Monday, March 31, 2008

PV to San Francisco - Underway again!

Heading North yet again with my best friends Andrew and Emmanuel!!
All good. Perfect weather. Only 5 knots of wind. Great forecast. Hope we can take advantage of it and make progress without delay!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

PV to San Francisco - Breaking the 100 mile barrier

PV to San Francisco - Nice Day

PV to San Francisco - 150 Miles to San Diego

Rough afternoon yesterday with winds to 29 knots and confused seas. Engine issue reappeared. Once again while running on the port (large) tank. Repeated the process that fixed it a few days again and the problem went away. Wish I knew what it was that was fixing it. Also switched to the stbd tank and the problem has not reappeared. So....hopefully between the 40 gallons initially in that tank and the 35 gallons in my jugs we can make it to San Diego. If not, we'll get close and then probably drift in no wind for 12 hours!!
Actually, if that happens, I'll strain the stbd fuel through coffee filters if I have to to get the rest of the way!!!
Conditions moderated overnight. Relatively smooth seas and 8 knots of wind right now.
Long may that last!!
PS> Oh, almost forgot that the bolt holding the second full length batten to its slide broke yesterday at the absolute peak of the winds. Had to drop the main in 28 knots and replace it before re-hoisting. That was fun!!!
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

PV to San Francisco - 270 Miles to go

Left Turtle Bay (finally) at 2am last night. Very light air in the harbor, turned into 15-18 within an hour or so with pretty big seas. But, the spacing of the seas was pretty good so it was not difficult. Have now made our way North of Cedros Island and the wind is down under 10 knots with the seas dropping as well.
Back in our 2 on 4 off cycle and making tracks for San Diego.
All is well!
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PV to San Francisco -

1am - picking up anchor. 4 knots of wind here. What about out there?? We shall see...
- Jim Gregory

Monday, March 17, 2008

PV to San Francisco - Weather as predicted for departure

Well, here is what I am looking at for weather in the timeframe that we hope to leave tomorrow am.
Doesn't look great, but ahould improve slightly with each mile North.
Sooner or later, you just have to leave!!

PV to San Francisco - David is bored....

A calm day here in Turtle Bay until recently. Now have 18 in the bay must be worse outside. Still planning to leave between midnight and 3am....

Friday, March 14, 2008

PV to San Francisco - Safe in Turtle Bay - But it wasn't easy!

Whew! Now that was a day!!
This morning started out hard, and things stayed that way for the rest of the day. Now, I'm not complaining - there are far worse things that I could have been doing today. But still....
Early AM (12am - 2am) - The engine is struggling. Something is not right. I open up the engine box and the intake pressure on the primary fuel filter is "off the charts" high. I suspect bad fuel, switch over to the secondary filter and change out the active filter element. Things are "better" but the pressure is still very high. Higher than I've ever seen it. It's tempting to ignore the new sound patterns I'm hearing from the engine, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking Turtle Bay can't come too soon.
Morning - Upwind in 15 knots. Heavy cloud layer just above the surface. Looks like home. Yuck. Big confused seas. We just couldn't find a speed/angle that would allow the boat to work its way through the seas without pounding.
On deck this is uncomfortable, down below you can't imagine how the boat keeps from breaking in half, or sending the rig over the side. Plus,those instrument issues plagued us for another few hours. Then suddenly, and nobody knows why they went away.
Afternoon - as expected the winds come on pretty hard climbing to 28 knots at one point directly from Turtle Bay. 25 was the average for the entire afternoon. The pounding was really something. We threw in a double reef in the main and that makes things more comfortable. But, those engine sound patterns are getting worse. Others don't notice, but we are slowly losing power. The boat slows with each passing hour. I change out the filter again, but no difference. Suction pressure gauge once again off the charts. It's blowing 25 knots and the boat is jumping all over the place. The throttle is floored and we are only making 5+ knots of headway. At this rate, we'll never get there. I throttle back to see what happens if we just sail. The engine dies.... the others figure out something is wrong.
No problem guys, we'll just fix this thing and all will be well. The only problem is none of us really know anything about diesel engines and fuel systems. I grab the fuel filter manual to figure out what the gauge really means and have David grab the helm. His driving makes the motion of the boat tolerable and it's down into the head and the engine box for me and Dan. I'm thinking this is hopeless, but can't imagine another 8 hours to sail to Turtle Bay when we could motor there in 3.
The filter is the first place that fuel goes when it leaves the tanks. Since the problem was the same regardless of which tank I pulled from, it made sense to start there. I started pulling the fuel feed hose, and cleaning all of its fittings. Dan's holding the head door open so I can get some ventilation. The boats slamming all around. The seas are big, and the boat speed is slow. This is no fun!! There's diesel spilling everywhere. Mostly on me!! We use the fuel transfer hose to pressurize parts of the system and flush any "clogs" out. We look everywhere we can think of for a problem and find none.
Finally, Dan who's been looking a bit green turns to me and very politely asks me if I could hold the door for a moment. Yes, indeed, everything they say about being down below and smelling diesel is true. Dan's lunch quickly ended up over the side and I lost my assistant for the day.
Finally, I just threw up my hands and put everything back together. There was no reason for hope, but I tried the engine anyway and hurray!! She started right up and sounded great. A quick check of the fuel filter pressure showed all was well, and we were back in action!!! I don't know what we did, but thank goodness we tried.
Sitting here in Turtle Bay now and very happy to be here. Everything I've seen and heard suggests that we should stay at least another day. Big storm off San Diego tomorrow and tomorrow evening. Need to figure out how that affects us here. I'm certainly not going to rush out to figure it out on the way!!
More later....
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PV to San Francisco - Onwards

