Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bad Is Good

The third Saturday of September each year is BAD at the Brownsville Marina. BAD stands for "Brownsville Appreciation Day". This year was "BAD VII". The Port of Brownsville holds a "block party" for the Brownsville Community. There is a classic car show, historic military vehicle show, boat rides. barbecue and sort of a farmers market. The port's proceeds from the event goes back into the community.

To avoid the parking problems, I rode the bicycle to the marina. The upper parking lot was filled with cars. Like I am learning from attending these car shows, the shiniest, most accurately restored isn't always the most interesting. There were lots of cool conversions and a Bronco rat road that was really well done. I probably would have taken my Bronco II conversion except I have not yet received a warrantied radiator back from the manufacturer.

The Military vehicle display was well done with many old historic vehicles.

There seemed to be a good turnout. The weather was very warm and sunny for a early fall day.

 A nice stock late sixties Barracuda.
 A nice stock late sixties Barracuda.
 A 67 Bronco "rat rod". Two wheel drive, Chevy 327 V8, Camaro front suspension. And a very nice but un-rat rod looking flat black paint job.
 Some of the cars on the grassy area above the upper parking lot.
 Some of the cars on the grassy area above the upper parking lot.
 More cars in the upper parking lot.
 Part of the Military vehicle display. The vehicle on the left is a half track with a 50 cal machine gun on the front and a 30 cal on the back. Both demilitarized of course!
The vendors along the shoreline.

Friday, September 23, 2011

An Interesting Week In The Life Of Dan

Warning! This blog entry contains information on several subjects. If you are looking for something specific like sailing or cycling, you may have to read through some uninteresting subjects to get there. You have been warned!

The last week has been interesting with some trials along the way. Where to begin? Ok, a few weeks ago, I developed a toothache. It seemed like a molar that had had a crown installed three years ago was developing cold/hot sensitivity. A couple Facebook friends encouraged me to see the dentist ahead of my normal appointment in Oct. Sure enough, the dentist did not like what he saw and sent me to the Endodontist(dentist that specializes in root canals). So, on Friday I walked into the office at 0720 and walked out at about 0845 with a numb mouth and a much lighter checkbook. I went home and slept most of the morning. BUT, the tooth did not stop hurting as promised. I feared that another adjacent tooth was acting up. It was really tiring to put up with the pain. So today at 0720, I got back into the Endodontist and told him my sad story. He checked the teeth with cold and there was no sensation. What he did find was that the filling that he filled the hole in my tooth with was sitting high, so he ground some off. Now the pressure is gone and my cold fruit smoothie is actually soothing!

So if the root canal wasn't enough financial stress, some boat gear is acting up. The hydraulic cylinder that controls the tension in some rigging that holds the mast up started leaking around the seal. I did some research and also with some advice from an acquaintance that runs a sailboat rigging company, I found that "sure, any hydraulic shop can overhaul them. They just use standard seals". So I took the cylinder to the only local hydraulic shop for overhaul. They said that they could get on it in a few days, but after eight days I called them on Thursday. They said that they would get on it that afternoon. That afternoon I got a call. They could not get it apart. The threads have galled. So with a race pending next weekend, I retrieved it and reinstalled it on the boat tonight. Hopefully it won't leak to much. After the race, I will probably send it to a "Authorized repair facility". And if they can't repair it, then I will price out a new one, OUCH!

If things were not going strange enough, last night, I got hit with malware on the computer. I was searching for some transmission drawings on the internet and hit a site that started trying to scan my computer for errors, trying to sell me data recovery software and showed all kinds of warnings. I could not close it out. I performed a virus scan and a hard drive scan. The scans made it appear that all my files were there, but I could not find anything! Most of the night, the scans ran but this morning it was no better. After returning from the dentist, I had a thought and ran a "System Restore" to a time before the event occurred. Sure enough the computer was restored to the configuration from the previous day. The malware was gone and all my files are back. The only thing missing is my Favorites on my browser. I need to fiqure out if those can be reloaded. I am happy this worked, I thought I was going to have to take the computer somewhere and pay to get it fixed.

So, while the computer was restoring this morning, I decided to take a bicycle ride. Two things I was wanting to try: some different wheels and the new pavement on Illahee Rd from Sylvan Way to Ocean View Road. A few years ago I bought a wheelset from Ebay. It is a nice set of wheels (Mavic Open Pro with Campy hubs) that are very light and showed no wear when I bought them. I probably only put about 100 miles on them with some old tires and zero miles since I installed new tires. The wheels I have been using on the white bike are Mavic CXP33's with Campy hubs. They are a semi aero wheel. I also bought that wheelset on Ebay and have put quite a few miles on them. Another cyclist had broken a wheel and I offered to loan him the Open Pro wheelset. He did not accept the offer, so I decided to try them out myself. I started out for a 21 mile ride to Keyport and back. Sure enough, the new pavement was smooth and fast. After about five miles, the bike got hard to peddle and soon I could not peddle at all. What is going on? I coasted to the side of the road and got off. It did not take me long to see that the retainer that screws into the end of the hub to hold on the rear cassette cogs had come loose and was jammed against the rear frame dropout. I removed the wheel and tightened the retainer by hand. Since I did not have the appropriate tool, I returned home to repair the bike. After tightening the ring with the special tools and after lunch, I once again set off on my 21 mile ride, this time without incident. The replacement wheelset has higher gearing(11 X 23 rear cogset) than my other wheelset, so the riding was more interesting than normal But the new wheels are light and roll easy and smooth and the total mileage for the day was 32miles with two climbs up the hill from Illahee to Sylvan Way.

