Thursday, November 28, 2019

A THANKSGIVING TO REMEMBER


BIANKA is high and dry today having been pulled for the winter. But, years ago when I was living on board in New York she would often be in the water until December. One year when i was alone I thought it might be nice to have Thanksgiving on board by myself. I was not about to cook a hole Turkey for myself but, I thought buying a whole meal from a local Boston Market take out store would be perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner in BIANKA's cozy cabin. I got all the fixings I might have even had some cider on board.  As I was heating up the meal and the cabin began to fill with a wonderful aroma of turkey and gravy etc... the propane ran out. Unfortunately, the meal had not been entirely cooked. Beng Thanksgiving there was no way I could get the propane tank refilled either.  Enter Black Friday to save the day. Because some stores were getting a jump on Christmas sales they were open on this holiday. I jumped in the car and picked up a small Coleman stove and a one pound can of Propane. I headed back to the boat and finished cooking my Thanksgiving feast. It was a Thanksgiving to remember.

Friday, November 22, 2019

READYING FOR WINTER

One nice thing about having electric propulsion and not the diesel is how it streamlines winter storage.  The only major thing I need to do is winterize the water systems on board. Once that is done I only need to do a few minor things to secure the boat for the winter. One of the things is to tape over the cockpit hatches using painter's tape.
 This helps keep rain and snow from working their way down below and into the bilge. I don't plan on going into the lockers until Spring but if I do the tape is easily removed and replaced.

I also tape over the instrument displays in the cockpit with the same tape to protect the displays from the winter sun.
These last two  items pretty much complete my winterization  routine.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

PLASTIC IN THE OCEAN BEGINS IN THE RIVERS




I don't see a lot of plastics when I'm sailing BIANKA in my local waters of Long Island
Sound. When I do I always make an attempt to try and pick it up. But, there are
parts of the world where floating Plastic is much more of a problem. It’s good to see that
some inventive thinkers are working to not only cleanup the floating plastics in the
Ocean but also at the source namely some of the worlds rivers.

Meet the INTERCEPTOR:


Saturday, November 02, 2019

END OF THE SEASON





 It's the end of another season and BIANKA is safely on land in the boatyard.  I spent much more time on board this summer and have plans to do the same for next year.  I had a successful test of some new systems on board. Including a new, more powerful generator and 48 volt power supply to be used when electric sailing. I’ll be posting about these new additions and other ideas here on the blog as I’ll have more time in the off season for posting.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

NOR'EASTER SEASON


 I was reminded by Facebook that 5 years ago BIANKA Was at the dock ready to be pulled for the season. 


This year BIANKA it's still at the mooring.

I was hoping to get one more small cruise in before the season ends.  However, the weather forecast for this week shows the first Nor'easter developing off the coast. Gale conditions are expected. A good sign that it's time to pull the boat for the season.  Something that I'll be considering for next week. 

Saturday, October 05, 2019

TIME OF THE SEASON: Still enjoying a little taste of Summer

I enjoyed taking BIANKA last weekend to Port Jefferson to enjoy the summer like weather. But, I did notice that some of the trees along shore began to have a little tinge of colors that signal that it is now officially Fall.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday. Temperature rose to near 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I decided it might be best to spend the day on the boat and at least enjoy a cool breeze. With some trepidation I decided to take a swim and clean the bottom of the dingy. Expecting a cool shock as I jumped in I was surprised at how comfortable the temperature still was. Seems summer is still lingering just below the surface and I stayed in for over a half hour. 

Sunday, September 08, 2019

LABOR DAY AND THE SWITCH


 Usually I never leave  home port mooning on a holiday weekend here in the US. This year I decided to sail the three nautical miles sell to a nearby Harbor rent a mooring and just stay there for four days. I left a few days early to avoid the crowds.  It was a nice 3 hour sail despite the wind on the nose one tack got me to the next harbors entrance.

