S/V Hello World's Travel Log

port madison and christy's folks

Christy's folks are in town to celebrate Turkey day with my family in what will no doubt be a familial supernova of fun to take place somewhere in the woods south of Yakima, WA. Since this is their first gander at Hello World, we took them sailing on Sunday.

Nothing too exciting - just a nice beam reach from Shilshole over to Port Madison. Joining us on the sail was our neighbors on J-dock, Bill and Jo. Bill, Christy's dad, Carl, and I worked on our mainsail furling issue a bit at the dock prior to taking off and while hauling out the main for the sail. The weather was beautiful for a Seattle November weekend and the wind was cooperative for about half the sail anyways.

Our anchorage at the back of Port Madison.

Sitting at anchor enjoying lunch.

Christy hanging in the cockpit with her folks.

Bill and Jo from s/v Bountiful. Jo makes some wicked cookies, holy cow.

Shithead, the cat, cowering in the back of the quarterberth telepathically communicating with me how much he dislikes it when his house heels, pitches, or has any motion whatsoever. And turn off that damned engine, willya??

We did not definitively solve the sticky mainsail furler but we did improve the situation some. We pulled off the access panels and looked inside to find years of lubricating gunk, mix with grit inside. We cleaned that out best we could with solvent and then sprayed a liberal amount of T9 to lubricate the bearings. It's still pretty tight coming out and the furler sleeve has too much lateral movement for us to be comfortable with it. So we have more work to do on the main before we're happy.

UPDATE: This was the first test of our anchor rode marking and it worked great. It was very easy to decipher the rode length marks as they exited the chain locker, especially since the marks were on seperate chain links.

UPDATE part 2:Christy and I use radio headsets when we anchor so we don't have to yell at each other while I'm up on the bow (previous owner called 'em marital aids). I found it was useful to call out the lengths of chain as it exited so I didn't lose count and in case I did lose count, Christy could remind me.

47°41'34.44"N 122°32'40.66"W

head rebuild and anchor rode marking

Christy's favorite thing in the world ever is definitely not writing blog entries. She's had one in the works for a couple weeks now but just never found the gusto to finish it. Now that none of the vowels work on our laptop keyboard, the chance of that writing seeing the light of day is pretty small.

So I'm going to take a quick minute out of my busy work schedule and update y'all on what we've been up to on Hello World. We have two heads on board, both of which are usually in some state of disrepair. The forward head is clogged - we don't talk about it. Then the aft head stopped pumping seawater at some point. Christy took a keen interest in getting at least one of our toilets to work already dammit so she read up on the inner workings of a marine head. She made a run to Fisheries to purchase a head rebuild kit. Then back to the boat and dove right in. She tore the head apart, replaced all the gaskets inside, greased it up, re-assembled it and now ... it works! How many women in this world will willingly take apart a marine toilet, rebuild and reassemble it? A select awesome few, that's how many.

Christy re-assembling the toilet on our galley counter. Think twice before accepting a home-cooked meal on our boat.

Turns out, the problem was the gasket was getting deformed and allowed air to draw into the pump preventing seawater from getting pulled in instead.

Happily reassembled!

Meanwhile, while Christy's doing the dirty work, I took advantage of the weather to organize our chain locker. After anchoring last, our chain was covered in whatever schmook we anchored in. I pulled the anchor off and all the rode out of the locker and flaked it on the dock in 25' lengths. I hosed down the rode and inside of the chain locker. The previous owner used colored zip ties to mark lengths on the anchor chain. I never could figure out his system of marking the chain so I re-did it like so:

Red ziptie = 25'
Purple ziptie = 100'

For example, at 75' of anchor rode, we have red red red. At 150' of anchor rode, we have purple red red. Some advice that I received while working on it that I'll pass on to you:

  • Leave the tails on the zip ties. If you cut the tails off, the zip ties become really sharp which will transform your rode into razor wire and your hands into hamburger. The windlass won't chew them up as quickly as you'd think. The PO left all the tails on and they were still there.

  • Put the ties on separate links. If you have a sequence like purple red red red all on the same link, it can be hard to make out the pattern when the chain is flying by you. Especially at night. It's much easier if you put each zip tie on it's own link.

  • We have 200' of 5/16"HT chain and 200' of 3/4" 3-strand nylon line. I started the markers over at zero once the nylon line started. Mostly because I didn't have enough zipties to do 375'. But also because I'm capable of adding 200' to whatever the markers on the nylon read.

  • When marking the 3-strand line, I unlaid it and wrapped the ziptie around a single strand to keep the ziptie from migrating up or down the rode.

