Spring Cleaning

Since spring happens once a year in most places, one would think that spring cleaning is a yearly event.

Though not on Dauntless.  With a surely, lazy crew, when I have even thought about a through reorganization, the look I see in the mirror is downright mutinous.

Of course, besides being, Master, Captain, Skipper, I am also the crew.

So, it’s no surprise that upon returning to Dauntless after my 3-month hiatus, it was time to evict the hitchhikers and other life forms.

I’d managed to go four years with nothing worse than the occasional fly or mosquito on board.

Well now the intrepid explorer has been put in his place by a bunch of roaches and a mouse or maybe two.

Dauntless in Golfito

Last week the whole upper part of the boat was cleaned and I threw away, I’m embarrassed to say about 8 trash bags, large ones, of crap that should have been thrown away eons ago.

I need a watch bird like that

Stuff like three copes of the bus schedule for the Waterford Bus.  Won’t need that for a few years.

The skills we learned in the pre-internet years, have gone by the wayside. A coveted bus schedule, or even a phone book could always come in handy.

Maps though. Only when we got Dauntless did I reduce my map collection.  How can I explain to someone who uses Google to get anywhere, how I use to have two or three maps of places and countries of interest? Balancing them on your knee, finding the quickest way, having to know when and where traffic was bad and hot to avoid the worst.

Even with this week’s boat cleaning, I had one small file of European maps.  My most coveted ones, that I justified in not throwing away saying to myself that the next time I go to Europe, I’ll use them.

But it’s not to be.  I put them on the dock and only later after the latest rain storm did I remember them.  In a normal environment, I would have dried them out, but on a boat, nothing dries out that is not already dry.  Into the dust bin they went.

Today, it was time to empty the engine room.  Well not really empty, but to take out all the things that are not fastened down.

The picture below shows the things stored in the back of the engine room, on either side of the generator.  It’s a lot of stuff.  Most of which I’ll never need. But it gives me piece of mind to venture far away or at least far away from the closest Amazon delivery.

It’s spare parts for almost all of the systems on Dauntless.  It’s plumbing, electrical (both 220v and 110v) and woodworking, parts, replacements and spares.  It’s what allows this 29-year-old Kadey Krogen to make its own electricity, power, water.  Just like a self-contained city, the only thing missing is snow removal; Oh, we’ll have that next year.

 

As One Chapter Ends Another Begins

Asia, via the North Pacific is still the medium-term goal.

But now that transiting the Panama Canal, a set structure in time and space, has been done, I have time to take a breath.

I want to enjoy the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.  These areas provide the spectacular scenery of Norway with added wildlife that has been long gone from Europe.

Hard at work adjusting our heading via the Autopilot

The western coasts of Central and North America pose a formidable challenge for little boats: long stretches of coastlines with inaccessible harbors when you most need them and predominantly head winds and seas.

If I’ve learned anything in the last few years, this Krogen does not like head seas.  They make for a miserable ride that takes twice the time and fuel.

So, the first step is understanding that with any northerly component to the winds, one must stay put.

We are also constrained by a relatively short cruising period, 5 months, maybe 6 at best.  That’s 150 to 180 days.  Climo says that the winds are northerly 66 to 75% of the time. That means of those 150 days, maybe only 45 are useable.

In those 45 days, I can reasonably assume that gets me about 2100 nm or someplace in Northern Mexico from Golfito.

The following summer, 2018, I’d have 2400 nm or about 49 days to get to the Pacific Northwest.

Lastly, in the third year, 2019, that time will be spent in British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.

So, I now have a more realistic time table.

Another Sunset on Dauntless

Three seasons of cruising, also means three seasons of idleness.  And we all know that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. So, while Dauntless is safely tucked in, I must keep busy at an affordable pace.

The west coast is considerably more expensive than Northern Europe, thus I find myself having to be open to new money saving strategies for the winter in particular.

Since re-crossing the Atlantic, I have been slow in updating my digital log.  Maybe because the data simply does not change very much:

  • In 2016-17, Dauntless fuel consumption remains constant at 1.45 gallons per hour or just above 4 nm/gallons. This number is only 1/10th of a gallon different from 2015.
  • My costs, total expenses for Dauntless and for myself have averaged just less than $100 per day for everything. This is also slightly less than 2015.  While marinas in southern Europe were much more expensive than northern Europe, the large number of passage and anchoring days equalized that cost.  Also, a passage day, 24 hours x 1.5 gallons = 35 gallons per day at $2.5 = $90/day.  So, using fuel for 24 hours pretty much equals the cost of a marina and eating and drinking.

The long-range plan, a circumnavigation in a 30-year Kadey Krogen, is still the plan.  I’m already thinking of where I am crossing my track and what comes after that.  Northern Europe, Sweden and the Baltic still have an attraction that is hard to beat, but who knows.

I’m always thinking of the future; reflecting on the past.  While that doesn’t leave much time to appreciate the here and now, it’s who I am.  I get far more enjoyment having the Plan come together, then just winging it.  I can read a hundred self-help books about living in the moment.  What they all have in common, is that they are written by people who are adept at living in the moment and figured out how to monetize that.  Sort of like our President who only seems to live for the moment.  Nuff said.

Maybe a better analogy is a book on how to live like a dog, written by a dog, but marketed to cats (dogs already know how to live like a dog).

The cat than buys the book, gets home, reads the first page and decides to take a nap. Nap time over, the cat looks at the book, realizes it pertains to dogs and thinks that’s $17.95 poorly spent.

Then before you know it, it’s nap time again.

That is works for most people is fine with me (President’s excepted); It simply doesn’t work for me.

So, this finds me taking a break from D right now.  We’ve been together almost 24/7 since November.  My nephew Micah went home to enter Law School, so I decided to take a little break and do a little reconnoiter for this coming winter.

If I’ve learned anything while cruising with Dauntless it that at 6 knots, it takes forever to get anyplace. Therefore, it always behooves me to check out places by land and air before committing to the journey by sea.