Friday, June 16, 2017

A Pause in the San Juans

Our Route in the San Juans
We found the Strait of Juan de Fuca to be in a quiet mood when we crossed from Sequim Bay to Turn Island in the San Juans, motoring for a while until the wind came up to push us through Cattle Pass and into the San Juan channel.  Strong wind warnings were in effect for that evening so we thought it prudent to get behind some sheltering landscape.  The buoy was there for us and the ranger thanked us for taking the time to row ashore and register.

 It's nice to be back in the San Juans.  As the wind howled we were snug there in the forested bay.

Lopez Island Yacht Club Reciprocal
The following day we zipped around the corner and snagged reciprocal moorage at the San Juan Island Yacht Club.  We watered, we shopped, we walked, we bought some Canada money. Showers: $1.50 for five short minutes.  I took the opportunity to change the oil in the still-new-to-me Beta diesel engine. Friday Harbor is a great place to provision and take care of business but there certainly is a lot of activity in that harbor.  The next day off we went to re-take our favorite buoy at Turn Island.

 From Turn Island we sailed off the buoy and around to the east side of Lopez to Spencer Spit and grabbed a buoy there for a very peaceful night.   On Sunday June 11 we sailed off the buoy again after waiting til late in the day for an approach into Fisherman's Bay - had to wait for a rising tide and at least 3 ft above MLLW for Traveler's deep keel to make the entry.  Once inside we laid out plenty of rode to ride out the coming gale force winds predicted for the morrow.  We met up with Connie's artist and political activist friend Jane and husband Richard.  Getting back to the boat at early evening, we found the wind waves at about 3 feet and the wind at about 20 knots, making it difficult to regain the boat in our dinky dinghy.  "The wind she howled, our little boat she shivered, she rolled."

Connie and Jane
We had one night available for us at the Islander Resort marina as free reciprocal and we'd saved it for Tuesday so we could easily off load Connie's PA and instruments for her gig at Vita's Wildly Delicious Restaurant.  I laundered. I shopped.  Connie played music.  Bruce, so generous and kind, kept me supplied with wine and pizza and the evening went very well.  There was a good crowd and we enjoyed the evening.  Connie will be back at Vita's August 11th for a Friday wine tasting event.

Bruce Botts, owner of Vita's
Pizza Chef at work
Giant Jenga Game

Cool Breeze at Vita's

Just a note about Islander Resort marina.  Supposedly the dinghy dock fee is $20!  That's the highest landing fee I've experienced.  We forgot to pay it. While our one night reciprocal with Lopez Island Yacht Club was free, our second night would have been at the normal rate of $73. A little stiff perhaps for my liking.  Lopez is beautiful and all in all, we loved the place and the people.

Islander Resort dock store. Expensive dinghy dock behind.

From Lopez we sailed around Shaw and into West Sound to the Orcas Island Yacht Club dock for two nights of reciprocal.  We met up with another of Connie's friends, Peggy Jo Rain, who carried us to Random Howse in East Sound for an open mic session.  We heard some local talent and CB played a few songs. 
Traveler at OIYC reciprocal dock

Orcas Island Yacht Club

 Peggy Jo and Connie Jo
Cool Breeze performing at Random Howse

Now that the last front has roared through, we've got some settled weather on the way so we're preparing to leave the San Juans to make our way north into the Canada Gulf Islands.  We've got our Loonies and got our Toonies and are much looking forward to leaving the country for a while.  Stay tuned and thanks for listening.....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Full Speed Ahead

It felt good to be in Admiralty Inlet, the boat heeling over, making five knots through the water.  We'd motored so much the last few weeks we'd forgotten just how sweet it is to sail.  I stared at the masthead to see if our VHF antenna would touch the Port Townsend Canal bridge as we went under -- it did not.  Of course the reciprocal was taken at the P.T. Boat Haven -- it always is.
Kilisut Harbor Entrance - This is where they take the A-bombs off the subs.
So we threaded our way past the military restricted area on Indian Island into Kilisut Harbor, stopping at Fort Flagler Marine Park for an hour before sailing south to Mystery Bay.   We picked up a free (prepaid discovery pass) buoy there for the night and enjoyed a good nights sleep.
Mystery Bay on Marrowstone Island - big mooring buoy, eh?

