Friday, July 8, 2011

The year of shaking up

Finding the right names, or goals for things can be important.  With the right name, some event/object/whatever can take its proper place.  For example, the space shuttle was meant to provide a cheap and easy way into space, leading the way for much more space travel in the future (which would have been around now.)  However the space shuttle proved to be expensive, dangerous and time consuming to turn around for the next trip.  Clearly the stated goals for the space shuttle were wrong - the project may be a failure if measured by those goals.  However if the goals had been more realistic the project could have been measured a great success.  Setting goals or giving names can be tricky...

So, I've retired from work, sold my house and am almost finished doing the (initial) work on Luckness.  I've decided on a name for this first year of retirement - its my "Shake me up tour."  Shaking me up refers to my life - I've already started the process of shaking my life up pretty dramatically.  There were 20 years of work, which followed 10 years of university, which followed high school, etc.  There have not been too many breaks in that progression and one of my methods now has been to throw some chaos into the mix and see what happens.

A big part of the shake me up tour is going to be related to sailing, but its not all about sailing.  Sailing is a means to an end, just as the boat is a tool to be used.  Right now its not clear to me what the outcome of all this will be, but I'm looking forward to figuring it out.  Or trying anyway...

Anyway, while I'm still tied up to dock here at Shilshole, my Shaking Up has already started. The tour has begun.  What happens from here is pretty open ended - there are lots of outcomes which are perfectly acceptable to me over the next few years.

The latest things to hold me to dock right now are a few last minute fixes I wanted to complete before leaving on my summer sail.  My rough timeline is to leave sometime soon, sail around here and there until mid- to late august, return to Shilshole and then decide on the next step.  My current favorite outcome for that step is still to leave for California and Mexico - but I'm not committing to anything until after I've returned from my summer sail.

While down at Quartermaster harbor I found a few things that needed fixing on Luckness.  My anchor chain counter is busted - it was showing I had 2000 feet of chain out at one point, followed by -14688 feet brought in.  The problem appears to be a chafe point on the wiring below the windlass as it exits the backing plate - the wires had become exposed and were shorting on each other.  Getting the sensor out required that I take off the gypsy on the windlass - so I no longer have a working anchor.  The parts should be here next week.  I don't like to sail without a working anchor however...

I also found that while raising my anchor while it was heavily loaded that the chain would jump out of the gypsy constantly.  Its done this in the past, although it was worse on this trip possibly due to the load being higher as I was untangling the anchor which had gotten tangled with one of the others.  After speaking to the folks at Lighthouse I believe the problem is that there is a twist being introduced into the chain between the bow roller and the gypsy.  As this twist builds up, the chain jumps out of the gypsy.  It makes sense.  Lighthouse is going to fabricate a new anchor roller for my bow which will have the proper shape: a deep grove which fits the entire width of the chain, with a narrower groove in this one to accept the width of a chain link.  This should hold the chain in place as it comes onboard without twisting the chain between the roller and windlass.  Supporting this idea is some discussion on the Rocna web site which describes their ideal anchor setup - which has a bow roller as described.  If this works out it would be awesome.  Pictures of the roller will follow.

The current roller is below:
The groove is not deep enough to fit the chain link on its side, so it is always resting like an 'x' in the roller.  Then as the chain is pulled to a side, it trips on the groove and when it comes back to center a different part of the chain is on the bottom - introducing 1/4 twist.  If I had a lathe I could maybe fix this one, but I can be busy on other things while the proper part is being fabricated and sent to me next week.  The chain should sit like an '+' in the roller, not an 'x'.   Ooooh, ascii art is so cool.

The deck wash pump also burned itself out on the weekend, so I've replaced it.  After I removed it, it was not at all surprising that it burned out.  This is one of the last pieces of original equipment onboard - it was clearly time for replacement!

A new deck wash was on my original list, but I took it off my project list as the old one was working and I wanted to get out of here.  What should have been a day project turned into three - but the details aren't very interesting.  Things take longer than you might expect eh.

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