I noticed my house bank of batteries weren't holding there charge quite as good as they were. I checked the water levels in all my batteries and found them to be a bit low. I ended up putting over 8 liters of distilled water in my three 8D batteries, Hopefully this will correct the issue and I now have a new item on my monthly checklist.
After 18 months in the water and a planned trip coming up it was time to clean Rose Lee's bottom . I did a bit of research on cleaning hulls while in the water and watched a few YouTube videos of a diver cleaning a 41 foot sailboat and figured I would give it a go. So after a stop at our local dive shop this morning to rent a full set of gear and two tanks of air I was all set. From the videos I learned that a suction cup was required to hang on to the hull with one hand while you scrubbed off the bottom with your free hand. Earlier in the week I picked up a couple small sink plungers from home depot, I removed the wooden handles from the two plungers and inserted a small plastic elbow in each and joined them with a small plastic coupler. What I ended up with was a nice little handle with two large suction cups for about $10.00, sweet! I also put a loop of bungy cord on my plunger and my scrubber that would slip over each hand so I wouldn't accidentally drop them. So this morning at around 11:00 am with my excellent spotter Joyce I jumped in the 55 degree water and went to work (I don't think I mentioned that I am a new diver and today would be my fourth dive). Let me tell you this is not as easy as it looks on TV, I fumbled my way through it though and the tools I made up worked great. The prop was completely encrusted with barnacles and I used a stiff steel brush to clean that up. My shaft anode was also pretty eaten up, which was a bit of an oversight on my part (I really should have anticipated that). After I finished my 1st Tank and was taking a break my buddy Jim stopped by and spotted for me during my 2nd tank while Joyce took off for our local marine store to see if she could score an anode. Joyce got back with the new anode just as I was finishing the bottom and I had just enough air left to install the new anode and remove the old one (which was close to falling off). All in all we had an exhausting but very productive day and we now have a clean bottom, clean prop and new anode. My advice for anyone who wants to give this a try don,t start out on a 47 foot boat with a wing keel its a lot of underwater real estate to clean:)
We had a nice weekend which started Friday evening with a visit to sv R Dream to see our friends John and Darlene, tonight is the 1st really nice warm evening of the summer and we finished off with red wine in the cockpit. Saturday Morning started off with lots of rain but it eased up by around 9:30 allowing us to tackle the 30 minute job of completing our radar installation. Like most boat projects 30 turned into 4 hours but we were finally finished, whew that was quite a bit of work. The sun came out as we were finishing and boy did it ever turn into a nice day. Well enough work, it was time to swing by the deck of the DYC and enjoy a cool drink with some cool friends Jim, Grant and Brad and then off do do a bit of running around. We made it back to the boat in time to enjoy a great sunset, very relaxing end to a great day.
Joyce and I made excellent progress this evening. After removing the access panel above the aft birth and with Joyce below and myself in the cockpit we began to run the new radar cable through the table leg and down into the aft cabin. We were able to use an existing cable as a fish to pull in the new radar cable though the table leg. We also pulled inj a 3/4 length of poly in case we needed to ever run anything else through the table leg. It did fetch up a few times but with a bit of patience we were able to get it through. I spent a bit of time cleaning up the existing wiring and re-sorting and removing some un-used wiring. Once we had the new cable into the aft cabin we ran it along the ceiling above the head liner and back out to the stern lazzerette where it would exit a hole in the back of the boat (that I will drill Tomorrow night). Everything is looking good and the tough part of this project is behind us
The Graphics guy showed up this afternoon to install the new name on the stern. Apparently the delay was due to the decal that had been made previously was damaged so he had to make a new decal. He gave me a ring at work to let me know that the name had been installed and that the drop shadow used didn't match the existing names on both sides of the boat. He said he would make up a new decal and re-install it the next time we were in at the dock. In fairness it doesn't look too bad with the darker drop shadow however the font is a different style as well so we will get that corrected when he comes back. Oh well...
So yesterday I removed the name off the stern which had been damaged last year and was being replaced this morning at 8:30. I made arrangements with the club to rent a slip which would make it easier for the the graphics guy to get at the stern. We were up and going at 7:00 and took the boat in and positioned the stern so it was about a foot from the dock so he could reach it easily and there was no wind. The guy showed up at 8:30 as promised (with no decal) it was back at the shop and he would have to dig it out.. We only made the arrangements two weeks earlier so I guess this should have been expected(: H assured me that he would be back soon so I went off to work late with the wind starting to pick up. I checked the boat a few hours later and re-tensioned my spring lines (it was just starting to bump no decal yet). I checked the boat mid afternoon and added more spring lines (you guessed it still nameless). So no name went on today and that was a pain, we did get a bit of dockside stuff done after work and are really hoping that graphics guy shows up today.