Now if I only had the new radiator for the Bronco...... It has been two and a half weeks sent I sent the radiator in for warranty!
Tightening the retainer with the special driver, chain whip to hold the cogs and yes, a crescent wrench!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Triple Sound Sailing Championship 9-11-2011

Today was the Triple Sound Sailing Championship(TSSC) in Seattle. This the final race of a three race shorthanded racing series. The first two races were the Race To The Straits(first weekend in May) and the Down The Sound Race(first race in August). The TSSC differs from the other two races in that it is a 13.89NM buoy race instead of a two day pursuit race like the other two were. All three of the races are sponsored by Sloop Tavern Yacht Club.

This race starts at Shilshole Marina, heads north to a club buoy at Spring Beach, south to the West Point nnavigation buoy,  north again to the Meadow Point navigation buoy, south again to a mooring buoy south of Shilshole and return to the start/finish line.

The wind was great at about 12 knots. I made a great start in front of the rest of the boats in my class. The beat was fast. Unfortunately, the local boats knew these waters better and tacked early for the first mark. I overstood the mark some. The rounding of the mark was crowded. I headed south and set the spinnaker. It was not a great effort.

The run was pretty uneventful until I got to the leeward mark. By now, the current was flooding and I waited too long before taking the spinnaker down and was swept past the mark. At least I was not the only one!

For the next beat, I worked along the Shilshole breakwater to avoid the current. I rounded the Meadow Point buoy and tried to set the spinnaker again. This time it was twisted and took some effort to get squared away. But as I neared the next leeward mark, I performed a smooth takedown and did not get swept past the mark. It was a short beat to the finish.

I probably placed in the middle of my 7 boat class today, but with a good showing in the previous two races, I should have won the singlehanded division.
 Boats getting ready to start.
 One of the earlier classes starting.
 On the first beat heading toward the Spring Beach buoy.
 On the first run.
My course for the day. The overlapping laps makes this confusing to look at.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Cruise Plus More

My yacht club often has cruises scheduled for the big three day weekends. For this Labor Day weekend, a cruise was scheduled to go to the Dock Street Marina in Tacoma. We have been to this marina before. It is located up the Foss Waterway in front of the Glass Museum. The plan was for the boats to arrive there on Saturday and return home on Monday. I chose to get underway on Thursday and make a couple of overnight stops before I arrived in Tacoma.

I got underway on Thursday and went to Blake Island. The marina was about half full when I arrived midday. I spent some time walking around the island and lounging in the sun.

Friday I got underway early and went to Dockton on Maury Island. Dockton is an old maritime community. There is a King County park with a large moorage. I was surprised that only three other boats were visiting when I arrived. I am used to seeing this moorage filled on three day weekends. I assembled the bicycle and went on a tour of Maury Island. I rode to Pt Robinson light house. I have sailed around this point many times, but this was the first time that I have been at the lighthouse. I continued on around Maury Island to Portage where Maury Island joins Vashon Island., then back to Dockton.

Saturday was a short trip across Commencement Bay to the Foss Waterway and Dock Street marina. I was the first boat there, so I went up town and played tourist. The old downtown area of Tacoma has turned into a upscale dining, shopping, theater area. Toward evening, the other boats arrived and we had a potluck dinner on the dock.

Sunday, nothing was planned, so I assembled the bicycle and took a 20 mile ride down Ruston Way and around Pt Defiance park. It was a good day for a ride. The terrain was hilly, but interesting. In the evening, six of us went to the Spaghetti Factory.

Monday was a four hour motor home in warm sunny weather. The whole weekend had superb weather and if was great to spend several days on the water.

 Beach on the west end of Blake Island.
 Campsites on the west end of Blake Island.
 Pt Robinson lighthouse.

 The moorage at Dockton County Park.
 Moored at Dock Street Marina in front of the Glass Museum.
 And the other way is the suspension bridge and Tacoma Dome.
 Burrito says "This cruising stuff is not so tough".
 A small group at the Spaghetti Factory for Sunday night dinner.
Leaving Foss Waterway on Monday morning.
 My route for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I went from Brownsville to Blake Island, then to Dockton and finally Tacoma.
My route for Monday from Tacoma to Brownsville.