Friday, October 23, 2009

Hurricane Season

On Assignment Central Florida
3 Days until I bug out for Grenada

While I am a rookie at cruising, especially during hurricane season, I have concluded that it remains such a crap-shoot and risky. The forecasters have many tools and work very hard at forecasting, but it seems to my eye's it is so unpredictable.

After last years experience in Puerto Rico, I simply did not want to have to worry about, not only getting whacked by a hurricane, I didn't want to deal with a "minor blow" of a tropical storm, nor the violent squalls that occur with a near by tropical system.

So this year, as some of you know I hauled Christa out of the water in Grenada and placed her in a hurricane cradle. My anti worry program has worked out swimmingly.

However, it does not escape me that I have been paying $700 a month to have Christa sit in a hurricane cradle, in a location that is officially out of the hurricane belt, in a year that has seen little hurricane activity, at least in the Atlantic. What can you do? This year has seen two hurricanes form in the Atlantic, both of which spun out to sea, deep in the Atlantic. Now compare this year to last. Below is a time lapse video of the 2008 season. Picture yourself in the bulls eye sitting in Puerto Rico. The question still remains, how is one to know?

I do recognize that we still have a month and change left in the present season and there could be a spasm of activity, but I predict not. I'll cling to that like I cling to my good looks.

Capt Chris

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New York City Video

On Assignment in Central Florida
5 Days until Grenada
11 Days until Christa's re-launch

Shot with the Flip and edited with Apple iMovie09

Tell me what you think!

Capt Chris

Monday, October 19, 2009

Florida and Beyond

Summerfield Florida
7 days until Grenada

I had another successful, if not uneventful 21 hour train ride from New York's Penn Station to Deland Florida. My Dad was awaiting for further transport to Summerfield where my parents live.

I'm really excited about heading back to Christa. Awaiting me in Florida was some boat parts. As I had mentioned in my Hurricane Cradle Video I've developed some concerns about Christa's chainplates. I believe the existing chainplates may be the originals from 1975. I called Bud Taplin, the Westsail guru at Worldcruising Yachts to discuss the situation. Before I left Grenada, I polished the old suckers and checked with a magnifying glass to detect hairline cracks. I didn't see cracks, but one plate has rust on stainless steel near one of the lowest holes on the forward shroud side. Bud did indicate it is likely nothing to get to uptight about, as there are four bolts holding each chainplate to the hull. The rust that is dripping down the hull is not abnormal and derives from the bolts holding the chainplate on, and not a an indicator of the health of the actual chainplate. However it is highly recommended to change them out as they are of an unknown age.

With that knowledge I forked over the boat dollars and had six brand new shiny chainplates fabricated and shipped out to my folks house. Pictured below is the starboard side plate that connects the upper shroud. Now my program will be another accessment of the existing chainplates once I return and if I feel comfortable I will wait to replace the old with the new when I return back to Florida. Replacement of the chainplates is a fairly decent sized undertaking that I don't want to do in Grenada if I can help it. This is simply one of the many risk assessment calls sailors have to make all the time. Check out the new shiny part below and notice the jealous gecko looking on.

I am also excited to report that I spoke with the boat yard at Grenada Marine and have a scheduled launch date of November 2nd. This gives me just shy of a week to prep Christa before she is waterborne. I had the hull acid washed, compounded and then waxed. The acid wash is supposed to really strip the hull, including the lack luster painted on "Christa" and "San Francisco." I have high hopes that Christa's original shine will be shone again. So with that, I purchased new stickers for the hull pictured below. Check it out!

So, I have a fair amount of work ahead of me upon return to Christa. First of which, I can see myself returning late at night, foraging around the yard looking for a ladder to climb aboard and then getting some electricity up and running. Day two.....well I don't know. More later!

Capt Chris

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