The "Windwalker"

The Daily Log at Key West
Mar 17, 2004 -- April 30, 2004

Date -
Made Good
Daily Log Comments
Wed, Mar 17
Key West
at anchor
6:15, 70, 30.02, Light W breeze. Good rest. Anchors did not drag any while I was away to Bermuda. All secure. Spread out the bow nets I brought back from the Sally Bum Bum, may be able to use them in a pinch. Definitely will be able to use the 3/8 inner forestay from the Sally to replace part of the backstay setup on the Windwalker. I haven't figured out how to get the genny furler back up and all the fittings on stays and shrouds Loktited so they don't work loose again. Today is Tex's 56th anniversary. Bought groceries. Back on board at 9:15pm.
Thur, Mar 18Key West6:00, 70, 30.1, Light E breeze. Scanned in Greg's pics taken on Bermuda trip. Wrote Casey. 9am wind 15-20kts from E, light chop. Went to town, mailed letter, internet, posted on FIR, called Suzanne Nevling. Slept thru meeting and an hour after, still catching up from lack of sleep and over-exertion of Bermuda trip. Back aboard at 5pm, sandwich and bed.
Fri, Mar 19Key West6:15, 70, 30.12, Wind E 15-20kts, light chop. Loafed around the boat all day doing much of nothing. Wind died down to 5-10 in the afternoon. Charged batteries for an hour at sunset.
Sat, Mar 20Key West6:05, 72, 30.15, Wind E 15kts, light chop increasing in mooring field. Just discovered that security at Bermuda relieved my luggage of my Buck knife. Also binoculars. Shit. To town at 8:15 to do laundry. Better news about Casey. New watch for $10 at Kmart, old one gave out from saltwater corrosion. Haircut and meeting. On the boat at 8:15, dinner and bed. Felt good all day. Winds gusting to 25.
Sun, Mar 21Key West5:15, 70, 30.17, Wind NE 15kts, light chop. Woke early, went back to bed. Woke again at 7:10. Fried potatoes, onions and sausage for breakfast. Spent most of the day entering cruising waypoints into the GPS. Wind backed from E to NNE and lightened to 5 kts in the afternoon. After sunset the wind backed more N and picked up to 10-15.
Mon, Mar 22Key West6:15, 68, 30.1, Wind N 10kts. Went to town about 9:45. The usual, bought chafing gear for mooring bridle, went to Home Depot amd got batteries for GPS amd flashlights, meeting and back on boat at 8:45. Wind howling about 20 kts from N, expecting gusts to 25 or 30 late. Stew for dinner.
Tue, Mar 23Key West6:15, 65, 30.15, Wind N 10-20kts, veering to NE at sunrise 6:40 gusting to 22 kts through the day. Went to town and bought chafing gear, and $80 worth of low drain LED cabin lights, installed one. Will see how it will do, then either return the rest or install them too. Back on boat at 3pm, spent part of afternoon recapturing a file I had goofed. Ran engine for an hour charging house battery.
Wed, Mar 24Key West6:15, 68, 30.2, Wind E 20-25kts through the night. Strong E winds forecast for remainder of week with some small showers. Wind picked up to 25-30 in afternoon. Sand shoals around mooring field are still breaking down the waves from the channel to 1 ft chop. Installed berth lamp so I can read in bed at night.
Thur, Mar 25Key West6:45, 66, 30.22, Wind E 20-25kts through the night. Woke about 3:30 with air mattress leaked half out, went to port berth. Went ti tiwb at 9, Returned one LED lamp, exchanged for another brrth lamp, Kmart and bought 2 12v battery florescent lamps, binoculars and Shrade folding knife, Albertsons for some groceries, Ace Hardware for wire and wire nuts, Gardi's for internet and to club. Back on boat at 8:30, modified one lamp to see if I could rig it into boat 12v system and wired it in, and it worked. Light dinner. Worked at programming Beaufort Wind Force Scale page until 11pm.
