Thursday, February 7, 2019

Awesome weather, and yet, we sit

Look at this amazing weather!

This is not the fault of the electricians. They came back, as they said they would, and connected the last three solar panels, as they said they would. They were done by lunchtime. But that left bunches of cables needing to be covered with clever panels, both on the fly deck as well as in the helm. Additionally, Russ wanted to finish installing the new monitor and tablet holder. It was a bit cool Monday, making it less optimal to travel, and the work took most of the day. We planned on leaving Tuesday.

Last week I arranged to have the boat's bottom cleaned but we didn't set a specific day. I gave the diver a call and he said he planned on showing up Tuesday morning. I had him reschedule for Friday, given our plans to not be here. 


Russ continued to work on his list -- things take time on a boat. We hoped to be moving by the afternoon, but... a phone call came. 

Does this look comfortable to you?
We recently purchased a navigational aide for the loop called Great Loop Notes which also has some software full of handy way-points. The author swapped emails with Russ the day before. Apparently, another looper (the caller, as it turned out) was having technical problems using the software, so he hoped Russ could give him a hand since we were just a marina away. Russ made plans to meet up with the fellow looper and load his software in the afternoon. Alas, we will not be leaving now. 

I really wished I hadn't rescheduled the cleaning. I quickly called Diver Lee (the gentleman who cleans the bottoms of boats) and asked if it were too late to go back to Tuesday. Of course, it was. 

Why we don't entertain
Since we'll be here all day, once done with the wiring list Russ decided to start his last engine task, which was to change out the coolant and check the zincs. 

"The zincs" are strictly a boat thing. They are also called sacrifical anodes. Water erodes metals, like propellers. But if you have some metal present with a higher voltage, those get eroded by the water first, saving the things you really care about. We have a number of them, some in the engine itself (which Russ was working on) and some of the propellers (which Diver Lee will check when he's here). Thus endeth the lesson.

The sadly part about this is the weather, which has just been stunning. Clear, calm, warm-ish. Boating weather, they say.

Then I got a phone call. Diver Lee had another client wanting to switch days. He could come out Wednesday. Given Russ was having issues with the zincs, I accepted. We still could leave Wednesday afternoon.

Starboard engine access is in the kitchen --
no room is spared!

Russ could only finish the starboard engine yesterday. Apparently removing the zincs was a bit of a task. In fact, I don't think we could go anywhere if we wanted now. A couple of the zincs were in really bad shape, and one came off and fell into some part of the engine. That can't be good. They will erode, eventually, but they also might get sucked into some intake. We've called the expert, Rian, for guidance. Meanwhile, Russ has moved onto the port engine.

On the plus side, the boat's bottom was cleaned. The diver didn't need to replace the zincs there. Everything looks great. Paint is good (should be, since it was just done), props look good, and intakes look clean. Yay for that!

As for the zincs that fell back into the engine, apparently there's nothing you can do. It's happened to others. There haven't been any reports of damage or issues, so we're just going to run with that.

By 3 pm it became apparent we weren't going anywhere today, either. Russ continued to wrestle with zincs on the port engine throughout the afternoon. He took a break for a sandwich I made, and did a run to drop off and recycled the old coolant. 

We looked ahead at the weather this weekend, but the wind will come up Saturday and Sunday, especially Saturday. There's a boater shin-dig in Tampa we want to go to (it's at the home of a looper). We thought we'd do that, attempting to be a little more social with the boat life, but we may have to rent a car.

Working on the fender boards. Or fender PVCs.

Lovelier weather. Finally, it's paying off to live in Florida! We spent the day doing outside tasks. We bought a couple of new fenders, which needed to be strung with line. We bought new line for all the fenders as well as our newly crafted "fender board." Loopers have recommended them for locks; they'll keep your fenders from getting scuffed or damaged. Since we have pilings in our slip, we put them on earlier this week. They are much quieter (the fenders can creak and squeak when squeezed). I wished they'd been on earlier through some of the windy weather.

We think we have a plan now, looking ahead. The weather will get bad Saturday through Sunday morning (bad meaning 15 mph or higher winds, choppy waters predicted). But should get better Sunday evening. We plan on going out then, anchoring Sunday and Monday (which is predicted to be amazing), then coming back Tuesday afternoon. I have a doctors appointment late on Tuesday, which explains the deadline. After that, should the weather hold we can come and go, barring any issues. 

The curtains I ordered should be done around the 21st. That's the last of the deadlines that we know of. Then we might be on our way for real.

While we're missing an amazing week, we are convinced it was just the first week of nice weather and not the last.

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