Triad

So in the last weeks I have posted very little.

Salon Electrical Panel showing the 120 v AC side
Salon Electrical Panel showing the 120 v AC side

I have written a lot; but getting it posted is another issue.  Issues related to no internet access or most recently just related to my lack of focus.

I try to write all the time, at least every couple of days.  But as I re-read my last half dozen writings, I am all over the place.  I’ve written about driving in Europe in in the 70’s and 80’s, some of the most wonderful cars in my life, women, countries, Italy, Portugal, and even Dauntless.

But the problem with these writings is that simply that, they are all over the place, so for the reader, it’s a bit disconcerting.  One moment he’s in Portugal and all of a sudden in Italy driving through the Alps, 30 years ago!

I wondered why have written so little and so unfocused?

Yesterday, having had a fantastic day with the family of Diogo, my new found Portuguese friend, we got back to the boat and in the ultimate downer after a wonderful day, it was hot and buggy.

Diogo and Anna at the Lobo Do Mar
Diogo and Anna at the Lobo Do Mar

Maybe for you in the Caribbean or Florida it would seem pretty good.  But for me and D, who have spent the last two years in the north, basking in the sun and breeze that have made Northern Europe the vacation capital of the world, it was HOT.

How hot you wonder?

Good picture this: 30 years ago, my Trevisiana and I went to the beach in Holland in mid-August.  I was now stationed in an airbase in the Netherlands and she had come for a short visit.  In August, what does everyone do? We went to the beach. In Holland.

Yum Yum
Yum Yum The Most Curious Cat I Have Ever Known

Picture this, as we parked the car, we thought it was a bit cool.  Luckily, we brought sweaters for that cool night time breeze.  As we walked from the car to the beach, we noticed it seemed even cooler than anticipated.

Upon gazing at the beach along the North Sea for the first time, we realized we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

Everyone was wearing overcoats!  The temperature was 50F at best. Maybe colder. No wonder the Dutch took vacations in July, when the temperature is up in the 60’s.  Clearly winter was over.

So now fast forward 30 years.  Remember those stories of Richard and Dauntless being so happy because he had heat on the first of September as he crossed the North Sea?

Gigi before he became a real big pussy cat
Gigi before he became a real big pussy cat

Remember how the heat percolated up to the pilot house and actually defrosted (demisted) the windows of the pilot house??

So now, only a year later, early September and I’m f…ing melting. It’s 90F at 9:00 and 105F at 14:00. Yes, these are real official temperatures, not the made up crap on TV.

So I’m dying. This is the August in NYC that I have avoided for years.   The heat that makes one want to jump into the river and never come out.  Now, the industrial foam that goes by four times a day slaked the desire somewhat, but if it was blue water, I’d be all in.

Now, I know you are wondering, why doesn’t he just turn-on the air conditioning?  Oh, it would be so simple.  Maybe in my old days, you know three years ago, it would be that simple.  But now?  Having spent the last three summers in the North Atlantic, the North Sea and the Baltic, nothing was simple. Hot weather was this animal that you thought you had tamed.  Instead you woke up day to find it eating you.

So all of a sudden, you were dying. You, everyone around you, the world. Dying in a way Al Gore never envisioned.

So being a man of action, I had been thinking day and night of solutions.  Dauntless has two air conditioning units.  How can we best utilize them?  Yes, we do think of the environment despite of Al Gore.

Well, the first step is to get them to work!  Yes, read the above; do you think in my jaunts in the North Sea I was running the air conditioning all the time? Or even once?? A Year???

The two A/c units, Fore and Aft, on Dauntless need 120 volt 60 hertz power. Period.

That power is obtained in two ways, from the shore in a country based on 120 v and 60 hertz, like the USA, or from the generator on Dauntless, aka Genny, a square shape, but with hips to get the job done, therefore a beauty in every definition of the word.

So Genny powers the circuits to get the air conditioning units to come on.  But in the last few days, since I have entered this inferno, no matter how much Genny implores, both A/C units have ignored her.

The forward A/C did not even wake up, just sleeping though it all, despite my pushing her buttons with the most delicate of touches.

Now, the Aft A/C unit, taking a different tack, was all talk and no action.  She blew, blew & blew, but when it came down to it, it was all hot air.  I would have died in her mistral if it was up to her.

After having talked to my electrical guru in Florida, David Arnold, a true Kadey Krogen guru, who luckily for us is a well-kept secret only known to a select few, (you did not get his name from me); I set out this morning to at least solve the forward A/C issue, how did she want to be touched that would produce the action I so desperately needed??

Now, the Policy of Truth (actually not, if you listen carefully) demands that I at least tell you the middle man here who was the true maestro.  The water pump, who depending on 120 v power was the key to everything.  Oh, sure, without him, you can get action for a bit, but within minutes you will realize you are taking a shower with a raincoat on.  In other words, No Joy; something ain’t working.

