Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hurricane Prep

Still on the mooring in St Thomas doing exciting living in paradise stuff. Yesterday, I spent most of the morning rebuilding an electric head. Now that's living! Oh and I have been doing a little varnish work as well. Rather enjoy that after all the heavy sanding is completed.

The big project at this time is replacing a steering cable. This cat does not use the standard raw cable and pulley system,  it uses a liner around the wire and has no pulleys.I  have been unable to source the liner material to date. I have several outfits looking.Worse case I can reuse the existing liner and go with a smaller wire until I can source the correct part.

Some other exciting projects include changing hoses on the yanmars,  oil changes,installing new mixing elbow on generator, servicing water maker. In regards to the water maker , when in Seattle I found a stainless steel prefilter. So far an impressive addition to the unit. It was expensive though, about $100. In theory I will not need anymore disposable filters except the 5 micron.

The wind has died down today, so it is clean the hull day! When I dove the hull the other day the bottom paint looked good but a great deal of soft coral was growing on the sunny side. It removes easily but with 128 feet of waterline (42 x 4) on the boat it does take some time to clean. Plans are to rent a bottle of air and don the scuba rig.

I am a ham and use a ham rig and a SSB rig. A project that needs constant attention in the marine enviroment is the counterpoise(grounding system). A poor ground and transmission suffers. Cleaning connections and the ground plate is a constant job if peak performance is desired. I stumbled across a product that I installed yesterday. It is called KISS-SSB. Rather than run copper foil to a dyna plate this cable is stuffed with the correct lenghth wires for all the SSB and most ham frequencies. It is one connection to the back of the radio. The cable can be placed anywhere...under settees, floorboards, anyplace there is room. So far this morning I notice a definite improvement in radio performance. I will report on efficiency after going down island.

Sorry if I bored anyone with this rave. It is just to let anyone stuck behind a desk that life out here is arduous and making ice is a constant affair. My biggest complaint is the position of the sun has moved North. Now those of you who live North of the Virgins might think so what, summer is coming. I like to sit with a Dark and Stormy and watch the sunset every night, but now I can no longer see the sun slip into the sea as it goes behind the island.I still marvel at the colors reflecting off the clouds and the different hues and shading but something is missing. So it really must be time to move on to an anchorage with a more northerly view.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In the middle of Nowhere

After leaving Ocean Park I decided to follow Willipa Bay north using Highway 101 to reach I-5 then on to Seattle. I was just outside Raymond ,Washington and saw this big cat in a field next to a small creek. I stopped to look and get a pic and the owner of Pelican Yachts was there and we chatted about catamarans for over an hour. They have been building cats since the 1970s and do custom work from a number of designers. This boat is a carbon fiber 52 Shuttleworth. The person who ordered it decided they wanted bigger so they are building an eighty plus version with a spiral staircase now!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I have some time in the Pacific NW before I go back to the Virgins on May 3. The State of Washington opened the razor clam season to morning tides this week so off to Ocean Park. Located at the tip of the Long Beach peninsula, the area has long flat beaches that allow car access during clam tides.

I hooked up with Dale Rohl, an old friend from my days as an Ironworker. He resides in Ocean Park and has all the equipment to search for the elusive clam. His niece Denny was there as well as his cousin Mindy.They were my partners for the trip up the beach to capture the clams.As it was a minus tide were were all able to get our 15 clam limit in short order then back to Dale's clam shack to do the cleaning, which is quite a bit of tedious work if one is particular about guts. Denny is on the left with the clam in her mouth..