Thursday, October 25, 2012

Costco Shopping With The Bicycle- Say What!

I ran out of some of my pantry items in the house this week, so today was a good day to resupply at Costco. So, the independent sort that I am, I decided to save some gas in the car and do my shopping with the bicycle. What! How is this possible? We all know how large the packaging at Costco is! Well, here is the story.
When I worked, I commuted to work for nearly 20 years and I commuted every day, all year, all seasons, unless I was sick or injured. Even rainy or snowy weather did not stop me. Most of the years, my commute was about 13 miles round trip and the last two years, it was about seven miles.  In 2004, I bought my Cannondale Disc Cross Bike. It is my most expensive bicycle that I have ever bought. With the disc brakes and the fenders I added, it was my choice of a great all weather commuting bike. Just before I retired, I added a lightweight rack and also bought a set of small panniers as well as the "trunk" that can mount on top of the rack. The idea was that I could use this bike for running errands like the one I did to Costco today. And I did use it for going shopping. I ride it to other stores and it has been convenient for taking to Seattle when I go to marine hardware stores for boat items. My favorite place for boat parts is on the north end of Lake Union near Gasworks Park. Seattle has a great trail system and I can ride most of the way to Lake Union and back without riding on streets. This has worked well as long as I am not trying to carry large, heavy loads like a gallon of antifouling bottom paint. But I soon found out that even moderate loads would bend the rack. Once three, 110 ft lengths of line for new halyards bent it down to the fender.
Last week I mail ordered a new, stronger rack and installed it. Today was the maiden voyage for this rack. I wanted to see how it handled the load, so I decided to test it with my supply run to Costco.  It was a nice day even though the temperature was in the lower 40's. It is an 18 mile round trip to Costco. I only had a few items to purchase, but with Costco portions, the weight was 16 pounds. I could tell the load was on the back as some of the steeper hills took more effort and lower gears to crest. The new rack did a great job and did not budge a bit.
So today I did my shopping without burning any gas, putting any miles on either of my trucks or on the motorcycle. I have actually gone two days without starting a vehicle. This is even cheaper than driving an electric car or motorcycle! Since I only fill up a vehicle about once every three weeks, I don't use much gas. And I got some good exercise too!
 My 2004 Cannondale Disc Cross Bicycle
Inside the panniers and trunk are 16 pounds of Costco items.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Commodores Cup Regatta Oct 20. 2012

The Commodore's Cup Regatta is a three race regatta sponsored by West Sound Corinthian Yacht Club(WSCYC). Not many people know of the history of this regatta as many of the current racers were not racing for WSCYC when this regatta was started. This regatta is limited only to members of WSCYC. It is like a season championship for our club. I am not sure of the year(I did race in the first one), but I think it was 1989 when our Commodore(I will not mention his name) who was a great racer, bought the cup for the club and set up the first regatta. The cup resembles a large brass ice bucket mounted on a square wood pedestal. The winner gets his name engraved on the cup and gets to keep it until the next year. This regatta has attracted some interesting entries. Because it was open to club members only, sometimes you could see fast boats(and crews) from other clubs show up at the starting line after being "chartered" by club members. This could be my last Commodore's Cup Regatta if I do not rejoin WSCYC at the end of the year.

The three races of the regatta were sailed in good winds that strengthened as the Day went by. A combination of courses from short to long were all finished well within the time limits. Most of the day was sunny and it only rained after we finished the last race and tied up at the breakwater. I do not have any GoPro video or track charts to display.

Thanks to my crew of Jim, Walter, Rainer and Tim for helping out.

Results will be found here when they are finalized: CommodoresCup Regatta Results

Disclaimer: No boats or skippers were named in this blog post. Hopefully nothing I have written will be offensive to anyone. Furthermore, pictures have been selected so as to not display competing boats. This is just a self-promoting blog post about myself.

