- About The Author
- About the Boat
- Blog Posts
- Cal 39 Owners List
- Donations History
- Guests / Crew
- Hull Paint Gelcoat Varnish
- Sails and Rigging
- Canvas Work
- Deck Hardware
- Onboard Cooking
- Ala Wai Race Info
- Keehi Race Info
- Racing Rules
- Crew Resources
- Get A PHRF Cert
- Race Results
- 2014-07-11: Ala Wai
- 2014-07-25: Ala Wai
- 2014-08-01: Ala Wai
- 2014-10-24: Ala Wai
- 2014-10-31: Ala Wai
- 2014-11-07: Ala Wai
- 2014-11-14: Ala Wai
- 2015-02-20: Ala Wai
- 2015-02-26: Bulkhead
- 2015-02-27: Ala Wai
- 2015-03-06: Ala Wai
- 2015-03-11: Keehi Lagoon
- 2015-03-13: Ala Wai
- 2015-03-18: Keehi Lagoon
- 2015-03-20: Ala Wai
- 2015-03-25: Keehi Lagoon
- 2015-03-27: Ala Wai
- 2015-03-28: Pokai
- 2015-04-01: Keehi Lagoon
- 2015-07-29: Keehi Lagoon
- 2015-07-31: Ala Wai
- 2015-08-05: Keehi Lagoon
- 2015-08-07: Ala Wai
- 2015-08-19: Keehi Lagoon
- 2015-08-21: Ala Wai
- 2015-08-28: Ala Wai
- 2015-09-02: Keehi
- 2015-09-04: Ala Wai
- 2015-10-07: Keehi
- 2015-10-21: Keehi
- 2015-10-28: Keehi
- 2015-11-05: Keehi
- 2015-12-11: Ala Wai
- 2015-12-18: Ala Wai
- 2016-04-09: Pokai
- 2016-05-04: Keehi
- 2016-05-18: Keehi
- Ship Management
- 2013-09: Big Island
- 2014-06: Tahiti (Canceled)
- 2014-07: SF (Returned)
- 2014-08: Kauai
- 2014-10: Maui
- 2014-11: Molokai
- 2015-05: Pokai Bay
- 2015-08: Maui
- 2016-07: Maui
- 2017-05: Greece
Author Archives: Adam SailorsLifeForMe
I’ve added a photo page dedicated to Siren’s guests and crew. We always have a blast whether partying at the sandbar, sailing the Friday Night Races, spinnaker training sessions, or inter-island cruising. If anyone cares to join, just ask!
Created a new menu item for everything related to managing your vessel.
The first sub-menu contains a quick-reference to renewing the yearly USCG Registration online with forms and links.
Now the Top Paint page contains videos including sanding and paint application techniques.
Maintenance->Paint Gelcoat Oil Varnish->Top Paint
The top bar now includes a page introducing Siren, About the Boat. After all, this site is more about her than the author…
The free server I was using to host my website (000webhost.com) was having issues as web traffic picked up. Slow reaction time, inconsistent performance, pages not loading, that sort of thing. So I guess I’ll have to scale up and actually start paying for a quality server. Enter bluehost.com! I moved everything over to those shiny new servers and updated the domain name as well. So long boring old adamrbecker.com. Hello SailorsLifeForMe.com. The new name does seem to fit better, don’t you think?
Anyway, from this date forward, if you type in adamrbecker.com it will automatically redirect to the new name SailorsLifeForMe.com. I’ll keep the old name until it expires in a few months and then let it drift away to wherever domain names go when they grow old and die.
And if you’d like to help pay for server space, feel free to buy your boat toys through my Amazon links. I get a whopping 4% of each purchase!
A collection of my favorite books. Maintenance, Knowledge and Novels.
I have added Amazon links to the specific products I have used and use on my boat. This way I don’t have to describe in detail the items I bought; Simply click on the links to get the technical details and current prices. Call me lazy ;)
Expenses / Cost –> 2014 Costs
Maintenance –> Electrical –> Electrical Diagrams
The Trips page now has a link to download the .kml file to view all of Siren’s trips in Google Earth or OpenCPN.