We found the Point Wilson buoy #6 the next morning at about 10:00 and, as always, it seems, the current was flowing east at two knots against our forward progress of 4.5 over water.  So we crept, slowly.  Years ago Keith and I on Platypus found ourselves in that same situation, trying to get west against a flood off Point Wilson.  That time, long ago, we had the little 6 HP Tohatsu pushing us and we made no progress at all.  I was below deck napping and Keith was at the wheel watching old #6
get closer and closer.   We finally headed closer to shore and were able to catch a little eddy to help us out of our stalled situation.  This time around I just increased the throttle and pulled slowly away to the west.

We passed behind protection Island inbound to Sequim Bay.  Up ahead I spied a power boat coming our way on a collision course.  I waited for some sign from the other boat.  Seeing none, I turned to starboard.  Seeing no response I turned some more but found myself hemmed in by the island.  So I did the wrong thing and turned hard to port and got out of the way of M/V Dauntless who roared by at 12 knots.  Whew!

This was not the first time in the last week I had to run from a thundering, bow-waved, power vessel.  Earlier the previous day when coming around Point No Point, north bound, we threaded our way through a large group of racers, their beautiful spinnakers flying. As we exited the pack I looked ahead and saw a large powerboat on what looked like a collision course with us.  Darting down below, I checked the AIS and sure enough, our  CPA (Closest Point of Approach) was predicted as 20 feet in three minutes and their boat's speed was 11 knots.

Seeing the name of the vessel on the AIS screen I hailed on the VHF radio, channel 16. "Charger, Charger, Charger, this is the sailing vessel Traveler, dead ahead of you."  They finally come back, a stressful 30 seconds later as I watched the boat inch closer and closer, "This is Charger, go ahead."

I replied, "Charger, do you see me? I'm the sailboat right in front of you." To this there was no reply.  I turned the wheel to starboard, dashing to get out of their way. Eventually, Charger also turned to starboard and the collision was prevented. I watched while the big powerboat scribed an arc, moving east away from the racing fleet.  Charger had been heading right for the center of that race and did not realize it. 
Wine stains on the chart could have been blood!

While I'm ranting....  two days before THAT incident a power vessel roared around the corner into Port Madison just as I was coming around that same corner.  "Rammer" came very close, pushing a huge bow wave and passed me on my starboard side. She was a very large boat, going pretty darn fast.  I had to turn quickly away from the wave, do a circle then take the four foot wave head on so as not to throw everything down below into chaos.  That would be Connie down below with an accordion strapped to her shoulders. I imagined her slamming against a bulkhead, accordion keys shattering everywhere.  By the time I'd finished that maneuver we were pretty much dead in the water. Thanks "Rammer".

After dodging old Dauntless at Protection Island, we worked our way through the sinuous Sequim Bay entrance and called the John Wayne Marina to ask about reciprocal moorage. I had a nice conversation with the harbor master and learned that there was no open reciprocal moorage and there had not been in quite some time.  In the past the yacht club allowed reciprocal privileges at open guest slips for one night and they would reimburse the marina for that charge.  In a budget cutting move, the yacht club decided to stop that policy and offer reciprocal moorage only when one of their members were out of their personal slips. If nobody leaves, nobody gets reciprocal; we wanna be nobody in John Wayne's world...

Sequim Bay park float
Failing to get dock space at John Wayne, we continued on to the beautiful Sequim Bay State Park where we had the dock to ourselves for two days for free, (Gotta love those Discovery Passes! It's paid for itself and then some.)  Keith and Lisa drove over from Port Angeles and we had a nice sail in the bay and a lovely dinner. They were kind enough to take us shopping, too! That's one of our biggest challenges, land transportation...  The next day we traversed the Strait of Juan de Fuca early to avoid a predicted small craft advisory and gale wind warning.

 While I'm ranting....and you know you love it when I do.... we've had other (not) reciprocal experiences on our 2017 grand tour.  In Quartermaster harbor the reciprocal moorage dock is in 3 feet of water at a zero tide -- not exactly enough depth for most visiting yachts, albeit the bay is a beautiful anchorage. And as in Port Townsend, the reciprocals are often full.  My theory is that the Dauntlesses, Chargers, and Rammers like to hurry to their next destination so they can beat out all those slow moving sailing vessels like Traveler.  "Damn the torpedoes!!! Full speed ahead!!!"

