Friday, April 16, 2010

Three Pages of done ToDo List, One more to go

For those of you with an interest in such things, it looks like the cost of this year's Pacific Cup campaign is going to come in around $20,000. (We have spent roughly $12,000 so far according to the running total at the bottom of the ToDo List.)

An unexpected item was the new Garmin GPS and plotter unit that I decided to add because the (really old) Trimble GPS was getting hard to read. The new one is kinda cute and, much to my amazement, it seems to work below decks even without an antenna.

Another useful item is the wireless remote for the autopilot. Currently there are three separate controls. One is the base station at the Nav Station. The second is the wired remote at the wheel (that can be brought in under the dodger). The third is the wireless unit shown in the photo that lets me steer from my bunk. (And navigate as well, since the unit also relays GPS info just like the other units do.)

We turned the boat around in the slip to make it more convenient to work on the stern. Then we removed the wind-vane  rudder and replaced it with the (much larger) emergency rudder unit. The photos show the emergency rudder in the water and stowed up out of the way. To actually wait until the emergency rudder is needed and then try to install it in a seaway is probably more exciting than absolutely necessary.
Another item that has taken up a couple days of my time is the First Aid Kit. We have three main Kits. One is in the Grab Bag that goes with us if we need to abandon ship. It was getting a little "long in the tooth" after all these years, so I made up a fresh one. Of course, in the unlikely event that something is needed we can use it to supplement the other kits.  Another Kit is located in the head  compartment. It is pretty complete and is supplemented by extras, like cold packs, sunscreen, seasickness items, etc. The third kit is a big bag of all kinds of serious stuff. I spent a couple days on this and I have an Excel table listing everything if anyone is interested. One of the problems was the fact that many of the prescription drugs that this kit contained were hopelessly out of date. I got my Kaiser doctor to prescribe some new stuff, so I'm pretty happy with the current state of things.There are things like sutures for sewing up gaping wounds. Might be fun to try that should the occasion arise.

There is a sea bird here in Hawaii called a Kolea (Golden Plover)  that has a wonderful story. Most of the year they are very shy and their dull brownish uniform coloring lets them blend in. They are unusual in that they seem to benefit from civilization. They like to pick bugs from lawns, parks, golf courses, etc. Normally they are very solitary, and each one stakes out his own territory and chases other Kolea away. At this time of year a drastic transformation takes place in their coloring. Look at the photo. Isn't this guy a beauty!

There is also a change in personality. Instead of shy they become agressive. One of them that I disturbed recently thought about trying to chase me away. (But changed his mind.) Some time (very soon) they will start to gather in flocks and at some magic moment that only they can sense (There might be weather factors.) they spiral up into the sky and set out for Alaska (and maybe Siberia). When they get there (after recovering from the flight) they hustle up a mate and get down to the business of raising some chicks. 

When the chicks are getting big enough to fend for themselves (and the days are getting shorter) the adults head back to Hawaii.  Amazingly enough the chicks follow later after they bulk up on bugs and get some more flying practice. Then the cycle repeats. Quite a story.

While I clearly enjoy composing these blogs, it would be nice to get some feedback. If you are a reader please make an occasional comment (at the bottom of the page). When we are sailing the comments will come automatically to us by email and that way the blog can become more interactive.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bill,

    I like your writing style and enjoy reading your posts. They give me good inspiration, especially when it is dark, cold, and rainy. Some day I’ll do some writing and show you what I have been doing to Wind Watcher. I thing Jan is working on a blog spot so I will contribute to it.

    I also installed a wireless remote on my autopilot. We were sailing with some friends last year, us on our boat they on theirs. I was standing on the bow watching the water slide by with my remote in hand, and made a turn at a channel marker. They called me on my cel and asked who was steering the boat as they could see me on the bow and no one at the helm. I held up my Smart Pilot and said, “I am”. I think they were so impressed, that they had to get one.

    Happy sailing
    Chuck Jensen
    S/V Wind Watcher
    Everett, Wa.