Fri, Mar 26Key West7:15, 65, 30.23, Wind E 20-25kts through the night with occasional rain squalls. Part clear and dry this morning. Finished programming Beaufort Wind Force Scale. Wind moderating to 15kts. Programmed a few pictures of Bermuda trip into Voyage Photos page. Wired other florescent cabin light. They give a lot more light and less power drain than old incandescent fixtures. Extended cord on air mattress blower and inflated starboard berth air mattress. Spemt afternoon thinking over steps and equipment required to finish boat, circling catalog items, etc., trying to pull it all together in my mind - too many loose ends. I feel like I am dead-centered, unable to move either way.
Sat, Mar 27Key West6:15, 67, 30.13, Wind E 20-25kts through the night again. Supposed to let up later today or tomorrow. Need to take boat in to get fuel. Went to town about 10am, got 8 gal of fuel at dock, on into internet, better news on Casey, updated web with Bermuda photos, noon meeting and then walked to Post Office, no mail. On to waterfront, loaded fuel onto water taxi and waited for Arno and Naja to return, getting back to boat about 3pm. Dumped the fuel into the port tank, bled the air out of the system and got the engine running, some trouble getting it to catch. Ran the engines for 2 hours to recharge batteries.
Sun, Mar 28Key West6:45, 66, 30.12, Wind E 15-20kts through the night again. Spent paart of morning reading. Then Burl Nelson, whom I had met a few daays ago on the bus in town, came alongside and aboard. We had a nice 3 hour visit and lunched together. He left about 12:15 to go back to where he was anchored in Garrison Bight. Studied catalogs and read until midnight.
Mon, Mar 29Key West6:15, 68, 30.1, NE Breeze 5 kts. Coffee, bathed, pumped bilge. Spent day doing mostly nothing, read "On A Wing And A Prayer" about 100th bomber group in WWII. Wind has been light all day shifting directly out of the north, picking up a little at sunset. Did the dishes and cleaned at the galley. Lost another pair of glasses overboard out of my shirtpocket, damn!
Tue, Mar 30Key West6:00, 66, 30.13, E Breeze <5 kts. Went to town at 7:30am, caught early meeting. Went to Kmart for 2 gas cans, Walgreens for glasses, and Sam Goody's where I got 3 DVDs. "The Music Man", Red Skelton and Charlie Chaplin collections for entertainment. Post office and letter from Casey. Got 12 gal diesel, and back on boat at 3. Watched a bit of Chaplin, then Music Man twice. Bed at 11pm.
Wed, Mar 31Key West6:00, 67, 30.15, N Breeze near calm. Charged batteries. Wrote Casey. Worked at pricing out items needing completion. Cleaned seawater cooling input filter. Cleaned and reassembled the fuel filter. Set the propellor shaft seal back a half inch to try to stop a minor leak, it didn't. May be the boot, will check it tomorrow when Jim comes out to help with the genoa furoer and re-setting the anchors. Late afternoon wind shifted to WNW 10kts. Watched the Music Man again, stepped outside after it was over, and it is an absolutely Magic Night, bright moonlight, gentle west breeze, the sea gently rippling, the sound of an anchor bell coming across from a boat out beyond, the high cirrus streaks of clouds, and the stars bright and near, the lights of Key West behind, and all is at peace. the overflowing love of God for His World and mine.
Thur, Apr 1Key West6:30, 67, 30.00, W 15kts. Cleaned and ploted courses until Jim came out to help me with furoer and anchor, but wind came up to 25. Would surely have got in trouble with the boat rocking and moving about, so bagged the work, went below and watched a movie. Went to town at 6:30pm. Checked internet and bought pipe tobacco, chicken breast and thigh at deli, caught a meeting and back to boat at 10:45.
