Monday, February 20, 2017

Aloha From Portugal

As we are slowly but surely planning our trip to Portugal for this summer, and I relentlessly surfing the web of catamarans - my new, we found this affordable - sizeable - french cat named Aloha in Portugal.
Too many coincidences to be ignored.

Aloha From Fountaine Pajot

Living aboard has been on my dream list for quite a while now. We tried - unsuccessfully - On 'Mobylette' - A Beneteau 43- half a dozen years ago already.
It is tricky.
Very few marinas allow for official liveaboards. Most of people 'sneak-a-board'. Which is certainly a valid strategy if you are in your twenties without money and family, but less appealing as a grown-up with responsibilities.
Living on a boat is quite complicated in places where there is real seasons. Cold is really an issue as boats are usually very badly insulated. Of course, bad weather is extremely hard to cope with.
Livingaboard is living outside before all.

Now I slowly accepted that a boat is not the best adapted house for our family - with pets and kid.
Sure people are doing it. all around the world. Mostly traveling.
Well, sooner than later Kids and petz will leave home to live their own (kid and petz) life.
And (soon-tm) will be the time to revisit that statement.

Now, Catamarans have a very appealing advantage over monohulls. They are roomy and comfortable AT ANCHOR.
This simplify a lot if you can actually be on the boat at anchorage and not rolling left and right all day long. Now, you are not relying on expensive private marinas slips for docking.
Now, you are auto-sufficient.
Making your own electricity.
Your own water.
Simpler, smaller, outdoor life.

And there is a cheery on the cake.

When the world goes deep - after the flood,
You are already floating.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Taking a Break

The main purpose of that Oahu trip was the haul-out and the bottom paint. I never did it myself, and it was long overdue. We had some damage with a previous buoy, and the old one was anyway totally inefficient.
It was meant to be an adventure, indeed.

1-2-3, Lift !
I lived on a yard before, in Oxnard, while preparing Traces for the Pacific crossing. It is uncomfortable, noisy, dusty, without easy access to clean water or shower.
This time was a bit better, mostly because the Hawaiian sun allows you to take a shower at the hose, outside, in shorts.
But the sun made it really uncomfortable to work during mid-day hours, sweating under the protective suit.

1-2-3, ready
The hard part in a bottom paint is the sanding, depending how deep you want to go. I went pretty deep because I knew I would not do it again soon. Depending how many blisters you got. I had a few hundreds of them. Started to be better at them toward the end, but I did a couple of major mistakes that took hours to fix.
Learning curve.
And I got rid of an annoying vinyl decorative band that was in really bad shape but a real pain in the butt to take off.

Sanding, Sanding, Sanding ...
The paint job is straightforward. A bit tiring for the back as the curve of the hull force you in awkward positions toward the keel, but it is very gratifying.

Voila !
Going back to the marina after the work, forced to motor all the way due to lack of  wind, I realized that the engine issue - rpm dropping slowly - likely fuel starvation - was getting - if not worst - not better.
Something had to be done.

On the way back to Ala Wai,
under (failing) engine
My first attempt to isolate the leak ended up causing another leak - major, on the inlet of the injector pump. Few days later, I eventually fixed that one with new parts, call it a day and flew back home.
Has been one month short have been off Maui and far from family, it was time to take a break.

Looking back, a lot has been done during that month, and on the 'major' items list, only few remains.

 - Engine
 - Garmin Windvane (changed to a wired one after endless disconnection issues)
 - Mast lights

Those can wait March. I need a break.
But We are closing in.