Monday, January 9, 2017

Ala Wai Chilling

 As typical for this time of the year, there is the Aloha Gym Fest, and to support our troops, we bring the guns, and the boat to Oahu for a few days.
With the engine slowly dying, and a windy marina it was a stressfull early morning.
Actually it has been quite a while since I sailed Traces, and I was up for a a busy morning, between winds shifting, fuel leaks and other enjoyments.

This was not the Vendee Globe, but quite sport for me. Wind direction was way more on the beam that you would expect, there was a lot of North in those NE Trades. Was there any E at all ?

A bit rough in Kaiwi Channel, 
even with "only" 20 knots of wind,
and 9 feets of swell 

Well, sailing the islands is always the same. Not enough wind. Too much wind. and always on the nose. Which convinced me that I really need this engine fixed :)

Arriving at night at Ala Wai, it was easy-peasy, glassy enough that the engine did not cry too much. 1000 rpm is the max I can expect at this point, and that ain't much.
I have unlimited Tow with BoatUS, just in case, and it has been a while since I used them.
No concern to get towed time to time. 
That's part of the sport. 

Chilling in glassy Ala Wai Harbor

Already working on some projects the day of the arrival. 
Bimini extension was not finished.
Dusted of my Boat Land ride. Cruise it,  baby.

I setup a few rules for this stay on Oahu.
I usually try to do too much, between the normal day of work, the boat and the rest.
I always start saying I am gonna hold a month and break down after few weeks, tired and upset.
This time, life balance will take precedence.
Few rules I am gonna try to enforce
   - Train every day like at home.
   - Work in good conditions - I just signed off for a full month at a coworking place that is awesome.
   - One Boat project at a time, time permitting - mostly late afternoon.
   - Take the time to do the groceries, and shop around
   - Go on some surfing trips during the week end that time.

For that, the actual projects I want to be tackled are actually few :
   - Emergency items (Fuel & Transmission leaks, etc...)
   - Bottom paint at the end of month
   - Windlass electrical
   - 2nd Solar Panel setup
   - Safety for the liferaft
   - Engine Fuel Pump

The rest can wait.
That's the theory.
Let's see how that hold up.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Holidays, Boat work style

It is true that once you live already on a paradisiac island, you are less tempted to go elsewhere for vacation. First, it is expensive :)
Second, you have a boat, and a plan for that boat, and that require quite a bit of time investment. And money investment (but not the kind that -sometime- pay back).

Anyway, I have been lucky to be able to dock the boat for the holidays, and that meant a lot of projects.

2/0 AWG Cable for the windlass. Big and heavy.
35'. All across the boat.

Some idiot actually did wire the macerator backward.
It was pumping the sea water inside the tank. Was it me ?

Genoa is back in place. Painted and blue colored.

Windlass engine.

Windlass itself. Looks nice.

Painted electrical box.
Noce, but not as nice as I wanted. That will do it.
Panels. Second and third epoxy layers.

laying down the glass cloth.

Boat Electronics - new style. Cheap tablet.

Fixing the windvane. This time, Loctite the hell of that screw.
Sanding the epoxy, I had another attack of skin allergy.
The picture does not show how bad it looked. And how itchy it was.

Time to see if my darling's magical lotion is as magic as she claims.
Disclaimer : the time to type this post seems to be enough to actually calm the irritation.
Those last days I am getting ready to bring the boat to Oahu for further boat work.
For a change.
It has been a while I did not sail, and I actually really look toward it.
Surprisingly, the main issue might be the wind.
This week has been extremely quiet.
Maybe too quiet.

But I am in a good mood, and I am willing to try to sail without wind.
(The engine got .. issues)
It is all a question of patience. And work.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The last (Big) boat project

.. has been delivered as a gift before Christmas.

My ground tackle seriously needed to be upgraded, but with it, I needed a windlass to be able to lift it up. I am aiming for 150' of chain, that I will need to grab from WestMarine on Oahu next month.
With the windlass install itself (Heavy, need to be well secured on the bow - read - epoxy work - ), there are few cables and switches to be rigged.
Fun times.

New real marine clock
Installing the clock was easier :)
Nice and expensive, this is a real marine clock from one of the top clock manufacturer, Chelsea Boston. Bought it used on eBay - obviously, those run more than 500$ new :P
Still, very shiny and nice.