Lisa and Keith Dekker
In spite of these adverse conditions, Connie and I continue on our journey, scoring the occasional free moorage (like tonight in Friday Harbor) and using state park mooring buoys and docks.  I tell you, May and June are good months to cruise, with lots of places to grab a few feet on the dock.  Later in the season, I'm sure we'll be anchoring more often and reserve the dock time for provisioning expeditions.  In the meantime, we'll keep an eye out for big bow waves, small craft advisories, and little harbor pubs as we make our way north towards the sunshine coast.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

We are so cheap!

Poulsbo reciprocal at PYMC
We're on a mission.  Our mission is to wring as much use out of reciprocal moorage agreements and the Washington state marine park pass as humanly possible.  Giving up our 500 dollar Swantown slip, we untied the lines and decided to just float around for three and a half months.  We'll save $1750, I thought.  Today, dockside at the Poulsbo Yacht Club reciprocal dock, I've taken out the log, cracked open the spreadsheet, and done the calculations.  It's definitely break-even time!

In this first month we have more than paid for our yacht club memberships at the South Sound Sailing Society and the Washington Yacht club. My tally shows 11 nights of free reciprocal moorage with a savings of $325.

As for the state parks, we've stayed seven nights thus far this season, recouping the yearly pass fee of $210. From here on out, it's all gravy baby!

Here's our track and central Puget Sound.

It's about time we left the central Puget Sound cruising grounds.  We've worn out our welcome, used up our reciprocal privileges, and exhausted our meager supply of friends who able to join us on the boat.  At noon today we tucked up right inside the breakwater here in Poulsbo, grabbing 44 feet of reciprocal space at the PYC.  As it was time for re-provisioning, we hiked to town, checked out the viking hats, got directions from a nice lady at the waterfront, and started to plod up the hill towards the grocery store.  Lo and behold, a car pulled over and it was Loren and her dog Hart, who we just met on the waterfront.  "Get in here.  I'll give you a ride."
The butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker

Sweet Ms. Loren carried us to the Central Market where we had a wonderful time sampling fruit and tasting wine.  We found organic fruits and vegetables, fancy sausages, and ground lamb - all at astronomical prices, but who cares?  Now we are sitting here fat and sassy, a southerly blowing us off the dock, with free internet to boot.

Tomorrow we return again to Kingston, a place we seem to visit again and again.  We've used up all our reciprocal privileges there so this time we'll anchor.  On Saturday Connie has a gig at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club for the annual Kingston Wine and Brew Walk sponsored by D'Vine Wines.  I'm hoping to score some free food and wine but we shall see.  I'm so cheap...
We buddy boated with Scott and Karen Tobiason on Tula, here making their way south towards Quartermaster Harbor

So here's the deal about our summer.  We are cruising old Traveler further and further north as the weather warms.  Goal number one is to see new places.  Goal number two is for Connie to play music wherever we find a pub, wine bar, or yacht club with a corner to play in.  Goal number three is to do all this while avoiding spending any Loonies or Toonies on dock space. Our itinerary has to be totally flexible so as to attain all three goals.
Connie's daughter Tesla rowing me to the dock at Blake Island

After Kingston we'll most likely head around the corner and out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  There we hope to cash in on the reciprocal at the John Wayne Marina in Sequim Bay and also the state park float there.  We hope to connect with the Dekkers in east Port Angeles before sailing across the Strait to the San Juans where Connie has a gig at Vita's Wildly Delicious on Lopez Island. I'm hoping to get a free dinner out of it.
Traveler at Illahee State Park, Port Orchard passage

We've got eleven state parks in the San Juans to visit so as to get the most benefit from our parks pass and a couple of reciprocal moorages to take advantage of there but I bet we'll be wanting to get into Canada to take advantage of our new Canada fishing license.  Let's see, $110 for the license, $200 worth of crab and shrimp traps...  It's gonna take me quite a few pounds of harvest to break even on that deal.
The Seattle skyline view from Port Blakely

