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Koinonia Sailing
Arriving back in Zadar
01 May 2012
Arrival in Zadar
4/23/2012 - 4/25/2012

The trip to Zadar took us through the mountains of Croatia. The scenery was beautiful, in spite of the rain. We have seen rain every day since we have been in Europe. It was a welcomed site to finally arrive at the marina where Koinonia II has been stored since leaving her in September. First in line in the boat yard, she sat among several other boats awaiting the return of their owners. We will spend the next week living on the boat in the boat yard, preparing for re-entry into the water next Monday.

We were anxious to begin assessing the condition of the boat, as this past winter was the coldest in Croatia for the past fifty years. There was one week where the temperatures did not go above freezing. When we prepared the boat for storage we did as much winterization as we could, even though the locals told us we did not need to worry about freeze precautions. "It never freezes here" was the story we were told as we moved forward with winterizing the boat. Don anticipated that we would have some maintenance issues to deal with upon our return, as not all systems were winterized. One discovery caught us off guard as we began performing the various systems tests. The primary connection piece on the water distribution system failed when we tested it. This piece is essential for distributing water throughout the boat i.e. sinks, toilets, and showers.

Getting parts for an American made water distribution system proved to be a challenge, as the parts we needed were not readily available here. Don contacted some friends back home for assistance. One friend is working to get the part in the U.S. and will bring it when he and his wife join us in a few weeks. The other friend made a recommendation for the interim solution to build a new manifold with parts which are readily available to us. Don worked his magic and built enough distribution modules to get water routed to the most essential locations of the boat, and will continue to develop the modules for the less critical locations. Once the water distribution problem was solved, we were able to assess the 'downstream' systems. The most concerning were the water heater and the reverse osmosis water maker. The water heater checked out okay and the water maker test still needs to be conducted.

The batteries also needed to be replaced. The marina had a shop on the premises with the right size batteries. Each battery weighed about 100 lbs and we needed to replace two. The shop was kind enough to deliver the batteries to the boat. Delivery of the batteries was much appreciated, since the rental car had already been returned. The batteries had the terminals set in a reverse position than our wiring configuration, but Don pulled the rabbit out of the hat again and got the job done. The biggest challenge was removing each of the old batteries (also 100 lbs each), lifting them up from the storage location, up the stairs to get them out of the boat, and getting them off of the boat, without getting burned from the leaching acid. Don had some minor burning on hands, which was relieved with water and baking soda. Two projects down, more to go, and hopefully no more surprises.

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