Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 POST # 24 - 30 September - Help for the VI and PR - North Caribe

A few blogs back, I commented on theBrit/American/French V.I. Tortuga, P.R. and French Caribe islands not being able to withstand this 2017 hurricane season, help comes from unexpected places sometimes, I follow the  Old Salt Blog, who posted this;

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line canceled their weekly scheduled cruise on the  MV Adventure of the Seas and instead sent the 3,114 passenger ship on a relief mission to carry supplies to those in need and to evacuate people from islands devastated by Hurricane Maria.  The ship called in San Juan, Puerto Rico and picked up 1,700 evacuees. The Adventure of the Seas arrived in St.Croix today to drop off supplies and pick up additional residents. It is expected to call in St. Thomas  to drop off supplies and pick up more evacuees before returning to Fort Lauderdale, 

This is the second round of relief voyages for RCCL. The Adventure of the Seas and the Majesty of the Seas both evacuated residents from St. Maartin and St. Thomas in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, earlier in the month.

This week is also the World Maritime Days Celebrations (28 September to 1 October) in seaports all around the globe, the biggest blow outs will be at the canal zones  http://www.un.org/en/events/maritimeday/   and  http://worldmaritimedaypanama.com/

Friday, September 29, 2017

2017 29 SEPTEMBER - POST # 23 - 49th Wedding Anniversary

 What more to say ?  49 years, an'ya was on her exercise dock walk early this AM and came across a floating rose on a stem... omen?

The rain is showing me all the drips that need to be fixed before the monsoon season starts in the next 30 days,  going out on the ocean "works" the hull and cabins, the fittings and just generally shakes things up. The heat and dry of summer shrinks water expanded wood back to its normal size, until it swells back up (or you stop the leaks)  the first few rains are not nice.

But, the vacation is over . . . I have lots of drips... mostly attachment screw holes (great routes for water if not bedded in caulk),  on new boat construction, and on most amateur boater repairs,  caulk is not used, as screw threads loosen they become great tracks for water to run down, so its the take it apart, clean the threads, roll the screw in caulk, needle fill the screw hole with caulk, and reassemble routine ! on everything.

We all wondered, why for days in a row last week the Coast guard slowly toured up and down each dock slip,writing things down, then going up/down slip-to-slip looking at all the boats.

Rumors abounded, stolen boat, illegal aliens, drug sweep, stolen gear, illegal crabbing, etc. at a VFW dinner last night we learned that a report is coming . . . on how many vessels in port that do not have their OR numbers and year stickers displayed at all, and the many with outdated stickers.

Numbers must be painted, applied as a decal, or otherwise affixed to both sides of the forward half of the vessel, placed above the water line where they can be read easily.

The registration number and validation decals must be displayed as follows.
They asked us who does the daily visual security tour for the Port, and if we were legal ourselves, (we are of course !), So, out of curiosity . . . this morning, we took the tour to see.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Got the three day, 45 degree night, dark days, high of 58 degrees, run two heaters at night, rain-fog-wind warning from Mother Nature . . . about 'get your winter-work done !'

Today, it is back to clear skies-sun and 65 degrees ! So, time to finish the outside work,
Reupholstered the settee in the salon, and rebuilt the sides of it as well, and needed to redo the wood frame (sand/stain/varnish), next are the fascia wings in the salon and galley - to match, and continued on with various leak-fixes, closed off the engine room vents and installed the covers, need to mount and rewire the mast light bar, then figure out a rear Bimini cover for Bonnies poop deck aft.

The upcoming aft Bimini is a big and crazy job, needing lots of design thinking and self-construction, but, it will most likely still be 'in progress' in the rain as the last outdoor task of 2017, installed a boot gland on the anchor chain riser, rehung the anchor and put the winter cover on, added the pond liner atop the generator for drip protection, and finally got those three missing dots on the port bow So . . . fea  put on !

We are three weeks away from our one year-aboard anniversary, and still . . . we are not done outfitting to our needs and comfort-fully !

I spent years poking fun at cruisers who told me it took them 18 months to ready for their cruise . . . I was wrong, it "does" take that long before you can know every nook, cranny, bilge space and wire run aboard, much less redesign for your life style, and "really" have all the kinks worked out . . . my list on the reefer is still 12 major items away from completion, who knew ?   I didn't.

