Saturday, June 21, 2014

Best sailing day ever?

Had what may have been our best sailing ever today.  Wind was great, Deborah was unfazed, and the boat was apparently tuned just right!

The forecast was for about 12 knots, which for Verboten means the main and blade. We set it up and out we went. High 5 knots and 6 knots by GPS on our first run across the lake. That's a good sign!

As we continued sailing, the wind kept building to the point I was thinking about reefing. Deborah said no, though, so we kept on sailing. GPS started to say 6.3 to 6.4 knots sustained speed on starboard tack, 6.1-6.3 on port. Heck yeah! Got a big sustained blast at one point so I eased the sheets and headed down to a broad reach. Next thing I know we're doing 6.7, 6.8 and even 7 knots - for more than just a blink of the GPS too. Yeee haaaa!  We're planing!

When I checked after we got home, the wind peaked at 13 knots with gusts to 19.  With our tall rig and no reef.  Whoa!

We were a little overpowered through some of this, primarily because the head of the main sail wasn't up to the mark, and I hadn't adjusted the outhaul to flatten the sail. Once I fixed those issues the gusts didn't affect us as badly yet we were still maintaining speeds over 6 knots a lot of the time. That's pretty good for a boat that's not supposed to do more than 6 knots!

Biggest problem we had all day was getting the boat hove to so I could have a potty break. These boats just won't settle down and drift like a full keel boat.

Icing on the cake is that it cost me all of about $8 in fuel (2-ish gallons of diesel) for the 90 mile round trip. Loving the new Jetta TDI!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

First Sail of the Year!

It took a bit to get here but we finally got in our first sail of the year.  Boy did it feel good to be on the water again.

Getting to this point took a bit of work.  If you've been following my blog you know that we had a leaky through hull while we were in the San Juan Islands last summer.  Having the boat sink at the dock would be pretty embarrassing, as well as expensive, so the through hulls had to go.

Getting them out was harder than I expected.  Or maybe I should say getting the depth sounder transducer out was.  The leaky speedo paddlewheel came out with a couple good wacks.

Some serious grinding ensued to get to bare fiberglass.

The new glass had to be held in from below.

Then the holes filled in from the top, more glass, and resin.

Next came filling the holes from below, then fairing compound (epoxy with "microballoons")

Then sanding

barrier coat, and painting the bottom.  Turns out the barrier coat doesn't self-level.  Oh well.

That VC17-m is shiny stuff when it goes on.  Too bad it doesn't stay that bright copper color.  It was all blue for our first sail.

About $400 in all, I think.  For two 2 inch holes, and two full coats of bottom paint.

On Sunday (before Memorial day) we drove down to the lake and launched Verboten.  Heidi came along to help, which was nice.   Tuesday evening I drove down after work and finished getting the boat ready.  I put on the boom, main sail, etc., and brought the battery home for the charge I should have done while it was in the driveway.

Still got some odds & ends to do, like replace the worn out bungie cords on the bow, but I'm ready for a great summer on the lake!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring mayhem!

It's been an interesting couple of months around here . . .

Two months ago I get a call from Deborah while I'm at work.  The washer dumped an entire load of rinse water on the floor in the utility room.  She was headed out to take April to the hospital to have kidney stones removed so I needed to drive home to deal with the disaster.

No problem, I though.  How much damage can one load of rinse water do?  Well, the answer is, over $12,000 worth!  Once I got home it was obvious that I wasn't going to be able to deal with the damage myself.  I called the insurance company and they referred me to ServPro.  Called them and started the ball rolling to get a crew here to start ripping out drywall, floors and wet insulation.  Then I moved the washer and dryer out onto the back porch and started pulling up the molding along the floor.  Meanwhile the water kept wicking up the walls in the utility room, master bath, kitchen, and master bedrooom.

ServPro came in the next day and started the mitigation process.  Ripped up the floor in the utility room and bathroom, cut out the wet drywall and insulation, drilled holes in various interior walls, and set up fans & dehumidifiers.  After 3 days things were making progress but they weren't drying out near the water heater; we came home to find it temporarily moved behind the fridge and we got 4 more days of fans & dehumidifiers.

The insurance came through with $7K for the restoration part of the process.  That helps, especially if I do a lot of the work myself.  Given what ServPro quoted for the floors I decided to let them do the walls and I'll do the rest.

What I didn't mention was the fact that our project manager was out for 4 weeks on medical leave. Apparently they didn't pass the torch and things kept dragging on.  We finally got them to repair and paint the walls in the utility room so I could put a new floor in and we could stop going to the laundromat.  That was 3-4 weeks after the flood.

The bathroom had wallpaper; the guy who put in the replacement drywall mudded over the wallpaper.  Not sure what he was thinking, but I called and said that wasn't going to work; they needed to rip out the wallpaper and do the job right, so it could be textured & painted.  3 weeks later they *finally* got started.  By then Deborah was totally frustrated.  I was sick for a couple days, which turned out to be helpful - I was here to see the work and talk to our project manager, who was back on the job.  They did a much better job.

As part of the project we decided to replace the carpet in the bedroom with the same vinyl flooring we were putting in the bathroom.  We got a super deal at Home Depot and bought all 11 cases they had in stock locally.  Friday evening was spent pulling all the furniture, except the bed, out of the bedroom.  Saturday morning I ripped out the carpet and got all the staples from the carpet pad out of the floor.

Gaby, our 2nd granddaughter, came over and helped me put in the floor.  She started out carrying cases of the flooring in and handing the pieces to me.  By the time we were done she was measuring, cutting, and fitting the pieces while I focused on the more complicated sections that needed to be cut around doors, etc.  She did a great job and you can't tell the sections I did from the ones she did.  It was nearly 9:00 PM before we were done.

Sunday was spent putting the molding in the bedroom and moving the furniture back in, plus getting the toilet back in the bathroom.  Wasn't that fun!?  It took the rest of the week to get the bathroom molding done, caulk around the tub, and generally get the place back to normal.  Two months, all told.  Jeez.

In the middle of this disaster we had a few other adventures.

First Deborah and I made a quick trip to Florida to check in on my grandparents.  That involved fun things like replacing the guts on two leaky toilets, caulking around the master bathtub where the grout had come out, and trimming a bush with a chainsaw.  Dad and Jan were there part of the time, which was nice, and helped get some of the work done.

While pulling something out of one of the kitchen cabinets I happened to notice a can of pineapple that was about to explode!  We managed to get it out, and into a bag, without setting it off, then we started to clean out the cupboards.  There was stuff in there that was over a decade old!  Yikes!  We filled a garbage bag.

Deborah and I did find some time for sight seeing, taking a trip to Blue Springs and New Smyrna Beach.  It was a nice change from the cold/rainy weather we'd left in Oregon.

We came home to a letter from the insurance company (the same one I use) letting us know that they were cancelling the insurance on the house in Florida because there's nobody living in it.  Sweeeet.  NOT.  My sister is working on getting a policy through another company.  Hopefully they won't be quite as particular about whether it's permanently occupied or a "vacation" home.

Sooo, at this point you're probably thinking things couldn't get worse, right?  Ha!

We drove to Salem to see Brandi and Al's new baby, Charlotte, one evening after work.  On the way in that morning I'd noticed that the car didn't feel right when it shifted.  Driving up to Salem on the freeway it seemed to shift a lot more than usual.  Sure enough, on the way back it stuttered 3 times and the check engine light came on.  Code = transmission issue$.  Me = not amused.

I reset the light and kept an eye on things.  MPG down, shifty, but no light.  Until we went back to Salem and the same !@$@$# thing happened again!   We'd just rolled over 100K miles a couple weeks ago. ARRGGGHHHHH!

Let's see, brakes are due, 100K mile tune up due, and now several thousand dollars for transmission work.  On a car we're still paying for.  Well doesn't that suck.

We stewed over it for a few days, then decided we might as well look at a replacement.  I'd already decided that I wasn't interested in another Hyundai.  We've had 3, and they were all ok, but the last one just didn't hold up as well as I'd hoped.  Plus I thought we could do better on the MPG front.

