August 27, 2008.
The chores are getting quicker and easier to complete so we’ve spent a little time enjoying ourselves.
Over the weekend we hung out with some friends that we had met in the Bahamas. Gail & Matthew of the s/v Alisios picked us up in their car and whisked us away to their marina for the evening. We enjoyed appetizers and cocktails on their boat while we spent an hour catching up with each others adventures. Then we headed up to the marina's common area known as the “poop deck” to grill some dinner and share the rest of the evening with the crews from a half dozen other boats. It was a great time and the evening chill was perfect for our short walk home.
On Monday our newest addition to the livability of the boat arrived. We had ordered an Engel portable refrigerator/freezer. I had first seen one on Freedom last year and it struck me as a great idea. It’s perfect for a boat as it can operate on either 12 volt or 120 volt shore power. We had measured carefully and it looked like the 45 quart model would fit the space available pretty much perfectly. This model would hold about 60 cans of soda so it’s a pretty good size yet it only uses a minimal amount of electricity. Our intention is to use the entire thing as a freezer so this means we’ll have more than triple the capacity of our built in freezer all for less than two and a half amps an hour.
Once we got the thing we realized just how well it was gonna fit the space available. I almost had to grease it to get it into the spot we had chosen. At least there’s no chance of the thing moving about when the ride gets a little rough. I hard wired it into the system and it filled the last available slot in our breaker panel. So now our refrigeration worries just got a little less complicated; it’s a good thing too………
The damn fridge is acting up again. We woke this morning to a freezer that was once again thawing out on its own. Since we’re plugged in on the hard I hadn’t noticed that the fridge had been cycling longer in an effort to stay cold. If we had been running off our own power we would have noticed the increase in power consumption. So after a few hours of farting around with my cobbled set of gauges and recharging the system, it’s now running normally again, but for how long, I dunno.
This latest episode of “Will the Meat Go Bad” has been the impetus for us to buckle down and do a lot of research on a new refrigeration system. We’re planning to shit can the old system and put in one that will utilize the entire built in box as a refrigerator and we’ll keep the separate Engle as the freezer. This will make the fridge bigger than it is now so things should be better. So then, without having to freeze the box but only refrigerate it, we should save some power that the new Engle will be consuming. That, and the fact that the newer technologies that are now available are more efficient we should have a lot more capacity with about the same reasonable draw we have now. If we can make it until the boat show so we can fondle the new systems and maybe even get some boat show pricing, then we should be in good shape.
During the fridge debacle our friend Phil dropped in and invited us over for dinner. He’s been living aboard a Morgan 41 here in Herrington Harbor for about 2 years and had just purchased a new house. We were happy to accept the offer of a meal at his new digs.
It’s about 8 miles from the marina so he came by and picked us up and brought us back to his estate, er, home. He was fortunate to get one of the nicest houses in a small established waterfront community. He’s still in the process of acquiring furnishings. The place is pretty big and after living on a boat for a couple of years the new place is actually taking some time to fill up. He’s got a ton of cool nautical antiques that have been locked away and he’s now got some place to display them.
Dinner was great. Who knew Phil could cook? He even had dessert. We spent the evening reminiscing and talking about mistakes made, bullets dodged and how things always seem to work out for the better. Afterwards he drove us home to our boat; you know the one with the giant refrigerator box in the salon. Seemed kinda tight after the time spent at Phil’s.
Since then we’ve gotten back on the mission of completing the list. I installed another fan in the salon, installed a light over the stove and a couple of non-skid treads on the companion way steps.
When we were in the Bahamas we found that we were lacking Jerry Jugs that we ultimately should have had. For the entire 4 months we were there we never went to a fuel dock. I had to borrow diesel jugs from people so I could keep the boat topped up. We also didn’t have enough capacity for carrying gasoline for the dinghy. We carried 11 gallons when full but it was the limiting factor in how long we could stay in the more remote areas. So we’ve decided to add a rail along the starboard bow that will enable us to lash 4 five gallon jugs in place, two for diesel and two for gasoline. Now along with the watermaker we should be completely self reliant for more than a month at a time.
This morning when I went to take the dogs for their morning stroll we were confronted by this. That’s right, fallen leaves. That means it’s already getting colder. We gotta get out of this place……so we’re going back into the water on Tuesday after the holiday weekend.
That means, weather permitting, we’ll head out on Wednesday for Solomon’s Island for a day or two so we can grocery shop and pick up propane if we need it. Then it’s off for a two day trip up the Potomac to Washington, DC. We had such a good time up there last year (except for the holding cell part) that we can’t wait to get underway and get back up there.