Monday, October 05, 2015

Eclipse of the Blood Moon

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Blood Moon
In late September, 2015 the moon was full and at it's perigee, closest to the earth, making it appear larger than normal. On the 28th a total eclipse occurred, when the moon passed through the earth's shadow. On that night, after it's rise, before the eclipse occurred, the moon appeared red, due to the fact that the sun's rays were travelling through the earth's atmosphere before shining on the moon, giving the name Blood Moon.

Total Eclipse of the Moon

An hour later the earth's shadow began to block the moon. Over the next few hours we watched the moon cross fully into the earth's shadow and disappear, before reappearing as it came out of the shadow. It was an awesome sight.

And after the eclipse the normal full moon was back.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chain Plate Job

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Rust Stains Showing
For over a year we looked at these rust stains and even though no further rusting showed itself, we knew we had to get seriously into the chainplate issue.

Double Checking the mast for straightness
This is what we will try to get back to after the whole job is finished: A Straight Mast

This is what I have to take off to get at the chainplate. By the way, these are Kiwi-Rig Turnbuckles which we put on in 2000 when we replaced the rig in Tonga (another story).

Set Screws

Marking with tape
After loosening the lock nuts we mark the position of the turnbuckle with tape to make it easier to get the rig back in tune later.

The rig is pretty tight and these turnbuckles, also known as rigging screws, are hard to turn. The small wrench holds one half of the screw while the main work occurs turning the bigger nut in the middle.

Two turns off
A good start is to let all the turnbuckles off a little bit. I used two turns to get started.

Down to one remaining shroud
Leaving one shroud on as long as we can meant that we still had support for the mast. By this time we also had set some halyards out to the rail to help support the mast. Once the shrouds were all off we worked fast to get the chainplate out, inspected, fixed and back in so that the amount of time when no shrouds were on the starboard side was minimal.

Ten bolts

Ugh! We had to drill out the fiberglass

Finally there is just a hole in the deck

Down on the dock we cleaned up the piece and performed a visual inspection.

Here it is, the source of all that rust. You can't tell how seriously the strength was effected but obviously it needs a repair.

Our local welder ground out the crack and filled the resulting hole with new metal. Not perfectly beautiful, but it looks strong to me.

On the back


Bolting it back in
We put one bolt in on Monday night to enable us to attach a shroud.

Put on one shroud
This single intermediate shroud gave the rig a lot of support and gave us some peace of mind.

Temporary rain seal
Too late in the day to finish, we sealed the holes so rain wouldn't come in during the night.

Tuesday, All finished

Check for straight

After I finished the re-tuning it looked good to me, but this photo revealed that the mast is out about 1/2 inch at the first spreader. I'll make that adjustment in one of the next few days.


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Marina Scenes and Big Motors

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Big Motors

Top Dog

Taco Fest
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Kids on Statue

Taco Time
This guy did find a quiet place to eat his taco.


Blue Dress


From Behind

Marina Scenes

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Wings in Marina La Cruz

It's amazing to me that right on the marina grounds we have wetlands where water birds gather.

Birds 4450

Birds 4465

Birds 4475


Dock 8 and Amphitheater


Marina at Night Fall

View from La Pesca

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Sailing to Yelapa

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