Thursday, February 27, 2014


That's our prop shaft.  Pretty mundane looking, you might say.

And that's the point!  You're so perceptive!  It's in completely fine shape.

But it's not in the boat, joining prop to engine.  Instead, it's sitting on a pallet in a corner of some boatyard in Whangarei.

The prop shaft is stainless steel, and it is 25 years old.  Stainless steel rots in low-oxygen environments, like the stern tube of our boat.  But the low-oxygen places where it rots are, by definition, hidden from view.  So, with a trip to Patagonia in the cards, I decided it was worthwhile to go to the trouble to yank the thing out of the boat and see how it's faring.  All well.  Now it just has to go back in the boat.

There are a lot of jobs like that going on on Galactic.  Anticipatory jobs, you might call them.  Making deadlights for all the opening portlights to keep them watertight when things get too nautical.  Beefing up the companionway hatch for the same reason.

I figure that's a big part of the game for sailing ocean passages, especially once you get out of the tradewinds.  You have to put the work into solving problems before you have them.

Here's the most anticipatory job of them all: adding cones to the series drogue.

There are 147 little cones on that long piece of line, and the idea is that if things get way too nautical, you chuck the line over the back of the boat, all the cones catch water and slow you down and keep your stern into the waves, giving you the chance to wait for everything gets better.

Meanwhile, our visit to the boatyard is past the three-week mark.  We've been waiting to get into the painting yard to get some sandblasting done on the hull, but the company that does that work has been over-the-top busy, so we've waited two weeks.  Today the travel lift finally took us to the blasting area, and the blasting and priming should happen tomorrow.

No prop, and no rudder

And not a day too soon, as our wonderful house sit is at an end, and we move back aboard tomorrow.

We had a dinner of fish and chips to celebrate our final night here.

Is this haircut getting too young for him?
Oysters collected at the beach at the house sit

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