Not alot to report from Morpheus and the last 24 hours.
It's been the standard on the nose slog up through 12-18 knots. Not too many people would find that process interesting, or fun. has to be done, and we're doing it well.
Thanks to those that sent news and information yesterday. Really does help to break up the monotony onboard, especially when you have the Gov. of NY in so much trouble!! I could use an election update. Who's winning Hillary or Obama. Is it a done deal yet?
Our onboard B&G bug is sleeping, but we know he's still here. Have had no issues for the past six hours, but it's been smoother and they only seem to turn off when we are bouncing hard. Guess that's going to make this one very difficult to debug sitting at the dock?? Probably will need the brute force approach of disconnecting and reconnecting every single wire until we find the traitor!!
Otherwise that's it. Dan saw a "river of glowing squid" two nights ago. I saw the longest brightest shooting star ever last night. Did the space shuttle lose a part?? I took a shower today.
More boring updates to come...
PS. There is serious competition onboard for the "golden pillow award". We all seem to be professionals in this area and selecting a winner will be difficult.
PSS. 60nm to Turtle Bay. Weather reports are not good for the next 36 hours, so once we get there I suspect there we shall stay for a day or so. Good time to start questioning some wires!!
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

PV to San Francisco - Electronics

Love them when they work. Miss them when they don't.
Over the past month or so, I've had a few cases where the autopilot "lost it's brain" and left the boat to do as it wished.
Well, last night right at sunset (just like every other problem I've ever had), the entire B&G system "lost it's brain". No amount of resetting breakers, etc. would put things back together, was a very long night of hand steering.
At first we all thought that this would be the price I paid for not pushing to get the binnacle and compass reinstalled in time for the trip. And...truth be told, that would be fair. Counting on electronics is never a wise idea. But, that's why we have backups, and backups to our backups.
We quickley powered up the Raymarine Plotter in near the helmstation, brought up out charts and position plus a big box displaying heading and life was pretty good.
I also fired off an email to KKMI and Ron Romaine. Thanks Ron for your response this AM. Ron suggested that this was probably a missing/loose network connection and described what I should be looking for. The only area that fit the description was the little black box with "a million" little wire connections that I had to disconnect and then reconnect when we pulled the mast last year. I opened that box up and checked the wires for anything obvious. While I didn't find the actual loose connection, something that I did brought the system back to life and things seem good for now.
We are pushing hard to get to Turtle Bay in 24 hours. If we do, we should be there in time to avoid the blow that is heading towards everything between San Diego and us. From the sounds of the weather forecasts, we may be there for a couple of days. Plenty of time to check every B&G connection in the boat.
Sounds like fun!!
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Heading out....

PV to San Francisco - Having fun

PV to San Francisco - We are back....

PV to San Francisco -

most amazing whale experience ever.
Past some northbound whales. Turned off engine to enter stealth mode. Found ourselves among

PV to San Francisco -

2/3 a pod of three. Two swam away. Another, a really huge one, submerged and swam under the stern. It went on forever. No lie was easily thr

PV to San Francisco -

3/3 ee times the size of the boat. WOW!!!
- Jim Gregory

PV to San Francisco -

2/3 three. Two swam away. Another, a really huge one, submerged and swam under the stern. It went on forever. No lie was easily three times t

PV to San Francisco - Cabo on the Bow

Whales all around! Dolphin as well. 20 miles to Cabo. Easy night.
a whale breached reight in front of the bow as we were dropping the jib an hour ago. I missed it, but it got Dan and David's attention.

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 10: Sunset enroute to Cabo

Well, the perfect sailing conditions that we enjoyed in PV have extended to our trip to Cabo. The reacher went up this morning at about 6am and we've had 10 knots on the beam ever since. Nothing but sunshine!! Not bad. Why couldn't we have had this during the race.

David and Dan are settling in well. I think we are all in a bit of recovery mode after the last week and off watches are dominated by lots of sleep and not much conversation!

Sunset was spectacular, and we are looking forward to sailing through the night!!

Hope all that sailed with us over the past couple of weeks have enjoyed safe and easy trips home.

Thank you!!

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PV to San Francisco - SAILING from PV to Cabo

Beautiful night and morning. 10 knots on the beam. Blast Reacher up, and sailing at 8 knots.
My new crew has passed their initial test...they get up when it's their turn for watch!!
All is well. Cabo next!!!
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Sunday, March 09, 2008

PV to San Francisco - Last few minutes in PV

Time to head for Cabo. Thanks to all that made this stay great, and thanks to all that helped today as we turned Morpheus back into a cruising boat!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

MEXORC 08 - Last night at Casa Paraiso

All ended well today on the race course. We sailed our best race of the series with flawless crew work and ended the regatta with a first place finish.
We won our class and came second overall!
Will transform moorpheus tomorrow and get her back into cruising shape. Hope to be on the way north by 3pm.
Will stay in touch.

MEXORC 08 - Multimedia message