The highest high to the lowest low-numerous times.
06 May 2012 | Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
Sunny and warm.
Yesterday, I went from the highest highs(twice) to the lowest lows(numerous times). With that being said, the highest high was up to the top of the mast(twice) to install the repaired wind gauge that Paul on Star Struck brought back from the US last Tuesday. I'd mailed it back to the US back in February(took 21 days to get there)for repairs and he was nice enough to bring it back. I headed up the mast with Tracy using our Milwaukee drill to get me up there(along with me using the steps I installed before we left Mexico). Once up there and plugged in, Tracy went below and turned it on. Nothing came up on the screen. So down I came and headed below to see what might be the problem. When I removed it, I'd not only labeled every wire as to where it went, I also made a schematic of where they went and then took pictures just in case(paranoia is my friend). Well, I'd installed it alright but what we missed(myself included when I reinstalled it) was an "ON" switch on the back of the unit. It normally turns "on" with a master switch on the front panel. Once I toggled that switch, she came right on line. I had to go back up the mast as I'd forgotten to take a product called "Rig Wrap" that's used to fasten wires down so they won't blow around. Much like an elastic strap that gets stretched and once stretched, will adhere to itself making a nice durable bond. Another project done.
Next, on the replacing one of the bales(rings that are attached to the boom that the boom vang(rope contraption that holds the boom horizontal when big winds blow)attaches to. When we had Zephyrs rigging replaced, the rigger used a line called "Amstel Steel" that is as strong as steel cable. Not the stuff you want on a boom vang that is supposed to stretch when a big load is put on it. During our crossing, the Amstel Steel line made two big blocks that hold the line explode. And I do mean explode with a BANG. I'd replaced the line with a simple three strand line that worked much better. Unfortunately, the pressure on the fitting during the crossing started to tear the stainless steel plate that holds the bale to the boom. I had the replacement so we did the job of sliding off the old one and putting on the new one. To do this job, we had to take off the end of the boom and unscrew every fitting on it and there were lots of things screwed to the boom. Off with the old and on with the new. Tighten a bunch of screws and done. Another job down.
Next, down the the "lowest low". Into the bilge, the darkest stinkiest place on any boat. Ours was filled with a mixture of water(leaking water heater and holes in the deck), oil(broken oil cans under the stern bunk--3 gallons lost) and soap that we had poured in to try and break up the oil. It was a big slop of slimy, slippery gooey black yuck. It all needed to come out. I had to stick my head through a pair of small doors under the stairs and stick the top half of my body down just so I could reach the yuck. First, I had to disconnect the wires to the bilge pump and drag that messy piece of equipment out so Tracy could clean it. I used a plastic glass(never to be reused) to scoop up some of the yuck and pour it into a bucket, slither out of the hole, hand the bucket to Tracy who poured it into a bigger bucket and then head back down into the yuck. All in all, about 2.5 gallons and too many paper towels to count before it was all done but done it was.
By now, I was a sweat soaked mess of a person with my shirt not only filthy, but literally soaked with sweat and dirt. The head bands I wear to absorb the perspiration off my head--I was on my second one since the first was already soaked beyond absorption. Once we were done with that job, I headed off for the showers with lots of soap and a stiff brush to get all the yuck off my hands and arms.
While I had gone from the top of our boat to the bottom of our boat all in one day, we accomplished three very important tasks in one day. I'll take that any time.