calorie intake, I decided to make some low fat guacamole with cottage cheese and use up some of the little-less-happy-now-about-40-days-old eggs for an egg salad.

Another great recipe using the blender for us limited-space-in-the-refrigerator-folks is the following Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade:
2 cups boiling water
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted (kalamata) olives
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (or more) garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil.
Combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes, cover and let stand 15 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup liquid. Combine tomatoes, reserved liquid, olives, basil, lemon juice and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. Place mixture in a small bowl;stir in oil. Cover and chill.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

In the Commonwealth countries, this is Boxing Day. In the Benelux and a few other European nations this is Tweede Kerstdag or 2nd Christmas Day. Rumor has it that it may take two days for the baby Jesus to be born in Belgium.

Europeans talk about Americans eating so much, but two Christmas Dinners? The second day does eliminate most excuses for not visiting both sets of in-laws.

Aboard Maitreya, we had most of our celebration yesterday. This included Stol or Kerststol, eggnog, and baked oysters.

Prettige Kerstdagen

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from sunny, errr, rainy San Diego. Also a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy Kwanzaa. We miss our friends and family back in the Bay Area, the Netherlands, Los Angeles, Portland, Canada and even Ohio.

I noticed today that the small candles Corine found for our little bronze holders are actually Hanukkah candles that were made in Turkey. Hopefully the world will be able to get along this seamlessly on more important issues in the coming year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pure Winching Pleasure

The mechanic that did our repower gave me some grief, or an alternate four letter spelling, over the size of my hydraulic windless. He thought I ought to go electric, so there would be no issues with the pump and engine. I am glad that I did not listen t him.

Hauling in our 75 pound CQR and 50 plus feet of chain was no match for the hydraulics. At one point it hesitated slightly. Corine gave the engine a little more RPM and it yanked along nicely. As the anchor surfaced, something orange popped into view. It turned out to be a pair of traffic cones tied in a drogue-like attitude. Following these, was a 5 gallon bucket that was filled with either cement, mud or both. I have no idea what this contraption was meant to do, but it must have weighed another 50 or so pounds. A lesser winch might have balked at this load, leaving the anchor fouled on the bottom.

My handy offshore knife parted the half inch line slung over the CQR plow, returning the beast to it's resting place.

A Few Days in Coronado


We left the Coronado Cays Yacht Club on Friday and went north to Glorietta Bay in central Coronado. We spent two days anchored there, visiting the Coronado Yacht Club and the famous Hotel Del Coronado.

The "Del", as it is known locally, is celebrating it's 120th birthday. It was almost torn down in the 1970s, but Ronald Regan, John Wayne and others spoke out for it. The hotel is currently decorated for Christmas and there is an ice skating rink a hundred yards from the Pacific. The weather was quite nice, though chilly.

We spent last night anchored in Shelter Island between the Southwestern and San Diego Yacht Clubs. This morning we moved back to a slip at the San Diego Yacht Club to finish our repair work. It has just started to rain again.

There is a small photo album of Coronado above.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poisoned by the Baker

It has been raining like crazy again today, perhaps up to two inches in some parts of San Diego.

We are hold up in the boat with all the hatches shut. Corine baked twice. First it was cheese scones for breakfast. Later we had oatmeal cookies with butterscotch bits.

Each time she fires the oven up, our new carbon monoxide alarm goes off. I have not felt that sleepy, so it may just be sensitive. I have heard that a fair number of boaters go out that way though.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Drying Out

It is a wonderful sunny day in Coronado. We are trying to dry out all the soaked stuff before it starts to pour again tonight. There has been some record rainfall in San Diego.

We know this kind of behavior can get you kicked out of a lot of yacht clubs. The people here have been extremely friendly and so far it has not been an issue. We are expecting two more days of rain starting tonight. I guess that means more brownies.

The Very Blustery Day

We were scheduled to move to the Coronado Cays Yacht Club today. A strong low pressure system was passing through San Diego from the south. I had measured gusts in the 17-20 knot range at the dock. Any loosening of Maitreya's dock lines sent her scampering further into the slip and towards her neighbor. We decided to dry out and play some cards below while waiting for the wind and rain would calm down. The rain increased followed by louder howling of the wind through the masts.

