We have had some swings in the weather this February. It seems that the middle of the month will be snowy, windy, and "wicked" cold. After a warm days working outdoors around the house, it snowed. What makes it all the more tolerable is the sun. Sunrise and sunset times are spreading apart. A sunny day after snow is very pretty. Maybe invigorating?
We assembled the table saw, moved it outdoors and started making a template for our new main cabin table. Here, Norm tests the template which was close. A few notes about adjustments and we'll soon be dining in comfort.
Elizabeth looking ridiculous in her knitted cap. Making suggestions for adjustments to the new salon table.
Could not see out the window. Snow was frozen onto the screen
Normal Cape Cod snow event. Thankfully, we are not facing the 2015 snow events. We had over 70 inches of snow that winter.
Yes. Winter will be here for a while. Remarkably, conditions are warmish and snow free. A big storm is due in soon and it is all wind and rain. No shoveling. The earlier snow fall was melted in a few days. For my money, rain is great stuff... compared to snow.
Recently, we moved the boat from her earlier dock space to another. A special feature is that now I can keep the bottom scrubbed on both sides. To do each side, we just slide the boat over a bit and scrub away. The white color bottom paint shows the slime better than any other color. When we get the brown smudge, out comes the brush. Mama would like me to be as attentive to the house!
Thanks to Harwichport Boat Yard for the work they do and all the help they have provided.
Late in 2016, we removed the engine, rebuilt it, painted the engine space, reinstalled the engine and though everything was hunky dory. Well, it wasn't The engine didn't start every time so we replaced the started motor. The engine still didn't start every time so we replaced the wiring harness.
Yanmar wiring harnesses are comprised of three parts, the engine section and the key-switch and engine indicator panel section and a midsection of an appropriate length that connects the engine to the panel. We discovered the mid section was burned out.
Pop quiz sailors... can you purchase a mid section?
You are right, we replaced everything from the diesel to the panel and the panel. It works and looks great.
Our original starter motor was a randomly operating device. Seemed to have a "Flat Spot." After years of putting up with the annoyance, we replaced the starter. Yes. We know. It should have been done last month when the engine was on the bench.
We went over to New Bedford, MA and bought a new one. Son Zachary directed us to Niemiec Marine on Pope Island for the part. They had it on the shelf. For about $400, we got it off their shelf and into our car.
Back at the boat, we had the old one out and the new one in within a half hour. Once we got the right tools in hand the job was simple. The job called for a 14mm socket and 7 inches of extensions between the socket and ratchet. See the bolt-head in the center of the picture? That one and its mate on the other side graced us with easy removal. After a few hours of engine operation, we will tighten the bolts again.
The engine fired right up faster than ever before.
One of the things we forgot was a necessary repair to the shroud to mast connection points. Sunday, Zach, Elizabeth and Norm unstepped the mast. We removed the forestay and one T-ball backing plate. It has a small crack, as do they all. We will replace all in the next week or so. Maybe mast up after that!
Averisera is pictured mast down. Monday, Plan A is to get the five new fittings and make the mast ready for mast up.
A trip to Fairhaven, to see if we can replicate the backing plates is next on the list. Oh boy! A drive off Cape!
Update: We got off-Cape on Tuesday to find the rigging parts we need. First stop was Fairhaven and Rigging Only. They were very helpful but did not have the correct part. Tom did take the time to explain a few things about the backing plates and their installation. It is very helpful to have a pro explain something and confirm what us amateurs think to be true. Rigging Only will make us a new forestay while we're at it. Thanks, Tom. Great doing business with you.
We telephoned a company called Rig Rite in Rhode Island. They do not have a retail store. Too bad since we were nearby and could have picked up the pieces that day. Fortunately I had the part number so I was permitted to place an order.
For the time being, we have a winter berth at Harwichport Boat Yard, thanks guys. After two years on the hard, Averisera needs to settle in to a water berth. We see evidence of her benefitting.
A chore we failed to put on the list of jobs is a replacement of the shroud T-fitting reinforcements. They are cracked and probably have been for some time. So, we will unstep the mast, replace the failed parts and restep the rig.
The forestay fits into the opening above the sheaves. The bottom of the fitting is worn and cracked. How did we (more like, me !) leave this off the list. There are five such fittings and they probably cost a hundred bucks all told.
First of all: we love Thanksgiving Weekend for so many reasons, mostly it is family and all the good things family means. Thanksgiving Day was shared with our Cape Cod family. The days that follow, the weekend, are special since we do get together with more family, eat some more, tell some more stories and have fun together. Special thanks to Zach and Tab for hosting The Dinner.
Saturday, we took Marina and Zephyros out for a motor around on Averisera. It was cold so Marina was below most of the time and she made Norm a cuppa. Thanks. Z got fitted out in a PFD and a safety harness. This allowed him roam around on deck while clipped into the jacklines he rigged.
What's happening down South for sailors? Lots, it seems. In 2004, Norm took a 45 footer, Rumor, to the Caribbean and "did the circuit." It was five main races and a couple of minor ones. There were a few pure race boats for charter. These days, not so. Some of the world's top racing yachts are competing. Now, there are over a dozen races including the five majors.
The major regattas are Grenada, St Thomas, BVI, St Maarten, and Antigua.If one rolls in the minors, a great cruising season presents itself. The minors aren't unworthy of attention, just not reported widely in the yachting press. Watch for the Mount Gay Around Barbados series to gain traction in the world yachting press.
Here's the Plan A:
Sail from the US East Coast to the USVI in October or November. Sooner is better if hurricanes permit. Race the races and cruise between regattas. What a winter!
Dates for 2016/17 season.
1. St Croix International: Nov 11-132. Jolly Harbour Antigua: Nov 19-203. St Lucia Mango Bowl: Nov 25-274. St.Maarten YC: Dec 2-45. Antigua YC high Tide Series: Dec 18-226. Jolly Harbour Antigua Pursuit Race: Dec 317. Around Barbados Regatta: Jan 16-248. Grenada Sailing Week: Jan 28-Feb 29. Jolly Harbour YC Valentine's Day Regatta: Feb12-1510. Around Martinique: Feb 19-2111. St Maarten Heineken Regatta: Mar 4-612. St Thomas International Regatta: Mar 25-2713. BVI Spring Regatta:Mar 28-Apr 314. Guadeloupe to Antigua Race: Apr 2915. Antigua Sailing Week: April 30-May 516. Nevis Booby Island Regatta: April 30-May 2 (Conflicts with Antigua Sailing Week)
Sail back to the USA for a rest and refit! You might even make it to Cape Cod in time for the FIGAWI Race on Memorial Day Weekend.
So: If you have a boat and the time, sail down in the Fall and sail back in the Spring and sail like crazy all winter. Except for the Antigua/Nevis conflict, a yacht can do them all. Some might even have a nice cruise between events.
Plan B? Make your own schedule: http://caribbean-sailing.com/