sailing the NorSea


WEEK 16 2012

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Saturday 21 April 2012
Saturday - Working hard in the yard, until early afternoon. Between the heat and humidity it was necessary to wear a bandanna under a hat, and change the bandanna often. Yuck.

After a rapid start the pace of new books read has certainly dropped.

Book #43
was a free Kindle book: The Wisdom of Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterton. This another anthology of stories, fun to read, though poorly formatted. I have to say that I am out of practice reading mysteries, I didn't get any of the stories before Father Brown's solution. A few I can put down to the foreign country of England a century ago, but basically I suck at mysteries, always have. In fact, if I figure one out before the official denouement I usually feel cheated.

Watched Puss In Boots (2011) in the evening. Entertaining.

Friday 20 April 2012
Friday - Down to Ventura. My friend's boy needed to change the oil in a marine diesel to be eligible for a Sea Scout promotion, and since it is spring and my boat diesel needed an oil change... It went pretty well. The tedious part was tracking down an oil filter for the Yanmar 2GM20F, West Marine didn't have it, the boat yard across the way didn't have it, the marine engine rebuild shop next to the boatyard didn't have it, the shop the rebuild guy sent us to only dealt wholesale. Eventually I just went up to Ventura and picked it up at the Yanmar dealer.

We then ran the engine a few minutes to warm up the oil, sucked the oil out the dipstick tube, changed the filter, and added the new oil and started it up. Worked fine. Then it was back north to Lancaster.

We even took photo's, in case there was any question of whether the job had really been done.

Even though I just bought the parts and mostly watched K do the work I was exhausted by the end of the day.

Yanmar Engine access
Access is limited, fortunately it's a small engine...

yanmar oil filter
My engine is the non-European Japanese made model, and the filter reflects that.

Thursday 19 April 2012

Thursday - I know I kept busy, but ???

My father's first ship in WW2 was the USS Action (PG-86). She was a Flower Class corvette, built in Canada as HMS Comfrey K.277 and transferred immediately to the USN who renamed her the USS Action and manned her with Coast Guard personnel. He didn't have a picture of the ship, and I still can't find one on the internet. Even just has the drawing for a preliminary plan made for the USN.

A few years back I heard from someone that after the war she became a small cargo ship and was lost somewhere in the middle east. I never brought it up with Dad, I figured it would depress him.

A bit of recent sleuthing turned up the following history and probable fate:

COMFREY (K 277) (6.1.42/28.7.42/-; 42: am. „Action”/PG 86; u. 21.11.42; sprz. 47: s/tr „Arne Presthus”; 67: „Star of Mariam”; 71: „Star of Beirut”; 72: „Star of Riwiach”; b†6.4.72, koło Lm Ashrafi)

from here:

and similarly (in Norwegian) here:


Very little information has been found for this vessel. What is known is that she was a small cargo ship of 778 GRT which was built in 1943 and departed Suez enroute to Safaga in ballast, running aground and sinking on 06 April 1976 on the northern tip of Ashrafi Island at position 27.48.00N/33.40.16E in 20-24 meters of water. The ship was abandoned and declared a total construction loss.

from here:

So it looks like the Norwegians had her for a few years, and that she was never a whaling ship, and that after 1967 she spent her time in trade in the middle east, finally running aground near Ashrafi Island. The tonnage is about right for "dry" loading, particularly after the war-specific items were removed.

A picture or two of the wreck might finally settle things, but I can't find on of those either, though it is supposedly a fairly popular dive site.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Wednesday  - Yard work in the morning, more sprinkler stuff, then a whole  bunch of business stuff dealing with various banks and online things.

In the afternoon I messed around with the swamp cooler, since it was approaching 90F and is supposed to get even hotter, and I don't want the cat to fry while I'm out of town working. The old cooler is pretty much beyond repair, so I need to get cracking on the replacement, that's been sitting in my yard since last fall.

I ran across a link to the USS Potomac online. She was Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential yacht when he was president, then was sold out of service. She was Elvis's yacht for a while, used to smuggle drugs under another owner, eventually sank and was refloated. My father and I saw her shortly after that, having seen an article in the paper (late 1980's?) and driving over to see her. She was in really bad condition. However a trust bought her, and managed to come up with enough funds to rehabilitate her. She has a good business doing charters and history tours on San Francisco bay.

uss potomac
USS Potomac.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Tuesday - The soldering went well. I cut off what few connectors that actually stayed on the wire, then soldered in some lengths of the #18 solid core that I bought at Radio Shack (along with some solder). Then I tested the rear circuits to make sure that they worked, removing one sprinkler head to let the sand and grit flush out. Everything seemed to work, so I sprayed the joints with a liquid tape, repeatedly. Tomorrow I'll wrap things in tape and spray again, then bury the thing (finally).

The afternoon and early evening were spent on a little bit of iPad programming, and a lot of dealing with app "provisioning". Holy cow, what a messed up system. I spent hours getting certificates and enabling keychains and getting iTunes work and to talk to the device ... only to discover at the final step that the innocent iPad software upgrade I'd allowed a few weeks ago (why not?) had upgraded the pad to iOS 5.1 and that my Xcode could only provision my tablet for versions up to 5.0. And that the new Xcode required Mountain Lion instead of Snow Leopard ($35), and that Snow Leopard required 2GB of RAM, not the 1GB I had. So I ordered 2GB($35) from Amazon (from Crucial, really) and called it a day.

Monday 16 April 2012

Monday - I liked the Koi photo below enough to use it as my desktop background, after a bit of cropping to center the fish.

The morning was mostly spent on various paperwork issues for taxes, taxes, and various attempts to remedy issues with household accounts. The afternoon was spent putting the final sprinkler repairs in play, and trying to fix the cut wire. At 7:30 pm I tired of crimped connectors and called it a day. I'll just solder it tomorrow, and put some liquid tape on it, it'll be faster and probably at least as waterproof.

The sand and grit in the line is working it's way down to the sprinkler heads. Some can be taken apart and cleaned, some just have to be replaced. I'm using the brass head replacements, which seem to last more than a season or two. I'd prefer to put in all brass, but it's expensive and I think you pretty much have to do all of them at the same time.

I read some Ipad stuff for an hour, but it feels like a lost day...

I also verified that the controller on the dryer is giving up the ghost. I've suspected for a while that there were issues, so being around and about allowed me to verify that it is (1) running at full hot, no matter what heat setting is used, and (2) not stopping. I've ruined some shirts and clothes in the last few weeks, but just put it down to their age and inattention on my part. So, one more thing to fix at some point.

Sunday 15 April 2012

Sunday - The nice weather has returned. Instead of working on sprinklers I spent a lot of the day working on the Ipad programming thing. I'll work on the sprinklers tomorrow...

Since April 15 is a Sunday this year the official day to send in quarterly taxes is tomorrow.

Baseball has started up. The Dodger's are 9 and 1 so far. One of the players is still batting .445, Matt Kemp. In fact someone pointed out that one of his hits in the last game, being just a single,  lowered his stats. Heh. A good problem to have!

Picture of the Week
Koi in San Diego Zoo
Photo Notes: Koi fish at the San Diego Zoo.

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