While Dauntless is preparing for her debut, my back is complaining that it can’t support the lifestyle my mind demands.
So I thought the analogy of a car stuck in the snow, with spinning tires was a pretty good. But now I have a little additional bit.
Last night, before bed, I wrote about the simple 3 goals in 3 days’ plan. Still has a ring to it. I got about half a day’s stuff done; only took me 18 hours. At this rate, I have my three days of goals done sometime next month. But I digress.
Well, my mind was having none of it. At 4 a.m. this morning, it decided that I had to also rig the new rocker stoppers. Things that replace the paravanes birds while the boat is at anchor and not moving. So in the dreamy state of half sleep, half awake, my mind started spinning about new riggings.
And spinning and spinning.
Finally, at 5 a.m., still not sleeping, I decided to get up. Within minutes of actually being awake, I realized I had just spent the last hour spinning my wheels fruitlessly.
But then I thought, was I really spinning my wheels? I think in that half-awake state, it’s like the car is still stuck in the snow and you are stepping on the gas, revving the engine, but going no place. But the wheels are not even spinning, you may think they are spinning, but the car is actually not even in gear!
Because within seconds of actually being awake, I realized I had no issue, as I had not planned on rigging the rocker stoppers any time soon any way.
I can handle that. In the middle of the night, it finally dawned on me that I needed a goat that I could accomplish in one day.
As Ziggy Stardust would say, Wham, Bam, Thank you, Ma’am.
Otherwise my brain just keep spinning, like tires spinning in the snow going no where. Not fun. Well, at least I can’t freeze to death unlike some other interesting times in my life.
So today, I awoke with a doable goal, finish the fly bridge projects, mostly fixing my VHF antennas, check the winch switches and spreader lights.
So by 5 p.m. all was done, two antennas fixed, at least one working, lights, switches all done and that stupid 8-foot VHF antenna, fixed, I think.
Good enough for government work. I don’t know who said that, I don’t think it was the Spiders from Mars. No, they are all over the boat.
The AwlGrip painting is done, virtually all of it. We’ll be putting on the bits we took off during the next two days.
The bottom is almost done. Two layers of epoxy, one tie coat, another primer coat for the new anti-foul and one anti-foul coat is on. One more to do tomorrow.
The prop got this new age treatment. Supposed to work much like “Prop Speed” (more efficiently), with an etching primer and
then a silicon overcoat (it feels like really smooth rubber), but at 1/10 the cost of Prop Speed. Don’t have much to lose there. I trust my Irish brothers.
Fuel tank pieces are finally done and getting installed tomorrow.
My task tomorrow, put all my tools and parts away and install my driving lights.
Friday’s task, get the boat ready to go, re-rig the mast and paravanes poles, sort out the engine room, get her ready to splash on Saturday.
Saturday, high tide is at 11:04 a.m., so we will go into the water around 9. I’ll do a few figure 8’s in the river, wave at the tourists shaking JFK’s hand and dock again. I’ll then change the warmed up oil, check the fuel filters and wait for the fuel truck to come and give me 1000 liters for 580 Euros.
Not bad, two years ago it would have been 1400 Euros. I would have to stay home.
Fueling should be done by noon, at which point the ebbing water should be picking up the pace, as I will to.
One long blast on the horn to warn everyone that I am either coming or going, depending upon your perspective and it’s on the Dunmore East to wait for the change of tide.
On my home page, under the Follow Me banner, there should be the titles of some of pages that are also in my Dauntless At Sea Blog, but it’s how WordPress organizes things and I have not yet figured out a better way to do it.
Weather Sites I Use Everyday two sites here, more than that is just confusing
Until I come up with a better system or someone tells me how to make it better organized, I will put my most recent post on the very top. That way if you look at the pages often, you will know right away if something is new. If you do not, the order really doesn’t matter.
Also, while I can make a link to articles in the Economist, the Wall Street Journal is another story. I must copy text and then email that copy. So, I do this less than once a week.
I include things I am the most passionate about as a way to lead to more thoughts and better questions. I am not trying to advocate for certain ideas, as much as I want to bring to light some things that may not get said or questioned enough.
