The "Windwalker"

The Daily Log in Ft. Myers Area
Date -
Made Good
Daily Log Comments
Mon, Jan 25
NW 320°
6:45, 60s, SE 5, 30.05. Rough night at anchor. Wind returned to SE 15 and boat rocked and pounded most of the night. Keel bolt working took on a lot of water, bailed 15 gal. Made coffee, filled thermos, ate a banana, put clothes on and pulled the hook by 7:15. Ran port tank dry about 3:30, had to anchor and bleed air from the injection pump, lost 45 min. Going was rough all day, waves astern constantly kicked me around. Made San Carlos Bay entrance after dark about 7:30, slow going finding my way in, dropped the hook at 8:30 with 5 feet under the keel. Nice and quiet, protected all around. I am about 8 miles down river from Ft. Myers up the Caloosahatchee river. It was lightning all around the last 2 hours, and started raining at 9:10, light shower. Fortuitous, inside, fed and dry.
Tue, Jan 27
Anchored6:45, 60s, SW 10-15, 30.02, foggy drizzle, visibility 100 ft. Good thing I am in safe anchorage, wind shifted to west during night. A little motion where I am. No hurry this morning, may not move at all, unless to find fuel dock. Small craft warning in effect, SW winds to 25 later, nasty cold weather next few days. Raining hard at 8:30. Fixed potatoes and onions and sausage for breakfast. Played FreeCell to pass time, and laid in bunk and read. Raining, drizzling. 1:45, 10kts from northwest. 2:30, wind howling NW 25+, choppy in bay, rocking and rolling. 5:00, NNW howling, seas in bay 2 ft 1000 feet from causeway. I would have moved closer, but shallower shoals. NOAA reports cold tonight mid-40s with lessening winds shifting to east, clearing.and colder in the 30s tomorrow night.
Wed,Jan 28
Anchored6:45, 54, 30.06, NW 20-25kts. Mostly clear. Rough night. Up anchor and moving up river about 7:50 to make bridge opening at 8:30. Cold out in the wind. Made it through the bridge at 8:30 slowing just about 5 minutes before the opening. Headed up the ICW toward Ft. Myers, spotted a Citco fuel dock at Cape Coral, took $27 to fill both tanks. While having a hamburger I met two local boaters on the sun deck, Frank and Rick. We had good conversation discussing the merits of mono and multi-hull boats and the rig on the Windwalker. Took them down and showed them the boat. They asked if they could accompany me down to Bob & Annie's boat yard which was back of me about 6 miles. Sure, why not? They were the first to be on the boat with me with it in motion. They were a great help, Frank handling the helm most of the way, Rick spotting marks, although we ran by two marks and had to turn back a mile to find the right channel in. I would have never found it by myself, and with the help of Rick's cellphone we made it into a very narrow canal and two miles and a half to the yard. Chris, the owner's son met us, helped me tie up to a vacant dock, $15 a day, and in a nice quiet no wave canal, secure. It looks like I may get hauled Friday, maybe Saturday. Rick, Frank and I walked down to the "Double Nickle", they for beers, me for a sandwich and coffee, to wait for Rick's wife Billie to pick them up. We parted about 5:15 and I came down to the boat to copy the tracks of a CD by Jimmy Morris that Rick brought me, "Country Western Sailing Tunes"--"The Floating Opera." I rigged the fenders so the boat wouldn't bang the pilings and went below. There is a General Store alongside me, a hardware store and barbershop a 1/4 away.
Thur,Jan 29
Docked7:30, 47, 30.2, calm-NE 5, clear. Very quiet night in the canal. Walked to hardware to get a power connector, no luck, back to yard, Chris found a connector to hook up shore power, and I installed on cord. ShopVacced the main bilges. Stripped genoa from forestay to repair, had a bitch of a time keeping it unhooked from jibstay as I unfurled it. Luff bead ripped loose about 15 inches. Sent Casey an email about funding and location. Had lunch across the road. Neatened up topside. Rigged bow and stern lines. Cleaned and stowed the 45# Danforth and rode. Designed back stay strap and plate to beef it up, then scrapped the idea in favor of adding more fillet to the welded loops. Fixed dinner about 7:00, and played music and hearts to entertain myself.
