Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Trip to Half Moon Bay That Wasn't

It was calm and beautiful Saturday morning in the marina as we loosed the dock lines and embarked on our first offshore adventure. We had spent the week tracking the weather and buoy data and all signs pointed to a great day to take a trip to Half Moon Bay.

We motored out into a calm bay and Keegan prepared breakfast as we headed ever closer to the Golden Gate Bridge. Jack lines in place, harnesses and tethers on and out the gate we went.

As this was our first time leaving the bay, we had no real data set for what we would experience next. What we found was 7-8ft swells every 5-8 seconds and 25kt winds on our nose. This in itself would have been uncomfortable, but not frightening. It was the unexpected 10ft breaking waves the came at us from an opposing direction that surprised us!

About 2 miles out the gate we were heading up a wave in front of us and had a wave break into the side of our cockpit. Let's be honest, we were scared! But, I'm happy to say that we focused, kept our cool, communicated well and continued onward in the hopes that this was just a patch and that further out things would even out. We continued onward, but at 6 miles out the gate conditions had not improved and we were only progressing forward at 2 knots. We decided we had nothing to prove and to turn around and head back home.

Now that the wind was at our back and the waves were pushing in behind us we FLEW back into the bay. 10.3 knots! Ironically, as we returned to the location where we took on our first wave the conditions had changed completely and it was calm and beautiful. Oh Poseidon, you're so fickle!

Keegan and I pulled into a mooring at Angel Island on the way home to have some lunch, take naps and come down off of the adrenaline from our excursion. Although we did not reach our intended destination we were so pleased with our experience!

Malabar held her own and made us feel confident that she can carry us to sea safely. Keegan and I both stayed focused and communicated even when pressure was high and (THANKFULLY!) neither of us has a propensity for sea sickness!

I wasn't sure what this weekend's adventure would bring. Would we return ready to sell the boat and move back to land or would we feel a greater confidence in our abilities and our boat. I'm happy to say that we'll continue to call Malabar our home. A home that will take us around the world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


How to repair a boom without any experience.
Step one: Remove boom from boat.

Step Two: Analyze boom and grimace as you realize it is bent in not one, but two directions!

Step Three: Remove all of the hardware from boom including all of the parts that have rusted into place. Might we recommend power tools?

Step Four: Prep your sleeving materials. In this case we are getting ready to cut down and cut the sail track out of a broken mast from a Catalina Capri. Major thanks to Tradewinds Sailing who donated this to the project and to the class of students that kept their cool and hauled all of the pieces of this broken mast back to shore after it broke under sail! Eek!

Step Five: Don your safety gear like a rockstar.

Step Six: Thank Tradewinds again for being the best sailing school around and for helping us in a million ways!!!

Step Seven: Bring out the pouty face because you are hungry and your husband is not responding quickly enough.

Step Eight: Take a grinder and cut the track out of the mast.

Step Nine: WIN!
Step Ten: Seek assistant with that last screw you can't get out! Thanks Steve!

Step Eleven: Call on your friends to help you try and re-bend your boom. When that doesn't work, just have a seat and enjoy the sunshine!
Step Twelve: While friends are sitting on the boom to keep it straight, shove the mast inside. 

Step Thirteen: Rivet the two layers of metal together! 

Step Fourteen: Re-drill all holes for the hardware you removed back in Step Three. It has to go thru both layers of metal now!

Step Fifteen: If your boom is old and sketchy looking like ours, now is the time to prep it for a new layer of paint. Basically that just requires sanding...

...and sanding...

...and sanding! No pictures, but next we painted it!

Step Sixteen: Have your friend Tom enjoy a cold beer while you drill weep holes into the boom. This gives water a place to go if it gets inside the boom.

Step Seventeen: Now it's time to put all of the hardware back on and re-run the outhaul line. If your arm is small enough this is a pretty simple task!

Step Eighteen: Put boom back on boat! Way to go!!