Monday, June 30, 2014

The haul-out of 'Yesterday'

A short video showing the haul-out of Yesterday.

Broadcasting from the master stateroom

Phil Valentine broadcasting from the master stateroom of his boat 'Yesterday.'

Yesterday's Sea Trial

As we mentioned Saturday in the captain's log, we took the boat Yesterday out for a sea trial. Below is a short video. She, of course, is a restoration project. You can see from the video where we've begun the task of stripping the old varnish from the toe rail. We hope to have that completed while we're underway.

We've begun the transformation inside the vessel, as well. All mechanics are in good shape. From here on out we'll be concentrating on the cosmetics; things like painting, carpet, etc. The woodwork below decks is in excellent shape so there won't be any work there. Much of the cosmetic work has already begun and we hope to get a great deal of that done during the trip.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Looks like Tuesday at the earliest

Captain's Log: 28 June, 2014; Hour: 2009

It's hard to believe that one simple part could hold up the entire operation but that's where we are. The generator needs a part that's being shipped from South Carolina. It won't be here until Tuesday morning and it will take an hour or so to install it.

We had considered leaving without it, perhaps having it shipped ahead to Tampa, but we were convinced by the dock master that having it installed by the diesel mechanic who knows the system was the wise course of action.

So, we've kept ourselves busy. The outside varnish on this old lady is in serious need of replacement so we've spent part of our time on that. On an old boat like this there's plenty to keep us busy. We continued to familiarize ourselves with the boat and the electrical system. She was partially rewired several years ago and apparently the owner didn't bother to relabel the breakers. We've had a fun time tracking down things like running lights and the microwave and the washer/dryer and things like that. We have an electrician scheduled for Monday (he was supposed to be here today but we've learned how that works) to go over the electrical system and make sure everything is safe. At that time he may either move wires to their proper breakers or relabel what we have.

We had her hauled today to install the depth finder from the Garmin unit. She already has a depth finder aboard but redundancy never hurts and since it came with the unit we thought it a waste not to install it while we were here. While she was out of the water we had a chance to inspect the hull work that was done back in February. Several planks were replaced at that time and she got a fresh coat of paint on her bottom. It was nice to be able to see that for ourselves.

After the haul-out we took her to get the fuel tanks topped off for the trip. I was pleasantly surprised that diesel fuel was only $3.86 a gallon. I had expected closer to $5 on the water. The captain noticed a little tightness in the steering and we're have that adjusted on Monday while we wait for the generator part.

We hope to be gone by Tuesday but reality tells me it might well be Wednesday.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Still at the dock

Captain's Log: 27 June, 2014; Hour: 1326

We're now three days behind schedule. The main problem is waiting on people to do their work. Apparently there's something known as Fort Pierce time around here and it advances at a glacial pace.

The generator problem was diagnosed and we're told it will take 7 to 10 days to get the part needed to fix it. That, of course, is out of the question. They're searching for a replacement pump for the generator instead of waiting for those parts to come in. Either way, we will not allow that to impede our progress. We've decided to have any necessary parts forwarded to us along the way and make repairs when we get them.

The only holdup now is having the boat hauled out of the water so the depth finder can be attached to the hull. That was supposed to take place several days ago but they ordered the wrong part and had to re-order the correct one. The haul-out is scheduled to take place 30 minutes from now but "scheduled" is a meaningless term around here.

If there's any daylight left in this day when the installation is complete we will leave the dock today.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A slight delay

Captain's Log: 25 June, 2014; Hour: 1403

We were all prepared to shove off today when we discovered a problem with the governor on the generator. It doesn't affect the operation of the boat but it does present a problem in what kinds of electrical equipment we can operate if we decide to anchor. The mechanics are working on that.

If all goes well this afternoon we will leave first thing tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We're getting close!

Captain's Log: 24 June, 2014; Hour: 1635

The batteries for Yesterday arrived at the dock this morning and were being transported into the engine room and installed. We have decided to remove the onboard refrigerator but they're having to saw it in half to get it out of the boat.

We had the fuel in the fuel tanks "polished" this morning. That means they run the fuel through a strainer to make sure it's clean then return it to the tanks. All fuel aboard looked great.

A piece of the GPS/depth finder has to be installed on the bottom and they're scheduled to do that first thing tomorrow. Once a sea trial is performed we should be underway tomorrow morning.

We are considering trying to do a broadcast while underway and we will be testing that tomorrow morning on the sea trial.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Preparing to shove off

Captain's Log: 23 June, 2014; Hour: 1200

We arrived at Fort Pierce, FL this past Thursday in preparation for our voyage. We had both engines serviced with oil change, oil and fuel filter change, and normal maintenance to the vessel. We have decided to have all the batteries on board replaced just to be on the safe side. Our skipper, Bob Buckland, has been pouring over the charts and plotting our course and familiarizing himself with the electronic chart plotter. I, along with our first mate, Alex Plante, have been performing odd jobs to get the boat in ship shape for the trip like swabbing decks, cleaning staterooms, and small jobs of fixing items that needed our attention, as well as procuring tools and safety equipment we'll need aboard.

I have also spent time with the previous owners of Yesterday finalizing paperwork and gathering the proper documents to make sure the boat is Coast Guard-compliant. On Sunday afternoon I went on a tour of the vessel with one of the previous owners to familiarize myself with how everything operates, from the electrical switch box to the water purifier.

Our fourth crew member, 'Hurricane' Mark Valentine, was picked up from Palm Beach International Airport and joined the rest of the crew on board. Mark is an experienced mariner and will be a welcome addition to the crew. He will primarily serve as navigator/bartender.

We wait now only on the batteries that had to be special ordered and hand-modified for this boat. We anticipate the installation of the batteries to be completed tomorrow morning. At that point the skipper and crew, along with the dock master at the marina and several others in his employ, will take Yesterday out for a sea trial on the Intracoastal Waterway. We will make sure that all systems are go. Depending on what time the trial is completed, we will leave the dock master and his crew at the dock and set out, or we'll return to the dock so that I can broadcast my radio show.

The plan right now is to set out each morning at daybreak and travel until an hour before my radio show starts. That should give us about 8 hours of travel time each day. It's approximately 645 miles to Mobile, AL. That's our goal on this first leg. Depending on how the voyage goes, we may press on to Tennessee or we may wait and finish the trip at a later date. At the pace we plan for each day, we expect the journey to Mobile to take around 8 days.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Let the adventure begin!

Coming soon . . . Phil Valentine's Great American Vacation - Cruising the Great Loop. Check back for updates starting June 23rd.