Thursday, October 20, 2016

24-27July2016: Gig Harbor

Weather:  Sunny and warm

This is an easy post:  Just lazed about with friends, fun, food and drink.  Sitting on the bay, watching the tide roll away!

Sunday, 24July2016: Kingston to Gig Harbor

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Mostly 0...occasionally 5.  Seas:  Flat.

Departed Kingston after another leisurely morning, enjoying a dog walk in the park and a cafe'  and cinnamon roll from a local coffee shop.  Motoring out of the marina with west winds promised, up went the main and screacher.  Initially made 5kts and dodged crab pots coming out of Appletree Cove.

Rounding the corner and southbound by Presidents Point, the winds died and the dull drone of the engine accompanied us across the mirror flat waters.  3hrs later, off the east side of Blake Island, a potential stopping point, we killed the engine and scrubbed Strider's waterline of her algae collection.

Though there were mooring buoys available at Blake, it was too early to stop.  With Gig another 14nm away, we pressed, arriving around 1600.  RT had Freestyle moored in the harbor, fenders over the side and beers!  Great to have a floating dock available upon arrival!

Saturday, 23July2016: Coupeville to Kingston

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Variable, 0-10.  Seas:  Flat to 1ft.

Departed Coupeville after a leisurely morning, motoring east out of Penn Cove.  Winds started to pick up so the main was raised and the screacher unfurled.  Made 5kts until turning south at Snatelum Point and into Saratoga Passage.  Off and on motor/sail throughout the southbound trip.  North winds started to pick up as we turned west into the Puget Sound at Possession Point, the south end of Whidbey Island.

Our original destination was to be Kingston.  With the wind increase, we were able to make 7-8kts southbound so we changed our minds and thought to head to one of the ports further south, like Eagle Harbor or even Poulsbo.  HOWEVER, as we continued south, the winds started to die...damned convergence zone I suspect.  So, turned to starboard and headed across the sound to Kingston, making 6-7kts.

Not really happy with Kingston Marina staff...basically, they could not tell us if a space was available.  They had not been keeping track of occupied slips and, apparently, did not want to go out of the air conditioned office to actually look.

After negotiating entry past a suddenly underway Washington State ferry, we folded and found one first come first served slip.  Though Strider is technically too long, she fit.  Safe and sound around 1700, just in time for a Beatles cover band to start a concert in the park.

Major Overhaul 2015 Part 2

I realize this has been a long time coming.  I just have not been satisfied with the net edging and have been trying to figure something out.  I may have and will update when completed.


Standard Horizon Matrix AIS/GPS GX2200.  The built in GPS/AIS with display screen were the major selling points.  August in the US Pacific Northwest is called fogust due to the prevalent fog and the major waterways have a lot of shipping traffic.  Since Strider does not have a radar, the AIS could be viewed as a poor man's radar.  The unit also features a fog horn and public broadcast system.

Antenna and Wire:  Need to maximize the power out to the antenna.  While the radio is capable of transmitting 25 watts, the old, small gauge antenna wire drastically reduces the output, by as much as 15 watts.  So, ShowMeCables brand 50 ohm 1/2in UltraFlex low loss coaxial cable was installed.


The nets were OEM and needed repairing every year, usually the edge tape.  However, the vinyl coated nets themselves were starting to come apart.  Time for new nets.

I looked at several materials/designs:  Bainbridge, Sunrise Yachts and ATN.   I liked the ATN 13mm polyamide, but ATN would not sell the raw material, only a finished product.  Further, ATN wanted to adapt the Strider to the net vice the net to Strider.  It became too difficult.

Stumbled across a half remembered entry in the Dragonfly Forum referencing another netting supplier.  Ultra Cross (UC) Silver 42mm BK 20ply Netting by Net Systems Inc, a local company.  The rep was easy to work with I had new, unfinished netting within a week!  This appears to be a DIY project.  The edges will be integrated with dyneema and lashed/sewn where required.

