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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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thanksgiving & Thankfulness 11/23~11/28

Peaceful slumber... The boys really like to snuggle up secure in our bed while we are in rough seas.

~Sunset in Beaufort, North Carolina~

Kent enjoying the sunshine at the helm coming into Beaufort.

We were very thankful to have a chance to see our nephew Kord, his wife Julie and our great nephew Elliot. We stayed in Camp LeJuene for about 5 days, so that we could spend Thanksgiving with him before he takes his second tour in Iraq. We are really proud of him and his dedication to our country!

Kord & Elliot

Blayde, Elliot and Paul in the background watching Wall-E.

Blayde, Valin, Drake, Elliot and another boat friend over watching a movie.

A beautiful evening sky in Camp LeJuene. We had 16 people aboard for our first Thanksgiving dinner on Free Spirit. I sent Blayde around the anchorage we were in to invite everyone to dinner. It was an amazing evening with not only family, but new friends as well.

Ship's Life

Paul in the crow's nest for the first of many times in Urbanna. I have not made it up there yet, I am afraid that if I got up there with a good book, I would never come back down :-)

The blue foam is back! Due to all the climate changes leaving Virginia, the condensation was hoorible. We would wake up in the morning and feel like we were in the middle of an indoor rain storm!

Kent, busy insulating the bulk head above the upper bunk in the library.

The new sink installed in the bathroom turned out better than we expected.

Plumbed, open and ready to wash!

Our great Urbanna friend Gary Thimson at the helm moving the boat from Deltavaille, Virginia back to Urbanna, Virginia after the haul out. He and his wife Nell took us under their wing while we were there for the summer. Thanks for everything!

Blayde, being goofy:-)

Drake, helping to cook breakfast in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Blayde is getting more and more competant at the helm. This is during the trip down the Dismal Swamp Canal.

Paul and Kent taking down and stowing the sails.

Paul, climbing up the rigging to loosen a line that was jammed in one of the blocks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snow!?!? Snow!?!? What Were We Thinking?? 11/18~11/20

This should have been our first warning of what was to come.... I know, being from Alaska, we really should not be scared of a little snow. But, we were without any traditional heating methods, and sailing in that kind of weather is really not enjoyable.

The calm before the storm.

Just one, thin, little snowflake never hurt anyone :-)

It was blizzarding a wet, nasty kind of snow, which is especially bad when you do not a way to dry anything out while you are under way.


Blayde, enjoying the moment, and memories of home :-)

Snowy shoreline.

Paul, being tough and keeping a positive attitude through it all.

Heading South.... Not A Moment Too Soon! 11/16

Paul and Drake hauling up the dinghy the day we left Urbanna, our summer home.

I will take this opportunity to introduce our crew member Kent (on the left side of the picture). He joined us the 14th, and we departed on the 16th. Also, Raoul decided to get some land legsfor a while and issetting himself up in Urbanna for the time being. So of course he wanted to help us 'cast off south'. We love and miss you, bro!

Roaul on the dock, with Paul and Kent at the bow. We are off!!

At the lock just North of the Dismal Swamp Canal, which is South of Norfolk, Virginia.

Now let me explain something..... We were quite aware that we were leaving the Chesapeake a little late in the season, but it was still shocking to wake up the next morning to FROST all over the boat. Little did we know what was to come later.....

The Dismal Swamp, which we found out was just as Dismal as her namesake! The depth in the 37 mile canal is a little over 6 feet. Our boat draws (the depth needed to not run aground), 6'2". We ended up plowing through mud the entire way, which was terrible because we had just re did the whole bottom a couple weeks before. The amount of fuel that we were using to keep at 5 knots, usually kept us at about 7 knots. We also threw 6-8 sticks through the prop.... More on that in later post.

Pretty, fall colors though!

Ohio 10/26 ~ 11/6

Uncle Jerry's front yard at his new house just outside of Cleveland. We had a big family gathering and all had a slumber party. Great fun, beautiful place!

Uncle Wade, Aunt Carol, Gramma, Blayde, Valin & Drake.

My cousin Jennifer and her new baby Hannah, Aunt Pat, Blayde, Valin & Drake.

Me and my cuzzy Michelle :-)

Michelle and Colin's handsome, wonderful boys, Breck and Blake.

Gramma, Blayde, Valin, Drake, Breck & Blake.... Quite a mouthful if you say it 5 times fast :-)

Halloween at Grandma Kathy's was a BLAST! It has been quite a few years since the boys have been able to really trik or treat the neighborhood. Blayde was a High School Musical reject.... Valin was a business man/geek, and Drake was a perfect little hobo. Great laughs!

I did not get any pictures of Mom & Dad, so this is their picture placeholder :-)

The boys with their Great Grandma Reva in Columbus.

Grandma Reva was once a ballroom dance instructor, here she is sharing some knowledge with Valin.

I am really glad that we were able to visit everyone before we left the country. We love you all, and look forward to visiting again as soon as we can!

The Haul Out & Bottom Job Deltaville, Va 10/22 ~ 10/31

At first glance, she really did not look all the bad.... After she was up and secure on the stands we were able to perform a better inspection. We found large areas of the hull that were covered with 'water blisters' under the bottom paint. There was not any rust showing anywhere, but given enough time to degrade, would definitely do some major damage. After we sanded of the bottom paint, we discovered that there had not been good enough prep/sanding done on many areas before te bottom paint. We had a lot of help at this stage before we launched, and we madethe mistake of not checking things more carefully. But, now we know :-)

Kinda dirty, huh?.... One of the major reasons that we wanted/needed to haul out was to re-strike the water line. This picture shows really well the corrosion, barnacles and muck that is on the painted hull of the boat and not protected by the black stripe of bottom paint.

Getting her parked in her spot....

Tamer sanding away and working hard, like always!

Back to ladder boarding... At least it is only temporary :-)

Tamer, Blayde and Paul re-striking the water line so we know how far up the side to sand and prep.

Starboard side ready for the first coat of paint. You can see in this photo were the sanding stopped, and where the new water line will be.

Port side....

The ablative bottom paint is very soft, and Valin proved this!

Paul, getting his first haul out experience... His hard work allowed me and the boys the luxury of leaving to Ohio for most of this work time. Thanks!

Normally, all of the gray water we produce goes straight over board. During haul out we have to hook up a drain hose and bucket or it makes a terrible mess.

TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 =