Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rigging inspection

Boating the Great Lakes has one great aspect, fresh water. Down here in the salt water I found out about the fallacy of “stainless steel”… it sure ain’t stainless. The salt air and the salt spray starts a layer of rust on all steel even stainless. So, once a year, I have to go around to all of the stainless stantions, pulpits, and rigging and scrub the stainless steel  back to, well, stainless. It’s a rotten job but it also gives me the chance to closely inspect the rigging for issues. A year or so back, two of the rigging ends had failed inspection during this inspection 3 more rigging ends are showing signs of cracking and will have to be replaced. Here’s a picture of one of the ends to show you what the rust that is inside of the rigging end and is expanding out can do to solid steel. When we get to Marathon I will replace all of the bad ends and finish “de-rusting” our stainless.
Wire end has crack in it
Close up of the crack!
As a side note, while I was working a man and his dog happened by and stood and talked for awhile. This isn’t too unusual at the dock but we were at anchor! (Sorry for the picture quality.)
Nothing like taking your dog for a walk...row!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Boat work

Those of you who read this (all 3 of you) must get a bit tired of seeing the repair work that goes into keeping the Snow Goose in good shape. I’ve considered stopping any entries into the blog of my repair/maintenance work but if I did that it wouldn’t give a proper look of what it is like to live on a boat. I believe that no matter what type of boat, or the age of it that you own there is always maintenance that has to be done. So, I’ve decided to keep putting “boat work” into the Blog instead of just day to day things that interest me. Saying all of that, WOW! What a great sunset last night!

Well, back to repairs,,, I did something dumb, I forgot to undo the rope ties that hold up our center “tent” over the butterfly hatches before I let out the boom to go sailing.

The ‘D’ rings on the tent ripped out creating another sewing project. I also had a few minor sewing repairs that I had to be done to other things so, out came the sewing machine. Some cruisers just take these type of repairs to a canvas shop but since I bought a Sailrite Sewing Machine many years ago, I just get it out from under the bed  and I’m ready to repair or create any sewing jobs that needs to be done. Mind you, the work isn’t always up to the standards of a canvas shop but, it is good enough and the cost is GREAT! I do believe that this sewing machine has repaid it’s purchase price many times over. Anyway, about the repair.
When I built the “tent” I purchased 2 stainless steel “D” rings to tie the support ropes to. As you can see, one of them was made of plain steel and has rusted to the point of breakage. So along with repairing the aft side that was ripped out I also had to remove the forward, rusty one and replace it with a bronze ring that I had on hand. About an hour later, the tent had new rings and was reinstalled over the hatches just in time for the scheduled afternoon rains. The tent allows us to keep the butterfly hatches partway open so that we have air flow down below during rainy times and during sunny, hot days it keeps direct sunlight out of the cabin keeping it a bit cooler too.

Ripping out the old ring

My "tent of many colors" is back in place.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fort Lauderdale

As we were walking to the store in fort Lauderdale we came across this car, it was a loaner car from the Ferrari/Maserati Dealer in Fort Lauderdale. Now, one would think that a Ferrari/Maserati Dealer would give you one hell of a loaner car while the work on your $100,000.00+ car so I was really excited to see the type of car they provided for their rich and famous clientele. Boy, was I surprised. Maybe you are too!

I’ve picked Anna up and we will be heading back up north to Stuart Fl. for Christmas.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The idiot

We had a pleasant last two days as we heading south from Stuart Fl down to Fort Lauderdale. It was a typical trip of hours  and hours of pleasant traveling interspaced with a few minutes of terror. First the typical.

We motored south on the inter-costal the first day and the most interesting thing that we passed (besides some “high rent” homes) was this, a house, built on a barge that was in turn floating on another barge! I don’t know why they went to the extent of this double flotation but it was different. The house was a bunk house for the crew of a dredger that was working in Peck Lake.

On the final day of the trip we took the ocean south to Fort Lauderdale and it was a pleasant day on the ocean. When we got to the port we found 6 ships anchored waiting to enter the port and 9 cruise ships leaving, one of them just starting into the channel. Just as we got to the channel, I dropped our sails and turned on the engine only to find out that the shift mechanism had broken and we were stuck in reverse! I took apart the panel and grabbed the cable and forced it into forward and away we went into the channel. Then the “idiot” arrived. As we approached the cruise ship, a large power yacht towing a 20+foot boat cut between us and the cruise ship. He cut it so close that I thought that the tow rope was going to wrap around the bow of the ship. Now, these cruise ships are HUGE and it suddenly occurred to me that this could be a terrorist attack,( run a 20 foot towed boat, loaded with explosives into the bow of a cruise ship in a busy shipping channel. WOW!!!). 
This is what we saw
Bad picture but this is the close up.
 In the picture you can just see the Coast Guard charging to the rescue. Well, they (the Coast Guard) got between the power boat and the ship as we fought for control  of the Snow Goose in the large wake of the power boat. It yawed us toward the cruise ship and before we could turn back the Coast Guard (now pass them) turned toward us with the guy in front pointing his 30 Cal machine gun right at us!!! MY OH MY does the barrel of a 30 cal look big when you are staring right down it… well, we got control and turned back on course and in another 3 minutes we were pass the cruise ship and had caught up to the power boat now surrounded by the port police and Homeland Security. After wards, we found a place to anchor in Lake Silvia, Fort Lauderdale. It was really nice to get the hook down.