One of my primary themes is “there is no free lunch”. The more people tell me how great something is, the more skeptical I become.
I’m also skeptical of fake environmentalists. Those who profess a certain lifestyle, but only insofar as it is convenient to do so.
Today’s article from the Wall Street Journal is about that, the massive bird kill by wind turbines that everyone ignores. But when you read the accounts of those who service those turbines, the number of dead birds on the ground is horrific. https://dauntlessatsea.com/tidbits-from-todays-wall-street-journal/
Lastly, if you read the above and think I against wind turbines, you need to read better. Power from wind is not free. There is no free lunch. I at least want people to think about the consequences before implementing the “free lunch solution”.
This winter has been the first real refit since we bought Dauntless three years ago. When we bought this Krogen 42, she was in great shape, in fact the best shape of the 8 KK 42’s I looked at. She had the lowest engine hours, only 1650, and some features we wanted: dual heads, four windows in the rear salon and no built-in furniture in the salon. The Flexsteel leather furniture that the previous owner had gotten for the boat was like new. The nicest leather we had ever felt. We talked about that leather for two years before we actually were in a position to get D.
But with this little use, comes issues that are a result of that little use.
The port side fuel tank started leaking this past summer. It was coming from the forward inboard seam. On opening up the inspection port, it had a lot of rust. More rust than I had seen in the starboard tank.
Now since I had had the boat, I’d had problems with water getting into the tank. During the last days of my Atlantic Passage, this became a critical problem that had me changing or emptying fuel filters every few hours. You can read those details here: Dauntless-crosses-the-north-atlantic-the-post-mortem
Last summer in Holland, with the help of Marinus, another Krogen owner, I finally figured out the source of the water was the stink’in fuel vent. In one of the few poor decisions Kadey Krogen made in the design of this boat, the fuel vent was under the rub rail. As the Krogen rolls its way across the Atlantic this became an issue when I was in very big seas and the stabilizers were not working as well as they should for reasons related to operator (ME) error.
To fix the tank issues, we decided to add three more larger inspection ports. This will allow the two-part epoxy sealant to be applied.
Looking at the pictures of the opened tank, one can see the rust pattern from the water getting into the vent.
Also, when I had purposely overfilled this tank by about 10 gallons, in part to see what would happen, I had the unpleasant surprise to see fuel leaking out of the tank into the bilge. It was not apparent where this fuel was coming from. This picture shows the fitting itself was poorly installed and the screws used rusted and basically left small holes for fuel to get out or even rain water that was on top of the tank to get in.
From the amount of rust, this tank was not sued for quite some time, years, but left with some water. Once I got the boat, this tank had been the problem child, therefore I had a tendency not to use it as much, which ended up exacerbating the problem.
Here are some before pictures. The after pictures will come when done.
In October when we pulled her from the water, we found both old and new damage.
The new was from my second rock encounter in Finland. In the first Finnish rock meeting, Dauntless rode up the rock on her keel.
But the second one was more egregious in that I hit the side of the rock with the side of the hull that left a four-foot scrape in the hull which was deep enough to cause a hairline crack all the way through the hull. Me Bad.
So in looking to repair that damage, we also
found some old damage that had been repaired, but not well or not completely. How do I know? Because in the three years I have owned her, whenever it rained, I had water entering the forward bilge. In addition, the paint on the bulkhead that separates the forward bilge from the amidships, had peeled, since water was coming in behind it.
Both those issues have been repaired and even though Dauntless sat on the hard in the wind and rain all winter, only in the last days was she put into the shed for painting, the forward bilge has remained bone dry.
Now, the engine room bilge still has rain water getting in there, but I actually think that is as normal as one can expect in a 25-year-old boat.
I am also very pleased that everyone who has worked on the Krogen for the last 6 months has commented on the quality of: the workmanship, the design and the build.
I decided to paint the entire hull, since three years of docking was starting to show. And the incentive of a new, different for a Kadey Krogen, paint job will make me both more careful and thoughtful.
In the next weeks, I will enumerate the other jobs we, I have done for this coming season. That we have many, many miles to go, makes me feel even better about the preparation we are doing now.