Hybrids were pretty much out, due to the extra cost, so the next alternative was a small diesel.  That made it easy - VW Jetta TDI clean diesel.  Dad's had 5 or 6 VW diesels and has had great luck with them.  We stopped by the new Power VW dealership in Corvallis for a look after work one evening.  Not bad at all.  The next day, after doing some online research and deciding which options we wanted, we did the deal.  They gave us a decent trade in on the Sonata and matched the $1K factory rebate.  Deborah wasn't thrilled with the color but I think it's growing on her.  I'm loving the mileage (over 35 mpg commuting) and performance - lots of torque when that turbo kicks in!

Things haven't been ALL bad around here, though . . .

We tried out the new travel trailer and went to a wine bottling party at the end of March.  That was fun and the trailer worked out great!

Snowmageddon II

Apparently I forgot to post this back around February 10th. . . .

It's been an interesting and unexpected extended weekend.  Woke up on Thursday morning to a winter storm that was supposed to dump a few inches on the ground.  University closed

It kept on snowing . . .

and snowing . . .

 I did shuttle duty, picking Gaby up from school around 9:30 and Deborah up in Corvallis around 10:30.  Don't know why the schools or Deborah's office weren't closed.  It's not like there wasn't plenty of notice.

The drive was . . . interesting.

Friday morning there was a bit of a lull so Deborah and I drove down and knocked the snow off the boat before the second wave of snow hit. 

I did the Grandpa shuttle thing, picked up April's kids and delivered them to their Dad.  The roads weren't as bad as I expected but with over 8 inches on the ground they weren't great either.  The truck was chained up at this point.  Might need to get front chains for next year.

The snow just kept on falling.  We stopped measuring at 11 inches in the back yard  . . . .

Total topped out around 15 inches!

The next thing, on Saturday morning, was freezing rain.  On top of the snow.  That made a crunchy mess.  By noon it wasn't too horrible so Deborah and I headed out for groceries, meds, and lunch at Elmers.  The roads were sloppy.

Today (Sunday) we woke to find there'd been more freezing rain overnight.  As the weather warmed to above freezing the ice started falling from the trees.  Sounded like popcorn or something as it hit the frozen snow.

We went down to the boat to knock the snow off again.  Glad I did as the rain made it really heavy and the mast was bent in the middle!

This looks much better but I need to come up with a better frame for next year.

Drove home, got James and we dug out his car.

 Out again at 1:30 to take April to work.  What a freaking mess!  The roads have ruts that are over a foot deep (on the sides) in places!  You'd think the city could get a grader out or invest in a couple of plows to clear the stuff out.

Left again a bit before 3 to pick up Heidi and go see Monument Men.  The roads were a bit better but it was starting to get foggy.  Warm weather over snow = fog.  Yeah.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

We got a trailer!

Once again serendipity has struck the Sinnett household and we find ourselves the proud owners of a 2010 R-Vision Trail Cruiser 23QBC travel trailer that's only been used 4 (yes 4) times!.

We've been toying with the idea of getting a travel trailer for a few years.  Deborah had one in the past and enjoyed it.  We've gone to a couple of RV shows over the last couple of years and I've been watching Craigslist.  Nothing serious and nothing that jumped off the page at us.  Until a few weeks ago, that is.

Deborah's been walking in the mornings with her long-time friend Danita for the last few months.  In the course of their walks Danita mentioned that she had a travel trailer that she needed to sell.  Next thing I knew we were taking a look at it to see if the floor plan was something we like.  It was.

Front walk-around queen bed . . .

Rear bath

Unlike with the boat, I went to the bank the first time she asked.  Same expectation that they'd say no.  Same result, that they didn't.  And it does look good in our driveway

The battery was toast so I got a pair of 6v golf cart batteries.  When I went to install the new battery box I got a surprise - it didn't fit!  Some creative carpentry and I've got a platform that should do the job.

