Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ASA 105 Coastal Nav Class - That's A Wrap

Stephanie, Brett and Miles
After 4 full Sunday's of classroom and weeks of study, the students wrapped up the Coast Nav Class.  I think their brains were sufficiently scrambled after all that.  We made some interesting discoveries during classroom discussions of various navigation techniques.
Bonnie, Jamel and Pat
One discovery was that about 1/2 the of the class is math brain oriented.  They think of all the different navigation techniques as math problems with formulas and calcs. This group of navigators needs to understand everything from a mathematical point of view.   SO not my camp.  The other half of the class is visual and needs to see the nav techniques in their head or drawn out or as we did in class - acted out.  Yes....I was a NUN with a relative bearing on more than one occasion during class....probably the only time other than Halloween that I will ever come close to being/acting like a NUN!  HA!  And yes, the visual folks are the camp I reside in. 
Al, JR and Matt
Anyway - they all studied hard and fully participated making it a terrific class. (Not too shabby for a bunch of high plains lake sailors where the only ATONS is a No Wake bouy that the power boaters try to mow over at high speed.)  
So now the students can relax, reclaim their dinning room table back from being a chart table and do something else in the evenings, like look at Google Maps, program their new Garmin GPS or download various navigation apps for their smartphone. 
John, Todd, Ben and John

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Allusive Magical Fire Hose

If you will remember, I/we have been on the hunt for old fire hose to use as chafe guard on the dock lines and various other areas of s/v Honey Ryder.  I previously documented my attempts - Magical Fire Hose and what we finally ended up with.  Thanks again dad!  However, we are still without the allusive FLEXIBLE fire hose.
JR and Sabrina
Enter Fireman/Sailor JR Biron to the rescue.  He "procured" us the above roll of used, soon to be dis-guarded by his fire house fire hose.  It will be PERFECT for s/v Honey Ryder.  Thanks so much JR.  Sailors are just the best people!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rosetta Stone Me Baby

I have wanted to learn Spanish for the past 15 + years.  Several halfass attempts have been made trying various tools such as flip cards (yeah - that long ago), cassette tapes, CD's, and podcasts.  All failed.  I can swear in Spanish, using a few choice words I learned long ago from Hispanic classmates but not much else.  See, I grew up in a town with a big Hispanic population and many Hispanic friends.  So what second language did I decide to study in school?  French!  Because that might come in handy in the middle of the high plains - sometimes referred to as BumF* nowhere! Clever, non?  NO!

Flash forward to now and my wonderful ESS (Evil Sailing Sista) Kim.  She learned of my desire and graciously loaned me her Rosetta Stone French and Spanish.  Have you seen the price of Rosetta Stone?  $$$.  As the saying goes....sailing isn't cheap but sailors are!  HA!  I decided to start with the French, thinking that perhaps hearing French again might blow out some of the cobwebs in my brain and bring back the 5 years of French I took in school (many, many moons ago).  And while it's been a while since I stayed at a Holiday Inn, I have consumed my share of French wine - well ok, not necessarily French wine but wine in general...so that should help bring the French language back up to the surface right?
I also decided that I really need to commit to weekly study.

Well let me tell you, it ROCKS!  The method is totally kewl and works.  I am only 3 weeks in but I am getting it and actually retaining a bit. " Look out Eastern Caribbean Islands that speak French -Voici que je viens" (here I come).  Or at the very least "look out" Tom and Larry (un chat) - my personal French guinea pigs (les cochons d'lnde) around the house.   *By the way.....please note my use of the French language in the preceding blog entry - Coastal Navigation Class Deja Vu

Monday, March 12, 2012

Coastal Navigation Class Deja Vu

Bruce of KC Sailing leading the ASA 105 Nav Class
Wikipedia says Deja Vu - (French translation... literally "already seen") is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined.  *And yes, I use Wikipedia - it's easy to understand, generally pops up first in a search, and seems accurate enough for blog purposes....same as Fox News - fair and balanced, Oh Snap!
The tools
Imagined?  Hardly!  It's Sunday morning, 11am and I find myself back in class.  It's a nautical flashback to March 2009 and the first go around as a student.
Vanna of the nav tools?  NOT!
This time somehow I ended up agreeing to assist with the current ASA 105 Coastal Navigation being taught at KC Sailing.  By assist I mean - sitting in the back of the class, pouring coffee in the morning, helping hold charts up, unlocking the door for the pizza delivery guy and occasionally add a comment.  And that is all fine by me because a quick review the night before the class kicked off, made me realize that my memory sucks and this stuff is not necessarily intuitive to a girl raised on the high plains.  So.....I once again find myself studying/reviewing the course material several nights during the week as the next Sunday approaches.  Deja Vu indeed!     

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sailing Sisters

Bruce of KC Sailing leads the session
Our women's sailing group - Sailing Sisters met today for our monthly (winter months only) learning/review session on all things sailing. Today's topic was rigging and hardware. 
Not good
Sessions like these are what get us through the winter, non-sailing months. 

Fellow Boaters

Some of the E-Dock gang.
Greg beefing up his dock/fenders after moving out to the far boondocks (ha - but seriously it's a hike out to visit him).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

USS Laffey DD-724

This was a new sight to us.  Apparently she is normally part of Patriot's Point but has been away at dry dock for major repairs.  She is now back serving as a floating museum ship next to the USS Yorktown.  The Laffey's nickname is The Ship That Would Not Die.   She wasn't yet open for tours but impressive never the less.

What About The Sailing?

