Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Someting from nothing

I think most people get great sense of satisfaction when creating things. While it might be a minor event to some, when finished product gets pushed out the door it's a good day.

Monday we wrapped up boat 39, handed it off to our dealer and it is most likely in Texas by now(straight run is ~20 hours). I didn't get a chance to get a pic before it was shrink wrapped. I think it might even be delivered to the buyer for the holiday.

Its neat seeing something in all stages of creation and especially rewarding if you have a hand in much of the the process (tho not quite as grand as Steve's projects). My hands touch the whole boat, but are also directly responsible for components like casting the prop and other parts from big rubber molds, machining raw aluminum castings into final assemblies, installing many of these components(like driveline and steering), but also jump around into other duties when behind schedule- like electrical, plumbing, and hydraulics, and finally detailing the boat before delivery.

One downside to working around fiberglass is that many days I come home itchy with glass dust.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dockside and tied

Hey, that was fun. As you may have assumed, I am home and safe. The remainder of the trip went almost exactly as we thought it would. NOT that we preferred our outcome, but in review we couldn't have done any better.

We managed to get out of Newport but it wasn't without quite a bit of stress. Right away we were questioning our decision as we were trouncing through some pretty big seas. The boat was not having a problem, but if we weren't assured that it would get better in a couple of hours, we would have turned back and waited it out. That would have meant at least another week sitting in Newport with only a slim chance the weather window was only equally as big. Our weather router said we had 24 hours to move 30 hours of distance. It was going to be messy on both ends.

That night it did get better, but only for a while as the next front was coming in. The wind was picking up quite a bit as we made the turn into Straits of Juan De Fuca the next afternoon and pointed us directly into the short windy chop. Every 5th wave sprayed over the whole boat. We really had to watch for logs when it got dark and when we finally made Pt Angeles it was plenty dark. There we stopped for the night and cooked up a couple of nice steaks on the bbq. This boat does feed us well.

The boat owner, Ken, met up with us the next morning and we started right off. Again we had a very sloppy day ahead of us, and at one point we were in sustained winds of 45 and it gusted up to 58! In between the downbursts we did enjoy the beautiful coastline of the Puget Sound. We reached the locks as it was getting dark and it started raining again. Our dock was just up on the other side a bit further but we were soaked by the time we got the lines and fenders out and finally tied up to the dock.

We had our bad weather days, and our good. There were a couple of days of fog where we could hardly tell the boat was moving. The entire crew was a gag to be around. We all worked well together. The boat performed very well with only a few hiccups that were easily managed. In case you couldn't figure it out...

I had a great time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yup, This must be it

Up until today the weather has been patchy rain and gusty winds but that was because a storm was coming. It never got as bad as predicted and that is fortunate for me, but reports up and down the coast were quite different. Today I have a steady annoying drizzle, and it's cold out there. Yuppers, this is Oregon.
The rest of the crew is in transit back this way and I guess that means it's time to go. The seas are down to an 8ft swell today and supposed to be down to 5-6 by tomorrow. It's not great, but since there is another front headed this way it's as good as we get. We might be out tonight, or early am tomorrow. Then it's another 28hrs. Our window should be *just* big enough that we might make it up to our turn into the Sound as the seas build again. It won't be pretty.

So I have been down in the engine room prepping for getting under way again. I remounted a poorly mounted sump pump, cleaning out some of the raw water strainers, and poking around looking for other things that are just not right. There's always something that needs fixing on a boat.

Yes, Steve, I am in my element!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hanging out in Newport, OR

In case you haven't been following Ken's blogs, we did not make it all the way up to Seattle before our weather window closed up on us. Ironically, we pulled into the closest port of Newport. No, (I know what you are thinking) this one is in Oregon. It's a neat little fishing port that is also supported by Rogue brewery, a tasty little microbrewery that has an inspiring success story. I remember this stop from my last trip up the coast and when I get a sec I'll have to walk over there for a visit and ummm... maybe a few samples. If I remember right they have a small eatery with a killer cheeseburger.

The weather reports from several sources have the conditions outside pretty bad(combined seas to 22 ft swells and winds to 35kts), but it has been really nice here at the dock. Reports above and below my position aren't nearly as pretty so I think we did good when we pulled in here when we did. I have been seeing a few more of the larger fishing charters come in today and chatting with them reinforces the idea of hiding out for a while. As I type tho- the skies are darkening and my onboard weather station registered a 22 kt gust just slammed the boat. Winds are predicted to go to 50kts tonight. I better go out and double up the lines. This storm could go out to Tuesday with another one right behind it so I might be here for a while.

The rest of the crew rented a brand new Impala and drove home to Seattle yesterday morning and left me minding the boat. No worries... I have food, water, power, the ability to stay dry(unless I have to do something outside), sat tv, a library of about 500 dvd's, xm, and finally managed internet, and the pilothouse will provide a real good view of the approaching storm. The coasties have a base right across the channel and they have been quite the source of entertainment today running some drills(those boats are kinda cool). I should go pop some popcorn.

I'd post some pics, but I left my usb adapter on the desk at home. I'll see If I can scrounge up a cable but for now you just get the text.

More later.