Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pacific Seacraft Rendevous

Now that the bright work is done, it was time to head out on our first real adventure. The folks at Seacraft Yacht Sales had scheduled the annual Pacific Seacraft Rendevous in Port Townsend, WA for early August. It would be our first opportunity to really see what Talos IV could do and we weren't to be disappointed. It was also our first time to motor down the ship canal to the sound. This transition necessitates the lifting of both the Fremont Bridge and the Ballard Bridge, as well as passage of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. After locking through, the final lifting of the Burlington Northern RR Bridge clears the way to Elliott Bay.

What sounded like a grand adventure locking through was over shadowed by the possibility of dings and dents to our newly completed varnish work. Given our concerns, the day before departure, we went to the locks by land to observe the procedure. From the observation platform above we were able to see the process. Watch and learn! That afternoon we went to Fisheries and bought 18" round fenders.

We headed out Thursday afternoon bound for Shilshole Marina. We planned to meet with the rest of the attendee vessels from our moorage, spend the night, and depart as a group early Friday. The bridge lifts went like clockwork. Paul was at the helm, holding Talos IV steady while we waited for the bridge tender of Fremont and then Ballard to give us the one long and one short blast for clearance. The approach to the locks was open, we saw the green light on the smaller lock and slowly moved forward into position. We declared our length and beam. We were told to tie up "starboard to". Quickly I worked to set all fenders on both sides to provide protection from the lock wall as well as the other boats on our port side. The height had to be just right so it would not chafe the wood but allow space off the lock walls. The lock workers make eye contact with the crew on bow while the lead guy on shore tells the helmsman where to put the bow. We tied up at our instructed position. The worker stays close by and instructs on procedure or line management as needed. Everything went smoothly. No damage was done and we felt the best thing we did, was the observation we conducted from shore and the purchase of the round 18" fenders. We received several comments on the varnish work from other boaters and the workers during the passing. Credit for the work quality was given to Terry at Yachtfitters. We referred to him as "The Master" who taught us.

Arrival at Shilshole was uneventful. We were the first of the "fleet" to arrive. A hot, long shower was our reward for days of preparation and weeks of labor. The rest of the crew (furry felines) were basically unaware of the new moorage and slept soundly during the entire ordeal.

We departed early the following morning from Shilshole along with s/v Green House and s/v Tavarua, both 40' Pacific Seacrafts. After motoring out and sizing up a wind that appeared to be off our beam at about 10 knots, we hoisted our sails (main, genoa and staysail) and began what would become a wonderful day of sailing. Each time Green House or Tavarua tacked, we tacked and before long we were over taking both and an unofficial race was on. Even though they should have been much faster boats than Talos IV due to their longer waterline we continued to gain on them. This continued for most of the day until the wind dropped and we motored the rest of the way into Port Townsend.

The marina was full of other Pacific Seacrafts of all sizes. There were several other 37's, the two 40's and a good number of Flicka's and 24's. We met the group for dinner that evening and an excellent talk from Steve Brodie, President and Owner of Pacific Seacraft. The following morning began with a talk from Frank Schattauer from Schattauer Sails a local Seattle sail maker with an excellent reputation for top notch custom sails. That afternoon was the Pacific Seacraft Regatta, a friendly race. We were placed in the same group as Tavarua. It was an extremely close race, with both boats running beam to beam as we rounded the marks. In the end, Tavarua beat us by only a few boat lengths. It was great fun!

Unfortunately, as the race progressed Paul began to feel ill and by the time the race was over, it was all he could do to go below and lay out in the v-berth. After Janet got the boat put away, she made an assessment and determined that Paul had a hernia. She made arrangements for a taxi to the local hospital where it was determined that it was indeed a hernia. After administering pain killers, they made attempts to massage the hernia back in, with no luck. The doctor informed us that he would have to do emergency surgery. A few hours later it was all over. Paul spent the night in the hospital while Janet went back to the boat. Paul was released the following morning as good as new, but moving very slowly.

We decided to spend another day in Port Townsend to allow him to heal up and then headed back to Seattle. With Janet at the helm, we motored all the way back. Locking through and passage under the two bridges was uneventful and we made it back to our slip on Lake Union by late afternoon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bright Work

Knowing that the bright work on Talos was in need of attention and concerned that our attention may be diverted by the initial move and house hunting, we commissioned Terry Caddy at Yachtfitters to begin the process of refinishing all of the bright work. We advised Terry that we wanted to be as involved as possible with the project depending on our time and availability. When we arrived, the work was well under way. Even though we had other things on our mind (primarily finding a new home), we found time to work on the project and dove right in. Terry provided instruction and much needed guidance and before we realized it, we had taken over and were now committed to seeing the project thru to the end. It took several weeks of daily taping, sanding, buffing and applying coat after coat of varnish. The goal was to get about 6 coats of varnish on. The toughest part were areas where the previous varnish had failed and bare wood was exposed. These had to be brought down and then built back up. In the end, every inch of exposed teak was refinished and Talos looks absolutely beautiful. The challenge now, which we are both committed to is maintaining the finish on an annual and regular basis. The full canvas covers that cover the bright work will help keep it in prime condition as well.