Fri,Jan 30On Land7:15, 58, 30.05, calm, high clouds. Bathed, washed hair and went to barbershop across road at 8. Wet weather and NE winds 10-15 coming today through the weekend. Got the boat up on the hard at 9:30, bailed out by 10:15, and the heater and fan blowing to dry out. Chris found some rot in the starboard ama at the keel from the fresh water last winter and a half dozen places it was leaking from winter freeze cracks. I am having them repair with epoxy glass, as they are experienced with epoxy and I am not, running two layers of cloth the full length of the ama keels and also epoxy glass the joint between the main keel and hull. Polyester would never stick. Also the rudder needs a little repair where I hooked a crab pot up in the Carolinas. Cost will be about $1500. Sent Genoa to sailmaker to repair, maybe $100. If I can hang here in the canal to finish rigging, I will have them buy the necessary winches and rigging hardware. I need to buy a new dinghy and motor, or a used usable one, as the old rotted one is dead. Work is started this afternoon stripping bottom paint from all the repair areas, as the seeping from the hulls has pretty well stopped. It will have the weekend to finish drying, the main work will start Monday, and should be back in the water Tuesday or Wednesday. These people here are catamaran and trimaran specialists and know their stuff. Rain started heavy about 4:00, but hulls dry inside. Updated web at 4:30 using office computer. Went across the road to the Ragged Ass Saloon and had coffee with Jim who is doing the work and others of the crew. Jim lives on the trimaran I saw anchored in the hole two miles back along the canal, 30 foot glass and foam of his own design. Back on the boat at 6pm. Fixed dinner, showered for the first time in a month, aahhhhhhhhh, so much better than whorebathing, stood in it until the hot water ran out, back up on boat and in bed.
Sat,Jan 31On Land7:30, 60, 29.9, calm, high clouds, drizzling. 8:30, the yard is coming alive. Found two more frame stations aft in starboard ama that still had water in them. Tweaked my back crawling back in the ama and I am stove in. I will get some rock salt and salt all three bilges after they dry out just in case any more fresh water gets in. Cleaned and ordered a little in the cabin. Jim worked about half a day, finding another area rotted on the opposite side of stbd ama keel, opened it up and all is drying for patching Monday.
Sun, Feb 1On Land6:00, 65, 29.8, calm, high clouds. Will have yard to myself today. Located touch up paint. Worked at trying to salvage data from old computer. Weather clear by 10am, opened all the hatches to air the boat and did preliminary work installing new hinges on hatches. The 60 ft. open day cruise charter catamaran that was in the slipway before me is bound for Belize this afternoon. Put cigarette lighter plug on searchlight, and fixed the head cap light. Bailed another gallon of water from the hulls, seeping down from somewhere, but mostly dry now. Started planing the hinge mounts and broke the planer drive belt. Walked to local hardware, closed, borrowed a pickup and drove about 7 miles to another, no luck. Did the job with the router. Jam session at saloon across the road, sounds real good. Got 2 coats of paint on raw wood of hatch covers and hinge mounts.
Mon, Feb 2On Land6:45, 64, 30.02, calm, foggy. Got an early shower and shave to start the week. Jim started working this morning at removing more rotted wood sheeting, and the areas are expanding some. Damn fresh water rot from last winter in Canada and the freeze cracks that let it in, and the snow melt that got in through the engine hatch. The luan plywood the amas are laminated from does not resist fresh water rot like Doug Fir, no pitch or oils. Greg is starting to fit plywood pieces to the stbd ama this morning and Jim is grinding off bottom paint around the main hull keel prepping to fillet and seal that joint. By quitting time most all the rough work was done and fibreglassed, keel filleted, port ama keel taped, stbd ama patched. Took off the prop to have it tweaked to add pitch from 15x11 to 15x13 so the boat will make a little more speed under power, about $80. As it was the engine was loafing at 2500 and would rev right to the top without loading down.
Tue, Feb 3On Land8:15, 64, 30.1, calm, clear and sunny. Had a bad night, leg cramps woke me for 2 1/2 hrs about 3am. Woke to men working on boat. Checked email, updated web. Worked on old computer trying to save D drive, no luck, took drive out. Bottom bandages on, will be ground out in the morning ready for paint tomorrow. Jim jacked up the front of the main keel and put a double layer of glass and mat there, to give abrasion resistance if/when it shoals out again. I am wore out today, tired, and seemingly unable to accomplish anything. Hypoglycemia, blood sugar low. Had a burger and fries across road, can of fruit cocktail, and half a can of mixed nuts. Better after a couple of hours.
Wed, Feb 4On Land7:00, 64, 30.12, calm, high thin clouds. Better night, but still cramping a little, need more potassium and I am about out of tablets. Need to do laundry and replenish Hubard's Cupboard. Food stocks way low. Talked with Casey, money by Monday. Jim is finishing grinding work,and sqeegeeing fairing putty, to paint this afternoon. Photos of repair work on this link. Installed new zincs on the shaft and strut. Had good lunch. Fairing putty slow setting hard, slowing progress. Buttoned up the old computer and stowed in the stbd stowage compartment. Genoa repaired. Cleaned off Nav Station and moved the laptop and printer into place. After dinner I opened the banjo case for the first time in a year and actually practiced for an hour.
Thur, Feb 5On Land5:30, 66, 30.09, calm, high part cloudy. Washed up, shaved, and then went back to bed until 7:45. Prop tweaked to 15x13, back and installed. Borrowed Leon's car, went to Winn-Dixie for $87 in groceries, True Value for TSP to wash sea scum from waterline, and Eckerd's for tobacco and potassium tablets. Got fresh epoxy sealer on me, vinegar takes epoxy right off. Finished the bottom paint by quitting time, I did touch up with the white paint, will put another coat on in the morning, then should be back in the water about 11am. Looks good, but cost is about double what was first estimated including sail fixing and prop tweaking. Showered and bed.
