Busy but Well
26 November 2009 | Stuart Florida
Mike and Judy
I owe you readers a long update on our continuing adventures but have been alerted to the fact that some may be worried about us because we've been in cognito for some time. Well let me backtrack a bit.
We left Fredericton on Friday November 6; Judy and I and Chopin went to Cinnaminson, New Jersey where Judy's family lives. Judy's brother Bob and his wife Heather flew down from Newfoundland to spend a week with us and Judy's Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters and children.
I left the next Friday by car to drive down to Florida where we kept Sea Sharp stored during the summer; Judy and Chopin stayed in New Jersey. On Saturday afternoon , as I reported, I arrived at Riverside Marina and boarded Sea Sharp. She was relatively clean and showed little degradation from the hot Florida sun. I was very pleased.
However, imagine our boat stuffed below with much of the gear that we took off the decks including the sails, the bimini, dodger, life raft and most of the clothes and other effects in large "zip lock" type bags. I got enough of this gear from below on to the deck so that I could stay on her. Remember now that the boat is not in the water but on the land which means that you cannot use many of the facilities on board including plumbing. A more fulsome discussion of marine plumbing would be necessary to better explain this but suffice it to say that Judy and Chopin may not be that happy to be on board.
Life on board, "on the hard" is somewhat difficult. It was very hot and dusty in the marina and I worked very hard at getting the boat ready to "splash".
On Sunday I did all the canvas work which included remounting and installing the dodger, bimini, sails, and associated gear. This may not sound like much of a day but take my word I was tired when it was over.
On Monday, I washed the hull and polished her. She gleams! I discovered that the stove would not work so knew I was in for a day's worth of puttering. A quick lesson on marine stoves; most operate on propane which is heavier than air so if there is any leak, even a minute one, the gas gathers in the bilge (the lowest part of the boat) and when there's the slightest spark, kaboom!!!! So the tanks are in a sealed locker in the lazerette (yeah I know, you're saying, here comes all of these fancy nautical terms again). A quick aside, you know that so many words we use every day have nautical derivations. I think lazarette, which is a locker or bin at the rear of the boat comes from the word Lazeratto which was a place where people with afflictions like leprosy were housed. I recall that there was a Lazeratto which operated I think in Caraquet not far from home until probably the sixties.
But, I digress. So the tanks are in a sealed locker with a device called a solenoid switch connected to a "sniffer" which essentially is a switch which can detect minute quanties of propane in the boat and will not allow the solenoid to open in such a case. Well to make a long story short, the solenoid was stuck so I had to first of all determine the problem, which meant hanging upside down in the aforesaid lazarette for hours in the hot sun with various tools, taking the stuff apart. Fortunately, I had installed this system so I know all the wiring and schematics so it wasn't too long before I figured out the problem; a stuck solenoid.
A bit of frigging and I located a replacement and after a boat buck ($100 US) I had the part and repaired the issue. This took the whole day.
I'll post this one now to allay any concerns from readers that we're drifting somewhere out in the Atlantic and catch up with the remainder of our commissioning and now floating stories.
Thanks for your readership.