I was concerned how our dogs would react to the new nets.  Though not completely set/tensioned, the nets have received the Little Brown Dog Seal of Approval.

One of the Irish Terriers lounging

Standing Rigging

I got on a roll with the dyneema and thought since it was working so well with the nets and ama cables, why not go for broke and replace some of the standing rigging?  It is lighter, stronger, new and best of all, I could do it all myself (and take the blame).  Replacing the stainless cable aboard has been not all-at-once project, but a step by step process.  Install something new and thoroughly check it out prior to moving onto the next part.  Switching to dyneema is radical enough.  I didn't want to have to test too many things at onceThis is a major reason there are multiple overhaul entries.


The running backstays have 3 components, upper, lower and the nearly horizontal tensioner.  While 1/4in AmSteel Blue had a better breaking strength than the original stainless steel wire, I went with the 5/16in for the greater stretch (therefore creep) resistance.

42ft for the upper section, Suncor Extra Heavy thimbles were used at the mast attach point. Colligo Marine CSS 242 Double Lashing Block, spliced through the big eye, was used at the bottom.

CSS 242

The lower section of the backstay was  also spliced through the Colligo CSS 242 with a standard stainless steel thimble pushed through the OEM Dragonfly stainless fitting on the ama.  The splice was not buried.  A tell tail has been left hanging out of the splice to facilitate tensioning/slack removal as the lines stretch and settle in.

Stainless Thimble

The tensioner.  A 2.5ft pigtail was made with 5/16in AmSteel.  The lower end of the pigtail is spliced through the big eye of  a Colligo Fork Distributor attached to the OEM aft ama fitting.  The upper end of the pigtail is spliced through the eye of a low friction ring.  The adjustable/running part of the tensioner was made with 1/4in AmSteel.  This is spliced through the eye of the pigtail's low friction ring then runs up to the CSS 242, back down to the outer part of the low friction ring, back up to the CSS 242 then down, through the fork of the Fork Distributor then follows the normal Dragonfly pathway to the cockpit.

Bitter End Pigtails Seen Hanging

The guide block at the end of the ama has been replaced with a low friction ring.  The outer layer of some old double braid has been added over the bitter end of the 1/4in line to help with winch/clutch grip and prevent fraying.


Coolant Hoses.  Removed and replaced the 5/8in coolant hoses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Friday, 22July2016: Skyline to Coupeville

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  0 in places else 5-15kts.  Seas:  Flat

Summertime summertime sum sum summertime, and we are trapped by house chores...mostly.

Managed to get away for a bit.  We'd been invited to watch RT's and MM's daughter Em swim in her first Champs Swim Meet, a USA swimming event one must qualify to participate.  A big deal for Em.  So, we made time and went south.

Winds were cracking out of the west through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, smashing into the west side of Whidbey Island making Point Partridge a nasty place to be.  So we decided to go the inland route, something we do not do very often.

Motored out of Skyline around 1130, about 45min late for the slack at Deception Pass.  Managed to sail some to the pass and then motored through with a 3 knot following current...we were doing 9kts under the bridge!  West winds started to pick up again as we passed Cornet Bay and we sailed most of the way to Coupeville, motoring through a few wind shadows.  Winds were such we were able to stay in the channel easily.

Winds were in our face when we rounded Strawberry Point and into Penn Cove.  Since the day had been good, but long, we motored the final 6nm to the Coupeville dock, making things ship shape while underway.  The available shower made the overnight moorage reasonable.  Shoreline walking path to right off the wharf lead to Town Park and made for an easy dog walk.  Toby's Tavern was a few blocks to the left off the wharf.

Monday, April 18, 2016

27-28Sep2015: Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  0-10.  Seas:  <1ft.

Kelly was off to Austin, Texas on an annual pilgrimage/spiritual renewal with a great friend.  The supermoon lunar eclipse hype had been going on for days.  I wanted to see it.  However, we live on the west side of a mountain with great views to the west...not so much to the east.

