Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Times They are aChangin'

Dragon III is up for sale because we bought Signature, and Tom and Sue's Spontaneity is up for sale because they are about to buy Dragon III, and who knows how far it will trickle down. The best way to buy a boat is from people you've known for years, whose boat you've raced on and know the history of, so that's what we're all doing.

For our first outing we sailed in the the Partridge Bowl with Mary, Cole, and Tiberius. It's a chase race so we started after everybody else had left, but managed to catch up with them before the got to the club property on Wolfe Island. It was an upwind race in very light wind, which certainly helped us win the cup.

Signature has all the racy stuff, but will still take a while for us to get her in cruising form. First on the list are a variety of details revolving around the engine, electrical, and plumbing systems. Hardly romantic, but rewarding.

The raw water pump leaks a few drops per minute while the engine is running and I don't know yet if it's a loose screw, or needs a new gasket. There's only about 2" of clearance for those screws, so I need a special tool, or better yet new hex-head screws. The plate inscription says Volvo Penta 829895 8323, which should help tracking down parts.

All the Volvo stuff says it is important to know the engine Model (2003 or maybe MD 17 D) and Serial Number (21255)

at least as show on this plate on the crankcase. A partial list of fixes so far:

New diesel fuel supply/return lines

Raymarine SX-5 Autopilot

Relocate the chart plotter back to the helm station on a makeshift binnacle to figure out ideal positioning

Standard Horizon AIS VHF with remote mic at the helm

Spin pole supported tent over forward hatch

Remove the shore power to comply with code

New throttle cable to replace broken and McGivered version on Partridge Bowl.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Dragon III For Sale - A Bargain at $21900!

After many years and lots of great memories, Dragon III is for sale. We would have kept her for many more, except a great opportunity came along to move up to a bigger boat. We have been upgrading all along, including a brand new RayMarine Wheel Pilot this spring, so you can benefit from our unexpected opportunity. The list below covers the major equipment, most of which is fairly recent (years approximate). Dragon III rates 144 under PHRF-LO if you are inclined to race. I will add more pictures later.
For Sale!

Hughes 35, built 1979 and launched 1980         CDN$21900

Sparkman and Stephens Design
Atomic 4 Engine with Gori Folding Prop, Spares, and Moyer Marine Manual
Balmar 60W Alternator and Smart Regulator/Charger (2005)
2 Trojan Deep Cycle Batteries with 130W Solar and 20 Amp AC Charger(2009)
30 Amp Shore Power and 50' Cable

V-Berth Double, Quarter Berth 1.5 and Main Cabin Queen+ with Frohli undersprings
Hot and Cold Running Water in Galley and Head with Shower (2012)
New Head Tank (2013)
Isotherm Holding Plate Refrigeration (2005) 
Origo 4000 Alcohol Stove
Dodger and Bimini

Stereo with PolyPlanar Cockpit Speakers (2012)
Standard Horizon DSC VHF with AIS and Cockpit Controls (2012)
Raymarine ST60 Speed / Depth / Wind (2003)
Raymarine SPX-5 Wheel Pilot (2014)
NavMan Chartplotter (2007) with Lake Ontario (2007) and Lake Huron (2012) Charts

Rigged for Spinnaker with Pole, Lines, Harken Mast Track (2004)
3 Spinnakers (0.5, 0.75, 1.5 oz)
Ultra-Furl Headsail Furling System
KSL Dacron Main and Heavy #1 (2003), #3 Blade (2005) 
Sobstad Mylar Light #1
Older #2 and Storm Jib

2 Lewmar 46 Self-Tailers and 6 Other Winches
Nautos Solid Vang (2005)
Navtec Integral Hydraulic Backstay Tensioner (2009)
2 Anchors, Chain and Rode

and much more...


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Final Leg

September 1: It's always the familiar that catches you up. We didn't pay enough attention to the wind forecast and woke at two to waves slapping at the stern in the NE breeze. After some fiddling around we decided to move out to a mooring, but maybe didn't get ourselves awake enough first. Laura was able to recover both of the boat hooks, but her glasses are on the bottom, somewhere near the northernmost mooring.

