20,000 miles in 900 Days

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My Suitcase

Well actually 19,000 miles in 878 days, but who’s counting?  Also 900 Days has a sad ring to it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read a book, though I’m sure the history channel has an hour documentary which is sure to have a few facts straight.

I’m packing the “large” suitcase.  So far, it’s most full of those items that are hard to find in Europe and expendables that I use a lot of and are hard to find.

The orange line is 3/16” Amsteel Blue.  I am modifying the lines on the paravanes birds.

Next week, I will be leaving NYC to return to Dauntless.  I’m looking forward to it, as I am forward looking, though it is accompanied with a bit of melancholy, as it signifies change, trading my home in NYC for a home on Dauntless, thus having the life of a Traveller.

An ex-girlfriend once told me I was a gypsy, as I had just told her I was leaving Germany for California. Like most of my ex’s, they see the forest far better than I.  Maybe if I just cut down those trees, I’ll be able to see better.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

But back to Dauntless. There is still a lot of work to finish on the boat, but hopefully we shall be back in the water by early May, ready to start an odyssey that will not end until arrival in South Korea 850 days later.

We’ll start out slowly for the rest of this year and into next winter and spring, but as 2017 ends, it will be busy.

Oh, by the way, $20/day for 900 days, $18,000 for fuel alone.  I have to start watching my pennies.

 

Real Mothers and Real Soju

Today, Sunday, finds me watching parts of a Korean Drama that I first watched a few years ago, Go Bong Shil, 고봉실 여사 구하기, watching this drama makes me realize how strong a connection I have to the culture of Korea.

One of the themes that runs through virtually every Korean drama is family and the hard work of mothers in particular.

It’s always a great reminder to keep us humble and appreciative of what we have and not cry over what we don’t have.

Yeosu, along the southern coast of South Korea
Yeosu, along the southern coast of South Korea and a Dauntless goal three years from now.

And then, just minutes ago, I realized that the story of this drama starts in Yeosu, a beautiful city in the middle of the south coast of South Korea and the town that Julie suggested would be a good destination for Dauntless.

I do believe in Fate; how can I not.  One way or another, my Fate draws me to Korea.

This touching scene in 60 seconds says so much about life:

East Versus West

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Route to the East in BLUE; to the west in GREEN

So one of my dedicated, alert readers emailed me and asked the obvious question, “Since you want to spend time in the Med, why not go to Korea via the Suez Canal and Indian ocean?”

Great question. It’s been more than a year since I last looked at the charts and the route to the east.

So, I just looked at it again. Nothing changed. Sometimes Plate Tectonics does not work as fast as one would wish for.  Probably have to wait another few hundred million years before the Horn of Africa is considered another continent. But then the Pacific will be smaller by then also!

Don’t think I’ll wait.

Gibraltar to Yeosu, Korea via the Suez Canal, 10,000 nm.

So why don’t I want to go east:

  • Even though it’s about 30% or 3,000 miles shorter, and
  • we could spend a good time in the Mediterranean.

The disadvantages:

  • Avoiding the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. I have read many accounts of boats transiting both; none of them very positive.
  • I don’t like dusting. We don’t like deserts or hot dusty climates.
  • The Red Sea would be difficult; the Indian Ocean would be impossible. Jimmy Cornell’s book, “World Cursing Routes” is my bible.  It shows the difficulty of trying to go west to east against the prevailing winds 11 of 12 months in the northern Indian Ocean. Trying to time the one month of “good” winds is a fool’s errand.
  • Though the pirate situation is better than it has been and is now not much better off the west coast of Africa, it’s still an issue on a problematic coast.
  • Straits of Malacca. Even more lawless than the Horn of Africa.
  • We want to enjoy Korea before seeing Southeast Asia.

