Live Free 2 Sail Fast

We’re In,,,Baja Ha-Ha XXVI

Well, that’s a pretty huge milestone to casting off the docklines.  We’re in,,,Baja Ha-Ha XXVI

Woot-Woot!

Cane Garden Bay, BVI looking north. Photo credit to Hotwife.

Damn, now I gotta go sand so I can get to my varnishing!  I’ve only got till November to finish it all.

Sign-Up for Baja Ha-Ha between today and Sept

Sign-Ups for Baja Ha-Ha start today at noon.  I’m pretty excited, as this is an event that’s been a long time in the making for this website and the family.  I started this website 3 years ago to capture the work, stress and real life that goes into the lives of a working family-who sells their home-puts all their stuff in storage-buys a sailboat (or two)-retires-moves onto the boat and eventually cuts the docklines.  I personally didn’t want to do a site that started when we left the US and shut down again when we eventually returned home to the US.  And here we are….Baja Ha-Ha signup day 2019.  The fun starts at noon and I’ll be on there, filling out forms and making sure we get signed up.

Our goal and aspiration is to make this site and our YouTube site even better by posting factual, real information to help others are we go along as well as detailed travelogues.  We don’t want to make home videos for our YouTube Channel, we want to put out info and videos that will help and possibly entertain you.  We’re working toward all that.

If you want to do this adventure this year you’ve got between today and September to sign up.

Ha-Ha or Not? 5 Days Till Sign-Up

(5) Five Days till Baja Ha-Ha 2019 signup.  Are you doing it?  Will you be at the starting line on November 4th to head down the Sea of Cortez for an epic boating and sailing adventure with the rest of the Ha-Ha Crew?  I hope so, as signups start on May 8th at noon.  The earlier you sign-up the better chance of getting a slip in Cabo San Lucas (if that’s your thing?).  You can get all the info and signup at: Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally.  BTW, this site also has lots of great info and facts about the rally and can answer most all your questions- 

Here’s what it looks like:

CUBAR and Baja Ha-Ha Route, except CUBAR stops in Ensenada. Map courtesy of Baja Ha-Ha Website

LF2SF will be at the Ha-Ha starting line and we’re doing the rally this year (Great Dane and all)!  See ya there-  

A Dirty Post- The Last Pumpout

Thursday afternoon, Tulum got it’s last poo-poo pump out (from Pepe La Pooforever, as we had ordered and were set to install the second Air Head Composting Toilet on our 51′ sailboat.  I’ve been longing to go away from toilets on a blue-water sailboat that consume both electricity and fresh water, knowing we had several options to achieve this very goal.  First, we could have kept our toilets and pumped saltwater through them.  They still would have used electricity, but we could have run saltwater through them.  This means you get saltwater in the lines and the holding tank (which means associated smells) and you still have to macerate/pump to get the stuff out of the holding tank and out of the boat.  We could have also gone to pump heads that used saltwater and we could have installed a 3-way valve, meaning the remains just go over the side when we’re at sea or out of the US.  This would mean no electricity and no freshwater + nothing going through the holding tanks.  Or Option #3 was to get rid of the systems and install full composting heads, meaning I don’t have to rely on holding tanks, power or water to get the remains out of the boat.  I like that.  So, I’ve just installed the 2nd Air Head and we’re up and running. (more…)

ReBlog: Shipyard Vid: Install of Our New Composting Head — Have Wind Will Travel

I’ve been working on projects non-stop in anticipation of some down time while we’re visiting my brother and his family and attending the Pacific Sail and Powerboat Show (soon).  I also know we’ll be heading to Catalina Island over spring break for a bit of a shakedown cruise, gotta knock out a few things first.  So this morning I’m adding more detail to the “Boat” page on LF2SF.  I’m also super excited to have one more of my milestones knocked out for cruising, which is adding composting toilets to Tulum and getting rid of the electric, freshwater toilets we have currently.  I’m halfway there, one toilet installed and one to go.  I’ll bring you more about the install on Wednesday.  In the meantime, you gotta go look at the “Have Wind Will Travel” website with photos and video of their own install.  Make sure to check out the site and consider following them.   

