Monday, August 24 — While we are not moving relative to our around the world pace, we are still using Kosmos. We start the engines every week. Also we have taken the boat out twice since Eric fixed the transmission cooler. The first time it took Christi literally all day to get the boat ready to go. Since it had been so long since we had moved Kosmos, just about every storage space aboard had to be re-packed and an almost overwhelming number of things needed to be stowed. But, the good news is she found some stuff she had lost weeks before!
On that first outing, we went out to sea so we could dump the holding tanks. We also tried to wash all the tanks out, as well, particularly the gray water tank. We may be wrong, but we are assuming that since the boat hasn’t been in big waves for a while, more stuff than normal has settled in the bottom of the tanks and needed to be flushed out. Eric had commented that we really need to get a new starter battery (http://kosmos.liveflux.net/blog/2009/06/02/settling-in-san-blas/).
Embarrassingly enough, the wind and currents were acting oddly, so Eric had a hard time with docking. It took three tries to get in properly. It seemed like the entire marina was out watching us. They are probably wondering how we made it around the world when we can’t even do basic docking.
The next time we took her out we went out for a leisurely day cruise in the bay, just wanting to give her general exercise. This time, Eric did an absolutely perfect parking job on the first try and no one was around to see it!
After the cruise, Eric took a peek at the coolant and almost had a heart attack when he saw a small amount of oil in there, as if the transmission cooler was still leaking. He got in touch with Bob Senter from Lugger/Northern Lights. Bob is sure that the engine is fine. He explained that since we hadn’t flushed out all the coolant, there was probably still some residual oil lurking around in there. Bob told us the oil would eventually all rise, and to keep skimming the top of the fluid periodically until it was clear. What a relief.
Now for some Q & A:
Q: What nationality are most cruisers?
A: We have met cruisers of many different races from literally all over the world, but generally speaking, most cruisers are white and from first world western countries. The biggest percentage of cruisers are European, especially Brits, French and Swedes. You will also meet a lot of Canadians, Americans, Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans. The cruising world is definitely multi-cultural.
Q: In the blog post where you talk about being tested on sea skills (http://kosmos.liveflux.net/blog/2006/05/20/being-tested-and-moving-stuff-in/) upon taking delivery of Kosmos, what kind of maneuvers did the captain test you on in the open sea?
A: The maneuvering skills were focused mostly on docking and avoiding hazards in the water. In the open ocean, he was concerned with proficiency with knowing how to use all the equipment on board, ie, did we know how to use the radar to spot dangers? Did we know how to use the chart plotter to map out a safe course? And so forth.
Q: Regarding that same post, did your insurance company choose the captain?
A: No, we could choose any certified captain. We picked someone who had been recommended to us.
Q: What would you have done differently on your journey?
A: There isn’t a lot we’d do different given our circumstances. We could give you a long list of things we would do differently if we had unlimited time and money, but usually, our choices were limited by those two factors, and we think, generally speaking, we made the best choices possible overall.
We figured out we need at least a week in between houseguests. As much as we enjoyed the company of every person who visited us, we learned that having back to back guests and overlapping guests was hard on us. We address why in our upcoming book.
We learned is to not go to sea when you have a cold, which is also addressed in the upcoming book. Unfortunately, though, going to sea with a cold can’t always be avoided.
Coming up: More work to Kosmos, more Q & A, a trip to Yosemite, the San Diego Maritime Museum, and the Nordhavn Southwest Rendezvous.