Sunday, May 3, 2015

Second long sailing trip in 2014

We spent a week at Skiatook Lake in Oklahoma.   For my birthday, my wife surprised me with two 2 day seminars in Painting workshops with Jerry Yarnell who has the paint instruction show 'Paint This'.

His studio is just miles from Skiatook Lake so we drug Galactica to Skiatook.

I painted with Jerry in the morning and early afternoon while Angie relaxed and read.  In the afternoon, we'd head out and sail until sunset.  It was wonderful!

Temperature was around 100 degrees but the cool clear water felt incredible.  It was a good trip:

Art & Sailing Part ONE- Galactica vLog2

MacGregor 26M: Sailing & Exploring Part TWO- Galactica vLog2

2014 - Sailing Cape Fear and the North Carolina Coast!

2014 - Sailing Cape Fear and the North Carolina Coast!

Galactica sailing Cape Fear. Part One: Rendezvous

Galactica sailing Cape Fear. Part Two: Coastal Sailing


I'll Post a blog about the antics at Mark Twain.  In 2014, I served as the Commodore for the Mark Twain Lake Sailing Association.   To shake things up, do something different and try to promote more participation from existing members and add to our membership ( 7 new boats joined the fleet in 2014), I came up with Bahamarama.

We renamed coves to Bahamas Island names and set up challenges.   I'll explain more in another post.   Here is the annual video from 2014:

2014 Annual MTLSA Video

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sailing Jewel in the Middle of South Dakota!

Sailing Jewel in the Middle of South Dakota! 
Lake Oahe, June 2013

Part One: Lake Oahe


Part Two: Lake Oahe

Part Three: Lake Oahe
















About 40 miles east of Lake Oahe!
 
Day 1
Scenic overlook.  Our first view of this massive lake!


Ron and Charlotte, our ambassadors to Oahe!



meeting the neighbors...



Visiting with the local boaters!
 

















Galactica slipped at Springcreek Marina.  
 




Galactica's first night on Lake Oahe





Good Morning Sunshine!   Day 2

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Sunrise at SpringCreek Marina





Preparing to cast off and head out onto the lake!







































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Day 3...










































Thursday, July 11, 2013

Scientific mission: LVMP Water Sampling along with the Battle of WaterLog

8 June, 2013 -  Mark Twain Lake
The vberth hatch screen.   Looking at the dock light at the marina.

We headed up Friday night after work and our Friday evening family dinner.  We wanted to get an early start Saturday.  This picture shows our vBerth hatch screen.  We surrounded the hatch with velcro and Angie sewed the other half of the velcro to a standard window screen cut to size.   This works extremely well even with the wind scoop.   The nice thing is that it rolls up and tucks out of the way beside the matress!



Waiting on Sue to come over from her sailboat.

After breakfast, showers and stowing everything, we kicked back and read while waiting for Sue who was our mentor for the LMVP Water Sampling process.   Note in the picture above.  We found that bungee cording the blue tote gives us a place to set drinks, marine radio, cell phones, snacks and water while under way.   This works beautifully even when sailing heeled over 45 degrees or speeding along at 18 knots under the iron genny.   I store all of the electronics in the tote below when locked up between sails.

Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program (LVMP)



Angie and Sue taking inventory of lab supplies prior to casting off

In a nutshell, at scheduled times of the year, water samples are collected under strict control from 3 different sites on the lake.

The first site is just 30 yards from the Dam.    Water clarity is measured.  It was only 11" at this time due to the extremely high water levels.  There is a lot of mud suspended.


Field Laboratory Procedures...
The water temperature is measured.  GPS coordinates and time of sample are recorded.  Water is filtered through a couple different types of filters with specific volumes filtered.
Sue and Angie talking as we leave the 2nd sample site, silo in background...

Angie piloted us from the second sample site after I hauled up the anchor.  The second site is the point near the Silo island where one of the feeder creeks joins the main channel.


Angie taking us towards the third site.