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CUBAR 2019 INFO

Good Morning, I was so excited to write this post that I couldn’t wait till later in the week to release it.  Lest you think I only write about sailing and sailboats, here’s a post about an important upcoming powerboat event that everyone will appreciate, sure to be an adventure!  Ever heard of the CUBAR?  Most of you probably haven’t, so I’m gonna take a teachable moment and drop some knowledge.  CUBAR stands for “Cruise Underway to Baja Rally”  The event is sponsored by the San Diego Yacht Club and is geared toward powerboats, like the Baja Ha-Ha is geared toward sailboats.  It takes off from San Diego, stops in Ensenada, Turtle Bay, Mag Bay, San Jose Del Cabo and finishes in La Paz, Mexico.  This is a definitive West Coast Rally for powerboats and a great way to get to Mexico with a bunch of folks who will become lifelong friends.  This year’s CUBAR is being run by the owner of TRLMI, where I just took three small boat technical courses in a row, vastly improving my overall knowledge.  The coolest part of this year’s rally is that it’s leaving to head south on the same day as the Baja Ha-Ha, so there may be well over 200 boats in San Diego Bay on November 4th.  But, the CUBAR stops that first day in Ensenada while the Baja Ha-Ha folks keep sailing for Turtle Bay.

So if you own a powerboat or have dreamed of owning a powerboat and want to head south in November, this is a GREAT way to do it.  Even if you only want to go down Baja and then immediately bash back up, that’s ok….it’s an adventure waiting to happen.

LF2SF has officially turned on its own Patreon Account and yesterday we turned on our own YouTube Channel…we’re official.  This video of Mr. Dave Abrams pitching the CUBAR on Saturday (at a seminar I was at) is the first lightly edited and cut video we’ve made, but we’ve gotta start somewhere.  So….here’s CUBAR 2019 on our very own baby YouTube channel.

 

CUBAR and Baja Ha-Ha Route, except CUBAR stops in Ensenada. Map courtesy of Baja Ha-Ha Website

Boatyard Haulout Projects and Goals- What did we actually get done? :

Several of my previous posts discussed goals and lists of things that I envisioned getting done while in the boatyard- some by the professional staff and some by me. The original links to those projects are at the bottom of this post but I’ve cut and pasted the actual lists, with what we did and didn’t get done…some of it being a pipe dream I didn’t have time to actually finish. Here goes:

Boatyard:

  • Bottom (hull) properly cleaned and prepped by the boatyard and at least three coats of paint added to stressed areas and two coats added to most other areas. Done
  • Book Shelves installed in master berth and salon and shelving for storage installed in cabinet where the washer/dryer used to reside. Done
  • Have the Rudder dropped and inspected.  New seals and gaskets installed.  Figure out the reasons for minor water ingress up the rudder tube.. Done
  • Propeller Shaft- either install a Dripless Seal (SureSeal Shaft Seal System) or confirm that the packing gland can be re-packed and proper tension can be maintained on the current shaft nuts.(yeah yeah,,,ha ha)- Done
  • Take out the faucet in the forward cabin head and install a fresh water foot pump.  (so my girls can’t leave the water running and drip all the fresh water out of the boat).- Not Done
  • Have the main bilge pumps safety checked and fix as needed. Done by Subcontractor but NOT DONE CORRECTLY!
  • Change the current gray water setup to a 3-way valve so it can run out of the boat vice into a large grey water tank.  Empty the tank and clean it.- Not Done
  • Close and seal the extra through-hulls on the boat.  Unfreeze struck through hulls and handles. Done

To Be Done by Me:

  • Using the templates I have, cut and install the new sound/heat barriers in the bilge spaces under the galley floors. Done
  • Install new heat/sound barrier in the engine room. Not Done
  • Take off heat shield material on engine exhaust piping and install new heat shield and heat shield tape. Not Done
  • Find out where the lower coolant drain is- drain and change engine coolant. Not Done
  • Find out where the engine thermostat is- change it (make sure you buy extra thermostats). Not Done
  • Drain and Change Engine Oil. Not Done
  • Figure out how to get into the space and change the impeller (take existing impeller kit and buy two more prior to changing it). Not Done
  • Change the primary Fuel Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re right next to a large Marine store- get extra canisters. Not Done
  • Change the primary Oil Filter (canister)- at the boatyard we’re next to a large Marine Store- get extra canisters. Not Done
  • Pick up Main Sheet (getting a new one made) and reattach to the main.  Take off the mizzen Main Sheet and have a new one made. Done
  • Install new speakers in the cockpit, stern boxes and main salon. Not Done

