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Latest Posts

  • Balancing alternator outputs

    Balancing alternator outputs

    In our charging configuration, we parallel the house and start alternators to charge the house battery bank. Each ...
  • Metal Shark Aluminum Boats

    Metal Shark Aluminum Boats

    Jeanerette, Louisiana isn’t a massive metropolis, so why were us boaters and technology lovers excited to ...
  • Soverel Harbour Marina

    Soverel Harbour Marina

    We’ve spent the month since arriving in Palm Beach at Soverel Harbour Marina in Palm Beach Gardens. We ...
  • Fuel bugs

    Fuel bugs

    As we describe in Dirona fuel manifold, we choose to explicitly pump fuel from the appropriate bulk tank to the ...
  • Johnny Sessa Bulldozing Visit

    Johnny Sessa Bulldozing Visit

    What beats an afternoon operating heavy equipment?  Months before we made it to Florida, Oliver Sessa offered us a ...
  • St. Lucia to Palm Beach

    St. Lucia to Palm Beach

    Last week we ran 1,424 miles directly from St. Lucia to Palm Beach, Florida. We initially were planning to work our ...
  • Pigeon Island

    Pigeon Island

    We took a taxi from the Rodney Bay marina to explore Pigeon Island National Landmark. The island once was detached ...
  • St. Lucia

    St. Lucia

    From Port St. Charles we travelled 97 miles to St. Lucia and spent a relaxing couple of weeks at the marina in ...
  • Behind the Scenes on the Westerdam

    Behind the Scenes on the Westerdam

    We love technology, how things work, and digging in behind the scenes and so an important part of our trip around ...
  • Port St. Charles

    Port St. Charles

    When we arrived into Port St. Charles, Barbados on February 3rd of 2016, we were ready to slow down and take it ...
  • Exploring Barbados

    Exploring Barbados

    We rented a car for a few days to explore Barbados and do some shopping. We spent the first day at the south end of ...
  • Limin’

    Limin’

    To give Jennifer’s shoulder some time to heal, we took it easy for the week after her collar bone break. We ...

General questions & comments

  1. Steve Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    I’m really enjoying reading about your efforts on load shedding for Dirona. I do however have to admit, the second you mention “I’ve written software” or start referring to whatever “hexadecimal value is most interesting” it’s well beyond my skill set.

    I did perk up when you mentioned your domestic water heater and HVAC system. I then realized I have no idea what is installed on Dirona.

    I even looked at the standard specs for a 52 and could find nothing on the HVAC on the Nordhavn website and don’t know if you made changes from the standard water heater. Well, I did find some specs on the ventilation (which I know you’ve changed), but was looking for information on your comfort heating and cooling.

    If you get the time, I would really like to know a Make, Model and preferably Serial Number something with a “compressor” in it. I can figure out a lot from that.

    I’d also like to know if you put in something other than the standard domestic water heater

    • The HVAC system is a combination of 5 MarineAir systems of various sizes between 10k BTUs and 16k BTUs depending upon the expected heat load of the room. The MarineAir systems have done very well through heavy live aboard use. The only issues we have seen is a compressor relay on the MSR unit control board got weak and started to chatter. That’s a fairly easy and inexepensive fix. Other than that, the only issues have been around the engineering on the condensate drainage system.

      The water heater is an upgrade from the standard 11 gallon units to a 20 gallon Torid Model MV20 with a 1,500W element. It’s worked well and it’s nice having the additional size. I have a temperature sensor on the heater and, from checking it, I can see that a 11 gallon heater would struggle with two people, a dishwasher, and cloaths washing.

      The fridge is a Sub Zero 700TC/I. Like all cooling systems, it’s a bit of an energy hog but it does an amazing job of maintaining vegitables and fruit for long periods of time. I suspect this is partly thanks to excellent humidity control. The fridge is one of our favorites and, although I know of some trawler owners that have explicitly avoided the Sub Zero, we love it.

