Sunday, November 29, 2009

Around the Yard

It's Day 6 in the yard.  The bottom has been primed and Ben is glassing in the transducer as I type this.  Yesterday was rained out so not much was accomplished other than a much-needed rinsedown on Mother Culture.  Once the primer is dry, we'll slap some paint on the bottom and then she'll be ready for the Driscoll crew to finish up the paintwork and add zincs tomorrow. 

We've had to the opportunity to see some interesting sights while here in the yard.  Check out these pics (click on them to see full size shots):

First we have Pyewacket... She's a pretty famous racing boat once owned by Roy Disney... And we are lucky enough to share the yard with her. Her mast is so tall you can see it poking out above the tree tops when you come across the bridge from Ocean Beach. (Well, that is also due, in part, to her super-long keel. I'm guessing it's about 20-25 feet long.) She is one of 3 boats that has "wings". You can learn more about Pyewacket in Latitude 38

On the other end of the yard, some people are rebuilding this old wooden boat.  They have pictures posted that show what she will look like when she's finished.  Pretty spectacular!

This morning as I was walking back to the Mo-C, I could hear a bird making a strange ruckus.  I glanced around and found this hawk peregrine falcon perched on our neighbor's mast.  Luckily, Lola was inside the boat or she may have been invited to dinner.  Who would have thought hawks falcons hang out in boatyards?

Because of yesterday's bad weather, the channel was shut down to boaters.  Word around the yard is that the captain of this boat tried to sneak out amongst the whitecaps and his boat flipped.  The passengers were all ejected and when the Coast Guard headed out to rescue them, the Coast Guard boat flipped as well.  This picture shows the smashed window and torn electrical wiring.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Power To The People

Last night, I worked online 'til well after the sun went down.  When I finished working, the charge on our batteries had dropped down to 12.28 volts.  Ben had to work last night, so I also stayed at the hotel.  When I woke up at 6:30 am, it was cloudy and raining.  When we got back to the boat this morning, the meter read 12.85 volts.  Thanks to our new wind generator! 

[This is for the record... for those skeptics who told us a wind generator was worthless and we should instead invest in a gas generator.]  

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanky Panky

Today has been a quiet day on Mother Culture. Ben finished sanding the new waterline and then popped out the old transducer to get a better idea of what needs to be done to install the new transducer (to be used for our Depthfinder, once we purchase the rest of the system). I worked for a bit and then made Turkey Hash for lunch.  Then we went for a row around the marina to check out the boats and now we are relaxing on the boat.  The crew here at Driscoll will be painting Mo-C's bottom on Monday so we'll probably be back in the water on Tuesday.  Due to work and school schedules, we won't be able to sail back to the mooring ball until a week from tomorrow.  Once we're back in the water, we'll anchor in Mission Bay for the time being.

Today I'm thankful for my family and friends, my good life, good eats and the hot shower provided by Driscoll!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Haul Out: Day Two

Yesterday, Ben popped all the blisters on the keel so they
had time to dry out before sanding, priming and repainting.

This morning, we taped off a new waterline, about 3 inches higher on the sides and all the way up to the transom in back.  Since we live aboard, Mother Culture carries a little more weight than she used to, and the old line was a little too low for us.

Next, we hung plastic all the way around in order to protect our neighbors' boats while sanding. Bottom paint contains copper which can cause stains.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Haul Out

Here are a couple vids of Mother Culture being hauled out...

And a few *Before* pics of her bottom...

What a beautiful keel she has!

Row Your Boat

We encountered this boat while we were motoring over to Driscoll's today. 
This die-hard sailor was rowing his sailboat out of the bay. 


Sail to Mission Bay

Yesterday, Ben, Lola & I captaind our first solo ocean sail from San Diego Bay up north to Mission Bay. We have an appointment this afternoon at Driscoll’s Boat Yard to have Mother Culture hauled out and her bottom painted. Once we got out of San Diego Bay, we had to swing really wide in order to avoid the kelp beds that run all the way up the shore. Our GPS wasn't working so we just hugged the kelp bed all the way up and made our best guess as to where the entrance to Mission Bay was.  The trip took us about 5.5 hrs and we actually motored the entire way. It’s crazy to think how a 10 minute car ride can take 5+ hours in a sailboat. After the first 3 or 4 hours, I began to channel my inner child with the words, "Are we there yet?" When we finally arrived after the sun set, we anchored in Mission Bay and went for a stroll over to the boardwalk for some grub and cocktails. Here are some pics from along the way:

an America's Cup Racing Boat.