Inside ‘All is Lost’ From a trio of Cal 39s to teaching Redford to sail
2013 October 15
by ERIN L. SCHANEN
It’s a safe bet that viewers have never seen a movie like the survival-at-sea film “All is Lost.” That’s because there’s never been a movie like it.
The movie takes place entirely on water over just eight days and has almost no dialogue. Its lone, nameless character is played by Robert Redford, who struggles to survive when the Cal 39 sailboat he is sailing solo around the world is holed by a floating container in the Indian Ocean.
Writer and director J.C. Chandor said sailors, especially, should like the movie. He should know: he is one.
Chandor, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay for the 2011 film “Margin Call,” which he also directed, grew up sailing at Sakonnet Yacht Club in Little Compton, Rhode Island, where he later worked as a sailing instructor, and traveled with his family to Lightning regattas. Although he doesn’t have the opportunity to sail much anymore, he joins his parents sailing when possible.
“I’ve done one big bluewater sail before, but I have a broad base-level understanding of sailing and had a fascination with why people choose to go off and challenge themselves and sail around the world,” Chandor said. “I knew what was possible and had sailed on a similar sized boat growing up so I knew what you could get away with and what would happen.”
Chandor said he had been looking to do a film in the survival genre for some time, but it was no certainty that such an unusual film would see the light of day. The screenplay was a mere 30 pages long, about a quarter the length of a typical movie, leaving potential producers to ask for the rest of it, and the success of the movie depended on an actor who could carry the movie. Redford, a champion of independent filmmakers through his Sundance Film Festival, was drawn to the uniqueness of the script.
With Redford on board, Chandor still had the herculean task of filming a movie set entirely on water. Three 1978 Cal 39s were purchased in Southern California to depict Redford’s character’s boat Virginia Jean. One was used for open-ocean sailing, another for tight interior shots and a third for special effects. The boats, formerly known as Tahoe, Tenacious and Orion, receive a special mention in the movie’s credits.
“Three boats sacrificed their lives to make the movie,” Chandor said. “Two of them were in poor condition and one was in great condition, but we chopped them up in different ways for various scenes.”
Chandor had a specific backstory in mind for both Virginia Jean and Redford’s character. He imagined that the man bought the boat a couple decades earlier, letting its upkeep slip a little before investing about $20,000 in updating the boat before he set off on his solo sail.
“This is really a movie about a guy coming to grips with his mortality,” he said. “My backstory was that this adventure was something he always wanted to do, but he probably waited a little too long to do it.”
Camera crews, including specialists in filming on the water with movies such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Life of Pi” to their credit, filmed in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, as well as in the world’s largest filming tanks, constructed for the movie “Titanic.”
Redford, who is not a sailor but has spent some time on powerboats, became an adept sailor for the movie, Chandor said.
“He had three weeks of filming in the portion of the movie when the boat is in trouble and he was a little off balance like anyone new to sailboats is, but it worked because the character is extremely off balance at that point because his boat is about to sink,” Chandor said. “But after a few weeks of spending every day on the boat he started to really get the hang of it so when we were filming the great sailing shots in the Pacific in a big, beautiful 20-knot wind with big rollers, he was sailing the boat by himself.”
Redford, who was 76 during filming, did most of his own stunts for the film and is being praised for the acting tour de force, with some Hollywood insiders predicting the film could win him his first acting Academy Award.
Chandor said he knows that sailors will be watching the film closely to make sure it feels authentic.
“You have to remember you’re making a movie and it takes place over eight days,” he said. “You obviously have to break a ton of filmmaking rules not to mention sailing rules. You have to care about it being accurate and as a result I feel like the audience will go with you, so long as you don’t insult their intelligence. You’re seeing a person deal with situations from the opening scene that no sailor wants to ever be dealing with. But he is human and he makes mistakes. As a human you can’t plan for every eventuality.”
Chandor said sailors will notice that Redford’s character does a few things incorrectly, but attributes that to the character as well the limitations of movie making.
“There are a couple little things that aren’t correct, like his EPIRB is not functioning. So he’s an idiot. There are one or two things where I ask your forgiveness as a specialized audience, but compared to ‘Wind’ or other sailing movies I think sailors will be pleasantly surprised.
