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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Still here
07/22/2007, Saugatuck

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Well, we got to do all the last minutes stuff that we didn't get to do yesterday because we were tied up in all the electrical stuff. I had last minute shopping to do for milk, eggs, fresh veggies, batteries, camera etc... so went into Holland while Wayne switched the anchor back to the chain and rope from the all chain rode, cleaned the topsides & got a pumpout. Filled the water tank (man our front end is down below the water line, and backend is up). With the chain in the anchor locker plus all the water in the tank (close to 100 gallons), we're a bit front heavy - hope that doesn't cause a problem. By the time we got finished with everything it was really to late to get started on our adventure so we'll finish up any loose ends, grab one more dinner at the Boat House, have a walk up to breakfast at the Kalico Kitchen, and then head out tomorrow. We should have been gone yesterday - but hey - we were supposed to actually leave on the 11th...


And We're off???
07/21/2007, Saugatuck

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Well, we finished packing up at home, locked up and headed west at 9:30 am to a gas aroma car... Something is definitely leaking gas from the dingy can or engine or something. The odor is verrry strong. Hope it doesn't permeate the water and food for the trip. That would be bad.

9:45 am back home again. We forgot the oars to the dingy and had to turn around to get them. Off again... Stopped at McDonalds in Oswego for lunch on the run (don't know how Wayne can jockey eating a Big Mac while driving the truck, but damned if he doesn't always manage it - makes me jealous) and then West Marine for last minute items for the boat. We finally got to the boat a little after 1:00 pm and unloaded the car and loaded the boat. I like being able to use the hatches to load stuff into the boat - most efficient as opposed to hauling everything to the back of the boat and down.

After passing things down we decided to check out our new battery but as I was loading stuff in the kitchen I noticed that the battery selector wasn't attached properly to the wall and was cocked off the wall at about 20o and holding onto it by 2 of the 3 screws. The 3rd screw was screwed into air and dancing a jig with my fingers... I said, you are not going to believe this - as my blood started to boil. From above I heard Wayne groan a big, Oh no - you are not going to believe this... you have got to see what they did up here. I said no, you've got to see what they did down here... the selector is not even flush with the wall and you can see the wires crammed through it and it's on with 2 screws with the third one hanging in space. Wayne said - they put in another house battery. I said: What? He said more adamantly - a HOUSE BATTERY! Come look at this, I kid you not!!! I said come look at this!!! Wayne won - I went up top... I thought he was going to cry. He fumed - why does this always happen to us? professionals huh? I couldn't believe my eyes - there it sat - a third gel cell, the same size as our house batteries. Another deep cycle, slow starting house battery instead of the fast charge/discharge battery that we expected to see... At this point, Wayne said "it looks like the trip may be off again, this isn't going to work". Well, we were both fuming then. He thought maybe we could take it to Torrenson, and they could sort this out. I said no. We're not paying for this crap. He said this battery had to cost more than the quote that Angie had given him. There was no way they'd be able to get a marine electrician out here to change it and I said well they better. They screwed it up, they'd better fix it, and quick. I'm not paying that much money for this. This is a frigging mess and totally not right. This is a job that I could have done and better, and I don't know anything about hooking up electrical things and these guys are supposed to be the professionals???? Look what they've done!?!?! Professionals??? Wayne said - I knew I should have been here, I knew I should have been here!!! I said we need to get someone here now or the first thing Monday if they can't get it today! We went to the front office where there was a lineup so we had to wait to vent to the poor girl there alone. She said Angie was gone - loading a boat into the water and I said can you call her then? We're verrrry unhappy with the work that the "electrician" did on our boat. Nothing was done right - wrong battery, hooked up wrong, and not even hooked up to the wall correctly like it should have been. It needs to be fixed, and quickly. We were scheduled to leave this weekend and it needs to be done. Is there anyone else we can talk to? She had that deer in the headlight look and said let me see if I can reach Angie. Angie was reachable by phone and said Brian is there, send him out to look at it... She told us that Brian was still here and he'd be about 10 minutes. Did we want to wait, or go to the boat and wait? Wayne said and they left mud all over the boat too. Mud! She picked up on that and said What? There's not mud around there! But this was something she could relate to - mud all over the boat? That sparked kindred anger. Electrical she didn't seem to comprehend the magnitude of our problem with that... We filled out a work order/complaint and went back to the boat to wait for Brian.

Brian showed up at 4ish, looked at it and said "This wasn't my mess". We described what they did, what we wanted and he said "I'll have to talk to my boss". After talking to someone - he said "you never specified what size battery". Wayne said "we ordered a starting battery not a house battery" at which Brian said you'll have to talk to my boss. Wayne went storming up to the office with Brian and this time I stayed and started stowing things onboard the boat. When they came back, Wayne said that Angie was there and looked upset and said they'd make everything right, so Wayne & Brian struggled to get the battery out of the cockpit (it was monstrous heavy - a 2.5 x 1.25 size gel battery). Then Brian went into Holland for another battery. He said this wasn't my mess but I'll help make it right. When he got back he had to unwire and sort through the chaos of oversized overstuffed wires in the galley and after much stress and a few choice words Wayne and he finally rewired the system to the old setup and put the new battery by itself on the starter. Brian got to go home after that to no power, and about an hour of overtime but danged if he didn't try to make right, what someone else screwed up. Now if it just works... If he just knew what he was doing...

By the end of the day, needless to say, we didn't make it out. There was much to be done yet.

It Begins
07/20/2007, Saugatuck, MI

Friday, July 20, 2007

Well it begins... Time to leave Tower Marine in Douglas/Saugatuck, MI. I'll miss this place we've called home since we bought Kolibrie in 2003. It's beautiful here. Has it really been 4 years since I first saw her in Noank, CT and we brought her back to the Great Lakes? Time flies... time to move on.

Say adios to Saugatuck, over Lake Michigan way and hello to Toledo Beach in Lake Erie.

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