Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 17, 2008.

Since last we left you we’ve made a bit of progress. A ring gear has been located and is now on the way to us here in Oriental. So the pieces should all be here this week so there’s a decent chance we’ll be doing some assembly soon.

Inamorata with Jeff & Tessa showed up on Friday afternoon. They had stopped for the night about 20 miles away and woke to a blinding fog.
It was a complete whiteout but they got underway and arrived here just after noon.

It was great to see them and we had a great time with them as always. We shared a couple of meals, hit West Marine, the supermarket and they did a little laundry. The wind came hard from the southwest and then veered from the northwest while they were here. It made for a bit of tension as one of the other boats in the anchorage couldn’t seem to get his anchor to stick. All went well enough and they left unscathed, but I’m pretty sure Jeff was looking forward to finding a less crowded anchorage to get some quality sleep when they left here on Sunday morning.

Christy spent yesterday running around with Carol while I did a few boat chores. Since we’re using the forward head I decided to clean the hoses of the aft head out with a diluted solution of muriatic acid. Then I took apart the fittings for the raw water strainer and cleaned them with the acid as well. Finally, I did a little routine maintenance on the auto pilot.

The auto pilot was a little low on hydraulic fluid. You can’t just open the lid to the reservoir and add fluid because the system is pressurized. After we had originally filled and bled the system we had to hook our bicycle pump to the system and pressurize the system. It had been a giant pain in the ass and took both of us working together to get the job done. Since then the bike pump broke and we threw it away. The only pump we have onboard is one of those tiny mini pumps we use to top off the bike tires. I figured I’d try it with that and if it didn’t work I’d find a pump to borrow while here in town. So after letting the air out of the system I topped off the fluid and hooked up the micro pump. It worked fabulously, it was perfect and I was done in 30 seconds. I guess even though the old pump was a full sized pump it must have just been a piece of crap. Good riddance.

As soon as I was done cleaning up my various messes it was time to take the dogs ashore. When I got up to the marina I found over a dozen people milling about. It seemed that the power had gone out all over town. All the people that are living here on their boats were freaking out because most of them are very dependent on shore power for heat.

Since it was so pleasant I didn’t have the heat on, but the night time temps are supposed to plummet to the high 20’s this week. My first thought was “no biggie, I’ll just run the generator” until I remembered that it’s still sitting in the middle of the salon. Fortunately, the power was back on in about an hour so everything was fine.

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