Fri, Apr 2Key West6:00, 63, 30.10, NW 10kts. Diarrhea through the early morning hours, sick. Must be from the sandwhich Jim brought out. Back to bed, spemt almost all day in bed dozing or reading, up very little. Lots of fluid intake. Wind calmed in the afternoon. Nothing accomplished.
Sat, Apr 3Key West6:20, 65, 30.14, WNW ~10kts. Cold in night. Feeling OK this morning, but sneezes by jeezuz. Turned genoa stay around by floating it on fenders, easy, took 20 nin. Can let mast down, re-attach and secure the Stalok fittings of the forestays with LokTite. Rigged double blocks to let mast down when the wind calms. Went to town for supplies about 10am. Checked my blood pressure at Albertson's pharmacy, 114/75. Returned to boat at 8:45pm.
Sun, Apr 4Key West6:15, 64, 30.08, WNW 5kts. Set daylight saving time. Still dark and cold. Found engine compartment leak, rudder shaft packing gland. Added a couple of feet of greased cotton string packing. Leaking around the shaft log too. Went ashore and bought a stick of underwater epoxy to seal it inside between the seal plate and keelson. Could not lift seal plate as the screws need to be drilled out and Jim has my drill ashore. May have to dive and fillet it outside also. Opened and vacuumed all the cabin bilges to dry them out. Until I get the leak stopped the engine compartment bilges will need pumping.
Mon, Apr 5Key West5:30, 66, 30.07, WNW 5kts. To town to get tools from Jim. Didn't locate him, but went to his place and got tools. Returned at 4pm. Napped.
Tue, Apr 6Key West6:45, 64, 30.1, W 5kts. Worked at stopping shaft log leak. Burl came by, rafted up and spent afternoon and evening jawing and watching movie. Very Pleasant.
Wed, Apr 7Key West7:00, 68, 30.0, SE 5kts. Took Burl's boat to town early for LokTite. Dropped mooring about 10am and made it to lee of the north of Christmas Tree Island, putting keel on bottom after high tide. Went ashore and walked around island, exploring. Let mast down and waited for low tide. Made up and re-attached Genoa furler to masthead by crawling out on the mast. Straightened masthead plate that I bent when I got crosswise in the lock on the Champlain Canal. When tide was out, sanded and prepared the outside end of the shaft log and filleted with underwater epoxy stick. Read and waited for high tide but listened to wrong weather channel and woke an hour late. Raised the mast in the moonlight, attaching lower end of Genoa furler, and tried pulling off before realizing tide was already ebbing. Back to bed about 2:30.
Thur, Apr 8Key West7:00, 68, 30.05, SW near calm. Coffee, tide coming in, high tide at 11am. Began ordering deck, tightening rig etc. Burl surfaced about 8am and brought his boat back alongside. Re-attached jib and main furlers. Came free at 10:20, pulled kedge anchor and made way to my mooring location, picked up mooring and secured. We made spam sandwich lunch and read a bit. I caught a cat nap. Burl left about 12:30 sailing away in a fair breeze to his anchor spot the other side of Fleming. We will meet in town tomorrow at 11am. I vacuumed the bilges again. It appears that the leaks are sealed. Opened all the hatches to air hulls before stowing all the loose gear. Cleaned off the after decks, stowed the gear in the aft compartment, all neat and proper. Charged batteries and cooked dinner. Bed at 10pm.
Fri, Apr 9Key West5:30, 70, 30.02, SW near calm. Noisy skiff going by woke me. Coffee, game of FreeCell, reading book Burl left me, charging batteries. Light breeze from SSW at 6:45 first light. Removed the cabin sole by galley and glued it back together. Went to town at 9:30. Met Burl at 10;45, went to club and took Burl to meeting. Had lunch with him at Subway and we parted, he to load his boat and prepare to return to Gulfport and I to collect my laundry. Back on boat at 4:15. Fitted cabin sole back in place. And breeze and stifling in cabin. Sat out in cockpit reading while fish about a foot and a half long chased bait fish hiding under the boat, breaking the surface time and again with load crashes as they fell back in. The horizon to the west is ominous, looks like a storm is coming about sundown. This evening the tide is very low and the reef all around the anchorage is dry, maybe a foot out of water. This explains the lack of chop in the basin even in the strongest winds, being no more than 2 feet below the surface in the highest tides. I can see another concentric shoal 4 or 5 hundred yards out from my location, it too out of water.
