Friday: Cold room, hard bed, one pillow, cold shower & less water.
Who knows where we are?
Putting “Down” Time to good use.
As the Admiral has mentioned I have been putting in some volunteer time at the Beaufort Maritime Museum Watercraft Center. They are a non profit organization attached to the museum that restores wooden heritage boats of all shapes and sizes. We are currently working on a 1920′s era life boat that is in pretty bad shape and beyond being restored to a sea going vessel. Surprisingly a lot of the original wood is in pretty good shape once you get rid of the surface degradation. Structurally however it would require too much money to get ready for sea. It is being cleaned up and cosmetically prepared for a static display at the Cape Hataras Maritime museum.
Another on going project is the production and repair of Optimist Class sailing prams for the museums’ junior sailing program. I have been working with Walter in making two new sailing prams for the up coming season. They are basically a marine ply structure with laminated pressure treated yellow pine gunwales and two thwarts which are built around a core mould and surprisingly strong and rigid once glued up with epoxy.
Last year they also made an Essex sailing dinghy which is up for raffle and can be viewed at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.
Essex Sailing Dinghy
I have ordered a set of plans for myself for a future project. I enjoy working at the Watercraft Center and can make use of the facilities for the odd ” government” job and so far have managed to make a small shelf for the galley aboard “ONEDAY” . Another side benefit is tapping in to the boat design knowledge of the other volunteers for advice on my own design of a touring kayak/canoe which I hope to build this summer.
Last week we were treated to a delicious luncheon which was put on at the Museum for the volunteers and their spouses.
Another treat was in store for us when Walter one of my fellow volunteers from the Watercraft Center invited us both to his home in Atlantic Beach for dinner. Walter very kindly picked us up in his car from the docks and drove us to his home via the scenic route. Walter’s wife had prepared a most enjoyable dinner for us which we appreciated very much. It was great being able to get away from the confines of the boat for a while with the added bonus of enjoying good company. Tomorrow evening we have ben invited to dinner at a Country Club in Atlantic Beach. Knowing that we do not have ready transportation, friends have offered to pick us up and drive us home also – We are really getting a taste of “Southern Hospitality”.
There is still some trouble shooting to do with our boat electronics which has been delayed due to stormy, icy, windy weather in Beaufort but hopefully I will be able to get it sorted out this week.
Doing what I love
being where I love to be
being with the man I love.
Does it get much better than this? – Not for me it doesn’t.
Last week was so very cold on SV “Oneday”. For 4 days we had to hunker down, don our cozy hand knits and adapt to whatever Mother Nature had in store for us.
First there was the freezing rain, which covered “Oneday” in a thick layer of ice. Next came the snow – yes snow!! I know that compared to the conditions at home in Ontario, it was nothing very unusual. The point is we are not at home and we do not have the comforts of home that most people take for granted. We were indeed lucky to have our tiny little plug in heater, (were we at anchor, then that would not be an option), but the poor thing just could not keep up with the freezing cold temperatures. Also, while living aboard, we can only ever have one electrical appliance turned on at any given time, as dictated by our 30 amp shore power service. We became experts at managing those appliances very efficiently. Even with the heater going full blast, our inside overnight temperature dipped to 5 degrees celsius and our bathroom temperature was well below freezing with ice surrounding the windows. It was mandatory that we both went to bed each night at the same time in order to conserve body heat!!
Showering was even more of a challenge, especially when I realized that my body wash gel had frozen!! Organization was of utmost importance.
It was a dark and gloomy 4 days as we could not even open our skylights for fear of loosing the little heat that we had.
It was too dangerous to leave the boat because the floating docks were in the same condition as our boat and just like a floating skating rink with frigid water either side should we fall.
However, as always, we put the time to very good use. I learnt as much as I possibly could about as many things as was possible ……………… I worked on my pattern designing and knitting ……………….. and I started to make plans as to how I would be spending my summer this year when home in London ON.
Tony made plans of a different nature ………………. he started designing a 14′ canoe/kayak which he hopes to build one day. He was also working on designing a “hard” dodger to replace the canvas one on our boat.
So, the moral of this story is:
Deal with what life throws your way and make the most of the situation, there’s always much to be grateful for.