We had a pretty good evening working on the boat. Joyce continued to organize and make the boat ready for sea while I tackled the radar. I found a piece of SS flexible braid to run the radar cable through which was a little bigger then the existing piece 3/4 vs. 5/8 but it looks close. After several measurements I broke out my hole saw and drilled a couple of 1" holes in my instrument panel to accommodate the new conduit. I finished off the holes with some split wiring loom. I then determined the right length for my new SS braid and cut it with my mini grinder after taping it to prevent it from fraying. After a bit of adjusting I had it installed and it doesn't look too bad similar to the existing one. I ran the radar cable from the chart plotter through my new braid and coiled it below the cockpit table. We will attempt to run it down through the table leg tomorrow night after work.
Well today was a little frustrating. We don,t have our inflatable back yet and I wanted to do several projects which can only be done from the small boat (remove as name off the stern that had been damaged, clean & wax the hull etc..). I decided to launch our old tender a little 9' row boat, I forgot that it leaked a bit. By the time I had rowed out to the mooring I had 4" of water in the boat. By the time I had removed the name from the stern I had about 6" of water and was losing ground fast. I had to abandon my water projects and get back on Rose Lee. Joyce was coming out to meet me on the boat to help with the radar so in the mean time I mounted my new fire axe (a coast guard requirement) in the aft cabin. Joyce's timing was great I was just finishing as she arrived in the club tender. We then started to tackle the radar project. So to give you an idea what we were doing I will try and describe the set-up and add a few pics soon. My chart plotter is mounted on a hinged pod at the aft end of my cockpit table. Because it is hinged it folds down out of the way when not in use. The wiring must fold as well so they are run through a flexible stainless steel braided conduit that slides down out of the way when you fold the pod. So to run the new radar cable it has to com from the plotter through the 12" flexible conduit than down through the aft table leg of the cockpit table along the ceiling of the aft cabin into the stern lazzerette and then back up through a hole which I will drill and then up through 8' of stainless steel pipe on the back stay and finally to the radome which sits on top of the pipe. We prepared by removing the access panel over the aft cabin birth and sizing up how we were going to fish the cockpit table leg , which I had assumed would be the toughest part (not so). We couldn't get it through the 1st obstacle that 12" SS braided conduit (it was completely full). After looking at it several different ways we determined that we would need to install and second flexible conduit in the folding chart plotter mount (that should be interesting). And this is the norm for boat projects set good attainable goals and settle for not breaking anything too major:) to be continued...
That was easy. I was a little early and they took me early. The US border asked for my nexus acceptance letter, my passport and my drivers license. US Customs then asked a few questions about why I wanted Nexus and if I had any criminal convictions, refused entry etc... and then they snapped a photo and took my fingerprints (it went pretty quick and the US Customs guy was very friendly and answered any questions I had). Then I moved three feet to the right and met with Th CBSA person who checked my passport and confirmed my home address for the card and then I was given an iris scan. The CBSA person explained that in Canada we use the NEXUS card and iris scan where the USA uses the GLOBAL system along with the passport and fingerprints to determine identity when it is in question. Both countries will also ask for your trusted traveler number on the back of the NEXUS card which you need particularly to clear in over the phone from your boat.
Well today is the last step in getting my NEXUS card which allows for expedited border crossing by air, land or sea. We filed our applications back in March and after we received initial approval on our applications we were able to schedule our interviews for June 2nd and 3rd which were the earliest dates. The biggest advantage for us is when entering Canada or the USA by boat we do not have to visit a designated port to clear in (we clear in by phone and if the border services folks would like to meet they will be at the port that we are entering, on a sailboat this saves a bit of time not having to go out of your way just to clear customs). So today is the final hurdle where they will review all of my documents (pass port, drivers license, car registration and title, boat registration and title, proof of address "power bill") followed by an interview with homeland security and then repeated by CBSA and finally if everything goes well a retina scan, which is voluntary and only required for air travel. This sounds like a lot but the application was straight forward and from what I understand the interview which is done at the airport only takes about 30 minutes. Wish me luck:)
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