To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Bryant Vann) Subject: Rio Update & Chesapeake Heat Date: Aug. 18, 1999 The Admiral has requested that I "clarify" Rio's coloring. It is NOT "dirt color" as previously reported, but "red fawn." He is NOT dirty, but quite clean. I apologize for any confusion. Now, since the Admiral's all-over tan matches Rio's color almost exactly, she, too, must be red fawn... This is all so complicated. Now on to the heat... It has been noted on this list that it gets HOT on the Chesapeake Bay in the summertime. True enough -- especially when the region experiences a "Bermuda High" that literally pumps gooey wet, humid and hot air from the Gulf of Mehico up our way. Somehow it manages to do this without creating a lot of wind at the surface. So when the threat of surface temperature and humidity in the mid 90s and the wind under 10 knots exists, you have what I consider to be near ideal trawler weather. Ideal? Sure, we look at it as a blessing. Just like the nettles that run the swimmers, water skiers, jet skiers, hotels and condominiums away, these conditions run the sailors away. The only folks left are a few fishermen and the trawlerites. Neat, so we end up practically OWNING the Bay all summer. So here we sit, anchored at 38°12.56'/76°27.74' -- just off Tippity Witchity Island in the upper reaches of the Saint Mary's River, a half mile from the nearest visible house and even further from the nearest anchored boat. A cold front and rainstorm came through last night and swept the humidity and haze away so highs today will be in the mid-80s. Mighty nice... So the truth is that although it DOES get hot here, there are PLENTY of breaks in between. So how do we anchored trawlerites deal with the heat when it does come? Here are some thoughts. The obvious answer, of course, is to crank up the genset and turn on the A/C. Our little gennys burn well under a gallon of fuel an hour so that's a small price to pay. Of course that's not the ONLY price to pay... Most of us don't like to leave the boat with the genset running and most of us don't have a crew to leave on watch. Also, most of us don't like running a genset all night while we're all asleep either. Finally, I'm willing to bet the biggest drawback is having to go into the hideously hot engine room and change the genset oil every 100 hours -- something that has to be done all too often when you're running it almost constantly. So here're some alternatives. I'm not a psychologist, but I'm quite convinced that a good part of dealing with heat is attitude -- plus your willingness to adapt your activites and lifestyle maybe a little. First, like our mothers said, drink plenty of water, even if you're not thirsty -- heat exhaustion and stroke come on like hypothermia and hypoxia -- very subtly. A couple of the symptoms to look out for are tunnel vision and irritability. Perhaps the doctors among us can suggest others. Next, slow your actions down. There's a reason we southern folk move REEEL SLOOOOW. That's because it keeps you cooler. I already mentioned in a previous post a cooling dip in the water (with a nettlenet, if needed). It's really amazing what an hour soak in the Bay can do to keep you cool for the rest of the day. OK, when you get out looking like a prune (more so than usual), you're already near nekkid anyway, so just stay that way. If you have a KK42, another possibilty is to just fill your bathtub with your seawater washdown pump (assuming it has a strainer, which will keep the jellies out). Ooops, you don't know where your bathtub is? It's on the foredeck. Some folks call it a dock box -- and they keep extra dock lines in it. If you do too, just pull all that junk out and plug the drain with a cork and fill it up! Well, don't QUITE fill it up because it ain't sealed around the top and any overflow will run below -- NOT good. Other boats may have similar features -- some even have big dock boxes on the foredeck that could be used. I would think a kiddie pool in the cockpit would serve a similar purpose. Time to use your imagination here! If worse comes to worse, just fill your inflatable dinghy with enough seawater to splash around in. (We keep a 12-volt water pump fastened on a board to empty things like dinghies and water tanks and such so we don't have to bail.) Finally, even with humidity in the 90s, get the most from whatever breeze there is. (Note that bug screens block a LOT of air -- a LOT more than you might think by looking at them. I thought everybody knew this, but I've been surprised lately to find that a lot of folks don't. So if the bugs aren't too bad, take the screens down.) Since we're sailors we were used to using the little colorful