A big thank you goes out to those of you who reached us via e mail, the Blog, Twitter and Facebook by sending us your warm thoughts and words – you know who you are (some of you we have not had the pleasure of meeting yet). You cannot imagine just how much that helped.
Yesterday was a relatively calm day compared to the high wind days we have become used to as of late. We decided to take SV Oneday out for a little “Sea Trial”.
Leaving and returning to our berth at the Beaufort Town Docks is a little tricky and especially so when the wind never seems to cooperate with the current and tide. However, we needed to “swing the compass” and take our boat out for a test run since receiving out Course Computer back from Ray Marine.
To “swing the compass” we had to get to a wide and deep body of calm water where we could do several 360 degree circles. This should enable our course computer to determine the amount of “deviation” on our boat. If we were to sail due North according to our compass, we would miss the North Pole by approximately 12 degrees due to the variation (as noted on our charts) between “true” North and “magnetic” North. Deviation is the amount of error introduced on SV “ONEDAY” due to magnetic influences caused by such things as the mass of the metal engine, induced magnetic fields due to using our boat inverter, battery charger and any other ferrous metal objects which may or may not, from time to time, affect the actual reading of the compass. So, there you have it, a lesson on swinging the compass for those of you not familiar with boating things. We went in numerous rotations and were not able to determine the amount of deviation due to another navionics error, which has yet to be determined.
It was very cold out there in the Ocean and Captain Tony almost froze (I had the sunny seat). Oh yes, we had a “low battery” alarm and when I checked, no, our house batteries and our engine batteries registered as being charged to capacity. So, apparently, all has not yet been fixed. It’s a boat after all and it’s an on going adventure into mystery solving.
However, early this morning, Tony went for a nice run and I for a power walk, followed by coffee in the cockpit. So life is good and we are continuing to enjoy beautiful Beaufort NC and as far as we are concerned, a much better alternative to snowy London ON.
As readers of my blog, you will know that Tony and I have been forced to stay in Beaufort NC. This has not been a bad thing and we are both thoroughly enjoying ourselves and making the very best of the situation.
Tony will be writing a post at some point in time about his pursuits, but for now this is all about me!!
Knitting and designing will never fail to keep me entertained and I have been using this current “down time” to further explore the wonderful world of Double Knitting – I’m not talking about a weight of yarn, but a style of knitting. Last summer I spent numerous hours preparing a class and compiling a lengthy hand out and an entry level pattern – “Cell Mitt” (available at London Yarns and here) and subsequently taught the very basics of DK. However, this subject is so vast and the possibilities are endless and the more I delve, the more I find. Many of you realize that the type of knitting that excites me is the “thinking outside of the box” variety rather than the “ho hum” type and DK most certainly fits the bill.
Double Knitting is a way of knitting a double faced fabric while knitting both sides at the same time. It is perfect for any project that needs help in the warmth department!! It can be worked from top to bottom, bottom to top, inside to outside or outside to inside, circularly and flat. Add to this a second colour and DK will produce a perfectly mirrored colour image on the second side.
Who knew that an “alternative rotation” purl stitch would make so much sense. When making a conventional purl stitch, the yarn used is slightly more than when making a knit stitch. This isn’t too critical in “normal” knitting, but with DK, because the two sides (pieces) are being worked at the same time, the purled stitches, if purled normally will be slightly larger and looser than the knit stitches and this will eventually make one side of the fabric a little longer and looser than the other side. To compensate for this, rotate the yarn clockwise around the needle tip (anti clockwise is the normal way). This will result in an unconventionally mounted stitch on the following row or round which has to be addressed, but is only a very slight inconvenience and in actual fact, because of the way I knit, I find this to be a more efficient way to purl. I have been Double Knitting using this purl technique and I like the result and possibly will be purling my stitches this way regardless of what type of knitting I will be doing in the future. Currently I am working away at a rather large DK project which involves a beautiful multi coloured fingering weight yarn (Kauni Effektgarn) and very much enjoying the process. The work is slow going because I am in the process of training my hands and fingers to knit differently than my usual way. It has been challenging at times but I do love a challenge!!
