April 14th week
There’s a picture of the moon pre-blood-moon. I was staying up late for the “blood moon” event but then the harbor got fogged in just as the moon was dark, before it turned any special colors. So I went to bed. There’s a picture of a school of fish in the harbor. I spent one night doing laundry, and most of the week at work.
Saturday April 12 2014
The 1956 schwinn used to work with a 3-speed sturmey archer in-hub gear. But the metal and plastic wire leading from the gear selector to the chain and hub was so brittle it broke a long time ago. After a few months of pedaling only in the hardest gear, I decided to convert it to a beach-cruiser style coaster brake. I ordered a new wheel which was a slightly different size, a new tube and a new tire. The problem about a month ago is they the tire wasn’t fitting, even though all of my resources said it was the correct size, it kept popping off the rim. Fun fact, in bike-tire world, fractions do not equate to their decimal numbers, in fact a dimension of 1 1/4 means something entirely different than 1.25. Anyway, I had enough fun ordering the incorrect tires online that I just brought the wheel to this great bicycle shop/repair place in redondo called sprockets. They found a tire that fits, and set it on the wheel for me. I went back to the boat and finished the job, removed all the unnecessary equipment from the bike, and put the new obsolete tire on the front wheel to replace a 2 year old tire - why not? The bike rides beautifully now.
Saturday April 12
My amateur teak cetol applying skills led to some consequence. It dripped into the inside-facing side of the board, and they looked too light now, so I cetoled the insides with just one coat. They look great now too, from the inside. While I had the can and brush out, I did one more coat to the companionway area, and since it was in the shade I used a mirror to reflect the sun up onto the teak to help it dry quicker. I thought it was clever but it was probably pointless.
In addition to some other smaller tasks, I fixed the manual bilge pump assembly (for the second time) because the plastic cracks. I’ll see how long this fix lasts, and probably just buy a replacement if it breaks again. I started to take the blue tape off of some areas, but it’s a pain to scrape it with my nail and then as I peel it, it just rips off in small shreds rather than a whole piece pulling up. So that will be a more tedious task for a day with more free time and maybe a plastic scraping tool.
Sunday April 6 2014
We tried to sleep outside on Saturday night but it was pretty dewy and uncomfortable for both of us, at some point Mia woke me up asking to just sleep like normal humans indoors, so as I walked around to get the companionway boards that were up on the bow, I slipped and fell hard. Feeling bruised and with my back kind of jarred, i was hoping to wake up and not remember or feel any of it.
When I woke up that was almost the case, but we got breakfast and came back to do one more final coat on everything - a 6th coat on the handrails, topside teak and cockpit cubbies, and a 3rd coat around the cabin entrance and for the boards. The day got hot, which seems great for the teak to dry, and Mia and I basically hung out, she studied and I read and cleaned some canvas and other things. We decided to walk out to the break wall and check out the view, so we did that before sundown.
Saturday April 5 2014
I woke up too late to want to go to the gym and battle with the weekend warrior crowd and my gym while the sun was out and the weather was so good already. The next best thing to do was surf, so I did, and Mia came along with me with beach blankets and coffee to sit and watch. We walked to the Redondo harbor break wall which had really fun, mostly good peaky waves. The water is filthy with trash that gathers there, I think from the current pushing it down the coast until it hits a wall, the break wall, and just spins around in the surf there waiting to get dried up on the beach or rocks with the tide change. It’s nasty. But decent waves are few in the South Bay. I’m glad Mia was able to watch, and it was easy to spot me because there were only 3 or 4 other surfers out. A couple times I felt a drag on my leash while paddling, like when I used to surf in kelp in Santa Cruz, except it was plastic bags twisted around my leash instead of something organic that belongs in the ocean.
After that, Mia applied coat 5 to the outside teak and coat 2 to the companionway stuff, it looked great and she does a better job at it than I do. After that we drove up to Burbank to the LA Equestrian center to meet her mom and sister and aunt at a horse show and grab lunch. It was fun and interesting to me to see the show and how these enormous animals are used in sport. It’s also impressive how tiny and young some of the riders are. The culture is so laid back at events like that, peoples dogs are off leash, there’s huge powerful horses just standing around waiting for orders. When we got back to the boat we had about an hour left of sun to snack and play cards in the cockpit, and admire some of the teak.
