Saturday, October 30, 2010

September 2010...Why isn't the Forward AC cooling?

Commodore Harry & Admiral Linda with mom.

Lynn groovin on the sunset, I am just enjoying the friends & beer!

A Broad Wing Hawk up Close at the Hawk Watch

The Admiral being Blessed by the Indian Leader at the Ceremony.

I am a bit behind on my post so this post will be a bit lengthy as I am playing catch up and get all of September in on 1 post:

We were sorta hoping September would find a little relief from the 100+ heat indexes & Humidity, at least one weekend we were punked by a forcasted cold front. Temps dropped 2 degrees and we continued to sweat. But we were actually much more tolerant of the heat and sweat. I guess you just expect to step off the boat at 0730 am and immediately begin to sweat. Those loose fitting fishing type shirts with built in vents are the only way to go. The month started out with a cruise to Ingelside. This was to be a three day event at Mud Island and I was very excited to get a chance to stretch the cruising legs. The cruise destination was changed to Ingelside since the anchorage would be protected from the forcasted North winds coming in with the "Cold Front". We were delayed getting out the 1st day and as we were getting ready to depart for Ingelside, a few storm cells developed over the Bay. So we decided to just join the fleet on Day2 and avoid questionable weather. The boats that left early on day 1 got into the anchorage just fine but they got a close up view of a water spout running down the channel near Ingelside in the late afternoon. Day 2 was great weather and we had a great sail towards Ingelside, but since the wind was on the nose we turned on the motor and cruised on over to the anchorage so we could enjoy hanging out with the other cruisers. We anchored near the back of the group as our anchoring skills are still developing and there was no need for any drama. After setting the new Rocna anchor we lowered the dingy and got the outboard on. The dingy & OB was part of the deal when we bought our boat. We have not named the dingy yet but I am thinking "Shooting Star" might be appropriate, but up till this cruise I could never get the dingy up on a plane. It is an AB Aluminum RIB (rigid inflatable boat). You do not see any aluminum RIB's here, the previous owner bought it since he expected to use it in the Pacific Northwest where the beaches are rocky. There is an advantage though since aluminum is lighter than fiberglass hulls. I took the dingy out to run the engine since we rarely have a chance to use it. This time the 9.8 hp Tohatsu engine did it's job and the RIB finally got up on a plane. It was fun. That evening the BYC Commodore Harry & Linda hosted a party on their Defever 40' trawler "Cabaret"and there was plenty of room on this boat for a grilling for approx 20+ or so. A great evening for sure, this is what these weekend cruises are all about. Around 2200 hours all started to get back to their boats and a great nights sleep at anchor for everyone. Next morning I got out the fishing gear, I had saved same sqid from a previous fishing attempt and I hoped to catch some lunch. I must have caught about 25 small to medium sized hard head cat fish...these you just throw back. I got tired of the activity since it becomes a bit messy of taking them off the hook and tossing them back in. Maybe next time. We dingied over to a nearby Island with Kevin and Kerry, The beach was a shell paradise since it is not exactly a public area. We walked the beach till we discovered a no trespassing sign and then back across the channel for grilled burgers on "Kerry Ann" for lunch. We later dingied into the Bahia marina to enjoy the swimming pool and a bit of conversation concerning a tropical storm that was brewing in the Gulf but was expected to come ashore South of Brownsville in Mexico. Everyone planned to get up early on Day 4 and head back to Corpus before the effects of the storm came into our area. When the Admiral and I got back to the boat we got a call from Jim Clower on H dock. They thought we should come back in due to the weather reports. The Admiral has great respect for such advice so we made plans to go ahead and depart back to Corpus that afternoon. As we were taking the anchor up and departing Ingelside Bay, the winds were already picking up. Soon the were 15-20, we would have a fast downwind run all the way back to Corpus. The bay had 4-5' short chop and occasional 25 knot gust. We got in around 1900 and with the help of our dock mates easily got back in the slip and tied up. Even though our cruise was cut short we felt good to be safe in the slip, the night was windy and we got almost an hour of heavy rains early the next morning. All the other cruisers did find a bit of a weather window to get back to Corpus without incident that morning.
Port A & Birding
The condo was much more available so we spit time in Port A and continued to develop our birding skills. We attended a "Hawk Watch" in Cal Allen just Northwest of Corpus where birders gather to sight and count the migrating Hawks and Falcons of all types. See: We learned what a "Kettle " is and saw several. The event was attended by a local Indian group who sang/chanted several songs celebrating the Hawk migration and several participated in a blessing ceremony by the female leader of the group. This brought tears to some eyes. We saw Broad Wing, White Tail, and red tail Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, and Osprey + several more non raptor species.

