The "Windwalker"

The Daily Log at Key West
Feb 20, 2004 - Mar 4, 2004

Date -
Made Good
Daily Log Comments
Fri, Feb 20
Key West 6:15, 65, 30.18, Light SE breeze, Clear with cloud bank to south. Bailed bilges from shaft log seal drip, 6 gallons from 30 hours of motoring. Updated Log pages, Disconnected genoa furler and brought fully on deck. Straightened deck tang. Hunh?, I thought the pin came out of the furler fork at masthead, wasn't, was wire socket unscrewing from fork. How to prevent that from happening again? Took dimensions for new hatch covers and detailed them to have them remade. Made anchor bridle. Need to get samson posts or cleats for ama bows to attach so boat will ride straight at anchor. And other anchors, a 22lb Danforth type $65, a 22 lb Lewmar Deep Set $210. I will use the old 45 lb Danforth as my west anchor. Jack came by, keeps wanting to sell me a dinghy he builds -- Hell, I can build one myself if I wanted a wooden dinghy. Went to town, Home Depot and bought cleats and 50 ft of line to make anchoring bridle, spliced it while waiting for the 5:30 meeting. Walked down to post office and collected mail, have two notices of packages to pick up. On down to dock and waited an hour for taxi back out, on boat at 9:15. Soup and hot chocolate.
Sat, Feb 21 Key West 7:15, 66, 30.14, Calm, Clear. Finished bridle and worked at getting cleats installed. $100 computer rebate arrived and spent on chain, shackles and swivel. Got everything prepared where I can crawl forward in the amas to drill for the bow cleats. It is in the 80s and about 80% humidity with little breeze and I am over heated. Into town to Home Depot for 50 ft of chain, toted the bucket of it about 10 blocks, my arms feel like they are about to fall off. Meeting and back to boat at 7:15. Ran engine for an hour to charge batteries. Stew for dinner and then bed.
Sun,Feb 22 Key West 6:30, 69, 30.08, Calm, High thin overcast, clearing. Ama bow cleats installed, tight squeeze inside hulls to get to nuts and tightened, but it is done. Bridle rigged to cleats and anchor chain, boat now rides head on to the wind and wave without sailing to the hook, stable. Spent the afternoon eliminating trash cardboard drawers that Janice brought on board, cleaned and stowed the old computer, cleaned and put all the tools away. It will take another day or two to get everything in its "proper" place and the remainder of the junk disposed. Running engine for a couple of hours this evening. Beautiful sunset. NE wind 5-10 kts, light chop, the boat is stable into the wind and barely moving, the bridle is really working. It will eliminate a lot of chafe on the rode. About an hour after sunset the wind veered to E, will probably be SE by morning.
Mon,Feb 23 Key West 6:15, 69, 30.12, calm, clear. Cleared out the forepeak. Re-folded and re-stowed all the charts. Ate the rest of potatoes and onions for breakfast. Spit-bathed, gathered laundry and went to town. Checked email and found out the jam that Casey has got himself into, a real aw-shit that leaves me on my own to finish the boat and get it out of here before hurricane season. I have until mid-May to resolve the remaining problems and I can't do a damn thing about his, that is strictly one that his HP will have to handle. Bought bridle swivel, louvre vents for engine compartment and screws for cleats. Top Ramen and a chunk of sausage for dinner. At 9pm wind building to 15-20 kts from the SSE, boat riding true, stable and relatively quiet.
Tue,Feb 24 Key West 6:00, 70, 30.02, wind S 5 kts, clear. Re-made center eye of bridle installing a thimble, and attached the swivel between chain and rode. Shackled 50 ft of chain to the Danforth so Arno can set it for me. Installed engine compartment louvre vents. Did Excel spread sheet on cost of remaining things needed. It will take nearly 16k to finish the boat the way intended, Sheesh. Unless a miracle happens I will have to go to work to generate the cash or I will not get clear this year. Arno came and set the hooks at 5pm, took a half hour. Danforth set well, Bruce claw had to be reset as it dragged when he pulled on it the first time, but held well the second time. Fixed spam and beef stew for dinner. Winds will be south increasing to 20 kts during the night, veering to west tomorrow to 25 kts with thunder storms and rain.
Wed,Feb 25 Key West 7:00, 70, 29.94, wind SW 10 kts, clear. Laundry day. Went to town about 10am, caught part of 10:30 step study while doing laundry between washing and drying. Got a little more data on Casey. Did noon meeting, got a Subway for lunch, bought paper towels and a roll of duct tape. Back on boat at 4pm. Storm front headed in from the south, may miss us? Cut the cushions that Janice salvaged and stowed in the forepeak, and with duct tape made some really acceptable cushions for the "settee." Storm front missed to the east backing the wind with it from south to east at 15kts. It sure is nice with the bridle keeping the boat head on to the wind and wave. So much for the storm missing us, another moved right in behind and a major front is moving east from the Dry Tortugas with west winds to 35kts that should hit here in about an hour. Right now at 7pm the wind has backed from east to north at 20kts in the last 10 minutes and the barometer dropped a tenth in the last hour. And it hit, wooooeee. Driving rain, thunder and lightning, wind squall and all, over and over again.