Sat, Apr 10Key West7:00, 70, 29.98, Calm, like glass. Air mattress went flat during night, damn. Spent an hour adjusting rigging. Inflated air mattress, plug had come out. Charged batteries for an hour. Checked anchor position by GPS, 16 ft away from last check, swing of boat in 1/2kt breeze and current, holding fast. Napped and fixed cabin lighting. Napped and read again. Sea has been glass most all day, humidity stifling. Fixed potatoes and onions for dinner at sundown.
Sun, Apr 11Key West6:00, 72, 29.97, Slight breeze from E. Two noisy dinghies headed to town. Real hazy at sunrise. Wind picked up mid day to 15 kts. Lazy day. Spent some time figuring out priorities of things yet to be done or bought and installed before I can singlehand on extended cruises, both the Big and Little Wish List, both beyond my funding capabilities at present. Put it all together in an Excel file so I can look at it in an orderly fashion. Napped and re-read a portion of Tristan Jones' "The Incredible Voyage." Tried to get Vcad working.....????? About 11pm a front passed through, winds from all directions to 25 kts, rain and lightning.
Mon, Apr 12Key West6:15, 75, 29.95, Wind E to S to W backing and veering, 25 kts gusty to 30, light chop. At 8:30 turned into full gale and rain squall from WNW, tow boat and water taxi busy rescueing boats dragging anchors. Mine are holding. Should clear and moderate about 11am. Went to town at noon for supplies. Waited 3 hours after the meeting for the water taxi, back on boat at 10:45. Wind SE 10 kts, mooring field relatively quiet at low tide.
Tue, Apr 13Key West7:45, 72, 30.0, Wind SE 15 kts and gusty, raining. Rained all night, downpours, filling the dinghy on deck. Wind veered to WNW and quieted some in the afternoon, picking up and veering to the NW at sunset, with occasional light rain all day. Somewhat of a lazy day. NW wind gusting to 30 kts after sunset with mooring field getting choppy, and boat bouncing around some until after midnight.
Wed, Apr 14Key West7:15, 68, 30.1, Wind NW 20 kts, gusty, clearing. Went to town early, Kmart for solar shower, Albertsons for more groceries, and club. Got letter from Casey at post office, sounds good. Wind up from north about 25 kts as I came back out to boat at 8:30, going to be a whistler tonight, chop 1 ft now. Anchors holding well, GPS position same as this morning.
Thur, Apr 15Key West7:30, 63, 30.15, Wind N 15 kts, gusty, cloudy. Went to town early to send fax to USCG. I stopped by library and West Marine looking for the HO 249 sight reduction tables, scanning several books on sextants and celestial navigation. Back to boat about 3pm for a short nap. Put a couple of gallons in the solar shower and put it in the sun to warm. The wind had greatly diminished by sunset, down to less than 5 kts, and the shower hadn't warmed much. A beautiful, lovely night, stars all ablaze, boat gently rocking, a breeze sighing in the rigging caressing the sea and the Keys, all at peace, and the dishes are done and put away.
Fri, Apr 16Key West7:15, 61, 30.19, Wind NE 10 kts and cold. Went to town to check internet for word from Casey, no word. Hung around the club until after the 5:30 meeting. Jim walked with me to the bus down to the waterfront. I stepped off the bus and walking to the dock a piece of paper fluttered by, put my foot on it, and stepped on Ben Franklin's head ... I put him in my pocket and thanked Charlie ... that makes enough to order the autopilot for the boat. Waited an hour for Arnaud to show with the water taxi, onboard at 8:30. Dinner, read a little, and to bed about 10pm. Wind coming up some.