20-25 knot gusts creating white caps just outside the marin
So many friends have been asking the usual "How was the trip?  Did you go sailing?  How was it?"  And the sad answer is NO - we didn't go sailing.  Shocking and weird we know.  But we kind of suspected that we might not go sailing this time down.  We had check to be sure the head sail was fixed - which is was.  We knew we had to tackle the broken outhaul sheave this trip plus a multitude of "need to check, should really do, would like to do projects.  Additionally the weather was a bit interesting with gusty winds every afternoon except one and rain a couple of times.  So.....no, we did not go sailing.  And YES, we had a terrific trip regardless because we were home on s/v Honey Ryder!

Good Eats

Boat nachos
Hated the boat nachos - NOT!
We ate very well this week.
 We stopped twice this week in Shem Creek and bought shrimp directly from the shrimp boats.  YUM!
I found "Magnolia" brand grits.  The same that are used at Charleston's famous Magnolia restaurant.  The grind makes the texture very different from your average run of the mill grits and they are simply out of this world.  YUM YUM YUM!
We did eat out a couple of times.  Usually during our daily runs to West Marine and the hardware store.  Lunch at this food truck was finger licking good.
Hum?  What to get?
Tom got the fish po-boy and I had the oyster po-boy and we split some chicken and sausage gumgo. 
Fun owners of the food truck
Dinner one evening at Bambu with dock neighbor Greg was terrific as well.  We hit the happy hour specials and saves some big $$ on our sushi and Yuenglings.

Head Sail Furler Repair Complete

Woo Hoo!  Now it unfurls and furls quickly and easily like it's supposed to. 

Always With the Rust

This file was new less than 2 yrs ago and it's stored below
It's simply amazing how quickly stuff starts to break down.  Our sailing friend Wayne says the second something is created/made here on earth it starts to break down and return to it's simplest form.  Including us humans.  Think about that.  Hum?????  We definitely see this accelerated by salt water and sea level conditions. 

Stanchion Repair Complete

Can you guess which one?
It's as if our little swift current / strong breeze incident this past Thanksgiving Day never happened. Rigger Sean had his welder fix the stanchion and it looks terrific. In fact we thought it might be a whole new one because it looked so fabulous. Of course this made me realize it was time to put some spit and polish on the rest of the stainless on deck.  (Seriously - the rust is always trying to get a foothold on every little piece of metal.  Argh!)  So that is what I did late morning into early afternoon to work up an appetite. Tom finished his boat project up and whipped up a yummy lunch while I wrapped up my polishing.
As we with all "adventures" we learned a lesson or two and are now the wiser.  Our dock neighbor Greg finally had to move his boat to an outer side tie dock because as a single hander he was really struggling with the current, tides and wind getting his boat in and out each time safely.  He is less protected but has more room to maneuver out there.  He says Charleston Harbor is on of the toughest places he's been on the east coast in terms of docking.    

Boat Coveralls

Boat Coverall
Working on various boat projects we end up trashing a lot of innocent t-shirts, shorts and jeans.  We try to remember to change into the grubby work clothes but you know how it goes......You have been pondering a small project and finally start looking into it physically and BOOM you are fully into it and up to your elbows in boat grim.
Ready to tackle the next boat project
I decided to copy our dock neighbor Kevin and get boat coveralls before all our boat clothes become grubby, work clothes.  I surprised Tom for our anniversary this past fall with Monogrammed boat coveralls.  Yes, we are styling as we slave away.
What do you think?  Modern day Rosie the Riveter?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Boat Flowers

Such a pretty pink color
Dock neighbor Charles has a new to him boat. I got a quick tour before he headed back home to Columbia. He gave me his boat flowers vs throwing them out. Aren't they lovely! Very bright and cheery.  Apparently he is Mr FTD.  It was funny to watch him scramble to explain to Tom why he gave me flowers - like Tom would care but of course Charles didn't know that at the time.

Outhaul Sheave Replacement

What they should look like
While working with rigger Sean this past fall we discovered the outhaul sheave was in need of replacement.
The one on the right is in BAD shape
Not an easy repair to pull off.
Waiting for the fix
This meant gaining access to the bolt under the deck well hidden by our interior soft headliner.
The brittle and fragile plastic hatch trim
Ultimately we ended up taking down the main saloon hatch trim and removing the staples holding up the headliner so we could reach way far in with a wrench. Of course nothing is easy so we had to remove the entire sheave unit to get out the bad one.
Tom removing the staples that hold up the headliner
We agreed that ordering extras was smart. We documented with pics and details on wench size required, screw size, etc.... Now begins the great hunt for the right size replacement. We may end up with a whole new deck organizer if we can't find the right sheave. 
The bolts were really far in - quite a reach
 *Update - Sean has located the correct size sheave and has them on order.  YAY!

The Curse of Netflix Ends Well

I have been having major issues with Netflix via the laptop. I thought I had that fixed prior to this trip. I was wrong. We were very disappointed as we were hoping to get caught up on some movie watching. Frustrating! BUT this turned out to be a good thing, instead we turned to reading material on board. Me - Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes. Tom - the stove manual. Seems there is a battery for the starter switch. The one that doesn't work. The one the previous owner said "starter switch doesn't work, just use a match.". Tom jumped into it the next day and got it working - yay!

Boat Cake

We have really enjoyed the first boat cake on s/v Honey Ryder.

  Ex-navy boy's comment was "moist.".

Dock neighbor's Kevin and Tyler agreed it was good. Food is just better on the boat.

Busting Up A Starbucks

There is no better coffee than fresh ground, fresh brewed and the best tasting coffee is always on s/v Honey Ryder.  By the way, the hand coffee grinder is working out well.