Vendor induced chaos

My frustration grows. In the beginning I had control of my stuff. Granted the screens were green, there were no graphics, and a fast modem (Hayes SmartModem) operated at 1200 baud. But I least I knew where my stuff was. And vendors weren t downloading useless crap in the background. And monitoring my every move. And installing useless apps that both monitored my every move and downloaded even more useless crap. Of course they also make it impossible to delete their useless crap without a PhD in Computer Science. Not to mention uploading my stuff without my permission to who knows where. (Only a fool thinks the “cloud” is safe.) Now that is bad enough. But it is not the focus of today s rant. (It did get some airtime however.) I rant today about vendor induced chaos. By this I mean the system where each vendor links their equipment to only their apps. I take a picture on my Amazon Fire. Can I upload it to my Google Drive. No. I have to upload it to the Amazon Drive (which I neither nee

Carrying a dinghy

I was asked the other day how I carry the dinghy on Reboot. I replied on the foredeck. Some cruisers choose davits on the stern. I can t. The Monitor™ steering vane is in the way. Even if I could I would not. I have heard and occasionally seen the results of a dinghy ripping the stern off a boat from severe wave action in high seas. So that leaves the foredeck or a tow. Towing might be reasonable in sheltered waters for short distances. I would never try to tow on a multi-day offshore passage. That leaves the foredeck. Not a great place. It is in the way every time one goes forward, e.g. to anchor, set up the whisker pole, set up or douse the asymmetric spinnaker. A more critical problem is that it takes a beating in high seas going upwind. That green water across the deck is bouncing off the dinghy. It needs to be very secure. Over time my system has evolved into the setup in the pictures below. The stern of the dinghy is attached by two crossed straps attached to the stern of the

Maumere, Flores, Indonesia

082020ZAUG2017S 08 37.951E 122 18.625Crazy trip from South Buru to Maumere. Chandara (Daisy and Steve) and I decided to skip the next two stops on the itinerary. The decision was based on a combination of criterion: easy of entering the anchorage, down time in each anchorage, etc. But the deciding factor was the apparent wind angles from North Buton to Wakatobi and from Wakatobi to Maumere. In both cases they indicated very unpleasant uphill slogs. With a puking XO that was the last thing I needed.I left South Buru in a huff. The anchorage was terrible. Reboot spent most of every day and night rolling. XO spent the same time crying and puking. What was supposed to be a pleasant three to four day beam reach to Maumere turned out to be anything but. The first 24 hours was beautiful. Beam reach, moderate winds, making 6.5 to 7 knots. Then it all went to puppy poo. The winds got light. Combined with what little boat speed Reboot could generate we were looking at an apparent wind angle of

Collision Avoidance

Usually being a sailboat in the open ocean is pretty good. Under the COLREGS sailboats have the right of way over everyone except, in order of priority, vessels “not in command”*,) vessels “restricted in their ability to maneuver,” and vessels “actively engaged in commercial fishing”**.) In channels “restricted in their ability to maneuver” is pretty common. The big ships stay in the channels, we flirt around the edges. But in the open ocean it is very rare. I just spent the last five hours dealing with a vessel (actually several) restricted in their ability to maneuver. Specifically two ocean going tugs pulling an oil rig. A very big oil rig! This was made more complicated by the presence of several other vessels. With AIS it is somewhat possible to predict the closest point of approach. I say somewhat because wind variations can change the CPA. There is nothing quite like expecting to pass across the bow of a big ship and having the wind die! Would I pass in front? Should I alter co

Sailing Naked

I am sure this brought forth lewd and lascivious thoughts. Is my blog now appealing to the prurient interest?Lots of things happen before, during and after a rainstorm. Dramatic changes in wind velocity and direction are common. This means one is going to be out in the cockpit and get wet. Perhaps several trips. (There is no point in standing in the rain once the boat is re-trimmed. Unless it is the only vantage point to look for other boats.) Another characteristic is that things happen quickly. I always marveled at my volunteer crew who thought it was OK to take 5 minutes to dress in their foul weather gear as Reboot was going crazy. In the old days I would just jump into the cockpit and do what needed to be done. This usually resulted in a large pile of wet clothing that needed to be dried when the sun came out. Sometimes that was a couple of days.. Now I just strip bare and get a free shower out of the deal. (It is useful to remember I sail solo.) This works because I am in the tr

Weather Helm

Weather, Lee, and Neutral helm describe what one has to do to keep a sailboat going in a straight line. Weather helm means the boat wants to turn into the wind. Lee means it wants to turn away from the wind.Normally one wants a bit of weather helm. If the wind increases suddenly the boat will head up and stall. It is “in irons” or the more current and pathetic term in the “no go zone.” There are two inherent problems which require reducing sail as quickly as possible :1. Once the boat is in irons there is no forward motion. It becomes at the mercy of the unmerciful waves. And it falls back off only to be overpowered and head up again. And again. This is not good.2. When running downwind the impact of the boat heading up is that the apparent wind (the wind the boat sees, the vector sum of the boat speed and direction and the wind speed and direction) actually gets stronger. Not good. Since the easiest way to deal with a strong wind is to run away this adds complexity. Usually the autop