Sunday, August 8, 2010

Video Camera alive!

Ok, so I haven't been doing anything exciting lately. I'm sorry for that. I've been getting a bit lazy. And in addition, I've been troubled by technical difficulties, but I'm slowly overcoming them. My underwater video camera, the GoPro, got sick and was in a coma for a while, but it has come back to the world, and here are a couple things from it!

Also, I don't get internet all the time out on the boat (in fact almost no time at all) and I don't like carrying everything ashore, so sometimes (like now) I have taken some pictures, but I can't transfer them to my computer because I didn't bring the card reader. Maybe I'll go get it today and then post an addendum tonight.
Life has been going well on the water, it is still nice down here in SoCal. Catalina is a welcome refuge from LA, as always, and there is plenty of places to go visit on the island that are new and exciting. And lots of people out there to meet and visit with.
Still, there are some problems that I've been trying to work out.

Food: I don't really have a lot of good food. The things I eat are all right, but I am sure glad to get ashore and get new stuff. Why? Because I like things like fruit, and orange juice and cheese and other things that need to be kept cool (if they will survive for a week) and I can't keep them cool. My fridge (ice box) is really not icy at all, because it doesn't have good insulation. It was built into the boat with 1971 insulation (I am sure that they have invented better by now) and not a lot of it. The top is a mahogany plywood sheet, so no insulation there, and the sides are unknown insulation, but potentially none on the outboard side, where it meets the hull.
So I might go after an icebox, or a cooler. Any suggestions on the best brand? I don't need anything big, and I might just go with one of those styrofoam coolers that you can get for REAL cheap, but I'm open to ideas. Then I'd convert my present icebox into dry food storage or something, and hopefully things will work out better.
Another option is to get a small fridge and run it, but that requires more electric power than I have, which means getting more solar panels. (not that getting the panels is that hard)

Rigging: Most people replace their standing rigging (the wires that hold up the mast) every 10 years or so. I don't know when this rig was last replaced, so it is probably due. Supposing I run into big weather and lose my mast, that would suck. But it is expensive to do. So I am in a dilemma. I have already added an extra forestay by running one off the bowsprit, so I have an insurance there, where both have to break in order for the mast to drop. The boat has built in redundancy in the back, where the points most likely to fail (the bottom) are doubled. The back-stay comes down and splits into two sections, which connect to the boat. So front and back are pretty well tied down. The sides, also have redundancy, because they have shrouds that go halfway up the mast, so in the event of the side stay failure, they take the load, and then the mast might break in half, but at least I would still have that half of it.
Some cruisers have what are called "baby back stays" or Running backs, or running backstays. I think I want to make some of them. They are basically cables that come down from near the top of the mast and connect to a point on the side of the boat aft of the mast, but not all the way back. As a consequence, they will interfere with the mainsail, and have to be taken down on the side the sail is being set on. That means that they usually have a quick-disconnect and tightening device on them, and (since there are two) are usually only run one at a time. The benefit is that I have an extra redundancy on the side stay, and on the back stay (my two weak points right now) but the downside is that I have to make a connection at the top of the mast (which doesn't exist yet) and on the sides of the boat (which don't exist yet) and find the cable and the tightening mechanism.
The other option is to re-do the cables and swaging, at a cost of about $800 or maybe more.
Unfortunately I don't have a good indicator for failure on the swages. On some things, you can see them rusting and know that you are losing strength at a certain rate, but with stainless, it doesn't really show you.

I still haven't gone surfing yet, and as the days go by I am more and more eager to go, but it is hard to find a suitable spot; where I can leave my boat unattended nearby, and where there are not hordes of other people who will make it hard for me to catch a wave. I have, however, been playing lots of frisbee, and am awaiting my cleats being shipped down from my dad's place, so I can use them. Pretty much I go out to the islands during the week, and then come to LA to play frisbee on the weekend.


Alisa said...

The only thing I have to say on coolers, especially if you are going to be using for an extended period of time, is that it is nice to have a drain hole. You probably already solved your problem by now but just thought I would give you my input. Good luck!

Claire said...

It's summer--where is your pretty, long blond hair?!