Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Greatest Hits

This year, I am making a list of all of our big boating accomplishments in 2009, as well as a list of things we hope to accomplish in 2010.  It will be fun to look back at the end of next year and see how far we've come.
So here it is:

Accomplishments in 2009:

*Rebuilt Exhaust for Atomic 4 Engine
*New Battery Bank for Solar Electrical System
*Purchase Oven & Add Storage in Galley
*A Closet Rod
*Dinghy Gets Bottom Paint
*Lighting in the Salon
*Stereo and Speakers
*V-Berth Add-On
*Wind Generator *
*Haul Out for Bottom Paint & Transducer
*We Weathered our very first Microburst
*Shoe Storage in V-Berth (see picture above right)

*Unfortunately, the wind generator was lost during the microburst and will therefore be added to our 2010 To Do List.

Fortunately, 2009 wasn't all work.  We also found time to play throughout the year: 

*First Anchorage
*First Ocean Sail
*Whale in San Diego Bay
*Spring Break in San Felipe
*Moving Day
*7,127 Mile Cross Country Road Trip
*Anza Borrego Desert

And finally, here is a sneak preview of  things we hope to accomplish in 2010:

*New Wind Generator
*New Lazarette Cover
*Propane System w/ New Grill
*New Foam and Covers for V-Berth
*Covers for Cockpit Cushions
*New Sails (Roller Furling and Main)
*Chartplotter, Depthfinder, Radar, Autopilot (Raymarine C70)
*Raise Boom
*New Anchor, Chain and Windlass

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cold Feet

Christmas has come and gone for another year.  We don't celebrate the holiday in the traditional consumerist way, but we do love to eat, drink and be merry. 

Christmas eve found us enjoying free enchiladas with the other misfit toys at our local watering hole.  It was Adam's birthday, so we had two reasons to celebrate!  

Christmas day, we enjoyed a delicious, home-cooked Christmas dinner with Ben's Aunt Patty & Uncle Jim and family.  What a treat for us!  Although we acquired an oven a few months ago, we've yet to hook up a propane system so planning and cooking dinner remains a tactical feat with one butane burner and a moody grill that is one punt away from meeting its final resting place in Davy Jones' locker.  It was nice to spend Christmas with good people and good food. 

The Christmas Tree pictured above graces the end of Newport Avenue in our favorite stomping ground, Ocean Beach.  This year's tree has to be my favorite yet. We even had a chance to watch the raising of it a few weeks back!

As often happens in winter, the temperatures have been cool... even here in sunny San Diego. Each morning, we awaken to steamy breath and a thermostat that reads our interior temperature in the low to mid 40's. "You're from New England," you might say. And I reiterate: our interior temperature is in the low to mid 40's. Luckily, the cabin heats up rather quickly once the sun starts blasting through the windows. We are constantly rearranging our neverending To Do list, bumping the propane system up higher and higher on that list with each day that passes.  Before we know it, it will be summer again and the propane will take second place to a new fully-functioning grill with electric igniter. 

Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday! Looking forward to the New Year!

To see how Lola celebrated, check out The Little Salty Dog's Blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hurry Up and Wait

It's that time of year when the boat parade comes to San Diego Bay. Last Sunday, Ben, Lola and I rowed out to the end of the mooring field with Markitos, Adam & Jasmine, and Justin & Anna to watch the parade of lights.  I didn't bring my camera this year since I got a bunch of pictures last year.  Last week's parade was pretty uneventful, but Ben, Lola & I rowed out again last night to check out Round 2. 

The parade seemed to get a late start and we were waiting a while before we started seeing boats.  The delayed start was the result of an accident in which a Coast Guard boat responding to an emergency call careened into a boat full of parade watchers and ended up killing an 8-year old boy and injuring 5 others.  You can read the article here.  Not a very cheery way to kick off the holiday. 

The thing that most perplexes me is why the Coast Guard boat was speeding to respond to a grounded boat... a boat that wasn't going anywhere fast... on a night when there were most likely record numbers of boats out watching the parade.  It's upsetting to think that the very people who are supposed to protect us are often times the people we need protection from.  I realize accidents happen, but this one just seems so senseless.  My heart goes out to the family of the boy.  I can't imagine the pain they must be feeling.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Haul Out: The Final Chapter

It feels like old news now, but I never got a chance to write about the remainder of our days on the hard.  There was a mishap when Ben glassed in the blisters.  The ratio of hardener was off, so we had to dig out the goo,  and then he re-sanded and refilled the blisters.  Not too big a deal.  It set us back a day, but luckily because of the Thanksgiving holiday we'd gotten 4 free laydays, so it was not a huge loss.  The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the Driscoll crew painted the bottom and we were ready to get back in the water on Wednesday.  Here are a couple videos of that process:

Then comes the big lesson.  It turns out Mother Culture was taking on water through the hole in which the transducer had been installed.  I had to go to school, so I bailed on Ben while he sat in the boat pumping out the bilge until they could haul him back out. 

About 4 hours later, they hauled him out again.  The mechanic took a look at Ben's craftsmanship and the only thing he lacked was 5200 marine adhesive/sealant.  (Truth be told, Ben never lacked that at all. We came to the boatyard equipped with and ready to use 5200, until a certain shall-we-say *big-wig* of the boatyard assured Ben he didn't need to use 5200 to seal the transducer.  So he only glassed it in with West Systems Epoxy.  Some of our hardest lessons are learned by trusting self-proclaimed experts.) Anyway, Ben knocked the transducer out, refabricated the mount and sealed it in with 5200.  The next day we were back in the water and dry as a bone, sailing home.  It was a long, tiring ordeal that now seems dwarfed by Monday's storm.  Here are a couple pics of the transducer (before and after) and the bottom of the boat:

Transducer *Before*

Transducer *After*

Mr. Jones inspecting the work

A couple pics of Mother Culture back on the ball

I still need to get a picture of the back, where we brought the paint right up to the bottom of the transom.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mommie Dearest

We got taken on a wild ride last night. We've heard rumors of wind speeds anywhere from 50 MPH to 125 MPH. The brunt of that only lasted ten seconds or so, but it always feels like longer when you're at the mercy of Mother Nature. I wasn't sure if I should jump ship and make a mad dash for shore or wait it out. Oddly, my safest bet seemed to be to wait it out, so I did.  So much for mild San Diego weather.  Anywho, here is a video to complement the one from last night... and some pictures below of the aftermath.

Possibly the light at the end of the tunnel?

A sunken dinghy

Jaybird's bowsprit was destroyed when a runaway boat went careening into his

The front of this electrical box was torn off

Used to be the home of the wind generator

The hinges remain, but the lazarette cover is long gone

This strut used to hold up our solar panel before it was ripped free and chucked into our cockpit

What remains of our wind generator (besides the pole and supports, of course)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Macroburst of Ego

Apparently, there is this little thing called a "microburst".  One whipped through this afternoon, shortly after I rowed back to Mother Culture on my way home from school.  (Thank goodness I wore my foulies!) Judging from the vibrations felt throughout the boat and our bodies, Ben and I believe said microburst may have exploded on or in the very near vicinity of Mo-C. Here is a video of the solar panels and wind generator in the "Before" positions. Tomorrow we'll post the "After" pics. Oh yeah... and we lost an oar. But, luckily we found it on the rocks when we braved the storm to make a packie run.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Home Again, Finnegan

We're back on the ball and I have plenty of pictures, videos and stories to share but it's also my busy time for work so I've been chained to my laptop doing other less desirable work activities.  As soon as I have time to breathe again, I'll be sure to update you all.  Thanks for following!