Fully Charged and ready to go!!!

  
It’s seems like I am getting lots of little things done to the boat now and when I was down there I noticed one of the batteries was not fully charged. I have been keeping an eye on it and it’s not taking a charge. It’s 11 years old so I figure it’s time to swap it out. I replaced the starting battery about 2 years ago and now the deep cycle battery appears to be going. So I looked around. West Marine has a Group 24 Deep Cycle Marine battery for $160. Online I found a few at $100. I then used Gojgle to find things I stock nearby and Wal-Mart shows up…for $78!  What?!?!  Can’t be. I look at the specs and it’s rated a MORE powerful battery than the West Marine battery. I was still a tad bit skeptical so I pulled the batter and took it to Wal-Mart to match it up physically as well. Yup exact match. Dropped it in and I’m on the the next job!  Maintenance wise the boat is ready to go. Planning a Catalina trip next month so I am just getting all the ‘I’s’ dotted and ‘T’s’ crossed.   Now that I have that done….time for some sailing!!!!

Bottom paint and wax!!!

Its that time again!  Sent the boat to Balboa Boat Yard for bottom paint and Pat also installed the Raymarine/Tack Tick speed and depth transducers in the hull for the new instrument install. Now it was time for the waxing. I got out my buffer and grabbed some one step 3M Polish and Wax and started to buff. It was about a 6 hour job but what a transformation!!!  I even got the scrapes and scratches from the slip off the side of the hull! On to the stainless, then to replace the winch covers and paint some trim. Re varnish some wood, and tidy up the interior. The instrument install is not as easy as expected….more on that coming up. For now enjoy some pics of a freshly waxed Santana 30!

 
   
    
    
   

Cuajota goes Racing?

BR-2014-bluheader-newsletterD

Thats the plan! I have been thinking about doing this for a few years and now is the time! I plan on doing a FEW races next year for the 2015 Yacht Racing season. The first one will be the longest distance I have travelled by boat…Newport Beach to San Diego. Its called the Border Run and its a low key all boats invited race. Alot of people use this as a tuneup for the more hardcore Newport To Ensenada Race. The Border Run is Feb. 22nd 2015. I am gonna do a countdown to the race and document the training and preparation that will go into getting things ready for the race. This will be intense and fun!

Step 1 is to assemble a crew…Let the fun begin!!

[fergcorp_cdt]

Catalina Video!

I have been working on editing a quick video of the Catalina trip.  Most of the footage is iPhone 5s, with the exception of 3 GoPro clips.  Pretty amazing what you can do with an iPhone and a laptop these days.

 

 

[quicktime]http://johnrhonemedia.com/cuajota/movies/CuajotaCatalina.mov[/quicktime]

Saying goodbye to Catalina

20140508-123016.jpg

What an amazing trip. Jaime (damn can he cook!) grilled tri tip and sausages on the beach at Two Harbors and we laughed and told stories. Woke up this morning took a nice long walk to Catalina Harbor and saw the pacific on the west side of the island. It was amazing. Now we are motoring back and hoping to get some wind so we can open up the sails and sail on home. The forecast is 13 knots so we should have a mellow sail back in. The next trip is a 3 day around the island.

Enjoy some of the images.

20140508-123122.jpg

20140508-123059.jpg

Weather Delay

[fergcorp_cdt]

 

Because of the weather forecast, I have decided that the safety of the crew and the boat are of the utmost  importance and because there is a forecast of gale force winds with gusts of up to 40 mph and waves in the 10 ft area, its not a safe thing to do…so We are delaying the trip for 24 hours at this point and are going to reassess the situation tomorrow.  Here is a quick look at the weather data…

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 6.40.07 PM

 

Tuesday morning the wind goes from big to wild…then goes to 30 mph with gusts to 40.  Wave height is 9 feet with an 8 second interval.  If we went we would be miserable.  So we can wait a day, its forecast to be 4 feet waves and 15 mph winds.  Much better for sailing.

Countdown to Catalina 2…..

[fergcorp_cdt]

20140505-003604.jpg

Less than 25 hours to go!!

Been prepping the boat for Catalina…

Flares, check.

PFD’s check

First Aid Kit, check

Check engine fluids, check

Fill up tank with Diesel, check

Wash the boat, check

Wax transom (was VERY oxidized!), check

My list of things to do is getting shorter and shorter!  This will be the 3rd trip across the channel for me on Cuajota and may be the most challenging.  Gale force warning will be in effect for part of the trip.  I’ll have my heavy 125 jib up on the boat and will be prepared to reef the main.  The plan is to get across the channel early in the morning, get settled in at Two Harbors and if the weather permits do some sailing in the afternoon.  The next day enjoy a nice breakfast, do some exploring, then head back to the mainland in the afternoon and be back around sunset.  In putting my list together there are a few things I just have never had on the boat.  Flares…never had them, so I got a nice gun and day/night flares.  Spare winch handle…Really?  I only have had ONE working winch handle on the boat for 3 years…being mostly a singlehanded sailor, I can only grind one at a time, but what if I dropped it???  Yeah, better have a backup, better yet, how about use a brand new one and use the current one as a backup.  So got a nice new floating winch handle.  First Aid Kit…had bandaids and things like that, but never a general purpose first aid kit in case someone got hurt.  So added that. Gotta be prepared for anything right?

Countdown to Catalina!

[fergcorp_cdt]

looking-towards-cat-harbor1

Catalina Island Backside

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.44.01 AM

Planning a 2 day trip with the guys on Cuajota over to Catalina.  The plan is to shoot around to the back side of Catalina and possibly circumnavigate the island then head back to Newport Beach.  Right now I am prepping the boat, and making sure all the safety gear is aboard and up to date, flares, first aid kits, PFD’s, etc…Gonna check the engine fluids and battery levels just to make sure everything is ready to go.  I will be a little short on sails, My 155 was damaged in the wind storm last week so that takes my light air big sail out of teh equation.  The last time we came back from Catalina that sail was up and we FLEW back.  The only sail I will have ready is the 125.  A very nice sail, just not great in light air.  I have a 150 being converted from hanks to a furling genoa but it may not be ready by Tuesday.

Weather….

Looks like there may be some rain, and may be some big wind in the 20 knot range.  Maybe reef the main and run that 125 jib.  Could be a bit of a rough trip…stay tuned!

 

 

Overpowering!

6a00d83451cb8069e201a73d98c896970d-800wi

 

Well I finally experienced it.  Nowhere close to the image above, but I felt it a bit…  When a sail is too big for the weather conditions they call it being overpowered.  Up to now I have not had that experience.  I went out for a sail again (2nd time this week!) and it was blowing about 15 knots.  I had the big 155 sail up and the fun began!  I sailed out of the harbor and the waves were a tad bit choppy and about 3-4 feet.  Nothing crazy.  The wind was a constant 15 knots or so.  The boat was well behaved, and powered up…but I was feeling a tad bit uncomfortable when it came to tacking.  So I did a few tacks…they were UGLY.  LOL.  Usually the sail went flying way to fast, the boat over rotated, and I ended up having to crank the sail in with the winch.  ALOT of work with the 155.  It was a handful singlehanded.  In hindsight I should have furled it in a bit to maybe a 125.  I am curious how that will affect the shape of the sail.  I stayed out a bit in those conditions.  I feel anytime I feel relatively safe and I can be in conditions that are usually different and challenging then its a wonderful experience.  So I did a few more tacks all relatively ugly and sloppy and stayed out long enough for a whale sighting!  That never gets old.  Its been 3 years and I am still loving the sailing life and learning more each outing.  Looking forward to this sailing season!