Almost Ready To Go...

Category: Ships Log


Week of 10/7/13 - 10/13/13

As you may have guessed from our long list of boat chores to complete, we were unable to leave October 10 and are still hanging out in Emeryville. 

Almost Ready To Go...

After we returned from our trip to Oregon on Tuesday (where we spent a wonderful week being fed very well by my parents, visiting with friends and family, and madly scouring the internet for the best deals on remaining boat gear we need) we got back to work.  However, the mountain of gear pictured in our last post has shrunk little (although it has spread out to our dock now)...

Our messy dock; gear from our storage unit is temporarily spread out on the dock and the deck of
our boat, waiting to go into our cockpit lockers.

The largest space we have for our gear is in our cockpit lockers, however we realized we can’t start filling the lockers until we mount our windvane, a mechanical self-steering system. This is because Chris needs to crawl into the cockpit lockers (yes, our lockers are that big!) to fasten the windvane to the back of our boat (also called the transom).  Windvanes are great because they don’t require electricity and rarely break down. Many cruisers say they are like another crew member.  A couple years ago, we were able to buy a used Aries windvane from some friends and since that time we have been lugging it from storage unit to storage unit until we had time to install it (it is made of solid aluminum and is large, unwieldy, and weighs about 100+ lbs so this was no small feat).  We decided to wait until this weekend to mount the windvane so some of our friends could help; we would hate to accidently drop the 100+lbs of aluminum in the water! The bottom line is our mountain of gear, which will hopefully disappear into a cockpit locker soon, has been looming over us in our cabin and on the dock all week. I like things neat and organized, so I am really looking forward to mounting our windvane and finally putting things away in our lockers!

Chris crawling into the cockpit locker to get the transom prepped for mounting the windvane.

While we waited for the weekend, we spent most of the week organizing what we will take with us and what we need to give away; provisioning our boat with basic staples for the trip (i.e.: flour, sugar, oatmeal, dental floss, toothpaste, etc.); organizing old storage spaces in the boat and creating new ones; sanding and repairing some of the wood on our boat; building frames into our navigation area to hold our ham radio, regular (car) radio, 12-volt plug-ins, and new electrical panel; and running back and forth between Home Depot and West Marine as we figured out we didn’t have what we needed to complete our projects. :)  We are working hard, but the days fly by and it feels like we are only making small dents into our long list of chores.  As I’ve said before, every task takes much longer than we ever dreamed it could!  Hopefully we will be able to complete the work we need to make our boat sail-able and safe and still make it to San Diego before the Baja Ha Ha boat rally leaves! 

Last minute boat parts we ordered...

 

Sanding our wooden rubrails...

We are very fortunate though to have an amazing group of friends.  Thursday and Friday evenings, after exhausting days working on the boat, we got to hang out with friends and take a breather from the stress of boat work. One of our boat neighbors, Markus, is starting an online radio show and he invited us down to his studio in San Francisco Friday night so he could interview us about our upcoming trip. It was lots of fun.  We’ll add a link once the radio show is online.  And this weekend several friends came over to help us mount our windvane.  It was truly a community effort to install the behemoth on our transom!  We are very grateful and feel so lucky to have so much support!

 

Chris and David figuring out how to assemble the windvane.

 

Mounting the windvane on our transom. From left to right: Jeff is supervising, Chris is adjusting the position of the windvane, Radu is
holding the windvane snug to the boat with line,
David is making sure the windvane is level, I'm in the back holding the halyard line
(which is also helping hold up the windvane) and Doina is helping balance the boat.

 

And by Sunday evening, David and Chris finished mounting the windvane!

Photo credits: Thank you Doina for many of the great photos!

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