Added New Page: Guests / Crew

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!

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Added New Page: Registration

Ship Management–>Registration

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.

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Added Videos to Top Paint

Now the Top Paint page contains videos including sanding and paint application techniques.
Maintenance->Paint Gelcoat Oil Varnish->Top Paint

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Added New Page: About the Boat

The top bar now includes a page introducing Siren, About the Boat. After all, this site is more about her than the author…

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Renamed site to SailorsLifeForMe.com

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!

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Added New Page: Library

A collection of my favorite books. Maintenance, Knowledge and Novels.

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Added Links to Products I Use

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 ;)

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Added New Page: 2014 Costs

Expenses / Cost –> 2014 Costs

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Added new page: Spreadsheets

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Added New Page: Electrical Diagrams

Maintenance –> Electrical –> Electrical Diagrams

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Added Google Earth tracks to the Trips page

The Trips page now has a link to download the .kml file to view all of Siren’s trips in Google Earth or OpenCPN.

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Three 1978 Cal 39 MKIIs in “All Is Lost”

http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1395-inside-‘all-is-lost’-from-a-trio-of-cal-39s-to-teaching-redford-to-sail.html

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.

AllIsLost

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.”

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Added Trip: Molokai

Trips –> 11/2014: Molokai Trip –> Day 1
Trips –> 11/2014: Molokai Trip –> Day 2
Trips –> 11/2014: Molokai Trip –> Day 3

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Added New Page

Maintenance –> Sails and Rigging –> New Halyard

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Added Expenses to Top/Bottom Paint Pages

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)

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Added New Expenses Page

Expenses -> 2013 Costs

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Added Link on Sail Trim

Links –> Sail Trim Video

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Added 4 Racing Pages

Updated results finally came out. They are now posted under “Races.”

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Added Trip: Maui

Trips –> 10/2014 Maui Trip

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Added “Onboard Cooking” Page

Tips and Tricks –> Onboard Cooking

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Added detail to “Removing the Injection Pump”

Maintenance –> Engine -> Removing the Injection Pump

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Added Anchor Locker Latch Page

Maintenance –> Deck Hardware –> Anchor Locker Latch

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Consolidated Tahiti Posts to the Tahiti Main Page

At the bottom of Trips –> Tahiti you can now find a log of our preparations and problems leading up to the trip.

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Cleaned up the web address format

Changed all links from the format:
sailorslifeforme.com/maintenance/maintenance-engine/maintenance-engine-manual.php
to:
sailorslifeforme.com/maintenance/engine/manual.php

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Added New Page

Maintenance –> Engine –> Removing the Injector Pump

I’ve only added pictures and captions so far. Details forthcoming.

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Added “Bleeding the Bleedin’ Perkins” Instructions

Maintenance –> Engine –> Bleeding the Bleedin’ Perkins
Troubleshooting procedures included.

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Updated “Replace Fuel Filters”

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.

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Added “Races” menu item and 3 races

Races –> 2014-07-11: Ala Wai
Races –> 2014-07-25: Ala Wai
Races –> 2014-08-01: Ala Wai

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Added new Trip

Trips –> SF (Returned)

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Finished adding Big Island Trip pages

Trips –> Big Island Trip –> Day 1 through Day 17

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Changed Menu to Dropdown

The static side menu was getting too long. Now, with the drop-down functionality, the entire structure can be seen on one page.

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Added 6 pages

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

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07/21/2014 – 21°17.1’N 157°50.5′W

SF Trip:

Aaaand we’re back. 2 days of troubles: Mostly normal, small issues but we turned around due to the propane system failing and water rising above the floor panels. Lots of pumping required on the way back to Ala Wai, dock lines on this morning, the 21st. Not meant to be, I guess :(

We started off after giving up on the broken refrigerator with 10 blocks of ice and frozen meat at 5 pm, July 19, 2014 local. Tropical Storm Wali was on its way, so “Gogogo!” was the word to get off-shore before the winds hit. We rounded Barber’s Point and were headed north with all sail averaging 7 knots making great time. Halfway up the West Shore of Oahu around 11pm the first lightning started flashing, the wind completely died, and we were ghosting along in a steady rain. The lightning was as close as half a mile (2 seconds from flash to bang) at one point, but the winds didn’t really pick up until after midnight. The lightning quit about the same time we hit the NE trades while passing Kaena Point and those trades were strong! We double reefed the main and rolled up the jib as the winds picked up and they kept getting stronger and the swell continued to rise as we left the lee of the island. We were burying the nose on every wave and decided to fall off a bit more towards the NW for a better ride, but we were still creaming along at 6 knots with just that scrap of main sail. We were guessing the winds to be between 20 and 30, but I’m a bad judge of wind when it’s greater than Force 4. As the night continued, the winds increased a bit more, we were heeling a bit more and really should have put that third reef in the main, but it was bumpy, it was dark, and neither of us really felt like going up on the foredeck at that point. With the pounding of the waves and the heeling, we were now moving about 3 knots. Fred and I were taking two hour cat naps, trading off short watches through the night and I was sleeping heavily (air born every time the bow fell, it felt like) when Fred called my name. I opened my eyes to see him in the cabin, self steering wind vane working like a champ, and he was looking around the floor saying, “Where is this water coming from??” I checked the time to be 7 am, position 22°08.5’N 158°33.5′W, about 40 miles NW of the coast of Oahu, just north of the mid-point of the Kauai Channel, no land in sight.