I had a mooring reservation through Dockwa for Friday through Tuesday. Since this was late in the afternoon on Thursday I decided to use one of the open moorings in the north west Mooring field  which is usually only used by the owners on the weekends. There are hundreds of empty moorings available during the week. Usually I maybe only one of three or four boats in the area.  This time there were at least 15 on moorings and at anchor nearby.  Seems like many more boaters want to get their last sails in before their unofficial summer ends.




In the morning I moved BIANKA to the mooring I rented for the weekend at the Yacht Club.

I enjoyed my stay on the Yacht Club mooring watching the other boats come and go. Listening to the VHF which had it's share of drama to report. An unfortunate fellow had a heart attack. But, there were medical personal including a Doctor and Nurse on other boats that helped render assistance. A Bayliner started taking on water outside the harbor and the six people on board had to be rescued. A disabled boat with no radio sent up a red flare in the harbor which caused quite a stir with the authorities. Then on Monday most of the boats started to leave by Monday night things
were very quiet.

I left on Tuesday morning and it was like a switch had been turned off. I passed no other boats leaving the harbor and only one or two on my journey back to BIANKA's home port. For many summer has ended but, it is still summer. Though the early sunsets and the chill in the evening are signs that Fall is knocking.



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

GOLDEN DAYS

In my opinion there is no better place to see beautiful sunsets than from the deck of a boat. I experienced them in places all over the world. From the Maldives to the Caribbean. Including seeing the elusive Green Flash years ago in Bonaire. Surprisingly I have often been disappointed by sunsets in the Caribbean and other tropical places more often than not.  Even the ones that hold out the promise of seeing a perfect crimson  sun set beneath the horizon often end somewhat dull end behind clouds obscuring the event. It is why I appreciate that some of the best sunsets I have seen have been in my local waters from the cockpit of BIANKA. Like the awe inspiring show I saw last week while in Port Jefferson Long Island.



Thursday, July 18, 2019

DEATH OF A WIND GENERATOR

My Primus  (formally Southwest Wind Power) 48 volt wind generator stop working last
year. It had been in operation 365 days a year for the past 8 years so it was probably
due for some refurbishing.  The wind generator has a sophisticated regulator circuit.
Which I imagine had failed. So sending the unit for refurbishing back to factory seemed
like a good investment.
  Unfortunately, I got some bad news along with some photos of the damage: 


The technician was able to begin working on your unit, unfortunately we found some bad news.  Please see attached pictures. The stator in your turbine overheated which leaks the varnish from the stator throughout the entire turbine.  In these instances, the turbine is not repairable (or not worth repairing due to how much it would cost).”





After discussions with the technicians at the factory I asked how this failure occurred.
He explained that too much wind can cause this type of damage.  Though the
wind generator was advertised as having circuitry that protected it from excessive
winds obviously it failed.
Since the generator was out of warranty I was only offered at discount at purchasing
a new on which was still in the thousand-dollar range.  Even with a new 5-year warranty
the reality was there's no guarantee but the unit would not fail again once the warranty
was up. While I liked having the wind generator as part of a multi energy approach to
charging my electric propulsion battery bank. In the end I thought the cost of a new
generator was not worth it  and the money might better be spent on additional solar
panels. 

Sunday, July 07, 2019

THE RIGHT PLACE, THE RIGHT TIME

Some people buy boats with dreams of traveling long distances to see the world and 
see things they don't see it home. But sometimes it's best to just stay put an experience
the area right around your home port.  This is especially true for BIANKA and I on America's
Independence Day. The 4th of July is one of my favorite days on board. Even though I never
leave the mooring.  Though I watch many other boaters heading out of the harbor on the holiday.

My day starts like this. First I make sure to fly the flag off the stern.
Then I cook up a hamburger for lunch. Meanwhile I have several chicken thighs marinating waiting their turn to be placed on the barbecue later in the day for my rum flavored BBQ chicken dinner.
I then watch nature's fireworks at sunset. Followed by man made ones as night falls. From my boats location I have fireworks displays to the left an right of me. The show goes on for an hour or two. Just a memorable way to spend the fourth and I never left the mooring.