Monday, November 16, 2009

A boaty weekend

On Friday Suzy came to visit. We walked around the marina and had a hot game of boggle before heading out for lunch. This was one of the best boggle rolls I've ever experienced!
Grandma Dee and her friend Lauren made it over on Sunday and we took the boat out for the first time since replacing the shrouds and forestay. I wish I could say the wind put the standing rigging to the test, but it was a very calm day. Sunny and warm with 5 knots of wind made for a nice float on the bay (I'm not sure what we did could be considered sailing). I was glad to have our guest on board to entertain us.
This was about as windy as it got yesterday. But check out those beefy shrouds.
Shiny turnbuckles too!
Saturday Krister put the final touches on out sanitation system by pulling out the holding tank and replacing the last of the hoses.
Good bye stinking poop hose!
Meanwhile I laid out all the chain rode and anchor on deck for inspection and marking out depths. Two-hundred feet of chain and 175 feet of rope rode should take care of us in at least 90% of anchoring situations.
With our holding tank leak and smell free and our anchor rode marked, we are ready to spend our first over night on the hook. Maybe next weekend?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boat Projects and Cleaning

Although Britannia is well suited for off shore passage making, there's still a list of projects we'd like to finish before taking off. Some are simple, others difficult, and still others just a stinky mess. We try to spend three nights a week on the boat so the first order of business was taking care of the boat smell: that mixture of head and diesel oil. (For non-boat people the head is the bathroom.)
Our boat has one head and a system of sanitation hoses that allows us to pump waste into a holding tank or over board. (Boats must be three miles off shore to pump over board). Many of the hoses were cracked and smelly and the clamps holding them on were rusty. Krister spent a weekend replacing the whole system: which meant multiple trips to West Marine (the Home Depot for boats) and too much time near moldy poop.

We had replaced one cracked portlight (window) in late summer which made us realize how dingy and yellow the old ones were. Although it wasn't in our budget to replace them all with new ones, we had the good fortune of finding our exact portlights in great condition for sale on Craigslist. What a deal! Lots of sunshine, but now we need curtains.

The last thing we needed to do to banish the boat smell was to scrub the bilge. Sounds easy enough right? Except that all the 25 year old screws had to be taken out to remove the floor boards. Krister relished the fact that he would have to buy tools to do the job. I believe he had way too much fun using his new extraction driver. Krister scrubbed and oiled all the floor boards, while I washed years of dirt and grim away and wiped the bilge completely dry. Amazing!

As luck would have it, our upper shrouds did not withstand the previous weekend's 45 knot blow with Joe and began to fray badly. Britannia has been at the rigger all week to have all the standing rigging replaced. I miss our boat, but we should have her back tomorrow- just in time for a weekend sail and more projects.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Emery Cove and Sailing the Bay

We keep Britannia in Emeryville. Although the channel is very shallow, it allows us to get out into the middle of the bay quickly. Joe visited in October and help replace a few lights at the top of the mast while getting these great shots.
Beautiful day on the Bay. Plenty of wind and plenty of sun!

Britannia from the top of the mast
Our home in Emery Cove
Photos by Joe Kluberton

Test Sail and Haul Out

Amanda relaxing on deck
Amanda, Krister and previous owner Larry
Haul out for survey

The Beginning

Who knows how it started? It's even hard to say when the idea came to us... For some time Krister and I had been itching to move on to the next thing. But not knowing what that thing was, we were stuck in limbo. We yearned for adventure, an alternative to the 9-5 grind, and an enjoyable, challenging activity to share.
Then out of nowhere the idea came to us- we should buy a boat and sail away! Last spring we began taking sailing courses at Tradewinds Sailing School and Club and searching for our boat. Between us, we had completed four American Sailing Association (ASA) certified courses. At that point Krister was checking boat listings on Craigslist and Yacht World constantly. Finally, with the help of John Kouny at Cruising Yachts we found Britannia. She's a 1984 bluewater ready 36 foot Canadian Sailcraft.
Understandably friends and family have shown concern for our safety, interest in what we're doing and in our adventures to come. We will post photos and information here to calm nerves and satisfy curiosity. Enjoy!