Your boat is low on the water…

This is the worst phone call that a boat owner can get: your boat is low on the water…

This is how it started when Bob, our dock neighbor, friend and crew on the Pacific Cup called me last Wednesday night.Bob immediately realized that something was wrong when he came back to the marina from work. Bob was still on the parking lot, when he spotted the problem and called me right away. I was on the phone with him when he opened the boat and told me that the floor boards where under water. Forty five minutes later, I was on the boat. Another neighbor, Greg, had loaned a powerful pump and we were still looking for the source of the problem.

The problem was a loose nut in the speed sensor. Greg (the same one) had cleaned the bottom last Saturday and apparently kicked the plug. This created a small leak which triggered the bilge pump to… fail!

I spent Wednesday night and all day Thursday cleaning, drying and assessing the damage. The water was high enough to destroy the engine battery, the heater, a vacuum cleaner and many spare parts.I also changed the bilge pump switch. I am now planning to add the high water alarm that I always wanted to have…

Anyway the spirit is still high. This is a small hiccup in a big adventure. Hawaii we are still coming!

This boat was designed that way!

This boat was designed that way!

Bow spirit

I was inspired to add a bow spirit from a posting in the Beneteau 411 group on Facebook. The bow spirit helps move the asymmetrical spinnaker away from the railing.

The bow spirit was built by Mark Shutts of Shutts Fabricators. Mark is very talented and reasonable and it was a lot of fun to work with him on this small project. I highly recommend him. Here is the original I found on Facebook:

The "original"

The “original”

and here is my copy:

Bow spirit

The “copy”

The bow spirit fits in the anchor roller and can be quickly removed if needed.

Pacific Offshore Academy IV

Last Sunday was the 4th and last of the Pacific Offshore Academy seminars. I am likely the only out-of-town sailor who attended the four seminars. Overall the last one was the best, mostly due to the subjects and the quality of the speakers:

  • Navigation and Tactics (speaker Chris “Lew” Lewis)
  • Weather considerations (speaker Mike Dvorak)
  • Weather The course (speaker Stan Honey)
  • Downwind Driving (speaker Kame Richards)

Hearing and meeting Stan Honey was worth the trip north. For those who don’t know who he is, here is a pretty good resume. He is a nice American man who thinks that sailing with the crazy French sailors is OK! He agreed to take a picture but sadly the contrast is not good.

With Stan Honey

With Stan Honey

In other news, the weather was perfect, likely better than the weather we will have before the race in July because as Mark Twain never said: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”.

Richmond Yacht Club

Perfect weather at the Richmond Yacht Club

The only hick-up of the day was losing my T-shirt  in the plane (someone kicked my elbow and I spilled my coffee). I fixed that with a quick stop at West Marine on the way to the seminar.

Unless something unplanned happens, my next trip north will be by boat to bring Med Viking to the San Francisco bay.