      The furnace is a Olympia OL-105 diesel hot water boiler from Sure Marine and installed by Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle. It a great way to make high lattitude cruising more comfortable. More than once we have woken up surrounded by ice but warm and toasty.

  2. Timothy Daleo says:

    Did you change side locations of the strut? I see marks on the lid. Was there a second one, or could you add a second? Could you change the lower mounting location further to port (45° angle) and go with a larger strut on the other side? It could reduce the pressure, leave the rear door side clear if needed and allow you to purchase standard struts.

    • The original strut was a non-standard strut so I changed the strut mount hardware to enable me to use a standard, easily available strut that can be picked up for under $10. Thats why you see evidence of previous mountings being different. These are the same struts used to support pickukp box covers and they are both durable and widely available. It’s working super well and I have several spares.

  3. Steve says:

    Those 7 marines are sweet. Not that I could even contemplate buying one of them or the boat that goes with it.

  4. Steve Coleman says:

    I had to cringe when you mentioned having your engine room hatch slam down on you since I’ve gone looking for more than one security watch that had a hatch slam down on them while in the Navy.

    Sounds like you’ve got it dealt with now but if this new one fails sooner than you think consider trying these people.

    http://www.bilco.com/Foundations/Store/shopdetail.asp?product=1RSOP-3*Option—Type-316-Stainless-Steel-Hardware

    • Fortunatly, the door has never slammed shut on us but we are pretty careful with it. What we do is tie secure it with a bungee when the gas strut starts to get weak. I now have enough spares that I’ll just replace this one if it gets weak.

  5. Neil Tuddenham says:

    Loved reading about your exploits on the southern Great Barrier Reef which I’m hoping to visit soon, in particular the Swain Reefs area. Can you tell me which program/app you used to plot your position in real time on Google Earth? How were you downloading the images?

    • Neil,

      You’ll love the Swains–we had a great time there.

      The app we were using was just Google maps on our Android tablet using the tablet’s built-in GPS to determine our location. We had internet connectivity via satellite data to download the map images. If you won’t have connectivity, Google Earth offline cache might be useful: http://greg.heppenstall.ca/offline.htm

      If you’re an SSCA member, there’s a write-up on the Swains at https://www.ssca.org/media/attachments/yaraando.pdf we found useful as well. We found the two resources they mentioned (Sunmap and Neville Coleman’s book) helpful for suggested stops, although satellite imagery was probably most helpful in picking potential anchorages.

  6. David Andrews says:

    A change of topic.

    I came across this fascinating map which, I think, will interest you on at least two levels. It can be found here:
    http://www.shipmap.org/
    It is the result of a project to track commercial shipping during 2012 (effectively from May that year). It is based on the analysis of millions of AIS data points. It is an interactive map so you can pick dates through the year. It is also possible to colour code different type of shipping such as containers or dry cargo and so forth.

    Next time you plot your ocean travels it might come in handy in selecting routes to avoid! Or to follow to get some good photos. And perhaps even to back track to your journeys in 2012.

  7. Steve Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    I was looking at your transmission cooler and without knowing what metal it is bolted to thought I’d mention you might consider replacing those bolts with stainless.

    Here is a pretty good article on the subject.

    http://www.isotecinc.com/pdfs/aluminum_corrosion.pdf

    • I don’t follow what bolts you are refering to Steve. If it’s the two bolts that clamp on the cooler via the strap around the cooler, they are stainless bolts attaching it to a steel tray. Is that the attachment you asking about?

      • Steve Coleman says:

        Now you are confusing me.

        In the post “transmission cooler 2” you have the new part with three of the four bolts laying in the top plate holes. Those are the bolts I was thinking of.

        It’s high carbon steel in contact with aluminum that you’d be attempting to avoid. I would consider that the “most likely” reason that a hole got eaten into the cooler.

        Galvanic reaction, or at least something to consider aluminum is rather corrosion resistant.

