Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wind damage and winter weather...

BJ was ready for the weekend trip!!

So Ginny, BJ and I (Sadie too) had been looking forward to Veteran's Day weekend for at least the three preceding weeks and thankfully the weather was looking promising!!  There had been high winds early in the week but it was forecasted to be 10-15 kts with 1-3 foot waves - perfect.  We were going to head to Bellingham for the weekend just to check things out.  Then we received news from our friend Tom who kindly checks on the boat while we're away.

Apparently the wind was a bit stronger than we thought, so strong that it rocked to boat enough to have the fenders land on the dock and thus slam the boat against the dock.  Naturally there was a knot in the wood runner along the dock that was in the perfect spot to do a number on the gelcoat. Thankfully Tom replaced our fenders and installed an emergency one on the dock.  So... Ginny and I spent the weekend learning how to repair gelcoat and all about the numerous layers of fiberglass and epoxy the comprise the hull of Cold Feet. 
Ginny helping the epoxy to "cure"

Kevin applying the epoxy

 This is a picture of a cross section from another Dana Hull, Doolittle, Dana #342.  I'm sure it would have been okay to sail her anyway but Ginny and I just didn't feel right about it.  We were doing great on the patch job until the last step... either the "match and patch kit" isn't that great or that's not my first Sam Adams....  Although it a sound repair job - it's pretty ugly.  I've already put my hands on a different gelcoat applicator and plan on re-patching it soon.

 We also took some precautions in the form of bumpers... lots of bumpers and some padding over the trouble spots.  

Over Thanksgiving weekend we decided not to head up to the boat and instead have a quiet dinner at home and celebrate Ginny's birthday.  We also took advantage of the winter weather and got our first tracks in this season on Crystal Mountain.  It was a good day to test out my new skis and boots before our big Whistler trip next month.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our New Home

After a couple of high adventure docking sessions we decided to inquire the marina on possibilities of moving.  We had to wait until after the summer rush but now that it's over Cold Feet has a new home with a giant "back yard" (a.k.a. lots of maneuver space).  If you look close at the picture of Saide you can see something in the water... it's her tennis ball.  She dropped it in the water, Ginny and I kept waiting for her to go in after it but she couldn't seem to get past the first step... instead Kevin had to fish it out from the other dock.

 We didn't get the boat out this weekend but did change out all the dock lines since our new home is a little more exposed.  Such a simple task left lots of time for afternoon napping.  It was nice quite day, which we capped off with a walk through the high rent district... 60 foot slips and million dollar boats.

The photos and video (if it loads) is from last weekend.  We day sailed about 9 miles just enjoying the good wind and weather in the bay.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sailing with a Schedule...

STINKS!!  Last weekend started innocent enough with weather promising sunshine and good wind... we learned later that about 45 minutes after we left the slip the weather service issued a  small craft advisory.  Which explained why the wind was kicking our butts.  It wasn't really that bad but it's the stiffest wind we've been in... and we need more practice handling it.  On a positive note we sailed most of the way and figured out how to reef the main sail.  Our boom has a single line reefing system that worked like a champ.  

We spent Saturday night on a mooring ball at Spencer Spit State Park.  It was our second choice for this weekend but after the earlier adventure and a forecast calling for stronger winds in the evening - Spencer Spit went to the top of the list.  Not only did it offer a mooring ball but it would shelter us from the strong southerly winds. 

Sunday morning came with fog.  We tried to wait it out but after doggie business ashore and a slow breakfast it was getting late. So with the current going our way and Ray Charles, our Raymarine radar, we set off.  At first is was an eerie kind of cool, we had a strong sense of solitude, Ginny was calm but I was apprehensive... then the fog horns from the ferries started.  Ginny still calm?.... not so much.  But every thing went very well.  Thankfully the water was very calm, we have a kick ass radar system (Raymarine C80) and the currents were going our way.  We even docked like a champ.

Despite everything working out on Sunday we both knew that given a choice we would have waited out the fog.  So sailing with a schedule stinks. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

____ its what's for dinner...

CRAB!!  We struck success with our crab pot in Deer Harbor and had a Labor day feast with the Bishops on Saturday - hamburgers, hotdogs, fresh Dungeness crab and shrimp that Gaew caught by hand from our dock.  

With the grandparents in town Dustin and Gaew had a rare weekend without the kids so we made plans to meet in Deer Harbor on Orcas Island.  They booked a cottage at the Deer Harbor Resort and we reserved a slip in the marina.

