That is Sand Dollar rafted off Appa. They are our good friends from Seattle. They are also doing the Haha. Their boat is a CMS 41. Or maybe a CSM. Anyway she is a very cool boat. They have 3 kids also and their youngest, Easton, is 9 and he and Ben have hit it off.
They are heading to Long Beach for a couple weeks then down to San Diego. We plan to meet up with them again in San Diego.
Here is Appa at Santa Barbara after our sail here. The old French princess did really good.
We left Morro bay at 1700 or so and had the dinghy well secured on the bow and I figured that we could stow stuff once under way. I was soooo wrong.
Jen's blog has the details more or less but needless to say, I won't leave an anchorage again until the boat is stowed and ready.
My friend Michael in SD told us that the seas would be very confused and that is exactly what we got. I could get the boat surfing for a minute down this hissing seething wave and then get knocked down by a wave that comes out of nowhere.
So we are sailing along and the three year old has to poop. She is a strange kid and will sometimes use the head but most of the time she wants a diaper and then to be left alone. She'll close her cabin door and emerge when she wants to be changed. Of course it much to rough for going into her cabin so I go below and get a diaper for her which Jen applies. About an hour later Sam is ready for her diaper to come off. I grab her and put her on the companion way area and take off the diaper. Ben immediately pukes. Now I have this toxic diaper that is close to leaking and I have to go below and put it in the garbage. I managed to put it in the garbage despite the boat and the seas conspiring to have me paint the interior with baby crap.
At 2000 (8pm) and attempted to contact Sand Dollar on the SSB. I put the autopilot on and went below. Wasn't able to hear Sand Dollar but did get ahold of Moments and chatted with them for a couple minutes. They are on the Coho Hoho and it was good to talk to them.
I went back on deck and watched the autopilot handle the seas. It was doing a pretty good job but was using up a ton of electricity. I turned off the fridge to conserve power. Knowing that the conditions were to rough for Max to drive and he was also sick as hell, I decided to let the autopilot drive till it either failed or the conditions got so bad that it would be dangerous to have it drive. I needed to rest before we got into the bad stuff. I tethered myself in and laid down on the cockpit seat.
I am kinda fatalistic and was worrying about all the stuff that could go wrong. I just don't think of something going wrong, I visualize it. In graphic detail along with the all the gory stuff. Scarred from being a paramedic and ER RN I guess. It is an immense thing taking the family on this boat that I have been working on and totally relying on her to keep us safe. I have never felt so responsible for so much in my life. While going down the coast to SF, I felt great. Worried a bit about breaking something but not really concerned about safety. On this trip around Point Conception though I felt sheer wait of our lives. I felt alive. Really alive. It was amazing. I can still feel the leather of the helm in my hands. It helps that I hand steered for close to 10 hours straight.
As I blogged earlier, the autopilot did indeed fail right around 2200 or so. Maybe earlier. I think that it did an amazing job and served us well. I figure it to be about 18 years old and it lived a pretty hard life. Rest in peace Autohelm type 2 linear drive.
After the AP died, it was up to Max to handle all the sails and he did a great job. We furled in a bit more jib and keep the main at the second reef. The boat never felt overpowered and we never spun out.
We gybed at 1203 in the am to make sure Point Conception. The winds increased to steady 25 knots and gusting to mid 30s. Waves were about 12 feet or so. Nothing to outrageous. Very rolly though as the waves very coming from every angle at times. We did have the moon out with us and no fog for which I am grateful.
Once we got past the Point, the wind shut down and by 6 am we were motoring in glassy seas with a hint of swell.
We decided to continue on to Santa Barbara and skip San Miguel for now. Once I am back from Seattle next week, we"ll consider going out to the Channel Islands. For now we are happily ensconced in the marina and going to the beach and hanging out. Well Jen and the kids went to the beach today. I played boat mechanic and replaced the auto pilot ram.
Appa came with an Autohelm AP but as I said earlier, it was old. Hell, it was older than Max. I bought a new course computer (brain) and a new ram (steering part). The new ram is exactly like the old one. Exact. I decided to keep using the old ram till it died and the swap out for the new one. Which is what I did today. All day long.
Everything was corroded together so bad that it took heat and brute force to free the ram from the boat. I redid the wiring and upgraded it and also heat shrinked all the connections. I also used tef gel on everything so that the dissimilar metals would make nice and not weld themselves together.
At some point during our trip around Conception, the steering system started to squeak. I had never greased the steering and I am sure the previous owner never did either. Never crossed my mind. The steering system has what looks like zerk fittings to grease the wheel shaft but has no nipple. I had a large syringe from work used for irrigation and such. I filled that up with grease and pressed down onto the hole and viola, grease came out around the fittings and squeak was gone.
I then greased the chain and inspected it. I also went below and took off the pulleys that hold the wire aspect of the steering system and greased them up also. Put light oil on the wire and we are all set.
Tomorrow I'm going to the beach.