Wednesday, April 10, 2019

April 6, 2019 Haul Out at R&B Boatyard

We were able to check into our cottage about 9:00 this morning, since no one had rented it the night before.  April picked me up at the boatyard and took me to the cottage with our luggage and perishable groceries. 

I returned to the boatyard immediately with the golf cart to watch our boat haul out.  This was different than we have seen anywhere.  They have a log platform that raises and lowers.  They lowered it and floated our boat over the top of it.  Then the owner, Robert, put on his dive gear and used a hookah air compressor to go underwater and set up the boat stands.  The coworkers tossed the stands to him in the water.  When the stands are set, they lift the platform and our boat above the water level.  Always scary to watch.  It looked like it was teetering, but it was just the water moving.  Everything went smoothly. 


We went to the cottage for lunch.  Then Dave returned to the boat to start working on the through hull.  It was in worse shape than he thought.  He had to replace the through hull and the all the fittings.  Luckily R&B had the bronze fittings that we needed.  After seeing how bad this through hull was, we decided we will replace all of the other through hulls the next time we haul out the boat (this fall).  And we will have the appropriate plugs on board to stop a leak in the meantime, if need be.  We have had some electrolysis issues which may have caused some of the corrosion.  We are hoping the isolation transformers that Dave added last year will stop this corrosion.  There are 13 through hulls, but one is replaced.  I thought that was a good omen, there are only 12 left.  But Dave is a triskaidekaphiliac which means he likes the number 13, so he’s going with the total number for our boat.  Whatever makes him feel good. 

After seeing the bottom paint with the boat out of the water, we decided to do a full bottom paint job, not just a touch up.  But we should be good for about 5 years.  The last paint job was almost 3 years ago, and Dave did it himself.  Nice to have professionals doing it for you.  If we had waited the 5 years, we would have had to redo the barrier coat, too. 

We made a trip to the local grocery store and settled in for the night.  We were able to use the cottage’s wifi to do some updates.  We had a nice dinner of leftovers from Thursday.  Then I did some laundry while Dave watched the semi finals, the Final Four for the college basketball Sweet 16 tournament.  But he didn’t make it through the second game, long day.  Laundry, wifi, TV with recliners, and hot showers.  What more could you want.  We’ll try out the beach toys tomorrow. 

banana trees in the backyard

April 5, 2019 Brunswick Landing Marina friends

We checked with Robert at R&B Boatyard to find out when to bring in our boat.  He told us to bring it in and tie up at his dock.  After we were settled, Dave checked into how things would proceed.  He found out that they actually won’t haul us out until tomorrow, but can dock for free tonight.  Then we’ll be ready tomorrow morning at high tide. 

Dave also found out that they really don’t want us to live aboard the boat while it is in their boatyard.  So I went to work to find us a place to stay until Tuesday.  We have friends joining us on Sunday.  And there is supposed to be bad weather on Tuesday.  So I found us a cottage in Spanish Wells that was 4 bedroom, 2 bath, with a golf cart, kayaks and paddle board for $185/night.  It was discounted for a last minute deal.  Checking later, it looked like it was usually $205, which isn’t bad. 

Friends from the Georgia marina, Brunswick Landing Marina, were also in Spanish Wells.  We met Duane and Peg Siegfried for lunch at the Shipyard Restaurant (where the prices reflect the atmosphere/view).  We also met Priss and Beauth as we were leaving the restaurant.  They had given Dave and Gene the fresh Mahi last week.  It was great to meet them and thank them.

Duane and Peg invited us to dinner on their boat that evening at Yacht Haven Marina a few blocks from us.  They were just passing through the Bahamas on their way to the Caribbean.  They stayed an extra day to visit with us.

During the afternoon, I baked bread for our dinner.  And I baked banana bread to “bride” the boatyard.  Doesn’t hurt to “grease the wheels”.  We also caught Priss and Beauth as they passed in their dingy and gave them some banana bread as a thank you for the Mahi. 

We made it the 10 blocks to Yacht Haven Marina in our dinghy.  NOW the patches are working.  BUT, it will only be a matter of time before the next leak shows up.  And who knows where we’ll be.  We had happy hour at Wreckers bar in the marina. Then we had a lovely dinner on Duane and Peg’s 53 foot Amel.  It’s amazing wha 10 more feet will give you on a boat.  And we made it back to our boat without sinking in our dinghy.  Fun to see BLM friends again.


April 4, 2019 Lehr motor

Dave spent a good part of the morning researching the dinghy we had just bought.  Different sites online were picturing different things.  When I asked him if he would cancel the order, and he said no, I told him something he taught me years ago “you only worry to the extent that you have control over the situation.”