        • Steve Coleman says:

          Or possibly “stray electrical currents” as cad plated steel has a low resistance.

          • Steve Coleman says:

            There are several advantages to cad plated steel.

            Corrosion resistance is one, anti galling another but it is also a good conductor of electricity.

            Seeing your two posts on your transmission cooler I got to wondering what would eat a hole in aluminum. All I could think of was galvanic reaction to the steel in the bolts or you’ve got an electrical ground somewhere causing electrolysis.

            Using stainless steel bolts would deal with the high carbon in contact with aluminum (I’d use anti-seize on the threads though). If it’s electrical currents well, you’d have to track that down.

            • Steve Coleman says:

              I downloaded a copy of the picture on the transmission cooler 2 post so I could really zoom in on it.

              If those washers under the bolts are “plastic” that is how they decided to deal with the high carbon steel in contact with aluminum issue.

              They won’t do you much good if it’s being bolted directly to steel, but it looks to me that it’s simply being mounted to steel but you could isolate that point also.

              • My mistake Steve. I screwed up and thought you were asking about the main engine keel cooler but it was the wing engine trans cooler. On that one it’s an aluminum lid on an aluminum box bolted to an aluminum cooler with steel bolts (without insulating washers)

                I get your point on corrosion from disimilar metals and it may be a factor. The construction has the box and lid sealed so the bolts don’t see salt water and there was no sign of corrosion around them. The lid perforated dead center in the top and, when I took the top off, the entire inside of the box and top are heavily rusting away with the top more than 1/2 gone. Saltwater is pretty agressive on unpainted aluminum without any galvanic protection in the area (the connected shaft is zinked).

                • Steve Coleman says:

                  That’s my point James, aluminum is a very active metal on the galvanic scale which means it should corrode extremely fast and actually it does. In the process it forms a coating of aluminum oxide (the black stuff inside the wing engine transmission cooler). Once that coating is there corrosion stops and it takes a high PH to effect it.

                  Salt water is neutral so by it’s self won’t corrode aluminum past the point aluminum oxide is formed.

                  Assuming your part is marine grade aluminum, the saltwater should hit it causing it to corrode and form an aluminum oxide barrier to further corrosion.

                  Something is stripping that barrier.

                  • Steve Coleman says:

                    Salt water is however a very good electrolyte which is one of the items needed to promote galvanic action.

  8. Timothy Daleo says:

    I just saw a Nordhavn Earth Day post where they said you have been supportive of passive fin stabilization? This approach sounds interesting. Do you know his plan for development and testing? Did he do work on his existing fins or just disconnect them? Are the stabilization fins free to rotate? Are they dampened at all? Do they include stops? Is there a passive hydraulic connecting to favor neutral? Is the surface area greater forward of the pivot point?

    • Jim Frantz says:

      We freed the fins by removing the lock notch system on ABT-Trac Notch Lock Fins on ALBEDOS a N52. When set free the fins naturally trail into the water flow as the boat moves forward. The angle they take up is an angle where the net lift (induced lift) is least. With no net induced lift the drag due to lift is least. Least drag means more range or speed for full displacement Nordhavns.

      But one boat’s data is not enough to build procedural changes around. The method must be reproduced with similar results among other Nordhavns before making this procedural change across the entire fleet. This is just good engineering.

      James and Jennifer are considering the installation of a very precise fuel flow system that’s similar to what aircraft use. This system would be a good engineering tool to document performance improvements from trimming fins better. And that’s what we’ve been discussing – how to document performance changes with some accuracy.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        Is there sensor data to correlate the movement of the boat to the free floating fins? It makes sense that the fins follow the least resistance but what is the effect on the normal roll of the boat. Do you anticipate any cavitation issues? Fuel consumption will decrease with the hydraulics off so it will be interesting to see the numbers with the system off and fixed fins and then with the system off and the fins free to move. Bluewater had some stabilizer specific fuel consumption data with their crossing posted a few years back.