We stayed on the outboard since the sampling process takes a while to perform and record.

Approaching Point D island, the third site.  Florida pool in distance.
The third sample site was just east of Point D island which is at the entrance to the florida pool, one of the larger areas on the lake.


We record the findings on a LMVP data sheet.
All data is recorded and submitted with the frozen samples.   After we finished the last sample and decided to sail the 8+ miles back to the marina, we ran into a snag.   When I went to haul in the anchor, the infamous Battle of WaterLog began....

The Battle of WaterLog

So at Point D island,  we anchored fairly close to shore since the water levels were up quite a bit from normal pool depth.    We have 30 feet of chain connected to the danforth anchor and 150 feet of rode.

Normally, when the chain is vertical, I can easily pull it free.  You can feel when the boat is no longer tethered.    This time, I couldn't budge it.   We tried motoring forward and pulling free but that did not work.

Even though I no longer workout in the gym after my last injury two years ago, I'm still very strong for a man my age.   I began a laborious battle with the stuck anchor.  Slowly, grip by grip, I was rasing the anchor along with something monstrous.   Sue was pointin gout the large ring of bubbles released by the monster being pulled from the mud.

In 35 feet of water, I raised the anchor.  Twice pausing to cleat the chain and catch my breath.  I know, at this point you are thinking, why didn't I wrap the anchor rode aft to a winch and crank it like a windlass.  Well...testosterone was flowing by this time and I was winning the battle.

I pulled the tree to the surface with the anchor imbedded in the Y of a branch.   I do not know how long the tree was. It was old and water logged.  The water not clear enough for a full view; however, when it broke the surface and again when I held it up as we used the boat hook to pry/twist the anchor free, I saw a trunk at least 8 to 10 inches in diameter.  I did not see how much extended below the bow or was further up.  All I know is that I used to shrug 400lb. barbells in sets of 10 and this felt heavier.   After freeing the anchor and releasing the vanquished monster waterlogged tree back to the deep and I got to beat my chest in an old silverback's victory as Angie piloted Galactica with her muddy bow fresh from battle.  Glory!

Victory!  Glory!   The defeated tree lies within the jaws of Galactica's Anchor!

We decided to set sail and enjoy the midday as we sailed back to BlackJack marina.



Sue relaxing and talking with Angie during our sail back to the marina.


Capt. Douglas, checking sail trim as we sailed back to the marina.


On the way home, we stopped up on the upper lot to check on the refit progress of the 32ft ODay, Wild Goose.  She's looking awesome for a 25 year old lady.


Jeff and Liz relaxing on the newly refitted and bottom painted Goose...
Next post will be the Commodore's Cup Race, June 2013 followed by our adventurous sail with Galactica in new waters:  Lake Oahe, South Dakota!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

We're into the 2013 season! Mods and Sailing


Changes we really liked!

Propane Pods

With the late snows eliminating the first couple months of the season, Angie trolled through Macgregor owners websites and found a number of mods that we liked.  We moved propane cannisters outside instead of storing them in the bilge.   4" PVC pipes with a cap on the forward end and a screw cap on the aft.  


Propane Pods
We can store two bottles per pod and there is a pod under each stern rail seat!

Salon Redesign:  U-Shaped Settee

She found a mod where people increased the usuable space in the salon by removing the big table and creating a U shaped settee.  We mocked this up and fell so enamoured with it along with the luxurious comfort,  I basically gutted nearly all previous mods.   We were feeling like we were living in a storage locker and the mods were heavy in weight.

Here is the finished product before we added a seat riser for storage under the forward port settee.   That'll be highlighted at the end of this post.  We set up the laptop on the folding table and sprawl out on the U-shpaed settee.   With the extra pillows, it is very comfortable.

2013 configuration pror to adding the riser to the port bench.

The Galley...

Our previous galley had a 3 burner stove mounted to a shelf/platform with some storage.   I ended up using up the little seat space behind the galley with a wood Pantry.  Angie had to prepare meals on the table...no counter space.

