It is almost 10:00 now, and I'm already tired of the wind for today! I woke up early, made breakfast (eggs, bacon and bread), had my ration of coffee and looked at the halyard flying in the wind, tantalizingly out of reach. The winds are gusting through the anchorage, occasionally whipping the tops off the little wavelets forming between my boat and the beach. The boat is not rolling at all since the anchorage is protected, but the winds are making Zanshin “hunt” at anchor, constantly sweeping left and right and if a particularly strong gust hits while the boat is broadside to the wind it makes for a lot of pressure on the anchor snubber and chain which causes the boat to whip around to the sound of the snubber line stretching taut. According to the weather reports the winds will peak this evening at 25 knots and then abate quickly tomorrow... <phew>
I did some cleaning work below decks since I wanted to stay out of the wind, then finally got around to sharpening my shaving razors. I brought two along on this trip, the only stainless razors I have. Stainless steel isn't optimal for making a good shaving razor, but a German company called Dovo makes some fine ones that hold up well in the salty air aboard the boat. These two had gotten dull and needed some work, and I decided to fine-tune 3 of my most frequently used kitchen knives at the same time. While using those cheap knife-sharpeners where one pulls a knife through a device might seem to work well, those devices actually chew out a lot of metal and wear down knives very quickly; plus they leave a knife edge that is very uneven, almost serrated. These devices are also set for a specific angle and each knife is used for a specific purpose and needs it's own correct angle. Kitchen knives for fine work such as filleting want a 15° double-bevel edge while general use knives have about 20° double-bevel edges. The higher the angle the more resilient a knife is to heavy use, a pocket knife might want a higher angle and an axe an even higher one in order to keep that edge useful. Razor blades need a very fine edge, less than 10° and the edge is so fine that it actually bends (specially prepared steels are needed for these, as it needs to be both hard to hold an edge, yet flexible and not brittle in order to make a good shaving blade).
I use 3 stones: 1000, 3000 and 12000. I think that putting in one more between the 3K and 12K might be better, but that's all I have aboard. The 1000 stone is used first, this coarse stone cuts away a lot of metal and is used to re-shape the edge or to establish a new angle or edge on a very dull blade. Once that is done, the 3000 stone is used to smooth out the new edge; this is sufficient for kitchen knives. But the razors need a very smooth edge at a microscopic level, so the 12000 grit stone, which feels like the surface of a mirror, is used carefully to perfect the razor's edge. Usually after this step the knife is additionally honed on a leather strop with some diamond cutting paste, but I don't have that aboard and use just the normal leather for stropping.

Deep Bay anchorage on Zanshin The dodger offers protection from the winds channeling through Deep Bay in Antigua.
(2015-05-12 15:48:04 NIKON D7100 with a "10.5 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/8.0, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Deep Bay anchorage on Zanshin
Kitchen knives and Razors My main 3 kitchen knives and 2 stainless razors after sharpening and honing on the stones.
(2015-05-12 15:47:34 NIKON D7100 with a "10.5 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/8.0, 1/25s] ISO 100)
Kitchen knives and Razors
2000 Grit wet block sharpening Sharpening a shaving razor on the 2000 grit Naniwa stone. This is a wete stone, i.e. one uses water, and the sludge or slurry is an important part of the sharpening process.
(2015-05-12 15:00:35 NIKON D7100 with a "10.5 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/8.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
2000 Grit wet block sharpening
Sharpening Stones The 3 sharpening stones, from 1000 grit through 2000 all the way to 12000 grit (which is almost like glass). The black block on the bottom is used to prepare each stone before use, making a smooth and straight cutting surface.
(2015-05-12 14:58:32 NIKON D7100 with a "10.5 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/8.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Sharpening Stones
Blades before sharpening The two razors needed some work, while the 3 kitchen knives were still in good cutting prime but I decided to give them a tune-up anyway.
(2015-05-12 14:57:18 NIKON D7100 with a "10.5 mm f/2.8" lens. [f/2.8, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Blades before sharpening
Knives all lined up They might look sharp, but I want to make them sharper!
(2015-05-12 14:54:01 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/10.0, 1/40s] ISO 100)
Knives all lined up
1104 views since 2017-02-04, page last modified on 2017-02-04.