As far as work on the boat, several things were completed on time and within budget:
· The cutless Bearings were replaced
· The stuffing boxes were serviced
· The hull was waxed
· Repairing the generator
And, as I am sure you have already guessed, there was one unbudgeted, unexpected repair – fixing the Purasan (the on-board sewage processing system for the aft head). Read on.
Then came the time (and money) consumers. I told you in our last entry why we were replacing our toilets. When identifying which toilets to buy, we wanted the new model to be as similar to the old model as possible. The old ones had, after all, lasted 20+ years – plus we hoped that the hose and electrical connections for the new models would fit right into the hose and electrical connections of the old ones. That would surely save time and money.
Or so we thought. (Here, you might hear a deep mournful sigh.) As always, there were issues. Somewhere between me identifying the model and Zimmerman’s Boat Yard ordering the part, we ended up with toilets that were almost the same as the ones we wanted, but the size of the bowl was different. We received the marine size bowl (built for very small butts), when we thought we had ordered the household size bowl. The technicians didn’t realize the mistake (and there was no reason they should have) until after they had almost finished installing one of the toilets. That meant they had to re-order the toilets and take the completed one out and put the new one in. There was another issue. Apparently, over the years, there had been some ever-so-slight modifications to the new model, so while everything fit, not all of the connections matched up. Among other things, that meant we needed some woodwork done on the pedestal where the toilet sits and that, of course, meant a little more time and money.
Still, the toilets were installed by Friday the 19th, as we had hoped. But then we had to wait on the generator. It turns out that I was right that there was a small electrical issue (the preheat solenoid needed to be replaced), but I was wrong when I thought that was the ONLY problem. For the past several weeks we had noticed that once in a while when the forward bilge pumped out there was a slight sheen on the water – meaning, of course, that some petroleum was leaking. It wasn’t much and didn’t happen all the time so we weren’t too worried about it. As the technicians started working on our little electrical problem, however, they found that we had a fuel leak at the generator’s injection pump. (The reason the sheen didn’t appear every time the forward bilge pumped was that sometimes we had used the generator and sometimes we had not – it all made sense.) That meant we had to have the injection pump rebuilt. That, in turn, meant we could not leave on the Monday as we had planned, but would have to wait until Tuesday at least.
(At this point I should give kudos to Zimmerman’s. They knew that I was a l-i-t-t-l-e bit upset that we had to postpone our departure date. So, they made a special run to the “rebuild subcontractor” with the old injector and had the rebuilder come in over the weekend to finish the job. As it turns out we are STILL in Deltaville, but I do appreciate the effort.)
So, now it is Tuesday AM and we are ready are ready to leave, right? Hahaha! If it were only so easy!
On Monday afternoon we decided to replace a chlorine cartridge in the Purasan. It is really a simple job, but as we were doing it we noticed that the old cartridge did not seem to have been used very much and that the inch or so of water that was supposed to be at the bottom of the dispenser was not there. Hmmmm ‘twas a puzzle. We checked the system and called the manufacturer. Hmmmm still no answers. But as we started looking more closely we discovered that the two tubes flowing into the dispenser (one carrying water in and one carrying chlorinated water out) appear to have been reversed. Now I had never touched this system so it had to be a mistake by the Zimmerman’s technician who initially installed them – last June. I called the Boatyard and told them that I thought their man had made a major mistake. They responded immediately, sending someone to take a look. Sure enough I was right. He spent about 4 hours (at their expense) fixing the problem.
|Mike holding is nemesis -- the walking boot. |
It is finally off!!
Now I’ll bet you are thinking, “Whew! Since they disposed of the Purasan problem Monday afternoon, they should have on their way Tuesday morning,” right? Hahaha! Oh ye of so much faith. When they re-routed the tubes into the dispenser, we discovered that the pump in the aft toilet (the only toilet we did not replace) did not have the oomph to push water up to the tablet dispenser, so the Purasan could not work. Now what do we do? We came up with three options. Option one was to take out and rebuild the pump. The trouble was that we didn’t know if that was possible. Option two was to trade out the toilets: un-install one of the new ones and the old one and change their positions. That would give us a new toilet and new pump in the Purasan head, and an old toilet in one of the Lectra san heads – and the Lectra Sans do not need particularly strong pumps. Option 3 was to forget about it and go with two heads. Having spent so much money on heads over the past several months, I didn’t want to go with Option 3.