The pictures show Dauntless outside when they had finished the bottom rehab, which meant repairing all the nicks and gouges, new fiberglass along the keel, gel-coat along the keel, then preparing the hull for two coats of epoxy and one of the tie-coat, which allows the anti-foul to adhere to the epoxy.
Fasten your seatbelt, we’re going for a ride with a few curves; fast ones.
I went by Dauntless this morning, on yet another damp, grey Irish morning that is the reason grass grows on concrete here. The work on the boat this past winter is being done at New Ross Boat Yard, just across the river from the Dunbrody Famine Ship.
Gary, the GRP (fiberglass) guy, has fixed the damage I have incurred the last three years, mostly dents and dings from too many docking maneuvers in which the fate of the western world must have hung in the balance, or at least I acted like it did. Just ask anyone who has cruised with me.
My encounters with the rocks of Finland on the other hand had a more lasting impression. The second rock in particular hit the side of the boat, not under the keel, like the first rock. By hitting the rock on the side of the hull, I almost sliced the hull open much like the Titanic.
The reason we did not have the same outcome says much about the difference between quality Kadey Krogen fiberglass design and construction versus English ship building 100 years ago that in their rush used rivets with too much slag in them, making them brittle.
So due to my inattention, Dauntless ended up with a four-foot-long gouge that did produce a hairline crack that went through the hull. It was not until three months later, back in the river water of Waterford, that I realized it was river water in the forward bilge and not rain water, though at most it was about one bilge pump out a day, only about one inch of water and again, I have always had a somewhat wet forward bilge so I assumed it was just more rain.
But Gary also discovered a crack in the bulkhead that separates the forward bilge from the more rearward section where the water tanks are. I had seen water dripping from that wall for quite a while, like at least two years. In fact, the paint had peeled away from part of the bulkhead. When I had returned to Dauntless in the beginning of December, Gary had showed me this bulkhead and explained it was not normal and in fact it was cracked, possibly done when I hit the rock last summer. In any case, we came up with a plan for him to repair that damage also and now it’s all done.
Gary also suggested that the good construction of the boat allowed that bulkhead to absorb much of the force of the impact, thus leaving only a hairline crack in the hull and not a gaping hole, ala Titanic.
Now while Gary is doing his part, he will also be painting the upper hull, refinishing the bottom and putting a sealant in the port fuel tank. Michael, Stephen and Denise of the New Ross Boat Yard are also doing their part.
They are cutting additional inspection ports in the port fuel tank to allow Gary to apply the sealant. Besides blocking the boat and strapping her down so that the 100 knot winds that hit this area during the winter did not topple her over, they also are pulling my old holding tank which started leaking once again, so I am replacing it with a new Vetus plastic tank. They will also finally remove the line from my bow thruster which made it in-op for most of my summer cruise, as well as apply a new commercial grade anti-fouling.
While working inside the boat, they have been very impressed with the workmanship of the KK. Even mentioning the quality of the wall in the engine room that walls off the fuel tank: the battens behind the plywood that itself is covered by soundboard in the engine room.
Now while I have already paid Gary in full for his work, I don’t even have a quote from the Boat Yard. Michael said he would give me a ballpark figure tomorrow, (ummm heard that before), but as I drove out of the parking lot, I had not worries.
I reflected on why and it came down to Trust.
Now I do have an idea of the cost, but only based on what I think I know. I have a “great” figure, the “probable” figure and an “OMG” figure in my head, but it comes down to me being at their mercy.
But then we are always at the mercy of professionals we depend on, from our doctor to the bus driver.
Some people try to learn everything the professionals know. They die young, very young. I like keeping my life simple. Oh I worry about a lot of things, reflect on virtually everything, but when it comes to people with more experience than I, either I trust them or I don’t.
And if I don’t, I don’t do business with them, don’t have them as friends and don’t date them.
There is no other way. Only lawyers think they can force someone do what they don’t want to do. But notice lawyers work for others, get paid my others to do what they do. But ultimately, a bureaucracy is result of mistrust, it tries to regulate and specify everything and simply does not work.
When people say that the handshake is the contract, they are saying what I am attempting to say. It’s about trust. No amount of words on paper can make someone do something the way it needs to be done, if they do not want to do it.