There was a bit of water sloshing around the sole of the cabin and my first thought was we must have had a wave slosh some water through the companionway. I got up to investigate as Fred was opening up the bilge. He lifted the access panel and we both saw it plumb full of water, Fred just standing there looking down, the panel hanging from his hand with a look of complete disbelief on his face. After a few seconds he looks back at me and asks, “What do we do?”  I said the first thing that popped in my head and said, “Manual pump?” He jumped out of the cabin to grab a pump handle from the cockpit, inserted it into the pump fitting in the cockpit and started pumping. He was pumping very quickly waiting for the water to start flowing but it wouldn’t prime. After pumping air for a few minutes we knew it was broken. “Shit!” He went below with the pump handle to try the only other manual bilge pump, both of us slipping all over the place on the wet, varnished floor of the cabin. It was like an ice-skating rink that would tilt randomly with a 40 degree swing. If this last pump doesn’t work, we’ll have to use the little bailer-pump to fill a 5 gallon bucket and dump that over the side. As Fred started pumping, though, he immediately felt it working and water started flowing. There was nothing really for me to do, so I started bailing water from above the floorboards until Fred got tired and we began switching off on the bilge pump. The water was getting lower, we were both feeling immense relief to know we could stay ahead of the leak, and after about an hour the four-foot deep bilge was completely empty.

The first thing we did after emptying the bilge was turn the boat around back to Oahu. The motion became easier with the wind behind our beam and we had a pow-wow. What should we do? Where is the leak coming from? Back-flow from the head? The anchor locker? Broken through-hull? We talked possibilities and scenarios for a bit and tried to come up with a game plan to find the issue and turn back north towards San Francisco. On my boat I would close all the through-hulls first off, but when I suggested that to Fred he said his through-hulls are too hard to access. Fred bought the boat a year ago and still didn’t know it nearly as well as his old boat. I would have explored his access panels to find the through-hulls, but sea-sickness was setting in after sponging and pumping and I was very un-motivated. We were still bouncing around a lot, so we decided to hold off and check the bilge again. It had been about an hour and looking down into the depths we could see just about an inch of water. We were hardly taking any water now! We decided to turn back north and do some more trouble-shooting.

So back San Francisco-bound with the idea to keep an eye on the water level, our plan was to continue on for a day. We were still fairly close to Oahu and could just turn down-wind and run home if needed. The winds were calming down as the sun came up, and if the seas would just calm down maybe we could start checking through-hulls.

We were making some water, but we would pump about a minute every hour, so the leak was slow enough to handle for now. 20 days of this wouldn’t work, but maybe we can find and fix the issue. Now that things were under control, Fred went below to get some rest. But after only a couple hours, at 2 pm, the next issue popped up.

I was in the cockpit and heard an alarm start, “Beep beep beep beep…” I went below thinking it was our AIS picking up some ship traffic, but the radar was clear. The beeping was in fact coming from the propane control. I couldn’t smell any propane and canceled the alarm. The frequency of the beeping was undetectable by Fred’s ears, so he continued sleeping soundly. I returned to the cockpit, but a few minutes later it started beeping again. I canceled it, returned, but on the third activation I woke Fred up.

He said it was his gas sniffer. The motor wasn’t running, there were no weird smells, so we had no idea why it would be activating. Maybe the water soaked some wires or the propane sensor or something? After testing, Fred was unable to get the propane to flow because the sniffer automatically shuts off the propane. There was no by-pass around the sniffer and no way to cook food. Dry rice and raw meat don’t taste very good, but the canned goods, fruit, veggies, and other random foods could get us to San Francisco. But it would seriously decrease our total food supply and in combination with the leak we agreed that this trip was not meant to be.

We sailed back averaging about 8 knots in perfect wind until we again hit the lee of Oahu, then put the sails away and motored. The wind picked up again after a few hours, straight into our teeth, and we started pounding into the seas. On the next bilge-check, it was again plumb-full after only a couple of hours! It MUST be the anchor locker taking in water. It should drain directly into the sea, but maybe there’s a crack or something in the water-proof bulkhead allowing all that water to drain into the bilge instead. In any case, we pumped it empty, motored all the way around the island, and tied onto the pier at Ala Wai at 5 am, July 21, 2014.