spinnaker-looking thingies called Windscoops (there are several brands of these things around -- check the WM, BUS, BW, etc. catalogues) on our hatches -- especially the forward ones. They work quite well on sailboats, because sailboats usually stay pointed close to the wind at anchor, but this doesn't seem to be the case with some trawlers. That's because the Center of Effort is often forward of the Center of Lateral Resistance. (ie, the wind from the side effectively pushes on a point IN FRONT of the point where water from the side effectively pushes) So when the bow turns slightly away from the wind, the wind keeps pushing it further and further off the wind -- maybe as much as 90 degrees before the bow swings back. Even if you manage to get a Windscoop installed over a forward hatch, it will spend most of its time collapsed, since it needs to be point nearly at the wind to stay properly filled. So here's a way to install one so it WILL work on a trawler -- at least out to 60 degrees from the wind... First, you're gonna need an extendable boathook with a rubber-tipped handle, some polypropylene line, and a grommet-setter (with some grommets) in addition to your Windscoop. (A word about grommet setters -- they get lost easily. If you've lost yours, buy another one -- then when you forget where you put the second one, buy a third one so you will find the second one when you go to stow the third one in a proper place for a grommet setter. Also, DO NOT IGNORE the instructions on the order of putting the grommets together with the two dies in the kit -- this is critical. However, DO ignore the instructions about hitting the punch and dies with a hammer. Put the punch in a 3/8" variable speed drill -- this cuts the cloth a lot cleaner. Squeeze the dies and grommets together with a bench vise (I use a little hand-held one that folks use on a drill press table to hold small parts while drilling so the part won't jam and twist part of your hand away when the drill bit jams -- really handy on a boat for all sorts of projects -- even if you don't have a drill press).) Next, figure out a way to run the poly line over (or NEARLY over) the forward hatch. Sailboats (or at least MOST sailboats) have a forestay that runs from the top of the mast to the bow -- so they just tie the upper end of the Windscoop to the forestay and attach the lower end to the hatch in one of a number of ingenious ways suggested in the instructions. The poly line is going to substitute for the forestay. It's poly so it won't stretch and cause the Windscoop to sag. We run our line from the pilothouse top (actually, the steaming light) to the handrail near on the bow pulpit -- you'll have to figure out how best to do this on your own boat. The problem is that this line may not be high enough to support the windscoop. ()h yes, the reason for using poly is that it doesn't stretch.) I suppose we could climb the mast and tie the line to the top, but I think our method is easier. OK, so you've tied the line over the hatch. Now use the boathook (hook end up) to raise the line to the desired height (you want the Windscoop to be fairly tight) and position the line directly over the hatch. It's best if the hook is nearly over the hatch. Cant the boathook to the side to move the line over the hatch -- in fact it's BEST if the line were off to the side to begin with so the boathook can be canted. Use a separate piece of line to guy the hook to hold against the canted boathook. The rubber handle tip will keep the bottom on the boathook from slipping. Now you'll have to figure out some ingenious way to attach the bottom of the Windscoop to your hatch. On our KK42 I put four SS fairlead eyes at the four corners to tie the Scoop to. I had to put a couple of extra grommets in the bottom because the hatch was a little small in the fore-and-aft direction (again, you want to keep the Scoop fairly taut. Next I put a grommet at each end of the batten. A light line leads forward from each to the poly line about 5 feet in front of the Scoop to keep the batten from twisting enough to let the wind "back" the Scoop. You might even add guys to the back as well. Finally, I two more grommets in the forward edges of the side panels. These are tied with more light line to a convenient point ahead and to the side. The purpose is again to keep the whole thing taut, even when there's only light breeze. Well, enough for now, That ought to give you a start! Stay cool! - Bryant Vann PS. Almost forgot about the lifestyle changes... The biggie is to schedule your bimonthly S- E-X for the cool breaks. Nothing (well, ALMOST nothing) is worse than dripping sweat on your S. O. Did I mention that it was going to be cool today? Heh, heh, heh!