Monday, January 31, 2011

Yard Work - Day 2

Survey done, touch-up painting done, today's work is to cut the holes in the bottom of the boat. Dave is confident he can get this done, and the Keel Coolers properly sealed into the holes, in one day. We launch tomorrow morning as planned. Hope he's right :)

Dave and the Surveyor Going Over the Boat

For those of you following in our wake, we used Donald "Bud" Scelsa of Hawaii Marine Surveyors. He is a NAMS Certified Marine Surveyor, and approved by IMIS/Markel, and probably most other marine insurance companies. Cheapest we found in Honolulu at a little under $14/ft ($600 for a 44 foot boat). 808-371-3465

Last night we again had hot showers courtesy of Dave's old cruising friends from Sea Host, whom he last saw in Trinidad in 2000. They are living aboard in the marina here, and have a key to the showers (not normally accessible by us yard rats, for some 'only in Hawaii' reason). After a nice hot shower, we went out to dinner with Claudia and Rob at the local 'Zippy's' (a Hawaii version of Denny's)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yard Work - Day 1

Yesterday we got hauled and then spent an hour waiting around for them to "block" us (set us carefully on large wooden blocks) and then get the support pads set up. Everything went well.

A Yard Worker Blocks the Keel

Then we had breakfast, and scrounged around the yard for a few bits of scaffolding so we could work on the high sides of the boat from a comfortable position. We have a 10 foot ladder that we have to climb up and down to get aboard.

Climbing the Ladder

Because all boat yards are dirty, and this one is no exception, we put out old towels on the deck between the boarding area and the cockpit--trying to minimize how much dirt gets tracked into the cockpit and down below.

We changed our clothes to our 'boatyard' clothes... for me an old MYC Spring Regatta T-shirt that had gotten yellow stains from sitting in a drawer, and an old ready-for-the-trash pair of shorts. I hauled my old pink Crocs out of storage--the ones that had gotten destroyed by the last haulout. When we started painting, I added disposable gloves and a plastic bag on my head, and swapped my glasses out for an old broken pair.

Our goal for the day was to get one full coat of paint on the bottom, so it has plenty of time to dry by Monday when we get launched. We did that--finished just about time to watch a gorgeous sunset from the cockpit. One of those big round balls of fire setting in the west.

Today's fun is (a) the Surveyor in the morning, (b) Paint touchup (around the through-hulls and looking for 'holidays' (areas we missed), (c) Get ready to cut holes in the bottom.

For some reason we were both feeling under the weather yesterday... not sure if it is from food we ate (taking friends Mike and Mon from Windy City out for Mike's birthday at a nice restaurant), or maybe we've got a touch of the flu. We went to bed at 8:30 last night and slept about 10 hrs. I feel OK this morning (Dave is still in bed :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Out of the Water!

We were successfully hauled at 7:30am this morning. Bottom looks good!

Up, Up, and Away!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Haulout at Keehi Marine Center

We moved around from Pearl Harbor to Ke'ehi Lagoon, in preparation for a haulout early tomorrow morning. Fortunately, we only have a limited list of things we are trying to do, so we'll be back in the water by Monday noon.

We're Overnighting in the Slipway in Prep for a 7am Lift Tomorrow

First on the list is to cut the holes in the bottom of the boat for our new Frigoboat Refrigeration System Keel Coolers. These will give us an efficient 'water cooled' refrigeration system without having to run a water pump.

We spent all morning stowing junk on board--getting ready for sea. We only had about 4 miles of open ocean to traverse to get from Pearl Harbor to Ke'ehi, but it only takes one wave! It's a nice day here, conditions not too bad 'outside', and nice sunny tradewind conditions. We saw two huge sea turtles sleeping at the surface. We heard reports of a mother whale and calf just outside the channel, but didn't see them ourselves.

Other than minor maintenance on our underwater exposed metal surfaces (prop, lightning ground, etc), the only other thing we plan to do this weekend is slap about 2 gallons of paint on the bottom. The bottom still looks really good from our haulout in Ecuador 18 months ago, but we're going to take advantage of the haulout to touch up the bottom paint.

We also have a surveyor coming to do a full Condition and Valuation Survey while we're out--most insurance companies require a survey every 5 years, and we're just about there.

A Little Sail Maintenance

We finally got around to making an appointment with the North Sails loft here in Honolulu to get our sails looked at.

Dave and the North Rep Review our Genoa

We had a good list from when we washed and reviewed our sails back in early November. We went over the sail with our list carefully with Jim Maselli, one of the managers at North, and he gave us an estimate on the spot. After 4 years and 13,000 miles, our sails still look really good, but there are a few chafe spots we want to take care of while we have a good loft to do it. And we need to restitch all the stitching on the sun cover. Though I have a good strong sewing machine, it's not up to stitching our heavy cruising sails.

One of the Chafe Spots on our Genoa

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Racing Honolulu Style

Dave finally hooked up with a friend of his in Honolulu--his next door neighbor from 1988. And Pete has a sailboat at Honolulu Yacht Club, AND he was looking for crew for the Saturday race at HYC. Dave and I eagerly accepted and also recruited Sue from s/v Infini to go along with us.

Sherry at the Helm of "Ipo"

We raced in Pete's 'new' Cal 230. It is just an interim boat for him, and the sails are a little sad for a race boat, but we all had fun just getting out on the water. The race was one of those 'get everyone out on the water' races. To put a little fun in the race, each crew had to do a 'man overboard' drill in the middle of the race.

