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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Boat Projects (Part 4 - and likely Last)

I am running out of time in the harbor, actually, I am likely gonna move the boat back to its mooring tomorrow. The good news is that engine issues seems to be belonging to the past and fuel filtering is working as expected - so far.
I should make it out the slip, if not to the mooring :)

Still, I have few projects before the next trip.

You ever wondered if Duck tape will resist marine environment ?
It doesn't.

Climbing the mast on the sunset get its rewards.
Nice view. Cruise ship in the background.

Certainly will have to deal with those steaming and deck light one day.
So much corrosion... I suspect that part is an original :)

Pulling the windvane cable all through the mast, with a running smaller line inside.
Was trickier than what it sounds like, but ended up ok.

Third attempt to protect the genoa against the sun.After painting it (twice), I am trying a special tape.
No, No duck tape. And because I like the blue, I painted it too.
The only bad news was I lost the propeller - ALREADY - of the brand new windvane I just installed on the mast. Garmin did not blink though, they are sending a new one, and just asking I verify the screw is tight enough that time.... Well, I will certainly add thread lock on that one.
But that mean at least 2 other back and forth up to the top, to get it back and put it back.
And this time, not in the harbor. With the swell and wind.
Lots of fun in perspective.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Boat Projects (Part 3)

Today was all about bottom.
3 hours scrapping in the harbor waters. easier than in the mooring, but you always question the quality of the water, and the presence of sharks - usually attracted by fish parts throw away by local "sport"- fishermen.

Yesterday, I closed-on on the draft version for electronics and dodger plexi.

GNX is installed, and ready to go 

The windvane is up the mast and working.

The dodger do have is windshield.

I devised a plan.
First:  Make it work.
Second: Make it pretty (or prettier).

Surprisingly enough, the "LIST" came down to a basic/simple/ready-to-go handful of items, and this to be ready for the next "big" adventure - likely 2018.

- Mast lights (anchor/ deck / steaming)
- Sat Communications
- Engine panel
- Holding tank pump
- Windlass

I am planning one month in Oahu in January, and hope to act on those 5 items , as a stage 1.
I still have few items to do in-between, but overall, this seems achievable. (and financially bearable).
Back to work!
I still have few days in the harbor before the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Boat Projects (Part2)

This week is all about giving thanks to the boat.
After all the fuel issues of last month, I decided to change everything.
It eventually worked, and the engine, eventually, came back to life.
Not without few hesitations.
I have to say after the fourth or fifth time it did not start - and as I changed almost everything - 2 filters, oil, transmission, electrical, tubes, I had some despaired thoughts.

New Raccor

First Installation of the GNX Wind

Test of the windvane.

Works on the laptop as well as phones and ipads.

Hop, top of the mast, we need to remove the old windvane

Lahaina Harbor, top side

The old windvane
The electronic ended up to be easier. Almost plug and play. They fooled me, and worried me nothing was working because those idiots sent me a discharged battery, and I did the installation at night (the windvane is solar powered).
Eventually, I got the NMEA2000 network to fire, got some reading on all instruments.
Installation is not done just yet, but the hard part seems to be over.
Future will tell.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Boat Projects (Contd)

Profiting that the boat is back at the harbor, I am drilling on the current boat projects.

Transmission oil really needed to get back to a nice red color 

Air filter - after cleaning. Let the diesel breathe.

Quite some work to get the ice back on the fridge plates. Refrigeration specialists are nowhere to be find nowadays,
I have to improvise myself to act like one.

Still cranking on cleaning fuel. Less contamination.
It might be working.

Much needed oil - filter change.

Preparing for the electronics installation.
Finding my way in the electrical panel mess was not a small adventure.

The plexiglass panel(s) are now locked in place.
It makes the dodger rigid and sturdy. 

Bimini - 4 panels - Draft version - is in place. That was lots of work, but already worth it.
Protection from the West side sun is priceless.

Finally got rid of those fake SS clamps in the bilge.
they did not last 6 months. Good lesson, sometime, marine quality stuff is needed :)

The boat is still at the dock for two more weeks, and changing the fuel filter system and installing the remaining of the new electronics is on the program.
More to come.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Boat projects in running shorts, like a birthday gift ?