      • James, thanks for posting the additional detail on the stabilizer fin alignment project covered in the Nordhavn Earth Day writeup. Super interesting.

    • This work was done on a conventional active fin stabilizing system on a Nordhavn. The theory under investigation is that the fin at rest position of parallel to the keel may be incorrect. The thining is that the water flow past a moving boat is far more complex and the exact flow vector at the stabilizers is highly unlikely to be parallel to the keel. The investigation let the fins float free and find their natural position underway and make that the locked “at rest” position. This should reduce the drag of the fins when they are not in use.

      I’ll let the lead investigator who came up with the idea and did all the work behind the project know there is interest here and, if he ready to get into more detail, he may chose to post something.

      • Timothy Daleo says:

        It was just curiosity about your involvement. Maybe by the time I am an owner it will have some testing and data.

  9. Steve Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    Other than longevity and energy savings I’ve never for my purposes, been a real fan of LED lighting.

    They’ve come a long way with colors but for the most part, I generally find them to “directional” for most of my needs.

    There is one product I’ve had a lot of experience with in the last several years that while I’m sure you’ve looked into, since I’ve not seen you mention it, I thought I’d bring up.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=led+fluorescent+replacement&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=98064790498&hvpos=1t4&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10475814595065318066&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_5sjks6un68_b_p9

    I’ve converted literally thousands of fluorescent lights to LED in the last three years and I’m actually extremely impressed with the finished product. Especially now that there is a wider range of colors available. Now that the prices are coming down it’s become a viable solution to convert existing fluorescent tube fixtures to LED.

    I realize there is probably little energy to be saved on Dirona since I’ve only seen a limited number of these lights in the engine room on Nordhavn boats however, there is another aspect which may interest you.

    Actually it’s been closer to 4 years since I installed my first LED tube and in that time I’ve only seen two failures and both of those were right out of the box on installation and easily covered by warranty. Being LED you don’t lose the entire tube, just whatever individual LED happens to be affected.

    You also don’t affect the other tubes in the fixture since each tube is an individual unit.

    There is no ballast to go bad, so no ballasts to take up space in spare parts. I would carry several lamp sockets, and maybe several replacement tubes just in case. As far as the tubes go, unless you experience something like a lightening strike you’d have more than enough warning to order and ship more.

    Conversion is simple, you just remove the ballast and rewire the fixture so one end of the tube is fed line voltage and connect the other end to neutral. The tubes easily handle voltages AC from 120 to 277 the latter of which you’ll not see in marine applications. I’ve never looked for them but, I would imagine you could also find them for DC applications.

    Just thought this might be something you could be interested in.

    Have a good day and glad to read Jennifer is healing well.

    • Steve Coleman says:

      Additionally, depending on color, with the reflectors inside the tubes I personally prefer their output over regular fluorescent lighting.

      • Interesting suggestion Steve. Dirona was delivered with all LED lighting except some outside lights and the engine room and laz lights are flourescent tubes. I like the brightest whitest light I can get in the engine room so, unlike living spaces, I actually like harsh, bright light as white as possible. I put in high kelvin tubes and they are working out well except the flourescents really draw. If the ER lights are on, the generator runs far more frequently.

        I’m currently using Plusrite FL24/T5/850/HO. It sounds like you really know your lighting. If I could get brighter, whiter lights (6500+) with less power consumption, I would be interested.

        • Steve Coleman says:

          It’s possible to get the cool or bright white LED’s in that heat range however I prefer different colors, so I’ve not used any and cannot offer any insight as to how they compare.

          I also do not know if a savings of 2 watts per tube is worth much to you.

