Monday, February 27, 2012

More Rambling Thoughts from Randy

Well, it’s been a little over six months since we cut the dock lines in East Tawas Michigan. I’m sitting in Sinbad’s cockpit reflecting on all that has gone on in that time period. Some things have changed and some I don’t think will ever change (…I still can’t sleep thru the night when it’s blowing over 25kts and we are anchored off a lee shore). This morning we are on a mooring at Bahia de Almodovar, Culebra, the thermometer is reading 79ºF and it is 8am. I guess that’s a change for February 27th; it’s a bit colder this time of year in Michigan.
One of the things that don’t seem to change is the work one must do to keep the boat going. Some people love fixing things on boats--not me. I like sailing the boat, lying around the boat and diving off the boat in exotic places. It’s apparent that boat work and fun on the boat are tied together by some mysterious force. The fun is happening along with this old retired fat pipefitter saying “now what’s wrong?” When our 80 horsepower Ford Lehmann quits running or doesn’t start, I usually say it a little louder with a few cuss words added to the mix. So far it’s been …. replace the lift pump, seven new fuel filters because of the 40 gal. of bad fuel purchased in Buffalo, NY,  twice old wires have come off their terminals (the one in the binnacle was a head-scratcher)  and an old wire on the alternator that kept breaking until I could replace it with a new one.
Most problems are electrical.  A couple of broken toggle switches in the binnacle for the fuel gauges, another bad switch on one of our new cabin lights and then there is the “breakers”. All of our new circuit breakers are dying a slow death, compliments of a little saltwater. When we made our crossing to the Virgin Islands, we had a whole lot of wind and waves which translates to green water going over the deck. Here is a photo of when we set off our spot beacon during our crossing (thanks, Barry). You can see where Tropical Storm Sean became a personal friend for a few days.

We had been in the Islands for a few weeks when I opened the electrical panel for some unknown reason. I was shocked to see salt crystals all over the inside of it! Not a good thing, bad, bad and more bad. What is slowly happening is, even though it looks like the breaker is working and 12 volts is going through it, the amps won’t. The cause of this was a small leak at one of the life line stanchions that trickled down a shelf and dripped on the electrical panel. Damn…………

The new Xantrex battery charger quit and the company replaced it with no problem. Our Garmin auto pilot is bad and so is Garmin support. But that is a rant for another time.
The rest of the work stuff is tightening this and that back up. Mother Ocean has a way of loosening things up.
Back to where we are Bahia de Almodovar;  Don Street says that it is one of the finest anchorages in the entire Eastern Caribbean. He is right on with that. It’s Day Two of 20kts plus and we are not even rocking! Life is good listening and watching the waves break on the reef 200 yards in front of us.

Well, enough for now,
Happy Sails......rr

1 comment:

  1. Soooo, you opened the electrical panel and were "shocked" to see... You gotta keep your paws off those electrical contacts to avoid dangerous shocks. Yock, yock, yock! Boat maintenance is like house maintenance except the house is mostly sitting still and isn't immersed in salt water. Fun, fun, fun!