Y2K trips on the Cats Pyjamas
In late July the boat finally makes it into the water. Here is Jon Rheaume relaxing on his first excursion on the Cats PJs.
Funnily enough we also managed to hit a rock that day. That teaches me a lesson or two about gunkholing (and relying on charts close to shore - we hit the rock on the hull away from shore!).
While the leak was slight (about 1 inch in the port bilge per day) I have decided to increase the strength of the leading edges underwater by reinforcing them with the same Kevlar cloth that was so successful on the dinghy. Two or three layers of 1/8" thick matting with an overlayer or two of cloth should make the keel very tough and very abrasion resistant.
Note the algae growing in the damaged part. We're letting the stuff dry out over the fall, winter, and spring before applying our new skins. We may even elect to make kevlar "shoes" for the underside of the keel. More on this in the exteriors section as it becomes available.
William Hilley at the controls! Not his first time either! Too bad there was no little/no wind and the tide did a better job of bringing us in than the wind! Nonetheless, a very relaxing day (save for the crash which gave Bill a big bruise on the leg) and hopefully a preview of better things to come.
Michelle Hilley and my then darling fiancee relaxing on the port side before the crash. Life is good! (Of course, she married me!)
On a later trip here are Georges, Tatjana, and Shoma. That day we sailed well but caught a lot of lobster traps. The next day featured great sailing with no traps - much better!
At the end of August 2000 I finally got to take a three day trip with Jon Rheaume and my uncle John GL. Here are some pictures:
John GL joined us on our first day which made for an interesting situation whenever I called either Jon or John... Anyway, John GL enjoyed the sail on the Cats PJs even though he's a monohuller through-and-through. On the other hand, when your boat is in a yard with its stick pulled...
I guess I'm fortunate that I wasn't (nearly?) hit by lightning like he was. He even complimented (gasp!) the design and liked the lack of heel (sound of lightning striking the heretic) We dropped him off in Boothbay so he could make a birthday party as well as enable him to measure progress on his boat (sans stick) in Portland, ME. At least his manufacturer (Waquiez/Soromat) is motivated enough to do things right.
Boothbay is a busy harbor - but we were able to find a good buoy near the quieter end and go ashore for a well-deserved seafood feast. These two pictures are from the approaches which are less-well protected and hence fairly empty. Don't let this fool you - Boothbay has lots of traffic coming in and out.
After Boothbay Jon and I visited Seals Cove where a bunch of them decided to sun themselves once the ledges pictured here came out of the water. Jon swam around at noontime, about 2 hours before this picture was taken and the water was cold enough to give him a hypothermia. No wonder the seals are as rotund as they are...
Seal cove is quite beautiful in itself
The only downer was that while he was swimming I discovered that our sewage system was leaking again. I'll spare you the pictures... The lack of ridges on the lower tank nipple caused the tank to leak into the "secret bilge" and from there into the bilge under the toilet. Yummy stuff to extract for two hours... and to send back into the holding tank. I stopped the leak for now by tightening the clamps even further although a more permanent solution would consist of a sealant being applied and bonded before clamping down. That will happen later this fall. In the meantime, I lost faith in the sewage system and pumped it out offshore.
Jon Rheaume liked our second excursion much better. Besides avoiding groundings, we also only caught one lobster pot and had some good sailing.
To give you an idea of the currents we encountered, here is a green can half-submerged in the tide coming out of the bay near seals cove. The can is half underwater and the water flow was down to 2 knots at this point. Further up, we shot through the narrows at 3+ knots, and were fairly impressed by the big boils making their way to the surface...
Here we are at the Cuckholds, a popular cruising spot for schooners racing with tourists out of Boothbay harbor nearby.
The schooner crew in this picture must have known the waters pretty well given how close they sailed to the islands and between ledges with that big tub. Later that day we made for 5 Islands harbor where we managed to snag a good mooring. Despite some weird scraping noises in the night (imagine two scantily clad lads with flashlights shining under the boat in the middle of the night) we managed to sleep pretty well. The next day we made a run for home.
Five Islands Harbor is a beautiful place - if you don't snag a lobster pot
The problem with our diesel engine dumping antifreeze in its bilge was minor since we almost managed to sail right up to the mooring under Jons excellent piloting skills (That turning radius can be a problem!). In the meantime, the captain was down below cleaning the boat and packing.
Thus the sailing season came to an end in preparation of replacing the faulty masthead pins, repairing the diesel, replacing the hydraulic motors, replacing the hydraulic lines, adjusting the cut-off pressure on the hydraulics, installing the engine bilge water strainer, etc. One more busy winter will hopefully be enough time to bring some sort of peace.
Year 2001 Update:
Our hull was repaired at the yard and looks pretty good now. Here is a shot from in between the hulls: