Saturday, September 27, 2014

Picture of the Day

Credit: Bruce Taylor
"There are those who believe we can have our high technology, continue at the same pace, and still preserve our world.  I doubt that this will be possible.  The only alternative is to reverse our dominant attitude toward the earth and in our use of it, recognize that man is part of nature, and that his welfare depends on it, always has, and always will, [and] on living in harmony with it."
Sigurd F. Olson
...from Open Horizons, 1969

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rescue Dove

One of Jean's rescued critters has been returned to the great outdoors.  The dove was only a few days old when it was discovered after having been blown out of its nest.  A homeowner had found it on the ground under a tree while mowing his lawn.  It was brought to Jean and hand raised.  The work that goes into rescuing a small animal or bird is not unlike the first few weeks of life for a human infant.  They have to be cleaned, fed every three hours through the night and every two hours all day, have their abdomen stroked to stimulate the intestinal track.  Hot water bottles are warmed at every feeding, wrapped in fleece to prevent accidental burns, and placed in the cage to keep them from being chilled. 

After being released, the dove stopped waiting for Jean to clean it, and
started preening on its own.  Its feathers now look smooth and silky.
Finally the bird was weened to solid food, move progressively to larger and larger cages so they strengthen their wings, and provided with perches of different materials and sizes to strengthen their feet. When this one appeared ready, Jean opened the cage door. The animal is routinely left to make their own decision, and is not just thrown into the air. Sometimes they go in and out of the cage for several days, and back and forth to the guaranteed food supply, before deciding to make on their own. This one, however, seemed confident that it was ready to go. It flew first from the patio up onto the eave of the house. Shorly it flew a sortie around the yard and landed on the peak of the roof. Within a couple minutes another dove landed next to it, then another. Shortly there were about ten other doves joining to welcome the new kid to the neighborhood. We have seen it here several times, and it seems to be doing fine and is part of a large local community of doves.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Bloom is off the Summer

It is certainly a refreshing change to see the seasons changing.  The shoulder seasons are my favorites.  They could last for five months each, to suit my taste, leaving just enough winter and summer between to prevent anyone from going into shock by the sudden changes in weather.  The milder weather, softer sunlight, and silky-soft breezes have me desperate for some paddling and camping.

James came and picked up his dory a couple days ago.  With that diversion done, I'm back on my hands and knees in the flower beds, but should be able to get a respite from that shortly.  Before leaving summer too far in our wake, it's worth a moment to celebrate the blossoms that have thanked us for our efforts.

I'm certainly no gardening expert, not even a dauber, but to me there is no flower that puts as much effort into its blossoms as the daylily, nor another flower with as much color and variety.

This colorful beauty is another daylily that Michele, Jean's friend, gave to her for Jean's birthday.  Besides the wonderful blossoms in the foreground, you can see another half-dozen buds in the background awaiting their turn.

This is a red honeysuckle that has covered a section of fence we provided for it to climb on.  This has tripled the number of hummingbirds we have had this year.

Yellow daylilies, yellow cannas, and purple Russian sage.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Picture of the Day

Credit: Assassins-Creed, Native American Canoe
"An overgrown lawn is not deadly, but boredom is." Kaydi Payette 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dory Repair - Final

Since you were all good enough to follow me through the repair process, here are some pictures of the finished job. 

Here's the Cape Dory 14 with full sail set.  We had a very, very rare day of light breezes for working on the rig.  This picture was taken without a downhaul, which I provided for below, and hopefully that will take some of the wrinkles out of the sail.

The sail with the brailing line holding the sail and rig out of the way for rowing, beaching, docking, or any other non-sailing occasion.  I left the brailing line tail long enough so that without the need for another line, the tail of the brailing line just passes back through the tack and serves as a downhaul.

Both cleats, with both lines made off and the foredeck clear.  While it would involve getting the extra line out of the way before using either the halyard or brailing line, there's still room for even the bow line to be coiled and hung there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dory Repair - 2

When making small fairing repairs, there is a lot to recommend taking a couple minutes to tape off the area with masking tape. The amount of sanding needed, the most disgusting and time consuming part of any boat repair, is reduced substantially. Once the fairing putty is created, use a flexible polyethylene squeegee, or for more precise control, a fairing squeegee with a metal blade, to spread the putty over the area being filled or faired. The more precise your work now, the less you’ll have to sand, or even refill, later.

For those without a lot of boat repair experience, a word about mixing resins is important. The two most frequent failures in mixing resins is handling small quantities, and inadequate mixing. The importance of mixing small quantities is that minor differences in measuring parts A and B will greatly, and adversely, affect the mixing ratios. When I speak of small quantities, I’m talking about part A quantities of two tablespoons. The risk is in not getting enough catalyst to properly harden the resins. As measured quantities increase for more substantial repairs, ratios are easier to handle with less error.

Comparing the two pictures, you can immediately see how much sanding
area has been eliminated.  All the overrun above has been eliminated, making
the job neater and easier to sand.
The best description I’ve seen about the importance of mixing resins went like this: Mixing is always important, but with polyester resins, the molecules will seek each other out to link and create a bond. The epoxy resin molecules of parts A & B, however, have to be mixed well enough that the molecules are immediately adjacent to each other to link. Thus, inadequate mixing counts as the number one cause of resins not hardening properly. Small quantities, in a tuna fish can, should be mixed for 3 minutes. Larger amounts should be mixed for 5 minutes, even with a power stirrer.

The foredeck after gelcoat repair and painting.
To create a fairing putty, once the epoxy is properly mixed, add the thickening agent slowly as it is mixed in until you get the consistency that you like. Experience will tell what you find most workable. You want it thick enough that it won’t sag on sloping or vertical surfaces. I look for something half way between peanut butter and wood putty. Getting it too thick wastes materials, weakens the putty, and makes smooth, even spreading more difficult. Also remember that the resin will warm up as it’s chemical process begins, so putties will always get slightly thinner, making sags more likely. Always check back a few times on previous work to making sure it is staying where you want it until it begins to harden.

Its proper name is a boom saddle, but on such a small boat it looks
more like a 3/4-in. plywood donut.  The damage to the foredeck was
from the jaws of the boom grinding and banging on the foredeck.
It's a lot easier to sand and paint the saddle than doing fiberglass and
gelcoat repair to the deck.  Here, the jaws come onto the basically
sacrificial boom saddle instead.
There are specialized thixotropic agents, which I used to use a lot when doing polyester work. It was a two step mixing process using both thixotropic powder and microspheres. With epoxy, I find it easier to go straight to microspheres. I use West System 410 Microlight Fairing Filler. It is great stuff to work with, and it cuts sanding time substantially. There is one caveat. The microspheres are a thermoplastic-based filler, so caution may be needed in using such a filler under dark painted surfaces like dark blue or black, which will be heated to extreme temperatures by the sun.

P.S. - I would think Cape Dory had some way of dealing with the boom saddle issue when the boat was first built.  Cape Dory has an owner forum, and I'm going to check with other owners to see if there are other ideas, but this saddle seems the best option thus far, but I'm not done with the matter.  Another way would be to make a 1/4-inch fiberglass sheet and cut out a boom saddle and just leave it unpainted.  We'll see.