Rewind a few months, as we applied a new International undercoat (anti-foul) to Dauntless’ bottom, I noticed a thru-hull (a water intake) that had been painted over.  Umm, I wonder what that was?  I dutifully scrapped the old paint off and made sure it was clear.  I wonder why I had not noticed?

Now a few months later, Genny, having woken up the forward and aft A/C units, was getting no satisfaction in getting the water pump to do his thing.  Was he pouting having been ignored for two years?  Did he just get tired of pumping his life for a bunch of women and a clueless owner??

I certainly suspected the latter.  So this morning, I awoke with a plan and the first plan was to get mister water pump to put up or shut up.

But first, having this day well planned, after 60 years, I knew a thing or two and the first thing is that everyone needs a little foreplay, some more than others, even the Marina Captain, but that’s another story.

So first I checked the forward A/C and discovered that like on all boats, one thing leads to another.  I discovered the containers of spares and tools that were carefully stowed under the helm, had moved enough to disturb the RJ45 connector to the forward A/C unit.  This only controlled the control panel, but electrons are so picky these days, it was enough.  I spent the next hour making new connections that would not come off in the next storm.

Now it was time to put Genny to work.  Poor Genny, neglected in body and soul for months, no years, now she has to put out in seconds or else.  Or else what, I won’t change her oil for another year or two??

So Genny never complaining (we’ll just forget about the indiscretion in Maine.  But you know those Maine men, one touch, and all is right with the world.  Yes, George was masterful, but you would be too if you worked at the Bath Boat Works).

Genny powered up and making hay while the sun shines, I turned on all the breakers for the 120v circuits and the two A/C units.

Like before Aft A/C was blowing air, but it seemed like hot air to me, as in not really putting her heart into it; Are you done yet? As in just the Fan working.

But the Forward A/C was on, awake and actually cool.  I felt the water pump, it felt like it was actually working. I ran outside, yes, water was coming out for the first time in years!!  What a glorious emission!

I got my IR temperature gun, Aft A/C 75F, Forward A/C 55F.  Now that’s more like it.

For the first time in more than two years, at least one A/C was working.  I was on a roll.  Let’s figure out what’s going on with the Aft A/C.

I felt her all over.  Oh she ooh’d and ahd’d, but nothing changed. Her coils were as cold as fish, as was the compressor.  Maybe I was too abrupt in the past (sure, maybe in the middle of the night, I turned her on without realizing her buddy the water pump was not along for the ride?  I never said she was not kinky!  She is older after all and we all want something a little different.  She had knobs to turn after all; not push buttons like the little princess, the newer, younger forward A/C.)  maybe I boiled off her Freon?

So now I figured I needed to get even more kinky.  Both Yes, that meant both at the same time; then one, then the other, in every combination possible and a few that have been outlawed in 28 countries and 8 states.

But mister water pump did not want to play with the Aft A/C.  If she wasn’t playing, neither was he.

Umm, I ‘d dealt with this before.  I have had cats you know.  (maybe one day, I shall have to tell you the story of Yum Yum and Gigi, aka Blackie, aka Stockings, but I digress).

These A/C units had two relays that powered the three units: Forward A/C, Aft A/C and Water Pump.  Whenever either A/C unit was turned on, the water pump would come on.

But now it wasn’t.

Easiest step, but also one not without peril, for anyone who knows digital electricity meters, they also know that all those digits don’t mean a thing.  So I also had my trusty analog meter along for the ride.  Why, you wonder?  Because the digital meter will tell you no voltage exists if it doesn’t like the looks of it.  The Analog meter has no such rules; she just tells you what is and in this case, it’s enough voltage to kill.

If I die because of the digital meter, who can I sue?  OK I digress.

So now, I always check with both meters initially, so I don’t waste HOURS trying to figure out why what is supposed to be there is not when it actually is. Yes, do this at home.

In short order I figured out that of the two relays that power the whole system, one was not working.  Therefore, the water pump was only coming on when the compressor of the forward A/C unit engaged.

Once I figured that out, I then tried powering the aft A/C unit and sure enough, it was more than happy to cool off my hot body.

I put a jumper to the Aft A/C directly to the terminal block that runs to the circuit breaker in the salon, thus bypassing the relay.  The only issue is that if I want the Aft A/C now, I must also turn on the forward A/C to turn on the water pump.

Problems solved. Now I can focus and write and that’s just the way it is.

We’re Good to Go; but if you don’t like that book, check out “Triad” by the David Crosby and Jefferson Airplane.

A Utube link to Triad
Thank you.

Coming Up:

  • I Have the Need for Speed
  • Kadey Krogen versus Alfa Romeo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 thru 5, Kilmore Quay to Arklow, Dunloagharie & Glenarn Northern Ireland,

So it’s been an interesting 6 days.

I wanted to get to Arklow on time, so I had a bit of rough weather and seas, but nothing terrible.

For 6 months, I had planned all the work that needed to be done on Dauntless this winter and spring.

wp-1464899207608.jpg
Dunloagharie harbor, just south of Dublin

Almost none of it was done.

