Seabear has new owners!

Author: admin

Follow the continuing adventures of the Seabear with her new owners, Shawn and Kori Meyer, on their Facebook page , and new blog site.

JC and I wish them all ‘Fair Winds, and Following Seas’.

I hope to clean up this Blog, add some images, and entries from the Captains log. This should transform our Adventure Log, into a more complete picture of our life aboard the Seabear from acquisition, live aboard, sailing off Mexico, and then return.

Sea Bear For sale

Author: admin

OK, we still haven’t been able to set aside enough time to take the Sea Bear out. So I’ve lowered the price to $59,000 and am having all the topside teak re-varnished. I’ll post pictures as soon as she’s done.I’ve also rebuilt the frame for the Solar panels, and will get them re-mounted later this month.

If you know of someone who wants to get away from it all, pass the word along. I’m happy with paying a commission to whomever gets me a buyer who will take care of Sea Bear.

Sea Bear is for SALE

Author: peabody

In the past year, we’ve taken Sea Bear out twice.

You can’t believe how sad this makes me.

So, we’ve hired Lori Wall to put her in shape to sell. I’ll post some pictures next time I get to the Sea Bear. If you know of anyone interested in a 2X Mexico veteran have them contact me, by leaving a comment here.

1985 C & C Landfall 39′ center cockpit sloop – asking $66K

Currently berthed in Grand Marina, Alameda, across from Jack London Square.

December already

Author: peabody

JC and I slept aboard the Sea Bear Saturday night. We went to Alameda to see the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade in the Oakland estuary, and decided to spend the night. We slept better than we have for quite a while. That should tell us something, but I’m not sure what.
I cut out the first little hatch “plastic” and will take it down to Tap Plastic to have them manufacture a replacement. The tinted plastic wanted to shatter and crack as I removed it, so the time spent in the tropics have definitely resulted in deteriorated plastic. Too much UV will do that. I’m going to need some Butyl to reseal it when it’s done, I’ll post the resulting expenses here.
I’m slowly coming to the decision that we should sell Sea Bear. It’s a tough decision, but we’re just not spending any time aboard. I guess I’ll put something in Craigs list once the hatches are fixed. If you know someone who might be interested in her, contact me at harold dot p at miller dot org. Any of our readers will get the best possible price.
The rest of the Sea Bear looks really good. The engine fired right up, and the bilge looks dry. Batteries and inverter specs all look good, and other than some dust on the deck, and a dark stain building up under the waterline there’s little change to her.We will probably have to get a diver down to clean the bottom in a month or two. There was no funky smell when we opened her up, which surprised me. We did remove a bunch more of our personal effects, as we slowly prepare her to sell.



Back in Alameda

Author: peabody

Life goes on. JC and I went back to Oregon to visit family, and work with the contractors on repairing the damage to our home. In the meantime, Sea bear has been just resting here in the marina. I hate seeing her not cruising, but it’s time for me to do some simple repairs on her, and make the big decision… keep her or not.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in a proven cruising sailboat, drop me a note.  I’ll be living aboard for the next week as I check out the SF Bay area job market.

Life… it’s all about the changes…


There, and back again.

Author: peabody

Sea Bear, passing under the Golden Gate

At about 12:17 PM, PST, the Sea Bear crossed back under the Golden Gate bridge. After over 18 months, JC and I are different people than the couple who sailed out. I’d like to think we are wiser, more confident, and healthier than before.  It is good to be back, but we have many, many things to do before we relax in front of the fireplace and tell stories to our grandchildren.

I’ll be going back through this log to add pages and pictures over then next weeks/months. We have to get the crew off on their return trip to Germany. We have to move boat stuff from the van to the Sea Bear, and take personal/living items off the boat. Sails need to be dried, folded and stored. All of the To-Do lists need to be updated, equipment shut down and prepared for storage. We have many people we want to say “Hello” and “Thank You” to here in California, before we drive north and seek employment.

Keep watching here, as I back-fill this document. As always, your comments are most welcome.