Around the middle of the month I got a call from Cathy Colley from the BYC candidate search committee inquiring if I would be interested in being a Flag Officer for the club for the next year. She thought perhaps I might be interested in Vice Commodore or the Rear Commodore position. I said "Cathy, I barely know how to open the Yacht Club door much less be in Charge of such stuff, find me another job like keeping the place stocked with needed items like toilet paper or something." I was sure you needed to kind of work your way into such a position so you have a handle on what needs to be done etc. Later she called back and asked if I could be the Secretary for next year, all I would have to do is show up to monthly board meetings and take the notes and publish them. Well, I could do that & I wanted to support her Vice Commodore husband Chris who I thought would be moving into the Commodore's position. The last weekend of the month was the general membership meeting where the members vote on the slate for next years board. This is where I found out I was on the slate with all newbies except for the treasure Joann Robertson who would sign on for another term. This is good since there does need to be some level of experience to carry over to the new board and she is very good at what she does. The other good news was the person who accepted the Commodore's position is a very capable Woman and very good sailor. This might just be what the club needs to encourage some creative ideas for the new year. I will be filling some big shoes as the current secretary is part of the old guard and he has years of contributions to the club.
Projects: AC and Refrigeration
When you just weekend on a boat you never really stress out any of the systems since you are just there a couple of nights and then go away till the next opportunity to spend a weekend on the boat. But living aboard for weeks at a time will determine which of those systems that are older than 15 years will continue to function and perform in the summer heat. The first system to crash was the forward AC unit. No problem, I had installed a AC unit in the aft stateroom when we bought the boat so even though this would cost 1 & 1/2 boat units, I could get the old one out and the new one in less than 5 hours. I ordered one right away knowing we could stay inside our boat budget and not break our pledge to stay away from running up the credit card. The Admiral subtly agreed as neither of us wanted to deal with an uncomfortable interior at this point in our transition. AC install went great and the new unit was cooler, more efficient and quieter. Three days later the refrigeration died. Dad Gummit! This would take some research on a solution and would have to wait for the boat fund to refill with some fresh $$.. Free Ice is available both at the Yacht club and the Marina office so we would be hauling about 50 pounds of ice every three days or so to keep the frig cold. There is this dance that I have to negotiate with the Admiral on these larger projects to enlist her support. Since her father was a master with machines and such of all sorts she has a genetic pre-disposed intuition of all things mechanical and so any solution must pass muster with her review. After weeks of consultation with Google, Gulf Stream Marine, most of the Sea Gods and a few of the dock experts it was determined we would just replace the 20 year old unit with a 2010 version of the same machine. But we would have to wait until the 1 & 1/2 boat units were loaded into the boat fund as per the agreement with the Admiral. Haulin Ice when it is hot outside is not that bad, it is a cool thing to do. On the days when I did not have a boat project and was looking to just have a "retirement day" the Admiral seemed to find some "Corrosion" somewhere in the boat that needed my attention. Usually a 1 hour or less job that required the dremal tool to clean the offending corrosion off the metal object and a bit of corrosion control applied to hault any future corrosion. I can't seem to catch up to the Admiral's list but that's ok since I will have more time next month to take care of the list she has for me.

We did go out sailing a couple of times just in the Bay but I really can't remember much about all that now, just short 2-3 hour sails just the Admiral and I.

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