What I’ve Been Up To

I know it’s been quiet here the last three weeks, but I have been busy.

Sunset at Le Marin
Sunset at Le Marin

I am in the process of writing a comprehensive account of our month on the Atlantic from Morocco to the Caribbean.  Having very limited access to the internet, reduces my ability to upload posts and pictures.

But I have been busy. Today, Micah and I finally got everything put away as I have been re-organizing my tools, electrical stuff and miscellaneous stuff that is stored I the pilot house.  It’s a lot of stuff.

It’s taken me literally two weeks to get it done.  Why was it so hard?

I was spurred to action because after arriving we had some projects to do and a few things to fix or improve and during that first week, I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time trying to find various tools.

Having spent too many minutes trying to find a simple 13mm wrench, during the re-organization, I found the other 10 wrenches and 4 sockets. Yes, all 13mm.  Why so many? Because I had it in my mind that I needed one, so every time I got close to a hardware store…

Sooner or later I shall have to find someone who is good at organizing.  If not I may up be being the Cat Lady of the High Seas!

The picture is from last night and is yet another beautiful sunset at Le Marin on the wonderful island of Martinique.

Tomorrow we will be leaving, but just an hour south to St. Anne.  We will spend a couple nights there before heading to the Grenadines later on in the week.

Every few days I post pictures in Instagram at DauntlessatSea

 

 

Q & A After the Atlantic Crossing

My Friend Alfa Mike asked the following, so I thought I would share with everyone:

Richard on Dauntless in Martinique, La Marin
Richard on Dauntless in Martinique, La Marin

>Do they speak a lot of English Language in Martinique or is it all French?

The Moon & Venus watch over us on our last nights
The Moon & Venus watch over us on our last nights
Until the very end, a story sea
Until the very end, a story sea
A little mishap while changing the oil just after arrival
A little mishap while changing the oil just after arrival
Mountain on Martinique
Mountain on Martinique
Driving thru the forest
Driving thru the forest
More Rainforest
More Rainforest
Even made it to the Kadey Krogen page
Even made it to the Kadey Krogen page
La Marin Marina
La Marin Marina
  • some English, once in a while, you need to know some basic French.

> What have you seen & experienced there?
This past weekend, we drove up north to see rain forest and volcano.  Inactive of course, so not much to see.
> What have you done in the boat while there.?  Repairs, upgrades?

at this point, there is still much to do.  Not helped that yesterday I spent all day to do a 1 hour job.  I hate working with wood, like the interior.

  • Working on electric in fwd bilge, adding small bilge pump.
  • Rewiring holding tank switch so that it can’t get turned on accidentally.
  • Micah patched dingy.
  • Rerigged paravane pole.
    • One pole needs to be replaced. Probably do that in Mexico or So Cal.
    • Also, rigged a preventer so windward pole will not go vertical when boat rolls heavily to lee side.
  • Finally finished 3rd 20# bottle of propane yesterday.  Those 3 bottles were filled in Tallinn in July 2015. That’s 7000 miles ago.  Luckily have two extra bottles that a sailboat boat gave me in northern France last summer as he was not going back to USA. I have not been able to get propane since Estonia last year, but am told I can in St Lucia.  But I can wait till So Cal possibly.
  • Must still replace 2 hydraulic hoses and bleed system for AP and helm steering.
  • Complete oil change, i.e. fill engine with oil.
  • We’ll fuel again in St. Lucia, only to half full about 250 gal
  • Repair bracket for wx instruments on mast, the following winds (when we were stopped for Hydraulic line) managed to wrap paravane line around it and mangled it, because I was so happy to get one problems solved, I created another one.
  • Winds also broke stern flag pole. Same happened to Sweden sailboat docked next to us.
  • All 5 fuel filters are changed (2 Racors, 2 engine mounted and fuel polish)
  • Replacing all screws in rub rail is proving to be a real PIA. As they are rusted and not coming out. These are Inox screws I bought in Ireland and again in Portugal. Big f…ing mistake.
  • General clean up, still finding flying fish on fly bridge (where else would they be 🙂
  • Spent $200 on stainless steel screws.
  • Another $200 on oil and ATF for rudder steering
  • $200 on rental car for 3 days
    Yes, everything is in increments of $200.
  • Finally took Icom VHF radio to shop, as my friend Pat in Waterford told me to do last year. It’s unfixable it seems. So, will take VHF radio from fly bridge and install in pilot house.
  • Need to still upload a billion pictures to http://dauntless.smugmug.com/

> How has the weather been?

  • Is it Humid? Hot, a bit muggy, yesterday was first day without wind, so then the boat really heats up.Did I tell you I don’t like hot weather?  Thus the 12 years in Alaska and two years with Dauntless in Northern Europe and now returning to first Southeast Alaska and then Japan & S. Korea.

>Now after all is said and done, In hindsight what would I have done differently?

