Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Quick Visit

Just before we headed out for Christmas travels, we stopped by Seas The Day to make sure everything was OK. Fortunately it was, so I used the opportunity to open up a few containers of Kanberra Gel (a natural anti-mildew treatment). The new winter cover looked great, so we sealed her up. We will repeat this check from time to time during the winter. 

Monday, December 8, 2014


Seas The Day is all buttoned up.  Winterization was completed and the winter cover put in place in mid November.  Our role now is to check it from time to time.

So what does a sailor do during the winter?  Well we could travel south and go sailing (and we might still do that), but for now this sailor is going to brush up on his theoretical knowledge.

Here's a photo of my nightstand. 

Chapman's Piloting, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, books on diesel engines, boat systems, navigation and nautical rules of the road... these should keep me busy for the next 3 months.

Oh, and in the glass?  That's Jefferson Reserve - Ocean Aged bourbon, of course.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Seas The Day is finally on the hard...

We stopped over at Hans Pedersen & Son's Marina the other day and found her in her cradle.

Today, I took the day off from work to meet up with Jim, our Yanmar guy who was going to service and winterize the diesel engine.  We have a 3 cylinder Yanmar (model 3YM30) that sits under the companionway stairs.  Basically today he checked it out after running in the first set of "hours" (they don't refer to "miles" on boats for some reason), and prepared it to hibernate for the winter.

He checked the valves, shaft alignment, then we started it up (I wasn't expecting that... we're on land). But the reason for that was we needed to flush the engine with fresh water (get all the salt out of the cooling system).  He then filled a bucket with biodegradable anti-freeze and ran the engine until that was all sucked into the innards, then finally he changed the oil.  It was cool to watch this take place and see some of the bits of the engine - though I'll probably never see it again.  (Yes, should we ever decide to take off across the seven seas, I'll need to learn a lot about diesel engines.  Right now I have a Yanmar guy and a BoatUS towing policy.  If the engine doesn't work, we sail and then call for a tow & repair.)

At the end, I took a few photos of Seas The Day's bottom.  There seems to be a "weird" (to me) discoloration & pitting on the lower half of the rudder and the leading edge of the wing keel.  So I sent a note off to the dealer to see what was up with that.

Seas The Day's cradle. Below, you can see barnacle growth on the propeller & zinc.

This is the pitting on the lower half of the rudder (above) and on the leading edge of the wing keel (below).

Hey, there are holes in our boat!  These (above) are water intake to flush the head (toilet) and grey water outlet from the head sink.  Those (below) are the macerator (toilet holding tank pump - "black water") outlet and the grey water outlet from the galley sink.

Above is the famous "speedometer" wheel (the thing that was changed in the video a few weeks ago). I spun it by hand and a bunch of dead creepy crawlies fell out.

Soon it will all be put to hibernate for the winter...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the Sling

I stopped by Hans Pedersen & Sons marina during lunch today to drop off a check and found Seas The Day up in a sling on the travel lift.  I happened to have my camera handy so I grabbed a few shots.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Taking Her In

I guess all good things come to an end.

The season is over and today it was time to deliver Seas The Day to her winter home.  She'll be staying at Hans Pedersen & Sons marina here in Keyport.  So I took the afternoon off, met up with John and we picked our way down the channel into town.  It was my first time down in this area, but "red right returning" got us there and taught me why the different colors also have different shapes (we were sailing right into the sun, so you can't see colors on the buoys).  Vicky was kind enough to bicycle down to the waterfront and grab some photos.

We were also the slow boat backing up traffic.

Getting into Pederson's wasn't too bad... I had not maneuvered in tight spaces much except for the two short trips to NY, but this marina is wide enough that I wasn't sweating too much.

But we finally made it to their fuel dock and John helped me tie up.

There it is... the last of the season.  Tomorrow they haul it out (I have to work, so no photos unless they're doing it during lunch), clean it off, then some workers start the process of winterizing it, others start working on the engine maintenance and still others will stop by for some warranty issues.

My job is to write the checks.

A Practical Lesson on Moorings

I woke up yesterday morning to a bit of a surprise....

A sailboat had broken free from it's mooring and drifted over to visit our neighbor's house.  I zoomed in to get the name of the boat and called Sherri (the KYC Fleet Captain), who in turn called Bill (the owner).  I'm pretty sure he broke some speed records getting to Keyport.

A bit about our moorings... under the "balls" out in the harbor, lie a complex system designed to hold the ships in place, but still allow for a fair bit of movement as tides, winds, currents and yes, storms have their way.  The diagram below is borrowed from Chapman: Piloting and Seamanship (more on that another day).  On the seafloor lies a mushroom anchor, a several hundred pound hunk of iron shaped like a mushroom (which unlike the diagram, usually lies on its side and digs into the bottom). Attached to that is some heavy chain and some lighter chain.  Here at KYC, attached to the top of the light chain are two pendants (ropes with eye's in them) that get attached to a boat.  If done right, the light chain is the depth of the water at highest tide and only extreme wind, storms, etc., can lift the heavy chain and if all else fails, the anchor can drag slowly along the bottom.

By and large, the system works.  During the recent Hurricane Sandy, the four boats left out at their moorings all survived with very little damage (as opposed to hundreds of boats that were destroyed on land).  But the system isn't perfect (nothing is) and we all know that iron, steel and salt water aren't exactly friendly with each other.  Evidently Bill's mooring failed at the top of the mushroom anchor. 

And now his boat was awfully close to the rocks under that little patch of grass sticking out into the bay.  So what do you do in this situation?

You get a GOOD friend (John in this case) and you clear off the old mooring chains.  Then you take your anchor & line and set it out as far as it will go and pull it hard to set anchor...

Then you wait out low tide...

And once high tide approaches, you head back on board, and wait for it to float.  Once free, you motor out...

Retrieve the anchor...

And find a friend's mooring ball (hopefully one without problems) to tie off.  Then you head back to the KYC bar and receive congratulations on saving your boat from something like this with no damage!

Watching all this was an incredible learning experience.  When I first saw it, I sort of assumed that cranes would be involved... some sort of complicated recovery.  It was really neat to see a master assess the situation, stabilize his boat, and then simply wait for the right time to act.

One interesting tidbit... Bill is the next Fleet Captain for KYC (the person who manages the anchorage and sets standards for mooring equipment for the harbor).  I suspect we might hear a little more about moorings over the winter.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Indian Summer: Our last trip of the season.

The hope was that we'd have a weekend of "Indian Summer"... hope springs eternal.

Originally Seas The Day was due to get "hauled" this past Monday, but I'm involved in a complicated project at work so I delayed it a week.  It looked like that was a great decision as Today was supposed to be sunny and in the 70s with a nice breeze... a true Indian Summer.

But we got on the launch and it was cold again.  Yes, temps were in the low 70s, but the skies were cloudy and winds were strong... quite blustery actually being up around 20 to 29 knots.  So we decided to sail across the bay and try to get a nice photo of Mt. Loretto chapel.  We needed to charge our batteries and run the engine at full throttle for a while before putting everything away for the winter.

You can see, our attire has changed somewhat in the last couple of weeks.

Those who were brave enough to sail were "reefed" the sails were lowered and tied up or not unwound all the way to reduce the sail area (due to strong winds).

We made it across the bay, staying clear of the channel so any large ships could pass and got a nice view of Mt. Loretto when the sun broke through some clouds.

So then we turned around and headed back. There were some ominous cloud formations over the bay but no rain.  The wind and waves were more than we were dealing with recently, but we made it back, picked up the ball for the last time, then met up with the Millers at KYC.