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Stories of s/v Valkier, DE38: All the shit that accumulates by Scott Carle

You know all the shit that accumulates in the corners of a boat? This story isn’t about that kind of shit. This story is about the kind that leaks through the ruptured diaphragm in a pump on a hose that terminates in a holding tank.

If that opening doesn’t grab attention, I’m not sure what will. Let me backtrack just a bit.

We actually spent three days working on the boat this week. The teak on deck is now at about 90% and in some area’s even has three coats of Tequa. We are really liking the Tequa, it goes on thin and penetrates on try teak for the first couple of coats and on the third coat gives the teak a soft luster that is just beautiful. So far we have used about one and a quarter quarts and it has covered 90% of the boat in two coats and some parts of the boat in three coats. I think we will stop at three coats and then see what durability is over time. Pictures of all this will be forthcoming in the next week or so.

Another little project that looks very promising is my bung replacement method I came up with for all the missing teak bungs in the screw holes of the cap rail. Many of the holes are now not deep enough to put new teak bungs in. I found some brown silicone at Lowes in a standard size caulking tube that I have experimented on. If you tape over the holes and then cut out the outline of the hole in the tape with a razor you then have a perfectly masked hole. You squeeze in some silicone, lightly squeegee the excess off and immediately pull up the tape. It leaves a very nice […]

Windsong: The Journey, Leg 4. Stuart to Merritt Island

We left Windsong in Stuart on its mooring ball for a week before I was able to get back there and begin the fourth leg with my Dad. I was concerned while it was there because the stuffing box was leaking worse than it ever had, and I couldn’t get it to stop dripping before we left. I did my best to stem the flow by tying some torn up towels around it, but knew that would help little. The bilge pump could keep up with the flow, and would run a few times a day I think. However, I didn’t know how long my batteries would last with the pump running frequently. Luckily I remembered to change the battery switch to the house batteries rather than its default setting of house + starter batteries. I realized I left it like that when Windsong was in Ft. Myers, and made a mental note to never leave the switch on both when not charging or motoring.

The plan was to motor up the ICW to Harbortown Marina in Merritt Island. We arrived in Stuart on Thursday evening (April 1st) a few hours before dark. First order of business was to dinghy all of our gear out to the boat, which wasn’t nearly as exciting as the nighttime ordeal we faced in Ft. Myers. After the gear was loaded (only took one trip) we enjoyed a beer then paddled back to shore to get some dinner at the marina restaurant. After dinner we had to paddle back in the dark and crashed quickly soon after. As usual I didn’t get any sleep, mind racing about what the next couple of days would hold.

The first day’s ride would be 2/3 of the trip, making progress all the way up to south Melbourne. […]

Windsong: The Journey, Leg 3: Ft. Myers to Stuart via the Okeechobee Waterway

The weekend of March 20 I was finally able to get some friends to help crew for me as we crossed Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway:

At 6.5 knots cruising speed, it takes about two days of long motoring to cross the state with a stop in Clewiston. Mark and Robbie both took Monday off so we would be able to make it north a bit on the East coast as well. The plan was to go from Ft. Myers to Clewiston on Saturday; cross the lake and make it to Stuart on Sunday; then Stuart to Vero Beach up the Intercoastal Waterway on Monday.

Friday night we were dropped off in Ft. Myers where Windsong was moored for about a week and a half. It was dark when we arrived, and we had to paddle my old dinghy about a half mile to the boat. The rubber dinghy does not have hard floors, so we couldn’t load too much weight. This made us have to take two trips back and forth to collect all cargo along with all three of us. We didn’t get any good pictures of the dinghy rides to the boat, but it was a lot of fun crossing the river in the dark of night, only city lights for illumination. I knew where the boat was in reference to the bridge and island surrounding it, but we couldn’t actually see it until very close.

We loaded up Windsong, had a few beers and settled in for the night. None of us slept well at all, I was nervous about how the engine would perform on its first real endurance test. We would be motoring about 8-10 hours a day for three days straight. I knew the fuel was clean now, so it was whatever […]

Another Sail Time Story: Saffanah’s recent trip from Ft Pierce to Jacksonville and the Ortega River

By Bill Amt and Diane Redinger

On April 3rd 2010, Saffanah started the second leg of her voyage from Marathon FL to Jacksonville FL where she will undergo the many remaining projects associated with her restoration.  Her first leg from the keys to Ft Pierce in December was more entertaining than the recent trip this past week.  This trip was pleasant and comfortable, incorporated great weather, lucked out in nearly perfect timing for winds, tides and moon light, and included a view of the last night time Shuttle launch – a spectacular event.  And crew compatibility was definitely not an issue – my best friend, perfect sailing companion, and wife, Diane, was with me for the first time on Saffanah.

The shuttle’s exhaust trail being dispersed as the sun rose over Titusville – 4/4/2010

Unfortunately, as is the case most of the sailing time I have ever experienced, this trip offered little intrigue about which to write – no emergencies or heart stopping events, no great sea stories that can be further elaborated over time, just five days of five knot motor sailing in light air, under azure blue skies, punctuated with white puffy clouds and plenty of shore color provided by azalea, dogwood, and redbud blossoms.  Is it not odd that the most idyllic passages offer the least about which to write?

When Saffanah arrived in Ft Pierce in December, we had new canvas made to protect the new sails we had purchased in the fall.  And because Mack Sails is located in nearby Stewart, we elected to purchase a Mack-Pac (sail cover and integrated lazy jack system).  While measuring the boom and mast, the Mack riggers discovered a badly cracked spreader and a damaged port stay turnbuckle.  As a result, they strongly advised that we not […]

Update from Amatheia: Slower than molasses

It’s been a little while since I last updated on our progress.The days are getting longer. And you, gentle reader, are possibly wondering what we have been up to.

So let me tell you. The cabin side process is crawling along. The sides have been sanded and coated with three coats of epoxy. They look great. Upon the go ahead from my attendant shipwright we’ll sand them smooth and prime and paint them. With that done we can finally install the portlights throughout and be one step closer to removing the tarp that shrouds Amatheia’s noble form.

David, in charge of this phase of the project, says that he’ll soon finish the stringers for the underside of the side decks. Then we’ll be able to cut and install the plywood that will cover the side deck underside. I can’t wait.

Jon went to work on the lockers, cleaning, priming and painting. They are now wonderfully white, clean and sparkly, and that makes me happy just looking at them. We used an oil based paint for these.

We’ve started on the galley. We peeled off the countertop laminate, filled the large holes cut in the counter by the previous owner, removed the icebox tops and will be ready to install new laminate, sink and seawater hand pump as soon as I scrape together the funds to purchase them. We’ll build new icebox lids or repair the old ones, haven’t quite decided yet. I’ve seen some DE 32’s with a cutting board lid for the forward icebox, that sounds like a good idea to me.

We cleaned the icebox interiors with good old acetone, they cleaned up well.

And that’s where we are.

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For more adventures with Amatheia visit http://www.amatheia.net