Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Project List Is Devouring My Calendar!

As a new boat owner, I am finding myself simultaneously smitten and overwhelmed. Steve is the Listking and has conveniently helped me to sort out all the things that must be done to Dervish before cruising season starts. He has posted a new list of my tasks along with his (much longer) list on the Live Page of his website. As things get finished we line them out and leave it for a few days so we can feel accomplished and show off to our friends how productive we are.

Before getting into the details of boat projects, I will assure you that I did get out sailing on an overnight trip to the homeland aka Camano Island. Steve crewed on the sail over which was predictably sweet, gentle and perfect. We grabbed a friend's buoy and had a glass of wine and some snacks aboard with Camano friends before going home for the night. The next day he drove back to Oak Harbor (where we moor) while my friend, Bonnie and I sailed Dervish. When we left Utsalady Bay it was warm and sunny with only a whisper of wind, but determined to sail back, I insisted we shut off the diesel. We drifted a bit trying to figure out how to capture the elusive and very squirrelly little puffs that came intermittently from the west, south or north. Then, as we rounded Rocky Point we found some wind. And boy did we! In less than five minutes it went from 3-4 knots to about 15! Yahoo! Dervish kicked up her heels and we were off! Before long we were facing whitecaps, a 20-25 knot southerly and 4 foot seas. A lot of fetch had built up in the mighty Saratoga Passage! When we hit 6.6 knots with the rail in the water, we discussed reefing, but decided to just hang on and sail a beam reach west across the passage. Once in the wind shadow we turned north for a downwind run to Oak Harbor. I can't even express how good this felt! I gained so much confidence both in myself as skipper and in my little boat. Even in those conditions, we were dry in the cockpit, and she held course without too much effort. Steve snapped this as we came into the marina after the epic crossing.

Once that trip was over it was time to get busy on the To Do list. One of the more frustrating projects is the repairing of my leaky Hillerange kerosene stove/oven. I really wish to keep this stove as it burns wonderfully hot, simmers well, doesn't have a risk of exploding and burning my boat to the waterline, and best of all, is already on the boat.

I considered replacing it with propane, but the cost of a new range, installation of an outside locker for fuel storage, venting (and all that goes with it), is more than I want to spend right now. Yet being able to cook is hugely important to me. I want to be able to make everything I love and bake goodies aboard. A one burner camping style cooking setup simply is not good enough for me. So, I have decided to roll up my sleeves and figure out how to repair the leaks. The problem is that the only place on earth I can find that sells replacement parts is in England, Base Camp Stoves. They have an old phone system and the message I get (at 8 am or past midnight-- time difference has its own challenges) states that their mailbox is full. I have tried three times now and no luck. I could order via email but need to talk to an expert to make sure I am ordering the right parts, especially since it will probably be a month before I get them anyway. Sigh. It could be awhile before that one gets crossed off. Meantime, I have to sop up leaked kerosene before starting the stove every time. This stinks!

Another issue I have run into that I thought would be easy, is putting the new name on. Turns out the old name is painted on and the hull is also painted. I can't sand off the lettering without sanding the entire transom and repainting. I have been collecting ideas on how to approach this, and purchased some nontoxic paint stripper to try. I do, however, have the new lettering and once the transom is bare, it will be trivial to put on the pretty new name in lovely copper-colored letters.

But I have managed to get a few projects completed. I have replaced the old Hawaiian floral curtains with some darker, heavier, ones.

Sewing curtains on Steve's mom's White in the cold, cold lab.

Insurance has been purchased and the Washington license numbers are now on. I am legal. I also acquired (thanks to a barter deal Steve did) an alcohol cabin heater, put nonskid patches on, put in a new fresh water pump (well, Steve did it really, but I could have) and purchased safety netting to keep Zubenelgenubi and crew aboard. I bought it from On Deck Sports because they had the best deal. It was just over half of what I would have paid for marine safety netting. It came with a convenient sewn rope border, UV protection and cut to size. I'll be installing it very soon and will try to put a picture up when it is done.

Speaking of pictures, the reason I don't have many photos this time, is because my camera died. If you (or anybody you know) has a digital camera with a decent zoom you'd like to sell, by all means contact me.

I am planning another trip to Olympia soon. My father has been having some health issues, and I'd like to be close for awhile. This will be a three day trip with two overnight stops. I need to refine my anchoring system a bit before leaving, but hope to get out in the next weather window. Until then I'll be taking on that To Do List with gusto!


Seven C's said...

Sounds like a wonderful sail! I would have loved to be on that sail :) She does like the wind!
I tried reefing the jib once - did no good. When you pull the line in to reef the line drive reefing, it may hold for a short time, but when a bit of a gust comes along, the wind causes the line to slip through the reefing unit and it all unfurls at the worst time! (Been there, done that!)
Sorry to hear the stove is leaking. Where is it leaking from? I had recently installed new burners in it. I love that stove also. It would be a headache to release all of the pressure in the tank after each use.

3brainer said...

Yes, it was a great sail. As to the reefing, I wondered if cleating it off would hold. Guess you've answered that. We had an idea that maybe we could drill a hole through the drum and pin it to prevent it from turning/slipping. I'd have to reef, then crawl forward to pin it each time. I don't know... hmm...

The front left burner is leaking badly from the bottom of the burner, filling the bottom cup (where the preheat alcohol goes) between each use. I have to swab it out or I have a risk of it igniting and smoking us out. From what I can gather, this means the nipple and needle rack interface with the spindle has been damaged.

There also appears to be a very slight leak behind the stove at the elbow where the fuel line comes in. That one is less of a problem, though I'd still like to fix it. As to releasing the pressure, even that doesn't work unless I have burned all the fuel in the line - which is quite a lot really.

julia moore said...

Oh Sky, you look so happy in your photo! You have transformed yourself into a sailor and your life into a living dream! Hope your Dad is comfie and you have a good visit in Oly. I want to connect for sure. Love, Julia
P.S. Your blog is going on my "blogs I follow list" right now, and my heart will go with you wherever you roam. said...

Hi Sky, I finally got your blog listed in my "Blogs I Follow" list on my blog. I will be patient for your next post, I know you have your hands full right now. Am thinking good thoughts for your family. It was fun seeing you, even if our conversation sounded mostly like a couple of old people complaining about our health. Things will get better. Love, Julia

Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

A.M. said...

The Dervish looks as beautiful and full of life as its captain! I love seeing photos of you being industrious and beaming!