In summary:
First the fridge broke right after buying all our provisions.
Then the water rose over the cabin sole north of Oahu.
And finally, the propane system failed.

Some lessons learned:
1) Live on the boat, unhook shore power, and use all items to be used on the trip starting one week before departure. This would have shaken out the fridge issue and many small problems not mentioned early with time to fix them on a stable platform at the harbor.
2) Check all through-hulls before departure (duh)
3) Screw propane sniffers! It’s just an extra complexity that can fail. Also, ensure there is an alternate way to provide fuel to the stove. I’m thinking a simple system such as: Propane tank to switch-activated shut-off solenoid to the stove. Carry a backup solenoid. Make sure you carry fittings to bypass the solenoid as a last resort. Or maybe just an emergency camp-stove…

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07/20/2014 – 21°16’N 157°55′W

SF Trip:

We’re off! Dock lines off from Ala Wai Harbor, Honolulu at 0400Z July 20 San Francisco bound. The sun is setting, throwing up a rainbow over Honolulu off the transom.

Float plan: West-about Oahu, north until the westerlies, guessing latitude 42N, then a hard right to the east to follow the curve around the North Pacific High until landfall. Depending on time, we may stop at Seattle, but hoping all the way to San Francisco for an Aug 10, 2014 arrival. Nordic 44 is the boat, Serafina’s her name, Cap’n Fred and myself for a total of two souls on board. Here we go!

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07/18/2014 – 21°19′N 157°54′W

SF Trip:

So I guess Siren is going to have to take care of herself for a few months. I’m off on a Nordic 44 to help a guy move his boat to San Francisco tomorrow! I’ll be out of contact with the world until we make landfall on the West Coast around early to mid August. No SSB, no sat comms, just an EPIRB for the unthinkable. I’ll put up a post once I’m in cell range around Washington, Oregon or California, depending on how far north that Pacific High pushes us.

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07/06/2014 – 21°19′N 157°54′W

Tahiti Trip:

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.

What's wrong with this picture? The filter in the background has an extra gasket blocking the fuel flow!

What’s wrong with this picture? The filter in the background has an extra gasket blocking the fuel flow! The bottom cap in the foreground is good.

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!

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06/30/2014 – 21°19′N 157°54′W

Tahiti Trip:

Engine update: It wasn’t an air leak in the fuel system at all! The injector pump is getting bubble free air at the inlet, but it seems some algae was knocked loose when changing the fuel filter. It was causing weird symptoms as it worked its way through the system to finally come to rest at the fuel injector pump inlet. So I could bleed the system, slowly filling the pump with fuel. Then I could start the engine but the restriction prevented fuel from flowing at a fast enough rate to keep up with the engine, starving it of fuel.

I took the coolant tank and hoses off, removed the exhaust manifold, disconnected all the attachments to the pump and finally removed the pump. After all that work I decided to not only remove the algae, but also refurbish the thing before I spend another day or two reassembling.  I do most of my own work, but I’m not going to risk messing up the sensitive, expensive pump so I dropped it off at the shop a couple days ago.

I might have an engine ready for the Fourth of July Waikiki Flotilla!

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06/19/2014 – 21°19′N 157°54′W

Tahiti Trip:

Alright. Tahiti canceled. Boo.

The new starter works great, but still can’t get the engine running. I’ve spent a week now trying to trace this pesky air leak in the fuel system. I’ve spent hundreds on mechanics to watch them do their magic and learn from but they didn’t have much magic. Still broken. Although I can get her to run after every bleed process for 20 seconds smooth before she hits the air bubble and quits again.

I’ve replaced all the rubber fuel lines with clear hose but they all show pure fuel with no bubbles. So it’s gotta be past the first of the hard fuel pipes. Lift pump? Injector pump? That’s where I’m at, in troubleshooting purgatory…

I did get a good group together to take her out the other day. We warped poor Siren out of her tight slip using lines and brawn, maneuvered her to an upwind position and sailed out of the harbor for a fun cruise to Waikiki. Lots of work but worth it!

There’s still hope to hit the line islands or even just a local island hop, but the engine is a great safety backup and time is running out!

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06/12/2014 – 21°19′N 157°54′W

Tahiti Trip:

Still here at the slip :(

During the bleeding process the starter wouldn’t quit after the start button was released. The starter kept cranking until we turned the battery switch off!

So after much dirty work, covered in oil, removing and installing the starter numerous times, filing the flywheel’s teeth to remove burrs and getting quite intimate with Siren’s ignition and starting system, it’s time for a new starter. My old starter has been refurbished to perfect working order twice now and works perfectly on the bench, but a new starter is on the way in hopes and prayers it will work. If not, I may have to go diving, move the prop shaft out, disconnect quite a few connections, remove the transmission, and get at that flywheel! Or is it the crankshaft bearings? Or some other alignment issue? Oh please be the starter!

