Busy days–we popped back into a marina to enable us to take care of errands and to have a worry-free Thanksgiving celebration with friends, off the boat. Now we’re preparing to leave. It was raining during our trip to the marina and unfortunately, too much debris in the waters to simply sit in the chart house and enjoy the drizzle. Here are a couple pics of that day:
David at the helm with a ready smile and laugh no matter the conditions.
Leaving Mildred Island meant leaving the lovely wildlife there.
I love RainX, it makes the water bead up on the glass and helps keep the glass clean, too.
Early this spring, during a blustery March day sailing down the California coast, I was mostly sitting in the enclosed chart house rather than staying outside on deck. Why? looks like a lovely day to be outside doesn’t it? Not so. It was cold, very cold. This trip, we kept the diesel Newport bulkhead heater running the entire time; although the off-watch person was typically sleeping right next to the heater, the on-watch person was better off inside where they could also assure the stove was running smoothly.
The night before we had seen incredibly rough seas with a mixed swell of both W and NW waves. Because of the seas the previous evening and night, after leaving our comfy port of Pillar Point Harbor, before turning south (SSE) and sailing downwind towards our destination, we’d motor sailed directly westward for twelve hours. This was a reasonable heading with Mahdee facing the W winds and waves while taking hits, from the contrary and large NW waves, forward of the beam rather than on the aft quarter. We had sailed a few hours SSW and then SW getting pummeled by the West waves before giving in, turning the motor back on, and sailing that westerly course.
The westward heading was also the quickest way to obtain sufficient sea room in the last remnants of a gale. We motored our westward course because we could not have pointed that high (due West) under sail alone. Mahdee would have been sailing WNW, away from our destination, at best to obtain the sea room under sail alone. The luxury of motor sailing, ah, it is nice sometimes. Once we had our sea room, we turned off the engine again, faced SSE and enjoyed the downwind ride. We still had only two sails up: the gaff foresail and the jib, now wing-on-wing, and by the lee with preventer set. Our speed was between 7 and 9 knots which was very comfortable. Putting up the mainsail, even reefed, would have taken us over 11 knots and likely would have been very squirrel-ly. The sails were well balanced such that neither the autopilot nor I had to move the wheel to hold our course even though the seas were large and a bit confused. The Force 6 to 7 winds were steady with occasional gusts. I took 5 continuous minutes of footage but cropped the jittery parts for this video.
When I’m bored, I sometimes shoot a lot of…boring…video to stay awake and engaged. In this case, the water and waves were just beautiful and even though I was bored the water scene was not boring! The date/time stamp is 2:16 pm 3/24/2013. So, I was halfway through my four hour watch. We were doing 4 hour watches on this particular trip. Midnight-4am, 4am-8am, 8am-Noon, Noon-4pm, 4pm-8pm, 8pm-Midnight. Four hours on, and four hours off, goes on indefinitely. We find that this gives us time for chit-chat at the beginning or end of a watch period while still allowing a good 3 hours or more of sleeping. One of the funny things I recall about shooting this video is how incredibly rolly–pitch–yaw–up-down-side-to-side–the boat was and how difficult to keep the camera steady. Funny how that sort of thing doesn’t show up in the video.
I’m going through a lot of my videos from our sailing this year. We’ve not had the Internet bandwidth available to upload anything until very recently. So hopefully I’ll upload a few more videos over the next few days or weeks.
I’d heard of coots. I’d seen a few coots. But, before we anchored at Mildred Island this month, I never experienced entire flocks of coots swimming and dancing on the waters around me. Here’s a link with information about the American Coot:
You never know what the flock is going to do. After a few days anchored, I did notice that they were especially fun to watch at sunset. So I turned on the video setting in my little camera and this is what I saw. Swimming, dancing, and chasing each other. That’s what they do, it seems.
Whenever there’s a small wire visible–like a USB charger–Beryl is sorely tempted to chew on it. Here, as David is working nearby on the computer, Beryl contemplates whether she can get in one good chomp before he notices…
Mahdee is momentarily on the hard at the Ladd’s Marina in Stockton, CA. She’s getting all spiffed up with a 4 year touch up to her 10 year bottom paint…fairing of the hull above the waterline (port side) and new topside paint (all around) …replacement of the failing boot stripe paint (the primary reason for the haul out)…two additional cockpit drains… new prop shaft packing….and a half dozen other little things.