Sat, Apr 17Key West7:30, 65, 30.2, Wind NE 15 kts. I have been in Key West 4 months and have made a lot of friends. By noon the wind was 25kts steady. Re-did mast connections. Rearranged and added cleats to the mast for the mizzen and mizzen t'sail halyards and sheets. Read a portion of Tristan Jones' account again. Cleaned seawater strainer and vacuumed a little rainwater from the bilge that was driven in by the wind through the companionway hatch. At sundown the wind slacked a little. Checking with the GPS, it appears that the Bruce claw anchor to the East has dragged about 25 ft over the past month and needs to be re-set.
Sun, Apr 18Key West7:00, 63, 30.2, Wind NE 15-20 kts. To town at 9am to work with Jim and check email. Went to Sam Goody's, bought 20000 Leagues Under The Sea and The Quiet Man, and to Radio Shack for new power panel switches. No word from Casey. Returned to boat about 4. Replaced bad switch in power panel. Watched both movies, double feature night, wonderful.
Mon, Apr 19Key West7:30, 64, 30.22, Wind ENE 5-10 kts. Lazy day until wind drops and veers so I can reset anchor. Solar shower was hot by 2:30, hoisted it with the mizzen halyard. Really great shower and well worth the $9.98 for it at Kmart. Used maybe 3 quarts of water, and enough left in the bag for another shower. Steady easterly trade winds 15-20 kts all day.
Tue, Apr 20Key West7:20, 65, 30.20, Wind E 10 kts. Went to town about 10, Spent a couple of hours on the internet searching out prices on a SimRad WP5000 autopilot, ordered one, $510, should be here in a week UPS. I forgot to pick up my laundry before 4:00. Caught the 5:30 meeting, walked down past Jim's, had pizza with him and went to the 8:30 at the church down the street with him. He walked down to the waterfront with me after and we talked until the taxi came. Back on the boat at 10:45. Jim gave me an excellent book on the Galapagos, and I found a few others to read in my travels today. Also some navigation and sight reduction programs. Email from Randy Fugleburg and nothing on Casey.
Wed, Apr 21Key West7:00, 67, 30.15, Breeze SE 3 kts. Spent some of morning un-tangling and cleaning old mooring to west of boat, put single float on the bridle, a fall back if I need it. Checked my anchor setup and cleaned grass from swivel and untwisted chain. Bruce claw anchor has definitely dragged. I was unabie to raise the water taxi all day to go to town, so I read, studied, napped and watched a movie.
Thur, Apr 22Key West2:00, 68, 30.12, Wind E 15 kts. Woke way too early, slept out. Played solitare, and drank coffee, got ready to go to town with first run of water taxi at first light. Went back to bed at 3:30. Woke again at 7:00. To town at 7:45. Got bolts for jam cleats, internet, laundry, club, Subway. Back to boat at 3:15. Programmed HO 249 Sight Reduction Tables. Watched part of movie. Went to bed about 9pm and read.
Fri, Apr 23Key West6:00, 70, 30.1, Wind E 5 kts, quieter. Showered, and roast beef hash for breakfast. Re-fastened the sheet jam cleats with bolts instead of wood screws. I also caulked the pinrails with the last of the 5200 caulk. I had not caulked them when I installed them in Canada. Puttered around the rest of the day.
Sat, Apr 24Key West6:00, 71, 30.06, Wind E 5-10 kts, drizzled for a few minutes. Spent day in town, did the usual, got email that Robert "Smitty" Smith II had died in Memphis about 5pm Thursday, 4/22. He will be missed by Al-Anon and AA. I went out to the Key Plaza and bought some groceries, later wandered Duval St, got Mom a folder of Key West photos, watched Weaver Mike make her a coco palm sun bonnet. Jim bought us hamburgs and fries for dinner after meeting. Back to water taxi and boat by 8:30.