When teaching my classes, I am in the habit of taking along a knitted and felted basket. When I initially knit this, 2 or 3 years ago, I didn’t write an actual pattern but made some notes, which was fortunate. I have received several requests for the pattern, so recently I decided to work on this. I have just about finished the pattern writing and test knitting but because the basket requires “felting” I will wait until the Spring when I will have access to my own washer and can be completely in charge of the felting process. I will then be able to do a photo shoot and at that time I will self publish this pattern. It already has a new and original name, which at the moment will not be revealed. When choosing a name for my patterns, I always do an extensive search to make sure that my chosen pattern name has not already been used in any way by another designer. I only wish that other “designers” would do likewise. That is my pet peeve for this post.
Last month I started to knit a small Moebius project and to my horror found that my Knit Picks interchangeable needles were not up for the job. I did some research and ordered a more suitable needle.
The needle arrived promptly at the Beaufort Docks. Oh my, was I in for a treat when I took the needle out of its plastic pouch. As any knitter will know, the cable of a circular needle will always have a mind of its own and requires a hot water treatment to make the needle useable. Not in this case – the cable sprung into a perfect, non kinked shape and was immediately ready for knitting. Of course, my Captain realized why – the cable is a multi strand, nylon coated and memory free steel one. Not only is the cable memory free, but the cable/needle tip connection is silky smooth and the needle tips are pointed perfectly.
Hello ChiaoGoo ………….. Goodbye Knit Picks. It did not take me long to decide that Linda was going to treat herself to some new tools. A complete set has sizes ranging from 2.75mm to 10.00mm with 2 sets of different sized cables which accommodate both the smaller and larger sizes of needle tips. What a wonderful gift – thank you Linda!!
I ordered my new “tools” from Fibre Space in Alexandria VA and even though the holidays were in full swing, I received my gift within 3 business days and Fibre Space paid for the shipping. My needle set was gift wrapped and included a gift card also – no I did not ask them to do this for me!! Fibre Space certainly know what “customer service” is all about, in fact, so do all of the other business that I have recently dealt with for yarn purchases (love the easy access to beautiful yarns) and other commodities. There are a few businesses in ON that could take a lesson from these U.S. companies and while they are at it, learn how to look after and respect their staff, who after all, make the money for the retailers!!
ChiaoGoo pron Chau Gu and interpreted is: ”Crafty Lady” ……….. yes, that’s perfect for me.
The saga continues. When leaving Deltaville we thought that our electronics problems were solved. However, when approaching the upper reaches of the Elizabeth River towards Norfolk, as the wind and current kicked in……”no pilot alarm”…..”position fix lost”…….”lamp off”. ”Murphy” had returned. I did a lot of trouble shooting between Norfolk and Beaufort and eliminated most of the causes due to faulty connections, discontinuity in the “Seatalk” cables and cables being connected in the wrong sequence. This left one of three problem areas, the Fluxgate Compass, the Course Computer and the Chart Plotter itself. Since the Chart Plotter seemed to be displaying all of the data, even if incorrectly, I decided to concentrate on the Fluxgate Compass and the Course Computer. I knew that I would not have any resources to effect a repair on the Course Computer other than examining the PCI boards and looking for burst capacitors, swollen resistors, or anything untoward such as corrosion between the various elements. Everything appeared to be OK. So, on to the Fluxgate Compass. Basically a soft iron core surrounded by a variety of small wound coils suspended on a gimbal interrupting the magnetic field set up by the core. As the boat turns, the Earth magnetic field affects the relationship between the central core and the induced magnetic fields within the small surrounding coils. This relational change can be sensed, measured and analyzed by the course computer and then sent via “Seatalk” to the Chart Plotter and Autopilot.
Reason dictated that if I dismounted the Fluxgate Compass and rotated it slowly whilst having all of the instruments turned on, I should see a corresponding rotation on the Chart Plotter……..nothing.
This meant one of three things, either the Fluxgate Compass was not working, there was poor connectivity to the Course Computer, or the Course Computer was defective.
I now had enough information to talk reasonably intelligently to a Raymarine repair technician who hopefully would be able to shed some light on the situation. I was given the necessary information and readings to be expected when using a Multi Meter to check the Fluxgate Compass. So one fairly delicate piece of equipment to take apart and check. Everything seemed to be in order, all of the required readings were within tolerance, all of the connections were sound and there was good continuity in all of the wires coming from the Compass to the Course Computer.
