Sunday, March 20, 2011

Frigoboat Freezer - Installed and Working

First, let me put in a link to our old system that is for sale. Large Capacity 12v Holding Plate Refrigerator/Freezer System for Sale $995 plus many spares.

Dave Making the Second Bend in the Evaporator Plate

Well, it took a bit longer than I ever envisioned, but that's mainly because Dave is so careful and meticulous with how he installs things. Plus we had an extra day of messing about because of electrical issues--on the first hookup, he took advantage of the existing wire that was originally run to the old thermostat, to try to run the BD50, but that didn't work out.

Then once we got that sorted out, the unclear installation instructions for the Coastal Digital Thermostat + Smart Speed Controller combination, held us hostage for awhile. We eventually tried all the possibilities until we hit the right one.

It also took an insane amount of time for us to figure out where to make the bends in the evaporator plate. We were trying to bend it just once (L-shaped) instead of twice (U-shaped), but there are spots in the plate that can't be bent, and you have to leave 3/4" air space behind the plate, which complicated the whole thing. We were also trying to use an existing hole in the box to run the pre-attached copper pipe through. We used graph paper and our high-school algebra to figure out what the length of 1/4 diameter of the bend was (around 2" PVC pipe), so we could get everything exact. We were really afraid we would make a mistake with the $300 plate. We finally hit on the great idea to 'model' the plan with a piece of cardboard. It turned out pretty easy to bend, and was just perfect in the end.

Plate Installed in Freezer

The absolute BEST thing about this refrigeration unit, in MY humble opinion, is that it is SO QUIET. In a very quiet boat, you have to listen hard to tell if it is running. And it runs completely automatically. No more "oops, we forgot to run the freezer today!"

We will let the freezer run as a freezer for a couple of days, just to see how it cycles our empty box, then turn the thermostat up to fridge temps and move our fridge stuff into the freezer space, so he can install the fridge unit.

Right now the freezer is only drawing 3.1 amps, running on the slowest speed (2000 RPM). It runs til it hits 12.0 degrees and then shuts off. Will be trying to keep track of the cycle time once it gets to steady state.

More photos in our "Frigoboat Freezer" Photo Album

Eventually we will provide more details on the installation process on our Frigoboat Installation web page, but we haven't gotten to that yet.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tsunami Wrap-Up - Marina Damage in Hawaii

This link probably won't permanently take you to the pictures, since this link is usually for the monthly seminar announcement for Hawaii Cruising Society (affiliated with Hawaii Yacht Club). But for now, it is a collection of photos taken by members of the damage at local marinas.

Of course, here in Pearl Harbor, we had no damage whatsoever.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quake Shifted Japan 13 Feet!!

Quoting from another blog:

This week's earthquake caused the main island of Japan to shift as much as 13 feet to the east, seismologists say. That may sound like a shocker, but it's just one of the natural changes that come along with an 8.9-magnitude temblor — like the 1.6-microsecond speed-up of Earth's daily rotation and the 4-inch shift in Earth's axis.

See the rest of the article "How the Quake Shifted Japan" on MSNBC

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami Update T+12hr

We have gotten calls and emails and some links and pictures from our other friends...

The water is still surging in the harbors, and the boats that are outside the harbors waiting for the go-ahead to go back to their slips are still waiting.

Gary, our single-handing friend from s/v Sea Flyer off the Big Island, sent us this a couple of hours ago:

The Harbor is still closed due to the currents in there. One boat tried to go in but they turned around and came back out after hitting a light post and knocking it down on the walkway.

I may spend another night out here. It was a rough night last night, but not from the Tsunami. I didn't feel it go by out here--just fair size swells and no wind to sail.

I am sailing nice now. May be able to get some sleep when I get past all the other boats out here.

Have reports of damage in Kona and all along this coast. At least one house floated away.

Another friend just came back from the North Shore of Oahu and said he could still see the water surging in and out at Haleiwa Harbor.

We are, of course, watching the news reports from Japan and our hearts go out to those people and everyone around the Pacific Rim today.

Tsunami Update T+6hr

We are still fine, though we're still hearing inputs from our friends around the islands...

s/v Infini and the others that were at Hawaii Yacht Club got underway about 11pm last night, and as of an hour ago, were still being kept outside the harbor. All the boats were still milling around outside the harbor, with the Coast Guard standing guard and keeping boats from going back in. We have not heard how the docks and facilities in the Ala Wai Basin (including HYC) fared.

Our friends Rob and Claudia, on s/v Sea Host at Keehi Lagoon had a minor disaster--they had left their boat and evacuated to high ground, and on return, found that their entire dock had broken loose, and the boats and dock all rafted together were surging back and forth in the lagoon. They just called us to say that they managed to get a ride out to the 'raft', and free their boat. They are now trying to figure out where to go. Claudia said the surge is still incredible in the lagoon, and it's not safe to try to go outside. They are going to try to find a temporary tie up, and figure out where to go next.

We have a friend living on the water on the North Shore of Oahu, about 6 feet above sea level. He called an hour ago and said he was evacuated, and only just got back around 8:30am. He said his yard was full of debris and his fence and gate was smashed, but his house is OK, and no water got inside.

We have another friend on a boat in the Kona area on the Big Island. We haven't heard from him yet. And we haven't heard from Cahoots on Maui.

Tsunami Update T+3.5hr

I think the tsunami is over in Pearl Harbor. We really never experienced any wave action that I could feel down below.

Reports of waves "swamping the beaches" in Honolulu seem a little exaggerated, from what I saw as the first few waves reached us. Though I didn't watch the TV reports through the whole morning.

It seems that Maui got higher waves. Hope our cruising friends on s/v Cahoots hanging out in Maui are OK.