Greg and Perry had arrived on Sukha some time before all this happened and taken the southern mooring ball. They said hello this morning then headed on down to the islands.

This afternoon the dock filled up with Compulsion, Offliction, and Happy Puppy. Dan made an heroic effort diving for Laura's glasses with fins and mask. Unfortunately they seem to be gone for good.

September 2: Spinnaker run before a light east wind lasted until about the spectacles at noonish. By one the thermal had broken through and we were beating towards KYC, where there were plenty of people around to welcome us back and regale us with the events of the Shark Worlds.

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Trenton to Jemmett's Landing

August 29: The winds were rather fickle today. Although we had replaced the cocktail jib with the number 1, it was still hard to find enough to keep us moving, so we motored much of the way to Picton.

The yacht club looked full, so we decided to try the cruising club and pulled into one of the slips that wasn't marked "reserved". It turns out the process for docking at the cruising club is a little more complicated than it says in the Ports guide, and you really need to call Ted in advance. Any how, having talked to Ted he assured us that the slip we were in should be fine overnight, although slip 2 was the usual guest slip, and we went up to the top of the hill and paid at the spa.

Slip number 7 belongs to John and Carol Carruthers and Kaihuna. They returned early from the islands to beat the next day's wind (foreshadowing) and found us in their spot. They graciously pulled in to number 2 and we spoke at length about appropriate ways to get even with Ted ;-) Next morning they gave us a much appreciated ride to and from the grocery store, allowing us to stock up on heavy things so we remain very well supplied for the final leg.

August 30: With groceries stowed we motored just long enough to clear the harbour, then unrolled the #1 to take advantage of the forecast breeze. We made good time down the reach with the wind almost dead behind us at 10 to 15. Things heated up a little in the gap at the end of the county and Laura and I took turns having the fun of steering. After clearing the Brothers we were able to come up a little, but the confused sea state took the fun out of it for about half an hour, as we transitioned from the channel to the lake waves.

By Carruthers Point everything was predictable again and the wind was over 20. Our speed picked up and we started getting blasé about 8 knot surfs. We peaked at 8.8 multiple times and managed to sustain 8 for over a minute down by Oak Point. Not bad at all while dragging a dinghy! By the time we rounded the corner towards Jemmett's Landing, the wind was 25 to 30, but our peak speeds had come down with the smaller waves. We pulled into the dock about 1730 making it about 7 hours from Picton, averaging well over 6. The Masons were there on Dancing Spirits to catch our lines and share some snacks.

Truly a glorious and exhausting day, and a great welcome back to Kingston wind!

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Niagara on the Lake to Trenton

August 27: We headed out about 0800 and went quite quickly until we ran out of river current. Then it was motor sailing, or just plain motoring, and a lot of rain. We got into Coburg about 1900 and tied up on the reciprocal wall, which is really set up for much higher water. (0.39 m above datum right now)

August 28: A great sail in 15 NW took us up the coast at speed and then motored through the Murray. We came through with a young guy from Picton alone in a J/24. He was greeted by a bunch of people on the shore as he continued on back to Picton. He was almost done a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of Lake Ontario to raise money for the Cancer Society. Maybe we'll find out more when we get to Picton.

We anchored on the north shore of the bay, half way between Trenton and Belleville.

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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Port Colborne to Niagara on the Lake

August 25: I checked in with Seaway Welland at 7 AM. They told me to get some breakfast and listen to channel 14. 20 minutes later they told the guy in the power boat it probably wouldn't be until noon. So we had breakfast and watched the shipping go past us into the canal. By noon they had run out of ships and we got to follow Garganey (Hong Kong) into lock 8. They had a fair head start on us, but we caught up and passed them just above lock 7 where we ducked into an inlet and tied up. Garganey kept "sliding the wall" at a crawl while the Algo Steel came out of lock 7 and went past us all upbound. Garganey continued and we waited for an upbound power cruiser then followed. We waited our turn behind them all the way down, going in circles waiting for the locks to turn back for us. We had a little excitement with a cross current in one of the flight locks, apparently because only half the valves were working, minor scratch on the starboard side...