Gibraltar to Yeosu, Korea via the Panama Canal, 13,000 nm. Though longer, why do we want to go this way:

  • Like a magic carpet ride, the trade winds will whisk us from the Canary Islands all the way through the Caribbean to the Panama Canal. winds
  • Sometime in Central America will be nice.
  • Looking forward to seeing the west coast of the US; a coast that I have driven along numerous times, yet have never seen from the sea.
  • Spending time in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska.
  • Crossing the north Pacific in July should be easier than the Atlantic. Also, the Aleutians provide stopping spots.  The Bering Sea has a little east to west counter current.
  • Seeing northern Japan
  • Seeing the Aleutians. Check out this story:

http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boats/cruising/cruising_the_aleutians_aboard_a_65-foot_fleming#.Vl3i2PmrQU0

So that’s about it.

Thanks for asking.

The south coast of South Korea. Many islands.
The south coast of South Korea. Many islands.

 

 

 

More Shenanigans or How Do I Really Spend My Days

I wrote this over the last two days.

I have a 12v heating pad on my bed and it is probably the only thing keeping me from becoming a frozen board by morning.  During the last few days I have come to understand that the current for this heating pad is not going through my Victron Battery Monitor.  I figured this out by watching the current draw and the voltage, as I turn on the heating pad.  The current does not change, but the voltage does.

That’s bad. My initial reaction was to do nothing, but this morning, after stirring the pot a bit on Cruisers Forum, I decided I should do something about it.

Why?  Inquiring minds want to know?  Because I used a positive lead that also powered this red light that is under my bed stand and over the fluxgate compass.  So now, what bothered me even more was that if the heat pad was not going thru the Victron Battery Monitor,(it tells me how much power is left in the batteries and how much I am using at any given time)

It meant that the supply line was not coming from the main distribution panel, which could also mean that it is not going thru any circuit breaker.  That’s a problem.  While I put fuses on most things I add, I want everything to go thru at least one of the distribution panels and its respective circuit breaker.

That also allows me to know that when I turn everything off, everything is actually off and with no power going to it. Critical when I leave the boats for longer periods of time.

Now as to why there is a red light, in a 2 ft. by 1 ft. night stand is a good question. The most likely reason I can come up with, is that the first owner saw the need to put the little people down there to navigate and provide better information for the fluxgate compass, as it surely needed it.

I guessing the little people escaped once I got to Ireland, because I have never seen them.

But that’s clearly a whole other story.

So, I decided, how hard can it be?  I crossed the Atlantic; this shouldn’t take more than a half hour.  Whenever you think something shouldn’t take more than a half hour, pack a lunch and probably a dinner too.

Now, 5 hours later, I’m done.  I’ll just give you the highlights, which included:

  • Spending an hour to out back together the Japanese 12v DC outlet, including spending at least 20 minutes putting a little bolt in backwards and not understanding why it didn’t tighten anything.
  • Spending an hour trying to get a too fat a wire thru too small a hole, then a different wire, then too many shenanigans to mention; before finally drilling another hole.
  • Getting everything all back together, turning on the circuit breaker only to see a draw of 0.7A when everything was off. Knowing there was nothing plugged into any of the 12v outlets, I quickly checked the propane solenoid, and thank god, I had left it on and it was the culprit.

So after all that, but now, I turn on the heating pad and it’s not clear that I have corrected the problem.

It’s not clear because even though it is raining and of course cloudy, the solar panels still put about a quarter amp into the batteries and I have no easy way to turn that off.

Tonight, we shall see what we shall see.

Nothing Changed!

Once it was dark, by 16:30, it was clear that absolutely nothing had changed.  No current being registered  on the Victron.

I decided to start watching a new Korean Drama.

So this morning, after my tasty breakfast of lemon meringue pie and coffee, I decided to tackle the elusive heating pad again.

I realized that I had just changed the load source and not the ground and the Victron was measuring through the ground.  Duh

This time it only took me an hour.  But I sure am glad I had made that larger hole yesterday, otherwise I’d still be f..ing around with it.

Now, I wish I would have thought to wire in an indicator light.

 

I really wrote this for the folks on Trawler Forum, but thought some of you may like.  Please tell me one way or another.

Richard