The End of the List?
08 December 2011 | Vero Beach Marina
It was a cold day here. We woke up to temperatures in the fifties. We took our time with breakfast, but then we had to bundle up and take Fuzzy ashore. He was dressed in his one little sweater that we brought along. I had him in the front pack for the dinghy ride, and still he shivered. It did get up in the low seventies around mid-day, so I suppose that’s not bad for mid-December.
When we got back and I finished the regular morning chores we tackled the forward holding tank. We wanted to make sure it was full before we calibrated it, and that needed to be done before the pump-out boat got here. Bud opened the viewing port on the tank, ugh! There was still about 3 inches of space at the top of the tank. I pumped seawater in to fill it. I took the time to add vinegar and clean the worst of the stains from the toilet bowl (vinegar works wonders on the stains that the combination of saltwater and urine leave behind). Anyway, we got it filled to within about a half inch of the top. When I went to calibrate the monitor, it wouldn’t go past half full. So I called the company again. I tried to reach Dennis, the very helpful man I’d talked to before. He wasn’t in the office and they said they’d have him call me back. I asked them to hurry, because if there was a fix, I’d like to get it done before the tank got pumped.
Bud had started to empty out the wet locker and the storage area under the generator. Our generator puts a small stream of water into the bilge via the wet locker drain whenever we run it. Once before it had over-filled the wet locker pan and it had done that again Tuesday when we used it. Bud wanted to investigate the hose from the wet locker to the bilge.
I took a look at the wires to the tank monitor, just to see if I could see a problem. Sure enough, one of my crimps hadn’t held and there was a loose connection! I crimped the wires hard with our old wire stripper and crimper. Once the connections were together I was able to program the monitor. I had just finished when Dennis called. We had a nice chat and he told me if I ever had any other problems to call him direct at the number he was on, his home number. Wow, that’s service! I would highly recommend anything from SCAD Technologies. They really support their products.
The pump-out boat came then and we got both tanks emptied. Then we went back to the wet locker drain problem. The hose had crimped again where it turned to exit the wet locker, so Bud cut it and installed a 90-degree elbow. We actually had an elbow of the right size in our plumbing supplies. He installed the elbow and I hooked the drain hose back up to the bottom of the pan because it was one of those jobs where you had to stick the top half of your body into the wet locker and bend over and behind the partially lifted bottom pan to do the installation.
Bud still wanted to reseal the front holding tank, but told me I might as well take the dinghy and go to shore to walk around if I wanted. There were no more jobs to be done. At least for the moment we had come to the END OF THE LIST. Now I don’t want to get too excited, because I know the engine needs to be repaired and new things will no doubt come on the list (we haven’t addressed the leak in the fresh water system, for instance), but it still seemed lovely.
I met this wild turkey walking around the marina and she was kind enough to let me take her photo.
I had a bit of an incident with the dinghy getting back to the boat. The dinghy dock here is very crowded. I was proud of myself for nosing my way successfully into a place on my way in. Getting out, I should have just left the engine in neutral and pulled myself back using the dinghies on either side, but I was feeling confident and tried to back out. I gave the engine a bit of throttle and it lifted up and that gave it more throttle! I tried to get it in neutral and put it in forward so I was charging back at the dock. I at least had the presence of mind to pull the cord that released the kill switch. No harm done, but I felt like a fool. A nice man gave me instructions on getting the engine clamped back down. I then restarted it and pushed back by hand and putted off in forward. On the way back I sat on the other side and used my left hand on the throttle, as he suggested. That way the throttle operates like a motorcycle and it’s more intuitive. I told Bud when I got back that the engine had not been locked down. Turns out it doesn’t lock down in reverse, and the whole incident was because I gave it too much throttle. Boy, that throttle is touchy! I guess I’ll have to practice my dinghy techniques, preferably not at a crowded dock.