Boat Projects in Exotic Sounding Places
08 November 2012 | Oriental, North Carolina
Katie, too cold
Besides weathering Hurricane Sandy, I have weathered living on Mezzaluna with Hurricane Jeff whirling about on multiple boat projects simultaneously. It is true, living on your boat is just working on your boat in exotic locations, as long as you consider Oriental, North Carolina an exotic location.
Our life raft arrived here the same day we did and got mounted on the boat straight away but we're still looking for a place to stow the extra solar panels that were stashed where we now have the life raft.
Once Hurricane Sandy passed, Jeff got started on the Mezzaluna Metropolitan Sewer Project which spilled over into about 3 days. Some hoses in the head need to be rerouted and replaced and unfortunately, one of the hoses that got opened was full of something you don't even want to know about. Talk about a stinky mess.... We went through a lot of bleach, water, various cleaners, and air freshener, including sautéing onions and garlic to make Mezzaluna inhabitable again.
Next was reconditioning the batteries which, much to our dismay but not surprisingly, did little to improve the output of Mezzaluna Edison. Butch, the assistant dock master live aboard, called Chuck, the local electrical go-to guy who stopped by and found that the charger part of the inverter was shot, one battery was completely dead and another was operating at less than 30%. So, Mel, a marina live aboard mechanic whiz, offered to make a run with Jeff to West Marine in New Bern, which is 30 miles away, for a new charger which was promptly installed in the aft cabin. After Jeff did some battery research, Mel again offered to provide transportation, this time to Sam's Club in Jacksonville, which is 60 miles away. We bought six 12 volt AGM batteries for our house bank and another one for the starter battery along with a cart full of things that were not on any list but once there we decided we couldn't live without. Since the old battery compartment held only 5 batteries it needed to be rebuilt. Finding the necessary tools and supplies required ripping any remaining put together part of the cabin apart to find the tools and excursions to the hardware store and local West Marine to buy supplies. Luckily the Whittaker Point Marina courtesy car and/or Mel were available so we could make the necessary trips.
As Jeff was industriously working on the battery project, I got a call from a delivery company that the mattress we ordered at the sail show in Annapolis was arriving at the City Dock in Beaufort, NC in 10 minutes and I needed to be there to sign for it. Just a bit of an impossibility as it's a day away by boat and a bit more than an hour away by car, if you have one. A few phone calls later arrangements had been made for it to be held there until the next day. Mel came to the rescue again, when he offered to make the drive down to Beaufort in his truck with me so we could pick up the mattress. I was a bit wary when I saw the size of the box as to whether or not we'd be able to get the thing aboard, but Jeff, with a little help from Gary across the dock, maneuvered the mattress aboard and into the fore cabin without a hitch. With a few acrobatics and sheets hot out of the dryer I had the bed made and we had a restful night's sleep when we returned from Music Night at M & M's in Oriental.
Since the temperature has dipped into the low 40's we've had Mel, as well as a service guy from another marina aboard helping Jeff in several attempts to recommission the Webasto heater but so far it's no go. Fortunately, Lynn and Steve from S/V Celebration (who headed out for Virgin Gorda and warmer climes this morning) gave us a little electric heater that I'm sitting next to so I don't freeze to death.
We had Bob, the IT live aboard guy in the marina and his dog Sweeny, over to look at our WiRe internet booster which has not been working reliably since we left Wisconsin. He determined that the problem is due to product malfunction, not operator error. The good news here is that we are not incompetent, the bad news is now we need to contact the company and figure out how and where to get it fixed so we have reliable internet access.
The heater and internet booster projects are going on hold as Jeff is busy finishing up the sail rigging, mounting the safety equipment, and getting all our gear stowed back away so we can head south tomorrow morning chasing some warmer weather.