“We had a huge team of specialists and we tried not to make too many mistakes. But you have to remember, this guy is not a professional sailor. In a weird way, any of the mistakes we might make, he’s allowed to make as a character. He’s not supposed to be the most experienced sailor on Earth.”
Chandor said the movie delves into a basic human fear of being stranded on the water, one sailors can relate to perhaps better than anyone else.
“The ocean can be the most inhospitable place on Earth,” he said. “It can be so calm and life giving and at a moment’s notice it can be the most inhospitable place on the planet.”
Trips –> 11/2014: Molokai Trip –> Day 1
Trips –> 11/2014: Molokai Trip –> Day 2
Trips –> 11/2014: Molokai Trip –> Day 3
Maintenance –> Sails and Rigging –> New Halyard
Now you can see the cost breakdown for painting the boat.
Maintenance -> Paint Gelcoat Oil Varnish –> Bottom Paint (edit)
Maintenance -> Paint Gelcoat Oil Varnish –> Top Paint (edit)
Expenses -> 2013 Costs
Links –> Sail Trim Video
Updated results finally came out. They are now posted under “Races.”
Trips –> 10/2014 Maui Trip
Tips and Tricks –> Onboard Cooking
Maintenance –> Engine -> Removing the Injection Pump
Maintenance –> Deck Hardware –> Anchor Locker Latch
At the bottom of Trips –> Tahiti you can now find a log of our preparations and problems leading up to the trip.
Changed all links from the format:
Maintenance –> Engine –> Removing the Injector Pump
I’ve only added pictures and captions so far. Details forthcoming.
Maintenance –> Engine –> Bleeding the Bleedin’ Perkins
Troubleshooting procedures included.
After a filter change, a full bleeding procedure is not required. I’ve updated the last steps of the “Replace Fuel Filters” section to explain the simpler method I now use.
Races –> 2014-07-11: Ala Wai
Races –> 2014-07-25: Ala Wai
Races –> 2014-08-01: Ala Wai
Trips –> SF (Returned)
Trips –> Big Island Trip –> Day 1 through Day 17
The static side menu was getting too long. Now, with the drop-down functionality, the entire structure can be seen on one page.
Trips -> Kauai Trip -> Day 1
Trips -> Kauai Trip -> Day 2
Trips -> Kauai Trip -> Day 3
Trips -> Kauai Trip -> Day 4
Trips -> Kauai Trip -> Day 5
Trips -> Kauai Trip -> Day 6
Engine update: Success! But not only because of the refurbished fuel injector pump. It was a combination of four problems.
1) The fuel injector pump: After refurbishing, I reinstalled the pump (see Removing the Injector Pump), bled the engine, same symptoms! Arghhh! So I did the whole gravity-feed-fuel directly to the injector pump intake technique (see Bleeding the Bleedin’ Perkins under “Troubleshooting”) and the engine ran perfectly! First time in 3 weeks. So that was something.
2) Racor Fuel Filter: Whenever I would change a fuel hose while troubleshooting, the fuel would drain out of the Racor filter. I then noticed it would drain back to the fuel tank even with all hoses connected and tight. If you take the top of the Racor off and fill it with clean fuel, it should NOT drain back. Hmmm. I disassembled it to find a steel ball sitting on a gasket. This check-valve is supposed to prevent drainage, but it had a string of algae sitting between the ball and the gasket. Normally this wouldn’t affect anything, but in combination with problem 3), it did!
3) A small crack in the fuel return line fitting at the top of the secondary fuel filter on the engine: This crack also would not prevent the engine from running, but in combination with 2), it did! The Racor’s fuel would try to drain to the tank because of the failed check-valve and create a small amount of suction. The suction was then allowing air to come in through the cracked fuel line fitting, introducing bubbles every time the engine shut down.
4) Secondary fuel filter: This was the main problem. I replaced the old filter (Fram 1191A) with a different brand (Napa 3166). The new Napa filter had flow holes in a different configuration than the Fram. I replaced the gasket such that it blocked those holes created a fuel restriction. Whoops.
Well, I learned a lot about my fuel system at least. And now she starts with just a tap from the starter and runs like a dream!
