22 June 2014

Chivalry is Dead

Last weekend, we had an issue while raising the main sail out in Boston Harbor. And by "we" I mean "Bob". The halyard had gotten around the front of the mast and got wrapped around our combination Steaming / Deck light fixture. When the sail got up to that height, it sheared the fixture right off the mast.

Telephoto shot of where the light used to be after the incident

Our good friends Emily and Greg have a Bosun's Chair and the came over to help us climb to examine the damage.  The worry was that the wiring inside the mast was damaged which would have been a very bad thing.

Emily went up and had a look.  Then Bob went up. This was Bob's first time aloft and he is not exactly a great fan of heights. Linda arrived from work while Bob was up sitting in the chair. Of course she wanted a turn too. You can see from these photos, who is more comfortable hanging 40 feet in the air.

The Good News
The wiring in the mast is fine. We tested everything with a volt meter and it's all good. We ordered a new light from Defender, and while shopping for that, noticed that they also make a stainless steel guard for it.  Hey - let's get one of those too!

The Repair
Bob was all set to go up in the chair.  Really he was. Sure it was going to require a shot of Gin first but still.  But Linda really wanted to go up and do the repair so that she could expand her CV and add this to her Fuel Systems Repair a few weeks ago.

There is light

That's her way up there

Installation of Light and Guard is complete

From Below

Linda's view while working on the light

She snapped this one from the chair

08 June 2014

Long Weekend Before Career Transition: Charlestown-Rockport

Bob had the week off between jobs. Linda had a week from hell. The stars alligned and on Friday we were able to take off for a three day trip. Departed Boston around noon for Rockport where we could anchor for the night. We had a great ride up on a beam reach for most of the way. Bob predicted arriving at 1930. Actual was around 1900 (stil getting usd to how fast this boat goes) When we got to rockport there were only two other boats in the sandy bay anchorage. The next day the away team (us) went to town where Linda found the elusive perfect lobster roll. Destination for today would be Manchester. At 1630 we were on a transient mooring at Manchester marine.
Photos from Android
Zzzzzzzzzzz. Had a hard week
Looking north from our anchorage in Rockport
Smells too good
Rockport waterfront
Shuttle Craft
Nessled in Manchester
Tied up at misery island
No crackers here
Away team in the beach
Misery island summit
Lets go here
View from misery
The old pump house at misery island

26 May 2014

Overnight Trip On Memorial Weekend: Charlestown-Salem

Off for our first overnight cruise on Argon just for fun. 
The last time we sailed overnight was on a pretty unpleasant long cold wet trip home from Barrington, RI where she was commissioned. This time, the only agenda was to sail up to Salem and relax overnight.

Nothing very eventful to report on the way up. The wind was moderate and we had to do a few big tacks to make the entrance to Salem Harbor.

Once there, we had visitors come out on the Marblehead launch to hang out onboard with us. Our friend Jil and her two little ones came aboard for some snacks and to be cute.

Later on, we took the salem water taxi launch into town to meet with our friends who are from our marina and also sailed up that day.

Flying the Asym! Linda finally unwraps her christmas present...
My Christmas Present for Argon was a nice new asymmetrical spinnaker from Doyle Sails.  Unfortunately, the sail wasn't finished until April but hey - it's Christmas somewhere right?  No?

Anyway, we have not flown a spinnaker of any kind since our classes at BSC years ago. And we have never flown an asym. But it was a light wind day so we figured we would test it out. When we left Salem harbor, we headed due south for a few miles to give us some room to play. Finally we turned north (directly downwind) and started fumbling with the asym.  Hey it worked!  We got moving up to 5kts in only 8kts of wind from behind us.

Photos from Android
Meeting up with some little friends in Salem harbor
Morning in Salem
Flying the asym for the first time

11 May 2014

Argon comes home

After many postponed attempts, Friday May 9 is the day!

I've asked for the day off many times to bring Argon home and for one reason or another, the trip would get scrubbed. My boss has started to doubt that I really have anything to do with sailboats. This time, it seemed that everything would work. The boat is really done... well a boat is never done but it was done enough. Bill Shaw Jr. along with his partner Ham Freeman from
New England Yacht Partners have worked tirelessly to get Argon ready for this day.

We got a lift from Linda's son Josh to Barrington Thursday night after work. We grabbed a pizza at Piezonis in Barrington and readied the boat and us for the next morning's departure.

