Friday, February 13, 2015

Everybody Talks About the Weather...

...but no one ever does anything about it.  That quote from Charles Dudley Warner seems quite appropriate for a sailor.  I am certainly not the first sailor to have to wait on better weather to travel, it seems that is a very regular occurrence.  Funny, since I had the same issues when flying.  Now if were someone that could do something about it.

My original plan was to depart Brunswick on Saturday afternoon, do an overnight sail to the St. Augustine inlet, and then travel down the ICW to Palm Coast.  But the forecasts for Saturday night through Sunday morning are calling for some pretty rough seas.

The Sunday Windfinder forecast for St. Augustine buoy

Wave height at 6 foot on a 5 second period is not what I'd call a fun thing to do during the night, so I've decided to postpone the trip for a day.  Things are supposed to calm down on Sunday afternoon in time for our sail, so that is the current plan.  Of course, the idea that "plans for cruisers are written in the sand at low tide" also seems appropriate, so we will see what happens when the forecasts are updated in the morning.

I regularly consult Windfinder, as well as NOAA and Weather Underground (and sometimes the ADDS Aviation Weather site) for weather forecasts and information.  What weather sources do you use?

In the meantime I've been continuing to clean and organize the boat.  Or at least I'm trying to organize it.  I have to admit my organizing skills aren't the best and, as a result, a lot more stuff is laying around the boat than safely tucked away in an appropriate storage place.  But I'm working on it.  I've acquired a few more plastic storage containers to try and get some things under control.  Meanwhile, the rear berth in the boat still looks as bad as the garage in my land-based home was.

I did try starting the starboard engine this morning to see if my cleanup of the glow plug connections made any difference.  Unfortunately, it did not.  I've tested the glow plug circuit to verify battery voltage was available when the preheat button was pushed and that the plugs indicated proper resistance, so the search will continue after I get the boat moved.  The engine starts and runs fine if the engine is at least slightly warm, so it shouldn't pose any problems for the trip.

I also made some chili this evening that I thought might sound good for a meal while on a cool evening passage. I start with the basic recipe from The Boat Galley, and then added some additional vegetables to create a reasonably well rounded, one bowl meal.  If seas are reasonably calm, I may decide to make something more elaborate, but it is nice to have an easy to make meal when the boat is bouncing around.

Sorry about slowing down on the posts lately, but I figured I would spare you some of the details of cleaning up from "project mode".  If you need more detail, you can go clean your garage and then your bathroom and that ought to demonstrate the skills I've been using the most the past couple days. And to really get the right effect, you need to store everything in one cabinet in your kitchen or under your sofa.


  1. That's one good thing about traveling on land - we're much less affected by the weather! Enjoy the cleaning and organizing!

    1. Maybe less, but not without impact. I've seen what happens on Florida highways when it rains. ;-) Glad you are enjoying your Scamp. If you guys find yourself near wherever I am at the time, stop by and say hi.

  2. We use Pocket Grib for the grib files, Marine Weather for the text forecasts for offshore, and an aviation weather app for the surface analysis.

    Have you ever heard of Morning Sickness in regards to aviation engines? It's common on aviation engines to get a stuck valve that will start hard cold starting but run fine once warm. Since I'm not a diesel mechanic I'm not sure if there's anything similar on the Westerbeasts. Might be worth asking someone though.

    S/V Kintala

    1. Hey Deb, thanks for the response...I will check those out. I've used OpenCPN for Grib files, but haven't played with them much.

      Yes, I've heard of morning sickness...even helped others diagnose it (I owned the tools for Lycoming's SB388 test). Usually one of its symptoms is rough running after start until the valve gets loose...something I am not experiencing here. As soon as she starts, she seems to be a happy engine. It is just the first start of the day where it is like a gremlin is sitting down there holding the shutoff until some random point. Then it goes from nothing to roaring to life like there was no problem. This is why my first suspect was the fuel...and I have one more thing to try today in that regard.