Log of SV Free Spirit and ships company

The chronicles of the schooner Free Spirit and her crew, embarking on an open ended journey upon the great rolling heap. Free Spirit is currently pursuing humanitarian and commercial goals in the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola. Working under the Ocean Reach USA and Paradigm Research banners, she is serving as logistics headquarters, workshop, and development laboratory for many ongoing projects. This is the log of her journey.....

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Travel Log.

Saturday, Aug 26 1200 Left Fairbanks, southbound. Drizzle. Made Haines Junction about 2400. Right around a 500 mile day.

August 27 1100 After having our first taste of Canadian coffee, we departed Haines Jct. Raised Laird Hot Springs around 2330. Yet another 500 mile day :-)

August 28 Enjoyed Laird Hot Springs!! Great place. Mixed weather.

August 29 Departed 1400. Reached Dawson Creek and the end of the Alaska Highway, (1,523 miles from Fairbanks) at 0200. Stayed at Mile 0 Campground which offered great laundry and shower facilities. Wow, it would seem that the "500 mile" day is standard.

August 30 Explored Dawson Creek, provisioning and maintainance stop. Mostly sunny, wind from the northwest. Seemed like a charming little town, and the locals were a bit more friendly.

August 31 Departed 1200 under sunny skies. Encountered 15-25kt headwinds, decreasing our fuel mileage to 8.76 MPG, a new low. Raised McDonalds restauraunt, (which offers "free" wireless internet) in Quesnel (quenel) around 2000. Tonight we will stay at a Hotel, get our "free" breakfast downstairs and make a run to Tonasket, Washington (420 miles) early with minimal preparation required. We could all use a "real" berth for a night.

More pics from our travels.....

The yard sale (huge mess) we left behind..... Graciously, my brother Kraig said to leave anything we didn't sell, so we did... Thanks Kraig and crew, much appreciated!

Faint Double rainbow at "the sign place"

Me, at "the sign place". Over 50,000 signs, many stolen from public works departments worldwide. Your tax dollars at work!!!

The Traveling Rig, hour zero.

Wow, how fun!!! Thank goodness for MP3 Players :-)

Arriving in the dark, we woke to this at our first stop in Haines Junction. Breathtaking!

Dawson Creek

We rolled into Dawson Creek about 2 am this morning. At the Mile Zero campground - graciously gifted to us by fellow cruisers from SV Feng Shui - we found comfort and serenity, and a good night’s sleep.

The town is well wired, with ubiquitous free WIFI access. For the first time in Canada
, I got a decent cup of coffee at the Hug A Mug coffee shop. A bit spendy, but at least they have a clue.

Award for "First Canadian I encountered that knew what a 'breve' is" goes to the baristas here.

I retightened the head bolts on my bike , now it runs with more power than ever!! A bit loose before, letting the good stuff out.

We may leave tomorrow, hard to say.

Along the way

Well, our drive through the Yukon has been enlightening. The people are charming enough, with a few notable exceptions, and the folks are curiously lacking in motivation to do anything in general, again with many notable exceptions.

In all, an experience not to be missed, but be prepared to get the cold shoulder a bit and bring your own coffee apparatus unless you want to spend $3 a cup on the worst coffee you ever threw out.

A very representative case in point: We bought cheeseburgers from a fast food joint for $4 US that would cost less than $1.50 anywhere in the USA. The order was poorly taken, and promptly but poorly prepared by kids that would have been fired from any fast food joint in the states... they were working for $11.00 an hour (starting wage, as advertised on the building) Ah, the wondrous joys of socialism.....

Price signs are often curiously inaccurate....

("oh, they upped it but they haven’t changed the sign yet, eh") Yeah, Right.

This story was replayed in many ways along the trip, but became less and less prevalent as we worked our way south.

On the other hand, it shows that the people must be well cared for, as they obviously are difficult to motivate financially..... so who says that’s a bad thing?

(unless you want a good, cheap burger, courteously prepared)

I wonder if it's the French influence? Everyone knows the French are rude, it's to be expected. After all, it is part of their cultural heritage, their very national identity. If I were French, I'd rude it up good, especially for the tourists, mustn't disappoint the tourists.

By the time you get down to Dawson Creek, things are a bit sorted out, and a sense of cultural normality returns to the environment.

Cheerfulness and a warm smile are the norm here.

Yet another stunning vista on the drive through the Yukon, eh.

Laird Hot springs was a hit with the kids and us alike. A mostly natural, unspoiled hot spring experience!

More from Laird

A sad photographic indictment of the fledgling Canadian automotive industry. I always wondered why Canadians always drive US or Asian vehicles, but now I know better than to ask. Tragically, this model lacked any drive train whatsoever and was abandoned at the lakeside by it's disgruntled owner. "Hell on the neck anyway" I heard him grumble as he walked away to thumb a ride home.