  • In terms of places to go or not, it’s hard to say. Only having spent time in southern Spain and Morocco can I say that I would not have missed it.  But had I not gone, how would I know that?  It would have better financially and sailing wise to go direct from the bottom of Portugal to Las Palmas on Grand Canaria.
  • Should have spent some hard-earned money 3 years ago, to be able to use 230v, 50hz shore power to run ACs. I did try to get them to run off inverter, but the inverter produces a square sine wave and both the Splendid washer/dryer and the AC’s will not run on that.

I could have tried the transformer I use not for the water heater.  It would supply 120v, but 50hz to AC.  That swill probably work. But at this point, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.  Back in Southern Spain and Portugal when I was dying of the heat, I should have thought of that.

Yes, I could always run generator, by the 1 gal/hour at $5/gal fuel. Now, 8 hours is only $40 per day, but adding that to expensive marina at $55/day, that’s close to my desired cap of $100 per day.

  • Speaking of money. My average daily cost for all living and boat expenses is about $109 per day.  Though I still have yet to update the last month, I do not think it will change significantly.  This is also a few dollars below the previous year.  So, all in all, the expenses are about what I expect.  The proportion is also the same, 25% for each:
    • Fuel & oils
    • Marinas & docks
    • Food, groceries & eating out
    • , like cell phone, transportation, cars, trains, planes and automobiles.

> How do you like it in Martinique?

  • Love it. People, food could not be better. I am so lucky that I was told to head here when it became clear that I could m=not make the southing I needed to get to Barbados.  It was only a 20° more southerly course, but with the large seas we had, it was not worth being beaten up.
  • In hindsight, Martinique is a much nicer place to clear in, eat and drink than probably anyplace in the Caribbean. Martinique is a Department (like a State) of France.  Thus, it feels like France because it is France.  It’s not the bureaucratic mess that Portugal, southern Spain and Morocco are.
  • FYI in terms of how they treat boaters:
    • Northern Spain, Galicia is just like northern Europe and France, as are the Cana.ries.
    • Southern Spain and Portugal were totally different, and not in a positive way.
    • I was told that it’s because of the Arab penchant for bureaucracy.

> How long do you plan to stay?

  • until sometime next week. Then heading south, a bit before heading west to the ABC’s

> Any comments you would like to make about the trip you just completed now that your more rested up?

  • Very glad I don’t have to do it again for another 18 months

 

 

Time is Flying; But My Head is in the Clouds

Or am I flying and that’s why my head is in the clouds?

Such weighty questions, so little time.

What else is new, as my friends would say?

Nice view of the River Barrow & Stratocumulus clouds
Nice view of the River Barrow & Stratocumulus clouds

I did make a list of all the things that still need to be done between now and the next few weeks.  It’s a long list.  Most of the small things I will do, as few big things are being done by the painter Gary and the Boat Yard.  So, what’s still to be done:

  • Electrical
    1. Run new VHF cable to the two radios
    2. Replace plugs for Navigation lights
    3. Add Name Board lights
    4. Install new Driving lights
    5. Add USB ports in salon and second cabin
    6. Add new switch and breaker panel for fridge/freezer in pilot house
    7. Add switch panel for solar panels
  • Forward Bilge
    1. Complete hookup of New Vetus holding tank, with new fittings and electrical
    2. Install new bilge pump (old one becomes spare) with new check valve
    3. Make additional fresh water hookup and run hose to forward compartment for Raritan Purisan
    4. Check connections for salt water pump (new, hasn’t worked since installed)
    5. We found a bare wall bulkhead in front of old holding tank. Gary sealed it and put Gelcoat on it.
    6. Check all clamps for the multitude of thru hulls in this area
  • Anchor Locker
    1. Pull all the chain and rode out for both anchors
    2. Vacuum the bottom of chain locker
    3. Replace two deck fittings for fresh & salt water connections
    4. Re-mark and reverse anchor chain
    5. Add 90 feet polypropylene to end of chain rode (this is because it floats, making it easier to find should I have to abandon anchor with no time for anything else)
    6. Paint anchors
    7. Find third anchor for stern
    8. Make up a new, longer chain snubber
  • Paravanes
    1. Restring birds to new line, 3/16” Amsteel, so that I can modify the depth of the birds.
    2. Boat Yard is making rocker stoppers for me to use while at anchor
  • Wood Trim
    1. Teak “eyebrow” around pilot house has been scrapped and sanded thanks to Leonie & Martin. I will put Tung Oil on it and see how that works.
    2. Oil all the benches that have been sanded
  • New Ross Boat Yard and Gary are completing:
    1. Port fuel tank sealant and new inspection ports
    2. New bottom job, with two coats of epoxy and one of a tie-coat
    3. New anti-foul by International, a semi-hard coating that is made for slow boats like Dauntless and should last at least a few years.
    4. Painting of the hull from the cap rails down, including the bow pulpit
    5. Fixing on of the side doors that while latched open this past winter the winds ripped if off the hook and broke the entire frame. (winds this winter were higher than 100 knots or 110 mph.
    6. New Bow thruster blades

That’s pretty much it for me!  I figure realistically, this list will be complete my 2018, though I will strive to get most of it done sooner.20160503_112928.jpg

Just goes to show that one thing I do well is plan; not so well, do.

I need a real doer in my life.