So, it’s about trust. Have I been burned by trusting the wrong person, or more like, the wrong bureaucracy? Of course, but all I can is move on. I want to be healthy and happy as long as I can.
Trust is what got me across the Atlantic. Trust in my crewmate and even more importantly, trust in the boat. Knowing that this Krogen was designed and made for far worse conditions that I will ever see. Without trusting your boat, it’s hard to go anyplace where the water is deeper than 5 feet.
So, cinch that seatbelt now, as thinking of the above I had another realization.
Hurtful at that.
I once went on a much anticipated trip with a woman I really liked to a foreign land. She spoke the language, was native in it in fact, so it was a natural to let her take the lead and do the talking.
Within minutes of arrival, it was clear to me that this woman did not trust anyone. Maybe not even me. But her obvious lack of trust of everyone around her, quickly produced so much stress for all concerned that the trip and our fledgling relationship were soon done.
I still have regrets about that, even though the last 12 years of my life have been probably the best years I have ever had.
So why the regrets? Because I let this person down. Someone I clearly really cared about, I was too slow to see what she needed from me: my confidence, my control of events, my telling her “don’t worry honey, I’ll take care of it”.
That’s probably all it would have taken. It’s what I do 90% of the time, the only reason it had not happened that time was because of her language skills. But I have been in many situations where neither of us speak anything and I have always found a way to get by and have a great time doing it.
I don’t like letting anyone down. Friends, colleagues, people I worked for & who worked for me, strangers, doesn’t matter. Never ever.
So while I focused on her lack of trust, I was blind that she had put her trust in me and I had let her down, horribly.
So Thursday, I passed my first car in a roundabout (aka traffic circle, rotary) and today, Saturday, I passed a few more.
What does that mean? Simply that my terror of driving in a right-hand drive car on right-hand drive roads is slowly decreasing as my skill of using my right hand to shift and left hand to steer is coming along nicely. I still let out the clutch a bit slower than normal, as there are still occasions of getting third when I want fifth gear or vise-versa. Even worse, in this car, reverse is to the right of forth and right where sixth is on some BMW’s), so when shifting to forth, I am really slow with the clutch just in case.
Crossing the Atlantic is still preferable, but while Dauntless is laid up, I need convenient transportation and that means renting a car. Knock wood. (Should I die tomorrow, or anytime this month, I hope someone has the decency to remove this post and not re-post on Trawler Forum, with the title, “I Told You So”.
These days, I am stay in a wonderful B&B in New Ross, close to JFK’s ancestral home, and I had a great conversation with the owner’s son about movies and series. The Unit by David Mamet came up, because for me, it is still the best depiction and most realistic military shows I have seen. So in looking for the DVD’s I discovered Amazon Prime streams them.
I have been skimming through season four since yesterday and also grabbed my World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell from Dauntless. A must has, it’s a great planner for any passage in which weather matters.
As for The Unit? A must see that reminds us of the sacrifices many have made for the sake of ours and much of the world’s freedom.
Tonight I turn the page; ending one long chapter and starting a new one.
Spring in Ireland, getting Dauntless ready and her first significant haul out in the last 3 years and 15,000 miles. In May, she’ll be back in the water, looking like she’s ready for business.
That business will start in Scotland, doing our last exploration in the “north”, before heading south for the rest of the summer. We’ll have a few weeks in France in time for Bastille Day.
The rest of the summer and they year will be in Spain, Galicia. Sometime in the new year, 2017, I’ll head further south along Portugal and the south coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. This will put D and me in the Mediterranean for the first time ever.
I’ll clearly have a lot of time on my hands. I will be doing far less cruising then in the past, but it will allow me to enjoy the life in Spain, sometime in Portugal and maybe even a few weeks in Morocco.
Spain is one of the most affordable countries in the E.U. and certainly in the Eurozone. If I am anyplace, it’s probably the ideal place to be for an extended time.
I hope to be in San Sebastian in August, then heading west during the fall to A Coruna for a couple months and Vigo for a few more.
I’m still planning on leaving Europe in October 2017, which will begin a busy extended cruise westward, not finishing until we cross the North Pacific to Japan and Korea.