          If you ever decide to try it I would recommend frosted over clear as with clear bulbs the lights are “more directional” which is one thing I don’t like with most LED lights.

          http://www.amazon.com/MegaUniversal-Brightest-Frosted-Fluorescent-Replacement/dp/B00IEP17RI

          • Steve Coleman says:

            Sorry typo 6 watts per tube savings

            • We have 12 tubes so, using your data point, the gain would be 72W when they are all on. Given the ER and Laz lights aren’t on all that much, it might not be worth chasing down until I start to see faults. But, when I do, I will go fluorescent as you advise. Normally, the challenge with LED is to get warm enough lighting but, ironically, in the machinery spaces I actually prefer the cool white common on LEDs.

              Thanks for the update on current generation LED fluorescent lighting. Things have come a long way in even the short time since Dirona was built.

              • Steve Coleman says:

                I would totally agree James, you already have an energy efficient fluorescent light in your ER. It’s not like Dirona is a large grocery store or commercial building burning $40,000 or more in electricity each month. And it would be different if you could see a fluorescent to LED conversion and could make a decision through personal observation.

                When it comes right down to it, a savings of 72 watts and “possibly” a color of light more preferable to you would probably the only thing you’d get out of it. The way I understand it, you normally run your entire electrical system off inverters. I would imagine your fluorescent tubes and ballasts are going to last a considerable time anyway.

                • At scale small differences, are massive. Your $40,000 i electricity each month is an excellent example. It’s the leverage of scale that has allowed many of the engineering changes I’ve been involved with at work. It sounds like your work is similarily influenced.

                  Given the cost of power on Dirona is far higher than commercial real estate, it still might make sense to make the change. I did elect to go LED in all living quarters to save power. In the ER and the Laz the lights are rarely on so the economics are not quite as obvious but I suspect I’ll eventually make the change. Thanks for the education on LED flourescent replacements.

  10. Rod Sumner says:

    James:

    The more I read your blog the more I learn. Thank you very much.

    On the fuel cooler design:

    Would a design work where the seawater coolant circuit and the fuel oil circuit are both immersed in a fuel oil bath thus totally isolating the fuel oil from possible sea water contamination? A small sump in this ‘intermediate bath’ could then detect any sea water leaks.

    Glad to hear Jennifer is recovering well

    Rod

    • Yes, absolutely,more isolation could be achieved. Your solution of putting two coolers in the same stationary fluid would work but it wouldn’t be very efficient so wouldn’t cool the fuel nearly as much without good flow in the intermediat fluid. You could make it efficient by putting a pump into the middle circuit but then you have the complexity of yet another pump.

      Both solutions offer excellent isolation but the former wouldn’t cool the fuel nearly as much and the second has more failure modes (like pump leaks or faults).

  11. Timothy Daleo says:

    How are you doing Jennifer? I saw pics on the Louisiana trip with your brace off. Hope all is well and the recovery is going well. Look forward to updates on everyone!

    • Jennifer Hamilton says:

      Timothy, I’m doing well-thanks for asking. In the past week or so I’ve had notable improvements in hand strength, which is why we had the surgery in the first place, so very happy to see that. And my post-surgery arm mobility has improved a lot too, so I can more easily stow all those parts & spares we ordered. :)

  12. Tim Kaine says:

    Your website was wigging out on me the last 24 hours. Was it just me or did others see this as well?

    • No known issues Tim. Could you be more specific on the problem you are seeing?

      • Tim Kaine says:

        I knew I should have grabbed a screenshot of that. It seemed like the page was always loading and all that was visible was some html and no photos at all could be seen. Really hard to explain but your site was only one I seen that on. Started at some point on the 16th and lasted most of the day on 17th. Today it was back to normal. Since it was only your website I am assuming it was on your end as I had no issues anywhere else I go online.

        If it happens again I will grab ss of it.

        How long before you pull Dirona out of the water? Looking forward to your observations of the bottom.

        • I appreciate the additional detail Tim. When you see an issue like this, try restarting your browswer or trying a different browser. It’s possible that an obscure web site or browser issue leads to problems and a restart will fix it. If the problem persists through that, check your communications speed — slow network connections can yeild timeouts and missing content. The worse is packet loss. When telco’s are throttling a connection or “bandwidth shapping” most drop packets rather than just slowing them down. It takes more memory resources to do bandwidth shapping by adding latency so most just drop packets and it will make a real mess of the more complex web sites and will again yeild strang formatting and missing content.