A rare photographic record of the two arsed mountain goat. What a spectacular find!!

Canadian Pebble deer grazing on the granite rich deposits by the roadside.

Buffalo, Unconcerned, as if to say "thought you got us all, didn't you". Apparently these are descendents of the draft dodgers of the plains herds.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On the road

We left today!!

Ok... I lied. We left saturday. but almost, really!!!

at the beginning of our four month cross country odyessy to get to the boat, we are overcome with anticipation, a touch of sadness, but mostly exhaustion...... more soon!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Box Hell....

I'll never look at cardboard the same way again. Cardboard, and boxes specificaly, have become my life. most of the equipment for a 50' boat. A complete fabrication shop. nominal household goods for 5. Camping gear. medical supplies. Etc.

In all, we are carrying or shipping only about 5000 lbs, but the task of inventory, sorting, logging, and weighing seems endless.

Off I go to dream of cardboard and tape...


Ground transportation when living on a boat usually takes three possible forms... Walk, take public transpo where available, or bicycle (if you have room on your boat). We have room, but I wanted a bit better range and hauling capacity than my legs can provide at this point, so I "improved" the concept a bit.... Notice the "chrome flames"and the skull and crossbones emblems on the fenders - I've really been "pee wee hermaning" out on this.

In all seriousness though, this seems to work quite well. It can go 30ish but the bike is comfortable around 20mph. I rarely have to but frequently do pedal. The only mandatory pedaling is on the steepest of hills, San Francisco style - but even the steep ones are easy with a little help from the iron jenny. Lots-o-fun, and over 100mpg!! The bike still works without the motor too, so if you "break down" you can still get home.

The kit costs about $250 shipped from spookytooth cycles.com, and I put it on a $60 wal-mart special. (huffy) . 4 or 5 hours and PooF!!! instant dinghyable motorcycle (under 70 lbs). How kewl is that!!!

Introducing Propcalc 4.0

Use Propcalc to easily match your hull with your engine, transmission, and propeller
Put the known data in the top fields, then hit the Update button to get the answers.
Results, of course, should be verified by a Naval Architect or qualified surveyor.
Data is provided for three bladed propellers of average type
For two or four bladed props, use the modifiers shown below.

Fill out the fields as follows:

Vessel LWL (ft) = Waterline length
Vessel Disp (lbs) = Vessel displacement
(max) HP = Rated Engine Max HP
Engine RPM max = Engine RPM at Max HP
Engine RPM cruise = Desired or estimated cruise rpm
(Cruise or Max) Kts = Speed to work the calculations for
Slip = Propeller efficience. 45% is average for a displacement cruiser.
Gear ratio = 1: Gear ratio of transmission
SL Ratio Adj. = This value will be added (or subtracted, if a negative value) to the calculated S/L ratio.

Key information:

If the "hp required" is greater than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too low for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is significantly less than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too high for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is greater than the "Max HP", then your target speed is too high for your engine/hull parameters.
The S/L ratio is calculated automaticaly based on your input. It can be adjusted if necessary, but normally it should be left alone.
If the calculated S/L ratio exceeds S/L MAX, then the results are likely to be non-predictive. Try a lower speed requirement.
SL Ratios of 1.1 - 1.4 are typical of displacement hulls. Semiplaning or planing hulls can go higher.

Typical propeller slip values:

Sailing auxiliary, barges, etc less than 9 Kts............45%
Heavy powerboats, workboats 9 - 15 Kts....................26%
Powerboats, Lightweight Cruisers 15 - 30 Kts..............24%
High speed planing boats 30 - 45 Kts......................20%
V bottom race boats 45 - 90 Kts...........................10%


it is possible to get irrational answers by irrational input , I.E specifying excessive speed for hull type and length
Any attempt to exceed hull speed (1.34 times the square root of the waterline length in feet) with a displacement hull are likely
to fail unless the hull is extremely fine (multihull) or otherwise exceptional. In such cases, an S/L adjustment would be in order.

2 and 4 bladed props:

For two bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by 1.05, and the pitch by 1.01
For four bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by .94, and the pitch by .98

Vessel LWL (ft) =
Vessel Disp (lbs) =
  (max) HP =
  Engine RPM max =
  Engine RPM cruise =
  (Cruise or Max) Kts =
  Slip =
  Gear ratio = 1:
  SL Ratio Adj. =
  Prop rpm max =
  Prop rpm cruise =
  Pitch =
  Diameter =
  Static Thrust =
  Cruise HP =
  Cruise HP% =
  SL Ratio =
  DL Ratio =
  SL Max =
  HP Required =