Smaller projects 
Started to redo the electric box for the helm. Marine wood, epoxy, that one will be bomb proof.
I am using this smaller project to try to improve my finishing skills with epoxy, before attacking the Bimini. (I am not super happy how the dodger ended up - in term of finishing touch).

Did I talk before about THE list ?

Well, it is shrinking fast now, and the windlass and ground tackle are literally the last of the big projects I have to do for the boat to be 'as ready as I want it to be'.
Sure, the bottom paint will be some work - never did one - but it is a  known quantity and usually relatively easy to do.

Did I talk about the engine failing on me again ?
Since I changed the fuel lines and filters, there is some kind of fuel starvation or the injector pump is acting funny. I barely go forward at 500 rpm, 2 knots.
Well, that's enough to go in and out of the harbor, but certainly not to cruise the world.

But we still have time, and now I take it easy.
Just another project on the list.

Monday, December 19, 2016

"With Great Power ...

... Comes Great Responsibility."

If this is true for SpiderMan, is it for you ?
Is it true for a gymnastic owner ?
Not a surprise, on Maui, we have only one gym.
The overall quality of that gym has been proved to be very questionable over the last couple of years. Health issues, Dangerous from some regards, questionable coaching.

Litt' Mo Loves Gym. That's her life.

But because there is only one place on the island, your typical official capitalism balancing process fails greatly - "if it sucks, goes elsewhere".
Those principles do not survive local monopoly. 
Free market only survive if it is free.

Now that we have created monsters, Sir Frankenstein, what do we do ?
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Wallstreet, Monsanto, anyone I am forgetting ?

One point of the debate is that the owner of the gym itself supposedly funded the gym to be able to coach. 
It is obvious that with the liability she represent on the floor, if she was not the owner, she would have been fired of any respectable gym.
Coaching under influence should be as - if not more - penalized than driving under influence.
Gymnastic is a dangerous sport.
What could be worst to end up with your kid in a wheelchair ?
And because it is **that** dangerous, coaches need to be above (and beyond) your typical standard.

They are literally the only step between being great or being hurt - or worst.

Typical Disclaimer

Now, it is true that funding and operating a gym in a any place or town could be a challenging exercise. Expensive, complicated. I don't really know. Certainly.
But that do not give you rights to risk to screw a kid's life.
On the opposite.
Our local community granted you the power of teaching and educating its kids, our kids.
More than anyone else, you are now entitled to be and act above and beyond anyone standards.

Sunset are free on the island. And safe.

And this is not about competing in the Olympics, States or not at all.
Athleticism is a state of mind. 

This is about being role models, and raising kids with meaningful and healthy values.
Values - sadly- that are increasingly hard to find nowadays.
I should say, impossible to find.

Friday, December 2, 2016

It is all about the (achievable) dream(s)

I still meet time to time  few folks who "dream" about sailing the world. 
Sounds an expensive, unreachable, dream.
It is not. (I mean, hopefully, I will prove them wrong, and prove me right).
True, it is complicated. But it became an attainable adventure. (tm)
Requires a lot of commitments, years of it - if you are not rich or have obligations, but with the right amount of time and focus, certainly achievable.

Back on the mooring

First, owning a sailboat is not exclusively reserved to the wealthy anymore. Nowadays, following the boom of production boats, there are hundreds of boat from the 70-80s that are less expensive than a new car, waiting for an unconscious dreamer.
True, you might need to move to an area where you will be able to moor or store your boat, and that alone require some planning.
But, Well, if you want to go cruising, maybe start to live by the sea.

Appreciating the dodger - for a (rare) rain
You will have to be handy, or learn to be. Slowly, with lots of mistakes, I am making my way to be mostly autonomous. I learned with Lego as a kid, and that would have been the closest from any handy work I will have been until those last couple of years.
Now I can build a dodger, change the fuel system, do the maintenance of my diesel engine (and not only the oil, please), and so on, so on.

Last, but not least, the online community is super helpful and huge.
There are books on everything, YouTube videos on everything.
Seminars, Training, Websites.
So much content to drive you that it might be overwhelming.

All you need is Time.
Time to spare and spend money.
Time to work on the boat.
Time to sail the boat.
Time to cruise.

And time is the real currency for dreams.