When I bought Sparklemuffin about three and a half years ago, the anemometer at the masthead was broken. So I put in a new LCJ Capteurs CV7 ultrasonic anemometer while the mast was out. Of course it is incompatible with the old wind instrument display, which is at least 25 years old. No problem, I thought, I’ll just put in a new display for the wind.
Well, upon removing the face panel from the instruments pod, it broke into several pieces. So I have to get a new one custom cut. Which means I need to figure out where to cut. Which means deciding on a plan for what to do with the instruments sooner than I’d expected.
After some hemming and hawing, I could not justify keeping the old instruments, which have been unsupported for years and incompatible with anything modern. So I’m gutting all the old instruments and putting in an NMEA 2000 network. As part of that, I got a Raymarine iTC-5 to connect the existing depth transducer to NMEA 2000.
Yesterday I went to pull the transducer cable out of the instrument pod at the helm to re-route it to the iTC-5. To do so, I needed to access the area beneath the steering pedestal from the quarter berth. Look what I found…
The bolts holding the steering pedestal have completely corroded into DUST. It’s not clear from the photo but there are ZERO bolts holding the pedestal down. What is holding it appears to be the sealant and the tension on the steering cables. Looks like dissimilar metals with NO attempt at protection. Literally a disaster waiting to happen. I’ll be replacing these with titanium bolts.
Speaking of which, the titanium bolts for the stern chainplates have arrived from ti64.com.
In any case, I did finally get the depth transducer hooked up. Here’s the depth showing on the new Maretron DSM410 display.
For good measure, I’ve bedded three quarters into the step: one for me, one for Lauren, and one for Sparklemuffin, too!
I’ve been reading Heavy Weather Sailing by Peter Bruce. There was a nice section in there showing seasonal average wave height maps. I went looking online for similar maps to include in my ship’s binder, but there were none!
Instead I embarked on a fascinating and educational journey of taking satellite radar altimetry data and turning it into maps using a NASA georeferenced data visualizer. The raw data and the tools are all freely available online. For each month of the year I created maps for average and max significant wave height and wind speed over a 12 year period. The pic below is an example, see Monthly Wind & Wave Climate Maps for the complete set. This seems like a useful tool for high-level passage planning.
If you want to see how I did it or play around with making your own maps, the details can be found in this blog post.
That’s all for now. I’ll leave you with a couple sobering articles about the state of the sea.
- Warmest Oceans on Record Adds to Hurricanes, Wildfires Risks by Brian K Sullivan
- The Eastern Pacific Ocean Just Saw Its Earliest Tropical Cyclone On Record by Dennis Mersereau
So let’s get out there cruising ASAP!!