With the plan set Ginny and I headed out late Thursday night after work with the hopes of leaving early Friday morning.  We did better leaving at 1030 but we still have some work to do on early departures.  The sail up went pretty well expect we again had little to no wind.  There were some spurts of wind that allowed us to play with the staysail.  For the first time we had all three sails up and flying at the same time.  However we did have to motor most of the way.  After passing through Pole Pass and entering Deer Harbor we immediately had to start dodging crab pots, Kevin vowed to return in the P-Wagon with our crab trap.

The Bishops met us at the dock shortly after we pulled in.  Dustin and Kevin had a round of Sammies then headed out with the crab pot and a few travelers....  We made plans to meet later for dinner, maybe some crab.  Saturday we met for lunch and right away the fellas headed out to see if our chicken baited trap was going bear any fruit.  I never would have guessed it but apparently crabs like chicken.  We pulled two keeps on Saturday.  We had a great feast and yep - Gaew really did catch shrimp by hand!!  Saturday night we took the dogs for a walk just before sunset - it was really pretty.  About 10 minutes into the walk it started to drizzle, no big deal but then 11 minutes into the walk it started to rain pretty good, thankfully our new foul weather gear was safely dry on the boat.  Later we met the Bishops after dinner for a round of Siedler.  It's been ages since we've played. 

We had plans to head to East Sound on Sunday and then back home on Monday but as luck would have it Kevin was called into work on Monday.  So we had to cut the trip short and head home on Sunday.  True to form there was not wind on Sunday either. We again had to motor most of the way, we decided to shut the engines off for a while and make due with light wind.  The silence was peaceful but we were lucky if we made 2 knots and of course the direction we wanted to go was dead into the wind. During trip back the water was crazy calm, this picture is from Rosario Straight.  We took advantage of the calm waters and put the first mates in charge... they decided it was nap time.

Despite having to cut the trip short it was another great weekend on the boat and we covered 50.5 miles.  Dustin and Kevin reset the crab trap on Saturday... Sunday morning we caught 7 crab and a star fish.  Unfortunately only 2 crabs were keeps.  Big lesson from this weekend was - nothing beats fresh dungeness crab!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Man vs. Hose

Holding tank hose that is and one on one the hose won... However hose vs man and woman under new conditions we won!!  So while Ginny was away for work in Reno I decided to tackle changing the holding tank hoses, a.k.a. the poopy hoses.  There was nothing wrong with the current hoses per se, they are the originally installed hoses from 1986.  At that time the sanitation hoses were made with a wire backbone and out of a black coarse material.  The problem we had with these hoses was the smell, apparently this black coarse material allowed some of the smell to permeate when in use.  Basically we someone used the head and began pumping out their business those in the cockpit or down below were treated to a ... nasty sh!%%y smell - literally.

So off to our new favorite store West Marine for some replacement hoses. After flushing the holding tank a few times everything was progressing pretty well last weekend until I tried to cram the new hose through a hole the bulkhead that was using an inch long piece of hose as padding around the hole.  I fought until sundown but trying to wedge rubber through rubber was too much and it was time for a beer break.  I decided to try again with Ginny after she returned.

This weekend we arrived at the boat late Friday night and were in no particular rush to tackle round 2 of the poopy hose task.... So we had brunch at the local bakery/cafe and wandered through the farmers market and took the dogs to the dog park before getting down to business.  Despite having one below pushing and one above pulling, rubber on rubber again proved too tough an opponent.  So we changed the conditions and popped out that piece of hose - we were done in 30 minutes!!  Some day I will work all on those electrical lines... someday.

With the sun setting we fed the dogs then headed to our favorite Italian restaurant in town for a bottle of red and crab ravioli - a belated birthday dinner.

Sunday came too quickly and despite our desire to get a few hours under sail we decided our time was better spent cleaning and preparing the boat for next weekend.  We are heading to Orcas Island for Labor Day and plan on meeting up with the Bishops.

It proved to be a pretty productive weekend boat task wise despite our procrastinating on Saturday.  Our dinghy, the P-Wagon, had it's maiden voyage after being named.  We lined our slip with bumpers in case we have anymore high adventure docking sessions.  And we tried on our foul weather gear, something we decided was a must have after getting soaked to the bone during the Pacific Seacraft rendezvous at Port Townsend 7 August.  We crewed on another Dana during the afternoon sail boat race, it wasn't raining bad on shore but beating upwind on a boat was another story!!  