The dinghy was holding air pretty good this morning.  But it wasn’t pressurized to the max.  We moved the Pudgy, Skadoosh, to the deck.  Dave took another look at the Lehr motor because water wasn’t shooting out of the exhaust like it should.  He tried to clean the hole with a wire, then moved it to our dinghy.  It wouldn’t start, and Dave noticed it was out of propane.  He put on a new can and could hear it leak.  It started running, was shooting water out of the exhaust, so he shut if off.  That’s when he noticed the leak was from the pressure regulator for the fuel line.  It actually froze the metal connector, because propane will chill metal.  The leak was at a spot that couldn’t be tightened.  He stopped working on it until he could research the “Lehr Headaches”.  He thinks the connector may be part of a whole line that would have to be replaced.  We love having the Lehr motor as a backup.  It’s light, uses propane, so no gas worries when storing, the company gives good service and backs them up.  BUT, you have to go through them for parts.  They are outside of the US, but not as common as Mercury dealers. So the hunt is on.  Dave thinks we may have to go back to something more toxic to Mother Earth.

I spent most of the day cleaning the galley and heads.  We will have company join us after we haul out the boat, so I better get ready for them now.  We made water and made sure everything was ready to put the boat on the hard

April 3, 2019 Dinghy shopping

After breakfast, Dave went out to work on the dinghy again.  After a short time, I heard him in the cockpit on the phone asking about dinghies for sale to someone.  Come to find out, he found even bigger slits in the dinghy, not just holes.  He was talking to a company in Nassau that has dinghies on hand that could ship one to Spanish Wells.  After talking through the pros and cons and what we were looking for in a dinghy, he called them back and narrowed it down to 2.  Of course it would be cheaper in the US, but that pickles us for the rest of the season in the Bahamas.  The Portland Pudgy can be used for short, slow trips to shore.  It is also geared to be our lifeboat.  And we play with it as a small sailboat.  But, it won’t go distances, especially with 4 people.  It’s like living with only a motorcycle when you are used to having your car.  So here we go.  We ordered Zodiac Cadet RIB 330UL ALU and it will be here Thursday, April 11.  RIB stands for rigid inflatable boat.  It has an aluminum bottom.

I spent some time on the computer today.  We had to send some documents to the credit card company related to the accident we had with the Enterprise rental car.  Enterprise finally sent us the bill.  It as just over $500, so we were happy about that.  That was also sent off to the credit card company.  They will let us know if they will pay Enterprise or if we should and then be reimbursed.  Hasn’t been too much of a hassle so far.  We are just so thankful that nobody was hurt when we were rear ended. 

Dave changed the impeller on the Lehr outboard yesterday.  We may just need it on the Portland Pudgy.  Today, when he tested the Lehr motor on “Skadoosh”, the Pudgy, it was stuck in gear.  He had to take apart the motor again and have it in neutral when he put it back together.  Then it worked.  So we hopped in the dinghy with the 3 cold beers we had on board and went for a “Dinghy drift”.  We motored out in front of the boat, shut off the motor and drifted back to the boat.  It is always so peaceful. While we were peacefully drifting, Dave said “We’re illegal right now.  If we put a motor on the Pudgy, it has to be registered and pay to license it.  Plus we don’t have life jackets.  Thank goodness for countries without laws.”  Of course we were only in 7 feet of water. 

We found out this morning that a close friend of ours for over 40 years passed away this morning.  Randy and Deb Louchart lived in SD when we met them in the late 70’s.  They moved to Atlanta later.  We were able to see them, at least yearly, when we moved south and onto the boat.  Randy was only 63 years old.  Living on a sailboat makes it harder to be with family and friends at times like this.  But it also confirms that we are doing the right thing, living our dream before it’s too late.  Love to everyone of you reading this post.

April 2, 2019 Happy Birthday Garrett Crawford

Happy 13th Birthday to our awesome great nephew Garrett Crawford in Aberdeen, SD!
Dave sent his a pretty funny message. 

Heidi, if you don't mind, this is for Garrett on his Birthday. Garrett- I wanted to wish you a Special Happy Birthday on your 13th birth year. Thirteen is an age that comes with a lot of responsibility which has been slowly given to you your whole life but now you are expected to understand the consequences. There are also a lot of important 'W' words that you need to embrace like: whiskers, wheels, work, worship, wardcorn, weather and windrows. I can't remember the other 'W' words(not Women or Whiskey). One more thing, I never tease the children in our family once they reach Thirteen. Ask your Mom. Your sister, though, is going to have a terrible time of it. Agin, Hippiest of Birdoos, Loof Unca Darvie. (My spell check is broken)

This was his reply:
Hey Uncle Darvie Thank you for all the unsolicited advice. See you in JuneThis is Garvet

Since Dave had to get into a storage area for the pump last night, we did a little rearranging of “stuff” before he closed things up.  We pull things out of one place and put other things away somewhere else.  It’s based on frequency of use and accessibility.  And a little bit of “why do we have that on the boat?”

