This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Zee has almost completed reassembling the SABB diesel. Mark said that the head from the rear cylinder was in good condition and there was no case for replacing both heads with new ones. After a discussion we agreed to relocate the old but good head from the rear to the front cylinder, the weaker of the two, and the new head on the rear cylinder. The idea was to put the higher compression load on the rear cylinder which is in better shape.
Zee mounted the heads, adjusted the tapets, put the rocker covers, and part of the cooling system. He was not able to complete the work and test the engine because they are waiting on what I think is a replacement exhaust manifold.
Zee then turned his attention to the leaky muffler under the cockpit. He did a pretty heroic job if getting the two top batteries out of area and soon he was able to get to the muffler and remove it.
The muffler is a mess. We are pretty sure that the leak was coming from a partially collapsed collar on which one of the exhaust hoses was fitted. Water and steam were passing through a narrow channel where the collar had folded in. The interior of the muffler is a wreck, probably caused by the overheating and seizure of the engine when an inlet cooling water clamp failed somewhere between New Zealand and Tahiti. The muffler is a custom made one and it appears to Mark that the internals were not fabricated with heat resistant material. To him it looks like ordinary PVC. He and Zee will open it up and do a post mortem. The collapsed internals were causing a lot of back pressure which explains why I could not get more than 1300 rpm out of the engine after the seizure. With the replacement of the muffler there are prospects a better running engine with less compression load on the cylinders, and no water leaks!
They have ordered a custom-built muffler to be fabricated heat resistant material. Delivery will take about two days so we will be happy if the engine is ready on Friday.
The top photo gives a glimpse of the interior of the muffler. The second photo is of the muffler. The other photos are of Zee at work reassembling the engine. The head painted red is the new one.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
We rented an Oldsmobile Cutlass and did a two day tour around the Olympic peninsula on Thursday and Friday 24-25 September. We did a counter clockwise circumnavigation, starting off by heading west on Hwy 101 from Port Townsend through Port Angeles.
Our first stop was for a cup of coffee at Madison Falls which although is not spectacular this time of the year is in a splendid forest setting. At the Elwha river, a classical trout stream where we had parked the car, Brenda saw an "American Dipper" literally walking along the bottom of the river searching for food.
We then passed Lake Sutherland then enjoyed the spectacular views of Lake Crescent. Western Australians are not accustomed to seeing large fresh water lakes that are 600 ft deep.
We had lunch in a little public park at Lake Pleasant to the sound of the workings of a timber mill. (All morning we had seen a steady stream of logging trucks heading east.)
Then it was on to Ruby Beach which to us looked beautiful but uninviting and wild. It was there that Brenda had her first close look at a chipmunk. We then drove along the coast road and decided to bypass a visit to the Hoh rain forest in order to spend more time in the Quinault area. We checked into the Quinault lodge at about 4.30 PM.
The main building of Quinualt Lodge was built around 1910 and is a large and solid log building typical of the times. We had booked a lakeside room on the top floor of a separate 3 story building built much more recently. We spent several hours that night in the large, stately, and very comfortable guest lounge with the warmth of a wood fire in a large fire place and overlooked by the head of a large elk which the plaque claimed had died of natural causes. There was not a TV in sight. People were chatting, reading, playing board games, or just quitely contemplating the atmosphere. Brenda and I found a quiet corner and did some internet work and spoke with Stephen via Skype. It was during this session that I saw Mark's message that the parts for the SABB diesel had arrived. The good news was that Mark had all of the parts that had been ordered. The bad news was that they had shipped two heads instead of one.
The next morning we went for a short walk along the lake side and soon after checking out visited the world's largest Spruce tree (about 1000 years old). We then drove on to Gray's Harbor in search of a highly recommeded bird sanctuary near the airport. We failed at first and Brenda did about 45 minutes observation along the coast line of Gray's Harbor. We then had a second attempt and found the bird sanctuary well inside the airport grounds. The sanctuary is a large area of mud flats and some higher ground. A long walkway has been built enabling visitors to make a good survey of the area. It was a bit late in the year for seeing migratory (to the southern hemisphere) birds, which Brenda thinks we may have missed by only about two weeks.
On the way back to the car I spotted an small airplane of interest and asked the person working on it if I could take a photo. The man was George Harrington, who owns four airplanes and has a yacht in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. He took great interest in our sailing experience between New Zealand and Juan de Fuca. He and his wife have had the boat in NZ for nine years and visit every year for six months. However, he is thinking of sailing on, possibly around around the Horn to Uruguay.
The airplane he was working was a Stinson. Then he took us to another hangar where he showed us the only one of his four air planes that is flying: a Pitts Special that he built himself.
George confirmed our suspicion that the air port had been built by the military during WWII. He said that the mile-long runway was used by B-17's and patrol planes (probably PBY's). I thanked George for the trouble that he had gone to and gave him one of my Pachuca cards. He seemed pleased to be able to get details of our sailing experience from the blog.
We then left Gray's Harbor and drove through some (to us) heavy traffic until we got past Shelton, where the driving got better. We soon found ourselves in one of the delights of the trip: the stretch of HWY 101 along the west side of the Hood Canal. It is a superb road with great views of the water.
Past the Hood Canal near the town of Quilcene Brenda spotted a small herd of Elk in a state reserve. We stopped and she took some photos of her first Elk.
We arrived at Port Townsend Boat Haven at 7.15 PM, just before dark. Although we knew that we had just scratched the surface of what the Olympic peninsula has to offer, we were satisfied with the trip because we felt that we had a good sense of what the area is about.
The top right photo is of Madison Falls. At top left is the Elwha river. (How a bird can walk along the bottom in that current baffles me.)
The next two photos are of Lake Crescent. Zoom in on the information board to get an idea of how high the glacier was.
Then there is a photo of the rocky coast at Ruby Beach.
The next three photos are of Quinault Lodge and Quinault Lake early in the morning.
Then there are two photos of the world's largest spruce tree. (Zoom in with the left mouse button to read its statistics.)
Then there is George with his Stinson and Pitts Special.
Then there are the elk - not quite the moose that Brenda wanted to see but still new and exciting to her.
Last Thursday we visited the soda fountain at Don's Pharmacy on Thursday to have a banana split that had caught Brenda's eye a few days earlier. With great certainty and resolve I ordered two banana splits. The waitress sighed, looked at me, and said "You don't want to do that." Another customer exclaimed "Don't do it!" (Gulp!). So I said "Well how about one banana split between the two of us?" That was OK.
The banana split was brought out and I had never seen anything like it in my life. It was huge. It seemed like all eyes were on us. One customer took a photo with her own camera. I mumbled that the my recollection of banana splits at Walgreen's drug store in the early 1960's was a more modest affair where you could actually see the banana.
While we mined our way through the cream, syrups, nuts, and mountain of ice cream looking for the banana we got steady stream of banana split stories. The Japanese seem to have a particularly strong appetite for ice cream. One tiny Japanese tourist wolfed down a hamburger then followed it up by eating an entire banana split. Another group of Japanese had banana splits then were seen later in downtown Port Townsend having ice creams.
Brenda and I were not able to quite finish our banana split, though we got close. When we left we were "ice creamed" out, had a light meal that night, and still don't feel like ice cream. (Actually, I've put myself on a diet, so some good may have come out of it.)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I took another photo of Cielo Mare this morning. She still has her launching wreath on her. I have learned that she is 127 ft long and is owned by a couple from San Diego. Someone who worked on her confirmed that she has all of the mod cons to be expected, including a home theater.
The other photos are of Rebecca, a Sparkman and Stephens 43 crewed by some fine people. John and his wife Priscilla purchased her recently and plan to sail her to their home town of San Diego. On board is their friend Jack from San Francisco.
They have had an unexpected delay of their sail to San Diego. The boat has a 10-year-old Yanmar diesel but its transmission is much older and it failed. The replacement transmission has a different alignment to the engine so they have been forced to have the engine removed and rebedded. ... Now where have I heard of another old S&S that had a lot of problems?
I found the keel interesting. It has a trim tab that is controlled from the cockpit with a small wheel. It is alleged to help the boat point and handle better. They haven't been able to try it out yet. The middle photo shows the trim tab, not the rudder.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Yesterday at 9AM we picked up an Oldsmobile Cutlass that we had rented for the day and set off for Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park.
On the way we took the scenic route to Sequim and had a look at Dungeness Spit, a wild life reserve that ends at a light house at the outer end of the spit 5 miles away. We figured that the a visit to the spit warranted at least a half a day on its own so we pushed on to Port Angeles then stopped off at the Olympic National Park visitor center before taking the excellent road to Hurricane Ridge, elevation 5240 ft. From there are panoramic views of the heart of the Olympic mountains and clear views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria and Haro Strait. I could clearly see Discovery Island which we rounded on the way to Victoria against a very strong current. We could see very clearly the glaciers on Mt Olympus and other mountains. We went on a one-hour guided tour by a park ranger and learned much about the history, geology, ecology, etc. of the area. I was amazed to learn that the Olympic mountains are made up of basalt that was scooped up from the floor of the Pacific ocean by the collision of two tectonic plates, one passing underneath the other.