Gig Harbor sunset

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bouncing Around Puget Sound

As we pulled into Port Madison yesterday the memories of past trips to this bay flooded in.  A mere six nautical miles from Shilshole and Ballard, Port Madison is the perfect short hop destination on the water. My first visit here was back in 2002, I think, when I was taking sailing lessons with the Washington Yacht Club at the UW. I remember being in a little battered sailboat following some other club boats across the sound at night.  We rafted up here in Port Madison and started drinking.  Late in the night I was rousted out of bunk to a conference with the club skippers.  Chris Peragine, our instructor laid out a chart and demanded that I identify our location, the depth of water, the state of the tide, and the scope of the anchor rode.  "Come on, man.  It's 2:30 in the morning and we've all
been drinking.  We're fine."

And that was the point.  Even at 2:30 in the morning, while drinking, if you are at anchor you should be able to recite the state of the tide and other details.  The wind could come up, an anchor could break loose, all sorts of things could happen and you'd better know what's what so as to keep the boat and crew safe.  I consulted the tide tables and the chart, did a few calculations, and made my report.  "Thanks, you can go back to bed now."

I visited Port Madison many times after that and had many nice little raft up parties here.  Now I've returned on our big boat, our house in fact. We've come full circle.

I knew we had reciprocal moorage available here with the Port Madison Yacht Club so we crept into the narrow bay, dodging all the mooring balls and boats.  We found the PMYC floats and headed around the back side to look for the reciprocal dock.  Nosing into the crowded assembly of floats, I spotted what I thought was the marked space for guests.  It was full. Well, not totally full. There was about 15 feet of open space on the end.  So that's where we docked the boat, 15 ft of the bow, with 27 feet sticking out behind.  Not bad for free moorage. 

Last weekend we helped out with the Washington Yacht Club Snooze and Cruise event.  Traveler carried a bunch of gear (stoves, grills, awnings, pots, pans and supplies) and had a novice crew of 7 guests aboard.  Here are some photos of the crew.

While we were not the fastest boat out of the gate, I think we were the most fun boat.  Everyone on the boat got to take the wheel and we sailed almost all the way out to Blake Island.  I believe the club had 60 people attend with about ten boats of various sizes.  On Sunday we returned.  Our route took us through the locks and five sets of bascule bridges that had to open for us.  After we unloaded gear and crew I felt sad to part from our sweet guests.  They lingered then finally left us alone at the dock. 

A couple of days later Connie and I left the boat in reciprocal moorage at Kingston while we delivered the truck back to Olympia where it will spend the summer under the care of Connie's son, Ezrah.  We met with Rick and Ada of the charter business Mystic Journeys on their Islander Freeport 41, Clara June.  Over chili we signed a purchase and sale contract and discussed details on how Connie and I were to take over their successful chartering business. We'll come back to Olympia in August and start that transition.  So it looks like we've got a nice little business to keep us busy for a while in the oncoming years.  Almost all the business is in June, July, August so we'll still have time throughout the year for other adventures.  We are psyched!

Meanwhile, here we are in Port Madison, a great place to layover between guests. We've got Julie aboard right now.

Just met a man on the dock here at PMYC who invited us to come back later today because they are having a race.  So it looks like we'll be running across to Shilshole to pick up Dineen and will bring her back here for the race!  Maybe we can be the committee boat. Folks are very friendly here.

Then on Friday we bring Connie's daughter, Tesla aboard.  What we do is nose into the pick-up/drop-off dock at Shilshole and do the crew swap. Let us know if you want to come aboard sometime soon!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Six Pack / OUPV Captains Training

We are drinking champagne this afternoon because I've just now completed my week long training class to get my US Coast Guard captain's license.  It was a tough week, lots of paying attention and studying in the evenings, but it's an (almost) done deal.  Just gotta wait for the drug screen ( should be clean ) and the feds to come back with the OK that I'm not in bed with the Russians or something.