So, I loaded up the mutts, moved aboard Strider and shoved off, stopping by the fuel dock to extend the amas - our slip is too narrow to extend both.  Once extended and out in Burrows Channel, there was a nice breeze and out came the screacher and Strider was making 6kts.  Midway across Rosario, the wind died and we motored towards Thatcher Pass.  Inside the pass, the wind picked up and once again, we sailed all the way to the south side of Frost Island and Spencer Spit.  Only one mooring ball was available and I quickly snatched it.

From there, it was just a matter of waiting.  Took the dogs ashore a couple times and let them run on the beach, chasing seagulls, splashing in the water and covering themselves with sand.  Back aboard, I washed them off, getting the salt and sand out.  Dinner, a boat chore or two and simply relaxing with a book.

Around 1915, the sky clear above, a marine haze low and the sun still high to the west, my brother in Michigan calls.  He and his family have been outside with a campfire, watching the eclipse.  "Whatta you see?" he asked.  "Nothing, the sun is still up."  "But what does it look like?"  "NOTHING, the sun has not set yet!"  "Oh, I thought it would be neat to talk about what we were seeing together."  "Yep," I responded, "but I need another hour."  "Well, we've been watching it for a couple hours now and are going to bed."  "Roger."

About an hour later, I thought I saw something through the marine layer.  Got the binoculars out and sure enough, it was the moon, a lot higher in the sky than I thought it would be.  Damn marine layer.  30 minutes later, the moon was high enough above the layer to be clearly visible.

I think I was expecting more drama, a clear, definitive line like I'd seen in other eclipses.  There was no line per say, just a gradual shadow to light.  I watched for 15min and realized this was going to be slow.  So, I grabbed my book and read for 30min.  Looked up and not much had changed...really slow.  Around 2045, still not much change and with cruiser's midnight approaching, I went to bed.

The next morning, took the dogs to the beach and let them run again.  Back aboard, breakfast and coffee.  Sun was up.  Bored.  Life aboard Strider without Kelly is boring.  No wind, didn't want to wait.  Motored back to Skyline, stopping at the fuel dock to fold.

Unbeknownst to me, this would be the last outing of a most excellent year:  San Juans, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, clams, fireworks, orca, Roscoe Bay and Black Lake!  Shore life caught up with us and we found it tough to even get out for a boat visit.  October would be our best grape harvest ever and grapes needed crushing, soaking and pressing - into November.  Just as the apples were ripening, a black bear decided to visit and eat most of them...had some beautiful honeycrisp...sniff sniff.  The worst part of bear event was it appeared the apples just passed right through it, leaving piles of applesauce in the orchard, along with claw marks on the trees.  Thanksgiving saw us in Maui.  December and the entire winter was the rainiest on record, with storm after storm coming through.  Then, late December, while stopped at a light, Kelly was rear ended totaling the Honda.  Cannot divulge specifics, lets just say she was hurt badly.

As I write this in April, spring has sprung, Kelly is on the mend and this man's eye is being teased by thoughts on the water.  The mast, needing work, is next to the garage.  New solar panels have been ordered and the hull needs a little fiberglass work at the mast base.  Soon.  Soon!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Thursday, 27August2015: Roche to Skyline

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

Motored out of Roche around 0745, using the northeastern entrance for the first time.  Lots of sea grass and we coasted over a couple spots to avoid entanglement.  Slow going in the Speiden Channel with opposing currents.  Once in the San Juan Channel, speed picked up.  Once across, chose to go to the south side of Crane Island, avoiding the currents on the north side.  Pretty much the standard route to and through Thatcher Pass, across the Rosario to the fuel dock at Skyline.

Strider was folded for the first time in a month while on the fuel dock.  Took precautions since we did not know how the new backstays were going to handle it.  No problems!  Refueled and cracked a beer at noon in our home slip.