We decided to check the anemometer mounted on top of the SDYC clubhouse. Readings there were peaking at 37 knots. We went back to the boat where we played more cards. Corine baked some brownies, saying that the oven would "heat up the boat". Once the brownies were done she prepared to take some to the dockmaster, thinking she might bribe him for another night. As she climbed out through the companion way, she noticed that the winds had dropped.

We quickly slipped our our lines and headed out of Shelter Island for the main bay. We saw a couple of boats being towed by the police and vessel assist, but things remained fairly calm until we passed under the Coronado Bridge. The wind picked up again as we passed towards the low sand beach of the Naval Amphibious Base, home of the SEALS.

A little way past the bridge our keel thumped on the bottom a couple of times. San Diego has been experiencing extreme tides along with the latest full moon. We headed further east into the deep water channel next to the naval shipyards. Rain and about 15 knots of wind cut visibility and we missed the oddly marked channel cut across the bay to the Cays. After a loop and a lot of studying of the depth sounder, we found the channel and crossed over. Our problem, was that we did not have the harbor chart and Coastal Explorer did provide any information about soundings or buoys south of the bridge.

About quarter of five, we tide up at the club's guest dock. What we though was a short ten mile jaunt in protected waters, turned out to be a full day's adventure.

Oh bother.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Projects Update

The stanchions turned out to be in pretty bad shape. The welds for the riser to hold the stanchion tube rotted out.

This one cracked at the top of the riser. The bases are held down by four 7inch 3/8 bolts. They go through the base wood, about an inch of deck and through 3 1/2 inches of concrete.

A new base and stanchion in place. Should last another 30 years.

Here is the new winch for the main halyard, next to the old one. Sweet...

It starts to look a lot like Christmas!

Some serious downsizing this year in regards to a Christmas tree and ornaments (the collection is safely stored back up North) but off course, I couldn't resist getting some small items :-) The little candles are from our trip to the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam last year and no worries, the little tea lights are LED but unfortunately the stockings are too small to hold anything substantial (although the chocolate truffles from a great local store I got for my birthday may fit). Together with the definitely colder weather and rain storms for the next few days we're cozily bundled up down below with all hatches closed enjoying the season. Tonight is the first lit boat parade and some folks are getting really serious.
Enjoy the Holiday Season!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Tough Fleet

I saw this posted outside the bar here at the San Diego Yacht Club.

If we look a little closer, we see the leader's names. (May require clicking the photo to read.)

Heavy Weather and the Yacht Club Bar

We watched Lin and Larry Pardey's excellent video, Storm Tactics, the other night. They describe in detail the art of heaving to in big seas. They also talk about general boat preparation and the use of a parachute sea anchor.

The video starts and ends with them singing a cute song that makes fun of landlubbers - Yacht Club Bar

I love to sit around the yacht club bar
and talk about the things we're going to do.
I love to sit around the yacht club bar
because it doesn't move.
The swells are big and the winds are high
but that don't bother me.
Cause I never get lost and my tummy doesn't toss
It's a wonderful life on the sea.

My boat it is a big one boys. My crew it is the best.
We race around the entrance buoy beating all the rest.
We're the first ones home with a bent elbow and a powerful salt spray thirst.
We sit around and drink all night and see who comes in first.

Chorus- I love to sit around the yacht club bar

I took her out one Sunday, we got about five miles out
The wind it was a screaming, right dead out of the south.
The waves they must have been two feet high, the swells at least one more.
I'm so lost and my tummy is tossed, I'll never get back to the shore.

My head it was a reeling, my feet got tangled up.
Those damn old sheets were everywhere, just trying to trip me up.
The halyard broke, the boom fell down, the main took off like a bird.
Mayday was my final cry as I dived beneath my berth.

My sailing days are over, cause of that great scare.
You others take a warning, and don't you go out there.
There's winds and seas and swells so high, how can you stay afloat.
Be like me and drink to the sea and don't untie your boat.

