Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Back to Antigua

Hello Again Dear Reader,

First post in a long while. I'm back in Antigua working on Blue Pearl.

When we left her here last April she was bruised and broken. Two years of covid-induced neglect made her basically non-functional. The batteries were dead, the navigation system wasn't working properly, the house water system was broken, the teak was peeling, the propane system leaked and it was just generally dirty. So we cut our cruise short and came home early.

With months to plan, I have arrived back down here with fixes to all of our issues... so here's hoping things will be better this time.

My plan was to arrive at North Sound Marina on Sunday, work like the devil Monday, launch and transit to Jolly Harbour Tuesday where the real work on repairs would begin. However, Tuesday was Independence Day and Wednesday was too busy so now we launch Thursday first thing. We'll see what "first thing" looks like.

In the meantime I've started working on the batteries and propane system.

Meals have been fun. I thought the local burger place would be closed so I stopped at a little grocery on the way and picked up a can of "Chopped Ham" (aka Spam, ) some bread and a cucumber. As I drove past the burger joint I saw that it was open. Should have stopped. 

Breakfasts have been banana bread that Pam sent with me and coffee.

Went to the burger joint on Monday but it was closed so I had more Spam. Yum. Tuesday was Independence Day so the burger joint was closed. I found a roadside take-away place (they are all over) and had Pig Souse. Today was another roadside place for a big lunch and it will be sardines and crackers for dinner. Really looking forward to a burger.

Tomorrow I will do a 15-20 mile run around the island to Jolly Harbour and tie up at the marina to get the big stuff done before Pam gets here next Wednesday.

The new batteries are AGMs for the starter and windlass. The new house bank is 2 280 Ah LiFePO4 batteries for 560 Ahs. 

Optima battery for starter and windlass

This is one of the 2 280 Ah batteries I built that will form the house bank

The new bits that will create an improved battery system

The propane system gets a new regulator and some new gas lines. 

Last April we plugged the drain hole in the well so over time it
filled with rainwater and floated the tanks. Bad.

Cleaned up with new parts but not yet completely connected.

Also installed a new port-side boarding ladder. Always wondered how we could get someone on board if the dinghy was up and blocking the aft ladder. Now we know! But will take some research to figure out how to deploy and stow.

New Mystic SS Boarding ladder

Our Covid absence led to some serious issues with our teak.
Wonder if this protective material will make a difference?

New engine control panel cover. Now you can see the instruments.

Haven't done much with rigging. That's for later.

Murphy the Dinghy - ready to load for launch.

So that's us so far. Lots of work to do at Jolly. Will report out on my progress. Looking forward to have it all bright and shiny when Pam arrives on November 9, 2022!

Cheers for now.

Captain Chaos

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