Fri, Feb 6On Land6:00, 65, 30.1, calm, clear. Drizzled during the night. Tried touchup painting at waterline early, dew still dripping off, so stopped. Will have to do touchup after boat is in the water. In water at 11:45, rafted up alongside Leon's 50 ft. catamarqan. Went to lunch, still dry at 2pm. Bled shaft log seal, and started engine. Cleaned up deck and stowed handling lines and sails. Copied domain to load on net. Got cost so far, $3385, twice as much as originally guessed, hull skin rot damage was extensive. And with my back the way it has been, would have taken me three times as long if I had done all the work myself. Went with Leon to do laundry and we shared a chicken for dinner. Leon has a charter boat business in Bermuda. Back and in bed by 10.
Sat, Feb 7In Water
In Canal
6:45, 67, 30.05, NW 5-10, high clouds. Vacuumed amas, found 1/2 cup of water aft in stbd, hopefully it is just seep down from some I did not get out Monday. Dried area with heat gun. Will see in a few hours. Main hull bilge dry. Stowed generator, tool box, sails, line and most everything left topside. Stsrted drizzling about 11am. Wind is gusting to 20 from NNW astern. Let mast down at 1:15. Came down easy. Rode into Cape Coral and Ft. Myers with Leon. No luck finding planer belts. Mast hinge pin and base loose. Cold NW wind blowing, gusting to 20. Tomorrow will have kingpost out and shimmed up.
Sun, Feb 8In Water
In Canal
6:45, 48, 30.4, NE 5-15, high clouds. Humid wind chill 38° makes it too cold to work outside until the sun warms. Kingpost out at 10, starting to glue pieces back together. While waiting for glue to set, cleaned corroded switch in peanut grinder, running again. Went to town to Lowe's to get 5200 caulk and some HDPE material to make a step for the kingpost. Made from plastic cutting board. Checked the stbd ama, it appears that the draindown was from the aft most section which was downhill and unable to drain while on the rail. It is all dry today. Kingpost installed and shimmed up. Sat at the stern sipping tea with Leon and watched the sun go down and Venus come out. His batteries were low so I lent him my charger. Fixed dinner about 7:30 and read.
Mon, Feb 9In Water
In Canal
5:30, 58, 30.25, calm, clear. Awake early, showered, shaved and crawled back in bed. Up again at 7:15 sunrise. Coffee, granola and bananna. Checked stbd ama, dry. Same port and main hull. Dried, bedded and installed mast step. Casey called at 9:30. Mast hingepinned back in step at 10. Raising tbe mast with just two single snatch blocks puts one hell of a strain on the sheet winch. Need a set of double blocks to reduce load. Dismounted and remounted the winch reinforcing cabin top with round plates made from the HDPE cutting board. Had about five porpoise playing around the boat all afternoon. Leon helped me crank the mast back up and by dark rigging was adjusted somewhat by guess and by God. Need to get a rigging tension gage to adjust it right.
Tue, Feb 10In Water
In Canal
6:00, 62, 30.23, calm, clear. Woke up having to look at the mess I have created. I have tools and supplies scattered from hell to breakfast. Spent morning re-rigging, and stowing. After rigging, backstay didn't feel right, seat of the pants judgement, even though the numbers are OK in the calculations for the backstay, I am going to replace the 5/16 cable with 3/8 and be as bullet proof as possible and redo the turnbuckle attachments before heading to sea. Probably another $1000 for turnbuckles, cable and welding of attachments. Greased the turnbuckles and played with tensions and adjustments to get me back to Key West this weekend or next week. It is hot in the sun, probably 85 air temp. After tweaking the rigging it is looking pretty good and working out by the numbers.
Wed, Feb 11In Water
In Canal
7:15, 66, 30.12, calm, light clouds. Heavy dew in deck. Clouds dissapating after sunrise, will be another hot day and dry things some more. Casey called from England with Western Union info. Into Ft. Myers to WU, 4 different stores before I found one that had enough cash. Got lost 4 times. Replaced 1/4 chain links at upper shroud turnbuckles with 3/8. Continuing to stow gear and get hatch hinges installed. Got whoozy from the heat and humidity in the sun, so I bagged most of the afternoon by taking a nap. Loafed around after. Bed about 9:30.
Thur, Feb 12In Water
In Canal
6:15, 66, 30.05, calm, clear. Turned foggy for about an hour at sunup. Fitting and installing hinges, and helping Leon install his winches when he needs an exrra hand topside. Afro-engineered the hatch hinge attachment with pieces on hand. The hatch covers need to be re-made and glassed. Will do that in Key West. Can leave anytime, but weather will be bad and foggy over the weekend. Have a chance of picking up a good Navigation program this weekend, so will hold to next good weather window heading south to Key West.
Fri, Feb 13In Water
In Canal
5:45, 65, 30.05, calm, foggy. Stowing and eliminating. Charged batteries, changed oil and filters. Cleaned aft hold and engine compartment. Sloshed the deck off, it needs scrubbing, some glass work, repainting and non-skid done when I get to Key West.