We do all our own work, as many friends know. We still wholeheartedly agree with the Lin and Larry Pardey saying of “If you can’t repair it, maybe it shouldn’t be on board.” Right before the haul out David climbed the mast, yet again, to remove the Airmar weather station so we may send it in for testing and repair. I’m beginning to wonder if that thing should be onboard. It works…sort of…but the gyro, compass, humidity, and GPS all don’t work. So–what does work? The wind speed, temperature, and barometer do work. We purchased the unit on Ebay as new old stock from a marine electronics shop in Florida. It has never worked entirely as it should but the Airmar folks have been surprisingly chipper about trying to fix it properly. I do wish we’d just purchased a new one from a regular dealer. The new ones don’t have a humidity sensor and I really wanted that feature…it has never worked though. I suppose there’s a reason why the new ones don’t have that feature, eh?
The boatyard here is an enjoyable experience. The employees are friendly, the owners are kind and caring people, the other DIY boats in the yard are owned by an interesting mix of characters, including other traveling boaters, as well. The boatyard is part of a small marina. The prices of the boatyard and marina are reasonable and there is good access to shopping close by.
We met up with a cruising boat here, SV Ballena, owned by Randy and Gina. We saw Randy and Gina a few weeks ago when we were in the Georgiana Slough. David and I were floating downstream in a three boat dingy raft-up with four other folks when Randy and Gina came along in Ballena. Randy anchored for a bit just down stream of where we were…while Gina collected some of the plentiful fall rose hips hanging down over the water in that area. We called out “hi” and wondered if we would cross paths again somewhere. So it was really fun to cross paths again so quickly here at Ladd’s just now. We were able to officially “meet” them and hear a lot about their four years of cruising–mostly in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez–as well as their Delta plans. They came up here from Mexico with the intent of spending a year, two, or more exploring the California Delta. As they left the marina yesterday, we made plans to see them again in a nearby anchorage after we re-launch Mahdee in a few days. Neither Mahdee nor Ballena have been to the particular anchorage, so it will be a good “exploration” for both.
Here are some pics of our present boatyard, projects, and Beryl’s antics while here.
David had a bird’s eye view from the top of the mast when he removed the Airmar weather station. Note all the floating water hyacinth in the working docks!
The boot stripe is now sanded off, the bronze parts all primed with the yellow Proline Strontium Chromate primer, and all the bare wood spots on the keel primed with orange/red lead paint.
The trailing edge of the rudder, around a wood bung, bleeds a bit of boat-soup (linseed oil, Stockholm tar, turpentine) that we used to lubricate the bronze drifts as they were driven into the oak as we built the rudder. These hold the oak in the rudder together nicely but the boat soup is getting squeezed out slowly as the oak swelled up after the boat’s launch in April 2009.
Our last haul out was in June 2010 and in general, the bottom paint (applied in March 2009 pre-launch and touched up in 2010) is in very good shape but it won’t stay on the bronze, the old oak keel seemed to pop paint off here-and-there and the new purpleheart countertimber is located close enough to the prop that the prop-wash seems to eventually take the paint off the countertimber.
As we work below and on ladders all day, Beryl sits above us on deck supervising and whining that we’re not giving her sufficient attention.
We’ve gotten out our old blue tarps to cover the boat against the dew or rain. She loves to play in the tarps and our biggest worry is that she’ll fall overboard while playing in a scrunched up tarp on deck.
It has been very windy for two days. The days have been lovely but with too much wind and too cold to paint. David gout the 1.5″ bronze check valves and thru hulls that have been stashed away under the berth. Now is time to install the additional 1.5″ cockpit drains from the cockpit seats to the transom. She has four 1.5″ cockpit drains in the cockpit sole already. Mahdee’s huge cockpit needs these drains to meet the ORC guidance for offshore (racing) yacht cockpit draining times of 3 minutes or less.
I’m hoping for less wind tomorrow since we’ve had three days of strong winds so far that have precluded painting on those days. The FLS transducers can be painted tomorrow even if it is windy and I can start the interior clean-up of the boat in preparation for re-launch. We have two weeks worth of laundry to do since we’re not hooked up to a shore drain or water I can’t use my washer but will have to use the marina facilities instead.
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