Throughout the day our first mates worked hard reminding us of what boating life should be....
We're excited about next weekend, Labor Day will be our first multi-day trip and if all goes well we should cover about 50 miles in four days.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our First Night out of the Marina

We finally did it, after last weeks attempt we made the necessary adjustment to leave early and actually anchor / moor somewhere....  We ditched work early, packed food from home, skipped breakfast Saturday morning and decided no farmers market this weekend... all so we could leave by 10:00 am - we barely made it.  Clearly we still need to make some improvements.

Arriving at the boat early allowed us to catch the free Friday night concert at the marina, have a drink on the deck while listening to the band, grab a pizza and meet Clay (former owner). 

So at the bright and early hour of 10:00 am we cast off after grabbing some coffee, crab bait and dinghy motor lock.  Out of the marina and ready to go, we headed into Padilla Bay with the plan to round Guemes Island to the north and grab a mooring ball at either Pelican Beach or Cypress Head on Cypress Island.  Only one problem - no wind, we had to motor the whole way (9 miles).

We arrived at Cypress Head by 1:30 and hooked the mooring buoy on the first shot!!  After stowing the sails and reading the P-Wagon (our dinghy) we took the dogs ashore for some exploring and doggie business.  Sadie quickly took care of business then refused to leave until we played fetch in the water, she loves to swim.  While Ginny opened a beer and made some snacks I assembled our crab trap and line for our first crabbing attempt.  We had chicken for dinner, better luck next time.

Cypress Island was great, it's very undeveloped (not even a ferry stops here).  Which would explain why it's a favorite of kayakers.  We had a lazy Sunday morning with extra coffee and pancakes before heading back in good wind for a great 11ish mile sail finishing with a tall ship sighting just outside of our marina.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Big Ray and our second sail

We're back from our vacation with Dad, Kelly and Andrew where we spoiled ourselves with a big boat and twin engines to help control her (a Moorings 4300 cat).

The big boat was nice but we still missed ours, so we rushed north to Anacortes to see her first chance we got.  I had high hopes for the weekend we'd sail 18 miles and spend our first night at anchor, it's always good to have a plan.  In reality we left extremely late (we had been on the boat for 3 weeks) sailed 7 miles, learned how to use Big Ray the autopilot, tried to flood the boat again (thankfully we have a reliable bilge pump, counter's up to 38) and returned to the marina at the end of the day.

Despite not realizing our initial plan, it was still a weekend on the boat and we learned valuable lessons like we really need to figure out how to leave/return to the dock and before heading out it's a good idea to close the galley and head sink seacocks (or the boat floods).

All in all a good weekend, I'm already making plans to for our first night at anchor next weekend, though this time it will be a little closer to home.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Re-Christening Ceremony

We passed rigging survey and tune on Friday and now with the last of the initial projects complete Cold Feet has a clean bill of health and she's set for the Re-Christening.
She's officially S/V Cold Feet and all is right with Neptune.  The Bishops came up to help us celebrate the re-christening and 4th of July.  (below are the videos)  We had a great time in Anacortes watching the parade down main street and fireworks from the bow.  Thanks to the weather we even tested out the capacity down below, having 4th of July hamburger and hotdogs with two dogs, two kids and four adults - everybody fit.

On Monday we left the slip and hoisted sails for the first time.  It was great!!  We sailed 8 miles, not bad for our first day with a late start.

Here's the script from the re-christening.

We mariners gather here today to call upon the gods of the sea and wind to bless us and grant us safe passage as we, humble new mariners, perform the sacred rights of passage to rechristen our vessel.
In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship in the past, and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their blessing today.
Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves in or on the waves; and mighty Aeolus (pronounced EE-oh-lus), guardian of the winds and all that blows before them:
We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.  Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this vessel has hitherto been known Sailys and Cathrine, be struck and removed from your records.
We authenticate our request with offerings of libations, in recognition of the venerated rituals of the sea.
Mighty Neptune, king of the seas and all they contain, and Aeolus, ruler of the winds that blow across all waters, we offer our collective and heartfelt gratitude we rededicate this vessel to your domain in the name Cold Feet with the  full knowledge that she shall be subject as always to the immutable laws of the gods of the wind and the sea.  
In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.