Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Solar Eclipse

Maya tries out the solar eclipse glasses
Not much new to report.  I'm working charters on the east side of Vancouver Island while Tara's in Portland finishing the brightwork project.  She's got a couple coats of Natural Teak on the port side and making progress.  I really miss her and the girls but we do get to Skype almost daily.  Sometimes internet on the yacht is less than reliable depending on where we are.

Last week we had a solar eclipse with something like 99% of the sun blocked out.  The path of totality, where it became completely dark, passed through Oregon creating quite a bit of tourist activity being one of only two states where you could experience it on the beach.  The other was South Carolina.  Pretty cool, I was underway down the Columbia and it got dark enough to cause all the aids to navigation lights to come on.

I'll be doing the yacht thing for a couple more weeks returning to the family September 8th.  Really looking forward to getting home but it has been a fun job so far.  Yesterday a 200 foot yacht pulled into the marina were we're preparing for the next charter.  The boat I'm on is 108 feet according to the Coast Guard, 121 feet overall, but that thing made ours feel small!

With most everything ready to go for the next trip I'm taking a day off.  About to catch the next Coho ferry run across the straight to Victoria where I'll wander around and people watch.  We're currently docked in Port Angeles which is a relatively small town with a few touristy things but not a whole lot to do, and the 90 minute ferry ride is actually kind of cool and relaxing.

That's all for now.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Race Management, Re-bedding, Brightwork Progress

Race Committee Aboard Junovia
The first Monday of every month, after my day-job, I head to the Delta Park Elmer's where we hold board meetings for the Small Yacht Sailing Club of Oregon.  SYSCO is the organization that runs nearly all sailboat racing on the Columbia River in Portland.  Our primary events bring out over 100 boats and each boat carries an average of around six people, so it's a pretty happening deal.  In 2015 I became Vice-Commodore and Race Captain for the club which wound up taking way more time than I had expected.  But it has been an excellent learning experience and often loads of fun.  The normal routine is for VC's to move into the Commodore role for a year, assuming you didn't completely screw up and the membership votes you in.  By default the Commodore then serves as Rear Commodore for the next year to help smooth the transition for incoming officers, all of which I've done and now approaching the end of my tenure as an officer.

Pancho, the SYSCO Mark Boat
During this time I've been very active in managing both race organization and the actual races on the water.  It takes several people, known as the Race Committee, to run things on the water but there's always ultimately one person responsible and in charge known as the Principal Race Officer, or PRO.  Over the past few years I've served as PRO in dozens of regattas, as I've become more comfortable with calling the shots it's started to become really fun.  I'm now nearly done completing the process to become a certified club-level PRO with US Sailing.  I think this credential might come in handy to get involved in sailboat racing communities while we cruise around the world.

In other news I've been re-bedding our deck hardware replacing silicone and other old sealant materials with butyl tape.  Surprisingly, many of the bolt holes in the gelcoat that I assume were drilled by the manufacturer did not have countersinks and in some places spider cracks were forming below the hardware.  As I re-bed each part I'm adding countersinks that will both relieve the local stresses that cause spider cracks as well as provide a cavity in which I pack bits of butyl for waterproofing.

Replacing Screw Plugs And Repairing Cracks In The Brightwork
We're making good progress on the brightwork, although it was slowed a bit by a couple days of wet weather.  Tara just finished the first coat of Clear Gloss on the bowsprit and starboard rails Monday.  She has also stripped nearly all the old Cetol off the stern and port rails.  It looks like the project may slip past August but we're looking good to have everything complete before the Portland rainy season returns towards mid-September.

Next week I'm heading north aboard a yacht to work charters in the San Juan's and inside of Vancouver Island.  An eclipse of the sun is taking place Monday with the path of totality just south of us crossing through Central Oregon.  It should be interesting to be underway while that takes place.

Double Duty Aboard The Charter Yacht
The Cal 20 Fleet Approaches A Start

Monday, August 7, 2017

Refinishing Exterior Brightwork

Tara applies a coat of Natural Teak Cetol on the bowsprit
When we bought Junovia a few years ago the Cetol on her brightwork had already been neglected and was starting to peel off.  We were planning to completely strip and refinish it so just basically let it go while we took care of more pressing projects.  In some spots the teak became completely exposed and even turned gray.

On June 26th we began stripping the exterior wood starting with cabin-top handrails and eyebrow which are now finished.  The stairs were removed and also refinished during this time.  Stripping was done mostly with Tara using a heat gun and sharpened putty knife.  This is being followed by sanding the rest off with 60-80 grit sandpaper and then a finish sanding with 150 and then 220 grit.  A good wipe-down is then done with acetone before we tape and apply the first coat.  Saturday, August 5th, we finally finished prepping the starboard cap-rail, rub-rail & bowsprit and got the first coat on.  After much research and debate we decided to stay with Cetol putting down 3 coats of Natural Teak before 3 coats of Clear Gloss.  It's looking good!
Old Cetol Peeling Off

Going forward we're planning to do a light sanding and put down a layer of the Clear Gloss once or twice a year.  Completely stripping and re-finishing everything ourselves will hopefully help us stick to that plan.  I'm certainly hopeful this is the last time we'll do this to Junovia.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Busy, busy

Obviously the blog has been severely neglected while tons has been going on.  I want to set a goal to post weekly, even if the content is simply a picture-free list of what we did.

I can't recall everything that's happened for the past 1.5 years since the previous post.  It has been productive for sure and we're still pretty much on track to depart Portland next spring for some long-term cruising.  Starting to look like we might head up to Alaska for a season.

A few of the big happenings I can recall off the top of my head:

  • Had another baby in March, Morgan Ann Powning
  • Installed composting toilet in forward head
  • Replaced the cockpit enclosure
  • Installed refrigeration including a real freezer!
  • Started installation of hydronic heating system (about 2/3 complete)
  • Replaced water heater which had started leaking
  • Lots and lots of smaller maintenance and modification jobs
I'm still working full time doing software development, teaching occasional keelboat sailing classes and did a few yacht deliveries up and down the coast stretching from Cambell River on Vancouver Island to San Diego, CA.  Even got to compete in the Oregon Offshore race which was something that's been on my to-do list every since I learned of it 4 or 5 years ago.

Anywho, all is well.  Hopefully I'll manage to get an update for this week posted tonight.