Sun, Apr 25Key West7:00, 70, 30.09, Wind E 5 kts, cloudy. Spent some time defragging and cleaning up the computer. Wrote Casey and Mom letters. Put groceries away and cleaned up cabin. Read the treatise on the Galapagos Archipelago and napped an hour. Watched a part of "The Music Man" again. I don't think I will ever get tired of it.. Dinner and bed at 10:30 after charging batteries.
Mon, Apr 26Key West6:45, 72, 30.07, Wind SE 5 kts, clear. Left solenoid switch on and ran down the house battery. It didn't take much of a charge, must be low on water. Yep, way low, filled both batteries. Sea water strainer full of sea grass again, too. Charged batteries again for half hour. To town at 10, water taxi blew an oil hose in mid channel and all the oil into the bilge, we anchored, and Arno and I finally got it back together, but no oil on boat. Fellow came by, took Arno to his boat for oil and back. Finally on shore at 11:30. No mail at post office, walked on to club and internet, nothing from Casey. UPSed Mom's bonnet and letters to her and mailed Casey. Walked down to library, got a card and 3 books by Tristan Jones and one on a circumnavigation aboard a 35' Piver Lodestar. Caught the water taxi at 6 and back on boat by 6:30.
Tue, Apr 27Key West6:30, 72, 30.06, Wind SW 5 slight breeze, clear. Spent much of morning freeing anchors from abandoned mooring and re-setting anchors about 150 ft NE of former location. The claw anchor is inadequate for the sandy bottom, must get a 32# Seasense fluke anchor for the east anchor. Need tripline marker floats. Afternoon sultry and sweaty, very little breeze from SW. Napped and read Queequeg's Odyssey about a trimaran circumnavigation. At 5 the breeze picked up, veering to NW, and started cooling things down a bit.
Wed, Apr 28Key West6:30, 72, 30.04, Wind ENE 10-15. Wind veered during night to steady tradewind. At daybreak wind backed to NNE at 15-25 with front moving through. East claw anchor dragged about 30 feet. Went to town at 10, and out to Stock Island and Standard Marine Supply for anchor, didn't find what I was looking for, but found solution to trampoline... 35$ worth of 1 5/8" shrimp net with rope border will make both sides. Bought a 24# Hooker anchor 35$, and ordered a 35# SeaSense for 45$. Went to Key West Welding and looks like maybe a 100$ to make the new tangs for the backstay, or material to make them myself, maybe 20$. Back to club. Simrad autopilot was delivered. Went to meeting. Wade hauled me down to the dock with all my gear, but I forgot to pick up my laundry. Jim has all the wood cut to make new hatch covers. Things are coming together. Home at 9pm after an hour and a half wait for the water taxi.
Thur, Apr 29Key West6:30, 74, 30.1, Wind ENE 10-15. Damn claw anchor skidded some more during night, possibly fouling west anchor. Wind blowing too hard to set the new fluke anchor. Figured out mounting of autopilot, mounted drive drum on wheel, assembled the pieces, need wire and switch. Rest of day lazy, read and napped until after dark. Batteries dangerously low, charged for an hour. Heated shower water and bathed.
Fri, Apr 30Key West7:00, 76, 30.12, Wind ENE 10-15. Collin came by, asked me to watch his boat while he is gone to Bahamas for a couple of weeks. Went to town at 10:20, Walked to library and post office. Hooray!!, the documentation for the boat finally arrived, a long bureaucratic wait since last August for what was only supposed to take 6 weeks. Walked to laundramat and picked up laundry I forgot Wednesday. Out to Kmart and Radio Shack for plastic box for ship's papers, trip line floats and 18ga wire for the autopilot. 5:30 meeting, Jim was there, told me he had taxi deliver all the wood I had him cut to make the new hatch covers. Got water taxi out to boat at 8:30.. a whole boatload of drunks... damn, I don't know how Naja and Arnaud put up with it night after night.

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