We haven't heard back from our friends on s/v Infini and s/v Before (and several others) that were docked at the Hawaii Yacht Club Aloha Dock. I am sure they got underway and spent the night in the ocean off Honolulu, milling around in deep water with several hundred other boats...their biggest risk not the tsunami but collision with another boat!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Update T+1hr

We are watching the local news, but it's only 4am out and still dark, and everyone's having a hard time watching what's going on. We are staring at grainy yellowish videos, and the TV reporters are trying really hard to make it exciting.

Having experienced the slow sloshing of the ocean after the last big tsunami, when we were in the Galapagos, I can understand what the reporters are talking about. But it's hard to get excited about 1' waves.

We feel more movement on Soggy Paws when the Admiral's Barge goes past.

Dave went back to bed already. I'm soon to follow. It's 4:15 am here, and I've yet to get any sleep.

They have cancelled school for today and closed non-essential government offices. I'm sure no one in Hawaii got much sleep last night.

Thanks for all the good thoughts from our friends all over.

Not Another Tsunami!

We were fortunately watching TV this evening when the reports started coming in about the huge earthquake in Japan.

So we have spent the evening (and now late into the night) monitoring the situation. We have the computer checking 4-5 tsunami-related websites, the TV is on, the VHF is scanning all the local channels, and our cell phones are nearby.

The warning sirens have been going off for a couple of hours, so I'm sure everyone on Oahu knows of the Tsunami Warning status. The ETA of the first wave at Kauai, the island to the west of us, is about 3am. We will then supposedly have 15 minutes or so before it gets to Oahu.

Our friends on Infini called us a couple of hours ago and said they were going to get underway. The Ala Wai basin where they are is pretty exposed. Our friends on Sea Host, in Keehi Lagoon, called to say that their plan is to leave their boat and head for the hills.

We have the navigation computer up with the AIS receiver on, and we can see many of the commercial vessels in the commercial harbor about 5 miles away, getting underway. We can hear 5-6 Coast Guard vessels underway and talking with each other off-channel. The Coast Guard has been on the air on Ch 16 broadcasting the warning several times. And also saying that the Port of Honolulu is closed to all incoming vessels.

So far, we haven't seen any movement of military vessels within Pearl Harbor.

In an internet search of 'tsunami Pearl Harbor', we found a 40-page study done in 2006 assessing the tsunami risk within Pearl Harbor--specifically for the north side of Ford Island, where NOAA is building their new facility for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. This study studied actual data from 6 of the worst tsunami events in recorded history around the Pacific Basin, and modeled some 'worst case' hypothetical earthquakes. All the results show that Pearl Harbor is pretty safe, and where we are is just about the safest place within Pearl Harbor.

We are in a deep water area, way up inside Pearl Harbor. The other residents of the docks (some who have lived aboard for 15+ years) seem unfazed. They said that last year, they were forced to evacuate the boats when the big tsunami from Chile was on the way. They all just went up the hill just beyond the parking lot, and hung out there for a couple of hours.

We have prepped a 'grab bag' if we decide at the last minute to just evacuate the boat. And we have prepped the boat, in case we decide that getting underway is the best course of action. For now, we are just watching and waiting.

After watching the AIS for a bit, with all those boats out off the harbor milling around in the dark... we are probably safer here than anywhere else.

It's 1am right now. Dave is (predictably) napping, and I am (predictably) up worrying for the both of us. I have instructions to call him at 2am so we can make a decision as to the best course of action.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rainy Day in Pearl Harbor

I am sitting out in the cockpit watching it rain. Fortunately, with our awning and our fully enclosed cockpit (with our side curtains down), it's pretty dry.

Our Main Cabin, This Morning

There is no room for me to work down below--Dave still has the center of the cabin torn up, where he is installing the new freezer. He's almost through with step 2 of the whole Frigoboat installation... upgrading the insulation on the freezer. We've now got 3" of 'blue board' all around. He's now to the point of bending the 40-inch evaporator plate to fit into our 24-inch wide freezer. (Frigoboat dealer and SSCA member, Scott from s/v Chardonnay says the perfect bending radius is around a bottle of Chardonnay!)

Hopefully we'll be able to flip the switch on the freezer in another day or two.

Meanwhile I've been sewing up in the laundry room (nice table, electricity, well-lit, and air-conditioned) with a borrowed sewing machine. I'm sewing new slipcovers for the dinette seats, to add a little color to our basic boat interior. (see one finished on the right side of the picture).

Sherry, Claudia, and John Sterling at the Pacific Aviation Museum

We have also been doing LOTS of other things...
- Working out in the gym and the swimming pool
- Monday night 'burn-it's at Hawaii Yacht Club
- Guided tour of the Pacific Aviation Museum by one of the Museum's founders, John Sterling
- 'First Sunday' Marine Flea Market down at the Ala Wai boat basin
- Sunday Brunch with Claudia & Robs--old cruising friends from s/v Sea Host
- Helping Mon from s/v Windy City study for her citizenship test (she passed!)
- C Dock Mexican Potluck
- Hiking the Aiea Loop Trail
- Ordering a new Vesper Marine AIS 850 Watchmate Transponder
- Helping a US Navy-contracted video production company come up with some pictures and information on Dave's Dad. The Navy is getting ready to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation, and Dave's Dad (also named David McCampbell) is the Navy's highest scoring Ace, and a Medal of Honor winner. Check it out here
- Managing our rental condo on Melbourne Harbor
- Sold our car and 2 bicycles (for delivery when we leave)

Some of the more interesting of these I do intend to blog with some pictures--there's just not enough time in the day!!

And, of course, we are getting down to the 'last 4 weeks'... so we are going over lists and trying to get small stuff done in between the big projects. (Provisioning, medications, LED lights, etc).