More, more, more.
Another year.

I am still fooling around, but I am considering some majors goals in the incoming years.
Mostly, moving the boat to Tahiti, spring 2018. 
And take a sabbatical to have time to enjoy it.

Run LA Marathon in 2017. Need to fix my heel, and be able to train again. I would aim for a 8:30 pace, which should bring down my time to 3:40.

a bad SciFi movie ?

Surf more, Kite more.
More, more, more.

Seems that the less time you have left, the more you want to enjoy it.
Life is weird.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's On

Over the year, there are so many things that really bugs me on Maui.
Life is (really) expensive.
This is a (very) small island.
(Our) Social life is pretty limited.
There is quite some (west side) traffic.
Lots (and Lots) of tourists.
No (real) jobs, outside of realtor and kitesurfing instructor.
We have (2) theaters.
No serious (Metal) band will ever come play.
People are... (people).

Windsurfing has not be cancelled on Maui
There is too much wind.
There is not enough wind.
Summer is flat.
There are no berth for any boat.
Did I say there are too many tourists ?
We have (one) Costco. (Did not decide yet if this is a blessing or not).
Sometimes, I just wonder if this is really the paradise that people believe it is.

The white line in the back is the Waves crashing on the reef.
The fun is the backyard

But... Then, Waves comes in. And Wind is there.
And now this is ON.
Water is warm. Sun is shining.
And it is just fun.
And, there is no other places I want to be.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Iron Strength

I am now totally convinced that most of the progress I made those past few month are directly related to the strengthening program I started.
"Program" is a complicated word for squatting and lunging during the dog walks.
It is time to take it to another level.
Here comes the Iron Strength program.

Iron Strength

To be fair, "The Run Experience" triggered it. But I guess I do not really the incessant coaching, following and pushy of their "experience". I can see the benefits of a "class" or "group" for some people who need external motivation.
But I am more on the solitary side.
Metzl's 3$ Kindle book will do it.

Injury Free for LIFE !!!! I'ld buy that.

The book is good. Simple. Straight to the point. Good introduction to all hot topics in running. No gimmicks.
Definitively on your hit list.

Anyway, no magic in the workout. That's just a template.
Here are my notes:

30s jumping jacks squats back lunges
6x15 jump squats
(2) 5 min 15 Plank lift push up sit up
(3) 5 min 10 jump lunges single leg toes
(3) 5 min 15 mountain climber , legs down
(3) 5 min dead lift, overhead push, biceps 10lbs
5x 10 burpees
Planks 3x 1 min

He advise to do it twice a week.
No surprise, this is a pretty hard and mean workout.

I don't know if you ever did 50 burpees, even in 5 reps. That's pretty serious stuff.
Twice a week. Took me around one hour.

I guess that's a small price to pay to run forever.
(Or to the end. Why ? Do you want to live forever ?)

Monday, October 3, 2016


Slowly I am getting motivated  to work on the boat - almost impossible at the mooring - I am preparing for (hopefully) a couple of weeks in Lahaina Harbor and maybe several weeks on Oahu, later this year.
And getting ready to work means ... spending money !

Garmin GNX Wind Transducer and NMEA2k Wifi Bridge
Electronics have been missing on the boat since I got her, and I decided to jump ahead and get at least the basics : Wind and Speed.
All the rest will go through an iPad or the onboard laptop.
Cheap, but enough.

The windvane is wireless, which gonna save me a lot of pain to drive a cable through the mast. Nothing is easy on a boat, but this should not be more than a couple of day of work.
I am getting ready for the Bimini and finishing the dodger.

Believe it or not, but I am closing on my 'hit list'.
The real list is infinite.

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 23, 2016


It has been roughly one month I have started the rehab of my calf and foot, trying to heal from my Achilles tendonitis. They called for 6 to 8 weeks. After 4, I can definitively see an improvement already. The pain almost disappear in non running days. I was able to run a nice 2:30 trail run last week without too much worries.
In one word, the exocentric exercises appear to work pretty good.
It takes time. That's a given.