Thur,Feb 26 Key West 6:15, 68, 29.96, WSW 2-5, clear. At 7:30 the wind suddenly shifted to NW and hit at about 25 kts. Lasted intensely about an hour. Went to town and spoke at the noon meeting. Spent most of the afternoon with Jim, caught homegroup. Rode bus back to waterfront, Jim beat the bus on his bicycle and we walked out to the water taxi dock as he needed to know where it was. Lucked out as Arno was just beginning to pull away, out to the boat at 7:30, wet ride through the swells. Wind about 25 kts out of the WNW sustained, occasionally gusting to 30. Only protection from the west is the shallow water over the shoal breaks the chop down.
Fri,Feb 27 Key West 7:15, 66, 30.04, NW 15, part cloudy. Finished taping the cushions. Wind has been steady N 15-20 kts all day. Spent most of the day napping and reading. Jim came out about 3 to spend the night and help when I go in for fuel and to off load the radial arm saw. And we talked, then napped and read some more. At sunset the wind backed to the NW and is picking up creating a little heavier chop. I cleaned the galley in preparation for fixing dinner while Jim napped. Jim brought out a deli chicken. Woke Jim about 8pm, had dinner and were sacked out by 9:30.
Sat,Feb 28 Key West 7:15, 56, 30.14, NE 15, cloudy. Cold this morning. Today is 30 years in AA. Wind was kicking up and as both anchors are set, decided not to move boat until I got another light utility ancbor. We went into town early, about 7:45. Bought 13lb Danforth type anchor, rode and shackles at KMart. Caught last of noon meeting, and then HP put a wet one that had the desire to quit in my path. Enlisted the help of the membership to maintain watch through the night. 6 or 8 volunteered, and we started the watch. He was in rough shape.
Sun,Feb 29 Key West 6:45, 63, 30.2, ENE 15, cloudy. Wound up sleeping on the ground in the yard alongside the club. Woke a number of times during the night, and finally about 6:45am. He was shaking a tad, but will live. Did morning meeting, gathered my gear together and came out to the boat by 10:45. Wind picking up again from the east. Finished rigging and stowing the utility anchor. While out on deck, Colin from the 26ft sloop came over wondering if my SE anchor had dragged as the boat has swung close to a sunken dinghy on a mooring. He came aboard and we had a nice chat. I don't think the hook has dragged, just the way everything is swung in tide and wind, but it bears watching.
Mon,Mar 1 Key West 6:15, 69, 30.18, E 20-gusting to 25, cloudy. Awake at first light. Sunken dinghy mooring dead astern about 6 feet, not fouled yet. Pulled in about 6 ft of scope to give a little more clearance until the wind shifts or dies down. Read, napped, watched anchor, read, napped, watched anchor all day until 10pm, do nothing day. Anchor did not drag any more. Wind steady from east 10-15 kts, up to about 20kts on occasion.
Tue,Mar 2 Key West 6:45, 68, 30.2, E 10-15, cloudy. Threw chicken scraps into sunken dingy for the gulls. Another day of sitting and watching, wind has been steady and anchor hasn't moved. I haven't figured how to single hand a resetting of the SE anchor to move me away from the sunken dinghy. So I sit and watch until I get some calm. More of the same tomorrow according to NOAA. After sunset the wind backed slightly to the ENE so the sunken dinghy is not directly on my stern. If it holds the same in the morning it will give me room to maneuver.
Wed,Mar 3 Key West 6:45, 70, 30.22, E 5, part cloudy. Checked anchor, had coffee, bathed. Wind picked up after sunrise. Checked weather report, more of same, wind E to SE and gusty to 20kts. Can't reset anchor single handed. Rigged a 100 foot section of line to use between the anchor chains to allow the SE claw anchor to move east 100 ft. At 9:45 Rain squall from SE. Wind picked up more in the afternoon. Went to town to see if I could get some help resetting anchor. Jim will be available Friday. Meeting, Dean is still sober and cleaned up some. Jim and I walked to Post Office, First State ATM card arrived, and then down to dock. Back on board at 8:45 after waiting about an hour. Wind has quieted some but still about 15 kts. Soup and bed.
Thur,Mar 4 Key West 6:30, 68, 30.16, E 15-20, part cloudy. Bumped sunken dinghy during night when wind increased, shortened one side of bridle to draw away from it. Still OK now. About 8:30 Leon showed up with his catamaran needing crew for Bermuda. He had a minor collision with the boat behind me as he dropped his hook and it dragged. I went about tidying my decks and getting lines, floats and rode ready to reset my east anchor. Coast Guard spent an hour with them. Got Leon abreast of me, a 35# CQR set, and the sunken dinghy moved off my ass. My anchor is holding. Everything is stable at the moment. Going to town 1pm. Will crew with Leon to Bermuda and fly back, probably take a week to 10 days. Went to town, club, got Greg Catrambone for crew. Both back at 8:45, soup and bed by 10pm.

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