Friday April 4 2014
I got off of work early enough to begin my weekend boat project - finishing the teak cetoling. Mia and I had done the cockpit and deck but the wood surrounding the companionway as well as the hatch boards needed to be done. This was tricky to time because I needed to take down the dodger cover and allow the boards to stay in the sun for as long as possible, meaning keep the boat mostly open for as long as possible.
Well Step 1 is to hose down and rinse and scrub the dirty teak with water, teak cleaner and a brush. I underestimated how water sealed the cabin was, and completely absolutely horribly soaked everything below the entrance. The carpet, rug, aft berth cushions, some clothes, and 3 pairs of shoes. When I discovered my mistake, step 1B was to place the heater and dehumidifier around the carpet and cushions while I hung everything else up to dry outside. Step 2 was to apply painters tape around the teak, and then once it was dry enough I put on a coat. I also put a coat on everywhere else again (which makes for coat #4). I did wake up really early I think in Wednesday or Thursday this week to apply a coat before work, but it was difficult with the dew running off the boat and into the teak, and i rushed the job.
The black boat shoe is of this really nice pair I have owned for about 6 months but only wore 5 times to keep in perfect shape… Then I accidentally flooded it with teak oil and dirt runoff… So, that whole effort was a waste.
April fools week
There were two massive earthquakes in chile which spawned some tsunami warnings and advisories. I was up checking until they were cancelled. The weather finally allowed for here-and-there rain which was nice, and with worse weather usually comes waves. The wind that passed through caused the coastal waters to do this upwelling thing, there the cold deep water circulates up to the surface and shallow water where I surf. It dropped to 52 in Huntington where I work, brrrrr. I could paddle around for about 45 minutes before my fingers stop staying together and I no longer paddle effectively. That view by the way is a screen shot from the live HD camera hosted by my employer, it’s right on the roof of our office and where I normally surf during work hours.
March 30 2014
The cetol looked great from the day before when I tried it in a small piece. So Mia and I went ahead and taped off everything except for the companionway and got to work. Girls seem to have a better attention to detail and I have to credit the tape coverage to Mia…. And also the entire 2nd coat that she applied on Monday morning while I was at work.
There are short bands of rain in the forecast this week - of course, when I do an outdoor teak project - I should’ve done this for the CA drought months ago. Anyway, it shouldnt affect it to bad and I plan on do more coats on the dry mornings and through the weekend. It’s looking great so far.
March 29 2014
First order of business was to finally pumpout the waste tank. I called ahead to make sure it was fixed and the harbor patrol said that both docks were repaired during the work week. Mia and I chugged the boat over there and scared off the dozen or so sea lions to get to the pump. After that I backed the boat into the slip so I had better access to finish putting the names home port letters. We got the letters all on there, centered and perfect! After basically a year and a half I have the job checked off the list. So happy.
Last weekend while I was cleaning the bilge, I flicked up the float-switch that, if floats too high will automatically kick in the bilge pump, and it didn’t work. This is obviously a concern because if my boat was taking in water from a leak, nothing would start to pump it out - I could come home to a sunken home. So Saturday morning I bought a new float-switch, hoping that it was the only problem in the system and replaced the old one and it all works perfect. I cleaned the bilge pump and cleaned out the guck in the bilge. It looks and feels like mud, and there was some plastic parts, but i didn’t find the screw that the mechanics lost.
After doing a few other small things, I prepped a test-piece of teak to clean/restore and apply cetol to. The teak oil just doesn’t have longevity and it runs when it rains, which is ugly.
The amount of visible trash and the chemicals and oil run off and waste dumped into the ocean will probably only get worse as time goes on. It’s a real shame. Daily wind pushes a lot of floating garbage to this side of the marina, it’s not a rare occurrence, in fact almost every day and night a stroll on the docks can feel like your walking on top of a soupy trash dump.
March 28 2014
This motorbike belongs to a coworker of mine at surfline, it’s pretty rad. He lives close, there’s a board rack on the side and a locker box for his wetsuit and towel. When my day dreaming switches to “adventure/minimalist mode” I think something like this would be awesome to have.
Back to reality.
March 27 2014
In n out makes “protein style” burgers and I tried to imitate that, by using lettuce instead of a bun. That went okay, I ended up eating everything with a fork & knife instead though. This was a first time for grilling onions on the boat. That was Sunday. Today is Thursday and the cabin walls and cushions as well as all of my clothes still smell like a fast food restaurant. Everyday id spray febreeze in the air and each night I’d leave the boat open as long as possible. The onion smell has cut back to about 70% of what it was.
Note to self, do the grilling of onions outside from now on.
March 27 2014