Why, you wonder? simply put, with the boat out of the water, with all the salon hatches open to the engine room and with the general disorder that comes with such work, I found it virtually impossible to do the projects that I had planned on doing. In hindsight, I did not anticipate the amount of turmoil the boat yard work would produce.

wp-1464899206866.jpg
My First Sunrise this Year at Sea

So, by the time I left the boat yard of New Ross, we were seaworthy, but a f…ing mess.   A salon full of stuff and parts that needed to be organized and put away.  A pilot house full of tools that had not been organized as I had planned.

Leaving Kilmore Quay, I was not on a northerly track for the next few weeks.  Out 2016 was underway for better or for worse.

Alone, more than I liked or had planned, friends were coming from the USA for the month of June and I felt an obligation to push as best I could to get to the ports we had planned to meet.

Day 2 Kilmore Quay to Arklow to meet Brian from USA.

In leaving New Ross so quickly, it meant even the paravanes, my stabilizers, were not set up. So I ended up rolling my way to Arklow. With winds on the NE bow, we were going into a bit of a head seas, not nice and we rolled a bit, not great, but livable.

Dauntless
Dauntless

Arriving in Arklow, the town has two places to dock on opposite sides of the river. Thus poor Brian went to the north side as I went to the south side.  Finally, we talked and he told me he could see me, therefore, I went to him on the north wall.

Remember the new paint job, well, it sustained its firs blemish.  Even after setting all the fenders (buoys) that we could, as the tide left and returned, the bow cap rail sustained it’s first scrape.

Another Crappy day
Another Crappy day. The graph on the left shows the pitching of the boat (that’s how much the bow bounces up and down) this is one of the worst days ever. The graph on the right depicts the rolling. While the rolling was not fun, this was without the stabilizers deployed.

Oh well, you can’t live forever and for millions species of things, they would be quite happy to live two days.  My new paint job should feel itself lucky.

Day 3 Arklow to Dunloagharie (just south of Dublin)

A relatively easy, short day, but I had to see the customs guy from Waterford.  He was scheduled to be on the Custaim boat for the next 8 days leaving from this port, Dunloagharie (just south of Dublin) so I had decided to make his job and therefore my paperwork as easy as possible.  We had arranged to meet him the afternoon after we had arrived.  Peter (seems like half the people in Ireland are named after my brother, so it makes it easier to remember their names), on time and meticulous as ever, I had the forms I needed checked, signed and embossed.  No European bureaucracy can resist the raised imprint of the embossed seal.  Does matter what it says, it’s only important that you have it.  Just watch Game of Thrones and it all becomes clear.  (though with a bit less killing, maiming and torture that is depicted in the GOT).

Day 4 & 5 Ireland to Northern Ireland

Where did this guy come from?
Where did this guy come from? Blackie, whose name suddenly changed after two years to Gigi. We never discovered who Gigi was named after.

Last year I vowed to never go out into head seas or contrary winds.

That determination lasted until Day 4 this year. Am I proud of it?  No, I was as sick as a dog.  A really sick dog.

I took my medicine. I felt good enough to function.  Winds were right on our nose, up and down, first you are looking at the sky, then the bottom of the sea.  We even got some spray on the pilot house windows.  With a strong 4 knot current running with us to the northeast, but with strong winds from the northeast at 18 gusting to 25, it produced high, 8 feet, steep waves.  The steepness of the waves produced all the spray on Dauntless.

Brian volunteered to take the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. watch and I relieved him at 2. Having a few hours’ sleep helped, but up and down every 7 seconds was miserable.

Brian was back before 6 a.m. and at that time, I had decided to head due west to a cove that may provide us some protection from the wind and seas.  About 7 a.m., I left him, but added that if conditions changed, we could continue to head north to Northern Ireland.

Eating in my bed in the forward cabin.  I luxuriated in not having to do anything but hold on as we bounced up and down.  My toes held the wall, while my arm under my head touched the opposite wall.  I felt so good with every up and down.  The Krogen handled it so well.  And being in bed, half sleeping, I felt fine.  No longer sea sick, by body enjoyed the roller coaster ride.

That’s the tings about our 42 foot Kadey Krogen.  It always feels secure.  No matter how bad the conditions, while it may feel like another ride on the “wild mouse it still feels secure, like we are on rails.

Soon after I went to bed, I could tell that the seas and winds had changed somewhat.  In my sleepy state, I thought about getting up and telling Brian to just keep going north as originally planned.  But I also knew that I had told Brian to “act accordingly” depending on conditions.  After a few hours of sleep, as the conditions stayed moderate, I thought I should just stay in bed until Brian got us to Scotland.  He was doing fine, or better yet, he didn’t mind the ride in the pilot house and I was happy in my bed.  What’s to complain about?

I finally did get out of bed and that afternoon we headed into Glenarm, on the northern coast of Northern Ireland.

The next day would find us under the high pressure that gave us fair skies and light winds, finally, easing our way into Scotland.

Tomorrow, Scots and Scotland