The new galley during final stages of installation!

I cut out the factory sink, added an oak luann countertop insert and mounted an RV sink in the corner making much more space.   I moved the silverware drawers from the old factory table to the back of the galley and installed a 12volt faucet replacing the pump faucet which Angie really didn't like. 

Moving the water tank to the locker below the  galley opened up space in the previously cramped galley.

We added drawers and our food totes and this is a GREAT modification!

I moved the two storage bins from the front factory face of the galley to the forward side and replaced that face with one with two large doors.

Suddenly, we have very usable pantry space!!!The new galley still slides back allowing access to the water tank.

We found self stick vinyl wood plank flooring at one of the big box home improvement stores.  Lowes, Home Depot or Menards.... I don't recall which.   I removed the rugs and mounted the flooring to oak luann cut to the shape of the forward and aft Salon floors.

We found that removing piles to remove cushions to access the lockers made it so we just didn't storage the stuff we used in the lockers...hence the cluttered mess.    Angie sprayed a white rubber paint to coat the raw interior fiberglass making the lockers brighter and more cheerful feeling.  A clean look.   We put totes in the lockers to protect anything should there ever be water in the bilge.   I cut access ports into the sides of the lockers and made port covers out of the same oak luann and the vinyl flooring.    Lowes has spring loaded hinges for just a couple bucks per pair.   These hold the door closed even when heeled over 45 degrees...we tested it!  :)  I was able to save money and return all the latches.

The Head

New Head mod!!!
We use an easy, clean 'dippity do' bag system in the head.  Basically, Bass Pro sells a cheap seat ring that snaps onto a 5 gallon bucket.  They make scented waste bags that hang in the bucket but those would end up costing you $20 to $30 a season.   Angie found rolls of the same size bags at Sam's Club or somewhere for pennys per bad.  There is none of the nasty mess to clean out which came with the factory porta-potty.  This was all held in with a bungee cord previously with a tote sliding around with head necessary items...  

Seating and clothing storage: a bench riser

I build a lightweight oak luan bench with the horse feed bucket and trash can mounted in it.  I put ports on the front for storage.  Another GREAT mod!   I removed the head doors and mounted a curtain on a rod which swings out.  You can close yourself in the head or swing it out and close off the front end of the boat for changing clothes...



Preparing to measure the port bench.
Making a template out of newsprint.  The boat is at a marina, my workshop is at home...

We each have a small duffle bag with clothing each trip.   Enough clothing to match the weather which constantly changes here.   Angie also found a mod to raise the forward port bench five and a half inches. 

Okay, admittedly I'm never going to be a master carpenter but I'm proud of the curved woodwork!

I built a similar mod and we use the forward two compartments for our clothing storage.   The aft compartment is for storing the two emptied dufflebags, the newer light weight two burner stove, a dust buster and a few odds and ends!   The riser, with lids and hinges only weighs 37 pounds.  After all the redesign, the boat is hundreds of pounds lighter!


My wife is cringing at the messy house.  The lids have piano hinges and are easy to open leaving the cushions on!
It's constructed with just #2 grade pine 1x6 and oak vaneered 3/8 plywood.

At Lowes,  I colormatched a picture on my phone of the boats tan interior and painted the riser.  It blends in quite well.   Compare this picture of the finished, installed riser with the picture of the salon at the top of this post!  We really liked this mode too!

Finished riser, installed!

New Cockpit Table

New cockpit table prior to poly coats!

I made a new, oak top for our cockpit table and then painted a picture of Galactica sailing on the Atlantic Ocean.   This is protected with 5 coats of poly!

This table also doubles as a salon table on a folding tv tray table...

Here are two videos highlighting some of the mods:

and this is the second:


More posts to come!   It seems I'm busier every year so I have been lagging behind on posting.  Coming  up:  Sailing Memorial Day!  Minor Rigging failure!  Scientific mission:  Water sampling at specific points on the lake for the University of Missouri.

 
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