November 26, 2012 by Last Star blog
Still in Titusville and that’s quite all right….
OK, so we took a week off….sort of. Alek spent the holiday weekend with us until Sunday afternoon then he did the 35 minute drive back to Orlando. Today on Monday we had a little issue to deal with so we elected to spend an additional day here in Titusville. But before we get to today’s issue let’s review some of the tasks needed while we were resting.
Alek was good enough to bring us a boat-load (pun intended) from BJ’s in Orlando, some of our essentials. We also had a few internet things sent to Alek so he could bring those as well. When he arrived his car was full. He was amazed that it all disappeared into the boat–who knew there was so much storage.
Now when we are “at rest” in a marina doesn’t mean we actually rest. We have to tend to items we would not otherwise be able to fix while underway. For example our water system relies on a pump for pressure and this system has a 1 liter accumulator (most modern houses have one, it keeps your pipes from “banging” or hammering, it’s in your attic) and there was a leak near it. Now after two months on this vessel I have learned (the hard way) to NOT touch anything unless I have the capability to fix the other two things that will break when I try and fix the first. So we waited to look into the water issue until we had Alek’s wheels. So while Alek and Patricia went to Wal-Mart (on black Friday, not that you can tell in Titusville) I crawled under the sink into the black void. Now this work space if you can call it that is miniscule, has the compressor for the refrigerator in the same space and requires a Cirque d’ Soliel contortionist to work in there. I was able to use flashlights and a mirror and some painful twists of my neck (100% according to the VA) to get the thing apart and out of the black void to realize that it in fact had a pin-hole size leak in the hard molded plastic? Why would it develop a hole there? Made absolutely no sense. I had to clean the whole thing and put it back together to pinpoint the leak. Now a quick search of the internet showed this model was NO LONGER available–surprise. No one had the new model in stock anywhere either–another surprise. In addition, the new model had a different configuration to fasten it to the plumbing system which I have learned is code for good for the manufacturer and shit for me as I will have to totally reconfigure the bowels of the boat to accommodate the new 2/3 of an inch change they’ve made. Remember the 176$ fuel filter bolt? That was one of those cases, I just didn’t bore you with it. SO, what do I do with my problem? Well, I get some JB Weld which I have on board for just such a case and whip me up some of the two parts and make a nice patch on the accumulator. Fixed for less than 5 dollars. Only down side was we were without water for about 20 hours. Fortunately we were at the dock so we just went to the marina’s bathrooms. Now after the water was fixed the next day we took Alek out to the mooring field so he could do the whole boater experience. Live-aboards can’t spend the whole time at the marina. So we motored out to a mooring ball and spent the rest of the afternoon lazing around and planning happy hour. That night while checking out the stars I noticed our “anchor light” was NOT working–shit, now what? You see it is a requirement to have an anchor light when you are anchored so folks can see you at night. Most Sailboats have this little gem at the top of the mast. Well ours was not working. So the next morning bright and early I asked Patricia and Alek to take me to the top of the mast so I could fix it. Well those two could not raise me up there so the alternative was to take Patricia up there to dope it out. It’s the least she could do for me after spending the previous day at Wal-Mart spending my money while I toiled away under her sink.
That little dot up there, that’s her, isn’t she the cutest little thing, bless her heart.
Now you can’t imagine how hard it is to hoist Patricia to the top of this mast! She doesn’t seem very big but there must be some frictional forces working against me. Alek did a good job of holding the line while I cranked the winch. I’ve suggested to Patricia that it would be easier for me if she would try and climb or “shimmy” up the mast but she doesn’t seem to help much. I asked her if she was climbing but only heard some whimpers from up there, maybe it was the wind in the rigging. At one point some boats came by and the wake seemed to move the boat a little bit, she claimed it was moving a lot up there but I don’t really think that was the case. Alek didn’t seem to notice
here he is resting after watching me hoist Patricia to the top.
Patricia was happy to be at the top, I think you can see her waving at me here.
Here’s a photo of Patricia’s view, nice huh? What’s not to like? I had to work under that sink and here she is in the fresh air, great view of Titusville, Cape Canaveral, the Indian River.
I think she’ll thank me later.
Here’s a few photos of what she was working on.
I guess she used her camera to see the light more clearly.
I guess the pulley at the top of the mast doesn’t take her ALL the way to the top so she can’t see exactly what is up there. I suggested that she stand up IN the bosun’s chair to get the last 6-9 inches of visibility to do a proper job. She waved at me again at that point and dropped a pair of pliers; she can be pretty clumsy, maybe her palms were sweaty. Well after some good electrical investigative work by proxy (me coaching her through it from the cockpit) I deduced that we would get some new bulbs. Well you know what that means, I would have to lower the “bag of sand” and then raise her again!! The lowering goes rather quickly, I just release the line and try and remember to tell to hold on. We got the bulbs, Patricia went back up (providing no assistance still) and it was fixed in time for her to come down and fix us some sandwiches at her new sink with running water–I AM the man!!!
Now for this morning’s chore. I had sent Patricia and Alek to Ace hardware to get the propane tanks refilled while I watched the NFL games on Sunday but what does she do but bring me MORE bad news. One of the propane tanks is leaking, the valve is shot. WTF? How did they break it? It was working last time I used it. Fortunately there was a welding/Gasses type store only a mile away on Main street that the Ace guy recommended for replacing the valve. So this morning after breakfast Patricia and I loaded up the tank in the dinghy and set out in search of the place (Boggs Gas). It was an easy walk and the weather was awesome. When we got there they had the valve and were able to replace it on the spot and then fill the tank to “leak check” it. What a deal, we got the thing fixed (this is NOT your standard 20# tank for your BBQ that you get replaced at Lowes or Rhino, these boat sizes are hard to find) and filled in under half an hour. Oh and they have cool stuff to look at in a welding place if you never hung out in one–lots of cool tools. The walk back was a bit painful and slow as Patricia had some trouble with the tank; I told her to be careful and not drop it. I didn’t drop it carrying it there, she shouldn’t drop it carrying it back, yeah granted it was full now but hey it’s a gas, how much can it weigh. We nearly lost the tank when she dropped it in an intersection, fortunately she was able to dash through traffic before it got scratched or damaged. I don’t want it rusting in the salt-water environment.
Anyhow that was our last few days relaxing and truth be told the water leak is fixed, the mast-light was an amazing feat of bravery from my “always game” wife (about 60 feet up there, nearly 6 stories), and the propane was fixed in less than an hour and that was the walking to and from….all in all a good day(s) and we did some last minute laundry and had happy hour by 5:00 PM. Tomorrow we head south again! Sunshine and 78 degrees in the forecast… now if only we can get out of the ICW!!