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
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Zodiac Ready, Boat Ready, Sailing Tomorrow
I then bundled it up and sought a place to stow it. The normal place when cruising is in the cockpit in front of the binnacle. However, I was determined to keep the cockpit unencumbered for tomorrow's sail. The natural place would normally be in front of the cockpit spray dodger, on top of the sliding hatch cover (aka "turtle", "garage"). Unfortunately I have learned the hard way that if I put any pressure on that cover the sliding hatch develops a scratching drag as I slide it in and out, as though there are screws a bit to proud and cut across a static surface. Investigating this requires dismantling of the entire area, a job for my home port Fremantle. In the meantime, I have to avoid putting any weight on this area.
If you enlarge today's photo of the port side of the boat you will see the Zodiac strapped down on the life raft, just forward of the mast. Note, by the way, that I have cleaned the unsightly grease marks from the hull.
Well, it looks like Ib, Bob Carroll, and myself are taking Pachuca out tomorrow for a sail. (Yay! Yippee! Cartwheels!!!) I have also invited Dave, owner of the legendary Kialoa III, berthed at the end of this jetty. Kialoa III is an S&S 80 that has a pedigree a mile long, including setting a course record in the Sydney-Hobart race that stood for 20 years. (http://www.arvelgentry.com/k3donated.htm)
One of the requirements was to ensure that the propeller and hull were clean enough for the sail. That started off badly but ended well. At the beginning the hull looked very bad, in spite of it having been antifouled only a couple of months ago. I could see that the propeller was very furred up with growth. My dive to the propeller yesterday confirmed my worst fears: marine growth at least 1/2 inch thick which meant that we would not have been able to even back out of the slip. After 30 minutes of work with a hard brush the growth was gone then it was time to switch to hand-to-barnacle fighting with a paint scraper. There were enough barnacles to upset the laminar flow of the propeller surface, greatly hampering its performance - and how could I show off the power and versatility of my new Volvo engine with an inefficient propeller? After another 30 minutes of hacking away at the propeller I cleaned shaft, skeg, and anodes. Then I turned my attention to the "beard" along the waterline of the boat. At this point things looked grim. I expected heavy and tenacious growth along the waterline and plenty of barnacles further down.
But to my surprise and delight the beard came off very easily. That job went quickly and my biggest problem didn't turn out to be the risk of being crushed between the hull and the jetty (because the movement of the boat was minimal and the fenders did their work well) but rather scratching myself on the veritable reef of growth on the jetty pontoons.
This afternoon I went for a second dive and confirmed that below the waterline there is only a thin film of slimy growth that is easily removed with a brush - and no barnacles. Because the water is so murky I cleaned only an arm's length down, breathing through my snorkel, and will rely on the rushing water as we sail to clean the rest of the hull.
So I am feeling much better about the hull. Next week I will engage a diver to remove the propeller for shipment to Mazatlan via Ib on Aeolus for re-pitching, so a fouling prop will not be an issue during my absence to the USA. Ill give the hull one last scrub in 10 days and hope for the best while I am away.
And finally a post script on my cucaracha problem. Bob Carroll read about my problem on the blog and gave me the solution: boric acid. Today at the Palapa of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Truth (the morning kaffeeklatsch that includes healthy-living Bob, big Al, smoking Rick, computer-nerdy Dave, and striving Ken who has taken over my apartment) I got an expansive explanation of the solution to my problem and later Bob delivered to my boat the boric acid as well as a liquid application that I can paint up bulkheads. The universal opinion is that my cucaracha problems are solved. Ya Gotta Have Friends, Folks. Why oh why don't I always consult first with the Palapa for all of my problems?
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