Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 9-12, 2014 SEA TRIAL

Sunday, I enjoyed singing with the choir again at St Mark’s.  I really do get enjoyment from singing , especially in parts.  It gave me something to look forward to while we were here in Wilmington. 

We spent part of the day getting the boat ready for our sea trial on Monday.  We had to have part of our “garage” emptied so the mechanics could have access to our batteries. 

Monday-the SEA TRIAL.  This is where we took the boat out and ran it through a few maneuvers to see that everything was working.  First, they tested a few things at the dock.  We discovered that our engine wasn’t starting using the starter battery, just for that purpose.  It was actually running off of our house batteries.  So Dave is going to chase down what is running off of each battery on our own time. 

Then we took the boat out into the Cape Fear River and traveled up and down the river in front to the marina putting the engine through it’s tests.  And we set the autopilot so the direction our boat is going according to the autopilot matches the standard compass and the GPS in our chart plotter.  We were reminded that when you change direction, the 3 will take a few minutes to match.  The standard compass will react first, then the autopilot compass, then the chart plotter.  But the chart plotter will be the most accurate because it is using the satellite system.  I thought that was interesting.

We found out our prop has a vibration.  That is something we will investigate when we are in beautiful, warm blue water.  There was an antifreeze leak and our air filter was loose.  Little things that were good to know above the fact that everything they fixed was working. 

Now the boat yard will put together their final bill and it will be submitted to the insurance company.  AND we keep our fingers crossed that everything will be covered.  It seemed kind of anti-climactic after all this time.  I guess because we aren't leaving right away by boat.  We did go out for chicken wings as a celebration. 

Tuesday, we spent finishing a radio project.  Dave has been experimenting with the Single Side Band radio for weather, but also checking in with HAM nets.  It helps their nets know how far their signal can be heard.  And they register that you have checked in.  So if you have an emergency in the future, they recognize you.  They specifically asked if there were any marine mobile users to check in, that was us.  The net moderator that night was from San Diego, CA.  And there were people checking in from all over the US. 

So Dave started adding a 3 inch copper strap from the antenna to our dyna plate on the bottom of the hull.  We’re trying to take stray noises off of our radio.  This will ground the radio and the antenna directly into the water.  But he couldn’t finish the project tonight because the “no see-um” were eating him up. 

We made a trip to Home Depot to find some “beefier” rubbermaid totes for spar parts and tools that we store in the “garage”.  We are trying to get more efficient with our storage, so we can actually have guests some day.  Plus they totes will be easier to move out of the way when Dave does need access to the engine, batteries or other electrical connections. 

Dave has been researching a dual filter system for the engine to be able to bypass a clogged filter and change it later.  If the engine stops in rough weather or near rocks, you’d want it running again  quickly.  Not in the time it would take to change the filter.  Thank you, Ron & Libbo for that idea.  I think we’ll end up adding that to our boat.

Wednesday was spent packing for a trip to Florida.  Dave has another appointment with the VA in St Augustine.  So we are driving there tomorrow.  Then my sister, Beverly, and a close friend of ours, Cheryl Ulmer, will be in Jupiter, FL for a week vacationing.  So we are going to join them.  The girls plan to scuba dive.  And Dave is going to do some studying for his Captain’s license.  (His ears can’t handle diving anymore).  So the next entry in my blog will probably be at the end of the trip.  Then we will be moving the boat south. 

So the rest of the day was spent doing little projects so the boat will be ready to leave here when we get back.  Dave ran around trying to find an electrical part for one the lights in our boat.  He also had to take the rental car in to the agency to rewrite our contract.  I think they just wanted to be sure it was still in one piece, since we’ve had it so long. 

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