          If you have a realiable connection at reasonable speed and browser restart doesn’t work, we might have an issue. We try to make that a rare event but it does happen and, when it does, it really helps us to know it’s not working. Send me a note at jrh@mvdirona.com, let me know what you are seeing, what you have tried, and the browswer and operating system and service level you are runnig. When something is broken and it looks like it’s a site problem, we appreciate hearing about it. Thanks for passing on the issue.

  13. Timothy Daleo says:

    Beautiful wiring on that Defiant. I especially love the service loops. You rarely see that done.

    • Your so right and the same attention to detail you can see in the wiring repeats throughout. Many boats have nice looking wiring looms but they are pulled tight and vibration and time can cause poor connections to become a problem. The Metal Shark Approach is servicable, reliable, and it looks good too.

      When we blog the Metal Shark visit, you’ll see that same unusual attention to detail throughout their boats.

  14. Kate Humphries says:

    Hi James,

    I loved reading todays blog entry about your flight on the Piper. That looks like such fun! It is also wonderful to hear that Jennifer is making such good progress. Is that a photo of Dirona in The Kimberley on your T Shirt? It looks fantastic! Kate

    • Good eye Kate. That is perhaps our favorite anchorage ever. Way up the King George River canyon there are two massive waterfalls and we are anchored between them in a deep gorge with steep walls on either sides and with both waterfalls visible.

      The Kimberley region of Australia is absolutely incredible.

  15. Jonathan says:

    I’m glad to hear Jennifer is doing better – that whole incident shows how unpredictable life can be, anywhere but especially at sea.
    P.S. I’d love to do some of the tours you have done – are these all through connections you have made over the years? Or are you good at making friends quickly?

    • We have always enjoyed visiting plants, boats, and work sites to see how things are done. Invariably we learn from the trips and meet interesting people. And, as our round the world trip ticks on, we keep finding opportunity to do more. There really is no one way that we get these opporuties. Some tours are pubicaly availble, some are personal invititations from blog readers, some come from friendly people that come down to interoduce themselves or send email when we get to a new city, some come from us being users of a product, and some come come from my cold calling a facility that I’m particularily interested in. Most come through direct friends, or friends of friends that know our interests.

  16. Gary Gaunt says:

    Looking at the pic of the 1200 hp centre console. I see your 1200 and raise you 2308 :).
    http://youtu.be/vYd0WRey1P4
    Gotta have one of these before I die. 😉

    • That’s 4 General Motors LSA V8 supercharged Cadilac motors on the back of a center console fish boat. Sounds fairly sane :-). The engines alone price in at over a quarter million dollars.

      Give it a few more months and someone will do a 5 engine center console using this engine. It’s already being done with 350hp Mercurys. When asked why 5 engines, the owners said “because 6 wouldn’t fit.”

  17. Timothy Daleo says:

    Fan question: I see that the two new fans (700cfm total?) are mounted to the new board. Are these similar to the four side fans? Are you going to reverse the two you changed to exhaust to help bring in enough air?

    • Good eye Timothy and, yes, they are the same fans we currently use in pairs on the intake and the exhaust. Generally, we are happy with the engine room cooling solution and what we are after here is a bit more flow in the stack for better cooling in that area. We suspect it’ll improve the ER cooling as well but it’s hard to know for sure. And, as you note, we now have 4 fans actively forcing in and 2 fans actively forcing out so we may have an imballance. Generally you don’t want a positive pressure in the ER since it can yeild smells in the house. Nor do you want a negative pressure in the ER since it’s bad for the diesels to be drawing against a low pressure. My plan is to try out the design and see what we get. If the fan imballance is yeilding an ER pressure differential, I’ll make some changes. I suspect it’ll be fine. Essentially, we are starting with a design that worked well and flowed some air up the stack and just adding some active flow out of the stack. But, with air flow and cooling, there are complex interactions and it’s possible that we’ll be surprised by the outcome.

