Our shakedown cruise up to St. Lucia revealed some issues that need to be addressed. These include our pressure water system, bilge pumps and rigging.
|Sailing past the Pitons on the way up to Rodney Bay|
Before they left, and while they were at the pool drinking piñ
a coladas I went to Island Water World and picked up an outrageously priced water system pump and installed it. Took about 15 minutes. Bingo. Problem solved. Wouldn't it be great if all of the stuff on a boat could be fixed so fast?
After I stopped crying when the scurvy crew drove away in their taxi I had a look at the bilge. Sometime in the past we ended up with oil in the bilge. I can't figure out how that might have happened. Our engine is separated from the bilge with its own engine pan. There were significant quantities of oil there but the Yanmar mechanic at Le Phare Bleu (Palm Tree Marine) was unable to find any leak issues around the engine. Also, we have never had any losing-oil issues so it is a real mystery. But there it is.
On the way up here the shower sump pump and the main bilge pump failed. The manual one was working and we rarely have water in the bilge but it is a concern when your two main pumps have failed and you have to rely on the manual hand pump.
So to assuage my grief at losing my crew I tackled the pumps. Ughhh. What a mess. I learned new ways to use old curse words and put a hex on whomever implemented designer Bob Johnston's design. Surely he couldn't have invented this bilge hell-on-earth. Compound that with dealing with sludgy oil everywhere, it took all day Sunday and most of Monday. Thank goodness Pam had left her pillow cases nearby so I was able to wipe my hands once in a while.
We always put screen door material in the holes in the boat (scuppers, through-hulls, etc) when we leave her on the hard so critters can't make their nests and plug up lines. I don't know if that is what happened but I spent a couple of hours on Sunday and from 8 'til 1 on Monday before I finally won. At one stage I considered firing a flare from our new flare gun down the hose. But... after pumping with water, poking with some 14-3 wiring cable, poking with a piece of old 3/8 standing rigging, pouring in muriatic acid and pumping air with the dinghy pump it finally came free. I don't know which technique won the war. I was getting ready to pull the hose out from the boat when I decided to try one more time and it worked! Yay!!! Glen 1- plugged hose 0 in overtime. Did not involve a shoot-out.
So the boat is a disaster. There is grease and oil everywhere but I can get Pam to clean that. Just kidding Pam. I'll get 'er done.
|More or less back in one piece.|
Steve's not here to make dinner so I've put my considerable culinary skills to work. Bought a chicken and had it with lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad. Very tricky getting this eye catching dish to the table without spoiling it by overcooking.
|I know, I know - red with beef, white with poultry. But this cornish game hen was the size of a cow!|
Got a minute to do the final install of the new fridge door Stu helped me make - actually, Stu pretty much made it for me. Nice, huh!?
|Pam has already pointed out that red wine stains!|
|Need to do some work on the insulation. Freezer on the right has two extra panels of insulation.|
Off to the market tomorrow to get a little grub and a few sundries.
What's next on the fix-it list? Rigging?
I'm sitting in the cockpit putting the final touches on this and listening to bad Karaoke on shore. What could be better? "Margaritaville", "Cheater cheater" and "I still like balogna" off key.