About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"If man can build it, man can fix it......

A kiwi shipwright friend always used to remind us of this when boat projects seemed a bit overwhelming.  I suppose the corollary might be, "If man f*cks it up, man HAS to fix it"

We've been hauled out for almost 3 weeks now.  Many projects underway, many more yet to begin.  None are yet completed!!!  Or so it seems.....

The first of the majors is to fix the "coral bite" we received in the Fulaga pass last season in Fiji.  ( see http://svbravo.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/fulaga-fijia-magical-experience-part-1.html  for the recount of how it happened)

After the incident on the reef, we dove the boat and decided that the damage was "just a flesh wound", not structural, and that the most sensible approach was to continue our cruising season and worry about the repairs when we arrived back in New Zealand.

Well we're back, and it's time to roll up our sleeves and begin.

As you can see from the photos, the trailing edge of the keel took the worst hit, when we backed off the reef.


Starboard side shows how the delaminated glass flexed

Forward edge fared better, just some scrapes.  (BTW, that's not "night soil" in the bucket....just galley sink waste!!!)

Adam prepares for the operating room

 A few inches of shattered glass needs to be removed.  We've decided to do most of the grinding before we leave to travel to New Zealand's south island, to be sure all is nice and dry when we return to continue the repairs.

Important safety reminder:  Always wear dustproof flip flops like these when grinding fiberglass!!!

BRAVO's keel is lead encapsulated in fiberglass, and happily there is no structural damage to the boat itself.  We were also concerned that water might have migrated beneath the epoxy barrier coat, but some exploratory holes shows all along the bottom edge of the keel appears dry.

Maybe we should just embed a few shark teeth in epoxy and call it good???

About down to solid glass
And this is how we'll leave her for the next 6 weeks or so.   (Remember that mantra...."If man can build it, man can fix it"???     Well, repeat it often.....and loudly; we do at least once a day!!!!!  

BONUS QUESTION:  What is the item pictured below?

If you guessed a gizmo from a passing Russian spaceship you were.........


Old and the new sump boxes
We decided to replace our 30 year old shower / head sink sump, as it was hiding all sorts of sludge, an old wrench, cable ties, rusty hose clamps, and other treasures of the bilge inaccessibly beneath, which were clogging our bilge pumps and switches.  Rather than pay $500 for a new Whale box, we made up this one for less than $100.  Even has a few extra hose barbs.  Has a switch inside which turns on a remote pump when water enters the box.  Looks a bit weird, but hey, it lives in the bilge!!!

Cindi's been hard at work on new mozzie screens for BRAVO.  We'll be heading into malaria country next season, and mozzies were getting under the old screens with their little top hats on.  The new screens are sweet as!!!  She even sewed up a set of magnetic ones for Dirt Bravo, our camper van.

Trial fit seems about right
And speaking of D.B........here's the latest kit for our little land yacht, will make the interior a bit roomier!  A fold-up bumper shelf thingie, holds a cooler/chilly bin, big plastic tote, and whatever else we strap on.  Had to weld up a trailer hitch, but should work ok.  We're low riding now!!!

Hey, the BRAVO stable has a new steed.....a brand spanking new Chinese P.O.S. bicycle!!!  We were looking for a cheap transportation old beater bike to run errands from the boat yard, but they were all way over priced, hard to find anything for under $100.  So we found a NEW beater instead, at a big box store.  $76 NZD  ($55 USD) before tax.  18 speeds.......just over 4 bucks / speed !!!! (though only about 3 of them actually work.......).  We really hate to support the disposable consumer import mentality, but this was hard to pass up.....will give it to a needy kid or the local hospice 2nd hand shop when we leave.  Sure a far cry from our race bikes of the old days!!!

Adam continued to give back to his geek lifestyle yesterday, when he served as a Volunteer Examiner (VE) to give ham radio exams to cruisers.  3 passed, and will now have US ham radio call signs, and be able to use the radios on their boats for email, weather, nets, and general chit chat.  Sponsored by the Seven Seas Cruising Association, we'll do another session in April.

That's all the news for now.  On Wednesday we'll be packing up Dirt Bravo and heading down to the south island for 6 weeks of adventures.....stay tuned!

And in the meantime, GO SEAHAWKS in tomorrows Superbowl!!!!!


  1. Excellent job on getting the keel ready for the final repairs. You two are truly amazing. Have a wonderful trip on the S. island.

  2. When we first saw your posting on FB, we both thought, "weren't they just IN the yard?!". But now we see what the next few years has in store for us. Have pinpointed that offending rock on Google Earth.

    Another 2 weeks here in Galapagos at Isabela. Easter Island awaits. All good to go, BUT we have to find some propane. Bastards at Puerto Amistad shorted our last tank fillup. Grrrr.

    Keep the travelogue going.....as you know, it's my go-to source for everything that is coming up.

    Heather (and cap'n Ron)