      We’ll try it out and let you know what we learn.

  18. Tim Kaine says:

    Someone took a plane ride. There must be a story behind that. :)

    • Good catch Tim.

      We went to Jeanerette Louisiana which isn’t a massive metropolis so the question isn’t as hard as it sounds. But it still is a bit of a riddle and I can’t resist. Can anyone guess why us boaters and technology lovers were excited to spend a day in Jeanerette Louisiana? Admittedly the Oysters, Crawfish, and local beer were all execellent but that wasn’t the motivation behind the trip.

      • Rod Sumner says:

        JamesMetal Shark Boats. Designs appear to be similar to Steve Dashew’s

        • Rod nailed it: Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Jeanerette LA. If you have ever been just a bit too close to a high value US Navy facility or in areas protected and patrolled by the US Coast Guard, there is a very good chance you will have seen a Metal Shark Boat at speed. These same boats are now showing up in coastal patrol missions in Navys and Coast Guards world-wide.

          We went to Louisisana to learn more about how these boats are built, where they evolved from, and to see some of the wide range of other vessels also produced by Metal Shark. We got lucky and got to spend some time at speed racing through narrow Louisiana canals in a Metal Shark Defiance Class. Impressive boat and it made the time in the two boat yards where they build these machines even more interesting.

          It was well worth the trip. I’ll get some pictures up over the next day or so. Good detective work Rod.

      • Tim Kaine says:

        Maybe some new technology involved in clean up efforts for their recent oil spill?

      • Well if oysters, crawfish, and local beer had no bearing, I doubt it was the sugar industry, crop dusting and seeding operations, sky diving or Bayou Teche waterway

        • All correct across the board Steve. None of those reasons drew us to Jeanette.

          • Timothy Daleo says:

            Star-Tech, Delta Wave or maybe needed some more Tabasco sauce?

            • Excellent guess Timothy. We actually were planning to spend the afternoon at Tabasco but there was just too much to learn at Metal Shark and we ended up in their two yards until close to flight time.

              The Tabasco visit will have to wait until next time in Louisiana. That is unless we can find a way to visit an 300′ off shore supply vessel — many of these are also built in Louisiana and even more work the oil patch out of Louisiana. OSVs are the Formuala 1’s of the oil patch and I would love to tour one sometime. If not that, Tobasco it’ll be!

          • Rod Sumner says:

            James:
            Louisiana’s new ‘Amazon Law’???

  19. Timothy Daleo says:

    Looking back over the last five years has the day head been a good choice?

    • The day head gets constant use and it’s a good enough option that we actually still comment occaisionally on how glad we are we went with. The space is not really utilized in the standard floor plan so we didn’t have to give up much and I would think that heading downstairs all the time would absolutley get old. The only negative I can come up with is the way slightly reduces light levels but it’s really slight since there are windows on both sides of the wall and the door is usually open.

      We love it and wouldn’t dream of giving it up.

  20. Gary says:

    Hi James

    You might find this site interesting. Its about vorticity and oceanic eddies, fascinating stuff courtesy of NOAA
    http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/view-movie.html?video=vorticity_400
    and
    http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=604#

    • That is an interesting graphic and you can sure see both why we were fighting currents off of South America and also why a relatively small diversion made a huge difference. The area is full of spinning vortexs.

      Overall, macro ocean currents are well predicted by there are smaller scale currents everywhere that are unpredicted and sometimes even in opposition to those that were predicted. It makes computing range with certainty much more difficult since there is an ever present possibility that you’ll get unlucky and find more negative currents than positive. With the impact of currents on fuel efficiency being so large, the currents could easily make the difference between easy success or a higher risk and far slower crossing.

      Thanks for passing along the NOAA simulation.

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