Baja Haha 2014 – $375 entry fee

As a sign of good faith, and a motivation to complete my list of projects, I paid my entrance fee for this year’s Haha.


New drill – $200

My old drill’s Nicad battery finally gave up the ghost. I was going to buy a Lithium to replace the old battery, but found that the Lithium battery was nearly $200 and a brand new drill set was $200. So I tossed my old drill and bought the new set. They are much better – much lighter to carry, 2 lightweight lithium batteries that fully charge in 2 hours, and easy to use.  

new lightweight drill set

new lightweight drill set

Caulk the Mast Base – $110 for glue, thinners, alcohol, sandpaper

Since the TV man drilled a hole into either the mast base, or the buoyancy tank, I decided I better caulk all around the base of the mast, in order to forestall any possible leaks. I bought a tube of silicone and thoroughly circled the base with UV resistant caulk.


Engine Oil – $0

Although I regularly check and change the engine oil, and I still had 50 hours to go before another oil change, I decided anyway to verify that the oil tank was full. It is. However, I am down to my last container of synthetic oil (Delo400) so I need to make another Costco visit and stock up on oil.


Windlass Grease – $0

While I was about it, checking oil, I took the top off the windlass to check if it still had enough grease. It does.


Dinghy chain – $10

I read where cruisers find that their dinghy is stolen less often if they secure it to the dock or the boat with a chain. So I bought 10ft of chain to secure the dinghy to the dock.


Fishing – $24 PVC, $45 reel, $30 gaff

A fishing friend shoed me how to take my vintage bakelite reel apart and service it. It was sticking a little, but runs really smoothly now. I also bought another vintage reel, and a small reel for my sabiki rod. I am pretty good at catching live bait, but haven’t managed yet to land a big fish with the live bait. I also installed PVC pipe holders on the stanchions to hold my rods, and also hold the gaff and boat hook. It is really neat out there now, compared to the tangle of rods that I had before.

Fishing rods upright in their PVC holders

Fishing rods upright in their PVC holders

Jacklines – $40

I have previously bought some heavy webbing to use as jacklines on the boat, however, I overcompensated and the webbing is too large to close comfortably around the cleats. So I gave the heavy webbing away to a fellow with a very large 70ft boat, and bought some lighter weight webbing for FastAlley. It fits like it was made for the boat.


Sprouts – $60

In the interests of having a good vegetable diet (I can fish for food but not veges), I bought a number of packets of organic seeds to sprout. Did you know that a broccoli sprout has 40 times the goodness of an adult broccoli?   I brought my sprouting boxes from my camper, so I didn’t have to re-buy those.


Covers – $43 for seats, $30 for outboard engine

I found that every weekend it seemed I was scrubbing down the outside seats. They are my favorite place to sit, so I decided (finally) to buy seat cover protectors for them. While I was about it, I replaced the torn outboard engine cover with a new one.


Cockpit Trash Bag = $16

I find that when we are in the cockpit and finished with a drink, or eating something, that we don’t go downstairs immediately to throw away any trash. However, we will step over to the cockpit trash bag and throw it in there. Now the cockpit is neater.

Has 3 strong suckers to keep it in place

Has 3 strong suckers to keep it in place


Radar Reflector – $70

I actually did not have a radar reflector, so in the fog I have been invisible. Of course, in fog I pore over my radar keeping out of the way of other big ships, but I thought it might be nice if they could see me too. I sent my grandson up the mast to secure it at the top of the mast. He thought hanging out up there was great fun.