Celebrating our arrival in Alameda

Also, to each of you have followed us on this journey, I’d like to say a few words. This trip had it’s challenges, it’s tough days, and it’s wondrous experiences. It is well within the reach of each of you to get off the sofa, learn to sail, or other new skill, and go adventuring. You are not getting any younger, but by stretching yourself a bit, you might find yourself feeling a lot less “old”. So just do it. I promise you won’t regret it.

Fuel System Problems

Author: peabody

The bash from Channel Island Harbor was pretty rough.  We had 20-30 knot winds and 5-8 ft seas. Several times Sea Bear crested a wave, and then dropped 6 ft into the trough. It sounded like we were falling onto concrete. Although the hull held up fine, and the crew admirably so, the engine started dying every half hour or so. The vacuum gauge on the filter was well into the yellow range, and when it touched the red, the engine would die in seconds.

Once we pulled into Morro Bay (the final engine failure was in dead calm, at the breakwater) I felt VERY relieved. We could find and fix the problem, and indeed HAD to fix it, before we would continue.

Harold working on the diesel.

Yesterday was a race day, so we had to move off of the yacht club dock, to the public dock. While there we replaced the filter again, pulled the master bunk to access the fuel tank, and removed the fuel pickup hose. We found and removed many small chunks of black slime, but nothing that should have shut down the engine. I finally called Chris, a mechanic we dealt with two years ago when we were here last time. He was kind enough to come down on Sunday and look at what I had done, and offer suggestions. We blew air through the pickup tube, valve and fuel line. All seemed clear. The vacuum gauge still read high – 5-7 pounds of vacuum. It was like trying to suck a strawberry out of the bottom of your milkshake. But we followed the path of the fuel from the  tank to the filter, what was left??? Chris came up with the idea that it could be blocked INSIDE the Raycor filter. As an emergency measure, he purchased for me a male-to-male splice and 30 feet of fuel line. Worst case, I could have the engine suck fuel out of a Jerry can. I gladly paid him his $75/hr and told him I’d disassemble the filter tomorrow. The engine seemed to run OK at lower RPM’s and we only needed to move 250 yards back to the other dock.

(That move is a story in itself, but not here.)

JC cleaning out the Raycor fuel filter.


The next day I removed the Raycor from the engine room wall, and dragged it on deck. There I disassembled it, and found the mother of all slime/booger plugs. JC attacked it with an ice pick and screwdriver.

After picking, poking, soaking and scrubbing, JC had removed quite a little pile of fungus.
Algae from the filter

 So then the filter was reassembled, remounted to the wall, all the hoses, hose clamps and filters put ion their rightful place. We started the engine up, cranked the RPM’s to 2800 and checked the vacuum gauge. It was under one pound, at the verry bottom of the scale. WOOT! We let the engine run for half an hour and it sounded great. At the end of the half hour the pressure was still virtually zero, so I believe we have found and corrected the problem.

I will be a lot more confident in our last overnight bash tomorrow night now that I know we again have an engine we can count on.

Well, we didn’t make it around Conception Point yesterday. We DID make good time right out of Dana Point, and for the day totaled about 110 nautical miles. But out west of Catalina Island, I expected the waves to space out a bit, and for the wind to shift from the south. Instead the seas stayed 4-6 ft. and were spaced 7-10 seconds apart. Add the fact that we were motor sailing at 2400 RPM and it was just bash-bash-wham!-bash-bash. After about 13 hours I checked the winds at Morro Bay, and realized we just weren’t sure of making it in safely.  Morro bay can be REAL tricky to enter if the surf’s up.

So, being the Captain, I made the command decision to fall back onto plan B. I had already emailed Bill Cline at the Channel Island Yacht Club, and he said they had a spot for us, if needed. Good guy to know.

Channel Island Yacht Club

 We needed it. We got in just before 10PM, and it was just beginning to rain. There were boats tied to the end tie, but Bill had given permission to take a slip “if need be” so we did. The next day, when the end tie was freed, we moved Sea Bear around to it.  So here we sit, waiting for the wind to blow past.

It could be a LOT worse. The club has a dinner planned for tomorrow night, I plan on attending. Bill said it might be “Mexican food”. Yummmm.