Speaking of which, there is a storm coming into San Diego and the talk is all about what damage the 35 knot winds will do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Repower Photos and Details

I found some photos of the installation of the new Yanmar 4JH4E that was done in August. I have put them up on the Maitreya website here with a short discussion of the tasks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Projects Underway

We are here in San Diego with various projects underway before pushing on to Mexico.
  • New stanchions and bases for the lifelines. The second base in a couple months broke while off shore in choppy seas. It is clearly time to replace the lot of them. This requires a bit of work. The old stanchion tubes were 1 1/8 inches. These were perhaps custom. No one makes these anymore off the shelf, so replacing the bases requires replacing the tubes. The bases also used larger bolts than the new bases can accommodate. These need to be drilled out by a machinist since they need to match the holes through our concrete rail. I wore out a couple of drill bits doing this on one base in Richmond. The guys at Dynamic Marine Machining are handling the work.
  • The new Simrad IS20 wind instrument has not been recording the correct direction. I had thought that the speed was shown was accurate. I saw some 18 knot gusts that only registered 10 knots. This made me wonder how much wind we had the dark night in the storm that showed 22 knots on the Simrad and healed the boat 15 degrees. We have been waiting for a replacement from the company in the East.
  • We have been struggling to raise the main in any kind of breeze. We are swapping the old number 8 winch for a Harken number 16 self tailing. This will help me and Corine even more.
  • We are adding a Davis Windex in addition to the Simrad. Belt and suspenders.
  • The Ferris towed generator was not outputting power. I found one damaged fuse, but there may be other issues.
  • We are mounting our large 64 watt Uni-Solar panel permanently outside as a hedge against the towed generator.
  • Corine has just reinforced the dodger as was shown in a previous post.
  • Our mainsail preventer worked well. The one exception was needing to ease the gross tuning line under a heavy load. I will be replacing the cleats with Lewmar D2 rope clutches for a quick and/or controlled release.
  • Our compass light was not working. A small thing until you need to hold a flashlight in bad weather while adjusting course or hand steering.
  • The Simrad TP32 tiller pilot has done pretty well attached to our Aries wind vane. Occasionally, rough seas will kick the pilot off of the tiller swivel. We will be using the Aries in normal wind mode as the primary steering with the autopilot as a back up and while motoring. I still need to make a modification to the linkage for fail safe steering.
This is a reasonable amount of work and it is taking us a while to gather all of the parts.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dodger Project

Corine has updated the new dodger by adding some reinforcing stanchions.

The dodger protected us really well offshore, with the exception of one minor drip. The drip was caused by a small pool that occurred during the heaviest rain. I have to say that the storm we went through set a rainfall record in San Diego.

The new stanchions have tightened the top panel like a drum. They also make an extremely strong handhold on both the top and on the side decks.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Snow in San Diego!

Ok, not really. The San Diego Yacht Club trucked in a couple tons of "snow" and let the kids have at it. The main attractions were boogie boarding down the 5 foot slope and, of course, snowball fights. The grandparents seemed to be having as much fun as the kids.

Reportedly, Santa will arrive later, ala Sinterklaas, by boat.

Russian Warship in Panama Canal

This is an interesting story of the first Russian/Soviet warship to pass through the Panama Canal since World War Two. The ship is visiting Venezuela.

Great Transpac Video

We borrowed this DVD from the wonderful library at the San Diego Yacht Club. This documents the 100 year history of the Transpac Race. Includes many interesting stories such as yachts finishing backwards, all female crews and an owner locked up by the ship's captain. Great interviews with Bill Lee, Roy Disney, Stan Honey and many more.

This is part of our new nautical video list.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weather Links for Cruisers

Here is a collection of weather links for cruisers. Some of the NOAA links are aimed at the eastern Pacific.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Sinterklaas

It is December 5th, the day that Sinterklaas visits homes in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas is based on Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children, sailors and Amsterdam.

He is a bit like Santa Clause only he comes by boat from Spain and then rides a white horse around Holland. St. Nicholas has a group of black helpers called zwarte pieten, or "black petes". Black Petes are Moorish, Moroccan or African. If children have been bad this year they may be stuffed in a sack by Pete and taken back to Spain.

Good children will put out their shoes where Sinterklaas will leave them a present. Small gingerbread cookies called Pepernoten are typically eaten in quantity.

If all this is a bit confusing for non Dutch readers, the following explanation by author David Sedaris should clear things up a bit.

San Diego and Baja Boat Yards

It is about time for a coat of bottom paint. We have been checking out some boat yards in Shelter Island, Mission Bay and Baja. Most yards will not let customers work below the waterline or at all.