Solar lights – $30 rope, $20 gatepost type

Now that I am going cruising, I have become very aware of the amount of battery power that I use. When on shore power I turn on the rope lights in the boat and keep it gently lit all night, so that when I get up at 2:00am, I don’t trip and hurt myself. But the rope lights take power so I researched solar lights. I found some solar rope lights and rushed off to Home Depot to buy them They work fabulously well, except that the rope is 18ft long and is a fuss to carry in and out of the boat every morning to put in the sun to recharge. So I tied the solar rope lights to the dinghy davit to give me light when I pull up in the dinghy in the dark, and bought 2 new solar lamps instead. They are the type that fit on a gatepost, so they are easy to carry in and out to recharge in the sun, and also they have a large base so they are very stable. Most importantly, they stay lighted from dusk until dawn – a good 10 hours!


2 gatepost solar LIghts and the 10,000mAh solar Electronics Charger - catching some rays

2 gatepost solar LIghts and the 10,000mAh solar Electronics Charger – catching some rays

Solar charger for electronics – $80

This has turned out to be incredibly useful. The 10,000mAh charger is about the size of a large pack of cigarettes and comes with a wondrous array of connectors, including ones that fit my iPhone, iPad, and Bluetooth portable speaker. It also fits Androids. With all those connectors I am sure it will fit almost any other electronic that I don’t yet own. Just a few hours in the sun and it recharges my iPhone is about 45 minutes.   I love it!


Electrical refills – $60

It is very annoying when people borrow my gear, and then conveniently forget to give it back. From now on if someone needs a hammer, I don’t have one!!! I recently needed to do some simple electrical work, and found my crimper was gone, as was my voltage meter, and all my electrical tape. I know I had all three, but now I don’t anymore – they no doubt grace the toolbox of some other sailor now. So I replaced them AGAIN. If you need any electrical stuff, sorry but I don’t have anything that you can borrow! Go buy your own!!


TV center cleanup – $18

When the TV technician finished up, he left all the wires lying loose. I bought some clamps and spent some time tidying up the wires and tucking them safely away.


Guest bed hatch – $0

I bought the replacement hatch two summers ago to replace the broken one above the guest bed, but I haven’t gotten around to replacing it. I finally did.


Non-skid tape – $42

There are places on the deck that have no grip and when those spots are wet, they are very slippery. For example, the space in front of the BBQ is slippery when wet. This is not a good state of affairs because I certainly don’t want to lose my friend and cook overboard as she loses her footing on a wet deck. Also the engine hatch before the wheel is smooth and very slippery and I have often slipped as I crossed the cockpit hurriedly while sailing. There are a few other slippery spots like this. I bought non-skid tape and laid it liberally over the slippery spots. It’s a VAST improvement.


Kitchen container lift – $4

I have 2 rows of tall containers in the kitchen for storing flour, pasta, sugar, etc. Since they are the same size I wanted to lift the back row up about 4 inches so that I could see what was stored where. I went to Home Depot and explained that I needed a block of wood that was 33L x 5W x3H inches. They only had a block of redwood that was 13ft long and a 4×4 – I figured I could work with that. I hated to just use 33 inches and throw away 10ft of that beautiful redwood and was telling this to the attendant as we walked back to the saw for cutting to size. When we reached the saw there were 2 offcuts and together they were cut to 33inches long. Instead of the full price for the 13ft redwood block, Home Depot only charged me $4 for the offcuts. I put them together end-to-end, covered them in non-slip, and put the block under the back row of containers. Now they stand above the front row and I can easily read their labels.

Back containers elevated on nonslip covered 4x4

Back containers elevated on nonslip covered 4×4

Reflective tape – $20

Over the years, as I have anchored out surrounded by lots of other white hulled boats, I found that it was very difficult to make out my white hull versus all the others anchored out there. Consequently I figured if I bought some of that bright yellow reflective tape that cyclists were at night, then I should easily spot my boat anchored between all the others. I was going to attach it to the mast, but I cant tell from the bright lights of the marina I am in, if this stuff actually works or not. I thought I would wait until I am anchored the next time and wrap it around the something, the boom or the mast, and shine a flashlight on it from a distance and see if it shows up. If it doesn’t work, anyone want 12ft of bright yellow super reflective tape?

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