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WHAT A HOLIDAY November 28, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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All right, the GPS starts working the next day. Not right away, but maybe 30 seconds later. I did add some more pages used by the MFD. OK. It worked and now the time is not right. I can reset it, and it sets itself back to the default. I never reset the defaults.

Wednesday we left for my son’s home by boat. GPS is working, time is right, all is good. But the wind. It is nice for about an hour and then started to die. The sailing was nice while it lasted. We were low on fuel and the plan was to stop on the way. I had plenty of fuel, but wanted to top off the fuel tank for the winter to stop condensation in the fuel tank. The first place we went to their diesel pump was out of order. No problem, we go by another and there were many others close to where my son lives. Well 3 hours later we get to the next marina. It is closed. Locked up tight as a drum. This is a good size marina with a large high and dry boat storage. Closed a day before a holiday. Made no sense, but it was closed. We called our son and asked where we should go. We did and he showed up with one of his boat to fuel up while we were fueling.

Finished, we left the marina for the anchorage. We went about one third of the way and my engine instruments went screwy. The amp meter quit showing that it was charging when we shifted battery banks. The oil pressure and engine temp showed double what they should. I used my hand held thermometer and found the engine running normal. We went on to the anchorage.

Thanksgiving morning I took the mate to our sons and return to the boat to check wiring. Disconnected wires cleaned and retightened them. Did this from the senders to the gages. I had done this just a few months ago. All the connections were clean and tight. All reading are still double. My electrical gremlins are growing. Time to have a matinee and eat turkey.

My son suggests we go out for Sailfish. That is about 100 miles out. The mate is done with the sea and is not into fishing. Count her out. The daughter in law gets sea sick and has been out that far once to do some kite fishing. Do not think she will do that again. Not her thing. Well it is just the two of us.

The plan was to be at this ledge about 100 miles out at 7 am. When we were auto racing we would get to the track at opening around 6 to 6:30 am. I told him he has to find a hobby that does not start before sunup.

We got out to the ledge at 7 am as planned. I am not a fisherman. I have never been trolling before. I do not know the jargons used in this sport, but I am learning. We put out teasers, also something that is drug below everything, then little fake flying fish that bounce along the top, then 3 or 4 baited lines. Well that ought to get something. You think?

We would then troll back and forth across the ledge. On about the third trip, we get a hit. One would think you just fight the fish and with luck haul him in. No, no, no. We just spent 15 minutes putting all this stuff in the water that should at least snag something. But we are now fighting a fish that we do not want to get tangled in all this stuff in the water.

My son is busy fighting his fish. He is also yelling out orders to get the gear out of the water. I’m sorry, I’m driving the boat. Sooo, drive the boat and real in all the gear. He is telling me which ones to get in by there proper names. What ever they are. About the time I get all this gear reeled in, he is landing the fish. “Get the gaff” he yells. “Gaff it.” I never used a gaff. We swap positions, I take the rod, he takes the gaff. Wham, he gaffs a Wahoo and drags it aboard, while telling me to stay out of the way of this wildly flopping around 3+ feet of very sharp teeth. Well actually a little less then 1 foot are very sharp teeth. 100 miles out is not where you want to be this fish last meal. Into the coffin he goes. See I am learning these jargons. The coffin is a 7’ X 2’ X 2’ deep box in the floor that you put in your fish. It is full of ice to keep your catch fresh. Now it is time to let your pulse slow down and adrenalin wear off.

Ok, that’s enough, we are here to fish. 10 minutes later all the stuff is back out there. I just get the boat back on course crossing the ledge and zing another reel goes off. “Come on get those line in. Crank faster. Come on! Watch where the boat is going. A little more speed. No not that much. Get the gaff back here. Take the rod. Keep him close to the boat.” Wham, another Wahoo is gaffed and flopping on the deck. Did I mention how much blood is being thrown around. While your pulse is slowing down, you have to rinse off the boat. That’s me. I mean someone must get the gear back in the water and I have no clue.

We are making our second run across the ledge when zing goes a reel. I start to reel the gear in and the first rod I reach for, and have one hand on, goes zing. The son is fighting a fish and yells “we have 2 on.” Bring it in as you can and get cranking on all the other gear. Keep pressure on the fish.   At times the lines are very close together and seem to be one fish. It could have happened. There are so many hooks in the water, who knows. We get them close to the boat and realize there are 2 fish. Things got so busy, I do not remember all the details, other then I gaffed my first fish. 2 tunas. Not bad. We are getting slower at getting the gear our.

We do not even get the gear out and zing goes a reel. By the time my son grabs the rod, it is gone. He reels it in and there is nothing but a few feet of leader left. It was big, fast and gone.

We make a couple more runs across the ledge and nothing. I am tired. Could fall asleep, but would fall off the boat. Zing, here we go again. This one is big. He would take off and go where ever he wanted. I actually had time to get in all the gear. I help my son put on this thing that fits over your abdomen and has a rest for the end of the pole. Finally it is close enough to see. It is huge. I take the pole and my son gets a gaff into the fish. He can not lift it over the side of the boat. “Get the other gaff”. That was news, we have another gaff. I get the second gaff in the fish and we pull it in the boat. It is the biggest Wahoo I ever saw. It is over 100 pounds. Off to the coffin for him. He is to big for my son to hold for pictures. Yep, look at my blog. That where the pictures are. I’m thinking world record or at least state record. Nope. Records are in the 200 pound plus range. We just got a young one.

It is 1 pm. We are spent, and my son says he is ready to head for shore. The seas have been 1-2’ all day. We are in a 33’ center counsel boat with 2-250 HP engines. Top end is about 40 kts. We cruise at 36-38 kts. The boat does not come all the way out of the water on the bigger waves, but at times is at least ¾ out of the water. Then, slam, back in the water. I used to be about 5’ 7”. I think I maybe 2” shorter. This has been one of the better days of all.