Further consultation with Raymarine led to the conclusion that the Course Computer should be returned to their repair centre in Nashua NH. So, that is where we are at, of course I could still be wrong and there is something else that I have missed. The Course Computer was dispatched over a week ago but we have heard nothing other than that the parcel was delivered by the US Postal service.
All of the above diagnostics were done while we were at anchor. Once the Course Computer was sent to Raymarine, we had to wait and were at the mercy of the weather, current and tide. We decided that the only sensible thing to do was to get a good monthly rate at the Beaufort Town Docks. So here we sit at the dock in Beaufort NC, waiting. However, there are far worse places to be than beautiful Beaufort.
There is a “silver lining” but that will have to wait until the next blog post.
Tony and I wish all of our family, friends and readers Good Health and Happiness in the New Year.
Here’s an interesting take on a Christmas tree as seen in Beaufort this morning.
The decorations are empty wine bottles!!
Unfortunately we are not able to spend the holidays with our family, but as always, we are so close in thought and send you all our special love.
Wishing all of our readers a Very Happy Christmas from the Captain and Admiral of SV Oneday in beautiful Beaufort NC.
We should have known it – It’s Friday the 13th – We are on our sailboat, in the middle of nowhere – Guess who arrives to greet us this 3 degree Celsius (inside the boat) morning …………….. Yes, that would be “Murphy”.
Need I go on ………….. No, it’s over to your Mr. Captain, Tony, Sir, Master and fixer of most things ……………
We were up at 0515 with the intention of leaving at first light which would enable us to get to our next anchorage in good time for a cocktail in the cockpit, a first for quite some time. I went up to start the engine and give it time to warm up before departure. Turn the key….engine blower on…….good sign……turn the key a bit more……..nothing! Bad sign. Everything off, try again…nothing. Check the starter battery status. OK. ?
Check the voltage at the switch. OK.
We are not going to have an early “start”.
On to the engine. Give the starter solenoid a couple of good whacks. Try again. Nothing.
Check the solenoid connections to and from the battery. OK. Disconnect the cables, check for continuity and clean the contact surfaces.
Check the solenoid supply from the starter switch………loose and slightly corroded.
Clean and pinch in the spade terminal to make better contact.
Replace everything, check connections, say a few nice words to Murphy.
Try again…….bingo. Nothing sounds better than a soft rumbling diesel.
Why was the spade terminal loose, surely the idiot that made the connection in the first place would have sensed that it was not that tight, and while we are at it, why not put a little contact grease on there before making the connection. Also for any Yanmar or Beneteau “engineers” ( and I use the term sparingly ), why put a coolant pipe with a dissimilar metal drain cock right above the starter/solenoid AND a quick disconnect from the engine wiring harness to the boat harness…..#@&&&%! IDIOTS.
Also,for the “engineers”. Dissimilar metals corrode due to galvanic action, especially in a saline environment. This particular case of BAD ENGINEERING has caused many issues due to faulty contacts in the past. We now have a fixed soldered connection away from any possible leaks. Again for the “engineers” when water drips, gravity takes it down towards the bilge, DO NOT PUT WIRING CONNECTIONS UNDER ANYTHING THAT CAN DRIP. #@&&&%! IDIOTS.
One hour later…..off we go!
We are a sailboat, however on a trip like this it is, at best, a motor sailing trip. It is not like being offshore where we can choose our point of sail. We are confined by fairly narrow channels with foul ground either side. We also need the engine to charge the batteries periodically and use the engine to assist with anchoring procedures. It is also necessary when things get squirly and we have to get out of harms way …….in a hurry.
Later ……………….Today, the sun shone on us – still cold, but a lot better than the past week in terms of weather. When we arrived at Bear Creek (our overnight anchorage), we both enjoyed a welcomed shower with actual hot water, thanks to the motor being on all day – another added bonus. So, there was a little “silver lining” after all.
P.S. This post will be late because both our WiFi and our Cell ‘Phone have malfunctioned/let us down. I didn’t know that “Murphy” had an interest in those devices!! We will have to try and get this fixed when we reach Beaufort NC.