Our comottee boat for the day.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beach Hike From Lake Ozette Oct 12th

Way up in the northwest corner of Washington State is Lake Ozette. Lake Ozette lies within the Olympic National Park although some of the shorline is still grandfathered as private land. This part of the park also includes the ocean coast. It is about three miles from the campground on the north end of Lake Ozette to the beach and with two trails leading to the beach and three miles of beach, a nice 9.5 mile hike is possible. I first hiked this loop with my parents nearly 50 years ago and have returned several times since.
It is about 150 miles from my house to Lake Ozette. I chose to ride the motorcycle. After getting underway at about 0500, stopping for gas in Sequim, breakfast in Port Angeles, I arrived at about 0830. I chose to ride Hwy 112 from Port Angeles to Clallam Bay. This has sections that are very winding which was fun as I got to practice my cornering. But it was also really cold in the 40's and by the time I rode the last 25 miles of rough road from Clallam Bay, I was ready to get off the motorcycle and start hiking!
I hiked the south trail to Sand Pt first. It was a clear day and I soon warmed up. The trail is mostly elevated boardwalk. Fortunately it was dry and the trail was not slick. Soon I was on the beach at Sand Pt. The south beach here is very nice and is nice clean sand. I walked north around the point and started up the beach toward Cape Alava. Here the beach is mainly rock and gravel that was also covered in thick blankets of rotting kelp. Part of my reason for this hike was to see how much tsunami debris was on the beach. I was surprised that the beaches were very clean of any debris. Usually there is a lot of junk on the beach. There may have been a cleanup program.
When I reached Cape Alava, I headed inland on the trail that was once again mainly elevated boardwalk, but some areas had been updated with and elevated gravel surface. The Cape Alava trail goes through a couple of meadows that are left over from some early homesteaders.
Back at the trailhead, and I started home. The temperature was a lot warmer, so the ride was a lot more enjoyable. Again I took Hwy 112 and practice some aggressive cornering. After stopping at Sequim for gas again, I was home by 1730.
Map of the trail. The total length of the loop is about 9.5 miles.
Most of the trails are elevated boardwalk.
It was a nice sunny day at the beach.

I think this wheel had some help getting up on the stump. This could have been tsunami debris. It was a nice wheel and a newer tire with lots of tread.
The fog burned off as the day warmed up.
I like this hole in the rock.
The petroglyphs.
This float had Japanese manufacturers marks. But it could have gotten here by many methods. There are always floats on the beaches. This float was huge, about 3 ft long.
One of the meadows where one of the homesteaders lived. The first time I hiked this trail nearly 50 years ago, there was still a house here. The foundation may still exist.

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Much Do I Blog?

This post is another in a series of post where I comment on the dynamics of my blog. This blog deals with the statistics of my blog, how often do I post and how long have I been been blogging.

The previous post in this series asked a very fundamental question,Why Do I Blog?,  where I examined my reasons for blogging. Some people may find some valuable insight into some of my thought processes by rereading this post. In a previous post, Who Reads Your Blog?, I discussed how I could obtain statistics on how many people were reading my blog and where in the world the readers are from. In another previous post, Where Do You Blog? , I provided any potential reader with insight into my home office.

My first blogging post was Aug 12, 2008. This post is my 310 th post. That is roughly an average of 73 posts a year. My highest full year of posts was 2009 where I posted 98 posts and my least full year of posts was 2011 when I posted 61 posts. This year I have only posted 42 posts, so this year is on track for the least amount of posts in a year. I don't know if these statistics qualify me as an experianced blogger or not.

Obviously, I have not been blogging a long time and recently someone was advising me on blogging commented on their blogging experience. A lot of people started blogging before me, but it wasn't long before their quantities of posts fell off until it is only a few posts a year (or less) after they seem to tire of the process. Another friend of mine has been consitent and writes a few times a week, but mainly his posts consists of photos. One guy I follow that says that his blog is a "superblog" has not been seen in six months. A lot of this is understandable with the other social media sites like Facebook getting more attention. I understand that. After spending hours writing my detailed race report posts, I get lazy with other reports and just post a bunch of pictures and a short description on Facebook and call it done! Even so, my posts have been fairly consistent and my blog has not fallen off dramatically since I started blogging, I may blog once a week or more. 

So sometimes I wonder if all the time spent writing 310 posts is worth it. As I have mentioned before in Why Do I Blog?, my blog is somewhat like a journal to remind myself of activities. Some people have been supportive of what I write and have quoted me elsewhere and some people have been very critical of what I write. Interesting! I really don't think that many people read it anyway.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I like dates, both the fruit and the social kind. But I am wondering about giving them up. They have been very irksome to me this week. Oh, I am talking about the fruit kind. I have not been ON a date in quite a while, so I have no hardship with going ON a date with someone.