Filled a back pack with weights and water gallon,
and get ready for up to 60 calf raises.
But it works. What to ask for more ?

Well, we could ask for a butt like that....

A key point of those past few months is my commitment to strengthening exercises. I am down to around 100 squats, 100 lunges and around 40 single leg squats, all that while working on the dog on 30 min walk.
Except the rising eye brow of all the neighbourgs, it is a cool way to maximize training time. jog 30s, 20 squats, jog 20s, 20 lunges. Repeat.

This is what you want to look like. Naked.
Correct form 
Following the advice of still amazing - The Run Experience team - Seriously, check them out. Don't forget to setup your email rules for spam though, I finally decided to commit to daily hip and leg exercises. And it seems to work as well.

It has been month I did not go kiting (To be fair, I am not fon of the summers on the north Maui coast, tons of wind, sure, but small and bumpy wind waves). Today, as a pre-warmup for the winter season, I decided to dust off the gear (need to refresh it, been a few years :) - did a 45 minute session, and no psoas pain  - at all.
That's what I call a freaking good sign.
Let's cross fingers, train hard, and say good bye to those 2 - 3? - 4? - years of struggle.
That would be amazing.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

51.14 + 225 = Fun times

The end of the tunnel ?
I have been doing strengthening exercises since at least 3 weeks, and, even if I can still feel my knee and ankle **a bit** screaming, overall it is back in the "easy pain" zone.
Pain that **might** not be a problem.

51.14, bread and butter.

Been a while I did not race Lower Kula. Actually, I did not intend to race it. and started quite slow.
A good sign that I am still in a good shape, I **almost** beat my PR on my bread and butter run.
1 minute short.
Which is quite a lot, on a 50 minute run, but still, that's my second best since 3 or 4 years.
My good old Garmin 220 eventually gave up after a long swim in the ocean.
Waterproof, they said ?

Modern life. iMac, Mio, Garmin.
Give me Wifi and a boat, and I am gone.

Anyway, got a got deal on a refurbished one year old 225. Thank you amazon (which days after days looks almost like eBay). Same but fancier, and with a heart zone sensor integrated.
Bye, Bye, the Mio. I feel already lighter. 20g off.

Un ange passe.
Or a hurricane.
Or two.

Madeline, Lester. Like an old couple.
Or two eyes. And a nose. Can you see Hawaii ?

Prey for the boat, and consider long running again.
Maybe a 1:20 Makawao Forest loop, the usual fun run, for tomorrow.
Let's give it a shot, and check those tendons.
Hopefully, won't be too wet.
That's just a hurricane passing. Or two.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tendoni....what ?

Never ending story.
As I am getting more confident about some progress in my hip flexors - hard to tell as I barely run anymore - I am still fighting a couple of low profile recurring injuries.
An achilles tendonitis that was actually pretty painful on the left foot, and an patellar tendonitis on the inside of the right knee.
Funny enough, all those are rated top injuries for most of the runners, then, somewhere I am glad I am a good representative of the runner's community.

There is a good set of PT exercises you can do to help - it takes around6 to 8 weeks with 3 set of 20  per day. I am doing both knees and both ankles, 3 exercices each.
That's takes a lot of time and a lot of reps.

Patellar Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis
Now, waiting to get better on that front, I am swimming almost every day.
I am not sure if I ever will become a good runner, but soon, I am gonna compete with Phelp for 4x100, if I continue to spend that much time at the pool.

The more annoying is, as a Runner, pain is expected. the question is how much. How much is worrisome ? When to stop ?

If you reconcile this chart:

The Grey zone is Yellow.

with this one:

I see Jesus coming...

Actually, the key factor is to make sure the pain is not getting worst, and do not last too long.
There is ton of info everywhere to not advise you to take Ibuprofen or even to ice where it hurts - supposedly it will slow down recovery by not allowing your body to heal himself by swelling a lot - and by hurting a lot - then this can be used as a good indice as well.
If you cannot bear it without medication, this is certainly too much.

Key point is not to rest.
R.I.C.E is dead.
Now, you work on it.
And if this is not excruciating pain, and you are doing the right exercices, this is a step in the right direction.
I guess we will know in 6 weeks.