The new offset reduction starter should arrive Friday or Monday. If it arrives Monday, Tahiti is off. There’s just not enough time to get there and return before my flight back to work and the other crews’ commitments. If it arrives Friday however, if it tests well, if the engine bleeds successfully, and we pack that night: golden.

In other news, I baked my first golden loaf of French bread today, cleaned and fixed the windlass (it’s been rigged backwards since I’ve owned the boat), stocked Siren with Tupperware for flour, pasta, sugar, rice, etc and filled and tested our emergency water tank. Oh, and I bought some raw material to fix the ratty dodger. If we do go to Tahiti, I’m hoping she’ll arrive better than she left :)

Well, back to my wine and French bread… So long.

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06/07/2014 – 21°19′N 157°54′W

Tahiti Trip:

Yep. Still here in the slip at Keehi, sigh…

The bimini is up, solar is charging swimmingly, but still no comms. The SSB setup didn’t work with the modem so we ordered the satellite phone. But the Iridium 9505A didn’t come with a data adapter. So now we’re waiting for Monday for the sat phone place to open in case they have one on hand, but also ordered one on Amazon to arrive on Tuesday just in case. No more delays! (But wait, there’s more…)

After changing the fuel filters the engine wouldn’t bleed correctly. Last time I changed the filter about 8 months ago I had to hire a guy to bleed it thinking I was just a newb and wasn’t doing it correctly. Turns out a check valve somewhere in the system wasn’t working and the mechanic had to hold his thumb over a port to get it to bleed. Unfortunately I had just left for work and wasn’t able to see what he did. And now he is unavailable to talk so… Hire another mechanic to figure it out? All mechanics on the island are busy until Monday.

Patrick is our water guy, checking out a replacement Pur 40E water maker membrane, checking out our emergency Go-Bag water maker, and buying a few more collapsible water containers.

Torsten is our GPS guy, buying a longer antennae cable and researching hand helds. Right now we have Navionics installed on my Droid (operational in airplane mode), 2 laptops with OpenCPN and GPS pucks, and all the reduction tables and small scale paper charts and sextant and plotting paper and compasses and almanac required for celestial navigation. Once Torsten is done we will also have the Garmin 210 and handheld working, so we WILL know where we are!

So tomorrow, Sunday, will be an “off” day while we stock the boat with plastic containers in preparation for a low-trash cruise. Buy in bulk, remove packaging, store in air tight containers in all the hideaway spots on the boat.

If we delay past June 15 we won’t have time for the trip. But as of now Wednesday, June 11 is our new goal; Engine, comms, food and water, go!

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05/31/2014 – 21°19’N 157°54’W

Tahiti Trip:

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!

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Added 2 Pages

Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 7
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 8

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05/15/2014 – 34°00’N 069°00’W

Tahiti Trip:

This is my first test submission from my SailMail account.

I’ll be using this AirMail program on the boat to write email, send it to my blog via SSB radio which should auto-post it to the ‘Trips’ category at sailorslifeforme.com. I hope to send daily log entries via this method during the trip, but if I skip a day or if the updates stop completely, don’t worry! It’s probably just an equipment failure, laptop failure, radio failure, electrical failure, propogation issue, or any combination of errors in this complicated system! If help is required, I have backup satellite comms available to get in touch with land.

As for contacting me, I have no access to the internet, no phone, and no post office. There are a couple options, however:

1) If it is important, I will have email contact to a land-based person of trust. They will have my email address and I will be able to check that once per day if SailMail is up and running. I will not give this address to just anybody since the connection is so slow. 15 characters can take up to 1 minute to download out there! Therefore, I am trying to limit the number of emails received. So if you mail my trusted person, they will pass the message if they feel it is important enough. The specific email address will be listed in a future post.

2) If you would like to try to make contact over the radio waves purely for the fun of it, I will be monitoring my marine radio every day of the trip from say, 8:00pm – 8:15pm Hawaii time (GMT-10) on frequency 12E (12,365Mhz). I will be attaching this info to the bottom of every update, so just check the most recent post in case I found a more reliable band. This should be a strong signal to/from Hawaii, Tahiti, and the West Coast, USA.

Departure is penciled in for June 1, 2014!

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Trips -> Tahiti -> Formalities

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Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 6

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Trips -> Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Burrida Recipe

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Added “Tips and Tricks” and 2 Pages

Tips and Tricks -> Climb The Mast
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 5

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Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Tortilla Recipe

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Added 4 pages

Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 1
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 2
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 3
Trips -> Big Island Trip -> Day 4

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Added 2 pages

Trips -> Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Onion Soup Recipe
Trips -> Tahiti -> Food and Water -> Lentil Curry Recipe

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