Pete Graciously Lets Sherry Take the Helm for a Leg

The course was about 8 miles long, in the lee of Oahu. Our windward mark was just off Diamond Head, and we sailed right past Waikiki Beach on the way to the windward mark. We got just enough ocean swell/chop out by Diamond Head to get our butts wet, but not so much as to have to give up our beers. The 'downwind' turned out to be almost a beam reach, so we had an easy downwind leg. And at the finish, we had a beautiful rainbow.

Dave with the Rainbow & Honolulu Behind Him

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Arch - NOT!

Well, we finally got the quote from Diamond Welding for fabricating a new arch out of 1.5-2" ID Schedule 40 Stainless Steel pipe, per Dave's sketch below. It was $8000! . So, needless to say, "we're not doing that".

Dave's Sketch of the Planned New Arch

Also, here are some more specs and requirements. Click Here

Our fallback is to add some strengthening to our old arch. Dave got a quote of 'around $500' for that. It will probably look yet a little more ungainly, but will be plenty strong to keep us going until we get to a SE Asia where the labor rates and the cost of stainless are more reasonable. Mainly we needed the davit arms a little stronger, and a way to cross brace the whole thing thing when we are headed for the high seas. We don't leave the dinghy on the davits when going to sea, but with the heavier panels on top, we need a little more strength in the side-to-side direction.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hiking Moanawilli Falls

We went on a hike last Saturday, organized by JBPHH MWR (don't you just love the military and their acronyms?). That stands for "Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Morale Welfare and Recreation". Basically it is the local base Rec department. They have an Outdoor section that organizes Hiking, Biking, Surfing, Kayaking, Snorkeling, etc trips.

Dave Checking Out Possible Hikes

Every weekend Outdoor Rec has a couple of activities going on. It is aimed at active duty personnel and their families, but they don't mind us retirees joining in on a space available basis. Even if you don't want to go with THEM on a hike, they have all the information about each hike in a paper handout, tagged on a map. Plus they have rental equipment (bikes, surfboards, kayaks, golf clubs, camping equipment, coolers, etc) all at a reasonable price. Pretty cool resource.

Hiking up the Trail

We paid $10 pp--they furnished the van that took 10 of us and 3 guides to the starting point, and then the guides took us along the path up to the falls. It was about an hour hike one way--a little wet and muddy in places--but well worth the effort.

Crossing the Stream Bed

Dave went swimming, but I'm not into cold muddy water--I'll hold out for warm clear reef water, with or without sharks. We had fun watching people jump off the cliffs into the deep pool.

Finally at Moanawilli Falls

My Muddy Shoes

(and a big shout out to my niece Sally who gave these shoes to me at Thanksgiving--I LOVE them!!)

And finally my first YouTube video, of Moanawilli Falls:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Solar Panels

One of the big projects we had on our list for this winter hiatus was to upgrade our solar power. Though we already have a pretty big solar array, it's not quite enough. We wanted to take advantage of newer, more efficient panels, as well as just increase our total solar capacity. Our friends on s/v Infini used their contacts at Hawaii Yacht Club, to get us a good discount on new panels at Inter Island Solar here in Honolulu. We bought 2 new 175-watt Solar World (ex-Siemans/Shell) panels, and Infini bought 3 of the same panels. Here's a view of our old solar panel 'array'. The plan is to get rid of two of the 55-watt (smallest) panels on the back end, and mount the 2 new big panels on the arch in place of the 110-watt panels. We are also going to, while we're at it, totally revamp the arch, trying for more strength and a more pleasing look. The 110-watt panels, a little narrower than the 175-watt panels, have been moved to the rail. Dave spent about a week working on the mounting system.
Taking Apart the Arch
Arch Parts
Aluminum Plate for Mounting Hardware
Dave Working on Rail Mounts
Finished Rail-Mounted Panel
Jim Yates-designed mounting system
Dave is now working on designing the new arch and getting quotes from local welding shops.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Years Eve in Pearl Harbor

Even though there was lots of New Years Eve stuff going on in downtown Honolulu, there was no way we were going to go out driving around on NYE.

Our dock neighbors told us that there was usually a pretty spectacular show of fireworks around Pearl Harbor. The bay of Pearl Harbor is surrounded by non-military communities who are all mad about fireworks.

Dinner on the Dock

We had a nice time hanging out on the end of the dock with everyone from C Dock, waiting for midnight. We had a small potluck and plenty to drink. The fireworks started sporadically right after dark, and got more intense, all over the horizon, as midnight approached. With a very large Asian population, long strings of firecrackers were part of the show, but also large professional-size bursting aerial fireworks.

Waiting for the 'Main Show'

We weren't sure what the rules were for those of us IN Pearl Harbor, so we were minimal in our own fireworks. We had bought a 4-pack of big bottle rockets, and Dave dug out a few old flares. I really want to try shooting off the pistol flares, to see what it felt like to shoot one, and to see what the flare itself looked like.

A Few Fireworks

Once we shot a few flares off, several dockmates rummaged in their boat for their old flares. We ended up having about an hour's worth of fun playing with fire, before everyone headed off to bed.

Testing Old Flares

Mike & Mon from s/v Windy City

Hope everyone else had as good a New Years Eve as we did!!