Many of the goals above that were mine to do in the boatyard simply didn’t get done because I didn’t understand several things about the yard. I had assumed I’d be able to do engine work while hauled out, but the yard didn’t have any available facilities for waste/oil disposal or would have charged me by the gallon. I think that’s crazy, but that’s their policy. Weird, since my own marina encourages us to use a free shoreside waste disposal area and it’s free. I also couldn’t do as much engine work as I would have liked just due to the guys working in or near the engine room. For at least three days, someone worked on the getting the shaft seal undone and repacked and then there was the whole job of getting multiple through hulls drilled out of the engine room compartment. The yard then had to grind them, epoxy them, fiberglass the holes and paint, which took another several days. I basically wrote off those projects and determined I would do them back here at the marina. So that’s my list and I’ll write more detailed posts with pictures about several of these jobs as I go. What you won’t see if any write-ups about folks who didn’t do an excellent job. Just won’t waste my typing time with folks who didn’t do the job right or finish the job to my satisfaction.

Thoughts on Hauling Out with Family

In getting ready to haul out our 51ft Sailboat for multiple upgrades, repairs and normal maintenance, I knew my wife would be in Japan the entire time and I still needed to maintain some semblance of a normal routine with my two young school aged girls. We looked very hard at hotels with kitchen near the boatyard and several Airbnb’s, but we would have paid over $1456 dollars total for 7 days. (the haulout turned into 11 days). This cost would have been on top of the food costs, haul out costs, subcontractor costs and every other costs. After talking to our friend and experience yacht broker from Yachtfinders/Windseakers, we just decided to stay on the boat while she was hauled out. This did present some challenges as we were not allowed to dump gray water (no dishes or our tank would fill up) and we didn’t coordinate our black water tank cleaning well, so we had to make sure it was cleaned while we were 16 feet up on the hard. We also had to adjust to the kids clearing the gap from boat to ladder and the boat vibrating in it’s scaffolding at night, but things went well. The boatyard had nice bathrooms and showers and seemed to go with the flow of having young children there in the late afternoons. However, the boatyard started work early, so we tried to be off the boat by 0700 and the kids often were back by 4pm.

If you haul your boat out and want to live on it (with or without kids) here’s some of the things you may experience:

Tulum 5, on the hard at Shelter Island Boatyard
We tried to position the ladder in several places close enough for the kids to get on the boat, but in the end, it worked but it was in the paint crew’s way.
Yep, there’s a pretty good distance between rain and ladder, I made sure our minds were in the game for this transition.
My 9-year old (Teragan’s) first time up the ladder. She wasn’t all that happy about this first time but took to it well and in the end, taught mom how to do it. (Yeah, it’s a long way down).
Your boat will probably have alot of scaffolding and bracing like ours. We got used to it and make it work.
Plan your haulout better than I did, so you DON’T have to get pumped in the middle of it. Hard to make this work with two little girls on the boat with tiny bladders. Just had to be done.

So in the end, if I can live on my cruising sailboat on the hard with two little kids while my wife is traveling on business, you can too. Note: Quincy the Great Dane was not with us, we kenneled her for this little adventure.

Missing the Bikes- Downsizing Is Hard to Do

When I discuss downsizing personal items; I’m not talking about sorting and putting things in storage, I’m talking about actually getting rid of very personal items because you really don’t want to pay for yet another storage shed.  This was brought home last week as I watched our triathlon bikes and equipment get sold and carted off.  I was the impetus behind this but it still had an emotional impact, as we’ve now truly closed that door for the near future at least.

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Still Hauled Out

I’m around but distracted because Tulum has been hauled out since late Tuesday but her bottom’s not even started yet.  The damn cold and wet weather patterns have not helped.  These Jan/Feb/Mar months have been the wettest and coldest I’ve ever experienced in San Diego.  In order to save approx $1400 dollars on hotel or Airbnb costs, we elected to stay on the boat and then yard happily obliged.  We have power and our crack poop pumper showed up at the yard with a 100 foot hose to clean us out,,,although the yard has very nice heads and a private shower.  Climbing the 16 feet to the boat via ladder has not stopped the girls but they have had to learn to slow down and allowed me to help them across the expanse from ladder to boat.  The yard starts early in the day and ends work early in the day, something we’ve gotten used to and have worked through.  I think we’ll go back in the water by this coming Thurs/Fri, just in time for Michelle to get back from her Japan trip and miss all the fun boat work in the yard projects.  I’m sure she’s jealous!

Here’s a shot of her hauled, more later this week-