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MV Kaitlin Trip  
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  Part 1
MV Kaitlin

March 31, 1999:  I depart Orlando to Driscoll's Boatyard in San Diego, to find the MV Kaitlin. The plan is to travel 4800nm from San Diego to Galveston via the Panama Canal. Departure is pending completion of the remaining outfitting items.

I took these photos of the Kaitlin with a Sony TRV900 Handycam. It's a 3-CCD digital video camera, with still photo capability. The stills can be downloaded to a 3.5" diskette, and while not film, they are certainly adequate for the web. This makes filing remote reports like this one easy, since film, film processing, and scanners are eliminated. Eventually I'll also put some of the video online from the same camera.

MV Kaitlin

The MV Kaitlin is an 82' yacht built in the mid 80's. She sleeps 12 in 5 berths, has 4 full baths, and all modern conveniences. The galley is forward, so you can eat breakfast and watch the trip progress through the windshield. The bridge is fully airconditioned, and there are 4 helmstations.

Today the hull would be a Westport, but originally was built by Lanfear. Bought as a fixer-upper, it now looks quite good in it's new paint job. Two 600 HP diesels drive 25" props to a cruise speed of 12 knots.  

The onboard systems are slowly being brought up to operation by my friend Captain Steve Ballard. From time to time I lend a hand with electronics and wiring. Here Steve is cutting out several feet of wiring in order to create another wiring puzzle for me. It bothered him that he had to turn on the sea temperature meter to get the dome lights to work.

Like any older boat, the wiring is layer upon layer, all the way back to the original. As new systems are added, switches have to be rewired to a new use, old problems bypassed, etc. After 15 years, it's a maze to unravel. Most wiring is run through the ceiling, walls, bilges or worse, and it takes a while to troubleshoot even the simplest problem.  
Oh well. Have crimps, will wire for food...  

Capt Steve Ballard

Francisco Huyke

I arrived to find Francisco Huyke hard at work on the Kaitlin. Cisco is from Puerto Rico, and besides bringing a long resume of crew skills to the Kaitlin, he also speaks fluent Spanish, a requirement for making the long voyage around Mexico and Central America.  
I seem to draw the wiring problems everyone else has given up on, and spent 12 hours on a simple anchor light. Someone had miswired its switch to the dinner light, whatever that is.

Wires ran everywhere. Here Cisco heads up top to help with the anchor light wiring, while I wire the dinner light permanently on and head for the galley.  

April 4: I depart San Diego for Los Cabos, Mexico and a week of exploration and diving. More on that in another report, but this was posted up from Dr Z's Internet Cafe and Bar in Cabo San Lucas. I'll return April 11 to see how the transmission repair has progressed, and find out our departure date.  
To be continued.................