All these days seem to run together working on the boat. So I will just tell you what things we have been working on and the highlights from a few days.
SATURDAY, I helped raise Dave up the mast and over to the roller furler to finish fixing the 5 connectors that he started back in Georgetown. The last time we used our spinnaker, it was pretty windy and the halyard was stuck at the top of the mast. So he was able to get that down, too.
Dave installed a dual Racor filter system for the diesel engine that is in the fuel line. He bought it back in the US, but hadn’t installed it. This was suggested by friends we met in Panama City, FL last year (thanks Ron and Libbo). It has two filters side by side. If one if bad, you just have to switch over to the other one. Then you can change the filter when it may be more convenient. There is also a pressure gauge that indicates when it isn’t functioning as well, which would be an indicator to change the filter. He did that Saturday, so it seemed to run well when we went outside of the harbor on Sunday. He also changed another fuel filter on the engine. It was good timing, because when we removed the existing filters they were black.
SUNDAY I had Rinssor the Taxi man pick me up for church again. The little church here is so friendly and they love to sing, which I love. But I haven’t considered singing with them. They aren’t practicing before mass, so I would have to take a taxi to practice on a different day.
We thought we would leave Marsh Harbor Sunday afternoon because we needed to make water. We don’t want to use the water in this harbor. But the weather forecast called for strong winds for a few days and the harbor is more protected. So we decided to just go outside of the harbor to a bay where there is a small reef. While Dave was running the generator and making water, I took a floating dive flag and swam over to the reef (so other boats would see me). There were all kinds of fish and even a large sea turtle. I checked out a few conch on the way back. But I didn’t want to stick my hand inside to see if they were alive or not, which Dave would have done.
Just after we brought up the anchor and we were starting to leave, about 100 feet of our anchor chain ran off of the gypsy and overboard along with the anchor that was already on the bow roller. We were only in about 15 feet of water, but there was a strong wind and other boats in the area. The chain had piled too high under the hawse pipe (deck pipe into anchor locker), so it lifted the chain off the gypsy which holds it on the boat. Luckily, Dave was still at the bow and we were able to bring it back in right away without drifting into anything. He’s doing some reading to see how to avoid this in the future.
I also made bread Sunday. Getting better every time. We did laundry Monday and Tuesday. Remember, that means washing and rinsing in a 5 gallon bucket, wringing out the clothes and hanging them on our life lines around the boat or on a line we put up for sheets to hang higher. The strong winds are great for drying, but a challenge to keep things on the lines.
Dave spent part of every day working on our Mercury outboard motor. Seems like it will have a complete overhaul by the time he is done. It still doesn’t want to continue running with the choke in. Monday night we took a few laps around the harbor at all speeds and thought it was taken care of. But Tuesday morning it died on us again. He has adjusted the fuel/air mixture, and the idle screw. He changed the outboard filter and the inline filter from the tank. He opened the top of the carburetor and sprayed in a carb cleaner and cleaned the spark plugs. And it still seems to not get fuel. There was no change with adjusting idle and fuel mix which tells him some little hole has a “gob” in it. That’s short for goblin. After not finding a manual at the Mercury dealer in Marsh Harbor, he downloaded a manual for $5 and watched some you tube videos. He thinks he has to take apart the carburetor and clean it. If it needs rebuilding, he’ll do that back in the states. There’s always the possibility of bad gas. Then he is just plugging things up again every time he runs the motor. So there you have it.
Back to MONDAY, we had the Lehr propane motor on the dinghy and wanted to exchange it for the Mercury motor. We store the motors on the stern and use a system of pulleys to raise the Mercury off of the mount and lower it to the dinghy. Dave can lift the Lehr which weighs 25 lbs. But the Mercury is a little over 100l bs. As we were remounting the Mercury motor onto the dinghy, a strut we use in a motor davit lift system bent at a right angle. So after studying it for a while, Dave came up with another system using our dinghy davit and was able to get it to the dinghy, with me manning the winch. All the while, Dave had a pulled muscle on his side and now a cramping stomach. The pulled muscle might be from climbing the mast and/or pulling the outboard motor starter cord a thousand times. The cramping might be from eating leftovers :( But he was determined to get that motor on and test it out.
Our shop vac stopped working. So Dave took that apart, cleaned it up, and had it running again. He always amazes me.
TUESDAY we decided to go into Marsh Harbor for errands. We went early enough to drop off an empty propane tank at a hardware store to pick up later. Then we walked to a local restaurant, the Golden Grouper, for breakfast. Dave had their special, steamed sausage (bologna) in a red gravy with grits and toast. I had their French toast made with home made bread. He's more adventurous than me when it comes to trying new foods. I think it comes from his Temporary Duty while in the Air Force. He went to Egypt and Korea and says he would just point at the menu and see what he would be served. There was nothing her ever had to spit out. He said "if it had wiggled, I might have spit it out, but nothing wiggled."
We planned to go to the Immigration office to see if we could extend our 3 month stay. We thought it was in the area. Dave asked about the location as he was paying our bill. Another gentleman said they built a new building for all the federal offices and he would give us a ride. It was about a mile away, so we appreciated the ride. At the Immigration’s office, they said we had to come back the week of June 8 to request the extension. Who knows why. We were hoping to head further north before leaving June 15 and didn’t want to be tied to that exact day. Well there is only one office north of here, and it is on the main land of Great Abaco Island, as is Marsh Harbor. So I guess we won’t go north until after June 8.
About 1/2 way back to the dinghy dock, there was a full service gas station (K & S Esso). Dave asked if they knew of a place he could get something welded (the motor davit). They sent us almost all the way back to the Federal building, but then took a right and headed back to the harbor. We found the place and saw some interesting side streets in Marsh Harbor. We had to leave the piece with our info. The welder is off until Thursday. Then they’ll e-mail us an estimate for the cost and time to fix it. Nothing is done in a hurry here.
Now we followed the road parallel to the shore and ended up back at the only street light in Marsh Harbor, which is by the store with the propane. It was about 11:30 and our tank was back early. So that worked out great. OK, there is ONE guy that does things quicker than expected. Dave also stopped in the Mercury dealer to look for a manual for our outboard, but no luck. So back to the dinghy, get rid of garbage and back to the boat.
Dave bought a new boot (switch cover) for a light switch in one of our heads. The old boot had come off when I was cleaning the head. The boot helps keep water and dirt out of the switch. When he went to exchange it, the switch stopped working. He found a loose wire and a broken spade connector. So now it’s no longer simple. He has to take the cover off the holding tank and see how he can get to it. Or crawl into the small space under the sink. There is always something. He is going to get back to that on a later date. There are two lights in that head, so it is going down lower on the list of priorities.
We have only seen 2 cockroaches since we set out the roach killer. One was alive in the cock pit. And one was dead in the bag with the other roach killer. Guess it works. So we put more traps, etc in other parts of the boat besides our galley and heads. But we haven’t seen any live ones inside the boat. Thank goodness.
This is life on a boat when you don’t have company. We are usually busy working so I don't think to take photos.
|Dave fixing the shop vac|