unnamed-3These last two and a half weeks have been a bit up and down for me emotionally. It’s been exciting taking on the new boat as a project but it is so over-whelming the amount of work that is needed to understand the boat and make her safe to move any distance. Also I miss terribly my friends back in Pittsburgh and at T², Anna competing at the CrossFit Games and then moving house and not being there to help or at least get in the way. I feel rather helpless/hopeless with regards to projects on the boat because by the time Paul has explained what he wants doing, it would have been quicker for him to do it himself. It’s way too hot during the day to take the dogs walking; Bella still won’t pee on the boat so it is a quick sprint ashore and back every couple of hours. Anyway, enough of my moping.

On the lighter side of life, stripping excess and redundant wires from the spaghetti network continues apace. Paul has managed, we think, to fix the main leaks in the cabin by chopping out lumps from the roof and backfilling them with West Systems. Unfortunately like most jobs on the boat so far, what should have been a simple cut-and-fill, turned into a major job because where the core was wood, it was rotten so all that had to be dug out before refilling.

I say the main leaks because it poured with rain two nights ago and there were still a few trickles running down from the toe rail area. We can’t get our heads around taking off the toe rail, resealing the gap between the hull and the deck and replacing the toe rail so Paul took off the stanchions, re-bedded them and re-bolted with new non-rusted bolts. Fingers crossed. It did, actually, pour with rain last night but I was too tired to stay awake to check.

unnamed-5unnamed-4I have found a great place to take the dogs for a walk that is not the beach, but unfortunately there is no shade so it only works if it is cloudy or raining. Each time we go, we find more trails to follow. The first time we went, Ebba and Bella met a new friend though the relationship didn’t last too long. Bella decided to try a local delicacy; not sure what these are – any guidance would be appreciated. They didn’t make her ill so she either didn’t eat sufficient of them or they are not poisonous at least to dogs. Fortunately they still haven’t managed to catch a lizard.

unnamedunnamed-1We threw out the old stove/oven with its 30 years of grease and replaced it with a lovely shiny new one. At least when this one gets greasy, I’ll know where the grease came from.

A few nights ago, I spent a sleepless night having waking nightmares about being trapped on the boat by fire. What would be our escape route? How would we get the dogs out? etc. I told Paul about it the following day so we went out and bought all new fire extinguishers and scattered them liberally around the boat. We talked about the most likely areas where a fire would start (aft: engine room and/or galley) and what to do if, heaven forbid, it ever happened.

Next day, Paul was working in the pilot house pulling wires and accidentally pulled a wire across the bow thruster joystick and got the bow thruster all revved up. It went on for a couple of minutes before I realized that perhaps it wasn’t supposed to be on. (I thought he was testing something. He wasn’t.)

About 5 minutes later, he yells, “Can you smell smoke?” Yes I could. Oh shit!!!! Waking nightmare. And it wasn’t coming from where we had assumed, i.e. aft. It was coming from forward. There were clouds of smoke; no smoke without fire, right? F..K F..K F..K!

Turns out that there was, but no longer, a plastic hose resting on the motor housing for the bow thruster and said housing gets very very hot when the bow thruster is in use; hot enough to melt plastic hosing. Fortunately, this time there was smoke without fire. The boat just smelled of burned plastic but that I can live with. We went and got a few more smoke alarms too.

unnamed-2I have been to CrossFit Jensen Beach twice for a fix and both times it was shoulder work. Fried!!!! It was fun really.

And finally, it always seems to come down to the heads/toilets – the most used and least maintained piece of vital equipment on a boat. One of the toilets got blocked twice this week so Paul gave me the glorious task of investigating the problem (I was happy to do this). I did my job diligently and came to the conclusion that the blockage was at a two-way valve which was superfluous to requirements anyway but still part of the system. So we decided to take out that plumbing system plus the, I think, original system which had been left in when the ‘new’ system had been installed and replace it all with one hose to the tank. Simple right? Haha. No. It never is. Paul ended up having a shitty shower as he removed the existing hose from the holding tank. And little bits of calcified shit broke away as we removed the rest of the hosing in the system.

unnamed-6We knew when we bought the boat that the seacock in this particularly bit of plumbing was seized but with a little bit of gentle persuasion, Paul managed to get it to close. Good. Removed all the hoses and installed the new one. Just as we were tightening up the last few jubilee clips, Paul noticed a slight trickle of water coming into the boat from the shut-off seacock. As we watched it, the trickle increased to a steady stream and then a pulsing stream as the boat rocked up and down on the small waves that work their way into the marina. Oh good. Now what? The boat is going to sink? Somewhere on the boat there is a bag of wooden plugs just for this purpose – to shove into leaking seacocks but it is the bag that is always pushed around until you don’t know where it is. The plug that was next to the seacock was way too big. Eventually found it and banged in the correct sized plug. No leak. Phew. Crises over, until the next one.

Final final thought: have you ever noticed that the dogs always seem to be right where you need to be?  Love my dogs.

Thanks for reading. Safe boating with dogs.

Joanna

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