It all started on Monday. I went on an all day trip to Lake Ozette and hiked the 9.5 mile loop to the beach and back. I rode the motorcycle to and from, that amounted to about 300 miles. By the time I got home, I was hungry so I pulled out the pitted dates to snack on before I made dinner. I like eating dates, they are sweet and are like candy to me. After eating a couple of dates, I bit into one that still had it's pitt. When I bit down on the date, I broke a piece off a lower molar, (No.30). It did not hurt, but a large chunk came off leaving very sharp edges. Drat!

Early in the morning I called the dentist and got right in. The dentist took an xray and said that even though the part that broke off did not compromise the tooth, there was an another crack that could be a problem. In addition, there appeared to be some infection at the end of one of the roots. So, after the sharp edges were ground down and a temporary filling installed, the office staff made me an appointment to see the endontist to see about a root canal procedure for that tooth.

Tuesday morning I arrived at the endontist office. He took another xray. He could see the extra crack and after looking through his microscope, determined that the crack was "old" and that the tooth was compromised and that was causing the infection and the nerve was already dead, thus no pain. Furthermore, his xray showed some decay on the adjoining tooth under the front edge of the crown on the adjacent tooth. So his recommendation was that the tooth should be extracted. A bridge could be installed, unless the adjacent crown and tooth could not support the bridge. Drat again!

I was then referred to the oral surgeon later in the morning. He looked at the xrays and described how he would break the tooth into pieces to extract it and highly recommended conscious sedation. Since I am a wimp about these things, it sounded good to me. He also was concerned about the decay on the adjacent tooth, but would defer to my dentists about how to proceed. He also suggested an implant. Triple drat!

So, after a stressful week (not just related to the tooth), my procedure was scheduled for Friday at 1415 and later was moved earlier to 0945. A friend took me to the office and the great staff took good care of me. It was over soon. Of course, I was not aware of anything going on. I was back home by 1100. I don't remember much later, I was sleepy, but not wanting to sleep and as usual with me, I was goofy! After my escort left, I drowsed and changed the gauze in my mouth every hour or so. By the evening, the bleeding had stopped and I finally I got something to eat. I slept well at night and never had to take any pain medications. The oral surgeon and I agreed not to have a prescription for pain medication anyway. I took a little ibuprophen when I went to bed.

So now I have an uncomfortable hole where a tooth used to be. This is my first adult tooth every pulled for a problem(I had one pulled for clearance when I had braces).Now I need to see the dentist to find out what the future repair will be. I am sure that whatever the outcome, it will be very costly.

So, maybe I should give up dates....the fruit kind! I still like to go ON dates!

The offending pitt!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Phase II- Changing The Rear Differential

Warning: This is another installment in the ongoing saga of "The Great Bronco Engine Transplant". Many posts have been published over the last two years chronicling this engineering/installation  project. Those people looking for sailing info will probably be disappointed, move along.

I have had the Bronco II running for about 7000 miles and 18 months since I replaced the original V6 with a Ford 302 V8. The Bronco was originally designed with a 7.5 inch rear differential. This was a fairly light duty differential that worked well for the type of driving I did. Serious off roaders often had issues with it.

One of the suggested changes after converting to a V8 engine, was to change the rear differential to a stronger 8.8 inch differential. So this week, I bought a 8.8 inch differential from a friend at church. His son left his 96 Explorer at the friends house and said that I could buy the rear differential. The friend and I removed it and replaced it with another axle and wheels so that it could be rolled around. It ended up being a lot of work.

Now I have to plan the installation of the 8.8 diff into the Bronco II. It is not a bolt in installation. Due to different ways of mounting, I need to install new spring perches and shock absorber mounts onto the differential. This will require welding. Since I don't weld, I need to figure out some way to get the new fittings welded on. I can always take it somewhere for finish welding, but I have to get the new parts tacked on in place first after everything is aligned. This may take some planning! I also will need to modify either the existing driveshaft or the one that came with the 8.8 differential. Kind of like taking two driveshafts to make one. And if that is not enough, there are brake lines and emergency brake cables to redesign. In addition to being a stronger differential, this one is equipped with disc brakes(instead of drum brakes) and also has limited slip gearing that will sure help in the snow.

Always something! But I think it will be nice when I have it installed.