We have booked the car for Thursday and Friday and plan to do a circumnavigation of the Olympic peninsula, stopping somewhere for the night.
This morning we got confirmation from DHL that my parts have been shipped out of Bergen, Norway. We expect them to arrive in a day or two but I don't expect the engine to be put back together until early next week.
The top photo is of a member of a family of deer that visited our picnic table. The second photo shows Josh the tour guide ranger at work. The third photo shows a hill burned out by a fire started by lightning. All of the bare-looking meadow lands are natural - usually on the north faces where winter conditions are too brutal for tree survival.
I took two photos of the John Wayne marina, near Sequim. John Wayne had a large boat and I've been told that he donated that land for the marina.
I spoke with Atle Lund, the person with whom I have been dealing with by email for several weeks. I explained my persistent mail-bounce problems with him but he said that they are not aware of any email problems at their end and they get hundreds of email messages a day. He did give the the telephone number of their email service provider and I might give them a call. [Note: I documented the problem and sent it to the provider's help desk.]
Anyway, we agreed that I would fax the order to him. When I mentioned the head for a SABB 2G engine it rang a bell and said that he thought that the order had been received. I gave him the quotation number. After some checking he confirmed that Mark's email dated 18 Sept had gotten through and the order is being processed. The parts will be sent by air to Port Townsend probably tomorrow.
This is all good. Time is moving on and we really need to clear the area before the first winter gales.
Three cheers for 24x7 free Safeways internet service and Skype.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Yesterday Port Townsend put on a tour of historic buildings throughout the town. The buildings were well staffed by volunteer staff and all proceeds went to the hospital. We found the first and the last visits the most interesting. The bottom photo shows the house of Lucinda Hastings and was in its time the biggest house in Port Townsend. Her husband was a real mover and shaker: co-founder of Portland Oregon, and a business tycoon who left Lucinda worth $600 million. She became a mover and shaker herself. We spoke with her great-great-great grand daughter, also named Lucinda, in the kitchen of the house.
The last visit was to the Palace Hotel, whose 15 rooms are named after various ladies of pleasure during the years when the building was a brothel upstairs and a saloon downstairs. The hotel was built by Captain Tibbals. He went to sea at the age of 10 and was a captain by the age of 20. He was one of the early users of the new-fangled diving bell and used one to recover treasure from a Spanish wreck in the Caribbean that netted him a fortune of $68,000. (Beats working in an office for 30 years.)
The fourth photo is of me in one of the hotel rooms. We also toured the auto museum, which I have already covered, as well as a variety of other houses all built before the crash of 1893.
During our town walkabout we photographed other houses of interest and some deer who have been forced to accommodate the suburban invasion.
The person who runs Sabbamerica, the US dealership, is on vacation until 23 September and I am getting no email responses from his organization. That does not matter too much because Sabbamerica does not stock heads in the USA.
We tried placing the order directly to Norway, specifying direct air delivery to Pt Townsend, but for about 3 days my messages to them have been bouncing with SMTP 505 errors (status 5.5.0). Mark at Seashore Marine sent the order from his machine last Friday apparently without a bounce but we do not expect confirmation from Norway until Monday (tomorrow). I will be uneasy until we get that confirmation. In the meantime I am still trying to find out the reason for the email bounces.
On Friday I visited the sailmaker and paid for the work on the mainsail after inspecting what they had done. They did good work both in fixing up problems (e.g. replacing webbing between the sail and the slides, patching up a small hole) and strengthening the sail (e.g. second slide near the peak, bolts through the battens, reinforcement at the clew, a leather patch thrown in for free). Without this work the sail would not have taken Pachuca back to Australia without problems and now I am confident that there will be no problems. Unfortunately the rigger's work pickup truck was unavailable due to a mechanical problem so I could not bring the sail back to Pachuca. The sailmaker will deliver it probably on Tuesday.