It was about 2115 by the time we cleared lock 1, so we headed for Port Dalhousie. It was packed, so we tied to the wall on the DYC side, BBQ'd and went to sleep.

August 26: We motored, then sailed over to Niagara on the Lake where we took a mooring at the Sailing Club. It's good to be back in the land of reciprocal moorings ;-)

It was stinking hot in town today and we strolled slowly, staying as much in the shade as possible. Niagara on the Lake is packed with very international tourists and is a little overwhelming after he likes of Little Current. We had lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel, then retreated to the shade of the residential areas, then the breeze on the mooring. Traffic in the river was equally hectic, with many heading out and back for a Sunday afternoon sail and jet boats full of tourists "Saute Moutons XX" departing for the whirlpools up river. Things got much quieter as the sun went down.

Tomorrow towards Coburg bright and early. The forecast suggests maybe spinnakering...

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Friday, 24 August 2012

Scudder to Port Colborne

August 23: Although we had thought of staying an extra day on Pelee Island, there didn't seem to be much to hold us there. The name "Dragon III"was still on the dock where Adam carved it in 2005, but there were no bicycles to rent, we'd already had the perch dinner, and .... So we cleared harbour at 1000 and pointed the boat at the tip of Long Point.

From Pelee Island you can steer an almost straight course towards the other end of the lake, as long as you deke a little to stay the right side of the hazards around Pelee Passage. The shipping has to go about 5 miles further south to clear the shoals below Point Pelee, so the straight line course keeps you north of the traffic as well.

By 1100 I had hoisted the main purely for shade and rigged a preventer to keep us shaded even when the shore breeze dropped to nothing. By mid afternoon we had enough lake breeze (and no shade) to justify unrolling the jib, then rolled it back up a few hours later when the breeze died to absolute millpond calm. The wind came back at sunset with about 7 from the SE and we could finally turn off the engine. After dinner we watched a movie in the cockpit as the Algoma Guardian slowly passed us 3 miles to the south, watched carefully on AIS and visual.

2300: Now Laura has gone to bed and I'm standing watch out here on my own. I love sailing at night! By morning Long Point should be in sight.

2358: Just saw an amazing shooting star! The half moon set bright orange in the west, just like the sun. The sky is clear, dark and starry overhead, with a little haze on the horizons. The blooms of lights from cities around the lake are visible on the haze and there's a little island of light at the masthead from our nav signals. The rest of the sky is full of stars, sharper and clearer than my eyes can resolve. I just saw another shooting star, not as bright as the first. Truly awesome out here!

August 24, 0715: We changed watch at 0300 with the wind clocking at about 8 knots, then changed back a little while ago as the wind died and the engine went on. At least we both got a sleep shift with no engine. I didn't see any more shooting stars, but it was still a great night.

There was a power boat / sail boat collision somewhere on the lake in the wee hours. Laura heard it on the radio. It wasn't us, although we did take evasive action to avoid a few freighters. The AIS means we can start doing that before we can even see their lights, so the evasive action can be a pretty small change in direction. We're now approaching the tip of Long Point where I will take evasive action to avoid meeting the bottom. I know from last trip that the shallows go out further than charted ;-)

0926: Long Point successfully evaded, Nanticoke generating station just visible off the beam.

1430: stopped for a final swim in Lake Erie, then in for fuel, pump out and a rest. Tied up at the town dock about 1600.

2030: The CSL Atlantic Erie just came through the final bridge and pulled over to the side right in front of us. Two big tank trucks have been there for a while and more are rolling up now, plus a big Beatrice dairy truck and a collection of others to load them up so they can carry on. We're going to get a good night's sleep before we tell the seaway people we are here. We don't want to go right now... And they definitely run a 24 hour show!

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