The 8.8 inch differential and driveshaft from the 96 Explorer

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Smack Talking

It has been pointed out to me recently that some of my sailing and racing posts have been offensive to some of my competitors by my smack talking and causing animosity. If that is the case, then I apologize.

To rectify this situation, I will curtail posting on some of the races and/or avoid mentioning any of my competitors. That may make the posts sound dry and self centered, but that is all I can think of to avoid offending someone. Hurray for freedom of the press!

I should still be able to write posts about hiking, biking, camping, sking, etc. They should not be offensive to anyone. I doubt if many people read this blog anyway.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Foulweather Bluff Race

This weekend was the Foulweather Bluff Race sponsored by Edmonds Corinthian Yacht Club. It is a 26 mile race that starts  just north of Edmonds, rounds the bell buoy off Foulweather Bluff, rounds the bell buoy off Scatchet Head and back to the finish north of Edmonds. This year, the weather was forecast to be sunny, temps in the 70's and winds to 10 knots. The forecast was very accurate! Is this really October?
I delivered the boat to Edmonds early on Friday and got a choice moorage spot at the visitors dock. I explored uptown and spent time kibitzing with old acquaintances and met a few new ones. Interesting how the sailors from outside my normal sailing area around Bremerton are so friendly.
On Saturday, the weather was as predicted with light winds from the north.. We motored to the starting area and lined up for our start. We were assigned to a large class of 11 boats with a large handicap spread of 30 seconds/mile. We were the smallest boat in our class, most of the boats were 40 feet or larger and even though we owe some of them time, they are boat designs noted to be fast in light wind.
I had a great start, on time and just below three other boats. I footed off to get clear air. The wind was from the N-NE and if we sailed close hauled, our course would be above the first mark. A couple of boats went very high toward the south end of Whidbey Island and even though it looked good for a while, they soon stalled. So, like most of the boats, we footed off some to get into the more favorable current sooner. It was a good call as the wind filled in more from the NW and increased to about 8-10 knots. We also sailed into the north flowing ebb current that gave us a great boost. As can be seen from the track, we got a nice lift on port tack and with the current paralleled the Kitsap County shore.
Near Double Bluff, we tacked toward the Foulweather Buoy. This was mistake No.1, we should have tacked sooner. It soon became apparent that with the current, we would overstand the mark. We were not the only ones, a lot of the boats around us did the same thing. We started falling off early to avoid being swept beyond the buoy. Near the buoy, we sailed nearly dead downwind for a short time to avoid hitting the buoy. Some other boats did not have it so easy and even tried putting up spinnakers to gain distance.
We set the spinnaker and started reaching towards Whidbey Island. By now the wind had lightened to about 5 knots. We were now sailing straight into the current. Lots of boats starting congregating around the mark and we could not sail very fast away from it. One well sailed boat jibed in toward Skunk Bay and looked like they were doing well, so Mistake No. 2, we followed them. We soon realized that that was not working, so we joined the parade and reached across Admiralty Inlet.
Near Useless Bay, we found good winds and better current. As we sailed toward the Scatchet Head buoy, holes would develop and boats ahead would stall. The fleet would compress and the unlucky boats would find themselves passed. We avoided most of these holes and finally got around the mark just ahead of a bunch of other boats.
The remaining course was light reaching into the finish where we finished at about 1738.
The yacht club sponsored a post race party with pizza and drinks. Awards were presented. Smack talk by a couple of individuals became tiresome. We did not win anything as we placed 5th.
I headed home after the party and had a great night delivery home.
Thanks to my crew of: Tim, Kathleen, Walter, Rainer and "Doc". They kept focused and kept working the boat even when I was distracted.
NOTE: This blog was written as I remembered it and how I observed the conditions. Others have reported much different conditions and results. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. One smack talker at the post race party, along with trying to pick an argument with me, was indicating that I was "invisible" to him, but he would still use my blog for info. As juvenile as his comment and actions were, I would suggest that if people are not interested in what I say or do, than they should just not read what I write. 

This year, the race poster and shirts featured a picture of us and the Foulweather Bluff buoy from the 2009 race.
Moored in a prime spot at the Edmonds Marina on Friday. Before the night was over, the moorage was filled to overflowing.

Our track for the day. Note the great lift along the Kitsap County shore.