To watch this thing sail is an experience in itself

Ben watching the HMCS Protecteur off our starboard bow



Point Loma from the Ocean

Waiting for the Green Flash

Me & Lola (Disguised as a Backpack)

Ben enjoying his Mug O'Jack

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movin' On Up

It seems summers here are filled with sailing adventures while fall and winter are filled with repairs, renovations and upgrades.  Ben installed a wind generator a week or so ago.  He is still fine tuning some of the details but here are the specs on our new wind thief: 

Rutland 913 Windcharger

Low wind speed output: The Rutland 913's high inertia generator starts producing power at 4 MPH. At 10MPH it produces 2 amps@12v and 4 amps at 15 MPH increasing to 7.5 amps at 22 MPH. The Rutland 913 outperforms all others in real cruising conditions yet withstands gale force winds unattended.

Quiet - The Rutland 913 produces only 75dB at 11 knots, by far the quietest generator on the market.

Size - 36" blade diameter won't dominate the stern area of your boat, less windage and weight aloft. Easy installation on mizzen masts or stern post.


Weeks ago, we upgraded from a 1980's FM stereo/cassette player to a more appropriate AM/FM/USB capable stereo (w/remote control!) and booming speakers.  We can finally listen to Dr. Laura the way she's intended to be listened to.

Special Guests

On Friday, we went for a sail around the bay with Karla, Karol and Karen. Karla is a friend of Ben's mom and lives in the neighborhood where Ben grew up. She and her sisters had a reunion in Newport, CA so the three of them came down to San Diego on the last day of their trip and we tacked back and forth across the bay for a few hours. It's been a few months since we got off the ball, so it was nice to brush up on our sailing skills while enjoying the sights and some good conversation. Tuesday we'll be pulling Mother Culture out of the water in Mission Bay and spending the holiday "on the hard" in order to paint the bottom and do some repairs and upgrades on her.

Thanks, ladies, for stopping by! We had a great time!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meteors & A Menagerie

Last night, on a whim, we took a little road trip out to Anza-Borrego State Park to check out the Leonid Meteor Shower. We watched some awesome meteors shoot across the desert sky while bands of coyotes howled from the (not-so-distant) trails around us.  Let's just say big earth and big sky make for a mesmerizing and humbling experience.

On our way back to San Diego this morning, we stopped off to take pictures of the giant metal creatures that make up Anza-Borrego's own Jurassic Park. It was the perfect finale to an awe-inspiring evening.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

This afternoon, Ben & I were sitting out on the transom when we noticed these paratroopers falling from sky across the mooring field. The Embarcadero has been bustling all day as a result of the Veterans Day Parade on Pacific Highway.

I'd like to give a special shout-out to my dad Frank, a Vietnam War Veteran. Thanks, Dad!


V-BERTH [vee burth] -noun: The bunks forming a "V" at the front (bow) of a boat.

This is a picture of our V-Berth.
Typically, sailors sleep with their feet towards the bow. Not always true for Ben and I. For the first year of our lives on Mo-C, Ben and I slept with our heads in the bow. It was a little tight- not quite enough room up there for two normal sized pillows. We spent plenty of nights elbowing one another for lack of space (thank goodness we get along so well or we might not have lasted this long). Just a few months ago, we decided to try something new and flip around, feet towards the bow. It was like a whole new world. We were suddenly like those old couples who sleep in separate beds. At first, I was excited to decorate my half of the berth with pink feather boas and fluffy plush pillows. I could stretch my arms wide and snore as loudly as I wanted without ever having to worry about waking Ben.  And Lola? Oh Lola! She could finally find her place right between us without having to worry about falling or being kicked into the great abyss.  Life was good!

Eventually our new-found freedom and happiness turned into lonliness and isolation.  I'd wake up in the morning and call Ben on his cell phone to make sure he was still there, nestled beneath his pile of blankets.  With my arm stretched as long as it would go, I could almost reach him on the other side of the boat.  Almost.  But not quite.  A wedge was coming between us.  Or, more appropriately, a wedge-shaped void.

We began to resent the void.  We weren't ready to retire to separate beds like those old married couples.  We're not even married.  So why should we let this void in our V-berth come between us?  Well, my friends, the days of the void are fast coming to an end.  Last weekend, Justin came over with his power tools and he and Ben constructed a wedge to fill the void!  The void hasn't been filled completely, but nearing the top of my "List of Things to Do" is to buy new foam and construct new cushions for the V-berth, including our newly filled void.

And below our newly filled void will be ample storage for shoes! Hoorah!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day Trip To The Dirt

On Sunday, we took a quick trip out to the desert to stick our toes in the sand dirt.

We ended up south of Anza Borrego in a little town called Ocotillo.

Ben playing a solo game of horseshoes.
(My arms just weren't made for sports of that nature)
Chillin' with some Zinfandel
The bar even has parking for RVs and ATVs

Mr. Jones taking a break in the shade