I can now take out six passengers for hire on our boat, or any other uninspected boat for that matter, and get paid for doing so.  It's tough at my age to get thrust back into a learning environment where I have to be perky at 08:00 each morning and sustain my attention until late afternoon.  Skip and Jan at Flagship Maritime run a great class here on the Tacoma working waterfront.  Without them, I'd be struggling to absorb and regurgitate all that information and then amass all that paperwork to send into the Coast Guard to be considered for a captain's license.

Anyhow, happy times for myself and fellow students Scott Tobiason and Steve Neidhardt. There we are with our certificates and gull poop.  While we were toasting, a gull flew overhead and shat on us for luck.

Tomorrow we leave Tacoma and sail Traveler to Blake Island, a half day north of here.  Then on Thursday we'll negotiate the Ballard Locks and a series of draw bridges to make our way to the UW docks where we'll be participating in the Washington Yacht Club's twice a year sailing and drinking fest called Snooze and Cruise.

Saturday morning We'll take on eight passengers at the UW docks and take them all the way out into Puget Sound to Blake Island where we'll have a big steak/salmon feast and a bonfire.  The crew will camp there on the Island then the next day after a pancake breakfast we'll all sail back to the UW.  This is an event I've attended in the past and I've always been a passenger.  This time I'll be Captain of my own ship.  It's the completion of a big circle for me and a time to pay it backward, so to speak.

River otters at the dock
For those of you in the Seattle area, Traveler will be near there over the next two weeks or so and we'd love to have you out on the boat.  So please get in touch and we can rendezvous on the water, say Kingston, or Bainbridge Island, or Shilshole Bay.

In the meantime, congratulate me please, and Connie too for helping me through this tough learning week.  I'm a captain now, don't even think of messing with me. :)
Traveler at Foss Harbor Marina

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Change is in the Air

In the morning we cast off our lines from E Dock here at Swantown in Olympia, Washington.  There are some changes in the making for Scott, Connie, and Traveler.  

Unplug the AC cord! Call the marina office and ask them to come read the meter and prepare our final bill, or, better yet, our refund for the last week of this month, then  cast off the spring lines! Connie and our neighbor Sam will walk the boat back while I turn the wheel to starboard.  She won't back to starboard so we hand-push her out.  

Catching an outgoing tide, we'll slide down Budd Inlet and take the turn down Dana Passage. By mid morning the current will be kicking up there and we'll see a strong rip tide.  We'll ride it east to Johnson Point and instead of continuing on to Nisqually Reach we'll turn up Drayson Passage and go around the north side of Anderson Island, shaving some time off our trip to Tacoma.  By noon we should be at the Tacoma Narrows where the current can exceed 4 knots if you let it.  I'm thinking we'll get an assist of maybe 3 knots to spit us around the corner at Point Defiance and on into Commencement Bay and Foss Marina, arriving at slack tide.

We've got a side tie at Foss Harbor Marina reserved, should get there early enough to get our gate keys at the office and plug in for the night.   Friday we'll secure the boat and take transit back to Olympia to pick up the truck and stay for a little of the Art's Walk celebration and the Luminary Procession that night.  Saturday we'll be back in Olympia for the Procession of the Species and Connie will be playing at the Blind Pig Spirits Distillery (at the Market on 222 Capitol Way) from 4:00 til 6:00.

Luminary Procession, Friday 9:30 PM
Procession of the Species
Saturday 4:30

Back in Tacoma, at 08:00 Monday morning I'll join my two friends Don Kneeland and Scott Tobiason at Flagship Maritime for the 56-hour OUPV (Six-Pack) course.  I'm getting my skipper license!

After seven days of taxing my simple brain we'll leave Tacoma and head north again, this time with a registered captain aboard...Me!  I guess we'll lay over at Blake Island for a night before getting an early start to make our way through the locks and under all the low bridges in the ship canal in Seattle, arriving at the UW docks Thursday afternoon so we can participate in the Washington Yacht Club Snooze and Cruise prep night.  We'll be anchored somewhere nearby for a couple of nights then that weekend take aboard a passel of UW students and staff and ferry them out to Blake Island for the night.