Tht's ll fr nw, mr ltr!

holy crap

This is not a political blog. This is not about Christy's and my opinions on anything other than marine toilet maintenance (it sucks). It's about a Seattle couple that bought a boat and want to go places on it. Also - funny poop stories. But mostly the boat thing.

However, today is a watershed moment in American history and it's worth taking a step back to say "wow". We've elected a man to the highest office in the land who just so happens to be black. During this unending election cycle, the discourse was never really about the man's skin color. He was in more danger of losing this election due to his middle name than being a black man in America running for President. I don't care what your politics are - Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, whatever - this moment in time is big. We get to say goodbye to what will likely go down in the books as the worst presidential administration in the United States' modern history in virtually every quantifiable metric. But even more important is what lies ahead for our country.

To Bush and Dick (hehehe) I say "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out".

To the rest of you, I say this:


(updated - I got rid of the Bush/Cheney/Beavis/Butthead image and replaced it with the image above. As much as that image cracks me up, this is the time we need to spend shoveling dirt on their time in office, not remembering it.)

downtown Seattle

Christy is life long friends with just about everyone she's ever met. It's an incredibly endearing trait of hers but it leads to alot of conversations like the following:

her: We're having dinner with [name I've never heard] tonight. Yay!

me: We know someone named [name I've never heard]?

Another conversation we oft repeat went a little like so:

her: Amy's coming up to spend the weekend with us!

me: Right on!


me:Which Amy?

her: New Zealand Amy.

me: Ah. Right on!

And so it was that Amy, Christy's friend from her time spent in New Zealand, came up to visit us. She's temporarily in Portland but mostly living in Connecticut finishing up school. So she hopped a train up north and spent the weekend with us. As she is considering finishing her school/training in Seattle, we decided we'd give her a good taste of Seattle. So we took Hello World down to Bell Harbor Marina right on the waterfront of downtown Seattle for the weekend.

On Saturday morning before taking off, we hosted my longtime friend Kymber, her husband Jay, and their adorable daughter Beija for flapjacks on the boat.

Here's Beija and I going over proper radio protocol after breakfast.

Here's the cat, dealing not so well with all the people inside his boat.

After saying goodbye to Kymber, Jay and Beija, we buttoned up the boat and set off for downtown Seattle in the pouring rain. The wind was dead, which is OK because our mainsail furler is behaving badly and we didn't want to roll it out. So we motored for a couple hours into Elliot Bay and on into Bell Harbor Marina. Ben and Fisher left a little behind us on Ben's Westsail 28 and met us down there.

Christy doing some driving.

Me watching out for crap pots.

Bell Harbor Marina with downtown Seattle in the background.

Christy and I doing the couple pose.

We along the waterfront and on up to Pike Place Market. While we were there, we grabbed some mac and cheese made fresh at Beecher's Handmade Cheese shop. I could swim in a vat of this stuff. Seriously. After that, we grabbed some italian sausage from Uli's Famous Sausages and a bunch of fresh produce and took our haul back to the boat. Ben is a chef and does wonder with food so we gave him some pasta, marinara sauce and our Pike Place goods and he turned it into some fantastic grub.

While having drinks prior to dinner, Fisher was perhaps "over served" and after several rounds of "I love you man!", he pulled yet another disappearing act. So we dined in his absence and fretted over how he got home to Shilshole.

Fisher enjoying the Bell Harbor scenery aboard Ben's Westsail 28.

Fisher hugging the security guard that yelled at him for peeing off the dock. (long story)

Christy, Amy and I lounging.

The next morning, we woke up to a Small Craft Advisory with wind coming out of the south at 20 to 25 knots. Sweet! Downwind run to Shilshole! We helped Ben get off the dock, including Christy and I throwing his docklines in the water and me hammering my shin on our stern anchor as I fended him off Hello World. No wonder everyone in the marina showed up to help us get Hello World out of the slip. But we did so without incident, much to the surprise of those around us. After getting out into Elliot Bay, we unrolled the genoa and enjoyed a great downhill run to Shilshole.

Ben's Westsail 28.

Amy doing some driving.

I can't be bothered to stand up. Steering a sailboat is hard!

Amy enjoying a spot on the bow.

We happened up on a race right out of Shilshole as we were coming in. We just cleared the upwind mark when this dragon painted catamaran roared by us like we were in reverse.

They stationed a crew member on their starboard side just to lift our headsail out of the way. Racers don't get too worked up over wide berths.

A squall line behind the skeleton dude on the Shilshole breakwater. Made docking fun. And really wet.

All the pictures here. As usual, we didn't take any of these pictures. Amy and Ben did all the photographic heavy lifting. Thanks guys! Amy, thanks for coming up! Ben, thanks for dinner and photos! Fisher - I love you, man.

47°36'36.69"N 122°20'50.92"W