Want to join me at any part? I can always use help, extra hands and advice, and most of all, the company. This year, summer 2016 through fall 2017, it’s less cruising and more just joining Dauntless and I while we stay in some wonderful town, eat some of the best food in Europe and wash it down with some wonderful wine; all at a cost that will make me never want to leaveJ
The best way to contact me is the email link under “contact”.
Yes, I know; “don’t pay the ferryman until get gets you to the other side!”
How many times have I heard that sage advice in the last 30 years, certainly more than a thousand!
But you know me, follow convention, but with a twist. OK maybe more than a twist. Maybe simply unconventional, so of course, I will try to see what will happen if I dare to pay the ferryman too soon.
What’s the worst that could happen I asked myself?
Well, the worst happened.
Dauntless sits naked in Ireland, out of the water in the boatyard in New Ross; with her bottom is full view for everyone to see. I hope there are no Kennedy’s around to see her.
Her hull and keel do show some signs of rubbing on harder things than herself. The red splotches are old anti-fouling paint showing through. It’s clear that the new stuff on top stuck not so well.
The work this winter will be repairing those places were the fiberglass (GRP) is showing, as well as patching the numerous nicks and gouges the gelcoat and rub rail acquired since leaving Rhode Island.
Dauntless is very good hands in the New Ross Boatyard. Stephen, Michael, Tomas and Gary are both caring and meticulous. They will get done what needs to be done at a price I can afford. I’m fortunate I found them. It just adds to the great experience I’ve had in Ireland. Virtually every interaction I’ve had in Ireland has ranged from good to great. Even going through security at the airport in Dublin is an almost pleasant experience.
So the worst part of the Krogen being out of the water is that I will not spend as much time this winter in Ireland or Waterford. I’ll miss that. Waterford is a great town, full of wonderful, warm people. I’ll miss the bakers, the butcher, my barber, Aiofe (see the link for the background of that name, http://www.visitireland.com/aboutireland/normans.asp) Berfranks Café, a delightfully cozy little place,
Carmel, Peter & Joan at their dry cleaners/laundry, the guy playing the flute with his dog outside Dunn’s and all the others I see routinely that makes Waterford such a nice place to be.
So now, all of a sudden, I find myself in Germany. Why not. I had a week to kill before going back to America and flying Ryan Air is relatively cheap. (I actually visited Ryan Air during my stint as Product Manager at Jeppesen in the late 90’s. We were already giving them weather forecasts for the Galapagos, so I was on the hunt for more sources of weather data for that part of the Pacific.)
I’m in Hamburg; it’s been 30 years since the last visit. Much like New York, it’s traded its edginess for gentrification or better yet, Disneyficatin, which makes the whole family want to visit. The rough and tumble seaport (think Amsterdam) that made it quite different than the rest of the large German cities, is now tamed.
The hardnosed seagoing folk have been replaced by the engineers of Airbus, with Airbus’ second largest (after Toulouse) workforce here in Hamburg.
Flying down the autobahn at 100 mph, on my way to the home of friends I met this summer in Riga with their sailboat Bagatell, I thought about how my life has evolved. I used to live for fast cars. I did the passing, hardly ever having to yield to a faster car. Now, even at 100 mph, I ‘m content to stay out of the left lane, as cars much faster pass, even SUV’s going over 140 mph.
OR maybe it’s not me that’s changed, but simply the circumstances, knowing that this poor rental car doesn’t have much beyond 110 in it in any case.
Another nice feature of the roads in Germany is that in addition to the normal rest areas, with gas, food, etc. every 30 to 40 miles, they have little rest stops, just parking places every few miles. These spots are sometimes quite near the road, but also there are some a few hundred feet way with NO lights. In other words, dark, enabling a tired driver to get some sleep. Being far enough form the road, the noise was also minimal. Now, I wouldn’t be going for a walk there, but to have a peaceful place to stop was really nice.
So, I was able to sleep a few hours and got to my friend’s house at 07:30 in the morning, feeling relatively good.
I’ll go to England on Tuesday, also visiting English sailors I met in Riga. Then it back to Dublin and NYC next week.