Scott and students back in the day teaching sailing at the UW

When I learned to sail at the UW I participated in plenty of Snooze and Cruise events.  It's a great experience for folks new to sailing.  A bunch of boats ferry, I don't know, 50 or so people from the UW to Blake Island.  We take over most of the dock space and the student crowd goes ashore and pitches tents in a group camping area.  There is a huge group dinner, a campfire, and the party goes on and on.  Us older boaters retreat to our vessels and get a good night's sleep.  There is a big pancake breakfast in the morning then we all sail back on Sunday.

After Snooze and Cruise we'll find a place to park the boat for a night and make our way by train back to Olympia to meet with a couple who runs a sailboat charter business out of a marina downtown.  Our plan is to take over their business and start chartering Traveler out of Olympia each summer.  Yes, we are going back to work.... this time in the charter business!   This is a huge change for us and one we are very excited about. More details will follow once we get things sorted out.

Along with this change we'll be thinking about selling Connie's rental and buying a little house for ourselves in Olympia.  We have other chartering ideas in the hopper that might, just might, include more opportunities in warmer climates.

In the meantime, we're trying to stay calm and take everything one day at a time.  Our plans are still to cruise the beautiful Pacific Northwest this summer May to August so any of you in the area who want to join us are welcome to jump aboard. Traveler has never seen this part of the world as we purchased her in San Diego so we're excited about gunk holing the Salish Sea in the boat that is our home.  Keep in mind that we'll be in the Seattle area, Vashon, Bainbridge, Kingston... for two weeks in May and want to get all our friends out for cruising or dinner or both.

Ain't life grand?  Ain't life strange?

sv and cb

Friday, April 7, 2017

Steering Pedestal Rebuild.. and Razor Clams

A year ago in the Sea of Cortez we were concerned about a strange squeaking sound in our pedestal steering.  We turned the wheel.  We listened.  We sprayed lubricant.  Is it the rudder bearing?  Or is it the steering gear? 

In the crossing from Cabo to Hawaii the autopilot did most of the steering so we didn't notice the stiffness in the wheel but as soon as we started hand steering into Radio Bay I knew something was not right.

I sprayed some lubricant where the shaft exits the pedestal just in front of the steering wheel and the difficult turning of the wheel eased somewhat.  We worried about it on the crossing from Hawaii to Alaska. In Ketchikan not only was the steering very stiff but the autopilot switch malfunctioned.  We were not able to switch from helm mode to auto mode.  That meant that we could not point the boat in the direction we wanted to go and just engage the autopilot.  We had to engage the autopilot and then watch the boat do a 180 degree turn and a crazy dance, get its preferred heading, then allow us to slowly correct until we were pointing in the right direction.  This worked fine except in narrow channels (almost the entire inland passage).  So there was no end to steering concerns on our long but beautiful trip south from Alaska to Olympia.

Now in Olympia, last month I sent the autopilot to Alpha Marine and 200 dollars later we could "point and shoot" our course.  Two weeks ago I decided to finally tackle the stiff steering issue.  

Doing a little web research, I determined that I probably have a Yacht Specialties wheel, pedestal, and quadrant on Traveler.  Yacht Specialties is no longer in business.  Edison Marine is the big marine steering systems provider now.  While they stock some common parts they could not help me with my unit.  They did give me a nice quote for replacing the old system:  $2800.00!

1)      #336-5-211S – Classic pedestal with 1” straight wheel shaft - $1,575.00
2)      #77201 – Chain & wire kit with connecting hardware - $357.00
3)      #776AL-6AL – Crossed wire idler - $401.0
4)      #816ST-45 – Engine control - $409.00
5)      #646-4 HEX – Aluminum pedestal mounting bolts Qty. 4 @ $17.00 each -$68.00
I decided that it was worth my time to try to fix it myself so I set about disassembling the steering system.  ....Boring Warning!!!  The rest of this blog entry contains little of interest to normal people.  And there are lots of pictures of the same thing... over and over.  You might just want to skip down to the music video and enjoy that. 

Here we go.  The compass came off easily. 

The compass base was not so easy.  one of the four slot headed screws would not budge.  PB Blaster didn't help.  Three days later after trying everything in the book I took great pleasure cutting the top off the stainless steel screw with my dremmel tool.