Oceanside Yacht Club

Author: admin

Departed San Diego 07:50. We planned on leaving earlier, but there was another sub in the channel, and the radio made it pretty clear that they wanted some “space”. OK with me. There was another little boat entering the channel, and we waved as they went by:

Another Grey Boat

We headed out faar enough to miss the kelp beds there at the point, and turned northward. By 15:30 we were in Oceanside, rafted up on the end tie of their guest dock. Nice folks there, friendly. We only spend one night, but they made us feel quite welcome. They have a nice club house as well, and good hot showers.

Next morning, in light South winds, we headed out. We actually got to sail part way, before firing the engine up and motorsailing the rest of the way to Dana Point. Dana Point Yachet Club, and Dana Point West, were having their “Bay Open” festival, and had no free guest slips, so we paid the county for one of their guest slips. Nils and Carolin had friends here, and want to unload some of their stuff, so we stayed two nights.

At $40 a night it was priced the same as a slip in Puerto Vallarta.  The only real problem we had was when we entered the fairway, and prepared to enter slip #16,  we saw a couple of bozos eating their sandwiches in their little power boat, in OUR SLIP! I had a heck of a time slowing the Sea Bear, backing into the fairway, and turning around. The wind was blowing sideways, and those fairways are pretty narrow. While I fought the Bear, and swore, JC swore at the little power boat, and they untied and vanished in a hurry. Once the Sea Bear was turned around, we made it into our slip with no further problems.

Nils friend John fed us great pizza, and both the crew spent the night ashore at John’s house. JC and I spent a day wandering around, sleeping and I played a few hours of “World of Warcraft”. I can see that game easily sucking me back in. I’ll try to get my chores done before loggin in. Ah well

Next stop should be Morro Bay, on the other side of Conception Point.

Back in the USSA

Author: admin

Crossing the border into the good old US of A brought back lots of memories. My Captain’s Log shows that at about 14:00, on May 10, 2011, at N32 32, W117 12.06 we entered US waters. The sail across San Diego was nice, wind was good, skies clear. I counted 6 or 7 black helicopters and 3 pairs of fighter jets overhead during the 2 hours it took us to cross the San Diego bay. Looks like the military has been pretty busy.

The real surprise was entering the channel. I didn’t think we were that suspicious looking, but they really rolled out the welcoming committee.

San Diego Coast Guard patrol boat

This little guy was fast, and armed. But the “back up” unit really impressed me:

Sub leaving San Diego


So we tied up at what is called the “Police Dock” to clear customs/Immigration. The crew stayed aboard, and I climbed up the dock to the payphone, and called Customs. Then I returned to the Sea Bear, as instructed and waited for the agents to come to the boat to clear us in.

I expected dogs, and an possibly a search of the boat after being asked many questions about what I was trying to bring into the country. Instead I got two armed Border Patrol who, after very few seconds, told me, as Captain, that I could get in big trouble…smuggling illegal aliens into the country! Yes, our German crew had no Tourist Visa, they had instead a “Multiple Entry Visa”, and I don’t carry blank Tourist Visa’s aboard. The senior agent seemed to be on quite a power trip, or at the least, his strategy was to see if he could shake me up. My reply was ” I don’t see how it could be smuggling, they are here in front of you, with Passports and Visas.” He then focused on them. Demands for “papers” sounded like an old comedy skit. Then for another ID (I guess the German Passport is too easy to forge??). Then lots of questions. When the crew stumbled over language issues, I tried to help out, and was brusquely told to be quiet, and not interfere.

This went on until the Police Harbor office closed (5 PM) so we couldn’t check in and get the codes for the shower. It may have also been their quitting time, I don’t know. But all the sudden, they took both Nils and Carolin to their van, issued all the needed paperwork, and asked one question – “Bring any vegetables with you?” When I said “Yes”, they pointed to the trashcan on the dock, and left. No Dogs. No searching. We could have had another dozen Germans stashed in the v-berth and/or master cabin. <sigh>

We visited with a good friend, Meg, and picked up some needed engine parts. It’s a change to overhear conversations in English, and the prices of everything is flat ridiculous. I’m gonna have to find a job paying bazillions to afford avacados. And gas is $4.65 a gallon??!?

Well, still, it’s good to be back.