Well, tomorrow was supposed to be the big day: departure for Tahiti! The weather looks good (if a little light on Monday) but we are still waiting on the bimini to arrive. We can’t install the solar until the frame is installed in the cockpit, so we’ve been finishing up other projects in the mean time:
Spinnaker pole hardware installed so it can be secured when not in use.
Spinnaker lines and blocks installed for the topping lift, downhaul, guys and sheets, plus a new halyard. I noticed it was fraying badly where it was misrouted at the mast head, oops.
Wind vane overhauled, welded, sandblasted, painted and lubed, then mounted back on the transom. More blocks installed for the 2-1 purchase recommended by the Sail-o-mat 601 manual.
Electrical traced and prepared for the new solar.
New copper foil laid for a stronger SSB signal (what a pain in the arse!) and now we can talk to baja.
New main sail and track extension installed, new main sheet and new traveler lines.
Fixed the port spreader light so after a year of effort all lights on the entire boat, interior and exterior, finally work.
Fixed the one annoying drip from the ceiling by remounting a small skylight with 4200 caulk. I should have done that months ago for how easy it was!
Unloaded all the crap we won’t need on the trip, and loaded all the cruising stuff we WILL need on the trip.
Inflated the dinghy, checked the fluids on the outboard and went for a joyride. Goods to go.
Ordered a used Iridium 9505A after discovering my SSB radio is not compatible with the Pactor 1 Kam+ modem. Well, I guess it can be made to work, but after a week of soldering and testing it still won’t connect. So I guess SailMail blog updates and email relays will be through the Iridium instead of the SSB.
As for a new departure date, we’re aiming for Jun 4. Or as soon as the solar is installed and the Iridium arrives! Almost there!
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 7
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 8
Trips -> Tahiti -> Formalities
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 6
Trips -> Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Burrida Recipe
Tips and Tricks -> Climb The Mast
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 5
Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Tortilla Recipe
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 1
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 2
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 3
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 4
Trips -> Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Onion Soup Recipe
Trips -> Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Lentil Curry Recipe
Tahiti -> Food and Beverage -> French Bread Recipe
With the move to a new server and the process of importing, a few links became broken. For instance: sailorslifeforme.com/tahiti became sailorslifeforme.com/?id=”235″ or something like that. Now all links make sense.
The image links were also broken and had to be repaired.
The free blog site I’ve been using at wordpress.COM was too limiting. Formatting was a pain in the arse since the css definitions cannot be edited by the web author.
So wordpress.ORG it is! It’s slightly more complicated and I needed to find another web host to display the site on, but it’s more powerful and easier to customize the formatting. It’s also free and I can use it on my personal server if I ever settle down somewhere :)
I settled on 000webhost.com as a server for it’s storage capacity, absence of ads, and compatibility with wordpress.org. WordPress.com is also a DNS register, so I’m keeping my sailorslifeforme.com domain with them using the 000webhost nameservers.
So my sailorslifeforme.com domain is registered with wordpress.com.
Wordpress.org builds my website’s html/css files.
And 000webhost.com is the server where my website lives.
Tahiti!!! -> Cost
Tahiti!!! -> Crew
Tahiti!!! -> Equipment
Tahiti!!! -> Food and Water
Tahiti!!! -> Itinerary
Tahiti!!! -> Personal Geaar
Tahiti!!! -> Reference/Links
Tahiti!!! -> Route
Tahiti!!! -> Watch Rotation
Tahiti!!! -> Weather
Tahiti!!! -> What to Expect
I added a battery separator between the house banks and the engine battery. It will keep the engine battery isolated at all times until a charging source bumps the volts up, then it opens to allow the engine battery to charge.
I also tried adding an isolator between the house banks to keep a low-voltage bank from discharging the other bank. But now I seem to have blocked the House 1 battery from supplying power to the inverter… The question is how to allow the F20 to charge all batteries when connected to shore power, but then allowing both house batteries to power the F20’s inverter when disconnected. Hmmm.
I fixed a few mistakes, added a few fuses and diodes, so I think she’s good to go. Any problems or glaring mistakes, let me know!
Trips -> Tahiti
Maintenance -> Sails and Rigging -> New Roller Furling Jib
Maintenance -> Sails and Rigging -> Tune the Rig