Monday, July 27, 2009

Almost ready to go

Since bringing the boat to Newport, we have been putting most of our energy into getting the house ready for its new occupants, but we've made a few "freight" runs to the boat, inventorying everything as we put it away in all the various lockers and cubbyholes. Yesterday I pulled the engine cover off for the first time since we had arrived in Newport, to find that the raw water pump had leaked a small amount of salt water down the formerly shiny front of our year-old engine. The pump has a leaky shaft seal, and must be rebuilt or replaced. Luckily I had kept the matching water pump from our old engine, so after putting in a fresh impeller, I exchanged pumps, and we're good to go again. It is not easy to rebuild the pump without the proper tools, so I ordered a new pump from Cook Engine. Of course, our warranty has already expired :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Passage to Newport

The change in weather predicted for Friday turned out to be remarkably accurate, and many boats in Astoria's West Basin prepared to cross the bar. Friends Paul and Judy on Grace left around 9 am bound for Newport, and we followed them out an hour later. We took advantage of a 10-kt west wind to tack downriver toward Ilwaco and on across the bar. But between Cape Disappointment and the end of the North Jetty, the wind became light and fickle, so we fired up the engine to "get out of Dodge." The bar was still lumpy from a week of higher winds, and we were glad to get to deeper water and a more regular pattern. It was an uneventful passage to Newport, with winds never exceeding 10kts, and very little traffic. Viz was down to 3 miles as we approached Newport, where we had to fight an "ebb tide" of hundreds of small boats heading out to the Chicken Ranch to fish for halibut. South Beach marina will be home for the next month as we finalize preparations for heading further south.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

solar panels putting out juice!

Finally got the solar panels wired through the charge controller to the batteries. It was great to watch the voltage go up, even with the refrigerator on. If we had known 6 years ago that we would eventually need solar panels, we might have chosen a different way to mount our radar, as it partly blocks one panel depending on sun angle.
This has been a nice week to be in Astoria doing boat projects. If the weather forecast holds, we'll be off for Newport tomorrow around noon.