Doug visited the boat and found that gas was escaping from a hole that he had patched, passing between the tubing and the epoxy collar that he had put around it. Basically, the epoxy had not bound to the aluminum tubing. He had another go and returned on Friday where we found that the leak was worse than ever. He has given up on trying to patch the tubing and will try to fit one of the set of coils that he's got on his premises.
I saw Ric on Friday about the aluminum boarding ladder that he will construct for Pachuca. He is running a week late and I will touch base with him next week. The ladder will hang over the side, bolted to the toe rail. It will be approximately 5 ft long and have 6 rungs. We need this because climbing out of the water onto Pachuca via the Monitor wind steering frame will be difficult for some and impossible for others. This will be a temporary measure because once I am back in Australia engaged in coastal cruising I will remove the Monitor and resume use of the stern boarding ladder.
In the meantime Pachuca is a bit of a mess. Much of the material that occupied the starboard quarter berth over the refrigerator compressor is either in the cabin or in the cockpit under a tarp. The engine is not presenting a problem until the Zee gets back into it to finish the repairs. And when Zee takes on the muffler leak under the cockpit things will get really messy because we will have to remove at least the two top gel batteries from that area. Those monsters way about 150 lb each and they will have to be put somewhere safe, probably on the cabin sole.
Several people have told me that blue water cruising is about repairing your boat in exotic places. How true.
I took these photos yesterday, the day that the new boat was launched. It was built here in Port Townsend and it is the biggest thing that they've ever built.
I was told that it is a private boat, possibly to be used for charter work out of the Marshall Islands. It is certainly set up for fishing. Zoom up and count the number of rod holders.
My sinister mind envisioned it chartered by a group of MBA's in order to discuss what to do with their company's federal bailout money while they engage in big-game fishing. I can understand that: sort of a working meditation to clear up their minds to help them continue doing their brilliant work.
I know that this has lately been looking more like a blog about cars than about sailing. It's not all of my fault: Port Townsend seems to have been full of interesting old cars (and motorcycles and books and boats and people and ...) that just had to be photographed. Today's final blog entries on vintage cars extends to that of the White further down.
Yesterday as part of a tour of historic buildings around the town we visited Port Townsend's first fireproof building, an all-concrete structure that has been used by the motor trade in one form or another since it was built. The building currently houses an auto museum with all sorts of interesting car-related bits and pieces - including vintage cars for sale.
You can zoom the photos to see what most of the photos are about. The zooming is also useful for seeing the interesting items in the backgrounds.
The first two photos are of a 1926 Ford, allegedly owned by a town doctor.
The next photo shows a red Studebaker truck with a 1952 Triumph Thurnderbird in front of it. (Neither are for sale and are probably restoration projects.)
The black car is a 1929 Packard. I'd love to run around town in it with a Tommy Gun sticking out of a back window. (From Wikipidia: The Thompson was also known informally as: the "Tommy Gun," the "Trench Broom," the "Trench Sweeper," the "Chicago Piano," the "Chicago Typewriter," and the "Chopper.")
The hot rod is a 1937 Chevrolet coupe.
The blue car is 1963 Morgan.
The silver one at the bottom is a 1948 Chevrolet pickup truck. It was truly sold. We saw it being driven down the main street of Pt Townsend an hour later.
- ► 2012 (344)
- ► 2011 (288)
- ► 2010 (355)
- Engine Work
- Car Tour
- Banana Split Inflation
- Day of Touring
- SABB Parts OK
- Building Tour
- New Boat
- Last of the Cars
- Rolls Royce
- Another Ford
- EMF (Precursor to Studebaker)
- Willis Overlanders
- Hudson (1912)
- SABB Diesel Engine Work
- Stanley Steamer (1914)
- PTWBF Photos - 7
- PTWBF Photos - 6
- PTWBF Photos - 5
- PTWBF - Final Day
- PTWBF - Day 2
- PTWBF Photos -4
- PTWBF Photos - 3
- PTWBF Photos - 2
- PTWBF Photos - 1
- Inevitable Question
- Small World
- Hawaiian Chieftain
- Pt Townsend Doings
- Photos From Passage to Pt Townsend
- Back at Port Townsend
- Day 31 - Port Angeles
- Day 30 - Port Angeles
- Day 29 - Port Angeles
- Day 28 - Port Angeles
- More Photos From Vancouver (Take 2)
- Visit to Butchart Gardens in Victoria
- Big Yacht in Victoria
- Photos from Victoria
- Day 25 - Victoria Harbour
- ▼ September (48)
- ► 2008 (269)
- ► 2007 (43)