The single GIANT best dollars spent-best time investment aboard, hands down is the 240 volt 50 amp service panel and rewire project !!!!! I would venture a guess that 75% of the attempted liveaboard assaults fail due to not enough ampacity to sustain life (with 30 amp 120 volt dock service), we found it damn' near impossible, and we are very very experienced.

21st Century moorage sites (like RV sites) should, by 2017, "all" have 50 amp service as standard, the only reason obsoleted 30 amp service is kept, is to allow harbors to stay away from liveaboards.... because, "who" could possibly survive on 30 amp service ?  (like we did 6 months over last winter).

The dockwater, WiFi and septage service issues can also create havoc, but, "are " workable-nothing like the problems paltry 30 amp service can cause. Very very few people or couples actually "live aboard" a boat November through March . . very few !  Even down in San Diego or in Florida, the rains, winds, and currents drive almost all ashore for winter evenings, and gale-days of misery.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

14 SEPTEMBER - (2017 POST # 21) - 5 month ANNIVERSARY !

Well, we lasted 5 full months at A-10 without being thrown out, sinking, or wanting to leave. Pretty much our boot camp, and settling in, indoctrination is complete . . . it has been a zig-zag course (as if on a sailboat needing to tack), but, we have it figured out (almost), we are so impressed I just advance paid us up until December of 2018.

We still view this as the best-ever (all in all) harbor we have ever nested at, we love it, and our A-10 location is super well suited for our operation, our need for privacy and open-view. Since we couldn't control the crabbers on the dock, the late-night/all-night dock walkers and party (druggie-alcoholic) loud music over-nighters, So, we unpacked and re-installed our blinding 1500 watt fishing surround lamps, and wired them and the siren into a motion detector as a dusk to dawn dock-view burglar alarm.... it gets so bright, they walk into the water blinded . . . with a siren accompaniment !  end of problem, and, we also did a day time work-around (began crabbing ourselves to use the area for ourselves) , now our freezer is too full.  

The  only unresolvable negative here is the outboard motor boater (disrespectful, rude, out-of-control week-ender, hobbyist, wanna' be fisherman, amateurs), it appears there is only a 45 day period each year where these city-folk and hill jacks are here . . . so, you simply have to endure their insult and let the harbor have their high income.

After five full months, we are holding at three (3) blistering upper seventy degree horrific summer days <s> and only two (2) nights of a heater 'not' being required (offset by two nights where 2 heaters were required !). The chime buoy wind chime has only had a very few hours of rest in these five months, it is always 5-10 MPH through-winds here.

Our animated tidal flow area and overly active A-10 wind  location, is exactly what we missed in Winchester Bay, even though that was a side-end-dock tie as well, there was no in-out flow of tides, or other currents, making us feel like we were ashore on a stationery concrete foundation.

We look forward to even more wind and rougher seas over this winter, and hope things at this A-10 location will be as we are told (warned). Southern west coast boaters and sailors would absolutely hate it in this harbor (and this is calm compared to BC/Alaska/), we simply love it !

One comical note; twice now, when they decide to change the bathroom and wifi access codes here, they get it backwards,,,,,,

First, they physically change the password . . . they wait 1/2 hour, then they email everyone and give them the new password! ???  (but since you can no longer get online via wifi without having that new password, you do not know about their email, or what the new password 'is') suddenly, you get the "Access denied-wrong Password' notice'.
it is humorous . . . go figure, the logic.
It is like that voice mail message of; 'Hey Peter, if you don't get this voice mail message, email me'.

More later, I am deck-leak fixing for the 15 October start of winter, and the monsoon rains, had three drips all last winter, and our flying bridge deck pond, (got that problem over with), so next is the aft Bimini build-erect .... then this winters' on board engine work (for our starboard 454), our zany formica, and MORE electrical cleanup !

