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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Clothes and more, at the Free Spirit Logo Shop!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Free Spirit Update ~ May 6th, 2009

Hello Dear Readers!!

I wanted to put this post in and give everyone a brief update of where we are in our travels. I know that the blog tends to lag a bit, and not stay on real time. Hence is the life of sailors :-) Since we have been in The Bahamas, our internet has been very limited. But, whenever I have the chance, I do a few posts to keep everyone updated. I am sure that you are all wondering 'where we actually are'.

Right now I am sitting in paradise, outside at a picnic table, on the island of Rum Cay. The town has around 60 full time residents, a marina, 2 very small grocery stores, and a few scattered businesses. I have spent the day off the ship, to catch up with internet business, and for the blog, pleasure as well. The breeze has been blowing steady all day, just enough to keep you cool. The only sounds I hear are, gulls calling, fish jumping, nurse sharks hunting, and water lapping at the shore. I am only briefly interrupted by the welcome conversation of fellow cruisers sharing their sea travels. It is at times like this that I wish so desperately to be able to share this experience with you all, in person.

We are slowly making our way to the Dominican Republic to spend the Summer months for hurricane season. We plan on doing some yearly maintenance to Free Spirit as well as some exploration off the boat, to explore the sights there. We are all practicing up on our Spanish, and really look forward to experiencing the culture of their country.

The crew and family of Free Spirit are doing very well, and are finding a rhythm to create harmony in our new lifestyle. The hardest adjustment has been to not be in constant vacation mode. Although the boat has been the vehicle to take us to all these amazing locales, it is also our home. At home, there are still all the same day to day tasks that we all have. But.... With a twist....

~ On the boat we are always in water conservation mode. We attempt to only do the dishes once a day to help with this effort. All the water must be heated, as we do not have a water heater. We have managed to get our water usage down to about 6 gallons a day for the 7 of us. If we have all of our fresh water tanks full, this gives us about 23 days of water. To refill the water, one must take a dinghy (usually towing a dinghy) to shore to fill the jugs. Then, after returning we have to hook up the water transfer pump, which requires the generator to be running to get the water into the tanks. All the water we bring aboard also needs to be treated with a very small amount of bleach. The toilet is flushed with only sea water, but our showers are limited to about 2 a week. Keep this in mind the next time you hear a faucet running for no reason :-)

~ I know that I did a brief post on laundry in Marathon already, but some of you may not have seen it. Although I have toyed with the idea of doing the washing by hand, it would require a huge percentage of our fresh water to accomplish it. We generate about 8 loads a week for the 7 of us. To make a trip to do the laundry, the laundry must first be gathered and sorted. Then after being stuffed into duffel bags, each must be put into a trash bag to keep it dry on the round trip dinghy ride. Usually, the dinghy ride is about 20-30 minutes each way. Once on shore the bags have to be nicely stacked on a wheeled cart to be taking to the closest Laundromat. Due to the high cost of drying here in the Bahamas, all the laundry has to come back to the boat wet. Then for a day or a day and a half it has to be hung out on all available lines to be dried. Then, as for everyone else, folded and put away. Think of me the next time you throw a basket of laundry in the washer/dryer :-)

Grocery Shopping
~ Did you know that sealed pasta in plastic bags is not water resistant? Really, the provisioning is not to terribly different from shopping ashore. Although, the prices here in the Bahamas are extremely high, and most fresh items are not readily available. What is tricky, is not having much refrigerator space in a tropical climate. I do have a 5 cubic foot freezer aboard, so I am able to stock up appropriately on meat products. Usually a provisioning trip is paired with laundry/water/fuel. Nathalie and I are becoming experts on just how much of a load her dinghy pulling an inflatable dinghy can handle. I have started to bake all of our bread products due to the higher prices and availability. This includes our bread, pretzels, english muffins, cakes, pan bread, pita bread, corn/flour tortillas, cookies, etc. My next tackle is learning how to do bagels! If we are doing any extensive traveling, I have to plan what will keep ok until the next provisioning point, which we sometimes do not know. The idea of running down to the store to grab a few things is now alien to me :-)

Just a sampling of a day in the life of cruisers..... Love to all!


Anonymous Ryan, Jessica and Kyuss Palmer said...

Hey guys!

We were just thinking about you and were pleased to find some good updates on your blog...
We are in Canada still and will be for a bit longer... Being off the boat has it's advantages and surely it's disadvantages... Advantages being, everything is easier... disadvantages are, that there are very few things that force you to think... really. I heard once that the best way to ward off such memory deficiencies as Alzheimer's is by active mind exercises... Cruising must then be a sure-fire way to prevent ANY such problems...
Life is good for us here for now and we are enjoying shore-side life. But we think so often of our Julia, and the awesome people we've met on our travels... and how much we miss the life we have aboard her...
Say hi to all and know that our thoughts are with you... An we look forward to catching up with you one day.
Your friends,
Ryan, Jess and Kyuss
on Julia

11:16 PM  

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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 =