August, 2014

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Thursday August 7. “Fleetwood” under sail. And another tale of our small world.

Friday, August 8th, 2014

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I tagged along in the Thursday evening race series, held from May through September in the harbor. Sheila Schultz, the shutterbug of the GHYC and local events, took a couple good shots of FW under sail and one from Ken Emmes who, with his wife Christine, were visitors for the last two nights at the Arabella Landing Marina, on “Moonlight”. They are from Eugene,Oregon. My first question to them was: “Do you know Evert Slijper?” They sure do. Ken went through UPS here with Evert. I met Evert in Eugene in 1972. You might remember that I spent the first three months of this year house-sitting the home he grew up in, in Haarlem. Ken mentioned that a few years ago they were at Evert’s home and a friend of Evert showed a slide show of his trip through the European waterways. “You are looking at him” I said. Blame it on our summer tans and uniforms that neither recognized the other at first. Just to show you how small the world is and how much Evert gets around. Evert and the Emmeses are active Thistle sailors and there are a number of families in Gig Harbor and Tacoma sailing Thistles and frequently met each other here and in Eugene and they will never forget their first experience meeting Evert at a meet in Port Townsend. Evert went missing for the first race day. He went out early in the morning for a practice run and, fresh from Holland, still unfamiliar with the strong currents in Admirality Inlet, he was swept out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca.  Shortly after I had been welcomed to the “De Schinkel” yacht club in Amsterdam in 2009, Evert came to look me up. And I was surprised to find out that he was a familiar face there as well. He and his brother Dirk regularly show the “Schinkelaars” their sailing skills in the 17 foot “Vrijheid” class, of which there is a 12 to 15 boat fleet in this club. Another link that Evert has with Gig Harbor is that he studied with Pete Stanley, the owner of the landmark Tides Tavern here, at Nijenrode in Holland and at UPS in Tacoma.

In the below uncropped picture that Ken Emmes took you’ll see the same Dog Paddeler who appears in the last picture of the previous blog. I wonder if he ever went home after Tuesday night. Both he and his dog are still wearing the same uniforms.

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Wednesday August 6. Propaganda

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

I can use all the help I can get to spread the word that that the best things in life are a free gift from God.  And a pitch for my upcoming book “Soloman”. So, I was very pleased to make the headlines today in the local daily news paper, the Peninsula Gateway.

http://www.gateline.com/2014/08/06/3316698/sea-ing-the-world-one-port-at.html?sp=/99/1490/1492/&ihp=0 

The reporter, 25 year old Karen Miller is fresh out of grad school. There is one minor correction NAJA is the type of boat both the old and the new “Fleetwood” were/are.

The engine problem, on Sunday, was an air leak in the fuel supply. Last night was Taco Tuesday, four of the regulars showed up at “El Pueblito”. It was also the weekly free summer concert at Jersich Park. See below pictures. People come by any type of floating device, bring a picnic. I feel like I am on a never ending summer vacation in a sea side resort. There is constant coming an going of visiting yachts in the marina and I meet the most interesting people. On my way back from the concert I met Tom from Portland who worked as a naval architect for American President Lines and worked on the revolution into the container age in which APL was a pioneer with the Panamax Intermodal system. He supervised building of their ships in yards all over the globe. He served in Vietnam on patrol boats on the south coast between CaMau and Cambodia. We could have talked for a few more hours. His wife Sheila was raised in…..Fleetwood, England. I have also managed to sell a few of the “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” to the visitors.

I have to send my brand new zoom lens in for repair/exchange. It is broken.

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Sunday August 3rd. An interrupted two day cruise.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

I am getting to the point that most of my projects are done. Installed the AM/FM Radio with MP-3 player, got he software installed for the new GPS antenna, improved the wind vane set up, screened the enlarged cockpit scuppers, etc.  My next major item will be the solar panel. I am shopping for the fabrication of the arch on the transom, similar to what I had on the “old FW”.

I left late this morning after the 8.30 mass. Since the only favorable current back was till 17.30 or late at night I had planned to spend the night at Lake Bay.I missed the slack current by an hour through the Tacoma Narrows but managed to get through hugging the point Evans shore, there was no wind. When I turned the s.e. Corner of Fox Island to head for Lake Bay a yellow San Juan 24? caught up with me. He hailed me on channel-16. He was Derk from Hannover living on Bainbridge Island. While I talked to him (in German) my engine sputtered to a halt. A tiny breeze had come up. I hoisted the main but the ebb was already pushing me back. Derk came along side to help but it was very difficult to stay together in the current. I decided to go back to Gig Harbor on the ebb. Just before the bridge, at Day Island, a fairly strong NW set in. I tried using the wind vane but the current and the changing wind direction forced me to hand steer. It turned out to be another amazing performance. A dark blue, black carbon  sails go fast 36 or so footer had passed me before the wind set in, he had to be a 1/4 mile ahead of me but I caught up with him before I turned left into Gig Harbor and he turned right to Tacoma. Then near the GH entrance the wind died. Now I found out how well I can scull (wrik) the boat with the big rudder. Inside the entrance and  the harbor was some wind again. I had brought the anchor on deck, just in case I was unable to get into my slip without the use of the engine. I normally back into the slip. I tried to back into my berth by backing the main, it almost worked but the current swept me sideways. I quickly raised the genoa and managed to make a perfect landing by making a 180 into the wind and the help of waiting dockside neighbors.  Not many ocean sailing boats can be managed this way, because of size and weight.

Today’s second reading (in every RC, Lutheran, Episcopal churches all over the globe) was from Romans 8-35. Our mother had wanted this on her tomb stone and she writes in “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” how this passage gave her strength and hope during her imprisonment in the concentration camps.  This message is so appropriate today, in Mosul, Iraq where Christians are persecuted by Islamic extremist, in China where religion is restricted by the illegitimate Communist rulers, etc.

I am like a kid in a candy store with my new Sigma 70-300 zoom lens. The 80-200 zoom lens that came with the Nikon D-50, that I bought in Saigon the first week of 2010, came apart and had not functioned in automatic focus for the last year. This is picture of the occasional resident Bald Eagle take from about 500 feet.

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Thursday July 31. Sailing with the Monitor.

Friday, August 1st, 2014

There was a nice breeze, about 15 knots, outside of the harbor. And the wind-vane worked superb. This boat is better balanced than the old “Fleetwood”. Partly due to better and newer sails. Again, I was able to sail much closer to the wind than the previous version. I am experimenting with a different way to adjust the vane setting for the wind direction. See picture by wrapping a shock cord around the clutch and the tripod instead of having a continuous line from the clutch to the pulpit, because this pulpit is a long distance from the clutch. I have never been very impressed by the system. In a hard wind the clutch would slip and I had to continuously make corrections. The wind last night kept lifting to which the vane immediately responded which is a big advantage over a mechanical auto pilot. There was a strong current and tidal whirlpools which the vane also managed well. So, again another success in the progress towards the conversion for a long cruise off shore.

The growing crescent and end of Ramadan "Eid Mubarak" to my Muslim brothers and sisters.

The growing crescent and end of Ramadan “Eid Mubarak” to my Muslim brothers and sisters.

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Beam reaching

well heeled

well heeled. hard on the wind

the adjustment experiment

the adjustment experiment