sailing the NorSea


WEEK 24 2012

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Saturday 16 June 2012
Saturday - On the road again, up north to visit my sister in Fremont. Light blogging, probably, for a few days.

I did get paid yesterday, that's nice. Sadly the teller who looks a bit like 'Seven of Nine' wasn't on duty when I deposited the check.

"Sir - if you want cash back you'll have to sign the deposit slip"

Friday 15 June 2012
Friday - Back in town. I was going to head north to visit my sister, but the Explorer needed some work done. It's been running warm, so I had the oil changed, the radiator flushed, the tranny fluid changed and new spark plugs put in. The plugs were kind of seared, I'm not sure why that would be. The serpentine belt looked good so we didn't change that out. It'll be up for smogging in a month, and it was time for the 200,000 tune up about 20,000 miles ago. I feel better about it now, though it's another $366 out of my pocket.

Six weeks of plant growth:

Beginning of May

Middle of June.

I want to get those paver's in - that project stalled when I injured myself last year - but getting time to do the work has been an issue these last few week's. Ah well, I'll get to it, and a thousand other household jobs, eventually.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Thursday - OTR. Another longish day, 12 hours or so. Some office work, but also some looking for new digs with the boss. We've pretty much outgrown the current digs, and there are issues with our current landlord (or rather, the guy we sublet from). It's a wonderland of office space out there - the economy has obviously been a disaster for the owners of small business parks - great for us as we can pick and choose. Mostly, there are still a few pitiable souls living in the past boom times, demanding to see the company's IRS returns before even allowing an application. The boss politely declined, and we didn't started laughing until later.

Our brand new CAD system crashed, a hard drive failure after three days. The draftsman is delayed, re-doing some drawings, and the boss needs to get the office thing sorted out, so I headed back to Lancaster in the evening. Nasty traffic, huge chunks of the I-14 were blocked off for construction. At one point there was a tire and bits of car debris in the only open lane, which made for a lot of swerving and swearing among drivers.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Wednesday  - OTR. Up at four and on the road down to Ventura before 5. A long long day, too, not done until after 8:00 in the evening.

There was no shore power down at the boat - power out to the whole end of the marina. Not a huge deal as I have batteries, but it meant that there was no hot water in the showers ashore in the morning. And my coffee pot runs on 110V. As does the electric razor. I should get an inverter eventually. I still don't have the propane stove fixed up. I should work on that stuff, along with about 100 other things.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Tuesday - Work below canceled for the day, so I stayed and did another outstanding task: smogging the Probe.

It's only used rarely, a grand total of 972 miles on it since the last oil change in July of 2010, according to the (intermittently functioning) odometer. So I took it in for an oil change, then topped off the tank with 91 octane at Chevron. Then it was off to the mandatory "Check Only" smog station that a friend had recommended. And, on the third (and last) attempt it passed - apparently it was running too cold on the first couple of attempts. Odd, since it usually runs warm and it was about 100F out. There was a fan blowing on the radiator and I had the heater on, to keep the temps down while idling. Turning that off brought the temp up from the "N" to past the "R" in the "NORMAL" range.

  1. Oil Change, $26:30
  2. Gas, $12.45
  3. Smog Station, $59.99
  4. DMV, $93.00
For a grand total of $191.74. Bah. The cost of a new main halyard!

It was warm, officially 99F out at the airport, but probably 100+ in town. The car was running warmer than usual, even at freeway speeds, with the air conditioning off. One of the reasons I don't drive it much.

The swamp cooler continues to perform splendidly, over 30F of cooling!

The new pads, the lower exhaust speed, the root cause is ???

Monday 11 June 2012

Monday - Very, very tired. Did some errands, bills and chores.

Book #54 was Hammerhead, by Jason Bond. Read sometime in the last couple of weeks. This I would rate as mediocre first book (sci-fi), but with signs of possible improvement by the author. The writing is decent, protagonist and his two friends well characterized, but the villian is cardboard and the plot structure and tech rather weak.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Sunday - Got up early, collected my sailing partner Kirk, and headed down to Oxnard. I let him do the driving, all the way. It was a quiet Sunday morning on the freeway, but time on these freeways: 14, 405, 118 and 101, is a bit stressful at any time, and it's good practice for him.

We spent a bit of time getting the boat ready to go. I'd already put a lot of stuff in places where it wouldn't shift at the first wave, but there was more, and the kayak to be moved off the boat, sail covers and ties to be fixed up, and so on. We also checked the oil level in the Yanmar, and it was fine, so we didn't add any or have to suck any out.

We had a good time. The wind were light and variable, and I don't think we reached boat speed under sail at any time, but we practiced tacks and jibes, and basic boaty stuff, and had a good experience. There was a heavy swell to go with the light wind. The boy got queasy first, then myself, so we popped a couple of the Dramamine II (meclazine) tablets, and all was well. We even had lunch a bit later.

We saw a herd of dolphin's go by, under the boat, and that was cool.

The wind was so light that we didn't make it out to the islands, sadly, so anchoring off Anacapa or Santa Cruz will just have to wait. We finally had to motor back to the harbor when the wind died almost completely, late afternoon. By the time we were done cleaning and packing and stowing it was nearly 8:00pm. Docking was OK, I muffed the turn but a strong man with a new boathook was at the bow and we didn't ram anything!

We had the option of staying over, and sailing a second day, but in a spasm of worry over getting back to work I decided to call what we'd done a success and head home. There wouldn't be any wind the following morning - it doesn't start until about 10:00, and the weather forecast was a repeat of the previous day, and we wouldn't be able to overnight at the islands, and would have to motor all day to get there and back, so it was probably best.

Still it wasn't as much time on the water as I'd hoped for. Ah well, that's sailing!

 I let him drive all the way home, too, on the dark freeways. A bit more traffic than in the morning, and several times he had to put up with the morons who try to tailgate you and intimidate you into changing lanes or speeding up, despite there being passing room. He kept his cool and just waited them out, which is hard to do at any age, but especially at 18. Kudo's to him.

Picture of the Week
demonstration of polarizaton
Photo Notes: The effects of polarization on the water.

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