Saturday, August 22, 2015


I'm keeping a weather eye on Hurricane Danny which looks like it will be breaking bad for a lot of sailors in the Caribbean area the next couple of days. Even though it is far from my local waters at this point. I found out such storms can sneak up on you if your guard is down. A number of years ago my gal and I were vacationing at Montauk on the eastern end of Long Island. We took a ferry over to Block Island and listened to a Park Ranger describe her family's experience during the Hurricane of 1938. We wondered why she was going on about it so much. We soon found out that indeed a Hurricane was heading for our area in the next day or two. Being on vacation we had been in a media blackout. It was the days before smart phones and wifi. We got back on the last ferry to Montauk and hightailed out of our motel room a day early. My girlfriend got on the last Long Island Railroad train heading to New York on the mainline before a tree across the tracks and shut it down. Since that time I now know to keep a weather eye on storms brewing in the Caribbean well in advance of their movements north.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


As BIANKA was tied to the dock so I could fill the waters tanks a fellow sailor whose boat is on a nearby mooring came by in his dingy. He just returned from a week long cruise and offered some of his left over provisions. Including a loaf of Wonder Bread. I do have a Zojirushi Mini Breadmaker bread maker on board. But, I had not not yet made any. So I took the bread and some of the other items offered. I used some of his donated bread for French Toast, Egg Sandwiches and such on the cruise. When I make bread on board using the bread maker it usually lasts a few days before it starts to go stale. But, here it is a week and half after I received the donated bread and it is still not stale or moldy. Amazing!  Though like it's name says I do have to wonder how it remains fresh after almost two weeks. There certainly is a difference in the amount of time between my homemade bread and the store bought Wonder Bread lasts.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


I'm currently on a quick cruise to New York. When I was a child my parents would take me on vacation during the summer. On some of the trips we would travel over the Throgs Neck Bridge. Looking out the car window I would sometimes see a boat anchored a place called Little Bay just east of the bridge. Recently I was there to wait for the ebb current that will help carry the BIANKA down the East River. As a child in the car I wondered why is that boat anchored there? As I sat having my coffee on board I wondered if some of the cars passing over the bridge also had children who wondered the same thing as I did as a child?
Sent from on board BIANKA

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


A few weeks ago I did another of the annual harbor tests I have been doing on BIANKA's electric propulsion system. Here is a graph of the results:

Results are similar to least years tests with no real significant differences. Here is a graph of this years data compared with the 2014 test:

Some of the other data comparisons of the tests:

 The % battery at the end of the test was 89.7% compared to 90.6% last year.

The Amp Hours used for the test was 16.5 compared to 15.2 for the 2014 test.

NOTE: Some of the increase may be due to the distance traveled for the the test. This year the distance traveled for the test was 2.2 nm while in 2014 it was 1.8 nm. The difference might be explained by the location of the buoys which are removed and replaced each year in the harbor.

The tests show that the Thoosa electric propulsion system is still preforming well. It has been eight years after I installed it.  Along with  the reduction in maintenance and cost savings it continues to reinforce the notion  that it was a good decision to convert to electric propulsion back in 2007.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Winds and WIFI

I have not been posting too much on this Blog lately. Not because there is nothing to write about but, because the cellular/internet connection is so bad in BIANKA's home port. It makes posting frustrating and tedious. Much like the winds yesterday as I started a cruise to New York which were light and from the wrong direction. So I decided to change my plans and ducked into a harbor only three miles from the homeport where the cell signals are better. I'll hang out here for a few days enjoying the better communications and sunsets. Cruising is sometimes about just finding a better place. Even if it is only a few miles down the coast.
Sent from on board BIANKA

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I've been wearing an inflatable Life Jacket on board BIANKA for decades. Happily, I've never had to use it.  Since it has automatic inflation I've always thought it would save me if I ever went into the water in an unconscious state. I thought it was the best lifesaving device I could wear until I saw...

Sunday, July 12, 2015


It's nice when a project lends it's self to another project benefit. Such was the case with the cabin wood molding project I completed to cover up the handrail access openings. I thought that I might mount a fan to the molding at some point. But, then I thought that  the wood molding strip would also provide an excellent mounting place for ...

Monday, July 06, 2015


Looking through my emergency signalling canister this spring I found four handheld Handheld Signal Flares. Since it was the Fourth of July I thought it might be a good time to dispose of them by lighting them off on the shore. Seems to me learning and lighting about emergency signal flares is best tried with out being under an emergency situation. So soon after sunset I took the dingy to shore along with a large metal can that I would use to hold the flares after I set them off. It was an eye opening experience. While these flares are meant to be handheld the flame is extremely hot. They can also sputter dropping hot flaming particles about. How hot are these flares? Hot enough to melt through the metal can that I put them in:

That's pretty hot! If a handheld emergency flare can melt the metal can. Imagine what it will do to a fiberglass deck or the pontoon of an inflatable!
LESSON LEARNED: If you need to light an emergency handheld flare make sure you hold it far enough over the side so that it won't cause a fire on deck or damage your life raft.

Saturday, July 04, 2015


Showing the flag on the Fourth of July is always seems a little more special somehow.
Sent from on board BIANKA

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS: Honda 2000i Oil Change Help

One of the maintenance rituals I do before launching is to change the oil in the Honda 2000 EU generator. I've been able to significantly reduce the the mess of this procedure by using a Hopkins Measure Funnel:

While this eliminates a lot of the mess of the oil changing procedure I still...