D/V to the PNW

Hello One and All.

We arrived in the San Francisco Bay area approximately 18 months ago – hard to believe it has been that long. Our intended goals have met with success. The end-goal was to prepare DESERT VENTURE (D/V) for cruising in the Pacific NW. Many and sundry projects have taken place since we arrived. We purchased D/V almost three years ago. Initially, our intentions were to head south to Mexico, but seeing the Pacific NW and reading articles we decided to head north to explore and enjoy that area while young and able enough to enjoy all the offerings – those reasons, and I got really hot in San Diego one day!! Bruce decided I would melt in Mexico, so we had to go north. I explained that I will be cold up north, and it is all about acclimation. I guess I will get acclimated to the south later.

We managed to get our teak doors refinished while still in the Delta. They were in a sad state of repair when we took delivery and time had not allowed us to get to them any sooner. However, we got to them in time, and now they shine, very proud and happy to be the only exterior teak on our aluminum trawler. One other wood working job Bruce tackled was to remodel all our locker doors to enhance ventilation. That “little” project turned into over a month-long event that turned out quite beautiful and serves the purpose of ventilation.

Our electrical upgrade has been completed and enhanced our anchoring lifestyle greatly. We changed out our ground tackle and wildcat, to upgrade the size of the chain and get a more efficient and dependable system. Changes in our electrical system drove another upgrade to change out our engine tachometers so that they read directly from the engine machinery mechanical takeoff, rather than through the alternators. We installed a new dedicated navigation computer and updated our software. We had to replace our refrigerator. It was a sad day when my old refrigerator friend left. The new one and I are still working on being friends.

On Tuesday, April 26, 2005, Bruce started exclaiming “Wow, wow, wow, wow”, and said, “It is going to be flat out there! ” We have to go Friday. We can’t miss this weather window. Wow, wow, wow, wow”, he said, again. So, we decided to make it happen and final preparations were started. We expedited last minute materials and mail, closed out the mail box, gave notice to the marina, etc. We fueled up the weekend before, but decided we should take on an additional 60 gallons. I suggested we transfer the fuel forward, and just fill our starboard tank. This turned out to be a very timely and fortuitous idea. On that same “Wow, wow…” evening, in the process of transferring fuel, our fuel transfer pump died – totally, and just like that! There were no obvious warnings that it was on its way out. We had planned to replace the pump, just not now. Our engines run off a the Day Tank. All fuel is transferred from the other four tanks into the Day tank, and the fuel is transferred through the auspice of the transfer pump. You know, the item I mentioned that just died. This became a mission critical failure and had to be replaced for us to continue with our plans. It was a wild and hectic three days, but we now have a very efficient and reliable (it’s new!) system. It caused us to delay our departure by a day, but then there is old sailor’s lore that says never start a voyage on Friday. So, it looks like everything worked out well. We got the fuel pump replaced and left on a beautiful Saturday Morning.

The newsletters that follow will give some voyaging data regarding the voyage and what we see and experience along the way.

Stand by for more D/V milestones!

Warmest Aloha,

Angie (and Captain Bruce)

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