We started more laundry since the new water pump was working fine.  Dave spent some more time patching the dinghy.  He keeps finding more spots and coming up with different ideas.  He found a rusty lock in the dinghy.  So he took the time to use CorrosionX on that and the clips that hold the jerry cans to the life lines.  They were getting  hard to open.  Always have to maintain things in salt water.  He also changed the impeller on the Lehr outboard that we have as a spare.  He meant to do that last year in the marina, but it was not an urgent task.  Now I think he is thinking of putting it on the Pudgy as a backup to our inflatable dinghy.  He is now referring to it as our deflatable dinghy. 


I did some cleaning and fed us today.  Made water, took showers.

April 1, 2019 April Fool's Day shenanigans

We were up early to find out what time we should bring in our boat to R&B boatyard.  Dave had left a message last Friday, but hadn’t heard back.  Well, he found out this morning that our boat is scheduled for NEXT Monday to Wednesday, April 8-10!  We told him to keep us on the schedule.  He said he may even be able to start on Friday and would let us know.

The problem was that our next friends are flying into the southern part of Eleuthera on April 7.  They are really easy going, so I sent them a text about checking into changing their flights.  Of course, I had to begin by telling them this wasn’t an April Fool’s Day joke.  If it was too complicated, we could rent a car and pick them up at their original airport. 

Within the hour they texted back that the flights were all set to fly into Spanish Wells.  Now we had to switch gears.  We had a week to do some boat projects without having to move the boat anywhere. 

First we started a load of laundry.  Dave decided to work further on the dinghy.  We did the switch of the two dinghies again.  While hanging laundry, a pillow case was “man overboard”.  It started floating away from the boat.  Dave had to get into the Pudgy with no motor and row over to it.  What a circus. 

Dave tried to place more patches on the dinghy.  The material is damaged from 5 years in the sun and looking worse all the time.  Looks like we’ll be getting a new dinghy this summer. 

We have been noticing odd sounds from the water pump for some time.  Dave even brought a new pump with us, just in case.  We noticed this morning that the water pressure was light to begin with then would go to full strength.  By 2:30, the water stopped all together.  What an April’s Fool Day this was turning into.  Dave cleaned the raw water screen.  He found a loose wire, repaired that.  Everything was great!! 

We had an early dinner while we watched a movie.  After dinner, no water!!  I brought in the laundry before sunset while Dave put in a new pump.  There is a reason we don’t have a guest cabin.  It is our garage full of spare parts and tools. 

My mother used to always say that bad things happen in 3’s.  Today we had the schedule wrong for the haul out, and the water pump quit.  And I’m counting the pillowcase going overboard as the third one, because we don’t want anything else today. 

March 31, 2019 Dinghy repair

Dave had one day to work on the dinghy before we took the boat to the boatyard for the haul out and repair.  The best place to work on it is on the deck.  First we took the Mercury outboard off of the dinghy.  We use the winch in the cockpit to raise it and mount it on the stern.  Then he had to take the Portland Pudgy dinghy off of the deck and tie it to the port side of the boat.  Next he moved the “deflatable” dinghy to the bow.  I helped him lift it onto the deck with the winch and halyards.  Actually, I did all the work, because I was the “winch wench”.
Mercury on the stern with winch line
taking Portland Pundgy Skadoosh off of the deck

lifting dinghy onto deck
cockpit mess on project days

winch wench
After deflating the damaged tube (there are 3), he realized there was water inside the tube.  He had to maneuver the boat to drain it.  He had a partial bottle of Toobseal (more on order coming with our next guests).  The theory is to pour it inside the tube then rotate the tube to let it flow within and coat and seal it from within.  Well, a lot of the tube sealer flowed right out of the end of the dinghy and onto our deck.  GRRRRRR!  It would have to do for now.  By about 5:00, we the switched the 2 dinghies with my help on the winch.
getting the water our of the tube

pouring in the "toobseal"
sealer on the deck
maneuvering the seal within the tube
I spent the day organizing our food stores.  Had to dig into some hidey holes to replenish some things, and take stock of what we had on hand, then make a shopping list.  You can’t just run to the store if you forget something. 

We grilled chicken for dinner and for leftovers.  We made water and took over due showers.  It’s best to shower while we are making water because it refills the tank as we drain it.   We just have to remember to run the water heater first.  The Honda generator can’t do both at once. 

the sea was so calm that the reflections were awesome

Sunday, April 7, 2019

March 30, 2019 Schneiders depart/Pinder's ferry

Gene and Colleen had to catch the 11:00 ferry/taxi to the airport.  Dave didn’t trust our leaky dinghy to haul all four of us and luggage.  He took Colleen and me to shore first.  We took the cart to the grocery store and stopped at one gift shop.  We met the guys at the Anchor Snack Bar for breakfast about 9:30. 

We did our send off and cart return by 11:00 and headed back to the boat to crash.  We took naps and watched movies.  We have 8 days before our next friends arrive. 

We really had fun sharing our boat life with our South Dakota friends of over 30 years.  Gene loves to fish and really got hooked on the spearfishing.  It just occurred to me that Gene grew up in Spearfish, SD.  And Colleen is always a bubble of joy and fun to be with.  It’s easy to entertain when the guests entertain you.