Saturday was a day of doing some shopping, my son washed the boat and I rested. I had to buy a new battery charger. After around 17 years, it just stopped. Two bad things. It cost a lot of money, and it has nothing to do with my gremlins.

Sunday back to the yacht club. This coming week a regional boat show in St Petersburg. Fun.


COLD November 21, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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I have never been one that likes or tolerates cold well. This morning it was 46 degrees. I know those of you in Canada are thinking what a wosse. I have not been in this cold for 2 years and 11 months. 70 is cold. This was ridicules. I have a light weight jacket and 3 sweat shirts. Total winter wardroom. I do have a heavy off shore foul weather jacket. I may have to dig it out, but tomorrow will be back up into the high 60’s. That will be good because I have to fuel up.

Planning to head to my son’s for Thanksgiving. Will leave Wednesday morning. It is to be in the low 70’s. I will survive. It is about a 5 hour trip. We should have 10 to 15 kts. to begin with but dying out during the afternoon. That works out well because the last half of the trip I have to go through 5 bridges. 3 are opening bridges, 2 with bridge tenders that open late and close early. If you are not waiting at the appointed time, you will wait till the next lift. I understand their plight. Either let the poor yachties wait of face the drive-bys. I too would lean toward the car drivers.

Did the last touches on the wood repairs today. That is done. The work is fun, but the polyurethane takes a while to age and match the color of the older wood.

Was checking out the nav equipment this afternoon and the GPS is not showing up. Will track down the wiring and insure all is still tight. The GPS is part of the wind instrument. All the other functions work, but the GPS. So it is back under the bed to check out the wiring going to the controller.

After the Autopilot system was all hooked up and running, the water maker tech was under the bed replacing the Clark Pump. We have not been out since he left. I hope it is something like a loose wire. I did check one of the main wires bundles for the auto pilot and it fell off its connection. It was hanging together and was still working till I touched it and it fell off in my hand. . That was OK, easy fix. I hope the finding of the wire goes as well. It could get complicated.

Have a great Thanksgiving. Have fun at black Friday.


Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

The mate returns tomorrow night. I am looking forward to that. A high.

The boat is back on the market. One reason is we had a couple we met in the Bahamas that had expressed interest in the boat if we were going to sell. We had made contact with him and put him in our brokerage agreement. The mate has again expressed interest in selling the boat. The individual has expressed some interest at a price that would be a steel for him and would be totally unacceptable for me. But no offers have been made so no negotiations can take place. A low.

This has been an interesting and extremely challenging three months. A high, or a low…, depending on the day or week or month. That’s life.

The boat is ready to sail with very few exceptions. I have suspects of the wellness of the battery charger. The display on the charger and on the remote give strange readings, and not necessarily at the same time. . The batteries seem to recharge, but I can only check at night. During the day the solar panels charge till the controller cuts them off. I have not ran the charger in a month. The last couple day we have had some clouds, but not enough to keep the solar panels from giving a charge that will carry everything through the night. The solar panels have not been turned off for 2 years, since we installed them. I can shut off the power to the controller and pull the fuses. Then what happens to the 500 watts coming in the boat to the fuse. That is a fair amount of juice to have wanting to go someplace. I am always afraid of stray current. I see this as being a lot of potential stray current. I have the name of a marine electrician. I believe I will call him and ask his advice.

After answering those questions, one only has to store the fresh water hose, the electric cables and mooring lines, back out of the slip and point her where you want to go. She is ready. A high. Her master is ready, her mate is not. A low.

Life is good, strange, challenging, but good.

BATCHING AGAIN November 9, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
1 comment so far

OK its Wednesday, me slow. Actually I just forgot to do this on Monday. Yesterday was election day, and I do this in the evening. So here I am. Did you stay up till 3:30?  And I do not even like politics.

Last Thursday we did cataract number 2. One thing they do not tell you or if they do you do not think anything of it. Well you take 3 types of eye drops, 2 of them 3 times a day for the first week then 1 of them 1 time a day and 1 3 times a day for 3 weeks. You put the drops in and it takes an hour of so for your eyes to clear up. Well I am 2 weeks into this and tired of doing drops. The second eye recovered in a day or 2. It is neat. When you get where you are getting cataracts, go get them taken cared. Mine were not considered bad, and yet it is very noticeable. There was a guy who was getting prepped at the same time. His eyes were so bad he was walking with a cane. He was using it as a blind person would. He could see good immediately after surgery. His first eye. He was like a kid on his birthday. This last Thursday he was there walking without his cane. We were far enough apart that he was gone by the time they released me. But he was one happy guy

Mine are not perfect yet. I have a radial that shows up if I look at a light. It is one line that is like a glare but only in one line. They are to go away. I will not bore you with the details, but they can get rid of it in the office.

I feel like an old man. I hate it when you visit with a old person and they have to tell you about there last doctors visit. If your visiting with several old people they can go on for hours. Hate that. I will say no more about my eyes.

I have not got much done on the boat, but there is not much more to do. A little varnishing. Have to get some stitching done on one of our side curtains. Have not put any of the enclosure in yet. Still in the high 70’s during the day.

Not going to Pensacola in December. The slip I was going to use is not available. That is not the real reason. When we lived there, the tides would be such from the early December till February we would be aground in the slip at low tide. Plus the opening at the entrance was to sallow to go in and out. We would be stuck for 2 months. No good. So we are planning to go in April.

The mate is our with the grandkid in Colorado. Will be back Wednesday. That will be nice.