One yard that would allow customers to work had cornered the market a different way. The main requirement was that you had to buy the paint from them at $175 a gallon. The representative told me, "This is so we can control what goes back into the water around here." When I asked what kind of paint they had, she said they could probably match anything we had on the bottom now.

She then told me a haul out for 39 feet would be $500. It is $300 in the Bay Area. They charge yard rate of $100/hour to power wash, so she thought that would be about $50. Washing is free in the Bay Area. They charge $3/foot for lay days or $114/day. In San Francisco, this would be about $.80/foot. Using 1.5 gallons of paint and three days, it would cost $1160 for a single coat of bottom paint, if I did the labor. She then told me that they could do the labor and it would only be $1100. I guess this means labor is cheaper than yard space? Or, we own the travel lift and you don't?

We will be waiting a bit on the bottom job.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ingrid Performance and Stability

I have been curious about yacht metrics as applied to Ingrids. At 15 tons, an Ingrid is one of the heaviest small boats I have seen.

Pure sailing performance does not compare to today's Beneteaus and JBoats. Still, it is quite easy to reach hull speed in 8 t 10 knots of wind. Going to weather, Maitreya will do 5 knots in only about 5 knots of wind.

There are a group of metrics for stability and comfort that are used by naval architects. These include length to displacement, sail area to displacement, comfort factor, capsize risk and others. Ted Brewer often references these figures when he writes about cruising boats in Good Old Boat Magazine.

I ran the basic equations for an Ingrid and posted the results on Maitreya's technical page. There is a very good discussion of these formula posted by John Holtrop here. John has also published an interesting study of the averages of these formula for many of the major cruising yacht designers. He did not include Atkin or Archer. I will summarize the Ingrid results against John's standards.

Displacement / Length496
Lower number gives quicker response
Sail Area/ Displacement14.8
Racing boats are 18+
Capsize Risk1.43
<1.8Lower is less risk
Comfort Factor54.8
Higher is more comfortable
Length to Beam3.3
3.3 is average
Velocity Ratio.979
General performance metric, Racing boats are 1.8
Roll Period5.9
Less than 4 is stiff, greater than 8 is tender
The Ingrid's displacement skews all of the results to the very heavy side. Owners know that the Ingrid turns pretty slowly as indicated by the L/D. Sail area is on the low side, but a greater area would be too much for a small crew. The capsize risk is the lowest and comfort rating the highest of all of the designers in Holtrop's study.

The question about suitability comes down to the following; Is the maximum comfort and safety too damaging to performance? If you need to exceed 7 to 8 knots on a reach, the boat is too slow and you need to look at a longer water length or a catamaran. The Ingrid performs as well offshore as most boats of it's size. Lighter, faster boats may tend to slow down more in moderate to heavy seas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Low

In the central pacific right now, there is an extremely large low pressure system. This is generating hurricane force winds. It is not clear how rare it is that a low spans a couple thousand miles. Cruisers that I have talked with do not think that it is common.

This does not look like it would have affected our trip. The high has been shoved down to the southeast and is protecting California, Hawaii and Mexico.

Back to San Diego Yacht Club

Since we have been back, we have been relaxing on the Police Dock again. We have been meeting a variety of cruisers from Alaska, New Zealand, Berkeley and other places. There are also quite a few gypsy boats that defy physics by remaining above water.

Berkeley readers may remember a 50 foot wooden S&S/Cheoy Lee with a large enclosed center cockpit that was for sale on the dock in front of the harbormaster for quite a while. The boat was purchased by a Kiwi, sheathed in cold molding, reflagged and rechristened Marionette. We saw her here on her way to New Zealand.

After five more days, we have exhausted our docking privileges here. Coincidentally, it is somebody's birthday today. The birthday girl says she wants to use the jacuzzi. So we are headed back to the very friendly people at the San Diego Yacht Club while we wait for some parts to arrive.

Everyone at the club was so friendly last time. This included the dockmaster's office, the front desk, the bar and any member that we ran into.

We also were warmly welcomed by Dr. Hunt from the board of directors, who will become a flag officer this year. He described a less-than-welcoming experience at a famous San Francisco yacht club. In addition to dinnig tips, he asked several times if we needed anything before we left. This is the real reason clubs gain their prestige.

Steel Ingrid from Sweden

We saw Misty, a steel Ingrid from Sweden on the San Diego Police Dock. She is a little worn, but has come a long way.

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