Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 14-24, 2014 Wilmington, NC

Yes, we’re still in Wilmington!!  We can’t get over how long this boat repair is taking.  One problem has been that the boat yard would send in one part of a system, install it when it returned, and then discover another problem with that system.  This happened in more than one situation.  If they had sent in all the components together, it would have saved a lot of time.  In another situation, they sent a part to a repair center on the west coast when there were 2 centers on the east coast.  Plus we feel like we have to stay in their face every day for them to continue to work on our boat.  Dave could have done a lot of this himself and he thinks he would if this happens again. 

So in the meantime, we reorganized what is stored under our v-berth.  We are realizing that there are some things we should keep more handy, others store for longer periods and some things we should get rid of.  We are going to continue that process through out the entire boat, since we have been on board for a year now.

We were able to put most of the items we had stored in our aft berth back into that cabin.  That made our living space more livable again.  We had that cabin pretty much emptied so the electronics were more accessible.  It’s nice to be able to comfortably eat at the table together again, simple pleasures. 

We have 4-5 gallon jerry cans with extra diesel fuel.  Dave discovered algae growing in the cans.  Their “excrement” settles on the bottom.  You don’t want this in your fuel tank because it can clog the fuel filters and shut the engine down.  So he researched what we should do: install a system to clean our fuel, pay to have our fuel cleaned, keep lots of filters on hand to change regularly, or add biocide to our fuel.  After talking to some experienced sailors (20+ years living aboard), he decided to go with the biocide.  But in the meantime, he had ordered 4 new jerry cans.  He’ll filter the existing fuel and get rid of the old cans.  We may, down the road, still install a system to clean the fuel in our tank.  It becomes more of a problem if you are buying fuel outside of the US. 

We decided to change our home port to Rapid City, SD.  Right now it is Daphne, Alabama.  We were told that we had to list our home port where the boat was registered.  Well, like everything, you can’t believe your first answer when it comes to the government.  We called the Coast Guard directly and found out it can be any US city.  Your home port in on the side of your boat with the name of the boat.  So it is a good conversation starter with other sailors.  They especially want to know how we got this boat to the ocean from South Dakota :)  So, to change the home port, we had to file a change with the Coast Guard, since our boat is a “documented vessel” with the Coast Guard.  To do this, we had to pull out our printer.  And as long as it was out, we also got our the scanner, and I spent an afternoon reprinting some of our identification info for our “ditch bag”.  We keep copies of our passports, driver’s licenses (that changed to Florida), contact names and numbers, and the phone numbers of our credit cards, and insurance information.  It seems like I am forever updating emergency information or our boat documents.  I still want to organize the boat manuals.  Now that I’ve put it in writing, I’ll feel more committed to getting that done. 

Besides, the paper work, I talked to a local sign company to have the lettering done for Rapid City SD.  We used a company that was recommended by our marina.  Well that involved 2 trips to their office which was about 30 minutes each way.  Once the official document from the Coast Guard returns, we’ll physically change the home port on the boat. 

We have also been spending time scrubbing the deck and cockpit.  We are always fighting mildew.  And it has a green tinge in this environment. 

We showed another boater how to send e-mails using the single side band radio.  Then the next day , another boater showed us how to receive weather faxes from around the world from our single side band radio and they show up on our laptop computer.  Lots to learn when it comes to weather.  And the better we can predict the weather, the safer we’ll be.  When you are on the move, it sounds like you could easily spend a couple hours a day studying weather.  We really learn a lot talking to other sailors. 

Last week, I went to choir practice on Thursday night and then sang with the choir on Sunday at St Mark’s Catholic church.  They were so welcoming and fun to sing with.  I really miss singing 4 part music with other people.  I am welcome to come back, but not sure if it will work out again. 

We seem to fill our days with projects and learning experiences.  And then there is eating out.  We found an authentic Mexican restaurant.  Dave ordered four tacos, fish, beef lips, beef stomach and beef intestine.  He loved them all and wants to go back to try the cheeks.  I had a fish taco and a pork burrito.  Dave called it a “taco wagon with seating”.  They grilled jalapenos for him and they had a salsa bar.  Loved it.

Taqueria Los Portales                                

Holiday Mood

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