Most of the systems check out fine but I've got a bit of work to do on the fridge.  It works fine on electricity but didn't want to fire consistently on gas.  Probably a spider in the burner.  I'd be working on it this weekend if it wasn't for Snowmageddon II (see tomorrow's post).

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Extended

We had kind of a drawn out Christmas this year.  First, Deborah and I decided to start early. I paid for her sewing lessons for the year and bought her a thread caddy with 100+ rolls of thread; She bought me a La Crosse wireless weather station and a new exhaust system for the truck.  Romantic, huh?  The truck sounds 1000% better and I suspect we'll get better mileage too.  That will be nice when it comes to towing the boat.

Christmas Eve was busy with the girls, most of the grandkids, Brandy and Al with Chloe, and Doug and Linda here.  Fun times.  On Christmas day I had a gift certificate to her favorite spa for her and she had an egg poacher for me. We've used it twice already!  

Yesterday (28th) James, Zach & Krista came over to celebrate a late Christmas with us.   James brought some awesome orange-molasses cookies and Zach & Krista gave me a cool pair of kitchy lamps for the family room.  

Then we headed to Portland to pick up Jessy and Homero from the airport.  They'd been in Mexico visiting his family.  This morning (Sunday) April, Gaby, Jose and Gaby's friend Anna came for waffles then we had Christmas with Jessy. 

All in all a nice Christmas.  Next stop New Year's Day and our 14th anniversary.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sailing friends and snow in the Valley

It's been a while since my last post.  Hasn't exactly been sailing weather around here though, so I guess I can forgive myself. :)

Several years ago Deborah and I decided to get away from the Thanksgiving insanity and head north to Victoria, Canada, for the holiday weekend.  We thought it was time to go north again this year so I emailed Bill and Sue (Capri 22 "Windsong"), who cruised the San Juans with us this summer, and asked if they wanted to meet us in Vancouver.  They asked if we wanted to visit them in Kamloops instead.  So we did!

Kamloops is a long drive so we left on Tuesday afternoon.  Our timing was impeccable and we hit Seattle at rush hour.  We did have a nice view of the ball fields and skyline while we sat in traffic.

We spent the night in a motel in Burlington then drove the rest of the way on Wednesday morning.  Tales of the infamous Coquahalla Highway had me prepared for feet of snow, treacherous driving and semi's sliding everywhere.  Ummm.  Nope.  

Bill & Sue have a beautiful home on a bluff at the south end of Kamloops.  The new Garmin GPS led us right to their house without any hiccups.  We spent 3 relaxing days, eating, visiting, and getting the grand tour of the area.  It's high desert and reminds me of Bend and the Gorge, only with steeper hills.
We checked out Snow Peaks ski area, had turkey with all the trimmings for (our) Thanksgiving (theirs was in October), and spent Black Friday fighting traffic and people to go shopping.  We also got to play a cool Canadian game called Crokinole; Sue and I whipped Bill and Deborah, but who's keeping score?  :)

We headed home on Saturday 10 long hours on the road, after a great visit.  Bill and Sue really are great hosts and wonderful friends.

The last week at home has been really interesting.  The forecasters were projecting an inch or so of snow in the valley.  I woke up about 4:30 AM on Friday and there was about 1/4 inch of snow on the ground.  By the time I got up it was over two inches,

 and by the time I decided to drive in to work for a 9:00 phone call there was 3 inches!  Wow.  Corvallis had even more snow, so after about 90 minutes, with the snow coming down like a blizzard, I grabbed my laptop and drove on home.  

The University closed at noon and didn't open again until today (Tuesday) at 9 AM.  By the time it was done snowing on Friday evening we had 6 inches at our house.

Jessy came over and made a snowman, which wasn't easy with the powder snow.  We managed with a shovel and bucket though.

Saturday we entertained Jessy and Jose, first with a trip to get 3 of us haircuts, then with some sledding in the back yard.

Now, what's all this snow got to do with the boat?  Not much, right?  Well, true, but Deborah did buy me an early Christmas present.  A La Crosse weather station with anemometer, rain gauge and indoor/outdoor temperature/humidity measurements.  Plus an online interface.  Awesome!