June 25 - 27, 2004

After our troubles last year it was great to not only get a boat ready for Catalina, but actually get both boats fully crewed and heading to Catalina. In addition to the eight members of Ship 529 five members from Ship 1371 ("White Sharks") also joined us. They had hoped to make the trip on their own boat but it wasn't quite ready to go.
We met as usual on Friday night to stow the food and prepare the boats for the weekend. But just to prove our Catalina weekends are our keyring with Seabase and locker keys decided to go swimming (thanks Robert). And the float attached to them proved too old and overpowered to keep the keys afloat. Minh Tri tried to dive down and look for them, but with the sun setting and water quality poor he couldn't find anything.
Fortunately our friends on the White Sharks came to the rescue. Thanks to Dave, who had his diving gear at a very opportune moment, we retrieved the keys (which were already nearly buried in the mud).
Without any further complications we had dinner and started out nearly on time Saturday morning. Thanks to a very overcast and foggy morning, Chantey got out to a large head start. While discussing things on the radio, Cheng Ho mistakenly got the idea Chantey was motor sailing. After figuring our Chantey was not motor sailing and dropping their main, the crew of Cheng Ho found themselves slightly off course and in the middle of the Catalina Water Ski Race.
While trying to get back on course for Two Harbors the crew of Cheng Ho did their Good Deed for the day. A boat came up from behind and hailed her, asking a simple but important question: Which way is land? After pointing them in the right direction Cheng Ho returned to trying to return to the proper course and catch up to Chantey.
After finally meeting up both boats arrived at Two Harbors around noon. Cheng Ho moored at our spot in Cherry Cove, then Chantey came in and tied up alongside Cheng Ho. This arrangement worked perfectly and allowed us to interact as if we were still at the Seabase.
Once lunch was finished we spent the afternoon swimming and fishing. The preceeding three pictures show RJ and Minh Tri trying to catch their dinner. They both ended up catching a fish or two, but none were of legal size.
This picture shows some of our adults relaxing before dinner. Cherry Cove proved to be a quiet and relatively calm Cove, protected from most of the swells by Lion's Head Point. Dinner was Carne Asada, barbecued by Krusty and Minh Tri. Dessert was to have been Banana Cream Pudding, but everyone (except for Minh Tri) was too full from dinner to have any dessert.
After a great nights sleep and breakfast we prepared the boats for the return home. The dinghy was stowed on top of Cheng Ho's forward hatch area. By the time we were ready to leave most of the other boats had already left, giving us an easy exit from the Cove. We started out motor sailing as usual until we clear the windshade of the island and catch the wind.
Unfortunately, as usual, the wind never appeared. We were forced to once again motor sail home. Shortly after the picture at the right was taken and about a mile off the Long Beach Breakwater the crew on Chantey began noticing what smelled like paper burning. After checking the engine and seeing it appeared fine RJ noticed a small amount of smoke coming from the instrument panel. We quickly turned the engine and batteries off and signalled Cheng Ho to come closer.
Krusty went inside the sail locker, which had smoke inside, to the base of the helm looking for a cause. Unable to find anything that could be causing the problem and lacking any measurable wind Cheng Ho towed Chantey back home. We decided to go inside the breakwater to smooth the ride out and not stress the towing line anymore than it already was.
Inside the breakwater we took the cover off the instrument panel and discovered the engine blower switch was fried. Two wires were clearly burnt and the switch would not toggle (even without power the other switches toggled).
Arriving back at the Seabase, Cheng Ho cut Chantey loose and she drifted into the spot Conqueror is usually docked at. While Cheng Ho did a lap around the channel the crew of Chantey prepared the dock for her. And after Cheng Ho docked we had to hand pull Chantey from Conqueror's area to our area, a distance of about 120 feet and around two stacks of boats.
At subsequent work days we found that the fan inside the engine blower came off its track, causing the unit to short circuit. The blower fuse on the electrical panel tripped, keeping the problem from getting into other systems. We replaced the blower, which may have been factory installed when the boat was built by Challenger in 1976. We also replaced the blower switch and the wiring that was damaged in the instrument pod. With these repairs, plus a few other, Chantey sailed again on the Seahawk patrol daysail on August 29th.
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