I won’t keep you in suspense. Early Wednesday morning (Ann was still in her PJ’s and I hadn’t had my coffee yet) one of the techs came over, took the pump back to the Yard, rebuilt it and reinstalled it. We tested it and there was plenty of oomph in the rebuilt pump and everything seemed to be working well. Total time? About four hours. Although we had now missed our Tuesday departure, we were prepared to leave on Wednesday morning. All we had to do was talk to Zimmerman’s about who was going to pay for the repairs. They had already agreed to pay for re-routing the tubes as that was their man’s mistake. I suspected, however, that they were going to tell me that the pump rebuild and re-install were on me – as that had nothing to do with the initial installation. I can tell you that IF they had told me that, I would not have been a happy camper. I was pleasantly surprised when Zimmerman’s suggested that we split the time and materials for the rebuild. I figured that would be in the neighborhood of $160, but hey, it was better than any of the alternatives.
Okay, it is Wednesday morning and NOW we are ready to leave, right?? Hahaha! (I know some of you are wondering what all this hahaha laughing-stuff is all about. Well, as the pundit once said, “You have two choices in life: you can laugh or you can cry and, it's always better to be smiling.” I know that doesn’t sound like me, but in boating you have to be careful about gushing water. If we cried about all the “issues” that came up, the flow of tears would probably sink the boat.) Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon we heard that Hurricane Sandy might be coming our way. Several of the models show it heading off to Bermuda (which would still cause us significant winds), but one of them showed it coming right up the coast. So, on Tuesday afternoon we determined to take it day-by-day and see what that damn hurricane was doing before deciding to head south. We decide to do the same thing on Wednesday morning and again on Thursday morning.
I know, I know, you are all thinking, “Hey, I thought this boating stuff was supposed to be fun! Haven’t you guys done anything but circulate money in to the economy and work?” Well, the answer is that we certainly have (I’ll get to that in a moment), but remember, we knew this was going to be a preparatory stop. And when we get to the Bahamas we will not be able to fix things – or to have things fixed – quite so easily.
|Steak, Lobster and champagne! |
Celebrating the removal of my walking boot.
Anyway, it hasn’t quite been all work and no play, as I finally got my walking boot off! In celebration, Ann cooked us steak and lobster. Mmmm! I do love lobster, oh, and steak too!
Finally, as some of you know I have been involved in a project with the Carnegie Corporation. There are four of us who will be listed as authors, though some people did far more work than I did. My task, in addition to commenting on what everyone else wrote, was to write the introduction, including specifically a section on “net assessments,” and to keep the project focused on the net assessment approach – which was a requirement of the organization funding the project. (I know, most of you don’t know what the net assessment approach is. Of that, I am very glad because if everyone knew, I wouldn’t have had a job.) As you DO know (or can imagine) in any publication where academics are involved there is a cut-off date for changes, an absolute-cut-off-date, an absolute-absolute-cut-off-date and a TTIRMIAACUD (This-Time-I-Really-Mean-It-Absolute- Absolute-Cut-Off-Date). Well, on the Carnegie Project we have reached the TTIRMIAACUD. Actually, the TTIRMIAACUD is next Friday, so I am taking a day-long sabbatical to write this blog entry.
It is now Friday morning and we are still in Deltaville. It looks increasingly like we will be here through at least Monday and probably until Tuesday or Wednesday. The real question is what will Sandy do? Will she swing north or hit closer to our temporary home? To find out, you will have to tune into our next blog entry. We will try to publish it before we head south, but in any event, we’ll let everyone know how we are doing.
ANN’S NOTES: I guess it is my turn to put my two cents worth in the blog.
I keep telling Michael that boaters do not … repeat … do not have plans. We have INTENTIONS. As you can see intentions can change very quickly when you have to deal with repairs and weather.
We did get a lot of work done over the past few weeks. This boat is very big when you start to clean all the little marks with a Mr. Clean magic eraser. Michael does all the decks and I follow behind and do the detail work. I was glad that is was a cooler fall day and not a hot, humid Virginia summer day.
I have stated before that almost everything done on a boat is a “two-person” job. Luckily Michael and I work rather well together. Getting the dinghy on the second deck is a good example of working together. Jury-rigging the cradle was a full day job. My poor body has black and blue marks in some very strange places! Lying on the deck under the dinghy and adjusting blocks of wood may explain why I have those marks. The bottom line is we got it done!!!
I have had my first experience of being ill on the boat. I had been fighting what I thought was a sore throat and a nasty cough for about a week. Finally on Monday the 22nd, with what I thought would be an eight day cruise ahead of me, I went to a Dr. Kauffman walk-in clinic / office. It turned out that I had a sinus infection … Yuck. I am now taking an antibiotic and Robitussin…plus a few codeine pills at night to stop the coughing. The codeine pills I had on board … Dr. Kauffman told me to use a Neti pot and hot showers, I am doing both but I have to tell you that the codeine pills work much faster.
I also joined my new friend Judy in a local Yoga class, it was good to get some “girl time” in and the teacher was good. Not as good as MY Yoga teacher, Rixie, but still I had some mat time and that felt great.
I guess that is all for now … we just have to wait out hurricane Sandy and than our Intention is to head south …
Traveling Soul … OUT