Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 2, 2017 Imporved SSB weather fax

January 2 is an observed holiday in the Bahamas.  That meant the businesses in Spanish Wells would be closed.  Since it was going to be another windy day, we decided to stay put. 

We are running low on eggs for breakfast, so Dave opened a can of sardines that he bought this summer.  He bought them in the Mexican section of the grocery store.  They were much larger than the sardines you usually see and were in a tomato sauce.  I couldn’t bring myself to taste them.  Actually, Dave said I was making some pretty crazy faces as he ate them. 
this boat is too small to sit across the table from someone eating sardines

Since we weren’t going anywhere, we decided to do a load of laundry today.   And since it was pretty windy, I thought I had better sit outside and “watch the clothes dry”.  OK, it was a good excuse to sit outside and read a book.  I finished reading My Old Man and the Sea.  It was a true story about a father and son sailing from Connecticut around Cape Horn and back home in a 25 foot sailboat with no motor.  There were very few boats of this size that had ever done this.  Here are just a few of their thoughts that hit home. 

The father listed all the things he had to do to leave on this sabbatical from work.  Then he said “Now I’m here to share with my son the simple worries of staying alive.”

The son, Dan, sailed the boat to Jamaica where his father joined him.  He had crew join him a couple times.  When dropping off a crew member in Charleston, SC he said “At sea, I’m untangled and am in charge of my universe.  On land, there’s a web that catches my every movement and sends out many vibrations.  Yet once afloat, I’m free, whereas Glenn can’t be.  He is caught and tugged by the schedules of land life.”  We feel that when we are back on land.  It is strange when need to make arrangements with exact times and places. 

Afterwards, they were both interviewed about the adventure and about having the courage to do this.  The father quoted a race car driver who said “There is no such thing as courage, there is only compulsion or necessity.  Leave it there.”  Many people say they wouldn’t have the courage to do “whatever”.   We’ve discovered that if you have a strong enough desire to do something, you figure out how and make it happen.  Or if you go though something scary, it was usually our of necessity and not because you chose to be courageous.  We really feel fortunate that we are making our dreams come true.  We don’t look at ourselves as being courageous.  We think commuting on an interstate everyday takes much more courage. 

I think anyone would enjoy reading this book, not only sailors.  It was written by David and Daniel Hays and published in 1995. 

Today Dave ran copper strapping to the antenna tuner at the stern of the boat.  It connected it to the strap he ran yesterday to the Dyna plate.  He had to remove the mattress and wood supports under the bed.  Of course that goes into the salon.  So that was another reason it was good for me to be outside. 

He went into the aft port lazerette to make another improvement for the SSB.  There is a cable that creates a direct connection from the antenna between the radio and the tuner.  There was excess coax cable that he had left coiled.  As he was reading more about the SSB radio, he read that those shouldn't be in a coil because the coil creates an inductor which acts  like a magnet. 

this is the nipple on one of our water tanks, but similar to the nipple that cracked on the fuel tank
Dave working in the aft cabin
running copper strapping from the stern to the bilge in the salon
the strapping has to go over the divider from the engine compartment
I can live with that much showing.  the rug will cover most of it

After making these corrections, he was able to get a beautiful clear weather fax.  He has been studying a great guide book called The Savor’s Quick-Start Guide to Sailmail/Airmail/Winlink 2000.

weather fax before adding the first copper strap
weather fax after adding the second copper strap

weather fax after both straps were placed

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