The Move North to Seattle

The first adventure to write about was Paul's retirement from Toyota at the end of June. He had worked for Toyota for just under 33 years and it was simply time to move on.

In advance of his last day at work, we had sold our home in Danville, CA and had made plans to move the household goods to Seattle. While we look for a new home to buy, the plan is to live on Talos IV. The hope is that the transition will be relatively smooth and we can be in a new home within 60 to 90 days.

There were concerns about the cats and whether they would adapt to ship board living. To our surprise, Tia, who is usually very timid and reserved adapted immediately. She initially checked out the cockpit, but within a few days was on the bow and even making a few forays onto the dock.

Louie, the fearless orange boy was not too sure about boat life. Observing that the brightwork was in need of about 9 coats of marine varnish, Louie took up hiding under the comforter for the next 6 weeks until all varnishing was complete.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ships Mascots

No crew is complete without the addition of a ships mascot. In this case mascots, Louie and Tia, our two cats. Both have adapted to life on board and have the run of the boat.

The Crew

The crew of Talos IV is the husband / wife team of Paul and Janet. We both learned to sail on the San Francisco Bay at Tradewinds Sailing School and Club. Over a period of about five years, we both have completed the various ASA classes through and including Advanced Coastal Cruising. Paul has gone on and has become a Sailing Instructor with certifications in Basic Keel Boat, Basic Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Charter and Coastal Navigation. Paul has taught a number of BKB classes at Tradewinds and is in the process of completing his USCG OUPV Captains License.

Paul is currently retired at the ripe old age of 55 from Toyota Motor Sales, after a 33 year long career. Moving forward, he will likely do some sail boat instruction as time permits, but will focus primarily on the many planned adventures of Talos IV.

Janet is also retired from a Nursing career that included public nursing in Portland, Oregon and an Allergy and Asthma Clinic in Northern California, as well as several other nursing jobs over the years. Prior to retiring, she was able to get certified as a Pollen and Mold counter, which she has now turned into a small business with three clients form California. The business will develop as she has time and desire to pursue it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Talos IV - The Boat

Before we get ahead of ourselves, I should probably say something about the boat itself. Talos IV is a 1995 model year Pacific Seacraft 37. She is cutter rigged with a Scheel Keel, providing a relatively shallow draft. She is well equipped and was meticulously maintained. There were only 500 hours on the engine when we purchased her. Many upgrades had been made, making Talos IV ready to go on our planned future adventures. There was only a few exceptions to her readiness, such as an SSB, life raft, dinghy and outboard motor, and an assortment of other must have items. All of which we plan to complete before our first real adventure.

The pre-purchase Survey

Prior to the purchase to satisfy the only contingency as part of our offer, we flew to Seattle in early October to complete the pre-purchase inspection and sea trials. Several days prior to our arrival, Terry Cady from Yachtfitters, had already climbed the mast and inspected the rigging. With the exception of some minor, mostly cosmetic issues all checked out. After arriving at Seacraft, we motored up to the yard a mile or so down the ship canal, where Talos IV was hauled and inspected. John Sanford from Risner, McEwen and Edwards Marine Surveyors, completed the out of water inspection and found virtually nothing of significance.

We now only had to complete the sea trial, but as luck would have it there was virtually no wind. We went through the motions and raised the sails, motored and gave it a good all around evaluation. Noting only a small leak at the rudder post, all checked out to our satisfaction.

The Journey Begins

We purchased Talos IV in late October 2009, but the journey really began in August of that year when we travelled to Seattle to attend a good friends wedding. After getting off the plane at SEA/TAC, we drove down to Lake Union to look at boats before meeting up with friends for a pre-wedding dinner gathering. We literally stumbled on Talos IV laying at the docks at Seacraft Yacht Sales and I think Janet and I both knew that this was the boat we would someday own. After much discussion over the next several months, we made the decision to extend an offer to purchase Talos IV. In the end, we accepted a counter offer extended by the then owner of Talos IV, Bob Ford.