The next day we were ready to shove off at 0700. But first... coffee.
First things First

Blame the weather
We were expecting a cold, rainy, windy ride all the way home. The forecasts nailed this perfectly except the "windy" part. We intended to leave at 0700 and hit the canal by 1700. The wind was supposed to be due south so we expected to be motoring south to buzzards bay. What we expected when we turned east into buzzards was to have a really fast beam or broad reach all the way up to the canal. What we got however was an unusually dead  buzzards bay so we ended up putting quite a few hours on this nice new engine. That's fine except that we had been filling the diesel tank 5 gal at a time from a portable container over the last several visits to the boat. We probably left the dock with around 24 gal in the 77 gal tank.  I expected to be motoring just a few hours in total but we probably did 8 just in the first leg to the canal.  By the time we got home we were on "E". However with this tank that could mean anything from 0 to 15 gal.

Ready to depart Barrington

Newport Bridge ahead

Hello Newport
Ever since the very first time sailing Fujin under Newport Bridge, we have a ritual where we get a picture of Linda at the helm with the span above her head. This time was no different except she was a lot colder than the other times.

A little sailing in Buzzards Bay
A couple times, we felt enough wind to try to sail. Aside from being very clumsy with the boat, it was just too light to make good time. We didn't want to be too late getting to the canal. For one thing the current would start against us at 1830.  For another thing, we planned on anchoring for the night just on the other side off of sagamore beach.  We wanted to get settled while there was still light and time enough to get some sleep before leaving early morning on Saturday for the remainder of the trip to Boston. So, we really didn't have the luxury of doing a nice slow relaxing sail for this part of the trip anyway. Finally, about 12 miles from the canal, we put up the full main and the reacher and made pretty good time sailing up to the entrance.

Approaching the entrance to the canal

Argon turns 100
Nautical Miles that is. While motoring in the canal, the odometer hit 100. We hope for many tens of thousands more.
The 100 in the top right corner of the right display is the total distance log

Settled for the night... or not
After a fast ride through the canal, we dropped the hook in approximately 20 feet of water just off of Sagamore Beach. "Approximately", because the depth gauge is not working. We put out 150 feet of chain and it held just fine. At first, we considered proceeding north toward home but the wind was very light and right behind us. Would have been a long, slow, cold night. We had a lovely dinner and turned in very early. We figured we would hit the road again around 0300 which should get us home late morning.

Re-engineering en route
For reasons too complex to get into here without fancy graphics or something, there is an issue with the way Argon's running rigging was configured that is just not conducive to easy (and safe) sailing. So while sitting on the anchor waiting for dinner, I re-did the main sheet and routed it to one of the cabin house top winches instead of to the winches on the cockpit combings near the helms.

Remove the main sheet block from the stb side of the boom. Tied off the bitter end of the sheet to the  padeye that the block used to be mounted to

Main sheet is now routed to the cabin house top spinlock and winch. This required moving the reefing line to the starboard side

Can't sleep, so let's get going
Our night at anchor started out pretty peaceful and calm and we both fell right asleep, but by around midnight the wind was howling in the rigging and we were bouncing all over the place. We decided that sleep was futile so we might as well haul up the anchor and start sailing. We bundled up, strapped the lights to our heads, donned life jackets and prepared for a cold night of sailing.

We have a habit of not telling each other when we're nervous until later. I was actually quite nervous about this idea. New boat. New anchor and anchor gear. Lots of wind. Dark and cold. What could possibly go wrong? Actually nothing went wrong and by 0100 we were sailing a broad reach through the night at around 8 kts with only a reefed main sail! Wow, is this boat fast! Linda went below and rested, while I took the first watch. A few times, I tried the search light to look for lobster traps. Never saw any while looking. Occasionally one would wiz by about 10 feet from the boat.

First Light and things look familiar
The sky started to get light (but still very overcast) around Scituate, MA. Linda came up and drove for a while while I tried to snooze a bit. We were still running with just a reefed main and the wind was steadily building. It was way too noisy down below to sleep.

Minot Light - about 15 miles to home
Needed a shower anyway
As we got in around the Boston Harbor Islands, we were sailing higher into the wind and not doing so well. Linda insisted we put out the Jib. The first attempt at that was a bit of a disaster.  We collected ourselves and tried again and then we were back to cooking along at 8 kt with a nice fun amount of heeling. Right about now, it started pouring. The boat and us got a nice hose-down.

Boston harbor just before the deluge

Turning into our home port at Constitution Marina

Safe at home
We radioed into Constitution Marina and asked for assistance getting docked. Chief Pilot Linda pulled us in perfectly and before long we were tied up and eating breakfast.
Linda still in her foul weather gear poses on Argon in her new slip

Photos from Android