Well……?

…I dunno.

It’s 2017. What do ya think about that? Personally… not much. I’m not impressed.

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“It’s the weather dummie”. Don’t get me wrong. I like “weather”, but I find it “not being nice” to be boring after a while. The past month has been in the single Celsius digits, rainy, windy, sucky… it even snowed the other day. All this is fine if you have a warm home to go to…. which most people don’t around this part of the woods. Brrrr! For example…. I put on socks when I get out of bed to make my morning coffee! Brrr!!!

dsc01695dsc01701But the thing that gets me really cranky is the lack of Zoot Allures time. The weekend before Xmas I worked on Saturday. Sunday I passed by and dumped the old “deflatable” on Zoot’s deck (at last, it’s out of my living room) and spent the day at G.S.’s for a cousin bash. Good times! Xmas weekend I went down to the Nafplio farm with Mom and Sis (which is a story of its own… Sis with a fever, power outage Xmas Eve etc…. at least we’ve got a fireplace).

dsc01719Some time before New Years I got down to ol’ Zoot for a quick check. There was some traces of snow on deck and a few lines fastening my cockpit cover had failed after a storm went by with force 10 gusts. Plus it was too cooooold to stay long. New Years was freezing and I stayed home nursing a cold. The weekend after… my car battery died (after 2.5 years, damit!) and heading out the 50 clicks on a motorcycle was out of the question. Long story short (oopps… a bit long), I’m having Zoot Allures withdrawal symptoms!

But…. Santa was good to me.

601953_499042566820851_400771475_nI got a new book By Eugene de Zila called “To Live on a Boat”. Apparently it was first written in the “Esperanto” language, mine’s translated into Greek. He’s a French philosopher who got fed up not being able to teach in his own way, flipped a bird to the system, sold everything and moved onto a boat. I haven’t read a book in Greek for a long time so it’s going slow.

dsc01721Another holiday surprise was from an other Fjord MS33 owner, Keith from Guernsey, who is doing an outstanding restoration job on his boat. He was too kind and sent me his old shaft lock which keeps the prop from spinning whilst sailing. Stay tuned for that.

Duuuh, what else.

Sis went to Austria for New Years and brought me back this “fish?”

dsc01723Theoretically it’s edible, but I ain’t eating it!

So Happy 2017 to y’all.

Stay Tuned and beware of the green fish!

Capt Pete

ps…. 2017 will bring us Trump as the president of the U.S. When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold. I’m quite concerned. Is there really a liberal revolution boiling in the backround? We’ll see.

pss…. In 2012 I bought Zoot Allures. The plan was to move aboard in 5 years and cut the lines in 10. In March it will be…. gulp…. 5 years! The way this winter is going, the moving aboard plan is gonna need a lot of “tweaking”!!

 

 

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Spicing Double braid…Epic Fail!

It was quite a few years ago, summer,  I was having a cup-a-joe at a cafe in Serifos. A friend was saying he messed up his return ticket and had booked out of his room…. officially homeless for a night (I can think of worse things). That’s when his son said “epic fail” and I fell off my chair laughing.

And that’s pretty much what happened to me last week. Just to let all you know…. braiding used double braided rope is impossible!!! Wanna know why? Read on…

dsc01683As I mentioned in the previous post, you need a fid for the appropriate rope. I had an old 12mm copper tube I used to use for blowing my BBQ and it seemed perfect material. I used my angle grinder to hack it up into a fid. And I was lucky not to hack anything else up while sitting on the tube over the kitchen sink. dsc01684Well, all I got was a glorified deadly tube, pretty much useless! Then I got funky and bought some cheep plastic knitting needles. This time I used a small vise and my new toy… and multitool thingy (cheep from Lydl) . Quite soon and without the drama of an angle grinder, I ended up with the perfect fid. So I thought…

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dsc01686So I set myself up on the coffee table with the necessary paraphernalia, a working magic marker and youtube at my fingers. dsc01687The first thing to do is to mark the rope where the eye splice will be and to extract the core from the sleeve at a specific point. OMG! It took me over an hour and I could hear a bunch of stands tearing in the process. Not a good sign.

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Then I pulled out and cut off a few strands from the sleeve so it would tapper when fed into the core at a specific mark. That’s were the fid comes in. That’s when I realized my fid is too fat. So I shopped some smaller needles (10mm), marked ’em up, chopped ’em up. And that’s when I realize it is totally impossible to accomplish the task at hand. You have to manage to insert your fid into the core by bending and separating the strands, and feed it through with the sleeve. HA!

I was warned by a follower that it would be difficult with used rope. I also had washed the rope as instructed by New England Ropes or Samson Ropes.  It looked so easy from the youtubes I had seen, but they all used new rope which looked like silk and was soft and manageable.

Not my mainsail sheet. It looked nice and new on the unused end….. but it’s used and impossible to splice. Impossible! End of f%$# story! I’ll tie a knot. So there! God, I wasted so much time on this…. all part of the learning process.

Back on ol’Zoot…… I decided to have my alternator serviced and change the belt. That means removing it. That also involves removing the coolant tank.

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Well, poor ol’ Zoot’s looking gutted again. What a mess…. again!

Stay tuned and neat,

Capt Pete.

ps….. hey, I can see my thermostat from here!

pss… on a whim, I got some 8mm knitting needles….. still impossible to insert into the core. Anyone need a sweater? Baby, it’s cold outside!

 

 

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Blowber!

HA!

And what, may you ask, is a blowber?

Well, for starters, the temps have been really mild but it’s been raining torrentially! I got up the other night at 4am because it was frightening. Then I got up at 6 to got to work…. and it was Sunday. Blowber!

Well, no, blowber has nothing to do with that statement of blasphemy.

screenshot_2016-11-25-08-50-03screenshot_2016-11-27-11-43-34Itsa gonna BLOW and itsa gonna get cold

Brrrrrrrrr

Nothing too tragic…. just that I tragically don’t like it cold. How humans migrated north is a mystery to me!

Just a reminder why ol’ Zoot Allures is up on the hard.

dsc01678dsc01680Meanwhile, back home, it was time to do “something”. My mainsail sheet (the rope that controls the mainsail, my little landlubbing snowflakes) is looking tired on its working end so I’m in the progress of flipping it. So the first thing to do is to get it off the pulleys in order to re-splice. It was looking frayed and I thought it would be rather easy. And as all things “boat”, it wasn’t. I started with a razor, then broke out the dremmel and just wasn’t getting anywhere fast. So I broke out the big cannons and “chopped his head off”. Then I had a drink! You gotta use the tools at hand!

dsc01681It was easy after that.

dsc01682All I have to do now is eye splice the good end back on.

As in… splice a braided rope.

As in… I’ve never done it before.

As in…. I need a fid.   I’ll try to fabricate one on my own, methinketh.

As if… it’ll be this easy

 

As if y’all will….

Stay tuned, warm, dry and in one place,

Capt. Pete

ps….. Wow, that was a “quicky” .

pss…. I just luuuuuuuv youtube! But I admit, the blowber thing was kinda corny

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