Just got in a few comment emails re: my .... "I view 15 October to 15 April as "WINTER", the rain usually begins 1 November and quits 1 April" statement.
   My down under crowd thinks that is a lot of rain . . . 'ya think ? The oceans began and were formed here in Oregon.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

7 September - (2017 POST # 20), IRMA

As we sit here with our wind-chime barely sounding, and fogged in at our protected harbor moorage, we are sickened by the news of our old N. Caribe haunts being demolished by Irma, the Keys, Bahmians and lesser Antilles are simply not built to with stand this, the French West Indies, B.V.I. - U.S.V.I. and the Dry Tortugas are all far too fragile https://www.passagemaker.com/lifestyle/irma-tortola, although we have lost contact with many over the years, and have not kept up with harbor/port/fishing or boat construction growth in the Caribbean after we closed Tactician Services, we still hold locked, mental images and rememberances from those great people, years and Caribe ports, and are deeply saddened by the events that have taken place through Irma,  our hearts and thoughts are with the peoples and beauty of the Caribbean.


To our "stay-in-touch" friends,thanks for checking in . . . From Texas City, Orange, Corpus, to Pasagoula and the Keys on the US mainland . . . (Miami, San Juan, Haiti, the D.R., and Cuba were ugly spiritless, and destroyed to begin with), but, even there we wish for all to be safe. 

Forecasters project Hurricane Jose is also moving towards Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, all of which were just hit by 185 MPH Hurricane Irma — now the strongest Atlantic storm ever to form outside the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean., Antiqua is dead center in the path of Jose, and just days away ... 

Monday, September 4, 2017

3 September - (2017 - POST # 19) - LABOR DAY

. . .  an'ya's 70th birthday . . .

Got her a new laptop to begin her retirement with, and will reduce the two big tower desktops and all of the old CD, SD chips and thumb drives up into the cloud, now that we don't need them for the newspaper or websites anymore (only this and the whazammo.com will carry on).

This frees up our limited desk space, simplifies a lot, and modernizes-reduces for the boat, there is very little left to "boatize" now, the upcoming rainy winter months will finish processing the three Tupperware tubs of music, scrap book, poetry, recipe, and computer pieces-parts into nothing . . .  and only the memories will be left from the old life ashore.

Headed into our fifth month here in Florence (11th month aboard), our second day of the local area wildfires using the riverway as smoke exit route, choking us every bit as bad as being back in the forests . . . only because our wind has shifted from the normally southbound to being westbound and bringing the smoke directly from the two Mapleton and the Dunes City fires right past us.

Neither of us ever had problems with smoke before, but, neither of us were ever this old either... sort of a chest pressure feeling, forehead based headache, and (for me)... a feeling of light headedness and unable to get my breath, aligns you for a near panic attack if you do more than just "sit". terrible feeling of suffocation.

The bright spot is that we have only had 73 degrees for our daily highs, and the past two nights we have had to run two (2) heaters 0200 AM on....

The dark spot here is due to the very layout of this facility, the office is aligned for the campground/marina, with a no harbor view, so, there is no awareness of the main harbors pulse, making this a campground/small boat (outboard) Marina first . . .  and a remote (inboard) boat harbor second (as in 'last'), plus, no one in control has "EVER" spent a full day "on" the docks to witness the events or to enforce the rules (as in 'no knowledge, means deniability').

Still, Florence is the "best" of the small harbors on the Oregon Coast, and we still plan on permanently staying right here at A-10 very long term... the other harbors enforce their rules so stringently, and with such vigor as to create almost military rules.

Believing that some basic rules must be applied and followed for safety and control (like when driving your car, playing baseball, or staying in a campground) . . .  We simply have determined that we must do workarounds for ineptness,  however, bringing to their attention any inaction is a ticket outta here as retribution for whistle blowing or complaining, (or even appearing as an expert).

Another one of the live-on-the-water vs. live ashore curiosities that this blog has addressed in the past 11 months . . . ever have a neighbor with portable outdoor speakers who likes country music ? LOUD country or Mexican or Chinese music. how about the hydroplane or dragster owning  neighbor with his blown injected Hemi, dogs dumping and scattering your garbage can, the three vans parked in front of your house for "Party-time", the ATV in the campground doing high speed passes and wheelies non-stop all day long,  but, there is no land-equal to a high speed boat wake rocking and rolling at the dock, dumping dishes and tools, paint out of cabinets (and you out of bed).

Boat anarchy, no-wake zones are equal to school 20 MPH zones, they are common courtesy, and safety reasons for both, the outboard motor thing looms large . . . the trailerable boat thing looms large . . . the wanna-be / weekender / hobbyist / fish-hunter identity looms REALLY large. I posit that this harbor should be divided with the east basin designated as a strict "NO outboards" zone.