That night Connie had a gig at Cascadia Grill in Olympia.  Michael Olson joined her on percussion. I drank wine.
Mambo Italiano performed by Cool Breeze and Zen

The next day:  Compass base off, I used a vice grip to remove the stripped screw.  The next four screws came out after swimming in a little PB Blaster overnight. 

I figured out how to remove the throttle and shift controls and the second layer of the pedestal "layer cake" came off.   Don't lose those little parts! I set the stainless pedestal guard aside and disassembled the useless steering brake system. Now I can see the gear and steering shaft. 

After staring at this assembly and prodding and poking about I  could not figure out how to pull the shaft.  I called Hans at Osprey Marine and he dropped by the next day.  Where you'd expect a set screw was a flat pin pressed into the shaft.  No way to get THAT out!  Hans's advice, "Drill it out!"  

I took his advice and carefully drilled out the plug using a bit slightly smaller than the hole. Soon I had the gear moving on the shaft.  Next I needed to remove the chain. 

After clearing out the aft lazarette, I lowered myself down there behind the quadrant and removed the eye bolt holding one of the steering cables to the quadrant.  Back up top, I lifted the chain and held it up above the gear with a couple of stiff wires.  Turning the wheel, I was pleased that the steering was still very stiff.  That told me the problem was indeed in the pedestal and not in the rudder bearings.  Better a pedestal repair than a haul out to replace rudder bearings.
You can see the old Delrin bushing trying to escape

I found myself wide awake that night wondering just how I was going to pull that shaft out of the pedestal unit.  After a few hours of tossing and turning I mapped it out in my mind how I could do it with cheap parts from the hardware store.  Then I slept like a baby.  The next day I bought a 12 inch long 2 inch diameter pipe, a section of threaded pipe the same thread size as the wheel stem,  a couple of bolts and a big washer.   Follow the sequence.....

After putting this together I danced with glee as the shaft slowly moved aft as I tightened the nut.  Soon the shaft was out showing me just how saturated the two old Delrin bushings were.  

I carried the assembly to Capital Machine and we had a great time drawing things on paper and thinking about how to fashion some UHMW plastic sleeve bushings and re-drill a new set screw.  I left it there with those good folks to do their magic.


The next day we had a visit from our friend Don who brought us fresh razor clams from the coast.
How to cook them up?  Now that's a project I can get into.

Dredge in flour
  Dip in an egg/milk mixture

Press with lightly seasoned breading
Fry up quick and hot in coconut oil

Back to the other project....
Nice new UHMW plastic bushings

A few days and 200 dollars later I had everything ready to assemble.  After placing the two new bushings, I pushed in the shaft, threading it through the gear.  When I went to insert the key that keeps the gear from turning on the shaft it didn't have enough room to slide in. 
With a grinder, I shortened the key a quarter inch and got it fitted. 
After dropping the set screw through the pedestal and retrieving it from the bilge I tightened that up and tried turning the wheel.  There was too much friction.  The tolerance was too close.
Collar with the set screw hole is just a bit too tight on the gray bushing.

Removing the shaft and parts, I used a grinder to take a smidgen off the rear bushing.  On reassembly, the wheel turned effortlessly.   Connie and I had removed some of the ceiling boards from the cabin and they were taking up room in the cockpit making it a little crowded for me to work.  As the rain was dumping down, I had to keep everything in the boat. Now that it was time to re-attach the steering cable I had to clear out the rear lazarette AND the starboard cockpit locker and stack all that junk in the cockpit.  It's getting crowded in here.

Connie got into the starboard cockpit locker and I got in the lazarette.  She held the cable to the turning pulley while I attached it to the steering quadrant. What seemed like hours later, I had everything stowed back in its place and was able to test the steering.  Yes, the rudder turns.  Yes the shifter shifts. Yes the throttle makes the engine go zoom.  

But wait.  Something looks wrong.  
I forgot to put on the stainless pedestal guard.

I'm much faster with the disassembly the second time around.  Soon I had everything back in place.  Yes, the rudder turns. Yes the shifter shifts. Yes the throttle makes the engine go zoom. 

The last little bit was to replace the wooden cocktail table.  Finished!   Now we need a little sunshine, a cold beer, and a light lunch of razor clams in the cockpit of the worthy vessel Traveler.

Thanks for staying with me on this one.